Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So VERY Inept

When I mentioned that I was woefully inept at measuring and making right angles on my last post, XUP left this comment: I'm trying to focus on the fact that you claimed to be "woefully inept" at something. It gave me hope. I then asked if she would like for me to do a post about all the things at which I am inept and she thought it would be a good idea and said she would do one too. The thing is, as I was making the list in my head, I realized that the really biggest one should have its own post.
I guess most of you know that I take medication for extreme anxiety/panic disorder and social phobia. A few years ago I read that social phobia was a "ridiculous made up disorder for people with no social skills." That may be true. My anxiety/panic disorder on the other hand, is a fact and you can't get crazy readings like that on an EKG or lose muscle control from a lack of social skills. And as Jammie says, everything is hormonal, which in the human body is a chemical and I have realized that I have a malfunctioning adrenal gland. Adrenaline is a major hormone. Although I've known for years that the adrenal gland regulates your "fight or flight" response (which I used to live in a perpetual state of), I only recently discovered it is also responsible for regulating your body temperature, which explains why I have had hot flashes my entire life. But this post is not about that so much as it is about my severe social ineptitude.

See that invitation above? Nothing gives me a bigger heart attack than a formal invitation. Unless it is a wedding. You can slip in and out of a wedding relatively unnoticed. Same with funerals. But baby or wedding showers? Aw, hell no. You have to actually participate in group activities and stuff. I just can't do that.
Think of social relationships as being in tiers. There are the tight knit ones, the next closest to that and so on and so on down to perfect strangers in public. Well I'm only functional in the first and last tier. I am perfectly fine and normal with close friends and family and with total strangers, but with all the folks in between, I am totally lost. The term "casual acquaintance?" I don't even go there. I don't have a map.
I've been to several happy hours and that type of thing with my husband's co-workers and I can only name 3 of them. It's like my brain doesn't have a place for storage for all the people in between close friends and total strangers. I've even met total strangers on trips and when we start to connect too much my brain gets all floogy, like "OH NO! Now I have to start remembering stuff. Like their names and stuff."
On the opposite end, with close friends, I remember EVERYTHING. I constantly hear "I can't believe you remembered that!" from them. Just yesterday Lo told me that she had been laughing to herself all week about "shed people." It was from something she said 3 or 4 years ago and I mentioned it to her last week.
All of this also explains why blogging is so comfortable for me and Facebook makes me tense as hell. Blogging is like talking to strangers in a bar whereas most of my Facebook "friends" are people that are on those tiers of social interaction below close friends and family and above total strangers. And those tiers don't really work for me. Because I am socially inept that way.


Jazz said...

You know, none of that came across at all when we met. And it's not like we were really close or anything. Course I was in a total tizzy over meeting you - I was terrified we wouldn't hit it off.

Jazz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jazz said...

That deletion was me - somehow I double posted.

XUP said...

So how did the people that are really close to you manage to make that leap from total strangers to really close? Like your husband(s) for instance? Does someone have to have some sort of magic or unusual persistence to get there?

mrwriteon said...

Thank you for sharing this, dear friend. I commend your honesty about yourself. And, of course, since I've never met you in person, I would have no way of judging, but certainly none of it comes across in your blog. And, I'll take if from Jazz (because I totally trust her instincts) that none of it comes across in real life, either.

Carole said...

I'm glad you and I are the tight knit ones now! But then I think we must have gone to jr. high together in another life. :D

Having an anxiety disorder myself, I found your description of going from here to there socially hit the nail on the head.

VioletSky said...

Hmm, interesting. Maybe that is why I feel uncomfortable with Facebook, too.

geewits said...

~~I didn't have anything to compare that to. I'd never met a fellow blogger before, so I guess it was more like doing something fun and crazy rather than participating in some regular social event. heck, I don't know. But I was nervous until you called that day. After hearing your voice on the phone, I was fine.

~~Those are good questions. Magic? How about plain old bad luck on their part?

~~You are too kind. I sure hope you get to meet Mr. & Mrs. Jazz someday.

~~It's funny now, but at first we were both pretty nervous. Maybe not you as much.

~~That could be it.

Scarlet said...

You did a beautiful job explaining what you feel using tiers and the way you describe the middle people (not friends or strangers), makes perfect sense. As social as I am, I can totally understand what you're saying and I can honestly say, as social as I am, I've felt that way, too, though less and less often through the years.

I know we're like we haven't met, but I really feel as though I've come to know you through your blog and you feel more like a friend than a stranger.

Carole said...

Gee, I was nervous at first too, but your sweet nature and great sense of humor put me at ease so quickly, that I barely noticed the nerves. :D

Carole said...

Do you know where I "just" learned how to make that big smiley face I just made? Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory" just mentioned it, "Colon with a capital D". hahaha :D

geewits said...

~~Yes some bloggers feel like old friends that we have spent hours with on the phone. I like that.

~~I'm just glad we have passed the acquaintances phase! Oh and don't tell me anything about BBT. Ours didn't record and we are going to try to watch it on the internet this weekend.