When I was a teenager. I constructed a figure out of dough. It was part of my efforts to lose weight. Every night I would press dough into the thighs and into the upper arms and into the tummy. I called her dough girl. She was my altar ego. And it worked. I pressed the dough into dough girl and the fat on my own body seemed to dissolve. Of course my weight loss had absolutely nothing to do with dough girl. But now I am approaching middle age (in my thirties) I have this voice in my head that tells me that every night when I go to sleep The Dough Woman comes into my room and presses dough, into my thighs, onto my stomach, onto my upper arms. The Revenge of the Dough Girl.
Archive for May, 2010
I would really appreciate some feedback. My stats are reasonable but I get no feed back. No one leaves comments. Could you please leave comments? Why did they lie about my being able to write well?
maybe you’d like to take a look at this:
Scroll down: His response to a comment (in italics) and my response to his:
However, it is still a human tragedy when any individual is driven to suicide or overdoses. Granted humanity probably hasn’t lost any potential nobel prize winners but I still find it very tragic.
How could you possibly know that? Ever heard of Ernest Hemingway? I live in a university town and psychiatric break downs are common. Some of these highly intelligent people are driven to suicide. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.
He believed in multiverses, in parallel dimensions. He followed me around the ward chattering incessantly. He showed me his arms. Brown skin disfigured by raised pink welts. Scars that would never heal. He permitted me a glimpse into his traumatic history. The scorn and the mockery and the humiliation and the racial abuse he had endured at the expensive, prestigious public school to which his parents had insisted upon sending him. ‘I told them what they were doing to me,’ he said. ‘They didn’t care. As long as I got good a-levels and made it to university it was all worth it. They wanted me to be like them – nothing more than a colonial subject.’ He went to university. He read engineering. He emerged with a 2.1. He had fulfilled his parents’ expectations. And then he fell apart. The racist insults he had been subjected to wormed their way into his head, took up residence there and refused to leave. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and spent the next decade as a revolving door patient in the local psychiatric hospital. He tried to cut his skin away. Bit by bit.
Later I found out that he had committed suicide in the worst, most painful way of committing suicide.
He called me once. I was in the middle of one of my many frivolous pursuits. I said I was busy and promised to call him back.
I never did call him back.
Dear Laurie/Ms. Penny/Laurie Penny,
I read your article
http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2010/01/labour-has-betrayed-its-core-values.html and I was wondering whether you could write an article dealing with the New Coalition’s position on the Mentally Ill and, in particular, the actions they intend to take on benefits as I am absolutely terrified about what is about to happen. Believe me I would love to be employed; it shows that you belong, that society accepts you, that it values you. And I can see the value in paid employment in enabling re-engagement with society but by pushing people into work prematurely, when the mentally ill are still symptomatic would be hideously counterproductive and may make employers even less inclined to employ this group of people in the future. The mentally ill who failed to cope with the jobs they are given would be back where they started sans disability benefits and sans valuable social support.
The Farmer’s wife
Takes a trip to town
On that big, red bus
The Farmer called it
‘That scarlet monstrosity’
Watching his wife embrace
Of city life
A world she once inhabited
But the stench
Of the urbane,
Of the metropolis
Clings to her
Like stale sweat
Like the cow dung
That welds itself to her boots
Nothing the farmer does
Is ever good enough
The old farmer
Murdered his wife
With gun, with knife,
With blood-tipped axe
Just to ensure
That he had really
Finished her off
And this bucolic landscape
Is threatened no more
A new government has been formed – a coalition government comprised of the Tories and the Lib Dems. There have been stranger bedfellows. Yesterday I was afraid. Today I am slightly less afraid. Yesterday I believed that the Mail on Sunday would have their way; they called on David Cameron to form a minority government with the words: ‘Brown Lost, Clegg Lost, Cameron won.’ As if they think we have a presidential system.
I, rather selfishly, wondered what all this would mean for me. Maybe it won’t mean anything for me. Maybe it won’t affect me at all. Maybe they’ll let me go on my merry way on the cosy little island I have created for myself whose only other inhabitants are Nobby and Ginger.
The voice in my head that says, ‘They want you dead’ will be there regardless of who is in power. The voices in my head are malevolent now. The benign ones have departed. Maybe the malevolent ones have driven the benign ones away. Maybe they declared war on them and massacred them, disposing of them forever. The inside of my head is a volatile little place.
You see what I just did there? I began this post by discussing an issue that will affect an entire country and I conclude it by talking about myself. A commenter wagered that with the birth of my niece I might become a little less self-obsessed. Ain’t gonna happen, sweetheart.