I had one greatest fear all through life…. Pain! I did not ever fear death, but I feared the pain I would suffer prior to death. Now that I find myself three years into severe chronic pain, I can’t help but wonder, if this all has taken place, because of my greatest fear being pain. I would have to say that now, I would much rather experience the pain prior to death, because at the least, it would end! Do our thoughts manifest into reality? If so, then wouldn’t over coming the fear of pain cause it all to go away? Hmmm, interesting to say the least. Possibly, if I came to terms with this pain and accepted it completely without fear, it could all go away……
I am willing to guess the answer to that last question is no, but coming to terms with chronic pain would make life a bit more livable. Focusing on fear, I will talk about the things I have experienced in life that were full of fear.
For one, Panic Attacks…. Out of no where, they came, suddenly in 1995 I was riddled with acute severe panic attacks. In a three month time period I went from my normal strong self, to a terrified child. What began as feeling ill and under the weather, quickly became a surge of intense fear and panic. For no reason what so ever, I would become paralyzed and unable to move. Of course, it did not just start that way, it grew to this in a quick three months time. Much like coming down with the flu, I began feeling ill and under the weather, followed by episodes of tingling in my extremities. I felt like my body was quivering, as if I drank way too much coffee. Next my mouth became numb and vibrated. My heart raced and felt as though it would rip right out of my chest. I would get extremely dizzy and disoriented. This progressed each day for three months, until I had, what I like to call “A Full Blown Panic Attack!” At this point I was ill 24/7, like I had the flu and it would never go away. I would get attacks several times a day. Then, finally, on the day in August 1995, I had the big one. I felt like I was dying and no one would listen to me. The numbness, quivering, vibrations and tingling went throughout my body. My heart was trying to rip its way out of my chest. Breathing became labored and very difficult. I felt like I was having, what seemed to me too be, a heart attack. The fear gripped me and I firmly believed no one cared that I was dying before their very eyes. I finally begged to go to the ER and my spouse, at that time, took me. In the waiting room I felt extreme terror, pain and I could feel my body tightening up into me. I fell from my chair as the dizziness over took me. Someone got me into a bed and they checked my vital signs, then they placed me in a room by myself. I just knew I was dying right then and there and no one cared! I called out for the nurse in pure terror. After several attempts to get anyone’s attention, the nurse came in pissed off. She yelled at me, saying there were people with heart conditions there and I needed to be quiet. Then she just walked out of the room and closed the door. Within minutes my entire body was tensed up and tight, yet it curled in toward myself. My mother walked into the room and saw me, all retracted inward with lips puckered out and unable to move. I remember her sad look on her face and her saying, “Oh, Laurie!” Next thing I knew, I was taken for a CT scan and then when I returned to my room they gave me a shot in the butt and I felt like my entire body relaxed. That was when the doctor said they could find nothing wrong with me and she felt I was suffering from Panic Attacks and referred me to a psych doctor. I was in utter disbelief! There was no way I was just having a panic attack. I fought it for months. Because I thought a panic attack was much different than the life or death thing I was facing multiple times a day. It doesn’t help when everywhere you turn, they are saying how crazy you are. My husband then, was a royal jerk, he did not help me or support me and he was down right horrible to me. I did finally get the panic attacks to stop after eight months, but I was so terrified, I refused to leave my home. (And by the way, years later, that husband experienced panic attacks himself. But I was there for him, unlike how he was too me!). Which is why I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. However, every two years those horrible panic attacks returned for six months straight and I couldn’t leave my home then entire time. I had to meditate daily and focus on relaxing to make it through the six months. I felt very sick the entire time, like I had the flu and it never went away. This continued in that pattern until 2001, when I decided I better go ahead and take some sort of medication to assist me with the nightmare of Panic and Agoraphobia. I have only had a couple full blown paralyzingly attacks since then, but I experience small episodes of panic several times a month to this day. I keep it all to a minimum by meditating, doing relaxation breathing and taking medication for it.
Another one, PTSD… In November of 2010, I was attacked in my front yard by a gang that was going after the neighbor. We were out front in our own yard, but my son and myself were beaten pretty good. They even shot a rifle toward my son and myself. I have been in constant pain ever since that day! I was diagnoses with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shortly there after. I would spend a good six months gripped by the fear of someone busting into my house and attacking me. I could not even go in my front yard for many months and when I did finally go in my front yard, I had a bunch of weapons strategically placed around where I could easily get to them. To this day, I become extremely terrorized if I see a group of young men that resemble the gang that attacked us. Where I live, the majority of the people do resemble the young gang members that attacked me and caused me never ending pain. Needless to say, I do NOT like leaving my house, EVER! When ever I heard a gun shot, for a solid year and even some what now, I would immediately fall to the floor in terror. PTSD is definitely a fear encompassed condition. You are full of fear and terror.
There are two condition that are full of fear and reasons why I do not leave my house very often. I lived in Southern, Illinois for five years from 2003-2008. It is a farming community and beautiful country. The people are very nice and I never had to wait in line at the pharmacy, the bank, the little grocery store or the post office. I absolutely loved it there. It is the kind of place anyone with panic disorder should lived. I had my dream home and 12 acres of land. It was peaceful and so very beautiful. I lost all that when hubby #2 decided drugs and whores were what he wanted and not his family. Then I had to move back to Georgia, where I have always hated living! I didn’t have a choice. Seems I never have a choice. I had our original home there and I was loosing my dream home, so I had to go back to the crap hole. I wanted to be buried in that dream home of mine. I hate thinking about it, because it makes me so angry and so very sad.
And let’s not forget, Bullying! When I was ten years old (1979) we were moving away from the place I was born, New York. I lived in the beautiful country on the west side of New York. My father took another job and we had to move to Canada. I hated leaving all the people I ever knew. Canada was nice and the people were all very sweet. We only lived there for three months. Then my dad took another job and we moved to Northern, Illinois. That is where I was introduced to how horrible it felt to be bullied. The kids were all so very mean and seemed to just hate me. I made friends with a boy at the end of my street and one girl in my class. I am still friends with that girl to this day, by the way. Unfortunately, my friend that lived down the street from me decided to join in and pick on me at the bus stop, he even threw rocks at me. I had never experienced this kind of treatment before. I hated living there and wouldn’t you know, we lived there until I was an adult and had my own children. The kids were so mean and hateful. I would become very ill on Sunday nights. My mom said I was always getting sick on Sunday nights because I had to go to school the next day. You would thing that would of set an alarm off in her head that something was seriously wrong! Being called names, mistreated, hit with objects and having to endure pure hatred never ended! Not in Junior High or high School. I often wonder what my life would of been like if I never had to leave New York and all the friends I had. Of course, in high school I began doing drugs. I drank, smoked pot and took speed. Trying to hide from the pain of life or even trying to just fit in for once. I dropped out of high school in the middle of my Junior year. (1986, February) I was talking to the youth police officer at the local police department regularly and he even called my father and told him to just let me drop out. Surprisingly, my father did just that, but my mother was pissed off and I had hell to pay for dropping out. It was only a month later I found out I was pregnant with my oldest child. Sixteen and pregnant and forced into marriage….
I could write a lengthy book on all the things I have experienced and lived through in my life so far. But today, I wanted to talk about fear. Sure, there are many more things I have gone through that encompass FEAR, but I think I covered enough for one day…..
Below is a photo of my current husband and myself, taken on Thanksgiving.