A bunch has happened, and I don’t feel like telling all about it. I’ll give you some of the more interesting bits.
So, I had my first panic attack in Spain. I feel proud that it took at least a month for it to happen.
I was in my very new and shiny Tae Kwon Do class. It’s really different from my Tae Kwon Do class back in the States; here it’s very physical, and from what I have tentatively tried, the patterns are really short. We also haven’t memorized any states or countries or bones or anything. I do know how to do a larger variety of kicks though. And I also beat a boy at arm wrestling. That was very pampering for my ego. I don’t know if he purposely let me win, but I was quite happy anyway.
The problem is that the head instructor let me wear my green belt here, in recognition of my other school. This means that every who doesn’t know that I am simply a silly girl from America assumes I am quite good at Tae Kwon Do. The belt system is also different here, further complicating things. There are also multiple teachers, and up until now not all of them know about my American-ness.
So what happened was what usually happens when I have one of my freak outs. A person with authority, in this case the teacher of the day, asked me to do something that I knew I couldn’t do. This doesn’t always cause a freak out, but this time it did, possibly because he asked my in front of everyone to show the newbies how it’s done. In Spanish. I understood him well enough, but knew that if I helped the newbies, I would be helping them be even more newbie-ish, because I don’t know anything about this gym. So, according to my personality, I burst into tears and said I myself was a newbie. Then I got to kick a bag one of the new guys was holding, and that made me feel much better.
I am sort of proud of myself for not running out of the room and locking myself into the bathroom. I kind of just ignored everyone staring at my teary face and focused on making the best sound ever; the beautiful slap of a well-aimed kick at the bag.
Afterwards was worse, because the teacher and the wife of the head instructor were flapping around me like worried mother hens, wanting to know what happened and stuff. The wife was the most annoying in her willingness to help me, mainly because she was trying to poke around in my head and it wasn’t working very well. I’ve also heard the same thing from about 4 different people about this problem, and it’s starting to get a little old.
I have my little “‘panic attack” when I’m in an enclosed space with other people. A person with authority will ask/tell me to do something, and I will be 100% sure that I can not do it. This is when my throat closes up and starts burning, and there’s a flood of hopelessness, helplessness, and general stupidity. I start feeling tears sliding down my nose. I cannot talk once past this point, because if I try I have to take huge, shuddery gulps of air.
I don’t know how to control it. It’s very sudden, and it doesn’t always happen. It’s like getting slammed in the throat with a hammer of burning fire.
I really doubt this problem is life threatening… I’m simply incapable of being calm or rational or breathing properly for about 10 minutes. If I can manage to escape people, I can calm myself down my forcing myself to cry. This, for some reason, makes me unable to cry at all. Ice cold showers are also very calming.
Anyway, to brush all that stupid mental stuff away; on Friday I saw a beautiful sight. Remember how I said the boys in my class act like 5 year-olds? One of them had a really serious moment. The face he made was the most innocent, adorable thing you could imagine. I wanted to adopt him right then and there. EVERYONE IN SPAIN MAKES ME WANT TO ADOPT THEM. But then he turned back into a 5-year-old, whooped and tore off his shirt, and then pranced off into the boy’s locker room. I do not know what to think about that.
And yesterday and today my host family and I went to visit some sort of mountains with friends. These mountains are not like the ones at Ischgl, which are huge and sharp and white and cold. These were softly rolling, rocky brown scrub things. They were fun to climb. We went wandering at night to listen to deer (I think) making mating calls. We didn’t hear any, but we saw some eyes glow in our flashlight beams. And the stars. I have never seen so many stars. True, they were fuzzy because of dust clouds, but it was like someone took powdered sugar and sifted it over the sky. Beautiful. I think I saw the Milky Way for the first time. I couldn’t make out any constellations, probably in part because they might be different in Spain, and also because there were so many freaking stars. Instead of listening for deer, I spent the whole time with my head lodged firmly in the back of my neck.
I also had chocolate with chocolate for breakfast. And then ice-cream after lunch. And ice-cream after dinner yesterday. Healthy, I know.
Until we next meet, I suppose. Thanks for reading.