Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.

 

 

University

In 2016, I had to go through the process of UCAS. I had to apply to several different Universities and hope that one of them would invite me to an interview.

In 2017, all but 1 sent for me (the other 1, no longer ran the course I had PAID to apply for).

My top choice asked me to go for an interview. How exciting!

Except it wasn’t. My cat had just passed away and the world felt incredibly numb. All my coursemates were applying and interviewing and giddy.  I just wanted it all to be over with. I would never be accepted anyways, I would just go and do it, just to say that I had.

So off I went…dxxcvvzxcae746f.jpg-large

The interview included: a one to one interview, a group interview/discussion and a written piece of work.

I was never once nervous, I did not fret. I said what I thought and was honest with my educational background. I wrote what I thought and did so with an academic flare.

Today is one year since the interview.

I am now a student at that University.

Sometimes, those days where you really do not want to, are the days where you absolutely should.

 

I Survived

“I wake up every morning, get dressed and carry on with the day. Even when I don’t feel like it, it’s just what you do.” – Grandad

I was raised strong. I was always a child that held fire in her eyes and I loved it. I challenged people. I questioned life. You get up in the morning and you start anew, you continue on and work through each day.

I have had panic disorder, anxiety, agoraphobia, depression and PTSD but I ALWAYS got up in a morning – even if that was all I did. I had moments of not eating, months of being mute, years of being bullied and belittled. That fire within me dimmed significantly, but it still existed. I still kept hold of that strength, it got me through. Every day was a new day.

I lost my mind somewhere around 2004, so many weeks and months that I have no recollection of. But I got myself out of bed. Always. Made sure to look after my body, if not my mind. Sleep. Eat. Wash. Dress. Read. Repeat.

Never in my life have I been broken.

Until 12:30pm on January 11th 2018. It was a Thursday.

Everything stopped.

There was no more getting out of bed. Eating was something I held zero interest in doing. In bed, I stayed, for 4 days.

But then, Monday came around and I was expected in University. So, up I got and off I went.

I survived. Unwillingly.

I went from stiff upper lip, ‘I’ve never cried in public’ to “Oh, I’m crying on the bus.”

Falling apart in public became a frequent occurrence. Crying in public bathrooms, on buses, in the street and in the shop was no longer something within my control. It just happened.

I survived.

Unintentionally.

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