Long weekend

I am having an anxious time so perhaps I’ll try writing my way out. It’s a long weekend here, so I had the day off. I had a plan with a friend to go for a walk, but we couldn’t figure out where to go, and she got a little impatient, so she went by herself. That’s OK. She’d just spent time with her family, which makes her a little crazy, so it’s probably for the best we didn’t get together. But it’s left me alone for another day.

Ron being away bothers me. I’ve somehow become attached to him and I feel abandoned when he leaves. I don’t know how to get out of this.

I worked more with the swimming pool image this morning, as it was on the top of my mind. That was OK. I don’t get any further with it, and it’s disturbing, it scares me and makes me sad. But going into it diminishes the anxiety I’m feeling. I imagine Ron there with me as a safety figure so it’s not as scary for me. I still don’t know what it’s about, beyond being connected to my father.

I know I felt rejected by my father when he pretended I was invisible for all those years. Maybe it’s about those feelings. And then when I was grown-up, he pretended I was not as good as my sister and brother, stupider and less accomplished. That hurt too. He doesn’t do that so much any more now he’s in his seventies and sometimes needs my help. Now he acts like the urbane worldly professor who is kind and accepting of everyone. As long as they do as he wishes.

It is sad to have been treated that way, and to always pretend I didn’t notice and that it was fine. It wasn’t fine. Yesterday I went to visit my parents, as my mother isn’t feeling too well at the moment. And it all seems OK, though I’m worried about my mother. My father is a little irritated with a few things I say that aren’t exactly what he thinks….but in general, the tone is calm and reasonable. But at home, I feel a kind of deep depression after seeing them, as if something is really, deeply wrong, but I don’t rightly know what.

So I have reasons to be anxious today. It’s a day off in spring, so I should be enjoying it or at least accomplishing things. And I’m not doing either. Sometimes when I’m not feeling well I think it’s all about the book I’m reading – I must be reading the wrong book, not light enough, or too frivolous, or not about something I’m interested in. I always have a book on the go, and always have done. But it’s silly to blame my bad mood on my book. It’s not the darn book.

My ‘date’ Saturday where I cooked dinner for T was fine. The main problem was that my place overheated – it was very hot and humid, and I don’t have a fan yet or air conditioner….but it cooled eventually. Unfortunately I have almost nothing in common with T except that we both have social anxiety. So I don’t understand myself when I’m pursuing this half-hearted dating. We really have nothing in common, yet I find him kind of soothing. We watched a DVD together after dinner, and held hands, very chastely. As soon as the movie was over he left. It was pleasant to not be alone, to have undemanding company, and to hold hands. I never worry what T thinks, and I don’t miss him much when he’s gone.

Now if I had a boyfriend I was really involved with, it would be agonizing if he didn’t call, and I would worry about everything. And T is the polar opposite of anyone in my family. Slow, quiet and nice to me, as long as I don’t make demands anyway. So it does make some sense that I like him.

He will never be able to work or really function well. He believes he has an illness, depression, managed with medication and visits to a psychiatrist for ‘therapy’ every two months. He’s being kept stable – he will never work out or address his issues. And he’ll be poor all his life, living on a disability cheque. It makes me mad, actually, that this is what the system does.

It’s true he doesn’t seem depressed and he doesn’t complain. But he keeps away from all stress by staying home a lot. It’s managing things by avoiding most situations. I avoid a fair amount also, of course, but I do work, and I go to therapy to work on things.

So I like him, I find him soothing, but I cannot accept him for who he is able to be, not as a boyfriend anyway. I know it doesn’t do me credit to criticize him.

But perhaps we can hang out sometimes…that is not hurting either of us. And I realized I enjoy cooking for people and feeding them, once I get over the stress of preparing for it. It feels good to do something useful at least.

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5 comments
  1. Ellen, just hanging with T as a friend is alright too. You have a enjoyable gift of sharing your talent in creating dishes for people to eat. That is wonderful.Sorry for the rejection by your father. I know it must have really hurt.Safe hugs to you dear one.

  2. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,I always find writing helps with anxiety. So many things swirl through the head it does good to get them out. As well as blogging I fill notepads up that I will probably never look at again but make me feel better at the time.I see where you are coming from wither your friend T though I personally can't criticize such a person as he is no different to me- now you know how my wife feels. But it is a good observation because it does sound like if it was a full on relationship it might drag you down. We know its hard enough dealing with our own issues without having to shoulder those of others on top.All the bestNechtan

  3. gniz said:

    You're doing fine. All of this that you're feeling is perfectly reasonable and perfectly OK. All of your feelings are ok, including the "bad" ones, including when you're self-doubting or doubting others, or not doing anything productive.You are a perfectly good, perfectly wonderful person Ellen. You happen to be struggling and of course you want to get out of it. The only way out is still through. Best of luck as you continue the journey.Aaron

  4. Ellen said:

    @ JBR – thank you. I cook quickly, but pretty well really. A benefit from having a mother who is a good cook – I picked the easier things up by osmosis I think. @ Nechtan – I also write in a notebook Nechtan. It is amazingly helpful to write things out. As to T – the problem for me is more that we don't have common interests – I like to read, he never reads, I like movies, he rarely watches, I like walking, he doesn't, I like folk / jazz / classical music, he likes hard rock….I think you and your wife met and fell in love because you had things in common, most likely. T and I don't, except for a problem with depression and SA. And it's funny, because it seems that I have worse issues than he does, because I talk about them. But I guess it's true, he is worse off. Don't be hard on yourself Nechtan – I bet you bring a lot of great qualities that benefit your family. @ gniz – Thank you, what a supportive comment Aaron. The bad feelings don't seem OK. Nor does the lack of productivity. But it's a good viewpoint to accept them instead of starting an endless struggle. @ JBR – TY 🙂

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