Woman goes to movies with her boyfriend then runs out of the theater in tears

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I've always had crippling anxiety.

It wasn't unusual for me to spend an hour getting ready and dressed to go out before changing into my pajamas, putting up my hair, and going to bed with a face full of makeup. There were also times I showed up somewhere, like a party, only to decide immediately upon arrival that it was time to leave.

I've gotten better in the sense that I don't bother pretending to follow through with my plans anymore. I just don't make any.

Years ago, I dated a man who was understanding about my anxiety and my flight response to just about anything. I once asked him to drive me through traffic to a New Year's Eve celebration. Just as he was about to ease into a parking spot, I told him we needed to leave.

He didn't react at all other than to turn the car around and head out of the city. We spent New Year's Eve inside a movie theater. He watched a vampire movie while I slept in the chair beside him. At the stroke of midnight, I was sound asleep. I woke up just in time to see the credits rolling.

We were the only two people in the movie theater.

Our next movie date wouldn't go nearly as well. My boyfriend took me to see a movie about war. The movie opened with the loudest, most chaotic, most vile depiction of the frontline imaginable.

I could feel the audio from the huge speakers vibrating in my clavicles and my teeth. It felt like someone had physically picked me up and started shaking me like a rag doll. I tried to power through it, but I couldn't.

It was too much.

I couldn't hold back my tears. It wasn't just the sight of the horror on the movie screen that terrified me. It was the loud sounds and flashes of light I could still hear and see when I closed my eyes.

Without saying a word to my companion, I grabbed my purse and fled the movie theater in tears. He followed me out of the movie theater, which made sense since I was his ride home.

I was hysterical in the parking lot. It must have taken me twenty minutes to collect myself enough to drive home. I vowed never to watch a movie like that again, especially not in the movie theater.

At least if I were at home, I could just change the channel.

I couldn't tell you the last time I sobbed uncontrollably while watching a movie. It's been a while. However, I have to admit I walked out of at least a half-dozen movies in total before realizing maybe the movie theater wasn't the best place for me to go on a date.

Live and learn.

What would you have done? Comments are welcome.

Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 82-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. 100% of your tip or donation goes toward paying for my dad's groceries. Thank you.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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