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How do I feel?

I can’t pinpoint it.  

I could tell you all the things I don’t feel, I guess.  And by the process of elimination we’d be somewhere close.

I can’t pinpoint it.  It’s not just one thing.  There’s no one-word descriptor for what is going on inside me.

I can’t pinpoint it.  My mind is empty but my heart seems heavy with something big.

I can pinpoint why.

I panic that my friends will one day discover just how unintelligent I really am.

I say ridiculously stupid things on occasion, I don’t always get my own jokes (that’s for another post) and I’m known to speak long before I think. I’m getting better at the latter, though.

I do know some things about some topics but the more I find out about a thing, the more I realise how little I actually know, which makes me feel self-conscious when talking about those things.  So self conscious, in fact, that I’ve stopped contributing to those discussions.

I ask myself what I’d say if one of my friends told me all of this.  I know I’d reassure them that I really don’t think they’re stupid and that it absolutely shouldn’t stop them contributing, but I guess it’s hard to take your own advice.

Lately, I’ve become increasingly insecure and paranoid.

I alternate quite quickly between happy-enough and I-fucking-hate-everything-about-my-physical-and-mental-self-so-everyone-else-must-too.

There’s nothing I’m majorly concerned about in my life and the smallest issue, which wouldn’t ordinarily phase me, brings about this intense insecurity.  My conclusion?   Fucking hormones!

I’m a middle aged woman, (ssshhhh) and in my family, we start puberty and menopause fairly early compared to average people.

I’m currently at the hot flush stage of peri-menopause but I think the progression to raging, hormonal freak has begun.

I remember my mother’s time going through this.  I specifically remember her telling me about her mood swings and that sometimes she’d swing right down to suicidal for what appeared to be no reason at all.

Right now, I’m not handling the insecurity and paranoia too well.  My confidence is taking a nosedive and I’m annoyed at that because I’ve worked bloody hard for the small amount of it that I have.  But assuming it is hormone related, and judging by the rest of my family, there’s much, MUCH worse to come for me and this is only a taster.

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The worst feeling I’ve had.

I’m not sure what’s real and what’s imagined anymore and the not knowing is killing me slowly in the form of depression.

Killing me slowly and I don’t even feel it because I’m numb with hurting. Dead inside yet conscious.

My mind and heart are brittle and the weight of this oppressive burden may yet prove too great.

I don’t see a way out or a way back.
I’m dead inside but I sense the hurt lurking like nerve pain waiting for an anaesthetic to wear off.

Before I booked tickets for Russell Howard, I wondered if the jokes were at an appropriate level for a fourteen year old boy. It could, after all, be argued that I’m a somewhat undesirable parent taking him to see an x-rated comedy show.

On the other hand, it’s not like he hasn’t already heard a billionty penis jokes in high-school or experienced people saying ‘fuck’ before (oh no, not the F-word, won’t someone think of the children?!).
But that’s not the reason I took him.

No, I took him because Russell Howard is actually a stand-up (did you see what I did there?) role model for young adults.

In a way that reaches the maturity level of a teenage boy, also a maturity level that I haven’t yet grown out of at 36, he highlights all that is wrong with racists, sexists, homophobics, Islamophobics, disablists and all-round bigoted idiots, not to mention scumbag psychics preying on the emotionally weak and woo pedlars.

I’d argue that I’d be a bad parent if I *didn’t* take him.

Equality

There’s a very nice woman at my workplace.  She’s pleasant to chat to, does her work well and will help you out any time she can.

But…

She does occasionally come out with some of the most ridiculous, paranoid, anti-science and sexist bullshit I’ve heard from an actual person in conversation. 

She thinks climate change is a conspiracy, she’s a believer in most things woo, identifies as a Satanist (though I’m not sure if that’s theistic or not) and today, during a discussion on equality she announces that she used to be ‘all for equality’ but now she’s not.

I thought you could only find these people on the internet but it turns out they’re not just hiding behind the anonymity.

She said, “My husband goes silent on me when I ask him to do something, even when I say ‘please’.  He says he’ll do it in his own time if he wants to and he won’t be ordered around.  I don’t order him, I just ask but he still gives me the silence and often he doesn’t do it anyway.  I have to make him the food he likes and then *maybe* he’ll do stuff around the house.”

She said, “It’s a woman’s right to flutter her eyelashes and get what she wants. I have a friend who puts on a low cut top and gets men to do stuff for her and never has to give anything back.  I say good for her if she can get away with it, let her carry on.  I can’t get away with it.”

She said, “We deserve privilege.  Why shouldn’t we have it?”

She said, “Men and women are different.  Men were given brawn, women were given brains. We just are different so we’ll never be equal.”

She said, “I’m saddened when I see a female fire-fighter.  I don’t think women should be on the front line, either.  We’re delicate creatures and we deserve to be treated as such.”

She said, “A *lady* is someone who washes her tights and not just her feet.”

 

Ooookay… I have no idea what that last sentence meant but I know I upset her a little bit by pointing out that her husband appears to be an emotionally abusive ass.  I mean, really?!  Sulky silence and making her feel bad because he’s been asked to contribute to his own household?  Grow up, man!
On some level she must know it’s not right or she wouldn’t want to rebel and take for herself some of those hypocritical privileges she mentions.  If you’re second class most of the time, it’s natural to want a sneaky piece of the privilege pie.

I actually feel a bit sorry for her.  She thinks she doesn’t want equality, most probably because her husband has conditioned her to think that, but she’s obviously not particularly happy with the arrangement they have, else him being a lazy ass wouldn’t bother her.

Men and women are different, it’s true.  There’s no denying it.  We’re physically different; on average, we’re smaller than men, we carry and give birth to children, our bodies are different shapes etc., but does any of that have any bearing on whether I have the same rights as a man?  Should I give up my right to vote because I’m not as strong as the guy in the opposite cubicle?  Should a man give up his parental rights because he can’t physically give birth to his kids?  Are my opinions less valid than yours because I have big tits?

And as for the ‘men have brawn and women have brains’ thing, well, I want to think it was said with a hint of a tongue-in-cheek but considering everything else she’s said, I have to take it at face value.
I don’t really need to point out what a fucking ridiculous statement that is as every highly educated man and every woman doing a hugely physical job can do that for me.

Equality isn’t about physical differences, intelligence or strength, it’s about everyone being treated the same way.  It’s about one side not having privilege over the other.  It’s about not having your opinions dismissed because you have a particular set of genitals, like a particular set of genitals or have genitals of a different colour.

It’s about fairness and acknowledging your privileges so you can work on sharing them with everyone or ditching them altogether.

On a relationship level, it’s about not using manipulation or intimidation (or sulky silence) to get what you want every time.  It’s about honest communication, discourse, compromise and actually listening, even if you think what they’re saying is batshit fucking crazy.  It’s about being able to say, “That idea is batshit fucking crazy” without fear of some emotional abuse for expressing what you think.  It’s about being able to ask for help around the house without tip-toeing around a manchild who thinks you should make him a sandwich before he even contemplates helping you.

On an employment level, it’s about being able to go through the same training procedures as everyone else to prove you can or can’t do it, just like everyone else has to.  If I wanted to be a fire-fighter and I didn’t make the grade, I’d at least know I failed because I wasn’t good enough and not because I have a vagina.

Mostly, though, it’s about respect for people different than you.

Shit my kids say! Part 12.

We were talking about what the children want for Christmas:

Me:  Doesn’t matter anyway. You won’t get anything because you think *I’m* Santa Claus.

Amber:  No, I said you’re the tooth fairy.

James: Yeah, I know you’re the tooth fairy as I woke up once and you were standing right over me in bed.

Amber: I know because you asked me where my tooth was and then the very next day there was a 50p in my purse.

Me: *laughs*

Amber:  Also, I Googled it!

Damn you, Google!

Shit my kids say! Part 11.

I’m in the bathroom helping Amber wash her hair.

Amber: You have dark hair and dad has dark hair but I have blonde hair.  Why is that?

Me:  You were born like that.  So was James.  Your dad had blonde hair when he was younger, too.  Why?  Do you think your dad isn’t your real parent or something?

Amber: No, but I’m starting to wonder about you.

:/

Whilst trying to cross the road outside the hospital.

Amber:  There are too many cars.  They should ban cars and use more buses.

Me: They should ban all of it and have only me on the road.

Amber: More people can get on buses than in cars though.  They can have more routes and there’d be less traffic and people would be able to cross roads.  Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out for when I’m Prime Minister.