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I still cant believe I'm doing this, but I've reached the border point.

I've never felt comfortable posting on forums, but it seems nothing else is helping.

My name is Hector, and I'm a 20 year old college student, aiming to be a banker in the future. To be honest, I feel really uncomfortable posting my history on a forum for others to see, but I'm trying my best right now to communicate my feelings accurately.

Starting in 6th grade, I was picked on mercilessly. I'm not sure why I was picked on, but people would try to pick fights and call me names. At the beginning, I spent most of my time fighting back and putting up a strong defense, but I would always get in trouble and be sent to detention or be suspended for over a week.

I didn't want to be in trouble anymore, so I tried talking and voicing my feelings to others. Being animalistic kids, people would spit at my face (literally), and force me to punch them again. Ironically, I figured fighting would make me somewhat cool. In my environment (Downtown Jersey City), fighting's as common as breathing air, so no points for toughness.

I decided to transfer schools for 7th grade, by switching to a grammar school in Fairview, NJ. I thought it would be a great change for me. I was wrong. I was never really social when I was younger, and it affected me greatly in my new school, where constant beatings and defending was replaced by verbal humiliation and embarassment. I never asked for that ****, and no one would want to be friendly to me. I would go home, and punch walls in frustration.

It went on for 8th grade, and then to high school, where some people I went to school with 7th-8th grade went to as well. They knew me, spread rumors, and destroyed my rep instantly, without mercy. I found myself being treated with distance and hostility. It wasn't cool at all. It went by for 2 more years, with other situations hurting me even further, until I sought help, and tried to learn how to interact with people on a better basis. Didn't work in HS. Once you're slammed with a rep, you're ****ed for the rest of your HS career. No escape.

College was SLIGHTLY better for me, but this is where I finally realized life had done heavy damage to my personality. I met a lot of people who were friendly and relaxed at college, and were pretty nice for the most part. But, I noticed I couldn't connect with other people. I would find myself NOT wanting to go to parties, socialize, and have a good time (I did, and had some decent experiences, but I was mostly uncomfortable).

Time passed, and I found myself withdrawing from who were otherwise great people in my life. I wasn't sure why I lost all hope to succeed. I had a 3.8 GPA going into college, and ended my first semester with a 0.7. I found myself to be an angry, bitter person who wanted to punch every single person in the face.

However, I'd end up finding an excuse to leave. I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable around people, and would think that I was making a fool of myself, just like my high school and grammar school days. I didn't like socializing, and I thought I was doomed for my future. I did some research on my problem, and found out it was Social Anxiety.

At first, I called bull****. "All self-esteem problems were tricks of the mind. You put your mind to it, you'll heal yourself". Yet, I read books, forced myself to start conversations with people, and did my best to understand where others come from, and not much changed. Girls acted nervous around me, Guys would try to take advantage of my distance, and I felt as if I was in a Roman Coliseum, trying to fend for my life against chariots and tigers. (When I felt anxious, I had feelings of fighting everyone around me, and defending myself).

I would put on a mask of being some confident jock (Which I technically was...I did do sports in high school, but was never any good due to my will to succeed), and acted like a total dick. This worked sometimes, but eventually, my real self would give out, and that would put others on a defensive (Who the **** is this tool?)

THAT would further infuriate me, and I'd find myself leaving before punching that person in the face (I wouldn't, but I couldn't stand the surge of stress I was feeling).

That would be me for the next 2 years. I'm currently a junior in college (Transferred to another college overtime), and aiming to work in finance, and hopefully become an executive one day.

Now, I'm nervous. It's a solid FACT that if you cant interact with people, you're no better than a dead corpse. No excuses. No second path. You cant socialize, you're FINISHED. This fact scares the living **** out of me every single day, and makes me more paranoid and defensive, forcing me to put a front when I go out, being someone I'm not (But would like to be).

...I think..no...I KNOW I have social anxiety. No one understands. There is no help, or answer to my problem. I considered a group forum my last chance. I fear that, the only way for me to succeed if I dont find a way to control my anxiety is to become a recluse on an island, and that is no way for a man to live.

So, I ask all of you: Help?
 

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Welcome to the forums, Hector :)

No-one deserves to go through what you've gone through, it really sounds terrible. I doubt that I could have coped with all of that, so I know that if you're strong enough to put up with all that and still be here to tell us about it, you are strong enough to overcome your problems. I truly believe that.

It is hard to say how to get over your sa, obviously if I knew I wouldn't still have it, but what I do know is that it can get better. First you need to realise that everything that has happened to you up until this point is in the past, and no longer matters. I know how hard this is, I still struggle to forget the horrible names I was called at school (I too was spat at. Only once, but I understand how degrading and hurtful this is), but we have to keep telling ourselves that the past is dead - it no longer applies to our life. I've spent 10 years still being upset about the name-calling until I realised that no-one has treated me this way for those years since I left college - it has only been me that has kept this hurt alive. Don't keep this hurt alive in you, Love yourself and realise that as you get older, people are much less likely to treat you this way (you may get the odd idiot, but they're the exception to the rule and should be ignored).

Keep going for your goal of working in finance and becoming an executive. If you work hard enough and believe in yourself you will succeed. Don't do what I did - i've got a first class degree in accounting and finance, but I let my sa get the better of me and never went on to achieve what I knew I was capable of. Please don't repeat my mistake.

Stay strong friend, and keep posting on these forums, it really is a wonderful place :)

Steve
 

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Hey Hector, welcome to :sas
 

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:wel
 

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HMesa750i,

Well, we do understand here. We know about the nerves. Honestly, we can socialize - we do know what to say and what not to say. The fear is actually in the trial. We are afraid of the reaction so we don't even try.

You have a really good thing going with your education - keep going no matter what. You have the ability; you, like the rest of us, are socially "out of shape". We need to build our social muscles, that's all.

It's good practice here for the game of life. :yes

Welcome to the forum! :)
 

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I didn't develop SA til I was in my late teens. To be honest, I was actually the kind of kids you described that picked on you. I wasn't violent, but I was a psychological bully and was very mean. On behalf of all child bullies who grew up and realize how terrible they were, I am sorry. Kids can be the meanest people on earth.
Everything you've been through has shaped the person you are today...but what you do today, and every other day from now on, will shape your future. If you keep allowing yourself to believe you somehow are less of a person and that you deserve being mis-treated, then that is what will continue.
I think maybe the best thing you could do is talk to a psychologist and find a way to forgive the tormentors from your past. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it's possible that you may not be able to move on. And if you can't forgive, at least maybe you could come to understand that you're a good person who didn't deserve to be tortured. It wasn't your fault.
 
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