Lifetimer, I want to thank you for this thread. I have SA for all of my life. As a child it was not much. I was only not able to talk to adults or girls I liked. But I had tons of friends, laughing and having fun. With 12 I became heavy acne. Wich isolated me for over 6 years. Locked me in my room and was sitting in front of my computer all day. I had to go to school, wich was a huge pain. I still was able to connect with people. I remember that I connected with the most "ugly" guys in school. And even then I felt way way under them and completely worthless. At some points I had luck and there were guys with "high value" who were friends with me. Especially one guy was awesome.
Later, after acne, with 18, I was able to have friends. I were shy but that was it. Until I explored alcohol. Wich was my best friend until I got 30. I got an pancreas inflamation by drinking too much. So I had to give up alcohol (Otherwise I would die). Wich was a friend for heavy social situations like partys or hanging out in groups. I got damn depressed and isolated completely from everything because I had no more exit point (alcohol). I had "luck" by working on my computer. So I was able to work from home. I had almost no social interactions until I got 35. I was hitting the gym or going on holiday trips (of course alone).
Then a girl came into my life, I was chatting with for 10+ years. I was horribly nervous to meeting her since I did not talked to girls for 5+ years. I was in fear that I am a dissapointment for her and I would not be the guy like on facebook. We met. And of course all my fears came true. She told me a "keyboard hero" but shy in real life. She told me she is dissapointed and thought I am fun and social and super duper. So after the date I was damn sad but also happy that she did not like me. So I could go on with my isolated (secure) life.
But this girl had a plan. She had multiple sclerosis. And her boyfriend left her because she was no virgin. So I guess I was her last hope. First I was against the relationship because I was feeling why she is forcing it to be with me (even though she told me such things like she is dissapointed etc.). But she really forced it. I fighted against the relationship for one year. Because I loved to be alone in front of my computer. To get rid of her, I told her all my weak points. Showed her my "true me". And each time she told "i completely love and accept you". "I would die for you". " I will never ever in life leave you". And I believed all that. I trusted her more than anybody else before in my life. Wich lead to healing my TS more and more. I was happy in life. I was loving her more and more. Deeply. From my deepes heart. And at one point, I was so thankful for having her. I was close to marry her.
But then life hit me once again. She met this new guy in school. Complete opposite of me. Playboy, Macho, loud and jerky. And he wanted her. I guess he told her he would marry her. And things happened so fast and with such pain. She got cold so fast. In just one week she was a different person. I felt that there is somebody else. So I broke up before she did. But her ego was not able to handle that. So she called me and told me "let us think about all this, I love you" blah. I said ok, give it another try. A week later she told me all the stuff I was fearing. "You are not social, you are not hanging out with my friends, you will not hang out with my family later, I can not accept you as you are" and left me.
Booooom. Life ****ed me once again. And so badly. I can not explain that pain. First 2 days I needed medication to calm down. I was close to suicide. Not because she left me. But because of the game that she played with me for 1 1/2 years. That it was all just a game. All the words were lies. She did not accept me. This led to more Toxic Shame thoughts like "nobody can accept me, I am a failure" etc. It took me 2 months to become a bit stable. I was daily in tears. I realized, she gave my inner child all the love I never became in my life. And then she killed him. But I did not give up life. Its been 6 months now.
That was the turning point in my life. Iīve read through the Toxic Shame book. Did a lot of things I never would have done before in my life. Living in a hostel for 4 weeks was the highlight. It triggered so much Toxic Shame that I had a brake down. But yet it was waaaay better than sitting at home all day. I changed my thinking about myself mostly. I am kind to myself. I realized (and that helped much) that I am the most important person in my life. And that I will never leave myself.
Long story short, what helped and helps me a lot is, so Lifetimer, add this to the tools for healing TS, I was in Voice Dialogue therapy (like John Bradshaw reccomends) and we made an excercise that is awesome in shame situations. I recommend to try it.
1. Imagine a baby or a child with 3 or 4 years.
2. Imagine that this baby or child feels that shame you feel in that social situation.
3. In this social situation you are trying to push the shame away, you are fighting it and try to get rid of it ASAP.
4. Now imagine, if that baby or child would feel this shame, would you kick it also away? Or would you embrace it and tell him everything is just fine?
5. This naturally leads to embrace your shame. Wich leads to healing it. Just like John Bradshaw says, embrace your shame.
This canīt be done at home in a safe place. You have to leave your comfort zone.
I got thrown back so many times. And I had to stay up so many times. I opened myself to new people and got rejected so many times. Girls told me that I am weird and boring and not normal. All that things we fear to hear. And it hurts. So much. But as Lifetimer says, you have to stop caring about what others think. YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE. Never give up. Love yourself. Think more positive about yourself. Heal your Toxis Shame. I am just at the beginning. I donīt know where this trip will lead me to. Just today was pretty bad. But tomorrow is another day.