I am a terrified person.
I am afraid of anything I run headlong into. I do it anyway. But I am petrified while doing it. I just gave my cat a different flea medication, and I watched him for now 30 min to make sure there are no ill effects. I’ll keep watching him too. He’s my best friend and I’m terrified of doing anything to hurt him. I love him deeply.
I was afraid last week when the outdoor cat came in the house- who isn’t mine really- and was ill. I was scared he’d get sick and die in my house. And that someone would come to accuse me. And then I was scared of letting him back out. Because what if he died outside and it was my fault? I couldn’t see a way out of it being my fault, so I let him go and hoped he would be okay. He was.
My other indoor cat is a female and she wails late at night just for fun. Attention. extra treats. To go outside for no reason. And I fear that I’m going to get reported for violating the pet noise ordinance. So I cosset her as best I can.
I had a home repair and I had a bad part. I was terrified it would be my fault (!) again, and that I was going to have to call someone to fix it and look like a damn idiot. When I realized it wasn’t my fault, it took some time for the relief to really register. I could feel my father yelling at me about screwing it up without being 100% sure of what I was doing.
I’m always dancing on the edge of not being really sure how to take people’s statements. If it is positive, should I read something negative into it? What is behind it? I would love a world where everyone was perfectly 100% up front about everything. Because I feel like even if I ask for an explanation, I’ll get an excuse instead of a reason.
My mother does these things- she will say something to make an impression on you about something instead of being upfront with what she wants from you. She wants to manipulate you by being, what in her mind, is a positive influence. Even if she is influencing you to do something stupid. Even if she is influencing you to date someone who isn’t right for you.
I’ve made harmless office jokes and wondered five million times how the person on the end would receive them. If something else would be read into them that I didn’t intend.
I don’t make friends with men that I’m scared might hold a candle for the idea of being with me if I don’t also find them attractive. I don’t hang out with them at parties or events. I make a point of staying away so that I am not in any way mistaken. Because here, too, I have been. I’ve been the victim of a third party’s desperate desire to have me be involved with their friend.
I find myself having to watch out for people everywhere I go. And so I learn to watch out for people everywhere I go. A learned anxiety. A continuing nervousness.
I hear someone tell me to have a nice day. I read daggers in their expression. I hear people that I should be able to love and trust say things to me, and I second guess them. Some, because I know they will do things to cause harm.
I’m terrified of totally fucking things up. But somehow I go forward anyway. And that is the hard part. No one understands that. People think I should throw caution to the wind. Every time I have gotten on an airplane I’ve been certain I’d probably die while I was in it. I did a bungee fall once at an amusement park. Super safe. Super regulated. I was certain I’d die even as I was waiting to drop.
My mother wanted me to be somewhat dependent. Because she wanted to keep me in the fold of a certain group of opinions and a certain set of behaviors. She wanted me to need my parents. But at the same time, I was often the emotional and intellectual adult in the house. A twisted mind fuck. But I keep moving forward and breaking new ground for myself. Creating new ways to repair things that I can manage on my own. Doing my best to make the choices others see as easy, and that I see as so damn hard.
I’ve known men who told me one thing and then told me I should have known they mean the opposite. “Marry me! What do you want the wedding to look like?” turning into “I didn’t really mean it 100% when we discussed it.”
And I don’t know how it is now, but I was always expected to keep up with these soap operas inflicted upon me and was judged heavily at the time for not being able to predict such a change. That’s how people expected life to be at the time. A tv soap.
Always with the mind fucks.
But I go on. And I hope there is love behind the words I hear. I hope for kindness in the world. I hope that things might indeed work.
And I’m tired and exhausted with carrying this pain and fear around. The weight of it is killing me. I’m surprised I haven’t died, knowing some of the stupid things I’ve done. Thrill-seeking. Not caring about my own mortality. When you assume you are going to die young anyway just because, you find little you do matters.
But then you worry about the bills. That was always the thing that kept me alive. Knowing I didn’t want to leave anyone with a credit card bill to pay or anything. Now its my mortgage and disposing of my home and needing someone to care for my cats. For a few years in a row, my cats kept me alive.
I’m not suicidal. Not by any means. I want to die at the age of 134 with a fruity drink in my hand. I want to eke out every good thing life has.
My fear doesn’t make me stop. But often, I find that it beats me up. Hard. My temples throb and my heart pounds.
I don’t expect people to understand this. I never have. Never will.
I reach for endless assurances and reassurances and fear I burden other people. Scared of being dependent. Just like I am of everything else.
I need to find ways to set down the pain, the worry, the endless fretting.
At work, I did an excel spreadsheet and I was concerned deeply that all the math formulas (which could have been done a couple different ways) read the same on the off chance that someone else looked into the cells and realized that they didn’t precisely match. Even though the outcome would be the same. Because at my job, honestly, someone might. And would.
And that doesn’t help me. Not a person like me.
It isn’t anxiety. It isn’t paranoia. Its somewhere in there, between the two. The reason I used to get stomach pains that my forward-thinking local doctor thought might be stress when I was all of 12. I had those pains again this past week. I pushed through it. I pushed through feeling ill.
I want to lay this burden down.
I’m tired of carrying it.
I just don’t know how.