Check my nails…

I’m finding all this stormy weather a bit of a style block. It’s hard to look put together in a gale. The desire to stay even somewhat warm & dry is cramping my sartorial creativity. I have therefore expressed my individuality on my finger nails.

The Baba helped me select a new sparkly polish & I used it to full effect on this shatter design.

I can never get enough of that glossy black polish.

The non stop downpour inspired me to get a little nautical. There is certainly more romance on a wild sea than a drenched city street.

All those grey skies called for a little colour.

If a little colour feels good, one might as well go for a lot of colour too.

Trigger bang bang…

Anyone who spends any time on social media will have become familiar with the term triggered. Over the last few years it has entered the public lexicon. Unfortunately, it’s meaning has been incorrectly implanted in the public consciousness.

Triggered is actually a psychological term usually related to PTSD. A trigger is an external stimuli that produces a very uncomfortable emotional response; most often panic attacks or flashbacks. However, varied symptoms can result from the triggering of a traumatic memory. It absolutely does not mean offended or hurt. I’m sure most people will have come across the correct explanation of the term. I have certainly witnessed many try to explain why using the term as an insult or a vehicle for mockery is not ok. Yet, the misuse continues. It occurred to me that perhaps what is needed is an accurate representation of what happens when a person with PTSD is triggered. Maybe if people understood the reality they wouldn’t throw the word around so carelessly. So, I thought I would share what triggered means to me.

Whenever I have been pregnant I have been unable to wear my regular perfume. I wear the same scent everyday in life, but some weird olfactory sensitivity means during pregnancy it makes me nauseous. Thus, I change it & the scent I wore I during my first pregnancy is a major trigger for me. Triggers can be anything & no one has any control over what might become one. I experienced a million sights, sounds & sensations during that time, most of them hold little power over me. That scent, though, is potent.

Snow patrol, blue sky

Formidable enough to render me a sobbing wreck. Being taken off guard by that scent whilst shopping forced me to run shaking from a book shop to vomit in the street. All the while struggling to breath & bring myself to the present. A nurse who had too liberally applied the fragrance sent me shuddering back 15 years. Leaving me so panicked I crawled behind a chair & hid. I stayed crouched on the floor desperately trying to claw my way out of the worst day of my life. Completely trapped in my own personal horror film until some kind soul got me some diazepam & did me the kindness of handing it over without questions. That heady aroma has caused nightmares so vivid that I’ve woken myself with my own screams. Dreams so painfully real that I’ve had to keep myself awake for days. Sitting in the company of someone wearing that perfume once contaminated me. On returning home I could not rid myself of the smell. Real or imaginary it lingered until I smashed my hand with a marble pestle. So tortured was I by the memories the scent brought to life that I ploughed that pestle into my hand until I broke two fingers. The cracking of bones a welcome jolt back to the here now.

Diazepam 10mg

Triggers are uncontrollable. It is not within the power of a traumatised person to select what reactivates their trauma. Nor can they choose not respond. Our minds shelter dark territories & they’re all one way roads. Once you’ve slipped in, you have to press on through. Being triggered isn’t a foolish over reaction. Nor is it the hurt feelings of the overly sensitive. It is the raw & brutal reality of those who have dealt with the unimaginable. It’s a battle scar on the brain.

I can’t stop anyone from misappropriating a word. Ignorance abounds. The only tool I have to fight with is honesty. The truth is that trivialising a serious symptom of illness hurts. It stifles the conversation & prevents people seeking help. It makes vulnerable people feel weak & ashamed & stupid.

So, no, I’m not triggered by your cheap dig. I’m just tired of the stigma. Very, very tired.

This week I have been mostly..

Catching up with things including my fav Friday night shows. I was delighted to see Robbie Williams on Graham Norton. As I laughed along to his stories & did some sofa dancing to his new I song I realised how much I love Robbie. Queue a day of Robbie tunes old and new (thanks Apple Music) & I have decided he is seriously underrated. Don’t believe me? Read on. 

Let’s start with his latest offering, Party like a Russian. This is prime Robbie; a little social commentary, a little humour & lot of William’s cheeky charm. The lyrics are cleverly simple, but effectively taking a pop whilst not going overboard. The music has an incorrigible beat & some sinister Russian sounding strings (it’s actually from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet) going on. All in all it’s a winner. 

And now, I want to take you way back. All the way to ’97 when I was 17 & the Robster was on his 1st album. Old before I die fitted my life at the time. I was heading into my last year at school & I already had an unconditional uni place. The pressure was off & the party was on. The care free, let’s get wasted attitude of the song was my exact mood. Throw in a wee go at the Pope & this teenage ex catholic’s heart was content. 

A few years down the line & we were still in tune when Strong hit the radio waves. I was dealing with what i’ll call a turbulent relationship & trying very hard to pretend all was well. Thus, the lyrics ‘you think that I’m strong, you’re wrong’ were poignant. With this song Robbie had captured the essence of being close to the edge with his signature humour. Images of him dancing like his dad & jokes about Oprah, take the barb from the topic. Robbie always knows how to take a fairly depressing premise & make an anthem you can’t stop singing.

Now a leap to a happier place. Go gentle was written for his daughter. It’s loaded with familiar protective father material, but with some truly lovely insights thrown in. When I listen to this song I understand what he’s feeling. Go gentle through your life is good advice for any little one. It’s simple, but at the heart of what we want for our kids. Namely, to be happy & take as few bumps as possible. The lyrics are sweet & loving, but also articulate something that I have been feeling. My niece is 6yrs old, she is confident in her abilities & appearance. I never want her to lose that assurance. For me the words,

‘Baby, be a giant,

Let the world be small’.

sum up what I want to say to her. When the time is write I definitely will & then I can share some ‘old’ music with her too.

Sexed up is a song I have quite possibly misinterpreted. When I originally heard it it brought to mind the feeling of knowing your relationship is over, but not being able to fully detach. In particular, when you’re pretty much sick of the sight of each other, but keep fucking anyway. I am assured by friend that it doesn’t mean anything like that, but there you go. The point is I love this song. It’s one of the tunes I sing in a loud voice when I need to vent my frustrations. I think he has perfectly captured that feeling of needing a break up intervention. The soaring melody combined with the caustic lyrics make it a perfect turn it up & pour the wine song.

I can’t talk about Robbie without declaring my love for Rock DJ. This song does to me what he is singing about. The minute I hear the intro I want to dance. This is ultimate cocky Robbie & that’s I like him best. Never before or since I have been attracted to a skinless man ripping his flesh off. I think that says it all.