It was all a mistake.
By almost all accounts I'm a smart guy. I don't see it, but I'm told so. I don't ever feel smart. I have knowledge and insights but in my twisted mind if I have said knowledge then everyone else should have it too. A sort of universal common sense. Changing a wall outlet, hooking up a dishwasher, "running" a blog and podcast, having a slightly workable understanding of General Relativity; all these things are, or should be, commonly known.
In fact, I assume at least half the people I meet will have better understanding of any knowledge I'd claim to know. And the truth is, I don't claim to know much of the stuff I know. I'll profess till I'm blue in the face "I'm not so sure" about X,Y or Z. The reason of course is that I"m always wrong.
As best as I can tell, this is not a learned response to the world. I have no recollection of teachers, parents, friends etc pinning me down and screaming at me about how stupid I am. I don't have a memory of being embarrassed publicly over a mental gaffe or lack of knowledge. I don't really know where this comes from.
I know that confidence has been an issue as far back as I can remember. With my recent diagnosis of AvPD I am forced to filter any memories that do pop up from my youth through that lens. I have always told people that I grew up "shy". I was uncomfortable in many situations and it was always because of being shy. What is shy? (there's a research idea for the blog)
So we know I've spent my life unconfident, "shy" and developing AvPD. I suppose it isn't a stretch to assume that is a recipe for not trusting my own thoughts, feelings and decisions. And I am a master emotional chef.
When Nora asks what I'd like to do for dinner, the few times I voice my opinion I regret it as soon as it comes out of my mouth. "What if she doesn't want that?" "Sure it's yummy, but we just had that two nights ago." "Idiot!"
If someone asks me how I make peanut butter Rice Krispie treats (four ingredients) I prefer to look it up on the internet with them. Surely I won't tell the the right way. If the internet isn't available and I am forced to answer on my own, I'll assume I was wrong until I can verify the recipe later.
Standing up for a thought or feeling? Forget that crap. I'm either not right or won't be able to express my point well enough to validate opening my yammering maw.
So I just recently accepted a part time job that is in a field I've worked in for decades, seems to be low pressure and I essentially can make my own schedule. Ideal for a guy like me to test the employment waters, right?
Not a minute has gone by these past 6 days where I'm not convinced I made a huge mistake accepting.
"I can't do this."
"Why do I think I can be reliable yet?"
"This is going to be a disaster."
What reasons do I have for these, and many more thoughts?
Just the voice in my head that always tells me I'm an idiot and I have no idea about anything.