I had to do something. Sitting down wasn’t going to fix the problem. Neither was sending someone on the internet a scream filled note.
No. I had to do something.
So I stood at the kitchen sink, with the dishwasher opened, and the dish-rack for what didn’t fit in the dishwasher, and my hands coated in dish soap, while I used a sponge to scrub each item in that sink clean.
“One item at a time! One damn item at a time!” Separating silverware was a pain in the ass. Especially if a fork got stabbed into the pile at the wrong angle, and collected up other pieces between its tines. “Separate things! One piece at a time!”
For lots of people, panic was debilitating. They shut down, curled up in little balls, or cried. Some hid somewhere. That wasn’t me. I had to be careful when panic attacked me, because I got angry. It was like some raging wild beast lived in me, and when I panicked, that beast entered full up defense mode, like a cornered bobcat, all claws and teeth, and non-stop movement.
“It’s scrubbed clean. Now put it in the dishwasher. Careful! Don’t bend anything. Don’t break anything.” I added the spoon to the silverware rack in the washer, and picked up a cereal bowl from the sink. “Don’t break anything you idiot! Be careful!”
My cousin told me once they got upset when they heard me talk to myself like that. They never figured out I wasn’t being hard on myself. Instead, I was holding the rage the panic caused in check.
“One thing at a time! And be careful!”
See, I’d learned how to use my panic and rage to get the housework done. I was good with that.
It’s Week 134 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC) kept telling me, and everyone really, to write what I was afraid of writing. To write what I know. It seems I’m finally starting to figure out what that means. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.