I absolutely hate having panic attacks, just when I think I have it sussed one creeps up and gets hold of me. Being active, especially running has helped, the sense of feeling strong and control normally pushes any anxiety to the curb.
I have been careful though as having the panic attack during my long run I have been tentative. However, on the whole with professional help I’m having a run (no pun) of good runs. So much so that once again at parkrun on the 27th I trimmed 14 seconds off my PB and bagged myself a new PB. This was run number 3 out of 3 that felt good strong and I felt in control. I was chuffed.
Then the darkness settled, the darkness is in the shape of mother. Now a caveat, I do love my mum but spending time with her is like swimming with a shark, you never know when she is going to bite, you don’t know if she is just toying with you or really going for the kill. Mum is fairly negative, towards other people including me. Mum is overweight but we are never allowed to mention it for fear of having heads bitten off or a massive argument. But despite her situation mum mentions everyone else’s weight with careless abandon, strangers, her husband, friends yes even me. Her comments are cutting, her comments are unkind and when she is talking about a total stranger I get embarrassed. Call me paranoid but when she is passing comment about me, my activities or life choices nobody else seems to hear, she has the absolute uncanny ability to make these comments when everyone else is distracted or out of earshot. As a result I am left reeling and hurt and people like hubby wondering why, often with the comment “I didn’t hear her say that” or “are you sure she said that in that way”? Sometimes I am quick enough to point out what she has said, I call her out, easier if she is talking about someone else, harder if the comment really has hurt me as I blink away in shock. Added to which if mother then talks to hubby or a known friend of mine then she is all glowing about my ability, it makes her look good I think. Proof of this was a few weeks ago when she bumped into a member of the running club at the allotments and commented that her “son in law runs and did they know him.” I was told by my good friend that she only mentioned me when my friend said that I also ran for them, oh yes was her response.
So we went out for a meal to celebrate her birthday. Two of her friends also came along. I steeled myself, I asked hubby to back me, we even had a bit of a joke about it.
I sat like the good daughter making polite small talk with mothers friends until the topic turned to something that I had no clue over and could not participate. I looked at the menu. I looked at my phone, I looked at the menu again. “What are you going to have?” I was asked, I mentioned my choices to which mother said ohh calories, patted her stomach Hang on I thought does she think I’m being a pig? Ignoring that comment further I looked at my phone again, hubby was now looking at his. I tuned in to some of the conversation, I heard my name mentioned, “well she is obsessed about running” I heard. Oh I thought maybe I am but I’m not actually talking about running right now so why is she saying that? I then heard “it’s going to be a fad like all the others things she gets into”, no it’s not I thought I have been doing this for too long now for it to be a fad. Then I heard hubbys name “he is a very good runner, quick, not like her”. The conversation continued, mostly bashing my fitness and attempts, I looked up and down the table, can people hear this? Nope!
The evening continued in this vein, especially after she downed a bottle of wine. I felt exhausted trying to avoid the barbs.
I got home and tried not to think about the negative comments.
The next morning I got up with the intention of doing a long run. I started out and got down the road, mothers voice got in my head and refused to leave, a panic attack welled up inside me, I couldn’t breath I couldn’t get positive, I couldn’t focus. I stopped and turned back deflated. I can’t run I thought. Why should I run even my own mother does not have confidence in me? I returned home and started a pity party.
After chatting to some fabulous friends I realized that my mother wasn’t the only one like to and others have experienced a similar issue.
Once I had finished chatting to them I laced my shoes and did a quick mile loop, it felt good, mother was out of my head this time but what about next?
Moral of the story? Not sure there is one apart from trying to ensure that someone doesn’t get into your head, easier said than done. It’s work in progress.