20th October, 11.30am. 

I just couldn’t do it. 

I was preparing myself the whole week: sleeping earlier before disruptions can possibly happen, not think about it, be prepared for the class and plan it. Telling myself that it will not be as bad as anything I imagine. 

Just stop thinking so much. 

You will be fine. You will. 

I was running all possibilities up, down, right to left in my mind. It hurt. My brain felt like a worm out foolscap paper that I have used a blue ballpoint pen to trace lines on it repeatedly. Obsessively.

I even tried to talk myself out of the anxiety. There will be people there. I won’t be alone with him. He can’t do anything. Just pretend. It’s fine. Go for class, survive it, game the system and get out of there once it hits one. How bad can it be? Don’t let him under your skin. He deserves no authority to haunt you like that. If you choose not to get hurt, you won’t. Be tougher. Why are you so weak? Can you just stop crying? Don’t be so bloody sensitive. Stop. Just go. You aren’t special. You can’t run forever. Maybe you deserved everything he has ever done to you. They are just microaggressions. Nothing big. Are you overthinking it? 

Then the night before, I dreamt of the entire session. I went to bed fine but once I fell into sleep, I kept waking up. 

My brain just kept going and going and going. 

Why won’t I listen to myself and just get through it? 

The day started out fine but right before the session was to start, I was panicking. The walls were coming in. I couldn’t breathe. I threw things. It felt claustrophobic and everything was collapsing. 

I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.

But I calmed down, with the help of friends. I took deep breaths. Convinced myself that I will be fine. Take things one step at a time and nothing can go wrong. You said you will survive it, so do it. Prove it. 

Then I heard his voice. 

And I lost it. 

Hyperventilated. Eyes going everywhere. Tears stinging. Heart losing it; speeding insanely. My hands were shaking. Body limp and curled up; closed and shut tight. 

I lost. 

I just couldn’t do it. 

Maybe it really is my fault, and I am not strong enough. But I couldn’t. 


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