Grasping For Control
Erika Bluesteen

Grasping for Control I desperately wanted to forget, but it was engrained in my brain. Besides, it still showed itself sometime, those unmistakable first symptoms.

I was driving along Riverside Drive, towards Osage. About to get the hell out of Tulsa. I made a right onto Quanah Avenue when it started.

My fingers went numb and my mind began racing.

Here you go again...this time you might not make it back. You know you're crazy. How many more doctors do you need to tell you?

I took a few deep breaths. "No, damnit, you're gonna be fine, it'll pass."

I only half believed myself. I had been told, by numerous doctors, I was crazy, needed medication, and therapy. I had stopped both. I wanted control.

Control??? You have nothing. Look at your hands.

They were shaking. I pulled the car over on the edge of Owen Park. I could feel panic creeping up my arms. Fingers numb, hands tingling. Panic would crawl up my arms, as if festering in my bloodstream. In one swooping motion, it would overtake my chest and head.

"You're FINE." I wanted my voice to sound confident, unbreakable. It came out shaky.

You're loosing. It's obvious. It only gets worse. The doctors were right. You need help.

"No. I DON'T." There were tears in my eyes now. I wanted to get out of the car, to walk... run. But I was too afraid. Paranoia or not, I already felt like everyone was watching me, shaking their heads, thinking I was crazy. I certainly didn't want it to be expressed publicly anymore than it already was.

My eyes darted around the car. Did everyone already know? I didn't want to look crazy. I didn't want to be crazy.

Too late. Look at yourself. You're shaking, crying. Over what? Nothing. You shouldn't be a part of society. You're insane.

"NO." Without thinking, I opened the door and walked towards the park, talking aloud. "It's ok, you're ok..."


I shook my head. "I'm alright. This will pass."

People are watching you.

"Let them look. I'm fine. Let it go..."

The deep breaths from my walking and the forced concentration began to bring me back. "I'm ok."

My fingers started to tingle again as the panic drained from my chest, and flowed back down my arms as eerily distinct as it had before. I took a deep breath and looked around. I was shaky, but ok.

"You can do this." I whispered.

I turned back towards my car. Definitely time to leave Tulsa. I knew moving wouldn't make me forget. Wouldn't make it go away. But that was alright. I could handle it. It was time to move on.

First published: August 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'