Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A potted history of my life...

Just to forewarn you that I talk about abusive relationships and situations which I understand may be triggering, but I've hidden this under a spoiler button (if my technical skills haven't completely failed me) so you have the option of skipping this part if you so wish.  How terribly presumptuous of me! In my first blog post I introduced this blog under the assumption that you knew me from youtube, and whilst I'm going to assume that's where most of you will find me from just in case you don't I thought I would introduce myself.

My name is Charlotte and I'm 25 years old, or rather I was 5 years ago. I don't know why its so hard to say 30 but it is. Most 30 year olds feel weird about leaving their twenties so maybe it's not so weird but it actually makes me feel physically sick. Most people my age have a life. A job, families maybe, children? But definitely memories they can look back on with a smile. Me? I have none of them. I have arms of scars, a body that in every second of the day there is a part of that is causing a great deal of pain, two feet that don't work properly, the left worse than the right, a brain that is full of poisonous thoughts of the now/what ifs/buts, memories of the things not that I've lost but the things I haven't lost because I never got the chance to gain them in the first place, memories of the things I'd rather forget. I have rather a mental head. Ahhh yes my blog (and youtube channel name) now to anyone who pronounces the Z to rhyme with tree then I apologise my name probably sounds rather, well stupid, but for the sake of this blog and my sanity pretend you pronounce it like the British do, to rhyme with, well head. DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE.
So yes you may have gathered I have mental illnesses but if you're looking for a bit of a back story then read on...

I'm the middle child of a loving family of 5. I've always been a bit, different I guess, I'm very creative. My passion has always been performing, singing dancing and acting. If you asked me to walk into a room full of people on my own I couldn't do it, both mentally and physically in that my feet my feet are bent at right angles, so if I CAN get through the pain of standing and walking I'd probably end up walking round in circles like a dog chasing its tail. I'd rather be on stage performing songs that I’ve written myself, that I’d poured my heart and soul into. It's where I feel at home. I’d do that a million times over. And that was always my dream.

At the age of 5 on Christmas day, I had the first thought of "I want to be dead". I don't know what precipitated it. It was something I felt, something in me, I had had a happy day, but I didn't feel I should be alive. I didn't act on it, obviously as I'm sat here 25 years later, I didn't know what it meant even...  Then I started school and the bullying started.  I don't need to go into it, you don't need me to explain what bullying is, but we've already established that I had a brain that wasn't quite right, then starting school and being bullied about the way I look, the way I...  well everything.
Age 7 I think it was, it got bad enough to warrant moving schools to a small village school just outside where I lived. I was the new girl from out of the village moving into a school full of kids who'd grown up together, played together outside of school, I was never going to fit in. But it's weird because looking back if you'd have seen me, you'd never have guessed because I remember smiling as bullies said things. It's almost like I tried to develop this hugely thick skin and they just wanted to get to me and maybe if they'd have gotten to me they'd have moved on. But they just carried on and on because they knew I took it. Plus everyone else in the school grew up together and their parents knew each other, it was a tiny school.  I even had a few instances which I've talked about on youtube (watch the video here) with the parents of kids bullying me.  I was also being bullied in other places outside of school, so I had no relief anywhere I went. Don't get me wrong I had ‘friends’ as in I got invited to things but only because the whole class did (there were only 10 kids in a class of years 5 and 6). But I rarely had anyone over to my house. I was the alien. I was also an ugly little shit.

Something I'm reluctant to mention or rather talk about in depth as I don't feel it affected me and I don't ever think about it and therefore don't feel I have the right to get upset or  FEEL anything about, I was abused at the drama group I went to (sexually). I went when I was older and was bullied severely (which affected me far more than the abuse did as the bullying went on over a longer period of time and I was older and more aware what was happening) but it was when I went when I was a younger child too and that's when it happened.

My last year of primary school I started feeling tired all the time and suffering from dizzy spells and getting pain in my glands, I had some tests done, but they came back inconclusive and the summer before starting secondary school I developed bells palsy, which, from what I remember was when half my face collapsed (seriously). It cleared up just before school started. Secondary school carried on much the same as primary, except it was worse.
From years 7-9 (age 11-13) the bullying got progressively worse, in school and out physical, mental, and emotional.
I started year 9 in September and from sept to December I was coming home from school at 4 and sleeping through to 7.30/8 in the morning and feeling really ill, taking 1/2 days off a month due to tiredness. Also due to sleeping so much I wasn't able to do my homework and was therefore getting into trouble. At both Halloween and Christmas that year I had two incidents which really affected me and my mental state.

Just after boxing day, 1998 I woke up with a sore throat, swollen glands, completely exhausted and a swollen and very painful knee. Long story short I had glandular fever with viral arthritis in my knee, this then turned into chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), although I suspect I'd been suffering from ME for some time before. I tried to go into school a few times, but I was so ill and being on crutches made things difficult. I’d already made the decision to change schools due to the bullying and being pushed down the stairs on crutches the day before my birthday was the last straw. This was the last day of my education, age 13 and 364 days it haunts me to this day that I never got to finish my education  even though I spent years battling doctors who believed I was faking being ill just to get out of school.
This was the beginning of my being physically ill, I got physically worse and worse, I was bedridden with the ME and arthritis the whole of that year and had a few stays in hospital. It was crap and pretty traumatic as the doctors didn't believe I was actually ill so I felt very alone and when admitted to hospital I was actually alone.  My family must have felt very confused as they were being told one thing by me and another by the doctors and doctors don't lie do they? Yes. Yes they do. I'd spent over a year battling when we decided I would go and stay with my mums family in America for a break for a while. I won't go into this but several things went wrong over there and the day I came back I went on a 'diet'.
That was April 2000 by the September of that year I was living on half an apple a day, by that December I was critically ill and admitted to hospital. I was given the choice of being admitted to a psychiatric unit or the general hospital that had accused me of faking being ill the previous year and having to face the Dr who had lied to me and my parents and basically been a complete and utter unprofessional disgusting example of everything that is wrong with the NHS (Lets call him Dr Dickshane, I actually nicknamed him Noddy at the time and definitely did not call him that to his face once or twice) . Hardly a great choice.... I chose the Psychiatric Unit even though they'd been complete wankers when I'd met them the year before.
TBT previous year
"So Charlotte why do you think you're ill" *deep inhale of breathe because OF COURSE glandular fever arthritis and ME aren't physical REAL illnesses 
"Well I did break a mirror last year so I guess I've got 7 years of bad luck"
 If in doubt, in the presence of psychiatritrists who look like weasels in twinsets asking STUPID questions, be sarcastic/make a joke
"And why did you feel the need to break a mirror?" Palm, meet face .....
 But when I went to see them they said I was too ill for them and had to go to Dr Dickshane first. He was fucking delighted. At this point, I was very confused. I knew nothing of calories and fat. I had just stopped eating because I felt fat and ugly and deep down because I wanted to die. I now had to start eating so I thought ok I'll eat. But Dr Dickshane had other ideas. He refused to let me try and eat and said I had to have an NG tube, which is my worst nightmare as I have a phobia of things in my body (as in needles, tubes etc.) I said I wanted to eat I had no problems eating at which point a nurse asked me what I would eat and I said well I want some chips and she said they'd make me fat...... I managed to convince them to let me drink what they would have put down the tube so long as my bloods were stable. Or so they thought. I was not having any of that so I'd dispose of the liquid shit they gave me (if they're not going to mix it properly so it's all lumpy nor supervise then yes its going to the plants) and then when my mum came went down to the canteen to get chips and snuck back up chocolate.
 Control. I hated the fact that Dr Dickshane thought he could get one over on me. Fuckwit.
After 10 days in the general ward and just before Christmas I was transferred to Highfield adolescent unit. I was there for 9 months. I saw a psychologist for the first time 2 weeks before I left and they figured out I might be depressed. Even though they knew I'd been self harming. Yeah. It was THAT good. I gained little weight, partly due to the fact that I had weekend leave early on due to the fact it was Christmas then new years then I threw a shit fit if they didn't let me home again after two weeks of getting to go home and when I was at home I followed my own meal plan. Honestly the food at Highfield was minimal, the portions were tiny (thankfully, because it was absolutely vile) and I was given the same sandwich three weeks running at one point at which point I started a protest (typical anorexic moaning about food. No I just don't want stale bread and plastic cheese every single fucking day). Diet increases were only adding in slices of toast, by the time I left my meal plan required me to be on 9 slices a day. Not ideal, even less so when you have members of staff say "I cant eat toast it makes me fat"....
 Then there was the time I was accused of throwing my snack away because the staff being paid to watch me eat were gossiping, so assumed I'd chucked it away but I'd just eaten it because I wanted to get to bed. So I decided if they were going to accuse me of throwing my food away then I would and I started slingshotting my biscuits out of the window, not because of calories or fat or to do with eating but just because it pissed me off so much that they'd accuse me of it. And then I went and sat and had something to eat in the dorm from a girl who had bulimia and had her own stash of food that wasn't stale rich teas.
Something happened in Highfield that needed to, that was nothing to do with the lack of therapists or minimal portion plastic tasting food. I grew a backbone. I became a bit of a rebel. I started to swear ( there's very little more satisfying than telling an egotistical nurse who has been caught out lying about you, to go fuck themselves). I turned up to my  review meetings (because they weren't following my appropriate care plan) wearing black lipstick and telling anyone who came near me who didnt treat me with respect to fuck off and when I became a day patient I would spend houuuuuuuurs over the meals I ate there so they ran into each other so I was just sat at the table till my taxi came and I could go home. I sound difficult awkward and like a fucking bitch but I had no therapy from the outset, I was in there for anorexia, but apart from my meals they weren't treating the eating disorder.  I found out they put me on the programme for patients with ME, which was contradictory to the ED programme. The first time I saw self harm in there I phoned my mum distraught. Within 2 months, I was regularly self harming myself as a way of coping with my depression and worsening paranoia, anxiety, OCD and depression
Enough about that shit hole. I left Highfield determined to try and beat the ME and get walking as I'd been promised a Ruby red dog when I was well. The eating didn't seem to bother anyone. I was eating vegetables and egg whites and the occasional cereal bar. But my Bmi was still dangerously underweight. I got Ruby about 7 months later and she was my shining light. More about her below.

No photos please.....
I spent several years bobbing around. Eating the bare minimum but yet it just seemed to be accepted as Charlotte. oh, Charlottes not eating again.
I've got to be honest the next few years were a blur. I developed a bit of a social life as I was very close with my brothers girlfriend at the time and my brothers friends and I went out with them even if I did feel like it was partly out of pity, I had some fun times and got to spend time with and started to develop a relationship with my brother. When he and his girlfriend broke up I lost those friends but I'd started  a dance class once a week which was something I'd been working toward for so long.
It should have been good, great even to have been able to dance again, but it was like being in an abusive relationship. I had had no true friends of my own and was desperately lonely so would have accepted anything. My dance teacher a women approaching 50 took a shine to certain students, inviting them out and round to her house and getting them to choreograph the classes (the work she was being paid to do). All the while I would get phone calls from her screaming at me about what an ugly cow I am and how I'd never be as skinny as the other girls. I once walked into a class and she looked at me and in the front of the class screamed at me that I looked like I'd been mauled by a dog. But then she'd go back to being kissy kissy sweetie darling. This culminated in the weekend of a show in which I had her screaming at me down the phone because I'd stood up to her for once. The show was awful, I was shaking the whole time terrified every time I saw her backstage, and I'd choreographed about 6 dances and wanted to be proud of what I'd done. I was also singing twice and both times she stood at the side of the stage taking the piss out of me trying to put me off. I later found out she spent the weekend telling everyone I'd been slagging everyone off and saying stuff. needless to say, I never went back. She was a nasty vicious bully. It's one thing to be a child bullying, but when you're an adult? You should surely know better.

Another thing I guess I should mention is my relationships. Not being able to meet guys getting a boyfriend didn't happen till I was I think 22? Deep breathe as I talk about this. I'd just come out of another stay in hospital when I decided I wanted to take guitar lessons and decided to look for somewhere in the same town as where my ED team was. I found a music shop that had guitar teachers and started with a guy. On my first lesson I was waiting I saw a guy who was hot, and I kinda hoped he was my teacher, he had longish curly hair, no shoes on and big brown eyes. Sadly not but my teacher was ok ish. From my first lesson this teacher made it clear he was interested in me, he was openly flirty with me and it was fun being flirty back, I'd never done it before, but I wasn't learning much guitar because he was trying to show off his guitar skills and flirt and that was my hour up... and then he asked me to the cinema.

I wrote this song about our relationship, It was originally a dark bluesy number, but then I had the idea of turning into something more uptempo with a crazy drum beat and more of an electronic feel as you can hear below

I did reclaim some dignity after we broke up. The stupid fucker had all the same passwords to his Email and facebook accounts and whilst he was off on an ultramarathon one weekend I signed into his facebook account and signed up to a load of pages that I figured he wouldn't want his friends to know about and in his Email account I saw that he'd bought tickets to a concert HE KNEW I'D BE AT. 2 tickets. And he'd joined a fitness dating agency a few weeks prior to our break up. Delightful little wanktard. So at this point he didn't know it was me who was fucking with his facebook and email and the day of the concert I waited at the entrance with my mum and as he arrived with his date (it was their first date too) he literally turned green. But I marched up to him and reminded him of the money he owed me still. Score 1 to Charlotte.  I sat and sobbed through the whole concert:( At the end he as saw me and tried to jump off the kerb and hide behind a car. What a dick.

 I bet you're thinking oh Charlotte surely you must have learned from experience with your next boyfriend.  You'd have thought so wouldn't you.  Now dear readers if I can pass on only one piece of advice it would be to not date wannabe psychologists if you're suffering from mental illness.   Especially ones with a complex about their dicks, (he had a job in psychology but was failing at it so what better way to boost his wounded pride than getting a fucked up girlfriend and practice on her).  I won't go into our whole relationship as it was a train wreck but here're a few gems

Scene: my car
Him" why don't you ever comment on how big my penis is?"
Me *silence*
Him " You do know it's quite big don't you"
Me *more silence*
Me" Er you have a really big Dick" 

Scene: my birthday I'm crying, having a panic attack I just need a Hug
Me " Please can I have a hug" 
Him " I can't condone this behaviour" 

Scene: my birthday, I'm all dressed up,  I feel, not pretty but not hideous for probably the first time in my life.
Him " You look stupid"
Me on my birthday, looking 'stupid' and 'ugly' 2 days before another OD. First you can never look stupid in a tutu, k? Second, LOOK AT FETUS LILY HOW CUUUUUUUUUUTE look how happy we look. Third I could only just walk in my 5 inch heels ps my t shirt says she died of perfection. ironic much
Scene: 2 days after my birthday, he's broken up with me.  Reasons given; I'm annoying and my mum gave him some food left over from my birthday for lunch for work but he didn't have anything to go with it so he'd have to buy something meaning he'd have to spend money.

My mum via text" Charlotte has taken an overdose" 
Him "good I won't have to listen to her music in the car anymore"  (what, you mean the car that I've spent the last 6 months driving you around in and picking you up from work in because you can't fuckin drive you arsewipe.

In all seriousness given his job, and the fact that he only got into a relationship with me in the first place to try and prove to himself that he could (he was a bit of a slag), he knew exactly how to manipulate me and whilst my first boyfriend had been physically and emotionally abusive this one knew exactly how to manipulate me emotionally and mentally.  Nice one Charlotte.  Did give me some good material for my album though.

Ah, the album.  I should talk about it.  I should.  I can't. I'll make it short as I can. I decided to make an album and donate all the proceeds to a mental health charity. I worked my arse off for over 2 years on it.  I spent a lot of time with someone who really really hurt me and let me down, who took a lot from me mentally emotionally and financially.  I made nothing from it, it all went to charity.  I say all, barely any money was raised as by the time I was finished making it I was literally broken in every way possible and couldn't promote it.
An early promo shot for
 the album, yep those
 are actual tears in my eyes,
Couldn't even begin to hide
the pain I was in.
I had some awful things said to me by people close to me about the album which hurt a lot so I couldn't even be proud of it. I just wanted it finished.  I went down to London, collapsed, came back, took to my bed was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hips and I've not really left my bed. The person I'd been working with day in day out last called me a few weeks after we'd finished, on Christmas day, pissed slagging me off for everything that had gone wrong in his life, his partner leaving him and taking his daughter, he said mental illnesses don't exist, he was a dick basically. This man who I STUPIDLY gave the money we agreed on for the album to be done in advance of the work which IS NEVER DONE YOU PAY AFTER IT'S BEEN DONE but I trusted him and he fucked around for the next year taking on other work instead of doing my album then calling me up when he was drunk/high to give me abuse and tell me he was going to just delete my album as he couldn't pay his bills, so I had to pay him again, and again and again, I was continuously fundraising, selling everything I owned, contacting studios and musicians to get them to donate their time for free (I had some world class people amazingly agree). The album took 2 years to make but could have been made in a few months. All this money that should have been on actual physical CDs to sell to raise money, promotional material, on the video I filmed, which he didn't have the music ready on time for so had to be scrapped, wasting even more money. I paid him several times over but he spent the whole time telling the musicians coming in that he was doing it for free (which he had actually initially agreed to do as he wanted to do it for the love of the music and he thought it could be really big). When he knew there was no more money he spent the last few months saying if I sucked his dick then maybe it get done faster. You can see now why I collapsed so soon after finishing. I think even a person with all their marbles going into that situation would lose them. If you're wondering, by the way, You can listen to it in the top left hand corner of this very blog. Although please bear in mind I can't say it's not how I wanted it to sound due to the 'creative differences'. "Why are your songs always so fucking miserable and whiny..." "Oh you wanted it to sound like that? no you're not paying me so I'm going to do what I want, or delete the lot off my computer" Maybe he suffered from amnesia and genuinely didn't remember me paying him thousands of pounds, paying for foods alcohol and tobacco. THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.
So no it's not how I wanted it to sound, I think there's only 2 songs he didn't butcher, I sound bitter but he hurt me not only with everything he did with the album, I mean with everything I paid and at the end of it he even refused to give me my music so I could play the gigs I had lined up to promote it. IT WAS MY MUSIC. But it hurt because we spent so much time together and I'd seen him as a friend. But much like the relationships I'd been in I put up with so much shit I shouldn't have because it meant being alone. And this time he knew he held the strings as I'd paid him in advance so if I wanted the album he could treat me however he wanted and I'd put up with it I'd damn well put up with it. and I did. I had no choice, I'd fundraised to get it made, I had to get it done, he had no idea he was destroying me and like my exbf he hated any sign of mental illness and he was nasty about it so I had to hide it, and I was in an awful place so I didn't do a very good job clearly. It was an abusive friendship with the added shitter of the fact that he knew there was no one else as I'd already paid him and then I just had to keep paying him as I couldn't afford to start again, mentally or financially.

The last few years have been documented on Instagram and social media. Pain, spiralling mental health, isolation, Long periods of fasting, the feet ah the feet. You know about the feet.
It probably seems like I've talked about only bad things, but I wanted to en this on the two most precious things to have happened to me firstly my beautiful dog Ruby

I worked my arse off to get her and my god was she worth it. She loved me and was my best friend, when I cried she was there, when I was in hospital she sat outside my bedroom door on a vigil and when she was dying I discharged myself from hospital and stayed up with her for 2 months as at night she got distressed as she was in pain. I was heartbroken, One of the songs on my album I wrote for her called "all over again". When she had a seizure on new years eve and the vet said she probably wouldn't survive another one and it would happen any day and it would be very distressing for her, it would be kinder to put her to sleep. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. But we'd had 9 beautiful years together. She'd survived cancer against the odds. I want to share with you some funny moments from our time together.

  • One thing I love to do is have funny ironic ringtones (i.e fat bottomed girls, Fuck you by Lily Allen was a great one to have on when seeing my old ED team). She used to love lying on the heat of my phone but if it wasn't on silent and it rang she'd literally jump up and be like WTF
  • She loved going in my bin and eating stuff gross I know, whenever I had a cold she'd wait until I wasn't looking then nosedive into it and eat all my snotty tissues she also loved eating happinose (menthol rub) and used to eat tubes of it, maybe it's like doggy weed because she'd get angry when I tried to take it off her and she had a kind of glazed look in her eyes
  • Be warned TMI. On the subject of going into my bin. With wanktard Bf Number 1 at the beginning of our relationship, before things got really bad I was kind of excited about being a sexually active human being, I'll admit. Little did I know the problems that would arise with that from him. With a packet of condoms I'd bought, came a free vibrating sex toy and obviously considering I could barely get him to kiss me sometimes, the very thought of using that? well apart from making using it to make a joke, he threw it in the bin. Which my beautiful Ruby then went snuffling through the next day and got stuck on her nose STILL VIBRATING and went running round the house in front of my family.....
  • When she was diagnosed with cancer the vet said she probably wouldn't make it as her heart murmur was so severe and her heart was filling up with fluid. She had an operation to remove the tumour and I decided to change her diet and hand cook all her meals as when you look as the ingredients in dog food I kept coming across ash as an ingredient and the meat and vegetable content was below 5%. She was  like a  child to me and I wouldn't feed a child that crap. Every weekend I cooked up brown rice, turkey mince, peas and sweetcorn and I'd add a little bit of egg to her daily serving, sometimes if there was fish or chicken going spare she'd have that. When she went to the vet not only had the cancer not spread but the fluid had cleared up from her heart and she went on to live for 3 more years, the vet said he'd never seen anyone do so much for their dog and it was only because of what I'd done for her diet and how much I cared for her that she lived so long

My beautiful baby.xxxx

 Of course the other beautiful thing(s) in my life is my nieces, you've heard me talk about them before and I can't put into words what they mean to me. When I think about how much I love them I cry. I actually cry. I'm crying now. There's Lily, beautiful Lily she's 5, almost 6! and she's my mini me. She's sensitive, creative, funny, sweet, beautiful and so so clever. She remembers things that we did when she was 2, she likes making up little songs and you only have to play a piece of music or song to her once and she gets it instantly and she cries about the fact that my feet still hurt.
Shine bright like a diamond
Lily teaching me how to walk
 Then there's Chloe, who is the complete opposite of Lily. She's got this tiny little blonde head that holds the most amazing imagination. She'll tell you stories of trains that hold baby unicorns that are looking for their mummies because they are dead and then they are baby dragons. She has a way of talking that just makes you laugh but she gets upset if she thinks you're laughing at her, and you have to explain you're laughing because she's just so funny not because she's said something stupid. She just says what's on her mind, she walked into my room when she was here last looked at me and goes "you still ill then" and I said yes sweetie I am and whereas Lily would get upset and talk about it Chloe just goes "oh great and walked out. The time before that she id the same but sai "can you walk yet" and when I said no she didn't even respond and walked out, it was so funny like if I'd have said yes she'd have said "right TIME FOR ADVENTURES BABY DRAGONS"

And Evie, who's only just 1, so I can't really say much about her personality, looks wish she's a complete mash up of the other two, she's got Chloes colouring and Lilys face shape. When she looks at at me she doesn't know me well enough to smile or recognise me properly with a complete look of "I'm about to break into the biggest grin/holy shit I'm gonna scream get away get away". She's already overcome so much in her life being so poorly when she'd only just been born, so although I don't know much about her I know one thing. She's a fighter
I know that people are biased over children and it's an obvious thing to say, but these girls are the most beautiful and precious little gems I've ever seen, all unique and special in their own ways. I'm so proud of them and I hope each of them hold a little piece of me in them in some way. Love you long time X

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