Do You Tremble?

I just arrived back home from my friend’s early birthday party – which I didn’t even know was for her birthday – and I am feeling really lame right now.

The party was supposed to finish at 11.30 pm, but I had the strongest urge to go back soon. It was more because of me feeling uncomfortable being around a lot of strangers, so when a friend said she was going home, I immediately jumped in. Because my birthday friend knew that I lived close by while the going-home friend lived around an hour and a half away, I made an excuse: I had homework to do. This is totally untrue, because tomorrow I had only one class since the Philosophy professor cancelled both the lecture and tutorial. I said I had readings to do for English – this is true, except that it’s only a few pages and due on Friday. (As my defence, I also have Italian scrittura – which I probably won’t do today). But I was severely dying to go home and get rid of the uncomfortable situation, I made up lies just so that my going home was acceptable (I hope).

I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I had been feeling until, upstairs while my birthday friend was talking to her Mom, I realized that I was trembling, not from the cold, but from a great anxiety. Fortunately no one noticed, and I prayed that the tremble would stop. Since her Mom persuaded us to have some cake, however, we went down to the basement again and sang “Happy Birthday” for her and ate some cake. At this time, the situation was more comfortable because her boyfriend came and chatted with me – the three of us hung out together for New Year’s Eve so he was not a stranger, and that alone has made me more comfortable. Another friend – who first told me she was going home – joined us in the conversation, so I got the chance to talk with several close acquaintances. By this time, I’ve stopped trembling and being nervous. When I was going to leave earlier, I said goodbye to the Boyfriend and – having a great turmoil and anxiety – I kept stuttering, and I’m afraid I sounded dumb. But while we were enjoying the cake, my anxiety had reduced greatly, so I was able to have a proper conversation.

However, later on, they started some more games, and the anxiety came back to me. Finally, while they were planning another game, without a second thought I got up and walked to the birthday girl and told her I really needed to go home and do my “homework”. It was 10 pm. She gave a sad face and I automatically apologized, but my intention to go home early was desperately urgent. Unexpected to me, her Mom told her husband to drive me home, and she asked Birthday girl’s brother to accompany us. It was very silent in the car except for some of the talking between father and son. That was my second totally awkward moment.

I’ve read that people with more introvert traits cannot stand being around crowds, and especially strangers, within a long time. What worries me is whether they actually tremble hard after overexposure. Does anyone have a similar experience?

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