The challenging life lessons.

I don’t have anything more constructive to do for the time being, so thought I’d write another list inspired by Listify by Marina Greenway. Here goes the prompt:

   Difficult challenges that I pushed through (and what I learned). You have been through a lot. Pushed yourself, faced difficult situations, overcome challenges – all of it. List those moments and look back every now and then to acknowledge your journey and appreciate how far you’ve come.

The following list is not going to be exhaustive, we all have too many challenges to list and I’m too lazy to that, that would be endlessly pathetic and also too intimate, and I’m probably going to overshare massively anyway. I’ll write about major things. Because I’m supposed to include both the challenges/events and what I learned from them, and I want you to know the context and also just write more about it so it’s not just a dry list, it may not be your typical list with short elements. Actually, on second thoughts, I decided to make it a bit unconventional and will simply put each point under a separate heading because sometimes it may get lengthy and I don’t want to be limited to one paragraph which will be hellish to read. 😀 Now it’s actually no longer a list, but oh well. Does it matter a lot?

Also, before I begin, I feel like some minor, just-in-case trigger warnings are due. Brief mention of suicidal thoughts from the past, mention of accused suicidal thoughts (however absurd that may sound), brief mention of self-harm, in-depth discussion on false accusations of child sexual abuse, and generally challenging topics so if you feel like anything may be difficult be careful and don’t feel obliged to anything. Another disclaimer is for the length – it did turn out huge haha, and I was writing it for ages. Again, don’t feel any obligations to read everything or if you don’t think like reading a lengthy post don’t pressure yourself at all and do something more relaxing.

   I was born blind

Not like I remember any of it, haha, but blindness, even when it’s congenital thing and you can’t imagine your life any other way, is still more or less of a challenge. I don’t know if I learned anything specific from this… I mean, being blind you definitely learn things that you wouldn’t otherwise, but I never knew anything else so I can’t really compare it with anything I’d know before. Someone who lost their sight later on could have said that they have learnt to accept their blindness over the years – I was saved the problem as that has always been the only reality for me so I didn’t have to adjust to it in such a dramatic way. – It certainly was a difficult lesson for my parents though. Speaking of my parents, perhaps what I can say could be that I learned from quite an early age that I have a really loving and accepting family and not every disabled or non-disabled child is as lucky as I was.

Living 10 years in a boarding school

That was a huge challenge for me. It’s always difficult for any child to separate from their parents at the age of 5 and see them every two weeks at the very best, often much less frequently. If the environment where they live is friendly and there are other kids, as is the case with boarding schools (I want to be an optimist in this case and do hope most boarding schools are child-friendly and mine generally was, though I realise it’s not always the case), most kids grow to like it over time and bond with people there, though obviously they still miss their parents and, given the choice, would much prefer to live with them. But when they do go home, they’re often so used to being with their peers and the boarding school staff all the time that, while they’re happy to be at home, they may even miss their school and then be happy when going back there, to hang out with people they know well and have things in common with. That was not the case with me. I never fully adapted to living in such a way. Not because my school was scary or awful, though there were many things that I strongly believe shouldn’t take place. I guess I just wasn’t the type of kid to thrive in such conditions. Often when I’m close enough with someone to tell them about my experiences with this more in-depth, people will readily assume that my, or any other child’s in a similar situation, parents are to blame here. I don’t think so. There’s no way you can tell at such a young age whether this will be a good choice for your child or not. You can have a very extroverted, outgoing kid who loves spending time with their peers all the time, going to sleepovers, being in charge maybe, but stay in a boarding school and separation from family or any other subjectively negative experiences they may encounter there might make them much less self-confident and unhappy. An introverted child who hates leaving home even for family holidays and can’t find their place in a group may discover their true self in a good boarding school and make longer-lasting relationships because they can get to know their peers more deeply. And as for my personal case, my parents didn’t have another viable choice, or didn’t know about any. It had quite a destabilising effect on me that I had to change places so often. The result was that I didn’t feel at home anywhere and I didn’t have any sense of belonging. Because I hated the boarding school and didn’t want to have anything to do with it and that I felt like it smothered my sense of individuality (though I only fully realised what that feeling was exactly and the extend to which it happened after I left), I felt repulsed by what people were saying there a lot of the time that we should think of it as our second home. I didn’t understand those who actually treated it as such. I hated whenever someone would say about themselves, or moreover about me, that I “lived” there (we have two separate words in Polish for living, one for living as in being alive and another for living as in dwelling somewhere long-term, and I’m obviously talking about the latter). I wasn’t living there, I just was staying there at the time. I was scared thinking of girls in like their 20’s who were still there (most of them because of doing some higher education (most people there started proper schooling later than in mainstream school so it wasn’t that unusual for someone in their early 20’s to still be in higher education, that was actually the case with me too, only not in there) or studying at a mainstream university which was located nearby so it was easier for them to still reside in the same place that they’ve known for years and which was adapted to blind people in every possible way) or even older blind people who lived in this whole centre permanently (either because they worked somewhere there or just felt safest there and didn’t want/weren’t able for some reason to face the big wild sighted world) and I was wondering when I was little whether that was going to happen to me too, and then even later too but in a more cynical way rather than because I just didn’t know. I always waited when I’d be able to go home but I never felt truly at home either. It was like a holiday both for me and for my family, the more that often I’d come for summer holidays, or Christmas, or Easter, winter breaks or other. I loved it there but always felt more like a guest. I never was up to date with whatever was happening in our community or in the family. I felt like some very dignified stranger in some ways and didn’t like it. My relationship with my brother – which was never strong and kind of ambivalent, was particularly affected by it. I could never truly enjoy my stay at home because I was constantly thinking about how I needed to go back there soon and stressing over it. I hated being sort of on the move all the time. Yes, I did get used to living there, like you get used to living with one arm when you have it amputated at some point, but I was never comfortable with it and never fully accepted it. I did have kinda sorta friendships in there, liked many people, many people liked me, but these didn’t feel like true friendships, often felt either not really satisfying to me or sort of forced on the other end. I never had anyone there that I would miss when at home or think about what we’d be doing after the holidays/weekend/school break. I felt awfully inadequate and moreover awfully guilty for being so inadequate and not being able to feel good there. I tried to pretend and I think I was quite good at it or at least at stifling negative emotions (though sometimes in my first years of mastering this skill things would get really wild when there was no space left and it all popped out at once, until I learned that you can also implode and not just explode) but ultimately at least the staff knew that I didn’t feel good there, though it’s possible they knew it mainly from my Mum who couldn’t get over it naturally and her way of trying to get over something is talking and talking and talking and crying, they surely learned from my Mum that I was cutting myself, for example, which my Mum was supposing. During my whole long stay there, I only met one girl much younger than me who had very similar issues to me. Sometimes I thought everyone must feel exactly the same as me and they must be just acting, but why would we even be acting in front of each other so much that absolutely nothing would show. Some of the girls in my group that I was closer with knew that I didn’t feel exactly great there, but they never mentioned feeling the same. Yes, of course, everyone misses their parents, I often asked some of them about whether they do and most naturally they always did, and school work is always boring for most kids, no matter where you are, right? But no one seemed to feel the same desperate kind of thing and instead enjoyed being able to be around other people with whom they shared so much in common because of living together for so long, being blind and often some common interests. People bonded with the staff a lot, some girls sometimes jokingly called some staff members their another mum or something. Many happily went on summer camps with the group despite spending with these people all year. Or devote one holiday weekend to spend it doing some fun things with the group as well, like going for a trip or something. my parents strongly encouraged me to take part in these things as they thought that would integrate me with them more but it was always quite nightmarish for me. There was only that one primary school girl, whom I happened to get to know more closely because she was from the same region as me so we would often go home together – like I would go with her parents and she with mine so that made it more possible for us to be at home more often. – I know she was self-harming and also finding it difficult to adapt there. She’s a teenager now though and a few years ago I saw her on Twitter where she wrote a lot about her school life – still in the same school – and very positively. So I’m very happy for her that she did eventually found her place there, even though after I got out of there me and my Mum were strongly encouraging her mum to take her out as well. Only now I have even bigger problem with myself, as that just confirms my… ahem! uniqueness. 😀

What have I learnt from that? First I have to say I learned some independent living skills there. Not as many as a lot of other people there and not always as well, I think due to a whole mix of factors, but I definitely did learn things that I likely would not have learnt otherwise at all, and so for that I am grateful. As well as for learning to read, I’m so flippin happy to be able to read Braille. I know there are screen readers, audiobooks etc. and many blind people live happy lives without using Braille at all or say it’s impractical but for me, being able to read something vs hear makes a world of difference.

Not to invalidate other people’s negative or traumatic experiences, no matter how minor they may seem to me. I hate the word trigger or trauma in context of myself about which I wrote here a few times earlier, because it feels like trivialising people’s serious traumatic experiences, but at the same time, paradoxically, I’d say if I do have any actual triggers it’s when someone else invalidates someone’s negative experience in any way, for example tell them that it’s impossible for them to be traumatised by something. I only recently discovered how much it can upset me and drive me absolutely nuts, much more than when someone does that to me.

It taught me to appreciate the good things while they last. To cherish my private space and time I can spend alone. To appreciate music that I love and that I can listen to it any time as I couldn’t do that for many years of my stay there. To appreciate my family, my roots, anything or anyone that I feel a close connection to. In hintsight, it made me appreciate my individuality, quirkiness and realise that I am not, can’t be and don’t have to be like other people. It works both in a negative and positive way because while I love being different and quirky and don’t have any interest in being normal and average, at the same time I have strong feelings of inadequacy and strongly feel all the downsides of not being normal. I try to have a distance to it though. It made me understanding and more aware of the differences of other people and more interested in them and in what they’re actually feeling. Because what they’re showing or saying or doing or not doesn’t always have to mean it’s in line with what they’re feeling. Just in case you didn’t know. 😉 Also in hintsight as well, I learned to accept my mental illnesses to which that experience had largely contributed, but I was only able to do that after I left, despite I knew deep down much earlier that things weren’t okay. It took me a long time to accept what was going on and put my finger on what it was exactly, and obviously I needed the help of other people. And oh yeah, I learned how to be a defensive pessimist, which skill serves me very well to this day, yay! But I can assure you that the learning process was quite shitty haha. I’ve learnt that different people may see one situation entirely differently. I’ve also learnt not so positive things, like have gotten quite an ingrained belief of being extremely not resilient and mentally weak, or the bottling up stuff I mentioned before.

I experienced two years in an integration school

If you don’t know what I mean by integration school, it’s like a cross between a special school and mainstream school, where disabled children learn with able-bodied children, but it’s meant to be more inclusive and generally supposed to be better prepared for the needs of disabled children or children with any special needs, like there may be teaching assistants more readily available as teaching assistants are not something you’ll encounter in every normal mainstream school in Poland (not necessarily even in an integration school either). As you can imagine from what I wrote earlier, my Mum was also quite desperate and not happy with the boarding school situation and wanted to help me. So when I was 10, when my parents left me at the boarding school at the beginning of a school year and I was doing quite visibly unwell emotionally, my Mum started to look for some alternatives and she asked in a nearby integration school kind of specialising in teaching visually impaired students or in any case most of their disabled students were visually impaired, whether they perhaps could admit me, without huge hopes as she’d already asked before. Miraculously, this time round there was a different headmistress and she agreed. When I learned about this from my Dad I was absolutely euphoric. To fully understand my euphoria, you have to realise that my idea about what an integration school is was rather peculiar. My absolute biggest, secret unrealistic dream was to be homeschooled. Or if not homeschooled, then I wanted at least to be in an integration school. Probably because most kids who left the special blind school I was in while still being in education, went to an integration school (naturally closer to home), I thought an integration school is any school that is not a boarding school, from which you go home straight away. When I was in nursery, there was one girl in my group who lived close enough to the blind school to be able to go home every day. One day as I witnessed when someone was coming for this girl, I said: “Wow, she has such an integration!” I couldn’t understand why all the teachers burst out with laughter. 😀

I don’t think I thought much about what it was going to be like, in practice, except for what I knew from Mum that the classes there were similarly small as in my school and that some kids there were blind and some were not and some were in between. And, of course, that I’d be at home every day.

The experience wasn’t bad in itself. It was just that a lot of nasty things happened in the meantime, that my brain state at the time was really awful and I was one super neurotic and constantly ruminating mess and got my first major depressive episode diagnosis around that time, as well as that I simply wasn’t a fit for that place either. My Mum says now that integration schools might be good for children who use wheelchairs or such but that they aren’t good for most if any blind children. I’m not sure I agree with that, it may not be the perfect idea but nothing is perfect and I know a bunch of blind people who thrived in integration schools or even completed their whole education until high school/college in such a way and are all for integration and it’s great. It’s just not a fit for everyone. For me, perhaps the more with the other issues that I mentioned that started surfacing big time, it was quite challenging. Practically – because I wasn’t independent enough – socially – because I couldn’t find my place in there and get along with people at all – and to a lesser extent academically. My Mum struggled with the idea that, rather than having the school books provided by the school as was the case previously, she’d have to get them printed in Braille and pay for them herself (which is not a cheap business), so I only got the most necessary books. My Mum was expected to help me with more complex/less easily adaptable school work or the things I struggled with the most, aka math, which is typical and mostly understandable practice in integration schools but my Mum wasn’t ready for it nor used to it, and hardly able to do it with baby Zofijka, the more that she isn’t particularly good at math either. I wasn’t used to needing this much help with school work either, before that I usually wanted to deal with it as fast as possible to be able to do other, more interesting things, had no time and patience for waiting for someone to come and help me, even if I sometimes needed it, so it was frustrating for us both. Eventually, after the two years, I left it. The final reason was not my not coping there though, but something more major. And, as there weren’t any more options, I went back to the boarding school for another five years.

From this experience, I learned more about the sighted people’s world. It’s a commonly mentioned disadvantage of blind schools that people in there are in their own, blind environment and, if they don’t have other, sighted friends or some other circle they would spend time with it’s easy to lose touch with what it’s like to live in the sighted world, and connect and relate to sighted people, especially with people who really spent there years and had few chances to really engage with sighted folks more. My primary source of such knowledge were books, just as books taught me about any other things that average people do, not just related to sight but socialising for example, haha, but that was an interesting early experience too.

I’ve learnt that integration school is another place where I don’t fit in, which instilled in me the conviction that there are real many places, situations and groups of people where I don’t fit in. Today I’m more okay with that than I was then. I got to learn some Swedish and generally my knowledge about a whole lot of things increased a lot.

I learned the same thing that I previously learned at the boarding school and also later on in all the other schools I went to, that the education system is evil and I still think very much the same and delight in ranting about it with whoever has similar views – which at this point is most often Sofi. – 😀 –

During my time in the integration, I had an Achilles tendons lengthening surgery, after which I was recovering in casts for 6 weeks and then getting back to life for a few months

2007 was a horrific year for me. At least it was balanced with only two but both great things – Sofi was born, and I received First Communion, although the significance of the latter didn’t fully sink in until much later even though my family was very religious. This horrific thing happened at the very start of my integration adventure – I started out in there in the middle of September and had the surgery in early October. – It was a possibility that was talked about previously a lot, I visited a few orthopaedists who all said I’d need it at some point. Finally I had even some very distant date for it in some huge faraway clinic and a hazy idea of what this surgery would entail, and just one day after coming back from that clinic, my orthopaedist said that he can fit me in for the surgery right away, here, in 5 days’ time. So obviously my parents jumped at the chance to have it dealt with and not have to think about it longer than necessary. I was quite stressed about it but I was also stressed out about a billion other things and didn’t really know what it would be like so tried to believe what everyone was saying that it would be okay, and by that possibly minimise the amount of stressful things, you can’t ruminate about everything at once. And it actually was okay. Except for that the surgery didn’t really work long-term at all, and for some reason the whole experience was really creepy for me. Again, perhaps it was just that I was generally in a rather bad emotional condition so anything would crush me. Or what I’m more inclined to think, my overall mental capabilities and the level of resilience are such that it would crush me any time. Or maybe, as my therapist later said, it was a shock for me because no one really took the time to explain to me the details of it. Maybe it were the accompanying circumstances – my Mum being chronically busy with Sofi and the building of our new house, me not having much to do and being chronically bored etc. – I only know it was super creepy and still when someone has something broken and is in a cast, and I happen to touch it, I get nausea and chills, and sometimes I still have dreams about the damn thing.

My Mum really wanted me to be admitted to the hospital for as short as possible and the doctor agreed, so I was only admitted one day before surgery and was discharged almost as soon as I woke up afterwards and they made sure everything was alright. That was scary too. Not just because I never was in an actual hospital by myself, but also one particular creepy thing comes to mind when I think about it, which may be as much important for the whole picture that it could have added significantly to my overall perception of the situation. In the hospital room with me, there was a girl my age after an awful car accident and another, much older one with something more complex. She needed a lot of assistance with everything, but one of her issues were also contracted Achilles tendons. I didn’t know what conditions she had or anything. I only knew she had some sort of a surgery a few days ago and accidentally learned about her Achilles tendons. The doctor was passing by our room while talking to someone and said: “There is a girl with contracted Achilles tendons here and we’ll be discharging her tomorrow”. This other girl thought he was talking about her and was overjoyed as she’d been in the hospital for a long time. I don’t know what sent my brain in such an irrational direction but I thought that OMG, she has the Achilles tendons too, so will that be how I’ll be after this surgery? She had to be fed and needed help with changing positions, a whole lot of other things that I’d always taken for granted.

So in the hours leading up to the surgery I was massively stressed. Finally, after I woke up from it, of course I was so foggy I could barely make sense of anything. The first thing I felt was that my legs were stuck in something, and I thought these were some sort of huge buckets, and I wondered why I can’t get out. Then my Dad said something like: “Wow, what fashionable winter boots you have! Aren’t they a bit too warm for autumn?” I laughed and then it sank in and I realised that I almost couldn’t move my legs. From what I know now, my doctor was really generous in covering me in casts, because they’re not normally quite as huge with this surgery as the ones I had. They went from slightly above my knees all the way to my feet, so that only my toes were sticking out. So essentially, I had my legs in pretty much one position all the time and couldn’t bend them even slightly. I absolutely didn’t realise that it would impact me so much. I think I wasn’t aware that it would change my life in any way beyond just the surgery itself. I often saw people – particularly my Dad – with broken limbs – which was the only comparison with that I could make – and for what I knew, he almost lived on as normal except for using crutches or having his hand in a splint/cast. He didn’t have his limb stuck in one place for weeks, didn’t need rehabilitation or anything, sometimes he’d even go to work or pick me up from school with Mum. I remember that my grandad, before I had the surgery, talked about it to me a little, and he said my legs would be in stagnation for a while. I didn’t know what stagnation was, so he explained to me that if I would spend all the time in one room, without seeing anyone, without ever going out, without being able to read anything, listen to music or radio, watch TV, talk to anyone, I would be in stagnation and that the same thing would be happening to my feet now. I thought that would be super scary if that happened to me, but didn’t really apply the allegory to my feet, or don’t think I did.

But it turned out my grandad had great intuition because, while it wasn’t as radical as what he described, my brain also went into some sort of a stagnation for all that time. As I said, my Mum was busy all the time with Sofi who was very demanding or at the building site of our new house or picking furniture for it etc. and all other people naturally also went on with their lives. I spent most of the time on my own, which I typically find absolutely fabulous, but not really when there isn’t much to do. My only regular company in those weeks was Polish Radio BIS, which I loved and listened to all the time and even called them and stuff. Sometimes Mum would get me talking books on tapes from the nearest library which had it, but I was done with them in no time as there was a limited amount of them you could borrow at once and I could listen to them all the time, while it wasn’t close enough that my Mum with her busy schedule could pop in there any time I wanted it. I had a lot of old children’s magazines in Braille, as well as a Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases which I got from a sort of organisation which printed it – I was always fascinated with words and wanted to have my own dictionary and that was the only one my Mum found out about that she could get me. – So I had that to read any time and I did, only I had a whole tall bookshelf of these children’s magazines and another one with all the volumes of the dictionary (Braille books are very clunky in case you don’t know so there are almost always multiple volumes even when it is a novel, let alone with something like a dictionary) and both of these shelves were quite a distance away from my bed. So I had to ask someone to give me something to read and as these things weren’t labelled in standard print, I’d often get the same thing to read multiple times because they’d just pick whatever was nearest randomly. A few times I attempted getting something myself, I slid off the bed and moved to the shelves on my butt so that I could get something specific from the lower shelves, but then I couldn’t make it back up on to the bed as my legs wouldn’t move almost at all and the casts were heavy enough that I couldn’t drag myself up on the arms. Eventually I managed it somehow one time I tried it and can’t remember how but that required a bit of inventiveness, haha, the more that at this time my Dad was back from work napping on my bed so I didn’t want to slog him with my leg accidentally, or with the book, lol. Sometimes Mum would bring Sofi to me and leave her with me but she was very small so that wasn’t often or for long. My class teacher visited me sometimes to help me catch up with what my class was doing, though that was rather rarely and more often when I was already out of the casts.

So I had rather little stimulation in general, not too much contact with people, and as I wasn’t very active either cognitively or physically, my circadian rhythm was crazy in that I slept very little so I often also had to figure out what to do with my stagnating brain at nights. All these things alone can contribute more or less to my sensory anxiety, and together they really made me feel like my nervous system was on fire all the time. My generalised anxiety and other mental health difficulties I was struggling with also got much worse, and I developed lots of weird specific phobias or the ones I already had to some small degree became much more of a problem, I still struggle some of these to a variable degree particularly the emetophobia but it’s much better most of the time. My thinking was generally super weird in a lot of ways, I can’t even describe it. And my imagination was extremely wild, which sometimes was very helpful, and other times very unhelpful. I didn’t have a computer yet, or any other technology really, my Mum had applied for funding for a computer and some specialised equipment for me earlier and it came right at the end of my cast stagnation, but it took a few more months until I had some training on how to use these things. I was suicidal for all sorts of reasons but also because I felt like an extreme burden for my family since they were so busy but also Mum had to help me with showering, and as we didn’t have any wheelchair for the occasion I also needed someone to transport me to the loo which sometimes was tricky when Dad wasn’t at home.

When the time came for me to have the casts taken off, and they actually got them off me, and the doctor who was on duty at the time was talking to my parents about me, I suddenly started crying and couldn’t stop. No one knew what was going on and my Dad was a bit annoyed as he didn’t understand why now that I’m no longer in the cast, I suddenly start crying. And I didn’t knew either but I was just crying and crying and crying like I was going to do this forever. Also now that I didn’t have the casts I realised that my feet were hurting a fair bit whenever I moved them. A few days after that I started rehabilitation and that was really scary too. The first few weeks it hurt like shit, probably not just or not at all as a side effect of the surgery but more because of the muscles in my whole legs not being able to move for so long. He wanted me to do a few squats during our first session already, and I was very surprised how am I going to do a squat if I’m not even able to stand up. It scared me a little but I figured he’s a physiotherapist so he knows what he’s saying, so I stood up rather confidently with his assistance and totally wasn’t ready for all the sharp pain that was coming. So I was very resistant to doing anything with him but I was also scared of the prospect of not being able to walk so I did it anyway and it felt like a torture, and any time I was waiting for him I was shaking like a leaf.

Years later, another orthopaedist said that because that Achilles surgery wasn’t effective, I should have another one called Grice-Green’s. I was still a minor then so I didn’t really have a say, but for some reason it never happened. And as long as I get to decide, it won’t. I don’t know what would have to be going on with my legs for me to have another surgery, someone would really have to give me a very good reason.

But I learned loads of things from that experience! I learned loads new, weird words and useless things. Some of these useless things interested me enough that I developed shorter- or longer-lasting interests in the very narrow fields they were connected to. 😀 I learned a lot about myself and the murky side of my brain, and got to test the limits of my imagination. I learned what it feels like to be suicidal. I’ve had depressive tendencies ever since but that was the first time I was actively suicidal. I learned lots of internal strategies to cope with boredom, though still this is one of the things I despise the most, the good thing of it is just that I’m not very easily bored at all thanks to this experience. All these things were very difficult, but also very enriching for my personality and my inner world.

My Dad was falsely accused of abusing me sexually

I still don’t know how exactly that happened. There was a school psychologist I started seeing when I got back to school after I recovered from the surgery. She was weird. Made a very strange impression on me. She had a weird way of talking, both in terms of modulation and the words she used, there was something very serious and pompous about her, and she always seemed very sad and very sad about anything you’d tell her. I’d always loved to make my therapists/psychologists laugh to lighten up the atmosphere when needed, and many of those I dealt with weren’t easy but I always succeeded and quite impressively, except for this one lady, I never heard her laughing not even a little bit. Perhaps also because, just like I said earlier, I myself was in a weird mental place at the time so not as capable of it. Sometimes when a class would behave badly she would come to the whole class and tell them how they should behave well, and one time she came to us – our class mostly consisted of boys and could be rather unruly sometimes. – The incident that she was called for included someone who had jabbed someone else with a pin. And, what stayed with me from that lesson, was how she addressed that person: “It’s not allowed to jab thy neighbour with a pin!” And no, I really don’t think she got “thy neighbour” or her general way of talking and acting directly from reading a lot of the Bible (she didn’t even say “Thou shalt not”), in fact my Mum said that to her she seemed like she had some strong preference for new age related things, which is possible, I was too young to see or not see that myself and that doesn’t matter, it was just funny and portrays her quite well.

Talking to her made me feel quite awkward as she herself would say very little and there was something very depressing about the whole experience. She asked me often about my relationships with my family and seemed to draw not the most favourable conclusions. At some point, I don’t know what led to it, but I was talking to her about how my Dad sometimes plays with me that he is a hamster and my fingers or toes are his food and bites them slightly and how I consider that funny. She didn’t seem to share my feelings about it. Either after this same appointment or the next one, she was also supposed to see my Mum to talk to her about my depression. And at the end of that appointment where she was supposed to see my Mum, she told me what she was going to tell my Mum. And among these things was one thing that made me feel sort of uneasy. She said that she’s going to tell my Mum about my Dad’s “erotic” behaviour towards me. I did very basically know what erotic was, and didn’t think it could have anything to do with my Dad and me. I suppose though I must have been thinking that she knows what she’s talking about and she wants to help me, or maybe after all I didn’t know exactly what the word erotic implied, anyway I said that okay, you can talk to my Mum about all this, and felt very happy that perhaps she’ll be able to help me somehow. Didn’t really know with what exactly, or the more how, but I definitely felt like I needed someone to help me so that was good that she wanted, right? I sat outside of her office as they were talking and I could hear that my Mum was crying and some broken sentences about something sexual, and how my Mum thinks it’s important to have physical contact with a child, especially when the child is blind and you can’t have eye contact or communicate things through body language. Mum cried afterwards too but I don’t think we talked about that much until later when my Dad learned about the accusations. It only sank in with me then, and I talked about that to Mum and told her that I didn’t say anything about such things, or nothing that I’d realise would be about it. I felt awfully guilty and sorry for Dad and couldn’t really understand the situation and how it happened. I still can’t fully. My Dad was mad and so I didn’t even talk much to him at the time but he wasn’t mad at me, only at the psychologist and the school. I apologised to him and things went back to normal.

One day during summer holidays I was at my grandma’s, when Mum came and called me to come quickly back home. When I came, there was some lawyer lady – I don’t know now what exactly her function was – who wanted to go into my room and chat with me. She asked me weird questions about my family and my Dad that seemed totally stupid to me and that I felt quite uncomfortable with – most of them weren’t even sexual I guess but just general about my home, but I can’t give you any examples. – Then she asked about me, how I was doing, if I was often sad or thought about death etc. I was all like: “Why???” I kept asking her directly why, but she wouldn’t say anything specific until finally she started asking me about some sexual things and Dad and then I had a lightbulb moment and remembered the situation with the psychologist. “Aha! Now I know why you came here!” So obviously I told her that no, my Dad is not an incestophile – well that wasn’t probably what I said but I got really quite mad – and told her a bit about my Dad and what he is and what he’s most certainly not. But then it turned out it wasn’t just that! Apparently, a girl I was closest with in the class – not really because I liked her so much but because as I joined this class she was the only other girl and was also visually impaired to a degree so she was most willing to help me get around, as she both was able to do it with the sight she had and could understand my situatioon better than the rest who were able-bodied. – I can’t say though that we got along well and I mostly hung out with her sort of out of duty and gratitude that she’s willing to help. But we didn’t have any common interests and clashed in terms of characters a lot. And I don’t know exactly what was the deal with her, were they asking her about an opinion on me, whether she saw something weird or what, anyway she apparently said to a teacher or someone else in school that I told her that I am going to hang myself! Really… If I wanted to kill myself I most definitely wouldn’t go this route. And I don’t think she’d be the first to know, haha. So I also gave the lawyer lady a piece of my mind about that (I wasn’t mad at her, obviously, but at the situation) and let her in on how I generally saw the situation between me and that girl. She seemed quite relieved and actually became more human after I told her that (I’m sorry to all the actual sexual abuse victims if it’s always the case with people who interview them that they appear so unfeeling and detached and difficult to connect to) and apologised for the fuss and made sure that I understood her motives which I did. Good thing that she actually decided to mention that to me, I’m curious how it would go otherwise.

The thing eventually ended well although I had to go to a psychological assessment or something and another psychologist was supposed to judge based on my behaviour whether my Dad was a paedophile, or maybe not.

Is there a lot to learn from such an experience? I know I learned one thing which is not really very good, or at least it’s not good that I had to learn it but the goodness or badness of the thing itself probably depends on the context, namely I learned not to trust therapists easily and be really, really, extremely careful of whatever I tell them, if it’s anything of significant importance, and make sure that they understood exactly what I wanted to say. That means therapy was generally a bumpy road for me because therapists want you to be spontaneous.

   I was treated “like a piece of furniture” by the superior of the boarding school

And bless her for that, because otherwise I might have been in there still, or gone totally bonkers if I haven’t already. 😀 The inventive “piece of furniture” analogy is my Mum’s, I just didn’t know how to put it in short. The whole thing is even more complicated than the incest drama and very specific to the environment it took place in – not in that such stories happen there frequently (I hope) but in terms of dynamics and the way it all happened – so I’ll spare you the whole picture and just say that whenn I was 17, the superior sister (this place was founded and at least partly led by nuns) decided a major change about what would be going to happenn to me, without taking anyone’s opinion on that into account. The thing was of huge significance for me, as, from what you already know, I struggled there already without major changes like that, and a lot of people actually did try to speak up on my behalf and tell her it wasn’t the best idea. But she knew what was good for me better than me, my Mum, the group staff or I suppose anyone else, despite working in there for only a year and having to do with me perhaps once or twice for longer than 5 minutes, and she was going to do that no matter what. After some time, she decided that, actually, no, she won’t. So I breathed a half-hearted sigh of relief – as there were already other major changes coming for the next school year, but at least the biggest one and such that was affecting me personally was a thing of the past. – Then in the end it turned out not to be so because sister changed her mind yet again, a day before the start of the school year, and decided that after all she does think that that change would be the best for me. My Mum, and one staff member who worked with me for many years and knew me well still tried to talk her out of it and my Mum kindly didn’t even let me know about the whole comotion, thinking that I’m probably feeling sick about school already anyway and hoping that they will be able to talk her out of it so I won’t need to know about that. Well this time she didn’t change her mind, so my Mum had to tell me about it. I honestly said I really couldn’t imagine how I was going to deal in there, entirely practically. It was also a time where I perhaps wasn’t as neurotic as I was in the integration school but felt very depressed and the thing was just totally beyond me, I didn’t know how I was supposed to cope, also with other things on top of it. Actually, as time went on, over the years rather than feeling more part of that place I felt more and more weary of all that and like I had less and less energy for coping. I had a brief period of intense escapism into all things esoteric, because I felt very lost and pretended I was an atheist or Wiccan or something, I didn’t even know what. I did lucid dreaming and out of body experiences whenever I could and used the kind of binaural sounds that can work like drugs. That all helped me going, but then I re-converted to Christianity with the guidance and help of my Mum and some other events that occurred and helped me come to this, and while that made me feel more of a purpose in my life, I wasn’t mature in my faith enough to use it like I did those other things, to help me cope in any way. Also my fazas were of some help, but generally I felt gradually more and more like I was slowly, lethargically sinking.

We talked and talked about that with Mum but nothing was coming out of it. My Dad came in to the kitchen and we filled him in and he was all indignant but didn’t see any other option than that I’ll have to carry on with that. My Mum said it’s not an option. My grandad happened to visit and we filled him in, he was raging and said it’s time for me to leave that place or else I’ll go mad and that he’d rather have me sane than academically accomplished. Which was a huge thing for such an intellectual like him to say but he always stands by me and sometimes I think that whatever I’d decide to do, even if it was a mass shooting, he’d say that I absolutely should do it if I want and that he also thinks it’s a good idea. 😀 But if you have only one person like this in your life, it’s not yet very harmful, I think it’s actually highly recommended as long as you have other, more critically thinking people around you and some reasoning skills of your own. He couldn’t do anything, but he hugged me and from his words and presence I felt the confidence that things can get better and that perhaps indeed I don’t have to, or shouldn’t even, go there.

So my Mum started looking for a different school for me which was obviously a trick, but in the end one was found, but I wrote about this fascinating situation many times before. The point is that, thanks to that sister, I got my sanity back! In a way, I’d like her to know that and sometimes I regret I didn’t send her some thank you letter or something. But I try to remember to pray for her. Another thing that we regret even more, is that we didn’t notify the headmistress about the event, about why exactly I left, so that no one else would have a similar situation, which they may be not as intolerant to as I was or not have parents who would take such strong action, but it’s still something that absolutely shouldn’t happen. Making decisions about your subjects may be a common practice in religious orders, but we were not nuns in training.

I learned from it that even the most awful, scary, enraging things can lead to the most fabulous things that you wouldn’t expect. Perhaps not always immediately, and you have to go through some things first but sometimes it really does happen. And that sometimes situations where someone wants to be malicious can grotesquely turn around.

   My friend, Jacek from Helsinki, passed away

You all regular readers know about Jacek. He was a good friend of mine that I met online shortly after leaving the school and had a lot in common with in that we both loved Cornelis Vreeswijk, learned Swedish, loved Finnish, vikings, all things Norse and had some Gothic tendencies – Gothic as in referring to the subculture, not the historical Goths. – He was actually Jacek from Poland, but a large part of the time when we knew each other he spent studying in Helsinki. He was also not the easiest person to interact with and there was a lot of clashing, he was a very strong character just as quirky as me but in his own unique way. He introduced me to so many new, fascinating things and had his own part in pulling me out of the black reactive hole I was in still at the time when I first met him. We made lots of happy, strange and funny memories together. But after a few years since our friendship started Jacek was diagnosed with a malignant bone cancer and a few months after that he progressed quite rapidly and passed away. It was a huge shock for everyone who knew him and I only recently realised that I didn’t process it fully. I was just in such deep denial of his death, it didn’t even fully register. Yes, I knew he was death but still couldn’t believe it, until earlier this year, and that was hard. He was so lively, fiery and spontaneous it felt like some physical law was broken when he died. But now it sort of makes sense that someone with such a huge personality wouldn’t live long, there can’t be too many suchh people on Earth at once, they wouldn’t fit.

His death taught me a very cliche thing that I knew but only then truly realised, because such a thing had never happened to me before – that yes, even people I am close to, they also die. – And it taught me even more about the importance of praying for the purgatory souls and how satisfying it can feel in making you feel useful for them.

I failed my maths final exam

I wrote about it quite recently so I won’t be going into much detail as you may know about it already. I was studying for it a lot, but knew from the beginning that I just may not pass it because I’ve always had huge difficulties with maths on a lot of levels. This wasn’t a big deal for me as I didn’t know what to do with my future yet anyway and I told everyone in my surroundings that I thought should know that in case I fail it, I won’t be trying to rewrite it until I clearly see the need for passing all my finals because I will want to do something that will require it and I will know what this something is. I failed indeed and quite spectacularly, which was sad but as I knew it could happen, I didn’t dwell much on it and as my score was so low, I was even more confident about doing, or not doing, what I intended. Turned out though that my family were less accepting about my decision than they seemed at first. They got over it quickly though, so that’s good, as while I was convinced I was not going to change my mind I don’t like when people feel bad because of me and it wouldn’t be fun to live in a conflict over such a thing for too long. I still haven’t passed it. Sometimes it contributes to making me feel like a failure but ultimately I try not to think to much about this.

It taught me that you doon’t always have to have a schematic life to have a good life. You don’t need a piece of paper to prove a skill you have if you can do something well. That’s something my Swedish teacher always said to me, as he knew I may not end up having a PHD. in linguistics or whatever else someone may have expected. And yeah, screw the education system. 😛

So that is, my lovely people, the conclusion of this very lengthy post! Well no, I’m just kidding a bit, I hope you don’t have a reason to agree with me and have only positive associations with your formal education. 🙂

If you feel like this post needs a conclusion – which I guess I do after writing so much just about myself – let it be that it all really proves how our brains are extremely plastic – we’re learning something all the time, even from going crazy. –

And now, sleepy time for me, and in the meantime you tell me: how about your challenges, and in what ways did they improve the plasticity of your brain? How did they enrich you? I’m very curious. 🙂

Share Your World.

Cee’s Share Your World.

 

Which tastes better: black or green olives?
I love olives in general, olives are one of my favourite foods. It doesn’t matter whether black or green.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My own.

What fictional family would you be a member of?
There’s such a Polish series I’ve talked about probably more than I can count on this blog, it’s called “Jeżycjada”, and it’s written by Małgorzata Musierowicz. It is generally perceived as a series for teens, or for girls, or women, but my personal opinion is that it is suitable just for everyone, unless you really crave for a very fast and changeable plot in a book. It’s full of warmth and humour, yummy food, very fascinating characters that at the same time are also just nice to be around. All that with the witty style and erudition of Musierowicz’s on top which make these books way too good to just classify them as your typical books for teens, in fact I don’t thik many of the typical Polish teens would actually read themwith pleasure because of a bit difficult vocabulary at times, for example my Zofijka says they’re boring because she doesn’t understand a lot of words, which in my opinion is weird, but that’s how many teens seem to be nowadays, though Zofijka is maybe just a bit too young because she’s actually 11. And what’s very characteristic to this series is that there is a lot of focus on family life. In the central place we have the Borejko family, living in Poznań, and then all their friends and further relatives, so quite a lot of families we can come across. Each book in the series is particularly dedicated to one of the characters (preferably a teenage girl or a young woman, though not always), so we can have a deeper insight into a particular heroine’s family. That being said, I have lots of interesting, loving and cool families to choose from in my favourite series. But I’ll go with the Borejko family, I’d love to be the fifth of the Borejko daughters (there are four), or I could replace Natalia, with whom I strongly identify. This is such a great family and I already feel like a part of it. And OMG I’d love for Mila Borejko to be my Mum, or even just anyone whom I’d know in real life, she has very many traits that I have, so I can understand her and identify with her, but she also has a lot of ones that I don’t have and which I always admire in people and respect them for.And boy wouldn’t it be cool to  have four sisters? Or even just three, if I’d be Natalia? 😀 One of my other favourite families is the Żak family, they’re so funny and witty and always make me laugh when I read the book that is particularly about them, but I am not sure whether I’d actually fit in there, I feel like the Borejko family are a bit more of my kind of people.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, a lot of progress in my languages, particularly Welsh, but also English, writing, blogging. Starting therapy with the new therapist, whatever will come out of it, our first session was pretty good. Getting rid of the anxiety after the nightmares I had a few weeks ago and the anxiety afterwards was hard to overcome fully, it would come back happily in the evenings and at night and I hated it, and now it seems to be gone, I hope I’m not jinxing it.

 

Share Your World.

Share Your World At Cee’s.

 

Again, this week, after a bit of a break, I’m participating in Share Your World.

 

A class you wish you would have taken?

I wish I could take classes from all my languages. I don’t mean at college or anything, just some sort of good courses, that could be relevant to me and accessible to me as a blind person, whether online or somewhere in my area, I don’t care if individual or in a group. I am mentioning this because as much as it isn’t particularly difficult to find an accesible course online in such languages like English, Swedish, Dutch, or even Finnish if you’ll try a bit more, with the rest of my favourites you have to really try hard, be patient and inquiring, and very determined, to actually find something. I find it an absolute miracle that I’ve found that Welsh course I’m doing right now, that it is so accessible, simple and effective and with such a supportive community, and moreover, that the same people also created courses in Cornish, Manx and Dutch, so that I don’t have to look for another place, also I’ve had great friends from Wales outside from that community who helped me a lot particularly at the very beginnings. But if you think of another favourite languages of mine, like Faroese, Sami, or Frisian, or Scottish Gaelic, or Scots or Shetlandic, or Irish… uhhhh things get tougher. The consolation may be that many of the languages I love are more or less related, so maybe it won’t all be that scary, I wouldn’t like to give up just because something isn’t accessible online. So yeah, I just try to not think about that right now, maybe until I’ll start to learn them I’ll find some good place for myself, or someone eager to help with those extremely rare, extincting languages. But other than languages, I’d love to learn about Celtic and Nordic cultures, and I’d love to take classes in playing Celtic harp. And if I were sighted, I’d want to be a neurosurgeon, so anything on that topic too.

Are you scared of heights?

Yes. I used to be very very very like VERY scared of heights, now it lessened kinda on its own so it’s easier, but I still am.

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?

Absolutely not. My cooking always ends up with a catastrophe. You rather don’t trust me with it. Last time I tried to magnanimously help my Mum make a big family dinner earlier this year, I ended up with two fingers bleeding quite massively, I mean maybe not really bad, but bad enough that you wouldn’t think I’ve just grated them accidentally instead of vegs. I have a rich history of similar and worse cases from the times when I was at the boarding school.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, writing, blogging, progress in my languages. Good session with the therapist, and that we got along and have similar opinions on me changing therapists. That I translated my previous music crush’s another poem, I’m still over the moon about that. That I had a beautiful dream the other night involving my current music crush. (God, my crushes, what I’d be without them) That we had a cool day on the beach with Mum and Zofijka. And that I’m doing fairly well emotionally and that my anxiety has lessened a bit more since that dreadful nightmare I had.

 

Friendly Fill-ins.

I’m participating in Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by

15 And Meowing

and

Four-Legged Furballs.

Here are the fill-ins:

1. I have faith in ________________ God.
2. Yesterday, I ____________________ had a long, warm bath with jasmine oil. I haven’t had one in ages, I try to avoid baths because of my skin which decided to suddenly become hypersensitive to almost everything last winter and is always very dry and itchy after too much water. But this time everything is OK and that’s great.
3. My favorite place to be is _________ my room.
4. If I was granted one wish, it would be _________ for Misha to be happy every second in his entire life.

 

Friendly Fill-ins.

Again, I am taking part in Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by

15 And Meowing

and

Four-Legged Furballs.

 

  1. I would like tickets to _____________________. any of my crushes gigs or concerts. Or to the theatre maybe, I haven’t been in theatre for ages.

2 Please don’t ask me to _______________________. take care of you, keep you company or clean up ifyou’re sick with a norovirus, stomach flu, or anything like this, or even if you’d eaten something poisonous, to watch weird movies with you while people vomit, and don’t ask me to eat something I don’t want to eat because it’s likely then that it will trigger my emetophobia, and don’t do ask me to do anything else that can be potentially associated with vomiting.

  1. I’d rather _________ be mute, than _________. blind, if I had to choose between these things before birth, though both would be rather frustrating. That’s what my Dad asked me recently. 😀 I’d rather be blind than deaf though.

By this time next year, _________. I will be able to read at least books for children in Welsh without feeling like my brain is drained, and will be learning Cornish.

Friendly Fill-ins.

I am participating in this week’s Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by

15 And Meowing

and

Four-Legged Furballs.

 

 

  1. I deserve a gold star for _________________ doing my Welsh course despite the heat today.
  2. Right now, I am loving _____________. the fact that my anxiety is lessening noticeably.
  3. The best advice I’ve ever been given is _________. don’t adjust to others because you’re different from them and don’t fit in their box. DO them the favour and let them adjust to you, it will test their creativity and let them think more. That’s what my Swedish teacher said to me. It’s not always that easy as there are people in this world who don’t even know what creativity is and how to think and always want others to fit in their limited frameworks, just can’t realise there can be anything else outside of them, but it’s funny and I like this approach and use it when I can, however not in every case yet, I’m working on it. 😀
    1. If I had to choose a new first name, it would be _________. hm, I guess Eliza… Actually, I am lucky because I already could choose a new first name for myself and I am happy with it and it fits me, so I don’t have any other dream choice that I’d love, that would fit me and be realistic and not troublesome, but when I wanted to change my name legally, along with Emilia I was considering Eliza. The reason why I didn’t choose it finally is that as much as I love it, I don’t feel it really fits my personality, there is a lot that fits but also a lot that doesn’t. and also my confirmation name already is Luiza, so even though you don’t use your confirmation name, I would feel rather weird as an Eliza Anna Luiza. 😀 Or maybe I could be Helena. In opposite to Eliza it could be a bit wishy-washy on me, I think, but I love the name itself. In an English-speaking country I would be a Jacqueline. Or maybe not. Maybe not a Jacqueline. I should be a Jill, so that when I finally meet my Jack, we’d be Jack and Jill. 😀 No I’m just kidding though, Jill is OK< but I wouldn’t like to be called Jill, I think.

 

Share Your World.

Here are Cee’s questions for this week’sShare Your World

and my answers.

 

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

I have never been a big fan of puzzles, maybe because of my blindness, but I do like word games so sometimes I used to play word search, and I still sometimes happen to play jigsaw puzzles with Zofijka.

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.

Chocolate, anything spicy – particularly crisps, listening to my favourite music, buying new gem stones to my collection, Misha, anything to do with Misha.

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

Hm, I have some fondness for Jack Russell terriers just because we were supposed to have one and they seem cute and just because they’re JACK Russell terriers and I love all Jacks unconditionally hahaha. And I like the dog that now lives with my Mum’s family at the place where we lived before, his name is Polar, he is so clever, he just gets humans and what they want from him better than they do themselves.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Getting my crush – Gwilym Bowen Rhys’s – new album and listening to it, it’s awesome. Getting in touch with one of the name experts from Nameberry and writing an article about Polish names for Nameberry, that was exciting for me and I enjoyed doing it, I hope something good will come out of it, it’s thrilling. Misha, writing other things and blogging.

 

Share Your World.

A little late this week, I’m catching up on Cee’s

Share Your World.

Since we are approaching the hottest part of our summer in the northern hemisphere, what’s your favorite ice-cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet flavor?  (Those of you who live down under I’m sure you remember what it is like in the hot summer months).

As for ice cream, I love chocolate with mint. I also like berry flavour, chocolate, toffi, many more. I don’t have frozen yoghurt or a classic sorbet very often.

How often do you people watch?

As often as I am around other people. I love people watching, I like to learn more about people, observe their behaviours and personalities, analyse them, etc. so much so that as I often mentioned before my grandad often calls me x-ray, for that I apparently scan people hahaha. Sometimes I’m better at it, sometimes worse, depending on a person, but I like doing it. You just have to always remember there is always an option you may be wrong in what you expect a person to be like, so that you don’t judge them too quickly, as it’s hard to change your mind about them afterwards. So I try to be an open-minded people watcher. I also like to people watch simply when I’m bored and have nothing more interesting to do, funny things you can see sometimes.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert?

Hm, I think salt water beaches. Ocean cruise and hot tub sound very interesting as well, but because of all my motion issues and others alike I don’t think I’d decide on an ocean cruise, and hot tub may be a nice option from time to time, but isn’t very healthy for me on a more regular basis, as my skin gets dry and itchy with too much contact with water, and it couldn’t be too hot ’cause I often get freakin’ dizzy and faint after long hot baths, such a pity.But I really love the sea, so salt water beaches would be just right for me.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

It was an almost all alone week for me. My parents had gone to Szczecin for a few days trip last week, and I stayed home with Misha and Olek, but Olek was mainly out at work or with friends. Zofijka was at grandparents’. It was a cool and very productive week for me. Also I got to know that my music crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, will be releasing his new album in September which makes me so excited.

 

G2K.

Time for G2K

which is a weekly series at Revenge Of Eve.

Here are this week’s questions and my answers.

 

Do you have a secret crush? Famous or not

I do, I’ve had many crushes for most of my life, famous, less famous or completely not famous. They were usually pretty intensive, I’d actually say it’s often more than a crush, not fully love, but yet not just crush. As for the famous ones, they have always been music crushes. My current music crush is Gwilym Bowen Rhys, who, actually, doesn’t seem to be very famous besides his home country, which is Wales, because his music is entirely in Welsh. When it comes to a not famous crush that I know in real life, at the moment, it’s Misha – my Russian blue cat.

What is their code name? (pet name)

I often refer to Gwilym as Gwil, since it’s his diminutive, or when I think about him or write about him in Polish and am in a particularly crushy mood I call him Gwiluś (-uś is a common masculine diminutive suffix in Polish). 😀 Sometimes he’s Gwillie. 😀 As for Misha, he has tones of pet names – Mishka, Mishunia, Teddy Bear, Miszmasz, Miska, Misa, The Grey Brother, Michelle, Saakashvili, Putin, Misha Pisha…

Are they aware of your crush or existence?

Existence – yes, in fact we’d been corresponding for quite a while in the past soon after my crush has started, that was I guess one of the craziest  and spontaneous things I’ve ever done in my life and don’t regret, I may write more about it in the future, but that’s a little complicated. Crush – don’t think so, and hope not, but he knows I like his music and admire him for his versatility. Misha, oh, sometimes, it feels like even if he is aware of my existence, he doesn’t care a bugger, or barely notices anyone’s existence. My crush on him, he either does see and is so cruel he doesn’t care about it either, or is completely unaware. 😦 ( 😀 )

How do you act or feel when they are around?

Well I haven’t ever been physically around Gwil, but at the time we were writing, I had experienced a severe episode of pseudo-OCD, checking my email every five minutes (at least). 😀 When I got the first email from him I could’ve swore I forgot how to actually breathe for a while. When I hear any of my music crushes’ – current or past – music, I feel just absolutely heavenly, I often call it that my brain is melting because it feels quite exact haha. I like to hear my crushes talking, or even more laughing, it works better for me than any ASMR triggers. Actually I am very sensitive to music and sounds, no matter if they’re crush related or not, which can be both good and bad to experience, I think I sometimes get that weird but fantastic feeling that people call eargasm. I am an incurable and most deviated of all the linguophiles on the Earth, or so I like to think, so the same that applies to Gwilym’s music, also applies to his accent in both languages, I am always obsessed about my crushes’ accents. As for Misha, I love his purrs, and all the humming, hhrrruing and gurgling sounds inside of him. I like to lie close beside him and listen to all his inner sounds. I like all his meows, even those most annoying, I like to immerse in his fur, feel his baby-like smell, even though I’m not that good at feeling smells as I am with sounds. I feel always at least a little bit more relaxed than when I’m without him.

Would you pursue a relationship if it were possible?  What holds you back?

Hmm, that’s interesting. Hard to say. With Gwil, if it were possible, I think I’d try, because then I’d feel like I missed out and even when my crush would become less intense, I would probably more or less regret. That could be a very interesting experience since he’s very interesting and, at least intellectually and as for our likes, we seem to have quite a lot in common, although we’re completely different characterologically. Yeah that could surely be interesting, even if it wouldn’t work out long term. As for Misha, we often joke with Zofijka that we three – Misha, her and me – are in a triangle relationship, lol, however silly and sick it sounds in reference to a cat. But seriously, no, I think our current level of the relationship is perfectly enough, although he could be a bit more emotional at times, but hey we’re both lacking in this sphere. But other than being more emotional I think our relationship should rather stay as it is, it’s fine, and I am not a zoophile. 😀 But, if Misha was a guy… gawd, I’d love to be with him!But Zofijka says he’d be an awful egoist, and would only need a girl to be his housewife and care for his food and clean socks, so, if so, no, thanks. 😀

 

Currently – July.

Inspired by Astrid at Blogging Astrid, I’m taking part in Currently – hosted by Anne of

In Residence

and Shelly of

The Queen In Between.

Celebrating: a lot of things this month. My grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary is on Saturday and they’re having a big party with dancing. My aunt has her 40th birthday on 23rd and knowing her I think she’ll also like to make a huge celebration. My Mum is having her nameday on 26th. Ah, and I am celebrating my exam results, particularly English.

Visiting: my grandparents on Saturday as I said. Well actually not them, they’re making it in a restaurant, but still.

Baking: nothing. Most days are pretty warm/hot here now so I don’t think it’s really time for a lot of baking. We have a lot of gooseberry in our garden and Mum has recently made a gooseberry pie, but that’s all. Usually though, my Mum bakes something pretty regularly. Oh, of course she’ll make some cake for her nameday, but it’s still some time until that.

Wearing: lots of airy dresses and skirts.

Loving: Misha. He shows me his attachment all the time lately, and it’s so sweet. I am just so happy I have him.

 

Share Your World.

A bit late this week, I’m joining Cee’s

Share Your World

Tell us about your first bicycle or car?
For obvious reasons I don’t own a car, but I had a tandem bicycle which my Dad bought me and sometimes when it was warm weather and I was at home for longer we were riding. I was never a particular fan of cycling, but it could be fun at times.

What fictional world or place would you like to visit?
Avalon, or Valhalla, or Asgard, or any of the fictional places in L. M. Montgomery’s books. There could be more possibilities if I thought more about it, I’m sure there are tons of fictional places I’d like to visit.

If you could have someone follow you around all the time, like a personal assistant, what would you have them do?
Doing all the smalltalk with people on my behalf, 😀 making my favourite meals for me, keeping me company when I need it or am bored or can’t sleep, read books for me, those that I myself can’t, clearing Misha’s litterbox, driving me places, helping me do stuff around the house, helping me with not accessible language courses or books  – I think there would be always something they could do. But first and foremost, leaving me alone when I need it, I think it would drive me crazy sooner or later if someone literally followed me everywhere. It could be cool having such an assistant, but it should be a really good person knowing their job and I would have to really trust them, which’s often not that easy process for me nowadays.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, progress in my languages, writing, reading, blogging. The fourth anniversary since I got out of the boarding school, I’m so happy and grateful about it, it was 27th June. On 26th six months have passed since I’ve created my blog and I am also happy because of it. It was my nameday on Saturday and I spent a very nice day doing lots of stuff I liked. Zofijka has gone for swimmig camp on Saturday which gave all of us some relief ’cause as I mentioned multiple times she’s a very absorbing kid and we all needed a bit of a break, she’s having fun as far as I know. Misha seems to more outgoing now when Zofijka’s not here and he spends a lot of time with me and seems in a very sociable mood. I even have made a little, but for me very big success with him, namely I was able to convince him that nothing bad will happen if he’ll try to sleep throughout the night with me. And we slept together for the whole Sunday night, he lied beside me on the pillow and was very calm and purring quite loudly as for him when awake, and seemed content. I am proud of Misha that he did it, he never slept with no one for the whole night before, only in his basket on my bed or with a big big distance, or just for a while and then ran away, despite being two years with us. and now he slept through the entire night beside me. And I am proud of myself that I was able to show him it’s not that scary and convince him it can be very nice for both of us. On Sunday I spent a lot of time with my parents and it was very nice.

 

Share Your World.

Cee’s Share Your World

If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go? (remember this is SYW, they are friendly aliens)

I’ve never been particularly interested in other planets, or cosmos in general, or anything like this and I’ve always felt like the idea of flying somewhere on a different planet is a bit scary, you know, all those anxieties I have related to motion, doesn’t seem like a pleasant thing. However – I’ve thought about it more now, and I think I would be keen to take a risk. One of my online friends has invented an interesting term a few years ago – namely “alien syndrome” 😀 – so literally that you feel like an alien in your environment, and people may perceive you a bit like an alien, etc. all for fun, but I immediately felt like – OH, that’s me. So, being an alien with “alien syndrome”, I shouldn’t waste a chance and I definitely should go with them. And maybe I wouldn’t be an alien then. Yes, it could be very interesting for sure. So I would go with them. Although I think I would miss my earthly family sometimes. Oh! And how I could forget! There’s no way I could go anywhere without Misha, so I’m only going if they let me take him with me. But if they’re “my” aliens, they sure would. 😀

How tall are you? Are you satisfied with your height?

I’m 168 cm, so I think something in the middle. I could be a few centimetres taller, but it’s just fine as it is. The more that I actually could end up much worse. I have hypopituitarism and apparently hypothyroidism, so I have growth hormone deficiency and by default I would stop at 140 cm. Grrrrrrrrrr!!! Scary!!! I mean very scary, because my family is rather tall, my brother is 190 cm or maybe more. but of course I was taking hormones so that I would grow more. But then I got an endocrynologist who was a small, corpulent lady and always in awe of my Mum’s height and she wanted me to be as high as my Mum, who is 180, and you just couldn’t persuade her I don’t need to be so tall, I’m  not gonna be a cheerleader or anything. I wasn’t that happy with it because… well, why the heck do I need to be so tall? But luckily then I changed the endocrynologist suddenly and she was OK with stopping it and understood me and my Mum that such height as 180 cm would be only a hindrance for me, so I stopped taking it, grew a little more by myself and so I’m 168, and happy with it. So maybe I could be something like, 170 cm or maybe even 172, but I’m lucky enough that I’m not too short and not too tall and could almost choose the height I wanted. The benefits of having growth hormone deficiency hahaha.Still though I meet people who say I’m tall, my horse riding instructor actually says it all the time, I guess it’s because I’m slim, the impression my instructor gets is probably because I’ve long legs and she always has to lengthen the stirrups for me no matter who rode before me lol.

Do you think you could live without your smartphone (or other technology item) for 24 hours?

Without my phone, why not? I can even longer. Without my laptop – hard and boring, but manageable if necessary, plus I still have my Braille-Sense that can somehow replace the computer for me, although there are so many things I only do online that whenever I don’t have the Internet for long it can be challenging. But without my reading devices, on which I also have music, particularly without Plextalk, it would be very hard.And very boring. And hardly manageable. I carry my Plextalk everywhere when I go out of the house. 😀 I guess I might be a bit addicted, but it’s not PlexTalk I’m addicted to but books and music and sometimes, particularly when I’m on the way to somewheere it’s the only way for me to practice my languages.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, starting new level of my Welsh language course, blogging, writing, support from my friends, massage on Friday, which seemed a very hard experience for various and complex reasons which I talked about before, but turned ut to be cool and very relaxing.

 

Friendly Fill-Ins.

I’m participating again in Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by 15 And Meowing

and Four-legged Furballs

  1. My favorite scent is ________________. jasmine, I think. And cofee too, and Misha’s smell when he’s asleep, or just awake.
  2. I hope to __________________ get more sleep this weekend.
  3. Every sound in Misha _________ is music to my ears.
  4. Home is where _________. I feel secure

 

 

Share Your World.

Share Your World

 

You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? Sushi? Scotch Tape?

KEFIR!!! There’s never too much kefir.

Teleportation or flying?

Definitely teleportation. I’ve never flew but the prospect of it seems a little bit scary for me. If even riding by car for longer distances makes me dizzy then what it would be like to fly? Teleportation definitely feels safer and more pleasant.

Would you rather live where it only snows or the temperature never falls below 100 degrees?

I think I’m gonna pick snow. It can be annoying, but I much prefer colder temps to the heat. I mean it’s nice when it’s warm for a while, but long term it can make me pretty sick, so the snows sound much better. You can still turn the heating on or wrap up in as many blankets as you wish. When you’re hot, there’s not much you can do to really cool down.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Last week was really good for me. As always, I’m thankful for Misha, and I appreciated all the opportunities I had to blog, read, write, and any progress in my languages I’ve made, particularly in Swedish. On Sunday I was on the trip to the Hel Peninsula with my family, which went really well. We were on the beach and just hanging around, also had ice cream enjoyed ourselves.

Friendly Fill-ins.

If you too would like to participate in this week’s Friendly Fill-ins, go over to 15 and Meowing

or to

Four-Legged Furballs

  1. My neighbors_____________________.
  2. The last thing I purchased online was __________________.
  3. I have never _________.
  4. Anything is possible if _________.

My answers:

 

  1. My neighbors_____________________. a middle-aged couple, they are as different from each other as it can only be possible.
  2. The last thing I purchased online was __________________. a pair of skunk slippers for Zofijka.
  3. I have never _________. eaten sushi, but I don’t think there’s something to regret about it, I don’t think I’d like it.
  4. Anything is possible if _________. your autosuggestion and imagination work properly.

 

 

3.2.1 Quote Me!

Ashley over at Mental Health @ Home

has tagged me for the new game – 3.2.1 Quote Me! created by Rory at A Guy Called Bloke & K9 Doodlepip

Here’s what he has to say about it:

 

Everyone loves quotes right?

So l figured to introduce a bit of light hearted fun with this series. It’s simple:

Every day l will pick a topic, post 2 quotes and nominate 3 bloggers, who in turn will post 2 quotes on that topic and nominate 3 bloggers of their own and let’s see how far we can take that topic for the day.

Rules:

Thank the Selector
Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Topic For Today: Age – Age, Ageing, Aged.

 

Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.

Clint Eastwood

There’s no such thing as aging, but maturing and knowledge. It’s beautiful, I call that beauty.

Celine Dion

I tag:

Laura at

All The Shoes I Wear

Chocolate Hun at

Chocolate Vybz

and Cyranny at

Cyranny’s Cove

Share Your World.

Here are my answers for Cee’s questions in Share Your World.

If you were to pack a basket for picnic lunch, what would be in your basket?

I’m not big on picnics, but let’s think… garlic bread rolls, some yummy cheese, small piri piri sausages, some chicken, maybe chicken breasts, radishes, olives black and green, maybe other vegs, a bottle of kefir, or Pepsi, or blueberry yoghurt, quite different things but that’s what in my opinion suits best when you eat outdoors, and I would pack some fruit too and and some treats, like some biscuits, spicy crisps or chocolate. These are some of my ideas.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

No tents, no campings, no sleeping bags, no such things, yuck I’m fed up and I don’t think it’ll ever end although the last time I was sleeping in the tent was more than four years ago, I don’t miss it.  I would need a comfy room with a comfy bed, with at least two pillows and some fresh air but not too cold ’cause my feet are always cold and although I don’t care about it during the day, it can make falling asleep hard sometimes. Unless I could be able to make myself a hot bottle or something, then I don’t mind how cold it is in the room. I like having my room cool while I sleep but I need to keep my feet warm, otherwise all is nuts. Unless the temperatures would be like we have today, I think it’s the hottest day in this year so far, so in such case I would definitely manage without any warmers.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

It would definitely be a house, not an apartment. I would like the bedroom to be possibly distant from the living room or dining room even just because  if some people would come over they wouldn’t pry into my private space and if I were to live there with my family I wouldn’t have to get through the whole living area to get to my room when someone is having guests or something. We had our previous house arranged this way and it was terribly annoying – I came back from somewhere for example and there were my Dad’s friends in the living room, so of course I couldn’t just pass them away but we had a whole ceremony of greetings even though they and me barely knew each other. 😀 Same repeated whenever I or any of my siblings needed to the bathroom or anywhere actually. If we’d live together I think it would be wise to have two bathrooms. And a balcony could be nice.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, progress iin my languages, blogging,writing. On Monday I had an psych appointment and I was finally assessed and diagnosed with dysthymia and AVPD. It was a bit exhausting, but I think good overall, and at least I know what’s up with me. It was Mother’s Day on Saturday and Zofijka’s birthday on Sunday, and, apart from some minor but rather rough incidents taking place on both days and affecting me quite a lot, I enjoyed the weekend and overall it was fun. Also I finally managed to get the new book by my favourite writer Małgorzata Musierowicz and I had loads of pleasure reading it, pity though that is already over, I’m waiting for the next one. It was quite a cool week overall, I must say.

 

Friendly Fill-ins.

Here are this week’s Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by 15 And Meowingand Four-legged Furballs

and my answers.

 

  1. It is __________________.

2.The best part of last week was ____________________.

  1. Every summer, I _________.
  2. Once upon a time, _________.
    1. It is __________________. Zofijka’s birthday today.

    2.The best part of last week was ____________________. getting the new Małgorzata Musierowicz book – the one I talked about in the Weekend Coffee Share – OMG I had so much laugh of it.

    1. Every summer, I _________. am at least once on the beach. The advantages of living almost at the seaside.
      1. Once upon a time, _________. there was a creature called Jim, who looked as a 11-year-old boy, but in fact was the last of the species called jimosaurus. Jim lived in the forests of Australia and his food was helping other beings. That’s roughly how each of the episodes of the fairytale I created for Zofijka starts.

Share Your World.

Here are this week’s questions for Cee’s Share Your World and my answers. If you’d like to participate in SYW, too, you can go over to Cee’s post here.

https://ceenphotography.com/2018/05/14/share-your-world-may-14-2018/

Complete this sentence: This sandwich could really use some …
…spices. Well it depends on the kind of this sandwich, I am not this sort of person who likes really weird tasting things and mixing up honey with chilli or anything like this, but if we are talking about cheese sandwiches, or any other that go well with spices, I need some spices on it. I love spicy food. It tastes weird when your sandwich is all covered with spices though. I like adding chilli pepper, black pepper or Cayenne pepper the most. I am not a big fan of sauces. My Dad is though, and he also likes spicy sandwiches, and you can find everything and anything on his. He likes making sandwiches for himself and for others and he usually pours them lavishly with a sauce, be it a dressing, mayo, ketchup, or even a chilli sauce, to the extend that sometimes the bread actually absorbs it and all you feel is sauce. I’ve been eating a lot of sprouts with my sandwiches lately and believe me, adding them makes a difference, the food feels like… dunno, fresher, or more concrete. I hate ham though, or salami, or stuff like that and it is because when I was at school we had sandwiches with ham for almost every breakfast and supper. I can’t stand it nowadays, unless baked or homemade.

What is your least favorite candy?
I don’t like most of those candies with gooey feelings, I like some toffi candies, but generally I don’t like the gooey fillings. I hate marshmallows and anything marshmallow-ish in texture. And anything that pretends to be chocolate. I also don’t like candies filled with alcohol and the kinds that are sooo incredibly sour, although I like some moderately sour candies. But what I hate the most are chocolate truffles. Ughhh I really don’t know why I hate them so much, but I also really don’t know how anyone can like them and why. Some say they are such luxurious candies, but for me they’re just… ew… can’t find an adequate word. Of course no offense to those who like them, who seems to be many, just because I hate them doesn’t mean you have too or that I hate you too because you like truffles lol.

What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?

I am an Aquarius. Do I believe in astrology, hmm, that’s a complex thing… Generally, I don’t believe in horoscopes that you can find in magazines or online just next to all kinds of news. They are just ridiculous and the only reason I can think of for reading them is to laugh. Also I wouldn’t say that the characteristics of Aquarius you can find on most astrological websites fits me, well there are things that do, but overall it’s nothing that could describe me well and I feel like I could relate to characteristics of other signs much easier, like Pisces, or Gemini, or maybe Cancer in some way. But on the other hand, the descriptions on the popular sites can be very vague, plus it is not only your birth sign involved in it. There are also other astrological factors that make for what you’re like. And there are books on the topic which go deeper into details about the particular signs, their traits, tendencies and such, as well as how the people born in particular decades of the sign can differ etc. And there still are other factors, not astrological, that shape us, lots and lots of them, so we shouldn’t expect from an online, not personalised astrological description to fit us perfectly. I’ve been fascinated in different types of people’s personalities, plus I had a stormy episode in my life when I was interested in everything related to esoterics, and I observed that actually some more detailed characteristics can fit people very often. And that’s why I can say I believe in astrology. “But wait… you told me you are Christian”. Did you think so? Yes, I am Christian and I am a practitioner. I am no longer so very interested in astrology and all things esoteric as I was as a teen. And I don’t want to know my future, it won’t change anything and it is overly audacious in my opinion to want to know it. If we were supposed to know the future, we would live in the future, not in the present, or we would all be seers. But astrology makes sense, if you look at it rationally. After all, in the medieval times, it was common for monks and clergy to be astrologists. Only now, when astrology became commercialised and people make a huge business of it, it looks so ridiculous and superstitious and seems to evolve only around three line love horoscopes for desperate singles. My Mum, who is also a practicing Christian and helped me to kinda re-convert and get out of that spiritual mud I was sinking in, also believes astrology makes a lot of sense. My Mum has a moon calendar and as a lifestyle geek is very interested in how the Moon affects our health, and also growth of plants and similar things. She says that if the Moon can affect our body, if women used to always get period with the full moon, why can’t it affect us on other levels? There is even such a branch of astrology apparently, astrological medicine. I had a book about it, a very old book written in very beautiful, archaic Polish. And there was a whole long chapter on what may particular signs tend to struggle with health wise. ANd I checked it just for fun, whether it is true for me and Mum. And of course it was an old book, so there were stuff that we nowadays don’t suffer from, but there were things that are still actual and that we could relate to, which made us laugh and very surprised. So yeah, I don’t involve in astrology too much, but I do believe in it. As I believe in a few other things considered superstitious, controversial, sinful, foolish or outmoded.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, blogging. Writing my math exam and two English exams. Math exam probably went very badly, but I’ll wait until the results come. I don’t worry too much about it. I mean, it would be fantastic if I passed it, I would love it, I worked so much on it, but I won’t be desperate, and won’t take the exam again if it’ll go wrong. But I’ll actually be surprised if I’d pass it because my brain felt really empty when I was writing it and I actually was writing for the sake of writing, so that the committee wouldn’t think I’m completely clueless, it was pure improvising. But you can’t imagine how happy I was when I got out of the school. It was my last direct meeting with maths. I felt so relieved and free afterwards. I spent a nice afternoon that day, having a huge plate of spaghetti with garlic and pepper at the Italian restaurant nearby and walking around the city with my family. Then we went to the hostel where we were living at the time of my exams and because my stress was huge in the morning and then dropped so suddenly, it left me with a very annoying headache, so althugh it was just 4 PM I went to bed and spent there the rest of that day, but it was still very productive, because I was reading my first book in Welsh. Nooo not Mabinogion yet, a book for children. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, in Welsh version. And I was laughing a lot with Zofijka. English was easy-peasy, and I also appreciated that. My committee at both English exams couldn’t believe how quickly I wrote both of them. You have 4 h 15 mins in total for each exam, and I did it in 1 hour 45 mins. 😀 I was even more happy that I didn’t have any more encounters with the headmistress of the school, as I had last week. And I was very happy to go home. That was the most pleasant thing last week. also I was focusing a lot on my past this week, in terms of whether it is traumatic or not and why etc. and my Mum wanted to talk a lot about it, since it’s not only a deal for me. Emotionally it was a little intense at times this past week. On Sunday we went out to have some ice cream and have a walk by the sea. It was very very windy there so we ended up taking our ice cream and heading back home with them as we weren’t prepared for that windy weather. There are only 15 km from us to the beach we went to and it was a very sunny day where we live, but although there was still sun shining at the beach, the wind was really strong and cold and we were in short sleeves.

G2K.

G2K is a new series at

Revenge Of Eve

and it is a lot of fun. I strongly recommend you to join in if you’d like your readers to learn more about you.

• Who has always stood by your side?

I’d say my Mum, because she has, even if I didn’t know it or she didn’t express it, but a person about whom I know that always has stood by my side, even if he’s been doing it silently, is my grandad.

• What year were you born?
1997.

• Where were you born?
Pretty much in the same area where I live now, just in the town where the closest hospital with a delivery room was, and I live in the north of Poland.

• When is your birthday?
1st February.

• How many siblings do you have?
19-year-old brother Olek (Aleksander), currently learning to become a mechanic, exploring all the pleasures of newly gained adulthood, and also finishing this year, and exploring tons of new strategies for how to make money easily, and 10-year-old sis Zofijka (Zofia, or Sophie), a real scary screamy monster, but with a huge and fragile heart, always craving for attention, company, fun, movement and food, and since a few weeks a keen lover of skunks.

• Why is mental health important?
Because it affects your life on all its levels and it is essential to your overall well-being.

Journal prompt: Write a thank you letter to the person who has stood by your side.

Dear Grandad!

I’d like to tell you something I’ve actually never told you in a direct way, and which I now see really needs to be said. There’s so much I can thank you for – your love, acceptance, wisdom, strength, all these loads and loads of useful and not useful at all but interesting things, all the traits I have inherited after you, Mum says I have all your advantages and flaws, and although I think it is a little exaggeration, I still think we share a lot and I’m proud that I am similar to you because I admire you for so much…

But what I want to thank you for particularly now is that you’ve always stood by my side. Silently, but confidently, consistently and loyally. I love my family, I think I am lucky because I get along somehow with at least the maternal side of my family and I know they all love me each in their own ways and I love all of them in my own ways, but often there were times when I felt like I’m rejected by them or just not understood at all, like I am not one of them. But you have always believed in me. I think because we are so similar, it was easier for you to step into my shoes and feel what I feel in a certain situation, which wsn’t always what the rest of the family expected from me. Other people had their expectations towards me, often too high for me to meet, but you’ve always accepted me as I am and believed in me, maybe were even a little too uncritical, but well that’s what grandparents are for sometimes. Even if standing by my side meant to oppose all the others, even your most favourite daughter, you never hesitated. And that means so much to me because you could as well stand with them and be just expecting things. But you were always so understanding.

If someone knows me well, they know I hardly ever feel fully safe and secure. But anytime I’m with you, I feel more safe. ‘Cause I know you care about me more that I could expect, even if you never told me about it directly. Words are needless, if someone is a man of action. You’ve never used words more than you have to. And you taught me it’s nothing wrong when you can’t find words for what you feel. I remember all those moments when I was coming home from boarding school for a break and was struggling with something, and I always came to you with it. Not in search for advice, or to talk it through. Just to sit with you in silence, feel the warmth and strength of your hands. If we talked, it was either very brief, ’cause you always seemed to know what I feel, or on a completely different topic. I actually don’t remember talking to you about my struggles a lot or you asking me about them. But that was OK, that’s how our relationship is, and that’s how we both are, it would feel weird and kinda overly sentimental to talk with you about that, imagining it actually makes me laugh. I could describe to you different awful situations, or other bad stuff than happened, but never my feelings in detail,

Thank you for all the support, particularly in the years when no one else was truly and consistently supportive.

Thank you for your humourous approach to all the difficult stuff. You’ve never been overly positive or even optimistic about things, which annoyed me so much in my teen years in other people, but you taught me to laugh off sad things.

There are many more things I want to thank you for, but I’ll just say, thank you for being for me in every sense of this word. You were always somewhere in the background of my life, I even didn’t realise for a long time how much you help me and support me, but I believe so many things would be much more harder to go through without your presence or you thinking about me hundreds of miles away from me.

Mila