How to Activate & Use A Hag Stone

I found a hagstone today under a clump of rye grass in my garden, came at a great moment in time for me too! At a time I wasn’t feeling very safe!

GrannyMoon's Morning Feast

Hag Stone

While walking along the beach we were lucky enough to come across this beautiful Hag Stone. Some have one large hole through them whole others have several smaller ones. Ours has three, which was perfect for us as that day we had our youngest daughter with us so it felt as if it was a gift for all of us. We weren’t looking for one intentionally, and often if you are, you will never find one as they tend to find you when the time is right.

Hag Stones have been used for protection, charms, and other forms of magick for generations. You may have heard of them being called Holy stones, Holey stones, Wish stones, Fairy Stones, or Witch Stones. They were often hung on keys, doorways, over beds, or around the neck of a person or their animals (pets and livestock) to protect them from negativity and the…

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Self Isolation Experience

As the world is forced into self-isolation, many aren’t coping, both physically and mentally; but there are some (introverts not included) which to them, it is a way of life; many not by choice or design and I am one of them.

It has taken me a time to write this, because I was not sure what to really say on the matter until now, purely because up until now, I didn’t think much of the world would understand the frustrations and things that I do in self-isolation before this moment in time.  Now I think or rather hope, that I would become crystal clear in what I am about to say and with a depth of understanding from those who are now forced into a similar situation by forces not of their own design too.

The isolation I have been forced into throughout my life by my mother, is entirely different to this pandemic, there was no fatal disease which could have affected me during that time, nor was there any government ruling set about to enforce my mother’s commands, though saying that, to me (at the time I was living with my mother) her word was law and any deviation from that law was harshly punishable.

My life in isolation day to day was like this;

There was no real schedule outside of dinner time, my day to day life was higgledy-piggledy and often turned upside side with the craziest stuff going on most of the time, there was in a word (insecurity), there was no predictability in my day.  The only things I could rely on to be part of my day were, cleaning and eating dinner at 4pm on the dot.  I was taught there was no comfort or security within the home, because nothing would remain the same day to day – in a literal sense.  My mother suffered from OCD which meant she cleaned everything thoroughly and demanded that everyone in the house do her crazy cleaning rituals too with her, with the exception of dad because he worked – even if I went out to work occasionally on the times she allowed me to, it didn’t apply to me.  Cleaning wasn’t so bad, but her obsessions to have a constant supply of household projects were both wasteful and sometimes downright silly.  She would move the furniture around the house a lot, just for the sake of it and often she would end up putting the furniture back in the same way it always is by the end of the day unhappy with her new lay out – sometimes those lay outs would last for weeks, but often it would go back to the same old design.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a table now and again, but it was entire rooms being moved in one day!  You was never warned when this would be, sometimes it would have started before I even woke up in the morning, sometimes it would start after dinner and there were even occasions she started it around midnight!

She would also have decorating projects, where she would re-carpet, or laminate a room and expect it to be done in a day maybe two days at most, painting walls was very popular with her, we did this more often than we should have.  Redesigning the garden was another love of hers, constantly moving plants around and then wondering why her favourites die so easily.  She never liked to leave the house more than three times a week herself for shopping or visiting, but would often insist in going out every day even for 20 minutes for walks.  Funnily enough even when we had dogs, the dogs would usually be left behind whilst we, the owners go for a walk without them – which was something that never made sense to me – as a consequence our dogs were usually classed as obese by the vet.

When going for walks, other than the neighbourhood gossipers, mum wouldn’t talk to anyone no matter how friendly they seemed.  Often she couldn’t be bothered with the neighbourhood gossipers and would literally drive to another street within a 3 mile radius and walk around there, so she didn’t have to talk to anyone.  But one or twice she would walk the same places so often, their own local gossipers would come out and talk to her, thinking she was another neighbour from nearby, when that happened, she would avoid the area for several weeks.  My mother never liked me standing with her when she was talk to other people, even when I was an adult, she would often require me to walk away and come back occasionally and she would give me secret hand signals to tell me roughly how long she will tolerate this person and what the conversation might be about.  She had her secret codes to talk to me, so others never knew how she was controlling me and my actions and even my own conversational input.

I was taught this by her aggression after events happened, she would tell me what she did and how I should have reacted and often told me that other people in the world would understand what she did, but because I don’t go out and is active in the world, I haven’t learned these basic social instincts.  I learned through my therapist that what she said was bullshit.

Sometimes mum would catch herself out, if we had a visitor sometimes she would absent-mindedly call me into the room, give me her secret signals which were both hand movement, sitting positions and various snorts which could be mistaken for her clearing her throat but I was taught that was a sign of displeasure and to please steer the conversation for her.  Sometimes people were so used to the idea that when they visited I was the tea maker that if I was called in and mum didn’t say anything to me about the tea or spoke to me at all, that they felt they had to remind mum to prompt me to make more tea for them as obviously, that was the reason she called me in, wasn’t it?  As rude as it may seem, they often did this; most of our visitors were family or rarely long-standing friends and Jehovah Witnesses.

Although we had visitors and talked to neighbours my life was socially isolated in that I was only allowed minimal conversation with them and was often shooed away with mums secret language to me, we would visit one person a week on average, sometimes we would visit more depends on either what mum wanted from them or what the person was going through at the time.  Again, we could be sitting at another person’s house for several hours and during that time I would probably have said less than ten sentences in all of that time by mothers prompt.  It was usual though that she would encourage me as entertainment occasionally, where I was made to play spiritualist as it were.  As I have a clairvoyant talent and I also do various readings, such as tarot and things.  This was the only time I was allowed to talk as much as I liked to whomever I was supposed to be entertaining.  Another thing I was allowed to do was to talk as much as I liked about philosophy, religion and spirituality; but even there, there was a limit to how much I could say and for how long.  Sometimes mum would give me permission to mock her, be cheeky to her to liven things up and make it seem like I had a personality of sorts.

It all may seem very strange to those who have had a normal life and upbringing, but to me at the time, I thought it was normal stuff, because my mum would often tell me, that this is how the world is.  Everything is finite, there is a finite way about people that as someone who is not worldly, doesn’t understand and that is why, when I socialised independently I got myself into embarrassing situations because I misread the person.  Often I reacted to other people based on how my mother interacted with me and the other person, obviously being unaware totally misread me or felt I had a split personality as I would often drift in and out of conversations quickly, thinking I have displeased them in some way, but no one understood what I was on about and to be honest, they shouldn’t have as it isn’t normal.

My activities also included gardening, I gardened a lot, I would garden a small collection of flowers but most of the florals I wasn’t allowed to touch or even learn about as my parents were possessive of them, as strange as it is, they would not teach me a thing about them at all, not even their names.  My main gardening duties were the fruits and vegetables that my mum wanted for that year, I was also allowed a small area entirely of my own which included herbs and a couple of small tightly controlled trees, which at the time I never knew would have been called a bonsai version – which generally just meant heavily pruned and small in size.  I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody that I did the gardening as much as I did, I was only allowed to mention my designated section, not the other work I did for my parents – that was their glory and they fiercely protected their reputation for being amazing gardeners.  So I had learned from an early age that I had to swallow my pride and see all my hard work as the credit to someone else other than me, I even had to lie for my parents to make them sound amazing and even praise them for the work.  Basically I knew, that I was praising myself but mum was prompt in reminding me when visitors had gone that I was not to feel proud of myself for what they had said, because I would never have done it if it weren’t her wishes for me to do so, so I had no right to take pride in my work because it wasn’t really my work.  I just cared for it for her that is all, the credit will always be hers.

My dad was very sweet, he would occasionally tell people that I did it and taught them whatever about certain things, but mum would often attack dad for it when visitors were home as she felt shown up.

I was taught to cook for my family from the age of seven, everything from full English breakfast, lamb stew to meat and potato pies.  I would cook the main dinner for the house approximately three times a week, sometimes more, but I mostly made lunch which would be anywhere between 11am and 3pm depends.  Come what may, main dinner was always 4pm, except for Sundays and special occasions, where it would then be a 2pm dinner.  Some Sundays I would visit my paternal grandmother and would have to consume two full roast dinners in one day, one with gran around noon and another when we get home to see mum around 6pm, because mum would anticipate we were fed at grans, so would knock Sunday roast dinner back by 2 hours.

My other gran didn’t have a specific day for being visited, because she was a fully mobile and energetic old lady who would quite often visit us and stay the night, or sometimes she would manage to steal me from my mother for the day or for a night at her house; which I loved, despite the very different and contrast environment of her home compared to my mums.  My gran was the total opposite of my mum, not house-proud at all, just saw home as a place to sleep and store stuff she liked.

When I was with my gran, she demanded total independence from me.  I had to be responsible for myself and as she was elderly, I had to help her, which meant going out alone and fetching things for her, walking her dog called Star and giving messages to other relatives around the area as they were all more or less neighbours within 10 streets of each other.  I had to make her tea too and occasionally she felt that if I had a problem with how messy and unclean her house was, then I should deal with it how I see fit – which meant I was housekeeping for two people – my mum and my gran.  But with gran, it was a choice, it wasn’t expected.  At least with gran I got recognition and whenever I finished anything she would comment that I am such a good girl, now how about treating yourself to something from the chippy and getting me something to eat too?

I liked it when gran stole me from mum, because sometimes it would be for a few days at a time and gran never liked staying indoors for long.  She was an early riser and out the door within half an hour of waking up, going to random places, visiting other relatives on a whim, going to car boot sales and whatever, wherever, anywhere within a 4 hour car drive one way, was doable in a day!  Life was an adventure with this gran.  Where my mother was obsessed with not going out much unless necessary and cleaning and decorating her house, my gran (her mother) was obsessed with going out, living day to day and avoiding housework full stop!

I think my gran had such a carefree attitude to life because she nearly died on several occasions throughout her life, she was born with a heart condition, lucky to live, had her first open heart surgery when she was 14 and has a new operation approximately every 2yrs throughout her whole life, more heart attacks and deep vein thrombosis than you could count along with haemophilia because of warfarin use.  To say my gran was a very lucky person is an understatement!  This includes finances too, she wasn’t rich, but she was never put in a situation of being too needy as she had the luck of the devil as she calls it.  At her direst she would often feel it is time to go bingo-ing and would often win big prizes, sometimes she didn’t even have to leave the house, as she often did government bonds and would get letters proclaiming big prizes, once for 20k!  I was one of the 5 grandchildren gran offered to take to Florida’s Disneyland but mum wouldn’t let me go, so she chose someone else, gran was angry about that as I was more into Disney than the other gran kids.  But what made gran more pissed off was the fact that mum put it about the family that she never even asked me!  Mum often lied, but was rarely caught out.

It is hard to stomach hearing someone slag off at every opportunity someone you know to be almost super hero like in quality to you, always spilling nasties out about them to someone who doesn’t know them.  Mum absolutely hated my gran, but only tolerated her because of a promise she gave to my grandad on his death bed, when grandad begged mum to look after my gran for him.  Grandad knew the hatred between gran and mum, mum never forgave grandad for putting that on her.  As mum said, if it wasn’t for what he said, she would have abandoned gran the moment he died.

People often asked why tolerated gran mum if there is so much contempt, but mum would never answer them, she used to use me to steer the conversation to something else.  The contempt was plain to everyone, because mum constantly spoke down to my gran and I think gran only tolerated it because of two things, she knew I needed a break from mum occasionally and stayed for me, and secondly, nobody else would tolerate her either as they were too busy.

Sometimes mum would try and stop my relationship with gran for a while, by sending me away to other relatives to live, so our relationship stalled.  Gran caught mum out a couple of times as she would drive all the way from Burnt Oak, North London, to Market Drayton in Shropshire to visit her daughter and to see me, just for the day, which is why mum decided to concentrate more on dads family.

When I wasn’t required for entertainment, cleaning or companionship, my days consisted of playing games on my PlayStation or the internet, writing vampire stories and reading horror books and books on spirituality.

Basically, I was kept too busy to harp on the fact that I was both lonely and stuck indoors most of the time, which I think is a key thing for self-isolators to learn.

As my mum often did, she did a spring clean of the whole house once or twice a week, gardening, if you don’t have a garden do window box or window sill gardening.  Read books, knit, sew, make your own clothes, draw, paint, write something, read magazines, play your with pets, do something with your kids, re-arrange your furniture.  There is always something to blooming do, so do it. 

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Filed under Family and friends, My life

Pendulum says go comics

A pixabay image

I used my pendulum today to ask which piece of writing I should send off to the publishers first.  I asked about the seven vampire novels I have written, about the fantasy story based on leprechauns, the horror based on a demon down a well, the pirate fantasy, the two giant fantasy novels or the comic/graphic novel idea based on a post-apocalyptic world.  Strangely enough after asking these and knowing there was at least four more ideas I wanted to ask about, the pendulum surprised me with the comic/graphic novel.

The one I was least confident about, the pendulum picked.

Such is the way of the world, huh?

Because the pendulum chose this option, I am now expanding the story idea to make more than just one comic, just in case it told the truth that this idea would be successful enough to warrant publication.

Crazy I know, but the pendulum has never let me down before on major life decisions – in fact, when I have ignored the pendulum, I ignored it at great peril and bad things happened.  Best to just stick with what the pendulum says, for safety sake!

This pendulum has also saved me a tremendous amount of time with potentially stupid ideas.  If I have a new idea, I run it with the pendulum and if it doesn’t think it would do anything in the future, I simply don’t write it and sometimes that can be heart breaking, because I think some of those ideas were absolutely wonderful!  But then again, as the writer, I have no right to the opinion of what is going to be great or not – because as the creator of stories and art, it is quite usual that the things you lack confidence in are popular with the world and those you are most proud of are shunned by it – according to my own experience and the experiences of other writer and artists I have known that is.

P.S I have noted that wordpress has snuck in a way to colour in cut and pasted words now, yay!

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Filed under About my work

Spring

So many

Pretty flowers

Return every year

Interesting in colour and patterns, to me are so dear

Never bleak in springtime

Gardens burst in bloom, colouring the world again after winter’s gloom!

 

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Social media confusion

I am learning about so many new things lately in an effort to make myself more connected to the world and even myself, because as I mentioned in a previous post, I have never had the chance to define who I am.  I have learned that various websites I am apart of are actually forms of social media, I never thought that DeviantArt.com and Pinterest.com were classed as social media until today.  I never thought that people from Pinterest would be interested in what I pin, I thought it was personal and an invitation only, this is how naïve I am regarding the online world, despite having access to the internet for twenty years now.  When people have asked me in the past what social media do I have I simply state, just the main two, Facebook and Twitter, but no, I found out I seem to be a social media addict, but I don’t socialise on those things very much ironically.

Here is a list of things that are social media of which I have accounts on.

Facebook – Tina Cousins, but I don’t accept anyone on there unless I personally know them, so unless we get along well, I may refuse your friendship invite.

Twitter – @FantasyFed – I will add anyone, I am friend of the world, lol. I use it on a desktop computer currently… stop looking at me like that, we can’t all be fashionably techno

Instagram – FantasyFed – I don’t have any pics on there because I don’t have a working mobile phone currently and this might not change for a couple of months.  But I follow people I am interested in and know on there.

Patreon – Fantasy Fed – I haven’t put anything up there, I simply have the account to support online friends who are artists, writers, disabled, campaigners and magicians!

YouTube – Fantasy Fed – I don’t have any uploaded videos, I am addicted to the motivational archive, old wrestling videos, life hack videos & artsy music videos.

Deviant Art – FFGallery a lot of my art in there is amateur stuff and old, I rarely upload my stuff, so don’t judge my work on there it is all old stuff when I was starting out and some of it is pretty good, but not my best.  I don’t use it to sell anything just yet.

Etsy.com – misstcousins – again not selling anything on here yet and not for ages either.

HubPages.com – @MissTCousins – I haven’t posted anything on there in years, but will start again someday soon.

Chess.com – MissTCousins – if you want a game let me know, but I only tend to play this during school holidays with my son Henry.

WattPad.com – FantasyFed – not au fait with this site and unsure what it is really about, but trying to learn.

Tumblr.com – MossDragon – most sharing stuff from my favourite online games and pictures of my pets!

Goodreads.com – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8725823-tina I use this daily.

Mix.com – formerly Stumble Upon – but my username there is FantasyFed again

I didn’t realise until reading a book about social media this weekend that many of the above were indeed considered social media websites.  I have since researched all individually and what they all offer and I am surprised by how much I have missed out on – quite a few of them are very beneficial on a fun prospective, let alone a networking one.  So I will definitely be trying in the future to become more active in them.

I am not technologically savvy, it takes me ages to learn how to use something new like these websites.  Unfortunately many websites, such as Facebook and twitter update their systems regularly to the extent that by the time I have learned everything about them, they have changed yet again.  If I find a subject boring (like technology I do) I am an extremely slow learner.

I may be a daily user of facebook, twitter and Goodreads, but I don’t know everything that is available just yet and in particular I find twitter confusing as sometimes I feel that people are personally messaging me, only to find out that maybe it is a public announcement and vice versa!  I haven’t got my head around it yet and sometimes, it can take me days or weeks to find a direct message from someone.  Just letting people know about this, because when I have a bad day regarding my health, my concentration gets much worse and it makes it harder for me to understand where everything is!

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Filed under Getting to know me

Two new categories

The previous post explained a bit about my life and how controlling people in my life were and that I am now on a journey of self-discovery and learning what defines me.  I have decided to create a new category for this, to make it easier for people to see my progress and development on a more personal level.

I have also decided that it would be interesting to share a diary of my life and how I view major events in the world around me and what my observations have been.  I feel that the art of the diarist is almost dead, I don’t know any contemporary diarist out there, it seems to have become a thing of the past and that is sad; so I have made a diary category too.

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Filed under About my work

Horror story of the iceberg of my life

A few days ago I wrote a long piece about parts of my life and how things in my past affect me currently, I never got around to posting that piece because I still haven’t entirely got my head around this new way of editing that WordPress has set up recently.  It seems that if I were to cut and paste my blog entries into WordPress admin, it will not allow me to change the font size or colour, well not easily for me and I have tried to get my head around it and I can’t.  So being that all my posts are done via Microsoft word first and foremost, I have to tell you that all of my posts henceforth will be in white font and the same size.

I shall say it all again anew, because upon reflection, there were a lot of vital points I missed out in the first draft.  All my posts on this blog are first draft, except for this one.

Due to growing up in such a controlling atmosphere and in relative isolation, I was never given permission to develop both independence and individuality.  I didn’t manage to move away from my mother until I was twenty seven years of age and I didn’t fully break physical contact with her until I was thirty and only recently stopped contacting her altogether since Easter of 2019, aged thirty six.  The break was difficult, not in a sense that it was emotionally pulling for me, but in the sense that it was truly difficult to break ties with someone who was so stubbornly controlling and persistent.

I started to develop my own fashion sense around 2012 but it still isn’t fully honed and a lot about the past me, was never really me.  Not the true me.  I was the image of which my mother wanted me to be in looks, behaviour and likes and dislikes.  Her control over me was complete.  What I liked in 2012 are not things I like now, in fact, I learned that since I am not expected to like or do those things, I actually detest them or at least dislike them enough to rarely bother with.  Simple things such as the type of music I liked, the type of programs I watch regularly, the food I choose to eat, just everything.

Nobody can understand how tight the control was over me.  How even how I spoke and the way that I spoke were not really me at all either, they were reflections of my mother’s expectations.  Growing up and even as an adult I was always terrified of doing anything outside of what my mother approved of, even if it was something as trivial as accidentally dropping a tiny piece of paper on the floor in the living room whilst going to the kitchen bin.  I lived in constant terror of what would happen if she noticed, or worse, what would happen to me if I did something I didn’t notice I did, like dropping the tiniest piece of paper on the floor in the living room whilst going to the bin in the kitchen.  My mother has extreme OCD about cleaning, tidying and minimalist culture that her hands are often raw and sore for how much she cleans them and she is the type of house cleaner which never wears rubber gloves when scrubbing the house top to bottom in bleach!

I lived in a very sterile environment for both, physical, mental and spiritual growth as well as personal growth in an individualistic sense.  My doctors blame the way I grew up for my weakened immune system.  My mother was immaculate about everything, social services often commented on how thick the air was in the house with the stench of bleach that they needed to sit by an opened window or simply try and talk to us on the doorstep or at the centre.  I was not the sort of child my mother would allow to go into the garden and play in the mud, although gardening was encouraged there was a fine limit to what I could and could not do out there.

Along with this strict cleaning regime and isolation was her ideology of never immunising me for anything – I never knew until I met Paul that I am lucky to be alive as an avid gardener because I have never had a tetanus shot.  I didn’t get chicken pox until I was twenty one years old, shortly after I started work as a trainee classroom assistant and I never got the nursery school child’s disease, hand foot and mouth until my own son, Henry was three years old!  I got my MMR vaccine when Henry was born because the midwife was astounded I never had it and was surprised my pregnancy was as healthy as it was when there was a measles epidemic in the area. 

My therapists are often surprised that I am not as mentally damaged as I should be considering everything I have gone through.  I am most certainly damaged, but in their opinion I am doing surprisingly well for someone who has had the life I have.  I like to think it has something to do with books.  The types of books I read from the age of eighteen onwards were very helpful to me.  Reading was the only thing my mother never interfered with and always encouraged, but she never had an interest in what I was reading so she never really knew what I got from the library every Friday afternoon, even though she would take me there and wait around an hour.  I read sparse snippets between my never ending chores and over half the books I read and still do read to this day are self-help non-fiction books.  Books about taking charge of your own mind, you own individuality, your own life and cosmic ordering and mental strength enhancement etc.  I never made the decision to break away from my parents and share my life with the world until I read a book called “Toxic Parents” by Susan Forward; until I read that book I had the belief that with sheer determination and patience, I could convince my mother that I am safe in the world and that I know what I am doing and that I can be whatever I want to be and that it’s going to be OK, because I still love her and would care for her much better if she just let me have a normal life.  But the book showed me that I was simply fooling myself, like all children who want their parents to love and nurture them do.  It isn’t until a large chunk of the child’s life has gone does the child realise that it is fruitless living in hope that such a controlling toxic person would ever change, especially if they don’t see a reason why they should!  The book suggested that I broach two things with my mother and depending on her response, I would know if there really is any hope for us.  So, the book asked me to ask her the two questions I wanted to.  A – Please give me permission to live the life I want and to go out without asking your permission first as I am an adult now.  An B – tell her what I hope for our future relationship and some pointers to help my mother change a little so we can cooperate together.  My mother’s responses to A were a resound NO and her responses to B were why should I be the one to change?  You see she didn’t understand that I wasn’t changing her personality, I was only asking her to change how she treats me and to let me live a normal adult life; I was thirty years old when I broached this with her and I had a three year old child who often saw his mother in tears after every visit and phone call from her mother!  Because my mother would try and talk my child into believing that mummy is stupid and foolish and fat and then she’d try to spoil him with candies and gifts.

Basically I learned from those two questions, that she would never change, our circumstances would never change, in fact it would get worse as she would come between my child and I and make an unhealthy relationship there too.

I knew for the sake of my child I had to stop contact with her, because she was encouraging dangerous behaviour in my toddler, it shocked me because she is usually an uber cautious person regarding children, but I often wondered if she did this, to get my son out of the way, to make me lose him by showing others how incompetent I am and using her old card of mentioning my nervous breakdown when I was an adolescent and saying, she has mental health problems, she is unable to care for a child – see, this is what has happened to her son.  I lulled this over for a few weeks, then my mother encouraged Henry to climb up and jump off the dining table, she tried this a couple of times and I demanded it stopped, she went home in a grump.  When I was cooking dinner Henry climbed the dining table and called me, he wanted to jump into my arms like my mother was encouraging him to do when she was there in her arms – I didn’t get there in time and he smashed his head on the furniture on the way down and we rushed him to hospital for stitches!

A couple of days later I sent him to play group and the family support worker saw what happened to Henry and asked me about it, I explained and told her about my past with my mother and she told me, if I didn’t break contact with her she would feel it was her responsibility to call child welfare because my mother is endangering him.  Many abusive parents do end up abusing their grandchildren if the parent is still easily coerced by them.  I agreed and decided not to return her phone calls from that moment onwards.  I knew if I confronted her directly she was likely to become upset and would drive 100 miles to come and see me eye to eye and wouldn’t be very diplomatic about it either.  Yes it was a coward’s way, but it was the best way to handle her.

Anyway, it took seven years for her to finally get the message I am not messing around.  In 2015 my brother found my blog and told her everything I had said on it, I deleted a lot of it, because I was threatened.  But I learned through legal advice that being I would have reports on my mother’s behaviour from doctors and social services that my mother and brother wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in court as I would have a lot of evidence against her – not only that but there are people in my life who would vouch for how aggressive she has been with them in the past too, in fact quite a few.

Why am I sharing this right now?  Because I am going through a self-designed therapy to find myself; to develop my personality, to develop independence, confidence, life skills, social skills, art skills, writing skills, I am trying to define myself.  I am trying to find out who I am and what I like, I am tasting many spices of life and I am dipping into all sorts of new things in an attempt to find what is me and what isn’t me!

There is a lot to work on.  My personal image, my behaviour, my reactions, my morals, my ethics, my beliefs, my sense of style and wants and needs – all these things make a person and I was never allowed to be a unique person.  Not only was I supressed by a controlling mother who wanted to mould me a certain way, but I was supressed by religion too.  I believe in a God, but I won’t dedicate myself to a religion nor talk about any kind of definition of them other than, they are a creator.  I regard myself as a humanist, despite some superstitions I have and pagan ways I might have and despite my belief in higher beings.  I know it sounds paradoxical but my life is pretty complexed.  I don’t know the proper words for many things and I often know things, but don’t know their names, if you understand me?

Mentally I suppose I am still like a child, at least in a lot of ways I have a childlike innocence about me, because of my lack of social interaction over the years.  But to call me naïve, foolish or even stupid, that is wrong – because I have seen more and experienced more than most people have in such a short time.  Though my life has been an isolated one, it has not been without its brutal experiences both personal and observational.  Another thing which surprised my therapist – the things I have gone through in this country, the things friends and family have experienced which has mentally and emotionally affected me, lots of things an average British person would not experience in normal circumstances.  Such as, knowing more than one person in your family or friendship circle who has been murdered, knowing of many women who have been raped or serially raped, knowing drug abusers, knowing prostitutes and criminals, seeing an animal killed in front of me, having strangers attack you, being raped, a very late miscarriage I had to hide, surviving a bomb explosion near your home, witnessing people having mental breakdowns, flaps and suicides, witnessing people having seizures or being brutally and fatally harmed, being a victim of racial abuse, being wrongfully accused of thieving and attacked for it, being forced into a Jehovah Witness membership as a teenager by a relative, having run ins with cults and gangs but not willingly involved with them, just wrong place at wrong time, being a victim of domestic violence and held underwater and sorry to say these are just the  tip of the iceberg of my life.

Every wondered why I rarely talk about my life offline?  There’s your answers – it is difficult to talk about these things, but when you have grown so used to extreme violence in your life, you become so hard and numb to it all that you don’t wobble or cry about it anymore and when you tell the average Joe about it all and you don’t show an emotional response, just blankness, they presume you are lying, because you should be in tears.  It’s utter rot.  The more you go through, the number you get, and you learn to switch off.

Some people get frightened about this, they think it is a sign I could be a psycho.  Hilarious and ironic, me the psycho, not the people in my past, but me, the victim who doesn’t cry, they’ve been made into a psycho, they might be capable of horrific things if they don’t cry.  Society really has to change their perception of how they believe a victim should behave.  Some people live such rotten lives so regularly that to sit back and cry is not only a waste of time and energy, but it also becomes fucking dangerous!  You cry and those who made you cry will make you cry again and again, they will keep on hurting you.  Some abusers hate it if you don’t cry, it sends them mad, but eventually, if you persist, they give up.  I’ve learned this, but I learned it the hard way.  The hit you harder and say worse things to you to get the response they want, you can’t feed their desire to break you or else they’ll never leave you alone.

I remember the times I cried in front of my mother, it made her laugh and satisfied, sometimes she would find my fear so hilarious she would try it again and again, as my fearful responses amused her.  I learned when I was fifteen to stop showing fear, suck it up and zone out and concentrate on imaginary things whilst she is at her worst and although she is purple faced bellowing in mine and slapping me across the face, as long as I concentrate hard enough on my imagination, she could not get what she wanted.  You can do it, you can concentrate on your imagination so intensely in brutal times, that you can literally remove yourself spiritually from that time and place, but you will come back and feel the bruises and see the exhausted bully in the corner in tears because it didn’t get what it wanted and then you will see how childlike they really are.

So, I am trying to keep them far behind me.  I am trying to define myself.  Who am I?  I want to share my development here on my blog, but I am also afraid to do so.  I feel so silly and immature explaining the depths of my self-therapy, but I also feel I need to do it too. 

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Bedlam, chaos and disorganisation

Bedlam has taken over my creative space and moved it around the house.  Naughty Bedlam, I shall punish it later.

Bedlam has its way in bringing out The Evil Queen in me. 

Bedlam puts my work both writing and art into strange unconnected folders and boxes then distributes these folders and boxes all around the house in random crevices and nooks, playing hide and seek with my work is not fun!

What is this bedlam of which I speak?  My family, primarily my loving husband who tries to keep house when I am bed bound sick, when I get well again it can take up to two weeks sometimes more to find my work so I can get back to it again.

So far I have found my vampires mingling with my fantasy stories and even my paleo recipe folders.  I guess human blood can be thought of as a paleo food, but still, it’s in the wrong place!

I have found trolls in my box of pagan things hiding underneath packets of patchouli incense and dried agrimony and dragons playing with unicorns in my learning how to read music bag.

I have even found a baby ogre in my knitting kit – and please do not mention the flying octopus!  For some reason I found that partially hiding underneath the chest freezer.

And then there are the eyes, eyes, eyes everywhere!  Hanging on the bedroom wall, hidden on a bookshelf, under the bed, on top of the rabbit cage and in a shoe box!  The eyes have it!  Or rather I have had had enough of the eyes! 

Of course I am talking about my various works, whether it be fiction writing or pieces of art I have done, I am not talking about the imaginary friends I have, not yet anyway – why are you looking at me like that?  Every writer has them.  Imaginary friends that is, how else do you think you get stories?  Though sometimes I wonder if my imaginary friends are all that imaginary as weird things are noted around my house by guests, but we never speak of those, do we?  You could say I am insane and I accept that opinion of yours because what is normal to me is ludicrous to you.  I can stay at home for three months solid and forget that it’s not normal and be quite happy actually and very occupied with various things, whilst Joe Bloggs down the road goes insane after forty eight hours.

The biggest work for me at the moment in gathering all my work back into its former place is the fact that two of my vampire folders have  fallen off a sideboard and behind it and has intermingled with other papers in an attempt to try and gather them for me.  This had meant that the four drafts I have done of one particular story is meshed together and I have to work it out like a jigsaw puzzle because I have done all four drafts to the seventeenth chapter and the novel is not finished.  What makes it worse is I am ever so slightly absent minded as a trait I was born with, so therefore many things have been printed twice and are not noted until an accident like this happens… yes I am a nightmare.  But honestly, when people leave my work alone, I am actually very persnickety about filing and organising, it is really hard living with someone who will store anything anywhere and doesn’t have a system.  It really messes my time and system up – unfortunately I live in circumstances where I don’t have a spare room all to myself and I do not have the funds to organise a heated shed in the garden for work, so I have to fight to work, literally, every day, not only my health, but the flipping disarray in the house and have to blooming accept my work being meddled with on a daily basis!  Because my husband, bless him, is a recovering hoarder. He is recovering because whilst living with me he doesn’t have a bloody choice!

So when I get bed bound sick, I have the added stress of knowing that he will slip back into his hoarder care-free ways and its muggings here that has to clean it all up again, when I get the good days back, rather than working or gardening.  It’s all made worse by the fact that he doesn’t work outside of the house, he is home almost all the time.  Love him, but I wished I had time to sort things out for a few hours a day without him following around me in a panic all the time.

I am desperate to paint, I love to paint as often as I read and write, but again, I have no specific place to paint.  I have to rely on a clean dining table to paint and often it’s cluttered with my husband’s essentials and bottles of condiments and a laptop.  So when I have the energy to leave the bedroom to go and paint, it takes me an average of 45 minutes to tidy away enough space and find my paints and materials in order for me to work, often by that time, if I am still sick, I am too knackered to work immediately after clearing that I need a rest and then by the time the rest is over, its dinner time.  Creative people will know how I feel about living like this and you are right, I do feel that way too!

It’s a battle with my health but it is also a battle with my living arrangements and housemates.  My work productivity suffers greatly because of these things and it isn’t because I don’t try, because I do, even on my sickest days, but you have no idea how hard it is to live with these battles day in and day out, I will admit that I have mental health problems normally anyway, but since having my work affected as a result of this lifestyle (if you can call it that), I have for the first time in my life around five years ago, become suicidal as a result.  It is something I have discussed with my husband and he does acknowledge the cause, but what can you do with someone in their mid-sixties who has never lived any other way?

I am not used to a house like this.  I don’t accept a house like this, but I have to make do.  So when I use the work bedlam I do not use it lightly.

I try to stay light hearted about things, but it is a BIG try.

It is gut wrenching to force yourself, as sick as you are, to cough and choke your way through two rooms to clear and tidy and clean, only for the very next couple of days, for it all to revert back, because your husband is motivated in another room unsupervised and doesn’t understand how to do it, he just moves things from one place to another and undoes your work in just a few hours.  Then you’re in bed exhausted, chest clogged up worse for all the dust and you can’t move for another week.

The thing is, writing this makes me feel guilty.  Because he is my carer, he cares a lot, he does a huge amount, and more than any man would really.  He is twenty seven years my senior, he does everything for Henry, everything for me.  He does the shopping, the laundry, the ironing, he cooks, he shops, he deals with all our problems and I have never known a man like him before.  Complaining like I have done, feels wrong.  But it is a big reason why I struggle to work lately.  I am fighting for a work space, but I have less than 3ft square to arrange things in and my art and writing stuff is much bigger than that little corner, the box room would be an ideal office, but it is Henry’s bedroom, the big bedroom can’t be used at all because we have a leaking roof we can’t afford to fix.  In an ideal situation we would move our bedroom into the big room, Henry into our current bedroom and I would use the box room as an office.  But at the moment I can’t.  We have had a survey on the roof it will cost us 5k to fix it, that is around 15yrs of savings for us currently.  Not feasible, especially with the storms we get up here.

Am I so wrong to need to get this off my chest and explain myself?

Tis bedlam here.

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Perceiving art wrong

Since the dawn of this blogs existence I had intended for this blog to be a journey about my life and progress as a writer as well as an artist; it is quite obvious that I get distracted from this aspect of the blog a lot.

The update for today is that I have decided to take my artist-self more seriously in a less serious manner than before; I have grown in confidence regarding my place in the creative world in general because I have had a huge epiphany and that epiphany slapped me in the face and left me in awe of how simple it all really is.  I used to believe that in writing as well as art that there are certain rules you must follow in order to be a creative person, especially a creative person who is to be taken seriously by the world – but it can’t be further from the truth.  The moment you start to become serious in your creative field, it is the moment you start killing your creative self. 

How did I learn this?

As a means to start learning about art so that I could take it more seriously, I decided that my art looked a lot like three particular genres in the art world, abstract, impressionism and abstract expressionism.  But I wasn’t confident I understood abstract art well enough to dare call myself an artist in that field – perhaps I need to evaluate everything and see a deeper meaning in everything in everybody else’s work in order to appreciate my own and have other people appreciate it first.  In other words, I felt like my lack of knowledge of the art world and lack of experience meant that I felt like a fraud.

So I got reading and researching online a lot about art, particularly abstract art and abstract expressionism to help me to understand it more and perhaps even help me to understand myself more and why I might like that art.  The thing is – I learned that the best way to appreciate this genre of art is to give up all cognitive reasoning and see what you want to see, art is what you like.  Art is what you see.  Art is not about trying to imprint an impression on the observer, it is literally purely about aesthetic and your own feeling toward the art as an individual.  It is an act of freedom, which helped me understand a core thing about art and society’s opinion regarding art and that is that art is seen as an act of rebellion to some cultures.

Learning that one thing about abstract art “give up cognitive reasoning” felt so freeing that it bought about euphoria so to speak.  I understand now that there really are no bounds in art and that means the same for writing and anything else which may be considered creative.

People, who try to define art, assess it and or dissect it, kill it.  They kill it for themselves and not only that, but they unwillingly become a sort of fascist regarding it.  They can’t help it, they haven’t learned that fundamental rule that creative expression in all forms, painting, writing, music, sculpting etc., is all about freedom and your own personal feeling about the piece whatever it is.  They haven’t learned that art means you can be free and express yourself, that you don’t need a meaning, it can just simply be pretty, but usually everything a creator does, does have meaning, because we are all creatures of our subconscious and our dreams or nightmares even.

A simple little thing like this, can keep millions of people both stumped and afraid of the art world.  I believe it is why many people do not go to art galleries, they feel that art is beyond them and yet everybody in this world has indulged themselves in art daily and buy art regularly, they just don’t see those kinds of arts as important as those from the big fancy galleries such as The Tate Modern.

They don’t see the art on a can of beans or on their favourite CD album, they don’t see that they had paid for that art in some way and that some artist somewhere thanks them for their purchases, because all they are interested in is eating those beans and hearing their favourite singer on the stereo.

They see a beautiful painting mass produced at some major store and take it home with them as it is nice above the fireplace and they do not realise the process that that piece of art had undergone, they might not know the name of the artist even – yet there it is, seen by them every day without a thought about it other than “isn’t it pretty”?  These same people sit there drinking their beverages unaware of just how involved they have been throughout their life in art, how you don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate it.  There is no reason to be intimidated by art when you are literally drowning in it everywhere you go.

I think for many – I know this to be true in my family.  We have people, who are great artists in our family, but they are afraid to do it as a living because they believe that in order to be a good artist who can sell their work, they need to have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding for it.  I thought this myself ten years ago and still to a certain extent yesterday, before I read that post.  Wrong.  We are all so wrong.  If you can make shapes on a piece of paper, if you can write words or play a piece of music on an instrument, you are engaging in an art form.  When you daydream and you wish, you are engaging in an art form.  When you shoot photographs from your mobile and duckface with your friends, you are engaging in an art form.  Yes, art can be silly, because it can be anything!

I understand today that mocking art is a form of social suppression; it is an act of coercive bullying to keep someone from expressing themselves in the manner that they wish to express themselves.  The point of art is freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and much more.

Some abstract art can look as though a toddler did it, but so-what?  The best forms of mental health therapy are those which involved releasing your inner child and nurturing it via self-parenting; I should know, I have been there and because no therapist can help me with my mental health I have learned to parent myself and I have learned to play with my inner child a lot.  This has got me through some tough times.  Not only that but random nonsensical splashes of paint on a canvas can be very beautiful and encapsulating.  I remember last year, I spilled rose gold ink on my sketch pad and I dabbed at the spillage with a tissue and when I pulled it off the paper I noticed by sheer dumb luck that the tissue had made a pattern that looked like a bunch of roses, so I dabbed around the whole paper and made a beautiful rose sheet of writing paper.  A happy accident, but art is formed as simply as this.

In fact, a lot of my art never started as a plan, it started as accidents or deliberate accidents.  For example, I will take a spoon of paint and let it drip or splash onto the paper for a couple of seconds, sit back and think about its shape and I let the paint tell me what it is going to be that day, then I select further colours for the piece.  I like to play, I never grew up and it is something I pride myself on.  I will do the strangest things in art and writing in order to come to the conclusions that I do; such as taking a pencil and putting it between my toes and try to draw a decided shape, such as a line or a circle or a triangle, just one thing.  I will say to myself that after ten seconds of trying this, I will stop and see what I have got and then work with it.  I do this with a pencil between the teeth, with my non-dominant hand, with splashes of paint, with a tissue or some other item dipped into paint and the result is always astounding.

I once decided I would create a picture of an ocean with a yacht and I accidentally spilled too much paint onto the ocean and dabbed it away, again with tissue, this time it left a big white imprint on the paper which was shaped like a cosmos flower and to me, all the picture then needed was a green stalk to the flower head and the picture was done.  I never did the picture with the yacht after all.

Little games like this can do wonders for your creativity.  I often play games of hypothetical situations regarding a theme I am interesting in at the time and this often gives me ideas for new projects in writing – the problem is, I do this daily and for hours sometimes and I am more full of ideas than I am actual work!

I am one of these people who can make a picture of a story out of any idea, but I seldom sit down and do it because I enjoy the process of thinking too much!

I often joke that when the technology comes where we can record our imagination and dreams and show it to others, then and only then I will be the hardest worker in the creative world!

Thank you for reading and please remember, art isn’t complicated your perception of it, is.

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Confused with technology

WordPress has a new system for updating posts now.  I am not au fait with technology at the best of times, I have never learned to use social media to its fullest advantage and I am not a very social creature – so the idea of getting help with new systems is non-existent.  If I am quiet for a few weeks or even months, best to know now, the reason is because I am a Luddite and learning new technology and technological terms is not my strong point at all and I am easily muddled, not to mention a part of my mental illness means that I get extremely stressed out and even angry when I undergo massive changes without my personal permission.

If my posts seem muddled and messy from this point on, it is because I simply don’t know what I am doing anymore!

I also don’t like how it is not easy to add pictures anymore, I don’t know how to do that right now. I can’t find the buttons to help me make this font colourful or a bigger or smaller size. I can only find the bold and alignment buttons. It’s not simple anymore. I may not pay for my domain name anymore if this is happening here and I may lose the blog soon and all the work that is on it, because I do not do well with massive changes like this, especially with a subject I loathe (technology).

I don’t want every paragraph to be a fucking block!

I don’t want my font to be always white either!

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