April Fool’s Day 2019

April’s Fool Day 2019 is going to be a celebration in my home.

This pagan throwback hasn’t disappeared just yet. The 1st of April is the time of year when we play jokes on others. Oh and how much do we need to laugh? We have always known laughter is great for us and that being happy is good for our health and the usual blah.

Laughter is an emotion I can get behind. Laughter is how we deal with our issues and the best way to deal with trauma once recovery has set its course in the right direction.

How healthy would our countries be if we measured wealth in happiness rather than currency?

In the past, newspapers ran the best April Fools Day stories. People believed that spaghetti grew on trees just for a moment before they realised it was not true – they were usually given a clue within the text that they were being ‘had over’.

The history of April Fool’s Day is more than Quite Interesting. It started a very long time. It has to be one the oldest traditions in our country funnily enough maybe in the world. Current search engine results will tell us it comes from when they changed the calendars, around 1752.

Proper ancient. Before then we celebrated Christmas in March.

Practical jokers would still bring around presents apparently and people would say ‘you fool, it’s not Christmas we just celebrated Christmas,’ or something like that. But that isn’t the whole story.

April Fool’s Day is heavily linked with the abduction of a daughter of a Goddess. The daughter of Agriculture. It is also linked to Pluto, Ceres and a load of other very important pre Christian, pre Islamic, pre Judaic, pre Hindi gods and goddesses.

So it is now known to us pagans as a celebration of fruitless journeys as well as fruitful. The Fool is an interesting icon. One not to be ignored. For instance, it is a powerful Tarot Card and also in popular culture it survives, with the amount of comedy on the googlebox, this much is fact.

Many traditional celebrations happen around now all over the globe – it’s Spring. It’s the natural time to celebrate motherhood and creation – but also a very busy time as it is birthing season.

Famous jokes for April Fool’s day seem to have dwindled of late but how nice would it be to wake up tomorrow morning and to be told that the last two years were actually a joke.

That it was now over. We were never coming out of Europe anyway and the powers who have been fighting over this little country of ours would just disappear.

We could all sit around and have such a good laugh at that. For me that would be the best April Fool’s Day ever.

Equality In Housing Allocation In UK

I have been trying to get this story out for a while but my emails are returned to me from the police and from the special fraud squad.

I highlighted inequality in our housing system towards disabled women and women as they are both protected groups under UN convention.

The housing trusts are Homegroup, Watford Community Housing Trust and Tamil Housing. These are the only ones I looked at. But all three broke the rules on housing allocation.

At what point will the government deal with this problem?

Building more private housing on over populated pieces of common land is against our laws.

There are huge areas of england available for building projects- to keep building on the same spot of land is not sustainable and against our laws.

Perhaps someone could send me the address of special fraud squad because I’m tired of my emails being returned.

Oh, I Could Strangle a Dolphin!

They scan sea-life that has been caught in plastic to check for the tumours plastic causes. They remove the plastic which has become entangled around the desperate creature’s bodies.

Scientists carefully remove the tumours before releasing them back into the water to enjoy the world. Thankfully the same marine biologists then monitor the health of the animal to ensure it recovers from the horror and attempt to do it all gently to avoid more trauma.

It is all heart-breaking. The amount of plastic in our environment which has not been disposed of properly. It has found it’s way into our oceans and is harming Earth’s wildlife and our environment.

The oil industry, which plastic is a by product of, move someway in some areas to help with the clean up with donations to ocean preservation charities and such like.

If I were to share a picture of a dolphin with plastic wrapped around it all my friends would share it in a moment because the Brits love animals. The BBC employ a huge posh orchestra to play alongside the programs we are screened for animals.

So why do they leave humans with the plastic inside them? – I am told to stop being dramatic and the medical profession are insisting that any tumours are coincidental. So, yeah, I’d like to strangle a dolphin.

Would that get me some of that media attention? Some attention from my friends and perhaps the doctors? Nope, it would just get me very wet and bloody – and they would probably arrest me for cruelty to animals.

I’d still be left with the plastic in me…and all the things I am not getting used to living with. The no sex for instance… bizarre that the only position we can achieve is the missionary.

The worse one for me is the pads. It’s embarrassing wetting and pooing yourself when you have only just turned 50 years old. Also they are so expensive. My GP could prescribe them but says he can’t. I use the big thick pads and they get used up quickly.

I can see you thinking about the fluffing kittens and gorgeous dolphins already. But this shit is important – pardon the pun. There are men younger than me stuck in the same position because of mesh used for their hernia’s.

Obviously, there is the pain relief. The judgement from everyone. The wheelchair etc. That’s not the half of it though. I’m denied basic rights and services too. Rights which I am entitled to under UN convention and these are all being stomped over.

I am often unable to get my medication – because they don’t have it or it is too expensive. Like nutrition milkshakes because I find it very difficult to eat. Even though nutritionist said I was to have them. At the moment they are unable to get me my HRT and using Brexit as excuse…

I’m in so much pain. I have to beg for pain relief and often prescriptions will run out before you are allowed to get another. Especially with the controlled drugs…pain killers.

They will not prescribe them before you need them. Fair enough. I am on 72 hour patch. I order on Friday. I run out on Monday but the doctor has a three day turnaround on prescriptions so…I can pick up my new patches on the Weds, I could go on.

Often the green sheets say you have been given medication you have not. My scan results are hidden from me – the dolphins and sea-life get more consideration.

I have TVT (put in 2005 plastic) and more painfully, if that were possible, a Stapled Hemorrhroidopexy. I feel ill. It was not the surgery my Rheumatologist requested for me. I already had Ehlers Danlos a serious problem with my collagen.

I use a stick and wheelchair where I can. Media is lying about pay outs…no we are just all dying slowly and painfully. As far as I am aware, at this moment in time not one person in the UK has had any recompense. I’m unsure why they would lie.

Disability awards in the UK. I keep getting temporary awards. Then the government decided to reduced payments. I was able to take my ID from my purse unassisted.

Gratefully I was assigned a support worker for a while to help me through the appeal. The governement then accepted the appeal, just before the appeal court date. They decided to award it but for just 18 months.

As it is tied in with your universal credit and rent payments this is a real tiresome chore.

They now say I have had the support worker for too long. It’s been over a year. I still have not had a referral for the removal of the plastic. I have not had any medical help other than trying really rubbish drugs and some physio therapy which caused the plastic tension vaginal tape to snap within me.

In my borough they have implemented a system called the Single Fraud Prevention Intervention and it only runs on housing benefit claimants. So we have to be proactive to gain our benefits. So for instance, if we don’t turn up for an appointment our benefits are stopped etc. Disabled people are included this program.

The benefit agency does not have disabled parking. I threw up in their staff toilets as their toilets were upstairs and there was no lift for the wheelchair. It was terrible. The staff have agreed that I do not need to attend to the office again.

I have tried to find out how to get an indefinite award but told I’m unlikely to qualify as I don’t have one of the qualifying illnesses but can’t find out what the qualifying illnesses are. Online Government pages says HIV and other serious illnesses like Diabetes are on the list.

I was asked to do a statement regarding my mesh – the plastic inside me. This was it. No dolphins were harmed during the writing of this blog piece.

Past Caring, Not Sharing

A Space in My Time.

by Samantha Harris.

So, I woke this morning still in a scene from ‘I am Legend’. It was the scene where the mutant is head-butting the glass to get to the last human. The last human contains the antidote to the mutancy that has destroyed every other human. The last human is stood in an isolation containment tank.

I imagine that I am the mutant. It is me banging against the glass. The thickness of it shattering outwards from the impact of my head in spangled spikes. Each time I’m withdrawing, slowly walking backwards, concentrating on the human inside the glass, viewing the enormity of the task, before dropping my chin, focusing my eyes and running back at it, shattering another layer.

I’m slowly breaking through the glass. It is very thick.

The human on the other side is screaming. She has her hands against her cheeks and her eyes are wild with fear. She is also me. What is this dream saying? I pull back the covers and make my way through to the lounge. I sit down at my laptop. I’m sat at a table in front of a window so large that it takes up almost the entire wall, I start to write. The nodules on my swollen hands hurt and the pain shooting up from my rear is distracting. I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome.

I spend my time between two windows. One window to see the environment which surrounds me, the other to see the environment which surrounds you. I sit looking out on the world. I rarely close the grey blinds. I need to be able to see the skies. I will see them coming. And I have my superfast broadband and trusty laptop to help me circumnavigate you. I fight my battle on more than one frontline.

I cannot help myself. I cannot stop being angry. This is the reason why mental health can be a problem. These days it is rarely about depression. Why would I kill myself? Why would I even self-harm? I’m in pain every day with an incurable disease. Not killing myself is self-harming. It seriously would achieve nothing other than to hurt the humans I do care about. And, anyway, what if killing myself didn’t change my actual existence? That would be typical.

I’m angry at the world. I’m angry with myself for ever being young, subservient, ignorant and now unable to follow my own dreams. I will, no longer, use a capital letter for father, mother or god. Why should I? I’m subservient to no one. My anger manifests as revenge plots which I would not act on. It disturbs me that I spend so much time thinking of these plans.

Ideally, I would hurt others. But who? Who is actually responsible? My natural mother? My step mother? My father? The Courts? The first man who found me sexual at seven? The second man who found me sexual at ten? My madam? My second husband? My GP? Religion? Multinational corporations? The list is endless.

I do fear those flying unknowns. The triangular ones in the sky. Not the invisible religious gods. The real ones in the huge ships with the hatches and symbols. They are looking. They are waiting. What do they plan as they move invisibly and silently across our skies? They fly by when no one can see. When I look out and just see cloud, I imagine them lurking behind. On a damp, rainy day they sit, adding weight.

My partner comes into the room. The atmosphere frosty from an unspoken argument yesterday. I attempt to discuss it in a clumsy manner. It doesn’t work. He collects his things. Have I gone too far? I make tea, stirring and dropping in milk. I think, briefly, about when he takes me. I mustn’t look at him when he is really close. If I do, his blue eyes disappear, replaced by sharp black ones which dart from side to side and scales appear as his skin peels away. His tongue is replaced by one which has a split end. It flicks my face. My human’s beautiful face goes, only returning when I close my eyes and desperately blink away the image. I know it’s not real. It’s an image seen whilst modelling in a tiny, studio in Chelsea. My confusion isn’t any easier to live with knowing it isn’t real. Let me explain.

Years ago a famous fantasy comic artist showed me something. I was sworn to secrecy but as promised dues still go unpaid, I see no reason to keep it secret. To be frank, swearing me to secrecy wasn’t helpful. Not all images give me issues, the majority I can usually educate myself through.

I don’t blame the artist. How could I? How could he know I’d be forever haunted? Or that my brain would do whatever it is doing? He showed me the private work because I told him I’d seen a spaceship. I had. He was riding high on my naivety and I suspect my interest was stroking his ego. The work he showed me, was fantastically brilliant.

There were large grey reptiles with huge copulatory organs engaging with human women drawn across the page. The women’s expressions neither terrified or happy. I viewed only for a moment before he, sorry for showing me, quickly covered it up again. It was long enough to see several intergalactic pairings across the huge paper, they stood in strange positions, strained expressions on the upstanding lizards’ faces.

I was disappointed, at the time, that the spaceship in the background was only depicted by the presence of metallic stands as the scene was happening underneath and looked nothing like the spaceship I had seen. It was merely his imagination.

Robert Lankiewicz is another artist whose sublime, realistic work is also thoroughly entwined in my thought patterns. His stories, paintings and image play often in my head. His death lays heavy on me, feeling responsible only part down to my paranoia.

Now that my mental illness is enjoying a little freedom these images are becoming alive. Why some images more than others? I’ve no idea. Over my years as a model I’ve worked with fantastic artists and painters. Perhaps now they taunt me because I cannot be distracted, no long walks, no longer able to sing or play the guitar to cheer myself. The autoimmune response to a medical implant means I cannot even abide listening to music.

It’s been over thirty years since I first started getting reality and fiction confused. I just deal with it. I’m just writing about the first few minutes of my day.  I have been diagnosed with ‘unstable emotional personality disorder’ and ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ as well as ‘depression’. Personally I don’t think they’ve got me pegged yet. Thankfully I have started writing and it is an outlet of some sort.

Perhaps waking up imagining your bashing your head against a glass wall with yourself on the other side is exactly the same for you. Perhaps you have also seen a UFO and your lover morphs into a lizard. If so, I’m glad. We will be prepared when they do arrive from the skies. If not, then I hope this little slice of my life will unable you to humour the people in your life who may be struggling with mental health issues.

Past caring but not past sharing