What did you see when you looked at me?
Bandaged, broken, breaking down
Symptoms smothering, suffocating sound.
Risk assessed, year on year
Those boxes ticked,
The plans you made
The same each time
Which I then went and disobeyed.
Repeat offender, that was me,
Revolving door, we all could see
Textbooks teach many truths,
They have their place
But I am me and you are you
Did you not see?
A hundred stories carved upon my skin
Speak a truth I needed heard
But I've been labelled to be understood
And a heavy cost was incurred.
Not all is as it seems you know
For me or you.
Behind the walls and masks we wear
We're all just human, we all know despair.
Before you judge or label me
Please make some space to truly see!
Since moving to Northern Ireland from South Africa in 2000 Lisa has worked as a Family Support Worker with SureStart and Lead Peer Trainer at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Recovery College. In March 2021 she started her own Training and Consultancy business with the aim of bringing both her lived experience in mental health services and learned knowledge, to educate and create spaces where sensitive and challenging issues can be explored safely. Connection and compassion are at the heart of her work and she advocates for more trauma and social justice aware ways of understanding each-other.