Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Boarderline Personality Doesn't, Pt 1



Earlier in the month I wrote a post about the things that my BPD causes me to do. Things I can't always control and that happen even if I don't want them to. Today, instead of focusing on more of the things that my BPD causes me to do, I thought I'd write a post about what it doesn't do. You know, for balance.

IT DOESN'T MAKE ME INCAPABLE OF LOVE 

This one may be a little hard to believe given my terrible love life, reluctance to discuss my feelings with people I feel affection for and my raging commitment phobia, but I am actually capable of forming relationships.

Whilst I've been in some terrible ones, I have also found myself caring for people in what could almost be described as a, GASP, healthy way. Relationships with people with BPD are not all necessarily doomed to fail and they won't lead the opposing party to have to undertake years of therapy in an attempt to remove the horrible memory of having ever interacted with a member of my kind. Can they be shitty? Yes, but so can all relationships. Whilst it's a factor that can be influenced, I'm not eternally destined to be alone forever.

Unless I choose so myself.


IT DOESN'T MAKE ME SELFISH 

Being called selfish is one of the things that gets to me the most because it really is a double edged sword. If by selfish you mean I focus on my own feelings as a way of protecting myself and going after what I want? Then yes I am selfish. If by selfish you mean I don't give a shit about others and never consider the feelings of those around me, then no I'm not.

By putting the man who raped me in prison, I undertook the most selfless act that I will ever have to do. Whilst I wanted him to be punished for what he did, I also wanted to make sure he could never do it again. Thanks to me, he can't hurt anyone anymore and he is being punished for what he did to others. It's not just me that benefited from his incarceration, but everyone he'd hurt in the past and anyone he may have hurt in the future. I sacrificed my health, my degree and my happiness to put him behind bars and it baffles me that some people still feel they have the right to call me selfish.

It also baffles me that people use the "oh xxx could have affected my career" as a reason to not report those that attacked them, but that's another story.

IT DOESN'T MAKE MY FEELINGS INVALID 

I've been struggling with this one a lot lately and actually reaching out to people for help and advice when I'd normally try to ignore it. I'd like to be clearer about how I describe it, but it's 2019 and the world can't keep its mouth shut so there are going to be a few euphemisms in there.

Recently I was at, lets say the zoo, when I had a problem with a particularly difficult moose. This moose does not like me and feels the need to harass and complain about me over the fact that I once asked said moose not to move a gate. I have no problems with any of the other moose in the zoo, this one is just a cunt. And not in a good way.

Anyway, I ended up having a meeting with the head zookeeper and one of the supervising zoo keepers who I'd also been having a problem with, which essentially became 30 minutes of me being told I was wrong about how I'd perceived things.

Quelle Suprise

Now, interpreting situations differently is one of the key symptoms of BPD, but that doesn't mean my reactions are always wrong. The supervising zoo keeper has been treating me badly, but instead of supporting me the head zoo keeper said it was my fault for interpreting it in that way. As someone with BPD is difficult to trust your feelings, particularly when you don't often know what they are. But, whilst I may sometimes react in ways that others would not, I am also able to interpret situations correctly. Just because I might interpret things in the wrong way most of the time, it doesn't mean I can't be right some of the time.

xXx

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Boarderline Personality Does, Pt 1.



This evening I had plans to spend time with some friends. I made them on Monday and was really looking forward to seeing them all. Unfortunately, after finding out that I bag I lost on the subway yesterday hadn't been handing in, I was hit with a wave of feeling low and so had to rearrange, hoping but also knowing that my friends will understand.

Instead of letting the fact that I had to let them down get to me, which it certainly had the capacity to do, I decided to make a blog post out of it. So, here it is, a list of things that my BPD makes me do, whether I want it to or not.

Cancel plans

I had to start with this one because it happens a lot. I want to see people, get really excited to hang out with them and then at the last minute I get tense, anxious or upset and have to cancel or rearrange. This is one of the factors of BPD that I feel most guilty about, because I worry that eventually my friends are going to get bored of it and tell me to swivel. I know this isn't the case, good friends really aren't like that, but it's a concern none the less. Just know that, if I do have to cancel our plans at the last minute, it's not out of not wanting to see you, promise.

Feel guilty

My first point led itself perfectly to the next one, which is quite possibly the part of my BPD that I hate the most. I feel guilty every single day, even though I have nothing to feel guilty about. Eat out, feel guilty. Get an Uber to work, feel guilty. Get paid, feel guilty. There is no rhyme or reason to why I feel this way, it's just a feeling that's always there. I've begun to look at is as more of a symptom of my BPD rather than a separate emotion that I have to feel, partly because that helps me categorize my feelings into what I can and can't control. The majority of my guilty feelings center around money, earning it, spending it, borrowing it, I constantly feel guilt and shame, but I'm seeing it as something I can work on. I know that if I take control of my attitude towards money than, eventually, I will stop feeling guilty.

Put myself in dangerous situations

This is a big one, and one that I've become more and more aware of since I've left England. In the UK if I do something potentially dangerous, I'm never overly far from someone who can take care of me. In Canada however, this isn't the case.

I have a tendency to forget myself when my BPD is bad. Forget that I'm not invincible, that the world is not a safe place and that it is my responsibility to make sure I'm safe. Being raped didn't change my attitude towards the situations I put myself in and being thousands of miles away from home didn't either until very recently. I'm not excusing the actions of anyone around me should they take advantage of my inability to prioritize my safety, but prioritizing my safety is something I should definitely be doing.

Sleep

I am, and for as long as I can remember have always been, exhausted all of the time. Whether I get 12 hours sleep or 2 hours sleep, my brain and body are always tired. Partly because of my meds and partly because of my condition in general I am chronically tired to the point that I get anxious about making plans to do things in the evening, because I know I'll be tired to the point of not being able to function the next day.

For a lot of people, my napping all the time is a joke. The idea that if I don't answer the phone or you can't find me is because I'll be curled up in bed somewhere is true, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I know there are ways that I can ease my tiredness and I take regular vitamins to do what I can to boost my energy. Just know that, when I tell you I'm tired, it's not out of an attempt to one up you if you yourself are feeling tired, I'm just constantly exhausted.

xXx

Monday, 4 November 2019

I discovered that Vice.com has a random headline generator and honestly my life is now complete

I decided to take a few days off work last week because I came to realize that I was dangerously close to a BPD meltdown. Not so bad when I'm in the comfort of my mother's house with access to food, sleep and my doctor, but not so good when I'm thousands of miles away living alone and sharing a kitchen/bathroom with a Vietnamese woman who sings all the time.

Real talk, she's adorable.

So I took three days off, totaling my number of days off in a row to five and returned to the land of coffee and pastry Saturday afternoon. A slight shock to my system given that my body has now reverted to the land of exhaustion and self induced starvation because it's easier for me to sleep through from 6pm to 6am than try and stay away long enough to cook, but a necessity none the less. A few days later I'm finally feeling better but, on a day off of my supervisors' own choosing, I don't really have anything to do.

I've been writing a lot more recently, having secured my first freelancing job in North America mid-September. It's been really nice to have a specific publication to write for again, and it's given me confidence that I'm going to be able to find more freelance positions outside of the UK in the future. It is, however, got me thinking about what type of writer I want to be.


Friday, 4 October 2019

Friday night forts



Sometimes I don't have anything much to say, but I just want to get words out. I haven't written a lot lately. There seems to be some kind of marker in my head that is torn between wanting to write and write and move and travel but not knowing if what I have to say has any right to be written. I've just gotten a freelance job as a copywriter, my first writing job outside of England which is a really big deal to me. I've worked for international companies, but this is the first job I've been employed to do in North America. It's exciting getting to write for a purpose again. Who am I kidding, to write for a wage.

All I want to do is put words down. I was talking to a friend at work the other day who was discussing changing her major at school, because she has her whole life to carve out and enjoy her career. I don't feel like I have that. Sometimes I feel as if I've missed a chance because I didn't do a certain thing or study a certain course or go to a certain school. Journalism interests me, but a specific type of journalism. I want to write about something that matters. I want to write something that matters. I want my work to matter.

Right now I'm about a quarter of the way through The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a teenager and then I think again for a module in my fourth year of university, but so far I like this more. Thompson's method of "gonzo" journalism is something every creative writing student with a Moleskine wants to achieve, despite the very nature of the style being unidentifiable. I'm different, everyone's different. Everyone has something to say, everyone has something meaningful they want to get out. I want to write mine down, and I want it to matter.

There's an episode of One Tree Hill where Lucas submits Peyton's work to THUD despite her saying she doesn't want her work published, because she wanted to draw something that meant something and if she couldn't do that she didn't want her work published as it was too important to her. This isn't exactly how I feel about my work. I'm not afraid of people reading it, you can't be afraid and work in any form of the arts that's just not how it works. No one is going to find you writing in the corner of a bar on a Friday night by yourself over $5 beers and dub you the next Hemingway, you have to go out and find what you want. You have to go out and get what you crave if you're ever going to do something that matters to you.

The problem with this lies in the fact that, for the most part, writing for the purpose of paying bills involves being hired by someone. Someone has to read your work and decide that it's a fit for what they're company is looking for and hire you. When I first started out I was convinced that every rejection was telling me my work was bad, the word having rolled around in my head for years to the point that reject was my IT password in high school. Rejection hurts in every sense of the word, regardless of who is being rejected by what.

A former colleague came into work today and said she'd cried in class after being told to stand up and tell a room of people her deepest darkest fear and it got me to thinking. What is my deepest darkest fear? What am I afraid of? What would I give anything up to avoid? Part of me thought I should say writing, of not achieving what I want but, in reality, I know that will never happen. I'm never not going to achieve what I set out to do because that's not who I am. I'm not going to stop until I am completely satisfied because I can't. This doesn't necessarily mean I know exactly what I'm striving for or that I'll know when I reach it because I don't, there might never be an end point, but I know I'll keep working at it because that's who I am and I know that will never change. I'm not afraid of giving up because I know it'll never happen.

That doesn't mean I know what I'm afraid of though, but that's for another post.

xXx 

Friday, 20 September 2019

Review: In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree and American Flowers by Micheal A. McLellan




When I was a kid, I read the book Chalk and Cheese by Adele Geras about two sisters who were, unsurprisingly, as different as chalk and cheese. To describe In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree and American Flowers, both by Michael A. McLellan, as being as different as chalk and cheese, would be a bit of an understatement.



The first book I read, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, features freed slave Henry and runaway rich girl Clara as they try to leave their previous lives behind. After losing his girlfriend to a snakebite, Henry narrowly escapes being hanged to go and live with the Cheyenne people, while Clara leaves home to get away from her controlling father who disapproves of the father of her unborn baby.

Through a series of attacks on the Cheyenne people and American soldiers, Henry and Clara reach their destination, only for Clara to have a miscarriage and die next to the father of her baby once they have been reunited. The book itself doesn't so much end in any form of resolution, other than the protagonists getting what they wanted only for it to not end up as they thought it would.

This seems to be a theme within McLellan's work, as the protagonists in American Flowers sure as hell don't end up in the situations they thought they wanted at the end.



Essentially, it's Requiem for a Dream for the 2010's. Starting with Chris, the high school baseball pro turned meth addict, meeting Allie, a runaway teen, in his dealer's house, the two become progressively more and more addicted to meth and end up on the run from the police.

Sliding further into addiction, Chris begins dealing to fund his habit and ends up selling to a 15 year old who dies of a heart attack. Blamed for the teenagers death and suspected of ratting out his dealer to the police, Chris and Allie wind up involved in an armed robbery which leaves four people dead and start their lives on the run from the authorities via motel-room murders, kidnap and a hell of a lot more meth.

Eventually, the two are discovered asleep in the woods and are taken in by a local woman who lets them stay with them while they detox, only to shoot Chris in the head when he refuses to hand himself in and leave Allie to get on with her life. While she didn't get what she wanted, to spend her life with Chris, she got what she needed.

I'd thought of ending this post with a comparison of sorts, but there really isn't room for it here. As with author's I've enjoyed in the past, the style and subject matter of McLellan's two text are such polar opposites that it would be impossible to compare and contrast them without falling into writing a full blown essay. The texts were both incredibly interesting and covered both brand new subject matters and topics that I've read time and time again. American Flowers is not something I"d recommend to anyone upset by portrayals of drug use, but if you are interested in how death and mistreatment can be seen in both a historical and contemporary settings, then McLellan is an author I'd recommend.

xXx

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Review - Wild, Dark Times by Austin Case



Magic can get you some wild pussy 

Good to know

I haven’t posted a book review in a while, mainly because the books I’ve been reading either haven’t been that great or I’ve read them so many times that, at this point, reviewing them would be kind of pointless.

On the road anyone?

This one, however, I don’t mind reviewing. Not necessarily because I loved it, there are some paragraphs on my PDF that I’ve written WHAT?? around in the intelligible scrawl only used by doctors, toddlers and the guy I had a thing for that I set next to in year 9 science, but because I loved the language.

Writing about the language of a book instead of the plot isn’t something I’ve read in many reviews. This isn’t an “I’m not like other writers” kind of post, but more a comment on my understanding that, unless you have a particular interest in it, solely reading about the language used by an author might be quite boring. I’m fully aware of my status as an epic writing nerd, but I’m also fully aware that the use of the written language is not something that appeals to everyone else.

Without indulging in my traditional, overdramatic, nature, it is fair to say that the language used by the author is nothing short of beautiful. Descriptive, delicious and invitingly metaphorical, if it hadn’t have been so vibrant I probably wouldn’t have finished the book (and it’s only 96 pages). Whilst they may have had difficulty creating a continuous plot both easy enough for readers to follow and as equally as unique and popular as is needed to attract an audience, it is more than made up for by the words they use in their attempt.

If the idiosyncrasies of language make your nipples hard or if you're looking for a quick read to finish in a day or so, this one's for you.

xXx

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Why I'm not Moving Back to England


I don't think I've really discussed politics in great detail in this blog. Other than my destain for the B-word (Brexit), it's not something I really talk about because I often don't feel able to provide an informed perspective. It's also something that I'm somewhat insecure about talking about, so I tend to let it go. In this instance, however, I actually have something to say, so I'm going to give it a go as best I can.

Until very, very, recently if anyone asked me whether or not I was going to stay in Canada after my work visa ran out I, quite literally, laughed in their face. Sweet baby Jesus, no, I think was one response I used when my dad asked the question. But, due to recent proposals by the UK government, I'm starting to change my mind.

Recently, Iain Duncan Smith proposed that the pension age of citizens of the UK should be raised to 75. Meaning that, until the age of 75, individuals would receive no form of pension from the state. The argument behind this is that it would be put in place to support the "fiscal challenge" the country faces in light of the increasing life expectancy of the population.

Eight years ago, on December 21st, we lost my Grandad, he was 74 at the time. In line with Duncan Smith's proposal, he would have had to work until after the day he died in order to receive any form of state pension. Not until a decade before he died, not until a few years, but until after his death. Not only is this physically impossible, but it shows the lack of care and respect that certain people within my country's government have for the general population.

Whether or not this proposal may come to fruition I don't know, my guess is that it's not going to get the go-ahead and, even if it does, the proposal suggests that it won't come into effect for another decade or so. My problem is that even the law isn't imposed, I don't want to live in a country where the government may have wanted my grandad to work until after his death in order to receive any kind of support, after having worked his entire life.

Not necessarily a rational reason to not return home (other than to visit) but one I believe in, and so am going to stick to.

xXx