“She exhausts easily under the pressure to be interesting” ~David Hyde Pierce ‘Frasier’
When I heard that quote years and years ago, I thought it was hilarious and immediately wrote it into my quote book. So funny how the funniest things to a person hit close to home, even if it is subconscious. My “sensitivity” issues have always been a source of pain, fatigue, misunderstanding, judgment and discomfort. I never felt understood by anyone…ever. because of this I was never popular in school, had a ton of friends and boyfriends never stuck around for very long. I needed so much more downtime than others. My feelings were always hurt so easily. I worried constantly and have always felt the need to fix everything and everyone for the mere fact that I needed it to be quieter, calmer.
I have never known how to explain this part of me which I have never fully accepted myself; and because of that how could I expect anyone else to accept it? From avoiding parties in high school to not fighting my way through college to skipping all formal dances to neglecting events which most people simply attend without a single thought. These are all things that weighed heavier on me. Whether it be the loud noises or the claustrophobic lack of personal space or the obligation to make conversation – it caused this fear of stimuli.
I am understanding more and more what GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) really is. I was diagnosed with it many years ago and I just thought of it as being a nervous nelly with irrational fears and worry. I never realized the little details which always existed, only without a name. They were just my all too familiar idiosyncrasies. But it is like a mind that is always searching for an answer…some kind of solution to whatever issue – minor or major. The need to fix mixed with the ridiculous amount of avoidance propelled me into this wicked mess I am in today.
“God!! You are SO sensitive!!” I cannot possibly tell you how many times i have heard that throughout my life. Shit, I cannot even count how many different people have said it. Sensitive. It was this weak, pathetic, shameful label which I received at a very young age. And since my getting married, it was easy to stay in this state of avoidance and exclusivity. I had my home, my small family, my cats, my cable…and that was all I needed or cared about. I was able to stay where I was comfortable. I didn’t HAVE to go anywhere very often so the pressure of having to seem pretty or smart or interesting (which is and always was such a struggle for me) didn’t frequently portray itself. My bedroom has been my sanctuary where the TV doesn’t go above a volume level of 30 and the lights are always low. I have what I need right here and because of that…the need to venture out into “the real world” hasn’t been something I have had to do much in these past 8 or so years.
As I am learning what experiences in life created these tendencies, they seem to be so ingrained in who I am that I almost think it is something to accept rather than constantly attempt to fight and fix. But I need to move past certain things to the point where I can at least conduct myself normally through life. Right now, I should really be working. And because of who I have become…having such a social, overwhelming job has been quite the slap in the face. For a long time I absolutely HATED having to go to any social or family functions. I worried about what I would wear, what I would talk about…what on earth could I offer in a conversation is what I always thought. All I wanted to do was stay home. But I noticed how this was significantly altering my marriage and family life. After I lost some weight it was a bit easier to get up the nerve to leave the house and actually DO things. It is still hard, and I still have these silly worries…but the weight barrier is less and did make overcoming the other issues easier.
What am I getting at with all this blathering I have NO idea. LOL. I guess I was thinking about my last post and how it would read to others. I received one very hurtful comment on Facebook about the entry. Basically inferring that I am a big baby who should just stay home because I cannot handle the real world and am not deserving of respect due to my emotions concerning this job. The guy who made this statement was way out of line and is in no position to be judging anyone. But he is a person whom I thought was considerate person. I was surprised and hurt. And I wondered how many others felt the same way. Many I am assuming. But again, I have to understand that I cannot expect people to understand where I am coming from. These people are not in my head. They do not experience the racing heard, sweaty palms, stomach aches, daily cries. They have no clue the exhaustion I experience simply from living a regular life. The actions and events which others go through each and every day seem like such a challenge for me. And its not like I can say I have a disability which creates this abnormal reaction. I am plain and simply just WEIRD.
I was very upset about my job the other day. and I was quite upset about it when I got home today. I feel I am failing at a job a monkey should be able to do. I am ashamed that at my age this is as far as I have come. I feel I do nothing right and everyone only sees my flaws. I know cognitively that these things are not true. I just cannot convince that irritating voice which has made me doubt myself and others since I can remember. I did not quit the job. Not yet. I don’t know what will happen. But I know that there may be days when I will plaster a smile on my face for several hours while making coffee or delivering burgers but then cry for an hour once I leave. I know there will be moments when I use this forum to shout, whine, bitch and complain. I know I will be misunderstood and judged. And what is most important, I know that one day…I just wont give a shit. What other’s think or say – be it a long ago friend on Facebook to a dick wad manager – will one day be of little consequence.
Maybe one day I will accept this sensitive label. Maybe one day I can find the positive in such a curse. But for now I will have to be okay with being me – flaws and all – from day to day. And whether I hold my head under the covers a little longer one day or venture out into some scary social scene the next – I still know that I am a good person and I do have value.