, eh? This is directly from Coleen's diary:
"Don't Believe Everything
By Colleen Lynn
"I'd Smack You, But chocolate Splatters!"
That's what the bumper sticker on the back of the truck said. I imagined a mound of chocolate several feet high and someone taking a baseball bat to it. As the crap flew to my face, I realized that my vision was incorrect. According to the bumper sticker, I was that mound of chocolate getting stuck to the driver's face.
"Who Lit the FUSE on Your Tampon?"
This sticker included a drawing of a tampon. The necessary string hung from the bottom, and it had a bright red belly, indicating that it was used. The tip of the cylinder-shape was on fire. I imagined a hand yanking a tampon out of a woman and holding it up to a match -- a terrible image, but one that I could not stop my brain from producing.
"If You Can Read This, The Bitch Jumped Out!"
This dead ringer was plastered on the cab's back window. Apparently, his bitch did not sit in the cab, but squatted in the bed of the truck and hung on to the roll bar. That's one lucky bitch -- she got away.
I had been running errands that afternoon. I was on way home when a cluster of traffic stopped me in my tracks. Defeated, I sat back and read what was in front of me: the bumper stickers on the vehicle ahead. In this moment, the trigger went off. But, unlike in my far away past, my body had no response to it.
That truck was a lifted up four-by-four, with deep treaded tires for off-road ridding. It's fat fenders looked like muscles bulging from a giant's arm. The man in the cab was thirty-something. He was agitated, and appeared to be shouting into his phone. I continued to read the stickers.
"SORRY! I don't date outside my species."
Before I started taking medication, a scenario like this would have caused a full-blown anxiety attack. The essential elements were present: an unexpected side-slam by homicidal images, and ultimately a cruel man.
Before the medication, suddenly landing behind this truck would go something like this: I would have imagined that I was sitting in the cab next to him and that my door was missing a handle. I would have imagined that he squeezed my arm and said, "Don't go trying nothing bitch, or I'll make you real sorry." I knew then that my thoughts only existed in my head, but my body did not know.
The area between my abdomen and upper thighs would have released enough sweat to drench the seat. Both of my legs would have panicked into spasms, as if I were dancing on hot lava stones. The pump inside my chest would have (miraculously), exceeded my maximum, beating upwards of 190 times a minute.
It would have been a level four attack -- five being disastrous -- because of the suddenness of the event.
After a high-level attack, Disassociation sets in. This usually lasted for about two weeks. During this time, I was incapable of looking at anyone directly. Relating conversationally to people, even my close friends, was like the disorientation of going deaf. I watched their lips move, but only heard parts of sentences, and sometimes no sentences at all. I was a mild catatonic, dressed up as myself.
My boyfriend, who lived with me, got the worst of it. I would slingshot from a stupefied state into one of aggression, especially if he approached me from behind. "fizzle YOU!" I would shriek. "Don't you EVER come up behind me without announcing yourself."
That last piece of behavior is called Generalizing, which went hand-in-hand with my periods of Disassociation. Generalizing means that you think the person next to you is the same person that caused you trauma. There are layers of Generalizing. For instance, the truck man was a stranger, an outer layer that triggered the memory of a past trauma. My boyfriend, who I have known intimately for two years, became a closer layer during these times. By taking certain actions, he too could trigger a painful memory. Generalizing is a frightening spiral to spin down.
One of the greatest fear's I have now is: What if my medication stops working? But because I am on medication, I only have this thought once, then it floats away, like I have just let go of a balloon. There doesn't seem to be a downside to taking the pills. And my boyfriend, without hesitation, says that I should keep taking them."
Sure sounds like reliable, trustworthy source, right?