Saying Goodbye To Fragmentz – The Final Post.

I’m saying goodbye … goodbye to ‘Fragz’.

Because most of you know me as ‘Fragmentz’ but, actually, my name is Helen.

It always has been.

After writing ‘Saying Goodbye to Fragmentz – Part 1’ I had so many ideas on a Part 2, and probably a 3/4 as the final ones, but as it happens I don’t have those thoughts any more. I think the first one has done a good enough job of trying to explain a bit of of why its time to move on. I had planned to write this sooner – but a bit of illness got in the way – so its taken longer than expected, however I’m now feeling a deep sense of ‘now is the time’.

So this is it. The last ‘Fragmentz’ post.

Now is the time, to say goodbye. To an identity. A persona. Something that to begin with gave me a place to speak out about things I couldn’t vocalise. A thing that then became a place to be louder as my confidence increased. A space to connect and ‘be with’ others and feel less alone. To be part of the collective voice speaking out against and writing about particular issues.

Over the last year, a couple of people have asked me ‘so, how did Fragz come about’ – and for a while I had intended on writing a blog/about me page that explained, and that also talked about the merging of two identities. Because, increasingly overly the last 12 months, thats what it has felt like … that Helen and Fragz have, instead of being separate, have merged and become one. Because for a time, they were two different beings. One who on the face of it could not express openly in front of people the torture of mind and life, but who could write about it. As life has changed and moved, and I’ve grown and gotten stronger, so has that voice that could not speak. I have a voice now. As Helen. But I kept the voice as Fragz too. As I wrote in Part 1 – I then became defined. Defined by Fragmentz, and the stuff Fragz writes about/talks about/tweets about. And, don’t get me wrong, I know who did the defining. Me. I felt needed. Wanted. Part of something.

But I also became defined by the abuse. By the past. By my story.

Read Part 1 for more on that – saying good-bye to fragmentz-part 1

Most of you know me as ‘Fragmentz’ but, actually, my name is Helen.

When I started a new little journey 18 months ago, to seek out a healthier and happier life, I had no idea where it would take me, or that it would bring me to the place I’m at right now. I’m definitely not healthier, thats for sure. But I started the journey of trying to seek more happiness. More settled-ness, healing, restoration, wholeness. Big asks huh?

My GP wanted me to do EMDR (for Post Trauma Stress Disorder) therapy. My heart didn’t/doesn’t. Still didn’t/doesn’t even though it remains on the table as an option …

Because despite making great strides forwards in learning to live again, compared to how things were 5/6 years ago, my mind was/is still raging in battle. Battling nightmares that persistently persue me and don’t leave alone, flashbacks, anxiety, and a never ending fight with God.

God.

We fell out. Big time. When I left London, moved back to Lincolnshire, I felt I had lost absolutely everything. I had my spent my life fighting to survive and thrive, and to be strong, and to ‘serve’ and do everything I thought God had wanted of me, incl going to London, and yet it wasn’t enough. London, at the same time as being the best two  years of my life, also became the worst two, especially when in the last few weeks of my time there, what happened happened. In an instant – life went from being quite tough already/difficult to being life changing for the worse and intolerable. London will always be a reminder of ‘that day’ – which is why its so hard to go back.

So, God. Yeah, we fell out. Well, I fell out with him is probably fairer to say. And maybe ‘fell out’ is quite a light expression to what really happened? Because what really happened was I spent weeks and weeks and months screaming at Him. Screaming obscenities and anything and everything that was in my mind. My favourite name for Him was ‘sadistic Nazi bastard’. I call God every name I could come with. If He, or anyone in fact had physically been present in those days of rage- well, I dread to think.

But God wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept flooding my mind. But at the same time as the dark. There were times when I felt schizophrenic. Seriously. And then one day, laying on my bed, in a drunken haze, smoking, I had a bit of a ‘moment’. A weird moment. But a moment all the same, that made me make a decision I now regret.  I’d been awake over 28 hours, and I was hallucinating. But in the ceiling I saw the face of Jesus (if you’ve been following my tweets the last few days, I’ve been rethinking about this and asking about other peoples experiences of this). Staring down at me, was the face of Jesus. And to begin with his eyes, were bright, but I couldn’t look Him in the eyes. How could I look at Him, in the eyes. Those eyes. Those eyes, turned red. Burning red, staring into me, into my soul. Beating down on me, scorching red. And then they turned to black. The face remained the same, but the eyes, they changed from kind, to burning red, to black. And they never left me.

As your probably thinking – and I was definitely thinking, this was all a bit mental right?

I had to move, jumped off my bed, left the room, paced the flat screaming for Him to leave me alone. For God to leave me alone. To go away. That I hated Him. And in that instant the face left my mind. And I drunk myself into more drunkenness and finally fell asleep on the floor in my dining room.

That was the moment I decided I could not bring myself to believe in a Jesus that would torment me so much any more. That I could not believe in a Jesus who apparently is light, and love, and peace and mercy, justice, and love. Because that wasn’t what I was getting. When I tried to look at God all I got and felt was pain, hurt, torment, anger, fear.

So I walked away. I then spent the next 6 months holed up, away from a lot of people and not engaging with anything or anyone. Except the people who were paid to be in my life, and I had no choice about otherwise I’d have been sectioned.

As time progressed, things started to change. I started to learn to live again. Started to learn a bit of normality again, in terms of functioning as a human. And ever so slowly I got swept back up into going to church again. Swept back into being part of the community I lived in, made friends again, started to venture out/work and generally work on this thing called ‘life’ again. And thats whats been happening over 5 years. Slowly, and often painfully, but things started to change. And those years have bought me to this place, where I am today where I can completely say, despite the difficult days that still arise, I am glad to be alive.

But this thing with God. Well, I never sorted it. Properly. I started going back to church, sure. I started trying to pray again, sure. I started trying to sing the songs again. I started helping with the youth again, trying to be the person everyone once knew me as/expected (or that I expected them to expect). I even re embarked on the journey of discovering whether ‘ordination’ was for me. Which was the reason I’d gone to London in the first place. To spend time ‘serving’/working for churches to explore if that was what I was being called to. Turns out it isn’t. But it was by starting that particular journey again, and the one I had embarked on 18 months ago, to seek out better health and happiness that got me to a point of revelation.

Several things happened – and I’ll leave writing about those in detail for now. But several things happened, big things, that got me to the point of realising that I had NEVER gone fully back to God and said sorry. I had turned my back but I had never turned back around towards Him. Properly. And through some random incidences got a sense of ‘now is the time’. Someone challenged me quite recently as whether I was a Christian or not. I was a bit surprised and taken aback, even though it was something I often wondered about. How dare they ask me outright. Of course I’m a Christian. Or was I? I think deep down, I was. Always have been. But there was this sense of needing to repair my relationship with God. And turn my focus back toward Him. Turn my body back in His direction. Start again, with trying to look up at heavens and seeing God. To turn my eyes back to His.

And through some real moments of weirdness, that I can ONLY describe as being those ‘God type moments’ that usually want to make me cringe and puke when people mention, God has bought me to a place of being able to come back.

I fell out with God. But He never fell out with me. I walked away and turned my back on Him. But he never did me. And that has been so evident. So evident in the fight. Because He has never let go of me.

Part of the journey I embarked on 18 months ago, that I keep mentioning was about this. And its led me to a new church. I had spent a bit of time last year, seeking, searching. As some of you may remember from my tweets/blogging of it, it was not overly successful. In fact it wasn’t successful at all, incl me having a go at one of them during the service, getting my stuff and walking out in a rage (do this new church really know what they’ve let themselves in for?!) …

I’d stopped looking to be honest. Couldn’t be bothered any more. Couldn’t be bothered going to any more churches that were completely off key and where I wanted to punch the Pastor. Couldn’t be bothered to visit another church that I’d been to four times and no one spoke. Or where you felt the eyes of everyone stare into when you walked into the service. Or where the coffee at the end is in a coffee shop where everyone goes into their little clique and your stood there, alone, like a div OR any more churches where their ‘ministry’ times consisted of you being pushed to the front and forced into having hands laid on you (two of my worst nightmares – being touched by strangers or people I don’t like/trust (if you know me or I trust you, its fine, you’ll know if its not!) and having to go to the front for any kind of prayer  – whats that about? Why isn’t the back just as good?)

So, I’d given up, but by accident discovered this new church. I’d been working a few days a week away from my home town, and that week I had to cover some shifts in the town of this church, about 20 miles away. It was a client who told me about it. Because of the food bank they run. So we went one evening. And visited. And then I decided that if I was going to be working in that town, and visit the evening stuff a bit, I wanted to check out a morning. Check out that the mornings were as authentic as the evenings. That the mornings were not a complete contrast. So I went in a morning. And I’ve never stopped going (aren’t they lucky).

That was about 3 months ago … and its been revelationary. And life changing.

And I’ve not walked out. I’m hoping that If I was going to I would have by now. I’m learning to try and resist the temptation to deliberately annoy them so they reject me. I’m learning to try and accept the kindness, love and warmth they have extended out to me. I’m learning that they have stocks in ‘Kleenex’ as there is alway someone there with the box when needed, which so far has been most weeks. The flood gates have opened. I’m learning to accept the email sent the other day from the Prayer Coordinator woman, who has been praying for me about the health stuff, is genuine when she say’s they’ll stand with me whatever it takes.  Soon after starting, and after speaking to a friend who also knew of the church and its leadership, at her advice, I met with the Pastor. I needed to try and tell him my story. Who I was. Who I am. Where I have been, but also where I want to be. Because other wise, if I had not, if no one knew, it would have got too difficult. Too easy to walk away. To easy to not cope with their love, and welcome and to run – even though I would have kicked myself forever. But I knew I would leg it when it got tough. So I made a conscious and deliberate effort to open myself up, be vulnerable, and trust that this was and is a safe place and space to do so. To maybe find and explore and seek some of that healing, restoration, wholeness. And so far it has been. It is.

And through a random set of  coincidences, which I’ll have to write about another day, over on the new blog, I got to a point where a sense of ‘now is the time’ that I’ve been feeling about everything, incl ending ‘Fragz’ overwhelmed. And so on the 20th October I gave my life back to God. And I don’t know who is reading this, some of you might be cynical, some of you might be sighing, some of you might be happy, like the one or two people I told immediately after screamed with joy. I don’t know what your reaction is, and to be honest, I don’t care any more. Because I’m done with the fighting. The battling. Please know this was not some hyped dramatically crazy scene. Nothing that happened that day was hype. And I would be the first to shout it out if it had been (if you know me well, you would know this is not the sort of stuff I normally go in for). It was just deep. because that day, through several sets of things happening, I truly believe God was calling me back to him, again. Again again again. Because He has been for years. And that the sense of ‘now is the time’ overwhelmed me, alongside the several other things that happened.

So, what has this got to do with Fragmentz I hear you ask? Good question.

What its got to do with Fragz is this: through that experience on the 20th October, and the thing that happened earlier on that morning/at the beginning of the service, I feel as though the thoughts and dilemma’s I was having regarding my identity, and who I am, including my ‘name’ were boldly taken on. See, on the way to church the week before and that day I had been quite cocky with God. And given Him a challenge. A really stupid one. One that would actually be my worst nightmare, and one that I assumed would never ever happen, in a church full of other people. But, it did. I simply cannot explain it. I also can’t explain the song that was sung in the service by the preacher before he preached. And I cant explain the stuff he preached. Because it was all stuff I had challenged God about, and said something on the lines of ‘Look here mate…’. I had a conversation/non conversation that kinda went like this ‘if your listening, I’m challenging you to this … actually no I’m not, because that would be stupid, and would never happen, and I’d hate it/be cross/whatever if it did anyway) and so on. Then I got to the point where I said, literally, ‘Right, actually, fuck it God, if you are listening (which I don’t think you are) that IS what I’m asking for’. I never imagined that it would. But it did.

And it’s not very often I’m not able to explain away some thing, especially when its comes to God stuff. I can always find an explanation. But this … this was/felt/is different … And it addressed everything I had been thinking/battling with regarding who I am. My name. My real name. My ‘Fragmentz’ name and my ‘Helen’ name.

So back to what this has to do with Fragz. This is the thing. That day/that moment I knew, properly knew my name is Helen. I am Helen. He has called me by name. He has, and He did, forever and a day, and He did again on the 20th October. He didn’t call me by Fragmentz. He didn’t use Fragz. But He used Helen. Which was an important detail to me when I was doing that convo/non convo thing I mentioned above, because lots of people call me Fragz. Or H, or Ellie, or other nicknames. Which is fine, but my challenge to God was about Helen.

Because most of you know me as ‘Fragmentz’ but, actually, my name is Helen.

So, I’ve been challenged. Am being challenged. About who I am. Who I really am. My identity. My name. And about taking that back, and living in it. And moving forwards in and with it.

And that is not ‘Fragmentz’, because actually Fragz has served its purpose. I am not the same fragmented person I was back then when Fragz was born. Hell yeah, I’m still battling. I’m still journeying, processing, and this is the VERY beginning of a new journey. One I’m not sure I’ve ever been on before, and I wont lie, its a bit scary. But I’m wanting to, am going to continue the journey, the process, and move on from the start again as me.

As Helen.

I want to, and am learning to reconnect and re engage with God again. As Helen. I am learning to love, and be loved again. As Helen. I want to continue to seek after healing, restoration and wholeness. As Helen. As the person I am. No more Helen and Fragz. Just Helen.

I want to learn to trust, laugh love, live, hope, dream, shine and strive fully again. As Helen.

And I’m back on that journey again … but this time its with God. Properly with God. Deeply with God.

I’m making changes. Changes by saying Goodbye to Fragz, and focussing on other things and withdrawing from some conversations. Not totally, but not being so involved as I was. I’m making lifestyle changes. I’ve made the decision to make this new church ‘my church’ – and seriously, it really has fast become my church (what did they do wrong I hear you ask?!) – I’m committing to focussing on myself, and God. My relationship with God. And so thats meant pulling back and withdrawing from some of the things I’ve been volunteering with. Because ‘now is the time’. I’m committing myself to continuing to seek this healing, restoration and wholeness I’ve talked about. I have no idea how or what shape that is going to take, but I’m opening myself up to it. Because now is the time.

I went to a prayer meeting a few weeks ago, in the evening. They have these nights every now and then that focus on something, like prayer or worship or whatever. So this was a prayer night. And after people had time to pray and reflect, they were asked to share if they had anything. The Pastor, Chris got up, and talked about the church corporately, but also people individually, and the he was sensing God saying this –

‘We cannot alter the past BUT we can bring the past to altar’.

It made me cry (no surprise there) and took me away a bit actually. Because, for the first time in my life I’ve gotten to the point where I’m realising/have realised that I cannot change the past. I cannot remove it. I cannot erase it and make it go away. And I cant continue ‘living in it’. But I can bring it and give it to God. I CAN bring it and give it to God.

And thats what I’m wanting to do. I cant alter the past, but I want to bring it to the altar. Of God. Every time. Each and every time something comes up, trips me up, haunts me, plagues me. The nightmares, the memories, the flashbacks, the overwhelming senses of darkness that overcome at times, the person I was, I am, and going to be. Everything. I’ve given my life back to God, but life is still tough. Theres no quick fix to any of this. My health is still crap too, and seemingly getting worse right now. BUT I want to look to God. I want to learn to be able to be before the altar of God as I am, with everything I have to bring and know that I am OK. And OK in Gods eyes. I want to learn, in time to fully bring the past to His altar. I took communion, in church, on Sunday just gone, and having not been able to for several years, it felt like another huge significant moment of coming before God and His altar. This is the start. Of a new journey …

As Helen.

And so that is why we end up here. I have so much more to write. So much more I could say, I could be here all night, and this blog would be EVEN longer than it already is. So I’m bringing it to a proper end now …

The end of an era has come, and the start of a new one has begun.

I’ll still be writing. I’ll still be tweeting. Just not here, and not as Fragz.

I’ll still be exploring all things such as life, and faith and how it affects the every day … but the most important thing in all of that is that I’ll be doing it as Helen.

Because you all mostly know me as Fragmentz.

But actually, my name is Helen.

You can connect with me on Twitter – ‘@helen_a13’ or my new writing space which is at www.helenblogs.com (nothing on/done to it yet, but it will over the next week or so).

So, this is it.

After 5 years, all I’m left with to say right now, is thank you. Thank you for being part of the ‘Fragmentz’ journey, at whatever point you have been. Some of you through it all, some of you the last few years, and some the last few months. Whoever you are, and however long you have been part of this – thank you.

You’ve all known me as Fragmentz.

But actually my name is Helen.

And thats who I’m claiming back.

x

The day I got into a fight with a street Preacher …

I was reminded the other evening about the day, a few years ago, when I got into an eyes red rage fight with a street preacher. Actually, maybe it is unfair to say that we had a fight, because I never gave him the chance to speak. I’m amazed actually that I didn’t punch the guy.

It was in the middle of a city centre. That I was visiting. And waiting for a friend to arrive for coffee.

A few minutes earlier, as I was arriving at our meeting place, I could see the crowd gathered, so being the nosey that I am decided to go and see what was going on.  I stood at the back of the circled crowd of about 60 people, with shopping bags in one hand and a smoke in the other. And I watched. And I listened.

I was starting to get a bit bored, but decided to stick it out a bit longer because my friend had text to say they would be 5/10 minutes as they were running late.

So I stuck around and continued to watch and listen. And that’s when it got a little bit more interesting.

Because that was when someone else, who had also been watching and listening decided to have their say too.  Someone who looked like maybe he had been sleeping rough. Someone who looked like maybe he could do with a good wash, a shave, some clean/non ripped clothes and a good meal or five. Someone who maybe looked as though he had been in a few scraps.  Someone whose words were slightly slurred, because they’d perhaps had a little bit too much of whatever cheap alcohol he had been able to lay his hands on.

Someone who looked like they just needed some love and care.

Someone who felt that he needed to respond to what the guy on the stool was shouting.  Someone who felt that life’s darkness and pain was better dulled with alcohol and drugs, and someone who felt that we could find our own happiness. He was someone who needed to tell the crowd to just be happy being who you are.

This guy made me smile. Because despite his obvious dishevelled-ness and alcohol induced merriness he had a beautiful twinkle in his eye (the eye that was not black and healing from wounds) and an apparent desire, however big or small to cling on to whatever life was offering him.

I’ll never forget seeing the shock in his face, and I’ll never forget the horrified feelings I felt when, whilst addressing the crowd with his own ‘be happy’ message, the preacher guy, having stepped down from his stool grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him backwards, so he could get back up on his stool, and tower above the merry man, whilst still having a grip on the merry mans shoulders.

And with one hand gripped on his shoulder, which appeared to make the merry man powerless to move, with the other hand he started waving and pointing at the merry man below him.

And then it started. The preacher man, holding and pointing started shouting at the gathered crowd, which was getting bigger as each second went by.

Addressing the crowd, pointing at the merry man he was shouting at the top of voice –

‘do YOU want to be like this’, ‘do YOU want to end up looking like THAT because if you don’t follow God you will’

and a couple of other things I don’t recall. I simply could not comprehend or believe what I was witnessing. And then he yelled

‘do you want to be like him? a nothing, worthless, a no one’

What? Did I just hear that right? Well I didn’t have to question long because a second after he said it the first time, he repeated it again, pointing at the merry man and asking the crowd if they wanted to end up like him, a nothing, worthless, a no one.

The look of bemusement and bewilderment in the merry mans face will never leave me.

It was at that point I saw red. It flashed across my eyes.

I grabbed my bags, stormed through the crowd, up to these two men, one on a stool with a firm hold on a vulnerable merry man and intervened. And when I say intervened I got hold of the merry man and moved him out of the way, and put myself in his place, but instead of facing the crowd and having this guy looking down on me and berate me, I got my finger in face and started shouting back as loudly as he had been shouting at the crowd.

As I said at the beginning, I’m amazed I didn’t punch the guy. Or swear. But I didn’t. However, my mouth ran away with me (what a surprise I hear you say) …

I shouted at him how dare he. How dare he speak to someone like that, how dare he lay his fingers on someone, how dare he pass judgement on someone. How dare he abuse and mistreat the vulnerable. How dare he suggest that someone was not worth anything? How dare he?

I shouted at him that the Jesus I knew would love a person like this. That the Jesus I know and I have read about in the Bible would love, cherish and care for a merry man like him, that the Jesus I know about is a Jesus who believes in people, all people, including this merry man being worthwhile, precious, valuable and definitely not a no body. That the Jesus I knew about was a Jesus of grace and mercy and kindness. And on I went, for about 5 minutes, telling him and the crowd about the Jesus I believed in which was everything opposite to what he had been preaching.

I ended by shouting at him that the Jesus I knew about would LOVE this man.

At this point, the merry man had wondered off. I stopped to draw breath and realised I had run out of things to say, so I picked up my bags, turned on my heels, leaving the street preacher speechless, and a crowd clapping and shouting as I stormed back out of the circle and back down the street we were in.

Why am I writing about this now? Well, simply because I have been thinking about it. Every now and then over the last few years I’ve thought about the merry man, wondered where he is now, and hoping he is ok. I hope that he knew he was/is loved by someone. And I’ve thought about the street preacher and the continued untold damage he is doing in ‘Gods name’ and hoping those that he affects negatively are being scooped up by gentle souls who can whisper the real truths into their lives.

I think about the anger it stirred in my soul. The red rage that flashed because someone in front of my very eyes was being told they were not worth anything. That person could have been anyone.  It could have been me.

It has been me, over the years.

I don’t believe anyone, who ever they are, where ever they have come from, wherever they have been, whatever they have done is worthless.

This is what stirs my soul into action, to speak out against injustices when I can/when I see it, such as this time, or other times when I speak out loudly on behalf of other people.

Its what stirs my soul to work with vulnerable people, be it young people, the dying, people with mental health issues, people with learning disabilities, people on the fringes of society for whatever reason.

I believe that Jesus loves people, including this merry man. That He is full of grace, and mercy, and that He cherishes and sees all as worthwhile.

I just hope/long for the day when l fully believe that that includes me too.

hello again blog-o-sphere

Its been a while since I properly blogged. As in wrote a blog – in fact, not since the 24th January 2013 (I did republish a blog a few weeks ago because I felt stirred to). But its been six months since I’ve written anything new. The intention had been to have a break, a quiet, unannounced break from blogging. 3 months. Not 6, but here we are 6 months on.  And here I am writing again. I’ve been penning a few blog’s the last week or two which will appear at some point.

There have been one or two milestones that I would have usually written about during these 6 months, including reaching the 5 year ‘anniversary’ of when I tried to commit suicide. Instead of blogging, I spent the day tweeting with the hashtag of #gladtobealive – it was beautiful to see many people join in celebrating with me in that way, that day, and to also celebrate by texts, emails, calls and visits to the pub with friends who have and do mean so much to me.

I’ve also now been driving over a year, which has been amazing. A real sense of freedom, that makes me wonder I never really did manage to get act together to sort it out before now.

The last 6 months have also seen me in and out of hospital with much frequency, I’m starting to lose count now. Several times have been pretty serious. One being the most serious of all when it looked like it might not have been something I would come round from. Luckily I did, and am still here to tell the tale, granted still in and out of hospital, still on and off, and back on again many medications etc, and currently in the process of being referred to more specialists elsewhere, with the hope they can help pin point what is going on. Its pretty hard going at times, and is proving to be quite life changing. I’m having to make many changes, some really practical ones, some a bit harder, and some tough decisions like having to bail out of a trip with the Church to Africa next year to spend a few weeks with friends who run a YWAM base. But something else will come out of this, I’m trusting there is a reason for all of this.

The last six months also saw me volunteer at Spring Harvest, having been as a guest for several years in a row, I felt it time to offer something back. I was not quite sure what I could possibly give to them, but was found a role supporting young people with learning disabilities, in the teenage youth venues. It was an exhausting week, a week with such fun and laughter, hard work, tears and tiredness, but a week of absolute beauty. I’m not sure if I could do it justice by trying to describe it really, but I might give it a go sometime, as it deserve some space on its own really. I was changed, again, that week.

Anyway, some of the above things I’ll write in more depth about in the coming weeks and months and I have some other topics/things I have half penned/half thought out to write more on.

But for now, if I still have any reader/blog followers, hello again – how are YOU guys doing?

When was the last …?

A few years ago I spent the night praying. AND I wrote 2 things. I’m reposting/blogging them tonight because I have a sense of needing to. And a sense of needing to re hear the words myself too.

I think Part 2 is the most important tonight. 

when was the last ….? – Part 1

Stop … just for a minute …

 

When did you last say ‘I love you’ to someone?

Anyone ? … a friend? Your family? Jesus?

 

When did you last say ‘I love You to Jesus’

When did you last speak to Him?

When you last pour out your soul to Him?

When did you last tell Him whats on your mind?

 

Why not try it now …

 

He loves You! He is waiting …

 

He is waiting to hear from you … He wants you to talk to Him … He wants you to pour out your heart to Him

 

He longs for the day when all is surrendered

He longs for you to stand before Him, in prayer, in worship. He longs for you to come to Him.

 

He is stood with His arms open wide, waiting to embrace you … To surround you with Love, Grace and Mercy. He wants to shower you with blessings after blessings.

 

Stop …

Praise Him,

Worship Him,

tell Him how much You Love Him!

when was the last ….? –  Part 2

When was the last time someone said to you ‘I love You?’

 

Stop ….

Listen …

Hear the voice

 

Maybe it’s the smallest, faintest sound.

Maybe it’s a whisper, blowing in the wind,

Maybe it’s a loud bang, so loud it hurts your ears,

Or maybe, just maybe it surrounds you in the every day noise.

 

Have You ever stopped to listen? … to hear …?

 

Try it now …

 

What do you hear? What do you want to hear?

 

Don’t be scared, or afraid.

 

Listen to Him say ‘I love YOU’

 

Surround yourself in the whisper, the wind, the loud bang, the everyday noise. Listen to Him saying ‘I LOVE YOU’

 

YOU are LOVED

YOU are PRECIOUS

YOU are VALUABLE

YOU are FORGIVEN

YOU ARE HIS CHILD!

Whoever you are, wherever life has taken you, whatever you’ve done …

 

Just stop, and listen …

 

Listen to Him saying

 

‘ I LOVE YOU’!

there IS hope.

Most days I sign into here and I often glance over how people have ‘found’ my blog. Its often by googling something, and then they land here. And often the things people type are relating to surviving abuse, depression, church, mental health, self harm amongst other things.

Sometimes people land at Fragmentz by typing something like ‘is there hope …’. Is there hope for … a self harmer? A depressive? A survivor?

My response to those people is YES. LOTS. And I really hope by stumbling across this blog that those people who are typing those things are able to find hope in this space.

And that those people are also able to find hope in the life they are living.

Because there is hope. Maybe it is small grains of sand shaped hope, and maybe it might be something bigger. Maybe it is something very quiet, or something very loud.

But however big or small, quiet or loud there IS hope.

Whatever it is you are facing, whatever storm you are in the middle of, keep hanging on to hope.

If you are unwell with depression or other mental health issues: there IS hope.

If you a survivor of abuse and/or rape: there IS hope.

If you battle with self harm: there IS hope.

If you struggle with suicidal ideations: there IS hope.

If you are fighting to stay above the water, for whatever reason: there IS hope.

I believe this for you, if you are a Christian. I believe this for you if you are not a Christian.

However some of the searches people have typed and found my blog with, related to battling issues and Jesus. I truly believe Jesus still loves you, whether you are depressed or not. Whether your self harm or not. Whether you battle with God or not. Whether you are a survivor or not.

He loves you. And has a hope and a future for you.

One of the most important bible verses when it comes to hope, and my own life, is this:

Jeremiah 29 verse 11 –  ‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for’ (The Message)

Please know, wherever you are, whoever you are and whoever you believe in,

you are precious. 

You are valuable. 

You are beautiful. 

There is a hope. 

There is a future. 

As I sat writing this blog, the last verse of a poem I wrote called ‘the whisper’  came into my mind. It is this :

As the years pass by, the scars never go, but begin to get lighter
She sits down, and watches life go by, and the sun getting brighter
And as she confronts all of the things in her life she fears
In the stillness the previous whisper of ‘I love you’ is all she hears.

I dont pretend there is an easy way for life to happen. There isnt. Life is tough. But please know and live in hope that brighter days can exist. That even though the memories never go, they can be lighter, things can be brighter.

Please know you precious, your are valuable, you are beautiful. 

You are loved. Loved. LOVED. 

Some thoughts on being a survivor, and Jimmy Savile.

The most talked about topic of discussion in my work place for the last few weeks has been Jimmy Savile. In fact, the most talked about ‘current affairs’ topic I have talked about full stop has been Jimmy Savile. It is what everyone is talking about. Even sat waiting in the Dr’s surgery earlier for my flu jab, were two little ladies sat discussing it. Discussing the ‘story’. The accusations. The revelations of the alleged, but now as the Met seem to suggest, not so alleged abuse. And those revelations have been coming out, thick and fast and as the days go by they seem to increase. So I thought I would try and coherently type out a few thoughts. I have had some passionate online conversation in various places, including Twitter, and have heard many many views/opinions spoken. Some sensible ones, some sad ones, some shocking ones and some unbelievable ones. But opinions never the less.

As always, when I write, I will say I am not an expert. Because I am not.  Nor am I anyone who many people take any notice of. I am just a little drop in a big ocean who is finding her way through life and who likes to write as a way to process and say what I am thinking. What I have to say on this issue may not be relevant to anyone/anything. In fact it is most likely not to be. That is fine.

As said above, I’m not an expert. And thats true. And I start with saying that, but I don’t always start with what I am. And what I am is a survivor. A survivor of childhood abuse, from people within my family, and people around me. I was seriously bullied at secondary school at the same time as trying to deal with being abused as a primary school aged child. As a teen I was also, on top of the other abuse as a younger child and bullying, physically (violently) abused by another member of family. So I am a survivor. I am also a survivor of a totally unrelated ‘assault’ as an adult, one day whilst walking down a street I often walked down, in daylight.

I am a survivor of ‘trying to die’ because roughly 5 years ago life was so hard and tough that I felt there was no other option or way out. I am a survivor of hard knocks. I am a survivor who is learning to live again, learning to laugh again, learning to love again. And learning to be loved. Its a long process and I am always and forever grateful to those people who are in my life/choose to stay in my life and continue the process with me. Its not an easy one sometimes.

I am learning to live in hope. I am also learning that I can be a voice. Someone who can speak out. Someone who can tweet, write, talk, share and hopefully raise an awareness of what ‘surviving’ is like, whether that is surviving abuse, or surviving mental health illness. And as I continue to learn to keep growing as a person, and keep living in hope, I am learning to use the voice that I have. To speak out, to be that person who can potentially make a difference to someone, anyone (this is why I am not so worried about blog ‘stats’ – because if one person feels they are not alone by my sharing on here, then it is worth it). I am learning to, want to and try to be someone who IS able to speak out, on behalf of those who are not. And those who are not able to are many. More than you can ever imagine. And I used to be one of them.

One of the main reasons I got to the point of being suicidal (aside from the abuse) was the fact that I was unable to talk. To speak to anyone. To let anyone know the pain I was in. The hurt. The anger. The shame. The guilt. How could I possibly sit in front of someone, who would potentially judge, potentially tell me not to be silly, potentially tell me to ‘not worry about it’, to ‘get over it’, to ‘forget about it’. How could I, as a child possibly tell the people around me what was being done to me. The very person who was hurting me was an ‘outstanding member of the community, with an exemplary military service record and so on …’.

So, it has been interesting, and quite hard at times to hear peoples views of the victims of Jimmy Savile. The Jimmy Savile who for years was ‘held in high esteem’ for his charity work, his brilliant television career and other things. (If you have no idea who I am actually on about, and the kind’s of work/volunteer/fundraising stuff he did, google him). The Met Police released a statement in the last few days calling him a predatory child abuser. That gives the impression that there is no doubt that he carried out these alleged crimes.  I can not possibly write all the accusations that have been revealed. The fine details of the case. But if you want to know more, just google, or go to one of the UK’s newspaper sites. Or the BBC. Its all there. The whole story gets more and more shocking and sadder as the days go by.

There has been much conversation about the ‘insitutions’ that Jimmy Savile was involved with. For example his involvement and work for the BBC. The hospitals, and schools that he fundraised for/volunteered with on his days off. Much of the earlier conversations I was involved with/heard was a conversation of disbelief. ‘What? Jimmy Savile? No! Don’t be silly. Not Jimmy Savile. Not the children’s/teen’s programme presenter. Not the fundraiser. Not the charity worker. Don’t be silly. Anyway, even if he did do something ‘dubious’ they (the victims) probably asked for it anyway’.

When I first, very first heard this break, I was horrified. Shocked, in a non shocked way. Shocked, because as a child, I idolised Jimmy Savile. The weird guy who wore odd shell suits, on TV, fixing up the world for children. I idolised him, and what he did. I wanted to write to him. For him to come and ‘fix’ my world for me. To ‘fix’ my problems. To ‘fix’ anything I wanted. I wanted him to be my second Grandad. He was amazing. As I grew up, got older, I became aware of him being an eccentric old man. I would never have thought ‘Jimmy Savile’ and ‘child abuser’ in the same sentence. Never in a million years. Yet, when I heard the news, at the same time as being shocked, I was not shocked. Because it is all so plausible. All so real. All so credible. And whats more, people who abuse can be anyone. Absolutely anyone. Including the powerful, rich and famous. In fact, those people are able to better disguise what they are doing. Better able to keep it away from the public, from prying eyes, and much more able to ‘pay people off’ if anything ever was muttered that was not favourable to them.

So, I fully believe it. I fully believe the victims. Because they need believing. They need, for once, at last, someone to say ‘yes, we will stand with you’.

Two of the ‘views’ I have heard a lot of this week have been ‘well why didn’t they report it back then’. ‘Why didn’t they just say ‘no”.

Because as the case has continued on, it would appear that some of these people were braver than I ever was as a child. They did report it. And yet were still ignored. The power and money of Jimmy Savile proved more than anyone was able to contend with. So what does that say to the others? Those who were unable to (understandably) find that voice to speak out, what does that say to them? Nothing whatsoever encouraged those who were unable to initally speak out, then to do so.

As for the second point. Anyone who utters the words ‘why didn’t they just say no’ truly does not have any understanding of how abuse works. Its not so easy as ‘just saying no’. ‘No’ does not work. ‘No’ has no power when you are being raped.

I have been quite shocked at times to hear the vitriol towards the victims. Another question thrown out a lot has been ‘well why did they wait until he was dead’.

My response? – They didn’t. There are records, investigations, programmes made that were shelved. Police starting to look into things and then mysteriously stopping. They did not ‘just wait until he was dead’. Many of them tried to speak out before he was dead.

From what I have read and seen, and understand, Mark Williams Thomas who is a child protection expert, and private investigator was the guy who ‘heard a rumour’ soon after JS’s death, and began to look into it. He then made a documentary, after speaking to one person he knew of. That then led him to the many other woman. My understanding, of the moment, in the documentary where he said ‘he then was lead to other victims’ suggests that he dug. He approached people. He made it clear what he was doing. And this gave courage and power to those people who have been victims of JS.

Imagine you are sitting in your school class, and you get called out by your head teacher. There is someone well known in the town, lets say the Mayor for example, who just happens to be rich, famous, and very well known and popular. They take you in to a room, and rape you. Abuse you. They are twice the size of you, and although you do say no, you scream, you kick, you try to get away they are able to overpower you. Hold you down. And they tell you that if you ever utter a word to anyone, you and your family will be made to suffer. Killed. Or you will be ignored. Not believed, and your life will be hell. They tell you that you are a slut, you asked for it, and deserve it. They tell you that is what people will say and think if you breathe a word. Imagine being so traumatised by what has happened, and so scared of it happening again that you have to do what they say. You have no choice. You are so ashamed of yourself, you spend your evenings scrubbing your skin, trying to get the dirt out of your body, carving your body to release some of the feelings inside of you. Your life is never going to be the same again. You turn on the television, and on the news there you see your head teacher and the Mayor. The Mayor has just fundraised and donated millions of pounds for a new tech facility at the school. The crowds are there. Its amazing. Everyone is talking about how fantastic these two people are. But you, you know different. You know what they did to you. But who do you tell? What will they do to you if they find out? Who is going to believe you? You have no idea that they are doing this to several girls in your class. Because, they like you, fear these two big powerful men. They too, like you dare not speak a word, because, hey, who would believe a 14 year old teenager who has been in a little trouble, like any teenager.

So you don’t say anything. Neither do the other girls. No one does. They get away with it for years, while you some how have to work out how to live. You get a job, start a family, live life. But the memories never go away. And then one day, in the paper you find out the Mayor has died (the Head teacher did years back). And you hear a little rumour that someone is talking about … apparently they used to rape young people. And then you realise this thing is so much bigger than anything you ever realised. And as an adult, who now has a voice, who now has nothing to fear because they are dead are able to, for the first time in your life speak out.

You realise there are many more people out there like you. More victims. And you are able to find courage to say what happened to you. To back others up. To add to the chorus of people speaking out, raising awareness.

Imagine that is you.

Would you have acted any differently?

I dont know if you would have.

I dont know if I would have.

But I certainly don’t blame or think that the victims were wrong to not be able to speak out back then.

And we must remember those who did. And who were ignored.

Which is what I think this current investigation will start revealing more information on.

WHY were those people who did speak out ignored?

WHY were people who were in positions of authority back then, and then continued to be in high powered places not say anything.

WHY was this allowed to happen?

So many questions. So many thoughts. So many views and opinions and so so much more that I could write about. Discuss. Talk about. Mention.

But what I would like to end with, for now, as I may well come back to this again sometime, is please don’t forget the victims. In all of the talk, the chit chat, please don’t forget that out there are people, woman, and maybe men who are victims.

People who have had what can only be described as the worse possibly life changing abuse perpetrated against them.

Whether we think they ‘should have spoken out sooner’ or whether we accept that they were unable to for the various reasons outlined roughly above, and the many other reasons that I probably have not even touched upon, whether we think they are ‘out for the money (which incidentally is going to be extraordinarily hard and very doubtful for them to get) or whether we think they are very brave people who have found strength because of circumstance, because of the fact that they are no longer afraid, and because other people are speaking out they are able to voice their experiences, please remember they are the victims.

They are the victims who, at the time and most likely for many years after felt so alone, now have found out they are with others. Others are with them. They are not alone.

Let us stand and let them know that. Because being a survivor can be a very lonely place to be.

My friend, Concetta who is an amazing Mosaic artist has a wonderful website at glitteringshards.com and she also wrote a blog on this, which was very moving, tear inducing and beautiful. Please read it heres if you have the chance.

Please know, if you are a survivor, you are not alone. You are not guilty. It was not your fault.

‘another place’

This is a photo I took while visiting Crosby Beach, Liverpool and seeing the ‘Another Place’ installations by Antony Gormley. I took a set of photo’s, one of which I framed and gave to the friends I was staying with and who are some of the most amazing people in my life, and then I kept some.

This is one of the one’s I kept. I periodically look at them, and remember the beauty of the place. The day we went was cool, calm and collected. The lighting on the sea was stunning, and as the tide came in, it covered many of the figures, and at many times it looked like people standing, in the midst of the water.

I look at these images, and each and every time they say something different to me.

What does this one say to you?

© Fragmentz Feb 2008