Tuesday, May 8, 2012

social anxiety

I hate people.
I hate the way they talk too much and too loudly.
I hate how they smell bad or good too strongly.
I hate how they do things that make me want to punch them, or cry, or call CPS or PETA or the cops.
I hate how nosey they are.
I hate their reactions to who I am.
Mostly, though I hate how I feel around them.

I have social anxiety. If it were up to me, I'd stay home. . All the time. I'd rather stay home than do pretty much anything. Dealing with people makes me sweat, disorients me and makes me generally stupid. I feel and sound like I have a mental disability. I worry about everything. How I look, how I walk, how my hair is, if I'll be able to get the carseat into the shopping cart without looking like an idiot, if I'll get the cart with the squeaky wheel, if I'll fuck up my change because I'm so flustered. . . You get the idea. This is constant.

When I'm planning on going somewhere, I have to think about all the alternatives. I have to be prepared. And it's exhausting. It's exhausting to think so much about something that seems so simple to everyone else.

Sometimes I'm fine. Those times, I have JP with me. He's my anchor. He doesn't care what anyone thinks about him or me, and I know he loves me even if I do mess my change up and stutter. He's good with people. He breaks awkward tension with jokes- and even delivers them well.

I don't really know how this all started. I've always been especially afraid of people. Maybe because I was the weird kid. My mom was Greek, my dad didn't let me go anywhere or do anything, I had no choice over what to wear till I was like 13. Maybe it started because I was ashamed.

Maybe I didn't get enough practice with other people. I didn't really have friends growing up. I remember two kids I saw occasionally that I played with. I mostly hung out with adults, or by myself. When I was with my parents (which I don't remember happening as often as most kids, since my Aunt Rita watched me while my parents worked, and by watched me, I mean I lived at her house most of the time) they'd go to prayer meetings. I'd color.

When we came to the states I stayed in my room and read. I won reading contests. I drew. That was my life. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere except church- and by church I meant the sermon part, and sometimes Sunday school. Sunday school and regular school were a case by case scenario, since my parents changed their minds about whether I should be allowed to go so often. I remember desperately wanting to belong. I remember sneaking out to go to youth group.

I think that's when my depression became the monster it was during my teen years as well. If I went to school during that time, I'd go in the mornings, my dad would be there, and come home and stay in my room. If I didn't go to school, I'd stay in my room and do homework, read, write angry poetry, and starting around year 11 or so, cut.

So, I suppose that would be as good a place as any for my social anxiety to start. My parents loosened up, eventually, but years of self-injury, eating disorders, multiple suicide attempts, two psychiatric stays and a desperate need to belong later, things still aren't right.

I still feel like I don't belong. I still don't have friends. And though I'm much more comfortable with myself, and have for the most part conquered my crazy demons, I still feel like that 13 year old girl who has no clue what other human beings are like.

Will I ever get over this? I have no clue. I fucking hope so, though. It would be nice to think about going to the store without feeling sick to my stomach. It would be nice not to worry about if Willow is going enough new places without feeling like I can't take her there. I want to show my baby the world, and I will, whether it hurts me or not. . . But hopefully, I can get to a place in my head where I will enjoy not only her enjoying the world, but the world itself.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't kept up on the blogworld for awhile, but I'm finally catching up. I like your "sound your barbaric yawp" invitation. And can I just say I love your brutal honesty? You've overcome so many demons, and I love your determination to selflessly give Willow the best. I know you started your post by saying you hate people, but I sure love you, girl.


Sound your barbaric yawp over the rooftops of my blog: