Archives for category: Religion

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.

I don’t want to do those lists anymore. Maybe it’s a mood thing. Maybe it takes me so friggin long to log into my account that it robs me of a small parcel of my soul. This is not my bank account, there is no need for these ridiculous passwords.

Yes, ok, I started with Dyslexia despite the title. I’m finding that common these days, I say one thing and do another. I used to be so diligent about being reliable and honest. In previous years I would have been mortified to be so <insert appropriate word here>. See that? That’s me not judging myself. Trying. I’m more ‘human’ now.

I feel less like a 2D cut out, but at the same time, I feel so deflated and heavy. I started with my new counsellor today, and before I realized what I had said I was laughing. “This world is not big enough for me”.  I was detailing how my last counsellor opened up space for me, and after a few tears, this.

The truth is I am a big ideas person. Details don’t just bore me, they kill me. I know some people adore detail, I’ve met them. And while I can clean something to military precision, I still object to having to look at this spotlessly clean tap and be displeased to see a watermark. Come on! (I don’t clean anymore, that’s another post).

I’m a scientist, it’s the thing I am most qualified to do. I follow some Buddhist precepts. I never found either to be at odds, and yet people like to have you in one basket, or worse, box. These labels feel like coffins. Claustrophobic, dark and life ending. How can anyone live freely with all these labels.

Fat lot of good either of them did me. I move closer to a PTSD diagnosis, I’m resigned to it. I avoided the mental health professionals (and was rejected by them as being too sane) for my career. As long as I was working I had all the therapy I needed.

All the hidden threads are leading back to one big fucked up ball of wool. Sleeping problems, stomach problems, emotional outbursts… things that are perfectly ordinary reactions to real and present stress: joblessness and poverty will do that. I haven’t the energy for the mental gymnastics anymore.

The things that are escaping from me now I have no diligence are consistent with PTSD. Or more precisely, complex PTSD. What a shitty world. What a shitty, shitty world. I wouldn’t fair better in any other time: I’d have been burnt as a witch. What a shitty world we make for each other.

Over Christmas I learned something that helps me understand my family and by extension me,  better. Not good things, imagine if you will a Fibonacci sequence of shit. Hopefully, in the descendant, she says with a lackluster pun. I said years ago that it would all end with me. Now I know what ‘it’ is.

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 to turn down an invite to a gig today, because I can’t afford the £3 admission fee. A friend of mine posted an up-date saying she couldn’t afford the 35p to “upgrade from a sausage roll to a pasty”. One woman thought she was hilarious, whilst another said she felt depressed that she could only afford a 10p bag of crisps.

Look, this is miserable stuff. I had to admit to a friend that I could not longer invite people round for food because I can’t afford it. Never mind, “I can’t go out”. It’s partially my fault because I just ‘had’ to donate some money to #BLT, I love those guys. They make me feel like life is worth living.

This is what is known as Relative Poverty. Whilst we may not be starving, luxuries and some necessities are out of the question. I find myself in the fortunate position of having paid off some of my debts from the old place, I never knew moving would mean that suddenly my pay monthly would cease and all these companies would start threatening to take me to court!

Anyhoo… I can afford to heat my house (for now), I can afford to feed myself, I can just about afford to pay the rent. I live in relative safety and I know how to count my blessings, even if occasionally I do struggle to maintain a positive out look. Me and my fellow women can have affairs without threat of death, it’s not something I would choose to do, but if my ethics should slip and I get found out, the worst that might happen is a good thrashing from the other woman. Even then, I am reasonably protected against that.

Some women (yes, even in this country) are at risk of severe mutilation and disfigurement for much, much less. Some women have been stoned to death, for adultery, when in fact they were raped. So, imagine, you are living hand to mouth either because there is no food or because you can’t get access to food and then you are controlled by threat of death, repeatedly.

Suddenly our relative poverty looks like a bit of a joke and the woman was right to find the pasty update funny. Imagine that you live in a country were all the above is true and you make a mockery of all the freedoms you have by choosing to wear the veil. It disgusts me as much as women in the west who starve themselves in the name of fashion (read sexual desirability).

Imagine then, that some of your most staunch allies who are fighting with you, to free you from oppression are being called racist and are actively silenced by the so called ‘liberal left’ who love to posture about their benign magnificence when really all they are doing is getting in the way.

I stopped moderating a few on-line groups because I was regularly silenced. By women. I was called racist, I was told I was too aggressive and I was told that I was too academic. I left the group because I was getting increasingly frustrated and filled with doubt. I began to question what I knew to be true.

A day or so ago, I was engaged in a debate about the veil and I let loose my feelings yet again, expecting backlash. It didn’t come. Furthermore, someone posted a link to Anne Marie Water’s blog. It is a breath of fresh air to me. Suddenly I am not a silenced and solitary voice. Suddenly, the crazy that I feel, trying to fight my little battles in my corner of the world don’t seem so worthless. Suddenly, my integrity matters again.

And then, I received some feedback from an on-line survey, which I had forgotten about. It is full of hope and yet full of despair. But mostly it is full of promise. It might not be perfect, but there is a discussion happening and it’s increasingly including men. We owe it to support people engaged in the discussion even if we ourselves do not participate. I thought that I was tired, but I was just having a rest. I’m getting ready to climb back in the ring.

I know. According to me there is no god. But that does not stop us from learning lessons laid out in religious texts. Jihad, is not just about mental mullahs issuing Jihad upon, well let’s not go there. Jihad is also a personal struggle.

Whilst working in the hostels I had some Muslim clients, mostly they were more concerned about finding somewhere to live than religious practice and most were unsurprisingly disaffected. A few though believed that they had done something wrong.

They thought deeper religious practice and study would once again grant them god’s favour. One lad started to wear bandanas with guns on them; when asked about this he said casually, “Jihad”. At that time I had little concept of what that might mean and had to defer to another colleague, who just happened to Muslim. He explained that his Jihad was not to defend the faith, but to find a home and a job.

Today I went to the Stroke Group, where people who are rehabilitating after strokes go to erm, rehabilitate. They usually learn how to do creative things, mostly simple things so that they can a) learn how to use their arms and legs again, b) develop language again and c) re-route any other neural networks that were damaged during the stroke, like memory for example.

It is common for people to dehumanise other people who are “not all there”. Whether that be a physical or mental impairment or like my ex-client a social impairment. Before tragedy struck all of these people were real human beings with real thoughts and emotions and real ideas about the future.

Those thoughts, feelings and ideas did not suddenly go away. When my ex-client became homeless, his family did not just <poof> into thin air, his great school grades did not suddenly slide to a fail, and his future aspirations remained strong in his mind.

There is a tendency for some, to treat people who are rehabilitating as if they are children and avoid difficult conversations. When the group was talking today, one said there was a group for carers and wondered out loud what they did. I said they probably cracked open a few bottles and had a party. Everyone laughed. They live with their carers they know how hard it can get sometimes…

This opened up the flow of conversation somewhat and as people began to chat one man said that he missed sex. Now as a volunteer I can say a little bit more than a paid worker but I still have to maintain good boundaries. I felt so frustrated.

I wanted to tell him that even though he had problems with his physicality and his memory, he still had a wife and children and that I would gladly negotiate terms with any deity going to sacrifice something I had to have a loving partner. I wanted to tell him that even though he joked about not being able to jump off wardrobes anymore, he had an opportunity to connect with his wife in a different way.

And probably more meaningful and more satisfying at that. I wanted to explain that penetration was not the be all and end all of a sexual relationships. I wanted to reassure him that one day, he would experience an orgasm again, even if the ‘traditional’ parts of the brain had been damaged. Mostly, I wanted to soothe him and say, you are not broken. You are merely learning how to reconnect with your life.

Jihad, is a personal struggle and ultimately that struggle is to lead a more authentic way of life, free from evil and suffering and persecution. His is clearly to come to terms with his new life and to learn gratitude for what remains of his old life, in order to say to people who think he is any less of a man, “What!? You think there is something wrong with me, have you looked in a mirror recently?”

My Jihad? I’m still working that one out.

What’s yours?

I’ve been thinking things through…

1) There is no need to worry about eating meat. Although there are plenty of spiritual traditions that hold only vegitarians have the purity to elevate to certain levels, there are plenty who say nothing on the matter.

Oh, I’m not in a list mood. I’m in a playful mood. I did some research on Women’s Meditation practices in Tibet, and then did more research on Dakini, and then I listened to some music… I provoked my friend, who just loves to dwell in the muck and filth of life, and scorns me because he thinks I’m a bit ‘Pollyanna’… Trust me on this one, I am not.

If anything I am a practical person… I finished sanding two peg looms that I made today. I am going to make things, textile type things. This pleases me.

So the god thing. It doesn’t matter. However much people say it matters, it really doesn’t. The world is not any less filled with awe without god. We are all atoms, we are all made from stars, and when we die we return to our natural state and become part of something else. Now why is that any less spectacular as any of the worlds creation myths? I’m cool which ever story you like to tell, but I hold my right to tell my own story.

I watched another video that challenged me to do a painting. 8 colours, one a day for 20 days and I can only take 2 mins to make it. It has to be A2 size. But I reckon I’ll use A3 (English)… see cheating already. When I get myself tied up in knots about things, it’s easy to fall into a funk, so sod it. Buddhist, not Buddhist who cares, pass me a paint brush.

I’m the kid that just made a sand castle, and he came and kicked it over. He doesn’t want to play he says, but the very act of coming and interacting even negatively with me, betrays the fact that he does want to play. Either he thinks he needs rules or he doesn’t know how to describe the game he wants me to play. What am I going to do?

Yeah! Build another sand castle, and if he wants to kick this one in fine, I might just kick him if he does though…

Erykah Badu: Didn’t Cha Know
India Arie: I See God In You
Macy Gray: Beauty In The World
Laura Mvula: Human Nature

In as many days, two people have told me “You’re emotional”. It was not intended as an insult. Although I know I am in a state of flux, I didn’t realise I was literally pinging around inside my own body and appearing jittery to people.

I am not mentally ill. I have to say this, because some of the difficulties that I am having look a lot like mental illness. I am ill at ease (some new age types like to stress disease like so: dis-ease). I don’t go in for stuff like that. I have a degree in science, and although I have the utmost respect for religion and those who choose to follow it, I do not believe in god.

I am in the process of renouncing Buddhism. This is not a crisis of faith, I have been there. It was a scarey and desolate place and was filled with depression and suicidal ideation.  I took the tablets, did therapy, read a degree, started a career with homeless people and rarely look back. For years I struggled with loneliness, but I didn’t and don’t mind being alone. Two very different things.

So far so normal right!? Here’s the thing. It is upsetting me. It is causing more upset than the thought of renouncing a family did, when I thought I might start studying Buddhism seriously. I didn’t study seriously. I went no where. I’ve started to eat meat again, and I’m thinking what is the deal here?

I don’t meditate, rarely recite mantra, haven’t studied for years, and now I am eating meat. I jokingly started to refer to myself as a Baddhist. The worst Buddhist like the worst witch (a popular children’s book). And although I’m not in a relationship, it is not for the want of trying…

So what is the point I ask myself. I can live ethically and humanisticly with out the Buddhism. I can maintain all the positive elements of Buddhism with out the ritual and drama that I don’t blooming well adhere to anyway! Hello secularism…

It’s a cold and heartless place sometimes, but at least there are no fanatics (as long as you discount the Dawkins lot who have made quite an artform out of aggressive athiesm). One of my reasons for giving Buddhism the slip, is its inherent sexism, it’s completely at odds with my Feminist politics. I once had a spiritual guide, who advised me to study Green Tara, but didn’t know what Dakini is. Dunderhead!

And then… I decided to befriend (on facebook) someone I met through a mutual friend in 2009. He remarked with surprise that I was very independent when I chose to travel to a festival on my own, as I had decided to visit friends on the way. He thought he had to help women (me) understand. And yet he is a walking paradox, he understands that gender is a social construct.

He was a Buddhist monk; I never got to the bottom of whether he left or was kicked out of the monastery. Either is entirely possible. He was misogynistic before he went into the monastery and carried on in the same vein when he came out. He is deeply attractive, in almost every sense. He drives me nuts with the way he views women and yet I want to know what he knows.

Funny how I am studying the Taras again. Specifically red and blue. The further I walk away from Buddhism, the closer I get, it’s like being trapped in an M.C. Escher painting. I have a stronger desire to meditate than I have for months. I feel this dichotomy is going to drive me insane. Indeed, the Blue Tara mantra is secret (they say), I reckon I’ve found it. They say, that if you recite it without knowing what you are doing you can break your mind.

Well, here goes!

I’ve had the urge to post for sometime… I’ve had nothing new to say. Or rather nothing important to say. OK I’ve never really talked about important things, intentionally, with an agenda. I’m still writing the book, still enjoying the new house, still could lose a few, still with cat… As you can see nothing much has changed. Don’t get me wrong, this is me bragging.

I’ve been helping a friend in her shop till she finds permanent help. She sells designer clothes for Muslim women who wish to dress ‘modestly’ but with a bit of ‘bling’. I’m no fashionista and I don’t speak Urdu or Arabic. Turns out it was much easier than I anticipated, you just call everything “these”. Anyhow, this had me thinking about a post that I wrote sometime ago, but didn’t publish, cos I let the doubt settle in. Here it is…

“There I was enjoying an unusual afternoon of domestication (cleaning, washing, sorting clothes for charity), listening to a bit of music (Cee Lo Green), answering a few fone calls (my boss, my dad), pottering ont’ web… When all of a sudden my peaceful reverie is spoiled by nobheads.

For my foreign friends who might not know what a ‘nobhead’ is, it’s a crude way of explaining that someone is ten steps beyond idiot. In this instance, a nob being a penis. I think you know where I am going with this…

You know that I usually do not do politics and usually stick to posts about my life and my interactions with those close to me. Not today. I’m angry. But I am also very proud of the way one woman has chosen to tackle ‘hate crime’.

It’s not unusual for me to minimise some instances that I believe are not racist, but the result of a clash between two uneducated people who have no better way of describing their frustrations, than to name call… Working in hostels I see it all the time.

“F@cking Paki” and “White B@stard” and charmingly “Fat, white c@nt” can be heard bouncing off walls on a weekly basis. These people are friends, they sit and smoke together, they share food, they laugh at the same jokes and protect each other from ‘outsiders’.

When something goes wrong, say someone fails to pay a debt, then the insults roll off tongues inflated with injured pride. A failure to pay a debt on time can mean that they can’t pay a debt they owe someone else or that they have no money for food (or drugs) that day. So they lash out, usually verbally. And nine times out of ten, it’s an obvious physical attribute that gets chosen to prick the pride of the recipient.

Fat, b@stard, f@cking, c@nt, slag, and a few other expletives are generals; with something personal to that person thrown in, such as Ginger, Black, White, Spastic, Gay, etc. The more it hurts the better the person has portrayed the level of injustice that they feel.

We have the talks and we explore why people use the words they do and all involved acknowledge, that mostly, it’s because they don’t know how else to deal with the way they feel. Being homeless strips you of a lot of things, including your sense of self and pieces of your humanity. The impotence of being unable to change their circumstances can leave them hollow to other peoples suffering, and sometimes they have to be hurt and inflict hurt in order to remind themselves that they are still alive, still a living, breathing feeling human.

It’s what lies behind the ugly words that matter. A day or too later after the air has cleared or the debt has been paid, normal service will resume and it will be as if nothing had happened. To outside eyes, this can seem racist or homophobic etc but it isn’t. It’s certainly politically incorrect and it’s definitely uncouth, but I strongly feel that it isn’t racism, more a symptom of feeling disengaged and marginalised.

You know when an incident is racist. It shakes your world for a long time afterwards. The after shock can ripple through your life for weeks, months, and sadly sometimes a lifetime. Racism makes you feel sick to the pit of your stomach. It makes you question things you previously thought you knew. It makes you suspicious and mistrustful, not only of strangers, but of people you know.

Racism is premeditated and intended to cause maximum harm FOREVER. It is designed to get under your skin and make you feel hatred for yourself. People who perpetrate hate crimes such as racism are bile filled and difficult to love. As a Buddhist, trying to practice loving kindness with racists is difficult for me to do. Empathise? I can not put myself in their shoes and to try understand why they do what they do.

I’m taught that people who hurt people are suffering too and they need my compassion more than most, but I simply can not walk one step along their path. It hurts me to think that some of my fellow men and women are looking at me thinking was it you? People who could be my friends, driven out of my life, by people we both don’t know. But then, that’s the other thing racism is designed to do. Isolate. Isolate and segregate.

So when I heard the tale of a young Muslim woman who’s family had been targeted by nobheads, who placed rotting pig heads in their garden, I almost broke my anonymity. Instead of going straight into retaliation and retribution, she questioned herself. Then she looked at the people around her and finally wondered why she lived in Bradford.

At no time, did she write about revenge or self pity, she spoke simply of an establishment that frustrated the course of justice (Dear Bradford Met Police, you suck on this one). Personally, if someone had told me four pigs heads had been dumped in their garden, I’d be trying to find out which butcher is selling a strange amount of pigs heads…

I want to say to her, that I am with you. Together we will not let them have Bradford. Together we will continue to tackle the many barriers that prevent true and lasting friendships from forming in Bradford. Together we will be the change we wish to see. We will rise above. If I ever meet you in person, I will reveal myself to you. Just remember, there are more people like us, than there are people like them.”

Tuesday, I spent the day with my Dad. He’s got high blood pressure and has to stop eating salt. I taught him to make a stew and said now he knew how to make nearly everything. He doesn’t believe me. He ate the full pan in one day (three meals), he walks 10 miles a day, so he can get away with it. In summer he walks more. Or did, now the dog is gone, I worry for him.

Wednesday, I went to the opera to see Otello. I cried. The ticket was a gift. Not for me for my friend, The Ukraine. Her husband decided that he did not want to go and I was the lucky beneficiary.

Thursday, I went to the cinema to see Les Miserables. I cried. I forgot my discount card but the woman still gave me a discounted ticket for a pound, which my friend The Boffin paid for.

Friday, I saw my Dad again as it was his Birthday. He brought me some pre-cut stir fry veg. I told him on Tuesday that one tub was enough for two meals and he laughed and said one. What he had brought me was the second of the tubs saying that he couldn’t eat it all. Go figure!

Saturday, I offered one of my pieces of art to be used as a prize in a tombola to raise money for Medicin Sans Frontiere, they accepted. I’m so pleased. In the evening, a pal came to pick me up (The Facilitator) for a party and it was BYOB, so I bought 8 cans, this was not a night to be one beer short. I declined to perform. And I danced and danced and danced. So many people were out. I was drunk and I was dancing. We walked home and I swore all the way dragging my suitcase behind me. It was excellent.

Today, I was allowed to open my presents from Miss India. For Christmas I got Pirates in an Adventure With Scientists with matching sticker book and a novel called The Dark Side of Love.

Here is the amazing list of India gifts:

A scarf.
A bag.
Some henna.
A packet of Bindi (decorative dots put in between the eyebrows).
15 post cards, one of which is hand painted and dated 1967.
Earl Grey Tea.
An Om pendant.
And a small Bronze statue of Hanuman.

She was going to save some for my birthday in August but couldn’t wait to give me them.

The best part? Ever since I was a little girl I heard stories about Hanuman. I have been in love with him all my life. By accident I have had several boyfriends with nicknames like monkey and chimp! I never thought that I would ever be fortunate to have my very own Hanuman statue. And here he is in my house.

I’ve been listening to all sorts too much to mention but check out Asa – The Way I Feel. Last night they play M.I.A’s Bad Girl.

When you have time and would like to watch a movie, you MUST watch Sita Sings the Blues. It is free to view on Youtube.

The last few months have been so hard going that it has been difficult to see the beauty around me. I won’t try and rewrite history and pretend everything has been fine. This is not the way the world works. How can we ever appreciate the beauty and the love in the world, if we never experience hard times.

Well there it is. And it seems like today is the day to give you the thing I wrote, that I didn’t think it was appropriate to show you over Christmas. Today, has been an absolute turd of a day. Yesterday, I was listening to my neighbours scream at each other and then a thud. He’s punched a wall. Call the police now, or wait… Always the same… Should I go knock on the door, at least he knows people care then. What if I ask her next time I see her, what do you want me to do?

This is not my life. The violence (or more properly the constant threat of violence and the gripping) has ended. The tirades, the shouting, the endless put downs, the following, the low level menace, the neglect, the looks of disgust, the fucking with my shit… gone. All gone. I have calm. Apart from the poverty and sleep deprivation life is pretty good.

Was a penny short on the bus, but some one gave me it and the man said it was ok. Got some money for Christmas, bought some shoes, took them back… I can not afford £50 on shoes! What was I thinking? Found some in the same shop, walking shoes, £30 reduced to £10 with a further 20% discount… £8 for shoes!!! Now my feet will be warm and dry. Needed a birth certificate for a CRB check so I can prove I am not a criminal and do my work that I got funding for. The man gives me a little leeway… It  takes two hours there is only 1 hour 45 left…

Making my way across town I realise that I have had 2 shredded wheats and a cuppa, should eat, tea at friends, no, I’ll wait. Tired. Writing polemic emails at 5 in the morning. Fucking government. Bastard Banks Dog damn gender fascists <<< long story. I realise that I have a vibrating ball of anger turning my bile into poison. Why do people have to have music and tvs on through the night.

When I lived on a main road, not even juggernauts would wake me, and now? The drop of a pin is cause for concern. I can not settle. I do not feel safe. My sanctuary is now my prison. I want to sleep. Years ago, I wanted to sleep the long sleep. A few things kept me going, sometimes knowing I’d have to go round again if I topped myself. Sometimes my brother. Sometimes something fortuitous like my dad cleaning out the medicine cabinet.

I looked in the cabinet, it was full of really old tablets, antibiotics, painkillers, iron tablets, some years out of date. Yeah, I thought there is enough there. The next day, it just hit me, this it. I was crying but not sobbing. I felt nothing but a compulsion to annihilate myself. I looked in the cabinet, he had cleaned it out. 6 paracetomol, enough to hurt my liver nothing more. I couldn’t even kill myself properly.

What do you fill the void with? When you make a motivation never to entertain that thought ever again, it feels as if you have lost an option. It is twisted. Grim. When there is nothing to fill the hole, you just have to carry it round with you and you think everyone can see through you. Everyone who looks at you is thinking “This girl is toxic”.

I worked so hard to fill that hole, to become whole. Every now and then I am frightened that I have just plugged it and that it will fall out like a knot in wood and I will be seen for what I truly am. Lacking. Not quite all there. Hollow. Tired, mean, angry, defeated. I have to call on all my strength to remind myself, that is not my life anymore. This is a memory of darker times. You don’t want to kill yourself, you want to kill them so you can get some friggin sleep!

Some days, I would go to bed unable to chant or pray or find solace, full of crushing debilitating self pity… when will this end. When will sun rise. When will summer come. It’s not coming is it. What have I done. What did I do. Why. Eventually, I found a mantra. Something that I could really focus on. It didn’t work. At some point, I must have been pissed and written about it.

I can’t remember writing it. I really can’t. I just came across it, and I laughed and laughed. It is hilarious. I don’t know how old it is (2010 notebook though!) and I have no idea how I intended for it to be read, but it cracks me up.

“People say that it is easy to wish yourself dead.
It’s not true.
I have tried.
And I remain
stubbornly alive.
I made a mantra,
“I pray the lord my soul to take, before I wake”.
It seems he doesn’t want it.

From the first time I conceived of the idea,
to the present day,
killing myself through the power of thought alone appears
unachievable.
This is not the first time people have lied to me.
I have come
to expect it.

‘If’ being the biggest lie of all.
I hit everyone of your ‘if’ targets and I’m still fucking miserable.
You would not expect that of someone like me, but,
I was told if I was good,
good things would happen,
and I would be happy.

Well fuck you Diznee”

Indeed!

Fall back songs…
Protection – Massive Attack
Small Blue Thing – Suzanne Vega
Hyperballad – Bjork

Lyrical hugs when real ones are absent. I am tired but I am not soul tired, tomorrow is another day and friends are one the way. 2.30 am and no music today… good night.