A quick update: I moved into my temporary home last night, which was weird, but not as bad as I thought it would be. The most traumatic part was packing up my flat earlier in the day and lugging the last of my stuff to work on the bus, crying all the way, my ex-boyfriend barely holding it together next to me. The situation between us is vastly complicated - we both care so much about each other, but we just couldn't seem to make it work. It is so sad.
However, I know now that I need to spend some time on my own to sort my head out before I can be in a successful relationship. If I'm not happy, my boyfriend is never going to be happy - certainly not enough to want to marry me and make a future with me. The truth is, maybe I will never be completely "happy" and maybe I will never be in a life-long relationship - and somehow, I have to come to terms with that.
A friend from work (the same one who came and looked after me when I got sick at the tube station), helped me lug my stuff all the way to Hampstead and kept me entertained with talk of the banana harmonica she is bidding for on ebay (100% true). My thanks go out to her and her fruit-instrument obsession.
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I am reading Alan Bennett's "Untold Stories", which (so far) is about his family and the secrets, illnesses, and everyday struggles that seem to exist in almost all families once you get past the rosy public face. He describes, in his very gentle, precise style, his two independent aunties, who see themeslves as more daring and free-spirited than their timid, married middle sister. Both of them end up marrying late in life, but the husband of the eldest aunt dies not long into their married life and leaves her distraught and angry to have lost something she waited so long for. Bennett, drafted into driving her to the funeral, finds himself getting impatient with the show of emotions she "puts on", feeling she is hamming it up somewhat, uncomfortable with the uncontrolled display of her feelings.
This particular recollection really stung me. I have been accused of being melodramatic in the past, by a member of my family. I don't think I am a dramatic person generally - most people would describe me as cool, calm, shy, quiet, not in the habit of calling attention to myself - but I have always been at the mercy of my emotions. The strength of my emotions can leave me lying in a useless heap on the ground, too weak to stand; they can make me physically ill; or they can (very occassionally) lift me up to a state of bubbling excitement. I have always felt things very deeply, and taken everything to heart, privately. I feel my emotions are what hold me together; define me; are as much a part of me as my blood. To dismiss them as "put on", for the sake of creating "drama", is repulsive.
Anyway, most importantly, me and my thin skin are surviving. And I am feeling more on top of my emotions now (despite the current mess) than at any other point in my life, especially my early-to-mid twenties. What I am aiming for, ultimately, is an even keel. Oh, how I envy those emotionally-steady-as-a-rock people.