Friday, June 3, 2011

Anxious. Paralyzed. Lonely. Oh My.

My husband's away for the evening. He's a musician and has a gig tonight. This means I'll be alone with the kids.

For some reason, this causes anxiety for me. There's a burden on my chest and I can't quite breathe right. I feel sad and lonely and like I can't do anything now, because I'm paralyzed. I don't even know what it is I should be doing or what I'd like to be doing. When I was younger and living with my parents, on nights like these I'd go out and get the hell away from home. I guess the urge remains, even when the reason is no longer there. My husband provides the stability and quiet contentment in my home. When he's away, I'm all nerves.

My daughters are playing together wonderfully. I'm preparing dinner for them. The evening air smells of spring flowers. And I feel like running down the street, screaming in horror. It's like the world's about to end and this is a calm before the storm and the sky will rip apart any moment now and a demonic face across it will accuse me of doing everything wrong. Now and throughout my life.

Writing this down helps.


  1. These times of fear, twitchiness and black dog on the chest -- for me they arrive with the moments of freedom, when there's a clear, unescapable chance to make a choice or take up work that is fully my own.

    Don't know if it's the same for you, but is it possibly the lifting of constraint that's frightening? Fear of choosing wrong or of unknown territory, when you've finally made the space to go beyond self-defense to affirmative choosing?

    Worth facing if so, hm?

    Hugs from me too.

    - GKA

  2. Thanks, guys!

    Great questions, GKA, as usual. I had the same fears as a teen if I was at home while the sun was setting. It was always so difficult. It felt like my whole life was being wasted, and more.

    If I went out, it was different. Just being away from home was great.

    Now that I think about it, I always had ridiculously early bedtimes as a child and in the summer that meant having to go to bed alone while there was still light outside. My father often quoted me as saying "Sleeping is a waste of time" when I was little.

    Perhaps I'm just trying to escape the idea that it's because I'm escaping "the space to go beyond self-defense to affirmative choosing"... ;)

  3. hahahaha that's how i feel! EXACTLY!
    the SKY will RIP APART!

  4. the thing is it never does though..
    and i've been feeling a lot more like that ever since everything. and i think it does have something to do with realizing you are standing alone. the thing is, though, with the anxiety sometimes, even on top of it, theres a feeling of great happiness and meaning. if you feel it it will lead to something bigger. the anxiety means you care and you are doing things you care about and that make meaning for you. you are doing something wonderful! it is WORK! real work.

  5. Yeah, the thing about the sky ripping apart... it's like I've always felt the world was just a mask hiding a horrible, dark reality that's just one ripping away from me.

  6. Did your father ever try to make you afraid of seemingly (maybe actually) benign situations so you would rely on him for protection or comfort?

    And have you considered PTSD as a possibility?


  7. I can't imagine finding comfort in him, even as a little girl - the appropriate interactions from my side were admiration, respect, adoration, idolization, but not seeking comfort, tenderness, hugs.

    I haven't seriously considered the possibility of PTSD because, well, I guess I still somehow believe I should feel lucky and grateful for having had relatively decent parents, unlike those kids who really get abused... I've always felt I hadn't "earned" the "label" of "abused" or "traumatized" because I had essentially decent parents.

    Good questions. I'll really think and do research.

    GKA, would you, please, write to me at I guarantee you won't compromise your anonymity - it's just that I feel a real connection with you so often, especially with the interest in literature that not everyone might share. If you don't wish to, no problem :)


I encourage comments!!!