Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My boyfriend of a few months died a while ago and I cannot grieve for him in public because I was his secret girlfriend.

We only ever met up at my house once a week in the evenings  when my kids were asleep so nobody knows of our relationship, not my kids or my friends so I am sad and all alone. I want to tell everyone so they understand why I am so sad.

I know he would have left his wife.

My Counsellor has been cruel so I won’t be going back to her as she said he wouldn’t have left his wife for me and I should just move on.

I think I should tell his wife, what do you think?

Aunty S responds

Absolutely not.  

Keep right away from her and her family.

An occasional dalliance does not constitute a relationship so I am in full agreement with your Counsellor so please take her advice and return to her as you need assistance to regain control of your life.

Over and out.

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Bullying – Stan’s story

Last summer, a young man stayed with us for a few weeks whilst he recovered from the after-effects of being horrifically bullied.
He required somewhere safe away from his hometown, to try and work out how to rebuild his life after his previous one had been stripped from him.

The other day he asked me to mention his story on my blog in the hope that it helps someone who is going through a similar ordeal.
I will refer to him as ‘Stan’ from hereon to protect his identity.
This is his story, albeit very condensed.

Stan had worked for the same firm for over ten years, loved his job, had great workmates, loyal friends, owned his own home and was in a fledgling relationship with a young woman.
With one lie, his world came tumbling down.
At the beginning of this year, he had an appointment in the city,  an hour’s drive from his town, so he took a day off work to attend it.
On his way into the city, by sheer chance, he spied a workmate,  walking out of a house, in a loving embrace with a woman who wasn’t his wife.
The workmate looked up and saw Stan drive past.Stan didn’t give it a second thought and carried on driving.

But the next day at work Stan knew something was wrong when his workmates shunned him as soon as he walked in.
Shortly after, his boss called him into his office and asked him outright whether he was a Paedophile.
Stan thought he was joking and laughed.
His boss then shouted at him and told him how his workmate, the one cheating on his wife, had witnessed Stan with his arms wrapped around a young teenage boy in a compromising situation in the city the day before.
Stan was stunned and told him it was a lie and then tried to explain what had actually happened but his boss kept shutting him down, yelling at how disgusted he was with him and would fire him if he could, but his hands were tied because of his job contract.
It was a master stroke by the bully; isolating your victim is the first rule in the “bully handbook”, as once isolated, it is very hard to get the truth out there.

His friends were angry that Stan was being lied about  and  said they would stand up for him.  They didn’t follow through as they were terrified of the bully, as he had a name for himself as  being a nasty piece of work under the guise of a jocular man.
To make things even worse, Stan’s girlfriend walked out on him.

After two weeks of being ostracised at work, he knew he couldn’t go on so left the job that meant so much to him.
His parents took him to the Doctor, where he was put on anti-depressants and was advised to get away for a few weeks to calm his nerves.

When I picked him up from the airport, I found a traumatised young man, a man who had never suffered a day of depression in his life.

Quite simply, the bully had broken him, and furthermore he had been betrayed by everyone except his family.

Our home  is often referred to as a ‘retreat” as it is enveloped in a private garden so one has complete privacy which is exactly what Stan required to heal his mind and soul.

On Week Four of his stay, I asked him whether he would mind if I called his ex boss for a chat. 

He told me it would be a waste of time but “go for it”.

I was determined to sort this boss out once and for all.  

I doubted he would take my call but I was willing to give it a go so imagine my surprise when I found him receptive!

I cut to the chase and explained, ever so calmly,  the whole sordid situation in depth, exposing the bully’s affair and how Stan had witnessed the bully  in an intimate moment with this woman and how he used him and his workmates to help destroy Stan’s credibility should he decide to tell the bully’s wife as to what he saw.
As the conversation progressed his ex boss started putting it all together and then out of the blue, with a few expletives attached, he exclaimed how he had been gullible.  I agreed.
I then went on to tell him how I had used ‘Google Maps’ to locate the house where Stan had seen the bully. I gave him the location and to my utter amazement it was the address of a woman who once worked for him.
Stan hadn’t recognised her.

By then he was feeling more dreadful, so I told him that all bullies operate one way.
They recruit bystanders, folk who they believe they can manipulate, and then they feed them whatever they want them to believe knowing full well they will repeat it.
How sad is that, innocent folk being sucked into a bully’s world.

He offered Stan his job back and asked me to pass on his apologies to him, and made  it clear that the ‘bully’ would be shutdown from doing anymore harm in the workplace and he would talk to all the other workers and tell them the truth of what actually happened.
To his credit he was a man of his word.
Within hours, workmates and friends began ringing  Stan to apologise.
His ex girlfriend didn’t but that didn’t worry Stan as he saw a different side to her when she dumped him.

Stan stayed with us for another week and the day I took him to the airport I knew he would be okay as he was back to his old self; not that I actually knew his old self as I had only met him for the first time when I picked him up from the airport five weeks prior.
And by the way the bully walked out the minute his boss exposed him to the rest of his workmates. He knew his goose was cooked.


Stan’s story has a happy ending; trust me, not all end like this.

                                  Peace and love always

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Down Syndrome – A basic brief overview

My Take…Part One

After a recent episode on Shortland Street, a New Zealand TV programme, where some very negative views were expressed about Down Syndrome, my phone was red hot for weeks and emails kept filling my inbox, so I thought maybe it was time for me to write a very brief summary on Down Syndrome.  (For the record, I have never watched Shortland Street.)

Down Syndrome is not an illness or a disease.
Down Syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.

There are varying degrees of intellectual disability associated with Down Syndrome; some mild, some severe.

Many people assume that Down Syndrome folk are all alike; this is not the case.
Each have their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses; the same as all other children.
Some have health issues, some mild, some severe; the same as all other children.
Some speak clearly, some will speak with difficulty and some are nonverbal with one or two word phrases, often spoken out of context but as long as their family or caregivers understand them, there is no issue.

Some have a limited ability to comprehend the world around them and require 24/7 care, however this doesn’t interfere with their love of life and there are some who can work/live in an assisted environment.

Many folk believe nonverbal Down Syndrome adults weren’t given opportunities to engage and learn language skills when they were young.  

This couldn’t be further from the truth and this misinformation has put many families under horrendous stress. 
Sadly there are many textbook cowboys who have and are still devastating folk with this misinformation.
Being at the coalface, and being involved with hundreds of families throughout the years has given me the licence to speak on this subject.   

Nonverbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions, and body language; I know this for a fact as my Down Syndrome daughter is nonverbal and we have absolutely no issues with understanding her needs.

I remember when she was a wee toddler, I allowed a Psychologist into my home. 
She came to assess her which was common practice in the late 1970’s.
I was about twenty-four, the same age as this woman.
Puffing herself up like a rooster, she informed me this was her first job after receiving her Degree.
I thought she wanted me to bow at her feet.
She proceeded to lay out some educational toys on the lounge floor & then fired instructions at my daughter as to what she wanted her to do.
She became annoyed as Belle didn’t understand what she meant, and for that matter nor did I!

This young expert was going by text book theories and was unaware that each child was different; she had lumped them all into one category.
When I saw my daughter become distressed, I reached over to her and this little upstart smacked my hand.
Yep….I picked up her bag of gizmos and told her to leave my house and not come back.  She huffed and puffed and left.
I wasn’t very assertive back in those days so I was rather proud of myself.
These days I often wonder how many lives she has ruined with her self righteous attitude.
And while on the subject of professionals.

Ensure you have a Doctor you can trust.
You know your child best so a good working relationship is needed.

If you disapprove of the way your Doctor treats you and your child, find a new Doctor, one who is kindhearted.
Even in our ‘modern enlightened world’ there are still some Doctors who aren’t very tolerant of our gorgeous kids.

Never allow yourself to be downtrodden, your Down Syndrome child/adult is depending on your strength of character.  

If you feel worn out, contact me and I will ring around and find a Doctor for you.  I don’t care if you live in the Northern Hemisphere; I will find the best care for you and your child as I have acted as a support person/advocate for many over the past forty years. Confidentiality guaranteed.

My younger children, who are now adults, love their big sister dearly and vice versa.   
Their patience, kindness, compassion and love for her brings tears to my eyes.
I know I have raised three fine human beings.
As for me my life has been greatly enriched by having Belle as my daughter.
We start and end every day with a kiss and a hug.
I am so grateful she came into my life.

Always remember, our Down Syndrome family members deserve to live in an environment where they are loved and feel safe and it is up to us to make sure this happens.
Furthermore there will always be some folk who strongly believe our Down Syndrome children have no right to life; this we have to accept but opportunities will present themselves from time to time where we can educate the ill-informed.

                                             Peace and love always.


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