I need to write more about this, so I hope this is Part I.

I have always been odd. I have always been embarrassed by reactions to my oddness. I go over things I say to people, spontaneously, until later I am sure I have said the wrong thing. I feel as if I push people away, by my very self expression.

I was safe in a religion and culture where the greetings and rituals were nearly universal. I was judged by adherence, and I adhered well. But also my circle of acquaintances was small, as religion demanded. Now all that is gone.

I have one good friend. Who seems to like me no matter what I say. She has a beautiful heart and a fierce spirit.

But I miss community. I miss people popping in, hands full of oranges, to share. To see how the children are. To say nice things to me.

I am trying to fit in. I don’t think I know how. I am afraid to invite people in. They come once, and not again. I don’t know if I am missing a social cue, or if I am so casual with my invites that no one feels invited when in fact they are invited at all times.

I am embarrassed by my past. I am ashamed of my poverty, my disorganization, my lack of time. The professionals who work with us tell me how wonderful I am doing, how far I have come, that most survivors do not do so well, do not work full time with PTSD and thrive with it. But I want to be like other people. With houses and nice rugs and people who visit them.

I don’t understand how endless conversations with my husband about how to raise children and put them into piano lessons at the age of four ended like this. How they ended with the oldest at the age of four and myself without shoes and with bruises, walking hours to and from the store to get milk with coupons for the children. How a man who claimed family is everything would not buy food for his children, would deny them enrichment, field trips, education, his own attention. I don’t understand how planned children were beaten for laughing. I don’t know how I ended up a single mother, with planned children, in hiding from the man who demanded I bear them and then threatened us all.

I don’t understand how anyone can look at any child and put themselves first.

Didn’t they deserve better, even if I did not?

I need to get tested for Asperger’s. I want something to blame all this on. Something to share with my son, in the hopes he does not grow up feeling alone as I did.


2 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. All good questions, and all reasonable expectations to wish for. Reading this, I too wish you safety–beyond just what logic tells you, the kind of safety that penetrates deep into your bones where anxiety is used to living all by itself–and many, many friends, all with their arms full of oranges.
    I have no doubt it’s what your children deserve. And you as well.

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