19 year old guy.. - Social Anxiety Forum
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
a boy like me
 
synchro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: manchester, uk
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Posts: 14

19 year old guy..


I'm not quite sure how to write this. As a child I was always very shy. My dad left my mum when I was about 3 or so, and my mum has had boyfriends on and off since then. I was bullied all throughout junior school by one boy. He was the one who everyone hated, yet for some reason saw it reason for me to be the victim of his rage. I remember many times of being in the playground and there being a group of boys and him always pushing me away when I got near to the group. In the end I just used to sit on my own by the edge of the grass and occasionally talk with the teachers who were on "lunch duty". I then went to senior school which was much improved environment wise, but I was still incredibly shy. I had one "best-friend" (who had come to the school in Year 9), yet he was the guy who was exactly who I wanted to be - well-liked by all 'hierarchies' of the year, so him being who he was and having the friends he did didn't have a lot (or "enough") time to spend with me. GCSE years still seemed to be the same. Went to college for A-levels and AGAIN seemed to be the same as I always was - it seemed so daunting, so many people? I then last September went to university. I had gone there with several external expectations. To grow as a person, to develop myself intellectually, to meet like-minded people. I built uni up to be some kind of utopia far off in the distance and once I got there everything would change and be great, studying subjects I love, going out with friends every night. I was sold this wonderful, bountiful dream. Turns out that uni is not a utopia, it's just another set of buildings where I live in a tiny room in a flat with people who hate me. I thought making friends would be simple, living in a hall with 1000+ people, and I always try to be friendly and polite. But last year I didn't even make one significant friend. The people there were are all so outgoing compared to me - I don't hold that against them, I just find it impossible to talk to them and relate to them. My flatmates all know each other and get along so well and I was just the social outcast who couldn't even cook. I felt like I just wanted to be back home with real friends where I feel happy and comfortable, yet I barely have any. It was a struggle to get up in the morning as I felt I was just an education robot, i.e. go to lecture + tutorial but have no "life" outside of that - I would simply between/after lectures go back to my room and sit on the internet/watch TV. I had nowhere else to go, nothing to keep me occupied somewhere. I was sure my flatmates hated me (I had been put in one of the few single-sex flats, so I was living with 7 other guys). They were all out practically every night - not that I feel so egoistic to hold that against them - but most of them were immature twats who ran around at 3am banging on my door asking if I'm deaf NO, IM REALLY JUST SLEEPING. They would sometimes hold parties in my flat and I didn't feel I could participate as I was the "outcast" (for the times they would come up to my door, laughing, asking whether I wanted to come to the flat party). Everyone around me seemed to get on so well with their housemates; I certainly did not. They were intimidating and liked to do pranks on me and **** and I know they talked about me behind my back. It got so bad that I used to start hardly ever going into the kitchen to eat as I was so scared of seeing any of them. I pretty much went hungry all day and crept in there late at night only when I knew no-one was there or not at all and just kept food that doesn't need to be in the freezer/fridge and ate it in my room. I resorted to eating cold beans just so I didn't have to see the people in my flat or I would go the Tesco Express on Wilmslow Road for food that I could eat straight away. I was sick of seeing the same four breeze-blocked walls. My sleep pattern was the real undoing of me last year. It ended up that I was sleeping 6am - 1pm, and even got worse that it was 12pm - 9pm -- I got into that because of trying to stay up a full "day" to try and shake my sleep pattern off but ended up giving up around lunchtime I was so tired, and got into sleeping for the day. I would spend days and days "trying" to shake off that sleep pattern. I would wake up and it would be just getting dark. My entire activity that "day" would be going to the Tesco Express (which stayed open till 11pm) and getting a microwave meal. I would then just sit in my room all night (my "day"). I managed to move flats in January, but I was so mentally exhausted that I barely went out for the remainder of that academic year.

I want to be social, but feel like I have never have any energy to make friends.

I feel as I have had no "experiences" to draw on for conversation - at least with regard to social activities, "being out with friends". It is as if everyone in this world has a photo-album - most people's are full of snapshots of memories of fun times they had (maybe some weren't that fun, but they have had the experiences), whereas mine is mostly empty. I might have snapshots in there that most people wouldn't even consider putting in their albums - a slight conversation with a shop-assistant, or finally plucking the courage to say something in a tutorial and the tutor responding to it. I seem to have no memories of "fun teenage life" - I have had, throughout my life, either none, one or two friends - but even though they were my friend in school I often felt that I was somehow a 'waste of their time ' - that I didn't have much to say to them outside of school, that I had no experiences with other friends to relay etc. They're other friends seemed so much more lively, exciting, social. My life seems to have been "education" (school, college, uni) and "domestic" (home, halls), of which the latter could be sectioned again into "the internet". My social life seems to exist on there; in place of one existing in real life it exists on an MSN contact list. Sometimes I love it, talking to people all over the world, sometimes I find it no replacement at all for a zero-existing social life in the 'real world'. And indeed just as I'm typing this now, the photo-album idea can be exemplified by one thing: photos on Facebook. I see friends of mine from school, some of whom were like me, now seemingly being tagged in over 500 photos. Their profile page is full of comments by friends of theirs talking to them, inviting them out to clubs etc. I've been tagged in about 6 photos, and the rest are just photos I added from holiday snaps as I couldn't bare my photo amount to be that low, even though now it is still embarrassingly low. (I guess this seems bizarre for those who don't use Facebook! It seems two things matter on that site - amount of friends and amount of tagged photos of yourself) I remember feeling incredibly low the first time I realised how much of an active social life my (previously shy/introverted) friends were having at uni. Why wasn't I?

I feel so clueless about socialising when it involves alcohol. Shameful as it sounds, my first experience of alcohol was in freshers week. Yet still to this day I feel clueless about what to order at pubs, in clubs etc. And don't get me started on drugs! (and the derivations, variations of - what the actual **** is MDMT?) Am I supposed to have already known the details of smoking hashish with one of those dodgy vaporiser things? I desperately want to be social-skilled, knowledgeable of the teenage lifestyle, and able to take part in it. I remember a few times my mum has told me what she got up to at university when she was there, her expectation that I would be able to identify with it all. I hate being an outsider.

My ideal "social" meets seem to be with a single person - when there is group of people, or even just more than one, I seem to lock-up, as if when I'm only with one person I can't be judged, as a conversation has to be maintained with JUST that person, but when there are two people (or more) who are then talking I seem to just drop out of talking, feel self conscious that they will judge me as in-adept socially, that they have more experience and interesting things to talk about than what I can contribute. Which makes sense, their photo-albums are way more fuller than mine. I guess what has prompted this posting is that in a month or so I will be starting 2nd year university and I know that I *HAVE* to change. University seems to provide an unparalleled opportunity to meet loads of people, yet I blew my first year. Part circumstances, part my own introvertness. Once I get into the proper "world of work" there will be no such opportunity for meeting people as uni provides. Yet I remember telling myself after I'd got my A-level results and uni was rapidly approaching. I can't keep having crap year after crap year after crap year and hoping with all my heart that the next will be infinitely better. But I don't know how to become more "social", having lacked life experience (through barely living one, compare to most people I'm surrounded by). Sigh.

let no foot mark your ground
let no hand hold you down
synchro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 03:01 PM
Ladybug Whisperer
 
Empress_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Jersey
Gender: Female
Age: 31
Posts: 168
It was pretty scary as I was reading your post because you pretty much described my life...with some slight variations. I know it seems like everyone else but you has tons of friends and is enjoying their life but believe me, the rest of us who just sit in our rooms with no friends are out there...we're just hiding. But I mean I also thought that once I went to my university, it would be a utopia and I'd meet tons of people and go out every night. That lasted a few months because of all the activities they made freshmen do but eventually all the friends I had either found their own groups and forgot about me, or transferred. All the people at my school too are partiers and outgoing and sometimes I get jealous of that because I wish I could be the same. but then I think that they are very immature and have low values, which I would never want. I like to think that I can stay the same person I am and eventually I'll make friends who understand me and who don't need to go out partying/drinking all the time. Just like you, I've had pranks played on me as well by my dorm mates who were always drunk. I just held my head up and made them think it didn't bother me.

I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you're a robot b/c you just study and go on the internet. I do the same exact thing and my dorm room feels like a prison. I download games to help pass the time. Also, for facebook I just avoid everyone's pages now because I hate seeing their 900 photos and 500 friends and a million wall posts. I, too, just upload pics of myself so that I don't look like a loser without a life. I even started talking to people I haven't talked to in YEARS on FB just so I could have things on my wall.

Another thing you said about avoiding the kitchen and staying in your room with food. I do it too, except it's avoiding the dining hall because I'm always going there by myself and it's embarrassing. I always have a stock of instant food in my room.

One thing that you should think about, though, is that when you do go out into the real world and get a job, you ARE going to meet a ton of people. Not everyone is going to be like those at your university. Someone who will take the time out to talk to you and get to know you is going to be someone that'll stay good friends with you. Those people who are just "collecting" friends as I call it, aren't making deep friendships. There's always hope that you're going to meet someone who has a similar personality as you and then you'll just clique with them. Right now it seems like there's sooo many people at school but you're going to meet so many more once you graduate. Also, you said that you don't have anything to talk about with people because you don't have experiences. I have the EXACT same problem. What I do instead is just ask tons of questions about other people and let them talk about themselves. Then you pick something out of the conversation that they said and ask them more questions. It really helps a lot.

But i'm here if you wanna chat or something. I don't have any friends to talk to anyway. Well, one, but she's up at school.

As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death -- Long Day's Journey into Night
Empress_D is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 03:45 PM
SAS Member
 
RibbonBows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Gender: Female
Age: 30
Posts: 15
same really, I started uni this year - only started speaking to people last week but am still not being myself around them. Haven't been on a single night out in my life. I knew that I would find it hard so thats why I stayed local and stayed at home. I've been to gigs and festivals with my sister but the socialising is always secondary to the music so I can cope with that.

I have been invited out in the past but I am also pretty clueless about what goes on/what to drink. Aside from my BDD stopping me from going there is the embarassment of not knowing what to do when I actually get there.

When people talk to me I often feel like they don't want to talk to me because I have nothing to offer them like other people have. There's not a big circle of friends to be introduced to and no crazy nights out dressed in neon.

Most of the time I just have a huge sense that i've missed something or that everyone knows something I don't. Every christmas/birthday/new year I say to myself that surely by this time next year I'll be a normal, functioning human being with experiences but every year its the same.

and I could never be on facebook
RibbonBows is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 04:06 PM
Ladybug Whisperer
 
Empress_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Jersey
Gender: Female
Age: 31
Posts: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by RibbonBows View Post
Every christmas/birthday/new year I say to myself that surely by this time next year I'll be a normal, functioning human being with experiences but every year its the same
I wish for the same thing and yet I'm still in the same situation as always. What i'm planning on doing is buying this book called "Anxiety and Phobia workbook" by Edmund Bourne and I'm hoping that will help me overcome my SA. Cuz I know that I hate being this way but I'm the only one that can change it.

As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death -- Long Day's Journey into Night
Empress_D is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
a boy like me
 
synchro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: manchester, uk
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Posts: 14
Urgh. I had just gone to Tesco to buy some food and when I was coming back 2 of my flatmates were outside having a cigarette, and they said "Oh what are you doing for your birthday?" and I just replied that I didn't know as I had exams the day after and on the 25th, and the guy said "So you're not going clubbing or anything? Then again, there'd probably only be about 3 people there anyway" and just laughed to the girl. :/ WHY SAY THIS TO MY FACE??

let no foot mark your ground
let no hand hold you down
synchro is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 251
If I were you I would just go the silent way of not talking to them at all and just ignoring them. But then again, I have given up on "overcoming" my anxiety and pretty much accept living alone in solitude forever.
ohioisforloners is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 12:27 PM
Ladybug Whisperer
 
Empress_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Jersey
Gender: Female
Age: 31
Posts: 168
i agree. maybe it's best not to talk to them at all or even acknowledge their presence

As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death -- Long Day's Journey into Night
Empress_D is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 03:03 AM
Ambassador of Hugs
 
papaSmurf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Posts: 2,787
I can associate with quite a lot of what you're saying, synchro. For whatever reason, I have never been the victim of much bullying or teasing, but beyond that much of your story reads just like mine. Going through high school with one or two idolized friends who I didn't see all too often, building university up to unrealistic heights and being let down, feeling out of place amongst all the partying and drinking of students, becoming confined to the tiny space of my room and wreaking chaos upon my sleep schedule (I've done the exact same thing, trying to stay awake a whole day to fix the cycle), wanting to break out of all this and yet not being able to muster the effort to do so... all of that is eerily familiar. Somehow I've managed to make and hold onto a few friends, but I know exactly what you mean when you say that you can't keep up with this pattern of "crap years" and crushed hopes.

Your photo-album analogy is spot-on, years of isolation have left me with less stories to tell than I would like(my snapshots too consist of tiny victories and other uninteresting experiences), and so I often find myself fabricating false details about my high school years or turning to discussions of movies or music to fill gaps in the conversation. I usually manage to hold up my end of a discussion, but it never stops stinging to hear about the grand exploits of others my age. I feel broken and inadequate for not being able to create these same sorts of memories.

A quick side note about the drugs/alcohol: maybe it's not really necessary to get into all of that if you'd rather not? I don't drink or smoke at all, but I don't get bothered about it at all. Just say that you tried all of that stuff back in high school and you didn't enjoy it (alcohol makes you tired and quiet, weed/hash makes you a bit paranoid etc.). I hate to see people get pressured into doing things they're not keen on, so don't feel it's something you have to take part in if you don't want to. Anyways...

I wish I could say with certainty that things will get better with time, that you'll be able to turn the page on this dark chapter and find life again, but I simply can't. I haven't myself made it through to the other side of this isolation, if there's an end to it at all. I can say, however, that we're all in this thing together. You're not suffering alone. There are thousands of us hiding away in cramped and musty bedrooms from all across the globe, itching to escape. And maybe, just maybe, if we band together and take strength from our shared struggle, we can break down these wretched walls that bind us.
papaSmurf is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
a boy like me
 
synchro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: manchester, uk
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Posts: 14
So I was talking to one of the few guys I know from university on MSN and he said this to me:

Quote:
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:02:31)
well how can you expect people to like you when you're sober when you're just so silent and awkward when you're in a group?
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:03:13)
not that i'm saying they don't, but if you're not participating in the conversation then you've giving them no reason to feel anything other than indifferent about you

...

[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:31:48)
oh...well to be honest you do seem really shy
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:32:18)
but you've been out with me, ash and others quite a few times now, so you shouldn't feel so uncomfortable around us
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:33:08)
like you should join in on our conversations etc and the fact that you still feel awkward around us isn't good
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:33:50)
it's not that other people think you are awkward, but you believe that you are awkward and so just stay quiet
Jamie > I wish: simplicity says: (00:35:50)
yeah. hate how i come across as so shy though :s
Jamie > I wish: simplicity says: (00:36:10)
like you don't want how you feel on the inside to project itself so much on the outside! (even though it will naturally do so)
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:37:29)
unfortunately it kinda does that for you
[c=48]女の直感: In love? Be juicy![/c] says: (00:37:47)
other than that there's nothing else i can say to make you feel better

let no foot mark your ground
let no hand hold you down
synchro is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 614
Why don't you try to join some activity to make friends at school?

Also, I think it is bad advice to ignore your flatmates when you see them. That will just make things worse.
Solitario is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 07:50 AM
SAS Member
 
march_hare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,470
I can relate completely to this.
I'm in my second year of uni and I still feel the same way as I do 3 years ago. I also thought that uni was going to be great, but ****ty circumstances combined with my own incompetence has led to me having just one friend (who befriended me), and living with a bunch of people I'm terrified of. I keep thinking to myself, if I could start again things would be different, I would go to all the freshers events, go to all the clubs etc
*sigh*

I agree with Solitario about your flatmates. They sound pretty annoying, but i imagine the situation would be way more uncomfortable if you outright blanked them :/
march_hare is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
8 year old girl weds 47 year old man nubly Society & Culture 39 03-02-2009 11:50 AM
26 year old man dating 20 year old woman? Wrong? Prodigal Son Relationships 24 07-27-2006 11:27 AM
35 year old guy, new here... JMN The First Step 6 06-27-2006 06:17 PM
Asked out the guy I've been crushing on for over a year! NightinGale Triumphs Over Social Anxiety 18 02-26-2006 11:49 PM
15 year old guy and 13 year old girl. Too much of a gap??? H.awkeyeM.att Relationships 10 01-07-2006 11:36 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome