Hello, n00bie here--I've been reading over your forum for a while now, and finally decided to dive in, albeit with Personal Drama. But maybe some fellow NFs can relate?

I recently went back to school to study culinary arts. I'm usually a very good, easy going student, especially when it comes to theory. But I'm finding it very difficult in this course because of the hands-on in the kitchen and the constant scrutiny. I want to seem competent and capable, but I find my mind turns to mashed potatoes the second I'm near a stove. I measure things wrong, I drop things, and I can *feel* the annoyed, mental sigh of my teachers as I stumble around trying to do things right. I have a whole, unspoken dialogue of several people running around in my head, and while I know it's projecting, I also have a good idea of how people think--And I think my teachers think I'm a moron.

I'm not usually dumb or scattered. I've written novels, I've been an LTC PSW (nurse's aide) and was able to function very well in high stress situations. I wanted to get out of nursing because emotionally it was becoming too draining. I dealt with people with severe mental disorders daily, and yet now, with 'normal' people, I feel like I'm bombarded with all this energy that I'm having difficulty navigating.

It doesn't help that one of my teachers plays hot and cold games with me and will be nice to me one minute and then shun me the next. I hate head games, and I'm starting to really resent him for it--as a result I don't do well when he's in the room because the negative feelings I'm getting from him just override my common sense.

This probably sounds totally crazy. I really need some advice on what to do to calm my inner turmoil and my fear of screwing up so I can actually start relaxing and *enjoying* this course. It doesn't help that most of the people in my class are crazier than the dementia patients I used to take care of. How do I compartmentalize all that input?

Um....Yeah, I know...Kind of a weirdly intense first post....Awkward, that is my middle name.