On shyness as narcissism

 

In an effort to cure my crippling shyness and move on from the recent past, I have today been researching narcissism.  I found some interesting stuff on shyness as a narcissistic trait.  The theory being that shyness is narcissistic because it indicates that you imagine your presence is important.

I have not always been shy.  I originally worked with the public.  Whilst this was a strain because I am so used to having quite so much alone time, I managed it without too much fuss and was a fairly big personality.  Likewise when I became a head chef, I had no problem learning how to work a room full of male chefs to get the best out of my staff.  I also have little problem trying new things, so evidently I have a form of confidence.  I just don’t particularly like interacting with lots of people.

I am trying to get over this, as I work on the Ina Disguise Entity project, as I think I will call it.  I have been back on my old youtube channel and re-released some old stuff.  I made a couple of videos today.  I still find I am worrying constantly about whether anybody wants to see it, whether it makes sense, whether I should be bothering to try.  I should not be worrying about this.

I made quite a few videos for my friend in London years ago when I first went raw, and found the minute the view count hit 40 I just wanted to take them all back down again.  The thought of people looking at me horrified me.

For the purposes of inventing Ina Disguise as a person I need to start getting over this as quickly as possible, therefore it is important that I work on it.  Making a youtube video should not be a source of quite so much anxiety, especially when you have a very small channel with few viewers.  Nevertheless I have already made and taken down about seven, regardless of the fact they only had one or two viewers.  This is not perfectionism, as anyone who has listened to the Ina Disguise channel can testify, but social anxiety.

In the spirit of making the best use of this anxiety, I am kind of using it as fuel to make me work harder on my appearance.  If I know people will see me, I take a lot more care than if I never see anyone, so it is quite helpful for that.  Having said this, in the event I ever do have to make public presentations, freaking out and going over every word I say over and over again is less than helpful.  I need to lose the hang-ups, basically.  It has become far worse since the family disaster and events of the last decade, so it is something I need to persist in working on.

In the spirit of self-acceptance, it would be nice to forget about it and do back-room types of work, but it does not look as if this is how life is going to work out, so I am going to persist with it. At least it will force me to regard myself as an artwork, which is probably a good thing.  It has, however, created something of a crisis of confidence about my artwork.  I kind of want to make a bonfire with quite a bit of it at the moment.

Shyness as a form of narcissism is a similar concept to caring as a form of self-abuse.  You hand over your life to care for someone else to show what a nice person you are, at your own expense.  It is a very damaging way of expressing yourself, especially when you have at least one real narcissist in your family waiting to criticise your efforts at every opportunity.  It is up to yourself how strong you are in terms of rationalising and taking action to avoid becoming a victim of these things.  I certainly never thought my life would ever end up like this.  It was not what I worked towards at all.

So, the Wolfe-era journey has now led me into very unfamiliar and terrifying terrain.  A lot of self-evaluation and development is still necessary, despite my exploring having gone relatively well so far. The problem with such self-evaluation is that it opens up many cans of worms you don’t really feel like opening, or necessarily really need to open.  I don’t write worrying terribly much about the attitudes of other people, for example, so why would my physical appearance and voice be so different?

All this, I do for a person who will never speak to me again.  I am still being an idiot.  At least I will be a better educated idiot, I suppose.

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Games in Development

OK I was just having a look at Wild West Online, which looks promising, although I will not be participating as I am too busy, and realised that I had not extensively described the ones I am actually working on.  There have been significant delays with the game projects, as I had hoped to send some work to the Gambia, but as this was not possible I had to take care of all of it myself

Best Adventure Ever is the one relevant to the David Wolfe project, and will be suitable for PC, Mac, tablet or mobile.  Although the visual novel is not the perfect format for the original story, I felt this was a good idea for maximum coverage since I am a noob to the games market.  I have not decided on whether to attempt to make any actual money on it as all the work on the Wolfe project is intended to gain reach rather than profit.

It is the separate story of Kira and Sam Redwood, who in terms of graphics freakishly resemble Wolfe and I, in a sort of self hating kind of way, and their progress through a series of dating episodes.  Sub-choices are made via consumption – what you choose to eat, drink and do moves the story along.  As you can see, the graphic quality is rather nice.  Without giving too much away, the game is intended to improve the knowledge and confidence of the player no matter how they feel about themselves, and so I think it is a worthy project.  I don’t know why I still care about doing this for nothing, but never mind.

Mood Machine is a steampunk adventure set in London, and tracks the friendships of young people making their way in a mysterious society where  people have, for a variety of reasons, disappeared or died.  This one is more about psychology and how people interact with one another, and contains rather a lot of nice bits of economic history.

 

The two games are intended as entries into the games market with a view to creating the game I really want to make, which is a much bigger job and will also feature Wolfe.  (this family thing is most inconvenient in terms of game character building, Wolfe)  Although this was also intended to increase his reach, I think I will have to offer avatar selection for this game, and so I may include Icke and Robbins as possible selections and widen the games outlook.  Gamers have been awaiting a decent cult builder for a long time, so I think this is a nice back scratching way of serving the market.

In terms of hold ups, I could do with some technical discussion and I need to build up some more skills to get to this third and most important game.  I have the courses available, but have been significantly delayed in getting on with them, and all of this is secondary to clearing the studio, which needs to happen fairly soon.  I think the first priority is to complete the visual novels and see how that goes.  If it goes well, then full steam ahead with Best Guru Ever.

There is also the risk that Wolfe will object once the game is complete, since he chooses to ignore everything I am doing.  I haven’t hidden any portion of what I am doing, so I suggest if he has any objections, he gets on with making them before I put all this work out.

 

FYI – he will not.  I do not know why he considers it a good idea to ignore work that is being done.  The rule in these circumstances is ‘do it until they stop you’  but it is really a waste of everyone’s time.  Extremely frustrating if you are trying to make things happen and very disheartening.

 

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On being kind to others (obesity)

In the course of a relatively short life, I have been everything from 98lb to 311lb. (150lb is probably about right given my build)  In my case, any attempt at a normal diet after the age of about 9 or so ended up with continuous weight gain. (following glandular fever) I do not eat entire packets of biscuits or fries and now have an extremely high level of nutritional knowledge.  I just cannot eat ‘normal’ food or engage in social eating of any kind.

It has taken, for a variety of reasons, decades to accept this and put myself first.  Even when I found the answer, something came along to cause me to ignore it.

As you can probably tell by the website, my second love is men.  Food is more of an obsession.  I was a Michelin level chef for a few years, and following my education became very interested in food politics.

Causes of self-neglect have varied.  From avoiding men, to being upset by men, to trying not to be assaulted by men, to ignoring my own needs for either gender, I am guilty of having put myself last at every opportunity.  I used to think that this was a virtue.  I have now, finally, thanks to the Wolfe era, accepted that it is my biggest failing.  With the exception of my mother, who is 90, I will no longer be doing that.

So, one of my theories about why people like me put on so much weight is that they have the following issues:

  • lack of self-confidence caused by bullying because they have forgotten how to assert themselves
  • lack of awareness about gut health – eating badly causes you to eat even more badly
  • poor ability to prioritise themselves over other people in order to survive
  • crippling social anxiety caused by reactions to their appearance

To be fair, in my case, the issue was complicated by a lengthy battle with my love of smoking, which, being orally fixated, helped for a while, however the real basic problem is the repulsive comments made to me at an early age by my sisters.  For those who do not understand the effects of bullying at an early age – all those nasty comments you make stay with the person forever.  Be very careful what you say to people.  I will probably never choose to spend time with women because of this, because I am always looking for the next negative comment to cling to.  That is my problem, not theirs, but it is a fact.

So, in the spirit of empowering a few people who hide in their homes as I do, please remember the following:

  • If anyone tells you that you don’t matter – run.
  • Sometimes people are just horrible – it isn’t you its them – it took me until I was 39 to accept that.
  • No problem ever got better because you got fatter.
  • Walking is a better way of dealing with emotion than stuffing it down along with some food.
  • Everything you put into your mouth affects your health.  Everything.
  • You deserve to feel good, no matter what you imagine you have done or failed to do.
  • Repairing the damage starts from losing the guilt and putting yourself first.

Being a kind person is very nice, but it may well be killing you.  Having been put through a lot, you may regard your kindness as your best feature, but in terms of your own health, it may not be.  Learn to make space for yourself, and avoid anyone that will not let you do that.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comments.

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Ina Disguise build update 1

The Story so far:

In early July, I realised I was again at risk of a stroke.  I never usually suffer from headaches, but my chest pains and headache combinations were getting worse again due to the stress of having to fight off the NHS as I saved my mother’s life. They and social services objected to her new raw diet despite her having previously stopped eating or being awake for very much of the day.  I was exhausted, very stressed and was starting to struggle even doing shopping for my mother.

She had been sent home to me painfully thin, with teabag skin. She a low chance of survival after a spell in hospital because I had sent her in to have a clot scanned.  I thought this would take one night.  Due to changes in consultants, infections and other problems caused by her normal diet and some well-meaning but rather daft staff, she ended up stuck there for two months.  Hopefully we won’t be doing that again for a while.

After having had to explain her diet in low-to-moderate detail to a variety of so-called professionals (there wasn’t one that fully understood how her diet worked or how it would replace four medications)  I eventually won out, and have now been left in peace again.

Because I was prevented from doing much of her additional therapy and my artwork by a series of bitchy nurses, progress on the artwork side of the project has stopped for the moment.

This has caused me to do a lot more writing again, since nobody can complain about that, and I stopped eating garbage around about early July.  I went low carb until my gut recovered from the inevitable imbalance of normal food, then went back onto Supermix only about three weeks ago.

Progress has been slower than in the past, however it has been about 8 weeks now and I have lost 42lb.  My face is in recovery (I have some delightfully hideous pictures to prove it.)  I am now doing 2x5k walks per day, and I have taken up cycling, although it will be some time before I am even able to do half an hour as I have never regularly cycled in the past.  The last time I had to shift this amount of weight, it took about 5 months to get to this point with exercise, so I am still getting the benefit of my previous raw diet.

Taking into account that last time I had decades of toxic refuse instead of about three years, this does not seem like bad progress so far to me.  Much of the struggling when you are taking up exercise after hiding for a long time is actually just phagocyte activity, as in shaking things up in order for your body to get used to the idea that you are going to be doing it all the time.  It is disappointing not to have the same spectacular occurrences of 21lb weight loss in one week this time, but is probably a good sign in terms of my body having worked better despite the abuse of a normal diet.

I have never been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but I suspect that if the parameters were not so strict I would be, as I have low blood sugar to start with.  Therefore when they do a fasting blood sugar test, it comes up normal when for me it is actually sky high.  I do have a marker for fatty liver, but no GP so far has been remotely concerned about it.  I am also blessed with low blood pressure, so I do not get hassled about that often.

The last time I was raw, my blood work was outstanding, so I am waiting until my weight goes down some more before I go and re-verify that.  I can tell you that from a prognosis of ‘nearly dead’  my mother is now the subject of monthly tests because they cannot believe her recovery.  From constant UTI infections and a state of decline, she no longer requires antibiotics because of her raw diet.  Even I was impressed, and I had taken this radical action because I knew what the NHS had done with my father at a similar stage in his illness.

It was not until I saw this, that I realised that the raw foodies are completely correct.  No other form of nutrition would have pulled her back from quite so close to the brink.  I am not saying that anybody could have pulled it off, her diet is really quite technical, but certainly low carbing, paleo  etc would not have done it.  Therefore I am somewhat more committed to raw than I was previously.  7 years ago it was a fabulous cultural curiosity, now it is a matter of life and death, to put it bluntly.

From a personal perspective, what was a casual attempt to stop my health declining in July, became more motivated when I discovered Wolfe was coming over in early August, which seems to have reengaged some hormones (nuff said) and certainly improved my motivation.  I basically conned myself by thinking about going even though I knew it was an extremely bad idea in reality.  I have now switched over to focusing on re-modelling Ina Disguise to become an actual person, so it is more of a professional interest.  I ain’t no fangirl, and I am not the type of chick that thinks it is cool to chase married people.  It would have been nice to sort out the work issue, but that is really up to him, and he is way too lazy/vain to bother finding out.  Therefore Ina will be taking over the original project in the fullness of time.

So, in terms of fitness recovery, compared with my last foray into the world of raw food, this time is a massive improvement.  Supermix is, of course extremely comprehensive now, and I am a lot more savvy about the whole raw food concept than I was 7 years ago.  When you are new to it, you get caught up in a lot of bullshit and self-doubt. This time I doubt nothing, which is immensely helpful and less stressful.

The fact that you need so much sleep to start with is a bit annoying, but apart from that the inch loss so far is even more impressive than the weight loss.  I will keep hammering at it until the job is done, now that I have no further concerns about:

  • whether it is the best diet possible – it is
  • whether I am bothering anyone – I’m not
  • whether I will ever have any options in terms of family and career – I don’t see it

Therefore, I figure, I may as well devote myself to creating a beautiful Ina.  Whilst I do that, I will be creating a persuasive, technical, political and economic argument for Ina to present.  I have no idea whether I can do it in terms of dealing with the public, but I will give it a damn good try.  Wolfe, in the meantime, is welcome to enjoy his semi-retirement. (waves)

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The Best Friend Ever

Why are you doing this?” Kira was rooted to the spot, too frightened to fight back, trying to rationalise what was happening.

You’re stupid.” Leon ran from the computer towards her and headbutted her for the fourth time.

Kira reeled slightly, but was dimly aware that her enormous bones were considerably stronger than Leon. As he retreated to take another run at her, she tried edging towards the door. Given that the only alternative room was the kitchen, she did not particularly want to lead this episode in that direction. There were knives in there. Her head, bruised from the headbutting and scorched by the two pints of boiling drinks Leon had already thrown at her, was now quite painful, but she had no time to think about that. She tried packing the remains of her stuff into her bag, with a view to leaving.

Stupid, stupid bitch.” Leon continued his tirade, blind with fury after Kira had left an apple core on his new Ikea sideboard.

OK I think it is time for me to leave now.” Kira tried to sound as calm as possible. All she wanted to do was remove herself from the situation. Leon had gone crazy.

This was not entirely a surprise, given the amount of stress Leon had been put through. His family had made horrific accusations against him, to the point that his wife had left him some months before. Kira had done her best to be a good friend to him, in the absence of the ability to make the problem go away entirely. It wasn’t even as if they were in love, particularly. He just didn’t have anyone else. Now she was to be a punchbag, for some reason. Kira picked up her bag swept some of the blood out of her eye, and moved towards the door. Leon was breathing heavily, apparently not seeing a further opportunity to attack her. Hopefully he was tired.

Kira slowly edged towards the front door. She had no idea at this point how badly she was injured. She knew that she had accidentally put diesel in her car the night before, so it was stuck outside the house.

As she descended the stairs, she wiped her hand on the walls. Some brown stuff, presumably brain, was coming out of the wound at her browbone. She wiped it on the wall of the close as she went down. If she died before she made it home, she reasoned, some trace of her DNA would be left. She had better phone the AA to deal with the car.

She stopped at a hostel on the way down the road to ask to use the phone. They took one look at her and refused. Feeling distinctly dizzy, she finally found a phone box a few streets away. She called the AA. Just as she had arranged for someone to come and pick her and the car up, she finally cracked.

I, I’m burning.”

What?” the AA assistant, sitting in her distant office was confused.

The tea had no milk in it, I’m burning. My head, it’s burning.”

What happened?” the AA assistant was even more confused.

Leon, he poured two pints of black tea and coffee over me.” Kira sounded as if this was normal behaviour. “It’s burning.”

OK.” The AA person sounded concerned. “I think you had better get yourself to a hospital. You can call us back about the car later.”

Do you think so? I thought I should sort the car out first?” Kira was genuinely confused. She never mattered more than other things, particularly where money was concerned.

Yes, get yourself to a hospital. I will put your call on the waiting list, don’t worry.” The AA person sounded comforting. “I think you are probably in shock.”

Yes, my head is sore.” Kira put the phone down and staggered out of the phone box into the road. She had been lucky to find one at all.

Some ten minutes later, a kindly taxi driver stopped and bundled her into the back of the taxi. “No charge.” He took her to the local A and E.

An ex-nurse you say? He knew what he was doing. He was trying to destroy your face you know. If your brow bone had shattered, you would have also had brain damage. You need to stay away from him.”

Oh it isn’t a domestic. I split up with him weeks ago. He just went mad. I think I must have made a mess.” Kira started to cry a little as she realised what a mess she must be, given the pain.

Patched up, Kira sorted the car out. It was to be taken to a garage outside Glasgow, and then she decided she would go to Oban until it healed up. She headed over to see Aldous.

What on earth happened to you?” Aldous, usually impassive, looked faintly horrified.

Leon. I have to leave town for a few days until it heals.” Kira rubbed her head.

Leon is a cunt.”

He is just stressed by the allegations. I got him the best lawyer in Scotland you know.” Kira was quite proud of that.

Aldous was open-mouthed. Kira was always stupidly kind, but this was ridiculous. “You should report that. Harry was great friends with David, but he reported him and it wasn’t as bad as this.”

If I do that, he will go straight to jail. I can’t do that.”

He doesn’t deserve your concern.”

Probably not, but right now I just have to hide this from mum, so I have to go.”

I wouldn’t be worried about your mum if I was you.”

Kira had lived in Oban ten years before. She had been recovering from a violent relationship back then, so for some reason it made sense to spend a few days there whilst the burns and wound on her face cleared up. Her first port of call when she got there was the family she had worked for.

No, you can’t come in. You will frighten the customers. Boyfriend did it, I take it?” Malkie, her former friend, stood across the door of the restaurant.

Ex, actually, but it was a kind of random thing. So you are saying I cannot eat here?” Kira was hurt and confused. “You could put me at the back?”

No.”

Kira did not wait to see if he had anything else to say. How appalling. So far this experience had taught her that people did not like trouble, even if you were the victim of it. When she then drank with her former friends, they also assumed that she had somehow caused this. It was to be her last visit to her old stomping ground.

She had stupidly imagined it would look better in a few days. It did not. Kira looked like a lizard for several weeks, and she certainly didn’t feel like meeting any new people, a trait which did not change as the years went on.

Ten years later, Leon emailed to say that the conviction from his family’s false allegations had been overturned. Kira was delighted. His life was still ruined, he would still have the overturned conviction on his record, but at least his name was actually cleared. They went out to celebrate.

What do you mean salad?”

I am a raw foodist these days. Talking of which, would you like to go swimming?” Kira was interested in this Scottish idea that participation in friendship always involved consuming something. It had become apparent that consuming something was also quite a narrow activity in terms of one’s choice.

I’m not sure I can. I’m just out of hospital. Aneurysms. I could be dead any day, you know. I’ll try, though.” Leon seemed a bit more suggestible than usual, even so Kira was aware that you could not tell him anything, so she did not try.

Several weeks of swimming meetings ensued. Leon seemed to think he was in competition with her, and so this became miserable. Kira eventually curtailed their swimming relationship as it was irritating in the extreme, swimming with someone who alternated between accusing her of killing him and competing with her to put her down. It was increasingly apparent that he objected to her diet.

Over the next two years they had an on-off friendship. Leon would turn up, be helpful with her mother, block anything creative she tried to do, especially if it involved any participation, and then she would become irritated and tell him to go away so that she could get some work done. Although Leon was good company, Kira always had the impression that he was waiting for some opportunity to hurt her, and she could not understand why. As there was no-one else in her life, she waited to find out, and watched as he smirked at every change, every contradiction, every bad thing that happened. He would sound so supportive, and yet she knew he was waiting for something….

Kira could not understand why she could not recover from the Sam Redwood incident. She had spoken only briefly to him. He was great fun, but she wasn’t getting much sense out of him. She just wanted to give him some work. She then tried to give him a gift of her artwork, and this was also refused by one of his staff. She felt utterly worthless. Her life had been curtailed by her lack of confidence and her parents’ illnesses, but this had become secondary to this one moment online when Sam had blocked her on Facebook. Everything seemed to end with that. She had been aware all the time that things at home had been getting worse, and yet this one thing haunted her. She struggled to stay healthy, wondering what was the point, since things only seemed to be continuing to get worse. She would never achieve anything, and now she could not even give her work away.

Leon seized his chance. He had not seen Kira for a while, but he knew that she was isolated, frightened and taking care of her mother. He decided to visit, bearing cake.

Please don’t bring cake. Mother gets plenty of cake. You can eat cake at home if you like.” Kira had adopted a policy of ensuring her mother was indulged by choosing items that she knew she would not touch. She knew by Leon’s face that this was deliberate, but she did not know why. She was very tired, and very lonely. Her family were not supportive of her caring for her mother, and so she was in a constant state of terror as she cared for her.

It’s not for you, it is for me and your mother.” Leon’s tone indicated that he was apparently testing her, somehow.

I live here too, and if I am not well, none of us can be here because it won’t exist.” Kira had worked too long and hard on her health not to put up some kind of resistance.

I could be dead any day. Your mother likes cake. I will do what I like.” Leon’s face was contorted with a strange expression of smug rage as he created this odd stand-off.

Kira suspected that this was simply an opportunity for conflict. She looked at the kitchen. Could she remove him quickly without causing any stress to her mother? Her mother liked him. He was a well trained nurse after all. She stood in the kitchen, confused by her mannerly upbringing. Why would a cake be a reason to physically remove someone from your home?

She guessed she should probably just let him do it, but tried to stand her ground anyway. “This is my home. Please do not bring cake if you are visiting.”

Leon was, by now, eating his cake with her mother. They looked very happy. Kira felt terribly depressed. She had already explained to him that even one mouthful of bread could set her off on several years of bad eating. He knew that she had a problem. Why was he trying to force the issue, over and over again?

The third time he did it, Kira had some too. After this Leon and Kira would go and buy ingredients and Kira would cook for him. She had no life to speak of, nobody cared about her, and Leon was extremely keen on eating, whether this was out or in. Kira’s weight started to balloon.

Three years later, and despite eating much the same thing, Leon had gained 14lb and Kira had gained 140lb. They wondered why this would be? Several times during this period Leon would ask her to cut new notches in his belts, to show how much thinner he was and put her down further, especially around her birthdays. He would also refer to his fertility in response to her worries about aging and not having any children because of her fear of relationships and not getting out. Why was he doing this?

After she had had oral surgery, he also felt the need to attack her again, this time shouting about her being a bully. Kira now wondered why he was so fixated? She was aware of not feeling at all safe, but since he was such charming company at other times, she could not pinpoint why this would be? She had tried involving him in more constructive projects, but he would always find ways of delaying or preventing them. What was going on? Kira noted that he always had the same expression as he did it.

The last straw finally came when Leon accused her of having an eating disorder as she explained to him for the umpteenth time why it was not acceptable to bring things into people’s home when they have asked you not to. It was at best mannerless, she said and at worst to be considered another assault. It was the height of disrespect, she said. He had sullied the somewhat shaky safety of her home, and for what? The gift of his frightening company? In what way was eating healthily, so that you did not succumb to stroke or a heart attack, an eating disorder? Why could he not understand that being well was better than being ill? Why did everyone else’s pleasure have to be at Kira’s expense, especially when her life had long since failed?

Kira no longer had a choice. She would have to repair her health, or die having done little that she had actually wanted to do before circumstances had overtaken her. It would probably be her last great project. Financially questionable, but this time entirely necessary. Leon would have to go. Permanently. Even thinking about it caused her cortisol levels to drop and her weight to improve.

Sometimes, Kira realised, friendship is a matter of life or death, however subtle and educated the abuse.

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Petra’s Day Off

It’s OK, people like you shouldn’t have children anyway.”

What do you mean, mother? Why do you keep saying that? Why are you being so horrible?” Given that Petra had just saved her mother’s life, she felt that this was a little bit harsh, to say the least.

People like you…” Petra’s mother, at 90, had forgotten the thread of the conversation.

Why do you always get so nasty on Sundays? Is it because Alice is coming over and you need the practise when she starts bitching about me?” Petra was genuinely curious about this phenomenon. For someone with dementia, her mother always seemed to sense that it was Sunday, with similar results.

You’re not very …nice…People like you deserve all they get. I don’t like clever people.”

Is that why you let them behave like that? Is that why you join in? Because you don’t like clever people?” Petra felt the lump in her chest worsen as she realised that her life had been meaningless to her mother because she didn’t like clever people. “I gave up everything for you. I haven’t had a night out since 2003. I took you around Europe when they wanted to take your money and throw you into a care home. I restored your entire house. I took care of your husband and you. I’ll never own a house or have a family or a pension. That drink you are drinking cost me £1200 to put together. I had to fight the NHS to give it to you. Are you saying that I haven’t done enough for you?”

Oh, I don’t know….I don’t know.” Petra’s mother appeared to be turning back into the pillow to go to sleep.

Petra, who had had three hours sleep, felt the tears return again. She went through to the lounge. One of the cats sensed her despair and settled next to her on the couch. She tried to pull herself together before the nurses would arrive to give her mother her daily injection. As it was Sunday, she would have to clean down the kitchen, hoover and remove any personal items from her mother’s room before her sister arrived to formulate her next complaint. Petra often wished she had let her family be prosecuted rather than prevent them from committing the crime in the first place.

At eleven, the nurses duly arrived. “There is a stain on the bed. Has she been sick?”

My mother does not suffer from such problems, she does, however, like to throw her drink around a bit before drinking it.” Petra eyed the small green spot on the duvet cover.

You need carers in. We want carers in.” The small silver haired nurse looked at Petra menacingly.

That is too bad, because we value our privacy. Carers do not magically produce more bedsheets as far as I know.”

That’s just it, it’s too much work for one person. We want carers in.”

I live here. You are here for five minutes per day. I do not want any more people in making any more false allegations.” In the last three months, a variety of strangers had barged into the house inventing a surprising range of stories, usually relating to invented cat-related problems. Evidently these bitches did not like cats. “Are you done yet?” Two nurses stood over Petra as she patiently waited to be able to leave the room again. She knew from experience that if she left the room when they were here she would be accused of neglect. How one goes about neglecting a sleeping person had never been explained.

We’ve got to look after you as well.” the nurse tried.

Well, the best way of doing that is to leave, and not invite any more hostile strangers into my home. You have a salary, a pension, a home of your own and probably a family life. I have to lock myself behind that door even to continue giving up all of those things for my mother. You have no idea of the situation I’m in.”

Oh we don’t deal with family dynamic.” the nurse pursed her lips.

Exactly, so perhaps, since you refuse to take the biggest problem we have into account, you should stop trying to force me to do things I do not want to do.” Petra was trying hard not to lose her temper again.

At length the nurses gave up and left, and Petra finished up the washing and completed her removal of anything remotely incriminating before her sister was due to arrive. She locked the door to her mother’s room and left, leaving access for Alice. She returned to her room and continued to ponder which of the many tasks she had on her list to do next. There was the gardens, the cleaning, the books, the artwork, the shops, the writing. Petra had tasks for every mood, every time limit. She did not know how carers in smaller houses coped, since she had been driven nearly mad with her imprisonment. Alice would only stay for ten minutes, so she could not go out until she had gone.

Petra looked at the internet for a while. Gary Walsh, a motivational speaker she had admired and briefly known, was due to have an event in a month’s time. She looked down at herself. She did not look good enough to go. She looked at the prices, and considered the amount she would have to spend to go. No, surely not? Two days of carers, a housesitter, care for the cats. Gary would probably not want to see her anyway, particularly looking so ugly. Even if he let her into the non-refundable event, he would probably not speak to her.

At length, Petra thought more positively. Did she not deserve a day off? Should she not seize the day, as he frequently recommended? Try to grab the opportunity, since she would be unlikely to ever be able to afford to go to such an event again? Petra thought of her impending destitution, and at length decided that since life was so very short, she should go, regardless of her appearance. She emailed the organiser, asked whether Gary would object to her attending given that their relationship had been rather stormy in the past.

A few days later, no email had appeared. Petra was fasting, trying to lose some weight. She changed her hair in anticipation of ‘going or being damned’. She had snatched a couple of hours a day to walk, and try to repair her ailing health. She knew she had to make a big change in a short space of time even to organise all the help she would need to make it at all.

Two weeks later, and still no email. Petra looked in the mirror. She still looked awful. Should she go? She guessed that she did not begrudge him the cost of the ticket regardless, and bought it. She felt briefly empowered by this. This was what he recommended, after all. Positive thinking, not considering others, doing what you want to achieve what you want etc. Petra’s walk became noticeably straighter as she went about her mundane day.

Still no email. Petra had by now resolved her lack of suitable clothing for the event, hired the relevant people and informed the housesitter of the situation with visiting nurses and carers. The event was in the south of the country, and would require at least one overnight stay. So far her day out had cost £500. Petra had not, however, had a holiday for two years. She admired her own decisiveness and checked her car for the long journey. She ensured that nothing nasty could be said about the gardens, the house, or anything else, since she planned to tell people nothing that they did not need to know. She so wanted to see Gary, and discuss her half-finished book.

The day before the event, arrangements in place, Petra noticed the email. She debated whether to open it. If the answer was no, she had wasted an awful lot of money. She decided against it. The rain also failed to put her off. She got into her car, bag in hand, and set off for the south.

It was a long drive. Petra loved long drives, so this left her unfazed. When she arrived she looked for somewhere to stay. The only place open was a Travelodge, which was rather uncomfortable. She checked in anyway and prepared herself for the possible disaster that would be the following day. Another night of little sleep, and finally the morning of the event arrived.

Petra approached the small town hall that the great Gary was to appear in. She was very surprised. Surely, a man this difficult to deal with was more famous than this? She was the first to arrive. The ticket office raised their eyebrows and whispered to each other when they saw the name on the ticket. Petra shut her eyes, assuming that she was not going to be let in.

At length, and after a phone call, she was ushered down to the front of the hall that Gary was to appear in. She had a VIP ticket. She tried not to look up as she approached the desk at which Gary was shuffling his papers.

She needn’t have worried. Gary did not appear to notice anybody else in the room. He was concentrating, she reasoned. She feigned interest in her very boring phone. A mild headache was developing.

As the other members of the audience filtered in, Gary started to look up and greet them. Petra now suspected that he did not even recognise her as he smiled and waved at his preferred punters. She was amazed at her smallness, given the time and thought she had wasted on Gary over the years. She felt sadder and sadder as she viewed the scene. She could not think of anything less motivational than being so utterly ignored. Petra wondered if she should stay for the full day, or sneak out at lunchtime rather than attempt to talk about her work.

When lunchtime finally came, Gary did his rounds of the wooden VIP benches. Petra was now terrified. He could not avoid her now. When he got to her she looked up at him, and was horrified when she saw the level of hatred in his eyes.

And you are?” he extended a hand.

You know who I am. I’m Petra, the lady with the book. Do you think you could spare some time to talk about it later?”

If you had been more proactive when I spoke to you online, then I would have spoken to you. You should have said it then. My life has gone in a different direction now, you stupid bitch.” Gary seemed surprisingly bitter, and very angry with her.

I’m, I’m sorry.” Petra was surprised to find herself apologising to somebody she had just had to pay so much to see because he had refused to speak to her online. “You could have tried a normal conversation?” She felt slightly indignant. “All I wanted was to give you the world, and you couldn’t even let me.”

Let you? How could I let you when I didn’t even know about it? You think my staff have a clue about writing? That isn’t what I pay them for.”

I did inform your agent at some length.” Petra frowned. “You are the big star, I was repeatedly told that I was a nothing.”

Haven’t you learned anything from listening to me?  You shouldn’t have let anything stand in your way. Why did you?” Gary still looked furious. “Your work is no use to me now. I have different priorities.”

I waited for so long just for any sign at all that you were interested in the book, or anything that I had to say. You said nothing. What was I supposed to think?” Petra was now in physical pain at this disaster. She had thought of little but Gary for some years, and now this?

You don’t wait, you make it happen. You just don’t get it, do you?” Gary moved on to the next person on the bench and pinned his smile back on.

Petra’s heart sank. He would not discuss it now, she was sure. She wondered if she should not just get back into her car and drive home. She had felt so courageous by coming here, and now it seemed that she had not been courageous enough. She had failed him, and failed herself. Petra was conscious of the melancholy creeping across her chest.

Gary finished the line and turned to return to his desk. As he reached Petra, he turned to her. “Well? Do you have it with you?”

The idea was for you to give me some idea what else you wanted from it, so that I could complete the research.” Petra was now very downcast. “I wanted to give you high quality work.”

Gary leaned over her  and put his lips to her ear “Fuck quality. I need speed.”

Considering the years of her time and emotion he had wasted on failing to talk to her, Petra was now close to snapping. “I am sorry, I can’t work like that. You are my muse. I need input for this element of the project, and I need to know that there is a point.”

Bye then, no use to me. Life is short and I have other things, like my children to think about.” Gary returned to his desk.

Petra closed her eyes. He had no idea. None. That had initially been what she liked about him. Now it felt like a cancer eating her soul. She got up and left the hall. As she got to the door, she turned around. Gary was staring at her, a mixture of disgust and panic on his face. Petra frowned. Was she considered to be the bigger partner in this arrangement? How odd, considering she had been creating a gift for him? The conversation was over, however, that much was clear. Petra returned to her car. At least she would not have to pay for another night’s accommodation, she reasoned. What did that look on his face mean? What did he want from her?

Petra tried to think how she could have otherwise handled the situation. What she really wanted to do was slap him, rip his shirt off, possibly scratch his eyes out, demand that he left his wife and devote herself to making him globally famous. In the absence of any surety that she could actually pull all that off, she guessed that any of that would be pretty impolite. Besides, he had chosen to get married, to someone he presumably loved. He had rejected her attempt at conversation online. What on earth was she supposed to do? If life was short, as he said, she guessed that she should just walk back in there and do it, regardless of mother and cats. She put her head in her hands. Why did that man, out of any men, make her so crazy?

The real war, she reasoned, was between motivation and reality. Reality dictated that she drive home, leave him in peace, die, preferably soon, having wasted her work and her life. Motivation dictated that she ravish him on his desk regardless of the audience members, probably stuffing the pages of her book into his mouth so that he couldn’t continue to speak as she did so. Love is very messy, Petra thought, as the lump in her chest finally turned into yet more tears. She had no wish to upset anybody, and no confidence that doing so would make her anything other than insane and probably dangerous.

Life really is no fun, Petra thought, as she turned the key in the ignition and set off for home.

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Fountain of Youth

I think I found it, what do you reckon?” Electra smiled, her newly unlined face luminous in the light of dusk. She was thinner than he remembered her too.

I think you look terrible, what have you done to yourself?” Simon, a creased forty something, stubbed out his cigarette. “How did you get the money for surgery? Why would you do this to yourself?”

I haven’t had any surgery. I just eat properly.” Electra was suitably deflated. “Can’t you see that I look better?”

You are far too thin, your hair is ridiculous. You aren’t twenty anymore.” Simon was aghast at her appearance. He hadn’t seen her for fifteen years. Now he looked fifty and she looked twenty five. There was no way he could seduce her, as planned and take her back to his crumbling cottage. Why did people have to change themselves? Wasn’t life supposed to go in chronological order?

I feel so much better though, and look at the lovely things I can wear.” Electra couldn’t understand why he was being so nasty. She thought they were friends, at least. They had split up over a decade ago, surely he wasn’t still upset? “I like being able to go swimming again.”

I don’t know how you can be bothered. What is wrong with some TV news and a biscuit?” Simon had been looking forward to finally securing Electra’s attention. Now she wouldn’t want him anyway, he decided that talking her down was a good idea. “Wouldn’t you like some cake?” She had always liked cake, he reasoned. If she could be persuaded to eat cake, he might be able to convince her that his cave was the only cave to be in.

I can’t eat food like that anymore. I had cancer, and lupus. I was really very ill.” Electra wondered if she was destined to be gorgeous, but alone. Simon seemed most displeased.

You are being stupid. What on earth are you eating?” Simon twiddled his wristwatch and considered the rabbit in port he had prepared for her coming to lunch. It did not look as if his plans were going to work out.

Grasses, seaweed, a few herbs. I eat about ten portions of vegetables every day.”

Ridiculous. I made some lovely lunch, wouldn’t you like some?” Simon was almost prepared to whine.

Um, no, do you have any salad?” Electra assumed that everyone would have salad.

No, I don’t eat rabbit food. I eat rabbits!” Simon chortled. “When did you become this vain?”

It isn’t a case of vanity, Simon, I just want to be well. Look at this video, this lady is 74?” Electra pointed at her phone, which showed a beautiful black woman who looked about 30.

You’re the wrong colour.” Simon was now becoming panicked, and irate. “I went to all this trouble, and now I find you are on some fad diet. There is nothing wrong with you.”

Electra was now becoming slightly frightened. Simon had once been quite vicious, she now remembered, and she didn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. “Perhaps we should do lunch another day. At my house perhaps?”

No thank, I am quite happy with the age I am, I don’t want to drink from your fountain of youth. Besides, how on earth do you eat out? It doesn’t look like fun.”

It’s fun having enough energy to do what you want to do. It’s fun being well. I don’t think I’ve ever been well before. I like swimming, and walking.” Electra nervously tugged at her short dress. She was now feeling a bit isolated and lonely. She had not expected him to be this unsupportive. She had thought that he would perhaps want to join her at the pool.

I am too old to be going swimming, and so are you.” Simon remained resolute. “I remember when you used to be dignified, and serious. Now look at you.”

Electra was, by now, suitably crushed. Simon saw his advantage, and pressed it home. “Would you care to join me for some rabbit?”

No, sorry. I hadn’t thought about telling you. I was so looking forward to seeing you.” Electra sadly thought about the drive home and the cold flat where she would be spending the afternoon, rather than the warm cottage she was currently in. “Another time perhaps.”

Not even a drink?” Simon remembered how much Electra had enjoyed drinking, and considered this a marvellous ploy, given that she wouldn’t be able to drive after it.

No, thank you.” Electra was now extremely sad. Why couldn’t he see how much better she was? Why did he find it so offensive? She sadly got up from the table and went for her coat.

It had not seemed important when he had got in touch. She was so proud of her new looks and improved energy. She had had no idea that her very lethargy was what had made her so appealing to men of her age. Now she was stuck. Looking younger than her years threatened her old lovers, and she did not go out enough to meet new ones. Beautiful and alone was not necessarily going to be fun. The only problem with finding the fountain of youth, apparently, was finding someone to join you to drink from it.

Simon was disappointed. Why couldn’t she just accept her age, and stay with him? What was so desirable about youth? Time is so short when you are getting old, why not enjoy it?

It’s a shame, Simon, but I am guessing you didn’t want any more children anyway.” Electra pouted slightly as she got to the door. “I don’t really have much time left.”

Simon laughed in her face “Children, at your age? I don’t think so.”

Ah well, I guess we would have been wasting our time anyway.” Electra sighed. Simon was, in short, past it. Electra, at 47, was not. “Sorry Simon, I really did like you.”

Simon continued to laugh. “Imagine you with children! Do you know how much hassle they are?”

I had considered that, yes. If I don’t do it now, I won’t be able to anymore.”

You stupid cow.” Simon was now red in the face as he tried to make her feel bad enough not to leave, laughing at her folly. “The last thing you need is kids.”

I would have liked the chance to find out. I always thought of you as being one of my better partners, but I guess I was wrong.” Electra now felt utterly bereft.

Bye then.” Simon sneered. “Keep your fucking fountain to yourself.”

 

 

 

And yes, several very similar conversations actually took place.

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RIP Raw Food Culture and Motivation

As I am dealing with rather a lot of change at the moment, physically and mentally, I decided to take a quick look around the raw foodies on youtube today.

The last time I bothered to look was some years ago, around the time that Patenaude and Gianni were telling everyone that none of the ‘leaders’ were actually raw.  This was when FullyRawChristina (apologies if the name is wrong) seemed to be becoming immensely popular.

I stopped looking at any raw food material around 2012 or so, due to my failure to communicate with Wolfe about the original book.  It was just too depressing.  Now I am looking at videos that are even more depressing, for a different reason. Fresh faced young things complaining that they were ‘sold’ an impossible lifestyle, that they expected all their problems to be solved with positive thinking, that they felt guilty about having feelings at all, that their periods stopped etc etc.

Even Freelea is punting a non-raw diet.  Who decided that it all had to be so defined?

Liferegenerator seems to have moved from his stance on 801010 to more of a Monarch-style rawness.  He also seems to be making some rather Wolfe like videos on keeping his hair, whilst losing it.

If I was a nastier person, I would laugh at this, but really I have never seen so many people cut off their noses at once.

From the standpoint of somebody who had always had problems with food and positivity generally (see previous post on positive thinking)  a few things were obvious the minute I even considered being raw.

  • an attitude of gratitude and feeling positive every day ain’t gonna happen.  This is a sales pitch mentality, originally created before any of us were born by a vitamin salesman who trained Jim Rohn.  Being healthy does not solve all or even any of your other problems.  It did not help that Mr Charisma, David Wolfe, did not like emotional confrontation, and a lot of people got suckered into that, including me very briefly.  After that moment, I confronted until I was blue in the face, to no avail.
  • 100% raw, whilst I gave it a damn good try, was not sustainable long term because you spend most of your day thinking about, preparing or finding the correct food.  It was also quite expensive in some cases.
  • Ignoring your B12 requirement is insanity. (801010)
  • Inserting the word vegan into anything makes it a niche product, and cuts your audience by about 80%.

The strengths of the raw ‘culture’ on the other hand were as follows:

  • adopting a fairly anti-social lifestyle in terms of food altered adoptee’s personal relationships, in terms of prioritising themselves over whatever their former friends were doing.
  • feeling better meant making slightly better decisions short term.
  • looking good is always nice.
  • learning to take partial advice is supposed to make you more capable of leadership and less inclined to follow ‘leaders’ in the first place.  It is not supposed to turn you into a Patenaude-like whiner.

As I said many years ago about the 801010 Wolfe-haters back then (who were far less embittered than the more recent ones that contacted me) You take up the information that you need and you explore further.  You do not cling to every mistake and bit of bad behaviour in order to discredit both them and yourself for listening in the first place.  It is a bit like considering suicide.  Utterly pointless and self-defeating.

As the scene seems to have kind of imploded, perhaps now is the time for some sense to enter the world of raw food.  The fact is that 100% was never going to work for everyone.  On a macrobiotic basis alone, expecting people from all over the world to eat the same thing made no sense at all.  Cold countries tend to have been meat eating, and tropical countries less so for a start.  There are ways around this if you are really determined, but the learning curve was too high for most people.  Arguing over which diet was best did not help.  I believe I mentioned this several years ago.

From a personal perspective, my hop, skip and jump into raw food has not only saved my life, but also my 90 year old mother’s, simply because it is a very clean way of setting a base for natural medicine.  My learning curve was not as unassailable as most people’s, because of my father and my intense scrutiny of anything I do, but even I double check everything.  I certainly don’t fall hook, line and sinker behind any so called leader, no matter what my personal feelings may or may not be.  We are not vegan or even vegetarian, but the fact is that raw foodism comprises 90% of our diet for very good health reasons.

If anyone in the raw food line of work had any sense, they would restart their thinking process along the lines of actual nutrition.  The WHO say that 9-15 portions of fruit and vegetables should be the basis for anyone’s diet, not five as people are told.  If you start from there, you can create a much more stable basis for your raw foodism argument.  Why arsing about is necessary instead of actually helping people I do not know.  Nobody cares if Freelee hates Durianriders.  Nobody. Get your acts together.

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Finding your happy place

 

Regular readers will know that my writing a post like this is very odd, given what has happened over the last couple of weeks.  Obviously what I was feeling about the Wolfe Era was not what I interpreted it as, because I cannot tell you how relieved I was to be off the hook after the initial flush of fury.

My theory on why he provokes such a strong reaction in people is that he is using hypnosis techniques and they are misfiring somewhat.  The NLP is great, and makes you feel a lot better, but, particularly if you end up spending a lot of money on him as many Americans do, it seems to end up with a period of utter fury, which is what I spent my downtime on over the last few years.

Anyway, enough about him.  Mystery solved.  His wife was, apparently, the last person I spoke to before all the garbage started.  I had assumed it was him taking the mickey, but I now realise that she was protecting her future.  Fair enough, I didn’t want your future anyway, whoever you are.

So, now that I am relieved of the worry of that lengthy period of misery, I am working on making myself happy.  I am heartily sick of putting other people first, with the obvious exception of my mother, who continues to be very spoilt.

So, in honour of making myself happy, I have invested in some me-specific herbs, moved onto supermix, I now drink a lot of water, and I am persisting with my self re-modelling.  I have even, after all these years, started actually wearing my corset collection.  I used to buy them and then hide them with the rest of my ‘oddments’ so there are rather a lot.

If you are sexually neglected, or even just pissed off with your partner’s idea of a sex life, which is likely to be kind of repetitive in my experience, a corset is exactly what you need to cheer yourself up.  It reminds you of your bits, it hugs you all day long, and it makes you look better in clothes.  In my advanced state of poor posture, caused by crouching over my needlework and computer, it also allows you to do a lot more exercise, since your back has some support.  So, I think we can safely say that the future Ina is going to be wearing a lot of tailored clothing and strictly firm underwear.

Weight loss is slow by my standards at the moment, but I am aware that the new requirement to walk every day is likely to have increased my blood plasma, and several painful lumps have subsided.  Still getting a few ergonomic twinges, but I am sure that with persistence they will go as they did the last time.  Restarted my old channel on youtube, and found I was not nearly as crazy as I thought I must be.  I just wanted to get on with some work.  Why was that so hard to understand?

Not getting on with much in the way of artwork at the moment, but the books are going very well, thanks to the new additions.  Long may my lower-stress approach be allowed to continue unmolested.

 

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Why I despise endless positivity

This was posted on facebook by an author on my friends list today.  He is probably quite well known, I find quite a lot of the authors on my timeline are fairly successful.  I objected to it, despite several of his followers applauding it.

Why? I have never experienced it, so I have no idea how that would work.  I can tell you what gives you drive as an artist, and it isn’t comfort or happiness. It is constantly questioning what you are doing and why.  It is abandoning things you spent weeks on, wasting time in order to get things right.  Sometimes it is waiting for months to move things on by an inch, particularly if there is no prior model to work from.

The food and home part, yes that is Malthusian.  The lovely people part, no.  Lovely people are less likely to challenge you, and challenge is essential for the best possible results.

He asked me to explain myself.

“Well I could tell you a story, but it would probably involve drama, conflict and negativity.”  My idea being that any decent story involves drama, conflict and negativity, therefore as an author he should know that comfort is REALLY BORING. Which writer improves?  The one that is told how marvellous he is by a compliant and doting companion, or the one that is challenged and stimulated?

Academics invite each other to argue against their hypotheses all the time.  It is done in order to strengthen the argument. Artists are also keen on discussing their methods, if they are any good.  Why then, are we spreading this complacency via crap like this?

Aging should not mean sinking into a chair being reassured that everything we do is fine.  That sounds like a swift death to me.

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