DDN Magazine June 2021 June 2021 - Page 16

LETTERS AND COMMENT

Unlocking the

Opening up the topic of childhood trauma in DDN has resulted in letters from prisoners that give penetrating insights on cues we are missing . Here are a selection of extracts
‘ Childhood trauma and experiences are for life , they should be used as learning structures not crutches . Mental health problems are for life , but addictions can stop . People need to realise addictions are prisons and the pursuit of drugs is slavery .’
TWISTED WORLD
I am a very average man . I have never personally known anyone who did not suffer childhood trauma , abuse and neglect . Rich kids suffer from overindulgence as poor kids suffer from deprivation . Most adults have coping mechanisms to deal with their problems . In this twisted modern world there are multitudes of problems . Every person ’ s pain is unique to them . We can sympathise , pretend to empathise and indulge their phobias , fears and fantasies . Any addiction is a temporary illness – madness .
Some people need help , some people give help . Some people only take – another addiction . Like the song says , ‘ some people like to abuse , some people like to be abused ’. We really are all equal in as much as we are all potential victims .
Telling people they are victims encourages them to be victims . We need a solid combination of love , care , help , tough love and complete honesty . Psychology can be used by qualified counsellors not wannabe dogooders – cheap watered-down care is useless .
Childhood trauma and experiences are for life , they
should be used as learning structures not crutches . Mental health problems are for life , but addictions can stop . People need to realise addictions are prisons and the pursuit of drugs is slavery .
Childhood trauma cannot be cured by drugs . Personal support and understanding should go a long way . Seventy per cent of all drugs in prison are from the NHS . Prison health care teams seem to lose something and take the easy routes . Some prison medical staff are beautiful people , but they go with the flow . It is far easier to control a mental health problem than to treat it .
Once a criminal always a criminal – it ’ s hard to get a job unless it ’ s Timpsons or drug dealers . We are what we lived through . We all need help . Get rid of the pretenders and help each other take the goodness from the past . Leave the crap to the wrongdoers . Do not give people reasons for failure . It ’ s easy to fail . Hard work can be very pleasant and rewarding – do not let childhood trauma maketh the man-woman .
Yesterday ’ s gone . Let ’ s start from now .
PS It ’ s my first time in prison . What do I know . Richard
IT ’ S OK TO BE HONEST
As a child growing up I knew that I wasn ’ t the same as other kids . I never really mixed with others , I had very little confidence and didn ’ t know how to start a conversation . I would always say the wrong things or my words wouldn ’ t come out .
That ’ s when I started getting bullied and when I started primary school it got so bad that I would get physically punched , kicked and robbed of property . It was most of the lads in the class but ended up being just one person for all of my time at that school . I left primary feeling scared , but I did feel stronger in a strange way .
The same thing happened all through secondary school . At home my dad suffered with severe depression and would be very angry . Me and my mum used to feel scared around him – he also had a bad addiction to gambling . When I was about 19 my anxiety was so bad I just wanted to sleep and not wake up and hope that when I did I would feel content and happy to be able to get on with life .
I was too anxious to even go to the doctors and tell them how I felt . I used to go with my dad to the pub around about
16 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • JUNE 2021
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