I've been thinking a lot recently about how I seem to be trapped without freedom to explore who I am. Strange thing is that it's the trap that keeps me sane. So i've been considering the 3 decisions i've made in my life that brought me to the trap. Note, the trap isn't all bad, in fact it has many, many advantages and is probably the reason i'm alive or have not committed a crime.
So decision 1: don't drink.
My childhood wasn't great. I wasn't loved and my fathers idea of raising a child was control through applied aggression. Most of the time, you could avoid him by making sure you were either working (on chores or homework) or being elsewhere so your prescence didn't remind him of what a failure you were. Most of the rest he just ignored you.
The one time you couldn't avoid him was after he'd had a drink. This was worse than being ignored, he tried to be nice. There was no getting away from him in this mood, he'd follow and try to 'understand' you.
One conversation springs to mind:
Him: why do you help others with their homework/revision?
Me: because to help them, I have to know it myself. Their questions find the gaps in my knowledge.
If my child said that to me (not that I have one), i'd be so proud, but the response was:
Him: That's stupid. Their grades go up whilst yours can only go down. Revise on your own. The only way in life is to beat others, use them and throw them away.
Yup, he wasn't very nice!
I made two decisions that day. I'd never drink, it changes your personality, makes you do things you wouldn't normally do. Plus I fear that his personality is inside me as well and I don't ever want to know it is. So I dont let my control go, whether thru drink or anything else. If he's there, he's buried and he aint coming out.
The second decision that day was to be honest, caring and a all-round nice guy. I go out of my way to help those I care about. The ladies may like bad boys but I can't go there.
Decision 2: go to local uni
This seems condradictory to 1, but worse than my father is a fear of being out there alone. We'd recently moved to a new town and after first moving there I spent 3 months in a new college without saying a word to anyone outside class. Social isolation is horrible, been there and done it. Unfortunately, this meant that whilst my 18-21 yr old peers were out clubbing or having fun and living life, I was either working or in my room. Not good for my social development but I didn't realise the damage until after i'd taken decision 3
Decision 3: houseshare
So after uni, I found a job in london, and moved into a studio apartment, a small one room thing. Not knowing anyone in london I was on my own. Great! But I can't go out. I have no peers, and no confidence to go out on my own. So i'm back in isolation
Then an old school mate gets in touch. He's in london. We meet a few times and decide to rent a flat together. Turned out he couldn't afford the rent, smokes like a trooper with all doors closed and steals from the cupboards! The flat stank! I don't mind if someone smokes but I'd like to be able to see the other end of the room and not smell myself!
So after a year of that I moved in with a platonic female friend. This was in the days before the internet. If I was making the decision today after seeing that there are others like myself out there that I could meet, maybe it'd be different. She'd had a hard life and we'd speny many hours supporting each other, although she doesn't know about my dressing. 17 years later i'm still sharing with her. A colleague once described our relationship as like a marriage without the fun bits. Pretty accurate.
I've supported her with her Depression. Picked up the ball when she couldn't carry it for years after a guy destroyed her and helped her bring up her daughter. Her company has saved me from destroying myself as would have happened if i'd moved into another flat on my own. She's like my big sis, we are a family.
But I still feel alone and am now feeling trapped as I dont want to hurt her. She's vulnerable, the wounds from that guys betrayal may never heal and I will not do anything to hurt her or her daughter.
Thank-you for reading this (if anyone actually does). I know it was long. If you've got this far, I owe you a nice big kiss.