Wednesday 12 November 2008

The Truth Laid Bare

I suppose I never really wanted to write a post quite as honest as this one is going to be.
I'm going to confide things in this post to the world that only one person in the whole wide world knows. Maybe two, actually.

I don't let people close to me for good reasons.

There are two sites on the internet which devote themselves to basically, lieing about me. One knows no better. The other is worse. I forgive them both 'For they know not what they do', but the lies of one, the one that knows better, are chosen carefully to hurt. They are chosen carefully, because the truth the lie obscures hurts ME. They are double lies, because not only does the lie hurt, but they ram home to me deeper truths that hurt me on a personal level.

I suppose partly it is having given someone your trust and them having abused it that really hurts.

First, let me deal one of the lies spread. Regrettably, I am worryingly sane. In the sense that any psychiatrist would use the term. I know this for a fact, because when I was preparing for my court case, one of the things my lawyer suggested was getting a report done by a qualified psychiatrist. The reason was that we were going for the argument that 100 Ecstasy tablets wasn't an UNreasonable amount for personal use, if one was a heavy user and we were going to argue that, due to the abortion, I was of unsound mind.
It backfired. Although my family kindly paid for the assessment it actually didn't help at all. We were left in the position that the defence had to admit to having a report it didn't want to quote from.
Because the report stated that 'Mr X has an unusually high ability to draw logical conclusions and indeed analyse his own behaviour' and 'There is nothing to suggest that a custodial sentence would in any way affect Mr X mental states'.

Of course, this did me some favours in there. I had the perfect security file. Minimum risk. Which is why, of course, I was able to act as Listener and had the most responsible job in the gaol when I got to Open prison.

I was one of a small category of offenders who escape even being assessed for risk of re-offending. I was paroled without assessment. In fact, I've never come across anyone who received parole without EVER being assessed. The reason was, the security file.

That doesn't, of course, mean that my mind is what you would describe as normal. It isn't. I have a general reputation in RL for a kind of endearingly exuberent eccentricity, which I guess is part of it. I'm an extrovert in a certain sense. Always have been.

The honest truth, as I've learned myself over time, is that I happen to be a neurotic. In the true sense of the word. And I actually have more than one neurosis. Nor, when I really look at it, could I really expect it be otherwise.

I hide it well. Very well. But the one that shines through, is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have it, very markedly so. And you wouldn't necessarily pick up. Because it's not stereotypical. It's not cleaning. It's patterns. Patterns and systems.

And of course, it's one of those blessings that is also a curse. Without being vain, I know I'm intelligent and not in a way that most people quite understand. Because it's not typical academic intelligence. I retain facts very easily, and not only retain them but process them.

I sometimes try explaining to people exactly how my mind works, that basically it really does work exactly like a computer- you click a link and up comes the relevant window.
I actually enjoy receiving information and processing it. In that sense- well in most senses actually- I need constant stimulation.

But my mind basically works by storing all the information, not in tables, but in coloured diagrams and pictures. And when it receives new facts, it doesn't store them in tabular fashion, it actually looks for a place to put it in the overall structure. It looks for a place in the pattern.
And I realise most people don't quite think like that. Hence they aren't able to drag up facts at will OR- more importantly see the connection between facts that APPEAR at first glance to be unrelated. For example, most people can't see that the life process is a logical consequence of the laws of thermodynamics, because they can't see the universal pattern. Most people can't hear an MP has died and give a stab at the likely result of the by election even before the newscaster has even mentioned what his majority was. But I will have a rough idea what his majority was and feel comfortable in my own head to call the seat without moving from the settee.

But of course, this type of thinking spills over. Because your brain isn't comfortable with the absence of patterns. It works, after all, by continuously seeking out patterns. Now of course, it has been stated that it is this very characteristic which is the most important characteristic of the human mind. The human obsession with patterns. After all, it is how most discoveries have been made. The realisation by someone that apparently unrelated facts, showed a pattern that exposed the underlying truth.

So, without blowing my own trumpet, the type of intelligence I possess, is of course, the most important type of human intelligence, in conceptual terms. But living with the other side of the coin, is hard.

Well, not hard for me, for me it makes like easy, as long as everything runs exactly as I want it to. But basically, I systemise everything. Everything I do, is pretty much ritualised. A large part of my life, I simply allow to run on clockwork, without thinking, because I simply follow a system. Like say, getting out of bed. I've perfected a system which maximises the window of time available. If you were to watch me five days in succession, you'd notice even the times probably match that each thing is done in. And if I didn't turn left I went out of the bathroom to switch the boiler off whilst I dry myself, I'd forget to do it.
Even the way I make tea is ritualised. I put the kettle on, go for a cigarette and when I come back, I pour the water into the cup. If I get a phone call at this point, I'm likely to go outside and have another cigarette. This will lead me to forget I've already made my tea, so I'll then pour a SECOND cup.
Small alterations, or unexpected interruptions will lead me to putting sausages in the knife drawer and suchlike.

And categorising things. Generally speaking, the flat is usually not a tip, but not a showhome either. Underwear litters the bathroom floor, unironed laundry accumlates in the spare room, mugs litter every ledge there is. These are activities which are not systemised.
But the CD classification system is beyond anyone's comprehension but mine. To me, it's a masterpiece. Alphabetically sorted by artist or label, within decade, within genre.

And the albums sorted in order of release date.

And I'm obsessional about it.

Symmetry. I'm obsessed by it. In the days when you could smoke in pubs, I would always put my fags on the table. Embassy cigarettes have a red stripe on them. I'd always align my lighter with the stripe. And if anyone picked up the lighter to use it, I'd re-align it. And I'm fully aware people used to wind me up by nudging the lighter. They knew it irritated me.
Rows of chairs. It annoys me if one isn't straight.
When I was chapel orderly at Sudbury and I guess I had far too much time on my hands and too much nervous tension, I actually used to take all the furniture out of the chapel every Saturday INCLUDING the altar, then actually MEASURE everything back into place using strategic co-ordinates to create the perfectly flush chapel. And then I'd walk round it kneeling down and running my eye along the seating just to admire how perfectly aligned everything was.

This task actually took two hours. Because it wasn't as simple as you'd think. The aisle is what's important. The idea is for the aisle to be flush so that the cross on the altar is exactly central and the whole centre aisle centres on it. But if the chairs in the backrow are the same distance apart as the chairs at the front, the mind creates the optical illusion that the back part is narrower, believe it or not. I learned that from studying the Parthenon. It's actually a fact that it LOOKs straight because the centre pillars are TALLER than the end ones.

And I did the same with my chairs. Adding 1.8 inches exactly to the width of the aisle at the back, created a row that looked perfectly flush.
And yes, I obsessed about this.

Eating my meals, I even ritualise that. I eat exactly a third of the chips, then a third of the sausages. Then the second third of the chips, etc. I even take it the extreme of chewing with alternate sides of the mouth. I can't help it. I get mildly annoyed when bags of crisps hold an uneven number of crisps. Especially when I've tried so hard to make sure each side of the mouth received crisps of the same size.

Again, smoking. I always used to drink my pint exactly to the same place before having a cigarette. Now of course, I have one between pints.

And banknotes. I always store all my banknotes folded into four. Folded the same way, like a concertina. And if you checked, you'd find there's never an overlap.

You might well wonder how I get through life at all.
It's obvious I have some quite bizarre rituals, but overall, the efficiency of my general operating systems allows me to generally cover up these little compulsions so that no one really notices.

And now on to the nervous tension.
This I've always had. Again, I don't think it can be avoided. In some way, I think it goes with the OCD, I think they're kind of two halves of the same walnut. The inability to switch off. It comes and it goes. It can lead people to think I'm mildly bipolar, but it's not that. It's just sometimes my nerves are way out of control.

What causes it? Disruption of systems, in the main. I rely so heavily on nice little tidy systems and rituals that I can follow, that the slightest disruption completely throws me. It sends me into full panic mode, because I don't know what to do.

This aspect of things, has definitely got worse. Before I went in, I certainly had it, but now I can no longer quite control it. I do think I kind of have a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, absent for the most part, but when I start to panic, it really comes out. I never used to have panic attacks QUITE like the ones I've had over the past few years.

They are total shutdowns. I mean that. My entire thought processes STOP. I really can be just standing there and I have no idea at all what I'm doing or even what my last thought was. And then I start to really panic. And that means I start to hyperventilate. And I start to go dizzy. I might even pass out momentarily.

Other disorders?
Well, I think two clearly linked ones are that I have both an eating AND a sleeping disorder.
What happens quite often is that nerves suppresses my hunger, so I decide to just NOT eat. And this combines with my fixation with having a tiny waist, so sometimes it becomes full on Bulimia. I throw my food back up partly because I want to, but partly because my nerves can't keep it down.
And most nights I count myself doing well if I get to sleep within an hour of actually getting into bed. Then of course, I drop off at my desk at work without warning. And at weekends I sometimes sleep till mid afternoon.

And then of course, we have my biggest obsession of all. The two that totally contradict eachother. And are almost impossible to reconcile.

The first is that in some ways, I'm quite emotionally needy. Haydee describes it as 'High maintenance'. I really do need people around me almost perpetually. I can't handle being outside human contact. I need to be continuously interacting. More than that, it really is true I do tend to need constant reassurance and affection.

But by the same token, I really don't like feeling dependant or reliant. I think it's fair to say I have what you would describe as very, very major trust issues.

I'm obsessively secretive and prone to push people away if they try get too close to me.
I want PEOPLE around me, but try to ensure that I don't rely too much on any one person.
With one exception.

You see, most of you what you read in this post, only one person knows.
The Baker. He is the only person I'll let see me cry. Tell a lie, I used to let D see it. I actually do it a lot more than you might realise.

Before Christmas last year- a time some of you may understand the significance of, I actually broke down in tears in the street, totally due to the actions of two online people whilst me and the Baker were walking to the Star. He decided it might be better if we went for a walk in the country.
We did.

Another example of a total breakdown I had is this. Interestingly, it has been misrepresented by a certain someone, because she knows by telling the truth I'll make myself look ridiculous. I don't care.
It was the final night of the notorious BP fiasco last year. I went out and got drunk and then came back and discussed the whole thing with D. And she watched me whilst I wrote the comment I left on the BP thread of 1st September 2007. She approved me writing it, she agreed with what I had written.

I woke up late next day- in fact we both did. And D asked me if I remembered anything about the previous night.
It turned out I'd gone sleepwalking. I'd walked into D's room, pissed in the laundry basket, then tried to get into D's bed, thinking it was mine. D had tried to escort me to my own bed, but instead I'd gone into the bathroom and tried to go to sleep in the bath.

Now the person who misrepresents this, knows the story because when I rang them the following day, I cited this story as a reason why we should NEVER TALK AGAIN. Because that's what the stress of being in contact with her was doing to me.

Yes, D was certainly a bit flummoxed. I'd pissed in the laundry and been unconscious of it. She went to Manchester that weekend, but she was planning to do that anyway. It certainly didn't make her think less of me. SHE KNEW WHO TO BLAME. She lived with me, she could see what the pressure of having to take those phone calls was doing to me.

Because D looked after me.
In a way, she protects me. She still does.

It was D who eventually agreed to take control of the house phone, so that I wouldn't have to answer the phone. She'd just pick it up and say 'He doesn't want to talk to you'.

D understood how petrified of her I was.
And she knew why.

In fact, the night we had decided to just totally cut out the aggrieved woman she said 'I know what happened. I can see it. You wanted someone to talk to. You wanted to let it out. And you probably led her on. And then it got too serious and now you can't deal with the pressure of it'.
'Pretty much' I said.

She smiled softly and said 'One day you're going to have to let someone in'.

Which really, is what it's all about.

Because D DOES know things only the Baker knows. And Haydee now too.

You might get the impression I'm a rampant sex maniac. The truth is I'm actually quite frigid. The last time I had sex without the aid of alcohol or Cocaine was 2002.

(I actually lay there last night worrying about that last paragraph. I can actually think of numerous examples which contradict that. What I really meant was sex with someone for the first time. Nevertheless, it remains a relative rarity and finding that comfort zone is hard).

I usually just want the intimacy bit, the having someone next to you. But quite often, to be truthful, a large part of me is often quite unnerved by it. I quite often have to leave the room immediately afterwards. I've been like that a long time. I used to be quite a slut in my early years, now I tend to do it irregularly, really just an occasional releasing of the need to feel a human body next to you, but I can only face it when under the influence of something, and even then, I sometimes panic and have to push them away and say 'I'm tired, I think I just want to go to sleep'.

I really have a huge fear of intimate relationships. I actually can't do them any more. I've tried. I can't. Mentally, physically or any other way. It doesn't mean I practise asexuality- I clearly don't. It's just I don't tend to enjoy it that often these days. I'm reliably informed I had sex last about four weeks ago- but the only reason I know that was because someone happened to ring my just sfterwards and she was still there. I really was so drunk I didn't know anything about it till my mate asked me about it. I don't even know who she could have been.

I don't WANT it to be like this, particularly. But it is.

Haydee asked me recently 'Don't you want to love and be loved?'
I said 'It's not that simple'.
She said 'It is'.

My reply was; 'Well then, no'.

Because right now, I can't deal with that. I can't. I'm able to love her right now, but I can't can't deal with the pressures of a serious relationship- or even being loved back. I'm not healed yet. I have scars which run too deep. I've not got over my own fear of intimacy yet. It really isn't as simple as that. Yes, I'd love to be ABLE to love and be loved back. But I'm not. Not now. Maybe not forever.

And my family.
Now that's a tragedy.
Because the lie she tells about my family relations, that's twisting the barb in with a knife.
I've always kept my family at a distance. Because I don't feel comfortable with them. I just don't. I can't explain why. I'm just happier the less they know about me. But we had been making progress. I was starting to go and visit, I even gave them my address and phone number.
I was comfortable going round.

But because they were harassed, ultimately because of this blog, they've now read this blog.
They have supported me, but it's changed our relations. I was explaining the dilemma to Haydee. Now they know the URL, I can't be sure which bits of what I write they read. They might know about her, for example. In which case, I'm not comfortable going round.
My Mum phoned me twice in my lunch hour today. I clicked to voicemail both times. I'm scared to take the call. Because I worry she might have read last night's post, in which case she must read it regularly, in which case she knows about Haydee, in which case I'm not even going round there at Christmas.

Up until this problem, I had kind of convinced my Dad I was gay. Why, you ask, should I want my Dad to think I was gay.
Perfectly simple. It stops him asking questions about my love life. If he thinks I'm gay, he won't ask. And I don't have to tell him anything. I don't want him to ACTUALLY know I'm in love with a girl who's blog I read. I don't want anyone in RL to know. Only the Baker knows she exists. And even he doesn't (officially) know how I feel about her. Though I might have said things whilst drunk.

In RL, I just don't talk about emotions. I pretend not to have them.

I really was starting to form real bonds of trust with my parents. And today I'm rejecting calls from my Mum- who is probably worried sick, firstly because I can't deal with her being concerned and secondly, because I'm worried she knows about Haydee.
I actually have the front lights off as we speak, to make it appear I'm not at home.

You see, several misrepresentations have been made about why I blog. Of the sort of person I am and why it's so important to me.
That I take it too seriously, that I let it rule my life.

Those who choose to defame me go 'A relationship is more important than a blog'.
Even Haydee used to say that. But I think she does kind of see what it is for me.

Crushed is my picture of Dorian Gray.

You see, what she can't accept is that in June last year, I really did believe I was in love with her. I was overwhelmed by the emotion I felt in that first month we were talking.
But I didn't understand what had happened.

I still forgive her though for all she's done. I must.

It wasn't HER I loved. It was ALL of you. It was blogging itself, the medium.
The greatest thing ever to happen to me.

Because it allowed me to LET GO. To be me, to emote to people without putting up a barrier.
I felt FREE.

And because she was the one introducing me to it all, I thought it was her.

I really thought I loved her.

But it was just that I was allowing myself to be human. I had found a place where I didn't need to protect myself with barriers of ice and steel, a place I didn't need to use my friends as emotional bodyguards.

And as last Summer progressed, the truth hit home.

That I wanted to have a life I could live as Crushed. That being Crushed created a life for me that I just couldn't have in reality.
That any idea that I could ever deal with settling down and sharing my life with ANYONE was pure delusion.

But Crushed could fulfill the role for me that loved ones fill to other people.

That I could come home every night, go online and feel that sense of being in the company of loved ones that every other human being gets to feel.

And which I just can't deal with in the flesh.

Because I want to tell people what it's like to be me. I want to tell people just how Crushed I feel, I want to tell people about how I see things, I want to stand up somewhere to this appalling world we live in, stand up to the system that has turned me into someone unable any longer to connect to their own feelings in real life.

Because the world sees a charming, intelligent, exuberant person who fears nothing, always seems full of life and just lives for the day. An irrepressable, unbreakable person. A 'good guy'. I'm actually well respected in RL.

But I need somewhere I can come and have what to most of you, is a home life.

Because inside, I'm actually a very scared and lonely person. In spite of all the people I have round me.

And you cannot understand the difference it makes to my life.
Having my Dorian Gray.

It really is the difference betwen having a life of fulfillment, and having a life I want to end because I see no hope in it.

July, August, September.
I was happy.
Life was working.
Life was everything I wanted it to be.

And do you know, I earned pretty much 300 quid more than I usually do each of those three months?

I was starting to feel hope again.

Outside me was happy, because Crushed was happy.

Crushed really IS my emotional well being.

Having Crushed to come home to, makes me feel good about life out there, makes me walk into the office with a spring in my step, makes me walk into the pub and feel like every girl in there is mine for the talking.
And I was starting to feel that I could maybe get there in the end.

Crushed has enabled me to START to feel that there really is a purpose to my being alive at all.

My life depends on Crushed.
My life depends on you.

Because you're the people I come home to.

You're the people I WANT to come home to.

I couldn't live without you.
Not any more.

In spite of everything, I've never felt so alive as I have as Crushed, not so that I can remember.

One day I may be able to feel the way living through Crushed enables me to feel, in the flesh.
But if that happens, it will be thanks to Crushed.

My life changed the day I found out that rather than just creating a Blogger ID to comment at Tin Drummer's blog, I had ACTUALLY created a blog myself.

And I want to believe, I want to believe that that was the start of my life climbing out of the cold dead hopelessness it had become and on to the road to something better.

And not just a mirage.

I love all of you.
Way more than I think you can quite understand.

But try.

For me.

Please? :)


Anonymous said...

Oh crushie, we love you back! Well, I've always found your 'honest and bare' posts quite endearing if not a fair bit self absorbed and self obsessed. But hey, that's what a blog is just put it all out there, I think you must think fast and type even faster.

We've all got our quirks and eccentricities, some more than others. Your brain is a gift actually but I can see that because it won't stop 'working' you would find it hard to sleep.

Anonymous said...

It is good to be able and willing to take a good look at one's self. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Your thing about routines that get disrupted…

Doesn’t everyone get that? And doing mixed up stuff like putting milk in the water compartment of the coffee machine when you get distracted.

Not like I do it all the time or anything, but sometimes I am not even sure if I locked the back door, or not.

From chatting about it with friends and such I often find myself having one of those “Oh so you do it too” conversations. You know the sort of conversation that actually pleases in a way because of a thing in common?

I have a routine in the morning also, but that is because I have to do the same chores/stuff each morning and leave at the same time. That means I have to get up at the same time, to not get up too early and get them done. You can’t hardly help but have routines even if you didn’t want to. They are imposed by the world.

So I figure maybe you have some company, in this at least, I maybe more than you might guess…

Anonymous said...

wohow, slow it down buddy. Doncha think its going lil' too serious lil' to fast? I mean its not you.. ok, who am I kidding, it is you! ;)

Eh, u know what we think abt u crushed. Say what you want, u have a way of effecting ppl, forcing them to rethink their opinion and the paths they have chosen. And that my friend is a rare ability. Ppl are often slackers that just kinda follow the rest of the herd, not stopping for a moment asking themselves what is it THEY want from life.

And abt being a bit disfunctional. Let me tell you a secret - no ones normal. Hell, being normal is unnormal. We all are damaged good, and carry our own demons. Its just the matter of how well we cope with it or how well we can hide it from others.

It takes a weirdo to know another ;)

Anonymous said...

I have deleted one comment.

To the commentor in question I will say this.

I am trying not to rise to your campaign. I am even trying to forgive you.

But if either you or your friend care to send your snail mail addresses to my e-mail address, trust me I am more than happy to send out writs to sue you both for defamation of character.

Now I am notifying you that I have photographed your comment.

If you comment here again THE POLICE WILL BE CALLED.

I will NOT be driven to suicide by your crazy campaign, driven entirely by bitterness.

You devote an untire website to defaming my character, as does your friend.

Please do so on your own websites if you must, but come near mine I will involve the Police. That's a promise.

Now if either of you want me to sue you, I'm more than happy to oblige. Just send me your addresses.

Otherwise, never darken my doors again.

I'm trying to forgive the pair of you for the misery you have both caused me.

Between you, you almost drove me to take me life last year. If it hadn't been for the girl I call Haydee, I would have for sure.

You WILL NOT do the same this year.

Nowpleae, finally, be a human being and LEAVE ME ALONE.

Anonymous said...

At first I was uncomfortable reading these types of posts, I am now slowly getting to appreciate the honesty within them.

Anonymous said...

Ok- Now to comment to everybody else.

I'm sorry we get these strange interludes.

Kate- I do think fast, but I actually type with one finger. But fast with one finger. :)

I am very vain, I'll admit. That's why there are two sides to me. My public persona is- very domineering in some ways, some would say. I'm quite an 'in your face' person.

I burn up a lot of nervous energy by channelling it into what some would call flamboyance, but others would call being a poser, pure and simple.

A lot of nights I'm out on the step with a cuppa and a fag at 4.30 because I just can't sleep.

Though I can actually always pinpiint the exact time I went to sleep, because I can always remember my last thought when I wake up.

Lady M- I'm a fairly honest and candid person in many ways. Blunt, some would say.

I'm the only person ever to have actually rung in and said 'Sorry I'm not in, I got drunk last night, went to bed with this bird I just met and she's only just left'.

I actually still got paid for the day. My boss appreciated the candour.

Moggs- Fortunately, I can't lock myself out, the door actually needs the key in it to pull it too. It's been like that for a while. And of course, both the Baker and D have keys anyway.

I think everyone has some sorts of systems, but I think I'm heavily reliant.
It isn't so much the systems as the 'patterned thinking'. Like for example, if the phone rang now, I'd be quite abrupt- which reminds me part of this post was a false alarm, I just got a text off my Mum, all she wanted to know was whether to count me in for Xmas. So as far as I know, she's not been reading of late.

Crashie- I guess I thought it was a good idea to read a little about the real me :)
Especially when your predecessor in the role of Official stalker now has a blog devoted entirely to science fiction about me. :)

Yes, I guess that's true. I like to think i have a positive effect on the world around me.

I wouldn't say I was dysfunctional. I mean, I do what some would count as a high pressure job and I'm good at it, I'm always good at parties and I do better than average with the opposite sex and have many good mates. So that's kind of functioning pretty well :)

But, yes, I'm quite damaged I guess.

Aunt Reeny- Uncomfortable?
Soory if you felt that way, it's not my intent.

I think sometimes it IS best to be honest.

Anonymous said...

I suppose "uncomfortable" might have been the wrong word choice. I began reading your blog because I liked your slant on political and historical topics, you tend to make folks think critically which is always a good thing. All I was trying to say is that I wasn't used to the personal posts. I too agree that honesty is by far the best route to take.