Hello. I thought this could go on the ‘My Story’ page of the Phobia Support web site. Id appreciate it if you kept it anonymous, so as you can see no names:
“Sitting on the bathroom floor crying, my mind was whirring. Only 8, I had locked myself in before school, my parent banging on the door, trying to get me to open it. I don’t remember much about my school phobia as a child, there are lots of blanks, lots of blurred images. And its not something that just goes away. For many if identified and treated early then that can be it, the suffering over, the problem put down to a natural childhood mental illness. However for too many the problems just gradually snowballs, parents blaming themselves, children confused and depressed. So that when you hit your teens, it stays there, lingering in the background, manifesting itself now and again….
Naturally I’m a happy person, someone who loves life, someone with drive and ambition who tries to make the most of the opportunities that are given to them. I smile a lot, I’m silly, a lot of the time say crazy things that don’t make sense, but make people smile nonetheless. I get good grades in school, I’m quite sporty, and I care for people. All the usual stuff.
But its what’s hidden that’s real. For a long time I’ve known something’s been wrong, but not what. Going to primary school I used to be sick in the car before I got there, I think it was a mix of social, school and separation anxiety disorder. My parents just thought I was being awkward, they didn’t realise that I felt I couldn’t control myself, that I didn’t have a choice. But then I went to Secondary school and I stopped being sick, I still was terrified of speaking in class or of getting things wrong, but gradually I picked myself up and for a few years I actually felt ‘normal’. My parents have always been loving and supportive, but they just didn’t understand, and so I struggled on alone, hiding it all.
Then just as I thought things were great, then all of a sudden went downhill. Outwardly I was successful, lots of friends, all the usual stuff. But inwardly I was tearing myself to pieces, and I didn’t know how to stop. And I still haven’t. I realised some stuff, met some new people and I thought things were going to be ok. But instead I just dragged them down with me. So now it continues, except its worse. I’m slipping back into that place I was 6 months ago, beating myself up because I’ve hurt people, worrying about the future. Except now it’s worse. Then I had someone who I thought understood me, and I had hope, the most important thing of all. We’ve all felt alone, but there are different types of loneliness. Imagine all your friends and family dieing, leaving you. Then transplant that idea into where you are now, where there are people all around you that care about you, but that just don’t know, don’t understand, and that you just can’t tell. They have their own loved ones, their own problems, and you start to fear that you’ll just become this big burden. You want to be loved but not for people to feel sorry for you. ‘Kiss me, but out of desire, not of consolation….’ You don’t know how to climb out of this hole that you’ve sunk into, and are terrified that you’re just wasting away. Then there’s that person who you desperately want to talk to, the only person who you feel you could trust, but you’re not a part of their life anymore, you don’t matter, you’re just a dot, a spec.
And this depression made worse by the anxiety:
“I just dread being alone at night. I don’t know why, but I do…”
“My thoughts won’t shut off. They’re constantly running, making me worry, worry, and worry…”
“Will I ever be my old self again?”
“I can’t remember ever feeling relaxed and calm…. What would that be like?”
“I’m always on edge…”
“I hate having to go to work anymore. I haven’t always been this way…”