Displacement activity is another phrase for what I do.
I go to counselling, and start off talking about my children, or bumbling around not knowing where to start. I start this blog in order to talk about me, and spend a fair bit of it talking about 2son.
At home I will do paid work, voluntary work, domestic chores, looking after children, and anything else before looking after myself.
That’s quite difficult to acknowledge. Whether it’s having a bath or writing a post, I will do other things first, telling myself I need to get them out of the way so that I can concentrate on me and end up not having the time.
The 50 minutes of counselling is a commitment I am happy to make as I know I need it, but I often seem to take about half an hour before really getting started and so waste a lot of it. So while I want to do it, and am willing to do it, I then prevaricate as much as possible.
I’m not good at talking about myself. I’ll often let a friend tell me what going on in his/her life before taking my ‘turn’ and I’ll usually talk about the children before talking about me. If I’m with a group of people, I will often take the back seat and let the conversation run past me, rarely interjecting and even less often taking the lead. Or if I do it’s on inconsequential matters. I’ll lose myself staring out of the window, and then wonder why I’m not quite enjoying myself and not feeling part of the group.
I’m making progress in the sense that I am part of the group, rather than being at home, and I am better at talking while in a group but I’m not joining in as much as I can. I do lack confidence, even with good friends who I know will listen to me.
However in counselling I am not worried about not being listened to; I’m not worried about being judged. So why do I waste it, and at the same time get frustrated by it moving too slowly and not achieving enough?
I think I’m scared. I’m scared of really getting in touch with my feelings, feelings that I have kept buried for so long, and getting to grips with who the ‘real me’ is. I’ve been hiding in the shadows for so long with excuses of childhood, partners and children in front of me that if I strip it all away there’s a naked defenceless me cowering in the spotlight.