Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: panic


I had to go to my pharmacy yesterday because I needed my meds. It had been surprisingly painless to get my scrips, and I got the call Monday morning that my prescription was ready for pickup at the pharmacy. First time in…two weeks? Three? Quite some time that I’d interacted with someone not my brother face-to-face.

Before that, however, I had an online taiji Zoom class. It was a form class, which I prefer to the basic taiji classes. My teacher mentioned that the studio was going to be closed for May as well as April (which I think is a good idea), but said that her teacher was hoping once the weather got nicer, classes could be held in a park. My teacher said we would practice six-feet social distancing and all, but I immediately thought, “FUCK, NO.” Six feet is the very minimum, and there are reports that the virus can travel up to a billion feet. I’m exaggerating, obviously, but no one can say exactly how much distancing is safe.

When my brother was over two days ago, we kept roughly 10 feet apart, and I still felt it was too close. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel it’s ok to be close to someone again. Physically, I mean. I’m already wary of getting emotionally close to people, and this isn’t helping. On the other hand,  I’ve talked to my bestie more during the pandemic than we had before. I had been thinking of going to visit her this month because we both have April birthdays, but obviously, that didn’t happen. When all this mess is over, then we’re going to get together and have a big celebration. I don’t care about my birthday, but I do care about her. And, it’s fun to get together regardless of the reason. I also planned on flying out there (Philly) for Halloween because they have a really neat haunted house in an abandon…wanna say jail. Maybe an old insane asylum.

Back to the pharmacy. There were four women working and one other patron in the place. It’s a rather small pharmacy, and there was a yellow police tape (without ‘crime scene’ written on it) across one area so you couldn’t go that way. They also had yellow tape on the ground asking patrons to stay behind that and to keep six feet between people. No one was wearing masks or gloves except me. I was surprised by that and concerned. They had installed Plexiglass to block the person at the counter from the patrons except for the space for the handing over of goods. They had the credit card machine on their side, and they signed for me. Once I got home, I realized that they had only given me one prescription and not the one that was necessary (scalp cream for psoriasis. I have little patches right now). I had to go back, and there was some kind of computer glitch, so I had to wait like ten minutes for them to fix it. The whole time, I was quietly freaking out, but I managed to keep it inside.

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Goldilocks and the three reactions

I have PTSD, and while it’s lessened over time, it’s still a thing. I can blow up the smallest thing such as an interaction with a stranger in which I felt I didn’t handle very well. For example, I was at the deli counter at Cubs a few days ago. I wanted the bottom rack of ribs, and I said it to the woman behind the counter. I made sure to say the bottom one twice, but she didn’t say anything at all to acknowledge she heard. She just went to get a container, so when she returned, I mentioned it one more time. She snapped that she had heard me, and I managed to say, “Great. Thanks.” In my head, though, I was thinking, “Look, bitch. The normal thing is to actually acknowledge that the other person said something.”

Side Note: There is something about the deli/baked good sections of my local Cubs that must be toxic because many of the people working in those areas are exceedingly unhappy. And, they take out their unhappiness on the customers as well as with each other. Sometimes in the form of bitching with each other, but also in the form of bitching at each other.

I immediately thought that I had done something wrong, and then I was pissed at her for being a jerk. But, ultimately, it wasn’t a big deal, and I was able to shrug it off after a few hours. I know that still seems like an overreaction, and it is, but in the past, I would have ruminated over it for weeks before forcing myself to forget about it. I make a mountain out of every fucking molehill, and it’s so fucking tiresome. I can make myself feel bad about anything until the end of time.

Here’s the weird flip side to my PTSD overreaction. When I’m in an actual crisis, my brain goes on hyperfocus and I become deadly calm. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but when I was in a minor car crash a few years back, my brain slowed down. I accepted I was going to be hit, and I relaxed as the other car hit me. As a result, I only got a massive bruise on my stomach either from the air bag or the seat belt. The other driver was a young woman, only 17, and she was in hysterics. She looked as if she had South Asian blood, so I felt the urge to protect her. She sobbed that her dad was going to kill her because he needed the car (some kind of SUV, I think) for his job, and I said he could get a taxi or use Uber or some such. I told her he was not going to kill her, desperately hoping it was true.

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