Tuesday, April 29, 2008

OK, the truth about the weekend. It wasn't so fantastic for me.

Firstly I have a virus which is making me tired and achy with a slightly upset stomach and mouth ulcers, so that put a bit of a damper on things to start with.

Secondly, I've been thinking too much. Before you laugh let me explain. I am a thinker. Always have been. Sometimes this has been overwhelming and when it gets out of hand it almost always makes me feel sad. That is until something inside me clicks and tells me it's time to start writing it all down, because that helps me to put all of my thoughts in order and make some sense of it all, then I feel a million times better.

So, I'm writing it all down, and I'm making no secret about what I write as I feel complete transparency is important.

There are those people who just get on. They don't have to try, they simply function in the world, like they are a piece of a great big jigsaw. Then there are those of us who feel like the spare piece that doesn't seem to fit in anywhere.

I am one of the latter. I know I am not alone, either, so some of you reading this will understand.

Ever since I can remember, I had difficulty relating to people. I would say something which to me seemed perfectly reasonable but I'd end up with my mother or someone else jumping down my throat for being rude or annoying. I always seemed to say the wrong thing. Or do the wrong thing. Or waffle on too much. Or whatever. It was the same at school. I was laughed at for being the gawky one with glasses, then it was for being the brainbox. Without trying I seemed to naturally learn stuff easily like I was a sponge and I was bullied for that.

Eventually I learned that it was safest not to say or do anything at all. I became wallpaper. I didn't want to be noticed. The world was a hostile place and I didn't know who to survive in it. I began to play truant from school. I wouldn't go out with my classmates when they met after school. I stayed in my bedroom and read, or drew pictures, played music or whatever.

The attitudes of the other girls at school used to fascinate me. They used to talk about clothes and makeup and boys, which to me seemed so completely boring and superficial I used to try to work out why they did it. They'd backstab each other, and bitch about "her in class J2", and I used to think "Why do they say those things? What is the point? What do they get out of it? What are they feeling to make those words come out of their mouths?"

In the end I decided I'd probably never know. But this inability to understand people hurt me badly. Without being able to analyse it, I grew up simply feeling inadequate. An underachiever. I was afraid to have an opinion, to voice a thought, to behave in a way which felt comfortable to me, and I grew into an adult who lived under the constant stress of having to observe people intently in order to tailor my own behaviour to make me fit in. I tried to be uber-polite and it made me weak.

I am now living proof that nobody can live their life like that indefinitely. I became clinically depressed but tried to continue to function the way I always had and in my early thirties I had a complete breakdown. I was suicidal. I began to behave in completely weird and abnormal ways. I had become detached from reality in a way that I guess would be diagnosed as a psychosis. I was prescribed drugs, counselling, and whatever else was available on the NHS but nothing had a lasting effect.

That is until I met N. N is the psychotherapist who completely turned my life around. Very early on in my therapy he advised me to stop taking my drugs, and this was a major breakthrough. It wasn't until then that I realised that years of taking them only took the edge off my angst by numbing my brain and stopping me from actually thinking about things. Suddenly I was able to think clearly and with his expert guidance I was able to explore my own experiences and emotions and begin to make sense of them. He made me realise that, in fact there is a place for everybody, and that it would be just as valid to argue that it is everybody else who simply don't understand me.

This came as a complete revelation to me and was a significant milestone in my life. As you can probably guess, some of these major mental breakthroughs were very recent, and I feel as though certain patterns are shifting and rearranging themselves in my head.

So, to everyone who was there: I apologise to you all for getting suddenly drunk and blabbing about all the stuff that had been consuming my thoughts, it wasn't really appropriate pub talk. You know what I am talking about. If you don't, you weren't there. And I now know why I've been feeling so down all weekend.

To Sarah: who once told me that there are no 'normal' and 'abnormal' people, but that there are 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary' people. And there is a quiet pride in being extraordinary. Thank you.

To Graham: Maybe I don't get it, but every day I battle low self confidence and low self esteem. I just need a bit of encouragement.

To Tori: For allowing me to feel like a person rather than a weirdo and enabling me to give 'it' a name in public and to talk about Asperger's without me feeling like I need to keep 'it' secret.

To Julie: For being a calming influence and making me think sensibly.

To Ian: For being there to support and care for me. I love you.

We all have bad times. This was one of mine.

Monday, April 28, 2008

On Saturday morning there was a dedication to Sophie Lancaster, the young woman who was kicked to death by young thugs because of the way she was dressed last year. It was held at the bench that was installed last year, and I was expecting a small personal affair, but when we got there, there were literally hundreds of people there. Ade Varney gave a beautiful gentle speech, and then Sophie's mum, Sylvia Lancaster said a few words.

There were television cameras there I couldn't really get very close, so I just waited patiently for it to finish and for everyone to place their flowers on the bench and table in front, and then I took a couple of snaps to remember it. Mr Varney had painted a lovely picture of Sophie. I'm not very good at expressing myself, but I can say that I was quite touched by the whole thing.

Of course, today the boys were sentenced for her murder, and I think we're all pretty pleased with their sentences. Let us hope that this sets a precedent and any other narrow minded bigots following their story will take heed.

Yes, we had a good time, thanks. It involved lobsters ...

... cyberlox and pvc ...

... chicken jambalaya and champagne ...

... and future gay icons (aka my husband, Mr Lisa)!

So, yes, we had a grand time, thanks!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


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