Tag Archives: panic attacks

The One About Bloody Noses

Looked down this morning to find my nose was bleeding. It happens occasionally. I overheat and then there’s a gusher. Been dealing with it since I was a kid.

But it’s been a long time – years even – since it’s happened.

Now instead of racing my bike up the hill by my house, instead of sliding across the goal into a post face first, instead of sprinting towards third – I’m not a kid any more.

Bloody noses are my first husband. They are his whispers in my ear, the sharp crack snapping my head back, the twisted image of myself that he gave me.

But…

Really, it’s just blood on a tissue tossed and gone.

Like him.

images

The One About Slipping

I’m a talker. I will carry conversations. Lately, all I’ve wanted to do is sit in silence watching Netflix or sleep.

I know that’s not me.

So my sig-oth said to me awhile back that it might be time for me to seek some treatment (again). That’s his way of letting me know that I’m regressing. I can feel it. I think it’s the great divide between the forward thinkers and backsliders that’s going on in the States. There’s not a safe space here. And I’ve looked at all the cat videos I can stand.

I’ve done cognitive therapy. You sit and talk with the therapist who assures you that you’re living a guilt-free life. That works for awhile because logic. Problem is that the tangled brain/emotion/thoughts come back and, for me, it’s hard to hear her voice. Sounds crazy, right?

Right. Mental health issues. Crazy. Labels are great.

There are other options: meds, family therapy, group therapy, and exposure therapy. Fucking all the therapy makes you talk and I don’t want to do that. Feeling like a little chicken-hearted punk because I know I need to go, but it’s sure comfortable in my little zoned out spot on the couch.

 

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.

“No, stop. I’m serious.”

Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.

I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.

Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.

Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.

Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.

Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.

Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.

No means no. All the time. Every time.

No, don’t want to go out with you.

No, I don’t want to be tickled.

No, you can’t have a hug.

No, I don’t like to be scared.

No, I don’t want to have kids.

No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.

And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.

 

 

 

 

The Other, Other, Other, Other, One About the VA

It’s not enough that we have maggots. The Other Other One About the VA

Google auto fills “vet suicides at” with:

  • Phoenix VA
  • VA
  • Denver VA
  • Attempts per day

It doesn’t tell you about the one that happened in Albuquerque on the 22nd. Just like no one reported on James Ingram III setting himself on fire in a VA parking lot (The One About Ending It All) because apparently people pretend like none of this is happening.

All I know is what was reported by disabled veterans.org because there’s nothing else to find. I even checked the Albuquerque Journal‘s obit section and none listed the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while standing at the doors of the Albuquerque VA hospital .

hlyygni

Reach out. I didn’t seek help – it was thrust on me. A friend made the appointment at the VA for me. It wasn’t my answer. Compartmentalization will break down. Seek help and/be the help. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

The One About Ghosting

There’s this piece of PTSD that’s haunted me for years, long before I even considered there was something “wrong” with me. I disconnect. It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when it happens, but like today, I wake up and realize that I’ve distanced myself from everyone again. I can’t really feel anything. Like I’ve wrapped myself in some industrial plastic sheeting. I can noise the polite noises, smile the polite smiles, but the care’s gone.

I can’t touch it.

This is when I ghost.

I know that I want to be included, to see friends and family, be social, but that’s all preprogramming. Under that, I’m on emotional lockdown and want to be alone. That’s not what I need to break this pattern though. Left alone with the lizard brain, it just becomes harder and harder to cut my way out as the layers get tighter and thicker. And I do know that eventually I’ll want out.

Just can’t care. Just not right now. It’s fucking comfortable in my plastic protector.

So I’m here, but not here. I might even be in the same room with you, but you’re alone.

Just like me.

 

The One About What Not To Say

I’ve made a post or two (or seven) about PTSD, and I’m fairly open about my experiences. Been doing real well for over a year.  But in the last two weeks I’ve had two full-blown attacks. The first one happened because I ignored my triggers in order to be polite and wound up a mess.  It was all I could do not to run, or throw chairs, or crack my teeth from gritting them so hard.  Thankfully, my friend, who suffers from panic attacks, knew exactly what to do.  She made me step outside of myself (because the lizard brain takes over and is very hard to reason with), and asked yes or no questions that I could answer by nodding or shaking my head. She also made me breathe.

The second one happened at home while I was play fighting with my sig-oth.  Things became too real and I couldn’t catch my breath.  I hyperventilated.  All the while he is asking me, “Are you OK?  Are you OK?” on repeat and getting worried because I was scaring him.  He knows exactly how to respond during one of my “normal” attacks.  It’s just that he’s never seen this sort.  It was a first for me too, which made it all the more terrifying.

Are you OK?

That will paralyze me.  I cannot respond.  I cannot answer- even with slight movements.  The lizard reigns supreme and he shall not be moved.  And it’s made worse because I’m on the inside, knowing I’m not OK.  Knowing the lizard is in control. It feeds the panic.

I am not all people.  If you have friends that suffer from panic attacks, find out what they need before one happens.

Some suggestions of what NOT to say:

Calm down.  

Calm down = Fuck you in panic speak.  We cannot calm down.  And again, fuck you for telling us to.

It’s just _____ or it was only a ______.

Oh please suggest that we are overreacting!  That’ll earn you another big fuck you.  We’re already yelling at the lizard that everything’s OK, we don’t need your judgmental tone.  It’s not helpful.

Sit down.

Panic attacks hit the flight or fight response.  Sitting down and pretending everything is OK is not usually an option.  Duh.  We are not doing this cause a scene.  We are not trying to embarrass you.  If you cannot handle this, please just shut up and say nothing.

Best thing to say?

BREATHE.  

Say it calmly.

Some people cannot articulate their needs without touching the memories of past attacks, I believe the second one happened because of the first one.  I panicked about panicking.  As weird as that sounds it’s common.

TL;DR: Panic attacks are real and you can help by calmly telling the person during an attack to breathe. Calm Down = Fuck You

Don’t ignore your triggers.  It’s a rook mistake.

Love is not your savior. Love is the luxury after you save yourself.
– Anonymous