Today was probably a bad day. Nothing momentous went wrong, it was just a lot of trivial things.
Work was tiring. I was at our secondary campus, which always leaves me feeling depleted. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because the office is not at all sound-proof, so I can here the noise in the library (there was a teacher and a couple of noisy teenage girls sitting the library discussing things; every couple of minutes the teacher would shush the girls, which quickly became even more irritating than the talking/shouting) and the library itself suffers from having an upstairs IT area which a corridor cuts through with a partition wall that doesn’t reach anywhere near the ceiling, so all the noise from the corridor can be heard in the library. It’s not the ideal layout for a library, and I find it draining, particularly when coupled with dim lighting, little natural light and a strange smell (apparently the building used to be a school, so it may be the ghostly memory of Victorian school dinners). And I was there by myself for the last hour and a quarter. I had to phone our main site when a problem I couldn’t solve came up. And then some kids openly flouted my authority when they came in as I was about to lock up, wanting to use the photocopier. I said we had shut, but they used it anyway. It seemed quicker and easier to let them get on with it, but I wasn’t pleased with losing what little standing I felt I had before a bunch of fifteen year olds.
I felt pretty incompetent on the way home, too, when it turned out that I couldn’t even cross the road or the station corridors competently. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really autistic, but other times my complete inability to read people or situations is painfully obvious. I cried quite a bit on the way home, even though I was reading (and not something sad – Dracula), just as I had done at work. Sometimes I wonder if this crying is really triggered by depression or if I have an undiagnosed dust allergy or similar, because I don’t always feel consciously depressed when it happens, except that it mostly happens when I’m at work, particularly when I’m alone with my thoughts, and not at all when I’m at home except when I’m doing my hitbodedut prayer/meditation.
I had a cursory look at some emails advertising jobs once I got home, but nothing seemed suitable. They all seem to require either much more experience, skill and confidence than I actually have, or are far too basic. I can’t find anything that’s similar to what I’m doing now, but less stressful (i.e. not at a school or FE college) and with a shorter commute. I realised I want to explore the idea of research because it’s basically the nearest thing I can think of to being back at Oxford studying history, spending all week researching a topic and then writing an essay on it. My ideal job would be if someone would actually pay me to write the Doctor Who books I’m writing for fun, but I can’t see that happening.
My therapist wanted me to challenge my social anxiety by talking to the assistant rabbi of my shul (synagogue) about my feelings of not fitting into the frum (religious) world, which I intended to do after shiur (Torah class) tonight. I had been psyching myself up all week, deliberately trying not to plan what I would say the way I normally would, as my CBT for social anxiety book says that’s a safety behaviour. And then I found out the shiur was cancelled and assistant rabbi is out of the country. So I don’t know where I stand with that. I guess I should try again next week, but I feel I should do something this week, I just don’t know what. At least I had a conversation with the temp yesterday. That was a big achievement, silly though it seems to say that.
The other thing I’m beating myself up about is being sarcastic to my Dad. I didn’t intend to, sometimes things come out harsher than I mean. And I did feel that he was treating me like a child. When that happens, I never know how to react, so I tend to resort to sarcasm. So I feel bad about that, although I’m not sure what I should have done instead, because I felt I needed to say something to stress that I’m old enough to decide what time I go to bed and pretty much anything would have come out aggressively.
With all of this, particularly sitting alternately in a drab office and a library by myself most of the day, it’s no wonder I got to feeling lonely again. I was thinking that there are 3,500,000,000 women in the world, but there doesn’t seem to be one who can love me (romantically/sexually). Of course, that’s not really an accurate argument. If you rule out all the ones who aren’t Jewish, that leaves about 7,000,000, which is a much, much smaller number. Cutting out the ones who aren’t frum enough for me is harder to judge, but probably leaves under a million. And then you have to rule out the ones who are too old, too young, married, Haredi… you’re left with a tiny number even before taking into account the usual stumbling blocks of geekiness, mental illness and poor chemistry. Sigh. I’m probably feeling desperate enough to apply to that matchmaking service in the next few days, though. I’m almost tempted to do it now, but it’s late and I’m tired and there are other things I should prioritise ahead of it. It’s better than doing nothing, and being one of the “strange nutty ones” left behind.