Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving party // Anxiety attack

Every now and then my aunt who lives close by throws a Family+Friends party. This year it happened to fall the Saturday before Thanksgiving. So it became sort of a pre-Thankgiving party. I arrived with my mom + sister (how cute are they?!) and for the first hour or so I was perfectly fine. A little nervous seeing so many unfamiliar faces when I expected to run into a lot of my cousins that night instead. But I was happy to be out of the house, dressed up, and ready to eat some good food. After eating, greeting and chatting a bit with people I did recognize we were just kind of bored. We sat around that table and I snapped some pictures that you see above. My mom and sister were ready to leave but my dad and my cousins hadn't yet arrived. So I stayed behind hoping they would come very very soon! I was okay for the first 20 minutes or so because my dad showed up and I basically followed him around like a shadow. But then I started to feel really uncomfortable.

By this time it was about 9p.m. and none of my cousins were there and it was safe to say they weren't showing up. I texted Kiko to see if she'd come by because I missed her and I was really only waiting for her to come to the party. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have even come to the party at all. So there I was in a house full of what felt like 60 or so people. I sat on the stairs and watched the older guys play dominoes and that was kind of entertaining. But then suddenly I felt really sad and lonely. So I got up and walked around looking for friendly faces to introduce myself to. Some little kids were running around so I talked to them for a bit. I really did try to socialize!! I didn't want a repeat of Cathy's party in June. (I wrote about that here)  But every time I did I felt myself becoming more and more uncomfortable. More insecure. More stupid. More alone.

A few of the things running through my head:
Why did I even come here? I should've stayed home.
It's not like anyone would miss me here anyway if I hadn't shown up.
I wanna go home.
I go to family parties all the time, why am I STILL not comfortable around them?
Where is Kiko???
I'm never going to another one of these things again.
I hate this. I should have left with my mom.
My dress is stupid. My hair is stupid. Everyone keeps looking at me.
Where the HECK did my dad go?

I was fighting the urge to cry pretty hard towards the end of the night. I was all by myself despite my attempts to socialize.We'd had a conversation about my problems with social events before and so he recognized when I was in distress. Without me asking (or even realizing that he noticed me being a loner) my dad sat with me on the stairs for a minute or two to ask what was wrong. Unfortunately before I could muster up the courage to ask to be taken home early someone started talking to him and they walked away. So I actually went upstairs because I could feel myself losing all control. My hands were cold and shaking, I was tearing up, and I just knew that if one more person came near me I was going to lose my mind. So before anything else could happen I turned and went straight up the stairs into one of the spare bedrooms and immediately before I could even close the door I started crying. Like sobbing. I looked at my phone again to see if I had gotten any messages from Kiko. But the last one she sent she told me that she would try to come. But that was it. I felt miserable and so lonely. I didn't want to drag my dad away from the party and beg him to take me home. I didn't want to be clingy and make him feel like he needed to babysit me. I didn't want other people to think something was wrong with me and I needed to follow him around like a child. Basically I didn't want to ruin his night. I tried to get myself together but I just could not handle being at this party.

After about 10 minute or so I came out of the room and went to the restroom to wash my face and calm myself down. I don't know why this is, but locking myself in a small room with the lights off sitting on the floor usually works to calm my down. It's probably because that's what I do when I'm at home. It's the only room in my apt that I can actually lock the door and be alone. So that's what I did. Luckily I had some eyeliner in my purse so I just touched it up so that no one would notice I had been crying, although my eyes were a bit red and puffy. Before I came out after what was actually another 5 minutes or so (even though it felt like FOREVER) I could hear my dad calling my name. I was a little concerned... He was such a social butterfly, why was he looking for me? Did something bad happen? Is everything okay? Is Kiko finally here? But actually he had to take a couple of people home (the rides they came with weren't ready to leave but they were and my dad graciously offered to take them home early.) and he wanted to know if I wanted to get away from all the people for a bit and ride along. He didn't even finish the sentence before I had mind made up. I grabbed my bag and we went. He dropped off the passengers and on our way back to the party I just burst into tears. I was trying my absolute hardest to fight it all back while the others were in the car. I really was. But as soon as I left the house I had a wave of sadness wash over me. I felt stupid for being there, stupid for leaving early, sad, scared, and lonely. I couldn't hold it back anymore.

My dad asked what was wrong and even though I knew what the problem was, I was too much of a mess to really communicate. I just said I don't know and to please take me home. We stayed silent the rest of the way. My head was throbbing. I couldn't see anything but blobs of light through all the tears. My heart was pounding and my hands were still shaking. It was pathetic in every sense of the word. I felt like I ruined his night. I was crying like a little baby in the car. But there I was anyway. So we arrived at the house and he dropped me off so he could go back to the party. And I don't blame him, he was having a really good time. I put my hood up on my jacket and got out of the car. I felt to weak that I was scared I would literally pass out on my way up the stairs. So with the strength I had I nearly ran up the second flight of stairs and opened the front door as fast as my shaky hands would allow. Still unable to stop myself from crying I immediately dropped everything and went straight into the bathroom and locked the door.

I did my absolute best to be completely silent. I knew my mom and sister were still awake and because of the size of our apartment I knew they would hear me if I had allowed myself to cry out loud. So I sat on the floor and just cried.

So there I was for about 45 minutes or so and I cried 'n cried until I ran out of tears. I ran the water faucet every few minutes to make them think I was washing my face and hands or something so they wouldn't suspect anything was wrong. I was not about to have that conversation. Not tonight.

I changed clothes, drank some water, and went straight to bed.


To be honest... I don't know what my problem is.
  • I was completely fine for the first hour or so of the night. 
  • As soon as my mom and sister left though is when I noticed I was very uncomfortable. 
  • When my dad was around it was okay until he left me. 
  • I did what I could to socialize on my own but each time it chipped away at a piece of me.
I thought maybe I just had social anxiety because this sort of thing happens every time I go to any kind of party or social event. But I'm beginning to think it may be social anxiety? I mean, I'm not a doctor by any means but can adults have separation anxiety like children do? That's what seems to be the common denominator here. I guess the people I feel very close to are like my safety blankets. And when they are taken away from me I begin to lose control of myself and my emotions and I just freak out. I panic and cry until I can finally get home.

Ugh, this is so stressful to think about. And honestly as I'm writing and reading it back to myself I just feel really pathetic and whiny. I should be able to handle a simple party. But I can't and I feel like a complete loser. I hate this.

My dad's sitting across from me as we speak and I have to be at work in a few hours. So I don't really get to have a freak out session right now. My fingers are flying across the keyboard all jittery as the thoughts come into my mind. This entire post is like word vomit. Just a complete stream of consciousness. But even though it really sucks to relive that party/that night I know this is a form of therapy. Writing is good for me. I know this. But I am feeling really drained.

If anyone is still reading this, and you've read this entire post... Congratulations on wasting your time reading about my life. But also thank you. Because one of my biggest issues in my life is the constant feeling of loneliness and not feeling like anyone cares about me. So if you're still here reading this thank you for listening to me. Thank you for caring enough about me to stick around through the good times AND the bad times.

P.S. At least I got some nice photos. That way in 5 or 10 years I can blackout the bad memory and just pretend it was a really happy night. Because it was, at least for the first hour.

Until next time. Hopefully a happier time.

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1 comment:

  1. Panic attacks are VERY real, it's the fear behind them that is usually NOT real. I'm reading and listening and your headdress was brave and beautiful. You've gotta be YOU - you're the only one!