Yesterday was a weird day.
It all started when my therapist sent me a message confirming our appointment for later that morning. I felt emotionally cut off from her. It had been too long between sessions. I thought to myself “I don’t need therapy (or her) anymore”, but another part still wanted her (and I know I will always want her, even when I don’t “need” her anymore). The part that was indifferent had a far more active role in my mind though.
It continued during the session. I could hear myself saying all these good and positive things, but I lacked emotion. I was fully present and attentive when my therapist was mentioning some stuff about her and answered the questions I asked her, but when it came to ME and MY stuff, I felt disconnected from my feelings. I felt like I was “on the surface” instead of “down deep”. I couldn’t connect to ME. There were a couple of moments where I got really angry at technology and felt I was going to throw something, but that’s it. No other emotions.
Then it was time for work. My final training shift. Sunday we skipped training as the manager wasn’t there. Walking into the store I felt tired and not too well. All I wanted to do was go back home and sleep (I woke up this morning with a cold/flu so that’s probably why I felt so crap last night). But being so new I didn’t want to take any chances. The store was way too noisy. There was too much stimulation around me, and I felt triggered. The lights were too bright. There were too many people. Too many voices. I felt myself starting to lose control, and I was about to go tell the manager that I’m quitting, but then someone close by dropped a book and I almost jumped out of my skin. That quickly zapped that thought out of my head. But I started feeling claustrophobic and anxiety ripped through me. I was trying to remember all the tools I have learned up until this point, but I just couldn’t focus. I hit a blank. I felt tears well up, and I walked to the back office, to the furthest corner I could find and tried to get the tears to just not come, but come, they did. But I managed to stop the majority of it. I felt so overwhelmed. I forced myself to stay busy with the new books that had come in that I saw lying on the table, and proceeded to pick them up one by one and read the back (just like my therapist had suggested in our session). My shift was starting in a few minutes so I wasn’t neglecting my job at least. I really didn’t want to go back out there. It felt like my inner child was kicking and screaming, begging me to stay where it was safe, but I told her it would be alright and went out anyway.
It was much the same. Too many people, which I find intimidating. The smallest noise (the sound of someone typing on the keyboard for example) made me want to yell “stop it, just stop it” and cover my ears. I was still so jumpy (yet anyone that knows me will tell you I’m always quick to startle anyway) and my senses were on extra high alert. I’m naturally sensitive to my external environment (even as a baby apparently), but most of the time I can deal with it. But in moments like these, I find it especially difficult. It’s times like this when even the texture of my clothing bothers me and I just want to rip it all off. I don’t know exactly what it is that sometimes takes this sensitivity up beyond what is even normal for me, all I know is that it happens.
At one point, I had to help a customer, with my manager standing there watching. I didn’t trust myself. I felt panic and anxiety rise up. I looked at my manager and I think she could see it, as she smiled and said “you can do it”. But I didn’t feel like I could. The pressure was just too much. I wanted to run out and not look back. But I forced a smile and greeted the customer, painfully aware that I was visibly shaking. I then suddenly took on “robot mode”, and can’t remember the rest of that interaction. It was as if I had just shut down. When I was “back” the first thing I remember is the manager telling me “good job”. I can only hope I was friendly with the customer and didn’t come across as a complete idiot. But the manager looked happy, so I guess it’s safe to say that I didn’t mess up.
I know I should be kind to myself. But how can I be when this shit happens? Just when I think I’ve taken 1 or 2 steps forward, it’s like I take 20 steps back. It’s frustrating.