The big reveal: Part 1

I’m taking a leaf out of Aussa and Deanna‘s books and spreading the revealing of my truths and lie across two posts. Sorry to torture you, but you only have yourselves to blame 😉 You wanted to hear the stories behind the truths, and if I try to explain all five in one post we’ll be here all year. So you can have two truths today then in my next I shall reveal the remaining truths… and the lie. Okay?

Before I start with the revelations, let’s take a quick look at your guesses…

Numbers 1, 2 and 4 all had one guess each.
One person couldn’t decide whether to go for number 5 or number 6
And a whopping six of you guessed that number 6 – the one night stand – was the  lie!

I also discussed this post with four of my friends (two of whom actually read it on the blog) the other night and got them to guess, too. Each of the four gave a different answer, with votes for numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6…

And now for my first two truths…

True
Photo credit: Pete Lewis

Number 2… When I was 17, I got incredibly drunk at my mate’s birthday party and threw up all over the floor (and myself)  in the toilets is TRUE!

Yes… I made it all the way into the ladies, then sat down in front of a cubicle and threw up. I was so, so close to making it to the toilet!
The worst part of this story is that my friend, who was 20, had managed to smuggle in a bottle of vodka so we’d been ordering cokes for most of the night. As far as the bar staff were concerned, I had drank a grand total of two triple vodka and cokes. They must have thought I was a total light weight! And, of course, nobody thought to ask me for ID until after I was sick… the story ended with me being made to leave through the fire exit and the birthday boy, who actually worked at the pub, nearly losing his job for not informing his colleagues that I was underage (the drinking age in the UK is 18). The vodka-providing friend then phoned my dad to come and pick me up… and he proceeded to laugh at the state of me all the way home.

Number 5… One of my earliest memories involves checking under a car for bombs is TRUE!

As Lady of the Cakes correctly pointed out, I am an army brat and the IRA was quite active in the 80s. This incident actually happened while we were living in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure whether it was the first time we checked under the car for bombs – the fact that I remember this specific time suggests it may have been – but I know for a fact that it wasn’t the last. On the day in question, the car was parked outside a Toys R Us (I think?) in Belfast and we needed to check for bombs before we could drive back to camp. I remember my stepdad lying on the floor checking to see whether anything was under the car, while my mum and I walked around the outside at a slightly safer distance looking for any unusual objects stuck to the car. Presumably my sister was there, too, but I don’t remember what she was doing. My brother wasn’t even born yet so I can’t have been any older than six… and if it was, in fact, the first such incident it was probably shortly after we moved to Northern Ireland, which would mean I was five years old.

So there you have it, two truths. If anyone who hasn’t had a guess yet would still like to join in you still have four  statements to choose from:

1. While at university, I got paid to kiss one of my friends.
3. I could read before I started school
4. I was conceived on my mum’s 19th birthday
6. During my first year at university, I had a one night stand with my flatmate’s ex-boyfriend.

Which one is the lie?

Advertisements

Pfingsten Friday letters

This weekend is Pfingstwochenende, or Pentecost weekend, which makes Monday Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday) and therefore the third of May’s four public holidays. YAY for long weekends!

English: Postbox, Drumree, Co Meath An Irish p...
An Irish postbox (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for bringing me chocolates back from Belgium. They look very tasty… but how am I supposed to eat the one shaped like a hedgehog without feeling cruel?

Dear British Forces Brats group. I can see myself become obsessed with you! Sooo many people who have shared my experiences! It had never occurred to me that the army lifestyle could be to blame for any of my personality traits (although it’s obvious, when you think about it!)

Dear cake I have to bake tonight. Please work out! I need you for a post-wedding celebration barbecue thingy tomorrow (where I will probably know nobody!!) and there won’t be time for a second try.

Dear weather. Please be kind! A barbecue where I know nobody other than my boyfriend will be bad enough without getting soaked as well!

Dear Bonnie Tyler. Good luck in the Eurovision Song Contest! I hope we get home from this barbecue thing in time for me to watch you!

Happy weekend everyone! (And happy long weekend to those in Germany.)

Photobucket

Something to think about…

*I apologise in advance for the length of this post. And I will totally understand if you decide not to read it! Come back tomorrow for a more “regular” post*

There was no post yesterday for the simple reason that, after coming in from work and sitting down on the sofa, I wa unable to summon up the energy to get back up and turn on the computer. The theatre on Monday night followed by quiz on Tuesday meant two very short nights… I’m loving having friends but the whole social life thing is exhausting!

Anyway, I said there was something I wanted to post this week once I had more time and could give my attention to it properly. This is that post.

Once again, I was reading some posts in the “British Armed Forces Brats” group that I’m a member of on Facebook (see Saturday’s post if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

One person mentioned that, a few years back, he had been “in a very bad way with the relationship/communication issues many of us seem to experience.” Looking around for fellow brats who had had similar experiences, he found himself on the (American) Forces Brats Wikipedia page, where there is a section on mental and emotional issues linked to the typical forces upbringing. One of the conditions listed was Avoidant Personality Disorder, which he provided a link to. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_personality_disorder

I am not going to say that I have this disorder… obviously only a trained professional can do that. But many aspects of the condition sounded exactly like me.
Wikipedia says:

social_phobia-234x300

People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood. Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection (e.g. bullying) are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD.

People who have been reading for a while may recognise me in that paragraph… particularly the part on being socially inept (how many times have I mentioned my lack of social skills and inability to act like a normal human being on here? Not enough times to get the key words onto my tag cloud, but often enough, I think…).

The World Health Organization says Avoidant Personality Disorder is characterised by at least four of the following, which I would like to comment on:

  1. Persistent and pervasive feelings of tension and apprehension;
    I’m not sure this one applies to me. At least I don’t think feel particularly tense when not in a social situation.
  2. Belief that one is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others;
    I’m pretty sure I actually am socially inept – it’s not just a feeling. Personally unappealing… not all the time, and in every way (there are things I actually like about myself!) but yes. I don’t think I feel inferior to others though…
  3. Excessive preoccupation with being criticized or rejected in social situations;
    YES! I have been known to plan out what I’m going to say to make sure there’s no chance of me being judged negatively for it. The better I know people (and the more sure I am they like me), the less I do this.
  4. Unwillingness to become involved with people unless certain of being liked;
    “But what if they don’t like me?” is a phrase Jan has heard me say many times…
  5. Restrictions in lifestyle because of need to have physical security;
    Other than tendency to try and avoid social events where I know literally nobody (which I’m not sure is even meant here), I don’t think this applies to me. I’m always looking for new experiences and I don’t feel like my lifestyle has been restricted in any way.  
  6. Avoidance of social or occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fear of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
    Associated features may include hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism
    Definitely!! I’ve got a lot better at this over the years, but I’m still not a fan of attending social events with people I’m not already convinced actually like me! I worry about saying the wrong thing and being criticised or laughed at… years of being told you’re “weird” or that people “never actually liked you” will do that, I suppose.

The American Psychiatric Association has a similar list, but two things in particular struck a chord with me:

– Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
– Is unusually reluctant to take personal risk or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing

YES and YES! I love trying new things, but only certain new things… the kind that I’m pretty sure won’t lead to any embarrassment for me. Unless I can do them with my friends and only my friends. People I’m already sure like me are allowed to laugh at me 😉 Although even once someobody likes me, I am afraid I might do something wrong or stupid and end up alienating them…

This post probably makes me sound like a very unhappy person. Actually, at the moment, after having very few friends in Germany for a long time, I now have a group of people who I am reasonably sure actually like me (and don’t just hang around with me becasue I’m Jan’s girlfriend) and who I can spend time with without my usual fears about social situations coming up.

Socially-Awkward-Penguin-01So why am I posting this if things are so good? Because, after years of believing I was just odd, knowing that there are other people out there from the same type of background who have the same kind of confused, illogical feelings as I do is a huge relief! And knowing there’s an actual disorder with characteristics that describe me perfectly (seriously… I could have written the Wikepedia article!) make me feel like I’m not just a freak. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I actually have avoidant personality disorder – I do still attend social events and usually even manage to force myself to speak to people (while praying that I don’t say the wrong thing!). But knowing that such a thing even exists at least gives me a point of reference, and a possible place to start with trying to overcome my issues. As the title of the post says, it’s something for me to think about. And I feel like I’ve made some kind of breakthrough!

On being a squaddie brat

army lifeI joined a group on Facebook ages ago called “British Forces Brats” then promptly forgot about it.

Recently, for some reason, it has exploded into life and started appearing on my newsfeed every day. A lot of the posts are things like “Who else was stationed here?”, “What regiment was your dad in?” and “How many schools did you go to?” (five for me, in case you were wondering) but there are some posts describing characteristics that I can relate to and that I never even thought to relate to my army upbringing!

  • You are always on time if not early for everything and often end up waiting ages before anyone else turns up – YES! I am always at least on time, and usually way too early. If I have arranged to meet someone, turning up late is just plain rude!
  • You find it hard to make close friends because as a kid everyone you knew always moved away after a mximum of 4 years (or you moved and they didn’t). ALso, you find “civvies” (civilians)much harder to talk to than fellow army brats – Yes, definitely! I thought my complete inability to make friends or strike up a conversation was because there’s something wrong with me, but it’s true that before leaving the army life I never had a friend for more than three years (with one or two exceptions), not becasue we fell out, but because one of us moved and we never thought to exchange addresses. There was no Facebook to stay in touch back then! Maybe I do subconciously still think that any friend I do make won’t stick around for long… And not so much now, but certainly when I started at my first “proper” civilian school up North, people found me weird (the school before that was technically a civvy school, but being in Aldershot – home of the British army at the time – at least half the pupils were squaddie brats and another quarter had some association with the army. And come to think of it, a lot of people there found me weird too… the only people I hung around with had parents who either were still in the army or who had got out and decided to settle down in Aldershot…
  • You get itchy feet every three years or so and want to move – Okay, that one I did attribute to the army. I’ve been in Karlsruhe for over 6 years now (record!) but this flat is the third place I’ve lived within the town. I’m also on my 4th “job” now (I was a language assistant for a year then I did a year-long internship… I can actually hold down a job, honest!), which has probably helped me not get bored. Ironically, I absolutely hate packing up to move house… but you can’t have one without the other. If I want to move, I have to pack…

There were positive aspects to being an army brat, of course and I wouldn’t change it for the world! But reading that other people have had the same experience was like having a blindfold removed from my eyes. Now I get it… I’m not a freak, I’m a squaddie brat! And while I may be no good at making friends, I am open minded and able to adapt to living just about anywhere!

All that you never wanted to know about me

A lot of my friends seem to be into doing these random survey/questionnaire thingies that get you to answer questions about yourself, what you’ve been doing this week etc. They post them in facebook notes or send them in emails. Everywhere I look I see a new one, so I thought I’d steal one for my blog. Here for your viewing pleasure is everything you never wanted to know about me…

WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME?

Beverley Ann …. no, I’m not going to publish my surname for all the weirdos to see.

ANY NICKNAMES?

Mostly I get called Bev, or ocasionally Bee/B. A couple of people who used to be interns with my called me Bevchen and I ocasionally get Bevvy from my sister.

WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?

13th August. Not too long to go now. Remember it people 😉

FIVE PLACES YOU HAVE LIVED:

1.Holywood, Northern Ireland
2.Bedlington, Northumberland
3.Nottingham
4.Austria
5.Germany

NAME THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE BANDS/MUSICAL ARTISTS

1. Green Day
2. The Fray
3. Poets of the Fall (They’re Finnish but sing in English. Excellent band! Go look them up on Youtube right now! I’d recommend any song from the Carnival of Rust album)

AND NOW THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS

1. Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings
2. Green Day – Scattered
3. Kettcar – Balu

WHAT DID/WILL YOU NAME YOUR FIRST DAUGHTER?

Well that really depends on the father’s surname doesn’t it? I definitely want Shirley as a middle name though, after my step mum. All the names I can think of that sound nice before Shirley end in ‘a’. At the moment I like Melissa, Kristina, Natasha, Louisa, Matilda, Natalia, Elena (pronounced Eh-lay-na) but we’ll see what happens when/if I ever have a daughter.

AND YOUR FIRST SON?

Again, depends on the father’s surname. I want Michael (after my Grandad) as a middle name for a boy though. Not as a first name – too common! If (big if!) I end up having kids with Jan our son would be called Karl Michael, Karl being after his Grandad.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PERFECT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Ooh, good question! Once upon a time I would have said 25. By that time you’ve been through uni, even had a chance to do a Masters if you want, and had a couple of years to get some work experience and maybe figure out what you want to do with your life. I’m 25 this year though and no sign of any marriage being on the cards, so I’ll have to think again. Soo.. anywhere between 25 and 30 I’d say. Depending on the person of course.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU BECAME A BILLIONAIRE?

* Buy a house
* Buy lots of new books. Lots and lots and lots. All the ones on my list and more 🙂
* Set up a library in my house. I’m going to do that anyway one day even if I don’t become a billionaire.
* Buy my mum a house (my dad already owns his)
* Visit Canada. And Australia and the Ukraine… and everywhere else I’ve always wanted to go
* Take Spanish lessons
* Do lots more OU courses
* Pay off my student loan
* Give my family some money
I can’t actually think of anything else. I’m a bit crap really.

SAY SOME THINGS PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU:

* I went to 5 different schools – 3 primary and 2 secondary (squaddie brat… we moved around a lot)
* I don’t really like downwards escalators. Whenever I go down one I have to hold on.
* I collect keyrings
* I’d love a pet hedgehog

NAME FIVE FAVOURITE THINGS FOUND IN YOUR ROOM:

1.Books!!
2.The Me to You cross stitch that Jan bought me for my birthday last year and I cross stitched and placed in a gold frame.
3.A framed photo of Jan
4.My frog prince ornament that makes me think “hmph” whenever I look at him
5…. I can’t think of a 5th. Most of my favourite things are still stuck in England.

That is all. I hope I didn’t bore you all too much.
Oh, and speaking of being bored… to the people who keep stumbling across my blog in search of “things to do when board” I’d suggest you place learning to spell ‘bored’ at the top of the list…

Hello and welcome…

Well, well. My first blog in this new place.
I used to blog over at msn spaces, but after they changed it to windows live spaces it first stopped working entirely on Firefox then when it came back it still didn’t work properly, at which point I became extremely annoyed and stopped bothering. But it seems I just can’t keep away from the world of blogging, so I’ve decided to try out something new. Whether wordpress will annoy me any less than spaces remains to be seen…

I suppose as it’s the first post I should tell you who I am.
The name is Bev(erley) and I’m from a small town in Northumberland, England (I wasn’t actually born in Northumberland, but both of my parents are from there and it’s probably the place I lived in for longest – squaddie brat!) After studying German at university I spent a year teaching English in Austria (think mountains and singing nuns, not kangeroos… you’d be amazed at how many people mis-read that word!). In September 2006 I moved to Germany to be closer to my boyfriend, who I met on the year abroad we had to do as part of our university course, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m in the 10th month of a 1 year internship at a translation firm and desperately trying to find a job for when my internship finishes. I’m also studying part time for my Master’s in Translation, via distance learning but not at the OU – unfortunately they don’t offer a translation course. I have done a creative writing course through the OU and found them much better organised than the uni I’m actually studying at.
That’s pretty much all there is to me. I’m not very interesting, so if you came here looking to be entertained I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong blog!