• Alex Sim-Wise

BLONDE


Okay, so, Blonde. Or Monroe even, as that is the subject matter.

I feel like I have been threatening a blog about Marilyn Monroe for a while now. After I read Joyce Carol Oates’ book last year I had a lot of feelings about it, but none that I could fully articulate. If you haven’t read it, that book is A LOT - way more misogynistic and exploitative than the Netflix adaptation - but isn’t that always the way with women? We are forever debasing and denigrating each other in ways worse than men could ever manage or imagine.


Still, it was an interesting read. An attempt to get under the skin of what has now become a mythic public entity and seek the core of what made the peculiar societal phenomenon of Marilyn Monroe. It is also trauma porn, so make of that what you will.


So yes, I knew going in that Blonde is a thinly-disguised fictional retelling of Monroe's life, albeit one that had been heavily researched and has some truth in it. I also knew that the book was extremely graphic, so I was intrigued to see how the source material would be interpreted, especially seeing as it was being directed by the guy who brought us CHOPPER!?


I mean, c’mon Hollywood!? WTF.


THE CULT OF MARILYN MONROE


I have a complicated relationship with Marilyn Monroe. I find her endlessly fascinating and have watched almost every film and read almost every book on her, but I wouldn’t consider myself a “Marilyn Stan”. I feel a Marilyn Stan is a different breed of person entirely, somebody who sees Marilyn as this glamorous but flawed poster child for the broken. A glamourous icon for women who like their stars with a side of schadenfreude.


“Look, even the most beautiful woman in the world was messed up and had problems - she was JUST LIKE ME!'

Except she wasn’t. She was a person in the most unimaginable spotlight, the most sexiest person IN THE WORLD. I don’t think many of us can comprehend the pressures and magnitude of that. Of the kind of attention that brings and the people it attracts. It’s a light that attracts the world’s worst creepy crawlies. It must have been unbearable, especially in a misogyny heavy era like the 1950s.


And that’s not to say misogyny has gone away - it hasn’t - it’s just not as explicit (read: hidden) and more likely to be perpetuated by women, so… how’s that for progress? Yeah, I know. I don’t get it either.


But back to the film. The initial Twitter reactions I saw were all complaining about how graphic and exploitative it was, and - having read the book - I was like oh no, they went all in. But upon watching I was surprised to see that they didn’t. I mean there were some odd creative choices, sure, and it IS trauma heavy. But honestly, I will keep saying this: the book is worse.


I do get the argument of "why must we continually bastardise Marilyn’s memory?" - but the memory itself is the bastard. It’s an image, an idea… it’s not the real person. The “Marilyn Monroe” you know is a lie, a Warhol facsimile on a mass-produced canvas print on the wall of one of life’s victims. To me, a worse travesty is Kim Kardashian wearing (and ruining) her famous dress. But then, would Marilyn really want to be remembered for a dress? Wasn’t she more than what she wore?


As a pop culture cornerstone of the Hollywood studio era, Marilyn Monroe has been romanticised to the point of being unrecognisable as a real person - a cypher for asinine quotes so called “Boss Bitches” and “Full Time Mummy CEOs” share on Facebook with their friends to normalise shitty self-aggrandising behaviour. I’m looking at you, people who perpetuate the “if you can’t have me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best…” bullshit. GOD do I hate that quote. Like most quotes attributed to Monroe, she didn’t even say it. It’s all part of the pop culture mirage, designed to sell shit and make you feel better about yourself.

I have mixed feelings about the film, as I did the book. I don’t think either express much empathy for Marilyn as a person. In fact, I hated the film at first and started to wonder if I should be watching it. I had to stop it halfway through and went back to it this morning. I’ve experienced some of the things portrayed, but I didn’t find it triggering. Compared to the book it was actually quite sensitive. Like I said, the book is worse. SO much forced anal.


I felt that by the second half (and after the weird talking baby) the film improved and I started to get what the director was heavy-handedly trying to do, other than try and make a David Lynch homage. The whole film seemed like a love letter to Lynch. I didn’t know if it was intentional until the last couple of scenes when the music showed its Twin Peaks influences, and then I just KNEW. A ha! Still, it’s no Fire Walk With Me (the quintessential filmic text on trauma) - the difference being that Lynch has empathy.

Overall I thought Ana de Armas was an EXCEPTIONAL Monroe, the best I have seen. I wasn’t convinced on her casting at first but she really excelled and was very convincing. The story was a bit too dreamy and missed out A LOT, I would have liked to have seen more of Monroe's time in the orphanage and her first marriage, rather than a billion abortions but I get why they were there. I liked the scenes with Cass and Eddy.


“But it’s not true!” I hear you say. And neither are those quotes you love so much but you don’t seem bothered about the veracity of those. And anyway, how do you know? You don’t know with absolute certainty either way. Nobody does, it’s all extrapolation like any biopic.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that Marilyn Monroe’s life was incredibly traumatic; from her abusive upbringing to the nature of her fame to her turbulent relationships - these are all well-documented facts. To try and sugar coat or glamourise these parts of her life would be to do her a great disservice. But then, how do you show that trauma? Is there a KIND way of doing it? I don’t know if there is.

This film is a body horror, showing the horrors of owning a “sexy” female body in the public sphere, by showing how your body becomes not your own (hence all the crowd scenes with fans shown as a grasping, baying mob). But by also showing Marilyn’s intimate private moments it showed that at her core she was the same as any of us, and her horrors were the same suffered by all women.

I actually liked the vagina shots. I liked that it showed her body in an unusual, almost clinical way. The way that is a lot of women’s reality - of periods and smear tests and abortions. The side of women that is decidedly unsexy and NEVER SEEN. Why should these things NOT be shown? We should be able to see our own reality presented on screen, hiding them keeps them repressed, secret, and taboo.


Marilyn Monroe suffered greatly with Endometrosis. Her fertility was something she struggled with until her death. In her private sphere these would have been the things that defined her and by all accounts she lived a troubled life and died a troubled death. It’s why we remember her now. Why sugar coat? Do you really hold that pretty image of her so dear?

Marilyn didn’t go through life as helpless or as explicitly looking for her daddy as the film would suggest, but that WAS the core of her trauma. As it is for many people who have experienced abandonment early in life. I suppose I can relate to that on some level, the childhood trauma, the sexy modelling career, the way she strived to be seen as sexy AND a serious person… but the thing I relate to most of all is that she is a complete fabrication. “Marilyn Monroe” as we know her is a fictional character, and THAT is what this film is clumsily trying to get at.


Like I said, Marilyn Monroe is a mirage. As someone who has masked their entire life, fabricating a persona to get ahead and deal with difficult situations is something that I can more than empathise with. The part of the film that touched me the most was when she was sat by the mirror begging for Marilyn to come. It brought me to tears as it is a pathetic situation I have found myself in hundreds of times, of having to switch on the glamour when you really don’t feel like it. It captured the duality of the duty of being sexy personified. No-one, not even Marilyn Monroe, can be sexy all of the time.

And I know my experiences are a minuscule fraction of what she would have experienced, but they are enough that I can relate and empathise in a way that those that haven’t lived that life cannot. Being “sexy” is a heavy burden, one that has many perks, but just as many pitfalls and it is a way of life that can leave you feeling lost.


I see Marilyn Monroe as someone who sought - for her whole life - to find someone who could see her and embrace her as a whole person. As both Norma Jean, AND her creation. It seems to me people could only either see her as one or the other: either Marilyn Monroe, the “dumb blonde” international sex symbol, or Norma Jean, the smart but troubled girl-next-door, never BOTH.


Whether you see her as Marilyn Monroe or Norma Jean, or both like I do, the biggest favour you could do for her legacy is to NOT see her as a dumb quote or a poster child for the broken, but as a complex woman who tried her best to live up to the puritanical ideals of society at large - a task she was doomed to fail as it is impossible. She was given her sex symbol status and did her best with it, but as a traumatised individual she WAS exploited and I think it is fair for this film to show that, as it is something that continues today.

I do think it is important to show the “truth” of these worlds. As a society we are fed lies about the nature of Hollywood and celebrity that don’t represent the reality of it. For many women in the studio system in Hollywood, their reality was brutal. Just look at Judy Garland, Loretta Young, Shirley Temple… the list goes on.

I don’t think Marilyn Monroe’s real life was as extreme as the film (or the book) portrays but I do think her reality was uglier than what many Marilyn Stans can bear to see and we have to ask ourselves why as a society we romanticise women’s lives like this. Why we put certain women on a pedestal and deny their humanity. Why we can only see them as sexy OR intelligent, not as a whole human being.


Women are equally guilty of this, if not more so, which is what makes Oates’ book all the more shocking. If you are looking for the misogyny at the core of this film, look to her, not the director.


Like I said: the book is worse.


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  • Alex Sim-Wise


Okay I’m back for blog two, and in the week since my brain has only gone and done what it does best which is completely fucking overcomplicate everything. It’s decided that maybe the entire blog itself can be the Brain Edit, and that rather than try and cram everything beginning with B into one long blog I can just keep writing about random topics that pop up, and have a master blog to sort everything into alphabetical order. Heck, I can even upload old blogs and add them to the Brain Edit database, thereby uploading everything in my noggin past and present to the blog equivalent of an external hard drive - which honestly, isn’t a bad idea. Or is it? It’s hard to tell.

If you have already tuned out, I fully understand, I’m sure I will at some point also - but until then, let’s do it. Let’s just blog and see what happens and see how far we get. For continuity’s sake I will still blog about things beginning with B today, but the list won’t be extensive or definitive as I will more than likely add to it at a later date.

So, lets get started with…

B.V.

Jesus Christ, what a thing to start on. Curse this alphabetical process. If you’re not turned off now, I’m pretty sure you will be by the end of the next paragraph. B.V. is gross and it’s embarrassing, but I’m just going to lean into the embarrassment because that is 100% my coping mechanism.


B.V. is short for Bacterial Vaginosis and it is something me and my friend Von used to bond over back in the day because we both used to get it a lot. At the time it was this weird secret lady problem that no-one every really told you about because it’s rank. It’s not like you get told about it at school or anything, they’re too busy throwing condoms and sanitary towels at you and running away. Due to the dire state of sex education at my school I knew next to nothing about anything, and found talking about anything vagina-related intensely embarrassing as a result, so it was a relief to find a friend like Von who would just shout B.V. at me and make me see the funny side.


B.V. makes your vagina smell like metallic fish death - and it’s not necessarily an STD but it kind of is. You get it from shagging smelly boys who don’t wash, and it’s basically your vagina’s way of telling you to stop doing that. It took me quite a while to realise this blatantly obvious fact of life so my alternative solution was to find these little tubes of anti-B.V. magic from Superdrug that you would squirt up yourself and they would make it go away and that was my way of ignoring the real problem of my poor life choices for about ten years.

Obviously I don’t get it anymore because my husband washes twice a day (minimum) but I remember it being quite recurrent among my friendship group way back when in the dirty unwashed Myspace days. I don’t miss it.


BAKING


Probably not the most appetising choice to segue from B.V. to baking but I do love to bake a cake. Don’t like eating them, mind, but I like making them. You see, my biggest secret is that I am way more Martha Stewart than I ever make out and pretty much always have been because she has ALWAYS been my hero. I’m sure she will get her own blog at some point, but I discovered Martha from reading my grandma’s crafting books in the mid-nineties and through my obsession (back then) with America - which also needs it’s own blog.


So yeah, I am really quite domesticated - which I guess is what happens when you don’t leave the house a lot.


BAYWATCH


I fucking love Baywatch. I don’t remember ever being able to watch it when I was young (it was too low brow for my parents) but having binged the shit out of it on some free TV channel recently I have to say that it is a true classic of our time that should be studied like Michelangelo’s David. There is a reason it is the most successful syndicated TV show of all time and it’s not just Pamela Anderson’s tits, it’s everything about it: the colours, the slo mo montages EVERY episode, the dad bods… it really had it all. What a dream.

BASTARDS


I love a bastard. In fact, one of the reasons I was attracted to my husband initially was that he looked like an old-fashioned bastard from the 1940s, like a Hollywood villain. With his side parting and pencil moustache he just didn’t look like anyone I had seen before (outside of old films) and I found that intriguing. As I got to know him I found out that how weird and out of place and “bastard” something makes him look is actually a positive to him. He does it on purpose, but not in a try hard way. Gawd, nothing worse than a try hard.


BENZOS

Like most washed up models I have had my obligatory flirtation with Benzo addiction, although mine was relatively short-lived and only lasted for 6 months or so in 2010. During the summer of working for MTV in Europe I had to take a lot of flights and while I had never feared flying in the past the law of averages began to creep up on me and I started to get really vivid recurrent nightmares about being in massive plane crashes.


As I had a long haul flight to Japan coming up that I really wanted to go on I went to see my GP and he prescribed me a boatload of Temazepam, telling me to take one an hour before my flight. I did as directed and slept the whole way there, it was great! After taking them for a few flights I started to take them for other things, like when I felt sad or heartbroken (which was quite a lot) because they helped me to forget and again, it was great, until I took too many and had the worst anxiety attack I had ever had in my life and had to stop taking them.


Cool story bro.


BIRTHDAYS


I never remember birthdays. Part of my ADHD that I struggle the most with is discalculia. Numbers get mixed up in my head and while I can remember what month someone’s birthday might be in, I can never remember the exact date. Obviously I can remember my own, and my daughter’s, and Von’s (because it is 9/11) - and sometimes my husband’s and my mum’s - but for everyone else I draw a blank. I see it as being part of my time-blindness.

As you get older you realise birthdays aren’t such a big deal anyway. Coming from a family who really held grudges if you forgot a birthday or bought a wrong present, I think I have just completely detached myself from it as a concept and

I don’t really care about birthdays at all.


BJORK

I’ve written at length about Bjork before but as I am listening to her podcast at the moment I thought I would give her a brief mention as I see her as a human talisman of sorts. Someone in this world like me. I love listening to her podcast and hearing how intuitive yet methodical she is. It sounds silly but it makes me feel less alone.

I remember doing a Myers-Briggs personality test a few years back and being so made up that my personality type (INFP) is the same as Bjork, David Lynch, and Amelie Poulain - all entities I had previously felt a deep kinship with. INFP is a rare personality type that is sensitive, creative, and emotional with an imaginative inner landscape. We are driven by empathy, idealism, and are truth seekers. Basically we just want to help people and are really kind and perceptive but introverted. Like Amelie, which fully explains why watching that film is like a religious experience for me.

As a side note: because I am ADHD I never remember what personality type I am for long periods of time, so every so often I redo the test and it always turns out the same and I find so much comfort in that.

BLACK BOX

The black box is what I call the place where the bad memories go. It lives (and hides) in the back of my brain, and because it’s so dark back there it’s really hard to see what’s inside it or whether it is a box at all or more of a dumping ground or a living seething dark mass. I’ve done lots of things to try and shine a light on what’s there - including a whole year’s worth of EMDR - but it doesn’t really like me knowing too much and it is always an uphill struggle that after a while I lose motivation for tackling, so like a mould it festers and grows darker.


Part of why I am writing all this is to maybe see if it helps as I don’t think I am alone in having this, I think everyone has a black box and it’s a self-protection mechanism. If you experience anything that is too much, too big or traumatic or overwhelming, this is where your brain will put it to protect you - some unreachable place that it pretends is invisible (its not), where some brain gremlin will sit and stir everything all together just to fuck with you.


BLOGGING


Historically, blogging is the way that I cope. Writing about my problems is my way to process and deal with things, and in the past it has worked really well. As I got older I leaned more on therapy, self help, and even medication - but nothing hits the same as a good old blog. And I get that blogging is probably old fashioned now, that I should probably be doing this on TikTok or whatever, but TikTok is full of cunts so I really can’t be arsed with that.


BLOWJOBS


Hate to blow my own trumpet (lol) but I am really good at blowjobs. Not that you will ever know because it’s definitely not something I would ever share with the world in an audiovisual sense. I’ve been many things but a porn star is not one of them - and that’s not because I think there is any shame in that career choice - more that I am really shy and private about sex stuff and always have been.

Sex has always frightened me on some level so I got good at blow jobs partly as a way out. Early on, probably from age 15 or 16, I saw it as a way to be intimate with someone without really sharing anything private of myself. Everything else would creep me out so blowjobs were my way to diffuse situations and avoid drama, because who doesn’t love a blowjob, right?


To me, blowjobs were super easy to learn, something I could do with anyone (even people I didn’t like) where I wouldn’t be judged for my performance because honestly, unless your name is Tulisa it is really really hard to be shit at blow jobs.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them because I do… with the right person, of course.

BOOBS

Boobs are so weird. I literally made an entire career with mine and looking at it now, in hindsight, I do find that pretty odd. Like, how was that even a thing? I mean, I do get it - I’m not immune to a pair of nice tits, and you can’t deny that women’s bodies are nice to look at - but so are mens! Why was it so one-sided? Why was it just women’s bodies on Page 3, not mens as well?


Having said that I remember the day I realised the power of tits quite vividly. I’d gone to see my nan in Hatfield and she had bought me (after a lot of begging) a leopard print Wonder Bra from the TK Maxx in the Galleria. First day back to school I wore it under my school shirt and I remember every single boy on the bus just going silent and staring at me until one boy shouted “fuck me, Alex has got TITS”. I was 14 and it felt incredible, just to be noticed like that when previously I had been completely invisible. I’ve probably been chasing that high ever since.

When you have a child you realise what your tits are actually for and it does change things. I won’t go into detail though, as a lot of my fans are creepy about stuff like that and it really grims me out.

BOYS


Just putting it out there but I have NEVER understood boys, or men (man-boys) and how their minds work… and as you can maybe tell from some of my posts I was not very popular with boys when I was younger. I was popular in a friendship sense and had lots of boy mates, but could never hold the romantic interest of someone I liked. And maybe part of that was my own insecurity. I was painfully shy back then, to the point where I was scared to even look a boy I liked in the face. It was like trying to stare at the blazing hot sun. I thought that if I looked at them they would know from my face that I fancied them and that was something that to me, should always remain secret. I didn’t want the people that I liked to know that I liked them because deep down I thought it was hopeless and that I would be teased or mocked for it. And that is something that came from my parents, from being teased by them over childhood crushes. There is nothing I hate more than being teased, and over time their taunts made me feel like there was something deeply WRONG with love and crushes, creating a link that would trigger feelings of shame and make me feel embarrassed to my core every time I developed a crush on someone.

This is one of the reasons why I relate so hard with the film Amelie, because I had never seen the way that I felt depicted so vividly on screen before - that feeling of wanting something so bad but it being something that felt so dangerously hopeless and self-destructive that the only option was to hide from it. To become a creepy little recluse that when confronted would turn into a puddle of water.

BRAINS

I realise I talk about brains a lot, mainly because I feel like mine is wired up so wrong that I am constantly trying to make sense of it.

I once described my brain to my husband as being like a log cabin. Inside it’s small and cosy and familiar, and outside of it is the dark woods where all the black box memories live. To do anything vaguely human or pleasurable I have to open the windows (or worse, the door) of the cabin a little bit, but as soon as I do the dark memories come hurtling through the woods like the camera from Evil Dead, heading towards the cabin trying to find their way in. It becomes this mad race against time and means I can’t do anything good for very long. Or at least I couldn’t do - I have gotten a bit better.

BRITNEY


Back in the late nineties, early aughts Britney was IT for me. The GOAT. She represented everything that I wanted to be, and more. She was sexy but innocent - the ultimate contradiction - and a juxtaposition that at the time I really related to.


And again, I have written at length about Britney before so it is a subject that I would like to revisit at some point in its own blog as she was such a formative influence on my sexuality and career as a glamour model. Without Britney I don’t think I would have gotten into any of it. I just wanted to BE her and I remember spending hours studying and meticulously recreating her makeup and outfits… bringing me onto COPYING - which I will talk about next week.

BULLET JOURNALS


As an ADHD person I find it super hard to just stay on top of things and organise myself like a normal person. I just don’t have those inner systems that neurotypical people have that help them visualise time or remember to wash or eat or drink. I don’t recognise hunger or thirst, and things like brushing my teeth or having a shower feel overwhelming and composed of too many steps a lot of time. The natural state of my head is a fuzzy mess, and when I close my eyes I struggle to visualise anything at all. I find meditation impossible.


So I bullet journal. And honestly, it is the only thing that has worked so far. I may not be able to do it every single day, and I fall off the wagon a lot with it, but it’s easy to get back started again, and there is something about visually planning and writing everything out by hand on square dotted paper that soothes me.


BUM HOLES

I went through a massive phase about ten years ago where I got completely obsessed with taking pictures of my own bum hole, which was funny for a while until I realised that it was a knee-jerk response to being sexually assaulted by a friend. So I don’t find bum holes quite so funny anymore (although they are still pretty funny).

BURPS


Fun fact: I can’t burp. Well, I can, but I find them so terrifying that I have trained my body not to burp. Honestly, not much scares me more than burps - I find them absolutely vile.

And that’s it for B for now! Do you know what? I’ve not been very inspired by B - it’s been pretty BORING so I am holding out for next week’s C - what do you think should go in that one?

Sim xx

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  • Alex Sim-Wise

Updated: Sep 15



Can you Home Edit your brain? Asking for a friend because…


Okay no, I’m asking for myself because I feel fucked and I would much rather put all of my thoughts and memories into nice clear, rainbow-coordinated containers instead of the dark cluttered trauma boxes that dwell there at present.


It’s time for a declutter because apparently I don’t self reflect enough. I analyse, sure, but not in a way that is healthy. So I have been set a challenge: to write a blog every week for 5-8 weeks to self reflect and see how I get on. I haven’t written anything in ages. Maybe I have forgotten how to do it… but I used to do it a lot “back in the day” as it used to be my way of processing. Back in the Myspace Tumblr days when sharing on the internet was safe. Or safe-er.


Because the elephant in the room is that sharing on this hell hole that we now call the internet in 2022 doesn’t come without risks. As a naturally risk-adverse person, risks are something that I tend to avoid. Almost categorically so. I won’t eat anything pink, I don’t go on rollercoasters, and I avoid looking anyone directly in the eyes in case they glimpse my saggy broken soul. Heck, I barely leave the house. Were it not for my family I would be a solid recluse. So it makes sense that I have avoided blogging regularly for the past few years or so. Who even blogs anymore when you can use your phone to humiliate yourself and bare your soul so much more easily on TikTok? You don’t even have to know how to spell.


But there is something about the written word that I love - mostly the fact that you can go back and edit or delete it if you don’t like it. Also when you blog something you don’t leave yourself open to 5 million faceless TikTok Karens continuously calling you different variations of cunt in an endless depressing stream. Or maybe you do. Depends where you are, I guess... but in order to Marie Kondo this shit I’ve got to start somewhere. So I’m starting on my own website and it’s reach of maybe 5 super fans that actually bother to read my ramblings.


Hi Gerald!

So let’s look in the first box shall we? In an attempt to be organised I’m gonna start with boxes that begin with A.

I’m nothing without a system, me.

ADHD


When you go on TikTok you would think that everybody in the world has ADHD, but - not to gatekeep - there was a time when barely anyone had it, when it was a special treat reserved for nutcases and weirdos. I mean, it’s clear people were being severely under diagnosed with ADHD back then - especially women - but when I first received my diagnosis 20 years ago it wasn’t quite the socially acceptable behemoth that it is now. I don’t even know if it was considered a learning disorder in 2002 as I had to fight my university at tribunals to get allowances for it. It just wasn’t on anyone’s radar and was seen as something that naughty primary school kids had, not university students.

At school I had struggled miserably with social situations, time management, executive function and emotional regulation but as I was a girl and quite smart, I mostly managed to hide it, performing well at school despite various emotional outbursts and episodes of odd behaviour. However, by the time I got to university my ability to keep everything under control had started to completely disintegrate, because, well: alcohol, and boys.


I remember thinking something might be up when I lost my shit and wanted to kill myself because some twat on the golf team didn’t text me back. That’s when I went to my GP to ask if I had ADHD, because golf twat had only lasted two pumps. Totally not worth killing yourself over, didn’t even count as a shag.


Back then ADHD was this big unknown, this list of criteria that as a young woman, didn’t cover or explain everything but explained a bit, and because I didn’t quite fit all the (male) criteria and wasn’t hyperactive I was told by the specialist at Cambridge hospital that I had it “mildly”, which made it super easy for me to write it off and dismiss, because everyone else did.


I have been diagnosed with ADHD again since then and I don’t have it mildly at all. I have inattentive ADD with a hyperactive mind, and something called Pure O, which sadly isn’t anything to do with orgasms but a form of OCD.


ALEX


Yep, that’s me. My name. The name that my husband has tattooed in tiny scrawled handwriting over his heart - which would be romantic were it not for the fact that it was written by his uncle and it's the name of one of his friends who was on his Amsterdam stag do. So technically it’s a tribute to Alex Dart - but let’s not go there, it’s not important.

I remember when I was 14 I went to Greece and everyone wanked off about how my name (“Alexandra”) was Greek. That made me feel cool for about 5 minutes, but only because I was a loner that used to mentally masturbate over Usbourne books of Greek and Norse mythology. Also Clash of the Titans. What a film.


Having said that, I don’t really have any feelings about my name. It is what it is. A collection of letters and the name of a few dead princesses. In fact, I don’t even know why it has it’s own box. Maybe it can go in with something else… like Advocaat or something.


Mmm… snowballs.

ALCOHOL

Just going to put it out there but I fucking hate alcohol and have always had a weird relationship with it. I don’t think I have ever been able to drink more than two drinks without feeling intense inner anxiety, not since I was force-fed Smirnoff Ice from a washing machine at university. Nil points, would not recommend.


ALPHABEAT

Seeing as we’re on an alphabetical tip today - does anyone remember Alphabeat, the band? Is it me or did they give off incest vibes? Like I know the singers weren’t related but they just looked very incest. Sorry, just a PornHub-friendly observation. Also: is “Fascination” a porn? Should it be?


ANAL

Man, I used to love anal. Feel free to sing that a la the Shania Twain song like I just did. I discovered anal, like most, by accident. But unlike most I instantly loved it, and there is a reason for that. At the time vagina sex used to hurt a lot for me, because I was terrified of intimacy and sex. So much so that my vagina would just close up shut, you couldn’t get anything inside it, not even a Tampax or a finger. It’s called Vaginismus - look it up! It has it’s own black box, but being at the end of the alphabet you’ll have to wait a while to open it. Like my actual vagina. Do you see what I did there?

When I discovered anal - with my first boyfriend, at 22 - it was like a lightbulb moment. Finally the impersonal, non-cringe, non-committal sex I was looking for! A sex that didn’t hurt and couldn’t get you pregnant. Winner winner chicken dinner! Only downside in the early aughts was AIDS but as a heterosexual white girl I’ve only ever had one AIDS-scare - from a vertically-challenged South African asshole called Donovan, who looked like Paul Danan and whom I DIDN’T EVEN SHAG. WTF. So yeah, anal was my sex of choice for a very long time. It made me feel cool and Catholic.


THEN, in the middle of a #52ANAL challenge with my husband I decided my emetophobia (sorry guys, another box) was too great and and I couldn’t do it anymore. Thanks a lot random article I read on Shigella.

ACID RAIN


Acid Rain is a song by Lorn that I feel greatly reflects the state of my inner monologue right now.


AMYGDALA

The amygdala is a part of your brain that regulates emotions, and if you have ADHD your amygdala is a little bit smaller, like Beadle’s right arm. Yes, I had to google “which arm on Jeremy Beadle was small” to make sure that throwaway joke was factually accurate. That’s just the kind of asshole I am. Anyway, I’m not an ADHD expert or anything but this shrunken amygdala is what makes you behave like an absolute nut job, FYI.

AUTISM


Back in the day if your uncle Kevin had a special interest in trains and ants, you just called him a serial killer, not autistic. But turns out autism is this WHOLE THING that it has been 90% confirmed that I have. It would be 100% if I could be bothered - but as there is no real benefit to officially having it other than bragging rights, I have put off doing that. Honestly, it makes a lot of sense, but as I am the least autistic person in my family it is not something I expect to receive a lot of sympathy for. I wouldn’t use it as an excuse to harass customer service employees at 11pm on a Saturday, put it that way.

AVOIDANCE


Aha! Now we are getting to the good stuff! As mentioned earlier I am an avoidant person. I avoid EVERYTHING. Responsibility, confrontation, apologising, blogging, self care, people I know in the street… you name it, I WILL avoid it.

Why do I avoid? Well now, there’s a question. I guess this COULD be because of my aforementioned learning disabilities, but it could also be because I am a dickhead, the jury’s out. Mostly I will do it because said situations make me feel uncomfortable, and in my inner world comfort is key. My favourite activities are sitting down, lying down, and doing nothing after all.


Social situations are the worst. I absolutely do not know what to do in social situations at all. Not now, not ever, and everything that I DO do is a learned masking behaviour, learned from a crash course in socialisation from some posh girls I met at Camden School for Girls, who taught me to “talk normal, stop that” and hug people with 25% less awkwardness. An upgrade from my Coventry friends who would watch boys attempt to finger my closed up hole as if it were a comedy show.


Masking gets quite exhausting after a while so I will always be the one hiding in dark rooms on my own at a party trying to recharge, before people burst in and I decide to try and drink Radox or take Ketamine to impress them.

As I’ve got older it’s become this thing where I will throw a party and then go to bed at 9pm and leave everyone to it.


Ain’t nobody got time for that.


BONUS BOX: ALPHABETS


As an autist (is that a word?) I like to sort stuff. Mostly alphabetically but also by colour and PARTICULARLY in chronological order. I don't know why I do this, I guess because my ADHD makes everything jumbled and my autism hates it, so I will always try different ways to make the world more manageable.


I would say I spend a lot of my quiet time trying to sort my inner timeline. I am always trying to put everything in the right order, which is an endless task because when I leave it, my ADHD will go back and mix everything up and I also have a problem where my chimp brain will also go back and erase stuff that it doesn't like and throws them back in the black boxes. Hence the need for an audit, I guess.


Okay so far, so good. Have I self-reflected? I’m not so sure but it’s a start. You know what they say on the Home Edit - don’t start with the hard stuff first, do something easy like a sock drawer.

I guess that means A is my sock drawer.

Stay tuned for the B boxes! To include Brains, Bastards, Burping, and Bumholes - all the good stuff.


Sim xx

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