Archives for category: Housing

I’m absolutely incredulous at the amount of time it is taking to move out of this phase. I can tell you how I got here: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, philosophically, sociologically, economically… I have done the reading as a means of trying to find my way out of it.

The last time I healed an emotional wound I looked back and I could list accomplishments like ‘got a degree’. I clearly could not have been doing ‘nothing’ in that time. It’s just that then, as now, I did it all in a haze of dissociation. I was completely overwhelmed by my circumstances whilst refusing to bow to them.

I have to some extent let life wash over me. Sometimes believing that I was giving myself a kind of spiritual once over. I think that’s probably bunkum. I’m just immensely lonely, and very sad. I can not tolerate how deeply I feel that life is passing me by. One year rolls into the next, and I think with each passing year, “you’ve never been so fat”, “so lacking in energy”… and think of all the things that I could have done.

I was the first in my family to get a degree, I was the first to have a career, I went sailing, I engaged in the arts, I actively threw off the shackles of poverty and went to get mine. And now capitalism is functioning like it aught to, the middle and upper classes are squeezing me out of work and maintaining their privilege. And I miss my life.

Knowing this is what’s happening doesn’t make it easier to cope. It highlights the injustices and reinforces my lack of confidence. It successfully gaslights me into compliance. I am the only one complaining. The only other person that understood how this feels, declines to talk to me.

So here I am. Equally loathing myself for feeling sorry for myself, and trying to pep talk myself into taking the least awful routes out of this impasse. I already gave up on taking PIP to tribunal AGAIN, because of the fucking psych evaluation that I had done. The one that confirmed that other than depression (because of my circumstances) I am in fact perfectly sane.

In the long run, this long line of CPN’s and psychiatrist’s and counsellor’s stamp of sanity will be beneficial, but right now, it feels like chains. I am running out of ways to defend myself self against the social. I am living in terror that eventually they are going to sanction me, and that my worst fear will come true: I will end up homeless again.

I can’t handle the pride I feel, and the shame that lives with it. I hate to admit to anyone that knows me that I am out of work. It’s the worst kept secret I’m sure everyone knows, but it’s my Achilles heal. I got a degree, just to end up on the dole. Just who did I think I was anyway.

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.

As I sink into yet another abyss, I reach out to support agencies for help. I hear the same refrain again and again. “Step back”, “Be kind to yourself”, “Take it easy”, “You’ve been through more in 5 years than some have in decades, don’t put so much pressure on yourself”. This is victim blaming. It’s not often I identify as a victim. But I feel it so keenly at the moment.

The pressure is not coming from within me: it is external to me and is being exerted on many thousands of people. Some of whom have buckled under the weight and have taken their own lives.

I have been close.

I am close.

I am tired.

As a person being forced to look for work that she is not well enough to do, I am being persecuted by the state. Why? Because I am poor. I can not afford to recuperate with out state assistance. As I try and address the mess that led to this disaster, I have to search for work, under the threat of losing what little money I have. This is tantamount to financial abuse.

I have worked. I have worked hard. I have paid taxes. I have raised myself up, from my externally perceived humble beginnings, educated myself, and the reward for my self sufficiency is victim blaming and abuse. Even in my addled state, I can provide better support for myself, than the agencies that I have reached out to for assistance.

Even, as the pressure mounts, and my myriad low level illnesses conspire together to create the impression that I am going to die from anxiety, I am best placed to help my self. All I need is time, or money, or a little of both. Instead, what time I might have is being permanently diverted to other less deserving things. Or more deserving but ought not to be.

Such as : Have I enough food to eat; Can I cover my rent this month; Is buying this cheap food worth the resulting pain I will end up in; Am I going to pull another muscle if I walk to the doctors and back; Will I sleep tonight; Can I squeeze another few wears out of these jeans before they finally give in.

What absolutely makes me howl, is the fact that a woman of my age, and my size being actively discriminated against in the work place, in one of the most underprivileged cities in the UK is being forced to look for work for people who will not employ her. Take my ‘free to them’ labour, yes, but not employ me for remuneration.

Where exactly am I supposed to take refuge in this mess? Am I being mindful they ask. Are you fucking kidding me? I am nothing but mindful. ‘You’ tell me? You keep telling me about how self aware I am… AM I MINDFUL? I am too mindful. I am too keenly aware of what is happening to me, and completely unable to do anything about it. This way madness lies.

Sometimes, mindfulness, in your secular sense of the word is a middle class luxury. It is a kind of mindfulness that I can not afford.

And the patronizing! Dear god above have some small mercy on me. Someone praised me learning to make my own clothes. This, I am told, is mindful. Well, it may be, if I could actually get on. Only I’m so sleep deprived that I can not follow the instructions and I dare not use the machine for fear of stitching over my fingers.

Something terrible happened yesterday.
I don’t want to talk about it today.
I’m at a friend’s cat sitting.
I’m in a lot of pain; physical and emotional.
A friend wants to know if I need anything, I already said what I needed, I’ve been saying it for months.
I look at my friend’s house and I’m transported to desperately sad and unhappy times.
Every surface is covered. Every surface has something on it. Every. Surface.
There is no view.
I think I’m allergic to her house as much as I am her cat.
I can’t believe the years I have lost to my shit.
All of it, physical and emotional.
Other people could see it, but I couldn’t.
Or at least I did not want to.
Why?
Because I was so very sad, and lonely.
Sometimes I think I haven’t moved on at all, but when I look back to yesterday, I think I’m starting to win.
It’s my time to win.
I so desperately need to travel, it’s killing me staying put. I don’t know how to make it happen, but I have to try find a way. Especially before the world implodes. Honestly, I’m really feeling the political disasters presently.
I feel like I’m in a race against time.
Only this isn’t as much fun as crystal maze.
My pain killers are kicking in now.
I hope I can sleep.
I’m wondering if I have enough masochism left in me to spend another night.
Someone called to invite me to a writing course, I can’t believe the range of emotions swirling around this one.
What is my main aim?
Freedom!
Does writing set me free, or does freedom give life to my writing.
I think we all know the answer to that.

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.

03.33… I wish it were a song title. It’s not. It’s the time. At 11.15 I’m supposed to be viewing a flat. I don’t know what’s happening really, other than I’m here writing this blog. On the 18th April, my wonderful friend, “That damned cat” passed away. She had diabetes, the kind that cannot be treated with tablets. After many vets trips, weeks begging her to get better, I knew that at 18 years old she would not. A week before or a week later, I can barely remember, my granddad passed. Three years of deaths. And I’m still here, wondering: why? Or more precisely: How!

My financial situation is so bad, it’s normal now. And I’m just treading water. Paralysed by fear. Anything I do could tip me over the edge into a more precarious position. ANYTHING. Moving is a big gamble. Here’s the thing… Now the cat is dead, I can afford to go to hospital on the bus. I bought some cigarettes, and some booze. Flipped out for a few weeks. Ate all the meat. Well, chicken and fish. Wanted to eat all the cakes, and chocolate, but everything tastes the same, synthetic, saccharine and somehow tasteless too. So I bought prepared fruit. The decadence. Had to borrow money to get through another round of “not going bankrupt this month”.

Apparently, I’ll get some money now granddad’s dead. Nan’s money was tied up in a living will… When the cat died, I thought it wouldn’t be long before I was a goner too. But it seems I’m locked into living again. My reasoning being that none of my family are getting a penny of my money. Literally over my dead body. I can think of so many people who really need, and would make the most of my money. I’m sure that if I died before I got the money, it would instantly pass to my next of kin. I don’t have one at the moment. Anyway, by the time I get the cash, they can’t have it either. I’m going on holiday till it’s spent.

My dad that was ill, nearly died again. So that’s been fun. He hasn’t been in touch for a while. He could actually be dead now, and I wouldn’t know. He says I’m next of kin, but every time he goes into hospital, I find out from my aunty. Fuck it. The other dad cut me off for not paying his phone bill. Apparently, none of the reasons I had detailed were good enough. Fuck it.

The job centre want to send me on a work programme. OVER MY DEAD BODY. They can get to fuck. I want a job, with minimum wage, and stable hours. Any job will do, but I’m not lining the pocket of fucking tescos with my tears and stress. No chance. I’m trying to set up some businesses, but I haven’t the energy. This woman is trying to get me to apply for some funding, I’m like, listen love, it takes all I have to apply for a job… Anyway, she’s trying to help, but actually it piles on the stress. She’s alright with mum, and a partner looking after her. She might have her woes but she doesn’t have mine and can’t see what the block is. There was a creative thing that looked really awesome, but it didn’t pan out. Got several more rejection letters. It’s the grey hair. I know it is. Hair dye costs money you know!

Dyslexia; grief; illness; poverty; the never-ending bullshit of living in a stupidly dysfunctional family? Pick one or two, mix it up see if you get a different result to me. I tried to get some help from some Dyslexia places, they are fucking useless. Even more disorganised than I am. My teeth need fixing, I think I have a filling coming loose… More bus fares… One return journey currently runs at 5% of my weekly income. So, I can’t go this month. I’ve paid for the hospital trip. I mean, I can. Of course I can, there is always a compromise to be made: don’t look for work, go to the dentist. Don’t buy food, go to the dentist.

Someone sent me some money, did I say? An anonymous donor? £60. A lot of money to some one in my predicament. I felt guilty for spending some of it on food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No shit. I felt guilty spending it at all to be honest. But there you go. Glad I don’t have to worry about how much fuel I’m using at the moment, that feels like a little holiday in itself. I over paid some council tax, I have two months break as a readjustment. That’s £30 I needed then like air, but need just a little less now the cat is gone.

That was expensive, getting to the vets, and contributing to her vet fees. The food, the litter… She was going through a bag of litter a week, the tray needed cleaning every day. It was full-time care, she just wanted to be in my arms. I gave her what ever she wanted. And all she wanted was to be with me. I couldn’t afford to have her cremated, so she was cremated with all the other poor pets and sprinkled on a paupers garden. My princess in the cheap seats. This is what I got my degree for… to be able to tell the world eloquently that I’m falling apart, instead of going and jacking up in a back ally somewhere. Lucky me.

I have a box of her fur, and I’d like to have a bit of a do for her, but the thing is, I can’t think. I just can not think. I have moments, flashes where I’m on fire and I get lots done, but they have to be spent on job search. Only the job search. Or bits of work I manage to scrabble together. The writing is dead. The reading is dead. I self medicate on social media networking sites. Everyone thinks I’m bonkers, but what they don’t know is I’m more switched on than them… I can prove it, all my counsellors tell me so, and the psychiatrists keep telling me I’m just stressed. Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? The level of what’s normal in my area is a bit skewed compared to the rest of the country, and we all know there is no funding in mental health.

Anyway. Here I am. Terrified to move, in case it makes a bad situation even worse. This time two years ago seems like a party at the moment.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2s0m2VNbVE&feature=youtu.be

 

Since my last post:

1) I’m still allergic to the cat.
2) I’m still working for the Talent Agency but not for the Cafe because:
3) my cousin died,
4) my uncle died,
5) my friend died,
6) my dad had a heart attack,
7) all my money (the tiny pittance I had) was withdrawn and I had to borrow money to pay the rent,
8) I accidentally took a lot of street drugs at a party (I don’t do drugs).

Things got very surreal and every step was like wading through mud. Or quick drying concrete. Let’s not do this couple of months ever again… Except for the friendship garden… That bit is very, very nice. In my new place I have a garden, the first I’ve had since leaving home. Really, it’s a 6 by 6 yard, but I’m turning it into a garden. And my friends are helping: pansies, broadbeans, sweet peas, strawberries, daffodils, gardenia, day lilies and my own crappy cactus that refuses to die. Apparently, there is Chard on the way from friend and a goat from another. Knowing this friend, I have no idea if she might actually bring a goat!

So, anyway, the war with life rages on as I try to stay in the slip stream. Stupid bugger that I am, I prayed for change didn’t I? Called for Kali, such a fool I am… Here is a little bit of the book:

“In a curious twist… not everyone is falling apart. Some of us are. But we are loved and this love carries us through. Grief, not to be confused with depression takes time to heal. When we are ready to move on we do, of our own accord.

What do we grieve for? Those that have passed (total of four this year for me, plus one furry brother, unless someone else sneaks in another within the next 11 days), death of our career, ending of a relationship, financial worries (who of us isn’t grieving over the loss of our financial independence during these times), losing our children’s dependence on us, but worse, so much worse than all of these, is to lose our sense of self. How truly terrifying to wake up one morning and in place of certainty find only doubt.

How do we re-establish a sense of self on such unsteady ground? We dig. We dig what at first appears to be a grave and then we fill the hole, metaphorically with our old selves. We pour into the hole all that was once useful and joyful, but that now only brings us dread. We pour our lament, thick with snot and tears, like syrup into the foundations of our new selves. We release our putrid and outworn ideas into the slop and we bury it. We lay to rest that which no longer carries us through, knowing the only thing that we really need is love.

And yes, it’s true, on your quest to find love you look back and see the grave of your past. But don’t you know, that in time, that earth will settle and when you have done roaming you will return to find this is the best place to build a new sense of self, with a heart full of love. What am I saying? This is the natural order. Don’t fight it. You are going to die one way or another, so before you push yourself to a death you can’t come back from, give into the experience and reserve some energy for your rebirth.”

Let me tell you, that little piece of monologue was hard-earned. I’ll let you know when I’m eating bean stew with strawberries for afters.

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

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.