shame and guilt and panic attacks

It really is not an easy thing to explain what it is like to fear about every day things all of the time. My home is in a very rural setting set way back in the woods next to a state forest-secluded and quiet. I probrebly know most of the people scattered through these woods. However-if I am out in the morning strolling the road and an automobile comes-or worse yet…another person-I begin to choke as if some one has taken thier hand and locked it around my throat. I actually have to train myself to go into large buildings-any place where many people are-like a department store-or the mall…I have to park way away from the entrance and as I walk towards the building I self hypnotise myself and put myself in a trance like additude where I begin to walk and look as if I was the baddest meanest person anyone could confront-but inside I am scared to pieces. Some places I have to go to earlier than required-perhaps a court house-where I have to orient myself to the place and surroundings and be familier with where entrances and exits are.

Restrooms are another story. To try to put it so you can understand it-flying in a plane to Seattle I had to pee and waited until we landed and finally arrived at a motel. I do use restrooms-carefully. I have stood out side a restroom and monitered the people going in and out until I am certain the room will be empty. Any time I go in a restroom and there is a scent of those toilet deoderizers-I have instant deja vu with the memory of Barracks D.

Aquaintences give me a strange look-I used to offer no explaination as to why I park so far away from places-or go so early or why I become so silent or agitated when doing the everyday things like shopping for groceries , my voice getting crackly when I meet someone in public and I loose control over how I speak…in situations where defense is needed I become worse and usually say things that are damageing and too hard to turn around after they are said-many times comments about death or how easy it woul be to kill. Sounding horrid-but only said out of sheer panic trying to act crazier the the next guy to keep from being overtaken.

I have’nt been to a movie theatre in nearly twenty years-before always feeling compressed and ready to vomit because of the dark and the voices and the breathing all familier sounds from the sleepings barracks D and the only way I could manage any social event was to be totally drunk and a shame to those who knew me…so I had to quit both.

I felt shame…always shame. Always thinking about that time…always. Some can try to say to get over it…but thats all they can do is say something like that-it can’t be over ever. I’ve always felt guilt and would sometimes lie about my service to veterans from the Viet Nam war trying to impress them that I had a more glorious reason to have only served a few months saying I got arrested at a peace rally in DC and the military found me out. Ashamed because these guys-guys just like me…had to serve time in Viet Nam and live with the memories they have. I should’ve have been there-could have been there…the Vulcan it is my impression served there in some gulf. I always felt my personal failure and that was worse than the failure image already placed on me by my family. When my brother Frank died and I felt obligated to see him in his last days…his comments whispered in a dying mans breath was that I was the biggest disappointment my family ever knew.

2 Responses to “shame and guilt and panic attacks”

  1. melissachickie Says:

    How horrible for your brother to have said those words in his last breaths! I am ashamed of him for doing that. How misguided and ignorant he is of what happened.

  2. CffShpGrl Says:

    I can totally relate to these panic attacks. I even started my own web page on my life living with anxiety, fear and panic. I just lost my main source of income and I am scared! I am afraid to answer my door, answer the phone, do anything. I have a 10 year old son who I have to take care of and I have to stay calm. He is excited for Christmas and I am worried about it. I understand completely what you are going through.

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