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[LJ Idol 10: Week 3] Too Close for Comfort

Thing you may not know about me: I startle easily. Ridiculously easily.

My kids know not to pop balloons around me on purpose, and if it happens anyway, there will be an immediate, "Oh no, I am SO SORRY, Mom!" to comfort me as my heart rate decreases and stops pounding so loud in my ears.

I've worried and semi-insulted co-workers by literally jumping out of my seat when they come by to ask me a question. And I still feel kind of bad about that, but it's not like this is a thing I plan to do on purpose. I have to reassure them that no, they don't scare me, I don't think they're scary people or anything, that's just a thing I do sometimes. Instinct. Not a thing I seem to get a choice about.

I also seem to feel like cars are getting "too close" to me at points where they really aren't, and what seems like a safe following distance to me seems like too much to the other cars, so I get cut off and other fun things that make me really nervous.

And sports? Especially if they involve balls moving around near my head? Those...I'm not so good at.

I don't think I was ever great with any of this - my depth perception has always felt like a thing I can't quite trust for whatever reason. But I know what made it worse.

I was ten years old, and had only recently started wearing glasses, when I was at a picnic with my parents and some of their old friends. Someone talked me into playing volleyball. A ball went over the net, hit me in the nose pretty hard (OW!), and just missed my glasses. For some reason my mind kept wanting to give me a picture of what if it had been my glasses, what if it had broken my glasses, what if I'd ended up with pieces of my glasses somehow in my eyes and losing my sight that way.

I still can't stand it when things fly close to my face, I still don't play volleyball in any situation where I don't have to, and it seems like my tendency to be easily startled in general got worse after that. This seems so trivial but for me? It wasn't. It really wasn't.

Memories can be like that.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2016 08:58 pm (UTC)
I can relate to this when driving in busy, fast traffic. I like my personal space. ALso playing both V-ball and basketball....I HATED PE class because of this!
Dec. 17th, 2016 02:47 pm (UTC)
As I read this, I wondered if you were surprised by co-workers simply because you were concentrating on your work.
Dec. 18th, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hate that sensation of other cars closing in. One situation where I startle incredibly easily is when I'm washing dishes and someone comes near me and says something. I think it has to do with the sound of the water and my focus on the task deadening my perception of everything else. Enjoyed reading your personal relation to the prompt!
Dec. 19th, 2016 02:39 pm (UTC)
I can very well relate to this because I had a bicycle injury in childhood and till date I flinch when a bicycle passes by too close for comfort. A nice take.
Dec. 19th, 2016 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your entry!
Dec. 20th, 2016 06:55 am (UTC)
I still can't stand it when things fly close to my face,
I know just what you mean, and this is one of the things my kids have had such a hard time believing is "a real thing," except that I tend to get angry when it happens.

I was horribly nearsighted as a child, and didn't get glasses until age 8. Before that, just about any object people threw for me to catch (usually, a ball) would just hit me in the face instead.

And those nightmares about splintered glass in the eyes are all too familiar, too!
Dec. 20th, 2016 08:33 am (UTC)
It is amazing how very much and long something like that can affect us. S sorry it happened to you. This is a well written entry, and one that was easy to stay with throughout. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Dec. 20th, 2016 04:40 pm (UTC)
I relate to this especially with the driving!
Dec. 20th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
My depth perception isn't great either. I remember when I was maybe 10 or 11, I was at the ophthalmologist and she was giving me an exam. She held out a page of little circles within circles, kind of like targets. She told me to tap on the one that looked like it was jumping off the page. None of them looked like they were jumping off the page, but no amount of me telling her this would get her to stop, so I just picked ones at random.

I must have been one hell of a good guesser because nothing ever came from that incident.

I don't do well with things flying at me, either. I can't catch things gently tossed to me, and I usually just flinch away from them.
Dec. 20th, 2016 10:01 pm (UTC)
I startle easily, too. Good entry!
Dec. 25th, 2016 10:35 pm (UTC)
I am easily startled, too, only apparently I am around (read: work with) a different sort of people, because everyone thinks it's ~hilarious. They only feel bad after about the fifth time and me telling them it's super really not actually funny for me.

Edited at 2016-12-25 10:36 pm (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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