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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

James Taylor ~ The Concert That Wasn't!!

We had concert tickets last night to see one of my favorite artists, James Taylor, at the Greek Theatre, which is a beautiful outdoor venue in Los Angeles. I was having somewhat of a difficult time prior to the event as I knew that I really didn’t feel like going due to my depression. However, I knew that I would have a good time once I got there. Maybe, not as good as normal, but would have enjoyed myself. Now, he is someone that I have lost track of the number of concerts that I’ve been to. He gives a great performance and The Greek has such fantastic sound. I just love his music.

Well, as usual, I took my PRNs prior to becoming anxious. We fought Los Angeles traffic in during rush hour and arrived one and a half hours later. We had a nice picnic dinner in our car along with two other couples doing the same on each side of us. Now, the Greek has what is known as stacked parking which is crazy. Basically, as you arrive you get directed to park in rows behind each other, so you only get to leave it the cars around you leave and give you the space you need to get out. The cars are all packed in and it is a free for all to leave. However, we were lucky because we were in the front row of an exit. Lucky meaning…if you get lucky enough and the line of cars in front of you lets you in to leave. LOL!! It is really a great spot.

I started to have difficulty with some of the noises around me toward the end of our dinner, but I was okay. I was taking my PRNs regularly. So, we walked down to the theatre, the young security guy had the nerve to confiscate my 1 ounce sealed bag of potato chips. Power hungry kid!! Most of the people, would have let me take it even though you are not supposed to bring food in. In hindsight, I wish I would have started yelling, “I’m nauseated and those are the only chips that help. Now, unless you can provide the same type for me to purchase, I’m taking them in.” I really would have done it too (maybe not), but not make too much of a scene. Maybe, if I wasn’t old enough to be his mother and were cuter and wore my sexy outfit, I could have gotten my little bag in. What sexy outfit? LOL!!

Anyway, I purchased a cool shirt that looks like an eye chart in the backside. The woman said, “for some reason these are selling the best.” I told her, “that’s because we are all getting old, can’t see and can relate to it.” She laughed, I purchased the last one in my size. The seats we had were nice and dead center.

Then, it started to happen. I began to have a full blown panic attack. My chest tightened, everything started to echo and things started to look distorted. I was even more hypervigilant to the point that my husband’s own voice startled me. I felt like everything was closing in and no one around us was seated yet. My husband suggested we go home, but I wanted to wait to see if the last dose of medication would help. Things got worse and he asked what I wanted and although I didn’t verbalize it the first thought was, “I want to go home.” Everything kept getting more distorted and I felt like I was going to faint or die. He asked what I wanted and I started crying and said, “I want to go home.”

We left and didn't have a problem leaving since we were in the front row. But, I kept apologizing because we spent good money for the tickets, the water, and the parking. I wanted to see the concert at that point. I felt and feel so bad both about needing to leave and emotionally and physically. My husband kept reassuring me that I was more important than the money we spent. Once home, I curled up next to him on the bed and he stroked my hair and I fell asleep in his arms.

It is 4 am and I’m feeling a bit on edge, really bad about last night, my body aches from the tension and also a little confused on why things got so bad. My session was not that rough that yesterday. However, Monday was and resulted in a special extra session on Tuesday, so maybe I wasn’t doing so well. I haven't been sleeping either. I don’t know, I’m trying to figure it out and I’m feeling really bad. At least, I have therapy today. So that was the concert that wasn’t. In honor, of not being there, here is a You Tube video of James in concert singing our favorite song, (Whenever, I See) Your Smiling Face.


Dr. Deb said...

I can relate to this experience. I have left many a place as a result.

I know for me that loudness and brightness aren't good. Too sensorial. So I need to keep things low key. Smaller venue concerts, dinner in a very quiet place, etc.

Clueless said...

Thank you. It just feels good to know that I'm not the only one.

Wanda's Wings said...

I understand how you feel. Large groups and all the noise give me panic attacks too. It was very sweet you were able to find comfort in your husband arms.

Clueless said...

It is nice to know that others do have panic attacks...I know they do, but sometimes, I just need to hear it. Yes, my husband is truely a blessing from God.

Patches said...

I am sorry you didn't get to stay for the concert, though glad that you took care of you by leaving.

We can relate to this and have left many places due to panic attacks.

Can you try a free write about thoughts about it or a list of reasons you left (in the list just do it real fast, whatever comes up) it's a great way to get below the surface.

Take care of you

j said...

I'm sorry, clueless. I've certainly had the feeling of having to get out of crowded place. Not a full-blown panic attack, but the feeling was uncomfortable enough that I can only imagine how a panic attack might feel.

Your husband sounds like a gem.

Clueless said...

@patches. Thank you for reminding me that I took care of myself and that is a good thing. Thanks for the suggestion, but seeing my therapist 14 hours later was really helpful because we talked about it instead of me writing about it.

@jennifer. Thank you. My husband is a real gem. With my history there is no reason that I should have married him, but he is exactly what I need and more. Absolutely amazing. I feel like he is God's gift to me for fighting for my healing, so hard.

Tamara (TC) Staples said...


Thank God I had taken an ativan before I read this post. LOL! Just reading it, I could feel what you were going through and have been there myself. It is miserable and causes so many feelings of guilt and shame in me. My post the other day about how much to reveal was, in part, about situations like that. How do you gracefully exit while everyone around is watching you lose it and wants to know what is wrong? Oh, and the parking thing...if I hadn't been able to get the front row - that would have been a panic attack right on the spot. To be trapped until someone let me out. Don't know why that is such a huge trigger but it is.

Glad that you left and took care of yourself. So very sorry you missed the concert though. Certainly your taking care of yourself is more important than not using a ticket you paid for! Thanks for the vid, though - I really like James Taylor also.

Your husband sounds priceless! It has taken a few years but mine is pretty much as understanding and caring.

Clueless said...

It is good if they are trainable. Actually if they are trainable it is all good. LOL!!! With the Ativan comment!!

Luv Ya,

Bradley said...

Keep that man of yours, he sounds wonderful. I'm very sorry you missed the concert. I have not been to the Greek Theater yet.

Thank you also for the video. One of my all time favorite songs.

Clueless said...

Oh, we are keeping each other. He truly is wonderful. I probably wouldn't be going through this if it were not for him because I needed someone like him to support me...so it is all his fault!!! I'm sorry I missed the concert too. JT is very special to my husband and I and the song I posted has special meaning. The Greek is awesome!!!

Isaiah 49 :15 -16

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