Archive for October, 2009

There is a voice in my head

October 22, 2009

…telling me that I am a witch and that I should be burnt at the stake. I asked one of those popular bloggers (one of the purdy and cool ones) whether they could put my plastic surgery button up and they said ‘why are you being a dick?’ A bit mean. I only asked a question. As I said even in the mad-o-sphere there is a hierarchy – probably based on the way you look. my exterior. She prolly saw my pic and said ‘she’s a witch. I bet if we put her on the ducking stool she wouldn’t drown.’

four hours sleep in two days

ooh, Loopy Louise got loadsa prizes
dey must wuff her

Loopy Louise just choose not to put dem up ’cause she is so purrdy modest. A good trait even in witches like her. Riecat. Louise is away. Punting.


I’m so cccccrazy

October 21, 2009

…that the folks who frequent the ‘mad-o-sphere’ are tttttterrified of me.

Now ain’t that just the coolest?

Do I get a prize?

And they say in the sixteenth century
You’d have been burnt as a witch

whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhy don’t you want me here?

I want to sleep forever.

Going to See GP

October 20, 2009

…today.  Feel guilty about taking up so much of his time but how much more time and money would I take up if I were permanently institutionalised as certain people probably think I should be?  Self esteem bottomed out.  Am thinking of raising money for plastic surgery.  It is 5.21 am and I feel as though I am the only person left in the universe.  There’s a voice in my head telling me to ‘end it.  end it now because it will only get worse.’  and my medication, like the postal service, seems to have stopped working and there are no union leaders to negotiate with.  what’s going on with me isn’t fear, it isn’t anxiety; it is abject terror.

Currently browsing this site.  And this site.  What equipment would I need for DIY liposuction?  Pretty heavy duty painkillers that don’t knock you out, a chainsaw?  This makes me terrified about how I am going to be treated by the mental health professionals if I gain any more weight (I am already a heffalump and that’s not an exaggeration.  I feel myself moving, displacing air, occupying too much space.  Heavy.  I’d rather die than be fat, I used to say.  Well, I’m fat now.).

A little bird told me
That jumping is easy
That falling is fun
Right until you hit the sidewalk
Shivering and stunned

Swan Dive, Ani Difranco

For a minute there it must feel like flying.

They used to say, ‘Anorexics are pitied, binge-eaters are scorned, bulimics are simply ignored.’

Guess that’s still a truism even after all these years.

‘You say I’m really an ugly girl.’

Tori Amos

There Really Is Nothing New Under the Sun

October 15, 2009

‘Young mother down at Smithfield
5 am, looking for food for her kids
In her arms she holds three cold babies
And the first word that they learned was “please”

These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
“Remember what I told you
If you were of the world they would love you”‘

Black Boys On Mopeds, Sinead O’Connor

In the early nineties I was taking my A Levels and living with my parents in a 1930s semi detached pebble dashed house in the suburbs of Birmingham.  I also had some pretty severe psychiatric problems (an eating disorder, depression etcetera).  The house in which we lived was one of those ex-council houses that so many people enjoy sneering at, forgetting that their inhabitants are only there because they were desperate to be a part of Maggie Thatcher’s ‘Home Owning Democracy’.

Most of the neighbours were ‘decent’, reasonable, hard-working people but there was a large family whose children pretty much terrorized the entire street.  They would smash the wind screens of cars, verbally intimidate people as they walked past, attack the vulnerable.  I was sexually assaulted by one of them.  They targeted our next door neighbour.  He was a retired, elderly gentleman living in the upstairs flat of the house next door.  His garden was at the front of the house.  He worked hard on it, planting flowers and vegetables.  Eventually he gave up because these kids would trespass on his land and simply wreck it.  My father tried to intervene on several occasions but eventually he gave up too.  The reason?  On the final occasion the eldest ‘child’, a boy who was taller than he was, shoved my father.  My father, reacting instinctively, shoved him back. The police were called and my father was told that if he did anything like that again then he would be the one who would be prosecuted.

WTF are people getting out of pretending that this is anything new?

It Will Only Destroy You if You Let It

October 13, 2009

Photo 254

From the age of five to nine I lived on a council estate. These were the late seventies/early eighties. I will not allow the incident I am about to describe desecrate my memories of that place because for the most part it was pure paradise. The close in which I lived was nothing short of idyllic. I do not remember any of the adults who lived there being out of work. My own father was a factory worker and my mother was a nurse. Then a family moved into the end of the street. The mother became known throughout the neighbourhood as ‘that strange woman with the seven flea-ridden cats and her two strange, scruffily dressed children’.

I didn’t know it then but that family was going to have a profound effect on the rest of my life. The mother of the clan was, unlike the rest of the street, unemployable. The neighbours ensured her many cats, multiplying by the day, were fed. Their concern did not extend to her children who although they weren’t emaciated, were not the bonniest of creatures. More than mere neglect was happening in that house and I wish I had the wisdom to heed the warnings given by those much older and much more experienced than me never to venture across the threshold. There was no shortage of these warnings.

I chose to obey my own instincts instead. One of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I had been told never to listen to gossip. The nuns at my Catholic primary school told me never to ‘Give a dog a bad name and hang it.’ That was an expression they used rather frequently.

So I did it. I crossed the threshold. I remember being overwhelmed by the stench of the cat faeces that were scattered across the floor. And then there were the ‘children’: Calvin and Marie. There was another boy who hovered in the background but he barely seemed to register. Calvin was not exactly a child. He was in his late teens – sixteen or seventeen I think. He invited me into his malodorous bedroom. He said that he would make sure I had a ‘good time’. Suffice to say that a ‘good time’ would be the last words I would use to describe my experiences in that room.

I can’t understand why I returned. Maybe it was the threat that if I didn’t my parents wouldn’t love me anymore or that I would be taken into care. That was what he told me and at the age of seven I believed him. My memories of this period of my life are fragmented. I can’t even remember how long it lasted. Could it have been a month? The entire summer? One memory remains intact in my head. Calvin had found a rickety old bridge. Marie and her adult boyfriend stood on one side familiarizing themselves with one another while on the other side Calvin did things to me that he should have been doing with a young woman of his own age..

Every now and then I hear his voice. But I can never see his face. It was the stench than emanated from him that remained with me – a sickly sweet scent. Overpowering. Later I was told that this was probably cannabis.

Sometimes my memories of that time will enter my head uninvited. I focus upon seeing the events of my childhood through a prism of sunlight. I cannot remember how it ended. I told no one. Except my mother. She admitted that the signs were there but she never made the connection. My parents tried their hardest. I know that now. I’m not so angry anymore. It hasn’t destroyed my life because I won’t let it.

Soon after they had moved in Calvin, his siblings and his mother were evicted from their little house at the end of the road. I hope they found every one of those cats loving homes.


October 12, 2009



We dwelt in small stone cottages

That face an inclined pebble beach

And the sea hisses so seductively

A view cherished by the stranger

In our midst.  A traveller.  From the city

We are suspicious of outsiders here

We saw him race across the beach

Tottering, spiralling towards paradise

He did not know about that rogue current

And we had not troubled ourselves

to tell him.  He was not one of us, you see

And now it seems that he never will be

Back Home – A Survivor’s Tainted Luck

October 11, 2009


A sense of loss floods through him.  Nobby lost the majority of his comrades.  Thanks to a diagnosis of infectious hepatitis he was sent home early.  This was his tainted good fortune.  He returned intact and free of wounds.  Or so it seemed.  But there was a storm raging within him.  ‘You wouldn’t have liked me back then,’ he said.  He was wounded in a way that others could not see.  Nowadays they would stuff him up with pills and slap a medical label on him.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, probably.  And then they’d have left him to rot.  Little has changed then.

But back then you just got on with and maybe that was the best thing to do.  As Nobby said, ‘You rode out the storm.’  At least they were honest then.  At least they didn’t pretend to care.

When Nobby left his unit he sailed back home in a ship suffused with the stench of men’s underarm sweat.  ‘There was no where to wash’.  When the vessel finally docked at Liverpool he was about to disembark when a senior officer approached him.  He made him stand to attention.  ‘What kind of a corporal are you? Look at the state of you.  You’re a disgrace to your uniform.’

It was then that Nobby unleashed the rage that had been gathering up inside him.  ‘No,’ he said.  ‘You are the one who is a disgrace to your uniform.  I’ve been overseas for four years.  And you see this mud clinging to my boots, my uniform.  That’s Italian mud.  Now tell me how many years did you say you’ve served overseas?’

The officer’s face was flushed with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.  ‘None,’ he said.

‘Now,’ said Nobby.  ‘I’m going to leave this ship and you’re not going to say another word because if you do you’ll be over the side and in the drink.’

The officer turned and walked away without saying another word.

‘A victory for the common man,’ Nobby said later.

But his ferocity disturbed his senior officers and they sent him to see a psychiatrist.  Other ex commandos who had not been in Nobby’s unit were sent to see him too.  Nobby tried to explain to the doctor what he was going through.  ‘It was like winding up a stopwatch – that was the training.  And it takes you a long time to wind down again.’  But that pompous, puffed-up little psychiatrist didn’t get it.  In the end I think Nobby and his fellow ex-commandos drove him to the brink of insanity


October 10, 2009



October 9, 2009


The Poet

A gasp

An unacknowledged plea for help

How can I help you?

A clean, competent midwife

All pale and starched

‘The voices,’ the poet cried

‘The voices are pursuing me

“The Voices of the emerald lake’

‘It’s all a myth,’ the midwife said

‘It’s all inside your head.’

She touches her.  Her hand is cold.

And the baby

As soon as it is born

It is torn from the arms of its mother

They sedate her and she surrenders

To black waters, void

The rusted mouth of the plug hole

Sucks her in, drags her down

And the fingers of darkness

Reach out to her

Pulling her towards the edge

There is lightness down here, they said.

The mother watches the midwife turn away

She had spotted some another irresistible

Sumptuous feast.  A mouthful to savour

And the mother of all poetry

Is momentarily obscured


October 7, 2009


I approached the subject of Lifecraft with Nobby.  I wanted to know of he thought I should start attending Lifecraft again – Tom’s creative writing group.  Nobby got really angry and told me that the Pseudo Messiah is running the whole show.  Huh?  The last I’d heard he’d been banned.  Still three years is a long time on the mental health circuit in this city.  An epoch in fact.  Its members are a fickle lot.  But if I’m honest with myself I’ve always known that.  It is strange that his name isn’t mentioned on the Lifecraft website though. Maybe Nobby got his wires crossed. Chinese whispers are nearly always inaccurate. In this case I fervently hope they are.

Addendum: Rang Tom (my mentor) who says that the pseudo messiah has not darkened the doors of the Creative Writing Group for at least a year. One less worry although I’m sure there will be many more.

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