I Think I’m Scared?

We’re back to the blogging crisis again. I did actually write a book review the other week, but even that I don’t feel like posting.

I think the truth is I’m a little bit scared of writing. It seems strange that my blog, once a safe haven, my little corner of the internet where I could be myself, now feels alienated from me. I have changed the names of most of my social media accounts, deleted pictures and information about myself, all because of this thing that happened a couple of years ago.

It’s one person in particular that is still haunting me. They were one of the only IRL people that new about and read my blog. I’m quite sure that they won’t be able to find my blog under the new URL, as I’ve been googling and checking old links to make sure nothing traces back to that old persona, but there is still a doubt that they could find this, and that my secrets could be in the hands of someone I don’t trust.

I want to talk about how they have affected me, what they have done to me, but I am scared. I am scared of them finding this, of them contacting me online. God forbid in person. Whenever I drive into town I think about what I would do if I saw them. Probably scream or cry. I don’t know why I keep writing “they” and “them”. It should be “he” and “him”.

I don’t want to keep thinking about him, because he had a bad enough impact on my life when he was actually in it. It’s been over a year, almost two, since he was a part of my life. But I still think about him almost everyday, not out of missing him, but out of regret and guilt and shame, and fear. That’s the scary part. How much damage he caused and I didn’t even realise it till now, years later.

This was way oversharing. I am on the waiting list for therapy but quite frankly I need help now because I am not coping with all the thoughts in my head at the moment. I keep having to remind myself that I am having a self harm free year this year, but that means all my other negative coping methods have well and truly taken over. More on that another time.

New Start

I think I need a new start for this blog.

I was thinking about starting again completely, but I have invested a lot of time in it, and I do have some posts on here that I like, so I’m staying here, but going by a new name

I am trying to move away from my previous online name, and make my blog a bit more separate from other online projects, so I can open up on here once again. Reclaiming some anonymity (I know long time readers may know where else I am online) is a way for me to reclaim this blog.

There are things that happened to me a while ago I am just realising were actually traumatic, and to be honest, I should probably be in therapy. Some days, I am finding myself teetering on the edge of I don’t know what, and I’m using some not so healthy coping mechanisms. So, from saying that I wanted to stop sharing lots of personal issues on this blog, I am now going back to oversharing.

I have processed a lot of what has happened in personal diaries, but in the past sending my problems out into the ether has helped, and so I’m counting on it to do so this time.

This is going to be totally for me, I just need to vent all the crap that is going through my head.

Editing Your Life

I think everyone has times in their life they wish they could forget. Or that they’d never happened. I have a big portion of my life that I am trying to move on from.

I don’t think ignoring that these things happened is helpful. After all, nothing can change the past. But there comes a point, when you have processed what happened, accepted it, and moved on, and you don’t want to be thinking about the crappy things.

I have realised that I am the kind of person that heavily edits my own life. I get rid of possessions that remind me of a bad time, like a dress I wore to a funeral, or a present from someone no longer in my life, or deleting photos from my computer. I find that this helps me stay focused on the present. Objects have such strong memories attached to them, and by getting rid of the object, I have alleviated some of my emotional anguish.

I have even taken down some of the posts on this blog, once again, editing the bad parts of my life out.

The flip side to this is that I have a very good memory, and I want to remember my life in as much detail as possible. I keep a notebook with tickets and scraps from all the cool stuff I have done, and I love looking back on it. I have kept all my old diaries, and notes and drawings that my friends gave me at school. I love having tangible things that document my life.

One of the things I have done to move on from this bad thing doesn’t involve completely removing it from my life. I have made some blog posts private, so they are there, but not when I look back over my main blog website.

Another things I have done is physically making some things private. I’ll explain what I mean by that. There are some parts of my teenage diaries that I cannot read, I know I am lying even in my diary and the cognitive dissonance is simply too much. But I didn’t want to throw away. So, I taped them shut. I physically made it so I can’t read them (unless I have a complete meltdown and rip them open like a bear). They are still in my box of sentimental items; they are there, and I can acknowledge them, but I can’t relive them.

I think this relates well to that mental image I have seen a lot, of packing things into boxes in your mind, having them there if you want to look at them, but not letting the take over your thoughts. And this balance, I believe is best. I don’t think it’s healthy to ignore the bad things that have happened to us. Accept them, process them, and acknowledge them if you need to. The rest of the time should be sent on things that make us happy.

I agree with Jenni Murray

I have been listening to Woman’s Hour regularly for a while now, and their podcast is one of my favourites. They explore a wide variety of opinions on as many subjects, which makes for engaging listening.

In the past few days, one of the presenters, Jenni Murray, has come under criticism for expressing supposedly transphobic opinions in an article she wrote. The Telegraph writes a good summary of the situation.

I think Jenni Murray is completely in her rights to speak out about issue affecting women. After all, she is the presenter of a female centred radio show, and these are issues that she has to encounter professionally on a regular basis. She is right to stand up for women and for the language we use to talk about female bodies.

I know BBC presenters are supposed to remain completely neutral, but she shouldn’t have to remain silent on the subject of misogynistic ideology that harms women.

I am ready for a radical feminism takeover of Woman’s Hour. Jenni Murray seems to be almost there with her stance on this subject, but I think it’s clear that she feels pressure not to be too controversial. I hope Jenni Murray continues to stay true to her opinions and isn’t bullied into agreeing with the liberals.

(Just for fun, here is a debate with Julie Bindel on the controversy).

Skies and Seasides: Scrapbook #6

Since being back in England, I have been revelling in the gorgeous open and dramatic skies. I love going on a walk on a moody stormy day.

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I didn’t realise how much I needed my time out in nature until I didn’t have it there.

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Also, some beautiful reticulated irises in someone’s front garden.

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At the weekend, I went down to Brighton. We stayed with some family friends, and I got to sleep in the lounge with a real fire. It was super cosy.

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I don’t know why I love the West Pier so much, but it looks pretty eerie on an overcast day.

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Brighton has so much cool graffiti, and this one in particular caught my eye.

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Blogistential Crisis

I sat down this week to write a blog post, and I realised that I didn’t want to. And when I realised that, it begged the question: why am I doing this?

I originally started this blog to share my experiences in the hope that it might help other people. Over time, I have branched out and written about all sorts of different issues and interests, and this blog has become more of a reflection of my personality than a place to vent.

Now, I am really struggling with how personal I want this blog to be. Every time I post something, I think, would I want my family or friends to see this? And sometimes, if the answer is no, I don’t publish it. I have even deleted a lot of my past posts for that reason, and I’ve stopped writing posts when I am caught up in strong emotions, such as sadness or panic or stress.

However, I have talked to some really lovely people as a result of sharing personal stories, and to think I might not have talked to them, and might not interact with more people like them in the future if I don’t over share, is sad. But the thing is, my mental health is taking up less and less of my life. I am doing so well with my depression at the moment, my anhedonia is basically gone and I feel like an actual well rounded person now. Anxiety is still a massive problem, and being out in public/talking to people is a huge struggle for me. But I worry that if I keep writing about it, and focusing on it, it will keep taking up space in my life and in my head. I would rather talk about the things that I am achieving and doing rather than the things I am not. Or maybe I just feel a bit fake, like I shouldn’t be doing so well in my recovery when others are still struggling. Maybe I’m afraid to be feeing better.

It’s also important to be able to have a space to be authentically you. I’m trying to reconcile with whether for me that means it’s okay to have a place on the internet to share my deepest secrets and feelings. By not sharing the dark things, am I representing myself authentically? Maybe it would be better for me to keep some things private, now that I have the tools to deal with my issues, journal in my own time and use the blog as a form of positive self expression and exploration.

I’m also wrestling with social media in general. I think a lot of the time it can be really negative and put pressure on people. But I realise that I have just written about not wanting to share the bad parts of my life, which is something that social media gets a lot of criticism for. You only see the good days, but that doesn’t mean that every day is a good day. Additionally, why do I want to share my life? Why do I want to post things on instagram, or blog about my holiday? What is the driving force behind that?

I also worry that writing so much for my blog is taking away my writing energy for creative projects. I have had an idea for a story for over a year now, and I haven’t done anything with it. Maybe if I wasn’t forcing myself to write short blog posts every week I could work on it. I also have a load of other projects on the internet, between YouTube, my birding blog and my Etsy shop.

So should I stop writing regularly? Keep this blog as a place to share travels/adventures and photography, or wait for inspiration to strike, or should I keep plugging away at it until the inspiration comes back?

That was a big ramble, a lot of questions and a lot of mixed feelings. At the root of this there is a larger issue. There are things that I want to write about that I am finding to difficult to publish. That’s why I am struggling to find my voice, because my voice is defined largely by the things you don’t know about me. Or do I need the courage not to care and just have this blog for me?

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRGGHH

 

The Best Biscuit Recipe!!

I know this is not what I usually blog about, but I made these biscuits the other day from my grandma’s recipe, and they are the best thing I have ever made ever.

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This is the original recipe. Obviously, not vegan if you include the lard/butter, but I just replaced that with margarine.

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Another thing to note is that this makes “about 65 biscuits”!! I did half quantities, made them a bit bigger, and that made about 20 biscuits. Here is the recipe for my version:

8oz/225g plain flour

4oz/115g sugar

4oz/115g golden syrup

4oz/115g margarine/butter

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking powder

Bake for 12-15 mins at 160°C

The recipe is for ginger biscuits but I definitely think you could modify it to make all sorts of different flavours. The ingredient that makes them so delicious, in my opinion, is the golden syrup, as it makes them extra soft and chewy. I am definitely going to see if I can make some chocolate chip cookies using this recipe.

I hope you enjoyed this, I loved the biscuits so much that I just had to share the recipe. Let me know if you make them!