I’m writing this post at the request of a friend. I was texting with her the other day and I can’t remember how we ended up on the subject of her husband being claustrophobic. I disclosed with her that I too was claustrophobic, something that I rarely talk about. She told me that when her husband has “an episode” she gets very frustrated because she doesn’t understand why her husband has to feel this way. I told her that I completely understood him, and thought to myself she should understand it too since she suffers from panic attacks. Why, you may ask? Because the sensation is of entrapment.
Let me give a bit of background as to why I developed this phobia. It started when I was a child. I was about 2 or 3, I was the youngest in my family, and to be accepted I practically let my brother and cousins do what they would like or else they would not hang out with me. I’m sure a lot of kids feel this way. My female cousin is 7 years older than me and my brother is 5 years older, when my aunt and cousin would come visit the kids would go into the bedroom to play and the adults would stay in the living room chatting away. We used to have a foam bed that was used as part of our “toys”, try to understand that in Cuba kids had to make due with anything they could carry. My brother and cousin thought it hilarious to roll me up in the foam bed and sit on me. I was small so I was completely covered, making it hard for me to breathe. They didn’t mean any harm by it, and I never told my parents until I was much older, all I knew is that I wanted to play with them. So, many years have passed and I easily get triggered back to those moments when I am in an enclosed space.
Feeling that sensation of a space closing in on me, not having the liberty to move as I please scares me, just the mere thought of it makes my heart palpitate. When I board an airplane I feel fine, I actually love it because I know it’s moving, but as soon as that plane lands I can not stay in it for long. I get this tingle in my whole body, I feel the space is getting smaller, I start to feel the oxygen decreasing, and if I don’t get off it soon, I will hyperventilate and have palpitations.
I took a class while finishing my masters that dealt with disorders. I always remember the professor’s expression to help us remember certain disorders, and I specifically remember that for a panic attack is “I feel trapped”. Maybe now, DC, will be more understanding of her poor husband’s annoying condition.
Have a great night, dear readers.