I have mentioned before that I am slowly working my way through old handwritten diaries; they are destined for the bonfire eventually, no way do I want to leave them for others to read.
What a dismal, unhappy life it was; how bleak. I have much forgotten since then, perhaps life was too unpleasant to retain much of it. I have nearly come to the end of the years of misery, within eighteen months I will have met Beloved and then everything changed. Most of what I have forgotten over the years isn't worth remembering except as a blueprint for how not to do things.There was one man who helped me enormously during the time when the ceiling came crashing down threatening my very existence: a psychiatric social worker/probation officer; sadly, him too I had forgotten. But there he was, in the diary, name and all; one lesson of many he drummed into me over a period of counselling was this:
"One thing I absolutely have to learn to survive: Recognise other people's attempts at moral blackmail, "laying guilt trips" on me and reject them without actually feeling guilty as a consequence."
How right he was; for years my nearest and dearest lumbered me with their ideas of how I should live my life, how I could then take care of all and sundry, and how wonderful their lives would be if I only saw sense. And how bloody guilty they made me feel.
When I found the name I thought it would be a kind thing to do to find him and say thank you for what he had done for me. I found an obituary instead. Both he and his wife had died of Covid within a few weeks of each other earlier in the year.
I still recognise the trait in me, still, so many years later, I am tempted to see myself as the person who "sorts things out", who carries everybody's burden, who is destined to smooth the way and accept responsibility. My recent car crash was a prime example: others were blocking the way but I felt I had to unblock it. The damn snarl-up was not my doing!
Reading old diaries I am learning something about myself: No matter how bleak life is, things will change. But first I had to change. And imagining and worrying about what might or might not happen in the future is just so much wasted energy. "Sit still and let time pass," or, in other words, "some situations never arise."