I woke this morning with a lump in my stomach. I hadn't fallen to sleep until around 2:30 a.m., and was awake by 5:30 a.m. For a woman who sleeps a SOLID 8-11 hours per night, this portent bodes no good.
I wandered the house, trying to figure out if the pain was in my stomach...or kidneys, or lower back. I am now of the age when I ponder my individual organs and try to determine if it is they who are flagging me to the side of the road for a little owners manual re-read. I took a bath, hoping that very hot water would soothe whatever was troubling me.
By 7:30 a.m., I had fed the rabbits, who view the appearance of me upright in any hour before 10 a.m. with alarm and trepidation.
As I lay back down in my bed, I wondered if it was missing Emily. She has been gone for three weeks this summer and I am slowly beginning to miss her after first rejoicing so heartily in my Non-Mother status. I allowed myself to be briefly horrified that I had become one of THOSE women, the one who tell you how much they miss their kids when they leave home....because I have been orchestrating her launch into the world since about ten minutes after her arrival, and there was no way in hell I was wandering off of that plan.
Stories and thread of thought move through my brain in these times. I consider another baby. I know, I know, it not only Will Never happen, it would not be good for me TO happen. Not good for Me, for Em, for Terrance or said mythical baby.
I make lists of things I "should" do during the day. I know I won't get a vast majority of them done, but they trickle through my brain.
I can smell the rabbit litter, so I know that will be foremost on jobs to do once I figure out what is causing this pain in my body.
I think back to the previous evening - what I did, what I ate, what could be causing this solid mass of pain in my body.
When it comes to me, I am embarrassed. I should know this feeling.
It is the lump of a nascent panic attack. Since it normally blooms in my chest, it feels unfamiliar in my lower torso. It is the deep fear of being exposed. I am going back to a thing where, by rights, I should be excited and happy. And I am, somewhere in this muddled brain. But I am also worried - will I know anyone? Will I find someone I like? Will people like me? Will I have to face things and people I walked away from in Blog world without an explanation, or perhaps with too clear an explanation as to why I was severing contact? Do we have to talk about it? Are things just water under the bridge? Should I bring it up? Should I just ignore those people/things?
There is much writing about the social anxiety and awkwardness of bloggers. Shit, it is why most of us became bloggers in the FIRST place. I consider writing a sign to put next to me in the Lobby - a sort of Natural History museum sign:
Please Approach with Caution! But Approach! Please!
The genus Dawnus Bloggerus is a fairly gentle creature who is rarely seen outside of her native habitat, the bedroom. Loud noises or excessive touching will send her into hiding. She is however, interested in social contacts and friendships. She wants to be liked. She even likes to know you like her writing, but will experience a moment of fleeing panic when she realizes that this must mean you know THINGS about her - all the THINGS. She wants to have someone to sit with at lunch. Or have drinks with somewhere. Approaching her in a sideways manner is often advised as she has difficulty making first contact. She will be both riotously funny and completely unaware she has said something insensitive...simultaneously. When provided with the right social environs, she will blossom into a fiercely loyal friend.
I wonder if I write this sign and place it in front of me, if I can attract other souls like me until we have enough of us to make a small but powerful gang. I don't have a clever gang name yet. I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to let that filter out.