Ugh. Was just watching a pretty tame cops and robbers type show, and now I’ve become really afraid. One of the characters scared me. I’m afraid I’m like this character. He’s kind of manic, super intense, and may have caused a horrific murder.

Which is ridiculous I know.

I’m back at why my boss dropped me at work. The last time we interacted, was at this meeting, where he gave me such a strange intense look, and I didn’t know what it meant. Am I really strange and intense? I know I come across as ‘different’. I have to go back in tomorrow and I’m worried about it for some reason.

I had one good work experience last week. I was doing a phone meeting with one of the managers on my project – she’s the person I felt I was irritating and frustrating in our last interaction – I was pushing to understand, she was getting flustered and defensive, IMO. Well, we had another meeting, and it was so great. I was careful. I apologized for something or other. I took all of her concerns seriously, and accepted most of her input. So.Ā  The feeling in that meeting was so different – so excellent. We got all of our concerns ironed out.

I think writing about the bad meeting with her helped. Writing it down helps me get some distance, so I can deal better. Plus, maybe I was more relaxed?

So, just to say, I can be effective at work at times. Just not all the time.

I’ve been thinking about therapy.

I am thinking some of my overwhelming bad feelings, which cause me to shut down and go to sleep, are actually coming from the sheer awfulness of growing up in my family. I think I had to suppress pretty much all of my feelings in order to get any acceptance at all. I think those feelings are coming back in chunks, so to speak. Not gradually, but all at once, in packages.

Ron said something about how growing up in my family was traumatic in itself. They emotionally abandoned me, and it was excruciating. So painful. I had no one else to be on my side. I did have friends, but I didn’t have the words to describe how it was. I don’t think I could even think about how it was, let alone describe it.

My feelings feel as if they’re bundled up somewhere, but the bundles break open every so often, unexpectedly, and shower me with their contents.

Anyway. Note to self and younger selves. You are not at all like the brilliant and crazy hypnotist on TV who is maybe a murderer. You are a woman struggling to make sense of her life. You are doing a pretty good job. Try not to worry.

  1. I’d love to meet you in real life (which I know won’t happen we’re in different countries) but I bet you come across as a really nice, down to earth, straight talking person. If a little guarded at times. I don’t know how to think you come across in person, but in your blogs you seem quite self conscious about how you come across, you at least you analyse your output as much as your internal self.

    • Ellen said:

      I’m going to answer all your comments in one go. šŸ™‚ No worries – I appreciate your comment! I’ve been told I come across as unfriendly sometimes. Other times as looking very uncomfortable in some situations. However, I think I’ve improved quite a bit in social situations.

      It is really hard to know if we’d like each other IRL, though I know I like you through your blog. I’ve met a few fellow bloggers, and one thing is clear, in person people are quite different than how I imagine them through their writing. Maybe we would really hit it off though, and spend an hour or two laughing away.

      I didn’t know I seem self conscious in my blog posts. Do you mean I seem to criticize what I’m writing? I quite often do have mixed feelings about things.

      The thing is, when you have social anxiety, you can know you need to relax and stuff, but it just doesn’t happen easily. In unclear situations, I guess I do take the most depressing view, often times.

      I know it’s not a criticism. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Sorry that was really poorly written, I’m really tired. I hope you understand my point

  3. It’s hard to learn how to be with people as an adult when we didn’t get the correct lessons as a kids, isn’t it? It takes lots and lots of hard work. Good for you for doing it. I just wish that it was easier on you.

    • Ellen said:

      It is so hard. I can offend people without even trying, just by acting like my family did. And my automatic responses tend to be dysfunctional. So, I’m making progress at least. What more can I ask? Thanks Cat.

  4. Cat said:

    I’m sure bloggers are different in real life, but you don’t come across as strange or intense, maybe stressed and frustrated with yourself sometimes, but not intense.

    I notice in one of your comments you say people find you unfriendly. I can’t imagine you come across as unfriendly and I doubt you are shy. Perhaps you might seem a little distant to some people during difficult interactions, but that’s hardly surprising when you are coping with so much internally. My paranoia gives the impression of being somewhat standoffish, but I’m far from it. I was just reading a post on this subject by Dr Gerald Stein, a retired psychotherapist. Do you know of him? It’s worth a read.

    When we supress feelings to ensure acceptance as children, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by guilt or worry over saying too much as adults. We fretted over rejection then and we do the same as grown ups. I remember the interaction with your boss and it’s a shame you weren’t able to clarify this because I am sure he isn’t thinking bad of you. Maybe he thinks you’re very capable and leaves you to your own devices. There are so many other reasons why he comes across as distant. I think sometimes we need to go out our way to invalidate these mixed messages, which maybe originate in childhood

    Hope work went okay today and you haven’t murdered anyone! šŸ™‚

    • Ellen said:

      Actually just one person has said I’m unfriendly, that I can recall, and of course I remember that one comment forever. I believe I can seem remote sometimes, but like you, I don’t think I am. I do have a lot that I hide though, of necessity. Yeah, I follow that blog and saw the piece – it is relevant to this.

      Yes, I like the way you think about why we worry about saying too much. I think that’s really true.

      I did chuckle when I read your last sentence. It is so bizarre what the mind sometimes fixes on and fears. Maybe this character represented some murderous part of my psyche. I was so anxious about work, and as usual, absolutely nothing happened, and I left at noon. Everyone is still alive and well. šŸ™‚

      Thanks Cat

      • Cat said:

        LOl yes we do usually remember that one comment that painted us in a way we might not like. Reading your interactions with co workers, unfriendly doesn’t fit.

        Maybe this character was a narcissist. I watched a doc on a narc, like his own confessions, and it freaked me so badly…scary

        • Ellen said:

          Yeah, I’m not unfriendly – I agree. It’s true.

          It’s interesting with this TV character. After I wrote about this, I went back to the program the next day, and he no longer scared me. In the show, he turns out to be quite a kind if unusual character, who is murdered in turn. Anyway – somehow the charge had left. It’s interesting how TV or movie characters can sometimes just grab at our worst anxieties. I can see how an actual documentary would be even worse for that. Cheers

  5. Rachel said:

    You ARE doing a pretty good job. I would say you are doing a great job.

  6. I sometimes want to ask my T how I come across. Like am I so different from others. Am I likeable. Am I normal. I am this or that. And then I laugh at myself. I will never ask because I wouldn’t believe her anyways…except if she said I was odd and then it would be worse. So it’s a lose lose.

    • Ellen said:

      He he. That would be a lose lose for me too. It’s difficult to find objective feedback. Thanks AG.

      • LoL, yes I suppose it is. But if it means anything, I really relate to you.

  7. Glad work seems to be going better. I think your observations about the feelings are spot on. It seems reasonable that they’d all come at you like that at once with so much intense emotions attached to them. Its too bad you cant slow them down a little bit with Ron’s help. XX

  8. Andi said:

    I worry about similar things all the time.

    • Ellen said:

      It’s hard, when you have a worried mind. šŸ™‚ Thanks

  9. The whole last half of that post resonated with me way too much. I am just starting trauma therapy for the very first time, at 26. I feel like I waited too long, or like it’s ridiculous that I’m just now having flashbacks (that I recognize as such, at least) for the first time and just now recognizing my tendency to dissociate during stress. It’s good to see that others are farther along in the journey and around the same life stage as me. Thank you for writing so candidly, I’m at that place where sugar coating things isn’t doing it for me, lol. This, however, really, really did do it for me:
    “You are a woman struggling to make sense of her life. You are doing a pretty good job. Try not to worry.”
    Well said, and so reassuring for me to see someone else guide themselves back to their core truths in such an open way.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Jessi – I’m pretty much twice your age, so if you’re old to be dealing with this stuff, I’m not sure what that makes me. Glad and sorry you can relate, and you enjoyed my little ‘self-encouragement’. Thanks for commenting.

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