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Caution: Toxicity is Harmful to your Health

“He’s your blood.”

We’ve all heard things like that said before.

“You should make up because you are family.”

This is sound advice, normally, but when there is someone so toxic in your life you should not feel guilty for cutting them out. Being blood related is no excuse to bring negativity and poison to you. For the sake of your mental health and that of those closest to you it is important that you keep these toxic people at bay.

We have all met them. Those who go out of their way to make you feel bad about yourself or who belittle what you are doing or what you are trying to achieve. Mostly this is because there is something so unsatisfying about their own lives that it makes them insecure to be around positive people who are making a difference. It might not be in outwardly cruel words or violent actions, it may also be in more subtle suggestions or manipulative tactics.

I realise that I sound quite bitter now in writing this so I am going to take a little step down from my proverbial high horse for a moment and try to explain my reasoning.

Firstly, I absolutely and completely hate bullying. For me, toxic people make natural bullies. Their hunger is only satisfied by the upset of others and they will go out of their way to get it. They are also natural narcissists and if you call them on their bullshit they will work it as best you can to make it seem like you are the one being unreasonable or that it is your own fault for feeling upset.

Secondly, the reason I would like to take some time to draw attention to this is because we all, unfortunately, will encounter toxic people at some point in your lives. If you are lucky enough to have only been surrounded by positive, supportive people then I am so happy to hear that and that there is some like you in the world. I hope you take something from this then and gain an understand of toxic people and what that means.

For most the toxicity comes from family. It is said that, ‘those closest to us can hurt us the most,’ which is true. Seems a little nihilistic for my tastes but it can’t be denied that those closest to you have easier access to your emotional triggers. Therefore, when the toxic person in your life is a family member and they are making you completely and utterly miserable, you are well within your right to cut them out. You will be made to feel guilty by other family members for having done so but this will likely be because the toxic person will already be making it seem like your reaction to their behaviour is disproportional. It is not.

Life is too short to not have people in your life who are behind you 100%. You deserve to be supported in reaching for your dreams and you are worth the time of those closest to you. Never have anyone make you feel otherwise. Also, family is more than blood. Family is about being there for each other, helping one another and bringing out the best in each other. Toxicity is harmful to your health.

It is important to open the discussion on these matters. My DMs are always available for those who are struggling  and wish to talk (no penis pictures please 😉 ). If you have any thoughts on toxic people feel free to comment below.

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The Most Ghost (Part of the Myths and Tales Collection)

I bought a lovely new house. It had everything – high celings, lovely gardens and splendid views. My nearest neighbour was not so far away that I felt isolated and yet not so near that I had to see them all the time. You could go so far as to say it was perfect!

Moving day came. I must have been so exhausted unpacking I didn’t even notice at the problem at first. I slept well the first few nights. It was on the fourth that things started to change.

Bump, bump, bump through the night. It was a little irritating at first but I ignored it and I assumed I could sleep through it but continued on and on.

The next morning – after having spent the worst nights sleep of my life – I decided to call in an exterminator.

He came around noon, carrying potions and poisons that would kill on known creatures on God’s earth.

“I think it’s rats,” I complained. I was a little disgruntled that I hadn’t been warned of it before I moved in.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve seen all sorts of things. I’ll take a look,” the exterminator said with his moustache twitching.

He did his checks. There was a lot of banging and clattering. Finally he emerged wearing thick goggles.

“So what is it? Rats? Roaches? I want all the details so I can sue the estate agent.”

The exterminator took his goggles off.

“It’s none of those things,” he said.

“Then what is it?” I asked.

“We’re going to have to bring in specialists.”

“What is it?” I asked again.

“Ghosts.”

“Ghosts! I knew the house was old. I just didn’t realise how old.

“Not just one ghost. There is a whole family of them,” the exterminator said with a knowledgable air. “You are infested with them. I’ve never seen a ghost infestation like that in all my years.”

“How did that happen?”

He seemed to know what he was talking about so I had to ask him.

“It all starts with one lonely ghost. Then they invite their friends before you know it you can’t get rid of them. The government is the cause of this really for not keeping stricter checks on them.”

I don’t know how much the government could do. If the ghosts were lonely maybe they just needed somewhere to go.

“It’s best you just ignore them,” the exterminator went on. “Pretend they don’t exist. More often than not the problem just goes away. Or you can call a specialist to get rid of them. They just want to come here and make us like them anyway.”

I started to feel sorry for my ghosts. What if they needed help?

“If they are lonely why can’t I just give them a place to stay?” I wondered more to myself.

“But what if one goes bad and starts throwing things around and hurts someone?” the exterminator was appalled that I would accommodate the ghosts.

“Even if one of them were bad that doesn’t mean they are all bad. In fact some of them may actually be really good and want to help around the house … you know … contribute.”

The exterminated started gathering his equipment.

“It’s your choice,” he said. “I wouldn’t have them in my house, around my children. In my experience they just want to come to nice places like this and drive out good people like yourself.”

I ignored the ignorance. I wanted to learn more about my ghosts. I wanted to learn their individual stories that brought them to my home.

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The Day I Met my Mummy

It was my thirteenth birthday and I was spending it with my Aunt Lola. She was a quirky old lady who had known me since I was born. She wasn’t really my aunt at all but she had been such a close family friend she earned herself the title. I had come to live with her after an unfortunate accident with a moose and a very high cliff claimed the lives of my parents.

“Well Loopy,” she said. (This was just a nickname she had for me. My real name is Lucy) “I can’t believe you are thirteen years old already.”

Given that I was so accident prone, having broken several bones several times, I was pretty mesmerised that I had reached teenage years too. Aunt Lola always made a big fuss of me on my birthday. She had no children of her own so all of her affection was aimed towards me. She gave the most random and strange gifts each year so now that I was a little older and a little more ready for her antics I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. She put an envelope into my hand and kissed my forehead. “I hope you like this one.”

My hands began to shake. Given my aunt’s fondness for all things odd there was no telling what the envelope contained. Therein could lie the secret to a number of mysteries. It could hold the key to eternal life. It could be a coupon for 10% off at any local clothes store. I tore open the envelope excitedly. A shining slip of paper fell onto my lap. I picked it up allowing the coloured paper to delight the eyes. On that special paper read the words, ‘Special Access to the Museum’. Well it wasn’t the secret to the universe but it was a great idea none the less. I was the strange kid who would rather sit in the corner of the playground reading about battles of old than play with the other children. I would much rather hear what ancient Greek philosophers had to say than my fellow classmates who stood at the edge of the football park picking their noses.

There was no time to lose. I had heard on the radio the week before that the local museum had just opened a new exhibit on Ancient Egypt. I grabbed my shining red rain jacket that was water proof but still light and airy. I pulled on my backpack which had the emblem of several superheroes embroidered on it. Aunt Lola had been complaining of what she called ‘the hardships of older ladies’. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant but to combat it she had to lie with her feet elevated and a piece of silver on her forehead, counting backwards from one hundred.

I decided to leave the Egypt exhibit to the end. It had been busy when I arrived with business men awing at the new set up and mothers being dragged by their progeny because they thought it looked ‘cool’.

The day began to wind down. The museum emptied itself of the day trippers and quietened. As I walked through the main foyer the rubber soles of my shoes squeaked. I saw the fresh sign that directed the way to Ancient Egypt.

There was a lot of gold around. The walls were covered In hieroglyphs. I couldn’t tell if the curators had actually read the hieroglyphs or if they were merely there to impress the visitors because from what I could read they told of a bathroom disaster somewhere off the banks of the Nile.

As I absorbed all of the knowledge that the exhibit had to offer I heard the doors to the section close. I was the only person around, living at least. The lights dimmed except on the large mummy that was encased at the end of the hall. His face had been preserved all that time in a stern expression. The accompanying information explained that his name was ‘Ahmose’. He had been a fisherman but not a particularly good one. His people saw him as cursed, a jinx if you will. Ahmose was responsible for all the ill fate that befell them. Poor Ahmose. It seems he was accident prone like me. Because he had bumped into a builder, causing him to fall, destroying the temple that was in construction it seems he was now preserved for people of my year to gawk at his stupidity. They took jinxed folk very seriously in those days.

My head was buzzing with all the warmth, knowledge and dusty artefacts that the museum had to offer. I made my way back out to the main hall intent on catching the bus home. I pulled open the door but it was locked. ‘Surely they would check everyone had gone before they locked up,’ I thought. There was a heavy smash. My heart leapt from the steady thud of a tortoise to the gallop of a hare. I could feel a presence looming behind me but I couldn’t bare to look.

‘Argh!’ cried a dusty, throaty voice.

Slowly I did turn. Ahmose was now standing upright for the first time in many years. The paper that gave me special access to the museum slipped from my pocket. Ahmose reached down to pick it up with a crunchy crack of his mid section. He clasped it between the remains of his fingers and held it out to me.

“Leave me alone!” I screamed. “Help!” Surely the museum wasn’t deserted.

“Argh!” Ahmose replied.

With a quiver of my extremities I reached into my pocket and took out my mobile phone which Aunt Lola insisted I carried in case of emergencies. I was pretty sure that being attacked by the undead could very well be considered an emergency.

“Hello?” Aunt Lola answered.

“Help me!” I cried out.

“What’s wrong?” she asked still calmly balancing the silver on her forehead.

“A mummy! Its came to life. I have to get out of here!”

Most people when they tell their aunt something like this they either think they are crazy or attempting a practical joke. Not my aunt. She returned as though it was an everyday occurrence. “Do you like him?” she asked.

“Like him? Its a mummy! He’s going to kill me!”

Aunt Lola groaned. “Oh don’t be so dramatic Loopy. He’s your birthday present. Don’t you like him?”

I stared at Ahomse. He stumbled backwards almost tripping over his own left foot. “Argh!” he groaned again looking at his left leg. “How many people can boast having their own mummy,” continued my aunt.

“Not many,” I agreed.

“Enjoy,” she said and hung up leaving me alone with the dial tone and my mummy.

Ahmose lifted a piece of pottery from the shelving. It slipped from his fingers and smashed on the floor.

My most immediate problem was devising a plan to get out of the museum that looked possibly locked, take my mummy on the bus and get home whilst not getting caught for thieving from the museum.

Next birthday I’ll just ask for clothes?

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