Thursday, September 24, 2009

Safe At Home?

For most of my adult life I have not been visible to neighbors.

The house me and my ex rented for 17 years had bushes around the front porch so we could sit out and not necessarily be seen. The backyard was closed in on three sides. I was not as afraid of things as I am now and neighbors would often drop by at all times of the day and night.. but that is the house where my agoraphobia first hit big time. I stayed inside almost 6 months.. venturing out rarely to the porch to check the mail.

The three places after that house were apartments. Everyone knows how invisible you can be in an apartment. Neighbors don't usually socialize. I could walk the dog and not ever see anyone else. Oh sure there were a few times when I'd see someone and wave hello. That was quick and impersonal though.

Now here I am in a mobile home park. A community. And I've just figured out recently why this is playing hell with my issues. I'm not invisible anymore. People can see me. This is scary for someone with social anxiety. When I sit on the porch people walk by and glance in and wave or nod and smile. Even people that drive by will often glance in. Kids on bikes.. kids on scooters.. kids walking with buddies.. There are people everywhere.

I am no longer invisible taking the dog out. I walk her to the side yard so she can do her business. There I am. Right out in public for goodness sake. People are walking, driving, mowing lawns.. Helllooooo scary world!!!! This may put into perspective what a really big deal it was for me to walk her around the block the other day. In fact I did it again today. No applause please because it scared the crap outta me. I had to take a Xanax when I got back.

Inside... My desk chair used to be my safe place at home. I could run to it when I was in a panic and slowly calm down. Burying myself in something online while there helped. I don't like the way my desk 'feels' the way it's arranged in the room. It's awkward to me. Not familiar. AND.. My computer is messing up.. acting like it's about ready to have its hard drive replaced. I never know how long it will work before I need to give it a hard reboot. (I'm crossing my fingers as I write this.) AnYwAy my desk chair has lost its magical powers and I haven't yet found anything or anywhere new.

That's kinda ok though becuase of the limited amount of time I want to be online anymore. I don't have anything to replace that yet either. I've worked on my latch hook a little. Copied an afghan pattern one DIL sent me, but I haven't tried my hand at it yet. I hop on Facebook during the day to check my Farm Town farm. I hop on Pogo Games even less. I've unpacked everything. I've rearranged the things I'd already put away. There's nothing to clean since it's all 'moved in fresh'.

I don't have anything to DO except wander from room to room. Lack of purpose fills me. I'm edgy and panicky most of the time. I'm always watching the clock to see how long until Mr. Skittles comes home. I tell myself if I can only make it until then.

I love the new place. I don't regret getting it for one second. But just in case anyone wonders? It scares me as much as it pleases me.


With all that in mind you can be the judge of how correct these quiz results are:

You Are Assertive and Adventurous

You approach life boldly. You believe the world is your oyster, and you're very self-assured.

You are apt to take risks, but you don't see them as risks... because they usually pay off.

You are a helpful and heroic person. You like to take charge of situations and make them better.

People should avoid getting in a contest of wills with you. You'll always win - and it's not pretty.


Grace said...

Perhaps the desk chair is not in a place where you can be invisible. Can you move the desk/computer/chair arrangement so that can happen again?

Baby steps my dear. I am proud of you.

Technodoll said...

oh dear... what made you choose such a different place to live, if I may ask?

hope you will adapt, with time, and learn to love being visible -


Carolina said...

I can't pretend I understand your feelings and state of mind, because I really don't. But I am sorry for you that you have to go through all this every day and every hour of that day. Perhaps you really would like to take charge of a situation and make it better? Hmm... I hope you will feel better and happier soon! Your place looks lovely.

Jeni said...

Ya know, Barb, I actually do see you as being assertive and adventurous! In the blog arena I think you definitely are that. You are much more assertive and venture out into learning all kinds of stuff pertaining to computers, blogging and such -way more than I do or have been able to do, at any rate. And I think you also are quite adventurous when I think of the many trips you and Mike have taken over the past three years that I have known you here. Sometimes, I think you are more than a tad too hard on yourself and don't give yourself the much needed pats on the back for many of the accomplishments you have made and yes, you have made a good many of those too, ya know. But I too know the feeling of being undecided as to what I could or should do next and the way it bothers me -from my stomach and then throughout the rest of my body too. Times when I get to worrying about various things with or without good reason behind the worry and it eats away at me till I manage to either get some meds (usually a zanax will bring resolution for me) or manage otherwiee to get a grip on the reality of my life, of life in general. When I got on this embroidery kick a year ago, I made a resolution with myself that I would not start a project and then just up and move on to another one before completing what I'm working on and I have done quite well with that theory. So far, I've only put one little project back and not wanted to finish it before moving on because I had made some errors on it and at that point in time, I just didn't want to mess with it any further and risk screwing up something else in the process. But the fact that I have stuck to it with the rest of the stuff I've made is quite a major feat for me as I was notorious before for starting something and never finishing it. Just keep plodding away at the issues with the agoraphobia so you can adapt and then deal with it and other things with a bit more ease in time. Didn't happen overnight and won't go away overnight either. But you have really come a long, long way!