Neurotic Owl

flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread

No, I really am. It’s okay.

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You know that feeling where the self-loathing and frustration and anger and hurt all just pile up reeeeeeeally slowly, so slowly that you can’t always tell it’s happening until some tiny thing happens — or sometimes nothing at all, it’s just time — and your seething poisonous misery lava flows out over everyone, destroying the innocent towns in its path?  I hope you don’t know that feeling, actually, but odds are pretty good that you do.

I feel like people get confused by my occasional freakouts because all they see is a tiny triggering event, so it seems like I’m hugely overreacting to one thing instead of being filled up by ALL THE THINGS till I explode.  Weekend before last was Yom Kippur, which is not exactly a fun holiday but is usually contemplative and ok, as long as I don’t try to fast.  This year, Yom Kippur was marked for me by a growing feeling of claustrophobia and tetchiness as my mother’s exceedingly touchy-feely congregation kept getting inside my personal space — emtional and physical — until finally, when they formed a circle for Havdalah and I backed to the farthest polite spot possible away from the hand-holding, and they then expanded the circle right to me and grabbed my hands regardless, I couldn’t take any more and burst into tears and left the room.  That probably seemed rude/crazy/overly dramatic, but I was so freaked out by all the unwanted attention and advice and TOUCHING, oh my god don’t touch me, that I just couldn’t stop it.

And I get that Kol Halev likes to hug, and hold hands, and put their arms around each other’s shoulders, and share our innermost secrets, but it gives me soul hives.  Unfortunately, that synagogue seems to be of the belief that someone who hates to be hugged just needs to be hugged more until their hearts swing open and they are filled with love and light and shoot me now, please.

And I have to go back, because my mother loves that shul, but god, do I hate it.  It makes me dread going to synagogue, and I feel like that should not be the case.  So please, unless you’re my friend, just back off.  Otherwise you’ll get the awkward lava, and nobody likes that.

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One comment on “No, I really am. It’s okay.

  1. ccoshow
    September 24, 2013

    Have you spoken with your mom about this? Does she do the thing where she looks at you quizzically, then says, “There’s nothing wrong with hugging; they’re just showing that they love you.” And then she assumes you’ll be coming back? I got that from my dad a lot.

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