Thursday, July 30, 2015


I've been crying for like... 28 years. I cry in public a lot, so basically, I've proved these eyelashes are real! It's weird I can do something so often, so continuously, and SO WELL, and it still makes me feel shitty. It would be like if Michael Jordan was like "yeah I've been playing basketball my entire life, and I'm literally the best at it, but still, every time I touch the ball I remember how alone I am in the world."

Sometimes my body starts crying before my brain and heart even realize we're sad about something: oh this again? Time to start thinking about how no one likes us! And that's really what I'm crying about most of the time is me feeling alone, or other people feeling alone, or the concept of loneliness existing at all. I'm so rarely crying about something productive. Whenever I do start crying about police brutality I'm like "good job, Babs, keep it going." 

Today I started crying because Mike Birbiglia told some jokes about uncovering truths about himself and then had the gall to play DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE in the credits of the special. I started crying when I heard Death Cab, which is weird because I am not 16 and/or on my period. My boss was like "what's wrong?" and I was like "no one will follow me into the dark!" Wait, is that song about killing yourself because your friend died? Ugh... um, nevermind, no thanks.

Part of being a comedian is essentially crying because one thinks everyone hates them, which is stupid because some people don't know me well enough to hate me. I used to fool myself into believing I did comedy solely to make people happy, and I know for a fact that that is a big percentage of the reasoning, like maybe 58%, which is not exactly a passing grade. And I do not get non passing grades. 

2015 has been hard for me, as hard as it can be for any 28 year old pretty white person, but, um.... I didn't get into a festival I wanted, I didn't advance in a comedy competition I wanted to advance in, I didn't advance in a local comedy competition, but one of the judges and I had a conflict of penis size interest, so I think he was biased against me. Overall, there were a couple set backs in my still young, about 6 years in, comedy career. It's easy to go from thinking "am I not FUNNY?" to "do I not make people happy?" to "do I make people miserable?" to "am I a worthless piece of shit who everyone hates who doesn't have any friends and is totally alone?????" 

Yesterday a friend of mine posted on facebook that something very positive was happening for him. I don't want to discuss it, and I'm legally obligated not to, not that I think the people who wear the suits with the briefcases read my shitty blog, but just in case... let's use a metaphor. My friend posted that he was going to get a pot of gold delivered to his house that night. I had fought and bested the same leprechaun in battle, chased the same rainbow, but it is still uncertain whether a pot of gold will be delivered to me. I am VERY happy that my friend gets a pot of gold, but I hate thinking "now if I DON'T get a pot of gold everyone will think it's because I am a bad person and did not play the leprechaun's reindeer games, and then they will all hate me, and then I will be even more alone." Okay that's too dramatic...

I also recently had a death in the family, and I had a friend/ roommate kinda betray my trust, and a friend got sick, and I am feeling very secluded from my friends and family, and the festivals and comedy competitions and everything.... AND ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I MAY OR MAY NOT GET MY LEPRECHAUN SCHRODINGER'S GOLD????!!!!!

If people stop laughing, even for five minutes, does that mean the clown isn't making them happy and the clown is ruining everything and get back in her clown car but she doesn't have any friends so there's not enough clowns in the clown car?

My brain tells myself that no one likes me.
My body tells my eyes to start leaking liquid.
My brain says myself that I make people miserable.
My body tells my shoulders to shake.
My brain tells myself that I am alone.
I proved these eyelashes are real.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Yelp Reviews for States of Being

State of Being: Depressed

I come to Depression a lot when I'm feeling lonely, or when I can't feel anything. I really love the couches in Depression, or at least I think I love them. It's difficult to feel enthusiasm for the things that I normally love when I'm in the state of Depression. The food is kinda... meh... Lots of cheese and salted things just mushed together. It's fine and it does the trick, but it's nothing fancy. Oh, and the service is terrible. I laid on the couch for hours before I offered myself a blanket or a beer. Oh, there's lots of beer in depression, but it's all the way in the fridge. It's a good place to be if you want to curl up under the blankets and watch emotionally driven science fiction or fantasy all day.

Three and a half stars.

State of Being: Anxious

I um go to anxiety um a lot a lot a lot!!!!!! It's great! Well it's okay. I don't know. I'm sorry. It's super scary!!!!! Do you like scary things? Me too! Oh you don't? Me neither! SORRY IF I OFFENDED YOU THERE! Anxiety has some really fun exercises, like shaking and trembling while pacing: SO GOOD FOR YOUR CORE WORK OUT. The shower in anxiety is nice. You can sit on the floor and shake back and forth of the shower if you want to. Uh, sorry if that uh um... The coffee here is good!!! Come for the coffee! Stay for the panic attack work outs!

Five stars! I mean one star! I don't know.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Baseball

"Baby Beluga! BAAAABY BUH-LEWWW-GUH!!!!" sang the group of tonedeaf kids throwing dirt clods at me while I read my book in the grass. I looked up and made eye contact with my animalistic predators. My normal style is to ignore them until I can't take it anymore, and then I start shrilly shrieking and sobbing, like a chimpanzee going through a tough bout of puberty.

I hated looking at them almost as much as I hated being seen by them.

We had watched a documentary on whales the other day, and I had answered  a bunch of stupid questions. Ignorant imbecile that I am, I had forgotten the law that nine year olds should not ever raise their hands and try their best not to answer a teacher's questions, lest we be forever ostracized and burnt at the stake. I had been labeled: a show off, a know it all, a brain, simply because I felt it important to tell everyone the difference between mammals and fish. Ever since then, other nine year olds (especially the boys) had started calling me "Baby Beluga" because I was baby-like (full of tears!) and kinda chubby. (Sooooo clever.)

I made eye contact, my book closing in my lap. Andrew was one of the assholes!? Andrew used to come over to my house and play with Star Wars action figures when we were five. Oh, sweet youth and naivety!

My entire life I've always felt this terrible loneliness, this suffocating feeling that everyone of my friends hates being around me. I try to isolate myself from others, and I also hate feeling isolated. I was an overly anxious little kid, but as the feeling of loneliness inside of me, and around me, barricading me from the outside world, I would become almost like Gollum desperately scrambling for love, sabotaging it once I got it, and still valuing connection as precious.

"BABY Beluga! Baby BELUGA!"

I picked up my book and went inside. I ran into my teacher, Mr. King. (Think Mr. Rodgers but nerdier (in a good way).) Mr. King asked me what was wrong and I said "nothing." He then looked at me for a minute and my eyes welled with tears. Certain people have this effect on me, where they can just look at me, or ask me a question in a certain tone, and I will lose it, like a water fountain or a tiny person who likes coffee's urethra. I'm a very anxious, shy, sensitive, emotional person still. Back then I was more sensitive than a kitten's foreskin.

The next day I was in the same playground during the beginning of recess. The older kids were trying to get together a baseball game. I was less coordinated than an old aunt's boot, and equally as smelly when I did exercise. I started to feel anxious, like I was about to have a panic attack.

"Barbie! You're on Jonah's team!" yelled one of the older kids.
"Yeah!" yelled Jonah, grinning underneath his ridiculously handsome purple Tasmanian Devil hat. "Maybe we can change our team name to The Belugas!"
Everyone laughed.

I stood up and looked Jonah dead in the eye, and then turned and wordlessly walked away.

You know, like a psychopath or something.

A few minutes later I heard shouting.
"Where did it go?"
"You were supposed to catch it!"
"No way, it was totally left field."
"You were playing left field!"
"Seriously, where is the ball?"

Something covered in dust rolled in front of me and I knelt and picked up the baseball of the assholes that had been tormenting me for days. I looked over my shoulder, covertly ascertaining that no one could see me. I put the baseball in the waistband of my pink leopard print spandex leggings. (Early 90s.) I calmly walked underneath the fallen branches of a tree, into a covered secluded enclave at the bass of the tree. I called this area my tree cave, which is way less sexual sounding when you're nine.

I withdrew the baseball from my leggings and sat cross legged on the ground and began to bury the ball.

Two girls my age came scrambling clumsily into my tree cave.

"Barbara! We saw you come in here!" said Katrina. Katrina had curly black hair and was very fun.
"What are you doing?!" yelled Jenny. Jenny had light brown hair and religious parents.

"I'm... burying this baseball I found." I answered truthfully.
"Why?" asked Jenny.
"Magic," I flat out lied.
"What do you mean? Are you doing a spell?" said Katrina.
"Of sorts. I found this baseball, and I just... I had a feeling that it used to belong to a student here... a student who was MURDERED!" I had no idea where this bullshit was coming from.
"Wow. Why do you think that?" Katrina asked.
"I mean... um... look at how dirty and musty it is. It must be super old. It's practically fossilized."
"Oooooh," said both the girls.
"So, I just figured, I'd give the ball a burial, and then the spirit would be at peace and could move on to the next dimension and stop haunting the playground." This level of delusion and imagination is probably one of the reasons why I can kinda do stand up comedy.
"How do you know the ghost is haunting us?" said Katrina.
"Just.... listen quietly..."
We all stayed silent for a moment and then a branch rustled. We all screamed at the definitive proof. At this point I was starting to believe in the ghost myself.

"We should hold a seance," said Katrina, ever the innovative little yes-and girl. "We can find out who the killer is and bring him to justice."
"We could find out where Billy's body is buried, and dig it up as proof!" I said.
"I don't know if I'm signed up for that level of commitment," said Jenny.
"Billy?" said Katrina.
Damn it.
"Yeah, his name is Billy. I mentioned that earlier," I said. "Okay hold hands and try to picture Billy, just think of him, and feel his energy, whatever comes to mind..."
We closed our eyes and joined hands. We took deep breaths, together.

"What are you girls doing here?" The branches bustled open and Mrs. Hilton stood in front of us, crouching to get into the tree cave. We all screamed.

"Recess ended twenty minutes ago," said Mrs. Hilton. "You all better run inside now!"

I sprinted to my classroom, collapsed sweaty and in tears in my desk. Mr. King didn't do or say anything to draw any more attention to me than already was oozing my way like the evil ooze from My Little Pony (the movie!). He didn't lose step in his lecture and handed me a note saying that I had to stay after class for detention.

Detention had been one of my biggest fears of my life. I desperately wanted to please teachers and get straight As and gold stars and be the kind of weird creepy kid that educators give presents to and call "gifted." I hated when adults were disappointed in me. I was not the kind of kid who got detention. I was mousey, god damn it!

Detention was fine. Much like a pun about dogs, I knew this would not be the last time I had to tell everyone, "I got it."

During detention I helped Mr. King clean off overhead projecters, organize books, and then he let me go. I don't know what I was expecting, hard physical labor? A stern yelling session? Perhaps being dipped in a vat of boiling hot milk while everyone I knew spectated?

I survived detention easily. I also had successfully found my own whimsical, secret way to stand up to my bullies and I hadn't cried or had a panic attack in front of anyone that week. And, additionally, most imporantly, while doing so I had bonded with fun people. I could handle everything.

I met with Jenny and Katrina outside school and we started to walk home together.

"So," said Katrina. "I was thinking we should hit up the library research if there was any paranormal activity around our school ever... and also if there were any murders."
"We could be like a real life ghost mystery solving team," I said.
"As long as I can use your guys' library cards. My parents can't know what kind of witchy stuff I'm getting into," said Jenny.
"Oh!" I yelped. "We should be witches!"

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sick Notes

Sick Get Out of Work Notes

Barbara can't come into work today. She is lying on the couch surrounded by her humble harem of half empty thai food cartoons, feeling this Dawson's Creek episode plot a little TOO hard.

Sorry, Babs can't be there for team building. She had a panic attack in a large group recently and she's not sure she even believes in teams right now.

Barbara will not be able to attend the company holiday party. Holidays stereotypicaly have a higher suicide rate and everyone a the company reminds her of her wasted potential and that everything we love is meaningless. Happy holidays.

Barbara will be out of the office today. Someone said something accidentally rude to Babs and now she has to feel like a gross lump of gross for a few hours while listening to Solange Knowles.

Hello, Babs watched the Buffy Episode titled: The Body again.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Twilight Friend Zoned

Last night I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life. (And this is coming from someone who melts her clocks.) First I left an open mic because there was too much social anxiety. Lately I've been feeling super uncomfortable around other open mic comedians. I will just sit quietly by myself at a table and no one will talk to me or anything, and it's super lonely and depressing. On my bike ride home, I saw two racccoons and I followed them three blocks out of my way, but then they alluded me into the shadows, much like my goals and ambitious career dreams.

On the way home I stopped at one of my favorite bars for a cider and pinball. It's one of my favorite things to do, to be at bars by myself... It feels way less lonely than being at home alone by myself, or being at a comedy mic with a bunch of people who may or may not disdain me. To be or not to be... annoying?

When I went to order, I was looking down, (you know, the direction my self esteem grows) into my coin purse to see if I had pinball sized money, and if I would need to ask the bartender to magically turn some larger bills into quarters.

"What will you have, Barbara?" I heard the bartender ask as soon as the girl in front of me had ordered.
"Oh," I didn't really look up. "Um."

The girl in front of me spun around very quickly. She almost bumped into me in her hurry.

"Sorry," we both said as she almost bumped into me. She moved left to get out of my way, and I moved to my right to get out of her way, but sadly it was the same direction and we continued in a very awkward sad white girl waltz for a few seconds. She passed me (unlike Gandalf's balrog) and I quickly dismissed and forgot about the interaction and started chatting with the bartender.

"Do you need pinball quarters?" the bartender sweetly asked me. They might be psychic at this bar. Or I might go there a lot. OR BOTH.
"I have some but not a lot... Does road show take dollar bills?"
"I don't know."

I walked over to the pinball machines to assess whether I would be needing more quarters. I was standing there squinting (no glasses) at the machines when I heard a very soft high noise. I shook my head and realized the girl who I had almost dance collided with earlier was sitting between me and the pinball. It might have looked like I was staring at her, upon reflection, instead of inspecting the pinball dollar/ quarter holes.

"What?" I said. (Not the most graceful or polite response to mishearing someone. It was like 12:30, all the "Beg pardon"s were asleep.)
"Am I bothering you?"
"What? No! What?" I said.

She looked down at her phone.

"I'm just staring at the pinball like an idiot," I said, probably too quietly for her to hear. I then ran back to the bar to get more quarters.

Later, as I played pinball, she had been joined by two other people. I couldn't shake the weird notion that someone thought *I* was so bothered with her that I was just staring at her angrily and wordlessly. She had sounded almost scared of me, ridiculously apologetic, and like she was worried I would yell at her. When I realized that I desperately wanted to go back to her and explain that I wasn't that person at all, I was just an awkward dummy who loved pinball. But I didn't approach her again because her friends were there.

I kept eavesdropping and hearing the two other friends consoling the girl. It seemed like she had recently gone through a breakup of the s/he's just not into you variety. I heard a couple of key phrases like, "I wasn't trying to be annoying!" and "Am I not pretty enough?" and a few from her friends like "no texting them tonight!"

I caught a few extra looks and was surprised again by what I saw. The girl had long dark almost black hair, like mine, with heavy long thick bangs, like mine. She was wearing no makeup, like me, she had dark circles under her eyes from crying, like me. She was wearing a cute quirky dress, like me... She looked like a younger prettier version of me. I wanted so badly to hug her and tell her it was going to be okay.

I had almost had a panic attack today after being around people who don't like me all day, and then, exhausted and in need of a release, I had run to a sanctuary of pinball and beer, in an attempt to shake off my anxiety and loneliness. While there, in MY safe place, I had inadvertently scared someone and made them think I was angry with them. When she left the bar, I sat down on a stool for a second, and then burst into gushing silent tears.

Monday, July 13, 2015


I was five and not good at making friends yet. (And yes "yet" is optimistically overselling my later developed abilities.) My parents occasionally set me up on playdates, but I didn't pick those toddlers on any okcupid menu, so I lacked desire or drive to bond with these playdates. I had a brother and I had books, and that was good enough to fulfill my needs.

When I first started going to school I was instantly impressed and intimidated by how the other children made friends. Recess was terrifying to a five year old who had no idea how to interact with other five year olds. I followed other children quietly around the playground, watching them show affection like I was some kind of pigtailed voyeuristic Jack the Ripper.

Once a recess teacher (adult with whistle around neck) approached me, while I stood by some swings, staring at a few other little girls.

"Barb," said the adult. (I hate being called Barb.) "Why don't you go play with those girls?"

"I don't know them," I said. I didn't understand how these children knew each other well enough to play together. Were they all siblings? Had my parents unknowingly sent me to a cultish polygamous school? Were we going to sacrifice a goat later? I liked goats!

"That's okay," said the adult. "You can go play."
"But I have yet to be properly introduced," I said clearly, looking up at her.

She narrowed her eyebrows, squinting at me.

My friend and funny local comedian Sean Connery (yep, real name) has a joke: "If you've ever had your IQ tested, you were a weird little awkward kid." (SIC)
.... 130.

The adult leaned down and said, "Go introduce yourself then."

I followed the little girls as they ran across the playground, with me creeping a safe distance behind. They went into a small playhouse underneath a jungle gym. I remember thinking, "Perfect, only one way in and out! They're mine!" You know, like a fucking psychopath.

I entered the pink door to the playhouse. The two stranger children were sitting on the ground. I stood in the threshold staring at them. I grinned at them, proud of myself. I had done it! I had mustered up the courage to approach strangers!

"What?" said one of them.
"What are you doing?" said the other.

I realized I had no idea what to say. I was for the first time in my life (certainly not the last) overcome with a terror that I would say the wrong thing and make someone upset. I was such a sensitive kid that I could cry when people gave me certain types of attention, and I expected that others might have the same countenance I worried that by saying the wrong thing I might trigger that reaction. I continued to stand there, in the shadow of the plastic pink wall, the sun at my back, willing myself to think of something to say, maybe something to explain my behavior, maybe something to make them fall in love with me.

"Do you want something?" said the first little girl.
"Go away," said the second.

At this point that seemed like the best idea. But I still wanted to impress them, perhaps cement a respect or admiration for me in their mindset. I decided the best way to do this was to showcase my impeccable acrobatic skills and cartwheel out of there. Surely I was the only 5 year old lithe and aerobic enough to attempt something so dangerous as a cartwheel. They had probably never even seen a perfect cartwheel before, except on the Olympics.

I raised my arms, extended my front leg, pointed my toe and tumbled out the door, hitting my ankle hard and the doorway, crumpling to the ground in pain and anguish. My face turned bright red and I started crying and ran away before they could see me. I hid behind a tree for the rest of recess and made plans to spend this awful twenty minutes twice a day in the sanctuary of the library.

I have several friends now that I love very deeply, but I still struggle with my words around them. I still turn bright red when I'm trying to express myself. I constantly say the wrong thing and worry for days afterward that I've offended someone. I spend most of my evenings sitting near a group of cool comedians at a bar, desperate to join their huddle, but not knowing how to break into the conversation. Sometimes I will attempt to, I'll muster up the undeniable courage and audacity to attempt to connect with someone, but I'll say the wrong thing, and someone will either make fun of me, or just shut me out.

The cartwheels don't always work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Catptain's Log

5:00 am: I try to wake Babs up. I can't believe she prefers to sleep during the dark instead of the hot boring sun. I almost worry about her. I try to wake her up by sitting on her neck, and when that doesn't work I gently rub my paw through her hair. She groans and pushes me off bed.

5:10 am. It's definitely time to be awake and have breakfast. I paw at Babs' hair until she finally gets up. Rubbing hair is a good way to wake humans up because humans keep their consciousness in their hair. That's why Babs' hair is so messy.

5:15 am: Yay Breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yummy fishhy mush!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Babs is a good human. I trained her well.

8:30 am: Babs immediately went back to bed after breakfast. I allowed her to sleep more but this is ridiculous. I paw at her hair again. Then I climb on top of her torso and paw around in circles until I can tell she is officially annoyed. Then I lay down and purr loudly into her face.

9:00 am: Babs gets up and gets dressed. I try to tell her to feed us again but she is of the old fashioned conservative mindset that there should be only one breakfast, like highlander or something. She cleans up our shit, which is another good trick I taught her.

9:30am: Babs leaves house to go to a coffee shop to "write" "jokes." I pity her sad pathetic attempt at a liberal arts career. Not only has she chosen a path that will seldom produce profits, but she is not of the mental or emotional countenance to comply with mainstream ideas of humor, nor does she possess the strength to handle the constant rejection that will accompany her failings.

After Babs leaves, my little sister, known to me as Other Cat, have the house to ourselves. We commence with some pleasant licking of each other and then walking around and sitting in small places.

12:30pm: Babs returns from "writing." She tries to pet me but she smells like she's been petting neighbor's dogs. I glare at her for a while. She tries to take "selfies" with me to show the internet how much like a witch she looks. I comply for a few minutes and then roll on my back and fall asleep. She tries to wake me up for more selfies but it is now day time and therefore sleeping time. It's not my fault she slept through the entire night like a goddamn savage.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Note to self

Dear Five Year Old Babs,

Hey, you know when you turned in your "write numbers in correct order" assignment without your name on it, and the teacher had to ask you to write you name on it? Then you cried for about ten minutes because you felt so shitty that you had created extra work for your teacher. Asking you to write your name on an assignment isn't that much more work; spending ten minutes trying to calm down a screaming kindergarder IS extra work for your teacher.

Dear Eight Year Old Babs,

Stop counting your calories. You're 8. Don't let anyone make you feel weird if you want to eat veggies or apples or an entire jar of pickles and coke or herring or or olives or just mustard by itself.

Dear Nine Year Old Babs,

Good job getting your first detention for conducting a seance during recess and being too intranced to notice the bell ring. I'm proud of you.

Dear Ten year old Babs,

Good job getting sent to the principal's office for the first time for writing a story about a sad little girl alien instead of doing the math homework. Again, so proud.

Dear Eleven year old Babs,

Don't try to kill yourself by eating the air freshner packets that come with sneakers.

Dear Twelve year old Babs,

You're not a witch. Stop collecting tree branches and "herbs" (dead leaves) and circling them around yourself while you nap/cry and listen to The Smiths.

Dear Thirteen year old Babs,

oh, buddy, it's gonna be okay.

Dear Fourteen year old Babs,

It's just food, not love.

Dear 17 year old Babs,

Don't date people you don't like.

Dear 19 year old Babs,

Don't be sad when people you don't like break up with you. Also don't go crazy. Also eat something.

Dear 20 year old Babs,

Eat something. Oh no not that much, okay stop!

Dear 22 year old Babs,

So... you're just gonna lay on the couch, utterly exhausted for no reason, eating pizza and watching Buffy naked for three months?

Dear 23 year old Babs,

Don't fuck him, or him, or him, or...

Dear 24 year old Babs,

Be better at making real friends.

Dear 25 year old Babs,

Everyone doesn't hate you. You aren't hurting or burdening people by being around.

Dear 28 year old Babs,

You're gonna be okay.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Social Anxiety

There are many different types of anxiety, and subsequently many different types of social anxiety. My anxiety manifests like an intense terror/ nightmareish constant worry that I'm hurting people.

It feels like there's an invisible wall around my heart. The wall is not simply to keep me safe, but to keep others safe from me, to keep me imprisoned. When situations get stressful that wall feels like it's squeezing in, trying desperately to cage the darkness inside of me, and subsequently resulting in real physical symptoms such as chest pains and trouble breathing.

I have the kind of social anxiety where I feel fearful going into social situations because I'm worried I'm hurting people by being there. I feel guilty talking in pubic. I worry that all of my words can hurt people, which is why I've stopped ending sentences with "Avada Kadavra."

I feel anxious and guilty believing everyone I know feels unhappy when I am there. I feel genuine guilt for my presence, even with people I love dearly. I feel remorseful for my own existence, which is stupid, because I really should be blaming the mad scientists who brought me to life in their dungeon lab.

For most of my life I felt that everyone I love would be happier if I disappeared from existence, but partially because everyone I love is super into magic.

When I was about 22 a therapist asked me what I had done that I felt so guilty for. The question befuddled me. I was just a bad person, right? That was reason enough to feel intense guilt for existing and taking up space. I just assumed that the reason I had felt this much guilt was that I was simply inherently evil, which is silly because I don't even have a fluffy white cat sitting on my spinny chair.

My therapist pushed be to think way back to my childhood, and truthfully, there were two experiences that caused this intense lifelong guilt. When I was five I witnessed something terrible happen to someone I love, someone I was meant to protect and take care of. The adult who committed the act convinced me that it was my fault, and despite the lack of truth of that, I will carry this guilt for the rest of my life. Additionally, when I was 12 my parents had a huge fight and one of them left for a while, and I was the topic of the discussion. In both those situations I had inadvertently hurt people I deeply loved, and that guilt and complex can never fully be washed away.

Since realizing the source of my feelings of guilt and anxiety, I have gained control over my panic attacks. I guess I really was the one giving them to myself. There is no santa...?

However, every now and then I start to feel the same intense heart clutching anxiety that leads way into my old panic attacks. Right now I'm feeling similarly, like I can't go out to social gatherings without hurting people I care about. I'm scared to leave my house for fear of running into someone I know or like. I cry several times a day when I think about how much everyone must disdain me. I worry that every word out of my mouth is causing pain. Again, I am forced to ask myself, have I accidentally hurt people that I love?


Of course I didn't do it on purpose, but a few of the things I've said recently have been perceived as dismissive or hurtful. Also, my close association with some people who caused hurt to others aligned me with them in their mindset as untrustworthy.

Both of these things are bad. Neither of these things are so bad that I deserve to punish myself with crippling fear and apprehension before every sentence I utter. Neither of these things should make me cry guiltily for hours that everyone I care about would be better if I wasn't around. Nothing I've ever done is so bad that I should feel intense shame and physical pain regarding my own treatment of my friends. Punishing myself won't make anyone feel better.

The only things I can do are attempt to apologize, if I can. I should apologize for what I actually am sorry for, instead of internalizing that guilt as part of my personality and apologizing for every single tiny thing. Someone recently noticed I apologized to a stuffed animal in a comedy video, something I hadn't even noticed that I did.

Also, I can attempt to go forward and not repeat my actions, to be more aware and careful, to make a real attempt to spread love instead of darkness. I really do want to be a good person deep down. I only have hurt people in the past because I'm insecure and weak, easily manipulated by more charismatic individuals.

I'm terrified that I'll hurt more people with my actions and words, but if I let that social anxiety cripple me, I also lose the opportunity to help people with my actions and words. I need to go forth and spread love and compassion, and that will be the only way I can melt the inner wall I have up.