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Fahckmylife's Blog
Crap adult, OK human.

Nov
17

I know nobody probably cares anyway but there are loads of things I just don’t get.  I just don’t understand and can’t get my head around.  And maybe I’m being a judgemental dick.  Who knows, eh?  Or maybe, just maybe, these are just completely alien concepts to me.  The posts have been serious and the internet is filled with darkness so I thought I’d try to lighten the mood somewhat before my posts get even more super serial.

 

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So here goes:

  1. Non-alcoholic beer
  2. People making people dance at large social gatherings
  3. Couples putting their hands into back pockets on each other’s jeans
  4. Crotchless knickers
  5. Men making a point of saying they get off on giving women pleasure like it’s a fucking novelty or badge of honour
  6. Crocs
  7. Seinfeld
  8. The way make-up companies have yet to invent an eyeshadow that has an unbreakable lid on it, so as to avoid it exploding in your bag.
  9. People repeatedly pressing buttons on lifts and pedestrian crossings as if that will make anything happen faster.
  10. Fake tan.
  11. People repeating the same phrase over and over despite you not understanding it like you’ll suddenly get what they’re saying.
  12. How Nickelback are famous.
  13. People getting angry with you for you getting angry with them.
  14. How you’re supposed to be able to afford to live in Dublin.
  15. People who kiss with their eyes open.
  16. Why people give out to parents or give them scaldy looks when their children are crying.
  17. The concept of a soulmate.
  18. Why you’d do higher level maths for your Leaving Cert if you didn’t need it specifically.
  19. Gerry Ryan’s career.
  20. How many people think abortion is wrong but the morning after pill is OK.  Most pro-life rhetoric to be honest.  Or anything that includes a ‘grey area’.
  21. People who crap more than once a day.
  22. Vajazzling
  23. Socks and sandals
  24. The phrase ‘Monday week.’
  25. How that wall across the road from me was actually on fire one Halloween.
  26. A ‘nice’ family dinner.
  27. Why men don’t get more paternity leave.
  28. People being close to their grandparents.
  29. Inception.
  30. People sticking their tongues into ears in a ‘sexy’ way.
  31. How to dance
  32. How people can play instruments and remember so much stuff.
  33. Where people find the time for effective hair removal.
  34. Making promises you can’t keep.
  35. How to be sexy.  Even saying the word is so cringe.
  36. When people think they are as qualified as a doctor or psychologist to make a diagnosis.
  37. Why Murder She Wrote doesn’t have a bigger following.
  38. That light and sound move at different speeds.
  39. What catcalling ever achieved.
  40. Why people are either obsessed with or hate gingers and there doesn’t seem to be an in between.
  41. Why people get so angry calling somebody out on an unintentional remark, instead of simply correcting them and moving on.
  42. Soya milk in a hot beverage.
  43. Mushrooms.
  44. The appeal of cocaine.
  45. People actively being narky in the morning over the age of 20 because nobody likes getting up but cop on and stop taking it out on everyone else.
  46. Non-applicator tampons
  47. Why reality TV is the majority of programming these days.
  48. The fact that a walk in body and hair dryer has not been invented yet.
  49. Adam Sandler’s career after Happy Gilmore.
  50. Musicals.
  51. People not getting that you don’t want any more kids (or kids at all – too late whaaa!).
  52. Why Irish doctors don’t take pain seriously
  53. Anyone under the age of 25.
  54. Mindfulness
  55. How body positivity is conflated with ‘promoting obesity.’
  56. Buying chopped up vegetables.
  57. Unnecessary abbreviations.
  58. Foucault
  59. ‘Networking’
  60. Why people do that stupid duck beak thing with Pringles.
  61. What a tracker mortgage is.
  62. How addiction is a ‘disease’.
  63. Sun holidays.
  64. What ‘dabbing’ is.
  65. Not owning your mistakes.
  66. How the concept of ‘privilege’ makes people mad hostile.
  67. Comment sections of everything.
  68. How people don’t get we should be critical of everything and that critcising something that is generally a good thing is viewed as an attack – everything needs to be improved constantly!
  69. How other people function and get on with their lives.
  70. Why mental health issues are still stigmatised.
  71. Mean people.
  72. Houseshares.
  73. A world without hugs.
  74. Why it’s worse for a woman to piss in public.
  75. Why I always get caught pissing in public.

So as you can see I live my life in complete confusion.

Toodle pips.

 

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Nov
10

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We all know that we like problematic things and that not everything is black and white.  Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if satire is proper satire or actually just punching down.  Sometimes, it seems vague enough to appeal to those on either side of the binary of good vs. evil and leaves everyone comfortable enough with their own views.

But what about when artists are confirmed as being complete dickheads?  What about when people whose work we loved actually are confirmed as predatory, creepy, unsavoury or just downright evil?  What about when it is clear that a celebrity or artist that we hold dear has actually done something terrible?  How can we reconcile that?

There are two major things that I consider here when I think about feeling disappointed and sometimes angry, particularly in this wake of sexual harassment and assault outings, about people, mostly men, standing accused of all these things.  The first is that being a celebrity is about creating a persona, a public image and projecting a marketable product into the real world – we don’t know them, we never will and what we see of them is hardly the truth.  Secondly, most celebrities live in a world that is completely distinct and separate to ours, where with money and power (and yeah a lot of the time a cock) you can do whatever the fuck you want.  Whatever. You.  Want.  Not that that is an excuse of any sort – but can literally imagine the possibilities of this and the new set of rules that apply to these people.

I have found people problematic before (Jesus Christ even in real life – when have I not found people problematic) in what they’ve said and alluded to, but literally everything people say these days can be taken out of context.  We are allowed to disagree with people on their opinions.  We are allowed to be disappointed that someone is racist or sexist or whatever, and I think that is much more clean cut.  I think in this instance, I can separate someone’s attitude or words from their artistry – again this is dependent on the level of what they said but actions on the other hand, or putting those thinly masked ideologies into action is a totally different ballgame.  To be fair, with the exception of a few bands I never ever read interviews because inevitably something will come up, or there will be some controversy or something will sully my interaction with what I enjoy that they produce.

What bothers me is the fact that there is a load of men I who slept with children (mostly little girls) during the 70’s and 80’s and that this was and still is considered kinda OK.  I mean I would’ve quite liked David Bowie and I mean I still watch Labyrinth but it just kinda freaks me out.  If I could properly separate the artist from the actions – this wouldn’t be an issue.  But I literally can’t.  Perhaps, initially I’ve thought it was OK but when I look back at 14-year-old me with a 20-year-old boyfriend now, I can’t help but think about what a creepy and abusive dynamic that was.  I don’t understand how many of those musicians who did this and it was publicly known as excused from it – even with ‘everybody was doing it at the time’ to counter it.  I don’t care what the legal age was at the time – I don’t care whether the girls were willing – they were still children, and they weren’t children fucking other children – they were fucking adults.  There is legitimately no excuse for this unless the life expectancy of a person during this period was 20.  End of.

I’ll be honest I’m weirded out by the Johnny Depp thing too.  Mostly by the fact that people just didn’t really want to believe that he would do such a thing.  It’s been proven.  He settled.  Amber Heard did the right thing and there is still evidence surfacing to prove he did do it.  I find it ridiculous that no matter what she did people, both men and women, just didn’t want to hear anything said against their precious Johnny, even with so much refuting it.  Look people, resolve how you feel about him being guilty yourself, but he is guilty and you go to in these situations should not be to look for fault with the victim, mostly because she is unknown.  Believe people, especially when they have evidence and don’t hold celebrities up as infallible gods. They’re all human, with loads of money and ego – so if anything they have the potential to be WAY worse than us normies.  Johnny doesn’t well with me now, but I know I’ve forgiven people in my own life for worse things as well – so this whole thing confuses the fuck out of me.  Edward Scissorhands will always be one of my favourite films but as long as I don’t think about Johnny Depp as a person I think I can still enjoy it.  The thing is I don’t know him but I think it’s weird that everyone keeps forgetting what he’s pretty publicly done.  So, I’m not sure that I can enjoy him anymore and probably won’t support his work financially in the future.

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Mel Gibson is soooo problematic as well but man he directs a great film.  I’ve decided that I do not want to contribute to his wealth though and ‘borrow’ his films.  I can enjoy his films as long as I don’t think about what he’s done and said.  I can live with that.  To be honest, though I’d rather not be told that he directed a film I just watched until afterwards, but I’m definitely not paying for it.   I cannot support someone openly being abusive and hurt others.  I will not maintain their horrible destructive lifestyle by providing them with the funds to do so (no matter how minimal) And I can’t erase all the Lethal Weapon films from my childhood, and to be honest, I don’t want to.

Crystal Castles have also come to light in this respect as well – one of my favourite bands – where Ethan who is 10 years older than Alice – allegedly abused her for years.  The two are adamant that the other is wrong, and whilst I do tend to believe her more, it’s kinda tainted all the lovely music that they made together – to know that potentially abuse was a serious backdrop to their music.  I will continue to listen to them, but without her, in the band, I don’t like them as much, because that was a part of my life that I do not want to remove – although it is slightly tinged with sadness.  And the thing is even though they are both fighting now – I would rather neither of them was right because the shit Alice described was horrible.

Anyway, with all the Weinstein shit that has come to the surface over the last while I was just trying to wrap my head around all these allegations and then figure out how I can reconcile how I feel with actually being able to watch anything ever again.  Everyone knew this about Weinstein, it seemed, but the thing is because he’s a gross looking man it seems easier to demonise him.  It gets more complicated when it’s a good looking talented artist – like many of the other constant names that are getting flung up – and people start to think that they can defend them.  This was all ignored before this Weinstein thing and the shift and onslaught have been glorious to watch – but it’s all so sudden and way worse than I had hoped.  I wonder how this will end.  Are there any nice normal famous menz?  Will Charlie Day, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Adam Driver be pricks too?  What if there is literally nobody who is innocent? I really hope I can continue to watch TV without saying ‘rapist’ in my head 20 times, but seriously, that’ll really ruin my TV enjoyment.  I mean will they continue to get work?  I mean Charlie Sheen still gets work, right?  After all the shit he’s done.

So in a nutshell, if someone still gets work despite being a dick I stop financially supporting them even if I do like their art.  However, if they bother me that much I possibly won’t be able to enjoy their stuff anymore.  Sometimes, I can look back on the nostalgia that they offered me but mostly it is tainted.  I cannot erase their impact on my formative years though, nor do I want to.  I guess the question isn’t really whether it’s OK to separate art from the artist, but whether you actually can.  Look, I know there are more important things to consider than this tiny aspect – but I feel it needs to be looked at a bit.  I don’t have the answers though – I’m just talking about how I deal with it.

 

Oct
17

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This post is probably going to land me in load of shit, but hey, I’m a woman on the internet so I can’t win anyway, right?  So fuck it – I might as well go all out, eh?

Anyway I’ve been thinking about the whole #metoo thing and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually a great and positive thing, no matter how hurtful or horrible it seems.  If you find yourself rolling your eyes going ‘goddamn we know’, ‘notallmen’, ‘feminazis’ or ‘what about when it happens to men’ I’m just going to be clear here – FUCK YOU!  Firstly, if you roll your eyes you don’t know because if you did that wouldn’t be your first response – how dare you discount the lived experience of a huge section of the population, perhaps because it makes you uncomfortable.  Yeah, being quiet has worked really well for enacting any kind of change.  Yeah, we also know it’s not all men but it’s enough that it makes our reality very different to yours, and if you’re not actively trying to shut down this misogynistic behaviour and calling your peers out, despite not actively taking part in this behaviour, cop on and be a good ally without expecting a cookie for human decency.  Yeah, we know it happens to men too, and yes that is shit as well, but it’s different and this isn’t about you.  Instead of bringing it up to derail the focus of the argument, how about you go sort out something about it yourselves and no doubt all the feminists will be supportive and listen to you then.

The purpose of the whole #metoo thing is to remove the stigma and shame surrounding sexual assault and harassment that women experience.  Women are constantly told to shut up about their experiences and not taken seriously.  I can tell you this from my own experiences (some of which I will list later) and from the experiences of others.  It is a difficult thing for us to talk about when the shame is so ingrained in us and our society and rapists, harassers and stalkers are removed from the equation leaving the onus on us.  We are expected to take groping as a compliment and catcalling as flattering – not intimidating or frightening.  We are expected to be quiet and take it.  The people rolling their eyes at this hashtag are saying as much as well.  Not that there is any shame in not sharing your experiences either – it’s not up to anybody to do this – but when people do do it people should listen and learn and not yet again tell women that their experiences are inconvenient and unimportant.  It is endemic and perhaps people don’t realise how much this is the case because it doesn’t directly affect them.  When we do talk we’re questioned and often left in a situation where no matter what we did we are at fault – ‘how much did you drink?’, ‘what were you wearing?’ and ‘where you not flattered?’, our arguments are derailed and we are made feel ashamed for what was done to us – so please take this on board, be quiet and try to be better people.

The onus should not have to be on us to bring this up.  Men shouldn’t be pulling this crap, but as we know entitled fuckers will just do this anyway.  They will never own up to their shit, so I am asking you now to look for toxic behaviour in your circles and tell people they are wrong.  We all know men listen to men more so just fucking do it.

For the women here I’m opening this up more than the hashtag, not to ‘play the victim’ because I’m not but to stand up and show I’m not ashamed of what other people have decided to do to me.  It’s a strange feeling when your body is no longer yours and becomes public property and you’re conditioned to feel scared or that you owe men things.  It’s terrible to have to hold car keys between your fingers walking through a group of men or ‘cover up’, and at this point in my life I’m pretty sure the next time it happens there will be a broken dick or bruised balls because my body is mine – not anyone else’s and I’m just angry now.  I am so fucking angry.

This is for everyone who has been told they ‘need a good dicking’, or received unsolicited dick pics, or were grabbed, groped poked or prodded.  For every lesbian that a man thought they could convert.  For every girl that had cried and decided against going to the police.  For anyone who has had their body taken away from them.  For anyone treated like an object to be dominated or treated like shit with no autonomy.  This is for my women who had been silence, intimidated, blamed and frightened.

Here is a list of some of my experiences which started very early in my life as I developed pretty young (bra at 9 or 10) to give you an idea.  I’ll spare details but it might be a bit upsetting.

 

Junkie hassled me for years on the bus from when I was about 10 blocking me into seats on the bus and asking me to marry him and whatnot.

My tits were grabbed outside my school when I was about 15 by some random boy.  I was asked ‘what did I do to make him do it’ and sent to counselling.  Nothing happened to him.

I was held firmly in position during sex when I was 15 despite my protests about it hurting until they finished the job.

Some asshole grabbed my arse when I was 19.  I told the bouncer.  Nothing happened.  In fact, I was laughed at.

Stared at by men when I was 10 when I wore little shorts that I liked because they made me think I was Sarah Conor in Terminator 2.

Vagina grabbed at some point each year since I was 15.

Erection rubbed off me in a pub at the bar when I was 23.  I couldn’t see who.

Man grabbed my arse when I was 28.  I chased him down the road and punched him.

A group of 4-5 guys aged between 18 and 23 had a bet on in work to see who’d fuck me. I was 17.

I was raped when I was 30 by someone I’d known and trusted for years.

When I was 18/19 a guy in my class in college stalked me, randomly turning up at places I worked, started fights on boyfriends and just generally made me very uncomfortable.

I recently received a series of around 20-30 anonymous phone calls in an hour from at least one man (I think there were more and I have a good idea who) in some kind of attempt to intimidate me.  They were lame and I guess of a sexual nature but they didn’t expect me to laugh and respond (I am a filthy bitch with a sailor’s mouth) or give them shit but I’m intrigued as to why my existence bothers them so much.

Repeated abusive and sexual messages to my business Facebook page.

Constant comments on my tits or the possibility of riding me.  Apparently these are compliments and my tattoos make me a ‘slut’.

When I was 31 I had to physically slap and push a man off me when I was drunk because he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and force him out of my flat.

Masturbated at bus stop by a cliched man in trench coat when I was 19.

Heard men clearly rating my physical appearance when I walked past them.

Pinned against fence by multiple drunk men when I was 32 until I slagged them off so much that they let me go.

Anger from certain partners when I didn’t want to have sex.

Told my a boyfriend’s friend that they were masturbating thinking about me.  I was never apologised to but my boyfriend was.

 

I’m not sad.  I’m not a victim.  I’m not a mess or unstable because of this.  This is my reality and I’ve adapted accordingly!  I’m angry and I’m getting to the point where if these things happen any more the person who does them will be lucky to have a face left.  I’m not ashamed any more – you can’t shut me up.  Silence has perpetuated this crap that’s let you get away with this shit for years.  We shouldn’t feel ashamed for what other people have done to us – surely they should be the ones ashamed but our society has told us to ‘shut the fuck up’ implying it is our fault.  We can’t treat dehumanising behaviour as acceptable any more.  I’m not doing that any more and if my experience makes you uncomfortable so be it – I’m telling the truth for myself and many many others.  I don’t even know what these  ‘men’ got out of most of these situations either, but hey if intimidating people that are physically weaker than you helps you jack it in your own bed of tears – just go watch some porn instead.  And nice dudes, seriously tell them to cop on – it’s ridiculous we have to even have this #metoo tag, because we are getting angrier and slowly but surely we’ll take matters into our own hands.

Sep
24

img_0894What’s this you say?  Planning you say?  Not impulsively making rash decisions and lying in a pile of crackers in your pants on the bedrooms floor crying because you didn’t consider the consequences, you say?  Not sending incoherent angry drunk texts, you say? Not deliberately self sabotaging things or out trying to get a ride, you say?  You haven’t vomited in ages, you say? You’re not even really angry or scared, you say?  Learning from your mistakes, you say?  Is this actually Caroline?  What has happened?

Wellity wellity wellity….

The times they have changed haven’t they?  But I’m still a high functioning mess, perhaps because I only have one other person (the chisler) to focus on and I’ve done a bit of ‘soul searching’ (fucking ridiculous phrase).  And you know what?  I’ve had a eureka moment because in those awkward little moments of silence I’ve started to accept the way things are, the way I am and the way that I have a certain amount of power to change things. Yes, I’m still a mess and a moody bitch, but that isn’t my defining characteristic.  I’ve had so many engaging conversations over the last few weeks with amazing people and differing perspectives that I just had to share my thoughts on them and how these epiphanies could help me reshape my worldview for the better.

I’m still a sarcastic fucker though and that will never change.

These are the things that I’ve been pondering for the last few weeks, sober and provided me with some clarity as I reassemble my thoughts on things and move my life in a bit more of a solid direction on my own.  I’m still working on these though because it’s hard to shake patterns of a lifetime.

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These are my new rules and realisations for life.

 

  1. You are not obligated to be fun, interesting or happy at any given time if you don’t feel it. You do not owe anyone anything.  Being positive doesn’t fix everything – it ignores stuff. Sometimes you have to be super low to build yourself back up.  So be around people who are OK with this or on your own.
  2. If you keep doing the same shit over and over again – the same thing will happen – you big dope.
  3. Don’t sleep late. Get out of the bed you lazy bum.
  4. If people are shitty to other people they will be shitty to you.  People don’t change that much so watching people is a good way to gauge them.  In other words, if he’s robbing other people’s hash, he probably robbing yours or drinking your cans while you sleep.
  5. Share when you can and pay it forward not to get anything in return BUT (and this is my issue) remember who constantly has their hand out and never returns the favour even when you need it.
  6. People are mostly selfish.  I do believe that people there are some people who are rotten to the core, some who are lovely and some who are just OK.  Most people are just OK but sometimes good people do bad shit and bad people do good shit.
  7. There is no such thing as karma.  Get rid of that stupid idea.  If people are dicks eventually it will catch up on them because they’ll fuck with the wrong person – not because the universe has a way of fucking realigning itself.  Jesus, that’s just silly!
  8. When you really want something sit down and think about why.  Don’t just blindly run into a situation where you’re deliberately ignoring your gut or red flags for the sake of whatever it is you thought you wanted.
  9. Tell people you love them regularly.  Tell them why they are important to you.
  10. If bad shit happens, it’s not always a reflection on you.  Also, if the same bad shit continues to happen, have a look at why and if there is anything you can do to stop it repeating.
  11. Mistakes are for learning.  It’s not been a waste if you view it that way.
  12. You can’t fix people, no matter what you do for them.  Help and be honest and open all you want but you need to protect yourself sometimes.
  13. You deserve to be treated with respect.  After a point things people have said and done cannot be taken back.  Forgive all you want but don’t forget.
  14. If someone is regularly an asshole when they are intoxicated, they are the problem, not the substances that they are using.
  15. Some people are open to change, some people can’t.
  16. It doesn’t matter whether someone hurts you or purpose or by accident, if it keeps happening and they don’t learn.  It’s also not your fault for eventually reacting badly and washing your hands of it.
  17. If something is impairing your judgement – like alcohol, food, or a person – remove them from the equation, even temporarily.  See how you get on with it in your life and make better decisions.
  18. Keep toxic situations and relationships at arms length if they cannot be avoided.
  19. You don’t have to stick to a decision that isn’t working just because you feel like you’re a failure.
  20. Think more long to medium term than short term.
  21. Let go of anger – if you think about something from the past that makes you angry you clearly haven’t dealt with it properly.
  22. Don’t try to explain things to people who don’t want to listen.  Communication is a two way thing.  If someone isn’t sorry or willing to learn move on and stop trying to explain empathy to someone who doesn’t have it or care.
  23. Do not rely on anyone more than you have to.  They will let you down every time and anyway, everyone has their own stuff going on.img_0793
  24. You probably are attractive to someone somewhere.  As long as you smell OK, you’re probably not as unattractive as you feel.
  25. People show you who they are, they don’t tell you.  Have you ever heard an actual nice person say that they are nice?
  26. Stop making excuses for not doing things that you know would benefit you.
  27. If a conversation is taking on a dark or negative tone, move to a new or different location and change subject.
  28. Protect yourself and remember boundaries.  Even if they may seem like things you don’t want to stop in the moment.  There’s a reason your past self set these things up for you – so no, don’t invite that dude back to your house with a load of people when you have work in the morning – this won’t end well.  Also, don’t spend a whole night moaning at people or confessing private stuff unless you totally trust them.
  29. If you are scared of something you might need to try it out.  I’ve done this recently and it worked out OK.  I was nervous and took control of the situation.  Now I am not scared any more.  Clearly, I don’t mean bungee jump or anal, but you know something that you are scared of but wished you could master.
  30. The world is a shitty scary place, but I’ve decided that instead of trying to change that fact, which will always be a fact, that I should change how I react and have attempted to build myself up to prevent it from having a massive impact on me.

 

Now, I still do a lot of stupid things, and I probably always will.  I appreciate any of the friendship and support that I’ve experienced over the course of my life.  I just want everyone to know it’s a two-way street and I’m not saying I’m a guru or anything (just had a packet of crisps for breakfast) but I’m here a lot of the time if anyone ever needs me.

Now onwards, until I get cranky next week and write a completely contradictory blog.

 

Sep
19

By Caroline Egan

Published in Phoenix Ink 5 2016

kid-illustration2Illustration by Olly Cunningham

Every night they came.  Their little feet pattering gently on the laminate flooring, their tiny cold hands pulling at the end of his bed sheets and their barely audible whispers.  Every night he pretended to be asleep, covering his blue eyes with his hands, his knuckles whitening, hidden in the sticky heat of his thick bed spread.  He knew what they looked like, but, because seeing was believing, he had rathered not to reconfirm their existence.

If I can’t see you it means you’re not real.

Frozen in that same position every night, his pulse throbbing in his head, the boy often wondered what they had wanted.  He tried to work through the situation as logically as any eight-year-old could.  The fear he felt, that paralysing sense of powerlessness, took over every time, refusing to fade.  His shivering body would not allow his mind to process thought as little fingers mauled the duvet inches from his arms.

If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.

Three weeks ago he had thought that his eyes were playing tricks on him.  The shadows often had a way of morphing into fearful unknown creatures or concealing the cause of a suspicious sound.  He had been convinced in the initial stages that it must be mice, possibly even rats, when he had heard the rustle and patter in the depths of his dark bedroom and felt the presence of a ball roll eerily across the floor towards his bed. It was only when he heard the indistinct whispers, the indecipherable meandering of a mad person on a mission, that he knew he could not deny his situation.

If I can’t hear you then you’re not here.

Despite his usual overwhelming terror the boy had plotted tiredly throughout the day.  His teacher had commented to his mother recently that he had been falling asleep in class.  His school work had ,been deteriorating and he had developed dark circles under his eyes.  The youthful glow of his face had been extinguished and replaced with the countenance of a war veteran that had seen too much.  Even now, being a kid, he knew that this had to change. It had to end regardless of the consequence, and so, he devised a crude plan to make this a reality.

If I amn’t here you can’t get me.

He encountered one face to face in his narrow upstairs landing returning from the toilet, its silhouette stretching out in the pale moonlight from behind.  It was a greyish brown colour and lacked expression, standing less than a foot tall in height.  It blocked his passage with its narrow limbs and mimicked his every move.  Like a plastic doll with gangly limbs its face was featureless bar its black eyes which blinked sporadically.  It had no visible mouth, or nose, or ears, yet somehow regarded him menacingly.  He froze to the spot and again it adapted his pose.  It darted and dodged fluidly, never changing expression, its two toed feet tapping on the wood floor, until he ran back to the bathroom and locked himself in.  The gentle scratching sound of the blunt nailess fingers followed a few minutes later.

If you can’t touch me this isn’t happening.

Now curled up in a tight foetal position the boy fingered a small object under his pillow.  He would deal with this himself.  Nobody would believe him. Grown-ups were pointless to talk to about it.  He would never prove their existence, especially considering his recent odd behaviour, and even his brother at the age of eleven was closer to adulthood and their beliefs than he was.  The whispering began to rise, as he contemplated this, and a newer stronger wave of fear climbed from the pit of his stomach upward, throwing his thoughts out of sync.  Nobody else in the house could hear their terrifying malevolence either.  They didn’t even have mouths, so how could they whisper?  Those horrible menacing thoughts.  Mocking and planning…teasing and taunting…

If I don’t think about it they will go away.

He had woken up on the bathroom floor the next morning, cold and sticky with puffy eyelids and a crust of dry drool on one side of his chin.  The brightness of the room had stung his eyes and as he ran his hands through his wild blonde hair the nights’ events began to replay in his mind.  He wondered what they were.  They seemed too artificial to be real: they were more man made than anything, like a deformed doll with no pupils.  He wondered where they came from and what they wanted. He could come to no solid conclusion but he knew that it was unlikely to be good.

I’m in a happy place!

Sometimes the he had woken up feeling bruises throb on his arms and legs but when he looked for them he couldn’t find them.  He knew it had something to do with the creatures but there was nothing to see.  So he decided to draw around where the pain was on his arm in pen to see what shape it was because he was a clever boy.  His crudely traced drawing depicted something unsettling.  It clearly showed the shape of a tiny hand, about the size of a golf ball.  It seemed more as the result of a gentle touch as opposed to a slap, as if the creature had just put their hand on him.  His body paralysed as he considered what this meant.   When had they touched him?!  Why hadn’t he felt it?!  Why were they doing this?!

If you don’t see me then you’re not real!

The boy rose slowly from the bed holding the matches tightly in his hands.  It was nearly dawn and the room would start to become grey with dim light. They only came out in the darkness. He squeezed his eyes shut and inched his way across the bed.  He knew his room so well that even in the dark he would be able to negotiate his way to the wardrobe and not need to open his eyes until the last minute.  A silence hushed the room, no more whispering, no more movement, just the sound of the boy’s breathing as he could feel all their eyes following him.  He lowered himself down to the floor, feeling its coldness beneath his feet, and continued as if approaching a wild animal.  No sudden movements, no obviously malicious behaviour and he thought he could pull it off.

If I’m careful they won’t know.

He head realised where they slept that very day, whilst tiredly cleaning his room.  It appeared that behind his wardrobe they had made an entrance to a cave that was confined to a section inside his wall.  When his favourite marble had rolled behind it he pulled it out from the wall and noticed a bedding of rags and hay covering where they slept.  Being young and exhausted he pondered this all day before coming up with the simple plan of burning their next.  He had to carefully execute a plan to even obtain the matches by distracting his mother in the kitchen to steal them. He even robbed fire lighters to ensure that everything would go up in flames.

Fire, fire, burning bright.

He bent down to retrieve the fire lighters and felt cold fingers, gently, almost affectionately stroke his arm.  He refused to open his eyes.  The wicked things would surely try to confuse him their steady gazes, and lunge on him.  He fumbled loosely for each of them, until he had his small hand full. He slowly opened his eyes but did not look around.  Trembling he lit a match, aware of the semi-circle of stares that surrounded him.  As he approached the first firelighter with the match he felt something move to his left – one of the creatures shook its head gently as if to say ‘no’, the flame dancing in its eyes, basked in the pale and short lived light.

The match extinguished and so flustered the boy lit another.

He felt the circle grow tighter around him and anticipation choked in his throat. He could feel their movements not too far away, the air moving from their gentle motions.

He lit the second match clumsily and as he did a rumbling like a cat’s purr began.  The light of the match revealed that the creatures had teeth in their camouflaged mouths, rows denser than that of a shark.  During this his fingertips are burned but he cannot stop himself staring into the dark.

Eventually he drops the match, its searing pain eventually taking its toll in his fingers, and darkness.

The mouths had been wide open by the time the match went out, just enough to frighten the little boy.

He suddenly wondered what his mother was doing…  He wished that she was with him…

He slid his hand into the matchbox to start again, holding his breathe.

When his shaking fingers eventually lit the match it was only just long enough to see the creatures diving on him. He was suddenly pulled to the floor by tens of tiny hands, amidst a sound akin to the low beginnings of an earthquake and dragged swiftly through the hole in the wall, a scream barely making its way out of his mouth.

 

Sep
18

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Transitioning from an extended puberty into adulthood is scary.  All of a sudden you realise that you have way less time than you used to.  Here are some tips on how you can make more time for yourself to keep in touch with your ‘younger’ self, and free you up to sit on the sofa watching Game of Thrones wondering how you’ve wasted your life before you become a bitter old bastard.

Do not read the comment sections on anything – be it political, celebrity news or youtube videos.

Just. Don’t.  If you want to end up spending your afternoon cross because of the brazen and ridiculous opinions of uneducated fools (not in the academic sense, but in the sense that people want to have opinions on everything but lack the actual knowledge, critical awareness or experience to back it up) and being sad about the state of humanity avoid them at all costs.  Make yourself a little bubble with tea and cake.  You’ll feel better and spend your thoughts on much better things.  People pick on each other on the internet all the time for horrendous things, brandishing their opinions as fact and discounted peoples’ lived experience, for things that they would never say to their face – this is partially why I deactivated my personal Facebook page and I think it’s made me feel better and more productive.  Also, don’t waste your time posting constant pictures of you and your other half trying to convince everyone you’re happy – you’re not – it’s obvious in your overcompensation.

Don’t answer private numbers.

Seriously, what good has ever come from answering a private number?  It’s either a survey, a bank or something even more ominous.  Just don’t.  And to save yourself time as well, put your number on private so that nobody will answer your calls either.  Win, win!

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Pretend you are stupid.  

This works particularly well when you are a girl.  If you know me I guess you know my feminist tendencies but I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what I do or say at this point that lots of people with penises think that I’m stupid, or at least not as clever as they are.  To this I give a derisive snort because I know the truth, but sadly, I’ve come to stop fighting it and let them explain things to me.  So in order to save time I just stay quiet instead of drawing out a conversation that could have simply been avoided. Essentially it would save me time if people didn’t feel the need to explain things to me that I already knew but I’m well aware that people make assumptions, even subconsciously, based on gender and if you point that out you’re the bad person.  I’m too old for this shit.  Practice a blank look on your face, tilt your head slightly sideways and giggle pretending that only now do you understand the concept of GDP.  Not only will you have an easier life but men will consider you less threatening – which is what we all want, amirite?

Multitask

If there is a task that you can do on the toilet when you know you’ll take a while – do it. Personally I favour ringing my parents or brushing my teeth on the toilet.  Saves heaps of time.  Don’t stop there – drink in the shower, write on the bus, keep shower gel in your belly button in the bath, pluck your eyebrows while you sleep.

Get less sleep.

What do you need sleep for anyway really?  You’ll just be tormented with nightmares about your faded hopes and dreams.  Sleep is a waste of time when you could be sitting into space thinking about the overwhelming amount of stuff that you need to do just to maintain your miserable existence in the first place.  And, on the plus side, if you’re only half awake doing things you don’t want to in the first place, it doesn’t feel like you’re really there.

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Be brave.

In my experience men are always tormenting women, particularly women on their own trying to walk from A to B.  Yes, they are scary and yes, we shouldn’t have to deal with it but a rule of thumb I follow (and I admit that it may not work for everyone but it has for me this far and is very situationally based) is to always assume the worst and be brave.  So when you’re scared and they give you shit, or try to intimidate you, dependent on the situation, stand your ground and be a cheeky fucker, whilst holding your keys between your fingers in your pockets.  The times I’ve looked scared are the times that they’ve persevered more, whereas the times when I’ve stared them square in the eye and made a joke of what they’ve said have served me better.  This includes gangs of men pinning me to a railing and attempting to prevent me from moving, but when I didn’t and just asked them how many of them were impotent, they laughed and let me go.  Clearly, I’m not saying this will work for everyone or every situation but it is something to bare in mind. If someone catcalls you, shout back when you’re sure you’re safe.  If someone grabs your arse punch them.  It’s shit we have to put up with this stuff but we do.  Don’t drag it out more than you need to.

One night stands.

One night stands are a great way of having mediocre sex without emotional attachment. You can save even more time by handing them their pants once it’s done and then you can continue with your day as you intended without having to worry about taking up your time with ‘breakfast’ or ‘waiting for them to wake up’ or stupid ‘I’ll call you’ conversations.  You don’t need ambiguity or to invest in anything.  Just scratch an itch!

 

 

Sleep in your gym clothes.

This only works if you go to the gym in the morning but sometimes your PJs are very similar to work out clothing.  Nobody really cares what they look like in the gym so I find it useful to sleep in what I’ll be sweating in the next day.  Saves you on washing and time!

 

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Stop explaining yourself to gobshites.

This took me ages to work out but some people literally don’t care how you feel or what they’ve done no matter how well constructed your argument is.  Don’t waste your breath.  You can’t force people to understand and if not empathise, sympathise.  Some people just don’t have it in them.  You’re only going to waste time and energy, on someone or something that think makes you feel like you’re overreacting.  Then, you’ll just spiral into thinking that you’re the bad person.  So learn to just walk away and go home and have an angry wank.

If you’re unhappy and you can change it, do it.

Moaning isn’t going to change anything.  It’s one thing to voice concerns, or sound something off someone, or on occasion have a bit of a meltdown but consistent moaning about something that is in your power to change isn’t going to do fuck all.  If you are stuck in a job you dislike, change it or at least try.  If you can’t, try to make it bearable by coming up with ways to pass the time.  I say this with pretty bad anxiety bubbling away under the surface most of the time and I know it’s not always easy, but I’ve found myself often making excuses to stay in situations that weren’t making me be the best version of myself.  I know things aren’t as clearcut all the time and everyone is different but if something is bothering you, instead of letting it take over, try to approach it from a different angle.  I’ve made some serious changes in the past few weeks and more are coming – it’s scary, and it’s uncertain, but I know that they will improve my life even slightly and possibly make me a better person to be around.  In a nutshell, I want to change things, so I don’t have to spend hours wondering why I’m stuck in situations when I can.

Avoid doing the dishes.

Use paper cups and plates or eat from a tin or packaging.  Put everything in the bin.  And before you say anything about the environment – it’s already fucked and most likely in our lifetime – so I will save time washing dishes and try and do something more constructive with my day.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

You’d think this would be obvious, right?  Not to most people.  Not at all.  Most of the time being honest and just coming out with stuff just stops a situation getting needlessly dragged out or getting fucked beyond all recognition.  Think of all the hassle you’d save yourself rather than pretending you’re happy with everything.  It might be hard but a difficult honest conversation is worth a lot more than months of wondering a bewilderment or fighting.

Curse

I don’t care how crude or crass it is but cursing minimises the amount of words that you have to use.  I don’t care if it comes across as unintelligent – it just saves time.  And also, apparently you’re more trustworthy.

 

Peace out motherfuckers.

 

ALSO BUY MY GODDAMN BOOK HERE:

 

 

 

 

 

Sep
12

keith

 

OK so I thought I could go with a different type of tale today, so sit back, grab a cup of tea or get comfortable hiding in the jacks in work, whilst I regale you with a story of a day in my life of yesteryear.  ‘Twas the summer of 2003, I was 21, on break from college before returning for my final year of my degree and working in town.  This shop was a novelty shop, mainly for children, producing a variety of teddy bears on the site to the specifications of stupid little people.  We put in hearts, voice boxes, stuffing, dressed them and gave them birth certificates.  We smiled and joked with children and it was all really saccharin, but, for the most part I enjoyed it.  It paid well, I liked sewing and some children were scared of balloons which amused me no end.

 

This particular day was a strange one for me.  I hadn’t been feeling well for the last while.  I had been putting on weight despite being on a very strict diet composed mainly of Slimfast milkshakes.  I was really annoyed at myself for being the ghastly weight of 9 stone (oh how I laugh now at that) and had pretty much been starving myself for the past few weeks.  The night before I was tossing and turning and had barely slept and somewhere in the recesses of my brain fluttered a serious hidden pang of anxiety.  It was only sitting at the table at the back of the shop at the sewing table, staring at the small wide eyed fools screaming incoherent shite, that the realisation hit me of what this potentially could be and so frantically on the short morning break I ran to the pharmacy on the floor below.  Ten minutes later I was staring at a positive response on the test in the toilets, barely able to breathe.

 

When I left the toilet, confused and a bit shell shocked, I stumbled aimlessly back onto the floor.  A supervisor approached me and told me that I had to go to the RDS.  Why?  Because I had to dress up, with another guy, in a mascot outfit – the giant smelly girl teddy for a photo shoot.  I would get paid extra.  I complied barely saying a word, partially glad to get away from all the children on the shop floor and pretending to be happy – my resting bitch face game would have been too strong for the public today.  I was kinda paralysed watching children with their sticky hands pick up teddies, drop lollies and somewhere I could smell a well filled nappy.  So I went with the other guy to the RDS, making awkward small talk and trying not to have a mental breakdown.

 

The costume had never been washed.  Not once.  And the inside of the heavy plastic head smelled like twenty people’s stale breath.  It was claustrophobic and heavy with warm air, despite the large opening for the mouth and eyes.  In order to walk I had to press my face up tightly to the inside of the head and peer out the mouth, which I could only imagine looked as macabre appearing as if I was trapped inside the bear being slowly digested.  I wondered if I tried hard enough would the body digest the foetus, thought that was stupid and asked someone to align my head properly.  The costume hung loosely around my body, but felt crusty and trapped the building heat around me.  Was it always this warm in this suit or was I just panicking?  I could feel sweat drip down my back but there was nothing I could do about it.

 

How the fuck was I going to have a child?  What would I ever do with one?  Surely, I’d accidentally break its neck the first time I held it?  All I did was booze, work, study and sleep.  I had nobody to answer to.  I lived with my parents in a teenchy gaff.  When the goldfish became a pain in the arse they were flushed down the toilet like (not me), so what would happen with a screaming baby?  What about college?  I wanted to do my thesis on the Alien series and the idea of babies as parasites and bodily autonomy – seemed fitting now.

 

I was ushered along by someone I couldn’t see, an irritating hand between my shoulder blades into a flurry of people.  I couldn’t turn because the costume didn’t always move with me and it was hard to orientate myself in it, so as much as I wanted to I couldn’t push their hand off.

 

‘Don’t talk at all’ a voice said.

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Journalists, photographers, some TV presenters I could recognise but not name…. and there he was Keith Duffy, in all his orangeness (ornateness kept coming up in spellcheck as a possible correction and I can’t stop laughing at it) with his crazy white teeth standing smiling away in the middle of it all.  It didn’t matter that I could barely see out the mouth – I could still tell he was famous, even in his shit blue jumper.  Other people dressed as teddies pranced around with exaggerated poses.  It was like walking into a party where you were the only one who hadn’t taken cocaine whilst everyone went all Scarface.  He was moved over to me, the only female bear, and tightly wrapped his arm around my neck, as flashed went off.  I tried to pose in some way enthusiastically and made eye contact with him through the mouth and he smiled in the most comforting way into the bears mouth.  It must’ve looked super weird to him.  It was, however, magical for me.  We were sharing a moment.

 

Inside, still reeling from the news earlier, the heat rising and rising, I could feel myself start to have issues breathing.  I could feel that it was possible that I would vomit inside the giant head as well, possibly morning sickness, possibly just from the stress of it.  Thing is, although Keith was subconsciously calming me down, when you can’t see anything in your peripheral vision you can be frightened easily.  As he loosened his grip on me some squeaky gobshite jumped in front of me:

 

‘YOU’RE DEFINITELY A GUY!’ she squealed, not only giving me a shock but also causing me to back away slightly.  ‘YOU’RE DEFINTELY NOT A GIRL!’

 

Over and over and over.  Until warm and angry and panicked, the smelly girl bear shouted in front of the journalists, TV presenters ad Keith Duffy.

 

‘I’M A FUCKING GIRL!’ I screamed.

 

Ten minutes later we were leaving on our way back to work, normal clothes but red faced, absolutely nothing acknowledged by anyone of my outburst, on the way to get a goddamn burrito.  When my supervisor rang me to find out where we were – slightly angry I might add I simply said in a narky tone ‘to get a fucking burrito’ and hung up.  I was getting a burrito and I wasn’t rushing it either.

 

Then in work I text the father of the child, not my partner at the time (long story) and told him we needed to chat.  So yeah, I guess I had the kid but Keith Duffy also, without knowing it, stopped me having a panic attack.

 

 

EDIT:  This story really did happen and I tried to Google pictures of me (as a bear) with Keith Duffy but I couldn’t find any.  If anyone does come across some please send them on! It’d be cool.

 

Sep
04

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You probably wouldn’t think it when you met me but internally I’m a bit of a general mess.  Well, I mean I’m a highly functioning mess but I never actually relax.  It’s probably a combination of nervousness and sensitivity, masked under confident-ish cheeky banter and a willingness to listen and empathise, so you mightn’t see it directly, but it’s there and it has been since I was tiny.  I think I’m pretty decent at hiding it usually, but that in itself is exhausting, because as far as I can see I’m generally fighting a losing battle. No matter how proactive I am and how much I plan for every possible eventuality,  the voices of self-doubt in my head repeat all the negative things I’m trying to avoid.  So whilst I’m smiling and laughing and talking away underneath I’m nearly always panicking.  Even when someone notices it on one of those rare occasions you’re still going to get some patronising fucker telling you to ‘calm down’ as you verge onto a panic attack because y’know that’s really effective and doesn’t make you feel like an inconvenience at all.  If you’d ever had a panic attack, where you feel yourself get dizzy and can’t breathe, you wouldn’t be saying any bullshit to that effect at all.

 

Before I describe some of the stupid shit that I do because of my anxiety I’d like to briefly describe how I feel from it to give you an idea of what I feel like 80% of the time.  That’s right, 80% of the time – sleepless nights, nightmares, panic attacks, being hyper vigilant and waiting for bad stuff to happen etc…  I’m not doing this so you’ll feel sorry for me – it was what it is (I hate that stupid phrase) – I’m just asking that people stop thinking people are dicks for things that they clearly have a hard time with.  OK, so imagine everything is in slow-motion and you’re watching a cannon ball coming towards you, or some other dangerous object.  You know in real time that you cannot escape it and it’s going to hit you.  You just know.  That is how I feel the majority of the time, waiting for that big hit, that will at least seriously injure me, like some kind of horrible purgatory, that probably will never come to a conclusion.  And in real life you have to keep going and function all the time, so imagine how difficult it is to focus or complete tasks when you are even slightly stressed.  Imagine how overwhelming that is.

 

Anyway, I thought I’d just share that to give you a glimpse into how things can be difficult and how things are in my head.  I’m not saying everyone’s anxiety is the same but the phrases ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’ really don’t help – so maybe consider that before you use them.  Having anxiety doesn’t make you weak either, although I know it makes me awkward and perhaps a bit twitchy, and sometimes I suppose I seem rude, but generally I don’t mean it.  If I cause offence I usually apologise if I’m aware of it.  Panic attacks don’t have to be full blown and obvious either, they can take the form of zoning out and going quiet amongst other things so just because it doesn’t ‘seem like there’s anything wrong’ there can be so don’t bother saying that either.

 

So here is a list of things that I do or find difficult because of my anxiety.

 

Leaving the house:

It’s overwhelming.  Too many unpredictable things and loud noises.  Sometimes I cancel plans last minute because outside just seems so daunting and the thoughts of going outside alone has exhausted me.  I don’t mean anything bad by it.

 

Being late for things:

I don’t like rushing either so I like to give myself lots of time.  I’m nearly always early but the idea of being late twists my guts up into massive knots.  Don’t get me wrong – I still won’t run or anything.

 

Getting off a bus or negotiating through tight spaces:

Probably because I’m a woman and regularly get groped from vag to tit to arse.  I stare for ages at spaces trying to decipher the path of least resistance even if it is the longest route.

 

Group messaging:

Anything that involves more than three people will just overwhelm me.  I’m not being rude if I leave.  I just can’t handle all the information.  I can put it on mute but seeing 24 notifications sends me into a spin.

 

The ‘sign of peace’ at mass:

I don’t want to awkwardly shake your hand.  I’m so nervous anyway that I’m dripping sweat.  Nothing induces a mini panic attack for me like the lead up to this part, which I know word for word for some reason.  Also, I saw you scratch your arse beforehand or pick your nose.  Now I’m forced to touch you.  I wish foot in mouth was a thing again.

 

Compliments:

What’s your angle, eh buddy?  FUCK OFF!

 

Doorbells:

I’m super jumpy, even when I’m expecting someone to call up.  I would disable my doorbell if I had one.  I am constantly in a cat like state of readiness.

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Having to take a shit:

I can only poop in about 3 toilets and I won’t shit if you’re in my apartment.  I will kick you out if I have to.  This makes one night stands amazingly awkward.

 

Not being able to move:

It’s awkward as fuck but sometimes I can’t move because I have so much to do that I’m overwhelmed by everything and end up paralyzed.  It sounds ridiculous but when I move I have to keep moving to avoid this, where I just sit and stare and panic about all the things that I have to do but can’t because I don’t know where to start.

 

Night terrors:

This has been a problem for years.  Sweat inducing nightmares about past events, women with horrible eyebrows slagging mine off and sometimes things that I know the reality of my subconscious presenting themselves.

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Someone I fancy talking to me:

I am a terrible human.  Seriously.  I remember some guy I liked (which rarely happens) talking to me and when he was talking I just shouted ‘PENIS!’ for no reason other than I was thinking about his penis… because, well I was like.

 

Subconsciously slightly hurt myself:

I dig my nails into the palms of my hands, hold my breath for ages without knowing, scratch myself, pull my nails off and when I was younger I used to pull out big chunks of my hair and eat it when I was particularly stressed out.  There ya go, I’m a fucking weirdo, I know.

 

Have a hard time telling the difference between excitement and nervousness:

If I go hyper, especially when I’m drunk, I can’t tell if I’m happy or just nervous.  It all seems to run off the same energy with me, particularly in public.  I mean, I’d be happy sitting quietly in a pub on my own with a book – I love my own company

 

Small talk:

My head is full of fuck most of the time because I guess subconsciously I think a lot of people are cunts, everything is dangerous and I can’t be bothered talking about the weather.  I wear headphones for a reason asshole, don’t force your mediocrity on me.

 

Watching my child climb on high things:

This actually makes me dizzy.  Even in a playground.  I just walk off and hide somewhere till he tells me he’s down.  God forbid he ever gets stuck somewhere.

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(A recently received message from some horrible gobshite)

 

Social media:

It seems these days that people can’t have coherent arguments or debates without being complete dicks and piling onto each other, even when we’re on the same side.  People make mistakes, you don’t always have to agree, we should just all have open minds about these things but that isn’t the case at all.  The worst thing is getting unnecessary abuse online, particularly if you’re a chick, because more often than not some dude runs into the argument brandishing his opinion as fact despite the fact it’s your area of expertise in a really hostile manner.  It sucks but I defend myself as much as I can without getting emotional, despite wanting to crawl under a rock and die, but I’ve found these fights often get brought to me instead of the other way around.  In fact,  I think social media is one of the worst offenders for myself when it comes to inducing a panic attack because half these people wouldn’t be as brave or extreme if they were sitting facing you.

 

So there you have it – this probably makes me sound like an asshole but I don’t care.  It doesn’t come from a bad place, and I genuinely care about people, but a lot of the time I just can’t deal with things.  Please don’t take offence if I do any of these things to you – just try and be kind and remember that doing things that are possibly easy for you isn’t the same as for others.  If I calmed down I wouldn’t be me either, would I?  Being compassionate and not dismissing people, perhaps reminding them of their value to you and that they will be ok are so much more effective than being a jerk.

 

BUY MY GODDAMN BOOK HERE:  https://www.amazon.com/Fahckmylife-Little-Book-Fahck/dp/1544185367

Jul
30

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I am working class and from Finglas.  I may have moved around the country a lot (probably about 8 different houses before the age of 9) before we settled in Dublin in the early 90’s but I consider Finglas my home.  However, I was kind of in a weird situation, because I was never really considered middle-class or working class in any proper sense of the word.  At various stages I was considered ‘posh’ as a disadvantage, was picked on in my area and in school and found it difficult to make friends in my area because my parents, who thought they were protecting me, wouldn’t let me associate with people from my area.  However, despite their best efforts and what-not I was still considered ‘common’ and likewise people weren’t allowed to hang around with me.  Also, I feel that the ‘working class’ label has worked to my disadvantage in college and lead to people severely underestimating me.  So essentially I don’t know what the fuck I am, although once I say Finglas with my glorious accent the decision is taken out of my hands.  But I kinda dislike poshos anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Class is still a thing.  There is elitism and there are still prevailing patronising attitudes towards people based on their ‘class’, which is now more complicated than ever to quantify, as if acquiring an education and being working class were a fucking oxymoron.  I remember asking students during a tutorial whether they thought class was an issue and most of them replied that they didn’t think that this was the case.  They were all, however, at least middle-class so it probably is harder to see other people’s difficulties when you’re immersed in your own little bubble.

But even being middle-class is a precarious position now, as rent in Dublin has become a nightmare.  If class is to be measured purely on occupation and income, as opposed to any other factors, there are more people who were possibly middle class falling closer towards the working class tier than ever before.  Sure, there might be jobs now, specifically in Dublin but rent is insane and capitalism is bullshit if you’re not in the top 30%.  For what has always been a struggle for some is now becoming more of a struggle for many people who had little understanding or compassion for those ‘beneath them’ on the food chain.

So here are my top tips on how to survive suddenly becoming working class:

 

Drink high percentage alcohol –the cheapest for the largest amount.  You’re poor so you’re not allowed drink or have any fun, (see comments made by Senator David Norris the big posho) but without a temporary escape or whatever you’ve got fuck all to keep you in your downtrodden position.

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If you’re employed in a minimum wage job just be grateful that you even have one, even if you spent years in college studying things that are in no way related to what you are doing now.  It’s your own fault.  Perhaps you were always born to be working class and no amount of denying it will help.  The bluebloods say being poor is in the genes.

 

Get used to people telling you that the cost of living is way less in other locations in the country, despite the fact that Dublin is your home, and although rent is Dublin is a black hole and completely overpriced, they will completely overlook the long commute to a new job, or relocating your family, for what is essentially a catch 22 situation.

 

Don’t have sex.  Especially if you’re a woman.  Completely repress all needs and desires because if you get pregnant people will say that you only did it to get a house or a ‘free ride’ (pun intended) or if you have an accident and want to get it ‘sorted’ your options as a woman in Ireland are either extremely expensive or illegal.  Remember don’t have sex if you can’t fully afford a child.  Don’t think that those affordable LIDL condoms will protect you.

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Get used to the fact that it is property owners and the government in collusion with each other that could potentially make you homeless at any point and there is little recourse for you to follow up.  Settle for squalor, damp and rats, landlords that follow their own rules and sewage leaking into your sitting room – because that actually happened to me before.  (Seriously though leave refugees out of it.  We have enough resources to look after everyone but the government and the media are adept at refocussing frustration on those with even less of a voice.)

 

Expect a lot of humour punching down at you but just accept it ‘because it’s just a joke’.

 

Learn to combine beans with everything for sustenance.

 

Expect when you try to better yourself for people in many universities to patronise you and find you impolite because your language is coarser and blunter, or because of your new found social status.  Don’t change that though – it reminds people that they are better than you.  Working class, education and intelligence are not mutually exclusive, although if you keep hitting that 6% cider it might prove difficult.

 

Get used to everyone from outside of Dublin saying it’s a shithole, but if you say anything negative about a town or village outside of Dublin, you’ll be accused of being Dublin-centric. Maybe not in so many words, but if you have a strong Dublin accent, even if you aren’t a loud and annoying Dub, you’ll feel the need to defend your home.

 

Get used to people judging your accent, which usually starts changing 4-5 weeks after the other symptoms of turning working class begin, before they listen to what you say.  You’ll be spoken over.  Constantly.  Especially if you’re a woman.

 

If you get a medical card or rent allowance, you should consider yourself lucky.  Seriously, taxi drivers will talk to you about this shit all the time.  So never tell anyone you have either of these things.

 

If you have mental health issues and are on a shoe string budget, just go for a walk.  Seriously you can’t afford anything else.

 

Get used to the expectation in your minimum wage job that you are a ‘yes’ person and always take up the offer of extra work, even if it is your kid’s birthday.

 

If you do have children be prepared for nothing you do to be good enough.  Having a pint?  You should be at home.  Having a smoke?  You should be at home. You shouldn’t be working that minimum wage job; you belong at home.  Why didn’t you keep your legs closed until you could afford it?

 

Expect to be left behind.  Your friends with ‘good’ jobs who did everything sensibly will move on, go on holidays and do all the cool things you wish you could be doing.  Some of them will travel poor countries and ‘find themselves’.  This is a reality for you now though, although perhaps not as extreme.  Unfortunately, 70% of your income goes on rent and you don’t particularly have any sellable skills so you won’t be able to keep up with them and as they become more and more middle class you will fade into obscurity.  You would be better off with leprosy than being working class.

 

Consider sex work as an extra income but then factor in the stigma of being found out and the safety and then go back to eating dry crackers.

 

If you are made homeless expect people to judge you, want your kids taken off you and comment with statements such as ‘why can’t you stay with family?’  People will know your situation better with minimal details than you know yourself.  Being vulnerable automatically means you’re a bad person or stupid.

 

Around the two-month mark of being diagnosed with working-classism you will start to get followed around shops because the symptoms become visible to others.

 

Expect unsolicited advice on all fronts about how to deal with landlords, how you should spend your money, how you should be saving and watch, just watch, when people judge you for treating yourself to a takeaway.  Expect people to speak on your behalf because they expect you to be vulnerable and naïve.  Even when you quote big sections from the PRTB to your landlord to get your deposit back.

 

Walk away from house viewings if there are more than 10 people in the queue.  Unless, you’ve an amazing job you probably won’t get it.  Don’t even try if you’re getting rent allowance.

 

Learn to adapt to fuck all sleep.  Be it a combination of stress, poor diet due to fuck all time and money, or just having to do crazy things – you’ve asked for this.

 

If you have any allergies, fake or not, forget about them.  You’re poor now so you can’t afford soy products or gluten free bollox.

 

You will also need to put your clarinet on Ebay and start making your own hummus.

 

If you like my writing and all that jazz, you can buy a book of my musings here:  https://www.createspace.com/6970024 or here: https://www.amazon.com/Fahckmylife-Little-Book-Fahck/dp/1544185367.  Not only will you get to read more of my drunken thoughts but also wallow in the delight of some fancy-assed diagrams, drinking games and ideas on how to live your life.

Jul
05

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think maybe most of us do.  Thoughts that we would’ve let go into the ether can be shared with all the people that we deem loosely to be ‘friends’ on the internet.  On nights out when I have the app installed on my phone I have to make sure that my statuses are made available to ‘only me’ in case I decide to write something drunk that makes no sense.  This happens more often than I’d care to admit.

I think the positives, (before I get into them) far outweigh the negative aspects of social media, however.  You can talk to your friends in Japan, share events and use it for publicity for your own little self-indulgent blog, share ideas and have a nice open exchange of ideas (although this is getting rarer).  You can reconnect with people that you have no seen in years and continue your friendship from where you left off.  You can feel that you are in some way included in people’s everyday lives and see what that kid that you will never go to see looks like.  You can see what people are doing on their holidays and you can get an idea on peoples’ political views.  In many ways, the online persona, can add a bit of depth to your character, or at least present viewpoints that you weren’t aware that they held before, or a hobby that you never knew they had.  You can go to specific groups, secret or otherwise, for a whole range of support, education and motivation.  You can look for jobs, make videos for people who are abroad, or far away, on their birthdays or just communicate for free with friends when you’ve run out of credit.  The positive possibilities are endless.

 

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Despite this there is a ridiculous number of contemporary artists out there painting pictures of hordes of zombies staring down at their phones or in some pseudo pretentious way trying to show that girls’ self-esteem is based on the amount of ‘likes’ a selfie gets.  The bang of self-righteousness off them is unreal, coupled with the fact that not only are these unoriginal ideas, but also the irony that these images are shared on social media itself.  Fuck that noise!

In the past, social media has made me paranoid about relationships – rightfully so, as well, because people aren’t even stupid enough to cover their tracks properly.  It has also shown me that I am gradually growing apart from older friendships as they go on nights out without me, or have pictures of themselves up at events where I was never invited. That’s not to say that I’m bitter or anything but in many ways, it’s concrete proof, visual confirmation, of what you already know.  That clearly doesn’t make it easier to swallow.  In many ways, the ability to sleuth around on the internet and spy on people you are no longer connected to makes it more difficult to get over things – because there you go, clicking on your ex’s page, seeing them all happy with a new person, and it just reopens old wounds (not that I do this, because I’m on good terms with most of them) or seeing some arsehole you used to know doing well at life.   I mean, there is a certain amount to relish, when you see the opposite as well, and that person you dislike isn’t doing well, and maybe that’s what you were hoping to find on their Facebook page anyway.  People you were meant to drift away from are still always there in the background, reminding you of the life they are living that you are no longer a part of and you have to wonder, whether still ‘friends’ online with them or not whether this is actually healthy.  Sometimes, coupled with ‘friends’ successes you might feel left behind, not only by them, but because your life sucks in comparison. Perhaps, I’m an over-sharer, but fuck it, I’m sure most of us have felt like this at some point, even if you only rarely log in.

I can understand that people perhaps think I am constantly on the internet with nothing better to do, but considering most of my time is spent in front of computer, either for work or pleasure (in every way that you could interpret that), it shouldn’t really surprise people that I am here.  I often hear people talk about people saying ‘oh they post too much’ and admittedly I’ve thought that too, because if I’m honest I don’t care about pictures of dogs, or your lunch, but still I never really judge about it.  If I don’t like someone’s posts I don’t follow them.  Simple as.  And I don’t make a judgement about a person based on things as arbitrary as whether they love their dog or are super enthusiastic about sharing music videos – I just them on their opinions and their treatment of other people.  I personally have quite often felt that I have been having a one-way conversation with people in real life, where people just go on rants in my direction, never ask me questions or actually listen anyway so over the years of using Facebook I began to gradually subconsciously use it as a platform to converse, because I was sick of people making assumptions about me without them ever actually hearing the words I was saying, which also contributed to the blog becoming a thing.  It’s not that I think that I have anything very unusual or interesting to say, but it’s nice to leave the ideas hanging out there, and potentially show people other aspects to my personality, other than the woman half locked singing Charles and Eddie in the pub on a Friday night.

One thing I don’t understand, and probably will never get right, is the collecting of ‘friends’.  Now I’m well aware that many people have vast numbers of ‘friends’ because they have travelled, or work in a certain industry that requires networking, but to be honest how does anyone have more than 1,000 people on their list?  I’m not being a dick, but seriously…  To be honest, it screams to me of a creepy dude, just adding randos so he can request nudes, throwing out friend requests to attractive girls that he may have said ‘hello’ to once.  It’s quality not quantity dudes – not fucking Pokémon.  I suppose it depends on the level of information that you share online as well, but personally I would not feel comfortable with more than 500 friends on my page at any time and I regularly clear them out, because if I’m being realistic here, do I really even know 500 people? And I like to share things, not to be an edgelord or controversial, but to potentially make people laugh or present a different perspective.  I think my Facebook persona is actually a pretty accurate representation of who I am, and it’s not something I could be arsed sharing with everyone.  I’m more confident and articulate online but in real life I’m shyer and overwhelmed with anxiety a lot of the time, but these still are my thoughts, peculated and condensed, in an easy- to-read version of my busy busy brain and perhaps, not everyone deserves to see this.  Some of my ‘friends’ I have never met in real life, like my American pen pal or some lovely ladies that I’m friends with from groups, but I keep them because we interact and I find their posts engaging, and these are all part of a network of people that have helped me form my own opinions and live perfectly well without leaving the house.

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I’ve been deleted in the past, as we all have, but I really don’t know whether or not I should, unless someone ignores me in the street or actively pisses me off in real life.  I remember the time, on my business page, that I made a joke about selfie sticks and vaginas, and all hell broke loose.  You’d swear people never heard the word before, let alone from a girl and a few people were up-in-arms about my vulgar choice of humour.  I was called a slut, had horrible memes put on my page saying ‘your parents must be very proud’ and men were called on by conservative women to ‘talk some sense into me’ because it was so ‘unladylike.’  Personally, I thought the joke was hilarious, did a lot of banning on my Facebook writing page and tutted, but I know it caused people to delete me.  Your own level of what is appropriate or not is up to you, but I’m not hurting anyone or being mean, and there’s no one way that a girl, particularly one who doesn’t care what some rando thinks as to what constitutes what a woman should say, think or do, so scroll on if you hate it because I’m not going to stop writing and posting and doing my thing, regardless of your superficial online confidence to tear people (particularly women) down online.

 

 

 

 

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