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    optimisticrab25's Avatar
    optimisticrab25 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jul 10, 2019, 02:33 AM
    Social Anxiety back in my hometown
    Whenever I go back home to my town to visit my family I suffer from the following symptoms:

    - Avoiding going into public places such as the supermarket or park at certain times to avoid bumping into certain people I am uncomfortable with.

    - Declining any offers to go to social events where I may encounter people from my past which can trigger old painful memories and make me feel inferior.

    - Feeling bad and left out and lonely when I see certain people having fun and I am not there because I just do not fit in with them.

    - Feeling like I am a burden and have brought shame to my own parents because I do not have a life outside of my house when I go back home. My mum probably compares other people's children to me and is embarrassed of me.

    How can I overcome these feelings and feel better when I go back home?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,051, Reputation: 10852
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    #2

    Jul 10, 2019, 03:17 AM
    How old are you? How long have you lived away from your hometown? Are you happy with that life you have built for yourself? It is understandable to have such feelings, but it sounds like you don't have the courage or confidence in yourself to face or deal with them. Maybe it is that lack of self confidence that makes those feelings bigger than what they should be, and hiding from them makes it worse.

    I think you must face that fear by doing what you are most fearful of, and that's get out the house and take that chance of old people, places, or things that have brought those feelings about. Focus on enjoying your family. Please respond to the questions I have asked as they may reveal more about you and better to suggest a plan of action.
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    optimisticrab25 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jul 10, 2019, 03:31 AM
    Hello talaniman,

    I am 22 years old, I moved out of my home when I was 18. I live in a different country, I completed my degree, have made a couple of close friends, had a rough breakup, and I keep moving cities for different jobs/experiences/courses/internships. My aim is to choose a place to live in when I am 24-25 and stay there for a good amount of time so I can build a life slowly.

    I try and focus on my family whenever I go back, especially spending time with my disabled sister who misses me so much. My parents both have social anxiety and lack a close group of friends too, which doesn't help my situation.

    I want to have at least 1 or 2 good friends I can catch up with when I go back home. The people I grew up with were quite mean to me and low key bullied me for years which is why I have developed a fear of being around them.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,051, Reputation: 10852
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    #4

    Jul 10, 2019, 04:36 AM
    Thank you for your timely response to my queries. While your parents may not of been able to teach you healthy coping skills to your fears and the bullying, have hope, just as fear can be developed, so can courage. First realize that mean people and especially bullies have NOTHING to do with YOU, so don't let it affect you because it's about THEIR lack of empathy, because that's what they were taught or traumatized from. In short it is they who are hurt and hide it by lashing out at others. Stay focused on family and friends and DO try those social events and errand to the store.

    Your fear only wins win you give in to it, and it becomes a habit, that feeds itself. Unsure what you mean by low key bullying, and that could mean more than one or a clique perhaps. You were probably outnumbered is my guess, so please confirm that assumption. How likely is in that the clique still even exists years later if my assumption is even correct?

    LOL, most people tend to avoid the people places and things where they feel they do not really fit in so that is a fairly normal reaction. It's like taking a different route to a destination rather than face the dog who chases you when he sees you and there should be no great fear, guilt or shame in such avoidance. Perhaps examining how you reacted to that low key bullying and meanness from those people can give you clues to your fear, which can be disguised anger at the way you handled yourself.

    Make any sense? Please tell me what you did about it when such things happened.
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    optimisticrab25 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jul 10, 2019, 06:38 AM
    I do think you are right, I am going home next week and I will make a small goal to force myself to go out in public whenever I want to so I don't avoid people. I've had enough of hiding myself, and it really hurts. There are basically a group of young people my age that have formed a group and all hang out together and make plans, except for me, I am literally the only one from that age group who is not part of it.
    When this started a few years ago, I started to get really bad panic attacks and isolate myself from everyone, this cycle has continued for the past few years, I almost always dread going home. The only hope I have is in the new life I am slowly building here, but I still have to go back to see my family because I miss them so much.

    I just hate being the socially anxious kid who is never seen anywhere because she is trapped by her fears.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,051, Reputation: 10852
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    #6

    Jul 10, 2019, 07:06 AM
    I think you put far to much on being seen to be healthy instead of grateful for the one or two good friends you have. I would be interested to know if you have shared this experience with them, or if they too are in the same boat. It is typical of young people to be separated from their comfort zones and familiar people when they transition from home and school to higher learning and work. Much adjustments are needed.

    I think you put the focus on doing and seeing rather than the be seen part.
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    optimisticrab25 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jul 10, 2019, 07:32 AM
    "I think you put the focus on doing and seeing rather than the be seen part. "

    I don't really understand this sentence, do you mind clarifying this for me please?

    I think its especially harder for young people with social anxiety who are faced with their own demons. I have spoken to some of my friends about this and they say it is normal to not have friends back home.

    It just still sucks.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,051, Reputation: 10852
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    #8

    Jul 10, 2019, 09:44 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by optimisticrab25 View Post
    "I think you put the focus on doing and seeing rather than the be seen part. "

    I don't really understand this sentence, do you mind clarifying this for me please?
    Sure thing. It means go about your business and errand to the and stop looking for bullies to run into. Yeah it sucks to suffer from such issues, and maybe you need extra expert help to develop your own coping skills to deal with your anxieties and that's a good way to go too.

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