Steele-eyed span

June 24, 2017 at 10:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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In Year 5 or 6, there occurred one of the most corrosive incidents of my life.

I was in an experimental ‘open area’ – far removed from standard school rooms.

Several classes occupied a common ‘free-range’ space and we were given phenomenal liberty to learn as we pleased.

One day, a group of teaching students came to marvel at our set-up.

They wandered among knots of kids who were very much doing their own thing.

My thing at the time was cubits: small plastic cubes that connected in a kind of low-tech fischertecknic/LEGO way.

I could play with them alone for hours – and even took them home.

Yet I didn’t realise their educative value.

An earnest student teacher quizzed me about my model making, then offered to show me how the cubes could be used to grasp mathematics.

I wasn’t keen, but onlookers had gathered, so the student teacher went ahead.

He explained that 1 cube could be joined to 9 others to make a line of 10. He then joined 10 lines of 10 to make a plane of 100. For 3 x bonus points, he then showed how 10 planes could be assembled to make a cube of 1000.

Unfortunately, he had lost me at 5.

It wasn’t his fault. Looking back, I certainly wouldn’t have tried to engage a twitchy loner with autism.

After considerable effort, his enthusiasm finally waned as he realised I just wasn’t going to get it.

By this time, I was completely overstimulated by the exercise and freaked out by the observers.

I stumbled away muttering, ‘One times ten times ten times one times ten times … etc.’

That could have been the end of it, but Mrs Steele stepped in.

Having watched the botched interaction, she was livid I’d disrespected our guest.

She pursued me, span me round, knelt down and hissed at my face:

‘Paul Hassing:- You. Are. Miserable!!!’

I looked at her cold eyes, iron hair and lined (now frighteningly compressed) lips.

Her words shot straight into my heart.

Where they remain to this day.

When her fingers finally unclenched from my arm, I tottered off in a different direction, this time muttering, ‘I. Am. Miserable. I. Am. Miserable. I. Am. Miserable.’

And, after several 100 repetitions,

I believed it.

At my session last week, a new counsellor suggested a link between this experience and my childhood sexual abuse.

No-one has posited this before, but the years roughly match.

The counsellor said abused children often act up in class, drawing teacher ire.

And while I don’t think I was misbehaving per se, I feel her theory could have

merit.

It’ll be fascinating to see if EMDR therapy can finally draw this sword from my soul.

Thank you for reading.

Here is some suitably sad music to play us out.


To keep this tale fresh and strong, you may wish to

Whatever the sum, I’ll be filled with thanks.


 

 

 

 

 

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Psycheling

December 20, 2016 at 9:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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It was with a small measure of rare pride that I entered the psychiatrist’s room.

Not nearly enough to brim over, but sufficient to coat the floor of a 250 ml lab flask if you swirled it.

It felt so different to have something positive to report.

For once.

Two things, in fact.

The first was that my wife and I had downsized to one car.

Apart from cutting costs, I felt this was better for the environment.

I also felt that with my wife needing the car to commute, I’d be forced to walk and cycle much more often.

My old bike had been chained to the house for years – gathering dust, rust and spiders.

I was going to get it fixed, then decided to do something unprecedented.

I bought a new bike, with a rechargeable battery, to help me over the hills that dotted my usual journeys.

The purchase was a success.

I began riding around town at an average speed of 24.1 km/h, with a record downhill sprint of 52.8 km/h.

The website had promised this bike would make me smile.

And you know what? It actually did.

So I considered this sequence of events my second ‘good thing’.

I proudly told the psychiatrist that I’d overcome decades of self-hate to buy myself a gift.

In so doing, I’d also trounced 4000 tonnes of inertia to get my fat, sclerotic body outside and moving again.

The psychiatrist quizzed me about the bike’s battery assistance (which is modest, optional and variable).

I happily filled him in.

Then he said:

‘Why didn’t you get fit and buy a real bike?’

I found this

unhelpful.


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 Just a buck or two will keep me going strong. 🙂

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