Category Archives: Fo Srs

But you don’t look…

Standard

I’m borderline, bipolar, and autistic.
You’d think that between those three, there wouldn’t be any common ground. There is, oddly enough, a lot of shared symptoms and triggers- but that’s not my point. The commonality I want to talk about today isn’t what happens in my brain, it’s what happens in other people’s brains.

The most common phrase I hear is, “But you don’t look…”
But you don’t look autistic.
But you don’t look bipolar.
But you don’t look borderline.

The question I always want to ask in return is, “Well, what did you expect me to look like?”

I’ve had people think that I’m too smart to be autistic, too kind to be borderline, and altogether too human (I know, right?) to be bipolar. I’m expected to be completely socially inept, or emotionally manipulative, or downright violent.
These are signs of social stigma, not of who or what I am.

Autism is a spectrum. It varies wildly from person to person, and even then, from situation to situation. Personally, I feel like an alien much of the time, because unspoken rules go right over my head. I’ve had to learn most of them, and I’m still finding many that I don’t know about.
Moving house with another human? How the hell do you navigate that?
Most of my noticeable autistic traits are more to do with sensory differences. I find great pleasure in simple things like fur and water. I struggle immensely with loud crowds, because I can’t differentiate between noises. Sometimes it hurts, and I’ll cry.
I have never been violent.

Borderline personality disorder is a tougher one.
I’ve had many, many people- too many, really- tell me that when they first met me, they kept their distance. Apparently I surprised them by not being a cruel, aggressive, emotional wreck of a person.
Borderline has a terrible reputation for extreme and vicious mood swings, irrational overreaction, and manipulation taken to sociopathic levels.
What it actually is, is a rawness of emotion. We feel everything very intensely, and yes, there are a few of us who explode and take this pain straight to the perceived source: you. The main aspects of BPD are intense fears of abandonment, problems with self-identity, and suicidal ideation.
NOT, as most people have come to think of it, bunny-boiling serial killer women or sad-eyed Winona Ryder having adventures with a psychopath.
I am not an external borderline. I used to be, long before medication and therapy, but much of my borderline traits are and have always been internalised. Rather than hurt other people, I am more inclined to hurt myself- and I haven’t self harmed in a very long time.
I have never been violent.

Finally, bipolar.
Extended periods of mania and depression.
Why does bipolar have such a negative reputation?
You know what I do when I have manic episodes? I spend a lot of money, and then I clean the house at five am. Really, manic me is amazing. Last time I was manic, I studied basic chemistry for three days straight. The only thing I harm when I’m manic is my bank account.
When depressed, I’m just… Well, depressed. Everyone knows the basics of depression.

I’m running out of steam here, but that’s because my brain has been playing with words all day and needs a break. I’ll cut to the chase in a moment.

The point I’m trying to make is maybe I don’t look mental because you don’t know what that looks like. We are just people. We aren’t more dangerous, more hurtful, more self-involved than any other person. If anything, we’re more likely to hurt ourselves.

Apparently yesterday was Bipolar Day, and I figure that something needs to be said. Maybe the reason I don’t look the way you expect is because you’re looking for something that’s not there.

I’m tired of being told I don’t look autistic/borderline/bipolar.
Because I do. This is what it looks like.
Just a person, just like you.

Advertisements

Life Management for the Management Impaired

Standard

Hello lovelies!

I thought I’d share some of my time-management stuff. I have a blog about Chittering Acres Studio in the making but it’s not ready yet, and I felt like writing a thing. I don’t know whether it’ll be helpful for anyone else, but my last post (not here) with the simple cross-off-when-done task list was quite unexpectedly popular. So, here’s how I function now that my life has changed considerably. I’m now living at home with family again, and my routine has merged with their routine. Along with that comes my uni work and a need to exert more control over my money and spending habits, since I don’t have the nice cushion of a partner to fall back on.

budget

The first image is my budget. Right now it’s a bit tight because I had to have my beloved cat put down, and vet bills are a pain in the arse. I keep it simple- things I need, things I need to pay off, and things that happen every fortnight like board and putting money aside for food if I’m out of the house. I get paid every two weeks, so I make sure to keep that in mind when working out the numbers- I don’t work out the whole month unless I have something that needs to be worked out specifically, in which case I put that in a sheet to the side. An example of something that spreads out over more than one pay period is the assorted debts. I have their general info in the main section, and then I work out how long it will take me to pay off, and in what increments. If I pay one off before the others (as you can see with the bag) the money I’d have otherwise put towards it goes towards the others instead of slipping back into my spare money pile.

Routine

The other two pictures are of the word documents I use to organise my weekly routine and my uni assignments. The weekly routine one is old because I’m neurotic about strangers knowing my movements. Never upload to the internet the times you plan to be out of the house or otherwise vulnerable, predators will take advantage of it.
My weekly routine is full of things I might not necessarily do in green. As you can see, all of my gym and exercise stuff is in green. I was never sure how many spoons I would have on any given day, so I wrote down all the possible things I might like to do should I have the ability. Other necessary tasks that I couldn’t miss out on are highlighted in purple. If I’d had other non-uni-related weekly happenings, they’d be there in blue, but as it is I’m a bit of a shut in, so the only weekly necessity I have is… Well, uni. I worked out what time of day would be best for these by tracking what times of day I spent alert and on the computer most, and what times left me the least disturbed by other people in the house. As you can see, it’s the same time every day thanks to the weekly routines of my family.

Routine2

The third picture is how I keep track of assignments. When they’re due, what parts to work on when, and when different sections of the semester start and end. I didn’t manage to capture it but I also have “Results Released” elsewhere in the document. Assignments that are yet to be done are in plain text while assignments I’ve completed are scratched out. I also change the colour of the days to grey to show which dates have passed- making it really easy to see any assignments I’ve missed or which are late. I have… More of those than I’d like.

All of these were created in either Microsoft Word or Outlook and are simple enough. I don’t have a great grasp of Outlook and I only use the default settings when making tables in Word.

Try it for yourself, and see how you find it! Good luck. 🙂

Protestation versus Education

Standard

The following is simply a comment I posted in response to this video, posted by a friend of mine on Facebook. I say a few things I feel very strongly about and I figure I should probably keep this blog alive, so in the spirit of trying to start living again, here you go.

Small hints of truth wrapped up in a lot of needless sensationalism.
I can see where you are and how you think, sweets, but this video is not something you want to say sums up your view, because then your view is heavily biased, selective of information, and incapable of change or adaptation.
The thing is, most people do understand the great machine we’re a part of. Most people do grasp these things. The problem is that people don’t like change, and they don’t like a lack of security, and they don’t know how to manage without a world that has been hundreds of years in the making.

Also no, a world without pharmacology would not be better. A world without global trade would not be better. A world without global communication and technology would not be better.
Instead of eradication, you must think in terms of adaptation and gentle change. The aggression in this video, the patronising voice of so many of the people who believe in it… It will get you, and them, nowhere.

You’ll find that if you educate people in how to survive outside of ‘the system’ they will tend to move towards doing so. People don’t like being trapped but they do love the safety provided. If you want change, educate. Teach. Teach skills as hobbies. Teach advanced skills for those who want to take it further. Don’t yell about how broken the system is, everyone already knows that and the people who don’t are the people who don’t want it to change.
So teach. Instead of this video, share TED talks about survivalism. Share pop culture like Naked and Afraid. Show people what cool things you can do with a pocket knife, or how you can make ink from mushrooms, or how to make their own soap. Educate them in how penicillin is made, and what plants work best in their climate. SHOW them the world they could be living in and they’ll do all the work themselves….
All you have to do is provide the start for an autodidact and ask them to teach what they know to others.

Change is happening. It’s just slow, and you can’t push hard. A little information, a little hope, and that’s all you need.

I plan to write more on this.

Maybe I’ll explain soap making, or how my gardening is going. Perhaps I’ll post my plans for my ideal home, or what new things I’ve learned. No doubt, mental illness and autism will show up from time to time. I talk a lot about these things, why not here?

I still write. I’m still writing. I just want to add a little variation to this blog, make it more… blog-like.

SO there you go.

Spirituality and the Land in Australia

Standard

Recently I have been seeking to add an Australian aspect to my European-pagan-esque  spiritual practice. I have been researching- did you know that here, in south-west Australia, we have six seasons?- the land, the people, the language, the beliefs of the land and her people. I feel distinctly disconnected from any real ‘roots’ for my spirit. Am I English? A Viking? Anglo-Saxon? Australian? Does my biological grandfathers blood-only relation to me give weight to my interest in Welsh mythology? What about the language, the culture, the things that are the meat to the bones of cultural behaviour and belief? Do I have a connection, a right, to any of these things simply because of birth or blood?

I find blood relation, land relation, to be deeply important. So I looked into this wide, sunburnt land I have been born into and love with all my heart. I have researched it’s people. Now… I am troubled. Conflicted.

“Noongar people lived under severe restrictions whether on missions or reserves. This included not being allowed in towns at certain times (we could be arrested if found there after 6pm) or having limited access to services. See the Perth prohibited area map. Noongar people mostly weren’t allowed to drink alcohol, unless we had citizenship. But even citizenship brought with it restrictions on our freedom and identity. Those who had some access to towns had to go to a window at the back of the pub where ‘blacks’ were served, and then you could get one bottle of beer.”

Identity, Noongar Culture.

I have seen buildings, especially old pubs, with the one random window up the back. I’ve always wondered why, and now I know.
The history here is… horrific. I keep reading and I feel like I’m standing in pools of blood. I often think about what it is to be white Australian, to be the offspring of the people who invaded here. We don’t have Stories. We don’t have Dreaming. Then I read, and I don’t think we’d want them even if we could.
We came here and we killed a lot of people. We caused, and still cause, unforgivable suffering. As much as I might wish sometimes that I had the same connection to the land as our indigenous population do, the same understanding of the Stories, a Dreaming… What history have we got but that of blood and death and cruelty? We have no right to this beautiful land. We certainly have no right to adopt the beautiful world of the Noongar. I feel the rootlessness my ancestors condemned me to is deserved, a fitting punishment for what they did and still do.

I am neither here nor there, and that is how it should be.

 

Everyone you meet is a broken person.

Standard

Everyone has baggage.

See, people start off as whole human beings, before all the cracks start to appear. For some, their first crack is when they’re born, the circumstances into which they are born or the condition they are born in. They start early and the fates decide how much more damage they’ll take- maybe life will be easy for them. Maybe not.

Sometime they are lucky enough to get through most of their lives without being damaged, although I think living a completely safe life is a form of damage in itself.

Things like loss, like death, they happen to everyone. Everyone dies. If you have family, they will die. If you have friends, they will die too. You will not go through life unharmed by natural occurrences. You’ll be damn lucky to go through life unharmed by unnatural occurrences. To date, I’ve not met anyone who has been untouched.

The longer you live, the more people you meet, the more damaged they will be. Life is long and many things happen in it. You might meet a 14 year old who is more troubled than a 50 year old. Age has nothing to do with experience, although it does have an impact on maturity. The longer you live, the more you get to feel, to see, to encounter, and the more you’ll recognise in other people. You’ll see cracks in them that mirror the cracks in you. You’ll feel their pain- or you’ll be repulsed by it. Your reactions are up to you.

You may ultimately be more hurt by life than anyone else you meet.

You may be more whole and complete. It will not feel that way, even if you can see it yourself. All of life is subjective, nothing can ever be objective. It’s just not how these things work.

You might never get to see what parts of a person are hurt. You might never know the things that get them down or make them angry or keep them awake at night, and it’s not your place. You should feel as honoured to know what hurts them as what pleases them. No one has a duty to interact with other human beings who probably will not understand, but they do anyway.

We reach out regardless of what we carry with us. Some more than others, some less. No matter what you think, or how your past has treated you, it is always a risk.

How you treat people is up to you. You don’t have to be kindly, just as you don’t have to be cruel. There’s no black and white in our reality, whether you like it or not.

Just remember, everyone is damaged. Everyone was once a whole person.

No one goes through life unscathed.

Perhaps… You should treat them accordingly.

A Big Sister’s Rage is a Terrible Thing

Standard

 

So today I was browsing tumblr and stumbled across the above image.
It’s common knowledge. It’s commonly accepted.

There is nothing that makes me as psychotic a pro-body feminist vocal activist type of person, except this. Except my love for my little sisters.

Robyn is 9. Renee is 13.

Renee wears more make-up than I ever have in my whole life. She wears playboy bunny outfits and talks about how she can’t eat foodcourt meals because they’ll make her fat, and that would be unappealing. My thirteen year old sister.

When I tried to explain to her that she doesn’t need it- any of it, the makeup, the diet, the skanky clothing- to be a worthwhile person, she gave me a look that broke my heart. She genuinely could not comprehend what I was saying. The music she listens to, the clothes she wears, and the attention of the boys at her school are what make her her. I can’t help feeling that I somehow failed as a sister, so see her like that. I mean, by all means, if you want to wear playboy and an inch of foundation because that’s what you want to do, do so! Just please, dear gods, don’t do it so other people will see you as worthy.

It’s made worse because (I know everyone says this about their siblings, but this is backed up with legitimate testing) she has an extremely high level of intelligence. She’s smart. Very smart. She is working in mathematics three or four years above her grade. She can understand and manipulate concepts that I, at 22 with university education, can’t quite grasp. She’s also beautiful in that sort of nordic-maiden way. Tall and graceful and blue eyed and blonde haired. Of all the people in the world, she does not need these image and identity issues, and certainly not at the age of 13!

Thankfully, Robyn seems to be finding her own way. If anything she’s taking after me, only with Renee’s intelligence and a quicksilver wit. My little sisters will grow up to be amazing human beings, so long as they can do it and stay true to themselves.

I am at a loss, my dears. I am so, so very at a loss. There must be something missing, something that we are missing, for childhood to be lost so quickly. Something is wrong if we lose our identity and pride and childlike joy before we even start middle school/highschool. There is something wrong if girls like my beloved Renee and Robyn think that what they look like, what they listen to, and how sexually appealing they are to others influences their worth as human beings.

Help me. Please, help me understand.

I don’t know where to start to help change this.

Awkward!

Standard

Am I the only queer girl who didn’t experience dread and fear the moment I realised I liked other girls?

I’ve been through my fair share of bullying and all that other bullshit, but it never, ever made me feel like I was ‘other’. My family was wholly accepting, though I can’t say that coming out/being outed didn’t come with its collection of “it’s just a phase” and “it will make you miserable” lectures from certain family members.

I read these stories from gay girls around the planet and hear how they suffer and experience all that outcast misery… And I never felt any of that, even when what I experienced matches what they experienced. Is it a different outlook? Am I somehow more emotionally stable? Was I just in a better environment or headspace?

 

The worst thing for me, I think, being queer… Is that I feel I don’t deserve to be, because I never suffered for it. How messed up is that? I feel like I should be straight because my life being queer has been easier than my life before I came out.

Am I hardcore, gold-star lesbian? No.

Am I bi? No.

I’m just queer. I’m as homogay as every other queer kid I’ve met. A different variation sometimes, but no less infected with teh ghey.

My struggle with being queer is not that I feel I don’t belong in society. I’m aware that I’m different to others in some way, but I’m different to everyone in some way. You like boys? That’s cool. I like chicken and you’re a vegan? That’s cool too. You have blue eyes, and I have green. You’re left handed and I’m right handed. Our freckles are not perfectly aligned!
Differences. There is no person on this earth who is identical to another person on this earth. Even twins have differing personalities.
My issues with being queer stem from the concept that I’m not truly queer unless I’ve felt wrong at some point, and I never have. I know I’m exactly what I am supposed to be… and that is what makes me feel wrong.

 

Bit of a catch 22, I think.

 

(Post Script: I just wanna say that in no way do I think GLBT people should suffer. The fact that everyone I know with a queer streak has experienced something heartbreaking is distressing and entirely wrong. No one should be harassed for their sexual or gender orientation… I’m just commenting on the fact it’s become a sort of initiation into the ranks, y’know? Without meaning to giggle at obvious trauma, it’s a sort of bonding conversation piece. “Oh hi, you’re queer too? Lets share coming out stories and talk about all the horrible things that happened to us.”)

Androgyne: Work in Progress

Standard

I started a new painting today. I’m not certain what I’ll call it but I’ve settled with “Androgyne” as a working title.

This is the result of about three hours work.
(It’s a bit skewed because I had the camera at an angle, so it’s all… bwerk.)

 

“Androgyne”
Oil on Board
Work in Progress

I Swore To Myself I’d Never Do A Harry Potter Roleplay…

Standard

Oberon poked a finger through the cage of his hyperactive owl, ignoring the people milling about him to brush his fingers through his feathers. The little black-eyed tawny owl fluffed itself and peered around it with the wild curiousity Oberon didn’t seem to possess. It had occurred to him that perhaps he should feel something- excitement, perhaps, or nervousness- but he still felt numb, in shock. His sister did all the organising when their parents weren’t there, fluttering in confusion. He felt almost sorry for them. Discovering that their children were different, were other, had been an unpleasant shock for them. They had tried to be proud of the twins, but since Heaven collapsed on the kitchen floor, their concerns for the twins’ welfare had only deepened. They felt helpless. Their helplessness made Oberon feel guilty, like he and Heaven had been some sort of curse, while Heaven herself drifted along in her own world.

Thinking of her, he glanced up, his gut jumping to his throat in the moments where he couldn’t see her. Her name forced itself up his throat but got caught behind his teeth, which he clenched when he finally spotted her chatting to a robust, talkative old lady. Heaven didn’t seem to be paying much attention to what the woman was saying; the woman didn’t seem to be paying much attention to Heaven. Instead she talked endlessly with grand gestures, smiling to disguise glazed eyes filled with forced cheerfulness. People like that annoyed Oberon. They reminded him a little too much of a defective nanny.
Rasputin squaked as someone bumped his luggage trolley and Obe twisted to shout out to the offender… But a hostile glare from the sharp-faced boy silenced him. As a ten-year-old, Oberon wasn’t yet aware that a face like that belonged to cruelty. He only saw an ugly curl to the lip, a squint to the eyes, some kind of passive anger that had nothing to do with him.

“Brother?”

Heaven was calling.

Struggling with the sideways drift of the luggage cart, Oberon made his way over to his sister, tugging his beanie down to his eyebrows. Heaven was looking about with incredulity, seeming almost affronted with whatever information the lady had provided her with. He responded with the sluggish glance of a boy who really, really didn’t want to be standing in the middle of a crowded train station with a crazy sibling and assorted animals. He glanced around for the sharp-faced boy, but he was nowhere to be found. Something uncoiled in his belly. Oberon hadn’t realised it, but he’d been on guard since the collision.

“Did she just tell us to run ourselves, our pets and our trollies straight into that brick wall? That very sturdy and painful looking brick wall? Do you think she’s mad?”

Oberon frowned. His sister threw him a glance to tell him a facial expression was not an adequate response. Expressing just how much attention he had paid to his parents efforts to teach elecution and poise, he added, “I dunno?”

The brick pillar in question seemed quite solid. A little too clean for a packed station, but it could be clean for any number of reasons. He was sure that if he threw paint at it, the paint would stick. Or chewing gum. Or soot. All things he didn’t have in his possession. Heaven’s expression was beginning to flicker with the uncertain panic she picked up in new or unexpected situations. Soon she would either burst into tears or into an anxiety attack, or both, and the last thing Oberon wanted was a scene. He could just imagine having to explain it to a police officer: “I’m sorry sir, see, my parents just dropped us here… Yes, yes, even though we are under the legal age limit to be alone… and we are trying to get to a station that doesn’t apparently exist so we can go to a magical school where they teach us, well, magic, and my sister couldn’t figure out how we should walk through that pillar over there so she freaked out. Oh, and she is a bit weird in the head. A bit of a spaz. Would you mind directing us to platform nine and three quarters so all this can be sorted?”

No.
That wouldn’t go down well at all.
It couldn’t be the case anyway. He had already invested too much hope into this. To find out it was all fake would be heartbreaking to he and Heaven both. They had taken this as a sign that they weren’t evil or insane or some kind of mutant. There were others like them. Others like them who could teach them how to make it stop.
A place where Heaven wouldn’t be a freak anymore.
A place where Oberon wouldn’t be the freak’s weirdly-named brother.

He couldn’t give up on that.

“Hev, I don’t think…” He twisted his trolley around until it faced the aburdly clean pillar. “This is supposed to be a school of magic, right? We’ve come this far.”

Just in case, he tugged an apple from his pocked and tossed it between his hands before lobbing it at the pillar. It flew cleanly through the air before colliding messily with the bricks, transforming smoothly from apple to apple puree and splattering nearby passengers with yellow sludge.

Oberon hadn’t expected that.

“…”

Heaven’s lower lip began to quiver imperceptibly.

No. I’m not giving up this easily. His stomach churned at the thought. He was the brother. He was older, if only by a couple of minutes.
It was his job to look after her. One more glance at that confused, fragile face and he knew what he was going to do, with a child’s foolish determination.

Oberon lifted Rasputin’s cage with a grunt (he was an awfully heavy bird) and plonked it atop Heaven’s luggage, just in case this went exactly as he expected it to. School had introduced him to any number of bruises and he hoped that maybe this time wouldn’t be too different.

Screwing up his face and shutting his eyes, guiding the trolley with one hand and an elbow as he held his glasses to his face, he launched himself forward. There was enough distance between himself and the brick for him to build up some speed. Soon he was running, hearing the pillar come ever closer, closer, closer- and expecting that crash, he braced himself…. and kept on running.

Oberon opened his eyes and immediately fell over, losing his grip on the trolley, watching stunned as it drifted away from him at speed down the platform, eventually drifting to the left and smashing into the side of a fire-engine red steam train.

No way…”

Wizards still used steam engines?

Important Announcement

Standard

 

So.

Finally, it’s not China or Egypt who are under threat from th great dark silence this time, it’s the good ol’ US of A.

 

Censorship hits a nasty little nerve with me. I like freedom. I like my freedom and I like other people’s freedom and I think freedom is an all-around good thing, if a little difficult to maintain and survive.
Books have been burned, history has been lost, and art has been destroyed by censorship in the past. No one should ever be able to say what you are permitted to see,  to access, to say.

EVER.

The laws in America (SOPA and PIPA) don’t just effect them. They can stretch out and touch other countries.
Not only that but this provides precedent for our own countries to start enacting their own internet censorship laws.

Ignore the commentary about what they will and will not censor. Governments are notorious for abusing their own power, and this censorship would soon spread to any sort of website of internet activity that is deigned “Unfit” for the populace.

 

And honestly, America?

Your people have been protesting through the past months despite deaths, police brutality, and general mistreatment by officials and authority. They are already very, very angry at you.
If you keep going like this, there will end up being a war, and not just between you and the internet. It will be between you and your people. You and the world.

Don’t. Be. Stupid.

Either that or be an example. Watching one big happy McCountry implode would certainly serve as a warning to Australia.

 

Please, if you stumble across this blog or read it when I post, share. Share the video, share the message. We live in a world of global connection. We have a global culture.

 

Forget Anonymous.

We are the pissed off techno-generation. We truly are legion.

They will never, ever be able to silence us.