Tag Archives: Break Ups

She.

One year ago: A pale, shivering woman sits in a barely lit room, swathed in blankets. She stares blankly in front of her at the blackness of her television screen; she doesn’t move, she barely thinks. She is scared to turn on the television, frightened to turn on another light as she’s unsure of how much electricity is left on the meter and with no money to top this up, she doesn’t want to be left in darkness; darkness terrifies her. Everything terrifies her. In her cold, shivering hand, she barely grips a bottle of tequila, a gift from a friend. The taste is acidic in her mouth, causing her to gag every time she allows a sip to slink down her throat into her empty stomach. But it keeps her warm. The gas in the house went off ages ago; the house is freezing through, a draught blows through the ancient fireplace, sweeping through the house with frosty vigour. She shivers deeply and tries to grab the bottle tighter. Her stomach rumbles, a low, incessant, deep wailing from within: She hasn’t eaten in 24 hours. She’s starving, but there is no gas to light the stove, no food in the cupboards. She wraps the blanket a bit tighter around herself, wishing that this was not such a familiar scene. I wish I was dead, she thinks.

Her phone lights up, a message from her sister:
Hi sweety, how are you? Xxxx
I’m ok thanks. How are you? Xxxx
I’m great thank you! What are you up to? Xxxx
Not much. No heating. Not much electricity. Am keeping TV off so the lights don’t go off before bed. Xxxx
Have you eaten? Xxxx
No food. Or gas. Haha xxxx
Stop being lazy, go to the shop! Xxxx
No money. I don’t have my bank card either. Xxxx
What? Where is he? Xxxx
I don’t know. He took the money dad gave me out of my purse, along with my bank card and left this morning. Xxxx
Oh, Doris, man… Do you want me to Just Eat you a pizza? Xxxx
No, no thank you.  I’ll be fine. Love you xxxx
Love you too xxxx

There is a loud knocking on the door. Her heart pounds, her entire body heaves with fear. Cautiously, she stands up, blankets slipping from her body, cold biting at her warm body. She tiptoes towards the door and peeks around the corner. The large shadow of a man casts a shadow throughout the empty hallway.

“Hello?” she asks the shape at the front door.
“Hiya, there’s a delivery for number 23?” smiling, she opens the door.
“Thank you!” She closes the door, locking it, remembering to remove the key just in case he comes home and is angry that he’s locked out. If he comes home. She smiles as her tummy rumbles loudly in anticipation, thankful of her sister’s act of kindness. She puts the pizza down on the coffee table, picks up her phone and types out a message to her sister:

Thank you for being you xxxx

Later, she makes her way to the bedroom. She sends a quick text message, asking when he will be home. There is no reply. She finds the scissors in the bathroom and begins to scrape at the long, healing scab on her thigh.

A few hours later, she hears the door slam, but doesn’t shut properly, banging even louder off the wall as it bounces. Another hole she thinks. Footsteps make their way upstairs. She wraps the duvet more tightly around herself and closes her eyes, slinking down in the bed a little bit, moving her body to the very edge of the bed, trying to act asleep. There is movement in the darkness and a figure stinking of booze and something else falls into bed beside her. A few moments pass and snores that only someone deep in a whiskey induced sleep can produce. Carefully, she slinks out of bed and makes her way downstairs to close and lock the front door. In the dark, she stumbles over a pair of shoes and falls sharply to the floor, slamming her knees off the cold wood. She feels blood trickle down her leg. She sighs.

She climbs back into bed, the booze and unfamiliar smell washing over her, causing her to turn her nose up in disgust. His phone lights up and she notices a message from the girl he works with:

Thanks for tonight 🙂 ❤ xx

She rolls over, wraps the duvet around her tightly, picks up the sharp object she keeps under her bed and begins scraping along the freshly healed scar on her wrist. Oh.

A few days later, she would spend the day with her mother and sister, trying to find some joy in the fact that it was almost Christmas, feeling nothing but emptiness; an encapsulating feeling of non-existence that only cutting into her flesh seemed to eradicate, even if only for a little while. She follows a jubilant mother and cheerful sister around shops, remembering to react to their questions, smile at their jokes, making jokes of her own; anything to appear normal. Eventually, it’s time to go home and the dread associated with going to the house she lives in envelopes her once more. Just a little while longer, she thinks, hoping for a traffic jam or the car to break down. All too soon, they pull up outside of her house. She kisses her family goodbye, noticing her mam staring a little too hard, something impenetrable behind her eyes. She knows, she thinks as she climbs the steps to her house. She turns around, waving at her sister’s disappearing car and steps into the cold, dark house.

She walks through the dark hallway to the living room, flicking on the light as she walks past. She stops in her tracks, turns around and leaves the room, remembering to turn off the switch. Too cold, she thinks. She makes her way into the kitchen, opens the fridge and sighs at its lack of content, turns around and makes her way upstairs. Bed seems like a good a place as any, she thinks, noticing the time: 7pm. As she ascends, she notices a large cupboard door ajar. Frowning, she walks over to it and peers inside. Empty. Her frown deepens as she walks into the bedroom and sees that there are drawers open. They’re all empty too. The wash basket in the corner has been emptied; only her clothes remain, littered on the floor. Hmm. She turns around and goes back downstairs, flicks on the living room light and takes stock of its contents. Computer gone. Xbox gone. On the table, she notices her bank card. Oh.

She sits on the edge of the sofa, heart pounding. She unlocks her phone and brings up her banking app, checking her balance: 43p, a lot less than before. She takes her purse out of her bag and finds a 2 pence piece in the bottom, littered amongst the old bus tickets. Oh.

She texts her sister:
I think he’s left me. Xxxx
What? What do you mean? Xxxx
Well, I got home and all of his stuff is gone, my bank card was on the table. 43p in current account. Xxxx
THAT BASTARD. I’m coming to get you. Xxxx

She didn’t feel anything. She cried, she fell to the floor and sobbed, clutching at her chest, clawing at her face, but she didn’t really feel anything. The truth is, she hadn’t felt anything in a long time; she acted, of course, she knew she was supposed to be happy, she knew that she was supposed to be grateful that there was someone out there who could put up with her: She was difficult, she was unattractive, she lived only to depress people and bring them down to her level of depraved melancholy. She should have been grateful, but she couldn’t feel anything. The only time she felt the semblance of happiness was when she drew knives or scissors or anything with a pointed edge against her skin – not fine cuts, but jagged claw like marks into her skin. She would cry, she would feel guilty and she would think of her mother and cry more. What would she think? She felt empty for a long time. Years. She knew she should cry, so she did, but she didn’t know what she was crying for. It wasn’t loss, or remorse or heartbreak. It was because she knew she had to. Society dictated that. So she cried.

Eventually, when the rubble had cleared, so to speak and when she had time to take stock of her thoughts and consider what had happened to her throughout 2013, she felt humiliated. Humiliated that she had wanted to leave, but was convinced to stay, that things would get better, that this is what relationships were, these days. She felt humiliated that she was followed around, screamed at and bullied by an ancient woman posing as a mother, wishing instead of being respectful of another person’s mother, she had punched her in her botox filled lips and thrashed her senseless for inflicting so much pain onto another human being, allowing her own son to make her the victim of domestic violence (more emotional than physical, admittedly) knowing that she too was once the victim of domestic violence. She felt humiliated that he would take her money, money that her dad gave her for bills and food and warmth; he would take that and spend it all on booze, cosying up to other women, saying vitriolic things about her to these people, laughing at her ignorance of what was going on. Poor, fat, ugly girl, doesn’t know how good she has it, I’m god’s gift… my mam says so. Eventually that humiliation turns to anger and eventually the anger dissipates into an intense lingering pity, until that pity disappears and all that is left is a desire not to have ever known him.

She gets on with her life. She meets new people. She writes again. She smiles as soon as she wakes up. She doesn’t take prescription drugs and downs them with tequila any more. She doesn’t take sharp objects to her skin. She doesn’t wish she’s dead. She comes back to life; like a flower in the spring time, reaching towards the sun. She is brighter, she is stronger. She is happier. She won.

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Why That One Guy on the Internet Can Go Fuck Himself.

The above is a working title for an introduction I intend to write for my future autobiography. The general title of the novel will be, as ever, The History of Dildos: The Story of a Perpetually Single Red Wine Addict. You might laugh right now, but just you watch. I will write it and people will FLOCK to the shops to buy it as soon as it opens and I will read one of the funnier chapters in a book shop and people will sigh and tell me that I am their hero. Just you watch. But, I am not at the stage yet where I can describe myself as being ‘perpetually single’. I don’t really believe any of my teenage relationships count as being anything other than a few months of awkwardness and ill-advised sexual experiences followed by intense shame and self loathing. Either way, even those were so few and far between that I think instead of ‘perpetually’, ‘constantly’ is more apt. Equally so, even though I am currently a single lady, I wasn’t single for the past five years, so I have been far more ‘couple’ than ‘single’ for all of my dating life, which, in my opinion began when I was nineteen and finally grew into the whole awkward, doe eyed idiot phase of my existence instead of just being totally disgusted by the fact that I wasn’t the girl all the bad guys wanted and developing hugely significant crushes solely on the more unattainable and beautiful men that I have known, feeling the bitter sting of rejection solely through omission, because I am the queen of friend-zoning myself purely by talking and existing. Anyway, none of this matters, nor does it bare any relevance to the topic of my blog. I was just letting you all know that I will eventually be in a position where I will use my blog to catapult me into an accidental dream career and people will be desperate to hear my words in an audio book read by me, in my Geordie accent, laughing at all the bits I think are brilliant, prompting you all to laugh along and think I am a comedic genius. I am also about thirty per cent confident that my tactics will work, so shut your face, Judgey Mcjudgerson. Ahem. Sorry, here’s the actual blog (and if you’ve just started reading here, as opposed to the beginning because I’ve emboldened it, don’t read the rest, it’s not meant for you):

I receive a lot of emails and correspondence from people who, to be quite honest, applaud me for my honesty when it comes to blogging and writing about my life. I do agree that it does take a certain level of confidence and an I don’t give a fuck attitude to be able to write about myself and the horrific things that I have done in the most public setting imaginable. Slightly less embarrassing than standing at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle with a microphone shouting “I once knocked myself out after a blow job because I was laughing too much!” And having passers-by look at me with sheer disgust; on the internet it is much easier, because I can’t see any of you and even if you do have something horrible to say, I will assume that you are jealous of my comedic prowess and move on, confident that I am a genius – it’s a win-win situation for me, you see? But, as with anyone else who counts themselves as a Lifestyle Blogger, you’ll agree that it does take some pretty enormous balls to be able to talk about yourself in a candid manner and, until a few months ago, I didn’t actually realise I had huge, metaphorical testicles, so it’s something I am enjoying exploring both enthusiastically and wholeheartedly.

I have also received a few emails from men, who have questioned my reasons for writing and suggested that my topics of discussion weren’t very womanly. I agree, of course, that they aren’t, unless you count all the Ryan Gosling references, in which case, men, you should all be aware that every single woman has very unladylike thoughts about him and you should just accept that as one of those facts of life. You know, like women do fake orgasms, but have never done that with you. That type of life fact. Anyway, today I received a rather scathing direct message on Twitter from a user who will remain anonymous (because I’m a lady and that’s the type of shit we do for people), basically, in about 280 characters told me that I was going to die alone and am not at all attractive, not only because my eyes are too big, but also because no man could ever want me to be his girlfriend because I swear too much and make too many references to things that men don’t find attractive in a woman. I didn’t respond, but fully intend on sending him a link to this post in order to be abundantly clear when I tell him:

I don’t give a fuck.

 

You see, pal, about five months ago I came home to find that the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with had moved out without telling me and cut off all communications with me so that I couldn’t even ask him why he threw five years down the drain and left me in thousands of pounds worth of debts I didn’t even know about. Since then, through my friends and family talking to me and bringing me out of the serious funk that he had left me in, I came to realise that for the past five years I have also been manipulated and controlled by him and his mother, who in turn, controlled him. On a daily basis, I was made to feel really small and that my literary pursuits weren’t good enough to be published, that my writing was shit and that instead of pursuing a career; I should be settling down and eating as many carbs as I could in order to house a baby. I was encouraged to quit my job and focus on a baby I didn’t even want, by both my boyfriend and his mother because that’s how their family behaved. For a while, I rebelled against it and did what the fuck I wanted any way and he left me in 2011. I changed myself entirely in order to win him back and became exactly what he wanted, and in doing so, lost myself, completely and became a dutiful girlfriend who put her dreams and life on hold to sit in the house every weekend and miss out on so many fun opportunities and distance myself from all of my friends, just to keep him happy. Don’t get me wrong I loved him so much, but now that I am not with him, I see that I sacrificed far too much for far too little in return, other than getting a TV and an iPad that he forgot to take with him when he left.

I’ve never been an overly confident person and for the majority of my life I allowed myself to be forced into so many different things because I didn’t know what it took to be accepted. All I ever wanted was to be loved my someone and when I met my boyfriend and realised that he actually fancied me, I didn’t believe it, because I always had people telling me that I was too tall, that I wasn’t skinny enough or that I wasn’t particularly pretty enough and that I shouldn’t try so hard to be funny or I shouldn’t talk so smart… I haven’t been myself for a long time and in these past five months I have had time to reflect on my relationship and how miserable, antagonistic, paranoid and down right nasty I became to people who had once thought of me as friends, I realise that everything I have done up until starting this blog hasn’t been ME. For the first time in half a decade I can safely say that I like myself. Actually, fuck that, I love myself and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing at all. Since starting this blog and communicating with people via social media, who blog too, new doors have been opened to me and has also made me feel happy and more like myself than I ever have and I wake up every day with a smile on my face. It doesn’t sound like a really great life, but to me, it’s the best. I’m not one of those people who are really hard to please, I honestly just like to smile – and because of this blog and the people who enjoy it I do and in doing so, have become a more confident girl to the girl I was last year (last year I couldn’t leave the house by myself and now I toddle off to different parts of the country to hang out with people who actually think I’m nice and funny).

If, as you suggest, all men want to be with a really beautiful woman with perky tits and a perfect body, who doesn’t really have opinions or a sense of humour, then you’re absolutely right in saying that I will die alone. And that’s okay, because, as you so politely implied: I will indeed spend a long time fucking myself; because GOD FORBID that someone want to have sex with a woman who actually likes herself. And that’s okay too, because I am excellent company and have a lot of sex toys. Oops. Sorry, will rephrase that for you: ‘Don’t indulge in self-love because it’s not very lady like’. Is that okay? Prick.

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Emotional Interlude Dedicated to The Internet.

Following my recent blog post – and my rather serious revelations of what happened in 2013 – I received a lot of e-mails from people who read my blog, who were both concerned and empathetic towards my situation. I had reems of e-mails of people sharing their stories of sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts etc. I have responded to each and every one of them via e-mail and have opened lines of communications for anyone who is feeling that low to contact me whenever they need to get something off their chest etc. But, I just wanted to reiterate that here in case some of you thought I was just being polite: Seriously, get in touch. And also, thank you so much – you have no idea how much it means to me to have people actually take time out of their day and e-mail me, just to see how I’m feeling now.

A lot of people criticise me for writing so unashamedly and candidly about the events of last year (which I like to call the shower of shit that was hurled at me from a very great height by someone who I should have poisoned ages ago because it seems so much more light-hearted than the reality, I suppose), people who I know haven’t bothered reading my blog and those who have, have rolled their eyes and been pretty judgemental about the whole blog writing process. I suppose some people just don’t get it or think that I do it for attention or something; casting aspersions that suggest I’m hard work or a pretty shitty person for being so candid about my life’s experiences. However, when I receive e-mails from complete strangers who’ve actually showed a lot more compassion for me than my own friends, it kind of puts the whole experience into perspective to me. If I had friends who said ‘come round mine, we’ll lie on the sofa and watch shit films and cry for a few hours’ when I first broke up with my ex, would I need to write about it online in order for me to gain closure? Not a lot of my friends know how low I’ve felt and I know that there are friends of mine who’ve read the blog and not a single one of them have said ‘I’m sorry you went through that’. I get that they might not give a shit, but at the same time, I’ve had a lot more compassion from strangers who want to be my friend and meet up for drinks etc – what does that say about my actual pals? And this is the exact same reason I blog: I don’t want to be friends with people who don’t appreciate my passion and who don’t want to be my friend even when I’m at my lowest. You internet strangers have actually been a lot friendlier than my life-long friends.

I’m not trying to be immature or selfish towards any of my real life friends, by the way. I get that people have their own shit to deal with and I am in no way trying to suggest that mine is more important or that they should have dropped everything to be with me. My best friend lives in Whitehaven and he had no choice but to not see me until a few weeks ago and I know that other friends of mine have busy lives and relationships, but from my perspective: I always send them messages etc just to see how they are. A friend of mine broke up with a lad she’d been seeing for 2 month and there I was, comforting her and making her feel better, when she didn’t even realise I had broken up with my ex. I’m not sure if I’m just being sensitive or that I’ve just removed myself from my friends over the past five years until they simply don’t give a shit. They don’t realise that none of that was down to my choice: I’d see all of my friends as often as possible if it were up to me, but still… I suppose it is my fault, but never mind.

However, I will say that starting this blog has actually helped me become a more confident person and I do feel, generally, a lot more comfortable in my skin than I ever have before. Being so candid about calling the Avon lady a mother fucker, or sharing some of the incredibly awful chat up lines I’ve received or even telling people that I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder and last year I was bullied to the point of self harm/suicide by my boyfriend’s mother has been so cathartic to me and it has helped me gain closure and move on from it. Do I need to share it with the internet? No, I suppose not, but at the same time I don’t force anyone to read it. The way I see it is: Blogging takes an immense amount of confidence and courage and being able to be yourself takes every single shred of strength, because you know that people are going to judge you and think you’re either seeking attention or just a dick.

Blogging is a learning curve for me. I have made so many mistakes over the past five years and I have lost so much of what made me me by trying so hard to be the girl that someone else wanted me to be and I have suffered so much and so unnecessarily for that that I am more determined now than ever to become Doris in a way that I’ve never been able to do before. I am so intelligent and silly and I think I’m hilarious even if no one else does and this is my outlet for that. And, recently in particular, I’ve been put in touch with so many lovely people who blog in the UK as well as closer to home in the North East/Newcastle area and I can’t wait to attend events with them and widen my social circle with people who love to blog/write. Blogging is my favourite thing in life at the moment and it has helped me over come the worst period of my life, and, I think, that it is also helping me become a better person in so many ways.

So, yet another serious post, but I will finish by saying: Thank you so much for your kind words, internet friends, I like you all a great deal and am enveloping you all in a massive bear hug in my mind right now. My poor attempts at comedy will continue soon enough, but until then, just keep sending lovely e-mails and know that I am happy to lend one of my massive ears for you to chat to.

If you want to get in contact my deets are here and on the ‘about’ bit of my blog. Lots of love, internet.

Email: whatdorisdidblog@gmail.com
Twitter: @mzjaggah

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“From Now on, I am Going to Live my Life According to Martin Scorsese Films.”

I often say things when I’m drunk and make a mental note to remember them, delving further into my mind grapes in order to make sense of the shit that comes out of my mouth after one too many glasses of merlot. In my mind’s eye, I am incredibly prophetic and I use my wine glass as a mouth piece, as a part of me in order to emphasise my point; I often imagine that I am like Catherine Zeta Jones in High Fidelity during the scene where John Cusak still thinks she is incredibly important and not at all empty and vapid, when really I am more like Tina Fey in 30 Rock sitting about in a slanky eating night cheese (which is so something every single girl living alone should do).

When I discussed this with my friend, who informed me I was also discussing Jack Nicholson in depth, I realised I was talking about The Departed and assumed it must be the quote that I always close my eyes and smile at when I hear it:

I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.

It’s one of those quotes where I like to interpret it to the point where it makes absolutely no sense in the movie, but has been warped into making perfect sense in my reality, therefore incredibly important and relevant to my blog post. However, I think this does, in some pointlessly convoluted way, actually make sense, which is both surprising and strangely healthy for me. Since breaking up with my ex, I have had a lot of people tell me that I am better off or, that they mean well, but what they’re about to say will offend me to my very core, causing my eyes to prickle with tears as I smile and tell them that no, actually, it’s totally fine, tell me exactly what’s on your mind and why the man I thought I was going to marry was ruining the very essence of me, it’s totally fine… what, these aren’t tears, it’s raining on my face. Some of it is really harsh, but I think it’s just my pride trying to defend and justify five years of simply existing, rather than living. And here is how I think that it is totally relatable and relevant to my Frank Costello quote. Here we go:

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my relationship. I liked waking up every day next to the same face and smiling, leaning over to kiss the person I love on his sleepy mouth, not at all embarrassed or disgusted by the mingling of our vile morning breaths. I loved our life together and I loved our house; the bickering over whose turn it was to get the drinks in, or how to cook a chilli:

“I’m a chef, Doris; I do this for a job, go sit down and drink your wine!”
“BUT YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!”
“I am not doing it wrong, I’m just not doing it the way you do it!”
“Have you even PUT any red wine in it? Or any CHOCOLATE?!”
“No, because you’re drinking it all and already ate all the chocolate! Sit down and shut up!”

Turns out he knows how to make a mean chilli, but fuck it, I am high maintenance. I also loved even just having someone to hold my hand or a arm nook to curl into when I was crying hysterically over something pointless on the TV, or something I’d read on the internet. However, since breaking up with him I realised that we had hit a plateau; that our relationship was stuck because neither of us were willing to mould ourselves into the relationship expected of us – we lived very close to our families and his family in particular were in their early twenties and had children and engagements etc. We had become a product of our environment and I, in particular, felt pressured by that and felt that I shouldn’t be looking for a career that would allow me to save money to travel and live a life I’ve always dreamed of… I felt pressured into believing that my dreams and desires were entirely selfish; that I should be nesting and creating a home for the eventual pitter patter of tiny feet. Looking back, I know that he was incredibly uninterested in committing to me beyond living with me, even tidying up and respecting his home was a challenge and sometimes he wouldn’t even come home at all because he needed his ‘space’, which really isn’t all that hard to find in a three bedroom terrace with two bathrooms and a pool room (as in the lounge game, not the swimming)… I now realise by ‘space’ he meant ‘being single for a while’. Not necessarily cheating, but not having to think about anyone but himself. Which is fine, I guess, but you don’t move the fuck in with someone and then wander off pretending to be single for a night whilst she sits at home and cries, wondering how the fuck she became this person she hated.

Since becoming single, I’ve realised that I am now in the latter stages of that quote: that I am now making my environment a product of me. Not in the exact sense as Costello was talking about, but I think in my own wine-induced way, that’s also exactly what Costello was talking about. Probably. Again, I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I am chuffed to be rid of my ex boyfriend, that he was this weight on my existence forcing me downwards until I was a miserable middle aged twenty-something woman with resentments towards everyone around me. I loved him. I really did and I still look back and think ‘jeez, if only we hadn’t done this, or not let people influence us…’ the reasons are endless, because a relationship ending, regardless of how toxic you realise it was, is sad. And it is sad and I am still pretty sad about it, but I’m also glad it ended for the aforementioned reasons. I wasn’t ready to throw my life away for The Stanley Dream; pregnant by my early twenties, unemployed living off benefits, feeding my kids cheap, processed foods because it is far cheaper than buying organic (not that I buy organic, but still). I always had a grand ambition and I studied so hard to be the type of person that I wanted to be and only now, after five years of being head over heels (to the point of fault) in love with someone, unable to see their own faults, it’s only now that I am able to see that our relationship was a mistake. The whole thing. And that is because I am overly romantic and believed that love conquered all; that none of my dreams mattered because I had found someone who loved me in spite of all my flaws (like drinking too much or wandering into traffic).

It has only been a few months, but since then I have become an entirely different person. My parents tell me that I have become the old me, but with slightly better morals and more experience, thus more wise. Like an owl or Patrick Stewart in Star Trek Next Generation. I am also a hell of a lot happier… Like, even when I wake up alone and spend the day alone, drink wine alone and then fall asleep alone: I am SO happy doing that too. I have become a more rounded human being right down from losing over two stone in weight and starting this blog. I am also trying to establish myself in a proper career (not like in a call centre role where essentially, I am working for peanuts whilst a giant corporation hands out bonuses to arsehole board members with double chins and mistresses… a proper career) and have become a generally nicer person. I even do nice things for charity now. I know! And no, before you roll your eyes and pass me off as one of those people who took a #nomakeupselfie and didn’t even donate money, I do volunteer work for an old people charity, so shut your stupid judgmental faces and praise me like you should. My entire outlook on life is entirely different and my morals are back on track and being treated with the respect they deserve; I no longer let people walk all over me like I don’t matter and I no longer let people treat me like I don’t mean anything. I am very important and I am very nice and my environment, at least, is very much a product of me, which I think is the ultimate goal for anyone.

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Hooray for Mental Illnesses!

People often laugh at me when I tell them that I suffer from being a bit of a socially awkward introvert and that I often have panic attacks even at the simple thought of socialising with other humans, and that whenever I am in public, I’m most likely to be looking at the floor and not smiling because I genuinely believe that everyone is thinking I look stupid and that I’m too tall etc. Equally so, people often think I’m unfriendly because my resting face makes me look bitchy, when really, I am just teetering on the verge of a full on break down, brought on by agoraphobia and low self esteem. Sometimes I will see people, even some of my very best friends whom I like a lot, but I will walk the other way or pretend I haven’t seen them and then send them an awkward e-mail or something saying I thought I saw you today! I wasn’t sure! So I just kept walking! Sorry for being ignorant! As though an over use of exclamations makes it all quirky and okay.
Equally, when my friends invite me to birthday nights out or gigs and things, I will sometimes say that I am going and then pretend I have an illness or something that I forgot I had to do, because I got half ready and then panicked about everyone else that might be there and that I’d end up standing alone at some point, causing people to look at me and snort that I am, of course, alone and then purposefully ignore me until I leave. My friends think I am a really shitty friend and I’m always too scared to say, “if I do come, will you promise to look after me and hold my hand if I panic and say nice things to me and introduce me to your friends so I don’t feel like I want to die?” because that is actually bat shit crazy and what kind of twenty five year old actually says these things to their friends? A lot of the time, when I do manage to go out, people will look at me and ask me if I’m okay. I smile and say that I am, but I’m trying really hard not to push them out of the way and scream “NO I AM VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!” and run away, crying maniacally.

This one time, my ex was watching me get ready for work and I just burst into tears and stood in front of him sobbing my heart out and clutching my chest, struggling to breathe. He grabbed me in his arms and put my head on his big, comfortable chest and made soothing noises, stroking my hair whilst I fought against his chest because I couldn’t really breathe properly and my glasses were steaming up. I told him that no, actually, I wasn’t okay and could he please FUCK OFF and leave me alone and then I cried some more because I attacked him for no reason. Then I rang in sick for work because I couldn’t actually control my crying and sobbing and then he rang in sick for work too, because he was too scared to leave me alone in case I choked on my own sobs. This was all because I’d told some friends I’d meet them after work for drinks. I told him all of this when I calmed down and apologised for being a weirdo, then curled up next to him and watched him play Xbox all day. I knew that he thought I was insane and blamed himself for me being upset, because he couldn’t think of a pragmatic and practical solution to why I was sad (he was more scientific and logical than irrational and emotional… Chalk and cheese and all that!) and he tried valiantly to get me to see myself the way he saw me, which was something quite good, I think, or, at least something better than the way that I viewed myself. I think he thought I was pretty great, which of course, being as anxious and awkward as I am, I never really understood or appreciated it.
Another time, I freaked him out by getting drunk and crying about ‘The Plight of Miley Cyrus’, which I was convinced was an actual thing and I felt as though I could genuinely relate to her because she is this young person, desperately trying to be herself and accept herself for who she is and have others do the same, but is constantly being judged for being mental and pressured into being a role model and well behaved, mentally stable member of society and I cried a lot because I related to Miley Cyrus and genuinely felt like ‘Wrecking Ball’ could be my life anthem.
I think this could be part of the reason (if not, the whole reason) that he left. Like, when I smashed all the eggs on the floor because I was frustrated with all the shit in my life that I couldn’t control and felt myself being consumed by all my anxieties, I wanted to ruin the lives of those dead baby birds and felt somewhat vindicated in the fact that they were unfertilised in vain, because of course I did. He felt like it was all his fault, even though the rational side of his brain was saying “you know, things like this happen to girls with anxiety issues… They get weird, cry and smash eggs. It’s okay, she’ll clean it up and she’ll probably come for a cuddle later on and cry some more and tell you she loves you and that’s she’s really happy that you love her enough to put up with her weird shit. And maybe hide the knives in case she gets really mad and kills you in her sleep by accident.” And I was always really glad to be loved by someone who had seen me for my true self, that in spite of all the joking and smiling and hiding behind make up etc, he loved me for being a bit broken and loved me, in spite of me being an egg smashing, Miley Cyrus sympathiser. Then he left and sometimes I hate him for it, then other times I realise that I’m not all that surprised because I’m clearly a few pennies short of a pound and genuinely think that this will be the reason I’ll die alone.

I’m not trying to be dramatic when I say that, it’s more a statement of fact said in the most sobering and soothing of tones, like a horse whisperer or a Jewish grandma. My mother says that there is someone out there for everyone and I laugh and tell her she’s a damned liar, because recently there was a woman found dead in Australia and they assumed she’d fallen over and couldn’t get back up and just died there, presumably from dehydration or starvation, or something else just as painful and agonising as the latter, because she had no family and no one who loved her enough to check on her every single day like a husband would. Then there’s also all the priests and nuns in the world – they will ultimately die alone and I can’t imagine it being as glamorous as Sister Act would try to make us all believe. Equally so, we have Cliff Richard who took a vow of celibacy over forty years ago… I mean, he’s known in knitting circles as a handsome bachelor (maybe?), but how do we know that he’s not suffering from the same crippling anxiety disorders that he’s convinced are all a figment of his imagination brought on by low self esteem? Maybe he made those same decisions when he was my age and thought that instead of allowing someone to see all of his scars and tummy rolls and panic about what his vagina looks like to someone who has never seen it before, or what if he was twenty five and got into a romantic situation with someone and then had a total panic attack when the person he was about to sleep with took all of his clothes off and his penis didn’t look quite right and he became convinced it was carrying some form of venereal disease and he just cried and sobbed until the other person fled and then told everyone about how he nearly had sex with a mentally unstable chubby person who has a fear of venereal diseases and unfamiliar cock, and that he would just decide to die alone instead, because it just seems so much easier than all that fuss.
Side note: I’m sure Cliff Richard, if he decided to break his vow of celibacy wouldn’t have sex with a man and I am almost one hundred per cent certain he doesn’t have a vagina; I was just projecting my own insecurities onto him. Sorry Cliff.

I think this is why I sometimes shy away from making new friends and whenever I am in a situation that requires the making of friends, I think back to the time I met a boy who was two years older than me at primary school (I was about six at the time). He asked if he could play with me and I told him that he could, but only if he showed me his penis first. Then when he did, I pointed at him and laughed and said that my dad had installed cameras in our garden and that if he was ever nasty to me, I would show everyone in the school exactly what his penis looked like. I see him sometimes now and I avoid eye contact, because I feel awkward and about it and don’t want him to look at me and remember that moment when I sexually blackmailed him before either of us had even reached puberty. Because now that I’m older and I know the more fun purpose of a man’s junk (like, it’s not just an awesome extra limb that lets you piss outside!), I could get arrested and then everyone will know that I have used blackmail to make people be my friends and that is not normal person behaviour.

DISCLAIMER: I have not, nor ever would use penile photography as a method of blackmailing anyone, nor would I ever do anything even remotely similar to blackmail, I was just making an, admittedly, terrible reference to my childhood and now I regret it because I sometimes tend to over share and sometimes I think it’s endearing and people will think I’m charming and adorable to be so unashamedly honest about poor behaviour in the past and that they will think I’m a bit of a voice of our generation and share my words of wisdom with their friends. Where, in reality, you’re probably all backing away from me slowly, wondering what the hell I have been smoking and understanding why I now believe I’ll die alone and am I even the person I say I am or am I an obese older gentleman with a moustache and loads of inappropriate pictures of cock on my hard drive? Then you’ll realise, that that’s the thing about the internet: You’ll never know either way.

Furthermore, when I have a romantic interest in someone, all the feelings I keep inside of myself, including all the weird thoughts like ‘if I squeezed your balls really hard would they pop like a balloon?’ and all of my awkwardness and genuine fear of rejection from society are heightened to the point where I may or may not appear as a true lunatic and what I think might be witty and charming is actually down right psychotic. It just makes more sense to me to establish myself as a spinster now and maybe invest in a small dog of some kind and also a sewing machine so that I can sew days of the week clothes for him and show him off to all of my friends as my baby and also give him a human name like Bruce or Stephen and people will be polite to me then talk about me behind my back as that girl who thinks her dog is her boyfriend. But I won’t care because I have a dog now and he wears really nice clothes that I make for him because he loves me unconditionally and doesn’t mind that I’m a fucking lunatic, because he’s a dog and dogs don’t judge, no matter how crazy you are.

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