I didn't know where else to put this.
I've posted a few times about going to Mass as a Protestant in order to understand Catholic practices from experience and not from stereotypes. I've gone to Mass with my boyfriend's family a good several times, and have been slowly experiencing reduced anxiety for it. The anxiety comes from not being used to the atmosphere of a Catholic Mass and feeling like I don't belong and am doomed to be judged. (I know this is the paranoia talking. I'm not judged outwardly, nor is anyone making me feel unwelcome. I just feel unwelcome.)
The past few times I've gone, I've been able to focus on the message and the music but I still experience anxiety when it comes time for Communion. Since I cannot receive Communion, I receive a blessing instead, which I'm told is perfectly fine. It still makes me very nervous and last time I went up I accidentally got so nervous I broke skin on my hand from clutching with my nails and had marks for a week afterward.
My boyfriend doesn't want me to continue going if all it's going to do is give me panic attacks. I told him that it's only Communion that does it anymore and I want to continue to go.
I don't know how to reduce this anxiety and I don't want to make the rift in our relationship because of this break open again.