söndag 4 maj 2014

Kriemhild Was Born With It

My Arabic vocabulary is often a reflection of how I was brought up. The fact that I know how to say "fill out form" but can't come up with the word for "hand" is an indicator to what consumed my family. 

A favourite word in our household "ka'abe" meaning depression. There's been no secret of our tendencies to become depressed and it wouldn't surprise me if it was the first word I uttered as a child. My parents were very open about it and although they were strong people they would require their space by declaring their depression. It was never momentary; some days it was unbearable whilst during the good days it was manageable.

When I found out I was pregnant I immediately sought a councillor because I wanted to be mentally "sorted" before the baby came. 5 years later and I'm not sure how sorted I am.  I've taken the approach my parents did and almost embraced it. It's taken me this long to understand that not everyone has depression. That the cloud which insists on blocking the sun doesn't follow everyone and that the 50 kg rock which sinks your body back on the couch when you so badly want to stand up doesn't hit everyone. 

I wonder what it's like seeing the world without depression. What it's like doing what you want and sticking to a decision without having to take the doubt into consideration. These wonderings have it made easier for me to understand depression. But I still can't wrap my head of the not knowing. I've tried and it's impossible for me to see things for what they are and do the things I want. 

I seem to have the ability to draw the most melancholic to me, but for every 5 depressed soul I connect to, one chirpy one comes my way. Depression or not, we all have bad moments and adversities in our lives. The difference is how to deal with it. How fully emerged we become into that problem and how long it stays with us. 

I've been depressed for as long as I can remember and since becoming a mother I've sought help. There are days where I struggle with breathing, where the list of things to do turns into a list of painful things to accomplish and I just can't do it. The most painful aspect of depression is the reaching out for a solution just to find that nothing can heal you. 

söndag 27 april 2014

Kriemhild Has A Dream

Yes, that's a very cheesy title but it's also true. I've launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to a community centre in London. It's been my dream for the past 5 years and I'm finally going for it. As if I wasn't busy enough as it is. But I feel like I have the energy and passion for this project. I've worked so hard on it, and I'm looking forward to all the hard work of running it.

However, raising the money has been a bit slow. I haven't had the Veronica Mar experience that I thought I would, and I'm getting scared. I genuinely thought people would get on board this very exciting project and donate 3 pound each, and 2000 people later I'd have what I'd need for 2 months running. It's not for profit, I will be working without a wage and just volunteer and I'm doing it cause I believe in this space, and that it's something families need.

How great to have a cultural hub where all things for sale are aimed at parents and families and supplied by self-employed parents, to have a room where all the children can run free and you don't have to worry about them being too loud, and a cafe with loads of yummy healthy food for parents and children.

I really hope we can raise the money and that people see how great this space would be.
Here's a link to the campaign in case you haven't heard about it until now. Let me know what you think and check out the images from a very talented artist on how I envisage the space to be used.

måndag 7 april 2014

Kriemhild Is Going From He Loves Me To I Love Him Not

You know this thing called love? I do, I have immense love for my family, friends and young DiCaprio but I struggle with anything between or beyond that. I think about boys in the "Fuck me he's hot" kind of way, and some times I spot something more profound like "Fuck me he writes poems" but most of my time I spend questioning where people find the time. Where do you find the time to date? To kiss, to get to know, to worry and hope? I've heard that my complete disinterest in a relationship is a defence mechanism and I'm just scared of rejection. Thanks for the ego boost people, but I've given it some thought and I disagree. I just want to focus on other things, yes, I may be interested in finding mr perfect 10 years from now because relatonships and falling in love is in the manual of living life, so I guess I have to do it, but for now, can we all agree that work, university and motherhood is enough?

I'm not denying the fact that I'm cynical. It's my middle name, but how can you not be when this weekend's pick up line was: "Oh you're Swedish? I'm part Swedish - my penis is, if you know what I mean". I knew what he meant, he phrased it terribly though but he meant that his penis has been inside many Swedish girls and I am going to be next. Charming.

Blame it on the alcohol, or blame it on how spoilt we are. That line didn't work on me, but the same boy was holding hands with a girl an hour later while she whispered "you can stay at mine if you want" - he found someone who was as bored and looking for temporary love as he was. Spoilt for choice we are, and we all need to remember that it's "we" not "him", we're spoilt for choice. Whatever man you think you need to settle for, you don't.

I'm scared of the dating world because it's become a competition on who can stand out the most, who can keep the other person entertained but I don't juggle, I don't sing and I don't know the 10 commandments by heart. Number eight is about lying, and I only know that cause it's my favourite. I'm scared because having a child at 20 makes me by default mature but I have to sit around and wait while all the boys take their sweet time to "get it". To understand that it's not about from where, or how hot, or how willing she is but about how much they can love someone else.

Where are all the good men, you ask? They're out there, I genuinly believe that there are great men out there, the men that books are based on, and that lovely children are raised by but for some reason our society has accepted that we can all be arrogant, rude and obnoxious while we wait to become adults. Then we can find our true soulmates, where it becomes less about what you wear on a first date and more about respecting someone who cares about you. Cause isn't that what we all want? For someone to wipe away our make up and say: I prefer you like this.

I see too many people using their partners as crutches, and I wonder how it's possible to go into a relationship when you're not fully sorted and comfortable in yourself. It's not about being perfect, cause nobody is, but being in a position where you know yourself well enough to give a part of that to someone.

I'm tired of the blogs and Magazines asking us what we can do to grab a man, let's turn it around and instead learn to be ourselves but to better recognise who deserves that self. I'm old school when it comes to dating, but I'm also raised in knowing my value and knowing my strengths. I've got too much going on to lose my head over "he loves me, he loves me not" and instead need to focus on I love me.

tisdag 25 februari 2014

Kriemhild Is A Positive Thinking Mum (May Contain Sarcasm)

Happiness really is just a matter of the mind. Your life doesn't have to be in a certain way, but your coping with things does. So I've constructed a way of looking at single motherhood in a more positive way. Do you do this too?

1) Not having time to go to the gym means I sweat so much more during the 5 minute walk to nursery in the morning. Workout complete!

2) My kid may not want to share the dinner with me, but he gives me ALL of the leftovers when he's done.

3) Being called Daddy instead of mum is so endearing. It just means he thinks of me as both....right?

4) Having a child that is still not potty trained just means I'm going to appreciate the money more when he finally is out of nappies.

5) I' m so happy my son broke my glasses. I've been meaning to get new frames for ages.

6) I'm such a cool mum for "letting" my son eat ice cream for breakfast. Or just super scared of him....

7) Thank god I don't like fashion or clothes, otherwise I'd be super gutted about my son's fabulous wardrobe while I wear....whatever it is I'm wearing.

8) "You should really have a break, you look super tired" is a compliment. It just means I'm dedicated and hard-working.

9) Thank god he's obsessing about a well-made tv show like: Little Einsteins. It could have been worse, it could have been Peppa....

10) So very few people miss out on the fun of having someone in the bathroom while you're in there doing your business. I'm so blessed.

torsdag 23 januari 2014

Kriemhild's Problem Isn't With Autism.

I haven't written in a while. well I've written, but not on here. I know I come of as blunt and a true teller but there are certain things I struggle with being honest with. Especially with myself. Like how difficult it is to be a single mum on a low income as it is, but then on top of that to deal with autism. I think I've been quite OK with it. I'm very lucky in the sense that I see past it and just see a happy little boy wanting to explore, but I also see a boy who is struggling to be understood. The nursery has raised concern because he doesn't 'bond' with other children. Well, it's a social behavioral disorder, right now my main concern is that he understands danger and doesn't throw himself out the window or in front of a car (he still attempts both things). So do you really think he's gonna bond with anything? He doesn't even call me mum, mama or anything to show that we've bonded.

It's hard. It's really really hard. And it's even harder when there's more shit around it. It gets harder when the internet stops working, when he refuses to sleep, when the washing machine stops working, when there's an argument with a friend that you need right now, and when there are all these petty and unnecessary things going on around you.

I signed him up to swimming classes last term. He LOVED it. It was our biggest expense, due to his situation I didn't feel comfortable signing him up to group swimming classes in a leisure centre so I splurged on some private classes. Well it was him and another girl. Now, that he's in his second term the swimming company have decided that he's too difficult and requires 1:1 - he's so difficult he's affecting the other girl's class and it's unfair so I've been asked to pay twice as much to give him the attention he needs.

Seriously guys. Seriously mums at playground who tell me how to 'discipline my child', seriously nursery who is on my case because he occasionally soils his pants because he doesn't realize he needs a toilet, seriously greedy swimming school, and seriously neighbors who give us dirty looks after an especial loud evening of activities, and some screaming. Do I look like someone who needs this right now? I don't.

I want to be with my kid, I want him to be my only and biggest struggle. I want to dedicate my entire time to him, and only him. I want him to be happy and have fun and be who he is. I don't want the other 99 problems going on, so you can keep those and I'll keep the pain in the ass autism.

lördag 21 september 2013

Kriemhils Is Trying To Raise A Cinephiliac

I like movies. That's not a secret though. Bad news is that I don't enjoy watching movies so much. Too many movies have become longer than 90 minutes, and you sit in a screen with people who have little to no respect for cinema etiquette, there are no cigarette breaks and there is this idea that pop-corn and coloured water is a companion of film viewing and that along with extortionate prices and despite this you still have to watch ten minutes of expensive advertisement. But I like movies, I like talking about them, quoting them, reading about them, writing about them, questioning them and gushing about them.

Despite being too impatient to actually enjoy the sitting down process of watching a film, I can enjoy the cinema experience, this is largely due to the childhood memories it brings back. I was exceptionally spoiled considering I was one of seven children and my siblings would take me to the cinema at least once a year. This started by the time I was 4, and it was in the good old days where Disney would release one epic flick a year rather than a number of studios releasing twenty shitty ones. I like the trailers, I love the company and I adore the walk out of the screen where a nod, a frown or even a WTF can summarise your entire impression of the film.

When I got pregnant I kissed my film career good bye. It had up until then been the only plan, and the dream was to work for the BFI. I never thought that 4 years down the line I'd be in the film writing, film studying and Barbican working position in which I am now. But here we are.

When my son was born, he didn't look much like me. I think there's a bizarre desire parents have in having children which either look like them, or share a passion of theirs. Naturally my son was going to be a culture nerd and enjoy literature and films.I first tested him when he was 3 months old and we went to see Burton's Alice in Wonderland in an Odeon Baby screening. He didn't like it, I didn't like the movie but he didn't like the experience. I know that he was only 3 months, but somehow I thought the lights, the smell and the screen would emit something that would make him fall in love with the cinema world, but nothing happened.

I tried a few times after that, and he'd always run around the screen and then find his way to the exit. I'd given up on raising a child which I could take to the cinema when older. However, a few days ago I got invited to a press screening of The Reef 2: High Tides and my little boy sat there, quietly and engaged with popcorn in his lap and the coolest 3D glasses seen on his head. It was a ridiculous emotional moment, emphasis on the word ridiculous. Cause I should be caring about less shallow things. Now I know there's hope for more family screenings in the future.

tisdag 17 september 2013

Kriemhild Has Started a Book Club

I used to be such a book worm as a kid. A book a day on a good day, and a book a week when I was being lazy. I read the heavy books way too early, and I regret it now because I know I didn't understand any of it. What's the point in reading Les Miserables at the age of 8, or American Psycho at 11? I should just have stuck to the Harry Potter's. But, I read. University sucked the life out of m and my reading passion.At least at school I could enjoy the compulsory Fitzgerald and Shakespeare, but at uni I struggled with all the Walter Benjamin and Kafka. I just didn't want to enjoy it, so I didn't.

When I was pregnant I decided to start reading again a little too late. I was reading Fight Club during labour, thinking it'd be the first of many books to read as a new mother, but motherhood got in the way. I'm happy to say I am now back in business. After taking me 4 months to read The Perks Of Being a Wallflower I've set a goal of reading a book a week.

 It's no secret that I am an aspiring writer, and decent writers are made by reading, while great writers are made when writing great things - but that's a different story. My second rule is to never ever buy a new book, it has to be bought from a second hand shop. This realisation came to me when I was looking for Yates' Revolutionary Road, and couldn't find it the Waterstones when I went looking for it. However, a few weeks later it appeared in a local charity shop costing 50 p. If I'm meant to read it, they will appear and they won't cost more than a pound.

This past month I've gone through To Kill A Mockingbird, Mrs Dalloway, and Generation X. Next on my list are The Colour Purple, Some Thomas Hardy, and a little bit of Sartre to mess with my head. Let me know if there's anything I need to add to the list! I leave you with some words by my son's namesake Atticus Finch and Harper Lee.
Words and speeches, I wish I could write. Enjoy.

To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The State has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost exclusively, with his left [hand]. And Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken "The Oath" with the only good hand he possesses -- his right.

I have nothing but pity in my heart for the Chief Witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But, my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime. She has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But, what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did.

Now what did she do? She tempted a negro. She was white and she tempted a negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.

The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Lincoln County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen -- to this Court -- in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted; confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption, the evil assumption, that all negroes lie; all negroes are basically immoral beings; all negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is in itself, gentlemen, a lie -- which I do not need to point out to you.

And so, a quiet, humble, respectable negro, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white peoples. The defendant is not guilty. But somebody in this courtroom is.

Now, gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality!

Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family.

In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.