Waiting for the Shoe

The shoe? You know, the one that drops.

 

shoes

 

In short, I’m waiting for the panic attacks to start, again. I’ve been working on the cleaning plan, working on the memoir, working on the garden. None of it full bore, none of it to completion. . . but the house/yard is neater. The memoir retype is sloooowly getting done. Things are being worked on, sometimes in an orderly fashion.

And no panic?

One of the last “Aha!” moments I had with my therapist before she retired was the bit about finishing things. You have to understand, it was as if I were a prisoner or war or in jail or something.Almost everything I owned, everyone I knew, everything I said or did, wore, etc. was possibly taken, broken, denigrated, etc. I doubt anyone had any idea how confined I felt at the time: how scared I was that whatever I was doing or had or said would generate an attack. I was 3-12. It was a long time ago. But what happened in those years gave me the abuse behaviors and the PTSD which determined how I lived for the next 50 years. It’s been less than 10 years that I’ve been “well” enough to set aside the terror of being crazy, of being damned.

And I still, in my 60s don’t finish things, or hardly ever. I brought up the panic that I feel when I do finish things. I immediately go into hyper-critical mode, every flaw or fault is examined and derided, internally at least. Frequently I toss it out, if it’s knitting or crochet, I’ll take it apart. I find some reason NOT to finish things. So I brought this vexing problem up with my therapist. Who did, what she did, for years: look at me and say something which just blew me away: “Since you felt whatever you did was subject to attack — why would you finish things? You were much safer if you didn’t.”

And given how I felt, yep, that makes total sense.

Now I can see the home emerging from the house clutter. I can see the pattern of the food system emerging. I can see patterns of cleaning. All new, all at the same time.

And I’m waiting for that shoe. There’s always been a shoe. I’d rather avoid it this time, so we’ll just wait a while.

 

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