Technically last night’s date was a disaster. As soon as I met the man outside Angel tube station I knew we weren’t going to get on. He could hardly speak, he was so nervous. And I thought I was the only person who got nervous before dates! Though I knew a bit about him beforehand from reading his internet profile, we were pretty much on a blind date. We went to sit in a bar on Upper Street and spent an hour sipping coca-cola in almost total silence. Every time he did speak I could barely him. Sotto voce is sweet sometimes, but not when you’re on a first date trying to get to know someone. After an hour I made my excuses and left, not utterly heartbroken. Just glad not to feel like I had to stay and make a huge effort. In the past I would have stayed, got drunk and made a pass at him, causing potential embarrassment for both of us. Yesterday I was able to walk away without too much emotional drama.
Tonight I am feeling sad. I’ve been to two meetings this evening and I’ve done service in both; for some reason I found the service more stressful than usual. In the first meeting I was a last minute volunteer for the secretary position, and managed to get the name of the person giving the chair wrong, causing obvious offence. I had to keep time on the sharing during the meeting and I resented being responsible for telling people that their time was up. Ending the meeting was difficult and I felt bad for taking away the remaining silent members’ opportunity to share. Taking charge of the second meeting wasn’t much easier, though it’s a meeting I know much better and many of my friends were there. I’ve done so much service in AA, I shouldn’t be finding it this stressful today, but I can’t stop myself from analyzing everything I did wrong, all the people I probably pissed off. By the time the second meeting had finished I was ready to burst into tears. I am sad that taking responsibility for anything still terrifies me so much. I am sad that other people’s perceptions of me in such positions of power are still so important to my wellbeing.
The journey home was fraught with the usual anxieties about being attacked. I was constantly on the look out for danger, ready to be picked on and abused by people I passed. The nearer to home I got the more teenage gangs I passed, a hazard of the area where I live. As I tried to make my way past one gang at the entrance to my council estate one of them chased me on his bike, laughing and screeching obscenities at me to make himself look daring and cool in front of friends. I know these children are just doing what children do, I know it’s not important if someone decides to make an example of me because how I look in their eyes bears no relation to me as a person. My self worth is not dependent on whether a bunch of kids wants to make fun of me or not. Knowing that doesn’t stop me from wishing I could turn around and throttle them all. That’s a terrible thing to say, given how precious young lives are in London these days with all the knife crime and so on that is taking their lives away – but I am SO angry that I seem to have become an easy target for ridicule, that I can rarely walk past a gathering of people under the age of 20 without being made a mockery of.
If I hadn’t been bullied throughout my school career then of course I wouldn’t have these feelings today. This all goes back to my childhood – every time I feel angry or scared of kids today it’s because of the systematic abuse that I was put through every day of my childhood. No wonder I can’t have a relationship with my young half brothers. I am so terrified of children, the distance between me and them is growing every day. The anger and the fear is getting worse and I don’t know what to do about it. I obviously haven’t dealt with that part of my past yet, and I don’t know how I’m ever going to deal with it. Years of therapy may help, but I doubt I will be in any position to afford such therapy for a very long time.
Tonight I am feeling sad because of all this shit that won’t stop swirling around in my head. Next week draws ever closer and my self doubt just won’t stop growing. I’ll be surprised if I’m not a quivering wreck by Monday.