?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Keep your own counsel - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Keep your own counsel
Still angry about the counselling appointment. What the nice lady at the General Practice forgot to tell me when she recommended The Cogwheel Trust was that they're a Christian counselling organisation. Which is, quite frankly, the last thing I want. So they mentioned this when they were going through all the introductory blurb, and I reacted with surprise, and then had to explain why I wasn't entirely happy with it. The thing is, while I did have very bad experiences with the church and am still very angry and bitter about a lot of it, I don't think it's terribly relevant to my current mental state. I mean, it's not something I think about unless people try to "witness" (*shudder*) to me, or try to persuade me to come to church (or to FREE PIZZA! and a short talk about how much Jesus loves you) with them.

Once we'd got through that, though, the rest of the session wasn't much better. I'm more and more starting to think that I just don't get on with counselling in general. I'm sick and tired of answering the same questions again and again about when I did what, I'm sick of being told that I'm trying to trivialise certain aspects of my past when in fact I've just got over them, taken what's useful from them and moved on. It's like I'm not allowed to only be bothered by specific things; I have to work through all the same stuff again every single goddamned time. I mean, I know it's all intertwingled, but honestly. I want some "counselling for people who've already had so much counselling they can't keep track" sessions. Advanced counselling for long-term fruitcakes.

Anyway, at least I've only wasted £30; I have to pay for the trial session, but they're letting me "decide whether I want to continue" and I think I already know the answer to that one. I think I'd be better spending the money on cake, or train tickets to Oxford, or something.

Actually, that's a great idea. I'll set aside the money I would have spent on counselling and use it to buy nice things. :)

* * *

Oh, since I'm here, I might as well do the latest viral self-labelling exercise.

A - Act your age? When I have to.
B - Born on what day of the week? Friday. ("Works hard for a living"? Yeah, right.)
C - Chore you hate? Hoovering.
D - Dad's name? Cliff McKnight
E - Essential makeup item? nailvarnish (all 50-odd colours that I have...)
F - Favorite actor? Judy Garland.
G - Gold or silver? Silver.
H - Hometown? No idea what this means. Born in Uxbridge; raised in Crawley Down, Bramhall, Loughborough; lived in Oxford and Cambridge since then. Don't feel at home anywhere really, except possibly Oxford, and some areas of Switzerland.
I - Instruments you play? Piano, violin, viola, recorder (sop, descant, treble, tenor), flute (badly), guitar (worse). ("My name's Janet, and I play the fool.")
J - Job title? Editorial Assistant. (Should be "Speaks-to-programmers.")
K - Kids? I hope so. I really hope so.
L - Living arrangements? Me and sion_a, big house, lots of books, too many computers. Hopefully some cats soon, too.
M - Mum's name? Denise.
N - Number of people you've slept with? Er, 26-ish, modulo a) definitions of "slept with" (Does it COUNT? Moo.) and b) unaccountable memory lapses.
O - Overnight hospital stays? Yes, one. Useful learning experience.
P - Phobia? Flying ants. Filling in forms.
Q - Quote you like? Too many to list! How about "Sometimes in life you've got to dance like nobody's watching".
R - Religious affiliation? No thanks, I'm trying to give it up.
S - Siblings? One younger sister.
T - Time you wake up? 7:45, when James Naughtie's dulcet tones wake me into another dull day.
U - Unique habit? That horrible thing I can do with my eyes. Basically rolling them round independently of each other.
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat? None, but given a choice I'll avoid celery.
W - Worst habit? Playing minesweeper. Chewing my fingers. God, so many to choose from! Changing the subject between asking a question and getting an answer.
X - X-rays you've had? Teeth only (but quite a lot of those).
Y - Yummy food you make? fruitcaaaaaaake!
Z - Zodiac Sign? Taurus (load of bull if you ask me)

Current Mood: IW4 swords

Read 23 | Write
Comments
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
If dancing doesn't hurt at least a little bit, you're doing it wrong. Or you're wearing boring shoes. :-)

As for "Work when people are watching" -- even that would be a good start for me... having a boss who's even more cynical than me is not good for my already-nearly-nonexistent work ethic.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 27th, 2003 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Funnily enough, I was talking about my dancing shoes hurting me only this lunchtime.

Really? ... Still, I bet you can't line-dance in 7-inch platforms.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: March 26th, 2003 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Friday's child is loving and giving. It's Saturday's who works hard. According to my book of nursery rhymes anyway.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn, you're right. In my defence I plead that I was trying to remember the rhyme while listening to some excellent vocalese jazz.

"Loving and giving" I can deal with, so long as it includes, ah, giving lots of loving. ;-)
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 27th, 2003 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan, at Newport '63. Absolutely awesome.

[googles]

Oh, neat, it's been reissued on CD! Review here. Feel free to borrow my copy (ripped from my dad's vinyl) though if you like.
marnameow From: marnameow Date: March 26th, 2003 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Christian counselling? I think I would have walked out right there. Not good.

I think finding a counsellor who can help you is a matter of luck, and that it's not too common. One of the reasons that I've always avoided that route is because I don't think I'll find one that works for me, and that I won't engage properly with someone who doesn't. I'm not letting someone I don't like or trust look inside my brain.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 26th, 2003 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem I have with the whole idea is that the value of "normal" I have in here and am happy with and want to keep has certain distinct idiosyncrasies; I am afraid that were I to go off the rails, people might try to fix me back to a different value of normal. There's some less-than-pleasant stuff in here, yeah, but it drives my writing and nobody gets to touch that.
marnameow From: marnameow Date: March 26th, 2003 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep - I know exactly what you mean. I like some of my quirks; I *need* some of them.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, everybody keeps telling me (and I believe that in the ideal form it's true) that counselling isn't supposed to "fix" you to some arbitrary value of normal[1], it's supposed to get you to a state where you're happy with the way you are.

Of course, in theory, theory and practice are the same; but in practice they're often not.

[1] Ooh yes, somebody else who might not have read this book I keep recommending to people.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't walk out right there partly because if I'd done so I'd have felt like I'd failed, like I hadn't been able to go through with it. I've had so much "Counselling is good for you! Get counselling!" thrown at me that I felt like I needed to at least stay through one session if I was going to stand any chance of convincing people that it REALLY DOESN'T WORK for me. I mean, yes, I've had lots of other counselling (which hasn't helped) in the past, but I felt like my "I've tried this already" card had expired by now.

Totally agree with the rest of it, though. Finding a counsellor you can work with is even harder IMHO than finding a partner with whom you're compatible.

And I'm happy to let anybody look inside my brain, but it's read-only. Only people I trust get to mess with my mind. I think in a way my willingness to talk about stuff and let people look gets in the way of counselling (ironically) -- I'm so used to talking about this stuff that a) it seems to throw them off balance, and b) it doesn't show me anything new about myself.

marnameow From: marnameow Date: March 26th, 2003 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't walk out right there partly because if I'd done so I'd have felt like I'd failed

I don't think I'd have felt that. But I'm so wary of religion in all forms, these days, that continuing with someone who would (in my thoughts, at least) be judgemental would be a *bad thing*.

You've got to remember that you're doing the whole counselling thing for *you* and not those around you; otherwise it's sorta broken from the start. And if you know it doesn't work (and like you mentioned earlier) makes you stressed then it's probably not working for you. But that's not to say you should stop completely, but rather, maybe, look at other options and see if there's anything else that appeals to you or seems like it would help.

And I'm happy to let anybody look inside my brain, but it's read-only.

Mine is mostly, but I have hidden areas that nobody may enter, and a few restricted areas. But these are areas that I'd probably not let a counsellor, or anyone else, near, anyway.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I'd have felt that.

I know I would. I do anyway, a bit -- even though I know, logically, that that's nonsense.

But I'm so wary of religion in all forms, these days, that continuing with someone who would (in my thoughts, at least) be judgemental would be a *bad thing*.

I don't think they'd necessarily be judgemental; I just think their outlook will be very different from mine, and I think that'll get in the way of them being able to tell me anything useful about the way I think, or the way I do things.

Basically I'm very wary of anything that gives people a set of externally-imposed rules by which they're supposed to think, act, live. Not so much because I think it's wrong, just because I think it gives them a fundamentally different way of looking at things from the way I look at things. I just wouldn't be speaking the same language as them.

I have hidden areas that nobody may enter, and a few restricted areas. But these are areas that I'd probably not let a counsellor, or anyone else, near, anyway.

I don't think I have any hidden or restricted areas. I can't honestly think of anything that I wouldn't be happy to talk about. (Of course, that kind of transparency just means that I maintain different levels of trust in different ways...)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 26th, 2003 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Would it be overly Pavlovian of me to say your sister is kind of cute [ in a sets the paternal instincts going kind of way ] ?

It's also kind of nice to see someone else whose "number of people slept with" has error bars. [ My usual answer to that one is "how Clintonesque are your definitions ?" ]

This counselling should only be attempted by experienced fruitcakes ?
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Would it be overly Pavlovian of me to say your sister is kind of cute [ in a sets the paternal instincts going kind of way ] ?

Hey, I think she's cute, and I don't have any paternal instincts. ;-) ... For maximum soap-opera value, of course, this is where I find out that she's reading my LiveJournal.

It's also kind of nice to see someone else whose "number of people slept with" has error bars. [ My usual answer to that one is "how Clintonesque are your definitions ?" ]

Quite. It's particularly a problem since, well, the things that seem to "count" as sex for girl-girl are different from what seems to "count" for girl-boy. ... There's also an emotional dimension, whether I want there to be or not; so there's a couple of instances where I've thought "No, that doesn't count, because it was a sordid not-quite-sex encounter with somebody I didn't really fancy" -- oops, and I've just realised I've missed one person off that list entirely, possibly because according to Official History of that social group I'm not meant to have slept with them -- or "Well, that was just drunken fumbling at a party, and I fell out with them a few weeks later anyway".

Then there's the question of "does net-sex count"? ... But seriously.

This counselling should only be attempted by experienced fruitcakes ?

May contain traces of nuts. (Dammit, if you will give me the feedlines.)
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: March 27th, 2003 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes. In a discussion of this point with another bi friend, we eventually came up with "proceeding with intent towards orgasm". Which, for added points, sounds like an English sex crime.

I have a list somewhere. The number varies by about eight or so, depending what counts.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 27th, 2003 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I think she's cute, and I don't have any paternal instincts. ;-)

Unleash your inner daddy.

For maximum soap-opera value, of course, this is where I find out that she's reading my LiveJournal.

I did mail her, but only because I think if someone is going to have a rant about good web-page design as a major feature of their online presence, it ill behooves them to have a front page that uses red on green. One in twenty men are red-green colour-blind [ well, Caucasian men anyway, but I think we can safely say Caucasian men are not a trivial fraction of web users ], and it's been a serious issue for me in the web database design I've done.

Quite. It's particularly a problem since, well, the things that seem to "count" as sex for girl-girl are different from what seems to "count" for girl-boy.

Ooh, who gets to do the counting ?

There's also an emotional dimension, whether I want there to be or not; so there's a couple of instances where I've thought "No, that doesn't count, because it was a sordid not-quite-sex encounter with somebody I didn't really fancy" -- oops

Ick. Sympathies. Not done that.

Then there's the question of "does net-sex count"?

*nod* Isn't there one of the purity tests that where you get points on a sliding scale for shorter and shorter spans of time between meeting someone and having sex with them ? I seem to remember seeing something like that, and noting there wasn't space provided for first having sex before you'd met.

This counselling should only be attempted by experienced fruitcakes ?

May contain traces of nuts. (Dammit, if you will give me the feedlines.)


"Until I work out which one of us is me I'm keeping my straight lines to myself."
wintrmute From: wintrmute Date: March 26th, 2003 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
At least you know an approximate value.
I just lost count completely. I never was very good at counting.

Definately agree with the issues over what counts.. Perhaps what we need is a kind of fractional points system? Eg:
"meaningful, emotional, protracted" sex with someone scores 1.0.
"reasonably sexual snogging" scores 0.05.
Score everything else somewhere inbetween, or whatever.

Except then it's not an actual measure of how many people you've really slept with anymore, and starts becoming too much like lots of adding up and multiplying.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2003 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definately agree with the issues over what counts.. Perhaps what we need is a kind of fractional points system? Eg:
"meaningful, emotional, protracted" sex with someone scores 1.0.
"reasonably sexual snogging" scores 0.05.
Score everything else somewhere inbetween, or whatever.


So what counts as "meaningful"? Do you have to have thought it was meaningful at the time, or still think so in retrospect?

And what counts as "protracted" sex? Length of time per shag? Length of time between first shag and last shag with person? Any adjustments for time elapsed between shags?

Except then it's not an actual measure of how many people you've really slept with anymore

So what does "really slept with" mean? This is the point, it's never a measure of anything except what you want it to measure. Which makes it all a bit meaningless.
wintrmute From: wintrmute Date: March 26th, 2003 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly.

You can continue to refine the definitions until there is no longer any doubt about them, but by the time you finish, you end up with a ruleset which generates a score for you which is only meaningful in terms of the 'sexual activity scoring system'. A meaningless number.
sphyg From: sphyg Date: March 26th, 2003 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
You of all people should know that biology needs error bars ;P
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: March 27th, 2003 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course; this is why I'm a programmer.
sphyg From: sphyg Date: March 28th, 2003 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I was going to ask you about the time split between biological and normal IT stuff, but my brain can't phrase it properly.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 27th, 2003 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you... *HUGS*
Read 23 | Write