I had therapy today. My therapist said I should speak to my family about my concerns about coping with my sister’s engagement and wedding parties. I was reluctant to do this, lest I upset everyone and make this all about me when it isn’t about me at all (which is something I think I do too much, and my mental health encourages me to do), but I spoke to them earlier this afternoon and they are all willing to make reasonable adjustments so I can get to at least bits of the parties. My sister said something along the lines of, “I’d really like it if you could at least get to the chuppah [marriage ceremony]”. I was taking it for granted that I would manage that at least, so I felt bad that my mental illness has disrupted my adult life so much over the years that it can’t be taken for granted that I will get to my sister’s wedding ceremony. Sad but true, I suppose.
My Mum suggested I invite some friends to the wedding; someone else suggested that to me earlier, but I am reluctant to do so for several reasons. I don’t really have any friends close enough to feel comfortable inviting to a family party. I don’t think inviting non-Jewish friends is a good idea, nor inviting friends from outside London; between them, those two include most of my friends. Some of my friends are married, so I would have to include their spouses, which then means they still won’t be able to give me their attention. Plus my closest friends tend to be women, but inviting a woman to such an event is certain to lead to people assuming that she is my girlfriend (bad enough I was dining with a female friend a few months ago when I was spotted by some of my parents’ friends; I’m sure they thought I was on a date).
I feel better for having had this conversation, but it is hard to deal with all this. My therapist wondered if this was unconsciously triggering painful childhood memories of being sidelined while my sister monopolized the attention of the adults (this happened a lot) and it probably is, although it is not a helpful response now that I am an adult and that my sister is about to embark on a major life event that deserves attention.
No news back from my date, which surely is not good, but that’s a whole other story that I’m too tired to deal with now. Sherlock Holmes, on hearing of Dr Watson’s marriage in The Sign of Four, remarked that the cocaine bottle remained for him; I am not a drug fiend like the great detective, but single or not, Doctor Who remains for me and I have been indulging as a stress reliever to cope with my new job even before the events of the last few days. Off to DVD, then…