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#207017 - 02/23/08 07:50 PM Social Anxiety
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Well, its reared its ugly head again. About 3-4 months ago, I got new neighbors, been lucky that I've only seen them out 2 times since then, the father gave me a wave once and I was fine, but I had no warning I didn't have any time to freak out or anything. The next time was a big deal, the teenage son (I haven't gotten a good look at him to figure his age..not that I'm any good at that anyway) came out to shovel the snow we had on Friday, and I was out there too. I totally freaked out and went back in the garage then I snuck to do the walk where his view of me would be blocked by the house. When I'm finished, I started freaking out and froze as I heard him shoveling. I'm standing with a shovel in hand in the freezing rain for 10 minutes freaking out. I then went and snuck back into the garage and "took a break" for over an hour, then I looked outside and he was finished. I finished up the driveway.

Even though I know as my therapist says "Not to make you feel bad but (he/she)'s not really paying attention to you", I just can't shake it. I've always thought that it was because I didn't want people to get to know me because I am ashamed of myself, but that doesn't make sense, I'm moving and I'll be out of here probably by the end of April, maybe early May and I'll never see them again.

Jason


_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#207029 - 02/23/08 08:28 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
MagRaith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Jason - I completely understand and relate to your feelings. And when I do something like what you described, I get so mad at myself and feel like such a complete idiot. I don't have the answer, but if I look at myself I realize that I do this partly because I have a lifetime of trying to be invisible. Feeling like an alien among other humans. Carrying the humiliating and shameful secret all my life and allowing the abuse to dictate how I feel about myself. Not wanting to have to interact with anyone in case they somehow figured out what I was truly all about. Part of it is the blame that I still accept for what happened and as you said the idea that there is something inherently wrong or evil about me. So I guess for me it is trying to place the blame where it belongs and off of myself (easier said than done) so that I don't continue to believe that people will be horrified by the person I am. These are all parts of the belief system that was forced on me by my abuser. Practicing interacting with others as much as I am comfortable is a challenge but helps. And maybe not thinking that I can predict the future or how others will react.

I hope this makes sense, its a pretty small summary of a very complicated situation. But I think feeling this way is pretty common to us survivors, and my T seems to think it is a core issue that can be overcome. I'm still working on it.

Kurt


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#207121 - 02/24/08 11:56 AM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: MagRaith]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
Jason,

Boy, can I relate to your topic of social anxiety. Until recently I had to tell my boss at my work that I was Sexual Abused when I was a kid. I had changed positions within my company and started in a Sales Position. However, because of my low self-esteem and feeling of no self-worth I resigned this position. I was not doing nor was I feeling good about my performance. Thankfully I was given back my old position, but not before I had to explain why I did not succeed in my Sales.

Now at work I am constantly freaked out that everyone at work, bosses and fellow employees, think that I am this quack, perverted guy, abuser and all the rest. Everyone is looking at me in this weird way, asking me how are you, how do you feel?

I need to discuss this with my group and my T. next week. It is driving me crazy.

Ken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#207149 - 02/24/08 03:39 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: KENKEN]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Ken,
I would just smile and say something like "Much better thank you for asking" and quickly change the subject. That it tackful, truthful, and gets the point across that it is not a subject for public discussion. Only the densest will push beyond that. See if that works.

I know it is hard not to imagine that everyone knows now and that may or may not be the case. You might address this with your boss and ask if he has in fact discussed your details with anyone else. It may just be that it is you being over sensitive and paranoid. Probably not but it would be good to really know for sure. Some may be looking for gossip some may have a genuine heart felt concern. Some people I have decided to disclose to have mentioned that people they know or are related to have also had this sad experience and are genuinely interested and concerned. That was refreshing and did make me feel more confortable around them. Just a few thoughs. Hang in there guy.


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#207156 - 02/24/08 04:38 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: Freedom49]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California
Kurt,

I totally relate to your statement about trying to live life as if you are invisible. That is exactly how I had tried to live life. I never really wa able to put my finger on it until you mentioned it in your posting.

Thank you for helping me to recognize that.

Dan M.


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#207206 - 02/24/08 09:43 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I do this too. My back yard is surrounded by houses on all sides. When my Neighbors are out I pretend to not see then on ignore them by going into the garage to work on something else. I also sometimes go back in the house and do something there until they go away. I don't know what it is I fear, I know 3 of the neighbors and have even talked to them but I still hide. I don't understand why I do this, as a mater of fact I did it today.

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_τΏτ_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#207213 - 02/24/08 09:59 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: GateKPR4]
imbroken Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 40
Loc: NJ
I could have written this whole thread. I do this all the time, including today.


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#207222 - 02/24/08 10:56 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: imbroken]
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
I know what your talking about as well. One of the best things I've found you can do in this situation is read up on it. Doing research and learning about social anxiety and figuring out what is going on within yourself can be a great source of relief. Webmd is excellent for this kind of thing.

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder

A did a bit of research for you. This helped me.

Another thing is to identify what thought popped in your head when you first saw that kid. Maybe you feel uncomfortable around youth because of what has happened to you. I had this problem. I felt that even talking to a child or someone much younger to me was disturbing. I was affraid that people would see me as a predator like the one who abused me. I was relating my perps actions with my character. However, it didn't fit because I had no urge or desire to hurt children in anyway. Therefor, that feeling was irrational. Sometimes, in any social situation, asking yourself, "why do I feel uncomfortable about this?" Then asking, "is it rational" can be revealing. You can search and search yourself to find something rational but the odds are, you won't. This is an enlightening exercise.

Also, we've had social issues since we were children. Perhaps the accumulation of horrible, scary, embarrassing memories we have also contributes to our troubles with social anxiety. One thing that may help is to try to look back on some of the first memories you've had as a child that were terrifying. Maybe being laughed at by the whole class in third grade. Or getting beaten up by that school yard bully when you were 7. If you want to get rid of a huge weed that makes your yard look ugly, find the roots and tear them out. If you have time, I would HIGHLY recommend a technique called EFT. It has done wonders for me. Here is a good site to teach you how to do this. http://www.tapping.com/
If you like this strategy and it works for you, this guy has plenty other videos on Youtube. However, be cautious when using this with memories of your CSA. It can be overwhelming at times. If you choose to do so, I would recommend discussing it with a "T" and get a professional opinion. This is somewhat of a new thing in our society and not that many therapists know about it so it helps to do a bit of research on this as well. I sure did.


Good luck my friend! You can beat this! Be patient for this does take time. If there's a will, there's a way.

The other Jason LOL.

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#207470 - 02/26/08 03:55 AM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: KENKEN]
marshmellow Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 8
I can totally relate to social anxiety issues. Wether its in a career or just going to a local bar. I isolate so bad that right now I don't have to deal with any of it. I used to work in sales also until my stuff started coming out. Confidence, self esteem, etc. out the window about 5 yrs ago so I dropped out of the tech industry and have been hiding out working at a skatshop ever since(I am also a skateboarder). Been living pay check to pay check for what seems like an atternity and yet I still can't bring myself to deal with those issues. We're not even talking about sex and women yet either. It sucks. Thanks for sharring.


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#207472 - 02/26/08 04:19 AM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: marshmellow]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 982
Loc: HULBERT OK
I have to get on a Jet tommorow and fly half way across the US
I am not bothered by flying . but I hate any place that I have to deal with People .

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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#207563 - 02/26/08 03:14 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: OKIE MIKE]
conchshell Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Southern California
I also get a lot of social anxiety. If I didn't have a job I could do from home I probably would be in serious trouble trying to support myself.


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#207617 - 02/26/08 08:45 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: conchshell]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jason,

I haven't had exactly the same problem, but I did go through a stage when I worried a lot about what other people were thinking, what they knew about me, and what their intentions against me might be. When I went for an assessment at our local mental health services clinic, I even wondered if they had installed two doors so as to confuse me if I needed to escape.

In my case the problem came down to PTSD, and once I was on a good regime of medication things got a lot better. I wonder if your problem might be something similar.

But even if not, what you say makes a lot of sense for a survivor. So many times a survivor is hyper-vigilant and who can blame him, taking past events into account?

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#207621 - 02/26/08 08:53 PM Re: Social Anxiety [Re: endlessjourney]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks Jason for sharing your information on tapping. Unfortunately it seems like I have no motivation to do much of anything at all, when I do start something, it lasts all of 2 weeks if I'm lucky.

I'm very aware of Social Anxiety Disorder, I spent 3 months of my life attending weekly sessions at the social anxiety program at Temple University in Philadelphia. It didn't work for me but then again I never got around to doing the homework they provided. I never seem to do anything for a long time, I wasted $8000 of my inhertaince (which BTW is all gone), attending a 3 week intensive treatment program for my stuttering down in Roanoke, VA. I was doing well my mom commented on the phone and then when I got home I just stopped trying. I've added the tapping website to my favorites list so that maybe in the future I might come back to it.

Quick fact, do you know who else has S.A.D.? Donny Osmond of Donny and Marie fame.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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