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.