I was just out shopping and I saw someone I knew from shiur. I was going to talk to him, but I found myself walking past him and out and hoping he didn’t see (he was doing something on his phone and didn’t seem to notice me). I hate it when social anxiety makes me do things like this, but I don’t know how to change. I need to speak to my parents about trying CBT for it.
I was actually thinking a few minutes before this happened that so many of the things that upset me and which I brood and ruminate about boil down to feeling rejected and not good enough. I feel that I’m not good enough to get married, that I’m too ‘modern’ for my religious community, that I’m too conservative for the Doctor Who fan community, that I don’t fit in to any political party and so people will reject me if they know my political views. Antisemitism seems a very personal rejection, when it shouldn’t do, it’s just morons being morons; Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t know me personally. When I had a job, I worried that I was not good at it and would get found out. I worry about how people will react if I tell them about my mental health issues, but in my support groups I still feel different: “too” depressed, “not autistic enough.” Or perhaps I start to notice other differences, like class and background, always feeling that no one could accept me if they knew the ‘real’ me. They would always have a reason to hate and reject me.
I constantly feel like I’m hiding my true self and trying to ‘pass’ in different ways in different places. There isn’t really one place where I really feel I can be myself, except maybe here on my blog, but then again I feel that so few people read this that I’m not sure it really counts as acceptance.
I don’t even know who the ‘real’ me is. There are things about the frum (Orthodox Jewish religious) world that scare me and make me want to leave, but then, when I go to the secular Western world, that’s just as scary and corrupt, if not more so. So where do I go? In the USA there’s a bit of middle ground, but there isn’t much vibrant Modern Orthodoxy in the UK, just the middle-aged and largely non-religious United Synagogue. I don’t know where I go from here.