Causing a breakdown in someone with anxiety 101.

When it comes to brain borking, I won the lottery.  I have anxiety about going to places with lots of people.  I don’t like to go alone, and when I go with people I’m terrified of being ditched.  Why? Because people have done that.  Yes, people have actually taken me to big places full of thousands of people, in an unfamiliar city, and run off and left me alone to fend for myself.  And I don’t even mean left me, come back and get me later to go home. I mean left me to go off alone, then leave the venue and go home.  Being stranded alone at some random place hundreds of miles away from home is terrifying. If you’ve never done it, I don’t recommend it.

Every anxiety article that’s on Facebook, Buzzfeed, or whatever internet site that people read those “Everything you need to know about people with anxiety” articles have one item in common: being ditched at parties.  Yup. I’m pretty sure that’s part of the definition of anxiety.  “Yada yada anxiety definition, including being ditched at parties, yada yada rest of definition.”

Now onto the point.  One of the easiest ways to cause a breakdown.  Walk away from someone with anxiety.  If I expect you to be right next to me, and you’re 100 feet away? Breakdown.  If you’re 2 feet away from me, but around the corner and I can’t see you? Breakdown.  If you’re 40 feet away, behind a tree, so I can’t see you? Breakdown.  Seeing a pattern?  It feels like we’re being ditched.  You walked away without telling me you were leaving.  Now, if you tell me you’re going to get food? Sure, I’m fine with it.  Someone ELSE might not be, but I am (Assuming you don’t disappear for an hour).  The easiest way to avoid this is making someone AWARE of what’s going on.  “I’m going to go lean against that tree for a few minutes, it’s really hot out here, and I want to stand in the shade while you wait in line.”

Now, as I’ve said, it doesn’t work with everyone.  Some people can’t handle you walking away at all.  Some are fine with it as long as they know where you’re going. The entire concept applies (with me) when you’re going to be late coming home from work.  Walking away says “abandonment” but being late says multiple things, it says “abandonment,” “disaster,” “infidelity,” among other potential thoughts.  I don’t know that you didn’t get in a car wreck and potentially are dying/dead right now, when you are just leaving the office late.  I don’t know that you didn’t leave work on time, but go over to someone else’s house for a quick romping before coming home.  I don’t know that you didn’t just leave me.  Texting me “Hey, I’m going to be late, a meeting ran over,” helps.  That doesn’t mean you’re lying, but hey, that’s another problem for another day.

End point. Dealing with people with anxiety sucks.  We’re hard to work with, and especially hard to live with. We’re also super rewarding to be around, because we’re extra caring and respectful.  We want to be texted when you’re late, so we tend to do the same to you.  Which is a cool trade off.  Just one of the many perks. Cause, we’re awesome.

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