Moodscope's blog



Hoist by my own petard. Tuesday January 31, 2017

I have always loved that expression; Shakespeare's, not mine. Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4 it means injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others; although I have always thought it meant "caught out by the falsehoods by which you surround yourself" and it is really with that understanding I offer this Blog.

Famously, my very first Blog addressed my need to score 0% on the Test, as this allowed me scope to put on a Social face, a more acceptable façade, behind which few folk ever penetrated deeply enough to realise just how suicidally depressed I really am most of the time.

Then, about 4 weeks ago now, I broke my wrist. Following brain surgery 5 years ago to remove a small but inconvenient tumour, the surgeon also removed both the hearing and the balance on my left side. He said at the time I wasn't to worry; the brain is such a clever organ, in next to no time it would compensate for my lack of balance, and All Would Be Well. That hasn't happened. Rather, over the years, I've developed a technique of falling without causing too much damage, and I get around with two elbow crutches and a wonderful life enhancing mobility scooter.

All that changed when I fell in an unexpected way, in an unexpected place, and broke my wrist badly in two places. I needed surgery to correct it.

Crumbling around me like a pack of cards (like the Test) came the edifice which was my life. Social face? Vanished. Sunny, happy disposition? Vanished. The "Oh you are such an asset to our village"? Vanished. Any hope of independent living. Vanished.

I am reduced utterly. I am dependent utterly on the kindness of strangers (Tennessee Williams) and the amazing forbearance of my civil partner (CP); I cannot put on my own clothes without help. I cannot do up the seatbelt in the car without help. I cannot add pepper to my food (pepper mill) without help – my food has to be cut up for me.

I have had to retreat to my wheelchair; hated and despised object, it is now my only hope of getting to go anywhere. I can wobble on one elbow crutch, but terror falling again restricts my movements.

And all I do is grumble. And moan. There is no graciousness in me; no acceptance of my lot; no gosh, others are so much worse off than me. No. I am the focus of my attention. Me. And I cannot, right now, do any more than growl.

In the fullness of time, I hope I will regain the use of my wrist; that sunshine will fill my heart and I will once more assume my smiling façade.

But right now, the folk I come up against are proving to be pretty shocked by the growling, snarling beast that is me without my social face... will I ever be able to hurl my nice petard again, now I have been hoisted by it?

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome... and I will try, really hard, not to growl my responses to you!


Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Molly Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 1:58am

Well Christine, I think you have every reason to growl. The things most take for granted have been taken away from you. It's better to growl than hold it all in. Growl away I say. Life is cruel and I don't believe that anyone wanting to be a martyr are really being true to themselves. We are encouraged to look after ourselves before others, so the same applies here. Feel what you need to feel, growl when you need to growl, because you are being true to yourself and others. And it's actually okay. so growl away xx

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 10:53am

Thank you, Molly! xx

Eva Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 7:01am

Grrrr, I growl with you and for you. Take courage and heal well.

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 10:54am

I can hear you, Eva...thank you! xx

Anne Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 7:17am

Growl Christine and accept that is how it is!
Feeling dependent is no easy land... AND yet it is no facade, no pretense - it just is, authentically all of you.

I am not sure if it is courage but what I read is you are allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and whilst you are holding on to hope (to regain the smiling facade)

Maybe the lesson you are offering me is that when I accept my vulnerability, accept that in some things I am powerless AND I have a choice about what I will do with that - well then, I might be the most powerful

Go gently and growl away x

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 10:59am

Anne, I think you have summed it up much better than I could have done. Thank you. xx

Jane Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 7:33am

Hi Christine, your description of growling made me think of a lion. Maybe you are like the lion in the wizard of oz, feeling down and unsure and unconfident but ready to unleash the beast within (in a positive strong way!) However, if I'm way off the mark, please feel free to growl at me if it helps! Sending you a very big bear (not lion) hug x

Lex Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 8:36am

Wise and insightful words, Jane

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:01am

Sounds about right, Jane...thank you! Although I have to say I feel much more like a T Rex than a Lion!xx

Lex Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 8:43am

As a child, I believed the World should be right and fair and just and that everything, surely, should work out OK in the end, wouldn't it? I would hear people in the media who had gone through trials say, "Oh I wouldn't have changed anything." I disagreed with them then; I disagree with them now. You are going through a horrible time, and I believe it is perfectly OK to growl about it. What I did learn at Christmas though was that some of my family and friends were trying to comfort me when I was at my growliest, and I couldn't receive their love because of some negativity that I was constantly rehearsing and nurturing in my thoughts. Fortunately, one of them broke through to me and I changed my mind about how much I was loved. The World still needs fixing, but I was a little bit mended and I'm returning to the more Social Face version of me. There's love for you amongst those who surround you - and I'm willing to bet that some of them find it liberating to be able to help someone else. Helping one another brings out the best in us - it may not be nice to have to receive it, but it does us all good.

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:05am

You are right, Lex; once I had calmed down a little, I could see just how much people were trying their best to care for me...I do still growl, but not QUITE as much as before! And, yes, the world does need fixing, but a little bit of calm from me and from you, just HELPS. xx

Lois Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 8:58am

Hi Christine, I had a bad fracture of my wirst (fortunately my left and I'm right handed). There were lots of things I couldn't do but the loss of pepper control was one that really upset me. A cheap electric pepper mill that can be used one handed almost makes up for not being able to cut your own food. An electric face brush (I couldn't wring a hot washcloth) and an electric flosser vastly improved things. That's the kit I'd give a broken wristed person to help them keep cheerful.
Wishing you a speedy recovery

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:09am

Excellent practical ideas! I am judging my recovery on my ability to wield the pepper grinder...Had I broken my dominant wrist (I'm left handed), I think I would never have coped at all..xx

Leah Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 9:03am

What a wonderfully honest blog. I think your community would be pleased you are human and not always a happy goody two shoes! You now appear real and honest and people can relate to your woes and growls. I wish you a healthy healing.

Christine Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:10am

Thank you, Leah....I am making some recovery....far too slowly for me! xx

Leah Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 9:03am

What a wonderfully honest blog. I think your community would be pleased you are human and not always a happy goody two shoes! You now appear real and honest and people can relate to your woes and growls. I wish you a healthy healing.

Di Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:47am

Dearest Christine ~ Your brutally refreshing honesty has stopped me cold in my tracks. We/I take so much for granted. The mere fact that you are enduring a sort of "wreck of life" with shared humor is a testament to your character. You are livng it. You are immersed in it. You will pass through it. Feeling it in the marrow of your bones is an excellent way to process these changes. I am deeply saddened for your frustration yet am emboldened by the density of your measured perceptions. Be well. Wage peace. Lovingly, Di

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:27pm

thank you, Di...rock on sister! xx

Jul Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:47am

Hello Christine. Breaking a wrist is very incapacitating, both mentally and physically, but it's not permanent and believe me there are benefits, or one. That is, you are extra careful in future not to let the same thing happen again. It doesn't make one scared or fearful, only more sensible. What a lot you have had to deal with. It's good you felt you could share all this with us. Breaking a wrist in this winter weather is the worst time to do it as your arm can feel very cold under the cast which will add to your anger and moaning. Julxxx

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:31pm

Hello Jul....sadly, no matter how careful I am, having no balance reduces the shortest walk to a dare-devil act! Having at last broken something, at least now I know how to be with a broken something!! Fingers crossed that it is a lesson I needed only once! And, because there were huge complications, my wrist was never put in a cast, so...I'm thinking of just growling some more!! xx

Lexi Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 12:04pm

Hi Christine - I say growl away. You have so much on your plate right now. Total sh**. Like Jane said, by growling you are being authentic and reacting to your current situation a very honest way. No falsehoods there! And when your wrist heals you will undoubtedly have days when you still want to growl and should. We all do. xo fellow growler Lexi

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:31pm

Growl together, sister! xx

Vickie Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 1:34pm

Hi Christine,
Growl as loud as you want.....discharge all the negative emotions so that you may know peace again.
My biggest fear is being dependent upon anyone for anything. Intellectually I know that we all need to lean on others for support from time to time......but emotionally I struggle with “needing” anyone.

Your strength will inspire me as I work on learning to accept support from others.
Heal quickly!

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:34pm

I think we all hate the idea of being dependant on anyone; we are all so independent - and rightly so; but strength and peace comes from working together, I am finding...and I still growl! Together, sister, we can help each other! xx

Hopeful One Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 1:35pm

Hi Christine- my heart goes out to you for you are in a bad place . That said I really admire your honesty and courage. By writing about it here ,albeit with a growl , you have laid it out and in that gesture you have taken the first step for your recovery. Verbalising about your situation in your own voice empowers you .You will find enormous support here with fellow Moodscopers happy to share your journey unconditionally . If I can be your companion ( I won't mind the growls) I would say there are two features which really encourage me . You have kept your sense of humour and you have not lost all hope( that is how I became Hopeful one) even though your situation appears hopeless . When I was in that bad place not so long ago I found hanging on to those two slowly worked their magic. Keep going and talk to us.

Here is something to keep that humour going.

A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and stops to entertain at a bar in a small town. He's going through his usual run of stupid blonde jokes, when a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and says, "I've heard just about enough of your denigrating blond jokes.What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does a person's physical attributes have to do with their worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in my community, of reaching my full potential as a person because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes but women at large all in the name of humor." Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize, when the blond says, "You stay out of this, Mister! I'm talking to that little guy on your knee!"

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:36pm

Ride with me brother; it will be a wild ride! xx

Valerie Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 2:11pm

Dear Christine,
How my heart goes out to you.You really have had rotten luck,and there is no way to put a gloss on that.You have every right to feel bruised,in every way.Don't even try to look on the bright side for now.You have already had to adapt to disability,and now this.
I fell down a flight of stairs over two years ago,breaking my hip in two places,with severe internal and soft tissue injury over much of my body.I had to take an additional Prozac daily for the first couple of months.Despite being in my mid sixties at the time,I did make a largely full recovery.It has reduced me somewhat as a person though,always scared of falling over or sliding on ice.I tell myself I am lucky to be alive,at least my head was not injured.

I hope and pray that your wrist will be much better since you wrote this blog,and that you will regain the freedoms that you have lost.People kept telling me "You're a fighter,you'll be fine" and it made me feel like slapping them.I have to admit though,they were right.You will be going mad with frustration,but each day those bones are mending.

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:39pm

GROWL, Valerie! You have much to growl about! I totally understand your terror of falling again...I too feel that; my physio has referred me to a FALLS CLINIC where I hope to learn how to fall without hurting myself too much. She said it would help re-build my confidence. Did you attend anything similar? xx

Tutti Frutti Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 2:47pm

Christine The growling is quite understandable at the moment. Your situation even before breaking your wrist gave you reason for growling. I guess people who know you might be a bit taken aback by sudden growling given that you managed to stay sweetness and light before hand but the growling is probably much easier to understand! Putting the façade on is hard work. There's no need to do it right now. Go easy on yourself and feel free to growl back.
Love TF x

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:42pm

Thanks TF; there is no façade at all right now, just me, growling in my corner....folk can like it or not, their choice!! xx

Michael Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 6:17pm

Christine. I think if you break down the words, especially "petard" which is derived from French, this lovely saying literally translates as "He was lifted by the force of his own fart".

Grumble, moan, swear...especially swear. Studies have shown that swearing helps reduce pain.

You may not yet feel like laughing, but this may tickle your funny bone (unless that was broken in the fall)....yes go ahead then swear at me....but last night I found this on YouTube:

A sketch show called Portlandia.
The sketch is about someone being diagnosed with early onset grumpiness EOG, which I most definitely suffer from.

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:51pm

GREAT SKETCH!! I think I most definitely suffer from EOG...with GROWL! And, yes, somewhere back in the mists of time, I knew that petard was a large fart!! Which I have always loved!! Hoist by it seems even more appropriate for me right now! THANK YOU Michael! xx

The Gardener Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 9:11pm

Christine, you make me feel the luckiest woman in the world - I'm 81, broken lots of bits, quite often - but never debilitating. Our eldest son arrived this a.m, and all visiting children have the target to leave me with every last out of reach light bulb replaced, cheering chats round the kitchen table after a good meal. I love EOG, Michael. I live with the grumpiest man in the world - pessimistic, dependent, rude, sarcastic - but the balance of the scales in my life are filling with the huge bonus of friendship. I wish you all the luck in the world, and that you will have the guts, only word, to find what you CAN do out of the multifarious problems which have attacked you. Growl as much as you like - but outwards, not inwards.

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:53pm

Together sister, we outward growlers can change the world! You and me are both so lucky - we have Moodscope to help us vent our feelings! xx

Dee Tue, Jan 31st 2017 @ 11:23pm

Do you know the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver? I have just come out of hospital having had another mental collapse, but I feel as if I have had a rebore (not being the least mechanical) but all the black negativity has vanished, if I didn't have a daughter I would not be here to write this, but I am here and today spent a wonderful day with her and my grand-daughter. You have good reason to feel as you do, we put such pressure on ourselves 'to be good' and a quote from a you tube clearing negativity site 'we are so much more than we have been through' - all will be well, love Dee x

Christine Wed, Feb 1st 2017 @ 4:58pm

Dee, I had never read this poem before; I have now and it has instantly become one of my favourites. Thank you. And my hope for you is that you can growl in safety, when you need to. xx

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.