familiesintrauma

Relief, Belief and Understanding


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QUICK UPDATE FOR FAMILIES IN TRAUMA – JULY DURING COVID19

Three and a half months may have gone speedily for some but dragged out for others. For us here at Families in Trauma, it has gone very fast due to the upsurge of interest in our work – which I am glad from that point of view. However, sad also for those who have suffered and families who are mourning.

Our eLearning course is to be launched next week – which seems like it couldn’t be more needed – a leaning post – to get us through these really tough times. We have been getting feedback from a few who have trialed the course. Our first podcast, was released through our social media pages – a discussion around the very supportive method of eCPR – emotional CPR – so so sorely needed just now especially.

We have also been busy developing workshops online (yes we do have a bit of Zoom fatigue too ūüôā ) but it seems to be an ideal way to interact with people at this time. We have a number of podcast discussions arranged to discuss what the different services in Fife are offering during this extremely pressured time period for families on the ground.

And finally, please remember that as well as creating our own resources, we can also help signpost to other organisations who we have worked along with. This often is an unsung service, and yet we have personally spoken with a number of individuals from various services in Fife and Scotland – who just weren’t aware of the vital services in their midst. So please, contact us if you need to – and we can often do the legwork for you – or we may already know exactly who you need to speak to.

“Still I rise” Maya Angelou

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How could I possibly add anything or take anything away from this wonderful piece shared time and again, and which resonates even more strongly during this most difficult time the human race is facing. Needs no explanation.


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Death of What??

This blog comes tinged with a bit of sadness today due to having suddenly lost a family member.  It is always a shock to take this in, no matter how long we have been expecting it Рbut for us we only ended up with 3 weeks Рso we are still trying to process this as a family.

Death of a loved one can and does bring very mixed, confusing emotions.  If it is a young person, most people feel that it is unfair and they have been cheated ; if it is death of an older one Рthere always seems to be that feeling that it was still too soon Рno matter what their age.  Yes, death is an age old enemy. For those with faith in something else it can be a sustaining power, but nevertheless the sting of death is powerful for everyone.

However, this recent experience has got me to thinking of individuals I have interviewed who have undergone the cruelest of trauma in their life.  They they often speak of the grief of losing hope,  and, the death of all their hopes and dreams.    This can often be as painful as the sting from losing a loved one in death for example Рand is often much misunderstood.

They are often told that they ¬†shouldn’t feel like that ¬†– after all…… we still have life! ¬†But, it really depends on what kind of life we are living and what we have been robbed of. ¬†This could be hopes of a future with another person, ¬†seeing our children grow up strong, healthy and happy, having good health, ¬†strong physical and mental health, a good job, a decent house and so it goes on …… ¬†All of these things are only natural desires in all of us – and yet some have to deal with situations in life that bring them to their knees and hating life itself. ¬†This can lead to suicidal feelings – so please – never underestimate these feelings. .

If we know of anyone who is feeling like this – its good to remember the old saying “there but for the grace of God, go I”. ¬†We could all be suddenly in a situation we cannot cope with and struggling to find out how we actually got there! ¬†So if we have a friend or family member struggling, don’t just dismiss them and think that “everyone goes through these things – we all just have to man up and get on with life.” ¬† We live in a world that needs more understanding and compassion, not less!! ¬† ¬†Reach out to those suffering and share what we can with them – it makes the world a far better place, not only for others – but for ourselves too!!


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Suicide video at “Choose Life” Conference

I was recently asked to speak for 10 minutes at the “Choose Life” conference held in Kirkcaldy. ¬†I was very humbled by many of the speakers and the work they are continuing to do, day in, day out! ¬†It really is amazing to see individuals turn their trauma into something that helps other people. ¬†And it is not done with ease – it is done often through a lot of pain and suffering. ¬†But, it often get right to the heart of matters because it is coming from a place of experience. ¬†Many of the organizations provide support at the most crucial moments in a person’s life – so is invaluable!!

We used the video on “Suicide of a Family Member” ¬†and it certainly held the audience in suspense as they listened to 5 minutes of painful raw emotions, but also a message of courage from Jackie Easton of¬†Curly Star Dream Foundation¬†. ¬†She has used the trauma of losing her daughter to set up a service which supports other families facing suicide of a family member.

This photo was taken at the conference while the video was being shown.

Curly Star Presentation film copy

 

For many people suicide is a word they don’t even want to utter, but it is a sad fact of daily life. ¬†Statistics show there were 6,581 suicides in the Uk and Republic of Ireland in 2014 showing that many families and friends will be affected. ¬†Even if you feel this is not something you have had to deal with, please share the information about the video whenever you can – because you might not even know which one of your friends or family who may need it.

 

http://www.famiiesintrauma.co.uk


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Gearing Up for our Launch – April 18th!

Before I go into the launch of our first 3 videos in April, I thought I’d share with you a little of where I visited in December as I haven’t done that yet. ¬†It was touch and go as to whether we could actually get there, due to one thing and another – but finally we did. ¬†Steve, my husband, had always wanted to get some lessons from a real flamenco guitar ¬†maestro and in December that’s exactly what we did! ¬†The rest and relaxation were just what we needed – and it reminded us also that we are still individuals, and that even if we are going through difficult times, it is essential to try to recharge our batteries. ¬† We visited Malaga and all the other little villages and towns along the Costa Del Sol. ¬†My favourite part was the weather as it was 25 degrees C – no one could complain at that! ¬†Here goes:

 

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Up in Mijas – seems to be a favourite haunt for many visitors.

 

 

 

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Many people come from all over the world to see the lights in Malaga – we can see why!

 

The weather in Marbella was very obliging.  Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

The weather in Marbella was very obliging. Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

 

And finally - Steve and I enjoying a boat trip.  Apparently we look like  70's rockers here :)

And finally – Steve and I enjoying a boat trip. Apparently we look like 70’s rockers here ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that seems to be  the relaxation over for another few months as we gear up for the launch of the videos.  Just to refresh your memory the subjects of the 3 videos are:

“Suicide of a family Member”

“Stillbirth”

“Rare Genetic Disorders in children – Kabuki Syndrome”

As you can imagine, all families affected by any of the above go through very traumatic experiences trying to cope with the actual event, and the ensuing ripples that always surround these very painful situations.

The videos really highlight the ins and outs of these situations and could be extremely helpful to someone who is suffering Рso please, please, please, share all information you can in the lead up to the launch and during the launch, as this is really a pilot project.  Hopefully we will get a good response from this, and it will convince funders to look favourably on the project and help us financially to be able to get out there and create many more and ultimately help families in a way that would never have been possible before social media.

We have a few really good high profile individuals who are keen to support families in Trauma, including Johnny Benjamin from the channel 4 documentary “Stranger on the Bridge” and the Twitter campaign “Find Mike” after a stranger stopped him from committing suicide on a bridge; Claire Baker MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and also Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health in Fife.

We have been able to get in a little help with the marketing of the ¬†initial pilot from the social enterprise “Along Came Kirsty” who are based in Dundee and have been really excellent to work with so far. ¬†I’ll keep you updated but was keen to use a local company that has the same type of social values as our own.

As we get closer to the launch РI will try to keep you informed as to what we are up to, but meantime Рplease share, share, and share again Рand if you have any suggestions  on how to help us Рby all means Рget in touch !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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New Year – New Families

 

FAMILIES IN TRAUMA IN 2016

Finally, I have managed to get back to writing my blog and will give you an update of where we are now and future plans for the new year. ¬†I’ll keep it brief – as I know how hard it is to read all the information we are bombarded with every day, especially if you are going through tough times!! ¬†So this should be short and sweet – I hope:)

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NEW OFFICE

During 2015 we managed to secure a tailored made office for ourselves down at Fife renewables innovation centre (the offices previously earmarked for the energy sector businesses Рwhich sadly took a downturn).  We gladly received excellent conditioned furniture and board table from Havelock Europa plc who, fotuitously, were moving premises at the time and happily contributed to charities and non-profit organisations.   Their loss was our gain.  Glad to see larger businesses sharing with non-profits.  Thank you!!  Rent still being paid by myself Рso hopefully funding should be on the horizon in next few months Рeek!

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LAUNCH OCTOBER 2015

We were thrilled to be able to launch Families in Trauma at the end of October and enjoyed a good turn out and excellent publicity from our local newspapers .  Margaret Hannah,  recently appointed Director of Public Health in Fife kindly joined us at the end of a very busy day to find out more about Families in Trauma and also to share her insights into new ways of connecting and helping families who may need crucial support.

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PLANS FOR 2016 – PILOT PROJECT

ScottishEnterprise¬†through Business Gateway have contributed a small fee to help with our pilot project which should be ready to launch at the end of January. ¬†Along came Kirsty¬†is the social enterprise who will be helping us with the initial pilot using our first 3 videos, covering suicide of family member,¬†¬†kabuki syndrome, and ¬†stillbirth¬†initially , to test the results and hopefully be able to start heightening the profile of Families in Trauma. ¬†We believe this is a sorely needed service and are really keen to get everyone involved in sharing the information, to help as many people as possible. Please do this whenever you can with any of FIT’s posts you feel will be helpful.

The initial test period for the pilot will be 30 days (as we can access the video platform we require for a 30 day free trial initially:)  )  So as soon as we have the results, we will share them with you.

Meanwhile please share, share and share again – you never know who you will be helping!!

sands logo              chooselife

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“Stay in the Day”

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that many of the people I’ve spoken¬†to seem to be suffering with depression or anxiety. ¬† ¬†Now it’s easy to get a medical dictionary definition of what depression is but that often doesn’t seem to help much at all. It seems, that if we have a shared experience – and we feel we can talk to others – it can be a really helpful tool as the sufferer does not feel quite so alone. In all the different areas of trauma, it seems that humans really need to “connect” with others.

Here are some of the expressions I’ve read or heard recently in personal conversations about depression:

“It’s like drowning, except you can see everyone around you breathing.”

“You feel like you are moving in slow motion.”

“You can see everyone else getting on with their lives, yet somehow or other, you’re not a part of it – it’s like you are in a bubble.”

“Everything seems hopeless.”

“Its like you have lost all interest in everything – nothing motivates you any more”.

So it’s not difficult to see why depression and anxiety are major problems when they hit! ¬† In fact, one in 4 people will experience some type of mental health problem over the course of a year.

Most people know the usual advice given by health professionals and try to put some of it into practise. The tried and tested methods often work – but it can sometimes take us a while¬†to get there. However sharing our experience with others, talking to trusted friends, keeping a diary, reading as much as you can about your own illness can all help – but one thing i found which was extremely helpful was to “stay in the day”!!!

What does this really mean though?? ¬† When our mind’s are racing, we cant sleep for our thoughts, its painful to remember things, we feel panic when we think about doing anything – its extremely important to rein our minds in¬†¬†(just as a thoroughbred horse needs to be reined in to train it), we need to do the same with our minds. Its one of the most important things I learned along my own journey.

Tomorrow will always take care of itself Рthe past is done and gone Рbut we must live in this day Рhere and now!  Take little steps Рdo not let your mind race ahead to next week, month, or year as it is impossible to  know what these will bring.

So if you feel you may be suffering depression or anxiety, try to find out as much as you can to help yourself – and try this one tip “stay in the day”!!