I feel like last week’s post was weird, and possibly out of left field. Granted, I’ve kind of been phoning it in for the past few weeks. Probably should zero in on an overarching theme, but I also think the same about my life. Maybe when I nail one down, the other will follow.
Anyway, I was plotting out a companion piece to last week’s post. It had a lot to do with my choice to be single. The words were familiar, very familiar. I thought maybe the familiarity came from me having the conversation in different forms with different people. Then I realized that I’d already written the post. Done and done, I guess. So I’ll just summarize quickly.
Point One: Never in my life have I had a desire to date. I don’t know what it feels like to look at someone and go, “I want to go to dinner with them and talk” or “I want to be a part of their life and vice versa.” I don’t function like that. I don’t know why, but that’s the way life is. Maybe I’ll change. I probably won’t. Only God can tell.
Point Two: I have to struggle with the duality of not wanting a relationship and lust. I’m not a robot or an alien. I find Tom Hiddleston outstandingly attractive. The FedEx guy is really cute too, although I’m a sucker for dark hair. I still have that aspect about me even though I don’t want follow through, or don’t want physical attraction and a relationship. I don’t know how to put it exactly.
With that being said, I guess I’ll just move on to the next post I was going to write.
First and foremost, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Personally, I’ve loved getting older. It’s given me the time and opportunity to really look at my behavior and try to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. I think I’ve figured it out a bit: I don’t know how to interact with people.
After twenty-five years, I’m really great at guessing what expression to give and what sort of things to say. Sometimes it even feels natural, like, hey, maybe I am mostly normal. The thing is, all I’ve really done is figure out that when something is sad, people want you to frown. When something is happy, people want you to smile. Use the corresponding face for the corresponding emotion. And God forbid I’m hit with anything new.
I spend 40% of my day not knowing what to do. I don’t know what to say to people or even what they want me to say. I don’t know what expression to use. This is my social anxiety. Large crowds don’t terrify me to the point of panic attacks. I don’t like large groups, for sure. I sort of forget how much they affect me. I always perceive them to be judging somehow and that crushes me, morphing me into a silent ball of uncomfortable upset-ness that will lash out like a wild animal. The fear and despair are overwhelming, but that’s also not the large part of my illness.
Talking to people (any and all kinds of people) stresses me out. I don’t know if you can even imagine it. Even little questions are hard to answer some days. “How are you?” I don’t know. I’m happy and sad. If I say I’m happy, it’ll sound like I’m not really answering you. If I say I’m sad, you’ll think I’m depressed. Everyone hates the depressed girl. I’m not really depressed though. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I was feeling any particular way. What do you want me to say? Please just tell me what I’m supposed to be doing and I’ll do it, I swear. Imagine having your brain go into that sort of frenzy over stupid questions like that. Imagine having someone tell you any piece of information and not knowing why they are telling you that. Not knowing why you’re supposed to care or understand but also having the overwhelming fear that you should get it. You should understand but there’s something wrong with your brain which is stopping you from knowing what to do.
I have stock phrases. “Hi.” I say hi all of the time to everyone. If I haven’t seen you in five minutes but all of a sudden you’re within five feet of me and we make eye contact? “Hi.” And then, when I feel like I’ve been saying hi too much or something negative has happened that I don’t know how to respond to, “Sorry.” Then, I’ll say “Sorry” until like I feel like I’ve said it too much, then I switch back to “Hi.” I also say shit like, “Oh, you know.” I hope you know. I don’t. Or, “living the dream,” “I’m tired/I hurt,” “Ehh” –any meaningless phrase that might sound like an answer.
I have raging inconsistency in my life. I find that I just blurt things out or do weird actions or have a weird attitude/behave contrary to my core beliefs. I don’t mean to be this way. I’m just in the throes of panic and am saying things in the moment because my rational brain has shut off and my panic is running the show, chugging adrenaline like a fourteen year old boy chugs energy drinks. At the end of the day or even five minutes later, I crash into depths of self-loathing. “What the hell just happened? Why did I say that? I didn’t mean that. That’s not what I think. Fuuuuck. I’m an idiot, literally the dumbest person on the planet.” I replay over and over the conversations, knowing I can’t go back and change them and knowing that I’ll have to have that awful experience eight more times until the experience sinks in and I actually begin to know what to say in that type of situation. I have to actively build scripts for myself, and only just this year have I really been able to calm myself down and speak over my fear and anxiety.
It’s difficult. It puts a strain on all of my relationships. It makes being in customer service painfully awkward. This isn’t meant to be a pity party. The joy of realizing my quirks as I age is that once I see what they are and how I function I can try to improve them. Still, it also sheds light on certain parts of my life: not being an extrovert, enjoying writing which allows for edits and time to think rather than enjoying oration, little desire for a boyfriend/husband, only having a small group of friends, coming off as either mentally challenged or an angry raging bitch.
I can’t people. My people-ing power is crippled and under developed. I’m smart enough to know my problem, but I’m still working at being strong enough to beat it. I don’t want to sometimes. I get depressed and I don’t want to be around anyone, or I don’t want to be me anymore. I can’t really decide which would make everything hurt less. Then other times I think, “My God! I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I’m so much better than this. I can be so much better than the way I’m behaving.” The struggle is swinging between the two, navigating the pros and cons of both extremes. I try, though. Success is still out there however elusive.
In the end, not that you care, I’m making progress for the better, which is cool.
So there’s that.