I’m not going to repeat my usual John Lennon quote about life getting in the way of keeping up with these pages, but it kinda does, between procrastinations.

The year got off to its usual slow starts. Things were progressing to plan. I got me, a new wee second-hand car. Everything seemed hunky dory.

There were, of course, the everyday ups and downs that happen. My children, ( now adults) had received some pending bad tidings with regards to their father.

I did my best to take the advice of my eldest boy, who had reminded me of something I’d quoted years before.
Something my mother said, that at various times, I had said to him, and his siblings when they were younger:
If you have nothing good to say, best say nothing at all

The news had first come to light sometime in November.
I witnessed the arrival of the news, sitting in my living room when my youngest son received news from his father, I believe from the hospital.

My son had entered the room, left of where I was sitting. He stood, staring down at the mobile phone in his hand. Looking a little lost and bewildered.

“That was my dad” he said. Still staring down at the phone.
“The cancer is back, he said. it’s in his spine, lungs, and liver. The prognosis isn’t good.
There’s nothing really they can do. He’s got a few months, maybe weeks apparently.”
He was still staring at the phone.

” I didn’t know what to say to him” He paused, and looked at me,

” I don’t know what I ‘m supposed to feel”.

I understood what he meant. And I didn’t know what to say to my son.

Nor did I know what I should say to his older siblings when I would inevitably face the topic with them.

My separation and the divorce that followed had not been one that could be described as amicable.  Two decades on, there was civility between my ex-husband and I on the rare occasions when by chance our paths crossed. We were polite, courteous and adult.

I had long since lost any emotional feelings towards him. I was at best indifferent.

I wished him no ill or suffering. He was my children’s father.

However, that did not alter the fact that I was well aware there was still a bucketful of emotional worm cans, that could easily be spilled, for each of my children, and indeed myself. Worm cans that could send little triggers to all sorts of past pains, grief, angers, and even confusions, that were thought to have been buried long ago.

Little toxic why the fucks, just waiting to be resurrected by thoughtless words, actions or behaviors by other parties who were by and large to nieve, stupid, ignorant or perhaps even mindfully antagonistic, manipulative, heartless and cruel. Not to me, but to my children.

It was then I realized that indifference was becoming angry, not at the impact of the situation on me personally, that did not exist, but by once again bearing witness to the thoughtlessness in the interactions of him, and his other family in the days leading up to, and following his death.

The issues related to my ex-husband’s death are not the main topic of this update, although the subject matter will be addressed in my book A Girl from Glasgow and analyzed at a later date in The Unconventional Thesis of a girl from Glasgow.

This update is about where I’d like to take these pages going forward.

When I first began posting these pages I felt I had an important story that had to be told.

At that time around 2009, I was living through what was the most frightening & mentally and emotionally draining period of my life till then.

I believe I became fragmented.

In one fragment, I lived out my fall into the abyss in long, often, I guess, disorganized rants online, as I desperately tried to understand what had become my reality.

I talked about my ordeal in various blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter and other social media sites, desperately trying to raise awareness of my case and my predicament as I tried to find advice, support and assistance to help with legal aspects.

I posted documents and other supporting evidence related to my predicament, and I screamed and cursed and cried in video posts without shame, in a desperate bid for justice, not just for me but others like me. Basically, I Shared a large part of my breakdown online. Much of it is still out there in the www somewhere I guess.

In another fragment, I created an ultra ego, and through that, I expressed emotions, thoughts, feelings, fears, trepidations & different aspects of me, and, my story through the creative aspects of my personality.  In poetry, painting, photography, and other creative pursuits. It was this fragment that kept me alive and sane, in the chaos that was my reality, in this fragmentation, I believe I entered a different level of consciousness & was guided through the shadows of my mind to a clearer understanding of my reality, despite this fragment being the one that many used against me to deem me crazy.

In the third fragment, I swung like a pendulum between the other two fragments of my divided self. Trying to analyze and rationalize the all of it, & connect the separated fragments into a consious harmonious union.

Going forward with these pages it is the impact of how the arts helped me to keep going through that journey to where I am now, that I hope to focus on.

My journey has not ended yet, nor have I achieved my original goals for what I call the Hethen Project but I’m on it and I’m getting there slowly but surely.

In recent weeks while I have not posted I have continued to bring together diffrent collections of the various art and writing projects from 2009 to date.

I have also been submitting some of my written projects to various outlets and hope to have more updates regarding what comes next soon.

Going forward I hope to share some of the artistic creations that brought me from there to here and explain the different ways the arts have helped me understand my journey,  manage my mental health & live with mental illness.

Finally, if you have followed my pages at any time anywhere, thank you I appreciate your patience and persistence with my unregularity.

And I hope to bring more interesting updates and interesting posts in the near future.





Featured post



I faced the demon, a deja vu flash
two decades back…
Two weeks of anxiety, waves
new moon phase,
two days of random vomiting.
Today comes the hour,
see the minute dawning, seize it!
Anxiety grasping my heart
a warning…
The tide has turned,
my name is called…
a whisper escapes
“Oh fuck!”
the demon tightens its grip,
Sharp intake of breath
I move to center stage,
spotlight glares
inside my head the demon sneers,
anxiety rears
I look at the microphone,
I look at the page
I speak, “Open me carefully…”
The demon, retreats,
Anxiety subsides, goal achieved.
Tidelines 19.1.18, the tide has turned.
I smile, steering from the harbor
towards new horizons…


Featured post

open me carefully


Sitting at his desk, he stared at her blindly
hardback, she stared, tempting…
Open me carefully, read me, if you dare
but beware, of the secrets lurking there
in the corners of the pages of my cranium maze,
in a hazy array, of faraway days, and torrid affairs
and I just don’t care’s, of the happened before’s…
Come scroll the pages, bound in my mind
let’s see what you find, as the story unfolds
the stark truth, so bold
The good and the bad, the exciting the sad,
the quite, completely, mad…
Read, the absurd little story of me.
My moments of insight, my fears and my fantasies,
as we swim through the ocean of insanity,
that roars thru my veins, as volcanic emotions rain
we shall rage thru the rapids that send a tingle down my spine
trust me when I tell you the sensation is divine…
as we drown in my sorrow then rise joyously
at the bridge to my heart, where love and sorrow embrace
in my light and my dark.
you can dance with the demons of my frontal lobe
then pirouette thru my mind’s eye, to my unconscious, untold’s.
Drift thru the oasis of my dreams, and nightmares
to dance with the angels, who hold my souls’ prayers.
Dive into my consciousness, and smell my unleashed joy
then taste the fruits of passions in words, my thoughts deploy.
I’ll take you past the closet with the closed, locked, door
where pains and hurts, and other, awesome, memories are stored.
we shall go on an adventure through my soul laid stark and bare
You may linger in my memory bank and see whats hidden there
You may find some old scandals behind some forsaken prayers.
You can pause a while and look out thru the windows of my soul
and you can see what I see as the story is told…
so open me, at your leisure,
and read me, with care
and perhaps I’ll become a friend, to have and hold and share
who you can turn to anytime to find comfort for all cares.

Featured post


Imagine lying in your bed
the sound of warplanes overhead
You go to the window & all you see
is rubble and carnage where homes & schools used to be.
The local hospital raised to the ground
the shops and your work place can’t be found.
No where to work no where to play
everything bombed, life in disarray
No clean water to cook or wash
no gas or electric, for the hob
no heat or light,children terrified,
wondering will they die if they sleep at night
Imagine war was all around you
living with oppression, what would you do?
would you pick up stones and try to fight back
knowing the odds against you were politically stacked
would you pray for safety, would you try to flee
Imagine the dilemma of being a refugee
ordinary people just like you and me

Featured post

Its been a long time since I posted anything new on these pages, life has kinda got in the way, as I believe John Lennon once said.

However, I have not been idle, I’ve been editing stuff, and putting projects together and making plans to take The Hethen project on to the next stage of my goals for it.

With that in mind, for the time being, at least, I shall be changing the site name to;

The unconventional Thesis of a girl from Glasgow.

Hopefully, over next few weeks, I shall have this site up and running as I go forward with my goals.

Today I replied to a post on  Glasgow Live’s page, that has left me somwhat confused as to what I actually said that was offencive, when I responded to someone replying to me reply with a link to the post I was replying to without comment by asking and your point is?

Here is the conversation as it appears on my facebook timeline, if anyone can enlighten me to what exsactly was offensive or rude about my response ,I’d be truely greatful.

Soeme say it’s a way of reducing inequality, while others complain that it’s a waste of money – what do you think?

June Mackendrick
June Mackendrick I think it a great idea, though I don’t get how it can be a cost to taxpayers when so many companies and organisations want to promote their products I’d have thot by then getting involved and donating promo samples the cost to taxpayers would be minimal . 33yea ago when I had my daughter the hospitals gave mums a goody bag of samples with nappies, & other baby products
The average box will cost taxpayers £160 to…

· Reply · 13 hrs


June Mackendrick

June Mackendrick Carol Roxburgh And your point is ? Given that taxpayers money continues 2 b used to top up the large salaries of Unscrupulous greedy MP’s, I think £160 to give parents support to help babies have an equal and fair start in life it’s not a lot of money in the bigger picture.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

· Reply · 6 hrs · Edited


Leah Ross
Leah Ross Pretty rude response June … your post clearly says you do not understand how it can cost the taxpayer money, someone provided you with a link showing how much each costs and you jump on the defensive then go off on a rant about the tories which is in no way connected to what Carol posted … in fact from Carols post it is impossible to even tell her politics or if she is for or against the baby box even 🙄

· Reply ·

June Mackendrick
June Mackendrick Ms Ross, you are as free as the next person to make assumptions on what I think, that however, does not mean your assumptions are correct, or that I am rude, its mearly your opinion, based on your perseption of my reply. Howevever to clarefy on that point, I appologise to Carol for any offence taken , for it was not my intention to offend, nor did I make any assumption of Carols political views. In addition since your response reflects you have misunderstood, I shall also explain that the point I was attempting to make, all be it apparently poorly from your misunderstanding of the my reply, which I do not appologise for, was that given the shameful behavior of MP’s as revealed in the expenses scandle, which I am fully aware did not just involve Tory MP’s but MP’s form other parties , The link I supplied served as an example that I had easily to hand, it was not given to me it is freely available on the internet. Additionally in the interest of unbiased I shall also now offer a couple example of this exploitive type of behavior from a former local labour MP from my area, Mr Brian Donohoe, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/…/local-mps-in-expenses…http://news.bbc.co.uk/…/edinburgh_and_east/8073203.stm . Finally, and with hindsight and in the interest of clarity, I believe given the exploitation by MP’s of the public coffers to line thier own pockets I believe the scheme is a good one and cheap at £160 a box particularly when you take into consideration the cost of packing and distrabution which , I presume create jobs even if the contents are donated for promotional purposes, and not taking into account the cost of production of the boxes. It is I beleive a good scheme that may safe lifes and as I already said previously give babies a fair and equal start. have a nice day Ms Ross. Ps, I after some consideration, think a injection mouldy plastic box which would double as a bath, be more hygienic and Ecco friendly, recyclable & I suggest as such, a cheap cost effective alternative, might be a viable alternative and safe less paupers coffin like alternative.
LOCAL MPs Brian Donohoe and Katy Clark have been quizzed about their House of Commons expenses.


It been a while since I posted anything here, and I certainly didn’t expect to be writing about such a tragic event like the Grenfell tower fire in London this week.

I had been basking in the joy and blessing of my new granddaughters birth on the 11th June, and had just returned from dropping my youngest son at Glasgow airport , he and his girlfriend had flew in to meet his elder brothers new baby and were heading back to Spain where they work after a very short and happy visit.

It was around 4.50am when I switched on the tv while having a quick cuppa before heading to bed, and saw the blazing invero of the tower block and I was brought back to earth with a thud , filling with horror , tears and emotion for all involved.

I’v experianced a house fire, twice in fact.

The first time was when my daughter was about 3 and 1/2 years old and we were living in a tenement on the Maryhill rd above the chemist where the fire started.

My daughter had got up during the night and came to my bed, the firemen told me later, it had probably saved her life as the fire had started in the back of the chemest below her bedroom , her bed was black with soot and smoke damage, and the fireman said had she been in it she would have been unlikly to have survived the smoke inhilation, the whole house was smoke damaged , that smell, it lingers and becomes a trigger.

The firemen were great , they woke me , got us out the house and also the other neighbours in the building. We were lucky and greatful not just for the job the firemen did saving our lives, and our home , but the kindness of the old couple who lived accross the street, who took us dressed in pyjamas with bare feet, in till we were checked over by paramedics , giving us blankets and phoning my dad to come get us and take us to my mums.

Years later when my eldest son was about 2 years old we were living at the high flats at Cedar st, where I grew up, and where my parents lived.

It was the fire in my home  that night, I remembered when I watched the Grenville fire unfold on tv.

The fire that night stared in my baby sons room,  a portable tv, I used to leave on for sound, which I felt kept him company, had caught fire.

It was around 11PM, I’d just got out the bath and was about to do some  ironing, & watch “Cell block H”, my dog began behaving strangly, agitated, and when I went to see what was bothering him,the fire alarm in the hall began to ring. As I reached the top of the stairs I could see the smoke coming from the babies room.

I remember running down the stairs and grabbing him out of the cot, then to my daughters room and waking her, getting them both out the flat, handing my daughter the baby, telling her to go down to there grans on the 5th floor, not to panic, to tell her gran to phone the firebrigade. I was kinda in auto pilot,  we lived on the 11th.

Neighbors came to help, they had already phoned the brigade, wee Jonny Linch , my hero, a lad of about 13 years of age. He ran in to the house , shouting

“Were’s yer cats june?”

Running up the stairs before I could stop him , in a flat black with smoke already filling the hall way , as I soaked towels to lay accross the bottom of the door of the room where the fire was, having already turned off the main power box supply.

It was terrefying, Wee Jonny Linch, came back down the stairs ,

” I open the veranda door for the cats” he said. ” we need tae get the fuck oot a here”

By then the fire brigade had arrived, and as they opened the bedroom door with big sheilds up, the window blew out, but these heros soon had the fire contain, under control and out.

No one was hurt, although there was extensive smoke damage . The children were taken Yorkhill childrens hospital to be checked for smoke inhilation. Where they were met by partner who had been working  at the time. I was taken to The Western Infirmary, accompanied by Charlie the local beat policeman, an aquaintance through the dance club I ran for local kids. He who had just finnished his shift and offered to keep me company at the hospital while I went through the blood test and waited for the all clear. I was greatful, for his comforting reasurances and kind words during those frightening , anxious , caotic initial hours after the incident.

It probably seems strange , but I don’t remember the date of either of these fires I experianced. Nor  do I remember what I had been doing early on the days they happened.

All I remember is the fear, the anxciety, the smell, and the stinging eyes from the smoke. I remeber the proffesionalism of the emergancy services and what they did , their bravery.

I remember how Charlie,  who went above and beyond the call of his duty..

I remeber the kindness and concern of neighbors who offered support and well wishes in the aftermath of my badly smoke damaged home.

I , we , were lucky, and as I watched the towering inferno that was Grenfell, I was taken back to that night at  Cedar st, and tears rolled down my face for those resident at Grenfell, those lucky enough to escape with their lives, and those who sadly didn’t.

I thought of all those people accross the UK who will be affected by what they’v seen unfold these last days , those who live in high rise building , and now think

“There but for the grace of god , go I…”

I know the flats at Cedar street are presently undergowing refurbishment, and I  think of them, because even over 20 years on Cedar st, is dear to me, it was home, where I lived on the 5th floor as a child and teenager ,where my partents lived most of their lives.

I think of all high rise  resedent accross the Uk who will be fearful of the state and risks that may be there and the effect recent events will have on their minds.

My heart bleeds for those who have lost everything in the Grenfell disaster, because let their be no doubt, this is a distaster, and I am greatful to all the heros of the frontline services ,and indeed, the ordinary people of the community who remind us of the importance of compassion and community, and compasion in the community  .

Most of all I pray that steps are taken to ensure this never happens again, in the UK or anywhere else, and as a UK Tax payer I demand a full tranparent inquiry and that those responsable for risk assesment and saftey who failed the resident of Grenfell tower are held accountable and brought to book.



An unplanned, random journey home.

I woke up about 45 – 50 minutes ago, with the words , reflections & connections vibrating in my head, related very much to how I spent my day yesterday.

I had no intention of writing this post or the content, here and now, I won’t say it’s not something I would not have written about in the future in a different way or format or perhaps just in a diary, and perhaps its as my dad said , “cart before horse “material,

but on the other hand ,  my mum used to tell me follow your intuition and my mum, was the wisest woman I have ever known, my guardian, my angel.

Frankly I don’t care if you believe what I am about to write or not, it’s very personal , highly charged with emotion and I share it only because of those vibrating words, reflections & connections, and I guess, because its relevant to The Hethen Project, which is about raising awareness of mental health issues, and the disparity in the difference of how mental health patients and physical health patients are treated.

Furthermore, its related to the birth of the Hethen project, and previous posts that go back to 2008/10 when my pages were called “justice uk style”

junei96.blog spot.co.uk/2008/  

These entries where basically describing where I ws back then and undoubtable a cry for help that largly went unheard regarding what I beleive to be violations of my human rights & what went on to become crimes of violance and abuses against me.

These incidents, coincidently will see their  8th anniversary in next few days, and which are probably why I have been on an emotional roller coaster of triggers to what I suggest is PTSD, for the last couple of months, coupled with other personal triggers related to mental health /illness within my family unit. These issues will be discussed in my autobiography “A girl from Glasgow”  which I hope to publish in order to fund the Hethen Project strategy. ….

So, related to my random, unplanned journey yesterday, which I don’t care if you believe or not, as some of what I am about to say can be supported by evidence, some can’t , and these that can’t I can’t explain, and all I suggest you can do in that respect, is analyse what I say, and reach your own conclusion as to what possible benefit there is in it for me in lying about it, including the consequences for me of the stigma attached to my assertions. remembering that this is MY TRUTH, and I don’t give a fuck if you believe me or not.

So, here we go, sit back and come with me on my random journey….where you get to decide if its truth or the workings of my creative imagination.

Yesterday morning I woke around 7.30ish maybe a little before or a little later , but I’ve been regulating my sleep pattern as mentioned in an earlier post, and that even coupled with a bit of an emotional roller coaster this past week, I’ve been off the cigarettes since I went to the chemist and got pissed off over the patches issue, iv just been using the wee plastic stick thing, and even then I’ve only been changing the capsule about every 3_ 4 days (cos it’s mostly psychological after 3 days) when the nicotine I think is mostly gone, except what I’m using to substitute to deal with the cravings, the addiction. I had a brief couple of days relapse, about 5 day in, I was borderline manic, and thrwat with emotions, and tearful, but I been cigerette free since saturday, I know I’m not out the woods yet, but I’m confident. Anyway that’s by the bye. so, yesterday…

As I sat drinking my tea and munching a slice of toast, I looked out on my balcony and there was a wee robin red breast having breakfast, I took a picture, but its not very good because of the rain on the window panes, I was very emotional. I recently found out, only a few months ago, that robins remind my daughter of my mum, her gran, who passed away in 1997. So, yeah, My heartfelt tight, as we had breakfast, silently together in my mind. Continue reading “An unplanned, random journey home.”

Elinor Roosevelt was wrong when she said…

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

This showed up once again on my twitter feed the other night, and the same usual surge of agitation, that I have felt every other time it appears on my timeline surged through me. You see, for me, that quote is a trigger to several issues, relevant, but not essential to this post.

So, I replied thus,

I totally disagree, but it is impossible 2 explain why in 140 characters and cite supporting evidence which i cud do.”

For the rest of the evening it troubled me, and I felt compelled to write this blog, but last night wasnt the time, it was late and I was tired, but I felt I had to support my statement, then pondered if this suggested unrational behavior of a compulsive beleive that I had to prove myself sane.

Of course, I didn’t have to do anything, no one was forcing me, I had no legal obligation to elaborate on my opinion, but it remained an #intrudingThot ,it was twitter, none the less I tweeted,

feelings r emotions often illogical & based on learned believes, not consented, but feelings can be proven wrong “

then replied to my own tweet cos I didn’t have enough characters with my attempt at suopport my statement in alocated character space.

I felt a little better after tweeting these two tweets, I had not supported my argument as I had said I could, however I felt I had clearly explained my logic, perhaps not in one 140 character tweet but in 2, and surely that wasn’t bad!.

I had a bad nights sleep, waking often, thoughts that had been triggered, impacting on my mind.

I still wasn’t happy so I set myself the task that today I would write this post to elaborate and cite supporting evidence to my claim. Why? , because the topic is important to me. My trigger had been pulled, I needed to do something positive to manage my emotions, my feelings, in a logical manner, and to back up my assertions from a mental health perspective, as that is important to me.

I will try to keep this short, by breaking it down, which is how I apply logic.
So, there are four words I believe are relevant to my argument, make, feel , inferior, consent.

Lets look at the definitions .
Make = verb 1. form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; create.
synonyms: construct, build, assemble, put together, manufacture, produce, fabricate, create, form, fashion, model, mould, shape, forge, bring into existence
2. cause (something) to exist or come about; bring about.


Feel = verb
1.be aware of (a person or object) through touching or being touched.
“she felt someone touch her shoulder”
synonyms: perceive, sense, detect, discern, make out, notice, observe, identify; More
2. experience (an emotion or sensation).
“I felt a sense of excitement”
synonyms: experience, undergo, go through, bear, endure, suffer, be forced to contend with;
1. an act of touching something to examine it.
2. a sensation given by an object or material when touched.
synonyms: texture, surface, finish, grain, nap;


Inferior = adjective 1. lower in rank, status, or quality.
synonyms: lower in status, lesser, second-class, second-fiddle, minor, subservient, lowly, humble, menial, not very important, not so important, below someone, beneath someone, under someone’s heel;
1. a person lower than another in rank, status, or ability.
“her social and intellectual inferiors”
synonyms: subordinate, junior, underling, minion, menial;


Consent = noun 1. permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
“no change may be made without the consent of all the partners”

synonyms agreement, assent, concurrence, accord;

verb 1. give permission for something to happen.
“he consented to a search by a detective”

synonyms: agree to, assent to, allow, give permission for, sanction, accept, approve, acquiesce in, go along with, accede to, concede to, yield to, give in to, submit to, comply with, abide by, concur with, conform to

“all the patients consented to surgery”


Now that we have clear definition of the words, I will explain why I believe it to be wrong.

“Language is an ever-changing minefield, and alerts us to the power it has to buoy us up or pull us down, inflict pain or to encourage, to influence positively or negativily, to enhance self-esteem or sabotage self-confidence or to manipulate or to understand”. Lago, C. (1997).

So, let me now ask these questions:

  1. Does the abused child, groomed by an adult give consent to his or her abuser? or
  2. Are they made, moulded, forced , by the abuser to participate, or concent under duress, fear, threat, or through ignorance of innocence, by way of tactical manipulation of grooming process, based on emotions and feeling , such as fear of punishment, retribution, or promise of reward, be that the promise or even sense of (feeling) love, acceptance, affection or even absence of punishment.& always   Baring in mind, children are generally taught that adults know better, are their superiors and as such have authority and power over them, and therefore should or must be obeyed.
    Alternatively, may I suggest,
  3. The domestic abuse victim, whose life and confidence is sabotaged by verbal, & or emotional, and or physical, and or financial abuse. Who although able and capable  does not consent to their abuse, but becomes a victim of the treatment, and langauge used against them, for the purpose of control, which will invariably happen over time, reducing their self believe and self-awareness, until they come to feel or beleive themself inferior , not by consent , but by the treatment, and use of language, used against them.

And is that not a practice, tried and proven to be effective in the torture chambers of government’s around the globe over decades, nae centuries?

I could go on and offer more suggestions to support my argument that Elinor Roosevelt was wrong when she said

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

but I believe these two examples are adequate to support my argument and shall end this blog with further reading suggestions .

Before I finnish this post, I would like to suggest that as suggested by Hutton, W.(2001) and explained by Thompson (1998)

Communication is paramount in care delivery where the biggest cause of inadequacy is often a result in political correctness gone mad, causing major inadequacies and discrimination in our ability to communicate.”

and that perhaps the onus is on the care professional / service provider ,to be mindful of their own use of language and communication skills when writing reports in relation to services users.

In an age where service users have a right to access personal data held on them under data protection legislation, health professionals should remain mindful of how their langage & reporting skill could affect service users.

I believe langage provides a bountaful harvest of words that can enable even the most negative facts to be delivered with compassionate words that minimises risk of harm, in most if not all circumstances, if we are attentive to all evidence and facts, and don’t make assumptions without checking detail.
Finally, I wish to give the last word to Elinor Roosevelt, on something which I  very much agree on, who said

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”



further reading
Lago,C. and Smith, B.(2003) Anti-discriminatory counseling practice. London; Sage publications
Maslow (1908-1979) and Rogers (1902-1987).Anti-discriminatory practice in counselling (2001)
Mcllveen,R. and Gross, R. (1998)

A road traveled…lessons learned.

Last night sometime after 10pm, I shared something on facebook with friends, that I hadn’t really intended to write let alone share here, however I realise that its relevant to what I last posted and serves as supporting evidence for the agenda of, not only, The unconventional thesis of a woman from Glasgow, but to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of arts and alternative therapies, in the treatment of mental health patients, not only with depression but that come under the umbrella of mental & indeed social health conditions or illness via the case study as will be demonstrated in my book A girl from Glasgow, and indeed posts relating to The unconventional Thesis of a woman from Glasgow, which will I hope become clear in future posts.

So, here is what I posted.

This week I saw a post on FB asking, did you consider your vocal or written word better for expressing yourself, it’s a topic close to my heart, a topic that has caused me both joy and sorrow, and indeed, destress, on a number of levels.

So, tonight the news comes on, and I pause, take a deep breath…. and internalise my thots, pick up my computor and begin to type, when what I really want to do is scream at the tv, something I have been documented negetevly for doing in the past, and heres why; ( not why I’v been documented negetivly for doing in the past oviously , but why I wanted to scream at the tv!) without expletives which have been replaced with #.

“I am absolutly #ing appalled at the #ing audasity of the dispicable # spreading #, #ing Teresa May’s comments reported on the news regarding A&E crisis. How dare that # face # blame the heroic proffessionals of the NHS, who are doing the #ing best they can dispite the #ing caos caused by the #ing tory government and their Blairte preessessors. These # wits have been carving up the NHS for 3 #ing decades., trying to privatise and #ing sell it off to their #ing cronies.

The present #ing health secetary, the un #ing honerable #ing Jeremy Hunt , the #, who couldn’t flog jam to the Japanes, who has no #ing qualifications in health or #ing socialcare, who ponces about with a #ing face like a slapped arse,who has repeatedly ignored the #ing warning signs, not to mention, the #ing verbal and written warnings of #ing health proffessionals, #ing social care proffessionals, #ing doctors, consultants, nurses, care assistants, accademics, pacient advocate groups and uncle #ing tom cobbley and #ing all. What does the #ing P #ing M do she blames the people, that keep the #ing country on its sore # blistard feet.!!

Yes it appears that, the #ing esteemed smugfaced #ing #,aka Mrs May, appears to e oblivious to the #ing fact that this nations economy is dependent on the smooth running of the #ing NHS, the #ing angelic #ing workers, who look after every #ing one of us. While it is her #ing party’s #ing austerity cuts to funding, bugets and #ing services that is to blame.

I may only #ing know little, but I have studied social #ing health & social#policy. and you can #ing beleive me , this #ing government is on a #ing mission to dismantal the #ing NHS, and if we don’t stop them, we’re all #ed.

So, rant over, I shall now go sit on the floor, quiety, meditate and omm, on the matter, of which salution to the original question I do better at, and which is theraputically more benefitial to my stress and anxciety levels.

And perhaps thos of you who know me well might imagine what I might sound like or indeed look like as I express these words aloud, and perhaps let me know how you think I best express myself. However I will not accept, sleeping as a valid response.


So, here is my journey and conclusions on the above, and how it links, and has progressed since, in relation to my last blog “Guidance from a wise woman for a journey to come”

In 1995 when I took the advice of the wise woman, aka Mrs Forbs, to help recover from post natal depression I joined the writing group at The Harbour Arts Center in Irvine where I was living at that time.

I was in a very dark place, and when I first joined the group, I was reluctant to read any of my recent poetry, I was afraid I would give the wrong impression, I desperately needed to fit in, because I needed this time to be me, and be accepted as me.

As time progressed I have little doubt my poetry at that time reviled much about my depression, and as friendships grew I was able to confide various issues with friends I made there.

I remember clearly having a discussion with a poet friend who also suffered with depression, about the benefits of screaming and shouting and venting, not necessarily at anyone in particular, but just to release that pent up negative energy that we swallow down that can feel like a volcano errupting inside because sometimes life is hard, and shit, and not always wonderful, and how going to the beach, or a forest,  a footbal pitch or somewhere where the wind and rain and elements are in your face waiting for you, to scream it all out, and bring you internal peace.

I knew this to be true, and to be fair its a relatively harmless form of release.

At that time it was something I did when it all got to much, and I would storm out the house in tears and either walk to the nearby fields, where I would stand and bawl, or I’d get in the car and drive to a place right next to where I now live , park up , walk to the end of the harbour, or shore line and shout, providing of course there was no one around, which fortunately there seldom was.

Of course, shouting and screaming can be channelled more easily, and without even leaving the house if when you feel that urge to scream, and you pause, take a deep breath.. and burst into song!, I guarantee it can be a great way to defuse a heightened state of emotion, even if only because the ludacracy of it may cause you to laugh and laughing is alway , always a positive outcome.

Additionally, I suggest that the rhythmic breathing of singing helps us to control our breathing and thus the repetitive rhythm sooths anxiety and restores balance, perhaps this is why the catatonic rock , because it is calming.

A short time later, between 1995 and 1997 my GP in Glasgow introduced me to mindfulness, through breathing exercises, although I had no idea what mindfulness was then because I hadn’t heard of it. He taught me some basic, easy, breathing and relaxation techniques that could be done sitting or standing that only took a few minutes, to achieve positive results for anxciety.

I make no denial that I was prone to shouting at that time, probably more than I was willing to believe I did, and it added to feelings of guilt and anxiety.

I have almost always been vocal, loud and  impulsive, I am aware of this , most of it was, I think, a defence mechanism , but that’s for a later chapter. My father had oftimes advised me to put my mind into 1st gear before putting my mouth on excellorator!

That first pause, and breath, is,  I think, the first step is good self management of mental health and anxiety.

As I sat quietly after my controlled out burst as noted above, before I even reached the floor, my final paragraph had triggered a chain of thot in relation to what I had wrote, and I smiled, almost laughed, thinking of some of the reactions I’v had when I’v gone on a rant. I am quite an expressive person, prone to doing actions or waving my hands about when I speak, I have been told its can be quite funny to witness, if a little embarressing, and I thot how the same written dialogue, could be used as an arts based therapeutic exercise, to explore self awareness.

Not forgetting there are many ways of interpreting what was written, putting aside content topic for a moment, and that the tone has already been set as “appalled”, you, the reader have inserted the # word. So what if, as an arts therapy exercise we explore the same piece using only positive words for instance, #ing could be, caring or amazing or….. singularly, the hashtag sign, #, could mean any manner of words, providing they still made sense in contex.

Through exploring these avenues,  we can then consider ways to interpret them differently, perhaps through comic, or tragic preformance, or through dance, or song, and in the process we are not only learning positive ways of managing mental health conditions, we are raising self awareness and improving communication skills, skills that can help and impower us in many situations of everyday life.

Even better than that, we can use these “thinks” to raise awareness of positve mental health managment outcomes, via the arts and other holistic practices and therapies.

Additionally, if we take the sinario and express it perhaps through a painting or scetch, again, there are various avenues of expressing the emotions , ie, cartoons, or photo stories reflected in photography or drawings. With the same creative channelling of energy, that creates further life skills that could be developed into buisness skills, ie Tshirts, novelty  gifts ect to raise awareness of mental health issues. Furthermore the skills learned in that creative and theraputic prossess develops skill that can be carried over to many areas of employment and life skills, that empower us as individuals.

I think its prevelant also to mention that the topic content as trigger allows avenues of exploration on any number of subject that in themself further expand the various types of alternative interests that could be explored and always be shown to have the same positve outcomes.

As I sat quietly , I realise how far I myself have come in managing and controlling my own mental health conditions.

I don’t deny that I still get very emotional, and sometimes what to scream and shout with anger and rage, and even sometimes do, but that’s ok too, there’s a lot to get angry and upset about in this world, but theres also a lot to feel good about to.

I know from experience the benefits and therapeutic value of that pause , breath… focus 1st step.

Even as I stretched to pick up the laptop and began to type, the possess of mindfulness began.

The typing process itself, was my focus, I was suprised there were not more spelling mistakes I posted without spell check, of course there are errors that will infurate some people , whom I love dearly , but I know it will also make them smile, cos at the end of the day , my spelling is not really that big a deal, if what i’m doing by writing , even somewhat inconhereltly is preventing me from having to hang my head down the lavy pan as the byle projects out my slabbering destressed face in large volumes of vomit.

I am realeasing the beast, the negative energy in a positive , harmless way, and that is I beleive a positve outcome.

And, I expressed my right to freedom of expression, and opinion, without causing risk or harm, if you were offended by my words remember, you, inserted the # tag word, not I.

I firmly believe holistic therapy though the arts is a fundamental tool to the management of mental health and to bring an end to the stigma that erects barriers to good mental , emotional and social health outcomes .

And that I guess, is the primary objective of the agenda and stratagy of the Hethen Project which aims to raise awareness of how to achieve positive outcomes though the arts for those living with mental health conditions.

As a footnote I’d also like to say to all you spiritual smart asses out there, who make a link on the timing of my emotional outburst, and the enviromental and spiritual indcators related to positon of fullness of the moon, that is a topic I shall explore in more depth later when I descuss the benefits of understanding our byo-rythems and other interesting heatheny things, I mean come on, I haven’t called it The Hethen Project with out good reason, now have I . 🙂

Guidance from a wise woman for a journey ahead…

When an obstetrician tells you, you must be confined to hospital for 11 weeks until the birth of your baby, who will have to be born by arranged C section at 36 weeks, as there is a risk to life for both you, and your baby if you don’t”, you don’t argue, you take heed and do as he says.

This was the scenario I found myself facing just over a week after the death of my father in 1995.

Without doubt it was a frightening and depressing time, of course I agreed, and was admitted to hospital, where I spent the next 12 & 1/2 weeks.

I wasn’t a first time mum, I had two children already, I had read books and information about pregnancy before, I had experienced of pregnancy and given birth. I knew of the various conditions and complications that can occur, there had been complications at the birth of my last child and following it,but I guess most of us think that our pregnancy will be one of those without serious complications, every pregnancy is different as my mother used to say.

I had a grade A placenta previa, and as time passed, in addition, I suffered SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), it was a difficult and worrying time.

I think its fair to say, generally, when we think of maternity wards, we think of them with much positivity, a place where life begins, but in 1995 I realised that the maternity ward is a place where life and death walk hand in hand.

For me, my 12 week stay was both an education and experiences.
I saw many wise, and sometimes, not so wise woman, pass through the maternity ward doors, and I was humbled by the care, compassion and support of the nurses doctors and auxiliary staff who worked there.
I had read about conditions like mine, placenta previa, and others like pre-eclampsia, to name but two, of course there are many more.

I was aware that sometimes miscarriage happened. I was aware some pregnancies were very difficult, that some babies could be still-born, or premature and very poorly, but during my 12 week confinement the reality of all the complications that may occur were hammered home as I experienced, and felt the emotional hurricane that in an instant can whirl through a maternity ward like the one I was on, leaving pain, sorrow and devastations in its wake. Such emotional hurricans touched us all on the ward, not only the parents of stillborn babies and their families, but touching the staff too, these amazing people who hold in their hands that balance between life and death. And of course, we mothers in waiting were affected when other women experianced a tragedy knowing that we too could face a tragic ending, we were all high risk.

I was also aware of and felt the joy of premature babies who struggle and fight to live and who survive against the odds and bring hope to all expectant mothers who face complications in pregnancy.

Post birth baby blues was common, almost normal on the ward, and I suggest there were also cases where signs of post natal depression that would follow were also prevalent in some cases , although its only 22 years on when I think back to some of the signs I witnessed and indeed felt, stories shared that I recognise that.

When a patient under these circumstances it’s not unusual to be told you’re in the best place, and of course you are, but that does not elevate the fear for the life you carry inside you should the worst case scenarieo occur.

During my 12 week stay the reality of my own circumstances and vunerability of my unborn child never left me as I witness both the joys and sorrows of the woman I shared time with, sometimes fleeting, sometimes prolonged time.

I saw and felt the joy of many mothers who left with healthy babies. I also saw woman leave without babies who had endured difficult pregnancies or births, and I saw fathers or grandparents leave with baby, who no longer had a mum.

During my confinment I cried a lot, not just in regard of my own fears and trepidation but for the mothers of babies I had come to know, who’s journey’s I had partially shared. Indeed, 22 years on I still think of some of these woman and their children and wonder how they are now.

I also wore my happy, I’m fine mask a lot, trying to hide my fears and worries from family in order not to worry them, and of couse, to not be a bother to the staff who had more than enough to contend with.

Fortunatly, my baby was born as arranged at 36 weeks, and although he was small and fragile, had jaundice and a heart murmur, 10 days after his birth we went home together.

Throughout my 12 week stay going home with my baby was all I could think of, all I wanted to do, but I was unprepared for how I would feel when that day came, and when it did I was overwhelmed.

Although I would like to say the state of my home when I got there was irrelevant and immaterial, as I was finally home, with my new baby and other children, it wasn’t. My home was untidy, unclean and in truth not how I expected to find it. For this particular story the details or why this was the case is by and large irrelevant, and is covered in my forthcoming book “A Girl From Glasgow” but of course finding my home thus, did not help my mood or emotional state.

I felt like a stranger in my home, everything felt surreal to me.

I had undenyably felt guilty about being away from my other 2 children during my confinement, I had felt guilty about leaving them with my poorly, grieving mother and once home I felt anxious about spreading myself emotionally, caring and giving equal time and attention to all of them, as well as getting the house back in order and returning to my caring for all of them. I felt useless, incompetent and depressed, and I felt guilty that I felt that way.

I recognised I was depressed and I saw the doctor in regard of this.

I was constantly tired, couldn’t eat and felt I got little or no support from my children’s father, who seemed never to be there and constantly on my case when he was. When I tried to discuss these feelings with him, I was told I was paranoid, stupid, and mellow dramatic.

When the health visitor came to the house to see me and he was always there, and he tended to speak over me and for me, something my health visitor told me, on one of the rare occasions when I was able to speak to her when he wasn’t present, she had noticed.

In the summer following my babies birth in May, around July, two old girlfriends from my past came to visit and stay with their children for a holiday. It had felt like a good idea at the time, but hindsight tells me that it was probably not the best time cos it added to the feeling of responsibility to be “fine” when I clearly wasn’t and my happy mask slipped on more than one occasion. After a doctors visit, during their stay, when I had been put on anti-depressant pills which I had a bad reaction to that night. I threw a wobbler, screaming and shouting at everyone out of control I guess, so the following day one of my friends returned home, the other went to stay with my mum to give me a break, she couldn’t go home, she lived abroad and her flight was still a week away.

My friends had tried to be supportive, but I felt judged and repremanded by their  opinionated words of support and felt like no one was actually listening to what I was saying when I tried to explain how I was feeling.
I felt terrible, I felt lost and I no longer recognised myself and when I next took my baby for his check up unaccompanied by my then husband, I told my health visitor, the wonderful wise woman, aka Mrs Forbs, exactly how I felt, through a deluge of tears.
In that moment it felt like a weight had been lifted, when she took my hand and gently reassured me what I was going through was not so unusual and that I was not alone.

The Royal Collage of Psychiatry states that “Postnatal Depression is a depressive illness which affects between 10 to 15 in every 100 women having a baby & the symptoms are similar to those in depression at other times.

Postpartum (puerperal) psychosis is the most severe type of mental illness that happens after having a baby. It affects around 1 in 1000 women and starts within days or weeks of childbirth. It can develop in a few hours and can be life-threatening, so needs urgent treatment.

Some 22 years on since my own experiences with post natal depression, and aditional further diagnosis of clinical depression and mental illness, I am aware there is much more information and support available to woman who experience PND , and thankfully the internet has made information and available support groups much more accessible for all of us.

Additionally I think its fair to say that PND, like any other mental illness, does not only affect woman sufferers but can also affect men.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and indeed friends of those who experience post natal depression will be touched and affected, the impact is much wider than mother only. 

Now, in 2017 as many support departments and agencies see cuts to funding that helps those in distress, I feel great concern for those who suffer PND or any mental health condition as the disparity between physical and mental health funding and support continues and appears to be getting worse. 

I was very fortunate to have the wise woman Mrs Forbs to guid me, and can’t imagine what would have become of me without her advice and support, on that day when through my deluge of tears, I explained how I felt.

Mrs Forbs told me it wasn’t unusual for mum’s to feel how I did.

Mrs Forbs told me my symptoms were normal, and given all the other things I had been though during my pregnancy it was hardly surprising I felt as I did.

Mrs Forbs told me I had been though a great deal, my dads death, all that I felt, and saw on the maternity ward, and some of the other feelings I had shared with her in respect of my personal life, were bound to have an impact.

Mrs Forbs told me, all things considered I had done well to cope as I had, but that bottling up my feelings was counter productive, which of course was true.

This wonderful wise woman, said feeling I had lost myself was not something to feel guilty about, it was normal, and the solution was to find myself again.

She said she recognised that perhaps, I had lost me in the responsibility of motherhood…

I had perhaps become known as, my children’s mum…   my husbands wife… my mothers daughter… and with that, I had forgotten who June was.

Mrs Forbs told me ,that I needed to have some time that was my time, for my interests, away from being mum, daughter wife…

Not that these roles were not important, but that I mattered too, and so did  my interests and goals apart from my role and responsibilities as mother, daughter, wife.

She asked about my interests and life before and I told her of my past career, my interests and voluntary work within the arts. She suggested I get in touch with some groups and get involved in these things again, even if it was only for a few hours a week, reiterateing,  I had to find time for me, to be me , it didn’t make me a bad or neglectful mum, and that it would allow me some space, time away from all the other responsibilities that would allow me to make new friends, which since being a wife I appeared to have lost.

I truly believe that this was quite possibly the best advice I could receive at that time.

I took it, and got involved with the Harbour Art Center near where I lived, where I got involved with the writing group and drama group.

Through my involvement with these groups, and the friends I made there, I began to feel a little more like me again. I regained confidence in myself and my abilities.

Through my involvement with the wtiters group, which I am happy to report is still going strong under the managment of my dear friend David Mclaughlan, I was able to descuss various emotions & issues , but more than that it gave me a voice which allowed me to openly ask questions that were, for whatever reason, taboo. Questions that affected and troubled me.

Indeed, I think the writers group offered me a format where I could formally wear the mask of poet/writer with an air of impartiallity and anonyiminity, in which I was enabled to openly discuss and ask question I had previously been afraid, for a number of reasons, to ask.

Not only that but in this guise and areana, I was also able to get impartial feedback from other writers on many topics that had impacted on me for years , and this, was for me, theraputic.

Additionally, the writers group helped to rebuild my self esteem, and confidence in my creative skills, something that was very much a me thing, and I began to feel less lost and more like June and not just, the childrens mum, my partners wife, my mothers daughter…

During my involvement with The Harbour Art center between 1995 & 1997 I was involved with three amdram productions, A pantomime, a production of  Willy Russell’s play Educatin Rita  and a musical tributes show which I produced, directed coriographed and preformed in .

I began to feel good about myself again, I found confidence in my creative and practical abilities , I remembered the strong person I had once been and was able to express my emotions through my writing and involvement with the theatre group.

With my new found confidence I volunteered to be involved in some outreach and summer youth arts programmes which were organised by the HAC, and I was delighted that others had faith in my abilities too when I was invited to work there part time in the role of Events Co-ordinator.

For me this was not the end of my journey with depression and mental illness, but I am sure it was the guidance from the wise woman Forbs, and all I learned from heeding that advice that prepared me for the journey through the abyss of mental illness that would follow later and eventually lead to the strategy and agenda for what I now call The Hethen Project.

I shall be eternally grateful to the wise woman Mrs Forbs for her support and the advice and guidance she gave me, and to the friends I met at The Harbour Arts Center who helped and supported me though that time, that has helped mould the me I am today over twenty years on.









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