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Personal development blog(3 Posts)
Hi all, I am a counsellor based in Manchester. I blog about my work and life experiences and what I learn as I go along. If anyone has a subject that they find difficult, then I will be happy to see if I can help and blog about it?
Here is my latest blog on how to defend yourself against emotional abuse:
I am keen to help other single parents like myself. I know first hand how it can be difficult parenting alone.
Please feel free to get in touch
The need for positive validation from others:
Counselling careers are not the easiest careers to establish. For me I received an extremely lucky break in 2012 when offered work at Shardale rehab. It still amazes me how I can be in a position to get paid for doing something I love so much, as well as be around colleagues that keep my spirit strong, in this sometimes hostile world.
I have had many jobs and the only time I have felt such warmth and team spirit, is when I was working at a Cheetham Hill school cleaning, to fund my studying. The kids from the school could be obnoxious at times and spit on the floor as you clean, but it still stands out as one of the jobs I loved the most due to the team I worked with. I had an older lady who ‘took me under her wing’. I loved the feeling of being under her wing, she was so warm, loving, yet strong and fearless, honest, direct, but so kind. She would show me what to do, introduce me to the others, who did appear a little scary at first, but I knew under this wing, I had been accepted and that meant there was an unspoken rule that all had to accept me also. I would be rather timid and careful I did not let this woman down in any way, fearing doing something wrong and being rejected. That is a feeling I have struggled with throughout my life, but with this lady, it was all in my mind, she was not capable of such coldness. Maybe a stern word or two, but never ice-cold rejection or back stabbing. I feel emotional as I think of her almost 20 years on and a little sad I never kept in touch with her.
I loved being part of that team, as scary as they could be at times. It was like they had some tough shell as a group, but once accepted you had nothing but warmth, safety, trust and honesty. I realise now looking back, that was quality love and belonging, something that hits you the moment you walk through the door of a Shardale Rehab.
Some people appear all nice and kind, yet the minute you are in a group, all you sense is coldness and hostility. I am always wary of ‘overly nice’ people, I have yet to find an ‘overly nice person’ that is genuine.
After I qualified and took on more professional roles, that bonding and team belonging seemed to be missing. It was always a case of one or two absolute genuine types of people, caring, honest, and good amongst a fragmented team of ‘professionals’ that mostly back stabbed, bitched and competed. Some would not have to tell you what they thought about you, as their silence around you spoke volumes. Or they would be nice one minute, then if certain people was around, their whole demeanour would change and their attitude towards you and others. I seen group members sniggering, as individuals used the phone nervously dealing with serious safe guarding issues. My popularity dropped when I told them to stop their sniggering as I will not be around it. The way they would tear at a persons character or their work behind their back, made me struggle to be part of their team. In fact I think my attitude took over to make sure I kept a distance maybe? It is better to not be part of some groups I find. You do not need to know how some speak about you behind your back, as the way they treat you, look at you and how those around them treat you, will tell you all you need to know. Any toxic situation can lead to self doubt which can dangerously undermine your self esteem.
Luckily, I feel that now I am free from any work toxicity. I work with people who can help bring about the most amazing transformations for the most vulnerable people in our society, yet not once will you see them act like they are better than anyone else. In fact the reason why so many amazing transformations happen in Shardale, is the fact that their brilliance does not inflate their ego and their genuine kindness towards eachother, in my opinion.
At times we all can come across people who ignore us like they don’t care, or treat us like there is something wrong with us, you need to have some form of external positive validation to keep your spirit in tact I believe.
Yesterday I received a card, from a peer who felt moved enough by our work, to let me know what it meant them. Hopefully they will be able to have a better future. I also received a lovely chat with one of the managers and a sandwich from the other manager. Later I faced someone who was pretending they did not see me when shopping. My prepared smile went wasted.
Today my heart is full, regardless of those that leave their spaces or scars or both.
Today my daughter went to school, dressed in her clean and new uniform, hair in a bow, on time, with her book read. Guess where I get my strength from to live well?
What should we focus on?
There is a diamond in every pile of sh*t, keep sifting through the sh*t and focus on them diamonds.
Ange Neild MBACP
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