------------------ I think this should be trigger free, but it may not. Fair warning. ------------------
Part of me was relieved.
Part of me was devastated.
Part of me was elated.
Part of me broke down in tears.
I have childhood memories of state homes, visiting my brother.
They are tender memories.
And one day, he left me too.
So when my program director tells us that she is looking into getting a participant that she can guarantee has a cognitive disability in the form of mild dementia, my stomach knotted and the tears pressed on the backs of my eyes.
The longer I sat there listening to everyone talk about the study and cognitive impairments, the knot grew.
I felt myself shrinking on the inside.
Hiding from the pain, the despair, the feelings.
I had to choke down the desire to run from the room.
I had to keep my stomach where it belonged.
I had to keep the tears from forming.
I stayed silent.
Silently planning on asking to be excused from that session for personal reasons.
The feelings were too close, the fear too real.
They were not calling on any more participants. I would not have to ask to be excused from the session. I could breathe again. And breathe I did.
When I got home, I turned on my music and climbed in the shower. As the water washed away the tension, I breathed.
I am now in my safe zone. I have my music, and my brain is distracted.
I can breathe.
Not deeply, not yet. The feelings are still to real. Too close. But I will survive this moment of panic, this bit of anxiety.
Tomorrow can be better.