Underneath my yellow skin

Goldilocks and the three reactions

I have PTSD, and while it’s lessened over time, it’s still a thing. I can blow up the smallest thing such as an interaction with a stranger in which I felt I didn’t handle very well. For example, I was at the deli counter at Cubs a few days ago. I wanted the bottom rack of ribs, and I said it to the woman behind the counter. I made sure to say the bottom one twice, but she didn’t say anything at all to acknowledge she heard. She just went to get a container, so when she returned, I mentioned it one more time. She snapped that she had heard me, and I managed to say, “Great. Thanks.” In my head, though, I was thinking, “Look, bitch. The normal thing is to actually acknowledge that the other person said something.”

Side Note: There is something about the deli/baked good sections of my local Cubs that must be toxic because many of the people working in those areas are exceedingly unhappy. And, they take out their unhappiness on the customers as well as with each other. Sometimes in the form of bitching with each other, but also in the form of bitching at each other.

I immediately thought that I had done something wrong, and then I was pissed at her for being a jerk. But, ultimately, it wasn’t a big deal, and I was able to shrug it off after a few hours. I know that still seems like an overreaction, and it is, but in the past, I would have ruminated over it for weeks before forcing myself to forget about it. I make a mountain out of every fucking molehill, and it’s so fucking tiresome. I can make myself feel bad about anything until the end of time.

Here’s the weird flip side to my PTSD overreaction. When I’m in an actual crisis, my brain goes on hyperfocus and I become deadly calm. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but when I was in a minor car crash a few years back, my brain slowed down. I accepted I was going to be hit, and I relaxed as the other car hit me. As a result, I only got a massive bruise on my stomach either from the air bag or the seat belt. The other driver was a young woman, only 17, and she was in hysterics. She looked as if she had South Asian blood, so I felt the urge to protect her. She sobbed that her dad was going to kill her because he needed the car (some kind of SUV, I think) for his job, and I said he could get a taxi or use Uber or some such. I told her he was not going to kill her, desperately hoping it was true.

In the back of my mind, I was chuckling over how I was the one who was hit, and I was the one who was comforting her. My parents happened to be visiting at the time, and they were freaked out when they came to the accident site as well. I was still calm, and I had the thought that maybe I was in shock. Maybe I would freak out later. Nope. Never did. And, I made myself drive again after getting a new car by driving local until I could bear going on the freeway, and it only took a week total? My mom mentioned that she was impressed, but I had to drive. I don’t live in an area where public transportation is that good.

All of this is my long-winded way to intro my thoughts about the current COVID-19 situation. First of all, I keep thinking it’s CORVID-19, which is not fair to crows and ravens. Secondly, I’m pretty much self-quarantined, anyway, and there’s only been one proven case of COVID-19 in MN. My one concession is to wash my hands more, and I bought a container of ‘clean and crisp’ hand soap at Cubs today that is…not clean and crisp.

Note to self: Unless it says fragrance-free or scent-free, it isn’t. Rain-scented Febreeze is worse than cat piss to my body. I bought the rain-scented or whatever it is Febreeze, tried it, and my body immediately went into mild convulsions. It was NASTY. Febreeze in general is horrific to my nose. I ended up ordering a fragrance-free hand soap online, and that’s all I’m going to do. I already cough in my elbow instead of my hand, and I don’t touch people for the most part, anyway.

My point is, and this is where I get the title from, I tend to…not sure if it’s under-react or if it’s the appropriate amount of reaction, but I’m most definitely not overreacting to the Covid-19 situation.

Side Note II: On AAM, there’s are several threads on the Covid-19 as to be expected, and the preppers are crowing about who’s laughing now? I get it, but it’s distasteful to me. Also, at least in many places in the US, it’s not warranted  yet. Honestly, I felt the same during SARS, ebola, and any other pandemic that has swept the world. Basically, my belief is to use best practices (minimize community contact. Self-quarantine if you can if you’re sick. Wash hands, etc.) and continue on with your life. My view is because, well, there’s only so much any individual can do, and life is life. Once you do all you can, then you have to leave it up to fate or the gods as to what will happen.

We Americans (not sure if it’s a worldwide thing, but it’s definitely an American thing) try so hard to control every facet of our lives. I think it’s because we are loath to admit how very little we actually do control. It’s the same when a woman who’s been sexually assaulted is peppered with questions, often by other women, as to what she did ‘wrong’ so that they can be safe by avoiding whatever the first woman did.

Here’s the truth. You can do all that’s possible to prevent catching Covid-19 and still get it. You can be lax as hell about your personal hygiene and not get Covid-19. I’m not saying don’t be prudent, but the rush to paranoia isn’t helping anyone.

The difficulty is, however, is knowing how much anxiety is just enough. I think the spray everything down all the time and never leave the house group are going too far in one direction, but the making a joke about it and scoffing at others who have concerns group is going to far in the other. Personally, I lean more towards the ‘keep an eye on it and see what happens’ group, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing.

The problem is that my mother is freaking me the fuck out. She calls and rambles on about how terrified everyone in Taiwan is and how you have to wait in line for three hours for masks. She claims that my father is more freaked out, but when he talks to me, he’s not nearly as anxious about it as she is. I’m not doubting her because my father is a hypochondriac with an intense fear of death, but he’s not the one who’s making me hyperventilate.

I can only take so much of my mother’s incessant fear rambling, but she won’t shut the fuck up. I already have a voice of anxiety rambling in my head, and I don’t need one outside my head underscoring and emphasizing that fear. In addition, there’s nothing I can do about it. I mean, beyond the things I’ve mentioned above. Worrying constantly about it isn’t going to help, either. I’m in a high-risk group, so I’m trying to be as careful as possible. Still. It’s not going to do me any good to lose sleep over this. I can ill-afford that at all.

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