Hi Snowy, welcome to AZ.
Your post isn't overly large, don't worry about it.
You have a lot to deal with right now and you have every right to be heard here with patience and understanding. You've attempted to help quite a few people here since you joined, even on my own threads, so its only fair to take the time to give you a little feedback too.
Hopefully it'll help you out a wee bit!
I think i'll leave the most important thing Iíd like to say til last.
1) Your sister sounds like someone you admired, someone you looked up to. Us anxiety-prone folks like consistency, reliability, in others around us. Your sisterís moral strength must have been a source of comfort for you. Maybe even someone who's example in life gave you inner strength. For her to change so suddenly must not only be shocking and disappointing... on another level perhaps it also makes you question your own ability to read other people: ie. has she changed, or was she always this way but you merely never picked up on it? To a certain extent it shakes your faith in everybody - if your sister, such a strong and constant person, can change in front of your eyes, then who out there cannot?
Despite everything, it sounds to me like sheís a sincere person who has lost her way. If sheís 20 years older than you then she must be in her 40ísÖ I know that for many men thatís a difficult stage in life. You begin to realise that old age is breathing down your neck; you begin to question all the certainties youíd believed in during the course of your life. Sadly, many marriages seem to fail at this stage in life. Perhaps your sister is finding the transition to middle age difficult, stressful. It could be that the reserve of moral strength she had that guided her through life has - for now - deserted her. It certainly sounds to me like she isnít happy with the way she is behaving right nowÖ she sounds distressed. Its a shame.
On another level, her behaviour - pushing people away - may be motivated by guilt over how she has treated her hubby, and his recent ill health. If she was with him for so long then she must love him, or at least continue to hold feelings for him... its very rare for people to cleanly cut their emotions for someone. On some level, I believe guilt is also afflicting her. And when guilt strikes, we can react in one of two ways; one, we try to atone for it, or we attempt to push the person away from us in an attempt to free ourselves of the heavy guilt burden.
Either way, I'm sure you know a lot more than me, and my attempts at theorising, on the matter.
2) You have a right to feel devastated after your boyfriend came out as gay. For 4 years you shared your life with him as a romantic partner. Thatís a long enough time to mourn the love of their love deeply. After 4 years it must have felt to you that this relationship had the prospect of a real future. I wasnít with my ex partner for 4 years and I can tell you, it still hurt me. Itís a great pity your ex took 4 years of your life to decide he was gay. Thatís 4 years of your life you gave him. It must be upsetting for you. Even if you were angry and bitter (which I know you arenít, because you say youíre stillfriends) I would understand completely.
I mean, its great heís came out and is moving on with his life happilyÖ but what about you? What about how you are feeling? This is just as much about you as it is about him.
3) Finally, this part of what you shared stood out to me most;
Hell, I'm 25. Five years to thirty, one fourth done with my life. I haven't accomplished anything, and I feel like I was born into the wrong world.
In some way my circumstances are similar to yours... Iím practically housebound due to depression rather than anxiety though. I have no job at the moment, although I have worked in the past. Iíve got a few years more under my belt than you though, so you're still way ahead of me!
What Iíd like to say, is that all need to realise that we have inherent self-worth regardless of what ďachievementsĒ we have to our name. Youíre still only 25 years old, still young. There's still the time to achieve any dreams you have, any ambitions you carry.
How many people of our age aren't finding life/career/relationships a great challenge nowadays? Nobody ever said life was easy! Even so, what do we mean by ďachievementsĒ? A high flying career, a high salary? Are those really the things which bestow worth on us? What about the person you are? I believe our self worth comes from WHO we are, not WHAT we are or what we have to our name. You sound like a sincere, compassionate, well rounded person - qualities that many folks today sadly have never acquired. You are of great worth. You may have issues going on in your life right now but they donít detract from you. It sounds like youíre working hard to overcome those issues. That in itself deserves respect. You're making a real effort. Well done to you. As I say, in certain respects it sounds like you are ahead of me.
To many eyes, I donít have many achievements to my name either; like you I live at home with my family (although in my cultural background that isnít a problem, thank God!).
Where do I find my self worth? In doing right by those who are important in my life, those I care about (Iím a carer for a disabled relative), in always seeking to do right by others, and conducting myself in a considerate and sincere manner. Being able to look at ourselves and know, not that we are perfect or we never make mistakes - but in that we try our best. That's all we can ask of ourselves.
I enjoy simple pleasures, really... (others would say 'boring' but, ah, that's all a matter of opinion, heh)
such as reading, walks in the countryside, nature, animals (particularly cats and birds) and a bit of Japanese anime/manga on the side, haha. I may not have much achievements to my name (I am a uni graduate with a bit of postgraduate experience under my belt, so I guess that's something), but I believe we can gain so much more genuine sense of self worth from developing ourselves, by spiritual self-improvement, than we can from trying to live up to the expectations of others; the fleeting expectations of society. Accolade and admiration from others comes and goes with the seasons... but a good character can serve us well throughout our entire lives. And a good character can touch the lives of many, many others that come to appreciate our presence.
Regardless of how lonely you may be be feeling right now due to your issues, you are not alone.
There are others who understand how you feel because we've either been there or are still there. The key to improvement is to take things in small steps; rather than daunting yourself by the totality, just make little steps one at a time. I donít have Social Anxiety, but I have a good friend who does (he cannot even speak to strangers without stuttering and muttering so he's almost a shut-in) so I appreciate how difficult it must be for you. You don't have it easy, i would never seek to minimise what you're going through at the moment. On top of that you have a lot of external issues on your plate to deal with right now that are largely outwith your control.
Nevertheless, the same rule applies. Small steps. You'll soon start feeling you're making progress. For instance i go out at least once a week even if its just for a gentle stroll. It breaks up my day, improves the oppressive feeling of depression in my mind. I've also started taking up hobbies i ditched for the last few years as i resigned myself to a pit of darkness, such as reading, coin collecting, etc. Encouraging yourself to pick up old interests, or find new ones, definitely helps. It sounds like youíre already well down that road. Starting with little goals like that, achievable and spirit-raising, really do help. They're the stepping stones to further progress and purpose in our lives.
Anyway, I'll stop here before I go on and on and bore you!
Hope something in this helps, take care,