When people argue; Panic

It’s incredible the flood of anxiety I feel when people begin to argue.

These two people do not shout. These two people do not throw things. These two people do not hurt animals. These two people do not give each other the silent treatment later or love each other any less tomorrow.

But they do get intense with their voices. One of them is forceful and the voice raises, not in volume but in pitch. The other gets forceful and uses “YOU” statements that I find very rude. “YOU” are not listening. “YOU” have switched what you are arguing.

These arguments always end peacefully and they love each other the same immediately after. For them, the effects are null. They argue. They debate. It’s part of what they do. Frankly, I would go so far as to say it is part of who they are as people.

But for me, the effects are longer lasting. I will be afraid of them for days. It was not directed at me; nobody is arguing or debating with me. I have already put in my noise-isolating headphones and escaped up the stairs. I have already blared music directly into my earbuds.

But the flooding of anxiety is so strong and so immediate. It’s an emergency for me, when two people argue. It is danger. It is red alert. It is unpredictable and unsafe.

They will not hurt me. The worst either of them could do to me, based on who they are and what I have seen, is to use an insulting tone of voice and say “YOU” don’t understand what I am trying to say. Or something like that. That’s the worst I’ve seen or heard from them.

But my body goes straight to fear. My body says, the monsters have surrounded me. I am prepared to run. I am prepared to hide. I am prepared to face the streets in the dark at night amongst strangers. I am prepared to kill to protect myself.

My intestines prepare to evacuate immediately. I need to run. Outdoors. I need to be one speck in an infinite darkness, alone. Unknown. Safer.

Instead, I am trying to prep for bed. I brushed my teeth. I’m listening to my music, blaring into my ears. I can hear the voices. They are calm but still firm. It’s only a difference of opinion and grilling over various scientific studies to prove one side or the other. My shoes and coat were already on (because me and one of them were about to go on a very short walk). I am ready; I want to run. I could take anxiety medicine that will help me sleep. It’s been 30 minutes, right? I could take off my shoes and coat without offending. … Or I could slip past and go on a jog into the darkness.

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Cannot. Sleep. (Journal#039)

It’s 5:11 a.m. and I cannot sleep. I’ve been trying since around 1 a.m. It’s ironic, because I had even set aside a really complicated sketch I was working on for the sake of sleep.

I guess I am too nervous about tomorrow. I’m flying out tomorrow, for my grandpa’s memorial.

  • I have issues with executive functioning, so packing is always an issue.
    • My mom did talk me through some of it over the phone earlier. But in truth, I only gathered some clothes so far. I couldn’t bring my mind to think about it.
  • I’m flying. Which brings up its own bag of worms (actually, I’d like a bag of worms).
    • My worst-ever panic attack occurred on an airplane.
      • It was before I had accepted any anti-anxiety medicines (STUPID!).
      • The flight attendants offered me oxygen.
    • Although before that happened, flying was my favorite thing to do and I dreamed of being a then-called stewardess, one panic attack can change all of that.
    • Now I always feel really pleased with myself if I make it through a flight without taking anxiety medicine. (Why do I torture myself with trying it?! I can go from handling it to being scared out of my pants in about 1 second flat.)
  • I’m just scared.
    • Of the change in routine, I guess.
    • Scared of the unknown.
    • Seeing people I don’t normally get to see.
    • Attending a memorial I haven’t mentally prepared for yet.
    • I never submitted any of my memories of him for the book they’re preparing. 😦
  • I’m getting up in 2 hours for a doctor appointment. I apparently decided, why make a normal appointment for half the price when I can instead wait to the last second before travel and see an urgent care doctor for extra$$$ for something that’s been bugging me for two months??!
    • Maybe after the appointment, I can finish packing and then NAP until my flight, since I’m obviously not going to get a whole lot of sleeping in between now and my appointment.

I’ve been down again lately. It feels like it’s gone on forever, but maybe I’m mistaken.

I don’t want to ever step foot back at work again. I’ve definitely got a “thing” about that place now.

My other contract is ending at the end of this month. Actually, that means my mom won’t let me nap tomorrow because she’ll insist I work on that contract… which would be the ethically correct thing to do. But I’m so scared about the fact that I can’t sleep. I didn’t do too badly on that contract, but the time period’s nearly over and there’s still like a day’s worth of work to do on it. Two days if I’m unproductive.

Please let me out of this job. I don’t want to ever go back. One of my aunts apparently told my mom that if I can make it through for another month or two, things will be all better. But OMFG WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE IT THROUGH ONE OR TWO MORE MONTHS of it?! (2 reasons: One, the pay is better than most other jobs I could get, and two, I could opt for significantly cheaper health insurance through it)

I haven’t really written here that there’s been a helluva lot of inner turmoil at work. A helluva lot. It’s basically destroyed my home life. For the past however long it’s been, that’s what all the yelling and crap has been about – it’s all been work related. And when there wasn’t yelling, my uncle had stopped being able to talk with me or anything because he had to focus on contracts and all sorts of things he had to research. He didn’t tell me what was going on, and in fact did try to hide the yelling from me at first, but frankly when the walls shake from your voice, there’s no hiding it. That’s when I put in the earplugs and whatnot.

But I can’t take it. You’ve changed. I’m depressed. I’m scared of work, scared of the turmoil, scared of people resenting each other and doing things behind other people’s backs. Scared of the fact that one of them told several of the other employees what’s going on but I was still in the dark, as I was supposed to be (it really isn’t my business as an employee there). Sick. I’m just sick. I’m literally getting over my virus.

But I’m more than physically sick. I feel like all the light and all the hope of this life is just gone. Like I have nothing to look forward to again. Like every moment is a torment and I can’t feel rest and I can’t feel secure and I can’t feel loved. Listless and pointless.

But I’m glad I took Bailey to the dog park today. I needed the exercise (I had slept for virtually 4 days straight without a speck of exercise). But I feel so sick to my stomach right now. Bailey was very good with all of the different dogs and all of the people…except for her ability to sniff out each person who had treats. Silly food hog. It was cute, but I literally had to take her to the other side of the dog park because this really nice lady wouldn’t stop giving her treats! (Bailey has a fat-roll issue, for those wondering why that would be a problem. 😉 )

Don’t read on if you’re emetophobic or otherwise squeamish: Continue reading