Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

What’s the hardest you’ve ever worked?

My answer:

What comes to my mind is my final year of college/high school, before my final exams. As you may know, all things math are quite challenging for me, so that I even got the diagnosis of dyscalculia, albeit very late in my schooling as I was already 17, and it was a bit weird because technically for some reason blind people cannot be diagnosed with dyscalculia, really don’t get why, but I did have an assessment and the psychologist evaluating me decided I have it, perhaps because my then math teacher was her friend and this diagnosis would make things easier for both me and her. I’m not 100% sure whether my difficulties indeed could be classified as dyscalculia, assuming dyscalculia was normally diagnosed in blind people, because while I do struggle with a whole lot of mathematical concepts and operations to the point that even calculator isn’t helping much, if at all, since using it the right way feels like a challenge just as well, and I also often misread numbers, like when I’m reading aloud or rewriting some math operation I will recognise the numbers properly and have them right in my head but read or write down completely different ones, and I have a lot of trouble with remembering numbers, especially if there’s no meaning or stronger association with them for me, I don’t think I really do match ALL of the criteria, for example I do not have big problems with very basic operations, or have quite a good concept of time, I typically have no problem counting things either unless it’s something more abstract and complex like money or similar then I often need some help or at least much more time than most people I know to figure things out. Anyways, I don’t even feel particularly remorseful if it’s not exactly dyscalculia that I have because this label had been somewhat helpful in my last years of education, although still not substantially helpful and in the grand scheme of things didn’t really change much. Just that my teachers were more understanding than they were previously in the blind school, though they were also more clueless as for how to teach me, that I started having much better math grades and it was a little less frustrating, and that I could make a few more mistakes on the math final exam, which in the end didn’t mean anything as I didn’t pass it anyway.

What I’m about to say though is that one period when I was working very hard was studying for that math final. I had a math teacher at school, but while she was an amazing person and most helpful and accomodating, she was quite clueless about how to teach blind people math, so my Mum also found a tutor for me, who was a surdo- and typhlopedagogist, which simply meant she was specialised in teaching deaf and blind, or deaf-blind, people, and in her particular case her subject was maths. She was also a really great person and I really liked her as her, though just thinking of her these days makes me feel a bit sick ’cause we spent sooo much time together during these three years of my high school, and our time together was filled with so much pent-up frustration on both sides that with time it felt like there was no room for other, more pleasant feelings so that I automatically started to feel ragin’ inside upon just seeing her which I’m pretty sure was mutual. She had it worse, though, because after dealing with me every week for at least 1,5 hour, she had also Sofi, who isn’t blind or deaf but my Mum decided that my tutor was so valuable both as a teacher and as a person – which she undoubtedly was – that she’d like her to help Sofi out as well. Sofi perhaps doesn’t have dyscalculia or whatever it is that I do, but she does have a lot of trouble with concentration and just doesn’t like exerting her brain too much which she was very openly manifesting so working with her wasn’t too easy for our tutor either, because she often just wasn’t collaborating and preferred to chat with her about other things, or often didn’t do the homework that she gave her and then blamed her if she had a low mark on a test. Not that the tutor was unable to manage it, but it’s difficult to work in such challenging circumstances for so long at a time and so I don’t blame our tutor for not wanting to work any more with Sofi right after I had my finals.

We were meeting throughout the three years at least once a week for at least one hour and a half, during the last year it was longer and more often. And the last year of our collaboration was particularly draining. Of course on top of that I also had plenty of work she gave me to do on my own, which usually I happened to totally screw up so I wasn’t particularly motivated to do it but at least she wasn’t nasty if I did something, even everything, wrong, so I didn’t skip my homework like Sofi did or much less often, also Sofi wasn’t having her exams in a few months’ time so she could allow herself for that, but not so much me. Since the second year of high school I also did most of my schooling by myself at home, as the majority of my teachers weren’t as accomodating as the math teacher and based their lessons on slideshows which of course I couldn’t see, or totally ignored me/seemed to be utterly scared of me, so I figured I’d learn more doing the school work on my own, it’d be less stress for everyone and would be so much more productive. They agreed to this idea very happily, and I was happy too, as I like learning things on my own if only I am capable of it, but it all at once with math felt like quite a load of learning.

The whole final year was totally draining and I was feeling pretty badly mentally overwhelmed most of the time and had very high anxiety, not just about the finals and related stuff, and as a result my sleep cycle and quality that year was particularly all over the place, which didn’t help with my math focus. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to pass the math final, or at least couldn’t imagine passing it unless with some huge stroke of luck like the one I happened to have in secondary. I had even no real motivation for learning or even writing the finals because I had no realistic idea what I would like to do with myself afterwards, and it didn’t feel like I had a whole lot of realistic options that I felt would be something for me. I wanted to do Celtic studies online in Wales, but the uni’s “learning environment” turned out inaccessible and when I contacted them about it they never got back to me about it, or Scandinavian studies at the local university but my Swedish teacher strongly discouraged me from it saying that I wouldn’t get anything from it, my language level certainly wouldn’t go up from where it already was and other subjects in there were mostly just for the uni to get as much of the faculty financially as possible, and few of them were actually useful. Since the only reason I wanted to study Scandinavian studies was Swedish, when I learned that and then read some more about it I lost my interest in it. I suspected I was going to wait a year after finals with making the ultimate decision about what I wanted to do or study. But I thought that even if I’m not going to pursue any higher education afterwards, it still would be good to have the finals passed just in case I wanted to do something later and just for self-satisfaction. And I decided to take it as a challenge, just to see if I can surprise myself and pass the math. I thought if so, I’d be euphoric and it would just be another situation where my defensive pessimism worked wonders, but if not, nothing bad will happen, I have no immediate academic plans for the future anyway and I know what I can expect from myself. I decided that in such case, I would not rewrite it. At least not until I find some real reason that would require me/make me want to do it again. I also told my family about it and they agreed it’s a good idea not to be too worked up about it. A lot of them are intellectual people but they’re not crazy about education being the first priority in life so they understood where I was coming from. I may feel insecure about most things in myself, but all of my brains are not one of them so essentially I wouldn’t need a piece of paper to confirm my intellectual abilities or knowledge for myself, and since it seemed unlikely for everyone who knew me well anyway that I would be able to find any serious employment, unless in some really unusually fortunate circumstances or in a situation like the one I’m in now with my Dad, that is when someone knows my strengths and limitations well, it felt like even if I did pass the math, probably the only thing I would be able to do with the paper confirming it would be making use of it in the loo, would I ever happen to be deprived of that so unloved, yet so useful thing called toilet paper, as a result of unemployment. πŸ˜€

And so, despite math was not my extended subject, I spent a whole lot of time studying for it, and didn’t really feel like I was getting much more of a clue over time, only felt more hopeless and anxious about the thing and everything was getting more and more mixed up in my brain. Sometimes after the brain draining sessions I had strong self harm urges or just went to sleep for the next couple hours which of course meant that then I didn’t sleep at night or slept very little, so if I had another brain drain marathon the next day I was even more clueless, and often I could barely hold my shit inside and not flip out at my poor tutor, just as she seemed to have a very similar problem. πŸ˜€ My tutor had some health problems and would often catch infections or feel poorly, and some of these times she felt unable to come to us, which was a feast for Sofi if it was on a day she was also supposed to have her lesson, and a relief for me in some way, though that also meant I had more stuff to do on my own.

And so as most of you know if you have been following me for some time, or perhaps even from the beginnings of this blog which has started out the same year when I had my finals, I didn’t pass the math and so far haven’t tried to do it again, especially that my score was quite spectacularly low so I don’t know how I could get suddenly a high enough one when I couldn’t get there after three years. Also at the time of exams my circadian rhythm was upside down, and in the school where I was passing them (which wasn’t the school I attended but a special school for the blind closest to my home) I got super triggered by one jerky, stinking headmistress with too much testosterone, I wrote about that on my blog at the time though the post is currently password protected so I’m not linking. And so my motivation for repeating the experience is currently zilch.

My family, despite their initial support and despite they were aware of what my plans were, at least those people I felt needed to be aware, in the end were totally shell shocked when they learned about my results, both that I got such very high results from languages and so low from maths, and even more so when I told people again that, just as I said earlier, I am not going to rewrite the math unless I see the need. The only person who stood by me loyally, and uncritically, as always, was my grandad, who paradoxically is the most intellectually and academically-minded person in our family. And most of them have accepted my choice over time, though I have to admit I initially felt sort of guilty and not sure if I was doing the right thing, seeing their extremely shocked reactions.

So yeah, that whole year was definitely a time of hard, but at the same time pretty fruitless work, which made it feel all the harder, so I’m pretty sure I can say it was the time of hardest work for me. But I’m so glad the damn thing is over and that I don’t have to have anything to do with maths anymore or not to such an extend, anyway! It’s possible I had situations when I worked harder, especially mentally, but when you have more motivation or when it feels more meaningful it’s all the easier to do, even if objectively it may require more effort.

What was such a situation for you? Did your hard work pay off? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

What’s something you don’t worry about but really should?

My answer:

I really have no idea. I worry about pretty much anything possible, including things I shouldn’t, so if there really is something that I should worry about and don’t, it’s some huge irony. πŸ˜€ There are some things I worry about less than most people seem to, like a lot of people worry way more about where the world is going to, for example, I mean stuff like people getting depressed when watching the news, feeling concerned about the future of the whole world, and while it can be indeed very often concerning, worrying and saddening, it doesn’t seem to affect me quite as much as a lot of other people in my surroundings. I don’t think though that I should worry more about it as that won’t help anything, and it’s hard to make yourself worry on purpose, so it probably wouldn’t work out and the only thing I would achieve would be making myself feel awful and like I lack empathy because I don’t worry as much as I should.

What, if anything, is such a thing for you? πŸ™‚

My top 5 core values.

I haven’t written in quite a while, so I thought I’d do some longer piece today using one of the journaling workbooks. This time, I chose a prompt from The Year of You by Hannah Braime, which goes as follows:

What are your top five core values? Core values are the qualities and experiences that are most important to us to embody and have present in our lives. These might include things like trust, love, connection, freedom, growth, etc. (…)

I’ve written such a list of values already in my diary a while ago, but here I’ll try to expand on the topic of each of them at least a bit so that this post is more substantial. In my diary I also mentioned some of my negative core values, but here I decided not to do so for a few reasons, but mostly because typically when we think core values we think about the positive and helpful ones.

Β Β  Belief in God and Christian values

This is extremely important to me. As I wrote in the post about the roles I play, I may not always feel like I’m doing a great job with this, but nevertheless, I’m trying to do my best and do and think what and how I believe a Christiann should do and think. Obviously I don’t only mean things like praying or going to church, but also things like being helpful to other people, not judging them, making big and small decisions in my life so that they’re intact with my conscience and Christian rules, like not voting for a party who promotes killing unborn children or not celebrating Halloween. It’s also an important quality for me in other people which I deeply respect, but at the same time I have no problem associating with people who believe in God differently or believe in a different God, or don’t believe in any God whatsoever. Some Christian people have a weird problem with that but I think that, while common values of this importance in friendship make things way easier, having some different values and beliefs can make things more interesting, as long as both sides are willing to respect each other and not argue about that. Which sometimes means it’s just safer not to discuss the topics in which your opinions differ, or otherwise you just most definitely will argue, while at other times exchanging your different beliefs can be enriching and fascinating. In short, this is the most important value, or perhaps I should say set of values I am always trying to follow in my life, with varying success, also probably the most difficult to follow, but normally if something I’m making a decision about is contrary to these values, I am not going to do this.

Β Β  Intelligence, versatility and open-mindedness.

I’m putting them together because while they’re three different things, I think as values they have a whole lot in common. Intelligence is a quality I really appreciate having, as it’s proven so helpful for me in countless situations. I guess it’s my biggest strength and one of my most effective protective mechanisms, and seems like one of the things that people value me for. My brains are a crucial part of my identity, therefore my brain health is important to me and I’m utterly scared of all sorts of neurodegenerative diseases. I also very highly value intelligence in other people and love having such people around me. It’s a very important quality in a friend for me. As for open-mindedness, I value thinking outside of the box, outside of my own perspective, or just in some unobvious way. It isn’t always easy, as it’s in our nature to think from our own point of view, and it can feel very abstractive to do it the other way around, but it’s an intriguing brain challenge and can be a powerful experience. Similarly, I appreciate people who are capable of doing so. The more so that, as a blind, mentally ill and just all round very quirky person with strange experiences and ideas, it seems like my perspective is not always easily understandable for other people, so it’s great when someone does take an effort to try and understand things from my point of view. Or even not from my point of view, but generally when I see someone who can easily think very flexibly, I have a lot of admiration for such a person. I think the most open-minded person in this way that I know was my Swedish teacher and I often think that if not his open-mindedness, his courage in taking up different, weird challenges with me and his flexibility of thinking my Swedish learning may have been much more difficult, or I may have even become completely discouraged from learning languages altogether, and this is not at all an overstatement, in case you’re new here and don’t know my a bit tumultuous language learning history and are wondering. πŸ˜€ By versatility I mean taking an interest in lots of different things, as well as having knowledge about them, or being capable of doing lots of different things. This is a very impressive quality for me and I always say that it’s one of the most important qualities for me in a faza object, haha, or at least they always do end up being quite versatile people. I do have a whole lot of different interests, and I believe I know a fair bit also about things that don’t directly interest me quite as much, but I am somehow not sure I am quite as versatile as I would like to be. Still, I am probably more versatile than most people I know in person.

Β Β  Traditions.

Yeah, I often say when someone asks me about my views, usually in the context of politics, that I am an open-minded traditionalist. I like combining innovation with tradition. In any field, be it music, religion, food, politics, baby naming, language, fashion or interior design, etc. Always with a bit more of tradition than innovation, but enough innovation that it doesn’t feel plain, boring, or, God forbid, totally backward, but tasteful, fresh, niche and unexpected. I’m thinking about tradition and traditionalism here as a very broad thing. My religious beliefs are very traditional, apparently these days they might even classify as orthodox for some Christians, though I personally don’t consider myself orthodox, however I admire truly orthodox (not to be confused with fanatic, as these are yet another kettle of fish) Christian people. I love folk music, which speaks for itself, folk is obviously traditional, though just as I said earlier I do like tradition with innovation so things like neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop, folk metal etc. are close to my heart and brain just as well. I am passionate about keeping endangered and minority/indigenous languages alive, and same applies to all sorts of cultural traditions. I love learning about folklore of different areas and people’s customs, and always feel sad whenever I hear about such things extincting, though a lot of such traditional treasures – especially languages – are so unbelievably resilient and can thrive in the most unfavourable circumstances. – By the way I think we humans can really take an inspiratioon from languages, when we’re going through rough things in life. πŸ™‚ People typically think of trees, especially oaks, as symbols of resilience, but I think of languages. Oh yeah and on a more personal level I absolutely dread changes and have a hard time adapting to them, which I think also goes in line with the whole traditional thing, though probably has a bit different etiology. πŸ˜€ However it’s not like I’m totally against change, if I can see its positive aspects, just that it’s a totally dreadful process and adjusting to it usually takes me ages and a lot of rumination in the meantime.

Β Β  Helpfulness.

I even like the way the word helpful looks in English. I have fun synaesthetic associations! πŸ˜€ Would describe them to you but it’s too complicated and would take up too much space and this post is not about this. That’s why I wrote “helpfulness” rather than “helping people” which would probably look a bit more natural. I really like that feeling, when you know you have helped someone. Well I guess it’s a natural thing for all of us who are empathetic beings to have that feeling and to like it. This thing alone can drive us to want to be more helpful. I don’t know, however, if I help people as much as I could. I often feel effectively inhibited from doing it by different factors. I am rubbish at helping people in person because of all the difficulties I have with communicating with people like social anxiety. I have a hard time initiating the simplest conversations with most people, so while I am a good observer and very often easily notice that someone may need some kind of help, I don’t know how to offer it to them, or how to ask them what they need, or don’t know what to do about it altogether, or maybe even know but it feels too scary and overwhelming a process so I only watch the situation from a distance hoping that there will be someone else who can help them and feeling awful for not helping them myself. If I do try to make the effort and help them, I feel awful for helping them not the right way, or not adequately, or making things worse rather than better. Also I usually feel like I’m not even the right person to help people because of my own various limitations and that I just won’t be able to give them the help they need. Thankfully there are some areas where I do feel a bit more confident when helping people, like listening to people (unless they clearly expect me to say something, as then I usually feel like there’s nothing I can say that could be particularly helpful), or supporting people online, or helping people financially, or sharing something with them, or sharing some of my skills with them, with the latter I’m thinking things like translating something for my Mum, for example. These are usually very small areas and I feel like most people help others much more, but I comfort myself in that at least a lot of the people whom I have helped have said I was helpful to them so perhaps my help is more a quality over quantity kinda thing. I’ve always lived by that rule, as quantity is something largely abstractive to me, so if it seriously works like this with my help, it’s probably not as bad as I usually imagine. πŸ˜€

Β Β  Family.

I actually wondered whether I should really include this value or perhaps leave it out and write about something possibly more interesting, because this whole family thing is complex and I’m not sure it’s indeed this high among my values, but I decided to write about it nevertheless, because even though I struggle with sense of belonging and don’t really feel a strong connection to my extended family, my closest family are pretty much the only people in real life that I’m close to and they are important to me, also I do respect all of my family, and am loyal to them, never mind that I don’t really feel anything more towards most of them. Also family as a more general term – as in roots, origin, heritage etc. – is an important thing for me. Loyalty towards family is, as I said, an important thing to me and I think family members sort of owe it to each other. I try to keep good relationships with them as muchh as it’s possible, though I don’t give a shit about it if they don’t try as well. My most immediate family – by which I mean my parents and siblings and grandparents – are people for whom I am capable of making a lot of sacrifices, for example attending family gatherings even when I don’t feel at all like doing this mentally and have to deal with the consequences of this afterwards, which include a substantial increase in Maggie’s (my inner critic) activity, feeling mentally and physically drained and a general brain overload. I know they won’t really care about my actual presence there in itself, but if I won’t be there they’ll have a problem either with me that I am so unfeeling and neglectful, or with my Mum, which I don’t understand, it appears that some of my family think that somehow my Mum is to blame if I don’t appear on their birthday party. I want to spare her that, because she has so much stronger ties with her family, so unless I really really can’t, or it’s someone I can’t be bothered about, like some people from my Dad’s side of my family whom I have a hard time genuinely respecting, I just deal with it and go. It’s awful, it’s pointless and I don’t think they realise how much mental energy it sometimes can cost me while it’s happening as well as before and afterwards (though perhaps it’s not okay that I actually expect people to care, and most likely makes me sound terribly whiney,) but I do this because I feel obliged towards them as my family. I also deeply value the connection I have with my Mum, she is so very important to me, as well as Sofi. Sofi is very valuable.

So there you have it, these are the top five of my values.

What are yours? Have you thought about this before and made a more comprehensive list?

 

Question of the day.

Hi lovely people! πŸ™‚

What invention doesn’t get a lot of love, but has greatly improved the world?

My answer:

Toilet paper. We could see it clearly not so long ago all around the world. πŸ˜€ Sure, we could use newspapers instead, but the sensory experience is of so much lower quality then, isn’t it? Well I don’t have first-hand experience in this matter, luckily, but my parents do, as they lived during the last two decades of communism where such situations were normal. I think it’s definitely something worth appreciating that it’s so easily available in most countries now that we don’t even think of it usually. The invention of the loo is outstanding just as well.

What would be your pick? πŸ™‚

UPDATE! WordPress Owners: Please Read

As a visually impaired blogger who blogs solely for the fun of it, at least for the time being and for the foreseeable future, as well as someone who is not extremely techy, I really dislike the block editor, and seems like there are lots of us who think similarly of it, so if you’re my follower, don’t like the idea either and haven’t seen or shared this post before, please do, and maybe it’ll help change the WP people’s minds on this so we will still have a choice in which editor we want to use, as they were initially saying we would.
I haven’t yet been transitioned to the block editor, which I’m very happy about, but apparently a lot of people have had such a change executed against their will already so it seems like the rest of us can expect it to happen.
I realise that WordPress people have put effort into making block editor accessible for screen readers, and I appreciate that it can be more useful and attractive for some people with specific blogging needs and requirements than the old WordPress editor, but, as I commented on Cyranny’s blog a little while ago, there’s quite a difference between accessibility and plain usability/user-friendliness. In my opinion, the block editor, despite not inaccessible, is not blind-user-friendly, and, given how many sighted bloggers complain about it as well, the problem is definitely not limited to blind people.
Of course we could all get used to block editor – or such is my big hope anyway – but it seems kind of counter-productive that people, instead of coming up with new ideas for blog posts and focusing on their writing, would have to focus primarily on the minute (or not so minute) technical details of creating a blog post and getting used to a new way of doing it when there’s no reason for change, from their perspective. – This could discourage a lot of people from blogging on here, and while most likely would not totally discourage myself, the result would probably be that I would post alll my posts via email, and such posts don’t look particularly visually-pleasing, as far as I’m aware.
My blog is on the free plan since I’ve started blogging on here, as so far I haven’t felt a pressuring need for upgrading yet, but if a fee could indeed make WordPress reconsider their decision and keep them from delighting us with forced changes like this, I’d be very happy to pay this fee, as blogging is something very important to me and has made a lot of positive changes in my life and mental well-being, and I haven’t seen a more accessible blogging platform than WordPress so far. Somehow though, I doubt that the fee could really solve this problem. Hopefully I’m wrong, or there’s some other solution to this to make everyone involved possibly happy.
So, people, if you think similarly to Pete, me, and lots of other bloggers and haven’t yet done it, please share Pete’s post with your readers as well so Happiness Engineers can see how many of us are there not liking this new editor. πŸ™‚

beetleypete

***UPDATE***

Patty has just posted an email address for someone at WP who is actually working on β€˜accessibility’ for bloggers. Let him know your gripes about the Block Editor, and tell him why you hate it and want to keep the old one.

Enrique SΓ‘nchez <enrique.sanchez@automattic.com

If anyone who reads this is not happy with the new Block Editor, if you don’t want to use it, wish it had never happened, and quite literally hate the thing, then please reblog this post, share it constantly on social media, and let’s see if we can get WordPress to take notice of us.

Dear WordPress, you have started to force the Block Editor on your blogging community. You must have your reasons for this, and I supect they are commerical ones. After all, you have to make a profit, and you continue to provide a basic blogging platform free of charge to…

View original post 239 more words

Question of the day.

Is there something special you feel like eating or drinking, at the moment?

My answer:

It’s roasting hot here, and when that happens, I’m not really eating much. But I’d love some really delicious, cool drink. No, not cool, freezing! lol Yeah, with lots of ice in it. I’m generally a sucker for iced drinks, except for iced tea which I somehow don’t have any strong feelings to, and alcohol drinks, a lot of which I like, but I avoid alcohol these days all together as it makes me feel super crappy both physically and mentally and it’s not quite as yummy as coffee that I’d even feel very regretful about having to say goodbye to it, especially that the effects of alcohol are usually worse for me than coffee. I just love the sound of ice in the glass, and the feel of ice, I’ve always had that weird fantasy since I was a little kid that I’d love to have an endless supply of ice, or popsicles, or something, that wouldn’t melt, or at least not so quickly, so I could touch and lick them whenever and how much I wanted. I suppose it could be an indicator of something being wrong with me that I’m so obsessed with ice but I don’t care. I also love to suck the pieces of ice after I drink the drink, if only my teeth can bear it. So, I don’t know, it could be a milkshake, a creamy, not too strong, iced coffee, but I think most of all I’d like some freshly squeezed orange juice, preferably without the mashy orange bits but even with the mashy stuff would be okay. We had a carton of shop-bought orange juice last week, which would always be something, but it’s gone now, and I don’t even think we have ice cubes in the freezer at the moment.

What is your current food/drink dream? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (16th August).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Do you think piercings look good on people? (Excluding ear piercings).

My answer:

It’s hard if not impossible for me to tell whether they look good on people since I can’t see, but what I can tell is I’m not a big fan of piercings. Ear piercings are okay, though I don’t have pierced ears personally, just because I don’t care for it, and piercings in other places I just totally dislike and I think they’re a bit pretentious. But if someone likes it, then who am I to tell them whether it’s good or bad? I guess for some people it just works well together with their overall style so why not? I think tattoos are more interesting than earrings, though I don’t have any either, and as an alternative for actual earrings I prefer some subtle, small kinds of clip-on earrings, I have quite a few pairs of these for some special occasions. Clip-on earrings aren’t quite as popular anymore, and there’s more variety among earrings, but that still doesn’t convince me to get my ears pierced. I think one reason why I’ve never felt compelled to do this is because I used to get a lot of pressure from my family that I should do it, especially my grandma was obsessed about it for some reason. “Oh dear, you would look so gorgeous if you had earrings! Why won’t you get your ears pierced?!” And then she got me a pair of earrings on my birthday, I don’t know if she forgot that I didn’t have ear piercing, or was it her way of trying to persuade me, and then when I reminded her that I don’t have pierced ears she was like: “Oh, so this will be a good motive for you to do it”. Nope. That’s not how Bibiel works. And then the same incident repeated itself and I got another pair of earrings for her for some other occasion. My Mum was like: “You really should pierce your ears now. Grandma may feel hurt if you’ll never wear them”. But what if I may get hurt because my grandma doesn’t even care to remember such basic facts about me like that I do not have earrings and gives me presents that she would like to get, rather than such that would be actually nice to me? And then I got even one more pair from my great aunt. What’s up with people being SO obsessed with earrings? Zofijka inherited all of them, but I told myself that if I’ll ever get any more, I’m gonna flush them down the loo. πŸ˜€ When someone tries to persuade me to do something like this, then I get even more fixed on doing it the other way around, even in situations when I originally wanted to do just what they’re trying to get me to do. It just pisses me off to no end. So I’m gonna stick with my lovely clip-on earrings, especially that I have really a lot of nice ones, with mini lapis lazulis and turquoises and other such, and I think they actually fit me better.

What do you think about this? Do you have piercings? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Describe to me, what is your family like?

My answer:

Depends which side of the family we’re talking about. My Mum’s family are emotional, exuberant, touchy-feely (my Mum’s is the exact opposite of touchy-feely but the rest of them are), caring, sometimes way too caring about other people’s business and meddling into things that don’t concern them. They are very spontaneous and change their minds all the time, especially my Mum and her siblings, and as a consequence, they’re also very moody. They’re sentimental and almost all of them are easily moved and cry, They have a tendency to impose their own opinions on others but usually aren’t even fully aware of the extend of it and are well-meaning. They say they’re typical eastern Slavs as they have roots in all of the eastern Slavic countries plus Lithuania. They like to dance, have fun and many of them are a bit impulsive. They are all religious and very serious about it and have a very genuine relationship with God. My grandad is a bit of an exception, as he is an introvert, not quite as chatty and much more of a loner, deeply thinking through everything he’s going to say and a bit melancholic, he’s also much less emotional and makes a very haughty and proud impression, which is absolutely correct, but it doesn’t mean he can’t be very loving and caring when he wants to. Most of them are very intelligent and appreciate intelligent conversations, highly value knowledge and have a need for beauty in their lives. They are mostly traditionalists. They have a great sense of solidarity and genuinely like to meet up. They can be quite overwhelming and I don’t feel much of an emotional connection with them, which probably just stems from my lack of sense of belonging in general rather than anything else, but I much prefer my Mum’s family to my Dad’s and have a bit better contact with them. They’re more open-minded and just kinder and more genuine and I respect them far more.

My Dad’s family is quite different. They are secretive but in a weird way. They have those strange cliques where someone is talking to X, but not to Y because they had an arguement with Y in 1993. So you’ve got to be careful when inviting people sometimes, ’cause you can end up with a roomful of very emphatically quiet people. They do like to meet up though, nevertheless, and also have quite a strong sense of community, they know a lot about their ancestors and are proud Kashubs (though only my gran can actually speak Kashubian fluently and uses it in daily life in a serious way). They are narrow-minded and not the most subtle people in the world, they even always have such a weird way of talking to each other as if they were constantly mad or unfriendly at best. They are rather superficial in their judging of others or making their opinions on anything, it seems like they can’t have a deeper look into anything, and there is something cold, coarse and I’d even say unfeeling about them. Like, you wouldn’t go to my gran, or not even to my Dad (though he’s quite different than most of his family because of interacting so much with Mum’s family, and has been kind of polished over the years), anyway, you wouldn’t go to any of them if you had some problem and wanted someone to seriously listen to you and be compassionate and comforting. They can’t listen, only talk about themselves. They’re kinda self-absorbed and have a very stereotypical, one-dimensional view of the world and people. Politically, most of them are rightists and some are leftists but in overall views on life they all are very conservative, and not quite like my Mum’s family for whom their traditions are very valuable and of emotional significance but it seems more like some habits they stick to just for the sake of it, and have a hard time making any changes to their thinking or acting. They like to gossip. Sometimes when people gossip, it’s interesting to listen to because even if it’s not true, interesting stories come out of it and it’s intriguing to think of it what of it might actually be true and what exactly are the people about whom they’re gossipping, and sometimes it sounds like some fascinating fairytales, but in my Dad’s family gossipping is much more boring, they can’t even find interesting topics to gossip about, and it has a fair bit of toxicity in it. My Dad and his brothers have a weird common trait that they love to make fun of other people as a way of dealing with their own insecurities. It’s a very nasty habit. If they have a problem with you, something about you they’re envious about, or they feel insecure around you, expect that anything you’ll say will be met with a cynical laughter and some stupid comment that’s supposed to ridicule you. They don’t have quite the same loyalty as my Mum’s family have. They don’t really have imagination –
except for one of my cousins who has been gifted in this area and is generally incredibly different from them also in that she is more sensitive to other people – and most of them don’t even enjoy reading or anything like this, although they’re passionate about watching TV, some 24/7 and if it’s any less they get bad withdrawal symptoms.

As for my most immediate family, we are quite a close family, at least we are closer with each other than many other families I know. We all love and care about each other and I think we spend more time together than most families do these days. But generally we’re a rather typical family I guess and there’s nothing overly unusual about us. We do have our fair share of misunderstandings and a lot of differences between each other but at this point we don’t have any serious family problems or arguments and we get along well with each other. I think though it all wouldn’t be quite as well if not our Mum. She is like an adhesive for us. I often think that if she died suddenly, we would all fall apart in all sorts of different directions. She is often the mediator between us and brings us all together, and I know she sometimes makes big sacrifices and compromises in order for things to stay calm and peaceful, which isn’t always easy with a character like my Dad. Also we are always thankful for the blessing that we have Zofijka here. I often say that if not Zofijka, our house would turn into a Camaldolese monaster – the house would be so eerily quiet and no one would talk. –
And everyone agrees, because while Mum can be very chatty, she gets those moods when she doesn’t talk at all and seems annoyed with everyone, making the atmosphere a bit stale, Dad is generally rather quiet at home and he’s not too talkative, and me and Olek have our own worlds, and our own rooms where we like to spend the time, and are both introverts, plus Olek is at work most of the day anyway. So it would feel really eery over here without Sofi long-term. Though she’s very absorbing and very loud so it’s good to have a break from her once in a while.

What about your family? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Do you ever talk to yourself, or sing?

My answer:

Oh yeah, I talk to myself a lot and in different languages. It’s genetic, as my Mum’s the same, so we say we have such rich inner lives they’re spilling out, but my Mum has it worse, because she often thinks so loud that she doesn’t even know she’s thinking aloud and doesn’t realise that she’s just said what she was thinking, which leads to weird situations, but she doesn’t even care. But then when someone happens to be around while she’s spilling out her mind unbeknownst to herself, she is either very surprised and thinks that the other person must be a telepath, or accuses them of eavesdropping. It also seems like she has the same problem when she goes running, she has earbuds on when running and always thinks about loads of things and often finds that people look at her in a strange way, so she thinks she must think aloud while running too. It’s quite strange that someone would be so unaware of it but it’s funny at least from the observer’s perspective. I try to have more control over what’s spilling out of me and in what circumstances, and I don’t even have to try too hard as I’m way too blocked to do that so spontaneously, unless I just don’t know that someone is around, or happen to be extremely deep in thoughts, and then sometimes weird situations happen to me too, in such cases, but that’s really rare. I also talk to Misha and so if anyone ever happens to overhear something they also often assume I’m talking to myself. But, to avoid weird situations, since I can’t always know for 100% if someone is lurking around, and to practice my languages, I prefer to speak in other languages than Polish when talking to myself. And so my default language for talking to myself these days is ENglish, but I also talk quite a lot in Swedish and swear in Finnish. I also routinely have discussions with people on the other end when for example listening to something, like a YouTube video, a radio programme, whatever, even when reading things sometimes on the Internet but with speech synthesis, not in Braille, the more engrossing it is for me the more likely I am to do that, and voice my opinions, regardless of that the people on the other side are not going to hear them. With this I don’t even restrict myself so very much to when other people in my surroundings can’t hear it. πŸ˜€ Sofi picked it up from me and she also has discussions like that with her favourite YouTubers, for example, of which she has many.

I also sing to myself sometimes but it’s mostly in specific situations. I often sing for Misha when we are in my room. I seriously don’t know, perhaps it’s just me being megalomanic or something (although I don’t think I sing that extremely brilliantly, I just have musical hearing and can sing in tune and that’s it), but to me it looks like he likes when I do that and he relaxes himself and is listening very intently, so even if it’s just an impression, I typically do that when he’s going to sleep or when we’re having a cuddle time, he needs that sometimes, usually after a long time of being on his own, he’ll come and want to be petted and cuddled, and then I sing him to sleep, or when I have a feeling he’s sad or something’s wrong. I seriously think Misha’s not indifferent to music, and not only because he gets scared by very loud music. I also sing when I’m in desperate need for some background noise because of the sensory anxiety and there’s no other way of getting it. It only works so-so, but so-so is always more than nothing. And sometimes I just sing when I feel like it and when I’m alone but that’s pretty rare, I used to do it more.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (13th August).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Do you read or watch TV before falling asleep?

My answer:

I always read before going to sleep. I also listen to the music before I fall asleep and while I’m sleeping, as that helps me with anxiety and also I just like it this way. I read on my PlexTalk, and have a sleeptimer on, so that the book doesn’t keep on going or at least not too much when I’m already asleep. And in the background I have my iPhone quietly on, just enough so that I can hear it, either playing music on Spotify or some radio. If it’s radio it’s either playing some station which plays only music, and such that I really really like, and there are only few stations whose music I’d love so unreservedly, or, more often, it’s just talk in one of my favourite languages. Sometimes I also listen to some podcasts in bed but that’s rather if I’m not planning to go to sleep just yet.

How is it with you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What time do you go to bed?

My answer:

As in my answer to the previous question, my circadian rhythm is screwed up so there are no rules whatsoever in practice for what time I fall asleep. I do try to have a more predictive bedtime though if possible, so my standard goal is to be in bed by midnight, not later. I might eventually get up if I’m not having any luck falling asleep for an hour or longer, or when I’m feeling mentally crappy and if I am only able to sleep, I like to go to sleep earlier and sleep as much as possible.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (11th August).

Let’s talk a bit about our daily habits.

What time do you wake up?

My answer:

Really hard to say. It’s different almost every day, or at least every few days. It depends on which timezone my brain clock is at the moment. As you may know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, I have a problem with circadian rhythm, probably mostly due to that I am blind and don’t have any light perception or anything so my brain is probably permanently confused whether it’s day or night, but I’ve also learnt that pituitary is in some way responsible for controlling circadian rhythm – not sleep-wake cycle as such I guess or I’m not sure about this particular thing, but circadian rhythm in general, in any case, it could be relevant since I have hypopituitarism, and mental health surely plays a huge role with sleep problems as well. – Whatever is the reason, that’s how my brain works, and I’m mostly okay with it at the moment, of course it can be annoying but I am now having the luxury of being in charge of my own time at this point so I can usually decide when I need sleep and when trying to sleep doesn’t make much sense so it’s better to stay up and do something constructive. I used to supplement melatonin but it would work only to some extend, meanwhile giving me loads of vivid nightmares. I have a PRN sleep med which helps and I try to have some kind of a sleep-wake schedule at least in theory, something to aim to I’d say, but what probably makes my sleep problems worse is also that I’m not the best at sticking to sleep routine, but also I don’t want to be too obsessed with it as that could get more stressful than helpful long-term I guess. So that being said, my waking time shifts depending on my current circadian rhythm, and my circadian rhythm seems to depend on a lot of things, external and internal, I guess I’m not even aware of all of them, funny thing is also that with my sleeping and waking times, my need for sleep also changes kind of in cycles and sometimes I feel the need to sleep a lot, and sometimes I feel rested after just a few hours and get lots of energy at night, or don’t sleep at all.

With my “ideal” sleeping schedule, I try to wake up at 7:30, because I’ve figured out after some experiments that it seems to be a generally optimal time for me, though as I said, it can look different in practice. I have an alarm – previously on my PlexTalk, now on the iPhone – and I try to stick to it when possible, but when I’m not asleep say by 3 AM I just turn it off so it doesn’t wake me in case I will fall asleep until 7:30, since usually falling asleep that late I’ll also probably need to sleep a bit longer than that, or when I feel very sleepy and it goes off I just turn it off, go back to sleep for however long I need and don’t care, unless I have somewhere to go or something really important to do on time. Also when my depression is particularly bad, sleep is my best friend, as long as I can get it, and then I turn into a real sleep escapist if only I can do it and have no plans, and turn the alarm off altogether, and turn it back on again when I feel more motivated to actually live or when it’s really necessary for me to get up at a specific time. At the moment though, I’ve been sticking to my normal waking time since a few days and I like it, though my falling asleep time is later than it should be in theory so I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep but I’m not feeling it really.

How does it work for you? Do you have any sleep routine at all and if so, are you good at sticking to it? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (10th August).

Did you fall down any rabbit holes, recently? What about?

My answer:

Except for the recent depression and emotional overload rabbit hole I fell down last week and as it seems am on my way up, at least in that I’m more functional on the outside and don’t have the self-harm urges, I don’t think there have been any rabbit holes recently in terms of particularly engrossing topics. I mean, my interests are typically very engrossing for me, but there hasn’t been anything very new lately.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (9th August).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I’ve found an interesting question online and thought I’d ask you:

Have you ever had anyone ask you, (How did you get so smart)? If so, how did you answer them?

My answer:

Oh yes, and that’s partly why I found this question interesting, haha. I get a lotof questions like this from people and I usually don’t really know how to react. My intelligence is one thing about myself I think I have a reasonably rational view on despite the AVPD thing and I do think I’m intelligent, I’ve always heard that I’m above average and I also feel this is true, also my brains are something that have helped me to cope in all sorts of situations and I’m so very grateful for being gifted in this area, but I also don’t know how it happened that I am “so” smart. People usually say that because they’re surprised that I know a lot of different things not everyone knows or that they wouldn’t expect me to know. So when people ask me such questions, I don’t know what to say because I just don’t know why it is how it is, other than it’s just is this way and that some people in my family are highly intelligent, and I also don’t know what kind of answer they expect. Is it supposed to be some sort of a bit odd compliment in the form of a rhetorical question? πŸ˜€ Or do they really want me to explain the whole process, or whatever? Also I really don’t want to sound like I’m bragging or something.

So how I usually respond is either saying something light along the lines of: “Oh really, did I?!” or “It’s because I never add lemon to hot tea so I probably don’t have that much alluminium in my brain” or that “It’s my grandad’s fault” or “I wonder about that too, y’know? My Mum says it’s a bit of a miracle” or “It’s because I trained my memory so well as a kid by learning all the name days in the calendar” etc. etc. or I get all confused and don’t say anything really, or I tell them seriously that I don’t know, but I read a lot as a kid and seem to have some weird ability to retain loads of information and have always had and am learning things quite quickly, at least some things. It depends on a situation, the other person and how I’m feeling, which approach I take.

The first time I remember I was asked a similar thing and that really made me think hard, was when I was at my classmate’s house for a few days, and her brother once asked me how it is that me, or his sister are quite smart, while some other blind kids are not and why (he was referring to another girl from our class who visited them earlier and who also had some mild intellectual disability and was a preemie and had other problems). And I was literally dumbstruck. I often wondered about similar things but now that someone has actually said this aloud, and asked me, I had to think about it seriously and figure it out somehow. I really wasn’t able to tell him something more insightful at the time, and I think it would be hard for anyone of any age because well, how do you explain why some people are smart and some aren’t, regardless of whether there are some disabilities at play or not. So I just told him something about that that girl was a preemie and I was not, and that my family at least on Mum’s side are smart people, and my Dad was teaching me things like capitals of countries and such when I was very little so maybe that was why my brain was quite well-developed. But I was thinking about it for a reeeally long time, and I don’t think my answer was satisfying for him, either.

Have you ever had similar situations or is it just me? πŸ˜€

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Simple question:

What are you reading? πŸ™‚

My answer:

As you should be able to see in the GoodReads widget, Im reading a foster care memoir by Maggie Hartley called “Exploited”. I read almost all of her memoirs that were available on Audible, but it seems like most of them, or at least quite a few, are not, so now I’m getting them from Kobo. I’ve started this book last night before going to bed, and then didn’t sleep too well, falling asleep after 2 AM and waking already about 6, but didn’t dare getting up and doing something more constructive because I had Sofi sleeping with me since Mum’s away so she is afraid to sleep on her own, and Misha was sleeping between us and I didn’t want to wake either of them up, so I spent a large portion of the night reading it, and now I’m almost at the end. It’s been enjoyable like all Maggie Hartley’s books have been to me but also rather very predictable. The next book on my list is “Thinking in Pictures” by Temple Grandin, I’m curious what it’ll be like and how I’ll like it.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Some fun stuff instead of question of the day.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

I’ve found something today that I thought I could post on here so we can have some fun. Below are sentences that we can complete. I’ll do it here in this post, and you can do it in the comments, or in your own posts (don’t forget to pingback or leave the link in the comments so I can read it). Keep them as long or as short as you only wish. For your convenience, I’ll write the unfinished sentences alone first so that you can copy paste them without having to edit them and delete what I wrote. Here goes:

I am confident about…

I am insecure about…

I need to…

I want to…

I like to…

I recently bought…

I am thinking about…

I am anticipating…

I am procrastinating…

I am watching/listening to/cooking…

Mine:

I am confident about… nearly nothing, I guess. I’ve been thinking on this for a while now and I just can’t come up with one thing I would be like absolutely and unquestionably confident about. πŸ˜€

I am insecure about… almost everything, which I guess is pretty logical from what I wrote above.

I need to… find myself another faza. It’s really getting imperative! I haven’t written much about that lately but I’m still searching intensely. My latest finding has been Jack Hughes who is cool but too normal, not versatile enough, and has a bit peculiar way of singing which would be annoying for me long-term. Why do I have to find a faza for myself in the first place, rather than it just happening without my conscious effort, like always before? My brain is getting way too lazy. And it’s a vicious circle because lack of a faza and thus beneficial stimuli in the right amount only makes it more lazy. πŸ˜€ What do you do with a lazy brain?

I want to… stop cutting myself. I did last week again, and a couple of times, so this time I only managed to go without it a month or so I believe. And on the other hand I don’t want to stop cutting. Well but what I do want is I don’t want to do it in such an impulsive way. Or at least be able to not do it for longer periods of time, like once I managed not to cut for about half a year. In case you’re wondering why I did it, I was just feeling depressed and overloaded, also had a lot of anxiety for no obvious reason, it was my friend Jacek from Helsinki’s another death anniversary on July 29, and then later in the week it was my cousin’s 18th birthday party and I reeeally couldn’t deal with the socialising and all that comes with it. Quite ironically, I have some special memories with Jacek from Helsinki and my own 18th birthday party, which didn’t help. But it’s better now.

I like to… sleep with Misha.

I recently bought… my new Bang & Olufsen headphones, yaaaaaay!!! Seriously, this was a very spontaneous purchase, totally on the spur of a moment, completely unlike me, just because it was my Mum who found these headphones online on sale and she told me about them, I only briefly looked them up online to see if it could be something for me and it seemed like it could perhaps be but might just as well not be, but it was on Zalando Lounge so they were way cheaper than they would be otherwise and I could return them if I decided they’re not for me. I really needed some good headphones for my iPhone, I also need a good speaker(s), so I figured I might just as well try these with an opportunity like this. I had to wait ages for these headphones, about a month, and also I was rather sceptical whether it could really be something for me ’cause I’m sort of picky and have some very specific requirements. But they came on Monday – just before my parents went out on their camper van trip so Mum could pick them up for me – but they had to go and Sofi wasn’t home when they were leaving so I had to set them up and pair by myself. Which was not difficult but I had no accessible manual or anything and I didn’t really know how to do it. I figured how to turn them on and turn Bluetooth on after a while but they still weren’t visible for my iPhone because it turned out I had to get an app to set them up, so I was very apprehensive and wondered how accessible it’ll be with VoiceOver – the iPhone screenreader – and moreover how usable for me as a still more or less beginning iPhone user. It would probably be badly inaccessible if not the fact that VoiceOver can now guess what different buttons in an application do from how they look if they’re not labelled properly, and as far as I remember none or very few were labelled originally in that app and VoiceOver did a very good job at the guessing game. Then I didn’t remember what exactly model I had and I had to select the one I had from the list in the app to set it up, and some only differ between each other with one number so not very Bibiel-friendly. So I ended up having to call Mum and she had to check up what my model was. Then still iPhone couldn’t connect to the headphones for ages and I was getting really frustrated, but then finally I did something random and they did connect to each other. And once I had them paired, a very Bibiel-friendly manual showed up – both with audio and text, not some weird, hardly descriptive video like a lot of tutorials are – so I could figure out hhow to actually use the headphones without anyone’s help very easily. And once I learned it it was very rewarding because I’ve already grown to like the headphones a lot. I would never buy them for their original price, I seriously don’t think the sound is worth as much, but it’s definitely good for me and good for the price I paid for them. When I read reviews people complained that the active noise cancelling feature is meh because it doesn’t work as well as in other similar headphones but for me it’s just right. They’re my first noise cancelling headphones and, I don’t know, I have a terribly, horribly, freakishly loud desktop computer and when I turn the noise cancellation on and sit at the desk I can barely hear the hum nor anything else outside. Granted, I don’t need some really extreme noise cancellation, I am obviously blind and a control freak, I want to know what’s going on around me most of the time so that I don’t need to worry that someone is lurking behind me and I have no idea because I’m listening to music. On the other hand I do like the noise cancelling for situations when I don’t need to hear the world around me so that I have a good and immersive environment for daydreaming haha, and these headphones are just right for this purpose. Even yesterday I had a situation when Sofi was in my room, watching a video on her phone, and there was some really weird music that was setting my brain off a little bit, so I just quickly put my headphones on and turned my own music on with the noise cancelling, and I could no longer hear Sofi’s evil shit. They also have transparency mode which is good sometimes for such people like me (Sofi once said that they should invent cheekphones for me because with my computer headphones often when someone was in my room or something I would have the headphones more on my cheeks than ears so that I could hear my surroundings clearly without having to constantly put on and take off the headphones, yes, cheekphones could be a cool idea for some specific situations πŸ˜€ ), and integration with Siri which is useful at times, and the earpads are really comfy, though I haven’t used them for a longer stretch of time yet. They have gesture control which seems to work very poorly, or perhaps it’s me not doing the gestures the right way exactly, but thankfully you can also control them within the app or just simply from the phone. They also have a cable so I can plug them into my PlexTalk which does not have Bluetooth which is cool because my previous PlexTalk/computer headphones are falling apart. Oh wow, what a mini review I just wrote lol.

I am thinking about… Jocky, whom Sofi has just let inside and he’s devastating the house and barking his lungs out, and about Misha, who is thankfully cosily tucked inside my wardrobe – this is his recent hideout for when he’s a bit stressed as it seems, and he certainly is stressed now because Mum is away and he’s very attached to her.

I am anticipating… huh, nothing really. Can’t think of anything I’d be anticipating at the moment.

I am procrastinating… way more than I realise on a daily basis. I’ve only recently thought more about it. I really procrastinate a whole lot and it’s usually because of anxiety as it seems. But it’s not like impairing or anything so I can’t say I care very much, just a little alarming when you suddenly realise such things.

I am watching/listening to/cooking… listening to BBC Radio Cymru at the moment.

So, who wants to play along with me? πŸ™‚