I never went back into the performance space. I stood outside in the cold to listen to the kids perform.
I'm not proud of my reaction. Part of my panic came because I couldn't deal with looking like a coward in front of my kids, that Alicia might view me with disdain because she never lets her fear hold her back, but I couldn't go through with it. It's been a long time since I've had such a strong panic attack. The last time was three years ago when I got triggered at a birthday party by two dogs getting into a fight. (I was attacked by a German Shepherd when I was five. The barking and crying of the dog that got bit set me off this time.) I know it was all on me, but I still feel like an idiot.
Craig was wonderful through it all. When I told him how afraid I was of looking like a coward in front of Alicia, that I feared she would look down on me for giving in to fear, his answer came back reasoned and assuring. That nobody who loved me would want me to be as miserable was I was. And that if Alicia wasn't supportive, she would have to answer to him, because nothing was more important to him than making me feel loved.
That helped. A lot. But I'm still mildly ashamed I couldn't do it.