It was only when I was in 11th grade that I really paid attention to myself. During our personal development class we were discussing mental illnesses. Only then did I realize (as I consulted my teacher after class) that I had a phobia of clowns. I thought I was just more afraid than average people who are afraid of it. She then suggested that I try exposure therapy if I don’t want to consult a professional or even our school counselor.
Tried it but failed thousand times. For a few months I just open google in my phone but even before I type the word clown I’m already having a panic attack. The first time I had one I thought I was literally dying from a heart attack. It felt so real and scary specially when it just kept on happening without my control. My absences were increased but my classmates were not suspicious as I really am getting sick most of the time. And my body temperature is really high most of the time so I can fake it all i want. My parents doesn’t even bother I just say I’m too lazy to go to school and that there’s nothing important today.
When I realized why I have a phobia of clowns, that I associated it with my cousin as to convince myself I’m not scared of him, that protecting our family was more important, my attacks intensified. From searching the internet I think I have a ptsd but yeah I’m just assuming since I’m not diagnosed by a professional or whatever. But everytime I have an attack it’s like I go back to that place? It’s dark but I’m either sitting in my bed or standing in my bedroom. Then I hear a voice, a male voice I can’t distinguish, and sometimes when it’s really that bad I see the clown. When that happens, when I finally snap out of it, I find myself injured. Bruised or wounded or my head hurts because I probably banged it somewhere. I’m full of sweat with my hands often clenched. Sometimes I vomit.
It’s a good and lucky thing if the attacks happen at home. I can skip school if I can feel it happening, when the feeling of being haunted or doomed sets in. When it wakes me up in my sleep I also skip school from being too exhausted and drained. But when it suddenly occurs in the middle of the day when I’m in school, by the angel, it’s the worst thing ever. Had to control myself until breaktime so I can lock myself in the bathroom with my earphones on trying to calm and convince myself to keep it in and just release it fully when I get home. So I thought it’s really time to have that exposure therapy.
Then came the depression. I really wanted to help myself but I can’t. Most of the time I don’t sleep because I’m afraid of the nightmares and being jolted awake by the attacks. I told my bestfriend almost everything and asked for her help. Maybe when we do the therapy together it’ll work. She just discarded me. In the end I’m just her ‘bestfriend’ whom she asks for when she needs me, her ex girlfriend whom she can make the rebound for every relationship she lost and/or failed.
I persevered until the time came when I can finally look into the statue of mcdonalds, until I can finally look at pictures of clown. Only thing I can’t and will not do is watch IT. The clown in my attacks sometimes change to my cousin sometimes not. The only good thing is that I don’t tremble and have an attack at the mention of the word clown anymore.