When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

A Crisis of Confidence

Well, I guess that was bound to happen. I was quite gung-ho at first and maybe even felt a bit superior to all these semi-literate guys on Match.com. But then I signed up for Guardian Soulmates (haven’t subscribed yet), and out of curiosity, had a look at the women on there.

Oh. My. God.

They were beautiful. Ebullient. Witty. Stylish. Confident. Slim. Had ‘dream jobs’ – yes, no ordinary job for them! As I read I felt my confidence sag down to my knees (along with the rest of me). I’ve got to face it. I’m not Helen Mirren. I’m fifty, but nowhere near fabulous. My waist is fast disappearing altogether. My house is a bit of a mess – only really good friends can come here. My Hoover has more or less packed up and I can’t afford to replace it, and in any case, I’m short-sighted, and simply don’t see the dirt.

Worse than that, what have I got to show for my fifty years? What have I achieved, where are my credentials? Non-existent dear reader. A troubled teen son in foster care. Still resoundingly single, having just disentangled myself from a low-life scumbag. Unemployed for nigh on twenty years. The only field I appear to be skilled in is that of a professional mental patient. Oh yeah, I know a lot about that. Ask me anything!

Cruising a  dating website triggers a lot of stuff. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. It makes me have to face things about myself I’d rather not. And I haven’t even met up with any of them yet. When one expresses a wish to meet, I panic. I go into fight or flight mode. I can’t face the awkwardness, when I don’t turn out to be what he expects. It’s ridiculous. But it’s real.

After my perusal of the glamourous, successful and erudite Soulmates had destroyed every vestige of ‘chutzpah’ left to me, I abandoned the computer and went upstairs to try on some clothes with a view to glamming up a bit. I have already taken to wearing a bit of make-up again. I’ve been getting compliments. But in the dim light of my bedroom, dragging the dusty gladrags out of drawers and off the clothesrail I just felt even more depressed. Who am I kidding? What decent man would ever want me?

It’s enough to make me cry big fat salty tears over my wasted youth that is gone forever. And I really did chuck mine down the drain. Don’t get me wrong though. I would never opt to go back – unless I could take my hard-won wisdom (such as it is!) with me.

Then I think of my son. Right at the beginning of his youth. And apparently even more messed up than I was. And that’s really saying something.

If I sound a little down, well that’s because I am. Even my sense of humour has deserted me. This sucks, by any standard.

I still love you though, dear reader…

Zoe x



Comments on: "A Crisis of Confidence" (8)

  1. Well I think your wisdom, wit and warmth are priceless. 🙂

    The Dalai Lama would concur. Read this today..

    ”For Tibetans, the emphasis for many centuries has been on developing and upholding inner values such as compassion and wisdom. These are more important to us than acquiring material wealth, fame or success. We regard inner strength, gentleness, love, compassion, wisdom and a stable mind as the most important treasures a human being can collect in his or her lifetime”

    Heres the whole article if you want to see it in context:


    I think I can tick a few of those boxes and so can you.

    My Wisdom has been hard won too!!

    From your blogs I reckon you are rich Zoe and have so much to offer the world and your family.


  2. Bless you Littlesparrow, you’ve written just what I needed to hear! I read the Dalai Lama article. Thank you for that. My head knows you (and he) are right. My heart is a bit sick right now, but that won’t last…it never does. One of the challenges of a life like ours is, above all, to persevere.

    Thanks you so much Littlesparrow. Your words have uplifted me, and mean more than you can know.

    Zoe xxx

  3. Zoe,
    Have you had a relationship/relationship? – tick
    Are you intelligent and can hold your own – tick
    Are you attractive to the opposite sex – tick, otherwise you wouldnt have had relationships!

    Then you are perfectly capable of meeting someone and having a relationship. I always think you should apply the friendship test to any relationship. It doesn’t always work but it’s a good indicator. Just ask yourself ‘would I want this person as a friend?’, if the answer is no, then regardless of how good looking or exciting they are then it’s likely to be doomed to failure. It’s more important to find a soul mate who you can trust and rely on, even if they don’t set the world on fire!

    Also, men aren’t very good at expressing themselves, particulary if they are shy, but look at what they have to offer and don’t dismiss them out of hand. It is important, however, to see if they are intelligent, trustworthy and will give back what you put into a relationship. The sporty types are, as you say, people to be avoided.

    Hang in there and keep looking, it may take you a week, it may take you a year, but you have everything to offer someone.

    Sir Bob x

    • Aw Sir Bob that’s sooooo nice. You’re right about liking the guy as a friend, and probably right too about these shy, tongue-tied ones sometimes being worth a chance. I’m beginning to think I’m too sensitive for the online dating game. I dunno if I can face the awkwardness and embarrassment of meeting someone who I then have to turn down or vice versa. I’ve been reading a book called Soulmates, and it’s full of horror stories! Also there’s the issue of when and how to disclose that I’ve got a mental illness. And the alternative is to make stuff up, and I’m really not that good at that. I think the only answer for me is to email for a while first, but lots of guys don’t seem to want to wait around. The best way for them to find out what I’m like would be to read this blog. It would certainly weed out the ones to whom I am just a walking illness.

      Damn Sir Bob. Damn. Thanks for your kind affirmation though. Bless.

      Zoe xxx

  4. You may baulk at this, but there is a dating site for people with MI. It’s hideously named, though.


    • Thanks for that Seaneen. I’ve now joined the site, and am quite enjoying it. It’s a relief not to have to make like I’m totally normal! And there are lots of nice ‘profiles’ on there, it isn’t what I expected at all.

      Zoe x

    • Thanks for this Seaneen, and sorry I didn’t reply before. Thanks for the reminder of this website, which you flagged up to me some years ago. I have now joined it and am finding it a refreshing change not having to hide my ‘label’ from potential dates/friends/penpals.

      You’re a star.


  5. Bristol Michael said:

    Guardian Soulmates generally describe themselves as being, well, God’s Gift to Guardian Soulmates. That doesn’t mean it’s true. 😉 😉

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