my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

March 14, 2013

the outside world is a scary place

confession time, and because this is what keeps running through my head lately:

i don't like people. i don't like talking to people or being around them or having to deal with them in most capacities. i nearly have a panic attack when i have to call the school if the boys are sick. i get all flustered dealing with their doctors or dentists or friends' parents. i struggle to rsvp for parties they get invited to, simply because it means talking to somebody else. someone came into my house recently to explain to me how to use less electricity, part of a process to qualify for help with my bill, and all i could do was stare and nod answers to questions. when i have to go to cub scout functions with lumpy, i do my best to stand in the back and blend in with the wall. not an easy feat when i also have to wrangle fishie, though she gives me the perfect excuse to cut short any interactions with others.

i also don't like kids. well, i don't mean not my kids, though sometimes they are hard to handle, but mostly i don't like other people's kids. i don't know how to deal with them or what to say to them. i don't want to yell at them, i don't know how to discipline them, and i don't want to be accused of being "too friendly" with them. most of them are loud and messy and hyper, and i can barely deal with my own loud, messy, hyper children. at least i know what i can do and say to my own kids to get them to settle down. other kids are a mystery to me, and i will stand quietly by and let them run amok because i don't know what to do and anything i want to say seems to me like i'd be interfering with whatever is going on.

there were times where i used to force myself to go out and about in the world. i hoped that if i had enough contact with random strangers and crowds of people, it would seem less terrifying over time.

it never really worked.

there were also times where i felt so stressed out that i couldn't deal with anyone, and so i wouldn't unless i absolutely had to. i can remember times where i wouldn't leave my house for days, where the only people i would see where my kids and my hubby. i would take the boys (this was long before fishie was born) and do all my grocery shopping at walmart at 2am on a wednesday because the only other people in the store besides us would be the stockers, and they were too busy doing their job to want to make conversation.

the last few jobs that i had were ones where i didn't have coworkers, because then i didn't have to worry about trying to make mindless small talk. customers i can deal with because i help them with what they need and then they leave and i don't ever have to see them again. it's why, if i ever get another job, i'd probably chose to be a register monkey again. there's comfort in knowing that all i have to do is focus on the task at hand and keep my "how can i help you" fake smile plastered on my face.

i wish i could say, after all these years of trying, that it's gotten easier to go out and about in the real world. unfortunately it hasn't. there so many things that i'd like to do, and many more things that i'd like to do with my kids, but i know if i tried to go , i'd just be freaking out the whole time. the boys, at least, are getting older now, so it's ok if we go and they run off to do an activity, and i can sit in the corner and mind their sister. and it's really not so bad if i have another grown up with me. the stress of taking the kids out in public coupled with the stress of being out in public myself is more than i can handle for more than an hour at a time.

that isn't to say that i never go out. or that i actively avoid letting my kids go out. mostly this confession is that i just hate going out. as much as i might complain about the fact that i have days where i don't talk to anyone other than my kids and my hubby, i still prefer it. but i do know how important it is for my children to get out into the world and interact with others. it is my hope that they don't end up like me. and so we go out, to the park and to playground and to other various activities. i might not like being there, but i know my kids do. just, if you see me, and i start acting weird, understand it's not you, it's me. me and my craziness.

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