I woke up at 9am and for once felt refreshed, so I got up straight away. I did manage to say most of the morning prayers at the right time, but not in the right order (I changed the order to say the most important prayers at the right time). This allowed me to do an hour of work on my novel before lunch. I went to apply for another job, this time as a law librarian, but they were looking for a lot of industry-specific experience and skills that I don’t have. I also passed on a school librarian job, partly because it was in South London and the trip would have been too long, but also because I’m nervous about dealing with teenagers again. It was a maternity cover job, so would not have been for too long anyway. That said, there is another secondary school librarian job that I might apply for tomorrow that is worth applying for because it’s relatively local, although possibly not that easy to get to on the bus.

I spent about two hours working on my novel (actually a bit under, as I spent some time looking at a library-related blog post). I would have liked to have written more, but I ran out of energy before the end and some of it was not great quality. I’m currently plugging a plot-hole, but I’m not sure I’m doing it particularly well and I feel like I’m losing my place in redrafting the story with all the interruptions (Jewish festivals, job applications). There’s also a kind of pull between what I feel people would expect to happen to my main character and what happened to me in a similar situation. I feel that what actually happened to me would be considered unrealistic if I wrote it in a novel, but I don’t feel that I can write the alternative for different reasons (lack of skill as well as what I think would really happen) so I’m in some weird compromise situation now which might be the worst of both worlds. Still, I wrote about a thousand words, which is something, even if I fear the quality is not good.

I did some Torah study and filled in the application form for a job agency for people on the autism spectrum, but then got nervous and didn’t book the appointment I will need to have about my skills and abilities before I can go on their books. It’s partly (mostly) social anxiety, but also an element of thinking they won’t be able to help, as other organisations aimed at helping people on the spectrum into work, or people generally into work, have not helped me. It doesn’t help that careers advisors I’ve spoken to don’t always have a good idea of what librarianship involves or what skills are transferable and I’m not good at explaining. People suggest I look at archives, but archival work is actually very different to librarianship and the skills are not transferable without significant retraining. Anyway, I feel I have too much on this week to speak to them, but maybe next week.

***

I went to depression group on Zoom. It still feels a strange experience after all these months. Zoom/Skype therapy doesn’t seem so hard, although I’ve been doing that for much longer, long before lockdown. I don’t think I’m particularly eloquent at in person meetings, but I feel even less eloquent on Zoom and I never seem to have as much to say as other people, possibly because I’m not so good about talking about my emotions outside of a formal therapy setting (as opposed to writing about them). It is good to hear that I’m not alone and that other people are going through the same things as me, even if it is simultaneously hard to hear so many people suffering. One thing that was suggested tonight was that people with a creative outlet are doing better than those without one, which may be true. I certainly feel that my novel has given me something to focus on beyond job applications that never seem to go anywhere.

I didn’t talk about PIMOJ on depression group. I am always reluctant to talk about dating at depression group, I guess because after I spoke about E. there, the first time we were dating, we broke up. I don’t think it jinxed the relationship, I just felt awkward when I went back again and had to say we had broken up. When I was dating E. again earlier this year, I didn’t mention it at depression group at all, or when we broke up. But maybe I should talk about PIMOJ next time, as it is a big thing for me, and it’s not easy to date in lockdown. Although I know some people from depression group read this and I talk about her here. Somehow that doesn’t bother me, maybe because I feel more in control here. In control about what I say, I mean.

***

I’m thinking about letting PIMOJ know about my blog. I think I’ve mentioned journaling as a coping strategy, but not that it’s on a public blog. I was worried she would want to see it and it would show her a load of negative things about me, in particular my lack of positivity (she is very positive). That still is a concern to me, although I don’t think I’m as negative here as I used to be. I’m probably still somewhat negative, particularly about my employment prospects. But lately I’ve been wanting to open up more to her emotionally (as encouraged by my therapist), but I find it hard to do, perhaps in part because of what I said above about finding speaking about my emotions hard. COVID means we aren’t meeting much in person (although we are still trying) and I find it hard to start a serious conversation on instant messenger. I worry about suddenly becoming very serious. I think I’m still learning to feel comfortable with PIMOJ, to converse at a deeper level, but it’s hard to find the way to start that conversation. So maybe it would be a good idea to start a conversation that way, by letting her read my blog. Or maybe it wouldn’t, I’m not sure.

***

I probably do have more to say about all of the above, but it’s late and this post is long and I should get to bed…

17 thoughts on “(Not) Opening Up

  1. Ya why is it that the truth is so unbelievable sometimes? I think you should tell it the way it really happened though cause I think there are important messages in the experience of our lives as unbelievable as they might be. I have a post about Jordan where I left out the unbelievable parts but I think I’m going to try and write it again with everything in it at some point. Elizabeth Goudge wrote a book called Green Dolphin Country and in the story this guy in Australia proposes by letter to a girl back in England. Somehow there is a misunderstanding and her sister takes the long journey by sea to marry him. When he sees the wrong girl getting off the boat believing that he has sent for her and loves her and wants to marry her he has a split second to decide what he is going to do. He decides not to break her heart. The book was even made into a movie but everyone always said that the one totally not believable part was this proposal mix up story. Elizabeth Goudge was baffled by the response and said that it was the only true to life part of the whole story and that this had literally happened to her uncle.
    I’ve been working on starting a new blog that is even more transparent and it’s not easy but I really do need to process some heavy stuff. I’m fortunate in that I’m not dating so I don’t have to worry about being too negative and scaring a significant other off. I do want friends that respond though and don’t find my thoughts exhausting and so I know that fear. I more often get “You are too intense” but that kind of fits in the negative category. I’m thinking and studying about a more Jewish Old Testament way of grieving. I’m getting better at not caring what people think and wanting to grieve in the way God wants me to. I hope you can find peace about how much to share.

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  2. Oh and I don’t think I need to go back with the Dr. Who episodes. I’ve watched 5 episodes now and it’s making sense and I’m really liking it. I just had to give it the same sort of time as I had to give Star Wars for my heart to get into it :). I think my son will really like it so I’m glad I bought it and didn’t just rent it. But of course there is like a full discussion that can come out of every episode.

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  3. I vote emphatically “no” on inviting PIMOJ to read your blog. From personal experience, it’s better to have fewer people you actually know reading your innermost thoughts. I wish none of my family or friends knew about my blog. It constrains how open I can be, and is sometimes awkward if I’m not somewhat careful about what I write. Being a bit guarded and private isn’t a bad thing, especially at the beginning of a relationship. As time goes on, both people reveal more, bit by bit. In my opinion, dating should be more like turning the pages of a book one by one versus reading the whole book in one day, which would be overwhelming.

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      1. Because WordPress requires it to comment these days. I used to be able to just use my first name, but now they don’t allow it. However, I shouldn’t put the link in to my blog. You are correct about that, and I’ll stop doing so. People can google me, and go to the blog, then (if they know anything about blogs) click on my name which is highlighted. Without a link, they can see my name but not my blog, which I’ve made unsearchable. I haven’t advertised that I have a blog, nor do I invite people I know to read it. That doesn’t mean that with a bit of research that they can’t find it. However, I do need to stop using a link, except on Blogger and typepad where I can omit my last name.

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  4. I do agree with Margaret, and glad she said that as I tend to be hesitant in giving advice on such things. One of the things which drives a relationship — especially in its early stages — is the sense of mystery of the other. Your blog is very personal and paradoxically this is why it is best to share it with people who don’t know you so well. Sharing too much can destroy that sense of mystery and also put pressure on the other person which can feel quite overwhelming. I have written a personal journal since I was about 10 years old. I have boxes of old journals. Now of course, your online journal would never be as revealing or as personal as one you wrote just for yourself (perhaps you do keep a parallel one you don’t publish?) I could not envisage sharing my personal journal with anyone in the world no matter how close I got to them. I could more easily share these thoughts with a stranger than someone I knew well. We know each other in different ways and reveal sides of ourselves to different people. This is so complex that it is something that people on the autistic spectrum may find difficult to grasp. Just as you find people with ASD tend to find physical boundaries difficult to judge; when my son went to a school for students with AS they had difficulties with some students getting too close i.e. not intuiting the boundaries for physical space, and others being too aloof, not getting close enough. So it is with emotional or psychological boundaries. I’m afraid I am not making this very clear but I hope it might be helpful. I’d concentrate on revealing yourself to your girlfriend gradually, as you feel able – and maybe occasionally sharing something you have written. But I’d think carefully before giving her the link to your blog.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I never really considered mystery part of a relationship.

      I probably won’t share it with her now, it just feels weird as with my last relationship, we met through my blog, so she always knew about it.

      Like

  5. I actually sent my last comment by mistake, meaning to edit it first … so sorry if I came across as too directive. I wrote more than I meant to and would have cut it in half! You, must of course do what you think is right re sharing you blog. What I said was just my opinion and I may well be wrong! And, yes, I know you met your previous girlfriend on your blog so she knew all about you already. The trickiest area is probably for her to read about herself. Even though you don’t say much about her – you do mention your own thoughts – and knowing how much you may be investing in the relationship may be a bit hard for her to deal with at this early stage. As for mystery — I didn’t explain that very well –Margaret did that better when she spoke about people revealing themselves like a book, slowly, bit by bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t too directive. I think it’s best not to tell her about it yet, but I do need to find a way to open up to her with more of my emotions. I possibly find it easier to speak to her in person than in text/instant messenger, which is unusual compared with previous relationships (perhaps because English isn’t her first language), but because of COVID it’s hard to meet in person.

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