Lost In Care

Over 12 years working in residential children's homes. 5 years training foster carers and care staff. Trainee child psychotherapist. 14 years in care as a child. Diary, anecdotes and rants about the good, bad and mediocre. Anonymised but all true.

Judgments, assumptions, opinions…

What do you think of Donald Trump?  Seriously, think of some words you would use to describe him now.  I reckon most of the readers of this blog will have had negative thoughts to say the least – I am making an assumption but it is an assumption I would stake my life on.  Just out of interest, did you judge the behaviour and not the person?  Like we’re meant to?  I bet you didn’t.

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Melancholia…

When I was about 20-years old, I shut myself away for a few weeks in the one room I was living in. I didn’t answer the phone or engage with the outside world in any way – other than to cash my dole cheque to buy food and baccy. The baccy ran out of course, so I would recycle my dog ends, and then recycle them again.  I can still remember the smell of my fingers.  Food would run out too of course, so occasionally I had to venture out and shoplift.

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A wounded healer…

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung used the concept of “the wounded healer” (which he borrowed from Greek mythology) to describe his belief that psychoanalysts need to use their awareness and understanding of their own emotional struggles in order to help others with theirs.  He also believed  that through this process the analyst would help to heal him or herself.

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Why would a 14-year-old girl swallow a battery?

Firstly, before I become all “left-brained” about this, imagine actually doing it.  Close your eyes if you need to.  Imagine the feel of an AA battery in your hand – the size, the weight.  Notice how solid it is.  Now imagine resting it between your lips – the feel of cold metal.  Picture yourself pushing the AA battery, with the tip of your finger, all the way into your mouth and towards the back of your tongue.  Now imagine swallowing.  Go on – really imagine it.

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Dear Mum…

I wonder where you are right now?  I am here – in my bedroom, in the house that I share, lying on my bed, propped up on pillows, legs bent to push this laptop close to my hands.   I can hear the breeze in the trees outside, the gentle thump of the tumble dryer downstairs, and a train passing. I can feel the weight and  heat of the laptop on my thighs and stomach.   I can feel my hair, still damp from a recent bath and a vague, but always with me,ache in my lower back – I assume it is an unavoidable symptom of the gradual onset of middle-age.  And I am thinking about you.

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I can’t keep the children I work with safe (further thoughts)…

I recently wrote a piece for Community Care about the difficulties involved in keeping some looked after children safe and what I think needs to be done to address this.  If you haven’t already, you can read it here.  It received a much bigger response than anything else I have ever written – most of it positive or, at least, engaged with the issue, and some of it critical.

However, while it is of course flattering when people say nice things or agree with me on Twitter (I have an ego), I did not write it for these reasons.  Nor did I write it as clickbait for Community Care.   I wrote it because I am very worried about the issue and feel passionately about it.  It is for this reason I am pleased it got a bit of attention.

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