Sunday, 28 September 2014
21st September to the 27th September blog On Sunday evening I attended the Living Room Family group where I was presented with a card and a beautiful box of toiletries to celebrate my first year in recovery from the amazing support network that I feel privileged to call my friends and second family. There is so much strength and love in that room. On leaving the Living Rooms we headed home to find out that Downtown Abbey was back so I went all lady Mary and sat down to watch. Second week back in work this week, I eased myself in last week but this week I decided to start my new healthy routine with a swim before work. I have done this since early recovery and really enjoy it. It clears my head and I am able to plan my day. I go early now as they open at 6.30 when I started going last October it opened at 7.30 and instead of swimming with dolphins my new hobby became swimming with pensioners. The only problem with this was that although they were lovely they were also really chatty and nosy so I never actually managed to get any swimming done. They were all hard of hearing and all called me “Suelee” I would arrive at the pool side to be greeted with a cheery chorus of “Good morning Suelee”. I miss them. There are some real characters Danny who would do 2 lengths stop look at me and shout “Faster, faster; mind the speed camera” Carl a lovely old man who loved a chin wag and Bob who kept them all in order. I have surprised myself this week; I have been disciplined organized and industrious. I have followed my eating plan to the ticket. I have enlisted the help of all my colleagues in work who have been amazing. After outing myself publically on Facebook I expected a certain amount of curiosity regarding my recovery status. The first person who mentioned it was the house keeper on Monday. “I hope you don’t think I’m being nosy but why have you got 2 birthdays and what was the life changing event?” “I’m an alcoholic and I have an eating disorder” I replied. The response from the staff has been humbling, helpful and encouraging. A few people have approached me and shared stories about their own families and it’s opened up quite a few discussions. Some of the staff have thanked me for being honest and not hiding in the shadows. The fact is I am not ashamed any more, I’m an addict but I’m getting help and the help is working. The staff are actually stopping me in the corridor or ringing me at meal times and telling me to eat, that could be down to the fact that I gave them all permission to slap me if they saw me eat anywhere other than the staff room. Monday evening was special, I was able to collect my first year clean (glow in the dark no less) key ring from NA. I have coveted this for a whole year and now it’s all mine. It gave me a chance to share my gratitude to the fellowship and the good friends there who have supported me over the last year. The 12 step programme does work. I love the key rings the slogan on them says (clean and serene for…….however long you have been in recovery) My sponsor left a bunch of flowers on my door-step and gave me a sobriety coin chip. Tokens like the key ring and the coin chip mean a lot to me, I carry them with me to focus on the fact that with help I have achieved what I never thought was possible. In the early days I used to have terrible dreams that I had drunk and used drugs and NA and AA asked for them to be returned. I would wake up quite traumatized. The rest of the week has been busy but I have made time to eat. I have eaten at the table for my main meals and stuck rigidly to my plan and it’s actually been a lot better than I anticipated. I have not been hungry and not been particularly craving sugar. I have started taking a product called clean greens in my orange juice in the morning, it’s a 5 a day supplement and contains all the goodness of green veg, I don’t know if its psychosomatic but it seems to be keeping the sugar cravings away. A member of the Living Room told me to try it and so far so good. The one thing that did surprise me was the headache I had on Monday night. I think it was due to sugar withdrawal. I am fortunate in that I never get headaches so this little beauty came as a shock, it only lasted for the evening and in typical drama queen style and panicked and thought I was having a stroke. I’ve decided to pick up working on the steps again. I’m looking at step 8 “We made a list of persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all” I’ve procrastinated for long enough with this step; it’s a list for God’s sake, not the magna carter! How hard can it be? I’m willing to do this step now. My main amends are to my family, friends and my work and I can do those every day simply by not resorting to my harmful behavior and dangerous and destructive old coping mechanisms. There are some that will require a letter or a wait-until- the-occasion arrives and there are some people that are best left alone, as to seek them out would be detrimental to my recovery. The week has been good, I feel positive and optimistic, onwards and upwards, bring it on October. Julie
Sunday, 21 September 2014
September 14th to September 20th 2014 And so it begins: It’s been a busy week. A week in which I returned to work, saw the film Pride and met with Wyn to devise my contract and eating plan. A week that I was able to be totally honest with my cousin about my problems and a week where I had the privilege of attending a creative arts group in the Living rooms in the company of some inspiring people. I am a year clean and sober tomorrow and have so much to be thankful and grateful for. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect.This time last year I was lost, frightened, hopeless, felt useless and had hit rock bottom. When you hit rock bottom you can either stay there, die or surrender. Thank God I chose to surrender. I didn’t intend to surrender, I didn’t set out to surrender I had never really entertained the idea of surrendering before as before I never really wanted to stop. I was in denial. This time it was different I knew I actually wanted out but didn’t quite know how I was going to manage it in the long term. Short term sobriety yes, I could do that but long term (three months was the best I’d managed) was a whole new ball game. I knew I had to find support and a whole new way of life opened up beneath my feet. I first sought help in the fellowships and then as I have multi addictions I was recommended to try the Living Rooms. The first three months of recovery I found the hardest, you need to eat sleep and breathe it, you need to surround yourself with others in recovery who you admire and think “I want what they have” You need to take on board the suggestions they give you and like a small child trust what they say and just practice them without questioning. What do you have to lose? You have to put away your pride and become willing to explore break down, and in some cases, smash your old thinking. You have to find your spiritual side, pick through your past, good and bad, forgive, accept, let go of blame, find trust, and tell the truth. No more lies, no more cheating, no more hurting others, no more hiding. You have to be brave, see yourself as you are and most importantly learn to love yourself and have a relationship with yourself. You find that you have emotions, you have fought and flown from feelings for years and all of a sudden they come back and you have to face them and deal with them. And the good people around you in recovery will support and help you through this process and every day it gets a little easier. I am relying on this trust love and support to carry me through the first few weeks of my eating plan. I’m approaching it with a positive attitude, I no longer want to be a slave to food and I no longer want or need to rely on external substances to make me feel whole. My recovery and my trust in my recovery and my faith in my higher power can do that from now on. My life today is so different from the way it was a year ago, recovery has given me back my mojo. I enjoy life, I have quality relationships with my family and friends. I have met some amazing new friends and gained a whole support network that I had no idea was out there. I am much better at coping with work I am less overwhelmed by life. I have the 12 steps and I have finally realized the key to contentment is to give not to take. I’m also conscious of not being complacent and realise that I need to follow my suggested recovery program one day at a time to remain well and carry the message to other addicts. It has been one hell of a year, a rollercoaster in the early days, there have been tears, tantrums, (but no tiaras) there have been times when I’ve felt I couldn’t do it, times where I’ve sat on the “pity pot”, times when I’ve resented others in the group or blamed others for my behaviors. Change is never easy but it was certainly necessary as this was the year that I finally decided to “grow up” and take responsibility for my own life. And I am so glad I did. I truly feel I’ve been given two lives, one in which to make my mistakes and the second one to learn from them. (not many people get the opportunity to do that) people in recovery do. Lastly I want to thank everyone who has helped supported loved and been patient with me over the last year. They are my family, friends, work colleagues, fellowship friends, my sponsor, the fantastic team and members of the Living Rooms. You rock! 21st September 2014 It has begun, the day has dawned and I realise how defensive I am over this addiction and how touchy I can be. I woke up at 9am and realized that I had 30 minutes to eat breakfast. This was manageable and my eating plan is healthy and gives me a lot of choice, I will not go hungry, not that this has ever been a concern to me as my problem is with the types of food I eat rather than the quantity. When I met with Wyn on Thursday it suddenly struck me how unusual my eating habits were. I had absolutely no structure around eating, no guidelines or no limits. I grazed continuously through the day on foods I considered to taste “nice” and avoided anything I considered hard to eat, things with texture that had to be chewed were rarely eaten ( I was too lazy to sit and plough through) typical quick fix addict thinking. I never consciously thought about what I was eating unless I was binging and then I would secret eat, eat in the car, hide food, pretend to do something in another room in order to ram hidden chocolate in to my mouth. When I was eating a meal I would always do something alongside it to distract myself. I would watch TV, work on the computer or read, so I was never consciously aware of what I was eating. And when I was eating I was often thinking about binging on chocolate after, often I would get half way through a meal, break to get a piece of chocolate or something sweet then continue with the meal, only to go on and eat more sweet stuff later. Some days I would graze continuously. Work was really difficult due to the nature of my work I would often not eat as I would be so busy and distracted I would not find the time then by six I would be starving and binge or would grab sweets cake or chocolate as I dashed by. I needed to make time to eat, concentrate on eating and focus on the act of eating itself. I was using eating to distract myself just like any other addiction. My binging would go wild when I was alone (no one to judge me, or look at me with disgust or pity, or criticize) I would plan binges when I knew no one else would be in the house and become really resentful if plans changed. I would justify my food consumption, I’ve had a hard day, it’s a reward, I’m pissed off I’ll cheer myself up with chocolate, it’s a celebration I’ll treat myself! I treated myself each and every day of my life. I am so defensive and secretive about food, when I told my partner I was going in to recovery for this eating disorder he said” I’ll join you” I was furious, this is my problem, stop muscling in, its personal to me. I find it hard to talk about it, too discuss it, I feel trapped by it, I am repulsed that it has got this far, I hate my body, and yet I felt helpless to do anything about it and it gets worse over time. I have dieted and lost huge amounts of weight 5 stone in 5 months once! I then become obsessional about losing weight, I restrict and lie about the amount I eat and feel guilty for eating one teaspoon more than my allowance says. I have exercised to collapse doing 4 classes per day. I have been a size 12 and I have been a size 26. I have yoyoed up and down with my weight for 40 years and have a wardrobe of clothes of all shapes and sizes. I have taken food from bins to eat. I have lost my temper when my children or partner have found my secret stashes hidden like a squirrel all over the house. I have hidden food inside shoes, the car, my sports bag, casserole dishes, airing cupboards (you name it, I’ve hidden it there) I have put my body through gastric band surgery which then caused me to become bulimic. Most of my eating comes from my childhood I have eaten like this since the age of about six. I eat out of rebellion ( a don’t care rebellious streak) I often eat out of boredom and oddly enough fear of being alone, I think it comforts me when I’m frightened I think it nurtures me in the way I was not nurtured. All this I’m sure I will explore in good time as I go through this process.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
12th and 13th September 2014 Empty Nest syndrome Friday Today is the day that my youngest flies the nest and starts his new university life in Bristol. My nest is now three quarters empty, only my daughter remains. I am excited for him, proud and also anxious. He has spent the whole summer out of the house in parties, pubs, clubs, festivals and caravans saying goodbye to friends, we have joked that three months is one hell of a goodbye. When I first left home to study nursing my parents must have felt the same mixture of emotions. My Dad drove up to Cardiff with my mother in the passenger seat and me and all my teenage paraphernalia in the back of the car. We pulled up outside this imposing old Victorian Hospital the wind and rain lashing against the windows (it was akin to the beginning of the Rocky Horror Show) dark and gloomy. As we unloaded the car and rushed in to the main hall like refugees from the Titanic, various patients milled about wearing hospital regulation clothes, one curiously approached us blocking our way, “Got a fag, got a fag for me Sir?” he said to my father, it was like a scene from a Dickens novel, my father looked taken aback and I heard him whisper to my mother “We can’t leave her here” I ignored this, collected the keys and took directions to the Nursing accommodation from the porter at reception. Trudging up the long corridors laden with my belongings we met other patients on the way, each one stopped my Dad (he must have had a sign on his head) each one asked him for a “fag” by the time we reached the entrance to the Nurses home he was a bag of nerves and minus 10 cigarettes. The Nursing homes were above the canteen, there was no one around, it was like a ghost town which only added to my parents unease. My mother this time. “We can’t leave her here” We found my room and unloaded my possessions. I could tell they didn’t want to go. My father started up “Are you sure you’ll be Ok, you don’t have to stay here you know?” I reassured them even though I was quaking in my boots. Hugs and kisses and then they left. My mother reported later that my father did not speak a word all the way back home apart from the immortal line “I have just left my daughter in a lunatic asylum” I laughed at this as it sounds as though my Father had committed me to a Mental Hospital Dad clearly did not see that episode as the start of my bright new future. It was all very different for my youngest son, no drama, the most tricky part was negotiating the network of roads to get into the student accommodation in Frenchay Campus. Five minutes to unload, up in the lift, quick look at the room, bye bye Mum and Dad. Finally a text four hours later to say “I’m unpacked, and I’m fine” When you’re in active addiction you don’t realise that not only have you been absent from your own life but you have also been absent from the lives of everyone else too, including your children. That for me was a hard lesson to learn as addicts by nature spend their time minimizing or laughing off the damage they do to others or in certain circumstances blaming them. We can’t change that fact that we have effected them, but we can resolve not to start the whole cycle rolling again in choosing not to partake in harmful behaviors, hopefully changing in to positive role models for our children with a powerful message of how not to manage your life. I never want to hear the words “Mum, you’re a horrible drunk” or the looks of hurt on my children’s faces when confronted by my antics ever again. It’s just not worth it. Moving swiftly onwards: It is my first whole day without the band, it feels so strange to be eating like everyone else again. The other half and I went for tea in The pot on Crwys Road it has the number one rating on trip advisor and I had wanted to try it for ages. I sat down and ate a sandwich (unthinkable yesterday) and I stayed at the table for the whole snack! Later on in the evening I had steak, a big juicy medium rare one that I had craved for four years and it was bloody great! Saturday 13th September I went to Living Rooms Saturday group this morning, this was followed by the first week of our creative writing project. It was a very enjoyable session, the group all had lunch together before the session and I didn’t feel self-conscious of eating with others or need to leave the table to partake in my usual regurgitation ritual. It feels odd and I’m still very aware of what I’m eating the tendency is still to go for foods that I know would “beat the band” but that’s habit and I know that will leave me. The creative writing session was really good, relaxed, fun, something to get your teeth in to and helpfully guided. We had to do several small exercises, there was no pressure, we could share as much or as little of our writing as we felt comfortable with in a safe environment. We all benefited from each other’s experiences and gave positive feedback and reactions to the individual work and pieces of work by others, given to the group to discus and dissect what message the piece gave to them. There are no rights or wrongs and your own writing is designed to express your thoughts feelings and reflections on paper with sometimes surprising results. You gain so much by listening to the accounts from other group members and this encourages you to participate yourself. I can’t wait for next week’s session and the lovely Sharon was a great facilitator. My eating has increased but this could be the novelty value (hey, I can eat normally again) and the typical addict head of “I shall ram as much down my neck as I can now before the 21st” like Custards last stand, you’ll never take me alive! This was a self-fulfilling prophecy, I told myself it would happen and it has. The difference being there is an end in sight and a plan of action to be formulated that I will follow come hell or high water. Only I can do this (with help) and only I will continue to be controlled by something external from me if I don’t honestly participate and throw myself fully in to this recovery plan. That said we ended up in the Fino Lounge in Whitchurch where I ordered tapas and followed it off with Red Velvet cake. I have one week to go before recovery begins, (this has to happen or or I’m going to end up the size of a bungalow) Julie
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Gastric band :2 11th September 2014 Today was the day of the unbanding ( I make it sound like one of those teenage science fiction series like the Hunger Games or Divergent) I sat in Spire Hospital at 11 am this morning after handing over the privileged sum of £176.00, waiting for the band, the bane of my life to be deflated. I felt a mixture of different emotions from relief to wild panic. I was excited at the fact that I would be able to eat normally again after five years without the fear and embarrassment not to mention the pain of regurgitation. This was coupled with the fear that I would leave Spire totally out of control and consume all food in a frenzied eating binge ending up like Mr Creosote “Just one wafer thin mint please” then I would explode. There was a little anger directed to myself and to Spire, anger at the waste of money, anger that the band through no fault of its own caused so many problems both physically, emotionally and within my relationships. My partner had funded the operation and I was tormented by the thoughts of guilt that I had let him down in some way, that I had squandered his inheritance money and that he did not “love” me the way I was despite the fact that I had nagged the backside off him for the operation. Many women will recognise those paradoxical thoughts. The thoughts of not being good enough, of comparing themselves to other women who are the perfect 10. “My life would be happy if I was thin” The media screams this at us every day and subconsciously we believe it, girls grow up believing it. The nurse called me in and instructed me to jump on the scales, this makes me feel uncomfortable and judged (even though I know its procedure) I don’t look, I don’t want to know, the shame and the sense of failure creeps in again. The last recording on my chart from nearly 5 years ago is 92 kgs, I know I’m well over that and some. The nurse tells me the doctor will be with me shortly, and instructs me to sit. The doctor enters the room a pleasant looking chap, quite solid himself with a mop of curly hair, I recognise him from before. “Hello, we haven’t seen you for some time, four years actually, what brings you back” ? I decide to be honest and I tell him the truth. I tell him the band has not worked as the problem is me, I am the one with the eating disorder and only I can change that by embarking on a programme of recovery for binge eating and constant eating of “junk” foods. I tell him about the regurgitation, the binging, the preoccupation with junk foods, the erratic eating habits and frustration and misery of this. His response is surprising he says I have taken the first step in admitting it and recognising that in some people it is a psychological illness, he still maintains that bands do help in some but not all cases. (so do lobotomy’s) I sarcastically find myself thinking. He asks me to lie on the bed under the X Ray machine, luckily the horrible barium drink is not needed as I’m having the fluid withdrawn from the band, this fluid causes the restriction of foods in to my stomach. A quick scratch of the needle for a local anesthetic in to my port (situated under my breast bone) then the needle goes in and slowly sucks out the fluid filling the band. 6.5mls went in and they are able to get about 5.9mls out. I ask where the other 0.6 mls went and they laugh stating that this is normal. All over, free to go, a free woman, the only control that lies between me and my eating now is me. My appointment to discuss my recovery plan is next Thursday and my start date for my recovery is the 21st September. I just hope I don’t gain 2 stone by then!
One of Living Room Cardiff’s attendees is embarking on a programme of recovery from an eating disorder. Follow her progress here: Gastric Band On the 30th of October 2009 I was banded, not branded, banded, (although they may as well have been the same things) I was gastric banded. On the 11th of September 2014 I am going to be un-banded, the fluid is going to be removed from my gastric band which means I will be able to enter into recovery from my lifelong eating disorder. When it was suggested that I had an eating disorder I was skeptical, after years of being told that I was greedy lazy and gluttonous and had no will-power, you learn to believe it. Even better those kind souls who suggest that the solution was simple “eat less and do some exercise” Duhhh if it were that simple there would be no fat people! The other reason was that I was scared about the words “eating disorder” I thought if I had a “disorder” there was nothing that I could do about it and I would be destined to a life of eating my body weight in chocolate compulsion and shame. No person is overweight because they want to be that way; if any person was given the choice between being fat or thin our society today what would they choose? “I’ll be fat please” I think not, I know not. Being overweight makes you feel: hopeless, shameful, embarrassed, humiliated, trapped, useless, self-loathing, weak-willed, helpless, unlovable, disgusting, unattractive, lazy, gluttonous, out of control and enslaved. And the more you feel these emotions and feelings the more trapped you become. It is like being inside a hamster’s wheel. I eat for so many different reasons, I eat when I’m happy in celebration as a reward as a treat. I eat when I’m sad to comfort me. I eat when I’m bored for something to do. I eat out of habit and poor eating habits. I eat when I’m scared or anxious to distract me. I eat when I’m angry to calm me down. I eat when I can get away with it in secret. I eat because I am hungry; I eat when I am full. I eat to restrict myself when on a diet. I eat to please others or to be polite. I eat because I feel that urge that need and compulsion to do so even though I know I am harming myself and others. I have never eaten for nutrition or to fuel my body. I can recover from this condition as it is an addiction, and I can recover from this need to compulsively eat one day as a time as I have recovered from my other addictions I believe and I think I am proof that bands and weight loss surgery are not the answer to obesity, chronic overeating, binge eating, or constant graze eating in our society. They are yet another way of making money out of highly vulnerable suggestive and desperate people. Who would willingly ask to have a band placed round their stomach to reduce food intake or have half their stomach taken away? Who would volunteer to eat portions the size of a thimble or pureed baby food? Who would offer to regurgitate their food or be in agony when food becomes “stuck”? Who would offer to be dependent on vitamins and supplements forever? People who feel helpless as they cannot stop eating, that’s who. And what happens after these procedures? Initially it is the answer to all your prayers, the weight falls off, you feel good, positive for the first time in ages, you buy new clothes, you are complimented, you become more active and your confidence increases. Exactly the same pattern as dieting. This as we know is not sustainable. What they don’t mention is the illness creeping back in, steadily over time, slowly at first - then bang it’s got you. Food that is healthy and good for you will often not go past the band leading to regurgitation, frustration, hunger and grabbing the slip foods. They tell you about slip foods. The foods that slip past the band - chocolate, cake, biscuits, crisps all the foods that over eaters crave. They tell you not to eat them. What can you eat then? Dust? You ask for the band to be tightened to combat this but it only makes the problem worse as your list of restrictive food lengthens. Eating becomes an endurance test unless you are eating slip foods. Meal times become an embarrassment, eating out or being invited out to eat, a dread not a pleasure. There are times of day (morning where you cannot eat anything of substance at all) you cannot take your tablets in the morning as they become lodged. The band is affected by your menstrual cycle and is always tighter when you are having a period. My eating habits now are far far worse than they were five years ago and for one reason. The reason was that I was in the grip of an addictive illness and no band or surgery was going to address that. The answer to the problem lies in recovery and a journey into myself. The way out is ‘in’ as I’ve been told. I must learn to love and accept myself for who and what I am. I am looking forward to the morning. This horrible cycle will be coming to an end and the real solution can begin. Julie.
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Plant Neb A yw rhai plant yn haws eu caru nag eraill? A yw dioddefaint rhai plant yn llai derbyniol nag eraill? Os ydyn ni’n gofidio llai am rai plant nag eraill a allwn ninnau fel cymdeithas honni ein bod yn caru plant o gwbl? Dyma rai o’r cwestiynau fydd yn pigo cydwybod y genedl am genhedlaeth yn dilyn y datgeliadau ofnadwy o Rotherham yr wythnos hon. Efallai, ar ôl achosion Savile, ein bod oll mor ddideimlad am y dioddefaint y mae oedolion fel petaent yn ei achosi i blant yn rheolaidd ym Mhrydain nes na allwn bellach brosesu’r erchyllterau sy’n digwydd bob dydd. Ond, mae’n rhaid i ni eu prosesu oherwydd, yn debyg i Savile, roedd y troseddu’n gyfrinach agored, yn digwydd o flaen llygaid yr heddlu a’r awdurdod lleol a’r unig ffactorau a rwystrodd y dioddefwyr rhag cael eu hachub oddi wrth y drwgweithredwyr oedd cefndir y dioddefwyr. Yn Rotherham ac ar draws y sir, rydym yn sicr yn gofalu am rai plant yn fwy nag eraill. Y lluniau angylaidd o blant agored i niwed sy’n syllu allan arnom o gloriau papurau newydd tabloid, wedi eu hanfarwoli yn dilyn achos arswydus arall o gam-drin plant, Daniel Pelka, Baby P, Victoria Climbie, James Bulger - dyma’r lluniau sy’n ein poeni. Beth sy’n wahanol am y 1,400 o ddioddefwyr yn Rotherham, pam na achosodd eu dioddefaint a’u poen nhw ymatebion tebyg? Roedd llawer o’r merched a’r bechgyn perthnasol yn blant agored i niwed, yn dod o deuluoedd di-drefn neu ddiffygiol ac roeddent wedi eu creithio’n emosiynol, eu hesgeuluso ac wedi dioddef ymosodiadau yn hir cyn i’w hymosodwyr gael eu dal. Roedd y rhain yn blant oedd yn dyheu am i rywun eu caru a gofalu amdanynt, dangos trugaredd iddynt a phrofi iddynt eu bod yn bwysig a gwerthfawr. Mae’n sicr bod llawer ohonynt yn dangos pob math o agweddau ac ymddygiadau heriol, fel y mae plant a phobl ifanc yn eu harddegau’n ei wneud wrth iddynt ddelio â’r boen sydd yn eu bywydau. Mae’r ffaith yma, a’r ffaith bod eu camdrinwyr yn eu twyllo’n hawdd i gredu y gallent gael eu caru, eu gwerthfawrogi a’u hanwylo, fel petai wedi eu condemnio ym meddwl yr heddlu a’r gweithwyr cyngor oedd i fod i’w hamddiffyn nhw. Does gan oedolion ddim yr hawl i ddewis pa blant sy’n ‘ddigon da’ i gael eu caru a pha rai sydd ddim. Ymhellach, onid y plant sy’n anodd eu cyrraedd, y rhai sy’n byw bywydau di-drefn ac sy’n llawn poen, dicter a chwerwedd yn barod ddylai gael y flaenoriaeth yn ein cymdeithas? Pa athro sy’n haeddu cael ei alw’n athro os yw’n disgwyl llond dosbarth o fyfyrwyr gradd A ac yn anwybyddu’r rheiny sy’n cael trafferthion? Pa feddyg sy’n trin y cleifion gyda salwch y gellir ei wella’n gyflym gyda phresgripsiwn ac yn anwybyddu’r gweddill? A beth am y drwgweithredwyr? Beth wnawn ni gyda’r dynion unigryw o beryglus yma? Mae’r wythnos hon wedi bod yn gyfle i’r newyddiadurwyr sydd o blaid ‘crogi a chwipio’ (nad oedd ots ganddynt am y dioddefwr wythnos yn ôl mae’n rhaid dweud) apelio at ein cyneddfau mwyaf sylfaenol a’n dicter. Mae’n bosib iawn bod chwalu bywyd plentyn yn anfaddeuol neu o leiaf y tu hwnt i faddeuant y mwyafrif ohonom, ond bydd codi mewn ton o ddicter yn gwneud dim i helpu eu dioddefwyr a bydd yn ein dallu i’r ffaith nad yw’r dynion a gam-driniodd, a arswydodd ac a dreisiodd cymaint o blant, yn ddim llai dynol na ni, mor ofnadwy bynnag oedd eu troseddau. Y ffaith olaf yma mae’n debyg yw’r ffaith fwyaf anghyfforddus, arswydus a thrallodus ohonyn nhw i gyd, a dyma pam rydym yn ceisio troi’r drwgweithredwyr yn bethau ‘eraill’, a’u disgrifio fel ‘bwystfilod’. Wel, yn drist iawn, mae’r bwystfilod yma’n arswydus o arferol a bydol ac, os na fyddwn yn ceisio ymgysylltu â nhw fel bodau dynol ar ryw lefel, fyddwn ni’n dysgu dim o’r stori ofnadwy yma. Wrth gwrs, dylent gael eu cosbi gan y gyfraith a’u cadw ymhell oddi wrth blant am flynyddoedd lawer, ond os ydym fel cymdeithas bob amser yn taflu ein dwylo i’r awyr ac yn wylofain am y dioddefwyr, ac yna’n difenwi a chasáu’r troseddwyr, rydym yn ein heithrio ein hunain yn daclus oddi wrth unrhyw werthuso trwyadl. Rydym oll yn cyfrannu at gymdeithas mewn ffyrdd pitw bychan sy’n creu’r sefyllfaoedd yma o bryd i’w gilydd felly mae gan bob un ohonom gyfrifoldeb, atebolrwydd ac euogrwydd ar y cyd am dynged cymaint o ferched a bechgyn ifanc yn Rotherham. Rydym oll yn cyfranogi mewn cymdeithas sydd, mewn gwirionedd, eisiau sgubo gwireddau anghyfforddus o dan y carped a, thrwy wneud hynny, rydym yn helpu i barhau’r gamdriniaeth ac yn methu gwneud y peth iawn dros ei dioddefwyr.