I have set up a new Formspring account especially for this blog. You don't have to sign up and you can be totally anonymous if you want :) http://formspring.me/AnxiousKitten
Anyway, I have spoken about my school experience as a little kid, but I also struggled during secondary education. My first year went surprisingly well, I settled in alright, made some friends ect. I'm sure it had its ups and downs but nothing stands out from that year. Year 8 was a bit of a struggle. Friendships changed and I had problems with making friends. I felt like I really didn't fit in, and no one liked me. I became very down for a while. I was very nervous too, scared to put a foot wrong in case of getting into trouble. I made sure I always did my homework to avoid being shouted at or put into detention. The other girls didn't really care if they got a detention, it was water off a duck's back. For me, getting a detention probably would have been devastating. I wasn't a 'boffin'. I was just terrified of getting into trouble. I tried to make sure I wasn't late for lessons, I used to rush down the corridor like an idiot to get into the lesson on time to spare being shouted at.
In year 9, the anxiety reached it's peak. I spent the whole of the summer holidays beforehand worried sick about whether I had lost any school books and if I was going to get into trouble when I went back next term. I was also anxiously awaiting my new timetable, dreading getting any strict teachers. And just my luck, I got the scariest teacher in the school. She was loud, grumpy and unpredictable. She terrified me even from a distance! I wanted to cry as I looked down at the timetable. The sky might as well have fallen in. Everyone else knew she was stroppy but no one else seemed to share my fear of her. This made me feel totally pathetic and alone. I had butterflies going in to her lessons.
One day she ordered a few of us to go down to the reception and pick up books for her, we returned moments later and were told to put them in her office. She barked her orders as everyone set the books down in random places. Timidly I asked her where to put my stack and she waved her arm at one side of the room. Just as I was setting them down she screamed at me for putting them in the wrong place. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. I think I was shaking for the rest of the day. My mum thinks that she is the whole reason I left the school, but really she was just the last straw for me. I had been suffering there for a while.
That October half term will forever stick in my mind. I became so ill with my nerves. I remember locking myself in the bathroom and crouching on the floor, crying, begging and screaming at my mum that I wasn't going back to that place. I couldn't and I wouldn't. I was crippled with fear, I couldn't eat or sleep properly. I was in my mum's arms for hours repeating over and over again how terrified I was, how I couldn't go back. She had to listen to me speak about how I didn't want to be alive any more, talking about wanting to self harm. It hurts me now to think of her having to see her daughter like that. She never once put pressure on me, she told me to take it one day at a time, that she would never let anything bad happen to me. She has always been my rock - I love you so much mum.
That week of hell made it clear that I needed help. I totally broke down. Mum took me to my GP to ask for whatever help he could give. As they were discussing my anxiety I went into a total panic. I can't remember what about but the doctor looked immediately worried. He picked up the phone and called the local youth/family counselling service and said I needed urgent help. I was signed off from school and was seen by a psychiatrist. It was all very scary. I thought maybe I had gone mad and they were going to lock me up in a padded cell. The psychiatrist was useless, she didn't understand what I was talking about and this made me a little angry on the inside.
They put me on a waiting list for CBT and I was given another counsellor who I have been seeing for about 2 years. I was also prescribed anti depressants which turned me into a zombie for a little while but I soon adjusted.
Unable to go out to busy places, mum would drive me round the countryside and walk with me in forests to comfort me. I became quite claustrophobic and needed the comfort of the quiet outdoors to soothe me. I had to sleep on the sofa with the television on all night to distract me from my racing mind. Being removed from school had helped me, but the battle was far from over.