The B-Keeper. See What I Did There?

I have been assembling B-Sides like a fucking madman over the last couple of weeks. You know what the secret is? Torrenting. If you’re going to download music illicitly, or go hunting for rarities, use torrents. You can almost always find what you’re looking for, and if you’re missing a specific song, you can do what I do and start checking mediafire and 4shared for individual audio files and comparing minute differences in starting time and audio quality to see which one is superior. I’m sort of an accidental audiophile.

Tori’s Infamous List of Bee Sides

So, of the artists that I “collect,” Tori Amos has unquestionably the most B-Sides (although Ke$ha wins for the most demos/unreleased songs, she has over 80, but I really didn’t bother with them). So, for you Toriphiles out there, I thought I would show you my list of Tori B-Sides as a guide for anyone looking to assemble their own collection of B-Sides. My source for the majority of these files is a thread on a Spanish website called Taringa! where someone very kindly uploaded pretty much every single Tori B-Side, remix, and promo single ever released. Finding it is difficult, I still have to go on a mad hunt for this thread any time I need it, because I never bother bookmarking it, and I also think that it’s been made private now so you have to make an account there to view it (which I did, earlier this year when I first compiled my B-Sides). Also, there are quite a few Tori Amos discography torrents that have a lot of these, and if you can find the torrent with a copy of the 4-disc bootleg called “The Lost Works,” you’re mostly set.

I have done my B-Side hunting for Tori on about 5 different occasions now, always on a different computer each time, and this time I’m getting some CD-R’s and backing this stuff up. Of course I should mention that the best way to go about getting some of these songs is to just BUY the music properly, but some stuff, you’re just not going to be able to find, and some stuff isn’t actually available on CD (like the audio rips of the instrumental versions of tracks from Tales of a Librarian, or the audio rip of Garlands from the bonus DVD in the deluxe edition of The Beekeeper). And for those of you who ARE going to buy the music properly, I have some words of caution for you.

iTunes’ Woefully Inaccurate 1996 Selection

Tori’s third album (and incidentally, my favorite) is called Boys For Pele, released in 1996. If you want to get a copy of this album (and I highly suggest you should), you should know that iTunes has fucked the tracklisting all to hell. Your best bet is to do what I did and order a copy of the album from eBay. I believe I payed about 6 dollars altogether for the physical album, which gave me perfect rips of the tracks without improper audio or tracklisting, for less money than it would cost to purchase the album online. So, there are three editions of Boys For Pele: the original version is 18 tracks long, and has all of the original versions of the songs. The second edition of the album is my personal favorite, and the one you’d find if you were to order the album from any major retailer, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble: this version of the album has one difference from the original, in that the song Talula is replaced with “the Tornado Mix,” which is a version of the song used on the Twister soundtrack. This version is just better than the original, it adds more percussion, makes the song a bit groovier, although it does omit a few little sections of lyrics. If you’re hardcore and want to have everything Tori has ever released, I would suggest putting the original version of Talula in your list of Pele B-Sides, or putting the Tornado Mix in your list of B-Sides. Personally, I just use the Tornado Mix on my Boys For Pele and I’m done with it.

Finally, there is a third version of the album, and this is my least favorite version. The fourth track, Professional Widow, is followed up by the famous Armand Van Helden remix that granted Tori her biggest hit to date when his remix went to the top of the dance charts. Not only does throwing a remix right into the middle of the album mess up the flow of the whole thing, but it also caused one of the songs, In The Springtime of His Voodoo, to be cut completely from this version.

iTunes’ version of Boys For Pele is the third edition of the album, which in itself is already a misrepresentation of the album, but to make things worse, they don’t actually include Professional Widow. Both Professional Widow and the Armand Van Helden Remix are the exact same audio track. It’s just the same track twice in a row. For this reason, I highly, highly suggest buying the original album on eBay or from any major retailer. Hell, if you go into a well-stocked Barnes & Noble, you just might find it.

Now, back to our original mission: B-Sides. The album is not the only thing iTunes has wrong, the Hey Jupiter EP is in even worse shape. The version of Hey Jupiter used here is NOT the Dakota Version (the remix used as the single version of the song, which is about 6 minutes long and includes some heartbreaking additional lyrics), though it’s labelled as such, and the Merry Widow version of Professional Widow, which is an intense, emotional performance of the song live on harmonium, isn’t here either, it’s the original version of the song. Once again, my advice is to buy the physical EP from eBay or Amazon, it’s not very expensive and it’s worth it to get the real stuff.

There’s one another album that iTunes has messed up: Tori’s box set release, A Piano: The Collection. It has all the right audio files, but there are a lot of inexplicable silences at the beginning of the songs. Me and a Gun, for instance, has about 4 seconds of silence before the song begins. It’s not done by the artist, it’s a mistake that for some reasons happens to a lot of album uploaded to iTunes, and I can’t quite explain it. If you really want to support Tori and buy her music, do what I did: purchase A Piano from iTunes, and then go and download a torrent of the album with the proper audio files. That way you’ve payed for it and you’ve got the proper songs.

Apart from the above mentioned releases, the rest of the Tori selection on iTunes seems to be perfectly accurate. The rest of the EP’s are all in good order, I got Crucify, God, and Raspberry Swirl from the iTunes store and they’re the right songs. The only thing is that beginning with Scarlet’s Walk, iTunes has posted multiple versions of the same album, some with no differences from one another. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense, for instance, there are 4 versions of American Doll Posse, one with 23 tracks, one with 23 tracks and a digital booklet, another that is identical to the second one I mentioned, and a third with the digital booklet and bonus videos. It would have much more prudent to either post one edition of the album, or at very least a regular edition and a deluxe edition. But who am I to tell the geniuses at iTunes what to do.

See that? That was a pun. I was being funny. See how funny I am?

On to the B-Sides Already!

So, without further adue, I present to you, my collection of Tori Amos B-Sides. And no, I’m not going to give you download links, because firstly I can’t be bothered to upload them all, and also because collecting these songs isn’t really all that challenging, it just requires a bit of digging around.

Note on my formatting: I include studio tracks first, then songs from soundtracks, and then live tracks. I do not include remixes or alternate versions of songs. Other than that, the songs are pretty much in chronological order of release. Also, for album art, I used some of the Polaroids from the special edition box set of Scarlet’s Walk, just as a way to keep them all uniform, but it’s fun to find different single covers to use as album artwork. All of my information on these songs, as well as the photos I used for album artwork, along with pretty much anything else you would ever need to know about Tori Amos, is from my friend Jason’s very popular Tori Amos fansite, Yessaid.

Little Earthquakes: B-Sides

1 Upside Down [from Me and a Gun single]
2 Thoughts [from Me and a Gun single]
3 Sugar [from China single]
4 Flying Dutchman [from China single]
5 Humpty Dumpty [from China single]
6 The Pool [from Winter single]
7 Take To The Sky [from Winter single]
8 Sweet Dreams [from Winter single]
9 Angie [from Winter/Crucify singles]
10 Smells Like Teen Spirit [from Winter/Crucify singles]
11 Thank You [from Winter/Crucify singles]
12 Here. In My Head [from Crucify single]
13 Mary [from Crucify single]
14 Ode To The Banana King (Part One) [from Silent All These Years single]
15 Song For Eric [from Silent All These Years single]
16 Ring My Bell [Anita Ward cover – from Ruby Trax: The NME’s Roaring Forty]
17 The Happy Worker [from Toys Soundtrack]
18 Little Earthquakes (Live) [from Crucify single]
19 Crucify (Live) [from Crucify single]
20 Precious Things (Live) [from Crucify single]
21 Mother (Live) [from Crucify single]
22 Happy Phantom (Live) [from Silent All These Years single]
23 Silent All These Years (Live) [from Silent All These Years RAINN re-release single]

What’s missing: there is a single edit of China, as well as an edit of Flying Dutchman, both featured on the french China single, that I didn’t include. There’s also a remix of The Happy Worker called “Workers,” I don’t know if it’s an official release, but I didn’t include it. I also didn’t include the single remix of Crucify, not because I don’t like it but because it’s on A Piano: The Collection. In fact, A Piano saves me the trouble of including any of the single mixes, because they’re all featured in the box set.

Under the Pink: B-Sides

1 Sister Janet [from Cornflake Girl single]
2 All the Girls Hate Her [piano suite – from Cornflake Girl single]
3 Over It [piano suite – from Cornflake Girl single]
4 A Case Of You [Joni Mitchell cover – from Cornflake Girl single]
5 If 6 Was 9 [Jimi Hendrix cover – from Cornflake Girl single]
6 Strange Fruit [Billie Holiday cover – from Cornflake Girl single]
7 Home on the Range (Cherokee Edition) [traditional folk song with some added lyrics – from God single]
8 Daisy Dead Petals [from Pretty Good Year single]
9 Honey [from Pretty Good Year single]
10 Black Swan [from Pretty Good Year single]
11 Losing My Religion [R.E.M. cover – from Higher Learning Soundtrack]
12 Butterfly [from Higher Learning Soundtrack]
13 Famous Blue Raincoat [Leonard Cohen cover – from Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen]
14 Down By The Seaside [Led Zeppelin cover with Robert Plant – from Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin]
15 Upside Down (Live) [from Past the Mission single]
16 Past the Mission (Live) [from Past the Mission single]
17 Icicle (Live) [prefaced with a story from Tori – from Past the Mission single]
18 Flying Dutchman (Live) [from Past the Mission single]
19 Winter (Live) [from Past the Mission single]
20 The Waitress (Live) [from Past the Mission single]
21 Here. In My Head (Live) [from Past the Mission single]

What’s missing: every remix of God, and a live performance of Little Drummer Boy that was included on You Sleigh Me: Alternate Christmas Hits as well as More Pink: The B-Sides, the second disc of Under the Pink’s special Australian/New Zealand tour edition. I didn’t include it because firstly, no recordings of it, not even the one featured on More Pink, are very good quality, secondly because I just don’t like it, and thirdly because I haven’t really bothered to hunt around for it. There’s also a single edit of Cornflake Girl that I actually really like, which skips right ahead to the bridge after the second chorus, and I enjoy it as much as the original, they don’t cut out any singing, just a bit of rhythm playing between the second verse and the bridge.

It helped with some of these that the photos are the same color scheme as the album.

Boys For Pele: B-Sides

1 This Old Man [traditional folk song – from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
2 Hungarian Wedding Song [from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
3 Toodles Mr. Jim [from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
4 London Girls [Chas & Dave cover – from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
5 That’s What I Like Mick (The Sandwich Song) [Chas & Dave cover – from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
6 Samurai [from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
7 Graveyard [from Caught a Lite Sneeze single]
8 Amazing Grace – Til the Chicken [the first song is a traditional folk song – from Talula single]
9 Frog On My Toe [from Talula single]
10 Sister Named Desire [from Talula single]
11 Alamo [from Talula single]
12 Blue Skies [from Party of 5 Soundtrack]
13 I’m On Fire (Live) [Bruce Springsteen cover – from VH1 Crossroads]
14 Landslide (Live) [Fleetwood Mac cover – from Y-100 Sonic Sessions: Volume 1]
15 Sugar (Live) [from Hey Jupiter single]
16 Honey (Live) [from Hey Jupiter single]
17 Professional Widow (Merry Widow Version – Live) [A very different version of the song played on harmonium – from Hey Jupiter single]
18 Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Live) [Judy Garland cover – from Hey Jupiter single]

What’s missing: Well the obvious missing links are the Armand Van Helden remix of Professional Widow, along with every other remix of the song. There are also remixes for Talula, In The Springtime of His Voodoo, and even some unreleased remixes of Horses that aren’t included here. The Dakota Version of Hey Jupiter isn’t included either, for the same reason a the Crufiy single remix: both the Professional Widow remix and the Dakota Version of Hey Jupiter are on A Piano: The Collection. I also didn’t include the Tornado Mix of Talula because I have it filed under the album itself, and just omit the original version of Talula altogether. If you wanted to include it, I’d recommend putting it right between Graveyard and Amazing Grace, since that would be where you’d find it chronologically.

From the Choirgirl Hotel: B-Sides

(the amount of B-Sides drastically decrease after Boys For Pele, both because Tori started releasing remixes of her songs, and also I assume because CD singles were beginning to become obsolete. I personally enjoy a nice single EP)

1 Purple People (Christmas In Space) [from Spark single]
2 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas [traditional folk song – from Spark single]
3 Bachelorette [from Spark single]
4 Do It Again [from Spark single]
5 Cooling [from Spark single]
6 Beulah Land [from Jackie’s Strength single]
7 Never Seen Blue [from Jackie’s Strength single]
8 Finn [from Great Expectations soundtrack]
9 Siren [from Great Expectations soundtrack]
10 Merman [from No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees]

What’s missing: Every remix of Raspberry Swirl, Spark, Cruel, Jackie’s Strength, and Father Lucifer. Although I do personally like some of those remixes, I just don’t like including remixes in my B-Sides. There’s also a track in the Great Expectations score called Paradiso Perduto that features some Tori vocals, but I didn’t include it here either, both because I just didn’t want to and because it’s annoying to try and hunt down the score.

I used the garden because of Datura. Aren't I clever?

To Venus And Back: B-Sides

(Venus doesn’t actually have any original B-Sides, they’re all live performances that I assume were scrapped from Still Orbiting. It is interesting to note that all of the live performances featured as B-Sides are Tori playing solo without the band. The only thing that can be considered a B-Side from this album is Carnival, which is a song featured on the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack. I personally think it looks weird and throws off the way the Venus B-Sides look. You might want to tack it on to the end of the Choirgirl B-Sides, even though it’d be chronologically incorrect, since Venus was the album that was out when she did the song)

1 Carnival [from Mission Impossible 2 Soundtrack]
2 Hey Jupiter (Live) [from 1000 Oceans single]
3 Upside Down (Live) [from 1000 Oceans single]
4 Baker Baker (Live) [from Glory of the 80’s single]
5 Winter (Live) [from Glory of the 80’s single]
6 Famous Blue Raincoat (Live) [from Concertina single]
7 Twinkle (Live) [from Concertina single]

What’s missing: the single mix of Concertina. However, as with the other single mixes, it’s included on A Piano: The Collection. I don’t ever let songs repeat in my collection, because as you can clearly see, I am extremely organized. On that note, this is not technically organized chronologically, because Famous Blue Raincoat and Twinkle were released on the Glory of the 80’s single first, but I prefer them in this order.

Strange Little Girls: B-Sides

1 After All [from Strange Little Girl single]
2 Only Women Bleed [from Strange Little Girl single]

What’s missing: not much. There are only two B-Sides for this whole album, and they were included on the same single, which is the ONLY official single released for the album. There is a promo single of Strange Little Girl, which contains supposed “single edits” of Strange Little Girl, ’97 Bonnie & Clyde, and Heart of Gold. I cannot find any difference between the “single edits” and the album versions, but I wouldn’t have included them here regardless.

Scarlet’s Walk: B-Sides

(some of the songs that I’m crediting as being released on Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures, the bonus CD that comes with Welcome to Sunny Florida, were originally released on Scarlet’s Web, a website that was accessible using the Scarlet’s Walk CD, but not only are the versions released on Welcome to Sunny Florida of generally better audio quality, they’re also just better in that order because it makes a very nice EP)

1 Ruby Through The Looking-Glass [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
2 Seaside [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
3 Bug A Martini [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
4 Apollo’s Frock [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
5 Tombigbee [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
6 Indian Summer [from Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures]
7 Operation Peter Pan [from A Sorta Fairytale single]
8 Mountain [from Scarlet’s Web]

What’s missing: the single mix, and the 101 mix, of A Sorta Fairytale. Both of them are good mixes, though. Also it should be noted that there are no versions of Mountain of very high audio quality, as far as I’ve been able to find at least. There are also some remixes of Make Me Come To Vegas, and some radio versions of Taxi Ride and Strange, that I am completely not interested in.

To be honest, that’s the end of the B-Sides as we know them, there have been singles or EPs released after Scarlet’s Walk, and we now get our B-Sides from poorly put-together bonus DVDs, and deluxe editions of the albums. However, for your convenience, I’ll include the remaining bonus tracks.

Tales of a Librarian: B-Sides

(there is one “reconditioned” [or “badly remastered”] version of Putting the Damage On that didn’t make the physical album, but it is on the bonus DVD, as well as the iTunes release. The live performances are taken from the sound check of the performance that was used on Welcome to Sunny Florida. I personally don’t have any of these in my library.)

1 Putting the Damage On [reconditioned version – bonus track on iTunes release of Tales of a Librarian]
2 Mr. Zebra (Instrumental) [from Tales of a Librarian bonus DVD]
3 Putting the Damage On (Instrumental) [from Tales of a Librarian bonus DVD]
4 Pretty Good Year (Live) [from Tales of a Librarian bonus DVD]
5 Northern Lad (Live) [from Tales of a Librarian bonus DVD]
6 Honey (Live) [from Tales of a Librarian bonus DVD]

What’s missing: There is a radio edit of Mary that was released on a promo single, but my rule for Tori B-Sides is that I don’t include alternate versions, all the important ones, except for A Sorta Fairytale’s single version, can be found on an official release somewhere.

The Beekeeper: B-Sides

1 Garlands [from The Beekeeper bonus DVD]

What’s missing: there are some audio rips of Tori playing live on the DVD, but I’m not interested. In my iTunes, I have this filed as Garlands – Single, and I used the Sleeps With Butterflies artwork. Just a suggestion.

American Doll Posse: B-Sides

1 My Posse Can Do [from American Doll Posse bonus DVD]
2 Miracle [bonus track from iTunes release of American Doll Posse]
3 Drive All night [bonus track from Borders release of American Doll Posse] 

What’s missing: Not a thing. And in fact, the final three tracks on the album are apparently bonus tracks themselves, but there’s no version that doesn’t feature them, so I don’t quite see how they’re bonus tracks. Incidentally, Posse Bonus is an entire song dedicated to telling you that you’re getting bonus tracks. Yeah, it’s safe to say Tori’s albums are a little less entertaining nowadays when you get an entire number about your bonus tracks… Also, My Posse Can Do is an audio rip from the bonus DVD on the deluxe edition of American Doll Posse, I don’t know of anywhere you could properly buy the audio file, but the audio file is floating around, and can be found on some torrents.

Abnormally Attracted to Sin: B-Sides

1 Oscar’s Theme [bonus track on iTunes release of Abnormally Attracted to Sin]

What’s missing: That’s it, it’s just Oscar’s Theme. It’s track 18 on one of iTunes releases of the album.

Midwinter Graces: B-Sides

(All of these are covers of traditional folk songs. There are some original songs on the album, and Tori adds/changes some lyrics on all of the carols, but these tracks are still traditional folk songs)

1 Comfort and Joy [bonus track on deluxe version and iTunes release of Midwinter Graces]
2 Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! (Silent Night! Holy Night!) [bonus track on deluxe version and iTunes release of Midwinter Graces]
3 Good King Wenceslas [bonus track on iTunes release of Midwinter Graces]

What’s missing: Unless you want to count the bonus interview on the DVD of the deluxe version and the iTunes release as a B-Sides, nothing’s missing from here.

Advertisements

Family

My Tori Amos collection has grown by two CDs: one album, Under the Pink, and the Hey Jupiter EP.

Under the Pink is Tori’s second album, the followup to 1992’s Little Earthquakes. Funny story: before I ever really knew who Tori was, I actually found two mint condition copies of Under the Pink, as well as the Crucify EP (and since it didn’t include Smells Like Teen Spirit, it has to have been an international version), and I bought none of them. That’s right, I left them all there, assuming that Tori would turn out to be another Annie Lennox: I’d get excited, decide to buy all  of her albums, and then decide she wasn’t quite my style, and I’d have another CD I didn’t want. I probably would have enjoyed Under the Pink had I bought it then, I’ve heard a few people say that this is the best of Amos’ albums to start with. It walks a fine line between the somewhat radio-friendly sounds of Little Earthquakes and the off-kilter obscurity of Boys For Pele. It also has Cornflake Girl, one of my favorites which includes an awesome piano breakdown in the bridge.

In preparation for the arrival of Under the Pink (I bought it on eBay), I downloaded the music video for the album’s first track, Pretty Good Year. Later on, in the Boys For Pele era, Tori would release a music video for the remix of Professional Widow, featuring clips from all of her videos up to that point. I couldn’t help but notice that some of the clips were of Tori in a white dress doing choreography, and choreography seems quite out of the norm for her. I, of course, love choreography, and constantly make music videos in my head that include it. Anyway, the choreography clip was from Pretty Good Year, during this awesome moment in the bridge where the song transforms from a soft ballad to a screaming, rocking anthem, and then back again.

The second new addition is the Hey Jupiter EP, the title track of which isn’t the album version, but a remix called the Dakota Version. This is also the version used in the music video, the version featured on her retrospective collection A Piano, and generally seems to be the one listened to the most. It seems to me almost every single from Boys For Pele was remixed when it became a single; that doesn’t surprise me since much of Pele is very out in left field as far as radio goes. The remixes aren’t always a bad thing though, I’ve heard the original version of Talula and I think it’s terrible compare to the Tornado Mix.

The rest of the EP is live performances. Sugar and Honey are both B-sides from Under the Pink, the former about a cafe boy who couldn’t remember how many sugars Tori liked in her tea after serving her for nine months, and the latter Tori says is her favorite song from Under the Pink, but it was cut during mastering. The next track is a live performance of the Merry Widow version of Professional Widow. This is a very different take on Professional Widow, slow, brooding, and emotional, with Tori literally screaming through the bridge, and the entire song is backed by a harmonium. She jokingly mentions before beginning the song that the last time she tried singing it she “gave myself a brain annurism.” The final track is my favorite, a cover of Over the Rainbow. Having been a fan of Evanescence, I’m too used to seeing the word “haunting” attached to songs, and I wouldn’t say that it is haunting in my opinion, I just find it to be very emotional. This rarely happens, but I actually can’t seem to hear the song without tearing up, and that’s special because not every song effects me like that. It’s very soft, very quiet, very vulnerable, scared, and wishing.

As for the Tori Amos material I already have, I’ve basically given up on listening to A Piano: The Collection, because I want to hear the originals before I hear their remastered versions. Even though many of the songs stay true to their originals, I would still prefer to hear them on their respective albums first, and then if I ever get the collection, I’ll enjoy it a lot more.

I’ve revisited Tales of a Librarian, and found that after some time away from it I’ve found that it’s grown on me. I still think it’s not the best of Tori Amos’ albums to start with, the feeling is too country for my tastes. The album isn’t without it’s own original material though: Angels and Snow Cherries From France are new tracks, while earlier B-Sides Sweet Dreams and Mary were completely redone for this collection. Tales of a Librarian also features the radio edit of Armand Van Helden’s Star Trunk Funkin’ remix of Professional Widow, which was included on the second re-release of Boys For Pele and the Professional Widow single.

American Doll Posse is finally beginning to grow on me, the album is radically different from Tori’s earlier works, particularly Boys For Pele, which is almost entirely instruments and vocals, with little to no studio work really done. Every now and then a bass guitar shows up, but for the most part, Boys For Pele is piano, harpsichord, and vocals. American Doll Posse comes off as being over-produced upon the first listen, but after some time the songs do begin to grow on you. Tori did say that A Piano was the end of an era, and that American Doll Posse was a step in a new direction. Her tenth album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, seems to be just as studio-focused as it’s predecessor, and while it is kind of a shame that Tori probably won’t be making another Under the Pink any time soon, it is good to know that she refuses to become a fading memory in the mind of the music world, and that she’s trying to stay current and explore new composition styles.

In personal news, I had a brief chat with the owner of my local bookstore, he saw me wandering and asked if there was anything he could help me find. I fecetiously replied, “A job,” and he told me to fill out an application and call him. Now, that’s something that managers usually say, but he also went as far as to ask if I had a problem working in the cafe. I don’t think he would have been so thorough about it if they didn’t need new help. This is actually the job I’ve always wanted, but as it would happen I’ve had a really fucked up past week.

Emotionally, that is. I have problems with panic/anxiety/stress/etc. and they usually rear their ugly head when I’m out in public. Now they’re starting to take over my whole life. I’m having small panic attacks all the time, regardless of where I am, even in my room which is usually my sanctuary. I’ve had a hard time this week trying to stop thinking about it, and I feel a little better now that I’ve gotten away from my house, but still, it’s becoming a serious problem that I can’t handle on my own anymore. I need medication. I know that sounds like a quick fix, but it isn’t. I want a psychologist, I want someone I can really talk to about all this and get all of this off of my chest, and if need be, I want medication. I want to be able to get in a car or walk into the grocery store without feeling like I’m going to pass out, without my vision blurring, and without my heart beating out of my chest. It’s not fair, I’ve dealt with this for 3 years now and I need it to stop. I just want to be able to feel normal, like I did before I ever passed out in the middle of my classroom in 11th grade, when my life was forever changed, and I would spend every day until this very moment fearing for my health.

And that’s really what it comes down to: fear. If I’m not afraid, I don’t have any significant problems. If I am afraid, the terror follows me around, looming over me and casting a shadow on everything I do. I can’t be brave by myself all the time anymore, I need help. I need someone who knows what I’m going through and knows how to combat it to give me the tools to stop it. I don’t expect it to go away by magic, but I have to have the help I need to be able to get a job and live my own life. If not, my relationship is going to fall apart, and I’m going to become just like the rest of my family: an overgrown child. I already am.

I hate to say those things about myself, if for no other reason than because I know my mother would agree with them. Have I ever mentioned my mother? I hate her. Sometimes I can get along with her, sometimes I even find her pleasant, but when it comes down to it, I hate her in a way so deeply that I can’t stop myself from hating her. And it’s her fault. I know it’s unhealthy to blame your problems on other people, but the majority of my problems are her fault. She’s exactly the opposite of everything I think a parent should be. She has, for half of my life now, disrespected, humiliated and deeply hurt me in ways that I think I’m probably going to spend a lot of time getting over. She is the reason I have stress problems, both because I inherited them from her and because she taught me to fear life, and most importantly to fear her. I honestly have many times wished that she were dead. Because my life would be a lot brighter if she were. Not physically, because I wouldn’t have anyone supporting me, and yes, she does support me, and no, I am not happy about that. The problem is, she never taught me how to be an adult, because I don’t think she really knows how to be one herself. She didn’t raise me, she just kept me fed and clothed, and because she’s become crazier with age, she’s ruined my sister, who now is an entitled brat because her mother has always given her anything she wants. If myself and my brother are any indication, my sister might realize what kind of a person my mother is one day and try to fix all the problems she’s already created for her, but I have a feeling that in the end I’m going to be living somewhere far away from my family with no contact with them at all, and my sister along with the rest of my family will be conditioned to hate me.

Family. I don’t know what that really means. But one day, I’d like to create my own. I’d like to raise a child and teach them about truth, I’d like to try and bring a person into the world who has the ability to question, someone who isn’t fooled by society, someone who yearns to bring love and peace to the human race as much as I do. And maybe he wouldn’t hate society, or humans as a whole, the way I do. Maybe he’d be better than me, because I would give him a chance to flourish. I am a brilliant flower blooming amongst a family of weeds, and I hate them for being who they are.