Sunday, December 30, 2007

Steady Climb

I am formulating a post in my head about loss but am not ready to write it down yet.

It has become apparent to me that I carried this grief for many many years. Just one loss after another, with no time to integrate anything and certainly no support of even acknowledgement of the losses I experienced. They were so frequent it is hardly surprising I couldn't deal with them. The fact I was an emotionally abandoned child certainly didn't help me either. I brought myself up and it just took an awfully long time to deal with this stuff.


It is also true that I could not have healed the parts I have healed all at once. It would have killed me I think. The experience of 94(severe flashbacks which got me into therapy with the right person), the experiencing of feelings in 95 - intense fear brought about because I had 'told' at last, then again in September - December 98 when I realised the depth of my suffering and also that I could no longer suppress it, nothing worked anymore. If it did, I would still be stuck back there. Then the grieving of my losses and once again intense fear this year, strangely September - December. The sorrow is of such depth I cannot even find the words to express it. It cannot be put right. Yet I know I can live well despite it. I shall do.

I am doing much better as regards my guts - no where near the same level of discomfort and pain. It hasn't yet gone altogether. I hope it does and that this is not going to be the way I experience stress from now on.

Today has been the worst with my gut for a while and even that has been mild but disconcerting.

This morning, at the pool, I was harassed. It was a length swimming session for an hour. 4 elderly people got in the lane I was swimming in. Two of them moved whenever I was swimming toward them. One however, the youngest and biggest, did not. He literally stood in my way. He also made comments to me but I couldn't hear what precisely except it had something to do with him wanting to 'walk' in that lane. He was belligerent. Eventually I was forced to move into the centre of the pool, away from the safety of the edge wall,(in case I spasm). I was infuriated by the bullying-this is NOT SCHOOL!!!!!! And more so because the lifeguard stood and watched me being harassed and did nothing. So yet gain, I find myself being in the situation of having to complain to the manager, which I did AFTER I had done my mile because a lot of my energy was sapped by then and I knew I would talk calmly. Whether or not it will have paid dividends or not I have yet to see. Perhaps I was just being handled. I truly cannot believe the behaviour of 'adults' and that quite clearly no one else complains about such bullying tactics. It is bad enough that the disabled changing room is cold, has an appallingly weak shower and is dirty. No, I have not complained. I cannot be bothered to go thru that again. It was enough that I could swim in peace there. Now I wonder.....

I too am beginning to see a connection with my guts and what I experience, even if the stressor is not so obvious as it was today.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

As threatened.......

As promised, me in my 'Superman' outfit! I now know that to avoid terrible itching, to wear the pants under the hose!

Edit: so many have asked why my head is cropped. Simple. I am vain and the look my face was awful!

Shopping.......

2kg (2.2 lbs) of stash enchancement.....
Blue suede shoes.....on sale.
I do not like shoes that look like trainers however I made an exception for these. I really like them. They too were on 50% off sale.
Charcoal hat from C&A. Inexpensive.
An Australian made bought at the Xmas market in Heidelberg. The most expensive I bought and the most expensive hat of all that I own.
The size showing is Euro size not US or UK!!! On sale again, about £30 or $60(US).
I love the Bavarian style shirts.

Friends in Sandhausen

Lia and Jane.
Gordon (Jane's husband) and John at lap tops.....

Lui, Lia's husband, cooking our meal. He is an excellent cook.

Mannheim

These were all taken in Mannheim city centre. Yes, I couldn't believe what I saw either!


Heidelberg


These two pictures were taken outside our hotel in Charleroi, Belgium, en route to Mannheim.
This is just outside the train station in Heidelberg on the Saturday morning, where we met Diana.
Out side the train station, in Heidelberg, picture above and below.

John and Diana in Heidelberg at the Xmas market. Diana was very good company and I look forward to meeting with her again.
John and I at the same market. It was FREEZING!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone

My best wishes to you all. Thank you for reading and for your comments and support.

We will soon be leaving Lia and Lui's home where we have had a good meal and company. Jane and Gordon(Americans) are wtih us from their home in Holland.

We drive home tomorrow and I am hoping as it is Xmas day that the roads will be quiet.

It is not as cold now but still below 0 celsius.

I have had a good time but will be glad to be home. I am tired and I miss my dogs.

I have some photographs I will post, including one of a man and an Alpaca(or Llama) in the centre of Mannheim. We have met plenty of dogs and I got licke todeath by a deightful Jack Russel puppy on it's first outing. Dogs are allowed in shops and restaurants here. So civilised.
We alsosawastreet amn with a dalmation and a 2 month old bunny! No photo as I got the feelign this man would not be happy if I took his picture with them. I did make sure I put some Euro in his tin.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Brass Monkies

It is cold enough here to freeze the b***s off a brass monkey! Although everything looks beautiful and we have had a great time, the cold has caused me a of of pain. So.....now we know that 1. the idea of going somewhere for a white Xmas is out of the question and 2. we ought to avoid winter holidays altogether because either is will be cold like now or wet!

We had a lovely day with Diana yesterday. She took us around Heidelberg. It really helps to have a local with you. I bought the most expensive hat I have ever bought. I buy what I want but when it costs a lot I always ask John first and he said to go ahead if you like it. He likes it too.

Of course we visited a yarn shop and bought some sock yarn. Diana has made me a bag on a belt clip which is just big enough to hold a 100gm ball and needles and gave me large yoghurt pot with a sock yarn ball in it. Both items very handy indeed.

John and I ate in a traditional Gasthouse (restaurant/pub) last night and had a wonderful fish dinner.

I fell asleep early at 10.30pm so was up at 6am. This is one reason I saty in hotels rather than as guests in friend's homes. If I can't sleep or have much pain, I am not going to disturb anyone by getting up. Besides, I always get up to pee!

Jane, from Socknitters, is about to arrive here at Lia and Lui's.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Arrived

I am in Lia and Lui's home. The weather is beautiful, -6c to -4c as we drove here. Everywhere is covered in white frost. No snow. I adore this weather.

Last night the drive to Charleroi(Belgium) was awful. 40mph all the way from Calais because of fog.

Now we are going to Globus any minute now....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Heading for Germany

We just spent a night in a house empty of dogs. Very weird. It made me think of how people who have children who then leave home must feel. The house just felt so quiet and still. I kept thinking I must put the dogs out, or bring Nechung up to bed or...the usual things I do.

Apart from seeing friends and seeing another country and it's delights, I also rather enjoy the break from having to do stuff. No cooking. No dogs to walk, feed, groom, bath. Nothing to take care of.

The people who are taking care of the dogs are such that I know I will not have to worry about them, though I still will of course! Lorraine has the four adults, Mary who bought one the girls has Lui and Gail who bought Vienna from me 4 years ago has Lia and Dougless.

We drive down to the Chunnel in a few hours. The drive takes 3 hours. Then we drive onto the train which drives us under the English Channel and we drive off the train France 30 minutes later. We then drive to our destination.

My birthday was really good. I enjoyed it very much. We got to Queensgate just before 10am and there was a disabled bay for my car just outside the doors of the floor we needed to be on.
It was as well we did arrive when we did because the place was soon very full of people.

We wandered around and I mainly bought essentials-thermal tights, a night shirt and two lounge trousers. Oh, and a novel, The Sword of God. I am pleased to say that John bought several films and books. He doesn't often buy stuff. It's his Scottish Presbyterian background. Makes him frugal.

We had lunch at Sundays which does traditional roast dinners. Very good.

The only fly in the ointment was the few people were just downright ignorant and rude. I got hit several times by bags and in one instance by a large stomach just because people could not be bothered to wait until I had wheeled out of the way, or because they didn't even notice me. I tell you, if you want to become invisible, sit in a wheelchair!

Later we went to the service at the Spalding Spiritualist Church, Little Acorns where they all sang Happy Birthday for me.

I had a really good day. It was the first time I have ever done anything for my birthday. I have always ignored it. I think I might do something next year too.

I also think we might also go away for Xmas again next year.....lets see how this one goes.

Going away very much depends on who we can get to dog sit and whether or not I have pups. If my pups had only been up to 6 week sold, we couldn't be going.

I will probably be able to update this blog whilst I am away but the pictures of the trip will have to wait until I get back.

Perhaps you'd like to see one of me in my pantihose, Superman style?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

49

Today it is my birthday. I normally ignore it. Not today. I decided last week that I wanted to go out for the day and have lunch out. That is what we are doing. We will finish off by attending a Spiritualist church service this evening.

We normally ignore Xmas too.(And ignore it we do-no tree, no decorations, no presents, no special cooking, no nothing.) This time of year is not a happy time for me. John doesn't like it either. However, this year we are not ignoring it. We are going to Germany and will spend the time with new friends, including Xmas Eve which is the time for doing things.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Superman Style

When I first realised that people knitted socks, I thought they must be very sad creatures indeed. I like a challenge though and decided I would give them a go.

My first, and almost last, attempt was using 4 dpn's. I couldn't get beyond cast on. far too fiddly for me, like trying to knit with a hedgehog. I may well have a problem cos of the RA in my hands.

A year later, I came across the two circs method and I completed my first pair. That was that. I had achieved it. I still couldn't see the point of knitting my own.

Then I started seeing sock yarn everywhere and in beautiful colours. Not only that but 1 x 100 gm ball would make me pair. So....now I am hooked of course and many pairs later still am. Only now I use just one circ.

Not only that but they keep my feet warm. In the cold, if I am not warm in my lower half I am stuffed. My legs stop working,
literally.

I take ages to dress in winter. First my underwear, then 100 denier tights(black), then long john's, then jeans. My socks on my feet of course and then my shoes. Now, shop bought socks would not keep my feet warm and I would have to wear 2-3 pairs and wear lined boots. Not now. Just one pair of my woolly socks does the trick.

Now I am sure you would love a laugh at the expense of a mere male so.......it was first suggested to me last winter that I wear women's pantyhose. I baulked at the idea. Besides, how would something so thin help to keep me warm? Well, I swallowed my pride and started to wear them. It was murder for a week.Terrible crotch itch. How did women wear these things, I cursed? Not just the itching, the ability to pull out hair in sensitive parts too when I took them off.

I was about to give in and chuck them away when I had a light bulb moment...I wonder if I am supposed to put my underpants on first and not be wearing them superman style? DUH! Problem solved.

Why did no one tell me?

So, next time I hear anyone suggest that sock knitting is for sad lonely people with nothing better to do, I shall tell them that I might well be sad and lonely with nout to do but at least my feet are warm....


Home and Away

I have been going to a different pool, 10 miles away, because my regular pool is closed for renovation.

I really like this pool. The staff are much nicer. The atmosphere is so much more comfortable for me. I don't have to go so early. I also don't have to put up with those b*****s who think the pool I normally go to is theirs.

However, it is going to cost me £11 a week in diesel to get there and back every week day.

I think the added expense is probably worth it because it is much less stressful to go there. Part of me feels I ought not allow the witches (including two staff members who are obnoxious) to drive me away but you know, what the hell, I can't fight every battle and I think it is more important that I enjoy my outing and am not stressed by these dreadful people. I can well imagine these two women were the school bullies in their childhoods and now in their 60's they have not changed a bit!

Only 6 days now until John and I go to Germany. I am really excited about it. We will be seeing Lia and Lui again and also Diana and get to meet Jayne and her Gordon for the first time. I just know this is going to be wonderful. 5 days of shopping till John drops. Ooooh"!

We drive out on the Thursday, thru the Chunnel and sleep the night in an hotel in Charleroi (Belgium). Leaving there early Friday morning and arriving in Mannheim at about 1-2pm. Book in and then go str8 to Lia and Lui's place so that Lia can take us to Globus where we will spend hours shopping for stuff not readily available here, or cheaper there. Coffee Beans, salad dressings, mustards, spices and sauces. They also sell clothes and what else? Oh, yes, sock yarn.....cheap and good quality! Not that it matters to me of course, I am going for the food stuff....ermmhum.

Then we shall go to Lidl for more of the same.

On the Saturday we will do the Xmas market in Heidelberg with Diana. On the Sunday we will do Mannheim markets and meet Jayne and Gordon at Lia and Lui's in the afternoon.

On Xmas eve we will go back to Heidelberg with Lia and Lui and Jayne and Gordon. This time, hopefully, we will manage to see the castle and use the funicular to ge tup there. we reckon that between all of us, I'll manage with my sticks/chair. We may be attending a concert in the evening.

We will drive home on Xmas day. I chose this day because every other f****r will be at home!

It Would Be Nice.....

...if I could just sit and relax and watch a film on dvd without having to move constantly. I am never comfortable. I do relaxation exercises, meditation and deep breathing but that just sends me to sleep. Even when I was given the diazepam to relax my muscles, it didn't stop me fidgeting. I am not in serious pain, haven't been for a while, but that doesn't mean I am comfortable.

I do not know if there is something I can learn that will enable me to just keep still and stop hurting so I can relax and do nothing but watch something I want to watch. I love my knitting but it would be nice to not HAVE to do it. I'd like to just do nothing. If it isn't my legs that hurt and jerk about , it's my back especially when I am leaning on the back of armchair, which is what one is suppose dot do-but it goes into spasm and i have to move yet again. arrgghh!

Moan over.

Edit: the reason for this is FMS and RA and OA not anxiety! I have had this years-it is why I walk with sticks and use a wheelchair. I know it isn't going to go away but I am sure there must be a way I can get to have some still time without drugs and without falling asleep!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Moving Forward

I am feeling very much better in most ways now. My stomach has settled. My emotions have settled. The fear has abated. Still crippled, but you can't have it all.

Now I am through to the other side, I can say I am glad I went through this. I would not wish to again. That was the third time in 14 years, the last time being the same months in 98. Each time, it was different issues. I didn't see that at the time. It was just pain to me. Only in hindsight can I see what the pain was about and it was quite specific each time. I think I could not have expressed the pain of each issue all at once and remained alive.

I certainly recall that the during 98 episode I came very close to losing it altogether. This time, whilst I did feel I would die, seriously, I didn't at any point think I was losing my mind. Plus I still managed to do things like the dogs, knit, go swimming and to dogs shows.


The issues this time were very clear, after a while. I was grieving my losses which I had never done before. I do recall dreaming earlier this year that I had been 'banished' from the group, and was left out alone in the cold. A bit like a spaceman having his cord cut. In fact a medium put it this way: they cut the cord. I remember in that dream feeling the most dreadful feeling and when I awoke I didn't know what it had been about(!!!) but was very thankful I was not feeling that feeling because I felt it would kill me. Later of course, I did feel that feeling and it didn't kill me. It just felt like it would.

The other major issue was about myself. About me being me. It dawned on me, and I am 49 years old on the 16th of this month, that no matter who I was the abuse would still have happened. The abuse happened not because of who I was but because of who the abusers were. The problem was with them and not with me. I really was powerless to prevent it or control it. It really wasn't anything I did or anything that I was. I used to think , as regards my father anyway, that I wasn't boy enough, not macho enough, because in his eyes I was a sissy. It was so easy to accept the blame. Now I see that he had no business expecting anything of me other than to be who I am. That not boy enough or not, he had no business bullying me, terrifying me, hurting me, hitting me.

I have always been ashamed of being sensitive. Of being creative. Of being me. Not now. I am glad I am sensitive. It prevents me behaving in ways I see others behaving and treating others the way I was treated. I am grateful for being creative-it occupies my mind and satisfies me and brings pleasure to others.

This last couple of weeks, it keeps popping into my head how glad I am to be who I am. How I really like who I have become. How amazing that I have become me despite it all. Not only that, but I think of myself as man now, an adult, instead of a boy. I no longer feel that my grasp is so tenuous. I feel stronger each day.

On the 20th John and I are off the spend Xmas with friends in Germany, We will drive the 800 miles back on Xmas day (cos everyone else will be at home leaving the road to ME!).

Once again, thank you all for your support thought this very painful and distressing growth period.You maybe don't realise just how important your support was in keeping me alive and sane.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Introducing.....


Tantra's Lia above and Tantra's Lui below, at 9 weeks. Named after Lia Kushner Nord and her husband , Lui, whom we met in August in Germany and will be visiting again this Xmas. Lia is on the Socknitters list.

Lia 's picture was very hard to get as she did not want it taken. Lia likes nothing better than to beat up her brothers.

Lui asks to go out and then asks to come in. When he comes in he rushes straight back to his pen even though he is allowed to stay out and play. He took to the lead right off and walks well where as Lia made a song and dance of it and took 3 days to walk. She must have read my mind cos I was thinking 'if this bitch doesn't walk....' and suddenly off she trotted, showing herself off to all and sundry even though the street was deserted. She stops dead to stare at cars that move by as she seems to think they have a nerve being anywhere near her. If she could make the cars wither with her look, she would.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chuck Berry

This is Chuck Berry. Knit on 2.25mm circular needle(Knitpicks 80cm). The yarn is scrummy- Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colour number 38. I am very pleased with this yarn. It feels really nice. After Ray at Knitivity's merino/nylon this is my favourite so far. Very soft. 80% merino and 20% nylon.

What is more, I was given this yarn free gratis! By a young woman on Ravelry who wasn't going to knit socks and knew I would. Very mid of her and very good for me. I love these. I have another colourway in this same yarn which I bought on Ebay.

I used my own heel again (Andersson Heel). I did the foot half an inch shorter than usual before I shaped the heel and it fits better for me. The pattern itself is a very simple 3 x3 rib which lends itself very well to this yarn and colourway I think.

I don't get why, but this yarn went further than usual and I had a fair bit left after one sock from one skein. Yet the meterage is somewhat less(about 40 less) than my usual sock yarn. No it isn't thinner either. EDIT: the skein is 56 gms hence which makes this yarn even less yardage than say a 50gm ball of Regia. It says 215 yds per skein.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

P-Mail

I used to walk the dogs for 50 minutes twice a day but not for the last 4 years since I became unable to do so. I had about 5 different routes which made it more interesting for me and , I thought, for them.

They really don't seem to care. I only do one route now, on good days, which would have taken about 20mins but now takes 35. The dogs love it. It amazes me how eager they are to sniff and leave their P-Mail. Girls and boys. Although Micah leaves more P-Mail than he sniffs. He leaves at least one P-Mail on anything that is stood still.

Today there will be no walking. It is pouring down outside. It is for days like this that my dogs are all paper trained.

I have the final show of 2007 on Friday and the way it looks now, I will not be going. I am still not right. Oh, I don't feel ill exactly. My cold is more or less gone although my nap yesterday was ruined by my coughing. The antibiotics finish today, just two more to take. They were needed as my sinuses and chest cleared.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Living It

I wrote part of this in reply to a dear net friend whom I would love to meet one day:

These people do not realise the alienation and hurt they cause those of us who are not as political as they are, or not according to their terms anyway.

I am a radical and it shows in how I live my life. I bet the way I live my life takes more guts and more 'radicalism' than any of them!

They seemed more intent on criticising and finding stuff to be offended by than making me feel welcome as one of them. Not one person did that. No welcome. Just alienation.

And yet I have always been OUT! Since I was a boy. I have never hidden who I am. I LIVE it. I am who I am. I live in an ordinary world surrounded by ordinary people and they either accept me or they don't but I don't hide or pretend I am what i am not.

The life I live is sort of like that of a traditional housewife! Now THAT takes courage. Now THAT is being really radical. THAT is political. THAT is standing up for my rights and the rights of my fellow 'queer' people. Yet my fellows have the gall to ostracise me because I am not queer enough!!! I don't live in a 'queer' ghetto or community. I live in an ordinary community and I do not conform to their ordinary standards. I walk as I talk, right in their face, I live in their midst, not surrounded by others like me. If I lived in a 'queer community' I would not have to and the challenge would not be there and I could pretend the world was different.

Instead, I everyday face the filthy looks, the derogatory comments, the sly lack of respect from service people(this is a small town) and yet I hold myself up and my head high and feel pity for their lack or spirit and intelligence. I might also add that they are the minority. The rest either ignore me or accept me. I am well know and there are many nice people here. Unlike at my main home, London, where we suffered abuse, physical violence and bricks through our windows and car being smashed on a regular basis.


Just as I have found that being disabled alters people's perceptions of me, and causes them to freeze me out, I have found less acceptance from my so called 'queer' brothers and sisters than I have from the str8 people I am surrounded by. My physical disability is much less acceptable to them(homosexuals), I have found, but I always knew that before I became disabled.

I am told that by referring to myself as gay man, I am being a middle class snob who alienates others. Never mind the fact that this dismissal of me was alienating! So I get turned into the enemy. Just like that. Just by using the term gay, I am looking down upon people of lower class, people who are transgendered and all sorts. Never mind the fact that snobbery seems to be on the other side as I never see people in terms of class or anything. I see people as people! I don't think in terms of normal and not normal.

It is one thing to expound on 'queer politics' and to be vociferous and seen to be right on. It is quite another to live it.

I LIVE IT. I always have. I always will. And NO ONE, absolutely no one, will stop me living the truth of who I am nor will they make me feel less than they are because I don't conform to their idea what I ought to be. It really really p's me off that those who know opression and live with it, can so lightly and easily alienate others who they see as not being what they think they ought to be.

F**k you! I am who I am and I will NOT hide for anyone. Certainly not for acceptance. Not being me is worse than death. Been there, done that and I can assure you death is preferable to living life pretending to be what I am not.

To quote whoever it was:

I WOULD RATHER BE HATED FOR WHO I AM THAN LOVED FOR WHO I AM NOT.

Edit: the term queer, which to me is offensive and means strange or abnormal, has been adopted by some and the meaning of the word has been changed. It is now used to describe anyone who doesn't fit the societal idea of normal , it seems. Well, I have never considered myself not normal! I don't now. I am a normal human being. Just like everyone else, I eat, I sleep, I laugh, I cry, I love. I don't buy into this not being normal.

I am who I am, not who you say I am.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bother!

Like I said yesterday, my cold is back with a vengeance and worse today.

I will not be going to BUBA tomorrow, the 2nd last dog show of 2007. I am just not up to it.


I have realised that I really have to learn to not push myself so much and take better care of myself.

We are going to Germany on the 20th to visit with Lia and Lui ,and I really want to go and so really need to be well for that. Not just well from this cold/flu(4 weeks almost now!) but from the gastritis and trauma stuff too. That is much better but still there.

Next Friday is the last show of the year. It is HUGE and busy and crowded. I think I will be giving that a miss too. There will be other dog shows. I think my health and stress levels are more important right now.

I don't find this easy. As I said, it makes me feel like a wimp but I know I am just being sensible and taking care of myself.

Last night, after about 4.5 hours sleep, my rib cage started causing pain again. I am wondering if there is some sort of pillow thing I can buy that raises the whole of my back as I sleep? I can't afford right now to buy one of those beds that raises up and down. Besides, this doesn't happen often enough to warrant that expense.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

hummph!

I did the trip to the stud owner last night. In the wind and rain and it was very dark. The pups were amazing. Not a sound from them. No sick. No poo . No wee. Her decision on the best two pups was the same as mine, although she isn't so keen on the boy as she thinks he isn't butch enough. I think he will be. Micah was a pretty boy but is very obviously male now. Anyway, time will tell.

Two of the pups go their new homes this weekend.

My bloody cold is back with a vengeance! That is 3,5 weeks now. I thought it had more or less gone. Now my head hurts, I have thick yellow stuff, and a sore throat.So I am going to see Elizabeth cos I think I will need antibiotics cos this feels like sinusitis and that is very painful when it gets going and I don't want it to get going so hopefully the pills will knock it out first. Lets see what Elizabeth thinks.

I slept well. I thought I hadn't cos I awoke 5 hours after I went to sleep and couldn't get back to sleep. Or so I thought. I was lying there thinking I couldn't get back to sleep and I decided oh to hell with it, I'll get up. It was almost two hours after I first woke up....
so I got about 7.5 hours last night.

I have three second socks to knit, and have started on one of them-the second of a pair for John. I have also almost done a cashmere sweater order.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shaky Start

Today did not start off well. I was overwhelmed again. However I seem to be past the worst of it. The last two weeks have been getting better daily.

My stomach is still very sensitive and starts to act up when I get tired and them the anxiety builds and so does the stomach distress and so the anxiety builds and the stomach gets worse...you get the picture I am sure. So when it gets like that, as it did this morning, I resort to half a 5mg valium and it soon settles my stomach and then I stop feeling anxious because if the valium stops the stomach then I can't be dying....this is f***ing awful basically.

I am embarrassed by it. It makes me feel like a big wimp. I am so close to tears a lot of the time. From what I have read, it is going to take quite a while for my body to stop sending out panic mode messages which is what is causing the stomach distress. I am through the grief as far as I am aware and this is just the body readjusting itself. All the info I have had from the Dr and other sources have all explained very well what trauma does to the body and why I get the symptoms I do and what is causing them in the way of hormones and other chemicals. It really does help me if I understand what is happening. Okay so knowing that my body is being flooded by hormones when I am stressed does not always help to allay the fear but it does mostly.Today's episode was the first after a good few days of feeling much better.

I never thought I'd say this, but I wish I was having panic attacks like those I know because I would just go for a walk and it would all calm down and stop and that would be that.(I think I don't have them now because of my heart medications. Speaking of which, my blood pressure was 113/59 last evening!) This is much more difficult to deal with.(Meaning how my grief presented itself this time, thru my stomach.)

I love coffee. Either decaff or not. I have a bean to cup machine so have real coffee only. I have one ordinary coffee when I awake and one later in the afternoon and the other 1 or 2 coffees are decaff. I think I am going to stick with just decaff for a while until my body has stopped messing me about.


It is 3 weeks tomorrow until we go to Germany for Xmas and I WILL NOT accept still having this problem for that trip.

Swimming: I have cut down my days and am doing it every other day for now. It was suggested to me that I ought to stop pushing myself so hard. I didn't know what that meant really as I find it hard to know what is being lazy and what is being sensible. Anyway, I got up for my swim the other day and felt so tired and unwell I knew not to go though I had to argue with myself for a good half hour before common sense prevailed. So anyway, I have found myself more tired recently and I have found that my symptoms of distress come on when I am tired so...I didn't go swimming today.


I have got the 7 puppies to bath today as we are off to show them to the stud owner.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

oh

I was up at 4.50am having woken and found myself unable to go back to sleep. I did what I needed to with the dogs, and was in the pool by 6.30am and swam 1 mile. By 7.30am the dogs were fed. I had done my banking and email and at 9am was asleep.

I have awoken again after some very disturbing dreams in which I found myself crying again. I was with a group of people and trying to express myself and they were talking over me and as I awoke, I realised their body language was such that their bodies had turned away from me. There were two men talking who seemed to be talking about the same experiences as those I have had, but they spoke in a different language about it, I don't mean they didn't speak English, but that they just didn't use the same words etc and seemed to be very little affected by their experience, in fact they seemed to make light of it. It certainly felt like my view was not valid. I don't really know for sure what that was about but it did make me think of a group I belong to where I definitely do not feel like I fit yet I very much ought to. It appears I am viewed as not the same at all there. This is the one group of people I really ought to fit in with but they have never let me belong in any meaningful way. Not just net wise but in life too.

I also dreamt of being with a man and a woman who have been the victims of a terrible terrible tragedy yet they are the ones being victimised and blamed for this tragedy. This dream is not hard to for me understand at all. I have felt for these people ever since they hit the news and I certainly know what it is to be blamed when one is not to blame.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tarantino

This is my own design, knitted using one 80 cm KnitPicks circular needle, size 2.25mm.

The yarn is Regia Silk in colour 032. The yarn is 55% merino, 25% Nylon and 20% Silk.

I think it has a lovely handle and was easy to knit, which is just as well as this pattern was not so easy!

I knit toe up, used the Andersson Heel, and as in common with all my socks, I had no idea what it would be until the toe was done.






Saturday, November 24, 2007

Challenging

As I walked into the hall where I was to speak this evening, the first person I saw was someone I really cannot abide. I won't go into too much here but I dropped this person in 2002 after having stupidly put up with being used and abused for too long because I allowed them to guilt me into continuing to help them. I wised up though.

Sadly, as much as I try not to actively dislike anyone, I have not succeeded with this person. Not to the point that I would wish them harm or do them harm or even not treat them respect but I still cannot abide them. Probably, aside from my parents, the most self centred and cruel person I have come across who also believes they are above everyone else and are always right.


Not only did I overcome this and worked well, but during the demonstration part, I had to speak with them. That went well too. Upon leaving, I felt a bit down on myself for not working as well as I know I can but that didn't last for long as I soon realised I had worked very well considering the circumstances.

This ,That and The Other



Well, today did not get off to a good start. I did sleep well mind you, a full hours. However, I awoke in pain and it nagged at me for hours. I was grumpy. I felt sorry for myself. I got really p'd off with being in pain all the time. Now, yesterday I had a full body massage and reflexology. Not the first time I have been in bad pain the following day. I am not sure if this is worth doing. I love it at the time - it's very relaxing. I am not sure this pain is worth it though. Anyway, at 1.30pm I went to bed, slept till 3.15pm and have awoken feeling much better. The pain is lessened.

Tonight I have a speaking engagement at 7pm. Not too far, just 20 miles form home.

The puppies are 7 weeks old today. they are rather annoyed with me because I wormed them(again). Each of them screamed with indignation. Yes, Apso are like that. They can make it sound as if they are being murdered just because one is doing something they don't want to be done. It used to be a real problem when i wanted to bath and groom. Until I figured out that if I ignore them totally and juts keep doing the bathing or grooming or whatever it is,they just shut up. I say nothing at all to them. I just let them have their tantrum. They soon figure out that it makes no difference so they quit and I end up with a well trained dog.

My stomach distress is even better today. I have started to take my Protium tablet again and this had made a difference. My Dr told me I had gastritis which I must say because of the state I was in, I took little notice of and didn't know what it was either. Well, I looked it up and learned what it was so thought it might be an idea to take my Protium. I had stopped taking it week sago as I only take it a few days at a time if I get acid reflux. Well, I have not had any reflux at all, no acid pain. However, having read what I read, I realised that taking the Protium could help me heal. It certainly seems to have made a difference. Oh, and re the Diet Coke, I can see how pouring loads of Phosphoric Acid into my gut when I was so stressed was not such a good thing to do!



Friday, November 23, 2007

This N That

It is almost 7am here and I was up at 6am to go swimming. I decided I felt too tired. After arguing with myself for a while, I decided not to go and that perhaps this was what was meant when I was told I push myself too hard. So whilst I feel I ought to be swimming right now,I am writing here instead.

Speaking of swimming: recall that woman who asked me to move out of 'her lane'? Well, she swims with a friend, side by side. The other morning, I was already in the favoured lane. This time her friend tried to bulldoze me out of the lane! Yes, she swam into me twice. She just got in and freestyled toward me. Once going down and once going up. No I did not move and she did move over a lane. Both these women are in the 60's I would think. It astonishes me that they have managed to get this age and 1. still be bullies and 2. still not realise that the world does not revolve around them.

Good News: we went and did some shopping yesterday. I needed to buy trousers as I have lost so much weight now that my trousers no longer hold up. I dreaded doing so as trouser buying is the one thing I hate to do. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I had not only dropped a good size but was well on the way to dropping another. I bought two pairs. Both fit perfectly as soon as I put them on. No having to try on different styles or sizes. (I ought to add here that my weight loss has been the result of the swimming and eating right for me-and no more than 1.5 - 2lb a week. I haven't really paid attention due to the other stuff going on with me.)

John has been home on holiday this week. However, he got this bug instead and is now on steroids and two inhalers and antibiotics! He is getting better and feels better. A shame it had to be on his holiday from work though.

Stomach: it finally seems to be settling. No gurgling, no discomfort, no odd sensations, no burning and hence much less fear. the anxiety and grief has not left me altogether but it is getting better and I am so much better than I was.

Diet Coke: One of the side effects of me not smoking(about 8 mths now) is that my tastes have changed. They have not improved, just altered. Foods I used to like I no longer do(Baked Beans are far too sweet, Gruyer too salty). Anyway, last May at a dog show, I was very thirsty and had run out of water. A friend offered me a Diet Coke which I at first refused as I hate the stuff. However, it was hot, I needed a drink so I took it and found I really liked it. I was soon drinking loads of the stuff daily. I did mainly drink the caffeine free variety. However, I would drink at least 4 litres a day.

The Monday before last, I wondered if the Diet Coke had anything to do with my stomach distress. I do not believe it caused it on it's own but perhaps in combination with the stress of the grief etc. So that Monday I decided to not have nay more. Tuesday I had none but my guts were still not good. Wednesday and Thursday were vast improvements and by Friday I felt more or less okay. I decided it was silly to think it was the Diet Coke. I drank a litre that day. One 500ml bottle on my outward 80 mile journey to see someone and one on the way back. Now when I got to where I was going, my stomach was acting up. I assumed it was because I was talking about painful stuff. I drank the second 500ml bottle on the way home. By the evening time, I was great stomach distress. As I was all day on the Saturday at the Guild day. Sunday was better, Monday even better, Tuesday was even better and today is Friday, a full week since I had any. My stomach/bowel is not experiencing anything like the distress it was. It still may not have anything to do with the Diet Coke but......

The puppies are 7 weeks old tomorrow. They are developing into their own 'persons' now. They wag their tales, ask to go out, play roughly and annoy the adults.

I have been slowly knitting socks still. Today I hope to get on with a cashmere sweater I have been asked to knit for someone. Other than that, I plan to rest. I feel tired and this has become obvious whilst I am writing this. In fact this last week, I have been more tired. Sleeping in the afternoon and at night. This is a good sign because I means I am settling down enough to sleep well and want to.

This last 3 months have been extremely challenging. Whilst I would not wish to go through this voluntarily, I can see the benefit I have gained in the changes within me. I do not feel I am out of the woods yet. I still need to work on trust and letting go and stopping being on guard the whole time. I am going at the pace I can go, no more and no less.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Puppies At 6 Weeks

The pictures were taken on Saturday, the day they were 6weeks old, with the help of Jane (Needles of Steel).


BOY
BOY
GIRL
GIRL
BOY
BOY

GIRL

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Machine Knitting Guild

Jane (Steel Breeze) and myself. Jane was very helpful in getting my wheelchair in an out of the car for me. We got on well and felt at ease. Jane said she knew she'd be alright with me because I used the F word on the phone!

Both are of Alison Lee, the demonstrator today and a lady I already 'knew' via the knitting lists. I didn't expect to meet anyone who 'knew' me as Knitman but I met a few! Alsion was a pleasure to meet, easy to feel comfortable with. Alison is wearing her own creations.
I took these pictures of these Aran types because I really liked them. These were hand knitted.

Ebay Sweaters

The auction finishes tomorrow, Sunday, between 8.30pm and 9pm UK time (5hrs ahead of EST).

Ladies Cotton mix

Ladies Cotton Mix 2

Ladies Cotton Mix 3


Ladies Cotton Mix 4

Gentleman's Merino / Angora

Coming In From The Cold

I did learn a fair bit yesterday from visiting the trauma specialist.

He thought I had dealt with it all well and agreed this last episode was about loss and the realization that it truly wasn't something about me that caused the abuse.

However, he did note, and I am so used to it I didn't even mention it as a problem, that I am hypervigilent 24/7. In other words I never feel safe. I am always on guard. Those who know me swear I'd make a good spy, or do actually work for MI5 , because of the way I survey all around me and notice everything! It does make a good driver as I anticipate very well and see everything.

Trouble is it affects me in ways that are not good. 24/7 tension for a start. It prevents me doing things I want to do. Like flying. Like taking up invites to go places that require overnight stays or longer. Then my autonomic nervous system kicks in and I don't sleep or go to the loo. So being away is exhausting and physically uncomfortable. So I don't do it. On my trips with John, which we have down to 5-6 days because that is all I can cope with, I manage but only with the aid of medication.

Quite naturally, most people assume my major difficulties are down to my physical disability. They are not. I can handle that and I do handle it very well. Even when the pain is bad I handle it. It is this not feeling safe that causes the problems. The inability to sleep and keep my bowel working. The state of high alert 24/7.

Now I definitely want this fixed and he thinks he can help me to overcome it. I left him feeling that I really could be free of past altogether. Oh I know it will always be part of me, it made me, but it won't have to rule my present anymore. I am excited about this. All the stuff I just accepted about how I am, the hypervigilence, the compulsive checking, doesn't need to stay with me!

I DID have a need to be hpervigilent but that need disappeared many years ago. Trouble is I lived in fear for so many years that the habit didn't leave me. I am still always waiting for the next blow. Always anticipating it.

I am really glad I kept my appointment when I thought the need for it had passed. I am pleased I followed my gut which was telling me to go and see him because I might learn something. My gut was right. I did learn something. And I was right that as far as dealing with my emotions, the grief, I have been doing so and done well. He doesn't feel the need to help me there. The last thing I expected was to discover that something could be done about the tension and hypervigilence. Mainly because it is so a part of me, I didn't realise it was a problem!

I cannot really imagine what it will be like to live without this but am excited by the prospect of doing so. Perhaps then I really will be free after all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm Free

I slept six hours last night before waking for a pee. I then slept another 1.5 hours. Unheard of.

I had a much better day yesterday. My stomach was bit off in the morning but otherwise it behaved all day and even when evening came, when it is usually bad, it was good. Despite having had a nap in the afternoon(like I did Wednesday), I was very tired by 11pm and went to bed. Now this feels like me the normal me, though I normally would not sleep that long at night.

My legs are hurting, my hips are sore, especially in bed, and my spine feels like someone took a hammer to it. Phew! Things really are back to normal.

YOU may think it odd but it feels good to be back to normal. I am used to this discomfort. It doesn't frighten me. I cope with it well. Drugs give some relief. It doesn't stop me living. It doesn't make me cry.

This last couple of months have truly been awful but I can see I needed to go thru it to dump that load I was carrying. I didn't know that I was still carrying it. What I now know is that I had dumped a fair bit of it in the 5 years of therapy but the very deepest wounds were untouched. So whatever higher power there is brought it to my attention.

John and I were talking last night on the phone as he works in London during the week. He says he knew something bad was coming. He noticed me 'switch off' when we were in Germany and when we got back he said I started to have night terrors again and yell in my sleep. He said I started to talk about my family and was also losing my temper at trivial things. He also noticed I was getting physically run down and not resting. When the stomach pains started he knew for sure I was experiencing flashbacks and was about to really go through it. I guess after 26 years, one learns to see the signs!

I don't regret this happening. I know it is a positive thing. I don't ever want to go through it again.

Yesterday, on my way out, I checked myself in the mirror, as I am wont to do, to make sure my hat was on the way I like it. I found my self saying' you are a good looking man'. Now the significant part of that sentence was I used the word man. I have never referred to myself as a man. I have never felt like a man. I have always felt like a boy. Today I am a man. I feel like a man. My own man. No one else's idea of a man. A real grown up. An adult. A person. Maybe even a whole person. Of that I am not yet sure. Maybe that will not be possible. Whatever, I feel different inside. Very different. I am not sure how to put this into words. I just feel different. In a positive way. I feel lighter certainly. I don't feel the weight of my past upon me. I don't feel the shame that was forced upon me. I don't feel the fear of my family I have always felt. I don't fear the opinion of others.

NO ONE will ever make me feel like I am not up to the mark again. I am good enough. More than good enough. I like who I am, what I have become. I amazed I have become me but I have. I am where I am and who I am and that is perfectly acceptable to me. If it isn't to you, then I guess you really do have a problem within you.

The sun is shining, it is bitterly cold. Just the sort of day to walk my dogs and be bathed in light.

Today is a good day.

(if you are of a certain age you might get the dreadful pun of the post title)

PS: I have an appointment with a trauma specialist today. I am still keeping it, even if I do feel better, because I don't turn away chances to learn something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pig's Bum

I don't feel good this morning. No tears, no solar plexus pain , a little fear but feeling really p'd off.

I slept quite well, woke at about 4 I think and took a co-codomal for my cough / cold. It stops the coughing so I can sleep. Had this damn cold for 11 days now. Though I have to say it is mild now.

I eventually woke at 6am but did not get up as I was afraid too. I already felt wound up. So I stayed in bed and dozed till 8 and am glad I did. I need the rest. This is tiring.

Last night at a meditation group I go to, this woman who attends could see I wasn't my normal self and started to talk to me about how she felt when she lost her son. She told me how she physically felt and how similar it was to my physical pain. She told me it won't just stop overnight, that it will take time to go away. I was very grateful to her for talking to me but felt a pang of shame too as her grief was about the loss of her child, which must be truly truly awful. She is a lovely person and I am so glad she spoke with me. I was feeling bad and scared and she helped to allay that.

I still find the physical side to this grief really hard to deal with. It is scary. I feel a heaviness over my solar plexus and a burning sensation. It isn't really a burning, not like acid reflux at all.
Once I cry or take a diazepam, which I avoid and do only if it is bad, it goes away. Or my guts gurgle and boing all the time. Strangely, my Dr thinks I am very lucky and have a good guts, I have had no trouble at all with my bathroom habits. they have remained normal and regular.

I get none of this when I sleep and it usually comes on later in the day, if it is going to.

Today though I just feel angry about it all. I am tired of it. I also feel embarrassed by it. I feel I ought to be stronger than this and not so sensitive and wimpy. THAT is my father talking, I know. So he can go jump and leave me alone to grieve how I grieve.
How I am is how I am and it certainly is not like him. If he had cried or been sensitive perhaps he wouldn't have been such a cruel man.

I have to watch myself right now too as I find I get annoyed quite easily at some of the emails on the lists. I finally blocked an address this morning to save me from myself really because I know I will lose it one day.

I am still doing my meditation twice daily and I include some deep breathing exercises too. This really does help.

I miss my swimming! I still can't go and doubt I will be able to until next Monday.

I have a major breed club champ show this coming Sunday.

I had three speaking engagements last week, Sunday, Wednesday and Sunday and all three went well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just When....

....I thought it was over I had another crap day. More fear, more tears, more solar plexus discomfort, grumbling, burning(no not acid), fear feeling. Missing my mum like crazy which just makes no sense to me at all.
Yesterday was a brilliant day. I felt like my old self. felt physically good. Then today, Wham!
I really need thisto end now. I get the message.I understand the point. Now please will you leave me alone? This is so pointless. How much more crying is needed? To what end exactly? I know what I lost, I know it wasn't my fault. I just want ot ge tone an live what life I have left and enjoy it not be held back and swamped by this f***ing pain.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ebay Sweaters On Now

Ladies Cotton mix

Ladies Cotton Mix 2

Ladies Cotton Mix 3


Ladies Cotton Mix 4

Gentleman's Merino / Angora

Just For Today


I am getting better each day. It has been getting longer between crying sessions. The feelings of fear have lessened a lot. Yesterday and the day before have been the best days for weeks.

I am awaking each day with dread.
Just like I used to when a child. I haven't felt this way for many years. In recent times I have looked forward to each day and what I might accomplish or learn. Now I am afraid of what emotions might threaten to overwhelm me. I know this will pass too.

The sense of loss has been huge. I had been so busy just surviving I had no time to feel the pain of loss. Or even the awareness that I had lost.

A big part of the spiritual philosophy
I have an interest in, is the concept of Personal Responsibility. Also, that what we think is of the utmost importance because what we think determines our lives.


I know this to be true.
The only reason my life has changed, the only reason I have changed, is because I have changed what I think. The only person who could do that was me.


Yes, it's true,
much of what I thought I was taught to think by damaged unhealthy people. I still suffered the consequences. My belief in the lies is what made my life so wretched. My beliefs about me, about other people, about 'god', about death. All of these beliefs conspired to cause me immense suffering to the point of death or insanity.


I survived.


I believe I survived because I was loved by strangers who became my family and my partner. THEY became my support because they saw the real me, the me I didn't know existed.

Slowly, I began to see
that there were other ways to think. I was a slow learner, always hampered by fear. I had been taught to fear everything and everyone and I learned that lesson well. After all, every person in my life back then let me down and I had reason to fear them.


I have always been good at putting on a good
outward image. Look at the photograph on this post of me at 11. I had already seen my best friend killed, been almost killed by my own father and had years of abuse from both parents, emotionally and physically, and was already used to being used as a sexual outlet by adults.


This recent tumult has taught me much.
It showed me that I believed a huge lie and this lie is the one that was at the root of all my suffering. I believed that I was responsible for the behaviour of others. Oh, I knew it was wrong to have sex with children and wrong to physically batter them and to be emotionally cruel to them. I came to know that in my 30's. I and everyone else assumed that was it, I understood. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND AT ALL. I had been taught well. I believed, deep down, that had I been different, these people would not have done what they did. That they were good people and that there was something about me that made them lose control...(they taught me well).


Believing that all but ruined my life.
It almost destroyed me. It was the reason I chose the wrong people to be friends with. It was the reason I could not defend myself. It was the reason I was so afraid all the time. It was the reason I was unable to use my high IQ. It was the reason I harmed myself. I cut myself, starved myself, blotted myself out with drink and drugs. The reason I smoked. It was the reason for the suicide attempts(after the second time landed me in a coma, I gave up trying because I knew there was no escape).


The religious abuse I suffered
mixed in with all this took away my ability to have any form of relationship with whatever higher power there may be. In the end the only way I could cope with the evil monster I had been taught about was to deny the existence of anything beyond us. However,my coma experience showed me clearly that death is but a transition to another life. That TERRIFIED me.


Now I see things differently. I am not so afraid. I am beginning to see a very different type of god to the one I was taught about. This last two months so much has happened, so much love and support has come my way. So many 'coincidences'. I am at the point where I want to let go and believe I will be caught but am not there yet.

Two weeks ago on a Tuesday
when I was on my third gut wrenching crying of the day, rolling around on the floor, in so much agony I wanted death, I screamed out 'if you are there and you f***ing love me, then do something NOW!'


I became calm,
much less afraid, and I did what I had sworn I would not do. I called my Dr. I hadn't because I was afraid I'd be locked up again, like when I was a teen. He was very supportive. He understood I needed to go thru my grief but also needed support. He insisted I take some diazepam to relieve the physical pain I was in and to get to to sleep as I hadn't been sleeping.


I am not interested in false religion or false faith.
I am not interested in anyone whose belief system includes a punishing god.


Simply put,
if a belief includes 'if you don't believe this' you will go to hell or any other threat, then I am not interested because I know it is BIG FAT LIE!!!!!


IF god is Unconditional Love
then we do not have to believe anything! We don't have to DO anything. We are loved. End of. Loved. No matter what. Loved. regardless. Loved. We do not have to earn it.


Any fool will believe what they are told to believe with a gun held at their head.


So if you believe
that you will only be 'saved' by believing a particular story or following a particular dogma or creed, you are WRONG WRONG WRONG! You have been conned. You have been abused. You have been misled. You have been told a BIG FAT LIE.


And whilst you may well suffer
as a result of believing such a lie, and you will, in the end it won't matter a jot because you will still survive death and still be loved.