Tuesday, November 16, 2010



Last night I had a terrible anxiety attack. That is an overused self-diagnosis as many people who are going through the tidal ebb and flow of perceived emotional distress, often mistake true anxiety with being unwilling to deal with the consequence of their own bad decisions. When the seed that is their thoughts yield a poor harvest, they mistake the stresses they endure for some form of ‘anxiety’ and cheapen the term in doing so.

Real anxiety is spun together out of the thinness of the air. It is something that you cannot see, hear, nor taste, yet all of your cognitive senses tell you that there is a body, a presence with you, and it is an oppressive feeling. No matter what you do, it clings to your perception alone and trying to distinguish between the differences between what is real and pure fabrication is nearly impossible. In fact I believe that it can be the ability TO separate the real from the fabrication that makes it grow stronger.

Though my reflections that I have been willing to share in this platform can make me seem that I am lost to my past, I am not in agreement with those who would share that opinion. I will admit that there are certain things that are attached to me like an invasive species, and my relationships with my sisters, my family in general, are some of the most stubborn.

It was earlier this year reading one in a journal about how one family rallied around to defend and protect a member of their clan as their marriage was pulled apart by the unseen fundamental force that acts on everyone, that I really put in some ‘goat-thinking’ about my marriage and my family’s role as it disintegrated.

The brewing internal storm that woke me up at 2 a.m. and will keep me up past my usual bedtime first arose when my sister announced her wedding and her desire that I, along with our Father, walk her down the aisle this past summer. It all seemed fast to me, with her having met this cat in late spring to be making wedding plans. But who am I to talk, having done more or less the same thing, save the ceremony and things.

My memories of moments that have been frozen in my mind have thawed out in the past few years and also have been re-animated. What has made them significant once more is that many of them have been authenticated on my trip back down memory lane. The occasional look sees on Face Book, the odd run-in with an ancient acquaintance, all along with all-too infrequent email, have verified my belief that no matter how crappy a person that I have been, there is still more Mark on the good side of the ledger than the bad. From Mookie Dee, SD, Tee Jay and the SFC, not to mention the opinions of cats that I ran with in my early burglary years acts as sufficient authentication to the kind of person that is somewhere inside of me.

Having trotted out my terrible marriage as evidence for the kind of inequities that I endured at the business end of whatever frustrations that the women in my family had in their lives, running into the cat who I trained with as a junior boxer, brought back other memories that I have glossed over. In speaking on the Kronk Kat who lived a few streets over and how fond my Mom was of him, my friend reminded me of how strange it was to have my family ‘split’ between who they wanted to win our matches.

You do realize I am talking about boxing and not tennis, right? While there are areas of a sport that are individual, say the match-ups in football or the one-on-one in basketball that are personal, how much more personal can you get than boxing? That people with the same blood as me found it difficult to root against ‘a family friend’ who was trying to beat me up sums up a lot of why I have the conflict about my people as I do.

This cat harassed me throughout jr. high, at the newspaper station where with my darling brother and Jan, we all delivered papers. His availability to help my Mom run errands during hours of school said more about him than it did me and my lack of enthusiasm for shoveling snow or raking the thatch off the lawn when spring came. I attended a very competitive high school as well as juggling the job at the store, boxing and helping around the house. Many times it occurred to me that maybe he reminded my Aunt, who lived with us at the time, as well as Mom, of someone from their memories, I don’t know. He may have been loveable, but he was certainly scurrilous and THAT was again verified when I ran into him aimlessly wandering downtown last year. I did not have to ask where life had taken him since our youth. The wear was evident in his languid, rheumy eyes and weathered skin.

I am looking forward to Saturday afternoon not because I will be apart of a wonderful moment in the life of a beloved sister, but because I can let go of so much what draws me back to this state of mind. I will be relieved when all of this is over and I can start dealing with the personal cost of showing up for a person I can’t rely on for anything.


Anonymous said...

No matter how we use (or dis-) that expression, any attack is real for the one experiencing it. It doesn't have to fit the terms or diagnosis, at the end of the day I believe it's only the true feelings that counts. And how we deal with them all.

Take care


Toon said...

What's worse is steady free form anxiety all day and night long...

I see a few good marriages and assume the couples obviously made some sort of deal with Satan. Traditionally, marriage is uneasy and challenging.

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Get through the weekend as best you can. Honor your commitment to yourself not your sister. Then, you might want to de-friend a few people from your Facebook account.
Take care.

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Thanks for stopping by at my blog. You are an incredible writer and I enjoyed reading your reflections.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think it is only natural to be having some anxiety, but like you said, it will be behind you soon. Best of luck friend.

DB said...

I think anxiety is often the price of letting go. As the bad or good stuff but the old stuff washes off, there is less anxiety and more calmness in dealing with the past.