Caged Heart


I am having panic attacks several times a day. 6? 12? 20? I have no idea. I haven’t stopped to count, but perhaps I should.

My chest tightens, I feel like I can’t breathe, and my head starts to pound–a million pseudo heart-attacks.

I met a man, and we went on a date, and then two, and then three.

I met his family, he took care of me when I was sick and we started to run errands with and for each other.

We said “I love you”; “I love you too.”

Before I knew it we were planning a weekend away, he was inviting me to play sports with his friends, we were shopping for housecoats and jammies and slippers for me to keep in his closet, and I was invited to share his Google Calendar.

And I am having panic attacks so many times a day I can’t keep track. My heart hurts bad when I am not with him, and I increasingly feel like I have to puke.

It was so bad on Saturday night that I cut our date short. I had to leave. We had dinner with his wife, we went out, we made love, and then I had to leave. I could not stay, because I could not breathe. Fear is one of the worst human emotions, behind disappointment, betrayal, and heartbreak.

Fear is awful because it paralyses you. It can instigate fight, it can instigate flight, or it can make your blood run so cold you cannot do anything but stand and stare and wish you could cry to let it all out.

Gentleman Friend is afraid too. When he talked to his wife about it the other night he cried, because he is so afraid of losing me somehow. But his love is still big. It’s still bold. I feel like my love is trying to burst out of the cage I have put it in, but I won’t let it. It might destroy me. It is like a wild animal. No matter how you nurture and feed it, play with it and trust it, it can still turn and devour you in one fell swoop.

I cannot live my life based on fear. To attempt to do so, would preclude living at all. And yet, and yet, and yet, I cannot shake it. I cannot let go, and just believe. I cannot help the fact that my spirit is curled up in the fetal position, shaking and cowering.

What can I do? How can I stop it? How do I shake off the ashes and fly anyway? If I embrace the inevitability of hurt, I will constantly have one foot out the door. If I tell myself it will last forever, I will be doubly crushed when one of a million possible circumstances descends upon us, and it does not.

Maybe I just need to be brave. But I do not know how to coax myself into doing so. I do not know how to abandon my armour without being mortally wounded. I do not know how to let go, anymore.

6 Comments on “Caged Heart”

  1. Breathe sweetie. Enjoy the moment you are in. Don’t worry about the future. It’s scary and seems like an abyss. Just live in the now. You will find the fear withers. May not leave completely but withers.


  2. xtal says:

    I’ve followed your blogs for a year now. I was excited , (insert all thesaurus synonyms here please!) to read your most recent write. Can I contact you personally? I’m scared, or scarred maybe…..I am 39 in Sexless marriage and I hate it;

    it’s like a wolf raging to gut and eat my entrails, a nasty freaking f5 tornado wanting to destroy my shack and an earthquake Richter scale seven that is making me want to run FROM this sanction of my life… and I f#cking hate him; hate my “husband” who will not lay me. I am not fat, ugly, poorly dressed or poorly educated at all. F+ckhim!! For transferring his problems onto me…why do women who don’t ever want it end up up with men who beg for it, and vice versa??? Biology or karma is playing some sick twisted juxtaposition with me AND I HATE IT!


  3. xtal says:

    Oh, please pardon this addendum; they’re not panic attacks, girlfriend. They are anxiety attacks, probably situational or performance anxiety. Panic attacks occur due to abnormality / imbalance in the brain stem; medulla ablongata. You know if it’s panic attacks because they’re like seizures. They happen without trigger; wake you up out of dead sleep! And out of nowhere!! Happen in the shower, buying a dress, weeding the garden, sexting, baking a souffle, etc. Just to clarify, you have anxiety attacks, but not panic attacks. TX is the same though, I believe.

    • Thanks for the clarification! I thought they were the same thing, but I guess they’re not!

      Please feel free to email me–my contact info is on the side bar. I would love to chat. Sexless marriage is a bitch.

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