Fog! Just Talk Woman!

In the fog


I’ve been stuck in what I describe as a fog for the last few weeks. It’s lifting but it still has a hold. It’s not an emotional fog, as I don’t  really get emotional while I’m in it. Avoiding the emotion is why I go into it. Coming out is another matter. The fog is a response to an emotional overload. Yep, another survival behaviour learned from growing up. When I feel like this I end up with so much churning around in my head and as soon as I open my mouth… silence. My mind stutters, my tongue ties and then my mind goes blank. Once I close my mouth and stop looking for the words the thoughts begin to float again. Simply put, the words are lost in the fog. I’m lost in the fog. For weeks I’ve wanted to scream into the fog… Where are the words?

I can’t describe feelings or express my thoughts. Even simple conversation becomes difficult. I know the words are there, I just can’t find them. They’re insubstantial. I can feel thoughts churning, but I can’t bring them out. It’s frustrating. For the first time I was able to talk about being in the fog, while in the fog. I had to force every word out, my head began to hurt as I did, but the words did get out…

I can’t find any words
I go to talk and my mind goes blank
I don’t even know why
as soon as I try to turn any of the thoughts into words my mind goes blank
literally blank
nothing there
it’s like trying to catch fog, the words are there, but there’s nothing to catch
I try to isolate the words and it’s like a grey wall of fog
it all looks the same
it’s like there’s nothing there
it hasn’t been like this all this time
some days I have trouble getting anything out
some days it’s just
like right now
and right now as I force one word out after another the pressure builds
I can feel it building
and my head starts to hurt
I just want to talk
and I can’t

Alright, not very descriptive and probably not very helpful, but I did manage to describe being in the fog while in the fog. Believe me, that’s a gold medal effort by me right there.

I was even able to ask is it better? I could see that there was some improvement, at least I thought I could. I just couldn’t see how much improvement until Chris put it in front of me. Sigh, tunnel view of life, but it gives me hope that the behaviour is changing. I wish it didn’t feel like it was hanging on for longer this time.

I lose sight of what’s around me, getting a kind of tunnel vision for life. I can see what is right there in front of me, it’s in focus for me. It feels exagerated while everything else is lost in the fog. For example, words with my father. The pain becomes my existance, until something else enters my focus. My son, my boyfriend, my cats, my friends… they become something abstract and lost in the fog compared to what is right there… my father. Now, to the pain, add the inability to communicate and the world becomes a very small and unpleasant place to live.

In the past coming out of it would take some kind of huge emotional upheaval. I would become so frustrated with myself, so full of self loathing, the thought that no one could stand to be near me would be so strong that I would shut down emotionally, or break down emotionally. Either way I would try to run and the whole experience would turn really ugly. I don’t seem to do this now. I still struggle to maintain my equilibrium as the fog begins to lift. Even now, as I feel the fog lifting, I’m battling a kind of emotional shutdown, but it isn’t anywhere near the intensity that would make me try to run away in the past. It’s still difficult and it’s still a battle. Sigh. I feel… fragile.

I’m having trouble coming out this time. I feel the need for an emotional release and I’m not finding it. I have cried, numerous times, but the fog is still there. I’ve ranted, the fog is still there. Even yesterday, when I collapsed in a broken heap on the bedroom floor and cried, it wasn’t enough. I feel the need for more. Understandably I fear the more, as I thought my heart was breaking yesterday. I need to remind myself that the fog is lifting, that the words are starting to come. Maybe I’m impatient as I want it gone.

Although I always think Oh no, not again, Chris says he doesn’t feel that way. He told me he knows I’ll open up to him once the fog has lifted and the words are back. He’s patient and gentle with me. I do have some trouble believing that he really feels that way, especially as trust becomes an issue while the fog is there, but for the first time I can see it’s possible.

I remember being told once that that my word issues stem from English not being my first language. From the reading I did about the subject, people can have problems communicating in a language that isn’t their first, trouble putting their thoughts into flowing sentences, but I don’t believe that is the issue here. Pfft, my terrible grammar has more to do with holes in my learning than not learning any English until I was almost four. I say learning instead of education, as there were no gaps in my education before I left school, but there are holes in what I should have learned.

Most people have times when they have trouble finding a word. Like misplacing keys, it just happens. I don’t put every case of a lost word down to the onset of the fog. One night the word carnival brought my thoughts to a screaming halt. I knew what I wanted, but I couldn’t remember the word. Parade? No. Mardi Gras? No. Fete? Party? Mask thingy? Okay, I was getting a little desperate. In the end I googled Venice and mask to find carnival. There was no “Oh yeah, that’s it”, so even then I wasn’t sure if carnival was actually the word that I was looking for. That’s what I mean by my mind goes blank. The words disappear. Totally blank. The absense of a “Oh yeah, that’s it” response usually differentiates the fog to just losing a word through tiredness or some other reason.

My fog is a response to emotional stress, a survival mode I learned when younger, in other words a behaviour that can be changed. It’s not my only response to emotional build ups. I can talk about how I feel other times when I’m down, or under pressure, so it leaves me with a question to ponder… what are the triggers for the whole fog effect? I know I can change the behaviour (my reaction) without knowing the triggers, but it would be easier knowing. I need to recognise and become aware of the onset, which I don’t always see coming. Actually, I don’t think I ever see it coming. Either I’m so used to the reaction that it happens without thought, like breathing, or I block the signs of onset. This might not be so easy. Sigh.

Anyway, the fog is lifting, the words have started coming out. This is probably my longest post ever, oops and I can’t even judge if it makes sense. We’ll just call it my way of saying I’m still here and leave it at that 😀

Image: dan /


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