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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone :D

I've already posted twice on the forums, so I guess I should introduce myself to everyone.

I'm a 23 year old female live in the Bay area. I knew something was up with me from a young age, right around 4th grade when puberty hit and I started becoming extremely self-conscious of myself. I'd been an extremely shy child, always afraid of others and afraid that if I exposed myself I would be ridiculed. I have loving parents, but my Father has an anxiety disorder and my mother has depression, both untreated, and my Father denies having any problem. Coupled with a troubled older sister who my father estranged from my mother (sister got pregnant at 18 and he decided kicking her out of his home and never letting her step foot on his property ever again was the best idea somehow) and a judgmental environment in general (he kicked her out because she challenged his morals and ideals), I got a little messed up growing up.

Even in elementary school, before I was fully aware of myself, I was scared of people. At church I would walk behind my mother, holding her hand, hoping that NO one would see me. I was afraid of making small talk, or interacting with people in general. Making friends at school intimidated me enough that when my mother asked if I wanted to go to preschool I quickly said no. "Do you want to go to preschool and make friends, or do you want to stay at home with mommy and play kitchen/house?" Well, if you put it that way, I want to stay at home, of course! Making friendships was not fostered in my family. My father didn't even stay in touch with his 11 brothers and sisters, let alone have friends over or go visit his friends EVER.

I found 2 ways to cope with the problems. First, I engrossed myself in my school work and other activities. I had trouble making connecting with and making friends, and felt I needed some sort of accomplishment somehow, something to boost my view of myself. I began singing and acting, and really enjoyed the positive feedback I got from my stage performances. I'm also OCPD, so I have some perfectionist traits. I am blessed with a natural ability to sing. Growing up in a "troubled" environment gave me a well of emotions to draw from, so I brought this in to my EC activities. I got standing ovations and nary a dry eye at church. My A's, my awards and my audience were my friends.

By the time I got to high school I had been put in home schooling (loneliest year of my life. Both my parents worked so I taught myself. I became best friends with my cat...) and then in to a small, evangelical christian private school with no music OR drama department. I ended up turning to my second coping mechanism at this point: boyfriends...

...a very long string of boyfriends, with only a few weeks between relationships. This started when I was in 6th grade or so, and hasn't stopped since. I didn't have an audience of people to tell me they loved me anymore. So I figured if I always had just ONE person that thought positively of me, that I could fall back on, then I didn't need friends. Too bad that meant eating up that person's time, taking over their life and them eventually getting sick of my smothering. I did everything I could to make each one happy, and eventually ended up with a really loving guy who even proposed to me. But when he got upset with me for not wanting to have pre-marital sex (I come from an extremely puritanical family, it just wasn't allowed) I was devastated. I made the conclusion that he just wanted to have sex with me, that he didn't really love me. I found another boyfriend. The long line continued.

When I graduated college in 2008 I found myself lost, totally confused and I've been floating ever since. I didn't major in music OR in Theater. I didn't think my Father would approve of the lifestyle, or my exploits on stage. I knew that whatever I did I HAD to be true to myself, so it was all or nothing. I sang in three operas at school, always lead roles (even the female soprano lead, having not taken voice lessons or an acting class my entire life!) I'm living with my new boyfriend, but the only thing I know how to do now is get good grades and be a girl friend. I never mastered anything other than school while I was in school, and being a girlfriend, so that's what I've continued.

I think my family relationships are what set the ball rolling for me. Not only was it genetically inevitable, but my family further enforced my neurotic actions since they had the same ones themselves. I'm 23 and finally going home next weekend to talk to my Father, iron out the wrinkles in our relationship and try to find some sort of common ground. He really loves me, I know he does, he just doesn't know how to connect with or treat others in a way that doesn't bring them down. He had an abusive Father and a Mother that died when he was 14 (his Father beat his mother up). My mother has a chemical imbalance. What more could I expect from them?

I'd love to make some friends on this site. I'm too lonely too much of the time, not many friends and just a part time job. I guess I just want to feel a connection with another person that won't judge me negatively for my interests and passions, and I *hope* I can do the same for others.
 

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Hey CocoaChatnelle welcome. :)
 

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hey there! you did fantastic, all that singing on the stage without even having any lessons!

One thing I know for sure (there was an excellent post about this not that long ago) is that we are all meant to be living an authentic life. when I was graduating high school, I knew what I really wanted to do was study art. i didn't, because I was afraid I'd never be able to support myself, of what other people would think, how they would judge me, etc etc. Even into my 30s I listened far too much to what other people thought about it.

And I have regretted listening to those thoughts and the naysayers every day of my life. Don't you do the same. Eventually, what you really want will show itself in ways you don't expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both for your kind welcome:) And thanks leonardess for the supportive and motivational words. It's nice to know that there is someone out there I can relate with. For some reason, that's what motivates me the most to want to change myself, knowing that I'm now along.

I've come to accept that music and theater are what I love and what I want to be doing with my life. I hope you can pursue your artistic ventures as well, even if it just buds as a hobby :)
 

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Welcome, CocoaChatnelle! :)
 
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