solo in sydney


Overwhelmed
October 23, 2013, 1:08 pm
Filed under: dear diary | Tags: ,

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In moments of extreme stress or anxiety, I often feel like I’m watching myself in the third person, narrating my own thoughts from a distance.

This generally occurs as I lay in bed, struggling to emerge and meet the day’s responsibilities. I can hear the internal battle raging. I’m not dispassionate to the discourse – the pain is still there, of the harsh words being spoken to me, about me – but I feel disconnected from the final decision. The decision to stay in bed, to cancel plans, to shirk responsibilities and let people down.

My narrator self knows how the day should go, how I truly want the day to go. How I want to get up and start rebuilding myself, my life, and the trust in me that my loved ones have long since abandoned. But any attempts to communicate this, even scream it, at the entity that’s making the decisions simply doesn’t pierce through the dense fog between us.

The internal battles go for hours and leave me utterly drained. If there is any relief in choosing to stay in bed, or in sending an email or text message to cancel plans, it is blindingly short-lived and promptly followed by hours of guilt-fuelled tossing and turning. Any sleep I manage is fitful and broken, but the energy to remove myself from bed and rectify the situation, even belatedly, is long gone, and even my narrator self has given up by then.

Defeated and despondent.

Another day gone.



Unfriended and Replaced
October 11, 2013, 1:37 am
Filed under: dear diary

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In between what can only be described as weeping, he meekly asked if we could remain friends.

“Of course,” I said, and he pulled me closer and cried some more.

It wasn’t long before we weren’t friends anymore, at least in Facebook terms (which are admittedly tenuous at best).

I only realised I’d been unfriended when, courtesy of his unconventionally expressed name (in non-Roman alphabet characters) I attempted to navigate to his name via mutual friends and realised, with a shock, that he was listed as little more than someone with whom I had friends in common. It could have been anything from 6 months to a year later, but after so many years together, it felt raw.

I hovered over the Friend Request button for quite some time before clicking away and closing the window in a blur of unwelcome tears.

My intention of briefly shooting him a cordial message asking him if it was at all possible to ship one of my abandoned items soon resulted in an all-out Facebook stalking episode that would have intimidated most investigative reporters.

We had been friendly. We had wished each other the best. We had posted birthday greetings and even caught up just before Christmas, where both pleasantries and gifts were exchanged. We had recognised that we had once loved each other, but that time had passed. I thought we had truly managed the impossible feat of becoming “just friends”.

But suddenly, unexpectedly, our friendship was over. It didn’t take me long to find visual proof of precisely why that was – he had moved on.

I had been replaced.

She looked very much like I had in my earliest days with J. Same hair colour, same hair style, same eyes, same skin tone – we even shared some more unusual facial features.

I irrationally felt myself wondering if the hotly-contested wall clock had been replaced just as soon as I had been.

It wasn’t difficult to piece together, through our many continued mutual friends and their many shared photographs, that my “replacement” now lived with J, in the very home we had  shared together for many years.

I’m not sure if recognising my old home was quite as painful as realising how many changes had occurred since I’d left, even at a superficial level. Different prints on the wall, different furniture, different layouts. I wondered if my name was still on the lease.

For a long time, it hurt desperately. I felt that after so many years together, after being the first person he’d ever loved, I had been replaced so easily, so seamlessly. His life went on, whilst mine felt like it had been ripped out from under me.

Even now, years later, it still stings. But looking through old photos of us together, and thinking about our old life, I’ve slowly come to realise that no matter how much I loved him at the time, that time has also passed.

We are both in better places for knowing that we now seek love, support and acceptance from those who can give it to us without hesitation, without caveats.

And yet, it still hurts.