Unfiltered Story #18654

Unfiltered | May 27, 2017

I take the El (subway to those outside of Chicago) to work everyday. The vast majority of the time, it’s reliable and an easy ride. However, like all trains, there are times when it gets stuck between stops.

I’m severely claustrophobic. It’s gotten better over the years, but if the train stops while underground, I’ll start panicking after a couple of minutes. Luckily, the train rarely stops and even when it does, it’s normally for under five minutes.

However, there was this one time when it got stuck for over twenty minutes between two underground stops. Worse yet, I was near the back of the train and couldn’t see what was holding it up. I freaked and started hyperventilating while my heart pounded after a couple minutes.

A woman in her mid 30s spent the entire time trying to calm me down, talking to me to distract me from my fear, and giving me breathing exercises for me to use. Afterwards, she even got off with me at our stop and let me give her a hug.

Another time, when the power on the train went out (which almost NEVER happens), the train conductor herself came into the section I was in and talked to me to help keep me calm and tried to reassure me. Some other women on the train also helped, even rubbing my back a little.

It seems little, but when people do this it really helps me control the panic a tiny bit better and it shows me that sometimes people are more understanding than we sometimes give them credit for.