I got into my pajamas and brushed my teeth. The lights were already dimmed in my apartment and I was getting ready for bed. I brushed my hair and put moisturizer on my face. I settled under the covers with the air conditioner blowing toward the bed so I could fall asleep in cool comfort. I waited for Him to call to put me to bed.
And I waited.
And I waited.
Over the next two hours, I tossed and turned in bed. I got up and opened the windows, got back into bed, got up to close the windows, got back into bed. I went out to the couch to see if I could sleep there before slinking back into the bedroom. I checked my phone obsessively.
I started thinking about those people who have blood clots lurking in their bodies and how those blood clots move to their brains and they drop dead without warning. I started worrying about blood clots lurking in my body. I was fretting over all of the things that could kill me suddenly, immediately as I lay in bed. I was spinning out of control and why, oh why wouldn't He call?
Finally, at 1:30, He called. He had fallen asleep early and had accidentally missed my bedtime.
I was so upset by the time he called that I had a panic attack. That hasn't happened in a very long time and it was a frightening development. There was a time, more than seven years ago, when I had panic attacks every day. I was completely crippled by them. My life narrowed to the time between these attacks, minus the time anticipating an attack, minus the time to recover from an attack. I remember that year as one of constant, crushing anxiety. Almost all of my recollections from that year involve the bedroom in my campus apartment: me pacing the small space between the computer desk and the bed and the door, phone clasped to my ear, desperately pleading for someone to help me deal with the unbelievable pain.
In any case, this was just one panic attack. One. It did not recur in the following days and I feel just as strong as ever. The amazing thing about the experience was the way that He helped me through it. In the old days, I was so frustrated by my panic attacks because no one seemed to know how to help, especially not my boyfriend at the time. I was desperate for someone to just comfort me, or reassure me or something I couldn't then describe.
Who knew that being owned would give me the perfect tools to battle the devastation of a panic attack? My owner reassured me on every front - that I am owned, that I am loved, that he is taking care of me, that everything will be okay - and I believed him with all of my heart. After the panic subsided and I was left feeling depleted and tired, he had me continue to breathe deep and cuddle with my favorite stuffed animal so that I could relax. He stayed on the phone with me until I was nearly asleep and then quietly told me that he loved me.
I mumbled groggily, "I love my owner," before I put the phone down and finally drifted off to sleep.