EMOTIONS……. never to be supressed

Emotions are precarious things as without warning they can change us from a super efficient person to a helpless heap in a flash.  Sadly we get judged on our ability to function in the world on our ability to mask our emotions because it’s unprofessional or considered weak to show our true emotions.

We are not encouraged to say how we truly feel at that exact moment in time if asked because if we reveal that despite looking fab we are actually falling apart at the seams the person who asked the question possibly just asked it for conversation’s sake and really didn’t want to know as they don’t want to deal with the real answer.  So we plaster and smile on our faces and announce ” Brilliant, fine, wonderful”.

Who the hell are we fooling or damaging in this quest to cover our emotions in a world which requires we mask them because showing them is not the right thing to do? We are only fooling and damaging us.   It seems that emotions can only be brought out for occasions like weddings, funerals and other celebrations or experiences.

Emotions are Fear, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Suprise, Contempt.

Children over the ages were not and are still not encouraged to express their true emotions throughout their childhood. If they cry they are accused of being babies if they are afraid they are accused of being silly if they say something disgusts them by using the word gross or wrinkling their noses up in disgust they are told the item is lovely.  If they are disrespectful they are accused of being contempt towards a person whom they are struggling to give space in their lives.

No wonder as adults we struggle with showing our true emotions in a world which encourages the emotions of children to be suppressed.   If as children we are not allowed to cry when sad, scream when afraid, laugh out load when joyful, make a face when disgusted,  jump up and down when surprised or show our aversion towards something or a person how they hell as adults can we expect to be emotionally healthy in all areas of our lives?

Suppressed emotions cause untold damage which is carried from our childhood all through our adulthood affecting every aspect of all relationships in every sphere and domain we enter.

This behaviour pattern is then carried down from us to the next generation unless we as parents, mentors, leaders or experts nip it in the bud.  As a person who has walked this path, it is my quest to let everyone know that it is actually ok to express emotions because boxing them up and trying to compress them instead of showing them as they are is detrimental to our health.  Hiding our feelings and emotions causes stress which manifests its self through self-destructive thoughts or behaviour or both.   This self-destructive pattern will, in turn, have a domino effect on our relationships in life.

If showing emotions saves lives then let us be as emotional as we want to because being emotional is far better than being suicidal.

We would never feel the pressure of emotions pressing down on us like rocks if from childhood our emotions were listened to and acted on by our parents/guardians.

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Embraced by cold comfort

Embraced by the cold comfort of knowing its a battle to get motivated to do the basics which are required by society to act and function like a normal person.  But then again what is normal and who gets to classify normality?   What is normal for one is abnormal for others.

So here I sit or stand on the cusp of normality wondering in my mixed state of suppressed depression and confusion how do I function today?   This question is not new in fact it’s a question asked daily by people all over the world of different race, religion and sexual orientation.  No one has the answer because it’s not a one fix question.  What works for one does not work for everyone in this universe of ours.

To even get diagnosed is a lost battle so I live my life through trial and error. Sometimes the errors out weight the good moments created by things, people, places and methods I have found to help me function normally.  So normality varies because some would say it’s abnormal to stand at a patio door looking out at the sun but not being able to summon up whatever is need to actually feel the sun warm my skin. This is a reality for me along with a self-inflicted isolation because avoiding people is better than partaking in conversations which might add to unseen wounds. Wounds which if could be seen would scare even the bravest because they are cut wide open exposing every fibre of feeling, emotion and truth deep within me.  But because the reality is mental illness cannot be seen some think suffers are odd or are avoiding them on purpose,

Invitations flood in every day and with the best of intentions I say “Yes count me in” backing out so totally infuriating some who care but not bothering those who don’t.

Each of us knows someone who is struggling in some way or other,  yet are guilty of staying on the fast merry go round of life never noting who has slipped off on the last ride.  Slipping off unnoticed without a safety net can have a domino effect of a spiralling sense of isolation which can lead to a massive sense of worthlessness.  This in hand can lead to a series of catastrophic events in all areas of our lives.

Grab a hand today of the person falling off of life and help them see their worth.  Take the time to really listen with very open ears, an open heart and a nonjudgmental attitude because you could be that hero who saves a life.

Mental Illness is like a crushing rock which nobody else can see but the suffer.

It is a rock which can kill through suicide.

Let us keep talking

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Without Consent Sex/Love Making Is Rape

Without consent sex is rape. There are no grey areas. It’s as simple as black and white, day and night or YES and NO.
If a person says ‘s maybe that is not consenting because maybe is not yes. Maybe is the space in which a person is still deciding if they want to make love or have sex and if you invade that space by forcing the person to have sex/make love then you are a rapist.
“Rape is the total invasion and destruction of one person by another person but with help, the victim can and will recover”.
What qualifies me to say this is that I have been there and have lived through the rape and full recovery. Now I have chosen to use my voice to help others to see what has happened to them was rape and wasn’t their fault because rape is the rapist’s fault never the victims. Our society is to fast to victim blame and this attitude has to stop because it stops so many victims of rape both male and female from reporting this serious crime which was inflicted on them by either a stranger or a person they know. Most of us are raped by someone we know and that can make it even harder because the questions are always there. Why didn’t I detect something before in my rapist’s manner? Why did I let them close to me? What if I never loved them? Am I so fucking gullible that I let a rapist close to me? Even all these years later I ask myself so many questions as I look at photo’s of us together in embraces. But I refuse to let the past eat me up because at 53 I have a long and positive future even if it hit a wall when I was in my 40’s.
My rape never got to court because the DPP sitting in some office decided that the evidence was inadmissible. My anger raged against this faceless person who as far as I was concerned was colluding with my rapist despite the fact that neither never met nor were likely to ever meet. But over time I realised that I could use my mistakes to empower others. One massive mistake I made was to wash. I had a shower the morning after he raped me. In doing so I washed away the evidence of rape. Lesson learned as dirty as a rape victim feels kill every urge to wash away everything until after the examination in SATU. When washing never use your favourite shower gel or soap because the small will make you remember everything for years to come. Instead, buy a cheap brand which you are unlikely to ever use again.

While I work fulltime to pay my bills because a girl can’t live on fresh air or in her parents home forever I plan this year to run a series of workshops to talk about my life experiences and topics which I am passionate about if you would like one in your area please contact me at bernieadufedarcy@gmail.com

To fight back or not to fight back ???

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#MeToo

“Me too” her little voice spoke as loud as she could.  “Me too” she chanted as if it was a prayer stumbling over the words as she got more and more excited. Getting caught up in the excitement of  Friday treat time.  Excitedly eyeing the unseen shapes in the brown paper bag Daddy religiously brought home week after week, month after month and year after year come hail rain or snow.  “Me too” was uttered without knowing what the words would mean as an adult because at that moment captured in time meant that she also wanted her treat of a walnut whirl wrapped in its blue slippy paper.

Oh, the excitement every Friday of debating with herself which way to eat this treat today.    Will the Walnut on the top be removed and eaten first or kept for later after eating the thick creamy chocolate and the white fluffy filling inside or should the nut be eaten first to be mixed in the childish mouth with chocolate and creamy filling?             “Me too”  as she stepped in dancing excitement as Daddy gave Mammy her apples and then handed out the treats to the two girls.  “Me too” as she reached for her Friday treat not knowing the significance that these two small words would have in her life as a mature adult.

#METOO stood out in bold print and its significance hit me like a ton of bricks because now these words were no longer my childish chant but a hashtag on Twitter.                 The “Me Too” of my childhood a distant memory to be always cherished but washed away by the significance of  #METOO.  As I read each tweet and FB status I  was dragged back down a dark hole of memories which had lain buried under happy memories.  I guess this was a trigger point again.   Slowly my list of  #MeToo grew before my eyes and as it grew my determination not to be ashamed or hid my past grew.  Only good will prevail over all this evil.

#MeToo: Yes a man who was in a position of trust by adults groped me as I passed him when I was getting off the bus after a school tour. He asked me to meet him later when the bus was empty.  I ran to my friends knowing this wasn’t right.  I told one friend and she wanted me to go back later to see what he would do.  Thankfully the fear of being caught out late as child overrode my curiosity as to what this creep wanted.                    #MeToo:  Yes a colleague used to make me feel very uncomfortable by giving me sly looks and stating that he loved the way I stood when I was doing a particular job. I grew paranoid about how I stood. I reported this to a superior to be told just to ignore him.        #MeToo: I was abused emotionally, financially, mentally and physically so much that I got a safety order and should have taken the barring order the Judge was giving me. Sex without consent is rape but when the DPP decided my case didn’t have enough evidence it wasn’t brought to court.

#MeToo:  I got marooned in the snow after bringing a friend home and stayed the night in his place.  I felt safe because well sure he knew I’d been abused before so would not hurt me. I was anally raped.                                                                                                            #MeToo:  I was grabbed in a lift by a man because I looked hot in my red suit.  I ran shaking with terror and tears rolling down my face.  I love that red suit which I still have but have not worn since that day about ten years ago.  One day I will put it on again when I am ready.

#MeToo:  I was harassed by a total stranger when he asked for directions to Leopardstown and I could only direct him to Dublin.  He threw down his bike and ran at me screaming.  I ran into the road but nobody stopped to help me. People drove by on their merry little way in their rosy little worlds while mine was shaking.                         #MeToo:  I got verbally abused today by a customer but because I was at work there wasn’t a lot I could do. I asked him if he wanted a manager and that just made him worse.  But to him and others like him, I am just the service provider behind the butcher counter who is there to serve them no matter what abuse is hurled my way.  I smile as my late father always said kill them with kindness.

Abuse, harassment call it what you like has to be abolished from our race the human race because it’s grossly inhuman to mistreat others.   Future generations deserve to know that they can feel safe everywhere without fear of that childish shout of “Me Too” turning in to the adult hashtag #MeToo.

One thing I could write in concrete is that I would never  have gotten where I am today without the wonderful work of everyone at the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Women’s Aid

Speaking From Experience And My Heart

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#MeToo

“Me too” her little voice spoke as loud as she could.  “Me too” she chanted as if it was a prayer stumbling over the words as she got more and more excited. Getting caught up in the excitement of  Friday treat time.  Excitedly eyeing the unseen shapes in the brown paper bag Daddy religiously brought home week after week, month after month and year after year come hail rain or snow.  “Me too” was uttered without knowing what the words would mean as an adult because at that moment captured in time meant that she also wanted her treat of a walnut whirl wrapped in its blue slippy paper.

Oh, the excitement every Friday of debating with herself which way to eat this treat today.    Will the Walnut on the top be removed and eaten first or kept for later after eating the thick creamy chocolate and the white fluffy filling inside or should the nut be eaten first to be mixed in the childish mouth with chocolate and creamy filling?             “Me too”  as she stepped in dancing excitement as Daddy gave Mammy her apples and then handed out the treats to the two girls.  “Me too” as she reached for her Friday treat not knowing the significance that these two small words would have in her life as a mature adult.

#METOO stood out in bold print and its significance hit me like a ton of bricks because now these words were no longer my childish chant but a hashtag on Twitter.                 The “Me Too” of my childhood a distant memory to be always cherished but washed away by the significance of  #METOO.  As I read each tweet and FB status I  was dragged back down a dark hole of memories which had lain buried under happy memories.  I guess this was a trigger point again.   Slowly my list of  #MeToo grew before my eyes and as it grew my determination not to be ashamed or hid my past grew.  Only good will prevail over all this evil.

#MeToo: Yes a man who was in a position of trust by adults groped me as I passed him when I was getting off the bus after a school tour. He asked me to meet him later when the bus was empty.  I ran to my friends knowing this wasn’t right.  I told one friend and she wanted me to go back later to see what he would do.  Thankfully the fear of being caught out late as child overrode my curiosity as to what this creep wanted.                    #MeToo:  Yes a colleague used to make me feel very uncomfortable by giving me sly looks and stating that he loved the way I stood when I was doing a particular job. I grew paranoid about how I stood. I reported this to a superior to be told just to ignore him.        #MeToo: I was abused emotionally, financially, mentally and physically so much that I got a safety order and should have taken the barring order the Judge was giving me. Sex without consent is rape but when the DPP decided my case didn’t have enough evidence it wasn’t brought to court.

#MeToo:  I got marooned in the snow after bringing a friend home and stayed the night in his place.  I felt safe because well sure he knew I’d been abused before so would not hurt me. I was anally raped.                                                                                                            #MeToo:  I was grabbed in a lift by a man because I looked hot in my red suit.  I ran shaking with terror and tears rolling down my face.  I love that red suit which I still have but have not worn since that day about ten years ago.  One day I will put it on again when I am ready.                                                                                                                                    #MeToo:  I was harassed by a total stranger when he asked for directions to Leopardstown and I could only direct him to Dublin.  He threw down his bike and ran at me screaming.  I ran into the road but nobody stopped to help me. People drove by on their merry little way in their rosy little worlds while mine was shaking.                         #MeToo:  I got verbally abused today by a customer but because I was at work there wasn’t a lot I could do. I asked him if he wanted a manager and that just made him worse.  But to him and others like him, I am just the service provider behind the butcher counter who is there to serve them no matter what abuse is hurled my way.  I smile as my late father always said kill them with kindness.

Abuse, harassment call it what you like has to be abolished from our race the human race because it’s grossly inhuman to mistreat others.   Future generations deserve to know that they can feel safe everywhere without fear of that childish shout of “Me Too” turning in to the adult hashtag #MeToo.

One thing I could write in concrete is that I would never  have gotten where I am today without the wonderful work of everyone at the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Women’s Aid

 

From The Top Down And Back Up Again

Everything has to be communicated right through a company for it to be totally effective in this climate of fast-growing retail outlets worldwide. Without efficient communication, a company can lose hundreds daily or billions yearly. Companies collapse because they have gained massive loses through something as simple as lack of communication from the top layer of the management right down to the last worker to be recruited and vice versa. Never assume anything is fully communicated by the person you ask to tell everyone because as in Chinese whispers communications can get distorted.

“Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong” Albert Einstein

Communication is only as effective as the communicator. Some people are atrocious when it comes to communication and keep important information to themselves because they think it’s beyond anyone else’s ability to act on it. Or else the information filters down the line only so far and its effectiveness is lost therefore meaning not everyone knows what way to do things or what to actually do. At times its decided that certain people don’t need this information for their job despite it being vital to their work and its assumed by many it’s not relevant to their job or position. Communication is not rocket science and can be done in so many ways via modern technology but there is still a lot to be said for the old-fashioned handover book. Nobody can say they didn’t see the handover notes written in this book if it is routinely filled out at the end of each shift by the Manager or colleague before he or she leaves work every day and signed by them plus the receiver.

For the wheels of business to run effectively, it’s not only the big issues which need to be communicated but the smaller ones also. The smaller issues when passed down from the top to the bottom and back up again can be solved before they generate massive losses for any company. For each department within any business to reach its full potential everyone has to be motivated through communication and this communication while being about company facts and sales figures should also contain words of encouragement and praise no matter how small a contribution a person makes to the company. Without each person, the department would not be complete therefore the company would be missing a vital cog in productivity in its wheel.

While it’s great to be seen to be communicating but ask yourself are you actually communicating efficiently and effectively? Are you communicating more with those outside your place of work or those within it? By this I mean are you talking on the phone more than talking to those actually working around you daily and are you so in tune with everyone that you understand and can see what they have done are doing before barking at them about more tasks. If your barking across the office, company space its time to examine your communication skills and get retrained in this area. The words used and how they are used makes a massive difference when talking to everyone about anything. Also, examine what is being communicated daily to see how productivity is being affected. Simple tasks left unfinished or undone have a domino effect on any company and this will be seen in financial records. The interaction between departments or offices is vital so that hours allocated to each area are used properly and not overspent leading to a wage over the mark allocated for the year.

Open communication is vital in every area of business from the training of new staff to the motivation of all staff. If new staff or those transferred to other areas of the business are not trained properly by communicating their roles and tasks efficiently this, in turn, can lead to a massive lack of confidence in them about their own abilities and by others. Proper training is vital for a business to be profitable and for the services to be given to the customers which leave a good reflection on the service provider and the company. Nobody in their right mind is going to want to do business with a company who has not communicated tasks/responsibilities from the top right down to the bottom leaving massive margins for error. While some companies communicate from the top to the bottom and back up again this communication is ineffective because of the manner it is delivered.

Remember workers are human and the human personal touch is vital in every area of life. Also, remember that those at the bottom can get to the top and those at the top of any company can slide to the bottom. Communicate without belittling, humiliating, bullying or hurting anyone because everyone is important to the company.

Bernadette A D’Arcy

Talking to Da

Da!  I can’t see nor hear you but Da I know you know that I still have a lot to say because so much was left unsaid. Unsaid things which rattle and whoosh through my mind at the strangest of times.  But Da I have so much more to say than what we said because at times we just chit chatted about this, that, the other and really nothing in the long run.  Yes! Da we hit the serious stuff a few times but we always gently waltzed back to the mundane topics of daily life a life which was being sucked out of you by cancer. Yes, fucking cancer which robbed you from me Da.  See I’m still so angry that I’m actually swearing when talking to you and in all my years I never swore within hearing distance of you Da for fear of getting a slap.  A slap which was allowed when I was a child.

Da even after 13 years my anger hasn’t ebbed its roaring like a tsunami or a hurricane because we had only really connected for the first time ever in my 40 years.  Yes, Da I was 40 when you made your silent exit out of my world a world which went into freefall after you died.  My guilt at not insisting that you died or were at least waked at home eats me up every time I think of you pleading with me to take you home.  But your home wasn’t my domain for me to make those decisions in.  Oh! Da I let you down big time.  I didn’t grab courage by the balls and give you what you asked for.  Instead, I let you die in the room where my brother had been born.  But Da if its any consolation to you now just know that you went so peacefully and Ma, Mary, Me and Kevin were by your side.

The anger which ebbs below the brim of me consumes me at times so that I have to escape from reality and the only way to do that without actually telling everyone to fuck off Da is to cycle until I am spent.  No amount of talking or crying seems able to quench this fire of glowing embers of anger because cancer stole you just as we were getting on so well.    Talking of cycling I went through Tara Hill yesterday for the first time in over 30 years and stood looking at the little church where you walked me up the aisle because what else could you do in good old Catholic Ireland in the 80’s with a pregnant 19 yr old daughter.  Yes! Da this scene I now call forced marriage Irish style.  Da! I cried in that village yesterday for the lost teenager and the adult who has lost her Da for 13 years. But crying won’t fix a thing or will it bring you back. But fuck it Da you live in my memories and that is how I have you now. I have you in memories, photos and your sayings.

Da, Da do you hear me at all or are you ignoring me or praying?  Yes, Da it’s late, Yes Da its time I slept but sure musha I will be back to talk to you again because there is so much unsaid waiting to be said.

Da…….  to each of the three of us you gave different memories and at times I wonder were we reared in the same house by the same Da.

No Da I’m not rambling or buying time before I sleep like a child looking for the fairy tale to continue. I’m an adult trying to talk to her Da, the same Da who bought Walnut whips as a treat on Fridays when she was a child but never really got to know her until he was nearly dead.

Everyone thinks they know why we didn’t get on and I guess some have theories about the subject.  But Da at least we discovered the answer before you died and all the theorists can fuck off.

Da…. Da sorry for swearing again.  Yes, Da your not to far away at all because basically your forever in my heart and always on my mind.

Talk soon Da, very soon ….

love you always Da.

Funny I was never a Daddy’s girl but I found my place at 40 and still miss it 13 years later.

Da… Yes, I’m going now.  Good night, God bless  and Don’t let the bed bugs bite

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