Anxiety, panic, and ask.fm harassment

Dana Lane Taylor tweets at @danaequality and blogs at Dana Lane Taylor, where this first appeared.

[Trigger warning: suicidal ideation, harassment, stalking, vile transphobia]

I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder about 10 years ago. My disorder leans more towards the panic side.  If you haven’t been diagnosed with this disorder, you really don’t know how debilitating it can be.

A situation happened about 10 years ago, which I will not go into details about, and that night I jumped out of bed at 11:05 PM and was more terrified than I have ever been in my entire life. I looked around the room for the person who just tried to smother me with a pillow. Of course, there wasn’t anyone there. I just had a panic attack. Panic attacks are usually temporary and will pass with time, however this panic attack persisted for close to 3 months. The chemicals in my brain were forever changed. No longer did I just suffer from normal social anxiety, I suffered something that changed the very essence of who I was.

That night, I was unable to sit down and paced every single second until the sun came up. There was a physical feeling in my brain that was constant and hard to explain what it felt like. I felt intense claustrophobia and tried to leave my apartment but it was humid that night and as soon as the humidity hit my face I felt even more claustrophobic.  There was literally no escape.

The symptoms I had for 3 months

Constant shortness of breath.

I was terrified of my bed. So afraid of it that I trembled just seeing it yet I would have to overcome that fear and force myself to lie on it to get the one or two hours of sleep I would have for the day. The rest of the night would be pacing and/or leaving my apartment in the middle of the night to walk which gave little relief.

Another thing that happened was that any wind at all that hit my face would instantly make me feel claustrophobic. However, if the wind was created by a mechanical device it was unbearable. This caused serious problems in my apartment a it was the summer and I had to run the A/C which was the central air type. I had to bring my mattress into the living room and then use cardboard and tape to redirect all the vents so that not one puff of air would hit my face. Hell, even the wind coming from my nostrils hitting my lip would freak me out.

Another really weird thing that happened to me was thinking of experiences in my past (any experiences whatsoever) would make me claustrophobic and even more panicky. The same goes for thinking of anything in the future.

Also, I lost any understanding of what it meant for someone to be able to relax. Seeing someone on television kicked back in a recliner made absolutely no sense to me. I “knew” that I understood it once but couldn’t comprehend it during this time frame.

I had many other side-effects as well but these were the most dominant.

After going through this for a couple of months I began to consider suicide as a logistical option to remedy this situation. It wasn’t out of depression. It was my realization that there is no way that I could continue living like this. Suicide would most definitely fix the problem.

But then I found a new friend and I shared what I was going through with him. He told me I needed to go see a doctor and tell the doctor I needed ativan. To be totally honest, I didn’t consider what I was going through to be experienced by other people as well. I did as he suggested and that night I actually slept for 8 hours straight. The next day, I realized that I will be able to survive this. I guess you can say he saved my life. The place he has in my heart is his alone and will forever be there. And he has been there for me to this date and I truly love him for that. I am not sure if he realizes how important he is to me.

I ended up with a prescription for Cymbalta for day to day relief and ativan to help me sleep. I have had many happy fulfilling days since. Most of the anxiety and panic attacks I have had were easy to deal with compared to the first 3 months. And then a cyberstalker/cyberharraser entered my life about a week ago. One who has said some of the following things to me.

All of these messages were from ask.fm either directly to my profile or via the @twitterhandle questions to others that end up showing up in your timeline. Ask.fm needs to stop allowing the symbol @ or # in questions.

The faggot who punched you out and crushed your eye socket should have done more. Die trans scum.

Why don’t you do the world a favor and kill yourself? Die trans scum!

Fuck you, you hypocritical little prick. I hope you die in a fire.

How does it feel being a self righteous little prick who wants to rape women?

How does it feel knowing you will be lonely the rest of your life because nobody wants a freak like you?

Looking forward to your name being read at a future TDOR

we traced the call. its coming from inside your house!

You should kill yourself, you sad little man.

Fuck you, you pathetic little faggot.

So you want to be a girl? I’ll make you into a girl…….. with my hunting knife.

I bet you’re good at sucking cock. I have a big black one for you. While my friend fucks you in the ass with the business end of a garden rake.

I’M IN PHILLY TOO AND I’M COMING FOR YOU ASSHOLE

Please kill yourself now. Thank you.

YOU AIN’T NO WOMAN YOU TRANNY FREAK!

This isn’t even half of of them. Needless to say, even though this was a cyber attack against me, the person actually physically abused me. He forced me to experience the same persistent panic attack I experienced 10 years ago. The symptoms this time weren’t as bad because thankfully I am on medication that minimized the damage. My doctor prescribed me xanax which seems to have brought the panic attack into a more manageable state.

Just wanted to share my story.

4 thoughts on “Anxiety, panic, and ask.fm harassment

  1. Hi Dana
    I don’t check this blog very often but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and say that I’m so, so sorry abusive assholes are focusing on you and that ask.fm have furthered this by suspending your account. Fucking unconscionable of them. XxX

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