Internal focus

You never feel shy in a crowd?
-Never, I said. She was amazed and envious. Actually, I am not sure what the adjective was, but it was something around being glad to be among people. I was talking, hearing challenging things-

buses are not the best way of transporting people. A bus with only a couple of people on it, like those on Eagle’s Nest, uses a huge amount of fuel for little result. Buses took people to town centres. They were talking of “Orbital buses” but could not get them to work. Mmm. Not the kind of opinion I would expect in this social group. Collective action is our thing.

When I was living in South Africa, the Anglican Church named itself the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, and some people broke away, saying they were the Church of England in South Africa. Ridiculous, we agree, and harmful, like the “consecration” of the “bishop in the church of God” by the descendant of that church, the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa, who want to split the Church of England over equal marriage. It’s a bit odd to be that interested in the Church of England, but these are otherwise the kind of thing I would expect people here to believe. I like agreeing. It makes me feel safe.

Glad to be among people, feeling a pang when driving away, and yet today alone and doing nothing in particular, and quite happy about that. I should write, I was glad, etc. I was- I am talking of me, and so should use the word “I” for I am important. Right now I am happy alone. I don’t want demands on myself.

Then, though, I could express difficulty and experience sympathy. Am I unfit for work? This is how to prove it, she says trenchantly. As I need to doubt I am entitled to ESA- surely I could not be that incapable?- yet need an income I am glad of the reinforcement.

Three conversations. Who are these people? Who am I? How may we be together? It is fascinating, and-

one of my things is not admitting when something is difficult. Nothing should be difficult. So, do I know what I feel in any situation, or do different parts of my brain feel different things? “Ooh, this is nice, isn’t it?” I might say, imagining I really was enthusiastic. I am dissociated from feelings. I imagine I feel what I think I ought to feel, and under that feel anxiety.

And I am glad to be here, now, alone. Feelings may be strong, and strongly affect me, though I could not name or perceive them. If I could bear to be here only if I suppressed certain feelings, suppressing those feelings would be a useful skill. If I have mixed emotions, some positive, some negative, in order to feel good I might suppress the negative.

Here we are, smiling at each other, and is that a prelude to something else? Smiling is always a good start. I am a person of good will. I like you.

I am internally focused. I notice things in myself more than I notice other people. There are these façades- a person, being the person s/he ought to be, trustworthy, pleasant, reasonable- and do I see below? Could I bear it, if I saw them?

Talk to me.

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