October 31, 2012
Most days I sign into here and I often glance over how people have ‘found’ my blog. Its often by googling something, and then they land here. And often the things people type are relating to surviving abuse, depression, church, mental health, self harm amongst other things.
Sometimes people land at Fragmentz by typing something like ‘is there hope …’. Is there hope for … a self harmer? A depressive? A survivor?
My response to those people is YES. LOTS. And I really hope by stumbling across this blog that those people who are typing those things are able to find hope in this space.
And that those people are also able to find hope in the life they are living.
Because there is hope. Maybe it is small grains of sand shaped hope, and maybe it might be something bigger. Maybe it is something very quiet, or something very loud.
But however big or small, quiet or loud there IS hope.
Whatever it is you are facing, whatever storm you are in the middle of, keep hanging on to hope.
If you are unwell with depression or other mental health issues: there IS hope.
If you a survivor of abuse and/or rape: there IS hope.
If you battle with self harm: there IS hope.
If you struggle with suicidal ideations: there IS hope.
If you are fighting to stay above the water, for whatever reason: there IS hope.
I believe this for you, if you are a Christian. I believe this for you if you are not a Christian.
However some of the searches people have typed and found my blog with, related to battling issues and Jesus. I truly believe Jesus still loves you, whether you are depressed or not. Whether your self harm or not. Whether you battle with God or not. Whether you are a survivor or not.
He loves you. And has a hope and a future for you.
One of the most important bible verses when it comes to hope, and my own life, is this:
Jeremiah 29 verse 11 – ’I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for’ (The Message)
Please know, wherever you are, whoever you are and whoever you believe in,
you are precious.
You are valuable.
You are beautiful.
There is a hope.
There is a future.
As I sat writing this blog, the last verse of a poem I wrote called ‘the whisper’ came into my mind. It is this :
As the years pass by, the scars never go, but begin to get lighter
She sits down, and watches life go by, and the sun getting brighter
And as she confronts all of the things in her life she fears
In the stillness the previous whisper of ‘I love you’ is all she hears.
I dont pretend there is an easy way for life to happen. There isnt. Life is tough. But please know and live in hope that brighter days can exist. That even though the memories never go, they can be lighter, things can be brighter.
Please know you precious, your are valuable, you are beautiful.
You are loved. Loved. LOVED.
October 13, 2012
This is a photo I took while visiting Crosby Beach, Liverpool and seeing the ‘Another Place’ installations by Antony Gormley. I took a set of photo’s, one of which I framed and gave to the friends I was staying with and who are some of the most amazing people in my life, and then I kept some.
This is one of the one’s I kept. I periodically look at them, and remember the beauty of the place. The day we went was cool, calm and collected. The lighting on the sea was stunning, and as the tide came in, it covered many of the figures, and at many times it looked like people standing, in the midst of the water.
I look at these images, and each and every time they say something different to me.
What does this one say to you?
© Fragmentz Feb 2008
May 6, 2012
Spent some time last night reading my old blogs, something I do occasionally. And I also read an old journal, that I kept, mostly in 2008, and around the months when I was at the bottom of the bottom. Below is an entry I found and read. I spent a long time chatting to my beautiful Godfather on the phone yesterday, and he is only one of two people I know in my life now, who knew/knows my biological father. Its always thought provoking to discuss my biological father. Below is an entry I wrote, in 2008 about an incident when I was young. In fact, one of the tamer times really. My father was an abusive bully, who ultimately broke the lives of the people around him, and the lives of his children. Sadly my brother was to then take on the traits of him, as he grew up, and only knew how to deal with the pain with anger himself. That left me being being in the position of being abused by father, many different times, and in very many different ways, but then as I grew up, also by my brother.
Life really is like a box of chocolates isn’t it? You never know what your going to get, or be given.
Most of the time we were at house ‘on holiday’. I dont really remember exactly how old we were but one week we spent most of the time in the garage with the babysitter, playing games. Or my stepmm would look after us. I think I was perhaps 10 years old and remember missing my mum so much. We were the other side of the country from her. I would cry. At some point I must have done this in front of my step mum, for her to simply say ‘wait until your Dad gets homes’.
When he got home, I was hiding upstairs. I dont know where my brother was. I remember him shouting my name whilst he sat on the the double bed in the spare room. He has taken off his belt and shoes, and I knew I had to go and endure the beating. It was better to go, and get it over with then endure ‘the chase’ so to speak, because then it would only have been worse.
Apparently I had upset my stepmum and disrespected her by missing my real mum. While being beaten reasonably black and blue with his belt and steel capped military shoes he kept telling me to never dare to cry again.
Maybe thats why over the years, crying became such a problem. I never dared to cry in front of them again, and in fact for many years never dared to cry again in front of anyone. In fact I never really cried at all full stop.
That same week my brother and I went skating around the base my father lived on. At the top of this huge hill were the armed guarded gates, and we’d always go to the top to say hello to the soldiers and show off our passes that said we were allowed to be on the site. Maybe we broke the boredom in their day, I hope so, but I know we enjoyed those moments. We would then skate down the hill as fast as we possibly could. Being a child at the time, the hill felt huge (it probably wasnt that good) and it was great fun.
Except for this one time, when I fell. Just by accident, it was no ones fault. Least of all my brothers. But he got the blame. He was made to sit on a chair, when we got back home, in the middle of garden whilst my father towered over him, shouting and berating him. This huge man standing over a very young, skinny, pale faced and scared child. I remember watching what happened, and yelling at the window, even banging at it. But I had been locked inside the house. What could I do? I dont know, but I should have done something.
I had dinner with my mum tonight, and during the conversation I asked her if my Dad had ever hit her. She said no. So I asked her why she thought he did us. Her reply was ‘because you couldn’t hit back’.
I believe my father did what he did to us, because exactly as my mum said, we couldnt fight back. Whatever he did to us, whatever type of abuse he endured on us, he was always the stronger person.
But I am an adult now too. And I can have the ability to be strong too. I loved a quote by Gibbs from NCIS the other night where someone said ‘I am not a victim’, he replied ‘No, your not, Your a survivor’.
And so through it all, I am starting to learn and believe that actually, despite his abuse, the bullying at school, the pain inflicted on my by my brother, the subsequents depression/selfharm and pain I inflicted on myself and then the assault in London which finally finished me off and led to what some would say a bit of a breakdown, that I am surviving. And I can survive.
One of the most important lessons over the last few years I have learned, with regards to faith and God, was given to me by someone who I love dearly, and whose family have accepted me, and love me as I am. Not long after trying to kill myself, I spent some time staying with them, and we sat in the garden one evening and their garden table, talking about the universe. I was so so angry with everything and everyone, and my view at that point of God was that he was a sadistic Nazi (I know I know, I was very angry at that time!) … and I was also frustrated and fed up with people/Christians who would say ‘well, you know God has intended all of this for good to come out of it’. Honestly? Well if you look at it that way, or think off it that way, then how can you not think God is cruel? He isnt this kind loving thing if he deliberately causes alsorts of unknown pain on someone just so good can eventually come out of it can he.
Anyway, Andrew told me this … God never intended the bad to happen. It was not His plan. In the world, or in people lives. But what He can do, and does so is somehow weave the chaos and the hurt, and eventually make something good out of it.
I was so profoundly affected by that, and its stayed with me for a long time, and been a huge part in bringing me back to a real sense of God in my life.
When I first started blogging, years and years ago, my very first blog was quite a faith blinded one. So full of life and a love for God – who was to know at that point my world would be turned upside down, and the very things then I knew i believe in would be broken. I for sure didnt.
But right now, it feels like I’m coming back full circle, but as a very different person. My faith is growing. Deepening. Through it all, even the times when I could barely utter a word to God, or when I did they were just screaming profanities, I never didnt believe in God.
So here I am. A survivor. A survivor who can now cry (a lot at times) but who is learning to live and love life, and God, again.
April 29, 2012
Below is a quote that was read out yesterday at a day I attended which was about exploring our future vocations. I found it incredibly powerful. It was used by Nelson Mandela in a speech he made, his inauguaration I think. I dont know who actually wrote it – do let me know if you do.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
also read out was the Thomas Merton prayer I have blogged once before, but will post again, because even through my unbelieving times and my ‘angry at God’ years, I have had this prayer on my wall for years and years.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone
April 11, 2012
Its quite a strange feeling … being alive when your not supposed to be.
I guess some folk would say I am meant to be but the way I see it is I’m not.
Four years ago I took an overdose. People would say that people who take overdoses are not serious, and are only crying out for help. Maybe that is so for others but it isn’t for me. I truly wanted to die. And as far as I was concerned I had taken enough stuff, in a big enough cocktail to ensure that I did die. I didn’t plan on surviving. Its fair to say my state of mind was a bit irrational. Thinking back now, my mind was screwed (it still is) but back then it was screwed in a much bigger way.
It is really hard to describe the day, four years ago. In fact a lot of it is blurry. I just remember being so desperate for the pain to go, that I could not see any other way out. My life was never meant to have worked out the way it had.
Stuff that had happened was never meant to happen. When I was a very small child, I could never have imagined what was going to be ahead of me. When I was a child the things that happened to me that were wrong were normal. Wasn’t everyone abused? (It wasn’t until I got older did I realize the answer to that is no).
I have written before, a few times about the darkness, the pain, the hurt, the desperation. The no way out and no where to go feeling. The heart wrenching all hope is lost feeling. Because that is how is felt. I had nothing. I was nothing.
So what was the point in being alive? I didn’t see any …
So I tried to kill myself.
Imagine the feeling of waking up, a bit hazy, dazy and realizing that instead of being somewhere else (I had no idea where I was going to end up, I think my head thought it would be a hotter kind of hell than living, because that would be what I deserved) however even that was the better option than actually being alive (does not make much sense really when you think about it does it, but then I didn’t (still don’t often) make much sense) …
I was devastated to be alive.
But that was four years ago.
I keep saying four, because I cant quite believe it to be honest. Four years! It feels like it has been a long long four years, yet it also feels like it has flown by.
The biggest thing I cant quite believe, and would never have imagined in a million days would be the change since then … how life has moved on.
Yesterday I tweeted something on the lines of ‘it’s the day before the day I tried to kill myself four years ago and instead of smoking, drinking and self harming I’m getting ready to go to Spring Harvest – a Christian conference’ – (obviously it was a bit shorter on twitter!)
I have the honour and privilege of being at Spring Harvest this year, and I’m really thankful to the people who have made it happen. And as I was getting packed to come, I was thinking about the fact its been over a year since I last cut, I don’t smoke any more, and I have the odd drink, but that’s it.
Last year I arrived at Spring Harvest on the back of a bet with someone who reckoned I wouldn’t survive a week at a Christian conference, despite having already been to a few. Not only did I survive the week, I think I survived it quite well.
Everything I thought it was going to be, it wasn’t. The fights I was looking for didn’t happen, and I went away from the week realizing that actually, despite my protests and issues sometimes I am a Christian. Yes, I am a Christian.
I am still trying to work my way round, understand the true meaning of Gods love, and really get to a place of belonging. There is a heck of a lot that I don’t understand – a heck of a lot … but I am firmly on the journey of trying to understand. I still need to learn more about why I am here, what the meaning of my life is and why the stuff that has happened happened. I know that there are no easy answers to any of these questions, and that they are things that I am going to have to explore.
This afternoon, instead of going to the seminar that I had planned on going to, I went and spent an hour chatting to someone from the Pastoral Team here at SH. It was something I was a bit hesistant about, but something that I felt my soul stir into doing and I’m pleased I did. I felt like I was given a little clarity to my thoughts and feelings about today. And how God fits in to it all. Because He does.
I know that process isn’t going to suddenly become easy, but then I’m used to not easy.
But it’s a process that has now started.
One of my new years resolutions for 2012 was to spend more time concentrating and focusing on the future. Thinking about where it is heading, trying to ascertain the pathway I’m meant to be on, career wise, spiritually and personally.
And so, I supposed you might read this blog and think it is not doing that. Which is true, kind of.
I want to keep moving on wards, forwards, and part of that process is to process the past. I know I have spent some time talking about the past, four years ago in fact, I feel I have to. I have to mark it somehow. And the marking it somehow is more about celebrating the fact that I am alive . Its about remembering where I was, thinking about the years and the journey I have been on because that’s all so important when it comes to thinking about the future, my future.
I feel like I am marking it by writing this blog. Short of shouting out to everyone here, at Spring Harvest that It has been four years and I want to celebrate life right now the only way I know how to mark it is to write.
IT HAS BEEN FOUR YEARS, AND I AM ALIVE, AND THAT IS GOOD!
What has happened is a part of me. I can not erase the past. I can not erase the scars that my body bares, and I can not erase the torture that sometimes haunts my mind.
But I can use some of those experiences, exactly how I don’t know yet.
But I want to look to the future.
I want to talk about it. I want to share my story.
I want people to know my story because more importantly I want others to know they can survive too, and that can happen by me sharing my story.
July 25, 2010
This poem is hot off the press, having only just being written. Am testing mobile wordpress so do let me know if this works if you see it before I get to a computer.
In the middle of the night
All is still, silence all around
The skies are black, stars shining
An owl hoots, no cares in the world.
On the bed she lays,
Staring out of the window,
Thinking how life is passing her by,
Daring to dream of change.
The heart cry of her world,
Longs to love and be loved,
Waiting quietly in the shadows
Of all that is good around her.
A song in the background,
Melodies, sweet harmonies,
Over and over, gentle words,
Soothing the soul, healing the hurt.
A mind so broken and fragmented,
Slowly being put back to pieces,
Longing for the day to arrive,
Where beauty shines through.
May 21, 2010
Something that really frustrates me is what I am going to call ‘the Christian fixed grin syndrome’
Today I entered into a conversation with some new people I wondered across on Twitter. It seems that as soon as my humble opinion appeared to differ from theirs they were no longer interested in talking with me. I disputed the fact that they seemed to be saying that God makes us go through all manner of bad things in order to come out good at the end of it. To me, that very view portrays a very sadistic vision of ‘God’ and it has taken me years and years to move AWAY from that concept!
I find this a shame.
(I fully accept that God can if He chooses make good out of bad, but that He does not orchestrate the bad in order for that to happen : as to why He allows it to happen, still not overly sure that the reply ‘so good can come out’ is the best answer – not that I have any better one, but is it better to just be honest and say ‘i dont know’ when we dont know?)
It got me thinking about life. Real life. Reality, the highs and the lows. Especially after someone asked me to see if I could start writing ‘happier’ blogs.
Things is, for me, when I write, I very rarely set out with a definite plan. I write what I am thinking at that moment. What is on my mind, or in my heart to put on paper/type, be it blog posts, poems, or just posting a photo.
I am always very honoured that people follow this blog, read what i have to say about things, and also respond and stay in touch. I really don’t take it for granted, but I would like people to realise that this blog is ‘me’. My writing space. And the place I can put into writing some of my feelings. Without getting too mushy, what you see is what you get. I cant write ‘happy’ because someone has asked me too. my head just does not work that way.
Just like my head does not understand the fixed grin syndrome. I do not understand why people seem so oblivious to life and what surrounds them. I kinda get the concept that people like to Praise God/Worship in all circumstance. That is not really what I am disputing.
I am disputing the problem some people seem to have with other people simply not being able to smile, and this then in turn leading to judgment on their ‘Christian – ness’ or lack of it.
In my very own humble opinion, I am no less of a person or believer because I simply cannot raise a smile or laugh about serious situations than the person who can. In fact, the person who can laugh and smile in situations that can be so dire it is heartbreaking is off their head. Ignoring the reality of life.
Thing is, life isnt pretty is it.
An American friend recently got in touch with me regarding my previous post, the poem called ‘a poem’. I was very touched that he did (so thanks) but also it got me thinking. Thinking about how who i am , and where i have been, and what i have done is reflected in my writing. thats why some of it is not very happy writing/reading. because they were not very happy times, and sometimes still are not.
So why should I smile about them?
Just because i dont smile, does not mean I do not have a relationship with God.
But isnt it false to walk about with a grin glued to our face, when inside our hearts are breaking and being torn out?
Where does it get anyone? And is it really what God wants?
Or does God want us to just be before Him and other people and live our lives as we are? With a real honesty, whether that is sometimes brutal and hard to take for other people or not?
(And thank you to all you lovely peoples who take me as I am, there are lots of you, and its so appreciated, the above thoughts are just those, and not at all reflecting where I am at, because I personally am quite at home with being brutally honest now a days)
January 14, 2010
a few months back, i was asked to be involved in some creative ideas and helping to set up a 24/7 prayer event at the church I am connected with . So I did, and I also spent 12 hours over night in the church sanctuary with my housemate as the main people ‘manning’ for safety etc … also to be able to pray if and when people didn’t come in to cover the hours. I had signed myself up for a two hour slot anyway. Thing is, I am not entirely sure how and sometimes often wonder why I manage to get myself involved in situations like this, because my prayer life is hardly adequate. In fact it would be fair to say sometimes I am not even on speaking terms with God. Its something I hope to/want to develop throughout 2010.
any how, at three am, i took up a space on the main area floor, with my pen and paper, ipod, and asked God to tell me what to write. Never done it before. Never sat and so willingly wrote what it was i felt i was hearing god saying.
this is not a normal occurrence for me, and not normally the sort of thing i write, however, i wanted to share it with you.
below is what was written, on to pieces of paper, in black pen which i then decorated with little red love hearts.
When was the last time someone said to you ‘I love You?’
Hear the voice
Maybe it’s the smallest, faintest sound.
Maybe it’s a whisper, blowing in the wind,
Maybe it’s a loud bang, so loud it hurts your ears,
Or maybe, just maybe it surrounds you in the every day noise.
Have You ever stopped to listen? … to hear …?
Try it now …
What do you hear? What do you want to hear?
Don’t be scared, or afraid.
Listen to Him say ‘I love YOU’
Surround yourself in the whisper, the wind, the loud bang, the everyday noise. Listen to Him saying ‘I LOVE YOU’
YOU are LOVED
YOU are PRECIOUS
YOU are VALUABLE
YOU are FORGIVEN
YOU ARE HIS CHILD!
Whoever you are, wherever life has taken you, whatever you’ve done …
Just stop, and listen …
Listen to Him saying
‘ I LOVE YOU’!
January 14, 2010
Stop … just for a minute …
When did you last say ‘I love you’ to someone?
Anyone ? … a friend? Your family? Jesus?
When did you last say ‘I love You to Jesus’
When did you last speak to Him?
When you last pour out your soul to Him?
When did you last tell Him whats on your mind?
Why not try it now …
He loves You! He is waiting …
He is waiting to hear from you … He wants you to talk to Him … He wants you to pour out your heart to Him
He longs for the day when all is surrendered
He longs for you to stand before Him, in prayer, in worship. He longs for you to come to Him.
He is stood with His arms open wide, waiting to embrace you … To surround you with Love, Grace and Mercy. He wants to shower you with blessings after blessings.
Stop … Praise Him, Worship Him, tell Him how much You Love Him!