Avoiding pain...

treegirl

Active member
#1
Does anyone here feel scared to open themselves up to new experiences because past ones didn't go so well? I'm only 29 but have lived through a lot in my lifetime. I can't imagine what the future has in store for me, it's quite worrisome actually to think about. Cancer? Being cheated on? A loveless relationship? Something worse? Perhaps the whole bundle. Sigh. This is a negative thread, I apologize.

Here's a funny picture to balance it out:

 
#3
Yep! I'm exactly the same.

Though, I constantly get discouraged from new experiences due to my overbearing family feeling the need to shelter me from the outside world. Which is quite typical when if yer disabled, as I am.

And I'm always thinking the worst when it comes to new experiences. As well as feelin' inadequate and inferior to others.
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#4
Part of the outcome of experiences is dictated by your state of mind and how much you anticipate anxiety, judgment, or how little fun it'll be due to your distorted view of reality. Sure, new experiences can be scary, but they can also be amazing and life changing, especially when they're things you've always wanted to do.
 
Last edited:

Fey

Well-known member
#5
Yeah, but I try to tell myself now that I've already lived through a lot. Things that seemed like they'd never end when I was 14 didn't matter at 24.
 
#6
Hell yes.
I hid in my room basically until my late 20's from fear of bad social situations that may happen - which originated from serious bullying at school.

When I did finally "venture out" of my cosy, socially isolated cave, everything that could have gone wrong, actually did go wrong! :eek:h: :kickingmyself:

Sadly some people get scarred so bad and just don't posses the personality or emotional ability to "bounce back" from bad situations. No matter how much effort they put in or how long they try.

I accept that I won't ever venture out into the social/friends realm ever again, but I am ok with that. :)
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
#7
I have a high physical pain tolerance apparently. Give me that pain any day rather than the pain of complication involving people.
 

treegirl

Active member
#9
Thanks for the replies. I used to be more adventurous, now I'm more like an abused dog who's learned to stay away from people. It's just so hard to keep an open mind about things. ::(:
 
#10
Thanks for the replies. I used to be more adventurous, now I'm more like an abused dog who's learned to stay away from people. It's just so hard to keep an open mind about things. ::(:
treegirl, are you paranoid?

For a long time, paranoïa and negative thinking were the ones preventing me from going out and doing anything new to me.

I'd always tell myself "What if this or that bad thing would happen to me on my way ....etc." I am still paranoid but not at that level anymore, I am still by looking behind my back every 2 mins, wherever I happen to be.
 

treegirl

Active member
#11
treegirl, are you paranoid?

For a long time, paranoïa and negative thinking were the ones preventing me from going out and doing anything new to me.

I'd always tell myself "What if this or that bad thing would happen to me on my way ....etc." I am still paranoid but not at that level anymore, I am still by looking behind my back every 2 mins, wherever I happen to be.
Not paranoid. I would say I experience a lot of negative thoughts, though.

I've also experienced some let down in my life and pretty serious illness which contribute to my negative thinking.
 
#12
Not paranoid. I would say I experience a lot of negative thoughts, though.

I've also experienced some let down in my life and pretty serious illness which contribute to my negative thinking.
I feel anxious about doing things which didn't turn out well in the past, and that marked me in some way.

My father is a negative thinker as well. It's contagious, and can discourage people by keeping them from doing something they were confident about doing.

I don't know how this can be reversed, maybe with time, while experiencing happier things this way of thinking would change.
 
#13
I've always [though slightly less lately] been trying to protect myself from potential pain by avoiding everything new (including non-social new experiences, even things as inconsequential as a new food I might not like), but I find it harder to explain why since I haven't really had bad experiences. Or perhaps that's why I'm so scared, not having survived anything bad means I don't know if it'll completely instantly shatter me when I finally do have a bad experience.

At least you know you're strong and can make it through troubles, and hopefully you've used up all the bad luck. And I think you're still more adventurous than you realize. Maybe less impulsive than you once were, but that's called maturity and it's good. Just because you may chicken out on some things, that doesn't negate your efforts and you've got a pretty active life that I admire.

And there's no shame in being scared of encountering giant cats who can command the power of lightning. We all are.
 
Last edited:

grapevine

Well-known member
#16
Oh of course. Look at me, I lived a life of deep loneliness and away from society for over a decade because there was always this huge brick wall that I had to get through in order try new things.

Many years ago I would even walk 14 or more km a day rather than learn to drive because I thought that there was prob only men driving instructors and I was tooo scared to get into a car with some man.. thinking I would be raped again - as because of my past with rape at 2 different stages in my life- I had a belief that men couldnt help themselves and it would happen to me again.

But you know what? I found a female instructor and got my liscence and my life changed for the better.

The same with jobs- I got a job and actually became social - I was pushed and forced myself and hated it and then my life completely changed 360 to where I am now.

So many things have changed because I pushed myself.

I guess though, sometimes even when your not ready - good things can happen with change.

But change will always feel uncomfortable and you will always have haunts of the past that make you think those things may happen again..

.. but its what you concentrate on that your energy will flow towards.

When I was really overweight- I hated so many things- I hated being around my mum - just one comment about my clothing size hurt me- so I had to really be careful in my thoughts- stay away from her and what I think she thought of me.. concentrate on the outcome.. and I did it - I lost over 30kg in 8 months. And now its not even a thing I think about - I eat whatever really.

Things DO happen that can blow any of your past expectations - negative ones out of the park ...Im talking about good things.. seriously >>> there can be changes that you may never of imagined.

I mean I always use to have issues with my body weight- but now I am very thin- and I dont even try anymore. Its odd.
 
#18
I am definitely afraid of the idea of opening myself up too much for any future encounters with new human beings. Especially if it's about getting to know a new person in a romantic way. I have been in a relationship for the past few years, and to some degrees we have many nice moments together, but in other ways, I feel like I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, when we were getting to know each other. Mistakes that still haunt us to this day. And it can be narrowed down to me being too open about a few things before we really knew each other, combined with her having insecurities of her own, which has now led to trust issues and difficulty with intimacy.

I sometimes feel like I've screwed up so much that I should just walk away and let her find happiness elsewhere. But then we're back to the aforementioned problem: At this point, I wouldn't know how to open myself up to a new person. I'd fear that I'd make all the same mistakes once again.
 
#19
I'm 30 years old and I have similar feelings, as well. I have been through a lot, and have grown to avoid close relationships. The closer I am to someone, the more they hurt me it seems. This stems from how my family treated me growing up, reinforced by friendships and unhealthy romantic relationships. They have traumatized me, and even the thought of dating again really upsets me. Makes my belly turn into a ball of anxiety. I have a difficult time trusting someone else with my emotions.

I also want to sign up for recreational sports and become healthier, but I'm really insecure and scared to do it alone. Fear of being hurt, rejected, or put down by other people hinders a lot in my everyday life. I still try and work through it everyday, some days I will have more courage than others. But all I can do is try my best to overcome these feelings. One small victory at a time. Like today at lunch I joined into a ping pong game on campus. It's only a small game and I lost the match, but I did win in that it was a positive experience; I laughed and made new acquaintances/friends.

I have come to terms and accepted this about myself. It's nothing that will change overnight. I have many acquaintances, still talk to my family but, I keep them at a safe distance. I try to set healthy boundaries when I can. I need to protect myself and teach others how I wish to be treated. I also try to avoid isolating (as it breeds depression and loneliness). I keep myself busy enough that 'avoiding pain' doesn't cripple me, and I can still excel in other aspects of my life (career, hobbies, music, art etc). I channel it into skills and activities that better myself. I can play guitar by myself, I can teach myself piano by watching videos. I can kick a soccer ball at a net, go for a bike ride/walk. A lot of healthy things can be done alone.

These are a few techniques I've picked up in counselling and therapy sessions over the years.

What we're all going through is perfectly normal and ok, a lot of us share the same feelings and insights.

Just don't let this ever make you feel down and depressed, don't ever beat yourself up for it.
 
#20
I've been through a lot of rejection. Now I'm afraid to even try anything just to avoid the pain. I wish I could just stay in bed for the rest of my life.
 
Top