The Five Fundamental Roles of a Zombie Apocalypse Team

Every role is important.

Picture this: some maniac created a virus that turns people into zombies, and before you know it, your entire city has become infested with zombies. Sure, surviving alone is possible, but you know that there is always strength in numbers, so it’s probably best to round up a group of people so your chances of survival are maximised, ranging from the fearless leader who happens to be super fit and adept with guns, to the sweet peacemaker of the team.

Beat his ass, squad! (Photo from David Shifflett’s Flickr photostream)

We’ve told you how to survive a zombie apocalypse before, but now we’re going to tell you the key members and roles that any zombie apocalypse team needs (and the secondary roles that they could potentially play).

The Fearless Leader

What would any team of any kind be without a leader? Now I’ve seen so many zombie movies and read so much literature where a breakdown between who is the leader segues into chaos, so it’s important that this role is fleshed out from the very beginning, while not placing too much emphasis on the “leading” part. Any good leader should guide their team, not dictate.

The leader needs to make the hard decisions for the team that some others may not want the responsibility of; this includes where to go, whom to trust, and most importantly, whether to leave someone behind or kill their team member if they’ve been bitten (depending if these zombies are that type of zombie). The leader also needs to be adept on how to take out zombies in the smartest way possible. Leaders tend to be really good with guns and melee weapons, very physically fit, and have the ability to physically and metaphorically carry their team on their back. While it is implied already with their primary role, the Leader’s secondary role would be the Marksman.

The Medic

Let’s face it: if you’re in a zombie apocalypse, there is going to be high chance that you’re going to get physically hurt somewhere doing something, and you’re going to want someone with the medical know how to safely patch you up and have you up and running in no time.

Hopefully with a medical background pre-apocalypse, the Medic may very well be the second most important role of the team after the Leader. They care for their team and know how to quickly bandage in a live-or-die situation, and also know how to make the smart decisions when it comes to someone’s physical wellbeing. The Medic will also be the go to if someone is suffering mentally also, therefore they should be well trained in how to connect with people and empathise when needed. The Medic may also play the secondary role of Advisor to the Leader.

The Gatherer

When all hell breaks loose, resources become scarce, so you’re going to need someone to safely get you all the resources you can. Enter The Gatherer.

The Gatherer is someone on your team who needs to be as quick as lightning, and should have the ability to get places without attracting too much attention. The Gatherer is in charge of – you guessed it – gathering resources like food, water, medical needs, guns, and other assortments of weapons. Most importantly, they need to be stealthy, and should know when to run and how to escape a bad situation: if there is gunfire, it’s probably best not to grab that last bag of rice. The Gatherer may also play the secondary role of Enforcer to the Leader.

The Peacemaker

Shit is bound to hit the fan during a zombie apocalypse, and you’re going to need someone who can appeal to your softer side and possibly sweet talk potential enemies into becoming potential allies. This is where The Peacemaker comes in handy.

While not necessarily being great with a gun or a bandage, The Peacemaker has the ability to talk their way into a situation, and out of one as well; they have a way with words and know how to use them and any other resources to their advantage. The Peacemaker needs to keep team morale high in a world where there is little to no hope, and needs to make sure that the team are always on the same path. The Peacemaker should also have a secondary ability to assist with the team, like being an expert driver, or a cook.

The Survivalist

While the Leader may have the know all for the team, the Survivalist will know how to do exactly that: survive.

It is up to the Survivalist to implement safe tactics to stay alive, while also knowing how to navigate the country and live in the woods where there is no shelter available. The Survivalist can make anything from nothing, and is a key role for the team’s ability to succeed in this apocalypse. The Survivalist should also be pretty handy with a knife and a crossbow should the occasion arise. With their skills in survival, the Survivalist may also play the secondary role of marksman for the team where the Leader is unable to.

Now that you know how to assemble a team, and we’ve already covered you on how to survive the apocalypse, you should be very well equipped should hell take over the world and everyone has turned into flesh-eating zombies. Safe travels!

– by The Black Widow

Meet Mrs. Girardi

He’s so excited to meet you.

I had met Mrs. Girardi years ago when I was around 12-years-old, but only recently have I found out his name (he identifies as a male).

To understand who exactly Mrs. Girardi is and what his importance is to me, we have to go back to the beginning…

Please note that the following may be graphic or triggering to some as mental health will be openly discussed. If talks of suicide or hospitalisation is too much for you to handle, then please do not continue and feel free to come back to this post whenever you feel ready.

If you are feeling low, suicidal, or you are in a crisis, please talk to a family member or friend, or please contact Lifeline:
PHONE: 13 11 14
TEXT: 0477 131 114
WEBSITE AND LIVE CHAT:
https://www.lifeline.org.au/.

 

I feel like this edit perfectly captures the two sides. (CREDIT: New Photography Studios)

If you haven’t watched my Takedowns and Tiaras episode discussing my battles with BPD, let me try and give you a brief rundown of what was discussed on my vlog:
– I was officially diagnosed with BPD in February 2018 after being hospitalised due to a failed suicide attempt.
– After talking to my psychologist about my diagnosis and what BPD actually entails, I began to recognise signs of BPD as early as 12-years-old where I would become extremely attached to friends and would break down if I felt they were pulling away from me because of my extreme fear of abandonment.
– Receiving the diagnosis was both a blessing and a curse; a blessing as I finally knew what I was fighting against and now could easily recognise the signs once I noticed them and could equip myself with the tools to combat it; a curse because knowing the signs also meant that you knew when you were “losing” the battle. Having BPD is a constant struggle, and learning to live or co-exist with it is sometimes the only way you can “survive” it.

If you would like more information on Borderline Personality Disorder, please refer to this Help Guide link here.

A couple of months ago, I was talking to my friend Rhi for her podcast (which was a great bloody chat and should be released soon!) We openly discussed my diagnosis with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), why I call myself a BPD Warrior, and how I deal with that not only as a wrestler but as a human in general (it’s tough, but I take it one step at a time and have an amazing support network behind me).

One thing that she mentioned that has stuck with me ever since was when she mentioned that some find it helpful to label that other part of them, or give them a name. Straight away I thought that humanising that part of me sounded like a mistake, but she explained it that acknowledging that part of you as a completely different entity can make it easier for a person to differ your calm, sound self to the erratic, emotional self you turn into when experiencing an episode, thus making it easier for you to recognise the symptoms/signs and stop yourself from having an episode or experiencing a really bad episode.

I sat on this information for a while. It was in the back of my head, because I wanted to give my BPD version a name that stuck.

Now if you know me, you would know that I am a HUGE mark fan of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – the glitz, the glamour, the drama, the glam squads… what’s not to love?! One of my favourite housewives that have been featured during the show’s tenure (season 10 has dropped her down one or two spots but that’s another story) is Erika Girardi, a beautiful blonde housewife to a very successful lawyer, whom also lives a double life as Erika Jayne, a sexually confident enigma popstar with amazing bops like Pretty Mess and Painkillr. The way Erika clearly differentiated between Erika Girardi and Erika Jayne resonated with me, and the way she could easily slip into Erika Girardi, just to turn around and become Erika Jayne was kind of inspirational.

And that’s when it hit me. I had an Erika Girardi and an Erika Jayne in me. After realising that I couldn’t name my BPD self Nikki Jayne (my best friend Nikki Jayne would not appreciate that), that’s when I decided that my BPD self was named Mrs. Girardi.

You don’t like Mrs. Girardi.

Mrs. Girardi is emotionally unstable; jealous; insecure; hyper-aggressive; hysterical; depressed; erratic; manic; all of the above. He will cry one minute, just to lash out at you the next, just to stroke the side of your face and beg for your forgiveness mere seconds later.

It’s hard to explain how Mrs. Girardi comes out. It’s like my sound self will be going throughout my day like nothing is wrong, and then something happens that will trigger my BPD, and it’s as if I’ve been kicked out of my own body and someone else has taken control of it, and all I can do is sit back and watch as Mrs. Girardi takes control of my body vessel and absolutely tears my relationships to shreds with his intense emotional instability. I almost don’t have enough fingers to count how many relationships Mrs. Girardi has ruined over the years, because the second he senses that someone is leaving or abandoning him… well, isn’t it easier to make them leave you before they have the chance to do that by themselves?

I had a friend, and for the sake of this story, let’s say his name is Brendan. We were very close friends to the point that I would safely say he was one of my best friends. I had grown an attachment to him, which meant that Mrs. Girardi had grown an even stronger attachment to him. We had a very rocky relationship due to Mrs. Girardi’s emotional instability, and Brendan tried to stay strong and persevere because he knew that through the stormy weather, my sound self really valued his friendship and we would get along like a house on fire otherwise.

And then one day, Brendan got engaged. My sound self was happy for him and wanted him to have the best of his life. Mrs. Girardi didn’t share that sentiment. Mrs. Girardi saw that as Brendan abandoning him, because how dare could someone have a life outside of him? So Mrs. Girardi did what he does best – he lashed out. This was in 2018 when I was mentally at my weakest, which meant that Mrs. Girardi had more control over me than normal, but I remember it so clearly as if it was yesterday.

I was typing on my keyboard, much like I am now as I write this blog post, as Brendan and I chatted over Messenger. But the minute Mrs. Girardi saw red, he saw red, and he wanted to push Brendan away before Brendan could have the opportunity to leave himself. I distinctly remember everything became blurry as my fingers rapidly typed out really horrible, vile messages to Brendan in an attempt to push him away; this wasn’t the first time Mrs. Girardi had lashed out at Brendan, and each time this had happened, Brendan fought the battle to maintain the friendship we had. But that didn’t happen this time.

Brendan realised he couldn’t win this battle, and Mrs. Girardi had finally gotten the better of him, so he cut his losses. He cut me out of his life entirely, and the heartbreak that I thought I was saving myself by pushing him away by choice came anyway.

It’s been over two years, and I still haven’t heard from Brendan, and I don’t particularly blame him. Those terrible messages will haunt me for the rest of my life, even if I didn’t mean a single word, because they were the straw that broke the camel’s back, and my years-long friendship with Brendan had ended. Because of Mrs. Girardi.

It may seem to some as if I am just making excuses for myself and trying to put the blame on another entity that doesn’t tangibly exist, but I’m not; I accept that my relationships that have been destroyed during my 27 years on this world due to my BPD are my fault and I will wear those scars for the rest of my life.

But I hope that introducing you to Mrs. Girardi gives you a fair idea of what I go through as someone with BPD, and that an irrational outburst harbours so much more underneath the surface than what it appears to be. Underneath it all, someone who is lashing out due to their BPD is hurt. That’s all there is to it. They could be telling you that you’re the worst person they’ve ever met and they want nothing to do with you anymore, but if you can equip yourself with the right tools to handle someone who has BPD, you can successfully read between the lines and see that it’s a cry for help.

Throughout my journey of coping with my diagnosis and equipping myself with my own tools to live with this disorder, I am able to keep Mrs. Girardi caged, and more often than before I can respond to a situation with a calm and sound mind. But Mrs. Girardi is relentless, and will know the right time to strike once the opportunity presents itself.

If you or anyone you know are experiencing symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, I would highly recommend going to see a psychologist, counsellor, or even your General Practitioner for help. And don’t forget that your family and friends and the loved ones in your life will always have an ear for you, even if you do feel like a burden as I sometimes do. It is possible to live with BPD and have a happy, fulfilling life; you just need to surround yourself with the right people and have the right tools to do so. And if you don’t feel like you have anyone to go to, then my DMs are literally always open for anyone struggling with BPD or mental health.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with these deep and meaningful four words: fuck you Mrs. Girardi.

– by The Black Widow/Mrs. Girardi

Dear Inglis

Dear Inglis,

There are so many things that will be different now that you are gone; no longer will I be greeted by your big head and your wagging tail when I go to mum and dad’s house; no longer will I be followed into the guest room where you will inevitably sleep on the floor next to me if I had to crash there; and no longer will I fuss about what to buy you for your birthday and for Christmas.

This will forever be my favourite photo I captured of you.

When you looked up at me with pain in your eyes as you took your last breaths on this earth, I have never felt a heartbreak worse than that. You were the love of my life. You are the love of my life. I always said that no matter whom was thrust into my life, they couldn’t compare to you, because no one would ever be as happy to see me as you were. And to see you go to sleep for the final time has completely destroyed me. I knew that you were in pain, and the only thing worse than seeing you fall to a final sleep, would be to see you try to get through every day as your body slowly succumbed to the cancer that had eventually brought an end to your happy, full life.

I still remember when we first got you as a little innocent puppy, and I thought I could get in before everyone else did, and I called you Zelda, even though you were a boy. I even tried to call you Zelda after we had officially named you Inglis Cronk Slater Smith just to see if you’d respond, and you didn’t. You were too clever for my little shenanigans.

Never too good to sleep on the bed.

And then you grew up, and you were an absolute rascal. I wondered if those flappy ears on that big noggin of yours were just for decoration; you would do things that would irritate us, and you knew it would irritate us, but you’d do it anyway. You would bark at nothing, and I would open the door to tell you to be quiet, and you’d look up at me sheepishly, knowing that you were in trouble. But as soon as that door was shut again, BARK BARK BARK.

I wouldn’t exactly call you the smartest dog in the canine species as well. You wore that participation award at puppy school with pride, probably because you knew deep down that you wouldn’t be as smart as the other dogs. I often compared you to the stereotypical jock of Hollywood high school movies: big, handsome, athletic, and stupid as hell. The permanent look on your face told me “I’m Inglis, I’m hungry, do you like food? Because I like food. My name is Inglis. Did I mention I like food?” I’m glad that of the few things that you retained in that beautiful big head of yours, you learned to do your toilet business outside, as taught to you by my handsome Border Collie x Kelpie, Stumpy.

My favourite thing about you was when you would know if you were in trouble if I used your full name. Inglis Cronk Slater Smith. I said it so many times when I was angry at you that it just slipped off the tongue so effortlessly. But you knew when it was a simple ‘Inglis’, you were in the clear, and you would waltz on over with a smile on your face.

Actually, no. My favourite thing about you was how you would know when I was upset, and you would fight tooth and nail to get to me and lick the tears off my face and give me as many kisses as you possibly could just to show that through all the heartache and pain I may had faced, you still loved me. And that was enough. And it really was. I’m just annoyed it took me a while to see that.

“Can you hurry up so I can eat my damn cake, please?”

Often when someone refers to someone as “the love of their life”, they go on dates, right? Well, we did that. In the last weeks of your life when I was housesitting to look after you, I would order in food – and not share with you, regardless of that look you gave me – and we would watch movies on Netflix. Remember how much you liked How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? I don’t think you left my side when we watched that. However, you weren’t so keen on Christmas With a View, which I don’t understand, because as your owner, you should’ve adopted my liking for terrible Christmas movies.

Some people may haven’t been as happy to see me as I would’ve liked, but you always were. And when I saw you in the last minutes of your life, and you saw the tears flowing out of my eyes, with your last ounces of energy, you raised your head and licked it away, because you knew that I needed your comfort at that moment more than I’ve ever needed it before.

Whenever I hear Don’t Stop by No Doubt, I won’t think of how it’s one of my favourite all-time songs; it will serve as a reminder of our bond. I remember it so clearly, as if it were yesterday; I held you in my arms, and belted out those Gwen Stefani lyrics, and watched in amusement as you tried to squirm out of my hold as I potentially rendered you partially deaf with my horrible singing voice squealing.

I will always love you, my baby.

In your last moments with me, my baby, I could tell you knew what was going to happen. Your eyes were red and sad, because you knew you would be saying farewell to me and to the rest of your family. But we couldn’t let you live like that, my big boy. There was no way we could do that.

But what I wouldn’t give to wake up and see you on the floor next to me, laying on your back with your paws in the air, with your mouth drooping; or to see you look at me sitting on the sofa, and then you would place one paw on the couch, as if to ask me “So can I come up there and sit with you?”; or to just give me those kisses that I needed so much when I felt as broken as I do now. I really need those kisses now, Inglis, but I have to make peace with the fact that I will never get them again.

Rest easy, my beautiful baby boy. Tell Stumpy I miss him, and now I hope you can enjoy all the rope games, and eat all the chocolate guilt free like I do, knowing that it can’t harm you now. You have been the most beautiful, loyal and caring dog, and anyone who has come into contact with you over the years is that much better off having known you.

I love you so much Inglis Cronk Slater Smith, and I will never forget you. You will always hold a special place in my heart.

With love,

Nikki xoxo

Happy 35th Anniversary to My Parents!

My parents are honestly couple goals.

On this date 35 years ago, my parents got married. And what is amazing about this is that each day, they fall more in love with each other. If you hear that old trope that “marriage ruins relationships”, then let me be the one to tell you that is false because my parents are living proof of this.

This was taken exactly two years ago, when my sisters and I crashed their anniversary dinner. What legends.

In their time together, they’ve had five children, – one obviously better than the other and I am definitely talking about myself here – countless amounts of homes, about five dogs (correct me if I am wrong), and one hell of a journey together.

As a sort of present to them, and a way to celebrate their coral/jade anniversary, I gave them both a quick questionnaire to answer about the other. Here is what they had to say:

Mum
1. When and where did you meet dad? How old were you and how old was he? He was 14 and I saw him at a basketball game. I was 16.
2. What was your first impression of him? Didn’t think much of him.
3. When and where was your first date? At the movies on Queen Street in November 1976.
4. What did his parents think of you when they first met you? I never met them (when we were dating).
5. When and where was your first kiss? At the movie.
6. How did he propose? What was his first reaction? He proposed on the step of my house in November 1982.
7. What were your first thoughts when you saw him at your wedding? Grey. He was wearing grey.
8. How many kids did you plan to have? At least two.
9. What is your favourite memory with him? When Toni was sitting on the bed, she was sitting on the bed in her white dress and it took his breath away.
10. What is your favourite thing about him now? He is the most handsome man in the whole wide world.

Dad
1. When and where did you meet mum? How old were you and how old was she? Newmarket in Auckland, New Zealand. I was 16 and she was 18.
2. What was your first impression of her? I had no impression.
3. When and where was your first date? Movie on Friday night in Auckland city
4. What did her parents think of you when they first met you? I’m not too sure. They were very open and friendly.
5. When and where was your first kiss? The movie in Auckland on our first date.
6. How did you propose? What was her first reaction? I asked her in front of her home. She was happy.
7. What were your first thoughts when you saw her at your wedding? I’m getting married to her.
8. How many kids did you plan to have? No real number.
9. What is your favourite memory with her? In the temple when we got married and had Toni and Stacie sealed to us.
10. What is your favourite thing about her now? Her support for me and the family.

Besides some slight miscommunication on question one (looks at dad), and also I’m pretty sure both of their favourite memories together was having their fifth and final child, they are truly the most perfect couple! Happy anniversary mum and dad! I love you a bunch!

– by The Black Widow