I can feel it taking me over.

It starts in my chest. My heart beats faster. My lungs feel as if they are filling with water. Someone has their hands around my throat and is crushing my windpipe. The external noise fades out and I can hear my blood rushing through my body. My face heats up and cools down simultaneously. My mouth has gone dry and my tongue is stuck. I scrape my memory for words, even though I fumble, rush, and replace words that have similar sounds. I can't see something clearly that is three feet in front of me, despite having my glasses on.

I can feel all of those eyes burning into my skin. I feel thier hands beating on my temples and I can't raise my shaky ones for shame. I take a nervous step back, one to the side, shift my weight. I can feel my eyes water up and bite on my lip, curl my fingers into my palms, tear at the paper I am holding to not break. The pounding of the hands intensifies over time, instead of abating.

It's all too much to handle at once. I suck in a deep breath even though I feel the air can't get down my throat and fill my already full lungs. I walk back to where I am supposed to be in a haze. Away from the attention, judgement, and things that are meaningless but all too meaningful to me.

"Just Breathe."

Security comes back slowly, and all vitals return to what they should be. The shame at such a public display of weakness comes in. It doesn't matter that they don't know. I know. A thousand and one versions of myself are screaming, crying, and repremanding myself for such stupidity.

There is no gentleness or comfort.

It's all violence, blood, and guilt.

[They say I was caught up in the moment.]