Philippa and Graeme speak at the annual DrugFam Conference
1st Nov 2011 22 minutes
Jim died of a drug overdose. It could have happened to anybody.
We were handed all his early possessions in a rucksack.
People become interested in you.
We wrote two papers, "About our boy" and "More about our boy".
What is stigma? "A mark of disgrace or shame".
Stigma by association.
It's what other people think about you...
Its what you think other people think about you...
Your imagination can become a monster.
We are all vulnerable, open to pain.
How have we dealt with stigma?
- We decided that heroin would not claim our lives as well.
- We decided to take each day as it comes.
- We decied that in our vulnerabily we wanted to try and do 'some good'.
On this conference two years ago we were able to take down our 'stigma force shield'.
Journey together with those who know. Sympathy is great, empathy is fantastic.
"The Mourning Bench", sitting with others.
Sitting on the bench you may find accepatnce, a way to deal with stigma and even love.
Building barriers between information and feelings.
I am able to talk about drugs and losing my son calmly...
But underneath I'm always seaching for my Jim.
A poem by John O'Donohue to a mother of a son who has committed a criminal act. She sees the son for who he really is. It is a poem for anyone who is treasuring the memory of someone special who has been stigmatised.
"To the mother of a criminal".