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Trauma related panic attacks

  • Hi Kati and Kinions!

    This is kind of a complex story so I will do my best to keep it as brief as possible. Basically the background is that in high school I was stalked for almost 2 years. The stalking was extremely involved, he was found decapitating rabbits in the school field, he locked me in a sound proof room with him, there were a couple physical altercations and legitimate threats made to my safety. The person was eventually removed by my school (thankfully) and I have had no contact with him since.

    Fast forward 3 years – A guy in one of my classes was staring at me in the dining hall a couple times, eventually he ended up approaching me while I was alone and making small talk for about 40 minutes before asking for my number. Harmless situation – and of course I was filled with anxiety and panic. Since then he has started popping up more around campus and saying hi to me and now today he came in very late to the class we share, and made a very obvious seating change to come sit next to me. I have not made eye contact or spoken since our initial meeting and I’ve been trying very hard to give him the signal that I am not at all interested in interacting with him (without straight up telling him that I don’t want him near me).

    I know that he has not done anything wrong at all and he probably has good intentions. But being near him causes me so much anxiety that for the rest of the entire day after he’s come near me or tried to speak to me, I am so anxious and tearful I can’t pay attention in any of my classes, it makes me dissociate, feel dizzy, get tearful over absolutely ridiculous things like dropping my pencil…

    I don’t know what to do because he hasn’t done anything wrong but because of my past being near him feel like sitting beside Satan and I can’t help but panic…

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