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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A woman fears tight or confined spaces.

I fear tight places.  I also fear crowds; if I am hemmed in the back somewhere, with no route for escape, then I might as well hang it up.

I am claustrophobic.  Severely claustrophobic.  Guess it is my older brother's fault: he used to shut me in the closet and stand against the door, so I couldn't get out.  I can remember pounding on the door, yelling for him to let me out, and then falling to the floor, covered in sweat, and weeping in fear, until mom or dad rescued me from the confines of the closet.

Since that happened, I have had repeated nightmares of being in a crowded elevator (and the elevator gets stuck), or dreams of caught in a stampede of panic-stricken people as they try to escape a terrorist attack or nuclear bomb ... and I would be one of those who didn't make it.  I would die a horrible death.

Whenever I go anywhere, I have to have as much open space around me as possible, or else I can get so worked up, I can go into panic mode (or even get so frightened, I eventually pass out or have heart palpitations).  

It is really bad.

I cannot work because if I get caught in smaller than normal spaces, my claustrophobic self threatens to overtake my performance, and then I'm no good for the rest of the day.  I have had to go on government assistance (disability) because of ongoing emotional trauma or panic attacks when the situation presents itself.

Sometimes people make fun of my fear of tight spaces, but if they had to live with the brother I did growing up, maybe then they would somehow understand.  I find nothing funny about gasping for air because I feel so trapped, a fast, pounding heartbeat, copious perspiration, shaky knees, a feeling of weakness that overwhelms my physical body, or elevated blood pressure.

I wish somehow that people could experience what I do when I go into a full-blown panic attack or claustrophobic moment.  Maybe then they wouldn't tease me or call me demented.  I didn't ask to be left this way; it is all my brother's fault!  If my parents could have put a stop to his tormenting me like he did, maybe then I wouldn't be in the shape that I am currently in!!

Claustrophobia isn't anything I would wish on anybody, especially such an extreme case like mine!  It is the worst!! 

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 12/22/2010
Well told story,you capture this womens fears well, thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 12/22/2010
Karen, this is very well-told and you list the symptoms well: they can be completely uncontrollable and life-domineering! And ANYTHING can trigger them, big or small - but somewhere something has happened to cause a catalyst always for panic. And then the fear of panic becomes the problem in itself. I have been this way myself but eventually managed, little by little, to be able to keep my cool by talking myself through "threatening" circumstances. Bless you for this. Claustrophobia can be thought of as a "minor" issue by those who use the term lightly. But it can be the most terrifying daily event. Thank you always for the ways in which you highlight these things so that "sufferers" need not feel either alone or "peculiar". We all have our "thing", I'm sure. May you and yours - especially Karla! - have the most joyous and blessed Christmas! Breathe in love and peace! :)) xx
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 12/22/2010
Me too. Went for my MRI on my head a few weeks ago and freaked out. Couldn't do it.
Reviewed by Paul Berube 12/22/2010
Well told tale, Karen.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/21/2010
BOY can I relate to this, especially since someone I know and love USED to lock me in the closet ... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? What was that? LOL Excellent story, Karen, I closely identify with this woman. Not based on me, is it? :) Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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