Fighting Myself


I spend much of my daily life using a self-created filter. I think it would best be described as a diplomacy filter. For example, when someone says that they’ve said or done something on my behalf without consulting me first and asks: ‘I hope that’s okay?’ or when I have to go and do something I would really rather not be a part of, my filter kicks in. I come up with some kind of placating response which either shows a hint of displeasure, or is totally neutral and bland, but a correct response to the question. Should I be fighting myself, removing or diminishing this filter of mine?

I find myself conflicted with coming out with a response that is not diplomatic in the slightest, but is entirely what I am feeling, and the go to reponse that smooths the rough edges. I feel like I take the bullet every time on behalf of others and swallow what can sometimes only be described as stupidity. When wording the blatant and obvious is going to cause hurt, my filter steps in and I shy away from my original response.

When I am with a group of people who will not understand me unless I use less complicated language, a different filter kicks in. When I’ve been here before and people look at me in a bemused way because I’ve used a series of words they do not understand, I realise I have done it again and mentally kick myself. (I have in the past tried to decribe a word and got even worse looks.) Is this being dishonest to myself? Am I just worried about the astonished looks and the admonishment  that is bound to come in the response. ‘It must be too early/late for this.’

My husband has noticed that when I’m tired my vocabulary seems to expand. Am I running the risk of forgetting to remove the filter I have placed for the benefit of others? Should I have the freedom to speak as I would, or is it better to know I will be understood by all? Will I just sound arrogant? Do I run the risk of clamming up altogether and becoming gagged by myself?

There is something to be said for the ‘Think before you speak’ argument, in order to weigh a response to any question. I need to make sure that it is not always a go to response, whether that is with or without these filters of mine. In order to be giving people the respect they deserve, every answer should be considered and for only them at that point in time. One size never fits all. That is the same with me, I’ll never fit into a box, and neither will anyone else. So a filter is fine, as long as it is looked at every time, and possibly discarded as rubbish. If I’m being so safe that life and responses become inane and bland and my life no longer makes a real difference, then what is the point in replying at all?

#Changing lives for the better

Who I Am – Writer

When I was eighteen years old I sat in an office, and was asked to describe myself.  Thirteen years later when I look back on it, in many ways it surprises me what the first thing that came out of my mouth was.  In other ways, it doesn’t surprise me at all.  I sat opposite the lady that was to become my University Tutor, and told her, literally, the first thing I told her, was that “I wasn’t very creative.”

I was lying.

In my defense, at that point I probably didn’t realise that I was lying, in addition to that, at that time in my life I was lying to myself about so many things, that it could just have been force of habit.  Nonetheless, whatever the reason, whatever the explanation, I was lying, to her, and more importantly to myself.  In the two years that she acted as my Tutor, I don’t believe she got even close to understanding who I was, and a considerable part of that was my fault, though not all of it.

A year later as part of my course I had to write a paper that was appropriately titled “The Self-Understanding Paper” it was, if I recall correctly – and I’m certainly not going back to read it *shudder* – a two-thousand, and fifty word essay on me.  I’m sure it was riveting reading, although I’m quite glad that there is exactly zero chance that a psychologist is ever going to read it.  The thing I remember quite clearly about it was that while I detailed my upbringing, and formative experiences (yes it was all my parents fault, it always is) nowhere did I put, nowhere did I detail what I was good at, what things excited me, what things made me passionate.  I was still lying to myself.

My earliest memory of church is not actually anything spiritual.  It’s the fact that I used to – I doubt every Sunday, but I can’t be certain –  as soon as the service was over, go and sit near a wonderfully patient old lady, and tell her stories.  I can’t believe I was much older than 6 or 7, and I’d guess she was in her sixties, but I used to sit there and tell her stories.  I couldn’t tell you any of the content of those stories, although I seem to recall a puffin was involved once, and my recollection of it is that I pretty much made it up as I went along, but what I do know is that from an early age I was a storyteller, but I wasn’t creative.

It wasn’t many years after that the stories I told, became stories I wrote.  They were, I’m certain, pale imitations of the books I was reading at the time. (You know what I mean, plot exactly the same characters exactly the same, just with their names changed) I was writing, but I wasn’t creative.

In my late teenage years into my early twenties, after discovering them through the medium of video games I began playing table-top roleplaying games, like Dungeons and Dragons, and GURPS, I quickly and naturally assumed the role of DM/GM and created elaborate worlds, stories and characters, but I wasn’t creative.

In my mid-twenties I began writing again in earnest, I probably have over 100,000 words written in files on my computer from that time to now, with everything from science-fiction, through to Biblical study notes, I’m not sure any of it is publishable.  In fact I’m quite sure that 90% of it ISN’T publishable, but I was writing, it was natural, it was…right, I was being creative.

Looking back at some of the most difficult points in my life, some of those bits where I really hated who I was, some of those times when I felt I had no release, no escape, no…well…joy I guess.  Those time coincided with the times that I wasn’t writing, that I wasn’t telling stories, those times where truly, no lie, I was not being creative.  And while I certainly wouldn’t pin my mental stability on whether I’m writing or not, I find that there’s a huge amount of emotional tension within me, that does not get released in any way except through writing, except through creativity.

Reading back the last eight or so paragraphs, it reads a little self-indulgently.  This blog, this website isn’t really about my self-examination, nor is about unpacking my deep routed psychological issues, or emotional instabilities.  However what it is about is giving me a reason to write.  It’s too easy for me to write something that stays on my hard-drive until the end of time, and that no one reads ever, but that’s not fair on me.  I’m not saying I should write a published book, but I do think I should publish what I write, and that’s a big part of what this website is.  I don’t have to be any good at it, no-one has to read it, no-one has to like it, but I need to write it.

Because it’s who I am, a writer.

Approval Addiction

I’ve always been interested in computers and technology, I’ve had a presence on forums and similar for years.  I’ve rode the digital wave as far and as fast as I could.  But I’ve never had a social media profile.  I’m one of those people that when they log into their Googlemail (sorry Gmail) account they’re constantly asking me to update me information so they can give me a Google+ account. This means I now know the exact place on my screen to move my mouse to click “Skip Step” before the page loads, if they ever change their placement I am royally screwed.  I would rather have invasive surgery than sign up for Facebook, I literally couldn’t care less about how many “friends” you have.  I never even had a MySpace account – although no one else I’ve met ever admits to having a MySpace account now.
Continue reading Approval Addiction

Trinity Series

Title: Trinity Series
Location: King’s Lynn Baptist Church
Date: 13/01/2013, 27/01/2013
Key Verse(s): Genesis 1:1-2, NLT, John 1:1, NLT, Isaiah 6:1-8, NKJV, Colossians 1:15-20, NLT
Notes: This is week 1, and week 3 of a series we did on the Trinity. Other weeks not present here were preached on by others, and can be found on the KLBC website, by searching for relevant dates. Warning this sermon series contains Greek!

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Hebrews Series

Title: Hebrews Series
Location: King’s Lynn Baptist Church
Date: 28/04/13, 05/05/13, 19/05/13
Key Verse(s): Various throughout the book of Hebrews
Notes:This is week 1, week 2, and week 4 of a series we did on the book of Hebrews. The missing sermons were preached by others, and can by found on the KLBC website, by searching around similar dates.

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Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen

Title: Nobody Knows The Troubles I’ve Seen
Location: King’s Lynn Baptist Church
Date: 01/12/13
Key Verse(s): Psalm 91, NLT
Yes I quoted “A Day To Remember” in a preach!

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First Thing In The Morning With Rowena

Awake after a rough night’s sleep, eyes feeling gritty.  Estimate of about 67% body running power. Outlook: Pulling myself though the day, fighting my own limitations. Knowing there will be more than one situation to work out a precise solution to. Needed: measure of grace, and thought control when tired.

Time to gear up and get out, rouse my brain and point it in the right direction. Work. People and Pizza. Shopping, then home again.