Look!  I’m on an advert for something awesome.  I didn’t even photoshop it and make it up at all.  I know, I know hard to believe.  Find out all about this incredible type trauma therapy at Havening.org (or just read the bit I’ve written below the picture).

I'm the one in the green cardi on the right.

(Top row; I’m in the green cardi on the right.)

The first thing you should probably know is that I had to give up my job as a playground supervisor for this.  I didn’t want to leave because I loved being a playground assistant.  The problem was just that the deputy head didn’t understand that I subsidised my two hours working in school with a second income (known as my real job) as a hypnotherapist.  So, when she refused to give me those 2 hours off to go to New York for a week and get certified in Dr. Ruden’s ground breaking Havening technique, I faced a difficult decision.  Should I stick with my job working for £14 a week in a rainy playground?  Or should I fly to New York in a heat wave, spend a few days at an inspiring conference on trauma, certify in the latest techniques, meet the inventors, their families, have a few days off browsing and boozing in the big apple with old friends?  It was a tough choice, worsened by the fact that the deputy head had just offered me a third lunchtime hour each week, yes, she explained if I played my cards right, £21 a week was waiting right there for me.

Let’s talk about Havening.  Ok, it’s really simple (no surprises there if I’m teaching it right?).  So what you do is basically rub someone’s arms and their trauma goes away and doesn’t come back.  I know, sounds dumb doesn’t it?  There is actually a bit of science behind it, wanna know?

So, if you think of trauma being a red line memory at the back of the brain.  It sits there sometimes quietly dormant, but doesn’t go away.  Sometimes, it sits there noisily interrupting everything in your life, popping up in your thoughts all day despite your best efforts to subdue it.  The idea is that this trauma is rooted in the amygdala area of the brain.  To undo it, you flood the amygdala with your body’s own natural serotonin – by rubbing your face, arms or hands.  It’s very simple.  Sometimes,  people also need to do other things such as hum tunes and count.  This is done to distract the more conscious, working memory and to prevent people from getting too overwhelmed if their remembering the bad ole times.

Some of the problems I have  treated with a couple of sessions of Havening in my clinic include; rape, assault, shock of discovering a dead body, bullying, a variety of phobias – (dental, height, spiders, jealousy).  Blushing, IBS, child abuse – sexual and emotional, drinking, sex addiction, coping with suicide, bereavement, trauma from giving birth, facial tics, physical pain, upsetting childhood memories, abandonment.  The list could actually go on and on, I’ve worked with so many different problems with this on adults and children.

The idea is that if someone comes with a range of behaviour that they’re unhappy with – be it feeling low, eating too much, remembering very sad times etc, Instead of treating those things as the presenting problem, you see those things are symptoms of a more fundamental problem (underlying trauma).  The skill is in finding the root cause of the problem, which can sometimes be something quite innocuous to us as adults, but may have felt traumatic in our childhoods.  If that root cause is treated, with Havening, then the symptoms cease and the person returns to a “normal” sense of well being.

You can do it on yourself too.  I don’t recommend you do big traumas without a trained person to help guide and protect you.  Sometimes the memories can feel incredibly powerful and overwhelming.  But if you feel a bit stressed, then try this.  Just rub your arms from your shoulders to your elbows  saying “calm, calm, calm” in a gentle voice, but out loud, as you do it.

Ok, gotta go, my kids, I mean My Public, await.

H x

Hurley Comes Clean

6 February, 2014

Liz Hurley issued an unequivocal apology in a statement from her press office today.  It read:

“I want to apologise to Mrs Hilary Clinton and to the American people. The rumours circulating about myself and former President, Bill Clinton, are true.  He is one of the few men I have not slept with.  It was a reckless oversight on my part and one I regret deeply, now that I see how much publicity it would have generated for me.”

Miss Hurley later tweeted the names of other famous men she hadn’t slept with in a bid to prove unfounded the allegation that (former) President Clinton had been discriminated against.  She tweeted:

@mennotyetshagged; Fred Flintstone, President Clintstone. oh god I’m sure there are a few more, they’re just not in the papers enough for me to remember their names.  Oh, what about wasshisname, thingy, with the red shoes, er,  Ronald McDonald, that’s him!  Oh no, I did him, I forgot.  Sorreeeee.

There has been outrage across America.  Head Boy of the UK, Dave C., has held round-the-clock talks with the American Ambassador in London, in a desperate bid to repair the political damage this scandal has caused.  He was quoted as saying;

“We’re all shocked, especially those of us who know Liz.  I mean know her socially, only when our wives are in the same room and never leave us alone with her.  Ever.”

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Donald McDuck in his stockroom. “We shared so many happy meals together.” He says of Ms Hurley.
(Photo courtesy of Salmonella Awareness brochure).

The Doyenne of Divorce

6 February, 2014

Michelle Young, (let’s call her ‘Shelle) wasn’t expecting a divorce, nor was she expecting her husband to claim bankruptcy.  An unfortunate coincidence? That’s not how she saw it.  He ran, she chased, cleaver in hand.  And that’s basically how things progressed, as the Youngs battled in the British courts’ most expensive divorce case.  Seven years of wrangling, raising a legal bill in excess of £6.5m.  They settled (her unhappily) this week at £20m, + £5m in costs.

Both sides have made mistakes.  Mr Young did accidently, tell a few completely prefabricated lies to the Judge – and got caught.  (Oops).  He was given two custodial prison sentences for failing to comply with the Judge’s orders to fully disclose his finances (Oops), he served one and never fully disclosed his finances.  He “forgot” what happened in a few of those years (Oops).  He got mentally unwell and had to go to the Priory, at £10,000 a week.  (Ouch).    And, probably most regrettably of all, he gave an old computer to his daughters.  on which, his wife’s forensic experts found a deleted file where he listed his assets at a value of £319 million. (Oops).

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“Distraught & ashamed”, Scot Young is comforted by his friend. “I can’t eat, I just drink a few flutes of vintage champagne each day & force down a few mouthful of Beluga caviar. All I do is sit in my counting house, counting out my money.  My ex wife is like a blackbird, constantly trying to peck off my nose.”

Mrs Young made mistakes too.  The judge described her as verging on paranoid, making wildly unsupported accusations about loads of famous rich people. (Shame).  She was quoted slandering Simon Cowell saying;

 

“Always round my house for dinner he was, that Simon Cowell.  Y’know, he never brought nothing with him.  Phillip Green, what a gent.  He always brought me a vintage bottle of  Lambrusco and sometimes he’d even bring them Ferrero Rocher chocolates too.  That’s class, that is.  Stingy Simon, that’s what we called him, not even a bunch of daffs from the cemetery round the corner.”

At this point Cowell’s lawyers threatened her with legal action and she deleted her tweets.  (Shame).  She was given a paultry one million pounds support for the first year (Shame).  She sold some baubles worth £180,000 (Shame) and put £3m towards the court costs herself (Shame).  Then she moved into a slummy little house, only able to afford a £100,000 a year in rent, (Shame).  Given these dire circumstances, she was understandably unable to ring-fence any money to help her daughters complete their A-levels in their private schools (Shame).  Later, forced to move to even worse accommodation (Shame), she and her daughters ended up renting barely more than a stable with a manger, for £42,000 per annum. (Shame).  Then she claimed, wait-for-it, benefits (wtf? Shame).  She managed to scrounge back £1,300 a month in Housing Benefit (you are kidding me?  Shame).  The rest of the rent being paid for by an anonymous “friend”.

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Ms Young; “We can’t afford chairs anymore. Often I sit on the carpet and stare out the window at the neighbour’s chairs. They’re pretty and remind me of happier times. Yes, I do get white carpet fluff stuck on my noir Versace jeans, everything is so hard right now.”

So, who is that anonymous friend?  I hear you cry.  She knows a lot of important people in the public eye, and yes, my exhausted research has uncovered the three most likely candidates.  They are;

  1. Her butler, Paul “my rock” Burrell.
  2. The notorious gangster, Bugsy Malone.
  3. A grant from Mother Theresa’s orphanage in Calcutta.

Now ‘Shelle, I don’t know how bad things have been fighting your ex, but let me assure you, that that experience is going to feel like unwrapping presents on xmas morning if Housing Benefit find out about this.  Any single mum caught topping up her rent by £26,400 could spark off an investigation, anytime.  My advice is don’t publicise what you’re doing, keep it really quiet, cos ‘Shelle, you could get done.

Everytime I see another woman go through the same kind of thing it makes me think it’s worth it”

“Shelle Young, the Doyenne of Divorce

I question that ‘Shelle.  Some of us choose do it other ways, many of us have no choice.   Many of us go back to work, with the burden of children in tow and we build new careers, out of nothing.  You had funds behind you, you have contacts and connections, how many doors could have opened for you, if you’d told him to shove it and had the guts to go for it?  How much respect would you have garnered from us if you’d put your daughters education and esteem ahead of bickering over your bank accounts?  Oh Young Ones, in your myopic race to be the wealthiest one over the finishing line, you flung your daughters aside to jump for the maritial jugular.  Do you really think it’s worth it?

We, the rest of the world get similar treatment. We are their extras in life, the supporting cast to their leading roles.  In summarising the divorce proceedings, the Judge made the following comment.

“The court has to allot to each case an appropriate share of the court’s resources.  It is difficult to see how 65 preliminary hearings followed by a final hearing lasting 20 days, can possibly be a fair allocation of this court’s limited resources on one case.”

It’s the sort of narcarcissicm you see in teenagers and toddlers; when the believe that they are the only ones who really exist and behave accordingly.  The Youngs have been openly contemptuous of our judicial system, our laws and of our benefits system.  All just accessories to their latest single-minded want.

Young Ones, you have waged your war.  Was it worth it?  Are you happy now?

sad-queen

Fat Romance

3 February, 2014

Losing weight is like being in love, with the wrong man.  Actually like constantly being in love with all the wrong men, over and over again.  Weight loss should be renamed Bad Romance, (which it will be in this blog) because that’s exactly what it’s like.  It all begins when you find each other, or someone introduces you.

“Omg, you’re like, perfect for each other,” your girlfriend gushes, enthusing about all the positives about the bad romance she’s insistent you begin.

“But you say he’s 500 calories a day, I’m not sure that he’s is going to give enough to this relationship for me?”  You question, without trying to sound desperate or needy.  Despite you’re misgivings, your eternal hope of meeting Mr (or Mrs) Right makes you excitedly agreeable to any kind of hook up that offers you an unrealistically thinner future.  A blind date over an low cal meal, protein shake, an aerobic’s class or 100 mile cycle, you’re there, all dressed up and ready to go.

And like so many first dates you’ve had in the past – y’know, the ones that should never have become second dates?  You leave your common sense behind and take your brand new “soul mate” straight home to bed.

“He’s so great,” you rant at your bored friends.

‘Well, Jo went out with him last year and didn’t like him at all” Annoyingly, they seem to think they know more about him than you.

“She said he made her physically sick in the end.”

“Yes, he’s got his idiosyncrasies (which I adooore).  But she’s wrong about him, he’s just not like that.”  You whine defensively, as if your brain’s been starved of oxygen, rather than of few excess calories.  “I’ve chosen not to go out on Fridays anymore, because we eat chickpeas which have been dried by moonlight together on Friday nights now.  He’s soooo knowledgable about health.  Oh, and I can’t have anything that’s got the colour white in the ingredients.”  Your friends question if you’re seriously going to submit your IQ to yet another controlling idiot.

“Can’t you just date someone normal,” they beg.  “Like a plate of healthy rice & veg?”

“Omg, you sound like my Mother.  He’s miles more exciting & sophisticated than that.  And anyway, I’d always wanted to dry chickpeas by moonlight myself, I just never said so before.”

You may think he’s Mr Wrong, but have you actually dated him?

So, off you go with Mr Wrong again.  And like every other wrong relationship you’ve ever been in, it feels so right, so easy, you’re so full of togetherness, you can’t see any separation.  “This could be, The One,” you hear yourself telling your disbelieving friends.

And it is, “The One”.  For a little while.  Then the first disagreement happens, over a Mocha Latte from Costa.  It’s nothing, you tell yourself, every relationship has it’s little tiffs; resolving disagreements is a sign of the relaxed, maturity between you.  You have come closer after the Mocha Latte incident, you explain to your frustrated friends.  (But, you make sure you hide the evidence next time).  Then a few days later you lapse with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, (shit it’s white!!). Then you throw caution to the wind and chuck in half a bottle of red and a large bag of crisps.  Before long, even you have to admit that the relationship is more mayhem, than make-out.  It’s hit the rocks.  Desperately, you hang on in denial, until one day, you accept it’s over and watch him leave.

The wrench of failure hits home.  You’re never good enough, it never lasts, another hope, hopelessly dashed.  “I’ll never love again,” you tell yourself, wishing it was true and you could give up searching for Slim.  Your heart breaks with the failure, with watching your friends settle down successfully for the long game.  They’ve managed it, mission impossible, thin thighs of success.  If everyone else can do it, why can’t you?

And that’s what it feels like to be fat.  Each attempt is like a lover who leaves, again and again.  In time, the grief passes.  In time you’ll get up off the sofa and find another eating plan, another class or regime to follow, reprogramming your current ways.  It’ll all be fine at first and end up the same ole way.  And although you vainly fight against it, there’s a fear inside that you’ll never get your fairytale ending.  You watch Prince Charming on his trusty steed of slim, ride right by you again.  Will to you force your fat foot in that pretty glass slipper?  Is that how you think you can make it fit?

“Does it come in a wider fitting”

The Matrix

30 January, 2014

I’ve been to hell and back, except I’m not sure I came back, rather I got a bit waylaid in purgatory. Neither happiness nor an abatement of suffering. I’m the middle (wo)man the mediator between two unforgiving parties, trying hopelessly to find a mutually agreeable way forward. It used to be the unions in the olden days (er, 1970s), who were known for their uncompromising stance on business disputes. But, they have been replaced with a whole new level of opponent, one who makes them look like a bunch of girls fighting over a skipping rope in the playground. Yep, business is going to look back on those good ole days of strikes and sit-ins and remember the personal interactions. The 40 hour face to face negotiations, the egg throwing, black listing workers by names not image, calling people who crossed the picket lines “scabs” and dawbing paint on their cars. The art and craft of beautiful banners, adorned with witty insults that today’s advertising execs would envy. Yes, a proper protest of yesteryear, it bears nothing on the uncompromising dogma I’ve been faced with this week, when out of the blue I got an anonymous message on my computer screen saying, “Incorrect password”.

This brave young couple led a million people through the streets of London, all shouting and waving banners, protesting against the use of fossil fuels.   (Photo courtesy of Greenpeace, 2011)

This brave young couple led a million people through the streets of London, all shouting and waving banners, protesting against the use of fossil fuels.
(Photo courtesy of Greenpeace, 2011)

Years ago, I had one password, it also contained my pin no and life was simple. Despite the fact that most people who visited my house could have easily accessed my finances, ebay, email etc. (because I kept my password/pin on a post-it note on the fridge), there were never any problems. (The only small difficulty I had, was that many of those so-called visitors decided to actually move in, preferring to live off me, instead of stealing from me. They found in this way, not only did I pay for the shopping, but I actually went and got it all as well). In time, my password was forced to morph into various incarnations of the original and these days, with every new item requiring an individual code all of it’s own, I spend my spare time guessing which of the 14,776,336 variables these might be anytime I try to do anything. If I spent this much time guessing lottery numbers, I’d be inconceivably rich by now. At one stage, my darling son Sami and a so-called friend, changed all my passwords to “Youforgotagain1”. Helpful? Yeah, really, thanks so much. In texting skill, this is the equivalent of me changing their passwords to; “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious1”.

Right now the computer, ipad & phone seem to stare back at me, fixed in their calm serenity. They, my modern gurus, equipoised in full knowledge, beam benevolently down at me from their stock images of serene Himalayan peaks and magical sunsets over tropical isles. I sit beneath them, the fledgling student attempting to enter their tranquil world, typing password attempts asking;
“This one oh Master Mac? Is this the keychain to the Universe?”
Uninterrupted in Samadhi, there is no response. Again and again I type, neophyte that I am. The more frantic my effort becomes, the further from utopia I move. Until finally, I bow my forehead in complete surrender, smacking it repeatedly on the keyboard. And in return for my unalloyed devotion, a message appears from above;
“Password accepted.” Flashes briefly on the screen.
“Oh, Master thank you for accepting me.” I am overwhelmed at this initiation into real knowledge.
“Oh Master, might you just send me a humble reminder of the exact keys I just head butted?” I enquire submissively, then hastily add, “Sorry, sorry, it really doesn’t matter at all. I’ll find a mirror and just check the imprints on my forehead later.”
In that euphoric moment I merge with the source of all knowledge and unconditional bliss before me; I’m on t’internet. I click on an app, it begins to open, “please enter password” flashes nightmarishly in front of my disbelieving eyes. Inescapable, my karma has tracked me too soon.

All knowing computer, who is the server and who might the user really be? Millions of combinations of letters and numbers stream through my mind. I have reverted to running DOS, not on a microchip, but deep inside my skull.

I shout, “What am I, some kind of machine ?” in frustration at the universe.
“You are the Matrix.” My master replies.

"There were times when, I have to admit, I lost faith and I thought about giving up and just sending a quick text instead.  It took years of prayer and sacrifice to get back into my email, but it was all worth it in the end." - as this picture so clearly shows.

“There were times when, I have to admit, I lost faith and I thought about giving up and about just sending a quick text instead. It took years of prayer and sacrifice to get back into my email, but it was all worth it in the end.” – as this picture so clearly shows.

Insomnia, part 2

17 July, 2013

This time it was a nightmare that did it.  One of epic proportions, that stayed with me in a waking or dreaming state.  Yeah, you’ve probably guessed by now, I’d had a letter from the Inland Revenue.  It said;

Hi,
Nothing to worry about or anything but we’re just conducting a teensy weensy investigation into your tax.  Anything you wanna tell us?
Bye for now,
HMRC

What to do?  What to say?

As I lay awake worrying, I had the most fantastic idea.  Ok, maybe I couldn’t make a Wonka Bar costume like last time I had insomnia.  But, just by chance, I happened to have all the ingredients for a life-size parrot costume for Sami.  Would that do the trick and help me put my worries aside?  I decided to give it a go.

Four happy early morning hours of sticking and sewing (and swearing) flew by and the costume took shape.  But, what also happened during my art and craft marathon, apart from make an unholy mess all over the kitchen, was my mind processed the whole tax thang.  By the time I’d sorted out the costume, I’d also found a fantastic solution to the bigger problem too.  I sat at my desk and wrote a calm, clear-headed reply to the Tax Man explaining the situation in full.

Then I went back to bed, for some calm, clear-headed rest.

Job done, problems resolved and sleep regained.
Doesn’t come any better than that, does it?

Bye x


Dear Her Majesties Revenue and Customs

Thank you for your letter regarding the tax investigation.

Please find enclosed some photos of the parrot costume I made in response to your letter.

The receipts I’m missing form part of the wings and some of the elaborate tail-feather detail.  Obviously, none have been included in the head or legs.

I hope that settles this matter to your full satisfaction.  Feel free not to contact me ever again.

Sincerely.

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He loved it; wore it everywhere.

 

I won, I won,” I shouted at Asha. “Did you see me?”
Asha looked a bit confused. “I didn’t see you.”
“I was too fast, too fast for you to see.” I shouted, ecstatic.
“I saw you.” “Me too.” Chirped some happy little faces around him Asha beamed with pride. I’d done it, perhaps against the odds and I’d done it for him. He’d won his race and I’d won mine. Winners, yeah, I liked the sound of that and so did he.

I didn’t follow a rigorous training scheme but I did up my ambles to Costa in the last few days up to the big race. I also started having my coffee as a takeaway, which cut out the lengthy pit stop reading the papers. My diet remained the same (a bit more than I need), but psychologically is where I put in the hours. Yep, in my mind, convincing myself. It’s common technique used in sports training, visualization and motivation. I simply saw myself running up to Asha telling him I’d won, over and over again in my mind. I felt how great it felt, I saw his face and his utter joy. I was determined to make this dream come true. And I did.

Sami high-fived me when Asha told him. He was surprised (that boy underestimates me). Asha described the race, how I’d beaten Frankie’s mum and led from the front all the way.
“That’s amazing Mummy.” Sami said, with genuine amazement. He’s totally athletic, something we don’t often have in common, so it was good for him to know I can do it – when I want.

Asha and I raced home across the meadow, me pulling him back with his t-shirt so that I won again. When Amba got home, Asha could barely contain his joy.
“She won the mum’s race, Amba.” He shouted as he ran into the garden to get his bike. (He’d progressed to triathlon).
“What?” You won?” She said with (I have to say) a slightly sneery intonation.
“Did you even enter the mum’s race?” She asked, looking down her nose at me. “I don’t believe you won it.” She continued with jaw-dropping disrespect. “Did you really enter the mum’s race?”
Silence. I’d had enough of this.
She continued her cross examination, studying me intently.
Mrs Vaudrey, I put it to you, that on the day in question, not only did you not win the mums’ race, but that you knowingly did not even enter said race. (Gasps from around the court room).

“You didn’t enter it did you?” She said firmly.
I tried my hardest not to crack under the pressure, but the thing is with these barrister types, they get you all confused and then you blurt out the wrong thing.
“No.” I muttered.
“So, you went up to him after the race and told him you’d won. And he believed you, right?”
Me; “Er, yes, s’pose it was a bit like that. But you make it sound like I did something wrong?“
“You’re not allowed to lie and cheat at races.”
Me: “Really?”
Amba: “No! You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Me: “Oh I am. And I’ll buy you an ice cream if you keep quiet?”
Amba: “Hmmm, double scoop with toppings and sauce.”

The price of silence

£2.60 The high price of silence

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