It’s harmless. Your mom hugs you and exclaims that you are really hot.
That’s ok, it’s 30 degrees outside. I’m fine.
Then you sit beside your dad and he says the same thing.
Weird. They’re probably warm too, though.
Thinking back, my brother also said that to me when my knees touched his at dinner.
What is going on.
I snap at my mom. “Stop. Why are you saying that? I’m not hot, I’m.”
“Woah, chill out, it was just an observation.”
“You’re stressing me out!”
“Why are you stressed about me telling you you’re hot?!”
Yeah, Jess, why are you stressed about that?
I don’t know, but people can be so insensitive sometimes to others’ anxiety.
I told her I didn’t mean to snap, but my throat was starting to tighten up, and my heart was starting to beat faster.
She knows that abnormalities with my body give me really bad anxiety. But now she’s upset. Why am I like this.
Now she’s crying because she’s taking it personally. My mom has her own anxiety, and quite a few issues herself, so she gets upset very easily. It was hard sometimes growing up with such an emotional mom, because I was never trying to hurt her. I always felt like I was doing something wrong.
When I developed my heath anxiety, it was hard because I didn’t understand what was going on with me, and I’d look to my mom for support and for the answers. Sometimes she’d get frustrated because my anxiety is different than hers.
She’d say things like “you just have to feel it,” or “nothing’s wrong with you”. But when it wouldn’t fix it, I could see she was hurt. She would take it personally and I would feel so guilty.
I remember one afternoon I was cleaning out the bathtub. I scrubbed the walls so hard, getting absolutely every crack and tile.
When I had finished, and was typing in my laptop, my arm starting pulsating. It was shaking, and my muscles were spasming.
I felt my heart race. My ears starting ringing. I felt like I wasn’t breathing enough. I was having a panic attack.
My mom and dad were frustrated. My dad said “omg your arm spasms and you freak out? Everyone has anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with you. Stop breathing like that!” (I was probably hyperventilating st the time).
I couldn’t tell you where I developed this anxiety from, or why it’s around my body particularly.
But it’s there.
And it’s real.
And it’s valid.
I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean to snap. But you were stressing me out. I hope one day I can tell you that and you can understand and not take it personally.