Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Full circle, new highway
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw that other people were writing their stories on here so I decided to put a somewhat abridged story on here too. By the way, it is a pretty long story, but adventurous! :yes

Being the son of a violent father is never fun. At least I only had to deal with it for five years. Afterward I was put in a much, much better situation. Abuse in emotional, physical, and mental forms was what formed my perception of this life in the years that our minds are most impressionable. Therefore, me and my three siblings were conditioned to abuse and a painful way of life at the very onset of our lives.

We were adopted into a very loving family but we still had night terrors due to the horrors we had to endure at the hands of our biological father, and some other relatives. Our innocence had been taken from us over and over again in multiple ways. I was told that I was a very happy child when my father wasn't around and my mother was taking care of us children, but when she died, I went into a shell and pretty much stayed there all of my life. My dad had taken her from us out of a fit of violent rage. Oh, he made sure that everyone saw him as a wonderful "christian" man, a preacher, and "saint" and hero, and absolutely blameless in everyone's eyes. He had a wonderful, charming smile and a mesmerizing outgoing nature. Of course he didn't think he had to follow the rules like everyone else because he was "God's gift to everyone."

When I came home to my new family I was a very angry child and unnaturally "sensual" because of the abuse. I didn't know how to accept and share love in a respectable manner, only in a perverted manner. I was angry that my biological mother left me to fend for myself on this earth, that she abandoned me. I was five and didn't understand the more violent means of her departure until much later in life. I met God that very first year of my arrival my adoptive mother's home and then viewed life through very big and innocent eyes. I was a quiet child but seemingly happy and oblivious to anything that had happened to me earlier in life, but this would change the older that I got.

I was the "perfect" child for my adoptive mom, got good grades, was talented, and treated people with respect and honor. I was awkward around people at school and in public and stuck to myself. This was the case all through high school and college. I drowned myself in school work and studying in order to avoid my insecurity around others and to prevent further embarrassment from those who would realize that I was abnormal. It seemed that I was still the "goody-two-shoes" of the family in comparison with my siblings who had decided to act out against the strictness of my new parents and perform the typical teenage rebellion acts. My conservativeness would change in college when I got "stupid" drunk for the first time my freshman year. I didn't really like the drunk feeling and felt more comfortable being the "saint" that I thought that I should be.

I expressed myself through music and drama. This was where most people saw the wonderful outgoing person that they wanted to get to know in me, but when that was "turned off" they saw a confused person. I would try to relate myself to the character I played because I didn't know who I was and how to be "me." I was pretty much a collection of impressions from those whom I thought were "good" and "nice" in the churches I attended over the years, in addition to my mom, and some educational instructors.

Encountering failure soon taught me that taking the advice of these respected persons wasn't always a smart thing to do. I then realized that nothing that they told me was absolute. I had encountered insecurity in my experience and it freaked me out. It was tough enough being socially awkward but having to figure out where to go in life and survive while being unable to smoothly interact with and trust your fellow man made it even harder for me to enjoy life. The only relief I had was when I was playing a character, and I did this for most of my life without even realizing it. I played the character I thought that most people wanted me to be, happy, confident, strong, assured, smart, funny, etc. When I failed though, I was reminded of the pain that I encountered early in life and this brought about times of depression, anger, hopelessness, and fear. Also, this affected my judgment in very dangerous ways. I couldn't discern a genuine person from a deceptive person. This fact almost landed me in a world of hurt.

When I was 27 I encountered a couple who seemed nice enough on the outside. They were part of a small church who did things in an unorthodox kind of way. This should have been my first warning. However, I was in a new place and aching for some familial relationships. In the end, the girl had flirted with me, maybe even gotten some feelings for me, toyed around with me, while her boyfriend observed from the side, said nothing, then eventually led to getting me fired from my job, an injunction out against me, and almost imprisoned because I decided to trust these people! They had told me, along the way, that they were from a gang in Florida that was used to taking each others boyfriends and girlfriends, cheating, manipulating, playing games, and backstabbing each other. Another red flag I should have seen but I was unable to make sound decisions as far as I related to people with whom I spent my time. This couple led the church against me in order to kick me out and leave me homeless and jobless. Thank God that I got a trucking job that was both my home and livelihood or I would probably be in jail now or dead.

So, I guess you could say that I hated people and church for quite a while after these events. As this event only happened almost two years ago, I am still dealing with my utter despising of people and dislike for most church groups. It brought about a concentrated condition of social anxiety in me. If I had been socially awkward in life based on my early abuse, I had begun to be socially anxious and nervous while hating people later in life. I have been able to heal a bit over the past two year by telling the story a bit, but I have never before told so many details as I am telling right now in this post (and I am still leaving out SO much!).

I suppose that this is where I am now as far as it relates to hating people, hating being around people, and really enjoying my alone time. Thanks for reading.

*I suppose I need to mention that all of this turned out for the good when I met my wife at the beginning of this year so it all had a purpose but it doesn't mean that I don't struggle with SAS any longer. It is just not as bad as it was previously. Thanks.*
 

·
Day Of The Dead
Joined
·
945 Posts
I'll take a stab at this one, but I'm probably not too good.

From what I gathered, this 'character' you made up might not have been just what everyone else wanted, but maybe to mask yourself from all the horrible events that have taken place in your life. It's usually not easy for people to admit this, but in this case, I sort of see that. Does this sound like it's going on? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Being able to mask yourself isn't always a bad thing. Many people who do that have a professional, successful career in acting or writing. Acting because you're able to physically display the emotions of someone else who may not be anything like the real you, and writing because you can translate emotions easily when you build up and create the characters for the story.

Back on topic, there's nothing wrong with getting good grades, or acting like a 'perfect' child. It often leads to success in life. I'm sorry you were left jobless.

Also, there's nothing wrong with liking to be alone. Loving it, or even doing it often. Some people are just naturally better on their own. They work better on their own, their need for social interaction isn't the same as other people, and they would often like to think their thoughts instead of say them. Of course, whether this is a direct link to social anxiety, I don't know. I've known a few loners who love to socialize, but they won't if they don't have to.

As for right now, I'd just suggest you work on problems from biggest to smallest. Is social anxiety in any way holding you back? Other than the one girl you mentioned, I don't think you said anything about relationships. You could start with that, by just trying to find a friend. Could be real life, internet, anything. Or maybe social anxiety's not what's in your way. You've had a lot of bad things happen, and maybe these past memories are holding you back. What do you think it is?
 

·
Full circle, new highway
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll take a stab at this one, but I'm probably not too good.

From what I gathered, this 'character' you made up might not have been just what everyone else wanted, but maybe to mask yourself from all the horrible events that have taken place in your life. It's usually not easy for people to admit this, but in this case, I sort of see that. Does this sound like it's going on? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Being able to mask yourself isn't always a bad thing. Many people who do that have a professional, successful career in acting or writing. Acting because you're able to physically display the emotions of someone else who may not be anything like the real you, and writing because you can translate emotions easily when you build up and create the characters for the story.

Back on topic, there's nothing wrong with getting good grades, or acting like a 'perfect' child. It often leads to success in life. I'm sorry you were left jobless.

Also, there's nothing wrong with liking to be alone. Loving it, or even doing it often. Some people are just naturally better on their own. They work better on their own, their need for social interaction isn't the same as other people, and they would often like to think their thoughts instead of say them. Of course, whether this is a direct link to social anxiety, I don't know. I've known a few loners who love to socialize, but they won't if they don't have to.

As for right now, I'd just suggest you work on problems from biggest to smallest. Is social anxiety in any way holding you back? Other than the one girl you mentioned, I don't think you said anything about relationships. You could start with that, by just trying to find a friend. Could be real life, internet, anything. Or maybe social anxiety's not what's in your way. You've had a lot of bad things happen, and maybe these past memories are holding you back. What do you think it is?
I forgot to mention the fact that I met my wife which was an awesome end to my painful story. I still struggle with SAS but not as badly now because I have someone who can be my sounding board. Thanks for your help and I will look over some of your advice and may try it out.

I am able to open up to a few people here and there but it will take a lot of trust and time for me to have really close friends. I need to make sure a person has character before risking another injury to my heart. It is more bearable if a person I have trusted makes a mistake in hurting me rather than someone I don't know who prides himself on hurting as many people as possible.

I am sure past memories are holding me back a bit and it is going to be a long struggle for me but I am in no hurry. I want to do it right instead of rushing through it and having to do it over and over and over and over again before I understand that "slow and steady (often) wins the race." In my opinion, I think that just one aspect of information can be learned and re-learned to an endless amount of degrees. The older and wiser we get, the more experiences we have that test us and stretch us make us learn things that we thought were already learned and mastered by us. We learn these "mastered" things in new and revealing ways. It is a process that never ends.

The characters are something that I didn't know I was doing because I didn't have an ability to formulate my own opinion, but only the opinion of others that impressed me throughout my life that I adopted for my own. The mask that wore through the characters made me feel accepted because it was brought about what I thought were positive reactions from others but I think these reactions were fake too. I think other people return fake behaviors for the fake behaviors they receive. Delving into the real stuff is hard and messy and painful and very few people want to go into that with someone who they don't trust. They hardly do it with people they DO trust. Horrible cycle eh?

Thanks for your help and response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
That is quite the story, radames. I can relate in the "drawing your personality from characters" bit.. I personally find I identify more closely with fictional characters than I do with real people - and furthermore, I also have "changed" my personality before to replicate that of people who seemed nice/good people to replicate.. It's kind of an identity crisis thing - to this day I don't really know who I am.

But yeah, I don't really have any advice I can offer you. I'm really happy for you that you met your wife, and I hope the two of you have a wonderful and long marriage. :) I'd love to meet someone I can be myself with. Maybe some day.
 

·
Full circle, new highway
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is quite the story, radames. I can relate in the "drawing your personality from characters" bit.. I personally find I identify more closely with fictional characters than I do with real people - and furthermore, I also have "changed" my personality before to replicate that of people who seemed nice/good people to replicate.. It's kind of an identity crisis thing - to this day I don't really know who I am.

But yeah, I don't really have any advice I can offer you. I'm really happy for you that you met your wife, and I hope the two of you have a wonderful and long marriage. :) I'd love to meet someone I can be myself with. Maybe some day.
Maybe one day we will get to figure out a little bit of it? Thank you for your response and I hope you find your path and love in life too.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top