Are you comfortably numb?

Monday, September 13, 2004

I'm so-o-o tired, I haven't slept a wink, I'm so-o-o I'm so tired... I think my mind is on the blink

Hello there.

Today I went to the first training session of the counselling course I'm doing - the first step to becoming a pregnancy crisis counsellor if you didn't know. The morning got off to a bad start as after I had dragged myself out of bed, gone through the dreary duty of washing and drying my hair (I don't know why men think we get pleasure out of spending ages doing our hair, it's actually incredibly boring), and left in PLENTY of time to allow for extra traffic because it was raining, I got stuck in massive traffic jams all the way to Crawley. There is something incredibly psychologically destructive about being in a traffic jam. Far more so if you're driving, as I am discovering. Sometimes I think I might actually drive into the back of the person in front of me just to feel like I'm going somewhere. I'm sure everyone else feels the same. The feeling of being in a machine that was created solely in order to increase the speed with which we can travel and yet not travelling more than a few metres in a minute is quite terrible. Reminds me of the graffiti on a bridge on the M1 somewhere that says "HIT THE NORTH. GET OUT AND WALK, IT'S FASTER".

We seem to get separated into 3 groups of people in a traffic jam. First of all you have those who do what seems to make you feel better about the situation: accelerating as fast as possible whenever the cars start to move, only to have to slam on the brakes two seconds later as they discover that actually the jam has only moved forward a distance of mere inches. It's quite disturbing having one of these behind you. However if you actually try this you'll find that far from making the situation seem better than it is, it just frustrates you even more. This is why I believe option (2) is the best. This is the one endorsed by those drivers you see in your rear-view mirror who are always a few metres behind you, rarely arriving close enough that you can see what the driver looks like, annoyingly (well, sources of amusement are thin on the ground when you are stuck in a queue involving several hundred tonnes of metal lined back to back on a piece of tarmac). One may think that these drivers are all over 80 and have not actually noticed that the car is front of them is moving, or maybe they just can't see through the steering wheel - most elderly drivers seem to peer through it as if it is just another big black plastic coated pair of glasses that will somehow magnify the road in front of them all the more. However, one would be wrong to assume this. These drivers are actually the cleverest - they realise that by leaving an enormous gap between the car in front and theirs, they can maintain constant movement, albeit at 2 miles an hour, thus creating the impression that they are not actually in a jam at all. The only disadvantage with this technique is the old "hmm am I going fast enough to go into second" dilemma, one which is frequently misjudged by myself, resulting in a "glug-glug-guh-lug-guh-guh-lug" noise, which is most unpleasant to the ear, and sends one's torso juddering backwards and forwards as your hard-done-by engine struggles like a pregnant American trying to run the Athens marathon kitted out in the contents of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. And then of course option (3) is taken up by the drivers frequently referred to as "complete idiots" by Christians (out loud, that is) and less friendly names by most of the population. These are the ones who seem to think that the road is akin to one of those football or hockey training things with all the orange cones you have to dribble around. Of course in this case the orange cones are the other cars. If the inside lane starts moving at a pace of roughly 5 mph, these drivers will immediately start signalling and although 90% of the drivers on the road are incredibly anxious not to allow them to have even the smallest gap to move into, you will always get an option (2) driver somewhere along the line who unfortunately leaves a space for the complete idiot to move into. The process is repeated every time traffic starts moving, like a sort of crazy obstacle course, but about 100 times more dangerous. I always imagine that option (3) drivers are called Stu, or Gregg or Dave and are referred to as "cards" by their acquaintances.

Anyway. Despite quite ridiculous amounts of traffic on the road I managed to get there, and thankfully the trainers had also had to do battle with the infamous A23 and so despite being a quarter of an hour late I wasn't actually late, if you see what I mean. The actual session was good, mostly introductory, although we watched a video of a developing foetus, had a look at the biblical foundation for the sanctity of life and discussed some abortion statistics, which was sad. Coincidentally, I've recently been reading the book "Inconceivable" by Ben Elton about a couple that can't have children, and finished it this afternoon amidst many tears. It just brought home to me once more how incredibly strong and heart-acheingly painful the unfulfilled desire to have a child is for some people, and how stark the contrast is to an alone, scared girl considering abortion because her life has taken an extremely unexpected and seemingly horrific turn for the worse. How strange it is. It's also quite scary to think about childlessness and how it could happen to me - I mean, I have no idea how my life is going to pan out. Made me think how children really are an incredible gift of God. It's so weird how a baby can be seen so differently in varying contexts. If wanted, it is the most valuable and amazing miracle anyone can imagine. If not wanted, it is seen as an embarrassment, a tragic complication that should be got rid of with as little fuss or delay as possible. But to God the human life is invaluable no matter whether its creators willed its existence. How heartbreaking to think that a dream that childless couples agonise over, that eats their entire lives up because they feel they are only alive to fulfill that dream, for someone else is a nightmare from which they feel the only escape is to destroy the being inside of them, a being that is sought after and longed for and desperately wanted by so many others.

As is fairly obvious, my mind is quite active at the moment, although my body seems to think it only exists to go to sleep. I tried sleeping this afternoon but as per usual the idea of being unconscious in the daytime is as alien to my mind as the natural look is to Jordan.

This post is far too long so I'm going to nip it in the fully-petalled flower now. Will write more soon.


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