Illustration for blog post Rage and Panic

Rage and Panic

With most chronic illness there are times when one lives in the symptoms.

If DID was chronic back pain then this past month has been all about managing  breakthrough pain.

In therapy we are talking about the AIDS Epidemic.

Part of me remembers the 1980’s as a time when the ‘establishment’ passively and purposely did nothing about AIDS while gay men died.

Part of me remembers the 1980’s as a time when I belonged to the radical gay literary scene in San Francisco.

Part of me remembers all the 1980’s but has no feelings about it.

I’m that part.

Am I the host personality?

I have a sense of the whole and something is different and it hurts and feeling it feels like dying.

My therapist thinks that panic attacks are the way I cope with rage; I was not allowed to have anger as a child so I have fear instead.

These panic attacks used to happen only when I left my apartment, now they happen anywhere, and always without warning.

My heart pounds, the room spins and starts to go dark and I think that this must surely be my death,  but it passes.

I wake up in dread; my mind turns to thoughts of old friends but the friend I see is long dead.

I see the face of my wonderful William who was only 25 and too full of life to die.

He was so frightened.

His hands were so cold.

He would only be in his late 50’s if he had lived.

Rage and panic.

What is now and what is then?

Sometimes I don’t know.


Rob Goldstein (c) 2016 all rights reserved


15 thoughts on “Rage and Panic

      1. Mental age, perhaps not, but one would not be any older. I don’t feel much different than I did 10 years ago apart from more aches and pains, getting older is not as I thought it would be.

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  1. I hope you are not alone when those panic attacks are kicking in. For sure subconscious reactions to oppressed feelings. As you describe it, it must be like waking up to a different world.

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    1. They happen when I’m alone…or with my partner. I suspect that this is the way it is and will be for me for the rest of my life. This acceptance makes coping with it easier.
      Most of life takes place in ambiguity. When I discuss pain or the discomfort of the illness most people assume that I’m unhappy which isn’t the case. I take pride in the fact that I’ve learned how to adapt and find new ways to experience joy. Thank you for your support Erika. I appreciate it.

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      1. That is how I perceived you too, Robert. You are challenged indeed. But you have come an amazing way in knowing how to deal with your illness and I would have not thought you were unhappy. Always, my friend!

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