Captain Paranoia is a long-time acquaintance of mine. So much so, that you would be forgiven for thinking that he was my friend.
Allow me to correct you. He is NOT my friend. He’s a sneaky, slimy git who attacks me in all my most soft, vulnerable and dare I say it, girlie places, when I’m lower than a snake’s hips anyway. Bastard.
These last four days, he found my various Achilles heels (oh, you just knew that I’d have more than one, and that none of them would be in my feet, didn’t you?) and went after me with the kind of vengeful intensity usually reserved for a US Marine planned attack on a suspected weapons cache in the middle of the desert.
In previous postings, i did not elaborate to any great detail the nature of the harassment i suffered. While i don’t belittle it, i also don’t want to blow it out of all proportion. I’ve been to enough therapy appointments to know that much of the terror was reactive, and a great deal of the tense stress and unpleasantness that I underwent was of my own making — a well-mixed combination of guilt, paranoia and more guilt. I look at a situation like the one (still being?) endured by Rachel, and I am humbled into muted submission.
(And no, I do not mean *that* sort of submission. Ahem.)
So far, i might add, after the first few days when furious threats, and vitriolic sms messages, and menacing phone calls abounded as though they were going out of fashion, there has been silence. At first, naturally, said silence was eerily creepy, and I spent my time being literally sick and nauseous with fear at the prospect of another phone call, or sms or emailed threat; or worse, that any of said threats could have been carried out. Were there an Olympic event for allowing stress levels to soar, i know i would have qualified, and probably even achieved at least a silver medal for that fortnight alone. (Although if prior stressing were taken into account, and by prior i mean the entire span of my life previous to that point, i’d have won on points, no question.)
After said fortnight, i began to breathe again without catching the exhale each time. The tightly-wound knots in my stomach began to ease, and as each day passed, the ease grew. Friends with more than half a clue about this sort of thing (having had similar experiences or vast quantities of knowledge of the area for this or any other reason) helped me calm down, and reassured me that the longer time went by with nothing happening, the better things looked for me. And I believed them — and i still do… but good old Captain Paranoia is still there, lurking with intent, and whispering softly into my ear when it’s cold, and dark and there’s no one else around:
“Yes, but revenge is a dish best served cold, don’t forget. Maybe he’s just waiting for you to feel a false sense of security before he pounces?”
For the most part I manage to quash these pernicious and evil thoughts as the self-destructive and harmful (to my fragile psyche) things that they are. I cannot predict the future, and even if i could, i cannot control it. Worrying about what might be is useless, ineffective and destructive.
This, of course, does not stop me from doing it. I am far too well-conditioned in the ways of the perennial paranoic to be able to actually have my inner psyche listen to my outer horse-sense.
So i put it to you, gentle reader. Can you help me reduce the anxiety at the what-if potential for revenge that this bastard holds over me — Damocles-like — much of it’s hanging power being provided by me?
Your feedback is most appreciated.