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Jul 25, 2008


  • cru·ci·ble:  A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial. See Synonyms at trial. 2. A place, time, or situation characterized by the confluence of powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces.

images mov ticket


I would like to believe that we can pick and choose what affects us because we can choose our reaction and take back that power, but I think we need to realize some things are out of our control. Some results or ramifications are the end product in clip_image001our lives that are beyond our grip.

This occurred to me when I reflected on my incident at the movies Wednesday night. I wish I could blame it on “one” thing: what I had for dinner, the major dramatic intensity of the movie, or a recent phone call from “him”. But I don’t get that pleasure. This was a combination of events leading up to the point where I found myself sitting near the top row in the middle seats of the very movie I had been whining about getting to see for a week! And in retrospect I wish it was just a combination of the minutes or even hours leading up to the 7:30 show that led to the rush of anxiety; but indeed, I think it goes deeper than that.

Everyone knows I had a justifiable legitimate reason for leaving my ex-husband. There is no question. But I think I forget or try to ignore those crucible moments in my own history that put me at that point of finally saying, “No more” and walking out in 2003. Those moments spread out over the last few years of a failing marriage defined a part of who I am today; but I would rather not admit it. Now, those same moments made me stronger, yes. So, I should embrace my history and assist others walking through those same steps today; encouraging them that with a few bumps along the way, you can still make it and be ok. Ok? But what is the definition of ok?

images triple batmanFor you see, I wasn’t ‘ok’ sitting in the theater Wednesday night with Jason and one of his friends as the movie trailed on in all its glory, intensity, and drama pouring from the screen and sensitizing my ears, enveloping me or more like engulfing me into the scene right there with them. It was horrid evil that expelled from Heath Ledger as he “nailed” the Joker character. It was amazing emotional lure from Christian Bale as he led all to love him as Batman and honor his vigilante heroic being. When I say I wasn’t ok, I just didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel right.

Before the film, I stopped and ate with my son and his friend at a nearby restaurant, and by the time we were at the theater I started feeling like the food didn’t agree with me. Thinking I might even get sick,I began devising a plan. If I got ill, I would quickly escape the theater and head toward the bathroom. I had a drink, so I had even decided, if need be, I would use the cup; but oh I didn’t want to have that happen, how embarrassing! So I said a quick prayer under my breath, and sat through the previews and off we went.

The movie was excellent; let me at least tell you that. And I will want to see it again. But it was truly intense. And as the movie continued, the more my psyche got the best of me. Then I got more involved in the movie, with my heart racing and my stomach aching, I started feeling numbness creep up my arms and my legs. I switched legs, then uncrossed them, thinking it would help. No it had already begun and there was no stopping it now, I was having an anxiety attack.

I have had them before, so I knew it was just a matter of getting through it; but then I started to feel light-headed and worried I might pass out and leave my thirteen year old, Jason and his friend there not knowing what to do or how to react. The more I worried about them the more intense the feeling came over me. I spoke to Jason in a whisper. “Just talk to mommy for a minute, I don’t feel good.” “What’s wrong?” he said. “I can’t explain it; just say a prayer for me.” “Do you need to leave?” “I will be ok.” I pulled out my cell phone. I hated to do it… many times people around me opening the face of their phone and lighting up our section of the theater has annoyed me and here I was doing it. I sent a text to a friend. Then I called her. “I am at the theater and I am not feeling well,” I whispered. “Do you need someone?” she said trying to help, even though she was on vacation at the beach and couldn’t come if she wanted to. “I will call you back if I need someone,” I said and hung up. My heart was in my throat; I called Pat. “Pat, I need you.” I heard myself and knew I sounded like a little girl, at the very worst like a damsel in distress needing to be rescued…. I so much didn’t want to be this! “Ok” he said, “Where are you?” “Valley View Grande Theater” “By yourself?” “No, I have Jason and his buddy  with me.” “I’m on my way,” he said. Good ole Pat.

My body continued to feel like it was going into limp mode and my face started to get tingly. If you have ever experienced an anxiety attack, you will know what I am talking about. I think the numbness and the tingling is why it makes some think they are having a heart attack. The movie credits were rolling when I got off the phone. I had made it! Now I wasn’t sure I could stand up. After a few minutes, I made my way through the aisle and down the steps clinging slightly to the wall and railing, shaking from feeling weak.

Outside in the fresh air, immediately I started feeling better. The feeling was coming back in my arms and legs and I knew I was going to be ok. Well Pat and Jan showed up and by the time they got there I was just fine, but still asked if one of them would drive my vehicle to get the three of us home, just in case. They were very helpful; made sure I was ok, got us all home safe, and that was that.

Well I don’t think the movie would affect just anyone the way it affected me. As I was sharing, I think some of my own life experiences, my very own crucibles, attribute to the way I now perceive and relate to evil being exhibited on the big screen. In addition, I let myself get worked up about possibly getting sick. However, in case you are worried I might be a candidate for posttraumatic stress disorder, I looked it up and verified that due to the infrequency of these “incidents,” I am not. Just in this case – my body reacted, out of my control, requiring me to swallow some pride and reach out for help.

But now when I tell people, ‘I saw Batman; and WHAT A RUSH!’ if you read my blog, you will know, “She’s not kidding!”

Do we ignore the crucible experiences of our past? Should we or can we pretend some of the ugly things that have happened in our lives never existed? Are we indeed a product of the combination of ugliness we have endured and beauty that we have embraced over the years?

In short I have to say: no, no, and yes.  Please share your thoughts and comments.


Trish said...

WOW! 1. Didn't know you had panic attacks...I'm truly not a fan of those things...do better with them now...but they hit at the most unexpected times...wish they weren't apart of my life but I guess they're part of the "ugliness" Im still enduring... and to answer those questions...I completely agree with you on all three....it reminds me of the old song "Through it all"....especially the line that says "these trials only come to make us strong"....if I could learn the life lessons in that song I think I'd be doing a lot better...but at this point in my life sanity is not my strong suit!....great blog!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a big believer of the past. It molded us and it made us who we are today. We have to embrace them and use them for the good they can bring us in the future. Look at the Joker for an example of what not to do. Goodness … that guy held all the past bad in and let it rip him up. You do have to learn to forgive otherwise it will own you.

I feel for you in that moment of need. To feel helpless and know your son is right there…I’d be scared too. I am glad he came to help you. You are the mother of his kids….you shared some life together… You weren’t asking for money or anything where pride should be concerned. He should care about your well being. I understand the boundaries though when he tries to manipulate or control you.

You are a survivor and each trial you walk out of makes you stronger… Casting Crowns sings a song that I love to lean on when I am in a “crucible” period. It is called: “Praise you in this Storm” the lyrics are here Lyrics
It has carried me through a few moments.

Great post!

j'adoube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
j'adoube said...

one-time..one-time..onetime.. I developed diarrhea when my Mom took me to see "The Incredible Mr Limpet" *before your time..:) I'll spare you the details!

Glad your feeling better!
God bless

Katherine said...

Let me clarify about "Pat". Pat is a great friend. He and his wife work in the office/organization where I work. I have known them for years. From one comment I noted it was implied that Pat was my Ex. I plan to do a characters blog to get that all explained...someday.

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