Phoenix Fights

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


ONE FOR THE ROAD #bpd #sex

dr love

Like most BPD-ers, a lot of the time I hurt.

Usually spiritually, emotionally and psychologically.

But now there is a physical aspect to it.

I did a long and boring job the other day, much of it in extensive proximity with other members of my species, chatting, laughing, some even getting in my face, and at the end of the day, when all decended into chaos, with lots of jostling, pushing and shoving, it reminded me how much I loathe human beings en masse.

The situation was intolerable for someone like me.  The only thing that is plentiful in my life is my own space, and the choice of whom I do and don’t mix with, and when I felt my body stiffen with disgust and outrage, I inevitably sank to their level by fiercely and aggressively barging my way out, shuddering with distaste as I escaped into the rainy night.

Strangely enough, at odds with the days events, I was further tortured that night with weird sexual dreams, and when i woke the next day with a sore back, tight lats and a totally locked, inflexible neck, there was a different kind of nagging twinge between my legs, and I was reminded how unused to touch of any kind, especially that of a loving, sensual variety.

This is undoubtably not doing me any favours.

But by the same token, even considering doing something about it potentially opens up a whole new world of doubt, vulnerability and pain for me, so whilst my body might want sex, I want it about as much as I want my next pap smear test.

prostate test

For men, who obviously haven’t experienced such things, it’s kind of like a prostate test I suppose, but with something sharp that has a good old scratch and scrape around when it comes into contact with resisting flesh.

Plus we have to do them every year.

Every.  Year.

Yes?  You there yet?  God.

I used to physically enjoy intercourse, but since my orgasm lessened into a shadow of it’s former self, I can barely even be bothered to walk anymore.

Plus whilst a quick shag up against the wall might afford some genitalia related relief, I think I’m also missing sensual caresses, skin on skin contact, and, horror of horrors, being held.

And that’s even more scary than a pap smear test with a rusty coat hanger.

I don’t feel sexy anymore but more than that, I do not feel loveable in any way, shape or form, plus the thought of being emotionally vulnerable or needy in front of any man sends me into a panic attack to end all panic attacks, because the need for love lurks surreptitiously behind all of these pretenders, and I cannot hope to be able to fulfil this wholly unrealistic desire any time soon.

dr love

To be honest, if I could afford it, I would seriously consider booking a male prostitute to swing by and pretend to love me once a week, in the same way I would (and will) book a massage to fix my traumatised neck.

That said, the thought of someone turning up on my doorstep with a six pack and gelled hair, smirking like Theophilus T Wildebeest would be enough to make me slam the door, and send me hurtling back to my vibrator tout suite.

I have had men come on to me of late, and the next time someone does, I might just call their bluff and do it.

Not at mine because my home is my sanctuary and I don’t want someone turning up unannounced, intruding on my space.  Not at theirs as they might be a rapist cum serial killer and do a ‘Dexter’ on me.

It will  have to be on neutral territory.  Maybe in the back of my car even.

It will no doubt be tacky, grubby, sexually unsatisfying and embarrassing.

But at least I’ll know whether it’s worth all that to my poor, starved, traumatised carcass.

Even it it’s just one for the road, it you will.

Whether or not I have the guts to carry this out is debatable, but I’ll keep you all posted.  In the meantime, pray for me please!

Namaste x



Let him eat cake

I’ve recently been back in touch with a very old friend via Facebook.

I used to be very close to this person, and he knows i have some mental health issues, so I was surprised and bemused when after some general chit chat about how life has been for me of late, to received the following missive:

Hi hon

Read this and thought of you.

Maybe you should try this out as from what I can tell from Facebook, you still make exceedingly good cakes 😉

Jamie x

“I tried baking my way to romance”

‘Audrey Shulman was good at baking but less confident talking to men. She decided the way to a man’s heart might be cake – and her whole life changed’

Essentially, in a nutshell, this courageous young lady, desperate for a boyfriend, hit on the idea of using her baking to pull, and committed to baking 50 cakes, and taking them to 50 different LA bars in the hope that the numbers game would pay off and she would happen upon her other half.

Bless her.

Bless Jamie, the old romantic.

Aww, dontcha just love the normal folk who think that the answer to all life’s problems is getting a boyfriend/girlfriend and finding true lurve?

I don’t mean to tease, I honestly don’t.

But seriously.

Do people really think that the bone aching, excoriating loneliness of someone with BDP/depression (or any other alienating condition) who has never, nor will never, ever fit in, and feels like an alien on their own planet can be cured by romance?

To be honest, I am really going through the mill right now in nearly all aspects of my life, group therapy is twanging on my last frayed nerve, so I would not inflict myself on my worst enemy, let alone some poor, hapless bloke.

As for sex, I am no where near trusting enough to allow anyone access to my body.

Also, jiggy jiggy is not a cure all!

My father used to have this rather horrible saying about physical relations, which went along the lines of…

Sex might fill your belly, but it won’t fill his!’

…the old charmer (is it any wonder I’m so fucked up?!), which roughly translated means that sex isn’t everything, and you have to be cautious and practical and not get carried away by chemistry.

In other words, ‘Don’t get knocked up, or you’ll not have a room under this roof young lady, so you better hope that laughing boy has a job y’hear?’.

But believe me, it could only ever be a minor distraction when you have a huge hole at the core of your heart that needs to be filled with some kind of self love and self belief, and it must be healed before you can even consider unleashing yourself upon the males of this world.

But he, Jamie that is, meant well.  it’s not his fault he’s lovely, loved and loved up, as opposed to fucked up.

The twat.

So I replied:

Hi Jay

A) Cute article thanks for thinking of me!

B) Hell, no

This is mainly because:

1. I have very little trust in you penis owners, and have been this way all of my life, but I am however working my way through these issues *

2. In my experience, men do prefer savouries.  In this respect your predilection to pink, iced bakes is unusual.  Anything to tell me there, Twinkle?!

3. I want to be liked for myself and not be some bloke’s cakey come up, thank you v much!

* platonic winkies are fine, so stop tucking it between your legs, you look like Buffalo Bill!

Sista x

That said, as most of you know, I love baking for friends and loved ones once they’ve made a place in my heart.  But this privilege has to be earned!

Ladies, would you go offering your coochie for free in your local pub?  No?

Like it says in the Bible “Do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they gobble them up like starved dogs, burp, then turn back to their 6th pint of swill and ‘Match of the Day’ with nary a backwards glance, the ungrateful b******s”

Or something like that anyway.

I also don’t believe in hunting for a mate.

The proof of the pudding is that this lady did not find true love via ‘cake barring’ (and she’s young and pretty!), but she did meet someone when she was least expecting it.  Oh and she also landed a book deal, which, as David Dickinson might say, was the real deal, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂


Finally there are worse things than being single; this credo was fortified and embedded even deeper into my psyche after witnessing my friend’s fiancee (a distinguished Head of Chemistry at a very prestigious college no less) throw a 5 door slamming tantrum that would make a 3 year old blush with shame, ruining her birthday party, and causing everyone to leg it as soon as they’d finished their last drink.

Except for me that is.  I’d had too much to drink to drive home, hence was stuck with the pathetic little fuck for the rest of the evening.

How I held my tongue, i’ll never know.

And you best believe that the next morning at 6.30am I was up and outta there, and 60 minutes later, at home luxuriating in a fragrant moisturising bath, with a nice cuppa, some soothing music and two happy purring kitties, who were very pleased to have their momma back so early.

Seriously.  Is there anything worse than warring couples?  And why do they save their scraps for their single friends to witness? Do they consider it entertainment?

Who needs that shit?  If I’m not getting the benefits of a loving partner, I certainly don’t want to share the down side, so unless your beloved is going to service me, pick me up from the airport after a holiday, take out my trash, take me out Valentines Day, bring me breakfast in bed and paint my ceiling, you can keep the horrible stuff to yourself!

As for sex, Madame Sertraline has all but killed that urge off for me, so when a very cute rugby player half my age tried to come home with me the other day ‘For dinner and “afters”‘, I laughed and gently declined.

Did he honestly think I was going to stuff him?  Sorry, typo, I meant, did he honest think I was going to stuff him with carbs out of gratitude because he’s younger and prettier than me?

Sorry hon.  Even before i was drugged up to the eyeballs, sympathy fucks have never been an aphrodisiac to me.

But one day I’ll be better and maybe the universe will provide a kind, funny, ethical, passionate chap to share the rest of my journey with.


And you best believe, when he does finally rock up, he certainly won’t starve!

Namaste x





It’s official.

The days after lots of social interaction are always the worst.

When I don’t see anyone for a long period of time, I can almost kid myself that living in this little high rise burrow is a normal way of life, but then arriving home after being with the ‘normals’ I start to realise how lonely and isolated I really am.

That’s not to say that my weekend by the sea was idyllic. Nothing is ever perfect.

  • There was the concern that my flat may be burgled whilst I was away.


  • The worrying about my cat feeder not working and coming back to two kitty skeletons instead of two sulky toms and clumps of fur everywhere.
  • Then there was the rabbit.


No, I don’t have a long eared lop, a Dutch Dwarf or a cheeky Chinchilla.

Sally brought the bunny.

Lots of it too.

I know I’m being a bitch because there’s nothing wrong with being chatty and having lots to say, and it was great catching up with her, and super kind of her taking a miserable old cow like me away for the weekend, but it got to the stage that there was no silence in my days at all and I got sick of hearing my own voice, let alone hers.

Even when we were watching TV she would pipe up, just as something pertinent was happening and I had to strain to catch what was being said so’s not to lose the plot, without looking like I was ignoring her.

How do people manage this?  I assume I used to have this skill, or (more likely) perhaps I told the offending friend/boyfriend/flatmate to shut the fuck up and watch the programme already.

Even when, at her suggestion, we went and laid on loungers on the beach ‘to read’, I’d never get beyond one paragraph without her piping up with something or other and totally breaking my concentration again.

Doesn’t everyone appreciate a comfortable silence every now and then?!

Even before my ‘crash’, when I was out working amongst the normal, the whole point of seeing a movie or reading a book was to lose myself in someone else’s story and forget where/who I was.

If you watch a comedy you want to hear every punchline or witty aside;  If you’re reading a novel you want to get engrossed by the end of the first chapter; If you’re watching a thrilling drama, you want to be able to work out who the killer is, not listen to someone else’s annoying, speculating yap, yes?

I have to admit that I tend to show very short shrift indeed to anyone inadvertently breaking into my private world in these circumstances.  In my 20’s I once hurled someone’s copy of The Sun across the Tube carriage because he kept wafting it in my face and brushing my arm with it when I was trying to read.  I did fire two warning shots by (a) giving him a dirty look, then (b) saying a very icy ‘Excuse me’ which he chose to ignore, so it was his own fault really that I had to resort to (c)…


I am, of course, a lot more chilled and tolerant nowadays (hurray for medication), but I live alone apart from two mainly silent animals and so am used to a lot of quiet in my day, and endless superfluous chatter can be, if anything, even more intolerable to me nowadays.

But, apart from cracking once and raising a hand to silence Sal after the umpteenth interruption to my current fave programme (which earned me about 20 mins of, albeit, stony silence – bliss!), I think I coped very well.

Because we also cooked for one another.

Went out to lunch.

Sunned ourselves by the sea.

Went for long walks on the beach.

Went shopping.

And yes, for the most part, I very much enjoyed having someone to have some girl time with.

And ironically, when i got home, I immediately missed the chatter and felt the solitude hit hard and brought with it all the troubles and pending decisions, which, surprise surprise, did not leave the building when I did.

My lack of funds.

My need to find a job.

My medication situation.

My fear of all of the above and so much more.

And it became apparent that there are worse things to live with than a bit too much rabbit.

And these problems are only enhanced by the sound of silence.

Ooops where did that bit of tumbleweed flitting across the carpet come from?

Missing your company Sal, even though you do prattle on a bit….

Namaste x

PS Any non Brits wondering where the term ‘rabbit’ comes from, please find the below cockney ditty by the one and only Chas & Dave!




How can anyone who really loves music make a call on this one?!

If I absolutely have to, then today, I think it’s probably ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon and Garfunkel.

This song was released in 1970 when I was 8 years old.

In those days before anyone saw depression as anything other than a self indulgent weakness, before anyone round my way knew BPD even existed, and before anyone really examined their own, let alone their kids’ emotional health, I know that (a) I was very unhappy and (b) there was something wrong with me and (c) that no one was going to help me.

Then I saw Pan’s People ‘dancing’ on Top of the Pops to this song, and my ears pricked up. I ignored those silly tarts flailing around the stage in bits of chiffon, blocked out all background noise and listened to the lyrics carefully.

It was then that I knew that I was not altogether alone, and somewhere in America, there were others like me.

Well there were probably people like me in the next street, but how was I to know that?

It used to make me cry (much to the amusement of those around me), so it’s ingrained in me to avoid playing it voluntarily, but whenever I happen to hear it, it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and a lump come to my throat.

Simple, timeless, heartfelt, beautiful. x




If you were to pass me in the street, you’d probably think that I look like the average, mild mannered, rapidly ageing, peri menopausal maiden, if a little frosty about the edges.

But I have a secret life.

I’m a very adept, dedicated, highly skilled, sniper.

Not the kind that fires semi automatic weapons at passing civilians, of course.  Although in the neighbourhood I live in, it’s not unheard of and sometimes a prudent course of action if you’re carrying a designer handbag, the latest iPhone or even a six pack of Fosters.

I’m one of those really annoying people that goes on eBay and just when the last seconds of an auction are ticking away, jumps in at the last moment and bids for your item, and usually stealing the deal right from under your nose.

Nice huh?

But I don’t do it to annoy.  I’m kinda of addicted because it’s (a) something to do, (b) a cheap(ish) thrill and ( c) I’m hunting, not wabbits, but super warm, beautiful cashmere goods.


I’ve always wanted a 100% cashmere coat, but would never stump up for the price of a new one, as, rather like buying a new car, it’s one hell of an investment and loses value the minute you walk it out of the shop.  Plus, I’m unemployed.  So I peruse eBay just waiting for the right item to pop it’s head up, then I can monitor my target and wait those 45 seconds at the end of the auction to strike.

And it’s turned into something of an obsession.

Especially when something I want is elusive or in short supply, then I’ll usually end up hunting it down to some small village in the Cotwolds and demand to buy it, which is why I ended up driving 40 miles to a small exclusive boutique the other day to purchase a beautiful mohair car coat that I hadn’t even tried on, as it was the last size 10 in existence.  Fortunately it fit me, but to be honest I barely ever go out anymore, haven’t worn it yet, and not sure when I will, so quite why I felt compelled to buy it right now I do not know.

But it’s winter, cold, and as a tallish person with long extremities I always get the urge to swathe myself in warm sumptuous layers to protect me from the weather.  I’ve always been quite a sensuous person too, so am very attracted to natural fabrics that feel good against the skin.  Cashmere, wool, mohair, brushed cotton, alpaca, you name it and you’ll find me buried under a pile of it come October through to March.

And in the summer, when the weather is hot (ha!), cottons, silk, linen and light denim make up the majority of my wardrobe.

I’m not rich or a snob, it’s not about that.  I love brushed cotton as much as virgin wool, but I can’t abide anything unnatural, itchy or sweat inducing against my skin, but nice fabrics and yarns feel like caresses to me, which probably boils down to the fact that in my day to day life, I am rarely physically touched.


Of course I get light, air kissy, mwah mwah embraces from my London friends when I meet them, but apart from when I see my family, it’s rare that I am on the receiving end of a proper embrace, let alone a cuddle.  And when you see photographs of me with a group of people, I’m always slightly separate/aloof from the group, even if I’m liked by them, as ironically from a body language point of view, I strongly suspect that I put out an untouchable vibe, when I’m probably more in need of physical contact than anyone I know.

And don’t even get me started about sex. The thought of it is just unimaginable to me right now.

There is no doubt that I am lonely, isolated, and as a result I have built myself a very comfortable, homely fortress here in South London, and with it’s plush carpets, log fire and cosy nooks and armchairs strewn with throws, it would be the ideal little sanctuary to come home to.

If I ever went out that is.

And as much as I love and appreciate my home and the garments that make up my wardrobe, there are times where I’d be willing to set a match to the lot of it in exchange for a cuddle from someone who loved and will love and take care of me until the day I die.

But until that person comes along, if they ever do, I will stay here snug in my lonely bunker, behind the blanketed barricades, scanning the horizon for something that will kill the pain.

If only for sixty seconds.




This year, I decided to go and stay with my family for a few days over the Christmas period.  I don’t always go, and we haven’t always been in touch at Christmas, but this time, it turned out to be the gift that kept on giving.

In it’s way.

There has been a lot of turbulence within what’s left of my tribe, but in the last couple of years or so we have worked hard to get on and reform bonds, and for the most part, we now get on pretty well, but despite our silent resolution to shove past recriminations under the carpet, little reminders have a habit of rudely popping back up when I least expect it.

Christmas gift shopping for them has always been an anxious task for me.  Making sure I buy for all family members and their broods, buy stuff that they’ll like, take along enough food/drink goodies to please/appease and not appear like a freeloader, whilst, especially this year, trying not to break the bank and get myself into debt over a celebration that is all but over come the end of Boxing Day.

I have no kids and no partner, so there is no his/hers sharing the cost comfort zone for this little black duck, but I give because I want to, I enjoy getting it right, and don’t keep tally.

I arrived on Christmas Eve to warm hugs and appreciative noises for my home made offerings, so it was all so far so good. The younger family members swamped me with hugs, warming my physical contact starved body, and my Grinchy little heart expanded in gratitude.

We ate a light meal, then went to midnight mass, then instead of going to bed, ended up playing a board game until the wee hours.

And then as Christmas Day started in traditional drunken form with a Buck’s Fizz breakfast, I blearily watched my sister’s family’s animated antics, and I could see where my largely suppressed, more exuberant side might have come from, had I felt safe enough to express it.  Everyone pretty much laughs, banters, berates, bickers, scolds and insults another at a deafening pitch, and whilst the more negative exchanges have her casual cruelty stamped all over them, it is fascinating to me that no one takes offence for very long and all friction is usually over in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

It was very different for the two of us.

Maybe her hubby’s slightly saner, more chilled out genes makes for forgiving hearts and sturdier psyches.

And after lunch we play another round of Risk (oh, the irony), and as the competitive, combative screeching reaches eardrum popping proportions, the poor little EMO soul who is dating one of my nieces locks eyes with me in amused despair as it to say ‘Sweet Jesus Christ, is it always like this?’.

We grin amidst the pandemonium and I shrug and reply telepathically.  ‘Yes!  But it’s fun, and only for a few days.  Have another drink, it’ll help!’

Then my brother in law comes in with a tray of snacks and the grin freezes on my face.

I bought that tray over thirty years ago.

‘Sista!  It’s your turn!  Not that you have much to play for now!’ jeers my sister, and I turn back to the table and focus on getting my arse kicked for another hour or so.

And when I pass their bedroom on the way back from the bathroom, I spot my sewing basket.  The one my second boyfriend bought me for my 20 something birthday.

I avert my eyes.

I don’t want to think about this today.

I don’t.

I return to the battlefield, have another drink and forget all about it.

The next day we have the Cinderella panto to go to (

Oh  God.

In all honesty, pantomimes are really not my thing but I didn’t want to appear anti social, so I agreed to go along.

Cue lots of ‘It’s behind you!’, men dressed as ugly sisters, women dressed as princes, z list soap actors and X factor stars, ‘Oh, no you didn’t!’, aged back in the day TV entertainers, cheesy jokes and terrible chart song covers, boob jokes, slapstick and audience participation.

The kids loved it.

It went on for three hours and I found the whole thing absolutely gruelling.  This is one of those times when I have to fight hard to look as if everything is alright, when inside I’m dying and desperate to run outside, hijack a passing farming vehicle and head off down the M40 home.  I know this sounds dramatic and to all intents and purposes I just have to stay on my seat until it finishes and not kill anyone, but my clan are now hyper vigilant to any negative changes in my demeanour, so I have to act my socks off, laugh, sing and look like I’m having a marvellous time and not wishing I was somewhere, anywhere else.

If I’d know it was going to be this grim, I’d have offered to babysit my eldest niece’s cute but snot nosed little son, or at the very least licked his sipper cup in the hope that I’d contract his cold and be allowed to stay at home and down port in front of the TV.

But I did it.

As we head home, I’m not the only one who’s drained.  The boyfriend decides to crash, so a duvet is brought down so that he’s not too cold on the sofa.

Again, I go a bit cold.  It is MY duvet that I bought for my first ever flat share in London, all those years ago.

There are also more recent things that have been left at Chez Big Sis, and never seen again.

Books, hats, earrings, and tupperware boxes that I know I’ll never get back.

And who knows, the place is such a mess half the time, it’s easy for a visitor’s odd possession to get lost in the swirling magma of shit on the floor, unnoticed until they eventually arrive home, but I know some are accidentally kept and absorbed into the household, so I am careful to remember to take everything home with me nowadays.

But losing the odd thing doesn’t bother me that much.

It was the en mass ‘possession is nine tenths of the law’ confiscation of pretty much all of my worldly goods in the late 80’s that was the most devastating thing for me.

I had been abroad for a few years with a boyfriend, and with their permission, had left my stuff in their attic for safe keeping until I got home.  I think they had thought, or indeed hoped that I’d emigrate our there so when i arrived home three years later, after pretty much having a trail run version of my recent woes, jobless, skint  and on the verge of a breakdown, they met me at the airport and I sensed that they weren’t exactly pleased to see me.

When I arrived at their house, I realised why.

Everywhere I looked, I saw my own household items, books, furniture and ornaments embellishing the rooms of their new home.  I was shocked but when caught staring at them in disbelief, their faces would set like stone in grim collusion as it to say ‘And?  What’s the problem exactly?’

I’ll never forget how cheated, alone and unwanted I felt at that moment.

I did however get about a quarter of my possessions back in the form of clothes and shoes (probably because they wouldn’t have fitted her), but fashion had moved from early 80’s glitz and excess to late 80’s Doc Marten and torn jeans casual minimalism, so were of precious little used to me.

I stayed with them for the maximum of four weeks as I had no money, and as soon as I got a job, I was chivvied out to find a place to stay.

And on leaving, instead of receiving a big hug and the rest of my things back, I was presented with a bill.

A bill, if you please.

Consisting of a cost per day of how much it would have cost me at that current market rate had I rented a room from them (which inadvertently I had been doing), plus food, plus a share of all the household bills.  They didn’t even allow for their own children, it was all divided between the three of us.

I’m amazed that they didn’t add VAT onto it.

And a month to the day of leaving and within hours of receiving my first pay check I was not only chased for some payment but also asked to buy my father a new video player because his was broken and essentially it was made clear that it was my turn to pull my financial weight and pitch in.

And unlike my sister and father, I didn’t own anything other than the clothes I brought back with me.

I literally felt that I had escaped from a frying pan and leapt into an incinerater, as if I’d thought I’d been lonely in another continent, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the way I felt in the boney, cold, reluctant embrace of my family.

An embrace that quickly withdrew when I refused to buy the video player.

Thirty years on, after years of anger, angst, estrangement and eventual reconciliation, I’ve tried to put it all behind me and move on, but it doesn’t help when I see constant physical reminders on my sister’s shelves and in her cupboards.

I think they love me now, or as much as they can, and they have a four storey houseful of stuff, so why the continual obsession with my  things?

Christmas was nice though. Genuinely fun, warm, loving and kind.

Let me make it clear that I don’t think I was entirely without fault during those turbulent times.  I was angry, resentful, bolshy, had a vicious tongue and was pretty much out of my mind.

I just wish I understood what was going on here. Do they think I’ve ponced off of them in the past? That I’m a secret millionaire?  That after all these years, I STILL owe them?

I know that sis used to be a bit obsessed with one of our aged aunts, and would wonder out loud as to whether she had any money stashed away.

I wonder if she and her husband ask each other the same question about me? Do they really care about me or am I just a potential cash cow for them and/or their kids when I kick the bucket?

Fucking chilling isn’t it?

Or maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Then further clarification comes to light.

My middle niece moved into her first flat share this summer, so the last time I was here, I dropped off an old video player, a nice old blanket box and some soft furnishings for her as she didn’t have much by way of possessions.

So on Boxing Day, we were all watching an old Christmas movie and I asked her how the flat was going.

‘Oh I love it Aunty Sista!  We all get on so well and it’s nice having a bit of privacy from this lot’ she replied, shoving her brother off the sofa with a slippered foot as he howled in protest.

‘And did you get that stuff I left you?  Hope it all fits in with your deco?’

There was a momentary uncomfortable silence, then she left out an awkward pealing laugh.

‘Oh, you’ll have to ask Mum about that’ she chuckled, ‘she decided to keep everything for their bedroom!’

And as they all chortled along, silently urging me to share the joke, I fake laugh along with them, vaguely appalled.

For God’s sake, it’s the kid’s first flat! She barely has a stick of furniture to her name!  WTF?!  You can barely see their bedroom carpet for stuff, it looks like someone has upended a car boot sale onto it!

They’re starting to remind me of a domestic version of ‘The Thing’; I sit tight thinking that if their dog to start whining or heading for the door, I’ll be seconds behind it, presents in one hand and car keys in the other.


And then I realise that whatever this shit is about, it’s not about lack of love.  My sis and her husband adore their brood, and only want the best for them, so who knows where it stems from.  Our impoverished childhood, years of scrimping and saving to support and raise four kids, some kind of psychological disorder, who knows, maybe they’ll end up on one of those ‘crazy hoarders’ documentaries, burrowed under piles of newspapers and surrounded by tut, but a warm rush of hope suddenly cascades over my scabby, old trauma wounds.

Maybe their taking all my stuff wasn’t about me.

Maybe they genuinely thought that they weren’t doing anything wrong.  That if I planned to stay that I’d have offered it to them anyway.

Maybe they have always loved me after all, even if at the same time, they resented my freedom and ability to go away and travel, and couldn’t wait for me to come back, if only to be able to pitch in financially.

I sucked my teeth, rolled my eyes and shook my head reprimandingly at my sister whilst replying to my niece ‘Charming, hey? Don’t worry hon, next time I’ll deliver stuff to your door and not leave it here with this grabby lot!’

My sister adopted a look of mock innocence whilst winking at her daughter and heading out to the kitchen to put the dinner on.

It’s time I got over this painful memory.

It wasn’t and isn’t personal.

It’s behind me.

But if she so much as glances at my new blender, before I get it safely into the boot of my car, there’ll be hell to pay.




I’ve hit the wall, and this I know

For me there’s just one room to go

Whilst there are places I could be

I’d rather stay and watch TV

Seconds, minutes hours and days

Are eaten up as I betray

All that I could work to be

But, I’m here, my dear, watching TV

Am I lazy?  Is it fear?

Or pain that keeps me sitting here?

Just how fucked up can I be?

God how I long just to be free

Of sleeping, waking, eating, shitting

And find a place that is more fitting

For a creature such as me

Who pores, eyes sore, at her TV

But I can’t keep on being a slob

As soon I’ll need to get a job

And walk the wheel, and watch the clock

And hope that opportunity will knock

Before despair devours my brain

And sends me totally insane

But today is not that day

And while I sit and watch, I pray

That I can get out on my own

And try and make this earth my home

But today, I will not move

As I don’t have the strength to prove

Anything to you or me

So I will stay and watch TV