Thursday, 26 May 2016

"Why Are You On Your Own?!" & Other Things People Say To Me...

Being in a wheelchair comes with all sorts of challenges, challenges I overcome day after day...kerbs, stairs, high cupboards & shelves, but my hardest challenge? Humans.

Yep! I know what you're can a human be an obstacle?

All my life I have been looked down upon, been asked the most ridiculously inappropriate questions, and have been involved in extremely awkward situations, ones that I can almost guarantee don't happen to the standard 'able-bodied' person. The worst part is, its not even always from complete strangers, some of these questions/statements have come from colleagues, public services, and even friends!

So, with that in mind, I thought I would put together a handy little blog of these things to spread awareness of how ridiculous they are, and hopefully just make people a little more aware of what they're saying...hopefully. There will always be numpties.

This is a question I get asked WAY too often. Apparently because I'm in a wheelchair I'm not allowed to be on my know, because I'm completely invalid. I get told that it 'isn't fair' that I'm on my own, that I should be with someone to help me, despite the fact I've clearly managed to get to you without assistance? Yes I understand that some people in wheelchairs do require a carer, but does that mean that I should be tarnished with the same brush? Does a wheelchair imply that all of us are the same? that basic ignorance is no different to saying that all asians look the same, or all foreign people are terrorists... but of course you wouldn't say that, because its horrible and isn't true! so why does my wheelchair suddenly give someone the right to say that to me?

Okay, so not a question, but something that really bugs me. Admittedly most of my experiences of this have been with older people, but I have had rare occasions, of people similar to my age, or middle aged. It literally is what the title suggests, people respond to me in a baby voice, as if I can't comprehend normal conversation so they have to use little words and a high pitched voice in order for me to understand them, even on occasion using hand gestures as well. I think a lot of this stems back to what I was saying earlier, about tarnishing all people in wheelchairs with the same brush, only this type of brush being that all people in wheelchairs must have a mental disability. I for one, do not. My disability is purely physical, I require this wheelchair basically for transportation as a replacement for my legs. My mental health is absolutely 100% fine (despite what my close friends and family might say haha!) and for people to assume otherwise because they see my chair is, again, ignorance. From my experience you can usually tell if someone has a mental health issue in a wheelchair, either straight away, or by actually talking to them first, and if it is appropriate to use simpler words after this discovery, then fine, but baby talk is NEVER okay. Its demeaning, and makes the wheelchair user feel like crap, and winds me up so bad. I'm always polite back, but inside I'm absolutely screaming. so please, just don't do this.

This one I will never understand, it makes me feel awkward, you feel awkward, my friend/family member feel awkward, all in all, just everyone feels stupid. if the title is unclear, I'll use an example, I've been at a counter wanting to ask questions about something, so I will go up to the counter with my friend, ask the receptionist a question, and the receptionist will then respond to my friend, not me. I will then get her attention back on me and answer back, and then she will ask a question such as 'is she able to get out of the chair?' at which point I will then go "yes SHE is...and I'm right here?!". I just do not get it. Another example of this, is when friends of my Mums will ask her (with me next to her) "oh how old is she now?" and my Mum will respond "Well, she's right there, ask her?" and they look almost horrified... are they that scared to talk to me? a sitting down, blonde, curly haired, petite feminine woman? I am literally what you would use in an example of a non-threatening/intimidating person. So why are people so scared of talking to me?

I was brought up in a very 'normal' environment. I was never in a special school, I went to a standard public Primary & High school, College & University, and was never brought up to associate myself as 'a girl in a wheelchair' I am just a person, like everyone else. Because of this, I have picked up natural sentences that everyone else uses, and certain people seem to find it "hilarious" to correct me.
I tend to use sentences such as "I'm knackered I just walked all the way into town and back" to which I will receive a response such as "what? how did you WALK?". Now, obviously, I did NOT just get up and physically walk into town, its just a saying, its something I've heard my whole life, and everyone else says it, so why can't I? Its common sense that it wasn't meant literally, so why nitpick? why tell me I should use the words 'rolled' or 'wheeled' when those words don't feel natural for me to say? It has zero impact on your life which word I use, so to quote Elsa, Let It Go.

I really shouldn't even have to put this on the list, because this is something that shouldn't be asked to ANYONE. Yet this is a question I've probably been asked the most frequently, followed alongside with "how do you get dressed? does someone have to help you?" and more very personal questions about being carried into bed, and even being asked if i have to be fed by someone. The title question was actually most recently asked to me by a colleague, on my very first day of work, within the first hour of me being there and having met them. I've also had a very awkward experience of a taxi driver asking me all of the above and having to keep calm till I can get out of the car. These sort of questions are extremely inappropriate, yet - as mentioned before - for some reason the wheelchair seems to give these people a 'pass' to just think its okay to ask? It isn't. EVER.

This one is a hard one, because I know that the people doing this are genuinely trying to be helpful, and they probably aren't thinking when they do it, but please please please don't help a disabled person without asking first. I appreciate help when I ask for it, and when it is offered, but for someone to just grab my chair and start pushing me, especially a total stranger - which it usually is - is definitely NOT okay. Think of my chair as an extension of my body, now imagine someone just coming up behind you and grabbing you and pushing you forward, what would you think? Yep. you just thought you were about to get attacked. That is exactly what goes through my head everytime this happens. It is terrifying. By all means, I am not saying don't help disabled people, but ask first. If someone came up to me and said "hey, that hill is steep, would you like some help?" then thats really kind, and I will either say yes or no, and it is appreciated a lot either way that someone is being so selfless. But please ask, don't just assume and do it anyway. ALSO, if a disabled person does say no, please respect that, I've had a few occasions I've respectfully declined and the person has taken it upon themselves to ignore me & think they know better and 'help' me anyway, which again, then terrifies me. I'm not a nervous person at all, but in that situation, it is quite scary, and it could cause a nervous wheelchair user a lot of emotional damage.

As I mentioned above, my chair is an extension of my body, and generally you wouldn't just start leaning on someone when you're talking to them, or standing near them, yet people seem to think its fine to do that to my chair. In school I had a science teacher who would always stand behind me in class and lean on my chair whilst he wasn't doing anything (despite the fact he had his own desk chair to do so!) and I often get strangers waiting at the bus stop who lean on my handles too, WHY?! Its really awkward for me, because I then have to try and explain to a total stranger why I don't want them to lean on me, which I really shouldn't have to do.

No. I'm not. I have not won a nobel prize, I have not entered the paralympics, or found a cure for a disease in Uganda. I am not an inspiration. I am many things, I am bright, I am clever, I am articulate, I am bubbly, I am a bit of a geek, you fill in the gaps, but an inspiration is not one of them, and let me explain to you why. When people use this term, it is almost always followed with something along the lines of "its so nice to see you outside, going about your day, like nothings wrong, so many wheelchair users don't do that they just spend their lives just existing, or inside, they don't go out like you" Okay, 1. where are you getting your statistics from? because absolutely none of that is true, unless they physically can't look after themselves/go outside for medical reasons. and 2. nothing IS wrong thank you very much. Me going about my normal day does not constitute to me being an 'inspiration' it just makes me exactly the same as you. I'm all for compliments, but to me, this isn't, this is basically telling me you're shocked that I'm able to look after myself.

Now this one, mostly comes from kids & teenagers, or just really pathetic people who are my age & really should grow up. I'm only mentioning this one just to hopefully raise awareness to teach your future children/family members not to do this. I get a lot of teens making car noises at me, or calling me stupid names like 'speedy' or actually, I've had adults tell me I should slow down, its not a race... comments like this are actually really offensive, and quite hurtful, even when meant in jest. oh and whilst were on the subject, if your 4 year old runs almost into me & your response to her about me is "watch out for the little girl!" you're also a part of the problem.

I am not a show, or a freak, so please don't look at me like one. I've had this my whole life and its always adults, kids tend to actually respond better to me because they usually are just curious, but adults actually walk by me staring me out, and its really creepy! Wheelchairs and disability is common knowledge, and in 2016 its absolutely everywhere, with events such as The Last Leg, the Paralympics and even soaps such as Eastenders, Hollyoaks & Coronation Street having actors in wheelchairs, we're not back when i was a kid, when disability was almost seen as a why are people still looking at me like I'm something they've never seen before?

I don't want you to get the wrong impression of me, I am a hugely positive person, and in all of these situations, somehow I manage to keep polite and smiley throughout, and keep the annoyance to myself until I get home. But I do feel that this post could really help people become more aware of what they are saying, and if this can prevent other wheelchair users experiencing what I have, or at least stop it from continuing as much, then I will be a very happy bunny.

Golden Rule : If you wouldn't want it to happen to you, don't do it to someone else.

Please Share To Raise Awareness.
Where Theres A Wheel, Theres A Way.
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Who Am I?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Am I Over Youtube?

As most of you know I have been a Youtuber since 2006, and at one point was a regular uploader & considered myself as a relatively good one. I went to Youtube events, meet ups, even hosted regular meet ups of my own! But over the past few months, possibly even longer than that, I've found myself...just not interested anymore. I can't remember the last time I watched a vlog, or even a youtube video for that matter, outside of perhaps a film trailer, let alone actually sat down & created, filmed & edited one of my own. I actually have two ready to be edited on my computer, that I filmed months ago, but still, today, here they sit untended to, and with no intention of worrying about bothering. but why do I feel like this?

I wonder perhaps, if it is down to several reasons;

1. I am growing up. 

I am 25 years old now & focusing on my 'real' life as opposed to my online life. I have a boyfriend, friends, a fairly ok (could be better) social life, I am seeking good employment & all in all, I'm the happiest I've been in years. I wonder if perhaps for a long time, Youtube was my escape, a way of me giving some kind of 'meaning' to my life, to keep myself busy so I wasn't sat around literally stuck in a rut doing nothing, left to my own thoughts, which usually lead me to stress, worry & overthink. Perhaps now I'm at a time in my life where I no longer need that escape because my own reality is either more important, or just better.

I also don't feel like Youtube is a viable life option for me anymore. I once thought perhaps I could end up with it being my career, like so many others I used to enjoy watching, but as you can see, that has not happened, even with being partnered (which isn't all its cracked up to be, I've had no help from them at all) & I feel now maybe my priorities have changed, I've "woken up" so to speak from this dream.

2. Youtube Has Changed.

Youtube is NOT the same place as when I started & loved making my videos, and in some ways, thats for the better, the quality of videos & the website has gotten better, & it is more accessible now than it has ever been, but with good, comes the bad as well.

Youtube has now become less about watching home videos that people enjoy watching & sharing content, and more about who has the best equipment, best software, and ultimately, who can get the most hits, likes and comments. Youtube has become this huge commercialised space where if you don't have a huge subscriber count, you may as well not exist, because in the youtube community, you basically don't. The community used to be about sharing our content, collaborating with each other, making new friends and having a space where you felt like you belonged. That is how it used to feel for me, now it is more about who can collaborate with whom to get a bigger subscriber count, and who can make the most money off of their video, whether thats just by views, or by paid sponsors placed into their videos, which so many Youtubers right now are doing a LOT.

In all honesty, I have felt so many times, that I don't see the point in making a video because I know it will not be anywhere close on par with some of these new videos, I don't have the money, or the equipment, or the sponsors to give me either of these things, to make my videos like that, nor in some ways do I want to, because I prefer these vlogs to be simple, like they're filmed by you, not a tv production crew, as so many seem to be these days. Youtubers have become everywhere now, they are no longer just online, they are on the radio, on television, even in books and movies, and I just feel they should stay where they are, in the youtube community as it was intended. If you want to be on the radio, tv etc then become that, dont label yourself as a youtuber anymore. (this is just my opinion, doesn't mean I'm right.)

3. A New Generation Of Youtubers

I can honestly 100% say I do not watch or subscribe to any of the "big" youtubers on the scene right now. Not one. Not out of spite, nor anything bad, but simply because their videos do not keep me interested. These videos are so different to the Youtubers I used to watch, and of course they will be because it is a completely new generation of teens (I was 16 when I started), I may only be 25 but even watching these new Youtubers (some of them are around my age as well) the atmosphere and they way they speak and what they speak about, just doesn't interest me. I come from the original generation of youtubers; CharlieIsSoCoolLike, Michael Aranda, Vlogbrothers, LittleRadge, SupRicky06, and so many more, and it saddens me to go to Youtube events such as Summer In The City and people don't even know who these fantastic people are? These are the people who made Youtube what it is, they made me part of who I am in some ways. The last few years I have attended Summer In The City, I could not name 90% of the people at the Meet & Greet stands until someone had told me who they are, and then I looked them up after the event, and I fear the same will be the case this year.

There could be many other reasons why I haven't felt the motivation to make videos anymore, but these are the ones I have thought the most about recently.

Now, this isn't to say I am quitting Youtube, my account is still live and shall stay that way, because I know at some point, I most likely will want to upload again, looking at my schedule, this will probably be at Summer In The City 2015, which I am, as always, attending because it is the one time of the year I get to see the friends I have made because of Youtube, the very people who have kept me on Youtube this long if I'm honest. Also, just because I am not posting videos, I am still VERY much alive on social media, so don't think I've disappeared, I wanna talk to everyone because I still believe in the Youtube community. I will post all my links below.

I hope one day that I will find the motivation to go back to uploading, but know that for now, it is not because I do not want to, but because I am happy, because my life feels the best it has in years and I am focusing on that, instead of youtube, which to me, doesn't seem so bad.

Thank You for taking the time to read this, and for watching my videos. I appreciate each and every one of you.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

My YouTube Thank You Thoughts...

It's been a long while since I actually sat down & watched some old school type youtube videos (by that I mean vlogging/skits as opposed to celebrity interviews, music videos, & another cat yawning) & I have today, figured out how to get the Internet, and therefore youtube, onto my smart television, which for me is fantastic. One of the disadvantages of living at home & having an extremely small room, is that I don't have a desk, & getting my laptop out can be a chore/effort & my phone takes far too long to buffer for me to not want to pull my hair out.

Now its fair to say I was "catching up" on my subs as, like I said, I haven't been on youtube much (& ever since youtube decided to change its subs section, I can never find all the videos I haven't seen without physically checking every channel I subscribe to - and I sub to around 80, so I'm not gonna do that! - I miss when it had a channel name, and all the unwatched videos underneath it with little x's that you could cross them off when you had - ah nostalgia, take note youtube, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!)

It's been a while also since I actually posted a video too, not because I don't want to, but because I just haven't had the motivation, I've literally sat there ready to make a video & just procrastinated because the idea of actually sitting there and editing one made my brain scream. Tonight that feeling is starting to go away. Thanks to my tv. Actually thanks to a certain youtuber.

Charlie McDonnell.

Most of you, if not all of you (you really all should haha) know him as Charlieissocoollike, possibly (I'm not 100% sure) the biggest youtube vlogger in the UK, or at least he was when I started vlogging. Charlie has been someone who, without even knowing, has helped me through a lot of my life from around 16 years old.

He was the very first youtuber I ever discovered, by total accident, & he is the main person/reason I decided to give vlogging a go, and I have never looked back. His videos have made me laugh, smile & learn so much over the past 8 years (Christ it's been that long?!) & I have found myself many a time relating to exactly what he's talking about, even now 8 years down the line, (i guess thats cause as hes growing up, i am too - were the same age) he also reminds me you dont need the best equipment/editing suites to make good content (which is an easy way to feel when a lot of youtubers right now do have access to these things) he has a way of engaging you, like he's actually talking TO you, which is an extremely difficult thing to do (trust me I know!) & watching him grow as a youtuber & a person has been wonderful & insightful, & has probably shaped the way I have grown too.

Youtube is now a very large part of my life , in fact I'd even go so far as to say I wouldn't be completely me without it. I can't even begin to think how different my life would be had youtube not become a part of it, and I do have Charlie to thank for at least a part of that. I have made so many friends through this, (and found many other youtubers I adore!) and weirdly (but awesomely!) Ive been recognised in the street on a few occasions (one occasion got me a free cupcake woop!) & again if not for youtube, and the friends I've made along this journey, I'd probably just be lost.

I realise this might sound like I'm just "fangirling", and that's not the intention, for I do not see myself as a "fan". I have met Charlie on several occasions & even though usually brief, is always very lovely, & even though he's shy, the more we speak, the more comfortable he seems, which is great (at least I hope haha! Last time we met he even made a joke about me - cheeky sod!) I just wanted to share my respect for someone I appreciate, and have a lot of respect for, and without whom, I would probably still be that shy, girl in the corner, worried about how people would treat her because of her wheelchair, but now? Well you guys know that's not me! (Seriously if you've been to Summer In The City you'll know exactly what I mean aha!)

The main point I was originally trying to make is that after catching up on Charlie's videos, he has got me, once again, out of my funk & wanting to make videos again. No other youtuber has ever managed to do that for me, and no other probably ever will. So thank you Charlie, I hope you continue to make videos for as long as they make you happy, because they certainly do for me. :)

My Links

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Review Of 'One Stag ft. Nikki Petherick - Cherry'

Today I'm reviewing the song 'Cherry' by One Stag aka Frankie, a solo artist from London, featuring Nikki Petherick.

On first listen of this song, many different musical genres & artists popped into my head. and i thought, if one person can put so many different styles into one song, and make it work, you know its a winner.

The first thing I picked up on with the song was the harmonies, and how well Frankie & Nikki's voices blended together, a musical treat to the ears. The wide variety of musical instruments within the song was also something that worked to their advantage. the music is light and airy, but not overpowering to match their soft tones in the vocals. 'Cherry' is definitely a well-thought out written song that you can imagine in the soundtrack of a TV Series or a movie, as the lyrics tell you a story, and send emotions through the music. Depending on your mood, it could be heard as both a sad or a happy song, for myself it uplifted me and made me want to dance around, but i could also see myself listening to this if i felt sad, which is a great thing, because it means the song (and presumably the artist if future songs are to be similar) has a wide range, as opposed to being the kind of music you can only listen to if you're in the right mood (like Adele for example).
if you're a fan of bands such as The Kooks, The Killers, Lawson, Ed Sheeran, Tom Law, etc... you'll love One Stag. And even if you're not, give it a listen anyway, New music is the way forward, and you'll definitely be seeing a lot more of One Stag around!

Links for One Stag!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Wheelchair Access: The WHEEL DEAL.

Hi, my name's Aimee, and I am a full-time wheelchair user. I have been in this wheelchair since birth, and will continue to be throughout my lifetime. Now, I am not the type of person to let anything stop her from doing what she wants; my motto is "if theres a WHEEL, theres a way" (pretty cheesy but also true!) But sometimes, there is something very significant that prevents me from doing things I love. Wheelchair access.
For the average non- wheelchair user, wheelchair access is something that most do not notice (which I'm not saying is a bad thing, if its not something that affects you, its natural not to notice things like this) Or as I have heard myself far too often, is assumed to be everywhere because "isn't there a law that everywhere HAS to have wheelchair access?" and the answer to that is yes; Technically there is. But sadly, there are also ways around this law which exempts places from this. I, however, do not agree with these things.
The Disability Discrimination Act, or as it's now known The Equality Act (as of October 2010) States that a person cannot be discriminated against because of their disability (obviously) and that all buildings must have some form of wheelchair access so that the building is accessible for everyone. This could be from a large adjustment, such as a lift/stairlift, to a small adjustment, such as ramps/bells outside to ask for help opening heavy doors etc. Sadly there are ways around this law without actually breaking it. Ways which places get away with not having wheelchair access (that I have personally been told) such as "its a listed building, we can't change any part of it", "its health and safety", "we don't have money for things like that" and some have simply not given answers at all.
I'd like to tell you about some personal experiences that I have had, most being over this past year. I've always had problems with this, but it wasn't until I started going to more new places on my own in 2011 (as most young adults do) that I realised quite how BAD things have gotten, and that it should not be acceptable.
I've lived in Kings Lynn my entire life, and there is a cinema that has been there since before I was even born, The Majestic. Now there has never been wheelchair access into the building and there are huge steps into the reception. Recently, they have made the bottom screen room (the smallest room) wheelchair accessible, if you ask someone at the desk they will come round and let you in the fire exit, but their flaw? The reception is up a flight of stairs, so if i was to go by myself, or with another wheelchair user, neither of us would be able to inform one of the ushers to let us in. Yes, we could ask a passer by, but you can't rely on that. also as it is the smallest screen room, the bigger grossing movies are shown in the two larger rooms, both of which are upstairs, and they have no plans to add a lift/stairlift into their building. When asked, the Cinema said it was a "listed building" and they have "no plans in the near future to change this". after 22 years of experiencing this, I am very shocked to see little change, I realise its not a huge place, but I don't feel thats a valid reason, because I would like to go to the cinema more often, but because of this, I either have to wait for it to come out on DVD, or travel further out, and as of yet I cannot drive, but on the other hand,why should I have to do that, when others do not? Again; Equality.

I have also had this problem with a few places in London. Over 2011 I have had to miss out on a fair amount of shows purely because of wheelchair access. The Camden Barfly, for example, have wheelchair access for their downstairs, but not upstairs, which are primarily where the gigs are held. Another being The Garage, again, access downstairs, but not up. Of course I can't put all the blame on these two places, these are purely places I've had problems with myself. One thing I will say about these venues, is that they are small venues used for small gigs, I'm not saying thats a good reason, but compared to the next place I'm about to tell you about, these don't even compare. 
G.A.Y club in London.
   One day in 2011 I found out that my favourite pop band The Wanted were performing at G.A.Y and I really wanted to go, and there was no reason why I couldn't. At least thats what i thought. I called up a week or so beforehand to check that I was going to the right place at the right time (as I discovered there is 2 G.A.Y's in london) and I'm very glad that I did. Whilst on the phone I thought I would ask if there was a best place to stand/place myself, so as to see the band (preferably at the front) and the best time, to which they then informed me that the venue only has stairs down to it, and there is NO disabled access whatsoever, and even went so far as to say that their bodyguards will not allow me into the building or assist in any way to get me into the building for "health and safety reasons". G.A.Y is the biggest gay club in the UK (to my knowledge) and pretty much EVERYONE has heard of it. So why does a place this famous, this big, not have wheelchair access? The person on the phone responded "we don't get any wheelchair users in here". Perhaps thats because you have no access?! After a long phone conversation that was heading nowhere I hung up the phone & with it, my hope of seeing that gig. I then sought onto twitter to try and get The Wanted to hear about what happened, and a lot of my wonderful followers tried too, but obviously with the amount of people tweeting the band, they were unable to see this, which is not the bands fault in any way, of course! But i felt it was worth a shot at the time.

Something I bet 90% of Londoners don't even notice, is lowered kerbs. Or lack of. I visit London pretty often and because of the Underground (which I am coming to next) I usually have to walk to places or get taxis. When walking around London I have noticed a lot of the time, there has been no lowered kerbs in-between roads, so when crossing, it becomes dangerous. I then have to try and get down a high kerb into a road and back up another high kerb (which is virtually impossible) before getting run over (and most of these roads don't have proper crossings) so if i can't get back up the kerb, I then have to dangerously walk along the side of the road until I can find a lowered kerb, which is not safe, and I would NEVER recommend to anyone. I have only ever done this if I absolutely HAVE to, and I have been extremely panicky whenever i have.
My initial reason for writing this is the London Underground System. For most it is an amazingly fast, cheap mode of transportation around London. For me, it has been a nightmare.
Out of 275 underground stations, less than 20% of them that are classed as "wheelchair accessible" but if you look deeper into it, they're not really that accessible at all. Bar a couple of randomly placed "accessible undergrounds" such as Wembley Park, St Pancras & Hammersmith, a vast majority (basically ALL) of the stations are on the outskirts of London, mainly places where people live, which is great if you live there, but then perhaps not, because even if you live there, you can't really get into Central London anyway, because there aren't the available Undergrounds. If you're like me and DO NOT live in London, I tend to go to places that are in the Centre of London, such as Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Camden etc, tourist attraction places, and nowhere in the centre of london has any Underground wheelchair accessible stations, meaning from Kings Cross Station (where my train comes in) instead of being able to jump on St. Pancras Underground to my destination, I have to get a taxi, paying out usually over £20 at the least rather than a less than £10 ticket on the underground. adding into that the return journey, and if I've moved from the location I was dropped off (which is likely!) I've racked up a LOT of cash purely on travel, which could've been prevented had I had access to the Underground.
On one particular trip I went to Hammersmith & I was ecstatic to find that the Hammersmith & City station was wheelchair accessible, so I happily strolled into St. Pancras, bought my ticket & asked for someone to help me onto the train and politely requested someone be at Hammersmith to help me off (because of the gap and floor to train height) That was fine, no issues. On the way BACK however, I did the same thing, asked a man to help me onto the train, and he told me it was "health & safety" that I was not allowed to be helped onto the train and demanded to know why I was on my own. I calmly explained that I am a perfectly independent 21 (at the time) year old who doesn't need a carer, I just need someone to help me on the train, and that someone be there at the other end to help me off, he then proceeded to be aggressive, and could not understand why I was on my own. Pure ignorance. In the end, he called someone in his office, who agreed to help me, and apologised for the other person's behaviour, and everything was sorted. Now this is the part where I would LOVE to tell you this was a one time deal. Sadly, this happened again about a month later, but with a different person. So either both of these people were rude and ignorant...or this is the sad fate of my life. Being subjected to the fact that I am supposed to have someone with me at all times. No. That's not going to happen. I don't see myself as any different to anyone else except that I cannot walk, so why should I be treated any different? If a place is classed as a "wheelchair accessible" station, there should be adequate wheelchair accessible trained people and/or equipment such as ramps.
My most recent issue with the Underground scared me quite a bit. I went to Wood Lane, because I needed to go to Shepherds Bush Market but it wasn't accessible so I went to the nearest one and decided I would get a taxi/walk to Westfields (depending on how far it was) I got on the train no problem and the person said there would be someone at the other end waiting for me to help me off, sadly, there wasn't and I was stuck on the train. Thankfully, some kind passengers could see I was in distress and helped me off on the next stop. Unfortunately, this stop wasn't accessible, but the tube had gone before I realised. I was then stuck up on a platform by myself. After a while a passer-by came along and asked if I was okay, I explained the situation and she said she would get someone from downstairs to help. There was no-one working at the station. At all. Bearing in mind this was around 12pm, Lunchtime, so it wasn't even a quiet time of the day, and there was no-one around, this kind Lady waited with me until two Men offered to carry me down the stairs, if they had not come by, I would not like to think how long I'd have been there.
I realise it may seem like I'm going on a bit, but this is all for a reason. This has to stop. This kind of thing is not just affecting me, its affecting people all over the UK and nothing is being done, I realise now that when these things happened, I ranted about it when I got home, but actually, I did nothing about it, and what good did I do? None. So this is why I'm writing this. I want people to see things for how bad they really are becoming, and to become more aware, and get talking about it, because this problem is not just gonna go away if we ignore it. And this is where I come to you, the readers.
I want to get this message out to as many people as possible. I am hoping if possible that I can even send this on to members of the Parliament/Council, but as of yet I am not entirely sure of the right people to contact, so please get in contact with me if you know whom I should inform or if you have a way to help with my cause, because this isn't just for me, this is for every Disabled person who has ever had these troubles and just kept it in the dark. Now is the time for these people to speak up and let the world know that we aren't taking it anymore, and that something NEEDS to be done. Action needs to be taken. Now.

If you have any information, whether it be your personal experiences, experiences of someone you know, contacts of whom I need to speak to/email/contact or you just want to get involved,and stand up for what's right, I would really appreciate as much help/support as I can get on this, whether you are disabled or not, Equality is what matters, 
United we stand, Divided We Fall.

Video blog I made connected to this:

Contact me:
Official Emails: (please write in the subject so its easier to spot)
Youtube: (a video is coming about this)
OR leave a comment below.

"It is not our ABILITIES, but our CHOICES that make us who we are"

Friday, 29 April 2011

Bullies & Haters...

Haters call me Gay, but that ain’t hating, cause I’m not homophobic, my morals are straight, and if I’m in the closet, then you are below me, taking the B A T out of basement homey! xD
Bo Burnham - I’m Bo Yo
All my life I have been a victim of bullying, hating, whatever you wanna label it..In primary school one girl turned almost my entire class into taking the mick out of me through my whole yr1-6..she even resorted to trying to put a screwdriver in my head…but didnt thankfully.
Bowling back in school
In high school a group of the “popular” kids (who noone liked) used to say the most horrible things to me, and in class used to put rulers and weights on my chair and tie me to things so i couldnt move. this might seem quite funny to some. but i can assure you it wasnt.
in high school was when i really started getting into performing arts, I’d always been a singer but i started getting into acting and dancing outside of school. inside of school i hated it because the people in the class made me feel so small…
High School Prom
When I got to College…there was ONE person who decided to make my life miserable..and noone liked it…and FINALLY..people didnt take it anymore..and neither did I..she almost got suspended and I got taken into hospital (i should note this has nothing to do with hate…i had to have an OP - long story) and because i was in for so long.. i missed a lot of that year and started the course again…thankfully with a lot nicer people…best thing to have happened for me to be honest.
In college I was lucky, because I made some amazing friends, and my confidence grew and grew again…and i realise now that the hate actually made me stronger.. and the person that I am today…
Me As A Lead In We Will Rock You - College
Why am i telling you my life story? I’m telling you because a lot of people at the moment, both celebrities and non-celebrities, are getting hate from people online and off… including as of tonight - ME. which is why im writing this blog. because I see so many people self-harm and much worse around me because of cyber bullying and In real life bullying..and I want to show that it CAN get better, I am living proof of that. I’m not saying that I’m suddenly this amazing person, but through my awful experiences, though at the time it was SO hard, and at times I felt like i just giving up, like I was worth absolutely nothing, that noone would EVER love me because I’m ugly, because noone will ever love someone in a wheelchair, and whats the point of me, noone would miss me. and do you know what…I’m so glad I was realised I was WRONG.
Thankfully I managed to not let these people see that I was hurting inside, and I grew with confidence slowly and accepted who I am, and that noone can change me and should change me. I’m not going to lie and say nothing affects me now..because things do, we all have our insecurities, I’ve just grown a harder shell, and learnt how to let things go over my shoulder…to an extent.
Now I should note I am not saying you should CONDONE this in any way. Bullying is wrong on any level. what I AM you aren’t alone. and you can get over it and have an amazing life.
Bullies are people who have nothing better to do with their lives than to pick on people they think will be vulnerable and let the things they say hurt them. The best way to avoid this is to do NOTHING. Do not respond, just throw it away, like it means nothing..even if it does..because what they for you to react..if you dont react..eventually they get bored. I know this from experience.
Basically what I want to if you get hate from people, whether it be twitter, tumblr, facebook whatever…don’t let it get to you, as hard as it sounds, these people are pathetic low-lifes who have no lives themselves, and think their lives will be fulfilled by making others feel like crap. but whatever you NOT do something you may later regret…if you are lucky enough to get that chance. So many people commit suicide and self-harm because of this, and it saddens me that people get to this point where they feel they cant go on alive. and I would hate to see any of my followers become one of these people. so I speak to those people, and to anyone whos ever known someone,or heard of someone who has tried to kill themselves…it DOES get better…and you CAN make something of your life..because you ARE worth something, and you are an amazing human being no matter what anyone says.
since realising this, i got top marks in college & I went to uni, and became entertainments officer for my Student Union, & joined the Cheerleading Squad
UoB Extreme Cheerleaders - Barbie Theme Night
and the thing that keeps me the most determined in life to achieve my dreams? Music. I know that sounds really cheesy but its absolutely true…
BustedMcfly & The Wanted are just 3 of the people who i absolutely Idolise, and their determination, and talent, to get to where they are (or where) truly inspired me to start singing and achieve my dream….one day…they keep me determined to keep my spirits high and try whether i fail or whether i succeed. and yeah okay it might seem silly, but do you know keeps me going..and sometimes..thats all you need. something there to keep you going. I’m sure everyone has something in their lives that gives them a reason to do things…this is mine. Recently I’ve found so many amazing new bands (such as Hill Valley HighThat Sunday Feeling,LawsonParadise PointGMD3) who are still trying to make it..and it makes me so happy to see these people doing what they love despite the odds…
You are beautiful. Inside & Out. Forget the haters. The People Who Mind Don’t Matter & The People Who Matter Don’t Mind. that is my motto in life. - people to talk to when you don’t feel you can talk to someone close by.
if you ever need someone to talk to..I am here as well, I can’t promise my advice will be amazing, But I’m willing to listen, and to be there… the best place to get me is on twitter as i have it on my phone so its on 24/7 the only time I may not answer is if I’m asleep, but rest assured I WILL reply asap.
if you really wanted…you can hear me sing here
Keep Smiling. Positive Outcomes Only. Good Things Come To Those Who Wait. (Trust Me On That One)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

There Are Some Sick People In This World...

Before I rant I should probably tell you the story behind it….
recently there has been a lot of people hating on each other on twitter. I don’t know why, thats none of my business, but some people are getting extremely upset to the point they are self-harming and worse. which is why this story is so sick and twisted. because the person I’m about to talk about…faked it for attention.
A girl on twitter who goes by the name of @Sykes_Hat recently got sent hate for (as far as i can tell) no reason, now as this hate seems to be going around at the moment to random people, a normal person may be upset, but would ignore it as its online, they cant hurt you, you just report them, ignore them, even go off twitter for a while, and leave it at that. but this girl decided to respond in a way I never expected. she pretended on twitter that she had attempted to commit suicide, and had been unconscious and found by her bedside, and taken to hospital into intensive care, she then pretended that her “friend” had signed into her account outside her hospital room, and was keeping us “updated”. now I thought this was fishy already, because having been in intensive care MYSELF, i know for a fact you cant have phones or internet access anywhere near intensive care because it sets off the machines and other reasons…so suspicious part number 1.
she then started a twitition to get @nathanthewanted to follow her so that when she “wakes up” she will have something nice to see… a lot of people signed this, and people who refused got a lot of hate for it. - suspicious part number 2
then she gets angry cause people arent believing her..and leaves the account to “go home” from the hospital…why does she need to come off her “phone” when shes leaving anyways? - suspicious part number 3
Now my first thought was..if your FRIEND IS UNCONSCIOUS in intensive care..the last thing i’d be worrying about is tweeting. I would be by my friends bedside hoping for the best. now i kept most of my real feelings to myself and my friends because god forbid if it WAS true I would’ve felt truly awful about it…
TODAY… @nathanthewanted and @tomthewanted followed her and Tom contacted her asking where the hospital was, so that they could visit her…(an amazing gesture i think you’ll agree) and @Sykes_hat replied saying but shes unconscious? and Tom replied again saying that they can send a get well card and visit when she IS conscious, and how she must know what ward shes on? (which she should right?) and yet again @Sykes_hat made a bunch of excuses..
and THEN her friends from school tweeted saying that she’d actually been in school ALL WEEK! and suddenly out of NOWHERE…@Sykes_Hat is FINE and has been “hacked” funny that….
now this is the part where i get angry…and I feel i have every right to.
what kind of sick person makes up that theyve committed suicide..and just to get a follow from Nathan & Tom (who have both now Unfollowed her). Nathan & Tom and a lot of #twfanmily shared a LOT of concern for this girl, only to be taken for a fool. I know a lot of people who have genuinely committed suicide and self-harm and it is NOT something to be taken lightly..
thousands of people a year commit suicide due to many different reasons, and to hear someone essentially “take the piss” makes me so mad.. I have been in and out of hospital all my life (not for suicidal reasons thankfully) and it is one of the most awful places to have to be, i was there for 8 months of a year one time (which I’m not going to go into) and i would NEVER make up such a terrible terrible thing.
A lot of the #TWfanmily are worried now that because of this @TheWantedMusic are not going to be able to trust them anymore, and start meeting fans less, I sincerely hope that each of the boys are a lot smarter than that, and realise that we are not all like that, and that that ONE person doesnt ruin it for the rest of us. I honestly believe all hell will break loose if it does.
This girl is clearly not right in the head, and it sounds as if the hospital might be the best place for her if she has thoughts like this. maybe counselling?
I hope this will not tear the #twfanmily apart..but bring them together. like a #truetwfanmily we come together in times of need.
Something to remember: all actions have consequences, think about what you say or do before you say or do it, you never know what effect it will have on someone. Forget the haters, the people who mind, dont matter, and the people who matter, don’t mind. everyone is beautiful, inside and out, in their own way, we all forget that sometimes..make someone’s day..remind them once in a while :)
Suicide is a serious matter. never ever take it lightly.
if you have been affected by this please visit