Reflections from Behind the Safety of a Keyboard Part 2

How can I possibly sum up the last month or so? A soap opera, only I was the star. I can retain a certain amount of humour with the whole situation, yet I’m uncomfortably aware it is every screen writer’s dream. If it amuses, then let my sorry tale become part of the many situations I understand people have to deal with every day.

When I left you in the last post, I was quite resentful and angry at the sudden upheaval my life had become, and the stress was beginning to show. I was living with my partner whom I had seriously overestimated, and he was in a psychotic state, which I later found out was due to my state of mind and the terse way I had adopted when speaking to him. I don’t deny it, I resented him for not living up for who I had imagined him to be. In the end, the relationship ended with a fizzle not a bang, and I had to pack up the house and all my worldly possessions and made the decision to stay with my mother and nurse my wounds for a bit. It was difficult to be in the same house with someone I really didn’t want to be around, but in his condition I was quite concerned about his reception if his parents agreed to take him back home, as I with my knowledge of psychology, limited as it is, judged myself guardian while he was in such an acute state of mind. I hadn’t realised the effect my emotional withdrawal from Rodney would have upon him; indeed, he was to go on and have two more episodes altogether. Up until this time it has been a matter of constant contact with his psychiatrist; I will admit too that in the five years I’ve known Rodney, I have never liked his psychiatrist, in fact I think she’s been completely ineffectual, or worse. I found out that she’d dropped off his anti-depressants, and the result saw him weeping in my arms about not wanting to live any more; after that I became angry with her too being so lacking in judgement.

This post is in danger of becoming a story about psychosis, but the behaviour of someone in that frame of mind can change dramatically when medications are being altered, sometimes from day to day, and I can see how it might be a scary premise to the uninitiated. As the onlooker, you’re required to make a lot of judgement in regards to their frame of mind, what to expect next, whether you’re going to hide the knives and car keys in a safe place, whether they’re going to bounce into the house on an antipsychotic fuelled high or slink through the house in an endless fascination with morbidity. Perhaps I’m being a tad melodramatic, but then again perhaps not as the day where Rod wept in my arms was followed immediately the next day by the whole bouncing-around-the-house-no -one’s-going-to-kill-my-buzz high. These medications work fast, and the mental adjustments on a daily basis was exhausting to say the least. I feared for Rod’s lack of control and judgement in these situations; the combination of uppers and downers was quite dazzling and I blessed my knowledge of medications for not the first time in my life. I quailed at the antipsychotics, the Valium, then a drug that acts on the nervous system called Lyrica, and on top of that sleeping tablets which are pretty much the same as Valium. For the moment, Rod’s reasonably stable but he’ll be dealing with these kind of episodes for the rest of his life, and the hunt for the right dose of medication continues.

The stress did take it’s toll, so that I became quite ill on the day I was to go to Mum’s and had to be hospitalised, while my sainted mother saw all my furniture and possessions save for personal, loaded into a large crate and safely stored away. I don’t imagine she ever thought she’d be doing that again at her age, but life will throw stuff like that at you from time to time. I also lost my computer  for nearly four weeks to a bad bout of malware and an I.T. guy who was extremely time poor, and in that time I found out just how addicted to the Internet I really am. I might write a post about that and call it ‘Tales from Behind a Hard Drive’, but then I also might come to my senses and have a whinge about something else instead. Not having a computer, I had to admit defeat when it came to starting university this year, but for the moment I’ve signed up for Open 2 Study, just some Statistics and Psychology, just so that when i go back to uni in May I’m in the right frame of mind.

I know I’ve learnt a lot from what’s happened, and that above all I’d like to keep the promises zI made to myself where I would place a greater emphasis on my own happiness and it’s academics that does that. We each have our own way of going, where we’re going to take the easy option and stay with the familiar, or we can choose ourselves and what really matters to us. I’m just the kind of person who tends to thrive in conflict and mayhem, and eventually I come out the better for it. Change doesn’t come without a price, but the rewards are wondrous to behold.

Regards,

Emily

 

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Reflections from Behind the Safety of a Keyboard Part 1

Yes, your eyes do not betray you, this is a post after roughly 6 weeks of absence. So what happened? I lost the plot, I gave into stress and decided the world would be better if I just kept quiet and held my peace. I completely lost my confidence. The breaking factor was the death of my uncle, who I hadn’t actually seen for years because he couldn’t seem to understand that my type 1 diabetes was not of my own making. He was also awfully competitive with my mother, and constantly bullied her, so he and I were never going to be friends anyway if he continued this treatment. Mum had finally got up the courage to cut him off by returning a birthday card he had sent her, because of all the stress of conversing with him and his semi-polite condescending manner which he permanently adopted when speaking with her. He tried to speak to me in the same way until I became old enough to figure out what he was doing, and then I would cut him down from the pseudo-intellectual height he had assumed for himself and ask him why he had that particular opinion in an innocent tone and let him explain himself away. The absolute height of the matter came to a head when my mother finally left my emotionally abusive and womanising father, where Mum sat in her new place, broke and friendless (because we’d moved from two states away and didn’t know anyone), rang her brother and asked if she could borrow the sum of $400. He wouldn’t speak to her that night, so instead Mum explained the situation to his wife who was extremely sympathetic and encouraging in the huge step my mother had made, and told her that my uncle would call her the next night as he was ‘tired’. What happened next took our breath away, as although my uncle’s resentment towards his younger sister was always apparent behind his thinly veiled veneer of good manners, there was the idea of family and blood ties. Mum began to speak to my uncle, who listened for about 30 seconds then suddenly attacked, demanding why hadn’t Mum sent him a birthday card in the previous month and how selfish she was, and then hung up on his sister, leaving her holding the phone, staring at it like it had suddenly come to life and bitten her.

So how had we found about about his death? Not from his wife, or any of my cousins, but from when I was researching our family tree in an attempt to discover more about the people I was forced to leave behind to move to another state because my father couldn’t stay away from his girlfriend. If you think you can read anger and resentment in that sentence, you’d be right. The history of my family is complicated, but isn’t every family at heart? I knew that last gesture of Mum sending my uncle’s card to her back to him would engender resentment in him, but the extent was only revealed when I made the discovery that he had died in February 2013, and not a soul had ever bothered to do the courtesy of letting us know. I’m not entirely sure why the whole thing has affected me so much, but I completely lost my confidence and retreated to that place inside where you don’t want to talk to anyone at all and simply wish the world would pass you by. I think it’s because my sense of self=worth has been eroding over time as my weight has gone up, and my dependance on my ex-partner had grown because the house I live in is not at all suited to someone who uses sticks and a wheelchair to get around. 

The inevitable happened on Monday and my engagement ended in not a fierce argument byt a mere whimper as we agreed to part ways. I’m experiencing a lot of emotions at the moment, anger and regret being the dominant ones but then I will settle into a feeling of distance from it all as if it were another person altogether who is trying to plan for a new life. I feel scattered and unfocused, for I’m desperately trying to deal with an ex-partner who has just a psychotic episode and is high as a kite on antis, and would probably harm himself if I wasn’t around to dictate to him what he should do and when and where he should do it. I honestly feel as if I was caring for a three year old, but I suspect that a three year old would learn from what I was trying to teach them. Rodney is always very difficult to deal with, but since his schizophrenic tendencies have come to the forefront, I have been left with the feeling that no matter how patient I am he is never going to learn a thing. I really don’t think he can blame this solely on his condition, because my belief is that he has always been looked after by his parents, and they haven’t instilled an ounce of independance in him so he takes things for granted. It’s emotionally very wearing when every month I have to ask him to pay his share of the bills, and he tells he ‘forgot’ which I think is highly unlikely because the same bills are involved and they do tend to be due on the exact same date, funnily enough. To me, this forgetfulness means that he’s secretly hoping that I’m going to pay them so that he won’t have to.

So I’ve gathered myself together, given myself a shake and asked what it is that I really want to do now? Not an easy question to answer, but I want some of my life back from before this happened, some control over my future and regained happiness. I beg your deepest pardon for my desertion, but I ask you to consider the circumstances and forgive me. Nor can I promise that I won’t be disappearing again for a while. as I must pack the house and I have precious little time in which to do it, but this time I will give warning. I’ve missed posting as I appreciate the comments from all of you and the friendships I’ve made online. Both Wandering Soul and David at Vexing Point have been kind enough to enquire about me, and I sincerely thank them for caring during a time in my life where I began to wonder whether anyone bothered about me at all.

It’s amazing how badly a lost relationship can affect how one feels about oneself, but I think for now I have to accept that I’m not going to be feeling that great for a while. Of course I’m wondering how I could have made so serious an error in judgement, to trust someone who can thoroughly exploit your good nature for their own purposes and still think their behaviour is acceptable and justified. It leaves me saddened that someone who I loved and was prepared to marry has has shown his true nature by sharing a house with me and proving he is ill-equipped to shoulder adult responsibilities. I must however try not to focus on what was lost but what will be regained by my newly found independence, I don’t know how my life is going to shape out but I do know that I am strong and will handle it with the grace of God. 

Regards,

Emily

I’m Changing My Facebook Photo to the Flag of Syria

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Ok, I admit it, now I’m really annoyed. So many people are changing their Facebook profile pictures to the flag of France, after the attacks on Paris and it’s starting to get to me. Where have they been? Do they think the Death Cult dropped out of the sky? What do they think has been happening in Syria and the surrounding countries for the last 20 odd years? These cults have systematically tried to destroy their own people, commit acts of violence, torture, and rape and you can’t tell me people didn’t know that these extremists didn’t exist? Millions, yes that’s millions have died as a result of a brutal war and suddenly everyone is speaking in hushed tones about the tragedies in Paris. Yes, of course it’s a tragedy, yes it’s a horrible thing to happen, but the hyperbole expressed by onlookers is a bit much. What do you think the people of Syria have been going through on a daily basis, where just saying the wrong thing could get you killed?

Imagine trying to go shopping when at any moment gunfire breaking across the market, or attending school where walking to English class might get you shot, or if you’re a woman, being in the wrong place in the wrong time might get you brutally raped, and you’re just trying to live your daily life. Imagine if you make that decision to leave the country that you love, have to make your way to Turkey in order to make a dangerous crossing across the ocean in a rickety boat, and pay $1000 for the privilege. Imagine finally getting to Europe and finding out that you’re not welcome, the country doesn’t want you because it thinks you’re a terrorist, and even if you’re processed (lovely terminology that) it won’t be until 2020. Then you have no way to support your family, you can’t work because you’re in a ‘transitive period’, and have to accept charity because otherwise your children will starve. Even then, after everything you’ve gone through, you’re not accepted because your culture and religion are different.

If the Paris attacks mean anything to you, if you’ve changed your Facebook photo to the French flag, then do something about it and help stop the terrorism by sharing this post. Don’t let this go, don’t forget in a week’s time when everyone forgets and all the politicians have let this slide, because unless pressure is brought to bear, that’s exactly what will happen. Don’t except the treatment of the refugees in Europe, because it’s inhuman and not acceptable. If our country was attacked and we were forced to flee, would we expect another country to accept us? Of course we would, and there would be outrage if we were treated with the contempt that the refugees in Europe have been.

All I ask you to do is think, really think about the entire situation. In that spirit, I’m going to change my Facebook photo, my Gravatar, and my Twitter photo to the flag of Syria for a month, until 17th of December, to show that I am recognising the hell these people are going through, that I am recognising that Muslims all round the world are suffering, that this year over 750, 000 people have been forced to flee from their homes. I ask that you do the same, even if it’s for an hour. Stop thinking this is a French problem because this involves the world. Stop the ignorance.

Please click here to donate to UNICEF.

 

Mr Frog

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At our property in Qld I had a bathroom in the stables, except that I had to share it with a beautiful green tree frog as big as my fist who lived in the toilet. He was perfectly happy there, because the toilet got its water from the rainwater tank, so it was as close to the frog’s natural environment as possible, and anyway we just didn’t have the heart to move him. The usual procedure was to find the frog before you sat down, wet your hands to protect his skin and carefully place him in the bathroom sink. One day my father came into the shed after a few beers and working out in the sun planting some much needed trees in one of the paddocks. He proceeded to the toilet, but all of a sudden I heard him swear, and suddenly bolt out of the bathroom at a rate of knots, muttering under his breath with his pants in one hand as he desperately tried to keep them from falling down around his ankles. I stood there wondering what the heck was going on, until I caught his words, and I heard him say ‘frog’ ‘flushed toilet’ ‘lost’ and then I caught on. I quickly ran with him around the back of the shed, until we came to the grate where the water was, only to see my father snatch it up and start frantically searching with one hand. Finally, he pulled out a rather startled-looking frog, and breathlessly said;

‘I forgot the little sod was in the toilet and flushed him!’

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It’s the Muslims Who Suffer

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There’s a sombre mood in Paris at the moment, where it’s a time to reflect on the deliberate and calculated murders that occurred there on Friday night. We won’t know the full death toll for a while as there are many people who are critically injured, so the eventual number of the dead is guaranteed to rise. It’s an awful situation that has seen reactions from around the world, with most countries showing their solidarity by flying the French flag in tribute and defiance. The ‘Islamic State’ has claimed responsibility for the blatant attacks on innocent concert goers, restaurant patrons and those just out for a good time at the football.

Are any of us who have been watching the unfolding events really surprised that these Islamic extremists have finally struck at the western world? This has been their agenda all along, to strike at the godless heathens in the west. They planned these attacks with care and precision, so their cause would be spread across the world, and the consequence is that the violence has landed in our backyard. Suddenly, the Death Cult has re-entered our minds, with politicians promising action and re-examining the role of their part in stopping any further carnage, but is it all just a little too late? Up until now, the war in Syria has been acceptable in our minds. People have lost their lives on a daily basis in Syria for years, been tortured and raped, and so far it has been acceptable because it hasn’t happened to us. People have been forced to flee their homes with their families, across the seas to face hostile countries who refuse to take them in on compassionate grounds, and it has been acceptable.

How has the situation changed? Short answer is that hasn’t, except for the location of the attacks nothing has changed. We still have the same evil to fight, the same people are controlling those who are blinded enough to accept this extremist view of the Muslim religion, but they have perverted it beyond recognition for their own purposes. The war in Syria will go on, people will continue to be killed and have to flee their homes, but this latest development has suddenly forced the issue of terrorist acts being committed in Europe to the forefront of everyone’s mind. I wonder, now that the latest victims of the Islamic State’s attacks are mostly white Parisians, will that force the west to consider that these radicals aren’t going to leave, or give up their cause, and we will at some point have to deal with them?

While you’re praying for the 129 (so far) people who died on Friday through no fault of their own except that they were enjoying an evening out, will you pray for the many Muslims who have died as well? Will you understand that this is what they have been facing for years? The Muslim faith is being perverted, and the west believes that every Muslim is at heart a desperate criminal who will stop at nothing to help the Death Cult and kill every westerner they can. There are calls for even more rules in regards to refugee status, because there was the discovery of one of the terrorists having that status, and travelling all the way across the ocean just to die at his own hand for glory and martyrdom. What are the chances of a refugee from war torn lands just happens to be a radicalised Muslim? Probably about the same as a Christian who travels to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages and murders those who have a different faith, and do it all in the name of God.

There are so many issues that we must face in regards to the atrocities that are happening around the world, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I can recognise the fears that are controlling the reluctance to help our fellow man by taking in the refugees from Syria and its surrounding regions, and the reluctance to accept our part in a world that has just woken up to the fact that tragedies can happen anywhere. Europe now has to realise that they may be facing a situation in which the victims are their own countrymen and women. Western leaders have stood by, content with watching the horrors committed by extremist groups because they don’t consider this to be a world-wide problem, and that in itself becomes a problem when millions of people need our help to survive. All the refugees want to do is build a new life in a completely foreign country, and have the opportunity to practice their own customs, but it’s a daunting prospect when our views about them have been tainted with Christian based propaganda. This has been spouted by those who don’t seem to understand that the vast majority of Muslims are shocked and bewildered at the behaviour of these radicalised groups who are using religion for their own ends.  This is not just a problem restricted to Syria, this a global problem, and we must have compassion and respect. When human beings in another part of the world suffer, then it trickles through across the globe and we all suffer in one way or another.

I’d like to take a moment to remember the lives lost of every human being who has suffered at the hands of the terrorists.

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I’ve been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award

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It’s my second Award, which is truly amazing and I appreciate it immensely. I’ve discovered that blogging is not only about writing and posting, but about interacting with others, and I really do enjoy commenting on other blogs (even if the authors don’t like it). I’ve met some insightful, clever people whose posts make me smile, laugh, nod in appreciation or even get me commenting out loud (which isn’t hard as I have entire conversations with myself, it’s much easier to argue if I know what the other person’s going to say). I primarily started writing this blog for myself, not even my mother has read it (she wouldn’t have a clue how to use a computer because she’s technologically challenged, besides I wouldn’t want her to read it because I’ve mentioned her and posted an unflattering photo of her), however I am the first to acknowledge that having people like, comment, or follow a post is heartening and the way socialisation seems to be going in the 21st century. Just writing in itself makes me happy, but the people I’ve met so far fast becoming an essential aspect of my life.

I accept this award with gratitude, so thanks for thinking of me Wandering Soul, for making me strive to be a better writer, and human being. Wandering Soul, who nominated me for this award, is a funny yet insightful blogger who writes from her own personal experience, and she likes cats (what that isn’t important?). She often makes my day by her comments, and of course I highly recommend you visit her blog, even though she’s as mad as a hatter (it’s an expression, I don’t really have anything against milliners so please don’t send me angry emails).

On to the Rules of the Blogger Recognition Award Rules…

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. I’ve amended it to 10 because if I didn’t, I would still be writing and I would never get this post out!
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you. Clearly I would nominate Wandering Soul if I could, but I can’t which is a shame since I know she’d make a valuable addition to the dinner table, and she’s such a lovely person I’m sure she’d bring a dish, and even offer to do the washing up, which of course I would refuse because I have some manners at least.
  3. Write a post to show your award.
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  7. Attach the award badge to the post (right click and save, then upload.)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the original post on Edge of the Night

How this all started

I think every writer has a compulsion to write, I don’t believe you can write if your half-hearted about it. I’m writing because I can’t not write, about everything that comes into my head, whether it’s funny, or sad, or just my opinion. I only ask people to consider what I write, hence the name of this blog, and really think about what’s going on in the world.

Advice, warranted or not!

I would say write from the experiences in your life, write from that place inside that wants to be heard because your voice is unique. Also take the Writing and Blogging courses because you will meet some truly amazing people to interact with, and form friendships which I never expected from starting a blog. These people will support you and make you grown as a human being, and make you formulate your own way of writing and blogging, so it’s mutual benefits all round.

Nominees

I’ve selected the people I would like to have in my home, around the dinner table, and have lively conversation with as their points of view make me think about why I’m blogging in the first place.

  1. The Personal Blog of Henry Jones – I really like Henry, he’s a lovely guy who really gives back to Blogging 101 by helping in any way he can. He writes a news blog, and as I write this he’s summarised the attacks in France. His digest of news is well-written and thought provoking, and you’ll find my comment at the end. Watch out for this one, as he’s going to do something extraordinary with his life. No pressure Henry!
  2. Mirrorgirl – She writes an extremely insightful and introspective blog about all things psychology, which of course is one of my favourite subjects. Go to her blog, or feel guilty. Sorry, a little bad psychology humour.
  3. Afthead is a truly versatile blogger, who write about being a mom (American spelling), a wife, but also about her everyday thoughts and happenings. Her wit and sense of humour will have you hitting the Follow button before you even know you’re doing it!
  4. What Sandra Thinks – I’m just getting to know Sandra, but already she’s offered her help in a little project I’m working on, right out of the blue, which being the sane person I am, I have gladly accepted. She writes a blog that has me laughing out loud, her latest discourse on the word f**k is pure hilarity, and I’m not even that into swearing.
  5. Spiritual Dragonfly – focuses on all things natural and spiritual, living for herself in the present. She doesn’t like labels, but that’s the point of this award, to define the people one admires, and Linda’s attitude to simple being, and enjoying the cosmic journey we’re all on has definitely made her blog worth a read.
  6. Freud and Fashion – I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can you combine Sigmund Freud (Siggy to his mates) and Fashion? When you’re a psychiatrist of course! No, that’s not a joke. This young woman has introspection all sewed up, she combs through the ins and outs of psychiatry with humour and self-criticism, and as a psychology student I can say with confidence that I wish she be cloned. A fascinating insight into the world of medicine and helping people, and to balance it out fashion. She’s the best looking psychiatrist in America. Not only that, she gives away free tips!
  7. Living, Learning and Letting Go – Karuna has lived in many places around the world, finally settling in Seattle with her husband but she makes sure she heads to India when she needs a spiritual recharge. She’s had several incarnations (ok I’m using a pun there) in her life, after working out her past in therapy, Karuna decided to go back to study after working in Nursing, and specialised in psychiatric nursing and finally started her own psychotherapy centre and website. Wow that was a mouthful! She’s dedicated to helping others, and giving back, and writes about her experiences.
  8. Dr Meg Sorick – has a cure for the reading blues (couldn’t help myself on that one), by offering wonderful poetry, her book series which is available on Amazon. She’s well known as a really lovely, caring woman who would probably give you the shirt off her back if asked. She has an appealing way of writing, so I suggest you Follow my, well, suggestion and take a look.
  9. Life Home and Away – She writes about a number of topics close to her heart, including motherhood, politics, and interesting little bits of fiction. She describes herself as a ‘non-biased writer’, as she reviews the news. Worth a read and a Follow.
  10. Kinneretstern – she discusses everything arty, taking a look at many different genres into consideration, but also writes about other influences in her life, including in her words ‘literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theatre, World War II, and Russian and British history so there’s definitely something for everyone. Kinneret is also writing a novel, describing it as a kind of American Gothic, and produces these fascinating little cartoons which provided her with an introspective view into her depression, which she reports has resolved itself.

The Paris Shootings

Instead of covering the shootings and bombings in Paris, I’d like you all to visit Henry’s response to this awful tragedy, because Henry is the voice of the youth coming into adulthood in the next 5 years, so his opinion is critical if we want to effect change. If Henry was a politician, I’m sure I’d be voting for him. His take on the situation is very passionate, but as always he’s taken the facts (backed up too, not idle speculation) and put them in perfect context. I hope that this article is chosen for Freshly Pressed, because of it’s readability and whole-hearted reaction.

Regards,

Emily

Source: The Paris Shootings