The one where I rant.

So, Ricki-Lee.

I’ve always kind of liked her. She’s funny, she sings well, she’s made some good music. She used to be curvy (not so much now). I don’t remember any scandal involving her. And then a friend alerted me to the video clip of her new single, “Crazy”.

Oh my goodness.

In case you can’t see the clip, I will describe it for you. Ricki-lee plays a sexy patient / nurse / psychiatrist in a psychiatric hospital. in various states of undress, including a very interesting  take on a straight jacket, she (and other female dancers – no guys) undulates to the track in that quasi-sex way seen very often in music videos today. Sometimes she is restrained (straps tying her to the ground). And once she tries to make a run for it. All the while, she seems to be having fun  – because, after all, “it’s a party going on” . Ricki-lee, or whoever decided that this would be a good idea for video clip – you are wrong.

I’m disgusted. Hurt. Outraged.
Let’s forget, for the minute, that the lyrics and the performance in the clip have absolutely  nothing to do with each other – a travesty in and off itself – or that the dance moves and costuming are completely unoriginal (skimpy and sexy have been done. A LOT.). No, the real problem here is how the clip effects the view of mental ill-health and psychiatric hospitalisation in the wider community.

I have been hospitalised twice for my mental ill-health. The first time, in 2006, was in a locked ward much like the one portrayed in the video clip. It wasn’t fun, in fact it was pretty much the opposite. I was scared – of myself, of others, of the endless screaming and crying. It was horrific, but it kept me safe at time when logical thought was not a very big part of my day. The nurses were actually pretty friendly – they tried to help us understand what was happening and how we were going to get well from this point. Straight jackets and forcible restraint was never used, although seclusion for the immediate physical protection of self and other did occur.

I say this because mental ill-health and hospitalisation is not fun. It’s not a party. It’s most definitely not sexy. And to portray it as such is grossly misleading and ludicrous. To add in restraints like straight jackets further fuels stigma – it says that people with mental health disorders are dangerous and must be restrained, like wild animals. It’s just not right, it’s not fair, it’s not who I am and I don’t want that message being spread about me and other people like me.

 

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Petition to EMI music http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/emi-music-ricki-lee-take-down-the-film-clip-crazy-due-to-its-sexualisation-of-mental-health#

Hostage Negotiation

This post refers to sexual assault / abuse and uses terminology related to the subject. If you believe that this post may trigger you, please do not read it. 

Hostage – Nathan Tasker

Perhaps it’s just
It’s just this time of year
Cold it make everything
Seem more difficult than it appears

Like falling in love
Like falling in love

And perhaps it’s just
It’s just people I know
Letting mistakes that I’ve made
Fade from their memories so slow

Like falling in love
Like falling in love

Still I’ll take a step closer to the ledge
And feel the wind blow up from over the edge
Do I dare to believe this time when I fall I won’t hit the ground

And perhaps I’m just
I’m just falling apart
Too full of self doubt
To hold it together now

That I’m falling in love
Am I falling in love

Because I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now

And perhaps it’s just
Perhaps it’s just You
Keeping Your poker face on
As I stumble around like some fool

Who has fallen in love
Who has fallen in love
Who has fallen in love
I have fallen

I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now

I am Your hostage
I am Your hostage
I…I…I am Your hostage
I’m Your hostage now
I’m Your hostage now
I’m Your hostage

This song, was our song. The song I shared with second ever serious boyfriend – at least that’s what I called him at the time. I now call him my abuser, my groomer, my rapist.

I’m sure when Mr Tasker wrote this song, he was just talking about that swept up feeling you get when you fall in love with someone new. It really does feel like you’ve been taken hostage by something bigger than yourself. It is a wonderful feeling.

For me, I honestly had no idea of the difference between the “loved up hostage feeling” and the oh-so dangerous obsession, programming thing that happened to me. Here was this guy, two years + two months + two weeks + two days older than me, who told me I was beautiful (the thing he knew I longed to hear more than anything in the world). He was someone I could talk to, share my secrets, fears, hopes and dreams with. He got inside my head…and I wanted him there. I became addicted to him, to his attention like someone can become addicted to heroin. Then he broke up with me and my whole world, quite literally, came crashing down.

It took me literally years to understand what happened to me in this “relationship”. There was no equality, there was only power play, mind games and taking what he wanted from me. I ended up a shell of a person, desperate to be invisible and wishing someone could really see me and the horror I went through.

My abuser is getting married on Saturday. I feel sick to my stomach. Why does he get to be happy? No, seriously…WHY? In what world is that fair at all? Everyone will congratulate him, on such a beautiful wife and a lovely ceremony. It’s all a lie. And meanwhile, here I am. Scared, confused, still hurt and angry.

Will there ever come a time when I am not his hostage?

As Terrifying As Terror Is…

Today, I was running late for uni. It happens all the time. The bus was late. That happens all the time. (Oh and I turned up to class 15 minutes early – that happens all the time too!). Anyway, in amongst the rush to get out the door, I forgot to pack lunch. No biggie. Or at least it used to be no biggie…

My old uni had precisely one little cafe / food shop thingy. Staffed by the same guy every day, it was the kind of place with no real set menu – you just kind of picked the things from the fridge that you wanted on your epic roll / wrap / burger. It was also well priced (the actual food…the junk not so much!). This guy knew basically everyone on campus (all….300 of us?). He knew I liked skim milk with my hot chocolate even when I forgot to ask. He made coffees for the staff just as they were arriving. Like, amazing! This place was small. Nice. Dependable.

The food courts (yes, plural) at my new uni? OHMYGOODNESS. It was just stimulation overload in there today! People, food, noise every where. It was like my worst ED nightmare ever. Too many choices.  SO much anxiety!

In the end, I ran next door to the uni shop and bought a sandwich & juice. It was mediocre, but it was safe. I sat by myself, read Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone and promised myself I would never forget my lunch again.

I wish I’d had my Teddy today…

All That Has Happened

Why hello there!

Yes, it’s been a little while since I posted any new content from me (though this post from the gorgeous Rebekah is well worth a read!). I’ve been busy. Super busy. Lots of fun stuff has happened, and lots of hard stuff too.
So, to start:

Super-Happy-Fun-Rainbow Twitter Girl Awesome Day
I’m friends with some pretty lovely girls on twitter, but before July 21st, I’d only ever met one of them in real life (well, too, but Cupcake & I didn’t realise we were standing next to each other until we both left the pet store in Chatswood…) Anyway, we organised to drive up to Newcastle – one of the girls is a single mum with two young boys & lives up there – and we had a blast! We ate Jaffa Cupcakes, talked (very loudly!), visited a lingerie store (oh yes), talked some more, got a little lost driving around Newcastle, ate delicious lunch, got locked out of the house, took funny photos, painted our nails & generally had an awesome day!

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Starting Uni – for the second time
I have started uni (again!). This time around, I’m doing a B.Education (Early Childhood) (Birth to 12 years).  It’s a very long title for a course! I have managed to a) not get lost in the massive new campus I’m at and b) finish all my week 1 readings. I still haven’t finished listening to all my lectures (eek!) but I’ll get there hopefully. I’m doing a maths subject this semester, which is horrible. I can’t remember stuff I learnt in year 6 & 7! Gah. I’ll get through, though. Hopefully I’ll get all my assignments in on time, too!

Hospital & Homelessness
On a final, and slightly more depressing note…Matt is actually being kicked out of his youth service. I’m horrified at the behaviour they’ve shown – he’s only been out of hospital for two weeks, and most of that time he’s been going back every day as a day patient or out patient, so he’s hardly had enough time or energy to show the improvement they were looking for! And what about offering some extra support huh? Instead of just getting angrier and angrier at him GAH! So while he was doing really well in hospital (and for the first week out), he’s now crashed. Hard. We have to find him a new place to live – hopefully somewhere near Chatswood. I don’t think him moving back in with his family is a good idea…but I don’t really see any other option in the immediate future. Le sigh.

Hope you’re all doing well!
With love, S 🙂