Question of the day.

Hi people. 🙂

Since February is definitely a birthdays month in my family, I have another birthday related question for you.

How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Do you actually like celebrating it at all or is it just a normal day for you?

My answer:

I definitely dislike the conventional way of celebrating special days – all people crowding around the table, having to absorb huge amounts of food at once, smalltalking, feeling bored and either you being in the centre of attention all the time or people not caring at all about the reason of the celebrations but just being happy to have some place to go and stuff themselves with food – depending what kind of a family you have. 😀 My extended are a blend of both haha. No that’s not for me. I try to have possibly decent relationships with my extended family, at least my Mum’s family, even though I don’t feel much of a connection with them for a variety of reasons, so I’ll adjust to such a way of celebrating if I have to, but that’s normally not my thing. I much prefer spending my birthday with just the people I genuinely love or like and care about and with whom I feel well like my immediate family and my online friends. For years I would rather avoid celebrating my birthdays at the boarding school so now I’m not that crazy about them either. It’s nice to do some things you really like on your birthday, to make it more special, be them something very unusual or just every day things you like, though my birthday this year, although really nice, wasn’t something I celebrated a lot. I know my Mum wanted us to go to the Italian restaurant that is quite close to us, because we both love Italian food, but unfortunately in the end it wasn’t possible as it would collide with my Dad’s job and Mum usually has to pick him up. Anyway, luckily I could avoid my extended family coming over, and my Mum just made my favourite toffi cake and my favourite salad and then chips for us for supper, which were all very yummy, we also went to church because of my birthday and I got a picture of a cat that looks almost like Misha, from my Mum, and it was all very nice. But other than that it was just a normal day, and if I had to choose whether I prefer having a rather normal, maybe even a bit uneventful birthday or a family gathering, I would definitely prefer the first. Other than that, here in Poland as in many other European countries we also have name days, which are originally a Christian tradition, and maybe because I’m Christian, or maybe for some other reason, celebrating your patron saint’s day seems just more worth celebrating than the fact you’re getting older. Especially now as I could change my legal name a few years ago and like the name Emilia, it feels like just a much better opportunity to celebrate. My name day is on 30th June so it’s always summer holidays then here, so even the atmosphere is more favourable and you can do more fun things, and my extended family still can’t get used to me having nam te day in June so I don’t have to worry about socialising too much. 😀

How about you? 🙂

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Question of the day.

What would your perfect shindig involve?

My answer:

Well I guess a perfect shindig for me would be no shindig at all. It’s definitely not my thing. I sometimes can’t stand a normal family gathering, let alone a noisy party for God knows how many people. But if I had to take part in one, I’d be happy if there were some places where I could take refuge, or from where it would be easy to take a French leave and sneak out to my room with Misha as soon as possible. I just had a similar situation today. It’s my Dad’s nameday, and because it’s Sunday, lots of people came in hopes that there will be a lot of food and an opportunity to have fun. And my poor Mum had to make all that food, of course. At first we had a big dinner for the grandparents, and after that my Mum was really kind and understanding to me. She was in the kitchen and called me out. She said she just thought I’d probably be much happier to help her rather than sit with the rest of them, which was of course true, just took me aback a little bit since my Mum usually doesn’t care that much about my social dilemmas. SO I helped her out with making the bread – well helped would be probably too big a word, but I tried, anyway. – And then I could sneak out to my room and Mum told me she’d call me when the rest of the guests would come. ANd she did, so I came down to socialise with them a bit, but there was soon so many people, including children, or so it felt for me, that I felt sort of overstimulated, and despite really good intentions, I had to leave rather early, I started to feel really uncomfortable. So, no, no shindigs, please!!!

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

When were you last greatly relieved at being able to excuse yourself from something you were dreading?

My answer:

Well, for me avoidance is one of the main strategies to deal with life, I guess I wouldn’t be diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder if it wouldn’t be so 😀 ALthough in avoidant personality disorder avoidance seems to refer only or mostly to social situations, while for me it can be also in some other sorts of anxiety provoking situations too as I don’t have only social anxiety. and finding excuses for things I feel anxious about, or feel uncomfortable with generally, is always a very tempting thing to do, and one I do, or at least think about doing, very often. It’s also usually very relieving when I can excuse myself from something I’m very anxious about or don’t feel like doing for any reason, unless it’s something real important that I excuse myself of doing and then my conscience bites me. 😀 But, the last thing I was able to avoid…? God I guess there are so many of them I just don’t know when was the last time, sometimes I just don’t realise that the thing I’m doing at a certain moment is avoidance. It’s just so weird. Mmm… Ah, I don’t know if it was the last thing but it was pretty recent!

Last week on Friday Zofijka’s classmate came over to us for lunch, and then to play with her. We were home alone, I mean our parents were away. THis girl is new, she lives here since a couple months, and that was the first time I met her. I liked her, and I knew from Zofijka she likes her too and sort of admires her, because she’s lived in the US for a couple years and her English is very good. Zofijka doesn’t have very high aspirations as for her ENglish but it seemed to impress her. ANd she wanted us to talk in English to each other and she wanted to listen. So, although we were both rather confused as for what we can talk about, we did, and the discussion became pretty dynamic and funny, especially that Zofijka could understand hardly anything and we were telling her we’re talking about her which was driving her crazy.

At the weekend, her parents wanted to come to us – we wanted to give them our rabbit cage, as we didn’t have rabbits anymore while they did and didn’t have a proper cage – and because both my parents and hers have been quite interested in each other because of similar views and stuff they just wanted to meet. I didn’t particularly care about their visit. When they came, I was in my room, doing some Welsh, I knew they didn’t expect me to join them or anything. After some time though Zofijka knocked on my door and said that her friend told them about me, and about our English conversation, and that they’d like to meet me. For some reason that made me feel rather jittery, I do like to show off my language skills but I definitely don’t like people to make too much fuss about them and I felt like they definitely might, and I just had a very anxious day which I guess contributed to my maybe slightly inadequate reaction. I just told Zofijka I am doing my Welsh and I’ll come to them when I finish. ANd I was very glad I had that excuse. After they left and when we watched a film later on with Mum she told me they were so looking forward to meet me because of course Zofijka told Mum that I can’t come because I am doing Welsh and they heard it and they were like WHAT? Welsh?! And that they were still very interested in meeting me. It’s not like I don’t want to meet them or something, I think they are pretty nice people from what I know, but it just makes me feel soooo weird when people make so much fuss and overexcite about my languages, it’s embarrassing, annoying and scary.

How about you? 🙂

Carnival.

Anyone else here hates carnival?

Well anyway, I do. Or used to do, now I don’t have to bother. But yeah I hated it. Oh but how can anyone hate carnival, especially in such country as Poland? It’s such a colourful tradition! Well, maybe I don’t hate carnival in general, there are or used to be some pretty interesting traditions over here relating to it and I always like to read about traditions be them ours or someone else’s, I’m just overall into folklore as you know.

But in my own experience, carnivals had always been yuck. We always had so many parties and balls and proms and discos and dancings or however to call them. We had usuallly one such event at school, one at the girls’ boarding school and one at the boys’ and sometimes also one at the cafe which also was in that centre.

If I’m totally honest, I don’t know exactly what I hated so much about them. Yes it was socially engaging and so challenging for me, but there were way more challenging situations there for me. Dancing is not my element definitely, but I’m not the worst at it and I do dance if I have to when we have some family parties or stuff.It wasn’t that I was left alone and didn’t haveto dance with, if I wanted I’d surely find someone, therewas a time when I was the only girlin the class and my classmates rather liked me as a friend and I did like them.

I guess that just the general atmosphere overwhelmed me. All that crowd and noise, so that even if you came there with someone there were 99% chances you will lose each other in the crowd even if you’re not dancing. And I always hate that feeling of being lonely in the crowd, way more than just being lonely, even if I talk to someone I often feel this way among very many people. And it’s awful.

So I always tried to do everything to avoid those parties. Theoretically, it wasn’t something compulsory to go there, but it wasn’t well seen for someone to stay on their own in the group while everyone else is out, you know, safety and all. And no one actually wanted to avoid them as far as I know, other than me, so it was seen as odd if you did, and you could be more or less pressured to go anyway. At that time I wasn’t assertive enough to just say no, I still am not sure if I would say if it happened to me now, knowing how pressured I’d be anyway, so I rather preferred to find some excuses, which worked sometimes, most often not very creaive stuff like period. When I was very young, I took an advantage of the fuss when they were going out and hid in the shower lol. I was desperate to not go with them, and then I got out when they all went out. As I supposed, no one even noticed I didn’t go, neither the staff, nor any of my group mates. 😀

One year though I did something particular. We got to know there will be two parties, one at school and one at the cafe, as it was Saturday. It was also my birthday, and I got mad. Why do I have to go to some yucky trashy dancing parties on my birthday if I hate it? Why can’t I do something better? And I was determined to not go, and instead, do something very nice. Well, not going could be potentially possible if I tried, but the latter was quite a brave goal in such a place where you can’t decide much about yourself. But I did it.

Luckily for me, at that time I had a kind of English teacher, well she wasn’t my real English teacher, she was my aunt’s acquaintance and lived in the city nearby my school, and my Mum and aunt introduced us to each other and my aunt had an idea that she – her acquaintance – would come to me while I was at the boarding school, say once a week, so that I could go out of that environment for a while and talk to someone from the outside, normal world and just have fun. We made an excuse that she’ll be teaching me some extra English, and the staff agreed. We didn’t cheat on them, if you’re worried, she did teach me English, but the primary goal was for me to just get out of there and do whatever we liked. We both liked English, so we often did English.

I called my Mum to ask her if she could send me some money, we had them stored by the staff but if our parents wanted they could send some to us too. Luckily they came on time. So I called my aunt’s acquaintance, let’s call her K. and I asked her if she’s free next Saturday because I’d like to invite her to some restaurant in the city for a dinner because it’s my birthday. She said she is and that it is cool, so I told her about those deeper reasons for that so we scheduled our meeting so that I’d be out during both parties. My Mum obviously agreed so the staff couldn’t do anything but agree too.

We went to the Moroccan restaurant and, guys, I guess there was the best food I’ve ever eaten so far. Although it’s possible that my happiness spiced it up even more because I couldn’t believe my luck and that it worked out. 😀 Anyway, it was one of more happy days I spent there. Or not there actually, as I wasn’t at school practically. 😀 I hate that city but if I’m gonna be there ever again I’ll surely go to that restaurant again. We had so much fun and we also did other things, but, funnily enough, I don’t remember anything more from that day now, even though it was long and intense. 😀 I only remember I came back to the boarding school with a huge Toffifee, I don’t remember if I bought it or she got it for me, anyway I was sharing it with my roommates at night.

Sometimes I tried to get someone from my family at that time so we could spend time together and I remember one quite hilarious costume party on which my aunt came to me, she’s crazy and very funny so we, and others, had a lot of laugh.

But other than that, I always hated those parties and still when we have some family parties with dancing or in huge locals, my brain turns upside down. Dunno, maybe I’m just boring, but if not being boring =liking dancing parties, no thanks, I’d rather stay boring, it’s way more interesting. 😀

How about you? Do you like dancing? 🙂 Have you been to many huge parties with dancing? Do you like carnival?

So I did it. And I’m back home.

I took a nap during the day which made me feel a little bit better overall. As I wrote in the previous post we’ve had a family gathering because of my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We went to the church, and riding was tough, but pretty manageable.
When we left to go to the restaurant for the actual party, I started to feel quite overwhelmed by the amount of people. I really don’t do well when there are so many people, not even just because of the anxiety, but it also always makes me confused, particularly if I don’t know many of those people, as it was today. It’s hard for me to communicate effectively and have any pleasure out of it when there are almost 50 people, it’s rather overwhelming. But I tried my best and I think despite not feeling secure in the situation I did pretty well.
I only stayed for dinner, then we had a photo session and then some cake and coffee. As for the eating in a large group of people issue I managed it well because I ate very little before so by the time the dinner started I was pretty hungry and didn’t focus that much on other things. And the food was really yummy.
Then my grandad came to me and asked me if I’d like to leave. I thought maybe it’s very visible that I don’t feel very well among so many people, but it turned out he asked because he had to leave for a little while anyway to bring something from the house, so he could drop on his way. My grandad as I told you before is a typical introvert and he doesn’t like to be among many people either, I know he’d rather spent today’s evening fishing or something but that’s the reality, when you have a family, sometimes you need to make compromises.
I wondered whether it’s not too early to leave, but he said it’ll be completely OK and that he knows I’d be bored so I don’t have to explain myself. It’s good when you have someone who just gets things. And it felt very kind of him to think of me.
So then there was a little fuss because one of the guests came quite belated so they all were welcoming him and stuff and so we just sneaked out.
I asked grandad how he’s feeling about the party, because I know it was actually my aunts’ idea to make it so huge and sumptuous, and he said that yes, he’d much prefer to be already in bed watching his favourite movie that is on TV today, but he was happy that his family is happy and having fun. Hm, I don’t know if I’d have such a big family of my own and they’d make such a big party in honour of mine, that I would be so dedicated and thoughtful as he is. 😀
So he left me and I’ve just got out of my party outfit, fed Misha and checked my email and I think I’ll jump into the shower now and then go to sleep straight away. I feel kinda exhausted despite that nap earlier today, I think I’m having PMS or something, it would be the time, don’t know if I’ll sleep but at least just lie in bed and read something, it’s only 8 PM. I feel lucky I don’t have to be there now when they’re dancing. But I also think I managed fairly well those four hours I’ve been there and had my anxiety under control despite it was strong.
OK, so sleep well guys, if it’s sleep time for you as well, or if not I hope you’re having a nice day. 🙂

No sleep last night.

I didn’t get any sleep at all last night. It sucks. I was very anxious and jittery for some not very speciffied reason and I think that was what kept me up mainly. I’m used to such things and it wouldn’t be a big problem for me if not that party we’re having today. As I wrote a few days before it’s my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary today and they will have a very big party with 48 people, with a big dinner and dancing. It makes me very anxious, plus honestly I just don’t feel like going there and if it weren’t my maternal grandparents I’d probably find some excuse, parties are deadly boring. And so much stuff about them makes me horribly anxious. All the people I don’t know, yes they’re my family, but I don’t know many of those who’ll be there, many are distant family. I feel sick in the crowds and any sort of noisy areas. I genuinely hate dancing, particularly with people I don’t know that well. I don’t think I’ll be dancing a lot but still I don’t like it. I hate eating in a big group of people. And it will be a completely unfamiliar area for me because they’re making it in a restaurant. Also before we go there, we’ll be going to the church that is my grandparents’ church that they go to, that we previously belonged to before we moved here. I like going to my grandparents usually but what always scares me about it and often makes me avoid it is… the road. It often happens that riding is a bit hard for me because of my labyrinthum issues. I get dizzy very easily while riding, which in turn makes my anxiety stronger, so sometimes getting places may be a little bit exhausting. It’s a bit like motion sickness, but not quite the same, it’s a bit hard for me to describe the exact sensation and how it feels, it’s a bit weird thing to feel and not pleasant at all, sometimes shitty to deal with. Usually it’s hard but manageable as I mostly got used to it, but ugh, the road to my grandparents’… there are a lot of potholes on the way to their house – they live in the village and this road goes through the forest and is absolutely horrid, everyone complains about it, not just me. Therefore I really hate going to them because it’s exhausting to go through that shit back and forth. And to go to their church you also need to drive the same road. I always sit on the front seat when we go to them but even then it’s always quite a nasty trip and I’m light-headed for quite a while afterwards. It generally really pisses me off because there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it, so I generally try to ignore it, but it always makes me very anxious.

And that all with lacking sleep on top, ugh. I find it hard to manage anxiety with no sleep, and today seems to be a lot of anxiety at once. I am going to take my extra anti-anxiety pill and hope for the best, that seems to be all I can do at the moment. I’ll try to enjoy it and have the anxiety under control as much as possible, and I hope being around so many people at once won’t make my mood slip down again. Paradoxically, i often feel much more lonely among people, which in my opinion is actually far worse than feeling lonely while on your own, and this feeling often causes my mood to drop and I feel overwhelmed. I really hope that won’t be the case today. After all there will also be many people I quite like, so I hope I’ll be able to find it even just a little enjoyable.

Mum knows I hate dancing parties and crowds and she says maybe someone will be able to give me a lift earlier. She said she’d like to drop me home herself but she is one of the main organisers so she has to be there and she doesn’t think she’d be able to leave for a while. I suppose though that my grandad may need to leave earlier, he may like family gatherings but he’s almost as much of an introvert as me and as far as I know him he usually needs at least a little break from the people. I hope someone will be so nice for me because it is supposed to last until 3 AM, so really quite long I think, I don’t think many people would stay that long. I think Zofijka will also leave much earlier so we’ll probably go together, she usually goes to sleep around 10 PM.

By the way Zofijka’s coming back from the swimming camp today. She’s on the way home now. I’m curious what she’ll have to say about it.

So yeah, a bit of a rough day today for me, but it’s just one day and I hope it passes soon without too much shit.

Question of the day.

When was the last time you went on vacation? Where did you go?

My answer:

Oh, that was soo so brilliant! It was last year. Last summer, in July. I went to Stockholm. It was something that I dreamt of for years, and my Dad promised me many times that this time we’ll go to Sweden in summer for sure, and finally it came true last year. Sweden is among my favourite countries and I love Swedish language and Swedish people and so I’m always happy to speak Swedish to someone if I can practice, so I always wanted to go to Sweden. However, when it finally became a real and very close possibility, it started to feel also very scary. ‘Cause, you know, I’d have to be a translator for three people, in a way I’d have to be in charge of things ’cause I am the one in our family who speaks Swedish and English. And if you’re a sociophobic, it’s quite a scary prospect. Plus, I was also terrified about how we’re gonna get there. Because of my other anxieties, my labyrinthum not always working as it should and othere stuff, flying or sailing feels rather challenging, I get dizy and motion sickand stuff and it’s just tough. So, I think I was twice as scared as I was happy. What if it won’t go well? I wouldn’t like to have bad memories from one of my favourite places in the world. I felt like if my dreams are going to turn into a disappointment, if my anxieties will kick in, I’d better not go anywhere and just leave Sweden and all in the sphere of my dreams. But I still knew I’m gonna go there, because it felt even more awful if I missed on such a chance. And, yeah, it was tough. Very tough and exhausting. But it also was brilliant, as I said. And very, very rewarding. Sometimes as I think about it I wonder how I actually did it – all that talking and smalltalking to people, even very random people, but somehow I did. I’ve improved my Swedish, was able to use some English, and even my little rusty bits of Finnish, and get in some more Finnish, as I’ve met a woman from Finland. I’ve also fully realised something I’d only supposed before, that I’m that little bit more confident and comfortable talking to people when I do it in other languages, I guess because my willing to use it, to improve it and have contact with it is that little bit stronger than my anxiety. That’s weird, the more that Polish is also one of my favourite tongues obviously, but there’s nothing you can work on with your mother tongue, is there? And I’ve read somewhere recently that it’s common that people are more extroverted in their second, third, etc. language just because if they want to develop it, they need to communicate more.

I visited my crush Cornelis Vreeswijk’s grave, which was a very emotional event for me, we visited his park, we’d seen lots of beautiful views and historical places in the old town, ate yummy food, even tried salted caramel, which we didn’t like, but which was a funny experience. And man I’ve never eaten even half as yummy icecream as I did in the old town. I also visited a shop with minerals and extended my collection of gem stones with quite a few new ones from different countries around the world, and had a chat with the shop owner, even though he was from Scania, and I’m usually not that good at understanding the Scanian, but there’s always English, and somehow we got along. And I also have lots of other lovely souvenirs from Stockholm, like many books for children in Swedish – oh gosh I had so much scanning, I will think twice next time before I’ll ever again have a desire to buy a half of a bookshop. And the only thing I regret – well apart from those loads of scanning afterwards – is that we haven’t seen more of Sweden during that time, just Stockholm and nearby areas, and still not the whole Stockholm, we’d been there just for a week. I just enjoyed it so much. And, guess what? There is a slight chance I’ll go to Sweden this year too. There are always discounts on ferries to Sweden in summer so lots of people go even just for a little ferry trip to Karlskrona if nothing more. My feelings about that are very, very mixed, but deep down I know I’d love it.

How about your last vacation? Did you like it? 🙂