Family huh?

That last poetry post….. I started of with an entirely different intention.  I had said to my dad this morning ‘All I want is to help people’.  Followed with ‘I cannot help my sister or my mother’.  And I intended the poem to be about that.. But my subconscious had other things in mind… and *shrugs* oh well.

No I cannot help family or friends the way a counsellor helps a client.  They are not my client!  They are family/friend!!  The relationship is formed a different way, and it simply isn’t possible.  The stranger element, the unknown entity which is the counsellor, the lack of any knowledge of any details of the counsellor, is part and parcel of how it all works.  The fact that a client goes to the counsellor seeking help to cope with their life.  THAT is a HUGE part of it.  Without it….. the desire for change, the desire for development…. and the desperation of seeking help from a professional, from a stranger, to dwelve into their deepest, most intimate problems and memories…. all of that is part of a counsellor-client relationship.

My mother and sister do not seek change within themselves.  What they want from me is for ME to change.  My sister wants me to stop being a tory-hating bleeding heart intersectional socialist-activist.  My mother wants me to stop being bisexual.  Neither of those are possible, neither of those will bring anyone happiness – no not even them.

I am me.  I am happy with me.  They are not happy with me being me.  There is nothing I can do about that.  I cannot change who I am.  I am me.  I am happy being me.

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A Counsellor’s Lament

In the larger picture, the longsighted lens, the distant future
All I want is to help people
To give, to love, to encourage and reassure
All I want is to help people

In the you, is your self, your being, your life, your spirit
To you I am but a mirror
I reflect your love, your beauty, your worth and your music
On my glass plate painted with silver

But if you show hurt, anger, frustration and strive
With love I try to help you,
Your self worth, your confidence, your strength and your drive,
With empathy I will try to boost you.

In your worth, your esteem, your confidence, your breath
Is where lay your foundations to joy
They belong inside you, within you, deep in your depths
Not outside as another’s toy

In the larger picture, the longsighted lens, the distant future
All I want is to help people
To give, to love, to encourage and reassure
All I want is to help people

Why? #4 – August 2017

According to some people, family mainly – I am a very complicated person and it is very difficult to understand me.  So I keep trying to explain myself to them, but often that is very very difficult, especially when it isn’t ME they are asking me to explain, but a view I have of something else.  If it is of something else, often that something (or someone) else would be better at explaining it than I do.  I do put some effort into sharing what I read with them, often through facebook shares.  Unfortunately this gets lost in the scrolling labyrinthe which facebook is and they get information fatigue.  The problem of ‘please explain why you think X of Y’ still stands though, so here I will keep a curated list of things I read which I feel explains concepts of my world well.

I first named this “things worth reading”, but decided that implied I was assuming that anyone reading this would find the same things worth reading than I did.  So I played with a few more ideas and I came up with Why?  This can be short for several questions.  Among them are – Why I think the way I do.  Why I have the views I do, and ultimately why I said what I said about topic x, issue y or problem z.

Most women you know are angry – and that’s alright

Why you can’t teach a 6 year old to be grateful

.I didn’t realise I could be bisexual until I was 21Yep, this was me. I did not realise I was bisexual until I was 23. Until that time I exclusively tried to like guys, kissed guys, even dated guys… and it wasn’t until I was actually IN a long-term, stable, intimate relationship with a man that we had the conversation of ‘do you think you could like a guy… cause I think I can like a girl… and would be quite curious to try going out with a girl actually’ I had crushes on gals long before i had crushes on guys… but I never knew they were crushes…. that just wasn’t possible, wasn’t allowed, so it wasn’t even considered.

73 year old, doing sex work to pay for son’s kidney transplant – arrested & earnings confiscated.. Is this the world we want to live in?

https://amp.theguardian.com/uk/2013/apr/28/immigration-impact-crime

 

 

 

Sertraline

“You have a dragon to kill”

“Oh you still have issues to sort through”

“You need more tools”

“You need to teach your brain to produce it without help”

“You need to rewire your brain”

So I’ve decided to go back on sertraline.  I realised by week 2 completely off (week 10 or 11 of tapering) that I was a wreck and I’m better off on, but I waited until I was 6 weeks completely off before saying ‘ok, the only person I’m fighting now is myself’ and making the decision.  So while I was making the decision, aside from my closest and dearest – no one was there for me or offering me help…. after I made the decision however.. the above is some of the ridiculous things which have been said to me.  Does a diabetic get told they need to rewire their pancreas, or that their pancreas needs to be told how to produce insulin?  Do people with cardiac arrhythymia get told they can live without their pacemaker if they learnt the right coping tools?

People think that clinical depression mean I am having trouble coping.  You know what I felt when I came off sertraline?

Nothing.

No, really… I felt nothing.

I stopped caring.  I stopped caring about my partners and tried to break up with them.  I stopped enjoying music and baking.  I stopped volunteering because I didn’t care.  I haven’t spoken to my father since before I started tapering.  I read immersive fantasy fiction because it was immersive.  I stopped reading my counselling books because I no longer cared for them.  Each week was maybe 1-2 days total of feeling low, but 5-6 days of total blank apathy. My memory was shot too, but I didn’t care about that.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter.  Is it far fetch to think that the areas of my brain which is most affected by shortage of this neurotransmitter is the link to my empathic response?  To love, to care, and to happiness?

The public response seem to be that there is something wrong with me if I’m taking an anti-depressant.  But I argue that there isn’t, and more neurotransmitters just make me more whole, more me.  It doesn’t change me, it just helps me to be more in touch with me, more in touch with the world.

I am one of the invisible ones, the ones no one hears about.  There are millions of people out there on anti depressants who hold full time jobs and live normal-to-the-outside lives.  I don’t spend days curled up crying.  Sometimes hours maybe…. but we manage to get out of bed and live.  Every day.  I don’t have much ‘trouble coping’.  I just have a chemical imbalance.  That my life is so much improved and so much more wholesome, fulfilling and filled with love is testament to how far biochemistry and neuroscience have come along.  Counselling helped too off course – if i didn’t believe in counselling I wouldn’t be training in the field… but counselling cannot correct chemical imbalances.  It is physical.  It is chemical. At the end of the day we are but a large back of mostly water, some protein, a few bones, and a million different chemical transmitters.

I don’t have a dragon to kill.  I don’t have trouble coping.  I don’t have trouble getting out of bed and going to work.  I do not need to rewire my brain or collect more tools.

I have a chemical imbalance which I correct with medication.

And that is okay.

My bane – Facebook

I am intermittently deactivating and reactivating my facebook account.  I have just completely weaned off the anti depressants I was on for PTSD, and while I am mostly doing okay, I am finding the interactions on facebook fraught with aggression, defensiveness and just plain unfriendliness.  All things which I don’t need while I settle into a new equilibrium of neurological biochemistry.

I do bring it on myself I suppose.  I will call people out for being misogynistic, queerphobic or sex-worker phobic.  That is, on some level ‘asking for’ the backlash I get for doing that.  That last statement was victim blaming.  Which is wrong on so many levels.  Hhhmm.. let me rephrase that.  NO, by calling out misogyny, queer phobia and sex-worker phobia, I am not asking for anything.  I am putting information out there.  I am merely saying that that person’s statement, or share, or whatever, is perceived by me to be misogynist / queer phobic / sex worker phobic.  That is it.  They can chose whether to react to it or not.  Some people do react by saying thank you… but most of the time.. what do I get?  A ‘oh why can’t you just take a joke’.  Or a ‘but this and this and this not this this this’.

These sorts of reactions then require extra spoons to deal with.  Spoons I am currently expending by just…. living.  Yes, living require spoons.  Anxiety and depression require spoons to deal with.  Even at the level they are currently – which is very very very low.  EVERY interaction with the world which requires a response interaction requires spoons.  Work requires spoons and is where most of it goes to.  School, thankfully on break (which is why I’m weaning off now and not in autumn), requires spoons.

Maybe I should put a disclaimer on every comment I live in public.. something along the lines of

[Disclaimer: By leaving this comment, I am merely providing information about what I think of your last statement, you DO NOT have to react or to reply to it, it is merely INFORMATION which you are entirely welcome to read and discard]

There… what do you think?

Why are people not more accepting?  Why is the respond “thank you for informing me my last statement was misogynist.  I will think about why you might think that and maybe rethink my position” so rare it might as well be extinct?

To use an common analogy : When you give someone a gift, is the response ‘thank you, that is very kind’.. or ‘what is this, why did you get me this, what is it made of, what is the carbon footprint of this, where did you get it from, how much did it cost, did you buy me this because you think i need it’

When I comment online, I comment to inform or educate.  Sometimes to share congratulations or commiserations.  I do not ever comment to intentionally attack.  That just isn’t me.  To be attacked in response is… disheartening…. but I can deal with it.  But to be attacked when my mental health is bad and I end up spending 2 days curled up in bed crying… I think that warrants a break from the medium which gives me that grieve.

So… instagram.. my balcony garden.. my blog, my cooking.  And twitter.  Twitter keeps me better informed about world news than facebook ever could – and from people whose opinions I actually care for.  And because I am not an active poster, twitter for me is passive reading… keeping up with the news.  I know how toxic it can be.. but because i don’t have an audience and I keep in the shadows… for now..

So long then… see you twitter….

Twitter : @incoherent_qing

Instagram : @kirhymeswithpie

Food blog : mynofusskitchen.wordpress.com

YKIOK – It’s use in the non-kink, grassroots support & activism sphere.

YKINMKBYKIOK – often abbreviated to YKIOK

I often use YKIOK in discussions on facebook groups and forums.  Unfortunately this is often quickly followed by the question ‘what does that mean?’.  It is a phrase used in the kink world, usually abbreviated to YKIOK but in order to explain or to introduce it, the whole thing has to be used. It is short for ‘Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK’

Like some other concepts (eg consent), it is explicitly harped upon more in the kink world than in the vanilla due to necessity. In order for the various kinks to co-exist, and because there isn’t anywhere else to go to talk about that kink, groups of kinky people have to co-exist in the small niche space which they have carved out with many other kinks. So people who like daddy/little girl play may have to co-exist with pony play, who may have to coexist in with shibari/kinbaku/kunbang, and with watersports, scat, needle play, blood play, consensual-non-consent, ultraviolence, and so on and so forth.  Someone who joins a kink community for kink a b & c may become friends with someone who likes a,b,c,x,y & z. This could be on a friend’s feed for example.  People are multi-faceted, and kinky people are often multi-kinky.  So on a forum or noticeboard, one is almost guaranteed to come across something you simply cannot stomach. In that situation, the courteous thing to do is to mumble YKIOK and walk away.

It isn’t an alien concept to the non-kink world. It is commonly known as “horses for courses” “whatever floats your boat” “different strokes for different folks” etc. However the phrases which the general english speaking population use isn’t quite as explicit as YKIOK, because everyone who uses it or read it knows it is attached to the rest of the phrase – ‘but it is not my kink’, so the person using it is both saying, ‘okay this is not my thing… i maybe even really really disagree with it.. but if everyone consents… sure, go ahead, i’m just going to walk away because I honestly can’t stomach it’.

It is something that multicultural, multilingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religious activism or support groups could really do with implementing. A lot of people in such grassroots group are…… underexposed…. to opinions which are different from their own, and may react strongly – which is okay – but in order to co exist with the other strong opinions, people need to learn to walk away without starting a fight, and without losing any face.

*** I wrote this for the same group I wrote the previous post for.  And that pen post is a classic example of where mutual understanding of the concepts behind YKIOK would have been good for the discussion.  If the OP understood that my role to educate can co-exist with his need to make inappropriate jokes, and that while we may cross swords over it, in the larger picture both sides being presented would have been educational to the group as a whole… then we wouldn’t have antagonised each other as much.

Pens & Sex – The Problems.

pensexI called out the problems with this picture on an lgbt group yesterday, and as usual – the OP insisted it was just a joke and no one will really use this to teach children and so on and so forth.

I stand by what I said – and my role as the softest, gentlest, most unaggressive teacher that can ever exist.  I don’t even want to be the person calling this out.  I don’t like conflict and confrontation.  But sometimes, if no one is calling something problematic out – I have to.  I will not sit in silence and I would rather not sit a group which shares things like that and not call it out.  Yes I agree that it can be a joke.  Not funny… but YKIOK.  In a group of 4000 though, I want to be sure that anyone who sees it, also at the very least have the OPTION of reading the reasons why sharing this is NOT OK.

So here goes.  (in no order of problamaticness, they are all problems as far as i’m concerned)

  1. Why red and blue?  I know it isn’t explicitly stated, but the gendered colours and some of the labels used does give away that the creator intend the red to be girls and the blue to be girls.
  2. Including the pedophile label in there, along with everything else is NOT ok.  This is accepting and conflating paedophile into other acceptable, if controversial sexualities and that is never EVER okay.
  3. Why is interracial black and red?  What about the browns and the yellows?
  4. Gang Bang = Lots of men one woman?  Cis-Hetero-Patriarchal much?  Why can’t it be lots of women for one man?  Women have no penises? Hmmm.. Ever heard of pegging?
  5. Harem = Lots of women one man?  Erm.. does this imply that the women are ‘kept’ women?  Cause… in the relationships I’m aware off (*coughs… my own) where there are more women than men… none of us are kept women, and we are sooo not part of a harem.  I would love to have a harem to myself too.. and you know what.. I want both men and women it it… it will be awesome.
  6. Shemale – the term itself.  It is a term which is extremely disliked by the trans community and should never be used – even as a joke.
  7. The whole picture’s usage as a joke itself – A golden rule of comedy is to punch up and not punch down.  In the case of this picture? I don’t think there is a single downtrodden community who can use it without punching other downtrodden community without going into the minutia of the privilege ladder and oppression olympics.

The bottomline is that this post is NOT OK no matter how you swing it.  How you pitch it.  How much you insist it is a joke – it is just NOT ok.

My explanation of all this in that facebook group got deleted because the OP got defensive.  Even though I explained that I understand it was meant as a joke, and I explained my reasons for writing my points was for education of the rest of the group in general.  He got defensive and took it down.  And then he mansplained me…. so yea… it is that level of juvenile backchat.

I’ve left the group for now, and it’s not my first time.  I have more important things to do with my life.  Two evenings at at the charity this week, and other stuff planned for wednesday, friday and saturday.  I also have new post up on my cooking blog.  🙂

Why I am not going to Pride in London this year

The first time I saw a pride parade was in Manchester in 2000 or 2001.  I was either 15 or 16 and I was in the UK either for my sisters’ graduations, or for one of their weddings.  I can’t quite remember which trip it was.  Back then it was just some very fancy people in colourful boas and clothings, and it was all a bit of a laugh, a bit of fun, and not very large or corporate.  The parade happened to go right past the restaurant we were having lunch in, so without planning to, we got to see most of it.

That wasn’t very long after I first learnt the word ‘sodomy’, which had been bandied around a lot during the trial of the ex deputy prime minister of Malaysia.  I won’t go into the politics of that, but suffice to say, because of the way I was brought up – first of all when I first heard the word I had to ask ‘what does it mean’, and when I found out, my response was very much “Ewwwwwww”.

At 15/16, I had no idea what my sexuality was, wasn’t even aware that I had been crushing on girls since puberty (they were girls.. and I’m supposed to crush on guys.. so this inexplicable desire to spend more time with these really hot androgyn girls wasn’t crushes right… or was it?).

Anyway – gay pride – fun, colourful people.  NOT something I would ever do, after all I’m not gay.

My first gay pride in London – I went as a spectator, and I had by that point, fallen in love with the female half of my ‘lets have some fun’ threesome buddies/play-partners.  But it was just play, wasn’t meant to last, and I really didn’t want to be in love with her so… I went to pride.. and I got drunk.. and I kissed girls… MANY girls..

That didn’t work.  I got a good talking to, and that relationship continued.

Pride got put on a back burner for the few years after that – because life developed elsewhere and I didn’t have friends to go with and didn’t have any strong desire to get involved.

In 2014 I diversified my voluntary work portfolio and started to do more stuff with lgbt charities.  In 2015 I signed up to be a ‘flagbearer’.  It was a new initiative and they wanted representatives to carry flags from every country in the world.  I thought that was amazing and I volunteered.  I didn’t get to do it in the end because I was deployed to Sierra Leone for the Ebola outbreak right in June/July.. Oh.. what a bummer for pride… but hey saving lives is more important..

In 2016, I had spent enough time in the lgbt charities / inclusive & intersectional activism scene to begin starting to get really irritated by how pride in London was run.  It is massively commercialised and corporatized.  There were massive rolling accusations of pink-washing, and it became obvious to me that the entire thing was run by a bunch of cis white middle class men.  Oh there was the token women and the 1 poc… but the majority of the committee was of that description.  I wondered if there was any possibility of changing it.  I looked into who could get involved.  I discovered to my horror that none of the organising committee gets paid despite it being a full time job for 6 out of 12 months of the year, and a part time job the rest of the time.  That leaves the only people who can run it.. to be erm.. well.. super privileged people… or… people from ‘the other half’.  Hmm.. Okay that route is shut then… and now I understand it all a bit better.

My partners had no interest in marching, and I had no interested in being counted as a person who made it a success.  But marching wasn’t the only thing one could do, and I could man a stall for SwitchBoard, the charity I predominantly volunteer for.  Hmm.. that’s a good idea, I’ll still be involved, during important representative work for switchboard.. OK, I’ll do that.

So… until 2017 – I had never march in a pride parade.  Of course, by 2016/2017 my involvement in various LGBT charities means I actually have far more options than ever before of marching.  I could march with my employers (KCL/UCL), or my charities (Switchboard, Diversity Role Models, Scouts), or go as a flagbearer.  I wasn’t spoilt for choice..

But as 2017 pride draws closer.. what happens but some big missteps by the organising committee.  The bisexual representation fiasco, followed close behind by the advertising campaign fiasco.  HRM…. Both issues which lie close to my heart as (1) I’m bisexual and (2) I have actively gone with Diversity Role Models into schools to explain to schoolkids why “that’s so gay” is not an acceptable way to describe people and objects.

Sigh… These are huge and I mean huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge missteps by PrideinLondon.  Yea they are doing a good job overall.. but.. BUT, they have succeeded in making me feel excluded, on multiple levels.

So no, I will not grace PrideinLondon with my presence this year.  In any capacity.  I know my presence/absence doesn’t make a darn iota of difference, but it makes a difference to me.  There are enough people marching that ‘stand up and be counted’ isn’t relevant anymore.  The huge number of commercial & corporate bodies marching, and the gradual decrease of charities & community groups is a warning sign to me that PRIDE has forgotten that it started as political activism.  PrideinLondon no longer serves the community.  It is now an avenue for large organisations to show how inclusive they are – which is also good and needed, but it isn’t the activism I have any interest in.

Why.. #2? June 2017

The history of WHY

Listening to Shame – Ted Talk by Brene Brown

The Cause of Addiction – It’s not what you think

I don’t support everything Simon Sinek says in this next one… but I still found the first 3/4 pretty interesting and educational.  Much food for thought.  The first minute or so is intentionally provocative, so watch past that before you decide the whole video isn’t for you!   Millennials in the Workplace

10 reasons to stop cotton wool parenting

The Difference between Broke and Poor

How to Raise a Feminist Son

Is slavery still legal in modern day America?

We need to talk about Diane Abbott

Alphabet soup?

Dear friends, I love you, but please stop offering to be my therapist

This next one is for my estranged mother…. Ma… will these two men go to hell to just for being gay?  BBC Stories – Garry & Kyle

And this next one is for my sister(1), who never has anything good to say about people with BPD   Why are people with BPD so manipulative. (hint… they’re not really)

This one is for anyone who thinks that it is poor people’s fault that they are poor. A story on poverty