Ok, I’m not literally naked, because my dad lives with us and that is completely horrifying, but I am exposing my soul completely in the upcoming series of blog posts. As you know if you have ever met me or read any of my writing, I suffer from fairly extreme clinical anxiety. I have been able to find some coping skills (some good, some bad) to get through the day when it hits me hard. At extreme times, my sweet husband drags me out the door to the emergency room for a “hard reset,” if you will. My anxiety and stomach disease, which I have discussed in the past (gastroparesis) are tired closely together, so when one flairs up, so does the other. I have been blessed with close friends and a few family members who really get me and make life easier when something comes up. Mostly though, I am greatly understood by most people, including some friends and family members. Sometimes, they make me feel like I am less than because I cannot get my shit under control and fake my way through life like other people (like them). But honestly, I have been dealing with a lot of this in different iterations for the past 39 years, and “just thinking happy thoughts” isn’t and never has done shit for me.
So, I am soul-stripped and ready to bear it all in order to get this crap out of my head. This probably means that I will lose friends, family, and readers, but as my husband said to me today, “If you lose them over this, THEY need to reevaluate how they love you.” So here we go.
People ask me all the time what is making me anxious. I usually stare at them like they have mental problems and say, “If I knew that, I wouldn’t be anxious [dummy].” I am not afraid of being attacked in a Target bathroom by a transgender individual, who, like me, just needs to pee before they have to wander through said Target with wet pants looking for new pants. In my life living in Houston, I have encountered many trans folks in bathrooms, and have NEVER once been afraid. In most cases, I am more curious about their rocking shade of lipstick. I have never been afraid of walking through a parking lot or store at 3 a.m. That could be stupid, but I don’t feel that I present myself as a victim or an easy target. I’m also overweight, and that somehow doesn’t seem to be a target population for random violence (I apologize to anyone who has found this to be the opposite – this is my own person belief and how I carry myself).
My own fears and anxieties fall into two categories: Irrational (but no less scary) and rational. Here are some examples that I will be working through.
- Bugs. Specifically cockroaches flying at my head. I know they cannot hurt me, but if one flies at me, I may be tempted to burn down the house.
- Birds. I had one of those fuckers fly at and hit me in the back of the head once, so now I am terrified of them. If you have one in your house, I complete appreciate your right to own one… just don’t ask me to hold it or expect me to stay in your house if it is flying loose.
- Loneliness in a large group of people. How can you be alone with other people? But I still feel that way and have for as long as I can remember.
- Being “outed” as a fake/failure. This one has plagued my professional career. I know intellectually that I am well-educated and very good at what I do, but there is always the fear that someone will show up and out me for the faker who doesn’t know what they are doing.
- Homelessness. After a marriage where my ex chose not to work for a long period, this became a very real fear that still sticks with me today. I know in my heart that I have too many people who love me too much to see that happen, but it still sticks and makes me a bit of a miser when it comes to spending money.
- Another heart attack. In 2011, after months and months of not being able to figure out my health issues, I had a stress-induced heart attack. This is not something that I want to happen again, but less for myself, and more for my family and especially my nieces.
- My own ability to fuck shit up. The last year has been better for me since finding Plexus, but my own Type-A yet lazy personality has caused a lot of feelings of worthlessness and lost opportunity.
But today, I realized that I have another anxiety. I didn’t recognize it until Paul sent me this humorous like from my favorite game company: https://www.cardsagainsthumanity.com/trump/ If you are too lazy to click the link, and believe me, I get that, it’s a “bug-out” bag for when Donald Trump becomes President. Now, I have said time and time again that I am NOT political. I grew up in a family of republicans, so when I was old enough to vote, I followed suit, as you do. But, as I got older, I realized that I didn’t match up with many of their ideals. My favorite uncle, who has since passed leaving a huge hole in our family and my own heart, was our one democrat. He was a fierce democrat and was constantly at odds with others. I loved talking with him. He seemed to really think about the good of others and I loved that about him. I do not consider myself a Republican or a Democrat. I created my own party years ago called Zero Politico, the true political majority – the party of apathy. We have seen too many promises made and broken on each side. I stay away from all discussions of politics and religion because I am old enough to know that I am not going to change them and they aren’t going to change me. So, I just don’t fall into these conversations. But, I know one thing. Something that keeps me awake at night. Something that I didn’t realize until today – Donald Trump terrifies me.
This is a person, who has largely been seen as a joke among Americans for decades, is now a serious candidate for the President of the United States. When he first announced his candidacy, I assumed he was the red herring – taking focus away from other candidates the party was trying to slip through. He has been a reality star and a comedic cameo of himself on TV and movies for years…but no one took him seriously! How exactly did this happen? I am even seeing serious republican friends blaming their own party with this same question. This man, who has done nothing but be combative, treating women like non-people, threatening to put people into INTERNMENT camps to ensure their safety to our country… does any of this sound familiar??
Please do not think that this makes me either a Hillary or Bernie supporter. I really have zero opinion on either. I like Bernie, but he reminds me of that guy with the crazy hair in every doomsday movie with all the answers, but who clumsily drops all of his papers and trips over his own tie, and is therefore hard to take seriously. Hillary – I think her biggest mistake, at least in my mind, is sticking with Bill after all of his transgressions. She is smart and serious about this country. But, she isn’t particularly likable. I think this is her biggest downfall. This is what makes a Trump v Clinton election terrifying. I don’t know what this means for the future of our country. A country that I love SO MUCH that I cannot hear any patriotic song without bursting into tears – big ugly cry. I love my own state of Texas, though I do not agree with our current powers that be. But I have NEVER seriously considered living anywhere else. Until now.
All great countries (or once great countries) who fall into disarray started with a bad government and citizens not standing up to these governments, or looking the other way, thinking, “Oh, it will only be [insert term limit here].” And then things go terribly wrong. This is not my bid to be anti-Trump. All I am saying is that for me, this has become a VERY strong cause of anxiety. I cannot see his face on TV or social media without immediately moving on. I am afraid of what this will mean for me personally as a woman, as someone who doesn’t make a lot of money, and as someone who was completely un-insurable before the Affordable Care Act. You can egotistically trash it all you want, but all that says to me is that you have never had to live life without medical insurance. Remember that heart attack I had in 2011? Yeah, no insurance. $80,000 for that one trip, which I will never be able to pay (add that to the list of anxiety). And my husband? Also un-insurable. For the past few years, we have been able to get affordable healthcare, allowing us to take care of our chronic illnesses (made worse by years of not having insurance) and to keep up with preventative check-ups. We are healthier than we were in the past, and we thank the ACA for this. Trump scares me. He has no experience in politics and openly flips on his own opinions. He also talks about his own daughter like a sex object, which makes me want to vomit (more than usual).
This post is not meant to change anyone’s mind about their candidate of choice. It is strictly for me to finally give a voice to the anxieties that have been rumbling around in my head without even knowing it. I will be writing more in the coming days/weeks about other anxieties to clear my own mind, but also hopefully to give voices to others who may not be as open or comfortable to voice their opinions without fear of retribution. My own family will not be happy, I am sure, since I do not fall into the norm. But, I cannot hang on to love where that love hangs on such a precarious knife blade.
And, as was my goal, I feel better getting this off my chest.