Tag Archives: fear

Avoidance

It’s now less than a month until I’m supposed to be out of this house. I don’t see how I’m going to do it, and the main problem is that I’m so scared I avoid even thinking about it. I’ve spent the last month doing anything other than start looking for a job, for example. The other day I finally made myself read an online page for mature-age job seekers, and by the end of the page I couldn’t read anything because I was crying too much.**

It might help if I start talking about things, and I can do that best here, on this blog. The problem with this is that I can’t talk about the people buying the farm. They’re very private and don’t want their story plastered onto the internet. But half of their “buying the farm” story is my story. I need to find a way to talk about my side of the story without dragging other people into it – which is difficult because all of this is only happening because of them.

I just need to get going. Time is getting away.

Everything takes so long, made worse by my absolute brilliance in avoiding things. I can avoid things better than anyone else on Earth.

And now that I’m looking at the word “avoidance”: what a strange looking word! A-void-ance.

Void. A void. According to my Macquarie Dictionary, there are several definitions of “void”, including:
7. a gap or opening, as in a wall.
8. emptiness; vacancy.

When avoiding things I’m definitely seeking a void: looking for a gap or opening (escape) or, if that fails, emptiness and vacancy (absence of caring).

** While crying at the mature-age job seeker site I saw a typo on the page and sobered up. I’m really good at spotting typos. I should have trained as an editor. I started wondering: could I find work doing that sort of thing? Probably not. I don’t have any qualifications and wouldn’t have a clue what to do and wouldn’t even survive an interview or even thinking about an interview, and everyone’s sacking their editors now anyway, and et cetera. That’s how it goes. But after noticing the typo I sent an email to the government department in charge of the page. As yet, nobody has replied, and as yet, nobody has fixed the mistake. Boo. Return to post

Being bleak

I don’t want the future.

I haven’t found a way to get motivated towards leaving the farm and making a new life. I don’t want it; I don’t want any part of it.

The only thing I can think of to want is to feel safe, and I only feel safe here on the farm, so there’s no way that wanting to feel safe will work as a motivating force in getting me to move.

I’m just panicking, but with good reason. My primary way of coping with change is to get scared and avoid everything, and now that’s not an option. I need to find something useful to want.

How does it feel to be feeling something else?

A cold change came through late yesterday and now, after three days of hot weather, suddenly it’s cool – so cool I’m wearing a winter overcoat at 07:45.

When it was hot I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to feel cold again. And now that it’s cold I can hardly remember how it felt to be hot.

And I think that’s probably what it’s like to speculate about the future: I can list the qualities or characteristics of a future experience, but there’s no way to know how it will feel until I’m in it, feeling it.

I stupidly keep trying to imagine how life will be after I move away from the farm – trying to guess what will happen and how it will feel. I wake up in the mornings and think “How will it feel to wake up somewhere else?”

But even if I knew exactly where I was going and what I’ll be doing, I still wouldn’t know how it will feel. And I don’t know anything yet. I don’t know where I’ll be going or what I’ll be doing, and I haven’t come anywhere close to deciding.

So, clearly there’s no point trying to guess what this non-existent-scenario will be like, or not unless I put a positive spin on it. If I can’t stop myself from speculating, it makes as much sense to be optimistic as it does to be pessimistic, and being optimistic would be more helpful. Hope for the best. Look forward. Give it your best shot. Always look on the bright side. Blah de blah de blah.

Anyway, it’s cold. And right now it’s even raining! Beautiful.

Shirtless

I tried to make a shirt on the weekend, but all I have to show for it now, Monday morning, is mess.

I bought the sewing pattern the other day – in fact, two for the price of one. (see note)

Previously, months ago, I’d tried to make my own pattern from scratch but had only managed to make a body-form thing out of cardboard (a homemade dressmaker’s model). By the end of that I was so sick of the whole project I gave it up without actually getting any clothes made.

And the problem is, I have only one summer shirt to wear when I go out. (There’s a second one if necessary, but it’s awful.) This hasn’t been a problem because I almost never do go out – only about every two months to the supermarket – but now that’s all going to change. When I move off the farm in December I’ll be out there in public permanently. (The horror of this hasn’t sunk in yet, but snatches of it are scaring me severely now and again.) And I suppose by “in public” I really just mean “in the world of people” – I hadn’t realised that till now. I’ve been living in public here on the farm too, but it’s the world of animals and birds, and they don’t care about clothes. Probably.

Here on the farm I wear King Gee men’s workwear every day, and I’d go on wearing it forever if I could. It’s cotton, it’s comfortable, it’s cool, and it’s roomy. I buy big sizes and make the trousers fit at the waist by tying a ribbon through the back belt-ties. The shirts have big pockets so I can carry a phone and camera and whatever else I want. I love these clothes, but they’re not the thing to wear in the world of people, where there are norms or rules about what you wear, and the only people who wear workwear are manual workers.

Maybe I should become a manual worker just so I can wear the clothes. Actually, I don’t know what sort of worker I should become, or more to the point, what sort of employer could possibly use my help: an unskilled and inexperienced 49-year-old woman who looks 70, who doesn’t want to talk to anybody, can’t dress to save her life, and always considers the worst-case-scenario first. I mean, they’ll be lining up to hire me, right?

Two weeks ago when I was ironing my summer shirt to go to Murwillumbah, the shirt finally tore; the fabric was so old it had worn through. I stuck it back together with duct tape and wore it anyway. The tape was on the inside, but it’s possible that if anybody looked at me there was an area of silver light shining back at them, reflecting from the tape inside the front of my shirt, not far from my heart… which is a pretty sweet idea, really. I hope it actually happened :)

I hadn’t magically aquired another shirt by the time I needed to go to Ballina last week, so I had to repeat the duct-tape trick again. (In the days before that for the trip to Evans Head it had been cool enough to wear my winter shirt… which has had a patch on it for years after I accidentally ripped the hem by catching it on the gate at my grandmother’s house. And it now occurs to me she had moved out of that house roughly ten years ago, so it looks like I’ve been wearing that winter shirt for quite a while too.)

Anyway, clearly I need a new shirt or two… And I hate shopping for clothes, more than just about anything, so I need to sew them. So, I bought a pattern. I couldn’t find any fabric I liked, which is the second problem, but that won’t matter till the pattern is sorted. At the moment I’m using fabric from an old bed sheet.

I can sew, basically, and I have a sewing machine, so it should have been a pretty simple matter of cutting out the pattern, pinning it to the fabric, cutting out the pieces and sewing them up. But the pattern sizes don’t fit my body; I start off small at the top and get bigger on the way down, but the patterns don’t. After some internet searching I can see it’s pretty normal for a human to be a non-standard shape (it’s the patterns that are standardised and thus freakish), but that doesn’t help. I still have to make the pattern fit. One bit needs adjusting, which then affects another bit, which then needs adjusting itself and consequently affects a third bit, or the first bit again, or… And on and on.

In short, I spent the whole weekend pinning and cutting and sewing and fitting and despairing about a stupid shirt, and fearful of my future. And there’s still no shirt. If I give up now there’ll continue to be no shirt, and I need a shirt, so I can’t give up.

But meanwhile, as I’m trying to make the damn shirt, I’m getting nothing else done, and there’s a lot to do. And this week I have set myself the task of drawing up a shortlist of places to move to – a maximum of three – and to find out what people do there and what it’s like to live there and to go to each of those places. This week. And I don’t like any of the candidates. None of them.

One thing at a time, though. First, a shirt. I need a shirt. This pattern has got to work.

– Note 1: The funny part about the shirt patterns is that when I got home I realised they’re almost exactly the same – different brands, but a similar style of shirt, both with princess seams. I should have chosen a different style, or at least one with different darts, to test the best means of construction and fit. And I would have, if I’d been thinking straight. The problem was that I didn’t know there was a two-for-one offer until I went to pay for the first. The lady on the counter asked if I wanted to go back and choose a second one for free, and of course I did. Then I had to go through all the pattern books again – there were about eight books showing patterns from different companies, and all had to be shared with other customers who drifted in and out, so it wasn’t possible to bookmark the patterns and go back to them later. Eventually I found a second pattern, but then at the counter they didn’t have it in my size. Then I had to go back to the pattern books again, for the third time. And by then I’d seen all the shirt patterns several times and was thoroughly sick of looking at them, and was falling into despair over and over, thinking along the lines of “THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK!” Just to get out of the shop I chose the first suitable shirt that presented itself, and then when I got home and saw them together, it turned out they were almost the same. Oh well. Dammit, hey?
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– Note 2: I’ve just learned how to do page jumps, and even that they’re called “page jumps” (which is when you can provide a link to a specific part of the page so the reader doesn’t need to scroll up and down). Instructions are here: Splitting Content >> Page Jumps.
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