This week has been heated. Everyday seems to bring more controversy. I have a meeting with this person, a conference with that person, an argument here, a disagreement there and I am exhausted. It is bad enough that all of this negativity is happening in the middle of the “the most wonderful time of the year” (Why do we tend to fight this time of year??), but it is made even worse by the way my body responds to controversy.
I am obviously a very anxious person who does not deal well with stressful situations, so it should come as no surprise that my body wants to shut down and give up when faced with any argument or serious discussion. If my someone wants a meeting with me about basically anything I am instantly sick to my stomach. I cannot eat lunch, any food I previously ate does not stay down, and I come close to canceling the meeting because I definitely came down with the stomach flu. It’s not until an hour after the meeting ends that my body calms down enough for my appetite to return.
During any argument where I have to defend myself it shows in my hands. My hands already tend to shake for no real reason (big thanks to my Dad’s genes for that), but standing up for myself puts my nerves on edge. My hands shake and tremble so much that I do everything possible to not show or use my hands. I have been hiding my tendencies to panic for years, but shaking hands are a dead give away, so I try to keep them under wraps.
Then there is the sweating. O.M.G. Why? Why God?? Why do I sweat so much? Girls are not supposed to sweat like this, right? The tiniest case of nerves can lead to a pit stain disaster. Note to self: never ever wear grey to a meeting, and always keep deodorant on hand. It’s bad enough that I have to finish a meeting with a shaky, sweaty hand; no one needs to see or smell just how nervous I am.
Beyond these wonderful little side effects of controversy, is the fact that I have no control over my facial expressions. I am terrible at hiding my feelings. No matter how hard I try to hide the fact that I am mad, sad, tired, sick, annoyed, frustrated, scared, upset, or nervous it is written all over my face. I often think that I am doing a great job at faking it. Like, damn I am so smooth this person has no clue how furious I am, only to be asked by ten different people “Is something wrong?” or “Are you mad?”
Not to mention that when I get angry red splotches start to appear on my chest and slowly creep all the way up my neck towards my face. It’s lovely. One of my high school teachers actually had this problem, and we use to make fun of how we always knew when she was about to explode because we could read her red meter of splotches. Now, all I can say is Karma sucks.
The absolute worst part about my nerves is that I cry. Ever since I was very young I have cried anytime I got in any amount of trouble or anytime I got angry. I cannot help the tears. I try; I really try to hold back for fear of looking weak, but the tears find their way out at some point. I am pretty good at holding back in any sort of professional setting, but the second I get out of a difficult meeting or tough conference I run to the bathroom to let it all out, the tears that is… It is just how my body releases all of that pent up anger and stress. It’s different with Husband, or with my parents, or anyone else on that level. No matter how hard I try not to, I cry. I hate hate hate crying in front of Husband when I am angry. It feels like all my strength and validity are out the window at that point.
The bright side to my controversial week is that I survived and stayed strong. It is not easy for me to stand up for myself, or what is right, or just, or fair, but that has been the theme this week. I am mentally and physically exhausted from all of the debates. I am so worn out that I am drinking coffee at 8pm just to stay awake long enough to write this and maybe wrap a few presents. (I have currently wrapped none.) However, I am so proud of myself and happy that I did what I had to do without a panic attack and without giving up. In the long run, things have worked out for the best.
Two more days until I am Nashville bound where I plan to do nothing but eat, sleep, and spend lots of time with people I love. No fighting.