Archive for October, 2008

Keep Your Head

October 31, 2008

Shazzam Bitches!

 

And welcome to ‘Back and to the Future’, the blog that wallows in self loathing, only to cry while masturbating until it’s all ok.

 

I’m your host Closed Box, and let me set the tone for today’s entry, as I attempt to recall the last 24 hours, and maybe preview what is to come.

 

It was fucked.

 

I guess sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes, you’re the statue – and yesterday was National Statue Day, and I was the mayor of Statuetown.

 

I’ve been feeling uneasy all week. Perhaps even longer than that. I’ve not been myself – I’ve been putting myself under huge pressure at work, at home, and truthfully, in aspects of my life. I’ve not dealt with it, and, yesterday, I went into an uncontrollable spiral that led to me sitting in my class last night (as we Brits say) pissed as a fart. A more commonly known term might be ‘shitfaced’.

 

Now here’s a revelation – I’m going to say something negative about the process I did: on days like yesterday, what it gave me was torture.

 

I am at this point more than aware that occasionally, I have no control over my behaviour. And, in the post-process times (which are thankfully limited) that I have ‘lost it’ a bit, I’ve just sort of gone for the ride, and let it play out, knowing fighting only makes it worse. But the problem is – I’m almost TOO self aware. I can be going through my most hated of patterns, and instead of blindly panicking about why I feel a certain way, or wrapping myself in guilt, my inner monologue spends its entire time evaluating:

 

‘You’re doing this’

‘You’re feeling like this because…’

‘This is the pattern you’re going through’

 

And it is complete and utter torture.

 

And so, I turned up for class drunk at 7pm, really feeling quite sorry for myself, and coming off the back of a pretty shitty day. I feel bad about it, (the day) sure, but in a self-punishing sort of way, I actually feel glad that it all came to a head. Looking back at my blog entries this week, I’ve not been myself, and I really don’t want to do that old thing of bottling stuff up, and swallowing it down.

 

But, strangely – and please don’t think me in any way condoning heavy drinking – there was a point yesterday, when I was sitting in Café Rouge eating a chicken salad and drinking yet another beer, when I have felt more in touch with my emotions than I have at any other time since I was in Florence House. If you’d have asked me, I could have cried no problem, and if there was a purple pillow around… well, forget about it. (Only a few of you might get that reference)

 

I got home about ten, sober but a little woozy and weary, and climbed into bed. Oh, and for the first time in about 5 years, I was absolutely DESPERATE for a cigarette.

 

So, it’s Friday, and another weekend rolls around. No doubt, mine will be spent trying (and getting frustrated with) University work, pretending not to be interested in the X-Factor results, and going out with Alex, which I am, for the 3rd time, on Sunday. I am loathed to call it a ‘3rd date’, though. At this point, I think its just people who want to see each other.

 

So, I shall leave you for the week with a great weekend tune – and one with a fitting title.

 

I hope you enjoy it – ‘Keep Your Head’ by The Ting Tings

Lots of love,

Closed Box

There’s Snow Business Like Snow Business

October 29, 2008

So this morning I woke up, and the entire world was white. No, the BNP wasn’t elected in my sleep but rather, for the first time since 1932, London had October snow.

 

So yesterday I took the day off working work to do some work that actually mattered – university work.

 

After watching the horrific documentary ‘Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children’, (see previous entry) I wasn’t much in the mood for anything, and though I ended up not doing all that much work in the end, I still did a number of other things which made for a productive day, and I feel pretty good about it. I still have to do some university work, but I’ve decided to stop pressuring myself to do it, as I can feel that old anxiety building up in my chest.

 

Although, tonight I am being a bit naughty. Instead of going to class, I’m going to stay home and watch Arsenal vs Tottenham. Shhhh!

 

However, I will still be doing some work, and seeing as tonight’s class is based around the documentary I watched, I am likely to be far better off doing an hour on my own and watching football than I am 2 hours in a classroom.

 

Honestly.

 

Tomorrow’s entry is going to include all the stuff I’ve forgotten to add in today – a 5 hour meeting has left my braindead. So, until tomorrow…

 

Closed Box

Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children

October 28, 2008

I’d like to digress from my usual quasi-witty entry today by bringing your attention to the shocking and heartbreaking documentary ‘Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children’ – the story of one of many homes for children with mental problems in Bulgaria.

(or http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=944239315372248151)

I have to watch this as part of my psychology course to examine the roles of positive parental influences in basic mental growth, but should you chose to watch it, please bear in mind that it contains graphic and disturbing images, nudity, and will probably make you want to drop to your knees and thank everything holy that you live in a world where this is not considered the norm.

EDIT: This is the official synopsis: Director Kate Blewett visits a children’s care home in Bulgaria and investigates the conditions in which the children live. Following the completion of the film, the production team offered the Bulgarian Embassy in London the opportunity to comment on the findings made in the course of filming the documentary: The Social Care Home – where 75 unwanted children are growing up – is the main employer in the small village of Mogilino. Few of the children can talk, not necessarily because they are unable but rather because no one has ever taught them how. Kate meets the children in this tragic, silent world, such as Milan, the gentle giant who spends his days doing chores and watching over the others, and mildly autistic 18-year-old Didi, who is able to talk, and has plenty to say, but no one to speak to. The children that surround them suffer a variety of problems, many are blind or deaf and some are unable to leave their beds, many are literally wasting away. Abandoned into the hands of the staff at Mogilino these children inhabit a bleak uncaring world, so devoid of normal everyday stimulus that many have taken to rocking slowly and constantly in their chairs just for something to do. Bulgaria has more institutionalised mentally and physically disabled children than anywhere else in Europe. This film is a heart-rending and eye-opening look into the life of one such institution.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Closed Box

Polaroid Android

October 24, 2008

Today, ladies and gentleman, I need to laugh.

 

I tried the story of the woman who is prison in Japan for killing her husband online but it’s just not cutting the mustard.

 

Even my favourite combination swearwords, like ‘fuckshit’ and ‘assballs’ are raising little more than a snigger.

 

Sigh. At least I have Ben Folds to keep me company.

 

Yesterday, friends, was the first time since I left Florence House and The Hoffman Process where I have ended the day, taken a look at myself in the mirror, and thought ‘what the fuck was that all about?’

 

I didn’t go to class, had a huge, friendship-ending argument with DR, didn’t eat, and basically did nothing.

 

Fucked my shit right up.

 

And now I’m just pissed at myself for returning to an old way. Obviously, the power to change this is in my own hands, but you know something? I’m just fucking pissed off at myself. I’m going to take it out at the gym later, but for now, it is this blog which shall bear my wrath.

 

Let’s start with something that has been pissing me off for quite some time – namely DR.

 

A while back, DR and I went out, and got on famously. The next day, DR said she needed some space to think as her life was pretty crowded, and I agreed – after telling her that honestly, if the whole thing wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t mind, and would prefer the honesty over being strung along pointlessly.

 

‘No, no’ I was reassured. ‘I just need time.’ ‘Ok’, thinks I ‘then that’s what I’ll give her.’ In the meantime, DR was only to happy to call me when she needed something – normally when she was having a shitty day and needed someone to rant to.

 

I’m a pretty easy going guy, and because I liked her (admittedly this was based on one meeting and a whole lot of talking, but can you like someone based on that? If you ‘live in the moment’ as I tend to do, then yes you can.) I was more than willing to give her the time she needed, as she frequently acted as though she was interested, etc.

 

But my patience was waning. There is only so much time a person can be a sounding board for the bad parts of someone’s life with no reward – and don’t even try that ‘well David, the reward is friendship, and that’s what friends do’ bullcrap with me, because DR and I weren’t friends. We were two people who had been out once, and were working – or so I thought – to do so again.

 

So yesterday, after deciding not to go to class because I was (a) in a horrific mood, and (b) because I felt as though I could accomplish more by working at home and finally doing some degree work, (obviously more (a) than (b)) I am looking at emails, etc, and I start up an MSN conversation with DR. I don’t use MSN a lot, but I guess being in a bad mood, I was reaching a bit.

 

DR and I make small talk, and (rather deliberately) I drop in a few questions about whether or not she has any more dates lined up, knowing the answer would be yes, and knowing this would be the ‘out’ I needed. Of course, the answer was ‘a couple’, and I got very pissed off pretty quickly.

 

I should point out that at no point during this 3 week waiting period for a bit of fucking clarification (3 fucking weeks!) have I ever been concerned about rejection. I genuinely and honestly have no fear or concerns about that. If DR had have turned up on the night, taken a look at me, and gone ‘oh you ugly bastard’, I would have merrily carried on my little life. But no, this was someone who had been using me for weeks (please see my earlier post where I referred to a friend ‘using me’) as some sort of councillor – certainly not a role I wanted to play – on the proviso of taking time with me, and all that other shit. All I had asked for was some honesty. That was it. Some fucking honesty.

 

Instead, I was pissed because I had been strung along for weeks, and basically, she wasn’t interested. Which is fine, her prerogative, her decision, and I really don’t feel it as a rejection of me. But just fucking say! Don’t maintain contact with me, call me and try and talk to me about the in-depth parts of your life and harp on about ‘connection’ if you’re just not interested. At the end of the day (oh, how I hate that cliché) all she has done is waste my time and hers. And been dishonest. My number 1 pet hate.

 

So we had an argument about it. And now, that ‘friendship’, for what it is, is over. It’s a real shame, because, as I stated in an earlier blog, we did have an incredible connection, and if she had have been honest, we could have been really good friends. In the course of our conversation last night, I was asked ‘can’t we just be really good friends?’ to which I replied ‘I don’t have dishonest friends’, which I may regret. But I was pissed off. Can you blame me? Surely a friendship – in whatever guise – is supposed to be a two-way street?

 

The rest of the night was a total right off. I won’t go into it all, but I spent the night being old David, talking to people I didn’t want to talk to, and feeling all those old feelings rising up. I am not an angry person – I don’t do anger or react to it particularly well – and when I experience it, I tend to feel… I don’t know… ashamed? Guilt? Regret?

 

I spent the night alone in my room, generally trying to avoid real interaction with people. People were downstairs, and, in my process of avoidance, it was 11.30pm before I ventured down to get something to eat. I had been upstairs since I returned home at 6pm. That isn’t healthy.

 

The last couple of days have been shitty as a shit party in shit-town on National Shit Day. BUT, I know within me, I have the power to change it all and turn it around. I have also noticed that the emergence of a lot of these feelings have coincided with my not going to the gym this week, something I will certainly be doing tonight.

 

This weekend, I am going for my birthday, and I have to confess to a slight feeling of self-consciousness. I don’t generally like being the centre of attention – if you told my friends and people who know me that, they’d probably laugh – and the process of sorting it all out is quite a new thing for me, who normally avoids doing anything for my birthday.

 

Pre-process, I usually spent my time and money on one thing: women. Weekends? Women. Weekday nights? Women. Friends were a secondary concern. Coming out of my process, and dealing with what was quite horrible misogyny, I realised I had neglected my friends to the point where my social circle had really dwindled to the point where only my nearest and dearest remained.

 

The process of reconnecting with people is a long one, and one I have started and done quite well with, but organising a celebration, I became quite self-conscious of the people I could actually invite – and the number, which is pretty small. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think to myself that having a such a small number would have people asking ‘are more coming?’ and things to that effect.

 

As it has turned out, I have about 15 people coming; mostly my friends, some being friends of friends, and they are all coming and going at different times. On the plus side, I’ll be able to talk to the people who do come for a decent amount of time, on the negative side, I guess the part of me which is currently unsatisfied and feeling ill at ease would quite like the superficial boost of having a great number of people swarming around him. I guess, as they say, we will have to see.

 

Whatever happens, I will be digging out my Polaroid camera for the occasion. David doesn’t do digital. (He said, writing an electronic diary on the internet)

 

On the very much plus side, come Sunday night, I will be seeing a friend of mine, Alex, for I guess what will be date number 2. Alex and I went out once, though I don’t think I blogged about it, and got on really rather well.

 

But that’s it from me, dear friends. I wish you a wonderful weekend, and maybe, just maybe, Monday will bring tales of joy and Polaroid pictures.

 

Love and light to you all

Closed Box

You Can Bank(sy) On It

October 23, 2008

Sorry for not writing yesterday. I wasn’t at work, and that’s where I tend to do these blog things.

 

On Tuesday/Birthday night, I went to Zuma (http://www.zumarestaurant.com) – a fabulously pretentious and overpriced Japanese restaurant in the heart of Kensington in London. (It’s about a 2 minute walk from Harrods) Me, I would have been happy to go somewhere that didn’t make me feel like a complete fraud sitting at the table, but I guess that’s just me, and this feeling was probably a precursor for the late-in-the-evening (and somewhat heated) conversation I had with my step father about lifestyle vs happiness vs money, and how, in all honesty, I really didn’t feel an overwhelming need to be rich to be happy. ‘Maybe’ he countered ‘it’s because we have it’. ‘Perhaps’ I replied ‘but it’s you that have it, I’m rich by proxy, and actually earn fuck all.’

 

We’re a witty, witty bunch ladies and gentleman.

 

Oh yes, and we had an argument in the car on the way there, too.

 

A while back, I went to see a street art exhibition organised by Banksy, a prominent British graffiti artist. (see here: http://www.banksy.co.uk/) Anyway, my sister had remembered about this, so for my birthday, she bought me a coffee table book of Banksy’s work – probably the sort of thing a ‘keeping it real’ artist would hate, but the thought was very much appreciated – and discussion of our opinions on his work inevitably followed.

 

It wasn’t in the book, or at least I hadn’t got to it yet, but I made a reference to the piece of work Banksy did on the walls that Israel put up around the West Bank barrier wall thing, namely this one:

 

 

(and I think there were a few more just like it) It’s a really beautiful, touching piece of work.

 

I mentioned that it was one of my favourite pieces of modern art, being that it drew attention to an abhorrent, ghastly travesty of human behaviour. My father was not amused. We are a Jewish family, and apparently, being Jewish means one should blindly applaud every action that Israel takes against its enemies.

 

Mentioning my disgust at this particular action, I was told not to be so stupid and to explain why. I replied that as people who were systematically persecuted throughout history, and whose country’s formation was a direct result of an aggressor’s human (or lack thereof) behaviour, and whose people have an all too recent memory of what it is like to ghetto-ise a population, Israel should know a lot better than to close off the West Bank, and that it was deliberately divisive, and really not going to help the peace process it that region – not to mention the people within those walls who have grown up being told that they are a displaced population, whose land was taken from them. I’m not entirely sure that ‘their land was taken from them’, but you can bet your ass that’s what Palestinian parents tell their Palestinian children, and, unless you’re blind, you can see their point of view. Maybe it takes a Jewish person to say that without sounding like a racist.

 

Anyway, a long argument followed, and I was nearly – or so it felt – thrown out of the car for suggesting that the country of Israel, it’s army (which I have been in, by the way) and it’s actions are not ‘whiter than white’.

 

We eventually made it to the restaurant intact, ate, had more heated discussion, and made our way home.

 

I think it was at about 10pm that I decided not to go to work Wednesday. Recently, I have been filling my time with a great deal of things – people, activities, and it’s all because I have been trying to avoid my own feelings of guilt and anxiety about not doing the work I should be doing for my degree. Of course, I am completely aware of it, and the more I avoid it, the more I put pressure on myself and the worse I feel about it.

 

I haven’t been taking enough time for myself – not even nearly enough – so I’ll admit it; yesterday, I pulled a ‘sickie’. I figured I could spend the day doing work that mattered, and try and right some wrongs.

 

It didn’t exactly go to plan.

 

I woke up at about 7.30, setting my alarm so I could email my boss to tell them I was ‘sick’. After sending the email, and reading the remaining 3,547 Facebook posts wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’, I got back into bed as it was bloody freezing. Next thing I knew it was 10am – I never sleep that late.

 

I have to admit, I was annoyed with myself for sleeping so late, and still feeling the residual anxiety of not doing my work, and I ended up doing nothing until, in a huff, I left home at 2, got to Central London, tried and failed to do some shopping, and found myself in a Starbucks, drinking tea, and desperately trying to absorb my textbook. I met my friend Alex at 5, who wants me to help with something I won’t talk about here until it actually happens (if it does) and made my way to class, bumping into one of my classmates at a coffee shop. I had actually wanted to read Freud ‘Interpretations Of Dreams’, which I had bought to read for my class in the hope that it would get me in the studying mood, but being English, I didn’t want to be rude when I was invited to join her (we were both eating a sandwich and drinking tea) and say ‘actually, no, I’d just like to left the fuck alone.’ Being English, though we of course recognise that we would never say something like that, we are always concerned that this is the effect of the message conveyed – no matter how politely it is put.

 

What upsets me most about this class, and the work associated, is that it could not be easier. But such is the pressure I am putting on myself – to succeed, and to be the absolute best – that I have actually pressured myself into a corner, where I am utterly petrified of getting it wrong. Typical pre-process David behaviour. The thing is, this class ends with an essay which is 1500 words. 1500! I could write that in my sleep. (this blog is already 974 words!)

 

The class was great. I have a great teacher, and I seem to be the one asking the most questions, or challenging where I feel appropriate. More importantly, I seem to be ‘getting it’, the only question left is of self-discipline, and facing myself.

 

I need to be taking more time for myself than I am at the moment, that is for sure. The good thing is I am realising this, and doing something about it.

 

This morning, instead of burying my head in my iPod or a newspaper on the tube, I began reading chapter 7 of Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’.

 

The book, and indeed the wider picture, may prove a harder slog than I initially imagined.

 

Until tomorrow friends, I bid you good day.

 

All my love,

Closed Box