Developing a Trigger-Guard

A Facebook friend has her own blog. It’s called LiberalWoman101’s Blog. She writes well and is particularly fond of writing essays. She’s even thinking of going back to school so she can write more essays! Personally I loathe essays. I want to be able to express my own opinion without having to refer to the work of others to make it count.

She recently posted an article about “The Stigmatization of Mental Illness and Why It Needs to Stop” in which she explains why it should be okay for people with mental illness triggers to come forward and ask for their triggers to be respected. In other words to ask for a ‘trigger warning’ if anything that bothers them should come up.

She asks for a world in which we accommodate for mental illnesses more, and actively try and to make the world feel less hostile to those who suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and depression, and also from bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, schizophrenia, etc. I certainly find the idea attractive, though I also find it unrealistic.

I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder and even hypo-manic depression. I know people close to me that are managing dyslexia, bipolar depression, anxiety and even schizoaffective disorder. I agree that people like myself may need to be handled a little differently, particularly when we’re young. The standard education system can be difficult when your brain is wired a little differently.

It would be helpful for educators to have a better understanding of mental illnesses and better ways to present the information to a variety of different brain types. However, many educators are also underpaid, overworked and underappreciated. Perhaps if we had special schools just for us with better funding, but this presents several new problems.

Who would pay for this? If the parents are expected to pay for it, then only those with wealthy parents could afford to send their mentally ill children to the specially designed school. It could be privately funded by a charitable organisation, which would require fund-raising events that would inevitably result in these young, easily triggered individuals on public display.

I know that’s not what Jessielle (the author of the article I’m referencing) intended either, an integrated system would be far more preferable. Sending people to specially designed educational programs only leads to segregation and further stigmatism. Which is my key point. Reducing us to labels and asking people to make accommodations for us just emphasizes the differences.

Now I realise that this opinion may be unpopular. It may sound to many that I’m suggesting we ‘toughen up’ or ‘just get over it’. To a certain extent, I am. The temptation to use your mental illness as an excuse to avoid responsibility is great. The desire to have someone look after us and tend to our delicate and sensitive natures can’t be denied. However,  I personally have no desire to live the rest of my life acting like a spoiled brat.

My brain is different. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or broken. It means I think differently. This is good. It can give me an advantage in many situations because I can think of solutions that a whole roomful of people can’t. My weirdness makes me powerful. Expecting people to be careful around me doesn’t make me feel powerful. It makes me feel weak, soft, and delicate.

Not to mention people all have their own problems. Expecting someone who is working every hour they can to pay their astronomical student loans and other debts, checking through masses of work handed in that clearly didn’t understand the assignment despite several attempts to explain it, to avoid saying things that may upset you is extremely insensitive. Have a little empathy!

The world is a harsh and unforgiving place. The sooner we accept that the stronger we will be. It’s only by facing challenges and finding a way to overcome them that we can really find out how tough we are. If we spend our whole lives hiding in our safe space from everything that upsets us, then we keep ourselves segregated. We reinforce the stigmatism.

If you want to walk around in a skirt, heavy boots, eyeliner and a beard (as I do) do so confidently. If people are weirded out about it, so what? It’s there problem not yours. If people say something offensive, they’re entitled to that opinion, and don’t let it break you or push you towards being someone or something you don’t want to be.

If a doctor tells you that you have anxiety or depression, or something multisyllabic and scary sounding, you don’t have to let it define you. You are more than your mental illness. Find out more about it, learn what superpowers it gives you, and be proud of who you are. People don’t need to add stress to their own lives by worrying about what triggers you. You are in control, and if anyone tells you otherwise it’s just because they fear your power or they have been taught that different is wrong and honestly don’t know any better.

Some of those that try to keep you from expressing yourself may have a mental illness or two of their own, and have been taught that they are victims of it. Show them they’re not. That they’re special, talented, and wonderful people. Being different is what makes us powerful. We don’t need to be taken care of. We can take care of ourselves.

That’s my opinion, and it’s served me well, after learning the hard way and deciding I’d had enough. If you have a different opinion, or think I’ve missed Jessielle’s point entirely, please feel free to comment below. I promise you won’t trigger me.

Have a great day 🙂

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Honestly Sorry

Did you ever hear the phrase “better to beg forgiveness than ask permission”? It’s kind of been my philosophy regarding this blog. However, I seem to be upsetting some people. In some cases it’s only taken a little editing, such as the ‘Dating Disasters‘ article. Sometimes the offended party requires more.

There have been two articles now that I’ve had to pull from Facebook. However, these articles are still available here on the blog. Namely ‘Road to Recovery‘ and the article I wrote earlier today, ‘Adopt, Adapt and Improve‘. The first of which may have caused my ex her job. Now our relationship may not have been the best thing for either of us, but I certainly don’t want to be responsible for her getting fired. If she loses her job, it will be her own fault, not mine!

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The latest article offended my cousin, and when I mentioned this to my Mum, she became concerned that other members of the family might also have taken offense. Mum hadn’t read it yet, but I didn’t want her stressing over it. Especially since she’s been supporting me and helping me transition back to life in the UK. The part that really got to my cousin was when I mentioned trying to convince my Grandma to lie for me. I should instead be supporting their independence, and not trying to undermine their decision.

I should have realised that the level of honesty and openness that I’m demanding of myself in order to truly get to know myself might ruffle a few feathers that would rather keep certain things private. Even Dad told me that he might have to start being careful what he says around me. As you can see though, I’m not stopping. Instead my plan is to share only the articles that are inoffensive. Anything that might upset my family, Mum and Dad in particular, will be exclusive to the blog. Starting with this one81257-harry-potter-dont-care-gif-NO-tFUp.gif

In other words, if you want to see every single article I publish, then you need to either visit this blog daily, or enter your email address on the right hand side to follow this blog and get emailed alerts every time a new post goes up! Some will be getting links to this article privately via Facebook Messenger, so they know what’s up. If you’re one of them, well done, I’m not worried about offending you! 🙂

One of the things I liked about my ex-wife was her bluntness. I do need to be careful to keep this side of being deliberately hurtful and saying ‘just being honest’ by way of apology. That’s not honesty, that’s being obnoxious. I don’t like having to be sneaky though. I want to be open with them. Especially since, if I can’t be open with them with everything, I might be tempted to keep bigger things from them.

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I really want to get high, and one of the reasons I don’t try harder to acquire some weed, is because I’m being honest with my family about it and they are able to help me through it. I don’t want to start hiding anything, because I fear it would be a slippery slope. However, they’ve asked me to stop being so honest. So be it.

 

Warning: Do not Date!

As you can imagine my last article, Dating Disasters, made a couple of people unhappy with me. As I was coming up with suggestions for ways to mollify the malcontented maidens, it occurred to me that I’ve been a little one sided. There’s only the slightest little hint at my own issues and the behaviours that make me so bad at dating. If you’ve ever considered having any kind of romantic relationship with me, read this first!

Let’s start with the obvious shall we? I am not well endowed. I feel like I’d be a huge (or rather tiny) disappointment to the majority of experienced women. That’s probably why I tend to be attracted to women who seem shy and inexperienced also. If they don’t know any better, they might be satisfied with my meagre member. Regardless I tend to overcompensate for this by trying to be romantic. Gifts, meals, movies, flowers, etc.

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To make matters even more awkward, I had to have surgery on my junk when I was prepubescent because my foreskin couldn’t retract. For those of you who don’t know, boys tend to start getting random boners when they’re about eight years old. Sometimes younger, sometimes older, but usually before any sexual urges start to kick in. They’re just useless little hard-ons. In my case these uncalled for erections caused me quite a lot of pain.

The physical examination wasn’t fun. Nobody wants a strange man, even a Doctor, fiddling with their privates. They discovered that I also had an undescended testicle. I don’t remember the surgery itself, but I do remember having to have a metal frame holding the bed covers away from me to avoid the pain of any pressure on my privates. When I got out of bed, I would walk with a forward lean to keep my robe away. Pissing blood and urine through the stitches in the side of my penis was particularly traumatic. I still tend to any sexual contact with pain and anguish.

I wasn’t actually able to maintain an erection with anyone until Monica. I had other girlfriends before, but due to several embarrassing failures I was still a virgin when I met her. I was 19. That’s part of the reason why I was so easily convinced that Monica was ‘the one’, and why I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to perform with anyone else after we broke up. Thankfully I was wrong about that, but I still get nervous that it will hurt or won’t work at all. Every time.

Even when it works, I often barely feel it. Like the nerves down there were permanently damaged, or more likely ‘switched off’ by my brain to reduce the pain signals. As a result my love-making is rather selfless, focussing on her pleasure rather than my own. Not because I don’t want to be pleasured, but because I’d often rather handle it myself and avoid the awkwardness and embarrassment. Especially since it’s often futile. I might even suggest other things to do together in order to actively avoid sex.

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There have been a couple of women who have been so attractive to me that it wasn’t an issue. However, in one case she began losing interest and I began to worry it was because I was unable to satisfy her, and in the other case she wasn’t ready for a physical relationship. I’m sorely tempted to just give up. I’d rather write.

I’m also a terrible housekeeper. I spend almost all day in front of my computer or reading through my notes. When I need to take a break, I don’t do the dishes, or dust and vacuum. I play videogames. Usually Skyrim. I know that if I washed each dish I’ve used when I’m done with it, I wouldn’t really need to do dishes. However, the used bowl or plate usually sits right next to my computer until I’m sleepy, then I just add it to the pile in the sink and go to bed.

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On top of all of that, I still have a tendency to view relationships through Disney-tinted glasses and act as if the woman I’m with will be the last woman I’ll ever be with. If I’m not happy in the relationship, this results in me feeling trapped. I will usually respond to this in one of two ways. Either desperately trying to make the relationship work by putting her happiness before my own and actively trying to change myself, or by sabotaging the relationship to get out of it. In my marriage I would flip back and forth between the two.

In other words, I’m a terrible boyfriend. I’m the reason none of my relationships work. I’m really not worth the effort. It’s taken a lot of hard self-analysis to figure this out.

There we go. Hopefully that will make up for any hurt feelings caused by my last post, and ensure that no-one is ever interested in me again. At least not sexually. If I’ve helped anyone to process their own feelings of sexual inadequacy, that’s just a bonus. Share this if you know someone who might be going through something similar.

Have a great day.

 

 

Dating Disasters

A friend suggested I write an article about one of the most awkward and uncomfortable subjects I could possibly write about. My terrible track record with girls. I’ve been putting it off. I even tried coming up with something else to write about, but to no avail. So this is for you. A tale of trial and turmoil, detailing my dating disasters.

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I’m going to start with Monica quick. I’ll keep it short though since this isn’t about her, and the friend who put me up to this already knows. I’ve mentioned her before, so I’m using her real name.

Monica was, and technically still is, my wife. We met on campus at was was called St. Martin’s College back then. Now it’s the University of Cumbria‘s Lancaster campus. She was into Tim Burton’s Batman movies and Nirvana, and she was very interested in me. Since she was only going be there 3 months, I saw no harm in flirting with her rather heavily. So what if she says no, she’ll go back to America and I never have to see her again. Things got complicated and emotional when her Grandma passed away. I was morally obligated to help her through it. I could have been a jerk, but I’m not. She was the first to say “I love you“. She thought I was asleep. I wasn’t. I said it right back.

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The day she left I still thought I would never see her again. We’d been through a lot though and it hurt to say goodbye. She kept in touch, left her fiance (that’s right, she already had a fiance), and began sending me care packages from the states. She would call me late at night, and due to the time difference, this would often be between 2 and 4 am. She came back to see me 6 months later. Clearly this was love (or so I convinced myself). Despite the bravado and confidence I’d displayed during the 3 months we’d already spent together, I was fairly certain that this was the best I could hope for. She went back to America with an engagement ring.

Four years long distance before we (she?) decided it would be better for me to move there, to the US. We got married, had a difficult 10 years together before we broke up. I never regained that confidence I had when we first met, until the end. She kept telling me to be myself, but I’d already had to give up much of who I felt I was to keep the status quo. I had colours in my wardrobe. I had white shirts! I owned Khakis!! Yuck. I think the turning point was when she told me it wasn’t my job to make her happy. Okay then, I thought. I have no reason not to be myself.

I expressed some opinions that I’d been keeping to myself, and shortly after I was sleeping on a spare mattress in the office. We still haven’t raised the money for the divorce, or to settle the credit card debt accumulated during the marriage. We’re very definitely separated. I decided that there’d be no more compromising. If I had to change who I was then it wasn’t meant to be. I’d find someone who liked me for me, or it wasn’t worth it.

Post-separation girlfriend number 1. Let’s call her Betty. We met on Ok Cupid. I was immediately put off by the jar of homemade pickles she had posted among profile pictures. Pickles are gross. She was also blonde (I generally prefer dark hair and pale skin), five years older than me, and 2 hours drive away, in La Crosse, a town not far from Monica’s family. She chose to contact me anyway, using the fact that we’re both fans of the Elder Scrolls games, Game of Thrones and home cooking to entice me.

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Dating her was fun. Monica had been my first and only ‘sleeping partner’ until Betty. I had been a little worried that she would be the only one I ever could ‘sleep’ with. Betty had her own house, a beautiful garden and chickens. She liked to bake. She made a very good living as a retail assistant manager. However, I was on the rebound from a 10 year long marriage. I was emotionally torn between wanting to spend the rest of my life with her, and to prove to myself that I could make it on my own.

The decision because easier when the little changes I was making to my lifestyle began to add up. She didn’t like that I drank Mountain Dew, and wanted me to switch to coffee. I don’t like coffee, so she’s make mine with two thirds flavoured creamer. It wasn’t bad. She pick out clothes for me that were more ‘hipster’ than I liked. It was fun trying to get my moustache to curl though. She only played Elder Scrolls Online, and I never saw her play it the whole time we were together. We started spending more time watching tv together, and less time in bed, or working on the garden together. We did make pickles together. Did I mention that pickles are gross? She wanted me to try one. We broke up not long after.

By that time I already had an apartment in her town, La Crosse WI. I decided that before I got involved with anyone else, I needed to work on me and heal my broken heart. I was happier without Monica, yet I still ached for what I’d lost. I quit my job. Cashed out my 401k (retirement fund) and spent a few months just trying to get my head together. I thought I would write, but I wasted a lot of time playing Skyrim and dicking around on Facebook.

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I got talking to a girl I’d had a crush on while I was still with Monica. She flew from Colorado to be with me. The week she was crashing with me she talked almost nonstop about her ex boyfriend and how much she still loved him. We didn’t ever share a bed. I don’t even remember her name well enough to give her a fake one, but we’ll call her Jan anyway. She had a little problem with pills. I dodged a bullet.

After that I tried to avoid women altogether. Reasserted my decision to work on myself before I got involved, and managed quite well for a while. Still didn’t get any writing done, but I was making time for friends. It was two of these friends though that decided it would be fun to take me to a strip club. I’d never been to one before, but I’d heard it was like going to a freak show. A parade of ugly, talentless and scarred (physically and emotionally) women trying to make a living the only way they can.

The reality was not what I expected, and I came away from experience desperate for a woman’s touch. It’s almost ironic then that my next girlfriend had severe anxiety. She also lived in the town I had moved from, the same town that Monica and I had lived together in. Owatonna.

Let’s call her Sarah. Sarah remembered me from that time and began talking to me on Ok Cupid. She was smart, pretty, funny, good with animals, shared my beliefs, loved Star Trek: TNG, Dr Who and sci-fi/fantasy literature. She was almost perfect, except that I was still desperate for the one thing she was unable to give me. Just not desperate enough to respond to the generous, but intimidating (I still feel sort of inexperienced), offer of her roommate. I gave up on my plans to move back to Owatonna.

Again I was alone, and determined to figure out my emotional crap before getting involved again. I still followed the posts of one of Betty’s friends. Let’s call her Kahli. I had/have a bit of a crush on Kahli too, but I thought trying anything with her would lead to all kinds of awkwardness. Plus she’s really into sport, and I’m completely clueless. However, one of her friends made a smart and funny comment on one of Kahli’s facebook posts. Let’s call the mutual friend Reacher!

Reacher invited me and a bunch of other friends to get together and listen to live music at a coffee shop called Java Vino. I was going to flake, but she messaged me to get there because no-one else had shown up. It was valentine’s day. Clearly everyone else had plans. She wasn’t dressed to impress. The was wearing a hoodie. Her eyes were amazing. We talked and joked about all kinds of geeky things.

I invited her back to my place as a friend, and we watched a show she liked called Warehouse 13. She got sleepy so I let her take the bed, and I stayed up all night watching the show, and in the morning I made breakfast. She showed her appreciation physically. It was fun, but things got complicated. She has a teenage daughter. The two of them are best friends. Even this wasn’t a problem until Reacher got behind on the rent and was going to be evicted. She and her daughter were already spending most of their time at my  place anyway, so we upgraded to a 2-bedroom apartment on the condition that they keep up on the housework (their old apartment was a disgusting fly-ridden mess) and that her daughter would listen to me. We broke up because that didn’t happen, and most of her stuff was still in storage when I moved out to come back to the UK.

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There’s been a couple of girls I’ve been crushing on since, including a super-hot skinny young goth that was working at the same place I was, and another co-worker that was as geeky as I am and likes to knit. I decided that the potential sexual harassment lawsuit wasn’t worth it. I’ve also had offers from other girls too, one of whom was already married, and if I’d agreed to it, she would’ve been the biggest girl I ever slept with.

Now I’m back in the UK. Living with my parents. I can focus on writing. My heart no longer feels completely broken. If I ever feel the urge, I can just visit a few websites and get over it. I’m in no hurry to begin dating again, but it seems I always say that right before I find myself right back in the game.

Those of you who have been my friends through any part of this. Here’s a quick quiz for you. Leave your answers in the comments and I’ll tell you if you’re right. If I’ve used a made up name, please continue to do so.

  1. Which one would squeeze her body zits while we were hanging out?
  2. Which of the girls I actually dated were overweight?
  3. Which one of them had a chin like a fairy-tale witch?
  4. Which of them wouldn’t let me say “I love you?”
  5. Which one tried to get me into ‘My Little Pony’?

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down failure lane. Please make sure you follow my blog so you don’t miss anything. If you have any other article suggestions/ requests, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

This is Serious!

Last night, before going to bed I pulled out all the notebooks I brought with me. I had a quick glance through at some of my older ideas for 9 to 5 Spaceman (which has since become Hermes 925), Charlie (a story about a little girl with a monstrous pet killer), and even my old Warhammer 40k notes. I decided that I would begin working through them today and seeing what my be useful for my current stories.

At about 4am I woke up from a dream about a spacecraft that flies within a protective force-field. I remember thinking I could make it a sci-fi retelling of Peter-Pan, and the ship would be pan-galactic. I woke up realising several things. That the force field I was thinking of was similar to the Geller fields that keep the massive space vessels in the Warhammer 40,000 universe safe from the warp, that it was also similar to the shields in Star Trek, and that I’m not working on my fiction enough.

I stopped writing for Don’t Hate the Geek because I was spending all my writing time writing for them, and leaving myself no time to work on my own ideas. Now I’ve only myself to blame. So I’m going to try a new resolution. It’s not enough for me to just write everyday. Especially since this website will be my only source of income for the time being. I need to work on my stories every day too. With that in mind I’m setting myself a challenge, and I hope you, my friends, family and followers, will hold me too it.

I am going to work on my stories every day. You’ll still get a daily blog article too, but you should also see a new entry for Hermes 925 or City of Gate: Chronicles, or even a new story everyday. If you don’t see one, pester me to write one!

This new resolution may have something to do with the talented craft of Nine Finger Jo I saw at the Pontgarreg Festival yesterday. Her papercraft wall art and greeting cards were amazing. I’ve dabbled in papercraft myself and I know how tricky it is to get the fine detail and precision that her work demands.

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This was my favourite piece of wall art by Nine Finger Jo. The red is a separate piece of card that floats above the background.

I had a great talk with her husband Jerry, who had a wide variety of styles and themes on display for sale at the festival, including Celtic designs, Star Wars, Dr Who, Harry Potter, 70’s retro sci-fi rockets and some sports stuff too. I was a little embarrassed that I had so comparatively little to show for my own craft. Check out Nine Finger Jo on Facebook and Etsy. Jerry tells me they’ll ship to the US too.

I also met Ros Price-Jones who makes jewellery and paintings. She had some very pretty pieces, but she’s trying to cut back on the jewellery and focus on the art. It’s a shame that I don’t see any examples of her painting on the website so you can see them for yourself. I didn’t think to take pictures. She doesn’t ship to the US though, so if you like something she makes, let me know. I’ll order it for you and send it to you. 🙂

On my way to the Pontgarreg Festival I took some pictures of the village. I added a few of these to my Instagram page, but I found the ability to upload only one picture at a time tedious and annoying. So here’s a pic-dump including all the shots that didn’t make it to Instagram.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. After all, this is only my second day of my fresh start in the UK. My body hasn’t even gotten over the jetlag yet. I’m impatient to start my new life, to be able to help out both my family here in the UK, and my friends still struggling to get by in the US. I received a reminder that the utility bill for the apartment I just moved out of is due soon. I should probably just have Jitters, my former roommate, switch it into his own name. This was supposed to be a clean break, leaving the US behind and moving back to the UK, but he’s already doing so much for me by looking after Scotty. I feel guilty asking him to do this too.

Whatever the reason, my success as a writer is not optional, it’s mandatory. I need to do everything in my power to ensure my success. Writing one article per day and neglecting my stories, telling myself “I’ve done my writing for the day” isn’t going to cut it. I’m not going to get published that way. I’m not even going to get sponsorship that way. This is my only job now. I need to show my commitment to it. How will anyone else take it seriously, unless I do?

Today I will go through my old notes. Plan articles for some of the better ideas. Make myself write some more Hermes 925. I may even look into some of the Google business tools if there’s time.

As usual, your comments and questions are appreciated.

I’m So Excited!

I feel better about my future than I have in a long time. Despite well meaning people pointing out some of the difficulties and complications I might face going home. I assure you I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought of almost nothing but this as I saw my bills pile up and my paychecks get smaller. Deciding to go home feels like the right decision. It’s not the easy decision, it wasn’t even remotely easy. I’m still crying a little 5 days after I woke up just knowing that I miss my family, and I had to go home. I’ve been denying it too long.

We’ve covered this already. What we haven’t really explored, because I feel like it’s a little taboo to admit, is that a lot of this decision is tactical too. Being around people who miss me, love and support me, is part of that. It’s going to give me a more positive environment to write in. The stress has been distracting! I didn’t really notice it was there until I snapped 5 days ago.

If I can get by for a while on the money I’d make as in home care, I can still get a lot more writing time. I’d could even snuggle up in the living room as Grandma natters away watching tv and knitting. While Grandad flicks at the newspaper says random things that may be related to what he’s reading. As I scribble away in my notepad or tap at my tablet. It almost literally gladdens my heart to imagine it. I can’t frigging wait!

I love my Grandparents dearly, and I would be honored to live with them as long as the fates allow. I worry a little how they will accept my little weirdnesses. I like to dye my hair black and wear it both long and partly shaved. I like to have my nails badly painted and chipped. I’m also wearing a skirt as I write this. So far it’s a house-skirt. I’ve only been bold enough to walk to the end of the street and back in it.

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My Facebook profile pic.

I may not break out the skirt in front of them. I might try the nails though. They’ve seen me gothy before as a teen. They were great about it then. Very supportive. I shouldn’t be worried, but I am. Not sure what I’d actually do if Grandad makes fun of me, or challenges my manhood. I’m 36. I should have grown out of this by now right? I’m being ridiculous. They’re two of the best people I know. They’ve always been there for me. I need to be there for them.

I can hang out in the garden. Walk down to the local shop. Even nip to the nearby pub for a bit if I want. If circumstances necessitate, I might even be able to take the bus to town! I might even get into Pokemon Go! to encourage myself to get out and about. I may not need it though. Right now the thought of walking around the streets of Dalton seems idyllic. It feels like being in love.

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My muse is returning. The happy writing. Joyful writing is already beginning to trickle through into my words. I feel less desperate, less motivated by the fear of failure, and more hopeful than ever. I don’t need to keep going down the difficult path alone. I can start climbing out of this pit I’ve been lowering myself into to try and find a safer way up. This is my way out, and I won’t be doing it alone anymore.

My friends are great. Some of the best people I’ve ever met, but we’re all going through our own trials and challenges right now. At least one of us has to take a shortcut out. I’m going to find my star, and when I’m securely anchored, I’m going to help my friends and family up too. Family first though. The clan comes first. I want to make sure my nieces are densely educated and horribly spoiled! I want to take care of all of those who have loved me. Anything you can do to help me achieve this level of success will be rewarded, on a first come, first served basis! 🙂

I want to give my parents enough money to be able to hire servants! My sister needs a personal bodyguard, called Frank. Built like a tank with a heart of pure sunshine and rainbows. My nieces will be the world’s first it-girl academics, adored the worlds over for their intelligence and adorable cuteness! My Grandparents will having anything they could ever want. I hope. All of this will be made much easier by living among them.

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Just a few more days to wait. I want to be sure I have more than enough money for the ticket home. I can’t leave this to chance. If the only ticket available is for $2000 and I have to ride strapped on the roof rack with an oxygen tank, I have to be able to take it!

Take a look at the other articles under the “Liquidation Sale!” topic, see if there’s anything you want to buy, or just donate via paypal. Help me go home. Please.

Okay, so there’s now there are two articles in which I beg. Sorry. It’ll be worth it. I promise.

 

 

Or Falling Back?

It seems I have a lot more to say about this ‘moving back to England’ thing. The not-so-internal debate continues. I’m taking a personal day from work so that I can write through this a little more. That may seem counter-productive when I’m trying to make enough money to keep my head above water, but trust me, you don’t want me on the phones today. If I decide in the heat of the moment ‘Fuck this, I’m moving back to England!’ I might say something unpleasant to one of the many lying, cowardly ‘victims’ I have to speak to on a daily basis. The bouts of crying don’t help either.

If I move back to England, I’d have to say goodbye to Scotty. My friend and familiar. My cat. He’s a fat orange lump and I love him. I’d also miss my friends, as I’ve mentioned in “Making Progress“. It deserves a repeat though, because I made some great friends here. They are some of the best people I’ve ever met. I know I’ll make new friends, and be reunited with old ones, but it would still break my heart to leave the ones I have here.

I’d also have to sacrifice Mountain Dew. The last time I tried British Mountain Dew it tasted…wrong. I’m not even sure if they still have it. I’d also have to deprive myself of so many different foods I can only get here. Top of the list is seafood. You’d think an island nation like Great Britain would have terrific seafood, but it doesn’t. The shrimp are tiny, and even so called ‘king prawn’ are just medium shrimp in the States. Not to mention mussels, calamari and lobster available even in budget grocery stores.

On the other hand, I’d have proper Fish and Chips. I’d have British Chinese food including Char-Sui pork, Spare ribs and Prawn Crackers. Indian food I can get here is good, but not the same. I could have real pies! Not just the fruity ones they have here in America, but meat & potato pies, steak & kidney pies, Cornish pasties and egg custard tarts! Does Marks & Spencer still have sushi? Oh and Irn Bru! Newcastle Brown Ale in the proper bottle! Cheese & Onion Crisp! One of my friends also reminded me that British chocolate is far better, and the Curly-Wurly is the best thing ever! Maybe if I can find the Polish Dew recommended by this YouTuber I’ll be okay.

I’d also be home, with my family. My Clan. My blood. I could spend more time with my nieces and start fulfilling my proper duties as Uncle. I could be there for my Grandparents whenever they need me. Writing still, or taking a walk around Dalton, when they don’t. I’d still be focused on the goal. More money coming in would mean the whole family could live more comfortably, especially if I become world-renowned. Saying ‘famous’ seems childish somehow. I will bring my family glory. Do I really need to be away from them to do that?

It’s not that I doubt myself. I know that I can live through whatever doesn’t kill me. I also know that death is not something that can be avoided, and it’s best to make a good life for yourself while you can. Everything you do gives you more experience, and if you choose to learn from it, you can use these real-life experience points to make yourself stronger, smarter, more skillful or more eloquent. I also know that if a particular monster is too difficult for you to defeat, you may have to come back to it later when you’ve reached a higher level, or when you’ve figured it out. I’ve always considered a ‘learn through doing’ kind of person, however I think I might need to watch the demonstration again for this ‘adulting’ thing. To be honest I’m also the ‘keep trying until your luck holds out’ kind of guy too, but maybe I need to learn from past mistakes instead of repeating them.

Dalton-in-Furness_UK.Market_St
This is what I could be going back to.

I can do it though. I can pay bills and do my taxes, I can work for table scraps at a job I tolerate because I made friends there. I can do the dishes and laundry, and I can even put stuff away. I’d much rather write, or stimulate my imagination by reading, playing a videogame with a great plot or watching a great movie. That is one of the reasons I don’t want to move back though. In the past I’ve shown a tendency to allow myself to rely on my parents for everything I don’t want to do.

I probably won’t be living with my parents, but I worry that this self-centred obsession with stories may lead to me either taking my grandparents for granted, allowing them to cook and clean for me while I resent their disturbing my personal time. I don’t really believe I’d act like a spoiled teenager, but I might go too far the other way, feeling guilty about Grandma doing the dishes and Grandad weeding while I’m just writing. So guilty that I end up spending too much time worrying over them, and simultaneously making them feel useless, restless and bored, and taking time away from my work.

I’m clearly overthinking this, I’m just trying to find a clear winner. Both the US and the UK have their pros and cons list. They’re about equal. However, regardless of how logical I try to be about this, the fact is I miss my family. I also miss sensible seasons with a disappointing summer and winter. The weather here in the American midwest is ridiculous! A friend of mine I carpool with told me the weather was equivalent to 100 ºF yesterday when you included all the modifiers. This area has been dubbed ‘the tropical midwest’ by some. The winters are almost literally the polar opposite, and it seems to last for at least 8 months. I hate it. I think it was yesterday’s heat that may have re-triggered this debate.

I want to go home. I realise this might be a passing feeling. Perhaps I’ll feel better tomorrow, but right now I want my cuddles. I have enjoyed my time in America, but maybe it’s time to admit that it was a mistake. I bit off more than I can chew, at least for now. When I’m back on my feet, and can afford to come back without crippling myself, maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll buy an old stately home in the UK, and pay for all my friends to come live with me if they want! 🙂

Why should I continue to thrash, trying to swim, when I could just stand up? Why am I insisting on doing this the hard way, when an easier option is available? Oh yeah. Because I decided that I can’t go home until I’m a success, I can’t just abandon this quest, and I have friends here, which have always been harder to acquire and keep than I’d like to admit! If I continue to write though, the quest isn’t over. My true friends would still be my friends no matter where I go. Just like my true friends in England stayed in touch. Facebook is awesome.

What do you think?