Friday, January 14, 2005

My greatest fears

Talking about all the stress in my life recently, I was telling Kendall about my fears about becoming involved in a transatlantic relationship, and explained something I'd never actually consolidated into an idea till then, which was the nature of my fears.

Basically it's being put in any situation where I am out of my depth, and not happy. The first memory I have of this was being in the infants school watching the kids in the junior school playground at around 7 and worrying whether I'd be able to manage the work there. A true Woody Allen in the making. Ever since, there have been situations looming ahead that I either didn't worry about and got on with, or did worry about and may not have even materialised. But as time goes on and I become far more aware of the situations I do not like or want, I have decided to do my best to simply not do them. This isn't always as easy as it sounds, as when you're already in one it's too late to take evasive manoeuvres. You can't always know what you're getting into, and like a quicksand you can start off in what appears to be a positive or harmless situation, and then see yourself up to your chest and fearing for your life (as you know it, at least).

Things I can and do avoid include residential courses (been there, done that, had enough), holidays I haven't actually chosen myself, staying overnight in places I don't want to, any job that appears too demanding, going to central London for more than a short time, and going to events like weddings. Of course half of these overlap with the agoraphobia, but added to the places are being hooked up with demanding people I can't always easily control. If they're not nice, I would both be unlikely to be with them at all, and if I was, have no fear of cutting them loose. But when it's nice people who are just becoming hard work for whatever reasons, it's bloody difficult, as I mentioned before. There are, like getting time off work, a few acts of God that would solve these problems for me, but I can't rely on or wait for them. But otherwise time alone doesn't solve these problems automatically, they just hang around like a bad smell. I'm sure there are people who either don't care who they hurt and have no concerns about avoiding conflict who can just tell other people to basically get lost, and others who are clever enough to have found a diplomatic solution. But I am in neither of these categories, and while I am currently pretty able to avoid the other situations on my list, all of which I have actually done to the state of being thoroughly fed up with, the ones that creep up and catch you unawares, until you find you're already in them are another one altogether. It's times like these that belief in God helps, not because the situations are ever solved, but somehow these people trust everything will be OK (like that's realistic!). Well though I am learning to stop imagining or expecting the worst, all I can do here is ignore the non-existent selection of futures and deal with whatever shit is here now, if there is any. At least it lessens the weight of the situation by putting it into its genuine perspective and not adding fears over its future as well. But if God, my guardian angel or any other other-dimensional being would like to solve my problems, please do. Otherwise it's either going to be waiting till my tolerance level breaks and I speak out, breaking many eggs in the process, or carry on as usual as I am. What wonderful prospects...

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