Take today for example. About 4 months ago, out of the blue, a member of the Art Clubhouse for people with mental illnesses I belong to phoned me while I was teaching a class and asked me out to lunch. I thought it a bit odd at the time as I had only met him a couple times. I agreed to meet him in a public place, but he offered to pick me up at the studio after my class. I felt uncomfortable, but for some reason couldn't say no.
He picked me up and we went to a cafe. I made it clear I was married by talking about my husband a few times. During the initial meeting I found out he had worked for the same national police organization, in an HR capacity, that my my Dad, my Uncle and my Cousin all worked for, or were retired from. He said he knew my Uncle and Cousin.
I don't remember right now, but I believe he mentioned knowing my Cousin and Uncle, before I mentioned they worked for his employer. We talked a lot about this the police force and my Dad, my Uncle and my Cousin. It made me feel awkward, like he was fishing for information, either about me, or my family.
After the first visit I began to think he was undercover either for the police, or for my insurance company. Things he said didn't make sense...like his employer had no disability insurance...I doubt that is true given how huge this employer is.
He invited me out again a few weeks later. This time I felt more guarded, but despite my "suspicions", he seemed like a really nice person and we had a good visit. I let my guard down and was, I think now, too open about myself and my family.
Now, four months later, I have not seen this person once at the Studio. I am increasingly feeling like he is not a member at all, but a police plant trying to get information from me. A tiny part of me (maybe 2-3%) thinks maybe I am being crazy about this...but a huge part of me is really stressed out and worried about it.
This type of suspicion is a kind I often have. I get really suspiscious that my insurance company is spying on me. So suspicious at times that I close all my curtains so no one can see in. I was even on the ferry once when I thought two men were following and watching me. In fact I was certain one of them was taking pictures of me with his cell phone.
At the time it was happening I was 100% suspicious, but as I thought about it more and more, I started to wonder if it was my mind playing tricks on me.
About the last 6 months I was at work I became increasingly paranoid that all the people I worked with hated me and wanted to see me fail. It was brutal. I could barely get into work because I felt like everyone was out to get me. Any interaction with the people I was worried about was painful and filled with so much anxiety I could barely manage it. The pressure I felt to change their minds about me was overwhelming.
I look at it now and I can see that I may have been exhibiting strange behaviour, resulting in people thinking I was weird and therefore they may have thought I was not good at my job and then they reacted strangely towards me, which I picked up as their being against me.
Anyways, I guess what I am wondering is a few things:
- Am I paranoid about this Police person being a plant (I am really concerned about this given things I said about my family to this person...and give their sudden abcense from the disability arts clubhouse)? It was like they knew how to draw information out of me.
- Was I psychotic at work? On the ferry?
- Does that mean I do become psychotic?
- Can you be psychotic if a tiny part of you suspects you might be mistaken?
P.S. My blog spellcheck isn't working...is anyone else having the same problem? Please ignore my spelling mistakes.