I dropped some blogs from my reading list. This is always a big thing for me, as I have such a limited social life that the blogs I read often seem like friends (hence over-sharing and drama queening). I feel bad for culling friends, even if they probably weren’t really friends any more, if they ever were. And it did confirm that I’m still very angry with one person, even coming up to Yom Kippur when I should be feeling forgiving.
I feel that social media should be a way for me to ‘meet’ like-minded people and make friends, and sometimes it has been, but not always. Facebook and Twitter in particular seem full of echo chambers and sarcastic ‘take-downs’ instead of genuine discussion. I like to read well-written, well-argued pieces that challenge my views, but the type of snarky one-liners one sees online are triggering to me regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them, I suppose because I see the target as being the victim of the playground bully, as I was. Identity politics in particular seems to exist almost entirely in this aggressive state, with competitive victimhood thrown in for good measure, which I think is unhelpful even when factually correct. Unfortunately, I see a lot of this online, especially in Doctor Who fandom. Reading things like that really upset me, particularly if I feel under attack.
I went to see my sister’s new house today. I know it sounds horrible to say this, but between this and being sort-of forced to donate something to buy a present for the assistant rabbi’s new baby last week (the assistant rabbi is my age), I feel as if I’m getting my nose rubbed in my inadequacies. But I can’t say anything (except here). It would seem ridiculously petty to refuse to go to the house or to refrain from joining in with the present. But I do wonder if I will ever get any positive attention from people (and whether I could cope with it if I did) and especially whether I will ever reach those stages in life (owning a home, having a child), or some kind of alternate stage that would seem as rewarding to me.
I felt bad as I couldn’t stay for dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s flat (the house is about to be renovated, so they’re renting, currently leaving them with two homes while I have to live with my parents) with my parents because of differing kashrut standards. The house was very nice, but did make me feel inadequate, as I can’t imagine I will ever be able to afford a house, let alone one as nice as that one will be (it needs a lot of work currently. I wasn’t really able to visualise what my sister says they’re going to do). I really can’t imagine getting married and buying a house or even a flat. E. was right that I’m too dysfunctional and don’t earn enough. I don’t know what hope that gives me for the future. It makes me feel very depressed.
The other thing that upset me was that we were there for a long time and I got impatient to come home and get ready for work tomorrow, so now I feel stressed and upset at a time when I need to be in a good state of mind to rest tonight and go to work for the first time in six weeks or so tomorrow.
I spoke to my rabbi mentor this afternoon. To be honest, I was not in the best state of mind because of the prospect of going to see my sister’s house and probably came across as surly and miserable. I didn’t realise it until after talking to him, but being told to visit my sister’s new house put me in a childish mood, in terms of transactional analysis. If I get treated as a child, I sulk, which I think is what I used to do in childhood rather than act up and throw tantrums. In this instance, being asked if I wanted to go and, on saying that I’d rather see the house some other time as I had other plans, being told that actually, I should come or else people will get upset, did seem worryingly like the way things went in my childhood. I suppose this might be an emotional flashback of the kind I learnt about at autism group and from the CPTSD book. Watching Doctor Who as escapism to cope with it doesn’t work today, as I only had one episode left in my viewing of the whole series and it’s one that annoys me and, I feel, insults the memory of a character I liked.
My rabbi mentor encouraged me to do a cheshbon nafesh (moral self-audit) to focus on the things I’ve achieved in the last year. I don’t really feel like I’ve achieved anything. Likewise, he seemed to be a lot more hopeful about me eventually getting married than I am (I’m not sure if he felt that things might work out with E. one day or just that if E. likes me someone else could. To be honest, both scenarios seem ridiculously optimistic to me). The only positives I can think of are things which are simply not as negative as they might be e.g. despite struggling, I davened Mincha and Ma’ariv every day (without kavannah or a minyan), I did a tiny bit of Torah study every day (even though I didn’t really want to most days)… The only other things I can think of is volunteer at the asylum seekers drop in centre, but I’ve only done that twice, and go to a couple of new shiurim (religious classes), one of which was replacing an old one (the Talmud shiur). I suppose you could include going on holiday by myself and going to autism group, but they hardly seem a religious achievements. So I guess that’s not total stagnation, but it’s not really growth either. Nor do I know how to get past my anger and shame to engage in the teshuva process in an adult way. I really do not feel like doing this cheshbon nafesh.