Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….


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BALLS

And just when I thought everything was going so well.

I’m two weeks from a pretty successful Lenten ‘best behaviour’ period, and all of a sudden, it feels like I’m about to roll down a hill to nowhere.

It’s like a juggling act really, isn’t it, trying to get all your daily chores done, sticking to your resolutions/good intentions and keeping it all going?

Then something distracts you and you drop a ball.  Be it getting to bed early, eschewing alcohol, or bad carbs ball, one day you forget to do something then immediate sense of guilt/failure unsteadies you, but you manage to flick it back in the mix whilst not losing anything else.  Then another wobble, another mini guilt trip and just as you manage to get everything under control again, Life comes along, rudely jogs your elbow, then of course one escapes, and then another, and the whole fucking lot comes tumbling down around your ears.

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That potential work opportunity I was telling you about?

It all seemed so promising at the time.  But now?

Now I smell a rat.

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Actually I love rats so let me change that.

It’s starting to smell a little fishy.

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Nope, that’s not working either…

OK, so what I’m trying to say is that something seems a wee bit suspect about them.

The first time I visited the company, it was all very exciting and promising, but the second time, their attitude and whole proposition seems a little slapdash/complacent/indifferent, PLUS they wanted their substantial fee paying cash in hand which immediately got my antenna twitching, and as the meeting commenced, something told me that I was not going to get much out of them.

Okay.  So, I acknowledge that I’m paranoid.

And I know in some ways, this could be me deriding myself, by thinking that they wouldn’t (or is that couldn’t) value or prioritise me, and that my old friend FEAR is once again lurking around the corridors of my psyche trying to gain entrance.

But my intuition is 99.9% spot on and rarely lets me down. Even Aunty C acknowledges this.

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/its-this-one-thing-thats-got-me-trippin/

That said, I know that I’m very prone to letting one bad thing attach itself to another and then they breed like cancer cells, so I’m trying very hard to put it on the back burner, get me balls back up (watching shite TV and skipping walking/yoga specifically) and weigh it all up rationally once my panic abates.

This also might be self sabotage as I’m dreading interacting with the ‘normal’ again.  I say ‘normal’.  I met this woman on the way in and she talked at me for about 45 mins without drawing breath, neither noticing or acknowledging the horrified look and sickly smile no doubt pasted to my chops.  I was bordering on obtaining a restraining order in case she ever recognised me again.

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It makes me wonder how I coped when I was working too.  If I remember rightly I was exhausted by the very act of getting into the office, no wonder I found everything and everyone else such a challenge, so kudos to all you people that have a job and manage to stay on an even keel.

And how do people who work, and have a family and kids to deal with?!  Double kudos you people, I can only stand back (at a safe distance with my bag on the seat next to me, no offence, nothing personal) and admire you all for this.

Anyway, it’s a sunny day and I have no excuse not to walk.

Then I can do a bit of mat work when I get back.

Plus I’m physically fitter than I have been for a long time, so why screw that up by eating badly?

And I’ve taken the plug of my TV.

OK, I haven’t but I have turned it off, OK?!

Onwards and upwards, both me and my cojones.

Here we go again.

Hup!

 

 


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IT’S JUST ME, MYSELF AND I

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So as of last weekend, it’s now officially British Summertime.

Eeek.

For most people this is great news, but I’m one of the few oddities that dreads the return of those bright mornings, long, heady days and balmy summer nights.

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/these-are-the-days-of-the-endless-summer/

But this year I realise that if I want things to be different this year, it’s me who need to change with regard to my attitude toward summer, others, and, of course, me, myself and I.

Summer is lovely when you have friends and family to spend it with, but historically I’m not great at maintaining a loyal fun band of beach buddies or picnic pals.  I’m OK at making friends, it’s keeping them that has been the problem because I tend to put all my eggs into one basket, and when said old basket invariably (sensing my vulnerability and reliance on them), does something shitty and lets me down, I respond by dropping their ass so hard their nose bleeds.

Classic BPD behaviour doncha know.  Shame no one told me about this, oh 30 years ago?!

In fairness, I always knew that something was wrong, and Aunty C (my counsellor) tried her best to help me change the behaviour pattern without labelling me (something she was and is highly resistant to), but there is something about being diagnosed EUPD that has kicked my arse hard enough to make me realise that the world isn’t going to change, so I have to.

Before I thought it was all others doing stuff to me.

But the reality is that it’s my behaviour that allows them to do it.

And my desire for only a couple of soul mate and no superficial acquaintances compounded by my ridiculous reluctance to do anything by myself tends to leave me in a very shitty, lonely spot between the proverbial rock and hard gaff.

So, as I see it, a two pronged attack is necessary.

Firstly, I need to be more sociable.  Yes, I know I’ve been saying this for months, nay, years now, and I’m still on the back foot, but from now on I am really going to try and get out there, do small talk (ARRGHH!), meet more people and spread my eggs far and wide.

That sounds a bit unsavoury doesn’t it?  But you know what I mean.

And even if the first few times are, sorry, feel uncomfortable/boring/pointless, I must persist as sometimes it takes a while for people to show their true selves and grow on you, and vice versa.  I know for a fact that this is going to be a massive challenge, as I’m not good at ‘trying’ with people, and flee at the slightest whiff of rejection, but I don’t think I have any choice if I want things to change.

For example, I could have gone dancing tonight.

But I didn’t.  I’m here writing this for you because I made up all the excuses in the world for not going, and I’m not going to meet any new folk that I can socialise with in my spare bedroom.

At least I hope not anyway…

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The other thing I have to address is my fear and reluctance of doing stuff on my own.

You may well be thinking right now ‘Why does this stupid mare dump her friends all the time if she hates flying solo?’

The answer is ‘I don’t know dipshit, I’ve got a personality disorder!’

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Sorry, I digress….

The other day I suggested to a friend that we go for a walk in the park.  She couldn’t make it because she had to study.

Did I go anyway?

No.

Why?

I’ve asked myself this a million times, and I think it’s because I’m frightened of looking sad/lonely/conspicuous to those of you out there with loved ones to play with.  However, when I think about it, I’m sure you’re too busy arguing with your wife, trying to find a parking space, stopping your kid/dog from jumping in the pond after the ducks, squeezing your boyfriend’s bejeaned bum or finishing your Mr Whippy before its dribbles down your arm to notice some old misfit like me hovering around the periphery of life, apologising for my very existence to absolute strangers, some who are probably just as weird as me.

And some even more so.

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Anyway surely it’s better to look like a saddo and be out there enjoying the day than staying at home and actually being a saddo?

You keep telling yourself that Sista, just you keep on telling yourself that….

I know it won’t happen over night.

But I am going to try harder.

Because I may not be like everyone else or fit in with the masses, but who wants to be the same old boring ‘coloured water’ anyway?

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And if people stare, whisper and laugh, well that’s their shit.

 

Because one day I’m gonna be happy with my own company.  And when that day arrives, my aura will be so beautiful, attractive and beguiling, I’ll probably have to fight all the others off with a stick.  😉

I know that many of you are in the same position as me.  You cannot bear yourself, let alone love yourself, and at times the isolation, darkness and pain are so intense that you wish yourself to be somewhere, anywhere but here on this earth and face all the shit we have to encounter every single day.

But you matter.

WE matter.

Be yourself, my lovelies.  Everyone else is taken.

Namaste x

 

 


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TURN TO STONE

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I have just wasted the last frigging hour ranting on about someone else’s blogpost, when in reality, I knew it was one of my clever little avoidance tactics so that I can delay tackling what it is that I really need to say.

Here in the UK, the PR campaign is building for the new series of X Factor, but it is the Fear Factor that is dominating and, lets face it, has always dominated my thoughts.

Some Fear wisdom from Wiki:

Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognise danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight or flight response) but in extreme cases of fear, a freeze or paralysis response is possible.’

Have you ever been in a situation when you know that you behave in a certain fashion intellectually, but push it to the back of your mind?  Then you realise in your heart that you do this thing, but again, it’s too heavy/big/impossible to even think about confronting it?  Then one day, you decide to tackle it, but end up making a half arsed attempt at doing something about it?

Then one day, for whatever reason, it hits you like a ton of lead how much it’s actually impacting on your life?

Well that’s what happened to me the other day, and I realised that the Fear tends to impact on me in such a way that I end up stuck in various limbos where nothing ever progresses, so I really have to find a practical way to tackle it, as desire and willingness is clearly not enough.  

And if I can bring about change so that the Fear doesn’t continue to blight my life this way, I can re-channel my inner Aslan and change the world (well this small corner in South London at the very least….) instead of spend the majority my days in perpetual paralysis like a petrified faun.

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Here are some examples of how my Fear Filled Mind works:

I need new flooring and have found a company who will do it fairly cheaply.  But they are a local business and not a chain, so what if they don’t do a good job?  I will not be able to take them to task or get them to do it properly. And what if I pay them and the next day they go bust?  And they might do a shitty job and I’ll be stuck with it.  What if they try and fob me off with cheaper carpet?  Also they might steal stuff from me, or steal my keys, torture my cats etc etc. 

You might think I’m joking but I’m not.  I have been trying to get this done for nearly a YEAR!

Next example:

I have a parcel that I need to take to the Post Office, so I consider parking at the local supermarket.  But it’s 20 minute customer parking only.  What if there’s a queue?  I’ll be late then I’ll get clamped.  Also I’d need to buy something from them, even though I don’t need anything, as they might have cameras checking if anyone not a customer.  Also it’s off street, so I might get mugged. Then I’ll lose my car, then I’ll be locked out, then they’ll use my credit cards, arse rape me etc etc…..

I then have to think where else I can park, and all the pitfalls of taking that course of action and by the time I’ve fretted and worried, and weighted up all the pros and cons, the Post Office is closed, the supermarket is closed because it’s CHRISTMAS, and I’ll probably put it off for at least a week before going through the same bloody rigmarole again.

So it doesn’t take a genius to realise that if I get my panties in a bunch over something as innocuous as parking at Tesco, imagine the state I get in when having to make or act on bigger, more impactful challenges or decisions?

The biggest challenge for me in tackling this behaviour is that I live alone and no one is there to talk me round, gee me up or shake me bodily till my teeth rattle when I go off on one.  So for the most part, I give into the Fear and lie low.

Where it’s safe.

And there I fester, and continue to fester.

I thought about this problem for days now and I’m still trying to figure out how to tackle it.

Hypnosis?

Ping an elastic band around my wrist when I feel the Fear creep up on me?

Grab a notepad when I start to panic and ‘talk’ myself down from the edge in writing?

Call someone?  Yep, my friends will love that, me jabbering away about whether or not to buy a carpet at 2am on a Sunday morning because I can’t sleep. Back to the drawing board on that one, methinks….

All joking aside, the biggest challenges I still have to tackle this year are directly influenced and impacted upon by the Fear and I’m over half way into the year, so drastic measures are needed.

Has anyone ever managed to effectively tackle feelings like this?


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BEWARE THE CUTTER

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Sorry I haven’t been around much this last couple of days, but I’ve kind of hit a pretty jagged brick wall.

And as if that’s not bad enough, I also think I also just got smacked in the face with a big, scary realisation.

I have this coping technique you see, and whilst it’s served me well for most of my life, I’m not sure it’s doing me any favours anymore.

It goes something like this.

If someone or something hurts or abuses me enough, I cut off.

Big style.

I mean I can pass people in the street and pretend that they don’t exist. I can bump into them at a party and everyone around would think we were total strangers. I can look through them like a pane of glass, and they would not be able to tell what I felt inside. Usually because I’ve cut those feelings off too, like a big, bloody bag of a placenta on the end of the umbilical cord that connected us, and dropped them both into a bin.

And I’m so good at it, I can almost ensure that we never meet again. Don’t ask me how, but for the most part, it’s rare that I cross paths with those who I’ve severed contact with. And if we have any friends in common, they are either sworn to secrecy or only hear a limited amount of information about me so that they can’t pass on any relevant gossip. Knowledge is power and I don’t like my ‘enemies’ knowing my shit, good or bad.

When I finished with my ex fiancee, in some kind of unspoken, almost telepathic agreement, we managed to divide up London between us, and apart from one near miss on the underground shortly after our separation, didn’t run into one another, despite being based on the same side of the river, for near enough fifteen years. I can’t even begin to tell you who ‘owned ‘which suburbs, and/or which boroughs are out of bounds to whom, it was like I was in London and he was in ‘Neverwhere’. Or the other way around.

Whatever. I didn’t care as long as he stayed out of my way.

And when on that fateful day, I did see him in the City a couple of years ago, I couldn’t have been more surprised if he’d come back from the dead.

I was on my lunch hour on my way to a restaurant, and when I saw him coming down the steps of a nearby bank, I froze, then bolted up a side street, heart hammering, hoping with all my heart that he hadn’t seen me.

And when I saw his brother in the post office one morning a week or two after, I was forced to ignored him for a good 20 minutes whilst we both came face to face with one another numerous times in one of those infernal looped queues that seems to go on forever, where he eyed me with sad, beady reproachfulness.

Awkward was not the word.

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I didn’t dislike my ex future brother in law. I just wanted him to doubt that it was me, so he didn’t report anything back to my ex.

I know I sound mad. I know.

And finally when said ex contacted me on my last birthday via LinkinIn to congratulate me on my ‘special’ day, I couldn’t have been more outraged and affronted had he rocked up outside my flat and left a big, steaming, freshly laid turd on the bonnet of my car.

How dare he? Didn’t he remember the rules?

Anyway why would I want to hear from him after all he’d done, nattering away about me being ’50 years young’ (the knob), pretending that everything was just tickety boo and that we could just sweep the past under the carpet (ha, how I remember that little saying and it’s sinister relevance) and act as if we could even contemplate being friends?

Well fuck him. He might want to breach the terms of our unspoken agreement and step over the barrier betwixt here and ‘Neverwhere’, but I for one won’t be rolling out the red carpet or making it easy for him.

So I duly treated this missive with the silent contempt it deserved, and haven’t heard from him since.

And good riddance.

Again, I didn’t and don’t hate him. I just don’t want him in my universe anymore, because that was a different life and he doesn’t belong in this one. I wasted 5 (child bearing years) of my life on that man, and it’s too painful to remember what a mistake it all was. So I pretended that it didn’t happen.

I did a similar thing to my last serious boyfriend (but on a smaller scale) after he seriously wounded me and my pride, and can still remember the devastation on his face when I cut him dead in the street one day and how it affected me not a jot.

That’s the price of hurting me, motherfucker.

Jog on.

An ex manager of mine who witnessed my occasionally utilising this malevolent, sphinx like behaviour in the business environment nicknamed it/me the ‘Ice Queen’

‘No, no!’ he’d plead when I was pissed off to the extreme at some stupid wanker who had dared to try and throw me under the bus, ‘Don’t do Ice Queen! Promise me you won’t do Ice Queen!’ But when the Lord hardened this Pharaoh’s heart, there tended to be no going back until blood was shed and scores were settled.

There is also something else about cutting off that I like. It satisfies my need for surety; It’s final.

I recently brought a friendship to an end because it was writhing around in the dirt badly wounded, I was trying to save it, but the other party wanted to play games and drag things out, so I stamped on it, killing it stone dead. I hate suspense and power play, you see, so if someone dicks me around, I’ll make the final decision for the both of us.

I also hate rejection so if I sense it coming, I’ll get in there and be the one to do the dumping first.

So, as you can probably imagine, having cut off from numerous people numerous times, I’m gradually painting myself into an ever descreasing corner, as was made clear by my contact with an ex colleague the other day.

For any of you who have followed my story to date, it will come as no suprise to you that I have cut contact with the majority of my ex colleagues from my last place of work.

And even the people I’m allegedly still in touch with, I’m very cautious with regard to what I let them to know about me now. And they know it, and are understandably not impressed. But I can’t help it. They may have proved themselves untrustworthy and like I keep saying, knowledge is power.

And no one has power over me now.

No one. And I intend to keep it that way.

One of these people, F, was a very good friend of mine, but over the last year, I’ve found that I trust her less and less. Not because she’s done anything bad to me (well not recently anyway) but because she stays with the company, knowing how they behaved and what they did to me. And when I got word about her recent promotion with them, it hit me like a kick in the stomach.

Aunty C (my counsellor) gets cross about this, because as far as she’s concerned, F is who she is and can work with them and not let it get to her, and is entitled to do what she wants with her life. But for some illogical reason, it feels like a massive betrayal to me.

Also (and this is the big, horrible, scary bit) the fact that if she can cope with them and make them like her, that means that there must be something very wrong with me if I can’t.

In addition to this, I can’t help but feel that because she is more ‘in’ with ‘them’ than she ever was, I can’t let her into my life on anything other than a superficial basis anymore.

Knowledge is power.

She hasn’t done anything to me, but I’m now aware that Ive been gradually cutting contact with her.

Because any contact with anyone from WRU reminds me that this little bubble I now occupy, and my tiny little daily triumphs and evolutions will not be enough for much longer.

I was meant to leave this flat in ten minutes for my new writing group, but now I’m frozen to the seat, holding a huge glass of wine in a shaky hand because I know how mental all this sounds.

More than that, whilst I’ve always known that my Demon is Fear, but the realisation of how much it still completely and utterly rules me is absolutely terrifying.

  • Realising how when cutting off, how much good I’m obliterating from my life along with the bad, because I think it will make me safer because I think everyone is out to get me.
  • Not putting myself in situations where I might bump into former colleagues because I think they’ll laugh a/pity/sneer at me and my joblessness.
  • How I hardly try for any jobs because I don’t want any of ‘them’ gloating when they hear about it if I fail.
  • How I won’t apply for jobs that will want a reference from my old company as that will give them power over me and an opportunity to hit back at me
  • How I don’t want them to hear anything about my condition as they’ll pat themselves on the back for what they did to me.
  • How I don’t want them to hear anything good about me because they don’t deserve to feel anything but guilt and fear that what they did might come back to haunt them one day.
  • And that by letting these fears rule me, I’m giving them the one thing I don’t want them to have; complete and total power over me.

Plus, having been out of the marketplace for over a year and still unemployed, could the rumours about me actually be any worse?

And the realisation hits me that I’m still so very ashamed at what happened to me last year, how I was treated, and how useless, stupid and incompetent I felt and still feel to this day.

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And whilst this is very painful to have to admit, I also realise that if I keep cutting off and dividing chunks of territory between me and people who have hurt me, I’m going to end up all alone on a very, very tiny little island indeed.

And then the sharks will circle.

Back to therapy for me….

Jesus when does this shit get better?!


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U.G.L.Y., I AIN’T GOT NO ALIBI….

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Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is fair to say, that I don’t have, and have never had, a really pretty face.

For the record this not body dysmorphia talking.

And, suffice to say, the onset of old age is not helping. 😦

By the same token, it’s also fair to say that I have attracted my fair share of good looking guys, have truly been loved and cherished (albeit temporarily), and whilst for the most part, I put that down to the fact that I have an OK figure, I can (in the right light/circumstances/bag on head) look quite nice when viewed face on.

It’s my profile that shows where I’ve been whacked hardest with the ugly stick, my nose being the biggest culprit.

Whilst showing you a photo would obviously compromise my anonymity, I’m going to try and give you some idea of what we’re dealing with here.

The nicest thing anyone has said to me about my looks in the last five years came from a workmate who said that she thought I looked a bit like Katie White from the Ting Tings.

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Hmmm.

Whilst part of me would love to believe this, and I can see where she was coming from, pardon the pun, but as the song goes, ‘That’s not my name!’ (sorry…)

I. Wish.

Maybe, when I was 20, I could have been her rather less pulchritudinous sister.

Or, at a pinch, she could be my daughter. Had I bred with Chris Hemsworth.

The next comparison came from an old lady who once compared me with (the lovely) Debbie McGee.

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Well. As her not so lovely husband, Paul Daniels, might say, ‘Not a lot…'(sorreee….)

But one of the worst allegations came from a rather malicious busker playing on a London underground platform, who, when I strode past him, must have been peeved that I had not dropped any coinage in his greasy trilby.

‘And, you look like Margaret Thatcher!’ he sang at me, rather innovatively and with a fair bit of venom during his rendition of ‘Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?’ as I leapt onto the train.

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Harsh.

Just harsh.

It’s funny now, but that happened about twenty seven years ago and he’s probably dead now (I hope 😉 ), but I’ve never forgotten it.

I wonder why insults stick more than complements?

Margaret Thatcher?

No wonder my Dad was so derogatory about my looks.

I’ve also got quite a mouthful of teeth on me, and I’m not even going to go into what my early teens were like or I was called at school by my family, friends, and enemies alike, but suffice to say, UGLY has been branded onto my soul, bone deep, and will probably be there till my dying day.

So when I sprouted tits and legs in my late teens, I grasped at these blessings and desperately hung onto them like Jack Dawson did to that bit of wood in the sea at the end of ‘Titanic’, and as soon as I started earning a wage at sixteen, I bought contact lens…

(Yes, that’s right. I was speccy too. In sum, speccy, goofy, weird nose with reddish hair and thick National Health glasses. Thanks so much for that, God…)

….and did everything I could to discourage the ‘U’ word from attaching itself, leech like, to me ever again.

And a lot of the time, I succeeded. Perky tits draw the male eye much more than big teeth, and if those eyes travelled up for any reason they were immediately dazzled by a shock of bleach blonde hair and carefully rouged, slightly parted full, glossy lips, and all of course, was forgiven.

But for a whole plethora of reasons, I never felt beautiful enough to be loved, never trusted anyone to love me for myself, and if anyone was foolish enough to, they’d come a cropper because there must be something wrong with them if they want me.

Right?

And of course, I always envied the beautiful girls, especially those of the kittenish variety with perfect faces and cute little noses who couldn’t not be pretty if they tried.

Meg Ryan. Ulrika Johnnson. Michelle Pfeiffer. Debbie Harry. Shannen Doherty. Lisa Bonet.

I could have had a million pounds worth of surgery, or even a head transplant, but I would never get to look like them in a million years.

Ever.

Of course my yet-to-be-acknowledged mental illness ran riot with this, and happily, breezily stirred the shit, whipping up my paranoia to frenzy level whenever an opportunity arose.

Someone laughing in the room/street/nightclub? They were laughing at my face.

Someone scowling in the room/street/nightclub? They hated me because I was so ugly.

Someone ignores me in the room/street/nightclub? They’re ashamed to be seen with me, because blah, blah, bleugh…..

However, whilst some of these things may have been my imagination, I have been the subject of brutal name calling, even in middle age, usually albeit, by people even uglier than I am.

And it still hurts. Make no mistake about it.

Don’t pity me too much though, ‘cos I am quick witted, very observant and the years have sharpened my tongue, so any fool wanting to take me on nowadays gets their arse cored, with all the mercy and subtlety of a Cillit Bang enema.

I take no prisoners, people.

Then the other day I looked at my reflection in the mirror and told myself:

‘Sista, this shit is not going to get better y’know.

You face has gotten thinner in the last year and there is only so much Botox you can do, so your ‘at least I don’t look my age’ card is getting a little frayed.

Your figure is OK, but your skin isn’t that of a sixteen year old so you might want to give the bikinis away to Oxfam this year.

You know you are getting less male attention.

Your next big birthday is sixty.

All those women you used to long to look like? Even their looks are starting to spoil, like strawberries left out in the hot sun.

So bitch, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not going to get prettier. You are, from a totally superficial point of view, going get uglier.

So.

What are you going to do about it?’

Harsh.

But true.

The last of my Aces in this life has been snatched out of my hands, and thrown on the fire to join blonde, skinny and sexy; intimidating, confident bitch; and high profile executive.

Then, one night, it occurred to me that if Ugly is going to stay with me for the rest of my days, I might as well embrace it and try and make the most out of it.

So instead of deleting/hiding my most hideous photos, I’m going to look for them, keep them and send them off to a photographic agency for people with ‘Interesting Faces’ and see if I can’t benefit for once for having the profile of the most hated Tory MP in history.

I may even try and get ‘extra’ work. I think I’d look very at home as a peasant in the crowd circa Tudor times in ye olde England. 😉

I may even have professional shots done!

Loving my looks and indeed myself is still so far away and is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever attempted with regard to personal growth or development.

So please, wish me luck folks, because I’m sure as hell going to need it as things are about to get even uglier…..


6 Comments

WEASEL IN THE CORN

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I’m trying hard not to think about it, and hope I’m wrong, but I sorely suspect that an unwanted intruder is reading my blog.

I blog anonymously for a whole variety of reasons; legal, confidential, wanting to protect my friends and family from the truth about my state of mind and my more desperate moods.  To ensure that I am not perceived as unemployable  in the workplace, and most importantly, to enable me to write an unembroidered account of my life, my illness, my innermost thoughts, my hopes, fears and dreams without having to temper, embellish or tone down anything I say.  Being anonymous means that I can do all this and avoid leaving myself in a vulnerable position.

To that end I have specifically asked my family and friends not to try and find my blog on WordPress.  The only person who gets to read it is ‘Aunty C’ my shrink/counsellor.

Only one other person would have a head start should she decide to hunt me down as she is familiar with the artwork on my page as we collaborated to create it.  I have no technical skills to speak of, so had to trust someone.

Ironically and typically she is also the person I fell out with last week.

That isn’t the only reason I am paranoid.  As you will know, words and phrases used in the searches that lead people to our pages are available for us to see, and the wording used by one ‘browser’ is very telling indeed…

Obviously I have mental health issues and am massively paranoid so I could be wrong, but my instincts are second to none and I swear I feel her eyes peeking redly out of the rushes.

So.  If, despite my appeal/need for privacy, you have sought and found me CL and can now continue to intrude on my inner world?  Good for you.

That said, this means that you are no doubt the kind of person that eavesdrops on private conversations, snoops in other peoples email and social media accounts, checks your partners mobile when they’re in the loo, and would not hesitate to ransack someone else’s home for their diary, and read it unbeknownst to them.

Not quite so big or clever when it’s put that way is it?

Kind of slimy, creepy, intrusive and grossly inappropriate isn’t it?

My immediate urge is to shield myself, temper my writing, be less honest about how my condition effects me, and not show any weakness so that you don’t get to see the whites of my eyes ever again, as I’ve had first hand experience of how nasty you can be when you don’t get your way, and am aware that you have no compulsion with regard to using such my vulnerability to hurt, jeer at and insult me.

That said, after a bit of thought I’ve decided, BOLLOCKS to that.

I will not moderate my words because of you.

Read away and do what you want, as whatever you relate, such actions say so much more about you than your disclosures will ever say about me.  Just know that if any harm comes my way because of your actions, there will be a pay back.

Because within and because of my weakness I am stronger than you know.

When loneliness and isolation strikes, I turn and look it in the eye, rather than flee and cringe behind others, because I am not a coward.

I am strong and authentic enough to be solitary when I need to be, and not cleave to another just for the sake of not being alone.

I am brave and discerning enough not to keep people in my life who are not good for me, and whilst I do self sabotage, I work on and challenge myself every single day in order to fight my fears, paranoia and neuroses and carve myself a better life, facet by facet.

Can you honestly say the same?

Despite my handicaps I have survived 50 YEARS PLUS and will not only continue to survive, I WILL THRIVE.

As per your advice, I will continue to ‘have a nice life with my virtual friends’.

Because blogging on here has been a revelation, and brought me into contact with a range of beautiful, brave, innovative, intriguing, fucked up, inspiring, talent, creative, awe inspiring, seriously funny, fan-fucking-tastic people who never fail to surprise and inspire me, whom I would never have met in real life because we are all so different, and scattered across the planet like so many stars in the sky.

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You know what though?  I reckon that, if teleportation was possible and they all rocked over to mine for a party, it may not go without incident, the police may be called out because of the noise, some of us might mix our meds and I’d have to pay someone to sort the mess out the next day, but it would be the best party I’ve ever thrown :-).

Finally, I apologise from the bottom of my heart if I am falsely accusing you of doing something you haven’t done CL, and I mean that sincerely and wholeheartedly.

But if that’s the case, you won’t actually be reading this, will you 😉 ?

Sorry to anyone who has had to endure this paranoid rant, but sometimes you just have to make a Stand.

Happy Easter and God Bless to all x


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WEEK 4 ARTIST’S DATE 2/2 ‘PARK LIFE’ – ….FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE

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The second half of Week 4‘s Artist’s Date took place in one of London’s most beautiful parks.

Again, going on an Artist’s Date was not my primary plan for that day.  In a bid to get me out and exercising more, I decided to join a social walking group that frequented this venue and booked in for my first meet.

There was a lot of confusion and too-ing and fro-ing about which gate we were meeting at amongst my fellow guest walkers.  Silly people.  It was hardly rocket science.

I googled the gate the organiser had suggested and recognised it immediately.  It was ‘my gate’ a.k.a. the place I usually parked.  Research complete, I smugly sat back, had a cup of tea and looked forward to the day.

You can guess what happened can’t you?

I was just about on time with seconds to spare, but I went to the wrong gate. Turns out they all look pretty much the same.

By the time I found the right meeting place, the parking meter would not take my coins, so I had to find somewhere else offsite. I’d also inadvertantly left my mobile at home so couldn’t contact our leader, so I was over 15 minutes late by the time I arrived, and my group had long gone.

Ooops.

If you ever see a book on sale entitled ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ by Sista Sertraline, I suggest you only buy it to light a fire or line your budgie’s cage/cat’s litter tray….

Mortified, and kicking myself for being such an eejit, I decided to take a stroll anyway in the hope that I would bump into my new best friends, and have the opportunity to apologise face to face.

The park was unusually quiet, mainly down to the fact that it was bitterly cold to the point of being painful, so only the real ‘die hards’ had shown up for their daily constitutional.

I’m not normally much of a people watcher as I’m usually very much ‘up in my head’ as I’m paranoid, so don’t pay much attention to anyone else, but this day was different.  Despite my solitude and the Arctic cold weather I started to enjoy myself and took in the beauty of my surroundings.  The early bluebells  and daffodils were frosted a crystalline white, the budding trees caught in icy suspended animation, and the air was misty with expelled breath, fog and tiny particles of snow.

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The majority of the die hards were, as you might guess, dog walkers.  I’m a terrible dog molester and frequently stop some poor owner so that I can maul their mutt, but today was not a good day to slow these poor red nosed souls down.  Instead I decided to consciously beam love and admiration at the hounds as they went by.  And you know what? Nine times out of ten, they would try and come over to me!  Just call me the Pied Piper of Pooches :-).

The next biggest group were the runners.  Lycra clad, wooly hats atop of head, they sprinted by scarlet from the biting wind and effort, a look of agonised concentration etched on their faces. They came in all ages, shapes and sizes and I could only admire their dedication and commitment.  Maybe I’ll join ‘em.  When Spring arrives at any rate.

By now I was probably a quarter of the way around the grounds, so decided to do something else to amuse myself.  I channelled my inner country bumpkin and did the most heinous thing that you can do to a fellow Londoner.  I decided to make eye contact, smile, and at the very least, say hello.

A lot of you will be thinking ‘Big deal?’ at this, but believe me, us Londoners don’t do this unless we know one another.  It is percieved as being creepy, intrusive and inappropriate, especially on public transport and probably even more so in a park where a lot of freaks, muggers and paedos hang out.  Plus I’m not great at rejection, even from strangers.

Whatever.  If nothing else this should be an education.

And it was.

The first very camp guy walking his butch staffie looked like I’d just goosed him, instead of smiling and giving him a chirpy ‘‘Morning!‘.  He managed to recover his composure and mutter it back whilst scurrying by as fast as he could.  The dog returned my greeting with a loving look whilst it’s skinny little tail beat a tattoo on Camp Guy’s overcoat with sheer happiness.  Success!

My next victim was a runner, who responded to my beam with a twisted grimace and a ‘ha-mmppph!’ as he shot by, which I think was meant to be reciprocal/friendly and not just him clearing snot out of the back of his throat.

An aged Indian guy wearing an embroidered hat gave me one of the most beautiful smiles I’d ever seen as he peddled by on his bike, quickly followed by a couple of Sloany ladies with their kids, who eyes downcast, mumbled a response into their pashminas whilst subtly exchanging ‘WTF?’ looks at one another as I passed.

One of my favourites though was a diminutive, tough guy boxer type dressed from head to foot in black sweats and a grim, world weary expression etched into his granite like face as he ran, intermittently stopping to do press ups, shadow box and stretch.  I was going to enjoy this :-).  He was in the middle of doing some kind of twisting exercise as I approached, and as he inadvertently turned in my direction, I trilled ‘Good Morning!’ Joyce Grenfell stylee, right in his face.

Within a split second he averted his eyes as I were a gorgon or something and growled ‘Morning lady!’ back at me, before hitting the ground and giving some invisible sargeant major ’50’ push ups.  Whilst the returned greeting sounded more like ‘Don’t fuck with me lady, I’m training innit?!’’ than what came out of his mouth, I was happy with this little triumph, beamed at his sweating back and carried on my merry way.

My absolute favourite though was this little old dear who was walking her four Pekinese’s.  Both she and her charges were wearing colour co-ordinated outfits (she in pink, the dogs in mint, lemon, turquioise and purple respectively) and one of them was travelling in what can only be described as a pastel doggie version of the ‘Pope Mobile’. This took me so by surprise that I almost forgot to say hello. The lady however was obviously used to people staring, gobs hanging open in awe and immediately engaged me in conversation, telling me all about her babies, particularly the one in the vehicle who was so favoured because ‘his feet got sore’.  His Excellency Lord Sore-Feet gazed at me regally though the clear plastic hood, whilst his three siblings wagged their tails albeit rather nervously in my general direction.  I was desperate to give them a cuddle, but decided it might be some way inappropriate, and bid them all farewell.

By the time I could see my car, I had decided that the experiment/walk was a resounding success.  Very few people ignored me, most muttered a reply, quite a few even looked charmed by my overtures and of course I got to see some of the areas most eccentric residents.

There was, however, the small matter of putting my earlier tardiness/no show right though.

On arriving home, I imeediately shot off an extremely apologetic note to the Organised Walk Lady, explaining what had happened and hoping she wasn’t too inconvenienced by my absence.  And guess what? She was absolutely charming, laughed about the mix up, apologised for not being there but they waited in the freezing cold for 15 minutes for me at that gate, where there was no warmth or shelter to be had.

I was touched and humbled.

She sounds like someone I’d very much like to meet up with again.