Mad Programmer

Meadville, PA

"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why."
- Kurt Vonnegut

I've been unable to leave my house for weeks, for fear of some unknown force lurking beyond my sight that will snatch me at first scent. I wake up most afternoons in sheer panic, heart racing and unable to catch a single fleeting breath. I'm about to lose my home; the home I've poured my soul and energy into. My mind? Soon to follow. I am an Agoraphobic and this is my story.

Growing up, I always knew I was a little different from others. I never seemed to fit in with anyone else; the only solace I found was in solitude. The shouting, insults and beatings still ring clear in my mind from decades past; perhaps this is why I am who I am. As time went on, I found myself unable to express my thoughts to others, to withdraw further into myself and develop what I've come to know as my "salesman" alter-ego. The shell that contains the me.

I've never been comfortable around groups, even at a young age; the mere thought of them now sends me into a frenzied panic that even the single blue pill I take twice a day doesn't stop. I dropped out of school and emancipated myself from my (abusive) parents at age 16, moving in with a co-worker whom I barely knew. During this self-destructive time of my life, I dove head-first into a plethora of alcohol, drugs, and the occasional (yet always brief) fling of passion. Even then, I felt the tug... the gnaw of fear when I'm outside my home.

This only worsened with time; relationships, both passionate and otherwise, I began to shove away, to immerse myself into my own mind. A silent promise to myself that I will work to overcome this.

This promise I was not to keep.

As time went on, I found myself unable to hold a job for any length of time. While I was in 'training' and learning things, I was fine, hiding behind my ever-present persona. I never was very good at holding that persona for any length of time and once that persona wavered, it was time for me to retreat back to the comforts of my home, never to return back to that job again.

Then, some months ago, I thought I found the perfect job for me: working tech support from home. This seemed absolutely perfect.... how very, very wrong I was. As my daily interactions with customers (via voice chat on a headset) continued for the weeks I was there, I found myself unable to find my 'home', though I was under its roof throughout