Bruce Jenner

So it’s finally out. Bruce Jenner is transgender. The gossip sites are flooded with articles and developing stories. We can revel in discussions about Kris Jenner’s money grabbing schemes, how it is all for publicity, what a fraud Bruce has been to his ex-wives and his children and bla, bla, bla. Head over to Radaronline or TMZ for your daily dose of ignorance, hatred, religious righteousness and all that kind of stuff. World of warning though, don’t blame me if the commentary makes you so angry you literally makes you scream.

On the other hand you might be completely against the whole ‘sell your soul to reality TV for a few minutes of fame. You might think it’s promoting selfishness, shallowness and contributing to everything that is wrong in the world today.  Why should you have an interest in this story?

I’ll tell you why. The trans mental health study (2012) makes for shocking and upsetting reading about how transgender people are treated in society. Here are some  interesting tidbits from that study about transgender mental health:

  • 55% of transgendered people are currently diagnosed with depression and 38% are currently diagnosed with anxiety.
  • 38% reported that they have been sexually harassed with 19% having been beaten up for being trans and 14% of people have been sexually assaulted and 6% have been raped for being transgendered.
  • 53% of transgendered people are or have been self harming.
  • 48% of all transgender people have attempted suicide. 48%.

I once had the privilege to work with a transgender client. She had much sadness. The process of officially coming out as transgender was long drawn and exhausting for her, faced with being disowned by her own family because she was going against God’s will and they could not condone that in fear of going to hell. It makes me sad that people think that have got a right to judge/ condemn or hurt other people just because it goes against their religion or just out of sheer ignorance. The road to full transition is long. It takes years. It looks different for each person. It’s not fun. But it’s a chance of a person matching their looks to how they feel. Imagine for second to wake every morning going to the toilet and looking at the wrong equipment. Hating it, cutting it to change it, putting needles in it because you hate whatever you have there.

I’ve also just watched Louis Theroux’s documentary on transgendered children. Very interesting and educating. A short summery is basically by helping children who identify themselves as something other then their birth assigned sex at different stages you can cut out a lot of the depression, anxiety, self harming and suicide. As one doctor put it: the way I balance it out is that IF this child changes its mind later on at least he or she is alive to change again.  Also, by supporting children transitioning it gives them a better chance to also look like the person they feel with things as felting puberty until they are sure and other hormone therapies.

So the reason why Bruce Jenner’s story is important is that it is helping raising awareness of the issues mentioned above. Bruce is showing that you can be a successful Gold Olympic champion, generally successful in life and still feel there is a mismatch in who you are. Personally I like that fact Bruce has decided to do this at the age of 65. It shows that gender identity issues has got nothing to do with sex or sexual preference. Hopefully this will provide an opportunity to others to allow people to be who they want.

Some people are he, some people are she and some are both or somewhere in between. Who cares? What difference does it make to my life? None whatsoever. Just let people be who they are. So what if others find it confusing? The only person it needs to make sense to is the person experiencing it.

So I wish Bruce and all the other transgender people out there the best of luck!

Why I think Bruce Jenner is doing a good thing sharing the story! 

So it’s finally out. Bruce Jenner is transgender. The gossip sites are flooded with articles and developing stories. We can revel in discussions about Kris Jenner’s money grabbing schemes, how it is all for publicity, what a fraud Bruce has been to his ex-wives and his children and bla, bla, bla. Head over to Radaronline or TMZ for your daily dose of ignorance, hatred, religious righteousness and all that kind of stuff. World of warning though, don’t blame me if the commentary makes you so angry you literally makes you scream. 

On the other hand you might be completely against the whole ‘sell your soul to reality TV for a few minutes of fame. You might think it’s promoting selfishness, shallowness and contributing to everything that is wrong in the world today.  Why should you have an interest in this story? 

I’ll tell you why. The trans mental health study (2012) makes for shocking and upsetting reading about how transgender people are treated in society. Here are some  interesting tidbits from that study about transgender mental health: 

  • 55% of transgendered people are currently diagnosed with depression and 38% are currently diagnosed with anxiety. 
  • 38% reported that they have been sexually harassed with 19% having been beaten up for being trans and 14% of people have been sexually assaulted and 6% have been raped for being transgendered. 
  • 53% of transgendered people are or have been self harming. 
  • 48% of all transgender people have attempted suicide. 48%. 

I once had the privilege to work with a transgender client. She had much sadness. The process of officially coming out as transgender was long drawn and exhausting for her, faced with being disowned by her own family because she was going against God’s will and they could not condone that in fear of going to hell. It makes me sad that people think that have got a right to judge/ condemn or hurt other people just because it goes against their religion or just out of sheer ignorance. The road to full transition is long. It takes years. It looks different for each person. It’s not fun. But it’s a chance of a person matching their looks to how they feel. Imagine for second to wake every morning going to the toilet and looking at the wrong equipment. Hating it, cutting it to change it, putting needles in it because you hate whatever you have there. 

I’ve also just watched Louis Theroux’s documentary on transgendered children. Very interesting and educating. A short summery is basically by helping children who identify themselves as something other then their birth assigned sex at different stages you can cut out a lot of the depression, anxiety, self harming and suicide. As one doctor put it: the way I balance it out is that IF this child changes its mind later on at least he or she is alive to change again.  Also, by supporting children transitioning it gives them a better chance to also look like the person they feel with things as felting puberty until they are sure and other hormone therapies.

So the reason why Bruce Jenner’s story is important is that it is helping raising awareness of the issues mentioned above. Bruce is showing that you can be a successful Gold Olympic champion, generally successful in life and still feel there is a mismatch in who you are. Personally I like that fact Bruce has decided to do this at the age of 65. It shows that gender identity issues has got nothing to do with sex or sexual preference. Hopefully this will provide an opportunity to others to allow people to be who they want. 

Some people are he, some people are she and some are both or somewhere in between. Who cares? What difference does it make to my life? None whatsoever. Just let people be who they are. So what if others find it confusing? The only person it needs to make sense to is the person experiencing it. 

So I wish Bruce and all the other transgender people out there the best of luck! 

  

Barnen från Syrien, UNHCR

1140_vatten_julklapp_unhcr

Nu har jag inte druckit en droppe alkohol på två veckor.  Två veckor kvar. Tummen upp för mig. Jo, ja, men det finns något viktigare jag vill uppnå med hela Sober for October. Jag tänkte informera lite och försöka samla in pengar till UNHCR, FNs särskilda organisation som hjälper  människor på flykt pga tex krig. Just nu har 3.1 millioner människor från Syrien flytt till UNHCR i grannländer. Det är mer än en tredjedel av hela Sveriges befolkning. Hälften av dem är barn. 1.55 millioner barn är på flykt pga att vuxna krigar.

Jag har faktiskt haft äran att träffa en superhärlig liten tjej från Syrien som kom till Sverige i höstas. Hon fick komma med sin moster till Sverige för att komma bort från krig. Resten av familjen fick hon lämna där. Hon leker tillsammans med alla andra barnen precis på samma sätt som dem. Ibland kan det vara lite trixigt att kommunicera på svenska, men det går bra, det är fantastiskt hur mycket man kan säga med ett leende. Som vart ännu större när jag sa ‘tack älskling’  (till ett barn) på arabiska; shukran habibi.

 

Alla barn har inte samma ”tur”. Vissa har ingenstans att fly utom rakt över närmsta landgräns. Det UNHCR gör är att se till att dessa människor framför får allt är akuthjälp så fort de kommit utanför Syrien. Dvs i flyktinglägren. Så sent som den 22 September 2014 hjälpte de 130 000 flyktingar som kommit till Turkiet den helgen. Så ungefär 75 000 barn. UNHCR hjälper till med först och främst tält, mat, vatten och medicinsk hjälp. Det behövs pengar till filtar, liggunderlag, vattendunkar, presenningar och andra Jag vet att siffrorna är så stora att det är svårt att ta till sig så jag tänkte att jag översätter vad även mycket små donationer till fredagsmys.

1 skolbänk med pennor och böcker = 1 bag-in-box vin och 6 startköl (300:-)

1 myggnät som skyddar mammor och barn mot malaria = 1 påse chips, 300g (25:-).

1 filt till nätter då det kan bli minusgrader = 1 påse pistagenötter 190g (35:-).

1 vattendunk för färsktvatten = 1 Marabou chokladkaka, 100g (15:-).

1 påse näringsberikad nötkräm för undernärda barn = 1 påse dippmix (10:-).

Tänk vilken skillnad så lite kan göra. Angelina Jolie gör det. Katy Perry gör det. Manchester United FC gör det. Kajsa Bergqvist och Mark Levengood gör det. Stödjer UNHCR. Gör det du med.  Tänk vilken skillnad du kan göra.

Sms:a GE belopp (tex 50) följt av SARASOBEROCTOBER till 72672 eller besök

Saras Sober for October för att hjälpa.

Som man säger på engelska: every little helps!

 

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The Ronald McDonald Housing Charity.

 

rmch

This is dedicated to my dear friend Jessica Hope, her partner Andy MacEneany and their darling son Tyler: a Bacterial Meningococcal Meningits survivor.

I have to admit, in the past when I’ve stood paying for my food at McDonalds, looking at the charity collection box I have thought in true Dorothy Parker style; what fresh hell is this? What sort of charity could McDonalds possibly run? A pretty good one it turns out.

It was the 18th of December when 18 week old Tyler was found, on his dad Andy’s birthday, unresponsive with a temperature of 40c and a heart rate of 220. They immediately took him to hospital where he was diagnosed with meningitis. He was given antibiotics which once they started working they also started to attack Tyler’s inner organs and he had to be put in a medically induced coma. He suffered from septicaemia as well as heart and lung failure. Please visit Meningitis Now to learn about the symptoms or get involved in other ways. Remember, meningitis happens fast!

Tyler in hospital

Tyler in hospital

He was in a coma for 6 days and the condition can change so fast they were told to say there goodbyes on Christmas Eve. Luckily little Tyler survived and was able to leave hospital after 9 days.

Tyler being visited by the Manchester United players Fletcher and Evra.

Tyler being visited by the Manchester United players Fletcher and Evra.

This is a lot for any parents to copy with, especially with such a young baby and especially your first born and you hardly know what the hell you are doing full stop. This is where The Ronald McDonald Housing Charity comes in to help.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity providing free ‘home away from home accommodation’ for families with children in hospital. Thanks to the fundraising, donations and volunteering of their supporters our 14 Houses across the UK, they were able to help over 7000 families in 2013. That meant that Jess and Andy could stay in a flat right near Tyler. They could take themselves away for a quick nap or shower without the hassle of having to travel all the way to their house.

Jess describes it as : ”on Christmas eve we got a note under the door saying there would be food provided in the kitchens for all of the families to make Christmas dinner with all of their families. The hotel was right outside the main doors so you were still on site to be with your child, they bumped us straight to the top of the list for a room as Tyler was so poorly. We didn’t have to wait around and that room was ours until the day he came home. When he went on to the ward we were allowed to take Tyler over to the house to make it more of a homely environment and get him off the ward if we wanted to. It was like a 5* hotel, it was beautiful and they don’t charge you a single penny. The phones in the rooms go straight through to the wards so you can ring them whatever time of night you want. The staff are always checking you are ok, I honestly can’t praise the Ronald McDonald house enough. They are amazing.” Also during the stay they had the support of other families in the same or worse situation. It was important to be near people who could understand what they were going through without having to explain it.

The Ronald McDonalds House in Manchester alone provides 60 en-suite bedrooms with communal lounges, kitchen, laundry room, teenager room and need to raise £600 000 this year to keep it open. This service is invaluable for the families that gets to stay there without having to worry about the cost.

Today, Tyler is just a cheeky little monkey just like any other little two year old. He has amazingly pretty much made a full recover.

Tyler today.

Tyler today.

So next time you are at McDonalds drop that spare penny in the charity box, it does make the world of difference!

Finally, if you want to support me in my quest to stay Sober for October, please text:

SSFO73 followed by £(amount) to 70070 to donate right now or visit my just giving page  to donate by card or PayPal.

#sarasoberforoctober #soberoctober #soberforoctober

Every little helps!

Sober for October!

So. I’m doing it. I’m going sober for October. God. Can I do it? Yikes.

We all know I’m not one to say now to alcohol. Not because I’m an alcoholic. Mainly out of boredom. Being at home, unemployed isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Get up, eat, walk the dog, look for jobs, go to bed. Everyday. It quickly gets very boring. So I’ve decided to go sober for a whole month. That’s it. A whole month. We all know the side effects of drinking too much. From the less serious ones such as hangovers and drunken Facebook status updates to more serious ones such as liver damage and embark health problems. Personally I’m doing it for weight loss and hopefully increase fertility.

But I need some support. So to have more of a less selfish reason for you to support me I have decided to fundraiser money to two amazing charities.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity providing free ‘home away from home accommodation’ for families with children in hospital. Thanks to the fundraising, donations and volunteering of our supporters our 14 Houses across the UK, were able to help over 7000 families in 2013.

To donate to this charity you can visit:

SoberforOctoberRMHC to donate by card or you can text:

SSFO73 followed by £(amount) to 70070 from a UK mobile.

I have also picked the UNHCR- the UN Refugee Agency that helps families who have had to flee from their homes and need urgent help, specifically in Syria at the moment.

To donate to this charity you can visit:

SoberforOctoberUNHCR to donate by card or text

GE(belopp) followed by SOBERFOROCTOBER to 72672 from a Swedish mobile.

I will post updates on about issues relating to these charities as well as updates on my progress. The idea is to make it educational, moving and fun. Feel free to comment and share your opinion and stories.

#sarasoberforoctober

Watch me squirm!!

Myten om de lata arbetslösa!

Nu är jag riktigt jävla arg. Och trött. Arg och trött på myten om att de flesta arbetslösa är arbetslösa för att de är för lata och helt enkelt inte vill jobba. Jag tror faktiskt att jag snart blir tokig. Jag är så trött på dessa fantastiska tips folk med folk med anställning har att erbjuda. Har du ringt runt till lokala företag? Har du gått runt och presenterat dig och lämnat din cv? Har du erbjudit dig att jobba gratis i en månad för att visa vad du går för? Bla, bla, bla.  Jag är faktiskt så trött på det att jag till och med undviker att träffa folk. Jag får ångest när de frågor och ‘tipsar’.  Mitt första jobb fick jag som trettonåring med att rensa ogräs på en majsodling. Sommaren efter började jag i den lokala livsmedelsbutiken. Där jobbade jag extra helger och lov genom hela min gymnasietid. Efter gymnasiet jobbade jag heltid där och bytte jobb till ett växlingskontor. När jag var 23 flyttade jag till England för att studera. Under tiden jag tog en examen i psykologi jobbade jag ca 50% samtidigt på ett annat växlingskontor. Med andra ord var min sysselsättningsgrad 150%. Efter det jobbade jag heltid där tills jag började på en magisterexamen i psykoterapi/ samtalsterapi. Min sysselsättningsgrad var då ca  110-120%. År 2012 flyttade jag tillbaka till Sverige och hade inom fyra veckor ett heltidsjobb på samma gamla livsmedelsbutik. Efter ca 1.5 år utan rätt lön fick jag nog av att vänta på att detta skulle justeras så jag kände mig tvungen att ta hjälp av facket. Jag fick rätt… Jag fick ut rätt lön retroaktivt för 10 månader. Nästan motsvarande 2 hela månadslöner. Tyvärr vart det samtidigt ‘arbetsbrist’ och jag vart uppsagd. De som jobbar kvar får fortfarande inte rätt lön.

Att skriva in sig på arbetsförmedlingen och a-kassan är ett utav de mest förödmjukande och förnedrande upplevelser jag har varit med om. Att vara tvungen att sitta på det där  introduktionsmötet och höra av människan som höll det att det tex finns ett jobb på samma livsmedelsbutik som just sagt upp mig pga arbetsbrist.  Att bli uppringd av den där handläggaren och bli rekommenderad att söka jobb som jag redan sökt eller jobb som jag inte ens uppfyller grundläggande krav som tex körkort. Att bli kallad till intervjuer där de inte läst min cv ordentligt. Jag satt tom i bilen på väg till en intervju när de ringde och sa att det läst fel i min önskan… Jag har sökt ytterligare en kurs på universitet för att fördjupa  mina kunskaper om svensk socialrätt för att öka chanserna för ett jobb som kurator samtidigt som jag försöker driva min egen mottagning. Men faktum är att få människor har råd ‘lyx’ som terapi. Jag söker dagligen igenom ca 300 platsannonser på arbetsförmedlingen och blocket. Jag är inte för fin för att jobba på McDonalds eller att städa. Men visste ni att för att få städjobb krävs ett yrkesbevis eller ca 3 års professionell städvana. Jag har till och med hört en anekdot om en kvinna i sista stadiet av arbetslöshet som på ett obligatoriskt seminarium vart rekommenderad att om man går på intervju som snickra kanske man kan gå dit klädd i snickarbyxor ist för struken skjorta.

Vaknade i morse till en debatt artikel från Aftonbladet någon delat på Facebook. Där beskriver Linda Skugge hur dagens ungdomar är  arbetslösa för  att de är för ‘fina’ för att jobba på tex McDonalds. Hon beskriver hur hon minsann haft jobb sedan hon var tonåring (då hon sålde toapapper genom att knacka dörr) och hon minsann gett många unga anställning hos henne själv men att de helt enkelt inte ‘dök’ upp…  Nu var denna debattartikel skriven 2010 men den upprör mig ändå. Mycket. Hon inleder med att säga att hon kan fixa ett jobb på 20 minuter men de ända tipsen hon har är att ta ett jobb på McDonalds eller hitta på egna jobb. Det är inte första gången jag hör det här om McDonalds. Under mina 4 månader som arbetslös har jag sett annonserat 2 jobb på McDonalds, 1 på Burger King och 3 på Max.  Detta dock endast i Stockholms län, det ska jag erkänna. Så jag tänkte att jag skulle bryta ned de har siffrorna lite till för att visa att det här med jobb på McDonalds är något som vi arbetslösa är ‘för fina’ för. Jag hoppas innerligt att Linda har ändrat sin syn sedan 2010.

Så det här med McDonalds…. Varför tror folk att  McDonalds en ändlös ström av jobb tillgängliga?  Enligt Wikipedia  jobbar ca 1.8 millioner personer som anställda på McDonalds. Av dessa jobb (enligt de som påstår att man kan få jobb på McDonalds) skulle alltså över 400 000 finnas TILLGÄNGLIGA i Sverige. Jag hör hur alla de som klagar på att arbetslösa är lata högljutt gapar: men jag menar ju inte att alla ska jobba på McDonalds, använder ju bara det som ett exempel. Absolut, jag hör er. Men poängen är att det är lika löjligt att säga att det finns jobb bara man vill. Det är självklart att det finns de som utnyttjar systemet, det kommer det alltid att göra. Men de allra flesta hamnar inte i den kategorin.

Enligt siffror från Ekonomifakta i  Maj  2014 var 413400 personer i Sverige är arbetslösa samtidigt som det tex idag bara finns 42136 lediga jobb på arbetsförmedlingen. Det innebär att ca 8% av hela Sveriges arbetsföra befolkning är arbetslös och att på varje tillgängligt jobb så finns det mer än TIO arbetslösa.

Varför kan vi då inte prata om de verkliga orsakerna till hög arbetslöshet? Orsakerna är många och långa.  Varför måste vi ge oss på de som redan har det svårt? Biverkningar av arbetslöshet på individen är bl a: ångest, depression, psykosomatiska symptom, lågt välmående och dåligt självförtroende (American Psychological Association, 2009) Räcker inte det? Vem skulle frivilligt utsätta sig för sådan mental ohälsa? Inte jag i alla fall. Så ursäkta mig om jag skriker rakt ut nästa gång jag hör att folk bara är lata!

Uppdatering: tydligen är det flera som delat Linda Skugges artikel idag och även flera som reagerat emot den. Skönt att det finns fler än jag som tyckte att det var missvisande. Aftonbladet har en ny artikel ute: Fler än Linda Skugge jobbar hårt.

Too much choice…

Is it only me who thinks there is too much choice these days? Let’s take a little tour around my one bedroom house.

Let’s start in the in the bedroom. I always think ‘God, I’ve got not nothing to wear’ and I desperately need new clothes. But do I? Today I had a big clean up operation of our washing and wardrobe. I clear a massive IKEA bag out with clothes that are not suitable for this season or they are to small but I might loose weight and fit in them soon. So I was sat there folding and realise that we have got so much clothes when all of it is clean it doesn’t fit in the wardrobe. And it made me think that all this choice actually causes me anxiety. Remember the days when people had one set of ‘nice’ clothes to be worn on Sundays and on special occasions. I kind of wish life was more like that in general. All these choices often leave me unable to do anything or make a decision.

Come, come; let’s carry on into to leaving room. I’ve got around 100 channels to choose from on the tv. Problem is there is nothing on worth watching on a single one of them. Are we tricked into thinking that a lot of choice makes us happier? I’m sat there flicking through the channels, aimlessly staring in front of me, anxiously chasing after satisfying some sort of need that is somehow never fulfilled. Maybe that is because there is actually no real need that is looking to be satisfied. It’s all made up. I mean, there is certainly no cave man inside me who has a need to watch something on tv or have a wide variety of clothes that I can choose from. Same with my bookcase/ Kindle. I have an obsession with buying books. When will I have time to read them???

Where should we head next? Kitchen. Now here is where the environmental pitfalls of choice really gets serious. Seriously, I might starve to death today as there is NOTHING in. I swear. NOTHING. Right? Oh wait…. Actually the freezer is full and so are the cupboards. Actually come to think of it I have got at least 4 different types of cereal. I’ve got Cheerios, bran-flakes, normal Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Fruit ‘n Fibre. Is all that cereal going to get eaten before they taste like cardboard? Probably not. And let’s not even talk about the vegetable situation.

And I think this is were my problem is, I feel that too much choice creates waste. It might be wasted food or wasted time. Too much choice create indecision and it makes us feel useless. How am I suppose to be a good, caring, giving citizen of society when I can’t even choose what cereal to have. When I think I don’t have anything to wear even though my clothes don’t even fit where they should. It causes anxiety and stress over things that are actually not that important to us.

What’s the answer then? I’m not sure exactly, but sometimes it’s handy to take a step back and assess what choices are actually worth making. What do we need in life to make us happy. I’m pretty sure it’s not 100 of crappy tv channels that all show Masterchef on repeat. Basically, a lot of options does not equal quality. Apart from shoes of course, no such thing as too many shoes.

Or you can just do what Calvin does;

20140616-163411-59651754.jpg

Lite om mig…

Hej!

Tänkte att jag i samband med att min annons ligger ute på google att det är ett ypperligt tillfälle att presentera mig själv lite, min utbildning och min erfarenhet. Mitt intresse för människor psyke startade någon gång på 1990-talet med att jag dels läste boken Burpojken  (Torey Hayden, 1984) en sann historia om en 15-årig pojke som levt på institution sedan han var 8 år gammal då han vart vittne till hur hans syster blev ihjälslagen med att slag mot huvudet så hennes hjärna skvätte över hela väggen. Pojken pratar inte utan gömmer sig vettskrämd under ett bord. Tills Torey kommer i kontakt med honom och bestämmer sig att hon inte skulle bli en ytterligare än i mängden som ger upp på honom. Då när jag var knappt tonåring bestämde jag mig att jag också ville vara en sång som aldrig ger upp om en människa. Ungefär samtidigt både läste jag och såg När Lammen Tystnar (Thomas Harris, 1988). Jag vart fascinerad av hur människor kom att bli som de var. Vad låg bakom Buffalo Bills beteende? Och varför tyckte jag Hannibal Lecter trots att han var en seriemördare utan like? Redan då kände jag ett sorts känsla av att jag ville vara den som lyssnar på människor som ingen annan vill eller kan lyssna på.

Snabbspola till 2000-talet. Då flyttade jag som ensam 23-åring till Manchester, England för att studera. Det var tufft. Att lära sig hur ett helt nytt land fungerar från att vänja sig vid att de inte har varken färskjäst, vanlijsocker eller knäckebröd men rad efter rad efter rad med färdigmat till att öppna bankkonton, skaffa id-nummer, fast adress och jobb (om resten av världen bara kunde förstå hur praktiskt det är med ett personnummer). Hur som helst, så tog jag en fil.kand i psykologi. Jag tyckte på många sätt detta var otroligt intressent; kurser i parapsykologi (visste ni tex att om man tror på spöken kan det klassas som ett symptom på en mild personlighetsstörning, men att tro på Gud är inte det) neuropsykologi ( fascinerande att någon som tex inte kan gå pga av Parkinsons men kan trots detta kan dansa) till mindre intressanta saker som kognitiv psykologi (jaja, hjärnan kan ses som en dator, bla, bal, bal). Det jag fick ut mest av min examen var dock att vara kritisk till information. Hur viktigt det är med källhänvisningar och hur statistik kan manipuleras till att visa exakt det man vill påvisa. Min uppsats skrev jag om heterosexuellas syn på barn med homosexuella föräldrar. Som tur var kunde jag dra slutsatsen att alla (som jag intervjuade) tyckte det var ok men var lite oroliga för det där med mobbing.

Efter jag tagit min examen i psykologi så kändes det inte riktigt som att jag var på rätt väg. Psykologer och psykiatriker verkade mest som att de fyller i papper och diagnoserar (dömer?) människor och inte ha så mycket hjälper människor att må bättre. Så jag lyckades ta mig in på en av Englands mest välrenommerade magisterkurs i counselling på University of Manchester. Counselling kan översättas till ungefär: mer än en samtalsterapeut fast lite mindre än en psykoterapeut eller som en kurator utan socionomexamen men med mycket mer utbildning inom terapi. Så jag använder kort och gott ordet terapeut. I den här kursen fick jag bred utbildning inom olika teorier om terapi; tex psykodynamisk, humanistisk, kognitiv (sk KBT), personcentrared osv. Mycket vikt lades vid relationen mellan klient och terapeut och olika tekniker som man kan använda sig av. Extremt stor vikt lades också vid personlig utveckling, handledning samt praktik.

Under min tid på kursen hade jag två olika praktikplatser. Den ena var på en välgörenhetsorganisation som riktade sig enbart till människor som identifierande sig som homo; bi; eller transexuella där de själv sökt sig till terapi. Ofta jobbade jag med framförallt unga människor som hade funderingar kring sin egen identitet, problemtik kring att komma ut, frågor om acceptans och självkänsla. Min andra praktikplats var på en husläkarmottagning ett av de fattigaste områdena i hela Europa. Klienter här var refererade av sin doktor med en mängd olika problem som tex depression, ångest, fobier men också alltför ofta med långvariga effekter av sexuellt, insestiöst utnyttjande i barndomen. Här var detta så vanligt att klienterna själva såg detta som vanligt och självklart. Alla dessa problem måste behandlas med stor sensitivitet, öppet sinne, medkänsla och empati. Och givetvis styrka. Det är svårt att hålla tillbaka både tårar och ilska när man hör om hur pappa gick på dem som 5-åringar. Om det var något som jag skulle kunna säga till ALLA mina föredetta klienter så är det hur privilegierad jag känner mig att jag fått ta del av och var en positiv del av deras historia. Och hur de har tillåtit mig att utvecklas som person och terapeut. Finns ingen bättre känsla i hela världen.

 

Kram Sara

 

Reality tv: pleasure or plague?

If you are reading this and happen to know me in person, you probably know that I watch an awful lot of reality tv. Well, to be quite honest, there is not much else on tv these days. Even so, I watch a lot of it. I watch it for several different reasons. For example I watch Sisterwives (En Man och Hans Fruar) because I find it fascinating to see how a man and his four wives and 17 children fits into modern day Las Vegas. In other words I can learn something. I can learn something about a lifestyle that is pretty much as far away from mine as you could ever get, yet somehow when it boils down to it people are not that different.  Who am I to judge? , they seem happy enough. I also watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Keeping Up With the Kardashians to see how rich people live their lives. Harmless entertainment one could call it. I can switch my mind of from things that reminds me of my own boring life.

But today I watched something that made me think. I watched True Tori, a reality show following Tori Spelling (you know the ditzy one from Beverly Hills 90210) and her husband coming out of rehab after a cheating scandal. The show is mainly focusing on her and how she dealt and is still dealing with it. Her reasons for filming she explains is to get her side across rather then lies being spread about them in the gossip magazines. I have to admit, even I struggled to watch it. I felt like I was a dirty voyeur, having seen something that was not meant for my eyes. Many of you will be saying: too much!! But where do you draw the line? Why is this concept the biggest thing on tv right now? Who benefits from it? Lets have a little look…

It seems like the variety of shows are endless. We have got shows such as The Apprentice or shows like the X-Factor and American Idol. Shows that are looking for ‘real’ talent of some sort. To find real talent they want us to believe, though the contestants on The Apprentice are chosen not purely on their ability to do a good job but also based on how they will come across on tv. In a group of people we have a certain amount of roles that have to be filled such as a villain, a leader, a hero and so on. Without a contestant filling that role the show would be boring regardless of how good the cv of the contestants are. As for outright talent shows? How many people watch for the oh so funny try outs in the beginning? We certainly don’t seem to mind watching people who are clearly mentally unstable having the hope of their dreams squashed by an oh so honest Simon Cowell. We have I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here, where the viewers can get revenge on celebrities they don’t like by voting for them to do gruesome tasks such as swimming in fish guts or eating kangaroo penis. Sounds awfully humiliating right? Well, when your old dead career all of a sudden comes alight again and you make a ton of money on the back of it who cares. We have got the whole Real Housewives franchise, supposedly showing how rich, strong women live, with money and class. Like a sort of empowerment promo for women. Or, as Brandi Glanville put it ”Money doesn’t give you class, it just give you money”, which seem to be a more of an accurate description. The sole purpose of these shows seems to be to show women bitch, backstab and argue about and with each other. Then of course of the bottom of the barrel we have got shows like Big Brother, Paradise Hotel or The Valleys. The shows where they supply young people with no other purpose to be there other then to become famous or win some money are supplied with as much alcohol as possible. Bottom of the barrel did I just say? Lets see…

The truth is that these types of shows are a massive success for everyone involved. Someone gains the music career they have always dreamed of. A washed out old actor all of a sudden is high in demand again, housewives get their own shop, beauty line or book deal and others become famous for no other reason then that they had sex on tv and can laugh about it all the way to the bank, earning substantial amounts from personal appearances in night clubs or glamours spreads in lads mags. Even product placement is rife on all these shows. So everybody is happy. They viewers get entertained, the advertisers get sales and the participants gets fame and money. Win win for everyone.

What do you think? Is it just harmless entertainment or is it a sign of something bigger and potentially something that is not very good for us? I’m left with a bit of a bad taste from watching True Tori. It makes me wonder is nothing sacred? Should nothing be kept private anymore or is it good to share? You know, a problem shared is a problem halved they say. I guess my conclusion will be this; we live in a world were we share everything. That was clear when Tori tearfully looked into the camera to tell us how heartbroken she was due to her husband cheating.  Celebrities share their lives with us on reality shows of different kinds whereas the rest of us have to do with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Are we not all guilty of the same thing to a certain extent? After all, it is nothing new, in the middle ages we would call people being beheaded entertainment.

Am I a Facebook addict?

needle First thing I do in the morning is go online. This is how my day goes: Facebook, professional email, hotmail, the news, the gossip site, instagram, the weather (2 or 3 apps or sites at least). I do this over and over again throughout the day. Even when I go to the bathroom at work I bring my phone to have a quick look. It doesn’t stop me from doing my job, but any spare second I am on that phone. Looking for something.

So am I a Facebook addict? The answer is no, I’m not. But according to this test I did, I am on the border. Click on the link and you can do it too. ”You answered this quiz consistent with people who may be close to being ”addicted” to Facebook. You appear to spend a lot of time on Facebook and may sometimes feel a little anxious when not connected to the service. You are on the borderline of being considered a ”Facebook addict.” ”Facebook addiction” may suggest an unhealthy focus on your status amongst your online acquaintances, and what they are doing at any given moment in their lives. You may find it beneficial to spend more time doing things in your own life — even leaving your smart phone at home one evening when you go out.”

I’m not that surprised. I spend far to much time on Facebook. The truth is that Facebook does cause me certain amount of anxiety. I do worry about peoples perception of me online. Do I post what I want, share what I want and like what I want? No, not always. I don’t want to post too many pictures of my dog or my garden or share all the links about subjects that are close to my heart . Other people might find it annoying. I find Facebook a bit of a minefield where deleting someone or making a certain comment is perceived as passive aggressive. I know this, because that is that is how I myself perceive others. I get annoyed when people share things that so obviously are not true. Like that picture of the old man with a sign saying it’s his 100 birthday. He must have been turning 100 everyday for a year and a half now. It annoys me when people are so publicly displaying the fact that they don’t think about what they are doing. However, I’m not writing this to judge people or suggest that people are stupid. I think the problem goes much deeper then that.

I think part the answer lies in what is it that I am looking for. What is it that I am chasing? I don’t know. Am I worried that I’ll miss out on some good gossip if I’m not looking? Not really. Most of the time I don’t even remember what it is I’ve just seen. I think in this consumerist, commercialist society we are constantly bombarded with messages on how to be good consumers. You need this new smart television, this new iPhone, that new Sony Playstation. Play Candy Crush or Farmville. Send requests. I am as guilty as the next person to buy into it. I have to constantly have my mind and fingers occupied with at least two things at the same time. These days I can’t even focus on just a television program. I have to flick through a magazine or play with my phone at the same time. Chasing. Perhaps I do this because if I were to put my phone down I would have to let my mind think. Think about whatever it wants. And it’s that I couldn’t cope with. Because then I would have to think more often about how powerless I feel in this society. I would have to think about the fact that I am working in a supermarket even though I am a fully qualified counsellor with nine years of university studies under my belt.  I would have to think about how sad it is that all that matters is money. How more and more people are living on the poverty line, even having to steal food. I would have to think about politicians telling us public spending needs to be cut at the same time as they discuss tax cuts for the rich. I would have to think about how five teenage boys can gang rape a teenage girl and be freed because she didn’t shout for help loud enough.  I would have to think about how Nestle buys up freshwater supplies for their bottled water in Pakistan so that the people are forced to buy that instead . I would have to think about how the disappearance of honey bees is affecting our whole ecosystem. And so on. And so on. I feel powerless when I think about these things. In that sense Facebook is nothing but a curse. A curse that keep us numb.

So let’s do it, let’s put our phones down!

I’ll leave you with this quote: ”The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor – not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.” – Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949)