It is so strange, the impulses we have.
Right now, I really don’t want to write today’s post here. Not not write it at all, just not here. I am not going share it with my Twitter, though if anyone there wanted to read it, I imagine they could figure out how to get back here. It makes me feel really vulnerable to re-live it, but I also don’t want to let it drift into the background of my unconscious without being tagged with some words. Maybe as I write it I will feel differently.
It was two things. It was the guy and it was the panic.
My life is definitely spiraling in ways that are out of the bounds of any imaginable stretch of my comfort zone. As I dealt as best I could with the work that needed to happen on the last day we are in the office for 2016, I also was conversing with the dude of yesterday’s post. Real generally, real get to know you stuff spiked with this sort of testing the water sort of quasi-flirting business that was never uncomfortable, just, curious. It had, like he had, a different sort of vibration than I was used to. Someone who calls themselves weird and doesn’t have any pretense about covering it up or not being weird, but the weirdness all weirdness that I had reference for, that felt companionable to my own weirdness rather than self-protective.
So, having this pleasant conversation, I arrive as I did on Tuesday, at the bus stop and awaited my ride. My sister called and said she was there. On the opposite side of the whole freeway situation. This meant the walkover bridge. Fuuuuuuuuckaroonies.
The thought that I had done this on Tuesday had zero bearing. The fact that I was hungry and tired and wanted to be cool and sangfroid and keep talking to this guy had no bearing. The fact that a woman driving past saw me flipping my shit and asked me if I was okay had no bearing. I thought what if the panic returned and it did. It went for my throat. For 10 minutes, standing over the freeway. I was panic’s thrall. It was…bad.
When I say it was bad, I mean…bad with zero hyperbole. She was flipping out at me for not just going, I was flipping out because I physically could not go and I was getting screamed at for it. It was 2 minutes of irrationality. It was irrational, but in that moment, that premise doesn’t exist…the threat is as real, as unthinkyourselfouttable as if there was a gun to my head. My body is telling me that I cannot physically cross the bridge in the same way that when you stand next to a skyscraper you know you can’t scale it. It is not possible, and to try is to insist on failure. The symptoms were all there.
And my sister did not get it. At all. It was an irritation, when I asked her to drive over to my side rather than have me walk to her, and my refusal to do so was terrible to her.
She yanked on my arm and I felt my throat close up. A pre-swoon adrenaline kick…as strong as she is, I pulled away. I’m sure…it looked insane.
I couldn’t breathe the thought loop was supersonic at this point. A cool gust hit me and I thought for just a moment that I wanted to go home.
I thought I could do it if I could crawl. I couldn’t crawl. Then finally, she let me be for two seconds and I stopped thinking entirely. Just as before, I found myself walking. She was supposed to talk, to distract me and started counting the lights, but I fugued my whole way afraid to blink, because lights = seizures when you lack rational perspective. Out of the blue she stopped talking and my rubber legs screamed a HOLY HELL THIS IS IT but I had to get out of the danger I’d so recklessly put myself in by walking through the sky over a freeway and just kept walking until there was no more bridge.
And eventually, on the ground, it felt…like, oh, what a relief and it’s over. I didn’t feel proud about it or angry about it or anything, just exhausted. But it is wrong to say, I think, that it isn’t hard to cross that threshold and get through it. It doesn’t just go away because of one time you handle it. It’s nothing to do with the bridge itself, really. It’s this trigger that goes off and being told to get over it or told to stop it or told it isn’t real….that does not work. It does not work at all. That’s not a great answer for the rest of my life, but that’s what I have right now.
After that, more talking with the guy, ending up possibly joining some D&D campaign. We’ll see.