Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Surviving the Ostrich Effect

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted! Usually, when I'm particularly miserable or burning with indignation about something, the first thing I want to do is write about it. It says something then for the depths of my despair over the past week or so that I haven't even thought about my blog.

Last week was really horrible... it felt a bit like waiting on death row for my execution date (not that I am comparing my not going on holiday to an execution - well, not literally, anyway - I'm sure executions don't induce raging jealousy). As each day dawned and then drew to a close, it just brought me closer to the time I would have to bid everyone farewell. I alternated between abject misery where I'd start crying at random on the train home to unparalelled fury that they were actually abandoning me and making the trip - almost like I'd expected a last minute reprieve, in the form of my beloved friends falling at my feet crying, Lopz - we can't do it; we can't go without you - we're all staying!!! I know that I said it was fine for them to go, and I know they went cos they had very little choice if they ever wanted to take advantage of this offer - and anyway, even if I'd performed like seal in an aquarium, they still would have gone..... missing a once in a lifetime opportunity just to appease me was never on the cards. So when I looked at the situation as a realist, I could understand and agree with their actions. When I looked at it as a saint (a position to which I have recently elevated myself, being the selfless martyr that I am), I could rise above it all and tell myself that my graceful (ha ha - ok, often graceless) sacrifice would make them appreciate me so much more in the long run. But when I looked at it as a human being, I so much wanted them to say that they wouldn't go without me, no matter how I tried to convince them.

Thursday was probably the worst day. They were getting ready to pack, and our good friend G had just arrived from CT, as he's come over for a couple of years and co-incided his timing so he could make Turkey, so I knew everyone would be in high spirits. I dragged my feet walking back from the station - I didn't want to get to the house because I knew I was going to feel as left out as an odd sock in a washing machine. As soon as I walked in the door, I greeted G and when I saw the guys drinking beers, immediately requested a vodka. And an idea mushroomed - let's all get pissed, and perhaps we can even have a fun evening! By my second drink I was cruising; I had it all under control. I was even joking with Shoes about how he hasn't packed for himself in 7 years, and I was going to have to help him to make sure he remembered everything. I was on my third vodka when it hit me - a wave of crushing despair that they were really leaving to go on holiday; that they were really leaving me behind; that I was going to miss my boyfriend's birthday and that this was the longest we would be apart since we met. I would have cried at some point anyway, but the floodgates really opened this time. I went to go hide in my room in a pathetic attempt to fool everyone that I was ok, and balled my eyes out for a good half an hour. I felt quite silly about crying so much - it's not like anyone had died - but I couldn't stop. Scarves came in to talk to me eventually - shame I felt a bit bad at that point, because up until then, everyone had been walking on eggshells around me, speaking about the trip in hushed tones and trying not to show any excitement. They were very considerate the whole time, for which I am grateful. I didn't threaten them with pain of death to make them be that way, they just were - and I was calm and cool about it as well. All very civilised. But when Scarves came in to speak to me, I think it was the first time we'd actually spoken about the whole debacle properly since I found out in February.... prior to that I think I was operating on the Ostrich Principle: if I stick my head in the sand maybe it will all just go away. It couldn't be ignored that night though, but finally I managed to stem the flow of tears long enough to help Mark pack. He kept me supplied with a steady flow of vodka all the while, and I soon able to be merry again - then it was just a struggle to get me to stop drinking vodka long enough to drink the tea I'd asked for.

It was surprisingly easier to say goodbye to Scarves and Eyes the next morning. The worst seemed to be over. Shoes and G came into town to meet me for lunch, and I said goodbye without any major displays of emotion, eg holding onto pant leg and demanding he take me with him. And when I got home that night to an empty house, I was also ok - just a little tearful when I read the sweet letter Scarves had left me. Mello was due to arrive the next day to come and stay and keep me company while they were gone, but I'd told her I would probably want to be alone of Friday night. And for most of the night, I was fine. But I suppose being abandoned, like grieving, has specific stages. I had gotten through Denial. I had passed Despair. I was now standing on the cusp of out and out Rage, looking down at a precipice filled with Hatred and Jealousy. And I jumped. Suffice it to say that the next three days were dominated with scenes of the untimely demises of my friends - each more violent than the last; and plans of brutal self-harm that would make them come back and see what they had reduced me to with their inconsiderate actions. In my fantasies, they would then be so ashamed of their callousness that they would spend the rest of their lives trying to make it up to me, in ways too many and glorious to get into here. The rage and, I must say, total disdain I felt for all of them was only broken whenever Shoes phoned to tell me how much he missed me, and how he was so upset that I couldn't be there - which reduced me to tears all over again.

Finally, after a mostly boring long weekend during which each hour seemed to take the time of three, I came back to work yesterday and it was the first day I felt like myself again. Pass Rage - collect £200! As soon as I woke up, I knew the worst was over. I was still a bit daunted by the fact that I wasn't even halfway through the time frame yet - as much as I'm over crying over them or planning their deaths, I still miss them on a reasonable level, and want them to come home, especially Shoes. But I felt like a whole person rather than the shell of a tormented one. My colleague S says that by the time they get back, I'm going to be so independent and self-fulfilled that I'll want them to go back to Turkey!

So now I can look forward with genuine anticipation to the rest of my week. Tomorrow I'm going for a long overdue dinner and drinks with my cousins, and Saturday night is Girls Night Out at G-A-Y, followed by some retail therapy at the new Primark in Oxford Street on Sunday - not that I need any more of that; I shop most when I'm miserable so Ebay has been taking quite a beating recently. At least I'll have plenty of new outfits to show for my 10 days in isolation! It feels good to feel like an adult in control of a situation again, rather than a three year old throwing a permanent temper tantrum. However, and guys if you're reading, please take note - this is the first and last time you have a group holiday without me - next time I'll burn your passports!

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