Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Social Disorder i guess you call it

I have a real problem with social situations.
I get panicky, sometimes I hyperventilate. What to wear to be just right. what people are going to be there -how do I have to be? Do I have to watch my language? Do I have to be serious? Do I have to 'sell' myself because I need those people to like me? What role do I have to play?
I actually have categories!

Imitation is everything.
Facial expressions. Tone. Standard terms. Everything.
It feels like every time there are new people and/or new situations I get thrown into an unknown land or culture.
If i don't know what to do, how to react i just don't.
I stop. I feel most comfortable when watching in these situations. For me it's almost like bird watching.
What do they talk about, how do they talk, how do they act, are they the touchy sort, is everything strict, how do they eat, do they laugh out loud...
Yes, all that plays in my head and gets sorted and analysed.
I feel like Data trying to be more human, because if I'm just me I don't think people would like me.
After a while of knowing people I slowly slip more and more of myself into the act, but if I get hurt I shut down again or am angry -'how dare they trick me while I'm trying so hard?'
I calm down some when I start to get used to the people and get to know them.

I was the kid in class that stayed seated while everyone was running around. I picked games in kindergarten that didn't necessarily need other players just in case no one joined me. Which happened a lot.
I was weird from the beginning.
I swallowed books.I drew strange pictures with unicorns running away from evil monsters while everyone was drawing princesses.
I watched horror movies with my uncle in the middle of the night in my grandma's house (i was very little) and had the nightmares later at home with my family to deal with -every other kid would simply stop watching. I couldn't wait for my uncle to come home from the coal mine when i was there for the weekend.
With my cousin i almost blew up the house when we wanted to play 'plumbers' and tried to take the heating apart.
My grandpa gave me some wood and a knife when i was seven or eight, so i could make myself a sword and be She-ra or Red Sonja or the female Beast Master. We went to the mine waste and took apart rocks to find fossils or crystals so I could play witch and the crystals's make me strong.

Whenever something was 'forbidden' by grownups i wanted to find out why -how do you find out? You do it.but you have to be tricky to not get caught.

I wrote books I never showed to anyone, created new worlds with mutations and alien creatures and night hags and half-breeds(complete templates with race devotions and drawings and character sheets).

I only really played with other kids when we reenacted cartoons we liked because then I could imitate my favorite characters. I was Fireball, Michelangelo, Cheetara or Thirty-Thirty,
I still had no idea how to act around people if it was just me.
The more people the more shy I got.

That never changed.

I'm really bad with emotional stuff. What do you do, when people cry or are sad or just tell you something sad?
I can say 'ooooh, that's sad.' (genius, isn't it?)
or try to clumsily hug the person and wait for rejection although I'm usually the hugger (seems easier than the whole do-i-shake-their-hand-or-wave-goodbye-or-nod-or-what, a hug says I like you and am happy to be here or sad I have to go).
Then I try to fix the actualities.
Someone hurt you?-I can tell him he's an asshole, I can tell you why he's an asshole.
You have psychological problems, are a cutter, bulimic, an addict
-I can tell you that you need help and I can help you find help or drag you to a place if that's what you need (or if you are so far gone already, did that a couple of times).
But if someone's just sad? I could say 'don't be sad, let's eat ice-cream. do you want a puppy?'

I'm simply incapable of handling these things.I feel awkward, uncomfortable, hope that someone else is there who is able to do a better job. I'm a bad friend in this case. What is the right reaction here? Y results from X,  but if C interferes and is not part of the function, do you still do Y or have to find more variables?

The other way around is just as bad. I swallow my feelings. Sometimes I feel weird and it takes a couple of days for me to finally realise what wants to resurface and what that feeling actually is.
I don't know how to handle it.
Other people would simply reach out to a friend -I don't do that, what if no one comes? What if they see it as weak? I can't be weak.
What if I just need a hug and they think it's weird, reject me, make fun of me, think I take a pass or I make them uncomfortable? I wouldn't be able to look that person in the eyes anymore and hide from them and after a while try to pretend that nothing ever happened. Or make fun of the situation and myself before they do.
I'm rough, nothing can touch me. I'm grrrr.
I don't cry in front of people, I don't show fear, I rarely show love.

There are two people in the world I feel kinda OK to cry in front of, my sister and my husband because they both know I'm fucked up (you can't hide everything forever if someone knows you well or you live with them), but then I'd never tell them the whole truth about why I cried.
I always keep pieces hidden away. Sometimes it takes me weeks of pondering to find out myself why I did what I did.

So I'm usually passive, I react. If I act I wait for the world to crash down on me.

Lots of this has to do with my parents (careful, the home therapist comes out!).
I got love and attention from my mother if I deserved it.
Being grounded meant I had to stay in my room and no one was allowed to talk to me, not even my father, i had the plague for that time and if it was time for dinner a broom knocked on the ceiling (my room was in the attic), no words. Ever.
For my mother I didn't exist if I did something wrong. No talking it out.
If she hit me or screamed at me, it was to humiliate, usually in front of someone else. So I begged and I hated it.

My parents never had any real friends, so I was never shown how to be friends or get friends. There were my fathers coworkers and their wives and my mother picked one for a while until it got uncomfortable for her and she chose the next one. Maybe years later she got back to the first one. But it was always the others fault, never hers. She could never do wrong (*snort*).

If they fought it was WW3 and you better hid or you'd get hit by friendly fire (which wasn't so friendly after all). If you took sides you got punished later on:
How could you say something mean about Daddy when he's all good now? Evil brat! Now you're the enemy.

When my sister moved out because she had a falling out, her name didn't exist anymore. She got passed by in the city as if my mother didn't know her.
It took me a while to put my foot down and be allowed to visit her in her apartment over some weekends.

I loved my grandma, but for my mother she was the enemy.
Even now that I don't have contact to my parents anymore and am all grown up, my father is not allowed to see his own mother or has to lie to sneak into the funeral(!) of his own uncle.

But on the outside everything had to be perfect. I even had to comb the fringes on our rugs on my hands and knees when we got visitors. The new car had to be just right even if we didn't have enough money to buy it. The garden had to be perfect, so that the neighbours would be envious when we had our little BBQs.
Although my hair looked like a mixture of a Butch and a Pixie and everyone called me 'son' i had to wear a pink frilly dress on Sundays if we went out.
Everything for the neighbours. Pretence is everything.
Meanwhile plaster fell off the walls whenever they fought -and we lived in an apartment (the house held 4 condos), so everyone heard everything and to this day makes fun of my pretentious parents.

I hated the begging for love, I hated the pretend, I hated the fighting, i hated that I still loved them no matter what...but i didn't know what else was there.
In that way I'm jealous of my sister (she's 9years older) because she lived with my grandparents (mom's parents) for a while growing up and had a normal environment to learn the social stuff which I never had.

So I was scared of marriage (which just meant you wanted to kill each other on a regular basis but were stuck with that person), scared of love, scared of friends, jealous of others having friends, disgusted by pretence and never being able to be yourself...

There is so much more I could say, but I'll stop here. I already feel bad enough as is.
Let's say after I broke contact some years ago I slowly started to get better, but not as much as I'd hoped. Maybe I need a brainwash.

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