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    [Originally posted on 13 Sept. 2008, when my blog was over at]
    I was brushing my hair this morning, standing in front of the mirror. Something struck me again, and I figured, why not write this down in my blog? If anything, I'll be able to read back my own thoughts later.

    My face is not mine. By that I mean, when I look in the mirror and see my face, that is not me. I do not see 'me'. Every time, still, I go: "Oh yeah, this is what my face looks like." It's like looking at the face of a close friend or relative: I know it well, I recognise it, I'm used to looking at it, but it isn't 'me', it doesn't give me a feeling of 'this is myself.' This goes for the rest of my body too, really. And I've always had this. It actually used to be worse when I was younger. It got a bit better after I dyed my hair a different colour.

    It's not that I have problems with face recognition (including my own), quite the opposite. I also have a superb memory for faces. I'll forget your name in the blink of an eye though, once we don't have regular contact. I can recognise which one is me in photo's without problem, but it's just that I know that the one that looks like that is me. The way that body+face looks in that photo looks very odd and sometimes jarring when it hits how I felt like I was in that photo, in my memory. It doesn't look like what I felt. It looks like I'm watching this other person whose face of course I know well is there, only that person that looks like that is me. I know it's me, but it feels a bit like someone I know very well is standing in the spot where 'me' should be. Only what should that 'me' look like?

    I don't really have an image of me at all. Maybe two hands in front of me and the frame of my glasses at the height of my eyes. Mostly nothing. When I think of me there is no physical thing there. I wish I could play life the way I play computer games: in third person. Other people have physical presence in my mind, but I don't. But then when I see my body, I know that I do. Of course I always 'know'. But in my mind I don't, in my deepest sense of my presence (not talking about sense of identity/personality, by the way, I dare say that is very well defined indeed here). So, there I have to look at this body that rationally I know is mine and I recognise it, but... it's just not me.

    Now, I'm not explaining it as well as I wish. I'm coming close to describing it, but it's like I just can't really hit the bullseye. So I hope that it's somewhat understandable or imaginable for anyone else but me that happens to read it.

    I have always had a poor sense of body. It is hard to tell what exactly is wrong or hurting when I am in pain or ill, and it was even harder when I was little. It's hard to tell what and where sensations are in general. I used to feel like I was in some sort of cell, or maybe locked into some hunk of flesh, and looking out of two little windows. I can still feel like that, but I've worked very hard at 'being' in my body more, and there has been some improvement there, though it's still not very good. My coordination and gross motor skills are also quite bad (fine motor skills not so bad, though slower than others). I wonder if that is at all related.

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    [Originally posted on 9 Sep. 2008, when my blog was still at]
    So, recently I've had to face the fact that I wasn't able to keep up doing my job in the same way as before.

    Recognised the signs of major breakdown/shutdown just in time (as opposed to the usual 'way too late'), and had my BF call up my job coach. I dragged myself through a rough couple of weeks (with help); stuff has been arranged, and now I'm working from home for the remainder of my contract. (Note: the job was fun and so were the co-workers, not to make anyone think something negative happened. Will try to explain all about the job situation in a follow-up post).

    What this made me think of, was the way I used to (and still) get so frustrated/angry when someone asked me a question about my day or some such, or asked me to explain about a situation I was in. I'd slide right into meltdown, unless I could get myself to just walk away, or half-yell just the word "no", or something like 'don't ask me questions.'

    I have finally figured out what happens. Here it is:

    It's one of two things: either the question is too vague/unspecific or whatever for me to answer (too many things they might mean, or can't figure out what they mean, like "How was your day" or "How are you"), or people ask me to put something into words that I am unable to put into words, but they expect me to be able to. The realisation that they might think I'm deliberately not answering for some other reason just makes it worse, adds anguish to the mix. That they think I'm unwilling to answer instead of unable is not far-fetched: I am verbal and usually 'good with language'. Equally frustrating is the thought that they might think I'm not answering because I don't really know what's going on myself - I do know, I just can't frame words around it.

    Being verbal, even being good with language in general (picking up new languages, my own language), does not mean you don't have problems with both language expression and language comprehension (both in speech and in writing, by the way). Many of these blog posts may therefore look messy and might be hard to understand, while I was capable of getting A's for essays and fictional pieces when I was still in university. This is because here, I try to explain things I wouldn't be able to say to someone face to face at all, but still have problems in writing too, even if it's easier.

    So maybe now I can come up with two stock phrases/scripts for when someone asks me a question that's unanswerable for either of the above reasons and prevent the frustration, since that's as unpleasant for me as it is for the recipient (really, it is).

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    [Originally posted on 2 Aug. 2008, when my blog was over at]
    This weeks stim-phrase is from Sweeney Todd (the film/musical).

    "Toby! Throw the old woman out!"


    Last Sunday my new nephew Malik was born (my BF's sister's baby). Went to see him yesterday. He slept all the time we were there, no matter what we did to him or around him. Then he's awake all night long, keeping everyone else awake too :P.

    We saw the new Batman film last Thursday. I liked it, made me want to see the first Batman film with Christian Bale as Batman again.

    Attended Castlefest today. Bought the 25-year anniversary edition of Brian Froud and Alan Lee's Faeries, and bought some 'medieval' candies and cake. The book smells of incense, which I like. After we saw all the stalls and some of the entertainment, we sat on some grass for a while and then left. Castlefest especially was stressful and overloading no matter how much fun. It didn't help that I had to walk on grass a lot and near the end sit (!!!) on it for a while (I can't stand the sensation of grass or other earth+growth under my feet, let alone any other part of my body). I could feel the stress and overload lurking all day, but then I felt myself slipping close to shutdown or meltdown, hard to tell exactly what it would have turned out as, so we left for home. The people we were with stayed a while longer.

    Now I kinda need a few days rest, but I don't have any: Sunday is RP day and then Monday is back to work.

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    [Originally posted on 19 July 2008, when my blog was over at]

    I had jaw surgery last Monday (mandibular sagittal split osteotomy). They pulled my jaw forward, rather than pushing it backwards; I had an overbite that was recently getting out of hand. It's a rather simple procedure, which they perform many times a week in that hospital. You stay for one night and then you're sent off home, unless there is some complication, which is rare. So I was home on Tuesday afternoon, with X-ray pictures showing the titanium screws that are now in my lower jaw (3 on each side), and a hugely swollen face despite the stuff they give you to counter the swelling (icepacks, ice-cold water and something in an IV). They pulled my two upper wisdom teeth while they were at it, too.

    Unfortunately I'm one of those people that swells up a lot after a procedure like this, heh. I recovered very very quickly from the general anaesthetic, though. Wasn't extra tired a few days afterwards either. The swelling is now slowly but surely getting less. We're taking pictures every day, I think I'll do a post about just this later, with pictures of the progress, when my face is completely back to normal (or well, slightly different than before of course, but no longer bruised and swollen).

    My jaws are not wired together (they don't have to do that anymore with this procedure now that they have the screws), but I have 'surgery braces' (they put in different wires with bigger pointy bits for the elastci bands), and two elastic bands that keep my mouth relatively closed. I take the elastic bands out when I eat or brush my teeth. Currently in my first of five weeks of liquid/soft food only. Can't chew, so I am allowed to eat only stuff I can swallow as is or can break apart with just my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

    So, onto the next stim-phrase. This one's from Monkey Island 3 (an adventure game):

    "A pirate I was meant to be, trim the sails and roam the sea!"

    It's the refrain to the song Guybrush's crew sing ([crew] "We'll fight you in the harbor, we'll battle you on land, but when you meet singing pirates..." [Guybrush] "They'll be more than you can stand." Heehee.

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    [originally posted on 27 Feb. 2008, when my blog was at]
    We finally found a new apartment. Were going to be thrown out of the old one at the end of April, and it wasn't looking like we'd be able to find a new one in time. But now we have!

    It's a lot smaller, but we don't mind, and that also means it's a lot cheaper than our current one. Lots of work to be done on it still (like removing the old wallpaper and putting the fake-wood floor in and such). Maybe we'll even be able to really move in before we go on holiday in early April. We already got the keys today. Technically, it's ours (we're also paying rent for two apartments until May :S).

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    [Originally posted on 14 Feb. 2008, when my blog was over at]

    I think the title of this blog explains it all, but just in case:

    This blog has no set topic. I will blog about anything that happens to catch my fancy. However, it is very likely that those topics that I have a long-term interest in will appear on this blog (far) more often than other topics.

    So, as a real start to this blog, a poem that I like by E. A. Poe:


    From childhood's hour I have not been
    As others were---I have not seen
    As others saw---I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring.
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow; I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone;
    And all I lov'd, I loved alone.
    Then---in my childhood---in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life---was drawn
    From ev'ry depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still:
    From the torrent, or the fountain,
    From the red cliff of the mountain,
    From the sun that 'round me roll'd
    In its autumn tint of gold---
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it pass'd me flying by---
    From the thunder and the storm,
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view.

    - E. A. Poe

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