Monday, August 28, 2006 

What lies beneath

Her voice is tired, husky and dry. Her hair shows the remnants of styling, but has been mussed up and is now messy across her face. The bed she sits upon is a wreck; sheets twisted and tangled together, the pillows pushed right up against the wall.

She stands, crosses the room, walking over her own clothes as she does so. Looks in the mirror. Makeup smudged, eyes dark with mascara and eyeliner. And for a while, she doesn’t move. She just stands as if mesmerised. Trying to work out whether she’s happy or sad, trying to work out why it doesn’t hurt more. Trying to work out why all she feels is a quiet euphoria, a sleepy contentedness that creeps up from her toes and through her limbs like a dull fire.

Maybe it should hurt more. Maybe it should make her cry. Maybe she should be sitting realising how much she can’t have. But maybe it’s enough to know that she has had it for a while. Maybe it’s enough to get on with being for a while, and forget about the falling.

She drifts. It isn’t that this moment is exceptional; it isn’t that it hurts more than everything else; it’s just that it seems to sum everything else up. Standing staring at a reflection is hard when you realise that you aren’t just facing a façade, you’re facing yourself. And knowing what’s going on inside your head to give you that expression is like staring into the ocean and suddenly being able to count every fish beneath the surface.

She isn’t happy or sad. She hasn’t been hurt, and she hasn’t felt the need to cry. She’s had happiness, and just because it isn’t there anymore, that doesn’t mean that she’s suddenly going to realise that the loss is any bigger than before, it’s there, it hasn’t changed, how can it be different?

She grimly smiles at her reflection, wipes the makeup from beneath her eyes, and runs her fingers through her hair. It will happen again, and there will be the same recognition. There will be the same joy, and the same pain. Things repeat themselves, and all we can do is work out each time whether it was good it was repeated, or if we wish to avoid it again in future. And each time, we have to work this out for ourselves. Because people will think they know what’s best, people will make their own judgements, people will tell you what they think, and it will make sense.

But the girl who stares in the mirror is the one with the view of the fish. We can stand next to her and stare at the sea, but we’ll only see the breakers and seagulls, she sees what lies beneath. Only she can tell you what’s in her heart.

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Friday, August 25, 2006 

To clarify

When I think about life just for thinking’s sake, I envision a sea of sand. Endless piles of shifting sandscape, orange, and dry in the unrelenting heat of the sun. I don’t know why that’s what I think of. It seems such a contradiction when you consider how much life there actually is in a desert. A rainforest would be more logical. But I guess it’s a reflection of my life rather than just life in general. And that is somewhat worrisome.

Why do I envision my life as a desolate wasteland? Nothing grows in sand. Yeah, sure, on a beach you’ll get some marram grass and a few bugs and stuff, but that’s right next to an enormous body of water. There aren’t any oceans in my images, its just desert, and deserts are devoid of life.

Lately I’ve had the same vision when thinking about love.

I asked a question today that I hadn’t even realised was really a question. I used to be so depressed. Maybe it’s just from habit, but I’ve always thought of myself as a happy person. I’m not. Outwardly happy, yes, but I’ve spent a lot of time depressed, unhappy, or just not particularly happy.

But lately it’s been better. It hasn’t just been better, it’s been wonderful. And I guess I made that observation. I might have even phrased it as a question. Whatever I did, the response was that it was Dave’s fault because he fucked me up. And that response shocked me somewhat. It shocked me a lot really.

I don’t blame my relative happiness or unhappiness on the men in my life. I don’t blame it on my friends; I won’t even blame it on my mother. In the end, yes, they’re factors. If I change one then it will make me happy for a day possibly, but it’s like teaching a man to fish, I have to know how to be happy with myself before I can be happy with everything else.

If you’ve read this blog before then you may have heard of Dave referred to as “the ex,” “Him,” or maybe even by his name, though that’s less likely as I tend to avoid names as much as possible to retain a certain amount of anonymity. If you haven’t read it before, then he’s simply a boy I fell in love with for a while. But for those of you who know of him, and have made judgements about him based on whatever I’ve said, I want to make a few things completely clear.

For a while I was messed up about him, but that was less to do with what he did to me, and more to do with the way I am. He didn’t treat me badly; he didn’t ever give me any false illusions of who he was or what he wanted from me; and he didn’t force me into anything or take anything I wasn’t more than willing to give. I want to make this very very clear, he was a bastard, yes, but not to me. He treated me better than I deserved considering some of my antics during the relationship, and we’re still friends. I still talk to him; I still get on very well with him. It wasn’t a bad break up in the end; it was the more than logical conclusion. And it was mostly my fault. If I’ve cried or whined on here about it, ignore that, I have cried and whined on here about it. But it’s my blog, that’s what it’s here for. To take the things I’ve said as fact proves that it was a very bad idea for me to ever write them down in the first place.

I can’t go back and unsay them. I can delete them to an extent, but how many people browse through the archives anyway? All I can do is tell you now that he isn’t a bad kid. He didn’t hurt me, I hurt me. Blaming him was the easiest way for me to feel better at the time, but it isn’t an accurate representation of what really happened.

I have a very unhappy life. I’ve tried, but sometimes it’s hard for me to work out a way to be happy with who and what I am. I’m not insecure, I just dislike the way I live, the way I act, and a lot of my personality in general. For a while I was extremely depressed, and yup that was during and after my break up. That wasn’t him “fucking [me] up,” that was because I did a very intelligent thing which was best for everyone and inevitable anyway, but just happened to take away the small amount of happiness that I’d recently acquired. He fucked me up by being the one person who actually did make me happy. My fucked upness wasn’t him, it was circumstantial.

I guess what I’m trying to say is simple. Yes, in a way he fucked me up, but that was just by being what I needed to make me happy at the time. I was constantly depressed before him, even a little bit when I was with him, and again after him. He made me happy, and I loved him. Here that seems incredibly important as I try to write more about relationships than my life as a whole as that is the purpose of the blog. But my life doesn’t revolve around men, not even him. I was unhappy because my home made me claustrophobic, I argued with my family constantly, I had no job or income, I was more than stressed out with exams, and my friends were utterly sick of me being unhappy and “moping.” Yes, I moped for him sometimes, but just to come and make it better.

I’m not in love with him anymore. And I’m not miserable. My home is more of a relief than I ever thought it could be. My family argue, but I find it hard to argue with people that I’ve missed so much it hurt. I don’t have a job again, but for a while I’m solvent, and I’ve had more than enough of work for a while, I’m happy just to relax for a few weeks. The exams are over, the results are back, and I’ve done better than I should, and will be leaving for uni on the 23rd. My friends… they’re the best people in the whole world. They care about me, they disagree with me, the call me names, and they let me be me without complaints.

But I love him. I love him in the same way as I love Stacey and Hayley because all make me happy. All stave off the parts of me that want to curl up into a ball, cocoon myself in a duvet, and wallow in my own misery. And yes, there is a much higher likelihood of me sleeping with him than Stacey or Hayley. But I’ve dreamt a dream so vivid that it took me until seven o clock in the evening the next day to work out that it wasn’t a memory; it was only a dream, in which I slept with Hayley. And I’ve pretended to be a lesbian so many times with Stacey that I wouldn’t even attempt to count them. I’m not interested in women, but if I were then I’d fall head over heels for both of them.

I won’t end up in a relationship with any of those three, as much as I love them. I can’t regret any of the things that have happened with them, and I won’t blame anyone at all for my happiness. It’s mine, you have no right to take it away and tell me that someone else gets to dictate when I am or am not allowed to have it. I told you at the time that I’d always love him. I meant it. But you’re wrong if you think that my love for him is so frivolous that I wouldn’t be more than happy to settle with simply being friends with him. I can’t change the things that brought us here; I can’t regret them or wish that they would change. I’m happy with my life for once, and it is only I who will dictate the terms on which I live it.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006 


I have been home twenty seven hours and have already:
  • Spent fifty pounds.
  • Drank thirty units of alcohol.
  • Confessed all about my lesbian dream to the other participant in the dream.
  • Left my debit card in two bank machines.
  • Had my debit card rejected three times.
  • Been shopping.
  • Had a conversation about breast enlargement, Wonderbra's, bums sticking out of changing room doors, and pigs in front of an increasingly amused, and incredibly hot, shop assistant.
  • Eaten sushi.
Things I haven't done:
  • Unpacked.
  • Downloaded any of my photos onto the computer.
  • Taken my phone to be repaired.
  • Looked for the guarantee to prove that it is really my phone, and wasn't just damaged when I was stealing it from someone else.
  • Fulfilled my promise of commitment-free, fantastic sex with my ex boyfriend.
  • Checked my mobile phone bill.
  • Sent off the application for a provisional driving licence (I actually have enough money too now).
  • Exchanged all my money from Euros to Pounds.
  • Slept
All in all, not especially impressive. And actually rather distressing, I mean, thirty units? I literally got home, took my suitcases up into the house, left them in the corridor, and got back in the car and went to the pub.

Nothing has changed. It has in small ways, like Hayley's lost weight and Stacey has toned up so much that I'd hurt my knuckles if I tried to punch her in the stomach. My sister is half an inch taller than me, and Oscar's has changed from icky purple to icky gray. Marks and Spencer's have added a few tables in the food court, and there's a Ben and Jerry's in the entrance to Fenwicks. Morpeth has also gained a Marks and Spencer's food court, and lost an Iceland.

But they're so minute, and so few. Intrinsically the place is exactly the same as when I left. I picked up conversations with friends from before I went away, and arguments with my father that we've been having for years. The old wine cellar has again changed from Fleetwoods to Rumours, but its the same type font, same colour scheme, and same designs on the windows. I've walked into a time warp. A perpetual ground hog day which I can come back to whenever I please and still meet the same people, go to the same places, and have the exact same conversations.

Its comforting.

I've never thought of here as home. The village is... tiny, rural. I hate it. But this isn't about the village or the house. Home is me and my dad arguing about whether I made salad dressing or vinaigrette. Home is giggling with Stacey and Hayley in the Lemon while the dj puts really crap music on loud. Home is gossiping with my sister about who said this, and who did that. Home is going out, getting drunk, and failing to go home with anybody cos they're all ugly, irritating, and generally not worth it even when completely pissed.

And yes, I don't want to spend my life here. I don't even want to spend the next two months here. But it's important that I can come back here once in a while, because there's just too much stuff, too many memories, too many good and bad times, and all of them need to be remembered. If only for a very short time.

I don't want to live here, but I've missed being able to come back.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006 

That's Life

Packing is like getting dressed before a funeral. They’re both so painful, yet also mechanic. My suitcase is huge, it could fit both children in easily, and it’s still just under the twenty kilos required. Though this is only due to severe abuse of the hand luggage rules. I’m allowed eight kilos hand luggage, I’m not sure if that’s enough.

Whenever you pack you have to say goodbye just a little bit. Whether you say it to a home, a place, or a lifestyle, it still has to be said. I hate saying goodbye. I’ve said it so often in my life that it kills me, it doesn’t get easier, it just goes on hurting.

This one hurts me. I don’t want to say goodbye. I want to go home, I’ve been away too long, I’m too far, and it’s too alien. But I’m saying goodbye to a version of a home. I’m saying goodbye to the only home that hasn’t been completely dysfunctional that I’ve lived in. I’m saying goodbye to a version of normalcy, a routine, a haven. And that’s hard.

I’m going to miss the cries of “Harr-ri-riitttttt” every morning from Robin. I’m going to miss putting Finn to sleep at night, his head resting on my arm as he looks with heavily lidded eyes at the bottle of milk I’m holding in his mouth. I’m going to miss chasing them around the house trying to retrieve the broom that they’ve decided is a great toy. I’m going to miss putting an end to their respective suicide attempts as they jump in the deep end of the swimming pool, dive down staircases, and hit themselves over the head with rocks.

I have a place here. I have a purpose, and I have unconditional acceptance if not love from two toddlers. I go home to a screaming household, crazy friends, and invoices for one thousand seven hundred pounds from the University. And that’s good too, that’s how it should be, and I’ve missed it. There’s an ex boyfriend for me to have tantrums about, a lot of old flings to be avoided like the plague, and a substantial amount of wine, spirits, and beer to be consumed in my own suicide attempt. I haven’t managed the arguments properly this summer with my father; for some reason it just isn’t the same over the phone. And tomorrow I have to go through my sister’s room, retrieving all the things she has “borrowed” from my room while I was away. I might leave that till Thursday, it will take far too long and I’m fully booked tomorrow.

So I have a place there too. As I’ll have a place at uni, and a place in New York when I make the first ever visit next year. That’s what I call progress, who thought I’d ever contemplate setting foot in the place? Never mind actually plan logically, and notify my mother (never a good thing to do, her hopes are so easily raised). God, three months with her… What am I thinking??? But never mind, cross that bridge when its there in front of me, refusing to budge out my way.

Over the years there will be many different niches for me to fill. There’ll be other people who’ll rely on me, and other times in which I’ll be forced to regret saying goodbye. But it won’t hurt less each time I do it; it’ll just be a different sort of hurt, each one unique to the situation.

So tomorrow, when I get on that plane, I’ll be saying goodbye. And it will hurt. But that’s life.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006 


I’ve written my book. It isn’t as written as if I’d actually written it yet, but writing is the easy part of the deal. Ideas, a story line, a decent beginning and end, they’re the things that have previously managed to elude me. But I did it. Sort of. I didn’t realise I had. It was just a notebook in which I noted down a few ideas, etc. But I looked through it last night and was riveted. It wasn’t intended as a story, it wasn’t intended as anything. It is probably the only place I write that I am completely and utterly honest about everything. I’m honest in my blog, but it’s easy to be dishonest by simply leaving things out. I do that a lot.

Maybe it’s the honesty that riveted me. Maybe because I’d started out writing something that wasn’t even about me, and realised how much it told about me without my meaning it to. Whatever, it gave me a shock, and it will work. It’s… different. I guess in a way it’s a memoir, and it’s strange. I love it. I want to write it. And it’s already written. It needs padding, bulking out a lot, it needs to be written in a way that is slightly less expectant that the only person who will read it is me.

I’m not so certain about selling it. Given how revealing it is I sort of don’t want to. There are just too many inadvertent references. To sell a book you need so many readers, and to be properly successful you need to be at least heard of by ninety percent of the population. That’s too many people. It’s too private. It’s too much me. Does that make any sense?

But that’s okay. I can reel off fiction without any problems if only I have the time and energy. But I don’t have an interest in it at the minute. There isn’t anything I want to write like this. So maybe I’ll just write this one for me, maybe I’ll disguise it a little, though I think that would make it less powerful. Maybe we’ll just have to see. But whatever happens, I will write it.


Friday, August 18, 2006 

Getting iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin?

I feel... flat. I'm not sure whether I'm relieved, or miserable, or ecstatic. Somewhere verging on all of them, if that's at all possible.

So yesterday I woke up. Looked at the clock, six thirty am. Hmmmm. So that's... what? Five thirty English time, and results come out at eight thirty GMT, nine thirty here... So three hours. Well, three and a half by the time my dad gets in, gets the results, then finds a phone. Bugger.

Nine o clock (GMT) finds me on the edge of my seat, small bowl of cocoa pops (or whatever they've changed their name to now) in front of me untouched, and another bowl beside that which I am using to feed the baby some sort of cream coloured mush. Cue phone ringing. Drop spoon, push bowl out of reach of grabbing hands of baby, sprint towards phone on counter, pick up.


"Hi Harriet, I've got your results here, I don't know what they mean!" Panicked voice of father comes through the receiver. "I can't make head or tail of them! Advanced GCSE grade B? What does it mean??"

"Dad! I'm not taking GCSE's! Are you sure you've got the right sheet there?"

Angry as well as panicked now, "I don't know! It must be this other one. Erm... Biology U, D. Chemistry- D, C. Which one is it??"

"U???? I got an Ungraded in Biology??? Aaaaaaaaaagh! Find a teacher, find someone, anyone, get them to translate! A UUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Okay, I'm going, Bye."

Ungraded. Shit. Thats pretty awful even for me. I expected to just miss the grades, not fail so badly I didn't even get a passing grade.

Phone rings five minutes later. "Okay, Harriet. You've got... a D in physics, a C in Biology, and a C in Chemistry."

Tense, "a C in Chemistry, its definitely a C in Chemistry??"

"Well, according to this anyway. Three hundred and sixty points is a C. Whatever that means."

"Dad! I got iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!!!!!!!!!!!! I needed the C! I got iiiiiiiiiiiin!!!!!!!!!!!"

So, as of the twenty ninth of september, I am a uni student. I did crap, but I got into uni! With practically no work whatsoever. Maybe I should develop some kind of work ethic soon. Yup. Definitely. Very soon. But who cares right now, cos I got iiiiiiiiiiiiin!

Now all I need to do is not die at university. Oh, and maybe not drop out either. Thats pretty important too. But, at least it gives me another month of free time where I can sit back, relax, and smugly know that for a while at least, I don't really have to do that much. Thats what I call happiness.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 


Tomorrow I get my A level results.

I've never been so terrified.

I hope I don't fail.

If I fail then I'm stuck in Northumberland for another year. At least. The idea is so depressing I feel phsically sick. I love home. Adore it. But I only feel this way when I've got a sea and a few countries separating me from it. When I'm there I feel claustrophobic, irritable, and depressed. Permanently. I can't go back and do it all again.

But what else is there? The real world? I don't feel ready for it. I don't feel mature enough. I don't feel like I belong in it. I belong in bed with a nice big bottle of sparkling white wine and some Jack Daniels on the table beside me. I belong ten years in the future, or one year in the past, when I've got myself worked out, and have happiness on tap. I can't promise that in ten years time I'll have that, but anything has to be better than this suspended lifestyle I have now. It's been wonderful, but its just been rent-free. A holiday from reality if you like. Waiting for the big stuff, the important stuff, the stuff that changes everything.

Tomorrow is pivotal. It may not be so important that it'll kill me if I don't get the desired results. It isn't neccessairily negative or positive whatever happens, but it's all got to change from now on. Now I have to decide what comes next. Tomorrow I get my results, and from next wednesday I am effectively jobless. Again. If I don't get into uni I don't have any comfort zones. I can't just work full time in the pub for a while cos I gave that up. Its a new start whatever, and I don't know where to go. Tomorrow decides that. And its too much.

I'm scared.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

Decaffeinated coffee

I told him I was going to be a nun.

I just couldn’t think of what else to do. For him it’ll just be a very transparent excuse so that I could get round to the important bit- you’ll have to make do with a postcard sweetie cos I’m not going to sleep with you. I can’t sleep with him. I want to, it was great, but fuck am I going there again. I’m fine. Right? I don’t want to do all that again.

I need to understand the situation better. Apparently he’s been telling everyone that I propositioned him. I just don’t know who he told, and the person I thought he’d told said he hadn’t. Confused? Yup, very. I’m not in the right country to sort this mess out. And to be honest, I’m not that bothered if he has said that. I mean, I know that its not exactly making me look great, but I did it, and I am not so naïve that I expected him to not boast about how he was gonna get his leg over. Men are children, and I’m working with children right now, they like to show off.

When I first heard about it I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Propositioning men is fine, especially if they’re more than willing to take you up on it, but propositioning an ex? We’re getting onto slightly uneven ground here. I have a fantastic defense- I was lonely, home sick, in need of comfort, etc. Truth is, I wanted to, so I did. Story of my life. I’m hardly the first girl to want to sleep with her ex; it definitely wouldn’t be out of the ordinary if I did sleep with him. But for me it wouldn’t be a good idea.

It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m not in love with him, I still love him in a way, but not like I did. And I don’t want casual sex right now. God knows why, its great. But for some reason I want to fall in love. Again. And be hurt all over again, its just this time I won’t be as terrified therefore withdrawn.

I love that he can cheer me up when I’m in the deepest depression, even now, by simply talking crap. I love that skip I felt for a second before complete rage when I was told he missed me. I love that he made me so happy for longer than I thought it possible for me to be happy with five men never mind one. And I love that I was with him even though everyone else was unsure, because it meant that I was with him simply for me and because I felt he was right for me.

But I’ve grown up. Not a lot I’ll admit if I’m resorting to telling people I’m becoming a nun rather than facing them off like I should. But the nun thing is just filler. I’m in Germany, I’ve got results to look forward to, and I’ve got a book on a deadline and I haven’t written it yet. I will face him off, but not until I arrive home, unpack, see all my friends and family, and get very very drunk. And THEN I will see him. When sober of course.

Now all I need to do is work out how to stop spending money. I bought four pairs of sunglasses today. Four! Who knew how addictive it could be to shop?

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 


I’m being a very bad blogger at the minute.

It’s just, what with uploading the hundreds of photos I’ve got, and emailing people, and being miserable, and NOT starting smoking… Well, you know, I’ve got a lot on my plate.

But, I’ll endeavor to be my usual free-loading self and tell you all whassup in my life at the minute. Take a seat, this may take a while.

The first, and probably least, of my problems (though the one I am experiencing most right now) is the fact that a few moments ago, I came to the conclusion that I strongly resemble a guinea pig. It’s the teeth. For some reason they just stick out that little too much over my lower lip in a few (okay, one) of the photos I’ve been uploading for relatives/ friends to see how I’m doing in picturesque Deutschland at the moment. I find this greatly disturbing. What if as I get older, they stick out more and more in an exponential growth that finally ends with me looking buck-toothed and ugly? I’ll look like a rabbit.

Slightly more stressful is the fact that on Thursday it is Results Day. Very worrying. I’ve been getting nightmares and flashbacks to the exams. Remembered answers I KNOW I got wrong, etc. And also glimpses of myself asleep before the exam, revision guide pasted to my face, clock sitting beside me saying things like one pm, eleven am, six in the evening, times I should be revising. Or worse, sitting in front of the computer playing with blog templates, or hours on the phone fighting with friends (and friend’s mothers) about bitch fights and well, rumors that while unfair, I can sort of derive some pleasure from considering subsequent events.

I hate exams. Truly. But these I really fucked up in. Call it laziness, call it alcoholism, call it depression, all were factors. And on Thursday I receive a lovely phone call at nine thirty in the morning telling me the exact fruits of my labour. I won’t be reaping a huge harvest this year I can tell you.

Lastly, though not least, is the fact that I return home in a few weeks, and have made a decision that while not bad, is going to cause me problems. You remember a while ago I made reference to a conversation with the ex? If you don’t, you can find it here.

Actually, you know. I don’t even want to talk about what I make of it all. Let’s just get down the facts:
  • He misses me. Apparently.
  • I miss him. But you already knew that.
  • We’re talking a reasonable amount, though a lot less so at the minute as I was trying to be mature and finish whatever might have been or might still be before I go home.
  • He wants to see me.
  • I feel like I have to see him just to get things sorted out in my own head.

It’s stupid. I know it is. He’s not allowed to miss me. That doesn’t fit with my views of our relationship, or his reasons for wanting to see me again. I just don’t have room for it in my head or something, it isn’t right. It can’t be. But then, what’s going on??

And ignoring that, assuming that he really does miss me, and that I’m not being lied to and having mind games played with me. What do I want? Do I want him to miss me? Do I want him back? How would that even work? I mean, Christ, it just wouldn’t.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. This isn’t allowed to be right. I don’t have enough brain cells anymore. I don’t want to get hurt again. And I don’t even want revenge. I don’t want to see him so I can tramp on him, I don’t know what I want. And what does it matter? I’m well and truly fucked.

Why am I still doing this??


Thursday, August 10, 2006 

Soul Searching (Fear and Addiction)

A long time ago I was scared. I was frightened of so much. I feared falling in love because I’d have my heart broken. I feared having anything more than a fling in case I fell in love. I was scared of going into sixth form and not seeing my friends- scared we’d grow apart. I was worried whenever we went into pubs or clubs in case we got ID’d. I was terrified of everything new, while at the same time afraid of missing out.

It’s hard to find something to be terrified of anymore. It’s like wearing an emotional rubber glove. I keep sticking my hands into scalding water, but with the glove on it just feels tepid. In the past few years I’ve done a lot that previously terrified me. In the case of visiting Berlin I literally bought the T-shirt. And I love it, of course. But that rubber glove isn’t just wrapped around my fear; it wrapped itself around my other emotions at the same time.

Kate told me I was unreadable. She’s lived with me for a month and a half now and says most of the time she can’t tell whether I’m happy or sad, enjoying myself or miserable. She says her husband can’t read me either. At my old job my boss was constantly telling he wished he knew what I was thinking, he said I just didn’t show what was in my head. I’ve always kept up this exterior since my father told me never to show fear because showing it was a weakness. So the more terrified I was, the less I allowed to appear on the surface.

Then finally a few months back he changed his mind. When he told me to hide my weaknesses I was only a kid, seven or eight years old, overly vulnerable and very emotional. At eighteen he said I’d gone too far. I didn’t let any weaknesses show, I seemed too strong and it maybe made it hard for other people to get close to me. He said I always had a smart, sarcastic come back, I laughed too much off, and though it wasn’t exactly that I’d become plastic, it was more that what I did let show was a façade rather than actuality.

Now I’m not scared, so by my father’s rule when I was seven or eight years old, for a time I should be able to let a few things past my guard. Whatever I show cannot be the weakness of fear, so there is no problem. But now I do feel plastic. Keeping up the façade went from something practiced to simply part of being me. I’ve done it too long.

And there are so many scars. The only time I allow anyone to see them is in this freaking blog, and that doesn’t help me. If the only time I allow myself to feel things is when I’m writing, then what kind of existence will I have? But I guess it isn’t just when I’m writing. I have emotions when I’m drunk too. That’s why I took to alcohol so easily I guess, it allowed me an outlet, an excuse to let down the guards that so exhausted me. And it probably explains why I reached my peak of pissheadedness when I was in the only long term relationship I’ve ever let myself have. The only way it stayed long term was because I spent so much time drunk, so could actually feel normal emotions.

God I sound like an addict.

But I know I am one. I’ve gone cold turkey. Really cold turkey not just the pretend version I showed everyone when I had exams. This time I don’t quietly when I’m depressed and no one is looking. This time it actually feels hard. Because this time I’m not pretending to myself, I’m not getting by by telling myself that its just till the exams are over, or that no one will notice if the vodka drops a few inches. It doesn’t matter if no one notices because I will, and I count for more than everyone else as I’m the one I’m doing damage to.

I’ll never be t-total. Just forget it. I’m a piss head. Sue me.

But it isn’t about the drinking. It’s about the drinking because I can’t feel emotions any other way. It’s about the binge writing depressing maudlin prose onto my computer. It’s about being constantly asked if I’m alright and enjoying myself, because no one can tell any other way.

I never told you I wasn’t fucked up. And relationship wise, I’m at a standstill. Some may tell you this is because I’m maturing and have gotten over the hitting on/ allowing other to hit on me simply cos I’m bored and feeling depressed. I disagree. I’ve matured, in a warped way I really have. What I did was learned a little about value. I’ve never professed to be ugly. I’ve got an ego on me, and would rate myself somewhere just above average and verging on unusual. Not pretty, not beautiful, but for all intents and purposes, okay.

But though I thought that I wasn’t ugly, there seemed to be some leap in logic that I just couldn’t make. If I look attractive enough, then people would find me attractive. Right? Okay, fine. Its just I find it hard to believe that someone would want anything more than sex. And I don’t know if I figured this was something to do with my appearance that said “just shag me, nothing else,” or something to do with my personality that would put them off. Probably the personality one. Either way, with men I was insecure as fuck, and compensated for my complete belief that no one could actually like me for more than a night by not letting them get the chance. I pushed people away, and only really felt attracted to people who were very obviously going to do so. That way they lived up to my expectations, and because I expected it, it didn’t hurt so much.

I don’t know if this is making sense. The object of this seems to have dissipated as I’ve rambled, but I’ll continue (sorry) because it’s making sense to me and it’s sort of helping.

Recently I figure that I don’t want that anymore. I’ve got a craving. I’ll say it here and now, I’m a VERY addictive personality and if I enjoy it, I’ll get addicted. So men, yeah, believe me, I want them. At the minute, with the stupid numbers of ice cream parlors in Germany, I’ve managed to substitute a lot of ice cream instead of giving in. The kids are helping keep me too exhausted, and all in all I’d say I’m doing fairly well. I’m not saying I’m celibate like I wasn’t saying I was t-total. I’m merely saying that for a while I’m abstaining from as many of my addictions as possible in the hope that I’ll be able to get a better grip on them when I decide that it’s the right time.

From the stress I don’t know how many times I’ve nearly started smoking and then stopped myself in pure horror.

I came here as… I don’t know what exactly. A way of removing myself from the world for a brief time. It was the right thing to do. But I guess I’m still scared. I’m not scared of the same things, but I am scared that I’ll have to stay celibate forever because how can anyone want me? It doesn’t matter what you look like when you’re so screwy that you can’t even tell what day of the week it is. How can someone love someone who only shows emotions when they’re off their head with alcohol? I’m scared that this time isn’t enough to fix me, and that I’ll never work out how to show my emotions. I’m absolutely terrified that someone will finally tell me they love me, and I’ll fuck it all up by being physically unable to tell them it back.

I’m scared I’ll get fat on all this ice cream I’m eating.

It doesn’t matter. I’ve spent the last two years trying to reach eight and a half stone and it’s no good, I can eat a freezer section in iceland and I’ll still be stuck at eight. Emotionally, I’m stunted. I’ve been damaged too many times now. I don’t think I can change. But it isn’t nice to realise that about yourself.

Maybe I should just say screw it and go back to the alcohol. Maybe take up smoking too while I’m at it. At least that way I’ll be able to cope with it all. But, somehow, I don’t think it would make me happy. And unfortunately, in the end, it isn’t about feeling great when the world is fuzzy and everyone, even that strange person who kind of looks odd and won’t leave me alone, is lovely. It isn’t about having great sex with just anyone who comes along. It isn’t about being beautiful or getting whichever man I wish. Drunk is easy, great sex is maybe a little harder to come by, but still not impossible. And men? You’ve just got to wear the right kind of skirt and have the right attitude. Happiness is hard. Happiness doesn’t come along every day. And happiness is so elusive right now that I’m frightened it will never come.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006 



People see me; glance down at the pram, then look up at me again in confusion. Inwardly I’m screaming, “Of course they aren’t mine you bloody eedjits!” but they don’t take any heed to the silent screams I’m psychically sending out, they just continue to look up and down from me, to the pram, back to me, back to the pram. Yeah, okay, you’re confused. Fine, I mean, I’m pretty sure its genetically impossible for any kids of mine to be blonde, blue eyed, and well… not stocky, but you know, normal looking. My kids are gonna be skinny, and, if not dark like me, they’ll at the lightest have brown hair and green eyes. So two Arian kids calling me, “mama” as I push them around the supermarkets is bound to be confusing.

It isn’t the confusion I’m bothered about, it’s the fact that on first glance they see me, and a pram, and they aren’t confused. They’re simply accepting. They only start to get a little baffled when they notice the completely opposing features between me and the kids. I mean, I’m bloody Chinese! Teenage mommies are accepted, that’s great. But teenage mommies of two? TWO kids. To have had two kids in such a short period of time (seventeen months between them) I’d either look like a dough ball or at least slightly more drained. I take pride in the fact that I have a completely flat stomach; I don’t have much else to take pride in. Could I have forced two kids out of me and still look reasonably healthy? Do I look that bad??

I asked Robin, “Do I look old enough to be a mama?” He looked up at me from his trike consideringly for a few seconds, and said measuredly, “yes.” I stood and stared into the mirror for about ten minutes. Searching. Searching for lines, for signs that I’d somehow become older without noticing. Searching for anything to show that I’d lost my youthful, “don’t let me into nightclubs,” “people mistake me for being younger than my sixteen year old sister” charm. And the scary thing is that I found it. And worse, I realised that it wasn’t from outside myself that I found it. My face is older than I remember it, and I’ve put on just enough weight for it to be noticeable and to make me feel a little guilty about forgetting to do my three hundred sit ups every night for the past week or so, but that isn’t the reason I’m so different.

I can tell you the difference between the attitudes of the children to me over the past month in a step by step plan of tiny victories. The day I learnt how to change a nappy, the day Robin stopped throwing his food about when I told him to rather than grinning and proceeding to throw it at me instead of the wall. I learnt how to be a mother, I learnt how to cook, I learnt how to get myself out of bed on time, and I learnt how to drink alcohol in moderation. I do housework, I change nappies in mere seconds, I multi task wiping faces, feeding kids, and talking on the phone to my dad about plane tickets. The kids’ attitude changed as they developed trust for me. But it also changed when I started to act like a figure of authority rather than just a bigger version of themselves.

I got a scare when I looked in that mirror. I haven’t actually looked at myself in… I really have no idea how long. You look in the mirror, you see the face in terms of “eyeliner goes here,” “more moisturizer there,” and “that colour really doesn’t suit my skin tone.” But I never actually look in the mirror and really look at myself. Some people do. Some people notice every line, some people genuinely care. But I’m me, I do the stuff that makes me presentable, but it’s mechanical. When I looked at myself, really looked I mean, I got the fright of my life.

In films there’s a moment. This pivotal point where everything suddenly changes, a transition point if you wish. And for me that was that point. I suddenly realised that I don’t write about being scared I’ll never grow up anymore. I don’t worry that whatever I do isn’t going to be enough, that people will be disappointed, and that I’ll forever spend my life being useless and inadequate. I don’t do that because I’ve already worked those things out, I’ve worked myself out. I’m not just a little girl who is only good for waitressing and getting passable grades in academia without too much effort. I found that I could do something hard, I could do it reasonably well and better, that when I become a parent I won’t be my mother. She couldn’t have done what I’m doing now; it would have driven her mad. She was a parent, but looking after two kids was too much, looking after three caused her to move to a different continent to escape.

My biggest fear has always been turning into her. And now I know that I can’t, I won’t, I don’t have to spend so much time freaking out that I will. I don’t have to avoid being in relationships, or any sort of adult situation where I could make the same mistakes. I am not her, and there isn’t any danger of me becoming her. I’m in no way close to mature, but I’m immature in the same way as everyone else is. I have my faults, but they’re acceptable, they’re normal. I’m not a failure because of them, and they don’t define who I am.

Coming here wasn’t a mistake. It made me grow up, and it’s taught me more than I could ever have expected. It diverted me when I needed it most, and gave me confidence that I no longer need to worry about who I am. Yes, I’ll fuck up, and yes I’ll be a complete idiot A LOT. But that’s okay, I’m not abnormal.

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About me

  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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Save the Albatrosses


    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
  • Save the Albatrosses
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