Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thinking and Doing

I'm at a stage in my personal healing journey now where I'm consolidating what I know and beginning to apply it. I've discovered the behaviour patterns that get me into emotional messes; I've established the childhood situations and patterns that led to these behaviours; I've identified the false beliefs and messages that have maintained the patterns; and I've learned the beliefs and patterns that need to replace my old, mess-making mindset if I'm going to live healthily. I know all this now. While I still find the odd unexplored corner, the framework is there. I know who I am and where I'm coming from. All I have to do is go out and live what I've learned.

Remember the old friend I had a catch-up with a while back, which might have been a date but wasn't? He's been quite annoying since then, inviting me to a couple of social things he's doing with his each week. Luckily they've all clashed with things I was already doing, so it hasn't been much of an issue, but yesterday he sent me a message to say that since he'd failed to get me to any of the social gatherings, he was inviting me out for dinner again. And I realised that I was going to have to draw a line right there before this goes any further. I'm not interested in dating him, and I'm not interested in seeing him constantly as a friend. I have a lot of friends I see semi-regularly (like Beth :-) *waves*) and that's what I want and need. I don't want OR need an enmeshed, intense, see-each-other-constantly friendship at the moment, especially not with someone who is ever so slightly pathetic and annoying and interested in me. That's a burden I DO NOT WANT.

So I sent him a polite response explaining that while I did want to catch up again sometime, I wasn't looking for an intense friendship and didn't want to be constantly invited to things. I felt horrible doing it - not so much because I felt bad for him (his reactions and emotional health are his business, my side of the street is clean so it's not my problem) but because of the fears I have myself of being judged as mean, displeasing etc. I've been trained through my particular life path to put others first and sublimate my own needs, to live up to the label of "supportive", "coper", "the strong one", "not as needy as your brother". So it's very hard for me to simply close the door on someone and say "No, your expectations are unreasonable or undesirable to me, and I have no intention of meeting them so please cease and desist. Back off." But that's essentially what I said (as gently and politely as could be done while still being clear and firm!).

He hasn't replied, and I know that when he does I'll have to keep a tight rein on my reactions. Whether or not I send a response to his response will depend on what he says; it's not really relevant anyway. What I need to control is how I respond within myself. I do NOT want a negative, accusatory response to send me into an emotional tailspin. Any reactive statements on his part are to do with him, not to do with me, and I have to remember that. I have to live the things I've learned, remember to deconstruct the emotions and ignore the false messages. I'm allowed to set boundaries, I'm allowed to have standards, I'm allowed to tell people to back the hell off and get off my lawn because I do not want them there*. I can. And I will. It doesn't make me bad, it doesn't mean I'm breaking the rules because I'm supposed to cope and not have needs of my own. It's a basic right. That's the message, now I have to believe it!

* He's not, like, actually on my lawn. Metaphor. :)

I have to be at school early tomorrow, as almost the entire staff are going to a PD at another Montessori school, so we're taking the school bus together (it's a pupil free day). Then we're having a short staff meeting, then people can kind of drift off. It's a long weekend too (Labor Day holiday on Monday) so the kids get 4 days off and we get three, but two short teaching weeks. I need it! We're 4 weeks into the term now, time for a slight breather lol. Nearly halfway through the term already, can you believe it? It'll be Easter before I've blinked twice, and the year is just going to slip away. Amazing how time passes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

400th Post :)

I've got a lot done today, more than I expected, and I'm feeling quite successful. I tidied my bedroom, swept and mopped most of the floors, did three loads of washing, made my rest-of-the-week lunch casserole, cleared all the 'stuff' out of my car, detailed the inside and washed the outside, and started my uni work for the semester, successfully writing two programs in C (my first ever code!! YAY!).

I'm a bit tired and sore but so pleased with the amount I've got done. And I'm excited about getting the laptop - I've been trying to use my PC the last few days, and its internet connection has become extremely unreliable and it's soooo slow, and the screen tracking has become really laggy and awful. Mum was horrified when I told her how little RAM it's got (only 736 MB, and that's AFTER having scraped together extra for it a few years ago o_O). It's a five year old machine that's been tinkered with to give it a bit of extra life, but it's nearly at the end of it's usefulness. I'll sell the screen (it's a flatscreen so it should be saleable) and give the tower to the "8 Ball" programme at uni, which donates computers to financially disadvantaged students. It's fine for basic word processing for someone who can't afford anything else and is desperate! It's certainly a thousand times better than the one I had in first-year uni lol. But I need something faster now. I'm thinking of a Toshiba Satellite L300 at the moment, pending reviews and advice!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Okay now :)

I spun for a couple of days but I've got my equilibrium back and I'm feeling alright again. Well, apart from the fact that I've got a sore throat! But mentally I'm okay.

I got around to taking out a gym & pool membership at the local leisure centre yesterday, and got my fitness plan recommendation back today. No offence to anyone who reads this and works in fitness, but fitness people are NUTS. This woman wants me doing an hour or more of weights & cardio three times a week plus cardio on my off-days, right away. Um, NO. That's called dead. I'll start off with a fraction of what she's suggested and work up from there. Crazy lady.

This has been a good week at school - lots of compliments from the principal, relationship-building chats with kids' parents, and a child hugging me because I fixed his hat (it needed sewing back together) after I comforted his floods of tears and exhaustion the previous day. I'm feeling quite fulfilled and at peace again.

Very tired though. I should be in bed but I'm having such a nice time poking the internet and chatting to my housemate (who is poking the internet and chatting to me) that I don't want to break it up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Sometimes my brain sucks :(

Yesterday I sent an email to the Archaeology school at UWA asking for information about possible excursions about our term theme. The email I got back was from a girl I knew during my time there who has now got a job with the department. I was reflecting on who else had been around at the time and what I could tell her about where everyone had got to. And my thought ran "X has just had a baby, Y is married, both of them are still archaeologists . . . " and felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. Most of my archaeology cohort have made it in archaeology, and a lot of them are married and/or have kids. I've changed careers and have neither. Go me.

I know, I KNOW. Different people, different paths, and I need to make peace with mine. But right now I feel like a complete failure, y'know?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I picked up my ring today :)

It's so pretty and sparkly! Simple and subtle but lovely. I'm very happy with it and glad that I bought it.

I've had a few off days this week - I've been working through some grief issues that resurfaced around reminders of Aspergers and relationship issues. Nothing too dramatic but it cost me half a night's sleep on Sunday night. I'm still a bit mind-numbed from that bad night.

I finally managed to get my Murdoch password issues sorted today, and I'm officially enrolled in two units! *squee* I'm taking Introduction to Creative Arts and Introduction to Computer Science this semester. I'm expecting the latter to be a breeze (first-year level arts unit? Psh!) but the CS unit will be a huge challenge. I'm looking forward to it though! I just hope my computer stands up to the software lol.

School is going fine, and yesterday the ICT teacher (who is a guy in his 40s or 50s) told me that he was really impressed by how I handle the kids at the swimming pool when we take them to their swimming lessons. I was really touched, because the compliment was given in private and he has nothing to gain by 'cultivating' me so it was a genuine compliment that he went to the effort to pay. It means a lot, especially given how many bitchy and negative people have participated in my development as a teacher so far! The kids are very frustrating at the moment - the swimming lessons wear them out and the heat is getting to them, so they're ratty and bratty and whingy. The boys also all seem to be going through a stage where they want to be able to dish out insults and so on as 'joking around', but can't take it in their turn, so we're constantly having kids complaining that someone else called them a name, right after we've heard them call the other child a name first! It's driving my co-teacher and I up the wall.

Very tired today, early night for me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Should've . . .

Last night I remembered that I had sleeping tablets that were actually antihistamines, which is exactly what I've needed for trying to sleep with this rash the last few nights! So I took one.

It worked. I can't complain about that. I dropped off promptly at 10:30pm, slept through, and the rash is right down today and prickling less. No complaints there.

But I really, really wish I'd only taken half a tablet. I woke up feeling totally hung over, and I've been off kilter all day. I kept having to sit down at school to rest because I was giddy and faint. I got through the afternoon (watching the kids do their swimming lessons) by sitting very still, and managed to pull myself together for our class' parent meeting after school (about half the parents showed up, 11 families). Then I stumbled home. I've managed to cook dinner (and absentmindedly ate too much and feel icky now) but I feel like someone has been hitting me with a beanbag - foggy, dopey, sleepy, somewhat smothered.

I guess it'll be an early night for me!

Monday, February 9, 2009


134 confirmed deaths, with the toll expected to go over 200.

More than 700 houses destroyed.

More than 7000 people homeless.

Heaven knows how many injured in hospital.

You'd think I was talking about a border spat between Middle Eastern countries, wouldn't you? I'm not. This is happening right here in Australia, and the attacker is mother nature. Australia's worst recorded bushfire disaster.

Entire towns have been declared crime scenes, and if they catch the bastard arsonists they're going to try them with mass murder. Good.

I think I've made a mistake watching footage of it for the last two ours, I've had tears in my eyes the whole time. It's just unbelievable. This may be Australia's worst ever (recorded) natural or man-made disaster with the exception of those that occurred in wartime. It's worse than the previous two 'worst' fire events, worse than Cyclone Tracy, worse than the Bali bombings. If the death toll goes as high as some think it might, it could even be worse than the Japanese bombing of Darwin in WWII. It's so horrible.

I'm scared, too. Perth is entering a heatwave for the next week. Logically this heatwave is no more dangerous than any other, and we've weathered worse. We've had our own share of casualties too - nothing close to this in recent years, but there've been bad ones. This heatwave is just another dangerous Perth fire weather week. But what if there's copycats who have seen what's going on in Victoria and purposely light fires to try to emulate it? People who wouldn't otherwise? A good portion of the people I love most live in the Perth hills, one of the most dangerous fire areas in the Perth region. I WORK in a school in the hills which could easily be obliterated if a fire came through. I'm scared.

The school is having a fire drill tomorrow, and I'm just glad the principal warned the staff in advance that it was happening. I'm usually level-headed in a crisis but that might have been too much for me! I hope the kids get through it untraumatised. The fires are very much on their minds - lots of drawings of the Victorian bushfires in free time today - and they need to know how to act in a fire situation. And they have to believe it's a real threat or they won't know how to react when they're afraid and likely to panic. But I hate doing it to them. I hate the whole thing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pride Goeth Before a . . . Rash?

The kids are having swimming lessons the next two weeks at school, and I was feeling self-conscious about the fact that my legs, which hardly ever see the sun, are blindingly white and would be on show for all to see in board shorts. So when I saw that my favourite body moisturiser (a cocoa butter) came in a gradual tanning version, I thought "what the heck, why not?" and went and got some. I used it all over my body except my face and back twice, then just on my legs once (the plan being to tan my legs more than the rest of me).

This morning, after three consecutive days of using the stuff, I woke up vaguely aware that I was itching something on my stomach. I thought it might be a mozzie bite but I realised almost immediately that it was more than one bump. That woke me up right and proper, and I discovered I had a rash EVERYWHERE I'd used the moisturiser. My back and face are fine but everywhere else is covered with little pale red dots.

In a word, BAW.

I'm not prone to coming up in rashes - not like my mother, who comes up in rashes to just about every skin product ever. This is highly unusual for me. I am NOT happy!

I got up and showered right away, and I've slathered myself in the ordinary cocoa butter which I've been using for years without any problems. Hopefully it'll die down quickly. But blech!


In other news, I think I need to stop reading Neil Gaiman's journal late at night, because when I do, that gentleman tends to pop up on the sidelines of my dreams, commenting on them. For example, last night's dream, which was FULL of weird, featured Mr Gaiman sitting casually on the edge of the action, remarking that if he found a species of spider that would only beat up on his daughters' enemies, he'd have a house full of them. Believe it or not, this was apropos to what was happening in the dream. It is quite odd to have an author popping in to remark on one's dreamscape!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Not a Date

I'm rather enormously proud of myself today, because I kept my head, acted with dignity, and did not get into a relationship I shouldn't have. YAY!

The not-a-date was very pleasant, overall. A and I still have a lot in common and we chatted extensively about our shared interests. At a certain point in the evening the conversation panned out exactly as I expected - he asked whether I was still seeing someone as he remembered I'd been in a serious relationship when we knew each other. I responded exactly as I intended - I explained that the relationship I'd been in had been abusive. Since I didn't feel I wanted to go out with A, I added that I'm not really dating at all at the moment. Since he is basically a decent and gentle guy, he didn't pursue it any further. We plan to hang out again at some point because we can both be unashamedly geeky around the other, but on a strictly friendship basis.

I think this is the first time EVER that I haven't ended up in a relationship with a guy who was interested in me. I've previously been so flattered that I've been sucked into a relationship despite all the red flags. The only exception was the one date I went on in Sydney, where the guy was so hideously unattractive and so blatantly condescending that I refused a second date quite comfortably. Every other time I've shut down the critical part of my brain and gone ahead with it.

The red flags in this case were not huge. I don't find him attractive in the slightest - facial features, body shape etc are all more off-putting than appealing to me so that would and should scupper a relationship right there. There were a few other things, less superficial but perhaps more important. For starters, he didn't dress in a way which I felt was appropriate: black t-shirt with a slogan on it, black shorts, boots, a quirky hat, and an earring - his "style" - which to me shows a lack of social adaptability which would bug me no end in a relationship. Taking out a girl whom you hope to ask out requires a different dress code! There were also several instances which showed that we weren't on the same level of social and emotional maturity, which would make us a poor match. None of this makes him a bad or wrong person, or makes me a bad or wrong person. We're just not the right people for each other.

So . . . I'm flattered, I'm calm, I'm at peace, and I'm still entirely single. And I'm okay with that. The right person will happen at the right time. In the meantime I will continue to make sure that *I* am becoming the right person, the strong, reasonable, boundary-setting, dignified, peaceful, joyful woman who can have good relationships. All in good time. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I went to the shops this evening to buy bathers. Ha. I came away with a rash vest that will cover up the bathers I bought when I was 10kg heavier, and between those bathers, the rashie and my board shorts I should get away with the kids' swimming lessons for the next two weeks. I hope. I also came home with a self-tanning moisturiser. I abhor tanning and despair that people still use the sun or sun beds to damage their skin in the pursuit of a particular appearance. But . . . my legs are SO white. So I'm caving a bit and using a cocoa butter with a gradual bronzing ingredient instead of regular cocoa butter, which is my all-over body moisturiser of choice. Just so that I don't walk around the pool feeling like a rising moon!

I also splashed out just a little bit and bought myself a $25 sterling silver and cubic zirconia ring. It's very simple - the silver splits across the top into two little waves and a small circular CZ is caught between them. I'll post a picture when I can. Resizing is going to cost more than the actual ring - about $35 - but I'll have it next Thursday. It's a reward for having the courage to get myself to here and now, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. I think I've done rather well!


Thank goodness!

School is still going well - I'm not quite getting my food and water right though so I'm coming home very hungry and often dehydrated. Need to figure that out.

I'm finding some contrasts between Montessori and state schools amusing, in a must-laugh-not-cry way. State schools, by and large, have as sterile and controlled an environment as possible, and a long list of "don'ts" aimed at avoiding any possible source of injury or dirt (don't run, don't climb, don't throw, don't play with sticks . . .). And then the classes devote considerable time to activities that develop children's gross motor skills - the running, skipping, hopping, jumping, turning, stopping, throwing, catching stuff. At the Montessori school there's as few "don'ts" as possible. The kids run on the bitumen, climb trees, pick fruit from them and eat it, play in the dirt, climb all over things . . . they even have a flying fox (not one of these tame playground ones, but one you sit on!) which they can use at lunchtime. They do everything kids have traditionally done for fun.

And the school doesn't need to run gross motor skills programmes. The kids don't need classes in it because they get that just by being kids in the playground. Funny that. Typical of the state system to ban everything that develops gross motor skills then insist on classes to develop them in a controlled environment!

Too headachey to blog properly, but all is well :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Still on Dialup :(

Broadband should be connected soon, apparently. *sigh*

I'm really enjoying the new school. The kids are lovely, apart from a couple of somewhat cheeky and easily distracted boys, but they'll learn where the line is soon enough. The whole school has a very pleasant atmosphere and I'm just loving it. Even if I did get bitten by an ant while on lunch duty today!

I'm feeling very comfortable, like I've come home and never need to leave again. It's nice.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If I had a dollar

For every time I've dreamt about my teeth falling out, I'd go and buy a book on dream interpretation. And I don't even believe in dream interpretation!

Last night's dream was impressive - an all-singing, all-dancing parade of classic dream symbolism. Alongside the falling-out teeth (two molars, which when returned to their sockets and kept under pressure, did stay in eventually), there was me in a nightie in a public place; friends who were oblivious to my presence and dressed in significant clothing (best friend from primary school in her wedding dress!); me digging through a box containing every pair of jeans I've ever owned, and trying to find my current ones; and a few other things from the early part of the dream that have now slipped my mind but that also made me wake up wondering what they meant.

There are two obvious interpretations: one, that it's a dream about change and fear of it, brought on by the imminent start of term; two, that it's my subconscious trying it on and waving every symbol it can think of in my face. :)

Some of it may have been brought on by what I did last night. I had to take back the DVDs I got out last week, and decided to get just one out to watch last night. I got out "Stardust", which I've been wanting to watch for a while. S introduced me to it last year, and after we watched it together he suggested that we use the end credits song for our wedding song. I loved movie, song and suggestion, and it became "our" song.

(Of course, I then bought it on iTunes so I could listen to it, occasioning a typically critical comment from S: "why did you do that? Now you'll listen to it over and over and get sick of it, and we won't be able to use it after all". There was, you understand, no precedent whatsoever for this comment. Git.)

So anyway, I watched Stardust. I wanted to see it without the filter of S's presence. I loved it still - funny, clever, great themes, etc - and even managed to sit through the song at the end, although part of me wanted to switch it off and make it go away. I didn't feel angry with S exactly (more frustrated with myself for having put up with so much crap) but I did feel sad and lonesome, somewhat aided and abetted by the two jewellery catalogues that came in the post yesterday, one containing a ring that was slightly similar to the ring that S had bought for me.

I guess after that it's not really surprising that I had bizarre dreams!