I feel I need to write, but I only have a few minutes before having to shower for Shabbat (the Sabbath). I’m not going to shul (synagogue) this week as I’m too worried about COVID. The new lockdown has worried me, especially as we found out that Mum still has slightly reduced immunity. I know I’m going to work on the Tube (I’m a key worker, technically), but I don’t want to take unnecessary risks. I’m not seeing PIMOJ this week for the same reason, which I think she was a bit upset about. I’m upset too, but I don’t want to break the rules. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about volunteering, as they have changed the rules for volunteers to make it safer, and I’m not sure how they apply to me – I need time to read them again.

I feel a bit calmer today, mostly because I know none of the things that trouble me will be happening directly over Shabbat. I spoke to my rabbi mentor too, which was helpful. It wasn’t so much that he said anything new as that he validated some of my fears as understandable, but also validated my hopes that I was doing the right thing and should stick with it. Other people have said this, but I really needed his rabbinic approval rather than approval from my parents or therapist. He suggested a coping strategy for now as well.

That said, while getting ready for Shabbat some anxieties returned. I wonder if I’m being punished, or why God seems to put me in so many difficult situations. Situations which I feel someone frum (religious Jewish) should not have got in somehow. To be honest, I struggle to understand how to function in the frum community, not in terms of religious practise, but in terms of socialisation. Know what to do and say informally, when it’s not a matter of Jewish law. Knowing how to be accepted, how to present myself, what interests are allowed and so on.

OK, out of time now. See you in twenty-five hours.

11 thoughts on “Quick Post

  1. Covid 19 has certainly made it difficult on relationships. My daughter and her husband rarely argue, but when they do, it’s about the virus and what constitutes adequate precautions. Punishment, or challenges? The latter can feel like the former at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps if autism makes it hard to socialize in the frum community, your ability to predict what situations frum people are or are not end up in is skewed by not having those kinds of conversations with other frum people.

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  3. Most of your penultimate paragraph — about struggling to know how to behave socially in your religious community is probably a function of your Asperger’s and your social anxiety, rather than an indication that they do not accept you. I would guess you have this difficulty in all of your circles where spontaneous social interaction is happening. Is there anywhere you feel really comfortable and accepted? Where you don’t have to think twice before speaking and worry that you have said or done the wrong thing? My guess would be with your immediate family perhaps and hopefully eventually with PIMOJ. I think this is the daily experience of many people on the autistic spectrum – but it also affects many of us who are naturally shy, socially awkward, and unsure of ourselves, though perhaps to a lesser extent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do struggle with this in most circles. I don’t know where I feel comfortable, other than with close family and perhaps one or two friends. I used to feel quite accepted in the Doctor Who Society at Oxford, but that was a long time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

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