Being Positive

Being Positive

 

Positivity is one of the most misunderstood concept in society, and often people can be misled by what they think it means. Given that life is not always a picnic, I think its fair to say that sometimes, being completely positive, without acknowledging certain issues, challenges, struggles, barriers-however you want to put it-can be dangerous and useless.

 

Everything is about balance. That’s how I see it anyway. Maybe I just see it that way because of certain experiences that I’ve had-like losing my Mum. I mean, even though I’d give up my job and my left arm to have my Mum back, I have to say, that my experience of losing her has strangely impacted me in a positive-ish way. By saying this, I don’t mean that after losing her I became super happy and started making amazing achievements, but I mean that the general trauma of losing her actually gave me some resilience.

 

But still, every day I miss my Mum, and wish that she was still here. Because after all, she was my sole support in my life and gave me comfort and security. She was an amazing, extraordinary Mother.

 

But back to the point I want to make. Sometimes as people, we like to focus on what is good, because we feel better about ourselves. Of course, happiness is a lovely emotion, and we all like to feel it. But its one of many emotions, and we can’t rely on that one blissful feeling alone, to be great at who we are.

 

By being constantly optimistic without recognising the barriers we had to climb to get to where we are, we fail to address what can hold some people back. Dwelling on the negatives. In order to fully recover from something difficult (and we all go through something difficult at some point) you need to face it, acknowledge it. See it as a reason to build on strengths. Its easier said than done, but in the right mindset it can be achievable. And if you find the right time to face those struggles head on, you’ll find yourself a much stronger person on the other side.

 

I’ll give you an example. I have been suffering OCD since I was about ten. I have experienced awful intrusive thoughts that have paralysed me, and at one point even made me question whether it was even worth living. I would wake up in the morning, and want to go back to sleep, because I’d remember what my mind was like, awake.

 

Now, even though today I cope pretty well with these thoughts and compulsions, I still have my rough patches. And here is the important thing.

 

You don’t want to forget those rough patches, because there always will be struggles to deal with in life.

 

This shouldn’t come as depressing news to you, because if you are prepared and accept the fact that life can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, then it won’t be as awful when you are going through what you do.

 

The more  that difficult situations come as a surprise to you, the harder it will be to manage. That’s in my experience anyway.

 

It’s great to have a positive attitude to life, and be prepared for whats to come. But don’t get stuck in a knot of glee and think that the key to living is to find absolute contentedness, because its not.

 

If you have an issue, you should address it in a positive way. If you can’t do that alone, then do it with someone who cares, and pick yourself back up with that support.

 

I suppose I’m specifically addressing the perceivably happy chappy people here, when I say; don’t feel pressured to conform to what you think you should feel or need to feel. Be honest about your emotional condition. Say you aren’t great, if you aren’t great. Share what you have put up with if you’ve copped a lot of crap. Because its more relatable, and a more powerful way to find a means to success (in whatever shape or form) and fulfilment in life.

 

That’s my opinion anyway.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

For most of my life I have had the tendency to twist the truth a little bit, in order to please others. So yeah, I’m one of those Aspies. It is more well known that people on the spectrum always tell the truth, and find lying extremely difficult. Well yeah, that is true. But for some Autistics; particularly females, lying is a tactic for survival.

 

But its not technically lying. It could just be swaying from the specific truth. For example, I once went out with a girl who was a fully certified lesbian. Ok, more seriously, I mean that she was confident that she was gay. Very certain of it. But because I wasn’t sure exactly what label I fitted at the time, I never actually mentioned that I was gay, bi or whatever. I just let her continuously assume things. Like, she asked me a question once; “have you come out to your Dad?” and because I didn’t want to lie, I just responded very vaguely and in the most truthful way possible “Well I just do stuff and my Dad doesn’t mind”. And thankfully she didn’t question my response further, so I didn’t have to be even more vague.

 

So why did I do this? Because I was afraid she wouldn’t want to see me anymore, because she’d think I was just using her, when as a matter of fact I wasn’t and generally wanted to try a relationship with her, like I would if I liked any person. Guy or girl.

 

So maybe that’s not totally lying, but it is certainly an avoidance of the truth. I did it all through high school, and even to make myself feel better I would convince myself that a lot of what I was saying was basically true, so I would even start believing my own partial lies.

 

I’d imply things too, and be suggestive so that people could formulate their own conclusions. For instance, I had done extensive research on a lot of sexual terms and slang that a lot of kids in my year level seemed to pick up on naturally. So when they did utilise them in a sentence I would get it. But it made people wonder if I had, as they referred to it; ‘lost my cherry’. I had to google that too by the way, because it made absolutely no sense to me.

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Sofie and I at year 12 formal

 

Anyway, when a girl asked me upfront if I had, I didn’t want to say no because I thought they’d laugh at me, so I just smirked cheekily and let them decide for themselves. They concluded that I had. Gossip for them, woo!

 

But even though I would twist the truth, avoid responding to questions requiring honest answers and made cheeky, exaggerated implications about things, I still felt extremely guilty. Because in other situations I could be honest. Deep down I was a very ‘give it to them straight’ sort of person. All the decisions I made seemed to heavily contradict my natural instincts.

 

My extreme efforts to conform to the rest of the people in my year level caused me to feel so empty. So evil. Like I was some kind of sociopath. But what was I supposed to say to them?

 

“No, I haven’t lost my cherry. I find the idea of sex very scary, and uncomfortable. Even kissing is scary to me.” They would have just laughed at me, or patronised me by awwwing at how cute I was.

 

I just wanted to be like everyone else.

 

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Sitting awkwardly in the corner at the tamest year 10 formal after party available.

 

So reflecting on all that I have splattered on paper right about now, I realise I probably wasn’t a total liar, but due to the fact that I value honesty and believe telling the truth to be one of the most moral things you can do; avoiding it just made me hate myself.

 

Nowadays, I don’t do it very much at all. There are occasions that I still do if I’m afraid of being judged, but I do make a conscious effort to just be straight up. I’m even more honest in how I express myself. Showing off my Asperger’s feels so wonderful and free.

 

I am glad I can finally be myself.

And so she returns….

So I haven’t blogged in a while. For a few reasons. A few reasons that are all interconnected as a branches from the root that is self-criticism.

 

I know I may seem like the happy chappy let’s all ride unicorns and sprinkle hundreds and thousands over everyone type of person, but the fact is that is simply not the case. I do not in fact ride unicorns, as they are a mythical creature. We all know that. Nor do I sprinkle hundreds and thousands on fellow humans either, because it would only contribute to the rising in numbers of the diabetes pandemic.

 

You see? That’s pretty cynical of me to say right? But you, it is my belief that it is ok to feel shit about yourself every now and again, because you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. That being said, it shouldn’t dictate a large slice of your life decisions. Its important not let yourself be contaminated by mean feelings targeted at your self-esteem and self-worth.

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I haven’t been blogging for a number of reasons, as I mentioned before. Firstly, I have made attempts to put writing together and failed, thinking it wasn’t coming out right, when usually I can just whip out a blog post in the first go. That’s what I like about it. I don’t have time to criticise my ability. It just comes out naturally, flows like a waterfall of confidence out of my brain and onto the laptop screen. I like to write accompanied by that easy feeling.

 

So since I’ve been in a bit of muckyspot in my life, and for various reasons, I haven’t really been able to just spill words and share with you guys what I want to share.

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I mean, I have basically been unemployed for four months because my job as a speaker and mentor only works during the school year, but getting another job hasn’t been an option. Because I CAN is the only job I’ve ever had where I feel truly valued and good at what I am doing.

 

So I haven’t been earning much money, and have been eating into my savings which is actually not just my savings, so I feel a bit shitty right now. But at the same time, in my gut I know that quitting I CAN and just getting a job for the sake of a more regular income would be a dumb decision, because I just know that if I stick with it, it’ll be a gateway to many more amazing opportunities.

 

For goodness sake, I mean, I’m already off to Tasmania in April to do stand up on behalf of I CAN, and in November I’m flying to Fremantle in WA to do a talk!! What 21 year old gets an opportunity like that on a regular basis? Man oh man!!

 

So I’m ranting. Sorry. But I’ll get to the point.

 

I’m a bit flat right now, and therefore have the time to think about stuff that makes me sad, angry etc. and when I feel like that I just give up, which leads me to neglect my many passions, which includes writing, comedy and other random special interests I have.

 

In the next few weeks I should be getting back on track again, and I hope to start blogging more again. I also hope my case of moronic technology person syndrome is cured, and I can figure out how to get rid of the random icons (that all lead to the same page) in the top right hand corner of my blog home page. That’d be nice.

 

What I want you to take away from this, is its ok to feel shit sometimes. Absolutely. Honestly, I really hate life sometimes, and just wish that I could sleep in bed for the rest of it. But then what the hell would I be achieving?

 

Even though the idea of bed is almost always enticing, I’m also not a big fan of fluffing around. I want to make every moment of my life count-on the side of my occasional Netflix binges-so just remember that. Make it count.

 

Bye!
See you on the flip side!!

 

 

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My Little Sister (Georgia)

I’d say that my little sister Georgia is the one that gets me the most in my family. Or even if she doesn’t get me, she still makes an effort to understand and just laughingly goes along with my quirks. That’s not to say mind you, that the rest of my family suck. They all rock in different ways, and I love them all. I am just particularly close with my little sister Georgia.
 

In some ways she is a lot like me in the sense that she seems to have adopted some rather ‘aspie’ characteristics that I myself tend to display. Then again, I did some research on it, and it turns out that that can be quite common in families for siblings to exhibit similar behaviour at times. Then again, she is very different to me in the sense that she is nowhere near as awkward as I can be.

 

I mean, I take pride in my silly awkwardness and use it to my advantage, but I do admire Georgia for being able to carry a conversation without seeming like she needs to escape to the nearest toilet because she is busting. She is a good talker.

 

Stereotypically, it is the role of the older sibling to be the guardian and teach their younger sibling how to go about certain stuff. Well, our relationship is unconventional in that sense, because I’d say 50% of the time, Georgia is taking care of me.

 

Today for example, she helped me vacuum some thick as shit webs in my wardrobe, as I was worried that a spider would drop on me if I did it. I know, it’s a bit silly, but I have a bit of a fear that I am slowly trying to manage. Besides, she wouldn’t give a rats behind if a spider dropped on her face and did a dance. She’d just calmly take it outside.

 

I also happen to have a problem with Daddy long legs getting in my room. They just love this one random corner which they always go to. Even if I put them out, the next day another one will appear. I know they are harmless, but I just don’t like them being there because the idea of one being all active in the evening and running along my face freaks me out. So of course, without question she always collects them for me and puts them outside.

 

Its not only this kindness that makes it easy to get along with my little sister, but its her accepting nature. She has a lot of different friends. One of them are on the spectrum like me, and another has ADHD. She doesn’t seem to care how different someone might be, she just goes with it and has fun with whoever seems to be a good and fun loving person.

 

She is a bit silly herself anyway. We are often a bit silly together. We attempt to do accapellas together (fails inevitably) and we’ll make dumb jokes and put on comical voices. This almost always results in her laughing hysterically and smashing about  like a lunatic in the process. She is a bit nuts.

 

I can tell her anything. She is very trustworthy. Then again, I have to remember how old she is sometimes and refrain from telling her some things, because as she is a fragile teenager, I don’t want to affect her development.

 

I can always count on her to light heartedly pick up on my social errors. I have a bad habit of analysing the inadequacies of jokes and sayings, and when I do this she’ll often tell me to “shut up” and say “ok Carla.” And pat me on the back. Then she’ll laugh, and just correct me the next time I do it.

 

She is very honest with me. She’ll flat out tell me if something that I do is probably socially inappropriate, and will advise me to try not to do it in social situations. She always does so in a nice way though.

 

But I don’t always just rely on her. She relies on me too, and that makes me really happy. Because in the past I would not have thought myself to be a good role model for anyone really, but since she enjoys my company and confides in me when she herself is worried about something, I feel good that I can be there to help her out.

 

Mum actually planned to have three kids, but when Georgia came she was a beautiful surprise. I’ve never thought about it this much in depth, but after some reflecting I’ve realised how much of a blessing she has been in my life. Without her, I would not be the person I am today. Even if she is 6 years younger than me.

 

Love the little bastard.

Sex and Sensory (rated R)

 

 

If there is one topic you can’t discuss at schools with mentees, its sex. The reception, at rare times may be remarkably mature but otherwise there will mostly be giggles. I know that when I was at high school, the old ‘and then this goes in that’ talk was rather humorous.

 

But I guess I’ll just assume that mostly adults will be reading this, and not my countless Aunties at all. If you are related to me please continue reading this, because you will love how not-awkward it is (reverse psychology).

 

I guess we Auties are all different, as we are with most things, yet we do bond over some generally shared characteristics. We can be cast off into categories I suppose. I know Aspies that have been down for sex, and others where it isn’t of the slightest value to them. Either way, Auties are AWEsome.

 

I happen to be the kind of Autie who is rather oddly hypersexual. I love sexual intimacy. If you think you’ve already crossed the line of awkward, then perhaps take the time to recover by Youtubing cute puppy or cat videos.

 

I once read somewhere, that special interests can come out in otherwise ‘normal’ behaviour and experiences that neurotypical people might be able to relate to. I’ll explain.

 

So, teenagers are quite commonly interested in sex, boys, girls, My little pony porn, you name it.

 

Ok, so the last one was false, apart from the select few mentally disturbed individuals who might take a liking to it.

 

Anyway, sex is a popular topic of conversation at high school, and given that Auties can have the tendency to be rather intense about things, they might just go the extra mile about talking about the stuff that’s talked about.

 

I do not mean to say that this is the case for all Auties, but it would definitely make sense because I can relate to it definitely, and a friend of mine from school who I strongly suspect is on the spectrum, was also a little obsessive about the arguably crude culture of teenage life.

 

For instance, in both an effort to be a cool and with a complete lack of filter for what came out of my mouth, I used to openly express how sexually aroused I was at the sight of certain individuals in absolutely unnecessary detail.

 

Yes, youth tend to compliment significant others for being “hot”, heck even some people dared to say they would “ride someone” or “jump on them” in a fit of sexual attraction.

 

I used to get a little overexcited, and basically shout that I wanted to “bang the sh*t” out of someone. I never meant to be rude, or degrading, I just said what my mating instincts or whatever told me, even though some of the individuals I was referring to would not be possible to procreate with.

 

I loved the idea of sex, I wanted to kiss someone, lie butt naked on top of someone!! Just get on someone!! Woo!

 

 

But hey, sometimes fantasy doesn’t fit with reality. When I first shared physical intimacy with someone, it was amazing. We didn’t get as far as penetrative sex because she was bloody sick for four weeks and didn’t want to spread germs. In other words, she probably didn’t like me all that much after all.

 

Oh well, her loss I suppose. Anyway, it was the best!! Until some moments….when there was light exhaling of air on my body and stuff involved, it was awkward. It made me feel strange, and overwhelmed and I wanted to push her off me.

 

I started to realise, that maybe there would be some sensory issues for me in the bedroom.

 

The tricky thing is though, that yes. When I later found myself playing wrestling naked with an attractive man friend, I loved everything apart from the penetration. When it happened all I wanted was for the guy to ‘pull it out’. No pleasure was felt, just discomfort.

 

All I could see in my mind, was this massive thing scraping my insides and the idea of it just freaked me out and felt incredibly odd. I also didn’t want to bleed out of my set of doors. Having a period once a month was enough!!

 

But here’s the thing, I wanted everything else!!! I’d still fantasise about it, and desire certain dudes (ladies too) and keep willing myself to try again, but even to this day it is hard for me to get passed that sensory challenge.

 

Certain touch bothers me, dirty talk is not my strong point-I prefer casually delivering a formal compliment to someone mid-sex;

 

“pardon me for being so vain, but you are really lovely”

 

I have class. What can I say.

 

Otherwise, I just giggle like an idiot or lie there silently enjoying myself while the other person is trying to alarm the neighbours.

 

So I’m a bit of an awkward and fussy turtle when it comes to ‘bed sheet wars’ but I guess, either its an Autie thing or a me thing, if you can relate to it, now you know you are not by your lonesome.

 

Also, to the confused coming of age readers, please don’t confuse tactile issues with sexual attraction. It can make things seem a little unclear, but there is a separation (especially for Auties) between not liking the physical sensation of something, and not having that natural attraction to someone. I know when I like someone, I get all tingly and jumpy and want to shout how much I’d like to-well, I hold it in nowadays.

 

I hope this helped and didn’t freak anyone out!!

 

Clean the sheets afterwards everyone!!

 

 

 

My Personal Gender Identity

When I was a kid, I used to want to be a boy. After all, they did have super cool hairstyles and were allowed to wear pants all the time. I loved the idea of being a boy.

 

Even though I acted a bit like one, wore masculine clothes in spite of my Mother’s desire for me to look pretty, and hung around with boys, I didn’t feel so much like a boy that I felt wrong in my body. I’m not transgendered obviously, but that didn’t mean that I felt like an ultra-girl once I started growing up.

 

Sure, I did go through a phase where I started having my hair down and wearing dresses. But like any teenager I went through all sorts of those brief attempts at being rebellious, or just different to everyone else.

 

Now I’ve read somewhere that some Aspie women can have a more ‘male structured’ mind. So some of us may be alternative in expressing our gender, be trans or just be like a ‘typical’ girl I suppose too. I only started thinking about this two years ago, but without labelling myself I think I’m caught between two genders.

 

Some people reading this may be surprised, or perhaps not, but reflecting on my past experiences and behaviour I have exhibited a lot of ‘masculine’ type behaviour, and honestly, within myself, have forgotten that I’m a girl at times.

 

I mean, I used to open doors for girls like a gentleman, and not always because I was attracted to them. I’ve also wanted short hair since I was young, and finally got around to it after high school, and for a great cause as well.

 

When I talk to girls, I feel like I’m a guy talking to a girl. Then again, when I’m talking to a guy I might be attracted to, I become more feminine just automatically.

 

This has been happening for a while, and has never felt strange. I have only just started to really reflect on this since I’ve learnt more about the varying gender identities that exist in society today.

 

I have googled numerous terms such as genderqueer, androgynous and many more. I tried to claim the genderqueer identity but for me personally, it just didn’t feel right. That doesn’t mean that for other people it’s wrong, but for me it just didn’t fit.

 

Interestingly enough, I don’t mind being referred to as a girl, and nor do I mind going into the female bathroom. After all, I am completely comfortable with my body. There was a period where I was in a state of deep questioning, where I stood in front of the mirror naked and just looked at myself to see how I felt.

 

I didn’t do this because I thought I should get a sex change, but because I wanted to try and fully understand what I felt I was inside.

 

It shouldn’t really matter what you identify as, but just having that solid understanding of yourself can make things a little easier.

 

In my life I’ve travelled a quirky path. I’ve cross dressed, tried being ‘girly’, shaved my head and commonly written stories from a male’s perspective. All these occurrences have eventuated in me realising that I am most comfortable as a person.

 

You can call me gender neutral or whatever, but because I tend to fluctuate between femininity and masculinity (whatever that means anyway) I am fully comfortable as a identifying as a human being.

 

You can refer to me as a girl, and I won’t mind. Calling me a boy wouldn’t bother me too much, but because biologically I am comfortable being female I’d rather be called a girl, so not to dishonour the trans community.

 

But best of all, I like to be called by my name, or as a person.

 

“She is a nice person”

 

“I like Carla”

 

“ That person is a bloody mongrel!”

 

“Carla doesn’t ever fricken shut up!”

 

You get what I mean. For some people, labels are fantastic. I do wear the label of Autism, but that is so I can educate people about its varying types. I don’t however, like to claim any labels in relation to my sexuality or gender identity, because all those labels would be too much to remember anyway. I don’t feel like I need to say anything. Some people might like to use a label to explain to people how they are, but because I invest so much energy in doing that about Autism, I’d rather disregard the other opportunities to flaunt my sexy orientation and gender identity.

 

Word.

 

 

My Previous Experiences in the Workforce

I have been through a couple of my jobs in my short time on this Earth, and with each of them I can safely say I was hell good in a job interview.

You see, as an Aspie female I happen to fit the criteria of being exceptionally good at mimicry, and on top of that I’m also quite the perfectionist. The first job I had was as cashier in a fast food company, and boy did I learn how tricky that was. However, as I was determined to find employment (at the ripe age of 15) I job hunted all over the place, until finally I heard back from someone.

I was very nervous, but also extremely prepared. I spent entire days (two days to be exact) prior to my interview, researching different scenarios working out how I would act in order to impress the people that could potentially hire me. I spent an extensive amount of time rehearsing in the mirror, making a conscious effort to smile so I seemed interested. I also practiced sitting up straight, and keeping my posture nice and proper. One thing I knew would not get me the job, was if I was to behave like my true self. That’s what I believed then any way.

And you know, sadly its very true in a lot of workplaces. Autistic individuals can have a really hard time finding employment, largely due to the fact that most places cannot offer the specific level of support than could enable an Autie employee to blitz a job.

So without sounding full of myself, I quite frankly gunned the interview. They hired me on the spot, actually. It wasn’t because I was a nice girl, honest and some kind of fast food entrepreneur; it’s because I lied. I was a character. I was the young 15 your old girl that I thought they would like.

I suppose you might wonder whether I kept up the act for my entire duration as an employee at the store. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way. I am more aware of it now, and understand it better but in hindsight I know that due to some sensory issues I struggled with, working in that environment could really screw with my acting ability.

It was loud, rushed. A thousand billion cajillion things were all going on simultaneously which to me was incredibly overwhelming. Some people thrived on it, but I suffered. It was so exhausting. After three months of front end, not being able to concentrate due to interference of other external stimuli, and not being able to hear what customers were saying; I was politely told that I wasn’t cut out for serving customers.

But on the bright side, I didn’t get fired. I was so lucky, because I easily could have got the flick. Easily. However, my employers were so supportive, that they found a way to work with what I could manage. Even though it was still draining, and most of the time I was in shutdown mode not communicating with any of my co-workers. I survived in the back area.

Sure, it was still noisy as shit, but I got used to it. I was also particularly good at one job; putting burger buns in the toaster. It involved doing it as soon as an order came through, so we could maintain an excellent time, and because I only had to focus on that one job I became a bloody legend at it.

Three buns could be dropped in at once, and I probably could have eaten a roast for lunch at the same time if I tried-ok maybe that’s stretching it a little. But I was good, k?

 

Even though I learned jobs slower, due to processing difficulties I would eventually pick up on something and prove my worth. It took me a long time to improve, but even then working there proved to be quite mentally and emotionally exhausting. I did receive employee of the month once, which was totally awesome, but how I felt about the place was very up and down. I couldn’t function without coming home and just wanting to lock myself in a room to play the playstation , and pretend I was femshep in Mass Effect (game reference).

 

So in an effort not to end this on a super depressing note, let me just tell you that even though I struggled a lot in jobs, and tricked my employers into thinking I was some natural job savvy superstar, I did gain a lot of experience from work. So now I know what to expect in the general sense. I do pick up on things slower I guess, but only if I don’t do what I now know is very useful; ask for clarification. I could learn a lot quicker if I use my learning style to my advantage, and ask questions.

Since I’ve grown up, I know that asking questions is not an expression of stupidity, it is demonstrative of the desire to learn and be the best that you can.

Sure, it might sound sappy, but since I’ve begun asking questions at my current workplace, and even my other job that I left a few months ago, it has worked wonders for me.

On another note, in an interview do put on a bit of an act, but not so much that when you start your first day of work they don’t recognise the anxious wreck of a hermit that walks in. It’s just confidence that counts.

 

 

Pretty, Like the Other Girls

This is a fictional piece of writing that I have based loosely on myself and other female Aspies I have met in my life. I also based it a bit on research I have done in my spare time. I hope it can serve as an accurate account of what it might be like to function as a young woman on the spectrum.

 The mirror reflects a person I barely know, but have gotten used to. It’s only a few seconds I stare this person in the mirror, before I look away and try to be who I should be.

Every morning I wake up at 6:00 on the dot. That way I can assign myself exactly 15 minutes to adjust to the morning in the comfort of my sheets, and then rise and dedicate 10 minutes to getting my school bag ready, and putting on my school uniform. I don’t particularly like wearing the tunic, but it does look more feminine, so I go with it. I usually remove the stockings and tunic immediately after returning home from school, and then bury myself under the doona, door closed and blinds down. It’s nice and quiet in the dark. Sweet and silent.

By 6:25 I’m straightening my hair, and usually conclude with about four burns to the fingers. My fine motor skills kinda suck. Sometimes Mum notices me struggling, and tries to help me but I straggle away from her demanding that she leaves me be. I don’t need help. I’m old enough to do things myself. I’m not stupid.

The reason I straighten my hair is because all the other cool girls at school do it. They all want to look pretty, and most of them are. I realised how important that was when I started high school in year 7. On my first day of school, I turned up to school with a tunic halfway from my ankles. Very below my knees. That was the policy though. The rules. I just did what I was supposed to do.

It didn’t take me long to realise that rules didn’t mean anything to half the cohort. I felt so out of place and different for the first time. Primary school everyone was little weird and goofy, but for some reason teenagers had their own strict set of rules that needed to be abided by. I wasn’t going to be the person everyone talked about. No way.

Straightening my hair usually takes me about 20 minutes because I’m slow, so by 6 45 I’m ready to apply the makeup. How can I be pretty without makeup? It brightens your face, it gives a celebrity quality that every girl dreams of being. I personally idolise Marylin Monroe. I absolutely love her. I have a few posters of her in my room, and have read some wonderful books about her, and an autobiography. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched her in ‘Some Like it Hot’ and that movie where she performs the song ‘Diamonds are a girls Best friend’. She is talented, flawless and intriguing. Exactly who I want to be.

I am yet to get a boyfriend. My friends have had a couple. They attract boys all the time. They tell me how to act to get boys to like me. They teach me all the tricks they have I guess, but I don’t know if they can teach me as much as Marilyn can. I practice smiling like Marilyn in the mirror, and walking gracefully but with sex appeal. I’m quite good at acting so I think one day it’ll come more naturally to me, and the boys will be following me like puppy dogs. That’s what I imagine anyway.

So it’s 6:45 and I start applying foundation-no wait. First, I put on the cream that prevents makeup from coming off to quickly. I can’t remember what it’s called, but my friends recommended it. Then I smear some foundation on my face, rubbing it vertically downwards so it doesn’t come up all powdery and obvious. Then comes the mascara. I learnt the hard way that you shouldn’t use the same mascara for too long because then it goes all crumbly and can make a home at the exterior bottom of your eye sockets through the day. The girls made sure to tell me that, and told me to upgrade every few months. Eye liner, I don’t bother with because it feels funny on my eyelids. If I do put it on, I fixate on the ill feeling it creates and won’t stop blinking. I just apply eye shadow like Marilyn’s, last and then I’m ready for breakfast.

 

By the time I’ve exited the bathroom and walked down the stairs, I’m the me I want to be. Well, the me I need to be. I really do want to be pretty like the other girls, so people will like me. Pretty like Marilyn. Its less frightening to walk out of the house with a mask. People look at me differently, boys look at me. Only, I would be too scared to get to know any nice boys for fear of what they would think once they discovered what I was like without the mask on.

 

Breakfast. Three weetbix with bran, chia seeds and a banana. A nutritious meal. That’s what I don’t understand about girls my age. They don’t eat breakfast because they don’t have time, or just want to be skinny. If they just got up earlier they could have breakfast, and don’t they know that skipping meals can contribute to weight gain? I read that internet surfing somewhere.

Breakfast is done by about 7:20, and then it takes me five minutes to brush my teeth, before I take my time out the door to the bus stop up the road. That takes me five minutes. So it’s 7:40, and I’m there with ten minutes to spare because I am less anxious about school when I’m on time.

Sitting at the bus stop, consciously aware of how I’m sitting (legs together, tunic bottom at the knees to appear seductive). Everything matters. I can’t be slouched; I need to have control over my hands and even my face. No ‘awkward resting bitch face’ as a girl at school once told me I displayed. Borderline smiling is good, and graceful movements. Just like Marilyn. Only smile in conversation and when I’m trying to be cute. No awkwardness.

The Bus comes just as I figure out my Marilyn look. Exhaustion washes over me suddenly, which happens sometimes after an intense morning of preparation. I think I’ll rest my thoughts on the bus.

Obsessive Thoughts Revealed

Since about grade three I have been vulnerable to the wrath of disturbing thoughts that do not correlate with my actual personality whatsoever. They have been extremely crazy thoughts, but when I was in the midst of suffering it seemed too easy to just believe what was constantly bombarding my darned head.

So today, I am going to reveal to you some of the horrific thoughts that nearly ruined me, and how these thoughts sent me on a downwards spiral catapulting me into a vicious whirlpool of anxiety.

The first episode I had of absurd thinking, was when I started believing that I would one day become a serial killer. I would have fleeting thoughts of me smiling fiendishly when no one was looking, and started worrying that I was going to conspire against my Mum and murder her.

It was interesting because every time I hit my breaking point before either lying under the blankets fretting for others’ lives or had tearful panic attacks it was usually because I had had an incredibly traumatic image of my Mum lying in a pool of blood, that would make me myself want to die. I now realise why I was so horrified by the thought of my Mum dying; because she was the most important person in my life. She protected me, and I didn’t think I could live without her. In response to these thoughts I would usually whack my head, or make a grunting or gasping sound in a desperate attempt to push my thoughts out of my mind.  Sometimes I would even verbalise exactly where I wanted my thoughts to go; “fuck off!” or “NO!”

Another thing that used to frighten me, was that I would feel a tingling sensation in my fingers which I couldn’t stop obsessing about. I started thinking that maybe it was my body telling me to choke someone, and that apparent ‘realisation’ also made my throat tighten and my body quiver. In an effort to get rid of these feelings, I performed a rather discomforting compulsion where I would go close to someone and hold out my hands as if I was about to grab them by the neck. I know it is irrational, but it did provide some temporary relief before my thoughts returned to be even more powerful.

When I noticed that these little rituals were not working effectively I became hopelessly upset because I started to just accept that I would eventually have to ‘embrace my inner evil’ and choke someone for real, even though I would have rather killed myself than do that. I love my family very much, so the idea of hurting them made me sick while simultaneously tricking me into thinking I did want to do it.

 

The thoughts would frequent my mind very often, but there would be periods of silence where my pattern of thinking was stable and I could think about other stuff and feel calm. Everything was mostly ordinary until the beginning of year 8 where I watched an episode of Bones about a Cannibal, and then immediately after, felt lethargic. “Oh no” I thought “I might become this kind of killer”.

My obsession had upgraded to not only a serial killer, but a human hungry monster. If there was a secret door in my brain, it was after watching that show that it was shoved open allowing dark shadows of cursed thinking that made its way into my head.

Why did my mouth water when I watched this?

 

I love the taste of meat too much

Skin is so soft, would I like the taste of it cooked?

 

I’m going to eat my family

 

Sometimes I would yell out loud in response to my bastard thoughts; “shut up!” “Go away” “No, no I don’t want to do that”

 

This period of obsessing lasted for the entire school holidays, and on and off throughout the school year. It seemed to last forever. I didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to leave the house, and when I woke up in the morning I choked on the tears trapped inside because I just wanted to go back to sleep where everything was so silent.

Another year went by, and again my obsessions only increased and would often take turns. Sometimes I’d be consumed by the idea that I was going to kill people, and another was that I was going to lose control of myself and turn into a vicious monster.

There is another thought, but it is still a bit too fresh for me to comfortably share exactly what it was without causing me intense anxiety. I am still working on being more open about it.

After seeing a crappy psychologist for five years, I realised her ‘stamp out the negative thoughts’ strategy was not working, so I stopped seeing her and got in touch with a psychiatrist.

This was the best thing that happened to my mental health.

I talked to her about all my feelings, and with time eventually came around to revealing my obsessive thoughts to her. I was put on medication which personally has helped me a lot. However, it wasn’t the only thing that helped me. I had to practice mindfulness strategies as well as get frequent cognitive behavioural therapy. I was inspired a lot by an excellent book as well, known as ‘The Happiness Trap’.

What I have learnt, and can safely say is working beautifully for me these days is that all your thoughts should be addressed lightly. Being aggressive with your thoughts will not work because they will only come back stronger. The key is to accept the presence of your thoughts, whether they are awful or wonderful. Just say welcome.

If you accept them it doesn’t give them the ammunition to keep firing back; draining all your energy and affecting your daily function.

I’m not an expert, but this has worked for me, and it is a very commonly used strategy for working with obsessive thinking, depression and general anxiety etc.

 

This is the sort of stuff that I try to say to myself when an obsessive thought tries to piss me off”

 

Oh hello murderer thought, could you just wait in the back for me?

I then visualise the murderer thought sitting patiently at the back of my mind.

 

The reality is, these thoughts are likely to be with me for the rest of my life, but it doesn’t mean they have to consume me. Sure, I have some bad days, but usually I can cope and politely advise the thoughts to go somewhere quiet and come back later.

Interestingly enough, I’m not even that frightened anymore of what used to horrify me, because I know they are just thoughts. I always remind myself of that now when I get tangled up in doubt. This might sound corny, but I am pretty at peace with my mind at present so I basically treat all my thoughts as my friends.

I like to envisage all my thoughts, bizarre or not, having a nice little tea party up there.

 

Before I finish up this long ass post, I just want to remind you that this is not a happy ending kind of a story where I am no ‘scary thought free’, but I just wanted to share my experiences to people who might feel alone, and also just encourage them as I have found a really good way of coping. You can find a way too.

I will have bad days, and who knows in a few days or a few months I could become depressed and anxious again, but at present I am very satisfied with my life. If the dark days come again, I will know that I am prepared.

There is always a way to make things at least a little bit easier.