Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oops, I didn't mean to stare!

I wanted to share a little story from today. Here it goes:

Today after working later than expected... [insert violins and pity sounds.. aww]... I decided that since I had an hour before Charlie got home I would drive on over to the grocery store.

Now, before I continue with the story because I'm good at getting sidetracked there's something you may not know about me from my blog because I haven't talked about it. I have a little bit of a phobia that came to light when I was 18-19 (I'm 26 yrs now). It wasn't just a 'little' thing when it started but now I do a pretty damn good job at controlling it. You can call it whatever you'd like but they called it Agoraphobia. Doing much research on the topic I never felt I fit all of the 'qualifications' to be defined by such a word, but anyways that's what I have.

To this day I have no idea how it started as I'm pretty outgoing and love talking to people. It started when I would have panic attacks going out in public and it just got worse. I couldn't go places by myself and times I would get somewhere I would freeze up and could not go in (a restaurant for example). Charlie has always been so patient and truly amazing with this, I can't even begin to explain how much!

Getting back to the story! Today I ventured to the grocery store by myself, so please understand that's a HUGE deal for me! I drove to where I felt most comfortable, walked around grabbed some stuff.. well not just stuff, steak!! I was in there for only 10 minutes and so I proceeded to the checkout line. Cashed out, bing, bang boom and headed on out. I got a nice smile and a 'hello there' from a cute, little old man as he passed me.

I was then at my car trying to get situated holding my purse, keys, cell phone and 4 bags. As I'm trying to open my door this man walks bye. He was tall, slender, holding one bag and here's the catch.. he was having one intense conversation. He had no bluetooth in his ear, no cell phone in his hand and was walking alone. I didn't realize I was staring until we locked eyes and he stopped dead in his tracks. He looked down and continue walking, excusing himself from his own conversation. I looked away quickly but it was too late..

There I was disapointed with myself. I've never been one to stare. I wasn't staring at him with bad intentions. I know that one of my thoughts that went through my head was is he okay? Did something just happen inside the store that had him upset? I was staring because I didn't know the answers and I couldn't just ask. I feel terrible for staring because it caused him to stop his conversation. He felt insecure because of me. That's awful. It's awful that society has left us where we care so much what others think. Shame on me! If I could relive that moment again I would have freed a hand, waived and smiled at him. Maybe not waived because realistically there was too much in my hands, but I would have smiled and not stared..

Note to all: I talk to myself ALL day. I talk to myself when I walk, in the car, even when someone is next to me which in turn confuses them. ♥