An Anxiety Post…

Things are about to get real for a few minutes…

I feel this is something I need to let out. Nothing animation or news or media-related, just a post on anxiety and something that’s troubling me. I post this because I don’t want to upset others, but I want to speak up about it, and see if anyone else happens to have the same – or similar – problem. It’s comforting to know when you are not alone on something, even that “something” sounds highly absurd to you. Maybe it isn’t so absurd.

So what happened?

It was a little family movie night.

Me, my mother, my sister, her boyfriend, and my stepdad were watching Marvel Studios’ latest film, Doctor Strange. I enjoyed this film a good deal in the theaters, but something about it I felt was a bit off. Maybe it was the mood I was in both times seeing it. On first viewings I tend to try to take everything in, often missing some things. On the second viewing, I came off of a long shift at work and was beyond tired, and that movie is very calm in parts . It’s almost like Marvel’s sleep-aid, and I mean that in the best way possible.

I got the Blu-ray after months of waiting and was so ready to dive back in to the psychedelic world of Stephen Strange. My anxiety said a big “NO!” to that.

Halfway through the film, the villains attack one of the sorcerer Sanctums. There’s three, one is located in London, another in New York, and another in Hong Kong. The villains go for the London one, when Strange tries to stop them, he is flung into the New York one and does battle with the villainous Kaecilius and his minions there. I was looking down at something when the camera reveals that Strange ended up in the NY Sanctum. Prior to that scene, my sister asked me “Where did they go? London?” I said yes, referring to the bad guys attacking the Sanctum. I assume Strange eventually got to London to go after them.

All fine and well, but my stepdad points out the Freedom Tower when Doctor Strange realizes he’s in New York City. I must’ve been looking down or turning my head to something, because I assumed he was still in London, fighting baddies. I looked up the synopsis briefly instead of rewinding, it said London. Okay, so they’re fighting in London. Half of the fight takes place in the building, so I assumed for a little while until a character mentions it’s New York. Okay, fair and well, made a little mistake on my part when it was right in front of me. I’m sure others do that too.

But my stepdad, throughout the movie and after, preceded to make fun of this. “See? It’s New York!” “See, you can tell that’s New York!” “Hey, you can tell this [insert TV show here that came on after the movie] was filmed in NY!” It’s his way of “ball-breaking”, and he means no harm by it, he does it to annoy. No malice intended, he does it to everyone in the house.

Two things. Maybe three.

I have a tendency to miss certain things that are in PLAIN SIGHT. And I mean, plain sight. It makes me feel genuinely stupid and slow, and that even the most braindead zombie is smarter than me. I have Asperger’s syndrome, and in the recent years, that has become a target. People say things like Asperger’s people are dumb or subhuman, or that Asperger’s is some liberal-PC term applied to people who are actually stupid. It’s certainly not helping me at all, and sometimes I have this doubt: “If I say ‘it’s the autism’? Am I exploiting what I have? Am I using it as a crutch and insulting other autistic people by saying that?”

As for the plain stupid part, my brain goes: Forget all my college years, my job, my achievements, this blog, all my work. Instant self-destruction courtesy of anxiety takes over, and that those achievements were either sheer luck or hackery. Or just “Going to college or having a job doesn’t mean you’re not stupid,” because some perceived-stupid folk may have jobs or go to college. Very pleasant feelings towards oneself, right? The slowness has often lead to me getting bullied or jabbed at by others, it doesn’t help that my disability is invisible. (If you’ve never seen Finding Dory, that film is a great exploration how it’s like to live with that.)

I snapped at him at one point in the movie, and he reacted with the usual – as if I couldn’t “take” a joke. To slightly buffer the issue, my sister clapped back to him a few times. My mother and stepfather are leaving for Florida for a week-long vacation, and she said things to him like “Saturday can’t come soon enough!” That’s nice and all, but…

There’s another problem that’s been bothering me for quite some time. A wound, if you will. To talk about this, I’d have to get into some muddy waters. I don’t like to name names, because this is based on my fear and speculation that somebody dislikes me and/or has little respect for me. Someone who is part of something I’m actually part of, who is very nice to everyone else on this said area but me, and has only tossed me a few bones while generally ignoring me. Or at least I “think” so. I heavily speculate this is so, and have failed to get any answers despite trying to be friendly with this person. So my mind has always been stuck between “oh it was nothing” and “said person doesn’t like you.” Hurts when this person hasn’t acted that way towards others, and is part of something I’m very passionate about. What did I do wrong?

I try to move on from it, and remember all my other friends and acquaintances who are in that same area or even higher. I try to remember that this person barely even knows me, and that I’m a lot more than what some may think. But sometimes I can’t escape it, and sometimes it bothers me greatly. I’m also afraid of rising a ruckus, and then finding out it was all a misunderstanding, only to make myself look like a paranoid, accusatory bully. This doesn’t bother me often these days, but sometimes a little incident like this past night? Brings it all up with flying colors, along with that other “I’m very stupid” anxiety…

As such, I couldn’t enjoy the second half of the movie, and I was just getting into it. I don’t want to watch the movie again, I fear it’ll just dredge those problems back up and it’ll make me just wanna shut it off… Then another anxiety arises…

I’m afraid of being like this for life, someone who can’t enjoy the very things he likes because of particular “triggers”. I don’t like the fact that I can be easily poked this way, I don’t want to be someone who falls down weakened because of a few words or attitudes. I don’t want to be that kind of person, I don’t want words and speech to hurt me… But is it really the speech and words hurting me? Or is it just me doing that to myself? If so, why am I so destructive and critical of myself? Is it because of bad incidents dating all the way back to my middle school and high school days that I’m long past? Is it because of how unpleasant I was as a person a decade ago?

It’s just anxieties of anxieties, and my head scrambles like a person running around all these corridors. Where do I go?! Will it all blow over and I can watch the movie again in peace?

I try to be pragmatic, I try to say “it doesn’t matter,” we’re all human beings and tiny specs in the universe. But for some reason the other side of my brain keeps going “Nope, nope, nope.” I want to stop this.

It’s almost fitting, because The Ancient One says this halfway through Doctor Strange

“We never lose our demons, we only learn to live above them.”

theancientone

This is what I want to do. I do it for the most part actually, and can actually watch and love the things I could associate with these incidents, but with Doctor Strange it was different. I want to be able to watch this again and not have to worry about what some person thinks of me or how I’ve tripped up in life or very embarrassing moments. I want to put that in a box, and emphasize “You are majoring in something cool!”, “You’re working your way towards a great career!”, “You have a job and have had it for 1 1/2 years! You got Employee of the Month! Not bad for someone with what you have!”

Just… Why? I want to be strong, and yet here I am writing about this.

Talking about it to them gets me nowhere, they think it’s just me worrying or overthinking. I let it out on here to see who else may relate, or someone who knows what that is like.

Who has had similar experiences?

  • Brain graphic credited to whoever made it.
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4 thoughts on “An Anxiety Post…

  1. While I don’t feel like I can offer any real advice, I thought the way you conveyed your thought process in the memory made your story very relatable. For me there is always a voice in the back of my mind that tries to undermine me, making me feel like a painting or story isn’t good enough to sit on the same shelf as the people I admire. Sometimes I flip through other people’s work and know for a fact that I am capable of producing better quality than they can and yet I’m the one in the shop staring at their stuff. I’m not saying that my example is the same, but I think on some level everyone has a perceived flaw they wish they could change. I have friends that struggle with obesity and some who’ve dealt with near-fatal levels of depression, but to the outside world they looked like their life was together. Others might not see their flaws or them in the same light they view themselves and a lot of the time if you can’t understand a perception different than yours you wave it aside, but it’s something that each person has to find a way to cope with. From the sounds of your story you have every reason to be proud of yourself and things you have accomplished.

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  2. I have Asperger’s as well, and it does make me overly critical of myself at times (like when I’m studying for an exam and I make a mistake), but I realize that although I’m critical of myself for the purposes of doing well in school, perseverating on the negative aspects will only make lag behind more. I hope you can get through “Doctor Strange” again, as I’ve heard it is quite good.

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  3. I can relate. I am also diagnosed with Aspergers. Anxiety is something I’ve been dealing with for many years, dating back to Elementary school. I was picked on and judged a lot back then. It used to strike me down, mentally. When I make a mistake [even a small one], I’m convinced it’s all going downhill and I forget about the friends I’ve made, my past accomplishments, what I’m good at, etc. I’ve been able to control it and have gotten much better at getting back up and moving forward as years have passed, but it comes back every now and then. (My new job, [in my field of study,] has been making my anxiety level rise, though). I’m almost too judgemental towards myself and how others will view me. I’ve had plenty of moments in my life where I’ve felt stupid. My parents always tell me I’m borrowing trouble, overthinking, or that I worry too much. It’s difficult to find the right answer to anxiety. And I also sometimes feel like I can’t enjoy what I like because of other people’s behavior towards it. You’re not alone. All I do is try to carry on and enjoy my life. I know that kind of advice sounds repetitive, but it somewhat works for me.

    I’ve been reading your blog and watching your YouTube videos since the beginning. I’m always looking forward to reading/hearing what you have to say about animation, film, classic rock music – anything, really. Because these are things I have in common with another human being and it’s a good escape from reality.

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