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  • Mrs Chakotay 12:48 pm on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Dream Day Journal, , , LOA, , Morning Pages, , , ,   

    October Anniversaries 

    I’m feeling a bit out of sorts today. October is always a bit of a downer. Not only is it Baby Loss Awareness Month, but it is also the anniversary of my own personal loss – of my twins. Thankfully, the weather has not caught up with the seasons, so the bright sun and blue skies takes the edge off. It has been 8 years, so although the grief still comes in waves, they crash a little less often, and a little less powerfully. I’ve been waiting for the event to come up in my Facebook memories, but I may have hidden it. What is harder to hide, of course, is the anniversaries of my friends’ babies’ birthdays, reminding me that my twins ought to be coming up for 8 years old. It’s not just the baby you lose, it’s all their future lives you imagined and hoped for.

    I also received a reminder yesterday, telling me that this is my 8th anniversary of opening my WordPress account. I think that my original blog is now my very neglected Study Notes blog. I seem to remember that I was originally using it as a homeschool diary, but I shuffled the blogs around and the Homeschool diary is now at Ohana Home Educational.

    I wonder if it was a coincidence that I started a blog around the same time as my miscarriage? I don’t remember ever writing about it at the time. Instead, I wrote on Facebook until I was told I was “over-sharing”, at which point I took to Twitter and created what I perceived to be safer spaces there to rant and cry and let it all out. It helped. I remember the most helpful book I read at the time talked about letting grief out creatively. Perhaps writing was not what the book had in mind, but it was my default outlet, and I would recommend it.

    Today though, I don’t feel like doing much. I’m only really writing now because I want to get myself into the swing and habit of writing every day, for NaNoWriMo next month. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s worth reading. Most of my writing is mainly for my benefit – if anybody else enjoys it, or benefits from it in some way, that’s a bonus of course. But if you hate it, or just find it boring, it doesn’t matter. Just getting the practice in, and my feelings out, means it has served its purpose.

    I’m also getting into the habit of writing Morning Pages in the form of a “Dream Day Journal” – that is, I write every morning about my ideal dream day. It’s supposed to be some kind of powerful manifesting tool by Law of Attraction folks. I’m not sure I believe it, but again, it doesn’t matter. It’s just practice, and it’s quite fun so far.

    It can be dangerous to write thoughts and feelings on paper, so I do find that I censor myself. Most of my worst ranty, angry feelings are directed privately to my rant buddy. She’s good to have on my side.

    Where do you vent your feelings? Does writing help, or some other kind of creativity?

    Have there ever been times where social media didn’t feel a safe place to share?

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  • Mrs Chakotay 1:12 pm on October 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NaNoPrep, , Planning, Preptober, procrastination   

    NaNoWriMo: On Procrastination 

    I am a terrific procrastinator. I seem to be terribly good at it. I have written a couple of blog posts elsewhere already today, and I have even done most of my housework (which is usually what I’m procrastinating to avoid, ironically) – all to avoid the thing which I am finding the hardest, which is preparing for NaNoWriMo.

    I have previously been a complete pantser – somehow managing, by the sea of my pants, to pull 50,000 words out of a hat without any kind of planning or preparation. A feat I have managed, or nearly managed at least 5 times now! But that’s not really the way I way I want to do it. I have never gone back to my previous projects to look seriously into the business of editing, and I think that is one of the drawbacks of pantsing – you end up with a very disjointed, undisciplined piece of work. I have done anyway, I don’t know how this business works for other people.

    This year I am trying to graduate towards becoming more of a Plantser (a cross between a seat-of-the-Pants-er and a Planner) Perhaps if this all works out, I may have developed into a fully fledged planner by the time of next year’s NaNoWriMo.

    So far I have downloaded a bunch of worksheets, plot outlines, and I’m trying to use the personality profiling tools of MBTI and the Enneagram to create more believable characters. But, oh my goodness, somehow this feels like very hard work!

    How do you do it?

    Are you a Planner, a Pantser or a Plantser?

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 9:59 am on October 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: microblogging, , ,   

    Well, okay then! Today it works! In which case, I may well go ahead and do what I said I would do right at the inception of this blog, which is to post small updates regularly. Microblogging, even! (Who needs Twitter?!)

    My life is currently consisting of trying to keep up with housework (not my forte), and essentially procrastinating the rest of the time. If I can get myself together, I will do some NanoPrep next, before I have to go and pick up my kids from college.

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 9:55 am on October 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    I said I wouldn’t be posting every day, but I did just want to try out this interface on the front page of the blog again to see if it works today. So, testing, testing 123!

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 10:03 am on October 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Writing Again? 

    Hello, I just thought I would write a quick update to say that, since my circumstances have changed again for the better, I plan to restart blogging and writing generally. I am also planning to write for NaNoWriMo as well though, so don’t expect daily posts or anything!

    As you can see, I have updated the theme to something streamlined, which I thought would tidy everything up (since I made the mistake of importing all my other blogs here, and then changed my mind because all the new pages messed it all up. I can fix it, but it would take a lot of work).

    However, the super streamlined interface on this theme does not appear to be working. If anybody has knowledge of this, please let me know – is it something I’m doing wrong, or is the theme outdated?

    So I’m currently using the original WP Admin interface, which I prefer, but I see that WordPress are advertising a new, new editor (is it a brand new one, or are they trying to push the new one they brought out a few years ago? I hate that one). If the new editor is good, please let me know! And let me know if I can try it and change my mind, since it appears that is my thing. Changing my mind.

    Am I mad to have so many different blogs? Can I possibly maintain them? I don’t know.

    Let me know if there are any topics you would like me to address.

    LLAP – Kathryn x

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 2:10 pm on March 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid 

    This is the first post I have managed to organise this year.

    I have started 17 separate blogs and websites just on WordPress, and I haven’t posted on any of them for months. I thought amalgamating them all here would help but I think it might possibly have made it all worse.

    It isn’t due to my life being horrendously empty and boring. It’s quite busy but in fact this is the problem – I have an irresistible impulse to create and start things, but I get overwhelmed really easily and end up doing nothing at all instead.

    It’s the same reason why I buy and keep multiple diaries and planners but end up not writing anything in any of them. I can’t even promise I won’t buy any additional ones.

    But after a lifetime of believing that I was just a little bit rubbish at everything, “lazy, crazy and stupid”, I finally got confirmation from two counselor/ therapists that in fact I have ADHD. My GP agreed, but she cannot make an official diagnosis.

    Sadly, I was told by the same people that “there is no NHS pathway in Cornwall for adults with ADHD” (and the same would appear to be true for Asperger’s, since my eldest has been struggling for over a year now to get the official NHS rubber stamp on that diagnosis.)

    What this means in practice is that we have no access to meds unless and until we are in a position financially to pursue a private diagnosis. Well I guess we will just have to start saving our pennies.

    In the meantime, it’s a case of muddling along in the mess, physical, mental and emotional, repeating to myself daily, hourly, “I’m not lazy, crazy or stupid, I have ADHD.”

     
    • Strawberryindigo 7:03 pm on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Totally understand, and hey you finished this one!! I have the same tendencies. I have so many started projects, especially writing ones. Every finished post is a victory. It seems I start on a subject and it unfolds exponentially, it is hard to keep up with my mind.

      Like

  • Mrs Chakotay 10:15 am on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: atheism, atheist, , , , ,   

    My Halloween Facebook “Coming out” as an ex-fundy, #exvangelical 

    I had not planned to “come out” like this but I think it is time.

    I grew up in a very strict evangelical version of Christianity, and later I spent 15 years in a form of Messianic Judaism which was very much in the same vein.

    In some ways fundamentalism is still my ‘comfort zone’, and I have certainly retained some aspects of those beliefs (hopefully the good parts) but I have been on a journey away from that type of thinking for many years.

    I am no longer fundamentalist.

    I am no longer evangelical.

    I am not totally sure I am even still Christian.

    I have moved from a 1 to between 3 and 6 in the Dawkins scale. I don’t usually mind or care what other people believe, providing they don’t push it on to others.

    If you can be cool with my movement away from what you believe, then I’m happy to remain friends. But if you feel prompted to warn me that I’m going to hell or anything akin to that, let’s do ourselves a favour and part company.

     
    • SR 2:33 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do so hope you find within yourself what you are searching for. I have read some of your post and I know it has been a struggle for you, due to many things.

      I understand what you mean about, “sending me to hell.” As a Catholic I am sent there many times, sometimes throughout one day. At times I can shrug it off and at other times, it hurts. I would never in my life say that to anyone.

      Of course I do so hope you do not turn from God. I understand fully what you are saying about “religion.” I always say, “There is no one any meaner, then a mean Christian.” I am sad to say, there are many of them running around today, and have been in the past.

      At times they can get my dander up also, then I am the one not so nice. I try my best not to be like that. I can usually maintain and constrain myself until they “send me to hell.” Again wishing you the best for yourself. God Bless, SR

      Liked by 1 person

  • Mrs Chakotay 10:40 am on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , rage, ,   

    PTSD 

    It’s a never ending nightmare
    A long dark tunnel
    A permanent panic attack
    Pain in my chest
    Never feeling safe
    Down the rabbit hole
    Into unreality
    I’m reaching out
    Trying to slow my fall
    Wondering what is real
    Hoping I will wake up
    Holding in my rage
    But discovering
    I turned it in on myself

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 3:21 pm on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , coercion, consent, , , , , , regulation, responsible   

    Responsible Homeschooling 

    I had an unsettling conversation this week with a young woman, a survivor of fundamentalist evangelical religion, who was homeschooled in the US, against her will, in such a way as to severely hamper her life chances due both to the paucity of the education, and the fact that – as anti-government fundamentalists – her parents had failed to obtain any documentation for her, including even birth certificate or social security number.

    The discussion thread where this exchange took place was eventually shut down as it turned a little bit nasty, with all the homeschool parents defending their decision and defending homeschooling generally as superior to public (state) schooling, and all the damaged homeschool children shouting that the parents had no right to comment on the children’s stories.

    I’ll admit that it did bring out the defensive in me. I remember, years ago, fighting battles to protect the rights of home educating parents in the UK against a government that was claiming it needed extra powers due to the risk of home education being used as a cover for abuse generally or child marriage specifically.

    We won that last round of the battle, by showing that firstly the government and local authorities already have perfectly sufficient powers to act to protect children, and secondly that the allegation of home education being used to cover up child marriage was nonsense, since that particular abuse was being visited upon schooled children who were simply being taken abroad during the summer holidays.

    Here is the thing though. I have no doubt that children are being abused under the cover of home education by religious fundamentalists in the UK even though the law is sufficient to prevent physical abuse, and here is why.

    The kind of abuse that is most likely is neither viewed as abuse nor legally defined as abuse. The abuse is forcing children to be schooled in a way to which they do not consent.

    Legally, children do not need to consent to education, either at home or at school. I’m sure that it’s clear that many if not most children who go to state school do not consent to it, and many would choose not to if they had a choice. But they do not have a choice.

    School does not suit every child, and it is crucially important to have a legal alternative to school. Equally, home education does not suit every child and it is vitally important that parents do not force children to stay at home if they want to go to school.

    I absolutely support responsible home education (although defining what constitutes ‘responsible’ warrants further discussion, as the option for unschooling or education which does not need to traditional qualifications needs to be taken into consideration), and I absolutely do not support any kind of home education which employs coercion or keeps children at home against their will.

    It is important that we take these stories of homeschooled children seriously, and that we taken them on board when considering what kind, if any, regulation should be in place, whilst at the same time being aware that most parents protect the best interests of their children, and government regulation is often a very blunt instrument that can do more harm than good.

    What is the best way to ensure children are safe? It is a continuing discussion. But I suspect that encouraging integration is helpful. One of the allegations made against us was that our children were “hidden”, but again we showed the claim to be false – we are out and about and in the world far more than schooled children.

    One of the homeschooling mothers in the discussion mentioned that the state of Ohio has an open policy which enables homeschooled children to access all kinds of classes and resources through the schools. Sadly, the way things are set up in this country means that unless a child is registered at a school (and therefore under the school’s authority), we cannot access anything at all, despite the fact that we pay our taxes to fund schools in exactly the same way as other parents do.

    Flexi-schooling is a rarely available compromise which requires the parents to register their children at school, but which allows them leave to attend part-time or intermittently. Sadly it is rare because it is not a right in law, but is up to the discretion of the head of the individual school. Some parents, additionally, are reluctant to register their children since it effectively means giving up authority.

    Ultimately, it seems to me that the biggest problem lies in government viewing parents as the enemy (and obviously fundamentalist parents view the government as the enemy). It would be far more helpful if we were able to work together to make resources available for the benefit of all children – both those who thrive at school, and those who do not.

     

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 12:29 pm on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creationist, , , ,   

    In the Hands of the Prophets 

    Are you okay?
    Okay? I’ve forgotten okay. I haven’t seen okay in what seems like years.

    Episode Summary

    Vedek Winn visists the station and causes a controversy when she declares that Keiko O’Brien’s teaching of science about the wormhole amounts to blasphemy as far as Bajoran spirituality is concerned, since referring to the Prophets as alien entities dishonours the celestial temple.

    Winn manages to turn all the Bajorans on the station against the Star Fleet personnel including the Bajoran engineering staff, and the school is temporarily closed down.

    It all comes to a head when the school is bombed and when Vedek Bareil (the much more progressive and forward thinking Vedek and favourite for the position of Kai) arrives, there is an attempt on his life, as well as another murder – all of which Winn has cunningly orchestrated behind the scenes.

    Kira, who had originally supported Winn’s position ends up seeing with painful clarity exactly what sort of woman she is and what she has done, and the lengths she is willing to go to in order to get what she wants.

    Notes

    The argument over the teaching of the prophets is clearly a metaphor for the teaching of creationism in American schools (and, to a lesser extent, in private schools in the UK and around the world – my contact Jonny Scaramanga has been working tirelessly to expose the use of ACE teaching materials in the UK. I wrote about this a while ago in “Culture Clash“, although I have changed my mind considerably since I wrote that post – having looked at the details of the curriculum and heard the voices of the affected students).

    On the Station

    These DS9 posts were originally started on the blog “The Bajoran Exile” that I wrote on Open Diary way back when. I didn’t ever get as far as this last episode of season 1 there before we moved away to the place without an internet connection and meanwhile the platform shut down entirely. So I’m pleased to have managed to resurrect it and finish the season.

    DS9 was not my favourite emanation of Star Trek but I grew to love it, especially as I recognised in Kira a fellow angry and feisty survivor, and readily identified with her.

    I have found Star Trek in all its forms to be a really useful metaphor and window into life, the universe and everything. It means that I have an almost endless supply of topics to write on, which as you know I find cathartic and helpful, so I’ll enjoy carrying on into season 2 and beyond. (Watch this space!)

    Now that I have amalgamated all my blogs, it means I’ll be writing about DS9 and Voyager in the same place, so I hope that’s not too confusing. If it’s Star Trek overload, I apologise, but you may be in the wrong place. I can’t de-nerdify my inner geek. It’s out now and proud; it’s the core of my being!

    LLAP

     
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