Do you ever have those moments when you recall a childhood fear of yours clearly, even if you had forgotten all about it? Children live in this weird ocd like world, where they believe that if they just counter the stuff that scares them, it won’t happen. Like sleeping with a favorite teddy, dreamcatchers, hide under the blanket.. and so forth.
Just the other day I was getting ready for bed, and I was struggling with my hoodie, I don’t know why but as I tangled myself more and more in it, I suddenly recalled how this had freaked me the fuck out as a kid. I swear I have not thought of this in 25+ years! I know I touched down on it before in this blog, but as a child I was deadly afraid of realizing that the world was not what I thought it was. So for instance I was afraid of when I finally got the sweater off, the room would look different. And that fear suddenly struck me those 25+ years later, and as a child I would counter this with refusing to open my eyes untill I got my glasses back on. But I am not wearing glasses no more, I wear contacts. So what to do? Well I just pulled the sweater off, but for a split second I actually was afraid to open my eyes.
I know I had a bunch of these weird rituals as a child, and I know that I talked else where about the shit I’d see and feel as a kid and early teen. And yes, I am actually quite sane. I don’t know what I expected, but sorta like a an anti-matrix or something. So I wasn’t really scared of “alternate relalities” or “revalations” as I was for the fabric of my world would be wrong. That I’d see things for what they really were, like the world I saw through my glasses was the “normal” world, and if I dared to open my eyes without, it would be perverted somehow. It is seriously hard to explain, but what comes the closest I can think of in popular culture, is a book that I read many, many years later called Twilight eyes, the kid in this book sees monsters lurking under the illusion of men. And I guess that is what I mean somehow, that I was afraid that I could see what was under everything. And if I saw it, it would know so I could never go back to being normal me. Typing it down it sounds goddamn twisted, and one wonders why I wasn’t medicated. But you have to keep in mind that I would walk into rooms and my hairs would stand, I would hear whispers and in rare ocations see shadows where no shadows was supposed to be.
One could argue that I was a very odd and lonely child, now I won’t give you a long tearjerker of a story cause it really isn’t. I think that most of my fears was created of a sense of not belonging in my foster family, and also way, WAY too much time on my own, I spent loads of time on my own and loved it. But I wonder if it can twist your head a little when you have nothing better to do.
I had rituals for all kinds of shit, like sleeping. I was like 15 when I stopped creating an imaginary cage around me, with my mind, to hold out the wolves. Seroiusly. I used to imagine bars going up around my room, and these wolf like serpents slithering around on the outside trying to get in, clawing at the bars, but they couldn’t breach it. Sometimes if I was extra freaked out I’d go over my cage several times to make sure that there was no weaknesses they could exploit. And maybe I’d still do this if I was really freaked out and in my bed. Funny I was never afraid of anything under my bed or in my closet, cause I knew nothing could get through the bars.
Maybe I was a bit extreme as a kid, but I think most children have some sort of ritual, like ‘bad things will happen if I don’t’ – But what I found the most weird was that I had honestly forgotten all about this, and it all came back because of a tangled sweater.
I don’t know if anyone reading this knows that I am doing a collaborate story with a friend of mine, using the sims2 as a story telling media. Why that? Because it’s fun 😉
Anyway I was reading up on something related to that story, and I stumbled across this.
I usually don’t really talk about myself in this blog, because it’s not relevant, or interesting. But something about that slideshow made me think of this place my mum and her boyfriend lived at one time. It was a horrible house, it was not their doing, it was horrid as they movied in. It should have been condemned, and it would have been had anyone known what it was like. It was huge though, but really cold and damp, they had this huge fernis out in the barn which ran on hay. This would warm up all the heaters in the house. But it so happened that they drank a lot in that time, so no one bought the hay needed for the fernis, and for a while the only heating was the gasoven in the kitchen. I swear there were frost ‘flowers’ on the inside of the windows.
Now my mum did a lot of things, she never did live in a garbage heap though. I knew this clairvoyant woman once, and she told me that the devil hides in squalor. And as an adult I think she might be right, but not in the literal sense of course.
I don’t know man, I have a limited insight into psychology, but I don’t think that heaps of trash, and hoarding is the same thing. As I said on LJ once, no one hoards dogshit. I wouldn’t just write the poor sods off as filthy swine either, I think it’s a question of caring. And that is the paradox innit? Way I see it, then real hoarders tend to hoard the back of their property first, and then keep a place of their house as an open space untill that too is swallowed up in boxes of crap they bought of the tv shopping network or at the thrift store. But they seems to me like they usually buy stuff they think is worth something, or can be given as gifts, or stuff that they might need – such as clothes, pots and pans.
Like if you bought 10 vacumcleaners on a sale, you’d stick them in the bedroom till you figured out what to do with them, and who to give them to. And what if before you made up your mind, you stumbled on this super sale on coffee machines? they would be piled on top of the vacumcleaners, and so forth untill you just have to close the door to your bedroom because it ended up as storage.
People who live in trash, they make a pile of trash around themselves where ever they sit the most, like in the living room, and then they move back in the house, as were they trying to find a clean spot to occupy till there are no more clean spots. Or maybe they build a wall of trash around them? I don’t know. But I’d see it much like your computer desk, it quickly fills up with trash if you don’t throw it out. Candy wrapping, cups, plates, ashtrays, and stuff you aren’t even sure why it’s there. Imagine if you just never cleaned that up, and instead of doing that, just migrated to your dining table when your desk got too gross. It’s not like you don’t know your gross desk is there, but you chose not to deal with it.
I believe in clutter blindness to some extend. If you ever met anyone who live in trash and crap you know that they hate guests, most will most likely have all social life elsewhere, and keep their house like their dirty secret. My point is that they ‘know’ that it’s not socially acceptable and still they don’t act upon the impulse to do anything about it. I admit that I think that most of these places where someone lives in kneedeep shit with children and pets, it’s most likely addicts or severely mentally ill people.
The same clairvoyant who told me about the devil in squalor, also told me that your mental state is mirrored in your enviroment. So what should we deduct from that? that there people feel like shit so they live in shit? Or that something robbed them of the ability to care for themselves, because way I see it, living in extreme squalor is self destructive like fuck. I refuse to believe that anyone likes living like that, in the back of everyones mind would be haunted by the knowledge that it’s not normal, and that it should stop, but they lack the energy or support to get cracking on it the right way. And nothing is easier than to ignore a problem, but as we all know it doesn’t go away because you want it to, it just festers.
So yes, the devil lives in squalor. And so does people who can’t deal with life, and therefor tries to distance themselves from it any way possible, be it they hide in a cave of junk, or be it a drug haze and stuff just never gets picked up. (substance abusers aren’t the most domestic people I ever met) – But as long as the trash stays so does the inability to suit up and get shit done.
It’s simple psycology that when we feel unsettled or unsafe, we seek back to where we feel the most safe. Wherever that be. But what is the place you felt most safe, was also the root of your pain? And you don’t even have someone to blame other than you. Well most trash collectors or hoarders or whatever, blames everyone else, but that is all a defence mechanism. It’s pretty easy to see that they don’t -really- think that, but they can’t deal with their own failure.
To most of us it sounds appaling to read that ‘the children played in heaps of trash’ and it is! But really then I don’t think that the most horrifying is the trash. It is that the parent(s) apparently have the empathic insight of a wooden log. They are robbing their children of a childhood, a normal one that is. No one wants to play with the kid that smells of piss, or who looks dirty. Odds are that the few that will, is told not to by their parents. Their clothes are filthy and old fashioned, they can’t have friends over. Outsiders are judgemental of the lifestyle that the parent(s) are pretending to be normal. And the last thing someone like that want is to feel judged or pursecuted.
When you live in a forest of crap, it’s not gonna be your only problem, that much is true. I am not sure if I believe that the ‘trash-hoarders’ in lack of other words, suffer the OCD traits that regular ‘collector-hoarders’ do. I think it’s mostly about giving up and letting go, which spreads like ripples in water. I would imagine that it has a lot to do with shame, and that is why they don’t ask for the helping hand that I am pretty sure that they know they need.
What I am not entirely sure of, is what type of shame it is. Are they ashamed because they know their living conditions are deplorable? Are they ashamed because of how it reflects on them as a person, and afraid of people reacting with ‘clean your house cause that’s just nasty’? Or are they more afraid of being found out and forced to deal with their demons?
(Picture ‘the nightmare’ by Henry Fuseli)
As an author the critical observer is always a godsend. And as I said in an earlier entry, to draw the line in a very black and white manner, is helpful for most plots. The good vs evil never grows out of fashion.
I am very fascinated by religion, I would mostly call it morbid fascination though. What tickles me is the blind faith that I wish lived only in fiction. I cannot wrap my head around someone who would just hold up religious text, everytime someone questions anything.
Blind faith is also a very “cheap” card to use in writing. A character whose judgement is clouded by religion is capable of almost anything. I find it strangely “easy” to write a character like that, because it’s mostly like they don’t have any reasoning, besides whatever religious text they can quote. It doesn’t even have to make sense, as long as it’s roughly in the Bible. Like all sense hits a brick wall, and all arguments ends with ‘Because the Bible says so.’
Even if it’s cheap, it’s very efficient when you want to amplify something else, like free-thinker vs reformist, or sane vs crazy.
I can’t help but to think about children brought up in that bubble of crazy. To think there is an almighty power that keeps an eye on them, and punishes them in the afterlife if they don’t behave. Dude! most kids i know can’t even relate to being +18, even less the afterlife. I does sound paranoid to me, to think that someone judges you like that. And honestly what sort of lesson is that to teach your children? – I really shouldn’t say that, should I? I know that we all bring our children up in our own image, and you aren’t evil or a bad parent for doing that. Some parents are just terribly misguided. And yes I am talking about all parents that live their life through their children, if it’s those crazy pageant mothers on tv, putting their toddlers out there, dressed like a pedophiles fantasy girlfriend. extreme right-wing people who name their children Hitler and/or makes them sing about race war. Or crazy religious people who teach their children that God will be watching their every step, and that they should be righteous, brave and pure. In my opinion all of these are the same, sorry to say. It reeks a little of Münchausen by proxy to me, to push your child out in front of you, to show to the world that you are the best parent ever. And yes in some round about way, I think those parents do unto their child, to gain acknowledgement or attention from their peers (a.i people as mental as themselves).
Some people are of course just victims of what is done unto them, and therefore gives to others what they have, that being what they were tought. I remember this one fella in a murder case in Arkansas, Chevy Kehoe. (yeah my brain stores pointless info like that). To recap that case it was something with him killing this arms dealer and his family, to get to this blokes weapons so Kehoe could sell them for money, and fund his Aryan army. This is of course really far-fetched, and completely mental. But as the court looked at his reasons for doing something like that, they would find a very troubling childhood, living in a cabin with his 7 siblings (or something like that) and his parents who were these crazy nazi survivalist. If I remember it correctly he did actually attend school to some point, where his parents pulled him out, and took over his education. And then he was taught his parents crazy beliefs instead. I know that this defence gave him life in prison instead of the needle.
I am not making excuses for people like Kehoe, because no matter how crazy your life is, its common knowledge that you can’t go about killing people. No matter if you have some text that tells you it’s alright, or what your ultimate goal might be.
I can’t help but to think what it must be like to be brought up in an enviroment like that. Where everything is that black and white, us vs them. It must be really scary as a child, and confusing too. In most cases i hear/read about something like this, the children have no access to critical media. And to voice a different opinion or ask the wrong questions, might bring down a punishment, or your parents mistrust on you. What child wants that? So I would imagine that you eventually stop asking questions and just accept reality. Maybe some of them dream of a different life, but simply don’t know how to make it happen, or knows that they have to leave their family behind if they chose to exile themselves from the commune. And it is like that in most cases, isn’t it? Either you are with us or your are against us, blood relative or not.
There is something strangely comforting in a simple thought process like that. Free thinkers have a knack of making life more complicated for themselves. I mean a draught for instance, it’s not the punishment of God, it’s a combination of toxins and a rapidly decreasing ozone layer and so forth. No God there. But wouldn’t it just be nice if you could dispel science as rubbish, and blindly trust in a text older than dirt.
I can’t help but to think that it must be comforting to just hand your life over like that, you are no longer responsible for anything, and everything is a part of God’s grand design. I am not sure if these people live in complete denial, and knows. Or if they really are that ignorant. But then again, as I said, ignorant people are a bliss to write.
When i was a kid, someone must have told me about gravity, because i remember reaslising that it was only the earth’s magnetism that kept our feet on the ground, and this is how people in Australia didn’t fall off the earth, even if they walked with their heads downwards. (i seriously didn’t quite grasp the concept that no one dangles off the ‘ceiling’.) Anyway i used to have terrible nightmares about earth suddenly running out of the magic gravity, and i would just float outthe window and free off into space. And it just got worse when i realised that space was infinite. I was terrified by the prospect that no one would find me. It is sorta cute, i didn’t realise i wouldn’t be able to breathe there or nothing, but that is not really important either, and sure as shit didn’t take anything off the nightmares.
When i years later saw Alien for the first time, i remember the most scary part for me was when Ripley was left alone with the cat, and had to float off into space alone, hoping someone would find her. Nevermind the monsters or things bursting out of peoples chests or whatever! No, the worst for me was the whole ‘what if she is never found?’.
I suppose i always had a special thing for deep space horror stories, because really all you need is a space ship and a person, and then i for one will think it’s unsettling. Even a Bergman plot would work in deep space settings!
I am thinking that it might be the whole isolation thing that is scary, because when you are lost in space, you are fucking lost. But then again if that was the fact then movies that take place far under the surface of the ocean would work too, i mean stuff like the Abyss. And while that is a decent movie, it doesn’t really leave you with an unsettled feeling like Alien do. So what is it about deep space? Maybe it’s the knowing that it you can’t just go home, and everything is alright. And true to the Alien saga, it does play straight into that, don’t it? That Ripley is not picked up my any sensors, and she drifts for over 50 years and returns to earth after her own daughter is dead from old age. And again when she is salvaged by that prison colony.
And that is what is eerie about apocalypse movies too, it’s not the whole why and how. it’s the isolation, and the knowing that life will never be the same. Like some force took a choice with your life, and you have no choice but to go with it, or die. Suppose that would scare just about anyone wouldn’t it?
That brings me to another absolutely brilliant deep space movie, Pandorum, has all the right things going for it. (apart from the crazy tribe men) And i realise that i spoil it all when i give away the ending here, but it was just so fucking amazing. The whole movie through you think that they are in deep space, but it is revealed that the space ship crashed in the sea, and the darkness outside the windows in infact the bottom of the sea of this forrign planet. So even if they get out, they have to make it to the surface, and then see if they can survive on this planet, and there is no way what so ever of going home.
Planet of the apes have the same moment in the end where this fella (whos name i forgot) discovers the statue of liberty in the sand, realising that he was home all along.
Sitting here, writing this, i remember that one of my other reoccouring nightmares was that everyone but me had turned into werewolves. If i were Freud then i would probably have said something about the fear of feeling distant and different, but i’m not. And so i just think it was about the world changing around me, and i didn’t have any means to change it back.
I honestly think that the survivor stories are much more scary than anything else, if we are talking apocalypse stories. That is what makes a movie like The Divided so ugly, twisted and deeply unsettling.
Maybe THAT is what the fear is about? That when you take away everything “normal” You also take away everything we normally hide behind, such as belongings, jobs, cars and so forth. And like that fella from American Psycho, then underneath all the hair products, designer clothes, SUVs and lactosefree diets, we are nothing but animals, struggling for the same thing.
I was actually gonna write something about clutter of the mind that equals clutter around you. But something happened that just shocked me, seriously shocked me. And since i am not about to drag my poor LJ friends through more talk about hairy pits, and my obvious crusade for it, then i suppose that my theory about all this goes here. =)
What shocked me so was all the women who does shave, just because society tells them to, because that is what “you do” if you want to come off as groomed. Where as body hair comes off as unkempt. And lets face it, who wanna look like a bag-lady? No one, not even the bag lady herself.
When i was a teenager, someone told me that they met this american fella who was really shocked to find that women had hair on their legs and in their pits, because he had never seen that. To me that sounded like it was made up, because i was like 14 maybe, and i had yet to meet someone who shaved anything. And i remember that i thought it was really weird that someone would think that women didn’t have body hair. Later in life i realise it must have been quite the shocking experience for that poor kid to stay on a Danish beach back then.
I can count the times i tried to shave my body hair off, on one hand. And i have to admit i don’t find it terribly comfortable. I honestly never tought twice about it, i just don’t shave. I know that having my social life within the circle of friends that i do, might sometimes blind me to the “real world” because i just didn’t realise when it became the “norm” to shave, when the hell did that happen? And as i said on LJ, i have heard several women say ‘it was nice not to shave because bla,bla,bla, but i do it because i feel i have to’. WTF? Where are your burning bras ladies? It will be a COLD day in hell before i cater to ANYONE, man woman or in between, like that. If you don’t wanna shave, you shouldn’t have to. Who’s business are your pits and your legs? Yours.. Now it can’t be that hard can it?
Some say that men don’t like it. And i can just say that i have never ever heard a peep about it, and it’s not like they are shaved, which is manly and rugged. But when it’s a woman, people tend to think that you’re some crazy treehugging lesbian. And i have to ask, why do men get to dictate how you look? Yo buy a dishwasher and a dildo, and you don’t need a man, at least not one who claims his right to have an attitude about your appearance. He should love you, no matter how the hell you chose to look. And honestly any man who claims that hairy women are disgusting, and they sport hair themselves, needs to shut the fuck up. I think it’s a right to look like you want to, and i stress the words RIGHT and WANT. Not need or should.
What i find truly disturbing is that women have hair, we do, come on now. You know who doesn’t? 10-year-old kids! That is just so perverse in my opinion to strive to not look like a woman, but look like a child. Because that is more pleasing to some man? – Everything is just wrong with the paragraph i just wrote, innit? I don’t care about the environment, i am not a hippie, i am not a lesbian, and i am not a hipster either. I just happen to not shave my body hair, I just can’t be bothered, to put myself through that purgatory of shaving rash and itching. Not to mention that you sweat all wrong. All in all a very unpleasant experience.
It makes me both happy and sad to find a place like Hairy pits club. Happy because there is the proof that it’s not just sad unkempt people who don’t shave. These ladies are beautiful. But sad because there is a need for something like this, and the whole ‘+4 weeks growth’ is just really disturbing. This indicates that these poor girls did shave at some point, not because they wanted to, but because they thought that they were supposed to.
I posted a different link on my facebook, and this dude i know from the internet commented like this;
shes just a lazy bitch who needs to shave and get back to something productive like sandwich construction
And i pretty much think that his comment summons it up, what the general attitude is towards women who chose not to shave. It is a cultural American thing that came here sometime in the 90ies along with Mtv and other Americanized pop-culture, and by now it’s so integrated in the Danish society that it’s odd to be hairy, though i hardly think that it’s as odd as in the states, but leave that be for now. And i think it is an issue that people should be aware of, and an issue that people should question themselves, why do i shave? Do you want your daughters to go through all that hassle? I don’t. I would think it was terrible if my daughters started to shave, i wouldn’t stop them, but i would make them answer me as to why they think it’s pretty to look like a plucked chicken.
I am personally offended by the consensus that unshaved people are filthy, smelly and not groomed. That is bullshit and you know it! Take someone like Drew Barrymore, is she not groomed? does she come off as filthy? No.. But guess what, she doesn’t shave. Suppose she has to for some of her roles, but in private she leaves her body hair as it is.
The conclusion of this must be something along the lines, of ask your self why the hell you shave, if you do it for others, for society, for men. No respect from this end of the monitor. If you do it because you feel pretty, and you like it, peace be with it. The bottom line is that you should feel free to look like you want to, and never conform because you are told that something else is more socially acceptable.
Okay so i decided that there is no way in fucking HELL i am gonna meet the 50k mark for Nano on the limited time given to me, i am just such a slow writer when it all comes down to it. Because my research is NEVER done (also RL is a bitch). Anyway in regards to my Nano Novell, which i am still gonna write, it’s just gonna take me longer, and then it’s tecnically not a Nano novell anymore, but just a novell, then i was headhunting stuff that was relevant to me. And i am telling you it’s hard to come by stories of child neglect, which does not include abuse also. I would like to recommend David Pelzer’s ‘the boy called it’, it’s a brilliant book on that subject if you can stomach it.
As a child, Dave was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous games–games that left him Dave nearly dead. With only his willpower to survive, Dave learned how to play his Mother’s sinister games in order to survive because she no longer considered Dave a son but a slave, and no longer a boy but an “It.” -From Pelzer’s homepage.
There is also a book called ‘the kid’ by Kevin Lewis, and this was a book i picked up by pure chance at a bookshop sale for like 1 quid. But it really is a good book on said subject.
Kevin Lewis grew up on a council estate in South London. Beaten and starved by his parents, ignored by the social services and bullied at school, he was offered a chance to escape this nightmare world and was put into care. Despite his best efforts to make things work out, his life spiralled out of control. At the age of 17 he became caught up in the criminal underworld of London, where he was known as ‘The Kid’. -From Amazon.com
Unlike The boy called ‘it’, then The kid was actually made into a movie, i have never seen it, but i think it might be worth it to hunt it down. It might have something useful in it.
Which brings me to why i made this post in the first place. After long time searching on the matter of Steven Stayner, whos story was of interest to me, in the way that it’s different than the other ‘childhood neglect/abuse’ books out there, because it is not Steven’s parents who does this, Steven was abducted and raised by a stranger, molded into being this man’s son and victim in one. And what is interesting about the TV movie made from this story, is that it was actually Steven Stanyer himself who directed it. Anywho, i found it of all places, floating on Youtube.
Ripped straight from the headlines! On December 4, 1972, seven-year-old Steven Stayner got into a car with a stranger who convinced the boy that he was his new dad. Steven was mentally and physically abused in the most horrifying ways. Seven long years later, Steven miraculously finds his way home. But his nightmare isn’t over yet — not until his captor is brought to justice. -From Youtube.