I Hurt



So, this is a thing. I want us to make a crowd sourced visual word orgy. This one is about how we all hurt. Cos we all do, but we are conditioned to not share these things, thus fuelling this paranoia of dishonesty between us. I want your face to join mine and many others in breaking this glass box by filming yourself saying some words. Ready for instruction? Here you go…

I want you to say ‘I hurt’ and then pause (for editing purposes), then pick one or two or three or all of the ‘because’ lines below and say that/them separately. There MUST be a pause between the I hurt and the because bit. If you can record the same thing a couple of times that would be good just so I have multiple inflections of the same words.

If you have your own ‘because’ reason for hurting then record that too, as above. You can say what you like. This is about honesty. This is about ways we feel the same. We have more in common than we ever tell each other. Be honest.

You can just do a voice recording if you feel more comfortable, but I would prefer a video of you saying the words. You will need to record it in a quiet area, with minimal background noise. Somewhere that’s not echoey. A sitting room is good. Somewhere where there’s lots of soft furnishings to absorb the echoes, giving as flat a sound as possible.

Then also take a picture or three of yourself, with any expression you like, and with any background you like, but at least one picture of you front facing with no expression.

Email everything to (one/two vids per email please. Don’t want to break the nets like). Or you can DM me it via Instagram or Facebook. Tell me what name you’d like on the credits, and any social media tags you want.

Here’s an example…

Here’s them words…

I hurt

Because of life,
Because of love,
Because of you,
Because of them,
Because of her,
Because of me,
Because of him,
Because of hate,



Well, I’m gonna make you into some art! (NACF). I’m gonna post you all over my onlineness. I’m gonna tag the fuck out of you, and then we’ll all have a virtual group hug (and maybe some cake).

Feel free to post your recordings anywhere you like, whenever you like. I don’t own your mouth! Tags I’ll be using are #ihurt #thinkingchimp #helenrhodeswriter, and if you could too then you will receive a rainbow of unsexual love.


Dear Theresa May, Prime Minister of my country…

Dear Theresa May, if you hate humans so much why did you become a politician?
And why, Theresa May, would this be a legacy you want to be responsible for: the backwards leaver, destroying any hope of a united human race?
Are you really that scared of him, Theresa May? You’d let our country once again be subservient to the cause of humanity’s downfall?
And, as a woman, Theresa May, why would you condemn your gender to the repression of a hundred years ago, flicking the Vs at the brave women who fought for you so you could become a leader of our country? 
When did you lose yourself?


Dancing in your fog. In the wonderful world you vaguely make, where I fill in the gaps you leave. The gaps you deny you made. So it is my fault, again. Of course. Guilty of my gullable self. Wretched with love in my soul. You never asked for it, even though you laid the path and walked me down it with such ease. Edged with the unsaid, that which cannot be trodden on, that which I know is there but that you steer me away from. But look at the view, you say. Look here. Look up. So I do. So I ignore that which you sweep under my feet. I can feel it under my toes. In the blissful high I still know it’s there, like soft pebbles prodding at my soles. My problem. My fault. Half a gift given. Half a truth told. Half a step left. And still I am led. I am hung by your strings. I am savaged by your song. How can I unsee? How can I unknow? How can I unfeel? How can you break what you’ve already broken? 

Watching you give up

Watching you give up.
The saddest movie in the world.
The heaviest weight.
In the darkest pit.
All but you can see the light.
Blinding in its vibrant scream.
More unique than ever.
Bursting with flavour.
You are there.
Locked. Caged.
Covered in worthlessness.
Strapped with gutless hatred.
You guard your own fortress.
The precious fortunes must stay hidden.
I know their wealth.
I know their unburdened brilliance.
I’ve seen them shine.
I can see them now.
Through that fearful glint.
Behind the defiant resignation.
Within that numb world.
Made by your own choice.
So many long to free you.
From this war only you can win.
Like the saddest movie in the world.
We are watching you give in.

I want to reach for you in your night
I want to hold you while you fight
I want to lick your wounds
And kiss the pain
Fill you with love
Warm the strain
I want to push you on when you fall
I want to push you over that growing wall
I want to nurse your grazes
So you can carry on
You can push me away
But I’ll never be gone.
I want to hold you up and show your worth
I want to shout it loud to all the Earth
This beautiful human
This creation of one
Stronger than before
Because they won.

Run away

Run away
It will fix itself
If you’re not there
Run away
Away from the depths
Where it can only be worse
Which you cannot bear to explore
To confront
Too hard
Run away
From the you you most fear
That fatal truth
Too much to feel
Too much of a battle
Run away
From that waste of time
To higher ground
To the edge
To fall again

Mind Wars

I’m spending this weekend with The Mother. I haven’t seen her in the flesh since March, seven months ago. Then I had protection in the form of other people. This time it’s just us two. The relationship between The Mother and me is a whole tortuous book in itself, so I won’t bore you with it. All you need to know is she’s a controlling person, and I have let her be that person with me. She does that through fear because of childhood things, exacerbated by secret alcoholic husband, which, in that context, makes it totally understandable. Now.

I can pinpoint the exact time I decided that I wasn’t going to be like I was anymore. I wasn’t going to take this shit from her. Or anyone else for that matter. I’d had a bad year. Most years up to then hadn’t been good, apart from the odd moment here or there after I escaped home and school, and the heady days at university when everything was possible. After that came a complete breakdown, but all good things have to come to an end somehow. I regained some stability with my OH for the last ten years, a home, and two cats. Thank fuck! However, all good situations have their evil side. The grass may be greener, but there’s still perennial weeds in there.  The home situation with an autistic step-son, his not so interested mother, and my OH had got out of hand. When I say out of hand, I mean it hadn’t been dealt with. None of it. It was impossible to when that part of our lives wasn’t within our control. We weren’t allowed to make the decisions. And, looking back, I don’t think we wanted to be making them either. Without the OH’s Asperger’s diagnosis it was difficult for us to communicate about anything properly. Like a cushion trying to understand a hammer.

It was a lonely time for both of us. I sought solitude, which then sought company in some of the best friends I’ll ever have. That’s what it felt like at the time anyway. Then, suddenly, all my friends had got boyfriends/girlfriends/lives all at the same time. I was left alone. Isolated. Again. [Insert boring record of not having any family at all other than The Mother and inadequate training in social interaction due to alcoholic father here]. So keen was I to not be lonely for the rest of my life I’d put myself behind others, be there without question, the best friend they’d ever had. I’d been there for them, and they just left me. Obviously, that feeling has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me. The way it felt, the injustice, the pain of rejection and forced isolation in the middle of a situation that was already unstable, was intolerable – and I mean intolerable, to the point of physical pain that had only one way out. I put myself out there more than I’d ever done before. Prostrate on the floor, metaphorical innards bared. And I got hurt, obviously.

Turns out that’s the best thing they could have done for me.

It was on an excruciating week’s ‘holiday’ (she called it this. I call it a week in enforced hell with en suite) in Cornwall with my mother that I decided I wasn’t going to put up with her or anyone else’s shit any longer. My innards healed over and put an extra protective layer of fixative on top. I physically felt it one of those long nights stuck in a converted barn in the middle of nowhere with my life long guilt giver snoring in the next room. Once that huge, ugly monster (of emotions, not The Mother. Although…) had been encased forever inside me things started to show themselves from the other side. Their shapes were different and their overpowering repression not so overpowering anymore. That’s when the ever present Rebel sitting at the back marched forward and said, “I’m driving this body now. Get out of the bloody way Anxiety. Shift your fucking fat arse Self-Doubt, I’m taking over, you can all fuck off!”

I’d felt Rebel before, but this time was different. Instead of Anxiety throttling her on the spot, Rebel fought back, hard. They tried to push Rebel out before she could strap herself in, but Rebel was too strong and had been ignored, crushed and bullied for far too long by the others. She has won nearly every battle ever since. Rebel was finally able to teach me how to have confidence in my own intelligence (knocked out of me at school, of course), that I could work this life thing out myself if I just put in some time and effort and really used this amazing (and controllable!!) blob of grey slime in my skull. Rebel appointed Stubborn as Mind monitor. Stubborn was strict about things, making me read things that really helped me learn about how this bunch of cells I call my body works. Stubborn made me stick with battling through the nonsense commercial (bullshit) self-help market and find the real information. I learned about my biology, my chemistry, how it creates those intangible things called feelings and behaviours and reactions, and how I can control them with this flimsy thing called Mind. Defenceless as Mind would usually be, Rebel has released its full force. Now that Rebel is in charge I’m allowed to have confidence in myself as a fully formed human person (to the point anyone can be approaching midlife crisis age). I care about what people think about my writing, the way I look, what I think and say, but at the same time I don’t. I know that I know how to know stuff (think about it), and I know that I know how to unknow the old and inknow the new (I make up words. Problem?). I am capable, in my own way. Different to everyone else’s way. Good.

Those friends? After I’d hit the bottom of the pit and struggled back out again some of them turned out to be actual friends! But the majority turned out to be not worth any effort at all. And that’s fine.

Of course Rebel has to have the odd holiday. We all need a rest. That’s when Anxiety comes back for a day or two. Or Self-Doubt, with the apprentice, Self-Loathing. But they’re only temporary staff.

Fear (Scribbling)

You Fear the moment won’t last and you Fear you won’t get the chance of it again.
You love because you Fear not being loved.
You love because you Fear you’re unlovable.
Every decision you make you do because you Fear you will miss becoming something you’re not now.
You Fear the regret, the shame, the broken-heartedness.
You Fear time, that it will wander by while you edge closer to the end.
You Fear the end.
The final silence, where you have no more opportunities, no muddle of choices, no more to make of yourself.
The end, where you are complete.
A product of your Fear.
To be forgotten by omnipotent time.
You Fear the pointlessness of your effort.
You Fear that what you thought to be futile actually is. You Fear hope for hope’s sake.
You Fear yourself.
Being alone, only with you, the self you Fear, the one you made.
You are to blame.

From this Fear you cannot run. It runs with you.
You are the factory. You are the instigator. The inspiration.
You craft it with your own body and your carry it with you like an unburdenable tumour.
It weighs you down on your already heavy journey, causing you to turn where you shouldn’t, seek refuge where you mustn’t, take you where you strive not to go.
It obscures your view and stains the maps you make.
It slippens your grasp and bloodies your tracks.
It rips and tears and keeps fresh the wounds, cuts deep the new, suckles and chews.

You are the devourer, the taker, the glutton of experiences.
You are the creator, the crafter, the twister, the giver.
You create wrong. You create pain. You create tangles and messes.
You scribble over time and doodle on delusion.
You continue to fail to make the answer.


How heartily Fear feeds.
Would you deny her sustenance?
You want her to think you a selfish creature?
You would distrust her for yourself?
Feed the belly that feeds you.
Unable to uncreate.
How heartily she feeds herself.

You will never do it right.
It IS pointless, and continuous.
I am here too.
You ARE already the answer.
You are sharing in silence with a world of messes, and Fear allows no entry.
You are creating with another who is creating with another, and together you build the intangible elephant that groans with its lonely lack of acceptance.
Time, alone, listens to its only companion.
Which time is the one you’ll pick?
Will you recognise it when it comes?
Will you have killed too much of yourself by then?
How do you know?
How, when you are blind?

(You are never wrong, only scribbling.)