Just when I think I'm doing OK something happens that makes me realise I'm actually not.
Perhaps I never was and I am just really good at pretending?
Every January my Dad's extended family has a reunion. I went to the one a few weeks after Dad died, but I only managed to stay for about an hour before the dirty looks being sent in my direction got too much for me and I had to go home. Last year I tried to go, I even got dressed and into the car, but two minutes down the road I begged Chyken to turn the car around. I went this year. This was hard for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he would be there. But, I went, and I had an OK day. I got to meet my new second cousin and hang out with some of my favourite people.
Afterwards, I was congratulated on being there. People said I had done the right thing. Said they were proud of me. Said things like 'See, it wasn't that bad'.
Well, no, the actual day wasn't that bad. I guess. If you think that hiding in one part of the park too scared to talk to relatives you really wanted to catch up with because they were in his general vicinity isn't that bad. I would very much have preferred not to put myself in that postition. But, I guess on the surface the day 'wasn't that bad'.
The day before was a completely different story.
It is those parts of my post truamatic stress disorder that very few people get to see. The parts where I am unable to get out of bed. The bits where I pick stupid fights with Chyken for absolutely no reason other than to take the focus of myself for a while. The bits where I am unable to stop crying. The parts where I am unable to concentrate long enough to write a blog post. Where I am completely unable to make a decision. I can't even decide what fucking shape of pasta to cook for dinner when I am having days like that.
Then there are the panic attacks. They are scary. Really scary. Rarely do I realise I'm having one until after it is over. So gripped by the fear, so overcome with it all. Muttering things to myself over and over again. Confused as to why I am feeling like that. Lost. Eventually I exhaust myself and sleep for the rest of the day.
The next day I get up, grit my teeth, plaster on a fake smile and force myself into facing the situation I was dreading. This is the bit people DO see. The part they base me on. The part that makes them say things like 'See, it wasn't that bad'.
If only they realised it IS that bad.