I struggled to sleep last night, I suppose from the heat and having slept about sixteen or seventeen hours during the last twenty-four (!). I had a thought about my post from yesterday. I know I drifted back into self-loathing in my last post. I know the reason for this and have known for a while.
Children assume that the world is logical and if things happen for no apparent reason, they try to find a reason. Abused children assume that if people do bad things to them, they (the children) must be misbehaving or ‘bad’ on some level. I was not by any means an abused child, but it is probably true that, like an abused or neglected child, I have taken on the worldview that I am a bad person and that is why bad things happen to me. Sometimes it gets too much and I rebel and say I’m a good person and get angry with God (or humans) for treating me like this, but mostly I blame myself, because it’s safer that way.
I’ve known all this for a long time. The twist last night was that I realised that my self-loathing is keeping me sane. If I gave up on my self-loathing, I would have to assume that people don’t like me for no reason I can control, that my life is miserable because God wants it to be miserable for no obvious reason, and that I can’t control anything. So it’s going to be very hard to move away from self-loathing into a healthier view of myself. The problem is that I really do perceive myself as a bad person.
I feel marginally better about work. I spoke to my parents again and to my rabbi mentor. My rabbi mentor said to take advantage of the fact that I don’t have to make a final decision yet and have a look at what other jobs are available. It says something about how I feel about my current job, and my fears about this new job, that even though I found pretty much no jobs in the library sector this afternoon at my level of experience and expertise (except one job that was basically the same as the job I’m being offered where I am, but in Manchester), I still think I should turn the new job down.
I’m thinking of trying to move into some kind of writing, which might give me more flexibility with hours and less pressure to interact with people in settings that I find uncomfortable. As I’ve noted in the past, I think I neglected this as a job outlet because I thought writing = creative writing (or journalism, shudder), whereas there are lots of other writing and editing jobs e.g. copy writing, sub-editing, non-fiction writing, ghost writing and so on. I don’t really want to write copy for cereal boxes for a living, but if it pays the bills, I think I’d rather do it than talk to classes of sullen teenagers about information literacy. I just found a major academic publisher looking for new writers for books for primary school children. I probably don’t have the skills or experience for that right now, but I thought it’s worth applying in case they have other jobs that I could do or opportunities for training. I am also looking for a careers adviser who might be able to help me work out how to apply for writing or editing jobs, plus I have some friends who work in research and proof-reading who I can talk to.
I feel a little bit more hopeful now, but not much. I do think that I need to find new, healthier avenues for me.
I also heard from E., who says she wants to stay friends and will meet me when I’m in New York. This is good, because otherwise I’m going to be very lonely, but I worry it’s not good because her email basically made it clear that she still likes me and is only breaking up with me for practical/financial reasons, so I’m worried that we’re both just going to be miserable if we’re together. At depression group last week, people were encouraging me to see her in the hope that she might change her mind when she meets me in person. I didn’t really feel comfortable with doing that, but now I feel that I am doing that. It is hard to know what to do. There were issues with us being together, like the religious differences, but we felt we could probably deal with those; the main reason we broke up was financial, which is painful. We both like each other, we’re really good together, supportive and encouraging (we both need a lot of support and encouragement…), and we have some key values and interests in common, but we both need to be with someone who works full-time so that we can work part-time for mental health reasons. It’s rather sad, but I don’t know what we can do about it.