I woke up this morning and did my normal routine. Around 10 I thought I should go play basketball, it helped with my anxiety before. I didn’t feel like I could go outside alone because that scares me, so I woke up my partner and told her I needed her help. She groggily muttered something. I told her I wanted to play basketball but couldn’t go outside alone and asked if she’d help me. She muttered something and went back to sleep. I got up to get out of bed and she grabbed me and told me not to go. I do not like being restricted from moving or going somewhere. It really bothers me.
I was also angry because when I feel like I want or need to do something, it is urgent in my mind. I had to play basketball, and I had to play right then. The sense of urgency and anxiety that I get is completely overwhelming and I can’t ignore it or work through it. I have to do what the anxiety wants, immediately.
I got dressed and went to our storage space to get the balls. They were a little flat, so I frantically was searching the house for the pump. By now I was in complete panic, and getting angry that our apartment isn’t more organized. By this time she was up and was saying she would go play with me, but I was too overwhelmed and angry so that was the last thing I wanted. By this time I just wanted to be alone. It’s like because she had reservations about going out, it ruined the whole idea for me. Because she didn’t jump right up when I said I needed help, the whole idea was ruined and I wanted the opposite.
I was also very upset because my wireless headphones are at work. I wanted to buy a spare set for this reason, but she asked me not to because Christmas was right around the corner. Then I didn’t get a pair for Christmas which was disappointing, because now I have one pair I have to share between home and work.
I finally found the pump, inflated the basketballs and told her I’d be outside. I went outside and started playing, listening to some wired headphones I have that work, but are not ideal for moving around a lot. I cleared my mind and really tried to have fun and give it a try.
I like to listen to music while playing because then all of my senses are occupied and I can shut my brain off. I’m then completely immersed in concentrating on basketball and not my anxiety and racing thoughts. And the music helps bring me up emotionally because it was high energy with a good beat.
I noticed immediately that something with her was off while she was playing. Her body language, facial expressions and overall demeanor told me that something was wrong. I asked her several times if she was ok and she told me she was. She lies to me all the time when something is obviously wrong and tells me she’s ok. It is extremely upsetting to me.
Growing up with abusive parents, I learned how to read body language very well and am always on high alert for anyone in my vicinity that may be upset. In my mind, someone who is not ok or happy means danger. I don’t necessarily know how they are feeling, if it’s sad or angry or whatever, I just know it’s not “ok” and my brain says, “DANGER, find out what is wrong immediately”.
I tried to ignore it and move on but I continued to notice it and worry about it. Then my anxiety over whatever she was feeling became so overwhelming that I snapped. I panicked, then my safe response to anxiety (anger) kicked in and I became enraged. I knew it was time to leave the basketball court.
I grabbed my hoodie, and water bottle and started off towards the apartment. She noticed and tried to stop me, reaching for me and trying to make me stop walking. This freaked me out completely. I do not like being stopped when I want to leave a situation. I was panicking over her demeanor and needed to get away immediately before I did something I would regret. This was absolutely not the time for talking, especially not the time for touching. It was the time to leave what in my mind was a dangerous situation. It was dangerous because I was scared of her feelings, and scared of my anger from the anxiety. When I get angry I have a really difficult time controlling myself, so over the years I have learned to try to walk away before things get out of control.
When things get out of control, in the past I have thrown things, broken things, and hurt myself. So I try to walk away before it gets there and cool down. Her idea of how to fix situations is talking and hugging. But when I’m feeling like I’m in danger I cannot do those things. It makes the anxiety so much worse.
I calmly tried to tell her that I had to go when she tried to stop me, and that we’ve talked about it before and she knows I don’t like that. Then I lost control of myself, and threw my plastic water bottle against the fence as hard as I could. I picked it up again and again, throwing it with all my might against the fence and ground until it was completely destroyed. I wanted to punch the fence, hurt my hand to feel better, or punch myself maybe. But I’ve been working so hard to stay away from self harm that I stopped at ruining the plastic bottle.
I picked up the bottle, my hoodie, and ball and walked away into the apartment to write this.