When Will We Have a ‘Straight Pride’?

A phrase that I have heard one too many times and if you even have to ask that question then please, go and educate yourself on history. Read a book, search the internet.. whatever you have to do to understand why this question should not leave your mouth at all, or why the thought should not even enter your brain although, if you don’t want to do any of that, then I’ll tell you right here when we’ll have a straight pride, so you don’t even need to leave this website.

We’ll have a straight pride when straight people do not have their bars and social clubs turned upside down by police and beaten half to death because of who they identify as and who they love, as so many of our LGBT+ ancestors had to endure.

We’ll have a straight pride when straight people start getting heterophobic remarks announced at them across the street when they are going about their daily business and when they lose jobs, opportunities or are disowned by their families purely because they choose to love someone of the opposite sex.

We’ll have a straight pride when straight people have to fight for their right to get married, whether it be in the house of God, or not and when they have to justify their reasons for wanting to marry the person that they love and want to spend the rest of their life with. We’ll also have one when a straight person is told that they cannot visit their partner in hospital because they are neither family nor are they married to them.

We’ll have a straight pride when straight people have to fight discrimination daily and when they are subjected to derogatory jokes based on their sexual preferences.

Gay pride does not exist to celebrate being gay, but to celebrate our right to exist in this world without persecution so if you’re sat there, still wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement? Just be damn thankful that you don’t need one.

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Life Update..

So.. It’s been a while.. and by a while, I mean it’s been almost a month but there are several reasons as to why I haven’t been blogging in the last month. They’re perhaps not the best reasons and can more be described as excuses but they’re reasons all the same.

To be perfectly honest, my life over the last month has been quite chaotic. To put it bluntly, I had a sort of impulsive last minute career change that was completely out of my hands so that sort of threw me all over the place. I’m still in the RFA, I just jumped ship (If you’ll pardon the pun) from a chef, and became a steward instead however this also meant that I was a week or so behind the rest of the class, therefore, I had a whole lot of catching up to do and that took a quite a bit of time, so that’s reason one.. or excuse one.

As well as that, I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I had no idea what to write about. I’ve sat on my bed with my laptop in front of me and WordPress open but a blank screen remained for the entire time it was open. My mind was just blank and I couldn’t think of a single thing to write, and every time I did come up with an idea, I forgot to write it down so in turn, ended up forgetting the idea which didn’t help my situation, so I learnt from this that I should perhaps invest in a notebook to write my ideas down in..

I’m back now though and hopefully, I’ll have a huge brainwave, ideas will come flooding in, and I’ll have a little notebook to write them down in!

As of yet, I haven’t come up with a schedule to post and I’m not sure if I ever will but hopefully I’ll get a little rhythm going and a schedule will appear by itself..

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MCMXCI

This post is near enough a whole week late but I haven’t found the time at all to write it in the last 7 days!

Since I’m currently residing in Britain’s ocean city of Plymouth, I decided to take a walk down from the city centre to The Hoe and around the Barbican. I mean, it was a sunny day, I was bored and no one else in my class wanted to do anything so off I went on my own little adventure. If I’m truthful, sometimes I prefer my own company anyway.

My first port of call was the Plymouth Naval Memorial. My great grandfather was a First Stoker back in the Second World War and unfortunately went down with the ship but his name is still on the memorial alongside thousands who are down in the history books as Britain’s heroes, and as part of the Naval service myself, I just felt like it was only right to pay a visit and take a wonder around the memorial and just pay my respects. I also stumbled across a little memorial for the aircrew during the Second World War however it was a little hard to get through as I had chosen to visit The Hoe on the day where all the students were moving into Plymouth University so the entire grass area was ram packed.

After my visit, I then took a little walk down to the Barbican and on my way, I found even more people lining the walls that took up the space of the entire cliff face. Naturally, being a nosy person, I wondered over to a spare spot on the wall to see what all the fuss was about and was greeted with the sight of around 20 sailing boats belonging to Plymouth’s Yacht Association, stretched across the water as far as the eye could see.

There was a finish line at the end of this journey though and this finish line was Dust N Bones tattoo parlour on the Barbican. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but obviously I’ve never been old enough and I never really knew what I actually wanted although when I turned 18 I began to seriously think about it. I knew I wanted something for my parents but I didn’t want the classic ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ tattoos. I wanted something that joined them together and something that not many people would understand the meaning of, making it personal to me.. although I’m not sure that made any sense.. img_3685

Earlier this year, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, meaning that they got married and began our family in 1991 so naturally that was the date I chose, however I decided to have it in roman numerals, just to make it personal like I mentioned before because not everyone will be able to look at it and know straight away what it means. Personally, I ‘m quite happy with it and the guy who did it, whose name I never
managed to catch unfortunately, was fantastic and made me feel at ease throughout the whole procedure. Whether I’ll get anymore tattoos or not is something I’m not sure of but either way, I would recommend Dust N Bones to anyone if you’re in the Plymouth area.

I took a far few photographs on my travels that day, and I’ll be posting a few on Instagram over the coming days and there are already a couple on there which you can see here.

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One More Day.

Today is Sunday, making it the last day of the week and therefore, the last day of Suicide Prevention Week.

Notice how it’s ‘Prevention’ instead of ‘Awareness’ as they are usually titled? I feel like that’s because we are already so aware of the suicides going on all around the world however it isn’t being prevented as much as it probably should have been, for example in 2014, 6581 suicides were recorded in the UK and the Republic of Ireland alone, and that’s 6581 more people than there should of been. That’s 6581 families left behind and grieving for their loved one.

‘Pick yourself up off the ground. You’re sure as hell too good to let them hold you down’ – All Time Low

From a young age, I’ve essentially been surrounded by people with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts. At seven years old, my mother was diagnosed with depression. At eight years old, I witnessed my mother take a pair of scissors to her wrist. It was an event that will forever be imprinted into my mind. At eight years old, I also witnessed my mother finally get the help that she needed, and begin to smile again. At ten years old, something happened to me on a bus, on holiday, that would eventually be the beginning of my depression. At twelve, I began to self harm ‘properly’. It’s a known fact that I self harmed as a toddler anyway, which in a way breaks my own heart. At thirteen, I was introduced to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and they pretty much didn’t help at all but hey ho, they were still someone to talk to. At fourteen, my best friend at the time would sit with me while I waited for my mother to pick me up from school because I couldn’t make it through the day. Also at fourteen, the same girl rang me up one evening and spilled her heart out to me. Letting me know just how much I meant to her, and why I should live to see another day and little does she know, she saved my life that evening. Every time I didn’t want to live anymore, my thoughts would go back to that evening. At fifteen, I would spend near enough every lesson in the pastoral support office. At sixteen, I failed near enough all my GCSE’s bar about two because my mental health was so horrific that I couldn’t concentrate. At seventeen, I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s which threw me downhill all over again. He was like a second father to me. At seventeen, I also got into a relationship with someone that destroyed my mental health even more. I loved them, more than I loved myself without getting anything back and I learn’t from that mistake. It will be a mistake that I will not make again. At seventeen, my grandmother was also diagnosed with the big ‘C’. I guess you could say that seventeen wasn’t the best year for me at all. At eighteen, I’m writing this post sat in bed at HMS Raleigh, doing the job that I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember.

‘Sometimes, life has to get really ugly before it gets pretty’ – Shay Mitchell

When you’re in the midst of your struggles, you never imagine yourself getting through it stronger than ever and yet here I am, finally comfortable with talking about it in the hope that maybe, just maybe, I can help atleast one person. I don’t have every single answer, but I know that is definitely possible to overcome it. I remember thinking my mental illness would forever be a part of my life and now I’m here, at 18, in control of my mind and body. I’m still on Fluoxetine but I’m on a much lesser dosage than I was before and I can regain my control whenever I feel myself begin to slip. It may seem impossible but take it from me, you can win at life if you stay alive just one more day at a time.

If you take anything from this post, then please remember that no matter how crap your life may feel, it will and it does get better and you should be around to see that happen. Even if you don’t suffer from suicidal thoughts or depression then try your best to be the light in someones life.

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Book Review: Taboo – Thomas Piggott

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I usually only read autobiographies of those that I’ve heard of before, usually my favourite celebrities or subjects that interest me whereas this particular book isn’t one that I would normally read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The book follows a young Thomas in his childhood, with intense description of the sexual abuse horrors that he had to ordain from someone who was supposed to be a trusted authority, and how these events had a domino effect into his adulthood life.

“You can bury a secret but you cannot bury the truth”

The book itself begins with Thomas explaining why he’s writing the book and what he hopes to gain from laying his thoughts down onto paper for the world to see and read, which I personally quite liked as I often find myself reading someone’s book and wondering ‘Whats the point?’ and ‘Why have you chosen to tell the world this?’, however straight from the off, I got the impression that he was writing the book in order to make those who have gone through the sane thing feel less alone, and to perhaps help himself get it all out of his mind rather than locking it up deep inside his ‘memory box’ as he calls it.

I also feel that while he goes into intense detail about some of the ‘taboo’ subjects within this book, he is very real about it all and doesn’t try to sugarcoat it which I personally like, because it’s giving the reader the raw truth of it all and letting you into Thomas’ mind in that exact moment.

“Not only will the scars on her wrist remain forever but also the scars in her mind that will never go away”

I think that my favourite thing about this book is that there aren’t many like it, that allow the reader into the authors mind completely, and there aren’t many books that show the reader the complete vulnerability of the author without each page shouting ‘Feel sorry for me!’. I feel that this book shows exactly what kind of domino effect, childhood sexual abuse has on a victim and while people may say ‘That was … years ago, get over it’, the book shows how, no matter how many years later, the events still have an effect on every day life, relationships and mental health.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and everything it had to offer. If you have a couple of hours or so to spare, I definitely recommend that you give it a read.

You can find Taboo by Thomas Piggott here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taboo-Thomas-Piggott-ebook/dp/B01JM53QMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1470777159&sr=8-2&keywords=Thomas+Piggott

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#GGBlogChallenge Introduction

I was aimlessly scrolling through my WordPress reader the other day when I came across someone who was partaking in the #GGBlogChallenge, unfortunately, I can’t remember who’s blog I saw it on so I can’t link them to it but I was really interested in what this blog challenge was, so after a little bit of digging, I came across EverydayAimee’s blog and found out that that’s where it originated. After reading through the list of posts for the challenge, I really wanted to give it ago, even though I probably won’t be able to post everyday because of my job but I’ll try my best! I hope I’m not too late but here we go with the first post.

The first one says to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your hometown, so I guess the easiest thing to say is Hi. I’m really awkward with these type of things as you can probably tell by my ‘About Me’ page if you’ve read it.. if you haven’t, then my name’s Sophia, hi, pleased to meet you and I recently turned 18 years old, which frightens me a little bit but you can find a post about that here. I currently reside in Plymouth and I think that’s about it.. I can’t really think of anything else to say..

As for my hometown, it’s really tiny but it does have some cool facts about it, for example, a certain character from a certain popular book series about a young wizard was named after it.. yep. You got it. Harry Potter. A character in Harry Potter was named after my hometown. As everyone knows, J.K. Rowling came up with the idea while on a train, and the train she was on just so happened to pass by my hometown and thus the character of Professor Flitwick was born. It does slightly annoy me that everyone pronounces the ‘W’ though, when it’s meant to be silent and said as ‘Flitick’ but hey ho, it’ll do!

There’s also a tiny village next to my hometown called Ampthill, and it really is a horse and carriage town. The roads are small, the pavement is hilly and all that’s happened since the second world war is that the buildings have had a lick of paint. Other than that, I imagine it looks the same as it did back then, although Ampthill holds a pretty amazing fact as well. About a year ago, I was chatting with a gentleman who was a chaplain during the second world war in Ampthill and he informed me that back in those days, when the upstairs of the shops were converted into a hospital, Florence Nightingale was stationed there for a bit during the war. Yep, that’s right. The Lady of the Lamp that we all learnt about in our history lessons? She was stationed at the next connecting village over!

That’s just a little example of what I love about my hometown. It’s such a small village that no one’s ever heard of yet it holds so much history within its borders.

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Mental Health in Schools (Trigger Warning)

Every day, there are around 11 teenage suicides within the UK, which means that about 3,916 die by suicide every single year, and 3,916 families are horrifically affected.

Going by the knowledge that these are teenage suicides, I would assume that this means that they are 13-18, so if they are at school for 9/10 months a year then why is no-one in those establishments noticing the signs? Is it because the teachers aren’t trained in this area? Are they not noticing a change in their pupils? Is it simply because no help is available to these pupils, or is it because they don’t know where to go, or who to talk to?

I’m not going to sugar coat it, my years of upper school weren’t easy by any means. I dealt with severe depression and anxiety, topped with a number of people bullying me at once, in every year I was there and I’d self harmed with accompanying suicidal thoughts however I was fortunate enough throughout upper school, despite my ever tumbling mental health issues, to have a number of teachers who were able to help me through my education. They would notice when I was down, and they’d notice if I was out of character, and they’d take me to another room to see if I was alright. Of course, I never told them the truth when they asked. I simply smiled, told them that I was fine, nod at whatever they had to say and then go on about my business. It was the fact that they took the time out of their day to ask, meant the entire world to me though.Just someone noticing and caring enough to ask was enough to help me on my way.

If you’re a teacher or anyone working in an environment with children/teenagers, never ever be afraid to ask them if they’re okay. Just that one simple question may safe a life. Please take them to one side and ask them how they’re doing and if one get even an the tiniest feeling that something is wrong, take it to the next level. Take it to someone higher than you so that they will be able to handle it better, as they will be trained in dealing with things like this and they will be able to get some kind of help arranged. If you find that a pupils grades are dropping then don’t shout at them, because chances are that there’s a lot more to the story than they’re letting on. Take the time out of your day to sit with them, and if they’re not understand something because the thoughts in their head keep them awake at night, sit down with them and try to help them understand the math problem that they’re struggling with or the chemistry equation that just seems like jumbled up letters and numbers to them.

If you are a student, then please seek help from your teacher or school counsellor if you have one. I would never have made it through upper school had it not been for my school counsellor. If you don’t have a school counsellor then please reach out to a teacher. I’ve had to talk to a number of my teachers just to explain what was going on, and at first, I didn’t want to. I felt as though they would judge me but they really didn’t. In fact, they sympathised with me and they understood when I had trouble putting my hand up in class because of my anxiety. They understood when I had to go home in the middle of the day, or when I just couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning because my depression had got to so bad. They understood when I couldn’t complete all of my homework because I’d spent most of the night trying to stop myself from self harming, or spent the evening shedding tear after tear. It wasn’t easy letting them know but it helped me a lot. Some of the teachers began to reach out to me and ask if I was okay when they saw me roaming the corridors, and I never came across a teacher that put me down because of my mental health.

School can be hard to get through for anyone but when you’re suffering from a mental illness, it’s near enough impossible but always remember that someone is willing to help. You have all the support in the world surrounding you, sometimes you just have to reach out and look a little for it.

 

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