On different types of panic

Image Credit: digitalart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image Credit: digitalart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Almost two weeks ago I wrote about how I was struggling with my ‘Cours de Code’ (the practice theory tests lesson type things they do over here in France), you can read that post here if you wish. Essentially what happened was that there were too many people for me to deal with and I had a panic attack before the lesson and couldn’t go in.

Well, after that incident I changed groups to a Tuesday evening when there are less people. It was ok, I managed. I struggled, but I managed.

Tonight, however, I experienced a different kind of panic, one where I didn’t hyperventilate or cry, one where I just felt traumatised. You’re wondering what happened, what awful fate befell me to cause that. Nothing out of the ordinary. The teacher asked me questions.

The first time she fired a question at me I froze. She asked had I not understood. I said no, I hadn’t, I was in shock. But I had understood. I had the answers on my little test gadget dooby in front of me. She went though the question, phrased it differently, I gave my answer. It was wrong. A little part of me died. I hate to be wrong, least of all publicly wrong.

When she came to me again I gave my answers, some right, others wrong. She picked the easy ones to ask me but it didn’t help the fear. The knot in my stomach tightened. Pains shot through my tummy. Terror. But I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t walk out. If I did they’d all know how weak I am.

But on the way home I just felt scared. Terrified. Traumatised. As though some unspeakable thing had happened.

And so here I am, an hour and a packet of M&Ms later, crying in my bed. At least it’s coming out now. At least it wont stay pent up and keep a hold over me now.

But I have to go again next week. And the week after. And the week after that. And I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I’m strong enough.

I wish I’d thought this through. I wish I hadn’t leapt into it with both feet thinking I was better. I need to learn to keep in mind that I wont ever be better, and that I have to do things differently to ‘normal’ people. Slower. Because I can’t cope like they can. I just can’t.

So I guess this post is just to tell you that just because there’s no visible panic attack, doesn’t mean that there’s no panic, it might mean that it’s just too terrifying to react to.


  1. Red Vinyl Kitty

    I can relate to the second to last paragraph a lot, even if, on a different level than the one you’re describing. All I can really offer are *hugs* and I did want to say that, I know you *can* do this. It’s hard, yes, but you have already proved how strong you were by staying in class. I know I would have walked out. Staying and proving how strong you are is a huge step.

    Next week will probably be a lot harder to convince yourself to go in, but you can do this, Sweetie. I know you can.

    1. Mrs TeePot

      Thank you huni. I really hope I can do it!

  2. Kelloggsville

    I work on the basis I might as well deal with it this time or I’ll just have to go through it all again another time anyway. When I don’t cry with stress the room slides. Literally. I have to hold onto something as I feel myself sliding. It’s horrid. Then I go so tired I think I’m going to collapse, like my body is just shutting down. Well done for not leaving, try not to let getting stuff wrong in front of others bother you. It’s a hard call I know. Fingers crossed for the next few weeks. I’d love to say food isn’t the answer, but to be quite frank chocolate always saves my soul. I think sometimes it just has to be done. Much love xx

  3. SJF102

    Not much i can say about this but i kinda get how you felt/feel. The GOOD thing is that you’ve done it and that’s the worst it can make you feel. Maybe each week will be better and better. I personally don’t think you’re any worse than anyone else who goes to these things. No one wants to be wrong in public. I HATE having to answer questions in public esp in oral form. I clam up stutter and generally speak a million miles an hour 🙁 You’re NOT alone Livi keep that foremost in your mind when at these things. EVERY one goes through it until they’ve got used to it.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: