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The Autistic Mermaid

Month

February 2016

Taking advantage of creativity

Somehow instead of my depressive brain zooming in on the negative, it has become a hive of creativity. Maybe it’s my increased dose of meds. Maybe I’m sleep deprived. Maybe I’m manic and I don’t know it. Who knows. But when a poem began to formulate in my mind, as it has never done before, I had to take advantage and just go with it, see what my brain has produced. So here is my first ever poem…  Continue reading “Taking advantage of creativity”

Give yourself a Gold Star #1

When you’re in the depths of depression, it’s a widely known fact that even the tiniest and most mundane of tasks can seem overwhelming and often just take far too much effort to do. That’s if the thought to do them even enters your mind in the first place. Because we all know that our mind is crammed full of much more important things like “emptiness” (which for something that doesn’t exist, sure takes up a hell of a lot of room!) and “self-loathing”.  Continue reading “Give yourself a Gold Star #1”

Vulnerability

Nobody wants to admit that they are vulnerable. Unless they are in a situation in which they are legitimately vulnerable, like old ladies to distraction burglars. Particular traits of Aspergers however make me vulnerable to being mistreated by people.  Continue reading “Vulnerability”

Paying the (full) price

I am on a roll with book related blog posts today! When I was taking the pictures for my previous two posts I was thinking about where I got the books from. I mentioned that for a couple I got them from charity shops.

I get a lot of my books from charity shops and pay anywhere from 25p to £2 for them. Oxfam is a firm favourite along with British Heart Foundation stores and Air Ambulance shops. Otherwise, I get my books from Tesco on their 2 for £7 deal, or Sainsburys which has a similar offer on books. Occasionally I will order books from Amazon.

I came to the realisation that I never ever pay full price for books. And by full price I mean the Recommended Retail Price (RRP). A quick look at some book that I have next to me show that the average RRP for a paperback book is £7.99. I cannot remember the last time I paid the RRP for a book.

Should I feel guilty about this?

I prefer to buy book from charity shops because not only are they considerably cheaper, meaning I can buy more and not give my bank balance too much damage, but also, in doing so, I am giving money to a worthy cause. I don’t have a monthly direct debit set up which send a donation to a particular charity. But I reckon I spend more on books in charity shops than I would set up a direct debit for anyway.

Books that I get from supermarkets are usually newer releases that I have heard about on BookTube and want to get my hands on for a relatively cheap price. And Amazon works out as being the most expensive avenue, with most older release paperbacks going for £3.85 or thereabouts.

But doesn’t the publisher and author deserve more of my money? Am I depriving them of an income because of my refusal to pay full price? Are they missing out somehow because of my frugality? Is it unethical of me to buy books from big chain supermarkets and companies that may be renowned for not paying their taxes?

Part of me is proud that charity shops are my main source of books. But I also want to support independent bookshops which I feel are important. There is also the humble Library to consider. Going to the Library was one of my favourite things as a child and the news of multiple Library closures across the UK is saddening. So I do visit the Library when I can, although the selection in my local one isn’t great, I still like to show my support and they are an invaluable resource particularly in the education of young children whose families can’t even afford charity shop books.

So why does a small part of me feel guilty about not paying RRP? Does anyone else feel this way?

The Aspie Mermaid x

TBR

Books I want to read this week… Continue reading “TBR”

Reading Wrap Up

Usually when I’m experiencing a bout of severe depression (as I am now) I find myself unable to concentrate long enough to read a book. This time however, I seem to have gone the opposite way and have managed to regain my Aspie trait of “Hyper-focus” and am averaging a book per day. Here is what I have been reading this week… (apologies for poor quality of pictures) Continue reading “Reading Wrap Up”

PSVE

In Secondary school one of the lessons we had scheduled into our timetables, I think once a fortnight, was PSVE. I remember so little about this class that I’m not even 100% certain that those are the correct letters but I’m pretty certain it was Personal, Social, and Vocational Education. Or something like that. A fluffy curriculum filler that was mandatory  but not taken seriously but students or teachers I don’t think. I have suspicions that this was the class that was supposed to talk about real life, living in the big world out there stuff, but since I have extremely little recollection of it, it’s probably safe to assume that what was taught in these lessons was a load of shite.

I had a dream last night that I was back in my old school and my job was a PSVE teacher. No other subjects, just that. The class was unruly to begin with, as they assumed this would be a lesson they could mess around in and not pay any attention because it would be boring. Well, little did they realise that I was the best PSVE teacher ever to exist and that by the end of the lesson they would leave that classroom and run straight to the Head Teacher’s office to demand that I teach them this subject more often! (I do like it when my subconscious brain decides to let me bask in this kind of glory in dreams rather than come face to face with all my fears)

So what made me so good? What was it about my lesson that stopped the dickheads at the back of the class from play fighting and the girls from gossiping in the corner? i was real with them. Yes, in a “down with the kids way” but not embarrassingly so. I just talked openly and honestly about issues, shocked them a little bit with my colourful language and lack of embarrassment when talking about cringey stuff that adults usually avoid talking to teenagers about.

But most importantly, I used it as an opportunity to discuss real world, meaningful things with them. Things that we should talk to teenagers about and get them thinking critically about. Things that will really educate them and shape them into decent human beings, about things that matter ie, not algebra. Here is a list of some of the things that I covered (I won’t go so far as providing you with full lesson plans, although I can assure you they are pretty much fully formed in my brain):

  • Self Identity
  • Sexual Health – not putting a condom on a cucumber, proper informative sexual health stuff
  • Feminism and Gender Equality
  • Lad Culture / Rape Culture
  • Gender Stereotyping
  • Addictions
  • Mental Health / Well-being
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Equality and Diversity
  • The realities of being an adult
  • Healthy Relationships

In my dream there were no limits as to what was discussed, no matter how taboo. The students were encouraged to engage in debate, ask questions, share stories etc. The lessons were fun and informative and perspective-changing.

How cool would it be if every 16 year old left school feeling ok about their own identity, tolerant and non judgemental of others, and passionate about changing the world?

Most dreams dissolve not long after I’ve woken up but this one has stayed with me, and resonated with me enough to write a log post about.

If you know anyone who is looking for the best PSVE teacher EVER… let me know 😉

The Aspie Mermaid x

 

Why I’m a Feminist…

Feminism is something that I’ve come to relatively late in life. And knowing what I know about it now, I think it’s something that should be downloaded into the mind from birth. It became one of my obsessions a few years ago and is something that has stuck with me and still interests me although I don’t voraciously research it like I used to. It’s just part of my identity now, like a religion or set of beliefs. (Ironic given the subject of this post)

Continue reading “Why I’m a Feminist…”

I’m not suicidal, I just don’t want to exist

I’m not going to kill myself. I don’t think I even want to die. I just don’t want to BE. I just want the world to stop. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to be around anyone. I don’t want to exist in the minds of others. I want to be here. Just living parallel. Where it’s quiet.

I feel empty yet in agony at the same time. I either sleep or stare into nothing. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to be a friend. I don’t want to be a parent. I don’t want to be a person.

I want to be in a log cabin, in the middle of a forest, next to a lake. With no one around. And no way of contact with the outside world. Where I can sit and read. And walk. And stare at the lake. I want to do this for a long time. Just exist there. But not here.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

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