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Author Topic: Petrified of... people?  (Read 238 times)

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Offline MorroWtje

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Petrified of... people?
« on: February 10, 2014, 10:00:54 PM »
Hey all,

If it's alright I'll start with a bit of background info - during school from around the age of 6-15 I was bullied pretty much every day, and ended up not talking to anyone, not doing any social things, and generally staying in my room playing games online.  Also during this time, my parents were getting divorced, and ended up living with my dad (who I far prefer), but the issue with him is that I've never seen him go to a social event, or just ever go out for any sort of enjoyment.

After GCSEs at 16, I finally built up the courage to tell my dad that I was being bullied badly at school, and wanted to leave school to a different place for A levels.  I ended up going to a local college, and started out with the intentions of just keeping my head down, not talking to people, and getting the A levels I needed for university.  Anyway, a month or two in, the person who sat next to me in one of the subjects realised I wasn't really hanging out with anyone, and introduced me to a group of people, who throughout the 2 years of college I had some really great times with, and was definitely the best 2 years of my life.  A couple of things which I really remember was at the end of college, I was just waiting at the bus stop, and a couple of people I knew were walking out of college to a different bus stop, and they just waved to say 'hi', and it just felt amazing.  Another thing which I loved was that for my 16th birthday at college, no-one knew, I just sat in the canteen, and I remember (sounds so pathetic) buying a can of Monster to celebrate it, but next year after being introduced to people for my 17th, someone allowed us to use their house, and had about 15 people round their house for a party, and had people buying cake and stuff, which was just amazing.

College ended, and really only stayed in contact with a few people, (really close to a couple of them), and managed to get into uni which I was really excited for, but this is where the real problem is.  I'm guessing it's a mixture of the things that happened to me during school, and that I'm now quite far away (other side of the UK) to the people who I got so close to during college, but I'm really scared of people, and talking to/seeing them.  Again sounds pathetic, but I'll lock myself in my room all day, and if I'm hungry/need the toilet or something, I won't leave my room until I can hear that all the other flatmates (who are all cool people, never been mean to me or anything), have either gone to bed, or gone out somewhere, and only then I'll quickly scurry to the toilet/kitchen and get whatever done.

I keep telling myself that they really could not care less if I go to the toilet, or if I'm making some lunch/dinner, but I'll unlock my room, step outside, hear voices from the kitchen and just get back inside my room and lock the door as quick as I can.

If there's any advice people could have to make me less... I have no idea whether it's scared of them or what, but if anyone has any advice to make me somewhat more 'normal', it'd be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 05:33:10 AM »
Bit of rational thinking might be good here. What gives you any reason at all to think they would mind you moving about the house when you wanted to? Based on anything they have ever done before. The fact that they leave you be shows they don't mind your ways. Which to others might come across as odd. They are accepting you as you are. Person who wants to stay in their room all the time. They have never tried to force you to do anything. You have any interests at all? Most colleges have clubs. Like photography and the likes. Things you even might like to try out. So you would be around people of a shared interest. Like minded people. I can bet you now that you are not the only person who wants to stay in their room all the time. I bet their are many others in the same college. To break the chain you have to find things to do. Apart from school work. This will be your time out from school work. Have a good look around the college. See what is on offer by way of groups / clubs. People are much older where you are at now. They understand that bullying is wrong. I would class these people as mature people. They are not the same people you had to deal with a good few years back. They were younger people. Younger people can be ignorant at times. Want to be seen and heard. Seeking out attention by picking on others. You won't get those people now. Consider yourself as been around adults now. You left the kids behind years ago.
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Offline Lara71

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 06:03:55 AM »
I sympathized with you. I was bullied from when I was 8 until I was 14 and it had a profound effect on my self esteem and trust. In college I had a blast. In college I lived with my parents but in graduate school, I shared an apartment with a friend.  I no longer had the good times and I kind of became a recluse for a little while. Mostly due to the adjustment of living on my own. It took me a while to really reconnect. I'm a proud introvert, I either connect with people or don't. And I prefer small groupings of people. I would also love if I could get my own subway car in the morning.

However there is a big difference between not wanting to be around people and being afraid to leave your room because people are outside.  I agree with Cuchculan to look into clubs of interest but look into therapy. I'm sure they have something on campus. 

He is right about the bullies. They were too young to understand what they were doing. It was still wrong and not fair, but as adults we tend to be a little more thick skinned. If someone today said I had cooties, I would look at them like they were an idiot. 
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Offline MorroWtje

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 01:07:18 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys.

I really do know that this is completely irrational, illogical and just makes no sense at all, but I think I've pinpointed my issue, and that is communication with people of a similar age to mine.  For instance a few summers ago I volunteered in a charity shop - people basically all over 40 or retired, I could happily chat away with them.  A couple of summers after I volunteered in a care home.  The people there were at least 35-40-ish, and could again happily talk to them.  I 'figured' this out just going to the barbers yesterday, guy was about 40 there, and happily spoke to him whilst he cut my hair about a range of stuff, and when I was walking out, I realised that I had never done that before because the barbers where I normally get my hair cut, they're all about 25 which is a lot closer to my age.

I've booked an appointment with the university counsellor for Monday, so can hopefully go over all the stuff there. 

As I said before, thanks for the responses :)
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Online worldbeat99

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 03:53:47 PM »

Morro, that's good you're seeing a university counselor.  Maybe the trauma of being bullied has given you
some social phobia.  I used to have that.  At work if I had to xerox something, I'd listen to hear no one was
at the machine.  Then I'd run and make copies.  Reminds me of what you describe.

Ultimately for me, I found a good mix of meds and buddhist chanting.  I no longer have social phobia.
Good luck.
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Offline Makayla

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:35:45 PM »
I can tell ya, I can really relate to you being bullied in school. I believe this is what brought on my social anxiety in middle school. Many things sounds irrational when it comes to anxiety. I sometimes feels like I'm the only one on the planet that feels this way. Sometimes I would look out my living room window to see if anyone is outside; If not, I'll go ahead and take the trash out.

I honestly don't know how I survived certain jobs I had. I do notice now, that the very few people I do chat with (whenever I do chat) are all older than me as well. I do pretty good with them, even though we're not the best of friends, and they live thousands of miles away.

I was always the class's current laughing stock. I always thought it was a weird thing to avoid people when I'm a person myself. You are truly not alone. The good news is there's hope and help available. Good you booked an appointment with the university counselor, hoping it will be a great help for you.




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Offline MorroWtje

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Re: Petrified of... people?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 06:58:01 PM »
Thanks for the replies again guys.

Spoke to the counsellor, and her first response was 'oh.. wow', which is never great :D

She didn't really say anything which I didn't know before, and her main point was just 'what's the worst that could happen?', which is the thing I've been telling myself for a while, and I still have no idea what that worst is, but regardless I still just can't do normal things.    I mean at the moment, it's a bit before midnight, and I haven't eaten today purely because every time I've gone and listened out my door for people in the kitchen, I can always hear them there, and I just can't bring myself to go in there.

@worldbeat, would you mind sharing what sort of medication it was that you were given?

@Makayla, yeah it really is horrible.  Most of the stuff I can sit there and just wonder what the absolute worst possible thing that could happen, and there just isn't one, yet I can't bring myself to do these normal things.      The counselling session wasn't exactly as... conclusive as I had thought.  Nothing new to try, just the same stuff that goes through my head every time.  Not really too sure what to do now, whether booking another counselling session will help, or possibly go and talk to my GP for possible medication?
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