So. I may or may not have the tiniest amount of PTSD, and one of the ways it plays out is that my startle response is such a finely tuned instrument that if it were a cello, Yo-Yo Ma would play me like a fiddle. (I don’t know what that means either.)
I know that even normal people (I don’t mean you) (or you) (heh) have a startle response, but I also think that people who jump and scream like hot lava got in their shorts might have some latent PTSD going on themselves. I happen to have the curse and the benefit of knowing my demons, and, by the way, after getting to know them even better in therapy in recent years, they each have cute nicknames now.
Just don’t walk up behind me and say something because I might go ninja on you. And if we go out to eat, be a good friend and don’t make me sit with my back to the room. Because when the server walks up to ask if we’ve had a chance to look at the menu, I will jump up out of my chair, scream, and pee myself. Then everybody will look at us and feel sorry for you. But before you start feeling too sorry for my friends and family, I have mad Belgian waffle and homemade strawberry ice cream-making skillz to make up for this. Just saying.
In every place we’ve lived since 1998, for some reason my computer desk has been situated such that my back is to the door of the room. And every darn time my husband walks into the room, I jump up, scream, and stay up on the ceiling fan for twenty minutes or so until I have a pulse again. As an aside, this never happens when Laura walks into the room because she chatters constantly and I always hear her coming. Tom on the other hand is stealth. I have repeatedly asked him in my very best Bruce Dickinson voice to wear a cowbell. “Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription is . . . more cowbell.” Tom does not cooperate with this particular plan, but making him live in another house is not an option. Trust me, I know this. And besides who would bring me my coffee every morning, and then patiently wait for me to jump and scream before setting it down next to me?
I was telling my friend Trish yesterday over Belgian waffles and homemade strawberry ice cream that short of buying all new office furniture, I don’t know how to solve this problem because there aren’t any corners that don’t leave my back to the door. You may be wondering why I bought a corner desk in the first place, and if the words “subconscious self-sabotage” come to your mind, call me! I could save hundreds on therapy this month if we could chat more about this.
Trish is an artist and her home is a showcase of elegance, warmth, and Zen-like calm. I knew she’d take one look and say, “You’re right. Dump the furniture and start over,” and then I wouldn’t feel so bad about the online shopping spree that was about to ensue.
But Trish took one look, suggested that I move the long desk that was under my window around to the side of the other desk, put my file drawers under the window behind me, and, well let me show you . . .
Trish even helped me reconfigure and reconnect my computers and peripheral devices, after we cleaned two inches of dust from them. And while I know that my Belgian waffle and homemade ice cream-making skills really are that good, the truth of the matter is that this isn’t the first time that Trish has proved to be a saint, and not even a dead one, like saints usually have to be.
Now there will be no more surprise attacks from sneaky husbands with coffee and I have more effective and efficient workspace with no online shopping spree for the all new furniture I thought I’d need. With my back to the second-story window, the only surprise attacks I have to worry about now will be from birds or flying squirrels.
(SNL photo courtesy of Google Images.)