Tag Archives: Confusion

Rear Windowing The Neighbours:

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The view from my flat… Missing the river, of course! 🙂

Not many of you may know that I live in a block of flats. They’re not a block of flats in the traditional sense; it’s three stories high and boasts six flats in total, including mine. Mine is ground floor and the patio doors boast a truly phenomenal view, to the point where I like to sit in the rocking chairs outside in the summer and watch the river idle by. Where I live is really quiet, idyllic and peaceful and I love it. I’m not the type of person who craves drama or intrigue, I like to keep myself to myself and living somewhere that is as quiet as my flat is truly amazing.

Even though I live in a block of flats, I very rarely see my neighbours. I sometimes see the family who live above with their tiny little girl who as of late has been screaming for hours on end, breaking her little heart over something that is troubling her. I see the man who lives with his partner opposite who ignores me all the time and sometimes drives in and out of the estate for no reason, before standing outside and smoking for ages. I am also pretty obsessed with the old lady who lives at the very top of the building; I’m not sure if she’s in a same sex relationship with the lady I see around often, but either way, I think she’s the type of person who likes to get drunk on gin and tell inappropriately filthy jokes, which basically makes her my soul mate and I long to pluck up the courage to ask her or happen to accidently drop a bottle of Hendrick’s one night as she wanders past, hoping to strike up a conversation that allows her to be my best friend forever more. There’s another couple that I don’t really know much about; I’ve said hello to them both separately and I very rarely see them… until recently. Recently, dear readers, Brain and I have developed a Rear Window situation, which basically means I am the Grace Kelly in the situation and he is the wheelchair bound James Stewart… we are obsessed with one of our neighbours.

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

They’re a young couple like Brain and myself, which means I have often thought about them and wondered what they’re like. I do this with people who are in relationships, because relationship dynamics intrigue me to no end; I like to wonder if all couples are the same and if their concept of love is the same as mine, for example. Like, I wonder if couples behind closed doors spend as much time cuddling on the sofa, or if they like to cook together or if they chase each other round playing stupid games like Brain and I do. I’m obsessed with the closeness that couples share and if it feels the same. This sounds entirely mental, I totally appreciate that, but either way, I have wondered about this couple.

They are both young, they’re both pale and they’re both very polite, prim and I think quite proper. She is very quiet and I haven’t really spoken to her and he only says hello in passing, so I haven’t managed to strike up a friendship with them yet, to be able to outright ask them what I am dying to ask them. So instead, I have to spy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shimmy up the side of the building and Spiderman my way along until I can spy in their windows, and I don’t hang out in front of their door waiting or anything, it’s not that bad. Really, my spying is entirely accidental and I think that’s what makes the situation worse.

You see, every evening if I or Brain leave the house, or if we go out to our family’s house and return later on at night, or whatever, this couple are sitting in their car. The engine is running, the lights are on and they don’t do anything. They just sit there. And I am foaming about it.

Last night, we went out quite early because it was my dad’s birthday and we had gifts to take him, so we left at about six o clock and didn’t return until about half ten. When we left the house and I helped Brain put my dad’s presents in the car, the male human from this car couple was standing outside of the car putting his coat on. We exchanged pleasantries, as we always do and Brain and I got in the car. Immediately, as we do, we wondered out loud what they were doing sitting in the car, again. I mentioned that it was pretty weird and put it out of my mind, opting to bother Brain in the car by pushing all of the pushable buttons in the car and laughing wickedly as he clicks them all off, cursing me and calling me a nightmare, then we drove off, not to think of it again.

We had a lovely  night with my parents and after watching the Newcastle match, we came home. We got home at about half past ten and when I stepped out of the car, I realised that the couple were still in the car!! WHY, WHY ARE THEY IN THE CAR!!!!! I immediately started grinning, as I do when I’m excited and nervous and desperate to tell Brain some gossip and as soon as we got in the flat, we began wondering aloud what the fuck they could possibly be doing STILL SAT IN THE CAR. I’ve never known couples who do this, especially when they have a flat of their own to go into and do whatever it is they want to do. So I’m at a loss and I am so excited for night time to fall so I can watch them again…

Why are they in the car?

What are they doing?

Are they planning a murder?

Are they playing Mexican music loudly to mask the sound of them arguing?

What the fuck are they doing in the car?!

Stay tuned, because I will eventually find out. Until next time, Grace Kelly OUT!

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Anxieties About Blogging & The Future.

As a writer and blogger who allows literally the entirety of the internet a stark, honest and unabashed insight into her life, hopefully using smidgeons of comedy and interesting, bold content, I feel that I might be, somehow, holding myself back. As proud as I am of the content I discuss on my blog, I still write under a pseudonym and nothing about my online presence, or manner in which I market my blog could be described as personal; other than my boyfriend, no one I know in real life reads my blog and no one, other than close friends and family, know of its existence. Those who do know of its existence have never seen it and wouldn’t know what to search for, even if they wanted to read it. Its instances like this, which I feel assist to my feelings of general despondence when it comes to my blog and my plans.

To speak of my goals, of the things I would like to accomplish by habitually providing my blog with content is something I have never done. It’s something I feel that I am not talented enough for, that I am not someone whom people would regard as ‘serious’ enough to write on a professional level – which is a ridiculous concept. There are countless female comedians, females who write for excellent newspaper outlets, magazines, businesses, television networks who are unashamedly themselves; silly, rude, confident, hilarious and this comes across in their writing too. So why do I feel that I’m not good enough? Is it something that could have an element of truth or something that I’m being entirely paranoid about?

Recently, I have been asked to write for a rather large UK publication and also asked to become a paid writer for a large establishment in the North East and whilst these are enormous accomplishments, part of me thinks that it’s all a joke – that someone will eventually jump out from behind a wall, point at me and laugh at me for ever thinking anyone would want me to write for them professionally, let alone get paid for it. Which is an entirely foolish concept. I am so lucky to have wilfully left a job that offered  me no real – right within my grasp attainable and financially viable goals – with no jobs lined up for me and have had these amazing opportunities, essentially handed to me on a platter. In two months, I have dabbled in the waters that will, hopefully, if I’m very lucky, lead me to my dream career: Published & modestly paid writer.

I think it’s a confidence thing, but I’m not sure if it’s something other bloggers face. To me, it seems that the only concept that people can employ and consider when speaking to/about female bloggers is that we all write about clothes and make up – things that employers, particularly male employers, find non-threatening and just a bit of fun. I feel that when I tell people that I write about feminism, mental health, confidence, sex and pop culture in a stark, honest and hopefully witty/funny manner, their eyes darken and I can almost see their mind working away, wondering what I am doing, daring to interview with them, or leave my house without a big neon sign pointing: INTELLIGENT, OPINIONATED, PROBABLY A BITCH, STEER CLEAR at my head.

It may be paranoia that is sifting through my unconscious mind, causing me to cast doubt upon my passions and evident talents, or it might be something that is true: Everything I do, everything I use in order to market my blog and share it with people is foolhardy and that I won’t be taken seriously as a writer due to my attempts at comedy or somewhat self-deprecating manner in which I write.

This blog doesn’t really make too much sense, but I had some concerns and having spent the day not feeling rooted in reality and that I am not real today, I have also been incredibly anxious and panicky about my future. I’m hoping that I’ll read this tomorrow and some worries will be put to rest, but if you’re reading this and would like to help or share some words of wisdom, they would be much appreciated.

Thank you. Lots of love x

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The Paedophile Next Door

Last night, Channel Four aired The Paedophile Next Door, an hour long documentary that highlighted the concepts of paedophilia as a sexual preference. In the show, we saw victims, health professionals and one paedophile discussing their experiences and opinions on the matter. For me, it was incredibly harrowing and very difficult to watch, but I managed, with tears in my eyes and a hand over my mouth in horror, to get through the documentary. Some of my views were immediately aired on twitter – as is always the way – the bitter sting of the show still digging into my sides and I ended up having a debate with one of my very best friends, Sian, about it. Now, with the immediate visceral reaction having subsided, I feel that I can, perhaps, review the show in a more… hopefully, neutral manner. Although, I’m quite happy to admit that I am not sure if I’ll manage. We’ll see.

The show addressed paedophilia as a legitimate sexual preference as well as a mental health issue that could be classed as an affliction and we, as the audience, were pleaded with to listen to reasoning and admit that not all paedophiles should be vilified as that encourages them to attack, instead we should be nurturing and encourage those paedophiles to admit their sexual preference and mental health problems and receive the help they deserve – this is something  that is already done in Germany and the show’s main topic, Eddie, admitted that he would also like to seek help for his affliction. Personally, I think the show did a poor job of arguing their point, which I reitertated on Twitter. Whether or not people deserve help is neither here nor there, if paedophiles want help, then great, but surely history regarding sexual preferences dictates that you can’t change who you are?

What does that say about the LGBT community who have fought for years and years to attain social equality? We STILL don’t offer social equality to this community and in an enormous amount of countries – including our own – there are still a great amount of people excluded, murdered, beaten up and vilified for their sexual preferences… but this isn’t classed as a mental illness? Why? Because it isn’t – loving someone of the same sex does not make you mentally ill, identifying as a female when you were born a man does not make you mentally ill; we’ve fought for the equality of all of these people and that love has no gender, that in 2014 we should not be adhering to the heteronormative, biblical solution to love, marriage and procreation. It can’t be beaten out of you, it can’t be changed through therapy, you can’t be sent off to a straight camp and come back loving pussy when you’ve spent a life time sucking cock – we have covered this; it’s inherent, it’s in your blood: you are who you are, that can’t be changed. So why are paedophiles any different? Offering them therapy isn’t going to stop them from being paedophiles and wasting money on offering them comfort in the fact that it’s okay to be sexually attracted them to children is dangerous. If a homosexual can’t be turned straight, or a straight person can’t be turned gay, how do you turn a paedophile into a non-paedophile? You can’t.

Attempting to normalise paedophilia is tantamount to saying that it’s okay to be attracted to children and I honestly think that is beyond wrong. Firstly, children don’t have the mental grasp on life to be able to give consent and think that it’s okay for a grown man or woman to sexually abuse them. Being attracted to children as young as five, or children who can’t even draw or walk or crawl is not okay and I am rather disgusted that there is an attitude that we want to help these people; they are not okay and no amount of therapy will make it okay for someone to fancy kids as young as new borns, which was mentioned on the programme.

I get that there are paedophiles out there who have not sexually assaulted children and that’s fantastic, good on them, I don’t mind their existence, that’s not what I’m saying, but as with every sexual preference, there has to be an outlet somewhere, so what do they do? Think about having sex with children? Okay, that’s fine, but which children? The ones who live next door? The ones who he sees going to school every day? What about child pornography? That’s readily available, surely? Yes, of course, but we’ve already covered that children can’t give consent, that to be involved in sexually graphic photographs or content is not consensual; an adult has, at some point, exercised their ultimate control over a child and forced them to do that, so surely by watching the porn, paedophiles are only perpetuating the abuse of the poor child in that movie or photograph?

Of course, things like this are broad generalisations, but the fact that there is a counter argument out there suggests that it isn’t okay normalising a sexual preference by brandishing it as a mental illness. We can’t accept that, as a society, it’s okay to call paedophilia a mental illness, but we cant call homosexuality a mental illness (quite rightly, mind). Sexual preferences are not mental illnesses and it’s not something that any amount of therapy will correct. It may stop someone from offending, but it might not… Then who do we blame? We blame ourselves… and is that okay?

I would really love to hear people’s opinions on this, because as you can see, my arguments are emotional and for the most part visceral – I simply do not agree with normalising paedophilia or supporting them in any way, but as with my debate with Sian, I would love to hear other points of view, so please send comments or emails or anything and I am more than happy to discuss it with any of you.

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A Series of Lamentations: Food

My boyfriend (Brain) is constantly admonishing me for my relationship with food; he accuses me of being picky, which tends to catapult me into an irate state of melodrama that involves me screaming “I AM NOT PICKY, I AM THE OPPOSITE OF PICKY, I AM FAT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, ISN’T IT OBVIOUS THAT I LOVE FOOD IN ALL ITS GLORY?!” before listing items of food that I enjoy eating, that many people wouldn’t enjoy eating, either because their tolerance for dead animals and the food created from their insides is significantly less than mine (read: non-existent) or because they are vegetarians/vegans and their love of vegetables is so extensive that they would eat things that I never would without wanting to smother everything in thick layers of cheese and probably also some chicken.

However, and this is something that I have never told Brain, through genuine fear of him turning into the haughty, self-righteous know it all that he loves to be when he realises that he has bested me and that I am, as predicted, an unending example of persistent contradictions that render all of my arguments to the contrary positively inept (like, seriously, bro, how perceptive do you really need to be? Give a girl a break!) and that I did for a long time have genuine issues with food and most of my culinary discoveries only happened in the last, perhaps, one to three years of my life.

I still maintain that I am not picky, but that I grew up in an environment where culinary exploration wasn’t really a high priority; that set meals and an avoidance of foods that my mother didn’t want to cook was imperative and as a result, my palette was relatively infantile until I went to university and discovered an abundance of cheap restaurants that allowed me to explore food in more detail. So, if you are the type of person to read between the lines, I guess you’ve come to the conclusion that, not only do I blame my alleged pickiness on my mother, I also blame her for being fat too.

Isn’t that always the way: Slightly fat human in her mid to late twenties blaming her mother for her current state of tear inducing chubbiness that no amount of Spanx can conceal? Let’s not acknowledge the fact that I don’t live with my mother and that I haven’t done full time for the past three years and that, since the age of perhaps sixteen or seventeen, she had no actual control over what I ate for lunch or dinner unless I ate at home and no she doesn’t know that today for lunch I had a handful of Skittles and salted popcorn with extra salt, because she would judge me harshly. Quite rightly too.

You see, my mother is the true picky eater in this game of life we all play and therefore, my lack of knowledge where certain foods were concerned is because of her dislike for something. Chicken, for example, is something we very rarely ate; we would sometimes get a chicken curry for tea, but not very often because she hates touching it and thinks we are all going to get salmonella and die, which is why I have never been too fond of cooking chicken, because I’m frightened of getting salmonella and dying, fitting in all too well with my upbringing. This is also why I very rarely order chicken in a restaurant, because I will sift through the chicken, sticking bits in the face of the person opposite me asking if the chicken looks too pink to them. And that if I taste a piece of chicken that tastes too chicken-like, I will refuse to eat any further and want to order something else. And this is from someone who loves chicken.

I remember once we were ordering a very rare Chinese takeaway when I was a teenager, my sister and I opted to share a chicken curry together and my mother, who was writing down what to order so that she didn’t forget, looked at us with a face full of genuine concern and said: “chicken… Are you sure you don’t want beef?” prompting, naturally, my sister and I to burst into fits full of giggles and retort with something pithy and harsh, but all very well-mannered that no,  we actually want chicken and if we’d wanted beef, we would have said. But, her attempts at coaxing us towards the evidently far better takeaway option of beef did work, because I remember eating it thinking “this tastes too much like chicken. I don’t think this is cooked. Actually, I don’t think this is chicken at all…WHAT AM I EATING?!” and I have never ordered a chicken curry from anywhere since.

My mother has always had a genuine difficulty with handling meat (much to the lament of my poor dad! HA, sorry, but a good innuendo/inappropriate joke about one’s parents’ sex life should NEVER be missed…Let that be a life lesson to you!), and whilst we can’t class her as a vegetarian due to her love of beef roast lunches and the occasional lamb dish, we can’t class her as a meat eater, because she’d never eat spaghetti Bolognese or fish and chips if it was cooked by anyone other than the one man she trusts to cook her fish. Up until Christmas last year, she hated pork and was quite pissed off with my dad for buying a huge joint of pork and cooking it in her oven, until she popped her head around the kitchen door where my dad, myself and my sister were huddled, practically suckling the pig fat dripping from it’s delectable carcass and she actually tried some. Now she likes hot pork sandwiches. (Another great excuse for an innuendo, but I’ll let it slide.)

So, as you can see, any pickiness that I have exhibited is not pickiness at all, but a deep rooted loyalty to my mam that no one – not even you, Brain – can judge. And whilst I have always heartily enjoyed meat, rarest of rare steaks and chicken in abundance (only if it doesn’t taste too much like chicken), it wasn’t until the past few years I’ve discovered food that I like:

Haggis – as a result of my ex’s dad who played bagpipes and took me along to a Burn’s night where I had Haggis Neeps and Tatties for the first time (also the first time I realised I love turnip, but only if it is cubed) and it was divine.

Black Pudding – through walking in Tesco with my dad who asked me if I liked black pudding and before I could answer, my mam shouted, ”NO, SHE DOES NOT LIKE BLACK PUDDING!” prompting me to feverishly stuff it in my mouth next time I saw it on a menu in a restaurant, which was positively divine. I think I went home that evening, pointed at my mam and screamed “I DO LIKE BLACK PUDDING, WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE, YOU HARLOT!*” and locked myself in my bedroom because I am mature and not at all melodramatic.

Mussels – I didn’t realise I actually liked mussels for a very long time, mostly because I thought choosing this dish in a restaurant meant that I was eating the muscles of fish, which seemed an unnecessary delicacy that I didn’t want to try. I mean, I had tried sushi and some of it was lovely, I’d tried salmon and loved it cooked, but would never try it raw and the idea of eating a fish with it’s head and eyes and bones still attached freaked me out, so why would I eat a fish muscle served in a white wine sauce? Waste of wine if you ask me! Then I realised they were actual shell fish and served in a white wine sauce, because mussles go amazing with a white wine sauce, also a coconut and chilli sauce if you like spicy things and taste more meaty than I would have given them credit for (because I also don’t like things that are too fishy, another trait I owe to my dearest mama).

Admittedly, I have wasted a lot of my life thinking I hated foods when I don’t. I discovered that I love both olives and soft goats cheese this year as well as gnocchi and charcoal cheese. There are also things that I knew I didn’t like, but I tried any way, because Brain peer-pressured me, like camembert, stilton and other cheeses that smell and taste like mouldy, dead people feet. I will try to amend my lack of education in the culinary arts, but only for things I want to try like ostrich and venison and shark, but won’t ever eat pigeon or tomatoes because they are sinister looking and I hate them. So fuck you, Brain**.

*Slight dramatization. Probably didn’t happen like that at all. I’m a liar.

**I say this jokingly. For the most part. Love you, really, kidda!

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Twenty Something Midlife Crises:

If you’re reading this, then you may be a twenty something individual going through a little bit of a crisis. I understand. Crises are usually reserved for the middle aged and are thus appropriately glamorised because they had their shit together in their twenties and have therefore earned enough money in their lives to buy a new hairpiece, fill their faces with botox, buy a red sports car and develop a drug addiction, derived from having many dinners and sexual dalliances with high end prostitutes. Twenty somethings are not privileged enough, nor have they earned enough money prior to fly around in a sports car, paying people to have sex with them. (I should also point out that mid-life crises are not gender specific; women have them too, only they are far less glamorous and probably result in drinking wine in the afternoon and declaring themselves ‘cougars’ hitting up clubs with their other miserable friends in order to revitalise their youth in a manner which botox and sex with prostitutes wouldn’t be able to fulfil). Therefore, there is no readily prepared information on how to stop having a crisis in your twenties, get your shit together and stop lamenting over the fact that you’re in thousands of pounds worth of debt because of a degree you were encouraged to get to improve your quality of life/employment chances has resulted in unemployment and eating dried garlic bruschetta for lunch because you’re too cast adrift in your life to consider proper food consumption. I get it, so I’m here to help.

You see, I too have been, adrift and in crisis. One could argue that my current state of affairs is akin to feeling adrift and in crisis, but I would say that you are wrong, because the first stage of a crisis is denial that you are in a crisis. Much like a red sports car is such a good idea, because the ladies love a red sports car and no the media has not bastardised the red sports car to the extent that driving in one is synonymous with being an old creep looking to touch people young enough to be their daughters. You see, denial, it knows no boundaries. I am not denying that I am in a crisis, because I’m not – there is a checklist, which I have handily drafted for you all to highlight that you may be having a twenty something crisis, but I, most certainly, am not:

  1. You have a degree in some kind of artistic pursuit that filled you full of purpose during your formative years, but has since left you feeling empty in body, mind and pocket.
  2. You choose to pursue the talents bestowed on you by said degree by pursuing this as a hobby, which will accidentally, one day, flourish into a career.
  3. You have more wine glasses than you do any other type of glass in your flat.
  4. You take stands quite a lot and are often incensed by things such as the news, adverts and the inability to use your television due to your partner’s inability to explain how to use said device properly.
  5. You have too many dishes to clean on a daily basis.
  6. You have stood in front of a mirror and lamented over your girth, foaming at your reflection, but happy in your resolve that this must be your natural body shape and not a sign that you should stop eating ice cream.
  7. You don’t often wear a bra during the day, so that when people deliver packages to your door, you look like you’ve been breastfeeding two baby elephants simultaneously for the past half an hour.
  8. Or, if you’re male, don’t wear a shirt and the results are pretty much the same.
  9. Your mother often rings you to ask you if you’ve had any joy on becoming a proper adult, instead of the overgrown toddler you have essentially become, given your addiction to bottle shapes, afternoon naps and tears at not getting your own way.
  10. You write lists.

If you have checked positive for any of these, then I am very sorry, but you are probably going through a twenty something life crisis. Given, of course, that you are in your twenties. If you are younger than in your twenties, then don’t worry, your parents pay for shit and this is just childhood, enjoy it, get a tattoo. If you’re older than in your twenties and/or are married with children, then you should probably get your shit together, get off the internet and do something more worthwhile in your life. There is no room for you here.

The main problem, I think, with people who are going through twenty something life crises is that it’s not glamorised enough. Instead of being rich and having sex with people, we are poor and watching Netflix on loop every day watching actors have simulated sex with other actors. It’s all very drab. Plus, if you decide to inform someone that you feel you may be going through a little bit of a crisis, that you feel that your talents and life are dwindling away, that you’re at a point in your life where you see others with their shit together and it gives you feelings of intense anxiety to know that you are at the bottom of the gene pool in both terms of sexuality and employment. These people who you talk to are inherently selfish and will therefore laugh heartily until tiny tears are coming out of their eyelids, they will shake their heads, smile at you and tell you that you should pursue a life of comedy, or that you should write a fictional novel because the stories you come up with are crazy. If you don’t speak to someone selfish, then they will tell you how great you are and buoy your confidence up to a level where you feel stupid for ever feeling that you were in crisis, until they leave and you realise all they did was make you feel temporarily better and are probably worse than the people who didn’t support you and thought you were insane.

The truth is, twenty somethings worldwide are the first generation in life who are on the precipice of life but unable to jump over into that ship of self-sufficient adulthood and money in the bank that doesn’t need to be saved for bills or you’ll be kicked out of your house for not paying rent, because it’s just too far and you’re scared of the presumably shark infested waters that undoubtedly lie beneath. Our parents had their shit together, when they left school at sixteen, careers were pretty much handed to them, having been crafted throughout their school careers. My dad knew he was going to be an engineer and became an apprentice, my mam a hairdresser and did the same. I left school and I knew that I was going to spend a significant amount of time lying around looking at pictures of Ryan Gosling on the internet and reading books, before going shopping two days before college and buying clothes that made me look like a weed smoking hippy from the 1970s that wouldn’t make me any friends. We’re part of a generation that are in debt before we even decide what we’re doing in life, meaning we can’t pursue the things that we should do in our adult lives: mortgages, weddings, financial stability, babies, buying a car that we don’t have to lease, decorating and weekend DIY. Instead, we remain in an almost infantile state, attempting adulthood but failing miserably, working temporary, shit jobs whilst holding out for our degrees to finally pay off, developing addictions to things that remind us of childhood: which explains why EVERY male human you know has either an addiction to some kind of Japanese anime, playing army on his playstation or his xbox with his friends and that girls are weird and icky and why EVERY female you know has at some point in their lives bought a hat with animal ears on it and changed their Facebook status to Disney princess in training because they spent an entire evening drinking wine and singing along to Disney songs in their pyjamas, wishing that men were like Disney princes (not the parts where they kiss you without consent whilst you’re asleep, or kidnap you and refuse to let you see your family so he can force you to love him, though).

To me, it seems like the only thing we can really do at this point in our lives is develop the ability to time travel, go back in time and punch our childhoods right in the face. Tell them to not pursue academic excellence and instead settle for the mundane, because everyone you know who didn’t go to university is now in a proper career, has bought their first home and is married to someone they overlooked during childhood. Let them know that if they do pursue the arts they will end up fat, miserable and unemployed, the only joy in life being the fact that you have found your forever human, so at least that’s out the way and that if you’re asked to join companies under zero hour contracts or for barely minimum wage you should laugh in their faces and explain that they are what is wrong with the economy and spit on their shoes before storming out of their building, indignant and…well, unemployed.

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Hi Tinkerbell, it’s me… The Writer.

This morning, at the crack of dawn, Brain left for London to go and see his final NFL game of the year. I, groggy and shivering from cold, took refuge in my bed and spent the next few hours having extremely odd dreams; you know the kind where you feel you’re awake, so anything remotely upsetting seems like it is happening really and you spend the rest of the day feeling a little unsettled, because the rational side of your brain tells you no, it’s just a dream, don’t worry. Then your conscience pips up with really? It certainly seemed real, are you sure your landlord didn’t walk into your bedroom and have a conversation with you this morning about being really ill? I know you don’t feel ill, but why else would he let himself into your flat? So, I spent a few hours waking up with a start and trying to get back into a peaceful slumber and every time, an unsettling this could be happening to me right now dream would rear its ugly head and mess my waking life up. One of which was a chance email from The Writer, prompting me to check a very old inbox… low and behold, there sat an unread email reading: Hi Tinkerbell. Oh God.

When I moved back to England with my family, I spent a few years of school having a certain degree of je ne sais quoi about me; I was English, had grown up in England, but had lived in the South of Holland for a few years and could speak fluent Dutch – if it hadn’t been for my inherent awkward, dorky, bookish ways, I could have been someone who capitalised on this and made herself a pretty interesting individual. The majority of people at my school got a bit bored of walking up to me and asking me if I would say certain words in Dutch (usually expletives) and I became a wall flower once more. Inevitably, I began appealing to the more arty type folks, the musicians and the people who wore floaty shirts, long cardigans with sleeves far too long for their arms – the types who would draw on their school bags and blazon their favourite bands on the front of their shirt, claiming to be their first and biggest fans. They were awesome people, don’t get me wrong, a crowd I fit in with quite well and still speak to regularly now and they opened me up to some experiences that I wouldn’t trade in for the world, both good and bad.

It was around this time I met The Writer. He is someone with whom I’ve always had an entirely platonic relationship with, and despite my irrevocable crush on him for about five and a half minutes, it’s something that I am eternally grateful for now. He was one of those kids who had the sheer poor luck of being at his most handsome during his teenaged years: Tall, creamy pale skin, the first of his age to have facial hair and someone who wrote poetry, who played guitar far superior to anyone else our age and also decided that he was going to write an Oscar winning film after seeing Titanic when he was a kid (didn’t we all, though?!). We gravitated towards one another because of our love of music; I was going through my Johnny Cash phase and was secretly hoping to be someone’s June Carter one day and when he first spoke to me – one Friday night that we all saved our lunch money for; a cheap litre bottle of cider we’d all share together, he sidled up beside me as I sat shivering on a wall, offering me his scarf. He smoked, so I declined because I didn’t want my mother to smell disgusting smoke and ground me, but our arms were touching and I felt warmer as a result so we simply sat and talked. There is no denying that The Writer was endlessly interesting; his love of poetry and classical literature was evident; he was someone, the first and only person in my friend group who I thought hmm… he is challenging. I didn’t feel smarter than him, I felt a little in awe of him.

As time went on, I realised he was arduous. I’ve always been a general good judge of character, but only when I realise someone is trying too hard to be a certain someone, or someone who holds a mirror up to society, purely to hide themselves; to fool others into thinking they are greater than they are and The Writer was someone who became obvious to me within a few weeks of our friendship. I realised quite quickly that he would build himself up by trying to belittle me. He knew I wrote and instantly attempted to tell me that my writing wasn’t good enough, I blogged, which he deemed bourgeois, predictable and a bastardisation of the written form. So when he sent me some of his work, I was nervous, I was tentative to read what I understood to be the greatest piece of writing I would ever read; I felt sad that nothing I would ever write in the future would feel even remotely as brilliant as what I was about to encounter. Heart beating, I opened the document and began reading… about five minutes later he asked me what I thought. I hated it. I was disappointed that I’d doubted my own writing, which at the time, and even now is nowhere near brilliant, but his writing was atrocious. He attempted to write about things he had no idea about; warfare, having emotionless, passionless sex with a woman in Paris, the curvature of a woman’s breast and the taste of her (metallic, empty… the lingering taste of those before her bitter on my tongue) It was inappropriate, awful and just… shit, really.

I told him that I didn’t like it and he hit the roof, he told me I wouldn’t know talent if it punched me in the face and refused to speak to me for years. Which was fine by me.

Since then, he has sent me emails out of the blue, discussing the tiresome nature of his life, how his creative process has been diminished by the mundane, that working in a call centre has crushed his soul. That the women he has been with have not satisfied his intellectual desires. He saw the movie Shame and sent me an email telling me that he resonated with Fassbender’s character so well that he genuinely thought someone had been taking examples of his life and used them; he felt creatively robbed, he said. He also sent me an extensive email late last year telling me that he wished he’d treated me with the respect I’d deserved, that he always treated me as though I wasn’t going to be as successful as him and because he knew I hadn’t achieved any form of writing success, he blamed it on himself. That his words had put me off writing and that my disliking his writing was as a result of knowing that my own attempts at literature would never make it… He’s a person so full of himself that I abhor him and enjoy him in equal measures; his own sense of entitlement, I guess, that he has a right to discuss my life as though he has any impact on it whatsoever is both annoying and hilarious in equal measures.

Today’s email was as melancholy as I’ve ever heard him, but it didn’t prompt me to write back words of encouragement. I was annoyed. He has just broken up with a girlfriend of his and quit his job as a result (my creativity needs to flow; working in a fucking call centre stifles my brilliance. I haven’t written a decent word in fucking years!), he was telling me that I know exactly how I feel, knowing how my creative process is constantly stifled, that blogging is a dull and futile attempt at getting exposure. That being so unsatisfied in life that I’ll never find satisfaction in a relationship, because ‘we’re both just too fucked up to be with anyone but each other’.

This email was dated four months ago, when I’d just started seeing Brain and even though it bears no relevance to me now, it is still annoying. It bugs me that his failings in life simply have to include me; that because he considers us kindred spirits that I consider my life a failure; that I can’t find joy in my writing or my relationship because I’m too internally fucked up. Does anyone else have this? Someone in their lives who insists on projecting their misery in order to make you share this? I’ve known people who’ve resonated with me when I’ve complained about him and it almost always tends to be people who’ve chosen a life of creativity, but it always seems that there’s a male/female struggle there too; that if the female is content, happy with her creative pursuits, doing well in some aspect of their life, the creative male becomes cantankerous, publicly agonising over his lack of success instead of just enjoying the creative process for everything that it is and can be. I guess to say it’s a regular thing between male/female dynamics is entirely wrong, because it will just be a tiny portion of people so insecure with themselves that they need to find company for their misery, but every example I’ve experienced has been, so I will state: I don’t think it’s a gender issue, per say. Perhaps… creative men are simply more fucking childish than the average m ale human.

I’m glad I didn’t respond. I think there’s a certain point in everyone’s life when they just need to realise that writing may not be the career they expect, but that writing shouldn’t have to be. Writing is a hobby and if you’re going to be a published writer, great, but surely the only way you get there is to write and write and write; my blog is full of terrible pieces of writing, my creative writing I am far too self-conscious and embarrassed about to share with people, which would be counterproductive if I ever expected to be published. I think that The Writer needs to cling on to me because he doesn’t understand me. I write for the pure pleasure of writing, I love surrounding myself with creative people so we can bounce off one another, learn from one another (whether that be writing or not, any creative pursuit) and bond given our similar passions. To use me as a metaphorical punching bag to highlight his own short comings is not the calling card of a kindred spirit, nor is it the basis on which friendships are made. The Writer proved himself to me within weeks of knowing him: He’s a fake and someone evidently so unhappy with himself that it makes him feel good and powerful to put others down. I don’t have time for people like that. I don’t have time to massage egos anymore.

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Why Ryan Gosling Ruined my Sex Life.

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When I was younger, recently emerging from the innocence of childhood into my perpetually moody, tempestuous adolescent phase, sex became a major focus in my life. Not in terms of enjoyment, or indeed, participation, especially not knowledge on the topic, but a kind of intrepid fascination; like, I imagine, people who spend their life dedicated to atheism, witnessing a miracle and changing their lives to repent their sinful ways to a deity who still may not exist; sex was something I was fascinated by and I believed, once I had sex, life would be put into perspective and everything would just make sense, you know?

Funnily enough, during my first tentative steps into adolescence, I didn’t even explore sex from my perspective, but became obsessed with talking about it. Nonchalantly, like it was something I was incredibly learned in. I didn’t say much other than ‘sex’, it would just pour out of my mouth and other youths would look at me in what I hoped was a certain admiration, like, ‘oh, look at her being so knowledgeable about something we know nothing about… Let’s worship her!’ In hindsight, I think everyone thought I was crackers, but I likened myself to those French girls in the movies, the ones with the really long cigarettes, in stripy tops with a floppy hat resting casually on my perfect hair. I always have red lips in my fantasies about young me being an adult before my time, which is presumably why I’m so obsessed with a red lip now. Anyway, it was something I knew nothing at all about, but I conveyed myself with a certain confidence, so that people would approach me to talk about their own sexual secrets. I became the Mother Theresa of my friend circles sex life.

One time, a friend approached me and told me that her boyfriend’s mother found a used condom on their kitchen floor and now hated her, thinking she was promiscuous. She was heartbroken about it, because he started ignoring her and sometimes, in front of groups of friends, would make derogatory comments about her vagina. I attempted to soothe her with my motherly tones, that only the tallest girl in school can convey (never someone boys fancy, always, always a mother like figure) and told her the following: Never let a man judge your vagina, it is yours alone to use as you please and his mother should be pleased you are both practicing safe sex! Her anger could eventually lead him to impregnate someone… Fear of condoms is a thing, Claire. I helped her move on from this awkward situation and eventually they got back together. I think she quoted my words of wisdom to him and decided to make me maid of honour at their wedding (no, of course it didn’t happen. You have sex at fourteen with a boy who makes it the entire student body’s knowledge, then of course you don’t get married!).

Internally, I was not as nonchalant about sex as I would like to be. Truthfully, I didn’t fully understand what a blow job was until I was seventeen. For this, I happily blame my father, who, when watching Highlander told me and my sister that a blow job was what you do to a car after you wash it, to make sure it dries properly. So, sitting drinking cocktails at a Wetherspoons in Durham one day, a friend tells me she gave someone a blowjob and, incredulously, I replied ‘LIAR, HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A CAR!’ Anyway, I soon found out that a blow job was exactly the same as sucking someone’s cock, which also confused me because blow would imply that you actually blow onto someone’s penis, which, from what I’ve been told is rather painful. Never mind, back to the point: When it came to sex from my own perspective, I’m afraid I was more a rose coloured glasses kind of girl than the brazen, confident French girl I so desperately conveyed to others.

In truth, I spent a lot of my time fantasising about love, rather than about sex. I watched a lot of romantic films and instead of thinking about the act itself, I thought more about the type of person I would like to give my virginity to. In keeping with my tradition of obsession, the one man who really set alight to my loins and passions was Ryan Gosling. From the moment I saw his moody, beardy face, working away at some wood as he valiantly tried to restore the home he fell in love and lost his own virginity in, there was really nothing else I wanted in life, just Ryan Gosling (or a human with a beard, which kinda worked out well, all things considered!). I also never really thought about having sex… You know the bit in The Notebook (the director’s cut, not the regular release) and Gosling picks up McAdams and tosses her onto the bed and all the feathers from the pillows billow up into the air and float romantically back down onto the bed as he gently takes off her stockings? That bit. Also the bit afterwards where they snuggle and the next morning when he wakes her up with loads of rose petals leading to the room where she paints. That’s it. I didn’t think about (whispers) Penetration. In fact, that had never, in my entire fourteen years of existence crossed my mind. Seriously.

So, my first time was terrifying for a multitude of reasons. If you’ve read my blog previously, then you’ll realise that my first time was actually the result of being trapped in a room, forced onto a bed where someone forced a really disgusting looking appendage into my previously untouched lady parts. It was horrible, it was over pretty quickly and my hymen shouted nothing but abuse at me for days, but all in all it was over pretty quickly. I can’t really remember the events, I can only remember how awful I felt. How no one would believe me and that Ryan Gosling would never do that. I do remember vowing that I would never have sex again and that men were horrible and I should fear them. Which I did for a long time. I can safely say that sex didn’t really put my mind into perspective and that neither the act or my feelings on the matter made any form of sense… it was horrible, plain and simple.

I know that people tend not to have much luck during their first time, that unless you’re really lucky, that for the most part first time sex is horrendous and embarrassing, but for me, I’d never even thought about tearing hymens or bodies slapping together awkwardly and out of sync; I’d thought about the romance, about love and feeling so comfortable with someone that it simply happened in an idyllic, romantic setting. Even if it was just in a boring bed; it would feel like I was having sex under the stars and it would be beautiful. It was about choice for me, about being so besotted with someone that sex didn’t even matter, but I didn’t get that choice. I often think to myself now that if I had simply not been so talkative about sex, so helpful to my friends and less focused on Ryan Gosling and more on my own reality that it wouldn’t have happened. I’m not trying to blame myself here, not at all. I’d only first kissed a boy in that same year and it was horrendous and not at all what I was expecting. I’d only done it because I was being peer pressured; a year before hand a boy had tried to kiss me and I’d come over all medieval like and practically fainted at the idea of a boy touching my tongue with his own… I wasn’t ready. That’s the whole top and bottom of it and the only blame here is the blame I place on the scumbag who thought it was okay to rape a virgin. A really childish looking virgin too, I think I was wearing a bow! But, if I’d perhaps been more realistic about sex, or, even, if I hadn’t talked about sex like I was some demure, smoking French woman, I’d have not ended up in a situation where I was pinned down and raped because he thought I was begging for it. Truth be told, all I ever really wanted was someone to tuck my hair behind my ear, hold my face and kiss me like Gosling does. Fucking Gosling; maybe he’s to blame too.

It took me a long time to get over my first time and did, genuinely, refrain from sex for a very long time. If it hadn’t have been for one of my best friends, a Wednesday afternoon and a hand shake, I might not have had sex again, but that’s a story for a different time…

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I Don’t Want to Rip Your Cock Off and Feed It to You. I Promise.

As a woman, I find it hard not to get involved in discussions about feminism. I wrote earlier in the year that I felt a little disillusioned by feminism, as I was quite confused about how it applied to me. Other than being a woman and believing my body was my own and that I was the only person who could make a decision about who could have access to my vagina, I felt like I really didn’t embody any true characteristics of feminism. I was never taught about feminism at school other than about suffragettes and women starving themselves in the name of equality. I don’t think I could ever starve myself, I love food. If I could be in a relationship with food, I would totally be in a relationship with food. If I could choose my boyfriend to be not made of human parts and made entirely of feta cheese, I would totally do it and I would eat him. I could never starve myself in the name of anything at all, not even being a woman. Feminism and the majority of topics I read surrounding feminism didn’t really seem like something I could be a part of, even if I really wanted to be.

However, I decided not to give up on something I believed in, even if I didn’t believe in it in the traditional way, so I persisted. I bought books, I Googled FEMINIST and I started following genius women on Twitter who write and talk about feminism frankly, openly and for the most part hilariously. And, to my surprise, there are SO many of them and none of them are man-haters. In fact, the ones I’ve met and who have become my very best friends love men and for the majority, have a man shaped human of their own who they love dearly. In these past few months, I have been educated on feminism far more than I ever was by books or articles online or even my own education. I don’t think about feminism as being part of something that is trying to actively change something, I think about feminism as a part of my personality, another characteristic, similar to my sense of humour or the fact that I cry at everything, I am also a feminist. I don’t that’s something to be ashamed of, or something to be judged on by other people. But, I think the reason people do judge, is because they simply don’t understand it.

Remember, people: Feminism is just a word. It’s a word just like fuck, or cunt. It causes outrage when said in the wrong context, or in relation to the latter said any time. They’re all just words, but none can really cause you any harm. If I shout GO FUCK YOURSELF! I am actually not threatening that someone should actually take time out of their day to go and masturbate. If I call my best friend a ‘daft cunt’, I don’t actually mean that he embodies the exact characteristics of a silly vagina (what is a silly vagina, you ask? I’m not sure, but I will endeavour to write a short story about a vagina with dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian and I will call it: Daft Cunt: One Vagina’s Dreams of Making it Big! Because it has double meanings. I know, right, I’m a genius, I should be famous.). And it’s the same when I call myself a feminist. I am not actually an angry, Birkenstock wearing razor dodger; I’m just Doris, I like wine and dancing and sitting on my arse, I don’t want to rip your cock off and feed it to you. I promise.

I think that’s just it, though; people don’t understand feminism. We aren’t really taught about it and it’s not something we teach in schools even today. When horrible things happen to women like domestic abuse or rape, they either aren’t reported, or covered on the news – I hate to say it, ladies, but it does just make us look like we’re pulling half bits of information out of our arses and plying them together; if the news aren’t going to report these things, of course it makes us look like we’re exaggerating or lying, even.

A few years ago, I remember sitting down to watch the six o clock news and I watched a segment on this man who was walking down a lonely path somewhere and he ended up being gang raped by a bunch of other men. The news report was talking about how his life was ruined, how he was now suffering depression and that his attackers hadn’t been caught. Some of the men I know took to social media to talk about it and their reactions were vitriolic. “Fucking DISGUSTING that, people like that should be fucking shot! My arsehole is clenched at the very fucking thought!” it was a huge topic that pissed men off and men discussed it, because it was something that applied to them, something they could understand; they empathised and imagined how they would feel if they were raped. Then, a few weeks ago, I was listening to the local news and I heard that an eighteen year old girl was raped in a crowded club here in Newcastle; an abundance of people inside, customers, staff bouncers… and it was barely covered. I wouldn’t have heard about it unless I was listening to the local news, which normally I never do. It wasn’t featured on the main news and I haven’t heard about it at all since. There were no cries for people to be shot from men on the internet; there were no exclamations of disgust at all… It was forgotten about.

This is what I’m talking about when it comes to feminism. I don’t really care about things like equal pay or anything like that. I care about people respecting other people’s bodies. That girl’s life was ruined too, she felt degraded, she is probably on medication for depression too – why was she not featured on the nationwide news, but the man who was raped was? What makes what happened to him more important than what happened to that young girl? Both were violated in the most abhorrent manner and were treated abominably, and I’m not trying to suggest that one is more important than the other, but both should have been given equal news coverage. Why wasn’t it? Because so many women have been raped by men or will be raped by men, it’s now old hat, doesn’t make good news so we don’t need to hear about it? It should ALL be featured on the news; we shouldn’t be teaching our daughters and nieces or any women how to not get raped, but we should be teaching everyone by any means necessary that everyone should respect one another. We are more than happy to pay for adverts and charities like Stoptober and review education on sexual health or alcohol etc, but why does no one mention in schools that people will get raped and teach both boys and girls to respect each other’s bodies from a very, very young age?

When I was little, both my parents, particularly my mother, were extremely worried about paedophiles and were terrified that my sister and I were going to get kidnapped. I remember a conversation with her where she said ‘if anyone asks you to get in their car so they can offer you sweets or show you some puppies, you run in the opposite direction, do you hear me?!’ and I remember thinking OH MY GOD, mam, you are SUCH a bitch, why do you want to RUIN MY LIFE?! THEY ARE TWO OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! (not really, I was like four, what is wrong with you?) and she told me that if anyone tried to touch me there I wasn’t to let them under any circumstances, which is probably why I was so confused about sex for so long, but never mind… I was taught from a young age that no one should touch me without my permission and that puppies and sweets were going to kill me. I wasn’t taught not to wear skirts and not to be confident in my body or anything like that – I was taught that I was the only person who had any say over my body. And as much as I am so grateful of my parents for teaching me this, that’s simply not enough, it’s not enough to teach people to respect themselves and that they’re the deciders, because what happens if someone chooses to disrespect you?

I was sexually assaulted when I was fifteen. An older boy locked me in a room, pinned me down and forced himself onto me and that is how I lost my virginity. I didn’t tell anyone for so many years and I choose to put it at the back of my mind because I was ashamed back then and I am still ashamed. Except now, I’m more ashamed that I didn’t kick him in his fucking teeth and say something. At the time, though, a fifteen year old girl being told that if I told anyone, no one would believe me because his dad is so high up in the police… It’s sickening and it has affected me in so many ways and made me scared of sex for years and years because I thought that because that something terrible that happened to me, meant that there was something wrong with me. This happens to so many women much more often than any of us know, because there are so many people manipulated into keeping quiet… And don’t get me wrong, I am more than abundantly aware that rape, sexual assault of any kind and domestic violence happens to men too, by members of both opposite and the same sex, but it just irks me that when people stand up for victims of sexual abuse on social media platforms, or even in real life, they’re given abuse and marked as a man hater, by men and sadly, women, because they don’t understand…Or they don’t care.

So, when I claim to be a proud feminist, this is why; because I feel like people who are against feminism are advocating rape and saying that it was my fault that I was assaulted and that when I’ve been groped in public or told to ‘cheer up and smile’ when I was suffering from depression so bad that I wanted to kill myself, or when I’ve been called a ‘fat bitch’ for turning down someone’s sexual advances, that I deserve that kind of abuse. Of course I don’t and no one else does either, no one should have to put up with that. No one should ever be assaulted or touched inappropriately whether they be a woman or a man; things like this are feminist issues, but it all ties in with a greater cause too: humanity’s issues – feminism is just another branch of something we are all a part of, and that’s something that people forget; we’re all people and we all need to be in it together in order for something to change.

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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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