Claustrophobia

Spin Cycle

Sometimes E and I can’t believe we lived through our children’s baby and toddler years.  We see younger yet much more frazzled adults than we are everywhere and we pity those poor, sleep deprived bastards.  Without fail, we look at each other with looks of mixed sympathy, relief that we are no longer being bossed around by a 28 pound tiny human, and unadulterated panic at the thought that we could, technically, still be able to produce one of those needy, demanding 28 pound tiny humans.  I won’t lie.  I’ve thought about manually ripping out my own uterus numerous times, mostly in Wal-Mart.

I know, I know.  Your little angel is the light of your life.  You pity me and my boring, sleep filled existence.  Alone time to poop and shower?  Overrated.  You like the company anyway.  Sex with your significant other more than once a year?  Way overrated and that’s what got you into this, damn it.  Meal times where no one shits themselves or pukes (under normal circumstances)?  Where’s the excitement in that?  8 continuous hours of sleep?  That’s for pussies plus you’ll sleep when you’re dead.  We smug little shits sitting at the next table, eating a quiet meal with our teens and actually having a real conversation with them, are who you really pity.  I understand.  Been there, done that twice.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids are my greatest blessings.  We had fertility issues with both of them, life threatening medical issues after birth with both of them.  I did things I know I couldn’t do today, all in the name of having my own child.  I overcame extreme panic and claustrophobia to ride, unmedicated and strapped down, in a medivac helicopter to Dallas, Texas, to give birth to Gracie.  I’ve been told by a Doctor that Gracie probably wouldn’t live through the weekend and I somehow managed to not crawl into a corner and die myself.  I’ve watched Landon get other people’s blood pumped into him dozens, if not a hundred, times.  I changed his colostomy bags and E gave him his twice a week shots until he was almost 1 year old.  During all that, there was nowhere, NOWHERE, we wanted to be more, except for maybe trade places with the parents who took their children’s health for granted.

Some of you may be struggling today.  Maybe you’re buying dry shampoo by the case because you don’t have 90 seconds to take the world’s fastest shower.  Maybe you’re in a hospital room, answering the exact same questions for the 100th time for medical students who don’t look old enough to be your kid’s babysitter.  Maybe you’re about to lose your shit if you have to yell with your toddler one more fucking time because that little clepto Swiper is sneaking up on Dora’s ass once again.  When the hell will that bitch learn?

I’m here to tell you to keep your shit together.  Keep it together, sister, for all this will pass, and when it does, being a parent is glorious.  Yes, glorious!  You will one day be able to take hot showers for as long as your hot water heater can last.  You may even be able to simultaneously have sex AND a hot shower because you will enjoy sex again.  It’s not a myth!  Your husband may even have to invoke the 72 Hour Rule.  The 72 Hour Rule was created by E about 8 years ago and is the mandatory fluid recovery period required after 4 days of being at my sexual disposal so that he could possibly live to see the next week.

But none of that tops what I have experienced this week.  Brace yourselves.  Are you sitting down?  Sit down.  You can put lanolin on your nipples later.  Hell, do it and keep reading this.  It won’t be the first time a reader has rubbed their nipples while reading one of my blog posts but the restraining order and my therapist say it’s still too soon to talk about that.

But I digress, yet again.

We’re going to Universal Orlando next week on vacation.  Gracie came to me last week, panicked over the fact that she has not been saving her money to spend in the gift shops at the parks.  She asked if there were additional chores she could take on so she could earn more money than usual.  It was then that I had the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had.  I taught her how to do laundry.  Go ahead and hate, hater.  I’ll gladly take it.

I’ve been working out at night then I come home and take a shower.  A few nights ago, I almost sobbed with joy when I reached in the towel basket after an exceptionally long, hot shower (I know, now I’m just bragging) and saw clean towels not washed, dried, and folded by my own hands.  When I picked said towel up and it was STILL WARM, I did sob.  Like a marathon runner finally reaching the finish line.  True, this finish line took me 13 years to cross but it was worth every damned second of it when I was enfolded and caressed by clean, warm cotton.

Gracie and I have negotiated a rate of $3 per dried, folded load she brings upstairs from the basement.  I should be arrested for violating child labor laws, I’m so grossly underpaying her for this service, in my newly formed opinion.  But don’t tell her that.

I hope this post has encouraged you to keep your shit together today.  Don’t let that little fucker Swiper get the best of you because in 13 years you will be checking Google like I did this morning to see if he’s still even on television doing hood rat shit and paying your little angel an inordinately low amount of money to do your chores.  You’re welcome.

To ensure that I’m universally hated by unshowered Moms currently drinking cold coffee and rubbing lanolin on their nipples while reading this, I’m also paying Gracie 50 cents for each cup of coffee she reheats for me.  Between the reheated coffee and laundry, she just informed me that I owe her $37.

Best $37 I have ever spent.  Without a doubt.

Namaste My Ass

We went to the mall tonight to have a quick dinner, buy some shoes and a few other things for our upcoming Spring Break cruise. My husband decided to park in the parking garage.

Normally, parking garages freak me out but if I’m driving, I’m distracted just enough to ignore that panicky “Oh sweet Jesus, I’m surrounded and trapped by thousands and thousands of pounds of concrete” feeling.

Tonight, not so much.

I swear this garage had the lowest clearance I’ve ever seen in my life and my husband couldn’t find a parking space right away. Finally, I saw an entrance to the mall and told him to stop. I bolted from the Jeep and didn’t breathe normally until I was at the top of the escalator, inside the mall.

I feel stupid. I feel weak. I want to control these panic attacks. I try to tell myself how silly it is. I’ve felt that slightly panicky “I don’t like this” feeling before. I usually make some attempt to forge through it. Sometimes I win, sometimes the panic wins. I had not taken my medicine all day so it’s my fault. I maybe could have pushed back and gotten through it with the extra controlled substance help.

Anyway, while I was trying to keep myself from Wolverine-ing out of the Jeep with my bare hands, I was thinking of deep breathing and zen meditation and relaxing.

What a load of total bull shit. Namaste my ass, mother fuckers. Hand over the controlled substances.

ativan

What makes you panicky? What makes you feel out of control? Tell me in the comments and help me feel less freakish tonight.

22 Years Is A Good Run

I found out today that after 22 years my husband has finally had enough of my shenanigans and will attempt to off me in March.  Quite an accusation, isn’t it?  Let me explain.

I have panic disorder.  I take a controlled substance (or “nerve pills” as my genteel Southern Doctor calls them) three times a day to keep this disorder at bay.  Sometimes, in the perfect storm, the nerve pills aren’t enough.

I can swim but I’m not a very good swimmer.  I still have to hold my nose when I go underwater or I surface choking on pool or ocean water, snot flying everywhere.  The taunts year after year from the toddlers at the pool still don’t motivate me to learn the practice of not breathing underwater.  I’m 44 years old.  Why should I learn now?  God didn’t give me gills so why should I pretend to be a fish?  I’m just keeping it real.  Those toddlers are total fakes and wannabes.  I’m better than those ass holes.

My aquaphobia is not limited to calm pool water.  My husband convinced me over a decade ago to tube the Guadalupe River with him.  I was young and stupid so I did.  It was going pretty well for the exception of a turtle biting my ample ass until I heard the rapids.  Yeah.  Rapids.  Here’s the fun part:  If you lived through the rapids, God Himself had thrown in an honest to goodness Mother Nature made 200 yard water chute.  Here is what a local tour group says about the chute:

“Our natural made fast flowing 200 yard chute will blast you down the Guadalupe River. At the bottom of the chute is a rocky beach where you can stop and hang out with friends or take your tube back up and ride that chute over and over!”

Over and over again?  They are obviously some very sick bastards.

As we were approaching the rapids, my husband grabbed my hand.  The plan was to go through the rapids together only we got separated by a little island.  He says I let go of his hand.  I say he was the Rose to my Jack from Titanic and he totally let me go after repeatedly swearing “I’ll never let you go.”

He made it past the rapids and the chute and waited for me to come through.  My tube and flip flops, the traitorous fuckers, made it down to my husband just fine but I did not.  I was upstream, holding on for dear life to a tree.

My husband fought his way back to me with my tube and flip flops in hand and then proved he was crazier than I was when he yelled “Let go of the tree!” and then actually expected me to LET GO OF THE TREE!  I did not let go of the tree.  The tree and I were pretty intimate by then and I was incredibly reluctant to say goodbye.

It turns out, all I had to do to extricate myself from my imminent watery grave was to just stand up.  I had been clinging to a tree in no more than about 4 feet of water.  I was sure at the time that the only way my ass was getting out of there was by rescue helicopter.  In the end, we made our way to the river bank and walked past Mother Nature’s Death Trap.  This marked the first time I ever gave the finger to a work of nature.

I also have severe claustrophobia.  I want to be cremated when I die simply because I have a near panic attack thinking of my corpse being trapped in a coffin.  Where would I haul my dead ass?  I don’t know but I want to have options.

I cannot sit on the inside of a crowded theater row without having a panic attack.  I can barely sit on the inside of a restaurant booth and remain calm.

I freaked the fuck out two years ago when navigating the Dragon Challenge ride queue at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I had to bolt for an Emergency Exit door.  It was quite the scene and I cursed in front of children, something I rarely do, believe it or not.  We go to Orlando every Halloween so last year I had to listen to my children snarkily and repeatedly ask me if I was going to “freak out” in every dark and tight ride queue.  They seemed to forget that I cook for them four times a year.

My last known fear is acrophobia, the fear of heights.  One of my worst recurring dreams stars myself free falling the shit off of something and I always have lots of time to think on the way down.  The circumstances change and I don’t have them often but when I do, I wake up with a pounding heart, barely able to breathe, mentally repeating to myself that it was only a dream.

What does my absolutely charming tendency to freak the fuck out in many different scenarios have to do with my strong suspicion that my husband is planning on killing me soon?

We will be sailing on our annual Spring Break cruise next month.  I just told you, dear reader, that I have a fear of water, particularly naturally semi-rapidly moving water.  I am extremely claustrophobic and I am afraid of heights.  Here is the first excursion option my husband sent to me today:

Oh dear God.  This is a snuff film.  Those innocent peple are willingly entering the gates of hell on round pieces of air filled plastic.  The purveyors of death then try to cover up your murder by calling it “Cave Tubing”.  I will not be fooled.  “Butts up” is accurate because your ass will be in the air when your dead, bloated carcass surfaces days later.  Hell to the no.

The next shore excursion suggestion was this:

You see that nice man at the 20 second mark, handing out beers?  Those bottles of beer had damn well better have roofies in them.  You see the 48 second mark?  That’s when I shit my yoga pants.

This blog post should provide sufficient evidence for my murder trial.  I trust you, my readers, to avenge my death by any means necessary.