I’m just going to post my email to Abrah, because she understands my anxiety so I always feel better after telling her about it.
I went out to my garden to weed. It was still looking okay after all the flooding and downpours and quarter size hail while we were in Denver. AND THEN our new neighbors who moved into a small duplex about a month ago with 4 dogs, 3 vehicles and a boat and cut down trees to move in a huge shed, running over our water pipes to the backyard. Well, I look at my corn and peas by the fence that separates us and everything was orange. They had used a sprayer to stain their side and the fence has gaps between the boards, like 2 inch gaps, and they had sprayed all my corn, peas, half the lettuce, and the peppers and some other things that may or may not continue to grow. I went in the basement and cried while Nick went over and yelled at them. The guy went off and came back with a handful of seed packets. As though I can just replant in early July when my corn was almost knee high. Nick told him that that wasn’t good enough to cover all our hard work and so the neighbor threw the packets on the ground and kicked them. And threw a bag of topsoil and one of grass seed against his own house, bursting it all over his rocks.
There’s really nothing to do to fix this. They also are raising two bloodhounds as rescue dogs and the woman cornered me a couple of weeks ago, yelling “Is Joe still in Jail?” and then she told me that she couldn’t put collars on the puppies because they whine so much. So she takes them off. And then how she got into a fight with the neighbor behind us because he yelled over the fence for her dogs to shut up and she told him that his bark just as much.
So I was just heartbroken about my garden and no apology fixes idiocy and bad neighbors and then Nick had this excellent idea of going for a ride in the mountains on a “road that should be fine” but which really goes along the face of a cliff for a while here and there and I ended up walking and swearing at him because I was trying not to lose it and have multiple panic attacks. And he didn’t understand any of it. Just like when we were taking off in planes and he didn’t understand that I’m better off closing my eyes and concentrating on grounding myself and breathing. He kept telling me I’d be better if my eyes were open.
Anxiety builds on itself. All the plane flights, the drives to and from Denver, Nick driving in the rain at night on a bad road, the girls’ plane being “off the radar” and landing 45 minutes late—it all adds up, like a storm cloud brewing, building turning dark and dangerous. And I breathe my way through it. Control. Control. But then my neighbors spray oil and stain all over my garden and my control slips. There is never a good time to put me in a car on the edge of a mountain, but definitely not as the storm edges across the valley toward me.
Anxiety is always with me, but things trigger it and raise that general base level I walk around with every day. I think years of not knowing when the attacks would come have trained my body to always be on guard. It’s not a logical thing. Reason does not talk it away. And it’s very personal to me, and not based on what someone near me thinks about how dangerous something is, or what exactly there is to fear. I didn’t pick it. It chose me.
Just like my new neighbors. Some sad pictures:
This one is sad too for different reasons: