Halloween is here, whether I like it or not. Halloween is a holiday that has bothered me for a long time. I don’t like people I don’t know knocking on my door. I also don’t like walking around town with strangers, especially when people are dressed up in costumes so I don’t know who is who.
My husband is going trick or treating with our 2-year-old granddaughter, who is dressing up in a my little pony costume. They will be going as a group including my husband, mother-in-law, step-daughter, her boyfriend, and their kid (our granddaughter). Instead of committing myself to something I’m unsure about, I told them that I don’t know if I will be going or not. They think it’s because of my allergies and not feeling well, but it’s really because of my anxiety and PTSD.
I definitely will miss seeing our granddaughter experience Halloween, but I decided that it’s not a good idea to put myself through the anxiety. Instead, I will most likely stay home with my dog. My neighborhood (HOA) does not hand out candy, so there shouldn’t be anyone knocking on my door. I hope that everything goes okay.
When I was a kid, I was bullied by kids, but I also bullied other kids. For some reason, I didn’t put it together how hurtful it was to be made fun of, so I mocked other kids. The first time I remember being made fun of was in kindergarten, and it still affects me to this day. I remember being laughed at in my Halloween costume by upperclassmen. I go back to those feelings of embarrassment and misery every year at Halloween. I was made fun of at various times from kindergarten through high school. I was even made fun of while I was in the popular group.
I’m ashamed to admit that I bullied other kids, but I need to be honest. When I was bullying others, it was because I thought it was going to make me feel better and increase my self-esteem. I wish I could go back and tell myself how much harm I was doing to others, and that the kids who made fun of me were doing it for the same reason I was. During high school, I was made fun of because I was different from the other kids. I didn’t quite fit it and it was because of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. I feel horrible and guilty because I was hurtful back to those that hurt me. I think more about the harm I did to others. I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t. Bullying is permanent; once you emotionally hurt someone, the damage is done.
I did more than I thought I would do last night. My plans were just to go to my mother-in-law’s house and see the kids in their costumes. However, I saw them in their costumes and then walked around a couple of blocks with them as they went trick-or-treating. It was so adorable to see the kids enjoying themselves. Once there got to be more people and more lights, I decided that I had enough. I said my goodbyes to everyone and walked back to my car.
On my drive home, I drove by the church that the kids were headed to, and it was packed. There were probably about 500-800 people there. I’m very happy that I left when I did. I was already having anxiety before seeing that large group of people, and I had already taken Valium.
It’s important for me to go outside my comfort zone and try new and/or different things, especially when they are family events. Lately, I’m having to take Valium to do most things out of the house, whether they’re family or not. I think that when I make commitments, they should be small ones. Then, if I’m feeling up to it, I can do more than I agreed to do, but if I’m not feeling okay, I can just do the small part I committed to and be comfortable when I’m ready to leave.
As we all now, Halloween is tonight, and I have a lot of anxiety because of that. I don’t think there are kids that trick or treat on my street, but I will keep the lights out on my house. My husband works tonight, so it will be just me and my dog until about 9pm. I just hope my dog doesn’t bark all night. I’ll probably put his Thundershirt on him to help keep him calm. I can’t remember how other Halloween nights have been, so this all feels like new to me.
At 5pm, I get to see my granddaughter all dressed up.That gives me something to look forward to today. I think that it will help me get through the day today and minimize my anxiety attacks. I will let you know tomorrow how well I handle Halloween night. Hopefully, I can keep the anxiety and panic attacks to a minimum.