93. Paranoia

I often get this dreadful, crippling fear that everyone around me secretly hates me.

I know, I know. It’s probably not true. Reason tells me that I’m not THAT despicable a human being that no one would want to put themselves near me; but as with many things that we may come to feel in this life, the fact that it isn’t logical doesn’t stop me from feeling like it’s real.

I’m not actually sure if it’s a seasonal thing, like the emergence of my introverted tendencies or my sleeping habits, but I have experienced this many times before. The feeling that everyone is just putting up with me because they have no other choice. The feeling that they only talk to me because it’s socially unacceptable not to.

The worst part is that I cannot actually ask them, because no matter what they answer, I already have a biased perspective.

So I wait it out, let the feeling pass. Busy myself with other things. Wait until it’s over. Soon enough, things go back to normal – the smiles, the pats on the back, the polite conversations, the shared laughter; but the paranoia lurks at the back of my mind, a sleeping demon just waiting for its chance to break loose.

I don’t know how do other people do it – how they seem to be perky and happy all the time, ready to hop into conversations and generally share life with others. I don’t know; for all I know, they could be just like me. Maybe everyone has their own little bouts of paranoia about the people whom they surround themselves with, just that the lot of them handles it much better than I do. Instead of sitting alone in the living room reading into the littlest of gestures, they busy themselves with becoming that loveable person that people would want to hang around.

Man, I wish I was at least that much more useful.

But that’s just me. I’m the guy who reads into the unimportant things a little too much, and into the important things a little too little. A business guru would probably call my behavior as “majoring in the minor and minoring in the major”, or whatever it is that they say these days.

There are times when someone can be consciously avoiding me for weeks, and I never notice a single thing. There are times when someone doesn’t put a smiley face or an exclamation mark in their reply text to me, and I wonder if their lives are better off without me in it. It’s weird, I know. Completely illogical, almost completely baseless assumptions, and there’s probably someone who would suggest that I go see a therapist about this.


The feeling will pass. I’ll just bury it under a few more episodes of Breaking Bad. There’s music practice for The Takeover tonight, so that will keep me busy too. Busy enough to distract myself. Busy enough that my mind won’t wander off to places where it shouldn’t go. I’ll soon be back with my routine – this weekend, I’ll be heading down to Johor for a family reunion, and I’ll have to reimburse my uncle for the costs of printing and delivering the manuscript for Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time. This Friday, NaNoWriMo November begins, and I’ll have to begin doing some real hardcore writing. Next weekend, The Flowering Tree opens in the Petaling Jaya Live Arts Center, and I’ll be there to see the cast and crew in action. I’ll forget. I’ll move on.

And the demon stirs a little at the back of my mind.


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