“Hello, how are you?”
I freeze in fear, no words to say. Oh I could be polite and try to answer you but the words stick in my throat. Such a simple sentence to others, perhaps, but to me it is like being asked to name every country in the world and it's regions in a reverse language.
The sheer thought of speaking to anyone terrifies me, the very notion of being around people is enough to cause a cold sweat and hyperventilation. How do I answer? What do I say? Should I just scream in fear and run for my life, likely running into a door or a wall without any thought of why it was done other than the desire to be away from being spoken to?
I know you are merely being polite, neighbourly, but my deep fear of being around people and social situations has me trembling in fear within and maybe that fear is showing on the outside. Why do I have to be so fearful of being spoken to, of anyone seeing me? Why?
Breathe, just breathe, be calm, you've faced this many times before. Oh yes, and almost ran away screaming. Coward.
Not a coward, just...socially inept. Okay, yes, I'm terrified and probably going to wet myself in pure, utter terror at being spoken to, but I am no coward.
I am no coward. Breathe, answer, run back instead and curl up in a ball and eat chocolate. Yes, sounds like a plan. A good plan.
How long as it is been since I was spoken to? Feels like hours but I think it's been less than a second. Less than a second of multiple scenarios of fearful reactions coming to mind.
Introverted, uncomfortable, awkward around people, I've heard many words used to describe my unease in social situations and when around others. Either works. I am not a people person, in no way a social butterfly. My own company is enough for me, silence is my music, solitude is my haven.
There are so many important words I could say, I know that, so many people I could meet and so many places I could go to but something in me for as long as I have lived makes it hard for me to feel comfortable amid people.
The larger the crowd of people, the more paralysed from fear I feel. Being around anyone makes me so tired and I feel like I'm going to pass out there and then, while when I am on my own I am more energetic and content.
Being this way tends to be looked down on by a largely extroverted society that thinks that people like me are freaks. We are not freaks, we are just wired differently.
Not even a second has passed since you spoke to me, I need to answer. I can do this, breathe.
“Hello, I'm okay” I manage to squeak without any scream of fear. You smile, nod, and resume on your way. That second felt like an eternity to me.
I need chocolate, badly need to calm down. Before someone else speaks to me.