Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've never fought a war, but...

I think I might have post traumatic stress syndrome.

I mean, there are parts of me that have been around forever. Things that I am used to, that I even like now. Like the beauty mark in the middle of my forehead that causes random strangers to accuse me of playing with hindu tattoos. Or at least one random stranger, anyway. In a coffee shop. True story. But I am used to the fact that my eyes are brown, but green too when the sun shines in them just so. Or even that I hear myself referred to as skinny more often than anything else; that I can continue to use my own preference of slender as much as I can, slipping it into casual conversation in a clumsy attempt at subliminal messaging, but that won’t make my friend David stop saying that I am the skinniest person he’s ever met. And it won’t change the fact that I get no compassion when I complain about this to others either. Rather, they tell me that they’d love to be called skinny just once. And again, I am skinny. Not slender, but skinny, subliminal messaging and all.

But now I have a syndrome and I hate it.

Now when my phone rings or I get a text telling me to please call, I have a visceral reaction. My heart starts beating faster and faster, racing to I don’t know where, but it’s getting there way too soon. My breathing becomes shallow and I taste panic. It is not savory, it is not sweet; it is fear and it is pervasive. It starts in my mouth and eventually makes it down to my stomach so that there is no longer any room for food. And I become full and nauseous at once as all I know to do is wait for myself to waste away because nobody can live on fear for too long. Which is a little bit nice in the moment since it means that there is an end.

And an end to a very bad thing is actually a very good thing.

This morning, for instance, my brother called me before 9 am. And to a performer, that is early. Nobody calls me then, not even my mom. But he called and I was scared and if I am going to be honest, too scared to answer. So I didn’t. Whatever it was, I wanted to be blissfully ignorant for just a little bit longer. But then he texted and told me to call him. Shoot. No more sweet naivety. Instead, the panic. Instead, the heart beating hard enough to sustain a few hundred, rather than just one skinny (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?) female.

And there it was, not even 9 in the morning and I was being reminded of my new syndrome. Nice. Perhaps, along with the simple task of answering a phone call from my brother, the sounds of my spoon against my cereal bowl will be just too much for me today also.

*oh, and on a completely different note, I was inspired by my brother who just added snow to his blog. So not to be outdone, I went out and got some for myself. Because of it being December and all. And because of my competitive nature and all. Hope the snowflakes don't annoy you guys too much...Unfortunately, mine look more like dandruff while my brother's look more like the beautiful romanticized snowflakes we all see on the victorian christmas cards we never do quite get around to mailing, but oh well. Merry Christmas anyway.


beingawesome said...

I don't know Jess.. I would say you're healthy looking.. and I think that is most important.

But I'm really sorry .. sometimes people don't get what they're saying is hurting someone's psyche.
I mean I guess it kinda falls under the "well.. IIIII have problems, but that person.. they don't have as many problems as III do.."

sending love and smiles your way..

Jessica Latshaw said...

Yeah, I guess we never really know what is going on behind the scenes with somebody. And thanks, I know I am going to be okay--I just need people to maybe add a "non-emergency" to their texts/phone calls so I don't get that terrified feeling...:/

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean...I know it may not feel like it now, but that panicky feeling will lessen and eventually pass. I am at the point where I may ask, "What now?", but at least the panic is gone. Continuing to stand with you in prayer, Jess. God bless you.

min said...

Well, I for one LOVE the snow. Not annoying me in the least. And as for the skinny/slender comments, I prefer the later too. Skinny conjures up this idea that one is malnourished and looking like an 17th century peasant or waif. Plus, if your on the slender side you know just how uncomfortable it can be to sit on hard surfaces. Too bad we can't pick where the padding goes! Oh, and the panic issue... I was once told by a wise DR that when it starts tell your self "well, this interesting." And have a mantra that soothes you and brings balance. It helped me.

alicia Diener said...

Hmmm....funny that I never describe you as 'skinny.' And I'm not trying to blow smoke up your skinny you-know-what, but if I ever do describe you I say 'you know Jess? She's amazing.' So for me at least, you can replace 'skinny' with 'amazing.'
Love the snow. :) Even if it is a little ally sheedy, breakfast-club dandruffy. I like it.

jendale12 said...

I've always preferred "svelte"

merry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brianna said...

i love the snow.
and you.
the end.

peaj said...

Sorry you are having such a rough time. Continuing to pray.

I thought the snow looked like snow, and then I started following individual "flakes" with my eyes and they started to look like white ants foraging for food. Sorry.

Emily said...

It does look like snow... and a bit like an atari game I used to have, maybe asteroids?

It's funny, Jessica, I never really got to know you very well, in all the years that I have known you, which is odd, considering some of the wonderful people we both count as close friends... but I have learned more about who you are in reading this blog. all this to say that, although I may not be a person who can do much to help, my best hopes and prayers are with you, because it DOES sound like you are fighting a war. But I know that a beautiful and peaceful resolution will be yours.

Michele said...

I just pray the Holy Spirit fills you to overflowing with PEACE, peace that surpasses anxiety and panic.

Michele said...

Jess, you need to read Nina's post on her blog!

Mandy and Jack said...

I'm so sorry about all of the anxiety. I know how that is and how it attacks you.

And I think you're beautifully slender, not unhealthy-looking at all, and I really think those who tell you that you're "too skinny" are just jealous. Also, the rest of us are jealous too. Even if we think you're slender. Just sayin.

When my sister-in-law was wedding dress shopping, people kept telling her she was "too skinny" and "needed to gain weight." She was really offended. She was like "would you tell an overweight person that they needed to lose weight?" If you think about it, that is super-rude to discuss somebody's weight in a negative manner, no matter which way you're going with it.

Anyway, prayers.

merry said...

PTSD is the worst. I have had it for years and many people I love have it too. No one understands how hard it is, how the littlest things can sometimes be just TOO MUCH to take and you just need to curl up in a ball in a warm soft safe place and just recover.So sorry you are in this kind of pain. UGH. the WORST.

sarah said...

Jess..i am praying for you and love you and am so sorry that things are so hard..

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