The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Month: June 2016

White Privilege And The EU Referendum

Yesterday one of the most historic events of our lives took place. The UK left the EU. The referendum’s fall out has torn a once multicultural united country in two.

White privileged britons were being called racist, morons, xenophobic. It’s horrible to watch unfold as friends and families are being torn apart. But to be honest my sympathies are reserved for those minority Britons who have had vitriol, xenophobia and racial slurs aimed at them on a near weekly basis.

Non-white British citizens being chased down the street told they would be chucked out after the referendum (because apparently we were voting to leave the world), EU national friends being told that if they don’t like it, then go home. I’ve been told (as a German) that ‘I’m alright, we don’t mean you’. I even know someone who was told to vote leave at the polling station because her baby would otherwise be a victim of muslim rape.

These aren’t things happening somewhere else. They are happening here, to people I know and love! To me!

So I feel little sympathy for those who have had just one day of hate thrown at them. Maybe you got a taste of what it’s been like for minorities for quite a long time now. Minorities, who woke up yesterday to find that the people who had thrown hate at them for so long were validated in that hate.

It’s time to get realistic and realise how fortunate you are to have been born white.

As someone who’s travelled the World and lived in many different parts of it, I have realised how lucky I am to have been born a white European. People complaining about being called racist seem to live largely in predominantly white towns and don’t realise the true extent of what some people go through. That isn’t meant to be an insult, just a fact that those people genuinely don’t understand the power of white privilege.

I don’t condone any kind of discrimination and hate generalisations. The undertones of the leave campaign, however, were full of xenophobic motivation. That too is a fact. MOST people I, my friends and family spoke to, gave reasons of immigration as their main reason to vote out.

I have seen racist comments from family and friends nearly every day that have made me want to cry and made me feel unwelcome in a country I’ve called home for 24 years.

I am truly sorry to those who actually had valid arguments for leaving, that you have been tarred with the racist brush. I actually enjoyed reading the more intelligently put reasons for a vote to leave and have always said that there are good reasons on both sides.

But you won. You get to keep leaving the house without anyone taking aim at you simply for the colour of your skin or the accent of your language.

Do you know how scary it is to wake up to a country where the majority of people no longer accept that this is your home because you’re an immigrant? How scared people with mixed-race children must be right now? That the constant barrage of ‘Get Out’ is still being spouted at us, now even more loudly because all those actual racists feel validated in their beliefs?

You had one day of hate thrown at you and I’m sorry, that isn’t ok either. But be grateful it was just one day.

Are You Living In The Moment?

Are you living in the moment or are you waiting for something? A holiday, the weekend, or in my case a baby? I tend to find I am always looking forward to something, wishing the time I have right now away. I don’t think this is generally always a bad thing, but sometimes we are so focused on the future that we are completely missing out on the beauty or the positives of the present moment.

In 5 weeks my due date for having our first baby arrives. If I go overdue, which as a first time mother is statistically more likely , I could be pregnant for another 7 weeks. It’s gotten to a point where I’m just ready. The nursery is done, we have bought clothes for the next 6 months and actually, I’d quite like to stop feeling 90 years old! Women all around me are having their babies (I have joined a July birth board online and my NCT new mummy friends are all due within the next few weeks) and I am getting impatient and jealous!

I want to meet this incredible little human being I’ve made!

I would go as far as saying I’ve become a bit blinkered in my wish for time to go quicker and all I can see is that date: 29th July.

But then during my morning swim, a thought occurred to me. Last month together with my husband, brother-in-law and his girlfriend, I had one of those really enjoyable spontaneous evenings out. Nothing special, just a meal and the cinema but it was great! I thought about how nice it would be to maybe go again this month and then it hit me:

This might be the last month I can do anything ‘spontaneous’ again. It might be the last time for a while I get to go to the cinema even!

This is also the last time in my life that I will have time to just chill out have some me time AND eat whatever I want without feeling too guilty!!

Be it watching the box set of Girls on NowTV or putting together photo albums, baking cakes and even my swimming; once our little angel/devil is here, EVERYTHING we do will involve pre-planning and there will be no time for selfish endeavours. Sleeping all day on the sofa, which has started to occur more often, is also something I can kiss goodbye.

Also, pregnancy has been pretty good to me. Certainly the second half of it. I’ve been the most happy and chilled out I have ever been. Truly content and at peace with myself. This is not something to just wish away! Not for someone who usually suffers from anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

And so I have decided to try and see the positives in the present moment. Because you will never get this time back. I’ve made a list of things I should be enjoying right now:

  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Spontaneous outings with friends and family
  • Peace and quiet – both inside and outside of my head!
  • Food (again)
  • Swimming
  • Selfish me time
  • Time for my marriage
  • Non-sore boobs due to breastfeeding!

So go on. What is it you’re currently unable to stop thinking about? Make a list of pros as to what is good in your life RIGHT NOW and share it with me, I’d love to know what everyone has going on! Might make the wait more bearable 😉

cookie-monster-wisdom

What Pregnancy Has Taught Me About Alcohol And Social Anxiety

Last Friday we went to my husband’s best friend’s wedding. It was something I was really looking forward to as after weeks of feeling quite frumpy and generally ‘pregnant’, it was a chance to dress up a little and spend some time dancing the night away with my hubby. The fact I’d managed to get a super cheap dress from Primarni too, just added to my excitement (yes, saving money really does make me that happy). What I hadn’t really considered however was how my social anxiety and general shyness would be affected without having that little bit of Dutch courage to fall back on.

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Primary Wedding Outfit

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