My Brain is Mean to Me

I’m not sure if this is as easy to relate to for the gentlemen out there, but I’m pretty sure most ladies will remember the ‘just kidding’ friend.

The girl in high school who would say stuff like ‘You’re really gonna eat that?’ Or ‘When did you last wash your hair?’ Or ‘I don’t know about that lip gloss/skirt/hat; it makes you look slutty/fat/stupid.’ Except it would immediately be followed by ‘JUST KIDDING OMG DON’T BE SO SERIOUS’.

Now imagine that friend lives with you, goes everywhere with you. The only time she shuts up is when you’re asleep, and then you have nightmares.

Wake up in the morning? ‘Ugh, you look like crap, wash your face.’

Get dressed? Get ready to change your outfit six times because ‘You’re wearing that? Ugh, you are way too fat to even go outside.’

Time for breakfast! ‘Don’t eat that! Stupid fat bitch. You’re weak. You’re going to end up on ‘My 600-pound life’ and people laugh at you.’

Going for a jog. ‘Who are you kidding? You’re so slow and you eat garbage you’re just a fat cow trying to run. Everyone who sees you thinks you’re embarrassing yourself. Look how jiggly your thighs are!’

Taking a shower. ‘God, look how much stomach fat you have. Oh, don’t cry, you’re really just pathetic.’

Putting on makeup. ‘You look like an old crackhead whore.’

Eating anything that isn’t salad. ‘You’re disgusting. Everyone sees you eating and think you’re gross. You look like a hog.’

Make a mistake-any mistake. ‘Fucking loser retard!’

Feel any emotion that isn’t joy/excitement/contentment? ‘Pathetic loser. Your life isn’t that bad, stop whining.’

‘You should just kill yourself. What’s the point of you keeping yourself alive?’

‘That knife there. Take it. Don’t you have the guts. The arteries in your neck would be pretty quick.’

And she never leaves you alone. Not really. She’s always back.

 

Looking ‘Crazy’

Sometimes I feel extremely self conscious in public because…well, even when I look nice, I run the risk of looking really freaking weird.

For instance?

My startle reflex is noticeable. At its most subtle, my head snaps to the side like an alerted dog.At worst, I jerk, my limbs splaying slightly outwards.

I can often hear things other people don’t notice.

No, not delusion sort of things. (I do have pretty serious paranoia, but it’s not like an actual external voice talking to me.)

But any sudden noise and I jerk like I’m starting a seizure.

I react to high pitched sounds. A train screeches to a stop and I cringe, dig my nails into my palms. If I get overwhelmed by too many people, too much noise, I look around like I’m terrified. Sometimes I lose the ability to speak coherently, or at all.

Or I get too anxious to move. I may have mentioned it before, but I’ve been stuck in Starbucks and such places for hours because my brain has insisted that the floor will fall out from my world if I leave, and I imagine someone sitting at a table with an expression of terror on their face for three hours must look very strange.

This makes me sympathetic to my fellow neuroatypicals who have symptoms that are harder to disguise, or pass off as temporary oddities. I might look a little odd, but I don’t compulsively swear or talk to myself or have to rock back and forth.

(I do sometimes rock or fidget, but if I do so to a noticeable degree I’m most likely too stressed to be in public in any case.)

So, combined with my anxiety and depression and PTSD, I have to worry about looking bizarre in public-which just makes my anxiety worse.

Mental illness everyone! It’s a laugh a minute.