I'm a perfectly normal woman. I have a normal job and a normal flat. I'm reasonably intelligent and I have the means and the attitude to be a Modern Independent Woman. I was educated at Oxford and I've read The Second Sex. In fact, I've read a lot of the classics. I can discuss existentialism with the best of them. I've been to a buddhist retreat and I'm brilliant at being zen. I can let things go and I know that there isn't any point worrying too much about most things.
However, I have recently discovered that rather than my late twenties bringing on a blanket of calm and a sea of self-acceptance, they are taking my hand and skipping me merrily along to utter madness.
It all started when he moved in.
Suddenly I have found that from a throw-away comment I can create a 3,000-word essay on why the relationship was doomed from the beginning and why we never should have moved in together.
From a text missing vital "x"s I can conclude that I will die alone, surrounded by cats.
From a morning without a cuddle but instead a grizzly "fuck, I fucking hate work, life is shit" (actually a pefectly reasonable statement considering where he works) I will realise that the romance has gone forever and promptly book us into relationship therapy.
Nobody knows this. It is my dark, dirty secret. They think I'm a Modern Independent Woman. They listen to my feminist arguments and they praise me for my career progression. I give them advice on their relationships. I tell them not to worry, people have off days and that no relationship is hollywood-perfect all the time. Except secretly I think mine should be. I should be the exception. I am not and as a result beneath the veneer of my Perfectly Normal Woman facade lies a tangled mess of neuroses.
So I find myself here, therapising the hell out of myself with this blog. If the panic and the terror lie here, I reason, then in my head they cannot.