You are minding your own business typing on your laptop and spacing out. Then bam! What the hell is that? Your body instantly shakes. You want to hide, but there is no table high enough to get under as you only have a coffee table in front of you as you sit in your favorite cozy comfy chair at the tea shop. The guy next to you sees you shake and says, “It’s just a kids birthday party.” You feel a part of you get angry at him, and you can feel the hot gaze that you are giving him. He offers his hand to yours, but you’re too much in touch with this angry part of you to take his hand. Another kinder part of you wishes you had taken his hand. This nicer part of you knows that he was just stating a fact to you without judgement, but the other angry part of you still fights this understanding, and insists on being a weenie jerk with a wall of silence.
You feel stupid when you realize it’s just a balloon popping from the birthday party in the next room of the tea shop. A river of tears comes pouring out of your eyes, and there is no place to hide, no way to shield it from the people sitting around you knitting as the set up is a series of comfy chairs around a coffee table. Someone asks, “What happened, hon?” You can’t answer because you have not yet found your words. Your words are floating around you like bubbles you can’t catch. You reach for your words and they disintegrate before they come out of your mouth as articulated verbiage. The lady next to you says, “Did someone say something mean to you?” Then the guy beside you says, “Balloon popping from the birthday party startled her.” Thankfully, his explanation lessens their attention on you. Everyone mercifully goes back to their knitting.
Your mind is still amped up and jumbled like a slew of cords that can’t be untangled. And just like Adam Sandler’s character who fought PTSD in the movie, Reign Over Me, you put in your ear buds and turn up the volume as loud as you can take it. You need the jolt of music to hit all your senses so that you can try to get out of this cloak of fear that will not come off. Coincidentally, when you hit play “Shake It Off” is what you hear. That’s ok, it’s just the song you need to distract you because you do need to shake it off.