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October 24, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Hypervigilance

I found a word that describes a part of me.  No, it’s not “awesome,” though that was somewhere on the list.  The word I found is hypervigilance.

I like to sit in restaurants always facing the door so I can see who is coming in.  I enter a room and casually map out exit points incase there is an emergency.  I grab my car keys fifteen minutes before I actually arrive at my car.

Why is this coming up?  I am going on a weekend scrapbooking outing with some friends, and I really ought to be packing.  I have an overwhelming urge to pack, and organize, and if it wasn’t dark and cold outside I would be loading up my car in preparation for something that doesn’t start until tomorrow afternoon.  This is insane.  I realize this.  This gives me a lot of time to sit around tomorrow and not pack, though by then I would realize that I could be packing at that time instead of staying up really late to pack. 

So I am NOT packing tonight.  No.  I will pack and organize tomorrow, because there is no reason I have to do it right now, even though my right eye is twitching at the thought of putting it off.  

Am I rambling?  This is the year of delving into my many neuroses, not to fix them, but to understand them and make them work for me rather than against me. 

Wikipedia says that hypervigilance is often caused by post traumatic stress disorder.  Ha!  Last time I checked, it wasn’t Wikipedia, MD!

And I have been this way my entire life, always preparing, always ready for what is next.  Last minute party?  No worries, I always have things on hand to whip up a sausage and cheese plate.  Need to fix your glasses?  No worries, I have three sizes of miniature screwdrivers in my glove box.  First aid kits are packed inside first aid kits and stuffed into every corner imaginable.  I am always ready for anything.  Every minute of every day.  It’s suddenly very stressful and doesn’t really work with kids. 

Anyway I guess that wasn’t very uplifting.  If anyone would like to share their own neuroses, or even just one little quirk, that would be rockin’.

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4 Comments

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  1. crisitunity / Oct 24 2008 4:15 pm

    Also, I think the word that best describes you is awesome.

    thanks 🙂 now when are you going to get over your winter fears and move north?

  2. crisitunity / Oct 24 2008 4:14 pm

    I don’t have the restaurant thing of actual hypervigilance, but the ultra-preparedness thing…I feel you. I have actually started actively being upset about it and wanting to get rid of it, but I can’t seem to. Hence I don’t have any advice for you. 😦

    As I read about the restaurant thing, I was reminded of one of our clients who has PTSD who always does that. Then you mentioned PTSD. It’s not a crazy idea if I managed to connect it without knowing that Wikipedia connected it too. Just sayin’. 9/11?

  3. morethananelectrician / Oct 24 2008 4:08 am

    We must be related in some way. It is almost frightening the amount of time I spend preparing for things. I packed the night before, I would just unpack and pack again the next morning making sure I remembered everything.

  4. Fawn / Oct 24 2008 4:05 am

    I’m kind of like you in restaurants. I don’t have to face the door, but I’d rather have my back to the wall than my back to the open room.

    Michael still laughs at me because after he surprised me by proposing marriage at the top of a mountain, I’d started planning the wedding before we’d even left the summit. But c’mon, a wedding takes planning!

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