Selfish or just in need of some comfort?

The nights are drawing in, it’s getting cold (if you’re in Yorkshire like me seriously cold) and coming home to an empty flat is getting harder to deal with.  As is the fact I’m unable to join my friends at an event that means so much to so many of us in just a couple of weeks.  My endometriosis is causing physical pain and messing with my hormones and my knees are fighting against the cold.  My Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t help much either.

Yes this post is self-indulged and will probably pull people away from reading it, but my blog, my rules.  I’m starting to feel like I’ve got nothing to look forward to.  I know this isn’t true in the long term, but in the short term, the only thing keeping me looking forward is the chance of lunch with A on the 24th November.  I miss being in a constant flurry of things to look forward to, I miss spending time with my friends at conventions and I miss feeling like I have something just on the horizon.

I want something special to happen, something that is mine and that will bring me that one moment of pure happiness that I’m lacking at the moment. It doesn’t have to be big, but I want something.  When I’m alone all the time I start to get caught up in the stress of things and not look at the bright side, I start to worry, I close up, I withdraw.  None of these are good things.  So maybe I’m being selfish, but is it so wrong of me to want that comfort?

Tattoo or not to tattoo that is the question

I was reading an article on the The Telegraph website earlier today about HMV banning visible tattoos and piercings for their store staff and the discussion it sparked in the comments section.  Most of the comments moved from the unification of staff appearance to the topic of body modification being a past time of layabouts, thugs and those who don’t want to work.  I’m more than a little insulted, as I suspect, would anyone else who has body modifications would be.  I’m a thirty year old with 3 small tattoos, a fourth tattoo designed and planned and I hold down a full time job whilst dealing with health issues, thank you very much you narrow minded people.  There are also people for whom tattooing is a religious and/or cultural right of passage.

Continue reading “Tattoo or not to tattoo that is the question”

The problem with depression

Depression can be caused by many things, hormone imbalances, the lack of daylight hours in winter, illness, an experience such as physical and emotional loss.  But the problem is unless you’ve ever experienced it, you don’t understand the enormity of the situation.

Warning: under the cut you may find triggers and uncomfortable reminders.

Continue reading “The problem with depression”

What if everything you had ever believed, everything you’d ever known was a lie?

I found out some things recently that for a week or so coloured my view of certain person.  What those things are and who that person is, I can’t reveal, because it would break a trust that I do not want to lose.  But it hurt.  It put me in a position of wondering how valid certain things I hold as truth are and what that means in the grand scheme of how I feel about things.  It also confirmed a gut feeling that had been nagging at me for a while.

But then I sat and broke it down.  My experiences, my truth, are no different than they were before.  The things that have happened have happened and they are there and real and true.  The reality of it is still there.  The opinions of that person are still valid and the way I feel about them is still valid.  It’s the actions of another person that brought them into question and that person is neither here nor there to me, although I do find it amusing that I see them in varying shades of grey leaning towards black rather than with complete indifference now.

Someone once asked me “What if everything you had ever believed, everything you’d ever known was a lie?”  It’s a common enough question and I honestly can’t remember my answer at the time.  But my answer to it now is this:

If you told me today that my truth, what I consider to be true was not true, it still would be.  My feelings are still true, my experiences are still true and valid.  When I finally saw the person I call my sperm donor for the man he truly is, I was crushed.  But that doesn’t lessen the experience and truth of my first eight years of life.  I may have been too young to see the whole picture, but those years are very much real and very much valid.  It’s my perspective that’s changed.  It doesn’t mean my life and my beliefs were a lie.  Here’s the thing, you cannot determine an experience as a lie in the same way you can the opposite of a factual truth, because an experience is not always factual, not always logical, and so, the scrutiny of factually based evidence falls apart when trying to use it to measure the truth of experience.

So the things I know now that I didn’t know before about a particular person have shifted the balance slightly, but the truth of my experiences still remains.  I still feel the way I did about them, but I just have another piece of the puzzle and I’m trying to fit that into the correct place as it forms part of the bigger picture.

For once I want the media to portray Queer couples and characters without prejudice

A list of things I want and have every right to expect:

  • Queer characters on my screen as actual people, in mainstream shows.  By Queer I mean EVERY part of the LGBTQ community.
  • Queer relationships.  When the fans see a more probable relationship than the mainstream media do in a show from the chemistry between actors, it’s insulting when it’s ignored.
  • A Disney film with a lesbian princess and a gay prince. Children need to know that their families are represented even in kids movies.
  • Queer people to be treated with respect. Period.

A huge ‘Thank you’ to Lana Parrilla from this Evil Regal

After yesterday’s post about the harsh realities for some of us who choose to come out, today is filled with a ray of sunshine. Sitting waiting for my hospital appointment this morning, a tweet arrived on my phone.  I open it up and there’s an image linked.  Open the image and this is what I see:

Lana NOH8

Thank you, Lana, for standing up for those who are verbally and physically abused, who deal with online hate day in day out.  And thank you for your continued support of LGBTQ causes.

This Evil Regal held hir head a little higher today when a colleague asked “So who is it that’s done this new picture for NOH8?” and had the chance to reply with “Lana Parrilla, the Evil Queen on Once Upon A Time and leader of the Evil Regals.  Thanks to her we all feel a little more inspired and positive.”

Much love to you, Lana,

And thank you again,

Me

Psychological Warfare – the nightmare of coming out of the closet

Warning: This post may contain expletives, may trigger issues for those with coming out stories that feature psychological and physical abuse and is not for the faint hearted.Continue reading “Psychological Warfare – the nightmare of coming out of the closet”

Itchy fundraising feet

Every year I say I’m going to do a Memory Walk, and every year I fail.  So I’m going to put this out there and see what you, my very few loyal readers think.  I want to do a walking challenge.  It needs to be manageable and I’ll need to rope in a friend or two to do it with me.  But I don’t want it to raise money just for Alzheimer’s.  I would like to raise money for Sanctuary for Kids and Autism as well.

As such I’m thinking before my 31st birthday in July next year, I want to do 30 miles in 3 weekends.  Now that translates to two walks a weekend, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.  It won’t be how long it takes that counts, but that each mile is met and reached.  The end funds would be split three ways, between those charities and any friends who got involved would/could raise money for those charities as well.  I know I wouldn’t be able to walk it alone.

I’m thinking this would be about June time because the winter weather does my arthritic knees no favours, and I’d need to contact the charities involved, but if the idea gains support and if one or two of my friends agree to do it with me, then I’ll start looking at possible routes.  Photos would be taken along the way and I’d post them on my blog to show my progress.

I’m aware that I’ll need to build up my walking stamina before then and work out how to manage the pain it will produce but I’ve got those itchy fundraiser feet again.  I feel like I’ve been sitting and waiting too long.  And whilst there’s a project in the offing which will go live soon, hopefully, it’s only directed at one charity.  So tell me, what do you think?

The problem with reading Jodi Picoult’s books

I love Jodi Picoult’s books. In fact I can rave about them and the way that she creates such a sense of being there with the characters until I am blue in the face.  I love her work so much I went to the book signing for Sing You Home in Manchester and couldn’t stop tweeting about it, under my then user name of @halfbloodme.  I adore her work so completely and utterly, because it’s engrossing and captivating.  And let’s not forget that Jodi herself is an amazing human being who has time for we aspiring authors who are fans of her work.

But here is my issue.  Jodi writes so well that it’s impossible to put her books down and her subject matter is rarely easy to deal with.  Don’t get me wrong that’s what I love about her work too, because her subject matter is usually related to things that society has labelled as taboo.

I am currently re-reading Perfect Match.  Which if I had thought about it, I would probably have left on the shelf for a time when I wasn’t confronting some past issues.  Salem Falls would not have been a good one either, but as I have let a good friend borrow that one, it wasn’t in my line of view, even though it’s my favourite book by Jodi.  The truth is, with my health being the way it is at the moment, I wanted an old friend to settle down with.  And Jodi’s books, whilst provocative and tear jerking, are old friends.  They challenge the reader and the characters become people you know.  So on picking up Perfect Match, I must have forgotten that it was in the mental box labelled ‘only when you aren’t living alone and dealing with stress’.

In Perfect Match, Nina Frost, a prosecuting A.D.A. is thrown into a world of hell as her own family experiences what so many children she deals with in court have experienced, when her son, five-year-old Nathaniel is sexually abused.  Big. Fat. Warning. Sign. Nat.  I picked it up without checking which one it was and I didn’t look at the cover and started reading.  I know better than to do that with Jodi’s books.  Once I start reading, I can’t stop.  It’s not as simple as “Why don’t you pick another book?”  It’s a complicated mess of emotions that I need to go through to get to the end and then put it to rest, stick it back in my mental box and forget about it for a while at least.

Until I was handed Salem Falls, all those years ago, by my then girlfriend, I had never found an author’s work who compelled me to keep reading even though every fibre in my being was telling me to run for the wind.  I don’t deal well with emotional issues.  I don’t have the ability to process them the way most people do.  I tend to cope very badly with emotions.  And yet, Jodi’s books always manage to give me a resolution.  It may not be the one I’m looking for, but when I read one of her books, I know by the end of it, I’m going to sit there and have a calm about me which I didn’t have before.  Because during the course of the book, I will find a character who I can identify a part of me with.  It can be the smallest part, but it’s there, and through that character, I can find a resolution for my own issues.  As that character works towards whatever resolution they find, I have a connection and I begin to work towards my own.

The truth is, it can be the mother in My Sister’s Keeper who helps me to see what my mother dealt with in being so desperate to do anything to keep me, the baby she had always wanted, that she immediately agreed to the heart surgery that saw me die twice on the table and which, although no one can say for certain, has probably led to several of my health issues today.  It can be Nina Frost and the way in which the life she has so lovingly crafted falls apart around her, Emma Hunt in House Rules and the way she expects others to not understand her son’s Asperger’s (I think of my niece and nephew every time I read the blurb, let alone the book) or Zoe and Vanessa in Sing You Home, a book that deals so sensitively with the issues that face the LGBTQ community.

So yes, I’ll keep reading Perfect Match, knowing that it will tear me apart as I do.  But perhaps, this time, in Nina, or one of the other characters, I’ll heal a new part of myself and take a step towards being that person who no longer suffers the nightmares caused by memories of something I witnessed a long time ago.

A fairly good Monday

Yes I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, good and Monday in the same sentence, but it’s true.  Before I start reeling off what happened to make today a good day, I will start with a preface explaining how close I live to the train station I catch my morning train from.  And also make note of the fact I don’t use my stick to get to work because the walk is a twenty minute walk from the train station at the other end.

As across most of Britain, it hasn’t stopped raining all day today.  Our little area of the North of England has had constant rain, making it difficult for anyone with mobility difficulties to walk anywhere without falling over.  I gritted my teeth as I walked across the small back lane that takes me to platform one of the train station.  That’s literally how far it is.  I turn out of my apartment block’s front door and walk across a road.  Now to get to platform three, I have to go up and over one of the bridges and across the car park.  I rarely use the lift because train station lifts break down a lot.  It takes me ten minutes in weather like today to make it up one side, because if I slip, even if it’s three stairs, it can take me a long time to get back up.  This morning I was just about to start the stair walk when one of the regular station staff who knows me fairly well, has seen me with and without my stick stops me.

“The lifts are both working, they’ve just been serviced, you might be better off going that way.”  He smiles, standing there in a weatherproof jacket looking like he could use a good cup of tea.

“Oh thanks, Jay.” I smile at him and move onto the platform to get the lift.  Potential embarrassment of falling averted, I smile to myself.  It’s Monday, that’s as good as it’s going to get, right?

Get to work, not as soaked through as I could be and thankful for the winter coat that M bought me last winter.  I’m warm and apart from my jeans being a little damp and the cuffs of my coat having dripped water onto my sweater I’m good and I’ll soon dry out, even if the office needs the heating turned back on.  We were cold today until about lunchtime.

Next bit of good news, discussing the need for a place to crash in London for EMS a week on Friday,  (I got the email this morning from my friend confirming she wants me to work on her stall for her), I found a hostel, not too far away from Kings Cross and not that much of a hassle by tube for just over £50 in total for the two nights. I’m seriously happy with that find, and I’ll only be sleeping there and it comes with free breakfast.  So that’s now booked.  Just waiting for the train fare to be sent to me via PayPal.

At lunch time a colleague went out to get lunch from Morrisons, came back with dessert for the helpdesk in the form of a chocolate ganache that was sinfully delicious and a large triple chocolate cake for the entire office.  This colleague is awesome in most respects, but today, yes he is my favourite.

One client rang up asking to speak to said colleague, but I discovered I could help her.  Once I was done talking to her, she called me extremely helpful and a bright star in an otherwise cloudy sky.  So yes, I made a client happy and she in turn made me happy.

Today also sped by, which never happens with a Monday, especially one with hardly any calls or emails through to the helpdesk.  I’m now home, ready to pull up a much neglected fanfic I’ve been working on and debating exactly what I want for my dinner.

I’m a little sleepy and my legs are not in the best of shape tonight, but it’s been a good one.