Horrible Situation this Weekend - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Horrible Situation this Weekend


I just moved into a new apartment recently, and when I moved, I got a new cell phone, which only a few friends and family members know. I checked my email on Friday, and a relative of mine, who I haven't seen in 10 years (when she was 8 years old) had sent an email asking if she could stay at my apartment on Sunday night. She was driving cross country and needed to stay somewhere in the Chicagoland area, since apparently she needs accountability since she's coming with her boyfriend. She said if I didn't have an extra bed, they could just sleep on the floor, and they wouldn't need any food or anything else. She sounded really excited to see me, and to end the email, she put "I will call you later tonight".

Yesterday morning, the cell rang, I didn't pick it up, but she left a voice mail saying she had called my older brother in a different state to track me down. She explained she needed a place to stay overnight, and "please please please help us out; it would be a huuuuge favor".

Yesterday and today I've had so much anxiety about what to do. I'm so stressed out, my blood pressure is at an all time high, and I'm just not prepared to have guests stay overnight. I haven't cleaned up and I haven't done laundry.. and I have a ton of other things to do, like oil change, hair cut etc.

I feel so disturbed right now, because I haven't responded to her yet. I feel like the biggest jerk in the world, but at least it's better than having a panic attack, and on top of that, having to chat it up with 2 people I don't even really know. I can just imagine my whole family is talking about me now, probably setting up an intervention.. . What would you guys do in this situation?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 04:26 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Tricky. If your family is like mine then if you dont put her up everyone will talk about it for years to come. Can't you just let her stay and fake an illness that would force you to go to bed really early so you wouldnt need to socialise with them? You'd get extra points with the family for letting them stay despite being really ill
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Ya, I would let them stay definitely.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


that's one good idea. feign illness and stay in your room. say you got the flu.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Thanks for your replies and advice, guys!

Here's what happened. I never called or emailed back. I thought about it, but it was just too nerve-wracking. The thought of picking up the phone and speaking with her was too much for me. I couldn't do it.. I couldn't give out directions or explain anything. Plus, my apartment's way too small to have 2 people sleep over. It's a tiny one bedroom apartment, and it would've made for an awkward evening. Also, to get from my bedroom to the bathroom, you have to walk through the living room, and with my luck, I'd be having to go back and forth to the bathroom numerous times throughout the night. I would've been so tense that I probably would've gotten sick, and with a full week of work ahead, plus overtime, I can't afford to feel sick next week.

I have an overwhelming sense of guilt now, but I've come to the conclusion that this guilt is much better than feeling anxiety. There's nothing worse than my anxiety. I probably won't ever respond to her, and if anyone ever asks me about it, I'll say I changed email addresses, and I never got her voicemail. THey'll never understand how hard it is having severe anxiety.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 07:13 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


You need to call her and appologize. Say you didn't have your cell with you or something. You left it at work or something, and you switched emails maybe is okay... maybe say your old one was hacked or something. I think she's going to be suspicious though. You made a bad decision, but look to the future. I don't think you will feel very good about yourself if you continue making selfish decisions like this.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


aww....I'm sure it wouldnt be too much trouble your doing them a favor. You missed an opportunity I think to make friends,bond, and just socialize. You have to take steps if you want to conquer this anxiety. Maybe your anxiety is much worse, but I can understand.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 08:30 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


I don't see how calling his actions "selfish" is helping anything. In my experience w/SA, I've wanted to do certain things but just COULDN'T. I believe in free will and everything, but sometimes fear, self-consciousness and depression wins out. When it happens, namecalling and beating oneself up isn't going to help anything.

Thomas, you yourself have expressed regret and remorse for the situation. You know right from wrong. Try to learn from the experience. If you do call, don't make up a story. That's just perpetuating the fear even further. IMO, isn't it being vulnerable, having to play host--giving them directions, fixing up the place, showing them around--what's scaring you? If you just make up a story, you're lying to them and to yourself. If you on the other hand tell them why it was just so hard for you to call and maybe you'll start to put a dent in your SA.

Good luck man.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 11:12 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


If I didn't want her over, I would have said no. You haven't seen her in a decade. She's traveling around with her boyfriend, whom you've never met, and they apparently don't have the cash for a motel. It sounds like she's just looking for someone to mooch off of during her fun little trip across country. She didn't really plan this out too well.

It's your place. You have other things to do. This was very unexpected. You don't want to mess with strangers, plus you have anxiety. I really don't think you should feel guilty at all. You had a lot of legitimate reasons not to let these people stay over. It's okay to say no sometimes. Even people without SA would have found this situation to be a little overwhelming and unexpected. I'm sure she found somewhere else to stay.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


People staying is really stressful. I don't think you should feel guilty what so ever. Write a letter or get her email address, and you could explain you suffer from anxiety. As you don't know them that well though, i agree with the poster above, they could be just using you, and you'll never hear from them again. You could have been out of town, staying with a friend yourself, anything in fact, so you could lie, but don't beat yourself up, why should you, you don't owe them anything. Sometimes admitting our problem is a weight of our shoulders, and if they think it strange or whatever, that is their problem, not yours. We should not feel ashamed, as that only makes everything worse. If we can cope, these unexpected situations can make us stronger, and avoidance is not great, but that is what we do until we feel ready.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 08:26 AM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by thomassf07
Thanks for your replies and advice, guys!

Here's what happened. I never called or emailed back. I thought about it, but it was just too nerve-wracking. The thought of picking up the phone and speaking with her was too much for me. I couldn't do it.. I couldn't give out directions or explain anything. Plus, my apartment's way too small to have 2 people sleep over. It's a tiny one bedroom apartment, and it would've made for an awkward evening. Also, to get from my bedroom to the bathroom, you have to walk through the living room, and with my luck, I'd be having to go back and forth to the bathroom numerous times throughout the night. I would've been so tense that I probably would've gotten sick, and with a full week of work ahead, plus overtime, I can't afford to feel sick next week.

I have an overwhelming sense of guilt now, but I've come to the conclusion that this guilt is much better than feeling anxiety. There's nothing worse than my anxiety. I probably won't ever respond to her, and if anyone ever asks me about it, I'll say I changed email addresses, and I never got her voicemail. THey'll never understand how hard it is having severe anxiety.
I have been reading some SA books and you have demonstrated the textbook safety/avoidance behavior that keeps SAD going.

I do understand that it is extremely hard for you not to do what you did though.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 09:38 AM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


I wouldn't have let them stay with me. Like you have things to do and you JUST moved in... even forgetting the anxiety, it's kind of rude. She hasn't seen you in years yet expects you to let her and her boyfriend stay there?

She can't really get mad.. you can't be expected to help a stranger out. She was kind of imposing in my opinion and putting you on the spot.

I think there are better ways to start conquering your anxiety then jumping into have two unfamiliar people sleep in your new apartment. You can't just jump into the water... so don't feel too bad, as long as you make up for this by going out and start tackling your anxiety in smaller steps!

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:47 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by SADFighter
I don't see how calling his actions "selfish" is helping anything. In my experience w/SA, I've wanted to do certain things but just COULDN'T. I believe in free will and everything, but sometimes fear, self-consciousness and depression wins out. When it happens, namecalling and beating oneself up isn't going to help anything.

Thomas, you yourself have expressed regret and remorse for the situation. You know right from wrong. Try to learn from the experience. If you do call, don't make up a story. That's just perpetuating the fear even further. IMO, isn't it being vulnerable, having to play host--giving them directions, fixing up the place, showing them around--what's scaring you? If you just make up a story, you're lying to them and to yourself. If you on the other hand tell them why it was just so hard for you to call and maybe you'll start to put a dent in your SA.

Good luck man.
I wouldn't call it name calling at all, it's more like calling it as it is. Think of it from the girl's perspective. She was counting on a family member to help her out in what I'd consider a pretty small way considering he wasn't actually expected to DO anything for them. She was treated badly, he wasn't. He was ASKED a favor and she was probably willing to make it up to him. Look at the intentions: She wanted a place to stay, and she definitely didn't think she was putting as much stress on him as she did, because she didn't know any better, so that's not her fault. She didn't do anything wrong. He on the other hand, although he had a reason, had worse intentions in that he put his anxiety ahead of a family member's small need.

I don't want him to beat himself up about it. I want him to realize exactly what happened. I doubt his cousin would understand his reasoning, and that's why I don't think telling the truth will do much good. I think it will only make her feel offended at such a poor excuse.

So... I think apologizing and moving on is the solution, and remembering to not make the same mistake again. There are some consequences you have to deal with when making the right decision.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:50 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by smalltowngirl
If I didn't want her over, I would have said no. You haven't seen her in a decade. She's traveling around with her boyfriend, whom you've never met, and they apparently don't have the cash for a motel. It sounds like she's just looking for someone to mooch off of during her fun little trip across country. She didn't really plan this out too well.

It's your place. You have other things to do. This was very unexpected. You don't want to mess with strangers, plus you have anxiety. I really don't think you should feel guilty at all. You had a lot of legitimate reasons not to let these people stay over. It's okay to say no sometimes. Even people without SA would have found this situation to be a little overwhelming and unexpected. I'm sure she found somewhere else to stay.
You assume bad things about this girl... What if that's not true? She's his family too. I'm sure she didn't mean any harm.

Even so, if you want to be mean (or not mean if the truth is she was a moocher), be mean and tell her NO to her face, don't avoid the situation and put stress on her.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:51 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


In any case... Remember that your happiness comes first. From here, do whatever feels right.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 01:06 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


On one hand, I can totally understand why you felt the way that you felt: fearful, nervous, etc. But on the other hand, what if the tables were reversed? What if you needed your cousin for something and she avoided you and blew you off? You'd probably beat yourself up, feel REJECTED and wonder what you did wrong and why your cousin didn't like you.

The sad thing about SA is that we fear rejection from others but sometimes fail to see that we can be the "rejectors" as well.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 01:08 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon7

Even so, if you want to be mean (or not mean if the truth is she was a moocher), be mean and tell her NO to her face, don't avoid the situation and put stress on her.

I don't think it's mean to say "no" to people. A lot of people have trouble saying no, and some people take advantage of people like that. It's okay to say no sometimes. People shouldn't feel guilty about it, and it doesn't make them mean.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 01:12 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Well, depending on the case. When it's a family member, it's a bit mean, if she would have said yes to him that is.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 01:13 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by GURLWONDER
On one hand, I can totally understand why you felt the way that you felt: fearful, nervous, etc. But on the other hand, what if the tables were reversed? What if you needed your cousin for something and she avoided you and blew you off? You'd probably beat yourself up, feel REJECTED and wonder what you did wrong and why your cousin didn't like you.

The sad thing about SA is that we fear rejection from others but sometimes fail to see that we can be the "rejectors" as well.
This is a very good point. I think most people are afraid of people like them. People who ARE afraid are often people you fear.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 01:26 PM
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Re: Horrible Situation this Weekend


I don't think his cousin will have bad feelings towards him. If you're traveling, you can't expect everything to work out, especially if you plan something almost at the last minute. I think she'll be disapointed, but I'm sure she'll get over it rather quick, since she hasn't seen or talked to him in over a decade to begin with.
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