Tag Archives: isolation

Confessions and rants

I have a couple of horrible confessions to make! 

The reasons why I have not been producing new blog posts, especially during lock-down is because I find it hard to write at all when my son is home from school, because he is very demanding and unforgiving regarding my work.

Another reason is because I moved my computer again, because my old desk broke and I have a new one that is very uncomfortable and it took me ages to get used to typing again at different angles. 

My health has never fully recovered from the ‘supposed’ bronchitis I had at Christmas, which Paul and I suspects was probably one of the UK’s first ever Covid19 cases, because it was particularly bad and is still partly with me.

But ultimately, people have gone crazy during lock-down and I am finding it hard to be active on social media recently – the drama llamas, the ‘I am so much more special than everyone else and suffering more than anyone else in this lock-down fiasco’ attitude, I have virtually lived in lock-down all my life, so I find it very grating!  I am also very frustrated because of lock-down, because most of my life I have been forced into isolation and it has been only for the last five years I have been truly free to do whatever I want, only for fate to take over and decide that I am going into isolation again – the story of my fucking life!

Whoever created me is determined to make sure I don’t have a full and happy social life.

I keep getting the feeling it wants me to reside myself to that and I don’t want to.

Because I knew my posts would be mostly ranting about how hard done by I am regarding the fates, I haven’t posted until now.

Poor excuses I know and I have had writer friends email me on Facebook telling me that this is a prime opportunity for me to post on my blog as there is a wider community ready to read my stuff because of sheer lock-down boredom, I didn’t take the bait, but since lock-down is loosening in the UK and various British social media posts are becoming (if at all possible) a little saner I feel I can go back onto social media without losing my mind too.

But I have to say it – lock-down has been fantastic really, especially in the creative community.  The entertainment community has vastly improved in my opinion, the innovation that lock-down has caused has been amazing.  Also, people of my generation and younger are actually starting to care more about other people and are actually getting off their arses to learn how to fucking cook and sew, which is great and a skill everyone should have, not just because they’re bored!  I mean come on, for thousands of years women have cooked from scratch and made their families clothing, why is it that in the past fifty years it’s been different?  Laziness that’s why!  Don’t you dare attack me for these statement feminists, it’s great to be a feminist and all of that, but you got to know how to bake a fucking cake for Christ’s sake!

You have got to know how to feed and clothe your family if the system falls down – take a leaf from the scout’s book – ‘BE PREPARED’!  What good is it that your nails are nicely manicured and painted and you slag off men – if in the crux of a societal meltdown you’re burning your house down to feed your family and you’re dying of the nuclear winter because your sewing and/or creative skills are non-existent? 

Take a moment to think on that please.  I hope lock-down due to Covid-19 has shown people that nothing is permanent and everything can falter, hugely at any given moment, I think this is a valuable lesson to show people to not divert away from too much traditional housekeeping.  Remember, as a woman you should be proud of your heritage more than men, because ultimately you keep men going by feeding them, clothing them and keeping their families together!  That’s powerful and the feminists I know don’t see the power that women REALLY do have with the traditional aspects of our cultures.  It’s a shame many traditional skills are being lost because of this illusion that to know how to cook and sew means you’re not being valued as an equal member of society, it’s a stupid illusion and needs to fucking change!

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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

Just an old man on an empty island

I’m sitting here at an empty table

Thinking of the days of yore

I struggled in from my empty stable

I don’t have those horses anymore

I’m alone on a windy island

All alone from kin and man

All I have is the violent ocean

All I have is this piece of land

So I come in from my empty stable

I put the kettle on the stove

I sit and think about the days gone by

I wonder where it’s gone to

Life is hard when you’re an old man

No one here to give a care

But I sit here at my empty table

Sitting on a hard oak chair

I’m drifting off into a slumber

It won’t be long before I’m gone

Just a man with an empty island

Here with my last breath ends my song

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Filed under Poems J - L

A dying spirit

I need to get this off my chest, I apologise if the following becomes a long-winded rant and it is not my intention.

But I simply can’t do it anymore – I cannot live up to other people’s expectations and other peoples idea of what is or is not morally correct or what is or is not true; Everything that I talk about regarding my current life and my past are all true in my eyes, but a lot of people will deny that it is the truth and I can understand why they would lie about that – they are trying to socially protect themselves because they treated me wrong and don’t want the ramifications of how others may perceive them for it.  I appreciate their feelings on this, but I won’t hide the truth, I won’t keep deleting things just because the truth fucking hurts them, they never take into account how much their actions have hurt me so why the fuck am I so bloody accommodating to them?

I have rights too, I have a right to express myself anyway I blooming need to in order to heal.  Living a life of quiet pacification is literally killing me as a person and me as an artist/writer.

Living the life that my previous abusers want me to, is killing the person that I am in every way shape and form that a person can be!

I took on this blog back in winter of 2012 purely as to act as a form of therapy for myself as recommended by my therapist, he suggested I talk freely about everything I want to regarding my life, he recommended that I also use it to bring back the creative person I was again.  It worked until some people found out a few things about my mum they never knew before and they like defensive little minions went and told her and defended her and grouped up on me via telephone and emails to hound me to tell everybody who reads my blog that everything I said was a lie.  They wanted me to lie about the truth I told – they demanded then that I go to London again and at a family gathering literally grovel for my mother’s forgiveness in front of them!  I am quite serious about what I just said; they did demand this of me!

Every time I say something about them on my blog, I do run the risk of anyone in my family still sticking around to read what I am saying, relaying and potentially getting telephone calls and emails again, which is why I had to change the telephone number and we are considering moving because of this, because I can’t be silent anymore.  I need to express everything I have gone through and I feel it is my calling to help others who have gone through the same coercive upbringing as I have, by talking about my past.  A coercion that I was raised in is quite unusual but not unheard of and many people who have experienced this kind of abuse rarely talk about it, because of how violent a large amount of people can get if they hear of it.  You see it is usually lead by one individual who has a large social circle who will act like posse to reign in the abused child if they start getting out of hand or rather, start becoming independent and so-called rebellious to their clique ideologies. 

It rather like living with a mafia minded family with an extended social circle of friends all of whom think alike, like a big extended hive mind. 

This kind of abuse is hard to deal with for a lot of therapists; I have never found one who has been able to help me.  They all suggest that various people of whom have taken a part in controlling me should go and see them, but who the fuck will go up to their abusers and say “you know what?  My therapist wants to see you as I seem relatively stable in comparison to you guys”.  Lol – no one is going to do that and the therapist appreciates that for safety reasons it is probably best not to suggest it.

You know how badly the revelation to my mother has affected me? 

I became for a long time now, primarily a poet who occasionally dips into abstract impressionistic paintings, because I have been scared to talk about anything anymore.  I have even been told that some of my novels I used to write, that the family often used to read, that they see now that some of the things in my fiction work could actually be based on my supposed “poor abused childhood fantasy life”, to a certain extent a few of the themes in my stories are based on my own personal experiences, but I understand enough to know what is true and what isn’t.  That is my fiction.  The stuff I talk about regarding my life is TRUE and I state this quite clearly, the message has not been mixed!

Because I am struggling to appease my abusers so they don’t come back into my life in an aggressive way, I have almost ignored a lot of my creative expression via words and non-fiction posts.  This has led to me becoming so severely depressed that it is affecting my health badly.  I have a lot of problem with mobility of the whole of my left side of the body and I have extreme insomnia and hypersomnia – what I mean is, I can’t sleep for like 30 hours and then when I do I can’t wake up for 15 hours and sleeping comes randomly at any time and once I feel just a tiny bit tired, it is almost like I have collapsed into a coma.  Nobody can wake me up, not even Henry having a tantrum on the bed next to me; it is like I have died!  Quite often, the last thing I think about when I go to sleep is “I hope I die in my sleep – I don’t want to wake up, I don’t like the burden of my memories”.

My appetite is dead, I only eat when extremely hungry now and it is usually just one meal per day and around the side of a sandwich, coincidentally I am losing a huge amount of weight pretty quickly and my hair is around 60% white now.

To say the suppressors are literally killing me by using my own mind against me is an understatement.  I find no joy in anything anymore.  Everything about the sweet, bubbly, fun, obedient, passive, quiet, little Tina everybody once knew is dead.

In trying to force me to be their idea of perfect instead they have made me their idea of a waste of space.

For my health and sanity sake I have to heal the only way I know how.  So I am taking a risk, if they get back into my life again somehow, so be it, I am ready for the repercussions because the alternative is death anyway.  I am going to die someday anyway, why is sooner no better than later?  Would I rather die in secret of how I died and be a mystery to all who knew me forever, or do I want to die in a way where other people can understand me and understand my situation and perhaps, just maybe, stop this from happening to other people?

I know which one I have picked.

The thing is – before they interfered and demanded me to delete and shut up, I was only sharing what I thought was the minor stuff, the stuff that isn’t too big to shout about.  The stuff that is easy for my readers to digest – but now they’ve done this, maybe it is time for the real big stuff, the stuff that makes my therapists cry?  That stuff I kept to myself, that stuff I never revealed and I don’t think people like my big brother, understand there is an even darker side to our mother, than even he realises!

I don’t like talking about that stuff, because I hate remembering the really, dark, dark stuff, but how I express it here, sometimes it comes out sub consciously through my abstract impressionistic art and the images I paint are also not easy to digest for a lot of people.

But I think it is time to just be me in every way shape and form and not hide from myself anymore.  I can’t.  Shutting me away in every way possible is suffocating my spirit and body to death, I need to free myself and that makes taking big scary risks!

Because I am pretty damned sure, since November, my body and spirit is preparing to die.  I am convinced of it and I need to stop this process – not for me, but for my boy.  I care only for him, not these coercive “I have a problem with your life and truth” assholes!  No one can have a bigger problem with my life and truth than ME!  Get over yourselves you control FREAKS!

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Writers and social networking

The question I posed in yesterday’s post was written because I genuinely struggle with the question and it can cause a writing slump for me as I sit back worrying about writing yet another story just like “story A” but with a lot of major differences and different characters.  I would love nothing better than to have the freedom to write all the things I would like, but that would make me come across to readers as predictable and boring.  I can run along with the same idea and make changes quite easily and do so forever and be quite happy about it, but I don’t like doing things for myself too much, I like to write to make other people happy and to help break their monotony, I don’t want to be accused of boring them with the same stuff all the while.  But I do know that diehard fans would love reading the same stuff and the same characters over and over again, but they are far and few between usually.

What I lack more than anything in my life is a group of people who can talk to me about their experiences and how they do things and whether or not I actually have the right to feel this way and to sort of give me the permission one way or another to continue doing that or discontinue doing that. 

I can think for myself don’t get me wrong – but it is hard when you are the only writer you personally know and that the ones I do socialise with are very successfully already that they got past all of this twenty, thirty years ago and I can’t get close enough to discuss this at length with them.  My writer friend circle is so small that there isn’t a lot of room for debate if you understand me?  So I don’t have a lot of personal opinions to mull over.

This is the big bug bear of writers who don’t socialise – they don’t have a support network that is large enough to actually give them a good look into a true writers world and they can eventually become quite easily biased by the very few writers or indeed tutors of writings opinions and styles so much so, that they lose themselves in their tiny circles quality of writing.  Or to rephrase that, they become who they socialise with because their circle is so small and therefore influences them too much.  I understand how vital it is to have a large network, but I just can’t seem to get started – I don’t seem to have the personality where other writers want to talk to me more than just a criticism or a sentence. 

I think it has a lot to do with the social isolation I have in general life anyway.  I never really knew how to socialise appropriately because I was always shut away whilst growing up – but I have tried to approach people in the writing community to find myself up against people who seem so full of angst at talking to me that they give me short terse sentences or just all out criticism which isn’t healthy on so many levels that to be quite frank, I have given up on the idea of online social networking.

That’s a big shame, because I really want to learn more about this craft but I just keep coming up against a brick wall socially about it.

 

 

 

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Filed under About my work

Is this for Steven or someone else?

Thank you for your spells of isolation

Thank you for my limited social sphere

Because no one ever sat back and noticed

That to socialise wrought me bundles of fear

You done great service to my existence

You did great wonders to my life

You took away all the pain and suffering

That came with a very social life

I tried so hard once to be normal

I tried once to socialise a lot you see

I tried hard to be what folks called normal

Because they kept on nagging me

But when you came and cast your spell

You set my spirit free

Now no one wants to know me

I’m not a social bee

To me life is heaven living solitarily

 

And if you believe that, you’re a fool, no one can appreciate social isolation, nobody wants it, do they?

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Filed under Poems D - F, Poems G - I

Prison of a dark pearl

Blackness descends all around me

Clothing me in the shadows of darkness

How dark can it get?

Darker than dark

I am hidden from the world

Hidden within the prison of a dark pearl

They keep me safe, but blind, concealed alone

Clasped within the hands of the damned

I am at their mercy

For at any time, the pearl can drop and break

As can my soul

When shall I at last wake?

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Filed under Poems P - R

Music and Me

I apologise for not posting my word prompts before noon, I got a little too excited today with a delivery I had of a new musical instrument I am attempting to play – something I can hear on bad days and doesn’t require difficult fingering for my left hand – a recorder.   

I have always been musically inclined, since a small child I would visit my grandmother and play on her piano in her dining room whilst she prepared lunch, we often visited her on Sundays, usually just my dad and I.  I would play all the notes and eventually started to learn some tunes by ear.  I never learned to read music even now I have never learned to read and understand music fully or professionally or with professional help. 

The piano was my first attempt at music, always perfect righthandedly and terrible with my left hand due to my disability.  When I was around seven years old my dad talked mum into buying me a keyboard so I can practise at home whenever I liked and ever since my house has never been without a keyboard in it.  I have never personally owned a piano and I never learned to use a pianos foot pedals or learn the proper terminologies for anything regarding music, except for one word I learned listening to classic FM radio as a teenager = Adagio means to play slowly.

I was then upgraded to a more professional style keyboard aged seventeen as a birthday present, this had digitisation to it (I think that’s what people call it), where I could hook up the keyboard to the internet and download new songs to learn, because this particular keyboard had a function where it taught you how to place your hands and how to keep time.  When I was about nineteen my brother gave me an old copy of Cubase that a friend of his owned and I learned I could compose music by using this, without ever knowing how to actually write the music.  I had saved the music I composed onto an MP3 floppy disk and I still have it to this day and the keyboard too actually!  Unfortunately that Cubase I had is years out of date and I have never been able to finance a replacement, so until I can replace Cubase, my composing days are over!

Pianos and keyboards were never my only dip into the music world; I have in fact learned to play a paper and comb, some notes on a harmonica, belly dancing cymbals, some tunes on my dad’s bugle, an xylophone at a day centre for children when I was around thirteen, some notes on a guitar but again my left hand failed me and I never did get around to replacing my guitar with a left handed version, I also played quite well an accordion, but my parents sold it at a car boot sale once, they claimed they were having a hard time and I never did get it back, I was doing better on that than the keyboard and I had rather of given up the keyboard instead. The fact I did better with an accordion stands to reason as it was a right handed instrument and the fingers I needed on my left hand could do the job properly.

I haven’t played music for nearly six years because I was ill, but also because the house got a little too crowded and messy and I couldn’t set up my keyboard in a permanent position anymore; afraid it would get damaged I had it boxed up and stored safely under the bed in the spare room and I feel that a neglected and unplayed musical instrument is sacrilege. 

Funnily enough my depression started around the same time I boxed up the keyboard.  I came to this realisation a few days ago but I knew my left hand is worse these days and I can’t improve my left handed playing at all now.  I nearly got into a deeper form of depression with this realisation but then I watched a YouTube video to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I stumbled across a TedTalk by a woman named Barbara Sher and the title of the video was “Isolation is the dream-killer”; I have been thinking so much about how isolated I am despite my battle to escape from it because of the struggles I had with certain people in my life a few years ago.  I thought maybe loneliness was one of the main reasons I am depressed, how can I be sure it is missing a musical instrument? 

Well anyway, here is a link to see the video for yourselves – https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI

She put out a question that I had to think about for myself and that is “What is your dream and what are your obstacle/obstacles”? 

My first thought I don’t exactly remember, but I do remember that I had several dreams I have that are still unaccomplished and most of the those dreams boil down to financial insecurity where I have to think twice about buying a bottle of Pepsi and of course, isolation.

I browsed a book by my bedside, I think it was called “The Little Book of Wonder” and the lady who had written it said that you have to remain curious throughout your life, if you don’t know something, don’t shrug and think that it doesn’t matter and it isn’t important, if you had that question in your head, go and find the answer as it might lead you into an entirely different path in life.   

So I absorbed those words and thought about stuff and then I browsed more YouTube videos and I found a doctor of psychology called Guy Winch in another TedTalk; He said that loneliness can knock significant number of years off our life and cause us to become ill, it can affect our immune system greatly because our emotional wellbeing determines whether we are healthy or not.  This explained a lot to me, because since living in my own home with my husband and having a baby I have ironically became more isolated than I ever was before I left my parents’ house (ironic because my main form of abuse and neglect was social isolation growing up, even as an adult it was very coercive and controlling the relationship between my mother and I).  But because I had a baby and fell ill just a few weeks shy from his third birthday, I became drastically isolated after being free from true isolation for nearly three years!  In fact for the first eight months of my illness I couldn’t get out of bed to go and talk to a doctor about what was wrong! 

It was around this time I decided to never talk to my parents again too, so the only guaranteed socialising I could have done when I became sick, I cut off.  I was getting five or more phone calls per day from my mum and once a week visits that lasted six hours a time, to having no phone calls with anyone and only annual visits from my adult nephews, to then having just the annual visits ONLY for the next six years.

That isn’t good for anybody!

So I had a long hard look at my life and realised that depression and loneliness is killing me, literally.  It must be, because around six years ago I was diagnosed with a handful of different types of auto-immunity diseases and recently doctors are suspecting MS and/or neurological problems as well. 

One thing I have always been frightened of is Motor-Neurone disease, it runs rife on my dad’s side of the family and my dad’s family as a whole are very close within family, extensive family (we still talk to our cousins four times removed) but don’t socialise much outside of family and church friends or salvation army duties. 

I wondered if illness due to isolation or loneliness could be genetic on my father’s side.

Anyway, Dr Guy Winch’s video can be found here – https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI

Worrying about being isolated, too sick to socialise and the expense of joining college or a social club (because I have to rely on public transport), I asked some questions to the universe.  I asked the universe what you want me to do?  What do I have to do to change things being there are more obstacles for me than anyone else I know?  I got no answers.

Then I asked the universe that if my life was supposed to be to help motivate others, or be as creative as I can be in all creative interests I have then send me money somehow – if my life isn’t meant to be like this, then make something else happen to blatantly show me what it is I was made to do! 

So, knowing that money doesn’t just fall onto the doorstep when you implore the universe to give it to you – I tried to make receiving it easy.  I decided to (and this is no exaggeration) I decided to take a risk, I had just £15 left for my own personal treats (not the families, my own, I get around £40 a month just for me it is Paul’s rule that I treat myself each month) – I took that £15 and I spent it on 888ladies.com and I won £200, for me that is like winning 5k, I was so happy it paid off my overdraft and I could have a little to spend on a new bra and some new trousers as my clothes are getting too big on me lately.  But I thought that doesn’t change anything; it just helps my current situation without improving it so I took another risk – I said the universe, if I am supposed to learn a musical instrument and buy art supplies I will need this again or a bit more please.  So I rolled the slots again and I instantly won another £250 that is enough I thought, that is enough to get some art supplies and buy a cheap instrument – but I didn’t know what instrument to get?

This made me very happy and I decided to “Be Curious” as the book said earlier that night. 

I asked myself some questions.

What does all these musical instruments I hear on the BBC Proms sound like as solo instruments?  I didn’t know a majority of them singularly.  So I again, went onto YouTube and I searched through every musical instrument I could think of to find solo samples. 

I made a list of my favourite sounds.

Piano

Harpsichord

Jazz Piano

Bass

Trombone

French horn

Piccolo

Recorder

Saxophone

Crystallaphone

Glockenspiel

An apprehension engine

Xylophone

Harp

Lute

Cello

Accordion

Violin

And trumpet

There were others but I don’t remember them. 

Then I asked…

What musical instrument can I learn that has limited mobility to the hand?

Perhaps go back to the accordion and this time learn to read music?

A recorder doesn’t require the left pinkie to play.

A trombone

A xylophone – crystallaphone or a glockenspiel

I then thought about the types of classical music I love the most and I know that I love folk, medieval and baroque above all others! 

So I decided on the recorder first and foremost and eventually the glockenspiel. 

So I bought this recorder for me and Henry (because whenever I do something new Henry nags us to get him the same so he can share practise time with me, which is sweet and expensive sometimes)!

 

 

It was pretty cheap £16.37 each from Amazon.co.uk

It is a Yamaha YRS302BIII Soprano, plastic.  When I had decided it would be the recorder I discovered a wonderful lady on YouTube called Sarah Jeffrey who teaches you practically everything about being a recorder player, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about the instrument and makes learning about it fun!

She can be found here, this is the first lesson https://youtu.be/-d6uVjIEkMY

Until I found her videos I never knew how many different types of recorders there are and that they can all be played the same way, because they are the same instrument.  Different woods and plastic and lengths can make different sounds.  A true and passionate recorder player will have a large collection of different recorders to choose from.  I am getting a baroque alto before Christmas as I am taking to this instrument remarkably and yes, I am trying to learn how to read music now.

I have practised for three hours today and I am very tired now.  I know it is likely I will have two months a year off from practise because I am prone to very nasty chest infections in the winter that usually always lead to pneumonia for some reason.

So, there you have it.  The reason behind why I was late today.

Let me know in the comments below whether or not you are also musically inclined and share with me what you play and what you are passionate about, I would love to know!

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TASKS AND PASTS

I have this book called “365 Ways to get you writing daily, inspiration and advice for creative writers” by Jane Cooper.  I have been thinking about what to post on my blog to keep it active, I am not sure I want to post up my snippets for actual things I am planning as I find it a bit personal, but I thought that perhaps these tasks would help me show you my creative writing so you can critique me, thus help improve my style or enhance my work. 

I don’t lack confidence in my writing, because each to their own and I understand that not everyone is going to like my stuff, but I do want to be more involved with my blog and I do want to know if my writing does need more improvement.

I don’t want to worry about grammar and punctuation at the moment, because the priority for me is to get writing and be more active in the creative community than be a pedant, because being a pedant (and coming across many other pedants) was what made my writing stop for several years.

I have many friends who are artists and not many that are writers and the artists tell me that the worst thing that any artist can do with their creativity is to try and make it too perfect before it’s finished, because then you lose the heart and soul of your work and nobody will like it then; writing is not different, many writers like to look at themselves as a form of artist and visual artists like to consider anyone who is creative as an artist too!  Actors = performance artists, writers are verbal artists, painters are visual artists, singers are music artists, you get the picture – if you are creating something or trying to show something in a new light YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

One big thing I learned recently is that my writing from 2002 is completely different than the writing I did in 2008 and though you would think that I had been writing that time and had obviously improved my craft, you would be wrong!  I became a pedant and people who read my work were also pedants, they were grammar Nazis and they were not interested in my genre and they were going on about honing in on my style of writing before I actually wrote the stories I aimed to write to the extent, I found I lost my heart and soul and so did my stories.  I became a show don’t tell writer who turned into a tell don’t show writer and I didn’t know it until only last month, when I was revising three neglected stories to revive, two of which came from before 2002 and were rewritten in 2008 and 2016 – that is how I could tell that I had lost my way. 

I also sat back and wondered about why I had lost my passion to research, read and write?  I blamed a lot of things and people for it, but ultimately it was because I had lost heart and I was no longer giving momentum to those three things that used to bring me joy every day.

I lost contact with several of my favourite forums and journal sites because of some spiteful bullying I endured at the beginning of 2009 from a scorned ex – that broke my network big time, I had developed decade long relationships which were broken down very quickly with his childish games and I just didn’t want to be anywhere where his energy had been at the time.  This caused me to go into what I call “Creative Isolation”.  I had only two creative friends who stuck by me after that event which spread across thirty websites!

But anyway, the blame still lies with me.  I allowed this to affect me in such a way that I created this creative bubble around myself, thus my writing suffered due to lack of oxygen and lack of oxygen made me lose momentum and once momentum is gone it takes will power and a lot of pushing yourself to get it back again, but you can get it back again. 

This is why I mentioned the above book.  I am going to do tasks in the book and post them on my blog for you to critique, I may not respond for a few days at times, as I often forget to check my mails and comments, but I will get to you in time.  I take my craft very seriously, sometimes too seriously that I forget sometimes that it is supposed to be fun.  I know the book has 365 ways, but I will not do one task per day, I may do many a day or my own random tasks whenever I can.

Another post may follow tonight, dependant on what’s going on with the family tonight; We’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s not just me who appears to be sick either, so bear with me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A freedom not suicide poem

You deny me of health

You deny me of wealth

You deny me of friendship and love and games

You deny me of faith, you deny me of hope

You deny me of living and you drive me insane

That’s why I left you

That’s why I am gone

That’s why you won’t see me from hereon

That’s why I rant and that’s why I rave

You denied me of life, the things that I craved

So now I have gone, I will piece things together

I will find my hope, faith, love and more

I will carry on, night and day

And I don’t care if your heart is so sore

For I am through with living for you and I live for you no more!

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Filed under Poems A - C