Love and value makes life complete!
Tina M.-L. Campbell CV
About the Author
I was born in 1972, I am career counselor and coach at Aalborg University (since 2003), lecturer and teacher and writer on topics dealing interplay of dandelion children and chronically ill, quality of life versus disability, help system, etc. I published ‘Dandelion Child in flower’ as e-book at 13/3/14. Moreover, as a paper book already at 8/5/14. I pressed the second edition four months later. Since then I have pressed repeatedly.
Right now there are months of wait on reservations on the Danish book at the library. The great interest has meant that I now can use the book at the university and elsewhere I teach from it. However, you do not have to read my book to get something out of one of my lectures.
In Denmark, we use the term ‘dandelion children’. It is for children who develop a certain resilience and therefore perform well in spite of growing up in harsh and hazardous environments. I am a child like that. I was such a child. Now I am an adult who flourishes. I try to change the term, so it sounds more positive. Hence my title of my autobiography. The last few years there has been much focus on working with disadvantaged people in Denmark. Read more of and about my autobiography, which has been well received in Denmark and is now being translated into British English. You find excerpts, reviews etc. here or on my Facebook page.
There are so many vulnerable children and young people around out there that cannot be reached, because they will not be reached. Because they do not dare trust that, there are adults around who actually want them well. If therapists and other adults around them understand children, young people, and their living conditions, they can reach out in a way so that the exposed understand that they can actually be helped.
What affects a small child in a life of violence and drunkenness? How to find belief in a higher sense of themselves, that everything is good …?
The book was just made for self-development, but now helps others in the same situation. The book discusses topics such as neglect, arthritis, faith, life-threatening illness, parental disability, child disability, interaction with relatives and municipality, as well as the immediate dependence of physical help.
Synopsis for Dandelion Child in Flower
My autobiography is based on my childhood with drunkenness and violence as natural companions in the 70s Denmark, I knew. My juvenile arthritis got in the background while I struggle to understand why I did not deserve love and attention. I experienced an inexplicable strength in my disabled mother who suddenly was able to literally go from my psychotic father. Tours to women shelters and abuse were replaced by an insecure life with a mother who could not handle me. My daily life took place in a lonely damp basement room where the neighborhood’s young people could come and do with me what they wanted without any adult intervention. I felt violently outside and alone with my writing, pondering what it all was worth.
I did not understand the relationship between man and woman. By bad luck, I found an alcoholic boyfriend when I left home too early. My next failed relationship was with a man who betrayed me and infected me with HIV. My now very severe arthritis rapidly evolved to be very life threatening with multiple AIDS symptoms. I fought against the doctor’s prophecy to get my life back. It increased my desire to the alternative approach to things while I was slowly coming back to life again. It was the start of a huge personal development. The hardest part was the process of returning to life and again knowing that now there was certainly no one who could or would give me love. My secret HIV diagnose stigmatized me.
It was sometimes useful to have arthritis, so I had good reason to be sick without having to say anything about my HIV diagnose. I found it hard to understand if this was to be the end, after I had fought my way through so much. My strength and faith came again when I was in the middle of this life crisis. In the midst of the process, I met the man of my life and we have the family, I always wanted to be a part of.
We have two premature children (11 and 6 weeks early) together with their diagnoses as my husband and his daughter also have their own difficulties. I now have 7-9 employees’ / personal assistants including my husband to take the physical tasks for me, in everyday life as an employee, employer, chronically ill and the mother of small children.
A journalist friend encouraged me to publish the diary; I started when the doctors told me that I was going to die. I chose the pen as my weapon against it all.
I took leave from my 16 hours a week working as a career counselor at Aalborg University in the summer of 2013 to re-write my diary for a more novel-like life description. At the same, time our children 2 and 5 years old were at home due to the summer vacation. I got different people to read it through, and they gave me constructive feedback and praise.
It gives me a belief that I have something I can contribute. I hope my story will inspire others who have gone through violence, alcoholism, abuse, difficult family relationships, serious illness or disabilities and yet have got much more than they dared to dream of!
Therefore, I now use the book in teaching and lecturing purposes as case material for therapists out meeting with dandelion children, parents with disabilities, citizens with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, users of the help system or the like.