Monday, 25 January 2010

The agoraphobics' dinner party

At the weekend, our agoraphobic neighbour Julie and her partner Drew invited Marie and me round to their house for dinner.  Unfortunately, due to the lack of a babysitter, we had to decline.

Julie has become a regular, almost daily visitor to our home.  I guess that she knows that her endearing eccentricities are not judged here.  Not only do Marie and I love to see her, but also the kids.  Sometimes Marie or the children pop round to her house too.

Drew has called round a couple of times, but has only stayed for a few minutes.

Julie has just started to receive psychoanalysis at our local mental health centre.  The psychoanalyst told her that she is almost certainly suffering from PTSD.  This has never been considered before in the quarter of a century or so that Julie has been having treatment for mental health problems.  She considers this to be progress.  Based on the experiences that Julie has related to me, I'm surprised that PTSD hasn't been suggested before.

Since Julie moved in beside us, Marie has seemed to be more interested in improving her own condition.

Back to our dinner invitation - Julie and Drew weren't taking no for an answer.  If Marie and I couldn't go to their house, they would bring dinner to ours.  So immediately after out children went to bed, Julie and Drew brought round enough food for a sumptuous 3-course Indian banquet to our home in well insulated bowls.  The meal was perfectly prepared and had travelled well.  Drew, not usually comfortable in this sort of environment, seemed to be able to relax during and after the meal, and was good company.

Everyone enjoyed the evening and we're planning to repeat the exercise soon.


agoraphob said...

sounds likef fun! glad that marie has someone close that is going throught the same thing. sometimes, jus not knowing we arent alone (as in other people suffer from this) is a big help!

I hope julie gets the help she needs since she knows what is suffering from and has started to see mental health professionals.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sounds great to me. Having a lovely neighbour must be a very comforting feeling.

CJ xx

rosiero said...

That's great to have someone close by who Marie can share her ups and down with and vice versa. Grea for the partners too. Sounds like a good combination.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

What a fab blog. Lovely to hear that everyone involved has had a really nice time, and coped.

Em said...

that sounds like a great evening. im sure your wife and next door neighbour can work with each other to overcome there anxieties. what a good idea to come round to yours. xx

Robert said...

agoraphob - yes, having a neighbour with related problems has been beneficial to both Marie & Julie. We all hope that this attempt by the mental health professionals to help Julie will be more successful than before!

CJ - We are surrounded by friendly, helpful neighbours. Aren't we lucky? But having a neighbour with agoraphobia is a big bonus for Marie.

rosiero - I know that both Julie and Marie find it beneficial to live next door to each other. Drew and I haven't reached the same rapport yet, but it's early days.

E2S - Thanks for the compliment. We're looking forward to the next get-together.

em - Yes, I was impressed that Julie and Drew went to the trouble to bring the food round instead of just accepting our apologies for not being able to go there. They seem to be a very nice couple.

Nechtan said...

Hi Robert,

There should be a lot of good nights ahead, especially since you and Marie like to cook too. Its great to have friends that close at hand and good that the kids enjoy going over too. All good which cannot always be said for neighbours. And I do think that Marie and Julie's friendship can only be beneficial for both.

All the best


The Dotterel said...

What fantastic neighbours!

Ethereal Highway said...

My 'panic disorder' was a misdiagnosis for many years as well. I, like Marie's friend, have PTSD. I believe this is why the Linden Method did not work for me. It also explains why I felt so very frustrated with it. I think what I was doing (unconsciously) with that method was telling myself to ignore trauma that actually needed to be addressed and worked through. It didn't help much to do that. When it did help, it was very temporary. Sometimes it made it worse.

Robert said...

Nechtan - Yes, I think that there are good times ahead for all of us. And wouldn't it be nice if both the girls benefitted from this friendship?

TD - You're right. Sheer good fortune!

EH - Your comment is very interesting and next time I speak with CL, I'll mention it to him. It might well be that PTSD is a disorder where anxiety is present, but not an anxiety disorder. Food for thought. I hope that you're coping with your PTSD now. I have quite a few cyber friends with this problem - to different degrees. The problem is that many PTSD sufferers would rather believe that they have an anxiety disorder than deal with the difficult and stressful issues which caused the PTSD. Best wishes!

Ethan said...

Let me mention EFT again. :)

It's free method, it's safe, and if it does not work, you'll only have lost some time.

Can also be applied to PTSD:


I wish that everyone can live a life without fear, so please forgive me for mentioning EFT for a second time.