At the risk of divulging far too much personal information, I have incredibly sensitive itchy nipples. They arenâ€™t painful, and I wouldnâ€™t even go as far as saying they are sore, its just really annoying. At home I can rub them, but out in public, well people tend to frown at someone walking around with their hands on their breasts.
You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.
So over the last few days Iâ€™ve started journal entries and then stopped them. Unlike usual I didnâ€™t just delete them, so since I havenâ€™t journalled for a while I thought Iâ€™d just post the starts and stops as they are.
I was talking today about how I feel I have never been given compassion and support from anyone. Now admittedly, part of that is I probably donâ€™t know how to translate the support or just am not able to recognise it. But that said there are so many times that it has stood out, that lack of understanding and compassion, when Iâ€™ve been stepped over and left behind, undeserving of the support others seem to get so freely. There are so many memories that leave me aching and make me want to cry when it was made obvious that I wasnâ€™t deemed deserving, when I wasnâ€™t worth the time, effort or compassion of being understood and supported. I tell myself to get over it, to move on, but the truth is all those times still hurt, still get interpreted as meaning there is something wrong, something less about who I am.
And the thing is I get it too. There is something about me. Iâ€™m very independent, I come across as cold and distant. That isnâ€™t just me being hard on myself, I know they are some of my personality traits, there are other reasons though that are probably considered me being negative, things like Iâ€™m fat and ugly. These things keep people at a distance, it makes it harder for them to feel a connection to me, to feel any real compassion. I have developed these mechanisms to achieve the thing Iâ€™m actually bitching about. I keep people away, appear hard and cold, so no one will offer their support because it appears I will shoot them down, turn them away. So can I blame people, not really. And the other thing, the fact is as much as I think I would like to be given the support other people would get I would probably run a mile, kicking and screaming from anyone that tried to do the support thing. I am jealous of something I donâ€™t really want.
I must be allergic to something, for I have done nothing but sneeze all day. I usually like to sneeze, odd I know, but I enjoy a sneeze. But that said usually when I sneeze its one sneeze and its over, this however has been 5 sneezes in a row every 30 minutes. After the sneezing run I get about 15 minutes when it feels calm in the nostril area and then the pressure starts building again. This has been going on since I woke up this morning and Iâ€™m about ready to kill someone to get it to stop. Unfortunately I also had to go out into town, and you canâ€™t stay invisible if youâ€™re constantly sneezing.
When I set up my new internet I specifically asked how much the first bill was going to be. Because you pay a month in advance I thought it would be big, but the guy said, no it will only have the $40 for the internet and not for the phone. I remember at the time thinking, hmm not sure about that, so I asked again. It wasnâ€™t that the full bill was wrong to me, I knew what I was getting into, it was just that the bill time was up in a week, and I didnâ€™t want to freak out by the first bill when I didnâ€™t have the money organised. Now as it was I went to the bank and paid out my loan. I had slightly more money in savings than I did in my loan and I thought not only would paying off the loan give me a little bit more money a week, it would also mean I cut all that added interest repayment out. It was a good idea, and I was able to get an extra $100. I was going to use that money to buy myself something nice. I thought if I got a couple of things I needed, a pot with a handle attached (since I broke mine) and socks without holes in them I might have a bit left over to get myself something, a new nightie or a bag or something. Fortunately I couldnâ€™t work up the courage to go into town to shop because I got my internet bill and unlike what I was told it was a lot more than they said. I examined the bill and it all actually made sense, I wasnâ€™t charged extra, it was just the guy didnâ€™t have a clue what he was talking about. I decided to complain, it was an odd complaint, not challenging the bill, but wanting to discuss the bad information and how it was misleading and for someone on a budget that can be a total freak out. I spoke to someone in accounts, and she asked what outcome I wanted. Ok part of me wanted to say, take off the extra $60, but really that wouldnâ€™t fly, they hadnâ€™t charged me wrong. So I said, I want to make sure that other people arenâ€™t given wrong information. Because of that she said it was a sales issue, not an accounting one, and got my information so the sales supervisor could ring me. That was a week ago and I havenâ€™t heard anything. It irritates me. I love the new internet service I have, I love the amount of data and the speed of it, and really the pricing is good, but seriously, donâ€™t make crap up about how much an account will be just to get a sale.
Last night my internet went down, for about 6 hours all up. I hated it, I felt unstable and anxious. Yes I know that means I am addicted to it. Now if it goes down during the day I manage. I donâ€™t feel the mess of not having it but there is something about not having that option to go online at night that freaks me out. It isnâ€™t even what I do online, when it came back on I felt relieved, but I didnâ€™t actually do anything different than I was, it was just knowing I could, it gave me back that balance. During the day Iâ€™ll just keep going, doing other things without the worry of whether I am connected to being online. I can go out (when my normal anxieties allow me), I can do other things without worrying. So it isnâ€™t an all consuming addiction. Not so certain why it affects me so much more at night.
On a side issue, I did the deal they rang up about, and have now upgraded, having double the gigs is good, but the thing Iâ€™m most amazed about is the increase in speed, itâ€™s a huge difference. Hopefully my financial planning was right too.
Yes my mother was my primary abuser (although probably not the worse or most extreme). Yes sheâ€™s never shown me any love or care. No I do not expect her to change, to suddenly show me love and be my mother. But all that doesnâ€™t matter, not really, because it still damn hurts. It hurts to know she doesnâ€™t love me, that she sees me as little more than a disappointment and an embarrassment. Maybe if I had other support systems, if I had friends or family around me it wouldnâ€™t hurt as much. But I donâ€™t, I donâ€™t have anyone close, I donâ€™t have anyone in my life, to give me support, to be able to have fun with, to talk to, to share my excitement or my terror. I am completely alone. And that is what it is, Iâ€™ve kind of accepted that. But it isnâ€™t pleasant, it isnâ€™t the life I would have chosen. And when my mother contacts me, when I get a reminder of what sort of relationship I have with her, that hurts. I donâ€™t think sheâ€™s suddenly going to change on me, Iâ€™ve given up that dream where she admits to what she did and tries to be a mother to me. I just donâ€™t like having that reminder, the overt fact that I donâ€™t have a mother, that I donâ€™t have anyone.
I sometimes, ok a lot of times get so fed up with peopleâ€™s reaction to my mental health issues. Itâ€™s not even bad reactions, Iâ€™m not overtly crazy, Iâ€™m not one of those people you feel sorry for but make sure you cross the street to avoid. I blend in, and maybe thatâ€™s part of the trouble. Because when it comes to my anxiety issues, my dissociation and post trauma mess people expect me to just get over it, to not let it effect their plans, and seem to think Iâ€™m just being childish or inconveniencing them.
The reason for this rant. My mother is coming down next week and we were supposed to go out for lunch on Monday. Not the best plans, sheâ€™s my mother, its always stressed. But then she rang today with a change of plans. She has things to deliver to someone and said we could go out to Outram, have lunch out there. Now all I could think of was I canâ€™t walk home from Outram. It isnâ€™t far by car, I used to go on motorbike rides out there all the time, but when youâ€™re walking thatâ€™s a damn long walk with a rather high hill to get over. And then it was the fact sheâ€™d be going to see her friend, and I would be expected to go with her, to be around someone I donâ€™t know in a social situation. Mum said it woudlnâ€™t be for too long, but I know how those things often go and it will definitely be for more than 5 minutes, and from what my mother said its probable that this woman would come for lunch with us. All these things strike panic in me, even just considering them, doing them will be much worse. I can handle it of course, Iâ€™m use to handling things, to getting through and putting off my own needs. But when that happens I get told Iâ€™m being rude, closed off, unfriendly and embarrassing. But if I donâ€™t go then its the same thing so its a no-win situation.
Now I know people will say I donâ€™t owe my mother anything, and will go on about her being an abusive bitch. All of which is true, you are all right, so letâ€™s avoid rehashing all that. The point is not so much that its my mother, its that I have some major fucked up issues that I am suppose to pretend arenâ€™t there. I love that I can exist in the world without running down the streets screaming paranoid delusions. I like that I have a life, a direction and some hopes. All of those are good things. But it seems thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m allowed to show. Iâ€™m not allowed to have mental health issues, Iâ€™m not allowed to need extra care or consideration. Itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve said before, but no one complains about my cousin not driving because sheâ€™s blind, they donâ€™t expect her to just see so not to annoy anyoneâ€™s blames, but because my disability is mental Iâ€™m suppose to just get over it to keep everyone else happy. And thatâ€™s not just my mum, thatâ€™s most people I know.
I was finally getting my footing back to somewhere near stable then tonight I get a call from Slingshot, offering me a deal that actually seems good. Double the gigs and a faster download, for only $10 a month more than Iâ€™m paying now. But it means transferring my phone over to them. It wouldnâ€™t cost me any more, but then thereâ€™s the cell phone to deal with, but I have heard telecom is changing their phone deals. So it doesnâ€™t seem bad, but now my brain is in panic mood, I canâ€™t slow down my thinking, I canâ€™t stay rational. I mean hell for some reason Iâ€™m getting paranoid and well, probably consider it delusional as I keep thinking thereâ€™s so big trap there to get me, to show the world Iâ€™m an idiot and make me suffer. Itâ€™s all really bizarre and irrational but I canâ€™t pull myself out of it. The guy said heâ€™d ring back on Monday so I have until then to get the details from telecom and to get my mind to calm the fuck down. Good luck on that second part.
Oh yeah and the spammers are loving me right now
The irony of todayâ€™s events hit me as I was heading home after giving my lecture. When I did the paper I lectured in today, it was years ago. The main assessment was to give a class presentation on any chosen subject. At the time it freaked me out so much I decided to withdraw from the paper. I ended up going to talk to my lecturers (one of which is actually my supervisor now, the other one I had a huge crush on), about how I couldnâ€™t do the assessment so I had to withdraw. Instead of just letting me withdraw they asked me why the assessment was going to be too hard. I explained in brief terms that the anxiety and dissociation that would come from it would mean I would probably end up in hospital. Again instead of just accepting that, they offered to let me do a written essay as my final assessment. It was that essay that began my intense interest in sexuality education.
So at the time doing a presentation as a class member was an impossibility, I was just too sick, too fragile and crazy. I was lucky to have lecturers that were willing to work around that. So now years later I turn up in the same class, doing an expanded version of that original essay, not as a fellow student but as a guest lecturer. I didnâ€™t freak out, I didnâ€™t have major anxiety or dissociation, well not to the point where it is risky to my stability. Iâ€™m not going to say I enjoyed it. It was an interesting experience that I am probably glad I did now its finished. I didnâ€™t feel like I made a fool of myself, I didnâ€™t have the overwhelming urge to punish myself afterwards. I did some things that seemed good, other things I kicked myself over, but that dreadful self-hatred wasnâ€™t there. I wouldnâ€™t say I was the best guest lecturer of all time, but I also doubt that I was the worst.
So where am I at? I donâ€™t really know. I move back and forth, from self-doubt and shame, to being excited and energised about my research and abilities. Itâ€™s been a hectic week, a lot of new and challenging experiences. I know I will be hiding out for a while, not talking to anyone, not leaving the house. I need to reconnect to a sense of stability. I need to find a point when Iâ€™m not terrified of how visible Iâ€™ve been lately, appearance and performance wise. Itâ€™s a big jumble, but as much as I would like to run away from that jumble, from all the things it says about me and my life and history, I also donâ€™t want to do that, if I run now Iâ€™ll stay hidden, Iâ€™ll throw away all Iâ€™ve done. So I want to keep alive that whole excitement feeling, that its ok to be enthralled by the work Iâ€™m doing. I want to feel like Iâ€™m achieving it, that Iâ€™m doing something I enjoy and am good at.
I wrote that last sentence 90 minutes ago. It freaked me/us out so much that I have no idea what happened in those last 90 minutes. An hour and a half of lost time, but hell at least Iâ€™m not bleeding or someone hasnâ€™t burned all my research material.
Today was school interview day, tomorrow is giving lecture day. Man what a week.
I put on my flash black skirt. I am slowly getting used to looking presentable. Itâ€™s not easy, Iâ€™m not comfortable being visible but Iâ€™m trying to learn tricks in dealing with it.
The actual interviewing went really well. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it. The girls were talkative and actually engaged in the conversation, I didnâ€™t have to drag answers out of them, in fact it was more of a problem with getting them not to talk over one and another. Iâ€™m hoping to have some interesting data to work with.
Interviewing the teachers was a bit different. The main teacher was as always very helpful and engaged, but the second teacher was like usual, distant and well, the words stuck up, come to mind. I got the feeling from the first moment she wasnâ€™t that interested in participating. She didnâ€™t seem to want me to be there, and wasnâ€™t that keen on contributing to my questions. She also said that my being in the class was a little disruptive as she had to bring a lot of people back who had gone off to do a multicultural performance. Now that was true, but the fact that she blamed it on me rankled a little. During my first meeting with the principle teacher we arranged that schedule, it was her idea to do them both on the same day, so the second teacher knew that was the plan for weeks, to act like it had been sprung on her at the last moment by me was a little in the nose. Her planning was screwed up, she had enough time to keep her class back from the performance lesson, I didnâ€™t just show up. Yes as you can see that pissed me off slightly.
But I am surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience. It was something totally new, and a little daunting. But when doing the actual work I found I loved it, found myself happy and comfortable with the process, I laughed and chatted with the kids and guided the conversation enough so I could get the information I wanted rather than just letting them ramble, or coming on heavy handed and controlling. I would so comfortably do more interviews now. I know they arenâ€™t always wonderful and I know sometimes they donâ€™t go smoothly so I think I lucked out with these ones, but that also gave me a good entry into the arena of research.
I came home smiling.
A well known NZ comedian (donâ€™t know who, name suppression given) pleads guilty for sexually assaulting his 4 year old daughter and then when sentenced gets off without any conviction. He was drunk, he mistook the child for his girlfriend so itâ€™s all ok. I am calling bullshit.. the guy actually took off his daughterâ€™s nappies, now maybe his girlfriend was kinky and liked wearing nappies to bed who knows, but come on how drunk do you have to be to realise youâ€™re touching and undressing a child instead of a grown woman. The man makes me sick but for me what the judge said makes me so fucking angry. Her closing statement was â€œthis man is a talented New Zealander and Laughter’s a good medicine … and something that we all need a little of.â€ Iâ€™m sure his ex-partner and daughter have had a lot of laughter in their lives since experiencing the abuse. His ex-partner spoke of how she still has flashbacks of waking up to see her boyfriend molesting their daughter in their bed, and both have needed counselling, yeah Iâ€™m sure thatâ€™s hilarious for them both. Oh but the guy is famous and funny and shock and horror heâ€™s had his income halved since this happened, we are all supposed to feel sorry for the man or something.
I donâ€™t care if heâ€™s remorseful. I donâ€™t care there were no prior indications of paedophilic behaviour. When he went to bed that night his girlfriend said no to his sexual advances. When he woke up later and sexually assaulted his baby girl he says he thought she was his girlfriend. Now even if I buy that and thatâ€™s a fucking mountain sized â€˜ifâ€™ does that mean he thought it was ok to have sex with his sleeping girlfriend, that being asleep would change the no she said when awake into a yes. But at least he had the decency to plead guilty, its just a shame the judge decided child abuse wasnâ€™t as important as fame.
So the start of the day I decided to fill my thermos with coffee to take to the school. Now the last time I used my thermos was when I went on a bike trip, I havenâ€™t had a bike for about 5 years, so I have to say I was surprised when I finally got it open to find there was still coffee in it. Ok so it wasnâ€™t pleasant coffee but it was coffee. Fortunately a thermos is airtight and I donâ€™t have milk or sugar in it, so it wasnâ€™t putrid, but in saying that coffee shouldnâ€™t have solid pieces in it. I was able to clean it out, but I wasnâ€™t keen about using it, so no coffee for me.
Since I found my tights I felt a little more comfortable, although being dressed up professionally still freaked me out. I think I looked decent, that I was fulfilling a requirement, but there was that voice in the back of my head that still chanted â€˜uglyâ€™. I tried to maintain that persona, the professional student, the professional researcher. Going to the school I actually went to as a kid, dealing with all those nagging details, the fears, the whole Iâ€™m a huge fake and everyone will tell, made things hard. Understatement of the week that, but there was so many things I had to push aside, try to bury. Itâ€™s kind of good I can still do that, can still dissociate enough to get through the mindfield and act professional holding off on the fallout until Iâ€™m home. (Which is why this is a few days late, the fall out was spectacular).
I ended up getting there early because I was unsure of the time it would take, and how it was organised. I managed to set myself up in a private room and do some work until it was time to observe. The observations went really well. I have about 10 pages of notes about the two lessons. I know Iâ€™m going to have to be careful how I write it up, because there was some negative judgements there.
I ended up not getting time to do the interviews. It wasnâ€™t a big deal since I had already planned to return to observe the special â€˜girlâ€™s onlyâ€™ class, and will be doing the interviews then. In a way it makes more sense too, to interview the girls after all the classes have taken place. The main teacher is very helpful and weâ€™ve talked a lot, the secondary teacher not as much, in some ways she seemed to see me as an annoyance, but I could be projecting there, not sure.
There was guy there I saw a few times, I thought he looked familiar but I wasnâ€™t sure from where, and wasnâ€™t about to guess in case it was something embarrassing or too personal. He came up to me at one point and said I looked familiar too. We worked out that he probably taught me when I was in form 1, but he doesnâ€™t really remember me. He asked for details of who else was in my class, but I couldnâ€™t bring up anything. He didnâ€™t really have a good memory of me, and part of me wanted to say that was because by there I was the terribly abused child that had learnt well to be completely invisible, to be non-existent, and that was just a sign of how well I was at it. But really not something you bring up to a virtual stranger in the middle of a staff lunchroom.
So Iâ€™m going back next Wednesday afternoon to do the last observation and interviews. On the academic level Iâ€™m feeling comfortable. I have enough on observation to do a decent job, but Iâ€™m also hoping the interviews will give me a broader range of data to work with. I am not sure how I will write it all up, but Iâ€™m feeling on track.