The last two days have been especially difficult. For a time, I actually thought I was close to having a mental breakdown – perhaps I was, I don’t know! Anyway, I’ve had a lot of time to think…in fact, too much time…and I realised something important.
People who tell me I am strong and that I will get through this, are actually putting more pressure on me.
I know they mean well and I know they do believe I’ll get through it because of the person I once was, but does that person still exist? I can’t answer that. Do they still see glimpses of that person? I can’t answer that either. All I know is that pressure is causing me to bubble silently inside. Yet the more I bubble, the more likely it is that I’ll explode and I’m scared of that happening because I don’t know what I’ll do…or who I’ll do it to.
Maybe I’ll be at work. Maybe it will be a client on the phone. That will be alright, won’t it? I can’t physically attack the person, but what about my job as PR for the company? What damage will I do there? How will it affect me and the company? But…maybe it will be a work colleague or an over the counter client. What will happen then? I shudder to think about it. Unfortunately, I don’t think my work colleagues realise just how vulnerable I am or just how close to the surface those bubbles are. At the moment, it would take very little for the eruption to occur.
Maybe I’ll be on the train. Maybe I’ll break control with a complete stranger. Maybe that person will deserve it too. But I doubt it. Nobody deserves what I think could come from me if pushed too far.
I’ve only ever had one meltdown, that was three years ago, shortly after Barry passed away, but it is still something I am not proud of. I can’t remember any of the words spoken (screamed), but I clearly remember what I was feeling and thinking. I wanted to harm the person in front of me and I’m not talking about a slap or a punch, I’m talking about something much more sinister than that. I never, ever want to feel like that again. Never! I still can’t quite grasp how a usually quiet, reserved person could show such a savage side in a space of only a few seconds. Because I have felt that total loss of control before, I’m aware of what could happen again and I’m fearful of it happening again.
Last time, I was lucky enough to have a tiny voice in the back of my mind reminding me that what I wanted to do wouldn’t provide solutions, it wouldn’t change anything, that it wasn’t right, that it wasn’t like me at all. But will that little voice be heard, or heeded, again?
What I need is for the people around me to say, “Go ahead and scream. Let it all out. Come on, I’ll scream with you.” I think that would defuse me quicker than anything else – being given permission to scream at the top of my lungs. Just thinking about it, make me feel calmer.
So maybe I should go somewhere well away from people, where only the birds and wild animals can hear me, and scream until my throat bursts. Yes, that sounds good to me and if the breeze carries my anguish away then that would be even better.