Another night of strange, disturbing dreams. I should probably be glad that I usually don’t remember my dreams if they’re going to upset me.
I don’t really pay much attention to this time of year. Not my festivals. I do my introspection for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). But 2018 has been crazy. I had two jobs and got a third, but I messed the first two up and I’m worried I’m going to mess the new one up too. I don’t know if I’m actually capable of holding down a job. I did go on holiday by myself this year, for the first time, which was an achievement. But otherwise the year was just depression and anxiety, and confusion about whether I’m autistic (still not conclusively resolved).
I guess if I take a longer-term view things are a bit better. Five years ago I was limping to the end of an MA that should have taken one year, but actually took three and a half. I was pleased about being nearly finished, but then the university started saying that because I had taken so long, they might give me a diploma instead of an MA, which would not have made me a qualified librarian (I got the MA in the end). I had broken up with my first girlfriend earlier in the year after being sure that (a) we would get married and (b) I would never find another girlfriend if we broke up (the second of these wasn’t quite true, but nearly, at least so far). I had never had a paying job, not even part-time (I don’t count coming in on occasional afternoons to do the filing at the office where my Mum worked when I was sixteen).
Since then I’ve got my MA, had three jobs and won a fourth and briefly been in another relationship. This doesn’t make me feel much better, though, as the jobs were mostly disastrous and the relationship just got my hopes up only to dash them again; jobs and relationship alike both make me feel like an incompetent failure.
I probably have more friends than in 2013, but my social life is still largely based on the internet, despite moving to a different community with different shuls (synagogues) and starting going to support groups.
I feel so depressed today that it’s impossible to do anything. Earlier I had Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon stuck in my head for some reason (I don’t think I’ve actually heard it yet this year), which is officially my least favourite song ever. Not only is it a saccharin-sickly, sentimental (a choir of children!) and miserable dirge (and inaccurate – war is not over, however much you want it), it is indelibly associated in my mind with the winter of 2003/04, which was the worst time of my life, when I very nearly attempted suicide.
I was stuck in Oxford, first during term and then during the holiday, too depressed to work, but encouraged by my tutors to stay around in case my anti-depressants kicked in and I could catch up on the term. I was regularly being visiting by psychiatric nurses, or irregularly visited, I should say, as I would have to wait in for them, but they would usually be very late, which messed up my plans and made me more depressed (although my plans were basically, “Try to get the energy to go out and buy food”) – this was long before autism was suggested, so I didn’t know just how bad I am at adjusting to changes. My best friend (the woman I mentioned the other day) had stopped talking to me and I didn’t feel like opening up to anyone else in case they rejected me too, or perhaps just because I always find it hard to open up about depression (the woman who wasn’t talking to me had spotted the depression in me and asked me about it, which is pretty much a unique occurrence and one reason she was so special to me).
Happy Xmas (War is Over) was playing in a lot shops and getting a lot of airtime on the radio. I don’t usually listen to music radio, but I also had terrible insomnia and was awake half the night in bed, listening to the BBC World Service, which has (or had) some music programmes late at night GMT. I think as well as the Lennon original, someone had just released a cover that year. Anyway, I heard it a lot and hearing it again just reminds me of that miserable winter and everything that happened in it.
The other thing in my head, weirdly enough, is Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech, not because of Brexit or splits in the Conservative Party that might bring it to mine, but for the famous quote about “It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to find, as the first balls are being bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain.” I feel like that in my life, that my bat was broken before I even got onto the field. I feel that whatever chance I might have had of love, family, friendship, community, happiness, anything I might want really, was taken away from me before I even had a chance to live in the world, first by autism and then by the difficult, perhaps even traumatic, things that happened to me as a child. I know a lot of people with autism don’t consider it a disability, but a difference, even a positive difference. However, I feel that I have gone so long without a diagnosis or help and have been on the receiving end of so much anger, hatred and incomprehension from other people that I simply can’t function in the world and would gladly get rid of this difference if I could, if I could just have a normal life.
I just want to have a normal life, with the normal amounts of love, friendship and happiness that normal people have. Apparently this is too much to ask. I think even then I could cope if I knew why I have to live like this. I believe in God, so I believe there is a reason for my life being like this, being so miserable; ironically, it might be easier to cope with if I didn’t believe and just assumed there was no reason beyond blind chance. It’s the not knowing the reason that makes coping with misery and loneliness extra hard, just as I can’t stand not knowing if I’ll ever find love and happiness.
I don’t know where I go from here. I’ve been having thoughts of death all day, but I’m not really suicidal. I went for a walk for half an hour and did some grocery shopping, but the effort of it exhausted me as if I had run a couple of miles. I was supposed to sort out papers and emails today, but I’m not sure that I will be able to do so. I also need to cook dinner as my parents are out tonight (a wedding, again, of someone rather younger than me – I am on the shelf). All I want to do, all I feel capable of doing today, is sitting in my room and watching Doctor Who.
I just want to be loved. Is that too much to ask? My family do love me, they just don’t understand me, or always express affection in a way I can understand. And I do have a couple of friends who care about me, but they’re so far away. Knowing that doesn’t really make it any easier. And still, I want to have a romantic relationship, which is a different kind of love.
I feel that I’m a really tightly wound-up person. I worry that eventually I will explode or, more likely, implode, and I wonder what kind of damage that would do, and to whom.
I fear that this post has degenerated in incomprehensibility. I wonder sometimes what the people reading this blog think of me. I get some likes, so I guess some people must find this interesting or moving, but I find it hard to believe that.