Breaking the Fourth Wall…
It was Lucy’s first time at the club. Her first event ever. And though she was excited as hell, she was a bundle of nerves. She took a friend along to keep her from bolting or being taken advantage of. But somewhere in the bumping of a primal dance groove and the crowd, they got separated.
Lucy started to panic.
Instead of seeing a lot of dancers who were strangers to her, in her distraught state, they were all staring at her. They were laughing and pointing at her.
Lucy began to worry that someone had slipped her something. But they had had so little opportunity.
Then the crowd got angry… Had she offended someone? Had she done something wrong? Was she wearing the wrong thing? So many questions, but their anger seemed to be saying that she didn’t fit in. But why??
Finally she found her friend and grabbed her, and held her tight. She was bawling her eyes out.
Forward from that day, Lucy began to notice that whenever she got into a crowd, they turned on her. As if she was some bad thing they thought smelled, some sad person who had started to remove their clothes and they weren’t happy to see the tease, or she had done something wrong.
It was starting to affect her job, because she worked in a mall. They always had crowds going thru the store. And she ended up panicking and hiding in the storage room whenever she could. Well her boss had noticed. She might end up losing her job if she didn’t get herself under control soon.
So Lucy went to a small drama school. If she was going to feel watched, then she was going to learn how to control it. She was taught how to engage the audience, to curry their favour. To determine for real if she was pleasing them. Not let the panic say what was real. So if they were going to watch, then it would be for a good thing. She was taught how to minimize her emoting, control her body movements, and capture the audience’s fancy. Till she actually became quite the proficient actress.
The director of the theater heard her sing and suggested she take vocal lessons. So Lucy did. She was received well and became even better as the coaching continued. She was also taught to channel her panic and use the energy for the show. Which was a good thing, because it was getting worse.
In Lucy’s efforts to become less afraid, she had instead found an outlet for her fear. And the “mob” of people she hadn’t been able to control were now putty in her hands. She was quite good at engaging them. No matter how bad she felt.
Even though she wanted to stay at home and dive under the covers whenever anyone came by. She became a socialite instead.
But her fear was untreated, so it became worse.
To help herself, she went to a strip club and asked for some tips to make her acting and singing performances sexier. Better.They were happy to help. To the point where when she was good enough, they let her have the occasional set. She didn’t strip further than she would go on a public beach, ever. But she became quite adept at pleasing the audience with her dancing. And she took on the rare lap dance to make her efforts more intimate.
Lucy became quite the darling of the local theater world. All because she was in a panic. Did it help? With coping, yes. But it did nothing to change the fact that she was in a panic.
So, finally, she went to the doctor and confided about her panic. She was given a drug and sent to a psychiatrist. She was diagnosed with a panic disorder (no duh??) and given counselling.
Funny thing is, when she was under treatment, she found that her coping mechanisms from performing were less able. The audience she relied on, didn’t like her as much. And the panic actually got worse.
So she quit taking the meds and went back to using the audience as her gauge of how well she was doing.
Her doctors didn’t much like that. But as long as she wasn’t a threat to anyone, they didn’t have much they could do. But call her mom… Her mom who was a nurse.
There were arguments and lots of tears, but mom could just bluster. Lucy was an adult. And if mom didn’t shut up, then Lucy just didn’t allow her to visit. So mom kept a watchful eye out instead. Waiting to be ready to catch Lucy if she fell.
Lucy was getting more and more frightened, but also able to cope better than ever. She got used to being scared. Till she could shove it into a ball of yuck. And keep going in her day. Se figured it was her new normal. But she did wonder why it all began. All of a sudden, out of nowhere. So she went to see a psychologist for the explanation. Not sure if it would ever be found.