Shul (synagogue) this afternoon was depressing. I missed shul this morning again because of social anxiety and perhaps a bit of depression. I forced myself to go this afternoon. A few things were triggering. During the Talmud shiur (class) before Mincha (the afternoon service), the assistant rabbi mentioned someone he knew who was a child prodigy at Talmud study, then became very non-religious in his teens (the assistant rabbi would not say how much, just very bad; apparently he owned a casino, which is bad, but I think I do worse things) and then, because so many people prayed for him, in his twenties or thirties he became religious again and got married (because it’s impossible for Orthodox Jews to imagine a good life without being married…). So that just made me think how wicked I must be and how much God must hate me to leave me unmarried unlike this guy, and how lucky this guy was to have so many people praying for him (although I’m sometimes privately sceptical about praying for other people in that way).
Then in the shuir during seudah shlishit (the third Sabbath meal) the assistant rabbi spoke about the complex series of events that happened for him (the assistant rabbi) to get meet his wife and get married, which just made me feel that God must really hate me not to arrange something like that for me. The shiur was about all kinds of stuff that seemed relevant to me, about marriage and suffering and death and how God rewards us for what we suffer. Except that because I was depressed my concentration slipped and I missed the bit where it was all brought together and explained, so I don’t really understand anything of what I heard and don’t feel any better.
In under twelve hours, I should be in the air on my way to New York. I think everyone else is more excited about my holiday than I am. I just want to get through it and home again in one piece. I wanted to go on this trip to date E. and to meet some Hevria people. I’m seeing E., but only as a friend and it’s still questionable whether I will actually get to meet any Hevria people. I feel if I had taken £2,000 out of the bank and just burnt it, it would have been easier. I feel I’m going to be in a constant state of anxiety for the next ten days.
I feel I’ve let my parents take over too much with my holiday. I feel that I’m not an adult because I don’t know how to travel by myself. I already described how my Mum ended up doing more of my packing than I wanted. She talked me into taking more reading material than I think I need (two novels (admittedly one half-read), one light non-fiction book, a couple of magazines and some religious reading). She thinks I’m going to read a whole novel on the plane. I find this unlikely. It’s a long flight, but I find it hard to read on planes and, in any case, my concentration and motivation to read at the moment is poor because of the depression. In recent months, when I go on the Tube, time which I used to spend constantly reading, often I listen to music or just stare into space feeling depressed because I don’t have the energy or motivation to read. I guess it doesn’t really matter.
The holiday has brought up tensions with my parents, tensions that exist all the time, but are worse now I have to prepare for something. I feel like my parents treat me like a child at times. Things like my Dad reminding me to do stuff as if I was a young child or Mum and Dad contradicting my suggestions of what to take with and do. I feel that I’m mostly going to sites that other people have told me I should go to rather than choosing anything for myself, although as I don’t really want to go to New York in the first place, maybe that isn’t surprising. Sometimes I feel that if I say something, everyone around me feels the need to say the opposite, just to be different. No wonder I feel like everything I say is wrong. Of course, if I say that everything I say is wrong, they contradict that too.
Sometimes it feels that everything I try to do on my own initiative is undermined, then when I exist in a state of learned helplessness I get told that I’m a child (which was one reason E. broke up with me, I think). I’ve felt like this on and off for years, really since my teens. Every time I’m either in a position of doing something new and ‘adult’ or being with my family for a long time (and holidays are often both of those things), these issues come to a head and I bicker with my parents, but then afterwards I come home and retreat to my room and avoid them and the issue dies away and doesn’t get properly resolved. It’s probably going to be worse now I’m moving back in with my parents. I can’t really see how I can learn to be independent of my parents without doing scary stuff totally by myself. I guess that’s one reason I want to get married so much, to be independent of my parents, but not totally alone. I don’t have friends I can travel with or do stuff with, so marriage feels like my only option.
I suppose on the subject of childishness, I put some Doctor Who posters up in my bedroom. I had (different) posters up in the flat, because after a year living there the stark white walls were driving me crazy and making me think of a padded cell. At my parents’ house I have a couple of pictures up and a map of Israel and, of course, a thousand books and several hundred DVDs, but I just felt I wanted something to make it a bit more ‘me’ and to make the black wardrobe doors a bit brighter, but now I wonder if it’s too childish to have big posters up, doubly so Doctor Who ones. I suppose I can always take them down later.
Of I go into holiday mode now. I still feel that this is going to be the worst holiday ever, but I guess if I come home on schedule and in one piece, it will feel like a victory of sorts, albeit an expensive one.