Saturday, 2 July 2016

Emotionally fragile

I'm feeling...





...over it.

A storm of things has been happening in my head, and it's taken my head to a Bad Place. I feel myself sinking into a place I don't want to be. It is dark in that place, and lonely, and filled with tears, and un-named, un-nameable fear.

The astute among you will have spotted that the referendum result, and consequent Bloody Awful Fallout has left me filled with rage, fear and distress. These are not good emotions on which to be surviving. And it is that whole ridiculous, shambolic, political debacle that has triggered a serious return of anxiety.

I couldn't really work out why it was anxiety of all things that was returning after the referendum. But my hands have been shaking, I feel nauseous, I burst into tears at unpredictable and inopportune moments, my chest tightens, and I am paralysed into inaction when confronted with the thought of interacting with other human beings beyond my immediate social circle. Meanwhile, apathy has overtaken me, such that I fail to do the laundry, fail to clean the house, fail to tidy anything away at the end of the day, fail to weed the (overgrown) garden, fail to phone the workmen who need phoning, fail to plan or cook any proper meals.

It's taken me a while to pin down why, amongst all the things that are going on in my life, it is the vote to leave the EU that has triggered this. And I realise it's all to do with my terrible fear of conflict. I am quite capable of writing a wild polemic on whatever subject happens to have riled me. But I find expressing those views face-to-face terrifies me. I don't like arguing. I don't like people disagreeing. And now that it's become clear how deep the differences run in the country* I fear actually having to face that conflict in person. I'm in fight-or-flight mode - fearing a confrontation that will almost certainly never happen, but desperate to run away from it anyway, just in case. And that far of conflict is fuelled every time I read a newspaper or a comment thread on Facebook and see people haranguing each other. The conflict is all laid bare.

And I'm still deeply, deeply upset about the outcome of the referendum, about the future we are making for my beautiful boy, about the implications for our savings, jobs, pensions, families.

On the plus side, I went out on Friday night. To the cinema with Piglet. We both needed some down time, something light-hearted, something to take our minds off politics and children and housework and jobs.

I wept in the car all the way home from the film. It was a film about fear of aging. About the mistakes that parents make when they try to do their best not to repeat their own parents' mistakes. About an awkward, shy girl, forced to stand on stage and do that which she feared most in a desperate attempt to regain that which she loved most. About a mother telling her daughter she loved her only to be confronted with a blank gaze in response. And another mother manipulating her daughter by declaring her love, when it was the very last thing she'd ever felt for her own child. It was heartbreaking.

So why did I go to something so maudlin when I needed cheering up? I didn't. I went to watch Absolutely Fabulous. But I still wept.

I told you I was emotionally fragile.

* Except with BrotherBear, who declares himself "pretty ambivalent actually" on the subject of Remain vs Leave. Though he did vote Remain, which means I don't have to disown him.


  1. Virtual hugs from another very anxious person struggling with post-BREXIT feels... it's so AWFUL.

    1. I'm still meandering into fantasy land from time to time and hoping there's a way back from the precipice. And then I speak to a rational human being and feel awful again. Sigh.

    2. I found myself this morning being really cross with the politicians because I was having trouble talking myself into getting up because I slept really badly because I was doing the squirrel-in-a-cage thoughts thing, and clearly it was ALL THEIR FAULT. I just keep hoping things will magically come together...