The Establishment

Recently, all of my social media outlets have been full of political posts, mainly generated by the inauguration of Donald Trump. For the most part, I am delighted at the reaction. So many people had become numb to political news. But the past year or so has triggered an incredible response. Why? Because of the amount of shit that has accumulated.

Brexit, ISIS, refugees and migrants, rising of political groups such as Black Lives Matter and feminism, the increase of racism, inauguration of Donald Trump, triumph of the Conservatives in the general election, the appointment of Teresa May, rights of LGBTQIA especially trans awareness, media coverage of hate crimes…

I could go on. Yet, this political climate has assembled a fever where it has reached nearly everyone, whether they are interested in politics or not. The international protests that took place for the rights of women last week was exceptional and heart-warming. This is the response of a society that has become tired of their repressed rights. Rights that should be available by birth.

However, as important as it is, I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump. It’s all well and fine making memes and listing everything that he’s done wrong on Facebook but it’s not enough. People ask me about my opinion on the Presidency and on Brexit and are surprised when I divert the topic.

Why?

Because this isn’t the time for talking. It’s the time for action. Yes, talking is a vital process in communicating our opinions and beliefs, to understand one another, but all people want to do is talk. No matter how angry they are, the best some can do is to share a post online or mention how much they are annoyed. People have become stuck in this idea that ‘this is the way it is’ and nothing we can do stops that.

Well, no. If you believe that life will always be this way then it will be because you never did anything to stop it. There is so much we can do. Peaceful protests can be a wonderful platform in numerous ways, still I feel that it is not enough. Not now.

So many events have spiralled out of control and people are angry. More than branding a witty sign needs to be done. Now is the right time to do it. A vast majority of the population are angry or dissatisfied in many ways, but are hesitant to actually do something to change it. Think of what could happen if we rallied together in more than a protest.

Social media is an important advantage in this process, particularly Twitter. It is fast-paced and relevant. People can share opinions, videos, photos, and facts, all in a short time period. This is an extraordinary way of sharing what is happening right now. It’s a way for people to communicate as they haven’t before.

Perhaps this will be an unpopular opinion but I stand by this. I stand behind protests and discussion, except we need more than this. All of this anger for injustice can be used in positive ways, but I fear it will eventually fade and people will return to their indifference. Our rights are more than a shared post.

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Pansexuality

This is a situation that I’ve always debated not only writing, but being honest, on. All of my friends know and a few of my family members, yet as much as I don’t have to do this, I feel like the time has come where I need to.

I am pansexual.

What is pansexuality, you ask? Well, here’s the time to educate you.

No, I am not attracted to pans. Very funny and original joke. Never heard that one before. My response is usually that you can use anything if you’re brave enough. So to help educate all you new experts of sexuality, let me give you a hand. Here’s a few helpful definitions for future use.

Heterosexual: This is what most people are aware of. This is when a man and woman are both attracted to the opposite sex. So what some people think of as ‘normal’.

Homosexuality (Gay or Lesbian): When someone is attracted to someone of the same sex. This could be also referred to as gay or lesbian.

Wlw/mlm: a term for ‘women like women’ or ‘men like men’. This is another way of saying you’re homosexual, but some people now find gay terms offensive and would prefer to use this. So if you ever hear or see someone refer to themselves as this, this is what it means.

Bisexual: When someone is attracted to the two biological sexes- men and women.

Pansexual: When someone is attracted to all recognised genders, e.g. males, females, gender-fluid, asexual, gender neutral, etc…

Asexual: Someone who has romantic feelings towards someone but is not sexually attracted. Usually, asexuals never feel sexual attraction.

These are the most common and recognised terms for sexuality. Now, this doesn’t cover gender or all sexualities and you might want to look that up too, for your own and other people’s sake. Especially all you old ‘ens.

Note: Transgender people are only one sex and should be treated as such, not an in-between. So don’t be rude and think they don’t count in any of these. When it comes to pansexuality, transgender individuals are assumed to be out of the biological category of men and women. But this is a load of bollocks. As previously said, they are either men or women. So why they wouldn’t count is beyond me.

So, now that is all out in the open. There are a few things I would like to say.

First of all, a lot of people won’t be surprised. I have been labelled as a ‘tomboy’ and ‘masculine’ before, but I’ve also been labelled ‘girly’, so really none of these apply. It means nothing. It doesn’t define me nor my sexuality.

Next, don’t ever ask me if I’ve ever been with a girl as soon as you find out. Being with another gender besides male does not validate my sexuality. It was already valid. Thank you.

I’ve known since I was about fourteen, thank you for asking. A frequently asked question and one I don’t really care for asking. I mean, when did you know you were straight? It must be really hard to come to terms with. Have you told your parents yet? Really…

Just because I’ve never had a serious relationship, doesn’t make me a lesbian. I don’t know where that social concept came from. It’s ridiculous.

Just because I am attracted to more than just men, it doesn’t mean I have to have an equal balance of whoever in my life. People can have a preference towards a certain sex and that doesn’t make their sexuality any less valid. This applies to me too.

So, thank you for taking the time to read this. I would like to think I felt better for getting it out in the open, but in all honesty, it doesn’t matter. Because I’ll still be the same person next time you see me.

Get Your Gender Roles Off My Lawn

My brother recently came back from Respite. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a place disabled children can go for a certain amount of time so family can have a break from caring. So literally, they can have respite.

So, Harry came back yesterday and told me excitedly that he had worn his Frozen socks at Respite. Harry is a big fan of Disney and the Frozen film, so last Christmas I had bought him a pack of Frozen socks from H&M. They were pink and blue with frills at the top and small pictures of Anna and Elsa. He loved them. Naturally, he was going to show his socks to his carers. He thought it was exciting.

And what did they say? He shouldn’t be wearing them because they are girl’s socks.

How dare you! They are not girl’s socks. They are his. He wears them and he is a boy, so it is boys clothing. Even if you don’t need me to clarify, who cares? He can wear what he damn well wants to.

I was absolutely fuming when I found out. Harry spent the next five minutes questioning me whether he should be wearing them. If I ever hear they’ve said anything like that, I will complain because he loves those socks and suddenly he’s unsure whether he should wear them. And this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Harry used to have a Frozen lunch box. It was purple with a picture of Anna and Elsa. Tom didn’t have one; he had a Monsters Inc. lunchbox because that’s what he wanted. Whatever my brother’s want, I will get them. In summer play scheme, one of the carers came to me and told me he had taken someone else’s lunchbox and they had told him off for it. It didn’t sound like Harry and she passed me his Frozen lunchbox.

Well, for starters, it has his name on it. So that kind of gave it away immediately. Secondly, why is it unbelievable that he has that? He’s allowed to like Disney and to listen to the music but as soon as there’s tangible evidence he likes something classed as ‘girly’, it’s not right. I haven’t got time for this. Why do some people find it hard to believe that he can have princess merchandise? He’s even recently got a sparkly, pink seashell cushion because it reminds him of The Little Mermaid. He also wants a big summer hat from H&M and he likes to wear my heels.

I don’t want anybody reinforcing gender roles on my brother and they shouldn’t feel the need to. Why can’t someone enjoy what they want to?

Mental Illness is not Fashionable

I’d like to think the title is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, I’ve seen this message spanning across all types of social media and I’m glad to see that people are able to receive this message. Yet I don’t think it’s being drilled in enough as it should be.

There are people still out there with the silly notion that having a mental illness will lead to something more, whether it be your personality, your creativity, or even your social life. That having a mental illness makes you interesting. People still don’t understand the debilitating effect mental illness can have on you in all aspects.

I don’t think it is understood that feeling of being up for hours trying to sleep. That feeling of not remembering when you last fell asleep without crying or worrying incessantly about every aspect of your life, even more so that time you may have said something embarrassing several years ago. Or the few hours’ sleep you do get, how exhausted you are when you wake. Is there anything smart about that?

Or how about when your relationships come under strain? You start to question whether any of them are your friends at all. When you want to spend all your time alone, why would you want to go out and meet with friends? Then if you do go out, you get overwhelmed, anxiety-ridden, and even have a panic attack. If you’re lucky, you have friends who understand and try to work through this with you. If you’re not, you have friends that grow frustrated, question whether there really is something wrong, forget, mock, or just don’t bother with you. Because that’s something that everyone wants, isn’t it?

There’s nothing romantic about panic attacks. There’s nothing romantic about cutting yourself to feel pain. There’s nothing romantic about sticking your fingers down your throat and feeling your throat burn for days after. And there is nothing romantic about wanting to die.

People can question you and most of all, you question yourself. Your whole existence is one big question mark. Your self-esteem is at your lowest and you’re too stupid, too fat, too annoying, too ugly. No caring, quirky, metaphorical white boy is there to turn around and be there for you always. John Green lied. And you’re lying to yourself.

There was nothing amazing about sitting in the bathroom, trying not to let people hear me cry for hours, or the long scratch marks across my legs and forearms. There was nothing glamorous about leaning over the toilet and emptying my stomach until it ached. There was nothing inspiring by the way I didn’t move for hours on end and my mind and emotions were a complete blank.

So it’s time to stop pretending you have something wrong with you, whether through attention or ignorance. People like to protest mental illness when it suits them and they don’t want to do their homework, but when it’s a real crippling illness, people suddenly aren’t as interested. I mean, who cares about people who are mentally disturbed? Right?

Be kinder to those who struggle and educate yourself. People with mental illness don’t need you ignoring them when they’re trying to ignore themselves. Mental illness is not a fashion accessory but a real issue. So starting treating it as such.

Question Time

Hello, all.

Recently, I’ve been wondering whether I should do blog posts where I answer people’s questions. These questions will be centred around the blog and questions they may have about Asperger’s, mental illness, any of my posts, and anything that is related to things I may have an interest in (feminism and socialism being a couple).

If you wouldn’t mind, I would like some feedback on this idea and if you would consider sending questions. Of course I can’t figure out how to post questions anonymously so it would have to be sent through social media to me or my mother.

Please don’t be shy and tell me what you think.

To Be or Not to Be

That is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.

……

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? 

This is a rather obvious choice when it comes to famous quotations about suicide or the contemplation of life and death, but I think it’s still worth using. Mainly because it is still applicable in any age, despite it being in Elizabethan language.

I went to see Hamlet today. I do enjoy going to the theatre and I enjoy Shakespeare’s works. Obviously, there wasn’t much of a choice of whether I was going to see it or not- I was going. I am familiar with this monologue and other famous quotations from Hamlet and I am aware of the issues it raises in this. Mainly, I am aware of the flickering nature of contemplative suicide from Hamlet throughout the play.

Those moments were very poignant to me and actually made me very uncomfortable. Why? Because I myself have considered whether life is really worth living.

In one way or another, I guess everybody does. Sometimes you wonder about what it would be like if you weren’t there anymore or if you hadn’t been born, or even what the purpose of life is. More importantly, what is the purpose of your life? I thought about this a lot. I thought about whether I wanted to continue living a life where I wasn’t happy. A part of me told me I was being ungrateful. I had a place to live in, regular meals and a supporting network of family and friends. But I still wasn’t happy.

What is great about this, even though Shakespeare tends to concentrate on nobler characters anyway, is that Hamlet is not unfortunate in terms of his background. He obviously had friends and a loving family. He is a prince and evidently has education. I guess you can say his father was murdered but apart from that, you generally wouldn’t associate him with someone who is suicidal. And that’s what’s so great about that. You don’t have to be the poorest and most miserable person on Earth for you to want to stop living. Sometimes life just isn’t for some people.

At the time, I didn’t think life was for me.

I saw life and I wanted to live it, to love it. But I couldn’t. I saw these happy endings and beautiful places and amazing adventures and they never quite added up to me. I would never have those. What would I have? What if I didn’t have anything? What would I get out of life? I probably wasn’t going to get anywhere. You can find happiness, beauty and chance in anything. But can you? I had a lifetime to live my life but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to. Sometimes I would curl up in bed and lie there for as long as I could. Maybe if I told myself I wanted to live then I might believe it.

It’s a strange thing to explain. Some people can’t understand why someone would want to end their life. What would you say? For many reasons or for none at all…. It can be just a feeling and there be no reason.

You could come up with a list for wanting to live and another for wanting to die. Morbid, perhaps, but true. It wasn’t the fact that I wanted to die either. I just didn’t want to feel that way anymore. My feelings were the equivalent of watching paint dry. I hardly ever felt anything and when I did, I was sad or angry. No positive emotions there. That’s why sleeping seemed like such a good idea, because you’re not conscious and you don’t have to feel or think anything else. Eternal sleep sounds like a very good idea.

This is where Hamlet hits the mark again:

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me.

And for those who feel that way, they should never feel alone. I would highly encourage you to speak or communicate with someone about your problems, particularly in whatever way is comfortable for you. Or these can be helpful too.

Samaritans: 116 123

Childline: 0800 1111

PAPYRUS: 0800 068 41 41

Depression Alliance

Students Against Depression

Bullying UK

Please contact any of these if you do. It may seem like a cliché but life does get better.

To That Girl

I really need to get this out so here goes.

These past two weeks have been full of high school drama, and in all honesty, I didn’t come to university for this. There are a few things that I’d like to point out.

Honey, you don’t own me. My body and my actions belong to nobody but me. That rule applies to every single person so please don’t think otherwise. I can do what I want. Also, I owe you nothing for being nice to you. Please don’t mistake that for flirting. I am not flirting with you and I don’t know how many times I have to reiterate this.

I honestly have no words. You know when you’re in a situation and you have tried every way possible to get out but you’re still stuck there? What the hell are you meant to do next? I don’t know what else I’m meant to do to make it any clearer. I’ve told you I have anxiety issues, that I don’t like to be touched, that I need space and I’m still getting message after message. When I’ve blocked every form of contact, I get knocks on the door at 4am. Honestly, I’m trying to sleep.

No, I don’t want you to come into my personal space. Yes, we are just friends. I don’t know how to make it any clearer after the thousandth time of saying so. I’ve said it nicely. I’ve said it horribly. Literally, the only thing is left is to kill that person……. But I can’t do that. As far as I’m aware.

Just please, for the love of God, leave me alone. I’m really starting to lose it. I’ve been very calm since I’ve been here and I’ve been annoyed a few times but this is really starting to make me angry. I don’t want to be like that. I came here to make friends and study a subject I’m interested in. Not worry about how I’m going to have to avoid awkward situations.

I don’t know how else to make this any clearer. Just leave me alone. Thank you.

THANK YOU

I wasn’t going to write another post until tomorrow but first, I want to say an absolute, heartfelt thank you for everyone who read my post. In all honesty, I only expected about five people at most to read it. Anything past that was overwhelming. Not to mention the amount of positive feedback and the people who personally messaged me afterwards.

There aren’t many representations of people with Asperger’s, unless you really look for them. Trust me, I would know. But to all those who have a similar condition or were just glad to have an insight into the life of those with Asperger’s, I’m glad you finally saw something that perhaps made it a little clearer to you.

Hopefully, I will continue to inspire and inform with my posts, and I hope you do all keep reading. Mostly, I hope you all have a lovely day and God bless.