Tag Archives: love

The Things That Matter

6 Jun

I feel sad today. More than sad, actually, but that’s not what this post is gonna be about.

It’s about the opposite of sadness. It’s about someone who makes me feel truly, wonderfully blessed.

How Could I stay Angry With You?

I’m not often able to do this; when I’m tangled in the knots and waves of very dark despair, i get really pissed off when someone tries to remind me how lucky i am. In that moment, i don’t feel lucky, i feel desolate and frustrated, useless, worthless,, i resent everyone and everything. Attractive, i know. I’m working on it.

Case in point: this morning, i got pissed of at the Dali Lama. Erm…WTF? How can anyone be angry with the Dalai Lama? This is what i read (on His Holiness’ facebook page, no less!) that (in that moment) provoked the savage beast:

Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.

Yes, i know. Insane. For one, it’s completely true. For two, it’s given in the spirit of love and self development. For three, it’s given by The Dalai Lama, one of the most beautiful and lovely and wise human beings on the planet. Honestly, what was my problem?

In that moment, it was the perceived implication that i choose to be unhappy or alone. Is it a choice? That’s a whole other philosophical sphere that i do not wish to enter here.

This is a post about something i am constantly grateful for; my Beautiful Dad.

As i sit here trying to articulate for you how i feel about him, i am genuinely overcome with emotion, with Pure Unadulterated Love.

If you met him in Tesco, you might think he was a bit of a strange man. I guess in lots of ways, he is a strange man. You’d think he was a nice man, but sometimes he struggles to communicate, which might make him seem a bit strange.

He’s in his mid fifties, mind mannered, biker, bald, guitarist. He doesn’t do any drugs whatsoever, not even tea or coffee or alcohol. He almost became a mormon once (they preyed on him after he divorced his adulterous ex-wife), and the Sober-Sydney thing stuck.

But he’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, he’s a motorcyclist, and he dabbles with most outdoor sports; he likes cycling and hiking, he’s been paragliding, wind surfing  and at the moment he’s got his sights on a jet ski. He loves rollercoasters and camping, gigs and festivals.

Ahhhh. Just talking about him makes me happier.

He’s an AWESOME engineer; he can fix/build pretty much anything, and was an aerospace engineer for most of his life. He thinks its nothing, not a skill, he has a very low self-esteem. But every week, i am amazed by some new thing he’s made or fixed.

Autism is a continuum, and we are all on there somewhere, the majority of us on the high cognitive function/full development end. I think it’s quite likely that my dad might be classed as borderline Aspergers. Certainly in his day, it’s very unlikely that he would have been diagnosed. I reckon he’s dyslexic too; i sort out all his paperwork because he says ‘too many words!’

His family was very poor, and dad had chronic asthma as a child. He was very ill and in a lot of pain, hardly ever at school ( in those days there was no such thing as inhalers; he had to sit at home with an oxygen mask on his face). He was always ill. He got beaten up and bullied regularly because of this. He has a stammer when he’s nervous too – it used to be really bad, i wonder if the bullying had something to do with it. Stammers are entirely psychological; there is no genetic cause and you are no more or less likely to develop a stammer if your parent suffered with it.

He also endured a 30 year emotionally abusive relationship with my mother, which i’m certain didn’t help. During the end he suffered a nervous break down, depression and pneumonia.

He has suffered so much, and none of it he ever deserved.

He is the most thoughtful, kind, loyal person i know. He’s not one for words or grand gestures, but for the things that matter, you can depend on him two thousand percent.  He regularly goes out of his way to help other people, for no personal gain (a trait he get’s from my nan <3). If you’re car breaks down on a cold stormy night, down a country lane miles from anywhere, you better hope it’s my dad who comes along first. Cos he’ll help you, for certain, and he won’t ask you for a thing in return. The world could do with a few more like him.

My happiest memories have been spent with him. He taught me to play guitar.  He made us climb Ben Nevis when i was 10. He took me to The Glastonbury Festival when i was 11, where my whole world view expanded about a million miles. When i was 16, he made me go on what was then the fastest accelerating rollercoaster in the world. Last week he built me a custom-made adjustable tripod, so that i can make better animations. LEG END.

The best thing about him is: he is the only person i am and have always been completely sure loves me completely and unconditionally. I am completely honest with him about everything, and despite his disapproval sometimes, he always supports me. I will always, always, always be eternally grateful to the universe for giving me a dad that loves so perfectly.

Just as i was writing that last sentence, he stumbled in, in his motorcycle gear, big smile on his face, to wave to me and tell me he is back home.

The Difference Between Casual Sex And One Night Stands

4 Jun

I was with a few friends yesterday and the conversational subject (inevitably?) turned to sex.

Having been single for a period of time now, i expressed how i miss it. To which every person in the room asked me why i don’t just go out and sleep with some random.

I told them that i didn’t see the point in doing that, they assumed that i meant i need L.O.V.E for sex.

That’s not it at all. In fact, the best sex i ever had was with someone who i no longer loved.

They assumed that I’ve never had one night stands; also not true.

It’s just, every time i have, they have been at best forgettable, at worst awkward and intimidating.

I don’t need to love someone to have sex with them, but i do need to trust them to enjoy it.

Sex makes you vulnerable, i don’t want to be vulnerable in front of someone who could hurt me, physically or emotionally.

I don’t want to have to worry about my wobbly bits or what he’ll tell his mates afterwards. I don’t want to have to worry about STIs.

But those are not the main reasons.

In my experience, it takes a few goes before you learn what someone likes, and show them what you like. Because of this, one night stands (especially for women) can often leave you more frustrated than satisfied.

The things that get me off might be a bit unorthodox to some, and to really let go and be uninhibited (which is essential for orgasm for me) I’ve got to trust him with that hidden side of myself. It helps to know him well enough to be sure it won’t freak him out 😉

That’s why I’m not into the one night things.

Casual sex with someone i trust, however, is completely different.

I didn’t tell them this distinction. Let them assume.

The Only Thing A Bad Man CAN Do, Is Keep A Good Man Away

2 Jun

Dear Cunt,

This is the absolute very last bit of time and energy i will ever waste on you.

You never deserved 5 minutes, let alone 15 years, of the very best of me. My time, my affection, my love. I literally gave you everything i am, everything i have, and you pissed all over it. It was meaningless to you.

I imagine you think i’m gonna cave sometime soon, like always. Think again. I can feel it; this time it’s different. I’m different. I’m not missing you, pining for you, building up a picture of you in my head that is a complete mis-representation of who you are, and what we were. You can no longer let me down and disappoint me, because i see you exatly as you really are. So keep checking your phone. There will never be another text from me again.

I am finally free, not just from you, but from the Love that bound me to you for what might have been the best years of my life. It’s as if i have woken from a very long, very disturbing dream. I am left shattered and broken after everything.

But i am still here, stronger than you thought, aren’t i?

One thing comforts me. I will never be alone like you are.

You might be able to charm, to fake, to play at being a good guy. But people sniff out the dog in you soon enough.

You are incapable of any kind of love, except for yourself. No one wants to be  around that.

It’s better than before; this time i know i have not lost anything. Last time i felt like everything precious was gone.

Now i know you aren’t worth the paper you’re written on.

I don’t morn you anymore.

You were always nothing. Now you are nothing to me.

Link

Have You Seen This?

24 May

Have You Seen This?

It’s really rather good…

Men and Women CAN Communicate Effectively!

23 May

Today, someone told me they find me ‘very sexy’! :O

I’ve known him from a distance for about 8 years, but have only seen him a few times and never had his contact details. I bumped into him today at another friends house.

He’s quite a bit older than me (maybe 15 years?), but i always felt like there was some kind of chemistry between us, though nothing has ever happened. But usually I’m in a relationship.

It was really nice to see him today so i invited him over on saturday.

But when i got home i started over-thinking it and getting paranoid that he’s gonna come over on saturday thinking he’s gonna get some of the fringewalk-pie.

It’s not that I’m not attracted to him. It’s that (SO proud of myself for actually realising this) I know a relationship (or any kind of complication like that) would be a very bad move for me right now, and would fuck up all this good work I’m doing. I really miss sex, but I’m not up for the complications of that either. Shame.

I’ve never, ever been in this position before. Thinking before acting. Putting myself, my health, first. I’ve got to protect myself and I’ve got to protect him, so i sent him an email, which is SO unlike me, i can’t quite believe i did it. I never normally admit when i think someone’s interested, cos I’m so terrified of the rejection and embarrassment when it turns out I’m just a psychotic, delusional ego-maniac with no grip on reality. My email explained what i just explained to you, except i added that i was only telling him cos i value the potential friendship we could have.

It took him about an hour to reply, and during that time i had convinced myself i was completely wrong and deluded about the chemistry, and that I’d just made a gigantic twat of myself.

But he emailed back eventually to say that he did feel it, and that he really respected me for being straight with him, that it would be hard cos he finds me really sexy (finds me really sexy!!), but he values our friendship too so i don’t have to worry, he won’t go there.

I feel really flattered! He’s clearly insane, but it’s still so lovely to hear, i didn’t think men really noticed me, not any that wanted someone to treat with respect, anyway.

I also feel really glad i laid it all out there. I took a risk even though it frightened me and did a really emotionally mature and smart thing, to the benefit of myself and a friend.

I prevented a potential emotional massacre. It’s not a cure for cancer. But i hopefully spared us a lot of pain.

Now i just have to remember all this wisdom and stay committed and consistent to it.

Getting Better/Staying The Same

22 May

The first and only other blog i ever made prior to this one, was on LiveJournal, and i called it Blurred Edges. This one is called FringeWalk, obvs. I think I’ve given myself a subconscious clue there, to who i really am (?) or at least, how i feel.

Blurred Edges – I think i was trying to convey the sense of uncertainty, of not knowing who i am and who i am not, of being unsure of myself and others and the world and having no clear sense of when one stopped and another started.

FringeWalk – It’s kind of the same thing; i still have no real sense of self, except it’s about 10 years later and i am more empowered, or at least, for the moment i am. I take ownership of feeling so confused about my own identity, and try to see that as some kind of identity in itself.  Fringewalk because i exist on the edges of everything, not really a part of anything, not really belonging anywhere. I can be with this set of people, or that set of people, for an amount of time…but nobody misses me when i am gone.

I can be this or that thing at any given moment, and fully believe that is what i am, in the moment.

I used to see this as a weakness because it can leave me feeling very isolated, lonely, sad, not valid, worthless. But sometimes these days, i am seeing it as a strength, because it offers an interesting perspective. Plus, it’s what i am (or what i do?) and it isn’t liable to change anytime soon. So mayaswell make the best of it.

I’ve noticed that i am (generally) more emotionally consistently lately. consistently low, unmotivated, sad. But consistent, stable-ish, which is something for me.

I attribute this to a couple of things.

First and foremost, i am not in any kind of relationship, and haven’t been for the longest period in my adult life. Previous to this, maybe i’d gone 2 weeks single since i was 14, and i’m normally involved in some kind of romantic trauma or drama, even if i’m not in a proper relationship. For about the past 2 years now, i have been officially single, and for about the last month, i’ve not been romantically involved with anyone.

This is good for me.. I have spent so much of my life holding on to things that aren’t worth having, being in abusive relationships, being dependant on someone else. I have always sought validation from external sources. I think that if someone else loves me, then i must be lovable, worth something, a human being who is just as valid as everyone else. If someone doesn’t want me, i am useless, ugly, unlovable, fat, worthless, stupid.

If I’m completely honest with myself (and you) i still hold this belief, even if i know it to be false. But i am on my own, single, and I’m still alive, I’m still here, nothing terrible has happened. I am finally facing a fear that has literally terrorized me my whole life, and I’m still here. I am not happy (that is because i am an ungrateful twat who doesn’t appreciate how lucky i am, not really), but i am here. I am here, and the sun is shining outside my window.

Secondly, i have very recently moved back in with my Beautiful Dad. He has his own mental health problems that i worry about, but all in all, this is the safest, most consistent place i could be (and my beautiful boy can be). It is a good place to regroup, rethink, heal. Every day at some point it crosses my mind that i am lucky to have this option, that my parents divorced (very recently – finally!) and so i have a place with my dad. I feel  afraid and upset when i think about the alternative, and the reality for some people less fortunate than myself. Thank fuck for my Beautiful Dad.

So, I’ve been less scattered lately, miserable, but peaceful, no drama. I feel worn out from everything; in my mind’s eye i imagine myself as a naked, broken heap piled carefully on the floor. I know that doesn’t sound very positive, but it is, cos nothing is attacking me (I’m not attacking me?), no more injuries being sustained, no more wounds inflicted to get bruised, sore, scarred, infected. If nothing is attacking me, then i have opportunity to heal.

This improvement is manifested by:

  • Far less frequent self-harming, or urges to self-harm. If i do, it is minor and/or subconscious.
  • Less reactive to stressful situations. This is a work in progress; im not saying i don’t react. But I’m less prone to feel uncontrollable rage. Which means less likelihood of a) losing everyone i love and b)developing a tumour. Go me!
  • Have actually taken the time recently to explore things i might enjoy, particularly self-expression (evidence by the existence of this post, and blog!)
  • Have (very slowly) started to think about entering back into the Realms Of Real Society. I have to keep a toe in the water (fingewalk!) on account of my Perfect Boy, but in honesty, i do the minimum possible,; only what i have to do so that i can lessen my guilt about my mental health effecting him. He has birthday parties, we go to soft play, play group, the beach, picnics, etc regularly. But i hate every single minite of it, i dread it, i make myself do it, because i love him so much. But that is it, that is as far as myself and society dance. I gave up working when my relationship with Daddy Moonbags failed and have fallen ever deeper into isolation since. But, i’ve just volunteered for some work in my community, for a cause i really believe in. I have been stalling, panicking, worrying about it (that’s another post!) – but i do want to do it, and i am trying. that is a big step…3 months ago – no way.

So, in those ways, i’m doing better.

In other ways, not so much. I am still smoking an obscene amount, enough to pacify myself, my emotions, in order to avoid the feelings. I am still very isolated and pointless. Nothing i do has any real meaning or gives me any lasting joy or peace or love. I crave love and attention and affection. I think it will make everything better, even though i know it won’t; the kind of thing i’m looking for or expecting, doesn’t even exist.

I feel hopeless and i don’t think my stupid mind remembers what self-esteem is.I feel like life is only a series of fragments that i can’t piece together. I feel frustrated that i can’t do it, can’t do what everyone else seems to manage with ease.

If it wasn’t for my Perfect Boy and my Beautiful Dad, i think i’d probably want to die. I wouldn’t have the guts to go through with it, but i’d want to.  I think about it quite a lot, but don’t worry, i am sensible and i love my baby far too much. There has only been one time, during a very bad period, when i was in mental chaos and anarchy reigned, did i ever seriously believe (and only for a moment) that my Perfect Boy might be better off without me. That thought is dangerous. But even in that chaos, i still had the observational capability to be shocked by the thought, and that shock brought me back to my senses.

I’d never before felt like that and never understood parents that choose to leave their children, even knowing how harrowing living with this shit inside your head all your life can be. But in that second, i did, and i felt so sorry for being so ignorant and uncompassionate before. Being a parent doesn’t change the fact that you’re fucked. It just makes you feel more guilty for being this way, which in itself starts a vicious cycle. All you can do is endeavour to keep it away from your baby, to surround him with positive people, to love him immeasurably, and to make sure he knows he’s worthy of all that love, and more.

I am annoyed with myself for being so whiney and unappreciative of this Life Gift, and then i am annoyed that i am so hard on myself, when i afford others sympathy.

I am tired of thinking, tired of trying to find answers, tired of coping and managing. I am so immensely bored of myself.

I wish i could realistically picture a time in my life when i don’t feel this empty. I try to , and sometimes, in good hours, i almost think it could be possible. I imagine being part of a family, with a man who loves me, really loves, me, and My Perfect Boy, and some more perfect babies. When i picture myself in that life, i imagine i am happy.

But i know that life is an impossibility for me, because i turn everything to shit, i am so hard to have a relationship with, that isn’t a remotely realistic option.

There i go again, thinking love will save me.

Only i can save me. But i don’t know where to start, or how to stop the waters rising.

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For William ;)

21 May

For William ;)

Source Unknown

My Friend Leitrim, World Peace and Michael Jackson

19 May

One of the people i most admire is my very lovely friend, Leitrim. You may’ve guessed he is an Irish man, and not just because that’s what it says on his birth certificate. He is (deservedly, i might add) very proud of his country, and he has a very strong sense of its’ culture and history.

He is a philosopher, poet, author and one of the most passionate activists i have the pleasure of calling friend. I respect him very much and love him even more.

One of the things we disagree on (sort of) is how peace is ever likely to be achieved in this confusing world of ours.

Leitrim recognises the importance of understanding past conflict in order to find conflict resolution. I do too, but i also think that, at some point somewhere, a line must be drawn if there is any hope of moving forward.

He often gets into trouble because he can seem aggressive toward English people, as he feels the effects of the oppression and violence toward his country very deeply.

I can’t and i won’t even pretend to fully understand the conflict between England and Northern Ireland, or The Palestinians and Israelis, or any other longstanding conflicts in history. I am not that educated; i catch the news a couple of times a week and try to stay abreast of issues concerning peace, because i feel it’s my obligation, as a peace-loving citizen of the earth. But that’s about as far as it goes.

But i do understand eternal and universal laws, and one of them is this;

Hatred perpetuates hatred. Only Love can dispel hate.

So many times, in interviews from the frontlines of various wars i’ve seen  (by AMAZINGLY brave reporters who we should all thank for ensuring this shit gets out there), people have said “We will kill them because they killed our fathers…”.

Where does it stop, this tit for tat?

In the next news report, you might see the same person weeping with terrible grief, because now their children or other family members have been killed,  again in retaliation.

When Leitrim and i discuss this, i tell him i think he is perpetuating the hatred, by continuing to hold colonialism against the new generation, our own generation. I didn’t and wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone.

He tells me that it’s still going on (which it is; Iraq, Afghanistan).

I admit (sadly and shamefully), yeah it is, but not in MY name. And i remind him that the biggest protest in British history was against the war in Iraq.

We remember that we’re both on the same side; the side of Peace, Love and Understanding. We talk about how ‘they’ (the government, the faceless nameless corporations, the arms dealers, the oil sellers, the Bilderberg group, the capitalist bastards,  and others whose agenda is money, power and  a New World Order) want us to be divided, want us to be in fear. Fear is the best method of controlling the masses, of keeping us in poverty, in conflict, in work, paying taxes so we can go bomb poor people, or sell arms to people who will.

I tell Leitrim that i think he is unknowingly buying into their gobshite and perpetuating their hate and fear by holding the new generation of English people responsible. But that’s only cos I’m a nobber who must have the last word.

Leitrim smiles cos he knows that i know this, and we have another drink. Or something like that.

The point I’m trying to make is it has to stop somewhere, and ‘they’ aren’t going to do it for us, or make it easy, because it’s not in their interests. We have to stand up and refuse to let hate, ignorance and intolerance dominate our lives and our society, we must refuse pass hate on to another set of children.

We can celebrate our differences and our similarities. We don’t have to fight. I don’t care about countries, borders, lines someone drew on a map once. Nationality, race, colour, creed, class, lifestyle is generally irrelevant. We are all earthlings. We are all one.

One of the biggest problems facing world peace is that they’ve got us believing it can’t be done. I don’t matter. What one person thinks won’t make a difference.

That’s what they want you to think. It makes it easier for them to swagger around the world, killing who they want, taking what they want.

It’s bullshit.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror,

I’m asking him to change his ways.

No message could’ve been any clearer;

If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!

Who would’ve thought I’d be quoting MJ?! :s

Theres literally millions of us. There’s probably only a few hundred thousand of them. What you think and do does matter, because united, we are powerful and nothing can stop us.

Stay awake, stay thinking.

I don’t care that i sound naive, or idealistic, or ignorant, or stupid. If someone can show me another way to stop the senseless killings, I’d listen, with open eyes and an open mind.

But no-one has yet.

Martin Luther King had a pretty awesome dream, and so do i.

A world where no mother has to watch her child starve to death, a world where every child has an education, a home, a community, and never has to worry about their town, their families, their friends, being blown to smithereens. A world where war and poverty are shameful and redundant relics from the past, a nightmare we’re all better off forgetting.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time, by one of the most prolific philosophers of recent times (stick with it, it’s lengthy but worth it!):

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question – is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say ‘Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.’ And we…kill those people. Ha ha ha. ‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.

Love and Marriage (go together like a rabid-rottweiler drawn hell-carriage?)

15 May

Everyone’s getting married, or engaged. I have more married/engaged friends at the moment than i do single/coupled off ones.

I don’t mean to be a cynical old witch, but it seems unnatural to me.

I love the idea of Love, and i believe in it; i believe it exists in many glorious forms for people all over the globe. I even believe it’s possible for Love to last a lifetime, to change and grow with time, to be nurturing and to bring out the best potential, if two people are committed to working at it by being patient and understanding and willing to compromise. I reckon what specifically works within a relationship is different for every couple, and i think you’re incredibly lucky if you find something that does endure the trials and tribulations of this life; but i think it can and does happen.

But marriage? A legal contract to define something that is abstract and fluid and experienced differently by everyone? You’re just asking for trouble.

Love is for celebrating, and i get the public declaration bit, and the party, and even the big puffy dress, if you’re that way inclined.

But a legal contract? Nah.

I can only think of a couple of people i know who have or had (seemingly) happy marriages, and they are either relatively ‘new’ marriages (first 5 years) so the jury’s out,  or the are of my grandparents generation, and things were different then.

Why was it different? Why did marriages last back then? Was it simply because divorce was more expensive or socially unacceptable? Was it because male/female roles were more clearly (if unfairly) defined, and therefore marriages were ‘easier’, because you knew what to expect and what was expected? Was it because people were more religious and so they took marriage vows (in front of The Big G, no less) much more seriously?

It feels like no one really thinks about marriage as that important now. They want the wedding day, the dress, the flowers, the rings, the attention. But they don’t think about the lifetime of Love, support, compromise, tolerance, happiness, sadness, excitement, tedium that follows.

Marriage these days isn’t for life. It’s until you get bored, or stressed, or lonely, or your attention is caught elsewhere. People get married 2, 3, 4 times or more, a marriage seems to be a long-term relationship.

I’ve never been married or even come close, so I’m hardly an authority on the subject. When i was younger, i really wanted to get married, or at least i thought i did, maybe because the world expects it. Honestly, there is still a small part of me that hopes I’ll meet someone who’ll change my mind, and it’ll turn out i was wrong…the hopeless romantic in me. But i doubt it. I was engaged a couple of times when i was younger, but it wasn’t as if marriage was a real option, and so really it was just a nice ring and an even nicer promise (that turned out to be worth less than the cost of the ring, which was very cheap).

Statistics can be manipulated to support pretty much any point of view, but if you’re into em, you can see how divorce rates  already high and on the rise.

All my friends are getting married. I’m retreating further into myself.

Rearview Mirror – Part 1

13 May

I was born in the south of England in the 1980’s. My dad was 27, born and raised locally, his dad Irish, his mum an local. He has 2 brothers, 2 sisters. Although their family was relatively poor and (I think) my granddad struggled with alcohol abuse at sometime in his life, there was, by all accounts and certainly my own experiences of my nan and granddad, a lot of Love in their family. My mum was born in Ireland under the British flag, because my granddad served in the army there. She comes from a poor, uneducated family with a history of abuse (every kind you can imagine, and to extremes), neglect and alcoholism, and although I have reason to doubt everything she says, I think alot of what she has said about how she was raised is true, mostly because I’ve seen history repeating in her brothers and sisters, and because it goes some way to explaining why she is the way she is.

She was 17 when I was born, I imagine she met my dad, 10 years her senior, and thought he could be the escape she needed from the miserable home life she knew. He was freshly divorced from his first wife (who I don’t really know much about, except that she had mental health and drug abuse problems and was unfaithful to him) and dealing with the heartbreak of little contact with my older (half, technically) brother. From what I understand, dad fought for him in court, but paternal rights are insufficient now, so 30 years ago, I think they were pretty non-existent. So I guess both of my parents were a bit lost in the world when they met, had me, and married. In that order.

My memories pre 13 are pretty sporadic and hazy, to say the least. I dunno if that’s just how I am, a result of the amount of weed I’ve smoked, or that I don’t want to remember, or a combination of those things. It certainly wasn’t all bad, and in many respects, we were very fortunate and there were happy times. One of my earliest memories is dad letting me paint anything I wanted on the outside wall of out house, as he was painting over it. I can remember dad taking us out on a homemade sledge one winter when we had decent snow (big deal down here on the island, a bit of snow). Dad taking us swimming and ice skating, and later, me to Glastonbury festival.

Its funny how when you want to remember stuff, you cant…im trying to think of happy childhood memories that involve mum, I know they exist, but now I cant think of any. The nice memories of mum I can recall right now, seem to be tainted sad. Like, I can remember pretending to be sleeping as she stroked my hair…but oftentimes this was accompanied with an apology for loosing her temper or whatever, in the day. Did she know I was only pretending to be asleep? I didn’t think she did at the time, but with my adult eyes now, I cant imagine being that young and that good of an actress.

She used to spend a shed load of money at Christmas, buying us near enough anything we wanted. She did feel guilty. I know that she did, and does love me, in her own way, as best someone like her can love. I do believe she did try her best, even though she fucked up. I want to make that clear now. She’s only a product of her environment. To be frank, it’s a fucking miracle she did as well as she did, and we have only the medium debilitating psychological disturbances we have! It is a testament to how hard she tried…I often think, I could easily have been born as my cousins, her sisters kids, who had it infinitely worse than we ever did. Then I feel guilty and disgusted with myself for being so ungrateful, whiney, and pathetic. I try to remind myself that its all relative, and my suffering, the way I felt and feel, the negative impact it has and still has on my life, on the (stupid?) people that have had or have the misfortune of trying to love me, and try to remember, reassure myself, that my feelings are valid.

So I don’t really remember that much from childhood. I can remember being very lonely, walking around the playground looking at the leaves and my feet, at about the age of 5? 6? When I think of that time, I get a visualisation of leaves, woodchip and the concrete playground. I always felt sad, different, isolated, even then. I remember having friends, but I think I was always on the edges…I’d get invited to birthday parties (paranoid adult head: cos their parents made them invite me?), but I don’t remember playing at school much. Maybe I did, and just can’t remember?

I can remember being oddly interested in boys at that time, which is weird, cos I know I didn’t know what sex was. Once, me and the boy I fancied thought we had ‘done it’…but he had only laid on me, fully clothed. I ‘loved’ Daniel Attwood all through primary school. Maybe that’s normal? But it seems weird, I never think about it, only thinking about it now as a necessary bi-product of writing this, but for a 7 year old, I had really strong feelings for the poor sod! For a sustained amount of time (years!). Maybe, even then, I was desperate to be loved, a feeling that has never left me. Needless to say, the affection was never mutual, I was never his girlfriend, though lots of other pretty girls were.

I spent a lot of time at this age (as much as I could, infact) staying with my paternal nan and granddad. I felt safe and loved there. They were so kind to me, I feel so lucky to have been able to have that relationship with them, and I wonder what might have become of me if I hadn’t had their loving refuge to escape to. Ive tried to tell my nan (sadly, granddad died when I was 10) through a letter, but I don’t think she will ever really understand what she means to me, how much I love her for all she did for me back then, how much I always will.

I was not happy being at home. Even then, I felt like mum hated me. Nothing I ever did was worth anything, or good enough. Everyday, she would call me names I didn’t really understand until a little later (‘stupid bitch’ etc), half the time I never knew what I did wrong, and she would be screaming at me.

It felt like she only ever spoke to me to tell me to do something, or to tell me I didn’t do something right. I can vividly remember thinking ‘I bet she doesn’t even know what my favourite colour is’ I know that’s trivial, but the point is, she never bothered getting to know me, wasn’t interested in me at all, except for what I could do for her. Mostly, that was cleaning.

She has a severe (undiagnosed) OCD, probably because of her own filthy and neglectful upbringing (im talking literally shit on the walls). Every weekend, both days, my brother and I would have to clean for hours before we were allowed to do anything that might’ve considered usual for kids of our ages, if we were allowed (probably not, probably did something wrong or not good enough or complained too much so would be refused even after the work was done, as punishment). I literally cleaned our kitchen, countless times, with a toothbrush. Every day in the summer holidays, or half terms, we did this. Mondays was housework day: school nights, we’d clean from when we got home, until bedtime, and in the holidays we’d simply clean all day, from when we woke up, to when we collapsed in our beds, tired and miserable, at night. We knew we were missing out. The other kids never had to do anything like it, and so whilst we were cleaning, we could think of all the fun they were having, that we were missing out on (specially my bro, who was a popular kid).

My overriding memory from this time is of literally crying myself to sleep in the dark…’why does nobody love me?’ I feel sorry for that little girl, who doesn’t feel like me now.

There were only a few occasions when she was really physically abusive, that I can remember. I have felt so confused about it, for so, so long, because its really hard to put your finger on, to describe how my mum was cruel and hurt me, when she rarely actually was physical. I felt ( and sometimes still feel – it’s a constant battle) like I was just a whiney, whinging, ungrateful, spoiled brat.

The public face of my mum is very likable. Even to this day, very few people know what she is really like behind closed doors. On the face of it, if you had seen us or met her, you would have no reason to doubt she was anything other than a good wife and parent. She was even a foster parent for many years (that hurt… you’ve got the time for other children, to be patient and kind to other children, what’s so hideously wrong with me?). I can still see her eyes, the angry eyes she’d flash you when you had annoyed her, but other people were there, so she couldn’t deal with you in her usual way. I used to love it when social workers (for the foster kids, not us) were round, and mum would be so nice.

My mums forte is power games, weird manipulation and lies and tricks, but she was physically abusive a few times.

Generally though, mums abuse was cold and cruel and emotional – I honestly believe she probably, for the most part, had no idea she was doing it. Though some things do seem too premeditated, or to sustained, to excuse as impulse or anger. When I was about 9, I can remember her sticking my dirty knickers to the front door, with a sign saying ‘fringewalk’s pissy pants’, to humiliate me. I can’t remember what I had done wrong.

Its hard to explain how things were. Mum and her depression were the domineering factors in all our lives. Everything the family did was mums will, no one else was considered; mums happiness (which never, ever came) was always paramount.

My dad worked shifts and nights a lot back then. For a while, as much as I completely love and respect him, and as painful as it was to have the thought, I did wonder how he could have let it go on. As an adult, I’ve concluded it was a combination of factors; he wasn’t there much, he didn’t want to see it, he was probably just about managing with the responsibility of putting food on the table and, mainly, he was dominated and emotionally bullied by mum too. He is a very lovely, family orientated man, easy to take advantage of. Apart from a few mistakes he made not controlling his temper when my bro was a very difficult adolescent, I cannot fault him. If I had a choice; him and mum or completely different parents, I would choose him and mum all over again, so that I could have him in my life.

In the last couple of years he has *finally* divorced her, and is now recovering from the aftermath of the years of abuse he suffered.

Its taken a long time for me to allow myself to say I had an abusive childhood, for a number of reasons. Maybe in the last year, I’ve come to terms with ‘admitting’ it.

Firstly, so many people have it infinitely worse, it seems selfish and ignorant to moan about what happened to me.

Secondly; loyalty. I love my mum, in spite of her behaviour, I always will. Even more than that, I understand why she was how she was (and still is), and I feel sorry for her, she never really stood a chance, and as I have said, I do believe she tried. She was abused in ways I (thankfully) cant even imagine, she was very young when she had me and married dad, she got diabetes (and very fat) as a result of her pregnancy with me and her dad died just a few months after. She must’ve had severe post-natal depression, but back then it wasn’t really a known thing. It must’ve been incredibly difficult for her. Maybe it’s why she hated me. Her life strikes me as very tragic and sad.

I still wish I could help her, and it is with great sadness that I try to accept that I can’t, and never will be able to. It goes against everything that I try to believe in, but sometimes, it really is just too late. She is still exactly the same, and it is to dangerous to have her in my life. She will only use and hurt me, all the while pretending to be my friend. I’ve had very minimum contact with her over the last couple of years, and the one time i did se her and speak to her properly, it was a series of lies followed by manipulation and problems that followed. So i can’t let my gaurd down.

Thirdly, because of the public face, because it was only me she treated like that (not my bro really, except the cleaning), for all my life, I thought it was me, my fault, something wrong with me. No one else seemed to notice. Was I imagining it? Remembering it wrong? Attention seeking (which I am prone to)? Later, she turned out to treat my sister (who is 15 years younger than me) in the same way, so now i wonder if it’s just the girls?

It has only been these last few years, when everything has unravelled, that everyone has seen her for what she really is. The mask hasn’t just slipped; it’s fallen clean off, at least for those of us close to her. It wasn’t me, wasn’t my fault, and there is nothing wrong with me.

I still don’t feel this is the truth, the lessons she taught are very deeply entrenched in my psyche, so I try to be logical, look at the facts, and remind myself it is the truth.

Not that it matters all that much now. It is a relationship i will never understand despite continued effort, and one that haunts me. But I am grown, responsible for my own choices, my own sucesses and faliures. I need to accept and find worth within myself, i need to not just know, but realise that self-worth is not something to be given to me by anyone else, but something i scuplt for myself .

I know this, but i cannot realise it, it is not true for me, i still seek it else where because i cannot find it inside, i’ve been hardwired from an early age not to. And even that belief  is yet another excuse/self-fufilling prophecy/obstacle to self-esteem. Grrrr. It is very frustrating.

I think i started smoking weed aged about 16. It’s weird, cos I was always one of those ‘say no to drugs’ kids, and I never smoked cigarettes. I was a bright-ish kid, I got a few As in my GCSEs, I was involved in the school community (student rep, ran tuck shop, always involved in music/drama productions) etc.

When I was 16, I was dumped by the first boy I had ever ‘loved’. It was teenage, all encompassing, need-to-be-with-you-all-the-time, deliriously happy kind of love, but when I look back on it know, I am think I did love him, albeit in an immature way. Anyway – I didn’t take the rejection very well. I almost turned into a crazy stalker for a while, i was kind of in limbo, and heartbroken.

When I did finally realise it was definitely over, I kind of fell into a black hole. Its sort of embarrassing now, all melodramatic – but the pain was unbearable, and it affected my whole life. When I think about it now, I try to understand why it effected me so much – plenty of teenagers get their heart broken but they don’t self-destruct like I did. They cry and listen to music in their rooms, then they get over it and move on.

I tried to commit ‘suicide’, taking loads of paracetamol and my parents’ Prozac and hip-replacement medicine. I don’t think it was too serious an attempt, the infamous ‘cry-for-help’ more likely, but it was enough to give me a kind of lock-jaw for a couple days when the muscles in my jaw were almost locked closed and my legs were all tense and shaky, and I threw up a lot. It felt like really horrible flu, and it scared the shit out of me. What if i really fucked myself up?

Maybe quite tellingly, my parents didn’t notice. To be fair, I lived in a mobile home at the bottom of their garden by then, my sister was only about 2, and they both worked, so it’s easy to see how; they were busy. To this day they know nothing about this. They knew that I was a self-harmer after a teacher at school got in touch with them when I was about 11 (I think), but to this day I don’t think they have any idea how isolated and alone and miserable I was at this time and through most of my childhood. Most of my life. Ungratful twat.

After the ‘suicide’ attempt (feels weird seeing that in black and white, even though i know it wasn’t as bad as the words implies), everything was the same. I started drinking vodka a lot, straight from the bottle. I slept with 6 people in a few weeks, some whom I did not know and have not seen since, some of which were supposed to be ‘friends’.

My ex-boyfriend, G, (not the one who had broke my heart, but one who’s heart im sure I broke), who remained my good friend, took care of me, and drove me about for hours on end. I only felt ok when we were driving, I don’t know why. I suppose when we were driving I wasn’t sat around trying to deal with the feeling in my stomach.

I owe a lot to G and the compassion and love he showed me during that time – he was the only person who was there for me, and im very lucky to have had him, even though i didn’t deserve him and ultimately, i think i used him and treated him badly (which i have since profusely apologised for). He was my boyfriend off and on from the age of 14 to 18, it was a serious relationship, but i think i would have had anyone who would take me, i was so desperate for love. I never really considered if i felt it or if it was real. I don’t know why i didn’t fancy him that much, he’s a great guy and he’s very good looking. Maybe it was because he treated me so well.

I asked G to get me some hash during this time, i just wanted to get out of my own head. I had been with him and a few of our friends when they had smoked before, but up until then I had always refused it and made them promise not to go onto harder drugs (which is funny now, given my drug experiences). G was at university at the time and got an eight of hash from his friend there. We had one of those pipe/tube things you can attach to a beer bottle and make a bong from- neither of us smoked baccy or could roll. That first eighth lasted agggggeeesss.I would have a little pipe every now and then, nothing serious. I couldn’t roll a proper joint then, i had to use a rolling machine on the odd occasion i did smoke one. For a while, i was an occasional smoker, until i began probably my most significant (and damaging) relationship with a full time smoker.

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