Saturday, February 4, 2012

How NOT to Approach an Agoraphobic

I know I've been pretty lazy about updating the blog.  Lots has gone on here, lots of it good and some of it bad.  The good is pretty fantastic - I'm in love, happy with my new home, Faith is settling in well.  The bad - well, depression has taken hold a bit and my agoraphobia is twice as bad as it was in Oregon.

On to what the title pertains to....I was walking into Fred Meyer with Richard the other day, and since I had stopped to grab a cart, he went inside as it was cold and wet in the cart area.  Out of nowhere, a man grabs me by the shoulders, reeking of alcohol and uncleanliness.  I couldn't quite decipher what he was saying (something about pretty), and then he pulled me into a hug and kissed my ear (over my hair, thankfully).  Richard was facing forward, and by the time he looked back he only saw the man let me go.  We both wisely realized that confronting the man would cause a scene, so we let him go on his way.  I was so upset that I could hardly walk through the store - I was shaking and near tears.  When we got home, I had a pretty bad breakdown.... touching me against my will is NOT okay and it brought back some horrific memories.  I've had nightmares off and on since then, and am hardly sleeping (again).  I will see my counseling support person and my doctor Monday, but between now and then I'm really sketchy about leaving the house.

Why is this event such a setback?  Well, agoraphobia means more than just not being about to leave the "safe zone."  As per Wikipedia, "Agoraphobia is characterized by anxiety in situations where it is perceived to be difficult or embarrassing to escape."  It manifests in me as places with a lot of unfamiliar people.  I have been working really hard to put myself out there, going to dinner and movies with Richard (and Faith on occasion) when I don't feel comfortable in a strange place in a strange town.  All that great progress....I want to think it's not gone, but for right now I'm back to not wanting to go among people.

Richard took me on a drive this morning, which helped.  I saw some of the posh neighborhoods I had been stalking in the real estate postings before I moved here, and we grabbed some Starbucks.  I missed my drives back in Oregon, so it was a great pleasure.

So, where do I go from here?  I won't be trying anything major until I see my counseling support person on Monday.  I am angry and sad that I am back in this position, as I feel I'm letting everyone down with my disability.  It is very frustrating to be so out of control of your own well-being.

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel that way. That man had no right to touch you. I applaud you for having the strength to realize what making a scene could cause and 'letting it go' so to speak. If it had been me, I would probably be sitting in jail right now wishing that I could take some bleach to my face and hair. I think being in a new place, around new people is going to take some getting used to. Maybe once you're more familiar with the sites, you'll feel more comfortable putting yourself in new situations there. I hate that this happened to you. Let me know what your counselor says.


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