WLM Member Monday – Karen Knight

Karen Knight MM

Alan Parks:

Good morning. Apologies for my tardiness. I slept in after yesterdays marathon Spotlight Sunday. Anyway, todays Member Monday is none other than the lovely Karen Knight. Please be gentle!! Morning Karen.

 

Alison Teeshirts:  moooorning Karen. enjoy your day in the spotlight. i know you read a lot but are you are writer too?

Serena Runyon Farmer:  So Karen, where are you currently living?? And how old are your children?

Michelle Gray:  Who is your favourite all time author and book and why?

Charlotte Smith:  Morning Karen – I love chocolate labradors and had one for 14 years. Her name was Wispa, what’s yours called?

Kate Pill:  Hi Karen How does your agoraphobia affect your day to day life – how do you live with this condition?

Becky Corwin Adams:  Hi Karen, what is your guinea pig’s name? I used to have some and even wrote a book about them. I would like to have another one some day.

Charlotte Smith:  I love guinea pigs too. Has anyone ever seen one born? They pop out and off they go – running around like mini adults with full coats of hair! Brilliant

Micki Stokoe:  I love the way they purr! Morning, Karen!

Laurie A. Grundner:  In regards to your Agoraphobia, did it come on gradually over the years or was it more like months?

Becky Corwin Adams:  We raised one litter but I didn’t see the birth.

Victoria Twead:  I’m very interested in the agoraphobia, must be terrible for you. Do you know what triggered it?

Julie Haigh:  Hi Karen, do you think you would write your own memoir?

Karen Knight:  Morning everyone, sorry for turning up late, but that’s what my meds do for me. Bear with me and I’ll try and answer your questions.

–Hi Alison Teeshirts, yes you are right, I love to read, but no I am not an author, If i was to attempt to right my memoir, no-one would believe it!

–HI Serena Runyon Farmer, I am currently living in Brighton, born and bred! My children are Matt aged 23, Becky 17, Natasha 15, and Tommy aged 10

–Wow Michelle Gray, my favourite all time book has to be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. But favourite author, thats hard. I love reading Peter James, the Roy Grace detective series, as these are set around Brighton. But I have now got into reading memoirs, and so have many authors who I love to read. Many of which are working on the “next” book, which I am waiting to read!

–Morning Charlotte Smith, wow, Wispa for the name of a chocolate lab is perfect, out lab is called Lucky, my daughter named her, when we went to get her 10 years ago, Becky, said she was Lucky to live with us. She is a bundle of fun and a perfect friend and confidant.

–Kate Pill, I’ll come back to your question in a while, I do the easy ones first!

–Becky Corwin Adams, our guinea pig is called Rusty! Because squeaks like a rusty gate. What was your book called that you wrote about a guinea pig?

–Morning Micki Stokoe, yes they are very affectionate little creatures,.

Susan Joyce:  Good morning Karen! Happy to see you in the special tell-all seat. I’m curious about your agoraphobia. Do you feel anxious on a regular basis? I can feel quite uneasy when I feel negative energy forces around me.

Karen Knight:  Good afternoon Kate Pill, and Victoria Twead, thank you for your questions. I have no idea what triggered my Agoraphobia, apart from I had a very bad nervous breakdown, and from then, going out was a nightmare.

–Good afternoon Susan Joyce, my agoraphobia, feels like I am constantly living on the edge of a panic attack. I have missed so many special days with my family, as going out is soooo hard. If on occasions I have to attend a hospital appointment I rely on a heavy dose of Diazepam to help. It doesn’t take away the panic, but somehow, I feel slightly calmer inside. Funnily enough, going out when it is dark, seems slightly easier.

–Laurie A. Grundner, I had a nervous breakdown, and then it seemed to just happen, that going out, opening my front door, became harder and harder. It is not like me at all. Up to 6 years ago, I was a single Mum, running around after my children, involved in anything and everything, and suddenly one day, life changed.

–I think that looking back, I have always had times where I have not wanted to go out and do things, but one day, it was all too much to overcome.

–Hi Julie Haigh, I wouldn’t know where to start with writing my own memoir, and anyway people would not believe some of the stuff i have dealt with in life, they would probably put it in a fiction section.

–Good Morning Alan, thank you for the introduction. Yesterdays interview was fab.

Rowena Cardwell:  Hi Karen, first of all, I assume you live in Brighton, UK? We also have a Brighton here in Melbourne, Australia. I have to say, you’ve been through a lot of major life changing events and you are obviously a survivor of them all. Good on you for coming out the other side. You are to be commended and admired for your courage in dealing with it all. My question is, do you find that social media, in particular, facebook, has helped you somewhat in dealing with your agoraphobia, in so much as it provides a social outlet without having to go out of the house?

Karen Knight:  Good Afternoon Rowena Cardwell, thank you for your kind words, but I’m sure I don’t deserve them. Yes I do live in the UK!

Susan Joyce:  Karen, congratulations on being a survivor on many levels. Did your cancer occur at around the same time as you experienced agoraphobia?

Karen Knight:  Yes Rowena, facebook has definitely helped with my agoraphobia, i keeps me in contact with family and friends, gives me an outlet into the outside world. I love looking at the lovely photos that are posted, news from people. Although some days, I do sit and wonder why can’t I just get up and go and do and see some of the things that others are doing. But from thought or desire, to actual deed, there is a vast chasm in between. There is very little help for an agoraphobic, most organisations, mental health services, want you to attend a meeting, or session, Hello, look up definition of agoraphobic. I am afraid having agoraphobia is a very lonely condition.

–My children are my God send, they help me, through each day, especially helping with Tom, my 10 year old, like taking him to and from school.

Rowena Cardwell:  Good on you Karen Knight for still being connected to the outside world. I hope that one day, you may be able to face the world again, but on your terms and in your own time. Good luck.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Rowena for your understanding x

–Hi Susan, my cancer happened virtually a year after my agoraphobia kicked in. I found a strange line, as opposed to a lump in June 2009, and was operated on in August 2009. A very short amount of time to make life changing decisions.

Susan Joyce:  Karen, did all of this happen after your husband’s death?

Karen Knight:  Yes Susan, my husband died in May 1998, my cancer happened 2009

Susan Joyce:  Karen, you are a rock-solid human to have gone through so much and still smile. Bless you! Are you a dreamer?

Karen Knight:  Well, I haven’t had a choice, about what life has thrown at me, so you just have to face the day and get on with it, or alternative, have a duvet day! This is where my faith kicks in.

–Dreamer, ummmm, yes i think I probably am. Its like hope that things will get better, they cannot stay like this forever, can they?

Susan Joyce:  Karen, you are right to be hopeful. Over the years can you recall any vivid dream?. Any you can still see clearly. I’m a big believer in dreaming being another way of thinking and dealing with the obstacles in life. Do you ever record your dreams?

Karen Knight:  No Susan, I have never made a record of my dreams. I dream very vividly and in colour, apparently I often call out in my dreams, I have been known to wake in floods of tears, and also to laugh. I am not sure what anyone would make of all of that! I can mostly remember what I have dreamt. I know what you mean about dealing with life’s obstacles through dreams. If things have been rough, or upsetting, I often dream with those people in them. If there has been an upset, I can dream of trying to stand my ground, but always being knocked down, ignored, and thinking about it, that is probably true in how I feel some days. Thinking about it, I cannot recall dreaming happy things.

Susan Joyce:  Karen, I sense if you dream so vividly your dreams are coming to you for important reasons. Recording them is a start to understanding them. I’ve been doing this for years and have received amazing answers through dreams. Some as silly as being shown where something lost can be found. I’m imagining a happy dream for you starting tonight.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Susan x

Steven Whitacre:  Sending happy dreams your way as well.

Susan Joyce:  You’re very welcome. What was your favorite job in life? Bet you met lots of colorful characters in the pub.

Janet Hughes:  Hi there Karen, been reading your Fred, what a woman you are! Life sure has thrown a lot at you! and you’re still here, mixing with a bunch of loons like us Feel the positivity flowing your way, you deserve it.

Photo#1-Energy

 

Janet Hughes: So Karen, which did you prefer, running a pub or working as a teaching assistant?

Michelle Gray:  Karen is the strongest person I know, so glad to be able to have her as a “sister”. Has gone through so much, yet, forever remains upbeat and cheerful and optimistic……..should really be writing her own memoirs. Karen you dictate to tape, I’ll type it up – keep us both busy for a while!

Karen Knight:  My favourite job, probably has to be being a teaching assistant. Seeing a child aged 8 develop over the space of a year, from being unable to count to 10, let alone recognise the numbers, to be able to independently count and pick out numbers at random. I also worked with children with special needs, on all levels of the spectrum. Its seeing the good in child, homing in to a child’s gift/talent, and bringing out their potential. Working with parents, who have battled for years to be heard, to at last breathe that someone is giving their precious child, some one to one time. Unfortunately there is not enough time to help all the children that need help.

–Have had some really wild and wacky characters in the pub life. From the poor woman who spent a whole evening trying to convince my husband that his wife would never know, if she stopped late for a drink. When all the while his wife (ME) was working behind the bar, listening to it all. She even asked me if I thought his wife would mind!! Poor lady, but 10 out of 10 for trying!

–Another funny memory from the pub, is a guy we had drink regularly in the pub. He had a false leg, and the most foul mouth you can possibly imagine. One day, I had had enough, and asked him not to use a certain word, which I found very offensive. He continued to use the word, so I warned him I would throw him out if he continued. Of course he had a packed audience this particular evening, so he called me the offensive word. The red mist just descended, I walked round the bar, pulled off his false leg, threw it out the door, and told him to “hop it”. Much to the amusement of customers!

Cherry Gregory:  Hi Karen, sorry I’m a bit late. Just read through your thread: you’ve been through a lot and yet retain your sense of humour and your faith, I really admire that. And I’m so glad your children help you too. I find stroking my cat helps me emotionally…it has a calming, soothing effect on me. Do you find the same with your cat?

Terry Bryan:  Hi, Karen, let’s have some cookies while we chat.

Photo#2-CookiesFromTerry

 

Karen Knight:  Hi Cherry, my cat knows if I am on a bad pain day, he sits on me, literally, and will not leave me alone. Animals play a big part in my life. Before my cancer was even discovered my dog and cat would always sit on my bad side and head butt my side, it was, looking back, as though they were trying to tell me something wasn’t right.

–Afternoon Terry, wow, you have been busy, they look too good to eat, thank you anyway x

Janet Hughes:  Oooo cookies, there’s no chocolate ones, good call Terry, you know what happens when ‘our leaderess’ *wink, wink* eats too many *pales at the thought*

Cherry Gregory:  That’s amazing. I’ve heard of that before. It’s as if cats and dogs can sense the cancer. Great that your cat knows you’re in pain…the warmth of her/him sitting on you must help a little!

Terry Bryan:  Thanks…maybe Janet will brew us some tea…I like a little frivolity with serious stuff. I was wondering if you are able to walk the dog around your neighborhood?

Karen Knight:  Cherry. I am very blessed with my children, they have been through things that no child should have to go through, but we are an open and honest family. I do not believe in hiding things, you can deal with with what you know, rather than thinking things that you don’t know. We are very close, for which I am thankful for. Since having problems after my cancer surgery, my children have become my carers. I thank God for them, but wish I could be the Mum I used to be.

–Yes Cherry, love the warmth from our cat Jess.

Janet Hughes:  One lump or two Karen? Terry, milk or lemon?

Photo#3-Tea

 

Karen Knight:  Hi Terry, I would love to walk Lucky, even round the block, but its something that is off my radar at the moment. I used to walk my dog after taking the children to school, but we have a large back garden, and my son loves to walk her.

Cherry Gregory:  I agree so much that dealing with the things you know is much better than worrying over things you don’t know. I’m sure your children are thankful for your honesty every single day and it has made them strong and caring individuals. Well done, you!

Karen Knight:  thank you Janet, but could I have a weak, white, coffee with one sweetener please. Haven’t drunk tea, since I was pregnant with my 23 year old, cannot even stand the smell of tea!

Janet Hughes:  *Mutter, mutter, grumble* Here you are Karen *smiles sweetly* is this OK?

Photo#7-Coffee2

 

Cherry Gregory:  Wow Janet Hughes, can I have one of those too?

Karen Knight:  Wow, thank you very much, so lovingly and graciously given Janet! lol

Terry Bryan:  A little sugar, please. Of course you know my favorite tea is sweet and just to make you shudder…iced!

Photo#5-SweetTea

 

Terry Bryan:  Ooooo I think I’d like Janet’s version. Be back later…water walking calls. Happy St. Paddy’s Day, all.

Karen Knight:  Have a good afternoon Terry, catch up later, Happy St. Patricks day to you

Janet Hughes:  Mumbles, offer ’em a cuppa, nowt wrong with tea, nice and strong, plenty of milk and 2 sugars. But oh no *imiitates Karen* ” Could I have a weak, white, coffee with one sweetener please.” Now that Cherry woman wants one! *Grumbles all the way down the kitchen and shuffles back upstairs. “Here you are Cherry” *Grins*

Photo#4-Coffee

 

Janet Hughes:  My goodness, now Terry wants one! Blooming heck, up and down, up and down, she’d better like it. I DON’T BELIEVE IT! Terry’s only gone already! Pah! Woofie Wotsit, wanna coffee?

Photo#7-Coffee2

 

Susan Joyce:  Janet, as long as you’re serving goodies, I’ll have one as well. Por favor!

Janet Hughes:  Oh, Hola guapa! Qué te gustaría? Té, café, chocolate, yerba maté? I know how much you like to slurp your yerba maté

Peggy Penn:  Hello Karen Knight, good afternoon. Wow just reading through your thread – what a lot you’ve been through!! keep up your Faith and wonders will never cease.

I admire your strength.

–Sending you my love and best wishes. Enjoy your day :)- x

Karen Knight:  Well done Cherry, exactly what I thought, moan, moan, moan, lol Now that coffee looks the business Janet!

Janet Hughes:  Why thank you Cherry * wipes her nose on her sleeve, and sniffs loudly*

Susan Joyce:  Cafe for me with lots of cream. Thanks! Tried yerba maté once and gagged. Tastes like straw to me.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Peggy, my faith sees me through, sometimes it seems hard, but then when you think you have lost it all, you Faith reminds you of that you are never alone, even with 4 children around! lol

Janet Hughes:  Look what’s just arrived! Right I’m off! Terry’s turn to do the washing up *Smiles*

Photo#8-Pastries

 

Cherry Gregory:  What is yerba mate? (I thought the “serving wench” was making that bit up?!)

Janet Hughes:  Karen, you’ve got first dibs

Woofie Wotsit:  Good choice:) And thanks for the advice re alpacas, Alan

–LOL..yes please:)

Karen Knight:  Janet, that’s amazing, thank you so much, anything with chocolate for me. We will use serviettes, to save on the washing up! Dig in everyone, lets have a party!

–Put your feet up Janet, have a cuppa and a cake, you have worked, hard today.

Janet Hughes:  Thank you, just off to Catalan class, catch you later

Karen Knight:  good luck Janet, see you later, thank you for you input today x

Susan Joyce:  Cherry, an herb tea South Americans love and sip on all day. Not my thing. Ooh cake! My thing.

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks, Susan. I think I’ll stick to my coffee and cakes!

–Munch, munch. These are delicious. Karen, how long were you running a pub for? It must have been very hard work!

Woofie Wotsit:  Howdy Karen I am behind the eight ball as per usual, but I am reading all the answers

Fay Kearney:  Did I hear “party”? Thanks for the invite Karen . Have enjoyed reading your fred. My step daughter has acrophobia and it restricts her so much from joining in her daughters’ lives.

Karen Knight:  Cherry, have worked in many pubs part time, to top up my wages, but my husband and I were running the pub for about 4 years. It was hard work, especially as Matt was very young, and at nursery and then school part time. I had my eldest daughter whilst we were at the pub, she was born early hours of the morning, when I went home, just after lunch, word spread very quickly of the new arrival, so that evening the pub was buzzing, I ended up working the evening! Not a the most sensible thing to do after giving birth!

–Hi Woofie Wotsit, thank you for popping in.

Cherry Gregory:  Karen, working in the pub straight after giving birth reminds me of my sister, who’s a farmer. After having her third child in the morning, she went home to do the milking! Pubs and farms are the same, I think, in that you can’t get away from the work!

Karen Knight:  Afternoon Fay, sorry to hear that your step daughter also has agoraphobia. The trouble is, this illness, is something that takes over your life. It is very debilitating, we would not choose to live like this. I sit here frequently with all these plans in my head to go out and do things. but reality is something very different. Please pass my name on to her, if she wants to befriend me, sometimes its comforting to talk to someone who is there, without explaining the other stuff, if you know what i mean.

–Cherry, that made me laugh about the farm. We left working in the pub, shortly after the birth of my daughter, as a young family and a pub really don’t go hand in hand!

Cherry Gregory:  I can understand that! Your teaching assistant post must have fitted in better.

Fay Kearney:  Thank you so much Karen that is so kind of you. She is a very private person and tends to shy away from anyone trying to help her! Does it help you at all to have company in trying to go out?

Karen Knight:  No problem Fay, obviously we can communicate in private message, The offer is there if or when she would like to make contact. Yes it does definitely help to have someone to go out with. The trouble is you have people who think they understand and know better, and try and force you to go out. I would much rather say to a friend who was here, will you come and sit in the garden with me? It has to be done when I am ready, I know people have the best will in the world and think they are the ones that will get you out, but it doesn’t work like that. Planning to go out, just does not work for me either, as i get into continual panic attacks just thinking about it. In fact that is the worst thing anyone can do, I also find, if say I have had a hospital appointment, I have to take diazepam before to help avoid a panic attack while trying to go out. But when I get home, or the following couple of days, it takes it out of me. I have even gone out in the evening to a friends house, and have had a panic attack/agoraphobic attack, when leaving their house to come home.

–Professionals say, come to the first meeting and then we will come out to you, but I’m sorry that does NOT work for me. If I could have help, I would like someone who has been there, to come to my home, and to help me go out. I know some will say, but you go to hospital appointments, so what’s the difference? I cannot explain but there is a difference, and my close friends and family will tell you, that I have cancelled many a hospital appointment, that I needed to attend, on the actual day, as I just cannot physically get over my doorstep.

Cherry Gregory:  It seems ridiculous that the professionals won’t come to your house to help you with agoraphobia. You’d think they would be geared up to cope with that!

Fay Kearney:  It is so debilitating, I feel so sorry for anyone who suffers! I hope we haven’t frightened everyone off, perhaps they’re all in Henry’s cellar!

Karen Knight:  I agree Cherry, but apparently it is all about showing commitment to wanting to get well. It makes me mad, and makes me frustrated and upset, there is no-one more in this world that wants to conquer agoraphobia than me. If I could get to that initial appointment, I wouldn’t need their services in the first place.

Steven Whitacre:  I escaped the cellar when he wasn’t looking I think it’s really difficult for people to truly understand if they haven’t experienced it themselves. Like many of the “hidden disabilities”, it’s not something you can just think your way out of. Back when I used to experience severe bouts of depression there was no possible way I could think my way out of it – no matter how many times people would tell me to “just think happy thoughts”. I can only imagine agoraphobia is similar

Karen Knight:  Thank you ladies for trying to understand, and above all listening, 6 years ago, I was completely a different person, then something snapped, my system couldn’t cope and I am left watching my life and that of my family slip by, out of my control.

–Hello Steven, yes you are right, I also wrestle with depression, and people come out with the most hurtful things, that make you feel worse inside. Its learning to live by the day, looking for the good, focusing on the positive, even though you feel alone and hopeless

–Fay I expect everyone has run for cover, they do, when you talk about mental illness. its not really a happy subject to talk about, and a difficult one to open up about. So thank you to all of you who have been brave enough to bear your souls too. its very painful. That’s why I love WLM, I can loose myself in a friendly group of people, and escape into the world of memoirs and madness, and I thank Alan Parks and Victoria Twead for starting the group, as you will never understand how you help people like me on a daily basis.

Steven Whitacre:  Karen – that was actually a recurring theme in my memoir – about how people tend to shy away from discussions about mental illness for whatever reason. I even had a therapist ask me once, “why do you keep talking about that?” when it was obviously the reason I was there. I’m glad you’ve found a safe place

Karen Knight:  what is your book called Steven?

Fay Kearney:  WLM is a wonderful group with lovely members. Always someone to chat to . I do hope that things eventually improve for you Karen xx

Steven Whitacre:  I can PM it to you Karen.. I don’t want to run afoul of the ‘no self promotion’ rule…

Victoria Twead:  Steven Whitacre, that’s fine, go ahead, you were asked.

Cherry Gregory:  It’s Ok. Steven! You can mention it here because you’re just answering a question as part of a thread.

Steven Whitacre:  Well in that case… it’s “My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood”. It’s about growing up in the shadow of childhood sexual abuse, but it’s not about what happened so much as how it affected every aspect of my life and how I eventually managed to overcome it. I wrote it more to inspire other people to find their voice and / or seek healing…

Julie Haigh:  No I’m still here Karen-not run for cover! I’m teaching so I just keep having a look between lessons.-I’ll catch everyone later when I’ve finished. I think it’s more that people feel they don’t want to say the wrong thing to make how you feel about your agoraphobia worse. I do think it would help you writing about it, just like you’re doing here and pour your emotions into the writing. Even if eventually you didn’t want to publish it. X

Cherry Gregory:  Did you feel that writing your memoir helped you, Steven?

Karen Knight:  Thank you Julie, that is worth thinking about looking forward to catching up later x

Steven Whitacre:  Most definitely. It helped because I was able to put into perspective how things had changed, and really how it had controlled my thinking.

Karen Knight:  But where do you start? I expect this is the unanswerable question

— I had a lady come to my home, who was supposed to help me with my agoraphobia, but I ended up counseling her, she sorted her life out, and moved away. Was pleased to be able to help but it didn’t help me!!

Becky Corwin Adams:  Thanks for answering my question about the guinea pig, Karen. I had to go to work and now I am back!

Julie Haigh:  I’d think just start, like you’re telling someone and it will flow, then tweak it later. Looking at your photo with the points in the bubbles that you’ve shared with us, your life has had many ups and downs and it would make a good memoir. I would certainly read it.

Cherry Gregory:  Karen, Becky might be able to answer your question about where to start with a memoir!

–Good advice, Julie!

Karen Knight:  Welcome back Becky Corwin

Becky Corwin Adams:  Thanks! I always miss the Member Monday because of work.

Karen Knight:  I would think that people would think it was depressing reading.

Julie Haigh:  so do I Becky. This piano won’t wait any longer-catch you all later x

Becky Corwin Adams:  Maybe you could highlight the humorous events in your life (there had to be some).

Cherry Gregory:  But it wouldn’t be, Karen, because it would reveal a strong and humorous woman who has struggled against great odds.

Steven Whitacre:  Karen – it depends on how you end it really. If you end it with a smile, you’re good to go!

Julie Haigh:  And no I’m not a writer-if I’m feeling bad I thrash out my emotions on the piano. It really helps.

Karen Knight:  Bye Julie, catch up soon x

Cherry Gregory:  I write fiction…it has the same effect on me as writing a memoir, except I put my emotions into my characters.

Karen Knight:  I do try to be positive, I have even started posting a Pause for thought, on my wall each day,

Alan Parks:  Marmite – Love it or hate it?

Karen Knight:  Afternoon Alan, nice to see you. This is all your fault!

Cherry Gregory:  Tell me a bit more about your cat, Jess. What colour is she?

Karen Knight:  Jess is black predominantly, with white paws and a white bib. He is about 15 years old, and is now deaf. He has never really been a cat to meow, but now, its really loud. He loves to snuggle up on me when its bedtime. He gets on really well with our dog Lucky

–I collect anything to do with Pigs, what other things do people collect?

Cherry Gregory:  Sounds beautiful! And great that he gets on well with your dog. My cat (Thomas) didn’t used to meow very much but since he’s come to our house, he’s started to meow more. I must be imagining it, but he really sounds like he’s saying “Hello” back to me when I say “Hello, Thomas” each morning.

Karen Knight:  Animals are very entertaining in their own way. They have their own characteristics. The only thing with cats is that they are quite independent, where as Lucky our dog has a very interesting personality. She loves to play, and when she has a treat, she has her little party piece. She shakes each paw, and then does a high five! She loves to play hide and seek!

Cherry Gregory:  I’ve ended up collecting teddy bears. Not that I see them as a collection because they feel too much alive to me. I’ve still got my first old bear called Sammy, about 53 years old, and my youngest is called Rosie, and she is 18 months old.

Karen Knight:  Oh yes teddy’s definitely are very much alive, My eldest son, works for a travel company and is a football coach. He has always said he wanted a job playing football in the sun. Last year he spent 8 months in Egypt, working in a holiday village as a football coach. He leaves again on Monday coming up for another 8/9 months to work in Turkey. He has Billy Bear, and another bear who travel with him, while he is away. You are never too young or old to have a teddy. My favourite teddy is called Gregory, I will post a picture for you Cherry!

–Here is Gregory in a festive mood!

Photo#9-FestiveGregory

 

Michelle Gray:  Love anything fairies, astrology, mythical and all my music (books, scripts and instruments). Music listens to to my soul and then I play from the heart!

Cherry Gregory:  Gregory is wonderful. His Santa hat suits him. And well done your son for keeping loyal to Billy Bear! My husband laughed at my bears when we first got married but now he thinks they are as real as I do. When he is worried about work and doesn’t want to bother me, he talks to our bears!

Susan Joyce:  Gregory is great! When I was a kid I had a favorite stuffed elephant. I loved him.

Cherry Gregory:  What sort of pigs have you got in your collection, Karen?

Janet Hughes:

Photo#11-TeddyBears

 

Cherry Gregory:  Yes, yes, Janet Hughes, that’s exactly how I imagined my Sammy when I was a child!

Karen Knight:  I have quite a few from a “piggin” range, that are ornaments. I have cuddly ones, I have a piggy hot water bottle, mugs, glasses, money boxes, key rings. Basically anything and everything piggy!

Janet Hughes:  I collect books, as in I buy them rather than I buy collectors editions. Other than that, and wool, and sewing stuff, I’m quite ruthless. If I haven’t used it, worn it etc. for a year and it has no sentimental value then off it goes to the charity shops.

Karen Knight:  I wish i could be like that, but i tend to be a hoarder. I have loads and loads of books, as i love to read. I also like to make cards, so there is lots of bits and pieces connected with that.

–What do you like to make with your wool and sewing stuff Janet?

Janet Hughes:  I like to make garments for me and hubby. Plus I make a lot of charity knits, such as dog jumpers for dogs in rescue centres, it’s cold at night Jumpers for ex battery hens, the little hats for the Innocence drink’s campaign. Sewing? practical stuff like cushions, dog bed covers and stuff.

Cherry Gregory:  I love the idea of jumpers for ex battery hens. A friend of my daughter’s rescued some ex battery hens and they had no feathers at all. The feathers grew back eventually but jumpers would have been useful while they were growing back.

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Karen Knight this thread brought tears to my eyes – no one should have to go through so many hardships in one lifetime. You have perservered and I hope with all my heart that you’ll overcome your Agorophobia one day.

Jill Stowell:  Been out all day Karen Knight have been catching up on the thread. I’m impressed with the way you’re handling your illness and glad to hear the feisty side bubbling through, worn down but not crushed. Writing about your life can be cathartic and I’ve found initially writing about a small portion or incident in life is a good start, join up the dots later. Memories trigger memories and before you know it you’re hooked. Give it a go girl. Even if it turns into a crusade about Mental Health Care issues! Well done for today- a very informative and interesting thread.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Jill. What I also haven’t revealed is post cancer surgery has left me with limited movement and strength. I am on a cocktail of very strong medication. But I take the good days with the bad, I cannot give up or give in, I have fantastic children that I am very proud of.

Cherry Gregory:  It sounds like you’ve done a brilliant job with your children…and that’s the hardest job of all. You’ve done more than just survive.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Cherry x

Susan Joyce:  Karen, your life story is important for others to hear. I know it will be inspirational to many others. I’m on my way out for a haircut. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your family and look forward to hearing about your dreams. Wishing you better and well.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Susan x

Victoria Twead:  Karen Knight, you are an amazing lady. Life is obviously not easy for you and you have been incredibly honest answering all our questions. I do hope things improve for you. Thank you for being such a great WLM member generally, and letting us into your life today. Please choose two people to give ebooks from the header when you have a moment.

Sue Clamp:  Hi Karen! Sorry I’m a bit late – been at work all day and then an exercise session. Just been reading through the thread and I must say how much admiration I have for you! You have obviously been through a lot of pain in your life, but you are a survivor! Fantastic! I have a simple question – do you have a favourite film or film genre?

Karen Knight:  I love the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, any soppy chick flick,comedies, any Tom Hanks films, Anything that’s not horror, Sue otherwise, I am the one behind the sofa!

Sue Clamp:  Shawshank and Green Mile are both great films!

Karen Knight:  Thank you Victoria, I hope I haven’t sent everyone running to the cellar in a depressed mood. But should anyone feel that they have been or are going through similar issues, then please feel free to private message me for a chat.

Sue Clamp:  I’ll be running to the cellar later Karen, but not because of your thread!

Karen Knight:  Sorry Janet, have just seen I missed your question, I preferred being a teaching assistant than running a pub

Fay Kearney:  Lovely talking to you Karen, xx

Karen Knight:  Thanks for that Sue!

Alison Teeshirts:  Karen, like everyone else I think you are fab and the honesty you’ve shown today in answering questions is amazing. Big hugs from Redditch xx

Terry Bryan:  Hi, back again…too late for tea?

Photo#12-TeaTime

 

Karen Knight:  Thank you Alison, it was actually quite hard today. I appreciate all the support from everyone.

Cherry Gregory:  You’ve been brilliant, Karen. Great getting to know you more.

Alison Teeshirts:  Think you deserve a rest my friend.

Cherry Gregory:  Yes, you must be exhausted after such a long day!

Karen Knight:  Hi Terry, welcome back, how was water walkies?

Terry Bryan:  You aren’t depressing at all, Karen. I admire you. I like…I think it was Jill’s idea…just jot down thoughts as they come to you…start with going back through this thread and maybe elaborate on some of the ideas or stories.  I would imagine a lot of people would benefit from hearing your story.

–I kinda know this because I’m a cancer survivor too…rarely mention it, but one day I found out someone I knew had just learned she had cancer. I mentioned that I’d been through it and thought she’d be okay. She’s the one who convinced me to be more open with people…it does help them.

to you.

–Oh..water walking helps a lot!

–P.S. I collect little hedgehogs…and used to collect Teddy bears…rocks…

Cherry Gregory:  Rocks?

Karen Knight:  Terry that’s what I love about WLM, its the support that you get. Cancer touches most of our lives one way or another. As that horrid advert says “Cancer changes everything” and it certainly does. I hope you are on the right side of cancer treatment now.

–loving the little hedgehogs and teddy bears. There are some very beautiful rocks, how big is your biggest rock? Garden size or mantle size?

Terry Bryan:  Yes, Cherry, rocks from places we’ve been or unusual ones. And yes, Karen, I’m pretty healthy now. I do have some rocks in the garden, but I also like to put them in wooden bowls and use them for decorations.

Sue Clamp:  My granddaughter thinks I collect stones. I have a lot of gravel in my garden and she keeps picking up stones for me where she goes. I think she believes I must have collected all those stones myself!

Karen Knight:  Oh bless her Sue, maybe she should have her own little stone patch in your garden!

–Good news Terry that you are pretty healthy.

–Okay friends, need to take a rest now, thank you for your questions, hope you are not all down in the dumps. Leave any more questions if you have them and I will answer them at a later date. x Good Knight all xx

Terry Bryan:  Thanks again, Karen. Rest well!

Julie Haigh:  Good night Karen, take care, have a good rest, great member Monday x

Sue Clamp:  Thanks for everything today, Karen! Have a good rest!

Victoria Twead:  Hurrah! Karen has chosen Fay Kearney and Terry Bryan to win books from the header!

Terry Bryan:  Well, congratulations to us, eh,Fay. I think I’ll go with the cat book. Thank you, Karen.

Photo#13-Congrats!

 

Sue Clamp:  Well done Terry and Fay!

Julie Haigh:  Well done Terry, well done Fay!

Lorna Penfold:  Sorry I missed you Karen, but just to echo what everyone else has already said, how brave and inspirational you are. Your answers were so honest, I’m sure you have helped a lot of people xx

Peggy Penn:  Well done Karen have a good well earned rest.!! Good night. Xx

Fay Kearney:  Thank you so much Karen, and congratulations to you Terry . I enjoyed talking to you Karen and wish you a happy future Victoria, I think that I would also like the cat book please. Thrilled!!!

Frank Kusy:  I’ve been dropping in and out of this fred all day, trying to find a mo to say something meaningful, sorry Karen I failed (mea culpa) hope you forgive me. I have been deeply touched by your experiences and bravery in talking about them so honestly. As a Valium dependent for 15 years (full story in new book Wednesday, no, not plugging just saying) I recognise your situation most acutely, going outdoors after a severe personal trauma was an impossibility for me too. My thoughts and prayers go with you, may your faith bring you out the other side, it IS possible!

–p.s. you must write that book. I for one would love to read it.

Karen Knight:  Thank you Frank for your message. Of course you are forgiven. Very interested in how you overcame the going outdoors thing. Will look out for your new book xx

Frank Kusy:  xx

Micki Stokoe:  Thank you, Karen for opening up about your life – I understand how difficult it can be & think you are an amazingly brave lady. Sorry I popped in then disappeared, but have had one of those days & have only just got back from choir practice!

Karen Knight:  No problem Micki, thank you for your lovely comment. But I’m just me. Glad you enjoyed choir practice xxx

Victoria Twead:  Fay Kearney and Terry Bryan, Cherished Cats by Becky Corwin Adams sent to you both. Congratulations!

Fay Kearney:  Lovely! Thank you Karen and Victoria xxx

Susan Joyce:  Congratulations Fay and Terry! Thanks again Karen for sharing your life with us. I think you’re great!

Diana Delahoy:  Oh Karen you sound lovely! Have you had treatment for the agoraphobia?

Micki Stokoe:  Well done, Fay & Terry!

Terry Bryan:  Thank you.

Fran Macilvey:  For a moment there, I was going to say, A chocolate Labrador? Has it ever melted? But then I took another look. xx ;-))

Karen Knight:  Hi Diana no sadly there doesn’t seem to be any treatment or help available.

Diana Delahoy:  Have you considered anything like hypnotherapy? Some of the “alternative” therapies are much better than “conventional” ones!

 

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