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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm brand new here and hoping to seek some solace. Hopefully someone can give me some advice.

I've always been a very timid person, I had a rough childhood, family conflict and school bullying, the typical sort of stuff everyone experiences. I was okay in high school, I was able to cope with this, I had some friends, a few jitters here and there with social interactions, but now that I'm in uni, things have gotten really terrible. I don't have any friends at all, all of my previous relationships fizzled out, from my own desire, some were not very kind people in general. I know it requires consistent effort to keep friends, and I realize I am not perfect or without fault, I have reflected quite deeply on the matter. However, what scares me is that I'm too comfortable not having friends. I enjoy being alone because there are no social obligations, and there's no potential conflict. And it limits how much I end up kicking myself for saying silly things. It's peaceful and easy. Not to say there aren't people I talk to, I have a few acquaintances in various classes, but nothing substantial. In my view, how I justify this, is I'm not in university to party and make all of these friends who may or may not be lifelong. I'm there to study, and as I'm a fairly low energy person, I've found this, again, comfortable and fitting. But it's come to the point now where I'm not sure I even know how to make friends or interact with people. And getting freaked out ordering a coffee just isn't okay. I'm quite terrified I'll spend my life utterly alone, halted by fear. I'm scared it's going to get so bad that I won't be able to hold a job or even go for an interview. Nevermind dating, a guy asked me out recently and I almost blacked out! (I'm absolutely serious)

This is only part of my problem. My bigger problem is with my family. I love my parents dearly, but when I try to make them understand why I cannot physically and mentally enter a social situation, they get angry with me, and I end up feeling immensely guilty (tonight was the cake topper), and I try to talk them out of being angry with me, or justify to them my reasons for not coming down to dinner with a wad of people visiting. This just makes them more angry and dismissive even, which causes me to have maddeningly torn feelings of self-loathing but also thoughts like "I don't owe anyone anything, I don't have to see people if I don't want to", because I can be a right stubborn git. That aside, my parents have tried to understand, but it seems whenever a new situation arises they forget what understanding and tolerance they had previously, and it's the same issue over again. Now my parents aside, my siblings and their children are hard to bare. They've never, since my childhood, bothered to build a relationship with me, they've been quite content excluding me from almost every aspect of their lives. So there's always remained a barrier. A barrier I am not willing to try and break because there are deeply routed feelings and resentments on my part that I don't think I can confront at this time. So that in itself, makes family gatherings terrifying and angering for me. I find myself seeking their approval or trying to have them take an interest in an area of my life, even if it's just for five minutes while I talk about school or something. After this pathetic display I end up kicking myself for the next how many months for being so weak.

Their children are a different issue, they're monsters, screaming, insulting, undisciplined monsters, who I'm afraid will point out my every flaw, as they have in the past, and I suppose that takes me back to being bullied when I was young. I'm incredibly self-conscious, which is halting all in its own. I end up paralyzed with fear and anxiety, laying up in my room with all of the lights off, pretending I'm very ill or sleeping. The "being ill" has worked in my favour because the sound of so many people in the house makes me pale as a ghost, I shake uncontrollably, and even throw up. But hey, "I had the flu".

I could go on, but I'm so overwhelmed typing this, and I'm sorry for the roller coaster to those kind folks who take the time to read. I'm really struggling here, I feel so guilty, so ashamed, so worthless, so STUCK. I've hesitated to go on one of these forums for so long because I'm not trying to make people feel sorry for me, I thoroughly acknowledge how insignificant my problems are compared to so many others. But this is what I live with, and I really hope to overcome it, or at least know I'm not the only one coping.
 

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You sure have it tough cant really give you any substantial advise in making friends since it should come naturally from how you interact with people and how often you are in touch with them. I hate family gatherings also makes me feel so alienated since i didint really fit jn with them and grow up a normal person , hopefully they'll get used to me being out of the picture. I also relate to how sometimes simple interactions would make me hesitate or think twice, probably because i fear embarassment and im always isolated . Anyways i think that you should really take it easy with your worrying as it is really bad for the mind , you wont be alone , eventually you'll find someone and hopefully things go well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the reply! It's funny you should say that you hope your family gets used to having you out of the picture, cause that's exactly how I feel. It's so frustrating cause I had always wanted to be with them when I was younger, and now that I've retreated, it's like "Oh where has she gone? She never comes around, how rude". I keep telling myself I don't owe anybody any explanations, especially not after the level of rejection I've experienced, but I can't figure out if I should think that way, if that's right or if it's only more damaging? But don't think you're not normal! There are so many unique people out there, not to be too cliche, but things and people change, styles, interests, feelings, beliefs, one thing I've learned in my isolation is to embrace the person I'm becoming, and make yourself incorruptible to outside influences, reflect meaningfully on your strengths and weaknesses, acknowledge your wrongs, so that you can understand what caused them, but look at what you've done right and stick to your guns more often.

The alienation I completely understand, I've felt it all my life with my siblings. They're all quite a bit older than I am. But now, I'm still considered "the kid", and it's isolating and invalidating, and I feel so lowly in their presence when I actually have to see them. I appreciate you saying that though, and I'll try to lower the worrying level, tonight I actually had a nice time with my nieces, despite be so afraid of their possibly making fun of me or pointing out my awkwardness/flaws. It can't always be that nice I suppose, but I'll take the peace where it comes.
 
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