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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1 I am attractive, and cosmetic surgery helped heal most of the parts that caused me great distress in the past. I don't dress like an EMO, I do my hair, makeup and wear nice clothes every day without exception.
2 When in a work situation, I am like another character and am completely fine with dealing with complaints, customers, and other people confidently and can even hold my own and speak in meetings etc

HOWEVER

I just cannot use a phone unless it is to text, and I avoid making calls to anyone (be it friends/ appointments/ work ANYTHING) for as long as I can. If the call goes to answerphone, it is a relief, except for when the person calls back, I can't answer the phone and then can't bring myself to even listen to the message, let alone call back, and the cycle begins again.

I look normal to people, which is why I think no-one can work me out. I look like 'one of the girls', but try as hard as I might, I just can't seem to fit in. I feel like people realise this now, and are superficially nice to me in the same way that I am to them.

I agree to go to parties/ work dos etc to try to 'force' this out of me, however, as the date approaches, I find excuses not to go.

I hate having people in the house overnight other than my partner (but even then crave time alone)

I am good at disguising my SA, but doing so exhausts me.

I am engaged (divorced with two kids, but now in a realtionship with 2 step daughters also) and am in my mid-thirties. I feel I am living a lie, and am running out of excuses and cover. If I can't get my partner to understand this fully, I have nowhere to turn as I have burnt all bridges to my past and present.

It would be great to hear from anyone who can identify with this?
 

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I'm one of the more popular guys at work and can communicate with my co-workers like we've know each other for years but when I leave all i do is stay home and avoid the world. I too have to put on this fake face and pretend to be someone else. I don't think my friends would except me for the real me and im scared to lose them. Also I have a stupid grin on my face when im really nervous and it is a real give away to the other person that im uptight. I can relate.
 

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I can relate to your post and Kos post...
I meet several people when I am out and about, I can socialize freely with them without a problem. But when they hand me their phone number I vanish. I will never call or answer their calls even though I like talking to them. Whenever the phone rings I get paranoid. I cant bring myself to answering it. What I really dislike is when I text and they call back instead of texting back...I have to answer then...no escaping it. But when I do, I would rush off the phone telling them that I am in the middle of doing something.
I am so sociable with people whom do not know me personally, but in reality....I don't know anybody else. I have 2 lives...My own and one that I put on as a show. I am constantly smiling as if my world is great but really I am sad on the inside.
 

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I can relate to your post and Kos post...
I meet several people when I am out and about, I can socialize freely with them without a problem. But when they hand me their phone number I vanish. I will never call or answer their calls even though I like talking to them. Whenever the phone rings I get paranoid. I cant bring myself to answering it. What I really dislike is when I text and they call back instead of texting back...I have to answer then...no escaping it. But when I do, I would rush off the phone telling them that I am in the middle of doing something.
I am so sociable with people whom do not know me personally, but in reality....I don't know anybody else. I have 2 lives...My own and one that I put on as a show. I am constantly smiling as if my world is great but really I am sad on the inside.
I can say the same, I have 2 lives. At work I probably talk more than my co-workers and I sure am funny because I make everyone laugh. But the moment I clock out, its back to my lonely life.
 

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Around my close friends i am the livliest one and i make them all laugh, but it s all a mask so they don t think i m boring and stop spending time with me. I feel like i have to entertain them so they ll stick around.

But i too can t handle things like phone calls, it just makes my heart jump when i hear the phone ringing.

Have you ever tried properly explaining to your partner. I tried once and it went really well, they understood because they could kinda tell i wasn t like everyone else because i was so tense all the time. That feeling of opening up so i didn t have to hide anymore really felt amazing.
 

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Yes. I use the phone at work but struggle and feel miserable. I need encouragement to answer it e.g. being told what calls to expect and that it is important to pick up my manager's phone if she is away. I feel dread every time it rings and think oh God I have to answer that. I put off making calls until I have to and email if I can. I have trouble plucking up courage to ask questions I need to ask to do the job. A senior boss asked after some letters I was typing and I was put on the spot and looked so stupid as couldn't even remember.

I do feel like an empty shell, pretending to be normal. I am generally pleasant to people unless I am depressed, then get really irritated and have to try and avoid snapping at people. I will go out to certain things e.g. work dos or things with my partner but every year worry I've no-one to share my birthday with really as not been able to build up relationships. I avoid going to things. I sometimes agree then on the day get cold feet and it feels like a huge effort and I just want to curl up and sleep. I often don't even get in contact to say I'm not going and just avoid contact for a long time with the person. I don't think I would socialise without my partner, apart from one friend who I see occasionally and who contacts me if I don't contact her.

Someone is staying in my house tonight and I am dreading it. I couldn't really say no as he is stuck and my partner had the phone right in front of me. I feel self conscious in my own house just doing basic things like getting ready or using the bathroom and I am in bed aware that they are just through the wall.

My partner doesn't understand. I try telling him but he listens and doesn't say much back and I wonder if he has actually taken it in. Sometimes he is sympathetic e.g. I am depressed so he will massage my feet, but it is at random and I tend to feel bad all the time so wonder what I have done different. He does avoid trying to help sometimes as I just negate everything he says when he comes up with positive suggestions.

I feel dread when thinking of people I have known in the past. Not that it ended badly, but just that they have seen me be socially awkward. I am ashamed that I have the same problems as I had over 10 years ago and if I meet people I still haven't got a graduate job, I've still not got any proper interests or life.
 

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different person

After working at my current job for 3 years, I finally felt comfortable enough around the store manager to tell him about my anxiety. He said that, while it did explain several things, such as why I panicked before making announcements on the intercom, why I never called in sick- even if I was, why I never ate in the break room with everyone else, etc, he was genuinely surprised that i suffered from SAD. he said that I always appeared laid back when dealing with people and sounded calm and collected on the intercom. I explained that, when I absolutely have to do something, I've learned to just put on a mask and grin and bear it, but it's always safe to assume that on the inside, I'm freaking right out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My partner doesn't understand. I try telling him but he listens and doesn't say much back and I wonder if he has actually taken it in. Sometimes he is sympathetic e.g. I am depressed so he will massage my feet, but it is at random and I tend to feel bad all the time so wonder what I have done different. He does avoid trying to help sometimes as I just negate everything he says when he comes up with positive suggestions.
I really don't know how to go about discussing this with my partner. He is not a sympathetic person and thinks depression, anxiety etc is a load of rubbish made up by people that are attention seeking drama queen types. He will see all my main 'triggers' as excuses not do do stuff I just can't be bothered to do. It is likely to end in a row, with me in tears feeling desperate again.
I try to stand up to him sometimes, but this just makes him angry. Because I seem OK sometimes also, he won't believe me. He has only been nice about it once or twice, but in the morning, couldn't remember the conversation because he was drunk/ tipsy. The majority of times he drinks, I end up crying for one reason or another and the evening deteriorates. He can't see why I am crying - he says 'what is so bad about your life?'. He thinks that because we have a nice house, holidays, nice car, money etc, I should be happy, and he sees it as an insult to him that I am not.
I have been very aware of anxiety today. Not full blown panic attack, just a knot/ dread/ tight feeling in my stomach about all the things I know I am going to have to face - eg. his daughter, my ex-husband, threat of a party at our house, calling back my ex-boss who has left me two messages to call him urgently.
On the up side, my sons came over today to spend the reasdt of the holidays with me which made me happy :) They are my reason for everything and anything
 

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I can totally relate. When I do have a job, I am able to keep up the facade for about 18 months and then I have to quit, because I can no longer put the mask on. It is incredibly draining and leaves me depressed. I can pretend to be merely shy and deal with coworkers or classmates on a superficial level, but if I am invited to actually do things like go out to dinner or just to hang out, I make up an excuse and don't go. It's been this way for me at least 10 years and the last three years have been particularly bad in this category.

Right now I'm living back in my mom and dad's home and this summer we had a big event in our family and lots of extended family came in from out of town and many of them stayed in my parents' home. Some were even here in the house for over a week. It was hell for me because I'm going through what I call an "episode", which I seem to go through every 2 years or so. And that's where my SAD gets so bad and I just break down and withdraw from everything for what can be as long as over a year. So I had 50 people in my face asking me why I haven't gone back to school or why I quit my job or why I broke up with someone. Add on to that the fact that I was constantly surrounded by 50 loud boisterous people who are oh so shiny and happy about life. And to top it off, my bedroom was occupied for days and days and so I had nowhere to go to be alone. Usually when I am anxious, I suffer from fatigue and my stomach is always in knots. But this time, with all the people added into the mix, I began shaking and there were times during the week that I had heart palpitations. I believe it was the beginnings of a panic attack.

It was so draining for me to be going though an episode and to have all of my extended family see me without my game face, because I cannot muster up a game face when this happens to me. I barely interacted with my relatives and came up with every excuse I could to get out of the house. My parents thought I was being so rude, but I didn't care. The only time I didn't have the shakes was when I would get out of the house and just go driving. It calmed it.
 
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