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Age-old panic derived from modern problems (please give me some suggestions) - See the Amanda, Feel the Shine! [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Age-old panic derived from modern problems (please give me some suggestions) [Jul. 1st, 2007|12:52 am]
[Current Mood |nervousnervous]

I can't sleep for the silliest of reasons: memories of a confrontation from last week (with a person I don't even give a damn about) has left me with an angrily hammering heart and a queasy stomach. Perhaps writing about it will vent up some frustration.

Ok. Kathy (the girl whose job I'll be taking over) had brought a friend to the textbook desk and had spent a couple hours conversing with her on work time. I, as always, was keeping busy with customers, phone calls, and paperwork as the two of them chatted away in the next seat. Well, somehow they got onto the subject of the assistant manager and how they thought he was anorexic (he always watches what he eats). Somewhere within that conversation, her friend asked him if he was anorexic and if he made himself throw up in the bathroom (much to his dismay).
Since conversation with everyone who works there is always open, and because with my history with this stuff I couldn't stand to hold my tongue, I told her that bulimics vomit, not anorexics--they restrict. Well, what did she say? Not "oops, my mistake" like most people would...no, she proceeded to ask Kathy why "this girl thinks she can listen in on what I'm saying and act like she knows more than me", while shaking her low-cut cleavage menacingly in my direction. With a "WTF?" expression and thinking "My GOD, where did THAT come from?", I explained to her that I was correcting her for her own good, that it was a mistake I found too personal to let go, and that if someone is obviously misinformed I feel it's my duty to alert them of it. She then started yelling at me about how she's in college and isn't stupid and knows perfectly well what an anorexic is. I said no, from that phrase she obviously did not, and repeated the correction. She then said "well, you didn't listen to what I was saying! I said I thought he was a bulimic and you just didn't hear it!".
By this time I was pretty scared and my heart was hammering because she was practically foaming at the mouth (and plus, she'd obviously internalized my correction, lol), so I said, "Well, good! I'm glad to hear you know. I'm sorry if I 'misheard' you."

I was shaking the rest of the work day for no rational reason, even though I was wondering...what do I care if a slutty party-girl who got pregnant too soon, obviously trying to appear full of herself to hide an enormous lack of self-esteem, raises her defenses toward a girl who's informed, professional and confident, and who she's heard speaking proper grammar to customers the whole time? What can she do to harm me? Absolutely nothing. And, I know she was lashing out not to convince me she was right, but to convince HERSELF she was right. She's obviously using me as a battering-ram to give herself synthetic confidence. So it isn't my problem, it's hers.
But, I think that when it comes down to it, any confrontation brings the old grade-school feeling of helplessness and panic back to me. I know how to defend myself now as I never did then. More importantly, I know why it was done to me. But that doesn't change the fact that when I think of something like this, my body goes into panic. Like a reflex, even though my mind knows it's stupid and irrational, all mental activity freezes and I prepare to run. No fear is needed--just an appropriate thought--and I'm spring-loaded into action. I was traumatized from those years in school, and that's what those kids wanted me to be. So why have I let them succeed in taking control of my life like this? They deserve no part in it.
It was so hard to sleep each night after the hell with my first roommate...I think that, in itself, brought on a bout of post-traumatic stress syndrome. I still drift into waking nightmares about her, even though I know I could've snapped that little, skinny, black-supremacist Vicky in two, anytime I pleased. So, why the fear and rapidly-beating heart every time I think back on her (even as I write this)?

In the fall, when therapy is once again free, this will be the next counseling topic.
Do any of you have any suggestions on how I can handle this? Any mindsets I should try out?

[User Picture]From: king_gravewater
2007-07-01 09:04 am (UTC)
She then started yelling at me about how she's in college and isn't stupid and knows perfectly well what an anorexic is.

This is called Arguing From Authority, and is a fallacy. It should always be pointed out. The fact that she is in tertiary education does not mean she necessarily has any idea what she is talking about. If you happen to have an argument like that with her again, point that out to her. Then inform her that you know a man who spent literally years talking with one of the "most respected" psychiatrists in his country, yet she somehow managed to miss the fact that he was not schizophrenic, not bipolar, not badly behaved, but rather autistic.

I am, from reading what you are writing here, wondering if you are not autistic yourself, quite honestly. :|
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[User Picture]From: akumadaimyo
2007-07-03 03:35 am (UTC)
Authority doesn't necessarily give knowledge after all.

Try the ninja mindset of flipping out and killing everyone. :-)
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[User Picture]From: minuetcat
2007-07-03 07:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds good to me, but my class isn't capable of Barbarian Rage! lol
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[User Picture]From: opera_lover_44
2007-08-02 09:44 am (UTC)
I know this comment is waaaay late lol but I can kinda relate, just not to an extreme I guess. When people insult me or something I say the same thing...they're just using me to try and make themselves look better or whatever..and it's totally true but it still doesn't stop it from hurting, you know? I don't think there's ever a way to make that feeling go away cause we're all humans. But you're an incredibly strong person...anyone who has had some eating disorder and come as far as you have earns my respect. I know you won't let that feeling destroy you in any way...you have it sooo much better than most people on earth do...nobody has it perfect, no, but you have it really good and you know what? You're the only one to blame for that and you should be really proud of yourself :) I know I'm just restating what you said but maybe it sounds better coming from someone else? Besides I really, really mean it.
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