Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Setting the record straight – Caring Mum NOT Sociopath!



This is a very personal post but needs to be said. If you are lucky enough to have children you will know how important it is to protect them. Children are precious human beings and should be treated fairly and with dignity. I am writing this post to highlight that I am not the sociopath I have been labelled to be and that many people have been drawn into a lie.

I have tried to ignore it for the best part of a year but every time I write something, I am subjected to further abuse and gossip. People locally and especially in the lovely market town have been told I am some sort of stalker or sociopath. People have blocked me on social media and believed the lies about me and it has caused so much distress. I can’t go into town without someone making me feel like I have done something wrong. All these rumours have been started and spread by one woman and made much worse by the people who accept what she says without foundation or hard evidence. People who have never met me, have already formed a negative opinion of me.

It all started when Wes was offered a scholarship place. Prior to that we were all friends or so I thought. 

I put out a request on Facebook for a final reader of my debut novel. She answered and said she would be happy to do it. Against my absolute instinct I agreed but that was fine. The book had been through three edits and proof readers. Days passed and I heard nothing. In the end I emailed her to check how she was getting on. My Mum was present during the conversation. The woman said and I quote, ‘If I had a red pen I would scribble all over it.’ I wasn’t surprised at all at the reaction and almost accepted this would be the answer, before it came. Instincts told me something was not quite right. That was fine. I explained that I was confident the book had been edited and proof read sufficiently by professionals and not to worry about it. I suggested she waited until it came out on the screen. As far as I was concerned that was the end of it. How wrong I was. I carried on as usual and pressed ahead with the book publication.

The rugby presentation night came and it was a fiasco. Apparently sitting with my parents rather than her was a direct result of me being annoyed about the comments of the book. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. All night the ‘group’ were coming over asking if Wes was okay even though they had already spoken with him. It was like they wanted him NOT to be okay. My parents were disgusted by their behaviour. The same coaches had already told him he was not good enough to make it and was only an average player without the coaches’ son at his side. When this was addressed later in front of the junior secretary, the coach denied EVER doing this even though my parents had witnessed it too. It was almost as if they did not expect us to turn up and was shocked when we did. Every training session, Wes was alienated by the coach and was constantly asked when would he be leaving? We had no intention of leaving. Yet, at Hoyland Vikings, during the game, the coach shouted to all the players ‘follow Wes’ lead’! Yet, according to them, he wasn’t pulling his weight. The poor kid didn’t know whether he was coming or going.

Then the abuse really started. We were due to go to Center Parcs with the group but I was ill with Menieres. Stress contributes to the illness and combined with stormy weather it was really debilitating.  I explained we couldn’t go to Center Parcs because of my illness and gave good notice to sort out a refund or someone else going in our place. I offered to find someone to take our place but that was declined. Any alternative I offered was met with opposition. I wrote to Center Parcs but I wasn’t the lead name, they wouldn’t speak to me. When I approached the woman she said she had spoken to Center Parcs and they wouldn’t help. When I spoke to them again, they did confirm there was no insurance taken out and they had not had any enquiries. 

Little did I know that whilst I was receiving lovely emails in response to mine, this woman was going onto social media under an alias and absolutely trashing me. I have copies of all the tweets. Just by chance, a mutual friend told me to look at a Twitter account and said that may be of interest to me. They also told me these group of women were intending to ‘break me’ at Center Parcs – what did this mean? Apparently it involved alcohol! Perhaps spiking drinks? With my medication and being alone with two children this would have been ridiculously dangerous. When I looked at the twitter account the abuse was devastating. These women were supposed to be my friends. I was accused of lying, of faking my illness and other things. She even trashed my sons. All the tweets are available for everyone to see. They have since been deleted but copies of them have been kept and can be retrieved by twitter. The timing of the tweets coincide with the email timings.

Obviously there was no way we could go to Center Parcs once these were uncovered. As a woman on my own protecting my two children, there is no way I would put them in harms way. I offered to pay the balance of the account but she wouldn’t take the money. With hindsight I should have just paid it but I was discharged from the debt by her email. She went on Twitter and told everyone I owed her money. She also said she hadn’t sued me for the money because of the kids even though I had an email confirming she didn’t want the money. Thus legally ending the matter. Unfortunately this was not the end of it and we received abuse usually after training or game day. Wes turned up to training and the matches. Twice they tried to get him thrown out of the scholarship but we had kept them fully informed of how we were being treated and they were really supportive.

I saw the woman in town and didn’t speak to her, simply because I was not going to have a blow up in the centre of the busy shopping area. She text me later and I called her out on the tweets. Again copy of the text messages are available. She denied any knowledge of ever writing anything about me at all until I told her the account name and the tweets in question. Suddenly she became the victim. She said it was her way of venting yet the emails had never indicated there was anything to vent about. The abuse then became even worse. I had already blocked her, reported her to twitter but none of it was doing any good.

One evening, after training she tweeted that a spoof account had been set up in my name. I reported it to the police. The next morning all these tweets and information had been deleted from her account. New accounts were set up. That was the end of it I thought.

Oh no the abuse continued. The woman told everyone to block me on social media and took to social media to say her business had been affected by it all and she was suing me. Prior to this, she had posted a facebook status advising the business was quiet due to her concentrating on renovations of the house! 

They desperately tried to get Wes out of the team but he was not quitting. This woman even posted a team photo on her facebook page EXCLUDING Wes from the team. We were disgusted at the blatant attempt to intimidate and single out a child. This is against ALL child protection rules. We had done nothing wrong. When I tweeted they wouldn’t get us out of the club, they decided to get the club involved. The club did not investigate anything. We had a meeting with the junior secretary and coach and Wes was asked to stay. The junior secretary asked Wes to stay! The junior secretary complained that Wes had not been passing on information from scholarship training that the team would benefit from. Whenever he mentioned scholarship he was talked over or ignored. After discussing the situation with scholarship and Wes, we emailed that we were staying. Wes did not want to be pushed out.

I then emailed the junior secretary to advise her of Wes’ extraordinary behaviour at the Wyke game when he almost certainly prevented a club fine. Wyke had praised Wes’ behaviour that day. We thought everything was okay and turned up for training and matches. It had been agreed the only person who would contact the scholarship would be the junior secretary.

The woman’s abusive tweets rumbled on. She led people to believe I was stalking her and got people to block me even though they didn’t even know me. I had serving officers assisting in this offence and even a prime time journalist. On top of this, the information was passed through the town and I was treated unfairly by people who believed she was the victim and I was this crazy sociopathic liar. She even discussed whether DVLA were aware of my illness!! That is how personal and scary it got for me. 

Four days before Wes was due to take his GCSEs, on the Friday evening I tweeted what a great, peaceful week we had had. An hour later I received an email from the junior secretary of the rugby club advising me Wes was no longer welcome on the team as he had not played the game the week before but turned up to watch it. You see, he wasn’t allowed to play that game for his amateur club. That weekend he had taken part in the scholarship game and had come off injured with a bust nose. These are the governing body rules:



Had he have played he would have been banned and fined by the governing body. In spite of Wes ringing the junior secretary and advising of her of the rules, she still saw fit to return his playing card to the governing body without a disciplinary hearing or a right to answer the absurd and very wrong allegations. Interestingly, there was a status on facebook later that evening that confirmed the junior secretary had acted upon advice from this woman. I don’t think either the woman or the junior secretary thought about the consequences of their actions on a teenage boy. Thankfully Wes is level headed and has a great support network around him. I dread to think what this sort of pressure from adults could do to another child.

The scholarship advised they would help us appeal against the expulsion but we felt four days before his exams didn’t leave us time to deal with the matter in a way that would not affect his studies. We had to concede.

I reported this to the sports club via the website and never had a response. I sent a copy of confirmation of the RFL rules again to the club recently and again I have not had the courtesy of a reply. 

I want people to know that this woman is a mother and a child welfare officer who failed to protect my child, culminating in his inappropriate and illegal expulsion, four days before his main exams. There was absolutely no justification for lying about a child and expecting a child to break governing body rules. If he had broken the rules, would they have expelled him from the club for breaking the rules? It does make you wonder.

In addition to her business account, she also has three alias accounts. The names have not been put on here as I don’t want her to receive trolling like she has done to me. All these accounts have been blocked but she somehow can still read my stuff. The only reason I have checked these accounts is to gather evidence for the police and the defamation of character case. I have followed all the police advice. It’s not a question of stalking this woman, it’s a question of collecting evidence for the case.

The abuse still continues and it has to stop. Whenever I write a blog, tweet or update a status, apparently it is having a go at her. IT IS NOT. My blog is about me and my new life as an author. I have evidence of all her trolling for anyone to freely look through. I have nothing to hide at all. I have three public accounts on twitter @beyondthepast1 @charlespr2d2 @bblue_eyes. No tweets have been deleted.

The insults, lies and defamatory statements have to stop. The fact that people’s attitude around the town has changed towards me is devastating especially on the false words of a woman that cannot bring herself to say sorry for being caught out lying. The advice I received from the police confirmed that very often once truth is exposed, further abuse follows. How right they were. I suspect this will raise the threat level of abuse again but I need the truth to be out there.

If the lies about me don’t stop I will have no alternative but to seek recourse. I don’t want to bring negative publicity to the town I love. I do want an apology, not for me but for Wes.

The truth is I love the town and most of the people. Wes was deprived of staying with the team he had dedicated his time to because of this stupid vendetta that started when he EARNED his place in the scholarship. Lucas was just starting to play rugby league and was deprived of playing. In addition they have withheld his registration card so until two years have passed, he cannot play rugby league. How bad is that?  An 8 year old! Two boys, who love a sport, deprived of playing it locally because of one woman and her vindictiveness. Thankfully the football club is run very professionally and encourages participation in the sport.

I really didn’t believe adults still behaved like they were in high school until all of this. How wrong and na├»ve I am. How sad this all started when a boy worked hard enough to be recognised for his talents. 

All I ask is that people make judgements on other people not from gossip or misplaced malice but from facts and from meeting that person face to face.

Best wishes





Sunday, 1 March 2015

If it’s good enough for Madge, it’s good enough for me…




We all fall down from time to time, I should know my excuse is not a black cape but Meniere’s. I didn’t see the Brit Awards live, I was doing my proud Mummy duties in Sheffield for my rising rugby star. Obviously I heard about it before I got the chance to see it.

It amazes me that some people can actually suggest the whole incident at the Brit Awards was a publicity stunt – like our Madge needs anymore publicity – please! The woman is fifty six years old and simply incredible. I was never really a fan when she burst on the scene in the early 1980s. I was very much into Queen, Dexys Midnight Runners, Soft Cell and Human League et al. Now I appreciate her as an artist and a woman. Her longevity in the business is not a fluke, it’s down to sheer hard work and determination to succeed and that, I can certainly relate to.

If only I had had the courage and support back then in 1982 to pursue writing as my career. BUT, and it’s is a pretty big BUT. I don’t think I would have written as I write now. Life experience is invaluable and really adds depth to writing – Sam Smith is testament to that! I also had not read enough books back in 1982 although one book I read back then did have a profound effect on my life. On the 29 August 1982 Ingrid Bergman died on her sixty seventh birthday. I read one of the many biographies that had been written about the formidable woman. She was inspiring. Unfortunately I didn’t have the confidence, the belief, the courage or the support to follow my dreams and I did what most of us do and accepted a life that wasn’t me. 

Meniere's Syndrome

Meniere’s changed all that and I am so glad, in a warped way, it happened to me. This week has been a bad week for me – illness plus Meniere’s makes for a very frustrating and depressing time. It makes me question what I am doing and why. I succumb to other peoples' nonsense that I should get a ‘proper’ job and that would end all my problems along with silencing the nasties. IT WOULDN’T. All it would do is put me back in a situation where I am forced to take time off for Meniere’s or for the children when they are sick. It would mean Wes would not be able to be in the academy at Sheffield. The fact is, unless employers change their attitude towards unseen illnesses, flexible childcare and working Mums, working for someone is not a viable option at this time. The bottom line is I don’t want to work for anyone else. Twenty years of lining someone else’s pockets is enough for me. It might be hard now but to achieve success we have to make sacrifices. I’m not giving up in spite of outside pressure to do so. If the haters can’t understand that, then that’s on them not me. I want to inspire people to not give up and have a go even when it seems impossible, you can find a way if you want it badly enough. I’m starting with inspiring my children.

I have some bridges to build this week because my illness has prevented me from doing things I should have done but I can’t help that. I have to accept Meniere’s is a debilitating illness that can strike at any time. I control it the best I can but so many do not or DON’T WANT to understand the illness. Each time it strikes, I fall… just like Madonna. Each time I recover, I get back up, dust myself down… just like Madonna. Sadly that is where the comparison ends!

Giving in to pressure and giving up IS NOT AN OPTION. Don’t you dare even consider giving up on your dreams!

Writing


Yesterday I sat and wrote 6242 words and typed them up too. It was the most successful day of writing so far. There’s nothing more inspiring than a pep talk from your children reminding you why you started and more importantly why you should continue. Support is double edged and priceless when it is.

This latest draft is different from the other projects I am working on. There is an element of mystery in the story but the book is essentially about how small actions can change many lives in an instant. I am writing this blog quickly so I can head back to this book, that’s how motivated I am about this story.

Beyond the Lies


Sorry to all those readers who are eagerly awaiting the sequel. I wasn’t happy with some of the draft so I am in the process of the edit. I promise you it will be worth it.

Beyond the Past



Rumour has it Russell Crowe may be interested in buying a stake in Leeds United. His money would be better spent making Beyond the Past a film especially as we share a common love for rugby league which provides the backdrop to the story - #justsaying.

The first three chapters are available FREE on my website

PhD


When I finished my degree I was short listed for PhD funding. Out of hundreds of applications I got down to the last nine but alas tripped at the last hurdle – bit like Madonna. Anyway, funding is available again and I have decided to go for it. It is something very close to my heart and a personal goal of mine. I am confident I can do this on top of everything – sleep will be the first to be forfeited!

I look back on last week and being ill didn’t actually slow me down that much. I need to accept I am not wonder woman, I have two fabulous boys to guide through life and all the mundane stuff for the house, finances, etc and I still managed to do all the above. It was also Wes’ birthday this week. Where did seventeen years go? I am super proud of him and the young man he has turned into.

It is time to stop giving myself a hard time and stop listening to the negative people who probably only do a fraction of what I do in a week anyway. 

It really doesn’t matter how many times you fall, only the rising up COUNTS.

RIP Mr Spock


One of the icons of my generation passed away this week. RIP Leonard Nimoy. You helped inspire a generation of space lovers.

During writing this, I have watched Liverpool FC beat Manchester City. What a match! Great game, great goals but most of all fabulous football. It was a HUGE result and gave me goose bumps.

Finally, I want to leave a thought or a plea with you. Just remember, 




Everyone makes mistakes but few own them.  

OWN YOUR MISTAKES, YOU ARE ONLY HUMAN.

Have a fabulous week everyone.