It's that time of year when the kids are back to school, providing me some relief from the constant whining and sibling rivalry of the summer. But it also kicks my anxiety into high gear. Because school brings kids, teachers, coaches and parents. In other words, humans. And forces me into situations where I must meet and talk to new people. People who don't know I'm desperately shy and socially anxious. And that this is the reason I'm not making eye contact or small talk and I've placed myself at the the back of the room. Or my back is turned to them.
Making me appear to be a snobby bitch.
(Which I'm not by the way. Really.)
I have tried to be more social and stop the vicious cycle. Over and over again. But, if you're not a shy introvert (yes, one can be an introvert and not be plagued with shyness) you may not know how physically painful and completely exhausting social interactions can be. And that for me to have enough reserve energy to feign "normal", I need pre-event downtime to mentally prepare. And downtime after to process it. Or in other words, a generous post interaction period to berate myself for all the stupid things I said and dwell on what I should have said instead in hindsight.
But I don't have this time because I'm busy!
(Ok, I admit, I DO always make time for the berating portion.)
So, while I have developed an innate skill for avoiding pleas for PTO members, room moms, field trip volunteers or anything else that requires human interaction, getting to know moms so they will allow their kid to have a play date with my kid is a priority. To do this, I must convince them I'm not the serial killer I may appear to be at first meeting.
Which of course, leads right back to the beginning.
(This may take the whole school year....)
Suggested Reading: My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
Quiet by Susan Cain