Sometimes, I don’t know how I function

Unfamiliar social situations make me EXTREMELY uncomfortable, to the point that I just avoid them entirely. This is not just a case of shyness at meeting new people. Oh no. It doesn’t matter if I am planning on making a good impression, or if I know I will never see the people involved again. If there is a situation that I haven’t been in before, and it involves talking to people, you can almost always count me out. Of course there are exceptions, or else I would be at home all the days and never make any friends. Usually, someone has to either be very insistent and force me and guilt/humiliate me into doing something, which causes me to be shy and quiet and weird the entire night, or they have to be saintishly patient with me, and offer me constant reassurance and hand holding the whole time, and also walk me through the entire situation a zillion times beforehand. Then I might start to feel sort of a little comfortable with the idea of talking to a new person or going to a new place. What I’m getting at here is, I’m tons of fun to be around. Here’s a list of things that send me into a panic spiral.
1.     Eating at an unfamiliar restaurant. Unless I am with someone I know well, and who is also familiar with the restaurant, I won’t go. There are too many things that could go wrong. I could hate the food. I could be the wrong sort of person for that restaurant. I could be under or overdressed. The wait staff could be rude. The menu items could have ridiculous names, and I will have to mutter that I want a “Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity” but then the waitress won’t hear me and then I will find myself yelling that phrase out in a suddenly hushed restaurant full of people. It could be a nudist restaurant. I need to know what I am getting myself into.
“Can I have that without the Tooty, please?”
2.  Restaurants and other places where you give your order at a counter, and then have to pick up your order at some other window or part of the counter or something. I get very anxious about where to stand while I wait, and become entirely too stressed out while trying to figure out where to pick my shit up, even if it is clearly labelled. I struggle to keep my facial expressions out of a look of horror, because I just KNOW all the people are staring at me, wondering what the poor lost simple girl is doing.
You can pick up your order at the top of the stairs.
  3.  Having to walk into a place that I don’t know very well to meet people. If I know the place, I know the layout and how things function, and can get to searching with a purpose. If I don’t know the place, I will walk in and have a look or confusion and searching on my face, and for some reason, this is entirely unacceptable to me. It is terrifying to me, that someone might secretly be watching me, and that they will see this look cross my face. Especially if it turns out I’m early or something, and the people I am supposed to be meeting aren’t already there and then I have to stand around feeling awkward until they arrive.
What my brain thinks is happening every time I walk in a room.
4.       Tripping when I am walking by myself. If I trip in front of people I know, I’m totally fine with it and will probably even laugh while I am laying in the ground bleeding. However, if I even stumble while walking down a path on my own, I am instantly seized with a feeling of dread. WHAT IF SOMEONE SAW ME? What if they happen to know everyone I am friends with and then they tell my friends and my friends hate me? I struggle to act like it never happened, all the while looking around for potential witnesses who are plotting to destroy my whole life.
And then this might happen.
And so on. I guess what we learned today, is that I’m a huge freak, and I’m quite up on myself for thinking that people would be interested enough to be looking at me at all times.
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5 comments on “Sometimes, I don’t know how I function

  1. While I agree than ANY of the things that you worry about might in fact be happening all the time, I am hard pressed not to wonder why any of it is all that bad? What is the worst that could happen if someone sees you being confused or you don't like the food at a restaurant? In either scenario, I simply can't think of anything dramatic or traumatizing happening. The nudist restaurant idea might be a bit unnerving. But even then, couldn't you just, like, leave?

  2. emmy says:

    I never said it was all rational. I realize it's not.

  3. chellesh0ck says:

    I once walked into my Anthropology lecture nice and early to get a good seat at the back near the wall. The lecture theatre gradually packed out and it wasn’t until a strange professor that I didn’t recognise started talking, that I realised that I was in the wrong lecture hall. Too stricken with panic to get up and leave and risk being looked at by 200 students, I silently stayed where I was and took notes for the random (and extremely fucking boring!) Political Studies lecture I had crashed, to make myself fit in and remain unnoticed. It’s funny now, but I was in such a state of panic at the time and it was really awful! Plus it was boring as shit!!!

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