Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Are you a looper or trouper? Part I

In case you are wondering (and I think I have read it correctly), I am using the correct context in the spelling of trouper, see trooper versus trouper

Another connotation of the above question is, "Are you a half full glass or half empty glass" person, an optimist or a pessimist? I would hesitate to suggest that any of us fit neatly into either category and may well visit each throughout our lives, depending on what life throws at us. This post doesn't profess to know the answer merely to raise the question. These are also my own thoughts on the subject and as we know, all of life is subjective. Gosh, that sounds like something I used to write in my university days.

The title could well be thought of as negative and positive ie, looper suggesting failure and negative wasted energy but trouper positive energy and success. Again, I don't think either is black and white. I think you can be an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist. In the same way, you could be a looping trouper or a trouping looper. Get a cup of tea, it might make sense later on.

Growing up, for my family, was quite difficult, which I shall not be discussing here. Such an early start to life, as with a good and happy upbringing, resonates throughout your own life, bringing its own negative or positive thoughts and energy.

How you move on from such a start, whether you are able to move on, I think, depends on what happens next and whether you can deal with things in a mainly positive way. When training to be a nurse, just before going into the 3rd year and beginning the psychiatric element, we had a lot of lessons on how to deal with vulnerable people and what the 'well educated' and 'well meaning professionals (psychiatrists/psychologists)' thought about traumatic childhoods. Well, not a lot as it turned out. Their main teaching focused on this: "if you were physically, mentally or emotionally abused, you would abuse. If you were bullied you will bully. If you were shown no love but only hatred, you would hate" Really!

I was the first to leave the class, next came two of my colleagues. It was in that moment, sitting outside, waiting for the session to finish to be bawled at by that lecturer, before being hauled off to our own tutor, that we gained vital knowledge of each other. In some way, we three had suffered as children. Maybe others in the class had as well, I don't know, but we three had made a stand by walking out.

We had quite heated discussions in that corrider between us, about such teaching I can tell you, none of which was appreciated by the member of staff when they finished. They basically told us "we didn't know what we were talking about". It went downhill from there. They simply couldn't or wouldn't see that we weren't loopers, stuck in a loop of whatever we had experienced, being unable to cope with it on any level. We were troupers, we had dealt with it, processed it and were attempting, for the most part successfully, to move on.

He was the looper, spouting such knowledge to students who would go on to believe it and practise it themselves in all probability.

Part II next time.


  1. I once had an amazing and humbling conversation with a parent of a child where I taught. He told me about his past and due to having a father who is a "lifer" for murder and whose quick temper he shares, he became a prison officer in the hope that he could make a difference to other prisoners lives. His father had always told him that he would end up in jail so he said he decided at age 16 how he would make that prophesy come true. We often chatted after that about ways he could encourage the men in his care to read and to learn in the hope thay could get out of the loop. Thank you for this post today-you have given me something to reflect on today as we mark International Women's Day around the world. I am marking it by going for my free mammogram and thanking the NHS for the provision of this service. Catriona

    1. Thank you for that, very interesting. Enjoy your day.

  2. Thank you so much for a very sensible post. And you did Absolutely right in making your protest obvious. It helped others to do the same. Sadly many so called professionals have No Idea that their (wrong) assumptions are as transparent as anything to the people who approach them for help.

    1. It was instinctive to walk out, glad I wasn't alone.


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