He lurks in the back of grainy photos - always black and white - stretched out and twisted. Some say he hides in the woods waiting to eat children, others that he stalks humans down on lonely streets at night. There are those who say he heralds from Eastern European myths or children's fairy tales. He's faceless to some, changeable to others, his expression mimicking your fears. No one agrees what the Slender Man looks like because he was never a real tangible thing. He's an Internet legend. Born on a forum, he spiraled out of control becoming something in his own right - a being whose origins can be traced back to a specific day. Something two 12-year-old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, seem to have missed when they attempted to murder their classmate in a bid to become Slender Man’s “proxies”. Geyser has been committed to a hospital for 40 years and Weier was sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital in December. June 8, 2009 - the day Slender Man was … [Read more...] about Who is Slender Man? True story behind the Internet meme that spurred two girls to murder in real-life
James and Davina D’Souza met and fell in love in their early 20s. They got married five years later, and three years afterwards had saved enough to buy a family home in a quiet cul-de-sac in London. Then, when Davina was 29 and James 33, they started trying for a baby. “I knew that the moment we bought a home, we’d start a family,” Davina tells me in their living room, beside shelves crammed with framed photos of nieces, nephews, cousins and siblings. “My parents live down the road, and if I needed help to raise a child, my mum would be here.” “We thought about all of that stuff,” James adds. “The job, the future, the house, the home: we make things happen.” But after a year of trying, nothing had happened. Davina went to their GP, who referred her for the kind of invasive tests that have become the norm for women who experience problems conceiving: she had an internal, transvaginal scan to check her womb for fibroids, and an … [Read more...] about ‘It tears every part of your life away’: the truth about male infertility
When I met H, he was everything I thought I wanted in a man – quiet, resourceful and somehow physically reassuring. He was in his late forties and had a gentle, homely quality that I found sweet and nourishing. But soon he was to show me that I wanted more from a man – more from a human – and that he could give it to me. That winter, we were staying in a cosy ski lodge when H introduced me to the Moomins. I was instantly hooked. I loved their solidarity, their love of nature, their sweetness, and their white curves – I was astonished to find myself aroused by them. At first I felt baffled and ashamed. But then I started dropping hints: I nicknamed H Pappa Moomin, bought him a top hat, fed him up. Two years later, I convinced Pappa to dress up as the real thing for Halloween. I used to work as a seamstress and was able to create a realistic latex outfit. When he tried it on, I felt more sexual desire than I ever had in my life. We made Moomin-love right there and … [Read more...] about My life in sex: the woman who has a thing for Moomins
I took my first overdose at 11, my second at 18 and my third just after my 21st birthday. It was a cry for help. I had lovely parents, but I was desperately unhappy. I was sexually abused at the age of eight, in the 1960s. I was afraid I’d get the cane if I told a teacher, so I didn’t tell anyone. When my parents found out, all hell broke loose. The abuser went to jail, but I never spoke about it. I couldn’t face it. I left school at 15 and worked for Royal Mail, first as a telegram boy and then as a postman. We’d finish at 12.30pm and go straight down the boozer. I’d have three or four pints, five, sometimes. Alcohol masked my depression, and by my early 30s I had become dependent. If I got bladdered, I could kick the demons out. One Christmas, I drank 48 cans of Carling in two days. I ended up in hospital. The doctor said, “You either pack in the drinking or you’ll die.” That’s when, aged 34, I went to rehab … [Read more...] about Experience: my chickens saved my life
My 19-year-old daughter (the youngest) is anxious and disheartened that she doesn’t know what to do with her life. She took a gap year and went travelling, but found this quite stressful; she thinks she’s not good at making friends (she is) and her experience didn’t seem to measure up to those of her friends on social media. We explained that people only post the good bits and that others would also be feeling homesick, lonely etc. She also had some amazing experiences, however, and came back feeling more positive than she had been for a long time. On her return, the university cancelled her course, because it was undersubscribed. This was a shock but as she wasn’t sure she wanted to go to university anyway, it was an opportunity to rethink things. Her father and I have always said that she shouldn’t feel obliged to go to university, but I think she feels pressure as her siblings have done so. Her friends seem to have a path that they are clear about, but … [Read more...] about How can I help my daughter decide what to do with her life?