Underneath my yellow skin

Preparing to go out is harder than actually leaving

My niece’s bridal shower is this Saturday, and I am freaking out. Why? Let me count the ways. One, I’m no good at girl shit, and I know this is going to be girl shit. There are no men/non-binary people invited, and there’s going to be a game involving purses. We were told not to look it up, so I didn’t, but I can imagine what the game might be having been to a baby shower.

I get really weird about gifts. I was going to give money for the bridal shower gift and her birthday gift (which is the next day), but then I read that this is NOT DONE.

Side note: It’s a very American thing as money is frequently given as wedding gifts in other countries. I read on a wedding gift thread that giving gifts was pushed by the shopping industry, which makes sense. And I do understand the joy in receiving a well-thought gift, and I used to give them. I still do with some people, but in general, it’s easier to give money. In addition, for adults who have lived together for a while, money can be more welcome than some needless bric-a-brac.

Back to the topic at hand. I know I put a lot of the pressure on myself, and it’s my anxiety. If I don’t find the perfect gift, I’m going to be cast out of polite society. At least that’s what my mind tells me. I’m already aware that I’m a freak, and it’s difficult for me to act like a normie. It doesn’t help that the last time I went to a thing at my brother’s house, it didn’t end well because of a rude comment by a friend of my brother’s towards me, and me storming out in response. My brother got mad at me for storming out, even though he had heard the rude comment and didn’t say anything about it to his friend.

Part of depression is knowing I have to get a bridal shower gift and putting it off until the last moment. It doesn’t help that the shower itself was very short notice, but this is on me. When I don’t want to deal with something, I put it off until the very last moment, stewing and fuming about it the entire time. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was worrying about it. Even now, I’m putting off going to Target while I write this post.

Why am I going? Because I love my niece, and I want to support her. I know all this shit that comes up is not on her or the party or the other people. It’s on me, but it can feel insurmountable. All the insecurities I have are set off by events such as this, and I just want to bury myself under a blanket and never come out again.

I’ve decided that what I’m going to do is pretend I’m David Attenborough, observing the native species around me. Not to say that they are animals, obviously, but that my goal is to be an observer. It’s what I do best, anyway, so I might as well put it to good use. “Now, we have the party-goers playing what is commonly known as the purse game.” Like that. I think it’ll be more bearable to me and make it easier for me to tamp down my anxiety.

My goal is to get through it unscathed without crapping on anybody or feeling like crap myself after it’s over. When I feel cornered, I lash out. I do not want to cause a scene, and it’s less likely if I’m able to detach from what is happening. I’ll make sure to do the Sword Form before I go because that is my meditation.

Side note II: I read an interesting thread on Captain Awkward on people who hate meditation for varying reasons. One proffered was that it was hard for people on the spectrum. Another mentioned she had PTSD. Almost every one of them mentioned a different activity they did that was like meditation to them, and it was so gratifying to have that validation.

Anyway, I’ll do a whole Sword Form and that may help me keep my equilibrium. In addition, I can leave at any time. I probably won’t, but it’s a good thing to remind myself. I am an adult, and I won’t be trapped there. Also, I need to eat first because I can’t be sure there will be DF/GF food, and it will make things worse if I’m dizzy from hunger. I think I’ll buy myself a treat I can have when I get home as well. It’s sad that I have to treat myself as if I were a child, but whatever gets me through.

It’s so hard because I know objectively, it’s just a few hours of doing things that will not be up my alley. It should not be a big deal, but my brain is making it such a big deal. That’s what anxiety does. It takes a molehill and blows it up into a mountain. A grain of sand becomes a—um, whatever is big and full of sand. It’s because it’s the intersection of many of my anxieties. One, my insecurity about my femininity. Two, me not being comfortable with traditions. Three, I’m a freak. I don’t fit in, and I never will. Four, groups of people I don’t know well. Five, saying the wrong thing.

I’m trying to think of it as good for me, but I’m not buying it. It might be better if I just accept it’s going to be uncomfortable for me and deal with it. I know that sounds self-defeatist, but I’m not much for positive affirmations, anyway, if they are not based in reality. Me telling myself to be chipper and expect to have a great time is not realistic, so it would have the effect of making me feel even worse afterwards if I were not able to make myself have a great time. In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Another thing about anxiety–the longer I put something off, the worse I feel about it. It’s another thing I kick my own flattish ass about. I know I would feel better if I had already bought the gifts, for example. If I had gone out the day after I got the invitation and bought them, I would be sitting prettier by now. Instead, I’m stewing and musing and feeling shit about myself. If I manage to go out and buy them today (or order them from Amazon or whatnot), I’ll at least have a few days where I don’t have to think about it.

It’s a constant tension for me. Having copious anxiety about A Thing. Knowing that doing A Thing will make me feel better in the long run. My copious anxiety not allowing me to do A Thing in a timely fashion. It’s a constant struggle, and it’s so fucking exhausting. My brain is my own worst enemy.

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