Lady M has been trying to drag me round the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Hartlepool for a couple of years now – and in particular to visit the HMS Trincomalee which is berthed there following its restoration. Lady M’s sister had been among the Guide groups that had washed the decks during that work, so there’s a personal connection to a museum that is well regarded in the town.
As we had a few spare hours, today was the day to give in, so after breakfast she booked tickets online and we plodded round the marina to greet the ship who’d overlooked our breakfast view.
Its very good, recreating depictions of life on a fighting ship and portraying all sorts of aspects of port and naval life and their interdependencies.
Even with covid-related restrictions, we had free rein to wander and explore, while a well planned one way system on the Trincomalee itself ensured we visited more of the decks than we otherwise might have done.
So with all the good grace I can muster I’ll admit Lady M was right to pester me and this is well worth a visit – and good value for money too.
No, I’m not being paid by anyone, it really is that interesting.
We may have enquired about arranging a pirate-themed cosplay shoot there some day…
Well, hello the weekend. We’re currently on a road trip to the North to drop in on Lady M’s sister.
Having had a bit of a grim Friday and productive counselling session I’ve had a generally chilled Saturday with only one injury from falling up the stairs and gashing my hand on the railing. As you do.
And now we’re driving into the night, streaming the first Critical Role episode via Bluetooth. Its reassuring to realise that the auditory chaos and laughter does sound like the DDC in session.
I’ve just sent off my draft to my counsellor talking about my most recent experience of suicidal thoughts and actions and of the journey back. Unsurprisingly it has raked up a lot of thoughts, emotions, and memories.
What has surprised me has been how much more difficult it has been to get it all down on paper rather than talking about it. It has done more than just make me stumble over those words, and had me in tears in the kitchen this evening.
Quite impressive for something barely over 900 words long. It took me five attempts to start, and in the end bluntness was the only way to make it happen. It mirrors the process of taking these things into session – building up and digging over implications and deductions to work out the whys and connections.
I may post it here at some point. If I do it will be heavily marked with warnings.
If you are in that dark lonely place, dare to reach out. Don’t let go. People will listen and care, and they may be the people you least expect. Don’t give up. Talk.
So myr s launched their GoFundMe last week to try and get the finances for their first appointments with a gender clinic and thanks to some wonderful people has enough to be able to begin that process and pay for some of the prescriptions and ongoing support required.
They are doing this privately because the waiting lists to even be seen for starting conversations are currently running at several years, and the gender dysphoria that they suffer from has been causing deep depression on an ongoing basis.
The fund is still open, and every little bit to help them will be hugely appreciated. This is literally life changing, and I want to see my partner thrive and be happy.
So my weekend started today after working my Saturday, and I’ve been quietly enjoying the sunshine, that and the knowledge that I’m also off on Monday. I’ve been mostly just enjoying being in my own head after a week of being around people at work – and I definitely plan to spend some time quietly by the river tomorrow – mostly reading and writing.
And following my most recent counselling session this evening, I’ve got an interesting challenge. I’ve been asked to write a piece that can be used in a training session as a testimony – in this case to talk about when I’ve been suicidal: both in terms of lead up and what came after on the counselling side. I’ve agreed to do it, so a quiet spot by the river without interruptions sounds a good spot to have that introspection.
It’s not the first time I’ve written about my “journey” for use in a class. It’s been a while though. The last time was more focused on recovery from self harm and was both challenging and rewarding to be able to be a coherent voice speaking to people directly and give a perspective on what they may encounter. It’s the same reason I’ve agreed to do it this time – because I want to talk about how I didn’t make it obvious to people that I was in a spiral, but also how it felt to be able to talk about it in counselling once the crisis moment was past. If it helps someone with a future client its worth it.
So, I did a thing on social media yesterday that people seemed to enjoy. Inspired by a post I saw on Thursday, I designated Friday as a day to use ALL CAPS TALKING IN A PARTICULAR THREAD. WE WOULD CHANNEL THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF TALKING LIKE BRIAN BLESSED TO COMPLAIN OR PRAISE THE DAY.
It went very well. Comments ranged from telling people about having a coffee – or even too many coffees – to being called in to work from an empty office, and on the tendency of library staff to sing the alphabet under their breath while shelving or arranging stock.
Some people claimed they’d started shouting out loud instead, and we may have had a few sessions of talking very loudly out in the workroom for comedic emphasis as word got around.
By and large, it has put a smile on everyone’s faces, so I think I’ll do it again next week. Who knows, I might make it a regular thing if people enjoy it.
One of the joys of working in a library is seeing the local community ambling along to do their best in these strange times. I see families of all ages, people needing to print packing labels, job hunters, students, and people who really just need someone to talk to for a couple of moments while they’re out of the house.
Yes, there are occasions that are challenging, and the variability of days working with the public is a double-edged sword, but on balance I’m proud of making little differences here and there, trundling along.
Its grey and overcast here, but it’s myr s’ 29th birthday so our support bubble/polycule chat is full of good wishes and positivity, so that’s no bad thing.
They’ve chosen today to launch a GoFundMe to try and raise money to begin transitioning under private medical care and support. NHS wait times are around three years before even starting support, so anything that can be done to help is worth a go. If you’re feeling so inclined, here’s a link to the campaign:
I was stuck at work, being unable to share my bemusement on Saturday at a conversation playing out in my messages.
The Charleesi had let us know that her temporary freelancing job had just been converted to the offer of a permanent copywriting post within a week of her starting, so we are all very pleased and excited for her in this early stage of her campaign to take over the world.
Talk soon turned to needing to have a celebration, which resulted in a query about our Sunday availability – which clashed directly with the birthday celebrations previously mentioned.
I therefore had the moderately bemused expression of a man seeing his wife tell his ex-wife that we weren’t available as we were celebrating the joint birthdays of our partner and ex-partner in the company of our partner’s partner and partner’s son, and our collective emotional support human/friend – and being unable to tell anyone at work without having to explain an awful lot of history to people.
Needless to say, everyone at the Sunday gathering smirked when I could finally relay it…
We managed to get most of the DDC together this afternoon in East Brighton Park to celebrate the birthdays of Mre B and myr s – despite the best efforts of my satnav to take us along every B road between us and there rather than using the motorways.
I chose to treat lightly its choice to direct us through the village of Faygate, or to keep telling us to “stay straight” along the road.
I managed to dissuade Lady M from buying the complete stock of our local Tesco too, as she went into mother hen “feed everybody” mode. I’m not saying that her anxiety was becoming infectious, but I swear I saw people hurrying to buy what we’d left on the shelves like it was toilet paper at the beginning of lockdown.
There was a play park for the cub, a tree to partially shelter from the elements under, and cupcakes and a cupcake cake that ended up being served into cups for distribution. All par for the course really.
We’re home now, tired and glad of having had a quiet time together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling a need to perform or fuss. Nice.