Something Was Wrong, It Was Me

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It arrived every evening like a suspicious stranger, its presence like black fog slipping under the door. It was deceiving at first, mist, started slowly and then it changed in a split second and attacked me. I felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick, repeatedly, the chill of cold anxiety running up and down my spine. The goal apparently was to shock me and knock me totally off-balance. It won, I didn’t stand a chance.  I don’t know why it came. I certainly didn’t invite it nor could I prevent it and its malicious presence only showed itself to me after dark.

I don’t know why it happened and I never completely understood it but the displeasure was here, every single night. I tried every trick I knew: deep breathing and meditation, but I did not stand a chance, it felt like I had been swept up by a tornado. Actually, I  lived in the eye of that tornado, I felt helpless, yes, out of control, out of control, out of control…

In past years during this same time period I felt sad, weepy. In the past eleven years I have known grief and a feeling of longing but not anxiety. Major life events happened, I felt loss , my dad was deceased but fear? This year without the regular Thanksgiving plans, control escaped me and anxiety with its octopus legs strapped me in and squeezed me so tight I could not breathe properly. Maybe Thanksgiving, without check lists and red lines crossed off made me feel undone. Would it be five people or nine? Last minute? I used to be so flexible, what happened to me? I missed feeling in charge, in control. I was alone in the world, it put me off-center, dizzy with fright.

I had trouble sleeping and eating and with my chronic pain disorder, Fibromyalgia, I questioned if this could have been a flare-up? Very possibly but I don’t know. The physical pain is the same but the IBS and the anxiety are on over drive.  Anxiety rolls in my stomach like one of those slippery aqua blue water park slides that I hate, wet,  flying down way too fast. I went on one of those once when my children were little and pleaded me to go on one of the rides with them. Trying to be a good mother and show them that fear should not stand in one’s way I relented, seeing their shiny little faces. Big mistake. I laid on my back and flew down the twisting spiral of hell screaming all the way down only to see them at the bottom, laughing. “Why did you lie on your back, Mom, didn’t you know that is the fastest way to go down?” OF COURSE NOT!!!

I felt like I have been on that water slide for at least two weeks except in my head and my body. I’m in my own zone of panic. Nothing worked, nothing helped, my last resort was to try to listen to music which has helped in the past. No luck. Maybe I’m just so excited that tomorrow I will be seeing my children, home for the holiday? Maybe I am feeling out of control not knowing if we will be five or nine people? Or maybe the last four, stressful weeks have finally caught up to me: my husband got laid off, I had to have painful uterine biopsies and on the way to my doctor’s appointment I had a flat tire. I found out my friend and her husband both needed surgery, I took on my friend’s problems too.

Maybe I’m anxious now because I couldn’t allow myself to be anxious before. The food lists are really not important, there will be plenty of food, no matter who comes. My friends will be fine. My husband will eventually find a job and we are not living out on the streets. My tests results came out perfectly. AAA apologized for dropping my call, twice and they paid for the private road side assistance. I’m taking a deep breath, it feels good. All of a sudden, I feel like listening to music and I’m getting a little tired. That’s got to be a good sign. I hope.

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Come With Me, Sweet Julie (Carry On Tuesday)

spinning top

spinning top (Photo credit: Creativity103)

i’m julie and i’m 14, my world is turning around and i feel like im slipping into crazy like a snap of my fingers. im a spinning top, out of control, like all my colors mixed together: the colors green, yellow, red, orange, so fast yet i can see the the colors like the threads in my brain have gotten twisted and i can’t untwist them. i stopped speaking a few weeks ago, mom and dad been beating me, they were drinking all the time and throwing glasses across the room that shattered like angry chimes, i’ve been pretty much taking care are of myself for a long time now.

i ran away a few days ago and im not sure they even know i’m missing. i brought only my secret box that i’ve had since i was a child. i keep my favorite top, a letter from my brother, brian, a seashell, red fish candy, and my flashlight that makes me feel safe.

mom and dad once let me play with their bright colored pills like they were marbles on the old, scratched wooden dining room table. i got smacked real bad when they saw i scratched my name and brian’s and a heart on the table. i had big red welts all over my body. cops came and brian and i were sent away for a few days but then we had to go home. i miss my older brother brian but he went to college a long time ago, wherever that neighborhood is. i still write him a lot but he doesn’t answer me.i thought he loved me for real like i loved him.

nobody knows this secret room, except brian. we found it many years ago but we didn’t tell anyone. my stomach makes noise and i eat a graham cracker and suck on it slowly and i have a bottle of water. daddy hits both mama and me a lot, he hits me with a belt and i’m never sure why. it hurts too much.

i fell asleep, cuz my head was hurting so bad, i thought i heard voices coming towards me so i hid extra special deep. ever since mama burned my hand on purpose on the stove the nice lady visited, she said she was finding me a new home but not if she couldn’t find me.  i was shaking so hard i couldn’t stop. she left but some hours later i heard footsteps again but not hers, unless she changed her clickety -clack shoes.

it was late and someone walked right next to my exact hiding place. i got ice cold with fear. i heard breathing,  right down low where the secret lock was and i heard someone say my name, i was terrified, what if it was daddy again?  “Julie, honey, it’s Brian, your brother, no one else is here, just me. I promise. Please come out.” i wasn’t sure if it was a trick so i stayed. He softened his voice, barely a whisper and said “Julie,  it’s Brian, I swear. Please come out Julie I came here as soon as I found out, I’ve been looking for you for years. I’m so sorry sweet Julie, I just got your letters because I moved a few times, but the second I got them, I flew down here and called the police on mom and dad. I swear Juls, I have never lied to you before, have I?

“Julie, he whispered, I’m going to prove it to you with a letter, ok? Read it, tell me what you think”he slipped the letter by the one opening that was very narrow. i looked at the letter and it was some legal paper that said i was going to stay with brian and his wife deborah. brian had gotten married? and he was my legal guardian now. is it true? i asked brian. “Yes, it’s true, you goofball, now get out of there, come with me and give me a big hug.” So I crawled out and Brian picked me up and we hugged for a long time. We were both crying too and he said he had to fatten me up. He told me to pack my things, we were never going to come back here. our old mom and dad were in jail. Tonight we were staying in a hotel (a real hotel) and i asked him if I could jump on the bed. Tomorrow we were flying to my new home, Deborah would be my new mom but I could call her Debbie if i wanted to and the best news yet, I was going to be a big sister!

i thought i should tell brian that i was feeling crazy before, real crazy and he laughed, he said he felt the same way when he was with mom and dad, they were bad people and did bad things. he promised if i still felt crazy he would take me to a doctor but as soon as he said it, i looked up at him and grinned. the next thing he said was, “Darn, I’m hungry, let’s go somewhere to eat, sis.” and wasn’t that the nicest thing in the world to hear.

I’m Done, I’m Stuck, Help Me

Help, I'm Stuck

Image by Martin Cathrae via Flickr

Help I'm Trapped In Here

Image by duncan via Flickr

snowing

Image by jam343 via Flickr

I’ve had it. I have said it jokingly before but now I mean it. I’m disgusted with everything and every person. There are a few exceptions like my kids (especially the one away at college) and my dog. My dog is exempt ALL of the time, my husband? Not so much. Today, he could not make a rational, DECISIVE decision and he flip-flopped like a newly caught fish. He changed his mind twelve times in under two minutes, a record. Sometimes a girl/woman/wife/mother/person just has to say “what the eff?” Here’s to you, my hero, Ferris Bueller.

I’m also feeling the teeny tiniest bit of crazy and it’s all coming out on paper, now. After the anger came out I felt scared and stuck, trapped and hopeless, also hungry. This has been going on way too long, three months too long.

Today did not start with a resounding, positive spin. We woke up to snow, yes SNOW. Heavy, dreadful, snow that started in the morning and will continue until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. It’s OCTOBER people, October. You know, the time of year where we gasp from the brilliant artistry of the naturally changing leaves, bright streaks of red, amber, different shades of green, all colors holding hands, clasping each other, on one fiery tree. It’s beautiful, well, it was beginning to get beautiful… In past years it was a slow and steady sign of seasons changing, temperatures starting to decline not a nor’easter punching us in the face coming out of nowhere.

To those who say I shouldn’t be cranky, I say “Tough.” I am cranky, I deserve to be cranky and I have every right to feel cranky.”  I know there are worse things in the world and indeed I am incredibly grateful that we are not suffering from life threatening illnesses but I swear, my mind is going, going, soon to be gone. Yes, maybe tomorrow I will breathe as deeply as I possibly can and I will repeat the mantra of safety but today, I am not doing it. I don’t WANT to be calm today. I’m sorry what? Yes, I said it: No interest in being calm today.” THE FRIGGIN SNOW OF OCTOBER 29th 2011 put an end to that.

I have lasted an entire paragraph without mentioning my old, destructive and defective house but trust me I’m so there now. The little house from hell with termites, carpenter ants, rotten and decayed wood, that had electrical problems now has heating problems too. So, my genius husband (sorry hubby, it’s been a really bad day) decides (without consulting me, of course) that he would leave two portable heaters on over night, plugged in, “on low,” when nobody was home. That is all kinds of wrong; I just couldn’t take it. Thank goodness for my sister who rightfully said: “this is from the man who insists that I, as a grown woman, put on my seat belt when I sit in the back of the car?” Yes, Sis, the same person. I asked him to ask a neighbor, one of several we could ask to please unplug the fire hazards but no, he didn’t want to do that. So, now he is on his way back in the snow to turn them off himself. What IS IT about men and asking favors? I don’t get it.  Smokey the Bear, on behalf of my husband, I apologize. Deeply.

Peeps, you don’t need to bother to read this post if you don’t want to because I am VENTING and sometimes venting is useful because my chest has become less painful and I am breathing evenly. Sometimes it is more than okay to say “I’m furious” instead of meditating your anger away. I’m CRANKY, I’ve lived with this stress, tension and emotional and financial ruin for three months now, cramped in one tiny hotel room. I have every right to vent and I am glad I did. So there.