Scissor Pants

I’ve been told for years by several people that I need to think about something positive to distract myself when I can’t stop thinking about negative shit.

You can’t trick yourself.  Try looking at a yellow flower and telling yourself over and over in your head that it’s red.  Force yourself to really believe that it’s red and not yellow.  Your eye’s gonna start twitching.  You shouldn’t force anything.  Think of what happens to your butthole when you push out a poop too fast or too soon.

Have you ever gotten scared by saying “Boo” to yourself?  Have you ever tried to tickle yourself?  You can’t.

Well, for the past month or so I’ve been trying it out anyways.  If I’m dwelling on something (or several things) that are gonna lead nowhere but feeling bad about myself or feeling anxious, I’ll say the first color that comes to my head.  Then, quickly think of something that color.  Try to let my thoughts go from there.  Never really got far until my new train of thought led me back to something that was depressing or stressful.  I’m always six degrees of separation from a down thought.

Last weekend though, for whatever reason, a new approach came to mind.  I though of Unikitty from The Lego Movie after her home was just destroyed.  She forced herself to think of positive things to distract her.  “Must…stay…positive!  Bubblegums.  Butterflies.”  Didn’t work for her, but I thought it would be something to try so I forced out happy thoughts and this is what came out:

“Popcorn.  Scissor pants”

A.  I don’t like popcorn.  Gets stuck in my teeth.

B.  Scissor pants aren’t a thing.

Then I started thinking…maybe scissor pants should be a thing!  Pants that make it look like scissors opening and closing when you walk is brilliant and how has nobody made these yet?  Not sure how to deal with the handle part of the scissors, though.  It would have to look like scissors from the side. so would the handle parts be on your butt?  That would be hard to see.  Maybe an overalls type situation so the handles could be on the side?  I dunno, you figure it out.  As long as I get acknowledged as the creator of Scissor Pants®.

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Social Anxiety At Work

Social Anxiety has had a big impact on my ability to perform in the workplace.

I do my job.  I do not chit-chat.  I know that can come off as robotic or cold, but I am not rude or bitchy.  I have worked in this place for 5 years, and I don’t know the names or jobs of a third of them.  They tell me their name or their position and it goes in one ear and out the other.  I hardly smile and I never initiate small talk, but I have Social Anxiety and any interaction makes me nervous, sometimes to the point of nausea.

There have been a few incidents over the past few weeks that have brought me to tears at work.  I bumped into someone in the hallway. Like full-on elbow into boob.  Was crying by the time I took 2 steps away.  Also had a patient ask me about a sign with an arrow on the door.  She said it was pointing the wrong way.  I explained to her that the door is usually open and when it’s open it points in the right direction.  Simple enough, but was shaking inside instantly and started feeling nauseous and light-headed (I have a neurological issue that is worsened by stress).  Went to the bathroom and had a good cry.  This was just in the past few weeks.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve cried in the bathroom at work.

This has always made my job difficult.  I will do my best to avoid having to talk with someone.  This can mean guessing at the answer instead of asking a co-worker what to do.  Faxing a doctor in response to a request instead of calling them.  Avoiding eye contact with a patient who approaches the desk and hoping they go to one of my co-workers instead.

It’s at its worst when I have to train a new employee.  Having someone watch what I’m doing all day and asking questions is about as nerve-racking as throwing a bucket of spiders at me.  All day.  It has become so dreadful to me that I’ve thought about leaving my job, just because I would rather follow someone else around than be the centre of attention.

Over the past year, I’ve worked with a handful of different co-workers and I’ve developed a bad habit of just letting them do something incorrectly and picking up the pieces of their error.  It is making me overworked and burned out, but to me that seemed better than an awkward interaction.  If anyone else was to correct an error they were making, it would sound helpful and team-oriented.  When it comes out of my mouth, I sound pissed off or irritated.  Sure, if it’s a major mistake that will come back to bite us I’ll put a stop to it, but it’s just a few minor things.  Dealing with a few minor things all the time leads to a major workload issue, though.  Combine that with my already-present anxiety and I’m a wreck.  It’s gotten to the point where I’ve asked my husband not to ask me how my day at work was because I know I’ll either cry or get flustered and irritated trying to talk about it.

It is creating a tense environment.  I got up the nerve to ask my co-worker about things he was leaving unfinished (it shouldn’t take me 2 weeks to get up the nerve to ask 1 question).  He said he didn’t know what to do with them.  My first thought was “Why didn’t you ask me what to do with them?”, but then I realized I knew the answer.  It’s because I’m unapproachable.  So, these things were just sitting there not being done because I was too anxious to ask him to do it and he was too afraid to ask me.

I was let go from my previous job because patients were complaining I was: rude, unfriendly, cold, bitchy, unpleasant (take your pick).  I just had a complaint a few weeks ago from a secretary at my current job talking about my poor attitude and tone of voice.  My boss had a talk with me about being more friendly and pleasant.

What do I do?  Is there an ideal job for someone with Social Anxiety?  Even if you can find a job not working with the public, you still have co-workers and bosses to interact with.  I would love to work with animals, but I can’t afford the dip in pay.  I would love to go to school and learn a new career, but I can’t afford the tuition.  This is all I’m trained for, and I don’t feel it’s the right environment for me.  I don’t see my anxiety being cured anytime soon, so I feel stuck.

At least I live in a world that has cake.

Raised By Human Wolves

Parents.

While I understand that you have to take responsibility for your own issues if you are to begin correcting them, I feel their lack of guidance and positivity has deeply affected how I interact with others and how I function as an adult.

They never corrected bad habits or encouraged good ones.  Self-care was never enforced and continues to be an issue I struggle with daily.  They didn’t give a shit if I showered every day or once a week.  They never checked if I was brushing my teeth.  Am I getting mental stimulation?  Exercising?  Picking my nose?  Eating cake for lunch?  Sleeping too much?  None of this was monitored.

I was never really shown the proper way to do things, and I had to figure most things out on my own or learn them at school.  There are a few real-life things I remember being taught by my Dad, like how to ride a bike and learning to drive.  I remember buying my first bra with Mom and a very brief, uncomfortable “birds and the bees” talk with my Dad.  For everything else, it was trial and error.  Was never taught how to style my hair or put on makeup.  Had to figure out what to buy when I got my first period and how to use it.  There are a few basic human functions that I still don’t do right.

They  weren’t adept at expressing emotions physically or verbally.  Hugs or saying “I love you” were very rare.  Having a conversation expressing our thoughts or feelings just never happened.  We weren’t interacting or connecting.  If I had a question about life, I would ask a friend or look it up in a book, or just not have it answered at all.  Sure, I would venture out of my room every now and then for a board game with them or to watch a tv show together, but that was the extent of it.  I tried to stay in my room as much as possible because Mom was an alcoholic and  for a few years when she was at her worst she was unpredictable.  I couldn’t stand the sight of her most days.  I’ve been told I have PTSD because it was an unsafe environment.  It was a constant state of tension.

As a result, I’m having great difficulty interacting and connecting with others as an adult.  I don’t feel comfortable carrying on a conversation or expressing my opinions.  I don’t get this connected world that everyone else seems to live in.  I will never initiate a hug.  I don’t get the feeling of closeness others experience.  When I see how easy it is for others it makes me feel like I’m an alien trying to blend in and clearly failing.

It is damn near impossible to learn how to feel and express emotions when you’re in your late 30’s.  Trying to stop bad habits and create positive ones?  Not making any progress there, either.  It’s like trying to wipe off an engraving.

George Costanza gets it

Do something slightly different.  Eat your lunch in a different spot.  Get off the bus a few stops early.  If you have coffee in the morning, try tea instead.

It might not sound like much, but if you feel hopeless or stuck in a rut a small change here and there can lead to great things.

George gets it…

Decisions, decisions 

I have so much trouble making decisions.  Trust me, it took me a week to decide to write about this.

I’m not talking about life-changing choices like switching jobs or finding a new apartment (even though, yes, I have been tossing those ideas around in my noggin for years).  I’m talking about little things like my husband asking me what I want for dinner, or what I want to watch on tv.

When I’m presented with a question, no matter how small, it immediately puts me into Fight, Flight, or Freeze mode.  I instantly see the past, the future, and all alternate dimensions.  I process every possible choice and the outcome it may have.  I usually end up freezing and giving him no information.

Sometimes it goes the other way, though.  I couldn’t care less about what food I put into my face or what show I want to watch.  I just can’t muster up the energy to give a hoot about what’s going on around me.  In this case, I just tell him I need suggestions, or whatever he wants to do.

It’s not just when someone else presents me with a choice.  I will think about something to death even when I’m by myself.  Do I read?  Eat?  Nap?  Watch tv?  Get lost in the rabbit hole that is the internet?  Color?  Shower?  Do laundry?  Dishes?  I only have time to do one or two of them, so I’d better make the right decision or somewhere in the world a tiny kitten will lose his ears.