It’s all relative….

I could begin this post by apologising for how long it has been since I last posted one, but I feel that is getting tiresome. So instead I have come to the conclusion that this blog will be a once in a while thing, nothing too regular. I don’t want it to be that I force topics to write about and end up prattling on about things that I don’t even really have an opinion on. So you, my oh so dedicated 22 followers will just have to learn to live with me as a guest appearance every now and then on your reader list.

This post is one I have debated writing for a really long time. It is more personal than I would usually go and for that reason will not be posting the link on my personal twitter account as I do not wish my family to read it for fear it may upset them.

 For this reason I will make a disclaimer now that if you are in anyway related to me and reading this PLEASE STOP NOW, or if like the cat you are desperately curious continue at your own risk and please do not ever tell me that you read this.  

I am going to tread carefully while writing. I think with post regarding self harm there is a huge danger of falling into the cliche category. Not to devalue anyones personal suffering, please know that that is not at all the intention of this post, quite the opposite in fact. But this is not a post referring to my current behaviour, a cry for help or a cuts for Bieber promotion. I decided not to post this a few months ago and then realised that if any one person could read this an come to the realisation that their feelings are valid then I have done a hugely worth while thing. I am not out to change the world, I don’t think I am in anyway wise or qualified in these matters. I have limited experience and incomplete knowledge of the inner working of the human mind. But if I can make life just that little bit easier for one person then I have done all I set out to do. 

I am now 18 years of age. I have never really gone through any real tragedy in my life, I live with both my parents who are still together. I have an older sister who I am really close with. I now have a secure group of friends, I am healthy, reasonably intelligent, I live in a nice house with some cats and I order online clothes more often than I should. But I wasn’t happy. At the age of 13-17 I was miserable and the worst part was I had absolutely no reason to be. Sure I didn’t have that many friends, but when looking back on my behaviour I don’t really think I deserved them. I wasn’t hugely nice. I mean I didn’t punch anyone in the face and call their mum a slag, but I also didn’t do people favours, take an interest in their lives. I think I was probably a bit superior, for no real reason but I was.

I can’t really remember when I first hurt myself. I never created great gashes in my wrists, my life was never endangered by my behaviour, but my behaviour still wasn’t right. I think the fact that my behaviour wasn’t as severe as others was part of the problem. I am hugely lucky that my scars faded and I have no real physical reminders of them now, but the mildness of my behaviour caused me to hate myself more. I saw it as weak that I couldn’t take a knife to my skin so I cut more. I remember when I was about 15, which is probably when it was at its worst, each night I would get in to bed and decide what the worst thing I had done that day was, if I had eaten to much I was “greedy” if I was snappy with people I was a “Bitch” or if I did poorly on a test I was a “failure” I would then take a pin and cut this word into my stomach. The stomach seemed a safe bet, I didn’t really go swimming or wear revealing clothing so it was a safe bet that no one would see it; it was a private punishment, a way of reminding myself of my weaknesses. I often hear when people talk about their self abuse people ask about the pain and yeah it did hurt at the time. But it would be the next day when a cut would rub on my clothing and I was reminded in its sting of the control I had over my body and myself. Thats why I did it; for control. 

Each cut would heal over in a couple of weeks, I was smart about it if I knew I was going to be sharing a room with someone or having to go swimming I would stop soon enough in advance for the cuts to heal over. This went on for years and I never got caught. Occasionally when I would get angry in public I would use my fingernails to cut into the back of my hand, these were less subtle and I got called out on it a couple of times, I used the old my cat scratched me excuse and I was never questioned. I don’t think its that people didn’t care, it was just that it never occurred to them that I would have reason to hurt myself. And if I’m honest I didn’t.

That’s what this post is about. That just because other people don’t understand your pain doesn’t make it invalid. I hate it when people say “Well people are starving in Africa” yes they are. I am not trying to equate my pain to that of those felt in worn torn countries or those who have just seen a loved one die. But just because what they are feeling is bad, should not take away from the pain you are feeling. Its sort of like saying that pain is a physical thing and that there are 100 pain coins in the world; your best friend moves to a distant country you get 2 pain coins, someones mum dies they get 20 pain coins, ohh wait there is a bus crash in america everybody hand in your pain coins so they can go to the grieving families. NO. One person feeling pain should not take away from another. Pain is relative, different people feel different things to different degrees, because we are DIFFERENT! 

The same goes for happiness, it is all relative. Have you ever given a 3 year old a shiny balloon, the adorable little smile on its face would melt many a broody girl’s heart. Now give a sixteen year old the same shiny balloon, all you are getting in return is a sarcastic glare. Different things make different people happy. Take me for example give me some pic n mix, a onesie and the frozen soundtrack and I’m a happy girl. Give a child in a impoverish country a class of clean water and a blanket and their happiness would flatten mine in a second. Happiness is relative, pain is relative. Do not try and devalue what you or anyone else is feeling simply because someone else is feeling it to.

That is where I fell down. I had no reason to be unhappy, I was not as unhappy as others and I was ashamed to feel unhappy because of this. Realising this didn’t cure my unhappiness it simply made me feel more unhappy about feeling unhappy. It truly was a vicious circle.  In the soppy romance films when the quarterback falls for the nerd and she looks up through her comically large glasses and asks why he loves her the line “you can’t help how you feel” is routinely given out. And for once in these movies they are talking sense. You can’t help how you feel, but it doesn’t only apply to love, you can be inexplicably happy or sad or panicked or cheeky. Don’t ever question the validity of your emotions.

I never told anyone how I felt or what I was doing to myself. I let it eat me up inside and consume me. My cuts weren’t as deep as ones on tumblr and my thoughts not as dark as the ones in films. I was ashamed to tell people, fearing I would seem attention seeking or selfish or ungrateful.  I spent so much time judging other people and hated myself for it I was afraid others would do the same to me. I haven’t cut myself in just under a year now. I was hugely lucky. I don’t have any scars and I have a lot of sympathy for those people who are open about their cutting behaviour. But I have a huge deal of empathy for those who do in secret. It is fine to feel upset by your actions because no one should have to go through what you’re going through. But don’t ever think that what you are going through doesn’t count. Tell someone, tell anyone you trust or think you can trust. Don’t be afraid that you will be judged, that you don’t have it bad enough to deserve these feelings. Insecurity and fear are not elite emotions. Everyone feels them at some time or another and its just about making sure that when you do, you don’t face them alone. 

I really hope that hasn’t come off braggy or preachy or cliche. It really is an issue that we should be focussed more on. It is monumentally important to help those who are open about their pain, it is just as important to look out for those who are ashamed to be.

A night you won’t remember

I am a fairly controlling person. I have mentioned before my desire for routine, I would never go so far as to I have OCD but I will not deny that I like things done a certain way. For this reason I find it so difficult to understand peoples desire to get ‘Off their face’ ‘trollied’ ‘wasted’ ‘smashed’ ‘fucked’ drunk. For me the sensation is completely undesirable. To get to the point when even your own body is out of your control makes me feel physically ill. This post is not written to make you feel bad for having a drink, more to question your intentions for drinking and ask about your behavior when you have had that one or four drinks to many.

I am partial to a Lambrusco on a hot day, a Pina Colada in the summer or glass of champagne to celebrate; I enjoy the taste and it can make an occasion feel more special. There is nothing wrong a glass of wine with dinner or a sneaky pint down the pub after work (hey I’m Irish I am in no way snubbing alcohol) but what I question is people who drink because they feel they can’t have fun without it, or because the day doesn’t feel complete without reaching the end of a bottle. I am not bad mouthing alcoholics either because I understand that is a disease in the same way that smoking or anorexia can compel a person. I just don’t understand. It is expensive, unhealthy, fattening and in so many cases anti social. So why when you have the will to stop, don’t you?

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At the feeble age of 17 I am aware of my ignorance on the matter, but then I also have the perspective that many older social scientists do not. I go to parties and gatherings with people my age (admittedly not a lot) and witness their attitudes towards alcohol. I don’t drink a lot at parties, mainly because I am too conscious of my actions if I did, I also don’t like the vulnerability that you allow yourself when you drink too much. I have been the person to call cabs, hold back hair, pull total strangers off my friends and wake them up in the night to make sure they don’t have concussion too many times to want to put someone else in that position.

I am gunna have a go at both guys and girls here, for the same reason but on different sides of the fence. So as always ladies first:

Why put your self in that position. Only 6.5% of those charged with rape are convicted, and that statistic is mainly linked with the excuse ‘it wasn’t rape if she was drunk’ if you get to the point where your own word in court means nothing because you were off your face on WKD and Skittles vodka, then you need to seriously re-evaluate. So much of this is caused by feminism, that women should drink as much as men just because they can.Well I have news for you, you can’t so stop trying. Not only will he out drink you, but you become an easy target when you try to out alcohol him. Just be smart about things, if you’re in a group of people you know and trust yeah let your hair down, but if you’re out with people you don’t really know in a place you don’t really trust, then slow it down on the fish bowl. If I’m honest I don’t really understand the need to gets oneself to the point of comatose, but if you insist on doing so at least be smart about and understand that you are having a great time, but the designated sober is probably tired of chasing your drunken arse around and pissed off at your vomit on her shoes.

Guys its your turn and don’t think that just because I am slightly less adverse to your drinking doesn’t mean you’re getting off easy. I suppose that it is because in social situations I have experienced far less boys or men vomiting in the streets or having to be carried home, that isn’t to say that there are none, or even that I have been seeing a fair sample size because after watching sun, sex and suspicious parents I am well aware of males capability to get hammered and pass out in an ant’s nest (okay so that may have been the inbetweeners movie but it still counts). My point is that on a whole, guys are better at taking care of themselves when drunk than some girls. But they are the one that can be the sober idiots. I have lost count of the number of times I have been sat next to a guy when  a tipsy girl with a bottle of £3 wine under her arm and he’s gone ‘she looks like she will be fun later’ and yeah, she probably would be, if you like the taste of vomit and girls who nod off half way through, but my main point here is don’t be  a dick. If she is at that point, then put her in a cab and send her home, don’t take advantage. Yeah she shouldn’t have put herself in that situation in the first place, but this is your opportunity to be a good human being and a gentleman and send the drunken bitch to bed ALONE. Take this advice, if she wouldn’t sleep with you sober, then don’t push her when drunk. There is a fine line between persistence and force. I know by saying this I am probably cutting the number of guys getting laid by around 50% by you know who listens to me anyway.

I’m not saying that every guy is a rapist, or that every girl a victim.I am just trying to raise the point that people need to be more careful. Aside from these dangers, there is alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, concussion, chocking on your  own vomit. All these glamorous consequences, all for a night you won’t remember.

Just ask yourself, was it worth it?

Makings of a Modern Horror

There is nothing I love more than getting in to some comfy clothes, ordering take out and sitting down in front of the telly and getting scared. I am not talking, oh God a double dip recession, what about the mortgage scared. I mean, sweaty palms, shiver down your spine, scream aloud scared. I want to jump out of my skin, hide my face in a pillow and grab the hand of the person sat next to me. This may not be particularly feminine of  me, but if I have to watch one more chick flick where the nerdy girl with bad eyebrows realises her inner beauty and feels the need to sing about it I will start flipping tables.

I Think one of the reasons I like movies like this so much is that they are pretty much all the same. That sounds odd, because well they’re not. But in so many ways, they are just one movie over and over again. They all have different, plots and casts and soundtracks but there are certain things that we have come to expect from the modern horror movie. Like a safety blanket on a holiday abroad. We are experiencing something new and exciting for the first time, but there are still home comforts so we don’t feel completely alone.

So here is a list of several of what I consider to be the makings of a Modern Horror. You may disagree, In which case feel free to comment below and share your thoughts, or you may have other points that you wish to add, again comment below.

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1)      The Light in an abandoned house

This will normally come at the beginning of the film, and is generally a room on the top floor, occasionally it will be accompanied by a face at the window, but regardless is guaranteed to make you jump.

2)      The ‘Victim’ will be wearing a white vest top at the time of main attack

I have several theories as to why this is the case, however I think it is probable that it just shows blood and injury effectively. So good job costume department, thinking ahead. I also feel that in the case where the victim is female, it gives a chance to emphasis her chest when she may not otherwise be looking all that attractive. However, I think it is mostly just a blood thing.

3)      Someone will play an instrument at some point

Maybe this is to lighten the mood or build atmosphere or something, but there is normally some kind of band or ensemble. All I know is if I have to see one more Hollywood actress pretend BADLY to play the guitar I may pull my hair out. I don’t understand that if It is not essential to the story and they can’t actually play, why make them play?

4)      The ‘bad guy’ will appear to be dead and then lunge when you get close

This is the point where, even if at the movies we all go back to our panto roots and start yelling at the screen. I personally adopt a sort of Eddie Murphy in Shrek voice and start going ‘You know he ain’t dead, why you be approaching him, look at him he just sleepy, he gunna get cho’. Some of my finer voice over work if I do say so myself

5)      Someone will get a missed call

This will be unlike any call you have ever missed, ever! The person being called can never just have left their phone on silent, or have gotten in the shower. No, this missed call is the biggest sign in the whole movie that S*** is about to go down. Maybe, it is just me but I miss more calls than I answer, people need to calm the hell down , doesn’t mean they are being brutally murdered just that they don’t have their phone permanently stapled to their hands.

6)      It will rain

I love a bit of prophetic fallacy in a film, don’t you? It is never light rain, it pours like It has never rained before, and you will suddenly have an over whelming need to be outside during this weather . Unlike the rest of us normal folk who when it rains with such enthusiasm, just make a cup of coco and hide away until the sun is shining. It just proves that no good can come from going outside in the rain.

7)      There will be a creepy black and white flash back.

This can be a result of one of two things. We can be going back to a dark moment in the killers past, to see what made them so terrible and twisted in the first place, maybe they were bullied as a child or exposed to deadly gases as a teen. Or we can be seeing a troubling part of the victims past, something they had repressed due to pain but that comes flooding back when the delve in to the life of their mysterious neighbour. Either way, budgeting seems to have been cut for these flash backs as they are never in colour and the sound quality is appalling, very echoy.

8)      The words ‘scream all you want, no one can hear you’ will be uttered in some form or another

That is the classic line. I don’t care what you say if it doesn’t appear at some point in the movie then the movie wasn’t worth watching. I think its brilliant and I would love to know who first said it. It just has so much of an impact if well delivered. I don’t care if it is cliché or over used, it is a classic for a reason.

9)      There will be a sheriff with a moustache

Okay so I am from the UK, maybe it is different here I don’t know. But not many people here have moustaches, and what facial hair you have isn’t dependent on your vocation. So will some American please explain to me why in nearly every horror I watch there is a Sheriff called Bill with a caterpillar on his upper lip. I guess they pick people with short names to be sheriff because It means the badges are cheaper?  But still, the Moustache is that really necessary? Maybe it’s a culture thing and I’m missing it.

10)   At some point there will come a stage when you think ‘don’t look behind that door’

Again my inner Eddie Murphy emerges. ‘Don’t do it. Just turn around and keep walking, go home. Make a cup of tea! Don’t you turn that handle. No rainbows live behind that door. Don’t do it’ I think it is a coping device personally. By being annoyed that they didn’t follow our advice and went ahead and opened the door anyway, we can have an almost nonchalant attitude to their impending doom, thinking quietly to ourselves ‘well I told you not to go in there’.

So they are my ten, let me know if you have any more or disagree with the above. I would also like to emphasise that I am not being critical in the slightest, moments like these are the reason I love horror movies!