Posted by: marilynmendoza | April 18, 2012

Excerpt from my book “From Agoraphobia to Zen” Which Witch?

To celebrate my 75th  blog post I want to give my few but beloved readers a taste of my memoir. It was published last June and I am proud of my accomplishment and I’m proud of my journey to healing. This chapter is a short one but it does  show how a young girl -me -can be incapacitated by anxiety and agoraphobia. Please contact me if you want an autographed copy of the book. Aloha

All rights reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, documentary, film or in any other format without prior written permission of the publisher.


            Published by


           PO Box6872


           EssexCM13 1ZT

           United Kingdom

Copyright © Marilyn Mendoza 2011











     CHAPTER 16



     Agoraphobia means fear of the marketplace. At seventeen, the marketplace was one of the few places I was not afraid of. Oh, I had the classic panic attacks when I was in line with my groceries and without warning, feel I was dying. I had to run out abandon my shopping cart and try to look normal while catching my breath that had left my limp body. But the difference was, I always went back. My food addiction fought my panic attacks and most of the time won. I had to get my fix. Pastrami sandwiches, as many as I could stuff down, pounds of potato salad, rolls, coke, potato chips and vanilla ice cream melted and slithered down my throat. As soon as the world stopped spinning, I went back to the store and came home clutching my drugs tightly, my heart still pounding from the panic attack.

     I had to eat it all and dispose of all the evidence before my husband Jose came home. That part was hard because after all those carbs, I was fighting the urge to pass out. I managed to wake up in time to also do a bit of cleaning to answer his inevitable question. “What did you do all day?” I was seventeen and already deep into my madness of compulsive overeating and fear, and giddy that my mother couldn’t stop me.

    I almost stopped going out at all after believing, I mean really, really believing there was a witch that was following me. The woman showed up wherever I was, and gave me meaningful scary looks. I would get panicky when I saw her and ran away. She had long grey hair and a pointed nose. I began to make excuses to stay home so I wouldn’t see her. If I had to go out, I would run to and fro like a frightened doe, darting my eyes back and forth. I saw her in the back of other woman’s heads, in crowds and in stores. A face would suddenly turn and it was her- I think. In my mind she lived in the cellars that were the storage areas of Brooklyn stores. I was especially afraid of stepping on a cellar lest she pull me in.

      I felt safe at home and comfy with my food and “Dark Shadows” a scary soap opera which come to think of it had a witch named Angelique featured in it. I stopped washing or combing my hair. It seemed too tiring and I ran faster and faster to pick up my food, my wild hair flying in the wind. One day I saw the witch, and she startled at the sight of me. It was my own white face reflected in a supermarket mirror. I started to think I was the witch. Had the witch turned me into a witch? Which witch? Was I mad?

 I was scared, really scared and the next few years would find me seeking the security of my home until that also became unbearable.




  1. our fears are those reflected once we look at the mirror that’s why mirrors are never trusted..

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