Rachel's Haven get the kind of people they do posting there.
So what? Am I going to wax philosophical about exclusion and social attributes? I'd like to, that would keep things academic and safe. But I am facing fears these days. No, I am going to get personal.
I do not cope well with communities. To me, deeper relationships mean more things to keep track of. Let me put it another way, someone you just met is unlikely to take offence if you forget their birthday or don't ask how they are. Someone you know will take offence at these things. Someone outside a community will not expect you to know their name or even care what's going on. If you don't speak to them for ages it is likely never to be an issue. Indeed, if you inadvertantly upset them or challenge them they are most likely to move on and think nothing of it. In a community people are more likely to be upset and angered by that sort of thing.
|Yeah, here is my tiny impotent rage thing, when I do |
conflict this pretty much sums up my effectiveness at
dealing with it and/or getting what I want from it.
Bunnies, shaking fists, skies and stamping feet.
I've known about this fear for a long time: I'm crap at birthdays and worse with significant dates for other people. Throughout my childhood I always remembered to invite people to my birthday and never got invites to anyone else's, as a consequence I stopped remembering when they were so I wouldn't get offended when I wasn't invited (and, yes, I did get offended). Eventually I stopped telling people when mine was so that by 2006 I got three birthday cards from outside my family and was satisfied. I'd stopped displaying cards after I left Uni and there was no one else to see them, okay, I was still at Uni but it was a different one and I didn't live with anyone I knew, so about 2002.
|Not my church at all, but close enough and you get the idea|
about it being one of the oldest buildings in the area but
not one of the oldest in terms of method. Also, one of the
oldest communities in the UK.
At Church I found myself avoiding talking to people. I got particularly angry with the vicar's wife, whom I know otherwise too, a couple of weeks ago when she started pushing politely for my emotional state at work. It's not bounced back. Cancer-man's wife was particularly officious today, understandably, and I walked out of the church rather than deal with it and stayed in the car as long as I could. Worse, I ended up blaming my son and getting all angry with him - like it was somehow all his fault. At Rachel's Haven there are plenty of people interested in who I am and who are very friendly and I find myself worrying about posting there too much lest I do become part of that community and, worse, make friends.
|It is perhaps telling that I didn't even visit the staff room regularly|
until about this time last year (so 2011) despite having been in the
same school since 2003. Also, even once I did, I remained pretty
quiet until about October/November.
Thing is, I moan about not being included, about being on the peripheries and not belonging. I moan when my birthday passes unnoticed even though I make every effort to make sure that it is. I moan about having no friends and make absolutely no effort to make any or maintain those I make by accident. I used to be on the welcoming team at church - I was ace at it. I was rubbish with people who came to church often, I had no idea who they were, but my 'ace-ness' came from baptisms and stuff when we'd have hordes of people who were not from our church. I always got mentioned by them as being welcoming and friendly, some would go out of their way to say so, but, like I say, if I saw them twice they'd begin to realise that it's all just an act. It's like my teaching - it's an act. A front. It is not me and who I am. Everything I do is about not being me and having friends would mean that I'd have to be me eventually or, and this is the fear, reveal how much of an insincere bastard I am.
Am I insincere here? No, I am anonymous. Ultimately I can walk away whenever I want and no one can trace me. The fear is gone. I can be sincere and open and honest and, when the fear comes and it all gets too much, I can walk away. Yeah, I'm a sincere coward.