Upon Exiting – Early Morning Panic

Friday morning and I’m up early, early, ridiculously early. Apparently our water supply is due to be switched off at 9 am, so anyone wanting to be reasonably clean today needs to perform their (hopefully) daily cleansing ritual before then.

But that’s not the only reason I’m up. No. Of course not. That would be far too simple. No, I’m up since my brain has decided to go into overdrive and repeat thoughts of Therapy Crash at break-neck speed.

Saw A. at the old place for the last time yesterday. It was re-scheduled from today, to – I assume – accommodate The Move. Session went reasonably well, but all through it I kept glancing over at the half-empty bookshelf next to me. For some reason it really got to me, really unsettled me. You see, to me there is nothing that spells The End like the boxing up of books.

I wasn’t born with that nesting gene that so many women seem to be blessed with. I’m not great at creating a cosy atmosphere or a tranquil ambience (or whatever they call it these days). I use books to decorate. Pile ’em up ceiling high, allowing them to cover the walls, fill the window sills and stand to attention on the mantle piece.

Thus, seeing three empty shelves at the bottom of the case in A.’s room, well, it freaked me out. Something like “If the books are going, then the move is happening for sure”. (In all honesty those bottom shelves are usually occupied by randomly stacked camera boxes and folders – but the gaping emptiness of the shelves still created that sense of lacking in books).

I did try to talk to A. about it, but, as often happens – I just couldn’t really get to the feelings in the moment. I knew they were there. Only the words needed to express them weren’t. So all I really said was “The half-empty book case unsettles me”. A. then asked Can you say more? This classic phrase has recently become her favourite way of prompting me, and ‘though I don’t like to admit it, I have to say that I like it. Something about the way she says it manages to acknowledge that talking about feelings isn’t easy for me, and a gentle nudge feels like welcome support.

Only, in this case I couldn’t say more. I said a few things, but, really – they were lacklustre and bland and didn’t at all get to the depth of fear that this move stirs in me.

So, instead I am now sitting in my room, much too early for any sane person to be up, panicking over the doom that this move must certainly spell.

Leaving A.’s flat for what was inevitably and frighteningly the last time, walking out of the door, kissing the mezuzah as I went, that’s when all those feelings suddenly washed over me.

I’m not coming back here. Anything could happen.

And that’s the mode I’m stuck in.

Frightening stuff. Many deep breaths needed.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.



PS. Didn’t wish A. a happy move before I left, and I feel really bad about the subconscious implications that could be read into that. Contemplating sending her a text now to make up for it. How neurotic am I? Double panic!