Hidden Baggage

My mom and dad have never once in all my years shown me any physical or verbal affection. It simply does not exist. There is no pat on the back welcoming me home. There is no hug of congratulations. There is no tissue handed to me after a meltdown. There are no “I love you’s,” or words of affirmation. Zilch.

As a child growing up in a home like this I did not understand that a child should have parental love. I was frequently a part of my grandparents home where parental love was abundant. So I learned that a loveless home was normal.

I have to add a note here. My parents love me. They bend over backwards for me. They drop everything in a heartbeat if it means doing that. I know what their pasts were like for them and I totally understand why our home has zero mushy moments. But I am craving for that to change. Am I being selfish?

Growing up as a teenager and into a young adult it never dawned on me why boyfriends were all such assholes. I figured at that time guys were all like this and I just put up with it. Those were turbulent times; sometimes literally.

Today I am hidden deep beneath my goose down duvet with my head laying on my tear soaked pillow. As per usual, I like to peel away the layers of why I have my ups and downs and panic attacks. I have come up with a few items of interest for myself.

I am almost certain I am in the early stages of perimenopausal, have some workplace stress, and I am at the end stages of my period. With all these things, I have come to the realization that I am craving love. I want to experience it. I want to know what it feels like. Of course I have friends and family who love me to pieces but there is that other piece that I want to know what it feels like.

What does it feel like for you?

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Traveling with Anxiety

Hi. I haven’t been around in awhile. I was feeling so awesome for so long. When I was feeling good I let go of most of my self care and just did nothing.

I had invested so much in myself not that long ago. I was exercising, eating right, resting when it was necessary, and making me a priority. Stress at my old job had me tossing out myself as a priority and just stopped investing in me. And that all lead up to a tumble into anxiety, panic, and depression.

So getting back on the “me train” has been baby steps forward. Then I was feeling good so I stopped with the baby steps. When I did that I tripped and fell into anxiety and panic. It took me by such surprise that I could not believe it.

Fast Forward.

I am trying to regain myself and my confidence. Its been a struggle. I want to hide under a rock and hopefully a magical cure will land at my feet. But I know that will not happen.

I am on a work trip. Its 3 days. One day travel, one day meeting, and one day travel. So not too bad. I am about a four hour drive from home.

But I feel like hell. My anxiety is sky high. My IBS is reminding me chill out.

I know I can do this. I have done it before for a lot longer. I have the tools I need to get through this. I have great co-workers in the same hotel as me so I am not alone. Its just getting through it. There is no reason to feel scared. I got this. I don’t have to do a presentation. I don’t have to do much other than sit and smile. And heck, I could leave early with a “migraine.” And thats it. It will be time to go home. Once I get home this will be a fantastic accomplishment for me.

I have been having panic attacks since I was a wee child. So I am an expert at this and know I can get through it all.

This is my time to show my employer that I am committed to this organization. I will learn from the meeting and take away from it to give to others. If that makes sense at all; it does to me.

But what is it that is so awful? I did not have to do any driving. Woot woot. I am not alone. I know darn well I could call on any one of my coworkers to sit with me. I think my biggest fear is I will panic. That is like the ultimate fear. But there is absolutely nothing to panic about. It is like the ultimate vulnerability.

Panic Attack with a side of Disappointment

WTF!!!! 

I am so mad!   Well kind of, maybe not really.   The truth is I am very disappointed. I was seemingly having a great day.   The sun is shining, the temperature outside is scorching hot, and I got to work from home.    To me those facts alone are the foundation for me to smile all day long.   My boss doesn’t need to know that while answering emails and sorting through paperwork that it all happened while I was tending to my herb garden.   

I think I was in the direct sun for too long.   When I went inside my home I sat under the breeze of my fan and not long later felt a bit too cool.  Naturally, I grabbed for a blanket and covered my legs and then thought I would recline on the couch while writing an email.   Yup, I fell asleep.   Sound asleep I was until I snored so loud I woke up and figured that did not sound cute at all.   I dozed back into sleep.    I am not sure for how long but I eventually woke up because my bladder was pounding at me for relief.   I shot up like I was going to win a marathon and before I could think, I was in full panic attack mode.   HUH?!  Wait, what? I thought I had to pee? As much as my bladder needed relief, I awoken into a panic attack as well.  

No!  This was not happening.    I kept thinking this really was not going to happen right now.   Too late.   My mind was spinning with thoughts and my body was reacting to find the quickest and safest way to flee.  Part of my brain was already crying, “no no no no no panic attack right now.”   There was nothing I could do to calm myself, it was like my panic attack pre-stages occurred while I was sleeping and there was no way to calm down on my own steam.

Panic attack pre-stages – my own personal lingo for what I describe as the build up to full blown panic attack.  It is in this pre-stage I have anxiety and I am doing self talk with myself to calm down, that I am safe, and I will be okay.   In a pre-stage I can almost deter a panic attack if I start a very focused orientated household chore.   Yes, even if it is at 3:00 a.m. 

I packed my “to-go” bag and stood outside my home and caught my breath.    I continued my numbered breathing pattern as I got myself to what I labelled as my safe spot; the hospital parking lot.   I made myself comfortable as possible and telephoned my mom for guided and grounding conversation.   It took 10 minutes of that style of talking and I was through the brunt of my panic attack.   I hung up the phone with my mom and reassured her if the panic came back I would just go in the hospital.   Here I am an hour later my panic attack is over.   I usually feel depressed and exhausted but I feel disappointed that it happened at all.   Maybe I shouldn’t look at this as a negative experience.    I have to go and reflect on this on how there is some positive light to this.    I may not come up with anything but I have to try.  

To-Go Bag – contains items that bring me comfort and ground me.   In it I carry a bottle of pickling spices (the smell reminds me of my Grandmother who was my rock during my most horrific moments in life), my super cozy blanket, lots of water, phone charger and cord, dvd of the Golden Girls, sweet snacks and carb loaded, and other little items that keep my mind busy, calm, and make me laugh.   Much like a bag a woman would have ready and packed for when she is set to go to the hospital to give birth. 

this is how stylish i wish me and bag look

Right now.  I am Having a Panic Attack

Real Time 

I am going to give this a whirl.   I am having a panic attack right now.   I am experiencing a tremendous amount of fear.  I am remembering to breathe, in and out, in and out; controlled.    I feel like the whole world can hear me breathing.  I am panicked.    I want to run out of my house and find safety.    I am trying to tell myself that I am safe in my house and that I will be okay.    Of course my bladder and bowel are now in overdrive and i want them to know I dont have the time to sit and let them relieve themselves.    Does bladder and bowel not realize I need to find safety?!   I give in; breathing in and out; letting my body give some relief.    I am on my couch; play solitare! I cant even think to what moves to make to win a game.    I feel like the panic is subsiding.    I take that moment and take an even bigger breath.   Wow it will end.   I get cozy under the blanket thinking I should relax.    Oh no.   My legs and arms feel like they are getting electric shocks.   Its coming again.   Breathe.   Nope this one is going to be a dozey.   And like that I am in a total state of fear; I am not safe.   I must get out of my house.   I am standing on my doorstep and the wind is strong.   Ground myself, feel the wind, feel how cool it is on my face.   I tell myself I am okay and I know how to keep myself safe.  I do.   I am a smart person, I know I can keep myself safe.   I go back inside.     I keep up my breathing; in and out.   I am sitting on the couch again and as soon as I sit I am in a state of fear once more.   That’s it I am leaving my house!  I am going to go where I am safe.   I am going to drive myself to my parents house.   My safety and security is there with them.   I get in my car; controlled breathing.  I am sure the other drivers can hear my breathing.   I play a grounding game with myself; name five red things, name five blue things and on and on with different colours.   Its helping.   I am okay.   It hits me again, I will not make the 30 minute drive to my parents; I am feeling fear again.    That’s it am going to the hospital.   I have no traffic, the drive is effortless.   I park in the hospital parking lot; I know there isn’t much they can do for me here.  But I feel better knowing there is safety in here for me.  I challenge myself to stay in the car.   Nope my bladder and bowels need relief again.   I as I am walking into the hospital I feel a small amount of fear and a lot of shame.   My bladder and bowels thank me.   I go back to my car and I am having what I call small waves of fear rolling in and out of me.   I do the “call of shame.”   I dial my mom.   She answers and all I can do is take a deep breath and she immediately knows its me and I am having a panic attack.  She instantly says “you are going to be okay..”  I in turn start crying.   She knows what she has to do is to distract me and she does, I answer her robotically and eventually in 15 minutes of distraction I can hold a bland conversation with her.   It feels like we have made it through the rough part but then her mini yorkie and seven month old husky pup are barking like the house is under seige and they must alert the world.   My mom apologizes for the dogs and curses them for breaking my calm breakthrough.    My bladder and bowel need relief.    I tell my mom I have to go in the hosiptal and use the washroom and I will call her back.     After returning from the washroom and opening my car door to once again seek refuge behind my tinted car windows; I see a shiny unopened can of club soda.   The can is so cold from the overnight temperatures.   This is probably one of the best things of my day.   Why?  Because my panic attack gives me dry mouth; I call it desert mouth because it’s so unaturally dry.   I call my mom back so she can feel relief that I am still okay.   I tell her I am feeling like “its” passing and I will call her in an hour.   She knows this does mean I will be okay.   I am still sitting in my car at the hospital,  i feel okay, i feel secure, i feel safe.   I think my panic attack is over.   Time check – 2.25 hrs of panic.    My breathing is relaxed and I feel so good drinking the cold club soda.  

The Truth

Why did this panic attack happen?   A series of events led up to this.    About four days ago I was talking with a friend on the street when my ex boyfriend who was a passenger in a vehicle happen to slow down near me.   He and I spotted each other and he looked at me and laughed.   My ex was emotionally and physically violent with me when we were dating.  I had some great friends save my life and hid me for a few months until I could relocate to another town.  It took years and years of therapy to have me in a much better place.  

So his laughing at me played on my mind a lot.   I was angry.   I had a variety of emotions.   I still need to talk them out with someone.  

Last night I wanted to watch the season finale of, “Bloodline.”   But I could hardly get through most of it.   Lots of violent innuendo and fear based storylines.   It was making me feel unsafe.    I turned it off and realized its just  not the right time for me to see this show end.  

After I turned Bloodline off, I turned on the Sex and The City movie for some easy storylines.    I was feeling a bit more relaxed.   Then it happened.   I swore I heard a gun shot.    And then it happened again and again.   I realized the USA was celebrating Memorial Day with some fireworks.    Lots of time would pass between each round of fireworks or firecrackers.    But I recognized my body was getting scared because sometimes those sounds reminded me of someone knocking on my door.    For instance when my ex would knock on my bedroom window at 3 am because he wanted to make sure I was alone or he needed to pass out; either of which came with violent expletives.   

So there I have it.   An accumulation of events over days triggering me into a state of fear.    

I feel like I can drive back to my home now because it is safe.    And I really am okay. 


My living room looks just as cozy as this one.    My absolute heaven when I need self care.   

Noctornal Fear 

Nightmare.

I’ve had bad dreams since I was a kid, I even labelled some nightmares. I’ve dreamt of bears chasing me, my teeth falling out, not having the ability to scream when it was needed most.   

Last night was a first for me. I had a bad nightmare. It still haunts me 12+ hrs later. It was the kind of nightmare that triggered a panic attack. I was very scared to fall back asleep hours later. I am physically drained and weak. My nightmare included my loved ones and I think that’s what upset me the most.   

I’ve googled everything I can on nightmares and noctornal panic attacks. Its provided minimal relief. My mom, her advice is to rest and let myself heal and know it wasnt real. I love my mom; she is better than any googled answer.   
I am still crying over this nightmare. It scared the life right out of me. I know that very soon I have to distract myself and stop giving it power. This cannot “own” me.   

Cosmic Kitchen

The term “cosmic kitchen” is a term my friend coined and I am now borrowing.   

My cosmic kitchen is run by a Gordon Ramsey type chef.   The orders he receives are cooked in magical form.  

My friend and I are single and will text each other when our hormones kick in high gear reminding us that nature wants us to find a mate.  We have an open forum any emotion is welcome when we have the notion a boyfriend is needed.   

This is friend and I were recently communicating via text that “siiiigh i wish i had a boyfriend.”    I conveyed to her that I believe that the universe will send someone when the time is right and I should practice patience.   This is where we thought about our cosmic kitchen.  

I’ve sent my order in to my Gordon Ramsey type chef detailing the ins and outs of what makes me, me!  He believes that his creation needs times and to be carefully crafted.   In essence I’ve been told to enjoy myself at the kitchen table, taste a few complementary hot from the oven honey buns, and be happy where I am at.  
What does your cosmic kitchen look like?

Solemn Vow

I can’t let you hurt me anymore.    You are in my head.  You are in my dreams.  My lost thoughts are of you.   But it all leaves me empty.   I have to remind myself that you make me empty.    I have somehow lost that part of me that has the power to flick you off with the twitch of my finger.  

I can spot you a mile away.  My breath disappears.   My heart thumps in my ears.  Those golden butterflies flutter in my belly.   I see nothing else and I hear nothing else.    Those are my vulnerable parts I have for you.   They are the sacred things I never share.  

You invest nothing of yourself in me.   I invest the stars in you.   

I stand here blindly.  It will take the strengh of a 1000 men to lift my lashes and open my eyes.   To no longer be blind.  To no longer be empty.   

If you see me, shoot me the finger!

Its the kind of day where no matter how many mantras you chant about how you are going to have a bitchin good day, it just doesn’t work.  It is the kind of day where I do take the time to break from the monotonous cycle to remember there are bright moments in a shitty day. It feels like I am in a tug of war between a happy sunny mood and shitty ass mood and I am the rope.  

But I will say this when I did my latest cleanse (no not bodily) I get a sense that I have made a huge step forward to finding the next chapter. No more strings holding me down, no more obligations to please, no stopping me now.