Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Five things you might not know about Qenny

The lovely Brian Sibley, writer, broadcaster, and lately blog whip-cracker extraordinaire, tagged me with a meme in which I am to write about five things that few if any people know about me. Alas, my workload of late has made it difficult to get around to doing it. However, better late than never. Here goes.

I used to be very religious. I studied for the Catholic priesthood for eight years, starting in junior seminary when I was eleven, and eventually leaving senior seminary about six months after my nineteenth birthday. I also had an early and quite active involvement in the charismatic movement, frequently attending prayer meetings from the age of seven onwards - at my own instigation, I hasten to add. There was no pressure at all from my family to do this, it all came from me. In my mid teens, I was given the gift of tongues, one of many deeply affecting and moving experiences that I had during those years. (I have since learned the delights of giving the gift of tongue, and have had many more deeply affecting and moving experiences as a result.) Looking back on it all, I can see the psychology that was at work, and understand how these experiences came about. At the same time I can recall the intensity of feeling, and how powerful the subjective experience was. Now I can understand it, and be delighted by the power of the human mind without the need to invoke any supernatural explanations. Just as well, really. It would do my atheism no good at all if I couldn't!

I shat my pants in Palmerston North. This is one of the two most embarrassing things that I can remember happening to me, and it's a pretty recent memory. I've been toying with the idea of getting it all out in the open by posting the full, gory details as a blog entry. There is more to the story than just erupting in explosive skitters. Oh, yes. That was only one facet of the full horror of the situation. As for the other more embarrassing thing, I'm not sure whether it would make a suitable blog entry. If you think the Palmerston North story sounds bad, the other story is much, much worse. So bad, in fact, that when I regaled my sister with the details, she came close - very close - to being physically sick.

I once pretended to have seen a ghost. I used to pop down to the chapel in my junior seminary to play the magnificent pipe organ down there. It was quite a creepy place to be on one's own, and I would invariably leave in something of a hurry. One night, I decided that it would be quite good fun to make up a story about having seen something. It was very believable, and I managed to work in references to a suicide that had happened several decades before. It created a bit of a stir for a time. These days, I wouldn't do such a thing, because I have found over the years that any sort of dishonesty invariably leads to problems, and I simply can't be bothered trying to keep two separate strands of truth/reality going at the same time. I have no idea how pathological liars (such as my ex) find the energy to maintain their lies. It's exhausting! (Actually, I think they convince themselves to "believe" what they're saying. They seem to think that as long they stick to their version of events, their lies will become the truth, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence contradicting their claims.)

I played Mabel in The Pirates Of Penzance. My junior seminary had a long, proud history of putting on Gilbert & Sullivan operettas at the end of the scholastic year. In my first year there, before my voice broke, I gave my Mabel opposite my best friend TK's Frederick. At the dress rehearsal, during our duet sequence, I ripped my dress quite badly (along the seam), so that at the same moment on the big night, my bare knee shot right out into full public view - most unlady like!

I once came very close to ending it all. At the end of a traumatic relationship, I was sufficiently upset that I made plans to see for myself evidence of my then bf's infidelity, after which I was going to throw myself off one of Aberdeen's very high bridges. In the event, his evening didn't quite follow its usual formula, and by the time I did see him (heading off home with someone that was so not his type, but he was drunk enough not to care), I was more angry than upset. It was a traumatic experience, and I did come very close to following through (not in the Palmerston North sense, I hasten to add). However, it was also very empowering because it was the beginnings of a long process by which I shook off the shackles of self-doubt and unworthiness that I had acquired through my earlier years, and started to learn to love myself. In a rather weedy, new-age way, it has to be said.

Rather a serious note to finish on, I know!

Anyone reading this who hasn't already played the game, please consider yourself tagged.

You're it!


Inexplicable DeVice said...

How enlightening! Although I'm somewhat peturbed by the amount of double entendres and downright rudeness - the flashing of knees? My goodness!

I'm so glad you didn't top yourself - the ether's busy enough as it is. Rush hour's a nightmare. Well, several nightmare's actually...

I may do this meme myself, although I did 6 weird things meme back in March last year, I think. Must be time for another go.

The Fifth Floor said...

Q, how very empowering, to have all of these experiences behind you. OH, really - almost another pun there, but not intended.

I am very glad that you learned to love yourself - for there is no other that will, as you know. We have to love ourselves before we can love others; that's my opinion, at any rate.

CyberPete said...

That was very enlightening!

So glad to be reading it, I have already missed so much. The would be such a dull place without you.

I may do this at some point, like someone wise used to sing, it´s never too late.

David Weeks said...

Well, you don't pull your punches do you?
Thanks for sharing ~ and glad you are still with us!

Tickersoid said...

I think everyone has contemplated suiside at some time or other. I know I do everytime peer pressure forces me to watch an episode of 'East Enders'.
Knowing you to be a successful, intelligent, handsome, decent guy, it seems hard to imagine you suffering poor self esteem.

Reluctant Nomad said...

That was a very interesting '5 things'! Of course I want to know about the truly awfully disgusting thing that happened to you. Sorry to be so shallow.