As a self-confidence exercise, I went round the supermarket this morning without my wig. Terry, who remained in the car, was more embarrassed than I was: people mostly looked at me so we could avoid our trolleys colliding. If people look at me quizzically, to be abashed by that is responding like a prey animal- and my response is my choice.
What irritated me was the way the check-out assistant started chatting to the woman behind me, while still serving me, and ignored me when I responded.
I give, or can choose not to give, permission to others to dictate my appearance; even if in some cases a particular appearance might help me achieve a particular result. This is an improvement. She irritated, rather than distressed, me. There was no overt insult, and if there had been I could have handled it.
I ended a course of counselling in 2009 with:
-What are you afraid of?
-The monster will get me.
As Yvonne pointed out, this is small child’s language, and it was the only way I could express it. I could not go further: in fact, so non-rational is this that my barriers against the realisation were great. I wanted to rationalise the fear, and find a proper cause for it. I saw later that the monster is my mother, and if it gets me I die. It seems I have moved on from then. The monster won’t get me.
In the park, families have paid to be taught and supervised building shelters for the night- a “Survive” event. They had a gorgeous warm weekend for it. I went into the woods following the path the 4x4s had made (AmE- “SUVs”) and chatted until told to leave by the “ranger”. He escorted me away, which irritated me again- why not just trust me to walk away, it is not as if I will scratch that motorcaravan (for use, perhaps, if a family could not bear it).
This is an improvement. I am not so crippled by self-consciousness that I cannot go out. I still have difficulty articulating anything I Want, which I feel I could achieve, or a way to achieve something, but a barrier within my own mind has melted away.
My distress is not as dangerous as it was. If my anger terrifies me, I freeze and can do nothing but suppress it. If I can notice and permit it, it can energise me.