Poetry Corner: Clock of Time

I’m not sure I asked,

It happened anyway, you said I did,

It’s all my fault,

It always is.

 

An earned reward, that consequence

I knew better,

You said I did,

I always do.

 

I gave up knowing,

Not even the same is safe

Breathing daring,

I know I should.

 

You would think

In the years that passed
I would have forgotten

I thought I would.

 

People promised time

Would be a healer

That the pain would fade

I guess I never learned.

 

You try to change

And think in different ways

You trust again
I am stupid, the story stays the same.

 

The clock it ticks

Tocks of hurts inside
A fading frame
I say ok when I hear my name

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Dear Diary: Look Down on Me?

Most days a look of contempt or disdain is nothing to me, the opinion of some random non-entity who knows nothing of who I am

Today it bothered me: today I wanted to shake her and ask who are you to think for one minute you are better than me?

No one is better than anyone; we will all die, we will all hurt, we will all feel pain, hurt, we will grieve and feel the burning sear of loss, we will all be scared, we will be both courageous and cowards, we will regret and we will cry.

 

Thinking Out Loud: Staring at the Future

It has taken me a long time to face writing this: recently an infection put me back in hospital. Opposite someone with hemiplegic migraines.

They were under a regional specialist centre with a proper specialist consultant and were under a treatment team with multiple therapies. They were exactly where I am supposed to want to be, they followed the advice of every attack getting admitted.

It was horrific. The man was a shell, the ward was noisy and chaotic, and they had no idea how to treat him, worse, they were random and haphazard with his pain treatment, most of the time he curled facemask on, earphones in pain trying to make it through the day to his release.

He saw no treatment, he was pushing his family away as he failed to cope with the emotional effects of attacks, and each admission robbed him of days and weeks of his life, you could see him imprisoned by his “disease” and crippled by doing exactly what he was told to do. Exactly what I am supposed to do.
We spoke, he could not believe that my attacks were both longer and more debilitating, that I had no support in place, and that I was not being admitted like he was each attack. His disbelief crashed head first into the fact that, while we shared symptoms and experience, I had carried on doing life in direct defiance of medical advice and was doing well, and he, doing what he had been told, further down the road than me, was now virtually crippled and imprisoned by his condition.

We spoke only that afternoon, he left. I doubt he will change, he is embedded in being a patient and invested in the model where he would be saved by modern medicine. I don’t believe in white knights on unicorn’s, as a child I learned very early that it doesn’t matter how loud or how long you cry, how much it hurts, how bad it gets no one is coming to save you.

Perhaps then, out of the damage of those abuse years has come a useful toolkit for journey ahead

Dear Diary: Manchester is not by the Sea

The seaside, so often the facade of towns long closed down in heart and soul existing was not for me.

This was reflection and calm, the quiet, where people said a cheerful hello while you look out, a gas rig or two between your bench and Norway. A different place, a different sense of time.

A little calm so close to places so familiar and a life so very different to the one I have now.

My obligation fulfilled, respects duly paid, tears respectfully held back, and happy memories built upon the ashes of the past.

My dearest friends a comforting bridge, welcoming arms and helping hands, solace in the storm.

A place does not know, it does not remember, it meant no harm, it held no anger, it will not be bitter, nor will it be sad, it will shed no tears, knowing not the passing of our years. Those we bring, they are ours to leave or take away, memories are our own each day, and the stories ours to tell, like the place lest we too face away.

Dear Diary: 19th July 17, At The Head of the Valley

Back from a weekend in Wales.

For many, this is a simple thing, for my Mouse this was a weekend of overcoming fears. Fear of the unknown, a trip to a new and unfamiliar place via new roads, to the countryside. No urban landscape, no hospital, no backup plan, no safety net, the very darkest of unknowns.

However, it was great. I walked up hills, found peace and solitude, walked in the woods and listened to the river whisper.

I cooked in a little cabin kitchen and connected back to myself.

The urban expanse brings neither comfort nor security, it feeds my fears and imprisons my minds, plays tricks on me and convinces me that outside is the enemy. It is people I fear, people are the cruel, random, violent, betrayers of trust.

Nature has no favourites, it is not cruel, nor kind, it is, it does not change, it seasons have always been and will always be, it is not capricious of malevolent, it does not plot or betray, it has no skeletons, no secret past, nature has not lied, nature does not rewrite the past.

Mr Mouse keeps on Moving, keeps in doing, good one Mr Mouse!

Poetry Corner – The Real Me

Sometimes you forget
Sometimes you believe
Sometimes you don’t pretend
You are not who you are
Not make believe or fantasy

You believe the empty words
The things they say because they should
Because they should be kind
They are the encouraging sort

Some days I forget they expect me to fail
Some days I believe their belief is real
Some days I am not pretending, it’s not an act

But then I see what is real
And I carry on, no big deal

Monday Night Reflection: Darkness

 

I don’t want to reflect, I don’t want to create, I don’t want to be kind, I don’t want to be compassionate, I want nothing to do with people or the world, in fact, to echo Alfred’s characterisation of the Joker, I just want to watch the world burn.

This is not depression, this is darkness. This is the Mouse that would kneel down those who have wronged him put the gun to the head and look them dead in the eye as he pulls the trigger and feel nothing. This is the Mouse that was supposed to be buried away never to return. This is the Mouse that drugs and alcohol kept ssuppressed and others were happy to use, this is the Mouse that tells no stories, this is the Mouse that does not exist, the Mouse that has no past. This is the darkside of the Mouse, this Mouse is cold, this Mouse is detached. This Mouse loves those around him deeply and holds them close, this Mouse is deeply loyal, but to those not Family this Mouse feels nothing, to this Mouse you are nothing. This Mouse is a rat.

If Mouse is Dr Jekyll then right now I am very much closer to Mr Hyde than I have been in many years. I am angry, angry at the Dr’s who didn’t do their job professionally, angry at the abusive ward sister who tried to play her power game with me and who have me that same smug look my ex gave me for so many years when she knew I was powerless to retaliate or do anything back. Angry that I will get no atonement but that I will be expected to grant forgiveness. I want to put those people through the pain, the experience that they let me have without thought, let them know what it is to be the victim of whimsy and truly powerless for once and see how smug and satisfied they look. My foot still hurts from the reflex test 3 weeks ago my Dr friend, let me do the same to you and see how you feel abused by someone in a position of power and trust unable to even scream in pain when it happens or move your foot out the way.

It is more than just the recent experience, it is the culmination of a life of being on the wrong end, of being forced to trust, forced into victimhood by lack of alternatives, needing treatment or help and having my powerlessness used to abuse me. From the physical abuse as child, the mental and physical abuse that followed, to the various abuses of those I turned to for help over the years. I have not cultivated bitterness, I have tried my best to kill it, to cut it back, but today, the bitterness is winning, it is what I feel. Bitter anger, the desire for revenge, and frustration that I will not only get nothing but that I will get no treatment now or justice later. I will be left to rot and survive or die with no care which as usual by those paid to, and supposed to by profession care about my welfare.

I am building a future and I have great people around me, a loving wife building with me, but that is despite the frequent and many attempts to destroy and hurt me, the neglect and injury inflicted by those supposed to help, by people purporting to be friends; by those who betrayed my trust.

Today the world can burn.

Dear Diary: 20th February 2017

Don’t stroke the Mouse!

Mouse was rushed into hospital last Tuesday with a suspected stroke.

Nearly a week later all we can say for definite is that Thursday night his brain showed no sign of damage.

20 stroke like episodes later Mouse can barely move his left side or speak.

His NHS experience is far from positive but with every reason to be down my brave Mouse is still upbeat and planning new projects for when he finally comes home.

Mrs Mouse

Monday Night Reflection: Logan

Apologies to those who haven’t seen the film, this will no doubt have a spoiler in it. This is not a film review, instead, Logan, like other fictional works became a mirror in which I could see myself more clearly. Great writing, great story telling, whatever the medium talks intimately to its audience, the very best covertly seduces the audience by first entertaining, and by that means lowers their defences so that the piece can speak to those who are willing to listen.

Some films and works are overt in their message, there are self-consciously preaching and reaching for a reaction and response. Usually they achieve their goal of an Oscar nomination or two, or perhaps the equivalent “art-house” recognition that they were born to seek. However, in my mind, the greatest achievement is to talk and embed a thought in something covertly from the Christian allegory of Wall-E to the crushing grief and loss woven into the fabric of Rocky Balboa, such writing is able to stop us dead in our tracks and cut through all our defences precisely because it hides in plain sight while we sought distraction from our lives and struggles.

And so we meet Logan, the once indestructible Logan, the anti-hero for the ages, moody and broody, reluctant but the first into battle for the right cause, driving a Limo at a 4th rate stripper bar. This Logan has a limp, is clearly old and sick. Our Hero has fallen. When we met Logan he was drinking and fighting in a bar for money, running away, this Logan is working to support and care for his old friend Charles Xavier, drinking to hide from the past. The once brilliant mind now dying with dementia, and Caliban literally hiding from the light, like Logan seeking redemption that he cannot find.

The world has changed, Logan and his kind have become  irrelevant and forgotten, their lives passed into mythology and fairy-tales for children and disenchanted youth. Our protagonists are haunted by their failures, hurts and the death of those they loved, they no longer have a place and are simply waiting out their days till death will release them from their suffering. Logan self-medicating, Caliban obsessing and Charles losing his battle with demntia, needing to medicate himself to keep others safe.

If I were twenty, thirty even these would be characters and perhaps little more than back story giving depth to what is to come. I would perhaps focus on the emerging and the new, but I am forty-five. I have lost loved ones, I have made mistakes I cannot change and I carry regrets. Like Logan, I am no longer indestructible, my body has let me down and broken, my place in the world was taken and I am left slightly irrelevant without a place in a world I no longer really want to be part of. Like Logan, I want to pass peacefully, without incident or drama through the days and I am tempted to self-medicate away the pain both physical and emotional. I am not alone, this is the basis of the rather dismissed mid-life crisis, where you realise you have less years left (statistically) than you have lived, where people get sick, they die and you know why people wear sunglasses at winter funerals. And, while many are peaking in their career, many of us never peaked, never had much of a career and see that their time is passing, perhaps past.

It is not all gloomy and black, of course, there are things to celebrate in life, however, those are fragile. Many of us have had those stripped away through no fault of our own, hard work rewarded by being laid off because we were top of a pay grade. We have achieved what we were told was the best thing to achieve and it is nothing at all. The curse of self awareness. The Power-Rangers Movie or Cars 3,  I don’t get to take my children, while other parents will complain and see this a chore, we squander the gifts too easily, and when they are gone we regret we did not cherish them more.

And so Logan is a reflection of us, we see our lives in the characters or we see nothing. If you see nothing then I am slightly envious, because while there are only elements of crossover with these ultimately fictional characters, they are some of the most painful elements of my life. I have tried to hide away and drink, as well as drug my way through life because it hurt to much to face reality. I am keenly aware that as a choice these are on my shelf and while they are not “go-to” so much as they once were, they are preferred ingredients.

Part of me is happy to pass gently and relatively quickly to a state or irrelevance, I have lost faith in a world where I have never felt at home. I have never felt of a place, and the places I feel most connected to I have only visited a handful of times and never lived. I am disconnected completely from any sort of family and have never wanted any connection, when their lives crossed I felt no affinity or desire to foster relationship. Their concerns and focus alien, and their drama’s and big deals seemed irrelevant and trivial compared to what matters. The tie of blood no bond at all. And so it is with the world, I see hate and suspicion growing with an agenda with which I want no part. Not even discussion, because that assumes they are legitimately objects for consideration, and in my world they are not. #notmyworld perhaps?

I have to walk in this world, despite my intense desire to be apart and away. I find myself dragged in and helping others against my better instincts, and I am no hero. I hope simply that what has happened to me can stop someone going where I have gone and feeling what I have felt.

Leave the storehouse of regrets untouched and gathering dust.

Monday Night Reflection: Considering

Considering is a word that has cast a long shadow over me. All of my achievements come with the qualifier “considering”. I know that it is meant well and usually comes from a genuine place. But, this does not make it any the less crushing. I did well at my exams, considering, I did well at University – considering and even last year when I last competed, I did really well, considering.

Somehow, my achievements are unable to stand on their own merit. What considering means is that, although on the absolute scale this isn’t actually any great shakes we are recognising that it was harder for this person to reach a normal standard and we don’t want their effort to go unrecognised. It’s a lovely thought but ultimately I did a bit crap.

If it is not in the realm of achievement per-se, it happens in life where I did really well considering I was sick. Again, it doesn’t feel like there is a true appreciation that in this circumstance, as with others, actually I did well, full stop. The fact I was sick or at a disadvantage does not need to be mentioned unless it is to elevate the achievement, and perhaps this is my own perspective only, using the criteria of considering, does anything but elevate the achievement.

Last week I was crippled in pain, I did well to do anything, as it happens I did a few things and got more done than I would had I done what I should and rocked up at hospital to get the treatment instead of doing it at home myself. It wasn’t I did well considering, it’s I did well because I should have been in a hospital. In the academic realm, I didn’t do well considering my dyslexia, I did well despite it, and because of it, my appearance in the annals of those with a post-graduate education and a degree in the humanities and the sciences (yes 3 in all) is actually phenomenal. It was hard work, long work, rather like finishing top 3 in the 100m when you did 110m. That would not be they did well, considering.

Where I am at it is, I feel like consideration isn’t what I or people who face a challenge really want or need because it feels like it comes from the excuse side of explanations. It feels like you get consideration when you fell short and there was a reason you were below expectation or what was required. Maybe this is an academic thing where you can be upgraded if there are considerations like being ill. I have always wanted to stand or fall compared to my peers, and then for the fact I stood equal or wherever I stood despite the challenges or disadvantages that I faced in my individual journey.

I don’t like excuses, right now my year feels like the shadow of considering is darkening everything I do. I am behind, I am not where I wanted to be, and considering how sick I am and have been this may be a remarkable achievement, but at the end of the day its not enough of an achievement to be doing what it needs to be doing. The project is behind and hasn’t started to realise its income or get launched properly. Considering doesn’t change that opportunities have been lost and things have not happened while I have been ill because its my job and responsibility to get them done. It may be a cant, but I cannot make an excuse, I may have a reason but just as the world of bills and commerce doesn’t let me off, I don’t want to be let off by anyone else. Yes, admire what I have done facing what I have faced, but please, don’t attempt to tell me that what is not okay, is, because the harsh reality is, it really isn’t. In commercial reality, bills need paying, and considering doesn’t pay them.

Perhaps I am being harsh on myself, but this has been my reality till now, where I have been able to be ill and not lose everything. Which is awesome, but which makes me keenly aware that I could be making excuses and I don’t want that. It has been a tough week, mentally it has been impossible knowing what isn’t being done and what is slipping while I am powerless to stem the tide. It’s crushing and no amount of consideration is changing that. It is like school, when I broke my arm the homework still had to be done, growing up, you got ill, your chores were your chores and you did them, as an adult nothing changed, no one picked up what was my job.

I’m not sure where this is going, I started simply a little tired of hearing I am doing well considering, and I am. It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t make me feel better, and it doesn’t change things. Where I have arrived is that, considering hasn’t changed anything because it’s been words, consideration has been nothing but a speech given to me. What, has changed is that, while those closest to me have stopped saying considering at all without me saying a word, they have instead picked up whatever slack they can for me, lightened my load to the point I have been able to do something rather than being crushed by overwhelming demands.

And I still don’t want consideration, I am tired, I hurt, I need to rest, I’ve pushed as hard as I can push today, I don’t want sympathy or for you to make excuses, I want you to make a difference, either be inspired by the achievement against the challenges faced or do something to lighten the load of someone you care about so they too can achieve. Lift them up to higher levels, not let them off with mediocre.