It’s been a brilliant week. Time for a bit of Saturday gushing.
On Monday we had a Cowley team meeting. We haven’t had a Cowley team meeting for ages. There has been a growing tension amongst the support team for a while that has been unusual and unsettling. I was nervous about the meeting and was determined that we didn’t drown in the small pools of negativity and remember that Steven is the most content he has ever been and that his unique relationships with each member of the support team played a big part in that. The two hour meeting was incredible. Despite the tension, everyone spoke with an honesty that was breathtaking. And halfway through the meeting, the mood changed and all the tension evaporated. Completely spontaneously people started giving positive feedback to each other. They owned the part they had played in the problems and gave heartfelt praise for the good stuff. Steven was delighted to have his whole team together. He sat on the sofa but after 5 minutes got bored and went off to do his own thing. Every few minutes he popped back with a huge grin on his face. At the end of the meeting, one of the team made omelettes for all. All week long, whenever I’ve thought about the meeting I’ve had a soppy smile on my face and a lump in my throat.
I’ve been following several social media discussions this week about a call for the use of body cameras to protect people with learning disabilities in various settings. I’ve been finding it very difficult to square my experiences with those people who are pro cameras. I cannot imagine asking the five guys in our support team to start wearing surveillance equipment. What on earth would Steven make of that? What would it say about his dignity and rights to a private life if he was filmed in his bedroom? Getting dressed, having a wank, sleeping? The meeting and our overall relationship was a success because we’ve all taken the huge, scary leap to trust each other. That trust is both very fragile but the rock hard cement that holds everything together. I’d hate to jeopardise that by allowing my fears or distrust to set the agenda. Rather than protect Steven, it feels like it would make him more vulnerable.
A random, unconnected series of gushes – I’ve received my appointment letter from the hernia specialist. I have become very self conscious about my unsightly bulge and although it means another operation, I’m looking forward to having my internal girdle fitted. The genealogist is cracking on with the task I set her and yesterday I had lunch with my cousin and collected some more brilliant photos of people from times gone by. And after watching the action from the Supreme Court, I’m now more hopelessly in love with Lady Hale than ever. It may sound fanciful but the feel from the Supreme Court judges wasn’t a million miles from the feel at Monday’s team meeting.
Finally, my copy of Social Work, Cats & Rocket Science arrived and I read it in two sittings. Marvellous stories, beautifully written. Oodles of wisdom, humanity, values, rights, humour and grace. I’m moved that I have such cool, sussed friends like Elaine, Mark and Rob. And it comes with the added bonus of a chapter written by a hernia inflicted bloke from Cowley.
On Thursday, I had a chat with Steven about stuff. He’s been working his way through his Live Aid and Live 8 DVDs.
“Watched Elvis Costello on Saturday with Michael. Watched Queen on Sunday with Francis. Watched Paul McCartney and his friends on Monday with Des. Watched Mick Jagger and David Bowie on Tuesday with Alan. Steven Neary is a happy man”.
Together. Trust. Interest. Love. Allison Moyet.
End of gush.