My boyfriend reads my writing, which usually doesn’t faze me, but sometimes it does. Like right now, as I write about the one who might’ve gotten away, except not, except who knows, because that person is away and so am I.
Over the weekend, I had my first “real” panic attack. Nothing like the summer shocks I’d felt years before, when mortality would come to me in the night and strike me with a metal bat. No, this was a slow build, weeks of disgust and anger and fear snowballing into a full-body choke, numbness draped over and into me. I felt phantom pains across my hip, ghosts pummeling the soft skin there while the rest of my body buzzed, falling “asleep” even though I was fully awake, eyelids stretched out to their fullest height and fingers and toes curled and clawed. It was the ugliest I have ever felt, and I cried out in pain over and over again as the feeling was ripped out of my body.
The day of my flight back to Los Angeles, my mother did one final load of laundry, in which I tossed an oft-worn pair of high-waisted black jeans. These jeans are, on a good day, verrry snug on me, so when I unfurled them the next morning, I was distressed to remember why I almost never washed and certainly never dried these jeans — they’d shrunk just enough to go from wearable-tight to “oh god why does my stomach look like that when I fasten the button.”
Another case of my mother not understanding my needs. (A joke, but one that holds a kernel of truth.) Continue reading