Tools of the Trade Show

CW: Panic attacks in progress and the reasons for them.

So, this is not the type of post I normally write. I’m not even sure it qualifies as a true post. If this were Facebook, I’d be vaguebooking to the point of parody. However, I will explain more later, when I feel able to and when I know more. So, I ask you all to stick with me for the moment.

I’m currently sitting in the staff break area at a hotel. I’m on my second week back to work and attending a conference.

And – because my life is a perfect shit storm – I just got a call about the 9th Circle of Hell. The situation at the bedbug place didn’t resolve after all, despite what it seemed. And – because I am apparently cursed – it fell apart even more while I was traveling, instead of safely working remotely where I could at least claim the dignity of falling apart in private.

I’m supposed to be presenting tomorrow, damn it! Yet, before that I have to somehow get from hiding with the cup of tea handed to me by a kind hotel staff member, trying to keep myself from completely shutting down by writing incoherent blog posts, to having a voice strong enough to give a presentation on data.

I need some serious help to get there. The chasm between those two states of Lavender existence seems insurmountable at the moment. And, the bully-in-my-brain, using the time-worn tool of the trade of the panic spiral, thinks I’ll crash and burn if I try to do anything about either the presentation or the 9th Circle of Hell.

Could you all just tell me that:

1) You believe me that I don’t want all the bad things that have happened this year to keep happening. You believe me that if I knew how to escape this systemic trap, I would. (I fear my colleagues probably won’t understand if this situation somehow impacts my ability to present tomorrow. I’m not sure I can handle them not.)

and

2) You believe that I can somehow pull myself together and make it through this. I can’t reach my Partner. I’ve called him multiple times. I’m in a city I don’t know. I’m here with coworkers who will likely follow my boss’s lead on how to treat personal situations to protect themselves from his wrath even though he himself isn’t onsite. I’m feeling like I just can’t anymore. It’s too much. I’m overwhelmed and frozen and probably way more dissociated than I should safely be in public. The idea of leaving this breakroom seems thoroughly impossible right now, though objectively I know that three hours ago I was feeling pretty competent and in control, and technically I’m still the same Lavender who felt that way not so long ago.

I need some serious “buffering the effects of trauma through witnessing and not shaming” right now, if it’s not too much to ask…

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15 thoughts on “Tools of the Trade Show

  1. The fact that you can write this so coherently, despite how you are feeling, is a great indication that you have what it takes tk “fake it til you make it.”

    Smile. Seriously, smile a big smile right now. Studies have proven that when you smile, it instantly lifts your mood, regardless of what is going on.

    Not lifted enough? Smile some more. Lavender, You’ve Got This. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are not creating this negativity, for my first point. Bad things happen to good people. It just does. Having no safe haven to go to while under the pressure of presenting is unthinkable. Do you have any other rituals that might help you gear up? When I present I essentially go into character. Clothes, makeup, attitude. Is there anything like that that helps you? Sometimes, in the worst of it, I can use anger to get through. Take it as a challenge and say f u universe, I’m still fighting! Any keep talking to us through your blog. We are here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Three hours later, I hope you have made it out of the break room and are feeling better. You will knock it out of the park tomorrow if you can write that well when you’re mid-meltdown. You got this!!! I love Lady Quixote’s advice above. Please give an update on how the presentation goes. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I made it to my hotel, but I still can’t reach my Partner, which is terrifying me. I’ve had to deal with yet another crisis situation and finding a kinkos in a strange city to fax emergency approval to move my sibling after the new place lost its license, fired all its employees and closed up in one day. No one expected it. They’d supposedly fixed the issue I wrote about before. If I hadn’t gotten the signature there in time for emergency change in temporary provider – time differences and not knowing the area be damned – my sibling would have out on the street again. And that’s something I’ve been fighting and fearing for months. It’s something I faced my childhood Hell and own abuse history to prevent. And none of that was enough. The damned system failed again, and tore another piece out of my soul with the weight of handling it today. And, now, I just want my Partner to call, help me get out of this mental space as my “safe person” – yet he’s not responding to my texts or emails. I’m holding it together purely through dissociative disconnection and blanking everything out and existing in survival mode. Just cross your fingers that I can hold on to this level of disconnected numbing through one twenty minute presentation tomorrow. Then I can flee to the airport, fall apart on the plane home, and ask my Partner the question my past history of abandonment does not want to know: why wasn’t he the one there for me through this? My presentation is the last day of the conference. I just keep telling myself it’s only 24 more hours…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve totally got this. I can relate to the going through hell feeling and sometimes it helps to just stop and take deep breaths. And sometimes it helps to watch funny cat videos. Maybe it is a tub of ice cream. Find something that will help you feel good. You’ve helped me with your helpful comments about my IBS issues on my blog so I know that you’re a good person. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love presenting at things like that, it gives me so much joy and wish I was given more opportunities so I can’t give you much helpful advice really other than just be yourself. Getting yourself to the hotel and venue where the conference is happening is a huge achievement in itself for someone living with chronic illness. I didn’t even know you were returning back to work and that you are presenting at a conference. What conference are you presenting at?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard from him eventually today. He had a debilitating migraine. He gets them, but that severe is really unusual. So, now I get to worry about him bc bas frequency and severity are getting so much worse. Got through the presentation. I think it went well. Partner got his turn in crisis mode – still with migraine – bc of course more bs occurred while I was in the talk. But, it happened. I’m waiting for an uber to the airport, and I feel like I’m almost shaking from spent adrenaline and lack of sleep. All spoons gone – probably for some days given what this cost physically and mentally – but I made it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He was so debilitated by migraine his phone had been dead for hours but he couldn’t look at screens or remember to keep it charged. I finally resorted to asking our complex manager to knock on the door and ensure he was ok. I was getting really worried.

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