Anxiety Writes Back

Dear Q,

Thanks for listening–for a fucking change! You always want to shut me up. So if I have to SCREAM to get you to pay attention, I will. I’ll give you those tingling arms. If I have to make your vagina twitch til the whole thing turns inside out, I swear I will. You have got to listen to me.

You think you are so far past this Stephen assault. It was bad, scary bad, but at least it could never happen again, you tell yourself. After all, you have a loving, tender husband who cares for you, respects you and would never violate you. You are married, and you would never cheat, so case close, you think. Everything safe and fine, right? Or that’s what you tell yourself.

But you are dead wrong. Psychologically, you haven’t changed much. You still override your own instincts on a regular basis. You ignore your concerns and preferences and pretend things are okay, while I know they are not. It’s true that you are protected from much of the harshness of the world by being white and well-educated and having a professional job; in this society, those are advantages many other women don’t have. But you SUCK at taking care of yourself. Your boundaries are for shit. It’s not just sexual violations, though you are at a risk for those. You let people take your money and your time and your energy and your fucking spirit.

It’s your spirit. It’s your sense of knowing, it’s who you are, for god’s sake. It’s valuable and unique, and you don’t even tend to it! Do you know what a danger that is? You can live the years of your life and come to the time of your death and then what? The precious spirit will still be stunted, undernourished and hiding in the dark. It will be everything from overworked to raped because you don’t care for it, because you act helpless. And when you tell the Stephen story or other stories, you slide into helplessness all over again. I can’t stand it.

You are actually stronger than you think, stronger than you act. I need you to own that strength. You have to develop your voice and use it in the service of your core spirit. Otherwise you let all those abusive, irresponsible, sex-obsessed, selfish men take that little girl (the one you say you want to believe and care for) and keep her small. That is something to be afraid of.

So are you going to do something about this, or not?

With aggravated love, Anxiety (input also provided from Anger and Shame)

*** * *** * *** * *** * ***

Dear Anxiety,

Wow. That’s not what I expected. Here I thought you still felt afraid of Stephen or something. You’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ll need time to process it and then I’ll come back to you.

Gratefully (?!?), Q.


  1. Great exercise! I need to try this 🙂 I have never thought to write a letter as anxiety and then reply to it. I need to share this! 🙂


  2. Wow, Q! Anxiety is really smart, even if she is totally annoying. You are strong and you have a beautiful spirit. I Know THAR FRIM Your CARING AND THOUGHTFUL comments. Please take care of that spirit and the Girl and yourself.


  3. Supposed to say that from your caring and thoughtful comments. Sometimes I think my fingers have a mind of their own!


  4. Wow Q this is amazing. What made you decide to have anxiety write to you? Maybe I missed a post on that one. I can’t wait to read your response. Incredible processing of all these emotions. You’ve got me thinking what anger and fear would say to me if I let them. Hmmm. Not sure I want to know. Very courageous exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. has always told me that all the parts/feelings really long for a wholeness. That means I don’t have to chase any of them away but instead can listen to what they want to to teach me (see previous post for the letter I first wrote to Anxiety). It does help take down the intense anxious feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow.. I kind of like her (anxiety) she has great strength, even if she does go about things the wrong way. I loved your reply to her too. Great exercise, I might have to try this some day too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Holy shit, Anxiety both made me laugh “thanks for listening – for a fucking change!” sassy pants! And also made me feel sad. Sad that she has to be mean in order to protect the damaged interior – I don’t know, I relate. It just makes me so sad that you have to work through this stuff because you’re such a loving and caring person and clearly do a lot of good in the world. I hope Anxiety backs off a bit, you deserve a break. Maybe she house-sits while you and your husband travel to S.A.? 🙂


  7. I love these “exercises” you have been doing. They really seem to bring about surprising information. And it’s really brave of you to do these things. I really get the being mean to stay safe thing. I feel that way a lot. I hope that you and anxiety can come to an understanding, and maybe get her a new “job” that is more helpful to everyone in the house. Xx


    • I like these exercise too. It’s a very strange thing, but when I just let go and do them, some of the underlying stuff that I genuinely wasn’t aware of just comes up, pretty quickly and straightforwardly. It’s like it’s all right there, if I just stop and take the time to pay attention.

      Liked by 1 person

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