(This post comes from Roger Mann.)
I’m about to enter my seventh decade as a man, so one would think that I’d be pretty settled in my own skin by now. And yet, in certain situations, there are men (and even some women) who can make me suddenly feel like a ten-year-old boy caught trying to steal candy from the drug store.
Why is that? What is it that can make me feel so powerless in those situations?
Recently I was at work, which I love by the way, and was called to the manager’s office. I’d done nothing wrong as far as I knew. I was told that I’d made mistakes—small things of no consequence. And yet I felt my stomach begin to squirm on my way across the store. As I entered his office, he greeted me and then asked me to close the door. The butterflies in the tummy got worse as I sat down and he looked at me across his desk.
As it turns out, I’d done nothing wrong, but someone else had in regard to my paperwork. I’d covered my butt with notifications to all parties involved, and they had verified it too. The matter had to be explained to me because I would probably receive some disciplinary letters in the mail from headquarters’ human resources. That would’ve been upsetting had I not been made aware of the corrective action taken already on my behalf.
I was relieved and let out a big sigh as I left his office. In spite of the pleasant outcome of the visit, my hands were still shaking. A life of keeping secrets and walking on eggshells has left me constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, even though there isn’t one any more.
Some call it PTSD. I took a test over the internet and that’s what it said I had, but I never suspected I could have anything that serious. Most of the time I feel okay, but I have to admit that some things can still trigger a panic in me that is way beyond what situations or persons are able to induce in others.
Peace and contentment can be elusive, but I’m learning to recognize the triggers and change my response.