Sunday, 14 April 2019

Open Book - Mental Illness: Mental Misinformation and the child

A culture of misinformation
I did not know what mental illness really was until I was close to twenty. Before, I thought mental illness was something which resulted from a deficiency at birth and was genetic. This thought scared me as I grew up knowing my mother, grand mother and great grandmother were ‘mad’, as we were told from a tender age.
My mother was the first of five children and my grandmother was one of more than five, and my great grandmother was also from a large family. No one told us about mental illness or what caused it or why it happened. I simply thought it was an unfortunate curse on at least one member of the family, and prayed to never 'get it'! 
Some of the 'folklore facts' I grew up with were;  
  1. If you kept your problems to yourself you would ‘overload’ and go crazy.
  2. If you fell too much in love you would go crazy.
  3. If you had too many bills you would go crazy.
  4. If you had no friends you would go crazy.
  5. If you were too ‘bright’ in schoolwork you would go crazy.
  6. If you hated anything too much you would go crazy.
  7. If you were alone in a house by yourself you would go crazy.
  8. Crazy people were not liked by the community.
  9. Crazy people ended up homeless and living like vagrants.
  10. Crazy people were murderers.
  11. There was one type of crazy but different levels of ‘madness’.
  12. The world of humans hated being around crazy people, so being crazy was not an option.

There are many more ‘misinformed facts’ we were bombarded with as children and it was difficult to stay close to ‘crazy mad folks’. However, I loved my family and always tried to not ‘get’ any of those 12 things associated with madness! Children understand fear, safety and survival, and can adapt when necessary. I became an excellent storyteller, and enjoyed the royal lineage from that ‘duke’ who was my grandfather’s uncle!
Everyone wants to be accepted by their peers and those they interact with, however this was a challenge for us. The stigma associated with mental illness can be quite cruel and unkind to little children. If you said a bad word (aka answering back), someone would say it should be expected because of your ‘mad parent’. If you got upset because someone hit you, or you were being bullied and cried, they would tell you to control your crying, because it was not ‘a big thing’. If you continued crying then the adult would pull out the ‘shadow of fear’ and advise you would become ‘mad’ like your parent if you did not stop crying.
We were not allowed to feel 'free enough' to defend ourselves, or to express, or to be regular 'normal' children. No, we were marked as broken and had to work towards being acceptable by society.
Finding 'normal' in a broken society
It took many years before I realized, the child I was, never needed to change. The society we lived in was broken and needed information and action to change and repair its dysfunctions. Looking back, I realize people were afraid of us being hurt by what they did not understand. Even my mom did not understand why she went ‘off’ ( another word for crazy). Eventually we thought it was because she fell too much in love with our dad.
My mother lived an almost ‘normal’ working life until she was in her forties and had her third nervous breakdown. She is one of the most articulate, intelligent and innovative women I know. She fought for as long as she could to raise and support her four daughters on her own. She is a published author and continues to live with mental illness.
It is my hope that in sharing some of the stories from my past, it will influence the way others treat the children and family members of mentally diagnosed people.
Thank you for joining the discussion on mental illness!
First published on Thrive Global 10/04/2017 as "Mental Misinformation and the child who did not understand"

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Open Book: Mental Illness and the phone rings

A Frantic Call

"Please help me. She just stood at the door with a knife in hand. I can't live with her anymore." Panic and fear sounded through the phone. Its 2:30 am. (After a lot of drama, she returned to house, as though that call was never made)!

There was a lot of uncertainty when that call was received. Did it really happen, or was my mother mother creating a situation because she did not get what she wanted from my elder sister? Was it a hallucination - it happens a lot more with her aging. Trying to figure out truth from fiction with mentally ill people can be hard.  In this case, it was a variation of the truth. My sister claims she thought someone was outside, and armed herself, while questioning mom about a scholarship she never received. As for my mother, she ran out of the house into the darkness afraid for her life, as my sister followed - afraid for her. Does this make sense? No it does not, but it happened just over a year ago.

 According to Google, "Schizophrenia is a long term mental disorder which involves the breakdown between thoughts, emotions and behaviors. This leads to faulty perceptions, inappropriate actions and feelings; fantasy, delusions and fragmented reality". My mother was diagnosed with this and depression more than forty years ago. It was difficult living with her as she could be quite cruel while showing love and caring to myself and my siblings. I was always happy that I was not the favorite - the favorite child was physically punished the most. It was hard to be in the presence of this, and thus could not use that methodology to correct my children.

The care-giver 

My elder sister believed she could take care of our mother. She felt it was her duty to sacrifice her own happiness for the wishes of our mother. Schizophrenics are great manipulators, and do not like to conform to authority of others, from my experience. She did not stand a chance, and everyone around thought life was okay for my mother and sister - until it was not.

"Your sister is missing. You have to find her." This call was real after verification. Then the calls kept coming, and my sister was lost within her mental bipolar disorder.

For the family member who gets the calls from the loved ones, friends, public, it can be like standing on a cliff with an imminent drop at any moment. In Trinidad & Tobago, our social services for mental health support are limited. However, you can contact a mental health officer for assistance through district mental health facilities. All major health centers have a corresponding mental health section, with trained staff willing to assist when approached.

Do you have a friend or loved one with mental illness? Have you reached out for help? Don't be afraid to ask questions from trained medical professionals. Do not believe everything a mentally ill person shares as their reality may be different from your own!

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Open Book and Mental Illness

You are invited to look closer

My friends I'm sharing a series of blogs called "Open Book - Mental Illness" from tomorrow. It's a heavy topic but is a serious social issue in the Caribbean and the world. 

There are many families with loved ones who have some form of mental illness. My friend Lisa Fraser Gallagher has shared on her personal experiences with mental illness and she is an excellent resource on this topic. 

In my family one of my sisters and my mother are mentally ill. Like any other disease if you are unaware of the symptoms, left untreated it gets worse. There is no cure for mental illness. It can be managed, however not many people are willing to accept their loved ones are mentally ill.

In Trinidad & Tobago there is societal acceptance of mentally ill behavior once no one is physically hurt. Hence, we have many street dwellers and vagrants living a homeless life by choice because of their mental illness. 

To offer help to mentally ill persons can be challenging as many times family members are too ashamed to accept that its not okay to let your loved ones roam the street. Its also not okay to leave mentally ill persons to handle life on their own. What is freedom if a loved one is in harm's way based on their mental illness?

In the past 15 months the struggle to keep my sister and mother safe proved to be an emotional journey that no one should go through. The choice of allowing one's mother to be free to live as a vagrant or street dweller was real ( I cannot accept this); or to use the services of caring professionals at a private assisted living facility recommended by doctors seemed a lifeline. Not everyone in the family will agree, and even when they do, the pressure to 'not have your mother or sister in a home' can bring out irrational behaviors in some folks.

The reality is, mental illness is real and socially it is very taboo to admit family members have this disease. For some religious beliefs supersede medical facts, for others if you're not close you won't get the 'calls'.

Its important to understand mental illness so it is not normalized. Over the next few weeks I will share some insights from my experiences with mentally ill family members, and hope it will help others with similar challenges.

An 'open book on mental illness' is needed, maybe this will be a place to start.

Let me begin by saying my mother has been mentally ill for over 40 years and was retired medically unfit to work in the teaching service. My eldest sister is has been diagnosed as bipolar and has had 3 major breakdowns in 18 years. My 'open book' begins tomorrow.

Let's discuss!

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Life and the Small Stuff

Its Sunday and I’m grateful for the blessings of the week left behind. I am grateful for all the little and big things both good and bad which crossed my path. How can we manage life when there are ups and downs, positives and negatives, and outcomes which our minds and hearts tell us we are unprepared for? Ahh, but there is growth from all our experiences!


There was a Sunday when I sat in a house of worship and the pastor quite passionately advised the congregation that he did not want them to place any coins or red notes ($1 currency is red in my country) in the offering. He chided the congregation for being inconsiderate to the persons who had to ‘labour to count the money’ and even if they had to miss a week while they saved for their offering they must do so.


If it does not make sense to me then why accept the nonsense given?

Many times, we receive gifts and tokens of appreciation which, may not suit our likes or desires. The person giving decided that we are worthy of their blessings and in giving they have shared consideration and appreciation.

An attitude of gratitude is much more than saying, “Thank You”. It is really appreciating the giver, however big or small. If our leaders are challenged with the little things, how can they lead us to and through the big rewards.

For the upcoming week, and the days ahead I challenge you to find the little things left behind, the smallest of problems and issues that appear big, and look at them differently. Seek out the blessings and rewards of ‘the small stuff’, because the ‘big wins’ start with the little things we may pass over.

Thank you for staying and walking the race of life. Don’t go too fast because you may miss the view. Till we meet again – online!
You are appreciated!

About Me: I'm a mixture of experiences as a business/market developer, sales enthusiast, problem-solver, impossible-accomplisher. Every level of life has growth in the professional organization and personal brand development - I help with your next step!

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2018. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 10 August 2018

Character and the new global society

Understanding Character

Character is associated with both good and bad behaviours. Understanding what comprises your ‘character’ is much more than what you want to show on your resume. Your character is built on your decisions and how you do what you do. Morals, values, beliefs and personality play a vital role in how you establish character among peers, friends and family.

Leadership and integrity are on display for those of us in leadership roles in our homes and careers. Our attitudes, mental wellness, and psyche and temper are always tested, especially at times of extreme pressure, thus the inner person is always on show. How do you respond to criticism and opinions which are not aligned with your mentality and ability? Are you able to see beyond your perception of censure, disapproval, correction, and can you use these interactions as learnings and observations for personal and professional improvements?

Having ‘good character’ seems to be tied to positive academic and career achievements. It can be linked to accomplishments seen by others based on ‘social capital’ developed over a period. The status attributed to one of ‘good character’ is quite practical when seeking favour and approval, the rewards for gaining reputation based on character is limitless based on credibility and networks.

Loyalty and commitment are values we all hold close when looking at ‘good character’, in fact, most would say they are loyal to family and those they love, until character is tested, and the challenge to do what looks right competes with taking a stand for what is right.

Character at work

Society as we know it in each country and island worldwide has been changing and the ‘online world’ has few boundaries which cannot be crossed. What we all have is our character, our beliefs in what is right and wrong, and the many layers of gray which are now setting precedents for compromise. In the past the world order was built on with rules and regulations enshrined in behaviours which define character. Business and trade on a global level had rules, treaties and watchdog organizations which were mandated to encourage fair-play. Things are different now, with the status quo under attack and the power-brokers shifting to find ‘character equilibrium’ once more.

Character and boundaries depend on what is important and can be shared quickly to gain global online discussion and support nowadays. The noise emanating from social media is much more effective in changing character based on its accessibility and reach. Opinions both true and false have gained a place in personalities of the people who are logged in and sharing. Character and attitudes are flogged with stories and examples of things both real and created. Who we are online is who we are offline, and sometimes that reality is better left locked away from a screen and shared freely.

The negative behaviours from ‘bad character’ can be subtle, but nowadays its bold and fiery determined to cause as much harm as is humanly possible. There is shared anger and emotions on display via emoticons. Character is defined online by what we read, see, share and comment on, with gifs and images life is breathed into words. 


Have a good look within, review social media actions and reactions, and evaluate who you are, and the attitude shared with others. Both positive and negative character traits are a part of your personality. You are who you are both online and offline in this new world society.
Thank you for reading sharing and discussing ... have an awesome day!

About me:
Corporate business veteran with diverse industry experience - Safety/ HVAC/ FMCG/ Industrial Equipment. Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Coaching are combined to deliver over 30 years experience. Entrepreneur & Blogger (Dwordslayer) now defining the next best opportunity outcome that challenges mediocrity! 
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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2018. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Of Panties and People: Fads and Choices

Distressed panties?

Can the demand for distressed garments push you to the ultimate intimate?

Distressed panties will not be something I will purchase even though I’ve got a few and they are too comfortable to let go. I had this crazy thought as I hung my undergarments on my outdoor line to get some sun while drying. 

Imagine walking into a store and finding tired looking panties, shreaded, and with holes. Hmm that would get folks talking. It could even get those folks inclined to be ‘trendsetters’ buying a tired beatten flimsy panty for maybe double what one would pay for the regular stuff. The mind of the consumer can be confusing at times, thus I’m trying to figure out what would make someone get insane with intimates!

Teeny Tweens. I can see this group of young-uns checking out a Kardashian blog or Taylor Swift update to see if they are wearing distressed briefs. If ‘reality and other famous stars’ are into a trainwreck piece of cloth these impressionable babes will be sure to get on that band wagon. Does modesty have a place at any age anymore — I’m not sure.

Beyond the superficial

Distressed panties can also be the ones which hold a story of infidelity. They are distressed because the owner is distressed, highlighting rage, scorn, and hurt from deceit. These are panties distressed because they are hidden, abused and cast aside as discarded passion without remorse in many cases. The story of your undergarments are indeed the holders of mystery and sometimes shame. 

Your distressed panties can be powerful, but you must see beyond the stories you choose to share, and empower yourself to use them wisely!

Faddy Panties

Fads are more than just the outcome of formal or informal marketing. Fads are now cultural ideas which can capture and hold a sector of the market, creating a movement, and a symbol of rebellion. Choices of clothing and decisons on 'what to wear' and 'what not to wear' are decisions we make everyday. 

In the past women could not wear a bathing-suit in public, much less a gown which revealed her bosom. Nowadays, less is more in pushing the boundaries of acceptence and women are leading the way when it comes to 'the right to choose'. This goes beyond the boundaries of clothing, voting, driving a car, and choosing not to wear a head-scarf. Choice for women is much more than the superficial garments, and it is a symbol of our human equality and acceptence in a male dominated world. 

Everyone, including minorities, have a desire to break through that famous glass-ceiling. Who has the right to choose what religion one should embrace or what  one should believe? While fighting for our rights we must keep in mind there are extremes to everything and at some point, being right can become wrong for those of a different belief.

Marketing intimates

Getting back to the superfical ... will you choose to buy a pair of distressed panties, and if so, do you wish for an original or will the counterfeit version be preferable? Do you want the ones that are stretched out of shape or will you buy the ones with many holes and thread-bare? Will fabric matter at this point and is colour an option? Will you need to select based on comfort or will it matter when no one can see it?

In contemplating this possible trend, I'm holding on to those oldy goldies, one day my distressed panties can make a comeback!

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting. Looking forward to our thoughts on this topic!

About me:

Corporate business veteran with diverse industry experience - Safety/ HVAC/ FMCG/ Industrial Equipment. Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Coaching are combined to deliver over 30 years experience. Entrepreneur & Blogger (Dwordslayer) now defining the next best opportunity outcome that challenges mediocrity! 

Find me on: Twitter or email:
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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2018. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 11 June 2018

Sharing that not so good review!

Giving the reviews...

What do you do when you want to leave a realistic honest review but know the other side won't take it well? 

In the past I would never be afraid about sharing a review which is negative, however we live in a society where less than positive reviews are frowned upon. Everyone's opinion is just that... an opinion. If the experience one had is negative, should that review not be shared? 

There is a saying I've developed over the years, "If himself tells himself he is good, then he is good in his vision and his reality is himself!". From political, social, religious, and even personal perceptions, growth can only be exponential if the views and others are considered. It does not mean we must change to suit others, but simply means everyone is not receiving what we think we are giving. There is also the perspective that coming out of differences we can learn and improve.
I recall at an office party for an outgoing manager the Ceo advised, the manager would ask every couple months for an informal review. He asked for specific feedback on areas where he fell short and could improve. Whatever the feedback - and it was not good on many occassions - he accepted it , thanked his boss and worked on improving and sharing evidence that the feedback was important to him. When he was leaving she shared on her own learnings from those sessions and her growth gained from those interactions. He also advised in his comments to the Ceo and crowd afterwards, that he could find no other way of making changes for improving himself and his team without feedback - and using its critical assessment of where he was at each junction of his career. 

The reality is 'keeping it real or real talk' is simply just talk if we only wish to hear the positive things and not the areas of disagreements. 

When sharing reviews if the negative things need highlighting don't cover them up with positives. Share thoughtful opinions clearly and then acknowledge the positive things done. As a society, and a world people, we have become quite thin-skinned, and this can slow progress.
Just something to think about!

Be blessed and encouraged.

Thank you for reading, sharing and expressing your thoughts , you are greatly appreciated!

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2018. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 1 June 2018

Racism v Vulgarity

The Ugly Truth

After reading a few articles and declining to read some more of the world headlines facing me today, I've come to the conclusion, that the world is really in a mess. Let me rephrase; many people in the USA are in a mess - morally, socially, spiritually, humanely. That about sums up my position on racism v vulgarity. 
The fact that this can even be a topic of consideration underscores that sensationalism has taken over the more pressing need to solve world hunger crisis, terrorism control, species extinction, hurricane disasters, refugee crisis, human trafficking, global racism and gender biases, and the list goes on. 
Twitter has become the tool of many folks who want an excuse to say what they want , when they want and yell "free speech" is our right. Thats a lot of 'bull and poppycock' if you ask me. Things are getting out of hand and while I would like to lay the blame squarely of the not so strong shoulders of the USA president, this is not about him but about 'we the people' and responsible behaviour. While I do not support the downward moral and social spiral of the USA into the relms of dominant racial society, it is the people who make up a country, and the people who get to steer it to the ethically and morally acceptable place it will reside.
The bigger picture is facing the picture that the USA is a victim of its own making and maybe its national anthem. The anthem is at loggerheads with the society, and the people are sharply divided, between 'racism & vulgarity verses something else'. I'm not sure what that something else is, but I think that there are people who really desire an all inclusive society, courageous bravery, and a love for humanity.
The religious fractions are not able to stand on any moral ground, being now persuaded by power and their own delusional beliefs in trying to bring 'the rapture' and 'the end times ' to present times. Just look at these people of faith who twist and turn the words of the holy bible towards their struggle to control the present and the future. Forgetting, that the God of heaven and earth stated that 'no man will know the hour or time when he returns'. Yes, ye of little faith - the religious leaders of the evangelical, pentecostal and other 'christian religions. Thankfully, not all christians will believe the greedy words of these morally decrepit con-artists. Forgive them Father for they have sinned - wanting a few aeroplanes, yatchs, Louis Vuitton, mansions, and so much more wealth that sinful is too soft a word to describe their 'material debauchery'. 
Racism will never be good or acceptable. However, once there are people who desire freedom of speech, and freedom of choice, there will be folks who choose to be racially prejudiced. You cannot give full freedom and then decide its going to be free based on one point of view - and that is really left to interpretation. The world is seeing and feeling the effects of 'freedom'. So now, I must ask - do we really want everyone to be free to choose what they want because what everyone wants as  beliefs can differ. Maybe it should be  'conditional freedom' of choices based on laws of a freely conditional society. You see, the scales of a legal society must be free to all and not some.

When President Bill Clinton was fulfilling his term, he was considered a good man and leader until he got caught with his lifestyle choice. Otherwise he was pretty good, and had a good wife. He was made to publicly attone for his sins, and the religious fraction weighed in and persecuted him. Then came Barrack Obama many years later, and a big part of him as the president and leader had nothing to do with his exceptional leadership skills, but was because he could not be found to have any apparent sin which the public could hold against him - well, nothing can compete with the color of his ebony black skin. The birther and race issues were raised, and though the birther lie was given life, his skin color was a torn in the side of those with racial bias.
Thus the floor is now set to broach vulgarity, and the liberty many people of power wield. An actor can act many roles however a president of a country is not acting when taking office. The state of affairs in the USA is beyond absurd as law and order is different based on race, gender, political affiliation, religious beliefs, social status and ethics of compromise. When thinking about vulgarity there is one rule for the leaders and another for the commoners. Much can be said on this, however, the sadder point to note is the fall from any position of grace. Civil war is imminent, if its not already bubbling. In fact there is not much difference between Venezuela and USA right now, except one is further along the downward spiral than the other. 
So as I ponder racism v vulgarity, both are bad, therefore choosing one is choosing the lesser of both evils yet in a pristine white mausoleum in the capital city of Washington DC, USA,  lives a ruler with both racism and vulgarity as core attributes and it is acceptable once he resides there, based of the color of his skin. The society is the face of the leader - like it or hate it - when the people choose, who they are is reflected. 
There is hope though for those  who feel wronged by the results, and wish to lobby for change. Good always prevails, but it takes hard work, great strategy and a whole lot of faith.
Quite interesting times. Just something to think about!
With permission from the blog Citizen Life Changing Times...

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© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2018. All Rights Reserved