Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeling Totally Crazy - Am I A Dweeb?

Hello Friends:

I am feeling kind of like this picture.  Crazy, and yet sort of a mix of spacey and startled.  I don't really have anything profound to say (do I usually?) but felt like posting.

See, I've found a forum on the net that I really like.  And this is a surprise because I've tried a lot of forums and have not felt like there was really much going on.  Not much sharing.  But I found this one at Crazyboards.org, and I really like it.  So I set up an account and spent a day reading different threads, trying to get to know the community, and posting like seven posts.  And you know me, people, I do not post short posts.

And its funny, at first it was all good.  Thinking I was learning and sharing all nice like.  And then ... then you start to hear the voices.  Not real ones (since I don't think I'm on the psychotic end of things, but you never know) but those inner voices that say, "Wow, that was a dumb post," and "Holy cow, that thing you said was probably really offensive," and "Man, what makes you think anyone wants to read that huge post anyway?"  On and on.

Then I really start to get worried.  See, I've posted here in my blog before about my parents, and I was answering a post there about someone else who now found herself estranged.  I was going on and on, as I usually do, about how my parents drove me crazy and how it's probably better we all went our separate ways.  And then I realized I'd called out my mother's BPD, Narcissism, and my dad's alcoholism quite specifically.  More second guessing ... did I just offend someone?  Do I look like I judge people based solely on their mental illness diagnosis?  Am I coming across as an insensitive lout?  Am I an insensitive lout?

Then you wonder what the #$%@ made you want to post your ideas anyway.  What were you thinking?  I mean ... what was I thinking?  Why get involved in a forum where your idiocy is just hanging out there for all the world to see?  (Are you seeing the irony, yet?)  Took me a while, and then of course I realized I post my idiocy regularly right here on this blog.

But it is different.  After all, if you, reader, find my blog ewwwy, you can go elsewhere.  If someone on a forum thinks I'm ewwwy, then they might think I'm stinking up the whole forum.  Or at least the threads I am posting on.  Still, I do recognize this paranoia as part of my own mental illnesses.  Things like this have their stages, for me, anyway.  First there is that giddy feeling of "hey this is new and fun."  Then the phase of "I think I just put my foot in my mouth" which is the same as the"'I just said something so boring" phase.  Phase three is the "Why don't I quietly slink away and never come back" phase.  Then phase four, the phase where you finally have to chose if you are going to run from the pain of your own foolish face, or try to face up to reality and accept you are a human being.

I'm in phase four.  Wanting to go back and be a part of things, and trying to accept that I'm going to look like a dweeb sometimes.  I do not want to be a dweeb, and yet, are not we all dweebs, every now and then?  Sigh.  I want it all clean and happy and perfect.  And then I show up and make it all real and sticky and messy.

I'd be interested in input.  Do you have these experiences with emails, phone calls, or forums, etc.?  How do you get back on the horse after you've said or done something you either only think is stupid, or had someone comment on saying "that was stupid" or "you hurt my feelings"?  I'd like to know ...

Your Hostess With Neuroses

5 comments:

Somewhat inspired said...

Hi Blue Morpho,

Your post really resonated with me. The feelings you describe are very similar to those I experience both in 'real life' and virtual social interactions. I love blogging, but commenting on other blogs and even responding to comments on my blog is a huge challenge!

Your post made me think of the concept of exposure, which is used a lot to treat OCD but I think can be applied to many different situations. A friend who is really into exposure recently said to me something along the lines of 'perhaps you need to expose yourself to your own [negative] feelings about yourself'. This struck a huge chord with me. It sounded to me as if that's what you might have been doing in participating in the forum.

Thanks for writing about this difficult topic!

Cheers
Catherine

europas_ice said...

I feel this way a lot too. It sometimes keeps me from posting in places where people know me, like facebook and my blog. I seem to be okay in places where I think I'm anonymous though.

The Blue Morpho said...

Hey there:

Somewhat Inspired - Exactly. It's tough letting it all hang out. And then, of course, it's in print. Yikes! And for the most part I agree with your friend. I'm finally at the point where looking in towards the negative feelings and thinking about them as distinct from myself is a useful tool. But there was certainly a time what that kind of exposure would have left me too vulnerable. I had to build up to it in other ways by doing stuff like meditation. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Europas_ice - I agree, anonymity can be liberating. But sometimes I wish I didn't feel that way. I wish I could own up to every word. But I can't, and I'd rather still post and interact, so 'anonymous' still happens. After all, I'm not even blogging under my real name, here! :) Hope you are well.

Jen said...

I've had this problem with my mentor/friend/boss. I work for a history prof as his grad indentured sla..I mean, research assistant, and we are also really good friends. But, I find myself constantly feeling like a dork and reanalyzing our conversations for dumb or embarrassing things I might have said, even though this man has told his colleagues he trusts me with his life and his Amex number. For some reason, it doesn't translate for me online, but online is the only place I feel like I can express myself and who I really am vs. the mask I wear.

PS - I also have the Big Three fears. I am glad to know I'm not the only one!

The Blue Morpho said...

Jen - Ah, the years of graduate student servitude. Can't say I miss it! (Probably only because I don't happen to have a grad student to boss around, myself). I understand. I feel this way about one or two people I'm very close to. Strange, since they are the people most likely to forgive. Does not keep me from running the conversations over and over.

And I am torn over being happy because I know I'm not alone in 'The Big Three' and being sad you have them too! But at least we are finding some solace on line, eh? I appreciate your leaving a comment!

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