I work in the Communications sphere. Even I shake my head at the thought that I should be in this industry. I’ve even had people suggest I consider changing my career.
Growing up I didn’t learn how to talk to people. My opinion didn’t matter. I was a beneath dirt. I always thought that when I escaped that place that I would shed that skin and grow another one that was alluring to all with its diamonds and perfection. I didn’t. The pain and torment would follow. It was a stain I couldn’t get out.
Physically escaping didn’t make the fully capable person and for a good 10 years, my husband woke me up in the morning, packed my lunch, got my clothes out in the morning, helped dress me, brushed my hair, bathed me – he did it all. I was so broken I couldn’t do anything for myself.
I was terrified all the time. I feared any communication with other people. A neighbour waving to me had me breathing heavily and angry at myself for scurry away before any words would need to be exchanged.
I spent years and years watching people and trying to mimic them. I still do this. I would muster up the courage to speak, ‘that steak looks good’. My husband would smirk and point out the insincerity. I just couldn’t even make small talk. Imagine a five year old girl hiding behind the leg of her mother’s long flowing skirt, too shy to reveal herself.
People who know me now would never believe how bad the anxiety was. I push myself and have worked out that if you employ a goofy and stupid always personality, you can laugh off any time you sense that someone thinks you are odd or stupid.
I wasn’t like a prisoner in that home – I was a prisoner. People thought I was a freak. They had me trapped.
I jump hurdles every day at work to fit in. I get stressed out if anyone closes their door to have a conversation because it’s clearly about me and how bad I am. I can’t take criticism – in fact I severely melt-down and try not to let it show by going into the bathroom and hitting my fist against a wall. I’m not good with communicating with others and I flip out very quickly. I do my very best but sometimes your best isn’t enough and they can tell you are faking it.