I read a lot. I have Opinions. Why haven’t I been sharing?
Therein lies a tale.
Here’s the story of why I haven’t been inflicting my reading list or any other media adventures on people for…about a year now? Yeah.
I stopped doing it when the sharing started hurting. That happened after I received one too many remarks meant (I think, in retrospect) as compliments. Things like “I could never read that much/you are always reading/how can you get anything else done/So many? I’m lucky I read a book a year/ how do you find the time?” Etc, etc.
I find admiration and envy difficult to parse through. A lot of it comes down to tone, and when I even suspect I’ve made someone else feel inadequate or envious, I have an unavoidable reaction.
I stop doing it. Sometimes forever.
Yeah. I know. Not rational, not proportional, but also…not negotiable.
I was taught many lessons at a young age about the awfulness of flaunting, bragging, or acting superior. So when I get a sense that anyone thinks I’m being a self-absorbed egotistical, conceited asshole about (whatever it is) I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. Or the head. Or both.
It really, physically hurts. And every time I think about the activity, it hurts just as badly, all over again. If I shut up and go away & don’t DO whatever-it-is, it stops hurting.
So. That’s why posts about Stuff I do when I’m not writing comes and goes in fits & starts, and why one of my original blog staples — lists of tedious daily life accomplishments–rarely get posted at all now. (It was making someone feel guilty about not getting as much done, and that sucked all the joy out of it.)
So far, people still universally like hearing about the new house & baking things. That’s why those topics have taken over the blog.
Here’s a happy new twist.
Not-so-long ago I learned that not everyone processes idle remarks as kick- in- the- gut personal condemnations. My kind of reaction to perceived negative feedback is called “rejection sensitivity dysphoria,” and it skips along hand-in-hand with sky-high energy levels, an interest-based attention span, and sensory sensitivities. It’s a real thing.
It isn’t me being thin-skinned, overreacting or childish, it’s just wiring at work.
IT’S SO FUN TO BE ME.
(another fun fact: pair up boundless physical energy with chronic pain/fatigue and you get a result that looks like perfectly normal from average viewing distance! It’s nothing like normal from the inside, where I can feel exhausted even while doing a lot and hurt all the time but can neglect self care because (squirrel!) means I forget to notice. The pairing goes a long way towards explaining how I’ve flown under the diagnostic radar all these years.)
BUT I DIGRESS. As fucking usual.
ANYway. It’s been long enough that the achy, scrapey bruised pain about reading lists has dulled to a bearable level, and also I want to use this new self-awareness of my reactions to break free of the rejection cycle in the future.
So I’ll be giving it yet another try. Next post, I’ll catch up on What I’ve Been Reading Since New Year. It’ll be synopsis edition, but IT WILL HAPPEN.