I stood there.
I just fucking stood there, not sure if I was headed in the right direction. Gripped by something from deep inside of me. I felt paralyzed, incompetent and afraid nebulous feelings that I couldn’t control.
Having spent so many years in therapy, I knew it was simply a response to my early life trauma. I knew I was in a dissociative fugue of one sort or another. Fight, flight or freeze were the trio of options my limbic system was providing, even though a part of me knew what was happening, I was still stuck in freeze, as usual.
My brain was shutting down, my hearing had become muffled, vision blurry. People were jostling around me with their shopping bags and over sized purses. Bumping and bashing into me, though not enough to make me move. I could hear the torrent of abuse coming at me,
“get the fuck out of the way”,
“Hey asshole you’re blocking my way”.
But there I stood, looking up, tears in my eyes, like my 7 year old self, looking for his Mother at Fairview Mall, that fall day long ago when I got lost in the Simpsons store.
My trance was finally broken by the scent of a familiar perfume, that was both comforting and repulsive at the same time. I heard the question, “Are you okay?” and saw the kind expression on an elderly Asian woman’s face, her clear dark eyes brought me back to ground.
She was walking around me to get on the escalator, our eyes locked as she appeared to magically move up and away from me without the assistance of human propulsion.
I was back and as I smiled towards her diminishing figure, I thought, “ What the fuck am I doing at the Eaton Centre, anyway”.