Monday, January 31, 2011

Keep your air to yourself

Mom:  Is my air getting on you?
Me:  No. 
Mom:  I just didn’t know if I needed to turn down the heater.  I didn’t know if you could feel the hot air.
Me sarcastically:  Yes Mom.  Keep your air to yourself!  There’s not a wall here! 
Fits of laughter followed. 

On Friday we did a few fun things before heading to San Francisco in the afternoon.  The kids had their regular play date with their friend Rebekah at the park.  It was very cold until the sun came out to thaw the world a little.  We girls went back to Dress Barn where we had very loud conversations in the dressing rooms.  I ended up buying a cute shirt.  I’m wearing it right now and I love it.  I’m just afraid I bought it too big.  I hope not because I don’t like replacing my wardrobe as quickly as I’ve had to lately.  My mom didn’t find anything she really liked.  Good thing Old Navy hooked her up with a cute shirt the day before. 

Now I could sum up our trip to San Francisco in a tidy little nutshell.  I could talk about how I met Heath’s boss and co-workers, as well as the president of the company.  His boss is beautiful by the way!  I could talk about how the kids decided where we should eat dinner.  Parker recognized the sign for Las Margaritas as a Mexican restaurant and all kids agreed that’s what they wanted.  It was really good and I’m glad we stopped there. 

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I could talk about wandering around the city stopping in little shops here and there

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and driving down Lombard Street for the second time in my life and how it wasn’t nearly as scary as the first time.   Hanging my head out the window to take really cruddy pictures kept my mind off of how insanely steep it was with all the crazy switchbacks. 

I could end the post right now by saying we had fun in the city.  I guess the reason why I won’t is because when I started recording my family’s stories by way of scrapbooking and blogging I wanted to portray a real picture.  Years ago I taught a Young Women’s lesson on journal keeping and one quote really stood out to me.  It said something to the effect of when writing in a journal one should not be extreme in what is said.  Don’t overly emphasize the negative or the positive.  Use the negative experiences to show how you’ve grown and be realistic with the positive experiences.  I like to believe I do that. 

Normally when I go into San Francisco I use my agoraphobia and panic attacks as a way to entertain my readers later when I post about it.  I think today I will be very honest about my feelings.  Like any woman there are many things I wish I could change about myself.  I am starting to appreciate my body and what it can and can’t do.  It’s a gift from God.  But to be honest, the number one thing I hate about myself is my mind.  The agoraphobia and panic attacks and every other mental mess I deal with on a daily basis is just that – mental.  It’s all in my head. 

God did not make me this way.  It’s just something I struggle with which means I can change.  I don’t have to be like this.  While I believe all of that it’s not easy.  The fear is real.  I don’t make it up.  That fact makes it that much harder when people judge me or seemingly yell at me about it as if I can snap my fingers and magically fix it.  Change is possible but it will take time and it will take a professional.  No, I have not executed on my plan yet of finding a doctor and yes, I know I need to. 

This trip into the city was particularly stressful because my hatred for freeways has increased exponentially since Christmas Eve.  I hate that but it’s true.  The freeway to San Francisco seems to always be crowded which makes me nervous anyway but after what happened a little over a month ago . . . let’s just say my arms are still sore from gripping the door handle and armrest so hard. 

Getting into the city wasn’t nearly as bad as going home.  I made my mom drive and once we picked up Heath he drove.  I suppressed a lot of terror on the way in by concentrating on the instructions Heath gave me to navigate our way across the bridge and to his office. 

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I like this picture.  It reminds me of the scene in Gattaca where Vincent had to cross the street after he took out his contacts.  Irene didn’t know he couldn’t see.  The lights from all the cars were bright and streaked like this and the sounds were different.  Everything was louder.  Horns and cars zooming by like bugs buzzing a person’s head.  This picture seems to show how I felt during my little trip to San Francisco. 

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I like this one too.  The kids drew pictures at their dad’s desk and on his whiteboard.  I like how Gavin drew this person with a huge mouth while they say something normal.  That was me.  Speaking normally while looking scared to death. 

Driving around town with all the steep hills, narrow streets, and traffic was crazy enough then we drove home.  I felt like a science exhibit as my mom was in awe with my insanity and Heath would say things like, “This is her reaction to brake lights.”  The heavy traffic mixed with brake lights and blinkers signaling lane changes felt all too familiar.  The good news is we made it home safely. 

I like to go into the city to remind myself I can do scary things.  For one thing, I don’t sit around letting my agoraphobia stop me.  I am not a prisoner to my mind.  I do things even when I think I can’t.  I used to live in the city which was not easy but I did it.  It’s nice to visit so I can appreciate how wonderful I have it where I live now.  I am always so impressed that Heath works there and deals with city life day in and day out.  So I consider it a good thing that I allow my blood pressure to rise periodically. 

My family may wish I could keep my crazy to myself but sometimes I can’t.  It’s like the air.  There’s not a wall separating my crazy air from anyone else’s normal air!  Maybe normal air will eventually rub off and my crazy air will disappear. 

2 thoughts:

Dawn said...

I don't really think there is normal air. I think we are all crazy just in different ways. Some more obvious than others.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Good point Dawn.