To the women in the rainbow t-shirts…

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To the women in the matching rainbow t-shirts… I saw you.

You were in front of us for a long time at Bourne Free on Saturday… I saw you.

When you got separated and I showed you where your lover was, you thought it was because of the matching t-shirts, but it wasn’t.  I saw you.

One of you was fair, petite.  One of you was an Amazon.

I have no idea if you had been together for 6 weeks or a decade.  But I saw you, and you made me see everything that Pride is about.

Petite – you would look up at your Amazon in wonder.  Like you couldn’t believe that she was yours.

Amazon – you radiated a worship towards her.  You were always touching her in some way, not in a sexual way, purely in a way that looked like you were constantly reassuring yourself that she was real, and she was yours.  You would protect her from anything.

The relationship was one thing, but the interaction between you was what made it so real.  I don’t remember the last time I saw a same sex couple touching each other like that in a public space.  That tender caring.  The protective brushing of a hand on a shoulder.  The silent assurance of a hand on a hip.

The more I looked around, the more I saw the affection from others too.  Very rarely was it sexual.  It was love, trust, confidence.

It was in an enclosed area that you had to pay to enter.

Go past a bus stop, and you will see heterosexual teens with their arms around each other.  Go to bar, you will see heterosexual adults kissing between drinks – that quick “I love you” peck.  Go to a cafe, you will see elderly heterosexual couples holding hands over their tea.

Now go back to those places and look for the gays, the lesbians, the trans.

We sent people into space 58 years ago.

In 1903 we learnt how to fly.

Sappho, in 6th century BC Lesbos, wrote of her love for women.

Yet, in 2019, my children are in a world in which we still will not let people love each other.

I discovered on Saturday that gay conversion therapy is still legal in the UK.  Yes, I am serious.  STILL LEGAL.  Not in a whole shooting a Welshman with a long bow type defunct bylaw way, but in a this shit is not illegal way.

A whole chunk of the rest of the world still punish it with death.

Parents globally will deny the existence of their children because they fall in love with someone who has matching genitals.

The women in the rainbow t-shirts.  I saw them.  All I want now is to see them again.  I want to see them at the bus stops, at the bars, in the cafes.  I want to see them in all their pairings.  We need to see them.

We also need to protect them.

Petite had her Amazon protecting her at all times, but who is there to protect the Amazon?

The women who want to kiss on the bus – we must protect them.

The boys who want to hold hands outside school – we must protect them.

It shouldn’t be about having a safe place to show love.  It should be about love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You just took my soul with you

My cat died.

If you don’t have animals you love, yeah, a cat died.

But… my cat died.

I wasn’t there.

She had love with her, she was stroked, she was loved.  It was everything it should have been.

But…. I wasn’t there.

I heard her mum was pregnant, and I wanted a cat so much.  I had grown up with cats, and then spent a chunk of my adult life (probably not as long as it felt) with no cats.  I had had rats, but Spike was the only one I had that bond with, and he died in my hands within six months.  (IN not AT my hands – you guys are harsh).

I wanted a girlie cat.  Boy cats (to my recollection)  sprayed everywhere, even after being neutered, and I couldn’t deal with that in rented accommodation.

So, the kittens were born (all fcking stunning), and there was one girl.  The tortie.

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No matter how much Hatty may have wanted her, she had promised me a girl, and there she was.  Willow.

That slightly shocked but I know wtf you are up to expression on her face never changed, her eyes just changed to amber.

She was my cat.  She let in Oz (no clue what that cat was called, but no cat tolerated by Willow could be anything but Oz).  She tried to bring me baby birds and got tiny baby feathers everywhere.

She curled up with me when I was suddenly alone.

She slept next to the crib when I wasn’t able to be 100% present.

Then Furball came.

She glowered.

She backed away.

She spread her paws out across my boobs.

She rested her head in my cleavage.

She dribbled in my tea.

No man had she ever been like that with.  She was fine with the kids’ dad.  She was fine with boy visitors (not that I had them, I was pure innit).  But him, she was not sharing with.  She knew he was different.

Nearly eight years now, and she has only started letting him stroke her without ducking her head in the last six months.  She has been sitting on his lap.  She has been sleeping on his back.

It feels like her final fck you.  “Love me, get used to me being nice, then I’ll go”.

I sit holding her collar – nothing special, literally a flea collar – and I am glad she isn’t having to wear it any more.  I am glad her dermatitis isn’t itching.

But I want my cat.  I want that cloying clinginess.  I want to get out of a bath and feel like a need a new one because she had laid on my damp back.  I want to need new tea because she dribbled in my cup.  I want my book interrupted by her arse sat on it.

I didn’t know it would hurt like this.

I’m fairly used to human loss now.  This is different.  But just as raw.

 

 

 

Mr Stark, I don’t feel so good…

Gone stupidly emotional. In a couple of hours I’ll see End Game.

In 2008 I saw Iron Man in the cinema. I was married with two kids. I fell in love with Tony Stark and what would become the MCU.

I wore an Avengers top on my first date with Adam.

I saw the first Avengers with Adam, I think it was our first cinema trip together.

I have seen every one at the cinema, across two continents (except for Hulk as I was still traumatised by Flubber Hulk so watched on dvd).

Avengers have been with me through pregnancy, divorce, marriage…

I remember my issues wanting to watch Iron Man 2, but couldn’t because Emrys kept sleeping with the dvd under his pillow.

I remember when Carys was first big enough to pick out dvds she would choose Captain America.

I remember the excitement that Joss was involved, and then that sinking feeling knowing he destroys anyone I love. “Ooh they gave that agent a name! Nooooo…. They gave him a name…”

I know it is “just” some films (and that soul destroying moment when I thought reading Civil War would be fun – all the tears), but they have been a constant in this massive change filled section of life.

It sucks that Stan Lee just missed out.

So many missed out. So many who started this journey in my life and haven’t been able to finish it.

Oh… I finished.

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So today was weird.

Last night, I finished scheduling my social media posts for DocHQ.  I then had three days left of blog writing.

It has been weird getting to this stage, as I had no intention of leaving, and even wanted to continue part time when uni went back, but life doesn’t always go as planned.

Anyway, back to today.  I got in to work, and a chance conversation made me realise I hadn’t thought about if I was owed any holiday before finishing.  Turns out I had 3.5 days.

Yep.  3.5 days.  With 3 days left.

So… I’m kinda finished now.

I’m not properly, I do not have it in me not to tie up all loose ends, but pretty much… I’m done.

I was not prepared.

I may have ADHD, but there is still a chunk that overlaps with ASD and it being the end without warning, without preparation, has utterly knocked me sideways.

In August last year I was fairly sure I would never have a work placement, and would be returning to uni a year earlier than intended, without my Bitches.

The last week of August I got a phone interview with Janet, after having been talking to Madhur on an app called Shapr that I was partially on placement hunting, partially just to network as a whole.  The day before placement deadline, I got a firm job offer.  Social media for a new company.

My brain told me I could do it.  I have way too much experience with social media in general (what with living in my computer), I knew about using the internet for sales from Bumfluff, I knew about social media from Funsponge.  I had taught myself various SEO things for Bumfluff.  The knowledge was there, my google-fu was strong, and writing is who I am.

My gut said hell no, why are you lying to these people, wtf do you think you are doing?!?!!?

But, I pulled on my big girl pants.  I put on my “I can be a professionabubble grown up” make up (I think that happened about 4 times in total for the job), and I drove an hour away to start work at DocHQ.  There was meant to be another dude showing up that day – I never did find out what happened with him.

From the moment I started, I wasn’t a student placement.  I was the person in charge of wordy things (seemingly that wasn’t my actual job title – I was also not allowed Social Media Guru).  By the time we got a Product Manager several months down the line, she dubbed me Content Editor (I think).  I was trusted to know what I was doing, or to figure it out, and trusted to follow my own instincts with content.  I think only cow farts and science of hugging caused proper eyebrow raising and a “maybe not”.

I have learnt so much, about managing myself, about using language, about writing.  The most eye opening for me was probably the white paper I did – realising I could write a factual piece based on things I know nothing about.  I understand now how people write essays for subjects that they don’t study.

My confidence has grown so much.  Lessons with Dan helped push me in the right direction for that – experience of sitting round and discussing ideas, of giving my thoughts on other people’s projects – I was thrown into that situation on my second day, and would have just frozen without his classes.

The team became family.  I don’t recall ever having worked somewhere before where I genuinely liked everyone.  They were incredible and held me up whilst Zena was ill and died.  They shared their joy at my wedding.  They have been there for random photos of rashes on children, for broken arms.  They have been there for some major mental instability with just a quiet “should you need us…” rather than a “we know you’re kinda fucked up right now”.

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With them I added my first term to Urban Dictionary.  I learnt a lot of IMP facts.  I freed a House Elf.  I planned flying toasters.  They even made the foolish mistake of introducing me to Slack and giving me access to gifs….

It has been an amazing time, and I am truly gutted to be moving on.  I knew placement year would do me good, but I did not expect this… nowhere near.

 

I’m just like my country… A bit of a mess but never giving up.

It’s my birthday. Always a time to ponder.

I find it interesting that my birthday memories on Facebook only start from the first birthday after the break up. Did I ignore it when I was married?

It is a strange one this year. Mother’s Day is close, and I am missing Zena far more than I ever would have expected. Damn cancer making us close in her last few months. As a result I’m feeling oddly flat.

I’m sat on a train to London to see Hamilton. To spend time with my sister and the amazing Hayley. I should be bouncy rather than contemplative.

But, contemplative isn’t all bad. I look each year and realise how much I have changed. 30yr old me had a week long birthday (and a broken tooth… Still no idea how). She realised that she had this whole host of friends to celebrate with. She realised she was HER after a long period of being gone.

That woman would never have dreamed she would be doing a degree. That she would marry. That she had ADHD.

She was optimistic. She knew she would be OK. But she didn’t know how incredible her life could become.

So now, I sit on my train, drinking my beer, and although I am flat, I can look at myself and see the girl who took her shot. Who refuses to throw it away.

Thank you to everyone who has helped get me here. I may have to kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.

Depression, distraction, and drag queens, oh my!

Wow, two months of me saying “I’ll blog soon” and then having the black dog pull me by the ankles into dark water.

I started CBT. The theory is sound. I “get” it more than I did ten years ago. But every day is a fight right now.

How much is ADHD? How much is life? How much is grief? How much is biochemical imbalance causing depression?

I feel like my handful of pills each day should have it under control, but it is still trying to beat me.

I had hyperfocus for the first time in ages yesterday and it was magical feeling my brain actually work. I believed in myself again.

Today I’m offered jobs and I sit with terror, sure that I cannot do them, but knowing that I have the skills. What’s that all about?!

Totally unrelated (anyone would think I have focus issues) – absolutely love being able to watch Drag Race as it is released on Netflix!

Scarlett is a beautiful man (who was oddly evasive and I suspect is one of the first not 100% gay Queens on there), but wary about him as a person.

Silky I actually may loathe more than Eureka.

Vaaaaaanji is great, and I love that her personality got her back on.

Ru upset me at the end of last season with her treatment of one of the girls though, so it is all a little sour.

So uh…. Yeah… Depression, blogging, Drag Queens. Standard ADHD.

Ms Parker made me do it

I have had so many half formed blogs floating around in my head for the past few weeks – mainly ADHD related, but obviously as always happens, what wants to be written yells louder and drowns out the other plans.

So today, no depression talk (yes, I let out that sigh of relief too), no ADHD talk.  Today, we talk about Joyce.

If you have managed not to hear/see/read anything about Marie Kondo’s Magic of Tidying Up then what rock have you been hiding under?  In 2015 (seriously, it was that long ago?!?!) I was telling you all about the crazy Japanese lady.  Re-reading that post was emotional – I’ll get to that later.  The Japanese lady was Marie Kondo, and her love of folding things and caring about the feelings of socks made utterly insane sense.

Well, 3 years down the line, I still fold things standing up, but the rest has kinda fallen apart.  My poor socks are potatoes more often than not, and Strawb has stressed out tights.  Anyway.  Cut to now and there are people all over Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Netflix discussing how this teeny tiny little dot of a woman does things.

I sat down to watch some episodes.  I love her.  She brings joy.  Seeing her jump with delight at a cat she didn’t expect to see, or laughing as she realised what boobie meant.  She is just lovely.  But a few episodes in, and although these people’s lives are clearly being changed, her message doesn’t come through properly.

I see this meme everywhere in some form or another, and I just want to bash my head on my keyboard and yell “NO!!”.  I have had to back away from many conversations because I can feel my passionate defence getting to crazy levels.

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This tiny little ball of joy would never want you to burn all your books until you only have 30.  She doesn’t want you to just keep happy books.  She doesn’t want you to keep no sentimental tat.  She wants you to be connected to everything.

“Joy” is the wrong word to my mind.  I suspect it was the closest she could get in translation years back and now she is stuck with it.  It isn’t about what brings you “joy”, it is what makes you feel.

When I got to the book stage, I looked round thinking “But my bookshelves are me. I love all of my books!!!”  But I had been through my clothes, and items I assumed I loved because I had had them for years had gone into the “no joy” pile.  I grasped what that touching things and feeling the “spark” meant for me.  Not a spark of joy, but a jolt of connection.  So I piled my books onto my table, and I began…

The same thing happened.  Books that I had had since my childhood – some sparked, some felt like bound, dead paper.  Books that I had had unread for a decade – some were never going to be touched, some burned into me with a connection I didn’t know was there.  It wasn’t about content.  It wasn’t about covers.  It was connection.

Yes, I know I sound like a crazy woman.  Maybe I am.  But when it comes down to it, I believe, and have always believe, that everyone and everything in our world is all part of the same energy.  Maybe that spark is the like energy meeting like energy?  Who knows.  All I know is that I want people to get what she is saying.  She isn’t Aggie and Whatsherface who used to make you empty your home of crap, she isn’t that House Doctor woman who wants you to make your home anonymous before you move house.

She wants life.  She wants magic.  She wants YOU.

I don’t know this woman.  It is highly unlikely that I will ever meet her.  But seeing people confusing her meaning so much weirdly hurts.

Her concept in itself is Joyce, and Joyce should be living in all of us.

You know Joyce… Joyce Parker, as you should only live with things which are joy sparkers.


 

On the whole “previously on” emotions – “If someone said three years from now…” when I was writing that I was attending funerals wondering if the next one would be Furball’s.  I was wondering what would happen in our lives, how we would make it through the next month, let alone where we would be in three years.

So much has changed.  So many more funerals, and so much more loss.  But also, so much unexpected good.  The woman folding socks in 2015 would have never dreamt she would be doing a degree.  Never dreamt that she would be in a placement actually writing for a living.  Most of all, she never dreamt that she would have car journeys and meals out with her partner husband.  She never believed that she would see the man she fell in love with shining through again.

My house may not be what I envisioned when I opened a book and was told to visualise the life I wanted, but you know what…. the life I visualised is fighting its way through.

 

 

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