I lost it a bit on Thursday night.
I knew it was coming.
You know when you feel on the periphery of tears but somehow you find the strength to fend them off? Your eyes sting, they start to twitch but just before the first tear falls you manage to pull yourself together and your face remains dry? That was me for much of last week.
I never cry. I get angry. I get anxious. I get stressed. But I never cry.
I’ve written about this before. How I’ve built up some sort of defence mechanism that renders me unable to let the tears fall. But Thursday night that defence mechanism let me down. Big time.
It was a panic attack that started the tears. A full blown panic attack. The racing heart. The sweaty palms. That awful feeling of being unable to catch your breath. The panic. The all consuming fear.
It was horrible.
I sat on the bathroom floor and just rocked. It’s like an out of body experience. Absolutely no control over my emotions. It’s all consuming.
It’s hard to know how to help someone who is exhibiting these symptoms. You don’t know what to do for the best. You want to know what’s wrong but getting sense out of the person is nigh on impossible. So you just have to be there with them, reassure them and let them know they’re not alone and they’re not in danger. Aside from that, there’s not a lot you can do. It will pass. It always does.
“It hurts my heart” is all I was saying. Over and over again.
“What does?” Wes tentatively asked.
“It’s just so horrendous. It’s too awful for words”.
A process of elimination soon led Wes to realise what it was that was causing me this amount of upset.
There’s been so much in the press about it over the last week or so. I’d turn on the news and it would be there. On social media. Newspapers. Talk shows. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone was angry about it. And I was no exception. I had so many feelings towards it.
Anger. Upset. Disgust. Sadness. The overwhelming sadness. It was too much to bear.
I can’t and I won’t ever get my head around what happened to that beautiful little boy from Liverpool. A name that so many people won’t forget. So many people can’t forget.
It hurts my heart when I think about him. When I think about the untold turmoil his family have experienced over the last 25 years.
It’s the one case that will always evoke a reaction from me. Especially since becoming a Mother myself.
It’s every parents worst fear. A fear to end all fears. And it’s too much for me to get my head around. It’s out of the realms of my understanding. Anyone’s understanding, in fact.
I think about my little boy. He’s only 4. This causes the anxiety to rise, the palms to sweat and the eyes to sting. Because James Bulger was someone’s little boy. He was someone’s someone. A son. A grandson. A beautiful, innocent little boy with his whole life ahead of him. Snatched by 2 evil psychopaths. Lives’ ruined. Hearts broken. A family resigned to a lifetime of pain and angst forevermore.
I find myself on a path of awful thoughts. What if I can’t keep my eye on my little boy forever? As he gets older his independence will grow and this leaves me feeling anxious.
He is my world. My everything. It is my job to protect him. To guide him and to navigate him through the unchartered sea of life. But what if there comes a day I can’t do that? What then?
All of the above are irrational thoughts. But they’re thoughts nevertheless. And they sometimes consume me.
I can’t bear the thought of him being upset. Being worried. Feeling lost or scared. And it’s at that point I think of little James and that’s when my eyes sting.
I didn’t watch the documentary on ITV on Thursday night. Because of how I knew it would make me feel. With the endless stream of news regarding the sick perpetrator dominating the media over the last week, there has been little escape from it. However, I made a promise to myself that I’m not to watch it.
Usually I would watch a programme about crime, especially if it featured Sir Trevor McDonald. However, because I knew this is something I couldn’t watch without getting upset, I didn’t.
I should have stayed away from social media that night too. But I didn’t. A quick scroll through Twitter alerted my attention to something that caused the panic attack. As soon as I read the tweet I couldn’t stop my tears. That defence mechanism of mine had left the building. It was long gone. Replaced by the hot, salty tears. The sweaty palms. The racing heart. And the inability to breathe properly.
Life can be so damn cruel. While there are some incredible people who walk this Earth, there are also some heinous, despicable individuals. And that is what leaves me feeling anxious and fretful. Concerned for the future.
My heart. It breaks for James Bulger’s family. Over the last few days I’ve thought a lot about his Mother. His brave, brave Mother. Her strength and determination is incredible.
I’m sorry if this post upsets anyone. That wasn’t my intention. As always with me, I just have to write about how I’m feeling. It’s my therapy.