Tuesday, November 4, 2014
The weather was pleasantly wet as I drove the Farm to Market roads (out here they are from actual farms to actual markets) to the little back country church where I vote. Some things are just too good not to enjoy and this drive is one of them. The rain just made it better. I've voted at the church in Crafton ever since I moved from the old home place in the early 90's. It was only a mile down the road, but it changed all my voting precincts forever.
I guess I was daydreaming or running on autopilot as I walked in because a greeter caught me very off guard with "Oh, a Coastie, huh?" Cue the Ironside intro in my head. I immediately froze up because I wasn't expecting a conversation out of left field about my military service as I walked through the door to vote. I don't have a problem with my service, it just blindsided me and tumbled all the dominoes I had lined up for the next 60 seconds. It shouldn't have surprised me since I was wearing one of my ship's covers because I was voting. But I forgot at the moment and it freaked me.
I felt the panic attack wave building and tried to focus on the person talking to me. Really nice guy actually. He told me he worked with Fleet Training Group San Diego in the Navy and I went thru there every 2 years for training. I don't know why the question triggered the panic attack, but I fought hard to keep focused (and look somewhat normal) as I carried on the conversation. I know he must have thought I was behaving oddly as we discussed REFTRA in San Diego, motor whaleboats and such while I fidgeted and tried not to hyperventilate. I did get a joke off about always wanting one of their covers (FTG) but nobody would trade. It fell flat.
I probably sound like a nut trying to describe what it's like to have a panic attack to someone that's never had one, too. But they can be overwhelming and are always disorienting. It's freaky.
The guy never told me his name and I didn't recognise him which is pretty odd since I'm not exactly located in a metropolis. I need to take a Xanax next election so I can find out more about him. Hopefully he's still working there in 2 years so I can apologise for my behavior and explain. He just really caught me off guard and I didn't handle it well. At all.
It's not you... it's me.