Was It Something I Said?

I come to you today to talk about a scary subject for me, because it inevitably becomes a spiral of self-loathing and franticness that makes it impossible to do anything but rock back and forth and cry hysterically.

I'm talking about paranoia, and I'm chock full of it.

Now, I am (luckily enough) not a person with paranoid schizophrenia, so I don't think the government is bugging my phone, or that witches live in my head. No, my paranoia is more reality-based, in that I find myself questioning everything I do or say, the voice in my head telling me 

"No one cares, no one wants to hear your shit, everyone hates you, you should just shut up, you wretched waste of a person, you are disgusting, so selfish, so self-centered, so BAD. Everyone hates you, you know. Everyone. And if they don't hate you know, you'll do something to make them hate you because you are such a fucking waste." 

And merrily we roll along.

I had someone on Twitter smack me down the other day, saying that I was an attention whore, that my need for validation was pathetic. I almost threw up. Because that's what the voice in my mind says, all the time, and hearing it from an outside source…well that's a constant fear (terror) that I have all the time. I was being validated, all right, validated in all the ugliness that lives in my mind and my heart.

I don't blame anyone for my paranoia. No one else out there is doing anything, my rationality says, to encourage or enforce what my brain says to me. 

(I had to stop and cross myself right then cause I heard sirens, and if I don't cross myself, something bad will happen)

Anyway, I don't blame anyone. When I'm on an email conversation, as I was last night, and friends of mine are chatting back and forth, I sat there looking at all the messages and I started hysterically crying. Not because of anything anyone said, but because that voice was telling me this:

"You don't belong. No one likes you. Your feelings, your opinions, are moot. No one cares. You might as well not even exist, and why should you? You're a bad person, a pathetic attention whore who deserves to sit alone in your apartment every day and night totally isolated, because who in their right mind would want to be around you?"

As I write this, the voice is screaming at me that this is all just a pathetic cry for attention. It's not, it's all I can do just to explain why sometimes I go into hiding completely, or I run from social events, or why sometimes I can't stop crying and no one knows why. It all comes down to the flashing lights on the billboard in my mind:

"No one loves you, and no one ever will. Because you don't deserve it."

So when i write these rambling blog entries, and I sit here writhing in self-loathing that A: no one will read it, B: no one will care C: people WILL read it and be so put off by my unbelievable amount of narcissism that they'll write all over the internet that I suck, or whatever my brain has decided to torture me with today, that's what I am thinking. 

And now it is, of course, time for apologies.

I'm sorry I whine and moan and complain. I'm sorry I'm an attention whore. I'm sorry that I take what I have for granted and nothing is ever good enough. I'm sorry that I'm a bad, bad person. I'm so sorry.

And that? This whole entry? That's paranoia. That's what goes on in my head 24/7. 

I just wanted to write it down, in case I'm not the only one. If it happens to you too, I want to give you a huge hug and tell you everything is going to be okay. That you're not the only one. And I'm here to help you in any way. Hell, if I can't help myself, I sure as hell should be helping other people, right?

Oh god, I'll shut up now. Please don't be too disgusted. 

This is paranoia. That hateful, cruel bitch, paranoia. 



Was It Something I Said? — 50 Comments

  1. Don’t listen to the haters. We’re all different in our own way and some may like it, some may not. You can’t make all the people happy all the time. Just know that you have followers out there who like you just the way you are πŸ™‚

  2. I think this is honest, not a cry for attention. Sometimes I think the people who feel it necessary to knock others down are simply jealous or envious of the fact that you can speak about your problems in an honest and real way.
    And you are not alone. Believe me.

  3. “I just wanted to write it down, in case I’m not the only one.”
    Silly Banshee. The only one? That’s EVERYONE. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t have that playing on repeat in their brain. F’reals.
    The difference is some people have shitty chemical pumps in their brain that shoot the volume through the roof… which is of course what you really mean, but I just want it on pixels. Every. One. Does it.

  4. wait, WHAT? people are calling you an “attention whore” because you’re writing in YOUR OWN PERSONAL SPACE about STUFF THAT AFFECTS YOU? and that’s wrong … HOW, exactly?
    god, i HATE PEOPLE sometimes. you are pouring your heart out here, on MISSBANSHEE-GOTDAMN-DOT-COM, and people are JUDGING you for it. judging YOU. on YOUR DOMAIN. (well, on twitter, but whatever, you know what i mean.)
    want for me to googlestalk them and send them flaming bags of poo in the mail?

  5. too much life of the mind, abstract. you need to do something tactile and to be in the moment. something simple, eat a piece of fruit slowly and concentrate on the sensation, brush a pet, get or give a massage, just sit outside and watch the birds… whatever, you get the point (I think). Too much weight is given to the abstract and not enough given to the physical because the abstract is looked upon as being more advanced than the physical. Get back to the physical and being in the moment would be my 2 cents πŸ™‚

  6. Big *HUG* for you.
    I don’t know why hugs help so much, but they do. And the bonus of hugging someone is that you get hugged in the process.
    I recently had to explain to a newly-important person in my life that if they wanted to stop getting hysterical phone calls, they needed to plan to hug me every few days. We now have scheduled hugging.

  7. One of the most influential and respected bloggers out there links to you frequently, helping to give you a larger audience bc he sees insight in your writings. Thats why I’m here. And any person who spews hate either has unaddressed issues of their own or is so unselfaware that they don’t deserve 2nd thought. And while I think you would admit your writings provide a comfort for yourself, please know they also give silent others a simple knowledge that hey, I’m not the only one whose mind runs at warp speed sometimes.

  8. Ummm…isn’t this YOUR blog?!? Seems to me that writing out your emotions is incredibly healthy. You are reaching people. Chew up the meat and spit out the bones!

  9. Not disgusted at all. The fact that you recognize it for what it is, and you own it, means that you’re already about a thousand times healthier than most of the people out there with the same issue.

  10. I have the same thing. So hugs right back to you. We’ll just keep on keepin’ on.
    Oh, and therapy. Yea. I’ll keep doing that too.

  11. Oh wow. Once again, you’ve written down my words. When I have a really bad day (or night) that’s exactly what my “demon voices” sound like. That’s exactly what they tell me. And I know they’re wrong, but I am so terrified that they’re right. Fortunately, I don’t have bad days all that often. Of course, mine add in the following:
    “You’re fat and ugly and of course your boyfriend is going to cheat on you. Because why wouldn’t he? You’re awful and you deserve it.” And I know he’s not… but it still sucks a lot.
    You are amazing to be able to share this. I just linked from my livejournal page and asked my friends to all come read this.
    The person who called you an attention whore on twitter will burn in the special hell.

  12. One of my friends on facebook has this quote on his page:
    “About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”
    And those who don’t like you? Tough.
    But try not to be so hard on yourself…

  13. I, for one, have found the honesty in your blog and your tweets to be refreshing. There isn’t any one of us that doesn’t have *some* sort of problem with which we wrestle; many of us have several.
    Your blog is not only your voice for yourself, but it also gives a voice for people who may be suffering from paranoia or other things, and who may NOT be able to give a voice to themselves. Your blog tells others that they aren’t alone, that at least one other person also suffers. And that does give hope.
    Writing is great catharsis. It also helps one to organize one’s responses and see how things are running in one’s mind, to better tackle anything unpleasant. Eventually you may find clarity and even some healing; if someone else also finds that, then it’s even more worthwhile.
    In short, keep on keepin’ on. I applaud you, and I have a feeling that most of your readers and Twitter followers also applaud you.

  14. i relate 1000%, in every sense of the word. ive never once had a relationship with anyone that i didnt beleive would stop loving me and walk away. when it is your own mind that betrays you, what else can you do but confess? tell on it? i havent been able to come up with a better solution than that.

  15. I second what Rockle said, and add this: If blogging is a cry for attention (which it is), then we’re ALL attention whores. The more the merrier! You’re in great company. Why the hell else are we doing this, if not to get people to read and respond? Being a writer is being an attention whore. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.

  16. Sorry chica, you ain’t gettin’ rid of me THAT easily.
    I like what rico said about abstract vs. tactile. I think that’s something EVERYONE could benefit from – since EVERYONE goes through this at some point, in some form. You’re just brave enough to talk about it.
    And yeah, that guy was a total douchenozzle.
    (PS, totally off-the-wall here, but with the sparkly hat and the blue bathrobe, you remind me of a Snowbaby figurine. Hee!)

  17. The best thing anyone ever taught me about paranoia was that it was like an ice pick that you keep stabbing yourself in the eye with. You have to set it down. You have to go to your adult place, because it’s the little kid in us that’s afraid of everything, and if the kids is in the driver seat of your life, you will wreck into something…if the adult is in the driver seat…well, you will get to your destination as safely as possible.
    Good luck with your writing! Jesterboots

  18. What TC said. Also? I frequently send people to read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, the chapter on the paranoid voice we all have in our own head, dragging us backward and weighing us down, and now I can send them here, too. And I bet they will say the same thing. “OMG, that’s ME. . . ”
    Thank you for what you do. Thank you for writing it down so people who need it have someplace to go and know they’re not alone.

  19. Reading this was an interesting experience for me, because I encountered you on Twitter and read your blog some months ago, and that uncharitable picture you paint is almost exactly the impression I had of you — to be honest, my first impression was that you seemed like just another cookie-cutter, egotistical Internet personality who thought she was better than everyone else.
    But, reading this, I see that I was completely wrong. Appearances can be deceiving, I guess. All I can really say is I think it takes courage to put this much of yourself out there for the world to see (and possibly to ridicule). Things are always more complicated than they appear on the surface.
    So, for what it’s worth from a former “hater,” I was wrong about you. Really wrong.
    I think nearly everyone has those voices to some degree (I know I certainly do), but I think that if you look around, even in this very thread, at the people who clearly like and support you, you’ll see that those voices are just empty braying and have little basis in reality.
    So, no advice, just — I hope things look up for you. You clearly deserve it. You are, in fact, pretty awesome. Good luck to you.

  20. Hi Miss Banshee, sometimes I feel that way too, like I really don’t belong among my friends, or that I’m not a good enough friend to hang out with. That’s why I’m usually just saying crap out, making everyone laugh, but on the inside I’m scared that they are laughing because they want to be polite. Paranoia is a cruel bitch, indeed!

  21. You are suffering classic symptoms of what eating disorders specialists call the Negative Mind. It’s like where there is another mind active within yours acting as a parasite trying to destroy you. If you google the term I believe you can find much helpful info on it. You don’t have to live like this.
    I researched it via google for an anorexic gal I fell in love with. They have found ways to overcome this strong negative voice through therapy. There is much hope, Miss B, that in a year the voice will be more like a whisper.
    I will pray for you to find the answers and for courage to enter therapy to counteract the Negative Mind and weaken it as thousands of sufferers have done.
    You have helped me I hope dearly this helps you.
    Timaay Timpoet2002@yahoo.com

  22. Oh, I just recently got to read your blog, I’m really glad that you have the courage to post your emotions! I feel like I should try to do it sometimes, and stop being so judgemental about the things that I write. I never publish anything because I always feel that what I create is so shitty, that a shit would call it shitty!
    Just know that some people have the same paranoia that you wrote about… we should unite one day and dominate the world!

  23. I think you’re wonderful. Don’t listen to some asshole who dissed you on Twitter. Deep down, he’s probably afraid that the world will find out that HE is an attention whore, therefore he feels the need to call you out for being one. Remember, we all love you. Especially Roger Ebert. πŸ™‚

  24. There is nothing wrong with wanting attention and expressing yourself creatively. We all crave connection, we all crave some sort of attention, some way to prove ourselves we exist. I used to think that I didn’t exist if no one was paying attention and I still have that inner voice that tries to convince me of that, it is quieter now but still there. You just voice what most people are thinking, you are able to articulate it beautifully.
    I called that paranoid inner voice the “U SUCK MONSTER” I even had a Solo show with her as the recurring character throughout.
    I love reading your blogs, very glad REbert retweeted you so I could find you.
    Wishing you a marvelous day!

  25. “No one cares, no one wants to hear your shit, everyone hates you, you should just shut up, you wretched waste of a person, you are disgusting, so selfish, so self-centered, so BAD. Everyone hates you, you know. Everyone. And if they don’t hate you know, you’ll do something to make them hate you because you are such a fucking waste.”
    I have pretty much the exact same problem.
    Your hat is adorable.

  26. ::uploads Giant Economy-Sized Hug, large box of Puffs Plus, and mondo cup of steaming hot tea with honey from private stash to Miss Banshee::
    Screw the haters. Be yourself. It’s too exhausting to be someone else, and you’re pretty well guaranteed to fail at it anyway. Besides, your space, your rules, I always say.

  27. I too suffer. Driven friends away I left my inlaws 50th wedding anniversary for those evil thoughts…I forever compare myself to the ex wife-she must be better me, better mother, better wife, prettier, nicer, ect ect ect. Always double guessing what I say, terrified of new people. Never want people to know where I live, see the inside of my house. I had to have my cable checked today-I wont go where my mind went with that concept.
    I love what you say and that you can say it to the world. Share with us and we can share with you.
    Its time for a group hug.

  28. OH YEAH. One of my biggest fears in life is that of being misunderstood. I suffered through terrible panic attacks, was referred to Mayo Clinic; I’m all… FINALLY! If Mayo can’t fix me… Well, they couldn’t. All the way home I cried. My husband snapped at me and told me to Quit Feeling Sorry For Myself. (I have since been “fixed”.) I can feel how that tweet totally devastated you. There’s a place in Hell reserved for asshole Tweeters and Asshole Ex-husbands.

  29. I don’t think that what you are describing is actually paranoia in the classic sense. Paranoia is about the malevolence of others. What you are describing is self-doubt. It can be the other side of the coin, of course, because if we doubt ourselves we fear others more.
    I find that reaction strange because, to a much milder extent perhaps, everyone has had the fears you are describing. Very few people go through life without such thoughts, at certain moments.
    We are social beings and truly at the mercy of others evaluation of our value to some extent. So it stands to reason we would assess our value to others and try to make the right adjustments. It takes a lot of brain power to adjust to others’ social expectations. (And there are some people who are missing all the cognitive equipment to do that–autistics, for example). And it is only natural to fear that we aren’t going to measure up.
    The thing is that there is a very powerful inhibition and social norm about *expressing* our worries about our place in the social realm, our own value, etc. For one thing, it is a sign of weakness and in the pecking order, it’s not good to display weakness. So basically, people get upset when anyone does express what are fundamentally virtually universal fears (barring sociopaths or people who are incredibly self regulated or have reached Nirvana or something). So you are violating a social taboo.
    But it’s not an important taboo. I suspect the people who are the meanest to others who express self-doubt openly are people who are riddled with self-doubt.
    Obviously, you suffer from this self-doubt to a higher degree than a lot of people.
    We do need people’s attention. We always have, since we were babies. Then, we desperately needed people’s attention. We are very vulnerable creatures. You’re just more aware of your vulnerability, you suffer more and you’re more open about it. People who attack you fear their own vulnerability.

  30. A few twitterati/blogroaches say you’re an attention whore. Many other twitterati — and your own blog commentariat — avidly read you. I know I’m not alone in saying that I find your commentary on your life life experiences both articulate and meaningful.
    I personally find that what you write about on your own life experiences parallels some of my own experiences. I’m not alone; your blogging reminds me of that.
    Please keep writing, and please remember your detractors are not the only ones who are reading your blog.

  31. Hey buddy. Jason here. Anytime you need a hug or to get out of that cave of yours… I’m practically right down the block. I mean it. You’re interesting and funny and smart and pretty and very worthy of all the riches life has to offer. Please fight back. XOXO

  32. I cannot for the life of me understand why someone would say that about you. The only thing I can say with certainty is that they clearly don’t know you. No one who says such a thing about you knows you. Love, we’ve now known each other for just about a month and I already consider you one of the absolute most genuine, beautiful, compassionate people I will ever meet in my life. Not have ever met. WILL EVER. Of this I am certain.
    I send out a weak little cry for help today and within 5 minutes we were on the phone. You made time for me, someone you hardly know (yet, for I will stalk you to the end of time) because you knew and sensed that I needed a friend. And you were a friend. And you hugged me through the phone. Attention whores don’t do that, they don’t treat people better than they treat themselves. They’re not there for people who need them because they’re too busy thinking of ways to get in someone else’s line of vision. That is not you. I know this with more certainty than I have about a lot of things.
    You could write the distro, me, or any one of your friends upset with constipation or because you stubbed your toe and any one of us would be there in an instant for you. Why? Because you would – and have – done it for us.
    I know that paranoid voice. You heard it today on the phone, so know you’re not alone. But that voice is lying. It’s most comfortable when you’re listening to it because that voice is selfish. But you, my dear, are nothing of the kind. I will go Sam Jackson on that voice and anyone who dares say anything like this about you or to you for the rest of time. You’re there for other people and you ask nothing in return except for that person to know that you’ll do it again. And again. And again. If that’s selfish or attention seeking, there’s something wrong with the world. But there isn’t a selfish or attention seeking bone in your body, so whomever that person is, if you’re reading this? You are sorely missing out on having the immensely gratifying blessing that is Miss B’s friendship.
    Love you, girl.

  33. Thank you for the hug as I am really currently hoping that it will be okay.
    I read what Ozma said and I think it’s true, really – for me as well.
    Damn, I learn from you people, in spite of myself.
    We do need attention and care, all of us. Sometimes it is not readily available. Some of us are more honest about it, especially at painful times. It is brave, not weak, to ask and to share, when the intentions are good as I believe yours are. It’s so screwed up that it feels the opposite of brave, or is perceived that way.
    We are, most of us, doing the very best we can. Every day it is all we can ask of ourselves.

  34. Miss B,
    It’s all good sister. And by the way, I have the same fuzzy robe as you. In which I cry and feel sorry for myself from time to time.

  35. I’m going to be honest here; Do I think you are attention-seeking? Yes. Of course you are. You have a blog and you work it daily. One would hope you write and expect people to read it, right? So, of course you are an attention seeker, as am I and everyone else that writes or does anything remotely entertaining. Perhaps there is something inside of us that does this to validate our own existence, or to shoo away little demons from childhood, but regardless of reason, it IS what we do. I say, embrace it! Enjoy it! Revel in it! After all, it works. πŸ˜‰
    It’s only when it crosses the line with too much self deprecation that it becomes annoying. As bloggers, we know that if we write a blog and say “I suck! I suck donkey balls! I suck massive, hairy donkey balls. AND I’m a crappy writer” (my inner dialouge talks like a sailor) someone will come along and say, “No you don’t!” It’s tit for tat. The two go hand in hand. But if we say that too many times, too often, then yes, people will start to think either we need anti-depressants (or a dose increase) or that we are in constant need of a cheerleading squad. That’s why sometimes, it’s important to take off the broken record spinning insults inside our heads and be our own cheer squad. No harm in liking yourself once in awhile. *\O/* Rah! Rah! Rah! πŸ˜‰

  36. But wait, they called you an “attention seeking WHORE”. The latter we must deal with. You should give out their Twitter name and we’ll snark them into submission. πŸ˜‰ LOL! Chin up, Lady!
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

  37. Just know you are so so not alone. And the fact that you share these things doesn’t make me think you’re a whiner or a complainer or an attention whore. It puts me slightly in awe of the fact that you are brave enough to share these things. I wish I had the nerve to tell the world exactly how I feel sometimes.

  38. Um, I am just starting to internetly peek into your existence and find you utterly fascinating. In a good way.
    Not into sending hugs in cyberspace, but if I ever saw you in person and the bottom fell out of your bag of groceries like this then I would totally rush over and help you pick things up.

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