Thursday, 22 September 2011

Just a little update,

which was supposed to be written last night, but the internet decided to fail again. It seems to happen mostly when the wind picks up, and there's been a lot of wind recently.

But anyway, after a bit of nagging and emotional bribery (not blackmail this time - I'm getting better), my parents have allowed me to go clubbing on saturday - yippee! My Dad's going to give me a lift into town and get some shopping once I've met my friends. I'll have to watch Doctor Who on i-player. We would record it, but the recorder's been acting weird ever since the switch-over, and we're not buying a new one because my parents prefer to save as much money as possible. (Honestly, are they expecting a meteor to hit the house?)

I've listened to Invaders Must Die now. I enjoyed listening to it, but it's not made it onto my favourites yet. I danced with Pete some of the time; he likes it too, but a little less than I do. Susan didn't enjoy it at all, and Liam ran for the hills as soon as the guitar came in on the first track. Poor thing, I could hear him trying to bury himself under his blanket.

I think I'll treat it like I do my small collection of classical music. It's nice background music, but I won't miss it if it isn't played for a while.

Something funny happened in English today. We were working on our folio pieces when the door opened and a green parakeet flew in. It flew around the classroom a couple of times, stole a hat that I didn't even know I was wearing, and flew out again, the door slamming shut behind it. I've not told anyone about it (except for you guys), and I usually keep these things to myself, but I realised this blog was portraying a picture of me with very regular characters as my hallucinations. That's not the truth. Yeah, Pete hangs out with me on a mostly daily basis, and Susan is pretty hard to get rid of (especially since she's started appearing more often), and Liam's pretty much a constant, but there are a lot of hallucinations that I don't talk about. Some of them hang out with me for a few days then leave. Some of them only last a few seconds, like that parakeet earlier. Some of them are more permanent, but don't stay long when they do appear (Brainy Smurf is the most common of these, and by far the most annoying).

Nowadays I can usually tell if something's real or not by looking at the people around me and judging by their reactions if they can see it too. Sometimes it's more difficult, though. If nobody's there, or if they're distracted by something else, then I have to judge it by circumstance. Luckily this has never happened to me, but one of my biggest fears is that I'll start talking to someone in public, and everybody else sees me talking to thin air.

Anyway, I don't know how this post got so long, but if I don't stop now I'll keep on rambling. Ciao for now, dudes!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A lot can change in two days ...

Please disregard my last post. I think I'll be leaving Hybrid Theory alone for a while, and from now on I'm making sure Susan sticks to her half of the brain.

There are a few things I'd like to talk about, so be warned - it's likely to be a long post.

I managed to get back into college on Monday. I had a bit of a dry throat and I was still producing more mucus than usual, but I was feeling a lot better than at the end of last week. Filling in the self-certification form was fun. One of the questions was why I was absent, and said that I must include more detail than just saying I was ill. I can't remember everything I put down, but I remember thinking "Is that enough detail for you, Mr. Form?".

I gave A back her cd, and she lent me the next one. More about that later though. B also lent me a cd; Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. I haven't listened to it yet, but I will have by tomorrow night (probably).

Me and B share an afternoon class on Tuesday, and A has classes in the morning, so usually B and I will get there an hour early and we all have lunch together. Today there was somebody with A. She said to us "Have you met C?" by way of introduction. Me, B and C started laughing. As it turns out, C is in our English class. He seems like a nice guy. He always wears the best t-shirts. I'm ashamed to say I felt a bit alarmed, but after a quick conversation with A, she reassured me she hadn't told him about my hallucinations.

And I don't know how it happened, but my friends have convinced me to go clubbing with them on Saturday. I've still to clear it with my parents, but I'll probably talk to them over supper.

In response to my last post, I don't mind waiting. I've decided to take the longer, easier path. It's not like I'm not already getting stronger, and this way there's not that massive risk of complete rejection. I might test the water at some point, though. I'm not sure how yet, but given the subject matter of the novel we're studying for English, I'm sure an opportunity will show itself.

So, on to A Thousand Suns. The first listen was ... chilling, to say the least. Images of a multi-armed "death" figure, themes of apocalypse, suffering, and ultimately resolution. There was a lot in the album that could relate to, um, "current events". Some of it was about large-scale chaos and destruction, some of was about more everyday struggles. I recognised "Iridescent" from the Transformers film. (To be honest, I think the way I would have paired the songs and films would have been 1. Iridescent, 2. What I've Done, and 3. New Divide, but Time doesn't seem to appreciate art.)

I would definitely recommend the album to anyone who had gone through tough times, whether recent or not so recent. As with other Linkin Park albums, it recognises the struggle. But this one also gives hope. And not just a vague "it might get better in time", it's a definite "you will heal if you just give yourself the chance".

As I've mentioned, some of the imagery reminded me of that faceless monstrosity that's taken it upon himself to ruin everybod's lives. In fact, a large portion of the album resonated with the kind of things we're seeing at the moment, and what might lie in the future of this world. It was almost scary, how closely it seemed to match up. That said, there are other, more publicised, current events that it probably corresponds to. But one of the things about music (and art in general) is that it can take on different contexts depending on who views it.

Anyway, it's getting near supper time. See you all tomorrow, maybe.

Edit: Oh, you might have noticed a change in the layout. I got bored yesterday during a break, so I decided to log on to one of the computers and muck about. That might sound bad, but it's not any worse than what the other students (well, I assume they were students) were doing. Most of them were on Facebook!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Rock, Scissors, Paper

Looking back, a lot has changed in the past two weeks. I'm still the same person, but my natural suspiscion (although still very strong) has lessened slightly. I'm learning to relax and trust people that I wouldn't before. I even talked a little to my work-fellows yesterday. It's strange. I used to think that I couldn't trust anyone. It was too risky. They might hate me, or taunt me, or even physically attack me. I'm beginning to wonder if I've misjudged everyone. Things seem so different to how they were five years ago. I can't even begin to tell you some of the ways I've changed.

But then, I still remember the pain. The way it hurt every time somebody said I was "weird", or the uncomfortable looks in their faces whenever I tried to talk to them. The overpowering sense of helplessness and alienation whenever the crowd decided to taunt me. It's wasn't my fault I was different. Sometimes I felt like I should belong somewhere else, because I clearly didn't fit into this world. Could society have really changed so much in that time?

It's why I try to hide myself. If people see something they don't understand then they fear it. The fear then turns to violence. The media has told society that if a person is insane they should be locked up, for their own protection and others'. Everybody just wants to live a normal life, and they can't if there's someone who doesn't fit the mold disrupting the pattern of the day.

But now I've met people who aren't afraid of me. They aren't uncomfortable around me. They think I'm cool to be around. It was so improbable that the only two people I talked to would be the ones most likely to accept me as I am. Perhaps it's not so improbable, though. Maybe everyone's like that nowadays. Maybe I've been living in fear for too long. Maybe it's time I learned to let go of my paranoia and trust those around me.

But there's so much that could go wrong. This is my only real chance to get the qualifications I need to further my education. If I let everyone see who I am, and if they reject me, I won't be able to continue. Something I've noticed in society is that a group consciousness always follows the same patterns. As time continues, the group will see me less and less as part of itself, and it will notice more of the differences that seperate us. Like a positive-feedback loop, the situation will grow exponentially worse until the group can tolerate me no longer and I am pushed out. It's happened to me so many times before. Even among weirdos I'm considered weird.

But if I tell them, and they do accept me, I won't have to worry about hiding myself. I can be myself, and I won't be hated for it. I'll have the love and support of a large group of people, and it'll give me the confidence to face life without fear. I won't have to care about what people think of me, because I'll know that it's not the whole world that's against me.

It's hard. To be truthful, it's tearing me apart a little. I have to think about the future. How will my experiences shape me? What consequences will my actions have? Will there ever be a place outside this house that I truly, completely, belong?

Is it worth the risk (and the cost) of rejection to try to join the community?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Internet, why do you hate me?

I've still got remenants of the flu. My nose isn't so runny anymore, but my joints still ache slightly. I managed into work today. I wasn't feeling 100%, but I think getting out of the house helped. It's not like stacking shelves is particularly strenuous, anyway.

I didn't make it into college yesterday, though. And on top of that, the internet broke again, so I couldn't email my lecturers. I suppose it doesn't really matter, since they'll be able to work out what happened, but I don't like being so unprofessional. I also don't feel right having borrowed A's CD for so long. When we were texting each other yesterday she said not to worry about it, but I can't help but feel I'm not trying hard enough. I've missed a good few days of course work too. I'm sure I'll be able to catch up, but something feels wrong. Like I'm disobeying the system or something. I don't know, maybe I'm too focussed on trying to fit in. It's just that I had this plan in my head. I would start college, pretend to be normal so I could go unnoticed, and make sure I went to every single class so I wouldn't need help.

Hopefully Doctor Who will cheer me up. I loved the whole of the first part of the series, even if the Silence were a little ... sinister. (I wonder if Steven Moffat has had any exposure to Mr. Tall, even just on a subconscious level.) I liked the opening for the second half, but the rest of the episodes so far haven't really met my expectations. Maybe this one will be a little more impressive. I hear David Walliams is going to be in it. I like David Walliams. I haven't seen a lot of his stuff, but I admire him as a person. He actually contributes actively to society, rather than just passively. I wish more people were like that. Maybe it's a combination of apathy and laziness that means essentially "good" people don't do more to change the things that bother them.

I wonder if I have an excuse. Maybe when I'm older I'll have learned more about how to interact with people. Right now I just want to keep my head down and not attract attention. To tell you the truth, I'm still not sure quite how my brain works, and how different it is to the way other people see things. I suppose I could ask my Mum, but I don't want to cause her any more worried. She's already stressed as it is, what with her workload increasing, and I think she worries about how I cope with college. When I told her about my new friends, even though she was saying lots of positive things, she had a look somewhere behind her eyes that she wasn't completely at ease. Dad doesn't seem to pick up on it like I do, but he knows she's stressed and he's been doing his best to let her relax.

On an unrelated subject, he knows about my blog now. He hasn't had a look at it (thank goodness!) and as far as I know he hasn't told Mum about it. I had a conversation with him yesterday while Mum was at work. I could give you the gist of what it was about, but my brain hurts a little and I'm watching the time, so I think a transcript will be simpler:

Me (shouting croaking at the router): "Why won't you work? I need internet!"
Dad (coming over): "What's the problem?"
Me: "The internet's down and it's not coming back. I need to email my lecturers to let them know I won't be in."
Dad: "Why don't you just text one of your friends and ask them to tell the lecturers?"
Me: *glares*
Dad: "Okay, okay. I know you're not an idiot."
Me: *goes into huff mode* "You act like it sometimes."
Dad: *hugs me* "You know I don't mean to upset you." -beat- "I heard you typing the other night. Are you writing another story?"
Me: "No."
Dad: "What, then?"
Me: "I've started a blog."
Dad (looking slightly confused): "As in one of those online diary things where you talk about what's going on in your life?"
Me: "Yep."
Dad: "Why?"
Me: "I started a month or two ago, before I started college. I was already following a few of them and I thought it would be a good idea to practice talking about myself before I had to introduce myself to new people."
Dad: "So you've been talking to strangers then?"
Me: "Relax. I make sure I don't include any personal information. I haven't even told them my real second name."
Dad: "And you're sure nobody can track you down?"
Me: "Positive."
Dad: "Good. Have you actually talked to anyone?"
Me: "Just a few people. And not very often."

[This is where I took a break to watch Doctor Who. I was impressed. And I'm glad they mentioned the Nimon. But might talk about that later. Afterwards I got caught up in family stuff. (Just normal things like conversation and "Aren't you going to watch Confidential?", so no need to worry.)]

But the rest of the conversation was pretty much me reassuring him that nobody knows who I am, where I am, where I might be etc.. And he was amused when he asked me what I'd said my second name was, and I told him "Gordon".

Oh and by the way, I just thought I'd let you know that the transcript won't be completely accurate because it's from memory, and I've even changed a few details for security's sake.

[Urgh. Got distracted by a new game. Maybe I'll just call it a night. Bad things happened the last time I stayed up late blogging.]

Goodnight everyone!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


I wasn't at college today. When I got home last night I felt so ill that I went straight to bed. But then I woke up in the middle of the night (feeling so nauseous I nearly vomited a couple of times) with a crushing headache and a runny nose that took one and a half boxes of soft tissues to clean up. (I mention they were soft because despite that fact my nose is now redder than Rudolph's.)

I woke up again about half-seven this morning, so I texted A and B to let them know I wasn't going to make it in. B is back now (she wasn't in yesterday - grr!). I'm not sure when I'll be back though. I think it's some sort of flu thing. My joints are aching as if I've spent the past two hours on a trampoline. My Dad's been bringing me hot lemon and honey drinks through the day, and since I've been too sore to sit up or hold up a book, Pete's been reading to me.

He's been having fun with the different characters, giving them different voices. He's always been good at accents. But the thing I've found with Irish-American accents (at least the ones on the telly) is that they don't sound very different from a Scottish accent. Oh, that reminds me. The book he's been reading me is the one I'm going to be studying in English. And the book is ... *drumroll* One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

As if English wasn't anxiety-provoking enough for me. But you never know, my classmates might actually be as accepting of me as A and B have been. Maybe I've just been living in a pocket of the country that's much worse than average. But I can't know that until I challenge them. I suppose that's the handicap with being different - you never know where you're safe until you test it.

I managed to make it over to the computer a few hours ago. (At least I think I've been here a few hours. Maybe I'll ask Dad.) I've emailed my lecturers to tell them why I wasn't in (though A and B will probably have let them know) and why I couldn't contact them sooner. I hope I'll be back by Friday. Not just for the work I'd be missing, but also because I can't wait to listen to that last Linkin Park album. When I told A how much I loved Minutes To Midnight she said "Just wait till you hear A Thousand Suns!", so I've got pretty high expectations for it.

Anyway, I hear the oven buzzer going. I couldn't face dinner earlier, but Dad went out and bought some fritters. Gosh, they smell delicious! See you later! (Or rather, type to you later, as I doubt I'll ever be seeing anyone who's read this.)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Music ... continued

The winds were pretty strong today. In fact they're still pretty strong just now. It made the bus journeys pretty scary. At least it isn't as bad as it was in May. Those were some seriously strong winds - and I had an exam that day! At least my Dad gave me a lift and I didn't have to brave the double-deckers that time.

But anyway, A gave me Minutes To Midnight today. She said she'd give me the next one on wednesday, so I can have a chance to listen to them both properly. I must say, I like this album even better than the other two! Even Pete likes one or two of the songs. And I recognised What I've Done from Transformers. It's strange how they speed up songs for films. I wish they wouldn't. It's very annoying to hear something in a key that's a tone higher than it should be.

B wasn't at college today. She texted us to tell us she wouldn't be in, so I've scanned a copy of my Maths and Physics notes for her (A said I've got better handwriting, so I should do it). Apparently she's got a cold. I feel like I might be coming down with something too. I've heard that bugs and viruses are pretty common around here. It's probably because the cantine is the only place to hang out indoors (unless you want to sit in the corridors and block everyone's way and get a sore bottom and buy overpriced snacks and drinks from the Coca Cola vending machines). So I've been taking echinacea and making sure I'm armed with anti-bac in case of emergencies.

I hope B will be in tomorrow. I don't want to have to face English alone. The lecturer seems to like me, and I feel embarassed when I have to speak out in class. He made me read out a story I'd written for homework and now everybody seems to think I'm good at writing. I know that probably sounds like a good thing on your end (whoever you are), but if people start asking me for advice I'll be forced to talk to them. And if we start talking then they might try and make friends with me, and I really don't like revealing much about myself unless I trust people. (Goodness knows why I trust whoever might be reading this, but I reckon if people don't like me they can just go to a different page, and they aren't obligated to give me an answer like I was sitting next to them.)

I think I'll stop writing now. I'm just rambling and getting myself worked up, and I should go to bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


So A, B and I (ooh, I like that - I shall try and use it again) were talking about music, and I admitted that I haven't been the most educated person in that respect. So A showed me a couple of songs on her mp3 player, then decided to lend me some CDs over the weekend.

The two she lent me are called Hybrid Theory and Meteora. They're both by a band called Linkin Park. Something funny: when she let me listen to one of their songs, I thought I recognised the singer's voice. Sure enough, they're the band that sang on the new Transformers films. That's partly why she decided to lend me that band first. A said she'll lend me the next two albums tomorrow (Monday), and B says if I like Linkin Park, she'll show me a band called the Prodigy (I think that's how you spell it?).

So far, I think I like them. They're quite electronic compared to most rock music I've heard on the telly, which I like about them. I've always liked computery bleeps and distorted noise. I was pleasantly surprised by their lyrics. Most of the songs I've heard on televisions or in shops have been about being sad about the hot partner you just lost, or how great it is to be "popular" with the opposite sex, or throwing your future out the window so you can "live in the moment". Linkin Park's songs seem to be more about the inner struggles that a lot of us have to face. Even when they write songs about relationships, it's not the soppy "I know this person is right for me because they are so beautiful but I will never be as good as them so I may as well go cry in a corner" cliche, it's about the more complicated kind of relationships; the ones that subtly both people from within, the ones where someone is taking advantage of the other's personality or emotions, the ones where the other person doesn't actually care about you at all. All in all, it's about the kind of people that mainstream society forgets about. The "broken" people, or the "weirdos", the ones that don't fit in. A says this music helped her through some tough times. I can see why. Sometimes, just knowing there's people out there who are facing similar struggles can help you to stay strong and keep fighting.

Another thing I like about these albums is that each song has its own sound. The music seems to fit the mood perfectly each time. One of my favourite songs so far has to be "With You". The emotions are so powerful, and that introduction is just amazing! "Crawling" and "Somewhere I Belong" both resonate with me very strongly, so I think I might try and avoid listening to those ones too much.

Poor Pete can't stand this sort of music, and insists I wear headphones or turn it off when he's around. Liam doesn't seem to mind. He's been acting normally, except that he seemed curious at the new noises coming from my speakers. Susan absolutely loves it. I've actually had to ban her from singing the lyrics when she's around. What's strange is she can hear it even when I've got the headphones in, whereas Pete can't. I'm not going to even try to explain why that happens.

Anyway, it's past my bedtime (I took way longer than I should have over this post), so I'll have to say good night. Ciao!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

College and ... friends??

I started college two weeks ago. It was a little nerve-wracking, being among people again, but I've been watching how the other shop employees interact for a few months now, so that lessened the worry a bit. My Dad gave me some generic advice about "being myself" and "not feeling I have to make friends straight away" and all that. My Mum was a little more helpful, teaching me about tact and appropriate conversation topics. Her manner made me a little uncomfortable though. She seemed to be worried about me. I suppose it's reasonable. The last time I was in a learning environment I only lasted a matter of weeks. This'll be different though. I've grown up (a little) and college is a much more mature environment than school.

It took me a while to get used to calling my lecturers by their first names. I'm used to addressing people  (especially adults) by their title and second name. It feels nice though, makes them seem more approachable.

So anyway, the induction day was the week before I started. I was a little nervous that I might have to talk to people, but they crowded us into this tiny lecture room and nobody was talking to each other. Some of the lecturers stood at the front and introduced themselves. They told us a bit about the course (shouldn't we have already known that?), what to expect from "the college experience", and some general rules and guidelines. Then I had to wait about an hour to get my student card, because they decided they were going to take everybody's pictures one at a time in one mass photo-taking operation. Once I finally had my card I was taken on a very short tour of the college with a few other students. Then I was free to go home, and I stopped in town to get a bus card on my way back.

Day one was pretty uneventful. Apart from having to get up at half-past-five in the morning, everything went great. There were the inevitable ice-breakers at the end of each class, but I managed to keep my cool. I think I even got quite good at it by the end of the day. Something I've noticed is that my class-mates don't seem to change much from subject to subject. It's strange. I didn't think there would be that many young people who are interested in sciences. Of course, not all of them are young. I think the oldest person in my class is nearly forty. He said he's looking to change careers. Good luck to him. Given the current economic climate it must be hard for people to give up a stable job to go back into education.

Something I knew I'd be good at was Maths. Before my Mum decided to become a psychiatrist, she was training to become a Maths teacher, or so I'm told. She's still really enthusiastic about it, though, and I think I might have picked it up from her when I was young. As far as I can remember I've loved Maths. But anyway, back on subject. I keep finishing early in Maths. The lecturer has some extra problems, but I keep finishing them as well, so he just lets me do my own (quiet) thing once I'm done.

The first time it happened, I started drawing a picture of the eleventh Doctor being chased by a Slitheen, which was in turn being chased by a Dalek. But then, I saw Pete at the door, watching me. I checked to see no one was looking and I beckoned him in. So he sat down next to me and started talking. I couldn't talk to him, for obvious reasons, so I just wrote my responses and rubbed them out. I tried to be quiet, but sometimes I just had to chuckle. That's what we've been doing ever since.Whenever I have Maths, he comes along near the end and we have a little conversation.

Among my regular classmates there's two other girls who, for lack of a better term, are a little less conventional than most. They sought each other out and immediately started getting along, and then they started talking to me as well. It was a relief to me that I wouldn't have to go find someone and initiate first contact. They're pretty cool people. I won't tell you their names, but I'll call one A and one B. A likes alternative rock and metal. She's also a massive fan of Doctor Who, so we've got something in common there. She's got light blue hair, and wears sort of gothic clothing. B is a fan of techno and dubstep and stuff like that (which I don't personally mind, but I prefer music with more context), and she's really into comic books sorry, graphic novels. She's even recommended a few good ones to me. I'll maybe try to track them down if I get some spare time. (She borrows hers from her local library, which is why she can't lend me any.) B's hair is a violent shade of purple, and is very long indeed. I asked her if it was expensive to get her hair done like that. She told me she has a cranberry bush in her garden and she mixes the berry juice with some red cabbage water and uses that as hair dye. She may have been winding me up.

And we all love Star Wars! Only we all love different things about the series, so we never run out of things to discuss.

But anyway, yesterday, something amazing happened. On Mondays I have lunch just after Maths, and we were walking along to the big supermarket to get some food. Suddenly, A asked me what I was doing after I finished my Maths work. I didn't want to lie to them - after al, we were becoming friends - so I asked them if they could keep a secret, then I told them about my "mental illness". I was half expecting them to say they didn't want to be friends with a crazy person, but they didn't. At first they laughed. Actually laughed! And not in a derogetory way, either. B said she'd thought there was something different about me.  A said if that was who I am, then she was fine with it. I'm so happy that I'm crying right now.

For once in my life, I actually feel accepted.