Thursday, 14 June 2012


I am going to try and tell this story without sounding:
a) self-pitying;
b) over-dramatic
both traits I dislike in myself and both traps I tend to fall into very easily.

Once upon a time, I was a divorced working mum with two teenage girls, a ginger tomcat, a dwarf rabbit and a not-so-dwarf-mortgage to feed. I worked all the hours that God sent to make a living.  I was very ambitious and I vowed to prove that a single mother could make it in the world without the baggage of a penis to hold her back. It was me against the Universe! Bring it on!

Fate certainly did bring it on.  She threw quite a few things at me and, being the stubborn (slightly dim?) person I am, I batted them right back. In retrospect however, that didn't exactly make me a very decent or pleasant person and I still shudder to think how badly I behaved towards my fellow man/woman/child. Anyway, after a while Fate obviously had enough of giving me a bloody nose and fired up the Enola Gay.

And Little Boy landed fair square on my head.

I had a complete mental and physical breakdown – or a human 'press CTRL ALT DEL' if you will.

Well, it took years to haul my sorry carcass up again, but to cut a long and very painful story short, I actually came out of the rubble a better person. Naturally, I don't recommend this for anyone else – I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worse enemy – but for me, I found that I was actually a lot nicer. Most of my anger and bitterness had been spent and although I wasn't exactly Julie Andrews, I was certainly more forgiving and an all round better egg.

However, I was left with the feeling that as a race (and I include myself in this) humans are sometimes just not very good at being humane. So I decided that the best thing for me was to protect my new found serenity and move somewhere quiet and away from the world.

Fast forward a few years.
Enter Twitter.
I can't even remember why I first joined Twitter. Perhaps I thought some really interesting celebrities were going to instantly fall in love with my wit and banter and be my new best friends forever. Well, that myth was quickly exposed – there's no such thing as a really interesting celebrity... real people on the other hand are another matter. I have 'met' some really great people on there (and admittedly some horrors too), people who have been supportive, made me laugh, think, see things from a different perspective, worry, raise an eyebrow or two, and even sometimes go “euww”. On the whole it has been a positive experience for me – if ever my timeline got a bit toxic, I would just clear off for a bit and read a book. After a while I began to think: Hmm, maybe people aren't so bad after all....

Fate gets bored playing Picture Bingo with the other furies and says:  “Hey, do you remember that belligerent cockney bird I nuked back in the late 90s? Wonder what she's doing now? I must look her up......

Fate decides that it would be a great wheeze to play 'let's get jiggy with my central nervous system': That'll bugger her up for a bit and the drugs they use to treat it are a real hoot too!

And Fate will always have the last word.

I'm afraid it's all rather taken its toll. Despite my attempts to laugh and joke it off, I have to admit it has worn me down a tad. The pain levels and the treatments for the condition have been about as entertaining as a barrel load of dead monkeys – I bounced from frustration to anger to depression to despair to: 'well, this is a fine pickle, where the hell do we go from here?' and all the while I have not been able to put on so much as a pair of socks. The nerve endings in my hands and feet have become 'live and kicking' which means I get feedback from electric appliances – now this would be amusing.... on anyone else. We did try and make a laugh out of it, where I  have turned into some mutant Avenger type Electra-luxia Woman, zapping evil with only the aid of her trusty Kenwood food-mixer, but it wears thin after a while. Life was becoming a bit frayed around the edges and, like my synapses, I was becoming more and more sensitive to the vagaries of others - this was especially true of Twitter.

Oh it wasn't the spammers that bothered me – I'd ignore them and they would go away after a day or two; even the porn bots had no effect – I'd heard/seen worse at my high school discos back in the 70s... old hat and yawnsville. No, I felt that Twitter was morphing into a gigantic, negative, supercilious and judgemental old uncle, angrily wagging a finger in my face every time I logged on:

                            you are a spammer/bad tweeter if you do 'X'

      if you do 'Y' I will unfollow/block you

you are a half-witted idiot/imbecile if you listen to'Z' music or read 'Q' books

you are a low-life waste of human space because you are watching 'XYZ' on TV

    You are all a piece of crap if you like 'xyz'

Tweet this way................. Tweet that way..... do as I say.......or else!

Someone actually had the temerity to tweet and write a blog post entitled: 
                         '10 reasons why I will unfollow your blog'
Well, that was one good enough reason for me to unfollow hers.

You see, what with all the shit that has happened to me in the past, I cherish my freedom of choice........ just so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

 I really have difficulties with being told what to do and particularly with the words “ YOU SHOULD”.   So if I chose to tweet about watching 'Come Dine with my Pointless X Factor Dog'  or listening to 'Englebert O'Lanza Plays The Archers on his Organ' or reading '76 Tints of Beige with Brown Bits' that's my choice; if people have a problem with it - they can unfollow and that's their choice. The insults and advice on how to improve my sorry life are superficial and can be hurtful. Freedom of speech is a marvellous jewel, but there's a fine line between a bit of jolly joshing and vitriol.

Despite taking a shed-load of drugs, I'm not living in a rainbow dream full of sunshine and lollipops. I don't expect the world to be perfect and I'm just as flawed (perhaps even more so) than the next mutant Super-heroine. Even so, I have never got used to a place like Twitter where the word HATE is used so free and easily that it eventually becomes meaningless.

On top of all this, the meds I am taking have turned what used to be a reasonably sharp, nay razorlike, mind into a lump of grey Play-doh, to the point where I make Winnie the Pooh look like Stephen Hawking.  So, Hobson's choice is pain and brain - or not so much pain and very little brain.  Hmm... tricky one.....

Put it all together and rather like Electra-luxia and her food-mixer, my tweeting was fast running out of fun; I began to wonder what I was actually bringing to the party.   I've always marvelled at why people stayed on Twitter when they continually bitched about how dreadful it all was and promised I wouldn't be like that. So I decided to delete the account. I said some thankyou's (not enough I fear) to some of the really brilliant people in my timeline, but then another follower cottoned on to my not-so-cunning-plan and talked me down. He convinced me to sleep on it ..... to go off and do something else for a while.  Maybe the judgemental tweets were more about their authors than the contents..........

My Twitter Samaritan tells me that a number of people have said some really kind and lovely things about me since I have been away and I have been truly humbled by that –  and that's not an empty gesture on my part, it means a lot to me, it really does. If any of them pick this up through Twitter (I have put it on automated posting) thank you for restoring my faith.  I don't know what else to say.

For that is the wonderful side of Twitter, it's the real reason people will join and continue to get something positive out of it no matter how many times Uncle Supercilious continues to crap on his own doorstep.

A thought has just occurred to me: doesn't all this make me just as judgemental?

That certainly wasn't my intention.

Maybe the fact that I have written this post says more about it's author than it's contents................