I tried. I really tried. I had it all planned out and it was actually quite simple. Walk to the bus stop. Catch the #3 into town. Get off bus and wait 5 minutes. Catch the Uni6 into Portswood. Get off bus and walk round the corner.
The anxiety started the evening before. I even had a proper panic attack that evening. My heart raced, my mind raced, I shook all over, I was sweaty and clammy. The worse scenarios ran through my mind. I would miss the bus, my hip would give out and I would collapse in a heap of pain. The bus would be late, I’d miss the change to the second bus. People would look at me – or worse try to speak to me. I’d get lost or confused. I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain in my hip and knees. I’d be over anxious about being so far away from home and have no control over getting back. I’d be too much of a mess for my therapy appointment. I’d throw up from the anxiety. I’d have a panic attack while out in public. I’d cry in public.
On the morning all this was exacerbated to extreme levels. I had several panic attacks. One from just going upstairs to get dressed – I thought it’d be an easy thing to do – non committal and simple. But no, that sent me off the edge. I felt stupid and pathetic. I couldn’t even face getting dressed. I stayed in my pyjamas.
I talked through it with a dear friend. I felt guilty and ashamed and embarrassed. I felt I had let my therapist down. I couldn’t even face calling to apologise. The worst was the hour I was meant to be there. I felt utterly let down by myself. Screw everyone else – I had let myself down by not being able to do something I’ve done many many times (okay not in years but still). I was completely disappointed in myself.
I hate this. I hate feeling this way. I want myself back. The me that can do things. The me that doesn’t always cower away at home in her pyjamas. I want the me who loved going out and doing things. The me that loved to push her limits and challenge herself to do more. Yes, I’d like to be that me again.
I’ve just been listening to The Fratellis while doing a bit of cleaning (music always makes it more tolerable). Anyways, Shameless came on and got me thinking. Well one line in particular … “well it’s a shame or a sham, he’s half as old as I am”.
First, it brought to mind a young gentleman I met while at university. He wasn’t outwardly flirtatious but always made it very clear that he fancied me. I was flattered naturally but also felt a tad uncomfortable. He was attractive and were I younger (much younger and not married) I would have fancied him as well.
The main thing I could never get past was his age. He is the same age as my eldest daughter! And she had already given me a grandson. This just didn’t sit right in my mind. I’m not a major stickler for age normally but that kind of gap just seems wrong.
So then my thoughts began to ponder why other people don’t seem to mind about such a difference in age. I have little knowledge to go on as I’ve never actually known a couple that bridged the generation gap.
I suppose the older one would feel flattered; their ego stroked by being seen as attractive by someone so much younger. But can a relationship really be based on flattery? What other benefits would the older partner possibly gain? Power? Control? A boost to self-esteem?
The younger one’s motives baffle me even more. I cannot think of a single, healthy reason. Is it presumed security? Comfort? Possibly some sort of “child syndrome”? You know the ones psychologists always talk about people looking for a parental figure. I don’t know.
I just don’t get it at all. I find people much older to be a bit boring and those that much younger to be too immature. I cannot imagine being introduced to an older man’s children and they are my age. I can feel my cheeks blushing just thinking about it! And what about being introduced to a younger man’s family … I’d be his parents age!
If anyone can explain it beyond the trite excuse “you can’t help who you fall in love with”, I’d be most welcome!
Oh and that uni guy … he stills gets in touch from time to time just to see if I’ve changed my mind 😉