the pile of rubbish

The Pile of Rubbish, my first book for children, the inspiration

During my years of work as a counsellor and psychotherapist, and thanks to my academic background as pedagogue, it became very apparent how little emotional education children generally get, which, in my opinion, is one of the significant factors responsible for our suffering as adults. This suffering is inherited from generation to generation together with maladaptive coping mechanisms to deal with problems and emotions.

This has been very present for me for a long time and I can confidently say I see this in most of the clients that come through my practice doors. The most common way to cope with issues and unpleasant emotions is avoidance. We avoid, dismiss, brush under the carpet, deny, and neglect our mental health and all of a sudden it takes its toll and it becomes too much, it becomes unmanageable and we don’t know what to do. We can’t avoid anymore because avoiding becomes futile and we get lost, we only know we want to fix it now, we don’t want to look at what is happening and what is there, and often we go to therapy looking for quick fixes.

I work with metaphors a lot, I am a visual person and, as the book warm I am, I love stories, one day I came up with a metaphor, called the pile of sh** (yes, I do use swear words in my practice sometimes, especially if I know my clients will relate better to that, and because sometimes there is not a better word to describe something). I used this metaphor so much with my work with adults, it basically means to explain that in order to process our issues the only way is sitting on them, facing them, looking at them, exploring them, being uncomfortable, basically, the only way is through, avoiding is not going to work anymore, there is always a limit to how much we can avoid an issue or an unpleasant emotion.

So, I started to think how could more people benefit from this metaphor, how could I share this message for it to reach more people than just my clients? How can we get people to learn or understand this concept? What if we also share it with the little ones? Can they become adults who manage emotions and life difficulties better?

It was one day during lockdown, when I finally decided to do it. It was a sunny day, I took one of my many notebooks and sat down in my little side garden. I had the idea, but it took me quite a bit of time to figure out how to make it an engaging visual story that can be appealing to not only children but also young people or adults.

And so, one of those morning breaking my brains thinking in ways to make it fun, Ulises was born and with him his superpower, and it all made sense! Words started to flow, I couldn’t stop writing! And the rest is history…

The pile of rubbish, a book for children

There was once a little boy who was quite special – he had a superpower!

He could transform his problems into objects. But like with anything, there was a little catch… 

Learn the tale of Ulises’ superpower and how he got out of a messy, smelly, sticky pickle.

On this moving story, Sandra C. Ormeno, an experienced therapist specialised in complex trauma, shows us how we sometimes cope with emotions and problems, how easy they can accumulate if we don’t look after our mental health and the massive impact this can have, and how important it to ask for help when needed. Ulises’ story makes it clear to both children and adults that it is never too late to start your healing journey.

A book to show the importance of talking about our problems and emotions

Why you need this book and what are all the things you will learn from it

Emotions are important

We often neglect our emotions, specially the negative ones. It is never pleasant to feel them but it is tremendously important to do so to process them and understand them.
Believe me, I know it is difficult but it is very important. Emotions are part of us.

It is okay to ask for help

We live in a society where we are constantly pushed to just get on with things and if we don’t we are judge.
Well, the bravest thing someone can ever do is ask for help. It is okay, it is healthy and it is needed.

It is okay to express your emotions

It is not just okay, it is necessary. Emotions are part of us and so they require space and attention. When we ignore or mask them, they can become more complex with time and it may take us longer to process them

Your mental health as important as your physical health

Body and mind are interconnected. you neglect one of them, the other gets affected.

Issues don't go away unless we face them

When we have a problem the easiest thing we can do is avoid it. And this is what we often do, but the truth is that this cannot be done forever, and the more we avoid, the more complex the issue becomes.

It is never too late

We are not born knowing how to deal with difficulties in life and the emotions that may come from them, so sometimes, we will use copying mechanisms that may not serve us well in the long run, This is okay, know it is never to late to face our problems and find better ways to cope.

Problems can easily accumulate

Life is not going to be an easy journey for many. Problems will come and this is an avoidable fact, Sometimes they come in threes. It is important to face them and sometimes take our time to do this and ask for help if needed.

There is always someone willing to help

You matter, you are a valuable human being and there are people out there that care, so please reach out to someone you feel may be trusted.