Therapy

(First: I wrote something yesterday for conflicted Conservatives in Alabama. If you know any, could you share it before we vote tomorrow? I’d love to make sure those conservatives who dislike Moore don’t waste their votes by writing in a different Republican or skipping voting all together.)

ATTENTION! I lost my coverage for therapy so this is Kim’s therapy session and you all are my therapists.

You are welcome.

I’ve told you all the story before about my terrible behavior in my early 20s and how it all caught up to me and I (for good reason) lost all my friends and was stuck in a town where I couldn’t escape my sins. The perfect moment was when I walked up to a grew of people I knew who were hacky-sacking between classes and I was going to join in (like I was prone to do) and they were talking about how terrible of a person I was and how my kid was doomed with me as his Mom. And they weren’t exactly wrong.

That was the birth of my social anxieties that I’ve spent the last few years trying to overcome.

Well, we’ve had some drama in our local running/tri community over the last year and watching it unfold and watching people take sides and hearing the “He said,” and “She said,” crap has really triggered all of my social anxieties that I’ve fought so hard to overcome. I was called a bully for my “role” in it (which was non-existent, I can assure you) and I now hear that accusation in my head on a daily basis. The difference this time is that I have done absolutely NOTHING WRONG and it turns out when you have done nothing wrong? This shit is even harder to deal with.

I can’t go anywhere now in the running/tri community without fighting extreme anxieties and voices in my head thinking, “But where does THIS person fall? Do they think I’m a bully? Has this person been trash-talking people I respect and care for? Has this person been trash-talk ME? Does this person believe the lies that have been making the rounds? Does this person believe lies about ME?”

To say it has ruined my life is not really an understatement.

Y’all know I love volunteering at races, right? Well this weekend was the marathon and for the first time in years I didn’t volunteer at it. Now, I was there. I was there outside for five hours cheering on my friends in the cold, because I still support my friends, but I didn’t want to be an official volunteer because my social anxieties have catapulted into extreme levels and I find myself really struggling to be in groups of active members of this community and not having the voices inside my head working overtime to push me into hiding.

I’m even struggling with my Sunday running group. Now, part of that is this respiratory crap which will NOT go away, but part of me is happy it won’t go away because even that group – which is my heart and soul – causes me anxiety when regulars from the running community show up. Regulars who have said to me directly that I’m part of the problem with this drama. And seeing them makes me focus 100% on not crying because my feelings are SO VERY HURT and it’s really hard to lead a running group when you are trying not to cry. And it’s really hard to commit to ANYTHING when the people who make you want cry might show up.

The difference between now and in my 20s is that I know I’ve done nothing wrong, but there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. And even worse, people I respect are being trash talked and I can’t do anything about that either. I’m supposed to take the “high road” which is really hard and makes the physical manifestations of my social anxieties skyrocket, and this is exactly why I avoid it all.

But I don’t want this to be the case. I want to run with groups again. I want to attend social events and meetings and not have the voices in my head working against me. And I don’t want my heart to hurt so much over this stuff. The crazy thing is, there are people who are getting seriously trashed in all of this and they can continue to do their jobs and be part of the community, and so why can’t I? Obviously they don’t suffer from crippling social anxieties, but THEY SHOULD!

So, blog readers. What would my therapist tell me to do?

10 thoughts on “Therapy”

  1. I’m not sure what your therapist would suggest. I can tell you what has worked for me when I’ve experienced trash talking and blame professionally. The main thing I’ve done is to make sure I have “backup” in situations where I may be facing a difficult person or repercussions from what they’ve said about me. My backup is friends who I know will support me, either by responding directly to that person or by supporting me, being the voice outside my head countering the one inside. I have one friend who has been all that and others who have done parts of it. I did avoid situations for a while. I do not believe that you have been or ever can be a bully, so I’d be willing to stand up for you and to be a positive voice outside your head. I hate what has happened in our community. I wish I knew a way to make it better for everyone.

  2. Hey there, I was reading another post on another blog this morning and it made me think of you and your post today.

    The quotes she references, I think could really be applicable to your life right now. Even her title of her post was relevant, ‘You are not responsible for other people’s opinions.’

    Anyways, you might want to check it out. I hope you are able to find a resolution that makes sense to you 🙂

    http://www.farmgirlmiriam.ca/2017/11/you-are-not-responsible-for-other.html

  3. I don’t know specifically the situation to which you refer but I do remember feeling very uncomfortable with overheard trail conversations from way back that had me thinking you were deliberately being courted for some sort of unsustainable untenable future advocacy on their behalf.

    When you perceive yourself vulnerable, I’d say lean in hard toward those with whom you’ve had no negative previous experience.
    Also, continue to know that you indeed have done nothing wrong….NOTHING!!

  4. Unfortunately there are those who feed on drama and if it is not there, they will create it. Please don’t let them steal your joy!!

    I am totally out of the loop because I have no idea about all this drama that is occurring. If you want to run on a Sunday morning, holla. I saw Donnie and Wes up on the mountain while I was running yesterday. 😀

  5. I’m not positive this applies to this specific situation, but when I happened upon it last night (through REALLY-WEIRD-SHOULDN’T-HAVE-HAPPENED avenues, which makes me believe it was “meant to be”) I did think it was something you’d like and something that could be useful to you, so I’m going to paste it here. Read the whole thing, not just the beginning, then disregard.

    Hang in there, Kim.

    https://www.aubreymarcus.com/blogs/aubrey-marcus/the-toltec-way-to-ruthless-self-love

  6. Wait…the way I worded that sounds like I meant to read the whole thing and then disregard. That’s not what I meant, lol. I meant don’t just read a little of it and say, “Nah…” Read the whole thing.
    Smiles, Lucy

  7. Holy CrapI So your volunteer job has caused you severe anxiety. The obvious path for you would be to not run again. But- you are doing a great job. I was aware of the divide originally, but had no idea it had gotten to a have to pick sides issue. I don’t have a side- My side is way on the outside. You are far from a bully- Remember that women that stand their ground are called bossy or bullies- men are not. I haven’t heard any thing and I sit at finish lines. I don’t run . If the conversations go to the BS- walk away or shut it down by saying, I do not want to talk about thisI am so sorry that this has hurt your running. Thank you for being out there Saturday The end of the race is where supporters need to be. Next year- volunteer for me. I will put you way out in Nether lands- like the Space and Rocket center or in one of the SW neighborhoods. Or work at the Tri club spirit team tent

  8. My running club had drama a few years ago my course of action (well being drs ordered on the sidelines for months because of a high risk pregnancy) of trying my best to ignore is probably not recommended. My club ended up fracturing for a bit and losing all leadership for awhile and has taken time to rebuild.

    I don’t have great advice, hopefully dust will settle, people will realize you only mean the best and people can go on. In the meantime maybe you can just run with a friend or two instead of meeting up with he unknown of the group drama. I know for me the friends I’ve made through running are invaluable to my mental health and it’s horrible you are experiencing negative feelings.

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