first let me define what claustrophobia is. i hate to construct my own definition so i took a part from wikipedia.
it was during summer of 2005, during my general psychology summer class that i knew about these disorders. we had a film viewing about matchstick men(?) by nic/cholas cage. he has an obsessive compulsive disorder, plus he is claustrophibic and that other phobia, the fear of germs whatever you call it i don’t care.
so here’s how it started. i was on my way to the office and i often use the MRT elevator at Shaw station. but during this time the elevator was really crowded and the lights were off. imagine a crowded elevator which is just an armspread wide with everyone on cheek to cheek and totally dark! it all started when i noticed that the floor indicator(?) is still on “G” and it seems not going up. i don’t know what the hell happened but i just started freaking out and i panicked and i couldn’t breathe properly! and all of the sudden i just shouted “pare kung sino ka man malapit diyan sa door paki bukas nalang!” and when i saw the light outside i started running! crap, i must really looked like an idiot at that time. well, that was the first time.
second was when i went to Pacific Start Building in Makati to visit the Japan Foundation Manila office. i asked the guard as to where the office was. stupid guard just pointed out the elevator. i just went inside the elevator and as i was looking at the buttons, i could find “12”. the lowest floor was 15. the elevator was 4/5 of it’s capacity and it was also a small one. i could even touch the top without tiptoeing. i can sense the panick attack starting again. good thing it was a fast elevator so i went out upon reaching 15/F. i realized that it would be too lazy to use again the elevator just to go 3/Fs down so i looked for the fire exit. yes, i found it. the fire exit was quite weird. i saw a warning sign like “be careful in using.. smoke-protected..” sorry i can’t remember exactly what i says but i went inside anyway. and then? the door went BANG! and i realized there’s no door knob! oh shit how could i get back inside? then i went 1 floor down. oh sh#t same thing, NO DOOR KNOB!!! hell yeah i realized i’m sort of “trapped” inside a fire exit. i immediately inspected myself, what i had in order to survive: cellphone, swiss knife, ID, home keys, my stored value MRT ticket which could possibly be used to tweak door knobs, etc. but hell yeah, i checked the surroundings and i couldn’t possibly stand it being confined in such an environment. it really was intended for smoke-protection. very tight and concealed windows. i started freaking out again and panicked and couldn’t breathe properly. i went 1 floor down again and started to check the window glass and kept on tapping hoping that somebody would pass by and notice me. but hell yeah i was already panicking and experiencing shortness of breathe. i was on the verge of trying to use my phone in order to seek for help outside but i insisted on doing this by myself first. i thought of going down the ground floor, maybe there’s an open area. luckily, on the 10/F, i found these two technicians. at first they thought i was some sort of intruder but when i showed them my company ID. they immediately offered assistance anyway. they even said that i was lucky enough that i saw them because if not, i would end up being interrogated in the building’s security office. hehe.
then they instructed me to use the “elevator” at the right because it’s for G/F to 14/F. at least when i entered once again, i was alone so less crowd.
as for reaching Japan Foundation Manila office? yeah, i was able to get there at 12/F but the library is in the ground floor. that surely was one hell of an experience i would never forget! stucked in a fire exit! lolz!
i’ve had enough of crowded elevators.
you might wonder how come i never get panick attacks in the office? well, the office elevators have mirrors surrounding it so it makes the entire area look wide. it’s also clean, elegant, and wide enough so i’m okay with that even if it gets crowded, i don’t experience shortness of breathe.
i don’t actually recall any horrible experience during my childhood that might be a trigger of me being claustrophobic. experiences like being trapped in a cabinet or whatever confined spaces. i could even remember me playing hide and seek. i hide inside cabinets. i also remembered me being able to pass through a canal hole(?), the term we call “imburnal” in bisaya or maybe in tagalog also. (yeah, i’m that dirty when i was during my childhood. hehe.)
so how the hell did these panick attacks happen? i don’t know. but as of now, i avoid small elevators. i hope it’s only up to there. i don’t want to be afraid of airplanes or trains also. huhuhuhuh. that would be sad. こわいい!!!