Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Righteous Indignation

Initially the plan had been to rave about the week. I have been wearing naught but full briefs as underwear since this time last week and it has been truly uplifting and liberating. I didn't really expect it to make the difference that it has but it really has. Even my research into ASD had turned up helpful fruit for a change, allowing me to see that many of my failings are, well, not just my failings - they are recognised issues with ASD - which, in turn, allows me to be hopeful about accessing support for these issues and not just blame myself for being shit all the time. That's not to say that I am not shit with things, I am, bit it is to take some of the burden from my shoulders as something that can be helped and dealt with outside of me. So far so positive.

Even the day had gone well. Rather a lot of random extra trips to the shops to pick up missed items or unlisted items, which is a minor annoyance, but then a trip to see The Last Jedi with the Boy that went really rather well, even allowing me to wear my new watch and make use of the ladies leather gloves I got (my old pair have a hole in them). No one can tell I wear ladies' gloves, by the way, but I can and that's all I ask for really. Also, two nights spent wrapping presents has cleared that job with plenty of time to spare. An announcement on the Book of Faces this morning regarding ASD was, I think, well-received and thus somewhat unexpectedly uplifting.

Tilly had raised couples' therapy again, though admittedly through the means of telling me that a forum she had found for partners of ASD people had warned her to ensure the therapist was supportive of partners as well as ASD trained. No siding with the ASD partner because they couldn't change and no bashing ASD either. This forum is shielded and she had only just found it, but it seemed to be something she could find support on as they shared the frustrations and it was a safe place. That was positive but my comments were returned with assertions that those relationships that survived did so through being redefined (one example was that a marriage was based on a shared enjoyment of puns). I did not challenge this with the standard narrative that it is the ASD partner who tends to withdraw from sex and physical displays of affection. Nor did I point out the fact that such redefinitions generally assume that the NT partner is the one matching the ASD lack of input and physical interest. The fact that we are opposite to that narrative would probably not have been welcome.

On returning from the cinema Tilly was putting on the washing. She revealed that it was just off-putting to put on my washing as well (one pair, by the way, we've done multiple washes this week, and it's been mainly me doing it). Why? She couldn't tell our underwear apart and she didn't want to end up wearing mine. I pointed out that I had cut the labels from mine already. Yes, she'd seen the labels when they'd fallen out of the bin-bag during an operation to deal with a smashed plate, her tone sounded less than impressed, but that didn't help.

When The Concession was made we had agreed that the children, should they help with washing, would place my underwear in Tilly's piles and she would recognise that they weren't hers. However, apparently this cannot be done. She doesn't want to have to check and missing labels is not good enough. She recognises that the problem, such as it is, lies with her but I must understand that it's all just a little weird and strange. She's not going to revoke The Concession, she assured me, but we're going to have to find a way around this if it is to continue. Yes, language noted, and, yes, I rather suspect that I shall be doing the way around. I also rather suspect that it will become convoluted and time-consuming so that I shan't be able to wear only full briefs as underwear in the future - maybe not consciously but deliberately nevertheless.

I should have seen this coming with the discussion about them not being 'embarrassing' - either the underwear would have been 'too different' to be allowed or it would be 'too similar', I suspect that there is no such thing as a happy medium. With the correct application of conditions and convolution in getting them washed I think it's a safe bet on Tilly's part that I shall simply give up. It's what I usually do when faced with this sort of path and, frankly, I would offer to do it. But even with the occasional steps forward and the apparent moves by Tilly to return goodbye kisses and initiate hugs I'm not terribly convinced that this is worth that sort of step backwards.

In the ashes of a burned relationship I am going to cling to the ability to wear what I fucking want under my trousers. I don't give a shit that she finds it strange or needs to 'adjust' to it. She's been 'adjusting' to me, actively according to her, since 2010. She's been 'adjusting' longer than we were together before the 'adjusting' began. I feel like I've waited long enough. We're probably never going to get physical again, a combination of the latest health problems (this time scar tissue from the internal issues caused by the latest exiting at speed) and the fact that she has what she set out to get (three children) means that I cannot foresee a time when she will be willing and ready. Since sometime around the beginning of this year I have also consciously decided to pursue it no longer, there's no point and it's just tiring.

So, yeah, she can try, but I shan't be giving up this hard-fought privilege for her sensibilities and, if that means that we can't continue as a couple, then so be it. Because it's a small sodding thing that affects nothing and if we can't deal with that then this is not a relationship that is worth saving. I've been nothing but honest and upfront about my dressing and, had I known I was ASD, I would have shared that too.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Time

How rustic and C17th.
Parents, eh, who'd 'ave 'em? Well, it turns out, me. My mother and her husband were up on the Sunday and we went out for a meal before seeing our eldest in her nativity. I say we... I went out with my mother and her husband taking the two eldest, Tilly opted to stay at home as having a meal wold have been a bridge too far for the smallest. Then, when we got back, Tilly took the eldest off to the last rehearsal. When we rejoined Tilly to view the nativity, she took herself and the smallest off elsewhere rather than try to sit with us. After that, she shooed us off home whilst she got the last bits with the eldest, to return home just as my mother and her husband were leaving. Then it was straight to bed.

Add an extra child. Minus sunshine. Add fog and biting
cold. Make the smallest scream and piss and moan.
Take away any kind of hope of happiness and a pleasant
journey but add in the fear of the alternative.

Then... maybe.
Monday was the day we had set aside to see my father and his wife. Tilly had arranged to travel down by train as the smallest cries until he is sick in the car at the moment, and that's no good for anyone's nerves. However, she still wanted the car in case we had to leave for any reason. This meant I was home an hour longer than the rest of the family - time to sort out some washing and change the bed-sheets - and then drove down alone to meet them at the station closest to my father's. The meal went well, I was in the kitchen mostly helping my father cook and then wash up whilst Tilly was with the smallest and my father's wife. Then I dropped them off at the station and headed home. I arrived earlier than them, did some basic maintenance and then they got back and went to bed.

The offending articles. I have this very
set.
I asked for clarification on the conversation we had had on Friday. And it was clarified. The 'Concession' (Tilly's euphemism for my being able to wear what underwear I liked) precludes any hope of ever returning to the physical. She is concerned that she will lose what we do have - the ability to keep a family, for her to talk to me about interesting things and have someone to whom to pass childcare on occasion - but beyond that there is nothing that she wants. Issues from the birth of the smallest mean that physical concerns of a sexual nature are far beyond her at the moment and likely to remain relatively unimportant. She lacks the headspace for anything like that and, frankly, always has. Tilly revealed that the only reason we did anything remotely sexual was because of me.

And I was right. Yes, things had been set up with no 'win' condition for me regarding relationship and sex because she was basically screaming at the Aspie part of me - railing against the difficulty of doing, well, anything with me of a relationship manner. Children, and a fear of the unknown, was all that really remained between us and I shouldn't expect anything more. I'd essentially lost that opportunity long ago, no particular point, but sometime between us getting together and it becoming clear that I had ASD. Tilly kept returning to the idea that things shouldn't be as hard as they are between us and that I shouldn't expect things to ever improve. I pressed for a decision because, you know what, I still want to make this work.

Well I never.
From the beginning I have tried to be honest, I have tried to respond to what Tilly wanted. Of course I have. I have always assumed that is what love is. My very limited relationship history was full of enough failure that I was blown away by Tilly in the beginning. For all my ranting and railing on here, I still held out, perhaps even hold out, the hope that things will improve. That, somehow, I can do enough to actually get something from a relationship that allows me to feel some fulfillment or, whisper it quietly, gratification. As an ageing cross-dresser with ASD I do not see much, if any, chance of achieving any of this elsewhere and, to be blunt, I don't really want to have sex with anyone else - I kinda thought I'd made my choice on that score and I thought I'd not only done due diligence but was prepared, am still prepared, to work at it.

I can relate.

But, you see, life should not be as hard as it is with me.
Tilly would not be drawn. The 'open relationship' model was scary to her, and she was unlikely to avail herself of it because of the health issues following the birth of the smallest, but more likely than aspiring to what her cousin has, for example. That would be a relatively healthy sex-life with some actual lovey-dovey-ness wrapped in a no-nonsense approach to being a married couple. She views sex as an end-point, not as something to be worked on but something that will occur naturally when all other things are more or less in place. She, further, does not believe that we can ever actually have all other things, or even most other things, more or less in place. Conversations were supposed to be easy and they are not with me.

Completely unnecessary.

Also, I tend to respond badly to them by denying that
they apply to me. So, that means none also.

Also, remember that image of the articles?

It's offensive.
I had asked about compliments. She did not accept I gave her any, nor did she accept that they were necessary. I was, she opined, trying to use a checklist from a teenage magazine approach to relationships. No, she did not compliment my appearance because there was no point, I didn't like my appearance and thus any compliment was unnecessary and unhelpful. I tried to explain that it made me think I wasn't attractive to her. I was told that was irrelevant and further evidence of how hard it is to live with me because that isn't how most relationships work. Besides, The Concession made it hard to think of me like that anyway.

Pretty much Tilly.

Pretty much the whole time.

Just been reading this site you see.
Moving on, I asked if it were time for me to "cry and attempt to move on" given all that she had said or whether there was still hope. Tilly said she'd been crying and attempting to move on for a decade already. Yes, sharp-eyed reader, that does date it from before we got married. We agreed that couples therapy would be worthwhile, if only to try and get an answer about where we go from here. However, she was careful to point out that we needed someone who was versed in ASD people too lest it end up being all about her being unreasonable. Now that my diagnosis was official she could finally put a name to the scream that she had been screaming all that time as "AAAAAAA ASPIE!" Like she said, she did not sign up for this (one wonders what she did sign up for), and I had to be prepared to find out that what she needs is just someone to do occasional child-care, wash the toilet and bath now and again, make lunches in a morning and ensure that the pots are done. That's really all she can see as far as her needs go.

Lovely shoes though, right?
Realising that I was getting nowhere by being subtle I pointed out that I had needs too. She knew but that wasn't her concern., I had asked about her needs. The unspoken part was, of course, that she had not asked about mine and The Concession was about my needs. She had previously offered hand-jobs and then they had stopped. In her mind this was because I had stopped caring and stopped trying, we both ran out of consistency. I'll admit that I recall it simply being that she got busy with her book and then was asleep when I got to bed or we ran out of evening and she warned me 'not tonight' enough that I stopped asking, but perceptions are a fool's game - I know that much. Also, being ASD, one cannot really trust nor use my perceptions. Then we went to bed.

The drive to and from my father's was really one of my lowest points. It was similar, though not as bad, as the drive to work the day after Toby finally pulled the trigger on our relationship. On that drive I had played You Choose by the Pet Shop Boys by accident and had to pull over because I blubbing too hard to actually drive safely. I didn't blub yesterday, but I got pretty close. Luckily, I don't have that song on mp3. Relationships, repeated Tilly this morning, shouldn't have to be this difficult and the fact that ours is stands as testament to the idea that it isn't working and is unlikely to work in the future.


It is my hope to announce my ASD officially at some point to people that know me (my friend who reads this excepted, as they already know) so that I can create a book of dates with people's birthdays and anniversaries in it, I hope to up my game in that regard. And, you know, being able to wear knickers has been rather nice these last few days, can't say I haven't enjoyed it.


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Entitlement

Confirmation arrived on Friday and was read not long into the evening: I am officially someone with ASD (Asperger's in old money). The report was there, you see, and quantifies the fact that I am High Functioning but Autistic. Now, apart from not being a complete dick (one of my concerns), there's not much for me to take away from the report - mostly it is my own words (with some misquotes and misunderstandings) written down and turned into diagnostic criteria for ASD - including that damnable Mind in the Eyes piece of shit, but I shan't go too far down that rabbit-hole. Suffice to say, it is pretty much what I said and this translates into being ASD.

The interesting part isn't so much the confirmation so much as what transpired afterwards. First of all, Tilly asked to read it (but in a convoluted manner - she asked if I wanted her to read it first), and read it she did. Then we eventually had a sit down chat (I know, first since... oooh, September?) and shared a beer, sort of. Very nice, by the bye, it was the Autumn rooting around series from Wild Beer. I digress. Anyway, Tilly started trying to have an argument. At least, that is my interpretation of what happened. I sort of held the line then, after a couple of cheap shots ("It's hard to keep everything I need to do with you in my head." "I never know what to do to make you happy.") I shot back. At first she went into full anger mode: "I was about to open up and now you've gone and ruined it." Yes, of course, because that's how opening up works.

However, by force of will or something I took a deep breath and just let her chunter. Eventually she did start talking. We agreed that there is little chance, if any, of having anything like a proper relationship. We are different brains, explained Tilly, and so she will never have the NT relationship she wants and I shall never have the relationship I want. This, my being ASD, was not what she signed up for and she is happy to gain emotional support from her friends. She does, however, love me and there would be too much guilt for her to take up my offer to find someone else with whom to have a fuller, emotional, relationship. I pointed out that there ought to be no guilt. She accepted that the right relationship was probably "out there" for her. I shared that I did not think the same for me, she agreed. She shared that she felt frustrated that we would never be anything other than co-parenting and co-habiting. I suggested that this lay with her as much as me. There was some verbal rough and tumble for me to get her to admit that she had made a choice, a choice, not to engage with anything I said I wanted and then hides behind the smokescreen of 'not knowing' what I have said I want from a relationship.

Tilly finds my compartmentalisation of things hard. As an example, she couldn't understand why, when I was spitting angry with her over the shopping one time, I was also perfectly happy to get her food and be in the same space as her, even carrying on normal conversations. I pointed out that I have learned to adapt and that, over time, it had become apparent that there was nothing to be gained by being angry at her. She said it was just strange and she didn't like it, but that the report explains this more. She didn't sign up for this.

I brought up cross-dressing and used it to show that her offer of space and time was meaningless given the extra rules she had laid down (no knowledge for her, no chance of the children finding out) as they precluded washing etc. She, eventually, agreed. Initially she tried the whole "it will take time for me to adjust to the person you are being different to the one I thought you were" but I cut that short by pointing out the written record of my sharing it with her and the time she threatened to tell her mother about my cross-dressing. Wearily, and with much reluctance, Tilly admitted that, yes, she had known from the beginning but had rather hoped she could just ignore it. Bollocks to her having to adjust to a new situation then. Okay, I asked, what is the real issue? She felt that it would lead to greater ridicule of me. My friends and family are often dismissive, she said, of me and if they were to take on board my cross-dressing they would be moreso. I pointed out my parents both know and ignore it. I also pointed out that most of my friends kinda know in one sense or another. Well, then, what about our friends here? What about my work?

Would our friends really care? I asked.

No.

Okay, and if my work had an issue, I would point out that wearing stuff in my own time is none of their business and fight any moves in court. Next question.

Thus we got to the nub of the issue. Tilly worries that people will look badly on her and finds the whole thing rather threatening. I told her the story of my coming to terms with my cross-dressing, I asked what she found threatening about it. She had no real answer. In fact, she said, it didn't sound threatening at all. So, upshot, in return for putting on a load of washing of a morning and not leaving the pots undone I can under-dress and my knickers will be washed. As long as they are not too embarrassing. Our children cannot know however.

Embarrassing?

Yeah, she doesn't want any 'look at my big tits' knickers or that sort of thing. I looked confused, and assured her that such things probably don't exist and that I preferred full briefs, high-legs and minis to anything... embarrassing.

Then we went to bed.

Overall? No physical aspect to our relationship - it would be like putting a steeple up before building the church walls, Tilly said - and no real hope of that ever coming back (after all, what are the church walls? Tilly couldn't explain). Which is fine, as I told Tilly: I don't really see it happening any more anyway. No point in divorce, we agreed that, and no point either of us moving out. But, and this is my take away, at least I get to wear what I fucking want for underwear after eleven years.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Balance

It's not like I broke the bank. Still, £5 is £5 and that is
rather more than I really ought to be spending solely
on myself in secret before a Christmas.

Fuck it though, this is a pretty watch.

Combined with the body spray and the deodorant...
anyone would think I was specifically changing up
my feminine wardrobe on the quiet.
On Saturday I got me a pretty new watch. I got it because it was pretty, no other reason. After all, I spent a long time choosing and buying my last watch and it still didn't quite tick the box of 'pretty' and so, naturally, when I saw this watch I had to buy it and own it and wear it. So I did, and I did, and I have been doing. Surreptitious like, obviously, but I have been wearing it. Even to bed because it is just such a lovely pretty little thing. I wore it today to work even because I felt that I kind of should do so and so I took the chance and did it. It was on sale in a charity stall and I bought it with a book when I thought I had a spare ten minutes. Tilly arrived mid-purchase, I had just two minutes. Given what I spend my time and money on when I have some spare time perhaps it is as well that I do not have longer. Truth be told, I kinda thought on first glance that this was flowery. However, I shall take the splash of colour, massive watch face and simple strap for what it is: pretty.

Alas I remember the compromise that brought us the pet in
the first place and how I counselled for a less long-lived
pet. How I was reassured that pet-duty would be equitable
or even slanted more toward Tilly. And how it was all used
as a punishment and revenge when PND hit in 2010.

And how much I didn't know until 2012.
There was no other real time on the weekend. I got some marking done whilst Tilly shepherded the children in a watch of a film. No... wait... I cleaned out the cage of the chinchilla whilst that was happening, helped cook tea and then went and got take out for Tilly and I because she didn't want to wait for cooking. Then I got some marking done until about midnight and went to sleep because this is my life now and that is how it goes. I shall not complain. Tilly does do her best to give me time through the week to make up for this and does work hard to allow me to do things. She tries really hard to not only accommodate but also enable my drinking of ale, my collection of difficult-to-find ales and visiting people to drink the ale in company. I cannot complain about her toleration of my Magic the Gathering card binge or even the playing of it with the Boy.

Ah. Twould appear that I am the passive
aggressive one in our... whatever the
Hell we have.

That's why Tilly complains about my passive
aggression. Not for the first time, Tilly appears
to be correct.
I mean, she did bring it up when I was worried about time a few weeks back by saying that she had grown as a person and wouldn't bring up the amount of time and money that I was wasting on Magic the Gathering cards rather than doing what I needed to do for work. Nor, she added, would she add in the fact that I was spending less time doing things around the house that needed doing nor the amount of time that she was having to spend on basic housework whilst I did nothing to help. She would not raise these things, she said, because she did not want an argument and she was a bigger person than that. The irony of her using the opportunity to bring up these things without allowing me to respond was either lost on her or else fully intended to do the work of ten arguments. It's hard to tell, especially as I'm not really hot on this prediction or understanding thing.

Stalin is ill today, so I was summoned home. Again, in fairness, I must point out that Tilly does not often demand me back home as early as possible and does work hard to minimise the times when she would do so. If I get a text asking me to get back home I know that things are serious.

They are visiting Tilly's oldest friend and his partner, soon
to be husband, so it's rather nice that I don't have to be
involved. Of course, me being me, I can't just appreciate
the fact that I am being left out and must, instead, feel angry
at being left out. Despite the fact that this is easily the
better option for me.
This time next week the family are away in London and are stopping overnight. I am eagerly planning to have some time to dress, of course I am, because each part of my life is pretty much reduced to planning when I shall next get time to indulge in that part of me that I have spent so long trying to deny and destroy only to consistently fail. I am good at waiting, I can wait a long time. Not that I have waited all that long since the beginning of September when I last indulged for a weekend or the time before that in June when the family went to Nottingham for a couple of nights. Okay, this is just one night, but you won't find me complaining about that. At least, not too much and not too loudly.

Is this too much for my father to ask? My reading of stuff on
these here internets suggests that... no. It is not too much to
ask. Such things are the minimum expected norms of
familial responsibility around the festive time of year. And,
frankly, beyond.

Fuck you, festive time of year.
We visit my father for a meal after that. I am not looking forward to it. He has created a menu that would not look out of place at some posh gourmet restaurant as only an aspirant Upper Class person can. It has matched drinks for each course and is, apparently, designed to be eaten with two autistic children, a smaller person and a breastfeeding mother who is averse to most of the items as well as the alcohol. Factor in the fact that I am driving down and one does begin to really question what was going through my father's mind when he created the menu and thought of inviting the families of his sons. The first issue is that we couldn't make the original date as our eldest has a play to take a role in and so we shan't be there the same time as my brother's perfectly behaved family. I say perfectly behaved because both of his children are trained for this sort of do. They shall sit at the table, eat what they are told to eat and do so with the sort of 'hush up and shut up' reflex that children are supposed to have. Our family does not run like this, of course not, we are over-protective as parents and I am under-respectful of authority and manners and smartness and rules and social niceties. Each time we go through this iteration I get less so too. I am not entirely sure what my father expects to get out of this every year. He wants sons that dress up, have families that can fade into the background with the women heading off out of the drawing room? I don't know. I don't really care. I know I should, given all that my father has done, does do, for me and how much he has helped financially in the past and continues to do so - he views his financial help as affording him the ability to make one or two suggestions that ought to be followed with his children. Helping to fund my brother's suit at my wedding came attached with the suggestion that he get "a proper job" and quit the job he had at the time. Back then my brother and I were more allies. Now we are combatants again.


Eh, I'm doing that thing again, the main point of this was my pretty watch. It is a very pretty one and I, of course, love it.

And now my photos are upside-down.
Ask me if I care.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sight

Oh I wish I looked this good.
Dark and cold, late in the evening, it was time to meet the counsellor. I, of course, arrived significantly early - which resulted in me standing in the cold for a good half hour before gaining access. A dog, removal of shoes, much trepidation, and Tuesday evening was a go. Long conversation on the situation, mainly surrounding the long and torrid history of cross-dressing. The therapist was hard of hearing, had an aid, and I'd had a couple of coffees so I was talking rather more quickly than I usually do. She also made some howlers on ASD and how "we're all on the spectrum" which... *sigh* Anyway, yes, she also applauded, as in literally, the points where I got me a wardrobe and where I attempted to let Tilly know about that part of me when we were getting together. She inquired if I understood her expressions, I did, but I shall be honest, I thought explaining was more important that reacting - I guess I came across as a tad cold.

One pertinent point in the session was when the therapist said that my relationship with Tilly must be pretty strong because the combination of autism and cross-dressing was hard to manage. I said my reading had suggested that such a combination was the "kiss of death" to any relationship. The therapist agreed. I thought a moment, no, our relationship is not strong. It has survived because we choose to have no relationship. The therapist agreed. It was a throwaway moment, fleeting and barely noticed, but nevertheless there and, on reflection, entirely accurate.

Upshot? How long does one give a therapist? How does one know if it works? I mean, it was nice to ramble and be listened to and I'm not knocking the fact that I was applauded over cross-dressing a few times. She even wrote down a few of the more feminist quotes I deployed (especially the one about hormones and males) which was... well, different. Clever strategy or genuine? Probably the former, I am under no illusions that I actually have anything she hasn't heard a million times before. The session overran, by just short of an hour, and then I forgot to pay on the way out. Still, that was rectified within ten minutes so that was fine. I have another appointment in two weeks. She would have preferred weekly (and at £60 an hour/session, I can see why) but I can't quite justify that kind of outgoing on such as therapy. I know that I have barely scratched the surface and, in some areas, I clearly wasn't clear enough (she thought having a forum was great, but I was referring to a discussion back in 2005 on a forum that is now defunct) but... Well, I have another appointment, we shall see.

Yeah, something like this.

Bloody busy evening that.
Frustrations with my family being rubbish at using gift lists leading to issues where both parents buy their grandchild the same sodding thing (agh) and thus I have to act as go-between because neither of them will talk directly to Tilly who keeps the gift lists (and who sent them the lists in the first place and who has chased to find out what they bought so she could keep those lists up to date, no, both of my parents must go through me. By the way, I have no idea what is on the gift-lists for the children, I am not privy to that, they wrote them with Tilly). It's a recipe for disaster. Couple it with my usual inability to organise or follow through on things and, well.

Yeah, getting up at 7.35am was a bit of a rude shock.

I managed to get in to work on time but...

Yeah.
Parents' Evening on Wednesday. Late night. Slept in on Thursday, a day when the family were out trying a new route to do stuff and getting someone in to sort out the fireplace in the dining room. Obviously not having pots done on that day of all days was shit. Tilly had to stay back and wash up and dry up before going out on the time-sensitive day, which changed plans and resulted in much ruction, even if the day passed off without too much incident. Factor in the lack of lunches made (eldest did the do by making sandwiches for the children, but nothing for Tilly) meaning that Tilly had not eaten by the time I returned that night meant a grumpy Tilly and then a friend came round. It was good, I guess, for Tilly but I did rather feel like shit about it. Tilly was careful not to assign blame to her credit.

Today has just been very long. I have finished with a beer.

Oh, and yes, my mother has informed me that her husband's chemo has failed. His tumours are larger than before, last ditch effort will complete in the new year after they have a potential last holiday in Cardiff. This came after the snafu earlier in the week where my stress peaked and I ranted with plenty of choice swear-words at both parents over the phone about how shit they are and their insistence on going through me, the weak link. Basically, my self-loathing boiled over into familial loathing ("are you having a go at your family?" asked my father in what he assumed was a threateningly quiet tone, "Yes, Yes, I think I fucking am" I returned with a matter-of-fact voice, "unless it's all my fault, and, as you both go through me and I know this but I let Tilly tell you guys the lists anyway I guess it is my fucking fault. So, you know, no, I'm having a fucking go at me.") and that was... fun. Now this and... yeah, I'm really good at my timing.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Smell

Apparently the smell of a woman, in Google images, is only
smelled by the women themselves. Bit like all perfume adverts
in that regard. I get the distinct impression that smell adverts
are only aimed at the people that wear them...
Further experimentation has suggested that Tilly can't actually smell the sort of female products that I am now using. Some careful testing and asking has yielded the admission that, for the moment, Tilly cannot smell me at all. I am now free from being smelled on approach. It is interesting though that this olfactory camouflage has been created and maintained by using female body spray and deodourant. It does rather suggest that the initial assertion that I smelled bad is based largely on the fact that I did not smell like a female using feminine body products. I have bought a second body spray, because any new obsession must be pursued to dangerous levels, and neither is noticed by Tilly nor, as far as I can tell, by anyone else. Make of this what you will. I like the smell, so fuck it.

Good beer line up.

Another interesting aspect of the evening out (and the
subsequent day) is just how concerned Gerry is with masculinity.
Way more than me. And he is very concerned that his boy
children are boys. To the point that he will deliberately and
ferociously destroy any sign that they are not typical males.

As in stereotypically male. His wife is keen to help.
This weekend also produced a meet-up with a friend of mine. Gerry and his family came down from where we used to live to see us. On the Friday Gerry and I went out to see the pubs of the local place that thinks it's a city (and, technically, it is but... still) and had a chat whilst out-and-about. Turns out that I am not totally alone, another person we both know (better friends with Gerry than I) is currently going month or months without copulation compared to my occasional years. Gerry was amazed by the statistics. Given as he is to over-exaggeration it is hard to know for sure what was bluster and what was reality but I can reasonably certain that his bare patches are measured in weeks rather than months and years and that he has no issues on the sex-side of things. I guess the only surprising thing is the month or months comment - by which he seemed to mean that our mutual acquaintance (well, his friend) had gone months (plural) without sex on one occasion and sometimes only once a month. The chance would, as always, be a fine thing.

That would be the burden of being the
house project manager who keeps the
list of what needs to be done and by
whom as well as taking the lion's share
of the jobs that need to be done.

I don't argue its existence.
Tilly has also started getting into my comments on the Invisible Burden faced by women and, this weekend after being told that I was seeking therapy, has really gone to town on that. References to my work and her work not being seen as equal despite the fact that they really ought to be, how the housework is often her responsibility and I don't really do equal amounts nor equal times and how that is just normal. She has also been delving into "our" use of language (by which, as always, she means 'your' - in this case: 'my') and how it perpetuates that stereotype about women in the house and the housewife role. Ostensibly because it is interesting but, I rather suspect, connected to the revelation that I was seeking therapy. It's also been accompanied with her telling me that she has distanced herself because listening to me talking about how crap I am, not that she's saying I've done this recently you understand, without any hope of reciprocation means that it's not terribly fair on her. So she can offer advice on which therapist to go to or what to say to them but she has no desire to talk about the issues. As long as I bear in mind that it's my issues that they can comment on. The unspoken part of that being that she doesn't expect me to talk about her. I haven't been terribly clear on why I am feeling as I am this time. So there's that element too. Also, twice this week since telling her, Tilly has suggested that I was about to moot divorce based on my tone. I suspect a small amount of projection and not a little fear.


I have so fucking many of these in such a
short time. And only three missing cards
from my old collection (or so). It's...

Well, it's pointless is what it is. A way for
rich privileged white folk to be richer and
whiter and more privileged.
I have told someone at work, in strictest confidence, about my current mental state. I have also got three responses to my fire-hose-like sprinkler-based queries about therapy. And so I have an appointment on Tuesday. £60 up front for an initial session. £1 a minute. Seems a bit steep. Mind you, my research suggests that's the going rate these days for an initial session, so I guess I have to invest a bit. I have some money left over from examining still so that's not too bad (and I've spent over £100 on Magic Cards too, so I really did rather well with the examining this year).

As ever, marking brings me down. Unlike last year I haven't been able to power through it as much and I am struggling not get rather sarcastic and mean with written commentary. That's why I told someone in authority at work about my situation, they need to know if only to protect the students I teach. I am well aware that I am emotionally raw at the moment and that my standard emotions are anger, resentment, sarcasm and guilt-inducement. I'm pretty good with students at the last one, and I do tend to use that to keep order. The thought that I am struggling to pull back from full emotional blackmail and destruction with some of the rudeness and laziness I come into contact with is... well, it causes me disquiet. I am usually good at the balance and getting what I want, here I may inadvertently destroy people.

Speaks for itself.
That said, I have another student that has sought me out to blow off steam too. I really must work on being less approachable, it's actually pretty soul-destroying as my school is rather shit at dealing with teenagers who are close to suicide or suffering mentally with issues that can't be solved with extra revision sessions or aren't connected to examination stress. Nothing changes in that regard, my own school years were marked by that too. I had a long chat once with my Form Tutor about my parents' divorce and how I felt about things - looking back it was patently obvious that I was suffering from depression. We didn't get anywhere. I was very good at talking myself around people's objections until they, too, threw up their hands and agreed with me that, yes, it was very sad but that there was nothing to be done about it. Yay fatalism. Shoulds and oughts abound in my life, I'm good at them even when my interactions with my best friend that created the Universe suggests that They aren't terribly bothered about those aspects of things (not on an individual level). However, all sin stinks equally to High Heaven, mustn't lose sight of that one.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Cunt

It occurs to me, having tried to write queries to four therapists this evening, that I haven't a clue how to actually make a query of a therapist.

I may have rambled. I shall be amazed if any of them make any kind of return contact and quite expect to be reported to some agency or other or else find my e-mail address reported to some register or other. I knew I should have set up a new e-mail account just for the therapy. Hrm.

So, yeah, how does one send a query to a therapist without sounding like a complete [insert suitably sweary word here - I still can't find anything potent enough]? Failing that, some advice on what and how to ask for things so I don't get reported to the Police as a stalker would be lovely too.

I don't even know what I'm asking about.

I mean, I nodded and acted like I understood, but I have no clue what 'issues in myself' and 'problems with my marriage' mean nor which is which when looking at myself. I have no idea what the 'body-image issues' I have are, let alone how to ask a therapist whether they can help with them. Much less what I'm actually expecting them to do.

Here's the other reason I am no good with therapy, I assume that people have to actually have a clear-ish idea what they're aiming to achieve with therapy and I haven't a sodding clue.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Like an Alien chest-burst

Several things all at once!


Like... yeah, the chance would be a fine thing.

Maybe that's it though. One of the other things running
through my mind of late is the thought that, well, maybe I
just don't want to have sex with Tilly any more.

Let's face it, it's not as if I change anything by such a course
of action beyond standing less chance of being so upset by the
lack of it and, furthermore, I never get anything from us doing
it anyway.
In a party round our house around Hallowe'en (I know) we had other parents and their children round. One of them, I shall call them Vee, is also wondering if they are autistic (I should digress a little and explain that I have been reading about autistic people on Quora and have shifted from aspie to ASD as my terminology) and she and I discuss this often. She likes my more positive take on things regarding the autism and finds it hilarious that I will talk about it forcefully. Anyway, yes, we are blunt in each other's direction and it works very well, we cannot offend one another. So it was that when she asked about having a third child, bluntly, I bluntly responded that it was not really ideal. She misunderstood. "You need to get a better hobby then! A friend of mine says she wouldn't have nearly as much sex if there were better things on the television." No offence, but my laugh was more forced than normal.

Neatly summed up methinks. The resignation and the sadness.

The worst bit is not being able to get out of bed in a morning. I
watch for the alarm time to tick over then just stare at it.

For an hour or more.

Like I say, I lack the potency of swear words to adequately
express how I feel about myself these days. I've used cunt
and piece of shit and waste of space so often that they've
kinda lost their meaning.
At work, I am struggling to get work done. Pressure piles on pressure, none of it large and none of it world-ending but all of it hard to deal with and parse. So it is that I have not marked some work for one of my sets since... ooo, before the half term. About four weeks now. And I am struggling. I have no time, it seems, to get work done in the morning. I mean, I totally do, but I am not using it at all. I know this. I am drifting, I am avoidant, and I waste time through the day watching shit on youtube. I struggle to focus, I fear the piles of paper and my room is slowly spiralling out of my control in terms of paperwork. There's also a trip to see Grayson Perry (!) and I got onto it because so much yes. Eight students organised themselves because they were up for it and I had a colleague itching to go too. But management says I cannot go. Or, rather, it's me or Alice. And Alice is mad-keen and costs the school nothing in cover and, at the end of the day, that's what the school was asking for. So, no trip and plenty of marking. Yay.

All my staff are struggling. Harry because there's so much to do and they may have some serious medical shit going down with bowels not behaving right, nor intestines (they balloon and become very firm and occasionally threaten fainting). Basically, Harry is carrying huge amounts work-wise outside the Department and is struggling to get things done (but doing it, because that's their strong suit). Alice has a new position this year outside the Department too - it's pastoral - and they are brilliant at it. Truly. However, the effort of organising the shit and getting it all to work is taking its toll and so Alice has very little time to do anything more than keep head above water on a day to day level. Finally, newb (I shall attempt a name that sticks this time and go with Stanislav), is just... well, Stan is very used to not doing a lot and is part of a new-breed of teacher. This means that there is plenty of time for them to go drinking of a weekend or evening, attend rock concerts and spend holidays abroad. Keeping head above water, yes, but has already shrugged off organising a trip last year (dirt simple, most of it is done for you) and avoids taking on anything that is outside the classroom. They have applied for a post outside the Department too. Thing is, I suspect they will get it, because they are pretty damn' good at the pastoral side of things with students that many struggle with.


Now, I can't say I agree with all of Stan's methods or interpretations of the students they are good with but the fact remains that Stan has had more commendations from parents since starting than I have had complaints (for the record, I have had twelve in four years). This means that anything I raise would be churlish in the extreme, so I don't.

0-60 in something daft like 5 seconds. I don't like that.
Still, it got me into work in time, so I can't complain.
It does all mean that there is no one to whom I can delegate anything at the moment. There was an RS trip on Thursday, for example, that I forgot about until the last minute. I drove in with my EV off ECO mode and caught air taking a ninety degree bend (going from 15mph to 45mph in the time it took to take the corner) with all the warning lights going off. I got in to school just on time and had to rely on others to run my cover for me (Harry and Stan, in case you were wondering) and I realised that I simply no longer have the swear words necessary to adequately express how I see myself.

I want to say that it suits me but for the fact that it would be
the most ridiculous thing I've said on this blog so far, so I
shan't. I shall simply say that I like the smell.

As to whether or not it stops me literally smelling of shit I
don't know. I must assume that it does something or I shall go
mad.
Also a few weeks back Tilly couldn't tell the difference between how I smelled and the shit smell that follows our middle Boy whenever he needs a poo. Basically, imagine human faeces pungent and strong, when he needs to go and has forgotten he tends to smell pretty dang bad. So, when it transpired that, no, it was me that smelled I was appalled. I applied some of Tilly's vanilla body-spray and the best I got was that the smell "wasn't as bad" from Tilly. She of the very sensitive olfactory sense. She can pick out food from miles away, smell (no really) my arrival on a work evening as I drive down the road and tell by smell which child is about to burst into a room. Through plate glass. So, yeah, I must have smelled pretty awful. And, you know, I liked the body-spray.

So I got me some. Different scent, I'm no fan of vanilla, and I've been using it in the car on the way to work. It's nice, really smells good and I quite like that it's on my shirt through the day. I have also caved and bought some roll-on deodorant (for women obviously) and I like that smell too. Obviously I do, it is the smell of women.


The playing fugue.

I am, in truth, not very good. Playing again has brought
back how often I used to lose and how often I would
burn with anger at myself for being unable to play
as well as my friends. The hopelessness and the horrid
nagging understanding that no one cared as much as I
seemed to about who won and who lost and how.
I also had a haircut, finally, this weekend. Tilly's comment on it was "does that feel better now?" And that was it. No comment on how it looked or anything. She's tired too. Having a child breastfeeding will do that. I sort of knew this was coming, I am sort of prepared this time. But it is me that is struggling to cope, not her. Indeed, look at the entries on here back when I started and it is clear that, apart from the very real PND suffered by Tilly, I was suffering from having a small child too. I do not do well with small children. Or my own children. I have joined the Boy in Magic: the Gathering cards, something remembered from my youth. I have more or less bought all the cards I used to own and a host of new ones along with furnishing him with his own. We play it. He gets very involved and, like me, is not a good loser. As evidenced when he won five times in a row last night and I felt bummed out. Mayhap I should not have bought the cards. Bad move. I suck at this. New obsession though, so plenty of reading (where my time goes) and knowledge about a niche subject that few other people give a shit about. Go me. It's never anything remotely useful.


Around the house I am struggling to keep up. I can get lunches made and pots done but not a lot else at the moment. We had decorators in and so I moved the furniture downstairs and in the Boy's bedroom so they could get to the walls and had a clear room in the living room. I slept in amongst the rammed furniture and piles of books and paper in the dining room, obviously, and put it all back when it was all done (Friday). I ran an assembly this last week too, which was nice, but hardly challenging as it was based on work I did years ago and just touched up to reflect the fact that instead of an hour I had ten minutes. Lots of staff said it was very emotional and passionate. I'll be honest, I did not feel that when presenting it. I felt rushed and tired, almost bored, ending on a particularly sour "I think I'll just leave it there" in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, praise is nice, but I do not feel as though I really earned it.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

What's in a Name?

Noticed a few people talking breasts recently. My good teaching friend who writes was also asked on a writing platform about their use of an opposite gender handle and I was struck by the answer given. Now, obviously, as I too use an opposite gender online identifier this was of interest.

Firstly, breasts.

Looks lovely. It would probably fit me too.

So, what, I have AAA to AA sizing? Hard to say.

In short, inappropriate but yearning.
I'm getting fat. Pregnant stick insect style, but still fat. So fat that I appear to have developed breasts a bit. I mean, not mammaries, just fleshy bits around the nipples. I noticed this most of all the other day whilst in the bath and leaning forward because these flabby fleshy bits jiggled. They jiggled. And that was... odd. Different. So, breasts, right? Also, and this is perhaps over-sharing, the nipples have been steadily getting more sensitive, I'm putting this down to being fatter and the weather going colder, but it has been a little uncomfortable lately as my shirts rubbing on the nipples has been... a bit rough? Almost pleasing, I guess, but entirely inappropriate for work and normal life. Of course, any bra is safely stowed out of the way and inaccessible. My examining hasn't paid out yet so it's not like I have spare cash to get another bra for funsies. I did buy in some beer though.

Secondly, gender-handles.

Apparently women do not use your earth-desks and chairs
to access the webs of inter, they lie or sit uncomfortably
because there are no girls on the intartubes.
The response I read was honest and fascinating because it blocked out why it was done and did so in such a way that the person asking about it was not just mollified but actually impressed and respectful. Now, this is outside the bubble in which this blog operates, so it was remarkable in and of itself, but it was, of course, down to the way in which the response was written and handled. I lack that ability. I know I do. I read other people and I read the books that emulate it and it all sounds false, off, unreal. But others always respond positively, people gush about the way it is genuine and nice to see and such and I am usually left cold. And it got me thinking about why it is that I rather like masquerading as a female online.

I've talked about it before, but it continues to develop.

Here it is.
Part of it, I know, is just comfort. I am much more comfortable using Joanna online and using this space to be more myself. I feel that, if anything, I am more honest (if also more obtuse) here than I am in real life. And I am happy to lay that ability at the door of being able to identify with female pronouns and a female name. I like it. I do. I can't imagine it being used in face-to-face contact (but I'm not averse to trying it) and, as I have explained before, I am under no illusions that I can pass (I can't). I mean, I have a beard that I don't shave and when I shared the only photo of my face that I like (I was wearing a lovely pink number) it was pointed out that people hoped I would not be going out in public like that. So, I have no illusions, you know? I'm one of those people that cannot imagine the effort it would take to be able to pass and so I don't try.

Instead, I sit online and hide behind the name 'Joanna'. Because, you know, it's more my name than the one I got when I was born.



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

ULE in October

I never worked in the Library at University.

Of course, nor did any of my musing this evening include the
actual C19th library I used in for Military History that might
actually have an atmosphere worthy of the kind of magic realism
that I seem to have a thing for. No, I went for the passed library
at my first University without a soul.

I believe it has a tree in it now.

So that's nice.
Long ago, when I thought I could write fiction well, a friend challenged me to write a short story. I liked writing short stories as I believed that I could actually put into short form complex ideas, a misconception that took a long time to unpick and unravel, and I was arrogant enough to believe that I could do this with pretty much any inspiration. I was, however, beginning to realise just how unoriginal I was and how few workable ideas I had surrounding plot, hence the accepting of random writing challenges from friends. In this case I was challenged to write a story with the title of Unusual Library Efficiency. The story that flowed from this rather awful title was a bit shit. I set it in a legal firm, because if you have write what you know I knew next to nothing about legal firms. Or lawyers. Or case libraries. Or, indeed, anything to do with the legal profession. Obviously a legal firm then.

Yes, this seems to fit the bill for these days.

My idea of dress and demeanour probably stemmed from
badly-remembered snippets of Murder She Wrote.
In this office there was a library and our protagonist, never named, found that whenever he stepped through the doors he was transported to wherever he was thinking about at the time. Being a man of little imagination and even less of a curious nature (not deliberately) he never went too far from his office, meaning he was never late to work and this aspect was never noticed by his secretary. Who was, of course, older and female. And motherly. Cliches. Anyway, yes, she could enter and exit the library at will. I think, in my head, it was a small cupboard room with case files on it. Because this was around the end of the 1990s and there were no mobile phones or computers or the internet in my stories yet despite the fact that I was using all of these things at University. It was around this time that I heard people positing that these advances closed off standard lines of plot in stories and novels (and they do) and how they were thus avoided or ignored. Of course I just ignored them because short stories and arrogance.

The upshot of the story, after a tortuous 4,000 words of intensely written densely packed verbiage was that the protagonist stepped through the library doors whilst considering the nature of the doors themselves. It ended with his replacement being shown into the office in much the same way as the story had opened with the protagonist being shown the office, with the obvious hanging question. Or, at least, I thought it was obvious. And clever. And cyclical. It was, of course, mostly shite.

About the right age.

Still looks better than I.

But I do tend to drive one-handed a lot, which is about
right. Oh, and I probably need to unplug the car now.

Did I mention that the EV is automatic?

My EV is automatic.
Anyway, the concept returned to me today on the drive home from work. Coffee-fueled and impacted by a long day with various stuff to deal with. Alice dealing with a second pregnancy, running a game across two classes with my ex-newb (whose pseudonym I have apparently forgotten) - which worked but embodies all that I hate when teaching. One has to leave the groups to get on an do, with minimal input beyond policing and guidance, across two rooms and with the onus placed very much on their imagination and enthusiasm. It makes for a loud environment, much jostling and activity. Cutting leads to rubbish and waste paper everywhere, chaos reigns with pencil-crayons, instructions, confusion, some milling and no ability to properly filter in and out of conversations. I'm used to being able to jumps between... Hold on, one thing at once.

This concept. What if it were a University library room and linked to historical periods and inhabiting someone from that time for a, uh, time? What if it gender-flipped? Of course it gender-flips. A lot of research though, a lot. It whiled away a bit of the drive and a walk out to the shops this evening though, diverting enough to ameliorate the coffee a bit and play into the playing of Wardruna in my brain. In short, like a lot of what I think about, it masked the real world and the very pressing concerns of my actual reality for a short time in pointless ever-decreasing circles of headache-inducing tightness. A chorus of pointless shenanigans.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

I'm useless, but not for long

Meanwhile, in stock photo land, this care home nurse has had
time to apply her make-up flawlessly and perfectly style her
hair before starting the 12 hour shift. She will, of course,
display no stress once it is over because her charges of sweet
old people will merely shake a little and talk to her of
memories. No one will need shit to be cleaned up and the
food will, of course, be prepared by someone else.
Sometimes things move quicker than one expects. My grandfather went to visit a place up where my mother lives this Monday gone and they liked him and he liked the place. He moved in today. And, more to the point, is a lot less confused. He is managing logical sentences and even jokes, looks like he was even more scared of the loud sweary guy in the hospital than we thought. The place seem pleased to have him in, my grandfather is the sort of helpful guy that people warm to, he always was - one of the reasons watching what happened to him with my grandmother all the more distressing (especially factoring in his loyalty). Anyway, yes, that is some good news. Still sobering when considering that I am watching at least two stages of my future, but good news all the same. I've said it before and I shall say it again, Him Upstairs knows what He's about.

Thank you, Laina, the original Overly-Attached-Girlfriend for
providing this almost stock photo of the popular conception
of what is meant by psychopath but actually totally isn't
what psychopaths are.

I like the photo though.
I had an interaction with a psychopathic student today, which was fascinating, and it went as one would expect from such an interaction. Not being able to link consequences with their own actions makes for a difficult conversation to have trying to get students to behave in a manner more appropriate to the situation. I also learned the difference twixt psychopathy and sociopathy - one is genetic and the latter is environmental (and can thus be 'cured' or ameliorated). At the same time Tilly had a run in with a young psychopath who was much more dangerous (he managed to menace our two and was behaving strangely around them whilst the mother divulged to Tilly about the time her child tried to smother her, just to see what would happen). This comes on top of a series of experiences in which other children with issues have been mean, violent or just rude to our two and our two have struggled to cope over the last week and a bit. I got the texts about this all at once this afternoon with another one, which is relevant in a moment.

Narcissus!
Coming home and talking about it... Tilly wanted to talk it out, like that time with the bus accident, and so 7pm - 9.30pm was 'talking about psychopaths' time with a break to get her some food (the worry meant that she hadn't eaten since lunch). Yay, such fun. Glad I didn't bring work home. (I got in at 6.45pm, for reference). I've been reading about ASD, ASPD and social relationships and wondering about my own stuff. Self-obsession again. Might I be a narcissist? Hmm.

Anyway, the other text that arrived in a lump at the end of the day was from this morning and I initially was bemused... no, confused. I did my usual in responding to it, which is to essentially lie by omission and assume it wasn't meant for me. I'm being circumspect, but it is an innocuous text, I just found it interesting how much I initially hide things. When asked to share and be a tad more open about things, with an offer of a conversation about chastity (an honest one), I dissemble and avoid. When offered actual space to chat I move instantly to jokes and ignoring issues. Fascinating.

In work news, my head is above water. So far. I am, however, struggling to get out bed in a morning. I wake up with my alarm, or a bit before, just fine. But then struggle to get the motivation to leave bed before 6am. Today was 6.10am, which meant another day without a bath. I am managing to get the pots washed and dried though, so that's good, I guess. I did skip breakfast though. Ah, boredom induced, time to get going.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

My Future

You get the idea. Stock photo.
Went to support my mother on Saturday. Originally we were meeting up to sort out my grandfather's house. See, since my grandmother died he has been going steadily downhill: Parkinson's; Alzheimer's; potentially a touch of Dementia. He was taken into hospital a while back and had an order placed on him essentially confining him there until his house could be made safe. His house can't be made safe enough. He needs round the clock care. My mother is too far away to provide this and is attempting to sort out a place for him. But it's taking longer than we thought and so we can't sort the house yet. Anyway, yes, I drove over to support her and visit my grandfather.


This is French but still...
He was a decent sort of chap, you know, and apart from one or two rough edges was a tolerably nice guy. Seeing him was... sobering. It took him three hours to get across the idea that a ward mate was making him scared in the night because they shouted swear words and threats. I get the impression they got personal. It was hard to talk to the nurses about this - what can they do? Space is limited, they can't move either of the people involved and my grandfather can't have a private room in case he injures himself. He'd packed all his stuff when we arrived, as he does every morning, and was waiting in the corridor - like he does every day - because he is desperate to go home. Not that he can communicate any of this any more, his speech is hopelessly mixed up now. Words appear almost at random with just enough internal logic to allow for some understanding on the part of the listeners.

Or I'm a dick, we'll see.
And it struck me, in my selfish way, that both my mother and my grandfather represent my future. If I am ASD and if that is from my mother and, in turn, from her mother, then I at least have Dementia on the way. My mother has many of my grandfather's traits and so do I. Which means I probably have Parkinson's and Alzheimer's too. And, before that, I'll have to deal with my mother hitting those points because it's unlikely that my brother will. With my mother's husband dying of cancer there won't be anyone to look after her other than me. Tilly won't have her in the house, of course, and I can totally understand that.

The point? This was sobering. Scary even.