Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mentally Unhealthy Musings.

Those mentally healthy smarty pants are at it again, happily sharing their (lack of) knowledge so that us poor mentally unhealthy types might benefit from their wisdom.

Because of course all we need to do is be like them and we'll be fine!!

This need to help out with tips from the mentally well, when you are struggling with mental illness is one of the most annoying things ever experienced.  A bit like when every woman who ever had kids tells you how to do a pregnancy as soon as you mention you are expecting.  But more so.

The list above is well meaning, and appears to be simples to the "I'm OK, so you should be too" brigade.  Its bloody not.   So here's the reality from someone closer to the front line....

1 - THINK POSITIVELY: IT'S EASIER.- It is NOT easy in any measure to think positively just because you know you should. Its like persuading your body to fall upwards when you fall off a cliff, because the downward movement may be met with hitting ground.  The easier option is to wallow in the pit, and trust me, its so damned easy to wallow that it feels like every other option has been removed.  Best to aim for remembering there ARE other options besides the blackest ones that are pushing out all others.  And hope that those around you who are in a better place will realise the effort needed and support you.

2 - CHERISH THE ONES YOU LOVE.-  Sometimes, cherishing loved ones is more difficult than it might seem, because of silly little things like guilt, guilt that you are putting those cherished loved ones through all this crap.  Or feeling undeserving of those loved ones, and with no clue as to why they put up with you at all.  If you are lucky, those loved ones will forego the cherishing, and love you unconditionally.

3 - CONTINUE LEARNING AS LONG AS YOU LIVE. -  That one is easy, but the things we learn when mentally below parr are not always good lessons - like learning to put up barriers, hide away, mask our feelings, behave recklessly and ignore good sense.

4 - LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. - Again, seems simple, but you'd have to recognise those mistakes as being mistakes in order to try not to do them over and over.  And there is the rub of all rubs.

5 - EXERCISE DAILY.  - Bit like telling an asthmatic to breath properly.  When your body is doing all it can just to get you to open your eyes and face another day, finding motivation to exercise is often bottom of a really long list of (albeit skewed) priorities.  Granted, this is in fact one of the most beneficial things to do when you are not where you should be mentally. It often has huge effects in a short space of time.  Nevertheless, it still takes a monumental effort and support from others is often the only way to get on track.

6 - DO NOT COMPLICATE YOUR LIFE UNNECESSARILY - Well, thanks once again for that pearl of wisdom.  Trouble is, it doesn't seem complicated until it is.  No one says to themselves "You know, I think I need more on my plate than I can cope with so I'll just seek it out on purpose..."   This kind of ridiculously facetious advice goes a long way to making those who are struggling feel even more out of their depth.

7 - TRY TO UNDERSTAND AND ENCOURAGE THOSE AROUND YOU - definately one for the mentally well, that one.  Sometimes it feels like you can't manage to do that for your self, let alone others.

8 - DO NOT GIVE UP - SUCCESS IN LIFE IS A MARATHON.  Well, I don't mean to sneer at this admirable sentiment, but again with the telling of the asthmatic to breath better.  You can bet the mentally ill know exactly what a marathon success is, and they are running one every single day.  Better to tell them to see every little milestone as success, not those long term finish lines that seem so far away....

9 - DISCOVER AND NURTURE YOUR TALENTS.   Its all relative, but this is probably one of the most difficult platitudinal requests in this list. Even without a mental illness to oil the logs we balance on, this is something most of us are ridiculously poor at by ourselves.  We can only try do our share of this for others, and hope that it is recognised and nurtured back in ourselves.

10 - SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF AND PURSUE YOUR DREAMS. - Ah... Easy as that.  I know when I'm in the depths of a depression I can think of nothing more than setting some goals for mesen before a good hearty breakfast!!  More useful maybe to rethink, and replace scoring any goals with just trying to turn up to the match everyday, and bringing your kit in case you are fit to play....

As for dreams - at my worst times, mine are usually the sort that wake you crying and sweating.  Concentrate on getting back a clear view of reality before worrying about dreams and the like.  The best dreams will come to those who wait.... or somesuch other platitude.  Do what you can, and just keep swimming....

Daisy xx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Spare the spoilers? Spoil the child....

Some people get really bothered by other people posting details of shows they have seen and enjoyed.  This missive is to those people.  Its a kind of "I'll give you something to cry about" type post, so if you are one of those bothered people, stop reading.............. NOW!  

(Spoilers may follow, so run along now...)

First of all, Oh my good lord, you whining, self centred, passive aggressive children!!!!

Since you are so keen on exercising your choice NOT TO WATCH WHEN EVERYONE ELSE DID, maybe exercise the choice not to read the comments and posts about it.  See, while you are taking time to read them, you could have chosen to WATCH THE BLOODY THING!!

Now I get that some people might have a legitimate reason for not watching the programme live, when its on telly, like the rest of us plebs.  Those reasons might include being at work, being operated on, and being kidnapped by Somali pirates.  They don't include "I want to watch it with my friends later"  "I'm going to a party instead" or "I want to watch it at my leisure, when I'm ready, OK?"  

Legitimate reasons for missing the live broadcast usually mean you won't have access to spoilery comments either, and I'd expect you to watch at the earliest convenience, if you are bothered about watching it spoiler free.  Otherwise, if you aren't that arsed about watching it, then don't be so arsed about reading spoilers, DUHHH!

Choosing to be somewhere else, or to watch it when YOU fancy does not then entitle you to whine on and insult people who have already watched it, loved it and wish to share their enthusiastic comments.  Those people don't have to cow tow to your choices and/or your preference to watch it later.  They don't have to not mention their favourite bits just because you haven't seen it yet.  Expecting people to avoid mentioning plot details out of some misguided idea of courtesy is id-ish in the extreme, and comes from some odd feeling that the world should revolve around your needs and wants rather than its own.

The age of chivalry is dead and good riddance, as it existed usually so that anal retentive rule makers could impose ridiculous rules on others to fit their idea of what they thought was right.  Opening doors for ladies - rule set up by some bloke who wanted to show women they needed help and he was there to provide it.    A Gentleman never tells -  rule set up by someone who isn't getting any, so that they can imply that they are.  Children should be seen and not heard - rule set up by selfish parents to keep their kids in line.  and finally - Don't disclose spoilers online - rule set up by folk who want to watch stuff later and believe everyone else should scurry round their choice and not talk about shows like they want to in case they spoil it for the rule makers.

Sorry, but I've never been much for rules which cater for the rule makers only and don't benefit the rest of us.  

In conclusion, stuff your spoiler whining right up your tight whinging arses, I'll discuss what I want online and I expect you to be active in choosing NOT TO READ and not be passive and expect me not to write.

Grow a pair, for goodness sakes, ya big babies.

Dais.   (with due respect)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Learn some respect? Really?

Oooh and here's another of those "Share If You agree" facebook things.

Really?  So lets start at the beginning, this is saying that if you had spoken rudely to your parents, you wouldn't be here to share this status - because your parents were so "strict" (read violent and controlling maybe) they would have killed you.  Or in a tamer interpretation, done something to you so that you couldn't type the status?  Or even tamer, maybe they would still be controlling your life to the extent that you would not be able to get online, use facebook, communicate?  Whichever way it is, I'd not be bragging about parents like that - they sound like Fred n Rose West or something.

And the other bit - about the children learning respect - where are they going to learn this from?  From someone who thinks good parenting is a walloping for talking out of turn?  Or preventing kids from communicating?  Where did the person posting this little gem learn about respect I wonder?  It seems their interpretation relies on fear of something terrible if you were rude to your parents.

Do I think some children need to learn the meaning of respect?  Well, yes they likely do, but no more than they did when I was a child.  Is this post saying it was better a generation or two ago? If so then I'd have to disagree - I knew kids who regularly got smacked, walloped and worse because that's what their parents saw as good parenting - looking at a lack of control on their part, resulting in bad behaviour in their kids as an excuse to be violent, controlling and mean to their children.

Actually, children these days are taught directly and unequivocally what respect is all about in school.  I was taught the three r's and did a lot of colouring in and copying out (handwriting practise).  Lets be really honest, it wasn't all that great in school 30 yrs ago for kids.

If you really want to harp on about children today - go teach, or at least make sure your children do understand that respect isn't about being afraid of getting hurt if you were rude to adults.  Hopefully it is about understanding how adults will look at you and feel if you are rude to them, so you can avoid making people feel shitty by being thoughtless, or encouraging adults with no respect to be rude, mean or violent back to you.

I haven't shared this, because I don't agree.  I've never felt that I wouldn't be around now if I had been rude to my parents when I was younger.  I wasn't rude to my parents because I wasn't under their feet twentyfour seven, I was out playing with other kids.   Its a luxury I didn't necessarily recognise then, but I do now - kids today don't have the luxury of being able to spend most of their days unsupervised by parents for a variety of reasons.  And if I had been under my parents feet as much as kids tend to be these days, I suspect I'd have had a fair few more run ins with my mum and dad than I did.

Still at least these little gems of ill thought out nostalgia get you thinking.  Or not.  In which case, you can just share like the other sheep.

Daiz xx

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Enough with the Uglifying....

So I saw a post on my facebook timeline saying "Everyone has an ugly friend..." - it implied several things that trouble me hugely.  Firstly, that everyone is shallow enough to judge their friends according to their looks, and place them above or below themselves.  Secondly that they see those friends that are less conventionally attractive than themselves as ugly. Such a nasty word, and to tag someone with that trait is saying they produce a reaction of disgust in others.  Its not only telling them something about how they look, but telling them how others react to them.  Thirdly and most noxious is the final implication that if you DON'T think you have ugly friends, it must mean that you are unknowingly the one that is the "ugly friend" 

Posts like this are at the root of some of the shittiest crap that goes on on the internet.  They peddle the message that EVERYONE judges you, even those you trust.  It says you should judge others before they judge you.  It says that if you don't judge others like this, you are naive and everyone else is judging you anyway.  The message it throws out is this - People are all cunts, so be a cunt and fit in.

All this hidden bullshit is sprayed around on facebook as being jokey, funny and harmless.  Quirky quotes of aggressive crap telling how you don't care about the folk who give you angst in life are another trend I hate.  I see that people might want to present a facade of bravado, but truthfully, if people are shitwits to you, you need to show them how that hurts, not wear the mask of some angry cunt who doesn't like others to hide the fact that you are hurting.  Otherwise you risk becoming the angry cunt who doesn't like anyone.

The ugly friend thing in particular needs stamping on - Nothing is more ugly than encouraging others to be judgemental in order to feel better about being a judgemental twat yourself.  Just don't do it.  Don't make others feel like crap.  Don't think about your friends like that.   Its really fucking destructive.

Have I got any ugly friends?  - well, I'm sure there are people on my timeline and friends list who do judge others in lots of ways, but I can't really bring myself to tag them as ugly.  Do I have friends who might be seen as less than attractive?  Fuck knows, people, I truly wouldn't have a bloody clue because I'm too busy trying to keep my own head above water to be arsed pushing anyone elses under.

So, erm..... stop it with the judgey judging judgefest.  Life is hard enough surely....

Dais xx

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Hairy Misanthropes

How doth the hairy misanthropes
Plot and plunder the fun from my life
Mistrust and disdain are their wary bedfellows
How dare the hairy misanthropes
Trample upon my sparkle and joy
With such glee and alarming regularity

BUT Why?  I ask with a genuine confusion
They blame such naivety on my delusions
Their answer is always that “Life Is Hard”
For such is the belief of these massive fucktards
(sorry – I mean “misanthropes”, obviously)

So why do those hairy misanthropes
Spread their gloom and despair, like birdshit in my hair
At every turn, weaving their terrible way through my dreams?
It is simply because those hairy misanthropes
Have nothing of their own they did not steal from those like me
Have no dreams,  no joy and, most telling, no integrity.

So when troubled by your own particular Hairy Misanthrope
I’m thinking that this knowledge might present a spark of hope
Remember that, try as they might, they themselves can never be
Creative, fresh and vibrant
Hopeful and ebullient
Friendly, trusting, dare I say
Genuine and nice in our own way
and .... (we can say it proudly)

WITH  our  Integ    ri      ty.

By me.  Fuck you, Hairy Misanthropes.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ebay Buyers Should Definately Beware...

I'm coming to the end of my ridiculous ebay buying ban for daring to leave honest feedback.

Will I be buying again from ebay once its lifted?  Well, no.  And for very good reasons...

For those who don't know, here's how I got banned from buying on ebay (I could still sell, because that, of course, is where ebay fleeces you of your hard earned!)

What I did
- bought an item of cheap jewellery (less than a fiver)
- paid for the item almost instantly, in full with paypal
- waited for item until after ebays expected delivery date (8days)
- contacted seller to ask if it was posted yet
- seller says he doesn't have the item
- erm... OK, asked seller for a refund (as he didn't offer...) (rolls eyes)
- seller says no money in paypal, so it can't go thru till Friday (It was monday)
- After Friday comes and goes, contact seller again the following Monday
- seller says paypal is "messing him about" and it will be at least another week for refund
- I start a paypal claim
- I get my refund in 3 hrs
- I leave neutral feedback
- ebay also remove all feedback I've left for the last month.

What he did
- didn't have the item he had listed
- didn't inform his buyer
- didn't offer a refund
- moved the buyers payment out of paypal, even though he knew he didn't have the item
- complained to ebay about the neutral feedback
- had feedback removed
- was allowed to continue selling on ebay without a care.

So, now they want to know if I will be recommending ebay to a friend.

Here's my answer

Oddly, no ebay.  I don't think I will be recommending ebay to any other buyers.  Despite your seeming to offer protection to buyers, your system of made up rules favours sellers to a ridiculous degree, since that is where you make your extortionate amount of cash - over 10% of every sale!.

Buyers who have problems should NOT complain or leave honest feedback, since if a seller is unhappy with that feedback and has EVENTUALLY refunded, ebay will find in their favour. Under their system, the "dispute" was resolved.  Regardless of it being the sellers fault.  Regardless of it taking several emails to get to the refund.  Regardless of the seller stalling at every stage and NOT having items to sell. Reghardless of the seller moving the money paid out of their paypal, even though they did not have the item to sell.  As long as eventually they refund, they are in the clear.   Buyers should NOT try to leave feedback which tells other buyers about a negative or neutral experience as that seller has, in effect, said their Hail Mary's and been completely absolved of all their sins.

Also, if you do sell your own stuff on ebay, be aware that this means your feedback takes on a whole new meaning in the eyes of the ebay police

- I was informed that because the item feedback I was "reported" for was in a category I had previously sold stuff in - Jewellery - I was, in fact, acting to "damage my competition" by leaving the negative or neutral feedback.   I actually buy more jewellery than I sell, and sell items every once in a while so that I can make room to buy more.  I sell maybe 10 items every three months or so.  Hardly a massive business with strategies to damage my competition.

Finally - you need to know that should anyone make a complaint about your feedback, ebay will then check ALL feedback left and if they find more than their arbitrary amount of negative feedback (This is in the detailed ratings mind, not the main feedback ) they will give you a ban without any contact with you whatsoever to state your side.

I have actually NEVER left a negative rating in my 12 years on ebay and 500 odd transactions.  I have NEVER recieved a negative either, and my detailed seller ratings are 4.9 and above across the board.  Maybe because I've also never ever ever...
- not had an item I was selling, I always get them out to photograph and then put them in a safe place
- not offered a refund if anything happened to an item beyond my control (never happened)
- removed a buyers money from my account before I've posted an item safely and had feedback to say it has arrived.

So, in conclusion, ebay's systems in place to protect sellers are stupidly and misguidedly strong, because they want sellers money.

As buyers, you seem to have protection, but it is a facade.  The phrase Caveat Emptor was never more true as it is when buying on Ebay.

Watch your backs, people.

Daisy xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

I wonder if they know? Reflections on being a teacher...

I wonder if they know?

Sometimes you do think quite lucidly about death, and about how you might be remembered.  Well, I do.  Its odd, placing yourself outside everything to try and think about how others will ultimately see you.

And I wonder about my daughter - how she will recall the days months and years during her childhood being put through the crap we get put through as teachers.  Will she recall the days I shut myself away when I got in from work due to the weight of stuff being asked of me.  Are those days when I was sweating over OFSTED inspections, lesson observations and the like going to stick in her mind as they stick in mine.

I know for a fact that I forget how much this job has taken over the years.  How tired I get, how mentally drained, how distracted I am.  I forget that its not just me that lives with the reality of teaching, but all my family.  The dreaded Sunday night has been a night to stay away from mum - the night when I'm turning all the next weeks tasks over in my head, and finishing planning, and marking and other stuff.  Weekends include being utterly shattered Friday night, getting everything you can't do through the week done on Saturday, and then Sunday the stress starts again, getting planning and marking done.  I always laugh at those telling me how lucky I am with all those holidays. - the ones where you spend half the week winding down, before spending the next half turning over what's coming in the next half term.

The longer breaks are great - but sooo bloody needed.  Christmas is an absolute blur, spent running up to christmas, then New year, and suddenly you're back to the grind.  Easter has become my favourite, time for a break and going back with the knowledge its just one term to summer.  And summer is respite in its purest form - I get to know my house again, see the world during the day, truly escape it all for a while.

I feel like I've probably just leapt from summer to cherished summer for my whole career.  Which is all of my daughter's life.  Never took her to school, or saw her at Sports day. Didn't take her to the docs or dentist.

Through all this, I truly wonder if the powers that be - Heads, or higher, politicians and the like - really know what its like to teach.  More and more, it seems there are things on their agenda that cut into my mental wellbeing immensely.   And more and more, it seems some of those things are there for the sole purpose of doing that very thing.  So I wonder.  I wonder what terrible misdeeds teachers ever did to deserve the seemingly deliberate undermining of their professionalism, their day to day grind and their value as people.

Or is it that they just don't realise?  No, that's ridiculous.  How can they fail to spot the dwindling morale of an entire profession, and continue with the onslaught of politically driven ill judged initiatives that make things ever more desperately depressing in education.

Sadly, I feel a little too battle weary these days to turn to other things, or make a noise about it.  I think I give enough of myself to it all as it is.  Weak, I know.  But its the reality.

 I bet they do bloody know.   Shame on them.