Well if I seem a little strange, that’s because I am

05/05/2013 at 19:15 (Anorexia, Personal) (, , , , )

On a Smiths bent again. They are a band who, like Neil Young, should only really be played on vinyl. It’s all about the snap, crackle and pop.

Helpless in the face of my own happiness. I have the place to myself this (long) weekend, and am enjoying the extra space far too much for what is healthy of a five-year old relationship. We have had our problems lately, it’s true. I am … older. Not necessarily wiser, but certainly not the 23-year old chit he first encountered online, subsequently messaged and got a tarty reply from. Well, OK, I’d probably still do it 😉 But I don’t have the defensive jaw anymore, which – as he often points out these days – was my sword, ready to jab out anyone’s eye. I was still a very scared individual, truth be told; 2008 saw me re-entering the dating world, hesitant and still rawboned, not quite sure of my place in the world yet.

I know it now. If being with him has taught me anything, it’s that it is never too late to try again. Taking his cue, I picked up the writing-reins, gradually guiding myself back on course to where my true legacy lies. Nowadays, it’s me sat in front of the bureau, furiously belting out chapters, while he languishes in writers’ block. I feel heart-sore for my fella, truly I do. But I also feel – and it pains me to admit it – stifled.

For years, I lived alone. Well, under my mum’s roof, but her shift work kept her out at odd hours, to the point where we often went days without seeing one another. So I could at least pretend I had the small house to myself. This suited my solitary personality quite well; oh, and I had Kaiser, of course. The fluffy idiot, offering token editorials in my ear, grumbling whenever I dragged the ironing board out from under the stairs.

After the perils of re-entering A Level education, three years everyone’s senior (still, this would prove to be my advantage, since I’d had more experience of the world than they), I had attempted University and hated it. The course was a mess. Bailing out before I made too much of a dent in my purse, I returned to my hometown to meet my parent’s disappointment head-on. The illness was, of course, a major factor – I simply wasn’t ready for the influx of information, with little breaks, that University is all about. That and, the constant socializing was a drain – house parties, clubbing until 3am, cycling in the coastal wind and rain to the campus, all took their tolls on my limited reserves. That’s even before we get onto my perfectionist self-pressure to attain excellence. I made that midnight oil burn, oh yes.

So, on my arse again, I took up cleaning. Contract to start with, before finding employment with a professional, and I have her to thank for every job I’ve secured since in the business; she was a serious task-master. Between her and Dad’s military atmosphere in my childhood home, I make a straight line look crooked.

Cleaning in the daytime, also afforded me plentiful personal space. I kept my own hours, with no additional work following me home; ergo, the writing could flourish. But it didn’t begin to fully, until I met my fella. As a writer himself, he became my greatest confidante (apart from Kai) and harshest critic. Still remains so, to this day.

Of course, this comes with serious repercussions where our relationship is involved. After a particularly hard battering on either side, we may go a few hours without speaking to one another. Some might say that career and home life should never be mixed; I unfortunately don’t have that choice. Two writers under one roof, well, it seemed the perfect blend when we first got together. God knows, we’ve been through enough, have lived in tighter conditions than this (cramped in his bedroom under his parent’s roof, for one. A whole year of it.)

But now, I am older. And becoming vastly aware of it, of myself, in ways not experienced before. I always was a late starter. At 28, I’m going through the revelations and emotional revolutions that my peers experienced a decade ago. I feel more behind than ever. Most crushingly, I’m becoming aware of the fact that I have never had space. No home to call my own.

Oh I know, plenty of people are back living with their parents. I was on the Dole a year, I know what the recession has done. But right now, I’d honestly welcome a room in a house-share, as long as it was my own. Just like when I lived in the family home down South, around fifteen years ago (God, how that number rings hard in my head.) I feel as though I’ve missed out on things important to development; and the trouble is, while all my peers are settling down to marriage and children, mortgages and secure employment, I still feel (willingly) as rootless as ever. Their world was never to be mine. I have no more interest in procreation or wedlock, than I did aged eighteen, aged twelve.

But they’ve had their share of independence. They’ve got the drinking and fucking around and fucking up and flirtatious idiocy with the world, all out of their systems. And I am looked at askance by so many because, at my age, I should know better.

Well, I never was backward about coming forward.

I have little patience for the kind of people (and believe me, I oscillate among them daily) who believe I ought to grow up. I would like to tell them about the girl who I stopped slitting her wrists with a smashed jam jar on a psychiatric ward; about the sexuality I’ve forced into my scrawny body over the course of five years after release from said ward, in an attempt to keep up with the world, with relationships … but I can’t be arsed with arseholes.

Yes, my body is not attractive. I made it so. My family are genetically whiplash anyway, but I’ve taken it to steely new cords. Fighting out demons in the gym does this to a person. Beating out breath, forcing fire out of my head and into my muscles, stands in lieu of therapy. I’d probably have killed someone by now, if I didn’t 😉

The fella stands between me and being alone again. But somehow, the flames we once had, have languished under daily life’s extinguisher. We promised ourselves this wouldn’t happen. I still love him, in an abiding way, the way people who’ve met each other’s souls head on, tend to do. And I fear, if I lose him, I will never know love again.

But I’ve been alone before, know its perils and freedom. As a child, I hated group play, sharing toys and ideas. To this day, I can usually manage one-on-one’s for a day or so, before even that solo company becomes unbearable. Small wonder I’m always drawing the Hermit in my Tarot pack.

If I let him go, it won’t only be for my benefit. Isn’t letting someone go, the greatest act of love we can give?

Knowing my passive-aggressive self, I’ll withdraw. He’ll come back off holiday, and I will act as though nothing as happened. As though I haven’t actively reveled in my space, in my freedom. I will settle back into quietly languishing under the weight of my own lie.

And hate myself more every day, for doing so.

Enough depressing bollocks. I have the Bank Holiday evening, the sultry evening full of damp soil and sunlight smells. A new bottle of Morgans’ Spiced rum. And photos from the country walk of today … the trials and tribulations of your brutal narrator, in the wilds of suburban life.

I was bored before I even began.

Attempting to cross a field I use regularly, I was confronted by these chaps:

 photo Cows_zps2dc5f075.jpg

I wasn’t a coward. I outvibed them, running at the bastards and shouting. OK, actually I slunk past and took this photo behind the safety of the closed gate, which was the sweetest sound, that satisfying clunk-click. But I still managed it, despite Withnail and I flashbacks.

 photo Hauntedfrightenedtrees_zpsaa052433.jpg

The haunted, frightened trees. On field research for the novel, I wove in and out of wild-barred sunlight in the woods, all black ‘n gold, treading on dog mercury (it stinks) and scaring kids walking by.

 photo Tangledtornsun_zps23961fb0.jpg

 photo Noendings_zps74bb21f0.jpg

There are no happy endings, because nothing really ends.


  1. Wordifull Melanie said,

    Rachael, you bare your soul here and I salute your bravery, I’m enjoying your writing style as it rings true and natural,

    • celenagaia33 said,

      Thank you! Honesty is the only policy I know when it comes to writing about myself. I spent years deep in anorexia, never opening up. So now, it’s all folks can do to get me to shut up 😉
      Your kind words really touched me. It’s still difficult, sometimes, to acknowledge the evolved adult i am now. Not the frightened little thing I spent so many years as. Your comment, is affirmation that I must be doing something right 😉

      • Wordifull Melanie said,

        I’m so glad my words can bring you validation. I also believe in honesty in writing. While some of my writing is fiction…there is plenty based on reality 🙂

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