I expected to wake up on Saturday, watch some TV, post my fic and maybe do a little writing. Instead I woke up to voices in the house and it wasn't anyone I recognized, so I thought I'd better go see what was up. I found my sister in the kitchen, sitting with two strange men. They were dressed in company-style polo shirts and one of the men waved and smiled at me. I thought, "Do I know this guy?" I am notoriously terrible at face-name recognition, so maybe I do. I find out they are selling security systems and we are going to get one, apparently. We have never talked about getting a security system, ever before. One time we talked about special doorknobs and I was uncomfortable with that idea, so imagine my surprise to hear we were getting a whole security system. Also, apparently, we were replacing my Lifeline with one from this company. Mind you, my sister never, ever lets in people who are solicitors at the door. Her policy is that someone can give her a business card and she'll look into it, but she never trusts the legitimacy of a door-to-door salesman. Then I found out that they had actually come to my mom's door and she had told them that she had two single daughters who lived down the street, one of whom was disabled and home alone all day, and maybe we would want a security system.
Yes, my mom told complete and total strangers how I am disabled and alone everyday. You better believe we had a talk with her about that! I'm now pissed off about multiple things. (I will say, in general, my sister is usually really good about talking to me first about house-related things, especially if it’s something that will affect me too). So my anxiety has spiked because a) unforeseen thing happening in my day first thing in the morning - and b) I need fair warning on major changes in my life. I was not happy when my sister got us a Tivo just because it was different and a surprise change and it was several months before I forced myself to learn how to use it. Now I have a committed relationship with my Tivo and am the supervisor of all things Tivo-related. But just getting it out of nowhere without me having time to get used to the idea of New Thing rattled me. So imagine how suddenly finding out we are getting a security system, out of nowhere, made me feel.
Believe me, I am NOT a morning person, and now this smiley-faced asshat starts talking to me like he knows me, calling me by my nickname and everything. I was totally taken aback. He asks me if my name is short for something and I automatically told him - (years of conditioning by my mother to be nice to people, no matter what, even if they are giving me a weird vibe). I immediately regretted telling him my official name, because that's how con-men operate - they act so personable and intimate and the next thing you know you are giving them information you otherwise wouldn't. Also, I don't like to be called by my real name. AT ALL. It's a lovely beautiful family name, but everyone calls me by my nickname, except doctors who are reading my name from a chart. Thus, my real name always gives me a jolt of ‘medical’ panic and so I don’t like using it at all. Which is kind of a shame. So immediately I said, "But don't call me that," - (and my sister follows it with, "No, don't call her that.") - and the asshat turns around and makes a joke out of it, despite that I told him this in no uncertain terms with death in my voice, but somehow he seemed to think it was okay to joke around about it. I ate my breakfast as fast as I could, declined my sister's offer to watch their training video, and got out of there quickly, the whole time asshat keeps trying to salesman-chat-me-up. He even started explaining to me how my current Lifeline is no good because it's attached to the phone-line and the first thing criminals do is cut the electric and phone. And my brain thought, "Yeah, dude, I know that. I watch a shit-ton of cop dramas. Which, by the way, have also taught me that fake security systems are a favorite con of criminals who intend to come back later and rob and rape you. Just FYI." But it was too damn early for me and I couldn't muster a bitch-fight. He is damn lucky he didn't come an hour later when I was fully awake, cuz I would have thrown down with that guy - verbally speaking, of course.
I went to my room, shut the door, turned on the ballgame, put my headphones on to play some music - (always a good distraction technique) - and just tried breathing. I ended up having about three mild little panic attacks in the next two hours. (I was at least glad when the tech showed up to install the system though, because I honestly believed they were going to take all the info we gave them, a tech would never actually show up, and they’d saunter off with all our private info). I at least managed to tamp down any major full-blown panic attacks, which was good. My sister came in my room eventually and asked if I was mad and said she had thought she would just fill out the information and then talk to me about it, take a week to decide, but they were having some weekend-only sale and she wanted the discount. (Such a salesman tactic to pull that shit. I wonder if I’d had a full-on panic attack in front of these guys if that would have stopped them from being, "You have to decide today!") I, naturally, recognized that if we had the time to think about it, I would concede that a security system is a good idea,…the only difference would be that I would have had time to adjust to the idea and my sister would be out $300. So I told her to do it, but that I couldn't be out there with that dude acting like we were best buddies while he took all her money and upended my normal routine out of nowhere, that I just needed to stay in my room. I must have sounded frantic because my sister simply said, "Okay. You do that, if that's what you need."
Which was the absolute right thing to do right then. When something sparks a serious anxiety trigger in me, the very last thing you should do is try to logic my anxiety away by debating it with me. I know my anxiety is not logical. Logically, getting a security system for two single women, one who is disabled, makes good sense. Logically this was good thing. ANXIETY IS NOT LOGICAL. Acting like I'm being ridiculous, or acting off-hand about it, or debating my 'stance' is stupid because I KNOW ALL OF THOSE THINGS. Knowing doesn't help the anxiety. I stayed in my room most of the day and finally came out for dinner and my sister very graciously didn't push me to learn the new security system - (I have learned it all now) - and just let me have the rest of the day to calm down.
The security system may be great for us - (I’m sure it will be) - but I did not like those guys and I will never open the door to them myself, that's for damn sure.