“I’ll call you”, to say this is a phrase that I’m not particularly fond of is an understatement. I do not like telephone calls. They are anxiety inducing for me.
This anxiety can be triggered with the mere thought of having to call someone; talking myself into actually picking up the phone to dial and breathing calmly—breathe in, breathe out—while it rings.
What are you going to say? They don’t want to hear from you. You’re boring. What if they don’t answer and you have to leave a voicemail? Just hang up, it’s not too late.
The instant anxiety of the phone ringing. This is consistent with my own phone or one that I have to answer, but is also applicable to the people or person’s phone I am spending time with. My heart leaps into my throat, palms start sweating and mouth goes dry—breathe in, breathe out—shake it off and answer the phone.
Why are they calling? They’re angry about something. It’s your fault whatever it is. Will I be able to answer their questions? No, your mind has gone blank. What are words?
The sheer apprehension of a promised phone call. The anxiety that comes with waiting for said phone call can make me not want to check my phone and instead distance myself from it. The anticipation of will-they-won’t-they call has my heart racing in the back of my throat all day. Until I pick up my phone, check it—breathe in, breathe out—see there are no missed calls and my heart is allowed to slow down for a few minutes. This anxiety can last all day, depending on what time the phone call actually comes in; the relief that is felt afterwards is so great. However, sometimes that phone call never comes, so after a certain time (when a respectful person will no longer make a telephone call) I allow myself to discard my phone entirely, just in case, and squash the anxiety that has been building up all day as best as I can.
They’ve changed their mind. Why did they want to talk to me anyway? They didn’t, it’s a test. Why couldn’t they just write it down? What are they going to say? Don’t call, please.
The anxiety of actually being on a phone call. The ability for my brain to function and get my mouth to say the words has completely failed me but the ability for all saliva to stop being produced in my mouth is working overtime. If I haven’t prepared dot points to direct the conversation in some way most things that needed to be said will be forgotten. My hands sweat and shake, my skin is itchy—breathe in, breathe out—just say a closing statement and finish the conversation then you can hang up.
What did they say their name was? I wonder if the saliva from my mouth is coming out of my palms? What did they just say? I was thinking about hand saliva. Say something so they know you’re listening. I have to pace now, keep moving. What do they want from me?
There are some exceptions for the telephone call induced anxiety, which include calling a select few people, calling automated machines, answering a call when I know what it will entail such as when making plans or meeting up with them. Calling someone back when I know what it will entail, like after they have left a detailed voicemail or sent a text message that was in no way vague or ambiguous. Adrenaline fuelled phone calls.
The anticipation of a phone call that never comes can at times be disappointing or dejecting but far more often that not it is such a relief. To talk to someone in person, see their expressions and body language, or to have their words to look back over is much more comforting and pleasant to me. Being face to face with someone and occasionally sending someone my words (that I perceive as potentially risky) can bring on their own type of anxiety, but it’s a type that I find I can manage more easily than the kind that comes with telephone calls.
I need people
I tell people
I get hurt
I need people
I tell people
I get hurt
I need people
But I stop telling people
I shut myself off
I don’t need anyone
Except I’m lying
I’m lonely, I’m struggling
I can’t do this alone
I need people
Finally, I tell people
I get hurt
It’s 3:00 pm and I can feel that my brain has been slowly shutting down over the past two hours. It’s quite a scary feeling really. Why don’t I have have control over my own head?
I can feel it getting worse by the second. I’ve gone running up and down the stairwell, I’ve taken a break from the computer, I’ve had water and still I feel as if my brain is slipping away from me. I could just sit and do nothing. I am becoming nothing.
I am not here sitting at my desk, taking notes, doing work, I am sinking down through the earth. The ground does not touch me but it envelopes me. I am not trapped but I can’t get out. I am safe and it is quiet.
My head is up in the sky but there is no wind. I can’t see for miles. I think my eyes are open but I can’t see at all.
My head is not cold. It is in a charcoal grey cloud but it is not wet. My head is solid but melting. Everything is fuzzy and muted; sounds, smells, sights. Everything is numb.
It tastes like that moment when you realise you haven’t spoken anything or even opened your mouth to pretend to in a very long time. It’s a strange comfort.
I feel if I fell off my chair and onto the hard floor that the jolt would bring my body up out of the earth and my head down out of the stormy rain cloud and they’d be reunited.
But then, what would I be?
I don’t think I have ever been in love.
I think at the time I thought I was, so I said it but in retrospect I don’t believe it was love.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be in love.
I know that sounds pessimistic but I just don’t see love in my cards. I think of myself as a romantic but I’m also a realist.
I am an introvert. I suffer from anxiety. I am independent. I have trust issues. I’m also lonely but I think I have been for a while now and it’s become the norm.
I fall in love easily and often but only with strangers.
I don’t party. I stay in. I fall in love with strangers on the street, in the coffee shop, out at breakfast, on the train, on the internet. But they’ll never know because I’ll never tell them. I always keep my distance.
I don’t think I’m scared of commitment but I don’t like opening up to new people. I realise that that can come off as snobbish and arrogant but if people that I’ve met in real life and have had a conversation with think that about me, then I’m baffled.
I have wondered whether I’m demisexual, which I thought made sense, but after doing some research I don’t think I am. I may actually be the opposite. I think I wanted a label for what I’m feeling and how I am but I honestly don’t think there is. So many people don’t like labels but sometimes it helps me to understand myself.
Or maybe I am demisexual but until I am able to form that emotional connection with someone I’ll only fall in love with strangers.
Sometimes it makes me feel helpless but mostly I just accept it.
I don’t mean any disrespect or hate by this it’s just how I feel and my experience with life and “love” or lack thereof.
I was made for
Good books and good coffee,
Rainy days, thunderstorms and autumn weather,
I was made for the moon and quiet nights.
I was made to
Be a daughter and a sister,
A cousin, a niece and a friend.
To maybe one day be a wife and a mother.
I was made to
Love, to have empathy and compassion, to listen and to learn.
I was made to help others feel less alone.
I was made to survive.
I was made for
The clouds and the sky,
For cats and their love, for music and live shows and the arts.
I was made for writing and dancing and travelling.
I may not be this person yet but these are the reasons why I have decided, on several occasions, to stay.
I stay so that I can become that person, experience these things and live.
Alarm. Didn’t I just get to sleep? Hit snooze. Just drift back to sleep… Alarm again. Snooze? One more time. Alarm. Oh for f… Bleary eyed, stretch, cuddle whichever cat is closest. Mirror. Contemplate the features that make up my face. Sigh. Tie up my hair. Wash my face. Moisturise. Toilet. Feed the cats… give them both some of the gravy straight from the packet, their favourite. Change out of pyjamas. Kettle on. Toast on. Let cats outside. Coffee. Toast, avocado and egg. Cats inside. Youtube. 20 minutes left. Brush teeth. Makeup. That’s as good as it’s going to get. Get dressed, check cats food and water. Check keys, grab book and coat. Goodbye. Get stuck in traffic, find a park. Time? 8:00 train in 7 minutes. Walk faster.
—Train. Overheard conversations. Too loud music. Try to concentrate on book—
Computer on, open blind, turn on fan. Coffee. Check emails, prioritise work. Is it lunch time yet? Not yet, more coffee. I’ll just finish this. Why am I so hungry? Oh, it’s 2:30 pm. I’m hungry with no idea what to eat, go to one of the regulars. Coffee. Prioritise work.
—5 minutes till the train. Got a seat. Red eyes can’t focus on book. Social media. Book—
I’m not hungry but should probably eat. Find something. Eat. YouTube. 8:30 pm. I should go to bed soon, busy day tomorrow. One more video. 9:25 pm. I haven’t worked on anything for myself, what about my projects? Browse online shopping or similar. 9:55 pm. Surge of inspirational energy to work on own projects. I’ll just do a bit, it’s better than nothing. 10:50 pm. I’m going to be so tired tomorrow. Bed… Can’t sleep.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
— Haruki Murakami, Kafka On The Shore
This happened a few days ago now and I posted it on Twitter but I wanted to write about it here too.
I was walking down the street on a very wide footpath that was not crowded at all. I’m minding my own business, focused on what I have to do next.
A man is walking in the opposite direction minding his own business and not looking at the shops or anything. When we’re about to pass each other he veers towards me and in an accidental manner brushes his hand on my arm.
It took me a second to realise that it was in no way an accident, he was on the shopfront side of the footpath and I was on the road side of the footpath. Feeling angry now I turned around to look at him and he was looking over his shoulder watching me and when he saw me look, he smiled at me. I felt disgusted.
You might this this is a minor thing but when it happens time and time again it makes you feel dirty and used. Yes, even such an insignificant action, he touched me when I did not ask for it or consent and that’s not okay.
When I posted it on Twitter I felt like I was overreacting and being dramatic, afterall he only touched my arm right? But I didn’t ask for it, it wasn’t an accident and it wasn’t okay. It upset me. I got some lovely responses that reminded me it wasn’t okay and it’s never okay.
I don’t think I need to mention that I’m not an overly touchy-feely person, I’m a sensory person and I like textures and textiles but I’ve grown up not being a cuddly person. I’m including it because while that is a personal trait of me as a being, it’s a preference, but that goes for people I know, family and friends even acquaintances. This man did not know me and even if he knew my preference he would not have taken it into consideration because he was thinking about him and that it would be okay to just touch me. It’s not okay.
Notice how I didn’t mention what I was wearing or how I was feeling? This is because it doesn’t matter. Regardless of what you are wearing it shouldn’t illicit anyone to touch you if you don’t ask for it. Regardless of how you are feeling it doesn’t excuse them from touching you nor does it mean that you are overreacting when you get upset about it.
It’s not okay.
I wanted to get that off my chest and out of my mind, to elaborate on it a bit more now that some time has passed.
There are situations where touching without consent are much more severe and to those people I’m so sorry. I’ve still taken the time to write this one out because I’m not sure where or how or when or why people decide it’s okay to touch a strangers arm on the street let alone where they get the idea that it’s okay to take it further. It’s not okay.
I just pulled out 15-20 eyelashes from my right eyelid.
I have a bald patch where they used to be. It looks really ugly. I don’t know how I’m going to cover it up or make it look “nice” tomorrow. And the day after that or the one after that. Thankfully eyelashes grow back but it takes a while, so this is something I’ll have to deal with until that happens.
This isn’t really a blog post like usual where I discuss something but it’s rather one where I’m writing it down because I can’t sleep now and it’s really started to panic me, which seems so stupid, surely it’s just an aesthetic thing?! But it looks horrible.
I couldn’t stop pulling them out and before I knew it there was a small pile of eyelashes in front of me and several in my fingertips. I felt horrified.
I think I’m just being dramatic, I can’t imagine that anyone will notice but I still feel like they will and I’m going to be self conscious about it all day, and the one after that etc.
I’e said before that I don’t have Trichotillomania in Eye Lashes but I don’t know why I did it. A nervous habit? Boredom? Subconsciously? Anxiety? I don’t know.
It’s such a superficial thing but when I looked at myself in the mirror after I’d somehow managed to snap myself out of it, all I saw was what wasn’t there.