I emailed Haringey User Network today to tell them I’m stepping down. It’s called ‘voting with your feet’. Sometimes you have to risk hurting people you like. Sometimes you can be more powerful in your absence than by showing up.
Enough is enough anyway. It’s not a choice at the end of the day. I have to go with what supports my mental health, and not with what doesn’t. HUN is going nowhere fast and I don’t back losers…not consciously anyway, much as I have a perennial weakness for the underdog.
They know my feelings and views, at least if they don’t, then I’ve made them clear enough. To keep bashing my head against a brick wall is self-harm basically…
Talking of brick walls. R. My ex. He cannot agree with me that I have a right to express an independent opinion. He stonewalls me constantly with both verbal and non-verbal messages, all of which are mixed, because I know that with R, what you get on the surface is only the tiniest tip of a very big iceberg.
Somehow I can’t just let it go. Deep down he doesn’t want me to, hence the mixed messages. He hasn’t suddenly transmogrified into someone else and nor have I. There is a slightly mad, offbeat, creative and funny side to R that, for the time being, he is repressing and denying with the help of work, work and more work.
I’ve gotta say though, I really miss the other R. This angry, defensive, robotic, proto-conformist R is not the man I fell in love with and was so close to for so many years.
Once again my monkey mind will try to persuade me that it is ‘all my fault’. But my monkey mind can just f*** right off. We all make choices, every minute of every hour of every day. He is making his. I am continuing to be true to my inner light, and that is, in a way, a denial of all choice. I am what I am. I can’t be what I’m not.
R is off to the Lake District for a week tomorrow. I hope the Lakes and mountains help him to plumb his inner depths. He has a strong, simple response to nature that I have always loved and admired. He is not this ‘jobsworth’ monster that he wants to make out.
There is no question, fellow ‘mentally interesting’ peeps, that the World of Work creates conflict within and between us. Look at what happened with me and Equals, and what is still happening between me and R.
When he was a volunteer for Friends of the Earth I didn’t see this side to him. He was happy in what he was doing, believed in it and was shown proper appreciation for it. Now he has a boring and mundane post/porter type job in a hospital, plus dribs and drabs of work for Equals. When he’s not doing that, he’s compulsively performing household and garden tasks as if his life depended on it.
And I’ve gotta say, he’s never seemed more unhappy. No, he doesn’t sob down the phone to me. But he never seems really relaxed, he is like a coiled spring with aggression always crackling away just under the surface.
Why do people hurt themselves with work (and other addictions), as if they were their own slave-drivers?
It’s like he thinks he’s a bad person, and has to punish himself by denying his true nature with a never-ending roster of false ‘duties’.
It’s our duty to be true to our inner light. Whatever work comes out of that is the work we love to do, the work that is creative and genuinely productive, and which is performed with an inner freedom and lightness of being. It fosters our growth, never stymies or blocks it.