Those who know me, know that I am quite odd. I used to mind being odd, but now I embrace my oddness so much that I actually hide my non-odd parts of me in case people start thinking of me as normal. I like being odd.
My oddness takes many forms and probably has a few root causes. One could be mistaken for thinking most of my oddness comes from being a Highly Sensitive Person (read more about HSP here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highly_sensitive_person) because I outwardly display a few of the signs of being a HSP, but I don't think that is the main cause. I think my oddness comes from having some sensory integration issues, combined with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (read more about GAD here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalized_anxiety_disorder). Plus if we are really digging deep here, probably a smattering of being on the spectrum too. The GAD is managed through medication and therapy, and SPD and ASD through wisdom and experience in managing my world.
Most of the time, I function not just very well, but I would argue better than some more 'typical' people. My oddness gives me energy and drive and the ability to live at 1000 kms an hour. (Which is both a good and a bad thing I suppose. anyway, I get shit done.)
However, one of the things I struggle with is blocking out the emotions of others. My therapist says I am an emotional sponge. I take on the emotions of everyone around me. I worry that you are worrying. Which is why I never share my deepest fears and problems with anyone because then I will worry that they are worrying about me. Which will make me very worried.
Things that put my worrying into overdrive are my children. I feel their worry (real and imagined) acutely. I try to manage that because I don't want to burden them with it. I also worry about other children. Any child. So much so, that I cannot listen to any child abuse stories. I turn the radio off if the stories come on the news. Because the worry about the children's fear and pain makes my head want to explode and my heart feel like it is going to beat out of my chest. My friends know not to tell me stories about children in pain because I cannot turn that noise off in my head. Children and their vulnerability are the ultimate worry.
I also cannot listen / watch any prank stuff. I feel the victim's embarrassment a million times over. I HATE those prank things.
And then sometimes I worry about totally random things. Things that are so unimportant and arbitrary and not-central to my life that it makes no sense at all. Not that there is usually any sense in worrying anyway.
I worried terribly about the weather in the FIFA world cup in South Africa in 2010. Really. Every time the weather was cold or it rained, I felt so bad / worried / guilty / anxious / sad for the people who had come all the way to South Africa to view the World Cup. They have come all this way and now it is raining which means they will be disappointed or cold or wet and they might not have a good time. I felt anxious about the discomfort of 1000s of strangers who I had no connection to other than they were in my home country. I didn't even go to any of the games so the weather didn't affect me! And yet I worried and felt anxious. HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT!! I would reprimand myself several times a day. Stop it Tertia! Do you realize how ridiculous your worry is! Stop it!!! And then a few minutes later I would have that butterfly-in-the-tummy / roller-coaster feeling. For a split second I would stop and think "where is that coming from?" - do a little fight/flight check - and then I would realize it was worry about the weather for the World Cup visitors. It was exhausting. I was glad when it was over.
And now I have a new thing to worry about. Trevor Noah. OMF! WHY!! Why have I picked Trevor Noah to worry about! I have never met the man, I have never been to one of his shows. I don't know anyone who knows him. The ONLY thing in common we have, is that we are both South African. And yet, I worry. I was worried about his debut. What if people hated him? What if people said bad things about him? What if he read the bad things people said about him and felt sad and disappointed and worried. I was so relieved when I woke up the next day and saw so many positive reviews.
Unfortunately those positive reviews were shared by fellow South Africans (who seem similarly invested / proud). The only people awake at that time. When the Americans woke up later, some of the negative reviews came through, and I started to worry all over again.
I mean, REALLY!! How effing mental am I! I am stressing about Trevor Bloody Noah! A total stranger. The first time I ever heard of The Daily Show was when it was announced a South African was taking over. That is how random and unimportant this is to my life. I have to stop this nonsense. I am going to force myself not to care. I am sure Trevor Noah doesn't care if everyone likes him. He probably doesn't give a shit what people say about him (please let that be true!) so I am not going to either. I am going to stop wasting my worry quota on someone or something that quite obviously doesn't need it.
So from this point forward, I don't care what anyone thinks about Trevor Noah. You can like him or dislike him as much as you want and I am not going to worry about it at all. (typed that last full stop REALLY HARD)
(Just please don't post that you don't like Trevor Noah because what if he reads it and his feelings get hurt and then feels sad and unloved in a foreign country so far from home with no friends or family).