Musical Panic Attack

It always surprises me,
the reactions I get when I hear that melody play.
It’s like my body doesn’t want me to remember.
But I do.

It starts as a creeping feeling on my neck,
Then a sinking pit in my stomach.
My chest starts to hurt and it’s like…
I forget to breathe.

It’s hard to explain.
It is just a song on the radio and it’s catchy.
But words have meaning and memories are strong.
This one hurts.

The flashbacks start as the chorus plays.
I see him there, that stupid grin he had.
I hear him telling me, convincing me that
It’s all my fault.

“You wanted this!” he says in my dream state.
“You don’t get to tell me no,” he yells.
I can feel myself flinch, even though he’s not here.
It feels real.

But its not just a dream, it’s my life.
Or at least it was.
This is how I lived, how I breathed, how I existed.
This is domestic violence.

I’m safe now. He can’t get me here.
The panic doesn’t come that often anymore.
But there are still reminders– a scent, a place, a look,
A haunting melody.

I often wonder what life would be like,
Without the reminders of that time.
Maybe one day, I won’t hear him anymore.
My scars will quiet.

Alas, today is not that day.
Today, I feel the panic rise with the crescendo of the music.
I feel the lyrics and the memories  over and over in my mind,
It was real.


If you or someone you know is an unsafe situation at home, there is help available. You are not alone. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (USA) or 0808 2000 247 (UK). If you aren’t ready to call yet, you can always put the number in your phone under the name Bekah. So it’s there when you need it.