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I am the reverse Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

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I am the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of doom.

I take jaded, unemployed young men, I take them on adventures, take their virginity and accidentally teach them to love recklessly, and then I decide I’m not being emotionally honest and leave them. Creating a depressed, heartbroken, unemployed young man who has lost his motivation because it came in the form of someone else’s optimism.

Twice in a row now.


Sin Number Three: When I’m Under Pressure, My Moral Compass Breaks

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This has most recently become evident this afternoon, when playing video games with the boyfriend-thing (or more,me playing Portal, him patiently giving hints when I sat and stared blankly at the screen for too long). It was all good fun until the very end of the game, where there is a timer and many tasks to be completed within five minutes. I got angry and stopped enjoying myself. I lost my sense of humour. I mashed buttons and when I did things by mistake that lost me time I quite seriously shouted at the screen “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT.”

I sensed him becoming unnerved by this sudden change in personality. Only the week before I had told him, offhand, that I don’t take anything seriously. And on the surface, I don’t. I get caught in the rain, I don’t care, I enjoy running home in it. My plans fuck up, no big deal, I’ll find a way around it. Someone insults me on the bus, I smile and blow them a kiss. It’s all fine in my world. That’s how I guess he sees me, how I guess a lot of people see me, and I suppose most of the time it’s how I actually am.

However, put a time limit on me, or some other kind of pressure – you have to clean this room in five minutes, you have to finish this argument by at the latest 4am so you can get at least three hours of sleep before school – and I move through several destructive phases of anger. The first is plain old anger. Swearing, shouting, but still human and reasonable. This happens pretty quickly as soon as I am faced with either a time limit that the task I have been set appears impossible to complete within, or when someone is presenting some obstacle to my comfort and my reasoning doesn’t appear to be moving them. The next stage is catatonic, apathetic anger. This is the anger where I’ll just go silent and let everything slide. In terms of the impossible activity, this is where I give up, allowing myself to return to a state of calm within a few minutes. In terms of the argument, this is where I stop arguing. If the other person tries to continue the argument, this is where the third stage of anger comes in, the one that worries me the most. This is the anger where I completely lose my shit. I remember everything afterwards, I have a vague sense of what it feels like, but I’m sure as hell not myself during it. I scream, I throw things, I launch myself at people with intent to cause damage, I hurt myself, and in the later stages I crawl under furniture or bed covers and lie whining like an animal, just wanting the problem (usually, the person) to go away.

I’ll give a case study. I was living in a bedsit with my ex, for reasons I won’t go into. It was tiny, there was no hot water, our neighbors were drug dealers, it was winter. I had college the next morning. In the evening, my boyfriend had decided he wasn’t hungry because he felt ill, and he didn’t want to get anything to put in the fridge for later, he’d just have some of my food. So I went out and got something to eat – something fast food, I think at that point we were on a 7-Days-A-Week Subway binge, so I’d have come back with a sandwich and possibly some nachos. This would have been soon after I got back from college, so maybe 6pm. After that we probably had sex a few times, I did some homework, and we wound down to go to bed – a double mattress in the middle of the one room excepting the bathroom, that took up about half the floorspace.

At about 1am, as I was dozing in and out of sleep and my boyfriend was browsing the internet (he’d often stay up a few hours later than me on the laptop, because he had no job or school to go to in the mornings, and would often sleep until I got back from college), he put his hand on my shoulder and told me he wanted to go out and get food. I accepted this and closed my eyes again. There was a fried chicken place just around the corner at the end of our road that opened until 4am most nights. The food was shitty but cheap and substantial, and they knew us there. My boyfriend shook me awake. He didn’t want to go on his own. I had college in the morning, I was already halfway to sleep, and it was either below or hovering around the line of freezing outside – the snow kept icing over at night and turning the cobbled road outside the house that our flat was part of into a deathtrap. I mumbled all of this and turned back over. He told me to sit up. He didn’t want to go out there alone, but he was hungry. Would I rather he lay awake hungry until morning?

I realised he was really serious about this. Stage one, bog-standard anger, began to brew.

There were biscuits in the cupboard, bread, cereal, some fruit in the fridge. Didn’t he want any of that? No, he wanted a proper meal, any of that would just leave him hungry. This was almost a sensible argument. He ate twice as much as me, but I ate twice as fast, meaning that often we would get the same sized portions and my plate would become a shared one, and when I became full he would be eating off of two plates. No, he had to have a meal, three chicken pieces and a large portion of fries, and a can of Pepsi. He pulled me into an upright position in bed and told me to put on my coat and boots. I was still too sleepy to fully express the anger that was prickling through me, so I sat there and swayed for a moment, staring at him with unfocused eyes – I distinctly remember him with a hand on each of my shoulders, half of his face illuminated by the computer screen, only I remember seeing two or three of him. He told me to wake up again, told me I’d need my boots, that the snow would have iced over.

Bless him, he wasn’t, and isn’t, a bad guy, but when he calls me self-centred to the point of sociopathy he displays little self-awareness.

When he got up and started putting on layers of clothing I slumped back down into the bed. The next few minutes of the argument were conducted with me lying there, sat up but still wrapped in duvet when I gained enough energy to shout, and him stood by the door, which was about a foot to the right of my head, fully dressed with the keys in his hand. At one point I almost gave in and he pulled me to my feet, but I was blatantly too tired to do much else but lean against the wall. The late nights were a regular thing, even when I wasn’t being consciously woken up. I can only sleep in a pitch dark room, and he can only sleep if there is a light source, so even when he settled down for the night I was constantly aware of my surroundings, on the edge of true sleep. The main light had been turned on by this point, in an effort to wake me up. It only made my eyes hurt and my head spin. I collapsed back onto the mattress and was accused of being a drama queen.

Pretty soon I was in the catatonic anger stage. In this situation, though, this didn’t default to a win for my opponent, therefore he continued to try to get me out of bed. All I had the energy for at this point was to lie there and quietly implore that he go on his own. All he had to be afraid of was ice and drunks. He was a big guy, he had nothing to be afraid of, he just had to walk as purposefully as possible on the frictionless pavement and he’d be fine. By this point, though, I don’t think my boyfriend cared so much about the idea of walking to the end of the road and back on his own. I don’t think he even cared so much about food, as it progressed. It was the principle – that I wouldn’t give up something as trivial as sleep so that he could eat, that I wouldn’t make the effort to just man up, put on a couple of jumpers and a scarf and my coat and tuck my (his) pyjama pants into my Doc Martens and just go with him – that was truly awful and worth fighting all night for.

The next stage probably began when I slid all the way under the duvet while he was still talking to me. He tried to wrench in off me and I clung to it as if it was the only thing I had left in the world, wrapped it around me like a cocoon, and when he tried to unwrap me I started screaming. This was when verbal communication was abandoned and all I felt I had left to demonstrate my point with was noise and movement – when my fight or flight mechanism kicked in, but in a room the size of some of the smaller, cheaper hotel rooms you may have stayed in, with just as many exits, there isn’t much of a chance of flight. Once he’d peeled me out from within the covers I grabbed his shoulders, shook him, and screamed in his face. He did the same in return, rocking forwards and pinning me to the bed. I threw him off me and tried to get up, and he must have pulled me back – I remember him telling me not to dare to go shutting myself in the bathroom, my preferred method of returning myself to sanity during a fight, and the only way I would have complied with that wish at that point would have been if he prevented me by force. I found myself face to face with him again, his hands gripping my wrists, and I twisted them, freeing my arms up to drag my stubby nails down his arms, leaving welts that took a few hours to fade, and striking him in the face. I can’t say slapped or punched, because I didn’t try for either of these – my hand travelled in the direction of his face and made contact.

If there’s anyone you shouldn’t hit, it’s him. Not for fear of retaliation – except the grudge he will hold, although merited, will bite you in the arse in every single future interaction with him. It’s because he won’t retaliate. He’s too Good for that. When I hit him I suppose I looked even more surprised than him. He took hold of my wrists again, this time without meeting a fight, and told me quietly and calmly that I should never hit him. He ended up getting food on his own, in the minutes leading up to 4am. I missed college the next day, calling in sick but moving onto a disciplinary stage two anyway, because once your attendance falls below 85% you’re a cause for concern. I’d been sick quite a few times that term, either from the conditions in the flat, regular old bugs, giving myself food poisoning with my bad cooking or just unpleasant and weird circumstances that you can’t really explain to the college, like arguing with your boyfriend for so long the night before that it made you physically and psychologically exhausted.

I think that was the first time I hit him. There were a few times, but only so many as I could count them on one hand. I lean towards two actual strikes in the face, and a couple more general attacks and scratches – even the last night of the idyllic reunion we had for a week in April, we had a bad, sleep-depriving fight, and I flew at him and did something to his arms, possibly just chinese burns, maybe scratches, I can’t remember.

When I saw new-boyfriend-thing give those sideways glances at me as I became so incensed at a video game, something germinated in me. I now feel the need to warn him about this side of me, but what do I say? “Just so you know, I hit my last boyfriend a couple of times, so it’s a risk if I get angry that I’ll hit you too”? “It’s a bit of a long shot, but I’d recommend always letting me get what I want, when I want it, because otherwise I can get really violent, so, yeah, just so you know”? The one I settled for, while I was playing, was to turn to him and look him in the face and apologise for how I was acting, and say “I get really angry under pressure”. I could practically see him already picturing the furniture-throwing she-hulk I could turn into in a conflict. It didn’t feel good. I want to be lovely for him. He has me for the summer – hell, maybe even just until the middle of August. We are never going to be forced into a small room for long periods of time together. He is never going to ask me to do anything that would inconvenience me. Hell, he’s even uncomfortable with me giving him head without him repaying me in turn because it makes him feel selfish and guilty. I’m not likely to be pulled out of bed to go on a jaunt in the early hours when I need my sleep. I’m not even likely to have to pour my own drinks. (I have a policy of splitting the cost of dates, though. I’ve developed what I hope will be a lifelong phobia of being or appearing financially dependent on a romantic partner of any kind). I never want him to see me when I’m pushed into a corner and I start to act like an animal, because I never want him to be the recipient of that.

It might say something that I have a pragmatic remorse but not much actual emotion for the physical pain I have caused the man I claim to love, but find the idea of so much as raising my voice at the man I have simple affection and physical attraction to abhorrent. It either says that I’m lying to myself, or, more palatably, it says I’m attempting to learn from my mistakes.

A Conscience, Or Something.

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The time has come to provide some details of my life as I live it in the present day, because otherwise I couldn’t make this observation and have it make sense.

I’m in love with someone, and I was in a relationship with them for vaguely one and a half years, and this fully terminated a few weeks ago. They are far away and they have done some things I can’t see myself forgiving them for any time soon. They were not fully consenting to the breakup, and pretty much raged against it. I dislike them. As I said, I’m still in love with them.

I’m having a relationship-esque thing with someone who I dated in the autumn of 2009. They left me. From what I gather, they regretted this, with intensity ranging somewhere between occasional pangs of guilt and longingĀ  and full-strength pining for two and a half years – I don’t know because I haven’t heard the story from them yet. I don’t love them, but they are here.

A pattern seems to be forming where once a week I will go to his house, we will fuck – quietly, so as not to alert his family to this occurrence – and I will leave soon after. His family treats me like I’m his girlfriend, which I’m fairly comfortable with. I can’t bring him home because only my mum has any idea what’s going on with him and she only has a vague idea – I talk to her about him, but not about him in relation to myself. His dog seems to want to drive me out of the house every time I arrive, but after a few minutes she calms down. Today I put my arms around him from behind as we were hovering waiting to take out leave up to his room, and she sprung out from under a chair and howled and yapped at me until his mother scooped her up and told me, in jest, how jealous the little dog gets.

The sex is good – not in the way that the mechanics of it are good, but I am emotionally present and I enjoy it a lot. I took his virginity, so I’m in a fairly unfamiliar role of being the more sexually experienced one, which has it’s pros and it’s cons. But overall, I enjoy it; I look forward to it all week, and it leaves me feeling elated in a way that is probably purely biological, because it is the exact same elation that I felt with the man I love when I used to have sex with him. There’s an intangible sort of sadness that is more a loss without pain than a true sadness, and then we end up getting dressed again, and I’m disappointed to be leaving his room but I’m happy walking hand in hand with him to the train station, with our stilted conversation.

And then I get on the train, and as soon as I am alone I feel echoingly hollow. It isn’t a lack of emotion – it’s a meloncholy, it is unchanneled love and vivid sadness all around me in a little cloud, so potent I almost think the people sat near me on the train, or anyone who makes eye contact with me, can feel it too. I’ll always pull out my iPod and listen to something that only makes it worse, too. Such is my relationship with my stronger emotions that even when they’re unpleasant I encourage them and revel in them. I’ll listen to Nick Cave piano ballads or In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, or if I’m feeling particularly destructive something with mutual significance to my ex – Weezer’s Only In Dreams is a good example. That final few minutes, structured like a sexual experience, has been poignant in so many different ways in the past couple of years that just listening to it is like ripping my own toenails off one by one.

In fact, it’s not entirely an unpleasant feeling. It’s a beautiful feeling. But it is guilty and bitter as well. I sit there in my train seat and instead of wishing I was with the boy I’ve left behind on the train platform, the one who I have affection for and who is here and I don’t want to hurt, I instead wish the man who is thousands of miles away who I can’t like was different. I wish he hadn’t said things, or that he didn’t have certain personality traits, that they were replaced by more desirable ones. Essentially, I wish all the things I can’t wish as his girlfriend, because you can’t be with someone and want them to be someone they’re not. Instead, I keep the person he’s not, the person he introduced himself as and the person some people around me got to know, alive in their minds, and I keep him innocent, and in those conversations I can be in love with him without guilt. And I keep my boy on the border town, the boy whose family have welcomed me in as his girlfriend but who knows that, while I’ll take that name, that’s not what I’m going for here – I keep him a secret. Because the people who I keep my ex innocent for would see it for exactly what it is. And it doesn’t reflect well on me.

This is one of the reasons I am apparently a sociopath. He sent me a long letter that he wrote just days after I told him I wanted to sever ties, that I wanted to take the other guy up on his offer and spend the summer just having fun with him. It’s the only reason that I think objectively holds water. I am using this boy. I know he has more invested in our relationship than me and I carry it on anyway. I’m using him for sex, I’m using him for romance, I’m using him because I get bored of being single so easily and I can’t bear to spend the longest summer I will ever have bored. It makes me kind of evil, to him. He doesn’t want to think I’m evil. He thinks I might need help, but he hopes he’s wrong.

When he sent me the document that this was written in he told me that he didn’t mean a lot of what he said any more. There was a lot in there that was hurtful – it was a character assassination, of course it made uncomfortable reading. He didn’t tell me what he could put down to anger and what he could still get behind, but I think what he said about my new relationship – as he sees it, an infidelity – was a lucid and genuine observation, because I have doubts about it too.

I don’t want to stop, because I enjoy it too much – even if it’s just for a few moments a week where I think to myself, “This is it, this is human contact at it’s most pure and ecstatic, and this is making me happy”. I’ve spent large chunks of my postpubescent life living between moments like that.

I have to allow it, or depress myself completely. I have to allow it at least until after the week when his family goes away. Then we won’t even have to fuck quietly, and if I don’t want to I won’t even have to get that train alone when we’re done.




Sin Number Two: I Actively Seek Attention

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Because, why else start a blog with autobiography at its centre? But then, why make it anonymous? The anonymity is for self-protection, the blog is a creative act of character assassination for my own enjoyment and enlightenment. And if I was to get readers, that would be pretty cool too.

Therefore, wouldn’t it look like this is a sin I have overcome? Possibly. I don’t know. I wonder. It is something that I consciously repress – something that I have made a decision to stop doing in order to be Good.

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I wrote a post about how I am easily bored and can never stick with anything, then didn’t so much as return to the site to have a think about writing another post for two full days. Perhaps I shouldn’t be conciously marking my progress – instead I should be writing, enthusiastically, because that’s what I’m here to do and the idea of being “good” is really only a facet of why I’m doing it. It’s a useful facet. So much of the things related to human behaviour, my own behaviour and the behaviour of others that I find interesting has as an integral part of it’s makeup the idea of “goodness”. Can I like this person, are they “good”? Is this thing or that thing a “good” thing to do, is it a “natural” instinctive thing to do, and do these things at all relate to each other? Am I being “good” right now? Do I care?

Having said that, there’s another, less noble, reason that makes me want to write. My next post will be about Sin Number Two.

Sycophantic Sunday: Things I’ve Enjoyed On The Internet This Week

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I’ve been keeping an eye on the whole Scott Adams “rape is a natural male instinct” shitstorm like I would keep an eye on a wasp that keeps slamming itself into an open window inches from my face. I fear I’m too late to the party to weigh in on it in a way that is either original or relevent, but Jezebel did a pretty good job on analyzing what was said and why it matters. Unfortunately, I didn’t even know who this guy was before I read the offending blog post and now I do. I understand and find myself leaning towards the “Don’t Feed The Trolls” argument, but at the same time have a weakness for wanting to tell people who are wrong that they are wrong. His attempts to tell his detractors that they simply misunderstood him are equal parts wryly humourous and just sad. From looking at his previous record of causing controversy, he’s going to start saying he meant it all as satire anyway in approximately 5… 4… 3… 2…

To combat the Scott Adams nasty aftertaste, here’s a cat that looks like Lord Voldemort:

Sin Number One: I Am Flaky As Hell.

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Let’s start with a nice one. I am using flaky to mean “Has a tendency to veer from one thing to another, not finish things and generally have commitment issues”. Its other meanings of eccentric or vaguely left of field don’t apply here, although they could, but I wouldn’t consider those sins. Flakiness in itself is not often considered bad enough to be a sin (you may have gathered I’m not using the word in it’s Christian sense, but I’m sure I’ll explain the reasons why I am guilty of all seven* of those in time), but it depends on the context, and in the context of my own self it does a lot of damage.

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