Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Preparing for Fight or Flight.

Back in the winter of ’94-’95 I was forced to do a 13-week course in a town about twenty miles away by my benefactor-cum-worst-enemy, the Job Centre. It involved getting up early and going out at 7.30 in the freezing cold or driving rain and walking two miles to the railway station in the dark. The day was spent stuck in front of a slow and faulty old Amstrad computer in a drab portakabin with no windows, no pot plants, no wall decorations, dull fluorescent lighting, stale, recycled air, and in the company of a bunch of miserable people who desperately didn’t want to be there. Can you imagine what effect that sort of thing has on an HSP type – characterised as we are by extreme awareness of our environment – and is it any wonder that I fell asleep every night on the train home?

One night I occupied a small compartment separated from the main carriage by a door. It had two sets of four seats facing each other, and one other man got in and took a seat opposite mine. He had wild eyes, and when the train moved off he began jumping around, making strange, inhuman noises as he did so. I don’t know to this day whether he was human or not, but I didn’t fall asleep that night.

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