This is another one of "THOSE POST" that is mostly for my sanity :-)
I'm a claustrophobic... and tomorrow I have an "OPEN" MRI of my neck. I had an "OPEN" MRI a few months ago before my back surgery. There happened to be a small window in the room that I could see. My heart still sped away and I so wanted out from the MRI.. even though it was "OPEN". Tomorrow the MRI will be done at a different facility. I don't think there will be a window for escape. I used to be able to handle the CLOSED MRI. I would simply put my mind in a happy place. Why is it so hard to put mind in such a place now when I'm in a "panic attack" situation?
Was I always claustrophobic? I can remember being a child and playing Hide and Seek. I would hide in the top of closets and under beds... or outside in the dark of the bushes.
Becoming claustrophobic happened around the time of my Granddaddy Swain's passing. I was ten years old when he passed away (it is almost a sin in the South to say "died"). I can remember some things about him; like him putting sugar and canned milk into his coffee. He would pour the coffee back and forth between the saucer and cup to cool the coffee and then sip his coffee from the saucer. As he held the coffee cup and saucer together it would rattle as his hands shook. I can remember sitting in his lap and he would talk to me, but I cannot remember what he said.
When I was three or four years old Granddaddy and Daddy took me and my brothers down to the baptism pool of the church that my Granddaddy was caretaker of the cemetery. The pool was in the woods. My brothers and I jumped in and out of the water... the cool water felt so good on that hot summer day. I felt good as my Granddaddy caught me and lifted me to the side of the pool so I could jump in again.
I feel close to Granddaddy even though I remember only a few things about him. A few hours before he passed away he talked to me and my sister and told us how pretty we were in the dresses that Mama had made for us.
My Granddaddy passed away and they stopped all the clocks in the house. I don't remember what time it was. It felt so strange in the small house.... no clocks ticking and chiming... only people quietly murmuring and crying. I remember crying and my heart felt like it would explode.
After the death of my Granddaddy I started to have a dream. In the dream I'm a little girl... maybe five or six years old.... in an attic. In real life I remember no such attic as this one. It had old toys and books on shelves. A rocking horse in the corner and in the middle of the attic was a huge dome-lid trunk. I go near it and touch the top and as I do the lid to the trunk opens. There is my Granddaddy inside! He climbs out of the trunk... we caress and Granddaddy holds me in his arms as he reaches into the trunk for a book. Then Granddaddy closes the trunk lid and sits upon it. With me on his lap he begins to read the book. That is the end of my dream. I had this dream once or more a year up until I was in my mid-twenties.
Since this is a weird, but pleasant dream; I'm not sure what it has to do with being claustrophobic. This is the time... of my Granddaddy's death.. that I began to hate being in small areas with no window and doors closed. I hated being crunched up in the backseat of the car with my three brothers.
Now.... Elevators are awful.... a mirror in them doesn't help. The toy department of a store is even worse. Many times in a store I wait out on the main aisle for Frank if the aisle he is looking on is narrow and the shelves are high. I dislike waiting in the doctor's exam room. Sometimes I crack the door open until the doctor arrives.
I'm not afraid of death or dying. I'm terrified of being in small places with no window. Mice, rats and some other critters terrify me.... those fears are probably handed down from my mother. I can think of nothing that happened around my Granddaddy's death to me that would trigger claustrophobia. I was never shut in a closet or other small place that I can remember. I have no doubt that I will again see my Granddaddy.
Over the years deep, relaxing breathes have gotten me through my panic attacks and the ability to put my mind somewhere else. I'm losing the latter ability.
This is how I remember my grandparents.
Granddaddy is in his stocking feet. Grandma made her dresses. She looked through catalogs for dress styles she liked and then cut her a pattern from old newspapers. I saw her do it and it just amazed me that someone could be that talented.
Well... today... you know just how weird I am ☺
Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed. -- Michael Pritchard