Question of the day.

What’s an insignifficant thing that triggers the shit out of you?

My answer:

I have a lot of anxieties and anxiety triggers that I guess most people would consider quite insignificant. I guess the most prime example though are some sounds/combinations of sounds/words that really crip me out in a sensory way. The degree to which they trigger me will depend on how I’m doing overall and the context and probably some other things, and also there are creepy sounds/words that are less scary than others, but it can feel really nasty. I guess usually people won’t be able to spot when this is going on. As a small kid I would start shrieking when something sensorily creeped me out particularly badly and a few times it made me feel freakishly weak physically and it was like one moment I’d be standing, and before I even fully realised what was going on I was sitting on the floor ’cause my legs were so wobbly haha, and I felt like I was going to faint or something. These days however, it most often just makes me freeze. Which perhaps works better in social situations as it’s more socially appropriate than screaming your lungs out and is more discreet so every random peep doesn’t need to know that “Wow, this creeps Bibiel out, good to know!” 😀 but other than that it stinks because even if I could extricate myself out of the triggery situation with no problem, I practically can’t because my brain’s stuck in a weird kind of limbo thing pretty much until the triggering stimulus goes away. And then it’s too late because my brain has already absorbed it and is going to be throwing it at me of its own accord, without the need for the external stimulus being present, until I basically either will eventually become kind of less sensitive to it or totally desensitised, or until it has something more interesting to throw at me, or unless I can manage to provide it enough distraction/other sensory stimuli that don’t creep me out. I suppose it’s a lot like hallucinations (actually when I was a kid that was what my Dad thought it was) except I know when I hear it for real and when not, but there’s still some irrational element to it. Like, I’m not just scared of the sound itself, I also have a strong feeling that something real real scary will happen while I’ll hear it, whether in the real world or in my brain. I wouldn’t be able to say what this potential scary event could be, but it could be anything, doesn’t even have to be realistically possible at all, could be a freakin’ zombie apocalypse, feels just as likely as anything in such situation. The fact that, so far, over the entire course of my life, nothing major has happened directly in connection with these stimuli, other than me being creeped out and all the fun consequences of it, doesn’t mean anything, because everything might still be to come. Sometimes these creepy sounds also automatically come with some kind of personifications associated with them, that are very basic and two-dimensional but this makes it feel even more realistic a threat. Especially if they appear in my sleep paralysis dreams, as they tend to, at least some of them.

This is also why silence is another insignificant thing that triggers the shit out of me, because it provides tons of occasions for my brain to throw its half-digested, auditory shit at me. And the sounds that can creep me out can be really, really insignificant and objectively inconspicuous, most of the time it’s hardly creepy for anyone and is totally neutral, but when I hear it, I have a very strong feeling like it’s just seething with aggression, or evil, and that it’s directed right at me. They can be words that are totally random for normal people, sequences of sounds in music, small bits of songs or entire songs, rarely single sounds and if so they would typically have to be rather elaborate or something, a lot of very specific sounds. As a kid, I would get particularly frequently scared of things like jingles, commercials etc. mostly music in them, later on also election commercials or however they’re called, I don’t even think this is the thing in all countries. It is a really weird phenomenon because there are a LOT of blind children who I know were scared of some jingle or ad at some point, each of different ones, of course, mostly around preschool age. This is freaky and I wish someone did some research on that at some point but I guess other than being very niche it would be quite difficult because it’s so specific to a person and I don’t think there are any rules or anything as to what kind of jingles have a higher likelihood of being creepy or not, I mean I could probably think of some criteria for myself, but it’s different from person to person at least from what I have noticed. However most people grow out of it at some point and to me it still happens (my Mum once said it’s because my brains are gonna be forever young hehehe) and there are still a few old jingles that are even no longer in use since like fifteen years that my brain still remembers very exactly and likes to throw at me out of the blue, and it just goes beyond my cognitive abilities to think why those people came up with such evil jingles and what they must have been thinking or what sort of people they must be to have such utterly evil ideas. It is this jingles thing that made some (sighted) folks around me think that perhaps I pick up on some subliminal stuff and that it’s this what creeps me out about them, haha and feels evil. 😀 This is all freakishly difficult to explain to people in a sensible way.

Another such thing that I can think of right now that triggers me pretty badly sometimes is when people diminish other people’s trauma and I happen to witness it or something. This is so weird because I myself have had some shitty experiences in life that I think have increased my risk for getting mental illness and eventually contributed in some smaller or bigger part to it developing, but while in my subjective experience it was really difficult, I don’t like thinking about it as traumatic, because there are SO many trauma survivors out there, and I call my experience trauma, then what should people with stuff like CPTSD call theirs? I think what has largely contributed to things having been as difficult for me as they were is lack of resilience, plus some other things thrown in the mix, not that my experiences as such were traumatic in nature. There are plenty of people who have been through similar things and are doing just fine. I suppose it’s quite difficult to figure out what is and what isn’t trauma. Yet, with that all being said, when I hear people talk about/to someone else, about how this person’s trauma isn’t valid, despite there being evidence that they have been through something that has been really stressful for them in a way that has impacted their life in a major way and despite them showing actual signs of trauma, this can really trigger me. Both in that I feel really upset or even angry about how this person is treated, and also because some of my own brain stuff gets stirred and starts boiling all over again and I don’t like how it makes me feel. I guess we could say that I find witnessing emotional invalidation in general triggering.

What are such seemingly mini triggers for you, be it for anxiety, phobias, trauma, or whatever else they might trigger? 🙂

Question of the day.

Which of your friends are you proudest of?

My answer:

I’m proud of many of my friends, for different reasons. But most?… Like most?… Hmmm. I guess my friend Jacek from Helsinki, the one with whom I was writing about the vikings and the Norse gods. I really admired his passion and determination. He didn’t have the best family situation, and lots of other mostly situational difficulties to overcome, but despite them, he decided he wants to study Finnish, and go to Finland, and he did just that. Despite he had dyslexia, and many people were apparently just openly telling him: “Languages?! You’re not serious, it’s not for you!”. He lived in a rural area but he moved to a city quite far away from where he lived, and started to study there. And then they sent him to Finland. And he just amazed me with his social skills, that he was able to get things from people very easily because he was always so friendly and charming. He managed to get a job in Finland while still studying. I’m sure that if he wouldn’t pass away, the world would hear about him. He had such a charisma around him and I just felt lucky to be his friend. So if I had to pick one specific person, it would be him, because, well he was overall quite a remarkable guy. Also it was really impressive and moving to me how brave he was when he finally became ill.

But other than that, I think it deserves mentioning, that I am also proud of my friends that I have in the mental health email groups that I’m in. Particularly those who are trauma and abuse survivors. Won’t be naming particular people here, as I’m not sure if they would be OK with it, but I feel proud for all of them. I myself also have been through some traumatising stuff, which I’m still having trouble acknowledging but, well, it’s hard to call it otherwise so I guess that’s how it should be called, but no abuse other than some emotional, and I don’t have PTSD. And I’m just so very proud of all of them, that although they’ve been through so much often very horrendous stuff, they still keep going, and are so incredibly resilient. And I’m happy to be their friend and proud of all their achievements.

Same about all the mental health bloggers whom i already know at least a bit, I feel lucky to know so many inspiring people.

Also when I write with some of my penfriends, who are travelling a lot, or doing other fascinating things, I just can’t help but think: “Gosh, what gorgeous people I happen to know!” 😀

Well so actually I guess I mentioned all of my groups of friends since most of people with whom I’m in touch fairly regularly, other than my family, are either from mental health lists, or from the blogosphere, or my penfriends.

I guess I could find a reason to be proud of everyone of my friends, at least those closer one with whom I talk more regularly and personally.

How about you? 🙂

Feeling better.

Yes. I am still depressed and sick of many things, but definitely not as overloaded with feelings and triggered as yesterday. I feel like I owe you some clarification of what exactly happened, so I’ll try to do my best, I hope it’ll also help me to see things even more clear, it may be a little lengthy though and I need to warn you I am talking a bit about suicide ideations later on.

Basically my Mum was really pressuring that I should rewrite the math exam, and that was how all the stuff has started for me. I feel like before I go into details, I should clarify that generally my Mum isn’t one of those poor parents who want their kids to meet their expectations and be perfect, absolutely not, that would be unfair to say she’s like this. I guess it was just hard for her to understand some things, and accept what happened. As I wrote you yesterday she knew before we got the results that I’m not gonna do it, that because of my always very shitty math results I’m only gonna take it once and think of it as a sort of try, not take it too seriously, like something of great life importance, as most people do. If it goes well, then brilliant. I’ll be happy, but if not, I’ll just let it go, because then I’ll know it’s just not for me. People say your finals are important to your further education/career in a way, and that’s true, but not for me. The things I really can picture myself doing in life, as a job, that I know I’d be happy doing, and that would be doable for me, knowing my physical and emotional limitations, would be something to do with languages or writing, most likely at home/online. I honestly can’t picture myself going to a traditional uni at the stage I am now, because I wouldn’t be able to commute on my own, I’d have to have someone driving me back and forth, my anxiety in big groups of people can be very intense and can make my functioning pretty shitty. This was also a partial reason why I finally chose to self-teach at home at my last school, the one I’ve graduated from in May. Also I just have no idea what could or should I study. I already speak a few languages and plan to learn more, but I can do it without going to any sort of school just fine, or even better, no one has to adjust to me and I don’t have to adjust to any class, just can learn what I want, when I want, at my own pace, which, honestly, I think is faster than people have on traditional courses, and my vocabulary is more extensive. I could study linguistics, or translation studies, but if I know a language, I can be a translator without them. Sure it’s better to have a paper attesting your knowledge, but nothing can proove it better than just myself, if, let’s say, I’d translate a book, and it’ll be written in a good language and well overall, who will have the right to tell me I can’t make it because I don’t have some shitty piece of paper? That’s what my Swedish teacher told me, and honestly I didn’t look at it before this way, but as he said it, my mind somehow opened wider and I realised that it’s really true, and I should be happy that I have some gift for languages, or at least that it’s something I really like doing, instead of overthinking on all the things I can’t or don’t want to do but feel like I should. I really liked his unconventional and fresh way of looking at everything. As you know I also thought about doing Celtic studies online (or linguistics or translation studies online), but it would be more as a hobby then really.

Back to my Mum. I think she was shocked by that news that I failed maths. I think that was what caused her reaction. She is a big optimist and tries to be always looking forward for the best, no matter what and what the chances are. I was this way too as a kid, but luckily for me, I am no longer so, and it’s much easier. It’s not that I always see things black, or catastrophise (although yes, very often), it’s more like my pessimism is defensive. Like I try to be prepared for the worst and then if the best happens, I can be really happy. But my Mum clung to her hopes and good wishes and I think it struck her a bit. She just couldn’t get it that I am not going to rewrite it. We were both very insistent, we had a quarrel about it. She was saying that it won’t make me any harm if I’ll take it once again, if I did it the last time just to try then I can try this time again, that I’ll be surely less stressed because I’ve already been through that, that I should be more courageous… I could understand her perfectly, but it couldn’t change my mind. I felt like she doesn’t understand my position in this at all. Yes, I could rewrite it. Let’s assume that indeed it would be less stressful for me because of familiarity of the situation, that all the other stuff would be OK. But I just can’t believe that after all those years I’ve been learning that stupid math, and got only 16% on the exam, I would be able to suddenly rewrite it with the score of minimum 30% after two months of learning. I don’t even have the motivation, for the reasons I wrote about before. And no, it’s not true I wouldn’t be stressed. i would be even more, whatever it says about my resilience, I know it’s shitty. ‘Cause what if I fail again? Would they want me to rewrite it again, just to try, ’cause who knows, maybe this time I’ll succeed? I can imagine my mat tutor. She’s a very nice person, but she had hell with me, and vice versa. I haven’t talked with her since before the finals but I suppose she’s very disappointed with me, with all the efforts she’s put in me. Do I want to go through it again, and disappoint her again? Not because she’s particularly important to me but you generally don’t like to disappoint people if they do their best to help you, right? The last thing I want to do this year is see her again every week, discuss why I failed, learn all the stuff again, with both of us greatly discouraged and stressed. I still remember all those hours we spent together during weeks directly before the finals. She finally decided that she can’t help me with the tasks as much as she did before and guide me through everything, say if I do things right or wrong, because there will be no one with me on the exam who will help me and I will have to do things on my own obviously. So she gave me a task, and I had to do it on my own. She just sat there in silence, not giving me any hints or anything. I was telling her everything I did, or actually didn’t do, just trying to do it different way and sooner or later discovering it’s wrong or that I don’t know how to wriggle out of where I was and what to do next. Guys, we had 2 HOURS together! I was sitting with it for an hour, and didn’t do practically nothing. It was nerve wracking for me although I kept smiling and laughing at myself and tried to seem to have a light attitude to things, but I just wanted to cry and fall into pieces. Honestly the only thing that I think helped me to not fall apart and give up completely was Misha, who was sitting next to me consistently like never before, as if he knew I need him desperately. And my poor tutor could barely stand it, I mean the situation, not Misha, I just could sense how frustrated she is and how her patience is coming to an end. Finally she gave up and told me how I should do it. And then there were many similar situations when we tried to do the same, with pretty similar endings, sometimes I was able to do something, more or less, but always was finally stuck somewhere for good until she enlightened me. After that lesson I actually laughed, not cried, because of an outsider’s perspective it surely could be very funny to observe us, but it felt scary and enormously stressing and I don’t want to (and don’t see any sense in it) go through this anymore. Of course I didn’t tell Mum about it, she has no full idea of how much of a nightmare our lessons were, my tutor was telling her often that I am not doing well or something, but since I am adult there was no reason to update her on everything as she always does with Zofijka.

Besides, MS. Smelly Maggie – the headmistress of that school for the blind where I took the finals! That’s I guess my main stressor. If you are new to my blog and don’t know anything about MS. Maggie, I’ve written a lot about her in May, but basically she was a nightmare, I can honestly say that in my whole life I hadn’t met a more jerky and intentionally rude person, I had a nasty encounter with her after one of the exams and it has taken me weeks to clear the mess she made in my brain. I don’t want to see the bitch anymore. I know she wished me that I’d fail it. She told me she “really hopes for the best for me” with such a tone that wouldn’t leave you with any doubts, but that if I won’t get the 30%, I should go to their school, do something else there meanwhile, and then I can rewrite it next year. When my Mum joined that discussion and tried to intervene when I was already too fucked up to say anything constructive, she said she knows I have already got over my boarding school trauma if I had any and I can go to theirs with no problem, the problem is just with me, and with my Mum who “imagines things that aren’t real about me”. Someone who said such things among others to us despite not knowing neither of us for more than 10 minutes. What could I expect her to say next time I see her? Other than that, she already knows about my “unfortunate accident” and called my Mum to say she is “looking forward” to see me in August and was very surprised when Mum told her about my decision and told her I have the time to 6 July to change my decision.

But I didn’t tell Mum about my concerns and how stressful it would be for me. I just kept telling her that I’ve already made my decision months ago and now I’m not gonna change my mind. I told her I don’t see any point in doing it because having my finals completed and passed and getting certifficate won’t change anything for me. Mum kept saying that I don’t know, that I don’t know what waits for me in the future, that I may regret it later on.

That’s true. I may. I now don’t think I will, but who knows. I understand her concerns and that she is worried about me. But if I’ll really find something – some studies I want to take, or a job that requires higher education and that would be particularly suitable for me – after five years, why can’t I write it all again then? I’ll be much more motivated, and even if it’d happen after 5 years, after which you’d have to pass all the exams again to get the certifficate, you have 5 years for a rewrites, so if it would happen after 5 years, I can happily write everything all over again. I’d do it much happier than I’d do now, I’d have some deeper purpose to it.

Mum says that until that time I’d already forget everything, that I’d have to learn again.

I’m sure not. I have a lot of knowledge about Polish literature from school and not only from school, and I don’t think I could forget it that easily. I’d just have to repeat some things. Same with English, well better actually. And as for Maths, I already don’t know anything. SO what’s the difference? Maybe only slight difference is that if I’d have a purpose, I could do better at maths and maybe get to that 30%. Although it’s hard for me to imagine it.

It’s generally hard for me to imagine a situation where I find some very good job or studies that are just for me and that I could do and be successful at, but maybe it’s my AVPD speaking and I shouldn’t let it.

And you know what’s another thing? When someone forces me to do something, pressures on me, doesn’t listen to my arguments or tries to prove for all means they’re wrong and I should do what they say, it… it just scares the shit out of me… You know, I’ve had tons of nightmares throughout my life, one just last night, evolving around that motive – someone forces me to do something, and I can’t, I don’t want, it’s scary like shit what they want from me, but I for some reason can’t persuade them I can’t do it, or can’t refuse at all. I’ve had such situations happening to me in boarding school, I don’t want to go into details right now. But it all just triggers me. I only want to scream and shout and cry and feel like having a massive meltdown and I can’t cope with it, I can’t form sensible arguments, I feel attacked and overwhelmed, and… I just can’t manage it. Even little things evolving around someone being very insistent make me feel quite upset and uncomfortable easily. Like when I was a teen even little suggestions expressed with some more pressing tone, could make me feel upset and irritated. Now I cope better with little things – my Dad is a kind of guy who likes to persuade things to people and make them think how he thinks so I just had to get used to the little things – but I am still not perfectly at ease with them and things on such a large scale like that fuss with the exams was way more than I could stand not getting all unsettled. Honestly I can’t remember any such intensive arguement that I could have with anyone over the past few years, I despise all the yelling and raging at each other without any deeper sense to it, I don’t think it can lead anywhere, but… it just happened, faster than I could think, and we started to shout and were both fumin’. My Mum isn’t the kind of person who often would impose something on you, but I felt very hemmed and very very triggered. So that I actually felt lots of separate feelings, like sort of disintegration as I wrote yesterday, which I sometimes do experience and which is always so very bizarre.

And so as that talk or argue progressed I felt more hopeless and overflowed with feelings, finally Mum left and it looked like she gave up.

Lots of my family members have texted or called either me or Mum to ask how I did and they all were so pitiful… As if someone had died and they expressed their condolence. It felt ridiculous and annoying and I had a hard time to stand it. And they also were so insistent – “but why won’t you try again?”. At some point it was just a miracle I didn’t snap out at poor people, I guess they asked with the good intentions, but I just couldn’t stand it. Particularly my catastrophising gramma was making me enraged.

At some point my grandad came with eggs – he sells eggs and to us as well when we need – and although I was in my room and was locked and didn’t want to see anyone, I could hear them talking about me and my Mum being very upset, and I guess even crying. I had to let Misha out because he meowed so I heard some bits of their talk. Then I heard that someone was walking upstairs to me and I guess knocking on the door –
I’m not sure because as soon as I’ve heard someone approaching I’ve set my darkest Finnish metal playlist on the full volume on the headphones to not hear anyone talking anymore about the fricken exams. I thought it was my Mum, but it was my grandad, as it turned out later on.

I’ve heard from Mum then when he left that he thinks the same as I do. It felt so good that at least someone understands, or tries to understand me, and thinks the same. I was afraid he won’t, he’s such an intellectual generally. My grandad has always stood by my side, literally, no matter what, and I was seriously afraid it might not be so this time. But then I thought that he’s absolutely not objective. He would support me and stand by me I guess even if I killed a man in the most brutal way you can imagine. I can imagine him saying that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do or that he still believes in me and that sure if I did it, I had a solid reason. That’s my grandad. Like if any of you have read “Emily Of New Moon”, he’s just like her cousin Jim in this regard hahaha he always makes me think about him, I mean Jim about my grandad. I was his first granddaughter and my disability and being away from home for years have I guess made him even more dedicated and attached to me and favouring me over his other grandchildren.

and when I realised he’s not objective, I started to panic even more.

Maybe Mum is right? Maybe they all are right? They probably are. There are more of them, and they can think rationally about it, while I can’t? What if I will really regret it? Do they all feel disappointed with me? Maybe I should change my mind? Is it about me being not resilient enough? Not courageous enough? Squeamish? Would other people in the same situation do it? Maybe I should just try more and be more serious about this whole thing? Maybe I’m too lazy? Faking AVPD to have an excuse? Maybe Maggie is right in all she said to me? She culdn’t say it without a reason, could she? Should I make such a big deal out of it?

Just this sort of questions and much more self defeating and self loathing thoughts circulated and exploded and overloaded my brain.

I realised that what I would like the most would be if someone could look at the situation really objectively. Understanding and knowing my perspective, and knowing the objective exam situation. I didn’t want people to tell me that I should rewrite it just because people always do so when they fail an important and deciding exam, I also didn’t want people to behave like my grandad and tell me what I wanted to hear if it’s not what’s true and objective. But I doubt anyone can tell me what I should do objectively and basing on my own situation. Is there any objectivity actually? I am just curious what would other people do in my place.

So yeah yesterday was incredibly rough. My feeling triggered and depressed has spread much wider and it stopped being just about exams and my future. I just felt like a piece of shit overall and everything was scary and hopeless and… well, it was just horrid. I was actually feeling suicidal, because I felt so conflicted because of this situation and so overloaded because of the argue with Mum, I just didn’t see any way out. It was actually the first time since a very long time that I was really pretty suicidal and had a lot of suicidal ideations. I feel horrified when I think about it now because at one moment I was so close to do something just in an impulse. I was going to sleep with Misha, and wanted to take my sleeping pill, because I was just all shaky and stuff. I took her, and I just had one short moment when I thought I’d take all of the meds I had in my room. It wasn’t much. I had some sleeping pills, anxiolitics and pain killers and allergy pills, but it wasn’t a lot of it in total. And that was what saved me. Because as I thought about it, my emetophobia came to the surface and told me that if I take this, I’d rather end up in the hospital on the detox than dead. And And it was then I fully realised what I just wanted to do. WHat a shit. It feels very scary now, I haven’t done such things for ages, and surely not so impulsively. It feels like a huge regress. Should I be thankful to my fucking emetophobia?

Today, I can see things a little bit more clearly, and I’m not feeling as much different shitty things at once.

I think my Mum’s outlook on things is different now.

I actually had a little talk with her about it today too, a bit calmer. It was incredibly hard for me, because I had to open up to her a bit about how I feel about that shit, I mean why I feel like rewriting that exam is pointless. I had to reveal to her a bit more of my AVPD self who usually stays locked inside of me away from normal people and so that I can pretend better or worse that I am normal or more normal than I am. Then I also told her that yes, it does, and certainly will, feel weird to me, to know several languages, be, say, a translator, maybe translate Vreeswijk, which would be like a HUUUGE THING and not have any higher education. But it’s nothing major I think. It will give me a harder kick in the ass and motivate me to actually try to be better than all the linguists that have the honour to be well educated and have lots of letters after their surnames. And she actually agreed with me and she told me we can stop talking about it and end the topic if I want and that she won’t urge me.

Of course, it doesn’t look exactly that very lovely as I said Mum and I am still, as always, very full of doubts as for my future, will I really manage to be a translator? Can I actually do anything else than that pseudo job at my Dad’s? But if other people, particularly my Mum, will stop analysing that bloody exam, if I’ll try hard, I hope I’ll manage. Life will always feel scary for me, no matter what, but this way much less.

Still though, I wonder, maybe I should rewrite it? Maybe it’s like giving up? Maybe I should just grit my teeth and go through it, and maybe I’d pass it and then have more possibilities in life? Maybe I’m selfish in some way not wanting to do what they suggest me?

I have a question for you guys. If you decide to answer it for me, please, be honest, whatever your thoughts are. I won’t be resentful or anything, I want to know what other people think.

My question is – if you can imagine my situation, as I wrote about it and as you know it and me from my previous posts – and if you were in the same situation, what would you do? Would you strive to improve your results and have more chances for future, and not disappoint people that are close to you? Would you want to challenge yourself more and see the point in it? Or would you do as I hope to do and focus on your good sides, not dive into that very anxiety provoking thing again?

I’m not asking you that question in search for advice. You won’t be responsible for what I’ll do, I won’t change my decision most likely, they need to have people signed up for rewrites until Friday and that’s way too little time for my introverted and overanalysing brain which is very sluggish recently. I just simply want to know what other people’s attitudes would be, I don’t know, maybe something will inspire me. 😀 I suppose it’s crazy to ask people about such things as it may be a little abstractive for others, I guess, but if you have any thoughts on this, please share.

It’s interesting how I feel even better now after writing it all, looks like it makes a difference whether you’re writing in a diary or blogging? I feel much lighter now if I’m honest.


Long rant and unbossoming ahead, so be careful. Also TW for talking about emetophobia and all the obvious related yucky stuff. And about surgeries, and other related, possibly triggering, yucky topics. I will love you if you’ll get through all this, however it’s definitely not something I expect you to do, I just wanted to get things off my brain.

I’m having an absolutely shitty day, with lots of anxiety. I woke up very anxious because I had some gross nightmares for a second night in a row, but hey, that’s not the first time, so I thought I will get out of that murky place in a while. And I probably would, but then other things started happening. Particularly one thing a while ago.

Zofijka’s friend came over. She is, I dunno actually what’s with her, I guess she has some cold or something, anyway she is coughing a lot, but she seemed to be OK besides and they played lively as always and with lots of scream, as always. I was writing an exhaustive email to my pen pal, because I wanted to do it much earlier but haven’t been very well organised so didn’t manage, plus I wanted to distract from my other anxieties doing it. It wasn’t something very private or that I’d have to concentrate a lot on doing so I had the door open, the more that Misha was going in and out all the time.

And suddenly I heard someone running to the bathroom, the one that we have upstairs and that is beside my room. It was Zofijka’s friend. She was choking and then it sounded like she was gagging. So, well, I just froze. I couldn’t do anything, even just turn on the music or close that stupid door or do whatever. This is usually my reaction when I hear someone vomiting. Then Zofijka came to her and they talked silently and after a while they walked out. I don’t know what happened to her, I guess her cough was just so intensive. I know she had a brain tumour and isn’t fully recovered from it and Zofijka was mentioning that she had different things happenign to her as a result of it, but still objectively it didn’t look like something major. But I don’t want to know what it was… Or actually, I want, but I don’t want. That’s the best way I can describe it. But I think I don’t want more than I want. She looked like besides the cough she’s just OK, she played with Zofijka they were running and stuff, but now they just are sitting in Zofijka’s room and watching something. Obviously I wonder whether she has some flu or something and whether it’s contagious. I hate overthinking about such details. I wonder whether she’ll sleep with Zofijka. I generally like when other kids come to Zofijka for night, which may be surprising for you if you know me even just a little bit and how socially freaked I am, but everyone of us likes it, because then we don’t have to pay so much attention to her, she can be really really absorbing and exhausting long term, so it’s nice when another child comes to her for a weekend and she has something to do without either Mum or me having to constantly watch her, keep her company or endure her moodswings. BUt if she’s sick… and Zofijka will catch it too? And these scary bacteria and all will be all around our house… Grrrr!!! Scary!!! But I can’t stop thinking about it. Even if it isn’t anything contagious, I’m still scared, and I feel absolutely helpless about it at the moment.

I’m trying to distract, listening to music, I snuggled with Misha for a while when he wanted, went down to my Mum to smalltalk with her, but realised my Dad came back and they’re arguing so… well, ugh, I was reading blogs, tried to finish that email I started to write which didn’t go that well so I’d have to rewrite it, and now I’m writing here in hopes that if I’ll get it out it won’t feel so scary. More than an hour has passed since that little incident and I still can settle, and it scares me too, because I feel like it’s way too much time to process such a little thing, I don’t even know whether she actually vomited. But I just still feel so shitty, shaky and nauseated and cold and hot and dizzy and my thoughts are racing. Before that happened I planned to eat something soon but now I can’t think about eating anything without getting more nausious. Actually I’m rather surprised it affected me so much because I was doing better with my emetophobia recently. My family were sick in March and I had a lot of stress with it and other stuff combined together and although it WAS very tough, they were sick for a long time, I got through it more smoothly than this thing now. And I also feel like some major mood dip is starting for me, or maybe it’s just my anxiety trying to convince me that just everything is pointless. I took my extra anti-anxiety med but it doesn’t seem to do much.

And that other thing that scared me, not as much as the previous one, but now it all just combined into one scary monster in my brain, was something we talked about with Mum earlier today. Mum woke up having awful muscle cramps in her neck – she has issues with her spine so it’s like normal when she sleeps long in one position, and last night she slept very heavily. ANyway she wanted to make an appointment with her massagist as soon as possible. Then it reminded her that she also wanted to talk to him about me. Because of my feet and my muscle contractions that came up again when I started doing those five Tibetan rites with her. I agreed that she could talk with him about me and that it perhaps would be good if he saw me. Well I actually don’t remember if I had ever told you that I had a surgery for my Achilles tendons when I was 10. The orthopaedist I saw said that the source of the issues with my feet are the Achilles tendons which are to short so they’d have to lengthen them. They told me I would be in plaster for six weeks and how the surgery would look like. But it was all very brief and I didn’t really know what is going to happen, how I imagined it to be was completely different, and it seemed a very distant future. And when it finally happened it happened very suddenly, just the doctor told us out of the blue he can operate me in a week so we can come soon and that was it. So I had this operation, in pretty awful circumstances which I won’t go into now, and then I woke up hearing my Dad and nurses complimenting my new white high boots and how fashionable they are, and then I realised I had plasters allover my legs. Like, the surgery area was my Achilles tendons and maybe some part of my calves, while the plaster was all the way from my tighs to my toes so that I couldn’t even bend my legs. I think it had to shock me. I saw people in plaster before, like my Dad had his leg broken a few times, but I never thought you can be like this – I just though people who have something in plaster walk with crutches and do everything normally, like my Dad did. While I was actually bed bound. I think my parents weren’t prepared for such a big thing either, which only contributed to my insecurity around this. I actually felt much more like I was after some major accident than a minor surgery. Mum asked them to discharge me after the surgery and so they did, but I didn’t feel any better emotionally when I was at home. My existence started to be absolutely monotonous and depressive. This was the same year when I started integration school for a while in hopes it will work out for me, and Zofijka was born, so a lot of changes in other fields as well. I was overwhelmed that all the independence I had to the day of surgery was actually taken from me and I had to ask people for help with literally anything, like my Dad had to carry me to the loo and all that felt incredibly humiliating. I spent most of the time alone with not much to do since I couldn’t even change my position a lot. Mum was very occupied with Zofijka who was a very screamy baby and also we were moving houses and there was a lot of hustle with it so that she was mostly out of the house and then coming back in the evenings. I remember that I felt then that I was never going to recover or things will even get worse, that it will turn out I will have some weird complications or something. I think apart from all the boarding school shit etc. it was one of the things that screwed me up the most. That year many of my worst anxieties were brought to life or exacerbated, and I think then it was exactly when my first full episode of depression started, but it was diagnosed much later. It was then when I first was actively suicidal, and lots of other rubbish happened. When they finally took off the plasters of me I was very unsettled. In fact, when I was going hme after the surgery I was rather numb, but when they took the plasters off I felt like everything suddenly bursted out of me and I was a sobbing mess and noone, including me, could actually figure out why. It wasn’t the end though and the recovery afterwards and all the physio was even more traumatising and scary for me. When I finally recovered, after some time it turned out that the whole thing was actually waste of time and didn’t help much, and also that the plasters didn’t necessarily have to be that huge. I couldn’t recover emotionally for much longer, like even the songs I heard on the radio that I heard back then in the hospital or that were often played when I was after the surgery could bring me back to those feelings and experiences, and I could just feel situations as if they were now, or I had dreams in which it all was starting allover again, or a deep conviction it’s going to happen again, also that depression in which I slipped after the surgery has stayed with me for a long time. But I hardly ever talked with anyone about it and if so, very briefly and not going into my feelings. The only thing I am happy about with that surgery is that at that time I was luckily at home, not at the boarding school, otherwise I would have to go through that hell there, my Mum even told me once that she actually regretted I didn’t have the surgery there because it would be all easier logistically, so well, I should be thankful. Then Mum also brought me to another orthopaedist after a few years, and he told us that actually all that could be done with my feet, should be done when I was a baby and then everything would be OK, but what we could do at that moment was a surgery called Grice-Green’s surgery. I was just frightened, the more that this guy in turn described it all to me with lots of details and it seemed dreadful to me. However, somehow the thing was soon brushed under the carpet and of course I didn’t want to be the one uncovering it. My feet deffects aren’t so serious that they would affect my every day functioning significantly, or be very troublesome to live with, so I didn’t care and still don’t care much about it.

But where I’m going to, is that this massagist my Mum goes to is also a doctor. And it just scares the shit out of me that he could tell me I need another surgery or even anything similar. Of course I’d refuse, I won’t put myself into such things again now when I have the choice, but it all just… I think it triggered me. Because since we talked about it my brain is just flooded with memories. I feel so damn frustrated that I still haven’t got over with it. Like maybe I have a bit, but it still feels scary. I haven’t thought more about all that stuff for a long time now, I didn’t want to, and now it just all goes through my brain without me actually controlling it, like eveb the very details of that time and it makes me wanna scream. My Mum says he won’t do it, that he will just work on my muscles, because in recent years I’ve been getting a lot of contractions and stuff in many of my muscles, but particularly in my legs, and it actually is a bit disturbing for example with my horse riding or now with the Tibetan exercises. But some catastrophising parts of my freaky brain don’t want to believe in it.

Finally she called him and asked him if she could come, and then she went to him, and talked about me. She told me he said that these muscle contractions can also be neurotic, and that he’ll see me tomorrow at 12. I feel soo anxious about it.

Another thing I feel anxious about with this appointment is that I hate strangers touching me, even more if I’m just in my underwear. Mum says he wouldn’t care about it and how I look and stuff, that she was anxious about it too, but he has seen too many people to care about it, and she is sure I will like him. But for me it’s not about him. I don’t care if he’ll think I’m pretty or ugly or if he’ll care about how I look at all. It’s about me. I really really hate when people pay so much close attention to me, yuck.

So yeah, am very anxious today, but will have to get over it somehow. My emetophobia has calmed down a little bit as I’ve been writing and this girl isn’t sleeping with Zofijka, and also nothing very bad couldn’t happen to her, Zofijka would already tell me for sure.

I feel exhausted by all that anxiety, it’s been a while since the last time I can remember it being so intense, so I think the best thing I can do is to just shut off my brain and go to sleep, if I’ll manage, and hope tomorrow will maybe be better. Mum says she feels like having period and actually I would be glad if she would. It isn’t a Christian behaviour to wish someone a period, but then I know Mum would be stranded at home for the first day and we won’t go anywhere. I know I will have to see him and I know it could help me but I feel like right now I’m definitely not prepared. All that anxiety is, I guess, not adequate to the situation, and I would like some more time to digest it. I definitely wouldn’t like to come to him and freak out completely and lose the control over my anxiety, have a panic attack or something, which, in my current state of mind, would be very possible. Or I just hope this appointment will go better than I think it may. I just hope I’m only catastrophising with all this.

OK, sleep well, world. .

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. 😀 We visit her bi-weekly, but I could be so nice and do it once a week. 😀

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?