My plans for that day went entirely off the planned track. Not that I knew it at the time, but my planning is how I deal with my anxiety. And by deal, I mean to manage it, keep it at bay. Basically, to keep me from losing the tenuous thread of control that I have.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Plan(s) A Day Keep Anxiety at Bay, I had come up with a plan. It was an excellent plan. And I ended up not following my plan. Those around me so easily convince me that I don’t need to follow my plans or even make them, that I acquiesce.
What I did that day was listening to my husband. I ignored what I had planned out and how I had dealt with my anxiety so that I wouldn’t get to a bad place. I ignored what I needed because I still looked to others to tell me how to act, feel, and engage with life. But this is one of those lessons learned, one that I will not soon forget.
What is wrong with winging it a bit? He asked. Nothing, as long as there is a plan, I thought to myself. Oh wait, that isn’t ‘winging it.’ Then he said that my need to plan can be annoying at times. I know, right? I KNOW. How do you think it makes me feel? It annoys me too.
It isn’t fair that I do that. And to be fair to my husband, he has only my best interest at heart. He didn’t know what we both know now. Heck, how could he? I didn’t even know what I knew now. That is the fluidity of our truth. And where communication comes into play.
Plans? What Plans?
When I wrote that I listened to my husband, it wasn’t one of my planned items; it was pretty much on all of them. It started with trying to find an ATM on the military installation we were staying on. As my husband said, ‘there are usually banks co-located with the commissary and the BX.’
What he said was true. Having been on enough military installations, I know this to be true. It wasn’t true on that installation.
Because we went towards the commissary and BX, we went out of a different gate than what I was expecting (aka planned for). Or we tried to go out that gate. The SPs had closed that gate, and traffic was at a standstill. Huh, okay. But the SPs weren’t turning people around; traffic continued to back up.
I called the security office, and a rather snarky person answered the phone. There was a ‘real-world incident,’ and she couldn’t tell me. Anxiety spike anyone? I am not a fan of sitting duck at a military installation gate with a ‘real world’ scenario, being out in the open, with no way to protect myself. Ugh. Not happy is an understatement.
To write that I was starting to unravel is another understatement. Sitting at that gate, I had time to think about how I was not following my plan. And I was getting angry. Hubs, trying to help, said he would keep an eye out for ATMs along the way. Great. If we followed my plan, we wouldn’t need to do that. Sigh.
My response to him was ‘okay.’ But inside my brain, there was a whole other side to that thought. IT went like this: What?? How am I supposed to know what side of the road the ATM is on so that I can be in the appropriate lane? Is it a drive-through? What bank is it?
On Our Way
Finally, the SPs opened the gate, and we were on our way. It was a bit too late as my anxiety had already started to ramp up, and sometimes it is a freight train that I can’t stop. I was looking to my husband for help. What did I need him to do? At that moment? I had no idea. But whatever it was, he wasn’t doing it. Yeah, I know; I am so fair in my expectations of him. Please help me, somehow.
As we continued down the road, I expected my husband to navigate as I would generally navigate. I started asking him questions, and he had no answers, or he would ask me what I was expecting him to do. BE ME! OMG, how hard is that? But even that wasn’t what I needed.
Be Me, But Not
Being me at that moment would be to RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Researching involves googling ATMs, start familiarizing yourself with where we are going. He wasn’t exactly sure what I was expecting of him because I wasn’t sure what I was expecting of him to do either.
I expected him to KNOW what I needed (even when I didn’t). In part to magically find the street to park on that would be easy to find and have available space? How was he supposed to do that? Someday someone will come up with the technology for that, but it is not here yet.
My anxiety and frustration continued to build within me. And there was no outlet. Except to take it out on, you guessed it, my hubs. And I started the blame game with his inability to predict the future to find the street with parking. I was getting downright angry. It was HIS FAULT that I diverted from my plan.
As is my MO, I don’t tend to yell and scream, at least not anymore. Oh, back in my alcoholism days, I did that plenty. Now I can recognize enough of my anxiety and dysfunction that it isn’t his fault. That and yelling and screaming are no good. Instead of screaming, I shut down. I was giving him terse one-word answers.
I only trusted myself with those one-word answers because I was trying to hold it together. A longer response and I would have lost what little control I had. That and I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t know what was wrong at that moment. I knew it wasn’t my hubs fault, but that is where I wanted to direct my anger. I needed to get that angry energy outside of me.
All of this happened before we even got to the farmer’s market. I would say, without having looked at the time, all of this occurred within fifteen minutes of leaving the RV. That is how quickly I devolved. I allowed my anxiety and dysfunctional thought processes to take over.
Fifteen minutes is all it took for my truth to change.