I tried watching some of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral just for the spectacle of it but I can’t seem to separate the interesting sights from the horrible, horrible person being celebrated. I think the last Prime Minister that received a send-off like this was Winston Churchill, who absolutely deserved it. Comparing Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher is like comparing Mother Theresa to Pol Pot. A nationalised funeral for the ugly face of ruthless privatisation costing over £10m paid for by the poor and disabled makes me feel nothing but disgust and frustration. This is a slap in the face.
I know this is a point of common curiosity so I will try to explain.
Tics are a semi-voluntary response to an involuntary sensation/stimuli. For some people it is totally involuntary. With a bit of luck and practice I have learned to identify that sensation and hold back or deflect my vocal tics through a cough, throat clearing or some other hushed sound. It takes quite a lot of concentration and it can be exhausting.
I am acutely aware of how strange Tourette’s is so of course I will try to avoid being embarrassed whenever possible. I hold back tics a great deal unless I’m at home. I’m lucky I have a pretty good success rate with that. If you and I are not pretty close and you have heard me tic, chances are I either couldn’t catch the stimuli and response in time or I have been so bombarded by the repeated stimuli that I couldn’t stop it any longer. It is like putting your hand into ice water. You can hold it there for a while but eventually it’s going to overwhelm you until you pull your hand out. Or the old itch analogy - you feel an itch, you can choose not scratch it and deal with the annoyance or scratch it and have the satisfaction. Yes, it feels nice to release a tic. The consequences however can vary.
I hope this scratched your curious itch.
So Victoria’s Secret came to England! *yawn* Sure they have a few good products but they will be peddled to you by THE pushiest staff to ever hustle a paycheque. Worse is they will quite happily lie to you about anything to make a sale.
I knew from past experience they wouldn’t have a single bra in there that would fit me properly but I wanted to have a look around anyway. I couldn’t shake the little bra hustler away with the measuring tape so with scornful indifference I said “sure, go on then”. She measured me and blatantly lied about what it read. I know what size I wear but Victoria’s Secret doesn’t come in sizes to accomodate me (why they are so limited, I have no idea). Out of morbid curiosity I let her hand me ridiculous bras in varying sizes (so much for consistency and measurements) that would struggle to scoop up half my boobs. I tried them on and it was a sight to behold. Boobs mercilessly spilling out all over the place. These sales girls take quite a shine to wanting to see how it fits you and I hoped she’d find herself embarrassed by her lies and error. NOPE! Not a hint of shame. Just increase the band size to make the boobs fit, never mind that a band size too large won’t support you…. just make the sale. ಠ_ಠ
What a joke. I feel for women that go in there believing what they say. Do yourselves a favour and don’t bother with that shop. They care about your cash, not your cans.
Go to the post office. Tell everyone “I’m gay.” (several times)
Look at my parcel and say “It’s a pipe bomb.”
Assure every nervously staring face that it’s not, I just have Tourette’s.
Have one person say they think they have it too because they swear a lot. …Try not to tell this person off for saying something so ignorant.
Then as I am leaving tell the postie “I love you”
Bark at a dog on the way home.
If I don’t laugh I might cry. :D
I do hope that package gets there alright.
Tourette’s Syndrome. It is widely known through cheap, uneducated jokes about the involuntary swearing but that only affects about 10% of the people with Tourette’s. I am one of the “lucky” 10% but it’s not always swearing. In fact, I think I say more words that aren’t swearing than are. No one really knows why the words are chosen, it’s certainly not intentional, but sometimes they make a strange sort of sense.
E.g., A man in the supermarket with an eyepatch seemed to inspire: “PIRATE!”
Walking through the bakery: “BREAD!”
Picking a pumpkin: PUMPKIN (about 50x)
In a bathroom stall next to a pooper: “PLOP!”
In a lift: “I farted!” (I didn’t).
Taking the tube: “Mind The Gap” (whether I’ve heard the recording or not)
We all have random unformed thoughts floating around in our minds at any given moment. Imagine if the filter between those random unformed thoughts and your speaking of them was damaged. Imagine you are also incredibly prone to noticing anything strange and awkward. It can be about myself as well. I have big boobs and sometimes I am self-conscious about it. Know what one of my most common verbal tics is? “TITS!” I despair. This, I believe, is the heart of coprolalia/copropraxia (the inappropriate words or gestures) and echolalia/echopraxia (repeating words or gestures). Will it humiliate me or get me punched in the mouth? Tourette’s is On.The.Case!
If you, like me, are one of the lucky Touretters that has some ability to temporarily suppress it, you can only do so if you catch the sensation of INCOMING TIC and your reaction to it. The sensation (which feels sort of like an electric tension starting from deep within your skeletal system) will not go away until you say/do it. You could compare it to having a sudden intense itch and not scratching it. If I have held back all day, when I get home there will be a symphony of tics and twitches. I am very lucky to be married to someone who lovingly associates being home with the sound of me and my nonsense. We laugh about it all the time. He is the only person I’ve felt comfortable enough with to just let it out. The relief is beyond explainable.
Tourette’s has flare ups and downs. In a flare up I can have literally thousands of tics a day. I cannot possibly stop them all. These are difficult days to be in public. Generally I am pretty at ease with it and actually find much of my malfunction pretty humorous, but you have to really be able to take a lot of embarrassment at your own expense. I’ve got that in spades but it can wear you down.
Today is one of those days. I knew when I left the apartment that I wasn’t going to have an easy time and I probably shouldn’t have gone to Canary Wharf during lunchtime rush but I have things to do and if I let my tics stop me every time, I’d never go anywhere. So I went. I said all number of things on the way. I even said “CATS” after seeing a dog. Fortunately this man wasn’t in a self-important rush so I took a moment to say “Sorry, I have Tourette’s” and he was really nice about it. Reactions can vary, often depending on whether I’ve explained myself or not.
The thing is, I can’t stop and tell every person that stares at me that I’ve got Tourettte’s. In the times when I can’t, it really can start to sink in when person after person glares at me like a subhuman. I’ve got Tourette’s, not plague, there’s no need to look at me with such disdain.
I got home from just buying a few days worth of food exhausted and cried my eyes out. All because my brain is faulty and because so few people could lend the understanding not to look at me like a freak. I don’t want to reduce myself to someone who fears looking other people in the eye. It becomes mighty tempting on days like this.
You can look and you can laugh with me but please don’t stare or laugh at me, or reduce those of us that have to live with this every day to thoughtless jokes.
I wanted to share because it’s probably not something you hear about often enough to even begin to understand. My hope is that the understanding will spread. Being thoughtful costs nothing but it can mean so much to someone.
Blackheath fireworks for bonfire night (AKA: Guy Fawkes Night). In the foreground is the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and the Royal Observatory. The green laser marks the Prime Meridian, 0º longitude. It’s on every night but you don’t often get to see fireworks sprouting from it. :)
Greenwich Park in the beautiful autumn colours.
3 more photos that I sadly had to cut because of the 10 image limit: