Ever since I was a baby, I would basically erase myself from pictures. I just hated to be in them. To see me in a picture. So I covered my face when the flash came, or someone held a camera, phone, or tablet with a camera. I did not like being recorded, not even the ones in stores. I was very shy around the camera. My dad, a psychologist, said I was pathologically camera shy. So the only time that they would take pictures was as if I could not see. School picture day was the day I was "sick" or "my parents forgot to sign the slip." Never fully the truth.
Unfortunately, this year my parents remembered to dress me up and sign my form. And I forgot to say I was sick, as I did not remember which day of the week it was going to be. So when the morning announcements came on announcing who would take their pictures first, I got scared. Being an eleventh grader in high school meant I would go later. But soon. I tried to leave, but the nurse refused. I got caught when I was texting my mom. I asked my friends to cover for me, but they refused to. They said it was just a picture. I felt ignored. It ached that I still would not tell my friends. But I thought it was better this way.
So there I was in homeroom. I decided to call my mom and tell her about my situation. Quickly, I ran to the bathroom and called her. My mom was driving to work. And then she told me to call my dad. He would know what to do as he is the psychiatrist. I called him next. By this time I was incredibly scared. He told me that I should go to the nurse or counselor if I got scared. I agreed and he hung up. I knew I was probably being extensive, but I really was afraid of what was going to happen. I seriously had no clue whether or not to be brave or not.
I knew I was being baby-ish. I was practically pitying myself when I was in the first period. The ninth graders went first. I was dressed nice too. Then I remembered, I still had the money and the pamphlet. I could say I lost it. That sounded soundproof. I hid it in the smallest part of my bag, at the very bottom. No one would be able to guess it was in there. It was the perfect story. I put it in a place I thought I would remember and then when it came time I just completely forgot about it. The perfect lie. I went to the second period much happier than before.
But something was still eating me alive. It was just simple psychology. I had trouble learning. My brain was on overload with fear. I could not help it. No matter how hard I tried to block it out of my head or tried to stop thinking about it, it was there. In the back of my head. I had not had a picture of me taken with me knowing the camera was there in years. Since I was ten when we figured it out. I was now sixteen. There were ones of me asleep. Ones with my back turned. Ones clearly underneath a pillow or from behind a window. But never a portrait like this.
I was panicking. When we got there, I kept shaking. My friends told me not to worry, that I looked fine. But they did not know. There had never been any reason to tell them, as I just told them I was not allowed on social media. They understood that. But unfortunately, now, I had no choice. I had to take this picture. When they told me that I had to pull it out, I dropped my bag. Everything in there spilled out. Including the pamphlet and money. They had it before I could get to it. I was in line for my doom. I tried to run out of there, but it was not working. They were keeping me in that line. I was very upset.
Even worse, I was nearing closer and closer. I closed my eyes the first time. Then they made me open them. I turned when the camera flashed. "Stop being difficult," the photographer said. I tried squinting, everything. I accepted my fate. I opened my eyes to take the picture. And then I fainted right there and then. Completely blacked out. When I woke up, I was in my bed. My dad was beside me. He was relieved and squeezed me tight. I had been out for two whole hours. Way too long.
But now we knew how serious it really was when I was put in that situation. My dad gave me a bunch of questions, and my mom kept me home from school for three whole days. But luckily, when I returned, they were ok. They realized how my situation was, and then promised to never do it again. "It is ok guys. You did not know. I just did not think it too important. I promise everything is fine., and I will tell you about things like this in the future." I said. We hugged after that. Now, even though my friends know, everything feels different.
They started treating me more fragile. I would tell them that it was ok, but they would still do it. Eventually, we got back to normal. At first, they had a lot of questions. Some still do. But I feel better about telling them about it. My dad started testing me. If I even thought about it, my brain started to panic. We figured out that it was better to be careful than not. We took many precautions. My parents hid all devices and would strip anyone with a device before coming into the house. But it was ok. I was just pathologically camera shy. And that was ok. For some, it may be just a picture. But for me, it's a whole new ball park.