I’ve never really been conscious of this until recently and I think it stems from something in my childhood. I really hate people standing too close behind me or hovering if you will. I’m sure it happens to a lot of other people, just none that I know of personally. It may seem like such a trivial matter so I don’t always talk about it but lately, it’s been getting out of hand. And it’s not just strangers either, it’s anyone, family members etc. I don’t have this issue with my kids standing behind me, however.
Due to it’s mass effect of my life as a writer, because I sit at my computer a lot, I’ve been wanting to write about it and carefully explore why I feel this way. More than just irritating, it’s borderline aggravating and gives me anxiety. My hands start shaking and I feel this intense need to lash out, almost like I’m defending myself from something or someone. I try so hard not be this way, but I can literally tell someone to “fuck off” from just standing behind me.
I’ve been thinking about it recently and I brushed it off as maybe PMS or just lack of sleep, you know general moodiness. But there’s nothing moody about the way hovering triggers something so profound inside of me that I can’t completely comprehend or explain. I dug a little deeper into my past and my reasons for getting anxiety by a person just walking or standing behind me has become so much more clearer, although I’m no expert and maybe I’m wrong. But I think I can pinpoint a few scenarios that gave me anxiety during childhood that may have a connection.
Number one. During tests or exams, we’d have these instructors walking up and down the classroom, HOVERING over students’ shoulders, reading what they were writing. I mean come on, most of us think we’re writing crap and wouldn’t even read over our work before handing it in. Having someone hovering over your shoulder, judging and making faces while you’re writing a test that may affect your entire academic future is nerve wrecking. I think this is one of the instances where innocently, a teacher hovering put some sort of fear into me, and perhaps that’s why I’m always so embarrassed to let people read my fiction writing.
Exposure. Having someone looking over my shoulder makes me feel exposed, it really does. People are entering my personal space and from behind me where I can’t see their reactions in real time, leaves me with a feeling of vulnerability and mistrust. Perhaps, my experiences in life makes me mistrusting as well as the lack of privacy I had during childhood and teenage years. I know what you’re thinking, children don’t need privacy. Oh but they do in way. Thoughts and feelings should be private and not scrutinized. Children shouldn’t be dictated not to feel or think a certain way. I had very little control of these kind of things and for a long time I had to suppress who I really am.
It’s a far connection to feeling traumatized by someone hovering behind me but trust me, it’s there. And I’m not sure it’ll ever be different.
Leave me a line in the comments…what absolutely triggers you off?