Would you think I was crazy if I told you there is a area at my work that scares me? No, not the lunchroom, though that scares me for totally unrelated reasons that I have already covered here! There is a place that I walk by and it brings back memories of attack.
When I walk by it the anxiety feels visible. If I'm playing it as well as I hope I am, no one can see the anxiety that I feel drips off of me like wax off a candle. But I feel it. I feel trapped when I'm near that area. I feel scared when I'm near that area. I feel not in control when I'm near that area. I want to run, hard and fast.
Remember when I said something was on the edge of my consciousness that would have to be dealt with? It started with a friend tagging her friend in a Facebook post. There was his name right in front of my face. The name I haven't heard in many years. It wasn't him, someone by the same name with a slightly different spelling. But it was enough.
A few days later I walked past this area at work and my palms got sweaty, my heart started racing and the tears threatened behind my eyes. Suddenly I was there again, being held down, clothes being ripped, my body being groped. My mind tried to tell my body that I wasn't really back there but it was too late, my body was already reacting.
Logic wasn't enough to convince my heart rate to come back to normal. Knowing he wasn't there, that I wasn't in danger, that I wasn't about to be hurt wasn't enough. And in my head right now I hear the article I read recently written by a counselor about PTSD, about how the body reacts no matter what the logic says.
I just walked by the "scary spot" when I was getting my lunch. I wanted to sprint again. I wanted to hide. I wanted to get away. So I sit here eating my lunch and blogging so that my heart rate will return to normal, my voice won't shake and my palms won't sweat so that I can get back to doing my job in a few minutes.
Silly really, that I react to something so simple. How I wish I were normal enough to not freak out at work over things that in reality don't still have the power to hurt me.