Back And Ready To Go!

It’s been some time since my last posts.  I’ve not had PC access for almost a month…Dark days and hard times! Time passes, life goes on. Thanks to a generous friend loaning me a PC, I’m pleased to announce my return!

It’s a crack, I’m back yeah standing
On the rooftops shouting out,
Baby I’m ready to go
I’m back and ready to go!

In the words of 90s Electro-Anthem Ready To Go by Republica, a song which means the world to me and my Hometown Ladies!

I look back on the early 90s and wonder before how we coped…No email, social networking still a decade or so in the offing and the few people with mobile phones seen as fly gits! We muddled on somehow. People still met, made it to gigs, went to the pub, caused mischief and mayhem of a weekend. There were fewer options for parents to find out about it back in the day….Teens of the modern age, sucks to be you! A definite argument for not missing what you never had.

During my time wandering in the tech-less wilderness I had one shining beacon of light. My Nokia Neanderthal provided access to Facebook. Thank heaven for small mercies, lest the world grind to a halt! To begin with, there was a definite void left without Wordpress, Pintrest, Tumblr, eBay and the million other distractions found online. As days passed, I compensated with other pursuits. Reading more…from trashy magazines to modern classics like Vile Bodies. I was working harder on my textiles venture “The Rockin’ Old Bag Co”, recycling old garments and offcuts to make one-off bags for friends’ birthdays. I was getting out more – to the gym and meeting friends. I was sitting on my backside less. At the beginning of the month, I made a trip back to The Hometown. The weather was as random as you’d expect in Wales. Nonetheless I caught up with family and friends, got back to my roots and had a blast.

Last month, I attended my appointment with the Clinical Psychologist at the local psychiatric hospital. My condition worsened between May and June, I was worried about myself. My thoughts were disturbing and I was finding it impossible to sleep for more than an hour or so a night. I made an appointment with my GP and was referred to the Crisis Team. They came out to visit me one sunny Saturday morning and it went way better than I expected. Following a meeting the Monday after, they arranged for my assessment. I had no fear of what I may find out…I just wanted to know whether there was a condition underlying my irrational behaviour. In a detached, calm way I was looking forward to finding out the truth. My suspicions turned out to be right on the day…I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder

I’d had an inkling there was more to my mental health problems than depression for some time. It came to a head when my housemate and I found an online test for Personality Disorders and my results came back 82% Borderline. Despite a disclaimer stating the test was “For Entertainment Purposes Only” I began to research the condition. As I looked into the symptoms and traits, I found myself knowing most of them off by heart. It read like a tick list of what had been holding me back.

Below are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder according to government guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE] 2009). A doctor may diagnose you with borderline personality disorder if you have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on your everyday life.

  • you have emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
  • you find it difficult to make and maintain relationships
  • you have an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
  • you take risks or do things without thinking about the consequences
  • you harm yourself or think about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
  • you fear being abandoned or rejected or being alone
  • you sometimes believe in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or see or hear things that are not really there (called hallucinations).

I regularly experience all the above, thankfully not often all at once. I’ve always felt pretty alone with it…Seemed a waste of time to try and explain to others as it so often ended in misunderstandings and arguments. People who love me just want me to be happy and normal. I understand that the way I behave during an episode can be frustrating and even frightening. I don’t do it on purpose and I hope people understand that. Once you’ve upset someone however, apologies don’t take away the hurt. I understand that everyone around is seeing a Drama Queen treating all the world as a stage. And that they are judging accordingly…My inner struggles are invisible to them, it’s not like my leg is hanging off. It sometimes feels as if I am watching the scene through a window. I want to bang on the glass, tell myself to shut the fuck up. Climb in and slap myself around the face. Shock the Crazy Woman into silence.  I recall several incidents of my Dad yelling at me I’d upset the whole house when I was in my teens. It made me feel noxious, as if my presence there was poison gas choking my family. Even now, when things turn bad I feel as if I should retreat and hide away. Somehow I can’t though…I feel the need to stay and fight my corner. To try and be understood, even though I don’t really understand myself. I recounted all this to the Clinical Psychologist and Crisis Team Representative…Crying, laughing, raging and curling myself into a ball in my seat. Looking at the ground, twisting and unfurling a rubber band over and over again. It was good to get it out, that torrent of words gushing like filthy water. I was pleased when they didn’t recoil in horror and tell me I was beyond help. They reassured me it wasn’t the worst case of BPD they had ever seen. It was likely I’d had it since I was a child, though I’d been getting better on my own over time. They remarked that it was unlikely I would have managed to go as long as I have without treatment otherwise. As well as being placed on the waiting list for Group Therapy, I’ve also been prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac). I’ve only been taking it for four weeks but can already see an improvement. My moods appear more stable and my reactions more balanced. Although I understand when others tell me to not dwell too much on labels, the diagnosis has come as a relief.

I am still aware of mistakes I have made in the past. In trying to cope with the conflict inside and around me, I’ve fucked up many a time. There has definitely been times where I’ve Said Too Much in blogs and updates. It’s not much of a defense. but I’m an outspoken bitch in real life too. I’m rarely afraid of anyone. And certainly not above telling them exactly what I think of them – good or bad! I used to think it was all part of being A Feisty Bitch That No-one Fucked with. Since forming that opinion, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on my past. I see now that my strong feeling towards/against people have been harmful and draining. Life is tough enough without all interaction being a constant war. People intent on screwing me over have been only too pleased to do so, despite my shouting and bawling. I have said and done things one moment and regretted them the next…And wanted to shove words back in my mouth and choke on them so many times. Things once done cannot be undone…At last I’m developing a five-second delay between what I think and what I say!  It would be easy to blame my weird behaviour and irrational outbursts on BPD. To simply carry on as before. I can’t now though, not with the knowledge I can recover and live in less confusion. The diagnosis put the power to do so back in my hands.

I know for sure that BPD has played a part in ruining past friendships and relationships. I’ve lost people who will never come back, through my crazy mood swings and nasty temper. Some are missed way more than others. I hope I’ve now reached a point where I can learn from it all. To stop it happening again, rather than dwelling on the past.

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I found myself…In doll form at least!

The time without internet also led me to wonder about the differences between my virtual and real life self. I like to think they are one and the same. That what you see/hear/read is what you get, no matter what the arena.

Both life and the internet have taken me to some strange and wonderful places. Occasionally the two have crossed…I originally moved to Nottingham to be closer to someone I met on a Gothic Forum and for the music scene. When the relationship ended, I stayed put. In those first 2 years and 3 months, Nottingham became home. Like all cities, it seems to have a gravitational pull for those disillusioned with living in the surrounding towns and villages. Though unlike anywhere I have lived before, it seems to be a magnet for rockers of all kinds….we all co-exist and only snarl at one and other occasionally! Everyone is welcome, but there’s a definite hierarchy….The idea of fitting in simply because you’re different is a myth. I’d always looked for a place where I could be accepted for being myself. It doesn’t exist, but Nottingham is close as it gets. The only place you really need to be accepted is inside. Once that happens, friendships and belonging fall into place. It’s the difference between walking into a room and worrying no-one likes you, and striding in there deciding who you like. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve got the road map at least!

Social Media Sites and forums seem to have become a platform for people to “Speak Their Mind!” There’s an argument for not updating or commenting with anything you wouldn’t say aloud. Truth is this…Once you’ve typed it, you’ve said it. It’s out there in print for all to read and judge. Any medium for criticizing others is as hurtful and inflammatory as the other…Regardless of whether or not the subject deserves it! I once had a friend who constantly raged and rallied against the world in her updates. It was a constant war of words about people treating her badly and daring those who had something negative to say to do so to her face. Ironically, towards the end of our friendship I found out most of her ups and downs through Facebook. I was only invited over when she fancied laying into me or bad-mouthing someone else behind their back. Her constant negativity and selfishness became a drain, so I decided she was no longer welcome in my life. After 2 years of saying she was my best friend and even calling her my sister, we couldn’t even discuss things face to face. It disintegrated into a barrage of abusive text messages and ridiculous accusations. I miss her far less than I imagined I would. Even though my relationship hit rock bottom the same day we fell out. Despite losing those “mutual friends” who got in line behind her and walked away. I coped, I learned and believe I am a better person for the loss.

When you take sides following a fight, you never form an accurate picture of what happened. Some people don’t need one – they just choose to blindly believe who they want to be right. In light of such ignorance, is there really much loss if they side against you? If you want the truth, listen to both sides and settle in the middle of the two accounts. Blame becomes futile when both sides feel wronged. I honestly believe we are all pissing in the wind with how we think and how we act. Sometimes the wind carries it away and other times it blows it back all over us. However, if we stay true to ourselves we’re more in control of our own destiny. Treat your haters with decency. Kill them with kindness. Keep the upper hand and move the fuck on.

In conclusion, I’m confident my online self is every bit as much of a handful as my real life self! I’m learning all the time though, and growing stronger for it. Looking forward to a future where I know my place in the world…And where things may not always work out, but can be handled without a meltdown.

Speaking of which…my caffeine reserves are running low! Time to head for the kettle and to find some class of dinner. I’ll bid you good evening and hope you have a good old fashioned blinder of a Saturday night!

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It Will Be Sunny One Day

It Will Be Sunny One Day

A friend sent me this link yesterday, detailing a letter Stephen Fry sent to a fan following her plea for help with her depression

“I had no idea who to turn to. But I really needed someone to turn to and to ease the pain. So I wrote to Stephen Fry because he is my hero, and he has been through this himself. And low and behold, he replied to my letter, and I will love him eternally for this.”

Wrote Crystal Nunn, the letter’s recipient.

Even though I cried reading it, I know the words will stay with me. It’s a beautifully written letter, as one would expect from Stephen Fry. So honest too, and the fact he replied to someone in need speaks volumes.

There are other people going through mental health issues and help out there…If you are still here then it isn’t too late. Don’t give up on yourself. I’m not going to.

 

Not Waving But Drowning

I’ve always identified a little with this poem. Never more than over the last few days though.

I’ll say to all my adversaries right now: Leave me alone for a bit. Go find someone else to hold in contempt. Let me get strong enough to deal with you again…Then if you still find you want to go a round of fucks over it, by all means come back and I’ll meet the challenge. This time however, have the courage to do it to my face. Not many of you had the balls before.

But just for now, I’ll admit defeat. I’m exhausted. I literally ache in my bones, heart and head.

Don’t get too complacent though. I will recover from this. The question is, will you?

Blondes have more fun?

…My take on that age old cliche!

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Earlier on today, I was posed with a rather tricky question by a friend.

The lady in question is glamorous, likes to look good at all times and more mature than myself in years. She has recently invested in some rather expensive blonde hair extensions, spent time perfecting self-tanning techniques and keeps fit by attending pole fitness classes. She seemed happier since making the change, as if lightening her hair had lightened her outlook. She hadn’t been in a relationship for a while, but was waiting for her luck to change. She said that suddenly men were paying her more attention and asking her on dates. I was pleased to see her confidence boosted and to hear she was feeling good.

As we sat there being very British and having a cup of tea, she suddenly asked

“Do you prefer me blonde or dark?”

I considered the question for a few moments and answered

“I prefer to see you happy”

After all, isn’t that what we all want for our friends? For them to enjoy life in whatever way they please? Partnered, single, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered…As long as they are being true to themselves and not hurting others with their choices, in my opinion they are living the right way.

“That’s not what I asked you, do you prefer me blonde or dark?”

Came her reply, thinking I was fudging the issue.

Now, I’m uncomfortable with naming any one look as ideal. I will confess that long blonde hair and an all over tan do not feature anywhere on my list of Must Haves.

I repeated along the same lines…

“At the moment, you seem to be more positive than I’ve seen you in ages. You’re clearly enjoying life, if your new hairstyle is the reason for this then I love it!”

She seemed pleased with my reply and our conversation quickly turned back to her most recent date. Though in my head, I was still thinking over what makes someone attractive. At the moment, I feel pretty good about myself. I’m not the slimmest I have ever been, but I’m certainly not the largest either. The strange thing is, now I’m actually taking positive steps towards improvement it matters less. I think beauty starts with confidence…An idea that has been with me for well over a decade.  Think I really started to appreciate what it meant on starting dance lessons. I became aware of the effect moving my body gracefully had, how good it felt to push myself and the sense of achievement I got from learning something new.

I shouldn’t imagine my appearance is everyone’s vision of The Fairest Of Them All: Am currently rocking black hair with a bright red fringe, wearing less than in previous summers (mainly for practical reasons…It’s bloody boiling out there!) and loving life to boot. I’m working out to feel and look better, hoping to be more toned as a result but still to look feminine and curvaceous. I’m more interested in creating a discernible curve between my bust and my hips than obtaining a six pack…Though have to confess I love the muscle tone starting to show in my legs!

It doesn’t mean that I’m right and my friends striving for perfection are wrong…Or vice versa. I’m just striving to be the best I’ve looked and felt. I believe that any transformation is possible…And that as long as the person making that change still wants to be themselves, it’s healthy to try hard.

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The tactful opinions and good advice I had to offer friends deteriorated somewhat as the day went on. Another friend was complaining that while he is superb at helping females shop for flattering outfits, the same keen eye doesn’t extend to shopping for himself.

My helpful response to this was

“So go transvestite then…Ladies clothing will always be more exciting and fun to shop for than gents!”

Despite admitting to once having owned a manly black sarong, he didn’t really go a bundle on the idea.

Nonetheless, I do hope my certificate of commendation from the Tact, Diplomacy and Giving an All-Round Top Answer Society is in the post for my earlier efforts!

There’s never any excuse for deliberately hurting a friend’s feelings. It’s a tough enough world out there without mates having to tear each other to pieces. One day I’ll strike the tricky balance of feeling great and genuinely not caring what others think. I probably won’t blog for a while then, I’ll be busy bottling the formula and selling it for millions!

Hypocrisy and Misogyny: Welcome to Social Media 101

Hypocrisy and Misogyny: Welcome to Social Media 101

Welcome to Facebook…apparently a place for friends to connect, stay in touch and share photographs.

Provided your images don’t display more flesh than the prudish eyes of the powers that be are comfortable with. I’ve heard tales of Burlesque performers having their profile suspended (and even removed) for posting photographs of performances. Pastie-bedecked breasts being Stuff of Sodom, obviously!

“Boobies! Heavens above…We can’t allow grown adults the choice to display those! There’ll be anarchy! The world will fall to pieces around our ears!”

Don’t mind the odd pro-rape joke or misogynistic Meme tho, do they? Nobody noticed…Certainly nobody commented. If they did, nothing happened to stem the flow of bullshit.

That is, until advertisers started kicking up rough. Adverts for brands such as syrupy and patronising “Pro-women” Dove (Pro-profit, more like it!) began appearing on poetically titled pages like Drop Kicking Sluts in The Teeth…Annnnd suddenly there was uproar.

Right reaction, wrong reasons folks.

This shit needs addressing. It always did, but as usual we had to wait for large multi-nationals to fear losing profits. Dove are owned (surprise surprise) by Unilever

Go figure.

Will there ever be a time when common sense and self-respect become a catalyst for change? Watch this space, but you may want to refrain from holding your breath…

Individuality: A Dirty Word?

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A stroll down the road in the sunshine…Maybe magic, maybe mundane. Now and then a total revelation. I’m surprised how an unimportant detail of my walk down to a friend’s house yesterday has dominated my thoughts…And inspired my latest entry!

So there I was shamblin’ along, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my arms and generally feeling all was well in the world.  I suddenly spotted a group of young lads setting off in a car. My heart dipped a little…I grew up in a small town, often attracting negative attention due to how I dressed and was perceived. It never particularly bothered me – I could have changed the message I put out to the world but had no interest in doing so. However, if you encounter enough bullshit of that ilk you eventually develop a radar for it, which never entirely leaves you. Certain people and situations get your antennae twitching…the car full of little boys is a classic example. I’ve always found their bravery increases directly in proportion with the speed they’re travelling!

I walked by, head up and refusing eye contact as per rule one in the Superfreak Handbook! Suddenly a loud and primal noise somewhere between whooping and howling emitted from the vehicle. Now, gone are the days when I’d have marched over and confronted them over their asshattery.

It never got me anywhere but more angry, though possibly taught me some of my most tried and tested profanity!

I neatly gave them the finger and kept walking.

Suddenly this whiny little-boy voice cut over the music from my MP3 player

(Rumble by Link Wray, in case anyone wondered what I was listening to. If I was reading this written by someone else, I surely would! I have about 5 soundtracks from Quentin Tarrantino movies on my player at the moment…I find they cover pretty much every musical whim of mine!)

“What you telling us to fook off for? Fooking dirty bitch…look at ya!”

To begin with I was absolutely fucking livid. The child shouting at me looked barely old enough to know it was for anything other than pissing over high walls, alone what did or did not constitute dirty.

I’d put the little fecker over my knee, only he’d probably enjoy it!

When the hell did it become OK for children to randomly yell abuse  at adults in the street anyway? My feet wouldn’t have touched the ground if my parents had found out I’d so much as looked askance at an adult…And no, the fact that statement exposes me as an old bat hasn’t escaped my notice!

Following this, I was a bit perplexed…What had caused this juvenile missing link to pick me out as a creature of the night anyway?

I considered what I was wearing, though cursed myself for sinking to that level. I was in a punky zip thru black mini-dress, strappy black flats, hair in a bandana and red 50’s cat-eye shades. Hardly the stuff of strip clubs. Definitely nothing outlandish by my standards…Then again, if I ever feel the need to seek fashion advice from a teenage boy shouting from a car window, my life will surely be taking a downhill turn!

I wondered briefly about my walk…I have a natural wiggle to my hips and a tendency to strut. I am proud of the space I take up in the world and determined to enjoy my body while I am relatively young. I often listen to music when am out and about…With the side effect of making me shake my arse! I can think of far more offensive sights to witness on the street…

  • Mothers smacking and screaming at their children
  • Teenage “Gangstas” with their jeans escaping down to their knees and exposing their choice of underwear
  • Brassy women hellbent on telling the world of their “Babyfather’s” latest exploits under the pretext of having a conversation on the mobile.

All these make me feel faintly nauseated, but I keep my gob shut and walk on by nonetheless.

I even considered whether the half-sleeve adorning my right arm had offended the delicate little flower…My ink occasionally has a strange effect on people, prompting them to stop me in the park and ask how I’ll feel about it in 60 years time and the like. If I happen to get to 95, I would imagine I’ll feel like any other almost centenarian. Cantakerous, confused and cranky as hell! I earned the money which paid for my tattoos, they decorate MY skin and I love every one of them….And that is all any of these helpful social commentators need to know. They ought to stay heedful of the age old advice of keeping their cakehole firmly closed if they have nothing positive to say.

We still live in a society obsessed with fitting into a norm set by someone faceless and nameless. Many people haven’t got a clue what they think or believe so wait to be told. They are fearful of anyone who rejects their flock mentality.

I am definitely not Most People!

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I am in my mid 30s, single, very much my own boss and able to dress myself in what I damn well please! Is that what angered the little cherub? Should I not be allowed such freedom? Or does he feel denied it, so desperately trying to fit in with his army of clones?

Eventually I gave up on speculating and put it down to ignorant adults popping out ignorant children. Stupidity is unfortunate, but ignorance is unforgivable. Ignorance is having the option to learn but refusing to. The Chav mentality of being terminally thick and happy as pigs in shit.

Bodies, bare flesh, sex and sexuality are not dirty. Attitudes towards these are what taints them and makes them grubby. My generation did precious little to change that, it seems that neither will the new one. We’re still living in the Victorian Era…Scared shitless of enjoying anything seen as sinful, at it like rabbits behind closed doors. Our generation is as obsessed with judgement as the last one…And we are passing our intolerant attitudes on once again.

People constantly wail and gnash their teeth about the state of modern life. There are no manners these days, no sense of community, no willingness to help others. I’ve yet to witness any noteable attempt to tackle this and make a change though. Dischord and mistrust of those around us suits the culture we live in…Society encourages sneaky, nosy, snide behaviour. Curtains twitch. Tongues wag. All the while children witness and take notes. We all say we’re not going to become our parents, then do it anyway.

And let’s not forget the media, poised to fill in the gaps left after the seed has been planted. I refer you to a gem of an article seen on Return of Kings.

Return of Kings is a blog billed as being “For Masculine Men”…

I have my own description for it, and you may well come to similar conclusions after following the link!

Warning: May cause boiling of the blood!

http://www.returnofkings.com/12436/the-10-slut-commandments

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I suggest we drop the false morality and get busy taking care of our own business.

It takes more than one person to make a difference, it’s true. However, if enough people admitted they were sick and tired of these attitudes the tide would start to turn. I’d wager I’m not the only one…

I look forward to the day when people stop thinking in terms of the typical man/woman and start behaving like decent human beings.

Postcard From An Accidental Sun Worshipper

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Hot on the heels of the “Exercise Is Good For You” revelation comes “Sunshine Makes You Feel Good!”

Who knew?

The old chestnut “People feel better when the sun’s out”  began to make sense to me about a fortnight ago. I’ve lost a little weight, suddenly I didn’t feel like covering up head to toe every time I stepped outside. I started rockin’ dresses which I’d not even been able to zip up a few months before. Walking more, leaving the Em-shaped arse dent on the sofa and Going Outside. I shed the last inhibition on Saturday afternoon. Shorts in public! A no-brainer to most on a hot day…But something I haven’t done in the UK for around 20 years.

It made me realise how much confidence I’ve gained in a short space of time. Something that pleases me no end.

Don’t get me wrong…Daisy Duke has nothing to worry about!

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Nonetheless, people did not gasp in horror at the sight of my bare legs. They did not shield their offsprings’ innocent eyes. The sun didn’t beat a hasty retreat behind thunder clouds. The sky did not darken above, earth crack beneath me as the world ended. The day continued as it began, apart from the fact I was enjoying the sun. Worrying less what I looked like and better able to concentrate on how well I felt. As planned for weeks, I went for a swim at the local leisure centre. I took swimming lessons all through my childhood and used to go regularly, but it fell by the by as I hit double figures. Not only had I not forgotten how, but I became an instant kid the minute I climbed down the steps! Though I’m pleased to report I did manage to swim more than a few lengths in between pretending to be a mermaid! The contrast between the heat outside and the cool water was sublime. I wandered home refreshed and spent an hour lying outside, on the decking with my cat.

My Inner Goth was quietly despairing, writing poetry and wondering what went wrong. But it’ll do her good to take the backseat for a while…

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So my advice to you all is enjoy it while it’s here. I live in the UK, the sun is a national event as we see so little of it. It makes us all a bit crazy in the head.

Sometimes it’s good to get a little crazy!

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Albeit getting a little crazy with sunscreen on my skin and whilst wearing shades. With my habitual vampire tan, I’d fry and then turn to dust without.

And speaking of crazy, Monday is Good Mental Health day. Counselling at 11am, followed by the gym and then food shopping. Good Sane Fun. So I bid you all the kind of day you’d wish for yourself.

Peace Out, folks!