If I was the world’s most articulate writer, I think I would still miserably fail to communicate to you the world of chaos that I grew up in. I didn’t have any control over my environment. We would often try to go somewhere and end up going nowhere at all. At times, I felt like I had no control over myself, my emotions. I certainly had no control over whether or not my autistic brother Matt decided to inflict pain on my body. What may have been even worse was seeing Matt inflict pain upon others; friends, family members, or complete strangers. That may have been harder then being hurt myself. It was hard to place hatred upon my brother when he didn’t seem to have any control either.
I decided that I needed control and structure in my life. I became a control freak. I was not going to allow anything or anyone to control my life. I certainly was not going to allow addiction or vices of any sort control me. But then a couple of weeks ago, I realized I was wrong. I was allowing control to control my life. Then I realized that everything I am afraid of has to do with a lack of control.
I thought I was afraid of heights. Being on an airplane freaks me out. But I don’t mind looking out the window. It is the hours of turbulence, grasping the sides on the seat in panic that got me to seek help. I felt trapped in a tight area. A person that I didn’t know had control of my life. You say that flying is safe compared to driving. Yes, I agree, that is why I was terrified of driving too. Several years back I was afraid of driving, especially over bridges and on highways. It got so bad that at one point any driving on the highway would bring about a panic attack. It wasn’t long before I realized that my biggest fear is total lack of control. There was nowhere I could pull over on a bridge or a busy highway. The big concrete partitions locked me in. Trapped. I refused to stop driving. It has been almost 2 years since I panicked while driving. I was driving through construction. There was nowhere to pull over. I started to sweat profusely. I opened all the windows. The music from the radio unnerved me. The tunnel vision started, darkness creeping in until I thought I would pass out. I slowed down, driving erratically. My heart beating fast. I always pulled off the highway at the next exit feeling like a total failure bracing myself to face it again, feeling exhausted. I refused to let fear control me.
I think the secret to figuring me out is making me feel like I have control. My husband is very good with giving me a false sense of control. I am ok with that. I keep my days very structured, any average stalker could figure that out. Once again I need to find equilibrium. In response to total chaos, I allowed the pendulum to swing too far in the opposite direction. I need to let go….