Question of the day.

Do you like to go to family reunions and gettogethers, if they’re a thing in your family?

My answer:

As I wrote in my answer to the last question, not really, as it’s very hard for me because of the anxiety and other mental health stuff, and not feeling the connection with most of my extended family. I will go to some of them mostly out of duty so that no one feels hurt and my conscience is not biting me, but if I have to be honest, no, I don’t like it, and if I can, I’ll avoid it. Smaller gatherings are a bit easier, as are those on my Mum’s family’s side as opposed to my Dad’s family with whom I feel totally like a changeling or a fifth wheel. My Mum’s family, even if they are a bit overwhelming at times, are interesting people so at least I can listen to their conversations which can often be absorbing, and they see me more for me than just my blindness, though also not fully.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (10th September).

Hi guys! 🙂

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

Do you stay in touch with your extended family? If so, how?

My answer:

Not all of them, but my grandparents, most aunts and uncles and some cousins. Our family on both my parents’ sides likes to get together so we see each other at different occasions, like birthdays, name days or such. My social anxiety and other things often make it difficult for me to be around a lot of people for a long time, it’s overwhelming, and, I have to say it, it’s frequently also boring because I don’t really have the close connection between me and my close family, so there’s not much common ground between me and most of them, and sitting at the table for hours and listening to/trying to engage in conversations I don’t really feel a part of or don’t have any real interest in certainly is boring. Eating around many people makes me feel anxious too, and anxiety makes me not hungry at all so it’s stressful if you don’t want to offend someone and eat at least something. And talking to more than like 3 people at once is hard for me, let alone when there are groups of people scattered around the room and each of them talking about their own thing, so I usually feel way more alienated and lonely in such situations than I do when being on my own, and I hate hate hate feeling lonely while being around others, and usually I end up just listening to people and forcing myself to smile all the time. And that’s largely why I often avoid those family gatherings if it’s not necessary for me to be there and if I can avoid them. Also most of us live quite close to each other so we sometimes bump into each other on the street or on similar occasions.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

How big is your family, immediate and extended? Is one parent’s side of the family bigger than the other?

My answer:

I guess my family is pretty big, even my immediate family, for today’s standards. Apparently, families with just 3 children or more are officially recognised as “big” in Poland, and we have something called Big Family Card, which entitles members of big families to discounts on public transport or cultural institutions tickets and such. There is my Dad, Mum, me, my brother Olek and my sis Zofijka, and our cat Misha and dog Jocky, but they must cope somehow without Big Family Cards as they don’t travel at all so I guess that’s why they didn’t get them. As for my extended family, well my Dad has four siblings, and my Mum has three, and only one of my uncles on Dad’s side doesn’t have children, all the rest of their siblings do, so in total, on both my parents’ sides, only their siblings’ children/grandchildren, I have… let’s do some counting, it might take a while……… 23 cousins, if I’m thinking right, 27 if you count their spouses since they’re colloquially called cousins too. I think though that my Dad’s family is bigger overall, as his parents have both had many siblings, my gran had like 10 I guess. Or maybe I just have that impression that there is so many of my Dad’s relatives because I don’t know them quite as well as my Mum’s family. I lived with my Mum’s family for most of my life so naturally I’ve seen lots of her aunts and uncles and cousins and all visiting, if not us, then my grandparents, at least so that I know who’s who in theory, but if I’d meet my Dad’s cousin on the street, I don’t think I’d even recognise them, let alone know what their name is or what exactly is the familial relationship between us or what they do for living. My Dad knows all of them though and where they live and what they do, and all the complex affinities. They tend to have kinda unobvious nicknames that they go by, which adds to the confusion, I mean usually Polish nicknames from names are very obvious, but in my Dad’s extended family’s case, their real full names are often quite different from what they’re called, they have a talent for making up very harshly sounding diminutives and spoiling names that are quite pretty in their original full forms. 😀 I guess in a way this must be a Kashubian thing, as my Dad is Kashubian. Somehow though, I have an impression that while my Dad’s side is bigger, it consists largely of middle-aged to elderly people, unlike my Mum’s side where there are weddings and births happening relatively frequently all the time and there are children of all ages. But still, despite being smaller, my Mum’s family is big, quite interesting and spread all over the country, and a little bit abroad.

How about your family? 🙂


Question of the day.

Hi lovely people! 🙂

I have another question for you about you and your siblings today. 🙂

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

My answer:

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

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

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

Question of the day.

Did you share bedroom with any siblings?

My answer:

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

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you have siblings?

My answer:

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

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

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

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

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

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

My answer:

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

How about you and your parents? 🙂