“You will be punished if you go to the bathroom during class,” the teacher cautioned us.
That’s what I could remember as one of the many traumatizing moments in my childhood. One of the many that may have led to my social anxiety as an adult. For why I am suddenly frozen in place when wanting to poke my head above the crowd or to order food at a bar without alcohol. I am seized by fear that I will be punished just like the overwhelming feeling I had as a 6 year old.
What was more traumatizing was how I needed to go one day. But I didn’t want to be punished. In the logic of a child, I could only see two choices: 1. Go to the bathroom and be punished. 2. Hold in until class ended.
Neither was ideal as I really had to go. And I didn’t want to be like little Bobby who wet his pants in class. My stomach really hurt. And I was caught in a web of anxiety…and high distress.