Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How come it never rains...

.... it only pours*.

We had a meeting this afternoon with the Grand High Chief Poobah of our organisation. Lots of pontificating and talking round the real issue…which is, in a nutshell, that the location I work at is closing.

It was on the cards really – anywhere that costs £1200 per month just to heat is never really going to be financially viable. Factor in the lighting, the council tax, the staffing and the ongoing maintenance (think painting the Forth Bridge while being followed along by delinquent pixies with sledgehammers, flamethrowers and Very Bad Tempers) and it’s no surprise that the place is lovingly referred to as the Money Pit.

So. I still have a job, it’s just that I don’t know where it will be. Best-case I have until September where I am. Worst-case I have maybe three weeks. Whatever happens, at some point this year I lose the luxury of working somewhere a ten minute** cycle ride from my house.

The problems are, as I see them:

1) I don’t have a car
2) I don’t have any money
3) Wherever I end up, it is going to be out of cycling distance***
4) I will lose some of my current before/after school time with Small Person
5) This sucks
6) I am resistant to change, in any form
7) This sucks
8) I love my job and don’t want a new one

Isn’t it a bugger?

Thing of it is, I do love my job. I can’t imagine going back to working in a dull, bitchy office****. I love the fact that what I do makes a difference (if moving pieces of paper in triplicate to various locations counts as making a difference, that is. Shut up). And even if I got a New Job, all the above problems would still be manifest. I have been spoiled rotten for the last six months and I don’t want it to change.

Also, I woke up with the word “otiose” resonating in my head this morning. This is odd, as it isn’t a word I am familiar with. On researching the definition, however, it turned into one of those story-of-my-life moments. Even my subconscious is fed up with me.


* I hope the Other Half can tell me what song this is from. Driving me mad, it is.

**Alright, fifteen minutes. It takes up valuable breathing time, all that swearing about how I hate cycling.

*** This is, of course, anything more than a mile and a half away. I could get there, but there’s no guarantee I could make it home again. Have I mentioned that cycling sucks?

**** Around here, I do the bitching. And I like it this way.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tell me about your childhood...

Well, I did it.

I sat in the waiting room and I waited and I waited and I waited. I waited for forty five minutes. And I thought more than once about just legging it. But I didn’t. And* the doctor called me through and through I went.

He asked me what he could do for me. I can only assume that, as I stuttered and sobbed and wobbled through the next ten minutes, he rather wished he hadn’t. I got through it, somehow, and he didn’t reach for the phone with a terrified look on his face, or slap me hard and tell me to pull myself together. Neither did he prescribe me any special smarties.

What he did do was listen, and ask intelligent questions, and try and piece together what I thought the real issues might be. Once that was done, he wrote an urgent referral for me to have some counselling.

I might have to wait a few weeks, but I get an initial six sessions. If that doesn’t seem enough, I get a referral to a psychiatrist at the hospital. Wheee! I am officially mental!

I feel slightly dazed today. I talked the practicalities through with my boss this afternoon. One of the advantages of my working environment is that the management team positively welcomes staff seeking help to understand their problems better – it makes for a better interaction with the people we are trying to help. He was slightly too eager to understand just exactly what sort of counselling I will be getting, but I’m prepared to forgive him. My boss is a psych geek. Rather more helpfully, he also offered to talk through any questions that might come up as I go through the process. He also made it clear that he understood that it had taken a lot for me to ask for some help and that he would do as much as possible to accommodate my absences from work.

So. Here we are.

After carrying my secrets for so long, it feels slightly strange not to have any. I’m not fearful of someone finding out who I really am. The Other Half knows everything, and he still loves me. Who knows, it might even all turn out fine in the end.

Bring it on.

* If starting a sentence with a conjunction is good enough for the Prime Minister, it’s good enough for me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another one of THOSE posts

I am tired.

Whether this is due to lack of sleep, the rubbish weather or the stultifying course I was compelled to sit through this afternoon is a matter of conjecture.

I don’t sleep very well at the best of times. For the last few nights my sleep has been broken by a variety of weird and terrifying dreams – not of monsters and chasing and your average nightmare fodder, but rather of feelings and unseen ominous things and actually I’m going to stop there because it is freaking me out all over again.

I know the increase in sleep problems is symptomatic of how I’m feeling at the moment. The last couple of weeks have been horrible. Tomorrow, I have to do something I am absolutely dreading.

The post that was eaten by blogger (bad blogger! Bad!) on Sunday was very hard for me to write. I have become accustomed to “talking” to a (small) audience and this has meant that, to a certain extent, I have lost my confidence in talking about subjects that are very personal to me. I became consumed with whether I was interesting, or funny, or whether people would comment. As valuable as quality of writing is, I lost sight of my opportunities to use this blog as a means of sorting out the rubbish I carry around in my head.

So, I’m going back to basics, for the next little while.

The last couple of weeks have been exhausting. I have had to confront things that I have been variously ignoring, hiding or pretending are not a problem. Things are a problem. I am in a scary place and am finding it very hard to focus on how to get through it. The issues I have to face seem, at present, insurmountable.

I have spent most of my life telling people I am fine, really I am. Tomorrow I have to sit down and tell a complete stranger* that actually, I am not fine at all. I haven’t been fine for a very long time indeed. And all the while I will be wondering if I’m actually just feeling sorry for myself; that it’s not so bad, that lots of people have it worse than me (and I am well aware that this is the case – every day at work I see, interact with and hurt for people who have suffered things I don’t want to imagine, mostly at the hands of people who were meant to be loving them).

I have to remember that while I may be in some way responsible for the symptoms, I was not the cause of this. At three, or at seven, or ten - up until I left at seventeen - I couldn’t control my home environment. I didn’t choose the things that happened to me. It seems that the damage has been rather more far-reaching than I anticipated.

In three weeks or so I will turn thirty-four. I refuse to still be feeling like this when I am thirty-five. I am going to do the thing that I have been afraid of all this time; afraid that I will be seen as weak, as self-pitying, as someone who should just pull themselves together and get on with it.

It’s gone too far for that. I can’t carry on like this.

I’m going to ask for help.

* I mean a doctor, of course. I'm not going to start going up to people on buses, or anything. Christ, I'm not that far gone.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Fucking, FUCKING blogger.

Mind you, you should think yourselves lucky. Because I have just lost the post I spent the last hour writing, you have been spared a thousand words on how sorry for myself I am feeling.

Fuck it.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Home to roost.

When I started this blog back in April 2005 it was, in part, a form of therapy.

As time has gone on I've lost sight of this. And, for someone like me, that can never be a good thing. I need an outlet. I forgot about the one I have here. For the last little while I have been heading for a fall.

That fall came this weekend. I am now considering the way back. Old Nietzsche, he had all that guff about how if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. Me and the abyss, we didn't like the look of each other much. In fact, the abyss pretty much sucks.

So. Um.

Posting may be intermittent for a bit. Bear with me*.

Carry on.

* Or don't. Whatever.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Evil, evil snow

The journey to school and work this morning was a nightmare.

This country is ridiculous. We have had, at the most, an inch and a half of snow. You would be forgiven, however, for assuming that the end of the world had just been announced (chirpily) by Fiona Phillips on GMTV. It was like a festive apocalypse out there.

The walk to school wasn’t so bad. The main obstacles were small, awestruck children (mine included) and their dithering parents. The journey to work, however, sucked. Where I live, we have cycle paths. Where the pavement is wide enough, bikes go on one side and pedestrians on the other. Where the pavements are narrower the general public is trusted to sort themselves out. This sometimes works, but mostly it doesn’t. Especially on snowy days, it seems.

After vainly offering an “excuse me” for the twelfth time in five minutes, I gave up. Head down, legs pumping*, I simply ploughed through the masses and triumphantly winged a Yummy Mummy with my handlebar…so I said to Rosa, if the new Boden catalogue doesn’t arrive soon, I won’t be able to get Toby any whimsical t-shirts in time for the trip to Mauri-OW!!


And by the time I got to work my glasses were all snowy and steamed up and my hood had slipped so I couldn’t see where I was going any more and my hair was all wet and frizzy and I looked like a special and I was Very Cross.

I went sledging in the grounds at lunchtime though so it wasn’t all bad. On the whole, though? Stupid, stupid snow.

* For “pumping” read “feebly cycling while I cried”.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gas mask! Stat!

See? How creepy is that?
And yes, Bill Door (in the comments on the last post), we did get told the story about how Resusc Annie is lovingly based on the death mask of a dead girl dragged from the Seine. Mmmm. Corpse doll*. Sweet. Let me kiss it now.
Actually, snogging the rubber equivalent of Nosferatu wasn't even the worst bit.
The worst bit (burping course-leader, freezing bogs and substandard teabags aside), was having someone practice putting me in the recovery position. I'd been sitting quietly up until then, listening to the woman next to me doing that thing where someone interjects at every possible juncture to relate the lecture to themselves or, as is more likely, someone's sister's brother's friend's cousin's best man, who had it happen to a bloke they used to work with. It was driving me quietly bonkers (baby not breathing? Oh, my next-door-neighbour's daughter was like that. Heavy nosebleeds? Oh yes, my son's teacher's boy had those. Stroke? Oh, my Graham had one of those...etc...etc...SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!). What was worse, however, was the occasional waft of fag breath** that kept seizing my nostrils in a death grip and making me want to throw up. Uurgh.
Now, I'm an ex-smoker. I love smoking. Smoking rocks. But it also makes me not be able to exercise, which in turn means I stay fat. Which sucks. So, I gave up at the end of December. I have nothing against anyone smoking, per se. But if you're not going to brush your teeth between the last fag of the night and the first coffee of the morning (and presumably at no point after that), at least chew some gum, or something. Especially if you're going to smoke all the way to a course that will take place in a small, unventilated room. It's just nasty.
Imagine my delight, then, when the woman in question breathed directly into my face while pretending to check if I was breathing***, and then placed her ashtray-smelling fingers all over my face while practising the jaw thrust.
I don't want to make out it was all bad, though. I did learn how to plausibly fake a petit mal seizure. Could first aid training be any better?
* There was a baby one as well. I am SO having nightmares tonight.
** Note to all those random Yahoo-halitosis-group members who took offence to my post that mentioned one person out of the squillions I have met in my life who had bad coffee breath: piss off. This, like the other post, does not warrant one of you linking to it and trying to hold me up as some twisted example of a person who hates people with medical conditions that make you smell. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? Shouldn't you be flossing?
*** I wasn't, by this stage. Trust me.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Things that annoy me, # 537134

I have to go on a first aid course on Tuesday. This is making me sulk.

I loathe training courses. I can't bear the enforced jollity, the uncomfortable silences or the evaluation sheets at the end, where everybody just says how great it all was when in fact it was shit*. I hate the bit where you have to get in groups and write bullet points on bits of flipchart paper with a dry felt tip. I hate the bit where you have to stand up in front of the rest of the group and read your bullet points out, and there's always one group who have written fifty-seven bullet points and have to talk about each and every single one of them in great depth until you are coming round to the mindset of people who walk into McDonalds and spray random customers with bullets. I don't like roleplay, or the fact that you can't call that stupid activity brainstorming any more in case epileptic people are mortally offended.

In addition to all this, I can't fucking stand first aid. I am squeamish in the extreme. People with bits dropping off, or bleeding, or being on the wrong way round make my legs go funny. I am no more likely to offer medical assistance in the case of an emergency than I am about to take up morris dancing, or eating glass, or bingo**. But I have to do the course if I want to pass my probation (I am hoping it can't get any worse than the course I went on last week where I had to bite a man on the arm), so Tuesday will see me standing morosely in a freezing village hall trying to avoid doing the resuscitation exercise (they had bloody well better provide dental dams or I'm not going anywhere near a grubby mannequin that I know full well spends its nights tapping on bedroom windows and killing children) and praying for four o'clock.

Stupid first aid.

* I once filled in a "happy sheet" with my honest opinion and got a great big bollocking for my troubles. Honestly, if they don't want to hear the truth, why ask?

** Bingo is shit. Fact.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I could be urple*, I could be purple....

I don't want to love Mika, but I do. Why? (And how creepy is that little girl?)


* What is he saying? What?

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