So, I’ve been at my parents’ house for the past week. Mommy and SD (that would be “step dad”) went on vacation for a week and I house sat because there’s this chunky, spoiled, six-year-old cat whom I love and it was a perfect opportunity to have some privacy, some quiet, a break from being Auntie Rae, and some alone time with Boyfriend. It was a pretty great week, only a couple hiccups. Boyfriend and I actually didn’t argue, though there was a disagreement, followed by an extremely odd and traumatic breakdown from me (yeah, I seem to be prone to those this summer, and people wonder why I don’t like the heat). Boy has it been hot this summer. I hate heat, can’t fucking stand it. I despise being hot more than anything in the world. As an asthmatic, I’m sensitive to all extreme temperatures, that and I just don’t like said extremes, but summer also holds the slam of all of my allergies, spring notwithstanding. Heat and humidity give me a sensation like that of an asthma aggravation without the asthma actually flaring. I do not like being sweaty or sticky (triggers my intense, three steps short of OCD, wish to be PERFECTLY CLEAN) and heat makes me nauseated and cranky, and dizzy and triggers headaches much faster in me than in those around me. It drains me quickly, even faster than cold. I feel sick just walking out the door into it. Basically, I’m sick all summer, and this bullshit has happened to me for years. It got in the way of soccer when I was a kid, of fully enjoying camp, the beach, camping as a teen and young adult. Heat is just aggravating. And most of the time it isn’t dehydration, because I drink plenty of water (which I also don’t like very much) as well as juices. I’ve long since learned not to drink soda or coffee (which can be a major bitch since coffee also helps relieve mild asthma flare-ups) and it’s not usually that it’s hunger. It’s that my body just does not like fucking heat and neither does my consciousness because I’m also a hypochondriac so I’m sure I’m not helping myself.
Now that the useless rant about heat and my hatred for it is over, back to the ramble about my life. If you read my last post Breaking you know I had a catastrophic breakdown after an intense argument with Boyfriend and a comfort session with BGF. Like I said above, I had a baffling meltdown this week. Boyfriend can usually understand and handle (or at least handle) my head case moments, but this was a bit different. It really was only a mild disagreement, there wasn’t much said on either side, definitely not anything worth getting truly angry or upset over. He went upstairs to cool off a bit and the tumbling down the WTF road started. Honestly I wasn’t feeling that great before the disagreement, that’s likely why it even happened. When I don’t feel well, be it mentally or physically, I get kinda crabby. The kicker is that I can’t verbalize the problem very easily, if at all. “I don’t feel well” is a catch-all phrase for me. Between my naturally argumentative nature, anxiety-driven combativeness, and the random mental and physical malaise I get into a lot of arguments and disagreements.
Anyway, I wasn’t feeling well before the disagreement. I don’t know why. I was just feeling tired and just…not right. It wasn’t “sad” or anything, just, unhappy and off. Nothing happened to make me feel this strange unhappiness or whatever it was, because unhappiness isn’t the correct word to describe my brain space. Somber, morose, distressed, are closer to what the problem was. Unfortunately these episodes of distress pop up suddenly and more often than I care for, usually with no clear cause and sometimes quite suddenly and unexpectedly. I could literally be laughing and having great fun and then when I calm down, bam, feeling like I could crawl in a corner and cry for no reason or dig a hole and disintegrate. Sometimes I want to disintegrate. I feel like I am disintegrating sometimes, like my sanity and world are crashing around me and falling apart and like I’m fracturing and melting. And no one else knows what’s happening, they just know I’m suddenly not happy, or upset, or cranky, or tired, or a combination thereof. They can’t see they’re on the shards of my mind that are sagging and floating around, swirling in a black sea.
I’m not even sure if I’m really conveying what I’ve actually felt. It seems so much like depression the way I’ve described it, but these episodes have a way of seeming light and dark at the same time. That damned stormy gray that’s so ugly and harmful because it lingers like a parasite. It’s very dense, but not very deep, and that’s what separates it from the true depression I’ve had in the past. I feel like my mind is expanding in water, like an oil bubble. This is what I was feeling before this disagreement, and afterward. In fact, I’m often this way after arguments, doesn’t matter who they’re with, but they tend to be strongest after ones with TB or my mom. Though with my mother there’s usually anger mixed in.
After the disagreement, TB went upstairs to cool off, mainly to prevent the disagreement from turning into a full-blown argument. I was cooking dinner, so I didn’t chase him, like I normally would, to try to “work out” said problem. I’m a contradiction in that I often don’t like talking about problems after they’re over, I like to try to solve them right away. You’d think I would be flip-flop since I’m intellectually aware that such logic rarely works, but I’m intellectually aware of a lot of things, doesn’t stop me or my brain from doing stupid shit. When he went upstairs, the anxiety started. It’s not the heart-racing, kind. It isn’t the “I’m aware this is stupid kind”. It’s the sort you get when you’re lost as a kid from your parents or older sibling, it’s the fear when your friend goes missing, it’s the terror when you just saw someone die and you’re next; however, it’s right before the panic sets in, before you truly realize that you’re in deep shit and the heart racing starts. I texted him to come back downstairs, because I was getting to the point of a panic attack. I’ve only had one once, and I actually cannot remember why, I just remember I wasn’t particularly happy about it.
He did, thankfully, but he was reasonably confused, because he expected me to have something to say when he came down. When he did, he asked what I wanted, and I didn’t really have an answer. I didn’t know what I was saying or trying to say, I just let him know I wanted him down here with me. He’s learned that I’m not always rational or reasonable and that I’m usually far from both. I distinguish between rationality and logical, because you can very much be one without the other. I’m usually logical. He didn’t really ask much else, just gave me the “ok….?” look and went to watch Futurama. I finished cooking, and went into the livingroom with every intention to say something and explain myself, but I couldn’t. I never know why, but sometimes I just can’t start talking, even though my brain is going a mile a minute with all sorts of stuff to say and ways to say it and projected outcomes, both good and bad.
I lay down on the other couch and essentially stared at him for like twenty minutes. Part of it was that I really hate Futurama. I have some tolerance for Family Guy, and a very tiny, miniscule amount for Robot Chicken, but Futurama makes me ill. I hate it, it annoys me, it aggravates me, it nauseates me. The other part was that I was trying really hard to shove my thoughts in his head so he could help me. I actually do this a lot. I can’t convey my thoughts and feelings, so I try really hard to shove them into a person’s head, usually TB or BGF, sometimes my other friends or something, and I actually get mad that they can’t read my mind. It would make life so much easier, theirs and mine, if they could just look into my head when I’m acting like a cookaloo. Because then we could fucking DO something about it and they would understand what’s wrong with me and perhaps give me better words for it.
Meanwhile, he has no idea what to do or say or ask because I’m not even sure I know what’s going on much less what to tell him. I try my best to give him tools to help me, but I really am not sure. I’m laying on this couch practically glaring at him as my brain also brings up these dangerous thoughts about the knives and scissors and how my second story window would hardly be a dangerous jump beyond breaking a bone. Eventually I asked him to put the food away and fled upstairs because I didn’t trust myself down there anymore, much less in the kitchen with said knives and scissors.
I went and got in bed, stuck with my thoughts on autopilot and bashing myself for being stupid and weird and crazy and being mad at him that he couldn’t read my mind and didn’t try and comfort me (like that would’ve been easy for anyone to figure out) and didn’t try and read my mind and didn’t come after me, then it was back to how stupid and awful I was and blah blah and death thoughts for like fifteen minutes before TB came upstairs. He of course still had no idea what the hell was wrong and why I wasn’t talking and what to do about it. Part of the problem is that I curl up literally and figuratively when I’m not happy and it seems like I don’t want to be approached and I feel unapproachable. The fact that I’m often conflicted about what I want people to do doesn’t help, but it’s a safe bet that I probably need at least an arm or a touch unless I make it clear I don’t want it. Which it can seem like I’m doing, frustratingly enough. You kinda have to approach me like I’m an injured animal, which is probably something like what he was doing.
I started crying at this point. Well, I’d been crying for at least five minutes before I was aware that he was upstairs. I’m actually not sure when exactly he was upstairs during all this. I’m estimating times. But he got in bed next to me, far away so that we weren’t touching. And I was angry he did that. I wanted him to touch me and hug me and comfort me and protect me from myself, but he just wasn’t sure what I needed or that I even wanted that, after all it’s not like I said very much. But I was angry nonetheless that he didn’t, part of that has to do that I’ve never really explained that I always want him to come after me. If I’m upset and walk away or leave the room, I really want to be followed and hugged or something, even if I started whatever got me upset. Though usually, I don’t go anywhere if I started it. When he started to rub my arm and back I actually grabbed and yanked him close (or tried, he is stronger than I am), telling him rather roughly to “come here”. He did, much to my relief, wrapping his arm around me and eventually I turned around and sobbed all over him. He was shirtless too, that couldn’t have been fun, ya know, ignoring the unfunness of his girlfriend bursting into tears for no discernible reason.
He eventually got me to calm down, and tried to get an explanation out of me, but I really didn’t know what to tell him, what the problem was, what started all of it. Sure, I could tell him what got and kept it going after it started, but the reason all of that stuff came up in the first place and why I burst into tears? I really and truly am not sure. I mean, what do you really tell someone after an episode like that? What do you tell them is the why when the why isn’t there and all you have is what happened during that made it worse? And when the during makes absolutely no sense because there was not only nothing to trigger it, but nothing that contributed to it either? What do you tell someone when the next day you’re mostly stable? There is no explanation that’ll give them peace of mind or understanding or anything to go by to at least predict, much less prevent, another traumatic experience. How do you explain how or why a mind cracks?