Does it feel like your world is falling apart?

Last week, my world started to feel like it was falling apart. It started with the nanny who isn’t our nanny anymore texting me because she was having a breakdown. Hubby has been distant– it like he isn’t here– and I don’t feel listened to or seen by him. My friend who lives near me is having a really hard time lately, and I don’t know how to help her. Hubby and I had a big fight about Kat needing to get rid of her pacifier (hubby wants to just take it away, I feel it is a need and taking it would be cruel). Kat has been crying about camp and school and I’m terrified she is going to end up back in that “everyone hates me, I hate me, I hate you” place. Hubby and I are still in a weird place after all the stuff with his mom; it’s like he wants it to disappear and I want to talk through it more.

The big thing though, the one that sent me over the edge, was when I called my mom. I wanted nothing more than to go hide out at my parents for the weekend. My mom informed me that we could meet halfway between our homes on Saturday, but that she had rented herself a beach house and wasn’t at home right now. She said things were not good and both she and my Dad were seeing therapists. My world collapsed inward. I don’t know what else she said. I mumbled a lot of supportive things and got off the phone. Panicked is how I felt. The world can not be okay if my parents– who refuse to talk about problems, who wouldn’t even go to therapy with me when I was a teen– are in therapy. Bad things are happening.

When I saw Bea on Thursday, I handed her my notebook. I had scribbled a random list of all the things going wrong right now. It feels like I am holding on very tightly to many glass boxes, and if I let go enough to look inside one of them, I will lose my grip on all of them and they will crash to the ground; every last one shattering into a million pieces around me. I told her I felt silly, like a drama queen, to be upset over all these small things. She countered that they were big things, on top of some big changes taking place in my life, and that while they weren’t trauma things, they were still things that would send anyone over the edge.

She asked how I was doing. I shook my head. I was numb, and under the numb, somewhere far away from me, was panic and fear, anxiety and overwhelm. She nodded and told me numb was okay right now, it was good. She sighed and laughed a little, and said, “I’m not sure I should be asking this, but does it just feel that your whole world is falling apart right now?” I felt so relieved when she asked that. It was such a genuine question; like she was asking because that is what she would be feeling if she were me. I didn’t feel like such a drama queen after that.

We didn’t talk through much, I was too afraid of all the boxes shattering. I told her I have been doing a lot of organizing and cleaning. She said that was okay, a good way to find control in my life. At the end of the session, I told her I was heading home to organize the playroom and that I was running out of stuff to clean. She joked that it was really too bad it would be unethical for her to let me organize her house. I laughed and said maybe it wouldn’t be unethical if it was therapeutic. She joked back that she would let me go to work on her closet in the office. I laughed and said that would be great– I could hide out in a closet and organize to my heart’s content? What could be better when I’m panicked?

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