Would you like hypnosis with that?

I’ve documented before about my struggle with my weight and with food.

I’ve decided to have a crack at it again, this time not a diet or an exercise plan at all (for now). I’m trying hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is used to get to the emotions of why we do things – eat, smoke, gamble, whatever your addiction might be.

I know other people who have tried hypnotherapy for weight loss and it didn’t seem to work. However, I was willing to give it a crack.

So far I have had one session. Turns out hypnotherapy is a bit like a guided mediation. My hypnotherapist, who has a career in mental health nursing and a post graduate certificate in hypnotherapy, says that done right, it should take no more than three sessions to sort me out.

This is because she is going to teach me how to do it myself, so I have that skill to reach in and search for any emotion about anything, anytime.

I guess we will wait and see about that but for now, I’ve done my first session. Although my ‘stuff’ was pretty scared and put up a fair fight, I did reach an emotion about food, which I described as desire.

When I was clearing it (via breath), the words attached to that emotion were not just ‘I want it’ but also ‘why can’t I have it’.

I found this quite interesting because really, my lack has been very little in this life for food or otherwise.

So I was wondering why that particular emotion (and there must be more attached to food for me), was there. Was it that I wanted the good stuff that I perceived as a child that my mother or father was eating? Did I feel like I didn’t get enough of the good stuff? Was I restricted as a child that I felt was unfair (but as an adult you would not see it that way)?

Further, what am I now doing to my child in denying her various foodstuffs that we all know are ‘treat’ or ‘naughty’ foods? Her struggle is already begun, being overweight and conscious of it, as well as being monitored for it by a pediatrician.

I’ve asked myself if I feel all that different, and the answer is – not really.

I came home from the session and cooked a cake, which we all shared for afternoon tea.

I haven’t really stopped eating anything or doing anything much different. I’m still in love with Ricardo’s delicious salted caramel cronuts.

cronut

Photo credit: http://www.foodspotting.com

But I have got a new phrase that I’m trying out which is ‘I’m satisfied’. Haven’t quite worked out if I put a yes or a no thanks in front of that yet.

It does seem like a good thing to say, so I’ll run with that for now.

One of my therapist’s questions was what would I look like if I was better at eating/happier with myself etc. It took a bit to think about it but I decided that it would look like I was actually more present in all areas of my life – off the devices more, eating slower, more present.

And of course I would be running again, which is like a meditation to me and a singular activity that I’d really like to get back to. Not because I don’t want to run with others, but that when I do, I’m very self-conscious about how badly I do at it! It’s for exactly that reason that it’s so good for me – it’s a meditation in itself that walking doesn’t quite replicate. I can think when I walk (although this is not necessarily bad) but when I run, I only move and breathe (or attempt at both of those!)

Anyway, we will see how it goes over the next few sessions. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not a magic button that suddenly flushes my fat away…it took a long time to get this big and plenty of ‘stuff’ to stay this big. It’s not going to go away after one session of hypnosis.

But still the hope always springs eternal!!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

What

What can you write when the world seems to fall apart?

What do teenagers think their future is going to be?

Since I’ve been alive there have been any number of wars and conflicts.

The ones I begin to remember are memories set in teenage years, when you become aware of some sort of mortality.

The first Iraq war I remember.

And the rest since then. The conflicts and the increasing terror incidents. And the increasing incidents of violence.

At times they blurred into the background as I found myself distracted by other things.

But now they all come towards me like a rush of bullets and bombs; blood and terror. Asylum seekers; dead children on beaches. Trucks piling through people at celebrations and American people killing each other at an ever increasing rate with the guns that they love so much.

I imagine it is so overwhelming for so many.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and live in the moment and the space and time that I am in.

One wonders what the world will come to when our governments seem hard and uninterested in the struggle of those less well off than them. When you can’t even believe that your own country is humane, compassionate or concerned with the future sustainability of the environment.

Sometimes I despair.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

 

My ten year old watches porn

art censored porn

Image by: Artist Von Brandis

Well, she did until I found out today.

I have to say, it was a shock when I saw her web browser history and discovered some quite adult content. Violent, hardcore, straight, gay, animated.

This is not what I wanted to be talking to my ten year old daughter about. What the hell happened to fairies?

She plays Minecraft, plays with dolls, enjoys reading Harry Potter.

She also has precocious puberty – a condition that means that her body has already gone into puberty before eight years old (the early but also normal time it can start). Although she is having some treatment, clearly it doesn’t stop those teenage feelings of exploring sex and sexuality.

My first encounter with porn was about 16 when a friend was showing it to my younger brother – Debbie Does Dallas. I watched about ten minutes of it with them and then left because it was a little uncomfortable.

The worst thing about it was that now instead of my romantic little innocent fantasies all I could see in my head was penis/vagina, penis/vagina, penis/vagina. Ad infinitum.

I would call myself highly sexually curious at that age, but zero experience – I didn’t even get kissed until after I was 16. But I certainly checked out my parent’s Karma Sutra copy whenever I could. Other friends were sexually active but I didn’t really get going until 17. Even then, due to my trying to work out if I was lesbian or bisexual, it was confused and I was also pretty controlled.

I’ve watched porn since then, in various situations. With partners and alone. Porn in itself is not a problem unless you don’t know how to interpret it and realise it isn’t real sex.

My ex and I have always been open about sex and answered any questions that have come up. We believe it’s better to be honest and frank about sex. It’s the same here with the lovely.

So with a household full of teenagers and lots of wifi hooked up devices, it was bound to happen. I didn’t think it would happen to her so soon however.

While it’s not something I like to think that she has seen, the ex and I spoke with her calmly about what pornography is, and is not. We spoke to her about having sexual feelings and that they are perfectly normal and fine.

But watching porn is not.

There is no punishment being meted out. She didn’t get into trouble. Instead we wanted her to know that although we don’t want her to watch porn, her feelings are OK and if she needs to talk about them then she can talk to us any time.

Hopefully, with some stricter device time at night (and we already had no devices in the room on school nights) and the support from us and a counsellor, she can move past this and get back to a more normal idea of what relationships, sexual or otherwise, might be.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

Sometimes life is shitty

Sometimes it’s just crap and you don’t know what to do.

I’m not sure if it’s worse when you are younger but it might seem that way for some things (more than others). For some things, when you are young, the shit seems overwhelming.

I thought there was going to be a nuclear war when I was a teenager. It was the 80s and Reagan and Gorbachev were still negotiating getting fingers off buttons. The threat was very real. We watched shows about it in school. It hung like a pall over my early teenage years.

That and being gay, but that is another story.

This story is actually about one of the lovely’s children and his troubles at school. He has some issues with some older boys picking on him. He pissed them off and so in the male way of dealing with things, they are apparently being dicks. He is so worried about going back to school tonight he couldn’t sleep (even though there is three days left of the holidays) and was upset.

But what do you do as a parent when this happens with your kids? He wants to move schools because for him, the problem is there, not the boys themselves.

But you can’t just move your kid every time something bad happens at school. You and they have to deal with it. But it’s so hard as a parent to do this.

And this is because you know from experience that sometimes life is shitty. Sometimes the shit rains down and you are just like ‘seriously? can you fucking not with the shit?’ But it’s crappy and you keep going through it until one day it’s not so shitty.

Typically not all aspects are shitty all at once, which is something you realise after a while of living. Your job may suck but you have a great relationship. Your bank balance is dodgy but you have everything you need for now.

But sometimes life gets shitty in all aspects – you might lose your job; your relationship is gone; you don’t know what will happen in the future financially and you are sick or injured. You may even get depressed.

And that is when it is especially hard to remember that all things are temporary.

Because eventually the job situation resolves itself, you sort out the money, you get well (or at least better) and whoa, you meet someone pretty special.

So what to say to the child who is going through a rough patch right now? How do you soothe something that seems like the whole world is shitty?

You can’t really.

Now I don’t say that getting bullied is anything to ignore, but let’s start at the start and see what can be done about it. If we all ran away from bullies, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn and neither would they. Don’t think I’m discounting the distress of bullying or the seriousness of it – I just say you need to confront it and try and manage it before you move away from it.

All things are temporary.

All the good things and all the bad things. They go eventually. You move through them eventually.

So as a parent you spend a lot of time explaining to your children that life is not always perfect. Sometimes it is shitty. Sometimes it’s really shitty and sometimes a little bit crap. But eventually that stuff gets resolved and you might have five minutes where everything is going right before some other sort of shit comes down and ruins your rainbow.

rainbow.png

Random image of rainbow from clipartpanda.com

I hope he doesn’t have any problems because not wanting to go to school is not a good situation to be in. Life however, doesn’t teach you resilience by bathing you in rose petals and feeding you chocolate all day. Sometimes life is shitty. But you just have to be shitty back.

They won’t be there next year (and hopefully they won’t be mean to him next term anyhow). And if they are, we will help him to deal with it.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

The last brownie

These were a particularly good batch of brownies the lovely and her daughter made and now we are down to the last one.

We have all savoured them over the last few days.

brownie

Randomly chosen brownie picture from internet – sweets.seriouseats.com

What else have we savoured? A blackout that had us playing a game together. Other games with each other. Some of us have savoured time in the ocean, while others the sun on the beach.

The week goes quickly when you are on holidays. However, the doing nothing has been awesome. The having no schedule and no timeline.

And because we are away we need do very few chores and no gardening. Some cooking. Some washing. Everybody has jobs so that nobody does it all.

This will be the longest time we have all spent together in a row, on a holiday. We do 50/50 parenting and we only see them for half the week, so six days in a row with the seven of us together is the longest we’ve spent.

We’ve had some interesting moments but mostly it’s been everyone getting along.

I’m glad we have set aside this time to relax and build bonds together because we are still all very new in this family. It’s only been since the beginning of the year that a regular, set schedule has been running for all of us. We’ve only been in ‘our’ house for a few months earlier than that. There is a lot of getting to know each other and experiences to go.

But I’m savouring this week like the last brownie. It tastes so good.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

Van Badham and the ‘bad’ man

*Posting delay due to blackout – very stormy here in NSW!

We were talking about gender equality today off the back of Steve Price’s extraordinary ‘hysterical’ comment on QandA last night. (For those playing at home, QandA is a panel show run on the ABC here and often includes politicians, commentators, media and literature darlings.)

qandabadhamprice.jpg

Photo credit: thenewdaily.com.au

Price was reacting to media commentator Van Badham, who was responding to a question around domestic violence and male sports commentators making a joke about drowning a woman (just google it for multiple items). That it escalated so quickly is a testament to how polarised the sides are at either end of this issue.

Van Badham had the last word and ended up saying – ‘It’s probably my ovaries making me do it, Steve.’ Mic drop.

There are a few points here.

One, the man, Chawla, who asked the question had a sister who had been murdered by her partner a year earlier and was asking what could be done about those who joked around about such issues as domestic violence. That he got no real answer from Steve Price, even on the second asking, is indicative of the casual misogyny that a lot of older, white men display.

Two, that Steve Price could not, would not see the point that making a joke about drowning a woman was not funny under any circumstances to anyone of any sort of maturity is one of the main issues women have with men. They just can’t understand why it might be offensive that someone jokes about violence towards their gender.

But they aren’t coming from a place where they feel danger pretty much all the time.

They probably don’t think every time they walk somewhere new, that they need to judge every opposite sex person as a possible threat. They don’t get into elevators, even at work, and think, this man is alone with me, what might he do?

They don’t think, if I fall asleep unconscious at a party, are my opposite sex friends going to rape me. Or take photos of my breasts to distribute.

No, they just walk around. They just get in elevators with other men. They just fall asleep on the couch and perhaps one of their friends might shave off their eyebrows or permanent marker their face.

As a lesbian, it’s even more of a high alert.

So that some men can’t understand – is that their fault?

My lovely says that partly they have not had any advice as to what role they should take after the advent of women going to work, female equality (partial) and the changing expectations of community.

And maybe that is true. But there are plenty of men who do lead the way in being feminists and don’t find it threatening to their masculinity. So what makes it easy for some and hard for others?

My response to the lovely was that it takes effort to be conscious and make choices. That society functions at all is due to most people resisting the urge to break something, steal something, hit someone. They are obeying a figment, a law that is written down. It has no power in itself except that the benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to toeing the line.

So males need to step up and make choices about how they act and react to gender equality. They need to realise the benefits of it outweighs the (perceived) negatives. That women educated and working make communities better places. That women contributing to science, technology and sport make the world better than just their male counterparts could by themselves.

One of the hardest things is teaching young boys and men to be conscious and make those choices. To encourage them to see that denigrating women, making jokes about hurting them, calling them bitches if they get rejected – that such behaviour is unnecessary and unacceptable.

That although they are good, they are not better or higher than girls. That women or girls don’t owe them anything – attention, emotions, affection, housework, money, sex.

If we do that, then we will have a bunch of males who are real men, not those who are afraid to be wrong, be sorry, be soft, be vulnerable, be equal.

Meanwhile, Steve Price continues to defend his own behaviour on The Project, saying that he would not change the word ‘hysterical’ (typically used to dismiss women who are trying to make a point) to describe Van Badham.

He’s not a bad man. But he is not a good example of what a man should be doing when he is clearly in the wrong. Now he is just being obstinate. Now he is just being a completely and deliberately unconscious person.

This is Van Badham’s response in the Guardian.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya