Kent: Passengers on South Eastern Railway take their dogs to work today

It is National #Takeyourdogtowork day which is great for mental health in the workplace, and gets the dog out too, and, of course, immensely spoiled.

I was pleased to see some railway passengers taking their beagle to work this morning, on my way to London Bridge. The lady took the dog after 10am and avoided the crowded rush hour so he was quite comfortable.

Hope to see more and more people take their dogs to work, perhaps more often than a day, to help animal welfare charities and reduce workplace stress and sickness. It also makes the workplace more fun and ‘human’.

To take part next year, keep a note of this website: https://bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk/ for details.

UK: It’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day on 23 June, 2017

Improve your wellbeing in the workplace and help raise money for animal welfare charities by bringing your dog to work on Friday. Bring some ‘pet therapy’ to help reduce workplace stress.

If you would like to take part see https://bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk/ for details.

Bear mind in mind that it could be hot as here in the UK we are having a heatwave, so avoid taking it to work in a car or hot workplace etc.

Thanks to the list of fantastic Sponsors supporting this day :- https://bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk/sponsor</em

London: Press Complaint: #Grenfelltowerfire Stop Tabloids Identifying Vulnerable People #Respecttheirprivacyingrief

I was disgusted to see tabloids naming the person who owned the fridge that caught fire in the Grenfell Tower fire. This included The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail, others also followed suit.

As a citizen journalist, there’s a fine line between telling an important story and putting vulnerable people at risk. It is extremely insensitive. This man is in grief and shock and he is not allowed privacy in such a time. This is inhumane. What kind of world are we in?

This will cause extra psychological trauma to the person, who not only could get PTSD but could be at risk of suicide, which will also affect the rest of his family too, if he doesn’t have a good support network. He has a child too. As a writer, we have to stand up to unethical behaviour like this.

Maybe they took the photo from a Facebook account, and tabloids would say, “well, it’s ‘his fault’ he made it public”Come on guys, you have degrees in journalism, surely you have some common sense. Why aren’t the police protecting this guy too?

I am a citizen journalist who has an interest in trauma and mental health. Perhaps these journalists should have some Mental Health First Aid training and learn about mental health. Even they themselves, may need counselling and could be vulnerable too after witnessesing this. I wonder if they are getting any help? Anyone who experiences such overwhelming trauma needs a lot of support, love and self-care, not ‘shaming in the media’ so media organisations can get huge profits.

Several members of the public, both in the UK, and worldwide, have complained on various forums about their behaviour. Some professional journalists, seem to have no duty of care to those they write about. Some QCs online are also disgusted.

If I knew him, I would offer him a cup of tea and a chat, and try and get him some trauma counselling. It will take years and years to deal with that. I hope he is surrounded by ‘friends’ that don’t sell him’ to the gutter media’.

If you are a professional journalist reading this, come on, show some balls and tell your boss to ‘stick it’ if they make you identify a vulnerable person like this.

To make a Press Complaint
: https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/

For those who need help after the Grenfell Tower Fire, here are some useful numbers

Mind Charity (for Mental Health) 0300 123 3393

Child Bereavement Uk, if parents etc have lost a child. UK Tel 01494 568 900

Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677

Winston’s Wish (The Charity for Bereaved Children) FREEPHONE
08088 020 021

The Guardian complain about identifing the person but flash up the Daily Mail with their tweet identifying him, here (which is ironic). https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/16/mail-online-story-about-alleged-cause-of-grenfell-fire-prompts-more-than-1100-complaints?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2FIOlg+%28Media+%7C+The+Guardian%29

Ironically if the Royals behave badly, the Press censors their photos. Identifying vulnerable people is ‘an attack on the poor, the superrich who can afford gaggling clauses.

Dealing with a suicidal person from overseas on Facebook

I belong to a forum about people going through difficult things and we had one person on the forum who said she was going to commit suicide today on a Facebook post.

My Suicide Prevention Course ‘kicked in’. Generally when they give you a ‘date’ or if you find out when, you go into emergency mode. However, the online system where Facebook is supposed to help that person didn’t appear ‘to work’. Facebook also didn’t bother to reply on on Twitter.

In the end, myself and a few others messaged her, and I encouraged her to book an appointment with the GP, let us know when she had done this, and said that we are here for her. We were lucky that Facebook showed us roughly where she was and she had an unusual name.

In the meantime, I also contacted the South African police station near her (a very expensive mobile phone call from the UK) and told them what happened. I said I was calling from the UK and they ‘didn’t fuss about the paperwork like they do in the UK’ but just gone on with it.

I will never know if they contacted the person, as maybe it is hard to get the IP address from Facebook in time but I am glad I did it. One person contacted one of their relatives and asked them to check she was ok. Sometimes they were estranged, but I think sometimes this has to be done if the police find it hard to get hold of the suicidal person. The moderator was a bit slow at first but once she knew what was happening went into action.

We tried to get hold of her, keep her talking on the forum although at some point she went missing online for a while.

However, it turns out, after two hours, she said to the moderator that she felt ‘ok’ and was really amazed ‘that people online cared for her’ and provided telephone helplines etc.

Sometimes something simple like talking and caring can help people get past that suicidal feeling and we have to remember to say to the suicidal person ‘that the feeling is only temporary’.

World Crisis Hotlines https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

Use Google Maps to find a police station round the world: https://www.google.co.uk/maps

World Narcissist Abuse Awareness Day 1 June 2017

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Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) occurs on June 1st every year. Established in 2016, WNAAD is a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse, providing public education, resources for survivors, and effect policy change. WNAAD is an international event that is recognized worldwide.

Many of the people who suffer from narcissistic abuse (a form of psychological and emotional abuse) aren’t even aware that what they are experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and when they become aware they are being abused, they have a difficult time describing it because it’s so hard to put the finger on. So much of it can be covert.

WNAAD came up with the hashtag, #IfMyWoundsWereVisible, because unlike physical abuse where a single strike or blow, narcissist abuse is generally invisible. An indiscernible assault on the spirit, identity, and the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative, and its full effect isn’t felt until the damage is extensive. Although bruises and broken bones heal much faster than a broken spirit, narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed.

Narcissist Abuse is controlling, anti-social and manipulative behaviour. Narcissist abuse is experienced everywhere, workplaces, religious groups, education, not for profits, in the armed forces, and families.

It is also important that those in Human Resources know about narcissist abuse in the workplace, often the victim is not believed.

People need to learn about ‘Red Flags’ before they enter into a relationship with someone and recognize them in workplaces early on, and learn how to handle them and avoid them. Many people living or working in close proximity to full on narcissists have had to leave their family or place of work, some have had Complex PTSD because of the abuse.

My own experience of narcissist abuse experience ranges from emotional neglect, lack of empathy from the abuser , abnormal hostile behaviour ‘behind closed doors’ at home or in the workplace, smear campaigns, emotional blackmail, secretive behaviour, mind games – the abuser makes everything your fault, financial blackmail, lack of support by fellow colleague or family member, anti social behaviour, passive aggressiveness, covert, controlling and public humiliating behaviour, violence and betrayal. Walking on eggshells every day too. Both men and women can be narcissists, and many people have parents and siblings who are ‘narcs’.

Some red flags in a relationship, for example, according to WNAAD.com:

◾As the relationship becomes more established, you may start to see some stronger warning signs, or red flags, such as: You may spot bigger lies, and when you confront them, you never get a straight answer or they will turn it around and accuse you of what they’re actually doing.

◾If you try to raise an issue with them, it becomes a full-blown argument. They may accuse you of causing the fight, or they may use the silent treatment as a way of punishing you for confronting them.
◾Arguments feel circular and nonsensical. You’re left feeling emotionally battered and confused. There is no resolution to the issue, no sense of compromise or seeking a win/win outcome. It feels like they need to “win” regardless of the issue or what’s at stake. You’re left you feeling unsupported and misunderstood.

◾They may tell you something didn’t happen when you know it did, or vice versa. This is called gaslighting and it’s designed to make you doubt your own reality and judgment.

◾You feel like you need to ask for permission before making plans with others. They may try to control where you go, or call and text constantly to check up on you, and interrogate you about where you’ve been/what you’ve been doing.

◾You start seeing less of your family and friends. Perhaps because they openly prevent you from doing so through guilt tripping or threats of abandonment. Or, it could be more subtle, where they make such a fuss about seeing your family and friends that you start avoiding them so you don’t have to deal with the fallout. You end up feeling isolated and lonely.

◾The relationship feels one-sided – like you are the one who is doing all the giving, the one who is always in the wrong, the one who is trying the hardest, changing the most or doing the most sacrificing, just to make them happy. And it still doesn’t work. Nothing is enough for them.

◾You can’t feel at ease or relaxed in their presence. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells, waiting for the next time they lash out at you. You realize you feel a sense of relief when they aren’t there.

◾You feel like whatever you do, it’s not enough. You’re manipulated so that your flaws and vulnerabilities are exploited and used against you at every opportunity. You begin to feel inadequate, unlovable, and like everything is all your fault.

Sign up to the official website for free on http://www.wnaad.com/ and learn about symptoms and how to spot red flags and follow the hashtag #ifmywoundswerevisible. You will be surprised by how many people you know who have it.

There are some good books on Narcissists on Amazon, and one of them is ‘My Narcissist Mother’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Narcissistic-Mother-narcissistic-mother-ebook/dp/B015R9YQHG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1498224587&sr=8-12&keywords=narcissistic+mother (I have not been paid to recommend this book)

Mental Health Awareness Week: The Daily Mirror and the Duchess of Cambridge with the Anxious Child

I was disturbed to see the photograph of the young child who was seen suffering from anxiety whilst meeting the Duchess of Campaign.

When you see a child with lack of self-esteem, you need to ‘dig deeper’ and find out why and how he can be supported. There could be many reasons why the child experienced this condition, what was his home situation like, did he have pushy parents,what about his schooling, and how he gets on with teachers and fellow school kids. All sorts of things.

The Daily Mirror said he ‘was shy’ but there is a difference between being shy and having a social anxiety attack. And being ‘shy’ is ok, many people are shy. Why be humoured for being shy? Being photographed globally for being ‘shy’ as a ‘bad thing’ adds shame to people. Maybe the kid will deal with it ok when they get older, but many people are shy or have social anxiety for life. It is just a condition, and nothing to be ashamed of, despite our society being made for extroverts.

The close shot photo of the child, splashed over the pages, of the internet with his name would make things worse of a child with social anxiety, as humiliation is part of the condition. The media are often ignorant of mental health and often have no training in Mental Health First Aid.

As it is Mental Awareness Week the media and parents need to learn about social anxiety and how to manage it.

I suffered from social anxiety as a child so I see the photograph as ‘troubling’. If I was a parent or teacher, I would prefer to encourage self-esteem and confidence in a child. Sometimes they just need a bit of support. I would also get a child psychologist in.

If you have a child with similar symptoms to the little boy, please read the link on NHS link http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-anxiety/Pages/Social-anxiety.aspx#children

Estrangement: Life after going No Contact with your Family

When you first go No Contact it can be very hard. From my own experience I went weeks initially, then months and it got better. I got over ‘big family event’ days too.

I realised that the family was never there for you when you needed them and they were the last people I could trust. They assume that you will always be there, as ‘you’re family’. Even smaller things like supporting you when you do a charity ride by turning up at the end is something,but they don’t turn up or even ask when it is. I remember I created a huge community project, and they didn’t turn up on the Opening Day and they live two miles from the area. I really have the sense of ‘I can’t be bothered’ in my family. No Contact will give The Family one hell of a shake up.

They did some good things for me, but there are certain boundaries that I have of my own when they do things wrong. For me, their behaviour badly affected my mental health and wellbeing.

We are bombarded with the media saying that being in a family is a good thing which doesn’t help. Being in dysfunctional or toxic family, we have a different concept of what family is. Sometimes the best thing is to ‘get out’.

I have now created a whole new family, and a ‘proper’ one, by going to different clubs, meeting new people, catching up with people from my past, doing voluntary work, having more hobbies and focusing on creating a new life.

When I do have personal difficulties I can contact therapists, online support, the Samaritans, friends who understand and so on. Estrangalistas can even cuddle our dog or horse! We have to be creative. Is an ‘original family’ really necessary these days? We can create our own reality. The whole experience of being ‘family free’ is a new journey of discovery for me.

When you realise you only have family for birthdays and Christmas, particularly in a middle class and upper class family, you realise this is not a family at all. it is just a ‘facade’. Famillies shouldn’t take their clse family for granted, they can go at any time and leave a life completely away from them. Even so-called religious families can have members who are estranged, and sometimes even more so.

If ‘they’ do try to ‘hoover’ me back, there will have to be some changes, and it may mean family mediation, although I really can’t see that happening.

Things do get better and your mental health gets a lot better too, and even better when you change your will!

Famillies are being ripped apart by members with symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD)

Numerous people, both men and women, are having to leave members of family who have symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder as they are unable to cope with domestic abuse, betrayal,lack of empathy and deceitful behavior anymore.

Many have tried to work out why they are their partners and sometimes siblings are the way they are but are coming to terms that there is nothing they can do as the condition is not curable, and that have to leave.Sometimes people with NCD ‘just get worse’ over time. Some family members just do not feel they are heard or loved. They are experiencing a lot of confusing mind games. One moment the Narcissist can be normal, but other times, they have a Narcissist rage out of nowwhere. People are constantly walking on eggshells with these people.

People with children, however, are ‘forced’ to have limited contact with their abusers. Many with no children are leaving their famillies entirely and going ‘No Contact’ whatsoever and building new and better lives without their family and ‘going it alone’.

Those who have been abused have felt depressed and suicidal. Some have committed suicide. The Narcissist wants ‘power and control’ over them.

Some desperate famillies have tried therapy but often it has been a disaster as the Narcissist generally says ‘it is all their fault’ and/or leaves therapy early.Most Narcissists do not accept they have a problem and won’t even go to therapy in the first place.

This isn’t just in family situations but it is happening also in the workplace too, where some Narcissists particularly target occupations where they can ‘control’ and have status, the police, military, security, management, community and religious leaders particularly popular occupations for Narcissists from seeing comments on various Narcissist Survivor forums. Some Pastors’ wives are having to leave their husband because of their behaviour, and this is often frowned upon in the church. Some Narcissists do not want their wives to work and keep them holed up with lots of children at home. If they work, this means the Narcissist has less control over them and the Narcissist will think they will meet other men at work.

Narcissist Personality is a Disorder of the Personality and is not a Mental Illness. There is no known cure.

Some symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder are:

1) They have a grandiose sense of self-importance.

2) They requires excessive admiration

3)Have a very strong sense of entitlement

4)Is exploitative of others

5)Lacks empathy

6)Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Frequently they also have these too:

7) Lying and making things up to manipulate you

8) Being Emotionally abusive

9) Physically Abusive

10) Financially Abusive

11) Spiritually abusive

12) Notorious for having a ‘Honeymoon Period’ in a Relationship where things are ‘perfect’ to start with. Things change once the relationship gets more serious, they marry and start to have children. There is an element of ‘control’. Many Narcissists have a poor relationship history, with many divorces and abandoned children. They will provide ‘plausible excuses’ or perhaps withhold background information, and that goes for convictions. The Police in the UK can help people who want to find out more about their future partner if they have domestic violence convictions.

13) Betraying Trust

14) Smear Campaigns

16) Stalking

17) Manipulation

18) Reproductive Coercion

19) Birth Control Sabotage

20) Treating children and partners as extensions of themselves. (Some say they are ‘treated like property’)

21) Trusting strangers rather than their own family

22) Addictions

2) Being friendly with strangers and hostile to close relatives, and sometimes close neighbours. They appear to ‘act’ with others, who think they are very nice people and would not believe that they can even be abusive.

Words Associated with Narcissists are (though these are not used in Counselling)

1) Love Bombing (attempting to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection) in particular to get what they want

2) Gas Lighting (Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own sanity)

3) Projecting (blaming something on you, when he or she caused the problem. This is another tactic to bring confusion to the Target. They will not admit to doing anything wrong.

4)The Supply – the Target of the Narcissist. The Narcissist gets his or her ‘fuel’ from an empathic person who they will try and manipulate and control.

5) Flying Monkey – their friends or those who support the Narc

Get Help:

IAPT Counselling: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological%20therapies%20(IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008. Ideally, try and find someone who specializes in NPD. Narcissists are notorious for not seeking any help, and if they do, they will blame it on others. It is helpful for the Target to get counseling for themselves and undertake plenty of self care and ask their doctor for help.

Relate: https://www.relate.org.uk/ (They provide counselling, and they have free online counselling but it can be busy

Police: Dial 999 in an Emergency /Dial 111 if not. (You maybe able to get a restraining order

There are also a number of Narcissist Abuse sites on Facebook (though it is safer to use a different name) as they can be stalked by members of the family and the Narcissist themselves.

Women’s Aid: http://www.womensaid.org.uk

A tip:

If you call someone a Narcissist, it is most likely that they will deny it and start further anti-social behavior targeted on you.  The best advice is to recognize what a Narcissist is to Leave, some say to ‘Run!’ though this may not always be easy to do.

Coping Ideas

1) Leave if you can!
2) Join a Mental Health/Wellbeing Support Group
3) Do something creative – art, singing, music of various sorts
4)Go and so some Voluntary Work and meet positive people
5) Walk in nature
6) Do something for animals
7) Raise awareness. Many people have never heard of Narcissist Personality Disorder
8) Ignore Narcissists – they hate to be ignored. Go ‘Grayrock’ – just speak in a general vague way that does not upset ‘the Narc’ on some way
9) Make your kids have love and praise
10) Leave and get a pet if you can. Learn to cope on your own. It is not necessary to have a partner. Learning to cope on your own is real empowerment
11) Do some Self-Care
12) Go on Self-Esteem and/or Self Defence Classes
13) Learn to be Yourself Again
14) Get a job
15) Learn new skills
16) Get new qualifications
17) Have Me-Time
18) Reward yourself when you have done something difficult

Beaulieu has experience of Narcissist Personality Disorder being in the family, and is currently estranged (No Contact)

Contribute to ‘Soul Relics’, an Online Mental Health Art Project

Soul Relics – Museum of the Psyche, Objects, and Personal Stories

This is an online platform on storytelling, objects and mental health as often we neglect our relationships with ourselves, and to tackle the huge stigma that is attached to mental health.

This is an “online museum” showing photos of any objects (with people’s short personal stories/ messages attached to the objects) that remind you of…

(1) a difficult time your lives (ie. A period of mental ill health)
(2) and/ or something that helped you work towards recovery.

That object can be anything that is related to your personal life, or/and institutional barriers to mental health care, etc.

To contribute please go to http://soulrelicsmuseum.me/Contribute.html

UK: Being newly estranged from the Family

I have been estranged from my family for a few weeks. This has been my own choice.

I have had periods of 6 months previously, but this looks like it’s going to be ‘a long one’.

There are times when we have to do the best thing for ourselves and our well being. When you belong in a dysfunctional famlly, it is hard to try and keep out of the dramas,the lies and the mind games.

My own case occurred with a family member who has Narcissist Personality Order, She is extremely abusive and untrustworthy. The other family member betrayed his family with family secrets and it is a job dealing with that type of person, without suffering yourself. There are times we can only take so much.

Some people run away from their families, but others like myself,  will try to keep a distance from them as much as possible and blocking them off social media and trying to develop a new life, it could take weeks, months or years. Sometimes it will be permanent.

 

When you are a Newbie Estrangelista, it is challenge to find where to get help and information from and you can feel alone.

In the UK, 1 in 5 families in the UK will be affected by estrangement and over 5 million people have decided to cut contact with at least one family member.

These are things  that helped me deal with estrangement from my own family. I don’t  have much family so it was a big thing for me.

  1. Talking to close friends (however, they can only take so much)
  2. Contacting the Samaritans just to off load
  3. Contacting Relate.org.uk – they have a Free Live Messenger Service
  4. Going for a Walk or sightseeing
  5. Having time on my own to process things
  6. Going to a local City Farm and stroking the animals. Animals are brilliant for therapy
  7. Doing some practical work to keep my mind occupied
  8. Thinking it through and yes, I did try, and get angry.  It needs to be processed.
  9. I set a Countdown dates on Apps so I would target family events ie Easter that I would try and avoid. It was really important to miss these family events. Your absence will be noticed and there will be no photographs of you on that day for posterity.  The more events you miss, the more of an impact your absence will be.
  10. Sign up to Standalone.org.uk the First UK Charity to help adults to have been estranged or cut off

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