I Hate It Here

You get two posts today because I’m angry. Angry like Chair Leg of Truth Angry.

But let me tell you why. When I went to run, I got to the place first and got on the good treadmill. The one that’s not by the lights or the window, and the one that doesn’t have issues. There was a guy and he got there less than a minute after me. So he says to me “are you going to run or walk?” Just by his asking it, this is a startling question, as strange people talking to me generally scare the shit out of me. I said I was going to run and he immediately asked how long it was going to take me. When I said it takes about 30 minutes, he said “I’ll be back in 25.”

So instead of getting my full warm-up, enjoying my badass running playlist that now includes Jesus Built My Hotrod and Mexican Hairless, I spent twenty five minutes watching out the window and looking behind me to see if someone was watching me, trying to stave off a panic attack and wanting nothing more than to stop, come home, and cry under the bed. Several times I thought I saw him outside the window. Several more times I thought I heard the door open. I can’t begin to explain how scared I was that he was going to come back, see me during one of my walking intervals, and start berating me for my lies.

Fact One: Someone is watching me.

Yes, I KNOW I’m a pathetic runner. I KNOW I don’t run as fast as some people and that I’m running in intervals instead of long endurance-type stretches. But I do get up to 6.5 mph in the last few intervals and the other treadmill doesn’t get up to 6.5 without the belt jerking. I’m clumsy enough, I don’t need belt rash on my face. And I know I have as much right to choose to run or walk on the treadmill as anyone else, I just can’t process that.

He came back after 25 minutes and sat and watched me, making “tsk” sounds, and I barely managed to get out of there once I was done without hyperventilating. I didn’t drink my water or stretch. All I wanted was to get out of there as fast as possible. I didn’t get angry until I got home and calmed down.

Mister E’s response is, as I’m sure most of you will try to tell me as well, “fuck him.” My brain does not work this way. I am a person who, on my way to the treadmill, asked him if he heard the voices I heard when I walked down the hallway.  I don’t have the same capacity to react like that. Someone says they’re coming back, I hear “I’m coming back for you. I’m going to watch you. And if you’re not doing right, I’m going to judge you and then do something awful to you when I leave.” And when they do come back and are watching your every move, probably recording it or texting their friends about it, it’s just more proof of the fact that someone is following me and waiting for me to do the wrong thing.

That’s what it’s like in my head right now and it scares the shit out of me.


One thought on “I Hate It Here

  1. I like you. You’re honest. This post? You make it easy to relate to. Reading it, I know how you feel. And perhaps it’s akin to the way I feel a curious, unaccountable panic when I know someone is coming – when someone begins to chase me (in fun, I mean), or when someone is coming to get me from somewhere, and I know there’s no danger and they’re friendly but I can’t help but to panic. It’s not rational – it just is.

    Don’t worry too much about ‘should’ or ‘should not.’ Behaviour is a complex mix of things we’ve learned, the way our brains are wired, ways we have figured out to cope in life. Some of it is finding new ways to cope, some of it is working out why we do things so we can start to redirect our behaviour, some of it is positively influencing our physiology with good diet, exercise (which you’re managing wonderfully!) and sometimes medication — and some of it is realising that some things we can’t change, but that doesn’t have to hold us back.

    You’re a strong person, deserving of respect. Don’t give up on the idea of finding your own “normal.”

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