Sunday, 12 March 2017

I'm still here

So I know I know, I get you all excited about my big come back, and my dating series plans, and I ditch you for a month.

BUT

It has been crazy here. Even as I sit here typing this out I don't really know where to start, and yes this is like my third attempt at this post.

There's been so many big changes going on and I want to tell you everything, but trying to find the best way to get it all down and in some kind of order is taking some figuring out.

I am so excited to get deep with my dating series, especially after the amazing response I had from my first post. I have had some great questions from people in a similar situation, as well as some pretty surprising ones that shocked me a little. I think it really opened my eyes as to how needed an open and honest discussion is needed on this subject. I'm in no way pretending to be some kind of expect on the whole dating with a disability scene, and like with dating for anyone, everyone's experience is different. I just hope I can give an insight into how it can be through my experiences and look at some of the issues, problems and difficulties faced when dating with a disability. I have all my titles ready, don't think I'm ignoring you if I haven't answered your question just yet, it's because it's coming up in a post, and I'd rather give you a full story than just a quick answer.

But as excited as I am to get that all going, I am also going through one of the biggest, scariest, but most exciting processes to change how my care (I hate that word) is payed for and provided.

As well as this whole medical, thing that is taking up to much of my time and mostly causing me frustration.

Then there's the fun stuff.. Like my birthday!

So.. Please do bare with me. I have one more week of non stop doctors and specialists appointments, as well as meetings and interviews. Then I can put my half written ramblings into something cohesive.

Love, C xx

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Chloe does Dating

Although it's been a difficult time while I've been away there has been a lot of fun things going on, and I have made some positive changes along the way.

One of which being my love life.

I recently did a little Q&A over on susie does life (one of my favourite blogs FYI) about dating with a disability. It was really great actually, she asked some great questions that made me delve deep. You should read it here now, but I thought I'd expand it a little and start a little dating with Chloe series.

It's such a big topic, in general and for me too. So I thought it's best to split it into a little series. This way I can really talk about things instead of maybe just doing an overview of different aspects of dating with a disability. Explain properly how I feel about certain things, maybe how others do, and how I actually do things, people love that story.

Speaking of overviews, I thought I'd start with a post about how I started and a brief insight into my experiences and thoughts so far. 🙂

Even through all the stresses of everything, my, let's say, dating escapades, have been the one thing that I have really kept at. It was easy enough to drift in and out of, and offered an escape from the crap that was going on elsewhere in my life.

Over the years I've signed up to online dating, I think more to just see.

It would never get any further than conversation, and that was okay, I don't think I was ready for more, but it was nice to have a slight flirtation, and conversation with a boy.

But at the beginning of last year I just thought, you know what I'm in a good place, even though that technically didn't last very long. I'm comfortable and happy with who I am, I'm just going to jump in and go for it, and I did.

I signed up to pof with every intent on finding my one true love, and after pretty much completing it, I switched to okcupid. Still no love, but quite a few dates.

I have gone through every kind of process I guess, when it comes to telling people about my disability. At first I left it off my profile, but now it's the very first line.

It's been interesting, let's say that, but I think online dating is for anyone if we are honest. My disability just adds an extra layer or a different angle on things.

There's been a lot of downs.

Many cancelled dates, some of which there's no explanation, others kinda freak out and tell you it's just to much.

There's the times you just feel like a curiosity to people, they message you, ask you a bunch of questions then bail.

There's this sense that because you are probably open in sharing a little more then most, that there's just no boundaries. The amount of people that just dive straight into questions about sex is beyond me.

Then theres definitely those moments of feeling like no one will ever love me as my 17th message goes unanswered, and no matter what, my first thought will always be, it's because I'm disabled, even though he might just hate the fact I like horror films.

But there has been some good, fun times too.

With every date I feel an extra little buzz of confidence, even after the bad ones. I gain a momentary sense of, I can do this, I can do anything! I feel fanciable, even if they don't necessarily fancy me.

I also just feel like a girl for a moment. Very rarely, in fact I don't think ever, does stuff about my disability, the stress with care, medical stuff come up in a conversation on an actual date, for the first date at least. For that hour or so I just talk about me and my hobbies and interests. That doesn't mean I'm apposed to it, but it's nice to just have that break from it all.

Throughout all these experiences though I feel I have learnt a lot. Mostly that I have a ridiculous need to fill awkward silences with any kind of nonsense, often leading to more awkwardness than any kind of awkward silence.

If you have any burning questions that come up during these posts, please, please, please, do let me know. I would love to know what you think, and also what it is you want to know.

Lots of love Chloe Xx

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Hello

Hey,
Hello..
Long time no see
How have you been?
All well?

I'm good, it's been, yeah. I'll fill you in slowly.

I've missed this, I have, and I don't know that this is an I'm back, but I'm most definitely in a place where things are better, and I'm excited to write again.

Writing for me has always been a great source of therapy, even as a kid I'd write diaries and poems, stories. It's how I have always made sense of the things that run through my head and get them all out.

However, for a large part of last year i just couldn't sum up anything, any energy, want.

I had all these things going on, things I wanted to write about, things that were important in my journey.

Yet there was this big grey, stormy cloud that just stopped everything.

For many years the care I was receiving was in a word, awful. It's something I have wrote about before and tweeted about a lot.

Since leaving uni I lost all permanent staff as they went off on their own adventures. Which happens, it's happened a number of times and it's fine, but this time was different.

The company I was with just made no effort in finding me new permanent staff.

They kept telling me they only had staff outside of the boundaries I have set, they'd then send different staff every week or two.

I had no consistency, which for me is incredibly important. I have so many anxieties when it comes to new people.

By the time anyone had been taught properly the I do things, they'd be going and someone new was coming, which was just exhausting for both me and my mum, who's shoulders it fell on to teach them.

The constant stream of new people living in the house just created a atmosphere in where no one felt comfortable in our own home.

It was because of all of this that we started the process of moving to a system in where I had control in everything, my budget and the ability to hire and fire who I want.

Something that should have taken a few months that now 18 months later just about seems to be taking shape.

Though out this time I was left always feeling anxious. Either from the lack of consistency or the speed of things not changing.

I never did anything, I left the house once a week on my mums day off if lucky.

My mum in the end just stopped showing them what to do and did it because it was just easier, so I would never want to ask to go anywhere because she was already doing way more than she should whilst having an actual job.

There was this tension, mum was mad and exhausted because she was doing the job of the PAs while they were sat up stairs doing nothing.

It all just made me feel like such a burden in every way, I felt like the cause of everything, everyone's anger, tiredness, awkwardness.

Then on top of all this I know felt like I had no purpose.

My life consisted of me being sat in a room.

Watching all my friends move forward, have new jobs, relationships grow, start families, buy houses.

I had nothing.

It all spiralled into, such a sadness.

This doesn't mean I didn't have good times, I had great times, and although I hid it from family and friends they were amazing as always in just coming here, knowing and understanding how difficult it was in me getting out.

But when I felt like I wasn't enjoying the things I'd usually love that's when I knew I had to speak out.

I spoke to mum, I went to the doctor to seek counselling and I spoke to a few of my friends.

In all honesty just simply telling someone made me feel so much better, which is why I know for me counselling is what I need. I just need someone to talk to, off load.

I also feel like things are starting to come together.

My care stuff looks like it might be close to conclusion.

I am working hard at looking for work, work experience or volunteer work. Signed up to job apps, gone through charities, the job centre, signed up to volunteer sites, emailed companies asking for work experience., got my CRB check, just got to wait for someone to employe me now.

So all in all after the past year and a bit the future feels a lot more positive and I'm actually excited to see what comes next.