The Time I Took A Break From Being Shy And Anxious

I didn’t talk much in kindergarten. I resented my parents for making me go to school and my teacher was really scary. I was terrified of getting into trouble because one day a boy in my class got in trouble and the teacher made him stand still in front of the class and “not even breathe”. No one believes that actually happened and so I have started to doubt it too, even though I can remember the situation really well. Whether or not it really happened doesn’t matter, I was scared of doing anything to draw attention to myself. I kept quiet and did what I was told.

In year one things changed. My teacher was really kind and I liked being in her company. When she was on playground duty, I would walk around with her and chat. I had friends and sometimes they would walk around with us but I preferred when it was just the teacher and I. I have no idea what we talked about but my confidence soared and I started participating more in class.

One day our whole grade was together for an assembly. We were just about to start singing something and I got a brilliant idea. Right before everyone else started singing, I started screaming really loudly. It echoed around the hall and everyone turned to look at me. I don’t really know why I decided to do it but I was stopped by the teachers down the front. They weren’t impressed and they called me up to the front of the hall and made me sit there in shame.

I remember feeling so embarrassed. All of my classmates were sitting behind me and probably thinking the six year old equivalent of WTF! I had to sit there for the rest of the assembly, bright red and close to tears.

The whole experience made me go back to being quiet. It was safer that way. Nothing was worse than getting into trouble and being humiliated in front of everyone. I had brought it upon myself and it was my own fault. I stopped walking around with my teacher, I stopped participating in class. My break from being shy and anxious was so brief that no one probably realised it was over or that it had occurred at all.


9 thoughts on “The Time I Took A Break From Being Shy And Anxious

  1. Haha, you were brave for screaming at school assembly. I could never scream and risk drawing attention to myself.

    I remember how as a kid I had to go to the doctor to get shots and the kids who went before me always cried and screamed in pain. When it was my turn, no matter how much the needle hurt, I didn’t make a sound, not even a slight whimper. The doctor was impressed with me though. 🙂

    • I don’t think I was being brave, it was just a really strange impulse and I guess I didn’t think of the consequences, I can’t see that situation ever going down well though, ha.
      Aw, did you keep quiet because you didn’t want to draw attention to yourself? I always cried and screamed when getting needles. I think in those moments I was less afraid of making a scene than I was of the actual needle!

  2. School was soooo hard going from being with loving parents to a whole bunch of people who are completely different. I had a hard time in school to. I was never picked on or had horrible teachers, but I did get in trouble a couple of times and it was really hard to regain confidence again, like you said.
    We’re just a bunch of sensitive peeps. Nothing wrong with that! They shouldn’t have picked on you though, that was pretty slack.

    • They probably just thought I was being disruptive but it was very out of character for me. I guess I was used as an example of how not to behave. I don’t recall anyone else ever screaming out like that.
      I’m sorry to hear school was hard for you too.

    • Thanks for the comment. Over the years different teachers tried to coax me out of my shell and failed, my fear was too ingrained. I am sure teachers think back but mostly about the children they helped or whose lives they made a big difference in. Rose-coloured glasses…

  3. I can really relate to this in terms of having haunting and unkind experiences. Some of them have molded my current personality, like preferring to be alone and keeping a very small circle of contacts, although I’m not the shy type.

    I think it was not a proper and humane thing to do to a child, what they did to you. I understand the difficulties that teachers face, but they’re the stronger ones that children should be looking up to for understanding and protection, instead of being feared.

    • I think fear is used to control kids and to make them behave. I had my one moment of being out of control and they didn’t want me to continue down that road. I guess in a way they did me a favour. It’s crazy how much all of our childhood experiences shape us.

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