When I said I wanted to write, folks told me to “write what you know.” I’m not sure they realized that what I mostly know is “How to get out the front door while having a mammoth panic attack,” but I gave it a shot. I’m proud of the result, and I believe that in the era of #metoo, a story about the aftermath of sexual assault is not only timely but necessary.

"Outside" is a polished short story. I'm currently seeking a magazing or anthology to publish the work. It is less than 5000 words and would be classified as literary or drama. The story explores the experience of living through a panic attack from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and how people who love the affected person can undermine recovery while wanting to help.

While “Outside” is a work of fiction, some aspects were drawn from my experience. I am a rape survivor with PTSD and intermittent agoraphobia. The work is not an educational piece on the subject, but I think I've done a good job of representing the experience. I had it reviewed for theraputic accuracy by someone with credentials.

I believe the reader who has experienced depression, PTSD, panic attacks, or a dissociative episode will feel very understood, and the reader who has not will get a rare glimpse into the experience and a better understanding of the struggle.

Some of the ideas explored in “Outside” include coping strategies that worked for me, and how the acceptance of rape myths, which research shows continue to normalize and justify sexual violence against women, do additional damage to the person in recovery.

Content Warning:

This is a short story about an agoraphobic with PTSD trying to go outside. Includes elements of recovery from severe trauma with a toxic family shown on screen. References to violence, rape, and assault are mentioned but not shown on screen.