My second panic attack.

I was dating someone I’m going to name Kyle. Speaking on my part, it was one of the more passionate relationships I’ve ever had, and it was great. Now he had some things he was working out for himself, which meant he was less invested in me than I in him. I was ok with that, for the time being, and we talked about it sometimes.

But it meant that when I roused tender-type concern in him, I knew something was Going On. It was this event that made me realize I had to find out what was wrong.

What I remember from that night is being upset, about nothing in particular. I wasn’t angry, but I had this waffling indecision thing happening – that really irritating, almost “am I fat – no really, am I?” attitude of requiring someone else to make decisions for me. The decision was something about the bed, and I was insisting I’d sleep on the floor and he’d sleep on the couch. I felt like being alone, only not. Home was only a 20 minute walk, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave.

Minutes later, we’re both sleeping on the floor in a fit of stubbornness, uncomfortable and twisted. And as he curls close, my cage is getting smaller and smaller, and I’m curling tighter and tighter, hiding away. My Panic Mind is escaping, leaping, throwing my body into action and out the door, and my Rational Mind is speaking loudly as if Panic Mind isn’t in the room, “Just ignore it. Ignore him. Ignore the room. Ignore the floor. Go to sleep. Don’t worry about anything. It’s not important. Shut. Up. Stop whining.”

Oops. Wait. Rational Mind goes Dr. Hyde on me and becomes Critical-Rational Mind:

“What’s the matter with you? Why are you guilting him into sleeping on the floor? Why can’t you just make up your mind? Look how nice he’s being! Shut up and stop moving! Stop worrying! Stop!”


A fire truck goes by outside.

BAM. I start to cry.

At this point, Kyle does one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done (and this was the tender, obvious display of concern). He hugs me and whispers a song into my ear,

“Why are there so many..songs about rainbows?

And what’s on the ooother side?

Rainbows are visions,

But only illusions

And rainbows have nothing to hide…”

And the stress of having to cope with his awesomeness in the shadow of my hideous rejection of his warmth and my insane neuronal fritz – it combines and I explode.

I sat bolt upright, and started to hyperventilate. I couldn’t talk – more than tongue-tied, I was mute, dumb and terrified. Kyle said something like, “Whoa, whoa, what’s going on?” behind me and tried to touch me, and I jerked away. I don’t know how long it took me to calm down, but I did, and I couldn’t talk about it. So Kyle reluctantly let me get away without explaining myself, and we went to sleep.


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