Disappear.

Oftentimes, I feel the need to just disappear. Even just for a while. Just so that I can have time to set my messy brain in order, and start to function properly, or at least as well as I can, again, to recharge.

When I was living away from home at the boarding school for years, the only place I could go to to have a guarantee I’ll be absolutely alone was… the restroom. Sometimes I was just going there to calm down the chaos of my mind, or just to be alone for a while, but often I did it if I wanted to talk to someone on the phone privately. Of course, I could just wait until there will be a moment when there will be no one else in my bedroom than me, but it was a rare occasion and usually then, I was out too, or was busy, plus, when you really need to talk to someone, you need it just now. So, yeah, usually, when I talked to my Mum, or anyone else from my family, or my therapist, I did it in the loo. I hated it, because the sound echoed there so much and the privacy was minimal because anyone could hear you if they only wanted or if there was quieter outside for a while. But still you had more space than usually in our bedrooms, where there were at least three people living together if not more. Needless to say lots of people often wondered or even asked me what I do so often and for so long in the loo, but I didn’t care and if it was necessary, I was happy to satisfy them with some convincing enough excuses. Later on, I’ve found some other hideouts for myself, where I could just disapear, and feel better afterwards, or just demonstrate my rebellion or frustration by escaping there. I found LD and OOBE very entertaining. And some time later I started to use Doses (sound drugs). I was living half in my own world, made entirely of dreams, imaginings and hallucinations. I loved it there. Only that as it showed later on, there was also a much darker side to that beautiful world, which I tried to ignore. Without going into ethical stuff, as I talked a bit about it before, I can just say it messed up with my brain a little in a longer perspective.

When I got outa there, I was awfully depressed all the time, well I was before too, obviously, but when I got home I fuly realised it because before it happened, I simply didn’t have time to be depressed and I just had to live on. So when I got home and my depression set free, so to say, after so many years of being well hidden, it just struck me with its intensivity. And it was hard to cope with it. So again, I wanted to disappear, hide, run away from my freaky brain. And what I mostly did back then was sleep. Even my sleep paralysis nightmares were sometimes better than my depressed reality.

Now as I got relatively better, I still need to disappear at times. Not only when I’m depressed, but just to stay healthy and recharge my brain from time to time. Well actually I need it quite often, particularly after a lot of stuff happening or a lot of social interactions, doesn’t matter whether good or bad. Then I disappear into another world I’ve created for myself. I don’t always need to be long in there to feel better. Sometimes I just lay down with Misha, very close to him, and listen to all the sounds inside of him, cuddle into his silky fur, feel his little, warm and springy body under my hands. That feels very grounding and soothing. Other times I’ll lock my room, put the headphones on and flow away to Dreamland, a world constructed entirely of my favourite music, and my daydreams. Sometimes I just listen to the music and let my thoughts flow freely, sometimes I only focus on the music and other sensory stuff around me if I want to ground more, sometimes though I go deep into my dreams. I dream about very different things. From those very simple ones to some completely out of my reach, to very exciting ones, to ones that are actually fantastic. Sometimes I dream about stuff I really would like to happen some day, and sometimes about things that I’d rather prefer to stay in Dreamland, so that I can go away from them or come back to them whenever I want. daydreaming feels frustrating sometimes, if you feel like you’ll just never ever be able to make come true any of your dreams, you aren’t even sure if you want it, but most of the time, it feels gorgeous. As Enya sings: “Dreams are more precious than gold” so why not to cherish them? You can always emeerge from the waters of Dreamland if you want to, but you know it’s still there and you can float back there if you only want. And sometimes I listen to music and write something, be it my diary, a blog post, a short story, or just my lose thoughts. And then, I’m able to handle things more effectively. As there are no devices that would be a perpetum mobile, same applies to people. Everyone needs to recharge, and as it is with all kinds of devices, we also vary from each oter and so different rechargers fit us. πŸ˜€

Another time when I want to disapear, and that’s a rather common thing for all of us I guess, is when something triggers my anxiety suddenly. Be it social situations, crowds, some sounds, or speciffic things that always make me anxious and almost or completely freak out. Like yesterday. Since a few days, there was something stinking awfully on our backyard. We had a doghouse on our backyard, although we don’t have a dog nowadays, but the doghouse is still there just in case. And the smell seemed to come from there. Yesterday my Dad was doing stuff around the backyard and finally he just went there to see what it is stinking so horribly. It was just like a carrion smell. So he came closer and here’s what he saw – a dead cat lied wrapped in the cover that previously was our poor dog’s, Bobby’s. My Dad removed it and ran into the house. At the same time I was going downstairs to the kitchen, I wanted to pour myself a glass of orange juice that my Mum made. And I heard him falling in like a storm. I only managed to ask what’s up and then I heard some very scary and disquieting sounds from the bathroom. He was throwing up. I can imagine now how disgusting that view had to be. I wanted to disapear! Run away! Into the kitchen, back to my room, wherever. Wanted to scream so loud that I wouldn’t hear him doing it. But I just froze. And that was the worst thing I could do. I just couldn’t move. Just stood there on the stairs not able to do anything. I could only move when he was done with it. But luckily he was OK afterwards and it was just a single incident.

Are there times when you want to disappear? Do you do it then? Where do you go? What do you do there? πŸ™‚

 

After the psychiatric assessment.

So as you probably already know, I had an appointment with the psychiatrist today to finally diagnose my dysthymia and talk about my possible AVPD. It all went much quicker than I would expect.

As I said yesterday, I was lucky, because I saw the same psychiatrist who saw me after I left the boarding school, who helped me to get individual learning for one year that I had until finishing the stage of education on which I was then, and who diagnosed me with reactive depression. She was very understanding for me and also for my Mum, and I got along with her so I was glad I could see her again as she already knew my story. It was my Mum’s idea to ask her whether she could assess me, because she was the one who first thought that I may have dysthymic disorder and because she already knew most basic things about me. I wouldn’t think she’d agree and have time for me, she works mostly with children, but she agreed.

Also my therapist Monika – the one with whom I have phone check-ins with – came for this appointment.

There was a lot discussed. She wanted to know how I’ve been doing during those four years since going out of the boarding school and then seeing her, so we brought up a lot of things and issues, but very basically I told her I’m of course much better now and less depressive, but I feel like I’m not really stable and struggling a lot with anxiety, plus my depression, althugh is definitely not as overwhelming as back then, is still soundly in place. The last time I saw her, I told her I think it’s my normal to be always more or less depressive, since I just was this way for as long as I could remember. She told me it’s certainly not the way I am, but how my surroundings and life circumstances have shaped me and that she thinks that when I’ll be in more friendly environment where I feel safe I will get better, however she read that I have hypothyroidism so she said I’d have to regulate it, because it’s commonly known that low thyroid hormones can make you depressive. And then she said that if depression will persist for abut four years, I probably would need to be treated for persistent depressive disorder. So I told her my thyroid hormones are pretty reasonable most of the time now, and I’m still low most of the time. I explained to her that it’s manageable and I can still enjoy things, but I often feel like everything is absolutely meaningless, am sad, hopeless, and frustrated with life and myself, I still have self harm urges, although not as often as in the past, and suicidal thoughts are still present somewhere in the background of my life, they’re never very strong, but they are there most of the time. I told her I can live normally most of the time but every few weeks have times when I feel so very flat and overwhelmed and it’s really hard to be normal then if even possible, not only because of my mood being so low and everything seeming overwhelming, but also of my energy being extremely low and that I get terribly exhausted very easily. And it always lasts for about a week. We talked about my mood in detail and how it is shifting and whether I’ve noticed any particular patterns in it. She also talked with my therapist who knows me for years and knows a lot about me and how I function. I also mentioned her about my self esteem being shitty and my feelings of inadequacy, and my therapist said an interesting and rather striking thing for me, that to be correct, we should actually say my self esteem is closer to non existent than low. I told them that actually that’s how it was before, but now I feel like it isn’t as very low as it was for example even two years ago. So we got deeper into it for quite a while. My Mum told the psychiatrist that she thinks that althugh I may seem gloomy, if she wouldn’t be my Mum, she would have a hard time believing I can have depression, because although it has improved slightly over the years and I am much better at talking/writing about feelings to people I feel safe with, I still stifle most of my emotions in interactions with other people. I told her I’m still scared of showing my feelings, and that actually now I’ve been bottling them up for so long that even if I want to express them, sometimes I just can’t and I’m very confused as for how to actually do it and that is frustrating and makes me feel even more inadequate ’cause I know very well what I feel but releasing it is another thing sometimes even putting it into words may take me quite a while. I mentioned to her how scary is for me processing some things from the past or even thinking about them, like about the roots of my anxieties, about which I don’t know much. I feel kinda conflicted because I want to get rid of it and know what it actually is and why, but I am afraid of uncovering it much much more.

And from that we moved on to those last events that led my Mum to the conclusion that I was actually emotionally abused for most of my childhood and how I find it still hard and uncomfortable to think about my past experiences as “traumatic”, because it sounds (in context of my experiences) kinda exaggerated to me. Other people can have traumatic experiences, but I hate thinking this way about my own, because… dunno, because it just makes me feel weak and like I shouldn’t be so traumatised by such things and should get over it long long ago.

Of course my Mum became very emotional and started to cry, I really feel for her that she cries in all kinds of moving situations in front of other people. We also talked a bit about all kinds of my relationships and how I’ve never had many of them, and even if so, very few of them were satisfying for me. I told her that socialising feels very exhausting for me, but although I generally don’t mind being alone, sometimes it feels a bit too lonely, but right now the only people with whom I’m in touch and happy of it are my family and some online friends. And we talked about my current situation in which I feel a bit like I’m stuck and don’t know what to do, I feel like there’s just a big black hole in front of it, or maybe I’m already inside of it, but it doesn’t feel so yet, because I’m still fueled by my achievements during the exams and that I’m finally free from school so maybe I’m just floating above this hole before I subside into it.

She was listening to both my Mum and me very carefully and was very understanding. Then she asked me quite straight-forward whether I feel like going on some medication, or like it’s manageable without and said that the decision whether she’d prescribe something for me like some SSRI today is up to me. That was a hard decision for me to make. But I decided I will stay without medication. I was coping unmedicated for my whole life. I’ve been through much, much, much worse depression in my life. These times when I feel most low are hard to go through, but I will try and I will go on meds if I’ll really really need to. I had an occasion to be prescribed SSRI before, when I was very concerned about my sleep paralysis and what it is, went to the neurologist and she said some people handle it with antidepresants because the mechanism that is responsible for sleep paralysis is somehow dependent on serotonin or something like this and she also asked me whether I want something for it. And I also decided to not take it and try to cope without. That stuff seems to have so many side effects that I would really need to think about it twice or even thrice to decide on taking it. I told her though that my GP has put me on anti-anxiety meds, because my anxiety was through the roof and I really needed them. She said it’s OK and that if I’ll feel like I need some medication I can schedule an appt with her. It was very nice of her that although she has so many children patients she is willing to carve out some time for me. She said though that I definitely need therapy and she wrote in my files that I have persistent depressive disorder and all the conclusions and wrote a referral for therapy for me.

Then my therapist told her that we’ve been talking a lot lately about this AVPD thing and I told her that whole story about how I found that Swedish girl with AVPD and how strongly her blog resonated with me and all she wrote about her condition and just how similar we seemed to be and then how I started to research it and it just shocked me how much like me it all was. Not everything to the same extend, but I can relate to all the criteria. I told her how I’ve actually never felt before like I react very strongly to other people’s critic and I didn’t feel like the fear of rejection and critic is what makes me avoid social interactions, but I didn’t know what else could it be, it was just always so that I was very anxious with other people and I never thought about the causes so when I thought more about it I realised that it may be the fear of rejection. After all I’ve been very often criticised and rejected by people for all my childhood and the whole situation that I have to be away from my family felt like rejection to me because well a 5-year-old won’t understand that “It’s better for you”. And my inner critic is constantly in action and she must hate me like shit I guess.

She read all the notes from that PD therapist whom I visited in March and seemed very involved. She asked me about my anxiety and how I see myself. She was also curious why I refer to my inner critic a bit like it was another person so I said I do it just for fun, I even call her Maggie. I often have, or maybe rather imagine having, stormy conversations with her in my brain and I imagine that she is a different person and the more stormy those discussions are, the more I feel like self-harming, Maggie is a very sarcastic and snarky part of me and almost always manages to make me feel terrible about myself. I feel like it all seems very complex and weird and I actually never talked with anyone in detail about it, my Mum just sat there very surprised, but they were very accepting and weren’t assuming at least not aloud that I’m freaky. πŸ˜€ So I also told them about other of my sort of imaginary friends, like that there is Bibiel, who always makes fun of everything and helps me create an impression, particularly around others,Β  that I am doing absolutely OK, if I need to seem OK, Bibiel is a little more social and very humourous me, slightly immature, likes to do strange things just for fun and has rather carefree, distant attitude to everything. And I imagine all of them as normal people, but who are parts of me and help me cope with some hard situations. She told me that creating imaginary friends is an often used coping mechanism for children, and if they still are with me, it looks as I still need them.

She also asked me some questions about all those my imaginary friends – Maggie, Bibiel and other weird individuals. I may do a separate post on them if you’d like to read it and if I’ll get some idea how to put it clearly and imaginably.

We talked about other stuff too, and then she filled some other papers, and actually it was all over. I got both of my diagnoses on paper, and referral to therapy. Somehow I thought it would take much longer to get the diagnosis, especially for AVPD, because it was something that came from me, not any specialist, and I wasn’t sure what they will do to confirm it fully.

I hope I’ll be able to start normal therapy soon. It’s a pity I’ll no longer be in touch with my therapist Monika, she was my therapist for so so long, and that she can’t fit me in, but I think that therapist with whom I met before who is working with personality disorders should be a good choice, or if not, I’ll be searching for something else, if not here in the area, then online, cuz there aren’t very many therapists here as far as I know.

]

Question of the day.

It really upsets me when I hear people…

My answer:

…vomiting. πŸ˜€ That was the first what came to my mind. I’m laughing while writing this, but the problem is real and serious. Anything about vomiting scares me and it is this way since as long as I can remember, although it wasn’t always to such an extent that you could call it phobic. Even the word vomit in all the languages in which I know how to say it sounds quite… not scary, but… don’t know, disgusting and… and maybe yes, maybe a bit scary. I can’t define a specific situation though that has caused this fear in me, however when I was in my early teens, lots of fears that I had before started to exacerbate and I got a bunch of speciffic phobias during relatively short time. At that time I was very neurotic and had lots of weird psychosomatic issues, well now we know they were psychosomatic but they were rather enigmatic then. I’ve never struggled with any serious digestive issues at all, but then I had overwhelming nausea most of the time and had just a single episode during that time when I vomited simply because of emotional overlload, as I know now. And as I can remember that was the moment when my fear really exacerbated.

I couldn’t hear people vomiting without feeling like my knees weere of jelly, nauseated, dizzy and about to faint, even people who were about to vomit scared me and it was very hard for me to hide. I could love you to pieces, but if you were sick, I wouldn’t come closer than a metre to you if I had the choice, and most willingly wouldn’t even be in the same room as you, even for a very short while. If I had to be with you, I’d then wash my hands for 5 minutes afterwards. It was just way stronger than me. I couldn’t watch movies where people vomited, gagged or even choked, it freaked me out immediately. Even books were hard to get through without making me shaky. And I think I don’t have to mention that I was scared of the possibility that I could vomit or even be close to it. At that time I had a whole lot of restrictions and if I had to break them, I was freaking out, oh, I was freaking out even not doing it, ’cause everything is possible. It was developing very quickly to the point that one of the staff at the boarding school was convinced I’m anorectic. My list of forbidden foods quickly evolved from a few speciffic dishes to most foods and I was very ingenious in making up ways to not alarm anyone with the fact I’m barely eating anything nutritious. It was scary. So many things were scary. Eating, drinking, travelling, tummybugs – which are often guests when so many people live together, periods, meds – well they could also be helpful at times – various scary diseases…………………

And it lasted for quite long, but I got somewhat better gradually after I left the boarding school. I am still emetophobic and it is a significant issue for me – I’m eaten up by anxiety whenever someone in my surroundings gets sick, no matter whether it’s contagious or not – I still have some foods I’ll NEVER EVER eat, even some which I actually liked, and theoretically still like, but, ugh, nooo. I still have times when it becomes worse out of nowhere and I can barely function like a normal human being. I still can’t watch movies with people vomiting, but talking about the topic as you can see isn’t so very scary now for me as it used to be, unless we don’t go too much in details. I can read books with people vomiting with almost no problem, or I just skip it and go on, although there were some books which I had to stop reading, like I remember there was one book by Colleen MCCullough I wanted to read, I started and enjoyed it, but there were people vomiting at least three times and I just couldn’t move on. Hearing people around me vomiting is hell.

But you know what’s most ridiculous about it? Since that time in my teens when I vomited, it has NEVER EVER happened to me again. I’ve read on the forum for emetophobics something that if I got it right, said that people who suffer from emetophobia are so blocked from vomiting that they can’t do it physically. Don’t know whether it’s true, and whether it changes anything, but it makes some sense. I’ve had one or two norovirus infection during all those years, I got also rather severely dehydrated once, and although I did feel like I’m just about to vomit then and my fear was indescribable, I just didn’t and it felt like I had some sort of blockade inside. People say vomiting it’s not pleasant, but it’s good because then you feel better, but I’d rather live with extreme nausea and other stuff all the time than vomit once.

OK, over. Yuck, what a fascinating topic.

How would you end this sentence and why? πŸ™‚

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Anyone up for coffee? Eclectic Ali, who hosts Weekend Coffee Share over at

https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/weekendcoffeeshare-tea-and-scones/ has scones for her visitors this week. I don’t, but I have an apple pie. πŸ˜€ So be so nice and have at least some apple pie with me, if the hour is too late for coffee for you and you’re afraid you won’t sleep, I can get some tea if you prefer. Or kefir. Or whatever.

If we were having coffee, I’d traditionally ask each one of you how you’re doing.

If we were having coffee I’d ramble for quite a while about how relieved and happy I am because of my finals being over. It was so exhausting, it’s so good to be free from this shit…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m having a very nice weekend, feeling really upbeat as for my standards. Wonder how long this graduating euphoria will fuel me. πŸ˜€ I guess until I fully realise I have nothing to do with myself. I plan on having a yearly break from any further education in the formal sense of this word, but still would like to make something possibly constructive out of it. Yesterday at night I had some shitty dreams, like most of them were some semi-fictional reminiscences of the last few weeks filled with exams, but despite it when I woke up yesterday I felt very rested, which was good because I hadn’t slept really well for quite a while, planned on sleeping off on Friday night but Zofijka desperately wanted to sleep with me and I can never sleep well with someone, so it had to wait. As I woke up I felt just like most people probably feel when they realise it’s the first day of their vacation/holidays, with the difference it was my second. Zofijka was very bored and was getting on my nerves a lot yesterday, she is always extremely annoying and absorbing when bored, but she got some things to do in the afternoon. My grandparents came over for lunch. My grandparents sell eggs and on Saturdays they always go to their customers in our area so at the end they always come to us and Mum has always lunch for them. They congratulated me for my oral exams results and were so over the moon with them. I wonder what my gramma will be like if it turns out that I didn’t pass the math one and that I’m not gonna redo it, she was so excited, but I think it could be a bit of a problem for her to accept it. Not like I’m gonna worry about it a lot, but just wouldn’t like her to be worried too much and wouldn’t like her to make a drama about it because she wasn’t prepared for it. So I told them those are still only orals results and it will take a while until we’ll know everything. I know my grandad won’t have any issues with it thoug. We chatted while having lunch. Zofijka was supposed to have Maths, but it was delayed so she went out to get some ice cream for us and to let her energy out. When grandparents left, our – or rather Zofijka’s now – maths tutor arrived. Gosh I still can’t believe my collaboration with her is truly over. I haven’t talked to her this week yet, I know she will be asking about how I feel about my math exam and how I think it went, and I just don’t know what to say, because it was just a pure improvisation. Another miracle will be needed if I want to get the minimum – 30% of it. We’ll just see what the future brings. My parents went to my uncle for a barbeque in th evening.

Today I am also having a very nice day. I didn’t sleep as well as yesterday because I couldn’t fall asleep for a long time, but I don’t feel sleepy or anything.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I decided on making some change in my lifestyle. A few months ago my Mum discovered a book –
“Ancient Secret Of The Fountain Of Youth” by Peter Kelder – and started to practice five Tibetan rites. If you’re not familiar with this term, I’ll just tell you it is a system of exercises that are said to help your overall wellbeing, and, what’s most important for most people doing them, they are claimed to have rejuvenating properties. I was actually shocked when my Mum told me she’s doing them. We are Christian, and yoga is said to be something spiritually dangerous according to the Christian religion, , the Church says you cannot separate the exercises from their spiritual context and you open your mind for the philosophy behind it, which is simply not being faithful cause well you can’t be Christian and buddhist at the same time. I was never particularly interested in yoga, it was something very distant from my interests, so I just accepted it as it is, even though I am not the one who blindly follows all the prohibitions of the Church, since some of them just aren’t well-founded enough and it’s hard to say what they are based on, I just always want to make my own opinion on things before I say it’s bad if it interests me, unless the evidence is clear. Yoga though was one of the things on which I agreed that can be dangerous. I’ve only known people who were either atheists, or very lost in their spiritual life, who were practicing yoga. I had always an impression they’re very calm, but something inside of them definitely isn’t. I’ve heard stories about people living in buddhist monasteries and practicing yoga and going very deep into it, and then being enslaved by the devil, having lots of spiritual hardships and various complex issues showing up in their lives, paradoxically losing their peace of mind and complacency which yoga is said to build up. ANd that sounded rather scary. Plus all these positions that represent and symbolise various aspects of buddhism and make you, consciously or not, practically glorify another God with your body. That didn’t sound appealing. I always thought about people doing yoga as either anointed yogis, or people that are kind of lost in their lives, are searching for some sort of help, peace of mind, and don’t quite know which way to go, maybe don’t have their own clear views on things, or the opposite, want to try out anything possible either for fun or for wellbeing and in search of happiness. And now my Mum is another yoga freak. That’s too awful.

I talked to her about how yoga is considered a bad thing by the Church and was wondering what’s wrong with her, her who always seemed to know, where’s the border between a real danger or something worthless and shitty and just bad, and something that is demonised and exaggerated. She always had this kind of instinct or maybe just sensibility, that was guiding her and showing her what is OK, and where some cautiousness would be needed. But my Mum said she doesn’t approach it as something yoga-based, she doesn’t care about the philosophy behind it, all that bullshit about chakras and good and bad energy, they are just good exercises, and she is sure that if someone has a healthy approach to it, doesn’t go to deep in their mind while doing it, they can only be good for you. She said that from the moment she first read about it she knew it’s something for her. She was searching for something really good and anti-aging, and she believes that what they refer to as chakras, energetic channels and stuff, is simply our hormonal system, and that’s what it works for, but not only. And first of all, you can’t call it rites, ’cause it sounds ridiculous and only appropriate if you also combine the exercises with some sort of meditation or stuff. I was rather scared and pissed off because of her extreme changeability, and not really convinced by her arguments.

What convinced me that there is really something in it was how my Mum started to change. What striked me first was how optimistic she became shortly after starting practicing these exercises. I mean, she was always optimistic, but since she started them, she’s become like more cheerful, serene, less worrisome, more living in the present, coping better with everyday issues that were more troublesome for her before, like in relationships, being more compassionate, more patient –
she was usually an easily annoyed person – appreciating small things more than before, started to seem drawn to nature more than before, more energetic, and her optimism seems somewhat infectious. It wasn’t a one big change happening during one day, it was going gradually, but since I know her very well and because she was talking to me a lot about her feelings about these exercises, I was able to notice a lot of change. She also told me she doesn’t have any cravings now, like for sweets, eats less and only when she’s hungry, and therefore she loves to eat as never before. Her biological clock has reset, and now she has slightly odd hours of functioning as for these days. She wakes up almost every day with the sunrise, so now it’s usually like 5:30, feels slightly sleepy and like having a nap about 3 PM, and then usually goes to sleep at 10 and falls asleep almost immediately and sleeps well. Apparently her climacteric symptoms are gone. My Mum is suspected to have coeliac disease and some doctors told her that this disease, or actually eating wrong food may make her tired. She had been dealing with a lot of fatigue and couldn’t get what’s causing it. It isn’t fully gone now, but she says it’s visibly better. In the past, I could notice multiple times that she had times when she was very forgetful, sometimes even a little brain fogged, easily distracted, I was very worried about it that it may be some early trailer to some bigger future memory issues. But now she haven’t had such issues for a while. She says she can think very clearly, and like her brain also got kinda general reset. She says it’s easier for her to pray, paradoxically, and that she is generally more focused on things. There are many more other benefits she has noticed over these past few months, I was talking to her just before writing this post to kind of summarise all that and she just bombed me with a ton of different observations. And she became actually addicted to these exercises. πŸ˜€ TO the point that even when we were riding back and forth for these exams, she was getting up half an hour earlier to exercise. Well I’ve heard some people say when you are addicted to anything, whether it’s generally good or bad, it takes away your freedom from you and you become enslaved. But if we will look this way at people and our freedom, then freedom is something boring, I think. Most of us are addicted either to reading, or to our loved music, or favourite activity, or other passions. and that gives our lives some meaning. If we’ll look at freedom this way, there’s no freedom in this earthly life for us. ‘Cause we all have our passions, habits, limitations, we all have to adjust to other people, rules, our social groups, other circumstances, we can’t be completely free in such understanding of freedom. SO that being said, what’s wrong with such good addiction? I’ve been observing my Mum for all these months she’s exercising, quite worried and anxious that maybe it may ruin her relationship with God, but in fact it looks like it’s the opposite. and she looks blooming now.

And during my exam session, not for finals but my last exams at school, I started to think that it could be something good for me. As I am not riding regularly now, I practically don’t have any regular physical activity. And I would definitely need some to keep my muscles fit. But what’s more important, Mum has been reading to me about various properties of the five rites and it looks like there are many benefits for our mental health. And if you believe in what they say, it’s not only about the endorphines releasing. I think I ned to focus more on my mental health. I was ignoring it for way too many years in the past. And there may be other things I can benefit from these exercises.

So I told Mum ‘m gonna do them with her and she was like oh wow I can’t believe it that’s so good! That was quite a surprising decision even for myself. But I feel like it’s the right one.

I started doing the five Tibetan rites on Friday. My Mum does them twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before 6, but I do them only in the morning, at least now. When I have some more physical activity in the evening, I’ve noticed it’s often very hard for me to fall asleep at night, so I don’t want to risk at least for now, my sleep is messed up enough. I’m doing these exercises now more like an experiment now, but if I’ll see some changes, I’ll definitely stick to them. They seem very easy, but they aren’t. Right now, I do 5 repeatings of every exercise, the maximum is 21 times, and you have to increase it gradually, depending on just how you feel, if you feel like increasing, you do it, and then you stick with it until you can do more and more. My Mum is already on 21 repeatings. For me though, it will surely take much more time to get there. The exercises seem easy, almost ridiculous, but they’re hard to do. For me, the first rite is most difficult, because of my coordination issues. You have to at the same time raise your head so that your chin touches your chest, while having your back on the ground, raise your straightened legs at the same time, and coordinate your breathing with it, so that when you raise your head and legs, you breathe in with your nose, and when you relax, breathe out with your mouth. For me, all that all at once is extremely hard to do and raising up my head with back sticking to the ground isn’t easy either now. It’s even more hard because of my Achilles tendons being shortened. I told you I had surgery for it when I was 10, but it was shit and didn’t really help. Because of them being shortened, I can’t fully straighten my legs while having them both raised, and I can’t sit on the floor with my legs being fully straightened and backs of my knees touching the ground, I just feel like they are blocked or when I try to do it, it just damn hurts. SO right now I’m doing the exercises as I can, hoping I’ll be able to do them more accurately with time. Before you start doing the actual exercises, they say you should spin around for as many times as many repeatings of exercises you do. That’s also rather challenging for me now because I get dizzy very easily and my balance is shitty. I get vertigo often in various circumstances e.g. when I have very high anxiety, and that makes me even more anxious, because I feel not safe, plus it triggers my emetophobia, ’cause, you know, you get dizzy, then you can get nauseous of it, and… anything could happen, right? πŸ˜€ And that in turn makes my anxiety and vertigo even worse. SO yeah, I hate that spinning thing, but at least I’m doing it on the mat so I know that as long as I’m on it, everything’s right and I know where I am, plus my Mum is with me because I am very very very dizzy after those 5 spins. The five rites are all about good breathing, which I like. My breathing isn’t the best, especially when I’m stressed, and I hope to improve my breathing techniques as I progress. I also noticed, much to my surprise, that if I am breathing properly, I can regulate my vertigo. Though when you think about it it’s not very surprising. My dizziness is very often just anxiety induced, so the higher anxiety, the higher the vertigo can be, and also the higher is my anxiety, the worse and more shallow is my breathing. So when I was spinning for the first time on Friday and then finished and was so very dizzy I could barely stand on my own, Mum told me to breathe deeply and I was surprised to find out that if I breathe deeper, and properly it calms down faster than normal and I can have some control over it.

My muscles are pretty sore now, especially in my higher back and neck, and my abdominal muscles, but not so that it’s a big discomfort, I’m actually glad of it because it means I’m really doing something with them. No drastical changes in me as for now though. πŸ˜€ But watch out! I don’t want to transform into an optimist, I am really glad of being a defensive pessimist, and I don’t think I could ever become a real optimist, but I’m curious what will happen to me and how I will feel.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I was scared yesterday for a while. I was going through my emails as I do every day and I saw an email from my old friend. I talked about her a bit before. She was the one with whom I decided to cut all the contact. I was going to school with her, the school for the blind, and although I couldn’t call her my best friend, and I surely wasn’t one for her, we liked each other. We had kinda similar outlook on various topics, similar sense of humour and maybe in some way also our tastes were similar. She kept saying I know her brain and can read in it like in a book and in some way our way of thinking was also similar, although I didn’t feel like I really know her in a way you know someone who is your soulmate or something, she was just very extroverted and it was easy to figure her out, so to say. Plus she was easy to like, so I liked her, as many others. I left the school and she was the only one to continue any contact with me. I tried to maintain the relationship with another girl, whom I did consider my best friend for a while, but she didn’t seem to want it as much as I did then so I left her and this girl who emailed me (well let’s call her S) was the one from that school with whom I contacted regularly. I’ve never felt any stronger feelings of friendship or likemindedness with her, I just liked her, but as time passed I started to feel more and more uncomfortable with her. I thought it’s because she was still at that school, she reminded me about it and I couldn’t free from it as I wanted. But I still liked her, and it seemed awkward to just leave her because I want to be free from my memories, I wouldn’t be either way. Shortly after I realised she’s taking a lot of things for granted. Like she was often asking me to do things for her which were easier for me to do than for her, she wanted me to be very engaged in her life, in what is going on for her. When I did something for her, she showed her satisfaction and even appreciation at times very enthusiastically, but then she wanted more from me. More attention, more engagement, more time with her, talking on the phone, more various favours. If I could do something and didn’t mind, I was doing it. But when I was gently saying that, you know, I have some other things to do, and it doesn’t really fit me at the moment, she was like very hurt, in my honest opinion, not adequately to the situation, like I’d say I’ll never do it, or I’ll never do anything for her, was saying that I am exaggerating, it’s just a little thing, and it surely won’t take me a lot of time, but OK, if I have so many other things to do, she will wait. So I felt like I did something wrong, maybe I really hurt her, maybe it’s really so important for her. Also, when we were writing together, she usually started the conversation with talking about what’s going on for her, then asked me what I’ve been up to lately. I was responding to her message trying to refer somehow to what she wrote and telling her about what was going on for me. In her response though, she hardly ever tried to refer to what I wrote about myself, just was continuing the topic of her recent life events. While I really do like helping people, listening to them and sharing with them their joys and troubles, if I care about them, the way she bombarded me with only information about her, her love life, her favourite things, her school… was slightly, and increasingly, annoying and overwhelming for me. If there was something she wrote and I found it hard to refer to in any constructive way and wouldn’t respond, she was like what’s going on? Why don’t you write to me? Did something happen? Or sent me another message with other things and wrote something like: “PS: Look at the previous message, I guess you haven’t read it, I’m waiting for the answer”. When it was her birthday, she was asking questions like “Any wishes for me?” as if it was some form of joke, but I can’t remember when I got birthday wishes from her the last time. Not like I cared about it particularly and waited for them, but I guess the initiative shouldn’t be only from one side. Or when she had her blog at one of our blind communities, lots of her posts were finished with a conclusion: “Waiting for your comments guys” even though it wasn’t really anything to refer to in the post, or she was sending us messages asking us to read her post and comment on it and then asking several times if we read it. I’ve also had my blog on there, but it was very rarely when I got any comments from her. The way she asked us for comments seemed slightly weird for me, well if I had to attract people to my blog by writing to them and asking for comments, I would never start doing it, it feels rather disgracing. Surprisingly for me though, others in the community didn’t mind it, or seemed so. But it all was incredibly annoying for me. And I felt like “God, maybe I’m just so selfish?”. Well everyone needs some attention, everyone likes getting positive feedback from others and likes having friends. Maybe there’s something wrong with me? She was starting in a new school then, a mainstream school, and was writing she feels very lonely there, so I thught maybe it’s because of it. Why haven’t I seen it before when we were at school? She was definitely absorbing, but I haven’t noticed so much craving for attention, in fact she seemed even otherwise, but maybe I confused it with her sensitivity.

The crisis happened when she got a crush (on her teacher, ew, how can anyone have a crush on a teacher? but well that’s just my opinion, I would never have one) and it seemed like she has no one else to talk about it freely but me. I felt somewhat honoured, ’cause as I said, I like helping people, I know how it feels to be lonely with your feelings, and, above all, I am an expert in crushes, well maybe not in this kind of crushes, but in general. I’ve had so many of them, and my music ones are almost legendary πŸ˜€ so intensive they can be. I tried my best to be empathetic and as much involved as it would be healthily but it was rather annoying for me. Well I was having a crush at the same time too, why can’t it be a two way information exchange? She was asking me how I’m doing and sometimes about my crush even, but always ignoring my answers, so I finally got it that it’s just a courtesy and limited myself to very casual information. And one day she got an idea of a short story about her life and about her crush. Or actually an idea that she would like to see a short story about it. She asked a few people from our former school with whom she kept in touch, including me, to “write a fan fic about her”. Guys, tell me honestly, would you like someone to write a fanfic about your life? Would you feel good with it? No, it’s not a biased question, I’m just curious about what other people think about such an idea. The first thing that I thought was though – why can’t she write it on her own, wouldn’t it be more interesting? And then I thought that for me, it seems slightly unhealthy. If people write about other people’s lives, it’s usually because there’s really something fascinating about them, they were/are famous or something…

Nevertheless, I decided to at least try. I know she would be, or seem at least, so so very hurt and offended if I would just refuse, and I knew she is lonely with this whole crush and doesn’t have anyone else to talk about it, I didn’t know how to refuse in any way that wouldn’t hurt her if even just saying gently that I can’t right now is too hard. Plus I thought that maybe if I’ll do it for her, and that’s a lot to do and would cost me a lot of dedication and commitment, maybe that will change something in her very annoying attitude and she will be less selfish. And if the selfish one here is me, then the more I should try and compensate it for her this time. SO I told her that OK, I’ll try, but I don’t promise anything.

It was fucking exhausting and cost me a lot indeed. But I tried my best, despite being extremely pissed off and despite I know I could as well just leave it and tell her she’d better do it for herself. But she told me that all the other people whom she asked refused and now I’m her only hope. So I felt like I have to do it, if it will really help her… I was sending her every chapter so that she could find things that weren’t very realistic or needed some correction. And I finally did it . And she was over the moon: “Oh thanks I love you I love you so much you just know me so well”.

That didn’t last long, however. After some other issues with her that were very tough for me, I got a message from her saying something like this: “You know it’s my birthday soon? And I’ve got a mission for you. Could you write another fanfic about me? A continuation of that previous one?” and then there was a whole description what she would like it in general to look like and some potential inspirations for me. I got cross. I wrote to her, politely, but a bit icily and straight-forward, that sorry, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever do another one, I just have too many other things to do that are currently much more important and reminded her I’m having my finals this year. And she seemed very touched and hurt. But I wasn’t moved by it this time.

I thought about breaking all the contact with her a lot, but it seemed totally impossible. She had my phone number, we had lots of the same friends, were in the same networks… just not doable. And what I’d tell her. I’m breaking with you, because you’re selfish? Other people still like her, despite she is. Maybe something is wrong with me, and not with her? But as the time passed I felt more and more stressed and literally felt nauseous whenever I saw a message from her. I was making longer and longer breaks between logging in to any social media/communicators where she was too and where we were talking. And finally I made the decision… A boy whom I also know IRL from the integration school, and with whom S. is close nowadays because he is “Fascinating” wrote to me whether I would be able to meet with him and S. That boy and me live quite close to each other, and S. was going for holidays here. I freaked out. Just freaked out. That was the last thing I wanted. To see her. And trigger all the shitty memories. Talk about “old, good times”. Fuck it. I didn’t even respond to him. I went to my Mum and was very distressed and asked her for an advice. It seemed ridiculous for me to be stuck in relationships that are so uncomfortable for me and that don’t bring anything good into my life, but how to wriggle out? And of course Mum also told me it’s ridiculous. I thought about all my other friends that oth S. and I know. I’d have to leave them all. But, surprisingly, although I felt some pity about some of them, I didn’t feel like my life wuld be much worse or more empty without them. There was one girl whom I knew since my childhood, we really liked each other, we called ourselves best friends, but with years we got somewhat distant to each other, our interests weren’t the same any longer and we both changed so so much. I still liked it, I still do now, I always tried to be supportive for her, she is from a dysfunctional family, and she was always so kind to me, I grieved when I thought about leaving her and not knowing what’s going on with her, but there was no longer anything that would really make us real friends, and she had many more good friends who were supportive to her. If I had to cut all the contact with S. I’d have to cut all the contact with that girl too, because they knew each other and I know that girl wouldn’t understand me and why I need to keep myself away from S. S. knows we both are often in touch and she could ask her whether she knows what’s going on with me and where I am, and she’ll tell her, ’cause why not.

SO I decided to leave them all. I felt awful with it. Like I’m isolating. I’m cruel for S. to not tell her anything. But I knew that if I’d tell her, she would be hurt and offended again and make me feel qualm again. I just needed to do it once and for good, and possibly quickly, before I change my mind. I got rid of all the communicators where S. was. Didn’t delete my account to not make anyone suspect anything, but just got out silently. I changed my Twitter account and protected it and left the old one (luckily I have tons of email addresses for everything) and as I knew from the past she may start to call me like crazy, I even changed my phone number. I felt weird about it all really. Like I’m exaggerating, and hurting her. But I didn’t regret. I don’t regret until now. I have other friends with whom I feel really well and like we are for each other, not the way I was for S. I feel a part of this community and I am so happy I have this blog and I have you guys. And I don’t miss anyone there. I still don’t know and have doubts sometimes whether I did the right thing and think that maybe I am wrong, not her, maybe I can’t have proper relationships with people and wanted too much, or took it too directly, but I still feel good with what I did, I don’t want to go back there. Sometimes I just think about S. I actually feel sorry for her, I would like to know how she’s doing now and whether she has anyone to talk to about her crush and stuff, how she feels about me just disappearing so suddenly. Sometimes I feel like I could tell her something before I left, but I know I’d feel too guilty and she’ll stop me. SO no, I wouldn’t change anything. I’m glad I separated from them, even though I knew so many of them in real life, even though they are blind like me, even though now I hardly ever write in Polish with anyone. πŸ˜€ I don’t feel a part of them. I liked many of them in a way, but I’ve always felt different and kinda awkward with them.

And yesterday I got an email from her… the topic was just her style: “Read it to the end”. I froze. Shit from where she got my email? Did I give it to her? I can’t exclude it, but I can’t remember doing it. The only other way I see how she could get it is via that boy who lives near me – he is a programmer and the author of one of the blind communities where we were. I was registered to that community with this email, and he could give it to her. Well I hope it was this way, not something more sophisticated, I wouldn’t suspect her of doing something more to get it, but who knows.

I didn’t even open that message. I just sat and was shocked. I didn’t want to open it. Was too scared. I set a filter in my email client to always delete any future potential messages from her without bothering me with them. What you never know won’t hurt you, and if I’ll ignore them, she’ll just stop bothering sending anything in future. But after a few hours I decided to open it. I didn’t read the whole of it. Just looked at it very cursorily. She was asking in a way like she was deadly offended whether now when the finals are over I’ll come back and have more time for her. “Im waiting! I’m still waiting! Did something happen? Are you offended or something?”. I don’t know what else was there but at the end she wrote that one of the communities for the blind where we were together is soon to be closed, and if I want I can download an archive of my data from there before they close it. I haven’t been there for ages, and I don’t have anything to do there anymore, and also I knew before that it’s about to close, but I thought it was nice of her to notify me, even though I also knew it was just an excuse to write to me, well she has the right to wonder what’s going on with me, she has the right to ask. And I have the right to my freedom and to leave it as it is. I even was tempted to write to her just to thank her, to simply not be rude, but decided I prefer to be rude than get another message from her then and start it all over again. Sometimes you have to be radical. I am still horribly doubtful whether I do the right thing, maybe I should at least tell her why I left, but I just can’t right now. I wouldn’t even know what to tell her. So I didn’t do anything. But I’m glad it was only this, I was afraid it might be something more awful she wrote. It didn’t however made me freak out completely and I settled again quickly.

And if we were having coffee, I’d tell you one more thing. Tomorrow I’ll have a psychiatric assessment for AVPD and dysthymia. I’m damn anxious, but at the same time I’m really looking forward to it. I wanna know what’s up with my freaky brain. I wanna get some constructive opinion at last. I wanna get some help, although it’s weird because at the same time I’m absolutely scared of getting help and support from people, I just can’t figure out myself and I never will. What’s great is that I’m lucky. The psychiatrist who will assess me will be the same whom I saw those four years ago when I left the boarding school and who diagnosed me with reactive depression. I saw her only once, but I was getting along with her really well and she was very sensible. She works mainly with children. Not exclusively but mainly, and I’m glad she is still willing to assess me even though I’m not a child anymore and I won’t have to tell my story over and over again to someone I don’t know at all.

Congrats to those who got through all my brain vomit, I really appreciate your commitment if you did it, although I realise it’s highly unlikely someone will get through it all, I just needed to ramble and my diary doesn’t seem enough.

Anyway, I want to know what would you tell me if we were having coffee. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Something I would never consider doing all by myself is…

My answer:

…lots of stuff, but since it’s been on my mind a little for a while lately, travelling by public transport, especially for long distances, particularly by train. I was doing it for a while in my life, well not by myself but with my orientation instructor, but it was pretty much like by myself, she was only there in case something bad would happen or I’d be terribly lost – which I was very often – – but practically I had to travel by myself and wasn’t able to ask her any questions or for any other help, if I wanted some hints I could only ask other people. That was a terrible thing and I always felt paralysing anxiety before and during orientation, because I was so terribly bad at it technically, due to my multiple issues like with balance or mobility etc. plus because of my anxieties. I guess I’ve mentioned in one of my very recent posts that because I didn’t have any other official diagnosis apart from blindness and Achilles tendons deffect that would be known for the staff at the school for the blind where I ws learning, they couldn’t adjust it more to me, they just wanted concrete diagnosis/diagnoses on paper, which in my case was rather hard, because my issues were too mild to be classified as a symptom of some more complex disorder, and too bad to be just ignored since they’ve impacted me a lot, so they were always referred to by doctors and other specialists kinda collectively and briefly as sensory integration issues or something similar. My Mum and me strived for either some clear and official diagnosis, or for some more individualised approach to me since even without labelling evidence of my issues was rather obvious, but finally we didn’t get either.

The period of me travelling short distance by public transport was very short, because shortly after I started doing it I left the school since the opportunity appeared, and I started doing it later than most of my peers because of all the above mentioned issues and so because I haven’t yet learnt all the necessary techniques and wasn’t confident in many areas that were familiar to me when many other kids were starting with public transport, so they gave me more time to prepare for it. I still lacked at lots of skills when I finally started travelling though.

Although my orientation tutor was a very nice person and generally we were getting along quite well, this is one of my most dreadful memories from the boarding school. I was only travelling by bus or sometimes by underground and only on very short distances, but that was a pure nightmare, from the very first minute to the last. All my phobias have been exacerbated during that time, like I was agoraphobic as long as I remember but it was rather mild, and at the time I was learning to commute by public transport it got worse so much that suddenly I was afraid of open spaces even with someone else whom I trusted, in spaces that I knew relatively well and felt relatively safe before so was constantly in extreme tension and being functional and normal was quite a challenge and I actually wonder how I was doing it so that no one noticed I’m going crazy.

I’ve never travelled by train completely by myself, but we were often told at school as little children that one day we will learn it and will be able to travel back and forth from home to school on our own. That seemed like quite an abstraction for me and I couldn’t get how I can ever do it, sounded a little scary, but at the same time I waited for it with some excitement, ’cause then I could be home every weekend if only I wanted. However years later I had a few opportunities to travel by train with complete or almost complete strangers. When I was like Zofijka’s age – 10-11 – my Mum had gal bladder surgery just before summer holidays, my Dad had a crazy job schedule and there was no one who would be able to pick me from school for holidays. So there was one woman from the staff going to the same part of the country where I live so they decided at school she will assist me during the journey. She was working in the boarding part for boys and one of the boys was going with her for some sort of concert where he was playing. They knew each other very well, but I didn’t know neither of them, so felt rather strange and not really safe. They had plenty of things to talk about during the journey, but since I hadn’t have a clue what they were talking about I felt a bit like a fifth wheel. And that made me thinking whether I would really like to travel by train on my own. It seemed quite overwhelming. Then I was also travelling back and forth with another girl’s mum, but she was a very nice person, plus we were travelling together more than once so I got to know her and liked her, but still, I didn’t like travelling with her because I just feel kinda unsafe. And it wasn’t just about commuting by train, if I was going somewhere by train with Mum or anyone else I knew really well, that was OK and even kinda exciting, maybe because it didn’t happen frequently. But when I had to travel with someone I didn’t know that well, I was very hypervigilant and overwhelmed.

and so when I started to learn to commute, I lost all the enthusiasm to the idea of travelling home by myself. I hadn’t got any lessons on travelling by train, but always thought that if going by bus even on a short distance is such a big deal for me that I can barely breath properly and be functioning, commuting by train has to be waay too exhausting then. Plus I felt discouraged, ’cause if I can’t manage any routes properly and anything I did seemed to be wrong, I couldn’t get how I could be able to manage a train ride, with changes. That seemed totally abstract and not worth the effort.

This came to my mind because of my recent encounter with the headmistress of the school for the blind where I was passing my finals, about which you can read more in my last Weekend Coffee Share post. That was unbelievable and to put it veery briefly she was comparing me with “brilliant” students at her school, who are better than me at just everything. And she told me one of the girls is commuting to school by train, and that’s what I should do too. No comment.

Nowadays, I don’t travel by myself at all, since there’s no need for it and, as it seems from all the above stuff, no way as well. My family travels everywhere by car, we have three cars, and now as we live in the town it’s much easier to move around on foot. Right now, even if it wouldn’t be such a big deal for me mentally and technically, I don’t even have anywhere particular to travel, I can go to my gramma by bus. πŸ˜€ We visit her bi-weekly, but I could be so nice and do it once a week. πŸ˜€

My life situation can, and might, change with time, and maybe I’ll be living on my own or something, and not have anyone to give me a lift everywhere I need, I don’t know, maybe with time I’d be able to manage my anxiety and other issues and learn at least some basic routes, or will go by taxi everywhere, or rely on my siblings, anyway, whatever future circumstances might be, I will NEVER, ever travel by train on my own! That’s way too scary.

What’s such thing for you?

Surprise!

So as some of you could notice before from my activity on your blogs, I’m back since a while now. We came back much earlier than we thought we’d do. It was because the weather yesterday was really crappy and rainy, unlike last week, so if we wanted to stay in Bydgoszcz until THursday, with one day completely free of my exams, we’d be bored to death, not being able to do anything other than vegetating in a hotel room or hanging around the rainy streets, which wasn’t something appealing to neither of us, in addition in the morning I happened to sit on the ax, which is how my Dad calls having a period πŸ˜€ so I really didn’t feel the best despite taking two Pyralgines.

I had only three hours of sleep, but it’s always something, although we all were very sleepy. Zofijka decided in the last minute that she wants to go with us. We got to school about nine, and then me and Mum had to wait because another girl was passing the exam. In the meantime we were talking with one of English teachers at that school, who actually made me realise that it was English exam first, not Polish, as I thought. She seemed a little scared when she realised I thought it was otherwise, you know, she thought I was maybe not prepared and stuff, but I was actually relieved, I much prefer having English exam than Polish, I’m a little afraid of the Polish one because I’ve heard multiple times it’s such a lottery, they can actually ask you about anything, including obligatory readings that your class didn’t do, because there are so many of them you can’t do all of them and be prepared for everything. It would maybe be better to have the worse thing first, but anyway, I was glad it was English. As the girl before me came out, it turned out that we were going to the same school for a while, when I was in the integration for two years. My brother Olek was then in the same school as me, and she was in the same class as he. So then the committee called me and I was actually happy I can now demonstrate my skills, I like talking in other languages unless the circumstances aren’t too stressful, and because I had a teacher for a little while at the beginning of this school year who was coming to me to just prepare me to my finals, more technically than linguistically, I knew how this exam will look like and wasn’t anxious at all. I had lots of conversations with my teacher on even a higher level it all was completely manageable. At first there was a little issue though because I didn’t bring my ID. I knew that ID is needed for your finals, but when I was coming on all the previous ones, they didn’t ask for it at all, so I didn’t bring it this time. But luckily there were lots of people who could declare that I am me so then it went smoothly.

At first they always ask you two questions, kinda for a warm up, and in my case they were what qualities I seek in a friend and… surprise, surprise… what foreign languages I’d like to speak. πŸ˜€ So I provided them with a whole list, which as I think, made quite a big impression on them, as I believe did my accent. πŸ˜€ I listen to a lot of British stuff like BBC programmes, so it was easy for me to pick kinda standard British accent. Sometimes I talk in a more Northern way or may try to talk in other British accents in more informal situations. Although I’m sure I still have some kind of Ponglish too, as I’ve never been to any English-speaking country. But on Polish people my English accent always makes an impression. πŸ˜€ So then I drew the set of actual exam questions. At our finals, we always hhave a kinda roleplay to play between a student and an examinator. You get the instructions with a brief description of a situation and things you need to bring up in the conversation. In my case, the situation was that someone stole something from a shop and I witnessed it. And I had to talk about it with a friend, played by a lady from the committee, and tell them what I’m going to do now etc. And then when we did it, she asked me about a sport event in which I’d like to take part, so I told that I would like to take part in another horse riding competition, because it’s been a while since my last one and I miss it a lot. Then she also asked me if I have friends who regularly attend some sport events so I told her I don’t, I only have a brother who is a supporter of Legia-GdaΕ„sk (this is a football team) and is always willing to support them on their matches, even if it involves driving across the country at times. Then she asked me whether I like to actively spend free time. I told her that although I spend most of my free time doing things that don’t involve too much activity and movement, I do like being active, especially if we’re talking about horse riding, and I also go for a walk with my Mum very frequently. Then she asked me whether cinemas are popular and why so I told her that yes, I think they are. Although people can watch movies online and almost everything seems to be available online, I feel like there still are people who like to just go out in the evening, get some popcorn and Pepsi and watch a film in the cinema, that must have some atmosphere for them, I believe. And then she asked me what kind of art is most important, so I said I can only say what’s most important and beautiful for me. I’d say most people would choose visual arts, but for me it would be music, because it is so relatable, so cathartic and international. and the last question she asked me what would I choose, a classical music concert, or a rock music concert in the open air, if I was going for a concert with friends. I said that although I appreciate and like classical music, I’d rather choose the latter because I feel like many people don’t understand and don’t like classical music, rock is much more accessible and relatable, I know people who just fall asleep listening to classical music, so just the latter would be a safer option, plus I too like rock in general slightly more than classical music.

The whole exam lasted for not longer than 12 minutes and I was really glad of myself. TO be honest, I didn’t think there was anything in it that I said or did wrong, and because I am able to think in English nowadays, I felt very confident in speaking. That’s so weird, but at times I even feel like talking to people in other languages is much easier and less anxiety-provoking than in Polish, and I feel a bit more extroverted and less self-conscious while talking in English. I would be hugely disappointed and even more surprised if I got any less than 85% for it.

So I came out and then we had even more waiting. We had to wait until a few more people will take the exam and the break will start, because then they will reveal the results. Unlike with written exams, with oral ones you get results much quicker since they aren’t sent anywhere, just the committee who asks you rates your skills. All that waiting, which lasted for a few hours, was so damn boring.

But finally the break started and all of us who have taken the exam so far were coming into the room again to hear our results. This time, besides of the committee, there was also headmistress and her assistant in. I always feel kinda unsafe at that school, as if something terrible was about to happen, but I feel twice as unsafe around the headmistress because of that awful situation that happened to me after the first exam. I was seeing her then every time before and after writing an exam because of all the procedures and although nothing like that ever happened again, she was still very critical and clearly jerky to me, unless it’s her everyday attitude. And even if she isn’t talking to me, I feel awful around her, even simply her voice sounds so dry and unpleasant so that you feel some kind of antipathy from the beginning. And omg honestly, if I was her, I would seriously think about taking something for halitosis, but I am not as jerky as she is and I’ll be nice and won’t give her advices she doesn’t ask for. But well, I’m glad I’m not from that school and hopefully soon will be able to forget about her for good.

Anyway, I came in and she said:

– So you can get 30 points max, and how do you think, how many did you get? –

– Hard to say, but I think quite a few. –

– And maybe some more speciffic numbers? –

– Hm, something like 25? –

– 25, you say… so, with a great regret, er… sorry, with a great pleasure, I have to say you’ve got 30 points. – she said.

You know I wasn’t really surprised? I just felt like that’s what is gonna happen. She was so nice that she didn’t forget to at least try to crack me up in the end, but it was easy for me to keep smiling, because I was happy I got 100% and I knew that in a way I just cut her down to size. It’s not often that someone gets 100% from any final exam. I was the last of all the students who were taking this exam to hear my results. There are only 9 people, 9 people in the whole school, plus me, taking their finals. Cause you can graduate from school here without taking them, and although the school is big, I’ve heard not many people were feeling like doing it. In the school for the blind where I was for years, I know there were always whole classes taking finals. And I was really surprised they had only 9 people taking them. Looks like their level is much lower there. Or maybe it’s because so many students there seem to have coupled disabilities. And I’ve heard all of them coming out and sharing their results with the whole world. Only ONE girl had the result above 60%. Her result was really good, but she was the only one, most people had like 40%. That seemed a little bit sad, although my Mum told me that I should cut her – the headmistress – down to size as much as possible, for disgracing me and comparing me to her brilliant kids. And although it wasn’t my goal in itself, I was so happy I did it.

I wonder why she said it “with regret”. Maybe she was just joking, and that’s OK, or wanted to somehow keep me in suspense, or something, but sadly I suppose that’s what she really thinks and wanted to pretend it’s just an innocent joke. It’s not like I care what she thinks or feel sad that I made her feel regret, not at all, but you feel rather weird hearing something like this, among other jerky stuff which I’m not gonna quote because I don’t want to start to think about it again plus it’s not important in the grand scheme of things, I think it’s a bit foolish to care about what she said even a bit, but I can’t help it that I still do and still hear it. My Dad simply said it’s “biatchy” of her to say this regret thing and my family doesn’t really think it could be a real joke and she is really “regretting”.

My family of course were very happy of it and Zofijka couldn’t believe it, but my Mum said she also somehow felt it will be so, ’cause well I might not be fluent in English, but this exam was a bit below my possibilities.

On the way home we went to CheΕ‚mno, which is a town near Bydgoszcz with lots and lots of old churches and cemeteries even from 13th century, and my family went to see it, but I stayed in the car. I didn’t feel well physically because of the period and somehow my mood started to drop. Yes, I was proud of myself in a way, but I felt somehow very depressed. I don’t know, maybe the headmistress’ words started to strike me and I felt exhausted of all that exam fuss and started to fall deeper and deeper in the self-loathing hole, having to fight against another Maggie, this time my inner self critic whom as you may remember I also call Maggie, and because I felt so exhausted and not at all like fighting anyone, she started to win over me with a smashing predominance, and I didn’t really care, as so many times before I just believed her she’s right. I also felt dizzy and like I’m going to get an awful migraine. My dizziness got worse when my family came back and we drove home. And as we got home my balance was so shitty I was walking slightly like I was drunk. πŸ˜€ So Olek let us in and asked me whether I had some Jack Daniels with me to help me on the exam. I laughed and said that no, but it’s something to think about next time. πŸ˜€ I got a quick shower and went to bed, not to sleep but just to shut my mind off, with which I didn’t really succeed, and to rest for a while. Read some blogs and other stuff but my head started to ache more so I gave up on this. And when my mind finally shut off I I fell asleep about 7 PM. Really really early for me.

ANd I woke up with a nasty migraine in the middle of the night. Ugh that was so shitty. And lasted until almst 2 PM. I am still kinda weak but it’s much better now and the migraine is gone. But I still feel rather depressed and blah and hopeless, overanalysing everything and shitty, and definitely not like someone who got 100% on an exam, quite the opposite.

So glad tomorrow is the last one, maybe will feel better afterwards.

How are you guys doing? πŸ™‚