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Old 09-16-2005
social_misfit's Avatar
Newbie User

I stumbled on this site while searching for info on social anxiety. I've been a sufferer for several decades now, and just discovered via the many online sites devoted to the subject that I'm not alone. Most people my age have families and lives of their own, but I'm still "treading water". I'm terrified to even go to the corner store or take out the garbage... things most people have no trouble doing.

I finally got the nerve to tell my mother and stepfather what my problem is. They've always struggled trying to figure out what was wrong with me (as I've tried to do myself). They are two of the most "super" social and aggresive people I've ever known... a pair of highly confident go-getters with a ridiculously busy social life (which adds to my lack of confidence in myself).

They have responded to my revelation about my condition with practically NO empathy whatsoever. My mother actually yawns whenever I'm in her presence, and sits waiting for me to say something to her, even after I spent 20 minutes telling her my diffucties in carrying on conversations, and my stepfather is a chain smoking nightmare of a man who patrols this cramped apartment we share like a prison guard. Instead of extending a comforting hand of friendship and understanding to me, he repeatedly commences to slam doors and act like a bully (psychologically, not physically). I swear, he's the most aggresive SOB I've ever seen, and he really makes me nervous whenever he's around. I might as well be living with two total strangers!

I plan to go to my first therapy session in ten years to try to unravel my SP problems soon (a huge undertaking for me to be sure), but I am so nervous and alone right now... I need someone to talk to who REALLY cares. I figure this forum is as good a start as any to try.

PLEASE... someone help me to understand why the people you're supposed to be the closest to are the most difficult to communicate with. I have no friends, never had a girlfriend, and the few times when girls have expressed an interest in me I've been too afraid and/or socially inept to respond.

It's late and stepdaddy-dearest is due to come back from his job soon, so I'm going to post this and leave until tomorrow about this time. I hope some of you nice people here will read this and give me some hope. Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2005
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Intermediate User

well...the most important thing to know is that you are not alone, I can relate to all your feelings... at home my father is kinda like yours, I can't talk to him because he doesn't understand, it's really to the point that I almost can't breath talking to him, the same for my brother, luckely my mother is much more understanding, she would give her life so that I would feel better (a matter of speaking ofcourse), I do have a girlfriend who is so understanding, she helped me alot, u just have to wait for that special person, she's my soulmate, everybody has one, u just have to wait and you'll find him/her, I'm lucky I already found her when I was 17 (now 19), I'm yet to be cured but what Ive been doing the last couple of days already helped me out alot, self-hypnosis that is,, Ive been doing the one on building self-confidence and I already feel it helped out alot
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Old 09-16-2005

Hi, welcome! I am sorry to hear that ur parents r not very understanding about your condition. Many people arn't. I think what grumblina said in her 1st 2 sentences are true. Unless if u r ever in the position of the other person, its difficult to comprehend the other person's thoughts & feelings. My brother sort of understands SA as he used to be a fairly shy kid himself. The rest of my family don't understand wat seems to be the problem wif me. I guess this is the case u r facing right now.

U said u had trouble talking to ur parents as they seem to like to make things more difficult, making u even more nervous. Maybe u could stay in your room to do your own stuff unless its really essential for u to go out to the living area(for meals for example) so u won't feel so nervous?
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Old 09-16-2005

I can relate to your situation. I have SA and I also live with my mom and stepdad. My stepdad is also sorta **** about the house we live in and feels that since he pays most of the bills, his word is the most right. The way I deal with him is just to keep conversation minimal, unless he wants to talk to me about something.

I think you will find it very comforting to talk to a counselor about the problems you are having with SA and at home. I often wonder if my SA stems from 20 years of dealing with blended families which are ever-changing. I never felt a strong sense of homeliness in my house because we were not the traditional nuclear family.

Living with bitchy people has taught me one important lesson, and that is I dont want to live my life like that. I want to love people and be loved back. I want to relax and enjoy all the simple things in life, not freak out over the simple things.

I'm sorry your parents aren't giving you the responses you need. This is very common for people who don't experience the problems themselves. Maybe you can have a therapy session including your parents so you and your counselor can explain to your parents what's going in your life.
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Old 09-16-2005
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Gosh, this is a sad situation, mainly due to the fact your parents don't understand, but also because they don't appear to WANT to either.
It is the worst feeling when you feel totally alone, and have no support, whilst in a situation that mentally cripples you and takes you prisoner.
I hope you read replies ppl have written, and get at least some strength from this site xx
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Old 09-17-2005
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Thanks to those of you who gave your opinions. I'm glad someone understands, and your advice is helpful.

I'll check out that self-hypnosis site today Hurricane, and thanks for the kind words about finding a soulmate... I figure I'm going to need a good deal of therapy and a little medication to get my anxiety down before tackling the challenge of meeting women in a social situation. Maybe then I'll find a nice girl who'll understand me and not be so judgemental.

Thanks grumblina for the warm welcome and the "reality check". I guess Ive been living in a fantasy world where I expect a "Father Knows Best" reaction from my family. They're so self-absorbed in their own way of life that they can't possibly see the pain I go through each day. They're too busy "living it up", and can't understand that my problem is real. I share your hope that my therapist will give me insight on how to cope with my condition and with those who make things worse than they need to be.

I'm practically living out of a tiny little room, Fighter86, while my stepfather spends half his offtime pacing back and forth past my door. When he can't get me to come out and face his scrutiny, he starts slamming the door to their bedroom (on average of every four or five minutes) like a psycho, and this really jolts me. They want me to come out so they can intimidate me, thinking that somehow that will magically "change" me into another person, but I can't become the person they want me to be at the click of a switch. I used to sit at the table and eat meals with them, but it got so painful to do that I stopped. Now I spend most of my time alone with practically no one to talk to.

What you said about bitchy people is exactly how I feel, Angie. I'm tired of people adding to the drama of my life. It's hard enough just getting up the nerve to face each day without someone acting like a **** everytime you encounter them. I want to love and be loved also like you do. I hope that someday we can all find what we need to make our lives the best they can be. As for including my mom and stepfather in my therapy sessions... I think they are the kind of people who would pretend that they understand in public, and then go back to "business as usual" in private (this is especially true of my stepfather, who is the main source of stress for me at home), so I wouldn't be too confident doing that. I read that many factors contribute to SA, so your family troubles are most certainly a contributor, but probably not the whole source. For me, I've had a number of factors that contribute to my SA.

I'm thankful that I took a chance and posted a topic on this site, Bexi. Just reading these replies has been a source of strength. It's really tough, but I'm hoping this site and others, along with a caring therapist (if I'm lucky, the one I'm seeing on Monday will be the right one), will help me get through this difficult time. Also, my grandmother, with whom I had a very acrimonious relationship, died suddenly this past May, leaving me with a ton of unresolved issues, and that got me screwed up as well. I may take up SPW's offer to submit my full story... it might be therapeutic to get it all out.

Thanks again everyone for the support. I'll continue to check this topic from time to time (I think they allow the topics to continue running here indefinitely) to see if more advice comes up, and maybe I'll start a few other topics and post my own opinions on other members' topics in the future. Good luck with your individual issues. If you'd like, you can tell me about your situations too... I'm a good listener. If not, then stay well.
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Old 09-17-2005

Aww, your stepfather seems really mean, & looks intent to terrify u..I think someone needs to let them know that they r not helping u this way, maybe only causing more emotional truma. Maybe your new therapist could help explain this to them? That they muz be loving & supportive to help u, not threatening...
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Old 09-17-2005
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hi social-misfit

hope you're feeling a bit better with some sopport from the people on here.
Your homelife sounds very stressful and doesn't sound like a good environment for you to become happy in yourself.
Ideally our families should be the people who support us and love us no matter what and give us confidence to deal with the world...but its not always the case. Aswell as not getting the support you need, it sounds like you're also being hurt by the fact no one close to you is offering help or kindness. You've waited a long time for support from your family, but it sounds unlikely that they're able to offer it.
I understand how that feels and I've found that its easier just not to expect it, and to accept my family for the people they are..and to ignore any negative affect they have on me.

I hope you get the help you need, and that it will help you deal with the intimidation you seem to be getting at home.
take care
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Old 09-18-2005
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Thanks blubs. I'm going to take that advice... to try and minimize any negative effect their behavior might have on my main goal, which is to get well. I'm suffering now, but the advice I've gotten since going online to seek help has made me realize that I CAN get better and hopefully one day I will be strong enough to take control of my own life rather than let others. My first therapy session in ten years comes on Monday afternoon, and I'm stressing about it, but I am determined to make the appointment, hoping that the therapist (a female) will be sincere and helpful in my quest to get my life to where I want it to be.

This condition I'm suffering from has prevented me from holding a steady job, making friends, and... dare I dream... finding love, and I want all of that to change.

I've felt the same way you do taws, but I don't have the nerve to say it out loud! I'm not aggressive enough to confront this crazy society (at least not yet), but there's alot of people I'd like to give a piece of my mind to.

You made a good point Fighter, but like I said earlier, my mother and stepfather would only act nice about the situation to please the therapist... their feelings will never change. I've either got to be like they are, or I'm nothing.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was thinking suicide was the only way to stop my suffering, and I hit rock bottom when I got quietly drunk in my room and ended up straddling the bathroom toilet at three in the morning for about an hour. I knew I had no one to talk to in my personal life that would understand, so I went online the next day and google searched "suicide". I poured over as many sites as I could, and someone on one of those sites said "don't give up, someone cares about you" and "get help right away", among other helpful things. One site devoted to suicide prevention had a description of Social Anxiety, and it blew me away, because everything they said described my life to a T. I then did a google search on "social anxiety" and this site came up.

I think this may be a turn around in my life, although the suicidal thoughts are still there, they are now being challenged by thoughts of hope that my life can change. I'm still scared as hell, but I guess that's to be expected. Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 09-18-2005

Well I am very glad you chose to ride this out instead of giving up. It's hard to imagine your life being any other way when you feel stuck in the cycle of unhappiness.

Even though I have family problems, I recently experienced what it was like to live on my own, and it was great. I felt like a different person when I moved away from my family. My life was better. I love them of course, it's just that family has such an impact on the way we feel and behave.

I'm sure your therapist will have lots of guidance for you. I bet it probably seems like overcoming your problems may be too daunting at times and you don't think you can do it. Even the smallest progress on your journey will help your sense of hope. With every small step I've made to overcome SA, I feel better about the future and have more self-confidence, even if I am still having problems in other areas.

Please don't give up. There are so many changes a person goes through; situations don't have to stay the same forever.
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Old 04-04-2010

I had the same problem with my parents! They were in denial about the whole thing... In fact every time i tried to break free from it they would give me resistance! Fortunately i didn't let them stop me!

- I went out with a girl.. She a bimbo.. She way to young...
- I sign up to the gym.. Its to expensive.. its a waste of money.. Your not going to commit to it anyway...
- I take up kickboxing.. It's to far.. To expensive.. Your going to get hurt.. why you doing that ****..

Now i remember one time i couldn't do something. I just wasn't confident enough to do it... Which was understandable now that i look back! Anyway my dad just looked at me and called me a wimp. Now he has called me a wimp several times before and i had let him. This time though i knew i wasn't! I had been fighting something harder then he probably ever would.. I was fighting for a better life.. I was fighting for a life different to my parents... One with close friendships with people... One without the negativity that they had brought into mine.. So I looked him in the eye and told him no i am not a wimp! You are the wimp and he looked back and said yeah i am! and he hasn't done it since...

You know what though! You have the strength to fight it! You have already taken the first steps! You have the strength to stand up for yourself and the life you want! You have the strength to create the life you want! A life so different from your parents! A life without the negativity and crap! A life with strong close friendships to many people! A life filled with positivity! Keep going for it and you will start to feel the strength and confidence inside of you. The closer you get to the life you want and the further apart your life becomes from your parents! It's just a matter of time now! It will be hard but its worth it in the end =)

Good luck with it all!
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