A Hostile Takeover

I’m an introvert.

When I spend too much time with a person or people, I start getting frustrated. Even with my friends. I need time alone. I don’t want to spend every weekend with people. Sometimes I just want to spend time with myself. Being lazy, watching TV, reading, studying up on things that I find interesting (such as psychology). There are many times where I crave closeness though. And it comes at the worst possible times. When everyone else is so busy with their lives that they don’t have time to spend with me. I tend to fall into a depression then, and feel unimportant and rejected. I’ve never actually had anyone hold space for me while I was going through a difficult time. When I really needed someone, just anyone, I was alone. Which is probably one of the reasons I’m so attached to my therapist. She’s helped me through a lot of dark moments. When I had no one, she was there. She was (and is) my person. I hold onto the hope that one day I’ll find that person who will walk with me through it all, and let me do the same for them. Through both the good and the bad.

Right now I’ve withdrawn into my shell.

I had to photograph a wedding on Friday. I’m a photographer but I don’t do weddings. But I made an exception in this case, as it was a small wedding and I know the bride. I was terrified. One of the reasons I don’t do weddings is because it’s the one event that you just can’t mess up on. You don’t get a second chance. And I just don’t have the confidence that I feel every other photographer has. I wanted to cancel every day for a week, wondering what the hell had come over me in accepting the job. But when I make a commitment, I stick to it, even if it hurts. Besides, it was a job, and I desperately needed it.

It was so stressful. And now I’m working on the photo’s, before putting together the package that they selected. I’m going to be working on it for the rest of this week. At least I enjoy it. All that anxiety had built up over the week, and now that it’s over, I’m exhausted and just want to be alone.

The photo’s came out better than I expected, but less perfect than I wanted. People keep telling me my photography is really good. But no matter how many times I’ve heard that, it just doesn’t stick. Unfortunately our brains have a negativity bias. The bad sticks, while the good seeps away quickly. It’s automatic, as the brain has a high sensitivity to negative stimuli. Fortunately, it can be changed (with a lot of hard work). You can read more here.

When I’m doing a photo shoot, I pretend to be confident, calm and collected. One of the reviews I received said “she was professional, calm and comfortable”. If only this client knew how I was trembling inside, feeling like a fraud. Don’t get me wrong. I love taking photos. It’s the interacting with people that I struggle with. And the fear of messing up.

In other news, my stepmom’s parents are here for the next two weeks (and they might even stay for 3 weeks), and I’ve been exiled from my room. I’m now staying in my step brother’s room (he’s sharing with his sister- obviously in separate beds). There are now 8 people in the house. It’s crowded, and noisy. I want peace and quiet when I wake up in the morning. To be able to sit outside and not hear twenty voices. I’m not a morning person. I have my own bathroom in my room. Now I need to share one with the kids and my uncle. I can’t shower when I want to, I need to schedule it around when they want to shower, and then I’m stuck with lukewarm or cold water. Even the kids get preference over me, which is frustrating.

I think of it this as a hostile takeover, hence the title. See how I blow things way out of proportion? It’s a talent of mine.

In our last session, my therapist used a REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) “technique”. It goes something like this:
My beliefs: I should have my room to myself. I should have all my stuff around me. I mustn’t let this upset me so much. I must get over it. She’s helping me eliminate the words “should”, “have to” “must”, etc. So I’ve been trying to re-frame those thoughts. Instead of “I should have all my stuff around me and have my space to myself” I’ve been saying: “I would prefer to have my room and space to myself, but they’re not going to be here forever. I’ll get my room back when they leave. Yes, it’s an inconvenience, and yes, I’m annoyed about it, and I get to feel that way”. It’s the anger that I’m trying to replace with less destructive, intense emotions. So I’m practicing this (my homework).

Wish me luck for these next few weeks!

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30 thoughts on “A Hostile Takeover

  1. Good luck in the weeks to come. I read this thinking how I would have a very hard time in your shoes. 8 people in one place for weeks!? I like your homework. Sounds like good practice especially now. I say a lot of “shoulds” and “musts” too, I wonder how quiet my head would be if I didn’t think all those thoughts. I may try to do your homework too. Thanks for posting this. Lora

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would absolutely hate that. If I had my space and it suddenly got invaded I’d be up in arms. I wake up every morning knowing that there are going to be people there and I spend some times wishing they weren’t because I NEED my space. I lust for it. If I don’t get it then I could happily cause grievous bodily harm to those not allowing me to have it. I don’t because I’m rational, but I’d like to. People can be the most annoying thing on this planet at times. I don’t get to experience the other side of the coin; the neediness. I yearn to see other people aside from those in my airspace all the time, although money is the usual reason I can’t. I’d like to feel neediness again at some point. I used to feel it a lot. It’s been several years since I did.

    I have absolutely no doubt that your photographs turned out brilliantly. My best friend is currently on the path to becoming a professional photographer if he isn’t already. He does bar work and has done a wedding or two. Some of his work in astronomy related photography is sensational.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul. There’s already been a couple of moments where I almost lost my shit, but I managed to walk away. You’re absolutely right… People CAN be the most annoying things sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never mind CAN… they ARE the most annoying things a lot of the time. Haha. It’s scientific fact that people need a break from others to keep some semblance of sanity. Jean-Paul Sartre said it best; hell is other people!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The title is quite appropriate given the situation and your perception or interpretation of it. I’m an introvert too, so I’d probably feel the same in your shoes.

    Good luck with the next few weeks Rayne! Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I relate to every single word of this. And having your space invaded is extra difficult for an introvert any way you try to reframe it. That said, there are some things we can think and say to make an unbearable situation more bearable. Thank god you wont be in that situation for ever but your feelings make still make sense. Hugs ❤

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  5. I hate sharing space. Around my wedding was the worst for me. I need my time alone and my space alone, and I didn’t even realize how much until recently. I like your homework. Thinking of you and wishing you luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I agree. Takes introverts and people with depression/anxiety out of our already hard to find comfort zones. We NEED our peace and quiet if we have any hope of feeling close to normal. Stay strong my friend ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My friend..I hear you! I would also be struggling with so many people invading my space, especially with having to share a bathroom! In regards to the wedding, well done for feeling the fear and doing it anyway! All I can say is, that if the bride and groom are happy with the photos, then that is all that matters! 🙂 You did your job well! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel certain the photos turned out as they should be. Now you get to work with them in a creative, loving manner. You took the photos by stepping out of your comfort zone, and did it while trembling inside. Don’t be so critical of them love. See them for what they are which my guess would be pure beauty.

    My question after reading this is…”Why are they staying so long?” You decide how long they stay. It’s your space love. Hell….three weeks is an eternity for anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. 🙂 Well, I live with my dad, stepmom and siblings (my uncle also stays with us), so I don’t have a choice in the matter, as it’s not my house. I wish it was. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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