Friday, May 30, 2008


It's Friday now and I am still recovering from my trip. It was really difficult one. My mind is still quite numb from the experiance. I came into work yesterday and spent about 3 hours here. I was so tired I went home early and slept a few hours yesterday afternoon and then about 13 hours over night.

I got to work at about 11am today. Our admin. assistant said something about me still being tired and it is a good job it was not a long flight :o(. Most people do not know my history as I am becoming more and more concious of people judging me and being shocked. I need the people around me to understand and support me though :o(.

I sent an email to F saying thanks for helping me out and introducing me to people. He was really nice and said I was an important member of the team and said how he used to find those meeting hard. He sid to book my time for next years meeting so things could not have been as bad as I had imagined.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The City Cathedral

I wandered off into the city this morning. I got the tube. I am starting to feel more confident in European countries now. I worry a lot about the British stereo type of never trying to speak the language, assuming others just know English and not making the effort. I think this has all come from the French though. I have never heard it from anyone else!

Anyway, I went to the cathedral today, it was quite nice I kind of feel a presence when I go. I do not know if it is the old buildings or some sense of religon. I kind of feel warm and supported. Like I am not alone. I lit a few candles and prayed too. My mum told my dad off in a cathedral once as he lit a candle. She said you were only suppose to light them in remembrance of someone. I had lit one too for a friend of hers (who was always good to me). I never told her! I never went to church as a child so I do not know what I am suppose to do. I like that sense of warmth but would not dare talk to anyone. I liked the visit more here in Spain than at home in the UK. There were more people about, confessions were being made and a service was going on in one of the side rooms. It did not feel so weird.

I am really starting to blame my family for many of my fears and anxieties. I feel so guilty about that but I am learning that nothing they told me and the fears they put in my head are unfounded.

Got to run, my taxi to the airport will be here in 10 mins.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting my clothes all wrong...

It´s been a while since my last post. My new flat is lovely but I still haven´t got internet access. I really miss blogging and on bad days I cry because I need the thearapeutic benefit of my blog. They are days like today.

I am staying in a Hotel in Spain at the moment as I have been attending a conference for the last few days. I was worrying about the conference for months in advance. Not about the technical work or the contributions I would have to make but the social aspect and the networking.

I have a lovely colleague who I would be proud to call a friend and he has been great, I´ll call him F. But, he is quite a senior person and I was unsure how much I should stay around him. Silly really but looking back a little more logically and after me experiance today I think he would have been happy to have me around (maybe not dressed as a clown though).

There´s so much I want to say about the last few days I just don´t know where to start. So I will start at the beginning but it will have to be a quick summary because I have to go and get some food from somewhere.

Thursday night after work I started to pack to come to Spain. Packing was difficult as I had to wear business clothes, however I feel very uncomfortable in anything other than jeans. I bought some summer dresses with a friend a few weeks ago purposely for this trip. I had a panic the evening I packed as I had no idea what to expect or how to behave etc. Anyway I did the packing, carefully timed my medication pefectly so I would fall asleep at the correct time as not to leave room for those automatic negative thoughts to creep in, and I got a good nights sleep.

I had a good trip out to Spain, I even relaxed a little on the plane. When I arrived I got lost in the airport and got through customs without collecting my baggage. I coped though! I asked at three different information desks and went back through security found my bag and a taxi (all on my own!) and I made it to the hotel. I was really pleased with myself!

Friday afternoon was nice and relaxing, I walked about 2-3 miles along the coast into the city, I walked around the city and even ate out on my own! A proper restaurant and not Mc Donalds too. I had my purse stollen and caught the theif but that is a story for another time!

Saturday the conference started, I attended all the sessions but I was quite lonely and could not find any of my colleagues. I only knew one or two of the other attendees out of about 30 from my company. One I could not find and the other would not have a conversation with me. I asked him if anything had been planned for dinner two evenings in a row and he brushed me off. The first time I met him I fancied him but that was over a year ago now and to be honest as soon as I realised he was married the feelings went instantly! and, to be honest he does not involve me with anything which makes my job really hard, he does not listen to my advice even though I have shared responsibilities with him. He was getting very close to rude.

I must have been dressed like a clown, it was colder than I had expected so I did not have any clothes I felt comfortable in :o(. That was my biggest problem. My supervisor had told me before I left that I must wear business clothes and not to wear jeans, I listened to him and that turned out to be a huge mistake. I was cold, uncomfortable, badly dressed and that drained all my confidence. I must learn and remember that comfort is far more important than appearance, even at business meetings. The thing is when I was dressed like a clown the business meetings I had were not about my appearance they were about the science. I work with intelligent people and I must always remember the people worth knowing will not judge on appearance. I usually work with a bunch of middle aged men so I had no one to look to for judging appearance and what to wear.

Yesterday B arrived. I have been working with her by phone for a wile but never met here face to face. She was so nice and open and straight forward. Also not much older than me. She was confident, dressed nicely and really open and friendly. Once she had arrived I felt like there was someone I could relate to. Yesterday evening I went out and bought myself a new pair of jeans. I wore them today and felt a whole lot better. I had such a nice afternoon, I felt confident, joined in more conversations and felt relaxed.

On the way to lunch with B and F today we discussed clothes for a bit. Dress codes etc. F was talking about some of the women in his office and how their clothes were borderline. I was saying how I wear jeans with holes in most days and how I had nothing to wear because I was told not to wear jeans. F said how jeans were more elegant on some women than skirts etc. The conversation was changed soon after but I think he may have been refering to me. I am trying to view this logically and clinging to the fact that if he was refering to me he was decent and kind enough to be subtle and I will never know if I was over sensitive because I´d felt so uncomfortable and disapointed with myself or whether my instincts can be trusted on this ocassion.

Clothes are so important to confidence. Right now I don´t think I will ever wear a dress or skirt again. I made a mistake with my clothes this week and I feel dreadful. When I did not feel comfortable I avoided contact with people as much as I could, I slouched around alone and felt awfully unhappy. I went back to my hotel room this evening and had a really good cry. I´m staying on the 24th floor and for a moment I leaned over the balcony and thought about it for a few seconds. Ending the fight to feel accepted and fit in. Thinking about the shock and greif people would feel kind of makes me feel accepted. But I do not want to die, I want to feel accepted in my life time.

I still feel that there is no one I can turn to and talk to. My Mother and Sister were calling two or three times a day last week to see if I had packed and asking if I was excited. I was actually dreading it and really worried about these social things. I feel like my worse fears were realised!

I was thinking today about moving away to a different country and leaving all my problems behind me. A part of me still blames my mum and sister for my depression and social anxiety. I so wish I could have a person I can relax with and who would guide me and help me on social issues. As I get older I believe more and more that no one can help me with my problems and I have to find my own way. I so want to feel accepted and loved though. That is my one target in life and the one I will pursue until the day I die. If I run out of strength for the fight I´ll just die sooner...

I think I throw myself into my work as I am starting to realise that I am good at what I do and F appreciates my help and input. I´m not completely sure of him though and at the moment I am worrying how much dressing like a clown will have changed his opinion of me. He is so important to me, not in an inapproropriate way, but he is a mentor and the person I feel knows me best. Although we only talk about work most of the time I feel happiest when I am working as it does not leave space for negative thoughts in my mind. It allows me to be myself, people I work in depth with usually like me.

I´d like to tell F about my problems and history to explain my weird behavior and let him know how much I appreciate his help and support and how important his friendship is to me. The problem is the smallest of disclosures shocks people. I let it slip the other night over dinner that I was extremely shy and never spoke to my teachers. It was not F but two other people with public school educations with latin lessons who I dare say have never needed or desired anything. I doubt they have ever suffered as they were so shocked about my shyness and if this is a big deal how would these people take psychotic episodes, social anxiety and bipolar disorder. I will tell F if I ever feel he needs to know and I feel confident his respect for me will not be risked, I appreciate his support so much that I could never risk that.

On the other had I have told two people who I work with, they have similar backgrounds to me though and their opinion of me was more respect. My boss says I am the strongest person he knows and another guy does nothing but show me support. I think I need to find a way to make more use of them. They know me better than my family does!

I need to change something to reach my goal of acceptance. I will never find that closeness I desire from a colleague. Especially as most of my colleagues are middle aged married men with children. I do believe that you meet the love of your life when you are happy though so I must find non work activities which make me happy. It would have to occupy my mind fully to block out negative thoughts.

Usually when I feel this low I take my tablets and put a powerful movie on to keep my attention until I can no longer keep my eyes open. In a hotel that is hard, the TV in my room is all in Spanish and I do not want to go out after taking my tablets as I am likely to fall asleep in a public place, or worse meet a colleague while my eyes are rolling from the drugs!

I w a n n a g o h o m e!
Everyone else has left and my flight is not until tomorrow afternoon, 20 hours away!