People are Strange


I’ve struggled with crowds and panic attacks for as long as I can remember. I probably had my first panic attack in Ma’s womb.

I’ve tried to desensitise by putting myself into crowded situations, but without success. I’ve concluded that it’s a biological thing within me and as Gaga puts it “I was born this way”.

I’ve blagged my way through more situations than Del Boy, always looking to find a comfort zone or avoiding the situation altogether. If I do have to walk into crowded places I’m immediately bombarded by voices that morph into unrecognisable babble. My sense of smell heightens, my sense of everything heightens. Adrenalin flows through my body, my mind goes fuzzy and suddenly I’m unable to hold onto a single rational thought…Not that I have that many rational thoughts when I’m not ‘adrenalised’, I’ll get that one in before some smart-arse does!

T’other half gets annoyed that I can’t make the simplest of decisions such as picking something off a menu in a cafe. This, I might add, is not because I’m an indecisive female, it’s because I’m unable to filter out all the background stimuli in order to process the information on the menu.

In crowded situations my mind goes blank. If someone speaks to me my mouth opens to answer and either nothing comes out or words spill out in the order wrong…or I say something completely barmy. Then I feel like a div, and I stew on it for the rest of my life.

It doesn’t just affect me, it affects those around me. I can see the look of bewilderment on t’other half’s face now. That raised eyebrow ‘are you for real’ look.

“You baffle me!” says he.

“I baffle myself!”, says I

If you’ve been following my ramblings, you’ll know that our son, S has sensory issues. No prizes for guessing which side of the gene pool these are from… We now have his statement of education WHICH IS FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC!!!

Good news = he’s got the statement.

Not so good news = the wonderful Mrs C will no longer be his one on one. I am very sad about that. Actually, I’m gutted. It’s a total bummer. She’ll be around but not like before. We can only hope that S bonds as well to the new teacher.

So starting from today, (until they’ve recruited someone), it was to be one of three teachers collecting S from me at the gate.

I’ll admit I was apprehensive because I don’t do change of routine very well, and I knew that I wouldn’t have t’other half’s support this week due to work commitments. But at least I had the weekend to try and psyche myself, better than nowt.

So this morning I walked onto the playground, loitered by the gate and looked for a teacher as S did his routine of running around the figure of eight ‘road’ on the yard.

Nobody came.

Then the bell went.

Panic set in but I automatically began walking forward with S towards the enclosed area where all the parents and offspring congregate. This area I have never been in, until today..

By the time I’d reached the entrance to said area there was still no sign of anybody coming for him. So I had no choice but to keep moving forward even though I had no idea where I was supposed to take him.

S was quiet but he plodded on with me holding onto his coat. The familiar sensations flooded me. I couldn’t think straight, I just kept walking forward through the rabble of parents and children. Their faces a blur…Stevie Gerrard himself could have been standing there in just his pants and I would have been oblivious… possibly not the best analogy to be making in reference to school but you get you get my drift…

Then I saw Mrs C in front of me. By the look on her face, she’d sussed what had happened. She came running up to us and I managed to blurt out that there was nobody at the gate. She led us through into school and I was able to go out through the hall and reception without having to go through the crowd again. She understands my problems, as she understands my little boy’s problems, and I am thankful.

I walked home, sat down and sobbed.

Not for the first time I felt a failure at being a parent and, to some extent, pretty useless at being a human being. I know I’m being hard on myself but sometimes it’s how I feel.

Why does my head do this?


*bangs head in overly dramatic fashion*

I know what you’re thinking… “Someone slap a HRT patch on the barmy old cow!”

If only a HRT patch could sort it..

Mrs C rang. She said “Are you OK?, I’m so sorry that happened, I will find out why and phone you later, have you had some tea or coffee?”

What a wonderful human being she is. One of life’s good un’s!

It’s days like this that I need Ma. I miss her every single day, but today I could have done with her “What’s wrong sweetpea?” more than ever. She could neverย change things but concentrating on her comical indignation of the gas bill or the Chancellor of the Exchequer bunging 5p on a packet of fags would always take my mind off my own problems.

On the positive side Mrs C was there to intervene. I’m starting to wonder if she’s one of those human angels… It could have been worse. I could have had a full blown panic attack, (not the most dignified of sights), but I didn’t.

Acceptance still eludes me. I’m 43 now so I should get a move on with the accepting what’s what and stop beating myself up for what I can’t change. For me to be like ‘the norm’ would require a lobotomy. Any sarcastic comments WILL be removed. *coughs*

When I pick S up, I watch in wonder, (and bottle green envy), as the other mums prance confidently through the yard into the crowd…

And there’s me lurking about by the bins.

I guess this rules me out of the Yummy Mummy of the Year competition.

Though I TOTALLY bagged the Menopausal Mess of the Year award when I walked into the school staff room, sat down and promptly walked back out again. All observed by a room full of bemused parents enjoying a pre-walk coffee. I fled out the door blaming it on a “hot flush”.

I’ve noticed a few other parents take their places in the same spot every day, so maybe I’m not as alone, (or strange), as I think I am. Maybe I should start a little group by the bins? That might be wheelie great! *cringes*

I realise that I’ve waffled on for a lot longer than I should but it’s cheap therapy. If you’ve made it to the end, ta. x

End note : Picked S up, saw Mrs C. I’m to drop him off in reception until the new recruit starts. So the above shouldn’t happen again. Sorted. *thumbs up* *big smile* *sigh of relief*

โ€œThe most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.โ€~ Jim Morrison

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13 thoughts on “People are Strange

  1. Tracy you are a marvel and you don’t credit yourself for what you achieve with both yourself and little man. SO SORRY MRS C IS NO LONGER S’s ONE TO ONE….,EVEN I LOVE HER.
    Let’s hope today was a blip and the new person will take to S and S will take to them…..what a shit when it was all going so well.
    I would take my hat off to you for the way you cope if I was wearing a hat!!! You have serious issues that people won’t understand, maybe wondering why you stand on your own, it would be lovely if there was a soul mate there for you…..

    • Thanks, Sheerie ๐Ÿ™‚
      Just having someone there who understands (like Mrs C) is enough for me. The more I think about it, the more I feel that maybe we didn’t choose to be in this particular area by pure luck. I would love to think that somehow my lovely mum guided us here because she knew it would be good for us. xXx

  2. Sorry that Mrs C isn’t S’s one-to-one anymore, she sounds like a lovely lady. I hope his new persom is just as lovely ๐Ÿ™‚
    I stand alone in the playground aswell (well as alone as can be with 3 or 4 little ones by my side) – we have a ‘slightly-bigger-than-average’ family and since we moved here its been hard to make friends. We tend to be stared at more than anything. I dread going to school, usually we are running late in the mornings…and then at pick up time we get to the gate and I feel sick at the thought of going near the clique crowds.
    Really enjoy reading your blog, and I’d definately stand in your little group by the bins ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for the comment. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Sorry to hear that you have a difficult time of the school run as well. The one thing about standing back from the maddening crowd is that you get to ‘people watch’ and sometimes it’s fascinating. I’ll probably be forever known as ‘the bin lady’ hehe ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  3. I like that J.M quote. To me and many others I’m sure, you’re liked and accepted the way you are. You have a loving heart and that’s a special thing to have. xx

  4. I am gutted Mrs C isn’t my lovely little buddies one to one anymore!! I hope the new person is just as good and I have a sneaking suspicion that Mrs C will keep an eye more than anyone will know ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can understand the feelings of the panic attacks. I hate them and they put me wrong for days.
    You are doing wonderfully at all these new things that S AND you are doing and going through right now! You need to give yourself more credit and that’s an order.
    I love you Sis xxx

  5. Nine times out of ten The Husband does the School run or we do it together. If on my own I stand on my own, I don’t make eye contact and I either stare at phone or at the ground.

    I think you’re brave and all kinds of lovely although my phone wanted to say you are loamy.

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