Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Monday, 22 June 2020

By-effects of the lockdown

photo: Britta 

I read Rachel's post and answered this way (added here a bit):

"Many friends, including me, feel odd these days, Rachel (as you write: only sometimes).
One word, should I describe my feeling, is "UNREAL".

The many pretty trees (I love them!) in Berlin help to get that impression: you walk in a street and the light is green - as in a fishtank.. :-)

Unreal, because everything fades a bit, loses colour (only a bit), the sounds become muffled (or are not there).
I never had one, but to me it seems like a global depression: we are waking up in the middle of the night, worrying about the world of thousand things, monkey mind active like hell...

A feeling, that the world around us is still THERE  but covered in a ball of cotton.

There, but in some distance (might I make an educated guess? 1,5m distance?)  

The world is THERE (of course, and will be there long after us), but my feeling signals: it is not really HERE, the world.
Query: maybe I am not really here?

I love fairy tales more and more. I feel like Snow White in her glass coffin - I am alive, but sort of sleeping.  Want to disgorge that poisoned apple.
Feel thin-skinned. Vulnerable. Prone to tears. Unreal. Locked in <- That word describes it nicely, I think. 
Or even better: locked down.

Well - I'll drink a tea now. Might start to read Wilkie Collins again: "The Woman in White".
Or "Wild Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys - or Jane Eyre - all locked up women...

Song in the background: "Wake me up, when it's all over..."


  1. I am not used to being vulnerable, Britta, and being told what to do. Everything around me fades as you describe, and I have to struggle not to fade with it. I feel like I have aged during this period. I hope it is not permanent, this feeling.

  2. This - feeling "like I have aged" is a problem, Rachel, that I wanted to write a new post about( my texts becomes always too long :-) : because I share the same feeling!!!!
    I have many very young friends, I know how old and fit I am, don't suffer from delusion, I walk on the catwalk as silver model once or twice a year, am able to visit foreign countries alone (though you are even more courageous) - thus I felt "stiffled" , overprotected, imprisoned - and I absolutely hate it, if other.. "well-meaning" ... persons try to patronise me - and that is the core, the gist of the problem.
    No one ever dared to do that - and now I was a faceless number of "oldies to protect".
    As I see it, Rachel, we two are tough people, not very vulnerable, and I have to think a few years back to remember (I can!) when I cried (but then with a cause!) - here I think it spooky that I suddenly have tears in my eyes -
    And yes: I am utterly determined to get my power and my capacity to decide for myself back --screach!!! - - and I will !
    (Thank God I am not sitting in ""The Shady Pine-house for the elderly" - there "Waiting for God" (a TV-series on DVD that make me laugh , sometimes a bit hollow - but I love to laugh!)xx

  3. Luckily I live in a rural area. When cabin fever hits I can go for a soothing and freeing drive in the country.

    1. You are lucky, Emma - to have a lot of nature around you is so soothing! (I learned a new word: " cabin fever" - love it!)

  4. My head always feels as if my ears are muffled.

    1. That must be very trying, Joanne ,
      - and I think I got your hint, and of course you are right. My late father would call this post "Wailing on a high level" - but then, I think, some days are like this. (I hear him: "Yes, but then you can go into your own room - complain as much as you want - but not in the Internet!" Right ho!

  5. I don’t seem to have had these feelings Britta ...... the only downside has been not seeing my family and friends. I think having had such wonderful weather has helped & I’ve tried to keep busy. I have done so much gardening ..... they say it is very good for your mental health .... that along with laughter, singing and dancing 🤣 XXXX

    1. In my home I don't have these feelings very often, Jackie, because as you I have a lot of interests and a lot to do. But outside: well... I can easily communicate - meaning: I very often have a talk with perfect strangers of all ages. I love to laugh - now you see masks, and, even worse: many, many people avoid eye-contact - as if they are ashamed. Men see each other as a potential danger (which we are) - and this atmosphere of Angst is like lead.

    2. I haven’t been out much so I have probably been protected from a lot. I will be getting out a bit more now so it could be a shock ! XXXX

    3. Maybe every country is different - in the Netherlands I was more at ease: people kept distance, but were not so afraid/ nervous as in Germany (though we have the contrary too - especially in Berlin, where huge masses of people protest and are - for my feeling - too near together) .
      I miss the triplets, Jackie - it will take much time till I see them again... Months...
      But I agree that it is necessary to protect them.

    4. Oh Britta, I know what you mean. We are seeing our children and grandchildren for the first time since March on Saturday ! I hope you will see the triplets soon ..... that’s the worst part about all this isn’t it ? XXXX

    5. Yes, that is the worst: I saw them last time in February - and will be seeing them not before next year - and I agree that it is absolutely understandable, as Bavaria is a high risk area - and all relatives and friends agree - but of course it is sad. Well, as long as everybody is healthy I am happy! And content. XXX

  6. Dear Britta, your strength and positive outlook have helped me out of the dumps and jumps many times...this time too. Thanks.

    1. Dear Geo., I am always utterly happy when we both talk with each other! I love the way you make my little grey cells move and think - and you are generous and wise and full of humour - and I adore your posts and Norma's beautiful photos. So, I am most grateful for our friendship and say thanks to you! Britta