Tag Archives: childhood

Writers that influenced me Part 3

Roald Dahl was one of the first two authors I first discovered and loved throughout my childhood and got me into the habit of reading because of how much I enjoyed their works; the other author was Eric Hill, I was a major fan of Spot the dog.  But Roald Dahl really knew how to identify with children and think like them.

Roald Dahl was one of the first authors I experienced who actually understood how children think and how children might behave in certain circumstances and I enjoyed and respected that about him.

All too easily adult authors try to avoid the snotty nose kids covered in mud aspect of childhood and try to portray children as mini adults and it isn’t accurate!  Many people try to show that children can be brave too, but Roald Dahl fully understands that a growing person often feels fear; especially when they are alone in the world dealing with some pretty big stuff going on around them, how often children are disregarded and ignored by their elders, often in reality children are made to feel inconvenient even by those that care and love them.

He did all of this whilst never deviating from the fact that although some children can rebel and do nasty things to their elders, they still have a certain amount of innocence about them and I admire the balance he had in his stories.

Christopher Moore’s books are hilarious and I read them whenever I am having a hard time, because he is just so funny!  I love how he plays with ideas and makes fun of the aspects of society which seem to be the most serious.

Although most of his books is all about humour he never deviates from excellent high quality storytelling and never forgets the real seriousness of the lives he is writing about, because although he is a light hearted absurdist he is also very dark. 

Again I believe his books have shown me how to write in a balanced kind of way.

Ransom Riggs books are absolutely wonderful, when I first read “Tales of the peculiar” my first book I ever read from him, I actually thought he was an old European storyteller from the times of the brothers Grimm or something and was actually genuinely surprised to find out he is a contemporary writer. 

Reading his books gave me the confidence to realise that the way he wrote the stories is not outdated and it has a certain charm that contemporary readers still enjoy, I always liked this style of storytelling. 

Again I loved the darkness in his books and he sometimes portray the ickiest things with light-heartedness, he has an excellent imagination which shows me that anything you can dream up can be accepted by readers, because he has done it.  There has been times where I felt my own works were too light about the dark aspects of my own stories, where I felt I should think about reader sensitivities, but in doing so I lose myself and my readers will lose too as there are many out there who likes this kind of stuff – I am not alone.

Ransom Riggs is very good at showing how different cultures view things, that not everybody thinks and feels the same and that if magic was part of our reality there are many things we must consider about how magical cultures will be so much different to our own, in such fantastic ways.

Happy reading.

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Overcoming my obstacles

I am taking on a lot of new challenges lately all at once, Paul thinks I shouldn’t have done so much at once or at least tried to, but it’s just me all over – in at the deep end, always.

As well as trying to do the writing deadline for the 21st October 2022, I am also trying many new things to improve my health – one major thing which is leaving me zomped, is losing my reliance on caffeine.

I have a thirty five year caffeine addiction thanks to my lazy mother, who got me into cola drinks and Lucozade around the age of 5 for convenience sake! 

As a child I was too short to get drinks for myself because the sink was too high up and she doesn’t believe in the health benefits of bought mineral water or fruit juices and didn’t want me climbing on a step to do it either, so a lot of the time I went without water and diluted fruit juice drinks – instead, she kept a cupboard low enough for me to have access to drinks and snacks for myself whenever I liked, so long as it didn’t bother her – those drinks and snacks were cans upon cans of Pepsi, cola and bottles of Lucozade, the snacks were crisps, biscuits, bite size chocolates and cakes to my little heart’s content.

When I was nine a neighbour kid I befriended taught me how to climb up on the cabinets safely, but by then I was already addicted to caffeine.

When I first moved in with Paul, Paul was horrified to discover I had an addiction to Pepsi and cola in general so much so, that I was drinking an average of 3 litres a day with three coffees on top!

That’s how bad it was!

In recent years I have bought it down to just one or three glasses per day, which is still bad, but I am fighting a thirty five year addiction here! 

On the 20th of August I decided to go cold turkey and not put coffee, cola or Pepsi to my lips at all – the result is extreme tiredness and a permanent headache as well as the general shakiness and blemish outbreak which is resulting in my detoxification process!

I guess I am cheating in a way, because I have a chocolate flavoured protein shake round twice a week, but the calories are less and so is the caffeine in comparison to what I was consuming!

Because of how crap I feel at the severely reduced caffeine intake, I have gone into a quiet depression, which is making it hard for me to be online – as I am getting tearful whenever someone is nice to me.

Basically I have been quiet on twitter because I need to get a grip!

Along with Henry being home from school until the 7th September and going cold turkey from caffeine, I have to admit, I am struggling to do anything productive whatsoever other than stare at the TV not taking in what I am watching and basically feeling in a state of exhausted shock!

I never knew that caffeine can do this to someone, when they stopped!  Emotionally I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster, I feel highly stressed, crying at the drop of a hat and generally feel like I am going to die because of the palpitations I seem to be getting since stopping the caffeine!

Why am I doing this to myself?  To get healthier!

Am I deliberately trying to put obstacles in the way of my deadline – NO!  Paul has asked me this and it is definitely a NO!

I have started to do this because Pepsi in particular is becoming far too expensive for us these days and it is that or food – plus, I am doing it because it is starting to give me stomach ache whenever I drink it!

As for my October 21st Deadline – I know I won’t make it for the graphic novel main project I am working on, because I have chosen to do the art myself for it!

The novel I will be approaching publishers for is going through what I hope to be its last draft between the 7th September and the 21st October and that is going to be my debut novel – I hope!  It is a Christmas fantasy.

I need about another three to six months to hone my art skills enough for me to be able to feel confident that I can do the art myself! 

The problem comes at the fact that each picture can take me ninety minutes to six hours to complete!

Paul said this is ridiculous, this will mean that your AD project is going to take you two years to do all the pictures you’ve got planned in this list! 

OK, I realise that, but I had the idea that if I did just one picture of each character and gave this to another artist as an idea of the style I want, then that will drastically cut the time down – won’t it?

Well that’s my reasoning behind it anyhow!

Paul is very disappointed that project AD is not going to be my first; he had hoped the second one would be D1, but it’s not that either, it’s CS, my Christmas story.

D1, I am unhappy at the ending.

AD, I want to do the art.

CS is easier to get out faster as I have no interest in doing the art for that and I just want it to be a novella.

SP is another one of my current projects, but that is even more complexed than AD and there are at least twelve novels in that series and a series of that size is not a good debut risk for any publisher!

I could send out one of my finished vampire novels by the deadline, but again, they are a huge series or rather saga series, that I don’t have time to write them fast enough to sate a publisher or agent just yet!

I could do one of my two horrors, which are standalones, but at the moment the Christmas story is fresher in my mind!

I had thought just to sate people who believe I am not really a writer, that I should just choose one of my series to post on my blog, just to show you the work and can and do, do – but then Paul said what if it turns out to have been potentially a bestseller, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot all for the sake of naysayers!

Then I thought – he’s right, they’d love that, wouldn’t they?

I did think though, about turning some of my old poems into short stories for the blog and eventually my YouTube channel as mini art movies.

That idea is actually very exciting to me!

Happy reading everyone!

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Visuals & symbolism

Passions are what makes people succeed, a lot of people make presumptions about my passions because they observe things that I allow them to see, but ultimately they are wrong.

I am mostly stimulated by visuals, it is agonising to write, but I have no confidence in my art and drawings. 

People think that being a writer I write because writing is my passion – not so, what drives me to write is the prospect of the art whether in movies or paintings.  I like visuals a lot.  I often speak with Paul about how I wish I was a better artist and a faster one, so that I can draw the scenes I see in my head and then just write snippets of what those images are about.

But in my opinion my art is naff, but my writing is good.

I really want to be the artist behind my graphic novels I am working on, but I just can’t make the grade I have set for myself, for that to make me feel yes it is complete and it is wonderful… you know?

You should know that a lot of people are confident in my ability as an artist, but I am not.  Because my art is not exactly how I see it in my head; my art is too cartoon and manga like, when I want my art to reflect more realism or at least CGI quality.  Talking of which, I don’t do digital art – which would make the CGI concept actually happen, but I am trying to create CGI quality artwork manually! 

I have never learned to do digital art; I wouldn’t even know where to start other than Photoshop.

So yeah, laugh at me, because I laugh at myself regarding this too!  So why not!  Haha!

The writing is wonderful, I don’t fault it much and I am not being cocky either, I am proud of what I have written so far – but I am disappointed in my artistic ability to provide the visuals for it.

For me, writing is a painful and often stressful experience when piecing ideas together – but when I am researching and brainstorming it’s one of the best things ever! 

Writing for fifteen to twenty five minutes stretches, feels like two hours and I often feel drained after doing it, I often need exercise or something to wake me up from it! 

Doing art on the other hand is the only thing in my life where my attention span hasn’t got in the way – for some reason or another I can paint for six hours and then feel that I’ve only done it for half an hour and I always come away from the work feeling happy and energised – the same with music!

Unfortunately I can’t afford my supplies, so I can’t work on art every single day like I really want to!  I just can’t afford it!  I don’t think you really realise just how bad things are for me here, we often rely on charity support and it’s going to get worse between now and November.

Other than visual stimulus my other stimulus used to be sound – but around seven or eight years ago I caught an infection which had permanently reduced the hearing in my only functioning ear, which means there are many sounds I can no longer hear, including certain beats and instruments in my favorite songs on the radio!

I have reduced ability for scent too and poor eyesight without spectacles or contact lenses.  Quite literally I am slowly losing my senses.  Mostly due to the NHS not being able to support maintaining my treatment, which would slow this down!

This is why making a life for myself now is very important, my main goal for trying to earn money via affiliate programs, a YouTube channel, my art etc by the end of this year is to help finance me for private care; where I can have my ear rebuilt, because I need an ossicleplasty to regain hearing from one of my ears as the mastoid infection destroyed two ossicles completely. 

I also need my nose fixed because the hospital didn’t bother to repair the cartilage I broke when I broke my nose three or four years ago and it often shifts out of place and causes pain – but it’s not life threatening so they felt it can wait!  Also I have enlarged adenoids which affect my breathing and sense of smell.

Since I was a kid I wanted to do art movies based on my ideas, songs and poems, but I was lead to believe that you need to be rich to do it. 

I have made online friends through twitter recently which has taught me that it is nonsense, you don’t need to have a single penny to do it and they are showing me how.  I have asked for the course to be paused until September 7th, because I want to concentrate on it thoroughly and it is hard to do so when Paul and Henry are having screaming matches in front of me every five minutes.

It’s exciting to think I can go back to my childhood dreams.

It is also rather a strange coincidence that I am getting a lot of “inner child” symbolism and cues around me a lot lately, including with a YouTube pick a pile tarot reading, which connected the pile chooser to the arts and two decision paths whilst healing the inner child; but also, I am having a lot of bizarre dreams that I am four years old again and I am decorating my house with all the things my childhood self ever wanted, care bears, kawaii stuff – you name it, it’s so weird how this is all connecting together!

I am having a lot of dreams that I am packing boxes ready to move house and that when I get to the new house, I am unpacking things I don’t have, pretty things, things that make me happy, things that a child would want!  It’s like a prediction of abundance and joy!

I hope it is a prediction, because I really need to find my happy place, a place to play.

Happy reading everyone! 

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The Gnome Mobile By Walt Disney

The following review contains spoilers.

The gnome mobile

I loved this ever since I was tiny – I don’t know how old I was when I first watched this movie but I do know that it was before I was five years old and I watched it a lot!

The gnome mobile is unfortunately one of the Disney movies I talk about a lot to people who ask me about my favourite Disney movies and I get the response of “never heard of it”.  I am always stunned but I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I am every time I get that response!  Why?  Because it’s super magical that’s why!

If you are like most people I have told about Gnome Mobile then allow me to enlighten you to what the movie is about! 

The movie is based on a lumber tycoon of Irish descent harvesting wood from an (unbeknownst to him) special magical woodland where a community of gnomes live; Because of the deforestation the gnomes are developing a disease called “fading” which is killing the community off and the whole race is in dire straits and at risk of extinction. 

So Jasper (a young gnome man) and his grandfather (Knobby) set out to track down the man responsible for cutting down the forest that is their home!  Knobby has caught the disease “fading” and his last and dying wish is to see that his grandson Jasper marries a nice young gnome girl before he dies, so he is sure his line continues!

The storyline is much more than this and there are many funny twists and turns in the movie; my favourite scene is the scene near the end where Jasper is presented with several eligible and beautiful gnome young ladies to choose from – but it is not as simple as that, because as per the tradition of gnome culture, the marriage is determined by what happens during a special kind of sporting event that helps determine who Jasper is fated to marry.  Jasper has to run away and find the one he wants and hopes that she can pin him down without being wrestled off him for a count so that they can marry; but there are many other gnome girls all fighting for the handsome catch which is Jasper and Jasper has to literally run for his life to get the shy Violet he wants! 

It’s very beautiful and I love stories where they show massive ecological concern and so forth, especially with magical twists like this one.

The tycoon as it happens learns what he is doing and turns the forest into a reservation.  Sorry for the spoiler, but he is encouraged to do so by his grandchildren who had befriended the gnomes at a picnic.

This is a very inspiring movie and I have always loved it, as a child I watched this more than once a week and it was my biggest pacifier.  Unfortunately when I was around eight years old, my mother gave this movie to a childminder of mine so I could watch it during the day when I was with her and the childminder kept it as payment after an argument they had where my mother fired her.

My parents never could find this movie again throughout my whole childhood, so I was absolutely thrilled when I moved in with Paul in 2009 to find it as a DVD on amazon and yes!  I bought it!

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A dying spirit

I need to get this off my chest, I apologise if the following becomes a long-winded rant and it is not my intention.

But I simply can’t do it anymore – I cannot live up to other people’s expectations and other peoples idea of what is or is not morally correct or what is or is not true; Everything that I talk about regarding my current life and my past are all true in my eyes, but a lot of people will deny that it is the truth and I can understand why they would lie about that – they are trying to socially protect themselves because they treated me wrong and don’t want the ramifications of how others may perceive them for it.  I appreciate their feelings on this, but I won’t hide the truth, I won’t keep deleting things just because the truth fucking hurts them, they never take into account how much their actions have hurt me so why the fuck am I so bloody accommodating to them?

I have rights too, I have a right to express myself anyway I blooming need to in order to heal.  Living a life of quiet pacification is literally killing me as a person and me as an artist/writer.

Living the life that my previous abusers want me to, is killing the person that I am in every way shape and form that a person can be!

I took on this blog back in winter of 2012 purely as to act as a form of therapy for myself as recommended by my therapist, he suggested I talk freely about everything I want to regarding my life, he recommended that I also use it to bring back the creative person I was again.  It worked until some people found out a few things about my mum they never knew before and they like defensive little minions went and told her and defended her and grouped up on me via telephone and emails to hound me to tell everybody who reads my blog that everything I said was a lie.  They wanted me to lie about the truth I told – they demanded then that I go to London again and at a family gathering literally grovel for my mother’s forgiveness in front of them!  I am quite serious about what I just said; they did demand this of me!

Every time I say something about them on my blog, I do run the risk of anyone in my family still sticking around to read what I am saying, relaying and potentially getting telephone calls and emails again, which is why I had to change the telephone number and we are considering moving because of this, because I can’t be silent anymore.  I need to express everything I have gone through and I feel it is my calling to help others who have gone through the same coercive upbringing as I have, by talking about my past.  A coercion that I was raised in is quite unusual but not unheard of and many people who have experienced this kind of abuse rarely talk about it, because of how violent a large amount of people can get if they hear of it.  You see it is usually lead by one individual who has a large social circle who will act like posse to reign in the abused child if they start getting out of hand or rather, start becoming independent and so-called rebellious to their clique ideologies. 

It rather like living with a mafia minded family with an extended social circle of friends all of whom think alike, like a big extended hive mind. 

This kind of abuse is hard to deal with for a lot of therapists; I have never found one who has been able to help me.  They all suggest that various people of whom have taken a part in controlling me should go and see them, but who the fuck will go up to their abusers and say “you know what?  My therapist wants to see you as I seem relatively stable in comparison to you guys”.  Lol – no one is going to do that and the therapist appreciates that for safety reasons it is probably best not to suggest it.

You know how badly the revelation to my mother has affected me? 

I became for a long time now, primarily a poet who occasionally dips into abstract impressionistic paintings, because I have been scared to talk about anything anymore.  I have even been told that some of my novels I used to write, that the family often used to read, that they see now that some of the things in my fiction work could actually be based on my supposed “poor abused childhood fantasy life”, to a certain extent a few of the themes in my stories are based on my own personal experiences, but I understand enough to know what is true and what isn’t.  That is my fiction.  The stuff I talk about regarding my life is TRUE and I state this quite clearly, the message has not been mixed!

Because I am struggling to appease my abusers so they don’t come back into my life in an aggressive way, I have almost ignored a lot of my creative expression via words and non-fiction posts.  This has led to me becoming so severely depressed that it is affecting my health badly.  I have a lot of problem with mobility of the whole of my left side of the body and I have extreme insomnia and hypersomnia – what I mean is, I can’t sleep for like 30 hours and then when I do I can’t wake up for 15 hours and sleeping comes randomly at any time and once I feel just a tiny bit tired, it is almost like I have collapsed into a coma.  Nobody can wake me up, not even Henry having a tantrum on the bed next to me; it is like I have died!  Quite often, the last thing I think about when I go to sleep is “I hope I die in my sleep – I don’t want to wake up, I don’t like the burden of my memories”.

My appetite is dead, I only eat when extremely hungry now and it is usually just one meal per day and around the side of a sandwich, coincidentally I am losing a huge amount of weight pretty quickly and my hair is around 60% white now.

To say the suppressors are literally killing me by using my own mind against me is an understatement.  I find no joy in anything anymore.  Everything about the sweet, bubbly, fun, obedient, passive, quiet, little Tina everybody once knew is dead.

In trying to force me to be their idea of perfect instead they have made me their idea of a waste of space.

For my health and sanity sake I have to heal the only way I know how.  So I am taking a risk, if they get back into my life again somehow, so be it, I am ready for the repercussions because the alternative is death anyway.  I am going to die someday anyway, why is sooner no better than later?  Would I rather die in secret of how I died and be a mystery to all who knew me forever, or do I want to die in a way where other people can understand me and understand my situation and perhaps, just maybe, stop this from happening to other people?

I know which one I have picked.

The thing is – before they interfered and demanded me to delete and shut up, I was only sharing what I thought was the minor stuff, the stuff that isn’t too big to shout about.  The stuff that is easy for my readers to digest – but now they’ve done this, maybe it is time for the real big stuff, the stuff that makes my therapists cry?  That stuff I kept to myself, that stuff I never revealed and I don’t think people like my big brother, understand there is an even darker side to our mother, than even he realises!

I don’t like talking about that stuff, because I hate remembering the really, dark, dark stuff, but how I express it here, sometimes it comes out sub consciously through my abstract impressionistic art and the images I paint are also not easy to digest for a lot of people.

But I think it is time to just be me in every way shape and form and not hide from myself anymore.  I can’t.  Shutting me away in every way possible is suffocating my spirit and body to death, I need to free myself and that makes taking big scary risks!

Because I am pretty damned sure, since November, my body and spirit is preparing to die.  I am convinced of it and I need to stop this process – not for me, but for my boy.  I care only for him, not these coercive “I have a problem with your life and truth” assholes!  No one can have a bigger problem with my life and truth than ME!  Get over yourselves you control FREAKS!

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Depressing rhymes and therapy

WARNING – This post is extremely long and contains graphic descriptions of my past – sorry, it is approximately 5k words.  (For my stalkers, would you like me to send you a copy in the post so you can really scan and tear it apart in venomous discussions with your cronies or are you OK for now?  Joke, get a life, don’t read this if you are easily upset.)

It may seem strange and a little deceptive, but some of my depressing prose, rhyme, songs, poetry etc. are not actually based on my current states of mind, some are, but most aren’t.  They are memories of various people and sometimes even empathy with people who have loved as deeply as me; I in this particular week have heard several friends online tell me that their relatives, friends or spouses are dying, just died or broken with them – I mean a lot of people in just one week and this has made me remember my darkest feelings when I have lost someone I have loved either because of a life choice or because of the non-choice of their life suddenly ending.

I can very easily slip back into old frames of mind, by simply focusing, remembering and being empathic.  I am a very strong empath and I soak up the energies of my atmosphere like a sponge, if the people around me are happy, I am relaxed and happy too, if just one person becomes negative I feel it like a brick hitting me and it saps me and if you are close to me, you notice that when I go quiet it is not a good thing, that it is affecting me in some way deeply.  I have always been this way, I have always been a sensitive person like that, but I have always been a cunning person (according to my mother), by that I mean I have always managed to come across as unaffected or even cold, it is hard to read me until I get too much of it, then I explode like a bomb and become a wreck for a while and it always takes person who know me by surprise – they haven’t learned yet that this is my way and I can’t help it.  I think it has a lot to do with how my mother raised me, because she was always encouraging me to hide my opinions and emotions from others, saying that I must never let anyone see my weak side, must never talk about my weaknesses – but that’s a problem too, because I am a person who after a while, will start to talk about my problems as a means to solve those problems and act as a sort of therapy for myself too.  If I am uncomfortable with something or someone, I will tolerate it a long time before I voice it, when I voice it, it is purely to try and come to some sort of compromise with each other, not to upset the other person at all.  I always want to solve issues before they get too big for me, but a lot of people think that when I do this, it is a big insult on who they are.  Seriously it is not, I am way too liberal and cooperative to be vindictive and critical.

Where is this post heading exactly?

I originally made this blog to act as a therapy for coping with my past.  Unfortunately a relative or two found the website and spoke to the people of whom I mention and it caused a big extensive family upset, because I had never in my life, voiced out loud my problems to anyone until literally, it was too much for me to take anymore.  To think I took twenty nine years of emotional suppression within a malevolent coercive relationship where I was controlled by four people in particular in my life who are part of my extended family – people who quite literally had mini meetings about me and how to handle me and what they should do with me and what they should make me do, half of the time I was never invited to these meetings.

Some days I would wake up to find my mother giving me that look which tells me that my life and my life schedule has changed yet again or I was about to lose something.  Things such as, Tina I want you to drop out of your college course again because we have decided that you should do this instead or that instead.  Tina we have decided to send your new puppy to the rescue centre because it looks at me funny, or you happen to have the flu for two weeks now, we can’t look after it, you promised, so we are getting rid of it TODAY!  The amount of times we had pets less than a month or two, I didn’t realise until I moved out that it was because certain relatives would only visit around once every 6 to 8 weeks, so they never got to see the new member of our family.  Sometimes she would decide that I would leave a job, simply phone the boss right now and say you are never coming back, no notice. 

Some mornings I would wake up and there would be a different look in her eye, a mischievous look, I hated those more, they were very unpredictable days.  I would find that I would be the butt of a lot of jokes, the entertainment for the evening with her friends or some relatives, or victim of some nasty trick which plays on my fears – such as, I used to have severe clown phobia, she bought me a porcelain clown, black with silver stars all over it and a star patch over its eye, she knew I was affected by many horror movies which had evil clowns in them – so she would tell me she had seen shadows and things around the house all day and things have been unnerving her and how she felt watched and keeps hearing movements upstairs.  I was always bad tempered with these silly little things she came out with, because I never really knew where she was going with this.  So I would march upstairs in a bad mood to find that my unwanted clown ornament was sitting at the bottom of the bed, arranged in a position which would make it stare directly at whoever walked into the room – with two new clown toys either side it, those were more malevolent looking than the ornament.  She would sneakily follow behind me, I stood in the door looking at these unwanted clowns, knowing it was some dumb trick, but then she would go one step further and grab me from behind and push me into the room with them, shutting the door firm behind me.  Little did I know at the time that one of the clowns actually was radio controlled to laugh evilly?  It was very sudden and scary.  I could hear nothing but the clown laughing its head off as well as my mother.

My mother’s type of Munchausen was mostly mental health conditions, skin conditions and ear conditions.  She ignored most other conditions if they were outside of this niche she wanted for me.  For some reason or another she always encouraged an eating disorder, she encouraged from the age of seven to be paranoid about my weight, sending me to weight watchers, against their rules, but she talked them into letting me go and take part.  I would be put on very tightly monitored crashed diets and then made to stop, then she would over feed me and made sure I got bigger every time, then she would put me on a diet again and this continued into my late twenties.  Feast or famine kind of life, the damage she did to my digestive system was immense and I am paying for it big time today, my colon and immune system is in a right mess with what she has done.  She used to roughly clean my ears and dip my head into the bath to get my ears wet, despite doctors from the age of five telling her not to do this as I had terrible glue ear.  I was diagnosed age seven as having lactose intolerance and a suspicion of other intolerance, but mum ignored this and never altered my diet to help me.  The amount of times growing up I would have severe night-time diarrhoea that would make me exhausted the next day, teeth chattering pain and ice cold shivers whilst on the toilet, stomach in cramps, fighting not to vomit on my mums pink bathroom rugs.  She would tell other people that I was up all night worrying about the next day for whatever reason and keeping her up and that all of this is simply down to psychosomatic reasons because I didn’t want to do something or go somewhere and I worked myself up into a frenzy about it – the amount of people who believed her too!  By the time I was eleven she had convinced the world and even my-self that I had some sort of severe social phobia, but I always knew deep down I didn’t.  I had to play along with her game because the alternative was horrible.

I developed dandruff and mum made such a big thing about it that she was determined I had some kind of horrendous fungus infection the doctor didn’t seem to know about.  She bought a nit comb and would often scrape my scalp sore, weeping and bleeding to get it off me and gave me all sorts of age inappropriate medicated shampoos.  I had severe skin infections in large masses with huge weeping oily sores all over my head most of the time growing up and even as an adult for a time, one time was so bad it developed into a huge bald patch.  She would only let me wash or bath once a week too, until I made her change this when I was fourteen and was getting self-conscious around my cousins and family friends children.  She agreed only because people started to talk about how I lacked personally pride and this embarrassed her.

I didn’t realise until my late teens that I was dressing inappropriately either, around the house when guests arrived.  Mum made it normal for me to parade around the house whenever in a chemise day and night if I wanted to, even garden in it in the summer, even if we were an overlooked garden in North London, primarily as it saved on the washing.  I had no idea until I first moved out aged twenty that it was all completely shocking behaviour and that I simply shouldn’t dress certain ways at certain times even within my own home, especially with guests or overlooking neighbours.  I didn’t even know until then about personal private hygiene either, I had to be taught by my ex-boyfriend, he had to teach me so much, like how to turn an oven on and how to wash and iron clothes, because my mother never taught me.  She gave me chores yes, lots of them, but clothes washing and putting on the oven were never a priority, yet I was taught how to cook, but she always turned it on for me and chose the number and did the timer.  When this particular ex couldn’t cope with how sheltered my life had been, he sent me back to live with her because he knew I wasn’t ready to live life on my own just yet.

When I reluctantly moved back in with her, I had a break-down that lasted for around ten months and I didn’t leave the house for nearly seven months.  I think it wasn’t so much that he dumped me, it was that he sent me back there, to her, when I thought I was free.  I tried to get away again aged twenty four, but that person was very different to how I think about life and how it should be.  I didn’t get away again until Paul came into my life when I was twenty seven, by that time; things were getting worse for me.  Because as I would start introducing new things in my life, to get a life and becoming more determined to have a job to actually keep, she felt she was losing more control over me and this made her become very irrational about a lot of things and she started to become a physical threat.

Constantly causing accidents to happen around me where I would get hurt and if I disputed this with her, she would insist it was an accident and how foolish I am to constantly walk into the cupboard door as she opens it, do I have eyes?  Or am I blind?  I remember she had two BBQ grills once, one was cooked on and the other was still cold waiting to be cooked on later.  She told me she had changed her mind about the other one being used as there was plenty of food and not everyone turned up that day, so she said to me, Tina take the coal out of the BBQ for me and put it back into the bag, after she said this to me she whispered something to her friend and nodded with a smirk, I thought nothing of it until I was shocked with burning pain in my hands, then she laughed and said to her friend, there you are see, told you she would!  They laughed too.  I could never understand how many evil people my mum found to collaborate with.  Some were very lovely and were like family to me, but others were like witches, literally.  I wasn’t taken to a doctor or a hospital with my burns, both palms were entirely blistered, she wouldn’t get me any soothing creams at all, her only comfort for me with my burning blistered hands was to run them under the cold water for a couple of minutes.  When that wasn’t working for me, she reluctantly and lazily got me a bucket of ice to put my hands in, they were not getting better and I had to sleep hanging over my bed that night with my hands in that bucket of ice water in a heatwave of 30c, she wouldn’t help get me more ice during the night to top up, I had to get it myself.

As much as no one believes me now, who knows my mum; she often would call me over to kneel in front of her when she was on a corded phone if an ashtray wasn’t around, I had to hold the fag for her and let her drop the ash into my palms, sometimes it would burn, sometimes it didn’t then when she finished her fag she would drop it into her tea cup and signal for me to wash the cup out and get her another tea quickly, because she would want another fag in less than ten minutes again.  My mother is the sort of person who can drink three cups of tea an hour and smoke every ten to fifteen minutes, she gave up smoking just two years before I moved out.

I have been threatened with defamation for telling these truths, because there are people who simply can’t imagine my mother being like that, because they have never experienced this side of her.  One of these people happens to be a sibling of mine who is fourteen years older than me and lived an almost jet setter life from the age of nineteen.  Mum changed a lot around a year after we moved to Hendon, when I was just about to turn seven.

Up until I became seven, she was a normal sweet mother and I really wanted to be like her when I grew up, smoking and all.  But when things started to change by the time I was thirteen I really wanted to try so hard to avoid being the slightest bit like her.  I don’t smoke, I don’t drink like a fish from Friday till Sunday mornings, I don’t go on wild parties, I don’t send my children across the country to various relatives for 4 months of the year in dribs and drabs because I can’t be bothered with them, I don’t criticise my child endlessly and try to shape him into the image I want him to be, I don’t eat McDonald’s four times a week, I don’t constantly sniff, I don’t like starting arguments or drink endless cups of tea or try to upset neighbours or hit and throw out my child because he was open about being gay or loving a black person – I am not like her at all!

I remember one of my brothers once joked to see her reaction that he had got a black woman pregnant and he has to marry her.  I am not exaggerating when I said she didn’t just hit him, she literally beat him up like she was in the WWF (former name of WWE), he was curled in a ball in the hall floor begging her to stop because it was a joke, which just made her madder.

My brother often had fights with other guys after nights out, he had a bruise or two afterwards, but he was like he had survived a car crash when mum had finished with him that night.

I even remember mum telling me stories about how she deliberately arranged to break my dad’s leg to stop him from going into the Falklands too.  Though when this is bought up the story changes slightly all the time, it is one of these Chinese whisper rumours that goes on in my family, it is always different when it’s retold and if challenged by anyone who was horrified by the story – of course it never happened, whoever bought it up is a liar, that’s what they usually say!

My mother is relentless and tireless in her control of everybody’s lives, some people are too trapped in reverie to realise how much she controls their lives and their observations and reality, so they never really know or feel that she is coercing them in so many things.  It is so weird how so many people can live their life so blind all the time.  She gets them by being a very generous person who is a pillar of strength for them when they are both mentally and financially in need.  I have noticed a lot of the good friends who are kind and relatives who are kind are those who are disabled, formerly homeless, lonely, or were ex suicidal people, people who usually feel they owe everything to my mother because my mother had gave them a home, gave them a chance, gave them money, pulled them together when they were hospitalised and cleaned their homes for them without asking for anything in return.  It is difficult to get people to believe you about your problems with a person when the person in question seems like an angel to a lot of others.

I have been around a lot of unsavoury people from a very young age.  People that was always risky to be in the room with as a child; ex-convicts, drug addicts, drunks, violent people and those with violent brain degenerative diseases like aggressive personality changes due to dementia and Alzheimer’s.  I have even been babysat by said people.  One or two of them were not as good as they promised to be to my mum but mum always felt it was too much bother to handle the situation because she needed anyone to babysit me at the time.  Not all of them were family, some people were hardly known even by my mother.  I even remember once she was so desperate she promised to pay the electric bill of an impoverished neighbour who had a drunk wife beating husband and five kids, I stayed with them for the night and for them it was a normal night but for me it was a horror story.  Their dad came home drunk and beating his wife by eleven and I had to just get used to the fact that I had to stay there until morning.  When I told mum about this, she attacked the poor woman about how much this woman promised I wouldn’t see that kind of behaviour but a man like that is unpredictable, mum should have known better because she was raised with a father like that herself.

I can’t stop my therapy; I need to move on with my life.  I can’t be done for defamation because it is all true and I do have solid proof that certain things did indeed happen, despite how my brother wishes it didn’t.  My solid proof are minutes and papers from social services and a variety of charities which helped me from the age of ten to sixteen, I have doctors reports I can summon up at any time to give papers about how violent my mother had been to various members of staff, I have an aunt who will vouch for the violent outburst mum had too.  I just have too much to prove and I can prove it.

The thing is, if this goes further and I do indeed find myself in the court for defamation, I will win because of these minutes and reports and not only that, the person in question would do my mother no favours because there is a lot more I will never voice because she will surely go to jail with huge fines if it was revealed and at her age and current state of health that wouldn’t be nice for her.  But then again the person who threatened me with defamation was warned seven years ago that mum was too mentally fragile to know about this blog and the truth being revealed and that she was already suicidal herself about her health problems and they didn’t care enough about her then, they still told her, so I guess they won’t care this time around either!

You can only see how much weight mum has put on since she was told the truth is out, my mum eats when she is scared and only scared, I received an unwanted photograph of my mother a few weeks ago from someone online and I couldn’t believe my eyes about how big she has got. It tells me everything.  I didn’t want to scare her; I didn’t want her to know about me revealing things, because to be honest, I didn’t want to be the one who got blamed for killing her.  Because I still remember the sweet mum I had before we moved to Hendon and I still remember the good times we had, my childhood wasn’t completely horrible, there were good times even if it was always tainted with a bad ending at the end of the day. 

But I cannot sit back and let people believe that my childhood was great, that I was spoiled that I have mental health problems of the kind she claims I have. 

I do have severe mental problems but they are not the kind she tells people.  I have manic depression where I go into bouts of laughing and being happy and then going suicidal, I have post-traumatic stress syndrome, trichotillomania and self-harming issues, I still retain her trained into me feast or famine habits two sided eating disorder, starve for a month and feast for a month thing, mild dissociative disorder (where my personality changes, it has been suggested I have more than one personality, but I never had this dealt with by a therapist and it was hard for them as I never had different names for my different shifts of personality and they felt my personality was shifting a lot, purely because I didn’t have a chance to grow up and define my-self freely) my dissociative problems also cause me to forget the body I am in; make me think that I am in a healthier body and I try and do things and end up having accidents or fainting as the body can’t cope with what I am trying to do, I often have these flashes where I am some kind of super healthy and fit athlete and I try to work out and collapse within ten minutes as my shell is really suffering from more than one auto-immune problem.

Because of my varied types of guardians growing up, I have a strong chav come wigger side (excuse the expression I have no idea how to describe that), I tend to put my hair in dreadlocks during those times and write rap songs and hang around beatboxers and wear chav style clothes and big brash gold jewellery and black hats, a middle class side which is probably my most normal personality socially and my most used; and then there is  an extremely aristocratic side where I can’t tolerate inconsistencies in language and etiquette and I yearn for renaissance parties or larping.   Also as my father’s family are very Victorian in their manner and speech, I have a Victorian side and my speech can seem almost two hundred years outdated very easily, this is more seen in my writing than my vocalisation though often when speaking, a lot of my contemporaries struggle with my language usage and voice change. 

I also have a very aggressive side which only comes out if I am soaking up too much aggression around me and if I feel physically threatened, I was never told what this kind of mental illness is called but if someone physically attacks me (and they have done so a lot in my past) I get dizzy, my eyes seem to fill up with blood and I go blind and I snap out of it several minutes later to find out that I have hurt my attacker badly or I have been restrained before any damage was done, this has only ever happened four times in my life.

I must also admit – I don’t realise that my voice changes between personalities.  But I have recorded myself various times and I can do accents and different class styles very easily, I have been told by a friend who works in radio that I really should become a voice over artist as my voices are so varied and consistent.  When I knew Rebecca just two years before I met Paul I remember we sat down together and she asked me to deliberately think of my various voices and try some new ones to see how I go. 

My list is huge.  My best voices are, Marge Simpson, Jimmy Krankie, Joanna Lumley, Mariella Frostrup (when my throat is having a bad day and I try to be posh), Julie Walters, Jane Horrocks, Maxine Peake, Kathy Staff, Peggy Mount, Bonnie Tyler (when singing) as well as Etta James (when I sing, I have a powerful soul, mow town and rock singing voice); My best accents are Southern Irish, Scottish highlander, rural Cheshire, Alabama, New York Jew, New York Italian, Italian, Greek, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, South Carolina country bumpkin and New Zealander, as well as cockney, middle and upper class west London, Essex and Welsh.  There are other voices I can do, but they are not defined as an individual yet, or at least we’ve never come across a person who talks like those people yet and there are some American accents I can’t seem to decide what state they are from either.  I do have a very versatile voice when it is in full working order and unfortunately I haven’t been able to play with my voice for nearly a month now and for an average of 4 months of the year my voice is affected due to severe throat infections.  My real voice sounds a lot like Martine McCutcheon and when I was younger and I died my hair dark purple which was almost black in some shades, people even mistook me for looking like her when I was in the street, but this is my main voice when around my blood family – my voice has changed a lot since but often floats back when dealing with my past.  My voice nowadays is described by others to be more like I am from the West Midlands, a mild, middle class accent which would make sense considering how often I was sent to live for a few weeks here and there growing up to Cheshire, Market Drayton and other areas around here – what makes people laugh is whether I was with blood family or not, if I got upset my voice would change into a very strong Cheshire accent all of a sudden!

My life was so unsettled; it isn’t difficult to believe how hard it was to define myself, even my voice.

This post has got far too long now, nearly reaching 5k words, I should really give you all time to digest this and I am very nervous about admitting to the kinds of mental illnesses I have in as much detail as I have.  But the mental illnesses I do not have, which my mother has lied about are social phobias, compulsive eating (yes I have an eating disorder but it is not that), self-isolation, hysterical tantrums and screaming fits on the floor and to some people she has even lied that I have a mental learning disability as well as going into funny trances and doing weird things which scare her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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characterising real people

Sometimes people ask me about my past and what my family was like growing up and there are very simple ways to describe some of the people from that past.  The best way to describe people I have always found was to think of movies and TV series which might be familiar to the person and tell them exactly how I would portray that person based on characters from them, how in ways they are alike to that character and how in ways that they are not.  I have noticed that people relate better to the concept of using known characters rather than telling them about a fresh real person as their traits, it is a strange thing to me.

I am going to discuss today how I would portray my parents and myself and Paul as parents based on known television characters.  I will also tell you how Henry portrays me himself, because it is very interesting to look at other viewpoints rather than always concentrating on the bias opinion – mine.

First up is me, I like to think of myself as this kind of mother…

  1. Daniel Hilliard from Mrs Doubtfire and yes, I know this first one is not a female character, it is male, but I don’t think the media portrays mums as fun and flimsy like they do some dad characters and there are mums like him in the world, I know, I believe I am one of them!  I believe it because I am the kind of mother who would throw a party for Henry just for the sake of it; For example, we are planning that the next time we get any spare money to throw an unbirthday Alice in Wonderland themed party for Henry around late autumn some time, not sure if it will be this year, but it is on the cards and we have been making lists for it! I throw caution to the wind if it means fun and making that child happy!  I would indeed hire a city zoo to come onto my property on his birthday if I had the money.  I am very well-known as well to forget the bedtime regime entirely by two hours because we are having too much fun together.  Some people will call this irresponsible; I call it creating happy memories!
  2. Kirsty Allsop, I know she isn’t a character, she is a real life person herself, but to me that counts. I am a very creative person who loves nothing better than to just simply make things, just because.  Anything from homemade felt making to sugar craft animals, sewing, knitting and more.  I am also addicted to carboot sales, markets and country fairs.  Every special occasion deserves new handmade decorations and baked from scratch goods and this is something Henry and I try to do on my good days.  Any reason whatsoever to make crafts, bake cakes or trying new recipes and yes, my Henry will sit down and embroider and knit with me, he loves it and often insists we do it!  We often invent our own board games too.  We once created a Harry Potter board game based on the spells from the movies and made a good game out of it – Henry wants us to sell it, but I said we can’t because of copyright issues.  We also have a different version of beetle we play, it is teddy bears.
  3. Third person I would consider myself to be perhaps, Aunt Adelaide from Nanny McPhee. I can be very (in some people’s opinions) too strict about certain rules of etiquette and traditions.  There is a certain manner people must uphold and if my child is slack there are usually ramifications and readjustments!  I am a stickler for pronunciation which is similar to Aunt Adelaide and I am also country hardy and so you can imagine how it drives me around the twist being in bed so much and ill.  I would never call myself posh and I am not too bothered by loose vowels as she would call it, but I do get rather irked if water and other mispronounced words are misused.  Henry deliberately mispronounced words because he likes riling me up a lot!  He will purposely over emphasise war-ah when he asks for water and if he is not doing that, then he is licking his knife and using the knife as a spoon.

Henry views me differently but not much.  He believes I am like these characters…

 

  1. Mrs Mason from Grandpa in my pocket, a mother who is always starting a new hobby, a new language lesson, a new craft project and so forth and a mother who always smiles even when she is in pain and poorly.
  2. He believes I am also like Mary Berry, a mother who bakes nice things occasionally, speaks well, dresses nicely and is glamorous and friendly.
  3. He also thinks I am a lot like Rosemary Shrager, a country woman who cooks, talks nicely, a little on the large side and tolerates no funny business! He also believes she is a traditional lady who tries to uphold traditions as much as possible; he enjoys watching both her and Mary.  Upon reflection I suppose I am like Rosemary Shrager because I like countryside living, I am often abrupt and assertive and quite aggressive in the kitchen and just like Rosemary I will sometimes gesticulate with the knife I am using which often worries people!  Paul would even add I am a lot like Fanny Cradock in the kitchen too!  I am quite proud of that actually because I would love nothing better than to be an amalgam of Fanny Cradock, Penelope Keith and Rosemary Shrager. 

I can almost hear my grandmother saying “Hoity Toity” in the background at this confession.

How I view Paul as a father. 

  1. A Ray Mears sort of person, he often takes Henry on long walks and discusses certain survival techniques and so forth, what wild things are to eat, such as identifying dock and complaining about the rubbish he finds in hedge groves, teaching (and rightfully so) about being environmentally aware, how rubbish harms nature and us and how it is all a big cycle.
  2. He is also a lot like Gordon Ramsey; as much as he would hate me say it. No, Paul doesn’t swear at all, never heard him do it – but what is similar in my opinion is how he spends time teaching Henry how to cook and will often teach Henry how to complain about things when he is out and about to get things done or corrected.  He doesn’t like being taken advantage of when money is concerned and Paul is a very health and safety conscious person who will complain if he feels a company has something about them which is unsafe to the public, Paul has earned a lot of local respect for this.
  3. Despite the walks and the cooking and moral lessons, there is also a lot of Abraham Simpson in him too. Grandpa Simpson from the Simpsons, I say this only because Paul can be overly critical with Henry, often ignores the best things about Henry and because he is too busy with chores and caring for me, Henry can sometimes get side-lined and doesn’t get to have too much personal time with Paul outside of the kitchen and walks.  He complains a lot about most things too. In general.

How I view my own mother as characters.

  1. She is very much like two similar characters in one, Carrie’s mother from the novel Carrie by Stephen King and The mother from The People under the Stairs. My mother uses religion to justify how she treats me.  She gets very aggressive about her religion a lot of the time and talking about her roots.  (I suppose it is because she really does believe she lives in sin because she is the result of a mixed religion marriage).  My mother’s ancestry on her side alone means she is born of three religions.  My grandfather was considered a sinner by the catholic school he went to, because his mother was Jewish and converted to Catholicism when she married my great grandfather.  My grandfather from this marriage married an Anglican Christian to make matters worse and my mother often spoke of how the church viewed the family.  Because of the mix of religions in my family, I often asked questions which apparently I shouldn’t have.  For example, why do you hate and blame the Jews for killing Jesus when Jesus himself was a Jew?  I never got a proper answer only that it is absolutely correct that they killed Jesus and my questions could send forth the wrath of God and I was told to shut up lest I curse the house we are in with Gods temper.  Social isolation was also another factor, though not as severe as Alice from People under the stairs, but it was still very difficult to live shut away a lot of the time.  Ironically in the past few months, I have shut myself away because of illness; I just can’t even get downstairs these days let alone go out and to think, I ran away from my mother aged 27yrs to get a life and socialise only for fate to be as cruel as her and make me bedbound.  She is also a closet/hypocritical racist, I say hypocritical because she will socialise with other races but behind closed doors she is vicious in her criticisms of them and their races.  Which again is hypocrisy as I found out last year that my great grandmothers, grandmother from 1840 was an American mixed race black/white lady from Boston from nans side of the family.  Nan had always said we aren’t all as white as we seem, I haven’t found the evidence of the Hindu great grandfather yet though, like Nan claimed we have. 
  2. Second character she is like is Jane Fonda from Monster in Law.  She really does struggle giving any of her children, to another person that they may love.  She does everything in her power to stop them from creating and maintaining a relationship.  She isn’t like this with Robbie because when a relationship broke down when he was very young he was extremely distressed and Robbie being her favourite child, she couldn’t cope with that, but to hell with the rest of us.  Robbie has to be happy, us others however, well, not unless she agrees first and my mother has always let it be known to me, she will never agree to any relationship that I want and any grandchildren I may give her are unwanted because she feels that I am a foolish person to have children as they will ruin my life!  So that’s what she thinks about us deep down huh?  Yes, people have seen my mother supposedly dolt on Henry and spoil him when he was born, but it wasn’t without its venom behind closed doors with me.  The things she said were evil, such as when I said I am too sick to have more children she practically threw a party and said great, I don’t want you having more, I hope you do have that problem!  When I announced my pregnancy with Henry, my dad congratulated us happily and he was admonished by her and she turned to me and called me a stupid girl and gave me a long rant about how much I have damaged any future I may want.  She often opened cupboards to accidentally on purpose hurt Paul in the early days of our relationship and tried to scare him and several other boyfriends before him off by mentioning the time I was in a children’s asylum failing by the way, to tell them she was the reason I was in it.
  3. The next character is another male character which really does represent my mother a lot and that is Robert De Niro in Meet the parents. She would stalk and investigate anyone in my life, she must approve of anyone in my life for any relationship to work and she will send spies (friends) to watch where I go occasionally.  She would also text me around 30 times a day if I am out all day.  She has even lied to people who regard her highly in order to bring me back into submission to her, by claiming all sorts of outlandish things about me in order to get them to go and do her dirty work and go and fetch me or watch me or have long discussions about how I am making her ill with worry.  She also will take anyone aside, a platonic friend or a boyfriend and talk in private with them without me hearing a thing.  Often I find out they are threats, warnings and so forth or little snippets of information she is passing to them about my mental problems as she would refer to them as.  She would also remind them of how many brothers and close male cousins I have and how they don’t like anyone upsetting the family.

How I view my father.

  1. He is a very shy and quiet country sort of person. Very much like a more obedient and housebound Howard from Last of the Summer Wine.  He is despite how he comes across very nervous of my mother and displeasing her.  I remember times when he was sent on an errand to buy groceries or a take away without her accompanying him and I would go with him to help him as sometimes he would get nervous and forget things, that if the shop didn’t have what she wanted or the take away was closed at that specific time; my poor dad would literally be on the verge of tears and would often say to me he doesn’t know what to do as she will be upset if he doesn’t go home with it.  Paul has also witnessed this behaviour.  My dad cooks, gardens and cleans much more than is traditional for a man to do so and I remember often that if he didn’t do it on time, mum would remind him that she doesn’t have to keep him and he would get scared and get up and do it immediately.
  2. Despite this my father is also a bit of a Victor Meldrew. He complains a lot about things but I often believe it is because it is something he thinks my mother would like to hear, she is an avid complainer.  Because when she isn’t around he is quite a cheerful tolerant person.  He is also extremely nosy about the neighbourhood and any gossip going around and often worries about anything negative he has heard that has gone on locally.
  3. He also reminds me of Travers Goff from Saving Mr Banks. He was a daydreamer and often liked to play with me imaginatively, we would re-enact our favourite stories, rhymes and television shows and it would be very realistic.  My father loved comedy and often had a comical stance to most games we played.  He often recited funny limericks and songs which are mostly for an adult audience but it made me laugh none-the-less.  He could sometimes be over the top playful and often had to be calmed down by the energy sapping atmosphere of my mother and her harsh words.  He was also a betting man and a man who loved the countryside a lot that he often dreamt of going rural again someday, but my mother would never hear of it.

 

This is how I view myself, Paul and my parents by using character descriptions.  I know there will be a handful of people reading this which will not approve, but it is my opinion of what I believe these people are like and I don’t have to ask your permission to verbalise anything anymore.  It is my truth and that is all that matters.

 

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Music and Me

I apologise for not posting my word prompts before noon, I got a little too excited today with a delivery I had of a new musical instrument I am attempting to play – something I can hear on bad days and doesn’t require difficult fingering for my left hand – a recorder.   

I have always been musically inclined, since a small child I would visit my grandmother and play on her piano in her dining room whilst she prepared lunch, we often visited her on Sundays, usually just my dad and I.  I would play all the notes and eventually started to learn some tunes by ear.  I never learned to read music even now I have never learned to read and understand music fully or professionally or with professional help. 

The piano was my first attempt at music, always perfect righthandedly and terrible with my left hand due to my disability.  When I was around seven years old my dad talked mum into buying me a keyboard so I can practise at home whenever I liked and ever since my house has never been without a keyboard in it.  I have never personally owned a piano and I never learned to use a pianos foot pedals or learn the proper terminologies for anything regarding music, except for one word I learned listening to classic FM radio as a teenager = Adagio means to play slowly.

I was then upgraded to a more professional style keyboard aged seventeen as a birthday present, this had digitisation to it (I think that’s what people call it), where I could hook up the keyboard to the internet and download new songs to learn, because this particular keyboard had a function where it taught you how to place your hands and how to keep time.  When I was about nineteen my brother gave me an old copy of Cubase that a friend of his owned and I learned I could compose music by using this, without ever knowing how to actually write the music.  I had saved the music I composed onto an MP3 floppy disk and I still have it to this day and the keyboard too actually!  Unfortunately that Cubase I had is years out of date and I have never been able to finance a replacement, so until I can replace Cubase, my composing days are over!

Pianos and keyboards were never my only dip into the music world; I have in fact learned to play a paper and comb, some notes on a harmonica, belly dancing cymbals, some tunes on my dad’s bugle, an xylophone at a day centre for children when I was around thirteen, some notes on a guitar but again my left hand failed me and I never did get around to replacing my guitar with a left handed version, I also played quite well an accordion, but my parents sold it at a car boot sale once, they claimed they were having a hard time and I never did get it back, I was doing better on that than the keyboard and I had rather of given up the keyboard instead. The fact I did better with an accordion stands to reason as it was a right handed instrument and the fingers I needed on my left hand could do the job properly.

I haven’t played music for nearly six years because I was ill, but also because the house got a little too crowded and messy and I couldn’t set up my keyboard in a permanent position anymore; afraid it would get damaged I had it boxed up and stored safely under the bed in the spare room and I feel that a neglected and unplayed musical instrument is sacrilege. 

Funnily enough my depression started around the same time I boxed up the keyboard.  I came to this realisation a few days ago but I knew my left hand is worse these days and I can’t improve my left handed playing at all now.  I nearly got into a deeper form of depression with this realisation but then I watched a YouTube video to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I stumbled across a TedTalk by a woman named Barbara Sher and the title of the video was “Isolation is the dream-killer”; I have been thinking so much about how isolated I am despite my battle to escape from it because of the struggles I had with certain people in my life a few years ago.  I thought maybe loneliness was one of the main reasons I am depressed, how can I be sure it is missing a musical instrument? 

Well anyway, here is a link to see the video for yourselves – https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI

She put out a question that I had to think about for myself and that is “What is your dream and what are your obstacle/obstacles”? 

My first thought I don’t exactly remember, but I do remember that I had several dreams I have that are still unaccomplished and most of the those dreams boil down to financial insecurity where I have to think twice about buying a bottle of Pepsi and of course, isolation.

I browsed a book by my bedside, I think it was called “The Little Book of Wonder” and the lady who had written it said that you have to remain curious throughout your life, if you don’t know something, don’t shrug and think that it doesn’t matter and it isn’t important, if you had that question in your head, go and find the answer as it might lead you into an entirely different path in life.   

So I absorbed those words and thought about stuff and then I browsed more YouTube videos and I found a doctor of psychology called Guy Winch in another TedTalk; He said that loneliness can knock significant number of years off our life and cause us to become ill, it can affect our immune system greatly because our emotional wellbeing determines whether we are healthy or not.  This explained a lot to me, because since living in my own home with my husband and having a baby I have ironically became more isolated than I ever was before I left my parents’ house (ironic because my main form of abuse and neglect was social isolation growing up, even as an adult it was very coercive and controlling the relationship between my mother and I).  But because I had a baby and fell ill just a few weeks shy from his third birthday, I became drastically isolated after being free from true isolation for nearly three years!  In fact for the first eight months of my illness I couldn’t get out of bed to go and talk to a doctor about what was wrong! 

It was around this time I decided to never talk to my parents again too, so the only guaranteed socialising I could have done when I became sick, I cut off.  I was getting five or more phone calls per day from my mum and once a week visits that lasted six hours a time, to having no phone calls with anyone and only annual visits from my adult nephews, to then having just the annual visits ONLY for the next six years.

That isn’t good for anybody!

So I had a long hard look at my life and realised that depression and loneliness is killing me, literally.  It must be, because around six years ago I was diagnosed with a handful of different types of auto-immunity diseases and recently doctors are suspecting MS and/or neurological problems as well. 

One thing I have always been frightened of is Motor-Neurone disease, it runs rife on my dad’s side of the family and my dad’s family as a whole are very close within family, extensive family (we still talk to our cousins four times removed) but don’t socialise much outside of family and church friends or salvation army duties. 

I wondered if illness due to isolation or loneliness could be genetic on my father’s side.

Anyway, Dr Guy Winch’s video can be found here – https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI

Worrying about being isolated, too sick to socialise and the expense of joining college or a social club (because I have to rely on public transport), I asked some questions to the universe.  I asked the universe what you want me to do?  What do I have to do to change things being there are more obstacles for me than anyone else I know?  I got no answers.

Then I asked the universe that if my life was supposed to be to help motivate others, or be as creative as I can be in all creative interests I have then send me money somehow – if my life isn’t meant to be like this, then make something else happen to blatantly show me what it is I was made to do! 

So, knowing that money doesn’t just fall onto the doorstep when you implore the universe to give it to you – I tried to make receiving it easy.  I decided to (and this is no exaggeration) I decided to take a risk, I had just £15 left for my own personal treats (not the families, my own, I get around £40 a month just for me it is Paul’s rule that I treat myself each month) – I took that £15 and I spent it on 888ladies.com and I won £200, for me that is like winning 5k, I was so happy it paid off my overdraft and I could have a little to spend on a new bra and some new trousers as my clothes are getting too big on me lately.  But I thought that doesn’t change anything; it just helps my current situation without improving it so I took another risk – I said the universe, if I am supposed to learn a musical instrument and buy art supplies I will need this again or a bit more please.  So I rolled the slots again and I instantly won another £250 that is enough I thought, that is enough to get some art supplies and buy a cheap instrument – but I didn’t know what instrument to get?

This made me very happy and I decided to “Be Curious” as the book said earlier that night. 

I asked myself some questions.

What does all these musical instruments I hear on the BBC Proms sound like as solo instruments?  I didn’t know a majority of them singularly.  So I again, went onto YouTube and I searched through every musical instrument I could think of to find solo samples. 

I made a list of my favourite sounds.

Piano

Harpsichord

Jazz Piano

Bass

Trombone

French horn

Piccolo

Recorder

Saxophone

Crystallaphone

Glockenspiel

An apprehension engine

Xylophone

Harp

Lute

Cello

Accordion

Violin

And trumpet

There were others but I don’t remember them. 

Then I asked…

What musical instrument can I learn that has limited mobility to the hand?

Perhaps go back to the accordion and this time learn to read music?

A recorder doesn’t require the left pinkie to play.

A trombone

A xylophone – crystallaphone or a glockenspiel

I then thought about the types of classical music I love the most and I know that I love folk, medieval and baroque above all others! 

So I decided on the recorder first and foremost and eventually the glockenspiel. 

So I bought this recorder for me and Henry (because whenever I do something new Henry nags us to get him the same so he can share practise time with me, which is sweet and expensive sometimes)!

 

 

It was pretty cheap £16.37 each from Amazon.co.uk

It is a Yamaha YRS302BIII Soprano, plastic.  When I had decided it would be the recorder I discovered a wonderful lady on YouTube called Sarah Jeffrey who teaches you practically everything about being a recorder player, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about the instrument and makes learning about it fun!

She can be found here, this is the first lesson https://youtu.be/-d6uVjIEkMY

Until I found her videos I never knew how many different types of recorders there are and that they can all be played the same way, because they are the same instrument.  Different woods and plastic and lengths can make different sounds.  A true and passionate recorder player will have a large collection of different recorders to choose from.  I am getting a baroque alto before Christmas as I am taking to this instrument remarkably and yes, I am trying to learn how to read music now.

I have practised for three hours today and I am very tired now.  I know it is likely I will have two months a year off from practise because I am prone to very nasty chest infections in the winter that usually always lead to pneumonia for some reason.

So, there you have it.  The reason behind why I was late today.

Let me know in the comments below whether or not you are also musically inclined and share with me what you play and what you are passionate about, I would love to know!

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The Artist Way & The Cosmos

I believe a lot in cosmic ordering and I have been trying to learn myself how to use cosmic ordering to my own advantage for the last two years, by reading various books on the subject to get a wide view point from many individuals who use it.

Julia Cameron uses some of the techniques of cosmic ordering in her book “The Artist Way”.  I have been reading the artist way for a while now, because I think it helps with my creative recovery, despite some of the tasks she sets before me, being brushed under the carpet as for me; they are impractical for my way of life.  Such as the artist break, I never go anywhere on my own, let alone go on holiday by myself, I wouldn’t want to; however, the occasional trip to a local café or the library with a note pad in tow, is something that I do enjoy from time to time, so the artist date isn’t ignored entirely.

Another thing I ignore in the Artist Way is the week in which she says that we should avoid all kinds of reading, do anything but read.  I am sorry, but I don’t do reading deprivation.  If I am not reading stuff online, I am reading magazines, newspapers or books.  I have never ever experienced doing without reading – for me, like silence, it would kill me.

I can live with a rule such as – internet deprivation, but reading deprivation, dream on baby.

Also, by using the rule of reading deprivation, I can’t do those precious morning pages she wants me to, I can’t do my art, because in order to do my main form of art, I need to write and with writing comes editing and what is essential when editing a writer’s work?  You’ve got it, reading!

I won’t stop writing any more than I would stop reading.  I wanted this book to help me write more, not encourage me to stop what I feel are essential habits for me to work.

Anyway, getting away from my point a bit; The Artist Way contains many techniques similar to other books for cosmic ordering.  In my opinion she assists in that she helps us identify why we are not as successful in our chosen artistic careers as we would have liked to have been.  She delves deep in our sub consciousness, digging up long forgotten memories that helps answer how we’ve lost our path.

I found out that I lost my original creative path by using her techniques, by remembering that as a child I had a huge interest in fashion and drawing, but I was pushed away from this and put into writing.  Everyone had agreed for me that writing was my talent and to Hell with any other talent I might have.

I have trained in psychology and social sciences in the past and I have used some of the techniques learned there, with various self-help books, cosmic ordering stuff and I have realised that a lot of my current pitfalls as an adult, is not self-inflicted but are actually reactions against something happening that I didn’t like when I was younger.  When I was little I loved fashion and loved drawing dresses and playing with Barbie.  However, I didn’t get my own Barbie doll until I was around 11yrs old.  I wasn’t encouraged because my mother was a tom boy and wanted me to be the same as she was.  I noticed by the time I reached around 8yrs old I became a very obese child, but I didn’t give up on the whole idea of fashion and drawing until I was around 10yrs old and each year I was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it finally happened – when I was around 12 I told my mum that I would love to go into fashion when I am older and she simply said to me “with your weight, you’d be eaten alive in the fashion industry, you won’t survive”; so with that I thought lose weight or lose the dream, I tried to lose weight but every time I had an interest in fashion again, she’d bring out the doughnuts and McDonalds and remind me that it’s a foolhardy dream for someone so large.  Every time she gave me a treat and I ate it, she said it was my fault I wasn’t thinking about my dream, that I should have more self-discipline.

So by the time I was 14 I had literally totally forgot my dream.  I remembered it because in The Artist Way, Julia asks us to think about people we are jealous of and identify why.  I happen to be jealous of a lot of young girls I know who are professional dancers and are in the fashion industry.

When I realised the reason for the jealousy, I was then asked to search deep as to why that would affect me.  I remembered it all lead to fashion.  I also realised this because my favourite non-fantasy and non-horror movies and TV shows, happen to be focused around fashion.  “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mean Girls”, “Are you being served”? “101 Dalmatians” any shows featuring Gok Wan, and so on!

I am not someone who follows fashion though, don’t get me wrong.  I am someone who likes to start off the trends and I usually succeed.  I don’t like to fall into a normal fashion concept, I like to develop my own, I believe in having a bespoke fashion sense and a bespoke home, to match who you are, I believe people should show the world exactly who they are as much as possible.  I think it attracts more genuine people to you.  I am more comfortable with speaking to someone who dresses in alternative fashions, whether they are punk, Goth, witch, or Hell’s Angel, than someone who seems very conservative.  Because to me, those conservative people are hiding themselves for some reason, or have a narrow concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not; I don’t do shallow people.

I am learning about the true me through doing all of this.  I am happier for it and luckier too.  In the Artist Way, Julia Cameron has asked me to do another task recently that is to make a collage of everything I love and everything I want to attain in life. 

This for me is something that I used to do and those things did come to me very quickly.  I got out of the habit of having a collage when I moved in with Paul as I could never work out where to put one in the house that I would see regularly and that wouldn’t raise questions with Paul’s family and our friends.  Recently Paul has suggested that I forget other people’s opinions and do what I want around the house.  So I will.

I am going to enjoy pinning things up on my collage, I am also making a scrapbook collage as well of more personal, secret things.

But the main impersonal things will be put into two locations around the house, so my sub consciousness can soak it all up, and help make it happen through the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music & Art October 2016

I cannot work in silence when I am writing; I need music all the time.  For me, silence can be painful and headache inducing, as much as having television on in the background is also another disturbance and headache waiting to happen.

There are only two times when silence suits me without invoking a headache; when I am walking in nature, woodlands, pathways next to canals and fields etc., or being driven somewhere by car.  I dislike conversations in cars, I don’t like talking, and I like to zone out and forget I am in the car because I tend to feel sick when I acknowledge I am in a car.  I can imagine other places quite easily when I am not spoken to and in a car, this therefore makes it difficult for my body to realise it should be sick.  I also cannot read in a moving car, but I am perfectly relaxed at reading on trains and in busy cafes.

Travelling on buses and in cars makes me tired as well as daydreamy and any more than an hour in either and I am asleep, unless I am very tired or woke up early on the day, I tend not to sleep on trains, I love trains, I have a passion for them which has certainly rubbed off on my son Henry.

We take regular trips on trains just because; we are trying to get into a habit of going on the Severn Trent valley steam railway every couple of months.  I like to look at the scenery around there, the river Severn is the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much because I’ve only ever seen three rivers personally up close.

Music therefore is a very important tool for my writing.  I like listening to instrumental music mostly, such as that found from Nox Arcana, Apocalyptica, classical music, but sometimes I will listen to lyrical music from all styles and eras, such as Patsy Cline’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Movie Soundtracks, Kesha and many others. 

If it weren’t for music I don’t think I could be as emotional in my writing as I am with it. 

When I was little I had no imagination, seriously.  I didn’t find my imagination until I was around 9yrs old, I remember teachers from the couple of schools I was allowed to go to complaining that my stories were too realistic and that I lacked imagination.  I was browbeaten by them to develop an imagination and my mum helped with that – by the time she was finished with me my life was destined to be a writer from the age of 11.  It was decided for me and I have to admit I fell into it.

I am not saying for one moment that I don’t enjoy writing, I do.  But a writer’s life was chosen for me, not something I found I wanted, it was literally thrusted upon me.

When I look back through my therapy and my creative recoveries, I have noticed that when I was a child I had planned to be a mother or a teacher and that I had a huge interest in art and fashion.  I had quite vain thoughts as a child, but all of this was discouraged out of me and by the time I was 16 I had forgotten the art life I had wanted for myself and writing took its place.  I know writing is an art form in itself, but I meant painting, sculpture etc., all those other art forms were discouraged simply because my talent lies in writing, not drawing my mum often told me.

I was thrilled when my cousin Shane bought me oil paints for Christmas one year, my mum dreaded it and didn’t encourage me to continue, despite the good painting I did of some obscure Aztec ancient god.  My dad was proud of it, but she looked at it as an expensive past time that she wasn’t looking forward to smelling.

Since living with Paul, he believes I have talents in both but my main skill is writing simply because I don’t practise art enough.  In fact he is right, because I practise less than two hours a time approximately once every couple of months.  Whereas writing, I am practising almost every day for over an hour.

A lot of the time I just draw with pencils or a biro and never colour it in.  When I do really good drawings I am scared to paint them, because I tend to ruin good sketches with painting them wrong.  I have done excellent work that was ruined by paint.  A large African elephant in the Sahara, when painted, all the excellent detail was destroyed and it became cartoonlike, yet it was coloured in with watercolours, watercolour is my main medium. 

I do chalk pastel art too, but again, I am frightened to preserve it, as I tend to over spray and my work is literally washed away.

I am self-taught in both art and writing. 

Music is vital for me to work, this is the primary reason why I can’t work when my son is awake or at home, his noises drown out my music a lot.  He also wants the TV on all the time and that drowns out the music too.  Unlike most writers and artists I don’t like isolating myself in a room alone, I like to be around people, particularly people who respect music and respect the fact that I am working – a child can never do those things, they don’t understand; So, reluctantly I have to work around him and this is something I am dreading when I become professionally published – my time then has to work around the editors I am appeasing and for me, that’s going to be a nightmare.

 

 

 

 

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