I don’t know.

‘A man is no-one, a man has no name.’ I’m misquoting Faceless Man Jacquen H’gar from Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire probably.

I think right now, I am feeling that other-less. I stopped looking at the apps that I said I would. I’m still me, but how and why and about what I’m not sure.

What I want and how I get there is up for question and beyond work and parenting, I’m not sure.

Not knowing or ‘I don’t know’ is okay.

I knew I really wasn’t getting anywhere or doing anything useful before, but equally I wasn’t doing any harm. Possibly only to myself.

So, right now, maybe the state of balance isn’t really anything. Maybe it’s a case of getting on with it and accepting that it is what it is.

I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t known how I felt or what I wished to articulate. I didn’t know and maybe for a while I still won’t.

A constant state of uncertainty maybe has a scientific term or whatever but the balance for me psychologically is just being and keeping going.

And yes, I can’t wait to see the next season of GoT in April.

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Delivery and Cancellation

I saw a ‘deal’ to upgrade my BT broadband and thought it a good idea. An upgrade to my existing service for not much more.

Then Royal Mail got involved..

A text with a link. We’ll deliver 0921 to 1321.

Fair enough my door entry will work at those times and package fits through my door.

Then a text as I’m going home last night

It wasn’t delivered. So I try texting back. Text back returned undelivered.

I try emailing BT on the email they confirmed my order on. This email doesn’t get read/can’t answer.

I try the websites chat function but it’s pretty clear person at other end, doesn’t understand me.

I try phoning and have to describe everything and give my address. At that point it’s too much and I know I’ll start swearing or shouting, so I try and tell the call handler and hang up.

The parcel was dispatched Thursday. It had a trip to Glasgow and back from Inverclyde before making my delivery office.

So I get a twitter direct message and they’re nice but I end up saying sorry I can’t cope and cancel my order.

It’s my fault and my condition. I’m sure these things happen to others, but I was lied to about delivery yesterday and I don’t want the thing now.

I was wound up over two hours to point of a meltdown by texts and emails that are no reply and a chat function.

When I finally spoke to a person I got nowhere as I was beyond functioning.

But I have an invisible disability. It’s not as ‘real’ as having something missing or cancer and I can’t get help..

So no faster broadband for me and my kids. I’ll need to learn that deals aren’t for me.

Postscript.

As I anticipated, Royal Mail didn’t attempt to deliver today and at 2pm, made it my problem. I had to collect item. I’ve been at work all day.

I’ve cancelled the upgrade and let BT know I won’t collect item as I don’t want a mile walk to and a mile walk from the collection office.

If the package hadn’t been a signed for item, it’d have got to me 😦

A meltdown and four hours of wasted communication later..

In summary, I should know better by now.

Further postscript. I receive texts from BT engineers saying my line upgraded and my existing router doesn’t work…

I get home and no WiFi or broadband. I’m crying as I write this.

Wondering and being helped.

What if? What if.. what?

Ruminating, thoughts on head, no means to execute them, no firm way ahead.

Hoping. Is hoping ever enough, ever just enough.

Wishing. The feeling that something could change.

The wish, not the reality, the hope, not the actual, the possibility, but never the ability.

In reality, I have a lifeline of sorts and this time I need to use it, it’s help of sorts and I cannot spurn it, or continue on my own and muddling on.

The difficult part in accepting help is my fate in others hands my voice silent and my burden with others.

I do not always carry myself well,

I do not always help myself.

I do not smile at others and greet them with silence.

Yet I must. I need to, I have a means to lighten my load, to not carry all myself.

I struggle on. Bills and debts and problems. People that grate at me, people seen and heard.

The days are short and dark and cold now. I mainly see clearly, I mainly understand and comprehend. I mainly know what I need to have for me and mainly what I need.

I can do that with help. I can get some way myself.

But I hope and I wish and I hold that dream out there too.

Knowing and remembering things from my life and regrets and seeing the foolishness.

Age fixes some things, it makes some clearer or just simpler.

The fog of life is always there, day to day the sea of faces and the noises of people’s mouths. The bustle and hurry and how busy it all is. The day to day.

Holding myself. Keeping still. No words spoken, thoughts retained. The right time, not the perfect time.

But how?, but how To balance the wishes and reality. Can they ever be reconciled by me.

A routine Friday

At times we surprise ourselves. It’s the unexpected and maybe a little happenstance as well.

This post below had been long in my mind.

https://chicgibson.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/the-sort-of-post-you-dont-want-to-write-autism/

I tried to articulate a slide in my social life and a feeling that being involuntary celibate was likely.

To knock over those assumptions, someone swiped right on me about eight weeks ago and chatted. Didn’t expect that.

I tried. Maybe too much, but I tried, it didn’t work out.

Well, maybe I expected that, but there was that brief rise in mood and a bit of hope. It was nice.

It’s all explainable, temporary self actualisation as per Maslow’s hierachy of needs.

Possibly some serotonin created from the experience and maybe some other positive flows in terms of energy or wellbeing.

I won’t knock it, it was pleasant to feel different and less negatively about myself.

If I refer to my ‘West of Scotland Man’s Manual’ that is still lodged in my head, I’d be throwing shit at everything else except myself for blowing it and hiding behind some machismo or making other excuses.

I can allow myself a few things., I didn’t expect it, I hadn’t planned it, I had no expectations. I tried.

I could say ‘baby steps’, I could say ‘try again’.

But, I was ‘stepping off that escalator’. I was moving away from that and accepting that ‘maybe it’s not for me’.

I had given up, given in.

I thought there was baggage in believing that I could have a relationship again.

I was raw, hurt, broken, low.

I might be a bit less now, but, I’m still confused, I still don’t believe things can work out that way for me and I’m not really wanting more rejection and disappointment.

What’s realistic? What’s reasonable, what’s possible?

Do I have the energy, the faith in myself, the confidence, the ability?

Or is it a dangerous hope that there’s something, The sirens call that keeps me in a sort of loop of failure.

It’s a Friday, I have no responsibilities tonight with the kids, so I worked late, wandered around the shops, got food, got the train and headed home.

Friday being Friday, you see people heading out and I guess I noticed that.

Guess I wondered to myself, but all I had was tired and home and food and tv.

But, that’s what I can do.

Someone reached in to me. That was the one nice bit though.

Doctor Who Series 11 Episode 1 – The Woman Who Fell To Earth

I’ve watched twice.

First time around I got up, wandered about, found some laundry and put on my washing machine, at the midway point.

In places, it seemed like Sheffield in the dark, at times exposition sunk dialogue and pace and progress halted.

I was underwhelmed and very much disappointed. I initially thought 4 out of ten.

The second viewing proved more worthwhile.

Nuance, balance, some decent performances, possibly less dark as I first thought.

The Doctor. Yes, she’s a woman. Does it matter? I think not. My issues on first viewing weren’t with Jodie Whittaker.

Opening episodes for new doctors can have mixed fortunes. The season thereafter may afterwards improve and get better, I certainly hope so.

I think at times though, the episode clunked.

That’s due to the writing and certainly that’s Chris Chibnall’s creative process and his writing team rather than it merely just being just a new doctor.

There’s a vision to the new start and I wonder just how it was initially envisaged and how that differed from the end product.

Obviously, a point of origin for the Thirteenth Doctor, a background to her companions, a grounding to all the stories to come.

But for all we take the background, there’s a story of an alien and his teeth prized seeking recognition of his clan.

It’s a difficult one to reconcile and that showed.

Ryan’s dyspraxia was well handled, Yazz seems level headed and sensible but wants to prove herself, Graham has survived cancer, but has just lost his wife, his rock through recovery.

There’s things to work with and Whittaker’s thirteen is certainly yet to be defined and developed.

Is she merely a female Tennant/Ten? Is she the old/young Eleven? What remains of Twelve and all the others along the way?

It’s a reboot to NuWho with a change of showrunner and another clean slate, the doctor is now in a group of four, so maybe a more ensemble piece rather than the focus on ‘doctor and companion’.

There’s something there though, with a new direction, a new doctor, new companions and presumably a new TARDIS to be revealed in episode two.

A considered opinion on a rewatch is 6/10.

There’s plenty of work to be done in the next few months and the click of character relations, the actors easing into their parts and the creativity being unleashed.

The BBC certainly have assembled a range of guest actors for the season according to the promotional video played after the end titles, I won’t rattle through names, but certainly impressive.

Much more to come, some fear and some hopes.

Facing it (Autism) (Anxiety) (Depression)

I’m no photographer. I took these yesterday when kids had relegated me to my bedroom.

I can’t describe the mood or feeling. It’s tired, there’s unhappiness and there’s other things in there.

A hard week taking its toll, maybe more than I anticipated after the Friday/Monday holiday.

Maybe an expected letdown by someone, maybe some realisation that things aren’t straightforward and neither are people.

I don’t do specifics well, I think I was ‘up’ for a few weeks, functioning well and focussed and okay, I had a drop and have had another slide in mood.

I’ve kept my faith in myself. I’ve been out to a gig even. But I’ve trucked along myself pretty much.

Work, TV, Sleep. Not too high, not too low. Acceptable even and possibly even something that I could think of building upon.

Then on Friday, I plummeted. Mood crashed. Frustration and the little nibbles of things over five,six weeks or more. Nothing specific, nothing earth shattering, nothing huge, no big meltdown.

Saturday was got through and today was the big crash. Nothing I’d done, but consequence of others.

The wire snaps.

I don’t know. I can’t frame a positive period recently to say that things were fine or as I wanted for a number of years.

I struggle to put together the description and phrases for that concept.

I think when depression and anxiety bite over a long time, there’s a loss of normality and a loss of knowledge of what okay or good is.

My upswing for a few weeks might have got me through stuff that I otherwise might have struggled or felt ground down with. It may have helped me realise possibilities in some areas and given a bit of hope.

Having a bump, slide, worse bump and then a calamity in the past few weeks, I’m not back where I was, but lower and full of doubt and berating myself.

I suppose the question might be as to what is ‘normal’ or ‘okay’ anyway and where that ‘normal’ ranks with me and with someone else.

How do I draw the levels on a chart, how my high to a normal high, where is okay and where am I most of the time?

Maybe that’s not something I can draw for myself in any case.

I know I have health, physical health and mental health. I have a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition. I have a MH record with depression and anxiety before that condition came along.

I can sigh, moan and complain, but I usually don’t. I can turn on myself but I know not everything is my making or of my creation.

My years of masking my condition and compensating mean that I know weaknesses and somehow I see that in others and can understand it.

I maybe don’t and never will have the foresight and wisdom to see it in myself and pertaining to my own life.

It’s at that point I try and bring together what I’m saying and I know much of my situation and life is my Aspergers and Autism.

It places me with a weaker starting positions with people and social structures, be that school, college, work.

I muddle by, I compensate for lack of friends and I compensate for lack of family help. I get past some social issues by maybe not understanding them, I get bogged down in others by trying to.

That gets me to my base level of ‘normal’, I think that’s above where I am today and where I’ve been these last 4 or 5 years.

I slid after diagnosis and the ‘video replays in my head’, I recovered, I slid with separation, I toiled with being alone, but I got a pattern of a week and got somewhere.

I mourned for my career and the hopes and aspirations with it, but I found a freedom from the excesses of the rat race.

I struggled with ‘disabled’ and ‘different’ and the concepts around neurodiversity. I sometimes still do.

The process of PIP and the failure there placed me as with a condition but not ‘disabled’, the struggle with aftercare and ‘help’ left me confused too.

I can be autistic but not ‘disabled autistic’ like others. I can’t even get a disabled rail discount card or a cinema ticket thing without the PIP threshold of disabled.

I backed off from my local disabled community and felt isolated at work too as after all, I wasn’t like my colleagues and I wasn’t like the ‘disabled autistic’ people either.

I was broken, alone and myself.

That was where I had slipped to.

As I wrote before, I tried and failed at online dating, I sort of realise that I’m unlikely to have that type of relationship with someone ever again.

So, I guess that’s where I was and how far below ‘me normal’ did I drop?

How far below ‘me depressed’ did I go?

How far is that from ‘normal human normal’ or ‘normal human depressed’?

Should I even care or give a shit? Well, I could obsess over that or as usual, just get on with things. It’s not great, not where I hoped I’d be, but it’s a life.

As for the photographs, yeah that’s a worn face and I need to drink more water.

Material Change and ‘Once in a Generation’

Four years ago today, I woke to the unwelcome news that Scotland had rejected independence. I knew polling was tight and that whatever outcome it wouldn’t be a decisive margin for either.

Brexit or ‘leaving the EU’ had a tighter margin of victory in 2016.

The similarities afterwards in terms of ‘buyer remorse’ or ‘no to yes’ are remarkable, even in terms of anecdotal tweets or other social media messages.

Somehow, or in some way, voters perceived their vote in a yes/no or remain/leave referendum as to be conveying something else.

Somehow, a block of Scottish voters thought ‘No’ meant things like More Devolution or near home rule or greater powers.

Somehow, a block of leave voters thought their vote was a vote for more money for the NHS or was to protest immigration.

The numbers have been shown in polling and again in terms of Brexit as being something that people misunderstood, from how little EU membership costs them, to why existing powers regulating immigration and people’s rights to live and work in U.K. weren’t used by successive governments.

I’m sure no one in Northern Ireland believed the terms of the Good Friday agreement could be overturned.

I’m sure no one believed that an exit to the EU would see the value of the pound plummet immediately after the vote making buying goods in euros or from the eurozone more expensive.

Now, in Scottish terms, yesterday and today saw a succession of social media posts from Unionists (British Nationalists in Scotland) heralding that four years ago, Scotland voted to remain in the U.K. and mostly all used the phrase ‘once in a generation’ vote.

Adherents to Brexit used the same term to describe their victory in the Brexit referendum.

Politically there are some that might have both view points as part of their right wing views.

The Scottish public hasn’t celebrated ‘We voted No day’ or made a particular significance of doing so.

There’s perhaps, a realisation of what happened after the vote and how Holyrood only gained marginally more powers rather than the ‘near home rule’ promised by some.

There’s a realisation that voting No, ironically for some to stay in the EU, lead down the line to ultimately leaving the EU.

Particularly affecting EU nationals who were allowed to vote on Scottish independence but not on the U.K. remaining in the EU.

So, can either vote be a ‘once in a generation’ event?

Put quite simply no. Neither ballot paper committed the voter to hold their opinion made on that day indefinitely.

In terms of events and press coverage and progress, Brexit hasn’t yet delivered a clear proposal or path.

All that has been clear is the creation of a rift in relations with Brussels rather than a clever plan that is of benefits to British Citizens.

Research papers made to House of Commons Library, House of Lords Library, London Assembly Research body , Welsh Assembly research body, Scottish Parliament information centre, all say much the same thing in terms of the economic effect in short and middle term period on Brexit.

These are compiled by the body’s independent researchers as information for all parties attending that parliament or assembly and cannot be seen as politically motivated for one party or one side of a debate.

It’s a view that a reasonable man can take and place in context of the advise that is out there.

Additionally all professional and trade magazines talk of issues and difficulties for the U.K. whether in terms of implementing or successfully carrying out the necessary changes that Brexit would need.

So, is Brexit a material change in circumstances that could be reasonably expected at the time that Scottish voters considered independence in 2014?

No, they were presented with a vote for No being for stronger safer devolution and as a vote to stay in the EU.

Of course, buyers remorse is a known factor after referendums and yes, people can be misinformed or can misinterpret the information as presented to them.

So, can any referendum really be ‘once in a generation’?

No. It would be impossible to ensure every elector or voter had the same level of information or understanding at the time of the referendum.

It may only be through information shared after the event in the news media or otherwise that would make someone change their mind.

Influence works in different ways, so using the ‘once in a generation’ phrase to describe the Scottish Independence Referendum is in itself slightly false and a way to politicise the result.

Especially in the context of the EU referendum as many voters believed staying in the U.K. union would mean that Scots were in the EU. It was a strong statement made by Better Together.

Brexit is a material change and if implemented in the form proposed could be quite detrimental to the interest of many Scots and especially given the way that the Brexit vote went in Scotland with well over 60% remain.

So, will Westminster grant a ‘People’s Vote’?

Will Holyrood determine a second referendum is required?

Whatever happens may lay to rest ‘once in a generation’ when referred to a referendum and see that the public’s interest is ensured by confirming or otherwise decisions made previously on a one off basis.