Tag Archive | university

Up & Down on the Silver Screen

In honour of…oh, who am I kidding, it always seems to be Mental Health Week this or Awareness of Something Week, so in honour of every week of the year in which I suffer from my mental health issues and awareness of how broken my brain is, I have decided to dedicate a post to all the moments in TV I have found where it is a sad moment with a funny bit sneaked in or a comedy show with a moving and tear-jerking moment.  These moments on television do – up to a certain extent – epitomise how mood can go from ecstasy to the depths of despair and vice versa.  For example, as I have said previously, I have a theory that mentally ill people such as myself can never experience one moment of happiness, no matter how minuscule, without paying for it in full by experiencing at least double the amount of time in sheer agony that does not let up.  In short, when we are given that one, precious, fleeting moment WE DESERVE IT because we always know it’s not going to last…before we know it, it’ll be gone and we’ll remember how we didn’t deserve it in the first place.  What spurred this article is what happened yesterday.  I am so close to the end of a 3-year BA that has taken me 4 years because my first attempt at second year was such a calamity.  Yet, a spanner was thrown in the works yesterday when I received the mark of 70 on an essay and had just finished my final exam.  That was literally so great to feel smart and successful for the briefest of moments but then I got an essay that I worked my ass off for which was marked as a 42.  I had been told that the marker was harsh and had upset other students with the unfair grades given, but because I let myself get high on my first-class essay for the smallest of moments, I felt the plummet all the more sharply.  I’m still reeling a bit from that, though not going off my medication would be a step in the right direction, but what made me certain I would write this article is the series finale of Spartacus: War of the Damned, which I have just cried my way through.  When Spartacus finally dies, that was not the sadness that gave me an outlet, but instead I have felt so much throughout the show: love, hate, excitement, pride and laughter, that I’m sorry to have reached the end of another piece of media that left broken little Pippa behind in the sand and let Agron (yes, I found another character to disappear into!) takeover, to the point where when he was crucified – but survived, thank God – I began to shake uncontrollably as if some of the pain was in my brain and able to be felt by me.  That is how far I can leave Pippa behind when her life goes to crap.  Even shadows of Agron’s pain felt with nails in his palms is preferable to the pain that Pippa undergoes everyday but especially when it all goes tits up.

So, that got me to thinking about what moments in television history have elicited a similar response.  Therefore, I’ve decided to share my findings with you!

  • Agron’s Crucifixion (for those who might like to watch it)

  • Rodney and Cassandra’s baby (a truly tragic moment in one of the funniest comedies ever broadcast)
  • Death of Solan (for a strong woman to experience the death of her unknown child and completely fall to pieces in an otherwise light-hearted show had my poor heart on a piece of elastic)

  • Chuck crying and Blair goes from happy to sad (it is Blair’s pain that is of note to me in this…going from the happiness of her mom’s wedding to her future husband crying over the “death” of his father…rollercoaster much?)

  • Klaus is reunited with his daughter (I don’t actually watch The Originals except in clips but this broke my heart…)

  • Atia’s heartbreak (another strong woman brought low, yet Atia’s truly naive feelings that bring her such emotional pain in a show about blood, sex and politics shock, but in the finale you see her hardened by her broken heart and rise from the ashes of the woman who loved Antony)

  • Ianto Jones dies while Jack cannot (in the comedic spin-off to Doctor WhoTorchwood, Ianto and Jack are a funny yet awkward pairing, but Ianto dying by breathing is so heart-wrenching in a dark series in all the light-hearted ones but still a blow nevertheless)

  • Daniel realises who Vala truly is (in the final episode of all 10 seasons of Stargate: SG-1 my favourite character for her very bipolar nature springing from abuse and assault finally gets her man when he insults her enough for her to break her walls down and he sees beyond them…would that all men could)

  • “Bad Timing” (in this episode that serves as sheer proof that a good moment must be paid for in full by an equally or greater bad moment(s), star-crossed lovers – literally – get together and are broken apart within seconds…story of my frelling life!)

This is just a snapshot of moments like these, and I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on them and watching them unfold.  Stay tuned at La Bella Borgia Speaks!

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

14-05-2015

Learning and Students

Hello again, just as a humorous/helpful note.  This was in one of my lectures on teaching yesterday and I found it rather amusing, especially as I want to ‘specialise’ in mental health in teaching and education.  Just see which of the students (and maybe the teacher?) are exhibiting or potentially have a mental health condition in the classroom.  As my mental health problems were missed at school, just take a moment to look and hopefully, this might help people look more at the people in their offices and classrooms and generic workplaces and see what they’re missing because it has not got a neon flashing Las Vegas light above it screaming “I’m depressed” or “I suffer from Bipolar Disorder”.  Physical ailments are easy to notice (a pair of crutches, a bandage, a limp, a wince?) but try your hand at mental ailments and you might find you help someone and yourself in the process.

GroeningCartoonLaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

02-12-2014

What I Have Known

So, I’ve got a new article for you.  It was written by an acquaintance of mine who I do not know well enough to comment on his life and all the things he’s obviously been through on account of mental health and depression, but I will say that on a day when I myself have been feeling pretty low and worthless, reading what Daniel has written made me feel a lot better.  I hope it will have the same effect on you too!

P. Mistry-Norman


It’s a fact that 1 in 4 people have a mental illness…sometimes it’s said to be 1 in 3 people. When you think about it, that is a pretty staggering number and as I ponder this thought which is screwing with my head, as well as the fact that I may have had some alcohol to drink and a few pills, I have decided to write an article for this page. It should be hopefully an easy read.

So what does depression feel like? What does it make you do? Well, sadly depression has such a huge spectrum of reactions. Some sufferers feel lethargic and not reactive, others may well scream at the slightest provocation. In my case, I would describe it as a feeling of heaviness and despair as if I am trapped in a pit, chained to the wall. One can hardly move, stuck in the darkness and ultimately there is no escape. So why do people feel like this?

I would say from a personal experience that the reason we react in such ways is due to these factors (there may well be more):

  1. Stress of everyday life
  2. Loss
  3. Hatred of oneself
  4. Loneliness

I shall explain these in the order above in a sort of pop psychology way (just let me get my glasses and let me prepare my best Sigmund Freud accent!).

In terms of the stress of everyday life, this is very much a personal theory, and please do not take anything I say for gospel. I am not a trained psychologist, merely a human being with – possibly stupid – thoughts. But anyway, I digress. How do we get depressed? Part of it may well be genetic. My family has had its fair share of alcoholics and manic depressives for generations, each coping in varying degrees of success (or cleverly hidden up by family members ashamed of the stigma… we’ll get to this later). However I do believe life’s experience can be a reason, such as traumatic and extreme experiences such as the loss of loved ones, bullying or witnessing a horrific event, to name but a few. But when it comes to all the depressed teenagers, I am going to put this forward.

We have so much stress on our shoulders…think about it. Our grandparents and parents were some of the most fortunate generations in history. When they were around money was (for the most part) in abundance; people could get jobs by working their way up from an untrained bank clerk to the head of a massive corporation, many parents were easily employed and earned good money, and paid for their kids to survive, eat well, study and be comfortable. Then they turn around and say “Well, time for you to go to the best university ever, get the best degree, the best job and make loads of money!”

I beg your pardon…

Now, not all parents do this. But, and no offence to anyone of an older generation, they kind of mucked things up. Even Jeremy Paxman has admitted this. They screwed up the planet, through their foolish choices and due to greed, they made a recession and thus made jobs harder to find, the amount of salaries less, and also, there’s a lot more people in our generation than theirs! We are all fighting for placements at universities which may not even be of good quality and not even guarantee us a job!

Now if you have a predisposition to depression, tell me, did you just go to DEFCON 1? I have been there. Life out there is not easy and our generation has so much to put up with and endure. But we can do it. Do you really need to make billions? Or do you just want to be happy?! Don’t delude yourself and let your parents’ expectations control your own! You want to be a doctor, be a doctor! You want to go to art school even though you may not be a famous painter, go to art school! Don’t get into anything for the money, because money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. Consider what makes you happy, and be realistic. You may not make millions with what makes you happy, but as a hobby or way to keep you sane or even a low paying job, as long as you can survive and be happy, do it. Who knows, you may even surprise yourself!

However the above may be hard to swallow, because depressed people hate ourselves. This is a problem as this means we lock ourselves away, believing no one wants to help us. And being alone with our thoughts is dangerous. Second bit of imagery here, but imagine a gremlin continuously pulling your hair and biting you as he screams in your ear “You are possibly the most pathetic creature alive! You are stupid! You are talentless! And nobody loves you!” Wouldn’t you love to kill that gremlin? Just stab him? Throw him from the rooftop of a skyscraper? Shoot him? Now remember that this gremlin is living in you…

These are the thoughts that I, and many others, have had to deal with. They drive us away from people; make us prisoners in our own houses, our own rooms and our own minds. We feel that we are hated but also misunderstood, as if we must be mad or crazy. “We should be away from people!” we say to ourselves. “I am a piece of shit to whom people don’t want to talk and not only do I think this, but everyone else does too! Everyone is better than me.” We end up making ourselves alone, and sometimes saying horrid things to people or doing stupid things in order to separate ourselves from others, to punish ourselves, or find a way to feel good.

In my family, a young man did commit suicide but everyone kept it secret, because they were worried what people would think. Some people will think that you are just being lazy or just miserable and you should just shake it off, and that hiding is just a sign of being introverted. Hearing this must make you feel confirmed in your idea that maybe being alone is better.

Depression-support-groups_364x200

But please, and I know how hard it is as I’ve been there, you must not feel ashamed. 1 in 3 people feel the way you do and ultimately you need to talk to the people you feel safest with. Even if it’s just a text, a letter or not even any words, just a brief moment of silence and watching a film or a phone call. The people you feel safest with, like your friends or parents, are probably people who love you deeply (insert Community “Gay!” here). They might not understand, but if you can talk to them, and they are willing to listen, maybe they can help you as people who love you and do not want to see you hurt. Don’t feel guilty for finding it hard to talk to them or feeling like locking yourself away, maybe at least let them know so maybe they could come over for a cuppa and a hug.

If alone, do some work, listen to a song that makes you happy, watch a film, express yourself by writing a poem, a story, a song or a short film! Who knows maybe you could make millions, like that git Morrissey! Or most songwriters! And please, please, get help. It could be medication or an hour with a therapist, just don’t let yourself get into a place so dark that you really do feel like it’s the end. Be safe, since someone out there does love you and would do anything to make you feel safe.

“For now, I just want all things safe and familiar.  My life may not be perfect, but it is what I have known.” ~ Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe

For those of you who have read this, and do not have depression, then may I say this: do not judge. Mental illnesses are awful and painful. Please support these people you know, do not assume it is just a bad day, sometimes all it takes is one bad day (yes, Batman quote!). If you love them, make sure you let them know that you will be there for them. I was very fortunate to have many friends and my parents support me. Now gradually, although I may always have some horrid thoughts, I’m getting through life (sometimes in tears, sometimes silent and sometimes because of their love) and laughing like a complete and utter fool. Your support and love and willingness to get them somewhere safe where they can be help could well be what saves them.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

D. Mason

13-11-2014

Let it Go

I am about to attempt something completely new and different (can you tell that’s the theme over the past week or so?).  I am going to attempt to communicate the way I feel about depression and social anxiety and coping with the aforementioned through music and a video blog.  So, this post is less wordy than my others but I hope you will play the video below and listen and see what it is I want to say but often am unable to.  Otherwise, stick around and the next post in my guest series will be up presently!

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

12-11-2014

Suicide is Strength

As everyone in the world has no doubt become aware, Robin Williams the great thespian and comedian passed away yesterday.  The media and vicariously, the public, has been informed that his death was caused by suicide by asphyxiation, which has prompted me along with a rough evening involving a “Russian duck” and some opera tickets, to write this brief post about suicide and Williams, but what I hope this post discusses mainly is strength.

Williams was married three times and had just as many children yet despite being able to leave such a warm and poignant legacy to the world in terms of his work and family, he struggled in life with alcohol and cocaine and problems with his heart.  Much like other celebrities (Kenneth Williams and Jimmy Clitheroe spring to mind) known for being funny to the public eye, in private Williams evidently had a painful and difficult-to-bear existence.  I cannot claim to know more facts that any concerning his death, or his career and personal life for that matter having only seen Popeye, Aladdin, Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Aladdin & the King of Thieves, Flubber, Bicentennial Man, Man of the Year, Night at the Museum, License to Wed and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (actually, that’s quite a chunk of his filmography having listed them!).  However, my viewing activity aside, he was a respected man and actor and I can only assume having read what his daughter Zelda has posted over the past twenty-four hours, that he was a greatly loved husband and father.

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014)

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

His life achievements make me wonder if the desire to screw everything and end it all ever goes away.  I mean to say, I go on and on about how much I need there to be a family of my own in my future for my life to truly begin and be worth all the suffering I have endured, am enduring currently and anticipate until I become a mother, but Robin Williams’ death does make me stop and think about whether that will be enough or if it will fulfill me in the moment but leave that deep obsession with quitting the world where too much hurt and pain and war exists still scratching away at my synapses.  The man was a much sought-after, successful actor in Hollywood, a terrific father and a man who managed to attract three women (more than I’ve ever accomplished) and yet what life gave him and potentially had in store for him was not sufficient to keep him alive.  His suicide meant that a future of grandchildren, growing old(er…), seeing his kids live their lives and continuing to have a thriving career was not enough future and unguaranteed happiness to outweigh the sadness and morbid thinking that must have been percolating in his mind prior to his decision to hang himself.  That is what worries me the most.

Nothing in the future is certain, I’m astute enough to understand that fact and that at any given moment I may get an ovarian cyst that will eliminate the possibility of biological children, or a terrorist will manage to blow Essex up in a cloud of orange fake tan and vajazzling glitter.  The world is a place of chance and it is not a given that just because I’ve had some rotten luck in my personal and love life so far the scales will even out and there will be definitely be happiness in my future.  It is completely by chance that I went to a brilliant school, was taught by impressive and inspirational teachers, found an extended family in my friends and ended up at the University of Exeter.  I am well aware that others aren’t so lucky in this bleak (yet beautiful!) world of ours!  

It takes a certain type of strength to survive and even more to blossom in the 21st century but it also takes a different ilk of strength to leave it behind.  Many perceive suicide as giving up and as a display of cowardice, but I hold a different opinion.  I believe suicide is a high form of bravery.  It is an emotional, drastic and committed expression of the depravity or the depression or the disappointment of life (hopefully not all three simultaneously!).  This – naturally – is a biased opinion from one who has dwelt on suicide for more hours than there are in a day and attempted it on no less than five occasions, committing self-harm more often in practice and I do invite you to disagree and argue with me in the comments section, but nevertheless, I am fully entitled to have this opinion.  Just so you understand that I am not only someone who thinks about killing themselves, I will disclose that (to my knowledge) one relative and one acquaintance have committed suicide in my lifetime and thus I have been affected by the suicides of others in my life too.  Obviously, I am not dead, so what you might have inferred is that I have bottled it five times when trying to kill myself.  Some have attributed these failures to the need to attract attention, others comprehend them as actions the basic, human, primal instinct to survive has averted.  I have another opinion.  I am a weak human being right down to the core.  I struggle with change, I live most of my life alone and beyond the world of the real and living and I speak to my nan (deceased) way too much for it to be healthy.  This weakness never lets me go all the way and leave.  It never lets me find an iota of peace far away from Earth as it crumbles.  It is a weakness that I am still trying to overcome, though with the help of my pills, the desire to try is dwindling, so maybe one day it will disappear entirely…

I realise that this post seems morbid and definitively negative, however, I would just like to share with you one final thought before I go and get some sleep.  Whilst it might be a lack of strength or attention seeking that keeps me alive, I’ll tell you truly that on my good days I disagree utterly with both those explanations.  I believe that it is hope that stays my hand, hope that the future will bear all the fruit that I hope it will, that I will be able to have children of my own and that the world will not blow itself to smithereens in some terrible nuclear holocaust (please, God, no…).  This hope that was left in Pandora’s jar will see me through to my graduation, to America, to becoming a fabulous teacher, to motherhood, to grandmotherhood and finally to death at its right, proper and God-appointed time.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

12-08-2014

Pleading with God

I haven’t written a post in a while but that’s a good thing, I guess.  I have been feeling a bit better. Sure I’ve had a few blips but what’s important is that with the help of my doctor, my personal tutor and my father I have managed to surmount them.  Today’s post is on the topic of feeling better and occurred to me based on something my personal tutor at university said to me the other day.

I am a firm believer in karma and the notion that whenever something positive occurs, something negative will inevitably occur to maintain balance.  I realise a lot of people manage to live their lives and have streaks of good fortune or never really feel the pangs of constant or hard pain, but as you might have gleaned from my tale and writings so far, that person is not me.  I experience an almost uninterrupted life of pain.  Moments of joy and happiness and relief are few and far between where my sorry excuse for an existence is concerned.  Thus, I am convinced that God intends some people to live unencumbered by sorrow and hardship and others to experience difficulties in life so that the joys and glee are all the sweeter.

I could have left religion and faith in the divine out of it but my faith is such an integral part of my life that I find it very hard to experience anything without believing there is a person or a reason behind it.  I don’t believe it is a hateful God that inflicts wounds or causes hurt in those who follow and pray to him, but I do – I have to – believe that all the suffering and sadness and sorrow I have felt, overcome or still experience is part of some plan that will help me in later life or give me something I would not have without it.  I don’t know if it will make me a better mother or if it means I’ll live beyond my twenty-fifth birthday but I have to believe that or else I won’t even live past my twenty-first (and that’s on the 16th!). 

Returning to my thoughts on mirror actions and consequences, it renders me ever the pessimist and always the frightened.  For, if I am in a negative streak, I am frightened of the next happy moment for fear that it will cause me to hope again and if I let myself revel in it and get used to it for however long it endures then my fall from that cloud will be even further and I will hit the ground even harder and I may not recover from that descent.  On the other hand, if I am in a happy moment, as they are the minority and only stick around for a moment at the most, I have to look over my shoulder for the next threatening downside or bad fortune that is waiting for me round the next bend.  It is an unending cycle and I cannot help but feel a slave to it and there will be those of you who say that it happens because I am expecting it, but – though it seems a case of the chicken and the egg – I expect it because it always happens without fail.

Since my birthday celebrations are on my horizon and I’m pouring all my hopes and dreams into them once more, something I promised myself I would not do ever since my 19th birthday turned into a debacle, I have to put my fears that history will repeat itself out there.  Some say that if you want to ruin your plans tell God about them, but I have an opposing view: if you have hopes and dreams tell God about them.  I am putting my aspirations into words and shoving them out there into the ether so that there’s more of a chance that they’ll make it to Monday still intact and unbroken.  I need that.  I have to have that and at this point I deserve that.

What made me think about all this and dredge it all up in the first place was my personal tutor simply stating that I seem a lot better than I did last year.  It made me feel defensive and as though merely saying that I am better is a bad move because it will inevitably inform the universe that I have been better so it’s time to screw me over some more.  That is why I need to say to God, the universe and everything and everyone in existence that I need this weekend to go to plan and just to be a happy moment for me and I will pay in blood, flesh and tears for any punishment(s) that I have to endure to balance out the happiness I anticipate coming at me on Saturday and Sunday…if I can just have those days, I’ll be grateful, I promise.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

13-03-2014

Valentine’s Day Virgins

Firstly, I just want to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day, whether you have someone to share it with or not, have a happy day.  Though you might be spending the day and the night alone, as I am and always have and always will, just remember that it is only 24 hours out of a whole year.  Secondly, the point of this post is to share the T-rated version of my virginity story and tell you how it’s affected me in the long term and just to caution people who might read this blog on the day before – I suspect – a lot of girls nationwide and planetwide will wake up with their virginity remembered only as a thing of the past.

Some therapists – ineffective therapists… –  I have seen over the past couple of years of my life have put my social anxiety and my depression down to the night I lost my virginity, but they were barking up the wrong tree entirely.  It all started a long time before that.  That night was just the start of the delusions and panic attacks whenever I even contemplate being intimate with another human being again.  I have wondered occasionally after I have had a series of panic attacks if I have some remnant symptoms of PTSD, but that’s unlikely and my life is hard enough without listing PTSD as part of my cocktail of mental disorders.  There was a time, however, when I couldn’t even watch even the most basic and non-explicit of sex scenes without shaking…

It has to be said right now and with complete sincerity and with no blame held that my boyfriend at the time was not and is not to blame for anything that happened on that night.  If anything, he was the victim and I was the culprit.  It was – after all – my body that once again could not do what it naturally should have had the capacity to do.  He was just as – if not more so – scared and saddened by the unfortunate turn of events of that night as me.  It did spell the end of our relationship for two reasons: I could never contemplate being so vulnerable and hurt during intimacy again and what is a teenage relationship that is sexless?  Doomed, that’s what!

I was only in my one and only relationship for a matter of months but this relationship spanned the rites of passage such as leaving school, passing my A-levels, going on my first holiday abroad with my friends.  In short, it was supposed to be the time in which I truly became an adult, but just as my luck would have it, it was the time in which I reverted most and lost most of the independence I pride myself on.  Stupidly, I had convinced myself that it was my happiest time, but in retrospect, that was childish and the trappings of being in a relationship. Though I was under the misguided delusion that I was truly happy for the first time in my life, I was not.  I have something to confess here and now that no one knows about and perhaps will make people truly think I am a foul person, but nevertheless, it needs to be said.  I went into the relationship with only one goal, one stupid, selfish, sinful, despicable goal in mind: to lose my virginity before I went to university.  What did not occur to me at the time of planning was that not only was I divesting myself of my virginity in an abhorrent manner, but that – unbeknownst to me – I was taking my boyfriend’s virginity in awful circumstances and with terrible motivations and I did not foresee the consequences of my actions: in short, I deserve all that happened to me on that night but I regret so terribly what I inflicted on a man who was my friend and at one point my best friend and someone I respected.

When you lose what little you treasure and respect of yourself, of course, bad things will befall you and it is your lot to take them and accept them as your dues.  I have done that.  I know that I deserve all the bad things that happen to me in life.  Though I have never possessed much self-respect, I lost the minute amount that I ever had in the moment that I decided to act on my plan and I lost everything else including my innocence the moment I knew that plan was going to succeed on that night.

Discussion and reflection aside, I am now going to tell you what actually happened in České Budějovice.  At least, my story has a somewhat exotic location…  I was in the Czech Republic on holiday with my friends and my boyfriend after Year 13 was over and before we all had to receive our A-level results.  It was about midway through the vacation and we both decided to do it having done just about everything else.  Everyone knows that your first time is not as romantic and effortless as some films and TV shows make it out to be, but it’s also not supposed to be the polar opposite!  Carrie comes to mind…

It was a bloody mess.  That is the frank and succinct way to describe the night.  It was going quite well, but in the end, I had to bring everything to a halt because it all hurt too much.  Naturally, I knew I should expect some discomfort, even severe pain, but nothing and nobody prepared me for the agony that it was.  I do blame girls and women of my acquaintance and even society in general for that slightly because there are so few people with whom you can discuss the issue of virginity and what happens when you are going to lose it.  You cannot talk to your mother (and certainly not my mother!) about it, it’s hard to talk about it with other members of your family and if your only female best friend had an easy ‘transition’, you’ve got very little to go on…

Once the motions had stopped, I went away and locked myself in the bathroom and was sick for about 10 minutes straight.  There was also so much blood.  It took me more than half an hour to clean myself up and feel steady enough to leave, in which time he did knock on the door and ask if I was still alive.  When I went back out, red-eyed and already dying inside, it was clear that I was not the only one who had been weeping.  He thought he had killed me there was so much blood and after a confused and awkward couple of minutes, all we did was cuddle for the rest of the night, though I’m pretty sure neither of us got a restful night’s sleep that night.

That is all the detail I am going to go into – it’s enough, don’t you think?  But, the problem with the topic of virginity is that so few people speak about it openly and honestly and if people did that more, I might not hate the thought of relationships for myself and I wouldn’t be looking at a future of single motherhood and be constantly trying to repress my sexuality and become asexual.  It was in the weeks before that I could have benefited from a wider circle of female friends and better relationships with the female members of my family.  To give you a better picture of what I was like in the aftermath, I direct you to the BBC miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White based on the Michel Faber novel of the same name.  The character of Mrs Rackham, played by the talented Amanda Hale, is a mentally ill woman who keeps to her bed after it is implied that her introduction into the conjugal bed was less than gentle and the delivery of her only child was traumatic enough to render her childlike and fragile, was basically how I felt for so long and in some ways, the sexual and adult side of me still feels like Mrs Rackham.  I do encourage you to give the miniseries a chance and watch it if you haven’t already done so as a beautifully produced piece of costume drama that was my life for a month or so and really helped to get me back to the land of the sane and living as far as I ever would return to it.  I still can’t listen to The Four Seasons’ song “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” without cringing, which is a shame because it’s a really catchy song but its subject is approached from such a male perspective and with that ilk of male flippancy.

I still cannot watch love scenes without recollecting what happened to me and what I did. I know I’ve said too much but it’s something that I should have told a lot of people much sooner. The only people I have told are my closest circle of friends and a girl, who just wanted to lose her virginity in a nightclub in an against-the-wall arrangement with a stranger, and I wanted to stop her from making the same mistake I did of treating my virginity callously and underestimating its power over me and my life.  I would not wish my existence on my worst enemy and though I have acted selfishly in the past, I do everything in my power now to help people and stop them from making the same mistakes I have made.

Trust me, I know how self-aggrandising that sounds but I do care, probably too much, about others to watch and let them suffer as I have and do.  Since I enjoy myself and take pleasure from life vicariously primarily by watching others both in reality and onscreen and by letting characters live in my head and revel in life through the vessel that is my body and mind, I have to care so deeply about what other people do and think and feel.  I just wish others did the same enough to speak more openly so that other people might learn from their mistakes and avoid such unnecessary and excruciating pain and suffering.

I apologise if this post has offended you or made you wary of what you do tonight but I hope it helps just one person somewhere and if it does, it’s worth it.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

14-02-2014