First item on this list: The Cat

I\'m no longer the caretaker of my friend\'s cat (I do have some new photos of her – I\'ve just been too lazy to convert them and put them up).

Last Thursday, I handed the cat over to my friend and exactly one week later, today (Thursday July 8), the cat changed hands again and my friend sold the cat to a seemingly sweet middle-aged woman who already owns an alleged peaceful male cat, so it seems the cat is now in the hands of a responsible, experienced cat-lover who has the time to spare to take proper care of her.

Second item: Speaking of caretaking

There\'s currently a media scandal in my country regarding a bunch of spineless, selfish, treacherous and generally non-nice caretakers (in this context understood as people employed to look after elderly and/or physically handicapped people), who have betrayed their Clients, their Employers and all their colleagues by displaying a disturbing amount of neglect; cheating to spend as little as 5 freakin\' minutes (*Almost has a heart attack*) out of a required full one hour assignment actually doing anything for the Client, and then spending the remainder going grocery-/mall-shopping or spending time with their idiot friends, when they should be working.

Granted, some of the examples hauled out in front of the public by the news media might be exaggerated (the news media today is unbearably aggressive and have less regard towards moral obligations than they should).

A journalist might have caught a caretaker doing her grocery-shopping between Clients because said caretaker might have been sent off by the Client because said Client wasn\'t feeling well enough to receive the allocated help that this particular caretaker might have been assigned at that place, and her Boss might not have been able to fill the sudden extra time with another task (this happens occasionally), giving the caretaker a lot of time with nothing useful to do.

Said Journalist might catch that on camera and blow it out of proportion. But there ARE cases of inexcusable neglect like the 5-freaking-minute example mentioned above.

Sadly, this media scandal brings other caretakers and similar lines of employment, including myself and all the rest of my colleagues, on the public firing line. Being a social phobic, this is the very last thing I need, so these days I\'m alternating between being outright jolly (for completely different reasons) and being just about ready to verbally murder a bunch of people. Nice to know that my Employers are backing us up ("Yep, we\'re all behind you, you just stand in the front lines and take up all the bullets fired at you, while we hide behind you…" – nah, just kidding, they have told us that we should refer to them in case we\'re approached/harrassed by the ladies and gentlemen of the Press).

The Press is generally doing a number like this once every three months or so on just about every office of employment in this country, so my colleagues and myself are hardly the only ones who are having the occasional wish that the collective Press would just get shipped off to the North Pole to try and raise scandals about the lives and doings of the local Polar Bears (Arctic = North Pole, right?).

In a closer-to-perfect world, there\'d be someone above the news media, who would retaliate by making a scandal out of the neglect/failures of the press,  but this is probably never going to happen.

Oh well, last item: Visitors from Oz and shared insights of SA

A good friend of mine from Australia finally came to see me on my home turf. I went to his last year all by my lonesome, and aside from a nasty female security officer who probably suspected me of bioterrorism, because I had a Flu when I arrived (was getting better though), I thoroughly enjoyed myself and wish to return one day (but with a "bodyguard" of my own to take care of nasty security people).

My friend\'s visit was his first trip outside Australia and he seemed to find it very interesting indeed. Unlike me, he brought his Mum along for the ride, which made his visit even better (since she\'s more of a people person, who can talk about everything).

He was only here for about three days before moving on to Sweden, where he was going to stay with a Swedish friend of his, but it was three good days it seems. The first day, we spent mostly at my flat, where we shared stories, jokes and philosophical insights etc.

One valuable thing he told me, was about the nature of Social anxiety (which he also suffers from) and a good reason for other people failing to properly understand the misery SA-sufferers go through.

Basically, he said that most people can, to an extent, relate to the feeling of anxiety in a performance-requiring situation, but while they have relief to look forward to, we SA sufferers have none. It is the so-called "after-punishment" (this term I admittedly stole from the very brave author of a youtube video, who tried to explain the effects of his SA), that continues the vicious cycle of distress that only makes the performance-requiring situation outright traumatic for us, while for others, the relief works as a counter-weight.

And then there is the mental fatique of fighting against these self-deprecating thoughts. Trying to reverse the effect by analyzing it with common logic and positive thoughts still require significant mental effort and it\'s draining.

While this may be old news to many of you out there, I have never quite looked at it that way, but I find it to be a very accurate summary of why SA is so hard to deal with and live with.

And I\'m notorious for being dissatisfied with even the best of my performances – it\'s as if I always look at it through the perspective of a person who hates my guts and wants to find and expose every little fault I commit.

There is to be no failure, for failure is weakness and weakness is death!


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