Tuesday, 27 December 2011

40 years repaired in 2 years

I will never be totally free of my demons but I hope I now have the tools to manage them.

The past two years have been tough in terms of therapy and the work I have had to put in. I have not finished with John quite yet but I am a different man now.

My body issues still always pop up in conversation and there are some aspects of me I will never be convinced about; I just feel now that these are not running my life any more. I am getting bolder socially and I walk around with a 'bit' more confidence.

2011 has been so important for me and I am a little bit proud of myself. The work I have to do on myself will never end but I am happy to do it.

Depression and BDD have both blighted my life in a way I am not talented enough to be able to express in words but I now hope I can live with some quality of life....I aim to carry on exposing the discrimination that persons with mental health issues face in so called 'normal' society.

We are all normal; its just that some of us are brave enough to admit to our demons and fight them back.

Tim (London 2011)

Monday, 12 December 2011

I will FIGHT in your corner

There is no end to depression....there is just the management of it. This last two years has changed me and having found John is the best thing that ever happened to me. He is a top class therapist. But it will all be wasted if I let go of what I have been taught.

My role now is to fight for the rights of those who suffer the stigma and discrimination of mental illness in whatever form it takes. I will go after the bastards who make life hell for those already in a type of hell.

I don't care who you are, if you continue with the attitude this Country has to depression I am going to expose you in public. Name and shame is the game.

The rest of my life will be spent looking out for those who have no voice. I am an activist and it is what I was put here to be. Your move.....but be sure of one thing. You do not want to pitch against me.

Tim (London December 2011)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Big Men do Cry...Depression and being a Man about it.

Nobody knows why Gary Speed took his life and I have no right to speculate so I won't. However, his suicide has prompted a debate on both radio and television regarding men and depression.

I have often wanted to do a blog so that I can do this subject justice, because as you know I am a walking expert on chronic depression, but I always fear my dyslexia will prevent me from really hammering home how desolate this cruel illness really is and how society still shuns it.

I have suffered and when I say suffer I mean really suffer. I tried to take my life, and no it was not a cry for help. I just wanted out of the darkness. This attempt resulted in my being locked up on an acute mental ward back in 1998. I spent 4 other occasions on such a ward. I also received 12 x ECT...known to you as Electric Shock Treatment in 1999.....I am still here. And I have a voice.

Really from that day on people started to shun me; it was a rapid process. I mean I am a man and I am not supposed to be 'weak'. Women treat you the worst believe it or not but that is for another day.

I have been in and out of therapy now for 17 years and it has been tough and I have now sustained the longest period of my life without having a depressive episode. The last one was a year ago this month. I was lucky in that I met John and with his brilliant method of Therapy over the past 3 years I am getting there but it has been so hard.

We have a problem in the UK and men seem to be taking the brunt of it. Who are we and what are we these days? Who cares for male issues? We have a society problem in that as men we are not supposed to cry or suffer and if you do it is seen as weakness. Don't believe all that a woman likes to see a man cry.

I have spent year after year after year on my own. Night after night after night. How many people reading this have gone over ten years without the security of a simple arm around your shoulder? I have learned to live with silence and isolation and made myself a better person for it but by all accounts I should be long dead.

Depression is a dark hole and lives behind the eyes. Don't pretend you know what is going on with someone just because they appear to have it all. Depression does not discriminate in any way.

Men are asked to 'open up' but when they do everyone takes cover. Men told that they need to go and speak with someone; well your first port of call would be a GP and lets face it their surgeries all appear to have been built for women only.

We live in a country where being a man means you are very much diluted when it comes to health. I could write a book on this subject but I would bore myself with it.

The stigma for men with depression or any mental illness is 10 fold on what it is for women. And it is the great scandal of the early 21st Century that this country is more than a little in the dark ages in attitude.

Don't shun people with depression if you know someone because you will lose them one day. We don't listen to melancholy music all the time and cry. Most of us will find a dark room and suffer alone until it passes and then we just get on with life. But do make sure you talk...talk to those you

Me? I will survive......I am going nowhere and doing life solo has taught me much. I kind of love me now but only kind of and that is a better place than I have ever been in.

We live in a country where macho men are lauded and where so called weakness is bullied. It is us who look in the mirror and acknowledge our problem who are the real macho ones. Big men do cry.

Tim (London Nov 2011)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

NHS Embrace Mindfulness

I am at a critical part of my long term rehab and therapy with John. I told him yesterday that I am aware how lucky I am not have had 19 months of hard core schema therapy on the NHS. I have built in values that make me appreciate this fully. I am different now....I am not the broken person who walked into Crisis 22 months ago.

I have also been part of a group that investigates the complexes of emotions....but I have been even luckier having been invited to a group that investigates Mindfulness....meditation. It has yielded good results in helping chronic depression....it is now on the list of repairs for depression by NICE.

I am starting to try it but concentration is one of the hardest things for me so I will have to work harder.

I am fascinated by two facts....a Buddhist Monk was put through an MIR scan and his brain make up was different to the average.....but so was a London Taxi Drivers....how mad is that?

Knowing what fucked my head up as a kid is something that I can now get over....having the tools etc kind of helps. I have also been allowed to embrace who I am....I sold him(me) down river slightly...victim of a working class stereotype....I like the things I like and it is ok to be different....as for my sexuality, I don't give a fuck what anyone says about it anymore.....I am who I am.....

Tim (London August 2011)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Self Harm..Some Truths and Myths

Some of the journalism recently has spoken nothing but festering dog shit about self harm. I imagined that going to university improved your brain but it appears they all leave them there...here are some truths to take away some myths.

Firstly, as is often said, self harm is not attention seeking in the vast majority of cases. It is something very private and something that most hide. I am asked about the healed fab burns on my arms. If the person can handle the truth I will tell them it but they are not medals of war so I avoid it.

At its height I self harmed everyday for about 4 years....mainly burning and self medicating. I am lucky that most days I never think like this anymore.

Self harm can lead you to elation after you have just tried to fight off a tension to do something far worse...it is like a pressure release from a deep pain....a pain that has no word to describe it suitable in the English language.

When you are in mental pain/anguish you can not see it....it is 100% invisible. Self harm is part of ownership and control.....if you are in pain you may as well feel some. It is a way of retuning your brain...this is physical pain and that is mental pain.....believe me the mental one is far greater than a burn or a cut.

The idea that someone wakes up one day and says, ''uhm, think I will stub that fag out on my arm' is a ridiculous one and an opinion held by utter cunts (pardon my french).

The whole world of chronic depression and self harm is a very private affair....the isolation, desolation...the darkness. You would not wish it on a person you hate to the pits of the earth.

So all media wankers....do some research...ask some real people....or keep your collective mouths shut.

Our attitude to self harm in the UK is vile....cavemen would have known better.

T A Roberts ( London July 2011)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Don't Walk..........in Silence (self harm and near death)

About 11 years ago I woke up to what I was doing to myself with self medication...I mean, I literally woke up.

All I remember was hearing my two telephones ringing and I woke up head down on my bedroom floor, fully dressed. My family had been trying to get hold of me and were quite mad at me....as I spoke on the phone I assumed it was Thursday, because it had been Thursday the last time I checked. The fact was it was Saturday and somehow I had lost two days...nights.

I have lived on my own for many, many years and it is almost a dead cert that no one would have rung on my door bell apart from the Postman. This little episode scared me because I was on my own and out of it....I ended up in A&E for two days after this whilst the medication left my body.

At this point I had not been in an acute ward for two years and my shrink was playing tough love with me by saying he would not stick me back in the mental hospital.

It still took me about 4 more years to pull away from self medication and burning my arms...when I have a deep depression now I have more of the tools to deal with it and I have not even thought of self harm....but the one thing that has really kept it at bay is that thought of dieing alone.....in silence...and maybe it being weeks before anyone found me.....

It is a strange kind of self therapy but it worked for me.... I am beating my demons....1 by 1....its a slow game one has to play.

T A Roberts (London July 2011)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Self Harm..The Ticking Bomb....Amy Winehouse

Keith Moon self destructed at 32 but he had been self destructing from a young age. Yes it looks good in the papers.....sex,drugs, Rock n Roll. A book on Keith was written 10 years ago that suggested he suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is easy and ignorant to say that Amy Winehouse brought this on...it is plain fucking stupid.

Addiction is very rarely a route that anyone would choose....it is a mental illness....self destruction and self harm are not spoken about in the UK....it is easier to turn a blind eye and ignore it or point fingers and call the person weak. Well life must be so fucking perfect for you then and how lucky you are.

Most mental health issues are planted in you from young age...some may come via genes and some come through life experiences.....some are just a chemical in balance.

Amy was in pain...mental hell. That was plain for anyone who has suffered it to see. The unpredictable behavior....the need for drugs and drink to escape something very deeply planted.

Mental illness shows no discrimination....none at all...my one saving grace when locked up in a Rehab hospital was this....there were men and women from council estates.....and from very well to do back grounds. Their money did not help their hell and in some ways it made it worse. They could get hold of drugs that numb it all.

I am unusual for a man, my shrink and psychologist said in that I burn and cut and OD. This tends to be women in the main and men will destroy themselves with drink and drugs.......I ended up with ECT x 12...electric shock treatment....

I am very lucky.....Amy played her hell out in the media.....I did not have to and I can only imagine what a shit place she was at most days....no escape....no dark room........

Listen to Black to Black as an album....if it does not hurt you maybe you are not human. What a brilliant talent the curse of addiction has taken from us.....the curse of self harm and mental hell.

I don't believe that a words exists to quite do justice to the hell of mental illness....every existing word  seems too nice.....

Good night Amy ... and so the final frame and yes you were self professed and profound.

T A Roberts (London 2011)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I will grow up to be a Man....One day (BDD attacks)

Had an interesting therapy session with John on Friday; I was made to challange my deep belief system that I am defective....as I have mentioned before, my defective schema is the one that scored the highest and is the one that attacks me the most.

You see I believe that I don't look anything like a man....I do not look like the man types that I pass everyday and I am still in that teen mindset where you can not wait to grow up so that you can look like a grown up...as far as I am concerned I do not look anything like any other man. Even my beard is corrupt!

So I had to do the 'empty chair' method where I talk to me....as if my schema is talking to me....so I gave John quite a headache because he was scribbling stuff down at 100 miles per hour....I give him so much to work with because my condition is so so complex.....and I believe that I do look correct more then I have ever believed in anything else.

I have been under a BDD attack for the past week so it was a timely session.... I feel lucky that I have not had a chronic depression attack for some time now so it allows me to try and work on my body image stuff with a clearer mind.

John explained to me how our eyes see things differently when in a depression....I have often described it as a skewed vision...there is scientific proof that depression makes things look different and this is good to know because this is something I recognize. We also talked about dimensions and LCD.....this is how we roll.

I still know 100% that I am different and somehow do not fit in this world but I am managing it better now. I live an isolated life and do not wish to mix with people......I doubt that will ever change. But as long as I can get by on my own I will be ok................I have up until now...

T A Roberts (London July 2011)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Good Days, Mirrors And Beating BDD/Depression

Things have slowly changed for me in the past 18 months of therapy. The mirror presents a challenge still but not to the degree that it once did. I shall forever have to fight BDD and Chronic Depression but I am now getting the tools to know how to.

I have returned to embracing the arts and the things that made me me. I was always the black sheep and now I am starting to this as a sign of strength rather than weakness. We live in a country where the majority seem to strive to be the same as the next person. How boring is a world like that?

I am different and I know I am....I only have to read my diagnostic sheet to know that...BDD, Chronic Depression, Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder. Makes me sound like a train crash. But I am not, I am just not the same as the rest and I am starting, very slowly, to see the uniqueness in it and embrace it like you would a fragile baby.

I have got away from needing love...sex..relationships....it has been nearly 7 years since I got up close and personal sexually. It was such a big deal to me but now I accept that I am not everyone's cup of tea and that this is part of life and that you have to get on with it. If I never kiss a girl or never have sex again it will not kill me and I need to stop beating me up....and how I did beat me up. The damage I have done to my person is too much to contemplate.

I think the thearapy has dampened my ability to write my poems.......so be it. My dyslexia is improving and I am reading like a book whore addicted to books..........I love this and what I am discovering. I found Theatre again, which is my only real love and my first. Life is good even though I am poorer then I have ever been.

Chronic depression will have its days with me, I know that and I am ready for it....it has been here forever but I will be able to fight back a bit more now.

I am in a good place and it is not all dark out there anymore..............for now.

T A Roberts (London July 2011)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Depression....Self Harm Vlog

I was failed as a Child...when I should not have been

Not many things get my back up than people talking shit about depression and self harm. I have seen much of it on line recently. Some people really need to either take some time to read up on the subject or live with it themselves. If I were them I would opt for the former. This is an illness that you really do not want.

For me, my therapy is going really well and I had a good session yesterday where we did mostly imaging work.

I had an interesting moment when I handed over my Schema diary sheet to John; A schema diary is an A4 sheet of paper that asks you to write down details of something that may have affected you on a particular day. It allows John to read what schema it was that was attacking me....anyway I apologized to John for my handwriting. I have always done this when someone has to read my writing. He gave me a look and suggested that I live with this every minute....this apologizing for things that are not my fault. It was automatic, what I said. I did not even consider that I was sitting with my Psychologist.

It was an interesting moment because John was able to experience one of my Schema's working in that room against me. As soon as I have to show someone my writing I feel that I am back in the bully class room. I am being judged because my S looks like a 5. All the humiliation of an 8 year old being told he can not join up his letters and has to keep repeating writing giant S's yet still can not get it right, comes back to haunt me.

During our imaging session John took me back in that Class. He gave me a chance to talk to young me....young Tim....he also spoke with the Teacher....and slaughtered her for incompetence.

I now have proof, without any shadow of doubt, that my defectiveness schema was born during this time. This went on to grow inside me until I believed, and still do, that I am no good at anything. I was failed as a child. Of that there is no doubt. I was let down by the people who should have noticed and who should have done something about it....but they failed me. John and I are now 100% convinced of this and we now go back to those moments to equalize them. It is cathartic and it will slowly repair me. We are 15 months in to the therapy and slowly I am winning...........slowly. But I now know why I have done harm to myself.

Tim Roberts (London 2011)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Attacked by a Schema and BDD at Fever Pitch

I am getting the kick in my head telling me that my BDD showing up again; I know John will tell me that it is my schema's attacking me but they are very hard too fight back against. It is my worse schema, my defective one. I scored the highest score possible on this one during Psychological tests.

I have done well and been on a good balance for some time now but I can hear the storm in the background and I know it will come over my head anytime soon.

I continue to find it very hard to do life alone and to be this isolated. I want affection but have to live with the fact that I will never find it. Being born this freaky means I took the wrong pack of cards and coming to terms with that is as hard now as it was when I was a teenager.

Writing 'lost romantic soul' poetry  does me no good and I am often at war with it so I am not going to write anymore. I have deleted several of my writes and will be leaving the blog open for anyone who wishes to see it but I am not going to write anymore.

Do forgive me in advance because I know the next few weeks will be tough. I will try to hide it.


Tim (London May 20111)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Expose The Bastards (Discrimination Stinks)

I have taken the first steps this week in exposing the bastard Employers who still break the Law by keeping Health Tick Boxes in their Application forms. I will starve to death until I have done at least a little something to take these Fascists on. Let's face it....most HR departments force the most anal bullshit on Employee's with politically correctness coming out of their ears but they seem incapable of taking this form out of their application forms. Yes, you do not have to fill it in but the fact that it is still there will put you under pressure.

When you have a mental illness but wish to work your employer has the legal obligation to offer you 'reasonable adjustment' to your hours. Say for example, if like me, you need an appointment to go and see your Shrink or Therapist to get you better, the Employer is obliged to help you with this by adjusting your hours..the word reasonable comes into play...it has to suit both parties but their failure to do so is discrimination within the disability act.

I am, and have always been, a 100% honest and hard working Employee. But I now find I can not get a job doing anything at all and believe me I would do anything. I will go in the Sewers with the shit and rats if someone will give me a chance. I am being being wasted. I am a multi skilled handyman with 30 years experience and I have other skills that would suit many an Employer. But the door is closed and while it remains closed I will do all I can to expose the treatment of those with Mental Health issues. I am now a full time activist and I will carry on until I see what I think are the Human Rights of us being granted. Employers get away with far too much in the UK and now some pretty major Mental Health organisations are up their ass. We are watching you...and we will expose you in the media....

T A Roberts (London April 2011)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Nail The Employers Who Break The Law/Human Rights

Below is a pasted part of an email I received from the amazing Rethink....Do NOT accept Employers who still have Health Questions on Application Forms....read on and act. Do not accept the BULLY tactics of Employers anymore...It is time we got militant and outraged! This is the 2011 and we no longer live in Caves. Face your truth for it is your truth that will save you. Own your depression or mental illness and shout about it for the roof tops. You are Human...You Have Rights

If you are finding application forms that are asking questions that are not permitted, (including health questions when this is not of key importance to the job role), then individuals cannot bring a claim against these employers. However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission can do so.
Previously it was difficult to show discrimination when a disabled person lost out on a job. However, now, under section 60 of the Equality Act, an employer who asks unlawful health questions will be assumed to have discriminated against an unsuccessful disabled candidate. It would be up to the employer to prove that disability did not play a part in their decision.
You could bring any application forms asking unlawful questions to the attention of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). If you have applied for any of these roles and been unsuccessful, then you could also contact the EHRC for advice;
0845 604 6610 - England main number
It does also say that the Mind legal unit would be interested to be kept informed of application forms with unlawful health questions. The details for this team are:0300 466 6463

Love is the blog dog called Boris Danski....fight on and rise up against the law breakers. Tim xx The Militant Depressive.

April 2011 London

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Comments can Kill...

Mirrors reflect; mirrors can be your worst enemy but it tends to be other people who leave you with a fucked up reflection of the real you. Yes, what's inside really matters but a comment made about your appearance can mess you up for life and can, in many cases, lead to eating disorders, OCD's and Body Dismorphic Disorder.

The above can lead to suicide or a life of hell and not ever being able to accept yourself. I am a 46 year old man and I suffer with BDD. During the hard core therapy I have had over the past 15 months it has become blindingly obvious that the bullying I experienced at School went a very long way to causing me some of the mental hell I have been through since. It is a sum of the parts but an important one.

The next time you think of commenting on how someone looks(in the negative) do consider this; it passed from your lips in a micro second but could live with that person for many years. Who really gives a fuck what shape people are or how small they are or how large?...Disorders come to people from all back grounds...Women, Men, Boys, Girls, rich, poor...the effects of mental hell do not discriminate.

My mirror checking is nowhere near as bad as it was. I have stopped self harm. But when I do look in a mirror and when I do feel bad, the comments that were made about me over the years start ringing in my head. Bullying caused a defective schema to trigger off a life of self loathing...this was planted in me at 8 years old and stayed with me. I have been on an acute Psychiatric ward and nearly killed myself twice....funny isn't it?

These days there is the most ridiculous and vile need to 'look good'. Who says? Some cheap throw away trash magazines and fucked up red top Tabloids. It is not real..none of it. Is it ok for the Daily Mail to name a whole generation of kids Chavs?...no its Fascist. Yet this one word is used to abuse a whole section of society and mainly because of how they dress and look...I see them as our beautiful and beat up youth. Everyone brings colour to the world....no matter where you come from.

I promise you that no one will ever want to have BDD...but I fear the pressures being put on young women and men will have a pay back in 10 or 20 years time that we will all regret.

I would like to link you to this blog by Kate Nash, a talented and creative lady who is in the public eye. I read it and it was perfectly worded......it matters not who you are; the body image and what is said about you can hurt and have devastating effects. Be nice to people....click link below.


http://borisdanski.blogspot.com/2011/02/photographs-will-find-her.html A poem about the beauty of youth by me x

T A Roberts London 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

Letter to Government Ministers..please do the same

Below is the email I have sent to the Government Ministers who are charged with Employment regulating. If you have experienced discrimination during the application process or think you have please feel free to paste this email or write your own to ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk; It is illegal for you to be asked any health questions prior to a job offer as of October 2010 and this is part of the discrimination act 2006.

Dear Sirs

I am looking for some advice as to how best to deal with a problem I keep coming up against.

As of October 2010 an applicant does not have to fill in the health questionnaire on a job application form. I have a health issue and I am trying to find a job so that I can work around my issue and continue my treatment. I am finding, on every occasion, that employers keep the health questionnaire in their application form.

When I do not fill the form in, because I am not obliged to, I am often asked why, yet the discrimination act clearly states that no questions regarding the applicants health can be asked until a job offer has been made.

There are also stealth ways that Employers use to get information that an applicant is not obliged to give; Age, Sexual Orientation and Health on the Equal Opportunities form.

This is all illegal practise yet every job I apply for still asks these questions on application forms.

Please advise me how I deal with this. I have faced positive discrimination because of this and it is difficult to prove. The idea of the act is supposed to support those who face discrimination but this is failing because these questions are asked during the pre interview stage, so many times I am not even getting through the door.

Kind Regards

Tim Roberts (London)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

UK Employers In Breach of Discrimination Laws..EXPOSE THEM!

HR departments and Employers up and down the Country are breaking the law on several fronts and I am using this blog to expose it and ask you to spread this as far as you can and even write to your M.P and Government ministers. I have done so this morning. The UK is at the epicentre of Mental Health discrimination and Employers are getting away with it.

As of October 2010 it became Illegal for any Employer to ask you any health related questions prior to the offer of employment. As you can imagine I have had to fill in many forms in my quest to get a job. Every form I have seen still has the health tick box. The fact that it is still there could make you obliged to fill it in.

Age and sexual orientation does have to be revealed either yet Date of Birth question still exists.  If you fill in an Equal Opportunities’ form your age is asked as is your health and sexual orientation. This is not legal. Why do these forms get pushed under your nose prior to a job offer? Many employers will ask you to bring a Passport to the interview...well your date of birth is on there! This is a stealth way of finding out your age and the Equal Opportunities’ forms are a stealth way of finding out information you should not have to disclose until job offer.

Mental Health discrimination in the work place is rife. When you consider that HR departments tend to suffer anal retention to the max and push the PC regulations at every turn, it seems odd that they can not reprint their application forms to reflect current law.

Once a job offer has been made then the employee can disclose all. The idea of anti discrimination legislation is so that once the job offer is made the employer can not pull the carpet without looking like they are discriminating against your mental illness or any other health issue you have. Obviously there are caveats for certain positions but in the whole this information does not need to be collected.

To this end every high street employment agency is breaking the law; they ask all these questions on registration....it is time to expose the Employers who continue to break the law. I have faced positive discrimination in terms of my depression and dyslexia. I am not going to sit and take it and I am going to get someone to listen......please RT or link this blog for me. Act against discrimination by Employers.

T A Roberts London April 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Crashing and Burning Live on Air

I am NOT burning..I do not self harm anymore and have not for a few years! Crash and burn is my expression for what I am going through at the moment...hence my inconsistent ranting and all round odd behaviour. In terms of the mental health service they call it a crisis...I find crisis too melodramatic..Japan has a crisis, I am crashing and burning.....

When I do crash and burn it tends to be messy and not nice to see...I have a platform to do it in public via twitter...this is not good. Apart from a shrink or a psychologist no one would normally know I was hitting the wall. My method is to go to the proverbial dark room and hide until it passes. Doing it on twitter is making me look like cunt I am, to be frank...I do know my faults believe it or not....I also know when this is getting to me which is why I save myself...like a cat, I go off and sort it out and come back when it is better.

I am even pissed off that no one reads my poetry and I have never cared about that so things in my head are bad and dark.

I think I am angry with John at telling me that this that and the other is out there for me to interact with and will be telling him so on Friday...my accepting my isolation is better for me. So I shall go and sort myself out and then return and nicer person....well for a few weeks I will be nice at least. I have not had a black cloud moment this long for sometime so its time I sorted it this bad period.

T A Roberts ( London March 2011)

Leaving Twitter

Discussed this with John...Internet not doing me any favours.... so I am doing away with my account as soon as I can figure out how...I may come back anon in some other guise...but I am bored with it and frankly, it does nothing for me....I was kind of against this idea that John put into my head that the Internet can make you feel worse but he is the Psychologist and I have to accept what he says....I feel it is true. It increases my feelings of isolation and loneliness....don't think me sad..its just that I am not very well at the moment...and its for the best.. .its even ruined my writing....

Tim 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

I have given up the hope...the hope is what kills you (spoken/written)

I will go and see John on Friday and tell him that his idea that I would find somewhere to socially interact has failed. I am not putting myself through this anymore because it is making me feel worse. I have tried and tried and tried again to find a group or something to join and it aint gonna happen. Any of the requests I have put on line have hit a brick wall...check this; I can not even get anyone to march with me on Saturday!!! So John is wrong and I am right. By accepting that I do the rest of my life in social isolation means I can move on. I have accepted that I will never be in a 1 to 1 relationship ever again so I can live with the other. I have done for 10 years and I am still here.

Giving me false hope is bullshit and does nothing but harm. I know no one and never will..end of.

I have also given up trying to look for a job; no one will give me a chance and I have broken my back trying. As soon as they know I have this appointment every Friday and what it is for the door is slammed in my face. I have a brilliant CV. I am a multi skilled Handyman with over 28 years experience. I have worked in some great places including 8 years in West End Theatre. It means fuck all when up against a illness that has me discriminated against as soon as I walk through the door. I can promise you that I do not care if I end up homeless because of it...I have been there before and I will go there again. I am not going to take the mental kicking I get at each rejection. I only know going to work..I have done since 16 but since I lost my job August I have not been given a sniff of a new role. I have nothing now so I am hardly going to be losing anything.

By accepting that I live this life and it is really happening will make move on. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and this tunnel has been going on since 1999.......I am on my own..message received. I will look forward to telling John this during my session on Friday.

T A Roberts ( London 2011)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Desolation, Isolation..Terror..a life in the day of me...

John, my psychologist, asked me to describe the exact feeling in words that my isolation causes me...to  articulate it. As you know, I did, scribble poetry so I am ok with words despite my dyslexia...but on the occasions he has asked me this I have struggled to do justice to the utter misery I can feel at times. Some people have reacted badly to my last blog so I will try and do better in giving you a clue of the emotions I go through quite a few times a week.

When I attempt to describe it to John he will scribble the words down...the ones that do it best justice are isolation, empty, desolate, fear, loneliness, terror, black, hell...silence which is violent..a violent silence.

I am quite sure few, if any, who read this have ever been on their own for long periods of time (best part of 10 years in my case) and I am sure many of you will have a good friend or family member that you can turn to. I have none of the above. So imagine a time when you have felt scared, lonely or you just need a fucking hug...none of that has come my way for years and years. I have tried..and tried and tried...until the point that I am frustrated that anger kicks in.....

I have never written these blogs for sympathy and I am sure they are not a comfortable read...I do not need violins playing...what I am saying is it is a vicious circle. If I do what I am asked and try to engage with other people I have to go through the process on your own...say something as simple as going to the pub; well you look an utter billy no mates cunt...and I am a billy no mates...I am the real deal. You then feel as though people are looking at you and when that happens to me the BDD kicks in and I will lock me away.

There is no one for me to talk to this stuff about apart from John once a week...I have gone a whole month of not talking to another adult...of not opening my mouth for words to come out....so that is as isolated as one can get and its fucking hell at times..I am quite smart, well read and knowledgeable...I am not stupid and I am not mad or crazy or dangerous....I am 5ft 8, bald, slim and not eye candy...that is me talking and not the BDD...so take the BDD away and I have little chance it certain areas of life....

T A Roberts (March 2011 London)

Staying on my own...and my failiure and hookers

I have so far failed in my quest to find some 'social' groups to join. I did do a blog on here asking if anyone knew of any groups that I could join but I go no replies. John, my psychologist, is very concerned at my social isolation. He has gone to lengths to tell me how 'friendship' is essential in our lives. But it is not something I can change over night. It is very frustrating and I do not believe it will change. It makes me spit blood with rage when people who know fuck all keep saying..oh but there are loads of groups you can join. Well let me tell you something...I have bled trying to find all these groups...I am a 46 year old man for fuck sake and it is simply a myth that there is so much out there...it pisses me off beyond words.

He often talks to me about my non sex life...something that has been dead for coming up to 7 years. It will stay that way...ok he tells me I don't know that but I do. I will be single now until I turn to dust. I mean how can I even contemplate 'romance' ( ha ha don't make me laugh) when I can not even create a simple social life. I live a lonely life and it is fucking hard and at times almost impossible because the silence is so NOISY...the longer it goes on that I can not find anything to join the harder it gets and the more my social fear kicks in and my bdd takes over so its a vicious circle.....even my writing is starting not to matter to me...writing deluded poetry that hardly anyone reads is quite demoralizing.

There have been many nights when I have thought of downing the pills with a bottle of something because it is so fucking hard not having someone to just share things with. I hope it will not come to that....thoughts of suicide are not what they once were but I have my moments, at night, when I am down. Its a way out and the comfort in that thought keeps me alive when things get bad...its a perverse way to think but it is a survival mechanism...

I shall get me a hooker soon...it may help a bit. I need to feel a woman again and if that is what I have to do I will do it...yes its not right to think that way but you are not me and most who read my blogs have someone..have friends even.....so when I do hit it off with a hooker I shall blog about it. As far as romance is concerned that is just a misty memory from a past long gone....and anyway who is going to come near a man with bdd/depression and dyslexia......exactly....a hooker. (anyway I have never done that before so I will put it down to a life experience)

T A Roberts (March 2011 London)

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Crying Game

John decided to talk books with me for the first 10mins of our session yesterday so I got away with having to do the imaging...I have told him that I dred doing it and he knows that but I also know that it is a vital part of the treatment.

John is very interested, as a Psychologist, in the process that Art can have with mental illness. He is interested in my love of books that are a bit 'dark'. And then there is the fact that I write quite raw poetry (or whatever you wish to call it).

I have not cried for over 10 years and John has asked me to list Films/Theatre that has made me cry...he believes that I may be able to use those moments to make me cry...I am not quite sure why it is so important that I do cry but I am told it is quite useful. (during this convo John said that he thought modern art was bullshit and that lots of people are being fooled...ha ha..kudos!)

I gave him some examples....I saw Midnight Cowboy when I was quite young and the ending chokes me even now. It doesn't make me cry anymore but he is interested to know what it is about that one scene that gets to me. What is it in the characters that made me care. I will not say what the ending is in case you have never seen it...if you haven't then do because its my favorite film ever.

Theatre still remains the one art form that really moves me....it is hard to bring these elements into 'real' life but both are reflections of real life. I am a Cinema snob...I admit it! If you do not learn something from what you are watching there is little point in seeing it...this is my mantra. Books, Films and Theatre are my comfort in this cut off life I live from human contact. They are my lovers.

After my session I went to see a lawyer for some advice and I have been given some useful language. She was interested in my 'social isolation' and has given me some pointers. She works in the field of mental health advice so she is not a 'money grabber'. They set up a group that is charity funded and these people are amazing. It does help to go and talk to someone outside the 'health care' loop....

Things are going OK right now..I had my little storm last week and it passed over. Depression is like that and its a question of trying to remember that it will go as the black dog barks again.

T A Roberts (London March 2011)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Important Day ...(and my fear of imaging)

I may be on the cusp of someone giving me a chance in the work place again..albeit part time. All I know is to work so this past few months have been alien to me..I left School at 16, joined West End Theatre two weeks later and its all I have known since. It kind of went ok this morning

I have a therapy session this afternoon and they get harder and harder....I have been putting it off by ranting when I see John but I know that he wants me to return to imaging work. This is really tough to do because I have to go back to times that I found the hardest in my life at School...and other places. When I exit the image it is like you are tasting that experience for the 1st time...imaging is vital to the schema therapy but I fucking hate doing it. And I know he wants to start it when I get there...because of its emotional impact its not something you can do half way through the session.

Once I have finished that at 4pm I have a meeting with a Mental Health Lawyer. I need to know more about my rights because they are few and far between...Mental Health discrimination is still rife and I am not going to be trodden on by the State. The State would much rather us all commit suicide but that aint going to happen to me. My mind set is a million miles from that...I will forever be an activist once I come out of the worst of this. I will make it my business to expose ATOS and other Government agencies as bully's of the people at the bottom of the pit. This will start on March 26th during the mass protest when I will attempt to occupy their head office.

Much Love...T A Roberts (March 2011, London)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Body Image And Self Harm SHOCK Blog....

I did once burn my flesh many years ago when I was younger....self harm is not a cry for help..it becomes a way of life that few understand...fight it with all you have...get help..Don't let it wreck your life
It is unacceptabe for society to shut its doors on those who have done nothing wrong but get ill..society rejected me and I will not allow it to happn to others..we live in a country where it is ok to have a drink problem but not mental health problems...The UK makes us 3rd class 

I will NOT except that we have to be hidden away
Society treats people with a mental illness like
 freaks...it is unacceptabe in a so called caring society. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE MENTALLY ILL TO HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS...stop closing your eyes to what is going on all around you....I have been left alone by society and am alone in this world but will do all I can to make sure others are not!!

I can now live with who I am...I can get naked

And I can look in Mirrors.....they do not own me as much as they used to!
                                                                                    Marks on my arms forever there....
                                                           I write poetry about torment and not being accepted

Monday, 14 March 2011

It Is Lonely And Desolate In Here (left to rot)

Well I did try to get something together, like a group, or be led in the right location but I am talking to myself. The so called 'clever' people out there are very quick with bad advice. I said in my previous blog that most doors are closed to a 46 year old man, and this is something I am in the throws of proving to John my psychologist. He has, like so many have, this idea that London is full of groups I could join...believe me I have put the leg work in. There is nothing not anywhere that I can find. I have anyone who wants to tell me telling me that I should 'get out there'. When I ask where this 'there' is the answers are normally...'well there must be something....or hundreds of people join groups etc. This is not true. I do get a bit sick of the self made shrinks and hug a tree brigade on twitter for this reason...life is fucking gloomy where I am at so I am suprised I ever get a sense of humour. Those who tell you that this that and the other is out there clearly know nothing about being 'alone' in this world. I have said before, I am not asking for violins...I am asking to 'live'.

London Tonight did an article not too long ago about how London is cut off for single men in their 40's and 50's and the social isolation of it....I was so happy that they covered this that I wrote to them thanking them because I am sick of making a noise about it and everyone telling me what is out there...now take that survey and the fact that I have 'complex issues' then the doors really are closed.

So I have won my argument...he says that he has his team looking into things for me and like I have told him they will not find anything!..It would be nice to be part of something but it is not going to happen. I had a really deep crisis (as the Dr's call it) last year and part of my 'safety stratedgy' was for me to tell them who I could contact that weekend, like a friend or something....I told them there is no one and I almost burst when I have to keep repeating this fact. No one means no one. I have done all they told me...yet nothing changes. I am not a bad person, just one who is judged...

One of the scary things for me, when I felt really bad, was the fact that if I did have an 'accident' in my flat, no one would miss me for maybe two weeks....so therefore I may die in total isolation, as in life! This was a reality check and a nasty one....

I read a very sad case about the woman they found dead (suicide) and no one knew her...she had a funeral with no one there...that made me sad and maybe focused my mind away from ending it all when I used to think that way. If I get run over and killed I will still be 'alone' for the last act but it would not be so fucking tragic. It pisses me off having so many experts out there who know nothing about being on their own and I doubt they have ever spent more than a few nights alone....in Johns words...'' you are like an old person who's family have all died yet you are only 46.'.....welcome to my world...its damn desolate and I pat me on the back for surviving it.

T A Roberts ( March 2011, London)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Can anyone HELP please..writers/poets etc

Ok one of my challenges from my therapist is to get out there...join and book group/poetry group...meet people etc. Now this is the base I am starting from...I KNOW NOONE....so it is just me, me and me. I do not exaggerate this. I have told him that I will never make friends...he does not agree. Now I am not talking fucking romance here. That was long dead and buried many years ago. I have told you, it is coming up to 7 years not being close to a woman in anyway what so ever! My poems do not lie!

Now I find it hard to do stuff but I am going through my hard to do list and most of the stuff on it makes you look an idiot when you are alone. It is as if the whole world is with someone. How the fuck does a 46 year old man 'get out there'? I have looked high and low for groups...a book group etc/writing/poetry. So when I hit a brick wall he says start your own!...I tell him I try but how do I start when I know no one!

If anyone knows anything I can join please let me know...I can not even get anyone to do the demo with me on March 26th....I am trying but I have told him I am giving up. It makes me angry when I keep getting told that there is this that and the other out there...I am creative but ignored. I win...he loses

Anyone want to start a radical writing group do let me know....coz I am pissed off with trying xx

Tim (March 2011, London)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Detached Protector (a Schema)

During the early part of my therapy a year ago it was to explained to me, by John, what a Schema therapy was and what schema is. Best way to describe one in my terms would be, it is a seed planted in your early life and it forms the core belief systems and emotions you carry through you life. The first part of this therapy is lots and lots of forms to fill in and score and at times you feel as though you have answered the same question 100 times.

The end of this process will be the Psychologist giving you your core schema's. The ones that really fuck you up. They are stubborn little fuckers and they fight all treatment.

My defective schema had the highest score that can be achieved and this is followed by 6 others but the one that interests me is the Detached Protector schema. Now I have got John to agree with me that in some aspects of life it does me favors. An example being that if there is a disaster in the World it does not touch me emotionally. I am not scared of anyone or anything in the real 'living world'. I am scared of the imaginary shit that goes on up there in headville. And why should I give a fucking damn about anyone else? I have been left to try and get help on my own all my life...had do many doors slammed in my face..why? Because I am a bit different. My reality is that my own life is very, very tough. I doubt there are few of you who have spent 10 years in your own space with no one to talk to...not ever, apart from a therapist. When I say I am on my own and know no one....this is a 100% truth. There is no one there..no one. So I care little for what goes on outside my world because I had to get tough to survive..this to me is the upside of detached protector.

The down side is that a detached protector can make me very complacent in my attitude to how I live my life. In the past week I have dropped 4 bottles of wine down my throat knowing it does not go well with the meds. I do not fear being thrown out onto the street and ending up homeless...I should do...I do not care enough that I find it impossible to relate to anyone else.! I should do according to John. I believe my detached protector makes me the most independent person I have ever met. I lean on no one for nothing. Well, outside of John. It is changing this attitude that he is finding hard in me but like I have said to him...most people run quite fast once they realize you have issues, so it is not all my own doing.

The insights I have been given by schema therapy are priceless....John wants me to read Jung but fears it will mess up my rather dreamscaped head that helps me write stuff.....really you want to be in my dreams! The most vivid life I do live there...sometimes the most amazing like Oz landscape...others..pure hell.

T A Roberts (London March 2011)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Two Way Mirror

I have tried to use this particular blog to explain, in my limited terms, exactly what BDD is and how I think it came to ruin my life and to hope that it will help anyone who feels the same.

I took part in a 'body image' phone in on bbc5live this morning. Was a good subject and vital. Body Fascists are taking over our planet and wrecking lives and causing self harm.

I now have the benefit of hours and hours of hard core therapy and these days, well most of them, I do look at myself in a different way and the mirrors and reflections are not such a scary thing. I don't self harm anymore and I have not done so for many years.

An example being that in the process of CBT I am asked to look at the benefits I have now; I am 46, 5ft 8, I weigh 11.5 stone and my waist is 31 inch. From my G.P's point of view that is sensational. From my point of view not so because I still fail to always feel like a man! Yes it is complex.

Writing my kids story is taking it out of me; I am proud that I have written 11,000 words but it is a release and sometimes exhausting. Yes it is a bit of fun but there is a sub text to it; I am trying, in a very unskilled way, to relate exclusion in writing this story...about being bullied etc and the redemption of the bullied person. It is an emotional roller coaster writing it. That will sound odd maybe but I have given up writing poetry because of it...for now at least. Even when I write my rather dark and tortured form of poetry it is like a large part of me is being extracted.

I am doing my list that John has made me do and listing that things I find difficult...going swimming was very hard but it felt good after. Going to the pub, which is very hard to do on my own but I now know that nothing bad is going to happen. He wants me to join a book group or drama group so that I can meet people. Like I have said many times...this illness has cut me off from people and at 46 I do not have anyone I can call on as a friend. This is sad but I now know that it is sad and only I can do something about it.

Please do share your thoughts on here if you suffer body image problems.

T A Roberts (March 2011, London)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Finding it hard and closing my poetry for public viewing

I have found the past two weeks really hard after I had been doing so well for a few months. It seems as though the whole system is against me and I am not getting anywhere on the job front. Those of you who follow my blog will know that I was kicked out of my job last August....When you have an mental health problems such as I it is very difficult to find anyone who will give you a chance. I am doing all that is asked of me and I miss none of my rehab appointments. I am a man and I am 46 and I have the most fantastic CV packed with experience but when you are a chronic depressive with bdd this counts for little.

I have no support network outside of my therapy...like moral support....from anyone so I am talking to the walls but the problem is the walls do not have any answers.

It is vital for me to see this therapy through so that I can maybe get a few good years in of being happy and stable...I have said before that I am never going back into hospital again. The last time was 12 years ago when I was given 12(ect) electric shocks. I had years and years of the wrong diagnosis and therapy and now I have found what works. It is my right to see this through and even if I end up homeless I will finish it.

I always try to write these so that I am not appearing to want pity or the violins to play...anyone who really knows me would know that is not the case but it is a very lonely business. I accept that I am a loner and some aspects of it I like but when you have had just 4 walls to chat to when you get home for 10 years it gets quite limiting....

I wrote yesterday that my creative writing is my escape...without it I would have lost the plot years ago and I am quite sure I would not be here now; however my frankness in them is not doing me any favours and I am going to remove my poems/prose from being viewed on line....they mean too much to me just for them to be seen in the way they are. I will carry on with my 'truth blogs' like this one....I was told recently that I would never find a 'lover' 'girlfriend' writing that way coz it would scare them off....Let me tell you my reaction to that....it only hurts because there is not one part of me that ever writes to impress or to 'get a girlfriend'....how pathetic and ridiculous some people are. And they are the ones without mental health problems! Help us all!

I write poetry because it is my company...my friend....my lover...my freedom to express; women do make me laugh sometimes...I heard a chat on the radio just yesterday where someone said men could not possibly write their inner most thoughts....well I do and I getting a kicking for it from? Woman....100%...

To suggest that I do it to get kudos dilutes it..I am not a fucking artist. I just write to express my silence and the prison I live in. I am happy if someone says, 'hey Tim I fucking hate what you write'. That is fair enough but to suggest I do it for any shallow reason has pissed me off and I will now shut them off to public view.

I am just trying to survive here the best I can without leaning on no cunt.

T A Roberts March 2011

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Why do I write grubby poems? Coz I fucking want to!!!!!

I have turned my back on writing in this blog on a regular basis because I am turning my back on my illness and my problems very slowly. 15 months of cbt have taken care of that and continue to. However, I feel the need to write this blog in this section though it could have gone in my other two.

I write poetry, or my version of it, because it is my release. I write to help me get over dyslexia as well as BDD/Chronic depression. I have been in a good frame of mind for 6months now because I put the work in.

I place my writing or my scribbles as I call them because I found the bottle to do so. The terror I feel about being 'exposed' is something I can not do justice to in a blog...exposed meaning that I was so scared of my lack of education or so scared of my dyslexia that I always kept what I wrote to myself. Social media and blogging gave me a way to 'express' myself and I have used it but I do hide behind it because no one can see my face or my expressions or even know what it means to have that liberation.

I am someone who is 100% socially isolated...yes I do get out now and go Cinema or Theatre and what I mean by isolated is that I am 100% alone. There are no best friends who come and knock me up to see if I am ok. I have a family who largely don't give a shit. I have been out of any kind of physical relationship for 6 years and have not even dated in that time. I am as on my own as you can possibly get. It worries my psychologist and he has made me make a list of things I have to do so that I can try and interact with 'people' and possibly make friends. The trouble is no one talks to anyone anymore and at 46 I would suggest that making friends is very very hard. Where do you find them?...

I digress; this is not a blog for violins to come out and lament. What I am trying to say is that yes I write my rather gutter prose/poems on line. Not because I think I am clever....not because I think they are good because I don't...that goes hand in hand with my defective belief system. I do it because I feel like they have left me once I post them....I DO NOT write that way to turn anyone on...!!!!! If you could realize what a ridiculous suggestion this is no one would say it. It goes against all I am....I do not think I am capable of 'turning anyone on' in real life and never have....yes DEFECTIVE is what I feel...hence BDD...blah blah.

If I post on line then yes I am open to get a kicking from people who hate it...some like, some hate. That is valid and correct!....It is valid and correct for someone to take me apart in what I write or how. I will gently explain that I suffer dyslexia and that is why my grammar is shit...they accept that and move on. But there are people who think I write for some kind of sinister reason or that I have some kind of agenda. I am a single man, yes...why does that then make my writes some kind agenda? Fuck me, do you really think my style and what I say is going to win me favour with anyone?....read on coz I doubt it. I always appreciate it if someone leaves a comment...good or bad. I am pissed off that there are those out there who think I am a FAKE....I wish I was...wish I did not live in this head of mine. I would cut me arm off for it.

Anyway this was a kind of rant...I have dragged me up from the darkest of dark places....it has taken me most of my adult life to get here. 11 years ago I was banged up in a mental hospital. That will never happen again!...11 years ago I had no hope. Now I write and it gives me daylight and a sense of achievement, not only over my dyslexia but over the darkness that I hope has gone. If I stay as a single man who knows no one forever and ever from now on then so be it...I have spent the vast majority of my adult life that way. But do not, when you have no fucking clue about what makes me who I am, suggest that I write to get a wet underwear approval.....fuck that...I really have a bit more about me...I hope.

T A Roberts London March 2011

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

This is me right now...and the future??

This has been my diary; I have taken a kicking for writing it by some and others show love and love always outshines the haters.1 piece of love is worth 100 hates. I found my voice via blogs on My Space a few years back and I am grateful for them. John thinks it is good for me to express myself this way.

Anyway I have never been straight about this because I fear writing it. But I lost my job in August because of my illness. I have lost many jobs because of my illness, but this one hurt the most. I am gagged by lawyers letters so I can not say too much. What hurt was that after an entire life of 'having something wrong' I was dealing with it. Years of therapy never worked until I found John. I am committed to it and have not missed one session in a year. If I was a woman I would have been better supported at work and before a bra is burnt in protest, I do know this to be a fact. A man with chronic depression and bdd is a non person. Men get a very raw deal when it comes to Mental health yet 5 men to 1 woman take their own lives in UK. Fact.

I have always worked, since the age of 16, and it is all I know. Never shirked a hard shift. I have worked 18 hour days in the past. I get my hands dirty and you get your monies worth. But when I needed support it was not there. So at the moment I am finding ways to get me back in the work place because I need it.

I just need someone to give me a chance. It is unfair that I am treated this way but rather than swimming in my own self pity I am doing something about it...I am just waiting for someone to say, yeah you are ok come work for us. 

I am at the stage in my therapy where John is setting me challenges; to do the things I would find tough. I went swimming which was massive for me. But he wants me to do this that and the other. It is hard because I have no one there to support me through it and most of these things you will take for granted in your everyday life. Going to a bloody pub is fucking hard work for me. A) you look a complete Billy no mates dick when you are on your own anyway. B) when you really are a billy no mates because an illness has scared everyone off over the years then its even fucking harder.

He wants me to join a book club, go back to school and over come my dyslexia etc. If there was someone there who could shout me some encouragement it would be easier. Having that support and shoulder to lean on.

I can say these days that I am an ok fella...would not have said that in the past. I am an opinionated fucker but that is easily dealt with..tell me to shut up. I do all those things on my own that you want to share....a good film that you can chat about after. Its the fear of being on my own everywhere that locked me away. You notice friends together when out and lovers and all that jazz. It can hurt believe me.

That is why there is so much passion in my poems. It has to come out. I feel humble that anyone likes them and it is places like this that gave me the balls to ever post anything. Dyslexia meant I thought I was shit at everything. Life is lonely but I have my books, cinema and an imagination that would keep a whole street of heads busy. I also know now that I 'think' I can cope with life like this. Thanks for sticking by this miserable cunt. x

T A Roberts March 2011 London

Friday, 25 February 2011

Dyslexia the route to my defective outlook and self harm

I tried to explain a schema the other day but I am not a shrink so its hard for me to do so I will try and do a short summary here.

When I was about 8 I was put into a 'hand writing class' because my writing was terrible and I was unable to join up letters and I was writing letters upside down as it were...my S I start from the bottom (as an example). I still do.

In this class I was made to write giant letters on A3 paper..'make the S appear like a wave in the sea' the non teacher said.

I could not do this and became frustrated very easily...something was going on here...the way I held my pen (and still do) was not natural.

Instead of 'teaching me' the process was more of humiliation. I was showing the early signs of dyslexia, according to john my Psychologist. This issue with my spelling carried through to my secondary education and my School reports back this up....'Tim's prose is not easy to follow....Tim must practise spelling...his work is untidy etc etc....'...He also did not understand Maths.......

In short the 'defective Schema was planted in my system during that hand writing class at School. That defective Schema grew and grew until I then decided my body and the whole of me was defective...I have often called myself 'thick' stupid'...ugly..grotesque..a freak. In terms of my psychological assessment, which is carried out with a series of questions (about 600 of them) John tells me that the defective schema's highest score is 56...my score was 56.

I have several active Schema's and they are stubborn fuckers...they fight your treatment...they are your critic...the voice that says you are useless....the devastating effect of these feelings and emotions turn you to harm your own body....me I burnt my arms...pushed cigarettes into my flesh and abused my medication. This resulted in my being put into an acute ward 13 years ago. I was given 12 electric shocks etc...

One of my other very active schema's is emotional deprivation...the feeling of never having been loved. And then, almost my most dangerous one is 'detached protector'. This means that I can take my head away from a very serious or dangerous situation and care little for it....it protects me from the world.

That is the best I can do to explain my marriage between hating my body and dyslexia. Dyslexia has only come into my life as a known fact in the past year. It has given me the day light I needed to understand why it is I struggle with anger and so many easy everyday things.

I hope this little explanation helps....its important for me to shout about it. I am not ashamed. I am Tim and I have dyslexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder....John has made me a different man after all these years of fighting what I did not know and so many Dr's getting it wrong. I never self harm anymore and have not done for 16 months.

Tim Roberts London February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

One hard mother fucking confession...do read please

Hard, hard week where it has all gone tits up again. My biggest problem remains not having someone close to talk about these things to. I know I am a bore with it but you can not imagine how damn hard it is.

When I go in to my Psychologist in that kind of mood he will give me what is called a crisis session. We got talking about dream scapes. I often spoke of the kind woman who comforts me in my dreams. They are not lust loaded dreams..she is kind and holds me, comforts me. John says that I have never been loved and cared for in the fullest sense of the word....after all, I did not get like this by some accident of birth. This desolate person was made this way during the childhood process. This is not cheap guess work..it has taken John all his skill to get me to really open up and he has used imaging to access the parts of my head that lock down about that past.

I told John, early on, that ever since I can remember, I have felt odd...like I do not quite belong. I was treated in a disgusting way at School and no one was listening. My School reports are a document of education abuse. Hearing a drunk man shouting the place down is what John calls terror....pure terror because a child can not compute what is going on...why do you think I despise drunks...mouthy men who have had a few.Things being broken and smashed induces terror but a terror that grows with you into your adult years.

John does not use Psycho babble or jargon as he calls it..he is a tough northerner...he explains my schema's to me so that I understand them.

I told him of this really painful thing that happened to me when I was going to School once...I was 11. I used to go and meet my friend, Paul Berry, and we would walk to School together. It was when his Mum opened the door that I burst out crying. I told John that I have never forgotten this and how much terror I felt. I told him this because I was trying to articulate the terror I go through when I meet people....go places...do ordinary things.

I cried because I was scared of my History Teacher...I was scared of showing him my home work. I was scared because I was dyslexic....he gets angry when I say no one had heard of it then..he says no Tim, no one gave a shit about your situation...he says, you were in two inner London schools with a process that had been known for years and years...after all, he says, how did they know Churchill was dyslexic..he concludes that everyone was too busy doing other stuff to notice or care to notice that I had a problem.

For fuck sake it is as clear as day in my school reports....Tim can not understand...Tims spelling lets him down...Tims prose makes no sense.....Oh and I must remember we were all on a time limit...16 and out of School....off to work you go...yes John is right....no one gave a shit and all I have ever known is that School was terror for me...which is why I skipped many days of my last two years....I left with 2 CSE grade 2 and 3s...total educational failure....

John does this thing when I say something massive....he stops me...holds me in the moment. He says that this one thing is one of the most important things I have ever told him and it has taken a year to get there. I told him that this one moment lives with me most weeks....like the awful hand writing lessons at Heber Road my awful Primary School.........

John said...why did you cry to your friends Mum and not at home..?...John has come to a conclusion that I was scared...but scared beyond what an 11 year old boy should be. I told him that in my video diary, before my 1st swim recently, I said to the camera that I was sure that I was going to die in there...but was not sure that what would kill me....I knew I would not drown. I still have this video. John said that this extreme of feeling that I am going to be killed or am going die has been in me since School...since being a kid. I know that and I now have someone who has finally dragged it out of me....Dr Bernini said similar things to me 10 years ago.

John thinks I am scared of people.....but not in any rational way....I fear death by them. I have often said how pathetic and sad I think drinkers are....men drinkers...all in the pub like repressed cunts who will go home and batter some poor soul......I hate groups of men and always have done....that oh so fucking macho little angry Englander who gets shit faced.....I fucking hate with all my energy groups of men...all lads together.

I have never been one of them and I am a better man for it.....right wing cunts who need viagra to get a cock up yet they judge me......me with dyslexia....me with bdd....let me tell you something....I never did this to me....me and john know who that is....and in my life that is all that matters....so if I am fucking angry I have every fucking right to be....me who was sent to a two bit all boys Comp....

T Roberts London Feb 2011

Monday, 7 February 2011

The fear of the everyday ordinary

I am going to a gig tomorrow and even though I have been to 100s and even though it is tomorrow night I feel fear; it is not a very rational fear but it is a fear all the same. This is why I have been seeing a Psychologist for just over a year now; I am armed with some tools to deal with this fear but the fact that exists still fucks me off. It should be something to look forward to. OK yes I am going on my own but this is normal. I do everything on my own, so it is not that. I can not even put it into words what this feeling is.

Recently I have been swimming twice and in the words of my therapist this is remarkable; please believe me, it really is. If you had told me a year ago I would be able to go swimming, on my own, in a public baths, I would have called you insane.

I know nothing will happen tomorrow and like I said, I am not quite sure what it is I fear. Once I really understand this, I will have cracked a life time of being afraid....how alien but nice that will be.

T A Roberts (2011 London)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Dyslexia and the barriers

All the things that I thought made me thick come down to dyslexia; unchecked dyslexia from the age of 7. My therapist has nailed my main issue and it is this issue that gave me the schema of defectiveness, which is the most active schema that I have.

I have always considered me to be a bit thick...I could never spell correctly. My school reports tell me that I could not understand thing correctly...that my writing was untidy...that I had no understanding of maths.  I was put into a handwriting class at 7. I was put into a maths class for extra learning at 13/14. I grasped and embraced the spoken word in Drama though...I excelled in this subject with Pinter and Chekhov..it is what made me join pro Theatre at 16 and to escape the misery I felt at school.

My therapist has said that all the traits I display, even now, are ones of a person who has dyslexia. Writing my letters the wrong way round, the way I hold my pen. My ability to use both hands for many things...playing pool with left, playing a guitar (if I could play one)...tennis with both; I hold a pen in an awkward way with my right hand.....I still don’t get on with maths at all. I find instructions hard to follow....most things I have over come myself but I feel robbed and cheated of most of my life and what I could have been. I am alphabet blind and this frustrating at times.

My opinions of myself have always been that I am thick, too small/skinny and ugly. I know believe that my BDD was born from this trauma....the trauma of feeling humiliated at School. This is a place where I should have been taken care of but my therapist said that most of the things said in my school report are quite typical of the lack of understanding there was toward this problem. My school reports as good as write me off.........
I am hoping that I will be able to now explain to anyone in the future that this is what I suffer with and that it will help inspire a little more understanding in the future.

T Roberts (London 2011)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Always on the outside

Imagine this, because not many can; I am 16 years old and have left school, which I hated apart from Drama, and end up 6 weeks later working in West End Theatre...I am from South East London and the boys and girls are tough and uncompromising. Suddenly I am confronted by gay men and women everywhere...I found my home. They were my sympathetic..gentle as well as crude...manly enough but feminine. I had never known an outwardly gay person, not coming out of Peckham/East Dulwich. At school the word poof, homo or gay was used to torment the lesser boys like me.

I knew I was not gay but I knew I liked being around people who were somehow on the outside of life. I befriended black people for the same reasons, but never dare say that my lot was as bad as there's on the left out front. I suppose its why I became a human rights activist.

The bullying that I received at school had left deep marks but I was not aware of  it. I have only become aware of that because of the schema therapy that I am currently going through. During imaging sessions I am taken back to very difficult times in my childhood and teens. The idea is to go back there and extinguish the belief system that I am defective. I mean, I still describe me as being thick. Not knowing I have a form of dyslexia has trapped me for years. The awful bullying I had over my size will still hit me if anyone ever says anything about my size/weight now. Its like all the blood is taken from me...it is awful but people feel they have the right to say things.

These are the facts though....I am 46 and I never go above 12 stone, which for a 5ft 8 fella is perfect according to medics....so if Britain is getting fatter, I am not. I eat well.....I do not eat shit.

I am starting to learn that being an outsider is ok....my psychotherapist challenged me over a few things, like when I said that I am happy to go through life without friends...I have survived up to now. He said that it was very fulfilling to have friends and said we are not made to do life alone. I said that the idea of being in a relationship does not bother me anymore....yes I miss sex and I miss the company and doing things with someone....but I have been on my own for 6 years and I will survive without. He challenged that as well. I said I am still afraid to go through the process of it all. I have come a long way though in the past year of therapy.

I also told him that I have no time for heterosexual men....ultra macho pricks who judge all....well I have just judged some of them. I have been asked on numerous occasions if I am Gay; like people have the right to ask me this. It has never upset me and I take it as a compliment. I like only feminine people and I am a bit like that myself....I have been told so many times....so if I am different and on the 'outside of life' then so be it. Those who follow sheep end up on the dinner table.

Tim.......London Jan 2011