Three women you take the job, if we offered it?
-That’s the first time I have seen you smile!

Oh, Fuck you. Really. Fuck off and die. I did not say that to the woman, of course. I can do the job, to a high standard, including sympathising and winning the trust of and making the client comfortable, which one man last year thought I would have problems with. Too distant, he said, as if my reserve in a job interview, with its particular power structure, has any relation to my Acceptance of a client. Where I have the power, I share it. I don’t have the power, here.

I am crying about it now (Th 22nd). I was crying repeatedly the day after (Tu 13th). So when I tell myself I should be getting out and getting a job and supporting myself, I can’t hide away for ever, I see that is not as easy as it seems. Just possibly the little activity I muster really is doing my best at that.

Thursday morning (15th) to see Nicola. That bucked me up a bit, though I have not done anything about her Behavioural Activation techniques. I should have planned one extra activity each day last week, and two a day this week, and the sense of achievement I get from that will make me feel good and motivate me to continue. Oh. I did think of keeping a record of what I did- two hours of Solitaire, checking the stats page just in case anyone has looked at my blog, whatever- but have not done that. It was not quite Carl Rogers’ “Unconditional positive regard”, but a refusal to be negative about any of my whining a toned down infant teacher’s enthusiasm for the task she proposed.

Thursday afternoon to see Lizette. She is from Lima. She volunteers at the CAB, where she was very friendly, and her friendliness included frequent touch. I love touch, I get far too little, and still I was uncomfortable. I cycled to meet her at a coffee shop in Zhuzhkov. I thought that I did not need my saddle-bags and then realised when I got there that the lock was in the saddle-bags. I was early, and wandered up and down the high street- bank, butcher’s, clothes shops, pubs- and a man admired my bicycle so I chatted with him briefly. I love these rural towns for that.

I was a little nervous, but propped the bike at the stands the other side of the street from the shop; a little distracted, I was looking at it when we chatted. When four people congregated round it, she noticed I was studying them and went out to talk to them. They drifted off. It could still be a friendship. It might be worth the work. I was reserved, keeping to shallow talk, but that is OK.

Illustrated with Renoir, not for the relevance but the beauty.

2 thoughts on “Three women

  1. If it’s not too forward, sending a hug, Clare. Being a bodyworker myself, I can tell you that touch is so important to our well being. I might suggest a therapeutic massage twice a month – it really does help. Great writing as always.


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