Monday, May 17th 2010
I Really Hope You Don’t Do This, Too.

My sister and I do this thing where, when we’re physically hurt, we hold our breath. Not just kinda hurt, but REALLY in pain…? Then there’s the silent breath holding. With eye-bulging action, usually. When we were growing up, if there was a loud sound and then yelling, it was all good and someone was just being dramatic. But if there was a loud sound and then silence? Run and assist. It is needed.

Ethan-10yr is the same way. As a baby he’d do this, and I would snap him out of it by taking a huge breath and blowing it all out right in his face really fast. And it would startle him into breathing. And glaring at me. Because nobody likes that. One time in the last year or so he was in pain and holding his breath and I did it – the Giant Therapeutic Exhale In The Face – and he sputtered and dried his eyes and glared and then laughed and was so shocked he didn’t know how to react.

But he started to breathe and that’s all that mattered.

I have a similar thing I do when I’m stressed. I wish I didn’t. It’s as bad as not breathing and can go on much longer. When I get really stressed, my jaw freaks out and TMJ gets all sore and then I can’t chew so eating gets difficult. And then my back gets really tense until it hurts to breathe. Even though, yaknow, I AM breathing and that’s good. And then? With the lack of food I’ll lose a few pounds (miserable way to lose weight, don’t try this at home) and get kinda cranky from all the HERE, BODY, LET’S JUST GIVE YOU ALL THE STRESS AND THAT WAY I CAN KEEP GOING WITH THE LITTLE FAKE SMILE UNDISTURBED BECAUSE THAT IS REAL IMPORTANT FOR SOME REASON THAT I HAVE NOW FORGOTTEN business.

Do y’all do this, too? Sometimes I think God is saying, “HELLO? Would you QUIT that already?” And then blow a giant puff of air in my face to shock me out of it but I won’t let go anyway. Am stubborn like that.

I’m almost done. I’m almost ready to breathe.  Air will be good. Tension melting away from my back muscles and my jaw will both be good. Food. Again, good.


(And… happy Monday, y’all. Geez.)


3 Comments on “I Really Hope You Don’t Do This, Too.”

May 18th, 2010
8:16 am

I hate the teeth clenching too. I’ll be praying for you.

Just remember that movie ‘The Gremlins’. …Watch what you feed the Mogwai. You don’t want to reeeeally invoke “permanent PMS mode’.
And don’t think I’m trying to say that she’s a victim–I know better. She’s still responsible for her actions. I have a little boy in my Sunday School Class who used to be a monster–always hitting peoplem, angry, frustrated, unruly–he looked like something was eating him from the inside out. He’s a Celiac too and sooo hyper sensitive to stimulation and sounds. But even that tiny four year old boy has learned to be nice and control himself despite the fact that he still appears to be afflicted by his own senses (and often itchy from rashes). It’s our duty to overcome what life gives us. Even when a ‘gluten-intolerant’ has been glutened, she still has to be humane to others.

I’ll be praying for you guys!


[...] I was stressed. I think that picture may have been painted a little too clearly and er, sorry. Wasn’t that [...]

Jennifer Sullivan
November 11th, 2010
1:18 am

Hi, I just found your site a couple days ago and have been systematically reading all past blogs. The first night I was up until after 1 (very unusal for me) reading as much as I could and laughing so hard that I actually snorted (I don’t usually snort, my mom and sister do, so I was so surprised by it that I laughed even harder and couldn’t breathe and was wiping tears away like crazy) It was great…
Anyways, just wanted to say that whole not breathing when you are hurt thing? My mom does that! I thought she was the only one who did, in fact she holds her breath until she passes out, it is terrifying and the first time she did it in front of me (smashed finger in a recliner while helping my grandmother move into her new home in a different state) she decided to also have a little seizure just to liven things up. I screamed at her a lot to “wake her up” and even smacked her in the face (seriously), not too hard, but still what was I thinking? When she came to, I had called my husband who was with grandma and my sister at Lowes and screamed into the phone to get home because I didn’t know the address of the new house and had no land line to call 911 from. Well by the time they made it home I had got my mom onto the couch, got her ice and Tylenol and was explaining to her why i was screaming at her when she came to, she didn’t remember any of it! Except smashing her finger… She didn’t hear me screaming at her, and I promise the entire neighborhood had to have thought someone was being murdered as loudly as I was screaming and she LAUGHED when I told her I smacked her to try to get her to come to, she also told me that I made her arm fall asleep when I rolled her to her side when she started seizing (sorry mom, trying to keep you from choking on your tongue). So hubby, g’ma and sis rush into the house, my mom although in pain, thinks the whole ordeal was pretty funny and the moment I see them, I walk to the bathroom and start bawling, can barely breathe and hubby has to calm me down. Never a dull moment, so anyway I was traumatized for a couple years but now my mom and I laugh about it, and also she is not allowed to do any heavy lifting as I am afraid of repeat performance. Apparently my grandma (once she understood what happened) was totally unfazed because my mom has done this her entire life! Still don’t know why, but I think if she ever gets hurt again I will go with expel huge amount of air into her face and hope it shocks her into breathing.

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