Change of Mind


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Carolyn Dubari

ISBN: 978-1-84747-860-3
Published: 2009
Pages: 119
Key Themes:


“Change of mind” is a book that charts the life, the loves and the misfortunes of one young woman. The book encompasses physical abuse, drug abuse, depression and psychotic illness. It is a genuine, accurate and vivid account of Carolyn’s life, that despite and in spite of all that has happened to her it finishes with positivity and hope.

About the Author

Carolyn was born in the east end of London in 1981. From the age of seven, she lived in Ockendon, Essex. She was raised as an only child in a single parent family. In her short life, she experienced the horrors of drug abuse, physical abuse and psychotic illness. There is a suggestion that her psychosis had been induced as a metabolic illness, due to her diabetes. Her past has made Carolyn who she is today and she takes strength from each victory she has over her misfortunes.

Book Extract

The belief systems which we embrace in life can feed us with a distorted reality. Individuals may recognise that their belief systems colour the way in which they interact with their world. I assume our beliefs may unconsciously choose our experiences in life.
Even as a child I wanted to escape the town of South Ockendon. For a Londoner, as I am originally, this is a town where the rural countryside of Essex meets urban living, a short “A road” away from the M25. For me it’s a blot on the natural flat landscape. A mass of dwellings joined by uneven concrete paths, encompassed by a spectrum of greens and yellows, where nature grows freely in acres of fields.
The jewel of this town is a parade of shops. A prestigious hallmark of the rejuvenated area may be seen in the form of letters`”–E—W-E-N-T -A-R-D-E” emblazoned in white square boxes. They stand proud on single baby blue coloured poles, resembling deformed lollipops. The height of these tall poles have not stopped kids from vandalising them; as the weeks passed it looks less and less like “DERWENT PARADE.”

Forty units of shops are held together like a patchwork quilt. Mix and match shop units are separated into two rows, by small carroty coloured paving blocks; the width of two roads. These units have council dwellings made of mud coloured bricks squashed and stacked on top of them. Their metre wide balconies are wrapped in solid baby blue fencing carrying on the stylish colour theme; they provide perfect cover for kids to hurl ammunition towards unsuspecting shoppers. Vacant units are harsh on the eye, with graffiti splashed on the closed shutters screaming for attention.

The two betting shops stay open for a slow but steady trade, whilst the cheap ‘Convenience Store’ and ‘Just ye job’ battle for a venerable shopper on an impulse buy, by piling offensive cheap products 4ft in front of the stores’ doorways. The family owned butchers proudly display fresh meat in their large window, whilst the bakery displays sticky buns for the gourmet client and “Ten belly’s burger bar” caters for everyone’s junk food needs. People stand and queue at the only ATM in the parade, others queue outside the local council offices waiting for lunch break to be over, whilst planning to negotiate their rent arrears inside.

Every day the same old crowds sit proudly behind the heat steamed windows of the local greasy spoon. Each of them imparting their home-spun philosophy and each believing they are the font of all knowledge. Residents are excited at the prospect of joining the post office queue to collect their benefits. You’ll also find them rummaging through the second hand shop for bargain finds and paying over the odds for cheap food in the parade’s supermarket.
Some of the local characters congregate on the four marble effect rectangular blocks. These blocks were supposed to be aesthetic, a form of art, but merely serve as benches, that even in summer would put a chill up your backside. The characters sit swigging their beer in outdated and unclean clothes, sharing their stories with anyone who will listen. They will sit comfortably until they are ready to get their fix of morphine from the local friendly chemist.
Opposite the parade are Ockendon’s highest and proudest peaks. A mound of dull orange bricks, an estate of council flats three storeys high. For the lucky few at ground level, gardens are supplied backing on to the main road with a 3ft dim brick wall. Some gardens reflect waste lands and others are prominent with planters and flowers.

The closed brown doors and red security entrances hide the couples who are plotting and planning. They have a tried and tested strategy to escape these claustrophobic blocks and the troublesome addicts, for a better quality mid terrace life. Their mind set is based upon a benefit increase and mortgage free living. The perfect exit strategy: more babies.

Overshadowed by these three storey buildings lay my newly granted council flat. Our block was easily distinguished by a St George’s flag draping from the window of the flat above, with a symbol pledging allegiance to Liverpool FC. At a quick glance one could easily mistake it for a semi detached house compiled of brown bricks. A closer inspection would unveil a brown security door joining the adjacent block. My partner and I shared a cream painted hallway with a red painted floor and a grey concrete staircase with the occupants of only three other flats. Our flat was directly on the right; the block’s security door was hinged on the opposite side of our bedroom wall, much to our disappointment. With a good sized back garden and even a front garden, we thought of ourselves as one of the lucky tenants, to be situated in Alwen Green.

1 review for Change of Mind

  1. Judith Haire (verified owner)

    Change of Mind is Carolyn\’s story, encompassing drug abuse, physical abuse, depression and psychosis. Powerful and often harrowing this is a brave and courageous account which I found haunting. Highly recommended.

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