Monday, April 29, 2013


 I bought this yarn from COLOURMART. It is called Hawk. It is 10% cashmere, 10% alpaca, 30% silk , 50% merino. A 2/7 weight ( 350m/100g).
 I knitted in on a Brother 965i at tension 8*(8.) It was 26 sts and 40 rows to 10cm. It was washed, spun, and then tumble dried on hot for 1 hour. It will only be hand washed from now on.
 I used fully fashioned shaping throughout. I sewed it together using mattress stitch.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Am knackered. Nothing doing today. Although in bed by 11:40pm, I was still awake at 2:45am due to leg pain which i finally medicated at about 2am. I had only been to dog club so was hardly on my feet very long and I was medicated well before I went. Anyway, was up at 8am as the youngsters still needed dealing with. 

These episodes are frequent, nothing new, but still I cannot help but feel grateful that I can watch tv, listen to music and knit, so despite being prevented living a 'normal' life by my body, I am still having a good life.  

Recently I have been thinking a lot about how life used to be. I know that when I was in my 20s I found occupy myself in a satisfactory way extremely difficult. I was very anxious to find a career and constantly fought for that despite my health. Gradually over the years my talents came to the fore  and as I healed so my days became more and more fulfilling.

Whereas back in those days I found the day is far too long I now find the day is far too short!

I have written about fear recently. One of the comments suggested that one should not pick over the scabs of old wounds. Whilst I agree with this I do not think it is wise that we ignore feelings if they are persistent as my waking up in fear each day had become.

As is often the case just thinking about the fear and what could be causing it has brought me to  the last few days of feeling much better.

I read a short piece the day before yesterday about forgiveness. I began to realise that much of what I had been thinking about my past was the lack of forgiveness of myself.

 When ever I think back about how used to be I feel shame and embarrassment. I have realised that this could be different. I get upset when others don't understand that people behave in certain ways when they are disturbed and should not be judged. Yet here I doing exactly that with myself. I need to think of my past self with understanding and compassion instead of wanting to forget him because I feel so ashamed of him. I could not have been any different and it wasn't as if I wasn't trying the whole time but I was far more damaged than me or anybody else knew and I wasn't getting the help that I needed. It was not for want of me looking for help. I even cringe with embarrassment when I think of some of the things that I did in my quest for wellness.

My overwhelming memory is the sheer darkness of the pain that I was in for so many years. So why do I not give myself a break? Whilst I would not say I condemn my past self the mere fact that I feel shame about it tells me that I hold myself accountable and do not see myself as having been ill. For me the shame shows my lack of forgiveness and understanding.

 I need to find within myself a different way of viewing and feeling my past. I would like to be able to view my life from a compassionate standpoint. Whilst I do not  think that I need to go into details with anybody and certainly not here on my blog, I do think that I'm would like to be at the point where I can lay my past before myself and not feel shame and distain for myself.

Whilst I've would not call this a negative, I certainly did not expect that along with the happy state of affairs that is me today would come a crushing awareness  of just how disturbed I used to be. It seems I am far more understanding and forgiving of others who do terrible things in their quest to free themselves from pain. Whilst I know that the desire to stop hurting was the impetus for everything I am not yet at that point that I can think of my behaviours and not feel shame. Even though I know that some of my extreme and distressing behaviours were the direct result of large doses of chlorpromazine I still remember the incidents as if I were in control and the person I am now instead of an extremely disturbed and abused person who was being abused even more with these drugs. Chlorpromazine and haloperidol are two of the most evil drugs. I really think that before people prescribed them they should take them themselves so that they have some understanding of the horrors they produce in those who take them. I know I am not the only one to be seriously affected by such drugs. There is even some evidence that my present neurological problems could be the result of these drugs. I still have to live with the memories of my behaviour whilst out of my mind on these drugs. Worse still was the total ignorance of the medical profession and therefore of the people around me, of the effects these drugs have. No one's in the medical profession seem to understand that the sudden serious worsening of my behaviour was brought on by the medication.

I think I may have to revisit this topic because I feel I cannot do so now. However I think my reluctance to take medication for my present disease is clearly understandable in light of the above.

Who would even think that self forgiveness is  a concept, let alone a necessity. This does require more thinking about but for today I'm done.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


We were having a very difficult time with Fanny.  She has to be the most stubborn dog I have ever owned.  We sent her away to friends of ours who train dogs. I felt I really needed her to go away because she was having bad effects on Alexander.

It turns out that I did the right thing. She came back yesterday after 10 days away. Not only does she now sleep in her cage all night without  barking but she eats in her closed crate as well. Alexander, who has always slept well in his crate, is now eating well too. all this week he had not as he had started to do what Fanny had done; not eat in his crate. Now that they are both together again they are both eating normally and sleeping normally. The only challenge still left is to train Fanny for the lead which she is still refusing, or at least is not completely happy with it yet.

As for me I have still been having trouble with fear. I spoke to John about it yesterday. I told him how I'd been feeling a lot of fear recently. I also told him how this is usually the prelude to a dark and terrible time of flashbacks with me coming out the other side and more "enlightened". This has been the result the last three times.

However after the last time when I finally realised that I had not been abused because of who I was but because of who they were I really thought that was enough. To be quite frank, I have had enough of this. I really do not want to go through any of that shit again.  What can possibly be left that I have not felt or understood?

I think that this fear is more to do with the fact that my life is really good. As contrary as that seems, I have never been in this situation before. I do find it frightening. I am used to having to fight. I am used to having to swallow down fear. I'm used to the battle to survive. I have lived like that all of my life. It is now time to enjoy the fruits of my labour. I have earned this. I deserve this. And I am so very afraid that this will all be taken from me. Now I think that something terrible is going to happen to John or to myself.

I know that it is not logical. Yet the pattern of my life has always been one of loss. The constant moving. From one continent to the other, from one country to the other. Leaving behind a home that I knew, friends, pets.  I stopped getting attached. In my mind I knew that I would lose these friends, these pets, this home.  I remained detached.

I am no longer detached. Over the years that I have been with John, I occasionally had my love for him break through my barrier. I may have been putting food into the freezer, reading, bathing a dog, and all of a sudden I would feel this overwhelming love and it would terrify me. Well since my epiphany not only do I feel this all the time but I also feel it for my dogs, especially Whitney. 

I understand that loss comes to us all. I also understand that we all die. It is ironic that I spent my whole life surviving only to discover that I will die anyway. The terror I felt as a child of dying by the hands of my father, or the paedophiles of whom I was a victim, has not left me. I will die anyway.

I have to find some way of integrating this so that I can enjoy all that I have. Whilst I understand that most people deal with this with denial, it seems that I cannot. I don't know that it is possible to go back into denial. I also feel very strongly that I want very much longer left because otherwise I feel that I will have fought all of my life to just get a few years of benefit.

I know that I have no control over time. That death will come when death comes. Like many people, I need to stop seeing death as punishment. This is what I was taught when I was a child through religion. What an evil thing to teach anyone let alone children. Death is not punishment it is what happens to our bodies and we cannot do anything about it.

And we cannot do anything about it. For a control freak that is really a problem. I have pretty much dealt with my control issues with regard to other people. Some of it is necessary, like doing what I can to organise my day and our trips so that the requirements of my disease are met. In other words I control as much of those as I can whilst accepting that there will always be stuff beyond my control.

I have no control over death. Yes, I can hasten my end, which I am likely to do in the event of a drawn out painful end.  Other than that, just like everybody else, I have no control.

I therefore need to live my life joyously despite this knowledge. I don't know how to. The irony of all this, from what I understand of the literature on the effects of child abuse, is that had I had a secure upbringing I would be dealing with my own demise and that of my loved ones in a way that did not prevent me from enjoying my life. Instead, having been in constant fear throughout my childhood and witnessing the violent murder of my best friend,  has left me with  fear. About halfway through therapy it dawned on me that I would not survive, that no amount of coming to terms with my past, loving myself, was going to remove the fact that death would come.

I understand that death is something to be feared. Rather, the manner of death. And the uncertainty of it. What is not right is that my now is being so negatively affected by my fear of it.

Although it all boils down to this in the end it is also very much about my inability to enjoy the good life that I have claimed for myself. That I have fought so very long and hard for. It would be really sad if I did not find some way of truly enjoying all that I have now.

Perhaps, now that I have written, and through the course of writing come to understand what is behind the way I have been feeling recently, it will gradually begin to heal of its own accord. As always when I start to write I did not know what I was going to write about and so I am surprised as maybe you are.

I do want to make it clear though to my fellow survivors that regardless of where I am right now I have absolutely no regrets at all in going through the healing process that abuse survivors must go through. It is worth it. It is necessary. No matter how brief, feeling happiness and joy and peace is worth it. To have love and respect for oneself instead of loathing is worth it. No, I most certainly do not regret seeking healing in the way that I did. I do not regret being where I am right now. I also know that where I am right now is yet another effect that abuse has on people.

I think people in general, including we survivors, do not fully appreciate the enormity of the damage that child abuse inflicts upon the soul, or the psyche if you prefer, of the child.  It is far more enormous, far more deep, and far more destructive than we imagine it to be.

It is not insurmountable. Seeking recovery is worth it. We are worth so much better than a life without recovery affords us. No, the seeking of healing, whilst lifelong, is worth it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I have woken up feeling afraid today. Not just a mild fleeting anxiety in my belly but actual fear. I have no idea why. I didn't sleep very well at all. I don't know what time I woke up but it was long before it was light and I lay there until it was time to get up at 6:30 to be ready to take John to the train station at 7:30.

I then had a common battle with myself: do I go swimming as planned or do I come home and go straight back to bed because I am very tired and I need to sleep. I decided on the latter, thinking that I can do a lunchtime swim. If I had gone swimming I would have ended up going to sleep this afternoon. That would have made matters worse.

I have said before that I think that I often wake up feeling fear because I did for so many years.  Meaning throughout my whole childhood and into my 30s. It wasn't until I started therapy to deal with my childhood abuse issues that I began to wake up some days without fear.

I am almost too ashamed to even talk about this but I do think this might possibly have to do with why I keep feeling fear so much recently. Firstly, I do think that if one has felt a particular emotion all day every day year upon year upon year it becomes a habit even when the reason for the emotion has gone. However I do think that this fear is coming up again for a specific reason.

 My life is going very well. The house is finally settled.  I think we have both decided that we will never be uncluttered! We are financially secure. John's health is very manageable and so is mine. I have found a medication regime that works well for me now.  I am doing well with my dogs and I am pleased with what I have bred.  I am back doing my knitting. I will soon be back doing my dyeing also.

I am not used to things being good. I am very used to things not lasting and being taken away from me. I know that everything in life is  temporary. When I was a boy though I experienced no security whatsoever. I did not feel loved and accepted or safe within my own family for good reason. On top of this we moved constantly and so I was constantly going through the grief of loss until I eventually just stopped feeling and getting close to people and animals. It was just far too painful to constantly have to say goodbye.

I have been thinking quite a lot about my past life recently and I don't know what I really should think about it. I don't really have any good memories. The only really good thing that happened was meeting John and then my therapist and the friends that I still have, all two of them. (I have since made more.) I remember clearly just how awful it all was and I remember particularly my own behaviour and how bad it was. All the self harming and compulsive behaviours and the harm that I caused other people albeit unwittingly. I cringe when I think of who I used to be. I do truly understand that I could not have been anybody else and that I really did try my hardest and I eventually made it and pulled myself out of the mire. However I am left with all these terrible memories and I don't really know what to do with them.

I had thought I was going to write about how my life is so good now that the rug is going to be pulled from under my feet and that is what I was afraid of. I didn't realise I was going to start talking yet again about my childhood and my past behaviours but I think I haven't thought about it from this angle before. If I stop and really think I can remember exciting times like when we first arrived in Singapore. That was a very exciting place to me with all the smells and sounds and different looking people but these memories are soon interrupted by the fact that this is where I was first sexually assaulted as far as I can recall and was also where my father nearly killed me for the first time. Everything I try and remember every nugget of good I try and pick out always has this bad stuff connected.

I love music and over the last few years I have collected lots and lots of new music and part of the reason for this is that my music collection is hard to listen to without it bringing up memories that are dark and painful.

I want time and plenty of time to enjoy what I now have. I want my body to last me long enough. Thus I do what I can to keep my disease from progressing too rapidly. I want long enough to be able to have years of good memories so that when I reminisce the dark stuff is a long way away.

You have to bear in mind that I did not start to live in colour as I describe it until the very end of 2007 when I had my epiphany. I'm not going to describe this again but it came at the end of the most painful period. I will never forget it as long as I live and the dramatic change in me is still with me. I became the Colin I was always meant to be. And truly the best way to describe it is that I went from living in monochrome to living in Technicolor.

I don't feel as afraid as when I started to write but I'm not sure that any of what I've written is the reason for the fear. I think probably fear can be habit as well as of course my own thinking which is often worrying about John now getting really sick and dying on me or me getting really sick.  I have even become acutely aware of how short the lives of my dogs are.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monday, April 08, 2013


 I made this for myself. I have had the yarn over ten years. I sold two of these to women and thought it a girly colour but I have changed my mind and like it for me. 
It is 2 ends of 2/28 mongolian cashmere. That is about 700m/100g, The sweater weighs 406g. I gave it my usual treatment of washing and tumble drying three times. This sweater will now always be able to be washed on the 30c hand cycle and tumble on hot for 45mins without further shrinking. I have done my cashmere sweaters like this for 30 years yet I still not considered to know what I am doing according to some! yes, i have allowed someone to irk me. They wrote on a knitting list I belonged to that I was stupid and ignorant. It wasn't so much the email that bothered me but that NO ONE said anything in defence of me. I said nothing and I left the list soon after but telling the owner what i thought of the appalling treatment I got. There was more to it than this. Like they engaged the writer as if he were the expert and ignored me.Then an innocuous email from me, on another subject entirely, was edited! I realised I wasn't respected at all. It was enough for me that one person was outwardly homophobic toward me and that my wedding was ignored but this email was the final straw. As if I needed another hint that I wasn't welcome. I am annoyed with myself for not having got the message sooner and for feeling rankled by it all in the first place. I don't want to know people like this.
 I do my set in sleeves like a 'half raglan'. I find the math easy to work out and the line much nicer.
 I plan to wear this with a polo(turtle) neck under it. The back and front are shaped the same and using holding position (short rows). I did a graduated tension st st collar, as you can see.
 I always mattress stitch my sweaters, at least the plain ones. I am fussy about seams. I won't use an overlocker (serger), sewing machine or linker. I do it by hand. yes it takes hours. In fact longer than it took to knit but what is the point of knitting it at all if I am not going to do the best finishing I can?

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Fanny and Alexander are proving to be a challenge. I am having problems getting them to eat in their crates. I feed all of our dogs in their crates. This stops any fighting, it makes sure each gets their quota, and it alerts me very quickly to any dog that might be sick. These two puppies are unlike any I have had before. 

I am not having a good day because I fucked up last night. We went out to dinner for John's 66th birthday, which is tomorrow. I didn't take my knitting with me. I forgot. Well, I didn't know what to do with my hands whilst waiting for food. If I am knitting, I can converse easily. Not last night. I felt lost without my knitting. Normally, I do not find it a problem waiting for John to finish his pudding because I am knitting and talking or just knitting.  Last night I joined him in having pudding. I awoke this morning with my joints on fire, my gut hurting. Now I remember why I don't eat that stuff! How many times do I need reminding? So today I feel sorry for myself yet I know it is my own damn fault. It will be three days before I feel okay again. So I ought to awake on Wednesday feeling different. i was going to say well but of course I won't be well. It is hard to explain what i mean and why today is worse than the usual pain and gut problems. It just is. I cannot give a good explanation except that just because I have this disease, which can can vary from crap to really bad, doesn't mean my allergy to wheat will not make it worse!

Normally if I have a ding ding with someone on the 'net it is nothing worse that me feeling angry for a while and forgetting all about it. Recently though something happened which has left me feeling hurt. I still find it hard to believe that this person wrote what they did. I was angry about the fact that a virulent anti-gay Roman Catholic priest was found to be gay himself. I wrote about it on Facebook and I also said that i found it difficult to understand how people can still be putting money in  the collection plate at RC churches when they know that the money is being used to hound abuse survivors, to deny them, through the RC Church employing lawyers to silence the victims. 

Unknown to me, a friend was RC and attends church. Okay, so I can understand her having a negative response to what I wrote. That is fair enough. However, what she wrote was 'now I hang my head for I feel sad that you hate me for loving God'. To say I was shocked and hurt is understatement. Nothing I wrote would even suggest such a thing. I also don't know how this person, a friendship with whom I have had for years, could not know I am not atheist, just not religious. My own spirituality is the most important thing in my life. Even as I write this, I still feel shocked by this sentence. I can't believe she wrote it. Yet she did. And has refused to discuss it since. No communication at all. It does show me though that people DO put ideology before people and their feelings. I guess my comment hit a nerve. I would never have chosen to hurt this lady, not ever, I am shocked she had no such qualms with regard to me. This is the problem with religion. It makes people behave in shocking ways because they put defending their ideas about God before any other consideration. This is how the religious can kill and maim and feel justified. 

I hate no-one and I never have. I hate some ideas which I think are harmful. For this woman to suggest I hate her, especially for 'loving God' is just vile. 

I have been knitting a lot recently and I feel much better for it. I have a very strong need to create. I feel good when I am creating.  I have finished a cashmere sweater for myself, almost finished a wool sweater using the garter carriage on the Brother 940. I have almost finished the back piece of Johns Aran sweater, am half way thru a pair of socks, half way thru the back and front, knitted in the round, of my alpaca sweater.