Nearing end of high school, trying to undo years of SA
(Most of this stuff could be said for my twin brother too, who is going through the same thing and trying to do the same things mostly...but I'll just use "I", I guess, anyway)
I really do not feel like doing anything right now after just getting home from school. I did not want to write anything in this journal I've been doing sometimes (since a few weeks ago...and it has helped in some significant ways I guess). I could work on a sketch for my Art class, but I really do not feel like it. I could study for a Psychology test tomorrow. I could eat a snack. I could play some video or computer games. I could do some cognitive self-talk with these hand-outs that are part of a $300 series called Overcoming Social Anxiety that my mom bought my brother and I (I don't think she should have spent that much on anything...although the better alternative would have been a real therapist, which probably would have ended up being more expensive anyway). I could do some exercise, like some jumping jacks and push-ups or sit-ups. For about the past month, I definitely at least did the self-talk or exercise or snack or something nearly every day, pretty soon after getting home.
But then there are days like this sometimes too. I don't feel like anything's worth doing at all. I didn't want to waste time on the internet. And I really don't like making a post on here...I know people are just going to say stuff that I could have figured out myself...or maybe my mood will improve in a few hours somewhat, and I'll feel like the post was not necessary.
I just had a really really frustrating argument with my mom last night. She didn't understand what the point was of something I started talking about, and so she just started saying really obvious advice, but in a really edgy tone of voice, that got edgier and edgier as I kept replying that I know I have to do that. Then she has to say something like 'if you already knew that, then why aren't you doing it?'. I don't even know why she has to ask...I've said a million times before that it's hard. It eventually got to a point where I was basically saying I hate the fact that we're arguing, and then she says stuff like 'this is why people wouldn't want to talk to you, because you'd just be angry' after I was saying how I wish I could talk so casually like so many other people do around me in classes. I kept saying how worthless I felt, too, but we're arguing and so both of our voices sound angry, and she keeps saying that it was my fault to begin with that she sounds angry, which was following me saying that she is saying good advice but is delivering it in the most horrible tone I could possibly imagine. She tells me to stop acting like everything is her fault, when I'm NOT acting like it's her fault, I obviously said I feel worthless and hate my life, the only reason she thought she had to say something like that was because I have an angry tone to my voice, and because I told her that she's delivering her message horribly. I don't know why she expected me to follow or listen to her advice, and NOT get mad when she's yelling it at me and does not have one inkling of compassion or caring in the tone of her voice when saying it. How could someone NOT get mad in response to someone else raising their voice? She acts like I'm the only one at fault and I really doubt she's going to admit she did anything wrong when she comes home tonight from work. I never, ever, ever, want to apologize when she's going to be so freaking stubborn and not say that she could have done stuff better, when she obviously could have and just won't admit it.
I don't even know how I'm supposed to just 'let this go', like I've had advised to me before. My mom is the only person I've talked to basically about a crush I have on a girl, nobody else. She's the only person I really feel like talking about anything emotional to, so both my brother and I talk about that kind of stuff. For a few years or more now, I've definitely gotten into really horrible negative thinking patterns. So it's always likely that these talks will turn ugly, since I usually only feel like talking about sad and depressing and angry stuff. I guess I should have seen it coming when I start saying how worthless I am. My mom basically said she was sick of hearing me say that, in her continued angry tone, and told me not to threaten her with anything like me saying I wanted to end my life. Wow, way to deliver the message that you care about your son: in a really angry voice and pretty much HER doing the threatening. Then she ended, at the peak of her angriness, saying that I'm a coward if I don't want to fix anything. That was the absolutely WORST possible thing she could say. I AM TRYING AND I HAVE MADE SOME PROGRESS RECENTLY. IT'S HARD AND I'M SCARED TO DO STUFF AND I'VE FELT LIKE A COWARD EVERY DAY THAT I COME HOME FROM SCHOOL. EVERY DAY. Years and years...I can't NOT complain about it sometimes.
And just because I sit down one night and talk about how I'm scared and don't know how I'm supposed to talk easily, and how there are so many other better people than me, so it's not worth it even trying.
I think I know one major problem of my social anxiety that I'd love more than anything to fix, which is me smiling at stuff while in a school environment, like when I'm saying something or maybe even at someone when waving in the hall, or something. I don't do this at home. Which leads me to another thing that I wanted to mention, and that's the reason why I think nobody would like it if I was just "myself" at school.
Here's what being myself while in the comfort of my home involves: I sit around on my computer or studying or doing homework. I talk to my brother. I talk to my parents. I don't make nice compliments or say anything too emotional really at all to anyone. I do not smile or laugh or be lighthearted about stuff, because I have such horrible negative thinking patterns that I just don't see the point in thinking about positive stuff (examples of stuff that I maybe could think positive about: how great some people are, how I should appreciate my parents for raising me, how I should appreciate having a brother to talk to, how my friend with Asperger's sure is in a good mood all the time even if he seems kind of obsessive about stuff, how I really look forward to new challenges...but I just don't know how much of this stuff there really is to think about sometimes). Besides, it's much easier to think negatively about stuff. And another aspect of 'myself' would be crying about stuff. And arguing with my parents occasionally, even though I was avoiding that pretty well until yesterday (and I suppose yesterday wasn't horrible...except for the part that involved my brother screaming and swearing at my mom for calling me a coward).
I don't have a positive attitude or nature at home, I don't smile or laugh at things UNLESS it's something I really find funny. Maybe some funny video on the internet or something on TV. So I smile or laugh at material things basically, because it's hard to force a smile or laugh just for the sake of being kind or whatever. Which means I'm basically selfish I guess, or at least that's what my mom would say. I'm pretty sure it's because I've been conditioned into acting this way because I'm too afraid to be otherwise and be all happy or whatever, I know I started being afraid after starting middle and high school that people would start to think that a guy being positive or smiling about stuff seemed pretty "gay". And if you know what the atmosphere is like when starting middle or high school, you have to avoid everything to be thought of as like that. Only the 'strong' or 'normal' people can re-assert themselves and survive through the hell, and some of them who maybe are actually homosexual may even have the strength to be open about it. And I REALLY hate the thing where I don't want to tell people I'm not gay, because I strongly believe that that shouldn't be necessary to say BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER. And I hate saying this, too, but other people would also think I'm defending myself...which of course I shouldn't worry about, but I have such a low self-esteem and self-confidence that I can't NOT care about that aspect of it.
Back to the thing about people changing when they get to middle/high school...I've seen some take on a personality that they didn't even have before, some kids turn just plain bad, some become the 'preppies' or whatever, some maintain their personality somehow. I had social anxiety disorder probably since forever, so I found the easiest thing to do was to not do anything. Then I would be safe. Don't talk, and people can't make fun of you. I was and am weak. Especially compared to others I see, others who survived it somehow and don't suffer from social anxiety or depression obviously. They are doing good things every day and talking to and generally helping out other people by being positive and whatever. I'm stuck.
I don't even think it's worth it to take 'little' steps forward. What are those little steps going to be? Barely smiling in a class? Making a brief nice comment occasionally? What is the point, when there's others who are just so much more advanced and doing so much more every single day. I'll look like a freaking baby or simple-minded person if I just do small stuff like that. And it is the absolutely hardest thing to smile for me, at least when it's not something that I find 'funny'. Because I've conditioned myself into not doing anything that would make me look 'gay' or somehow weird. Because that'd be "bad". Even when I'm around people who I know wouldn't care much at all (well, besides at home...I obviously don't care when around my brother or parents as much). This is the thing I hate most about myself: not being able to force a smile. I just cannot do it at the present time. I suppose I COULD do it, I mean I have tried sort of, like in my mirror at home. And I know what it feels like, because I have smiled actually pretty big in classes before when something really makes me. But I don't like it being limited to just stuff that makes me smile. Everyone else seems to so easily just do it, like to show kindness or, especially important for me, to show that I'm not really serious and stuff. I have said stuff before and because I wasn't smiling, people didn't know I was just kidding. So that's another reason why I'm afraid to say stuff. I often (more often years ago) feel like saying something funny. But I just cannot get a good enough smile going. So it's just not worth it.
This really eats me up when I know I walk around and sit in a class and I look so serious and/or depressed and probably like I'm about to get angry at someone sometimes. The only way that someone would know I'm not like this is if they talked to me. And some have; I have a few people like that in my grade. But then there's classes where nobody knows me. And I never talk, except to answer questions. And my voice sounds emotionless when I do that. I might smile sometimes, but I don't know if others notice much (hopefully they do). And after going for more than a semester and not acting any different, any day, at all, nobody expects me to suddenly say something (especially something with a light-hearted intention to it, which is what I usually would like to do, but then there'd be an awkward silence, because I wouldn't be smiling and the tone I use would be my 'safe' monotone tone). I can't even imagine talking like I do at home at school...just a whole different mode I click into at school...I wish I could knock down that wall with a hammer, just all at once...That wall between school and home. Because then I KNOW at least some people would appreciate me for how I am and know me better and stuff. Some wouldn't. It's so hard to not be afraid with those 'some'.
I do see some hope, despite having a bad setback like this. I don't know how my mom's going to act when she gets home from work. I don't know how to avoid talking to her or trying to ignore her, or ignore any negative things I think about her, when she gets home. It's kind of unavoidable when it comes to talking to people who I'm in the same house with, day after day. I never do anything with friends on any weekday after school. I sit at home and then sometimes my brother and my parents get on eachothers' nerves. If I had some more/different friends (I have two, and neither really are the type who 'go out' and do things), then I could easily vent my feelings while going out and doing stuff with them. I don't even feel like ever saying my feelings to the two friends I have. One has Asperger's, and never really talks about very 'deep' stuff like feelings anyway, and the other I mostly talk to about video game/computer stuff (although he's been my friend for longer, so I have talked to him about some stuff that bothers me emotionally occassionally). I could have avoided so many arguments with my parents, which is a major thing I hate about my life so far and a thing I think makes me worse and definitely not worthy of being a friend to anyone new, especially people without these kind of problems. That, of course, has strengthened my negative thinking as well, and everything just kind of piles on and goes in a circle...
I think I was actually doing a pretty good job of ignoring things that led to automatic negative thoughts these past few weeks. Especially yesterday, during the school day. So I guess that's a small step forward. Because then maybe I'll start thinking about things in a more lighthearted way, and maybe even feel like saying something with a smile on my face some time in class. Because I see that, at least right now, things that make me smile or laugh are things I THINK are funny or whatever. Well, if I can start to THINK of things more often as being 'not a big deal' or just plain laugh at things that maybe 'aren't so bad' (these are a couple of the things my self-talk hand-outs in the Overcoming Social Anxiety series suggests), then I could see myself being different.
I think writing all this out even improved my mood. Writing seems to always help me. I hope I can help some others out as well now, because I just feel kind of bad making a huge post, like I'm expecting people to somehow 'fix' the problem or something. That's not what I'm trying to do...The main thing I like is the writing aspect, and I like when other people can hear it too...Because I basically spend every day never saying this stuff, and even if writing it in a journal like I do sometimes is good, it helps a lot more for others to hear it....I think that's why it'd be good for me to talk to a therapist maybe about some of this stuff...maybe even show them what I've written, since it's harder to organize my thoughts when talking).