Tuesday the 14th was a day just like most others.
I awoke at ten to eleven. I usually have a mental health work visit me at eleven on Tuesday, and I was proud of myself for being awake before her arrival. I quickly finalised arrangements to meet up with my ex at 12:30, thinking I had given myself plenty of time to make myself look somewhat presentable after the appointment.
It got to half eleven and I was still waiting for the woman to turn up. I checked my phone to see if she had texted a reason for her ridiculous lack of punctuality, and she hadn’t, because she wasn’t late, because the last message was me agreeing to meet her at 11:45 instead. She turned up.
“Have you overdosed recently?”
“Are you planning to?”
At 12:22, I was back in my room trying to find all the things I usually take with me when I go out. Rucksack, whatever was already in said rucksack, chocolate, purse, my phone- which was already telling me the time was twelve thirty.
One of the reasons I was meeting up with my ex, and not someone who was still my boyfriend, was the fact that I value punctuality and reliability in a person. He had been three hours late when we had plans too often (ie, more than once). I didn’t want to give him wriggle room in any future arguments by being 5 minutes late when we were meeting right outside the building I live in. Another reason he is my ex is because he is a spectacularly shit liar, and at this current moment in time, he was trying to pretend that he doesn’t get most of my text messages. I figured that he probably wouldn’t send me one to tell me he was waiting outside to somehow prove that he was telling the truth (“Didn’t you get my text? See, I told you something’s wrong with my ph-“) and in my panic, I realised I couldn’t find my waterbottle, which I find essential for any trip further away than the bathroom. I picked up what I deem to be a valid substitute - a bottle of wine - and left.
He drove me to a cul-de-sac around the corner. We argued. I got pissed. I still don’t understand why he doesn’t love me any more.
I returned to my room at 3 in the afternoon complete with KFC. I know it was ‘3 in the afternoon’ because my ex felt the need to keep pointing out the time to me every time I pulled out the wine. The freak.
I fell asleep. I woke up. It was now 8pm. I took my apparently useless anti-epileptics and decided that I wasn’t going to get back out of bed. I got a bit sad and took a small overdose of aspirin. This doesn’t happen that often - usually I take a fairly large overdose of antihistamines and thus avoid getting sad at all. However, that would have meant getting up and going to Tesco to purchase some more, and there is no way that the bloke who helps out at the self-service checkout isn’t on to me. I still hadn’t found that bottle of water, and, following on from my earlier logic, thought the sensible solution would be to wash down the aspirin with wine.
It was an hour after this when I noticed I still had a hang over from earlier on. For some reason, I had it in my head that taking a small overdose of aspirin would get rid of any pain I was currently feeling, but the opposite had occurred. I took myself and my apocalyptic headache down to the office in the hostel I live in and asked if it was okay to take paracetamol with aspirin. I have heard my fair share of paracetamol horror stories and even I have limits to how YOLO I can be with over the counter medication. A few trick questions later and the woman was dialing 999 and I had a creeping sense of de ja vu.
The paramedics turned up. It is a well known facts that all paramedics look the same, and it is actually easier to tell individual ambulances apart. I’m sure they probably think the same about people who overdose in hostels, which is why I stopped pointing it out. They did paramedic things while I sat there answering their questions. This led to the worst thing I have said so far in 2014.
“So you took these aspirin tablets?”
“Okay. Have you had any alcohol?”
“Enough to wash them down.”
I asked the paracetamol question again. It turns out I would have been fine to take them. I was now satisfied that I could deal with my hangover without the help of trained medical staff and wanted to go back to bed.
“Right, have you got enough money from a taxi back from hospital?”
“What? Yeah. Oh wait I spent it on KFC earlier. I have a buspass.”
“The busses don’t run at 2am.”
“I have… ten Euros?”
“I have a card with money on.”
“There’s a cash machine at the hospital. Go and get a coat.”
I went through the bag packing ritual for the second time that day, with one small difference. I left the bottle of wine on my bed.
We got to the hospital where I was abandoned in the waiting room by a nurse I’d been given to. She asked me if I would stay there and I said yes, because I was a slightly disorientated teenage girl who didn’t appear to have much else to do that night.
Here’s the thing. I didn’t take an overdose to kill myself. But if I wasn’t harbouring some form of death wish before looking up at a screen that informed me of a three hour waiting time, and then another screen which was blasting out the visual and audio diarrhea of a Celebrity Big Brother spin off, I definitely was afterwards.
At exactly 00:00, I decided I’d had enough. I went to reception.
“Where can I book a taxi from?”
“There’s a freephone by the vending machine.”
“Thanks. Is there a cash machine around here?”
“Not this time of night. You could get the taxi to drop you off at one.”
I did book the taxi, but I couldn’t even comprehend the thought of waiting there for it. I bought a bottle of water and set off on foot instead.
The route was simple enough, although it was one that most responsible adults I know wouldn’t be a fan of. I decided not to take a shortcut through an inner-city field pretending to be a park, and was minding my own business wondering down the main road.
As I watched a bus I could’ve caught go past, a car pulled up.
“You wanna chill?”
“You wanna hang?”
Now this wasn’t the first time I had been walking in this part of Birmingham after dark and found myself approached with this proposition, but it was the first time it had happened while I wore fluffy pink pajamas and a fetching pair of 2003-style trainers.
“Are you sure?”
A few sarky comments later, and they drove off. The boys of Bordsley Green must really dig the pasty pale look I pull off so well. Either that, or they are more desperate than I will ever be. And the sheer fact that, despite everything, I feel that I can still take the moral high ground on people like this, gives me hope. I can have slight alcoholism, I can accidentally lie to nurses, and I can still judge people who I barely know. And for some reason, that makes me care a slight bit more about my internal organs.
One good thing about having gone to both a grammar school and a special school is that you get to watch people squirm as they try to fit you into both stereotypes at once.
4. Julian Assange of Wikileaks
You know how when you read a history textbook and there’s a timeline of events as humanity changes for the worse in one way or another, and you think “Okay but surely when this happened people would’ve realised where this was going? Even if not then what about this next major point? Did they not think to fight back then? Why did they let it happen?”
It’s weird how people are going to look at how we are today and think the same.
Imagine if we decided to spring clean the internet. Like, we designated a week to deleting really awful blog posts and unused accounts. That’d be cool.
The power of purposely calling someone by the wrong name is immense. Personally, it makes me feel uncomfortable that it should matter at all; a name is just a string of letters put together to make a sound we use to identify someone when we speak or write about them. To call someone by what you have decided is their ‘real name’ when they request a different one is used seems rude in a way that’s unnecessary if there’s any real reason to be angry at the things they do, because if they are really a bit of a dick then it’s probably a better mode of attack to point out why. If you’re just going to be dismissive of them, then don’t give a non-issue any weight because they’ll cling onto it to prove they’re the victim. Obviously there’s a line somewhere, but in a large majority of cases, someone else’s name isn’t yours to mess about with.
The problem with evil people is that they’re not actually evil. They’re someone’s son or daughter who cried when they grazed their knee as a toddler, or sought a hug when they were stuck in bed with chicken pox. They were perhaps someone’s first crush or a best friend at an early age.
The problem with evil people is that they really believe what they say and do is right, or at least that it doesn’t matter. They just want what they think is best, and they really do believe that what they do is the best course of action. They are as passionate for justice as you are, but they don’t think it’s them that’s in the wrong. They don’t know they’re evil, and if they do, they don’t understand what evil is.
I don’t think it’s okay for newspapers to be reporting someone’s last tweet as a front page headline. You’ve had your turn, now leave the poor girl to rest in peace and stop making money off a stabbing.
It’s not fair to expect a certain amount of followers or likes before an announcement on a social network. Your fans, who most likely have already done a considerable amount to increase your public awareness, owe you nothing. If your followers are doing this work for you, then they deserve the information you are keeping from them. And if your cause is important enough for you to use these tactics, then chances are your followers are already doing as much as they can.
I used to go on great anger-fuelled campaigns when I hated someone. Don’t get me wrong - I didn’t pick on someone because they were vulnerable. I found that I ended up attacking people who’d attacked me when I was vulnerable. Or I’d go after someone who seemed to be getting away with a lot more than they should.
Well, I was only a child. I say child; it was around the ages of between 12 and 16 that I directed my fury at people who were a similar age to myself and who would probably realise their errors later down the line without my help. When you’re 15 and someone’s twisting something someone else said to make you look like a sex-crazed pervert, you don’t respond too kindly. When you’re suffering with about a million mental health issues that have defined your personality to the point that you’re not even too sure you’re there anymore, you don’t stop to think that releasing your frustration whenever possible is not the best idea. When you’re stuck in a school which appears to still be in the 1950s and you’re surrounded by manipulative shits who cannot even comprehend that they don’t live in a soap opera, doing nothing isn’t even an option.
I never really bothered fully explaining my actions whenever I did anything. I didn’t care that my teachers, or even other students, thought I was a pathetic lunatic because I knew that everything the school stood for was more ridiculous than I could ever be. I probably did try and get some of them to understand at some point, but there’s only so much trust you can give people when you’ve been let down so often before. Besides, I knew nothing I could say would change anything that mattered.
Anyway I got to about 16 and there was the change of school and some sort of improvement in my health… or maybe I just grew up. As I said, I can’t tell what’s me and what’s a disorder. I no longer had a habit of trying to make people I disliked more emotionally unstable than myself, probably because of that change of environment. I became more analytical and I focused my energies on making myself a better person and making the world a slightly nicer place. There wasn’t anyone I actually hated who I was forced to spend time with. There were people I disliked, but none that I hated.
And then things happened and there’s someone I really hate. It scares me that I can hate someone so much; I’d forgotten what it felt like. I recognise that people can be good in some ways and bad in others and I recognise that I’m not exactly a decent person myself. I’m not forced to spend time with this person but we do anyway. And so I’ve been reduced to acknowledging the hatred at appropriate points in the conversation and moving back to the topic in hand.
I wish I had the energy for one last manic tirade.
You did something for someone you care about. This something was amazing and took all of your strength and courage and it made them really happy, or maybe just made their life worth living for a little bit longer. But you use it against them or you let them know that you did it because you felt like you had no other option and you tell them that it ruined your life and by doing that, you took that good memory away from them and you made every action you took completely worthless.
I can’t see the horizon. I look in any direction and all I can see is a house or a wall or a fence or a building and there’s no escape from it. How do I find a place that’s completely my own for that moment in time? How do I find somewhere I won’t be seen or heard? Where do I go to find a place where I can let go of all the hatred and anger and sadness without people wondering why there’s a teenager screaming and crying and shouting incoherent sentences? All I want is a bit of reality, I want the beautiful scenery and the sounds and the space that comes with it. I want to be the back to basics, visually repulsive me without having to hide in a box made of brick. I want to be able to be forgotten, I want to opt out of humanity completely. I don’t want to worry for the future. I shouldn’t have to worry about the future.
It’s not instinct, is it? It’s the same way you can know the answer to a sum but not the method. You’ve gotten the end point of the metaphorical mathematical problem but you’re not sure how to get the marks for working it out. So you work backwards.
I don’t like her. But why? I just don’t. No wait, that’s not an answer. She’s manipulative. How do I even know that? I can’t actually know that. I’ve never even spoken to her… But we’ve been in the same room as each other; she’s on the extreme edge of my network of friends. I’ve observed her. So? It’s the way she… She just… I can just tell. No, that’s still not an answer. It’s the way she tries to ethically bitch. What? She doesn’t speak about someone’s appearance, only their actions and why that makes it okay for her to bitch about them. No, I’m missing something… It’s her awkwardness around people she doesn’t really know. It’s the clothes she wears. Not in an aesthetic way, but, I guess it reminds me of me. She’s too much like me. She’s barely like me. She’s like me enough that I would know how she would go about being manipulative. I wouldn’t be manipulative like that. I think. But if I was going to, that’s how I would do it.
My main problem isn’t that I can’t tell people things. Sure, there are some things that I’ve suppressed to the extent that I forget they even happened to me, but it’s all I can do while I attempt to get my head around the other, slightly less distressing problems I have had. My main problem would be that I think that people find it boring if I talk them through the same points in my life again and again and again while I try to make sense of them and while I try to find some sort of solution to either the situation itself or what it’s done to me.
if it exists:
- There is porn of it
- There is a dubstep remix of it
- Glee have covered it
- There is a parody Twitter account of it
- People hijack Tumblr posts with .gifs of it
- Someone has tried to turn it into a meme
- It has been given as a reason for violence within our society
- George Osborne has blamed lack of economic growth on it
- The Daily Mail thinks it causes cancer