Wednesday, 13 February 2013
"I'm here." Called a voice, ushering in a presence that filled every inch of space in the room.
"What do you mean, you're here? You weren't invited." My heart began to race. Nervously I fidgeted and looked around.
The response came; "I don't need an invitation dear one. I come when I please and leave when I like."
Every stitch of air was then sucked from the room and the walls began to close in. Suddenly, the intruder was on top of me - Inside of me.
Was I going to die?
Why had it come? What had I done? I didn't mean to encourage it. My heart pounded and my fists clenched in rage. With my back against a wall I began to fight, kicking and screaming as I slid to the floor.
Hands gripped my wrists and I heard voices but couldn't make out what they said. Inextricable fear washed over me. Fight or flight - I knew I had to fight! I couldn't die, I didn't want to die. Not like this, not now.
I had just seen my Mom, we'd chatted over a nice lunch. Where had she gone, surely she must still be here? Why was she letting this happen? Why was she letting this monster attack me?
My heart pounded in my head. Every part of me ached and tears began to stream down my cheeks. Why? Why!?
"WHY!?" I screamed out. "Leave me alone!"
"I can't leave you alone." Came the saccharine voice. Ever so soft and bevelled, it melted like velvet into my tortured ears. "You called me. You wanted me to come. Don't tell me now that this isn't what you wanted."
"I don't want this. I don't! Please leave - Please!" I begged.
Pressure was all around me and the creatures presence was thick as it pressed into me. I tensed and cried. Relief was not coming. I was trapped.
"You are going to die anyways, are you not?" Said the beast. "You're worried over some lump, a scratch and that five pounds you gained this week..." It's voice trailed off as if it were waiting for a response.
"How did you know?" I grew more fearful. What had this thing been doing? Was it watching me? "What do you want?"
"Why, my Dear." The beasts lips brushed past my ear and it's rancid breath filled my lungs. "What I want, is you. You want death... and I can give it to you."
"No!!" I screamed. "No, I don't. I want to live."
"You could have fooled me, dearest." Said the monster. The weight of it was suffocating. Desperate I gasped for air. At first it wouldn't come, I couldn't catch it. The beast wrestled me and I struggled to fight back.
"Give up!" It demanded.
"Never!" I answered.
"You can't even breathe. You're pathetic!" The beast pressed on.
Determined to prove it wrong, I concentrated and managed to suck in a breath. Then another. The monster lessened its grip.
"You see. I can breath." I said indignantly.
"I see." Responded the creature and again its hold on me loosened a little more. "Perhaps you won't die, at least not today." I felt its hold on me disappear and its presence diminish.
My eyes flickered open. Maybe they had been open all along. Whatever the case I once again could see. I sat in the open living space of my parents house. The sun was streaming in through the windows. My Mom was on the floor with me, her hands holding mine. My Dad stood near, holding the phone. They starred at me as worry and fear stained their faces.
"You beat the monster?" Asked my Mother, a smile softening her lips. She brushed a wayward piece of hair away from my eyes.
"I did." I said even though I could still sense it lingering down the hall. Its power was growing weaker by the minute as I was growing stronger. Breath was coming to me more easily now and a sense of ease was settling in. My body and mind began to lighten.
"I'm so sorry!" I professed to my parents.
"No need for that." Said my Dad. "I only wish I could fight this monster for you."
I wished he could too. But he couldn't, this was a battle that I had to fight on my own. It seemed unfair as I was never prepared. The panic always seemed to come without warning and for no reason. One moment I was fine and the next I was trapped in my mind, fighting for air.
In time, I would learn to live with this beast called panic and I would eventually gain the upper hand. In time, panic would just become a minor annoyance and in time, my life would become mine again. ...In time.