Panic!

I was having a rough week.

My co-worker, Doris, was driving me crazy. She gossips, talks behind peoples’ backs and is so loud I think I’ll lose my mind, what’s left of it, of course.

My daughter, Emily, was trying to arrange for me to be in WI for the birth of my second grandchild.

My youngest daughter just started on an anti-depressant, the same dosage as me, at only 13! I haven’t quite thought through that one yet.

There is still that big old elephant in the living room that is my marriage.

We got a new puppy, thinking it would calm aforementioned younger daughter, Allison, and maybe she could get a good night’s sleep.

When Emily called with a date she would be induced into labor, I had two days to prepare and spend a small fortune on tickets.

When I got to my dad’s house so he could drive us to the airport I began to talk about how much Doris drives me crazy at work. He said I should confront her and gave me some great ways to do it.

When I got on the plane I was getting more relaxed because so much had been taken care of and we were on our way!

After the pilot’s okay, I reclined my seat. As soon as I did that the seat popped back into position again! I said to Allison, “Did you see that?”

She looked behind her in between the seats and mouthed, “It’s his knees”!

So I tried it again, the same thing happened.

I just sat there going to take it and not say anything. That is what I usually do.

”Wait a minute! “ I thought, “This upright seat hurts my neck and why am I always the one to suffer over someone else? He should have got stretch seating!”

So as I thought about this and Doris and my dad’s talk I began to formulate a plan that I thought would fit me the best to finally confront the situation.

I flagged down a flight attendant and told her there was something wrong with my seat. Every time I put it back it flipped forward. She looked at me strangely and then tried it herself. What do you think happened? It stayed in position! Amazing!

Almost immediately, even before I had been able to enjoy my victory I started to feel strange. I felt a bit light headed and nauseated. A “fog” was beginning to descend. I decided to close my eyes, the only thing I could think of. I fell into many broken micro sleeps. Each time I dreamt of Doris and what my dad had said about standing up to her. When I woke up for good it was time to get off the plane.

I really don’t remember much after that until we got to Emily’s house. I felt like crying. I just wanted to go home and I needed John or my sister.

I was having a panic attack. Just like the old days.

Luckily it was over when I woke up in the morning. I analyzed it to death…why, why now? WTF??? How much more medication do I need? I know I ask that often.

It really shook me to my core though. I haven’t had a panic attack since I was in my teens. And you know what a panic attack feeds on right? Fear of another panic attack!

After a lot of thought I realized it was the “confrontation” with the person behind me with knees pushing my seat back up.

I believe I have PTSD when it comes to confronting people because I am so afraid they will yell at me. I live my life constantly trying not to upset anyone. It’s exhausting and frankly it’s not fair to me. Of course, the panic attack just reinforced my reasoning.

I feel like a sitting duck most of the time.

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Minding My Own Business

I was out walking my dog. I have a miniature poodle that lifts his leg on everything during the walk. He’s empty before we make it past our bushes, but yet he continues to try to mark anything and everything if I slow down even in the slightest.

This particular day he lifted his leg on the wrong bush. A disturbingly angry man started yelling at me. It was too loud, too angry and it sent a cold trickle of fear through my center. I turned around to look and an old man was standing inside his house yelling though the living room window. He kept yelling things like; “What kind of person am I that I would let my dog pee on his bush?” and “I’m going to call the police”, etc. I tried to explain he wasn’t peeing, but the man was making so much noise he couldn’t hear me. Finally I turned around and began walking again, using the universal arm wave that says “Whatever”.

It looked like the whole situation was over. And it was to him and anyone else who was listening, but to me it wasn’t. My head was spinning. I cried all the way home. I felt like I had been transported back to my childhood.

I haven’t been able to get myself to go out for a walk since. I try all the self-talk, all the logic, etc. I’ve listened to all the advice.  And I still can’t do it. I will. I know I will, it just might take a little longer this time.  At my age now I’ve realized that sometimes it’s okay to be kind and gentle with myself.