So I originally posted this last Saturday, but then lost my nerve to leave it up and deleted it. If it seems familiar, that’s probably why, and I’m sorry for wasting your time. I decided to post it again, changing it to update to current. It’ll probably be boring as heck to anyone reading it. I do realize that I go on and on and on and… Well, you know. I doubt any of it is really important to anyone except me.
Last Friday I walked to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription- I’d been putting it off for over a week, which is something I seem to be doing a lot the last few months. I don’t get some of my meds when I should because I just can’t seem to make myself go to the pharmacy to get them, for a lot of reasons, and this is one example.
I was halfway to the pharmacy when, only a couple of feet next to me, I heard the loud crunch of metal against metal and the sound of glass shattering. I immediately went into the freeze response from my PTSD. It reared its ugly head. I stood there, one leg lifted up and tucked towards my body, almost like the way a flamingo stands on one foot. My head came down and my arms covered it, surrounding my head as if in self protection. A standing fetal position, I guess you could say. Even in my PTSD I’m too lazy to drop to the ground and then get back up. I think I bit my cheek at some point, too, because I had a sore in my mouth for a couple of days after.
I don’t know how long I stood that way. It could have been ten seconds, or it could have been two hours. It was probably only a minute, maybe two. When I finally came back to myself, I slowly uncurled myself from the position I was in. I looked to my right, but there was nothing there except a few parked cars and traffic moving by. I took a closer look at the parked cars and I realized that someone had sideswiped the mirror off of the car directly next to me- it was broken and the pieces of it were scattered on the ground- but did no other damage. At that point I started walking in circles, wondering if there was something that I should do. Again, I have no idea how long I actually walked in circles, probably only for a minute, when I realized that I was next to a restaurant packed with people.
Boy, was that embarrassing to realize… A restaurant full of people, watching a crazy person on the sidewalk flinch and then walk in circles. I mean, no one probably noticed, and even if they did, they didn’t know who I was, but still…
I finally started moving again, towards the pharmacy, even though I wanted to go home. To get to my bedroom and curl up in a ball and never leave my bed again. That’s when the warmth started. Or at least that’s when I began to notice it. You know that warmth I’m talking about if you’ve had it. It’s the one when anxiety is running through your body. An uncomfortable warmth that streaks through your chest, you have trouble breathing, your heart feels like it’s trying to pound out of your body and you’re hypersensitive to every single noise that comes your way, no matter how big or small it is.
I know I can’t help my reaction, but I feel like it’s kind of stupid that I even react that way. And it’s so frustrating. I have no reason to even have that reaction, and I don’t understand why it happens. I can’t stop it and I can’t control it when something like that happens unexpectedly, which is frustrating. At least when regular traffic moving by gets overwhelming I can at least try to go behind a building and take deep breaths and try to get away from the noise a bit.
So we found out a few weeks ago (maybe a couple of months ago, I can’t remember) that my mom has cancer. She doesn’t want to talk about it. Not to anyone. She’s always been like that, where she doesn’t really talk about anything to do with emotions, or her health. She keeps it all in. I guess I probably learned that from her. The only reason that she told me is because changes are coming. There’s always something that changes with diagnoses like those because they are usually life changing, although whether or not it’s for the better remains to be seen.
The doctors are saying that it’s a basic case, and should be easy to treat. She started chemo and radiation this past Sunday. I tried to mentally prepare myself for what’s coming with it, and I tried to physically prepare her for it. She always waits until the last minute to do anything, and I panic if it’s not done right away, so I’d rather get things done early than on time. She is acting like nothing is going to change, and I’m trying to prepare for the worst. She might be right. It might be that nothing changes, so far she’s been fine with the treatments, just a little more tired, but this is only the beginning. There’s still three and a half weeks to four weeks of chemo and radiation, then comes the surgery and after that more chemo.
I guess I’m just scared of the unknown at the moment, and I’m worried. I know cancer treatments really are pretty basic these days, but chemo and radiation are toxic. Anything could happen. To be honest, I can’t really even articulate what I’m thinking and feeling. I’m scared and worried. I worry about everything.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading and I’m sorry if I bored you. No worry about responses. Just wanted to get this out. Other people have worse problems than me that need the support more.
I just want to edit this to add that I understand PTSD pretty well, and even though it makes me feel like a fraud to say I have it because I have never served, I understand why I was diagnosed with it. I just don’t understand certain reactions I have, and (if you couldn’t tell) it’s frustrating.