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  • Writer's pictureBen Westwood

Ciao for now

A big thanks to everyone that helped make any of it happen throughout my journey of self-publishing and promoting Poems From a Runaway.

There were indeed some interesting moments and I've met some wonderful people.

However, behind the scenes it truly did take an absolute immense amount of work to make any of it happen, especially doing things with no training and turning myself into a complete one man office.

Unfortunately, it was my publishing my views on certain topics that caused things to go dead in the water. I thought that I was doing the right thing. I thought that people cared.

For all my rants during my depressive states (including my recent video which I've just removed) the truth is, people do care.

But me, unfortunately I could never gain any momentum with my work. I had a short run of interesting times with Poems From a Runaway, but anything after that had been day-in day-out of pointlessly putting copious amounts of time and energy into articles, songs, videos and other things that largely I'd be lucky to get anybody to look out.

I didn't quite understand it for most part of the journey, but what had felt a deep wound was that it had also been a reflection of my life in the offline world, which is what I wish people would understand when they hear my vents and presume that I'm 'relying on the internet' for communication with the world.

Despite some people getting behind me for the book, largely I'd been unaware of the stigma that came with being a former child runaway from care that had self-published his book, even though I'd lived it for most part of my life. I should have been used to being both shunned and invalidated by the majority of people by now, but perhaps there's some beauty in what felt at times like a deluded faith that was keeping me going.

Sure there is a dark element to some of my suspicions, anxieties, and has I have been documenting over the last few months on a Wordpress website - actual strange and freaky things goings on.

Perhaps it's all designed to feel isolating, I dunno. Either way, whether it's my campaigning days catching up with me, my speaking of the darker elements of child protection issues over recent years, or both, for some reason whatever it is if it's me speaking it the world seems to watch as everybody ignores it.

I'm not sure why to be honest, and when things get at their absolute worst sure it starts to get about the money because I've been documenting so much regular weird stuff that I'm genuinely freaked out.

However, it's an isolating feeling because I think most people are convinced that I'm making it all up. In the video I've now removed I documented the strange goings on in my last attempt to look for work. Without going back over those events, I'd been truly spooked. Along with other events that have been happening over recent months, at least some of my more stranger-sounding suspicions and anxieties anxieties are proving to be true.

Maybe I knew all along, maybe I'm still not sure how much of it I know, either way the feeling of mysterious forces interfering with both my life and my mental state has been something I've long been aware of. Being so naïve in my times speaking on the internet or going public with my campaigns in the past, perhaps I've learned lessons the hard way. Perhaps I'm being 'put in my place'.

But aside from all of that, there are also challenges on less conspiratorial levels that I'd not taken into account. I've certainly learned the hard way that opening up to the world about being a former street-kid from care has in many ways made me more vulnerable than has helped.

The world literally watches as you make post after post, project after project, in the end you resort hopelessly begging for at least some sort of feedback, from anybody but by that time it's been going on for so long that you just seem desperate.

It's harder to prove yourself these days to people of what value you can offer. Eventually the constant feeling of rejection numbs you. People try to calm you by telling you that people just haven't had the chance to see it.

I'll never be too sure whether Elon Musk's plan to add view statistics to peoples tweets was a good thing or not. Maybe I was happier thinking that it had all been down to shadowbanning before realising that many hundreds had often seen those tweets asking questions and advice, or trying to get people involved in an idea, only to feel somewhat a freak to world.

Why did I think that I could ever make it happen in this corporate machine anyway. Perhaps it's all rigged, perhaps I should have stuck to bubblegum culture. Maybe I shared my heart too much.

I never was honest about my mental health for most part, but I don't think many people are. Not that there's any point in writing about it now, maybe one day, but it doesn't matter to most people.

Those like me are far more likely to be diagnoses with some sort of paranoid psychosis or schizophrenia than ever get recognised by professionals for our actual experiences.

Adult life has had it's intense storms, but I was never truly honest about how growing up had affected me. Contrary to how it all appears on places like Twitter, professionals seem to have rarely been willing to accept that people like myself may have manifested thought patterns or defence mechanisms based from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. OK, so I hadn't been in a warzone, but perhaps the levels of adrenaline from spending so much of that time literally living out on the street really is near-impossible for some people to comprehend.

It's the same with ADHD. You can have every single classic trait, and you can have it chronically. But those things are for regular people, not those who ACTUALLY display the most clearest of manifestations of it.

People won't want to believe that those like myself are last in the queue to ever get recognised for it. Some of the few people that actually know me say that I hold my face too well, and that people really can't see how much I can battle it can be.

The worlds impression of such disorders is now largely based on those that can afford to look 'quirky' - whilst the worlds in which many are struggling the most are often clearly marked with an 'ACCESS DENIED' sign.

The way people see it seems to be, well if you survived on the streets then you're alright.

It's largely a strange experience here, even when I battle through my personal mental struggles and try to remain positive, nothing really counts. I'm invisible. What would I know? What benefit is anything I have to say to anybody? Just some old homeless guy. Pfft.

Perhaps I've learned the hard way that for all of the dressings, for all of the claims of a democracy, that really it's still a jungle and one somewhat akin to a rather fragile-looking house of cards.

Maybe I really am I bit of a weirdo though. Too wrapped in emotion wanting peace and love. But the so-called truth movements always felt so mainstream, and it was always hard to find niche. Perhaps I should accept how even more special it was to get those few rare souls behind me. It took a lot of hard work to find them, but I found some, or they found me.

Either way, I feel this is my exit from internet coming up shortly. I still have 7 Welcome to Leatheton bundles to send out which I need to send out soon after recovering from what I can only explain as possibly my biggest breakdown in years. I have been truly malfunctioned for quite some time, but hopefully writing this blog is a clear sign that I am on the up.

Still though, I should have been more aware that with so much going on in the world, why should I be so narcissistic to think anybody would be so interested in what I have to say. It's all a learning process I guess, and I know that I've truly embarrassed myself along the way. The struggle has been real though, and poverty has indeed played a huge part in all of this. I've always wanted to work or provide something for money, but few understand how much I'm last in the queue I am, that is of course if for some reason the familiar feeling of being completely blacklisted doesn't resurface.

I know what they think though, it's an excuse. It's been a headfuck spanning over two decades though, I kept it quiet for most part whilst promoting the book but I always knew that it would catch up with me.

Anyhow, maybe I'll be back sometime with something. But it pretty much feels embarrassing to post up online these days, like, am I really this much of a freak to have pretty much every single person that sees my stuff completely ignore and instantly disregard it? Maybe my efforts are better spent elsewhere, maybe I'm making a complete fool out of myself here.

I struggle, massively. People don't understand exactly how much sometimes. I'm used to it by now. Part of it is poverty, part of it is my own fucked up mental health issues that at times are akin to dementia. Nobody really believes it though, they see my fleeting moments of improvement or when I'm wearing my mask.

I never wanted to play soppy music and get the violins out, but I can see why some people do it though because that's what people react to.

I should have knew better, I'd learnt it years ago. There is no pure intention in the internet world, caring is for profit margins and bottom lines. Peace and love is to promote Pepsi and Coke, or to divide and rule, not for cocky wannabe-revolutionists like myself that have the audacity to think we can actually contribute to a greater change.

Not online, you need corporate funding, permission from the state or a drama school scholarship for that stuff. Still nice to see some others slipping through the net though, as long as they keep in line that is or don't come across as odd as myself.

Maybe something does click one day, maybe I do start feeling somewhat a little more connected with the world around me, or maybe instead I'll learn to embrace the new nickname that I've given myself - Hologram Man.

Maybe I'm an alien, one of a kind, or perhaps just a fucking weirdo.

Either way, there never really was any momentum despite the attempts and largely I think there's only so much of feeling completely invisible to the world before it feels completely degraded. There had been simply too much nothingness for almost all of it.

That's not to discredit the few people that did get behind me, give me feedback or even try to get others to check out my work. But perhaps I just wasn't good enough, there's always that and maybe however much chasing a dream is good, some of us just have to accept when something just doesn't seem to be working.

That's not to say I'll never be seen again with my projects and endeavours, but perhaps I tried to hard or something. I dunno. Either way, a huge thanks again to anyone and everyone that helped. Anybody still expecting items, I'm hoping to send them off soon, I'm really not living the high life this end at the moment. At least I know I'll be able to function for some time in the state of a national emergency. I think if I hadn't of learnt to cope like this on the absolute bare minimum at times I'd in hospital right now. Poverty makes me feel more like a tribeperson than a civilised member of western society sometimes, but smoking tobacco plays it's part in the expenses.

I should stop, but I'm too embarrassed with myself with how I get ratty. I definitly helps hide a few of my demons.

I'll be wherever I am, healing.

Thanks for the support.

Big Love.

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