I have been incredibly busy, especially this week trying to make sure 2 weeks worth of work is attended to in a way that creates only minor bumps in my absence. I haven’t had a day off since December so I could do this trip. But, as a person who also studies people, I am blown away by how some people behave when they know you are busy and trying to get a lot done so you can go. There are some people who try to help you get things done because they really appreciate you and want you to leave early if you can.

There are other people who panic and start showing up more than usual, making demands, asking questions they feel are critical to have answers to in that moment but truly aren’t that critical and they will sleep not knowing for 2 weeks. It’s almost a subconscious physical response of panic…like, “I know you are busy and I know you are going on vacation but my needs are now more important and more frequent than anyone else’s and I should be allowed to disturb you.” Or, “I didn’t actually need anything but since I can see you, I thought of something so I am going to stop you on your way to the bathroom, comment on how late I am still around and yet continue with the need. In fact, it was so bad, my own staff started commenting on it and offered to help take work off my plate because they felt really bad for me. And yet, they are the ones suffering the most because they got the least of my time.

It’s absolutely fascinating and horribly disturbing at the same time. It’s flattering but equally offensive. I ALWAYS get things done and 90% of the time I even over deliver. I have about a 30 year history of accomplishing everything I set out to do. There is literally zero proof of professional ineptitude on any project I have been responsible for. In fact, when I need help, I do ask for it. But, no. I am not going to tell you how I will do it. I am not going to have answers for daily, hourly checkins. I can only tell you it will get done and it will get done when you need in a satisfactory way. In fact, the more you bother me for updates and Truly inconsequential questions you sadly believe are critical, the less I get done and the more I slow down which I means I am farther away from having an answer than I would be if left alone. You are actually disturbing my critical brain process as I have ADD. You set everything back at least half a day when you interrupt.

I have an anxiety disorder so I understand what it’s like to live life with constant panic. I panic about getting out of buildings safely in the event of fire or attack. I panic about how much my sleep is disrupted. I panic about flying. I panic in crowds. I panic when sick people come in close contact with me. I panic from vivid, violent nightmares. I do not panic about where people need to sit in 3 weeks. I do not panic about how others need to handle their responsibilities…..like if a computer doesn’t work. I submit a request to have it fixed and move onto the next task. I can’t fix the computer so I am not going to wander around wondering how it will get done. I find something else to do while it gets worked on. I don’t panic about meeting deadlines 4 weeks out.

And yet, when I respond that I don’t have the answer just yet or that I know everything will work itself out, I get the eye roll of disappointment as though I have failed before I have even been required to be done. It’s that look of….”somebody else should be handling this.” Here’s the thing, somebody else panics all the time and is so stuck in the moment they have no vision…no confidence. That hinders the outcome, the possibilities and the ability to pivot when they hit a roadblock. All my life I have interpreted that eye roll as there being something wrong with me….that I don’t measure up because I don’t measure life in an excel. But the observations I have had this week have changed the way I see myself completely….so much so it was my therapy topic yesterday. There is health and balance in my approach. This madness, the need to interrupt me when I am talking to someone else, to hold me hostage to a conversation 45 minutes after my day has ended while I have my hand over my eye because a migraine has started and I still have a 2 hour commute ahead of me, to threaten me or try to make me feel guilty for needing to walk away to take a piss….that is absolute insanity! It’s inhumane. It’s complete self absorption, lack of boundaries, lack of empathy for other human beings. It’s narcissism to some extent….sociopathic. It’s not professional. It’s not a badge of accomplishment or anything to be proud of, quite honestly. It’s embarrassing when you start to dissect it.

I am grateful to the folks who tried to clear a path for me today expecting me to head out by 1, whose mouths dropped in horror when they saw me emerge at 4:45. They actually thought I was already at the Cape. Nope, not until 9 pm. But there is comfort in knowing there are others like me…others who acknowledge we are not brain surgeons, nor are we building a spaceship. They see the look in my eyes of a bleeding woman with sharks on approach, unable to get away because I am caring, I am polite, I empathize and realize they will short circuit without this attention. I realize I am stronger and can handle their panic on top of my own biological needs….basically because I have an illness which shuts off all my bodily needs several times a day as it is. But it doesn’t mean I don’t get to call it out today. It’s obnoxious. It’s out of proportion to life and these people need my therapist far more than I do.