A shitty, Zombie day.

Yeah, today I have another Zombie day, which means, if you’re unfamiliar, that I’m after a night of completely no sleep. I think the reason of my sleep being so poor recently is that I’m significantly anxious over many things. A bit more than a week ago my term exam session started, which is always some stress – almost none in comparison to final exams that I’ll have in May, but still, makes me quite tense. Besides, almost at the same time my brother picked up some tummy bug or something and was sick, with vomiting and all the attractions, which obviously triggered my emetophobia. It lasted for very long for him and then Dad got infected too and it lasted very long too, so I was freaking out literally, because they were sick and because I could get sick and anyone else could. I didn’t get it luckily, but still don’t fully know if it’s actually over for them. Moreover, my Mum had gastroscopy and colonoscopy on Tuesday before Easter. Well it didn’t regard me directly, but still it made me feel anxious for some reason, I almost felt like I myself was going to have gastroscopy, which would be just traumatic for me I guess and I was stressed for Mum. Don’t know why I reacted so strongly for it. And then Mum had also some not serious complications after that which contributed to my anxiety. It’s crazy. and my final exams are in a month now, which is the thing I’m most anxious about currently. It’s not only about the exams themselves and whether I’ll pass them, but also about the circumstances in which I’ll be writing them. I’m not sure whether I finally told you or not, I guess I did, but I won’t take them at my own school that I formally go to. My school is a normal, mainstream school and my Mum was kind of afraid I might not get all the adjustments I could get if I’d write at a special school for the blind, especially as for math, as this is the subject I particularly suck at and is very difficult for me. I agree with it and so my Mum came up with the idea she’ll ask the headmistress of one of the schools for the blind – not the one I was going to as a child, a completely different one – if it would be possible for me to write there. There was a lot of paperwork and other stuff involved, but it was possible and I got the permission finally. But this school, although is much closer than the one I was going to, is still quite far from where I live, in a different region. So we would have to stay in the boarding school. I know, I won’t be there on my own, there will be Mum and maybe Zofijka with me, I will live with them and the circumstances will be completely different, we’ll be out of there most of the time, I desperately try to think rationally about it, but the anxiety is still there. I know it’s so irrational and stupid and all, but it doesn’t seem like I could do much about it now. I’ll probably just have to face it and see if it was worth all that anxiety or not. Also, I’m having lots of nasty dreams recently, with sleep paralysis and without and they scare me so so much. Just last week I had sleep paralysis twice. It’s knackering and makes me feel just helpless. Often such dreams leave me anxious for hours after they pass away. So yeah plenty of issues that may contribute to that lack of sleep.

Luckily I didn’t have to do anything important today, apart from preparing to my History exam which I’ll have on Monday, but it wasn’t hard to do and I actually could do it tomorrow as well if I really needed. I feel absolutely crappy today, with no energy (despite three strong coffees), lots of anxiety and depression, but that’s normal I guess for everyone who didn’t sleep for an entire night, or at least it’s my normal when I don’t sleep properly, the more tat other things get in the way.

Recently I was writing that I plan on buying a new Braille-Sense, and it turned out that it’s time now for applying for funding, so I did some of that endless paperwork with Mum. Well I guess don’t have much more to say now. Just had to rant a bit.

How are you guys doing? 🙂

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Question of the day.

Was it easy for you to learn to read, or was it difficult?

My answer:

Apparently, when one of the staff at my nursery showed Mum how I’m going to read and write, she felt it’s impossible for me to achieve it. She already knew I have issues with coordination and sensory integration and she thought it would be just impossible for me to manage it. However, that turned out not being true at all. Although my coordination and sensory integration still is poor, and I mean actually very poor, it went relatively easy. At the beginning, I had a period when I didn’t like to read, it was just very exhausting for me and boring and all. But it changed very quickly and suddenly when I started to make some real progress, I started to love reading. And I learnt it very quickly. I remember my class teacher was making some additional readings for me, I know they were about a boy named Jacek and a girl named Fifi (I asked her to write about them for me, I don’t know why I came up with Fifi though). And I remember that one of them was about Jacek breaking his leg and walking with crutches, the scenario was also mine. 😀 I loved these readings so much and they were much better than what we had in our text books. Back then I was able to only read in Braille, I wasnn’t very familiar with technologies in early primary school as I had to teach myself about them, so I didn’t have anything to read at home and that was the only thing I really disliked about being at home, because I quickly realised that life without books is quite boring. So my poor Mum was desperately looking for some libraries or other stuff around our voivodeship (voivodeship is like a Polish province), but it didn’t help that much, so finally she signed me up for the Central Library for the blind and they always sent me just literally packages of books. It was quite an interesting view for our neighbours 😀 (keep in mind that Braille books are always larger than standard ones) and they were wondering why we get such an extensive mail all the time. Sometimes Mum sent me some books to the boarding school, but it didn’t work out practically. I also used to steal some old books from the attic. 😀 Things got more severe when I left the boarding school for two years for the integration school, I couldn’t cope emotionally at the boarding as you probably already know, so we thought maybe integration school will work out for me. At this time I had a legs surgery and I was rather immobile for months afterwards and, besides it being awful overall, it was also just so incredibly boring, so the only constructive thing I actually could do and enjoy was reading. I was literally able to devour anything readable, now I’m much more fastidious. 😀

How about your experiences? 🙂

Question of the day.

Today, my question for you is:

When did you start learning to read?

My answer:

I was prepared to it long before I actually started to learn to read, it started sometime when I was in the nursery. They basically prepared us how to read Braille, using different things that imited how it works and we were taught how to use, but not to write yet, different Braillers, it was more of a play than actual learning though, we didn’t actually know why are we doing this. Well I was actually interested why because it seemed boring for me and a bit pointless when I was 6 yeas old or so. And there even is a film about us, I mean our nursery and I was going to it when it was filmed, and they filmed me doing all that stuff with one of the staff’s assistance and all of the sudden I asked her “Why am I doing this?” Everyone who was around then or watched it found it very funny, but actually, I think it’s very important to have some sense behind what you’re doing, isn’t it? 😀 And she answered that it is because it’ll help me to read in future and that I will read lots of fairytales and all and she thinks I will love to read books and maybe write my own lol. And it all came true more or less and my family is making laugh of her that she was a prophetess, I even read fairytales pretty often to this day. 😀 So yeah, that was about my reading preparations and then I went to the reception and it was then I started to read. I really liked to learn it and truly always looked forward to learn new letters, I considered it a lot of fun. That was when I was 7-8, I know normally reception is earlier, but I went to the nursery when I was five, I don’t think it would do me much better if I went earlier, plus most of children there were even older than me. SO it was rather late on. I remember that we went to the library with our class teacher and were drawing books for ourselves and the one I drew and that was my first longer read was “God And Mouse” by Angela Toigo. It was rather boring, at least so I thought then, but I think my opinion wouldn’t change that much if I’d read it now, although I read it in one afternoon.

When did it all start for you? 🙂

Question of the day.

When you are with your family, immediate, or extended, do you feel like you belong?

My answer:

That’s a hard one. I’ve always had issues with that sense of belonging thing, for two reasons I think. First is related to my being far from my family for most of my childhood. I am actually just starting to understand these things about myself and didn’t fully realise it all even a year ago. When I was at the boarding school, I felt like I don’t belong there at all, but that if I belong anywhere, I belong only to my family. I think I had a strong sense of… hm, distinctiveness? individuality, don’t really know how to call it best in English, anyway my Dad has it very strong in his character and looks like we all, his children, have too, and my Mum has it as well. I’ve always felt like I’m an individualist and was glad with it and I always needed to have some private, just my own territory where no one else would interfere, which was almost impossible at that boarding school, especially at the beginning when we all (girls from my group) lived together in one room. Our staff always wanted us to talk about everything (including our feelings) with everyone and wanted us to feel the sense of unity with the others, share as much common as possible, they kept saying we’re “like a family”. I think it was with good intentions, but then it only was making me more and more rebellious and the more I’ve heard about all that unity, commonness and “togetherness” the more I hated everything about these words and the more I felt like vomiting whenever I heard them. I liked most of the girls in my group, but, no, thanks, I already have my family and I don’t need another one, I don’t feel close enough with them, that was more or less how I thought about it. So yeah the only community that I felt like I belong to was my family. But then when I was coming home, I was treated like a guest by everyone, and felt like one in some way, it was usually like a big holiday for all of us and I didn’t get that much of normal, everyday family life, besides longer holidays or stuff like that, and the two years in between my stay at the boarding school when I was experimenting going to integration school which didn’t work out in my a bit complex case. It was impossible to catch up on everything that happened during my absence so I didn’t know about many things and in some way felt like a stranger and had an impression that some people in my family perceive me a bit this way too, not in a bad sense like that I wasn’t welcome, but my life was just so different from theirs, you know. And then I was going back to school and had obviously very idealised picture of my family and of family in general and experienced a lot of this hiraeth feeling I described like a month ago or so. So as I grew up I gradually realised that actually I don’t feel anywhere like I’m at home. I mean, I loved coming home obviously and always was willing anything possible to stay longer here, but quite a bit of the sense of belonging to my family has disappeared with time. Btw I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I like Cornelis Vreeswijk so much, one of my musical crushes whom I mentioned already a few times. He was Dutch, but emigrated to Sweden at 12 with his family and lived and created his music and poetry there for most of his life and became famous in Sweden. When he was in the Netherlands, Nederlenders called him a Swede, while in Sweden he was Dutch, hence in one of his poems he called himself “a man (…) without motherland”. You know, birds of a feather flock together, right? Just my a bit detached reflection. I think there are many people who experience such feelings for their entire lives though, due to various situations.

And the second reason is that for almost all my life I’ve felt more or less inadequate to other people, or like I couldn’t connect with them, which can be at times quite frustrating and can make you feel like you belong hardly anywhere. My anxiety in social situations also gets in the way so it makes for quite an interesting mix.

These feelings have lessened in regard to my family as I am enjoying my life with them since more than three years now, although they are still present somewhere in my mind.

Like I’ve never developed a normal sibling relationship with my brother and we have hardly anything in common to talk about, which is so weird and uncomfortable for me, because he is only younger two years than me while with Zofijka who is ten years younger, I have plenty of things to talk about and we have a very close relationship, though also very dynamic, as we are so different and getting on each other’s nerves, as siblings usually do. I still have these feelings of not belonging sometimes when we all are together, but overall I think now I feel much more in place in my immediate family.

It’s worse with my extended. It’s hard for me to open up to them, there are so many of them and I know they all like me and I like them, but… all the holidays and stuff when we gather as a whole family are quite overwhelming for me, especially with my Dad’s family. I get on better with my Mum’s family, probably because we lived very close to them before we moved a year ago to where we live now, so I was seeing them much more often, and I just have more things in common with them, I feel. But it’s also improving and when my family and I are somewhere where there are more people who aren’t my family members, I feel like I belong and am a part of my family. And I am always proud of my family as a whole and of all the people of my immediate family as individuals and I think I’m very lucky for having the family I have. I am also gradually learning that although you’ll be always alone in some way as my Mum says, this is a really good thing if you belong somewhere because of your own choice, or because you’re emotionally attached to the community you’re a part of. and I am a part, and I feel like I’m one, of some other communities than my family, and I am very glad I belong to them and now I know it is so great to have something in common with other people.

How about your sense of belonging? I must say I’m interested about how it is with other people and do they always feel like they belong even if they didn’t have such or similar experiences to mine. 🙂

Question of the day.

Are you still friends with your childhood friends? Did you have many friends in childhood?

My answer:

No, definitely not. I was rather liked I suppose and had some people that I called friends deluded myself they were, but truly nothing strong enough could connect us so that we could be real friends. So although I was rather liked, I didn’t have any true friends I think, I considered my Mum as my best friend when I was a little girl and actually I still think so more or less. One of the girls I considered my friend in childhood and who also considered me one of her friends wanted to stay friends after I left the school and wanted to contact me online or on the phone as often as possible, I’d say she desperately wanted. I felt bad for that for some time, but I had to quit this relationship, which happened pretty recently. I was rather overwhelmed by the amounts of her messages, her egocentrism (I don’t know why I didn’t notice how high it is before) and how she still wanted something from me and took everything people did for her pretty much for granted. Maybe if I really felt connected to her and had some sense of common ground with her, maybe then I wouldn’t mind so frequent contact with her and wouldn’t feel like she doesn’t respect my privacy, also it’s not like I don’t like to help people, I do, but relationship with her was simply exhausting and I didn’t feel any advantages iofit for me, and I think if we are talking about friendship, both sides should have some benefits from it, even if for one or both sides it’s only simply satisfaction of being with that other person and helping her. I didn’t feel satisfied. And so I quit it. A bit radically maybe. But I don’t regret it. IN fact I feel much freer. I hope she didn’t suffer too much, I don’t wish her it definitely, but somehow I don’t think so.

How about your childhood friends? 🙂

Question of the day.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

My answer:

First thought I had – is there really any afterlife after we die? This may seem strange since I’m a practicing Christian so should be sure that there is, and I believe in it, but I suppose everyone of us, no matter what we believe in or if we don’t believe in the existence of any God, ask it sometimes, ’cause many of us would like to be sure. Is it all true or is it just a bullshit and we will just die and nothing will happen afterwards? That’s interesting. DO you guys ask yourselves this question sometimes too? But then I had another thought and I think I would prefer to get answer for this one, as I wonder really often about that and sometimes get quite frustrated about it:

Why actually was it so hard for me to go through that long period of time when I was at the boarding school? Or maybe not why it was so hard, but why did it affect me, my emotions and my mental health so much? Why I felt like it was so challenging if I wasn’t abused there, besides one year when I was emotionally abused by some of the staff, but then it finished. Why did I have such big issues with adapting there and why was it so overwhelming in so many different ways, for so many different reasons? Did other kids feel it too, but they were such great actors that I didn’t notice anything? They had to be really great, because I think I’m pretty good at “feeling” other people and I always thought they are happy there, well as happy as kids may be when they aren’t with their families. I know only one girl who I know that reacted to being there like me and ended up with generaised anxiety. Luckily she was much younger than me when people started to see what’s going on and it was my Mum who told her mum that she should take her home. Her issues looked very familiar for me. Is it the matter of high sensitivity? Coincidence of too many hard things put together? Emotional weakness? My Mum thinks so, but then why do a few other people said they think I’m strong? Is actually such thing like emotional strength a thing that can be objectively measured? Or maybe I was already freaky when I got there? Would I struggle less nowadays with my mental health if I wouldn’t go there? Or maybe I wouldn’t struggle at all? Why I am so afraid of processing my emotions and reacting so weirdly, emotionally and physically, to different, apparently normal stuff that all the other people are indifferent about and don’t think much about?

Well it is certainly more than one question. 😀 But it’s all swirling around one thing, so I look at it as one, big question. It all really makes me wonder.

What would be your questions. 🙂

A quick update.

I didn’t write anything about my life for quite a while, recently I feel like I’m behind everything, so decided to do it quickly today as I have a bit of free time on my hands.

So I’m back in the routine since last week, my winter break has finished and all goes relatively well. Besides being busy with school, my languages, family life and other stuff, last week I also went to the OM doctor. I think I didn’t mention yet that I am working since about two years in my Dad’s company as an office worker. My Dad is a tank driver and delivers fuel. I don’t do much and it’s surely nothing like the job of my dreams, but I can earn some money which I can save for the future or spend for some things just for myself which I really appreciate and I think I’m lucky I’m in such situation. I suppose lots of disabled people would love to have such a start in life, no matter what they’d do next. So obviously I need to go to the OM doc every year, I had my bloods taken and other things like that and then I talked to him. At some point he wanted to measure my blood pressure, he took my arm and was very astonished why my skin is so dry. Actually, I was astonished too, because I never really thought it was dry. I do have hypothyroidism, but I always thought that, especially as for a person with hypothyroidism, my skin is definitely OK. So I told him I have thyroid issues and maybe it’s about that, but he said he doesn’t think so. My Mum, who was in there with me, was astonished too. He asked her if it feels like her skin is dry. She said that no, absolutely not. We both were actually convinced our skin is very smooth. But he asked her to show him her arm and he said that it is dry. So that amazed us even more, like I didn’t know whether to actually believe him. And he said he’s a dermatologist, besides being an OM doc and we could make an appt with him as a dermatologist if we wanted to. So then I told him that although I’ve never thought about myself as having any bigger skin issues, recently I have often pretty disturbed sleep because of being very itchy at night and Mum said the same is with her, which I already knew about. So he told us there is apparently a genetic condition and when you have it, your skin tends to be dry and the problem increases in winter when you have the heating on or if you stay in air conditioned rooms for long periods of time. I surely am not in air conditioned rooms often, but obviously we do have heating on now when it’s winter and that itchiness occured in me very recently. He also said you can have skin infections frequently, can feel more itchy while having shower or when you’re stressed and that’s exactly what me and Mum experience from some time. So we decided we’ll book an appointment with him. I’ll have it tomorrow. I’m interested what he’ll tell me and what’s this condition, I’ve never heard of it. Sometime ago I wrote about the infection I’m having on my leg and maybe that’s why it’s occurring. So I will show it to him and maybe he’ll have any idea what to do with it, as I definitely don’t want to have it again and want to heal it as quickly as possible, I want to be able to horse ride again, but it’s too painful right now so I wouldn’t have any pleasure of it. So that’s it about my appointment.

As for other things, I finally got accepted to write my final exams in the school for the blind and not the school I’m attending to. My school is a mainstream school and it would be hard for them to technically adapt the exams for me and I would feel challenged and both me and my Mum think like I’d have quite a lot of additional stress while I’ll be already stressed out just with exams, so I’m glad I don’t have to worry about technical stuff now.

The only thing I am worrying about in this case (besides passing the exams of course) is that there is a boarding school as well. While having exams, me and my Mum will most likely have to stay there. It’s not the boarding school I was in, it’s a completely different school and I will stay there with Mum and Zofijka, but I feel kind of stressed about that. I feel like it can be a bit triggering. And I feel weird admitting that actually. I know it’s another school, other circumstances, but seems like my brain doesn’t know that. And that makes me wonder whether if simply staying in the surroundings resembling my school, where I didn’t feel well emotionally, makes me so anxious, even if the circumstances will be completely different, whether it means I have some more trauma around that or what… It makes me feel really weird, it was a really hard time for me, being there, lots of hard stuff, but I wasn’t abused there, well there was a time when I experienced emotional abuse from the staff, but my Mum realised what’s going on and it stopped reoccuring. But other than that, nothing really dramatic happened, no one did any harm to me at least not consciously. So I would really like to know what it’s all about. And, actually, that isn’t the first time and situation in which I’m wondering about it. Am I more traumatised than I think, or just so horrribly emotionally weak? I don’t know if it makes sense for you, I’m not even sure if it makes sense for me so… well it’s just so strange. 😀 But there’s still some time until May, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick myself together a bit until then. I didn’t talk abaout it with my Mum, but I talked briefly with my Dad. Not about my emotions around that, but just asked him if he would be able and if he would like to go there with us. Because if he could, it would be easier to move around and I know that my Mum would prefer it too, then we could stay somewhere else outside the school. But his work hours are very unpredictable so he didn’t tell me anything in particular and I know he would be bored to death there even if he wouldn’t have to work, so my question was actually rather theoretic.

And the last thing I would like to mention about is that last week I got a wonderful gift from my Maths tutor. She is a typhlopedagogist and surdopedagogist and because I am learning on my own outside of school, just at home, but having trouble with Maths, I have lessons with her two days a week and she explains stuff for me. She is also helping Zofijka with her Maths, although Zofijka goes to school regularly and doesn’t have any special needs, but has issues with Maths and it’s just easier to pay for one tutor than for two. And Zofijka is absolutely fascinated by her. Anyway, what I wanted to tell you is, last week on Tuesday, when she came to us she had three large boxes of gem stones for me! I was so excited and I really appreciated the fact she remembered that I collect gem stones. After all she’s only my tutor, but she’s really involved and helpful. Some time ago we chatted after the lesson and she saw my huge collection and I told her a bit about it and showed her many of my stones and she mentioned her brother was collecting gem stones and other minerals when he was younger and now no one cares about them so she brought them to me. And there are a few pretty rare minerals, some which I looked for and couldn’t find anywhere, so, yeah, I was extatic. 😀

Today I’m having a really peaceful day finally which I really appreciate. I spent a lot of time with my Mum. Zofijka has sinus infection so she’s still at home and we played a lot. And although I had lots of weird and sometimes scary dreams recently, I feel really well today.

How is it going for you guys? 🙂