Sep 20, 2015

Fragility-Being Mount Rainier

I am standing at my front porch in a moment of autumn sun, leaning my body towards the white door behind me. 

I am watching the big pine tree at the ditch where the fields start, the pine which was just a little thing coming out of the ground when I was young. Watching the charming outhouse my father built in all his playfulness. The mountain ash where me and my cousins hid in our tree house. The baker’s cottage where my anxiety ridden mother used to be happy. The play house my sister and I made a tiny home every summer. The full-grown ash tree my garden-interested dad once planted, stolen from somewhere in southern Sweden, ash trees are not supposed to survive on the 64th latitude. The lawn stone-settings me and my husband quarreled and agreed on. The white picket fence crafted by my father in law. I hear my young sons laughter, watching the now quite swings. All the neighborhood teen age boys running around the front yard, oh how fed up I was with them. Under the birch the Adiron deck chair I painted bright colors during the chemo. I see everything I did and accomplished and everything that didn’t get done. All the dreams. I see the hope and longing sharing this place with a special someone in The Next Part of My Life. In front of me, my front yard, lays my whole life, such it has been. And I am crying my eyes out in the unexpected warm Sunday afternoon beam of light.

There is a thin membrane pulsating somewhere to the left of my awareness. Inside, something red, like viscera, trying to get through. Threatening to get through.

I am very fragile. Since my confuse episode a week ago I am trying to navigate in the outside world where I need to function, and my inside world where fear from the timeline of my life is trying to take control.

Fear, anxiety and panic are not unfamiliar feelings to me. I have been frightened all my life. It’s my natural habitat. It wasn’t laid into me that the world is a good place to be. I wonder what it is like feeling safe. The sentence “everything will be okay” is a foreign language to me. I find it offending.

Anxiety, in my case, is upgraded fear. In the life I remember, I have been through truly difficult periods of time, therefore, and then, fighting anxiety. And knowing my childhood it is likely I experienced anxiety really early in life, although it is not in my conscious memory bank.

Panic. Yes. I know what it is like breathing myself to sleep focused on a white-hot spot swirling in my chest. 

It’s been a while though since these all sense occupying feelings occurred, strange actually considering the turn of my life. Therefore, what I am experiencing now, and what I was through a week ago is extremely frightening.

It has never happened to me that my brain has logged out, protecting me from what goes on outside. I have never crossed that line before. No matter how dreadful life has been, I have managed to stay on the right side. Knowing that I’ve been over on the dark side and that it can happen is itself cause for panic.

Fragments. They come as fragments. But I sense they aren’t just fragments, I feel they are hot lava streams. Many of them I know by heart, I have spent a lot of time with them and I really wish I didn’t have to do it all over again. But feeling the pulsating membrane so close to burst from the red hot mass of anxiety, I sense there are  experiences in there I have been unaware of. And if all of this, old new, aware and unaware, floods me at the same time, I will go under. I feel like anticipating the eruption of Mount Rainier. Like it’s close now.

When I was young, having my teenage tantrums, my mother used to prophesy my future being locked in at a mental institution. I sense now I’ve waited all my life for men in white coats knocking at my door, grabbing my wrists, forcing me to come with them.

There is another thin membrane. The one between being sane and insane, carelessly expressed. A thin line. Right now, I feel like I have been walking that line a big part of my life, a line I in my case would call fear. And who is sane anyway? The one who rarely looks into herself or the one experiences her deepest feelings?

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