There is so much about being human that is simple chemistry.
Family gatherings seriously freak me out. It isn't that I don't love my family dearly, close, extended, or otherwise... but a big group of my own blood makes me anxious as hell. The notion kinda pisses me off. That isn't me. Not by a long shot. I remember my first stint getting called for jury duty. A criminal defense attorney singled me out of a crowd of nearly one hundred people and tried to tear me down.
Jack-Ass Attorney - "Mr. Walker, this case pits my client against the Boise Police Department alleging they used excessive force. Would being in the jury and in the position of ruling in my clients favor put you at odds with your Father? I imagine he would have certain... expectations."
Me - "My Father would expect me to do my civic duty as a member of the jury granting your client a fair and speedy trial. Nothing more."
A woman who's husband had been shot and killed by the BPD the year previous was in the jury pool. Neither she, or I was selected for the jury. That's not the point. I was as calm and articulate as if I'd rehearsed the interaction. Why is it when I get around my family I freak out?
I feel stupid for not realizing it sooner. Most of the time it's a holiday with lots of sweets and starches within easy reach. The very foods that I try to avoid because they make me anxious. I show up to the family gathering, eat stuff that's bad for me, get anxious, and that's the part I remember and associate with the gathering.
Bam. That stupidly simple.
I think back to when I seemed the most out of control in those situations... I'd literally just eaten a big plate of something bad for me. I clearly recall one of my own Birthdays where my immediate family and my wife ended up on the receiving end of me freaking out really badly. It was probably 4-5 years before my first panic attack. I'd just eaten three pieces of lasagna pie. Pasta, bread, and dairy... and who knows what I'd had for lunch because I was oblivious to the fact that certain foods make me anxious.
Makes me wonder how many other taciturn people I've met over the years that would have been different had they eaten something else for breakfast? Naturally, the whole thing has given me several ideas for a book I'd been considering writing. It's fiction, but the premise lies with so-called emotional memory and response. I think it is something people could read and relate to, seeing characters battling with the memories of emotions, even in the wake of amnesia or similar obfuscation of the truth. I'd been playing with the idea for awhile now and have seen a number of other creatives reach out to the notion lately with some success.
Watching virtually any movie by Christopher Nolan makes that apparent.
I should sleep now.