“Like most people who lead a lonely life, she was shy at first, but ended by becoming extremely communicative.” – The Adventure of the Cardboard Box by Arthur Conan Doyle
I had a weird anxiety dream last night about sitting an exam I was not prepared for, partly in French and I realised I could not remember any French. I kept drifting into Hebrew. We kept having to move rooms and none of the rooms was really suitable for an exam anyway, being run down at best and lacking suitable tables. One of them looked like a shop. Other students kept cheating without the invigilators noticing or caring, but when I couldn’t get one of the invigilators to understand my ID number and went to type it in on her computer directly, I was ‘arrested’ for cheating myself. And there were some antisemitic students who wanted to kill me or at least threaten me. I don’t know if this is a general anxiety exam or specifically related to having to do exam invigilation this coming term and being terrified of doing the wrong thing. I’m specifically worried about students asking me something they shouldn’t (which apparently they do) and panicking and giving an answer instead of stonewalling. But it could have just been an ordinary anxiety dream. I’ve got other things to make me anxious.
The dream at least meant I was wide awake at 8.30am, even though I hadn’t got to bed much before 2.30am. I managed to get up before 9.00, which is a recent record for a non-work day. I started the day feeling bad and it still took me a long time to get going. I suddenly burst into tears while eating my lunch and watching The Andromeda Breakthrough. One minute I was OK, the next there were tears running down my face. I have no idea what triggered it. This usually only happens to me at work, not when I’m on holiday.
As I’m on holiday, I went to visit The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street with my Dad. It was expensive, but I did enjoy it. The museum basically bought period rooms in Baker Street near (but not quite at) 221b and did them up like Holmes and Watson’s rooms from the stories with some things taken from the stories (like the VR in bullet holes in the living room wall shot by Holmes when bored and wanting to do shooting practice) and others taken from the period (the slightly freaky stuffed owl in the bathroom). I’m a big Holmes fan (incidentally, my reading of Holmes is that he’s autistic and bipolar), so I enjoyed it, but even as a collection of late-period Victoriana it was interesting. We were allowed to take photos; I tried to take some with my phone, but I’m not sure how well they will come out as I had some tremor and the light levels weren’t great. Afterwards my Dad and I wandered around Regents Park in the cold for a bit, but my mood was already starting to drop again and I was glad that Dad didn’t want to stay out too long. On the train home I was largely too exhausted and depressed to read. I started a big book about two weeks ago (Voyage by Stephen Baxter) and I’m only twenty-five pages in largely because of my mood and energy levels although I did read A for Andromeda scripts in that period and we did have Pesach too, so I probably shouldn’t be too hard on myself.
On the way home my thoughts were drifting towards loneliness and broodyness again. There was a frum woman on the train, probably a bit younger than me, saying Tehillim (Psalms) with a toddler who looked like I did at that age (blue eyes, blonde curls) although she was a girl, which just made me feel lonely and broody. Again. I was thinking that Sammy Davis Junior used to say, “I’m black, Jewish and Puerto Rican, when I move into an area, I bury it!” I must be the equivalent for the shidduch world. I’m a borderline autistic, depressed, geeky, not particularly employable ba’al teshuva with no yichus. The only person willing to date me would have to be so desperate that I’d have to worry what her issues were. I would probably date her anyway, though. This led on to thinking about my needing to make compromises to get someone to marry someone as ineligible as me and feeling that because of my autistic inflexibility, I’m not sure how many concessions I would actually be able to make (religious concessions, personal trait concessions, anything), which led on to thinking that I think my boss must regret hiring me at work, the honeymoon there having lasted somewhere between six months and a year (at the end of my six month probation period my boss said I was doing fine; six months later, she was expressing dissatisfaction with my work), so how long would the honeymoon period in a relationship last? It probably lasted about four months in my previous relationship, although I convinced myself everything was fine until right near the end when I should have noticed the red flags much earlier.
What I’m trying to do when I feel like this is simply to acknowledge my more negative, or just plain difficult, emotions rather than repress them or fight them or label them as ‘bad’ or get caught up in fuelling them. I’ll have to wait and see how this goes. Certainly on the train just now, and writing here, I got carried away with the thoughts in the last paragraph rather than just noting them and trying to move on. I feel it’s what my therapist would want, although it’s hard to tell as I’m halfway through a month-long enforced break in therapy due to bank holiday, Pesach and my therapist going on holiday.