Iâ€™ve been very triggery lately. Someone at the coffee shop got all frustrated, and she banged her cup down. It wasnâ€™t overly violent, and really under normal circumstances I probably wouldnâ€™t have even noticed, but this time, I sat there for 10 minutes completely convinced, and trying to prepare myself for her to jump up and beat the shit out of me. I was screaming to get out of there, to get somewhere safe and calm everything down again. But my mind was so stuck in the past I couldnâ€™t move, I was responding like I was a child at home and my mother was pissed. The thing then, you never ran away when you saw her anger building. It would only make things worse if I wasnâ€™t around when it finally spilled over. If she didnâ€™t have me there to release all her anger on, then that anger would only be compounded by the time she found me, because I made her come looking, because I failed to do my job, because I was selfish and self-important to think I was anything more than a beating bag, than the scapegoat to pour the violence over. So instead of getting somewhere safe to ground and talk myself out of the flashback feelings, I sat in the coffee shop because there was a part of my mind that still believes itâ€™s my responsibility, itâ€™s my job to take all that violence so the other person will feel better.
Itâ€™s not the only occurrence. There have been all the usual suspects, nightmares, unable to sleep because I am lying there awaiting the approach of someone, unusual or loud noises making me startle and panic. Itâ€™s all the highly triggered flashback period. Probably one of the contributing factors is this damn presentation on Tuesday. It isnâ€™t the only factor, I know that, but it is something on my mind, the easiest to identify.
There are so many landmines involved in doing it. Iâ€™m not meant to be seen, not meant to be visible, let alone drawing attention to myself. And since Iâ€™m going to be standing in front of a group of people talking, you canâ€™t really get more visible than that. And I can hear all that crap from the past, that I think Iâ€™m so important, that I think my thoughts and opinions are worthy, are better than everyone elseâ€™s. You know I started that previous sentence thinking it would be about how my presence is bothersome, and it went another way. It went into the fact that in doing this presentation, Iâ€™m acting like what I have to say is important, like my academic performance has some value. I tell myself all the time Iâ€™m ordinary, average. I tell myself that what Iâ€™m doing with my Masterâ€™s is a lie, that Iâ€™ll be discovered to be a fake. I think now part of the reason I do all that is so, that when â€˜theyâ€™ come for me, when Iâ€™m discovered, I can say it, say I always knew, that I wasnâ€™t being egotistical or thinking I was better than everyone else. I can hope that I can convince them that the punishment doesnâ€™t need to be too bad, that it doesnâ€™t have to be as severe since Iâ€™m already on board, I already know Iâ€™m acting wrong. Yes I know that doesnâ€™t make that much sense to anyone thatâ€™s not inside my head, but thereâ€™s this belief that if I can prove I agree with them then they will only have to give me a short reminder, rather than beating all those realities into me.
And, thereâ€™s another, rather odd, issue about having to do this talk. I hate my voice. I donâ€™t like to speak for a lot of reasons, but one of them is I think my voice sounds wrong, doesnâ€™t sound like a normal personâ€™s voice should. I know I think I look repulsive, that I smell repulsive. But I also think I sound repulsive. I will have to speak for about 30 minutes, I will have to inflicted the sound of my voice on people. I spend so much of my time never speaking, I can go days without saying a single word. Itâ€™s one of the benefits of only having friends online, I can get a little feeling of connection with others and never have to hear my voice. So not only do I have to be seen on Tuesday, I have to be seen and heard, and to me, thereâ€™s just no way that anyone will want to deal with that. In fact I canâ€™t see how anyone wonâ€™t want to destroy me, punish me for inflicting that on them.