Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anxiety, or When it Feels Like an Elephant is Sitting on Your Chest

Last week I talked about the time when our house was broken into.  This week I want to share the aftermath of that for me, which was not an easy thing to go through.

After our house was broken into, I started really thinking about what that meant.  Someone unwelcome had forced their way into a sacred place (where you live and sleep seems inately sacred), and had been in our home.  They had walked through our messy kitchen, and seen how we live when (we think) no one is looking.  They strolled down our hallway and into our bedrooms.  They had seen the homework on the dining room table, and knew what were learning.  They had looked at our photos on our walls - seen photos of us happy as can be, photos of our friends, photos of our families.  They had rifled through our drawers, seen our undergarments (even the ugly ones you don't want anyone seeing).  They had opened my engagement ring box in hopes there would be a big ticket item to their taking.

They had invaded our privacy in the worst possible way.
When your own home becomes a place that seems unsafe, nowhere seems safe anymore.

The weeks (maybe even the months) following our break-in were incredibly difficult for me.  I've always been a bit a of a stress case (hehe), but I had never experienced the kind of paralysing anxiety I did for those few months.

Immediately after the break-in, I was constantly terrified of coming home.  Like I mentioned last week, out of the four people who lived in that house, I was usually the first one home during the week.  I also had a habit of coming home, taking a nap, and then getting to work on studying and dinner.  However, in the weeks following the break-in, I couldn't nap, I could barely move from staring at the front door.  I was petrified someone was going to try and come in, and how could I possibly protect myself or my things if I was passed out after my day at nursing school.  

We moved out not too long after the break-in at our house.  Our lease was up, and HH and I were ready to get an apartment of our own.  We found a little two-bedroom that was old and looked suspiciously like a motel and not an apartment complex, but it was ours and ours alone - no roomates, no parents, just us. 

I will always remember moving day.  Not because of my excitement, but because of my paralyzing fear.  I stood in the doorway of our new apartment, and could not bring myself to go out to the car and bring in boxes.  I was too afraid to leave our things unattended.  Afraid someone would still something valuable from our apartment, like our television, our computers, or my sense of safety.  That was the night I called my therapist.  (Yes, I've done therapy, I'm a huge proponent of it, and I'd be happy to talk further about it if anyone is interested!)

This break-in happened years ago, and at the time, the anxiety following it felt unbearable and like it would never go away.  While it did last quite some time, thank God it faded in time, and it is not nearly as all-consuming as it once was.  Sometimes I even completely forgot to be scared!

Have you ever dealt with anxiety in your life?


Shell said...

It sounds like you have dealt with it, and in a healthy way.

tara said...

I agree with Shell. Definitely sounds like you dealt with it the right way!

Katy said...

I am glad you were able to work past some of the anxiety following your break-in through the help of your friends, family, and therapist. I don't think it is something you ever truly recover from. I can't imagine the thought of someone going through all of my personal belongings without my permission.

Anxiety (and depression) are things I deal with on a daily basis. Luckily I can manage them with a low dose of medication and exercise, but it was/is difficult to admit that I need help with these things.

Claudia said...

I also have had some bouts of anxiety and also see a therapist... I'm also open about it and encourage friends to just try it when going through tough times.
we all have them!

Heather said...

I honestly think I would have reacted the same way!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...