You are exactly like all the others, whatever they say

If you were one of those people who insisted it is not Islamophobic to scrutinise Islam and Muslim people when you are neither of those things yourself then you personally contributed to the actions which led to a Sikh man being identified as a Muslim terrorist (by Gamergate trolls who exist only to torment vulnerable people cos ethics) and reported to the rest of the world before the information was even verified. This happened beacause the western world is largely ignorant of the rest of us and experiences it as a sort of quaint skewed little fairy tale which best fits their centuries old prejudices. The media were fooled because they are perhaps the most ignorant of the bunch and a brown face to them is always a terrorist. When a poc is probably responsible, as it is whenever there’s a disaster then due process becomes a privilege only afforded to white people. It’s consistent with the experience I have of the western world, where it doesn’t matter what you do to distinguish yourself from all the others, you’ll always be a paki, regardless of whether or not you are actually from Pakistan.

I’ve been asked where I’m from more times than whether I’ve had a good day, I know this much without doing the maths. Once upon a time I humoured it and asked people to guess and they did; Maltese, Greek, Arab, Iranian, Afghani, Latina, the list goes on and on. White people literally see colour before they see anything else and depending on your answer to this question draw conclusions before you need say anything further. I was always wary of saying Pakistani because I’d grown up feeling like the proverbial shit on one’s shoe for no apparent reason, it was just a feeling that was ever present. I used to say I was Kashmiri and this was partly true, my mum hails from there but I always had a sense it was preferable to identify as Indian, as all the Muslim Indians I knew liked to rub it in, for why, I had no idea, but it was there, this unspoken rule. I imagine now it was the residual tenets of divide rule and conquer which had passed down the generations, infecting us before we were even born. It’s apparent in the token few who deny our existence and experiences of the world so that white people can write us off as bullies and attention seekers, this idea that we must only object because we are jealous and not genuinely critical for the greater good. They will attach themselves to each other as allies and ambassadors for one another just to keep you out and struggling.

The ignorant world we find ourselves in is a direct consequence of white supremacists and their token allies. Every time a white person says to you you are not like all the others and you’re actually some kind of special snowflake, it is a lie. You are maybe a toy to the person who says that to you, someone they can wind up and watch make a fool of themselves but you are most definitely just like the others to all the white people you haven’t yet met, and probably most definitely the person who would say such a racist thing in the first place. If you’re a poc and you’re still struggling with observing and identifying divide rule and conquer, if Veerender Jubbal’s case has not made your blood run cold in horror, that the people in control of narratives can get it so very wrong, then you alone will be responsible for the ways in which you are abused.

A Sikh man (wearing a Sikh turban which is completely different to other brown people’s head coverings) can be thrust onto the world stage without his consent, without any viable reason for this attack on his identity (not that racist targeting is a viable reason even when the subject is Muslim), have a Quran photoshopped into his hands (replacing the ipad) and the media will probably get away with it, but we mustn’t let them. Remember that time little old me made a mistake that barely a few thousand people will have seen (though they will have most definitely witnessed my unprompted apology) yet the media acted as though I had killed someone with my false allegation of racism, the way they used it to whip me with because it was just such a terrible thing to accuse someone of being a racist shitheel. Well it’s actually worse to be a victim of racism, even more than being falsely accused in a system where actually, racism is inherent, it being a proud nation built on the looting and erasure of other people and cultures, and unrepentant in its ways.

The media is massively racist, whatever they might say. They just proved it.

Shout your abortion

Following the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood services in America (state funded), abortion activists took to Twitter with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion to counter the arguments made by zealous anti choicers. If you’ve ever followed the ever present attacks on family planning or been involved in actions to support your local abortion clinic you’ll have been confronted by some very strange people indeed. With this in mind I knew that tweeting in solidarity would provoke a backlash, I just wasn’t as prepared for the kinds of things completely random people on the internet would say to me (and me, a seasoned survivor of trolls).

I tweeted:

I didn’t say I’d had an abortion or that I agreed or disagreed with termination (for the record, it’s your body, your choice) but I knew it would reach those people whose lives it had saved, at least those who acknowledged the established life within the pregnant person carrying a promise of potential life (20% of first time pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, 80% of those before 12 weeks gestation), which is in no way a baby or a person (person being a societal construct). When a foetus is squatting in your uterus it does not cancel out the life already in existence, without which the foetus wouldn’t exist at all. Bizarrely this fact seems to have escaped these people.


Nope, not what I said at all


Logic clearly evades you for refusing to accept there is life in the person carrying the foetus.


This tweet is particularly interesting because it feeds into the idea that pregnancy is essentially a woman’s fault. By opening my legs I am consenting to a foetus being installed in there. If this person could acknowledge the sperm provider and the condom issue many men have (yeah sure, they’re ‘too tight’) and spread that responsibility about a bit I’d be less inclined to believe they were woman hating scum.

For example all these people with their righteous war on people who carry foetuses (I doubt very much any of these people has even considered the fact that other genders are also capable of pregnancy, this is a specific hatred driven at cis women for not being masculine/male/patriarchal).






The idea that all unwanted pregnancies can be attributed to selfish promiscuous women is entirely misogynistic and anti woman. These people would probably accuse a woman of entrapment if she happened to get pregnant and wanted to *keep* the foetus. Similarly there is no sympathy for women choosing to abort because their life depends on it. Going back to my original tweet, I said it because I used to work as an advocate for women in abusive relationships and have seen firsthand the violence inflicted on women for being pregnant in the first place. 30% of all domestic abuse begins in pregnancy. This is because the pregnant partner is suddenly vulnerable and dependent. Controlling abusive people use this to their advantage. It’s not uncommon for perps to threaten forced miscarriage, the idea that they put the foetus in there and they can also take it out should the victim refuse their every whim. There are people who cannot grasp the complexity of human relationships, and crisis points, relationship breakdowns, never mind the systems we have created to control people according to kyriarchy so it is a bit of a reach on my part to expect compassion.



You are not representative of almost 8 billion people worldwide.


76% of women faced a further incident of violence for having the audacity to leave. The period after a survivor leaves the perp is the most dangerous, “if you leave I will hunt you down and kill your kids”. 




This guy thinks we should run all decisions by him because it’s all about him. It’s not and he is nobody.

This assertion that complete strangers have of themselves as the saviours of the unborn would have more merit if they were willing to consider the life of the pregnant person but they cease to be human from the point of conception instead acting as a vessel for the precious new life everyone’s going to forget about once it moves out of the uterus. The pregnant person will be left with the foetus they did not want.. What’s that you say?




Complete strangers think it’s ok to tell me to sacrifice my body and wallow in the guilt of my unwanted pregnancy which I’ll then have to hand over to a stranger, the system, uncertainty. Pregnancy can be life threatening, from the phsyical difficulties to the mental strain it can put on a person, no one has the right to torture you for having the misfortune of being born with a uterus. If pregnancy doesn’t kill you then labour might. Cis men have no say in the abortion debate because they will never carry a foetus or suffer the fallout if things go wrong. The reason they are so vocal on the anti-choice scene is because they are redundant if they do not exert patriarchal power and control. They won’t ever create life so they control it.

From the frightening to the downright ridiculous, opponents of bodily autonomy reveal more about themselves than the people they target, they’re nosy and perverse, poking around in strange uteri.


Ah, Americans.


I keep looking for the illegal thing I’m supposed to have said but to no avail.


If a person is feeling suicidal cos they’ve been forcibly impregnated, an abortion is life saving and I would go as far as saying therapeutic in terms of their recovery, and regaining control of their own life.

Every single one of these people and the many I didn’t document failed to see the hypocrisy in their words. The life of the foetus cancels out the life of the person carrying it, without whom the foetus wouldn’t exist at all. Personally I’m not here to change your thoughts on abortion or bring you round to my superior way of thinking – something anti-choicers may want to examine in themselves – but to ask you to cast the first stone only when you can say you are completely sin free.

Also, this stance on abortion seems to be as far as they’ve got in terms of a world view and how that actually works in practice. They’re all ‘save the foetuses’ but how many of these advocates shared the same enthusiasm for the precious lives of Syria’s existing children, rejected by Europe, asleep in the freezing cold, barely surviving? Or the fully formed babies with given names blown to pieces in Palestine? How about the severely disfigured infants of Fallujah? Selective outrage makes a mockery of the whole pro-life movement. The planet is exhausted by our reproductive efforts, live viable children are treated as though vermin, domestic abuse blights the lives of some of those foetuses saved by those ignorant of life in its entirety, yet hellbent on power and control. That’s all it is.


The Tory war on vulnerable children

By now you’ll have heard a wide range of opinion on Kids Company and what they did or did not do and your own biases will have shaped where you stand on the issue, if you’re racist/right wing the mere sight of Camila Batmaghelidjh will have no doubt brought your prejudices to the fore, regardless of actual facts. When we’ve hashed out the supporters from the haters though, one fact remains blatant enough for all to see; this government hates children, particularly the most vulnerable, often black/brown and already the most devastated by cruel Tory cuts.

This is just the latest in a string of attacks on those who are not yet old enough to fight back. The government announced it would change the definition of poverty so that child poverty would no longer be defined as access to 60% of the average income but through their exam results and whether their parents work or not. I excelled at exams and my dad was a mechanic. We were POOR. This is clearly a ploy to fudge the figures on destitution in UK. Coming from a working class Asian family, we were pushed to do well at school and didn’t have the same restrictions on class related activity. Just cos we were well read and acing all of the exams does not take away from the fact we sometimes did not have enough food, or the fact we each got one pair of shoes a year, a problem for growing feet. Our dad worked but we never saw him (not entirely a bad thing in my home) and what he did earn went on himself. If child benefit and income support hadn’t existed we’d have been even poorer.

Maybe as poor as this. Almost a third of all the children in the UK are living in poverty, 1.6 million of them in severe poverty (perhaps even meeting IDS’ means test). 1.6 million children, perhaps with limitless potential, are not getting enough to eat. My mum had some support from extended family but what if you do not have that network? Most of us will have some experience of dealing with a hungry child. My nephews appetites work like clockwork and if their food is even slightly delayed there are tears. How can this government sleep soundly knowing there are children crying with hunger pangs, their parents watching on helplessly (unless they’re just not wired like the rest of us)? The same parents the media will demonise as being a drain on the state. Who knew we were capable of such cruelty in this developed ‘first world’ country? Hungry children cannot concentrate. Growing up hungry can make you aggressive and less bothered about being a shiny perfect law abiding citizen. The link between poverty and domestic abuse is too alarming to ignore, especially when you are 3 times more likely to suffer violence in the home if you are poor (irrespective of class). The hatred this government has for these children will spill into their lives and all over the streets. Hunger makes people violent.

Why would our government knowingly pursue this course of action, against the advice of the people who know, like Camila Batmanghelidjh, ignoring the many pleas to please, think of the children (regardless of what the books say)? Plunging children into poverty, then changing the definition of poverty means we ignore the hardship these kids will suffer only to pretend later we have no idea why they riot and steal things like water.

If I, as a lowly pleb, can connect these dots and fear terribly for the future you can’t argue the government aren’t aware. They are and they’re coming for our children, and if that doesn’t scare you, frankly, I don’t know what will.

They’re All (rich and) White on Election Night


Someone told our immigrant grandparents Labour was the party for the working people, as they weaved their way out of Heathrow perhaps, and they remained loyal voters to the very ends of their lives. In in a way I’m glad my grandparents aren’t around to witness the shambles that is the British Left, if only because it’s saved me an argument or ten trying to convince the old stalwarts Labour doesn’t mean socialism for the working class anymore, rather the party for kowtowers to an increasingly fascistic hostile Britain promoting values it believes virtuous, which in actual fact translates into human rights abuses like allowing people to drown in the sea, so long as the white ‘indigenous’ population are appeased with pre election promises for controls on the greatly exaggerated influx of rotten jonnie forriners. They want to protect resources for themselves as well you see, traditional Red Labour and the current right wing Labour are a class apart, literally, with those at the top end attending public schools with access to the old boys network and the voters they’ve lost, struggling to make do, relying on food banks and big society to make up for the shortfall in their wages.

At the last local election I did have a huge argument and falling out with another member of my family though, an aunt, also another lifelong Labour voter who simply refused to accept the facts I was relaying about the new Red Tories and instead turned it back on me for tactically voting Green. Admittedly it was a rash decision on my part to vote at all but I was frantically trying to organise against an outright fascist takeover by UKIP (or any of the other immigrant hating parties) and in my mini mental crisis forgot that I don’t vote because I don’t believe in the system. I might as well not have bothered because the election results predictably confirmed the Labour stronghold my battered down immigrant ghetto has always been.

I am a 3rd generation British Pakistani and my political stance reflects this. My grandparents came to this country expecting a warm welcome from the motherland, a tipped hat from the commonwealth and instead they were brutalised for being dirty smelly pakis. They, I guess, didn’t know how to react, it was pointless thinking of ‘going home’ because this was meant to be their home so they bowed their heads and rolled with the punches. They accepted their dehumanised status. Their children, however, fought back. They didn’t know anything else and by rights everything they heard about their parent’s country of origin, mainly from white people reminding them how lucky they were to be born here and not back in savage town was alien and scary and they were damned if they were ‘going back’ to somewhere they’d never been. This was their home and they fought for it but I cannot say I have the same motivation to fight for something I believe has never been mine, and never will be.

In his speech on extremism yesterday, the prime minister alluded to those “people born and raised in this country who don’t really identify with Britain – and who feel little or no attachment to other people here. Indeed, there is a danger in some of our communities that you can go your whole life and have little to do with people from other faiths and backgrounds.” I was born and raised here. I was determined to fit in and be proud of the greenhouse I found myself and all the other cuttings in, just had to dig those roots in deep. I rejected my family, was disowned, because they were not British enough to accept me and yet that was never enough to curb the microaggressions or even macroagressions with regards to the colour of my skin and the faith of my people.

Look I went as far as I could to convince white people I wanted to be British and proud, I even ignored the voice in my head telling me war is never justified instead choosing to rationalise the need for homeland defence and the right to protect our way of life. What’s a little problematic British policy if it means the Taliban are bombed out of sight? It took many years of abuse and degradation from white people to turn my views on life in Britain. I’m not a terrorist, I do not believe in loss of civilian life – I say we lock all the world leaders up and let them rip each other to pieces – but I don’t really identify with Britain anymore. I feel attachment to some of the British people, y’know the ones who don’t want me dead, and have some sentimentality towards my old school, neighbourhood, playgrounds I played truant in but I have travelled the length and breadth of Britain and I have felt the white gaze™ burn a hole into my brown skin. I have sat on public transport, paralysed with fear. My eyes have met with others who are also terrified.

Perhaps the PM would prefer we lie about the way we feel and the way things have gone down, just as PMs before him have lied about the truly Great Britain, one that is only so Great because of terrible things like war, rape, looting and famine. Perhaps we must play the same game with our political choices and run with the untruths about the worker’s party and instead feign shock and distress when they do exactly what the Tories would have done. I worked for many years despite my numerous medical and social issues, even paying emergency tax initially because I was only 16 and unprepared for the world of work and exploitation. Yes I am disabled now and I need welfare support, it’s only what I am entitled to. When I was earning almost 30k per annum and paying more in tax and national insurance than many now receive for a wage in their zero hour contracts, I did so because that was my safety net or anyone else’s and I would have happily paid more for a fair and just society that cares for its most vulnerable in their hour of need, whoever they are, whatever the colour of their skin or passport.

The toxic relationship Britain has with its immigrants is reaching boiling point; an intelligent (or well read) class of immigrant has emerged that won’t be swayed by threats and sanctions in its search for justice. They (we) are not terrorists but people inflicted with disorders as a reward for trying to attach to a nation that has never wanted us. We dissociated but that wasn’t enough and so now we fight back (if only in words), untethered because if we don’t speak these words we lose ourselves and those who have nothing to lose are a force to be reckoned with. That’s got to be a frightening prospect for whichever party of rich white men you vote in.


Public funds are for those in need

If I were living in a country outside of the UK I would be perplexed at the many ways in which the British government is punishing the most vulnerable for the collective debt of the entire nation (though admittedly it is pretty frightening witnessing it all as a queer disabled poc on the inside too). From disabled people to children, hundreds of thousands if not millions are being systematically cut off from the support that ensures their survival. We are paying for the banks, those greedy corporations whose actions led us into austerity. Sickeningly the public are willing to lap up any excuse the richest in our society dream up and it’s always some poor disadvantaged ‘idiot’s’ fault for having everything when the common man has to go without. This jealousy is unfounded and exists in the minds of those who have been easily convinced we are lazy – for not putting on a brave face and getting on with it like the rest of them – when in fact it is those people who are guilty of the very thing they accuse us of. What could be lazier than choosing to let someone else think for you?

You’re born, you go to school, you’re taught to sit in a row on the floor with your arms crossed and your index finger poised over your lips to show how good you are at shutting the fuck up and being told what to do. I was good at all of these things, I won’t lie but I didn’t tick enough of the boxes to ensure my place at the table. I wasn’t like all the others but I wasn’t like them either, I HAD to start thinking for myself. You listened to the bands they said were cool, you styled yourself a certain way to fit in – unless you were too poor in which case you just got bullied – you had to ‘lose’ your virginity without being a slag about it and you got married at the appropriate age, or thoroughly freaked out if you didn’t. You had kids cos that’s just what you do, especially when your biological clock kept showing up in random conversations and trashy magazines. You go to your job that you hate cos it pays the bills and you pay your own way but you haven’t connected the dots between the effort you put in and the miserly payoff you’re killing yourself for (or the monkey cracking the whip). All for the privilege of lording it over others, at least you bring home your bacon (in a world where we are worthy for little more than the ability to accumulate – and piss about with – banknotes). You weren’t born knowing you had to do these things, you did them cos that’s just what you do (and the punishment for deviating from this path is cruel and unforgiving).

What if it wasn’t though? What if you could affect the world for better and change it because it is actually completely within your power to do so? It just requires motivation, honesty and integrity, which does sound like a lot of hard work doesn’t it? But only if you’re lazy. Only if you only have the time to work, eat, shit and sleep. Who wants to think when so much thinking is already done for you? There are people who would like to think but fear the unknown so that it becomes impossible to think of a better way. When you are consumed by fear your energy is focused on protecting yourself instead of working together and dismantling oppressive structures. If you speak out about these injustices you may find yourself embroiled in a conspiracy scandal, accused of doing the most terrible things like redistributing wealth to the needy, as supporters of and indeed Camila Batmanghelidjh herself discovered recently.

What kind of Britain do we find ourselves in when the government withholds support from a leading children’s charity working with some of those most disadvantaged and damaged children in society, especially considering the tories have just recently redefined the meaning of poverty so that a whole bunch of poor people are no longer poor, but only on paper? £3 milllion pounds worth of funding remains unallocated because the Tories want rid of a vocal critic of their work in child protection. Perhaps the embezzlement allegations were leaked by a Tory who thought Britain was suitably torified enough to denounce a woman for appropriating funds where they are most needed. “BUT IT’S PUBLIC MONEY” they insist, as though free money for poor people is the worst thing a society can experience and not say, the same power playing government repeatedly covering up the depravity and loathsomeness of their respected predecessors who probably raped and killed disadvantaged children.

This government does not care about our kids but then we already knew that. It doesn’t care for immigrants, a fact we were sure of when they let those displaced souls drown at sea. Governments have lied to and manipulated their people for centuries and we’ve let them, but now they are threatening to destroy the very fabric of our supposedly democratic and fair society; welfare being one of the pillars of civilisation. It’s managed to convince a whole bunch of lazy thinkers disabled people/foreigners have got it easy. I cannot understand the kind of person who thinks a reduced lifespan and chronic pain is somehow the easier option, or the kind of mind that begrudges people a few small mercies whilst those in power leech millions in maintenance and expenses. I do however believe we should protect and cherish those who publicly give a damn, even if some of their other policies are not 100% to our liking. In a world where our political wing is so dishearteningly disingenuous I’m going to extend my solidarity wherever I feel there is a heart involved and invested in a better future for us all, not just the ones who forget what they saw for money.

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A person like me

Sam Ambreen:

A reminder

Originally posted on Left at the Lights:

What is the point of social media for someone like me? When I say ‘me’ what exactly do I mean? I’m not under any illusions about my existence; I don’t see myself leading you all to revolution or winning a Nobel peace prize or anything. I haven’t the knack for self-promotion for a start. In order to do this I’d need an internal editor capable of presenting an image that fits easily in a white patriarchy; the kind that asks questions but lets you come to your own conclusions, no doubt confirming your own biases, whatever the message. No, there isn’t a place for someone like me, not when I spell it out for you that people like me are suffering, if not fighting for their lives.

I may have been heard if I hadn’t turned the spotlight around on the people mendaciously constructing a world that doesn’t reflect…

View original 1,592 more words

Why the truth matters to me


Growing up a stranger in the place of your birth is disorientating. Asides from the challenges one might encounter when starting at a new school, like making friends, children with foreign parents have to overcome additional obstacles in order to fit in. They must learn another language sometimes, as I did, but language is one of those things small children master within a surprisingly short period of time. Other barriers to assimilation are not so easy to tackle and there are so many, it’s no surprise people from ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately with poor mental health.

When you are told you are, but also feel, a member of the underclass, you either buy into the narrative – especially when you’ve not been taught to think critically – or you seek to distance yourself from the perceptions others have of your people. You buy into their hate or your own, in a bid to survive, but to survive well. Self-love just isn’t an option. I was conscious of the lies I needed to tell if I had any hope of accessing the world I wanted to belong to as early as age 6 when I decided I wanted to be called Sam. Even for one so young and innocent I had an inkling Sam was a name they just couldn’t mess with. It was English for a start. I didn’t have to spell it out every time, or have people poke fun at it, whether my peers or teachers (who should have known better). Even at this age I knew I had to change who I was if I was to have a fighting chance in life.

Racism wasn’t the only thing that informed the shaping of an identity that sat at odds with who I was inside. In fact as time went on, it became less of a conscious thing and something I normalised, and believed everyone did. Of course I now know this isn’t true, that many people are born into their identities and have the freedom to express them without the judgmental white gaze waiting for them to slip up.  Or the limitations of a violent home, living your days in fear of attack, never knowing where the next hit was coming from, desperately trying to cover up the evil truth from outsiders, in case they confirmed you did actually deserve the abuse you endured.

I was bubbly and outgoing, smart and organised, my mouth permanently fixed in a smile. I was part of the school council, a class monitor, a straight A student, a member of the quiz team and captain for rounders, netball and cricket. We were the champions of it all. None of the teachers would have guessed the situation at home was escalating, that we were living in fear and self-harming. My personality was split early on, through necessity; I had to be two different people in order to survive. Entering the big wide world as a teen on the run, I had to invent another persona to fit in with all these interesting new London types from all over Europe and beyond. When I left school, I left my world, my friends, my life behind. I had to learn how to speak in a way that didn’t set southerners off in a fit of giggles at my dulcet Brummie drawl. I had to be flexible if I was going to make it, whatever it would take. I lapped up my token status as the one who wasn’t like all the others, as though this was a reflection of my amazingness and not a divisive and racist microagression used by white people to remind you of your place (not so worthy but not so bad either, a reminder to keep doing what it is you’re doing for cookies), and keep you from questioning their problematic views.

Of course I didn’t know then that I didn’t have to be so amenable. I was on the run from a culture I had rejected because of the ways in which it made me a target and was desperate to adopt new ways to help me blend in. I became so many different things to so many people; I forgot who I was and what I wanted. I lived a life where I was manipulated by people who identified this willingness to please and then exploited it. I was used and abused, scapegoated. I was called a liar for keeping secrets I was too afraid to share. A gestalt therapist I accessed through my work noted that I smiled when I spoke of negative things and asked me to consider the incongruence between my words and my body language. I had become so jumbled up in my thoughts I began to dissociate whenever I was afraid. There was drug abuse, promiscuity, domestic abuse in my intimate relationships whilst I struggled to hold down a job as an advocate fighting for victims of domestic abuse. I was my own best example of bad practice though it did have the bonus of making me non-judgmental, however hopeless a situation might have seemed, I believed it was essential they had access to the same support. Cops for eg are less likely to want to help repeat victims, especially those who may have been warned off from being a witness previously (cos it’s all about them and paperwork, not an infectious social disease).

I couldn’t find my way out of my living hell. I couldn’t access the support to do so because then people would know my secret; that I was ugly and horrible, and undeserving of love and respect. That I should die. My adult relationships confirmed the self-hatred I had as a small child; nothing I did would ever change the fundamental flaw from within, my low social standing as the daughter of immigrants who never did escape the ghetto or the colonial mind-set (despite the straight As) and respect for hierarchy (within patriarchy). I was a slag before I had even kissed a boy, they must have known what I would grow into I reasoned.

A tragic incident in my personal life provided the catalyst for PTSD. All the feelings I’d ever suppressed bubbled to the surface and consumed me. I existed, and that’s all I can say for my consciousness over the period of a year except that I never want to go back there. With the right support, I was able to identify the pathways responsible for the ‘random’ panic attacks. I sorted the snapshots in my mind onto the correct collages and vowed to trace them back to the first triggers so that I could beat them. In order to do this, I have to be 100% honest with myself and everyone else or the carefully constructed administration of my mental health will fold in on itself.

A huge part of my recovery is about owning my genuine mistakes and experiencing them in a way that doesn’t cripple me with anxiety (the white commentariat can go to hell for the ways in which they hindered my progress, not forgetting the PoC who’ve perpetuated the lies about me).

Don’t lie to (or about) me; I will come at you with the rage of a woman who knows she is being gaslighted, because it triggers a collage of all the people who’ve knowingly put me in harm’s way, by minimising, denying and erasing my experience of things. I always feel a little crazy following a spat with people who lie because it hits me hard in a way you cannot appreciate. Sunny Hundal occupies the same brain space as the mosque teacher who molested me and continued to enjoy the kudos of being a holy man. Helen Lewis triggers the same feelings as the guy who molested me at 15 then said he’d heard I was a slag so thought he’d try his luck. That dude denies to this day that he ever put a finger on me.

If I say something and it seems dishonest to you, run your concerns by me, to my knowledge I am always telling the truth. I do however appreciate the arbitrary nature of most things so if you know better, do tell. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t help if you’re already a friend, coming at me with criticisms, however well intentioned, won’t end well if we’ve barely exchanged a RT, or even the bare minimum of support considering the shitehole the internet can be (and has been towards me).