Oh, hey. I have a book signing today at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. Woot-woot, am I right? Yeah. About that. I'm kinda a wreck. We had a biggish earthquake here last night, see, and earthquakes always bring up a lot of shitty feelings for me. Like, say: 1. The World is Ending, 2. Apocalypse Now and 3. Is my food stockpile current??? OMG-WHY-DIDN'T-I-BUY-A-PALLET-OF-BOTTLED-WATER-YESTERDAY??
The 5.3 earthquake hit around 9pm last night. I stayed put longer than usual. Which is to say, I didn't run screaming through the house until TWO seconds had passed. Then--just as the earthquake was getting bigger--I went running down the hall (while books fell out of the bookcase next to me) and barreled down the stairs, out the door, into the front yard.
Because, I'm smart. Running wild during a big earthquake is dumb, we all know this. But my body has a mind of its own. It started running before I could tell it to stop and when I finally did stop, I was outside, in the dark, with car alarms going off and my heart about to explode out of my chest.
PTSD, I hate you.
By contrast, my kids were totally fine. The older kids thought it was "cool." And the twins didn't even wake up. Matt had to explain to the kids why Mom was having a panic episode--but hey, they are used to these things since they know all about How Mom Grew Up In That Weird Church Thing.
They got quite a kick out of it. I was crying and begging Matt to go to Wallgreens and pick up a huge crate of bottled water because OMG what if this was only the beginning and then--AFTERSHOCK! OMG! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIIE.
I mean, it was funny. I guess. I can sort of laugh about it this morning. *weak laugh* But all last night I had nightmares and kept jolting out of bed with every aftershock and screaming.
All this to say: FUNDAMENTALISM WORKED, YO. MY WRECKED PSYCHE IS LIVING PROOF.
Point is, when you see me today at the book signing, don't be surprised if I'm trembling. Or weepy. Because THIS IS ME. This is what happens to me when earthquakes happen. In Fundamentalism, we believed this was a sign of the End and that fear is rooted deep in my core.
The only way I know to get it out is by being very honest. By verbally processing it. By crying. By pounding out a blog post like this. And then by showing up today---as my very real self.
I hope you'll come give me a hug.
p.s. look what's on the "New in Paperback" table at Barnes & Noble? :)