Panic at university 

So this morning anxiety was grabbing me again and I really had to push myself to get up and out of bed. Before I even left the house drama started. The garage door open I was loading my car and my dog was bouncing around outside sounding upset. I went to investigate and a black Labrador had jumped our fence and was trying to get into the garage. But my boy was fielding him away and getting nipped in the process. Furious I charged at the dog like a banshee, screaming at it and waving my arms around. I opened the gate and it ran through then turned back to look right at me. We stood in a Mexican stand off, glaring at each other. Until it gave me a ‘what the fuck???’ Look and took off.

My dog was ok, albeit a little embarrassed by the whole debacle. I called animal control as I was leaving and had to put my dog in the house. No free run today buddy. 

As I drove away I realised that I was pretty stupid for one, and perhaps a little mad. It made me a bit behind schedule which added to my anxiety so I had to haul arse to get in and get a park.

In the lecture theatre I took issue to what I felt was a forced breached of privacy. I felt unsafe. I told the lecturer that I didn’t consent to the situation. He replied that any students not happy with the situation were welcome to leave. I felt anxiety bubble to the surface and the horror of my eyes starting to fill. I couldn’t believe I was in another situation where something was either going to be forced on me or I would have to leave a lecture and miss study. I was made to feel small, powerless, ignored and frankly worthless. Not to mention I felt the threat to my privacy. My right. Worried I might break down in the theatre – bear in mind there’s nearly 200 students in there. I got up to leave. Of course everyone was watching. I went to the first and closest doors and to my horror after the first set of doors, wood covered and blocked the second set. It was like a nightmare scene. I had to go BACK into the auditorium walk across the front, in front of the lecturer basically performing for the bloody students, and out the other doors. I burst out of the university and then the panic attack started coming as well as the tears. Digging for my phone I could hardly remember how to make a bloody call. Fortunately my husband answered and I could barely speak. I managed to force out to meet me where I usually park. Then I rushed to my car in a panic. People looking over at me as I gasped for air and tears fell under my sunglasses. 

Nutcase.

I did have some diazapam on me – thank god. I calmed myself enough to swallow it and then sat in my car sobbing and trying to breathe. All of my illusions and determination – gone. I was humiliated, defeated, had proved to myself I wasn’t ready or stable for this. I was a loser.  A weak, unbalanced fool. Who was I kidding? I couldn’t do this.

As I waited for my husband I found myself getting angry with the lecturer. He could have handled things differently. I wouldn’t be forced off a course like this. And the students – I will show them I’m not a shrinking violet. I work so hard to get up, to do this, to live, to make my life better. I can’t quit now.

By the time my husband arrived (he works further away in the city) I told him I needed to go back. I wanted to wait outside the theatre as the students left – let them see I’ve not gone anywhere. 

Then I wanted to face the lecturer. With my husband by my side for support I wanted to explain that I felt backed into a corner and that my objections weren’t acknowledged. That I felt a fool because I had no other choice but to leave, and that wasn’t fair in a packed theatre. Initially he was stand offish and referred me to the Dean. I also had another student having a go calling me crazy. I was trying to deal with this very outspoken flamboyant character and the lecturer. Eventually a truce was made. The lecturer is of course an ex lawyer, so getting an apology of sorts wasn’t easy.

But I’m glad I went back. I felt I took some power back.

But of course the stark reality is that this will be student fodder for a little while and I may well have gained the title of crazy lady. 

I drove back thinking I would slip into bed and no doubt cry some more.

But I stopped at the DVD store (will be such a relief when we get Netflix!) and bought some chocolate to pig out on.

So my afternoon was movies and chocolate. And intermittent bouts of tearful self pity.

My next lecture is Friday. Same time, same place, same people. Then hopefully over the weekend most of them will be busy getting drunk and doing stupid shit and today will be forgotten.

I’m so miserable. My anxiety got the better of me today. My fears, my self doubt and self loathing. I have to move past this.

Urg.

WHY DIDNT ANYONE PUT ‘NO EXIT’ SIGNS ON THE BLOODY DOORS?????

Why is my lecturer such an egotistical, arrogant prick???

Why can’t I be bloody normal???

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4 thoughts on “Panic at university 

  1. I’m having college flashbacks reading this…ugh… After it’s all said and done, looking back on the college experience…I think that the degree in hand is a symbol of being successful at navigating through a river of crap and making it to the other side…oh, and then there is the book knowledge. What is your major? I am feeling the power you reclaimed💖

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  2. If I were a student observing this unfold, I would have admiration for the woman (you) who stood up for what’s right. And if I were to need a leader with courage for help with another problem with this lecturer in the future, I’d turn towards you.

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  3. I too had a flashback to my own experiences with uni and anxiety. It took me three attempts to finally settle in, and even then, I struggled. The one thing I do want to point out from reading your post is your continued references to what other people think. I know its hard to do, but to control your anxiety you can’t believe everything you think! Assumptions and negative thoughts can lead to panic attacks – I know, I’ve had many on my journey. Be proud of what you accomplished: you stood up for yourself, and I would go to the Dean and complain. If anything, you may be able to have the Dean moderate a discussion between you and the prof. Hang in there Penny!

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