To Bolt or Not To Bolt...That is the question...
This post may be a bit long, so please bear with me. I am hoping there are those out there that can relate to this...
Last year, Hubby asked me if I would like to go to his College Alumni annual dinner. I said, "Sure, it sounds quite interesting." I wasn't thinking at the time of what would happen when being there...
We arrived and the reception was *packed*. I instantly grew very anxious. With crowds, especially people I don't know, I feel suffocated. Plus, I told Hubby not to go wandering off and leave me. The crowd was so immense I grew incredibly anxious that I just wanted to bolt out of there. Plus it was all upper academicians who have multiple degrees or doctorates. As for me, I have no college degree (another story there). I didn't get the language the people were speaking. And it seemed most people were bragging about their academic accomplishments and awards.
I had to think quickly of what to do...stay or bolt. Fortunately, there were caterers there walking around with trays of wine filled glasses. So I began hitting on the wine to help calm me. On the contrary, I am an extremely rare drinker (like maybe 1 glass of wine a year, if that). But I was so anxious at this gathering, before I knew it I had 5 glasses of wine. Hubby even said, "That's enough." I did not make any drunken scene, but I wasn't as anxious either. I do not like turning to liquor to cope. But at that gathering it seemed the only thing there to help get me through the event.
Then we sat down to a fancy dinner (there were about 500 people there). After dinner came the speeches and awards. About 3 people where honored about their uncountable accomplishments in life, all their degrees, and their involvements in the community. As these accomplished people spoke, I immediately grew depressed thinking that I'm defective with no great accomplishments in life. I wanted to cry and just bolt. But I stuck it out until it was over. Thank gawd, when it was done I got away from the crowds. I was quiet in the car on the way home and Hubby asked, "What's wrong?" Christ, I hate that when someone who cannot empathize asks, me that question. I told hubby, "To tell you the truth, I felt suffocated there as well as bored listening about the upper academician's umpteen achievements."
But here's the good thing about all this. Right then and there at that event I was thinking, "I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to feeling defective around 'accomplished people'" and crowds. Then I thought that I need to be with people that have the same social struggles as I do or feel defective. Knowing that I do not feel so alone and isolated.
Looking back at all this, I will not attend any more "awards" ceremonies. I don't want to hear about other people umpteen achievements. It bores me. I want to be around people that have similar struggles to mine and we can help one another with empathy by feeling like we're not alone.
I am grateful for this site. It helps me to write this all out. I welcome your feedback.