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The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


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Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The mechanics of a bad week ...

I get accupuncture every 6 weeks to help with the physical pain in my body ... however, the benefit extends to my PTSD as well.  Accupuncture helps to undo the valve on my stress issues too and allows me to chill right down to a 'dozy' level similar to someone smoking a spliff.

The problem is that when I have hospital appointments, and a few of them fall in the same week, it has already pushed up the stress scale.

Imagine a long tube made of glass that 's high enough to accomodate 10 tennis balls  - one on top of the other?  That's my stress scale.  If someone does something to me, they can top it up to 10 very quickly and then I can explode.  When I have a week like this, I'm already at 5 on Monday, instead of starting from zero.

Today took me near 10 very quickly.  I arrived at the hospital and parked the car.  The meter I usually pay at was broken.  Still on 5 balls.  I walk to the change machine to free up a note for a different meter.   It's out of order.  I walk further down a long corridor and find a shop, buy some gum and get some change.  So, still on 5 balls. 

I get the parking ticket and head to the treatment area.  I arrive at the reception to be told that that part of the pain clinic has moved to a different location and I'm given basic directions.  I arrive at the reception of the other building and I'm told my appointment was cancelled and that I have been booked in for tomorrow morning at 9am ....

..ding, ding, fucking ding!  I'm up to 8 balls in the space of 5 seconds.  Mornings are never good for hospital appointments as I need to get into a bath ASAP in the morning as part of my 'pain management' routine.

The week is packed as it is and that's why I always want appointments booked well in advance; so as to avoid stressy situations - especially as I'm making arrangements for some photography and I need that time left alone to focus on preperations for my therapeutic work.

I manage to get the admin person to change the appointment to the afternoon and she apologises for the cock-up.  Back down to 7 balls.

I go back to the main reception area and ask the lady at the front desk where the manager is as I want to speak with the person.  She looks at me and asks me if I want to complain about her.  I say 'no'.  She goes back to the other people in the queue - of which there were two but now seems to have become one and leaves me standing on the side.  She asks me to wait aside and goes back to working her  queue.   8 balls.

I walk  off and speak to a volunteer that's on duty and ask where the managers are for the booking office or for PALS (the NHS complaints office).  Theyre on the other side of the hospital and the directions aren't seeping in to my stressed out brain. 9 balls.  He seems to recognise this and asks me to wait there while brings back a manager from the booking office.  8 balls.

He comes back with 2 managers.  They've obviously looked up the appointment issue and the manager starts talking to me as if I had the letter they sent out about the change in appointments.  To which I reply ...why would I have turned up if you'd sent me a letter cancelling my appointment?  They say, 'Well, you're the first one that hasn't gotten the letter.'  Ding! 9 balls and I can feel the volcano getting ready for an eruption, so I tell them that I suffer with PTSD and that I'm doing my best to remaincalm but they aren't helping the situation.

I ask for a refund of the car parking as I'll need it tomorrow.  When you have a few regular appointments, it all mounts up.  We can't do that, the car parking is a seperate company.  I inform them that the service is payed for by them and they are responsible for the car parking fee being reimbursed, legally and morally.  The Manager says - ok use the same parking ticket and put a note on it for them to ring us if they have a problem with it and are about to walk off.  9,5 on the dinger scale!  I stop them and insist that they leave their names and that they take responsibility for this issue.  They do so.  Back to 9 balls.

On the way out I see the guy that helped me.  I go over to him and asks me if they sorted the matter out and I say 'yes'.  I shake his hand and thank him for his help and then get out of there ... as I don't want to risk meeting someone that might piss me off when I'm already on 9.

When someone is already ill with something, it doesn't help to try to side-line their issue.  The service has also changed and the appointments have gone from 6 weekly to anything between 9 and 10 weeks apart.  That's going to affect my long term care ... and they can't arrange future appointments with a mutually convenient date now .. apparently.  So how are you supposed to arrange your life around the disabilities, therapeutic work and treatments?  This is one of the other reasons that a lot of people walk away from medical care ... it can be hard work to just arrange sometimes and the situation isn't helped when changes are made without consultation and notification with regards to frequency of treatments.

Time to smudge and try to release some of this crap before having some food ...

Wolf

Monday, 26 April 2010

Baggy shorted geezer meets Lovely, Balding, Author type geezer ...

I can't remember the exact year 1998(?) ... I was running my computer business and working in the CAB service (civil human rights casework and advice type work).  I had had a meeting with his partner, Anne, re buying a PC in a local cafe that I used to go into for breakfast.  I used to build computer systems to the specs that people needed; that way it could be powered to speific needs rather all 'bells and whistles' that didn't really do much, plus the fact that if something went wrong, I just had to swap that part out, as opposed to some system manufacturers that custom  build stuff and make you buy a whole new system because something couldn't be taken apart.

Anyway, as ever my memory doesn't help me here but I have a flavour of a memory that I'd like to share ... the first time I met Derek I had this feeling of ease.  It might not have been apparent to him when I read his account of the meeting in the foreword of  'Words of a Wolf'.  I can't remember how I came behaved, acted or what I said ... but I know that he was easy to talk to and that he was a good human being.  That part of Derek thomspon is evident to all that meet him.  He speaks the truth and doesn't play mind games.  These are qualities I admire ... but they're enhanced when the person is also a caring, compassionate and sensetive.

I had to go to a medical in Plymouth I think, in order to be assessed re my PTSD and I didn't know anyone that could help me, as I was feeling very anxious about having a psychiatrist, sanctioned by the War Veterans Agency (as they were called then) ferreting around in my mind.  I think Derek actually offered to go with me.

I was tight as a drum on the trip over and I didn't even have the head space to consider things from Derek's perspective.  He was sitting next to an emotional bomb and the vibe must have been leaking out.  But I trust him and when he talks to me I feel calmer and that's how I got through this.  I trusted him enough to have him present throughout the interview, which laster over an hour I think.  Every scar to do with serving in Northern Ireland was opened up and at one point, I don't know whether it was intentional or not, the psychiatrist pressed a trigger that got a severe reaction and he was warned that I'd take his head off if he carried on down that path of questionning.  I feel myself tensing up even now as I write that memory.

I don't know what Derek was thinking as he sat there listening to the wounds being opened up to satisfy the probing of the system.  Maybe he'll share some of his thoughts of his own feelings here, as part of the reason for this blog is to help educate and inform friends of sufferers as well, in the hope that that they'll know what to expect if accompanying someone on a similar event. 

The agency assesses us every now and then to make sure that we're getting the correct level of war disablement pension and it always causes further trauma.  It takes months to calm down sufficiently enough to carry on with life without being a walking bomb .. and I still don't tell them everything ... because there are some thoughts and feelings that have to remain in the darkness of my soul ... and need to be buried there ... but I can feel those thoughts and memories pushing forward whenever the system probes me.

When the interview was over I turned myself back into forces mode.  I handed myself over to Derek and started shutting down, so that I wouldn't have to speak to anyone.  I didn't trust myself to be civil to anyone and I didn't want to risk hurting anyone, emotionally or physically.  Derek is safe .. I love the guy and would never do anything to hurt him ... certainly not knowingly.  Derek was now in charge of me.  I felt sufficiently traumatised by the interview that closing down was the only option and the only time I've been safe in the past ... is with other NCOs in the forces - well, the ones that knew what they were doing.  I felt that security within Derek.

We got onto the train for the journey back to Cornwall and we'd already worked out the plan.  I was next to the window and there were only 2 seats together, forward facing but near the exit.  No one else could interact with me and risk setting me off.  We ordered whiskey and I kept drinking whatever was there.  It was like being back in Northern Ireland.  Those times when some of us woud come off duty and drink so much to try to reduce the stress pains around our necks, just so that we could try to sleep ... but we'd never get drunk, coz we were keyed up so tight.  That's how I felt on that day with Derek, keyed up and tight, vulnerable, yet dangerous ... yet safe with my friend and he got me home okay.

Happy Birthday Derek ...  I miss you mate.  Thanks for being there for me ... and thanks for your friendship.

Love

Villayat

Ps .. he's older than me!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Rollercoaster ...

Today's been a tough ride so far.  It feels like someone put me in a glass, water filled capsule and gave it a good shaking.  It feels like my emotions are trying to tear something and the only thing they can tear is 'me'.  There's no rhyme or reason to it ... it's just one of those days when things are rough and I just have to sit here and weather it.  I'm nearly a week back into the meds now and it's getting worse.  If I didn't have such a lousy short-term memory, maybe I'd be able to remember more of how it was the last time I took a break from the meds and how it felt to come back on them and that information could console me.  Still, I suppose that these words will be on for future reference .. if I remember that they're here! :o)

I feel like it would be a bad idea to go dancing tonight.  Everything's too near the surface and bubbling.  I feel dangerous today and I'll not risk hurting someone with words or anythig else.  When I'm in this space it wouldn't take someone much to trigger a reaction.

I'm remembering all the things that calm me:  smudging, playing my flute, taking a hot bath and playing some soothing music.  So that's all I can do tonight as I sit here at the mercy of the ride.

Wolf

Darren Stevenson Exhibition 24 April - 5 May 2010

Cuadros are holding the above exhibition  at 1a Heathcote Street, Hockley, Nottingham NG1 3AF.

The pieces are a brilliant and the colours and shades provide a restful ambience for the soul and the eyes.

Find some time and check out the art.

Wolf

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Just for a laugh ...

Have you seen that group on Facebook?  'I Dont Need Anger Management ... You Just Need To Stop Pissin Me Off !!'?

I joined it ... more out of an act of flippancy than any real feeling on the subject ... or was it?

I sit and consider all the times that I've blown it with regard to PTSD.  The near scrapes, arguments, scraps ... and the one thing I can honestly say is I never started any of them.  I tend to be more of a peace loving, furry, cuddly creature ... until provoked.  It got me thinking about other Veterans that I've met in places like Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion clubs ... the ones that would kick off without some sort of provocation are in a minority; usually people that like violence for the sake of it.  But that's just my experience.  I guess the difference with Veterans is that we were conditioned and pushed, very hard, to never give up, whatever ths cost ... pushed so hard that that became part of the hard wiring.  Sometimes we can walk away from a situation ... sometimes we won't.

All people have to do to be able to interact and share space with someone that has PTSD (irrespective of how the condition was caused) is to just be thoughtful, don't judge, be polite, be calm and mind your manners.  The kind of thing that we were all brought up to do in past generations ... but hold on a minute!  Isn't that the way we should all be with all of human society anyway? 

If you're having a shitty day, stay at home and keep it to yourself ... don't pass it around.

Wolf

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Bottoming out ...

There seems to be a cycle with my PTSD ... yet whenever I try to describe it it feels like smoke slipping through my fingers ... kind of like waking up from some of my weird dreams ... a flavour of it resides like the smell of something from the past that gives you a hint of the issue or memory but then it's swallowed up quickly and disappears and I'm left frustrated because I haven't unravelled that part of the mystery.

That seems to be how I learn, how I cope ... how I explore myself in order to learn my triggers and why they occur ... and ultimately, what I can do to stop that happening.  It's a continuous, tiring process.  Certain memories of Northern Ireland were locked deep within me and they were bought out over a number of years by various counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists.  The memory that I described to the Nottingham Evening Post was one of those.  It's a particularly important one as it had an effect on a chain of events when I served in the Metropolitan Police a little while later, back in the 80s.  It's something that I hadn't told anyone about because when the bomb exploded, we were in an area where we shouldn't have been.

I go through periods of time when I need to cease taking all medications for a little while (even though they're mainly herbal - eg St Jons Wort, Valerian and Lemon Balm.  Amitryptaline's the prescribed med), as I feel that a build up of chemicals in the body could be harmful long term.  I listen to my body and it tells me what I need ... the same as if it tells me to eat more fish or fruit ... or a green chilli infested pizza!  I've just got to that stage now where the meds need to be started again ... so I did so on Wednesday. 

So I've bottomed out ... again and am now waiting for that space when I can balance out again and cope in a better way.

My thoughts turn to the service personnel coming back now from various areas and the ones that are wandering around without diagnosis or support.  They're walking around in that 'hell' created by the greed of politicians.  So many Veterans slipped the net of care, not that it existed in any effective way, from Northern Ireland, the Falklands and the Balkans, let alone current engagements ... and what about those that survived and might still be alive from earlier engagements such as WWII and the other engagements since?  A lot of them are on their own and won't ask for help because they know where they have to walk to be able to face the issue ... the mirror to their souls.  It's not an easy journey to make ... but neither is it an impossible one.  There are those that care and will help you if you let them?

But that does have to be a balanced journey.  Service personnel are used to taking care of themselves in tough situations and the approach toward providing them with care must be a balanced one ... eg you empower them to decide a way forward ... together.  One of the reasons that PTSD can develop is through being in a situation where you have no control.  The worst thing you can do to me (or perhaps anyone suffering from PTSD) is to decide something for me, without consultation and leave me in that same space of hopelessness.  I'm an adult that's been coping with this condition for a few years now; 26 years to be exact.  That means that I will probably have more experience in dealing with PTSD than some practitioners.  Some mental health practitioners feel that they know exactly what's needed and try to force a certain way onto Veterans, whether it's medication or other things.  The more switched on Veterans know what will work for them, as they'll have tried different things.  Some of us don't need meds of that sort.  We need someone to talk to, so that we can put our thoughts into some kind of order from the week's processing.  What works for me is a weekly session with a counsellor and he allows me to put my thoughts into order and to allow me to function til the next week.  The mind altering meds, the various other forms of treatment have all been tried over the years and they don't work for me.

What does work is meditation, smudging and sitting in silence ... and having the ability to talk to another person once a week, which I pay for.  The NHS tell you that they're not geared for that though ... and the service I use has a 2 year treatment limit.  I've been referred to a new setup within the NHS.  I'll go along and see if they can offer me what I need.  I'll be honest and say that I don't hold out much hope for that happening ... but I'll give it a go.  If they can't carry on where the counsellor left off, I'll be without support for a while ... again.  The only option that I'll have then is to go back on the waiting list for the voluntary counselling organisation again.  By the way, they're called Nottingham Counselling Services, just in case you want to approach them for your own needs.

The salsa still helps ... any physical exercise does ... but the beneficial effects don't even last 'til bed time at the moment ... and the pain in my body is great by the time I reach home.  Some of the people talk to me at the dances and  I usually have a laugh with a couple of them, which helps a lot.   I still get the odd one that tries to ask about PTSD etc and they have to be reminded that I go to salsa to escape it and it's not appropriate to ask me about the issue when I'm out.  It's nice when I can meet ladies that want to have a little chat while we dance too :o)

Still, it's another day, the leaves and blossoms are appearing on the trees and the sun is shining.  My thoughts turn toward osprey and Scotland and I wonder if the pair that I visit made it back safely from Africa to their breeding spot.

Later

Wolf

Thursday, 15 April 2010

You might as well catch the last part of the discussion from the day before ...

Amanda

Hi Wolf.....


thank you for your comments on the posting i copied on to here,

I didn't put it up with intent of abusing anyone or with racist intent against anyone and i am sorryif it has come across that way maybe i should have looked closer at what i am copying as the last paragraph wasn't intended to be copied on to here....

My intention was simply that no matter who you are or where you are going in the world there is such thing as compassion and honour amongst men......If you see someone without a meal then give them one......

I have nothing against foreigners in general as anyone that knows me would already know this,I have a muslim step mum and i also have a dual national uncle,a lot of my friends are of different cultures so prejudice against creed or colour i am not...Yes the world is a smaller place and Britain is a dot on the landscape but it is getting smaller by the minute,why does everyone want to settle here?? why not use other countries to settle in also....we can only hold so many people and the population here is overrun causing strains on our national health services,benefits sections and housing to say the least......You cant tell me that all foreigners that came to settle in this country are working as you will probably find that a vast majority are not!!! so for these foreigners they should be sent to countries where there is employment and allow them to settle there am i wrong??? That is also said for the British people then maybe we wouldn't have so many on benefits,drinking all day or taking drugs going round stabbing people and commiting crimes.....

You mention slave labour...... nobody asked them to come here and work is there not employment in their native land??

if not then thats up to them to take it up with their own government and change things in their own countries to better their way of life,yes they are poverty stricken but would they be better off in their own native country???at least here they have a roof over their heads,food provided by shelters etc,warmth,clothes,money and a short cut to national health would we also be welcome to the same in other countries???? i think not !!!! As part of an EU country am i entitled to benefits or national health in another EU country if i take up residency there???? this is also a big fat no as i have had to pay for treatments when needed.....

Yes the Ghurka's are from foreign lands originating from Rajastan early 7/8 century but thats a different story,they were eventually made protectorate nationals early 1800's....this therefore if anyone wants to read up on them made the British and part of the British forces.....Yes they are one of the best forces inthe world and they have honour amongst men as do all armed services take a look at the chinese they are taught about honour from birth.......but this is getting away from the point i was trying to make and turning it into something it is not..You tell me i dont know about honour well i am afraid you are sadly mistaken.....And as for warrior well believe me i know enough of them and if health issues hadn't stopped me from being out there with them then i would have been.....yes soldiers help anyone and fight for anyone because thats who they are......

I also know all about PTSD as i have a brother who suffered the same after the first Iraq war and us as a family suffered with him and if you checked me out you would find i am gathering funds for more awareness and help with PTSD as i do with a lot of forces charities......Your right i do have a heart of gold and will try my hardest to help the troops any way i can

I am not going to beg forgiveness i made a simple mistake and shall correct it by removing the post and putting an edited version of it back up......

Oh and dont worry i am taking up a lot of issues with the MOD and the Government to hopefully get things changed for the better but i cant do it alone.....

Have a great day

Amanda x



Yesterday at 10:31am.Villayat

Thanks for replying Amanda, it's been a healthy discussion.

I'm posting some links here to answer some of the oither questions that you've raised about. You've touched on some complex issues but at the crux of it all is one simple fact. There are too many humans on the planet. Border control isn't a long term solution. Until humans enforce a breeding limit on themselves, things will continue to get worse. Leaders and politicians will contrive justifications for war and they'll get away with it because war is also a culling process for humans.

I did some research on immigration and ex-pats a few years back and it seems that the numbers of British people leaving the country balance up the numbers of legitimate immigrants.

The following link answers your question about slave labour, the British government asked the immigrants to come here and work when there was a labour shortage after WW II: http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj68/brown.htm

If you look at the law surrounding benefits and immigration, they're not entitled to anything that a citizen gets for a period of time - it depends on their personal circumstances, as they have to be able to support themselves. Political asylum is an international responsibility and all UN member nations have to, and do, bear a part of that burden.

If we move to other countries in Europe, we are entitled to claim benefits there, depending on the specifics of the agreement between their nation and ours and on the type of membership that they have in the EU. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/BritonsLivingAbroad/Moneyabroad/DG_4000102

When I go travelling through other European countries, I take my NHS medical ID with me and that entitles me to medical care. The law's changing on the issue and we'll get free medical care in any of the 27 countries soon: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/2232054/NHS-patients-will-have-right-to-free-medical-treatment-in-Europe.html

Whatever you've said about immigrants here, another country has said about ex-pats that have moved to their country.

What's the solution? Here are some ideas: Limit all families to two kids in the UK. I can't see a political party having the bottle to implement that though, it'd be political suicide, because on the whole, humans are a very selfish species. Responsible humans seem to be the minority. China restricted theirs to one. It started to address their over- population issue. Allow Euthanasia and give people that are near the end of their journey the right to a dignified ending. That would ease some pressure on the NHS. Work on using more green fuels and resources and end the need for war to secure oil resources that belong to other nations.

No one should be made to beg for anything let alone forgiveness. Your apology was enough.

One last thing though. If you somehow got a bloke to excrete a melon would he know how a woman felt during pregnancy and childbirth? The hormonal changes; the physical changes; the emotional changes? He doesn't have the right sort of orrifice for a start. Does this paragraph sound rediculous? Unless you've actually been a veteran and contracted PTSD as a result of your duties, you will never know what it's like. And you should be grateful for that as I wouldn't wish this condition on anyone. You'll have an idea based on what you've witnessed or heard from your brother. But you'll never know what it's like to live with his PTSD, simply because you're not him.

Thanks for all the work that you're doing to raise awareness of PTSD in veterans and your other help. Check out 'words of a Wolf' and join the group? :o)

It's been an interesting discussion. I feel that you should leave this discussion in tact as it's raised a lot of issues that are talked about in British society that people are ignorant about and there needs to be some accurate information put out about the issues.

Have a good night

Wolf x

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I saw this on Facebook today ...

A British Serviceman is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to ' United Kingdom ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'   

That is Honour, and there are way too many foreigners in this country who don't understand it.'

It started off with a story about how someone bought some lads a meal - soldiers who were off for some advance training before being deployed to Afghanistan.  You can read the full story on:   http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=13403&post=65751&uid=44700302225#!/topic.php?uid=44700302225&topic=13403&ref=nf

The last two paragraphs gave me an itch that I had to scratch:

Foreigners aren't the issue here. It's governments that choose to engage us in conflicts that aren't necessarily just, but that aside, I wish to take issue with your last paragraph. I'm not sure whether you wrote it or are just quoting it. I remember seeing a similar message a while back about an american serviceman.


Your story, while touching in sentiment re buying the lads a meal, spreads an under current of racism and that is not acceptable.

I'm a British Forces Veteran. My ancestry is from India. I was born in England, first generation, back in 1964.

What you quoted or said about foreigners in this country is what some people in other countries say about British settlers. You need to start realising that the world is a smaller place now and people of all races and cultures move amongst eachother nowadays .. and that's a good thing because it promotes understanding and tolerance, which in turn will promote peace.


If you're going to do a good deed, keep it pure ... don't taint it with racism. I'm getting a bit sick of some of the stuff I'm reading from 'supporters' of our armed forces. It's showing double standards. If you don't like 'foreigners' start lobbying your MPs to stay out of their countries and their affairs .. end of.

'Foreginers' are imported into this country to do the menial jobs that no local bod wants to do. It's a continuation of the policies of the British government from the 50s and 60s. That's how my dad ended up coming here. The difference is that now it's the Eastern Europeans that are being subjected to unacceptable wage levels and subsequent poverty. But, you don't hear them complaining about it, they just get on with it while indigenous natives moan about not being able to find a job. Slave labour ring a bell? Ask the Asian and Black communities' elders about it.

You also get the successful 'foreigners' that apply for high salaried positions on the strength of having worked hard and beaten the local competition on an equal opportunities type interview. I like seeing different people, hearing different accents and sampling different cultures in this country. It keeps the biggots at bay and enriches societies.

The Ghurkas are 'foreigners'. Would you dare to teach them about honour? They're some of the best soldiers in the world. They serve the Crown, and proudly, but they are from Nepal and they are a part of OUR British Armed Forces.

I live with PTSD now as a result of a 2 year tour in Northern Ireland. Are you going to teach me too?

Mind what you say and don't taint us with words that aren't worthy of a warrior. Those of us that did the job right helped anyone, risked our lives for anyone, irrespective of their race or religion.

Honour is not a British concept, it's an International one. So please don't taint it with your words. It exists amongst the enemy too and soldiers need to remember that. Just because someone else breaks the rules of engagement or violates someone's human rights, we should not. Standards have to be maintained and the 'honourable' soldiers in the world all over are the ones that do that; now remember, I just used the word 'soldiers' not 'terrorists'. I haven't got time for terrorists that hurt innocents from anywhere. I hold no grudges againt the IRA or INLA or any of the other parties in Northern Ireland for what happened to me out there ... because I wrote that 'cheque' you mention, I took the queen's shilling and I did the job. It was MY decision to serve ... so I was a legitimate target. It's the innocent lives they took that they must never be forgiven for.

Now you might be a really nice person with a heart of gold ... but you might also be someone that harbours racist tendencies. Be careful what you write and how you write it ... and please don't write about 'honour' as you don't have sufficient awareness of it.

Racism exists in every country. Try stamping it out. The Armed Forces in this country have come forward a ways from the racism that existed within the ranks in the 80s. Comments like your last paragraph have a way of sending them backwards. The majority of people in the Armed Forces do the job right, without any sort of discrimination.

One last thing ... it's the tight gits in the Ministry of  Defence that should have been paying for those meals as the lads were on duty.

Have a good day.

Wolf

Monday, 12 April 2010

Feeling more settled today ...

I took my mind of things by starting work on another book.  This one's about my travels.  It'll be part of the awareness raising project for PTSD in Veterans but the focus is more on photography and using creativity as a coping mechanism.

I actually started formatting the biography too and am hoping that I can chop and change between the two projects - especially when the biography gets stressful again.

I need to get out somewhere with my cameras again too.  I asked Mat about meeting up re Costa Rica.  I need to find out a lot more information first though - like whether the volcano is still active and spewing lava.

Watch this space!

Wolf

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Kids went back today ...

The five days that they were here just flew by, one flowing into another.  We had a good time on the whole.  My need for peace and quiet got the better of me now and then when they got too noisy.  They're good kids though and so easily pleased.  We had so many games of monopoly, some lovely food from the local pakistani and indian food shops and we talked.  We watched movies and we did some work in the garden, setting up a watering hole for the animals (with or without wings) that visit this garden.  We talked about so many different things ... sharing words as a father to children and vice-versa ... and some as friends.  Sometimes they were just happy to quietly read their books.

The house feels empty today as the echo of their energy remains ... but slowly fades and I have to re-adjust to the solitude.

I went to a salsa dance tonight to take my mind of the emptiness ... and now I'm back, listening to the echo of their humour, laughter and shared thoughts.  I've been in this space before and it never gets easier.

I miss them ...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Honest moments with the cubs ...

The time's flown by quicker than usual with my kids being here.  They got here Monday and there's a feeling of the time accelerating quicker than any of us wants.

We've had quite a few games of monopoly and I got my arse kicked by my daughter on one of them.

We smudged with some dried white sage and talked tonight ... about PTSD and how hard life can be with the condition;  how difficult it is to get from one day to the next sometimes.  Raising their awareness that while the issue may be coming to light because of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, that there are thousands of veterans from earlier conflicts that still need help.  They have a copy of my poetry book that tells them about some of the issues that affects people living with PTSD and I hope that their awareness will ripple out into their circles as they grow.

Looking forward to more games of monopoly, good food and gentle piss-taking tomorrow :o)

Wolf

Monday, 5 April 2010

A nice night of salsa and bachata ...

The fleeting touch ... eye contact as you move to the tune and a shared smile.  The music was good tonight.  Some good slasa and bachata tunes, allowing me to move and lose myself in the music for a while, pushig past the emotional and physical pain and just existing within the beat for a bit.

Then I head home back to my safe place, while hanging on to the memory of her smile.

My kids are due here tomorrow.  It'll be nice to have some company for a change.  The monopoly board's on standby and the spicy food place is on speed dial kids :o)  ... all systems go!

Hope you all had a good Easter.

Wolf

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Update re Words of a Wolf - 04 April 2010

Stores and websites selling Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran. ISBN-13: 978-0956488503. Author: Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu.



Websites:
http://www.wolf-photography.com/
http://www.bestofbooksedmond.com/
http://www.waterstones.com/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/
http://www.amazon.fr/
http://www.amazon.de/


Waterstones stores:
ABERDEEN UNION BR, 3-7 UNION BRIDGE
ABERGAVENNY, 4A HIGH STREET
ABERYSTWYTH, 27 GREAT DARKGATE STREET
ALTRINCHAM, 33-35 GEORGE STREET
AMERSHAM, 61 SYCAMORE ROAD
ARNDALE CENTRE, UNIT MSU41
AVIEMORE, 87 GRAMPIAN ROAD
AYLESBURY, UNITS 31-32
AYR, UNIT 2, 127/147 HIGH STREET
B'HAM HIGH ST, 24-26 HIGH ST
B'HAM NEW ST, 128 NEW STREET
BALLYMENA, 20/21 FAIRHILL SHOPPING CENTRE
BANBURY, 32/33 CASTLE QUAY
BARNSTAPLE, 42 HIGH STREET
BARROW-IN-FURNESS, 25 PORTLAND WALK
BASINGSTOKE, 35 WESLEY WALK
BATH, 4-5 MILSOM STREET
BELFAST FOUNTAIN, 44-46 FOUNTAIN STREET
BIRKENHEAD, 188/192 GRANGE RD
BLACKPOOL, UNIT4 THE TOWER SHOPPINGCENTRE
BOURNEMOUTH CASTL, CASTLE LANE WEST
BRACKNELL, 17 STANLEY WALK
BRADFORD WOOL EXC, THE WOOL EXCHANGE
BRAEHEAD, 47 BRAEHEAD SHOPPING CENTRE
BRIGHTON, 71-74 NORTH STREET
BRISTOL GALLERIES, THE GALLERIES
BRISTOL UNI, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
BROMLEY GLADES, 100 THE GLADES SHOPPING CENTRE
BURY ST ED ARC, UNIT C29, ARC SHOPPING CENTRE
CAMBERLEY, 6-8 GRACE REYNOLDS WALK
CAMBRIDGE, 22 SIDNEY STREET
CARMARTHEN, 14-15 GUILDHALL SQUARE
CHELTENHAM 33-41, 33-41 PROMENADE
CHIPPENHAM, 29 THE BOROUGH PARADE
CHISWICK
CLAPHAM, 70 ST JOHN'S ROAD
COVENT GARDEN, 9-13 GARRICK ST
COVENTRY SMITHFOR, 50-52 SMITHFORD WAY
CRIBBS CAUSEWAY, UNIT 33
DERBY, 78-80 ST.PETER'S ST
DORCHESTER, 45-46 SOUTH STREET
DORKING, 54-60 SOUTH ST
EDINBURGH EAST EN, 13-14 PRINCES ST
ELGIN, 10-11 ST GILES CENTRE
FINCHLEY ROAD O2, UNIT 5, LEVEL 1, O2 CENTRE
FOLKESTONE SANDGA, 16 SANDGATE ROAD
GLASGOW SAUCHIEHA, 153-157 SAUCHIEHALL ST
HEXHAM, 33 FORE STREET
HIGH HOLBORN, 263 HIGH HOLBORN
INVERNESS EASTGAT, UNIT 69
KENSINGTON, 193 KENSINGTON HIGH ST
KINGS LYNN NORFOL, 137-138 NORFOLK STREET
LAKESIDE, UNIT 69
LANCASTER CORN MT, UNIT 5/6, CORN MARKET
LANCASTER UNI, BAILRIGG
LEAMINGTON SPA, 1 PRIORS GATE
LEEDS 93-97, 93-97 ALBION ST
LEICESTER, HIGHCROSS
LISBURN, 30 BOW STREET
LIVERPOOL, 14-16 BOLD STREET
LOWESTOFT, 98 LONDON ROAD NORTH
LYMINGTON, 105/106 HIGH STREET
MANCHESTER DEANSG, 91 DEANSGATE
MARKET HARBOROUGH, 9 THE SQUARE
NEWBURY, 64 NORTHBROOK ST
NEWTON MEARNS, 38 AVENUE CENTRE
NORTHALLERTON, 102 HIGH STREET
NORWICH CASTLE ST, 11-17 CASTLE STREET
NOTTING HILL GATE, 39-41 NOTTINGHILL GATE
NOTTINGHAM BRIDLE, 1/5 BRIDLESMITH GATE
NUNEATON, 1/3 QUEENS ROAD
ORMSKIRK, 5-7 CHURCH STREET
OXFORD ST PLAZA, THE PLAZA
PICCADILLY, 203-206 PICCADILLY
PLYMOUTH NEW GEOR, 65-69 NEW GEORGE ST
SOLIHULL, 67-71 HIGH STREET
SOUTHPORT, 367 LORD ST
STIRLING THISTLE, THISTLE, MARCHES
TENTERDEN, 47 HIGH STREET
TIVERTON, 20-22 FORE STREET
TORQUAY, 15 UNION STREET
TRURO, 11 BOSCAWEN STREET
UXBRIDGE, UNIT 240A, CHIMES SHOPPING
WALSALL, 63 PARK STREET
WANDSWORTH, UNIT 5 SOUTHSIDE
WARRINGTON, 21-23 THE MALL
WELLS, 30-34 HIGH STREET
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, UNITS 21-23 SOVEREIGN CENTRE
YORK 28, 28-29 HIGH OUSEGATE

Independent Book Stores:
Best of Books, Edmond, OK, USA

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Labels ...

'You're the original angry man aren't you?'  This from an acquaintance on leaving a salsa dance last week.  I replied, 'Maybe I am ... but it's not without good reason.'

I've been thinking about those words all week long.  They've been wandering around in my subconcious grey matter ... fermenting and taking the form of thoughts that now issue forth. 

Do people wonder why anger is created?  In my experience it usually stems from being subjected to some form of injustice.  It surfaces when people aren't as tactful or polite as they could be about the situation.  This person was asked not to talk about the PTSD side of my life with me as I was escaping it via the dance.  I guess her curiosity got the better of her.

I could have walked off and not informed her about what's going on ... but I thought 'Sod it, I'll let you know a little of what difficulties some veterans are facing'.  When I talk about the things that some Veterans are suffering I get passionate, emotional .. and I tend to pepper the conversation with expletives as a way of venting the frustration I feel over the whole damned mess.

But all that's remembered by someone you're talking with is that you're angry ... and the issue gets buried there and then.  Ears close and judgments are made.

Don't ask me to be a spokesperson about PTSD.

I have to go back to my policy about not talking about it I guess ... and to point out that just because I've written something about it ... there's no implied invitation for anyone to ask me about PTSD.

Speaking for myself, here's a good way to have a good conversation with me:  speak to me nicely and I'll mirror the treatment. 

There's more to a Veteran with PTSD than just anger.

Wolf

Osprey - Nature section

Osprey - Nature section
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