Still a Bit Wobbly

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.

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3 Responses to “Still a Bit Wobbly”

  1. i don’t have anything wise to add. just wanted to say i’m radiating good thoughts in yr direction. i’ve had moments of horrible anxiety — dif in nature from yrs but alike in intensity — over the past 20+ years, but fewer now, luckily. so good thoughts to you & good fortune.
    xx mimi

  2. I haven’t been in the situation and pray to God I never will be. I can only admire your courage and fortitude and implore you to listen to those with more experience and not the voice of Captain Paranoia who will sing the most uncomfortable song indefinitely. All any of us can do is learn from your mistake… but would any of us act any differently. In an attempt to obtain intimacy, we have to give our whole self in total honesty. I dont believe we would be the people we are if we did otherwise. And, by doing so, we take a huge chance with our own security and place our future in the hands of someone we trust. Perhaps we need to learn to read the signs more carefully and to choose more wisely in whom we place that most valuable commodity x

  3. I wish I had some good advice for you.
    I have been in a similar situation – confronted by someone who threatened to send our entire email conversation to the school district (back when I was teaching). It was a very damning conversation. I made myself nearly sick worrying about it. Here was the mantra I repeated over and over.
    “if that happens, then i will deal with it – but i won’t be held hostage by threats” …. i still was sick with anxiety for days until i realized that he just threw it out in anger.

    remember
    you can’t change the past
    you can’t control the future
    you only have now.

    xo,
    Catalina

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