It’s nice to be back

It has been almost 6 months since I last posted something on here. A lot happened and a lot has changed in my life since.

This weekend is the 10th without taking drugs. It’s a remarkable achievement for me as in the past I only managed 8 weeks once, in rare occasions 4 to 6 weeks and in most occasions 1 to 3 weeks. Very often I couldn’t go a week without drugs, and it got to the point when, quite a few times, I only managed 2 or 3 days without drugs.

10 weeks without drugs is the longest since my drug addiction started, which was sometime in 2012. Since 2012, I’ve been raped, abused and robbed, quite a few times. But I didn’t learn any lessons and so I carried on. So I was again raped, abused and robbed, quite a few times, not by the same person and not the same person committing all 3. I overdosed and collapsed several times, lost 10kg, lost all my friends, sold my body for sex, lost a job and almost lost another one, damaged my health and the health of my family, missed out on several opportunities for a better life, hurt people that tried to help me, took advantage of people that were kind to me.

Around 3 years ago I established that I needed help, that I could not go on like this. However my road to recovery wasn’t clear until December 2017, when I started discovering why I was in such a mess. How could I, such a bright, resourceful and successful person have managed to reach the bottom to such an extent and almost completely destroy myself physically and mentally?

Since December 2017 I’ve been on a journey of discovering who I really am. As a child, I was raped almost daily for 8 years, I was bullied at school because I was poor, shy and later, gay. During my studies in London I suffered discrimination for being a foreigner and for being again, for being poor. I was quite unfortunate to always end up, in some way or another, in environments with people whose financial situations were far better than mine. At least in some occasions this was my perception. The level of discrimination varied from place to place. My whole life has been one of constant rejection, by my parents, by the people I studied with, by the people who I wanted to be friends with and by all the men I fell in love with (apart from one).

I grew up accustomed to receiving care and attention from those that raped me. Even though their care and attention was aimed at serving their own needs rather than mine, I developed an immense need for this type of care, because it’s the only one I knew. I learned that I could come close to it again by taking drugs. I needed to feed my need for the only type of attention and care I knew.

The journey of learning who I really am has been painful. The more I became aware of what was happening and the more I tried to cope with it, the more prominent the symptoms became: post-traumatic stress disorder, sex addiction, severe anxiety, and more recently, obsessive compulsion disorder, attention deficit, deficient short term memory and constant flashbacks of my childhood.

I say that this is a journey to discovering who I really am. However I’ve discovered nothing. I am not the same person I was before I was a drug addict, so I’ll not try to find that person again. My perceptions have changed completely. I actually don’t think there is anybody there at the moment. I feel like a baby who is learning to speak, to behave, to walk, to learn to control things.

Just over 10 weeks ago, I thought I was going to lose it again. I had started smoking crystal meth. I was enjoying it so much that the weekly binges were starting to come back. Each time my life was getting darker and darker. Even though I was aware that I was aiming back towards hell, that person smoking the pipe didn’t care. I was a walking dead.

After these 10 weeks, I am glad. I thank my psychiatrist, psychologist, drug therapist, Jordan Peterson, Ryan Holiday, Stephen King and my partner. Even though at the moment I think that to live in this world is pointless, I believe it’s only part of the journey. You can’t go to heaven without first going to hell.

It’s nice to be back.

Well honey here comes a lullaby

This week is one of those weeks when I feel like I’ve lost faith in humanity. Recently I’ve been through so many disappointments: my family, my best friends, the dates I had, people that don’t respect my personal space…so many. Of course I have had a good look at myself as the issue is probably right here under my nose, instead of trying to understand what is wrong with all these people.

In the past I used to be very accommodating with people. I only cared about the needs of others and never my own. So whatever they did: upset me, made me cry, cross the red line into my personal space, took something away from me, hurt me, waste my time, rape me, abuse me…it was always ok in the end, I always forgave, I always accepted. I guess that this is because I was raped for the first time when I was 6 years old and had no strength to say no and fight back, so I just had to accept, and that’s how I’ve been treating everything since then, people just hurt me and I accept, I am a good person and I’ll still be their friend.

But now, things are changing, I am not letting this happen anymore. I am learning to kick people out of my life if I think they don’t have our mutual interest in mind, and I guess that this is how I ended up where I am today, without any faith in humanity. There are many other reasons which have led me to this conclusion, and I intend to share these reasons in other posts. But today I have this particular topic in mind: leaning to say no and living with the consequences. I don’t actually have very much to say about it, I just have it in mind.

Today I was listening to this song. It has been a very long time since I last listened to it. I used to play it over and over again when my drug and sex addiction was at its worst, and I cried every time. It was a way of telling myself that things were going to be ok.

Listening to this song again today made me remember how sad  and lost I was, and that today, almost a year late and nearly recovered from the drug and sex addiction, I am still sad and lost, but for different reasons. Today I am learning how to live, to recognise different emotions, to behave in new ways, to speak in a certain manner, like a baby learning to walk and speak, everything is new to me. I just hope that when I have learned the basics, I’ll be wiser and stronger, and will not let anyone ever hurt me again.

Please let me take you
Out of the darkness and into the light
‘Cause I have faith in you
That you’re gonna make it through another night
Stop thinkin’ about the easy way out
There’s no need to go and blow the candle out
Because you’re not done, you’re far too young
And the best is yet to come

That Love Thing

My dreams recently have taken a different pattern.

A few months ago I used to dream that I lived in this very big house. It was massive, and I knew it belonged to me. In the dream I knew that someone else lived in this house. But the house was so big that this person and I never bumped into each other. I also knew that this person was avoiding me on purpose, and that I was scared of meeting him.

I remember a big outdoor space with a swimming pool and view to a beach. I remember standing on the edge of the pool and looking at the sight of the beach above the bright blue coloured reflection from the bottom of the pool. Then I headed towards the enormous hallway with a glass-wall on the left side of the pool. In the middle of the hallway there was a very wide staircase going to the floor below, as if it came from the entrance of the house. There were some gold coloured objects around the hallway which I can’t quite define. I crossed the hall to the other side of the staircase and I knew that the room on the other side of the white brick wall was a big dark room which was right in the middle of the house, and the floor was so deep down that  I knew that if I stepped into that room, I would fall into this really dark space and something horrible would happen. I didn’t know what this room was for or why it was deep and dark, even though it was in my house and I was really scared of it.

I walked along the long handrail of the stair case towards the left corner of the room, where I could see the beach through the glass-wall. There was a door that looked into the dark room. It was open. I looked through the door and I saw another door on the other side of the dark room and a bright white light coming from it. I knew that the other person living in my house was on the other side of that room, and that I had to cross it to get through that door to see that person in the middle of that white bright light. I remember the vague image of the shadow of that person appearing through the door on the other side and it quickly disappeared once it realised I was there. I was too scared to cross it, I never did, and I never found out who that person was.

In describing this dream to my shrink, she suggested that a big house in dreams means that something big is happening in the life of the person dreaming it, like a big turn of events. She also suggested that the person on the other side of the dark room was myself, the real me, that I don’t know who the real me is yet and I am scared of meeting him.

It was in this period that I was starting to understand the trauma I suffered my whole life and the factors that caused it. I was feeling hopeful that I would start to understand myself and live a better life.

I am still in the process of finding out about this person who my shrink was talking about. I’ve had many ups and downs since I had this conversation with her. But I also thought that maybe this person has never actually existed. I started being abused sexually almost daily since the age of 6. At around the age of 8 or 9 I started to realise what was happening and tried to hide, run, resist, cry, and do whatever was within my reach to make sure I wasn’t raped again. But it never worked and my ordeal carried on for many more years. On top of that, my father was distant and alcoholic and my mum was also depressed and also distant.

So after thinking about it in a philosophical way, I established that maybe at the time when a child is developing and establishing its thought patterns and understanding of life, these form that child’s character and part of who that child will become, which is the entity that develops out of all those events since childhood. Providing that there is no significant event in that individual’s life capable of changing the natural flow of the child’s development into adulthood, the “real me” of that child is the result of those developments, as before those developments that “real me” didn’t exist because the child wasn’t aware of its existence.

So I think that what I am today, constantly depressed and wanting to cry, addictive personality, always craving for love, anti-social and a lot more, is who I really am, is the result of the natural flow from the rapes, violence, neglect and discrimination I went through since I became aware of my existence. There was no one else before. There is no other Fernando that I can go back to. This is my only understanding of how life works, I know nothing else. By stripping all these out of me, I am nothing, I am no one. I have to learn to be someone knew, to acquire new thought pattens and understandings. I will never find the real Fernando because he is here with me and I am well aware of his existence, but I hope that I will eventually create a new Fernando, one that is able to ignore fear and judgment, and make wise and reasoned decisions.

Since I had this dream, I kept having different variations of it. In most of the them I wondered around the big house. In the various dreams this house had many lifts, stair cases and shortcuts, and there was an added element of fear compared to the first dream as I was always running away from this unknown person that lived with me. Sometimes the house was falling apart, other times it was new and beautiful.

But recently this pattern has changed again. I few days back I dreamed that I was the real me, a happier version and in my current job. However I was a world famous celebrity who in the past was part of a world famous music band. Think of bigger than the Beatles! I was actually the male version of Victoria Beckham in the Spice Girls. I can’t remember if the other singers in the group were also male, but I remember that I was myself and we were the Spice Girls! (I used to be a big fun in my early teens).

In real life, the first time I saw the Spice Girls sing I was maybe 12. The TV broadcasted their iconic first live performance in Istanbul (iconic for the fans). This show was probably in the mid-1990s. In the dream, there were videos of this shows and they were considered a big classic in pop music history. I am not so sure of the period of the show in the dream, but it was old enough for me to quit the singing career, go to university and start working in financial services (which is what I do in real life).

In the dream, we were still world famous even after the band split up (well, the real Spice Girls are still world famous even after splitting up) and the show in Istanbul for some reason was considered a turning point in the history of pop music.

The dream began when I went to visit a client at his investment firm, and he went to show me a room which looked like half music studio half cinema. In the big screen he started playing the show in Istanbul, and I told him that I was in that band and pointed to the screen showing which one was me, the male version of Victoria Beckham. The video was showing the Spice Girls singing Love Thing, which happens to be my favourite song in that show.

Mate, is that really you? Oh my God! no way…

Yes, it is me!

My God, I can’t believe that I am watching this iconic singer in this iconic show and now he is here, right next to me….

He said something along these lines, I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember what they meant.

The next day I had another similar dream, same studio, but with a different person. This dream is a lot more blurred. I just remember the person I was with, in the same half music studio half cinema room, being impressed that I am a world famous singer. However in this dream I was not part of the Spice Girls. I don’t remember what exactly I was. But I worked in financial services and was mega famous in the past.

In yesterday’s dream I was back in the big house. This time it was a different house and I was visiting the owner. He lived with his wife and kids in a detached Victorian style house, and wanted me to rent the room in the first floor. I went to look at the room and it was enormous! It took over the whole of the first floor. At the top of the steps there was  a space for the bed, and then a massive sitting area in the middle with huge sofas, a massive coffee table made of glass that took almost all the space between the sofas, a bathroom on the other side, and floor to ceiling windows running along either side of the room. The curtains on both sides of the room, the carpet, the sofas and the walls were all white. The bright light from the sun outside lit the whole room. The owner of the house was offering a really cheap rent, I could not believe it.

Then somehow the context changed, it wasn’t just the room, it was the whole house that he was offering. He was going away with his family and had no date to return. I wasn’t sure about it because the house was too big. I decided to tour the house and realised that everything was untidy and dirty, there were cigarette butts and rubbish everywhere, and somehow this made me scared of living in that house. On the first floor I went to open a big window at the back to check the size of the garden. When I opened it I saw that there was a vast land at the back. I could only see grass and trees at the far back. But the grass was full of rubbish. I though it was disgusting, but I also couldn’t believe that all that land belonged to the house. I couldn’t believe I was so lucky but at the same time I was scared of having the house and all that land to myself and having to deal with all that rubbish.

This is how the dream ended. I was happy with the opportunity but scared. I haven’t told my shrink about these dreams yet. But my life right now is going through a very big chang . As it stands today, I cut contact with my family for reasons I’ll explain another time, my best friend did something that I was a huge disappointment to me and he hasn’t contacted me since to apologise, every date I went to and person I met in the last month have been very frustrating, and the other few friends that I have seem to have forgotten that I exist. So I am in a situation where I am alone and I have no one to talk to. Cutting relations with my family was a huge step which really hurt me and left a big wide crack open in  my heart. But it had to be done.

I feel sad, alone and with no purpose in life. I literally have no one to talk to. The only people that contacted me over the weekend (2 of them) are the ones I established I should avoid, because they drawn my energy away. One keeps criticising my recovering process. He says that that the person I am turning into is leaving some nice qualities behind. In his opinion those factors that I recognised as the triggers to my depression and drug abuse are only nice qualities that I should control and the abuse I went through when I was a child I could just forget and get on with life. He called this a debate when I expressed my anger with his opinions. I said that he was being intrusive and crossing a big red line into my private life. The other person goes on and on and on about his problems, his main topic is “me” and when he asks me a question and I start to answer, he quickly turns the conversation back to “me” again. There is nothing wrong with listening to someone’s problems, but I can’t cope with my problems and someone else’s at the same time.

However somewhere in the middle of my loneliness and sadness, there is a very small glint of hope growing, as if I am starting to turn a page in my life. I hope that I am finally starting to take the right decisions, that this is being reflected in my dreams, and that I can finally cross that dark room to the other side of my big house, meet the new Fernando and never run away from him again. I may never become the ultra-famous male version of Victoria Beckham, but I am very ambitious and want to be someone who somehow will have an impact on people’s lives.

Been broken hearted before 
But that’s the last time it happens to me yeah
I keep on giving still you’re asking for more
Too much emotion baby, why can’t you see

My mistakes during last weekend

  1. I posted an item I sold on eBay, without a tracking number. The item hasn’t arrived at the destination, which means it’s probably been lost by Royal Mail, so I’ll have to refund over £100 which I already spent;
  2. I drunk alcohol;
  3. After 8 weeks clean, I took drugs;
  4. I invited a hot Brazilian guy to have sex with me;
  5. He came over and throughout the day he invited 5 guys! 5 strangers in my house.
  6. I invited one guy, someone I really like. We started having sex but the other Brazilian guy took over and finished it off;
  7. In total 7 guys/strangers wandered around my flat, my personal space;
  8. I missed work on Monday;
  9. and took more drugs.
  10. I didn’t read any of my books;
  11. I didn’t do the work I needed to do;
  12. I didn’t go to the gym;
  13. I didn’t eat;
  14. I didn’t sleep; and
  15. I missed 2 days of taking my tablets for depression.

Now I feel horrible, defeated, pathetic, a complete know which needs to be slapped very hard on the face. So this week I start again to head towards week 1, and hopefully I’ll manage until at least week 9.

Big hug to you all and sleep well.

Fernando, the fucking stupid cunt x

Letter to James Rhodes

Hello James,

I hope you are well.

I have just returned from what was probably one of the worst weekends of my life. I have a laceration on top of my right eye, injured my shoulder, pulled a muscle on my rib cage, and my tongue, lips and inside cheeks are close to deformed. I also lost my laptop (now recovered) and my wallet.

I spent the weekend Madrid. It was my first time visiting. I was so excited about it. I think Madrid is such a beautiful city, even though I only got to see Chueca and the airport.

00_Portada-Chueca.jpg

I flew to Madrid from London on Friday morning. Two days before I was casually walking in Jermyn Street near work in Central London and decided to go inside Waterstones (I am addicted to reading and buying books) and I saw a copy of Fire From All Sides because it was about a pianist and depression: I love piano (I don’t play very well); recently had the most depressing experience with my piano teacher (I was in love in him); I suffer from depression; and I love sad stories because it gives me the impression that my sad depressed life is a bit normal. So, I thought: piano + depression/sad story + book = perfect!

Before I started reading the book I did a brief research about you, and realised that, well before I bought the book, you were already my favourite pianist! I listened to your music on Apple Music but never looked up the artist behind it. What I coincidence that I bought the book wrote by my favourite pianist without knowing that it was him!

So back to Friday morning, as I am leaving to the airport, I look for a book to read on the trip. I am in a hurry but I spent at least five minutes trying to decide which one. I look at the 20+ unread books that are spread over the dining table and pick Homo Deus and leave. As I was about to shut the door, I open it again, extend my arm from outside to drop Homo Deus back on the table and pick Fire From All Sides. I start reading the book on the train to Gatwick, and what a surprise to find that the events in the first chapter take place in Madrid!

james Rhodes 2

The weekend in Madrid was terrible because I snorted cocaine and took GHB for most of it. What was supposed to be a relaxing weekend ended up a nightmare. I literally locked myself in the flat I rented in Chueca from Friday until Monday morning, when I had to return to London.

I began my adventure on Friday late afternoon when after trying the whole afternoon (I was feeling a bit tipsy) I managed to find a drug dealer. I took huge quantities of cocaine and GHB until Sunday morning when I finally decided that I should try to get some sleep. But there was so much cocaine and GHB in my blood stream that there was no way my body could relax. I was also very paranoid – The whole time I was having the impression (at the time I was sure this was really happening) that there were people standing outside the front door trying to listen to what I was doing, or that someone was going to get in the flat from the flat next door through the huge windows of my flat and attack me, or that the people living on the opposite buildings could see that I was taking drugs and bringing random men to the flat for sex (and they would call the policy and call all the neighbourhood to let them know), or that the people in the flat next door were just about to call the police and that would be my end, and many other crazy paranoid shit going through my head, even though I was making no noise and all the windows and curtains were closed. This whole paranoia lasted 10 fucking hours! This has happened before, and I knew that I needed something else in my bloodstream and my brain to replace the drugs.

I ate 2 tubs of haagen dazs, a massive portion of spaghetti carbonara (what would I have done without Deliveroo?) and downed 2 bottles of red wine in the hope that the food and alcohol would make me feel heavy, drunk and sleepy.

Whilst I was downing the bottles, I started playing the album Fire From All Sides (I downloaded after I started reading the book and just before I boarded the plane in London). I had an amazing experience, it worked, I’ll never forget. 62hrs after I had last slept + all that alcohol + massive amounts of cocaine and GHB in my system, this did some shit to my body that made me enter into a really deep connection with your music, and helped me sleep. I slept 12hrs! 12 peaceful hrs! I usually sleep 4-5hrs max (that is when I manage to sleep). Despite my body being trashed, all those bruises and the pain, I slept so good and I had amazing dreams with your music in the background. I woke up a few times during the night, a couple of times laughing because I was having funny dreams (which is rare, I have nightmares and night-terrors). When the tracks were not playing because the album was finished, I’d play it from the beginning and go back to sleep again. This all happened on the sofa, I was too comfortable to move to the bedroom.

But during this crazy weekend I also kept thinking about what I read in the first few pages of your book. I can’t remember what page I am on right now. I haven’t got very far, but far sufficient to make me think about it. Reading those first few pages was like reading about myself – I was raped, almost daily, from the ages of 6 until I was around 14. Three men did it, separately and in different occasions. Once, when I was 14, a taxi driver forced me to give him a blow job otherwise he would tell my mum that I was gay.

The result – severe depression and anxiety, lack of confidence, sex addiction, drug addiction psychiatric treatment (not until I had turned 33), tablets to sleep and tablets to make me feel less depressed. For a long time I thought I was a strong person, but I was actually trying to hide the real me who I didn’t know existed.

Recently within the last year, some events caused an emotional storm inside me that I could not cope with and it made me fell into drug addiction again, but this time it made me realise how fucked my head is, which is probably a result of the thousand times I was raped.

I don’t like talking to people, I want to be left alone most of the time, my mind is constantly living a fantasy of the perfect world I wish existed, which means that my mind is never present when I am talking to someone. I have nightmares every day, which usually consists of someone trying to kill me or someone that I am emotionally attached to showing how much they despise me. I can only sleep if a run through my head the routine of the second act of the ballet Giselle (I used to be a ballet dancer and Giselle was the first ballet I danced when I was 16). If I go to bed and I am too anxious or agitated, I start going through the steps of the ballet in my mind and I then I slow down the pace of the music to help my body calm down. Even then I only manage a 4-5hr sleep, a very disturbed one.

Anyway, I want to say thank you for being so brave and open about yourself. I am writing to you because people don’t seem to understand me, and I feel that maybe because I connected with your story, your music, and we’ve been through the same experience, you could understand how I feel.

James Rhodes 3

I tried to get tickets to your concert in London but it was sold out. If you ever respond to me I would like to know when you’ll be playing in London again so I can book early (don’t worry I won’t be waiting for you at the stage door after the show).

————————————————

I first drafted this letter to James Rhodes on 30th January 2018. I sent it to his Instagram account and to Denis, who I think is his manager and I asked him to pass the letter to James. However James never read the message on Instagram (the “seen” note never appeared) and I never heard back from Denis. But who cares?)

It was in Madrid that I first contemplated about ending my life and was being serious about it. The flat had a mezzanine level and I planned how I could hung myself from there. For the first time in my life I was scared of myself, because I was being brave enough to commit suicide and i was just about to make it happen. I thought about Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, who has a similar story, I thought about how he felt and how it must have been liberating in some way that only him knows. 

It was by reading his book that I realised that today I feel and act the way I do because I was raped almost daily when I was a child and only managed to talk about it almost 20 years after it last happened.