Desperate for something to put in my mouth. If I was chewing, the words that were threatening to spill would stay where they were.
And I wouldn't get sacked.
'So you think you can put a plaster on mental health when it's a bit poorly?
Bollocks to that'
I was off.
'You've got mental health, I've got it, he's got it, she's got it. All our kids have it.
Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's a bit tired. Sometimes it's properly poorly and needs a full chemical makeover.
What the fuck is 2 days sat in a classroom going to teach me?' I spat at her.
I sat back down.
My other mother kicked me.
In fact she kicked me so hard she nearly fell off her chair.
'Well, you could learn about depression and how to get rid of it'
My other mother kicked me again.
Harder than the first time.
'I'm sorry. What?' I asked.
'You could learn about depression and self harm' came the response.
'Oh. Ok. Cos living with it isn't knowledge enough? Silly me'
I needed to stop.
My legs would be bruised at this rate.
But my 'self diagnosed Tourette's' kept the words falling from my gob.
'So tell me what I'll learn'
Let's save the council 2 days wage n me 2 days of my life that I'll never get back.
'Well, you'll learn what it's like for those who self harm. Why they do it.
They'll explain what it's like to live with depression and how we can make it better'
What the actual fuck?
I think I said 'what the actual fuck' out loud but I couldn't be certain.
Nice to know that any previous discussions I've had with the management team who support me have been acknowledged.
Nothing quite says 'screw you' other than dismissing someone's personal experience and diagnosed mental health issues.
I suffer from depression.
People I love suffer from it.
'And how did they suggest we make depression better for our kids?'
I was livid.
I couldn't hide it.
I also realised I was now pacing round the kitchen, opening cupboards in a further attempt to distract myself.
Well, if you go on the training you'll find out won't you' she smiled patronisingly.
No I won't.
Am I meant to jolly them along n tell them to pull themselves together?'
'Well, if we keep them busy, it will help. We can't let them wallow in their bedrooms or carry on self harming. It's not normal behaviour'
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO FUNCTION WITH DEPRESSION.
SELF HARM IS A FORM OF EMOTIONAL REGULATION.
AND SINCE WHEN HAS IT NOT BEEN NORMAL FOR TEENAGERS TO WALLOW?
So not only do our kids have to be separated from their parents, live with people who they wouldn't ever associate with normally, have 20 different people looking after them (some of whom, they really don't like), they have raging teenage hormones, have experienced trauma, neglect n abuse, now we have to jolly them along n tell them they don't really feel how they say they do.
OVER MY DEAD BODY.
There was no point arguing.
I may as well save my breath.
Bearing in mind this is someone who has previously told me that I didn't feel a certain way.
The same person who has said that one of my boys didn't really feel anxious.
I left the meeting.
If I still smoked, I would have been in the garden, chain smoking.
I was so cross that after my open water swim, I still hadn't shaken it off.
I can feel it in my shoulders.
When I am calmer, I will work out how to fight this.
What to do with it.
What to do with and about my colleague.
I know that I will carry on loving the kids, acknowledging their feelings and experiences. Discussing coping mechanisms with them, taking about mental health. Talking about feelings and how all things are ok. How we all have mental health, just like we have sexual health n physical health.
I will talk about how it needs looking after and good self care. In the same way we clean our teeth, we can make sure our metal health doesn't get bits stuck that will cause decay.
But sometimes, it's chemical and the chemical shift can't be helped and that's not anyone's fault.
It just 'is'.
The behaviours that follow aren't the person making choices. No amount of being cross, shouting or rationalising will prevent a behaviour taking place. Neither will dismissing someone or they way they feel.
Mental health is what it is.
It's hard watching someone you love struggling.
It's hard being the person to struggle.
But it's fucking horrific to be told to pull yourself together or that you don't feel a certain way. I've had it.
It doesn't help.
I assure you, if, in my darkest times, I could've jollied myself along, I really really would've.
My leg is currently bruised.
You can see that it's sore. You can see there has been trauma to my leg.... But you can't see inside my head.