I still see her on the street,
and I still see her on her feet
not swinging or laughing
just standing while I’m crying.
Sorry girl, you and me are through
ghosts aren’t the way to go.
Can’t follow me forever sweet heart
and I can’t follow you either.
and serving apathy.
Take your pills
and I’ll take mine
we’re all pretending
we all feel fine.
People just going
place to place
and I barely remember
a single face.
I’m a clock watcher now
I barely care
that I’m broken
I join a mass
of limbs and empty heads
walking the streets
between empty beds.
The film version of the horror show that is Fifty Shades Of Grey is out tomorrow. I can’t not tell you how much I hate these books. For a few reasons. They are badly written plagiarised books of other badly written crappy books. Secondly they are a terrible representation of a BDSM relationship which is just dangerous. Thirdly they are a portrayal of an abusive relationship and pretending it’s some sort of epic romance and something to aspire to. That the main character Grey is a man women should want and not some creepy stalker.
Now, I’m gonna tell you something I haven’t really talked about much before. A little in therapy and some with my wife but not in public. Not on the blog. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. With an ex, and also with my own father. My dad still uses a little emotional manipulation but he’s much better. Our relationship is a bit crap, strained, but we’re getting along more or less as he gets older and sicker (he has Parkinsons). He stalked me for a while when I was in my twenties, I had to cut off all contact for roughly three years just get out of the pattern of abuse we were in.
My ex, was older than me, and wasn’t awful but it’s hard to be clear on it all to be honest. I remember it differently sometimes I think – or I feel differently about it. Sometimes it’s doesn’t seem too bad, especially compared to what other people have been through (and it was all emotional – nothing physical or sexual) but that doesn’t make it much better I suppose. He threatened to kill himself a couple of times when I tried to leave.
In the end I just left while he was at work.
I didn’t even realise that is was abusive until I was married again. I’m still working through that idea.
So some books that make an abusive relationship look normal, romantic and something to aspired too then make me really angry. There are people from the BDSM community have said it’s not an accurate portrayal of the lifestyle, that it’s so far from it – it’s dangerous and causing people in that community problems.
People aren’t listening to them.
If it were a book about an abusive relationship then that would be fine, but it’s not, it’s pretending to be a book about an erotic BDSM relationship.
It’s not as simple as ‘Don’t Like, Don’t Read‘. It’s never that simple. It’s not just a book. We live in a world where books, films and tv shows make a huge impact on our society and the people in it – for better or worse. No one is forcing me to read the book, or watch the film, so I won’t. But I do have to live in a world where these types of relationships are perceived as fine and normal and the abuse isn’t see, understood or is white washed. Where this book is read by millions of women and they think that this is a relationship they want. And I wonder if they really do, if they would want a man who stopped them speaking to their male friends, can’t give them enough space to visit their own mothers (after they have to insist on going to visit her). I could go on.
People don’t listen because they don’t want to listen and I have to wonder why that is. How many of these women have been in or are in relationships similar to this (without the piss poor BDSM element) and are in denial or just don’t realise it. It’s lovely, to be loved, to be wanted, to be the only person my wife thinks about but all that happens without her asking where I am all the time. Demanding that I stop speaking to my friends. Refusing to let me visit my mum. Sometimes I think there’s no hope for people in that level of denial that they can’t look at the facts rationally – about the BDSM aspect, the abuse aspect, the fact that it’s just an awful awful set of books. They have to come to it on their own. Through a bad relationship or other wise.
It’s not just a book. It’s never just a book. The Bible is a book and people are killing each other over it. People live by that book, force other’s to live by that book. Who’s to say that people aren’t going to start living by this book either?
No matter the relationship, you should always be cared for, you should always feel safe and wanted. You should never be property. One person should never have all the power (even in a BDSM style relationship – especially in a BDSM relationship I suspect).
This post talks about Dragon Age: Origins plot points and choices. If you are still likely to be spoiled by reading about a five year old game, then don’t read on.
I am a little obsessed with the game Dragon Age but I have a problem. Not with the game (though I do have a few points) but more about the way I play games and the person I am. I’m on my fifth play through of Origins, about a quarter in and I’ve been playing it back to back. I finish one character and I start another, immediately. Without even pausing to make a brew in a couple of instances. I’ve been the noble human, the commoner dwarf and both types of elf. I’m currently a human mage called Reb (I’ve name a few of the characters after the cats, the noble Dwarf will be named after my kitten Seymour). I have Dragon Age 2 sitting on the coffee table, and the expansion Awakening on it’s way and when I’m done with all that (and whatever DLC takes my fancy) I will buy Inquisition and play through all that a few times over (for all the romances and endings and whatever) and then I may actually get off the sofa*.
I haven’t been this obsessed with a single game for years, not to the point of playing it over and over until I know all the conversations and am reading fanfiction (slippery slope). There are two other games I can think of that I have played this much. Super Mario Bros. 3, which I play over a couple of times a year (on the Wii and emulators) and when I was 13 I had a Snes and played Aladdin over and over again, at least once a week because I lived in the middle of no where and had no more books to read (and a finite amount of games. Also, I was obsessed with trying to complete it quicker and quicker. I could do it under 40 minutes, my top time being around 36 minutes. I wouldn’t be able to do that now I’m sure. It’s been years since I even played it let alone completed it.
Not the point.
So, I’m playing Origins over and over as all the Wardens. I’ve already slept with all the characters (it was really hard to get Alistair into bed) and I think after this run through I will have have done all the variations in the endings (though not all the combinations). I love some of the characters, in particular Leliana and Morrigan, my wife very much likes just how many women there are in the series (she’s watching a Let’s Play of Inquisition right now) and even though some of the outfits and armour for the women (as usual) are impractical and in some cases down right sexiest (explain to me how a bare upper chest/exposed cleavage isn’t just a big target for a arrow).
To get all the different variations in the endings and the romances and so on, there are usually at least three conversation options. You can be a complete knob in this game. You can kill a kid to kill a demon and really not give a crap about it. You can chose to side with the Templars and after getting rid of the abominations in the Mages’ tower let them go ahead with what is essentially a massive cull of it, killing any mages still alive.
And not give a crap about that either.
I’ve done both of those things, without my character being a complete arse about it though when talking about it later. I’ve done a lot of the ‘bad’ options. Sided with demons and desecrated holy ashes and all that. All I have left to do is to side with the werewolves and kill all the elves. And I will do, if not this time around next time around.
I just don’t like doing it. I struggled the first three play-throughs to take any of the ‘bad options’. To make the bad choices and kill anyone innocent and I have the same problem in other games that ask me to make moral decisions in the world that does not exist and will only make a difference in the game, in that play through, and only until I turn the xbox off. It makes no difference to my life, to any decisions I make, to the person I am in the real world. I would never be the person I can be in this game (hell, I am way too podgey to be a Grey Warden for a start) but I do very much struggle. Also, I don’t like the way other characters react to my decisions.
Strike that, I love the way my character’s relationship is affected by the decisions I make in this game. It’s excellent. I just hate that doing the bad stuff will make Leliana hate me. Third time around I was a city Elf called Wiggles (my cat Pogo’s nickname) and trying to sleep with Morrigan (I’m not about to pretty it up by saying romance, it was about sex) it meant that she didn’t care much if I made the bad choices and was disapproving of all the nicey-nice stuff. The problem is now I’ve done all the romances my default choice is Leliana (hot red head who kicks ass, how can it not be) even though I have warmed considerably to Morrigan (don’t ask about my fanfic reading choices) I adore Leliana and she is a sweetheart, believes in the Maker, wants only good things.
Which is gonna be a problem when I have to kill those elves. And I will kill them. All of them. And I will hate every second of that quality game play just writing down that I’ll kill them (well, not me personally but convincing the werewolves to do it (but then later I’ll get the werewolves fighting for me, so also awesome).
I’m sure I’m not the only person how struggles like this, hell I hope I’m not, but I’m sure more people don’t even think about this stuff cause it’s just a game right?
Just a game.
An awesome game that is screwing with my mind and is becoming my new fandom but still just a game.
*N.B – I am getting off the sofa. I have to sleep and pee (oh and work so I can pay for these games).
The vaccination debate rolls on in America, as there is measles outbreak in Disneyland and politicians still weigh in for and against. It’s a mystery to me how there is any debate at all. I find anti-vaxxers a little irrational in the face of actual scientific proof that vaccines do not cause autism. Or anything else. I’ve read a few things on Slate about the anti-vaccine movement, how to deal with it, why people are anti-vaxxers. Why smart people are anti-vaxxers but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Not when you can google the scientific facts.
This isn’t like debating whether there is life on other planets. This isn’t like debating the realities of your faith. This is already been proved. Like the molecules of water or the speed of light.
I will vaccinate my children regardless and if one should be autistic I will be safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t a damn MMR jab that caused it. Especially considering the new information that autism forms in the womb.
I’ve spoken about this before of course, but sometimes these things need repeating. Especially as I’m trying to have kids myself and I’m planning to get my MMR and other vaccines sometime in the next week (assuming my cold is gone). Because if I don’t get it I would never have a child. I would never risk exposing my pregnant wife and unborn child to Rubella at the very least. My wife had to have her vaccines over when she came to this country to study. You can come on holiday here, unvaccinated and carrying diseases but you sure as hell can’t spend any significant time here without getting your shots or having proof that you’ve had them (my wife’s records were lost).
So I’m getting mine done for the first time because I didn’t get them done when I was a kid. And I’ll repeat this, not cause my parents are anti-vaxxers, I am way too old for the autism scare to have even existed but my dad has epilepsy and it could’ve made us very ill to be vaccinated (according to his slightly nuts GP). My current GP seems to think there may be some truth in that, but to be honest, what’s done is done. I didn’t get my vaccines.
I did get ill.
Whooping cough, measles, Rubella. The only one I haven’t had is mumps and I worry about getting it every time there is a mini outbreak at the university. Just in case I come into contact with mump carrying students. Never happened. And once I get my bloody MMR never will happen. The Whooping Cough was definitely the worst. Nearly killed me when I was a baby, incapacitated me and my sister when we were kids and we needed inhalers for another six months afterwards. Plus coughs have always been painful in the chest now but I rarely get chest infections.
And the worst thing is, we were lucky. LUCKY.
Lucky not to get worse, lucky not to die, lucky not suffer from severe problems from the rest of our lives. A painful chest when I cough? That is nothing compared to some of the problems Whooping cough can cause. The odd scar from the measles? Nothing compared to what the disease can do to a child, and do to an adult. These diseases main and kill. There is a reason we created vaccines. Read the comments on this i09 post and tell me how lucky I am. And then how lucky you are for being vaccinated.
Get your kids vaccinated. Get yourself vaccinated. It’s never too late.
A few years ago, when I still lived in Leicester and I was still trying to be normal whatever I thought that was at the time. Whatever that is now. It’s hard to know for sure. Anyway, I was trying to be a girl, be normal, like other girls. Learnt how to apply make-up, considered wearing skirts and shoes.
Realised all that shit looked great on other girls but not me. I was that girl. I wear eye make-up but that’s my limit. I wear shoes for work but only because I have to and they do not have heels. I don’t have the balance for heels. I don’t always have the balance for walking.
That was a long time ago. I was a different person back then.
I’ve been a few different people – I’ve had so much trouble trying to figure out who I am. I know everyone does, especially when they’re younger – hell that’s what being a teenager is all about. Most people figure it out before they turn thirty though. And I always felt it so deeply, as if not just my identity was in question but my soul too.
I remember my mum saying to me once that I seemed like my old self again and I had to wonder at how long back she was thinking cause I can never remember being this person, this version of me. I’ve been a few different versions of myself, this current incarnation is just the final settled version I think. It’s hard to say for sure. I’m certainly the happiest and feel the most stable as this person – as version Bread (my current nickname) than I ever did as whoever I was in the past. Being unsure of your identity, this unstable sense of self, is actually part of the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder –
“you have an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with”
I certainly feel more stable now, most of the time. At least when it comes to who I am but again, sometimes, I still need someone to help me with that. To help me see straight. My wife however is someone I can trust to do that.
I carry the rest of those versions of myself around with me from place to place – tucked away in the back in my head. Not by choice, they stay with me, picking at me from time to time because I never can forget about the people I have been. I try. I never forget about anything that can cause me some sort of embarrassment or anxiety. Or both. Usually both.
I think this is who I am going to be. I mean people are always changing, maturing and learning new skills, but I that fundamental change in myself – I don’t think that’s going to happen again. I’m just me, just a weirdo in jeans and a t-shirt who can admit she’s a weirdo in jeans and a t-shirt.
The last post I wrote was pretty hard to write, which considering I have a whole category for mental health problems, talk about my family and my self harm and pretty much anything and everything I think about – not counting the poetry I write – is probably pretty surprising to you. To me not so much, but then, I’m me – I know me – I know what I’m thinking obviously.
Well, I usually know what I’m thinking though not always why.
Anyway, there are a couple of things I don’t talk about. One is sex, two is my relationship with my wife (which also includes any and all current sex). The reason I don’t talk about sex is not because I’m a prude but it’s just never been something I’ve spoken about. I think because my sex life can be categorised in three stages sex with the ex – single and getting none – sex with the wife. So, I don’t really want to talk about my ex, so that sort of includes the sex – which was fine but comes with all those complicated feelings that I still feel like I’m working through. Being single doesn’t really involve having any sex – so hard to talk about what you’re not having. And sex with the wife is private, and brings us on to point two: My relationship with my wife.
My relationship with my wife is the one thing in my world that is private, my own, our own. Which includes the sex. Plus I doubt my wife would want me to talk about our relationship. Talking our wanting a baby, trying to get a baby, the top layer of everything is fine I guess, the rest isn’t fine with me anyway. It’s too much, too intimate, too important – not that everything else isn’t important or any less important (like my health, or my words, or my childhood) but Kate Ellen is the most important person in my life, in my world and that isn’t something I even want to share. Beyond that I can’t really explain it. Not in a way that doesn’t make me sound a bit psycho or dependent or like a toddler. It’s all mine, it’s not yours.
I know, I know.
I’m not even sure why I’m basically writing about what I won’t write about.
When I first thought about this post, maybe a year ago even, it seemed like a simple enough thing. And when I thought about it again last week it seemed clearer but now it’s just a mish-mash of thoughts that I can’t quite straighten out.
Oh well, such is the state of many of these blog posts.