Everything I Do


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175 in stock


By Donna Muldoon

ISBN: 978-1-84747-750-7
Published: 2008
Pages: 69
Key Themes: mental health system, family, relationships, empowerment


This Book is about my struggle throughout my life against my inbuilt characteristic to see things in black and white. It is about my struggles to make sense of a dysfunctional family and to break free from the influences of my Mother and to become my own person and the best Mother I could be for my own children.

It is about my struggles against the bureaucracy and the supposed infallibility of both the ChildCare and Mental Health Systems.

It is also about how life has become something worth living and how good the future can be for my family.

About the Author

Donna was born in Essex and moved to Australia when she was 5. Donna spent 14 difficult years in Australia before she moved back to the UK to take up Registered Nurse Training in London. Whilst in London she met and married her husband who died in 1993 from Renal Failure. Following his death, Donna returned to Australia where she spent another 10 years before finally returning to York, England to settle.

This final return to the UK signalled the loss of Donna’s support network for her and her two children and Donna’s life began to spiral out of control. She suffered a Nervous Breakdown in 2005-2007, culminating with a suicide attempt in January 2007. Donna began Therapy in 2007 and started back on the road to recovery. This therapy changed her life and enabled Donna to see the possibilities for her children and herself.

Today, Donna has begun the 3rd year of her Honours degree in psychology and History which she is studying Full-time with the Open University, as well as college courses in counselling and other skills which Donna would like to put to use in order to help others in similar situations.

Book Extract

I was born in the summer of ‘69 and no, I am not singing song by Bryan Adams although if I were, it would be “Everything I do.”
I do not know what the weather was like but I do know it was a Wednesday morning at 3.45am that I made my appearance into this world.

My Father was a retired Royal Marine Commando who spent 22 years of his life, serving his country. Even after he retired and they took him out of the Marines, We never got the Marines out of him but for all that, I loved him dearly.
My Mother had grown up in care homes and spent two years of her life in the Maudsley Hospital in London where she was diagnosed with Autism. Once she turned 15, in 1958, she was sent out to work. Eventually she joined the Royal Air Force and undertook Enrolled Nurse training. She trained further gaining qualifications in psychiatric enrolled nursing and what is now known as Learning disability nursing. Her failure to gain her SRN plagued her and haunted her throughout her life and ours.

My parents married in October, 1968 mainly because my Mother was now pregnant and upon their marriage, Mother insisted that my Father convert to Catholicism. My Mother had converted some years previously, because her foster mother had told her she could not do so.
That really sums my Mother up. If she was told it should not or could not be done, she found a way to do it, with little regard for the consequences or the people she climbed over on the way.

I was a bright little baby who within 6 weeks was teething badly and had 6 teeth by 6 months of age. My Mother weaned me early because I bit her. I know that did not impress my Mother one little bit.
I was sleeping through the night by the time I was about 4 months old and toilet trained night and day by the time I was a year old. Mother was so proud of her child because of these things but what people do not realize is that Mother would give me bottles of cold water at night so eventually I stopped crying for a bottle. I found I did not like cold water and I got no comfort from mother for crying so there was no point in continuing to cry for a bottle. As for the toilet training, I was beaten if I wet or soiled so I soon learnt how to avoid this.
I was walking by 9months and holding adult conversations by the time I was a year old. My Mother refused to speak what she called “baby-talk” so I knew all the correct words for everything very quickly.

I was reading and writing by the time I was about 2 years old and I needed to be able to do both of these to survive. I learnt very quickly that to please my Mother, I had to do things right and do them right the first time. I found that I could gain praise from Mother if I achieved what she wanted so I tried very hard to learn.
My Mother decided that I was to learn French, because she had and so, once a week, when we had tea, nothing but French was spoken. Mother suddenly became deaf to anything that was not French for the duration of that meal. If I did not ask for things correctly, I was refused what I desired and those meals became a torture for me because I could not then, nor can I now, produce a French accent to satisfy Mother. I was able to pick up the vocabulary very quickly and this ability to learn quickly helped me to survive my childhood.


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