I’m neurotic. Let’s just get that out of the way. When I taught my intro psychology class about mental illness, I brought in my copies of DSM-IV-TR and DSM 5 to discuss classification and diagnosis. But I told them they could only look at them from afar because I couldn’t stand the thought of their germy little hands sullying the pages of my precious books (I don’t even like the DSM, but I’m this way with all of my books!). And if a bee, or flying anything that could be mistaken as a bee, flies near me I scream and cry and wave my arms about while my daughter glares at me for my embarrassing antics. And the sound of people eating makes me want to scream/barf/become violent. So, I’m neurotic.
My friends know me well enough to find my neuroses endearing (or I like to think they find them endearing, anyway).
Now, in spite of my many neuroses (the three mentioned are the tip of the ice berg) I’m cool as a cucumber when it comes to dating. A guy I like stops texting me? I forget about him in 2.5 seconds (and that’s a generous estimate). Someone doesn’t like me? Cool, their loss. Only hear from him when he wants something? Whatever; everybody wants something from somebody. In dating, I’m pretty nonchalant.
I would say the difference is that I have finally found something I am afraid to lose. But holy sweet Jesus has it made me neurotic! He’s a busy guy, if you recollect (being that he’s a med student).
A few weeks ago I texted my best friend of 15 years who knows me better than just about anybody (and who is fully aware of my neurotic tendencies) in. a. panic. Of full-blown proportions. I hadn’t heard from my guy in a whopping 12 hours. She talked me down. Told me I was overreacting. Of course, I ignored her and continued to overreact and bring to mind all of the awful scenarios I could think of – he’d suddenly decided he didn’t like who I am as a person; he’d met someone else nearer to him; he’d changed his mind about loving me. Neurotic!
And then he texted me and I told my friend all was well. At which we both laughed at my catastrophic thinking and she gave me the ol’ “I told you so”. And all was well in my world.
Until this past Friday. It’s been a whirlwind few days. He and I texted back and forth Friday. Until 1:25pm (the time of the last reply I’d received from him). In the interest of moderating my neuroses, I shrugged it off (as much as I could). I refused to let myself overreact. His last texts were “I love you” followed by “I miss you”, after all. I didn’t text him again in case he was busy and I was being a nuisance. Then Saturday morning (5-something am) rolled around and I sent a “good morning, I’m on my way to the airport” text. Because I was heading out of town for a training retreat. I didn’t expect a reply.
At 8am, when I landed in TO, I sent another text saying I’d arrived safely and that I hoped he’d have a good day. No reply.
I pushed it out of my head (I’m lying; I was obsessing by this point with above mentioned scenarios, and many more proliferating as time passed), and absorbed myself in the training workshop. It was a really intense day, with a session around residential schools and their impact on a colonized people. Highly impacting. Highly emotionally charged. So we’re at this part in the day where we’re role playing the removal of indigenous children from their homes. And I get an incoming call. I was going to ignore it but it was an unfamiliar number and I am out of town, so just in case it was something important, I answered. It was Dilico (a branch of CAS). They’d gotten a report that I was out of town and that I’d left my 9-year-old daughter home alone (thanks to her asshole paternal grandmother and/or uncle for that, as far as I can gather). And if you didn’t catch that – this call came in during an intense experiential workshop around removal of children from homes. Let’s just say I lost it. I was emotionally drained. I dialled my guy’s number. I didn’t care if he was busy; I needed him. It went straight to voicemail.
The last time I hadn’t heard from him for more than 12 hours, it was because his phone hadn’t been working. I’d kept that in mind even though this time it had been more than 24 hours. But now I’m highly emotionally triggered, I’m crying my face off, I’m angry and frustrated and I need him. So I’m trying to stay positive but I start wondering if he’s blocked my phone number. Or if he’s dying. Because basically my brain is an asshole and I worry excessively.
My wonderful father ended up talking me down from my freak out. He’s a social worker. And by this time I’d had the social worker who’d called me confirm that my daughter was indeed safe. So that was sorted. But I was still out of sorts about this guy.
Today my friend sent me a message on Facebook to inquire about all this nonsense with CAS. I filled her in, and then told her about my non-contact and all of the dire circumstances I could imagine. Literally minutes after sending her my tirade about my ridiculous fears, I received an email from the guy. He’s been sick in bed since Friday. His phone is missing because he let his daughter play with it and he hasn’t been well enough to get out of bed, let alone search for his phone. I relayed this news to my friend who relayed that she was rolling her eyes at me. And well she should be!
So, I guess this is what it’s like to care? I’m ambivalent about whether or not I like it. On the one hand, being in love is nice and caring about someone is fulfilling. But then there’s the neurotic side. And he’s not aware of just how neurotic I am, so he probably thinks that not texting me because he’s sick is perfectly acceptable. (Which, logically, it is… But it certainly causes me tremendous anxiety).
Anyway, I’ve booked my next flight to visit him and everything is peachy. Minus the stupid CAS bullshit that I’ll have to deal with when I return home, but at least I know my guy isn’t dying or out of love with me!