I watched the Today show this morning…as I always do. It’s just a habit. Anyway, they mentioned how Oprah deals with stress by going into her closet and taking some deep breaths. I fully believe that some of the hosts on the show are complete idiots…they blissfully agreed that this is a wonderful thing to do… to go seek quiet, that your closet is a wonderful place to do this, blah blah blah.
Shut the fuck up.
It’s not that I disagree with this. Not at all. Hiding in closets is something I have done… a million times.
Many of us have done this. But the people who I know that have or still do this…well it’s because we suffer from PTSD or anxiety. The closet is our personal decompression chamber.
When I was a child, and things with my mother would get…bad…I would hide in my closet, door shut, huddled up against the back wall, trying to pull the clothes that were the longest near my face. I would sit there as still as possible, trying to breathe as quietly as possible…in the dark…trying to disappear.
Think about that.
What child do you know that willingly goes into a dark closet…where the monsters live??
But my “monster” lived down the hall, when her demons would come to visit.
In the closet I could isolate myself from the noise…fingers in my ears…sweat dripping down my face as it was damn hot in there, as this was before air conditioning existed…
Just this last year, a friend was joking with me at work… this friend shouted at me… except I didn’t realize they were joking…I froze–ready to dive under the desk at the nurse’s station–the closest thing to a closet I could see. Once I quickly recognized this person was joking I relaxed, but my adrenaline was already flowing. My flight or fight response on high alert from years of being over stimulated…it’s a wonder my adrenal glands haven’t jumped off my kidneys and run away out of protest.
I’m reading Jenny Lawson’s latest book, Furiously Happy. If you haven’t read her books, I highly suggest you do so. It is good to know that there are others in the world that also suffer from anxiety and depression…and still go on to fight the good fight. She is very funny and honest about her struggles…I admire her. She would probably hide in a closet as well.
My point to all of this? I began with Oprah. I’m aware that she has been through some shit in her past…and even with all her fantastic gains, perhaps it still comes back to haunt her. I don’t know this, I’m merely speculating. It’s the closet thing. The decompression chamber.
The fact that many of us have fought battles…and are continuing to do so. That even after those battles are over…well, sometimes they still wage on in our heads. I have to admit every time I see that damn saying that “we are not a product of our parents or society or whatever, and that we alone are responsible for our actions” or whatever it exactly says, I really want to punch somebody. Because we freaking are a product of our childhoods, our history. This does determine in some part our personhood. Not all of it–it is far more complex than that. We are not all given the same opportunities.
Some never had to hide in a closet. Where the monsters are.