Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I Wanted To Hide

You'll have to excuse me if I start to cry while I'm writing this.  It's been an exhausting week or two and I'm just done.  And emotional.  Pushed myself through some uncomfortable moments and just feel like crying.

The question I'm sitting here asking myself right now is if I've always felt this way.

See, when I'm in my, home, familar, comfortable places I know well... the gym, friends' houses, etc. I feel comfortable and confident.  Even if there are people I don't know or the situation's busy or stressful, I'm still confident.  I know my way around, I know where things are, I know what's expected of me, I know what to do or what not to do.

When I'm in my places, I'm solid.

When I'm not in my places, I'm not.

And when I'm surrounded by people who are comfortable and confident and doing their thing, I just feel so awkward.

Awkward and uncomfortable and out of place and, sometimes totally useless and in the way.

I don't know what to do with myself in these places and situations.  For example, my friend works for an organization that put on a really cool event the other day.  She asked me to come along and I was excited to see the event, but when I was there, behind the scenes, I felt so awkward.

Where should I stand?  Who should I not be in the way of?  Could I help?  But I don't know enough about anything that's happening to really be of any use.  But I'll ask anyway.  And then be told, no, we're fine, so then what?

And I don't work with these people and they all know each other and, not only that, they're all at work and I'm just... hanging out.  And so it's a combination of not wanting to interrupt, not wanting to annoy anyone, and not wanting to seem lazy.  Like, who's that stupid girl who's just standing here while we all haul our asses working?

I don't know.  Maybe this was just not the greatest situation for me to be in and I should just let it go, but right now I feel like crying.

The few things I tried to help with I kind of goofed up a little.  And then I failed to notice the miniature lighting they were stringing up and I stepped on it and broke some bulbs and then the whole string wouldn't work.

And my friend was too busy to chat or hang and I'd expected that, but, well, why did I go?  Or maybe, why did I stay?

I wanted to see her, and we did get a bit of time over a meal together, but still... I just felt so awkward.

Maybe I appeared so.  Maybe I didn't.  I'm not saying I awkwardly avoided eye contact and refused to speak to anyone, I didn't... I pushed myself out of my shyness and talked to a few people and smiled and introduced myself but It. Felt. Bad.

And it's these moments where I hate being stuck in my particular head with my particular thoughts and I just wish certain things weren't so hard for me.

Or something.

I hated feeling so out of place.  And maybe I felt unwanted somehow.  Certainly in the way.  Although no one told me I was, and when I told someone I felt in the way they said I absolutely wasn't!

I don't know.  Just... it was hard, is all, I guess.  And it's made me sad.  I wish every place felt like one of my places.

I've thought a bit more about this and have come back to add this... I think it's also, or maybe even more so that I felt I did not belong.  And that that's a bigger feeling and a bigger issue than just this one event.  I did not belong and I do not belong and I am not anyone's anyone and I am not important to anyone.  And it rolls right into the feeling I came away from Burning Man with of being not attractive, not interesting, not worth much.  And not loved.  Certainly not the way I love others.

And I know people disagree with those feelings, but they're what's stuck in me right now.  And, no, I'm not going to just let them stick there, I'm just saying, I'm hurting and it's not a nice way to feel.


Blogger liv said...

Hi Victoria, I guess we all have moments like that where we feel like we don't belong, it's OK.
And it's good you can go to places you feel safe. Like you said stepping out of your comfort zone is challenging and when you feel vulnerable it can seem impossible.
I think it helps to realize that we are the center of our life, but not of everyone else. I mean that the people at the event were so busy working, they probably didn't notice your so called mistakes.
So pat yourself on the back for dealing with it.
I guess your experience at burning man changed you in some ways. it will be positive in the long term but most likely requires some adjusting, like any core shaking change.
Hang in there better times will come! Here's a virtual hug to you

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:47:00 am  
Anonymous Elliott said...

I know exactly how you feel...except I'm lucky enough to have an awesome partnter and friend in my wife (not sure how I got so lucky)...

I feel so awkward and like I don't belong. Even in environments I know well...board rooms, meetings, hockey dressing room, golf courses. It's so hard for me to talk to people. I always feel weird, not fitting, a huge nerd. I feel like why would anyone want to talk to me? So I don't bother.

These feelings don't stop me from volunteering in the community, playing hockey, playing golf, being a leader at work...but man is it hard. I feel like I don't belong. But like you, we get out there and contribute. And that is the biggest accomplishment...pushing through those feelings and contributing, whatever the environment.

There is an awesome cartoon floating around about introverts and a hamster ball...about the need to be alone to recharge and the feeling of stress when you are in unfamiliar social situations. It's really good. I'll see if I can find the link.

Just know that there are many others out there fighting the same feelings that you describe. Hopefully knowing that will make it a bit easier for you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:00:00 pm  
Blogger The Little Black Dog said...

"I am not anyone's anyone and I am not important to anyone." Uh yup I can relate. I just started a new job and nearly died of awkwardness in the first week. It is an awful feeling isn't it. All of your adventures at Burning Man sound like an amazing journey (I had never even heard of it till I read about it on your blog - had to google it!).

There is also a great book that I read called "the emotionally sensitive person" that helped me understand some thing about the awkward phenomenon and why recharging in a comfortable "safe" place is so much more critical to some of us than others.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:23:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks Liv. And you're right... I was probably the only one who noticed my "mistakes". Thanks for the hug!

Hugs Elliott. And I'm sure you have your wife because you're just awesome too! :D

Awkwardness is never ever a nice feeling SG! Oh my. Hope you're starting to feel better at work!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:26:00 pm  

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