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A blog about OCD and Childhood Trauma whilst living in South Korea.

The thing is with trauma – is that it isn’t one size fits all. So when I started to have a meltdown – I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. 

Cue: another shite time in my life. 

I was living in South Korea at this point. My great plan was – to move to South Korea, read a ton of books and stay away from the party scene. Well. Guess what! That never happened!!! Little did I know that there is a huge drinking culture in South Korea. I managed to hibernate for my first few weeks in the country. But that quickly got boring and pretty isolating. It was not like I could just pop to the shop and pick up a magazine or a new book. So I needed to meet some other people. Some other people who could speak english. There was a huge British ex-pat scene where I was residing – and it was very welcoming. Every weekend people would visit a music festival or get the coach and hang out in Seoul. A jimjilbang is relatively cheap so travelling is  pretty easy. Living in Korea felt like being in a 1950’s England. And despite what was going on with the North, it felt generally quite safe to reside there. A lot of that felt due to the fact that Asian men didn’t seem inherently sexually interested in western women. And British men seemed far more interested in the Asian women. Although don’t get me wrong I did have a few flings/dates. But nothing that developed further than first base. This is important to know… for the rest of the story…

There were some fun times spent in Korea. Until I started to develop OCD. Also known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The pianist James Rhodes has most bravely written about the after effects of his childhood abuse in his book Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music, which was blocked from publication by a temporary court injunction prompted by his former wife. She had claimed that publishing the book, in which James Rhodes discusses details of sexual abuse as a child, would psychologically harm their child. Tsk. 

For me. That book was like reading a tick list of the generic after effects of sexual abuse. 

OCD was one of them. And I could relate. Of course I didn’t read that book til many years later.. so I’ve yet again.. digressed. 

So there I was in Korea. On the other side of the freaking world. When I started to have intrusive thoughts. I started to panic about HIV infection. HIV infection or fear of contamination is actually one of the number one concerns of someone with OCD. My ‘father’.. my oh so lovely biological father – had told me as a child that I was going to die of HIV if I ever had sex with a man. I believe that that is where it all started. The fear had been imprinted into my mind at a young age. He would then show me a picture in the Encylopedia, of a female hymen that had been torn. 

“I will KNOW if you have had sex with someone!” he would whisper coldly staring at me. He would then go on to tell me that if a guy ever ‘fingered me’ (gross wording there) then he would probably scratch the whole inside of my vagina and I would bleed to death.

I do remember having a crush on my big brothers friend Michael. God. He was gorgeous. And, whenever he used to come round to visit, I would scramble up to my bedroom window and look out for him. My ‘father’ would appear at my bedroom door. 

“I know what you’re doing” he would insinuate. Warning me. Shaming me. Attempting to control me. I don’t know how he knew what I was always up to.

And so, like a ton of bricks PTSD and OCD came to haunt me whilst I was living in the deepest darkest depths of a foreign country. 

Fucking great. 

An old university friend at the time had invited me to visit in Hong Kong. 

“I think you have OCD Becks”.. she had written to me, listening to my panic over email. 

I had since moved to Busan which was on the southern tip of Korea. It was mainly an american expat scene, and I was far away from the more cosmopolitan Seoul. My new school was amazing. It’s interior was like a den of different Wendy houses. One room would be decorated like a hospital ward and another might be like a rainforest. Owned by a multi-millionaire who had had a ton of plastic surgery, she homed me in a dirty apartment on the other side of town. All night the windows shook from the wind and men glugged beers outside my window hocking and spitting as they drank (in some areas of Korea they spit a lot). 

That was the final straw. I woke up early the next morning. Packed my stuff. And snuck in to the school before anyone else arrived to retrieve my passport that I had given in. 

And off I flew to Hong Kong with the intention of travelling up to China to work. 

The first thing I did when I got to Hong Kong was have a HIV test. It was of course, clear. Because I hadn’t actually had sex with anyone. And of course, when you enter South Korea as a teacher you are tested for diseases, HIV being one of them. Not to mention I’d been in a trusting long term relationship before I jetted off. 

But logic does not come into a mental illness. 

Hong Kong was amazing. And I felt revived after spending some time with an old familiar friend. So I decided to travel on the 24 hour night train through China to Beijing. I absolutely loved this part of the journey. Watching people working in the fields as we passed through. It was a wonderful way to see the country. I was the only foreigner on the train, which I didn’t mind. I was designated the top bunk opposite a priest who spent the night with a pillow over his head (I suspected it was because he was sleeping opposite a woman). Sometimes I have found that the journey can quite often be more exciting than arriving at the destination. 

A man on the train to Beijing..

Going to China, whilst I’m grateful of having been was in hindsight (always in hindsight) a terrible idea. Beijing is pretty hard to navigate. And I was already on the verge of crashing. It didn’t matter how far I ran, I could not escape. 

Cue: my next sexual health check. 

On reflection it really wasn’t ‘normal’ to seek out another sexual health clinic (having just been to one in HK and being told I was fine). I was running out of money swiftly. But there I was. Number one tourist destination! The sexual health clinic! What absolute FUN! 

I entered the white walled building. Filled in a form. And had the tests. Swabs. Spatulas. The full works. Chinese doctor/nurses were scrambling about between my legs speaking not a word of English (makes sense. I was in China at this point). But I must of missed something. Because, when they gave me the bill, it was a small fortune that I didn’t have. And they wouldn’t give me the results until I paid it. 

Cue. They wouldn’t give me the results. Cue: heightened anxiety just made worse from having people poke about inside me in a foreign country. And I didn’t have the money. It was too much. A very stern doctor was speaking to me in very fast mandarin. Despite her hand gestures I still couldn’t gauge what she was trying to say. And so, I walked out of the building after being swabbed jabbed and prodded. None the wiser. And feeling a lot worse I crashed down on a step in the middle of Beijing alone. And cried. I cried and cried and cried. 

And a little voice in my head spoke to me.. (my voice).. ‘there’s something wrong with you Becks.. you need to go home’

I called my mother. Her partner at the time was in the background. We had an ok relationship. He was pretty controlling. You know the sort of guy that would prefer it if his partner didn’t have offspring. 

“Well she can’t come and stay here!” he bellowed. 

“Well fine! I don’t want to go and fucking stay there” I probably uttered in response. But to be honest. It would have been kind of fucking nice to have somewhere to go. 

So that was that, I booked a flight and flew out of China. Unfortunately at this point I didn’t entirely know where it was I was going to go. Luckily, someone I barely knew had seen I was leaving the East and returning to the West, and offered to let me stay. This was a saving grace due to the power of social media. Phew.  

I had at this point, literally, no money. However, what I did have was a case with Warwickshire council who was meant to look after me as a child but never actually did. I had requested my child file, before I had left England. I had been confused as to why I had had no support post trial. I understood that pre trial, a person isn’t allowed therapy. For it might affect the case.

But. I was promised therapy and support post trial when it came to the court case ending (he got a year of which he served six months – due to a plea bargain – but more on that another time) .. but of course. That never bloody happened. When I received my file from social services I was shocked. ‘Rachel won’t come downstairs today’.. was written by whomever was meant to be looking out for me but wasn’t. In fact, it called me Rachel throughout in various places. My name is Rebecca, in case anyone reading this has forgotten.

My social services file..

And so I had significant evidence of not being supported, as a child, who had to take her ‘father’ to court. The doctor had lost my referral for the therapy I was meant to have. And I was put on a waiting list. There were many pitfalls, but I won’t go into that now. The point is – at this point in time, I had a case on with the council – who were close to admitting fault. They had offered me a measly £1000 for the absolute terrible lack of care, that had resulted in my attempting to commit suicide, and being thrown out of the family home. 

Initially I had refused to accept this offer. But I was now, quite literally, penniless, and struggling. And needed money. Quick. And so I accepted the £1000. When I phoned to ask for the cheque, giving in to the power greater than I…  I was met with the rudest woman on the phone. As I cried. Her tone of voice was cold and cruel as she went through the specifics with me. 

I now know that what I was suffering from was severe anxiety. Searching for a way to cope and feel safe in a world where I didn’t. I must have been on my 100th visit to the STD clinic – where I loved to obviously spend most of my time. When a nurse checked my records. 

“We can’t test you today..” she said…. 

“What.. but why!?” I panicked.  

“Because you were here last month, and the month before that.. and the month before that..”… she replied. 

I could have been a sex worker that needed regular tests. But I didn’t think of pushing that line at the time. 

At this point I was living in a shared house, in Peckham. It was depressing. My anxiety was so bad – that I couldn’t even sit on a shared toilet. I couldn’t even sit on a shared toilet. And if I did have to use the toilet there was a lot of scrubbing involved. And so.. I would take a bucket to my room. And pee in the bucket because it was easier to do that than have to deal with the intrusive thoughts.

I actually feel quite tearful writing this. Because when I look back, I wonder how I got through and survived these times. 

“You are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation” my doctor had said at the time.. 

And so I had a breakdown in the sexual health clinic. And the nurse marched me to the counselling room. And there I was given a psychosexual therapist.. and she was the most brilliant of therapists.. 

“We only have 12 weeks so we’re going to have to work pretty fast” she had said to me. It felt like she cared. She was strong. She was powerful. And she pushed me. 

“What are you feeling now?!” She would say. “Er Nothing. I would respond. She would push my buttons to rile me up. “NOW what are you feeling!?”. It kinda felt quite cruel. 

“Er. Nothing..” I would carry on. “Angry!?” she would offer up. Do you feel angry..!?! she would push. 

Finally I said it. “Yeah. I feel angry. I feel angry. And sad”.. I responded. 

She winked at me, smiling. It took me twelve weeks to identify a feeling. And… that was just the beginning…

I am sharing this story. Because I wonder if I had read about someone else’s experience at the time – then perhaps it would have helped me. At the time of my depression I missed (at the time) a good friends christening. I heard it on the grapevine a few years later that rumour had it ‘that I couldn’t be bothered to go’. We live in a culture that encourages people to put a brave face on rather than open up. ‘Get over it, move on, or let it go’ without actually offering any real solutions as to how to do that. It is important to ask ourselves, am I truly listening to this person. Or am I judging. Condemning or shutting somebody down. 

And if this helps one other person who is going through it right now.. you’re not alone. 

Phew. I’m the strongest person I know. 

But seriously. Could have done without all that shit really. And I could be embarrassed about all this. But seriously. What is the point. And how is that helpful? I am simply a human. Writing about my experience of being human.

Quite liking this tune by The Wombats.. Turn.

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Life is What Happens

“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

The thing with life is – like the famous saying goes ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’.. that when you think everything is about to get better. It can hit you with another life issue and quite easily knock you off balance. Alice Herz Somme r in her documentary says that life goes UP and.. down UP and down and that’s life (she lived til 106!).

Sometimes I tell myself to ‘be like the oak tree that weathers the storms… strong, powerful and unwavering’. But. Quite frankly that can be quite hard to do sometimes. For the past year my mobility has gotten severely worse. And as a usually active person it has been a hard pill to swallow. It has taken a little over two years to get a proper diagnosis. It was put down to a sports injury by medical professionals and therefore the battle to be heard commenced. Friends who invited me out thought I was exaggerating when I replied saying ‘I can’t walk very well so won’t be able to’. A cloud of depression covered my world like a dark cloud, as I felt like all my own efforts to not drown were being ignored as I didn’t feel like I was being taken seriously. 

Unfortunately some of us in life do not have support from family. Which can be hard to disclose to others – I’ve spent many a Christmas alone. But. To be honest, I never really liked Christmas anyway. As a child my grandma would come to visit.  Well. She was a grumpy old bag… (honestly she really was)…. And of course she used to get my bed when she came to visit. In my room. And well you know what that means don’t you?

No you don’t. Oh I forget that. I forget, sometimes that people cannot read my mind. That we didn’t all have the same dark childhood that I had. 

Ok. Well it meant I had to sleep in my parents bedroom. And considering I was being abused by my biological father of course I dreaded being anywhere near him. I did not want to make the access to me any easier for him. In those days I used to pretend I was deaf a lot (I must of been around 8/9 at this point). Unfortunately, one day, when I was taken to the hearing specialist. The man who was examining me blew my cover. I wasn’t too happy about that as he finished the examination on my ears exclaiming “there’s nothing wrong with her!” to my mother. Tsk. Fucking idiot. Thanks for that. Now I can see why people are labelled as ‘survivors’. I never used to like that term much. But it’s true really isn’t it. You develop as a child – strategies to survive. 

Anyway I’ve digressed. Sometimes – the avoidance of thinking about my past has meant that it has come back two fold in adulthood. The memories and the flashbacks. Like a whole other world that has come back to haunt me. Like waking up from a very bad dream. But that was then. And this is now. 

So it wasn’t until I went to a hospital appointment – and decided to take a Boris bike as I needed to gain some fitness back taking the route across Hyde Park. The bike was so heavy. And I was probably moving at about 1 mile per hour. ‘Oh my god!’… ‘I’ve gotten so unfit’ I thought to myself as a hot guy on his racer sped past me giving me the most quizzical look. So embarrassing.

But now I was stuck in the middle of the huge park with not a bloody parking bay in sight so I had to continue. Over the December period I had been emailing my Rheumatology team – ‘I can’t walk!’ I had declared miserably to them. So when I finally waddled in to my hospital appointment, n a huge amount of pain – the nurse looked gobsmacked. I saw her. And burst into tears. And that was the beginning of hopefully the end of this shitty journey! I was heard. She took me seriously. And I was immediately sent for an X-Ray.

I have found that the worst thing in life – is when you don’t have any hope.

Shawshank Redemption: Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies…

And to be honest by the end of that year – 2018 – I was starting to lose it. I was spending weeks at a time not leaving my flat. I’d had to drop out of my Masters. And I was not seeing anybody at all. Becoming more and more isolated. And to be honest I was embarrassed really. To let others know what was really going on. And scared.

There is nothing worse in life – than reaching out – for help and the door being firmly closed, locked and bolted. The trust one has to develop to actually reach out can be quite painful. For some. For me. The fear of rejection. And I guess as someone who couldn’t rely on parents or family to be there for me – I’ve had to be an island. 

I was at the hospital on Wednesday when the nurse had to ask me about my parents health.

“Do you have anyone to come and check in on you. What about your Dad where is he?”. I was in a good mood weirdly enough, hopeful to be finally being able to bounce about again on my legs. So when I was asked that question it took me by surprise. I gave in and disclosed what and why I do not have that sort of support system. The thing is. I’m used to it. I’ve lived with it my whole life. But the fear of how others receive it can sometimes be worse. The look of pity. The judgement? What is it they’re thinking?

“Sorry too much information!” I declared worrying about the feelings of the recipient. A behaviour I must have learnt as a child. To take care of the adults feelings around me and not my own. Eurgh.

But it’s not very nice is it. Not being able to be authentic. It gets exhausting no? The fear of judgment, or being shamed by other people who don’t want to hear the realities of what it is one is going through. The fear of being put in ‘that’ box. Feeling/being different to everyone else. Or people become some sort of pyschologist. Or they ask you if you’ve thought of visiting one (like one hasn’t thought of that one after how many years??? Hilar!) But surely it’s easier to look at someone else than oneself. Or. They shut you down because they don’t want to hear it/can’t cope with it or it makes them uncomfortable. 

Sometimes… sometimes I wonder if I’m still being encouraged by society to hide. Hide how I feel. Hide my life experiences. Like I’ve done something wrong? And you know. It’s exhausting carrying other people’s shame. And if I’m an adult and still struggle with sharing my truth – then how might a child feel about sharing theirs?

I had a good friend hang himself last year. He and his wife had written me a wonderful card a few days beforehand. And I thought. How can I tell others to be open and not to care what others think if I’m not doing the same?! What a contradiction. 

So this post is me not giving a fuck. Of me sharing my truth. About what I’m going though. About the isolation of having a chronic disease. About how sometimes I have felt jealous of Age Uk because they have so many cool workshops for people over 50 to go and connect – but I didn’t know where I fitted in. But life is getting better. And I feel hopeful as I have a hip operation date coming up. I feel hopeful. And I feel scared. And I suspect that is normal.

Have a great day! Becki Xx

ps if anyone knows/could recommend a designer that might want to help me improve my site please do let me know! 

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#timetotalk Out of the BLUE

#timetotalk Out of the BLUE

#TimetoTalk 

I was perusing the #timetotalk hashtag on twitter this morning. Reading about other peoples experiences with depression – and I started to feel slightly better. When you start to understand depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain – and that actually you are indeed human. Personally I feel that helps. That one is not alone despite ones surroundings.

*Looks around – nope am definitely alone right now*. Cue Tiffany ‘I think we’re alone now…’

The problem with feelings in my opinion –  is that I can tell myself how I am going to feel… but that actually never relays up. “I’m going to write this and I’m not going to feel ashamed or embarrassed about it” I whisper to myself.

Half an hour later I’m in a corner in a shame spiral.. (chk out Brene Browns ‘The Power of Vulnerability’)

2018 for me was a pretty crappy year. I was training for a half marathon a few years back. One day – I started limping. And that was that! Wear and tear of the joints took it’s toll and I couldn’t walk properly anymore.

“There’s nothing wrong with you!” my GP initially pushed. “It’s all in your head” another friend urged. Fuck you. My mind silently replied as my body screamed otherwise. Don’t listen to them..keep pushing.. 

And it got worse. And it got worse. And then. Out of the blue. My friend got diagnosed with stage four cancer of the oesophagus. At just 34.

“I kept going to the doctor over and over and they just kept giving me Rennie..” he told me. “I said to the nurse I don’t understand why they didn’t pick it up. She said it’s cos of my age. They don’t expect it at my age”. He passed away Sept 2018. RIP Michael.

And that was all I needed to start to freak out. I made a 20 minute at the doctors. “You can only bring one thing!” the GP always states. But what if they’re all related my mind argued back. So in my next appointment I talked really really fast determined to fit in all my issues and concerns without her cutting me off short.

 

“SoIcan’tWalkandItsReallyHurtingandI’mfatiguedandwhatifit’sCancerMyfriendsDead!Dead!AndNoOnePickeditUpandIcan’tWALKAndAnd..And… and…

No one warns you about life in your thirties. I have friends that love it. But in my opinion it kinda sucks. All your friends start dropping like fly’s – as they become impregnated. Fun friend holidays are cancelled. And in my case every guy you date assumes you want their baby… like seriously get over yourself.

“Hmmm shall we use two condoms just in case?” you smile at each other. “Let’s up it – why not make it three…of the extra strong ones”. Actually forget it might as well just use the vibrator.*Takes out the 10 incher.. *Bend over then.. 

The problem with social media and mental health issues in my opinion is the pressure to make out that life is perfect and that everything is going swimmingly. *Compare and watch your mind go straight to despair.*

For instance one of my best friends of over 20 years. Well in my opinion. Had the perfect life according to his social media posts. No one sees each other as often as one gets older. Life gets in the way as people are mating and procreating. So sometimes one relies on seeing peoples social media posts. 

Ryan: Married check! Lovely huge house in the country – check! Job? Check! Ok he hates his job. From what I can see. But then a lot of people do. Right? 

Then – last summer – one day I received a card in the post from him and his partner. A really nice card urging me to keep being open and to keep talking about life issues. Out of the blue. 

And two days later. He took himself to the summer house in his backyard. Put a towel over his head. And hung himself.

And then he was gone. Just like that.

RIP Ryan.

Ryan and me (before Jimmy Saville was declared a peadophile!)

It was around this time I decided to admit myself to rehab. My walking was getting worse and I was becoming more and more isolated. “Patience!” ordered by the doctor wasn’t working that well for me. I was feeling isolated. Bored. Frustrated.

I wasn’t getting much help from the mental health services (or family for that matter but that’s a given) and felt I needed some support.

Of course I didn’t want to go. A ‘proper’ rehab is hard. Plus you have to share a room. And the fear of who you’re going to be sharing with can be very off putting. Thankfully I was bloody lucky on that front. But many weren’t. Take one of the hardest ex gang members who’s icy cold stare would simply make you sweat as you end up becoming her subservient servant out of fear. And you have her standing over your bed in the middle of the night. You look up.. “Erm so…how many people did you say you stabbed?”. “Stop snoring!” she spits. Showering you in her saliva.

“I will not get close to anyone” I had told myself. From experience it’s not the *best* place to be making reliable healthy friendships.

But of course life has other plans.

And when you’re in a huge house with 20 or so others for two months without a TV/mobile phone/computer and anything that links you to reality. Well. Things don’t always turn out how you plan.

Despite the drama and confrontations I also met some great people. And also fell in love a little bit. With the wrong person.

“Oh look a silver fox has arrived!” my friend and roomie exclaimed one day. I uninterestedly glanced over at the new guy as he walked past. “Hmmm yeah” I replied returning back to my book.

And then I don’t know how it happened. But the days accumulated and we started to get closer. And ended up talking a lot. But he was married. And he also had a history of taking viagra behind his wives back and swiping on tinder. And when someone shows you who they are believe them the first time – as Maya Angelou says..  

Cringing I confided my lustful feelings to my designated male therapist. “You’re using on your feelings!” he exclaimed as I sunk lower into my chair. “It’s just reproduction in it’s rawest form!!!!” he pushed. He was pretty brutal sometimes.“Do we have to talk about this??” I replied wanting to disappear, staring at the clock ticking slowly behind him. It always ticks slow when you want it to move fast.

DEAR FEELINGS: please fuck off. You’re making my life harder right now. This is NOT in the plan..

And then one night as I sat with the silver fox in the now empty living room. We looked at each other. And. And well if I hadn’t have been in a rehab and if he wasn’t married this would have been one of the most romantic experiences. As he moved slowly in. In to me kiss me. My heart missed a beat. And a butterfly fluttered in the pit of my stomach.

And my moral conscience pulled me swiftly back. Forget what you feel – remember what you deserve.. forget what you feel.. remember what you deserve. And I got up and walked away.

And I thanked myself for that when I returned to my home alone. I thanked myself for not being that girl. And in all honesty I could of really done without meeting him. And on his leaving day he approached me and cradled my face in his hands. And looked into my eyes. And smiled. For that would be the last time we would see each other. For the best.

And that’s life. Out of the blue. Life can change just like that. Like a whirlwind. But you must always come back to yourself.

And no job is worth losing your life over. And no person who has hurt you is worth self destructing over. Stick up for your own health. And you’re own heart. No matter how hard life gets.

Because life can change just like that.

And sometimes for the better. Out of the blue.

I am now on crutches but I am trying to remain positive whilst awaiting a hip replacement. Is the end of my troubles in sight??? Keep on keeping on. Cue. EYE OF THE TIGER…

Becki Bx

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TV REVIEW: R Kelly and the rise of the peadophile documentary

“We must unanimously agree that denial of such an insidious and child shattering problem is a monumental societal illness.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201103/child-sexual-abuse-and-narcissism

“It’s hard enough to be ourselves without being used
So yo take it from me
Don’t be a victim of society
You can’t put yourself in a position to be neglected
And disrespected
You have to do what’s not expected
Alright
Or all be in his story
His story over mine
His story will be his story” TLC ‘His Story’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBdohg10Fvg

Oh the world of Television.. I watched the documentary on R Kelly on the IPlayer the other night. Then.. Stacey Dooley’s documentary on peadophilia and ‘Young Sex for Sale’ in Japan.. came on the TV. I then proceeded to watch the Ted Bundy tapes on Netflix a few days later (it was on the homepage.. what was I to do?)… then as I flicked through on the IPlayer I saw a documentary ‘Peodophile Hunters: The Rise of the Vigilantes…’

Next up I ended up reading about the new Michael Jackson documentary coming out that’s won some awards. I couldn’t sleep and ended up absorbed in reading the many facebook comments in support of MJ. Many of those comments opposed the ‘victims’ that have come out in recent times to talk about the alleged offences.

There ‘appeared’ to be more support for ‘RIP Michael’ than any for the people that feature in the documentary.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the short film about the extremely sad James Bulger murder titled ‘Detainment‘ that has recently been featured in the press. To add to that Thompson and Venables were given new identities in 2001 and released from prison. In 2018 Venables was imprisoned again after pleading guilty for child pornography offences.Tina Malone a star from the TV show ‘Shameless’ has just been called to the High Court for retweeting a pic of Jon Venables – a pretty interesting case. And I feel for Tina.. fame is not her friend right now.. (the pic was retweeted by many other people and I suspect due to her ‘high’ profile she may be being made an example of!?). 

And as I sat perusing the many channels we are ‘blessed’ with – it started to dawn on me – what have I been filling my head with these past few days.. ?

I was questioning.. is this just perverse sensationalism that is on demand in the zeitgeist. And maybe more importantly does this abundance of content that has suddenly appeared on these dark topics change anything? The documentary ‘Peodophile Hunters: The Rise of the Vigilantes’ highlighted the abhorrent fact that there has actually been a ‘700% increase in online abuse’ in recent times. And I ponder.. how much effect the #metoo movement has really had.

I suppose a predator is going to do what a predator is going to do. Because I guess – in their mind their own needs are far more important than anybody else’s.

Perhaps what I found most shocking and ugly was the similarity in each of the documentaries of how many people admittedly looked away whilst these crimes were and are still happening (chk the R Kelly doc for instance). 

R KELLY – BUMP N GRIND

“My mind’s tellin’ me no, but my body, my body’s tellin’ me yes
Baby, I don’t wanna hurt nobody
But there is something that I must confess (to you)I don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind (with a little bump and grind)”

As if they are not culpable. And that in my opinion must be one of the most heartbreaking situations to be in. Where people know what is happening to you but look away. With a ‘it’s nothing to do with me’ attitude. I have to wonder. Where the morals and values of people are. Where is the community? And are we a society that sticks together anymore?

“Our society is struggling to protect children, older people and disabled people. This is not just a crisis of care. This is a crisis of of human values”https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/28/not-jailing-paedophiles-protecting-children-crisis-care

Some of the content matter in these documentaries was so dark I’m probably never going to be able to erase it from my mind. And I question is it too much? Or is it simply not enough!?

I got into an interesting conversation about narcissism with a good friend who has also experienced CSA. How it can be very difficult to understand these types of people. And as these documentaries are displaying – hard to catch or spot. And child sex offenders display narcissism in its most destructive form. Are these documentaries simply displaying the need as a society to understand and catch a predator for who or what he is?

We live in a society that seems to appear to despise peadophiles. But on the other hand also victim blames.. and it seems to be apparent that it is a complex topic to cover.

But the topic of shame should be addressed and hopefully the more these issues are talked about the more people – victims/survivors –  may come out to talk about their experiences. (To the right people it seems). The secrets that they are bullied to keep. Not for anyone else but for their own healing. For the shame and guilt that is smothered on to a child whilst they are being abused is the killer of all emotions.

And how do we hand those back to the perpetrator? For the less peadophiles can hide – the better.

But are these documentaries highlighting how as a society we are more interested in the pyschology of the perpetrator than the healing of their victims?

I read a good quote that someone tweeted the other day and it said ‘That’s why it’s called the CRIMINAL justice system.” And I just thought. Oh yeah..

And I leave you with the lyrics of Angel Haze.. which says it all really.

ANGEL HAZE:

When I was ten, shit, I believed I could fly
I would just flap my fucking arms and try to meet with the sky
And in my mind I’d envision that I was speaking with god
And then I’d chop his fucking fist off and beat him with mine
But this is just a fucking portion of the war with my mind
So I’mma take you fuckers back and through the vortex of time
When I was seven envision me at the bottom of stairs
And I solemnly swear that this is the truth, no fallacy here
See I was young, man, I was just a toddler, a kid
And he wasn’t the first to successfully try but he did
He took me to the basement and after the lights had been cut
He whipped it out and sodomized and forced his cock through my gut
See it was weird because I felt like I was losing my mind
And then it happened like it happened millions of times
And I would swear that I would tell but they would think that I was lyin’
And now the power that he held was like a beacon of mine
So now I got used to it, I put up with the shit
And now my hate was so volcanically eruptive and shit
But this is nothing cause I guess he told his friend what he do
And they ate it up, shit I was like a buffet for two
And then it happened in a home where every fucking one knew
And they ain’t do shit but fucking blame it on youth
I’m sorry mom but I really used to blame it on you, but even you, by then wouldn’t know what to do
And now it happened so often that he was getting particular
And I’m more scared every time — my speed and ventricular
One night he came home and I was asleep in my bed
He climbed on top of me and forced himself between my legs
He told me: “Hey –, I see you like them popsicle sticks so put your mouth on my deck and fucking swallow the spit”
And I was confused but I was scared so I did what he said
I had no the effect it would have on my head
My heart was pumping it was thumping with like tons of my fear
Imagine being seven and seeing cum in your underwear
I know it’s nasty but sometimes I’d even bleed from my butt
Disgusting right? Now let that feeling ring through your guts
I thought of offing myself, I thought of killing these niggas
Wanted to take a fucking brick and push they teeth through they liver
Wanted to smash the fucking world and burn its leftover parts
Wanted to rip it out and just fucking step on my heart
Then I grew up and I wasn’t within the reach of these men
But that didn’t keep me out the motherfucking reach of my sin
And psychologically I was just as fucked as they come
I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump
I was afraid of myself, I had no love for myself
I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself
There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was
So I’d create the other people I would try to become
Sexuality came into play and with as scared as I was
I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls
I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health
I didn’t wanna be attracted to nobody else
I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stunt my own growth
But there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show
I never got to be a kid so that’s as far as I grow
My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know
My biggest problem was fear, and what being fearful could do
It made me run, it made me hide it made me scared of the truth
I’m not deranged anymore, I’m not the same anymore
I mean I’m sane but I’m insane but not the same as before
I had to deal with my shit, I had to look at my truth
To understand that to grow you’ve got to look at your root
I had to cut off the dead, I had to make myself proud
And now I’m just standing living breathing proof look at me now
I made it through everything, I made you look like a clown
I’m fucking great can’t fucking hate you nigga look at me now
Now I’m just saying this to tell you there’s a way from the ground
Just be strong and just move on and just accept what I can
Because it makes your story better when you read at the end
[Outro]
Yeah, there’s a story behind every single scar that I show
I made it out, this a me nobody’s gotten before
I had to open my wounds, I had to bleed til I stopped it
Thanks for joining me here as I cleaned out my closet
I said I opened my wounds, I had to bleed til I stopped it
Thanks for joining me here as I cleaned out my closet

Read more:  Angel Haze – Cleaning Out My Closet Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Becki Bx

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THE CREATIVE BLOCK…

“Ok people. We are going to try something a little DIFFERENT TODAY… WE are going to write an essay.. of no less than a 1000 words describing to me who you think you are.. and when I say essay I mean essay. I do NOT mean a single word repeated a 1000 times… is that clear!? Maybe you’ll learn a little something about yourself…” BREAKFAST CLUB, 1985

Creativity takes Courage’ Henri Matisse

‘Get creative Becki!…” my friend texts. “Just BE creative!”. “Do something creative..”.

You’re a creative person.. go write!’ a friend from a previous writing class slights.

A bit of direction here would be nice. I think. To myself.

I sit down. With my laptop. And stare at the screen in front of me. Amazing.. just amazing what that Steve Jobs achieved.. I let my mind wander.

Whoever said I’m creative. I sigh. So much pressure. I pull up word and type a few words..

The coffee barista is giggling in the distance with her colleague and I feel a stab of envy.

I think of an idea to write about and write a page and a half of drivel. And delete. I look back at the barista. Who is now being chatted up by two builders it seems. I wish it was the bald builders I smile to myself. Funny guys. I look back at the now blank screen before me.

Envy has no place in this passing moment of time. I tell myself.

Pressure. The word pops around my head like the cork of a champagne bottle bouncing around aggressively. Triggered by some outside source, that of which has crept in to my psyche subconsciously.

GOTTA BE MORE GOTTA DO MORE! Dead Poets Society… 

I decide to put Queen’s ‘Pressure’ on my Spotify. It seems fitting for this moment.

Thinking about pressure – *the more I think the less I do* I decide to procrastinate for a little while longer.

So I flick up my facebook page. A few baby pics. I’d hate to upset the parents here but generally baby pics do all look pretty much the same. Sorry… all cute though. A few people shaking their *virtual* fists trying to save the world. Good on you! I whisper silently to the screen.

I *scroll down*.. Some engagement photos. Some wedding photos. Someone’s holiday pics. Fuck.

EVERYONE’s life is so much better than mine!!! The thought dashes in before I can stop it.

They are even in a snazzier coffee shop, that serves unlimited fucking tea. Tsk.

I spend another ten minutes beating myself up whilst perusing others posts. Then decide to search for the realists…. “I’m going bald and I’ve just been dumped!!!” a friend has posted. I giggle to myself sadistically.

Phew. I can always rely on *Dave to keep it real. Who was that guy I dated a few years back… I ponder. I wonder what he’s up to..

I receive a text. ‘How’s ‘being creative’ going?!’ it queries. They are trying to be helpful I remind myself.

‘I’m in the coffee shop now. With my laptop’. I reply.. steering my way around the question. ‘Great!’ they reply. I’m amused by their reply. I pull up my ex.

OMG. He’s married! When did that happen! WTF. He said he wouldn’t touch any of his colleagues..?! *A pilot and she a flight attendant…Well. Good for them. Thank god I don’t have any feelings for him anymore. She could have the decency to be ugly though.

And here it is. The grand late 30’s. Where time has flashed before my eyes faster than well. Pretty bloody fast. Where one takes pelvic floor tightening a bit more seriously. *Just in case*.. because 40 is closer than 30. I wipe a tear away at that reality. 30’s are also the new 20’s I tell myself.

“You know.. Rebecca you could have a baby now you now…”. my mothers words to me last time we spoke. To which I tortly replied ‘Oh REALLY can I!?!?! Thank you for the permission’.

Pressure. Rules.

Teenage years you’re pressurised to NOT get pregnant for fear of bringing shame and sluttiness upon the family. And then the late 30’s the pressure to start popping a few out.

I deactivate social media to save myself from the mind control, time stealing and comparing – and look back at my screen.

“Good artists copy, the geniuses steal” ~ Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

I slam the laptop shut.

One of the young lads is cleaning cutlery next to me. He has a grumpy scowl. I titter to myself in amusement. *Ive done all the ‘cleaning’ jobs in my youth so I feel I’m allowed some allowance*

‘Wax on. Wax off’. I say to him. He furrows his brow. And I don’t think he understands what I mean. “Wax on wax off?” his colleague smirks…

Wax on. Wax off. And don’t forget to breathe. Very important.

Very fashionable mindfulness is these days. You’ve been doing it all your life and you’ve probably just forgotten it. You don’t need to pay £50. Just wax on. Wax ..off..

I walk home. And pull out some old photos.. That capture some of my younger experiences. That I never thought that would be *so far my best experiences.. I think about the Labyrinth and how she defeats the Goblin King and I reflect on all the layers that film has. I think about all the friends I haven’t seen for a long time. And those that I haven’t told them that I miss them. Or how I feel.

I think about one of my best friends who committed suicide just three months ago. Someone whose life seemed perfect. On facebook anyway. And I think about pressure. And how it doesn’t need to be this way..

And should you need me… I’m always here. And I’m sorry for not saying that I need you too.

Dedicated to Ryan Hall. Rest in peace and get to heaven safely. Still devastated. I’m sorry you didn’t feel you could talk to me. Becki Xx

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