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This is a longer post than usual. I am quite agitated. My electronic world is beginning to impinge on my right to peaceful enjoyment. My stomach is in uproar: I do not know if this is anxiety, antibiotics I’m taking for a nasty water infection or the cream based raspberry compote I ate yesterday (it was tiny!).

I suspect it’s a little of all three, though I suffer the latter two with fortitude. I do not, however, suffer the former with any thing other than dread, anxiety, a sense of impending doom, the desire to flee conflict and the utterly infuriating insomnia as a result of mentally writing letters. Fine! said I, and roused myself from bed.

Time was when one could read ones emails on an evening and find nought but fun and smiles. Now it’s a Temple of Doom. The worst offender being The Letting Agents, but we’ll save them for last. Let us deal with a person who recently befriended me on-line; we play scrabble. As a result of our conversations, he says he would like to meet me.

Whoa. I did not sign up for this. What do I want? You might be satisfied about me as a person, but I remain unconvinced, even though you do pleasantly surprise me… He is the uncle of a friend of a friend, and when I approached the mutual friend about this, she spoke positively about him, saying she was meaning to introduce us as we have similar interests. Indeed we do.

But I’m not in a meeting people frame of mind. I’m in a paranoid and anxious frame of mind: unwilling to make myself feel vulnerable to any extent. I have enough going on with out adding ‘new people’ to the mix. To his credit, he hasn’t pushed since I said I would think about it, but today, I had to show him my feminist credentials. After I shrugged at his baiting and replied ‘three strikes and you get relegated’. He admitted to feeling a little hurt.

While I have no desire to hurt anyone – I do not have the desire to massage any mans wounded ego. Whether I like them or not. This is my motivation for all to witness: I am not allowing any form of external fuckery to dominate my life.

Which brings me on to the woman who is coordinating volunteers at a place I have expressed interest in. I have the feeling that as a former volunteer she is eager to show that she has the capacity to lead and coordinate. However, she is going to have to apply her belt and braces approach elsewhere. I find a phone call, a text message and two emails somewhat excessive. If I have missed a call, an email OR text would suffice. Please, step back, sister.

And then The Letting Agent. Dear Letting Agent, Section 27 – 33 of The Housing Act 1988 (Right to peaceful enjoyment). This is the thing that is keeping me awake. This is the thing that is creating an undue sense of insecurity. Today, I received two emails, from two different people, seeking access to my property on two separate days one week apart. One of the emails states the landlord will let himself in if I aren’t home.

No. He will not. No, no, no no. Hey nonny no!

They want to inspect the property, as is their right. Only, this will be the fourth inspection in 17 months. Enough. If The Landlord wants to remortgage the property, he can have the valuation done while I am present. There is no reason in my mind why they can not combine the two.

Before you get to thinking that is all… When I first moved in, I had a subcontractor try to gain access to the property, both with out permission and with out warning. Worse, I was in bed at the time, and in a state of dishabille had to call out to get him to stop trying to force entry. The door is not jammed, it is locked!

I thought that I had made myself clear at that point: I would always insist on Myself or an Agent Acting on My Behalf being present for any repairs, inspections or other requirements needing access (emergencies excepted as per The Housing Act 1988). I am therefore most upset to see in writing “the landlord will let himself in”. No. Just no.

Also, on the subject of inspections, it is not the job of contractors to carry out ad hoc inspections when they come to do a repair. I knew at the time that I should have raised a grievance, but you know, I’ve had a bit on. Furthermore, the contractor was asked to look at a none existent problem with damp. I have never had damp. I believe the previous tenant did, due to a hole in the roof, but it was successfully fixed.

What she is talking about is mold in the bathroom. Mold which I was told to leave untreated so they could check the progress of, and if necessary treat with another coat of anti-fungal, anti-mildew paint. Which I did. Which was then subsequently signed off as satisfactory. Which I am now worrying about.

This all needs to be put in a letter. But as several people have told me I seem angry, I am even more keen to get my tone right, lest it lead to eviction for antifuckingsocialbastardbehaviour. Of course I am angry, and legally, in this instance, I have a right to be, but still: I am tired of living embattled. I am tired of living under the threat of poverty (worse poverty) and homelessness.

I whole heartedly refuse to believe that my behavior is some how unreasonable, or unwarranted. I am feeling particularly vulnerable at present, and I do not have a constant ally on whom I can rely “to act as a buffer”. There’s just me and some boundaries. I am adamant they and I, will be respected.

Before I begin, I have to tell you I am sick of resetting my password every time I sighn in. I want a cigarette. A mcfonals burger (u no hu I mean). And I want to get laid: well and often. I don’t think these are unreasonable requests, only 2 of the 3 will kill me, the third being mildly perilous. Well, the third is probably more likely to kill me presently but this is a wish list, shut up.

Having made a cross declaration to several people that I felt trapped by my inability to sculpt, someone said you can always use free things. Did I want to stab that person in the head? Yes, I did. Mindfulness, be damned. So and so uses cardboard, they’ve made some amazing things… blah blah kill me.

I want what I want, and for a change I’m going to get it. A friend has offered to be my patron. Imagine. A proper patron. It’s not enough to earn a living kind of patron, but it is a life saving and life affirming door opening kind of patron. I will be making ceramics very soon.

I’m still fighting the fight with the meds and sleep, but I have slept. Can you tell? I re-read some of my old prose and its really bloody good. Shame my recent stuff is very much me circa 1994. Painful. I’m bored of this bit already. Let’s move on.

I decided to accept a place on an assertiveness course. So far I have learned that you can ask for things and you will be given them. No, really. I needed help with travel, I got it. I told them I couldn’t eat their biscuits they bought me gluten free ones. This has been a week or two of receiving. How pleasant.

The assertiveness course… I’m. I’m. I’m.

Look. Things need to change in women’s services.

Women need to be stopped being asked to prevent their own abuse.

Seriously.

Just stop it.

And this notion that a ‘bad man’ is always a ‘bad man’ needs to change too. We need to be taught how to spot these bastards before we go to bed with them. That’s the problem isn’t it. They come with hearts and flowers and smiles first.

Apparently, assertive people talk with a warm voice. I told her I had issue with that. She was a bit surprised. Half the reason why myself and my class mates are in the mess we are in is because of our warm words and forgiving natures. We are saps. ill equipped to deal with the more predatory of our species.

We are here to get help to route them out before they bleed us dry. The bosses, friends, boyfriends, parents: whom ever chooses to leech off us… And we won’t learn how to do that with your Disney villain caricatures. We are no princesses, there are no knights, there is no justice. Just us and a packet of biscuits, gluten free or otherwise.

I got flashed, people, that’s what happened. I had to hit that man to get him to leave me alone (he started to follow me). I told him I was going to hit him, and then I popped him, twice. My wrist was sore for weeks. When I asked you who the Boss was a few posts back, I meant my answer, I’m the freakin Boss.

I have to clear a few things up… It wasn’t my stepfather that stopped the counselling it was my mother. My mother went out of her way to make my 40th Birthday a bit of an extravaganza. I start the writing course in two weeks, and I am going to resurrect my book. I’m volunteering for two projects and I’m applying for a writing internship, a paid one! I am learning to make my own clothes.

After living in dire straights for so long a little money goes a long way. So when I nervously asked for money for my birthday, I was very pleased to find myself the proud owner of £300. I bought a lot of material and I fished out my Nan’s sewing machine. I am halfway through making my first pair of trousers.

I also bought three pairs of shoes from Blend. I spent my 30th sailing the fjords of Norway and traveling through the mountains, during that time I bought some trainers. I took a pair in every colour they had: green, blue, red, orange… Something made me look them up this year (nostalgia) and there they were. Now, thanks to the wonder of having friends in foreign places and an internet connection I am proud owner of said trainers. £50 for the lot. Thank you, very much.

I was treated to a weekend away by my mum. We did nothing but eat and drink for three days. We even managed not to descend into complete anarchy. Which is somewhat shocking since we were both drinking. I decided to give up for a few days trying to avoid ‘drunk mother’. Amazingly, my new counsellor ain’t that bad, and I’ve moved from a place of anger to real forgiveness. Not the sticking plaster kind, but a lasting forgiveness. I’m glad because anger is exhausting. So is drinking, I don’t know how people find the stamina to become addicted…

Whilst I was preparing for this writing course, I went through my books and found ‘the book’. I couldn’t put it down, even I want to know how it turns out! It’s also given me the confidence to apply for an internship as a writer. I do not publicise this blog not just because I want to maintain my anonymity, but because I fear my own writing. I worry about my consistency, I worry about my pitch and I am terrified of my grammar. I might not if I renamed the blog “Fuck off, I am Dyslexic” but I’m trying to work on my amiability.

I had a few interviews, which after years of having none is a bloody relief, and while volunteering is not ideal it does give me something to concentrate on. Both projects are in areas that I feel particularly challenged so I am hoping to get as much out as I put in this time. My waistline is also thanking me. I signed up to OKSTUPID again. I don’t know why I bother because most of them scare me, but it’s something to do to relieve the ongoing tragicomic monotony that is my life post recession.

My orchids bloomed. I stopped smoking. And I got thanked for being a feminist!

The doctors want to charge me £25 for their evidence, the reason being the work is private not NHS. The DWP could access the information they want for free, but the onus is on me to provide information they already have access to. I know a song about this: I’ve heard it before.

Similarly, I have heard the song I’m about to detail. Let’s do it Tickertapemind style.

  • There’s a knock on the door. I open it.
  • My neighbor from downstairs thrusts a piece of paper in my hand: “Do you know anything about this?”.
  • I scan the paper, shake my head and try to give it back.
  • He refuses to take it.
  • I ask him if he will take the paper from my hand.
  • His face contorts and he tells me to hang on a minute (preparing some kind of speech).
  • I throw the paper to the ground and tell him I won’t tolerate him coming to my door like this.
  • He stands outside my now closed door and verbally abuses me, “Fucking bitch” etc.
  • I tell my friend, who I happened to be on the phone with, “I have to go”.
  • I open the door and tell the man not to knock on my door again, ever. He thinks this is his opportunity to continue his tirade. I shout pointedly, “No. You listen to me: do not ever come to my door again”.
  • I come inside and call the police. While on the phone the police tell me my friend is also on the line.
  • An hour later an officer visits. At the end of their information gathering session, he tells me “not to rise to it”.
  • The officer knocks on the neighbour’s door; he does not answer.

Apparently, I am responsible for my neighbour’s behaviour. How about fuck off. How about not only is it understandable that I shout at this man, but it is an acceptable means of asserting a boundary invasion. How about, the man not come to my door at all. Since he lives on the floor below he has come out of his way to thrust paper at me.

How about, it doesn’t matter if I did or didn’t make a noise pollution complaint. How about, it’s not appropriate to ask me what he does for a living. Or question me about his day to day movements. Or ask me any question that would be better answered by the man who so rudely interrupted my telephone call.

How about people stop and think about why it is they believe his behaviour is somehow precipitated by mine. He had a number of choices to make and he chose to lose his temper and accuse and verbally abuse me. How about, he takes responsibility for his own actions, and does what ever he has been asked to do with out complaint. How about he stop projecting bullshit at me.

How about people stop victim blaming women.

I have the right to feel safe at home.

So last night was a tough night. I took a tablet that I know knocks me out, I usually only take half a tablet when I need it for pain, but…

A while ago I remember looking at websites for warning signs of psychopaths. I wanted to know what other people seemed to know, and more importantly, I wanted to avoid being drawn into abusive relationships. I need to avoid being drawn into abusive relationships. I have utterly reached my limit with them. A friend of mine asked me to compile a list of ‘tells’ that we could use to create a ‘safe space’ in a business that we are trying to set up.

I didn’t really know where to start. And then it dawned on me last night: I do. And I have the perfect example of it in operation. My neighbour is not a psychopath, but he is a thoroughly horrible person. Possibly an alcoholic. definitely a grade A arsehole. For the last two years I have been slowly indoctrinated in to ‘how to be a perfect neighbour of 32’. It’s only over that last several months that I have realised just how bad things have been, and how traumatic the experience is having to relive the kind of oppression and abuse that I used to have to live with as a child.

We don’t want to make the links; we close our eyes; but there comes a time when our eyes are opened for us. There comes a time, where a series of events forces your brain to acknowledge the severity of the situation you are living with. And once opened, they can not forget what they have seen. This is where I am. Tackling historic neglect and abuse, while trying to manage it in my day-to-day life. It’s exhausting. But the thing I realised last night, I am an educated grown woman, with a voice. I can change my circumstances. I can unlearn ‘learned helplessness’. There is help and I am going to take it.

Here is how it works. I’ve told you all before, I’m sure… Your silence is a pre-requisite for continued abuse. Now listen here, before you go all victim blaming on yourself. It is not your fault you have been silent. It’s not my fault I have been silent, say it with me. It is not my fault I have been silent, but now I realise I have been silent, I will not be silent anymore. You go and you find that person that will listen AND help you move out of victimhood. We don’t live here, not any more. We have new rules to live by, and they are made by us, not them.

I called the police today. When the neighbour pulled up in the car, he got out of the car and called me a something ‘shit’. I just picked the phone up and called the police. They asked me what had led up to him calling me a something ‘shit’ and I said, ‘my front door is open’. When the police officer asked me in that disbelieving tone of voice, “what else happened”, I didn’t own that and think oh god they don’t believe me. I thought, I barely believe it myself mate! And I live next door to it. When I replied calmly and clearly that the door being open WAS the provocation, he asked me further questions. I was then able to tell him about the harassment order.

There is a new thing now, they ask you how you feel. How does it make you feel. Well I barely know, because I’m not used to being able to give voice to my feelings, as and when they happen. I’m not used to taking positive action in the moment. That kind of thing would have led to all manner of idiocy in my childhood days. But I am not a child. And I am not a victim. I am a person who is being intimidated, by another person who has his own reasons for acting like the very devil.

How do I feel? Right now, I feel focused and empowered. I feel future focused and slightly energised. I feel ready to take this man on, and push back those boundaries.

How did I feel at the time? Intimidated, nervous, on edge, anxious, frustrated… I know there will be some people out there thinking ‘brush it off’. ‘Sticks and stones’, but with this type of harassment, no out right display of physical violence or aggression is necessary, he already set that up two years ago.

He proved that he would drive his car at me in the street, the message being clear, “I will run you over”, “You will be punished”, “This is my street”. I once heard his visitor ask him how I got in and out of the house, and he told her that I used the back door, she just said, “oh”, and accepted that. I almost did too, it seems reasonable, doesn’t it? I park here, because she uses the back door. The truth is a little different isn’t it. I use the back door because I do not want to be driven at. I use the back door because I have been threatened with violence if I am seen in the street and he is in his car.

His bullying days are numbered. I AM going to use the front door and use the street, and if he drives at me, I WILL report him to the police. I will report every incident, from the vile words, to the door kicking and on. I will list and log every incident. I will not ‘only tell people of the worst of it’ I will tell of every look and glance designed to threaten, control and manipulate me. He cannot bank on my silence anymore. He can not control my life any further.

There is a new boss in town, and it’s me.

It would be a lie to say that I was a non-smoker since I smoke nearly every week. I began eating meat again. I went out and got laid. He’s an alright bloke, but he’s not for me: maybe he just doesn’t want to be for me. Anyway, we are friends, so at least we’ve lost nothing. We met when I started drinking again. I read an article that said that will power was finite. Being jobless and in the pit of grief trying to hold onto my sanity, something had to give. So, I let it all go (again, with the letting go!).

I called a friend, snot nosed and said this was the worst impersonation of ‘Love, eat, pray’ or what ever the hell that was, that I’d ever witnessed and I’ve seen a lot of messed up puppies in my time. She laughed and said, “You’re not messed up. You’re living. Get used to it”. I decided there was little else I could do actually, so I settled in for the ride. I believe the Buddhists call it developing renunciation.

Then I finally found a freakin job. Hallelujah!

Kind of got sacked because 1) My line manager and I knew each other from a previous job and we both knew it wouldn’t last long, 2) It ended a lot quicker than we both thought it would because I almost burnt the hostel down. Strictly speaking it wasn’t my fault, but still, it was a very close call. We both learned something that day: She’s a person living in fear and my hostel days are over because I just don’t have the love for it like I used to.

I let that go too. Just slunk off and never looked back. Even when I was pleading for my job, we both looked at each other through the facades we’d built knowing that neither of us wanted me to get my job back. But I worked long enough to pile a little bit of cash up. Knowing this might be the last pile o’ cash I see for a while I thought, “fuck it”. I’m going to get drunk. My birthday month was wild. I don’t even remember living like that in my teens, I just went nuts.

As the second half of August pulled into sight I said to myself that I was going to straighten out again and start the soul destroying process of finding work. Then I got drunk and slept with my friend again. We had a big talk a few weeks later about how we were just going to be friends, then we had sex on the sofa. It’s pretty funny you know. At some points I just laughed and laughed and laughed… Grief works in mysterious ways. My friends are phenomenal that’s all I can say. They really have carried me this year, and I will say it till I’m blue in the face, I have had no choice but to let them. At first, I waved to my pride as I passed by, but then it caught me up again all refreshed and wearing new clothes.

What now then?

1) I’m still allergic to the cat.
2) I have a zero hour contract working a bar.
3) I’m still looking for better hours.
4) I stopped writing the book. I don’t have time to research it properly.
5) I created my own event. (It went down really well).
6) I won some funding to be able to put my event on again in a different venue.
7) I’m applying for further funding to take it further afield.
8) I said I’d help a friend with his events. We are gaining a lot of interest and some very serious people are asking questions.
9) I’m going to have to set up new blogs about both of these events, because other wise, I’ll lose the anonymity of this blog. Some of you have come so far with me on my inner journey, that I wouldn’t want to lose you because I couldn’t continue writing with the same level of freedom I enjoy now.

I hope you are well. I’ll post the writing I did for my event when I’ve typed it up. Till then, have a listen to this my loves…

I renounced Buddhism.  I said to myself this is not working!  I realised my life was not shifting.  I had a brief thing with a disrobed Buddhist monk.  This thing we had, full of friction and misunderstandings, brought me back to Buddhism.  If you have been following for a while, you’ll know that I am ever contrary.  I was super focused and full of I’ll show you, but he showed me.

I went for refuge, dedicated a set amount of time to prayer and reflection.  I chose the Green Tara Puja, twice a day for three weeks. It was like something from ‘Eat, Love, Pray’ or what ever it’s called.  I spent a lot of time crying and shouting.  During that time I decided to go volunteer at my local Buddhist Centre, got rid of my mad monk and tried for a job in Housing.

I believe that is where I left you?  Since then the centre has upped my days and made me chief soup maker.  Each week I make soup for 40 people; it’s incredible the quality of reflecting you do chopping onions. They offer more days, but anyone who has worked in a cafe will be able to tell you it is hard work. I am unable to take more on.

Where was I?

1) I volunteer in the cafe.
2) I’ve submitted an article for a website, for a paid gig.
3) I am designing an album cover, which I am being paid for.
4) I went on a retreat to the biggest Temple in Britain and had the most amazing time.
5) I am letting go. Ha! I know! But seriously, I really am letting go.
6) I work for a Talent Agency as a Social Media Officer and they want to give me more work.
7) I am still getting rid of the mountain of possessions that I acquired in the old flat. I had a lot of stuff.
8) I am practicing mindfulness every day.
9) I’m speaking up.
10) I am learning to stay with who I am, not who I was. Or rather, now I can no longer hide behind my work as a Hostel Support Worker, I am figuring out who I am really. Turns out, I’m quite shy underneath this balshy exterior.
11) I’m still allergic to the cat!
12) I recently went on a date with a nice man, who wanted to see me again. I declined, as nice as he was, he wasn’t for me. I’m still looking.

I laugh every day, speak with my friends and loved ones regularly, spend time on my own through choice and work on my house (it’s a bit more broken than I thought it was). I’m looking forward to better weather so I can get out walking again, I miss it. I haven’t written anymore for the book, but it is still there, waiting patiently for my return. And I am returning. I’m going back to the beginning and doing things right this time, slowly and with patient effort.

Happy Spring.

As a child and teenager I used to enter these periods and I would endure them for a short while and shake them off like water. I’d make a motivation and step through walls and climb mountains. The time I experienced the Long Dark Night of the Soul, I sincerely thought that I would not make it out alive. Until of course I shook that off also. It took years. Maybe 10, maybe 14. I still functioned, I progressed in many ways, in ways that were unexpected. And yet, on other levels, I was barely alive. I was moving through this world like a ghost.

Despite acquiring wealth, possessions, stability, a degree, a reputation as a person with integrity among friends and within my career… I felt like a fraud. At times I was angry and anti-social, at times I was classically depressed, at the lowest point I was 100% convinced that there were secret messages hidden in songs, which contained clues about how to resolve my emotional pain. Fortunately, I had an infatuation with a Muslim man who talked to his Imam about me. His Imam said I was seeking refuge in music, ever the Contrarian I said, “I’ll show you”! I wrote a poem and then silenced my stereo for the better part of 3 years.

These songs? This endless list of songs I play, they are just songs with lyrics or melodies that move me. They may be relevant to my current emotional state, they may not, they may be directed at one person, a group or solely at myself; they are all just songs. Audio glitter to sparkle dreary days and nights, there are no secret messages contained within.

There is an understanding that none of this even remotely matters. In my heart of hearts I know that I can unravel this life, right now. I could just choose to walk out of the door and disappear into the night. Thousands of people do it every year, some stay gone for days, weeks, months… some for years. Personally, I have always known that regardless of how far I travel I will always have to take myself with me. And so I ran away standing still; in comfort.

I used to engage in day dreams in absence of action. When I was trapped by my circumstances I resorted to my rich and fertile imagination. Sometimes, these fantasies bled into real life and I was dragged into a shared reality when other people strayed from my script. I hated it when people did not respond in accordance with my dreams. I used to mind read. That is to say, I used to believe that I knew what other people where thinking and feeling, and would rarely ask even reasonable questions.

Since my grandmother died, I entered a period of existential crisis. I am not depressed, I am not stressed, I am slightly numb, occasionally angry (I am not patient); I have chosen to experience this state of being as a period of waiting. I am waiting. What am I waiting for? The bodies of my enemies to pass me by? No. Sometimes our enemies have the most valuable lessons to teach us. What I am waiting for is a revelation.

I am waiting for a door, that once opened wide can not be closed, that will not be ignored. I’m waiting for the wisdom to recognise that door when I see it, rather than when I’ve gone so far passed it I’ve lost it. In the mean time I am meditating on my weaknesses and learning what to do with them. Accept them or develop them into strengths. I know that any time I can change this life, with a word, a thought, an action. I am not powerless. I might not be fully self actualising, or perhaps in going for refuge, I *am*.

These are dangerous times. The world is going crazy. We can only make it a better place by being as authentic as we can, with ourselves and other people. We have to learn that sometimes the people who smile the most tell the most damaging lies. We have to understand that other people sometimes have a vested interest in making sure we fail. It absolves them of having to take responsibility for their own lives and subsequently the consequences of their own choices.

We have the power to unravel this life, now. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective, sometimes it requires something more radical. But we, no one else, are responsible for our current realities. The only advice I have that is of any use is this: When making decisions make sure mind, body and soul are in alignment. A sense of calm will help you know when you have made the right choice, and you will be able to act with authenticity. Be kind. Yes, to yourself and other people.

Play Your Cards To Your Heart – Groove Armada

I had a fall a last Monday and hurt my left leg. I’m able to walk on it, but I have significant bruising and the pain keeps me awake at night. Combine this with ‘next door neighbours’ and some life issues and I am sleepless in Bradford. I’m a night owl, it has always been thus. They are larks, they have probably always been thus. I am in a lark sandwich.

There are other things on my TickerTapeMind. I’m thinking about communication and miscommunication. I’m thinking about if we can change who we are, and if we can, should we? I’m thinking about normal and what is expected of us by society and I am thinking about ‘Nothing’.

This could be a long post, already I am wondering how long, so I may take this in two parts. The primary thought is how I’ve been neglecting my men folk. My women folk are all genned up with my second hand knowledge, not so much the men; why is this? Any of the above for example?

I had to learn to communicate efficiently. I had to acknowledge that I could not change the people I love. I can get new people, but I am sure they will come with new communication issues. I am certain that I am being as authentic as I am able and have changed what I can from what I want to change. But my pathological cycles began to hamper my well being. I needed to move beyond, in order to make a new life.

I’m about 85% there. My most recent trip to therapy resulted in “Why are you really here?” The answer was to learn that I was in fact OK. That the only thing that was wrong, was that I had forgotten that I was doing really well and interacting with the people around me in much better terms. Not only had I progressed, but the people around me had noticed this and wanted to progress also. They had begun their own journeys. I myself began mine through observing someone elses.

How did we do it? I’ll tell you: AQA Listening Skills and CBT. That and allowing myself to receive love and compassion. By ignoring the permanent berating of my inner parent and by nourishing my inner child. I don’t mind if you think this is all bunkum, or pop psychology, you are obviously happy with your patterns and cycles if you think that way. Good luck to you!

Personally, I needed to know that what I said would be accepted the way it was intended. I needed to know that I could say something and felt heard and understood. I knew that something was wrong when I was always getting into arguments when I was trying to ‘make things better’. Of course, some people have a vested interest in deliberately misunderstanding, but if you take my advice you will know that it is not for lack of trying on your part. You can have your say and then feel completely satisfied when you tell them to “Go fuck yourself”.

AQA Listening Skills to learn how to listen properly. CBT to learn how to talk properly. I am certain in days gone by the community would have taught us how to do this is; via extended family, being receptive to the wisdom of our elders and having time to sit and receive. But this is not days gone by and they may never come again. Let me be clear, this is not going to take five minutes. If you take my advice you are signing up for a year or so of study and self improvement. Ask yourself this: “Can I live the way that I have been living for another 5 years?”. If not, take my advice.

AQA Listening Skills or an equivalent, involves practical sessions with a peer group. You may be able to do the course on-line, but if you need to learn how to listen, well then you are going to have to be with people. CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This learning how to recognise our cycles and thought patterns and how to break them, it is about learning to identify our true emotions (independent to those around us) and it is about communicating authentically with the people we interact with.

You have everything you need. The best answers are the most simple ones, but do not think for a second they are going to be easy answers. Be prepared for your world to get a bit messier, be prepared to wonder why the hell you thought this was a good idea.

This is why you will need to allow yourself to receive love and compassion, because when you change the way you interact with the people you love, they fight back. They say things like: You’ve changed, I don’t know you any more, Why are you always so angry, You are pathetic… Just remember, this will pass. They will accept the new you (eventually) and they may even be inspired by you to make a change in their own lives.

Lots of love from your absent and distracted friend,
TickerTapeMind.

1) Send out an email. There are too many recipients for this email. So send out 5 emails. Do some social media stuff.

2) Download something. Download a bittorrent. Download a template. Down load the thing. Install the thing. Do something to the thing. Re-upload the thing.

3) Arts council funding bid for a really bloody good project, that someone has potentially plagiarised from me. Why didn’t I keep my stuff more secret? Why didn’t I apply for more funding? Why did I get disheartened at the first hurdle and throw it all away.

4) Apply for a job.

5) Make a poster

6) Finish a piece of art and find someone to by it, so I can fulfill a promise I made.

7) Put some stuff on a bidding site to sell.

8) Take some things to charity. More things.

9) Respond to an email from an old friend saying thanks but no thanks… Why aren’t these people leaving me alone? It’s been years… What am I to conclude from the fact that people I am trying to leave behind refuse to be left?

10) Sort out volunteering at the local Buddhist Centre.

11) Send a reminder email to someone about volunteering my time to give benefits advice to people who are in need.

12) Go pick up somethings from a friends. Do things with the things.

13) Apply oil paints to an existing piece of art (recently made).

14) Call my mum.

15) Stop devoting brain energy to certain people, who are not even in the same city as me.

16) Write more book.

17) Call my dads and brother

and on and on and on and on and on and on and on… It feels like a land slide… I have to make some doctors appointments and attend some clinics too. I just want a hug really. From someone who loves me. A real physical hug, from a man, who loves me. I’d like to sleep properly and I’d like to move again. I’m feeling really claustrophobic.

I did manage to do several positive things today, but then someone stole my joy by telling a rape joke. It wasn’t funny. They never are. Did you know that if you tell someone who has told a rape joke that they are not funny, you reduce instances of rape. FACT. Don’t be a baby dude, tell your friend he’s not funny. I would, but we all know what happens when ‘teh menz’ are ask by women not to be arseholes.

Get Here If You Can – Oleta Adams.