Just keep BRAINS!

Cemetary-Travels and the life of a german Darkling.

Category: discussion

Bodymods and Self Destruction?

Hey there, Internet!

On a serious thought, does anyone else feel the desire to get a new piercing or bodymod in general when they are in some kind of bad mood? When I look back at the different amounts of piercings I’ve had over the past years (talking about 12 years with my belly button being the first piercing for me and years when I had up to 21 piercings, see recent piercing post) usually the decision for something new was made when I was not feeling too well.

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Happy so far I didn’t regret them afterwards, not even the forever-under-construction Pokémon sleeve tattoo, as annoying as this sometimes gets. Of course, been eye-ing particular bodymods for a while before getting them, but talking about that ‘NOW!’ moment in the end, right before heading to the studio. And yes, so far they always somehow did help to feel better.

That did remind me of some topic we were talking about during my apprenticeship, coping strategies, how different people react when something happens in their lives, how they process tragedies, stress in general. Some do think about it, learn from it, include the new knowledge / experience into their lives, into the way they will behave. Some others might try to ignore or to cover their inner struggles. Some break or turn those moments into some kind of (self-) destructing behaviour or thoughts.

Which actually feels strange to me, is this (Bodymods) some kind of self destructing behaviour / self harm that makes us feel better because of the pain? Or do we simply enjoy the changes with our body? On the other hand, there are a lot of different things we could talk about here that might, same as the bodymods feel ok, be ok to some, be bad to others. (Just think about when was the last time you were in a bad mood and because of that mood you went shopping, or did some extra hours of sports or maybe bought some sugary treat you would not have bought if it was a nice day for you? Or how about that new book you just added to your ever growing to-read-pile?)

So, if this really was some kind of coping strategy, would it be a good one or a bad one? I mean, when someone does feel better for a long time, it can’t be a bad thing? But what when you start to regret getting them done? Sure, piercings can easily be removed, will turn into tiny, nearly invisible scars and other bodymods would be more expensive so people think about them a bit more – I hope.

Or is all of the bad mood thing something we make up as excuses, to treaten our addictions? Because a lot of the things, not just the point of feeling better, happiness, that one might enjoy with piercings / tattoos / scars / whatever bodymod could as well be found in every article about addictons and their bakgrounds. The subculture, people with same interest, community, attention. If this is the case I hope, despite how beautiful they are, that noone of us reaches that point when you can only feel good WHEN you get a new one done because that definitely is something bad, no matter what addiction or semi-addiction we have, that would be the point when they are not good anymore.

What do you think? Have a nice evening!

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Sleep Control?

Hey there, Internet!

Today (Dec, 1st, 2015) was after a long time that I woke up, sitting in bed, screaming. I am sorry for my neighbors, even though luckily I sleep when most of them are awake or at work anyways. Maybe people think it is quite common to wake up from nightmares, for me it is not. When I was a child, maybe at the age of 10 I started to concentrate on my dreams, thought it must be possible to actually change the way you act in them.

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This being the ceiling of the sleeping area in my bedroom…

Eventually I noticed by concentrating before falling asleep and recording my dreams as well as thinking about my behavior in them as soon as I woke up started to work, I was not able to control my entire dream but knew I was dreaming and was able to change a few sequences, for example to turn around instead of walking where my feet wanted to go in the first place.

So when I was allowed to google a bit (Those were the early days of internet for private people in Germany!) there was not much I could find but a few people mentioning they were able to fully control their dreams and you were able to find a few ‘steps’ as guidelines on how to achieve this. Those steps seemed similar to mine so I tried even more, to the point when I was able to completely control ‘my character’ / myself while being asleep. I also was able to change the environment sometimes but I did not care about that too much.

Maybe until today, I found myself in a place I have never seen, neither awake nor asleep. A place that I felt uncomfortable in from the beginning. I was still able to understand that I was dreaming, able to control what I was doing but there were so many creatures after me. Mixed creatures, human-shadows. They were trying to catch me, they became taller and because of their legs also getting longer they were getting faster. I tried to escape using tricks as well as hiding myself, nothing did help, in the end I saw myself jumping off a cliff, one of the shadows following me was tall enough to grab me with his hand, it felt uncomfortably tight, I started screaming and woke up this way.

Common nightmare maybe? Maybe I just didn’t have any nightmare after I realized I could control my dreams and this is something that had to happen sooner or later? Still I am pretty much confused because usually this would not have happened to me. So being part of generation google that was the first thing I did when I woke up. It seems there are two (or more) different ways to ‘control’ your dreams, ‘Lucid Dreaming’ and ‘Dream Control’.

In both cases people advice to get enough sleep, maybe the 3-4 hours I’ve slept during the last few days were not enough but I’ve definitely slept less when the creative bug bit me before. The only electronic devices that were left on were the common cd-player with rain-sounds and a faerie-light.

What about my readers, any of you (trying to) control your dreams or active in analyzing them? Have a nice evening!

Goth and Depression?

Hey there, Internet!

Actually I did not want to join the discussion on this topic that came up on every darkly inclined website or group on every social media a few weeks ago after an article in some newspaper stated that there is a connection between teenage goths and depression – not going to link to that newspaper / article though, if you really want to look it up feel free to google it. Sure, they said that ‘they are not saying being goth causes depression’ but still, reading through it you might easily think that the higher risk they mention actually would state goth as a reason for depression. Obviously though I do have a few things to say about this topic now. Sorry for a very personal soul striptease and probably a bit negative blogpost. I usually try to keep this place on the happy side but with this topic and the emotions attatched I am sorry, I can’t. I tried to write this post for about a month now, was not happy with the result and started again since I am not willing to put anything online that is not fully finished.

There have been happening a lot of bad things amongst my family and friends during the past two months. Far too many, a quite scary amount of my loved ones, got diagnosted with cancer last year and this year again, some were able to fight their way through it, some are still trying to beat that thing, and sadly a few lost that fight, not all of them lost against cancer itself, since facing a disease that might kill you as well might bring up another enemy, depression. Easy to guess, not all of them were goths.

little me - look at the hand: \m/ XD

Little me, not depressed, not goth but in love with the bats and spiders living in our attic and I already knew what to do with that hand! \m/

I have been diagnosted with depressions when I was a child. This was not a girl being goth, this was an 11-year old girl who was mourning the death of her father, not being able to understand what was happening or how to get out of that mourning again the way she lived and thought back then. Of course, therapies and all that were done, still not successful, mini-me stayed locked in those mental chains. Acting normal, being sad, thinking too much.

Eventually I met a group of goths – cliche, covered in black velvet, chains, totally beautiful and fascinating with their vampire like attitudes. They were 10-15 years older than me and didn’t live close to me, but were still people who I felt deeply connected to (and thanks to the being older fact and them having their own cars we were able to meet quite often). They were able to show me things to love about life, music, places, art, made me feel better, tought me to understand what my soul needed, smile again with my heart instead of putting on that mask I was used to wear.

At school I was bullied because of the way I looked, other pupils started calling me names, throwing waste at me and even pushing my head into the toilet. It hurt, I hated school only because of them, if I would have had the chance to quit school I might have done so. Not because of being goth but because of bullies, that can happen to every child at any time (be it to look, religion, grades or whatever, people are mean, so are their children). Teachers did not care – believe me, after becoming friends with those goths I was confident enough to talk about what happened. My mom managed to make the teachers put me into a different class, I liked the other pupils, they liked me and everything was fine, no bullying, no bad mood or depression. (On a sidenote: scary thing to me is the fact that one of those bullies now is a teacher, noone of them ever tried to apologize, I am afraid thinking about what her future pupils will have to go through.)

These days you will not find me depressed anymore, maybe in a bad mood of not being able / willing to leave my flat for some days or maybe being too critical regarding things I write, paint, create or maybe even regarding my life, still to me this is normal and as long as it won’t be for longer than 3 days in a row I am fine (been having a year or two of fighting against the return of that inner monster of mine afterwards but I won). Sure there are people who have not yet found their way out of those chains and some might never find it but still it is a part of being alive, being human, not a part of being goth.

So to me goth is not connected, causewise to depression, sure maybe for me it was part of the cure, I think we are able to understand that it is a thing people need to talk about, need to understand. While the majority of society still thinks the only acceptable diseases are the ones you can clearly see prove with blood or broken bones we understand that the soul as well can get sick and needs someone to take good care of to heal again.

Did you read that article? What are your thoughts on that topic? Have a nice evening!

Grufti Discussion!

Hey there, Internet!

So when I uploaded the 15 words for your next goth festival in Germany video to Youtube I mentioned the word ‘Grufti’ and the discussion happening on that term amongst german goths. Afterwards I received quite a lot (compared to the number of views for that video) mails of non-German people asking for more information on this, I answered, short way. But maybe this requires a bit more background information than just the two sentences I sent to them.

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You probably have seen people arguing about what is goth / gothic and what is not. There are several great books on that topic in general and on how ‘everything began’ in the 1980’s including informations on post-punk and new wave, so I won’t go into the details here.

The word Grufti according to the Duden / German dictionary is decribed as:
Jugendlicher, der schwarz gekleidet, mit schwarz gefärbtem Haar und weiß geschminktem Gesicht auftritt und (zusammen mit Gleichgesinnten) besonders Friedhöfe als Versammlungsort wählt
Vaguely: Young person, black dressed, black dyed hair and wearing white make up who especially likes to gather (with kindred spirits) at cemetaries. Funny sidenote, the other use for that word is for really old people, ‘Gruft’ means ‘crypt’ in German so you probably can see why.

In Germany there is the collective word ‘Schwarze Szene’ (black scene) which holds a lot of darkly inclined sub-cultures (and ttheir sub-sub-cultures). The explanation from the German dictionary pretty much would imply not all members of the Schwarze Szene are Gruftis, a lot of people agree with that, others use the term simply as German equivalent for goth.

Some goths see the term ‘Grufti’ as an insult, maybe due to the other explanation in the dictionary, maybe due to it being adapted as description for the subculture by mainstream magazines and media of all kind with articles that quite often consist of prejudice, made up ideas or stereotypes, leading to stultify of an individual or the subculture in general.

My opinion (short) – To me the discussion of what makes a Grufti and what not is a bit strange, exactly like the entire goth discussion. Sure the word itself described the ‘average’ member of the subculture back in the days but those people and the subculture itself changed and kind of evolved. So maybe there is some elitism (as in ‘points’ for looking, behaving a certain way, listening to only that kind of music) going on on something that seems not to be exactly clear in its own definition? If it would be all about the look, sure, it would be quite easy to tell but then again isn’t the goth community as well as the schwarze szene proud to be free minded and brimming with creativity? I mean, even with the describtion from the dictionary, would people lose all their points when they would not like cemetaries or maybe have bleached hair instead of black or not putting on makeup on a lazy day?

Do you have an opinion on this term? Are there other words, maybe in other languages, that you have heard of similar debates? Have a nice evening!

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