Friday, 18 December 2009

What Is Paranoia...?

I hate this.  The crackly nervous adrenaline fight-flight tension preparation with no rational prompt.  Of having every little thing around me needle-sharp in my awareness and without able to focus on anything for more than a glance because it's too much to fit in all at once.  Everybody else thinks I'm tired, but I'm standing with my back to the wall and my arms folded and my head down looking drawn because some little part of me is trying to be aware of what everyone around me is doing or thinking or wanting and how it reflects back at me and what I should do about it and what might happen next, and if I huddle in this corner I can keep my back safe to a wall and I need not listen to behind me as well, and if I look unwelcoming and half-asleep I might be able to be quiet and things might settle again.  And if somebody talks to me, I can hardly finish sentences because I forget the ends because my mind has moved from the current situation to the maybes and the mights and the musts of the next thing - to 'I must remember that' or 'I wonder if that happened I should check' and 'I haven't got a list but we need that mustn't forget' and 'that's a silly thing to say' and 'you can't say that' and 'what does she think of you now?' and 'that time I did that thing, that many years ago, I shouldn't have done that'.  And then, there's the guilt for not paying attention or for having forgotten something or for not gauging a reaction properly or for wondering how to escape because wanting to escape is rude.

I end up frozen, not wanting to talk to someone because I don't want to say or do something that makes me feel wrong and silly and annoying and a waste of space, but I want to talk to them because they are my friend and they love me and if I can see that they love me I can be ok.  Which is the constant need for affirmation.  Which wears out everyone involved.  But I WANT to talk to people.  I like people.  I like being close to people and laughing and making them laugh or making them feel loved because that is validating for me, and helps things fade from red alert to at least amber for that minute.  Which sounds bad, in a way, but it's only doing something for other people that they do for me.  It's going to someone for a hug for your benefit not theirs.  But - it's balanced; it's for both.  So the fact that my mind is telling me that I should be feeling guilty for that thought I should push away.  Right?  And then I tie myself tighter and tighter in knots and this is the direction that leads to self-harm because that is the thing that cuts through the circling paranoia and punishes the nebulous guilt and lets it be over.  The handbiting and the teethclenching and the remains of the fingernails driven into whatever skin they can reach, and, eventually somewhere along the line if I can't get away and lose the control totally, razor blades and new scars and new reasons never to go swimming.  And the new guilt for the loss of control.  Getting unbelievably, falling-over, drunk and then sobbing myself out somebody is not a better way of dealing.  It's not fair on the people I do it to.  And if I get that drunk when there isn't anyone to sob on, and it's not a question that the people wouldn't I know that it's a question of going home to an empty house, then that's when things got very bad that time.  Which is why I dont' do it then.  Which is where it comes to being unfair and manipulative.  And the circle locks again...

This jitteriness is the reason I'm good at planning and details and make a good producer and project manager, because if you're in the habit of imagining every possible scenario, you are well-practiced at it.  So maybe I should just deal.  Better.  Because somewhere in existence it serves a purpose.  Everyone has these feelings.  I just have bad coping mechanisms.  So I should find better ones.  I feel guilty for not having better ways of coping.  I don't have real panic attacks, as such, not really frequently anyway.  I just just end up unable to extract myself from a circle.  I can still function.  None of this is life threatening or even debilitating, really.  I have no excuses.  I'm just not a good person.  I must be a better person.  I must stop that thought.  I CAN stop that thought.  But every time something goes faintly 'wrong' I feel my stomach swoop like a downhill rollercoaster and losing control would be so easy.

Why am I writing this online and not a journal?  A feeling that it's less like clapping a lid on the steaming pan and waiting for the explosion, I think.  Trying to remember that this is ordinary, that other people are this person too, that I'm not special and that I'm not this person all the time.

1 comment:

  1. 'Better' ways of coping might be preferable. Ways of coping is preferable to not coping at all. Trying to break out of self-destruction is difficult, but you're trying to do it all the time. xxx