This piece is about the feeling of paranoia associated with the extreme anxiety I sometimes experience.
When I feel this way, everywhere I go, it feels like a thousand eyes are on me. And it’s very easy to slip into viewing them as malevolent eyes.
I feel like I’m under a spotlight.
The eyes, everyone’s eyes, can see inside my head, my every thought laid bare.
And under this scrutiny, I freeze outwardly.
But inside I am shaking violently. I feel an electric force coursing through my veins. I can only tolerate it for so long, and then I need to hide away. Somewhere safe.
And imagine, if wherever you went, eyes bored into your very soul, reading your innermost thoughts, wouldn’t you feel the need to retreat too?
Lately I have transcended my tendency to dissociate when I feel this way, and instead, I drop down into my body.
And then I experience, viscerally, the absolute deathly dread that consumes me.
And it’s unrelated to the present.
It’s disconnected in time.
It doesn’t belong to my present self, but to a much older version of me.
But it’s there, nonetheless.