Back in London, the city I call home, and I’m not sure I’ll be returning to Berlin in a hurry. Had it been sunny and warm all week maybe I’d have had a better time. The journey home certainly left a bitter taste in the mouth – it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say it was a nightmare. On the train to the airport we were fined €80 for failing to have valid tickets. It wasn’t really our fault, but the ticket inspector’s English wasn’t good and it didn’t seem worth arguing over as we had a plane to catch. After that we had to dash through the airport to make it to our plane on time. The flight itself was OK, but once we got back all trains to London from the airport were cancelled due to someone inconveniently walking on the track, meaning a long bus replacement journey. Overcrowding on the underground delayed things further. When I finally got home mid-afternoon I was tired and in a bad mood. I’d been impolite to mum, biting her head off at the airport because of all the stresses when I shouldn’t have taken it out on her. I called her to apologise and she graciously accepted, but I still felt bad afterwards. Thanks to this developing over-protective urge I hate the thought of her being upset by anything; yet I know I snapped at her in the first place because of these urges, which as I explained before make me privately resentful of her.
The fear of what’s going to happen to her in the future is getting worse. I became so worried about it yesterday that I ended up in tears. I couldn’t stop thinking of her sitting at home on her own, watching TV because she had nothing else to do. She’s never had any friends. I’m the only person she really knows. No one else will go on holiday with her or go and visit her. She is an extreme version of me. So I don’t know how I’ll cope in 20, 30 years’ time when she literally can’t do anything for herself, and it’s just me doing everything for her.
I want to think of ways I can make the rest of her life better, but all I can think about is this ticking time-bomb. The day she passes on will be the end of me: I already know it. I’ll be lost without her in the world. She’s just getting older and older, frailer and frailer, reminding me constantly of what’s coming. I’d love to man up, use my resources and take responsibility for her, but I still don’t see myself as a man. This is why I resent what’s happening: I still see myself as a child, needing her to take care of me. Having to take care of her feels unnatural and wrong. It’s all very morbid and I know I shouldn’t be thinking about it, but sometimes I can’t stop myself.
I read an article online about a potential link between excessive porn consumption and brain damage. It says that years and years of exposure to porn could lead to a decline in grey matter in areas of the brain that deal with love and relationships. If anyone could have been a participant in that trial, it’s me. I know only too well how years of porn usage can affect someone. My inability to gain any satisfaction from real relationships is clearly linked to the things I do in private. As I was reading the article I found myself nodding again and again. The interesting question it posed was: does excessive porn usage lead to a decline in grey matter in these areas, or does a pre-existing lack of grey matter in these areas lead to excessive porn usage? That’s something the study couldn’t answer, and nor could I.
I did strongly suspect that I used to be OK before I started depending on online pornography; but then today I really tried to think back to those times, and it’s occurred to me that I always struggled with being satisfied in relationships. It’s like there’s always been a part of me missing. I’ve never stayed with anyone for more than three months: it was a problem long before I ever heard of internet porn.
I took my mind off it all last night by popping over to East London for take away dinner and movie with S and P. I nearly cancelled, thinking I’d be too tired after the journey from hell. Then I knew I’d just be cancelling because of laziness and the desire to isolate in my bedroom, so I went. It was a nice pleasant evening. The food was good, the film (“Blue is the Warmest Colour”) was great, and the company was entertaining as ever. As a bonus we got to play with one of S’s gorgeous black cats for a while. Which made me want one all the more desperately!