If you from England, chances are you know the game ‘Duck Duck Goose’. For those of you who have never heard of this game, it’s one with simple instructions. Players sit in a circle and one person goes around and taps each participant on the head. They say duck duck duck etc until they choose a person to say goose too. They then both run around the circle and whoever is last to sit down in the previous persons seat goes around the circle repeating the earlier steps. A simple game that is learnt at a young age.
It’s weird, all my other classmates always wanted to be picked, and would get upset if their friend didn’t pick them; for me though this was never the case. I was a shy and reserved kid, one who just liked to keep herself to herself and had very few mates. I never liked playing class games as I never wanted to be singled out. I hated that feeling of being picked upon, even in a simple game such as Duck Duck Goose. I would get worked up about these situations as I just hated being the centre of attention. I was never a fast runner, I wasn’t not liked but then again I would never be picked to go on someone’s team, they got stuck with me as I was always the last one to be chosen. When working in pairs, if my one friend wasn’t there, then I would either get out with someone, work on my own, or be the teacher’s assistant.
I hated that, being the teacher’s assistant. However, I grew to accept that this was who I was, and I started going with it. I would suck up to teacher’s and make attachments real easy with them as at least I knew I had someone, even if they were years older then me. I knew that in games such as Duck Duck Goose the likelihood of them choosing me would be high and although I hated being chosen, it was also coupled with a feeling of releif. Releif that I don’t have to wait in suspense for someone to choose me, and at least I knew who would choose me.
It wasn’t just Duck Duck Goose I didnt like though, it was all games that required me to be the centre of attention. There’s a song called Cookie Monster, which is where you sing this rhyme that goes ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? _______ stole the cookie jar.’ then you would be denying it and the rest of the class would ask who done it, and you would say someone else’s name. Not only was my fear of my name being chosen high, it was coupled with them having to speak alone infront of a good 30 other people. All these games were not my idea of a fun time, and I always dreaded it when these lessons came around.
One thing I have realised though is this is not a past fear, I still have this fear. I can’t stand being infront of my class speaking out loud, I don’t like being called upon in a class to answer a question, all of this is still so scary. Then something occured to me, I’ve always had Anxiety. I thought this was something that came apart of my life in my teen years, but this has been with me ever since I have been a kid. No one ever really picked up on this either, they just always put it down to a bit of nerves and that I will ‘blossom’ soon. This started at age 5, I’m now 19. Apparently forcing me to stand in front of people will also help, but that’s a whole other post!
Simple games are scary for me, and that’s okay.