My Parents Fought Badly Once and Now Every Fight Makes Me Anxious

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I was maybe five when my parents fought ugly in front of me and I’ve never been the same.

I’d cried then, probably the first among the many panic attacks I’d get in the coming years. Like any five-year old, I didn’t know why it was happening, but I just wanted it to stop. Badly.

Flash forward to 18 years, any argument or fight makes me frightened. I dread it with the fear that a little child fears the monster under her bed. I know a panic attack is coming when my throat closes up and breathing suddenly becomes difficult. The very people who caused it so many years ago believe I’m being silly when I feel that way. Because disagreements are common in every relationship and you’re not supposed to be as stressed about that.

What could be a mild case of PTSD in my case, reminds me that fights are much more recurrent and frequent in other households and that small things sometimes have colossal consequences. A step in the mud might look insignificant to one but sometimes it ends up leaving a bigger footprint than you assume.

If small things like that one huge fight my parents had made me like this, imagine the footprints parents, family, even friends can leave.

You can’t ignore the fact that you might be unintentionally messing someone up. It’s time people acknowledged that they are capable of doing wrong and that they might be responsible for things they never thought they were.

This is a message to all parents and future-parents: do NOT let that fight get ugly in front of your children.

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Indian. Lazy English major and part-time book hoarder|Editor at The Memoirist|Currently grappling with my student and writer alter-egos.

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Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi

Indian. Lazy English major and part-time book hoarder|Editor at The Memoirist|Currently grappling with my student and writer alter-egos.

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