Solitude is a habit with me, a byproduct of anxiety and distrust that I haven’t really figured out how to get rid of. Since high school, I’ve used the internet as an adaptive tool to help me manage my isolation, but now that I’m in my early thirties, it isn’t as effective as it used to be. The friends who were once available on chat for hours and hours over the course of the day have differently structured lives than when they were finishing up their degrees and looking for full-time work—whereas I’m working from home, still sitting in front of the computer for eighteen hours a day, still just as available as I always was. I used to harangue myself into at least taking my laptop to coffee shops, but since my car got stolen and my damaged tendon started severely limiting the distance I can walk in a day, my already narrow world has shrunk considerably.
Since the last time I updated here, I’ve moved to a new apartment.
Like all the moves I’ve made in the last year, it was in no way planned. Back in July, I took an upstairs room in a house owned by a woman three years younger than me, purchased for her by her parents. She lived in the basement apartment and rented out the three upstairs bedrooms. The ground floor was a shared space, containing the kitchen, living room, dining room, and access to the back deck.
The dollhouse I made a year ago to memorialize my many issues with housing.
Tonight I went to my group therapy meeting. It was pretty intense.
There were eight of us, plus the therapist. We were a pretty diverse group of women in terms of age, race, and social background. Some were survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and everyone had experienced sexual violence as an adult.
Just about everyone except me and the therapist cried, I think. It was only the second meeting, and I’d missed the first one, so I was a little surprised by how willing everyone was to jump into the emotional deep end.
I was just at the point of congratulating myself for being so good at keeping my cool when I looked down at my hands and realized that I was doing that repetitive fidgeting thing that I have in common with Bruce Banner in the Avengers movie. Also, I wasn’t really looking at anyone. For most of two hours, I was staring at this one woman’s feet. She wore bright strappy silver sandals and lime green nail polish. It was a cool look.
Bruce Banner: the awkward, traumatized nerd of my dreams.