Because (Contains one seriously inappropriate line because I needed a rhyme)

Because…

 

Because you stayed with Neil that night,

And sang your songs of stoned delight

You were dropped into my life

And I thought I liked you

 

Because we talked for weeks on end,

Dispite that Neil was not my friend,

You didn’t like my sexual trend

But still I got to know you

 

Because we we talked for many days

Because Swamp was the game we played

Because, at the time, my life you made

I soon began to like you

 

Because you the boys were being mean

Because I whined and made a scene

Because you came on talk of Team… (fuck you it rhymed! Bite me!)

I thus began to want you

 

Because you opposed all my advances

Because you hid from taking chances

Because you liked no social dances

I thought I’d never get you

 

Because we talked almost three years,

Because I shared my hopes and fears

Because you helped me ignore their jeers

I wished I could be with you

 

Because last year on Halloween,

I saw a part of you yet unseen

Started to learn through what you had been

I finally began to know you

 

Because next month I lost my guy,

Because I thought that I should die

Because infront of you I cried

I started to adore you

 

Because you lost her not long after

While I read about the drafters

I had to help you find your laughter

And you said you started to trust me

 

Because you did the MDMA

And I put all on hold that day

And I moved all things out of the way

You finally started to warm to me

 

Because we talked for hours and hours

Because from us ideas showered

Because together our intellect towered

You started to respect me… (Even though for the longest time ever you said I was not intellectual… RFuck you up the ass)

 

Because you then began to trust

Because you knew our connection was a must

Your emotional walls I began to bust

And I think you started to need me

 

Because you finally came to me

Stopped being what you thought you should be

Because you made me flul of glea, (no that’s not a euphamism for your cum, though this is also true)

Twas then I got to meet you

 

Because you taught me to be myself

I finally improved my mental health

Tried to put the whore on the shelf

You got to know the real me

 

Because you showed me who I am

Introduced me to Dan and Cam

And into me your dick did slam

I finally got to have you

 

Because you came for three whole weeks

You never thought I was a freak

Together we could both be geeks

And it was then I truly knew you…Because we talked, all the time

Because I know that you are mine

I had to make this retarded rhyme…

To tell you that I love you

Interview with a papa

I haven’t posted since I went to my music terapy conference.  I will post about that soon, but in the meantime, I was given my final assignment for my developmental psychology course and I thought I might post both my interview with Dad and my analysis here, as I found what I learned to be very fascinating.  Thanks to Humanity for transcribing my recorded interview.  I could not have done this assignment without you.

 

Barbara MacDougall
5962810
Psyc251 Assignment 4:

barb:
This is for psyc 251, developmental psychology and I am interviewing you about me as a child, which may or may not be one of your favourite things to talk about.
So we’re learning about temperament right now, so my first question is: can you describe to me what my temperament was like as a baby?
dad:
You were a happy baby, you were happy pretty much all the time.
barb: Really? I find that hard to believe.
dad:
You smiled a lot, and you were happy, you just were, I don’t recall you making a big fuss. There were some times when you were colicky or whatever, but nothing was extreme, you just seemed by and large happy and content.
barb:
So can you describe an experience that you had with me, any particular experience that demonstrates this?
dad:
Demonstrates what?
barb:
Demonstrates this temperament.
dad:
Your happiness?
Well when you were less than 1 year old, I remembered you being happier rather than not.
Even now, when you’re 29 you have the same delight in rocking.
When you were less than a year old, and I remember you always smiling and laughing and just being at your best when you were on this rocking horse, It was a wooden rocking horse that we had where you would pretty much put to the tips of the rockers on either end, thinking that you were gonna do a full flip on the rocking horse. But you’d just laugh and smile and carry on.
So I can’t remember other specifics but I remember you being generally a very happy baby.
barb:
Temperament as a child is a strong indicator of how one is going to turn out later in life.
There are 3 main types of temperament that most babies fall in to.
There are easy babies which by the sounds of it you’re saying I was. There are difficult babies, which are babies that get really upset and freak out about, anything. They don’t do well with strangers, any new situation is upsetting to them. They cry a lot they have a lot of problems.
And then there are babies who are slow to warm up, which is pretty self-explanatory, at first they might be fussy and carry on and get upset, but they eventually will calm down and be alright and adapt to their surroundings.
So what did you think about parenting, and did your expectations of parenting style change after you had me. What did you initially think parenting was going to be like, and how did it change after I was born?
dad:
Well because you were our first child, we didn’t have a parenting style.
Because both your Mom and I were nurses, we knew probably a little more than the average young parent back in that day, we had read the books, we had done pre-natal classes, we had learned about all those kinds of things when we were in training to be nurses.
So we thought we would be realistic parents, and I don’t know that we had a style per say, I can tell you what I learned after our parenting style changed a fair amount after your brother came along.
barb:
And why was that?
dad:
Well, we didn’t realize at the time because of your blindness, we had to teach you a few more things, than what we had to specifically teach cameron, and we didn’t know that we were “teaching”
That we wouldn’t have to teach other babies that.
barb:
Can you give an example?
dad:
handing you a glass of milk, we had to teach you to set that milk down on a hard surface, because you didn’t have the benefit of seeing what everybody else did with a cup or glass and the surface.
So we had to make sure that we taught you, if we didn’t specifically teach you to set it down, if we were always reaching out and grabbing the cup from you when you were done, you would potentially get in the habit of just letting it go in mid-air because there was always someone who took care of it.
At that young age, you didn’t know that you had to set it down.
So there were a lot of things that your brother learned by observing others, that we had to specifically teach you.
barb:
Ok, wow! So on that note then, how did you guys go about teaching me how to crawl and walk then? Because wouldn’t normal sighted babies just see that and then do it??
dad:
I think that’s more reflexive, I think there’s an inmate desire to move yourself, to loco-mote.
One of the things we did when you were very young, because your uncle Clark was an olympic athlete, and he was going to university at the time and he had some friends in kinesiology, he actually with his friends developed some little game, that was aimed at helping you understand your body and space.
So part of the game was, we had a little bracelet made with a bell on it, and we would put it on your right arm, your right wrist, and your left wrist, then your right leg, and your left ankle
and you would just jiggle it, and we thought you were probably learning a little bit more about your body and its motion by being able to associate the sound of you moving your arm, because if you didn’t have that sound even though you move, you’d have that kinaesthetic since, but you don’t have a secondary queue.
Where as a sighted child would not only feel their leg moving, but they would often times see their leg moving.
So things like that.
barb:
So what struggles, if any did you have in parenting, that you had not expected with me.
dad:
Well struggles?
Well I’ll tel you a general one, and then I’ll tell you a specific one.
The general one, well was of course. You were blind, we didn’t know what we were supposed to do, we didn’t know. We’d never had a baby before, so we were very worried that we weren’t teaching you, or maybe we needed to be better to teach you things.
So it was a challenge, but it wasn’t.
You were our daughter, we were absolutely in love with you from the second you were born, well before you were born.
But it was frightening, I suppose, in the early days to go, “okay? How do we do this?” How do we teach you, and help you be successful, are we prepared? Do we know enough things.
So we did things, like we phoned infant stimulation.
Which was reserved for children I think with downs and with cerebral palsy, and other major issues.
Infant stim wasn’t really something for the blind, we were insistent that we could perhaps learn something from the people, that would be the interventionists for infant stimulation, to help you understand your world.
barb:
and that’s where jan came in?
dad:
and that’s where we met jan.
When we phoned originally, I remember this in London, they said there was an 18 month waiting list.
and I remember thinking if it’s an 18 month waiting list it’ll be too late for being an infant, if you don’t get service for 18 months.
and I don’t remember if I complained or whether I made some further noise, but we ended up seeing a therapist, and that was Jan, within a couple months.
and I think we were probably a bit of a novelty, because they had probably never been asked to give support to a blind child, that would be my guess.
So that’s the general part right? The challenges.
One specific one that I remember, for a few months was you getting your night and days mixed up.
That posed a bit of a challenge at some point there because you were awake all night and sleeping all day, and your mother was probably exhausted there, and I think that was when she was off on a maternity leave, think that was real early stage.
Jan helped us sort that one out, which was music boxes.
The strategy was have a specific music box that you wind up after your bath and you’re getting ready to bed, changing your diaper, putting you in your sleeper and all that stuff, we’d put that one music box on, and then every morning we’d put the other kind of rise and shine music box on, to get you used to, this is what happens at night, this is the way routine’s gonna go and this is what happens during the day.
You were lucky enough that it only took you a few days to turn it around.
Barb:
Well that’s good.
dad:
Yeah it was a bit miraculous, either that or we were just so exhausted we couldn’t remember.
So does that answer your question?
barb:
That does answer my question.
dad:
I can’t think of challenges Barb, I wouldn’t say you were a challenge, we were always very concerned about will you be able to be successful, and then the surgeries, right. You had some pretty massive surgeries.
barb: Can you just give a brief overview?
dad:
Well the first major hospitalization thing was simply you going in, and they were going to do exploratory, look into your eyes under anaesthetic, and see what’s actually there and do scans and so on.
barb:
How old was i?
dad:
You must’ve been 6 months, maybe 8 months, maybe less?
and then your second surgery was the major one, where they were going to expand the orbital structures of your eye, and that was a brand new procedure, something that had only been done once in the US, and it was all very theoretical, and you were around 2 years of age.
I had started at the college and that was in 87, you were born in 86, and I think it was within the first year.
So it was either 88, or it might have been 89.
You would have been around 2 years old, and what I remember about that.
Is they’ve got this huge piece of surgery that’s going to involve taking bone out of your skull, and then directing the orbital structures of your cranial bone, and your facial structure, and then put these wedges of bone inside there, to expand the socket of your eye to 80% of an adult size.
and the experience was that they don’t manage to, the orbit of your eye grows by virtue of your eye growing, and it puts pressure against the bone, and that’s what stimulates the bone to grow.
barb:
Right.
dad:
and because you had no eyeballs, you had nothing to push the bones there. So people with your condition often have sunken eyes and no cheek bones, because that’s made up of your orbit.
and if they tried to stimulate bone growth with conformers, progressively larger conformers, the problem with that is, typically it wouldn’t put pressure toward the outside of the orbit, it would put pressure toward the back of your eye.
So anyways, that surgery they said it was gonna be about 6 or 7 hours, and 11 hours later you came out of surgery.
barb:
Oh god.
dad:
and I lost, oh probably about 7 years of my life with worrying there.
We saw you in recovery.
barb:
Was I freaking out?
dad:
No. and what I remember saying to you, was “what does the duck say?” and you said “Quack quack.” and I knew you were alright.
Because I was terrified that you’d been under anaesthetic for so long, and they had messed around with your head etc.
And then the next day, of course the swelling had set in, and you looked like stewy from family guy.
You had a head that was insanely grotesquely swollen and misshapen, your head looked like a football, like an oversized rugby ball.
and you had 2 iv’s one in each leg,
barb: Why did I need 2?
dad: and one in your arm. and you had drains coming out of your head.
So you had all of these tubes coming out of you, and your mother and I had been toilet training you a couple months before your surgery.
We decided that we needed to stop toilet training you, because we were afraid that you would associate this surgery with your toilet training.
We had it in our head, because we had read somewhere that kids associating untoward events as negative punishment for not toilet training properly.
barb:
ok.
dad:
So we decided to back off the toilet training because you were gonna have this big, stressful event in your life right?
barb:
Yeah.
dad:
So we left you in diapers and really backed off, but the day after your surgery with all of these tubes coming out of you, the first thing you said is you wanted to go to the bathroom.
barb:
haha.
dad: and the nurses got you up and got you on a toilet, and you never used a diaper after that day. That I remember, you were toilet trained! hah.
barb:
I have 2 more questions.
My first one is, how much were you guys around when I was a baby, how much were you working what was life like for you guys at that time, other than having me?
dad:
Well for me, I was teaching nursing, so I was home every night, I didn’t go anywhere. It was like in those early days for your first 7 years, I was home every night.
Now I did work probably, often times at night, but that would technically be after dinner was made, and after you guys had a bath and off to bed so to speak.
barb:
Didn’t mom work shift work?
dad:
and your mom worked shift work, at the hospital, so there were lots and lots of times where it was just me.
barb: So if mom was working during the day, and you were working during the day, who was taking care of me when I was a baby if you were both at work?
dad:
Well I don’t remember the specific order, there was your aunt alice, and there was Judy.
and the first baby sitter you had was Brenda and ray.
barb:
Because that can often account for children’s temperaments, how much time the parents actually spend with kids.
dad:
Well we put you in day care at one point, for a couple days a week.
Because you didn’t need day care, because we had care, but we put you in day care, so you could be with other people. You could integrate and socialize with other children.
barb:
and so my last question, is. Did you have to change, other than the part where you were teaching me a lot more things than Cameron was his temperament different than mine, and if so did you have to change your parenting style a lot?
dad:
Yes he has a completely different temperament, he was unhappy, I think Cam was in pain or something for some time.
He had earaches, he had sore throats, he had legitimate physical issues as a small child, with recurring ear infections and so on, but there wasn’t a day that would go by when he didn’t cry.
He was in distress of some kind. So that was a different kind of parenting, I suppose in trying to work our way through that.
barb:
How did I deal with that?
dad:
You know what, I don’t recall you having issues with your brother when he was really really young, you were not very nice when he was a toddler.
Neither of you guys were, you guys did your own nipping and teasing each other, by and large he helped you a lot right?
barb: Yeah.
Dad: and probably shouldn’t have, again we were smart enough to go ok, Cameron can’t be the helper for his sister, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t the helper often times.
barb:
Yep.
barb:
Thanks for answering my questions, I have a lot to work with here.

As is evidenced by my father’s reminiscing on my childhood, I had a very easy temperament. Funny, considering I am now an adult and am incredibly quick to react to emotional situations in extreme ways. The theory of temperament in infancy is largely indicative of how the individual will turn out as an adult. While I do feel emotions very intensely, whether that be joy, sadness, hurt, for the most part it is true that I am, in fact, happy. This temperament was made evident when my father recounted the story of my facial cranial reconstructive surgery. The fact that the doctors spent approximately eleven hours performing a highly complex surgery on my head and I was not only able to tell Dad what the duck said but was determined that I was going to use the potty is indicative that I was very adaptable and resilient. I was, and still am, not going to allow traumatic incidents to get the better of me and it is essential that I bounce back and adapt to whatever happens. As I can bounce back emotionally, so too can I “bounce” physically.
Dad was most likely right in suggesting that when I was a child it was useful to play the locomotion game that my uncle and his friends created for me. I do wonder how physically self aware I might have been without it. As an adult, I tend to wear bracelets and necklaces that make noise when I move my wrists or head, and I am strangely comforted by having things that click and jingle when I move.
Rocking has always been a source of great pleasure for me. When dealing with people on the autism spectrum, actions such as rocking are referred to as stimming, (short for stimulating). Along with the rocking horse that I rocked onto each end, I also had a plastic swing that they hung from the ceiling in our basement. Even now at twenty-nine years old, I spend as much time on swings as I possibly can.
It is a common trait in blind people to need increased stimulation, whether that’s rocking back and forth, pacing around a room, flapping their hands and fingers, or some even tend to poke at their eyes. I have heard that the eye poking is only common in people who once had sight and lost it later in life. Apparently poking the eyes stimulates a response where they perceive tiny lights at the back of their eyes. For myself and probably most of the rockers, this stimulus comes from a deep seeded need to sense more of what is around us. When we remain static, we can only sense what is in the immediate vicinity, but if we are constantly moving, we are covering more of the area around us, thus allowing us to experience increased sensation of the surroundings. What I found most intriguing about this behaviour in particular is the fact that they actually were, at some point, able to convince me to stop rocking. I never stopped wiggling my hands, but I once was able to truly sit still, until I was seventeen, and I was sent to a segregated school specifically for blind people when I was in grade twelve. All of a sudden I was surrounded by blind kids and teens who rocked uncontrollably. Teachers and residence support staff never discouraged this, and without even being conscious of it, I started rocking again. I think it was within the first few weeks of my being segregated that this habit began again, and I have been unable to stop since, even when people tell me it looks ridiculous and that I need to stop.
As my parents were both very intelligent and both nurses, their main goal in raising me was to ensure that I was as “normal” as I could be. They have often told me that it was of utmost importance that I “run with the sighted kids”. As a result of this goal, I was placed in a daycare from a very young age. It is apparent then that my parents believed in Vygotsky’s sociocultural approach to my development and that even though I had care, it was crucial that they placed me in daycare so I could learn and interact with other children my age. They wanted me to fit in so much that I can remember playing soccer with the kids when I was six years old. They wanted me to play the same sports and have all the same opportunities as any other child, so that summer my father and I would come onto the soccer field, every Tuesday night at 6:30 P.M. I was goal keeper and Dad would tell me which way to move to block the ball. I did relatively well considering I was slower to react than a sighted kid would be, but we quit at the end of the summer. That said, I was still grateful for the opportunity to play soccer with my friends, and being able to “run with the sighted kids” quite literally. My parents took an authoritative approach to my upbringing. They always told me why I was doing what they asked of me, especially my father. As a result I was much more excited to learn and experience the world around me, even if things seemed frightening.
One of the points of the interview that I found most intriguing and that never would have occurred to me before was when Dad discussed how his teaching style had to change when they had my brother. The fact that they had to literally teach me to put a cup on a hard surface was, to them, quite natural. Since they naturally taught me this and I was their first child, they figured they would have to teach any baby this, not realizing that Cameron would be able to see the movement of setting the cup on the table and imitate based on visual observation. While they retained an authoritative parenting style with my brother, the teaching style was much more visually based, whereas with me I learned so much by touching and physically interacting with my world.
In communicating with other blind people and in seeing how I personally shifted after moving to the school for the blind, it is evident that my parents had the right idea in keeping me as integrated as possible. I had the opportunity at the school to observe children that had been there since they were in kindergarten and many of Bowlby and Spitz’s observations about children raised in institutions proved startlingly accurate. While the children didn’t often seem listless or depressed, there was a shockingly high rate of social isolation and stunted mental development. While there, I never understood why so many students were held back two to three years, and I was always amazed by how many children had disabilities other than blindness. At the time, I thought that their mental conditions were evident from birth and that their parents must have put them in the school because they did not know how to adequately aid them in their development. While the second part may still be true, after learning about the affects of children being institutionalized, I now wonder if some of those challenges came about as a result of being left there from such a young age.
As I have been working on this assignment, I also started to wonder whether or not anyone has ever performed some sort of formal or informal study to examine a correlation between blind individuals who were integrated or segregated and the likelihood of them living independently and/or having some type of job, whether volunteer or paid. I would posit that those of us who spent most of our lives “running with the sighted kids” are far more likely to live independently and enrol in post secondary education, as well as feel motivated to find work. Though it is difficult for disabled people to find paid work in a large percentage of cases, I believe that we as integrated individuals are far more likely to keep trying even if we don’t succeed right away. This phenomenon can be explained using Dweck’s theory of self attribution and achievement motivation. The children who spent their lives at the segregated school were always reminded that above all else, they were blind and they were different. Therefore they were held to a much lower standard than those of us who integrated. I knew I was blind and that a lot of these things might take longer to learn than they would for my sighted peers, but I was never allowed to use blindness as an excuse to not try something. I was and still am always being pushed to find a job, to get a higher education, to make friends and integrate into the world as a useful and active member of society. Although I feel this pressure very intensely and often cannot stand my mother for pushing to the point of hurting me, I am grateful every day that I ran with the sighted kids, and this will never stop. I am taking this course as a prerequisite to becoming a music therapist, and I know that through the integration of music and psychotherapy I will be the one who helps kids and adults overcome whatever challenges they may face.

New Orleans was sinking yet somehow I was able to swim…

A year ago today I thought I was broken.  I had no idea how I was going to get through life.  I was in what should be one of the greatest cities on Earth.  I was with my mother, so I was safe.  I was listening to amazing music; on the street, in every bar and restaurant, in the park, down by the water.  I was eating fried catfish, or beignets, or barbecue…  I was exploring the French market…  And I was broken and bleeding.

 

A few days before, we had been out for dinner to celebrate our first anniversary.  We were engaged and I was so sure that getting married would be the push I needed to feel safe, secure, and like I had everything I needed.  We had breakfast that morning and then proceeded to play on the swings, one of our favourite pastimes.  The wind was high but it was bright and sunny and we were discussing the idea of getting a cat together.  I never wanted a female cat, but we wanted someone who would be cuddly and love people.  We responded to some ads on Kijiji and we were in touch with one woman who seemed like she might have exactly the right cats for us.

 

I really convinced myself that getting married would solve my doubts about that relationship; that somehow I actually would love him if we got married and I could stop being so afraid of the things I was trying so desperately to keep buried in the subconscious.

 

Equality was something I never had the chance to experience in that relationship.  I don’t want to sit and play victim here, because that is not constructive or useful in any way.  That said, I always felt inferior to him.  I felt that I was just a woman and that for all intents and purposes he was superior to me in every way.  And he did have an undeniable anger and arrogance that fed that belief until it was full to bursting.  From the beginning of our friendship back in late 2012 he made it clear that I was “just a woman” and that women should never be put in positions of power due to our emotional nature.  We don’t use logic to think through decisions and we just run on emotion alone.  I felt like I had to fight throughout that entire relationship and that is no way to garner trust or faith or any of those things that you are supposed to have when you’re in a relationship.

 

So I fought.  I attacked whenever I felt anything that wasn’t positive, and that was often.  I hated feeling so small, so worthless, so… woman-like if that’s how you think of women.  I would manipulate and try to use everything I could to diminish him and make him feel as small and shitty as I felt that he made me feel… That’s an awful lot of feelings.

 

And I didn’t love him.  I knew that from probably a week and a half into the thing if not sooner.  The weakness, the powerlessness, the feeling that he was superior just hurt, all the time.  During that time I smoked a lot of weed.  Funny thing about weed, people say it makes you feel better when you’re down.  For me, this is not the case.  It is not a mood stabilizer but a mood enhancer.  The other down side is it makes me see, with complete clarity, whatever I might be feeling subconsciously.  So from the first time that Jake and I went to the lounge, I was seeing all the reasons I wasn’t in to him.  I didn’t want to see that stuff.  I wanted a boyfriend who could give me what I needed… And to his credit, he really did try.  He showed up, he took care of me.  He did all the right actions even if not always saying the right words.  I often tell people that I loved him because I needed him, and that’s not how love is supposed to be.  But I didn’t understand at the time what it was about him that I wasn’t happy with, so I just tried to deny it.  For 367 days exactly.  I just wanted to love him so much but I felt hurt by him all the time even with him doing things, helping me with things, it was never right.

 

So after that breakup, which started out as a break (I call it the fake break because it kind of seems like it was a break of convenience to keep me around in case he changed his mind), I had no idea what I’d done wrong.  The hardest part of that breakup was that he was too scared to tell me to my face.  He waited until I was gone to tell me.  Upon further reflection, that may have happened as a result of the manipulations I used to play on him.  I often took great joy in pushing him as far as I could before making him feel guilty and somehow getting him back every time.  So really I can’t blame him for waiting.  See?  I know now what was up.  I think I knew it then but it was in that category of things I didn’t want to admit to myself..

 

If real change and progress is to occur, however, one has to be accountable for one’s actions, both positive and negative.  When we are in that much pain it is hard to recognize our part in the ultimate destruction.  Not only did he have to deal with my power games, he also had to hear about the past relationship, all the time.  Every single day, in some way or another, I talked about the past.  I never understood why that ended the way it did and depression was well and truly out of control by the end of me and Jake, even by the end of the last one.  I didn’t give myself time to heal.  I thought 13 months would have been enough, but when you don’t understand the issue, you really can’t fix it.

 

So how is it that I’m back in a new relationship after even less time than the last one? That’s a good question, one that I have been contemplating for the last month at least.  I think that I am finally at the point where I see my mistakes.  I’m not saying everything that broke in those two relationships was my fault.  It definitely takes two people to make or break a relationship.  Having said that though, I am finally communicating and being communicated with.  From the time I got back home from New Orleans, Alex was there.  We talked for hours every day, and I was so blessed that he was able to see and call me out on the parts that were mine.  They weren’t nice to hear, they sometimes didn’t make me feel great… Hell they reminded me of what a complete and utter failure I was in every way, but once I got past that feeling of failure and disappointment, progress actually started to happen..

 

I think the most important thing that I didn’t have in my other relationships was honest communication.  I don’t know whether or not they tried, but I felt like I never really understood what I was doing to upset people.  I don’t know if they tried to tell me and I just felt so powerless that I fought and shoved them down or if they never actually were able to express the problems, but I know them now.  Alex is not afraid to say the things that I don’t want to hear when he feels I need to hear them.  He is not afraid to challenge me, and he doesn’t let me get away with manipulation or bullshit, because he has done that stuff himself in the past.  And we are both incredibly great at getting to the root of an issue right when it comes up.  Granted we are still in the first weeks of this thing, the honeymoon phase, people call it.

 

But I was starting to feel better even before we were officially together.  I am seeing a new psychiatrist now who  I absolutely love.  I feel so comfortable and safe talking to her; more so than I have with any other psychiatrist.  Its funny because when I first switched from the guy at Queen’s to this new one, I was terrified.  I actually missed the first appointment because I was completely freaking out about the idea of having to start over from the beginning, with a woman no less.  Not that women don’t make great psychs, they do, but I was afraid and threatened and I always thought that I could get along better with men overall.  But here we are.  I started with her in March and I actually look forward to seeing her and talking about whatever needs discussing..

 

Another thing that seems to have helped is the realization that some of my actions… fuck it… a lot of my actions are very common in people with BPD.  Alex found a few books on the subject that opened my eyes to a lot of things, and I think that I am finally doing better.  One of the biggest things that I realized in this last year was that I am more than just my sexuality.  For so long I believed that the best way to make guys like me was with my body.  I never consciously understood that, and I don’t remember how I finally came to that realization, but now that I’ve put a lot of that aside, I feel so much more confident, so much more authentic, and the people who only wanted me for the things I could do for them physically are no longer in my life, and this is an amazing thing.  There’s so much more that I may or may not go into in another post, but suffice it to say that I really did need to hit rock bottom before I could start healing, and the recovery process will obviously take time.  But I’m ok right now. Really and truly I’m ok.

 

Jake, if you’re reading this, I am sorry for all the horrible shit I put you through.  I am sorry that my insecurities transferred to my treatment of you.  You did and said a lot of hurtful things, but I did too and for my part I am sorry.  I hope that some day you will let your anger at the world go.  It is so toxic, not only mentally but physically and you are a genuinely good person, anger aside.  I hope you find joy and peace in your life and thank you for trying with me for as long as you did.  We had some pretty great times, and though it took a lot of time, my head is finally above water and I can breathe easy.

The Lost and Found Years

I believe that Steve and Carin had it right when they called 2014 the lost year.  It was, unbelievably, a worse year than 2012.  So much happened to me and to all my friends.  It was truly unbearable and unfathomable how horrifying it got.

 

Let’s start with Jake.  You won’t be seeing his tag much after this post.  After the last breakup post I wrote though where I completely alienated some people that I love and I fear that I will never truly be able to rebuild that trust.  I say again how truly sorry I am and how I would and will do anything to get that person back into my life.  But for now that seems impossible.  Suffice it to say I won’t go into great detail.  All I will say is that the way that breakup was executed really hurt.  Two days after the one year anniversary.  I’ve gone with Mom to New Orleans and he was at my house having some much needed time to himself.  I called him to tell him I made it safely and he called it.  Claimed we were on a two week break but I’m pretty sure it was dead and the break was just a safe guard in case he changed his mind.

 

I will say that I do, to a pretty big degree, understand why he did it and I give him credit for doing what he felt he had to do.  Also I knew in my heart that we were not ever truly going to work.  That said, he was really good to me while we were together. He took care of me in a time of need.  He came with me to therapy, he made sure I ate when I needed food.  He showed up whenever  Needed him to show up and I do truly appreciate him for that.  He challenged me and taught me a lot of lessons that I will always carry over throughout life.  That breakup made me hit rock bottom.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so depressed and fucked up as I was after that.  I was incredibly self destructive.  I picked up a few habits that ended up doing a whole lot of physical damage.

 

While this was all going on, Carin was dying.  I’m pretty sure she’s gone into that whole story herself so I won’t go really into that either, but I was terrified that I was going to lose my best friend in the world.  Yet somehow despite all of that, her being terrified and in pa9in and ill, she was there for me.  Every single day, without fail, she checked on me at least three times a day.  She’d message me and ask how I was doing.  Most of the time it was voice messages and Twitter, but we facetimed at least twice a week I think.  For months she took a few minutes at a time and put her own problems aside to make sure I was ok.  I felt like my problems were minuscule where her’s were absolutely horrifying, but she always, without fail, made time for me.  The idea that she cared about me that much still makes me choke up a bit.  She and Steve really are the two best friends I could ever have asked for.

 

Speaking of which, seeing them in the summer was a really enlightening time.  They told me some stuff about the past that I had repressed and that should have made them both run screaming from my crazy ass, but it has been eleven years and they still love me.  I am the luckiest person in the world to have those two as best friends and I am thrilled that I get to hang out with them again in only two short weeks.

 

Speaking of which, I am in the process of finally applying for that music therapy masters I’ve been wanting to do forever.  I have been invited to go check out Laurier in the next few weeks.  I get to meet the faculty, maybe sit in on some of the classes, and then on the Saturday I will attend the Canadian association of music therapists conference which is also being held there.  So I get to see my best friends and then meet a ton of people who are already in the field so I can pick all the brains. I have realized that every decision I make from here on in needs to be in the service of becoming a music therapist.  It is going to be a hard, long road.  I don’t have the best grades because I struggled so much in university.  Unless I was doing practical work like my voice lessons or theory or ear training, I hated school.  The fact that I had to sit still for anywhere between an hour and a half and three hours just bored me to tears.  Also I inherited a pretty prominent L gene, as my mother calls it.  L gene, of course, being lazy gene.  So I am afraid that my grades will not be good enough.  But if they see my marks in the practical subjects, and they like my interview and auditions and I get some pretty reasonable work experience, maybe I can do it.  I hope that I can do it.

 

I am now taking two psychology courses.  Abnormal and developmental psych are both required for my music therapy degree and I am actually loving them.  Again I am stuck in hour and a half lectures, but both of my profs are really brilliant people who are exceptional in their respective feels.  Also they really know how to teach their subjects and make it fun and interesting for us and really know how to keep us engaged.  I have to work my ass off in these two subjects and I am even enjoying the readings, which is new for me.  I will do everything I can to do well in both courses.

 

 

Now I have to talk about Alex, because he has been such an integral part of my recovery and my life.  If it hadn’t been for Alex I am not sure I’d have made it through this past year.  He is such an amazing and strong person, both mentally and physically.  He was the one who I went to right after that breakup and he was able to show me the logical parts of such an emotional upheaval. He has taught me so many lessons about the things I do in relationships and the issues with some of those things.  We talked for hours every day from the day I got home and I was lucky enough to meet him back in September.  Turns out we balance well.  I am very emotional and learning logic.  He is logical and learning emotion.  I didn’t think that I’d be in another relationship ten months after the last one crashed so hard, but for now this thing makes us both happy.  He’l be back to see me at Christmas and I can’t wait.  I am truly grateful that he chose me.  I hope I won’t let him down.

 

Finally the last and cuddliest acquisition of the year is Harris.  She’s a little tuxedo cat who apparently looks like a jersey cow.  I have no idea how to post pictures, but if I can figure it out I will do a post just devoted to her.  I called her Harris after the female protagonist from Right Bringer.  I never thought I’d get a female cat in my life, but when I met her at a fundraiser, she really chose me.  I played with her sister first and while she was pretty cute, she was all over the place; bouncing around, looking at everything and just being a general silly head.  And then they gave me Harris, who at the time was named Pepper for her black spots.  Her sister was white and named Salt.  I hate people’s stupid generic names for kittens, but Harris snuggled right into my arms, purred with her entire body and promptly went to sleep.  She stayed there for half an hour and only got disturbed when anyone else tried to touch her and she woke up to tell them she was busy and she had someone else thank you very much, and then promptly went back to sleep.  I was really scared to tell my parents that I had her for the first month and a half, about which my mother was absolutely furious when she found out.  But they all agreed that Harris was and is still good for me.  It took her two months to truly warm up to me after I brought her home.  I could only pet her at first when I fed her or when I was sleeping.  But after I had a tooth extracted and was pretty fucked up and out of it after having a twighlight anaesthetic, it was as if she knew I was unwell so she stood on her back feet, tapped me with her hands and let me pick her up and cuddle her.  She’s been doing it ever since.  And, if you can believe it, she talks as much as I do.  I also think she may have a propensity for post tonal music.  Sometimes she takes it upon herself to walk up and down the piano at random, most often at two in the morning.  She’s ridiculous, clingy, attention seeking, and really the sweetest creature I know.  She’s currently chasing a piece of food around the kitchen that I dropped and tearing around the house with a weird deformed toy mouse with a bell in it.  I’m pretty sure she defies gravity when she really gets going at high speeds and she makes for some pretty hilarious entertainment.

 

Despite the fact that the end of 2014 and start of 2015 were so painful and soul crushing, I learned a lot of things.  I can honestly say I am stronger now than I’ve been in a decade.  I am more happy, stable, confident and sexy than I can remember being in my adult life and it feels amazing.  I must sleep now, but I will back with more organized bullshit tomorrow.

Welcome Back Barbington

This is me. I’m back. It took some wangling and messing around but here I is! I’m not going to write a long update right now as its currently 12;11 on Halloween… Speaking of which why is there an ‘ in Hallowe’en sometimes? I hate that and refuse to conform to such ridiculosity. It has been an insane time since I last posted. More on that tomorrow. I intend to write every day again, so get ready to enjoy that bunch of useless crap that interests nobody else but me. But I am doing ok, hell, more than ok. I’m better than I’ve been in a decade. A lot has changed, some people are gone, most are still around and still others’ friendship statuses have evolved dramatically. Again, more on that later. I am glad that I’ve got this working again. Thanks to the humanitous one for helping me.. with all the things. Now I shall eat a cookie and slumber, but I’ve got some good stuff to share and this will be fun. Happy apostropheless Halloween to all.

Dessert Island Album Challenge: The Final Tour

That’s 1. We sat on the balcony today and started Jake’s desert island album challenge with an awesome live album from Jim Croce. For a record with 16 tracks that album flew by. It was hard to hear some of the stories over all the construction that’s going on behind my building, but I got most of it. My three favourites were Ball of Kerrymuir, Speedball Tucker and Roller Durby Queen. Those three are the best because not only are they great and catchy and hilarious songs, they also have fantastic spoken story intros.

 

Jake says he was seven when he had that album and the tape was near worn out. He loves it because it’s completely live with absolutely no editing or remastering of any kind. Also he feels that there was a lot of things unrevealed about Jim Croce before he died that were shown through his music. So, that’s that one.

 

Next, American Capitalist by Five Finger Death Punch.

The Desert Island Album Challenge

One of the things I love about Jake is the fact that we can sit together for hours, sometimes weeks on end and always have something interesting to talk about. This morning a topic came up that we’ve talked about before but I forgot his answers originally and I thought we’d start anew. The question is one I’m sure many people have discussed over the years, but today this question is sparking some creative ideas and possibilities. And I think we can make a fun game out of this that you might all want to play. So let’s talk about the question first and then we’ll talk about the game.

 

You’re stuck on a desert island, either by yourself or with someone you love. Doesn’t actually matter who’s there. Point is, you have ten albums with you. Your ten favourite albums. What are they and why do you have them with you?

 

So Jake and I talked about this at length this morning, and we’ve both come up with our ten albums. As he was telling me his though I got to thinking. Wouldn’t it be fun to listen to our favourite albums all the way through ad like, really listen to them and understand what it is about them that makes these ones are absolute favourite. So, we’re gonna start with Jake’s albums today. We’re gonna listen to each one  and I’m going to write about them.Give maybe a few notes on the album’s general character and whatever and just discuss our reactions to it.

 

Now here’s the fun part where y’all can play along. If you tell me your top ten desert island records, I thought we could do a show or a series of shows and actually play some of the cuts off each and do what I’m gonna do on the blog only do it on the air. I think too that if the people in the radio community took a few minutes and did this challenge themselves we could come up wiht a pretty fascinating series of great shows. i’m gonna put this especially to my guys over on http://www.hkcradio.com cuz I think we could get some really cool content with this.

 

So what are our respective top tens then? I’ll start with Jake’s since we did his first. After I give you the lists, we’re gonna start and go in order of the list. That said these aren’t actually in any real order at all. I’m just presenting them in the order I wrote them down.

 

JAKE’S DESSERT ISLAND ALBUM CHALENGE

 

Jim Croce the final tour

 
Five finger death Punch American capitalist
 
Vern Goslin chiseled in stone
 
John Williamson mates on the road
 
Charlie Daniels the roots remain
 
Dwight Yoakam this time
 
Bob Seger night moves
 
Randy Travis storms of life
 
Gatlin Brothers partners
 
Metallica and justice for all
 
LBARB’S DESSERT ISLAND ALBUM CHALLENGE
 
ow-key soundtrack to the struggle
 
Jackson Browne solo acoustic volume one
 
The bare naked ladies Gordon
 
Call Simon Graceland
 
The Beatles a hard days night
 
Stevie Ray Vaughn the sky is crying
 
The Otis Redding box
 
 
Triumph under seven
 
Watchmen boneyard tree
 
Woodstock Soundtrack
 
So there ya have it. This looks like a pretty solid list of albums. And now I’m off to listen to the Final Tour, because no better way to start a fun challenge than with an album full of excellent comedy and fantastic tunes. I’ll be back soon.