I got my first major magazine article published.
I queried three more major magazines.
I got a “yes” on one query within a day.
I started re-reading old journals to mine for ideas for other articles.
I got several “good jobs” from my employer.
I sent an invoice.
I made a tiny mistake at work.
And I had a panic attack.
A raging, roaring panic attack that had me sobbing, shaking, wondering if I was crazy, feeling like I should be fired without any pay, and like I wanted to crawl into a hole and sleep for a week. I truly considered the magazine piece, as well as the courage to submit queries, a huge success. Christine Anne Lawson, author of “Understanding the Borderline Mother,” argues that any type of success can trigger a panic attack in the child of a borderline mother. Usually the mother follow up any success of the child’s with sabotage, a rage-fest, a guilt-trip, or devaluing. I’ve experienced every one of those.
I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that anything I accomplished was just because of my mother or father. Once, I sang a song I wrote for my [Narcissistic] father’s family, and as soon as I was done, he pointed to himself with both hands and said, “See what I can do?”
Yep, you can be a jerk. Very, very effectively.
However, this morning I was able to wake up, have a cup of coffee, sit in the sunshine, and realize that I’d made it through the panic. The fact that I’d had an enormously painful response to the success did not make it any less true–the success had happened. I had accomplished something good. I could accomplish something good today. If nothing else, the panic attack showed me that the pain was temporary, but the by-line was forever.
I got another article accepted today. :-}