Table for One

Today I did something crazy. Something that I wouldn’t normally do. Something that would normally terrify me.

I sat in a cafe (okay, a coffee shop’s seating area in a food court, but c’mon, slim pickings in PosyTown) by myself, while I had a coffee and read the paper.

Sure, this seems like no big deal, people do this all the time, but for me, this is a Very Big Deal.

I am a little skittish when out in crowds. I feel unsettled and exposed. I think the defining moment for me was when I was 16 and waiting by myself at the bus depot after school to catch my bus home – I was randomly approached by a group of four people (that I didn’t know and had never seen before), and punched in the face. When I tried to run into the shopping centre to find my friends to see if they could drive me home, I was attacked again. Having rocks thrown at me and being spat on as I walked home from school when I was eight years old and lived in a remote community probably didn’t help much either. The thought of that incident must be more traumatic than it actually was, however, as my parents tell me I was quite unperturbed about it at the time.

For a long time I was scared of my own shadow. I avoided crowds – shopping centres, markets, festivals, the cinema on a Tuesday or Saturday night. I never went back to that depot and it took me quite some time before I would catch a bus again. To this day I still startle very easily, if a friend sneaks up or somebody quickly races up behind/past me. More than a decade on, while I’m fine when out and about on my own, I’m never really at ease, and I tend to rush through whatever errands I need to run.

I’m not averse to my own company – it has taken time, but I’d go as far to say that, to an extent, I enjoy it. If I spend too much time alone, I do tend to think too much, and can wind up a little emotional – but that is another post for another day. It is a good thing that I enjoy my own company, because Mr Posy works a lot, and there is only so much that you can expect your friends to babysit you on weekends. Now that I’m finished with study, I’ve found myself with a lot of extra spare time on my hands. And I’m starting to go a little bit spare, sitting at home on my own. This morning, I decided that I was going on a coffee date with myself.

It was bliss. I sat and flicked through the newspaper at a leisurely pace while sipping my coffee. I people-watched. I checked Twitter. I had a quick chat with a friend while she waited for her coffee. In that moment, I sat there in my own little world. And I started to make plans for my next solo coffee date – in a cafe with actual crockery.

  • Cat
    October 13, 2012

    That is awesome news. I know exactly how you feel.

    I too have a problem with with being out alone in general. I must have been about the same age, a girl at school rallied her friends to bully me constantly.

    One day I got off the bus and was attacked by the girls when I was walking home.

    I was extremely shaken up of course and I really thought I was completely over it but it’s stuck with me for a long time.

    Your mind can play some rather nasty tricks on you and the voice inside your head lies, a lot. This is where I got into a lot of trouble with my anxiety and I became a hermit.

    Therapy got me through a lot of it but there is still always that little voice bouncing around inside your head and confronting it can be hard.

    So I say well done to you and finally having THAT moment! 😀

    • miss posy
      October 14, 2012

      Ugh. Scars from bullying run deep, don’t they… I have an underlying feeling of never being good enough, because of bullying from people who were supposed to be ‘friends’ in late primary school. You’d think after so much time has gone by that it would be easy to get over, but it’s something that I think probably always stays with you.

  • Gary
    October 14, 2012

    Oh wow. That is awful being attacked by a group. Good on you for having a leisurely time out enjoying your own company.

    • miss posy
      October 14, 2012

      It was really nice – much better than sitting at home in front of the TV or cleaning!

  • Ruth
    October 14, 2012

    You should try Java Spice cafe. It’s relatively new, kind of next to the Deck Bar on the right hand side if you were looking at it from the street – there used to be an art gallery there I vaguely recall. Anyway, it’s quite easily the nicest cafe in town, nice plush furniture, great decor, good coffee. The tall guy owns it. Skip their sandwiches, bit of a disappointment but their cakes are great.

    • miss posy
      October 14, 2012

      I haven’t tried that cafe yet – I’ll have to give it a go. I never get down that way, so I forget that it’s even there. Thanks!

  • gayle
    October 15, 2012

    :O Far out, can’t believe what thugs would do that to someone defenseless and undeserving! No wonder you’re uneasy in a crowd, I think you’ve done really well to get back out in it. xxx

    • miss posy
      October 20, 2012

      Thanks, honey xx

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