Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I count steps. That’s right, I will be walking and suddenly realize I’m at 102, 103, 104, never remember 100, 101, or even 20. As a kid, if I walked on a sidewalk, I either had to avoid every crack, or step on every one. Didn’t matter which, but if I deviated from the pattern, I would get nervous. I also would touch things. If I touched a few things on a table, I had to touch them all. If not, something bad might happen.

Quirky? Yeah. A lot of kids have that. I’ve grown out of most of it (except the step counting thing).

I also had another quirk. I was afraid of going into public. As a child, I would get so nervous when I was in public, my tummy would cramp and I would have to poo. But I had an even bigger fear of public restrooms. Probably because I have IBS, and I could not just sit for a few minutes and get it over with. So I was screwed, and I would get sick from holding it for so long. As I grew up, I had to face many of these fears to even function. I knew it wasn’t normal, so I tried to cover it up. But as recent as the year 2002, I had a Wal Mart I couldn’t go into. It was in Texas, where I lived. Going there made me nervous. So I avoided it at all costs. It’s probably where my love for Target originated. As I type this, my tummy is getting nervous, thinking of that WalMart. Nothing bad happened there to make me uneasy. I just was afraid of it, and my tummy would go haywire at the thought of it.

I’m not sure which was first, the depression, the anxiety, or the IBS. But they all feed on each other. And I’ve dealt with it all since I was a child. Add some codependency into the mix, and I have been a mess for most of my life. I just had a lot of fears. I found solace in my family, because they accepted me for who I was, so I rarely ventured out of that sphere of comfort. As I moved away to begin my own life, I struggled to make friends. I hadn’t ever been comfortable enough with myself to make any, so I had no idea how to be a friend. I had longed for friendship for so long that I had envisioned this amazing thing friendships would be.

I now retreat to the solace of my home to seek refuge from friendships. Funny how life works.

But back to the subject: I have had to face my fears. I tried to commit suicide once years ago. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, with friends, with men, with myself. But I’ve put myself out there, determined to be as normal as possible. And I think that’s one reason I struggled with codependency. I wanted others to help me get through these quirks of mine. I’ve held onto the coattails of others in social situations. I’ve hoped for a man to come along that will save me from myself. I’ve learned that I have to do that myself. And it has sucked royally at times, but I have learned that it’s better that way. I’m stronger for it.


luke said...

I don't think you have to save yourself ... plenty of us would like to help if we can. I'd like to resist the urge to tell you that there *is* a man to save you from yourself, but I just can't. ;) You know the man I mean.

I catch myself counting steps and avoiding cracks too, though not too often anymore. I think quirks ARE normal, though - not a reason to feel turndown or rejection.

Kristi said...

True, we all have quirks. Some people don't like to talk about theirs. Talking about mine releases the grip they have on me.

"The man" has saved me from myself as well as others many times. I am my own worst enemy, and I now realize that. I think the fear I had is called "agoraphobia", which is ironic. Now, if I want to go somewhere, I just go and don't give it a second thought. Funny the healing God does without us even realizing it . . . .

Phyllis Renée said...

I think you're right that talking about these things releases the hold they have on us. Even the ability to recognize things that are holding us back from a full life brings some freedom. If we're blind to those things there's little hope. (God, open my eyes!)

It takes courage and I'm glad you've "put yourself out there."