Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've been combatting a good deal of anxiety lately.

It's hard for me. I've always had anxiety issues, a mix between a chemical imbalance and growing up in a household that was erratically unstable. Never knowing when your father was going to go into a manic episode (though we did not know that was what was wrong at the time) was incredibly difficult to deal with, not just as a child, but as a teenager as well.

People talk a lot of Daddy issues, making the snide comments that Daddy didn't love the person in dicussion enough or loved them too much. They don't really talk about when Daddy loves them to death... but happens to go batshit insane a couple times a year.

It creates a lot of instability and, in my case, a constant fear that the people around me will be stimulated by some previously unknown (to me) trigger that will cause them to act out in extreme, irrational ways.

Which, as one might guess, causes me a good deal of anxiety in social interactions.

It has impacted my life in a lot of ways, a balance of good and bad, though, if you had to evaluate the loss of who and what I could be if I could get over this lifelong fear... it would be an overall bad impact.

Anxiety... it has kept me fairly isolated. I spent most of my youth writing, reading, playing computer games. I didn't socialize much, if I could help it, didn't really want to. And because I never learned how to interact with people in my own age demographic, I fell behind. Not homeschooling behind (most of you know what I'm talking about), but behind enough that I feel I did myself a disservice.

And it's hard to catch up.

I don't do well in new places with large crowds of people.

I hate when people get in my "personal space bubble" which tends to have a radius of about two and a half feet.

I've cultivated a social image at clubs I frequent of being cool, aloof, detached, and, I'm told, more than a bit intimidating simply because I do not feel, most nights, up to socializing. My posture, my walk, my facial expressions, body language, everything has been adjusted. And, since I'm one of the better female dancers in the club circuit I frequent, that ability on the dance floor just adds to the image.

I still spend a lot of time alone. I'm not reliant on my social circles. Movies, restaurants, social events, clubs, I go alone as often as I go with others.

As much as I distance myself from other people, I still manage to have a good deal of friends and a wide social network. Going out to new places, I nearly invariably run into someone I know. The friends I do make, I make good ones, close ones.

And since I've spent so much time alone, I've had time to write, time to think and analyze (navel gaze, some say) myself into the ground. And make changes. Fix things, fix damage that I've done to myself, damage others have done.

I'm used to being alone. I like being alone.

But, of late, my anxiety has gotten fairly intense. Not as intense as when my father had his breakdown last December, not as intense as when Darkeyes was terrorizing me the year before that. But enough to be impactful. Enough to leave me jittery for hours.

PD's been pretty good about it.

See, I'm great with casual sex, casual lovers. When it comes to someone I would actually *date*, someone I start dating with intent for something long term, the first two or three months is a batshittery of anxiety. Probably abandonment issues combined with the whole extreme reaction to odd trigger fear that my father instilled in me.

So I cling. I'm needy. The littlest thing will send me off into the deep end.

And I'll sit there and apologize to them, tell them that it'll go away, just to give me a couple months and I'll go back the the girl they asked out however long ago.

All of them have. They've sat there and held my hand, adjusted their behavior, and waited for me to get through my initial freak out stage.

And I do.

Unfortunately, this time around has been a little more hardcore than most because of leftovers from GV8.

As I've mentioned, GV8 would watch and evaluate my behavior, then judge it as suitable or not, never discussing if things were bothering him or he found behaviors unhealthy. When he reached his epic conclusion, he'd just spring it on me out of nowhere and ditch me or adjust our relationship down a level because I wasn't "x" enough to date.

So whenever PD doesn't text me, or doesn't say something I expect him to say, or has a slight frown cross his features because of something I said or did, I immediately assume it has gone into a tally against me and he's going to call me the next day or email me the next day and end it without discussion, without warning, so I'm going to go from super happy to devasted within seconds.

Makes me jumpy as hell.

Which makes me want to cling more.

Which is completely counterproductive.

So I sat down with him on Tuesday night and explained a whoooole bunch of things I had been considering lately, things like I'm afraid he's going to "surprise" me like GV8 did. That I'm getting too emotional over him too fast and it'll chase him off. That maybe he'll realize he needs time to recover from his ex. That I'm being so self-centered about all of this and he's got his own issues going on and I'm not taking them into consideration because I'm too busy freaking out. That I'm afraid he's going to realize what a wreck I am right now and he's going to ditch me.

It was a good talk.

It helped a lot.

Anxiety isn't nearly so bad now. It's still there, a hum in the back of my brain. But it is getting manageable.

I just hope that I'll be able to sort through all of this, compartmentalize all the baggage from GV8 and others and tackle it with faith in PD and faith in myself.

PD and I are taking our first mini-vacation together this weekend. Going up to Santa Barbara to be tourists and, of course, see my favorite band play. He's never seen them before, though he loves their CDs.

I'm pretty excited, all around. I'm getting happy again.

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