“Wow! You’re Clean for a Gypsy.”

HELLO! I’ve had a week away from thinking about anything last week because it was my birthday and I was pretty busy doing everything aside from enjoying it.

Except on Saturday, I became 78% Jägermeister on Saturday and I’m not sure I’ve sobered up yet.

So last week was ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ and to continue the trend, this week is ‘Hate Crime Awareness Week‘. What is ‘hate crime’? Click here to learn more. For anyone who knows me or has read any recent posts, you’ll know that I believe that hate crime/discrimination/prejudice is directly linked the mental health issues found in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. GRT children learn at a young age that a lot of people won’t like them because they are different. I first realised this in primary school in London, where I’d be embarrassed to get a dropped off in a pick-up truck, (I’ve no idea why, I was a charmer and had like five girlfriends before I was 10 years old, #ladykiller) but I was. I first realised the extent of how we were disliked, whilst watching my dad play in a pool team that visited different pubs each week for their league matches, and most of those weeks when they were playing away, landlords and bouncers wouldn’t let my dad and I in. The team had to argue that he had done nothing wrong as was there to play pool. We’d be watched, and sometimes kicked out as soon as my dad played his match. All of those pubs in London always had the huge “NO DOGS or NO TRAVELLERS ALLOWED (*BECAUSE I’M A RACIST IDIOT)” sign, and I always thought we were breaking a law by entering these pubs, just turns out those landlords were.

So, anyway, let me point you back to the post title, “You Look Very Clean for a Gypsy” for a second. I would love to know where your own minds take you when you read that quote. For those who are still curious, let me blow your minds.

Three years ago, my wife and I had the idea to start a charity to help Gypsies, Roma and Travellers with things like advocacy, advice and basic skills try to have a more significant relationship with their councils and MPs. So off my wife and I went to an organisation that supports start-ups to meet an officer from a well known charity, who would be able to help with starting up this idea. The meeting was what you would expect at a professional meeting, up until he asked me how our idea would relevant and link in with the community the charity was aimed for. I told him that I am an Irish Traveller, and I also have ties with the local community and have lived in the area for over a decade or so.

So, are you ready for this bit?

He just looked at me and said, “You look very clean for a gypsy”.

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You what, mate?

As you probably could imagine, I was busy re-attaching my jaw back to my face and trying not to jump over the table and throw him in the bin.

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Get in there, you fool.


Note: 
I was intending for this post to be on the lighter side, but it had to have a change of direction as I received a call from someone asking if the police would do anything about a 15-year-old who was shouting at their kids, (aged between 5-9) that they are “smelly gypsies and they should f*** off back to their caravan” in front of the children’s friends.

Yep, we know people don’t like us. We read, see or hear about it every day in a million different ways. But when young children hear things like this before they can even understand the differences that people in the world have, how can we be expected to even want to integrate with people like that scumbag teenager and the people they learned this mentality from and the other adults that influence their societal views? Why would we even want to?

I’m glad you can see my point.

I firmly believe that scenarios like this can have an effect on children’s anxieties, worries and things that develop into mental health issues and a negative outlook on the society they live in. How could it not, when teenagers feel they are able to racially abuse a child as young as five years old.

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One of many horrible findings from a recent YouGov poll.

This then asks questions of all people fighting for equality, the feminists, the LGBT equality groups and the other ‘social justice warriors’ who are allowing the MPs, the TV personalities and people in everyday life to racially abuse and discriminate this protected ethnicity in every which way, quite regularly:

Why aren’t there more people fighting for Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller equal rights?
Are we not as important as other communities?
Does the fight for equality just stop at certain characteristics?

Equality will never, ever exist until all people have the same treatment as every other minority group. Our voice is the most silenced and our views are met with racial stereotyping and myths, essentially undermining any fight for equality we are trying to win. Until we have more support, more children will want to retreat to our families and communities just to get some respite from the daily vitriol and hate that goes unchallenged.

If you are being threatened or attacked because of your race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability or any other protected characteristicsplease make sure you call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers have specialist services that you can report any hate crimes, get advice on how to report them, such as:

 

Thanks for reading, don’t stand by and let inequality grow, help out your fellow humans, whoever they may be.

Martin

P.S. *I wish it did say that. It definitely should do for all racist idiots.
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There Are Good Days And There Are Bad Days…

Week two of work is over, and Noah is still pissing on us to keep his nappy dry and Mabli laughs her head off whenever Noah is crying, which is a bit scary.

I’ll stop pretending that I’m not depressed.

TODAY I AM FUCKING MISERABLE. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

My head has been completely taken over by a ‘fog’ that has come out of nowhere. No outgoing flights, everything is cancelled, no refunds. Not going to punch in some humour, because having your smile taken away almost immediately after having a good day with your family is shit. Plus I can’t think of anything funny right now and I’m sick of saying “I’m tired” whenever someone asks me how I am.

Imagine having a proper laugh with your children, feeling like a decent dad, making them laugh and all that stuff, then you get home, look at yourself in the mirror and the colours of the world get sucked into the eyes you’re looking into and you feel worthless for no reason. Kind of like #Mondays.

I have never contemplated suicide, ever. I am PETRIFIED of death. I’d happily be a vampire in The Originals and party forever. Or be an immortal Morrissey, forever making miserable SOUND SO GOOD for generations to come. No, death scares the shit out of me. I have though, tried to put myself in the shoes of those who have attempted, or committed suicide, to try and understand what they were feeling and thinking, as I’m assuming some of you have done. How low must someone be to accept that they’re going to go through with it? How down must a person feel if their family, wealth and whatever else a person may have can’t stop it? depresion026-jpg

After Chester Bennington’s suicide, that really hit me hard. The man had everything, a gorgeous family, money, adulation, loved by millions through his creativity, and it wasn’t enough. So through that reflection, I realised that I don’t get enthusiastic about many things at all. I’m in physical pain trying to give a shit about someone talking to me about religion or something during general day to day conversation.

If God really did make us in his image, he (or she) would get a very bad review on Amazon by the person he sent me out to. “DON’T TRUST THIS SELLER, SOLD ME A HUMAN THAT DOESN’T WORK AND WILL NOT GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK. AVOID.”

I obviously get excited and the warm buzz when I see my family or when I’m nearly home to see them. I cry when Mufasa dies, (who doesn’t?) but other than that? My stupid brain switched off that feeling long ago.

For those who are severely depressed, the notion of having nothing at all to look forward to in their life, for the rest of their life, is a really scary thought.

My family and closest friends have always and will keep me from reaching that degree of ‘darkness’, but it can make you sad trying to understand just what people with depression have to think through from day to day. I am fortunate that I have never gotten to the place that, unfortunately, other people have.

Earlier this week, it was great to see Ben Bennett off of ‘Gypsy Kids’ given a huge platform to talk about his experiences with racism and discrimination in schools and communities. His story is easily a template for hundreds of us when we were children, and even worse so nowadays. This leads to bullying and discrimination, violence and self-defense and unfortunately, protecting yourself and your family gets you branded a “thug”. It is a nasty vicious cycle. Pretty much like every Liverpool FC game this season. We are taught how to box for the reason that we need to look after ourselves and our family, we also have a competitive nature that makes boxing addictive.

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Something that I have thought about since looking at Mind UK’s statistic of 1 in 4 people has mental health issues, is that a lot of the UK population aren’t included in that sample, but also even more of the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller community wouldn’t be either. Now linking this to another statistic that GRT males are six times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the UK population, and females seven times more likely, how would the “1 in 4” change if we take that into account, and also the fact that GRT young people have the same pressures that other young people have, (appearance, reputation, ‘fitting in etc), but also have to prepare themselves for daily racism and discrimination from teachers, students and other institutions and the communities they live in. Then having to react to having race and ethnicity challenged, despite legislation and policy that protects us. Then after that, having to deal with violence coming your way. Like when police set their dogs on a person without provocation, or Johnny Delaney, who was murdered “because he was a Gypsy”.  My kids will have to know how to protect themselves if this attitude is still accepted, which I am fearful it may be.

My own brain shit probably could have originated from going through this as I grew up, but depression was only something you heard of when talking about suicide. I’ve had people walking out of a pub announcing out loud, “I’m not drinking here, there are gyppos on the pool table” to a reception of the whole pub who turned to laugh at us. We were a group of two 16-year-olds, and our 14-year-old brothers just playing some pool, watching some football. We did follow that guy into another pub and challenged him, (not like the videos you see on Facebook), but through conversation. No macho story here, I shit myself. The guy was a very, very tall, fat man, who had to crane his neck like a dinosaur would have so he could shove his face into mine as I asked him if he would not say stuff like that again, as there was no need for it, and if adults were there, we wouldn’t know what would have happened but we definitely know who was getting the blame.

There I was, looking like a 58kg Hercules, (the skinny one from the Disney movie) standing up to one of the Titans who wanted to smell my face before he ate it. To be fair to that guy, he apologised and shook my hand and said something about ‘respect’ that I didn’t hear because I was figuring out how the fuck I would fight this dude without it looking like Andre the Giant vs Mr. Bean at Wrestlemania 3. But, that conversation did mean that it didn’t happen again, (in front of us anyway).

With stories like these, that statistic from Mind UK looks like it could be a little bit lower, doesn’t it?

As many human rights campaigners have said, educating the people who are happy to discriminate and persecute will be one of the ways to change their mentality, not all I know, but I am hoping that I get to see a world where I see positive change for us before I die, but I’m not sure that I will get to see it.

Now That is Over With…

I’ve not even thought about writing since my last post, mainly because of UNIVERSITY. After writing this I definitely felt that I had been shoving a lot of things right down in the name of ‘plodding on’. So caution – I haven’t written in a while and hopefully, it doesn’t bum you out.

My final year was pretty hard and made me sacrifice things I really loved, and my music was the main loss. After six fun, (but hard) years with Falls, we were broke and too poor to afford the push to the ‘next level’. Which was a shame, but a thing that definitely needed to happen for me to graduate, but also to prevent myself hating the three people I considered close, if not best friends. That’s not even me trying to pop a joke. I daydreamed about hurting people in my brain, through ‘daydreams’ that I have no control over. I’d laugh with them one minute, and see myself smashing my guitar in someone’s face the next. For what reason? No idea. Probably because Ben wouldn’t stop for a McDonald’s at 3am and I had to hold a wee wee in. I know, right? What a dick.

A funny thing happened during that conversation where I told the guys I was ‘done’. I told them that I needed to really work on the last six months of my degree, otherwise I’d have a massive debt for a degree that I may have failed because of stress of touring and other distractions. I also said that I couldn’t carry on, in case we have more babies. That night, after I told Chloe about what I feared was a rash decision, she told me that she was pregnant with Mabli, who is now here and she is very beautiful. Things like that let you know that you made the right decision. My magical, psychic #GypsyPowers never fail me.

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Mabli is now two months old, (or thereabouts) and I’ve not thought about writing as firstly, I’m not a stay at home dad anymore, well, from 11th Sept I’ll be working with a charity to provide advocacy for GRT communities around North Wales. Secondly, thinking about writing with any form of correct punctuation instead of, “cloooooo my belly is sore and I have a ouchy tum tum 😦 xox”, made me want to dive headfirst into a wall. Thirdly, and most notably, I think that my brain sank back into a patch of being a pill-zombie again, plodding along trying to keep two kids and my wife happy, whilst ‘I’ am watching from inside the shell, not really caring until I’m allowed to be reckless and stupid. I also get angry at things that I shouldn’t, and haven’t in the past and only realise it upon reflection. I hate that I don’t see it all the time so I can shut that shit down and stop from pissing people off, or embarrassing myself. I also haven’t left auto pilot for a long, long time. I’m constantly ready to jump to stop Noah do something stupid like, stand barefoot in dog shit, or be ready to change the weird ‘Donald Trump kills the Mexicans’ episode of Peppa Pig that some weird, fucking idiot decided to sit in his stupid bedroom and then have the great idea to let other humans see it.

That is just being a parent I guess, but trying to force yourself into burying your head into things you don’t even like isn’t part of what’s ‘normal’. ‘Me time’ is exactly that. I lose interest in everything I enjoy. At the time I could being having a GREAT TIME, but running parallel is my stupid brain trying to bum out the vibe. It’s like having the really annoying person you avoid on a night out trapped in your head. You’d love to punch him, but you’d really regret it in the morning.

I sound like I’m really miserable. I’m actually not. I’m relying on writing to clear my brain which now feels like it belongs to somebody else. This isn’t the same brain I had ten years ago when being ‘down and depressed’ was realising you were in a shit relationship, and when you were finally single, you could do anything. Maybe as I get older and turn into the person I think a dad of two should be, I have to learn and get to know how ‘he’ works and accept some aspects of life are different. You’d never know that from a chat with me, as sarcasm and humour are masks I use regularly because I like seeing people laugh. But then Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell (to name but two ‘high profile’ people to recently leave) were able to bring happines on a global scale throigh their music and sometimes, it sadly isn’t enough. I guess being awake at 1am on Sunday makes you think of these things. I can’t wait to drink whisky again.

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“The thing I love about writing is that by the end of whatever the heck I was going about before, I find things I need to understand for the future ahead.”
Me, right now.

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I know I feel down sometimes. I am not alone in this, nobody should feel that way. I am lucky that I don’t notice it because I’m laughing at Noah throughout the day, or spending time avoiding projectile vomit, or trying to make Mabli laugh with One Direction songs. I am fortunate that I see light in my future when others don’t, or haven’t. I am lucky to have a two year old spark of life who makes me laugh at 5:58am and makes my heart melt right before he drifts off, singing songs in his sleep. And now I get to be excited for what he and Mabli will get up to together to make Chloe and I laugh in the months to come, and in the years that precede that, I hope they will help me understand myself, as we try to help them understand who they are and who they want to be.

Thanks for stopping by, I promise I won’t leave it so long next time.

 

A Call to Action! 

Another ‘Day’, another blog! 

I’ve been pretty busy writing but not for the blog, I was fortunate to get printed! So thank to Travellers’ Voice and all of you for the comments that’s made me want to keep writing, it means a lot!

Thanks Travellers’ Voice!

So I’ve seen International Men’s Day campaigns that include many men’s stories, which is great! One particular campaign showed men posing for their Instagram, or Twitter selfies with hashtags that gave their followers a sense of their perfect lives –
#Perfectfamily.
#Bestdayever.
#Happy.
#Livingthedream.
#Lifegoals.

The campaign then reveals that the men, who are smiling with their families, showing off their incredible physiques or expensive belongings actually took their lives weeks after those posts.

One thing that I’ve had happen to me, on many occasion is that people tell me that I have “the perfect life”, and this has made me and Chloe think about how we portray ourselves on social media. We have a *happy* life I think, yeah, I am annoying asshole to be around sometimes, and when I’m in a dark spot, and I am stubborn, petty, lose patience with Noah and THE STUPID ‘DADDY FINGERS’ VIDEOS THAT HAVE CRYING BABIES ON LOOP and plenty of other things, but we definitely don’t fit in to the ‘perfect’ category.

I remember back when people were on MySpace or MSN Messenger, (I know, right?) and posted bulletins with lyrics that let people know how they felt, and a lot of the time they were really dark words that people were using to find a friend to talk to. We also have changed to make our friends to think that “my life is perfect too” and the feeling of needing to keep up the facade of a ‘perfect life’ because you feel that people only follow you on Facebook to watch you slip up. Instead of being truthful, and being able to live without social pressure and anxiety/paranoia always in your mind.

So I’m going to talk to everyone, a call of action to the protectors of your houses and realms, (Game of Thrones withdrawal there, sorry) who need to also protect themselves, (and obviously not just men).

Be truthful. Use real hashtags that describe how you’re feeling behind the pictures.
 
#Ineedamate
#Mykidsdomyheadin
#Imnothappy
#Needtotalk
#Ineedhelp
#Iamfeelinglow
#Ifeeldown for example.

I’ve always felt that being open about mental health is important for people to find help to work with and live with their mental illnesses, as 1 in 4 people has one, and they lead to many, many suicides yearly.

It is time to talk to your friends and family. Be there for them, ask them how they are feeling, whoever they are, it could be exactly what they needed.
X

Who Pisses in their Granola?!

So week one of my new job is done, and the worst thing about me having money, (even if I don’t have any yet) is that I suddenly think I am a MILLIONAIRE. I normally get so angry when Christmas is advertised before Halloween and my birthday, (also in October), but for the past few years, I’ve been doing my degree whilst being at home with Noah. Now I have money… I’ve realised I am a filthy consumer, starting a Rocky-esque training routine to be ready to delete anybody trying to get something I didn’t even know I wanted. I can’t wait.

Speaking of spending all my money, I came across a company named UncommonGoods who stock some incredible things for those who are fans of unique gift ideas, and for those who prefer to shop with eco-friendly and ‘green’ companies, who also look after their staff is something I’m a fan of. I mean, I am a bigger fan of getting presents from places such as this, (AHEM, Chloe) and anyone who knows me, knows that a personalised whiskey barrel and loads of handy tools to make guitar playing easier, and loads of other cool men’s Christmas gifts is all I need if a zombie apocalypse ever did happen.

Being a bit less selfish, Chloe and I noticed Noah was having a hard time with me being away as much for the first time, so we decided to look for something personalised that both of the kids would love, and found this…

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I mean, how could I not?

I didn’t really think about how Noah could react to me being away so much for the first time in his life, and over the week, our phone calls went like this:

First day in work, 10am…
Chloe: “How’s it going?”
Me: “Not bad, just the usual first week-nerves, but it is going well!”
Chloe: “That’s good, I’ll speak to you later, love you, bye!”

Later, during a tea break…
Me: “You all ok?
Chloe: “Yeah, we’re not too ba-NOAH! POO IN THE POTTY PLEASE! Callyoubackbye.”

Chloe: “Sorry about that, Noah missed the potty when he was pooing, ran away from me trying to catch it as it was falling out and he slipped on it, now he has shit all over him”
Me (laughing): “Oh that’s gross. Hold on, just need a top of hot chocolate, it is proper good, you should come try some.”
Chloe: “Fuck off, Martin. Bye.”

Later that week…
Me: “Hiya, you good?”
Chloe: “NO. I’m not good. Mabli has shit all over me again, Noah decided to piss in his granola, WHO PISSES IN THIER GRANOLA? And I don’t even know whether he ate it or not. He is being a nightma-NOAH! STOP PAINTING YOUR WILLY BLUE! Got to go, love you.”

I felt bad not being there to help, (I didn’t, I was sat in a gorgeous restaurant in Colwyn Bay each day drinking hot chocolate), and Chloe’s first week as a stay at home mother must have been harder as she has two baby humans to raise.

I didn’t really think about how Noah would react to me being away for most of the day, I know it sounds silly, but for two years I’ve been around every day. As soon as I set foot out of the door to drive to work, I cried and wanted to do those two years back, and do them better. Your children grow up so fast, (as you probably well know) and for someone like me, it really got me down that I’ll never have that time again. On the flipside, I am excited to about where I am now, and the things that I get to see Noah and Mabli do, and also how Chloe and I have grown with it, and I’m even more excited (even with my anxiety) to see where we go next.

I am away next week in Cardiff, so I’ll be doing some vlog uploads to keep me from getting drunk/in trouble/spotted on stage at a burlesque show, (I SO hope that happens) out of boredom.

Thank you for the support, as usual, (sorry for the tech problems, which meant I had to re-post – THANKS WordPress), and have a great week!

Martin
x

The Pains in Spain!

We had our Summer holiday this week, all the way to Vilanova Il La Geltru in sunny Spain. It is a beautiful place and loads to do at Vilanova Park. Will 100% go back there very soon!

Mabli was perfect on the plane, aside from the massive poo she did all over Chloe’s brand new jeans upon landing, she was great. Again, proving Chloe right that bringing an eight week old “would be easy”.

 

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Poor Clo.

 

We were lucky that we had our CuddleBug sling with us, which meant we only needed the one pram/buggy, with how easy it was to carry Mabli around, feed and her to just latch on whilst she was snug in there, the holiday (and my sanity) was saved.

Noah had a great time too. We got to see how social he is and how he doesn’t care about anything as long as he can dance. He got himself a little girlfriend! But her parents kept her away from him after he ‘booped’ her nose. His first heartbreak. (I’m glad it is done with now, surely that’ll make his teenage romancing years easier…) In the pool he was the centre of everything, playing with anyone, regardless the language barrier. One particular day, there were a few children playing in the pool and a lifeguard called for a mass evacuation, as one of the kids decided to take a massive shit in there. Now I am an anxious person, and I was thinking to myself, “Oh, fuck’s sake. Please don’t let that be Noah’s”. Chloe’s anxiety, on the other hand, would have gone CRAZY. Her brain was probably saying something like this:

“OhmyGodohmyGodpleaseletNoahhaveacleannappybutwhatifitwashimandeveryoneismadatusbecausetheyhavetoleavethepoolOHMYGODWHATIFTHEPOOTOUCHEDANOTHERCHILD“.

Thankfully Noah’s nappy was clean, (it really was). We should have really relaxed as we heard a little boy with a Mancunian accent shout proudly, “I ‘ad a big poo in the water!” over and over again. But hey, that’s what anxiety does to a person.

I recently had my own experiences of being left out of plans and as a person who is very much a ‘pack wolf’ I was a left a bit angry by this, (as my group of friends are over all 30). As a social person, who does live by a lot of rules of respect that Travellers do live by, nobody really gets left out of anything, an invite as always common courtesy. So to not make this about other people. I sat back and started to piece together some serious answers to some shit questions after noticing where I stood with people I’ve chatted with for years.

Did they know when I needed support, or even want to help me through crappy days

Then I sat back after a mouthful of Coke, wishing so bad it was Irn Bru and asked myself why the fuck was I even thinking of those questions. I shouldn’t ever have to.

This is what anxiety does this to the most confident of people. I am usually confident in anything I do. I can walk into a venue/bar and always spend the night laughing with old and new friends. But anxiety can turn you into a husk of your former self, and self-worth disappears, replaced by being comfortable in your routine, accepting some things you don’t agree with. Allowing these things to occur again and again until you break. Then you feel guilty about challenging it. Stupid, isn’t it?

So for the sake of my own mental health and weekly feeling of paranoia, worrying if I’d yet again not been invited to do some social beering, I’ve taken a big step away from my closest group of friends of a long time. Like a Facebook purge but in real life. And with no deaths like in similarly-titled films, obviously. Human interaction with people helps those with anxieties, stresses and depression, it allows us to at least clear our minds for a little bit, and it is even better when those who relate can offer support and a chat over a beer. And that is what I need more than ever… Both beer and support, and lots of it. Don’t get me wrong, I always want everyone I know to do well in life, these are no different. I just don’t want to look stupid any longer, leaving and returning to group chats on the basis of “Sorry, I had a shit day with my brain” with no response or offer of support.

I also felt that I had to step away because I couldn’t give Noah and Mabli advice about standing up for themselves, and not settling for ‘friends’ if their dad was allowing the same thing to happen to him and accepting it.

Walk the walk, Martin. Parents have to lead by example.

 

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Preach, yo.

 

I also had to keep myself from being snappy and agitated from my own thoughts affected by this too. It’s pretty impossible to remove everything from your life that can trigger anger, frustration, loneliness or whatever, but I had to figure out how to stop being angry at something, and also difficult to Chloe when she’d offer support. My mind likes to keep her far away from what is bothering me and let me just have time alone to ‘fix it’ and hide it. Obviously, it didn’t work until I begin to see rationality and talk with her about it. That’s where my reflection and recovery both begin.

I’m lucky that this doesn’t happen with Travellers. Yeah, we jeer each other and have different views, (you just have to keep them to yourself), sometimes it gets heated and physical but you’re never alone. Loyalty is a massive part of Traveller friendships. I even find it weird calling them “friendships”, I mean it is exactly what they are but we wouldn’t call each other “friends”, it is more like “the boys” or “the girls” but more like a family gathering. Probably because you’ll be meeting up with your brother’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s cousin or something like that. I suppose that’s where the close-knit part of being who we are comes in, and how our extended families are made.

Maybe I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve finished extending my branches and it is time to make room for my own family tree and those who want to be there with us

So yeah, getting away to Spain was good for the mind!

Thanks for reading and look after yourselves!

Martin x

An Open Letter to Piers Morgan.

Dear Piers.

How about instead of advising people to ‘man up’, instead of opening up and speaking about how they are feeling and what is going on regarding the mental health of others,  you;

Think about the mothers who suffer/have suffered with post-partum.

Think about the fathers who have suffer/have suffered with post-partum.

Think about the soldiers who have experienced loss and PTSD.

Think about each person who experience depression, stress or anxiety on a daily basis and have to fight with their mind, when it flashes involuntary thoughts and images about suicide and self harm.  Think about those who would never want to harm themselves, because they have an amazing family and life around them but are subject to these thoughts. Think of those who couldn’t fight it any longer.

These are just a few examples of people who more ‘man’ than Piers Morgan  will ever be. I mean we know this because he is a piece of shit who hacks the phones of dead people. He and Katie Hopkins share the shame ethical bed, however, credit to Hopkins for changing her views on LBC during her talk with the mother of a trans-person, it goes to show when a person can listen to someone who tactfully knows what they’re talking about, education can happen. Either way, how they remain relevant through these disgusting, 1850s-esque statements annoys the heck out of me.

Anyway, enough of that idiot.

I have been very busy to contribute to this blog over recent months, my degree year has proven to be quite a bit harder than I thought it would. I am also excited for July, which baby number two arrives. A girl this time! I am excited to use this blog to help me through it. When Noah was born, I discovered very quickly that what I thought becoming a parent would be like, was very wrong. Especially emotionally. For months I did talk to anyone regarding my own loneliness and depression. Only when I did open up, was when I could understand it, accept it, (however crap the dark times get) and solidify the support I needed to get through it.

The support that I set up through talking helped me through what was the darkest point I’ve ever experienced. For three weeks or so, 70% of that time consisted of arguing with my brain and repressing some horrible things my brain was forcing me to see. As someone who is petrified of dying, this sets off an emotional chain of thoughts about death, the people I leave behind and all that stuff.

Fortunately, my family have some special power that helps me realise that I am in the fog, and help me get through it eventually. I sit and reflect how crap it must be for my wife to help a husk, who is arguing with his own brain most of the day. Sometimes there is no escaping it. I’d have happily stood in a ring and let someone beat it out of me if it worked. I’d also happily stand in a ring and beat some common sense in to Mr. Morgan’s ‘enlightened’ mind too. I’m sure one of those would have felt better than the other!

Getting back on track, Noah is nearly two now and he is a genius, (I’m sure all parents think their kids are). He’s smart and hilarious, and knows when I am down. So he helps me massively. Through my ‘fog’ shite, I still had my dissertation to do, help my wife through the pains of SPD and a horrible loss in the family, so I had no time to sit and try to take back control of my mind.

That was until this moment.

Noah

Up until this point, I was constantly making sure that Noah wasn’t doing things he wasn’t supposed to, like snort like a pig at older people, pull his pants down in public and in the above instance, running into the sea. I was trying to teach him that he shouldn’t go in because he’d get wet, and I thought it was dangerous, (mainly because I am petrified of deep water) bla bla bla.

However, watching him and wondering what he was thinking looking out at the water, reminded me that I couldn’t let him be afraid of learning new things. Harking back to Piers Morgan’s (last time I mention him, I promise), statement about ‘manning up’, if this was the case for every scenario we wouldn’t progress at all. I want Noah to be able to be brave enough to speak about the things that it takes extreme bravery to speak of. Like those people who speak about their mental illnesses, people from the LGBTQ community, soldiers who are the embodiment of ‘toughness’ regardless their gender, yet experience PTSD and some of the horrible things that they go through.

In this case, like my own learning from my nearly-two year old, society is better off when we open up, speak to each other and help those to try to understand and accept themselves. It is equally important for those who don’t understand to listen and learn some truths regarding life. As Paolo Freire puts it, “The teachers must become learners and the learners must become teachers”.

Over to you people of the world. Be proud of who you are and all you have achieved. Be proud you have accepted yourselves amidst the persecution it can bring, flaws an’ all. Be proud that you are the teachers of the world, and make sure that people like Mr. Morgan, (I LIED. HA), learn something from you/us all.

Thanks and as Mr. Taylor from the Slack Chaps podcast says, “Just be good to each other”.