An Open Letter To Your Best Intentions

You talk about your bipolar and you tell me you understand what it’s like to live the way that I do, that there are ways to fix me. I don’t doubt that you do understand the bipolar aspects of my condition, I believe you when you say you can empathise with this small part of my disorder.

I think you do understand what it’s like to sink so deep into an indelible sadness that you can’t remember which way is up.

You understand what it’s like to be manic. To be reckless and invincible. To be high on your own chemical cocktail.

You understand what it’s like to misplace your capacity for empathy, for connection with another human soul, for guilt and morality, to become distant and cold with no provocation.

You understand what it’s like when your anxiety paralyses you and steals away your choices. When the idea of contact with another living being is too much to bear. When the world outside your walls feels too big and terrifying to face.

You understand what it’s like when basic questions (what do you want to eat, where do you want to go, how have you been, are you okay) may as well be asked in a foreign language about the principals of nuclear fusion.

And I too understand.

I understand that your ignorance is well meaning, that your desire to preach to me is a product of all your best intentions but please, for the love of God, don’t try to tell me that you know.

You don’t know what it was like the first time I watched the sky catch fire, when ash settled on my skin and in my hair and I tasted it on my tongue like toxic snowflakes.

You don’t know what it’s like to steer your grocery cart though an isle littered with corpses while generic pop music plays in the background and a mother scolds her child for sneaking candy into the cart.

You don’t know what it’s like to have to add an extra 20mins to the time it takes to do your make up in the morning for the days when your reflection won’t stop screaming long enough for you to do your lip liner.

You don’t know what it’s like to go to sleep freezing because you know that if you wake up to a heated room it will be to the smell of smoke and burnt flesh, to flames and terror so thick you can’t breathe.

You don’t know what it’s like to compulsively count your fingers and hope there’ll be more than 10 because you’re not dreaming, it’s not a dream, but you still can’t wake up.

You don’t know what it’s like to scream until your vocal chords bleed because your flailing limbs hit nothing but air but they still won’t let you go.

You don’t know what it’s like to watch your mother’s face melt away when she kisses your 8year old self goodnight. To be the monster clawing it’s way out from under the bed. To watch the clown masks on the wall laugh and laugh and laugh until you can’t remember a time when it wasn’t ringing in your ears.

You don’t know what it’s like to come to love someone who’s never existed.

You don’t know what it’s like to never escape the whispering.

You don’t know what it’s like to scream yourself awake night after night haunted by the sense memories of atrocities never committed.

You don’t know what it’s like to watch the road fall away into deep chasms of endless darkness in front of the car your loved one is driving.

You don’t know what it feels like for the grief to always be fresh because years can become hours in the space between heartbeats.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose days or weeks at a time. To misplace your memories. To not recognise your own face in mirrors and photographs.

You don’t know what it’s like to look at someone you loved the day before and see a stranger. To not know where you are in your own home. To forget your favourite colour, your favourite song.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose control of your body, to watch it move and speak and act without you.

You don’t know what it’s like to remember an emotion while completely disconnected from any capacity to actually feel it.

You don’t know what it’s like to feel the rain burn holes in your skin, to watch it sizzle and fall away in singed, bloody chunks leaving your bones brittle and bare and burning.

You don’t know what it’s like to be trapped inside your own body, incapable of speech or movement.

You don’t know what it’s like to slip into someone else with all the ease and frequency of slipping on a different dress. What it’s like to wait for the day when you slip down into the cracks between all the fractured pieces of your psyche.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose the ability to differentiate between reality and everything you can see and feel and hear and touch and taste. To not know if the horrors exist in your world as they do in the hellscape of mine.

You don’t know what it’s like to be afraid that one day everything you are will be swallowed by the nightmare you’re becoming.

You don’t know what it means to wake up afraid, each and every day of your life.

You don’t know what it means to quietly hope for the day that you don’t wake up.

Don’t tell me you understand what it means to live with my illness, all you know is what it means to live with yours.

Break Free

An incredible short film exploring gender roles, Trans, and what it’s like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo. This is a great look at becoming who you are, the shedding of societal expectation and the human embodiment of gender concepts. It’s powerful in it’s simplicity and a stunning window into a non-binary fluidity of gender.

Continue reading Break Free

Real Women (The Extended Edition)

Yesterday I wrote a short rant about this mass marketed idea of Real Women. You can find it directly beneath this one.

On it, I received a lovely comment from someone who agreed but then sort of went on to say basically the opposite. Now the last thing I want to do is discourage people from commenting, I love hearing from you guys, it totally makes my day! But this friendly, supportive comment actually made me unreasonable angry (for which I kinda feel like an asshole, sorry!) because all it did was miss my entire fucking point.

Continue reading Real Women (The Extended Edition)

Pro Infirmis (because who is perfect?)

This is awesome. Seriously, just watch it.

This campaign was devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled. Entitled “Because who is perfect? Get closer“, it is designed to provoke reflection on the acceptance of people with disabilities.

Director Alain Gsponer has captured the campaign as a short film.

The figures are life-sized, three-dimensional representations of Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner, radio presenter and film critic Alex Oberholzer, track and field athlete Urs Kolly, blogger Nadja Schmid and actor Erwin Aljukic.

“We often go chasing after ideals instead of accepting life in all its diversity. Pro Infirmis strives especially for the acceptance of disability and the inclusion of people with disabilities,” – Mark Zumbühl, a member of the Pro Infirmis Executive Board, in describing the campaign.

50 Reasons Why I Am A Feminist.

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I was asked pretty recently why I’m a feminist, and, while I was staring at the asker in confusion (because shouldn’t it be obvious?), the question was immediately followed by “I mean, women can vote and shit, isn’t the whole equal rights thing sorta handled?”

I was absolutely stunned… Women can vote and shit. Because obviously that is the be all and end all of equal rights, we can vote! What else could we possibly want? I literally face-palmed so hard I’m surprised I didn’t leave an actual handprint.

So, to make up for being too shocked to give a concise answer, here, in no particular order, are fifty reasons…

Continue reading 50 Reasons Why I Am A Feminist.