I’ve never been great at being social. I was a nervous child who rarely spoke out of turn. Add a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis, and you have a recipe for anti-social behavior. I don’t even really comment on Facebook. I’m one of those incessant likers. I face the fear that something I say will not be appropriate or professional or socially acceptable. Every time I click “post” I have this anxiety that there will be something I said that will offend someone. I’m the same in real life. Sometimes I stutter or struggle to get the right words out, which makes me self-conscious. Balancing schizophrenia and Not Being Awkward is a challenge for me each day.
I won’t be able to sleep. I know this even before I lie down. It’s 12 and I didn’t wake up until 8 and I just finished the largest sized cup of iced coffee you can get from Starbucks. The new Starbucks in town is nice, but busy. It’s the first trendy thing that has popped up here. Give me a Trader Joe’s, and I would have died and gone to heaven.
I open my eyes every so often to look at my phone. It’s on vibrate so I’ll know if a message comes in, but this is not enough to stop me from doing so. I wait, just like I do every other day, from a text from him. Which doesn’t make any sense. The last time I heard from him, he was “getting married in a few months.” It’s been more than a few months, whatever a few means. He has a wife, a house, money in the bank, and sperm that’s ready to make life. Why would he text me? He wouldn’t, but that’s not enough to stop me from wondering if he will. Maybe he’ll realize he loves me too much to get married and invite me to San Diego, like on that one day we spent together. My laugh is sinister in the peaceful confines of my bedroom. Yeah, right.
His balls. My cat lost his balls. (Some people are sensitive about this kind of stuff. Trigger Warning: BALLS)
Since I adopted Ronan in the setting of a drug deal gone horribly wrong – dark parking lot by myself, didn’t get any drugs but got a kitten! – he has served as the gentlest, most nurturing animal that ever existed. It’s been a stressful year since the man I love had to move to Hawaii for three months (just a couple weeks after I got Ronan) and many other stressful things happened that don’t necessarily need to be said on the Internet, but Ronan has never complained. I had to give up his kitty friend Gansey (who I also adopted at the time) because he didn’t play nice with my four-year-old Ella (another cat, not a kid) which started the endless fights between Ronan and Ella, not because Ronan is an asshole, but because Ella is kind of an asshole (I love her dearly but she is), but Ronan never complained. He laid* with me every night as I cried because The Man was however many miles it is from California to Hawaii and he perched on my shoulder like a meowing parrot when he was a baby and when we moved instead of freaking out and hiding like Ella would he jumped into the window and looked at Kona The German Husky in the backyard and squeaked, as he does, as if to say, HOLY SHIT MOM WTF IS THAT.
I look out at the water crushing its own dreams. It’s dark. The lights along the pier are not bright enough to illuminate its pollution-ridden surface and the full moon is hiding somewhere behind the smog. I’m squatting because everything I’m wearing is new, including my shoes.
“Dangggg baby, back at it again with the maroon Vans,” he says.
I laugh. He makes me laugh a lot, and it’s not one of those laughs you push out in your day job to humor someone, while plotting to kill them. You only hear this brand of sound after 5 PM and on weekends.
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//As seen on Psychology Today
I don’t know how to deal with my loved ones being worried about me. Well, I do, but it’s probably not the right way: to just assure the people that love you that you are okay even if you’re not. I’m not saying that I’m not okay, in this case, but that is the standard response.
I’ve talked a lot about the controversial “how are you” question and how it’s only socially acceptable to provide “good and yourself?” as a response. My friend and I have joked about answering “you know what, I’m having a really hard time…” and going into your life story when some random person on the street or in the elevator asks you how you’re doing. It makes people uncomfortable, you know. The truth. People, specifically in corporate America, don’t want to know if you feel like shit. If you’re having a difficult time with life. They ask to be courteous but they really aren’t being courteous at all, because they don’t actually care how you’re doing. Most, anyway. Some do. I have to give credit to good friends and good people, in general, who do actually want to know the real answer. But for the others, who expect the illustrious “I’m great how are you doing?!” and want nothing less, I really don’t know why they even bother asking. It’s a completely useless exchange.