The Power Of Food And Music – myshortstory.

And so, the time has come. I decided I’m going to write a short story in English. Please be understanding as it’s my first one, so it may not be perfect stylistically or grammatically, also my vocabulary in English is still much less extensive than Polish, so my skills are limited, and I wanted to start off with something very simple and uncomplicated, probably even quite superficial, but I hope it will be enjoyable and still of bearable quality. i came up with this idea on Tuesday, and I based it on some writing prompts for Tuesday that I found on WordPress. Opinions are more than welcome. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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The Power Of Food And Music

 

It was a gloomy,

Tuesday

afternoon, and Eleonora Greene, known as Ellie among her friends – a young chemist – has just come back home from work. She was knackered. She spent most of the day doing all sorts of experiments in her

laboratory.

Ellie loved her job, but today nothing seemed to go well, and her opinion was that on days like these – rainy, foggy and cold – everyone deserves a break. The weather was also affecting Ellie’s mood, and she felt slightly dejected. It wasn’t a normal thing for her. Ellie was an energetic and level-headed person with an optimistic, but very practical

angle

on life. When something didn’t satisfy her, she immediately looked for ways to change it. She just wasn’t used to feeling sad. Therefore, as soon as she came home, she thought: “It can’t be like this any longer. I need to find some

solution

for this and cheer myself upright now”.

There was only one thing in the world Ellie loved as much as chemistry. This thing was cooking. Not only because she liked food, as most humans tend to do, but also because her own view was that cooking is also chemistry. So there was only one way she could think of at the moment to make herself feel better. Make some good food! Ellie carefully examined the content of her fridge. Apart from many other edible products, she found there a lot of Swiss cheese. After some good thinking and flicking through her huge collection of cook books, wondering about an ideal comfort food and a way to utilise all the Swiss cheese piling up in her fridge, she decided to make Swiss cheese enchiladas. They sounded delicious, and she had all the ingredients

close at hand.

Moving around the kitchen, mixing and stirring the ingredients and baking, together with all the enticing smells filling the house, helped to shift Ellie’s attention to more positive things. Completely absorbed by baking, she forgot about the passing time. She found the whole activity of cooking so enjoying that in the end, there were many more enchiladas than she intended to make. Nevertheless, Ellie relished her meal thoroughly and ate away as much as she could. The feelings of joy and pleasure have

magnified

greatly and her previously low mood has become only a vague memory.

Just after she finished and cleaned up the kitchen, the doorbell rang. It turned out to be Ellie’s neighbour – Nadia. – Nadia was a single woman in her late 20’s, and both neighbours were good friends, despite all the differences in their personalities and tastes. While Eleonora was

curious

of the world, energetic and down to Earth, Nadia was pensive, refined and subtle. They both were quite deep thinkers though so liked each other’s company a lot and, paradoxically, had a good understanding of each other and complemented one another.

“Oh girl!” – Ellie exclaimed excitedly – “What a perfect timing! I’ve just made tons of enchiladas and don’t know what to do with them, come in and help me get rid of them!”

“It’s so nice of you, Ellie” – said Nadia slightly confounded – “but I’m afraid I can’t. I’ve just popped in for a second to ask you whether you would like to go with me for a chamber music concert. I have a spare ticket and don’t know what to do with it either. I don’t feel like going there alone, but I love this band”. Nadia explained to her friend briefly why she was left out with a spare ticket by a guy she had been dating for a while and what a big disappointment their breaking up was for her. “Chamber music?…” – Ellie thought – “That must be rather boring”.

But she really liked Nadia and felt for her at this moment. She knew her friend was very enthusiastic about chamber music and she wanted to do something kind for her. So although she felt much better listening to something a bit less sophisticated, without further ado she simply said: “OK, when does it start?”

“In an hour. Would you really do it for me? It’s so sweet of you, I know you said you don’t like chamber music, but I really don’t have anyone else to go with.

“I’m happy to go with you if it makes you happy. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to chamber music, so who knows, maybe I’ll like it”.

Twenty minutes before the concert was meant to start, the women found themselves in front of a large, noble-

looking building, which as Nadia explained to her friend was a medieval palace.Ellie felt both bewitched and dazed by grandiosity of the building.

Finally, they found their places in the chamber, and the concert started. Ellie graduately started to feel as if a warm wave of serenity floated through her body. It wasn’t one bit boring. She wallowed in sweet sounds of piano, violin, cello and other instruments, feeling all the bad emotions of the day going out of her mind, and being replaced by calmness and peace. Between one music piece and another she promised herself to NEVER EVER judge anything before trying it out.

By the end of the day she felt not only much better, but it even stopped raining, and the world looked just like a much better place to live in. On the way back, Ellie thanked Nadia for the lovely evening, and asked her to come over to her and finish it with enchiladas. Once they were both stuffed and Nadia went home, Ellie smiled to herself and said: “I would never thought such small things like chamber music and Swiss cheese can change your day entirely”.

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Remembering… or how to tell your brain it’s over?

I’m remembering

a lot of stuff from the past lately. Lots and lots of memories which I try to ignore, and sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. So I thought maybe writing about it would help, if ignoring doesn’t work out too well. Those memories are mostly related to the beginning of the school year, which used to be an absolute nightmare for over a decade.

I see people from my family and others buying their kids things for school, I hear my Mum talking how she’s afraid of the next schol year for Zofijka, I notice time flying so quickly and September approaching, and each time I see any signs of the school year coming, I have to remind my brain, it’s not you now, it’s over. But it doesn’t listen for too long, and soon I get overflooded by another wave of memories.

I remember all those days and nights before I”d go back to the boarding school when I cut myself ’cause my pain and helplessness were too bad. I remember not being able to eat and sleep because of the anxiety. I remember the feelings of utter loneliness and not belonging anywhere, along with many other overwhelming feelings with which I couldn’t cope, but finally I always had to cope somehow, so I just bottled them up, feeling them rising inside of me with every second. I remember feeling very unsafe and rebelled that I had to leave everything that felt nice, familiar, everything and everyone that I loved, and how desperate I was to not do it. I felt guilty and weak because even though the situation was the same and obvious for so many years, that there was no alternative for me, I still couldn’t adjust to it. Well in a way I did, but the adjustment was only hiding what I felt so it wouldn’t bother anyone else, because well how long can it take you to accept something so obvious and inevitable that if you have special needs and need special education, you need to go to school where they can adjust things to you, and there aren’t many of such so most children have to be away from their families. For me that was an issue, and it looked like it was wrong.

Those feelings always accompanied me when I had to leave home and go to the boarding school, but when the school year was starting, they were particularly intense. Because the school year always meant changes. Changes that could often regard me more or less, but even if they were directly to do with me, it wasn’t a norm that I, or even any of my parents, were asked about our opinion, whether we agree on them or not, whether they’re acceptable. That was normal there. If you had a friend, who was also your roommate, with whom you lived for years, you got to know very well, you should be aware that when you come back to school next year, you may suddenly be informed that you two will no longer live together because… just because. And you could not only be moved to another room, but also to a completely different group. THis exact situation didn’t happen to me, only because I didn’t have real friends there, but it did to one of my classmates and she was just told to get over it, because it was necessary and such situations happen in life so she has to get used to it. I though changed my roommates very often too, and it was often very tough. And many other changes could await you there, hardly, if ever, nice.

So yeah, I was just sick of anxiety every year before the start of school year, and afterwards too.

But it’s now four years since I got out of there, and I am so happy about it, yet each time it’s close to September, my brain goes mad. Even this year, when I’m completely free of that freaky brain washing machine called education system. I even had a pretty yucky dream last night, I haven’t have this kind of memory dreams in a while, but that one was yucky and it took me quite a while to get back to the present after I woke up. Those dreams aren’t particularly scary, like creepy or something, but are just kinda made of my crappy memories so reliving them over and over definitely isn’t nice aND I wake up feeling nausious and stressed out.

As I wrote earlier today in Music Monday Care & Love post, I am trying to fill this week with various self care activities and other enjoyable things, and that helps me to stay in the present and focus on the positive, and there is much positive stuff going on in my life. Plus it helps me to not slip down again to that self-loathing hole, which is always very easy when I’m having memories. But it doesn’t stop my brain from going back to the past, often at least expected moments.

So I wonder, how do you make your brain know it’s over? It seems all so complicated.

 

(Syn)Aesthete, or a brief explanation of some top secrets of my freaky brain.

While I’m blind, so visual value of things around me isn’t always of great importance to me, I still consider myself an aesthete.

A language aesthete. It particularly applies to my mother language, but also in all the other languages I know it is important to me to write and speak possibly aesthetically – which doesn’t always mean very seriously, politely or flamboyantly, but above all just so that it is nice to read or listen and doesn’t make other innocent individuals cringe too much. I also like when other people speak or write aesthetically, and when someone messes up with spelling a lot or uses words like they don’t know what they mean, it often drives me crazy, or close to it.

I am a total language geek and besides being an aesthete as long as I can remember, I am also a synaesthete.

Since my very early childhood, I’ve had some weird connections in my brain between sounds/words and touch, or taste, or something else sometimes. For many years I was convinced that this is just how our brains work, not just my own quirk, and that everyone perceives things the same way as me. That led to many weird, and often funny nowadays, misunderstandings, for example when I tried to describe things to people.

It was not until I was like 6 that I started to see others don’t necessarily think in shapes, textures and tastes and other things like this.

Many years after I got to this conclusion I realised it has to be some form of synaesthesia, although as far as I know this form isn’t very common, that your brain transfers sound stimuli into touch related associations. I know only one person who has it similar to me in some way, and he is also blind, so I guess it has to do with my blindness, and maybe also a little that I still am somewhere on the autism spectrum apparently.

If you don’t know or don’t understand how synaesthesia works, it’s like there is a correlation between two (or more) of your senses. Most people of those who have synaesthesia seem to have auditory-visual corelations, for example they hear a sound, and see it in colour, or see numbers in colours, or even people may have their own colours apparently, or words, or colours may have particular textures/temperatures for them, etc. etc.

For me it is so that if I hear or think about a word, at the same time I sort of feel what I associate with this word. It’s not like a delusion, I know I don’t feel it, I’d rather say it’s like when you hear a song in your head. You know it isn’t playing, but you still hear it in your head.

For me it’s not only words that I associate with shapes/objects/textures/tastes, but also many separate sounds, like sounds of particular instruments, people’s voices etc. And these aren’t always sound to touch or sound to taste associations. Sometimes it’s much more complex and not always on just sensual level. Sometimes, hearing a particular word or phrase makes me feel in a very particular way, or I may even sometimes associate words or phrases with whole scenes or lots of different, unrelated things, etc. Some words I associate with objects that I can’t recall ever seeing, so I guess they have to be made up by my brain or something. I associate many words with edible things, which is quite fun, or with things that have to do with nature. I often can associate many words that aren’t objectively similar to each other with the same thing.

it’s very complicated.

I think it’s also synaesthesia that helps me understand the colours in some way, anyway I don’t know what else it could be. I am blind since birth so have no practical idea about colours, but I’ve always had some imaginary idea about colours, and even many distinct shades. It’s often very hard for me to describe them, it’s hard to put it into adequate words, but when I was in integration school years ago, I learned that my understanding of colours isn’t that far from how they really are as I could think. My classmates were doing something with one of Picasso’s paintings during art class, and since I of course wasn’t able to do the same, the teacher asked me questions about all the colours, just out of curiosity, like very speciffic questions about colours – whether they’re calm or vivid, dark or bright, warm or cold, etc. And both her and me were incredibly surprised when I said all of them right. πŸ˜€ Of course I’d already got some basic understanding of colours, like that the sun is yellow or the sky is blue, but no one had taught me about how to actually define colours nor described them for me since it’s rather impossible.

I don’t know any other person who would be congenitally blind and have it like that, people usually don’t care about colours, or have to learn about them from others, like have to memorise what colours fit together when they choose their clothes, but I am lucky and I just somehow get it, despite that I see literally nothing (and no, it isn’t black! It’s just nothing). It’s just so so weird, but I like it. It often helps me with writing for example short stories, and describing people, one of my blind friends told me that “Wow! you write as if you were sighted!” hahaha whatever that means, I guess it was just it, that I can create people and nature that looks naturally and is colourful, some blind people tend to understandably forget about visual details or sometimes make them feel not matched or not very precise.

And yet another thing that my synaesthesia helps me with are languages. So many language learning experts and teachers say it’s good if you associate every word you learn with something. I don’t have to think about the associations. They just come to me on their own. That makes things easier to remember, I guess. And more fun, and interesting. And if you have it like this it’s just normal and obvious that you’re fascinated with words. Some of my associations may be scary or something, but most of them are very positive, creative and quirky. If I’m learning a language that is a bit out there for me (like Welsh was for quite a while, despite my love for it), forming associations may take some time, you need to listen to the language a lot and immerse in it, familiarise your brain with it, and then it comes naturally. Though there still are words – even in Polish – that I don’t have clear associations with, sometimes the shapes I see in relation to them are sort of blurred, or hard to describe, or like a few unrelated things strangely and not very harmoniously stucked together. It is not a perfect strategy for learning a language, because as I said there are many words that I associate with the same things, and I may confuse them. Normal people may confuse words that are similar in sound or meaning or something and it happens to me too, but usually I confuse words because I associate them with the same/similar things and then my statements can seem a bit enigmatic for an uninitiatedΒ  person, if the words aren’t objectively too similar. πŸ˜€ I’ve had lots of awkward situations in Swedish like that, and my poor teacher couldn’t figure out what I am talking about sometimes. πŸ˜€

 

I’m thinking about what example to give you to show you how my synaesthesia works. OK< let it be my Mum.

My Mum’s voice sounds like a piano to me. She has a rather dark voice, and when she speaks quieter/lower it reminds me of black, melted chocolate, the shade of her voice then is just similar, it just feels similar to black chocolate and I guess it is my dominant association with her as a whole. Also when I hear my Mum’s voice I feel as if I was touching the black keys of a piano. The word Mum – in all the languages I know so far, makes me think about a little plastic hat that my favourite and oly doll that I ever played with – named Eliza – had when I was a kid. πŸ˜€ That’s very weird. The word Mum as it is written in English, I associate with a little baby sleeping soundly with a dummy, and this characteristic smell of a sleeping baby. The same smell always surrounds Misha when he sleeps or is freshly awake. My Mum’s name is Anna, and the name Anna I associate with a horse – its hair, the sound of a horse galloping, the smell of horses, etc. As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts I also have other types of special associations with names, and looking this way Anna is a pure essence of femininity to me, but I won’t go into details about how I imagine a typical ANna – her appearance, personality etc. that would be way too long, I might write name characteristics some time in the future on my blog maybe. Other things I associate with my Mum are the colour black and the sound of the French language, but these aren’t only about synaesthesia, because my Mum loves black, and was learning French at school, though she doesn’t speak it now.

any other synaesthetes of any kind out there? How does your synaesthesia manifest? πŸ™‚

Or maybe anyone would like to know what things I associate with something? Some people seem to find it quite entertaining for some reason. πŸ˜€ Feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything, be it any word/sound or any questions you have as for this thing in general, I know it’s pretty rare and I realise how weird it is, so I’m open to your questions if you have any. πŸ˜€

 

Suspicious.

My Dad is very suspicious

by nature. So suspicious that I often even call him paranoid. He was suspicious as long as I can remember, always thinking that all people around are cheating – on him, on us, on the whole world. Of course, especially media, politicians, health services, Mum, Internet… but in fact, more or less, everyone. He has always had a very hard relationship with Olek – my brother. I’m sure he loves him, but he always treats him like kinda black sheep and whatever he would do is automatically perceived as absolutely wrong. It was always a significant issue and a reason to worry for my Mum.

My Dad isn’t a man you could have a really deep discussion with, as much as I love him I have to admit he has his views, prejudices and so on so any deeper conversations usually won’t make much sense or even may cause an arguement. But even though sometimes it happens that we talk about more deep stuff, as he likes to talk to me. And sometimes I talk to him about what I’ve read in a speciffic topic we are chatting about. And then he is usually like: “Why do you think they are right? Maybe they just want to manipulate people. Maybe they have paid to write this and not anything else?.” And such thinking makes me feel helpless. I mean – sure, there are lots of manipulative people, manipulative strategies in media, some form of manipulation is probably almost everywhere, not necessarily to make us any harm, but if just everyone is manipulative, what should we believe in? Or why actually should we believe in anything? Why does he believe in God? Maybe it’s just one big cheating? You know, I’m not assuming it is indeed, I am Christian as well, but, thinking the way he does… everything looks so pointless, doesn’t it? Just think, everybody is a total cheater, there’s no one to trust in the world, you have only yourself, well, I wouldn’t even be so sure if he actually trusts even himself. It looks so depressive. And thinking about it, about what my Dad’s reality looks like, makes me depressive, even if it’s not really my reality. I am sorry for him that he chose to live in such an unsatisfying way. But I can’t change it. It is only he who could change it and although he’s grumping so often, he doesn’t seem to really want it.

I am also a pessimist although I think my pessimism is more of a defensive kind, you know, I prefer to be ready for the worst even if everything looks like it’s going to be all good, but that’s how different life circumstances made me and I like to think about myself I still have have the ability to be happy and appreciate even pretty small things and I don’t really like to complain in front of other people, I just find it pretty weakish, anyway when I do so. But my Dad’s pessimism, for me, seems to be only all about grumping, complaining about others, about other people’s dogs peeing where they shouldn’t, not doing anything constructive with his life and thinking almost only about bad things that are happening to him. What frustrates me, he never seems to be really glad of anything, or, more exactly, I suppose he must have some moments when he’s at least a bit happy, but he can’t show it and it really can piss off people around him if they try and do their best to make him happy or at least to make him appreciate what we do for him. Personally I feel like he always kinda favoured me the most in comparison to my siblings, so I didn’t feel it that much directly, but I’ve observed my Mum and my siblings who haveΒ  tried a lot to satisfy him and no one and nothing seem to be good enough which makes them discouraged, and me frustrated for them. Now as he is getting older, although he still isn’t old, all these traits seem to deepen, and he doesn’t even see it. I really do love my Dad and with years I’ve learnt how to act with him, but he’s going more and more annoying and challenging for us. As my Mum put it recently while talking with me – he wants to be mentally old. He is in quite good condition physically, but mentally gets old extremely quickly. He’s not even yet in his fifties, but looking only at his personality traits, I doubt anyone could guess it.

But what exactly did I want to say in this post? No, its main purpose isn’t complaining at my Dad, not even letting out my emotions related to him and his difficult and challenging way of being.

What sometimes concerns me, when I think about him, about what he’s like, is that although I think I can’t say I’m grumpy or really overly demanding for people, I see a lot of his traits in myself. actually more than in my siblings. I think, characterwise I am more similar to him than to my Mum, whereas my siblings are rather more similar to her. She says so too. And although of course he has also a lot of good traits, sometimes I am afraid. I am afraid because as far as I can remember I had issues with trusting people, not as he has, but rather in the way I’m always pretty distant to people, even those I want to be close to. I have always had the tendency to be depressive, to overthink, to feel hopeless. I am often very stressed out about small things and always very unsettled by any major changes in life, no matter if good or bad. I am slightly obsessed about my privacy. And I often feel ridiculously suspicious about people in some situations, which can be really mentally exhausting. I know that lots of situations in my life, often very early on, helped my to develop all that and it’s not only the case of just genes or the thing that I wanted to be like this, and my suspiciousness differs from his, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that someday, when I’ll be let’s say the age he’s now, I’ll realise that I am like him. Overly suspicious, cautious and not letting people to like me. That my life will be as hopeless and empty as his is, or seems to be for me. That I will clinge to my stupid daily routines like he does now in fear of just any changes. Luckily I don’t have such temper as he has so I think having such impressional tantrums won’t be my domain. πŸ˜€ It is Zofijka’s. πŸ˜› and actually I always try to avoid this thought because I really don’t like to think about it and I feel like it’s a bit ridiculous to be afraid about such odd things which could only happen in very distant future, , but I can’t help I’m afraid about it. isn’t it a total paranoia to be paranoid about being paranoid in thirty years? πŸ˜€

 

#JusJoJan 2018, the 29th – Fantastic.

My cat Misha is absolutely fantastic! I know he loves me unconditionally, I love him this way too, isn’t it fantastic when you have a relationship like that?

Misha looks fantastic, is a fantastic companion, comforter and is just fantastic in everything he does. I admire him. My sister Zofijka (Sophie if you prefer) used to say that if only I could, I would marry Misha. Maybe… that’s not that bad idea. πŸ˜€ What do you think?

Misha is really inspiring for me every day we go through together. He is almost everything for me, which means he holds lots of functions in my life. As I said he’s my comforter and companion every day. But he also does a fantastic job as my listener, friend, warmer, pillow, baby, brother and a blanket. Who wouldn’t like such a beautiful, fantastic little creature in their life as I have?

https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/29/jusjojan-2018-the-29th-fantastic/

Stifle *long post*

Sorry, it might be a bit chaotic. I rarely open up so much to people so I got a bit emotional.Β Β Β  Also very sorry for being so late with this prompt, I actuallly wrote it much earlier, but the URL I inserted was wrong.

Some triggers might be possible.
So today, thanks to Daily Post, as a non native English speaker, I’ve learnt a new great word, which is stifle. I am a lover of words in all “my” languages, so yay I’m happy.
So because of this, I wanted to share with you my coping with life strategy, which I’ve learnt during my time in boarding school and now trying to unlearn. I hope it will help someone with similar experiences, as well as myself. This “coping strategy” is as you can guess, stifling them. Why I was doing it?
First of all I think that because I am an introvert, I have always had a tendency to do it. My Dad is a professional kind of stifler and has been one as long as I can remember, but not as professional as me. But since I went to boarding school, I quickly started to have a feeling, that my emotions aren’t really valid. I don’t know if anyone thought so, but that was just how I felt. I didn’t feel good there for many reasons and it was always a nightmare for me to go back there. I know that most of the kids didn’t felt it like this. Sure, not all of them liked school, most kids don’t, they surely missed their families, but noone seemed to have it all to such a degree and to have such issues with adapting there. I was having these issues for all the time I was there. I know only one girl who had it similar to me, luckily her mum noticed it quickly and took her from there in primary. So generally I felt much like an alien, to whom no one can really relate. I felt incredibly weak and hypersensitive because I couldn’t deal with things normal kids dealt without a bigger trouble and, besides some obvious homesickness and other stuff like that, liked it there. Plus I was always kind of individualistic, so didn’t blend in well in the surroundings, while blending with the surroundings was very well-seen there. I know people, both the staff and the kids, thought it is strange that I have other interests than the majority and often prefer just to be alone than in the crowd of people.
In first few years I tended to talk to my Mum in details how I feel and how lonely and stressed etc. I feel all the time, but one day I realised that one of the staff is listening very carefully to what I talk to her about. She came to me then and told me with quite a particular tone in her voice: “You know, if you have a problem, with feelings or something, we can always discuss it on the meeting”. They had group meetings almost every evening there, so girls from a particular group met with their staff and either read something, or discussed things etc.
Maybe I am weird, but I didn’t feel very reassured by that. I needed time to trust people to share my feelings with them. I needed at least some proof that they are really involved. I didn’t want my deepest feelings to be “discussed” by everyone publicly. The more that I just knew they couldn’t understand me, even if they genuinely would like.
So my reaction was a silent rebellion. I thought that NO – from now on, noone will have access to my feelings. I am not a book, to read my emotions and “discuss” and maybe even review if they are “positive” or “negative”. I need to protect myself. I need to have at least some space for myself and this space will be my feelings, which will be just my own, noone else’s.
And you know what? I didn’t even really had to try in any special way to stifle everything. As I now remember it, I feel like it was just I had this outburst of anger and silent rebellion one evening and woke up with a marble mask all over me.
I also stopped to confide to my Mum, firstly because I was now more conscious that walls have ears, but also because I knew she’s worried. I knew from other people that when she’s coming back home after leaving me at school, she’s crying in the car and then at home sometimes too. Since those days I was always feeling guilty whenever I was talking to her about some more complicated stuff that is going on in my life or even just in my head or even if I just noticed a sign of worry in her and suspected it might be because of me.
Teachers, boarding school staff and some kids I was relatively close to, like my roommates, started to see the change relatively late. I tried to not change my attitude totally. On the outside, when I chose to be with other kids, I tried my best to be humourous, likeable, interesting, but as distanced as it was possible at the same time. I had trouble suppressing such emotions like joy or fascination, but never showed up any so called negative, especially, NEVER EVER, anger. With time, I decided to open up just a bit to one of my roommates, as we liked each other quite much and thought we are best friends. Or maybe we both just pretended to be ones, I don’t know. It wasn’t about my feelings regarding boarding school and that stuff though, but anyway, then I felt quite a big regret that I did it, it turned out to not be the right thing to do. But then I’ve bottled up quite a lot of it and, very rarely, from time to time, like once a year maybe, or twice, I started to have quite impressive meltdowns. Like all the anger, all the tears were coming out of me for little to no reason. And people were like… quite astonished. I was too. ‘Cause even before I started to stifle everything, I was rather calm. It felt like it’s not me. While in fact I was having a meltdown, yelling at people, making everything around fly all over the room, and crying, or having hysteria, I felt like I am standing beside and looking without many more emotions than just astonishment. I was just like: “Oh wow! Is this me?”. The next day I was scared though. Most often I didn’t even remember that much of a meltdown itself, but only thinking about not having control at all over your actions… it’s still quite frightening for me. And I felt exactly like I couldn’t gain any control during such meltdowns. It just had to leave me on its own, I couldn’t really help and stop it.
So then one of the staff started to think something must be really much more wrong with me than she always have thought before and talked to my Mum. But, although I didn’t put off my marble-icy mask at home totally, I was a bit more at ease and spontaneous, and didn’t have any meltdowns at all, so she didn’t see anything concerning and actually didn’t really believe in what that lady told her.
But she did notice some things soon and started to think about some alternative for me, I mean, alternative school.
And so for two years, at the age of 10 and 11, I was going to an integration school, much closer to my home, well not that close really, but it made a huge difference for me because I could be at home everyday after school and felt like I am incredibly lucky. I was always jealous about kids in such situation.
So it was better, but my attitude didn’t change, I actually even forgot about what I told myself about protecting myself and not giving other people access to my emotions, it just was going on its own now. I had to remind it to myself a few years ago. So the problem wasn’t really solved. All those emotions seemed to sit with me, and although I felt lucky and grateful that I am at home, I didn’t feel really happy.
I had neurosis, different psychosomatic symptoms like migraines or nausea or other crappy stuff, suicidal thoughts, everything felt very overwhelming, like any activity I had to do craved a lot of motivation, which I actually didn’t have, I was constantly depressed, anxious. It was then when I started to have symptoms of emetophobia and other speciffic phobias, although I really can’t recall any particular event that could trigger it, I just started to be more and more afraid of this and that even if I previously wasn’t and soon it became just a very strong anxiety, hard to deal on a daily basis.
After those two years, something happened, that’s another long story, anyway my Mum and me realised that I need to change school again. And, looking at things practically, there weren’t many more reasonable options for me than going back to that boarding school for the blind. I saw it too. My Mum knew that it would crave a lot of strength from me to come back there again, so to encourage me more she said she’ll do her best to make my biggest dream come true if I’ll be strong enough to come there again. Which she did a few years later. So yeah I decided to go there and burn myself all over once again. After all we live in the civilised world and everyone needs to have some education, I wanted to have it too, it’s not that I didn’t.
After the break it was even more hard. During my two years outside of that environment I was even more different, gained some strange interests and fears.
So it all clicked in the mind of that lady who talked to my Mum about me not expressing feelings and what she got of it is she started to think I must be on autistic spectrum.
So again she alarmed my Mum and talked it through with her. My Mum was frightened. Literally.
I needed to go back to school during summer holidays because they wanted to examine me for Asperger’s. I was twelve then so they didn’t really discussed it all with me before, I just got to know I will be examined in July and there will be some professionals from an autism centre. But, I was a very curious child. I liked to learn new things, I liked to observe the world and for some reason, especially people’s behaviours and personalities, in as big degree as it could be possible for a blind child. And also I was starting to be very interested in psychology and medicine. In our school, there were many kids on autism spectrum. Most of them were rather very low-functioning, some were Aspies. And I liked to observe them all and their behaviours too. Most of them seemed quite weird for me, but I could even relate to some. Like their aversion to changes for instance. Also when I was living at home, I listened to a radio programme where a lady from this exact autism centre was speaking about Asperger’s syndrome. So although they didn’t literally tell me who will examine me and what is ther job in general, as soon as I heard the name of the centre, I started to have a bit of a clue what’s going on.
I tink it was a bit unhonest of them to not tell me what they actually want to do and what they are concerned about. I know I was just a kid and kids shouldn’t know everything what is talked about them, but… it made me really worried. I started to feel even more abnormal and not validated at all. So I hid even more. The thing I remembered the best about ASD was that people with it tend to have interests, which were rather rare and tend to be extremely good at any particular thing. A bit stereotypical maybe, but that was what they said in that programme and it caught my attention, as it fit me in some way. I always felt quite uncommon because of my interests. And that thing with changes and adaptivity… I was wondering about it all the time. It wasn’t that I was afraid about having Asperger’s… well, probably I was, getting a diagnosis is most often a bit anxiety provoking for people and I’m sure I wouldn’t be an exception. But I am sure I could accept it. It is more about the fact that because of how different I am, they wanted to proof me how unhealthy and abnormal it is. That I don’t have the right to be different. My Mum said it was because that staff was so caring about me, but didn’t I hear all comments, of hers and many others, about how I should change and be like the others? “ALl the kids do this, why don’t you?”. Things like that. I am not sure whether it can make sense for anyone else like me, but that’s simply how I feel.
But even when finally that day came and the lady from the autism centre came to examine me, noone told me what’s going on.
She was all smiles and sweetness and told me she wants to make “an interview” with me.
I don’t really remember what she asked me about, I was very stressed out and hypervigilant all day long then. So “the interview” was finally over and I still hadn’t have an idea what was going on. It was driving me just soo crrrazy.
So I couldn’t stand it any longer in the evening. I went out with my Mum, I wanted to be as far as possible from the school building, so we went for a walk and I asked her quite directly as for me what they suppose to be wrong with me. Am I mental or what?
So finally someone had mercy and told me that they suspect me to have Asperger’s.
Even though it was one of things I expected to hear, it was a massive shock to me and it was hard for me to not show it.
The next day I had some other tests and stuff and then the lady who did all these fascinating interviews with me said she sees that I might have autistic traits, but all that I show isn’t enough to put me on to autistic spectrum. Then she was clearing things up for my Mum and me. That very many people show autistic traits, but they aren’t on the spectrum etc. bla bla bla, as far as I can remember she even said there is a connection with blindness and autism, so there’s like higher risk or something. Actually I know that as a little child, before 6 years old I think, I had much more autistic or autism-like symptoms. Like sensorisms or being easily overstimulated and others. She also said laughing that my interests are too many to look like in typical autistic person and that although most of them are not typical, they are quite wide actually. Which I now agree with. She also talked with my Mum and the lady from the boarding school, who still expressed some doubts about the outcome of the interviews.
The lady from the autism centre told me some things that helped me to realise at least a bit that things I feel, fear, enjoy are more valid than I think.
After some time though the staff from boarding school decided to make one more test. They didn’t even tell my Mum about it only when it was already done. They took me to a psychological clinic where one very cold and self-confident lady wanted to talk to me.
The school staff had to tell her about my love for writing, I enjoyed writing fictional short stories back then very much.
They were about a little creature I’ve made up. I called him Parpill. And he had different adventures. Most often quite childish, but also some maybe a bit peculiar, like when he was in prison. πŸ˜€ Some were horrific a bit, like when his whole family got sick with malaria, but nothing too bad, just things most children in their early teens wouldn’t come up with. πŸ˜€ My Art teacher helped me to project him. Her husband worked in a printing house so she got me some so called professional paper and booklets and she herself ilustrated my short stories whenever she had some free time and wrote them in normal print after I wrote it in Braille. I really really enjoyed doing it with her. Now I have a whole series of my Parpills books at home and I am proud of them although they are very childish, but that’s obvious I guess.
So to my big surprise, that cold lady from the clinic, after some very basic questions, asked me straight away: “You write about the Parpills, right?”. “Yes I do”. “You believe they exist?”. “Errm… sorry, what do you mean?” “Do Parpills exist?” “Surely not! Why would they? They are my own creatures created by me, I wouldn’t like them to exist, everyone could see them then and knwo everything about them” “But do you see them?” “No I can’t see obviously and they don’t exist”. That’s of course not the exact dialogue, only some bits I remember now, some more ridiculous ones. Basically she insisted I do see my Parpills and I live in my imaginary world and I should be more in the reality. So she told me that if I want to write anything, I would do much better if I’d write about our everyday life in the group.
You know guys, she couldn’t say something more wrong to me. I think that then my individualism was maybe even a bit too much expressed, but as for the circumstances and my age it isn’t a big wonder for me. But what I want to say is that I hated to think about myself as “a part of the group”, or class, or as an element of pretty much any community besides my family.
If you have any doubts yet, I obviously didn’t write anything about the group. But I also didn’t write anything about Parpill since then.
I don’t know when they told my Mum about that appointment, but I got to know everything about it years afterwards. I had already left that school and talked to my Mum about it. She told me they wanted to diagnose me with schizophrenia. And it’s still difficult for me to believe in it. Cuz… why? Or maybe Parpills really exist but I am schizophrenic because I deny it and claim I created them? Freaky world. I don’t get it anyway. Mum said that she was very irritated by that when the staff told her about what they did and she didn’t believe it either. So they kept apologising her and that they thought so because of me being so withdrawn and “overly imaginative” and because of the anxiety and that they know they did wrong and that psychologist was wrong as well, they know I don’t believe in Parpills.
Now as I think about it more, I am laughing, with some frustration, but laughing, but it really wasn’t fun when I got to know all that from my Mum, especially that I was in quite a crisis then even besides it.
Then they stopped with making up diagnoses for me, luckily. I am interested what would be their next pick. πŸ˜€
But my emotional issues stayed with me and sharpened. At the age of 15-ish I started to self harm. I didn’t have any meltdowns any longer. I cut myself and relished physical pain because it let me run away from all the MishMash inside me. Plus I could proof myself I am strong, at least with pain, if not mentally. It has always been my kind of complex, that I am not enough strong mentally, ’cause I haven’t dealt well enough with all that I had to deal. I also burned myself. But I didn’t want my scars to be visible, like it wasn’t because I wanted attention. I just wanted to manage it somehow. And i made myself ill on purpose, either to just be left alone and not need to do anything, as I was very depressed and even things like getting dressed were like huge challenges, or because I wanted home/not go back to school, or just for to self harm and maybe even die, accidentally, it wouldn’t be that bad. So I did things like walking barefoot on the snow on our terrace to go to school. Yes I know, really crazy things. I wasn’t very suicidal like hadn’t suicidal ideations, but often thought how nice it would be to just die and not exist.
I used I-doses. For those of you who don’t know what Idoser and Doses are, Idoser is an app and Doses are binaural sounds used with that app, that impact your brain like drugs do. They say they’re not addictive, but they make damage to the brain. I didn’t know it at first, I just wanted to use them to have some relief and also it was my way of rebellion. My school was religious, I started to be a Goth and turned myself back from God. I believed in Emilie Autumn instead lol. And wanted to be Wiccan. I didn’t realise that I am also worrying my family, who are genuinely and deeply religious. You can’t use drugs in school area. But I felt smarter than their rules. I was doing it. And no one, besides a few girls of my group and a few classmates with whom I shared some Doses, didn’t know anything.
And I practiced things like OOBE, LD and stuff, which seemed to give me some relief at first, but complicated things even more with time. And I think now that they also contributed to that my sleep is even worse and that I have sleep paralysis regularly. My Mum thinks so too.
After some time eople started to see that I do really strange things with myself, some nuns tried to talk to me about out of body experiences and lucid dreams that they are bad, that I shouldn’t use drugs wherever I get them or whatever it is I take. But I didn’t care and I kept denying that I take anything. Or actually I did care, I started to notice it was bad, but I didn’t want to stop, ’cause it still provided a relief.
I gave up on these things only when I started to rediscover Christianity and realised how bad it all is. Plus it was just my way of saying help me.
But with self harm I struggle to these days. Sometimes I may not cut for months, my record is about nine months, but it still comes back when I have a lot of emotions.
It also happened a few times that I felt very high and agitated, just exploding with joy, was alone at home, felt like I desperately need to talk with someone about it, but what I did was I cut myself. And I only realised afterwards what I actually did. Ugh…
I left the school at the age of seventeen with a master degree in stifling feelings. Sadly, I suppose that’s what I’ve learnt there the best.
It’s not that I only had bad things happening to me there. I would be extremely ungrateful to say so, but still, mainly bad things.
The next school year after I lived I went to the psychiatrist who was very helpful for me and, what I appreciated the most, honest and open. She finally called my problem by it’s name, said that I suppress all my emotions and that I have reactive depression.
It was four years ago. Now I still struggle with stifling emotions. I am conscious of it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. It’s always very hard for me to tell people what I feel, to open up to them and to express it. It’s hard for me to tell them what I feel to them. Sometimes I perceive talking to someone about my feelings simply as a disgrace. And sometimes I stifle everything before I can even think. That’s why people may think I am not honest with them, or even two-faced, cold and haughty. Moreover, I myself sometimes ask myself what I really feel and what is true about me. I am good at introspection, naming and differentiating feelings and see them very well in others, but my own feelings seem to hide from me so often or mix together so I can’t often even tell what exactly I feel ’cause it’s like a blending of many many emotions and I see them as from a distance. Or I can’t tell why even more often. I know a lot about myself, but some areas are totally unknown for me, and that sucks. It’s hard to work with yourself and process things when you feel like you don’t have connection with yourself. But I try, and I think I’m making some baby steps forward. Of course there are always three steps backwards and one step forward, but it’s always something. Especially that as for now I don’t have regular therapy. I talk with my former therapist on the phone from time to time, she always thinks about me and finds some time for me and it even happened that when I was in crisis and had noone to talk openly to, she was able and willing to talk to me at such crazy times like 6 AM, even though had so many other things to do. But she’s really very busy and needed to cut out some people’s hours from her schedule, as she has many clients and also other jobs. A few of them! But we talk like once a month and the rest of the work is entirely mine. It’s hard.
What I’d like to tell you in this post is that if you do this too, if you stifle your emotions for any reason, it’s not a cure for your problem. It’s inversely. It will only worsen everything. It’s a simple physical reaction. You can’t pull everything you feel inside. With time, there won’t be anymore place and you will just explode. In this way, or another. And believe me, none of these ways is nice or helpful to your life situation. I know it’s hard to unlearn it, but at least try to. It will truly help you.
For those of you who don’t struggle with tis issue. If you know someone who seems to be detached, like they don’t care for others or don’t show their affection, are cold, haughty or don’t trust you where as you think they should, because you are in relationship for instance, please try to not be judgmental. It’s very likely just their mask. It’s difficult, but try to look a bit deeper. Try to help them get rid of it. Are you still here? πŸ˜€
Congrats, and a big thank you, if you got through this post. It matters a lot to me. I can’t believe I wrote all that. I’m not really sure I did well, but maybe it will help someone. And I feel a bit lighter as I wrote about it. Again, thanks for reading. πŸ™‚
Ugh, wanted to write post with Misha, as it is his birthday today, or rather was, because it’s already past midnight here, wanted to pick a song of the day and write other stuff, but seems like it’ll have to wait.