My mind is in a better place as I write this, so hopefully it won’t be as chaotic as last month’s post.
With that caveat, things haven’t really changed that much. I still feel on the verge of some massive anxiety attack, which isn’t being helped by the prospect of having to share a bedroom with a random stranger when I go to study in the US next month. I know it’s a common way of living at university over there, but I had asked for a single and laid out my reasons why – age, mental health, etc. – but I’m finding I’m having to fight for this.
But at least stuff to do with my visa is done. My brother and I took a trip to London for the day. Like I mentioned last month, yes, we ended up travelling at ridiculous-o’clock in the morning. No, it wasn’t fun.
The visa interview process is a crazy conveyor belt. I mean, queuing up and getting through the door I could handle fine. I had everything ready. Once I was inside it was okay and just a matter of waiting for my number to be called. Once it was called though, I was told I “Had been called 3 times so now you will have to wait.” The woman behind the screen was incredibly rude and condescending, but I didn’t argue. I was too scared of being kicked out if I did. I just smiled and said “Alright” and waited again. I was so shocked and appalled by her behaviour that I just couldn’t bring myself to say that I came up the instant I saw my number appear on the screen. But the impression I got was that they have so many people coming through for visas that they just don’t give a shit and are trying to get through as many as they can.
Fortunately, the next person who I saw, and then the actual person who interviewed me were very nice and polite and made the experience a much more pleasant memory.
(Those last 2 paragraphs could be the most British thing I have ever written – “Nice and polite”, passive aggressive griping… Who am I?!?!)
Anyway, I was so happy for my visa to be approved, and I met back up with my brother who had taken a wander around the Disney Store on Oxford Street. I took him to a few landmarks – like the Disney Store and Apple Store in Covent Garden, before heading over to the nerdiest shop I could think of, the massive London Forbidden Planet store! It was honestly a lot of fun just taking a walk around without having any pressure on to do anything. Well. Until we decided we wanted to hit some museums. We spent the rest of the day exploring the Science and Natural History museums.
On the negative side of the spectrum, ‘W’ was released from prison last week. I ended up to-and-froing for days prior to his release about how I felt about him. Could I forgive him? Had he changed? The short answer really is no. I ended up being dragged to his mother’s house for a drink – she wanted to pop a bottle of champagne (or rather it was just sparkling wine). This is where I began to feel much more conflicted. Why was he celebrating? Sure, go for a nice meal, have a drink, but champagne seemed like a step too far. I ended up staying quite late just so I could get a chance to speak to him alone and uninterrupted. What I found was that his story of what occurred was different to what was reported, but no less criminal. He was a fucking fool for what he had done, that’s for sure. But he threw in the death of our friend Matt as the cause for it all. I don’t believe that, and I feel disgusted that he would even use this as an excuse.
The difficult thing is that something like this happening had been on the horizon for a while. We had all heard stories, we’d even seen some of his Facebook activity over the years, but we dismissed it as his naivety. Getting caught and going to prison was probably the thing he needed the most to realise he was behaving inappropriately. Sadly, prison doesn’t seemed to have humbled him. If anything he is more selfish and narcissistic than ever. I don’t think he truly appreciates why what he did was wrong and why people are going to find it difficult continuing any relationship with him.
At this point, I’m kind of glad that I’m leaving the UK for a while. I don’t really know how to tell him that things have changed between us, that I don’t trust him any more, and to a degree I don’t want to be around him in public because I’m worried of what others will think of me. I have very few friends remaining in this city and I think I have to choose wisely, otherwise I may find myself with no real friends at all – because ultimately I don’t really think of ‘W’ as a real friend any more. I think he only thinks of himself and doesn’t care about others, least of all me.
So this and organising the move abroad has really had an effect on my mental health. I’ve been feeling extremely anxious for at least 6 weeks. It’s a wonder I haven’t had a panic attack, or even a heart attack! I’ve been pretty low at times, I’ve fallen behind on things that I’ve been trying to get done before I leave – gardening, house repairs for my mother, but mostly writing. I’ve just not been kind to myself for a good while. To be fair, a lot of this comes from a place where I just don’t enjoy the things that I usually enjoy – which is a symptom of depression in itself. My sleeping pattern has been terrible, and my physical health has been in a similar situation.
This is gradually improving as the date for departure closes in. Everything is now arranged, and the only worry I have for the year abroad is the sleeping arrangements. I’m trying to see as many friends as possible before I go, and I think I’ve pretty much decided I’m going to avoid/“ghost” ‘W’ until I leave. I can’t deal with his bullshit when I’ve got my own life to live.
Tonight I’m going out for dinner with 2 of my oldest friends from school (that I still have regular contact with), and in the next few weeks I’m hoping to have a proper farewell party with a few others.
I’m looking forward to leaving. I’m hoping that being a continent away will help with so much that has been going on with me mentally. Like, moving to a different country will give me a fresh perspective or a different outlook. Even being in a sunnier climates for longer periods.
I have a lot of hope for my year abroad. I hope I meet people. I hope I can make friends. But most of all, I hope I can just enjoy my time away from home and not be susceptible to the stresses that are here from so far away.
Until next time in sunny California,
Much love ❤