Saturday, January 02, 2010

Oh, grocery shopping!

I'm sitting here procrastinating. I have to go to the grocery store, but I keep putting it off, because I don't really want to go and I keep waiting for the better moment to arrive. The moment on which my courage is the greatest. And really, how much courage does it take to go grocery shopping? All I have to do is grab my purse and my large shopping bag and get on my bicycle and pedal over there. Yes, but that's the easy part. The hard part is pedaling home with all the groceries in my bags, but come on, I've done that a hundred times and how hard can that be? Why do I let myself get so intimidated by it? I think I've got a shortage of courage and an overdose of imagination, and I imagine all these things that can potentially go wrong, but that never do, because I am a steady and trustworthy woman and I should have more faith in myself. The fact that it's going to be busy at the store shouldn't bother me either, because I never have to stand in line that long and I'm not really that bothered by crowds. That's just a figment of my imagination. See, so nothing should stop me from going and I have the money to go too. Okay, so that's settled then. As soon as I get done writing this, I will go to the store with my courage under my arm.

Of course, I had my usual morning. I got up and made myself some coffee and answered my emails and took my medicines and after a while I got sleepy again and went back to bed where I slept a couple of more hours until I was properly awake. By that time the dog had to really go out and I braved the cold with him.

There's not that much snow left and today it's supposed to be 3C, so everything will melt. That's okay with me and the streets are pretty clean, so I will not be riding my bike through slush. That's always the worst part, because when you park your bike in the hallway afterwards, muddy water drips on the linoleum and makes a mess. It's best to leave your bike outside for awhile, but then you have to walk back and forth through two doors for your groceries, with the added risk that the cats will escape. That's not that awful, of course, but then I do have to leave the front door ajar so they can come back in when it pleases them.

I think I have to stop thinking of the outside world as enemy territory where something bad is going to happen to me, and stop thinking about all the other people as potential enemies who are going to pick a fight with me simply because I'm there. That shows you how really insecure I am about myself and the world I live in. Even in the world that's familiar to me and close to home. I always think that I will feel more comfortable in a car and I think that is true, because you are safe and sheltered in a car. On a bike you are so exposed and vulnerable.

It's strange that I feel so insecure, though, and I wonder where that comes from and under which circumstances I feel it the most. I certainly feel it more the further from home I have to go. I feel a terrible need to turn around and go back as quickly as possible, but if I were in a car I would not have that feeling. Riding around on a bike packed with groceries makes me feel very vulnerable. I feel that I could be accosted by anyone and challenged and that I would not be able to defend myself. It's odd that I see all these people as potentially dangerous to me, but maybe that has to do also with the neighborhood I have to ride through to get home. I can't go any other way.

As a kid, I was bullied and beaten up from the age of 8 until I was 12. It was always dangerous to go outside, because you never knew if you were going to be the target that day and in school I wasn't safe either. They were boys who did this and girls who egged them on. I never talked about it with anybody, because I thought no grown up could or would help me and it was all done very sneakily.

Maybe that's why I feel that way about going outside, but I didn't have that feeling when I lived in California and drove a car. I felt I had a lot of freedom there and went all over the place, anywhere and anytime. I was much more courageous there than I am here. Here I am like the cowardly lion. Maybe living here has subconsciously unleashed all those old feelings.

Okay, that's all I'm going to say about that.

I've just about finished my coffee, so It's getting to be time to go. I have to screw up my courage and gather all my wits about me. I think it may be handy if I make a shopping list, though I always get the same things.

Have a good day, everyone. I hope your weather treats you nice.



Babaloo said...

Hope you managed to go shopping after all.

Being bullied and beaten up as a child (or even later) leaves its marks for sure. Have you ever confronted those feelings and issues in therapy? I'm just asking because they obviously still affect you and it's sad that this should be the case. Clearly you are not defenseless or as vulnerable as you perceive yourself to be in those moments of fear.

Have courage, dear! xxx

Gail said...

Since you have lived there has anything horrible happened? Would a walk be better than a bike?

Suck it up, cupcake, get on that bike! You can do it.

Anonymous said...

You may know that I too was bullied at school, not physically, but mentally quite badly and because of my lack of confidence it made me even worse, perhaps this is a reason why I am so unsociable now, and why I also feel insecure about myself.

Best wishes, CJ xx