I don’t want to be the one the battles always choose
‘Cause inside I realize that I’m the one confused – “Breaking the Habit”, Linkin Park
Sunday, I visited my old Walmart and I started chatting with one of my coworkers. She mentioned that the attendance policy has changed, that management keeps cutting hours, and that sort of thing. But our conversation turned slightly. I mentioned that I had heard Sharon–our coworker who had been shot–hasn’t been in our Walmart for years.
I couldn’t exactly blame her, all things considered. But it’s worse than that.
Sharon has anxiety issues. She can’t stand to be around more than two people at a time. Being out in public is too much for her. Again, I can’t say that I blame her; I have anxiety issues of my own.
For Sharon, it stems from the shooting; she’s probably dealing with PTSD along with the anxiety. My own anxiety comes from multiple sources: trauma from the day of the incident, dealing with the past three years of medical problems, the tamoxifen, losing not one, but two different jobs, I could go on but you get the idea.
But now I have some clarity to show you what I mean
I don’t know how I got this way
I’ll never be alright
I didn’t choose this. I never wanted this, the gnawing fear and uncertainty. I never wanted to break out in a cold sweat seeing a police officer in a retail store. I never wanted to deal with insomnia, or wake my husband in the dead of night because I was crying while I slept. I never wanted to burst into tears upon reading a letter from my doctor, saying I needed more tests, or scream at Prime, demanding to know if I would live or not. I never wanted to go through each winter, wondering if another body part might kill me.
I never wanted this. I never asked for it. And I am dead sick of dealing with this. I’m fairly certain that Sharon feels similar.
A random act: a coworker brings a gun to work, draws it on a random cashier and pulls the trigger. A routine test: a mammogram that has a few areas of concern, requiring another test and a biopsy. A day that seems normal, until it isn’t.
One heartbeat, one breath, one fluttering of an eye and normal disappears. I have no idea if it will ever come back.
Normal is so far away and I don’t know how to get there. Or if I ever will.