When I feel the panic coming, I give it two to three hours to subside. I try to fight it with breathing exercises and with thinking “relaxing thoughts”. I try to reason with the panic and the feelings of flight or fight. I tell myself that there is no visible threat. There is no real threat.
This plan of action has never worked, not even once; yet I continue to do it (for 30 years now) because I do not know of any other options. In the end, I have always taken the Xanax.
And the Xanax works like dew from Heaven.
Within an hour of taking a miniscule dose of Xanax (0.25mg), I feel better, completely restored to normal functioning. Clearly, I have a biochemical deficiency in my DNA and this drug fixes it. Also, I am afraid to let the panic go too far because it feels like a heart attack and I do not have $500-$1000 for another visit to the Emergency room.
So why do I hesitate to take the drug?
Because it took me eight weeks of hard physical withdrawal to get off the Xanax.
-I had hallucinations.
-I had nerve spasms (zingers).
-I had Monster Death headaches.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines is really scary and should not be done without medical supervision. (Eventually, I will go through my old records and blog about this.)
So what happened?
I got home from work at midnight. I was completely ravenous. I opened the fridge and saw one-half of a left-over sandwich from the grocery store. It was turkey with cheese (not kosher), but I was so hungry, that I ate it anyhow. Of course, it upset my stomach, but at least I wasn’t starving. Then I went to bed.
In the morning, there was a ruckus in the kitchen. My dad had intended to make mommy eat that soggy, half sandwich for dinner later that night. They were upset that I had eaten her dinner. I apologized and offered to replace her sandwich. I didn’t feel that I should have to apologize for being hungry or eating left-overs, but I did it anyway; and I felt he was being pretty cheap to volunteer for her to eat a soggy, old sandwich – but I kept my mouth shut. Then my mother opened the other half of the turkey sandwich and reported that it didn’t have tomatos on it. My father started saying that I (Rivka) had eaten the tomatos. My mom looked hurt. “She ate my tomatos?” she asked. He started egging her on. “Yes, she stole the tomatos off your sandwich.”
“What?” I laughed. “So I opened the sandwich, stole the tomatos (which I don’t like), wrapped it back up again, and put the now tomato-less sandwich back in the fridge? Are you serious?”
He looked at me with an evil gleam in his eyes. I think he was trying to decide how far he could take this.
I turned my back on them and went into my bedroom. Later, as I was leaving for work, I reiterated to my mom that I did not open up her sandwich and steal the tomatos. She answered, “Well, you are disrespectful and rude.” With that, I left for work.
I wanted to tell someone about the craziness, so I phoned my brother. He listened to the story, but he wasn’t happy that I called him. I have known since I was a little girl that my step-father hates me. I mean, he just hates me; but it still sucks.
Within two hours, I was fighting the panic.
I have read by other bloggers of recovery from narcissistic abuse, not to examine your motives too closely, not to try to make sense of events that will never become reasonable – but I disagree whole-heartedly. I know what caused my panic episode, therefore, I should include that information in the story. It is not enough for me to just write that I had panic and I resolved it with 0.25mg Xanax. There’s more to the story. I would like to make a random connection to narcissistic abuse in that the narcissist(s) knew early on that I longed for a loving family – and they each promised me that they would be my loving family. It was a way to get to me, to lovebomb me, and to get me emotionally invested in the relationship with the narcissist. It was an opening, a weakness, a vulnerability. Of course, I didn’t know what narcissism was at the time, but I do now and I think I have to be ever vigilant against people who promise to fill the roles of my negligent parents.
I wonder how I’ll do that exactly?
“The Tomato Sandwich or Why I Took Xanax.” is copyright © 2014 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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