Back in my youth, my love life was a string of rejections, primarily based on insecurity in my bodily attributes (6ft 4in, moderately enticing, shiny, humorous, caring, however with dangly bits a hamster can be frightened about). It was ego-bruising, getting laughed at. I’d keep away from seashore holidays, altering rooms and even ran away from uni to keep away from the humiliation.
Moving again to the capital, a miracle occurred: 2 ladies I’d turn into pals with determined to remain the night time, on totally different days, the identical weekend. Who was I to say no? They had been beautiful and I felt secure. And, amazingly, they wished issues to proceed. It was essentially the most fantastic time – however after 4 years of a heart-wrenching triangle, it was over. I’d lied, cheated, oscillated and damage everybody, till my self-respect, pals, job and confidence had vanished. I wasn’t the identical particular person I had been.
I bought again along with one of many ladies however issues weren’t the identical. Now right here I’m, 30 years and a string of uninteresting jobs later, in an sad marriage, retired, with dodgy well being and my solely optimistic reminiscences being from 35 years in the past. I’m in my 60s, dwell within the sticks and am bored out of my thoughts. I’ve tried becoming a member of golf equipment and do volunteer work nevertheless it’s not giving me what I would like or want (if solely I knew what that was). Every night time I pray that I don’t get up, as I’ve not the heart to finish all of it. What to do?
Being laughed at for one thing as elementary as the dimensions of your genitalia will need to have been traumatising. But I do surprise in regards to the accuracy of your description (of your penis dimension)? After all, you shied away from conditions that will have helped you see that genitalia are available in all sizes and styles, and for 4 years you had 2 ladies preventing over you.
There was a line in your letter that gave me pause: “I felt safe.” I get the impression your life didn’t – doesn’t – really feel secure? If so, can you’re employed out the place that feeling comes from?
I’m actually on this “before” after which “after” time, and may’t totally perceive how and why you had been so totally different after the episode with the 2 ladies. Why was it so catastrophic? Mostly, I get this sense of you trying in at your life like somebody watching a conveyor belt go by, powerless to take what you need.
I consulted psychoanalyst Susan Godsil. She was struck by how “your best memory was of something exciting but empty, not of building something in your life you can value”. Sometimes, it’s the most abnormal issues that present the richest reminiscences. But I get no sense of that with you. It’s all pleasure or catastrophe.
Godsil puzzled why you might be residing “in the sticks”? Is a transfer a chance? “Maybe [downsize] to a town/city where you have more life, and people?” she prompt. “Retiring is a challenging life stage and inevitably involves looking back over your life.”
But is your present despair and sense of your ageing and, as you see it, insufficient physique influencing your view? Because once you’re depressed, it may possibly color the way you have a look at issues. So for the time being all you’ll be able to see is the dangerous stuff.
I additionally ponder whether you aren’t blaming your penis for every part that has gone incorrect in your life. If you can begin to deal with the despair – by speaking to somebody – I feel this can be of extra use to you than worrying about your “dangly bits”.
I’m confused about whether or not your spouse is likely one of the 2 ladies you oscillated between all these years in the past. Nevertheless, you’ve got constructed a 30-year partnership – is there nothing good about that? What does she suppose? Is it honest – to both of you – to not speak about your relationship?
I feel it is best to get your emotional well being checked out: speak to your GP or discover a counsellor, somebody you’ll be able to safely speak to, to attempt to undo a few of your previous and make sense of it. You say you don’t know what you need, however you do appear to know what you don’t need. Think about shifting, if doable, to someplace extra vibrant. After all, all these years in the past, once you moved to a metropolis “a miracle happened”.
Don’t look too far forward. This will cease you feeling overwhelmed and despairing. Being in yours 60s isn’t that outdated. Isn’t it time you stopped being a passenger in your personal life?
In the UK, Samaritans could be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the disaster assist service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other worldwide suicide helplines could be discovered at befrienders.org. Campaign Against Living Miserably, thecalmzone.net
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Annalisa Barbieri from theguardian.com