But is it really paranoia if the thing you are paranoid about ends up being true?
I've always felt, and perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the image I presented to the world was a false front, that feeling that there was something going on behind my back that I wasn't privy to. You know what I mean. Like when there are two people at the other end of the hall whispering and you are SURE they are talking about you?
I never really put too much stock in that feeling - one could go crazy wondering if they indulged that. But this experience has added a couple of new layers or facets to that feeling.
For one thing, I take it as a given now that if two or more people near me are laughing together, they are probably laughing at me. That's not so much paranoia, because I resolved when I started down this road not to be discouraged by the ridicule I might get from others, but more a mechanism for dealing with the reality that at least some of them surely are. If I take it for granted that it's about me and then am able to shrug it off and not be hurt or offended, then it makes me stronger for the hard parts of the road ahead.
I saw that coming and was ready for it.
But the other thing is something I didn't see coming at all - the paranoia about what a Facebook friendship really means.
This actually works out in a couple of different ways. first, what do you make of a Facebook friend who "defriends" you? Did they somehow decide you were ok at first but then reverse course and decide to wash there hands of you? I mean, that's anyone's right to be sure - but it leaves a lot of room for speculation as to motives when it happens with no explanation.
The other side of it is, of course, wondering why someone you have little or no real-world interaction with wants to be your friend. I mean, for a "normal" person maybe it's not that big a deal. Probably they just need one more person to invite to Farmville or some such. Maybe they just want the biggest friend list ever.
But with me, there's always the possibility that there's something more.
Is this person my friend because they really want to be nice? Are they just innocently curious? Do they wish to be supportive?
Are they slowing down to gawk at the train wreck?
Are they here for the same reason people pay to see the Dog-Faced Boy at the Freak Show? are they looking for something to gossip about?
You see, I hate to even think these thoughts. I would much prefer to think the very best of everyone absent some real reason for doing otherwise. But I can't help but wonder if people REALLY are supportive of (or at least cool with) me?...do they really remember me fondly from some previous interaction or some such?...or am I providing them free ammunition?
I really don't know. In most respects it doesn't matter I suppose. If you are laughing at me when I'm not around there's nothing I can do about it and it really does me no harm. But there is one thing about this that does matter a very great deal to me, and that's how you treat the people I love and the people whom circumstances have connected to me.
No one else but me had anything to do with causing this or any ability to stop it. it is my own private curse or condition or whatever the hell you call it. I would really hate to think that my mom or my wife or my kids or my brother or my in-laws or anyone else connected to me was having to suffer the abuse of small-minded and petty people because I've chosen to be so open about my situation on-line and in the real-world. I realize there are such childish and mean-spirited people out there, and it's not like I'm not an easy target, both for what I am and because of anyone's judgment about how I chose to deal with it.
But honestly, if you feel you MUST act a fool, at least have the sense to direct your derision at the ACTUAL freak and not the person who through no fault of there own has some connection to the freak, ok? It might not occur to you but chances are the person you are troubling isn't any more happy about this than you are.
I don't say all this in reference to any particular person of whom I'm aware - as far as I know, every friend on my list (and everyone I've spoken to about this IRL) is completely compassionate and kind towards me and everyone around me. So maybe I'm just paranoid.
Maybe there isn't anything at all to worry about in this regard. but, if I were a gambler . . . I'd have to place my bets that if it hasn't happened, it will.
So all I ask for is sincerity. If I'm doing anything here, it's being totally frank and open with people about my issues. so be open in return. there is nothing so valuable as a sincere relationship, and nothing so empty as a false one. I can take any heat you can throw at me and maybe even answer with some of my own...but let your words to me be the same as your words that I don't hear. and save your judgment for me alone if judgment you have.