March 24, 2011
Sometimes I avoid things because I don’t want to face/do/experience/deal with them.
Other times I avoid things because I’m acute and aware of everything I have to do, confident in my movements.
It’s not really avoidance in this case; it’s arrogance.
Not the nasty type of arrogance though, but the innocent type that you allow yourself, that small space where you remove yourself and observe, with a sincere and smug smile, that for this moment in your life, you’re managing.
Today I’m touching everything.
A word that sticks: glacial. Reminds me of Fox’s Glacier Mints. Small, translucent blue cubes.
My world is a small, translucent blue cube that I can suck and roll about in my mouth for as long as I like, or turn it to shards in one bite. Look into it. What I see and what you see will be very different things.
August 26, 2010
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more.
This madness is mine and if you think I am damned to it then I shall relish it all the more
because no more are you going to tell me what to do, no more are you going to dictate to me and keep me in the prison of your ideals and your whims – no more
am I at your table to negotiate
I am not what you expect
I am not your desire
I am not your toy
I am not your fulfillment
I am not a thing to be fixed
because this madness is mine.
And I am, shall be truly mad
August 20, 2010
I had a geography teacher at secondary school who had this notice on the wall that read: compromise is the enemy of achievement.
You get a lot of jobs and businesses and products that say ‘we never compromise on the details / quality / dedication’ etc. but it’s funny because all those who say it expect you to be compliant and sedate in return for their guarantee.
We’re raised to be polite and make compromises as we make our way through life and I for one have seldom questioned why I do it, why I let other people get their way under the guise of ‘compromise’ when I’m not happy doing that.
Prime example: I was back in counselling, but now I’m not.
I made it very clear in my own mind when I started again that I’d not want weekly appointments because I need the space found in fortnightly appointments to deal with all the other rubbish that goes on in my life, such as the Mystery Illness that’s still undiagnosed after three years and still here. Plaguing me.
The doctor said that weekly sessions would benefit me better. Uhh… didn’t I just say they wouldn’t? And I’d know because I’d previously spent a few months in weekly psychotherapy sessions and found that after each fifty minute round I was exhausted, emotionally unstable and feeling worse than before I went in. And then I’d have to rinse and repeat the following week, spending the days in between dreading going back to that room and trying to control the anxiety attacks that resulted.
Weekly session are out of the question. I don’t care who you are. You could be Buddha and I’d tell you weekly sessions are not on the menu.
So what happened today is that I found myself under silent pressure to compromise and accept weekly appointments, even though this isn’t actually a compromise because I get nothing of what I want out of it. If I had accepted what was offered, that’d have been me doing as the good doctor said.
I plucked up the courage for once in my feeble life and clearly stated that I wasn’t going to do something I didn’t want to do and so, my counselling sessions ended before they’d even begun. I walked out of the hospital to find my Dad and ‘Square One’ waiting for me in the car.
My Dad was understandably dismayed that I had walked away from something that I’d been trying to arrange for the past few months but when I explained that I wasn’t going to do things I didn’t want to do any longer and was very unhappy that my rights as a patient – the rights to request another doctor, to arrange visits to a convenient health centre, to be given appointments that are suitable for my life and to seek second opinion – were being undermined – again – he understood where I was coming from and was very supportive.
I made the correct decision today and for once, I didn’t compromise and give up on what I knew with absolute certainty, was best for me. So why do I feel so terrible about it?
I think it’s this culture of ‘you should be grateful’ that I’ve come across before:
you should be grateful that you have these sessions; dozens of people are going without and waiting long periods of time for this
Yes, I’ll be grateful for a service that I’m very unhappy in. I’ll give regular thanks to the gods of guilt for it.
Sometimes it pays to be fussy. Why should I compromise on my health? Why should I sit in a room and divulge my darkest thoughts to a complete stranger who makes me feel like I need to go home and scrub my skin with Ajax?
At the very least, one of the poor souls who has been waiting decades to finally get some counselling will be able to have my slot. I hope they’re happier in it than I ever was.
If compromise is indeed the enemy of achievement, then what have I achieved in walking away? I’ve taken control of my life for the first time in years. I’ve given myself the strength to clearly and firmly say ‘no’ without curling up into a ball and crying or exploding with rage. If I’d have compromised, I would not be sitting here telling you that I’m a better person for being able to stand up for myself and confidently make my own choices.
So what happens now that I’ve ditched that avenue of exploration? As Matt Bellamy says in Muscle Museum:
And I’ll do it on my own…
with a pen in my hand.
February 8, 2009
I should be sleeping now but instead I’m raking though Mind trying to find some answers that the medical professionals assigned to me should be providing me with.
I’m beginning to realise that I can’t hide behind this screen all the time; it’s an awkward shape and the wheels are wonky so the bloody thing doesn’t go in the direction I want it to, meaning that I have to keep jumping behind it. And on top of that, it’s that horrible pastel green colour that you find in hospitals. As if my ‘conditions’ aren’t exhausting enough.
So Mind has given me a bit more info than I’ve been able to suck out of the so-called medical professionals. Yes, I suffer from severe anxiety which causes all number of nasty physical manifestations including palpitations, sweating, chest pains, nausea, headaches, restricted (or in some cases, complete lack of) breathing and a huge sleep deficit; yes, my phobias include public, unfamiliar and enclosed spaces, people and occasionally mirrors; yes, I’m aware that walking about doing my thang is usually impeded by the fact that most of the time, my body doesn’t feel like it’s actually there – try walking down steps with feet that you don’t believe to be yours, it’s exciting; and yes, I’m acutely familiar with the fact that these things aren’t going away any time soon.
Doctors wonder why I’m so agitated and unwilling to show them the depth of things. Anxiety is merely the blackhead to my being and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone who considers me a ‘client’ go ahead and squeeze it. You’re not supposed to squeeze them anyway.
A friend told me to get out there and start trying to live again. The thought terrifies me to the extent that I don’t want to get out from under my duvet ever again. The only thing that outweighs this is that I don’t fancy having bedsores. So taking into consideration the suggestions made by my friend and other suggestions made by another friend – little steps – I’m going to do something that Mind has recommended, something that can help me on the way.
I don’t like this being public, but anyone who knows me and I mean really knows me will understand that it is public whether I like it or not because I spack out when I’m in public and behave erratically. It’s sometimes hard not to notice. And why should I be ashamed? Why should I hide? Mental health stigma is rife and I’m tired of being a victim of the politics towards difference… I almost wrote différance then, bit of Derrida leaking through like he does before disappearing…
So yes. The thing that Mind recommends. Focus on positive aspects of my life.
- I’m not afraid, or am becoming less afraid of being different
- I’m developing the courage to decide what I want, how I want it and when I want it, whether it be breakfast, my studies or my mental health treatment
- I have a loving cat who cuddles up to me every night
- I have a dysfunctional family, so I don’t feel like a complete freak
- I love the said dysfunctional family and they love me. And respect me, which I only found out recently
- For those who are my friends, they are good friends and they listen no matter what
- I have no material desire for anything because I already have everything I want
- My bed is uber-comfy
- I’m a good writer and I work hard to become better at being a good writer
- My passion for art and music makes me diverse and at peace with many things
- Books give me a good alternative to a world I don’t feel in contact with
- Nothing feels more incredible than achieving the things I’ve worked hard to achieve
- My diet is healthy and I have lost weight through sticking to it
- I’ve stopped smoking – this time for good
- I orgasm in my sleep. Regularly. I don’t have to do a thing. It’s great
- I live in one of the most naturally beautiful areas in Kent
- I live in a very quiet area
- People love my cooking; I make people happy with my cooking
- Even though I’m always really tired and have difficulty seeing it, I make the effort to build myself a future
- I’m stubborn. Which means I don’t quit
- My personas work well together and have been behaving very well over the past couple of months
- They have also become stronger and together we have taken steps to come to terms with a lot of external phenomena and started pushing back at the force that intends to erase us
- I’m fascinated by the worlds that I perceive and know that the be-all-and-end-all of medical science is not the be-all-and-end-all of me and my personas
- I’m proud to be an individual who questions, picks apart, scrutinizes and points a bitter finger at everything. I’m proud to be a Cynic
- Oh yeh, how can I forget? Women. They’re a very, very positive aspect in my life for many different reasons…
So there they are. Positive aspects of my life. The list is longer than I was expecting but who am I to complain? It’s a good list. Onto the next tiny step I go…
Oh and just a quick request: if anyone knows some really good pick-me-up foods/remedies, please tell me them. I can’t handle being this exhausted all the time. My diet is good, my sleep is broken most of the time and unfortunately, physical exercise sets me back a little at the moment. Think small steps people. I need energy food. I need some of the good stuff…
January 21, 2009
I’m far too young to be looking back at significant points in my life and deciding that they were a waste of time. I’m also too apathetic to care about whether or not casting off the relatively green wisdom of those moment will have complex implications at a later date.
Having spent the majority of life in my own head, happily oblivious to the outside world, you would have thought that I know what I’m doing with myself, but for whatever reason, I’m probably the most gormless individual on the planet. Which suits me. This frail ego suits me.
Taking the advice of others is bad news for the egocentric. If you’re going to be something, then be it. I’m not taking advice and hammering it into my being any longer. It results in me drawing elaborate time tables that have me awake at 8am reading things that should only be read over a bottle of Chilean Shiraz. It results in me turning my life into a series of multi-coloured boxes that map out how I should be spending my time, time that I know I can’t be bothered to waste on preparation and reading that I haven’t got the patience for. Taking another person’s advice to heart results in me being miserable.
There’s something to be said about being a chaotic, time-wasting, apathetic individual. When you need to get things done, you get them done in your own time using your own methods. It’s stressful, painful and irritating at points but then spending weeks on end before a deadline worrying continuously about how to spend my ample amounts of time is just as pointless as knowing and trying to do something about my habit of working by my own lax schedule. Just so that I can fit in? Follow the rules? Do what is expected of me? Really…
I’m not the writer who will sit and note down every detail of every surrounding that I encounter every day of my life. I’m internalized, blind, reclusive and pretty much socially incompetent. I’m not afraid to flip off the status quo. Quite frankly, I don’t care.
I don’t care that there’s a time break in that story or that you think a particular image doesn’t work; it works for me and the gap in time is supposed to be there so that I don’t have to spend six pages describing what happened between time A and time B. I do care however, about how I deliver the story.
The differences between opinion and advice are slight; the trick is knowing how to be selfish enough to pick out the stuff that gives you a damn good reason to alter something that isn’t working from the general nit-picked rubbish that tells you either
a) what you already know,
b) that your reader hasn’t bothered to read at all or
c) that you’re never going to please everyone.
Bottom line – you may as well go ahead and please yourself.
I intend to embrace my bad habits and no longer be ashamed of the fact that I’m a very internal person, only ever ‘noticing’ things around me when they are sucked in by the eternal vacuum of deaf experience, processed through a series of daydreams and nightmares, and then spat out when I sit down and say to myself ‘Something is bugging us. What?’
I was told a few years back that my attitude would never do me any favours, that I had to discipline myself in order to progress in life. I’ve been stagnating in that pool of advice for nearly five years.
You want to tell me that’s healthy?
November 17, 2008
I like to moan.
There is virtually nothing else in my life that gives me the same sense of satisfaction than complaining to some poor soul who doesn’t know how to respond to my ravings. Those who bear the brunt of my rants usually consist of:
1. Banking personnel
2. Government personnel
3. Support personnel
5. Select friends
In the last case, I’m surprised that I haven’t been told to shut up yet. I think that the only reason that this hasn’t happened yet is because I apparently become witty when exploding into angry dialogue.According to one friend of mine. And probably my other nearest and dearest, who always delights when I launch off into a burning hell-fired soliloquy whilst pacing about, throwing my hands into the air, punching the invisible people who have, quite frankly, pissed me off, and randomly invent new, amusing and when you think about it, terrifying expletives.
Vented, I sit down calmly (or stop typing) and then float off on a tangent about how pineapples look like they’re capable of war atrocities.
It doesn’t take much to kick me off. Waiting does it, as do stupid adverts about shampoo that instantly emits orgasmic, scented (and worryingly visible) perfume the moment you pop the cap. If my shampoo did that, I’d be peeing onto a flannel, covering my nose and mouth and then finding a way to dispose of what is essentially the resurrection of mustard gas. And it might as well be considering the amount of chemicals the shampoo actually contains.
See? One beautiful rant about something the majority of people wouldn’t even think about, wouldn’t worry about. I’m regularly told to ‘chill out’. That’s annoying in itself. Why do I have to be complacent? Why do I have to be the silent woman? Why am I not allowed to shout out, in linguistic bouts of cathartic euphoria, my petty frustrations if it makes me feel good.
I’m the person who will argue to the death about a bank charge that shouldn’t have been taken, and it’s not my death I’m talking about. One thing that I have learnt to do throughout my academic career is how to argue, which in my eyes, is a valuable life skill. What would I do without it? Write ‘doormat’ across my forehead and then roll over?
I was in a discussion with my Dad the other day who said something about putting in a damages claim for an accident I had. I was complaining about the circumstances that surrounded the accident. He continued to hint that I should make a claim. The conversation came to an abrupt end when I loudly stated:
At this point I remembered where I was. The doctor’s surgery. My Dad hushed me down and a woman sitting near us leaned forward and gawked at me.
And that’s another thing. Why do people need to gawk when they witness another person doing their nut or generally being their eccentric selves? Why don’t you get it over with and just stick me in a sideshow? That way, you can pay to watch me be a raving lunatic.
Quite honestly, the isolation brought about by my sudden outbursts of articulated fury is welcomed because when it comes down to it, I’m quite fond of being left alone by the majority of the world.
Peace and quiet is a rare thing to come across so the lure of making yourself unapproachable to the masses is appealing. Of course, there are always exceptions. I do need to get on in the world, so I have to make allowances here and there amidst my glittering career of being a grumpy griper. Don’t think for a second though, that this will stop me from moaning about it…
November 14, 2008
Literature. It’s a beautiful thing. It does so much for us:
*Saves us from boredom
*Delivers us to boredom
*Opens our eyes
*Makes us think
*Helps us sleep
*Distracts us from our problems
*Resolves our problems
*Distracts us from that annoying snotty-nosed kid in the doctor’s surgery
*Gives us an excuse to be anti-social
*Makes us laugh, cry, scream, shiver, sigh, grumble, smirk, panic etc.
*Brings us down a peg or launches us into the stratosphere
Yes, literature does a lot for us. All that and more. For me, literature is a sort of relationship. A difficult one, complete with a scorning ‘pseudo-mother-in-law’ who wishes to gut me in public and feed me to stray cats because I’ve taken her impressionable daughter, fresh from the wide, wide world and opened her up. Searched about and found the secret that Mummy and Daddy weren’t supposed to find out about: literature suggesting that a woman … could love another woman.
SHOCK! HORROR!!! Although not that uncommon…
I’ve spent the last couple of hours trying to find some literature along these lines. Three volumes of lesbian erotica sit proudly on my bookcase. Pages and pages of smutty goings-on, tastefully written I might add, for lonely nights when a bit of titillation is needed to remind me that being single isn’t so bad.
But sometimes a night of lovingly crafted tales about girl-on-girl romps just doesn’t push the right buttons, so to speak. Sometimes you want a book to talk to you about love. I want a book to woo me with the yearnings of others who have been in my position, are in my position; I want to be told of those women who have spent their lives unashamedly holding hands and ignoring the gawks emitted by the stiff upper lip of society. I want to glimpse upon their privacy and form my own.
Considering the popularity of lesbian literature circulating the free, empowered, out and proud world, you would have thought that finding collections of letters sent between women in close relationships would be a reasonable thing to ask of the myriad of online bookstores. But no.
The fruits of my search have resulted in suspended satisfaction. The dusty philosopher in me decided upon Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, purely because of my interests in language on a whole. The fact that it deals with the language of love in all its forms sprinkles my decision to buy with a reassuringly fuzzy warmth.
My second choice, one that I had to really dig around for, was Between Us: A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters (ed Kay Turner). How long it will take me to get my lonely mitts on this book is debatable.
restricted payment options, ordering overseas and buying out-of-print texts all adds up to waiting ages for the book and possibly never getting it at all. I’m cynical about buying from abroad. It could get lost. And because a lot of sellers opt for cheap transit, postal insurance is often non-existent. You can kiss tracking goodbye too. You know how it is. You order a book, you pay, the money is taken from your account, you wait, you complain, you’re reassured, you wait, you wait, you become apathetic, you forget and then about 12 weeks later, a package arrive containing a book that you have no memory of ordering or even searching for.
So where does this all lead to? Another pointless blog rambling about pointless things in order to make a pointless (and lonely) evening seem less … pointless?
Have you ever notice how people’s expressions go from disbelief to shock to horror to comatose to near-death experience when they see that you’re reading lesbian erotica in public? Try it out. Just for fun. You can find a decent enough selection of material in Waterstones. At the back. Right under the Classics.
Note: Positioning of pornographic material may vary from store to store. If in doubt, ask a gormless looking shop assistant…
September 29, 2007
I’m blessed, and cursed.
Cursed for many reasons, but blessed for the fact that something quite amazing happened today. I had to go to my local shops, so grabbed my jacket etc, jumped on my bike and peddled off into the proverbial sunset toward retail heaven. Well, as heavenly as retail can get in Hoo village.
As I went to chain my bike up, I noticed that my key was missing. Along with my mobile phone. I’d had them with me when I’d left. Panic exploded out of me and I set off, back the way I came in a fit of limbs, stricken screams and a near traffic accident.
It was my original belief that the phone and key had fallen from my pocket whilst navigating the speed bumps in the residential area, but to my surprise, I saw a recognisable black lump in the middle of the road that turns off onto the site. There was my phone. And key.
If that wasn’t shocking enough, it became apparent that a car had driven over my phone.
If I had been in an anime show at the time, my nose would have streamed blood when I discovered that my phone was unharmed, save for a small scratch on the bottom of the handset.
Blessed? I don’t like to attribute occurences like this to higher powers, but you can’t deny that I was lucky…
July 19, 2007
There’s nothing more satisfying than asking a Magic 8-Ball if its full of shit, and having it reply ‘Yes’…