Niall’s virtual diary archives – October 2001

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5th October 2001

Thoughts on psychology

20th October 2001

Went to Hull, more psychology

31st October 2001

Working in England

Friday 5th October 2001: 8.29am. Yeah, I'm making the entry from work (bad Niall!), the internet's down and until it's back up I can't really do much. It's also been too long a while since my last entry, this much I do know. Any particular reason? Well, I've just been getting on with things I suppose.

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about my time after my break-up with Kathryn. In Bertrand Russell's classic book History of Western Philosophy there is an interesting section on the inner conflict present in all men and the temporary feelings of godliness which occur in those who throw it off themselves for a period (as has happened with a number of important men throughout history). It has occurred to me previously in this diary that through my work in the cannabis society at university, and with my then great socialising, I acquired for that period a partial cessation of that inner conflict and hence, a partial feeling of godliness.

This in part came from the feeling that I had solved life's most pressing problems - and much of that came from the feeling that I had solved the relationship question. When the dawning of its untruthfulness came, and furthermore that Ruth had been substituted for much of my work at university, I suppose it showed how dependent I actually was on external circumstances whereas hitherto I had thought the exact opposite. I did not realise then that my smug self-satisfaction was so dependent on external factors.

Since then, there has been a clear retreat into myself. Not least because of hearing voices making it hard to socialise and indeed trust others, but more fundamentally than that. I definitely seem to have realised just how wrong I had got it, and I have effectively returned to the drawing board.

More and more recently though, especially as the pain post-Ruth fades, life's road is stretching out before me again. Options and choices are becoming more clear. I often wonder to myself if life for me will be periods of exaltation followed by their inevitable crash? Much as indeed capitalism and countless other biological systems work? If one could focus oneself cleverly enough, could this upcoming period of exaltation be used to really make a difference, really change the world? Could my shining bright and true for however short a time be of benefit to others? Do I really have enough of that touch of genius?

One thing for certain is for the forseeable future, women are very much terra periculosa. Whilst I try not to think it, I cannot help feel almost panic at every positive thought regarding reengagement with women, despite however much my hormones might torture me (and trust me, they do, it's like god there are so many really attractive women around and there just seem to be more every day and it's like being incredibly hungry but knowing the food is poisoned). Of course, not having had sex now in so many years cannot help. In fact, I must admit I'm finding it hard to remember what it was like anymore, which means the memory augments itself and makes it easier to think of it being better than it was. At least, I think :)

Work told me yesterday that there might be a Saudi Arabian contract for one of the hydraulic benches which may offer extending my contract a few weeks more. It depends. I definitely want a date for the end of next summer set in blood and stone for leaving Spain for good. I also quite fancy spending the summer months here on holiday, go see Ibiza, lie in the sun on the grass etc. But OTOH, I will be twenty four and a half years old come the end of next summer. Definitely time to get moving, especially given that it will be two whole years in Spain by then which is more than enough sans friends nor relationship.

Sometimes, late at night before I fall asleep, I feel like an albatross with its wings spread standing on the edge of a cliff. The winds are growing, the sky is a torrid orange red and there are the beginnings of a storm all round.

What will happen? Only the future, which we can only guide, can tell.

Be happy!

Saturday 20th October 2001: 8.37pm. Back in England once again, weird being here actually. Managed to get to Hull to see people last weekend which was nice. In fact, it was cool to recognise and be recognised by so many people at Future Methods (a dance night) over a year since I had left when the population there changes so rapidly.

I have been lent a laptop which I am using now by a fellow at the company where we are doing my work's project integration for which I am very grateful. Indeed he wants to sell it to me whereas I'm a little unsure for £300. It did compile my FOX project in less than fifteen minutes which is hardly bad at all given my desktop takes about the same (definitely time for a new computer!) and its hardware is incredibly vanilla so it may even run Linux possibly. If I can get him down a bit and assuming I have some money left over from the new computer I may well take him up on it. It could prove useful for the future

Being back in England has produced mixed feelings. While it is nice to be able to speak clearly without struggling all the time, it has also produced in me a lot of memories and thoughts I would have preferred to leave repressed. Today we went to Cambridge on a day out and I saw all those places I first met Ruth during. Those, when included with an entirely personal event yesterday, remind me all too clearly how fragile I still am

Essentially what happened was that yesterday we had returned with pizza for lunch and one of the other company's workers made a joke of us two being Lala and Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies and for some odd reason it really grated and another female worker was comforting me when I said "well at least they'll die before me". Now as soon as I had said that I felt really bad, not so much for having said it (although said female worker took it very funnily) but because at that very moment in time I truly wished them all dead and not persecuting me anymore and those are extremely irrational, paranoid and stupid thoughts for me to be having

That led me quickly to realise that their jibes shouldn't matter one jot to me irrespective of their content if I weren't so insecure. That insecurity leads to a feeling of vulnerability, and that when pressed leads to me to think childish and immature things like wishing them all dead (and indeed even more childish and immature, saying so aloud as well)

When I do stupid childish things, as I have done so much recently, I wonder to myself how it can be that things seem to be unimproving with time? Or, another way of looking at the same thing, was it the case that running up to Ruth I had really truly and completely deluded myself into thinking I had improved and was maturing and becoming happy and content? Was I really all along a little boy yearning for the return of an all-encompassing mother figure into my life and that satiated, all seemed well? Am I really such a textbook classical case of psychological disfunction?

In the end though, that's what I appear to be looking for. I seem not to be content with normal stable women, I seem to really go for the ones which are busy trying to escape being mothering figures themselves. Why they work is because full-on mother figures would be far too repressive for my taste for freedom, I feel suffocated around them - hence one which does but tries not to hits a kind of balance. Of course, it is a road to nowhere because my desires to be mothered produce a push-away response from her, leading to me continually breaking my own heart

What I really need to do is examine why the hell I need to be so dependent on someone anyway. Why while I am constantly trying to be free from constraint and yet so much desire what ultimately results in the opposite. Why I am so attracted to a type of women which is self-defeating

Only if I can answer these questions can I hope to stop unwinding and to grow instead of regressing. The inner demons which have controlled so much of my life in the last year need confronting and dealing with - if not, fear will control my life forever

Be happy, wherever you are!

Wednesday 31st October 2001: 10.58am. Currently installing Windows 2000 Server on the Electronic Unit (an embedded PC) of the M-3011 Hydraulic Bench for the EuroFighter. It's taking forever, mostly because of the stupid thing's incredibly slow hard drive. Anyway, a good opportunity for a diary entry which is nice and uninvolved of sustained concentration.

Well for the last two weeks or so it's been little other than work fairly obviously. When you're stuck in a little village in a B&B it's not like there's much choice. I have been keeping up as many of my interests as possible - using the excellent free VNC, I have been remotely downloading episodes of Buffy, Angel and Dark Angel and indeed even compressing them into DivX remotely too. I only can get ten minute windows to sneak this when at work because there is always someone looking over my shoulder here. Bring on contracting!

Actually, last night I wrote I suppose what would be the first line of Tornado attempt number 3 which will be based on the FOX GUI toolkit. I may actually stand some chance this time because (a) FOX does much of the grunt work already (b) it being in C++ and fully OOed, the way you write a program is to take existing objects and subclass them with the overlaid functionality you want and (c) it's GNU LGPLed meaning it comes with full sources meaning I can tweak it to do different things if necessary. The cons however include an absolute and complete lack of documentation - as the old maxim goes, the code is the documentation and while it's good to improve my C++ skills (sorely lacking), it's so very very slow to get anywhere at all. Other cons? Well, a small user base is one, but they seem pretty friendly. Another could be that it isn't as clean as Qt which uses a special preprocessor to MOC the sources as they put it (ie; expand special keywords into valid C++ code). FOX uses ordinary C macros, and it can get messy at times but then both toolkits are implementing dynamic object binding which C++ really doesn't handle at all (go Objective C!).

I have also ordered my first psychology book from Amazon as a prelude to my upcoming studies of the subject. I want to learn all about it now that I am finishing my studies of philosophy and English literature. I still have Tawney's seminal Religion and the Rise of Capitalism to finish but I'm finding it slow going. He's written down his lectures you see and it is not fluid reading at all, but nevertheless very worthwhile. I have been learning much about Protestantism and early economic systems

At work there are lots of unpleasant politicking going on which is kinda like throwing around the completion of the test benches as a heavy medicine ball to extract concessions from each other. I forsee it getting nasty and hence have implemented a plan of not listening much to either side and just keeping myself in a nice prevaricating sit on the fence position. This enables me to build bridges whilst at the same time avoiding as little of the blame when it comes to it landing on me. I am increasingly just wanting to get the damn thing done, paid my money and take my now extremely well earned holiday. Then I am setting myself up as a contractor and from now on and forever more I will be self-employed. And arse to any women in the future who will push me to get a more "secure" job. Furthermore, I'll finally be able to do what I want rather than be ordered around by one side or the other all the time. OTOH though, it must be admitted there is a vicarious pleasure gained from all these machinations - especially good timing given my new studies!

Ok, Win2k Server install appears to have just stopped - probably just the computer being crap again. So I'll probably return to work in some form. See you, and be happy!

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