Sometimes, I act like a child.
It’s not because I don’t know better,
It’s because I have these feelings like rotten milk in a container you just can’t get open to throw out.
I want to rid the sour taste from of my mouth.
But when I open up the words don’t come out.
So I mope, and pout.
Not to make you feel bad but because I’m too insecure to find a different way around.
Sometimes, I shut down.
It’s not because of what you said,
Or even how you said it.
It’s how I felt it.
I have excellent hearing – able to multi-task multiple mouths moving to different conversations.
I hear them all.
My listening though, that’s where I run into problems.
Listening is the undiscernible space between hearing and comprehension.
Sometimes my listening feels abandoned without a life jacket in a glass bottom boat in the middle of the ocean.
The truth sits just below the surface of what I’m able to perceive.
But because my vision is not clear though my removed position on this stranded vessel,
I’m not able to see it through the murky waters
Or hear it over the swells rising with my every insecurity and crashing down burying my safety beneath it.
Sometimes I’m too much to handle.
I know this.
Sometimes I’m too much for ME to handle.
I become one with these times that I’ve come to know all too well.
These are time periods that people have become comfortable associating with an anxiety attack
An anxiety ATTACK.
Those words get thrown around like the feelings they create – deflation – a bag on the side of the road in the wind.
With no relational point as to how it got there, what it does, how it will react or where it will wind up – the substance of those words lose their value and meaning.
The words are accurately tremendous though.
It IS an attack.
As an attack, it is an unwelcome offensive maneuver with designs to disrupt or conquer my sense of safety.
Getting attacked is the quintessential feeling of loss of security.
It is the fastest way to reduce human character to a lonely chromosomally deficient standing amidst an evolutionary pool of enemies, still, with arms extended looking for nothing more than acceptance.
A Place to belong
A place to be loved.
It is a feeling that exists subliminally in the moment of attack – the feeling of being truly alone.
Sometimes, this loneliness consumes every corner of my mind and memory.
It takes the comfortable mental clutter of my past and hides it in tattered boxes under the very floor boards that I stand on to look for them.
That act of looking for memories and feeling of safety and acceptance is the infiltration of the anxiety’s attack.
It is not so much of an act of “looking” as it is a panicked search.
That same feeling you felt as a child the first time you got lost in a public place.
When you couldn’t find your parents.
You were alone, lost and you needed them, right then, more in that moment than you ever recall needing them.
In that moment, in that instantaneous feeling, a fight or flight reaction kicks in and adrenaline acts as a safety vest.
It’s in this moment that I jump from the glass bottomed boat into the treacherous and uncertain waters below.
I flail and cry, helpless and alone, just like that lonely lost child left behind.
I am stuck bobbing in an ocean filled with helpless uncertainty.
And there I stay, as a child, alone, trying to figure out what to do.
The water tastes of rotten milk and that taste in my mouth somehow becomes the least of my worries.
Sometimes, in situations like that I can’t even figure out what I need.
Is it fresh water to wipe that taste from my mouth?
Is it a life-jacket that isn’t built on the fabric of my fight or flight response?
Or is it something I can’t understandably materialize, like a shield, a blanket or an out stretched hand?
You see, like all people who have been attacked, it is difficult to articulate what it is that I need.
For I don’t know what defenses can fight off an ocean…
But what I want?
I want what any person who is, or has been, under attack wants but doesn’t necessarily know how to get, or receive –
I want to not be alone.
I want to feel safe.