I’ll Fail My Exams if I Don’t Do This

Until 26 May, I can’t:
• Post unless VERY necessary
• Reply to comments
• Read blogs much if at all
• Take part or organise any collabs
• Seriously. No “HAHAHAHA let’s take a hiatus and post a week later!” like last time

Why do I need to do this? Simple. My exams start on the 15th and I. Have. Done. Fuck. All. Revision. I mean that. I’m screwed.

You know when you make up excuses as to why you can’t work, then you get so stressed at how much you have to do, then you can’t do it? That is me. What is also me is convincing myself I’m totally fine and not feeling shitty constantly in order to actually get stuff done.

This is necessary. This is one of the most necessary things I’ve ever had to do. I watched this video earlier and got hit with the reality of everything. I’m not doing enough. If I continue like this, I. Will. Fail. No “But you’ll do great!” about it. No “But you ARE doing enough work!” I’m not and I know it.

If you need to contact me, I will be around – I’m not just utterly abandoning. My email is always open or you can message me on Twitter but I’ll be checking my emails more often. I actually can’t read comments or blogs because I’ll get pulled back in; that’s what happened last time.

Bye for now, everyone – see you on the “other side”, if you will. You know I love you and this blog means the world to me but I’m terrified right now and need to do intense amounts of work. I am very lazy and unmotivated; that must change. FUCK, I only have three weeks left.

Keep going and staying as you are. I hope that pushing down everything and replacing it with a good work ethic won’t damage me afterwards: I’ll be fine.

From Elm 🙂

On Having Divorced Parents

My parents divorced about 9 years ago, when I was 8 and my sister was 11. We were told separately: me in a graveyard by my dad and my sister was told by my mum at home. I cried, asked where mum was going to live and then my dad got me a recorder as a present to cheer me up. I have no idea what my mum said to my sister but because I was 8, I didn’t really get it and just knew my mum was moving out: I didn’t know if I would go with her and for some reason, I thought I would never see her again.

I don’t remember much from that time. I don’t remember the arguments that came before their divorce – I knew there were some; I remember vaguely some shouting . It didn’t really come as a surprise to me, both then and now: my mum hadn’t lived full-time in the house since I was 6 because she’d been working abroad. Then again, I couldn’t tell you much about how I’d felt because I don’t remember it: I wish I did sometimes. I know I was sad, that there was a battle for custody and that they got joint custody of both me and my sister. Mum got a rental house and then a year later, got a proper one.

I’m lucky: my parents get on. They don’t fight; they don’t hate each other; they aren’t awkward around each other. My dad remarried and my mum now has a steady boyfriend and it’s all good from that standpoint. I don’t dislike either of them and because I don’t remember them screaming at each other, I don’t have a reason to. It’s not all like that and the divorce – however “amicable” I thought it was at the time – has affected me in ways I only realised recently because before, I thought that absolutely everything was fine.

There was one thing I’ll distinctly remember for a long time and that was when my mum kicked our bin in. Being carried by my dad, I had no idea what was happening because this was after they’d split. She got so angry: I only remember me yelling at her in my 8-year-old way. We had to replace that bin, although it wasn’t for a while and when people came in, we didn’t comment on the dent. I don’t blame my mum because her and my dad were having a massive row but when I think about it, it’s kind of fucked up and the worst part is that it didn’t phase me and I thought it was normal to do that.

As much as my parents get on, they live in two separate houses. That means I switch between them and not on a regular schedule either: at the time of organisation, I got so panicked when a week at a time at each house was suggested that this idea was scrapped. We never did implement it: I go to each house when I feel like it. Or, I don’t. I wish it was that damn simple because I’m so grateful that they don’t hate each other but it just makes switching between their houses much more difficult.

When I was younger, it didn’t bother me: it was exciting. I used to joke: “I have two rooms!” and “It just means that friends can come to two houses!” – forgetting the fact that I had two good friends in primary school – but as I got older, problems started to happen in my mind concerning the switch. After discussing it a lot with my dad – who is the only one I can really talk to about this – I’ve come to the conclusion that it comes down to guilt.

I feel like a package. I’m at dad’s right now but that’s because my mum is with her boyfriend; it just feels like my mum thinks that going to my dad’s is a necessary evil or something. Every time she says “And you can come back to mine tomorrow!” I feel miserable inside because I’m not brave enough to tell her that actually, I’d rather stay at dad’s today. I’m terrified I’ll hurt her feelings because my sister’s at university and she’d be alone at the house.

My mum does try and she’s a good parent but sometimes I feel trapped. My mood noticeably dropped when I go to hers: I become snappy, horrible, not myself and because I feel on edge most of the time, my self-esteem plummets. Then it’s fine; I settle back in; I go to my dad’s and feel relaxed. It’s the expectation: she thinks that I’m coming to hers and when I go to dad’s? “I need a break anyway haha!” It’s like I’m being passed from one to the other. When I spend a while at dad’s, mum asked WHEN I’m coming to hers and that makes me feel worse. I don’t want to upset people.

At least I get to see them though: I should stop complaining. There are so many people out there that can’t see one or both of their parents. However, when you’re treated like some sort of object occasionally, it affects how you feel about yourself and I don’t like that. Whether it’s because of this – whether it’s the root cause or this has just increased an existing feeling – recently, I’ve not felt worth much.

A superficial thing is that clothes get misplaced from one house to the other. I’ve honestly lost a bunch of my clothes because when I transfer, I bring some but not all: they get washed, put in a place where I can’t find them and then I get so stressed. It gets to the point where my parents communicate with each other to find out where the fuck my tops have gone because “They’re not at mine,” which consequently makes me panicky because it puts pressure on me to find my clothes. It’s another thing which I don’t have independence over and I feel like crying because I really hate being told “Okay, have you packed everything?” and having to organise when to get picked up, with my mum constantly asking “Can you say this-” when I’m on the phone.

I just sometimes hate it, you know? It’s so much better than if they were still married because they’re happier but I wish I had more freedom: it’s not that I don’t, it’s that I feel guilty about upsetting my mum especially. She wants me to spend most of my time round hers: I’m going shopping with her tomorrow so she can help me buy clothes and I don’t want to go. I want to stay home, revise and actually relax without becoming angry or defensive. I hate myself when I’m like that.

Knowing that people have it worse can be comforting but it sometimes makes me feel like my problems or feelings are stupid or worthless. Then, I shut them out or block them because I feel like I don’t deserve to feel them because both my parents are nice, don’t argue any more and ine happy now. I shouldn’t feel like that but I do because I am lucky.

I know that their divorce is all in the past but I never got to talk about it when I was younger. I didn’t really realise it needed to be talked upon because it seemed pointless: everything was okay; I wasn’t bothered. I haven’t spoken to my sister about it much at all because it’s too late now but I still feel panicked when I think about how they might both be lonely if I leave.

Opening up about this has taken a huge weight off my chest. I always feel like I can’t talk about it because it happened so long ago. It’s not like it’s serious but I know that at least some of my worry and excess clinginess and paranoia is due to feeling like I have to juggle houses and being at the whim of plans I have no control over. I don’t know. Even talking about this is making me feel guilty because I know my parents love me so much but the reality is, I couldn’t have gone through this unscathed.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. Going through a divorce is so hard for parents but it’s hard for us too. Even if it happened 5 years, 10 years or however many years ago, it can still affect you. Time doesn’t dictate whether you should be “over it”: I should know; you can talk about how you feel. If you don’t feel like its worth anything, remember that it’s your mental health. It’s not easy and if you need to speak to anyone, you can: my email’s always open because I know what it’s like, especially, to not realise that a part of the reason you get so angry now and in the past is because you weren’t aware you could express your feelings of panic and isolation before.

From Elm 🙂

Blank Slate

She had shining, chestnut hair and the girl with duller locks watched her from afar, as if she was some kind of painting. When she laughed, her whole face lit up; her eyes blazed, mouth stretching into the widest smile you’d see.

Her walk was precise, feet tapping the floor of the corridors: she carried herself with ease, interacting with the people around her with a certain finnesse that the other girl could never replicate. Her laugh was never forced, always ringing out above the rest – her long limbs and delicacy dominated every room she entered.

Her marks in tests were sparkling, perfect – she seemed to have everything under control. It was because of that that the other girl watched her with a certain admiration, only increasing with time. She was everything that the other wasn’t, or so it looked.

On a sunny day in mid April, the other girl noticed the change. It was a gradual process at first: her walk became slower; her laugh became a little less vibrant. Going from gold to bronze, she kept up the facade of happiness, strolling down the same corridors and greeting the same people. When green eyes met brown across the lawn, only by chance, the latter was utterly devoid of emotion. They weren’t filled with the usual laughter and the other girl frowned, a fleeting look of worry crossing her face. The brown-eyed girl turned away, almost seeming to be disgusted.

Breathing deeply, she walked after the girl whose face she could never figure out. She was only a formless blur in the hallways to her but perhaps one voice would be enough to do something, anything. Before she could ask herself why she cared, she shouted – “Hey!” running to catch up with her, tapping her gently on the arm.

The girl whirled around, flinching violently, eyes widening in astonishment and panic. A breathy laugh escaped before her mouth flattened, visibly, as a struggle took place. Her features smoothed into the polite, distant mask which you see on strangers – so different from the alive expression she once wore; so alien from the agitated gleam which the girl with green eyes had seen.

“Um, yes? Is everything okay? Indifference laced her tone, tinged with a small slice of impatience.

“I, ahh…” Stumbling over her words, the girl glanced from left to right – barely able to focus on the face of the girl in front of her. “Look, I know you don’t know me and it’s probably rude of me to ask this, but – are you okay? I couldn’t help noticing you’ve looked really, um, not yourself the last couple of days…”

The girl stared at her, starting in surprise. “Me? Yes, I’m fine. Why do you ask? You don’t know who I am. You don’t know how I usually act!” Her tone acquired a hint of sudden defensiveness as she stepped forward slightly, intently gazing at the other girl.

“I know but I just wanted to check… I haven’t told anyone; I just saw you and you weren’t smiling and you looked so sad and-”

“You’re telling me I always have to smile? I always have to look happy? I’m not allowed to feel like shit – is that it?”

“No, no!” She was flustered, face flushing; blinking a few times, she focused back on her face. “All I was asking is if you’re alright. You might need someone to talk to… It can help.”

Upon the girl straightening up to her full height, it was evident that she’d been slouching for such a long time that it had become her normal posture. She stepped forward still, air rushing into her lungs with an audible swish. “Someone to listen to me! You know what – I do need someone to listen to me but it isn’t you. What-” Her lips twisted in slight scorn – “I don’t know you, at all, and the only time you noticed is when I showed it. Funny how the people who are supposed to know when you’re feeling awful don’t see shit and those that don’t know you at all are the only ones that notice!”

Taken aback, the other girl shuddered a little. “I only want to help,” she mumbled, glancing fleetingly into the eyes of the taller girl. “Do you want help?”

“Yes, I-” She broke off, blinking. “I’ve needed help for so long but everyone thinks everything is fine. They think that my head’s all put together but I don’t know what to think; I want to scream and inside my mind I’m shouting!” At this, her hands came together in a sharp clap, making the girl in front of her jump. “I’m so fucking twisted and sick with myself that I don’t know how to feel alright anymore and nobody bothers to ask why because they think I have everything under control.

“People don’t like to see me cry because if I cry – if the so-called perfect, high-achieving girl cries – then they think the world’s over. I don’t want people to take this too seriously – I’m fine most of the time – but I can’t stop this now.”

Nodding, the other girl bit her lip softly. “I’m sorry – people have expectations of you. They – I don’t know – they want you to be someone you’re not.”

For a split second the girl of flawed perfection appeared terrified, the soft angles of her face morphing into hard and unforgiving lines. Her mouth opened, white teeth blinking in the light, as if in a gasp that only she could hear. She swayed, breathing in, out, in, until her breaths mingled with that of the wind and the other girl’s. Her shaking subsided, giving way to a terrible stillness.

“I don’t know who I am,” she whispered, her murmur seeming somehow flat. “I don’t know where I’m going because there’s no one here to help me. I’m trapped and alone and nobody sees except you but to you, I’m just someone you saw randomly and decided to help for God knows what reason. I’m scared – I’m so scared-”

Green stared into her eyes and shivered at the look within them. The raw emotions, the fear and wildness, withdrew behind shutters that she could almost see close. Even the air around her seemed to be stagnant as it waited, every emotion bleeding from her, only leaving the surface behind.

“It’s the only thing I can do,” her eyes seemed to say. “Who am I?” The mask dropped into place and the board was wiped clean: she was blank again. What could the other girl do to bring her back, really?

After she had walked abruptly away, the shorter girl stayed there – standing – for a few minutes. Replaying the encounter in her mind, she realised that the girl was utterly shattered, the only thing she do being to smash down her feelings. Would anyone notice, when the exterior was so whole? Did anybody care enough to look?

* * *

Sometimes, the people who seem the most put together are the most broken. Sometimes, people aren’t what they seem and you never really know a person until you see them at their most vulnerable.

From Elm 🙂

Feelings are Gross

I rather intensely dislike it when my brain decides to tell me, in no uncertain terms – “Heyy! There are these two people and you like them both but here’s the bad news – you like one more than the other but either will end in disaster! Let’s go and have a party to celebrate!”

After said brain freezes in shock for about a year because I haven’t had proper “feelings” for someone for ages, it then throws itself a pity party. That involves cynical laughter, creating lists as to why my feelings are a terrible idea and then eventually giving up and screaming in frustration. I’m surprised I haven’t imploded yet.

Here is my predicament. Because of people who know the people reading my blog, I can’t mention specifics. Let’s call them person 1 and 2, just to be original.

Upon realising that I had actual, un-pretend but otherwise stupid feelings for person 1, I may or may not have freaked out. This person doesn’t go to my school – which is important when we get to person 2 but shhh – and we know each other kind of well? There are a few bits of our personalities which really don’t fit together and which we don’t understand but still, the person makes me happy and I don’t have to pretend around them. Having feelings is so… Weird, now.

This is all great. The only problem is that feelings for this person would result in absolute disaster or decimation of my entire personality. Hello yes, I’m being dramatic because I’m a self-professed drama queen but I know that if anybody found out the person who I’m talking about – including 1 themselves – the following may happen:
1. They would laugh until they had tears rolling down their face because it seems so ridiculous
2. My friends would try and convince me that they “fancied” me which would raise my hopes, making it even worse when I realised that they don’t. At all.
3. Being in a relationship with them would just be… No.
4. I’m a clingy child and if I made this “real” by telling loads of people, I’d become worse
5. My feelings for them are relatively solid and that scares me shitless
6. Living in the moment only works when there’s an actual moment to live in, as opposed to a dream

Person 2 has existed in my “like” capacity (that’s apparently a thing now) since the start of this school year. I suppose, actually, it’s ever since I’ve known them – there’s something about them that makes me want to know so much about them. It’s similar to person 1 but with person 2, I really don’t know a lot about their personality, only the superficial things. They go to my school, though, and so it would be easy to find out. They also take me seriously and usually I don’t have to try around them.

On the surface, that’s much more positive than with person 1 and I know it. However, I know that my feelings for 2 are shallower than for 1: 2 hasn’t known me for long enough to understand certain parts of who I am; we’ve never shared a truly deep conversation; I’ve never met up with them outside school whereas with 1, I would never meet them in school.

I know that I can and should put effort in and let 2 understand me more – “let them in, to use a cheesy and cliché phrase – but I don’t know if I’m up for that. I’m too exhausted and worried and paranoid; before, when I thought I had feelings for 2, I realised it was a rebound and me just shoving feelings onto them. I have a horrible feeling that this is the same.

Only time will tell what will happen: maybe I will get closer with 2 and meet up with them on weekends, actually getting to know them. I don’t want to forget 1 or drift away from them though because 1 has always meant more to me than 2. I know that friends fade, feelings dim and people grow apart but seeming as I’ve only realised I had feelings for 1 recently, I want to wait and see how they grow. There’s also 2 to contend with though and my mind isn’t up for juggling another set of worries. Bloody, bloody hell.

Why does my brain like to cavort around with love triangles? It would be funny if my brain weren’t so confused. I’ll just see where life takes me – and try not to panic.

Do you have this a lot – do you feel indecisive about your feelings?

From Elm 🙂

My “Fear” of Buzzing Insects

Here are a few facts that everyone knows:
• Bees will only sting you if provoked and they die from stinging, meaning they wouldn’t usually do it
• Wasps won’t sting you unless angry
• They’re more scared of you than you are of them
• They aren’t actually concentrated on you – either they’re finding a way out or just flying around
• English flies are harmless. They can’t hurt you. Seriously.

Now, I know all this: when I’m away from something that buzzes, I’m totally fine. I list all the reasons why I shouldn’t be scared. When I hear one? I completely, completely freak out.

I’m asked a lot why I have such an extreme reaction to anything – literally anything – that makes a buzzing sound. My token response – “I’m blind so can’t see where they are or what they are, meaning it could be a wasp and I wouldn’t realise – works in most cases. However, even when I know it’s a fly or a bee that wouldn’t harm me, I have the exact same reaction. I can’t ignore it; everything in me becomes focused on where it might be, listening out for it and avoiding it.

To illustrate this, a situation happened to me today which brought my fear into sharp focus. I was home alone – my sister and dad went to an art gallery which is pretty much useless to me. I had just finished my lunch when I heard the horribly familiar buzz of something – wasp, bee or fly I still don’t know.

After that, I had one of the worst freakouts I’ve had in a while. Some of it was documented on my Twitter but what happened was that for half an hour – perhaps more – I sat in the same seat, shaking so hard and frantically messaging anyone, just to try and keep my mind under control.

I kept on hearing it. It flew into the kitchen, flew around me once and went towards the window. It quietened for a bit – it just stopped – and every time that happened, I stayed stock still because I knew it was still there. After a few minutes it’d start up again, faintly in the living room but soon coming back into the room I was in. Every time I heard it, I would sob “No please!” and gasping – honestly crying out of terror and not even logical terror. At one point, I thought there were two of them; I was unable to do anything. I called my mum, telling her I was bored and wanted to go to hers, trying to minimise my shaking whilst on the phone.

Now I’m out of the situation, it seems strange to me how terrified I truly was. That is until I remember that all the windows were closed and all the doors to the rooms in my house were open. That meant that the insect couldn’t escape but it was able to fly anywhere; i would have no idea where it was. Because of that, I was so scared that I didn’t want to move and then couldn’t. I couldn’t bypass the fear – what if it appeared whilst I was walking? What if it was just inside the other room and I would be faced with it? What if it was right behind my head and when I moved, it’d continue buzzing?

I managed to run upstairs – I spoke to my dad, barely able to stop myself from shrieking when I heard the thing again. When I got into my room and was alone, having slammed the door, I sat there crying in shock for about 10 minutes because I hardly ever react that badly.

I suppose it was because I was alone. Whenever I’m around people, it’s not so bad; I can just talk to them loudly and try to ignore the buzzing. I don’t want to go out into the garden in the daytime just in case – especially if I wanted to do work out there. When I’m in the park, I’m never alone and the insects don’t bother me because if I hear them, I can run as grass and paths are stretched out before me. It’s avoidance tactics at its best.

Luckily, I know it can’t be a diagnosable phobia: I only display a small percentage of symptoms. One key thing is that when I’m away from them, I’m not terrified because if I hear a bee on TV and am assured it’s not in the house with me, I calm down completely and can carry on as usual. It doesn’t affect the entirety of my life or intrerupt everything I do. However, it’s horrible.

My main problem is that people don’t understand. I’m aware that my fear is illogical but if you put me in the same room as an insect which buzzes and leave me, I’ll scream up a storm and would probably resort to tearing at the walls if I felt like I couldn’t get out. People say that they’re harmless and I know that but that knowledge doesn’t transfer into the situation when I’m in it. There’s only one person I’ve found who fully understands this and that’s All the Jazz who has honestly been a lifesaver to me today. Just no know that there’s someone who gets it and doesn’t think I’m either being pathetic or stupid for crying my eyes out because of a fucking tiny thing with wings is such a comfort.

Apart from forcing myself to be around bees or anything that buzzes, there’s not much I can do about my… Rather extreme reaction. It never used to be like this when I was a child – or I don’t remember it being – but nothing traumatic happened involving insects for me so I have no idea why it’s such a huge thing. Maybe it was because I spent so long avoiding them because of the little fear that it’s now grown into something almost unmanageable.

You’re not an idiot for being scared of something. Only you can tell yourself that your fear is illogical or not because only you can describe and experience your personal “brand” of it. To other people, it might not make sense but to you, the heart-pounding, tear-inducing fright makes all the sense in the world.

From Elm 🙂

Why I Love Me Tag!

I’m a culprit of disliking myself sometimes. I find ways to criticise parts of my personality, without restembering that there’s plenty that I do actually love about me. So, this tag – created by Tash is perfect to remind me.

Thank you so much for nominating me, you beautiful human. You honestly brighten up my day because you know exactly how to make me feel better: you spread positivity, something that all of us need right now. Creating this tag is just the start of that positivity.

The Rules:
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
3. Leave a link to the original tag creator (ThoughtfulTash) to get a bit more info about WHY this tag has been created!
4. Write 10 things you love about YOURSELF and WHY
5. Nominate at least 5 other bloggers
6. In the comments of the blog post, spread more self-love with compliments to each other!

1. My laugh
I love how varied it is. My quiet laugh is soft; when I try to stop myself from laughing it turns into a wheezing giggle and the best part of my laugh is when I lose control of it. I sort of screech and can’t stop; I love it because it makes other people smile and makes me feel unaccountably happy. It’s neither restrained nor forced.

2. My weird phrases
As the people who have spent enough time around me will know, I sometimes come out with the weirdest things. It’s part of what makes me me – I’ve said “Awww diddums!” too many times recently; “Ohh nooo I feel so sorry for you your life is so hard oh dear” in the most dead and sarcastic voice ever; I’ve also said “I’m going to burn your house down!” even though I’m scared of fire. It’s an original part of my personality and isn’t changed by anyone: it’s the true me and when I say things like that, I know I’m utterly being myself and not hiding behind anyone else. Also, they’re just funny to say and it shows I don’t care about what people think of me.

3. My singing voice
This is another thing that hasn’t been changed by other people. My voice is strong and I can hit the notes in my register: it’s improved and I love singing so much. The main thing I love about it is that I’ve retained my accent; even if it makes words harder to sing, I almost sing how I speak. It makes me feel more genuine because I’m not trying to put anything on and I know I’m not faking anything.

4. My writing style
I have a great vocabulary and I can utilise that to express my feelings. My writing flows naturally: I can tell when to be formal and informal. I also know how to help people with my writing because for me, writing goes hand in hand with helping.

5. My kindness
Whatever happens, I always strive to be kind to people. Even if they’ve been awful to me or hurt me, I’ll always try to be the bigger person. I know that I’d always lend a hand to literally anyone that needs it: I feel positively about my personality for it.

6. How I look after my health
I may not do much exercise but I look after my skin and body – I do stretches because my muscles are tight and I wash my face every day, as well as having a routine. It makes me feel positive and grounds me in place if that makes sense – I love it because I’m taking control of a part of my life.

7. My love of books
I love all types of books: fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction – anything. When I talk about books, I feel happy and become animated; I could rant about a good book for years. In fact, I’ve been known to cry because of how happy a book has made me. People don’t see this side of me often but when it does come out, I go into full fangirl mode and it makes me grin.

8. My hair
Though I don’t have a perception of what the colour is, I’m told it’s a lovely shade of brown. It’s thick, going down to my mid-back and when I brush it, it feels so smooth – it’s naturally straight too. I love it because it’s something that I’ve never criticised: feeling it being blown by the wind is a glorious feeling and brushing it calms me down.

9. My music
Not only do I love how I don’t restrict myself in my music taste, I love how I can write songs. When I get inspiration, everything just fits together: I know how to get my meaning across in lyrics; it’s a form of poetry to me. I combine art and writing well and I know I’m good at it: I won’t sell myself short.

10. My dedication to my blog
Through all the turbulance of life, I’ve kept to this blog. Even when I felt like giving up, I persevered – I really admire that about myself. I never stopped and never truly wanted to; it’s something I love with all my heart.

My nominations:
1. Lu

2. Cheyenne

3. Kate

4. Aspen

5. Mahriya

I hope you enjoy doing this and spread the love, everyone! You’re all brilliant. Never criticise yourself for something that other people adore about you.

From Elm 🙂

I’m Scared of You

This will make literally no sense but I’m writing it anyway.

Sometimes I just don’t understand how people can affect other people so much. Couldn’t you just get away? It’s only when I’m in that situation that I realise: no. You can’t.

When you’re in that situation too, you feel like you can’t get out. You’re constantly at the whim of how another person feels – it takes over your whole body and mind. It’s terrifying because you think you’re strong; you think you can just walk away: no, you can’t. Not at the flick of a switch.

My thoughts are in a bit of a tangle right now; I’m struggling between what’s morally “right” and what’s right for me. It makes me sad that this has even happened: it further makes me angry that I can’t talk about it on my blog: the one place where you’d think I could.

I almost want to cry. I’ve almost become addicted to worrying – worrying if I’ll upset someone, worrying that they’re not okay and then shouting at myself for doing one tiny thing that might screw everything up. I was given a reality check two or three days ago and here’s what somebody said in regards to it:

“I can’t do anything else – I’ve done my best. You need to do your best too, Elm; you can’t keep saying you’re going to get yourself away and going back. You’re going to make it so much worse for yourself – and if you’re really sick of it, then do something about it.”

I’ll speak as plainly as I can: I’m fucking done. I’m done with being controlled by other people’s emotions. I’m sick of being subject to my fear and I’m so tired of dancing around people to check that I’m not telling lies. I’m tired, sad, furious and most of all? I want to be free of it.

What I do in the next few days will make me seem like a terrible person to a few people but I can no longer care. It’ll seem callous of me to say that because to all intents and purposes, nobody has actually done anything recently to elicit this behaviour. They haven’t done anything to upset me: it’s what they did say before that made me feel so guilty which has set this off. It’s how I reacted to it; it’s controlling me and I hate that.

Situations are never as they seem at first glance. If people tell others how I’m acting now – how cruel I seem – they’d believe them as they have no other evidence to negate it. Perhaps I am that cruel but there are so many sides to it: I don’t know if people would ask “But why would she do that?” I don’t know if I would, if I was in their shoes. Here, it’s about making myself better – for once – and finally letting go of something I should have let go so long ago.

You never think that you’ll feel a certain way until you do. After how Ash affected my self worth, I thought I was done with always being obsessed with not upsetting people or being emotionally manipulated by guilt to act how I thought I needed to. I wasn’t – I’m not – and that’s a huge slap in the face. I don’t know what to do; I don’t know whether to get the entire situation away from me, whether that’s acting like a coward or whether I should just keep at a safe distance. Ugh.

I’m sorry that you can’t understand this because I can’t explain it but you guys listening and reading means the world. Remember that if something like this happens to you, don’t let it consume you. Get away – remove yourself from it – before you start walking down the spiral of “But I am guilty of hurting them; I’m awful.”

You’re stronger than this. I’m stronger than this but I’m scared of becoming so strong that I hurt people.

From Elm 🙂

I Had a Wild Imagination – Writings of a Younger Elm, Number 3

Read parts 1 and 2 here.

When I was about 8, I fancied myself quite the creative person. I was in year 3 or 4 – I bloody hope I was that young or I may cry from embarrassment – and we were set a task to write a fairy-tale type story. I don’t remember what the task actually entailed but it was to explain something and we had to use our imaginations.

I came up with this excuse for writing. The real thing is upstairs in a booklet of braille paper, with print transcriptions on the back of the pages so that my teachers could read it. On the front of it is what I assume is supposed to be a Moon – a circle of paper coloured in with dots of… Some gel pen I believe. Because I adore making a fool out of myself, I’ve read it to a few people to give them an idea of how bad I was. I copied it out into a document around a year ago and just for you – because I like showing my embarrassment to the wider world – I’ve put it here for you to laugh at.

Sarcastic or horrified commentary is in bold.

Moon Man That title cracks me up because it’s so cliché

Before the moon was in the sky it was a man I don’t think I knew anything about science because that’s both impossible and just hilarious to imagine – the moon’s a lump of rock, child. Moon had two wives and two sons When is this set?? Also, was there jealousy between the two wives; what were their names and backstories? Character development – come on!. One day the two sons asked moon “Father can we go and catch some fish from the lake?” Perfectly in unison? That’s so cool! Wy are they asking Moon (inventive name) anyway? moon who is obviously too cool to have his name capitalised agreed and the two boys went off That was the shortest conversation ever and so totally gives an idea of what the characters are like!. The sons caucht That was either a severe error in my Braille or I just decided that “to cauch” was a great new verb some fish but instead of bringing the fish home they had a great feast and all that was left was bones. You selfish little bastards – children these days!

That evening the boys came home with no food. wOOOOH BEEF – I’m crying that was the worst pun “Where is the food!” cried moon man. Yeah – where is it, hmm? You gonna tell him you greedy- The two boys tried making up excuses but moon I’ve just realised how there can be no moon?? There would be no tides and also the Earth would be different – THIS IS ILLOGICAL soon knew what they had done. Moon had given the two boys a second chance. Bloody hell that was quick – show some backbone!

A few minutes later the sons were fishing peacefuly What’s NOT making me peaceful is my terrible spelling by the river. They caught more fish but again they had a briliant BRILLIANT spelling there feast of fish and bones were only left. Are you KIDDING ME? AGAIN? These little shits never learn I’m telling you; Moon gave you a second chance and what do you do? THROW IT AWAY!

I really think I need to calm down… This “story” is making me question my own plotting skills or lack thereof.

When moon man heard this he was brisling with anger Now children – Word Creation lessons with Elm! Take a word, modify it slightly and there you have it – a brand new word! Isn’t that simple?. Suddenly moon had a plan Like a typical 8-year-old, I doubt I knew what that plan was and I just chose to seem mysterious by not explaining it – it builds up suspense, okay?. The boys had gone out somewhere Soooo specific – I really am getting an idea of where they went!. Moon crept silently out of the house to find the boys. The suspense is growing… I can’t take it any more.

He found them by the river staring into space Are they robot-boys? Is everyone a robot – that’s why there’s no moon!. They were unaware of what was just about to happen. No actual shit

As quick as a flash Moon man jumped out from the shadows WOAH WOAH WOAH calm down!, like whirlwind Is that a friend of his?, grabbed the boys and crushed them into tiny bones. What the fuck. What the actual FUCK???? THEY ARE YOUR CHILDREN and they do something wrong – no, you’re not going to talk to them! You’re just going to kill them! WHAT
“Their just bones!” he growled. Wrong use of their you illiterate arse – also has he turned into a lion? But soon Moon’s two wives came out looking for their sons I wonder why “Where’s our sons?” they asked moon. Well, they’re dead. I overreacted and crushed them just because they didn’t bring back fish for me. Sorry.

When they got back to the house moon told them what he had done which was a mistake. Oh reeaaaallyyyy When moon went to bed the wives set the house on fire That’s understandable but still, a bit extreme? Did I like violence or something?. They burnt moon and were just about to run off when they heard moon’s voice saying But he’s dead? He got set on fire!: “You think I’m dead but I’m not! Wow. Just… Wow I will come back every month!” Erm why? Why every month? And so that’s how the moon is in the sky today. Because THAT makes perfect sense. Congratulations – you’ve won the award for most disjointed story!

That, kids, is the first evidence I had that I liked writing. Pity that this writing was, umm, terrible. I think at that point I genuinely wanted to be an astronaut…

From Elm 🙂

About Crying

Over the last year, my dad’s witnessed more of my breakdowns than anyone has probably witnessed in my lifetime. Either that, or there were more of them.

He was there for my numerous ones over French, the ones when Rapunzel broke up with me and whenever I called him up after I’d argued with mum and was calling myself a terrible person. He wasn’t there directly after my relationship with S ended but he’s seen the aftermath of that, how it’s affected me and when I sobbed on him because I had no other way to express my emotions. More importantly, he saw a breakdown which I had today – one of the worst, not for its intensity but rather the emotions that went along with it.

I went to “blind college” on Tuesday and “blind school” yesterday and today – the former to look around and the latter to go on a course about uni. Tomorrow, I’ll write a post about how that all went – it was great – but blind school affected me more because I cried last night and today, when I left, for a solid hour and a half.

There’s something about tears. They hurt now almost – because I’ve had difficulty expressing my thoughts and feelings, especially because I smash them down and then forget who I am – I feel guilty. Yesterday was both parts wonderful and shocking because I truly felt emotional – painful emotions but it was okay because for once, I could let them out freely.

I saw S for the first time since we went to Paris and I’d forgotten what it was like to be around him. Yesterday evening, after having come back from the evening’s activities, we went to the common room and talked. There, I spoke about how I’d been feeling – how I suppressed myself, how I acted differently around other people now, how I let others rule my emotions.

He brings out the actual me in myself without trying. There aren’t many people who can do that – and when you’re feeling like shit, to have someone say to your face that they care and that they always have makes you cry. It certainly did for me: I made some disparaging comments about my tears – “Oooh look, one’s falling down my face!” He didn’t try to fix me or make everything right in one sitting. Instead, he said it was up to me, whilst listening to me. It hit me then that he is somebody who truly gives a shit and even if he wouldn’t state it all the time, I know he does; he wouldn’t just turn round and say “Okay our years of friendship were cool but bye!” After I said that I hated how I presented this part of me to him every time I saw him, he said something along the lines of “You’re just sad-Elm right now and that’s okay – it’s who you are and don’t put up a fake front for others.”

After I left, I cried and felt absolutely wretched inside. My dad was there, holding my hand when he didn’t have to use both for driving. As I was unable to form words, he talked to me about everything really, listening when I could speak as I told him just how lonely I felt. The reason for that is that it’s almost foreign for me now to feel this level of emotion without numbing it: I’ve fucked up recently in terms of others and so almost feel like, sometimes, I shouldn’t let myself feel because I don’t have the right. S pretty much showed me that that was bullshit by taking the time to sit with me, understanding my paranoia but then telling me that the paranoia was unfounded.

Crying is strange. When you cry for the sake of it, it doesn’t hurt so much and leaves you feeling even worse. When you cry because all you feel is sadness and you can’t bloody breathe, afterwards, you feel an aching relief because things don’t burn so much – they’ve cooled to a dull roar. If your tears fall in a service station surrounded by people you don’t know, it’s quite therapeutic because no one tries to pressure you into telling them what’s wrong – the explanation would take a long time.

If you’re feeling awful or you’ve blocked your emotions, my best advice is to tell someone about them. Let them out. Let yourself cry like I did – like I may do later – until the skin under your eyes hurts, until the loneliness isn’t so high because someone’s there to reassure you that yourself is enough.

I’ve figured out that the people I most love and appreciate aren’t the ones who make you explain why you cry. They’re the ones who let you cry, let you explain and then show you that they’d do the same whenever you need it. They’re the ones who don’t try and stop your tears: they understand why they fall without needing a thesis on the reason.

From Elm 🙂

Connecting to Myself Again

Lately, I’ve been feeling really “dulled”: my emotions have been dimmer; I don’t know how to react to much any more; I haven’t been feeling things as strongly and can’t express that. It took a walk on Saturday to figure that out and I remember just feeling numbed and blank as I walked through the park with my dad and then scared because of that.

Yesterday, I took a 2 hour walk in the same park, with my dad again. I’d gone home the previous day and just felt like I was floating around – the emotions I’ve been feeling for months finally able to be realised, felt and analysed. It’s not like it’s been constant: I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve felt perfectly fine, laughing and feeling and being happier than ever. This is like when I go to blind camp, when I meet bloggers especially and on days with my friends. When I’m at home, surrounded by people I don’t know, just thinking, existing or not doing much, I don’t feel as “with it” as I used to.

On yesterday’s walk, something changed. In an abstract way beforehand, I’d thought that I needed to really do something about my lack of expression – my quietness and how I’d withdrawn into myself. We went around the pond, walked into a garden in the park, strode along paths and grass; I was exhausted afterwards but it was more than worth it.

It was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, birds were screeching and children laughed. Dogs barked, I could hear my feet on the ground and the air didn’t feel heavy on my skin. Usually, I get guided by my dad and I hold his arm; yesterday, I walked mostly by myself, except when I was approaching a large group of people or when I nearly walked into a stream. It was freeing: I felt so bloody alive. Being surrounded by nature – trees, little waterfalls, bridges over lakes – put shit in perspective.

It was the simplicity of it: too often my head gets so crowded that it can’t process the thoughts and so it just, well, gives up; I’ve never been good at thinking in words but when the sensations that you think themselves aren’t as bright as they once were, everything can get hazy. Imagine nature as having had cleared a little of that fog. I felt calmed: not utterly, as the conversations with my dad were making me feel the appropriate sorts of emotions, but connected with the world enough to properly take in what was happening around me and what he was saying.

After we’d had an icecream and went home, I did some work. The key difference between yesterday and the day before was that I could do my work without my thoughts becoming blurry; I could think about it and not want to throw my computer across the room with frustration. One chapter and a half of Jane Eyre was fully analysed and I got a little inspiration to do some casual psychology revision. It’s remarkable what getting me away from the sometimes stagnant atmosphere of the indoors, the usual, can do to my health.

In the evening for dinner, I went round the house of Rose and Poppy and their family. I’ve known them all my life and I’ve never had to make an effort to keep up conversation with them: I love them like sisters; they put up with me and my stupid younger self. If they can deal with that, they can pretty much deal with any weirdness I display now. I sang with them, laughing with them and insulted them: the usual things we do. It was nothing out of the ordinary but that’s why I liked it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really haven’t been feeling emotions like you’d expect me to. It took Saturday and yesterday – the realisations versus feeling truly alive again – for me to notice that my attitude, my thoughts, have been so… Quiet. So out of place and silenced, shall we say.

It took those two days to know that I could do something about that. Put me in the midst of nature, happiness or somewhere where I feel utterly comfortable and where I love my surroundings and you have yourself a properly connected and self-aware Elm. I think that I need to start finding ways to remember what things feel like without paranoia and worry, like I did in the park.

For me, this is positive. I know how to mend what’s happening, having only come to the conclusion that it was happening recently. However, the fact that I so quickly did something about it – perhaps not intentionally but it was still done – shows me that deep down, I’m not just an empty shell.

From Elm 🙂