"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, February 27, 2015


Now Playing: Talk by Coldplay (you tell anyone who will listen, but you feel ignored, nothing's really making sense at all, let's talk)

Since arriving at university two years ago, I've pretty much kept an open book policy about my life. My heart isn't so much 'on my sleeve' as 'literally written on the internet'.

I like it that way. For many reasons.

1. I'm something of an over-thinker. I've been described as lightning fast and razor sharp before, but when it comes to big heady emotional things I'm sort of slow at processing them. I find it cathartic to talk.

2. A lot of my friends are older and all of them are smarter than me. I was very young when I came to uni and I still rely heavily on the advice of my betters.

3. When I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, the part that rankled the most was the secrecy; not only because I am terrible at keeping secrets, but also because the secrets allowed my abuser to get away with so much shit. People know I talk; it stops them from doing the worst.

4. When you talk about your own life in excruciating detail, it takes the shine off of people wanting to gossip. I've been what I am for long enough to know that nothing you do will stop people from talking; but when you're not ashamed of anything you don't give anything for people to talk about. And no matter what bullshit stories people make up about me, my stories are always better.

5. To a writer, the truth is no big deal.

6. As mentioned previously, I am terrible at keeping secrets.

7. I lead such a vastly different life to many of my friends, and we enjoy amusing each other with stories of things we will never personally experience.

8. 'You own everything that has happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to speak warmly of them, they should have treated you better'. (or words to that effect by Anne Lamott)

9. The best stories are all kiss and tell and I've always been a storyteller.

With all that being said, it has come to my attention that people are deliberately taking my words out of context, mixing names and muddling stories to hurt people I know or have known, or to cast me in a bad light. I don't believe in putting lipstick on pigs and I know I talk very harshly and critically about some people I know, but I take allegations of abuse and assault seriously and I would never point fingers at random people I don't like; and nobody could possibly hate me so much as to paint innocent bystanders as abusers for shits and gigs.

Think about what you're saying, guys, and think harder about what you're hearing. That's all I wanted to say.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Drops of Jupiter

Now Playing: Drops of Jupiter (Cover) by Taylor Swift (tell me, did you fall for a shooting star? One without a permanent scar, and did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?) 

I had my first panic attack in a long time today.

Panic attacks, beyond the prerequisite feeling of choking, suffocating, and impending doom, are just fucking humiliating. Along with feeling like you're losing grip on the here and now and your own sanity, it's all tied up with guilt and shame and frustration and embarrassment.

I'm someone who always likes to be in control. I'm what they call bossy. And panic attacks rob you of that need for agency, that need for autonomy.

An old friend popped up on social media, someone who would, had fate not intervened, be bombarding me with random 'did I ever tell you about that story about my ex-girlfriend and the kettle?' messages. But he's here but not here. He was talking to another friend, someone who I wish I could talk to more often but can't, because everything I say apparently sounds like a proposal or a declaration of undying love. It's lonely and frustrating.

I'm nostalgic for a fantasy that doesn't exist. A fantasy world where love was simple and life was good.

I have been strong, all things considered. I lost a friend. I lost my mentor. I lost my job. I've never lost my bravado, but I can feel something faltering.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ghost Carnation

And it's gone
To the wind
To the earth

Like a ghost carnation

And the smoke filled my lungs
Filled my heart

And then was gone.

*          *          *

I try not to live in the past
And I try not to bear a grudge

But you tried to make me read your mind
And you thought you could read mine

(How will I ever forgive you?)

*          *          *

You are right, you know
I will forget.

I have forgotten.

I will forget.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Going Under

My hair got caught
Under my arm

As we danced;
And you got under my skin.


There is a grim confidence in knowing
You cannot hurt me
As much as they have

And I knew, as I pushed against you
When you pinned me down

That I have nothing you can take from me

I know that my sanctity is in my heart
And not between my legs

I cannot bring myself to regret you

Sixfootone of pure danger

I'll never forget the thrill of your tattooed arms around me
Your scarred hands on me

I'll never forget your kisses that tasted of
Cigarette smoke and broken dreams.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Ten Word Story: L'Heure Bleue

We met at twilight and you were gone by sunrise.


It's been a long time
Since I've seen your Cointreau smile

Made my heart glow
I'm your Cointreau girl

I love your wandering eye
As much as your wondering eyes

We have pieces of each other's hearts
And that's enough for both of us

Keep smiling your Cointreau smile
For me, and all your other girls

I can't sleep in cold beds for you
But I can sleep with sweet dreams of you

I won't sleep in cold beds for you
And I wouldn't ask you to

Don't tie me down
You always come back for me
I will always fly back to you

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Eighteen Year Old Me

Now Playing: Candles by Daughter (blow out all the candles, blow out all the candles, 'you're too old to be so shy' he says to me, so I stay the night)

Dearest Eighteen,

Let me just tell you, you never feel less like an adult than in your first year of adulthood.

You're learning how to drive; you haven't killed anything yet, so I suppose I'm proud of that. It's a year of lost tempers and sarcasm and scraping through on loose change.

Rein in your PayPal, woman. Impulse spends at 4am when you can't sleep aren't entirely a bad idea, in that you've never bought anything completely stupid, but you do spend a stupid amount of money.

You come out of this year relatively unscathed, and you owe that entirely to your still-pathetic alcohol tolerance and copious amounts of Taylor Swift. You still haven't lost your fight or flight mode yet, and maybe that's a good thing.

This year, you lose your mentor; the person who was always there, from the beginning, to watch and help you with everything. Things turned sour and went south and I know you miss her, but friends come and go. You just have to keep on being you.

This was the year of the parties, and it's all new and exciting to meet new and exciting people. You meet B and, somehow, amongst all the Texta moustaches and tequila drenched sombreros, you find someone you can talk to for hours, at all hours, and it makes up for a little of all that you've lost. You weren't looking for anything, but the more you tried to hold on to what you had the more everyone accused you of wanting more than you deserved, and even now I can't find the words or the energy or the courage to try and convince them otherwise. You've still got haters, Dearest Eighteen, but you can't make everyone like you. You'll be the most popular dead man if you did.

You make mistakes. A lot of them. There was a lot you had to make amends for. But that will never excuse what he did, and how he left without saying goodbye. It was good whilst it lasted, but maybe next time find someone who gives a damn.

This time, though, you've got real friends to catch you when someone lets you down. We're planning a big night out, just for you, and I hope this coming year is better for you than the last. Never be afraid to speak your mind and stand your ground. This year you've learned that there are too many people willing you to be quiet, and trying to bring you to your knees, but you're made of stronger stuff.

Dearest Eighteen, you will get through this. You can get through anything. In two years time you'll be jetting away to a big city, you've got to believe that. It's the only thing keeping me going.

You've grown up a lot, but never lose your innocence. I want you to keep diving in head first, fearless.

Keep wearing red lipstick and give no fucks. You'll be okay, I promise.


Just Nineteen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Bad Blood

I come from a family tree
That has forgotten the names
Of their wives and daughters

I come from a family
That invented a brother from the aether
When none sprung from the womb

I was not enough.
They needed a phantom to take my place.

You said your father wanted a son.
I was replaced by a ghost.

Do not talk to me of a woman's insecurities
I know them all

You were never the brown girl
At the back of the ballet studio
Nursing a red weal from white hands

I still am.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Easy Difficult Woman

Now Playing: Blank Space by Taylor Swift (got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane) 

I suppose I am, by most frat boy standards, rather easy.

Perhaps it’s my unfathomable liking of stress-reducing, hormone-releasing pleasure. Or my bizarre lack of shame about my body or my sexuality, or my inability to play hard to get when I just want to play hard and go home.

And I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the look of stunned thrill on the faces of boys who can’t believe their luck, or the shocked fury of girls when I win a game by refusing to play it. Love and war is a game of give and take; we forgot to teach girls how to take, but it’s a lesson I taught myself.

I have always enjoyed company and intimacy; in spite of my social ineptitude and standard art-student brand of skeptical misanthropy, I’ve always been rather free with my affection. I consider it my last innocence; all the high school heartbreaks and dramas of my new adult life have failed to strip me of my reckless, foolish optimism; or hedonism, however you look at it. Disappointment has not made me any less greedy.

People often disparagingly say that I am easy because I refuse to play games that make me some kind of soulless heartless mindless sex toy. People then despair that I am so difficult, because I continue to refuse to pretend that I have no brain and no feelings. Easy women and difficult women, it seems, are more or less the same monster.

Easy women understand that life is a game of sticks and stones; there are no prizes, no winners, and no losers. It’s not so much conquest as diplomacy. I give in to what I want, but I always get what I want.

And that, apparently, makes me difficult.

I don’t understand how one can be an easy woman and a difficult woman at the same time, but I’ve spent enough time being both to see that it is possible to be caught in yet another of society’s many double standards for women. I’m difficult because I put my foot down, I set boundaries, I have a brain and a mouth and I’m not afraid to think or talk back.

I’ve had boys scoff behind my back that I am easy because I ‘give it all away’, and then turn around and complain that I’m difficult because I’m not giving enough to them. You’re easy for being eager to please and difficult if you expect people to return the favour. I see life as a constant give and take, but clearly men see anything to do with women as a lose-lose situation; for the woman. Any attempts to avoid that status quo and you are difficult, or easy, or a slut, or a prude. We still live in a society where women who are kind and loving and expect kindness and love in return, are idiots, or crazy, or high-maintenance and selfish. Throughout history we have derided and despised any woman who has dared to demand or dissent. Any woman with a shred of intelligence or self-respect is a woman open to criticism.

I have spent my whole life trained to smile, trained to swallow my rage, trained to spit lies through my teeth. I have never been allowed to openly acknowledge when I am upset, or angry, or humiliated; and every time I have, people gaslight me to the point where I can remember the pain but not what caused it. People think that I am easy and then complain that I am difficult, when I am really just human - a human being with wants and needs and desires independent of the whims of men or of society.

Women are not ‘easy’ for having desires. Women are not ‘difficult’ for having needs. All human relationships are difficult and the onus isn't on us to make sure every encounter you have with a woman requires no effort on your part above and beyond getting it up and buying a few drinks. The limited way we see women and the hypocritical double standards we impose on them is so embarrassingly evident in the way we treat women who know what they deserve; and, really, we all deserve so much better. I, for one, have had enough.

Monday, February 02, 2015

I am always choking down bile
Always strangling my rage
Always lying through my teeth

Always forcing a smile

My life has become one
Act of violence

I have become a warrior
Because I am a war.