hantsbear: (Cupid)
One thing the ex asked me was "Was there somebody else?"  There wasn't, which disappointed him; I suspect he wanted something concrete to hang the end of the relationship on.  There wasn't for two reasons - one, I couldn't do it to him, two, there was just no way logistically from a village that only had one bus an hour on weekdays and Saturdays; nothing at all on a Sunday.  No way of sneaking out covertly to visit a scarlet gentleman, so to speak ;)

Going forward, I find myself asking all sorts of questions about what I want from a relationship.  I certainly don't want to rush into something, unless my gut feeling tells me it is right.  My gut feeling didn't last time.  Should I go for a relationship where we live separately?  We need to communicate better.  I need to learn to communicate better.  But Mr. Rafferty says it best...
hantsbear: (Seriously Pi**ed Off...)
The black dog continues.  Several times this week, I have felt like crying for no particular reason apart from the hopelessness of it all.  Today, I just feel like hiding from everything as I cannot seem to derive much joy.  I feel like everything I touch turns to failure.

I think I need to seek out more counselling.
hantsbear: (Feel My Koala-y Wrath!)
There are times, and it has been happening a lot lately, when I come home from work and I wonder "What on earth have I done to deserve such punishment?"
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
Haven't written anything of any consequence in the Journal in what seems like an age.  So, I suppose this is a bit of a where-I-am-now post.  Geographically, I'm still stuck in a village with one bus an hour except on Sundays where there is nothing.  One shop; one pub.  Tried to learn to drive about 2 years ago and came up against a brick wall, despite the fact that this time I was learning in an automatic rather than a stick shift.  Bought a (old) bike which I hadn't realised (due to my complete absence of nouse and mechanical skills) had a dodgy clutch and ended up selling it at a loss to someone who did have the requisite mechanical skills.  That and His Lordship worried every time I went out on it put the kybosh on that.

Mentally, been going through the wringer.  Went back on Venlafaxine again for 6 months, then found a local sexual health charity that was offering  inexpensive counselling, so have been working through with that for a few months now, which seems to be working fine. especially since my councellor works to the Person Centred methodology, with which I have a degree of familiarisation.  It is a minimal amount they charge, but I have volunteered to help them man their tent at Leicester Pride next month.

Healthwise, now have a formal diagnosis of Sleep Apnea (which many have suspected for years) and now the proud posessor of an "Inflate-A-Steve" as I call it.  Still trying to get used to it; it will take time, but given the potential health benefits, I am determined to make it work.  Noticed today that I managed to swim further than I could before starting the treatment, so the snatches of sleep I am catching with the device on seem to be having some effect.  However, I am feeling particularly fat at the moment - my mental health has meant that my comfort eating has been worse than usual.  My consultant at the Sleep Clinic at Leicester General tells me that one of the benefits of the CPAP treatment is that I should start producing more of a hormone that stops these cravings, so here's hoping.  His Lordship not really helping here as he tends to take the p--- out of any attempt to undertake any form of exercise, from his well-worn seat on the sofa.

Work - oy vey.  Where do I start?  I can't really go into much detail as we have a social media policy which prevents me from identifying who I work for online, but I am being micro-managed out of my head.  Not by local management who, for the main part, are supportive but those above, including one manager who I refer to as The Smiling Assasin as she pretends everything is nicey-nice and wonderful, whilst stabbing people in the back at any opportunity.  Paranoia levels high!  Took a test last weekend for another department which I felt I did well in but of course my self doubt kicked in.  Should hear before the end of the month on that one.

Musically, seem to be listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell of late, thanks to a local chanteuse by the name of Sally Barker who achieved a degree of fame a couple of years ago by getting to the finals of the UK version of The Voice, being coached by Sir Tom Jones.  She has managed to return to her roots, playing local venues and touring, despite being offered a recording contract which, frankly, would not have shown the British public how truly versatile she is.

On the travel front, apart from our road trip from Oakland to Seattle last year, spent a few days in the northern Netherlands based in Zwolle, which I throroughly enjoyed.  A bit of winter sun in the Algarve too, which is just what the doctor ordered.  And, of course, the few days by the Loire last month.  Got a trip to see little sis in Sweden in October, along with Florida in December as a Fiftieth birthday treat from His Lordship.

Well, I think that's everything for the moment, apart from losing my beloved maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago - she was 94, so she'd had a fair innings, but it's still hard to let go of someone you've known for 49 years.
hantsbear: (In The Park)
I decided I was going to get myself a tablet, so the plan was to go to John Lewis in Leicester on Saturday to review what they had and possibly make a purchase.  I tend to trust John Lewis staff (or colleagues - the chain is run much like a co-operative) know what they are talking about when they give advice.  Unfortunately, the English Defence League were having a demonstration in the city center and Best Beloved forbade me from traveling there.

So, instead, made a trip out to Nottingham instead.  I still miss Nottingham - I moved away about 4 years ago now.  I know that a lot of places around there have memories of [livejournal.com profile] rock_bear but there are loads of memories I created for myself there.  None the less, as I entered the Victoria Centre, I gave a growl of supplication.  The John Lewis in Nottingham had got tablets in stock and, even better, the cute furry salesman who has been there years and, I think, sold me a camera once.

Only problem is, stayed up late last night playing with new toy.  Oh well, will just have to sleep on the coach this morning as I head down to The Smoke to meet [livejournal.com profile] albadger...
hantsbear: (AAAARGH!)
I've taken the plunge again.  After nigh on 6 years of abstenence, I have taken tentative steps to get behind the wheel of a car and learn to drive again.  Had my first lesson on Friday evening - sh*t scared!  Don't know why; maybe it's the amount of time since my last lesson when I was living in Gosport.  Still not sure whether I'm going to gel with my new instructor but I've got another lesson Thursday night for an hour.

Have got to do a theory and hazard perception test now which I didn't have to do in the past because I already hold a full motorcycle licence, but this now counts for naught... oh well.  So, here we go again...
hantsbear: (pain)
I don't know why, but every time I have a day that ends with me feeling severely p*ssed off, I invariably end up at the local McDonalds in Oldbury.  Usually, I avoid "Mucky D's" like the plague - my fast food of choice over here is KFC.  However, there's something about being in a foul mood that sends me somehow to those golden arches.  Mind you, I do like their chocolate shakes even if I can feel my arteries clogging with their artery hardening wallpaper paste-ishness as my cheeks collapse to suck the last globules from the cup...!
hantsbear: (perkele)
Three years ago, I was in Tucson - I think it was a Thursday; various parties were being organised to local restaurants for the early arrivers at Fiesta de los Osos.  It must have been about 6pm - I had gone back to my hotel room for whatever reason and  I checked my computer and found a message from [livejournal.com profile] madamemish to contact her as soon as possible.  The transatlantic phone call that followed started something like this:-

"Mish?"
"He's gone." (sob)
"What?  Who...?"
"Russ.  He's dead."  There was a pause.  Then I howled.

The circumstances have been documented elsewhere, but at that moment in time I felt disconnected; hit by the full force of the distance between here and there.  There was only one thing I could do under that circumstance; I rang my father.  I needed the familiar.

I must have been in my room quite a while; when I re-emerged, I remember the first person to see me was [livejournal.com profile] shelbycub .  I'm not sure whether I just hugged him or blurted out what had happened.

Fast forward three years; it still hurts.  Which is good in it's own way.  Have asked Steve to take me to the grave the weekend after next.  I'll be a mess, but I think I need to be a mess.
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
I was an impossible case...

I cried at the drop of a hat.  Still do. 
Never wanted to perform certain acts with a woman.  Felt strangely drawn to certain men.
Did not understand it.
Was called a poof and gay at school.  Not every day, but enough to give me the message that liking men was Not A Good Thing.
(I should add that I now consider it A Very Good Thing!)
Had two failed attempts at being straight - nice girls, but I disappointed them.  I know that now.
Spent years thinking that somehow I was attracted to neither sex; asexual even.

Then...
The internet came along, and my life changed completely.  I found that men who liked hairy men.  I found men who shared my fetishes.
I found the power to express my fetish.
And then it seemed right.  It was the most natural thing in the world.
I came out.  And have not looked back into the closet since.
I have blossomed.  I have done things that fifteen years ago I would never have dreamt of.

I need to get a time machine.  Go back to 1980, find myself.

Tell myself  "It doesn't just get better, darling, it gets fabulous!".

Well, probably not so much of a cliché, but you get the picture.

So, honoring the memory of those who didn't have someone who could tell them that, and in the hope that these words will help others, I wore purple today.
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
hantsbear: (Will Talk For Food...)
Sat down and watched this movie again after 5 years or so.  Sniffled a bit.  Maybe it's the mood I'm in at the moment - have been clearing space in the apartment ready for next month when I get everything out of storage.  Maybe there will be more tears then when I find more remnants of a past life.  Maybe not.  We shall see.
hantsbear: (3D Me!)
I've started seeing a therapist again.  Partly because the department pays for 6 therapy sessions as part of its wellbeing program; partly because whilst I have travelled a long way on my emotional journey, I still have things to try and sort out.  And this is part of that cleansing process.

Tonight, towards the end of the session, the therapist suggested something that gave me one of those clarity moments - something clicked into place and made sense.  I'm not going to go into any detail as it was something personal to me, but it sort of shocked me.  I'm still reeling now.

But it made sense.
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Clifford, it has been over two years since someone else filled my shoes.  Please don't worry; I am no way bitter about it.  In fact, I am glad you found someone in the same state as you rather than someone a continent away.  But I still can't help looking into you eyes in photographs and mushing up.  We still have a good friendship and I don't want to give it up.  I suppose somehow I need to find a way of moving on...



...I'm just not sure how.



hantsbear: (happy pills)
...mentally speaking, that is.
Having come off the Venlafaxine with the help of my GP, having come to an un-easy truce with the events of the last three years or so, having discovered new strengths within me, progress has definitely been made.

But...
Despite going to the GP last week to sort out my sleep problem, namely the vivid and weird dreams I've been getting, which I have started getting again and getting a prescription for sleeping pills, I have found that after a few days, the pills get less and less effective and the dreams are coming back.  I will most likely try and ring the medical center for an appointment to discuss the next course of action.

However...
I went to Birmingham Pride on Saturday and made some very useful connections; I discovered that there are gay mens groups in both Dudley and Wolverhampton - the Dudley group meets monthly and the next meeting is while I am at The Summer Good Food Show on June 13th.  The Wolverhampton group meets weekly on a Monday night (except Bank Holidays, which is why I am not going to head over there tonight.

So, progress.  Still stuff to do though...
hantsbear: (Thump!)
Today was one of those days when lots of irritating little stuff just built and built.  This morning was fine.  Nooo problem.  But this afternoon - one of the floor managers (who thinks he's sooo much better than the rest of us) directed a customer to me, waving their appointment letter at me saying "This customer is twenty minutes late.  Re-book her."  Now, the floor managers are the same level as us Personal Advisors, so bossing around is a bit of a no-no.  First of all, he should have checked the customer's name on the floor manager's diary - it wouldn't have been there.  Then, he should have looked at the customer's letter.  Instead of being 20 minutes late, the customer was 2 weeks too early!!!

After that, I had to process a customer who had missed an appointment and had to have their case referred to a specialist for a decision to fine them a day's benefit.  The customer fills out the form and I fax it off to the decision makers.  Who phone me back later and tell me that the customer had stated on the form that he was sick at the time he missed the appointment, which he didn't tell me when booking the appointment, otherwise I would have treated him quite differently.

And to top that, I had a letter today from the company our beloved Government's Identity and Passport Service use to deliver their passports.  Not, as I thought when I sent my passport off for renewal, the Royal Mail.  So, I can't have it delivered Saturday morning; can't have it delivered for collection from my local post office.  Either I have to sit at home between 9am and 5pm and not move, or sit at my desk without a lunch break in case the delivery turns up, or I have to go to a depot in the middle of nowhere on Friday afternoon to collect it.

Grrr.  I needed a nice dish of steamed salmon and veggies followed by ice cream.  But what I would really like is a week or two away somewhere.  Which, of course, I can't afford.
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
I'm not sure whether one event in particular triggered my coming out ten years ago.  Certainly, the internet played a big part in it; the discovering of bears and the fact that I was not the only person with my particular kinks through various searches online.  For many years, I had thought of myself as asexual; I tried a couple of heterosexual relationships because it seemed to be expected of me.  But it wasn't right.  Since High School and the bullying by a number of assholes because I was a sensitive sod.  Because somehow I was different.  Well, guess what f*ckers, I am different.  I'm not the downtrodden creature I once was.  I have evolved so much beyond that; blossomed you could say to someone who is a lot happier with himself than he was then.  Admittedly, a lot of self worth issues have been resolving themselves over more recent years, but coming out had an awful lot to do with the beginning of the journey to where I am today.
hantsbear: (passport)
1999 was a peculiarly landmark year in my life.  Two big events and other bits of drama.

1.  I finally left the closet.
2.  My mother died.

The other drama - My dad's 60th birthday, at which few knew what my mother was going through, including my sister and myself.  The arrival of my first niece.  Having to cut off two supposed friends for being unable to let me grieve.  And my first boyfriend.

In some ways, I am hoping 2009 not to be so dramatic.  Although some drama "in a good way" would be nice...

Closure.

Jan. 26th, 2009 07:52 pm
hantsbear: (The End)
I kept a picture of Clifford in my wallet.  Past tense.  I got rid of it this morning; I think I had a sense of wanting to move forward.

Time will tell.
hantsbear: (grrrr...)
I walked out of a meeting at work today.

Now, that's not something I do lightly.  Normally, I'm the quiet one, not wanting to cause a fuss.  But I do contribute to meetings when I have something valid (or witty) to say.  Today, as every Wednesday morning, the Jobcentre opens an hour later ostensibly for training.  Sometimes we have a speaker in, but this morning we just had a group meeting.  We got on to talking about a current initiative that the office was involved with regarding healthy living.  I wanted to try and point out to the meeting that as well as physical well-being, we should also be considering mental well-being.  I was cut down inappropriately by two members of the team before I had finished.  I glared.  "Well, I'll just shut up then," I growled.  Other people tried to contribute; something snapped and I got up and walked out of the room and back to my office and got on with some preperatory work for the day ahead.

My action was noticed and my boss sidled up to me and asked me if I could spare a minute.  We went into her office and closed the door.  She asked me if I was alright.  "Actually, I'm quite pissed off,"  I replied.  I explained what had happened and I think it confirmed her suspicions about the "contributions" of other members of the team to the meeting, with whom I think she had a few words later.  Several of my colleagues congratulated me.  Frankly, I didn't think there was anything to congratulate.  I felt a little petulant.  But I also felt that I wasn't going to take any cr@p from people any more.

I think this all stemmed from an interview I caught on the news this morning about some research from a Conserative Think-tank and the notion that "It's your own fault if you are overweight" and I think I was brewing on it as I walked to work.  It is a philosphy that goes against my personal theory of wanting to sort my head out before sorting the rest out.  But the interview was only half heard, so I don't know the truth of the matter quite possibly; I was the wrong side of my first cup of coffee at the time.

And anyway, some of my closest friends are on happy pills ;)
hantsbear: (What Do You Think Squashy Legs?)
This week's Bear With Me strip struck a chord with me; it showed one of the central characters being literally overwhelmed with all the negative messages and insecurities that appeared to have been hiding from him until he returned to his family.  Whilst these days, I think I am dealing with some of the negative messages that have haunted me over the years by challenging Dearly Beloved Aged Parent, they still catch me unawares and I am curled up foetal on the floor.  I'm not convinced I will ever lose those inner dialogues but slowly I am re-writing some of them.

Until the next disaster happens...

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