‘Public’ is a scary place

Since mom’s passing three weeks ago, I have struggled going out in public alone. My husband, my rock, usually takes me and guards me from people that might approach and ask about our journey or Mom. I know they care, I know they mean well and I appreciate that so much. I just have a hard enough time dealing with my anxiety, any ‘intrusion’ from an outside source is, well, scary. I can’t handle the feelings I am having, let alone share them with someone that catches me off guard.

Today, I ventured out. Today, I went to the grocery store by myself for the second time. The last time I went, I went early enough that the store was not very busy. Today, not so lucky. As I scanned the isles for my items needed, I also scanned for emotional intruders. I now have a small glimpse of what PTSD must feel like. Always unsure of your surroundings, not feeling safe in your own skin, not ready to fully face the world but know you have to.

It went okay. I didn’t see anyone I knew, gathered my groceries and walked to my car with the Courtesy Clerk. Very nice young man, friendly and wanted to have a conversation. “Do you have any plans for the week”, he asked. How do you respond to that when you have made lunch plans with a friend and not even sure you have the courage to go, going to counseling so you can be who you family needs and knows you to be, staying inside to avoid any contact with the outside world? “Nothing really, just cleaning and taking care of my family. How about you?”, I responded. Small talk. It still left my mind racing. “Just hurry up and unload my groceries. I need to get home. Feel safe.”, was my internal response.

Life will get better. Life will return to normal. What ever that “normal” is without her. Damn, I miss her so much. The pain hurts. The emptiness hurts.

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