Tanja Suhinina

Tanja Suhinina
is @Sweden

I’m Tanja. Here are some things you should know about me. I was born in 1984, in what was then Leningrad, the USSR. Still kindergarten age, I moved to a small town in Latvia that Wikipedia described like this: ‘The history of Olaine is closely connected to a nearby peat bog that was first taken into use in 1940.’ It gives a pretty accurate picture of my childhood. As soon as I was old enough to start understanding my surrounding world, my country ceased to exist. That put things into perspective.

I moved to Sweden in 1995, and the first thing I checked when I landed at Arlanda was whether the toilets were as luxurious as my mother had told me. They were.
In Sweden, I have only lived in Stockholm.

I grew up during a sexual revolution in post-Soviet Latvia. I think my interest in sexuality started there. I have a master’s degree in psychology, and a license to practise. I’m trained in cognitive behavioural therapy. I currently work with mostly therapy in primary care and psychiatry. I have the coolest job in the world. I’m also working on my second master’s, this time in sexology. Basically, my both majors are the only majors people want to hear about at parties.

I still think that sexuality is the coolest thing in the world, the way it exists on so many levels. I date men. I’m not monogamous. When I don’t work or study, I spend a lot of time on my relationships, social media, blogging, wearing pretty clothes, occasionally watching anime, partying, working out and dancing.

I have spent ten years in a student orchestra. A student subculture that even Swedes often don’t know about. I will tell you about it. Also about sex. Also about what I wear to work. It’s gonna be a busy week!

When I’m not @sweden, I’m @swussian.

@Sweden november 27, 2014 11:15

Staff meetings and we are getting photos taken for the new login cards for the medical record system – called SITHs cards :)

@Sweden november 27, 2014 10:58

My most memorable outdoor experience this year was in summer Lübeck though, when after 15 mins my partner realised I was lying in nettles.

@Sweden november 27, 2014 10:00

Did you know that May 1st is the ”official” intl outdoor sex day?
Workers of the world unite
Outdoor fucking starts tonight!

@Sweden november 27, 2014 09:49

Last week sun was up at 7:55 and down at 15:11. This week it’s up at 8:10 and down at 15:00. Almost a month to go until the turnaround.

@Sweden november 27, 2014 09:42

My company this morning was like ”can I selfserve me some breakfast?”. Nice dating people who can take care of themselves while I’m a zombie

@Sweden november 27, 2014 07:37

Love how menstrual cups are becoming a mainstream thing here. 8 yrs ago you had to order online, now many pharmacies are carrying m cups!

@Sweden november 27, 2014 07:35

I love how my period started this Monday. Like ”Oh, you are having a very special week? Very special weeks are so my thing, count me in!”

@Sweden november 26, 2014 21:02

Ppl who feel reasonably well get more health care. Ppl who feel worse get less. No one wants complicated patients without money :/

@Sweden november 26, 2014 20:59

Correct me if wrong but there’s also been socioeconomic consequences of allowing private run companies into public health care some yrs ago.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 20:56

Records lost. Records not written. Referrals promised but not written. Lab results not sent. 8 month of wait between diagnosis and help.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 20:54

I have never tried to get mental health care myself (went in therapy for uni though) but I have been a Pain Patient. That SUCKED.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 20:52

Once you’re getting the help you need it’s usually (not akways) good. But getting there can be a random maze of referrals.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 20:45

Not to hate on doctors but ppl often end up with only treatment being a low dose of SSRI, and the prescriptions can get prolonged for yrs.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 19:45

Some ppl r saying ”we had to work shit jobs when we were young” but back then even the shit jobs were secure, and 30 yrolds aren’t young.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 19:12

Numbers of ppl with mental illness (mostly depression and anxiety I think) are growing :/ Old ppls explanation is that we are spoiled brats.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 19:10

I also think that it’s more natural for Sw born in 1980-90s to talk about mental illness bcs we have different approach to what is private.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 19:04

Oh btw. I know this is a sensitive subject and since I don’t use English often I can accidentally use hurtful words. Plz correct me.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 19:02

The new openness is quite often attributed to Sweden being influenced by the USA and how counseling is in many TV shows like The Sopranos.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 18:40

Tech student teaches broadway style jazz dance: ”your left arm is the Y axis, your right arm is the X axis, and your leg is f(x)=y!” :D

@Sweden november 26, 2014 18:28

Tonight: attend my student orchestra’s dance practice, be obnoxious, explain a reversed striptease routine, take a guy home.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 17:57

>In the morning he meets the mother in the kitchen. She offers him coffee, saying ”please”. Spelled ”varsågod” pronounced ”was she good” lol

@Sweden november 26, 2014 17:54

>The American finds this unusually open minded since it’s her mother’s house and they are not married. But okay, when in Rome…>

@Sweden november 26, 2014 16:46

Speaking of sex. It means 6 in Swedish. I was 12 when I came to Sweden and it was SO EMBARRASSING learning to count with a teacher listening

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:56

8. Learn to show what feels good for you. Women usually are taught to scream and moan, but EVERYONE should communicate pleasure well!

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:52

It’s often seen as more okay to have ”go to IKEA” as a weekend plan than to stay at home and get laid. I say that’s just stupid.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:44

1. Focus more on pleasure than checking an achievement box (orgasm, PIV-sex, etc). What feels good hee and now? Do more of it!

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:37

Swedish health care professionals learn very little about sex. So they often don’t know how to bring it up, and the pats are too shy too.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:31

People often ask me what I even study when I study sexology. ”Sex is everywhere” yet people are not used to think about what sexuality is.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:27

That view excludes both asexual ppl and those who just don’t find sex to be so much fun, and also ppl like me who prioritize sex.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:24

And it’s still intriguing how there is simultaneously so much and so little sex in the media. It’s always on a very superficial level.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 13:23

Still an interesting subject though. I have always been intrigued by how sexuality spans across so many disciplines and areas of life.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 11:05

It usually takes time to get diagnosis and treatment, bcs there are no visible signs. Many ppl w vulvodynia have met several dictors>

@Sweden november 26, 2014 11:01

There is no one single reason why you develop vulvodynia. Some possibilities: repeated yeast infections, history of painful sex.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 10:59

Vulvodynia is often seen as a sexual problem. However ppl w vulvodynia can have to give up bike riding, wearing jeans, or using tampons.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 10:52

Vulvodynia is a pain in the vulva when there are no obvious reasons, like an infection. Sometimes a reddening can be observed but not always

@Sweden november 26, 2014 10:51

The vagina is actually the inner tube part where you can put things like tampons, gingers and penises. Vulva is the outer part.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 10:50

Vulvodynia literally means pain in vulva. ”Vulva” is what most people would draw when asked to draw a vagina. A common misconception.

@Sweden november 26, 2014 10:49

Let’s have a vulvodynia awareness ten minutes! Vulvodynia affects many people with vulva, still seen as an unusual condition :(

@Sweden november 25, 2014 18:49

To ppl who say Sw has been militarised recently: I knew where the turn to my childhood village was because there was a tank at the crossing.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 16:49

Normally tuesday nights are date nights with one of my partners. But he’s away anyway so dance classes w another is a perfect alternative!

@Sweden november 25, 2014 14:15

Like when you are depressed and someone tells you to cheer up and gives you a flower. Bcs the person can’t grasp the hell of depression.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 14:14

Do you know what I mean? When someone is so naive and pure they simply can’t grasp the cruelty of the world that hits others.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 14:12

Not all SwSws always but often enough I have seen them almost appearing to lack empathy w ppl w war exp bcs the concept is too foreign.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 14:01

To me, the Russian me, war is something you think about. I often think about my profession and skills not being useful in war situations.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 13:52

My father’s grandmother told me stories of the Germans occupation and her husband who was the first in the region to be killed.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 13:49

Growing up Russian war was always somehow present, always a possibility, a reality. Even though I’ve never been in a war situation.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 12:22

In Sweden you can sit on the grass in parks. You can self-serve coffee. They trust you to take care, be considerate, pay for yourself.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 12:05

It was completely unreal to me that a country’s prime mimister could go to the movies with wife and then just take a stroll.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 12:02

During our first months here it was 10 years since Olof Palme was shot. Swedish Radio’s Russian broadcasts spoke about that a lot.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 11:52

As for difference between Baltic-Russians and Russia-Russians I’d say it’s… well generalising much but BRs ate more European?

@Sweden november 25, 2014 11:48

In the USSR era Latvia had Latvia and Russian schools. Russians learned Latvian but didn’t really speak since Russian was hegemonic.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 11:38

Being Baltic-Russian is quite different from being Russia-Russian. But Russian is still my first language, I’m still Russian.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 11:21

After WWII the USSR occupied Latvia. A way to really take control was to build factories and let Russian speakers move to London to work.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 09:04

I also think that you are more inclined to choose a profession that you can practice if you move to other country when you are multicultural

@Sweden november 25, 2014 09:03

I think a part of it is that you work with words as a psychologist. Not having Swedish as mother tongue might seem as liability.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 08:35

People generally think that what psychologists do in health care is therapy, but I believe that the most common work task is assessments.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 08:33

I can show you my license next time I’m home. It’s a sheet of paper printed on a regular printer. Cost me 7 yrs and 2300 SEK

@Sweden november 25, 2014 08:29

When I applied, you needed good grades/SAT _and_ a year of work experience to get in. The work exp requirement has since been removed.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 08:20

To practice you need a license and you get that by going to the psychology programme at uni which also gives you a master’s.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 08:12

Here I get to work with therapy for mild disorders, but also help prople in crisis, support, assess whether the pat needs to be referred.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 07:24

Every time she met a new friend of mine it took them 5 mins to get to the subject of how this country runs on coffee and alcohol.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 07:23

An American friend visited me a couple of years ago, in Oct or Nov. She was Alaskan though so she was well acquainted with cold and dark.

@Sweden november 25, 2014 00:14

Can’t sleep bcs reasons. Am trying to figure out how to refer to ppl who are just Swedes and ppl who are Swedes and also something else.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 19:35

The most annoying part about the Swedish accent thing… I STILL speak Sw with an accent. However I have picked up Sw accent in English ;_;

@Sweden november 24, 2014 18:45

Having something of an outsiders perspective, I will sometimes want to talk about people for whom Swedish is the native tongue/culture.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 18:28

It’s very charming, the Swedes say. They wish they spoke with a Swedish accent as well, but alas they speak soon keep natives.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 18:21

Swedes can say pizza bcs it’s a ts sound, not a z. They do eat ghnokhi like all the time. The can say nyo-chi but they just won’t.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 18:17

Also Swedes do something weird and sift to their L:s that I can’t even explain in writing. It makes a Swede saying ”Elvis” super funny.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 18:03

When I moved here they taught me the alphabet. ”This is Säta” my teacher said and pointed at a Z. ”Säta as in ssssebra”.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 17:59

Ok now I’ll tell you about them Swedes. This week, when I say ”Swedes” I will mean people that are Swedish only, not Sw+other nationality.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 17:57

Subway/commuter trains run mostly of time, however we have the annual OMG!LEAVES and OMG!SNOW thing going on. Apparently today it’s leaves.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 13:37

Also I’m not monogamous and I will treat it like it’s no big deal. Because it isn’t. No interest in discussing nonmonogamy in general.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 13:36

There are a couple of subjects that I will not discuss this week. Assange and Russian politics/current situation and my view on it.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 13:19

The Talk went fine. Mom said she wanted grandchildren and a son in law (or two, tops). I told her that if she wants it she can go and get it

@Sweden november 24, 2014 11:49

But this week I will be working mon-fri in Stockholm. Today – in a clinic specialising in depressions and anxiety disorders.

@Sweden november 24, 2014 10:41

Thank you for your warm welcome, everyone! I will now try to figure out how this account works before meeting my first client for today :)