During #mentalHealthAwarenessWeek we have been on Facebook Live over on the HelloTomDyer Page having our regular 30 minute cuppa’ teas focusing on this years theme of #kindness. More accurately:
- Receiving kindness
- Giving kindness
- Being cruel to be kind
- Being kind to yourself
On the Wednesday we focused on being ‘cruel to be kind’ and we ended up with over 200 comments! Thank you to everyone who contributed. There was one watcher who shared her wider story after the live had finished and I think it epitomises what kindness is while also holding people accountable for their actions and helping people become better people.
I don’t know much about the writer. I know that she is predominately housebound and uses a wheelchair. Her daughter has the same health condition.
In this story you will see an act of unkindness, a lesson in kindness, a lesson of self-kindness and the kindness to her daughter through holding institutions accountable for their actions. This act, and the stress that accompanies it, is all for her daughter.
Let me know your thoughts.
You would be amazed of the things that have been said and done to me, staring is just the tip of the iceberg, I have been called names, I was spat-on once.
The other day a young lad came to my wheelchair and kicked it and said “get out of the way Crip!” What he didn’t realise was that I could stand up. He was all of probably 10 or 11 years of age, I was 43 and 5 foot 10. His jaw dropped. We were in a store and I asked him if he was with his parents and he said yes, so I told him to take me to his parents. He led me to them obviously with me in my wheelchair. I then said to them, “excuse me, forgive me for interrupting your shopping but I wanted you to hear the most wonderful thing that your son just said to me.” The parents were expecting something amazing. I looked at the boy who by now had gone rather white and I told him to repeat what he had just said to me. He mumbled something but his dad said what? So he said it out loud. The father instinctively went to smack his son over the head, but I managed to stop him just-in-time.
The parents were full of apologies. They made their son apologise to me, And I said to his parents, please don’t smack him, that will not teach him anything except violence. Instead teach him that we are all human beings. Teach him about kindness and acceptance. Don’t hurt him. And then I wheeled away. Violence is not the answer.
It is hard when people stare and make faces or call me names I won’t lie to you about that. I am kind of glad that I am so housebound and mostly bedridden because then I don’t have to deal the outside world, not much anyway.
Kindness is the simplest gift that we can give away. A smile can touch the saddest heart. Reaching out to somebody just to give them a hug is one of the best gift in the world. When people hug me I always ask (I know I’m about to be hugged) whether they could just come down to my level and hug me from there because for me it hurts physically to hug somebody from above.
There is nothing more that I love than for somebody just to give me a hug.
I know that online I was telling you that I was divorced, I just want you to know that I had been married for over 20 years,very very happily, Or at least that is what I thought, but my ex-husband had a midlife crisis with a 19-year-old girl! And within the space of 20 minutes, 20 years was gone. It took me a long time to come through what was the most incredibly painful part of my life, but now I am free to be able to care for my daughter who has the same disability as me, and to make my own decisions, to believe what I want to believe, and to try to find my own peace.
I won’t lie, my life is extremely difficult because my daughter has been so ill and is still going through hell ironically In a mental health ward. And I am fighting right now to get to the right care what she needs because of this very moment she is not being cared for. I know that mental health week is coming up and I know that there are a lot of people out there who do a lot of good in a mental health community, but sadly where my daughter is, this is not true. And we are having to get all sorts of people involved just to ensure her safety from members of staff! But I’m not gonna say anymore about that now.
Life is hard but I know that there are people going through their own battles and around struggles particularly with COVID-19 raging all around us and there are people in the NHS who are doing an incredible job in the most difficult of circumstances and every Thursday evening I join with everybody else and I clap for those people who are helping those in need but I do not clap for the people “allegedly” caring for my daughter.
Watch this space, she will win a battle and have a life that is worth living and so will I and so will we all. God bless you and keep you safe. Thank you for making me smile every day.
So there you have it. A myriad of acts of kindness and a strength and resolve to overcome them and still show kindness and compassion.
Thank you for joining us on HelloTomDyer Live! Monday – Thursday 1pm Friday 7:15pm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
(P.S. I’ve launched my coaching business and have a free values workbook you might find useful in figuring out what you want your life to be about! You can get it here: https://mailchi.mp/hellotomdyer.com/valuesworkbook)