Question of the day (29th August).

Which colours make up most of your wardrobe?

My answer:

It’s mostly my Mum who gets clothes for me, or as I say, is my stylist, which is easy and comfy because we both have mostly very similar styles, and also like similar colours. It’s also convenient because sometimes when I just need one or two clothing items I don’t have to go to a shop, but when my Mum is going somewhere else she can easily choose the right things for me, it matters because I loathe clothes shopping, it’s sooo overwhelming and soooo boring. So, because of this, I don’t always remember what colour all my things are, and I probably wouldn’t remember all of them anyway, and some that I wear less often I just don’t know what colour they are. Generally though, in terms of colour, it’s very similar to how my Mum’s wardrobe looks like – you open it and see blackness! – I love black, I feel good in it, I think it fits me and I hate stupid folks who assume I’ve lost someone and daftly ask me “Did something happen in your family?”. Even if so, I’d tell you first if I’d want. So that’s the only downside of wearing black. But it’s really such a practical colour and people say I look good in it. I wear a lot of grey which I love too, especially when I stay at home, then if I can I wear as many grey things as possible so that me and Misha look very similar. Grey is just so homely and cosy. I would like to wear more white, which is also one of my favourite stuff, but it’s not practical and Mum says it doesn’t look to well on me usually as my skin is very pale, Zofijka apparently looks gorgeous in white, she’s quite a Nordic type but has a darker (and way more tanned most of the time) complexion than me. But I have lots of blues, especially the turquoise shade or similar, and I love blue too. I also have quite a few purple things, purple is okay though I’m not very crazy on it, but apparently it fits me very much. As you can see, it’s mostly cooler colours, from the warmer ones I have two fuchsia skirts and some pink-ish stuff, I hate red and I would never put it on myself (consciously, of course), apart from one T-shirt I have that is red and has “Purrr” written on it in tactile letters on some sort of a velvety material, this one I love. So, in short, that’s it.

How about your wardrobe? And which colours, in your view, fit you best? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (28th August).

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

Here are some questions for you.

What were your teenage interests?

My answer:

I think my interests have been, overall, pretty consistent. I don’t think very much has changed since then. At some point, as a teen, I felt very lost, in an emotional and spiritual way, and was full of shitty feelings that I hadn’t let out for years that were bottling up, and, as a way of silent rebellion, I decided I didn’t want to be Christian anymore and desperately tried to believe I was an agnostic, then Wiccan, or something. It was because my school was Catholic, and I felt like there was quite a lot of pressure put on it. But also, my family is very Christian so in a way I wanted to rebel against them too because, what I didn’t fully know back then, deep down I was feeling rejected by them, so I wanted to reject them as well. My Mum once told me that she’s not worried about me, because she knows I’m at the right place, that she knows I’ll never be lost in life because my school is Catholic and because I myself am mature enough to know what’s good for me, as if this was all you need as for not to feel lost at some point in your life. She said she was most worried about Olek, who was doing a lot of silly things at the time. So – because I think deep down I was desperate for attention even though then I’d say I wasn’t – I sort of decided that she’ll have a reason to worry about me too. And I just wanted some adventure, ya know, something fun to do, but most of all, something that could give me an escape from my life. So, getting to the point, I think my only other interests that I don’t have right now but had back then were all the spiritual stuff and esotericism. I was lucid dreaming whenever I could, or doing astral projections, talking to psychics and doing my own rituals and just reading all that I could find on the topic of astrology, esotericism and all that. I still think it’s interesting, but am no longer directly into it, apart from some stuff in astrology that I genuinely think makes some sense. I was also hugely into new age-y things. But most of all, I loved lucid dreaming and experimenting with Doses, which are like sound drugs – these are sounds which change something in your brain waves and simulate the effects of drugs. – They say they’re not addictive so that’s why I gave them a go, but in fact they can damage your brain pretty badly and, really, considering all the stuff I was experimenting with, I assume I must have a really determined and patient Guardian Angel. πŸ˜€ Or just as they say, silly people always get lucky haha. Apart from it weakening my relationship with God, and having some obvious but not overly tragical emotional and spiritual consequences that I had to deal with after that, I don’t think it did very much harm to me, not quite as much as it potentially could. I’ve started getting more severe sleep paralysis since then but that doesn’t necessarily have to be related. And my relationship with God was very difficult even before, and I’m still trying to get closer to Him which is at times very difficult, but I think I’m already much more bonded with him than I ever was. Oh, and at that time, I also loved all things Gothic. I wanted to be a Goth, I listened to Gothic music, when I was at home I dressed very much in a Gothic way but without the makeup, I listened to loads of Gothic rock and metal and symphonic metal and such and later on also to artists like Emilie Autumn – I still sort of like Emilie Autumn but listening to her always makes me depressed, and I still listen to some Gothic songs/bands that don’t have something that would go against Christianity in their music/in the way they present themselves, but I’m not half as crazy about it. – I did meet a real 100% Gothic Goth some time later on when that esoteric phase was already over for me and after I came back to God and came back home (it was my dear friend Jacek from Helsinki) who got me into his online Gothic cycle, but, being slightly older and more certain of my own values and all, I didn’t get fully into it, I never became a real Goth. I learned that there are people calling themselves Christian Goths and I identified as such for some time while hanging out with all them Goths in Jacek’s online community, but also I didn’t wear all that stuff and makeup they usually do, didn’t listen to most of their music, so it was a very loose connection. I liked that and liked being one of them but at the same time being a part of such communities, who are sort of supposed to look the same, like the same things etc. was never fully for me and I never truly felt like I belonged there. So, my fascination evaporated relatively quickly, my contacts with Goths loosened even more and then I just only talked to Jacek and all my other interests started to really bloom. I never do all that esoteric stuff anymore and don’t have the slightest desire to do, also I don’t take Doses anymore and don’t do OOBE and such, I sometimes lucid dream because sometimes that’s the only way for me to avoid the scary dreams and sleep paralysis, or it happens without my control, but it’s never like I seriously want to do it. It was always a bit difficult for me anyway because to get to the lucid dream part, first I had to get through terrible sleep paralysis and anxiety that was through the roof. My “transformation” started very suddenly, but that’s a whole new story, and I am so so grateful I got that chance!

How about you? πŸ™‚ How much has changed in your interests since you were a teen? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

In childhood, did you ever have extra-curricular instruction (for sports, a musical instrument/singing, or participate in any arts and crafts classes or organisations)? This may or may not be related with school.

My answer:

While at the school for the blind, we all had a lot of extra-curricular activities which weren’t always associated with our schooling, but more with the rehabilitation thing. Like, all of us had some mobility training which we simply called “spatial orientation”, which involved learning some routes, using techniques for walking with and without white cane, but also some other life skills not necessarily always closely related to mobility. Many people, including me, had so called corrective gymnastics, I had that mostly for my shortened Achilles tendons. All of us went swimming twice a week after school. Things like that were sort of basic there. I remember I really didn’t like going to the swimming pool, it always stressed me out for some reason, so I looked for any way of skipping that, which was easy since I seemed to have some skin reaction to the chlorine and my Mum didn’t want me to absorb too much chlorine because she read somewhere that people with hypothyroidism (which I had) shouldn’t get too much of it. I really love being in the water, so it’s not that I am afraid of it or something. I love being in the sea or river, I just still have that crazy aversion to swimming pools which I don’t really understand, I would just never go to a swimming pool voluntarily, unless an open one, like Zofijka has. But I hate the in-door swimming pools.

When at the nursery, all of us had horse riding, which I wrote about earlier, that I was so scared of and then started to love to bits, haha. I also ended up getting into the music school, which was a bit accidental. As I wrote even in the last question of the day post, I did a lot of singing there, also on stage. I was taking part in some sort of contest and I had a lot of rehearsals and preparations for that. I guess, being at the age of 5 or 6, I must have been sort of confused whether it was a temporary thing or if I was to have those rehearsals regularl even after the contest, and at some point I asked one of the staff out of curiosity if I’ll be still having that. She was puzzled and said that I’d better ask our… OMG how do you call it in English…? rhythmicity teacher…? People make up really weird subjects, even for nursery children lol. Anyway, she told me to ask her, because she was working at music school, so she would know, or would get in touch with that tutor who was preparing me for that contest earlier. So I did, And the rhythmicity teacher asked me which instrument I was learning to play with that lady. I was very confused, I was just singing. But after a while, not knowing what I should say, I said piano, because she played piano, so I thought maybe that was what the teacher asked me about. And she was like: “Oh, but she doesn’t teach piano…” and she told me that she will talk to the teacher who did teach piano and get her to work with me. And, although I hadn’t ever think about learning to play piano,a week afterwards I met my teacher, who was a lovely and cheerful young woman, with whom I loved to chat with, especially about the Parpills (the creatures I made up), but the whole piano learning thing was super strenuous. I found it really difficult, technically, to repeat more complex things that she asked me or showed me to do. Then after a few years, when I was in primary, that nice teacher had to go on maternity leave and I never worked with her again, instead, I was assigned an older lady, who was very sophisticated and serious, and super calm and had the patience of a saint, which was probably life-saving for us both. Most of the girls in my group at the boarding school were in the music school and quite a few were very passionate and serious about that so I sort of felt like I should too, and once I very carelessly shared one of my dreams with my Mum. Not my real big dreams, you know, just a little, funny daydream I once had that didn’t mean anything, because I’ve had daydreams about being a hundred and one things in my life, and it doesn’t immediately mean that’s what I would seriously like to do for my whole life. Dreams are fun because you can pop in and out of them when you want. My daydream that I shared with my Mum was influenced by a book I read. For a while I wanted to be like the main character in that book – a 30-something sophisticated, elegant mummy with a big family of six children living in a mansion, who was very artistic and liked to play piano for her family’s entertainment. –
I had to hear about that little dream of mine for the next three years until I finally couldn’t take it anymore, my extended family seriously thought I could play the piano, and I felt like an imposter, and I was just frustrated with it and with myself and I quit. The more that that year I had to get my corrective gymnastics hours increased because the creepy shadow of Grice-Green’s surgery was hanging over my feet and the last thing I felt like focusing on was freaking piano. πŸ˜€ Some time afterwards I quit the singing thing for good as well, for a mixture of reasons but I guess mostly because it wasn’t my thing any longer. I only sing in the shower now or for Misha’s entertainment who seems to like it for some reason. I later tried learning guitar at home during holidays with my aunt’s acquaintance, mostly to please my Mummy but also because I had a glimmer of hope it could get better this time. Piano felt like a very sophisticated instrument, but I’d heard from lots of people that guitar is easy, and knew people without much talent for music who learned to play some tunes by heart, so I thought if it’s so easy, and since I did have an ear for music, perhaps I could master it too. It didn’t work like that. After four months I was definitely getting it at the brain level pretty well,but couldn’t repeat any of the chords completely on my own properly without at least some instructions or assistance. I wasn’t too disappointed though, just came to the conclusion that being a listener is much more fit for me than being a creator of music. If we all only made our own music, no one would listen to it, I guess. I also had other classes as part of my musical education for a while, which lasted for too short to give me very much knowledge, but I appreciate that experience because I did get some knowledge or understanding of music that I would probably never get otherwise, so while I don’t know nearly as much as someone who completed music school, I also guess I have a bit more insight than an average person would. And later on I was taking part in music therapy which was extremely helpful and relaxing for my brain which was one big nervous wreck at the time haha.

When I left that school to try the integration school out, my Mum made me a surprise organising horse riding lessons for me, which was scary like hell at first for me, but as you know I discovered very soon how much I in fact love horse riding. During my second year there, at 4th grade, I somehow ended up in a theatre club. I really don’t remember how I got in there. I guess it must have been something like that everyone had to pick an after school activity or something? And my Polish teacher was running it so I guess I got in there thanks to her. I really didn’t like it here. Neither did Olek, who also took part in it, well I suppose he must have disliked it even more, I had at least some experience with such things so could grit my teeth and get on with it, but when you’re new to it and not into it… sucks. I’ve had people telling me that I have some acting skills, which at first made me snort out with laughter, but when even my Mum said that I started to think about this more seriously. I like to play pretend with Zofijka, I am good at mimicking accents, I guess, and that’s what people say, but it’s been mostly Polish people saying that to me about English accents so they might as well have no idea, the more that Polish people usually have nasty accents in English, even if they are fluent. And I like to mimic people and how they act too. The thing is, I have to be really chilled and comfortable to do that. Every time I took part in a play on stage, I was stiff as a stick. And while I have mostly very good memory, I don’t do well with absorbing stuff like learning a poem by heart, or a word list in another language in specific order, or lines for a play. I always struggled a bit with that. I remember standing on a stage for hours after school, which always made me dizzy because it was so high and I was like “What if I fall from these stairs?!”, ravenously hungry and stressed, and I know so was Olek. We were doing a nativity play that year, and I was Mary, and hated it with my every brain cell. When we were finally performing in front of the whole school and parents and all, the power was out and mics weren’t working, and we all had to yell our lines, which I remember clearly because I had a bit of a cold that day and my throat was aching so that wasn’t fun. πŸ˜€ And I remember having high-heel shoes (did Mary seriously go all the way to Bethlehem pregnant in high-heel shoes), which was a really bad idea because I felt even more unsteady and panicky. πŸ˜€ But the whole thing seems rather hilarious to me now.

That’s also where my saga of my math compensatory classes (is that how you call it?) started.

At some point during my education at that school, my Mum found a teacher for me, via some local newspaper, with whom I had Swedish, as I always wanted. I loved that to pieces!

I had to go back to the “blind” school in the end, so all my jolly horse riding and Swedish adventures took a backseat because I wasn’t able to take part in them as often anymore, and then they finally all completely disappeared leaving me in a lot of distress (especially the fact that I couldn’t have Swedish) that I managed to sort of suppress and not think about but any time something reminded me about Swedish language I was enormously frustrated.

Instead there was some project funded by EU at our school in which I was chosen to take part and learn English via Callan method, together with some of my groupmates. I guess all of us disliked it because it was really boring, and looking at it now, I really wonder where that decision came from and why they chose Callan method, because I guess it’s the most ridiculous language learning method on the Earth. I mean, it certainly must have been of use in the circumstances in which it was created – for soldiers, to quickly learn the language, I guess soldiers do not need to be incredibly fluent, but just say what they need to say and learn as much as possible as fast as possible. – It’s basically that you memorise loads of grammar rules and learn loads of artificial sentences from the textbooks, no flexibility or anything like that. ANd I don’t think it gave me anything special, was just a waste of our time, and waste of the precious funds of the EU. We really liked to skip those classes if that was possible for any of us, but they emphasised it very much that we shouldn’t because they were paid in advance, so I guess it’s a pity they weren’t a bit more useful.

Basically as you can see we were able to have lots of extra activities there so it’s possible there was something else that I don’t remember now.

When I got out of there I could finally breathe with relief and restart my Swedish and horse riding after my depression got more manageable (the horse riding I still have even though I’m not in school anymore, though I’m having a hiatus again). I also had extra English classes at home for a while, I felt like I needed them to be as well prepared for my English finals as I could, and I happened to get a really really chatty teacher so I really got to talk a lot with him in English, which I liked and which probably helped me to get that 100% result at oral English, not even because I learned that very much from him but because I gained more confidence in that and could speak even more freely. Oh and I also had my poor math tutor, who was courageously teaching me all the stuff we had at college plus helping me immensely with exam preparations. I liked her as a person, but those lessons with her I sometimes still get in my dreams – that I am sitting there and don’t know how to resolve some ridiculously weird equation or something and we both get more and more frustrated and hours are passing and I feel like punching and throwing everything around – really stupid topic for a dream isn’t it?

So that’s it from me, phew, quite a lot, as I can now see. πŸ˜€ I really appreciate it now that I can decide on it myself what I want to invest my time in, although some of those experiences were really interesting.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (26th August).

Hey people. πŸ™‚

Here’s my another question for you:

Throughout childhood, did you seek to have a specific profession (perhaps different professions during different periods) once reaching adulthood? Did this change once you passed beyond high school?

My answer:

I had multiple ideas throughout my childhood as for what I wanted to be as an adult, but it rarely or never was very clear, like, I’m sure I want to be this, and I will do anything to make it happen. And, in fact, the older I got, the more blurred my ideas were getting, due to many factors. When I was in nursery, so in my case from the age 5, I really loved singing. I don’t know where I got that from, I certainly had some skill for it but I have an impression this could be that stereotype that, you know, blind people are always good at music, and my family picked it up and so I did too. But whatever the cause of that, I liked it at the time, and whenever someone would ask me about what I wanted to be in the future, I’d say I would like to either be a singer, or a musician, or perhaps even a dancer, and that I didn’t want to have babies, because when women want a baby, they can have it, but they don’t have to when they don’t want. πŸ˜€ Around the same time though (I have a feeling I might have written about that somewhere on my blog earlier), I got some weird dream or an imagining or whatever it was. I was lying in bed at night in the nursery and almost falling asleep, or perhaps I was already somewhere between asleep and awake, and I know that a while earlier I was thinking about how it feels like to be an adult, and that I guess I wouldn’t like to be. And then, I saw myself as an adult, in a really huge kitchen. I was about to prepare a meal I guess, and I was all surrounded with little children and toddlers clinging to me. But the most weird and vivid thing for me that I remember the best in that little scene was the sense of hopelessness and despair I felt, and that I didn’t know what to do, like at all, with myself, with those kids, with that damn meal, it was frustrating, I was lost and confused and like people are expecting something from me but I didn’t know what and how to do it. I think it had to be a really powerful image because it stayed with me for years and when I was a kid, whenever I heard the word “adult”, that was what first came to my mind, and I still have that association somewhere in my brain.

When I was older, I wanted to be a writer, which has always been quite an appealing thing to me and I’ve always loved writing, I also had a stage when I wanted to be a psychologist, I guess as in therapist, and then for quite a while I also wanted to be a sound engineer or a music producer, which eventually led me to getting a chance to try my hand at the former for a couple years in an online academic radiostation where my friend Jacek (the one from Helsinki, but back then from Poland) volunteered, even though I wasn’t a student at his uni, but he managed to get me in there. Was loads of fun, but I realised I wasn’t enough into it to do it full time. I also wanted to do something with linguistics, like be somehow involved in creating speech synthesis for example, as it’s definitely something that is hugely based on linguistics and they need people who know something about specific languages and phonetics stuff in general.

When I met my horse riding instructor, who is also a neurologist and knows a whole lot about the brain and loads of other interesting things about horses and humans, and after I spent some time with her, it slowly dawned on me that had I been sighted, I’d definitely have to be a neurosurgeon, I’ve also read some really interesting books about the brain at that time as well as about the beginnings of neurosurgery. But obviously since I’m blind that was out of question, and while it was and still is a fun dream for me, since it’s not a realistic one, I don’t think about it outside of the dream zone anymore at all.

I’ve fell in love with harp along the way and I had a really strong phase when I wanted to become a harpist, but at the same time, having tried two instruments before and not being able to learn to play any of them really well because of coordination issues and such, I was too scared to try in case I would be disappointed, because then I’d be disappointed really hard, and since it was Celtic harp I was dreaming about, there weren’t even any tutors in my area for that instrument, and it would be even more unthinkable for me to learn on my own.

Then I got a chance to finally do more with my languages and finally I’ve embraced what people have been telling me for ages, probably just because it was the only idea that popped into their mind as for what a blind person could do (apart from being a musician or a massage therapist) that I should become a translator. It wasn’t too appealing to me before, because the only idea of a translator I had in my mind was someone who follows you everywhere in a foreign country if you are a VIP and translates your every word and translates what people say to you. I never knew how they managed to do it – remember what someone is saying and translate it in their brain and then tell it the other person in the other language so quickly – and I couldn’t imagine myself doing that. –
Oral translating, especially simultaneous, is still like black magic to me, but I like the idea of doing written translations. I also discovered for good how in love I was with Celtic languages and cultures and wanted to do something with it. I didn’t really know what I could do after Celtic studies, apart from making another translation of Mabinogion or something like that, but I wanted to study Celtic studies. And I think I would probably do that, if not the fact that the two universities in Poland where they were available were very far away from me, and I completely didn’t feel like going to the other end of the country again, not even for the Celtic studies, and didn’t feel it would be realistic for me to live there independently. There were Celtic studies at University of Wales Trinity St. David that I really really really wanted to apply for, because they sounded like just for me, but after some investigation their e-learning environment turned out not to be very accessible, and later on I realised that they were MA studies so I couldn’t do them straight away after finals. And then I didn’t have to worry about my Celtic studies anymore because, quite as I supposed it could be, I didn’t pass the math final exam, and failed in a big way at it. I decided that at least for now I am not going to rewrite it, as you may already know. But still I think it’s not unrealistic for me to become a translator or something like this. I might rewrite that exam at some point, or even if not, I still know a couple languages, and as my Swedish teacher had always told me, knowing about all my other issues, no one would need a piece of paper to confirm that, and no one can tell me I can’t speak a language if they see I do. I am also slowly working on my translations of the poems of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s, I’m never happy with them and my feelings about whether I should ever show them to the wider audience or not are ever fluctuating, so we’ll see. I am, as you also probably know, also working as a secretary/office worker in my Dad’s company, which I feel very lucky about, and which I don’t think my childhood self would ever guess to happen. πŸ˜€

How was it with you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (25th August).

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I was feeling shitty all day yesterday so didn’t even write anything, so here’s the overdue question for you, another childhood related one.

Did you like school? Are there reasons that you liked/disliked it?

My answer:

Who likes school? Not me anyway. Okay, at the beginning of my education I liked school somewhat, just except having to stay at the boarding school and except all the stressful stuff. It was stressful and challenging but I guess I liked learning. But it didn’t last long. Things were becoming more and more stressful, and I realised that, at least most of the time, creativity isn’t very well seen, and that most of the time it’s just either boring or freakishly abstractive for my brain, and that it was becoming more and more rare that what I learned at school would be either interesting or significantly beneficial/useful to me and bring something new into my life. I much preferred to learn things myself, things that I found interesting, although that wasn’t always possible, or not to a big degree. I didn’t do socialising literally at all at the beginning, then with years I learned to engage with people a bit more but it was very superficial. At the beginning of primary I remember I loved learning Polish and especially English, with English I stopped loving it as a subject very quickly because we happened to have a teacher that no one of us really liked who wasn’t too approachable or likeable, and then for the next year or two we had in turn a very meek teacher who was a lovely person but couldn’t even have much control over the class, and wasn’t demanding at all so things were either boring or chaotic on her lessons. And most of the time I didn’t have luck with English teachers, no matter in which school I was, I had only a few pretty good ones, and I’ve had fair few of them haha. Polish I loved for longer, as long as I was allowed to write elaborate stuff on topics I liked or that I felt comfortable with and could read at least mostly what I liked or stuff that we were reading for school was interesting. I think I started to get seriously disheartened by Polish in 4th grade but still was fairly good at it, and still there were things I liked about it. But, as you hopefully know, at least if you’ve been here for a while, neither English or Polish as a subject has ever discouraged me from liking those languages as such, although it was very close to it with English at some point and I had to rediscover it for myself a bit and, in a way, relearn it in my own way. I never cared much for grades, neither good nor bad, and I was not a perfectionist at school matters whatsoever, though the bigger tests usually really scared me and with time I did started to feel slightly inferior because of my math dilemmas, but only a bit. I hated that they wanted me to be good at everything (thankfully my Mum didn’t and was pissed off with that approach when she found out there is such so I didn’t want to be good at everything either). I guess I must have some sort of ability to learn things reasonably quickly, which was a bit weird but which really saved me at school, because I didn’t like studying hard, I mean repeating what we had at school and just spending more time than necessary with school stuff, I only did homework and repeated things very superficially before tests if I felt like I could fail spectacularly or if I needed to do reasonably good. I just never like to spend too much time doing boring things that I don’t have much interest in. I had to change that approach when preparing to my finals and spend horrendous amounts of time preparing to my math exam, but, as it seems, even studying really hard can’t always save you. πŸ˜€ So, especially as time went by, there were less and less things I liked at school. I was constantly stressed and depressed, having trouble engaging with people and doing a lot of daily prosaic stuff because of various things that I was struggling with, I was awfully neurotic and just hated school with a passion. Somehow I guess though that most of the time I at least managed to keep the impression that I’m doing well, unless someone was a bit more perceptive but I didn’t want people to see, or see as little as possible. I’ve also always been scared of changes, and at school you get a whole lot of them sometimes.

When I was 17, I got out of the school for the blind permanently and for a year that I had left until starting college, or however else you’d call it in your country, I was having individual education at my local school, where my brother was going to. My dream was always to be homeschooled, but I knew that was hardly possible, so I was happy that the psychiatrist who saw me at the time agreed with my Mum and therapist and the headmaster of that school who felt I could benefit from doing that year in individual education. And my poor teachers would benefit too, they weren’t really prepared for me appearing suddenly and I know most of them were deadly scared of the prospect of teaching a blind student. So I think it was easier for them doing it just with me than in the class, if it felt so challenging for them. And that year was the best year at school for me. I am sure that had I been at that school all the time it wouldn’t be a good decision, but I sort of regretted I didn’t come there earlier. I discovered that – while I was reasonably good at most subjects before – I was doing much better when learning one to one, and also I liked that I could really get to know my teachers well and they could get to know me well. I had exams at the end of that year, before going to college, but I don’t remember being very stressed about them. I was, a bit, for sure, but not quite as much as I was before previous or later major exams. I only remember finishing the syllabus for most of the subjects ridiculously quickly and reading my Vreeswijk’s poems translations or my short stories to my Polish teacher during our lessons and such. They really liked me there and I liked them. Sometimes I came to Olek’s classroom and had had lessons with the class (we were in the same class even though he’s two years younger than me because I had two years delay) and I kinda got along with a few girls in there even though they didn’t even know where people speak Finnish but oh well, never mind. I had a whole big classroom just to myself where I had all the lessons, and I remember passionately reading “Outsider” by Colin Wilson during most breaks while listening to music on the headphones so, if you know me, you’d figure out I was pretty chilled there, as for my standards. πŸ˜€ So yeah, that school I did like.

Then I went to that weekend school for adults, which was just boring. I also found it hard to socialise with people, especially with most of the teachers, those who seemed to be plain scared of me or something like that. I was really struggling with math stuff, and the rest was usually quite boring. I had one good friend who was helping me with things like getting around which made it all much easier for me, and I had some other fun people in the class too though a lot of people were dropping out or coming as they pleased since it was a college for adults so no one could pressure them to do anything really, and many folks got some benefits at work or something like this when they were learning at the same time so they enrolled often just for the sake of it. It all felt a bit artificial for me but then school is generally one big faking in so many ways for me so I was just trying to get through that period as best I could. At some point my Mum got tired of driving me back and forth and I was tired of sitting in the class while they were looking at slideshows or doing something from a textbook that I didn’t have and we collaboratively decided to ask my teachers if I could do the learning at home and just come in for exams and such. They all agreed with great relief, and promised profusely to send me what they are doing in class and the topics of the assignments and dates of the exams, but then I had to send them countless emails asking for that and that was rather yucky and resulted in a couple situations where I knew just last minute that I had an exam coming up or wrote an assignment a day before the due date. I hated that and it annoyed me like shit but overall when I stopped having to go to school every weekend life became a bit easier practically, and even more so for my Mum.

So that’s it, my experience with school, quite eventful, but mostly miserable, and made me feel really spiteful towards the whole education system, so that if someone wants to rant about it, I am always open and happy to chime in, just for the sake of it. Though Mum claims I am intoxicating Zofijka with my spite when doing it with her. I’m not sure I even care, is that awful of me? Zofijka mostly thinks what I do anyway, and comes with her school troubles to me a lot of the time, and I have to get my shit out somewhere finally too.

How much did you hate school? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi lovely people! πŸ™‚

I have another question for you about you and your siblings today. πŸ™‚

If you have more than one sibling, are you closer to one sibling than another/others?

My answer:

Definitely! As weird as that may be, I am much closer to Zofijka than Olek, despite she is much younger than me than Olek is. I was never very close to Olek. As a small child, I didn’t even like him, I feel, though it’s hard for me to say whether it was a sort of dislike like you usually have between siblings because of the rivalry and such, especially if there is not a big age difference between you and your siblings and you’re of opposite genders, or was it something bigger. I’ve written on here a few times that my very first memory is that of Olek being born and I didn’t like it at all, and that I was very nasty to him later on when we were both very small, like apparently I could come over to him and suddenly start to punch him with something very energetically for no apparent reason, or I was telling him when he can talk to me and when he can’t, like we would have a conversation and then I’d get annoyed with something or bored or whatever and was like “I don’t wanna talk to you anymore”. πŸ˜€ We played sometimes and had fun but as far as I can remember there wasn’t much of my initiative in it. I went to the boarding school when I was 5 so then I had much less contact with him, especially that in the first years of my stay there, if my parents wanted to see me in between school breaks and holidays they’d rather go to me than take me home, and then Olek stayed with grandparents for that time, usually. So we didn’t really get a possibility to strengthen our bond somehow. And we kept going further and further from each other with our lives, it was awkward for us to talk to each other a bit because we didn’t even know such things about each other like most siblings do, like what each other likes in greater detail or thinks about certain things, for example. When I ultimately came home after leaving that school at 17, in a way I felt weird because until then, I was moving between those two places and not really feeling like I belonged to any of them, and now as I was home for good I started to really feel like a stranger in the family in that I didn’t know about a lot of things, my family, other than my parents and Sofi, didn’t even know much about me other than the dry and mostly obvious facts, and it was all just a bit odd. Since then, five years have passed and I’ve caught up on most of those things, at least to some degree, because some things you can’t undo, I still struggle with the sense of belonging a lot, though not as much as I used to, but I feel much closer with my immediate family and have strengthened relationships with some of my extended family like my grandparents. My relationship with Olek is one of those things that haven’t changed much at all. We talk a little bit about casual things when we see each other throughout the day, sometimes will exchange some sarcastic comments on something or talk about what we’ve been doing during the day but that’s pretty much it. It’s very hard for me to initiate conversations with people around whom I feel awkward, and, while Olek doesn’t have social anxiety or anything like that, it must be tricky for him too. We live in one house, but our lives are very different and not very connected, and other people see the distance between us very clearly from what I can notice. I like him, we are kind for each other as fellow human beings should, but I sort of don’t feel the same intensity of feelings to him as I do to the rest of my immediate family. And I feel quite yucky because of it because it feels so callous not to have any deeper feelings for your brother just because.

With Sofi, it is an entirely different matter! We are both very very different from each other, so there’s plenty of conflicts, misunderstandings, calling each other names (more or less humourously), irritating each other etc. especially that Zofijka is rather impulsive so it’s easy to argue with her or make her angry or she goes moody and doesn’t talk to you for an hour or snaps out for no reason and then 5 minutes after that all is OK again. We play a lot, we spend lots of time together. We laugh at similar things, at least when it comes to situational humour, or some objectively childish/immature stuff that other people just don’t get, because they are either too serious (most adult people we both know) or too stupid (most kids and teens we both know) for that and they just scratch their heads in confusion when we suddenly both start choking with homeric laughter. We talk a lot about lots of things, make up silly games (like that Misha can talk via the connection between his brain and the brain of one of us, or creating the most ridiculous sentence, but such that will still make sense, in which all the words start with the same letter, or Zombie invasions, or make our own mock versions of stupid popular TV shows, or just coming up with the worst tortures for each other). Sometimes I help Sofi with her school work, though my patience is very limited in this field so it rarely ends up well, it drives me crazy when she doesn’t even try to think on her own or makes stupid mistakes so I don’t meedle in her school work unless she asks me too because I don’t want to discourage her or make her think she isn’t good at school work just because I get pissed off with lack of thinking in people. πŸ˜€ There are things that Zofijka seems to prefer to talk to me about or ask me about rather than Mum, because she feels embarrassed with Mum for some reason, she tends to ask me loads of tricky questions about stiff like sex, divorce or suicide, to give you a few most recent examples. She still wants me to tell her bed time stories and lay in bed with her, before she falls asleep, like seriously, she’s addicted! That often annoys me but we often have lots of interesting night talks because of this. The stories Zofijka likes most are about a creature called Jim, who is 3000 years old, but looks like a 12-year-old boy, he is a Jimosaurus, lives in a forest in Australia, and is the king of all the animals in it. He has a hut deep inside the forest, and, while he can eat normal, human food and likes it, it’s not nutritional to him, he lives on helping others. So when he feels hungry, he jumps on the roof of his hut with his special binoculars and looks around the world if someone/something needs his help. If so, which is of course always the case, he puts on his leather wings and flies there, with his friend Zofijka the Bee, just in case, because she is an excellent healer and nurse and can care for humans and animals and plants. And his monarchal duties are taken up by his friend bear, who is always sleepy and always clumsy and doesn’t have the best memory, so a lot of unpredictable things happen in the forest during his reigns because he doesn’t have any control or authority. Sofi loves Jim since she was 5 and still dreams that one day he’ll come to her and make her knees better so she can rollerskate, or help her with any other dilemma she may have at a given moment. She also likes stories about Misha, and what his life would be like if he was a human. Zofijka helps me too, sometimes she surprises me with her matter-of-fact, dry attitude to some things and in some cases it makes her a good advisor. I was once mentioning her a tricky situation I was having with a friend, and Sofi ruthlessly concluded it: “Tell her, if she has a problem, then she has a problem. It’s not your problem”. Which, in this particular case, was a healthy way of seeing it. Zofijka is also good with clothes and hairstyles and all so she often helps me with that too. Sometimes if I desperately want to watch a film because of something in it, or get a new music crush and want to know how they look like, I’ll rather ask Zofijka than anyone else to describe that person or thing to me. Zofijka is also a reasonably good cook for a 12-year-old, but she always threatens me that she’s poisoned my food. πŸ˜€ She can be really scary sometimes.

How is it with you and your siblings? πŸ™‚ If you have only one sibling, are you close with him/her?

What a great, great pity! πŸ˜ž

Hhrrru? 😻

This is MishMish. I just woke up. I slept for most of the day. Guess what? Mila’s got me very yummy sausages, and I can have one every day! Just one… 😦 Isn’t it a shame? But I am glad anyway that at least I can have one sausage, they are very yummy and smell heavenly, but the peeps say they are super smelly, as if there was something very poisonous in them. I don’t believe it. I think they exaggerate as always. For them everything is smelly. Even me, sometimes. Zofijka says I have bad breath! How dare she?! Mila says that Zofijka shouldn’t say that I have bad breath because it’s not my fault but theirs, because they should care for my dental hygiene more. But even I don’t care about it and to be honest I really dislike that weird stuff they put on my teeth when they do that, and that I have to sit still and they put their big peep claws in my mouth. I always do a big drama of it. And it pays off as you can see because then they don’t want to do it anymore. But it’s also awful of them because it’s like they don’t even care if I get gum disease or something like that and die! Or my teeth fall out and I’ll starve myself to death! Russian blue cats get gum disease easily, but noo, my peeps are too lazy to care. And then when my gums will start to rot, they will be all acting innocent and like: “Oh, poor Misha, we wonder why his gums are so bad, and why he is so smelly!” as if they had nothing to do with it. But that’s of course humans for ya…

But I didn’t want to rant about that. I wanted to rant about something else. Also closely peep related. I overheard a conversation Mum had with Mila and Zofija in the morning. She said: “I’ve got an idea. I think it’ll be worth trying to finally make some space for Misha to go out on the terrace, so that he won’t run away. I think I’ll do it today”. As you can imagine if you know me, and hopefully you do by now, my heart skipped with joy. Yayyy, yaaaay! I will go out. I will play in the sun. I will look at the big world! I will catch magpies and seagulls and give them to my peeps and eat them every day for dinner – the magpies and seagulls, not the peeps! – They will see how brave and strong I am, and not as they say – “That clumsy Misha can’t even catch a half-dead fly.”! – Mum went out somewhere, I thought in preparation to make a “space” for me, and, full of happy, fuzzy feelings, I went to sleep. I slept for a long time. I woke up at dinner time and looked around to see how’s Mum’s work going. There were no signs of progress, though. Any progress. None at all. Peeps are stupid. And then I went downstairs and found Mum vegging out on the couch in the living room, in front of the telly. What the f…feline?! And then I overheard another lovely peep convo. “So what’s with that run for Misha?” “Ah, no, I thought it through” – said Mum – “and I don’t think it’s worth the effort. I’d have to climb the ladder and I think I’m too afraid to do that”. Like, what? What’s so scary about climbing the ladder? Climbing anything really? Climbing’s so, so much fun. I wonder why the peeps – who are so cocky that they are smart and know waaay more than me –
haven’t discovered the joys of climbing yet. “And other than that” – Mum continued – “what if I’d do it, and make it for him, and he’d be bored after a couple of days, as he often is? My effort will be even more worthless. And I just don’t feel in the mood” Me? Seriously, me?! I may get quickly bored by boring things, but I will never, ever, in a million years, get bored of the outside. It’s just so frustrating they don’t get such simple things. She isn’t in the mood… It’s not the matter of mood, for Russian blue heaven’s sake! So I went back to sleep, and, as you know, I just woke up. And I feel very sad and disappointed, still. I think I just have to get used to it and be happy with just looking through the window. Sometimes what you have just has to be enough for you and you either accept it, or continue being constantly grumpy and unhappy for the rest of your life. If it’s up to me even a little bit, I’d better try to be happy and satisfied with what I have.

How has your week been, pets and peeps? Any frustrations? Or was it a happy week for you?

Mishpurrs. πŸ’œ πŸ’š πŸ’™

Misha

Question of the day.

Did you share bedroom with any siblings?

My answer:

Yes, for some years. The first house that we lived in was in the countryside, we shared the same backyard with my maternal grandparents and my Mum’s two sisters and their gradually developing and growing families. My grandad has built this house for my Mum. It was pretty small. There was a kitchen, a mini bathroom, and a living room, and from the living room you could go upstairs. There was one big, sort of open plan room and we all lived there, that is my parents, me and Olek. Me and Olek slept in one part of it, and my parents in the other. Strangely, as much as I’ve always had an enormous need for privacy, this particular thing rarely bothered me much. In a way I even liked it because it was easier to deal with my night time anxieties when I had my family all around, and my Dad snoring his lungs out every night (now I couldn’t sleep with that level of noise). Sure, I liked the idea of having my own room and I envied a little bit other kids who did, though I also remember that it was normal to me to not have your own room, and I remember feeling genuinely surprised hearing from other children for example at school that they have their own rooms. It wasn’t something I desperately wanted or dreamt about every night though. I think it was also good because then it let me get used to sharing bedrooms with roommates at school, which is a different thing than sharing a room with your family but I think it made it easier for me than if I went to school without having that experience before, especially with my need for privacy and adjustment issues I had there. Some time before my Mum was pregnant with Sofi, at least a year before Sofi but I think it must have been a few years, my parents got an idea of building a new house, technically on the roof of my grandparents, and a much bigger one. This whole thing lasted for years, because they had real bad luck with the people they hired and other stuff kept going wrong, it was really exhausting and affected all of us in a bad way, I wouldn’t believe building a new house could affect your entire life and your whole family like that if someone told me and if I didn’t know from my own experience, I thought we would always be just building it and will never really move in there, as I said I don’t even remember in which year or at what time it had started because it felt like we’d been building that house since forever. And then when Zofijka was 2 months we moved to our new house very spontaneously, though it still wasn’t fully finished, and I had my own room there, and at this point, I can’t imagine sharing a room with someone else all the time, not even a sibling.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Low Chimes – “Electric Blooms”.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

Here’s one of my newishly discovered British bands that I like. Low Chimes used to be known a while back as Hot Feet. I like their vocalist, Marianne Parrish, for her smooth and intriguing vocals (I’ve seen someone comparing her to Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention, I love Sandy! and there is some similarity but not that big that I would ever come up with it on my own) and interesting lyrics. I like the sound of their music overall, it speaks to me. And they even have a Jack in the band! But I forgot what his full name was… Jack… Google, help! Yeah! Jack Page! I knew there was some Led Zeppelin connection, hahaha. Jack is their leading guitarist. So, all that I could like in a band. πŸ˜€ Hope you’ll enjoy.

Working On Us – self care.

It’s week #12 of Working On Us, a mental health prompts series hosted by Beckie of

Beckie’s Mental MessΒ 

and the topic of this week is self care. Gonna be tricky, but let’s try. I’m going to participate in prompt #1. Here goes.

 

  1. Were their signs of your self-care routine lacking before you were officially diagnosed with a mental illness/disorders? – Yes, definitely, especially that all my official mental health diagnoses are relatively recent. I think I’ve struggled with self care my entire life, and not only due to mental illnesses. For a long time I wasn’t concerned about my appearance at all, which had surely to do with my blindness. Since I didn’t look at people and care about their appearance, why the heck would they look at me and care about mine? And I just wasn’t interested in that. I am still not, and I’m still not particularly caring about my appearance, when I feel OK I just do the minimum to look OK, I never do makeup at all, I hate clothes shopping, I don’t even do this myself, my Mum likes similar things to me in terms of clothing and she knows what I like and look OK in so she is my stylist as I say. Then when things with my mental health started slipping down fast, which I can’t even tell now when exactly it started happening, my self care routine slipped down too. It’s all very complex and layered and not even fully understandable to me why I experience all the difficulties with self care that I experience. As I said in a way it’s that I don’t care, then I’ve never had healthy self-esteem so on the other hand I feel sort of like even if I did care how I look like, I don’t deserve such things as self care, my inner critic cringes even at the sound of this word. I’ve got a deeply ingrained conviction in my brain that I am very emotionally weak because of what happened to me and how I reacted to all that, and also I hate feeling vulnerable and showing my vulnerability both because it makes me feel weak and even more insecure around other people. And then there is depression, which sometimes just makes my self-esteem even worse, sometimes it gives me so many other things to care/worry about that I just don’t find the time and space for self care and it feels very unimportant, or I don’t have the energy for it. And on top of that, there is the fact that I am not very independent, I need relatively much assistance with a lot of things, well it’s hard to make comparisons especially that I hate comparisons but what I mean is that I often need at least some help with certain self care activities that a fair few blind people I know can do on their own, and there are probably other things involved too that I either can’t think of right now or don’t fully realise. So when my mental health started slipping down, I started doing things like not eating on purpose when I felt hungry, not for weight related reasons but I’d say as a way of punishing myself but also distracting from what I felt, my emetophobia which was very bad at that time played also a role in it. It wasn’t like I wouldn’t eat at all and I tried not to make it obvious but at some point one of the staff at the boarding school noticed some things and was worried I am anorectic though I wasn’t. I often deliberately didn’t do things that were bringing me pleasure when I could do them, and I started self-harming, though in fact I was doing mild self-harm a lot of the time since I can remember. Pain has often been comforting for me or at least distracting, or my inner critic whom I call Maggie in English would just punish me this way. Or I would do things like when I felt cold I deliberately didn’t put warmer clothes on either to distract from my feelings or to feel that weird and crazy satisfaction that I am doing something against myself and that I could manifest how I hated myself. A lot of those things have gotten milder now or disappeared because my life circumstances are now different and my self-awareness is a little bit better.
  2. Did you (or) do you suffer from low self-esteem? – Yes. One of the things I’ve been diagnosed with is AVPD (avoidant personality disorder) which is very tightly related to having very low self-esteem. I really don’t like to talk about my self-esteem because it makes me so much more vulnerable and it’s not fun when people know such things about you, the more that deep down I have a feeling that they already know it because it’s obvious, but also because it’s hard to talk about it honestly in an open and raw way and not sound whiney and I hate sounding whiney. I try to change it on my blog where it’s much easier, but still difficult, hence this post is a little bit tricky for me. My inner critic Maggie is very good at her role and I have that niggling, snarky feeling about myself always there in the back of my mind. I do have times when my self-esteem goes higher, sometimes for a while it goes veeery high if there is something that makes me feel really good about myself or accomplished but then it doesn’t take much to crash in a big way and I end up self-loathing. When I feel more depressed or overwhelmed with all sorts of feelings I loathe myself for days or weeks very intensely and then self care is more challenging and it’s hard not to self harm.
  3. Is there (or) have there been stages of guilt when not properly taking care of your self-care routine? – Hm, well, I deal with guilt a lot while depressed and then it doesn’t need a specific reason for me to feel guilty, but I guess I never or very rarely feel seriously guilty specifically because of lack of self care, unless I look really horrific or something happens because of it that affects other people in a bad way.
  4. (You can refrain from answering the next question if you wish to).Β  What was the longest period of time between taking a shower, and/or brushing your teeth? – I try to always shower or take a bath, I’d have to be suuuper unstable not to do it or extremely wiped out and my energy rarely goes that low solely because of mental health as I only have dysthymia and not major depression so it’s not normal for me to feel so very drained. Taking a shower actually often helps me to feel better and calmer. Sometimes when I’m really depressed/overwhelmed/self-hating I only have a very quick shower just to get it over with as quickly as possible, or in turn I can sometimes stand in the shower for ages with my brain either running a mile a minute so I’m too absorbed in my own anxious/dark thoughts to do anything else in the meantime, or frozen because of the depression, and I go out of the shower and realise that: “Aha, cool, I didn’t even wash myself. Oh well, who cares. Let’s better go off to sleep”. πŸ˜€ So, completely without showering, I remember a time when I was 15 and didn’t shower for 3 days, and that’s the only single incident with not showering for a few days because of mental health stuff that I can think of. Brushing teeth is tricky. I hated doing it as a child for a while because of the sensory feel of it, then when my emetophobia got bad when I was a teen there was a situation when I saw my Dad brushing his teeth, and he was brushing his tongue so very energetically that he gagged and I was like “Oh no, no teeth brushing for me anymore, I don’t want this to happen to me!”. And it was really tough for me to brush my teeth until my emetophobia calmed down a little bit and I was able to talk some sense into myself that people don’t normally just gag when brushing their teeth. πŸ˜€ On the other hand, because I hate having things other than food in my mouth, also because of that same fear, I am also scared of the dentist visits and such, so I try to take care of my teeth. But still, when I feel shitty, I don’t care and I don’t brush my teeth or I do it very superficially. I can’t remember for how long it was when I was so scared of brushing teeth because of that gagging thing, but I can sometimes go without brushing teeth for 3 weeks or so. Then when I don’t do it for so long, I easily plain forget to do it sometimes, as I can be very scatterbrained. I am one of those lucky folks though because I’ve never even had a single cavity or any such things.
  5. If you are supposed to be going out for whatever occasion, are you concerned with your over-all appearance?Β  (Or) Do you take care of your self-care needs before leaving the house? – It depends whether I am concerned or not and how much on how I’m feeling, if I am concerned then usually because I feel so self-conscious than because I want to look well. I do basic self care things before going out though even if I’m not concerned, just for the peace of mind, because I should. πŸ˜€
  6. What advice can you give to someone who is having difficulty with their self-care routine?Β  (Note: If someone was to ask for your advice, what would you share with them?) – Oh gosh! That if they need a good self care advice, they shouldn’t come for it to me, because I’m anything but a self care guru. πŸ˜€ No, I’m kidding of course, but it’s really hard to advise people on something you struggle with yourself, it feels hypocritical. Wait a moment, I have to think… I think what I can say is that you are certainly not alone with it, most people with mental illness struggle with self care, and it is OK to admit that you are struggling, that you don’t feel like focusing on your appearance, that you are not into it at this moment, it’s OK and it is valid, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty about it if you do, because it just happens, it’s not something you chose to happen, did you? It’s important how you look, but it’s not the most important thing in the world, not the most important thing about you either, and you don’t always have to look glamourous, especially that it is such a subjective thing, and, let’s be objective for a second, most people care and worry too much about how they look to judge everyone else’s appearance and whether it is appropriate. And that everything in life is transient, so there are big chances that you won’t always struggle with it as much as you do right now. Uhhh what a lengthy post haha!

Question of the day.

Do you have siblings?

My answer:

I do. My brother is 20, his name is Aleksander, nicknamed to Olek, he is a car mechanic, has started his own business earlier this year. He is very much into cars, but he would more happily be a driver, like the kind of a driver that my Dad is – a tanker driver, or a lorry driver, or a buss driver, you know, such who drives for longer distances, he’s been always fascinated by it. – He is also very interested in WWII, likes watching films and series to do with it or filmed around that time, he would also like to be in the army apparently but Mum is too scared and I don’t think she would let him. πŸ˜€ Funnily enough, both cars and WWII are also my Dad’s lifelong interests so you’d think they’d get on like a house on fire but it’s actually the opposite, my Dad’s very nasty to him ALL the time, since forever! Olek also loves football, although nowadays more in theory – plays FIFA and supports his favourite team, Lechia GdaΕ„sk, and goes to all their matches, no matter how much it takes and how far it is, he’s even been to Denmark earlier this month. – He has a lot of close friends that he hangs out with, they often party and drink just in their own company, and he runs his business with his best friend but he’s not really into talking or socialising and says he doesn’t like people. He is bright and intelligent, but not cerebral or anything like that, just thinks quickly, and knows how to make people laugh, I think literally everyone. He is a bit impulsive and still does some mischief once in a while. He dreams about having some big adventures and is quite a materialist, but is also very very traditional in his views on almost everything, and doesn’t need much to be contented.

My sister Zofia or Zofijka, or Zosia for more normal people who do typical nicknames, she usually goes by Zofijka at home and I call her Sofi and loads of other things and she’s Zosia at school, is 12, there is a relatively big age difference between us but we get along really well and always laugh at the silliest things and play together quite a lot, well OK I don’t know if a lot but I don’t know many other siblings with a similar age difference who would play as much as we do. Zofijka is going to go to 6th grade in September. She doesn’t like learning and is very carefree about school, she gets tired very easily of using her brain, has a constant need for company and is very social, extroverted and hyperactive, she is loud and has a very infectious laughter, some people find her intimidating or draining. She is also very sensitive and conscientious, though, and can often be incredibly brave and courageous, but very moody and irritable and not always very pleasant to be around because of this. She has a lot of friends who change approximately every week, she will love you on Monday and invite for sleepovers and on Friday she’ll call you idiot behind your back and will pretend she doesn’t even see you. She is sporty, she used to play volleyball and rollerskate, she still loves rollerskating but she can’t do that anymore or at least right now because of her joint issues, especially with knees. She only does swimming right now and would love to horse ride in future. She is also big on dancing and singing, though, in my humble opinion, doesn’t have too much talent for the latter to be honest. Zofijka is also quite artsy, she can draw and paint really well and make very detailed things from plasticine or similar things. She loves animals, especially dogs, and her current dream job is to be a vet and a dog hairdresser at once, and she wants to have a big spa for dogs, though since a few years she’s been regularly mentioning that she’d like to become a nun and is interested in various religious orders. She likes playing around with people’s hair as well. She loves adventures and constantly needs adrenaline and something big going on – like trips, sleepovers, parties, getting presents, you get it. – Her favourite TV series is “Soy Luna”, she likes crime series as well, is very interested in smart phones, recently she plays Fifa too, a lot, her favourite band is One Direction but she also listens to loads of currently popular Polish hip hop and Spanish language pop and dance music like Alvaro Soler or even stuff like Enrique Iglesias, she would like to live in Spain. She is hugely into fashion and was it up to her, her whole outfit would be from H&M (but my Mum hates H&M). And she loves, loves, LOOOVES eating! Like, seriously, at the beginning of one school year they apparently had some introductions stuff, that everyone had to say something about themselves, and Sofi was like: “So, I am Zosia and, hm, I like to eat…”. πŸ˜€ We usually play different make-belief stuff which rather than being interesting in itself is more comical or something, not your typical things definitely, to give you an example last week we played I was Sofi’s daughter, and Sofi was my very snobbish mum and we were going shopping together and making a drama involving all the people in the supermarket, and Zofijka is pretty good at pretending and has some pretty good dramatic skills when she tries. She is also a good observer, especially of people’s appearance and stuff like subtle mannerisms they have. She’s not the brightest and most intelligent kid in the world, which doesn’t mean she is stupid or something, though as I said she doesn’t like using her brain too much, but sometimes she can be really funny and even make my Mum laugh, and my Mum only laughs at intelligent humour.

I also have 3 siblings in heaven, one older and two younger than me.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Here’s another childhood/family related question I have for you.

Were you closer to one of your parents than another? Has it changed in your adulthood?

My answer:

It was differently at different times. I had a long time as a kid when I was closer to my Dad. He was, and still is, though not to such a degree as in the past, getting along with me the best of all of his children, which, as I later learned, was largely due to the fact that I was blind. I hated it so now I’m no more as close to him personally because I find it a weird reason to favour one of your children more than the rest because she’s blind and not at home most of the time. πŸ˜€ But before I found out that little piece of info, and especially when I was a little child, we used to spend a lot of time together, he even played with me, went to the beach just with me, we had quite a lot of things to talk about and were almost on the same wavelength. My Mum was more neurotic at that time, and while I definitely loved her, I wasn’t as much into being around her as she was easily irritated and not as fun to talk to. Then things somehow changed, and that thing I learned did influence it too, and our relationship with Dad became somewhat distant and still is a bit. But I think even without that thing about my blindness, it’s really hard to interact with my Dad, he is a good person, but has a really difficult character, gets incredibly suspicious easily and is very hypersensitive and now it’s him who is way more irritable than Mum, you just have to tiptoe around him, never criticise and always do what he wants if you want things to stay calm, so sometimes it’s better to not interact at all for a while. My relationship with my Mum has deepened a lot since my adolescence but especially in the last 5 years since I got out of the boarding school and we’ve both opened up a lot to each other and, well, are just spending more time with each other now when it is possible. We are in a lot of ways like friends, or in any case best listeners for each other haha, even if we don’t really understand each other in all things. And we always have stuff to talk about. I don’t know if something with me has been going on or if my Dad’s bad traits and annoying habits have worsened over the last year or so but recently our relationship has been really suffering, at least from my point of view. I feel really annoyed by him most of the time, he just pisses me off, so I prefer to avoid him sometimes in order not to let my irritation show too much. I frequently catch myself feeling relief when he’s going to work for a few days, or looking forward to him leaving for longer, and then I feel like a monster for feeling so, because it doesn’t seem to have any particularly strong reason other than he gets on my nerves, sometimes just with his presence.

How about you and your parents? πŸ™‚

Ina Wroldsen – “Mother”.

Hi hi people! πŸ™‚

So, this song, for me, is that kind of song which lyrics are just so ridiculously, creepily or comfortingly – depending from which angle you choose to look at it – relatable to you and describing you, your life and various situations you’ve been through, as if someone just broke into your flamin’ brain and wrote about your feelings. I hear so often that people say things like “Oh God, this song is just about me!” or such things, but to me it actually doesn’t happen very often, not to such an extent that I could literally sign myself with all my limbs under the lyrics, although I did have my personal song as a child and teen, which was “Evacuee” by Enya. This one is vastly different from Enya’s music, but no less relatable to me, maybe even more relatable to me in a way because, thankfully, I no longer have to relate to that child in “Evacuee”, and this song by Ina Wroldsen describes my feelings and my life and my relationships with people in so many more ways, not just a part of my life as it is with “Evacuee”.

Ina Wroldsen is a Norwegian singer, she is very popular in her country and in Scandinavia but also in other European countries, collaborating with many DJ’s and such, I am pretty sure that I must have heard her somewhere earlier before I discovered it for myself, as for example her song “Strongest” was a real hit. I discovered her for myself when I started to listen to more Norwegian music, largely by accident, but I never was very crazy on her, just another cool Norwegian artist out there, a bit too normal for me to like her really really much. πŸ˜€

Sometimes I focus on lyrics of my favourite songs, sometimes I don’t. Usually I focus more on those I like more, and when something is just cool but normal I tend to only focus on the music, since it rarely has very striking lyrics anyway. And so was when I first heard “Mother” last year. But at some point while listening to it I focused much more and thought: “Huh, these lyrics sound familiar”, as in, something I knew from my own experience and from my own brain. πŸ˜€ And, seriously, when I listened to the song thoroughly, just everything felt so so much like me. And not at all only in regards to the time where I was at the boarding school and struggling with a lot of stuff and wanted outa there, and not only even in relation to my own Mum. Some verses, that I’m sure were written more metaphorically, were about me in such an absurdly literal way that I just had to laugh, other were more metaphorical. I could find descriptions of my relationships with important people in my life in it and things I’ve been through, and pretty much my entire life in a way, but especially my childhood. It feels odd and crazy! And, as always when I find a song that is even somewhat relatable for me in any way, I am still so very curious what inspired Ina to write it, although I believe it was a piece written collaboratively with some other people. While it speaks to me in such an incredible, almost eerie way, I also think that most people are able to find something about themselves in it, as is the case with some songs. I hope you enjoy it anyway. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

My question of the day for you is again about your childhood. πŸ™‚

If you were raised by both your parents or more than one guardian, did one of your parents seem more lax and the other more strict?

My answer:

In a way, yes. As I wrote in my answer to yesterday’s question, my Dad likes to make an impression of someone very strict and tough, so you could say he was more strict, or at least much less flexible than Mum. But I think it very much depended on a situation. In some situations my Mum would be much more lax than Dad, while in others Dad would be perhaps not lax as such but he wouldn’t be as involved and wouldn’t care that much what we were doing as Mum would.

How was it in your family? πŸ™‚

Ten Things Of Thankful.

I’m very very late but I thought I’d like to join in with

Ten Things Of Thankful

and write a bit about some things I’ve been grateful for this past week, since the link up is still open. Here’s my gratitude list.

  1. My Mum reading to me. I’ve always loved it when my Mum read books to me, although it hasn’t been very often in the recent years. Last week was different though. One day I just asked Mum to read me something, not expecting much enthusiasm in return, but she did agree! So I picked my favourite fairytales book with the fairytales from around the world where people always have so ridiculously long names and placenames are even longer (most of the fairytales in it are from the African countries), which always annoyed her so much. Like, is there even such a country, Biladutasemipi? I’m curious what does the Biladutasemipian language sound like? Must be crazy. But then I remembered there was a book I never read, that I bought for myself a few years ago. I never read it because my OCR scanner pissed me off and I couldn’t scan it, but I always wanted to read this book. It’s the correspondence between Astrid Lindgren and Sara Schwardt, who wrote to Astrid for the first time when she was 12 and they were like penfriends for 30 years, Sara was one of her readers. So then I asked Mum if we could read that book and, so far, we’ve read perhaps four letters, and that’s something, given how easily Mum falls asleep when reading anything. It’s very interesting, although I can barely keep myself from correcting her Swedish pronunciation, but I know I’d be a prick doing it all the time so I try not to.
  2. Cocoa. You know how I love coffee. And, even though I decided some weeks ago that I am going to, I need to, cut on how much coffee I drink and not drink it everyday, because it makes my anxiety worse, but I was drinking it once in a while anyway. Well, now when I don’t drink coffee everyday, I can clearly see that, apart from energising me, coffee really doesn’t make me much of a favour and makes me feel crappy in a lot of ways. Yes, I drink green tea instead of coffee, I am trying to befriend it, but, while green tea works perfectly in making me more functional in the mornings, I still don’t really like how it tastes, hence I miss my coffee still. So, I’ve looked for some alternatives and decided I’ll try natural cocoa. Even if it won’t be as effective as green tea, though it does have some stimulating properties, at least I can drink it as a taste alternative to coffee, prepare it a bit like I would a cuppa coffee. And that seems to work. I used to be really mistrustful towards cocoa because it made me sick years ago, and I am emetophobic, and I usually never eat things that made me sick even if just once, but cocoa and orange juice are the only exceptions, because I really like them and at some point, some years ago already, I just was able to think logically and realise I just had to have bad luck one time and drink them either when they were expired or something, and neither cocoa nor orange juice have ever made me sick again, and I would be very surprised if they ever would in future. Especially that, hey, it’s not that easy to make a person with emetophobia throw up. πŸ˜‰ So, I’m drinking green tea every day and when I want something more like a coffee, I have a mug of cocoa.
  3. My penfriends. For last week, especially my English penfriend whom I help a bit with learning Polish. Such things make you properly explore your own language and realise you don’t know quite as much about it as you’d like to think. I love such brain stimulating stuff!Β  I am also very grateful for those of my penfriends who have been very loyal and with whom I’ve been writing for a while already. It’s a rare thing to find a pen pal that you’d write with for, well, over 2 months, so when you write each other for half a year or 10 months it becomes to look impressive, and feels like a fabulous achievement! πŸ™‚
  4. Warm, but not hot weather. I really like how it is outside now. Definitely pleasant.
  5. Playing with Zofijka. We always have a lot of fun with Zofijka, and recently we’ve played quite a lot together. She always makes me laugh, not even because she’s always so funny, but because her laughter is very infectious.
  6. Music. I discovered a lot of great music last week again, and listened to a lot of music that I hadn’t listened to in ages.
  7. Good blood test results. I had a blood test last week, and so did my Mum. I wasn’t quite concerned about my results, and I am glad they are good, but I was very worried about my Mum, who was at the gynaecologist’s a while ago and she told her she had a cyst on the ovary and something on her breast as well. She doesn’t seem to have cancerous cells as it turned out now, so that’s good, although she’ll need to have an ultrasound to make sure all’s well. But that cyst thing really gave me a bit of a scare.
  8. misha. misha had a week of solitude last week and wasn’t very involved, I saw very little of him, but as always, I treasured every moment with him.
  9. doing cupping therapy for my Mum. Do you know what cupping is? You put the cups (but not the cups that you drink your tea from obviously haha, they’re either gum or glass cups that are used for cupping) on someone’s back, or chest at times, those cups are either fire cups or they suck in the air so that they stay pressed to the skin, and it’s an alternative or complementative treatment that is used to make the immune system stronger, so especially when you are ill. My grandad, who is a bit of a quack, very much into medicine, but not a doctor, can do cupping with glass cups and has often done it to us when we were sick and the doctor said cupping could help. And some time ago my grandad taught me how to do cupping for someone, with those cups that suck the air inside of them, that you place on the skin with a pump. That was horrendously difficult and I was stressed to do it on my own, because, well, what if I wouldn’t notice a bone or something and do it wrong! But my Mum likes to have cupping done regularly to keep her immune system working properly and over the last few months I’ve become pretty good at doing cupping, although I’ve had one situation when I failed and placed a cup on Mum’s mole by accident, which scared the shit out of me, but thankfully nothing happened afterwards. And, on Sunday, my Mum got a cold, probably during her run. We hope she won’t get her episodic asthma flare from it. So, to prevent it, and to get well sooner, my Mum asked me to do the cupping to her on Sunday evening. Which I did. It’s still a bit stressful to me but I enjoy doing it, and I am glad I’m getting better and better at it, and I like learning new things like that (that are available to me without sight) from my grandad. Mum feels a bit better today and is eating tons of ginger.
  10. A good news from my gran. She phoned my Mum last week and asked if we’d like to go on a pilgrimage with her again at the beginning of September, to a place where we were last year – Mum, Zofijka and me – and we all really enjoyed it. Of course we’re all going!

What are you thankful for? πŸ™‚

Working On Us – pets.

It’s week #11 of Beckie’s mental health prompts’ series Working On Us at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

and I’m joining in. The topic for this week is pet therapy and emotional support animals.

Β Β Prompt #1 Questions:

 

  1. Do you own a pet for emotional support and/or service/therapy? – Yes, but it’s not strictly speaking an emotional support animal. I have a cat called Misha, he’s been with me since he was a few months old, and he is of tremendous support to me.
  2. Is your pet a certified therapy animal? – No. As much as Misha is helpful for me, he’s definitely not a fit whatsoever to be an emotional support animal formally. If you’d spend even just a day observing him closely you’d rather say it’s him who needs emotional support. Misha is an anxious loner who is scared of touch and closeness, and chronically stressed about everything, afraid of every noise and a more sudden movement. Strangers and travelling scare him as well, he doesn’t do changes and other cats. He is a well-bred aristocrat with loads of noble ancestors but looking solely at his behaviours and reactions one would think he must have spent years on the streets or in a shelter in the middle of a war zone. I really don’t know why he is like this, apart from that I’ve heard that just as much as parents can “infect” their children with anxiety if they are very anxious, same applies to pet owners. My Mum says he’s practically the worst fit for me, also because he only seems to tolerate eye contact fully well. Yet, despite our ups and downs, we get along really well. I have the added benefit that I know I am not alone with my anxieties and fears, weird reactions to stuff and avoidance. I know he understands me, although at the same time he is the only being in the world in whose company I would be happy to be ALL the time, but he so often prefers to be alone, and sometimes it’s hard to not take it personally. I have to often prioritise his needs when he needs his solitude or has a bad anxiety day and is all jittery and jumpy, but I know he understands how important he and his support is to me and that when he recuperates he’ll give me his attention and support and I’ll be happy to give him the same in return if he wants. I’ve heard so many people saying he is selfish, but in fact, taking everything into consideration, I think he is of an extremely noble and generous nature, but also a very difficult and complex character. I guess it’s good he’s not a human, he’s already enough of a complexity.
  3. What kind of pet do you own? – Misha is a Russian blue tsar, he’s over 3 and a half years old. We also have a mixed-breed dog called Jocky, who sometimes works therapeutically for me as well, even though I don’t have usually as much of a connection with dogs as I do with felines. Jocky is the lively, happy type, he’s mostly Zofijka’s, her cure for loneliness and lack of friendships, but my family says he must like me in some special way because he’s always very engaging with me. I mean, in a bit of a different way than with the rest of us. Especially when I feel low, I have a suspicion he really is able to feel when I’m depressed. And then he is so very funny and jumps at me and all and wants to play with me, and he always wins in the end because I can’t not laugh. We also have aquarium fish. I’ve heard people saying having aquarium fish is very calming and therapeutic because it calms them down to be able to look at them swimming, but since I can’t see them, they might as well not exist to me.
  4. Do you believe that support animals truly assist those in need? – Sure they do! I am not sure what to think about that animals can respond to our emotions, I think it depends in a way on an individual animal, but in any case, just having a pet that you love, whatever that animal does to make you feel better, can sometimes truly help. And there are trained service animals who help and assist people and I think that is unquestionable that they do and to a huge degree.
  5. Do you believe that any animal can be a therapy/support pet? – I think it really depends. On a specific animal, how engaging and interactive it is, but also on the human who is on the receiving end and is supposed to get some help from that animal. If you are sceptical, I don’t think it will help, and if you are scared of horses for example, it’s doubtful you’ll benefit from hipotherapy, unless you want to overcome your fear. It’s slightly hard for me to imagine how those less interactive animals (like the fish I mentioned for example) can support people, but I guess if you really like fish and are attached to your fish, it’s possible. I think it’s primarily the connection and love between you and your pet that is healing and therapeutic, not some unusual properties of the animal itself.

Prompt #2 Narrative:

Describe how your pet is of support to you? EXAMPLE: Helps with anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc… (And, please… Share their name and a photo) if you desire.

Misha – despite being a bundle of nerves himself most of the time – has a very calming effect on me. He is my best friend. I spend a lot of my time alone, which I am most of the time happy about but having Misha gives me some company and on those days when I do feel lonely, I feel less lonely because I have him. He helps me with anxiety. Like I said, I know he is anxious himself and that sort of adds to the connection between us. We understand each other on this front, I know I am not alone with what I feel, because a lot of the time, when I have a bad anxiety day, he does too. I call him my charger because he always helps me to recharge after a lot of socialising. Misha is very quiet like most of cats, not even particularly vocal, but he helps me with what I call silence anxiety (basically when there’s complete silence and my brain doesn’t get enough sensory stimuli, it’s really hard to explain and understand), even if Misha doesn’t make the slightest sound his presence can sometimes make it go away completely. When I feel depressed, he keeps me company and gives some purpose to my existence. He makes me feel useful because he needs support too. There are days when he does want a proper, long, relaxing cuddle, and he always comes for it to me, and he comes to me in search of refuge when suddenly there are lots of shouty strangers downstairs, smoking and listening to loud music, or stranger kids running around the house and wanting to hold him and calling him a she. It’s funny by the way how he’s always able to understand that an invasion of human beings is about to happen and run away to my room just in time, and it’s interesting how he doesn’t mind some people coming over to us and is happy to stay downstairs with them. He is my sleeping pill. We’ve established a routine on most of the nights (and Misha loves his rituals and routines) that he sleeps in my room at night, in his bed, and it really helps me to fall asleep when I have him close. Or if I can’t sleep, it’s even better, because I can pet Misha. My Swedish teacher encouraged me once that I should talk to Misha in other languages, because that’s what he did with his cats and they understand. And that’s what I do now. It’s cool because he seems to understand me no less than in Polish, while the humans don’t get a word. So I can talk to him about things that I wouldn’t talk about to people, that I don’t feel like talking with people, or that I don’t have anyone to talk to about. Misha doesn’t purr very loudly, I’ve read somewhere that purring isn’t only a signal of pleasure for a cat, but a self-soothing mechanism first and foremost. And when he does purr, it sounds more like he’s purring to himself. I’ve also learnt that a cat can purr when anxious or in pain and that would be true for Misha I think. But when he purrs for himself, I love to eavesdrop and get some of it for myself. I like to lie near him and listen to all his inner sounds – his purrs, his breath, his tummy gurgling, his heartbeat, every Mish sound is like a music for me and it is very soothing. – Playing with him always makes me happy. And just his presence changes the atmosphere in the room where he is. Basically, after those 3 years with Misha, I can’t imagine my life without him anymore. I guess Misha is like a drug for me. When I’m away for a few days, like on holidays or something, by the time I come back home to Misha I have full-blown withdrawal syndrome.

Here’s a pic of Misha, I don’t even know how presentable Misha is on it and don’t remember what he looks like here, but this photo’s been lying in my Dropbox so I believe I must have used it somewhere earlier, and I don’t think we’ve made many new photos lately, so I hope this one is good.

Misha standing alone

Other than Misha, I’ve also had some experience with hipotherapy. I’m currently having a hiatus (which will likely be over in September), but I used to horse ride regularly. I’ve written a fair few posts on my complicated relationship with riding and how it all started but to give you an idea, the very first time I started riding was at the boarding school for the blind when I was 5 and in the nursery. I didn’t like it, I was scared of it, probably because of my issues with balance, and any time I was supposed to ride I was sick. That stopped when I went to primary, because since then only those with multiple disabilities could do hipotherapy and it turned out I had allergy to horses, so I was happy with it. The when I was in what we call integration school at the age of 10 my Mum read an article on the benefits of hipotherapy and she felt like I could benefit a lot from it, especially emotionaly, and she found a stud and signed me up for hipotherapy there. All without my knowledge. I guess she didn’t even know how scared I was. But after the first time I rode there I suddenly discovered that I love horses and I love riding and it is amazing! I’ve been riding there until now with some longer breaks in between, still with the same instructor, and, until last year, always on the same horse. Sadly, last year, my faithful horse – Czardasz aka ŁoΕ› – died of old age.

At some point my instructor suggested to me that we could do more actual riding and less hipotherapy. That is, the stud where I am riding is exclusively for the disabled, and most of the people riding there have severe cerebral palsy or similar things, and they can’t really ride. I have some additional stuff apart from my blindness, like my shitty balance but it’s definitely not quite as severe a thing so overall I was able to ride and do much more on horseback. So I agreed and since then we’re doing what’s apparently called horse riding with elements of hipotherapy. πŸ˜€ My instructor is both a hipotherapist and a riding instructor, and a keen rider herself, but she is also a doctor – a neurologist. – So, apart from having fun riding, I have conversations about the brain with her and it’s thanks to her that I realised that had I been sighted I’d like to be a neurosurgeon.

I find horse riding very therapeutic. Very helpful with releasing the stress, tensions, all that stuff. Makes you feel free. You can’t ride while you’re tense so you naturally have to relax. Which can take for me just about the whole 45 minutes to fully relax my muscles at times, but oh well, it’s worth trying, isn’t it? It’s incredible how you bond with a horse while riding, especially if, like me, you don’t really change horses a lot, so you can get to know 1-2 horses really well, get to know your horse’s personality, the way of walking, what they react to and so on. My horse – my first one, the one who died last year – was really good and patient with me. He always felt when I was anxious, he seemed to understand me and I usually understood him too. He was very, very big and very, very phlegmatic. He once fell asleep while walking and tripped and I fell off of him, that’s how phlegmatic he was. πŸ˜€ We got along really well, although sometimes his size scared me and he wasn’t easy to ride because he was very demanding and I needed to work real hard to make him feel anything from my movements, since he was so much bigger than me. πŸ˜€

My current horse is a bit of a nervous type, and very receptive. I am not quite as bonded with him primarily because I haven’t ridden much on him, but I like him a lot.

I usually feel really euphoric for a while after hipotherapy, you know, endorphines kicking in and all that. But also, I said I have a complicated relationship with riding, because I do. While I love it so much, at the same time it’s still scary for me. Not that type of scary as when I was a kid, but it is scary. I can’t even exactly tell you why. I am scared that something awful will happen when I’ll be riding, I once had a panic attack while riding, and that I have poor balance doesn’t help and doesn’t make me feel safer on horseback. I know I go through the same fear every time I am about to ride, and I know that 9 times out of 10 everything will be fine, and I am willing to take the challenge, and my willingness to ride is (usually) stronger than the fear, but the fear is just there no matter what. Sometimes it still makes me feel sick and like I won’t do it this time. Things would be much easier if I didn’t have that fear, and I think I’d be able to do more and in less time.

Just like with Misha who makes an impression of not fitting for an emotional support animal, same applies to my horse riding, it’s a bit paradoxical that I ride, because technically I don’t have in abundance all that stuff that you need to be a good rider. My balance is screwed up, my sensory integration is screwed upΒ  and my coordination is screwed up. It makes things tricky. But at least thanks to riding I can improve them as much as it’s possible. But I think overall, taking everything into account, I am a pretty decent rider anyway, and I used to take part in local, small competitions and scored high which I am proud of.

Question of the day.

I have some questions for you on the topic of childhood now. Here’s the one I picked for today. πŸ™‚

Were your parents/guardians flexible or strict?

My answer:

My parents were definitely flexible! My Dad likes to think about himself as a very strict parent, but he is only very strict with Olek, with whom he doesn’t have the best relationship so that strictness seems to come more from the place of anger and the need to control than care. As weird as it feels to admit sometimes, for me, and I think for Zofijka too, he doesn’t really have much authority. He likes to tell all of us what we have to do in his view but we never care, sometimes we’ll do it for the peace of mind. My Mum is much more of a role model and an authoritative person for me, even though she was a big softy in raising all of us and with a bit of a tendence to be overprotective. Still, she has her rules, and they were always clear to us, and sometimes she can be pretty strict, but not over the top, just for the sake of being strict and tough, but rather for the sake of being possibly fair. She’s always been most flexible with me, using the excuse that I am the most disciplined of all of us, although I don’t think of myself as a very disciplined person and I am not even sure I would like to be one, it certainly makes life easier but also awfully boring, so I think what saves me is that I have some common sense after her, rather than am somehow very disciplined or dutiful or something like that.

What was/has been your experience? πŸ™‚