I’m Sorry, Neighbors

Me in black and white

I’m sorry.

I am sorry, neighbors, that I look at you with terrified eyes when you try to say “Hi” while I am walking. That I rapidly turn and scurry in the other direction when I see you even begin to leave your front door. That I would rather pass by a huge black snake than you and your dog.

I am sorry, neighbors, that social anxiety seizes me and propels me away from other humans. That my heart begins to shake whenever I see a car drive by me. That I envision each person around kidnapping, torturing, and killing me.

I am sorry, neighbors, that I am too scared to find a new place to walk, so I walk in circles around just one block for an hour. That I scowl when your dog begins to bark at me and brings attention to my presence. That my head is always down looking at the music on my phone so that I do not need to interact with others.

One day, I hope to be that neighbor that introduces herself to others. Who bakes cookies to welcome new people into the neighborhood like we did when I was little. Who is known for her quick smile and kindness.

Until then, I will be the weird person who keeps going on walks and avoids all humans. Until then.

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5 thoughts on “I’m Sorry, Neighbors

  1. mewhoami says:

    This must be difficult and I feel for you. I tend to shy away from human involvement at times as well; usually during times of internal turmoil. However, I find that not only is it kind to communicate with others, but even more so, it also helps me to climb out of my self-made black hole…even if it’s just a little bit.

  2. MicheleV says:

    pretending like I am an actress has helped me some. but, i too avoid eye contact with people. The worst for me is when I am walking in the store, or when we are somewhere (like Omaha this last weekend) and I can feel people staring at me and it makes me just freak out on the inside. Honestly it is usually black or mexican men, and it drives me insane (in a bad way) I always wonder what they are looking at… and I avoid eye contact at all cost. Then there is that awkward moment when i accidentally make eye contact with a stranger, so what do I do? smile? look away quickly I am always afraid if I smile I will be perceived as being too friendly. (I do not have this problem with old people or children) I have high anxiety and get stressed easily… but if I HAVE to (as it seems you have done also in your disney job?) I can preform and be the star of the show. When I truly like people I have no trouble opening up.. but I dont give trust easily, and I always have to push the anxious thoughts away. I have found I am MUCH WORSE when I do not get enough sleep… which is hard as a mom, and as a mom that wants more children, but is afraid. Then there is the post postpartum depression….. it is better now, but, I choose not to medicate, so i have extreme highs and extreme lows, but prayer reallly does help me. That and focusing on someone else or singing a God song when I am in the worst of it. Hugs.

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