pattern 911!!!

do you see the look of fear in my child's eye? she is hiding under the table from my rantings with a set of pattern directions!!!

help! calling all sewers! i need some assistance - pattern 911!!! i am a newbie sewer and recently picked up 2 patterns the other week and have been completely stumped by them. i don't have anyone to show me the proper procedures when it comes to pattern reading and all the other stressful things that seem to come along with these symbol filled, brain numbing instructions! i feel like crying! now i know why i had never sewn before, talk about overwhelmed! i have been finding it so rewarding to learn the ropes of the sewing world by winging it and sewing garments from my imagination or using my own clothes as a template that i thought trying a pattern would be fun for a change. boy was i wrong.

i don't want to give up completely though, does anyone out there know of a great website or book that could help me through the situation? any classes in the victoria, bc area? i am stumped, i need some direction or the pattern's are going out the window and i'll just wing it. anyone wanna help a girl out?