Silence is Easy

After yesterday’s post, I realise there is an important coda that needs to be heard.

Sometimes, talking to people you trust on the Internet¬†can make everything better, especially when you’re alone and lost. To every one of those 44 people who took time out of a busy day to find me a GIF, or simply say yes, you can have a hug, I owe a debt of gratitude that needs to not only be celebrated but held up as demonstration as to how amazingly awesome these kinds of online communities can be.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that there’s a significant gulf of comprehension between those who ‘understand’ how the Internet really works (with all the attendant good and evil that encompasses) and those who don’t. Most significantly, those of us who claim to be experts seldom are and must be reminded at least daily this is the case. Every day is a School day for a reason: the most expected and predictable¬†can (and does) surprise. If you truly wish to live as an Internet citizen, professing ‘you know how stuff works here’ is putting you on a hiding to nothing. Time to give that up.¬†

Instead, like most things in life, the better time spent seems to involve learning how the Internet best works for YOU.


Reaching out for help is perfectly and absolutely the right thing to do. Living your entire life in minute detail via Social media, however, may NOT be the ideal state of affairs, especially if other people are involved. In fact, from recent experience, do that and it does only end in tears. If I’m learning at 51 when to pick my battles, I can guarantee everybody else could take a look at themselves and pick up their averages.¬†Knowing when to ask for help is, after all, just as important as¬†grasping when to say NO.

I’ve also realised that today it would have been very easy to have broken my posting record here¬†because I don’t feel 110% able to cope. Making the effort to preserve routines, work to deadlines and accommodate¬†others are beginning to matter far more than was ever previously the case. by doing so, everybody benefits. That’s why today I remind myself that knowing when to speak up is a skill I’m awful at, and it needs work. I can ask for help now without a problem. Now comes the part where I’m comfortable¬†speaking up about what is going wrong.

It’s another J Word to add to the rapidly growing pile.


It might be Sunday, but that’s traditionally been my most productive time of the week in previous months, and today will be no different. Once I’ve done my Gym visit shortly there’s going to be a ton of online stuff appearing, to give you good people an idea of what to expect in the months going forward.


Needless to say, when I see you again tomorrow, it won’t just be a New Year. It is the next step forward in a journey that is altering both body and mind on a daily basis. Without putting to much babbly bullshit into this, I’m already looking forward to what’s on the schedule. If I wasn’t, we wouldn’t be doing it to begin with. Last year a lot of what happened wasn’t enjoyable personally, and that showed in the quality of output. The stuff I loved doing had far more enthusiasm and depth, and this is the direction we’ll be taking moving forward.

Let’s get ready to rumble, shall we?

If Leaving Me is Easy


Yesterday, instead of writing (as I’m spending a whole month on NaNo) I had a day of making.

I have two types of friends at present: those who will be really pleased that I made their Christmas present for them, and those who wish I’d bought them some alcohol… or a gift token, or something else that makes me look like I’m not some kind of cheap-ass. Forget for a moment the amount of personal effort and thought that goes into my hand-made gifts. After a while, some people get tired of this and simply wish I’d spend the money. This year, those friends won’t be getting anything, because I am no longer caring.


There comes points in every relationship where inevitably the path forward (or not) is defined by the actions of the people involved. Sometimes, this can happen without you realising the other person is even listening. Over the last few months, as I have pushed myself forward and into new spaces, it has been obvious that some people whom I care about are not really as keen about me as perhaps they once were. It is totally understandable, considering the complex set of variables at play which define how you interact as friends, that variance will occur. However, then you reach the situation¬† where it becomes apparent your path is not the same and that’s absolutely fine.

As I keep telling my daughter, not everybody in life will like what you are.


For those ‘friends’ who are online, sometimes the Mute button is all you need for a quiet life, except there are those people for whom doing this will cause more affront than currently exists, because they have no idea how much they annoy you. What ought to happen in situations such as this, and which rarely does, is that people have the balls to admit up front ‘yeah well I stopped listening to you for a while there because you really pissed me off but now I agree with you again everything is okay.’ Except for somebody like me, that’s quite hurtful. If you have an issue, we can work it out. If you don’t care about working it out, then maybe we shouldn’t be here to begin with.

The bigger, long-term issue with this selective hearing is that the serial offenders, people who have pissed off group after group of people yet still continue unabated, can keep doing that if no-one has the balls to go public with their concerns. More and more, the counter argument of ‘just don’t start drama, nobody needs it‘ is roughly akin to that bit in Pride and Prejudice where Darcy admits to Elizabeth that if he’d been honest about George Wickham at the start, he’d not have eloped with Lydia. Except, of course, without that plot twist our protagonists would never have become an item… so what is a girl to do?


This year will be remembered as the one when the past came back to destroy what many entertainers believed was untouchable popularity in a manner that is completely right and proper, considering the severity of the offences now becoming apparent. As I watch and slowly digest the manner in which respect and care was strained, ignored and flattened underfoot, it becomes even more important for me to maintain a personal integrity that reflects the person I am, both good and bad. I’ve made no bones about my mental issues, but some love to use them as a reason to control. Not any more.

I will do my best to be your friend: I can be polite and encouraging, perceptive and caring. However, there is a limit to how much shit anyone will take. Taking advantage of other people for your own end, parading them as your friend without asking permission, wilfully baiting or attacking their opinion to make a point or prove your superiority and then laughing about it in public… this is where I draw the line. You don’t use other people’s actions as a means to justify your own. Personal responsibility is just that. When I fail, I’ll make sure I pick up the tab. I expect nothing less from the other people around me. If those standards are unacceptable?

Door’s over there.

Communication Breakdown


Those of you paying attention will know that yesterday was my 51st Birthday. These events are often odd affairs: I can remember my 40th as one of the darkest periods of my life, whilst a decade on I was in Paris, with my family and staying in the fanciest Hotel I’d ever experienced. As human beings, we tend to put a lot of emphasis on these celebrations, and it is only this year that I’ve begun to understand why that is. Those revelations will undoubtedly serve as personal blogging fodder for several days: for now, I wanted to spend some time explaining how a very particular group of people have influenced my journey to this point.

You see, without exception, it is those who take time to be critical whom I respect the most.


Being positive is, for a writer, often the coward’s way out.¬†I can remember moments when asked to critique other people’s works, I’ve struggled to find anything positive to say.¬†In those cases, the compliment sandwich becomes a difficult meal to make. You know how this works: two positives that act as the bread to a filling where you get to lay bare all the bad stuff. Except sometimes, there is only filling.¬†As a society, we are now pushed to be positive for a lot of very good, noble and totally correct reasons. There are extremely sound foundations for encouraging this behaviour… except when your sandwich is sans filling…

It is a balancing act I’ve always found hard to maintain because I was made a blunt instrument.¬†I’ve had to learn to communicate a balance, and over the years on my three blogs you can, if you take the time, watch this evolution take place. There will be days when I continue to say ‘fuck you’ to various sections of the establishment, and that remains the case because there is the realisation that these people just don’t listen regardless.¬†If your idea of criticism is the passive-aggressive format that at least one of my stalkers took in an attempt to try and make me feel guilty for ostracising him?¬†I can see the difference now. That ploy’s not going to work anymore.


With everybody else, I can find a working relationship. Language differences do not matter: I can Google translate now if required (and I do when the need is there) and honestly if the willing exists on both sides, everybody wins. The best criticism I get, consistently, is that which simply holds a mirror up to my own failings without fear.¬†It happens far more than most might realise too: the exchanges via Social media, realisations that are highlighted by (often) the most unexpected of people. The number of individuals who still DM me when typos turn up in posts is a true joy and is never going to get old. It isn’t pedantry, but a physical manifestation of care,¬†and I will forever remain grateful.

Being online is becoming less dangerous with each passing day as a result. Those who are annoyed enough to block me from their lives have done their job in teaching the lessons around how sometimes, however hard you try, people will just hate what you are regardless.¬†Occasionally those blocks, however, are for sanity, and the understanding that someone isn’t listening to anyone but themselves. For the people who really matter you just mute and allow them the chance to vent, because they give you that respect in your space to do the exact same thing. Having taken all my Twitter mutes off this morning after a period where I just needed to breathe (metaphorically speaking) there a readiness to engage again.


Writing isn’t just an exercise in self-satisfaction, despite what some authors might say to the contrary. It is as much about being able to grasp and accept the critical responses of others as it is being able to do the same to them. I am happy to be edited, which was once not the case but only to a point.¬†If I feel someone’s suggesting the removal of a point I feel is crucial to an argument or a narrative, it will stay intact. If someone sees the World in a differing way to me that is absolutely fine (and I can respect this) but not at the expense of my own view or indeed feelings on the matter. If it is obvious someone is not prepared to compromise… then you walk on.¬†With too much else to do, some fights are simply not worth your time.

However, I listen to all the criticism I get.¬†Good and bad, positive and negative, I have found the means to assimilate it all. That is something I know many people just can’t do, but for me, it has become as much of the process as the writing itself. I have been forged in the heat of decades of pitched Internet abuse, attacked by trolls and fools as well as finding some of the best and most brilliant friends a girl could ever ask for in her journey to enlightenment. Sometimes, you take it all because there’s the understanding that on some days, you get nothing at all.

This is what I have become, and it is glorious.

Word Crimes

This song speaks to me on a lot of levels. Given half a chance, I’ll be as pedantic with grammar as the next annoying twat, mostly if someone’s trying to give me a sideways slap via social media. However, most of the time when I’m writing my own Blog? I’m really not that bothered. There, I said it.¬†There are some notable exceptions: anything fiction gets the full 100% full on grammatically correct treatment, because STORIES ARE IMPORTANT, DUDE. Same goes for the stuff I get paid for, or that turns up on other people’s sites.¬†However, if I’m writing my own Blog (which I make zero pounds and zero pence for) I really don’t give a fuck. That’s about reaction and passion, and long may this continue, grammar issues¬†and all.

That’s why the World has editors, after all.

Today, I finally let go of the last person who’s been holding me back from truly being free in my creative spaces. I took inspiration from a friend who’s done much the same, and told it how it was. These parts of the Internet¬†are mine to control as I see fit. Everywhere else I’m subject to the¬†rules of others, but here that’s not the case. I don’t give a flying fuck how aggrieved people might be at this: while I’m capable of making the stand, I will, and what happens here begins and ends with my choices and NOBODY ELSE’S. If you don’t like it, tough. Most importantly of all, please don’t be deluded and¬†mistake this as some notion of censorship.

Some people I just don’t want here. Not because I disagree with them, but because they are controlling, unpleasant and manipulative shits.

Now that’s up in print, we can move on.

The Love Seat

I have been playing about with Adult Fiction in the last few weeks. Here is my first effort.


They had known each other for just under a decade, yet this was the first time that Daniel had asked Jaimi back to his new home.

She knew full well why this had happened, just simpler if they ended up at her place or Tim’s vast family home. The split level Docklands flat had been bought for conquests, then short-term relationships, but it was never for friends. That’s not how Daniel worked, since the horrendously acrimonious divorce six years previously. Married at 21, the man had been devoted for a decade before being cuckolded, then just went the other way. The last four years had seen him sleep with pretty much everyone Jaimi knew from the magazine, but never had he once tried it on with her. In many ways that was a blessing, because knowing Dan as she did, Jaimi was pretty certain it would only end in tears.

The three of them had been friends since secondary school: this picture on the large, darkwood dresser is one she’d forgotten was taken, but there they are: Timothy Christopher Abbot, Jaimi Green and Daniel Nathan Crosswell, standing together in the school blazers of St Clemens Sixth Form College. The frame’s a light beech, soft under fingers that have begun to numb, last Tequila Slammer already regretted after a deadline that had pushed everyone to the limit. The pressure and release of publication was something she was beginning to resent, that maybe working in coffee table publishing wasn’t the way the rest of her life should be spent. These other pictures are eclectic, unusual: Daniel’s daughter Tess as a Dalek, beautiful woman she knows is his mother and another unrecognised, faded black and white from somewhere in her friend’s unspoken, indistinct past.

‘That’s great aunt Jane. She worked for the Resistance in France in the 1940’s. Great uncle Mark used to tell me stories about her.’

‘I bet she was an amazing spy. If anything like you, she’d have men eating out of her hand.’

‘Her real power was discretion. I’ve never grasped the skill of keeping my mouth shut.’

There’s something odd about Crosswell tonight, pronounced since they left the Mexican restaurant and fell into their favourite bar. His normal bravado has slipped, almost cautious around her, with none of the normal demonstrative extroversion that made this tall, slim man seemingly irresistible to anyone who passed his orbit. Come to think of it, they’d spent a lot of time with each other of late, since the last girlfriend left. That pneumatic blonde had complained he wouldn’t commit, too dedicated to work and friends. Jaimi didn’t see a problem; these women didn’t understand that some men needed more space than others to function correctly.

She turns from the dresser, taking in a large, open-plan living space, before staring with disbelief at the large piece of furniture placed by the spiral staircase that leads up to the bedroom. It sits by the floor to ceiling window, ideal place to watch the world below, yet obscured from prying eyes with clever use of exterior foliage. Jaimi thinks at first it might be a solo recliner, but the width is all wrong, curves far too smooth and intentional for something that might be pretending to be artistic. Then her brain makes the connection, back a year to the special insert they produced on innovative British designers, and the penny drops.

‘This is Chase Barker’s Love Seat, isn’t it?’

Dan blushes, surprising for a man for whom pretty much anything went, given half a chance.

‘I knew you’d remember. It isn’t the original, but one of the second edition pieces he’s made. When they went into commercial production I knew I needed one.’

The item had caused major ripples when they’d featured it, that ‘Spaces’ architecture and furniture magazine was not the place to pedal items for sexual pleasure, but Dan had stuck to his guns and she’d felt compelled to back such passion. The whole was beautifully produced and manufactured: so what if its soul purpose was allow you to fuck someone in all manner of interesting ways? The thought of this piece of wood and high quality upholstery in an almost shameful deep purple, allowing her to be penetrated whilst perfectly supported in any number of positions, made Jaimi shiver. Amazed that Dan is staring wide eyed as she walks to it, a big deal is made of letting hand skim the top of the fabric, enjoying the feeling attention gives.

‘I have to ask: what’s it like to use?’

‘I have no idea. I’ve not christened it yet.’

Their tension is now unmistakeable; Dan can’t look at her directly, and Jaimi wonders at the merit of allowing alcohol to dictate her actions. Normally when drunk she’d sleep on Tim’s sofa and drive back out of town the next day, but with both his kids suffering from chickenpox, they’d decided not to add to the stress. Jaimi’s flatmate had her boyfriend over from Dublin, and so it seemed only fair to push Dan for a place to stay, considering how close he lived to the bar they’d ended up in. Except now, all she could think about was being naked, splayed face down on the soft, warm purple upholstery, being slowly fucked from behind. You’ll destroy the best male friendship you’ve ever had, it’s not worth the pleasure reminds an increasingly uncertain conscience, instead allowing the chair to act as support and nothing else.

Sinking into the soft yet firm padding, her body begins to shudder, amazed that common sense is ignoring everything except increasing arousal. Maybe, in the morning, if she still felt the frisson, there might be some consideration of consequence, but for now relaxation mattered more, right up until the moment when Dan’s eyes finally met hers. His need is almost painfully apparent, and a flick of gaze to the front of his jeans confirms she’s not imagining the tension. One of the reasons why this man was never short of a partner was the fact he provided both depth and girth, a fact that Tim had been jealous of since their teens. Jaimi laughs, nervous giggle of wonder, that she needs to be filled confidently by him without remorse.

‘Will you let me sleep here tonight?’

‘Is that where you want to stay, J?’

‘Absolutely, in fact I don’t think I want to move ever again. This thing is more comfortable than the original, it’s almost unreal.’

Only now does Dan break her gaze, and she’s aching at the loss. He almost runs away to make coffee and there’s no conversation at all, which is never the way this works. It’s been at least three months since the senior designer turned up at work with anyone, now Jaimi comes to think about it, and she has to ask what’s going on.

‘So, who’s going to be the lucky woman who breaks this thing in?’

‘I was hoping that might be you.’

‘Excuse me?’

Two cups of his favourite dark roast are on the low wooden table by the window and Dan comes to squat beside the chair, none of the confidence that would normally be expected this close. In fact, much of the recent behaviour suddenly makes sense seeing him almost kneeling, supplicant to her languor. No recent conquests, lack of sexual innuendo… and hands, which would have reassured by now but instead are placed behind his back.

‘I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am. I miss being in a stable relationship. Looking at Tim’s kids, knowing I might want try and do the family thing again‚Ķ and then I don’t know what matters. Until you walk in a room, and everything just stops dead.’

She had never considered herself a looker or terribly smart, letting art become both signature and personality, and that’s how Jaimi lived her life. Hair colour changed almost weekly, makeup undoubtedly an afterthought, living in jeans and a small pile of t-shirts since forever. Dan never told her anything but the absolute truth: hearing him almost whisper the admission in growing twilight makes her entire body shudder. It would end in tears because she’d wanted sex with him since the graphic art job was landed, and always thought the last thing he ever thought about was her body, so it had never really mattered.

‘You’re not fucking with me, are you Dan?’

‘That’s all I’ve wanted to do for the best part of a year, I just never knew how to broach it.’

Her laugh is sultry, possibilities blossoming below the waist. He’d needed alcohol to lose inhibition; the chair had been enough for her. Watching him straddle the width of the frame and her hips with a care that is as erotic as it is warming, Jaimi gives into the moment.

‘I don’t want to push you into anything you don’t want to do -‘

Sitting upright, pulling body to her before mind can be changed, uncertainty is kissed away. The sudden swell of need within consumes both rationality and common sense, lost to this first contact and better than she could ever have hoped for. His mouth’s warmth is glorious, tequila-flavoured and cigarette tainted and then they’re both horizontal, his weight a welcome restriction and liberation combined. Jaimi’s body simply melts, passion leeching into nimble hands as he’s stripping her, removing clothing with a speed that’s impressive, considering the amount that’s been drunk.

‘You’re absolutely sure you’re okay with this J?’

‘All I want now is to know how it feels to orgasm on this chair. You’d better be as good as I suspect you are. Fill me and then fuck me, please.

Expecting clothing to be shed Dan doesn’t, instead turning chair away from the window, before Jaimi feels herself begin to rise. In less than twenty seconds horizontal becomes a forty five degree angle, yet she remains on her back. This chair’s a step up from the original: that one didn’t have motors, or this non-slip material, preventing a dangerously aroused body from heading for the floor. Presented at Dan’s eye level, completely naked, she is surprisingly without embarrassment or inhibition.

‘I want to make sure you’ve come before I do. I have no idea how long I’ll last, and this has to matter.’

His honesty had often been a shortcoming, but Jaimi’s grateful, as he kisses first one breast and then the other, before sucking on both nipples in turn. That’s all that happens for what seems like forever, repetition making crotch begin to sing, waves of pleasure she has no problem in losing herself within. The moans, which would normally be restrained during the first time with a guy, are allowed to issue unbridled: one hand slips to left hip, the other vanishes, before there is the unmistakable sense of vibration where her behind is cushioned. The lower half of her body is being stimulated, arse cheeks gently massaged: now she’s close to an orgasm without even contact with her sex.

Feeling chest begin to heat, shudders down a tense back, Dan’s tongue’s at her clit, flicking with a skill that means an explosion’s inevitable: sweet bliss spreading through her entire body which is extended, accentuated by the vibrations beneath. Jaimi screams into the now dark room, unbridled pleasure emphasised by alcohol plus long-suppressed desire. She knows that’s not it, however, that inside her body is a bigger prize waiting to be claimed if he’ll only undress faster, and the chair shifts down, returning to a near horizontal position. His mouth is at her ear, words fuelled with a need understood only too well.

‘You want to turn over J?’

‘Oh fuck, you know I do.’

‘That was the reason I bought this. When you lay down on the original and stuck your arse in the air to piss off Alice Taylor? I knew then I ‘d want to fuck you that way first.’

She recalls the look of horror from the Finance Director, offset by Tim’s cheeky wink as she had climbed off that Love Seat. This chair is still vibrating as she scrambles, turning front to back, and settling into place clit’s suddenly re-stimulated, this time by the furniture itself. She can hear the last clothing shed, rip of condom packet, gorgeous hands on her hips, pressure against cunt that is as joyous as she’d anticipated until the shove inside, one thrust to fill completely. Then he stops and she knows why, because this might all be over instantly and that would be a shame.

‘I can feel the chair. Through you. Fuck me that’s good.

The grip is exquisite, firmness in hands she’s always found attractive, powerful until there’s a stroke, confidence built, thrust at a time. With no desperation to complete, instead desire drives, to enjoy the vibration that joins them, slow arousal of her internal muscles that becomes hypnotic, addictive. Mostly sex and alcohol meant dangerous and needy, but Jaimi’s happy at the slow, steady pace Dan keeps, the way whole body begins to heat again under repetitive friction. Sobriety is mixing with the edge of lost inhibition and somehow this makes his movements harder, stronger as the chair and her become indivisible. He’s lasted far longer than expected and now there’s a moan, and another, breathless as she pushes up and back to meet him, and the internal spasm happens without warning, sudden and joyous. As she comes his rhythm falters and then it’s a shudder, and again, gasp of a man who’s earned his reward for patience and honesty.

Jaimi’s mind slowly returns to the moment, chair still quietly buzzing until a hand moves to silence the motor, before pulling out and away. The blissful post coital hum¬†is stronger than she can ever remember, listening as he pads across hardwood floor to dispose of the condom, then pick up the coffee mugs, before breaking the silence.

‘That’s the best six grand I ever spent. Your coffee’s still warm: I have straws somewhere from the last time Tess was here, if you like you can stay put and I’ll feed you.’

Now there’s a laugh, from deep inside, before she moves to face her new lover. Naked he looks even better than imagined, and with no work until Monday there would be plenty of time to explore him at leisure, but for now the coffee is taken from a willing hand and drunk in one hit, before returning the cup with a grin. Now her thought isn’t just need, but something deeper, and the decision to listen to reason remarkably ends up as being wrong.

‘Why did it take you so long to suggest this, Dan?’

‘Maybe I was just scared, perhaps I was just waiting for the right piece of furniture. You were the only person who supported me in getting the original into the magazine, who didn’t get offended when it was apparent what you used it for. I suppose that was when I grasped you and I were more alike than I’d ever realised. I may not be the fastest when it comes to understanding what I want, but I got here eventually.’

Jaimi rises, amazed at her own need to fuck again so soon, coming to stand beside him as everything else suddenly is of secondary importance. This was the best way she could possibly have hoped to have started her weekend. As their mouths fuse, there is no regret in any of her actions.

Normally she’d want to spend two days in bed after a deadline, but this chair gave her other ideas.

Writing as Therapy :: Depression [1]

This has been a tough write.

When I decided I wanted to try and describe my depression in a blog post, the problem should have been easily solvable. After all, I’m a writer: that should allow me a measure of ability to describe the feelings I experience, right? I’ve spent a VERY long time attempting to get a handle around the right words. Finally, I think I’m there.

Close your eyes.

Imagine, when you do, shrinking¬†as the world around you grows, and suddenly you are tiny against the place you sit. There is a terrible and inescapable sense of helplessness: everything is so utterly far away you can’t reach, too high to scale or so deep you’d hurt yourself should you fall down. Nobody can hear you. In fact, the only sound is the blood, pounding in your own ears as the fear¬†rises to consume you. You are nothing.

Nobody cares.


It’s been a while since I’ve had an episode like that but I can remember the last one, horrible bitterness in my mouth, lying on the sofa at 4am while the family slept upstairs, knowing full well that there were people who loved me and were relying on my strength. Understanding your significance to others makes a lot of difference, allowing self-worth an opportunity to be nurtured and grow. However, unless you’ve ever been consumed by your own blackness, I can’t ever make you really understand just how terrible it is. The words might describe the darkness, but they can’t convey the terror and loneliness that actually hurts. Worse than childbirth, or the loss of a loved one, at least for me.

Enough to make you totally and utterly numb.

That’s the real horror, for someone who’s always lived their life in highs and lows. Feeling nothing is just so amazingly, horrendously awful. Not being able to write, unable to express anything and simply just to exist in a grey, dull World. To watch others having an amazing time and simply to sit without any reaction at all. Oddly, there will be those people who’d argue that’s one of the reason why drugs are so important, that the noise and fuss of the world is often too much to bear. I don’t need to have ‘normal’ emotional states, I’ve always lived at the extremes to begin with. I don’t want quiet, I feed on noise and feeling.


I’ve never taken anything for my issues¬†and actually, I’m glad that remains the case.


What writing granted me, back in the dark days after my daughter was born, was a voice I’d forgotten existed. It had been me as mum with my son and pretty much nothing else for several years, all the focus on being a better parent and not worrying about the person I’d been before he and she were born. The balance was all wrong, and being able to exist as a character in a video game who could be what they wished without responsibility was exactly what I needed. Mostly, I could open my eyes and not be as afraid of what happened when the dark feelings came.

Even how it is difficult to describe what went on during that time with confidence. Memories are hard to pin down, only the flashpoints remain, pain and anger when I’d get cross at myself, when I’d overreact, and then try and hide. Then there’d just be the numbness and inability to move out of the same spot, to even leave the house on certain days. That still plagues me from time to time, I’ll be honest, but now it happens very rarely, but there are panic attacks in places I am uncomfortable in. I had one on holiday, as it happens, but with my husband’s help got through it. It still happens.

I just have to learn to cope. Some days are better than others.