when my first anxiety attack struck me. Hot, humid, Texas weather plagued us that day as our semi-cohesive family walked the tourist attractions of San Antonio. I was only 8 years old and I knew that we came here every summer because of our familiarity of the place. It bored me but there is little autonomy at that age.
We were on the second floor, it had begun to rain - thunderstorm, really - how appropriate for the feeling in my chest seemed to mirror the weather. As the waiters rushed to close the foldable windows, I hurriedly rushed to the bathroom and stood in the stalls clutching my chest, feeling the stabbing sensation that was to become my closest companion for the rest of my life and staring at the redness spread over me.
I never really knew fear until then.
I was a nervous child when I took off that morning. My mother, trying so hard to not reveal to my father the truth, and trying so hard to not cry. They keep no secrets from each other - which can make for a pretty crappy childhood of trying to get someone to take your side - and this one, the one that bonded my mother and I the deepest, has never been revealed. She knew, as well as I did, that I would not pull into that driveway with a smile. She didn’t even ask when I would be back. She held me, made the sign of the cross on my head and whispered, “Do what you need to do.”
I drove to San Antonio at 5 in the morning because sleep was not coming to my heart and my chest and that stabbing pain was back, just as when I was a nervous child.
Four days later, I left the couch and apartment with no words. I didn’t text anyone, I had barely slept four hours. No one hugged me goodbye or anxiously awaited my location, clutching a cell phone and staring at the blank screen silently wishing for my name to appear. I walked into corner stores trying to look purposeful and determined, as if buying that coca cola was the sole mission I had been born to do. That was the only thing that kept me awake on that drive besides the music and my tears.
That was August of 2012. It’s May of 2013 and I leave in the morning. I go to the place that brought my first attack with another attack of fear in my heart. For once, I don’t want to leave here and journey to my home away from home because I know that the road is still haunted with your memory. I hesitate to leave because I have so much here now. Where before I saw a barren meadow, I know see flowers blooming and what was once inhospitable, is now an oasis of promise… but still, when my gas tank is full, my first thought is, “I can get to San Antonio and have 150 miles to spare.” (I have tried to untrain my heart as my mind has quickly learned to not say aloud your name but it is a slow student.) Sometimes, I roam the streets of San Antonio in my mind’s eye. I see everything and everywhere that I took in during the two years I lived there and then I see all the places that we cohabitated with our presence.
(When will I ever stop referring to “us” as one? Will that finally end all this?
I know I will have to mask my emotions while I am up there. It’s something I have mastered and am still profoundly uncomfortable with. I sometimes feel as if I have a permanent mask placed over my very soul; something to keep everyone from seeing my true self and as much as I want to not blame your leaving on the reason why I am the way I feel, because ultimately, it is my decision whether something affects me and how much it affects me and how I will react to it - I know it was because of us.
Do you see how I put that blame on not just yourself? I’m trying here.)
I have found what you told me I would find without you. I have found joy, happiness, sorrow, confusion, anger, friendship, love, oh, boundless overwhelming exasperating sweep you off your feet love. I have found timidity, strength, profound clarity, and pain. But I have yet to find the one you promised would take care of me the way that I need.
Or maybe I have. Maybe you meant that I would find the person within myself.
I am a nervous child as I write this. I am a nervous child as I will be in the morning as my car and I push off the gravel and make our way to celebrate - my birthday, my sister’s graduation, her joy, my progress - and I don’t know what I will do if I don’t see you, or if I do.
Both make me feel like a nervous child, clutching at my chest with my familiar stabbing pain.
This post has been featured on a 1000notes.com blog.
There’s a common tragedy that occurs every time we silence that inner voice that tells us,
“Don’t settle for this. I promise, even though you won’t believe me right now, that there will come a day when it will make sense and feel like home again. If you want to stay, you can. But protect yourself while you stay here.”
Part of growing up is understanding that you can walk away and not feel like you’re making a colossal mistake because you know yourself. At least, you hope you do.
A lot of us will stay because we need the experience. We’re curious. We want to hope. We’re tragically flawed to want it all without measuring the cost.
Some of us are just killing time. Waiting for that thing. Whatever we were sold to look for and believe in.
But I’ll stay because I’m grateful for every single moment. Every glance. Every rushed story. Every apology. Every front that gets put on. Every single tiny tragedy. I’m sad but I’m happy.
Tragic and timeless.
By Ryan McArthur (via thekhooll)
laugh out loud :D
This post has been featured on a 1000notes.com blog.
This is me. Since last Monday. Just hanging on…looking around like uh where’s the help ya’all?
ambedo n. a kind of melacholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life