5/11/10: Waking panic

May 11, 2010 at 10:56 am (personal, Uncategorized)

(more tote bag porn in a bit…)

Every time I wake up – whether it’s from a short nap or in the middle of the night or in the morning – I face this strange version of a panic attack. Between about three seconds and a minute, as I’m just starting to realize I’m no longer asleep, my mind plays this trick on me where I become convinced that I’m not in my own bed but rather someplace else (actually, there are three specific places that reoccur over and over as being where I think I am, none of them pleasant). It’s rare that it passes in under 30 seconds; for the most part, I lay there absolutely cursing my life because of where I’m convinced I’ve woken up, until something comes along and convinces me that no, I’m at home and everything is fine.

Most, that “something” is just me waking up enough to look around. But there are two things that can drift in and save me; two things that can hit my consciousness before I’m fully awake to know anything that’s really going on:

1. The feeling of a breeze coming through a window (as the rooms that I’m afraid I’m waking up in were all pretty airless)

and

2. The sound of prog rock coming from Jeff’s study. Obviously, this only works when I’ve gone to bed early and Jeff has stayed up late, but it has happened many times. Instead of stirring and thinking, “Where am I… oh, shit…”, I instead immediately think, “What in god’s name is… oh, it’s Peter Gabriel.” Immediately, I know that I’m home and where I should be.

Special treat for reading about my psychological trauma:

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