I just lost my mind. At least, I think it was me and I think it was my mind. I sat and watched a person who looked like me shaking, gasping and babbling who seemed to be losing their mind. And their body. And their dignity. I think it was me. Hard to be sure.
I think what they were having was a panic attack. I hope it was just an isolated attack. I hope it doesn't come back. Hard to be sure.
I shouted at that person that they needed to stop. They needed to pull themselves together. They had to cope. They shouldn't hurt themselves. They shouldn't hate themselves. Their children were safe. Their home was safe. They were safe.
I hated that person as they called their mum and their sister and upset them both. I pitied that person as they kept catching glimpses of themselves and feeling ashamed. I
tried to reassure them as they tried to calm down, but were too afraid to stop talking because when they did the world became a vacuum.
I begged that person to stop crying. I begged her to be the strong woman she once was, to be the strong mother she knew she needed to be.
Now I just feel sad I couldn't help without help. It took a tiny daughter's smiling face to drag reality back into focus. I'm still not sure that terrified, stricken person was me, but I fear that it was. I think it was the too tired, the too stressed by threats to her home, the too anxious for too long which finally opened her up and let the swarm buzz into her brain and kidnap her.
I think I've found my mind again for now. I retraced my steps. Remembered where I was when I last saw it. I was holding my son's hand when he was crossing the road, kissing his knocked knee, singing him to sleep. I was gently cradling my daughter's fragile head as I lowered her into her cot, shading her eyes from the sun, soothing her with a 'mamma's here'.
Next time, I hope I manage to stay by my side when the panic sets in. I hope I find the strength to comfort myself.