Robocall Panic Attacks

Microblog_MondaysLast week, I had a robocall from E’s school.

It’s a pretty neat system. If your child is marked absent, the robocall program will call you to make sure you’re aware of the absence. It will, in fact, keep on calling you, over and over again, all day long if necessary, until you acknowledge that you have received the message.

So, yeah, good system.

Except on that particular day, E. was at school.

I’d taken him there.

I’d given him a goodbye kiss and watched him walk through the doors, just like I do every morning.

When I got the robocall telling me my child had been marked absent at morning roll call, I hung up immediately and called the school.

And while I waited FOUR BILLION YEARS on hold (real elapsed time: probably less than a minute and a half) while the secretary called down to E.’s classroom to find out what was going on, I had this thought:

Hey, this is exactly the kind of situation where the psychiatrist said I should work on not jumping to the worst-case scenario.

And then, almost immediately afterwards, my brain went FUCK IT, and I went into a complete panic of the “What if E. accidentally came back out the doors before school started and got lost and kidnapped” variety.

The secretary came back on the line, apologetic. He was, indeed, in his classroom. The substitute teacher had made a mistake with the attendance and hadn’t fixed it in time to stop the computer from calling me.

He was perfectly safe and exactly where he should be.

But I can see it’s going to take a lot of work to change my patterns of thought.

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.



Filed under Anxiety Overload, Brave New (School) World, E.- the fifth year, JK, Microblog Mondays

6 responses to “Robocall Panic Attacks

  1. the very first step to mindfulness is noticing the automatic negative thoughts though – so that was good progress! 🙂
    What fun this therapy business is.. Also, I miss you!

  2. nonsequiturchica

    My mind automatically jumps to the worst in most situations as well. Can’t get in touch with my husband? He must have been in a car accident. Glad E was safe!

  3. Phone calls from the school, automated or not, send my heart into a panic each time, too.

  4. Yeah, I would have done the same thing. I still have mini panic attacks if my daughter actually sleeps more than four hours in a row! Glad everything was okay!

  5. Mel

    That would have given me a heart attack. Admittedly, I jump when the phone rings and I see the number for the school. I always think the worst.

  6. I agree that just the fact that you were aware enough to stop yourself and gave yourself the choice to feel that way or not is huge. Years ago, after 9/11, I did a program called Attacking Anxiety & Depression. It’s phenomenal! It completely changed how I overreacted or over-expected or “what if-fed” and led to even more wonderful things like meditation… I have told the school a million times that when they call parents they should start the conversation or message with: “Everything’s fine….” One la di da called when my kids were in 2nd grade to say my child had an accident. It would have been nice if she’d blurted out at the beginning: “She slipped in the mud in recess and needs another pair of pants” so I wouldn’t, like any other parent, immediately have thought she’d been hit by a car or a baseball bat instead of that she needed clean pants.

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