I shouldn’t be blogging. It’s Shabbat in two hours, I need to pack and go to my parents’ house, I’ve been up less than an hour and I’m still more than half asleep, I should be in the shower. But I feel exhausted and very depressed and need to vent. I guess seeing my sister yesterday was more draining than I thought, even before I stayed up late working on my shidduch (dating) profile.
All kinds of thoughts are going through my head, just slowly, because I’m so lethargic. I had another anxiety dream, this time about my sister’s wedding, which is silly as it was nearly a month ago and I didn’t have to make a speech like I did in the dream. I guess it was difficult for me and I’m still working it through.
I was thinking about my childhood best friend, probably because my sister asked about him yesterday. We’re still friends, but haven’t seen each other for a couple of years, between my depression and his busy job. We drifted apart in secondary school, though. My Mum always wanted to split us up; he wasn’t a bad influence (far from it), but she felt I just hung around with him and didn’t make any new friends. I think if she had sent me to a different school, I would just have made no friends, which is sort of what happened at Oxford. OK, I made a couple of friends, but I didn’t really recognise them as friends until we left and they wanted to stay in touch, to my surprise, plus one or two who I lost contact with, but who then found me online and resumed the friendship. I probably should have been separated from him though. I was in his shadow, Ernie Wise to his Eric Morecambe, and it probably fuelled my low self-esteem, on an unconscious level. He’s an intensely charismatic, intelligent, active, positive person and I’ve never been able to compete with him. All the teachers knew him, even the ones who didn’t teach him, whereas even the teachers who had taught me tended not to forget me. He’s had his share of problems, but he always seems to push through them and sort them out relatively quickly (within a year or so, compared to me struggling for half my lifetime or more with mental health issues). He’s married to his school sweetheart, the only girl he ever dated, they have two children, he has a great job… his life is sort of the one I thought I would get, being married with children and a fulfilling job. He’s a great person too, much better than me, kind, thoughtful and empathetic. I shouldn’t compare myself, but it’s hard not to sometimes.
I sometimes wonder what happened to my friends and peers (including the ones who bullied me). I drifted away from my other friends when they got interested in girls, alcohol and, in some cases, drugs. Or when they went to the other extreme and went off to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary). I was scared of all those things. I wonder what they are doing, how many are married, how many have children, how many are happy… I know some are married, some in relationships, some with children. I’m guessing most are working, although you can’t tell these days. I think I came across a book by one of my old friends in my previous library job. It was hard to be sure as his name is fairly common and the author picture on the inside flap looked different to how he looked at thirteen (bald and with a beard). I certainly heard that he was a professional historian at Oxford. My subject, my university. Sigh.
This is when I start feeling solipsistic. It’s easier to tell myself that everyone else is a figment of my imagination than to confront the fact that everyone is doing better than I am. I can’t even say, “Well, at least I’m happy.” Because I’m not.
I wonder if they ever think about me, and what they think when they do. Do the bullies still mock me?
I’m sorry, I’m too morose today. Thinking about school reminds me that my friends at school use to tease me about being a Doctor Who fan (except the friend above, he would never do that, in fact he got me into the programme), saying I would marry a Dalek. To be honest, marrying a Dalek seems more likely today than marrying a sweet, frum, geeky girl. If I had been more into Star Trek, maybe they would have said I would marry a Klingon, which would be kind of sexy. Although a boring Vulcan would probably be more my level.