To correct course

If research literature on the psychosocial impact of this condition can be relied upon to provide some generic descriptors of the lived experience, I might conclude that I was wholly to blame for the majority of negative experiences in my life. By blame, I don’t mean that actions were intentional or malicious. I just mean that I was not equipped with the tools to function effectively in social settings.

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Our generation

I am reminded that I am now nearly the age my parents were when I was our daughter’s age. Reflecting on my own shortcomings in relation to our children, it occurs to me that I should be more forgiving of moments back then, thirty years ago. My two older brothers were away at university, at the two extremes of the country; one on the far south west coast of England, the other on the far north east coast of Scotland.

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That ship has sailed

For a few days, I toyed with the idea of sharing with my family all that I have been pondering on my blog lately. To speak of my diagnosis for the first time and explore its impact on me back when our relationship was so poor, in my late adolescence and early twenties. But in the end I concluded: “What’s the point?” What’s the point of speaking of it eighteen years later, when it can change nothing at all?

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Moments long gone

I suppose those who have had the misfortune to encounter me again after all these years may be asking one another: “What does he want from us?” But apart from their forgiveness, I don’t want anything at all. I don’t need their approval, we don’t need to meet, we don’t need to have a conversation or become lifelong friends. Nope, just forgiveness for what occurred in their presence, and all that then occurred afterwards.

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All that you desire

When you purify your intentions, everything you desire will be brought together for you in the right order. I have seen that myself in moments of sincerity. I have seen it materialise in ways that have truly blown my mind. Indeed, my mind continues to be blown as the years pass by, as even more of the picture unfolds. Make your intentions for the One and the One will grant all that your heart desires.

Be brave

Culture and politics are very strong for a lot of people, making it hard for them to move forward. Although my family has a very strong Christian culture, I had the advantage of having experienced a decade of rejection in social interactions, breaking inhibitions which might have prevented me from taking radical action. It takes a lot to break from communal expectations. It’s only for the brave.

After years

I assume everyone has grown up. I assume we have all matured, moving far from where we once were. I assume experience has changed us, granting us nuanced perceptions of the world. I assume parenthood has made us more tolerant and kind. I assume our hearts have melted. I assume that if we were to meet today, we would greet one another fondly, treating each other with mutual respect. I assume we would now be friends.

Hip hip hurray

Driving up the hill this evening, surveying the magnificent vista of Union flags and bunting, I couldn’t help thinking of that quote from George Orwell about a primative patriotism. Here we are living in truly awful times for so many — a cost of living crisis and rising child poverty — all obscured by a jingoistic feast. Hurray!

Followers

Relax, nobody is reading the nonsense I write, except for the devoted few. True, spammers descend en masse whenever I write about writing or relationships, to bestow their likes in the hope I’ll reciprocate. My loyal longterm readers, I fear, I have completely alienated, though one or two inexplicably remain, hopeful that I may one day pen something they find interesting again.

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Books and the bin

I have written a number of books through the years, always momentarily published and then withdrawn. One of them was entitled, To Honour God. That one was only ever intended for my family, to help them come to terms with my journey of faith. Only, by the time I had completed it, I had already grown out of it and felt like flinging it into the bin. At my beloved’s behest, I still published it briefly in paperback form in 2008, but it only lasted a few months in the wild before I removed it from circulation once more.

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A good union

Today, may the honourable be honourable. May blessings descend, good bestowed. May the gentleman be gentlemanly, his beloved valued, his companion cherished. May peace descend, serenity spread out, kindness rule. May the One guide the couple, granting contentment, gratitude and a good return. Let it be a blessed union, destined to carry them to paradise, hand in hand.

Embracing what we are

The present is the first time since my early childhood that I have been content with my face. Ramadan losses excepted, it has filled out, my cheek bones no longer so pronounced, my face fatter and more proportioned, my skin aged. Most people spend their lives seeking the elixir of eternal youth; I spent mine attempting to counteract it. I have photos of myself at the end of a Masters degree programme, aged 23, still looking about seventeen.

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Dare to dream

As a teenager, I took it for granted that the march towards racial equality was a goal shared by all. In 1991, we saw the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and I just assumed this was celebrated by everyone. My mother’s youngest sister had married an Indian man and the whole of his family had been embraced by our clan. My eldest brother’s longterm girlfriend (later his wife) was born in the Caribbean. A Nigerian family attended our local church, where banners celebrating equality were found hanging from the walls. I thought the majority of people believed in this brotherhood of man.

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