This is ridiculous. I dropped off 3son and 4son yesterday for a week away for the first time ever. I decided to stay overnight in the town as I’d never been here before and I’m a bunch of nerves.
I dropped them off exactly 24 hours ago as I’m typing, found my bed for the night, went to a pub for lunch, wandered round the castle and round town. In short I was a tourist. Nothing abnormal, unusual or bizarre about that. So why am I a nervous wreck?
If I’m in London, I’m at home. I can go anywhere, even if it’s new without even thinking about it. It’s my home and I’m comfortable, happy to offer advice to tourists and not really worrying about anything.
But out here on my own, I feel alone and vulnerable. I’m not worried about being out after dark on my own in strange streets or anything like that. That has never fazed me. But I suppose I’ve always been on holiday with other people always family, whether it’s my parents or my exes and I’m not comfortable when it’s just me. I’m all right if I’m with my children because they act as protection.
But I am scared. I’m sitting in a cafe with a cup of tea writing this. There’s nothing to be afraid of and yet my stomach is tied in knots and I am shaking. It took monumental courage last night for me to walk into a proper restaurant and sit down and have a meal on my own. I walked round town twice before going back to my original choice and it was a good choice and I did relax, although I’m sure having a drink helped. I was aware that I found it hard making a choice because it was just for me. I wanted to make a good decision as having an evening out on my own without worry over children does not happen very often so I wanted to make the most of it. But I felt awkward as if I wasn’t entitled to command attention and a table just for me.
I know when I’m at home I’m perfectly happy to wander around on my own and feel at ease visiting pubs or whatever on my own. But I don’t much go out of my own square mile or so. I kid myself that it’s because I don’t like being far from the children but I think I use them as protective colouring just as much as I use my size. I don’t like going out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is a lot bigger than it used to be and not just geographically but I am aware of how much further there is to go and how easy it is for me to be in a situation where I don’t feel safe.
I’m 40 something. I’m all grown up. I should be able to go out for a day or a weekend and enjoy myself without feeling so incredibly insecure.
I meant to post this on Sunday but lack of Wi-Fi delayed it by a day.