My difficulties making friends with my mental illness. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-22-2010, 04:11 PM
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I know VB is not a replacement for a psychiatrist, but I am seeing one currently...and they suspect my issues are far more than bi-polar disorder, that I may in fact have borderline personality disorder along with avoidant personality disorder.



The new diagnoses makes more sense to me, but it's just what to do about it that drives me nuts....Uusually I am pretty coherent and organized, so please excuse my rambling below, as today my head is a bit of a mess.



So here's the situation.....I'm very anxious and scared about doing new things. It sounds really lame, and it's a bit embarrassing, but as an example if I go to a new restaurant, and I have to go pee, I will hold it as I feel like people are looking at me when I get up, and I get nervous that I won't be able to find the washroom and people will make fun of me. Or if I'm driving, I get really nervous if I have to drive an unfamilair route with someone in the car, and if they are critical of my driving or sense of direction, I basically flip out on them. If someone watches me do something, I will drop an item, lose my train of thought, or start shaking until they stop looking. It all stems from my low-self worth apparantly mixed with my anxieties.



As far as friendships go...I've had friends, but they rarely last more than a year max. I tend to attract people who have issues, one of them was borderline and the other was a pathological liar. Eventually I feel betrayed, angry, and somehow awkward around them as soon as they get to know me. It's hard to make friends, because I feel like I am a wierd odd duck, and I can't relate to people, and feel that I genuinely don't know how?



I want friendships, and I know a big part of it would be 'putting myself out there,' but in reality, new situations make me really emotionally unstable and scare me. I used to use different drugs to make it all easier of connect with people..



Often, I go through periods of deep depression, so if I sign up for something, my attendance only lasts for so long.



I say I want friendships...but the thought of it scares me. So I stick myself in limbo! I just don't know how one goes about making healthy friends and keeps a friendship? it's just foreign to me...and it's embarrassing when people invite me and my boyfriend to work-related things...and we make up excuses not to go, or I go and feel like everyone there is sizing me up, and will be talking about me. I also freak out if people drop in to visit, as I am afraid to open the front door, and get nervous having people over. So when the doorbell rings, my boyriend answers it, and recently I am scared to answer the phone, but I haven't a clue why? I also get bothered by having the blinds open, as I feel like people walking by are going to look into our place or see me in the kitchen.



How do you make friends when you are like this? I know...this is lame for a 24 year old to say....but I'm slowly becoming afraid of the world and push it away so I can isolate myself in my safe zone.



I don't even know if any of this makes sense, but I just want to see if there are some sort of answers out there. I hesitated posting this because I have this desire to be liked, but I realized this is the internet, and not my everyday life, and it made it easier.



Also, if you do make friends with someone, is it normal to tell them about your issues? how do you tell your friend you have issues cutting yourself? or sometimes just want to sleep? or that you are worried they are working against you? or that you are scared to meet up with them?
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#2 Old 02-22-2010, 04:57 PM
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It sounds like you could use some love for yourself, which also entails not caring what other people think of you (because you're comfy in yourself). How to go about getting there? I don't know, besides loving what you do, how you act, what you eat, etc.
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#3 Old 02-22-2010, 06:01 PM
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you're really not sounding very weird to me. in fact you sound exactly like me when i was 14. ..... and 16 years on, i still hate talking on the phone (making calls is ten times worse than answering them for me) i still feel very aprehensious about the unknown, and social situations really make me squirm. but i'm getting there. i can do it. if i gotta use the phone to speak to a stranger i write myself a scripty outline to work from incase i go all blank and incoherant, and when i'm finished, i jump up and down with joy at my fabulous success, and treat myself to chocolate (any excuse for chocolate is good).



i think you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself, and judging yourself very harshly. and i bet you don't judge others like that. thats probably the root of what needs to change. if you can learn to stop thinking and thinking and thinking constantly, and listening to and reinforcing what your negative thought patterns tell you to be true (perceptions that often really aren't true anywhere but inside your own head), a lot of those things won't be half as dreadful. takes practice though.



what sometimes helps me is to take myself and my feelings out of a situation, and look at it objectively from a step or two back. for example: ok, so, i'm scared of talking on the phone. i used to hate it to the point of panic attacks and incoherancy (cos you can't see the other person so its hard to read their body language, you just dunno what they might say or why they are phoning or why they want to talk to you, you have to think on your feet, and its a bit high pressure really if you think about it). but if i look at it objectively- worse case scenario, if i loose control of my faculties and have a complete and utter meltdown, i can hang up and walk away. and i've done it before- and the world did not end. unsuprisingly. all that happened was that i took a breath and got myself together and had another go later on.



yep, if you hang up on them, the person on the other end might think "oh, thats a bit odd- i wonder if we got disconnected, or maybe she was having a crap day- sounded like it- i hope she's ok!" but because they're most likely not quite as crazy as me, they'll forget about it 2 minutes later, move on with their lives, and never give it another thought. they really won't be thinking "omg what a complete nut job, she's so useless she should just climb into a bucket, put the lid on, and never come out again" for the next 6 weeks... and even if they did think that- honestly, who cares? what some random phone-person thinks of me based on a 2 minute interaction doesn't make much difference really in the scheme of things- my entire life probably wouldn't be affected dreadfully because of it- the sun would still rise tomorrow, you know?



basically, in these petrifiying situations that could go disasterously wrong, its most likely that i'll be the one who spends the rest of the day telling me that i'm a weirdo and failure and cutting chunks out of myself and blah blah blah- thereby making it into a disaster. nobody else. so i just gotta stop doing that crap to myself. i have disaster aversion skills. and i know how to use them.



similarly, when you start to feel odd about the blinds, ask yourself realistically- do i look through peoples blinds that much? is there an epidemic of blind-peeking sweeping across canada currently? i didn't hear anything about that on the news! do most people i know really have the time or inclination to go looking through strangers blinds all day? am i really that fascinating that everyone would wanna spy on me while i do my dishes? what would happen if they did see me doing my dishes? would i reeeaaaallly be so much of a monsterous vision that they're likely to claw at their eyes and run away down the street screaming? nope. so they're not gonna be doing it, and if they do happen to accidently glance in and see you, it'll still be totally fine. they'll be so busy thinking about how they mustn't forget to buy catfood or singing along to their eyepod or noticing a shiny car going past that they'll have forgotten your face in an instant. normal people are fickle and contrary like that. honest.



friendships come and go- thats normal. and they grow and shrink and change direction a lot too. i reckon i have maybe 2 or 3 good friends that i've had since college (who i don't talk to that often), and a few other people whom i can talk to about frivilous stuff and hang out with for 2 hours without wanting to go home and sleep to recover or strangle them. plus my mum and the bf but they don't really count. and thats alright. i don't need a bajillion people tripping me over everywhere in my life. friendships don't spring up overnight and stick with you forever either, they're more of a little dance where the music changes a lot and some people sit down for a breather while others do the funky chicken. you probably attract people with issues because you can relate and identify on a subconscious level. and when your issues start to slide into the sidelines a bit, you'll start to make friends that you have other, nicer things in common with.



if you put pressure on yourself to acheive amazing friendships within 2 months or whatever, you'll just overwhelm everyone (including you). maybe instead of doing that just start with doing something that you like doing- like for me that'd be an art class, and then chat to some people, low pressure, while you're there (ask them about a technique, complement something, etc). if thats too much then start with a very short conversation with a shop assistant in the art shop. and after you come away from the interaction write a list of the positives about it- instead of dissecting everything you did and telling yourself how much you screwed up. after a bit you'll probably relax a bit more and a bit more. and then yep, you might flap if someone suggests you go out for coffee together, but then after its done, it'll be less scary next time cos your comfort zone grows with experience. .... and its really ok to say "i'd love to. i have a bit of a social phobia, so just to warn you- i might get a bit frazzled after a while, but i like hanging out with you, so can we make it short and sweet, and go from there?". pressure off. that, or arrange to have a get-out, a made up appointment or something, so you can leave if it gets too much. friendships tend to be based around having something in common (work, a hobby, etc), or just being on the same wavelength as someone. there are other people out there who will be awesome friends for you- and when its time, and you're ready, it'll happen. promise.



so yeah... rambling- i do that. it really does just take a lot of practice and baby steps, this getting better thing. you gotta practice practice practice talking to yourself kindly, and work through it and move forward one bit at a time. start to call yourself out on and re-wire all that wonky thinking you've trained yourself into doing, and stop talking to yourself in that mean negative voice. stop comparing yourself to everyone else and putting yourself down, cos you're really not qualified to make the decision that you fully suck on behalf of the rest of the planet. you're good enough just by way of existing- everyone is. and anyone who begs to disagree with me can bog off. .... and before anyone protests, i just happen to be qualified to make that assertion, cos i am the queen of awesomeness (self appointed).



oh yeah:
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#4 Old 02-22-2010, 08:01 PM
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Sounds like social anxiety disorder. I could have typed the first half of that myself. Check out this website, it really helped me. http://www.anxietybc.com/resources/social.php#stories



You are not alone!
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#5 Old 02-22-2010, 08:25 PM
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Wow you're like my twin lol.

While I don't have general anxiety issues like you talk about I too am terrified of making friends. I want to and try talking when people start talking to me but I get scared, nervous, insecure and eventually shy away. I had a few good friends in high school but they went their ways and now all I have is my boyfriend. I like to think of it as social anxiety? It isn't weird or anything just a part of you. I know it sucks and it's hard, I'm sorry you've been so upset about this I go through stages where I try telling myself I'm okay alone but then other days when I'm feeling moody and depressed I break down and feel pathetically alone, so I know how you feel I've been very slowly finding making friends can't be forced, it happens slowly sometimes, and unfortunately takes some pushing on your part. I've recently became friendly with a few people in a archery class I'm taking, some days I say nothing and stutter, other days I make small talk, I think taking your time to feel comfortable around someone is a great idea.



And once you get to know them better don't be afraid to let them know about you, as long as YOU are okay with it. If you feel you want to share and trust them, go ahead, it will help your friendship.

Quote:
Also, if you do make friends with someone, is it normal to tell them about your issues? how do you tell your friend you have issues cutting yourself?

If you feel the need to and need someone to confide in it may make you two closer to share personal struggles. I also deal with cutting issues. I never had a friend I wanted to tell, however I needed at least one person to tell, so I told my boyfriend.

Quote:
or that you are worried they are working against you? or that you are scared to meet up with them?

I really feel for you, because I too was scared to meet up with friends. I know this is your post but it just makes me feel so much better to know there is someone else with this problem. I actually had a very close friend my senior year I was constantly "blowing her off" but really I'd get shy (even though we were best friends for years) and suddenly want to isolate myself. I lost her because of that but thinking about it now and reading your post, I think if this comes up, you should try your best to explain this to them, tell them you're trying. If they are a good person and friend they will understand and help you.



I just wanna say hang in there and know you're not alone. One step at a time

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will then know peace" - Jimi Hendrix
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#6 Old 02-22-2010, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

I know VB is not a replacement for a psychiatrist, but I am seeing one currently...and they suspect my issues are far more than bi-polar disorder, that I may in fact have borderline personality disorder along with avoidant personality disorder.



Good for you. This is the first step in getting any help at all.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

The new diagnoses makes more sense to me, but it's just what to do about it that drives me nuts....Uusually I am pretty coherent and organized, so please excuse my rambling below, as today my head is a bit of a mess.



So here's the situation.....I'm very anxious and scared about doing new things. It sounds really lame, and it's a bit embarrassing, but as an example if I go to a new restaurant, and I have to go pee, I will hold it as I feel like people are looking at me when I get up, and I get nervous that I won't be able to find the washroom and people will make fun of me. Or if I'm driving, I get really nervous if I have to drive an unfamilair route with someone in the car, and if they are critical of my driving or sense of direction, I basically flip out on them. If someone watches me do something, I will drop an item, lose my train of thought, or start shaking until they stop looking. It all stems from my low-self worth apparantly mixed with my anxieties.



I know exactly how you feel... Sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath, exhale, and do what you need to do (i.e. pee, drive to wherever, etc.)





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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

As far as friendships go...I've had friends, but they rarely last more than a year max. I tend to attract people who have issues, one of them was borderline and the other was a pathological liar. Eventually I feel betrayed, angry, and somehow awkward around them as soon as they get to know me. It's hard to make friends, because I feel like I am a wierd odd duck, and I can't relate to people, and feel that I genuinely don't know how?



Don't take this wrong, but join a church or other religious organinzation*. Take an evening/weekend class at a local college. Volunteer somewhere. I realize this sounds trite, but it's true. When my mother joined her Senior Center, that is one of the things they asked. They didn't care what religion she was, they just wanted her to have that support system for when things went south. *NOTE: there are crazies in all religious organizations as there are anywhere else. I just had to "unfriend" someone on Facebook because he had issues, and no clue what the bounderies are. As for the classes, those are a lot of fun. Learn a foreign language. Take a Thai cooking class. Take an art class. Life's too short not to have fun.



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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

I want friendships, and I know a big part of it would be 'putting myself out there,' but in reality, new situations make me really emotionally unstable and scare me. I used to use different drugs to make it all easier of connect with people..



Often, I go through periods of deep depression, so if I sign up for something, my attendance only lasts for so long.



I say I want friendships...but the thought of it scares me. So I stick myself in limbo! I just don't know how one goes about making healthy friends and keeps a friendship? it's just foreign to me...and it's embarrassing when people invite me and my boyfriend to work-related things...and we make up excuses not to go, or I go and feel like everyone there is sizing me up, and will be talking about me. I also freak out if people drop in to visit, as I am afraid to open the front door, and get nervous having people over. So when the doorbell rings, my boyriend answers it, and recently I am scared to answer the phone, but I haven't a clue why? I also get bothered by having the blinds open, as I feel like people walking by are going to look into our place or see me in the kitchen.



Anything new can be scary. What drugs do you take? Were they perscribed the the psychatrist you are seeing now? Does s/he know about these drugs? Does s/he know about the deep depressions?

When you say you don't like going to work-related events, what, and more importantly, whose work-related things are you talking about? Your boyfriend's or yours? Is it an annual Christmas Pary? Sometimes it's a reflection on the person if they aren't there. The workers who don't show up are "not team players" and tend to "solo" a lot. Just go for a couple of minutes, and then leave, if nothing else. Do they offer things all year round, such as sporting events, picnics, potlucks, etc.? As for opening the front door, do you have a peephole you can peer out of? As for answering the phone, sometimes the phone brings good news (a promotion, or a new baby in the family) and sometimes bad news (lost job or death in the family). I'm not a big phone fan myself, so I can identify with this one.



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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

How do you make friends when you are like this? I know...this is lame for a 24 year old to say....but I'm slowly becoming afraid of the world and push it away so I can isolate myself in my safe zone.



I don't even know if any of this makes sense, but I just want to see if there are some sort of answers out there. I hesitated posting this because I have this desire to be liked, but I realized this is the internet, and not my everyday life, and it made it easier.



Also, if you do make friends with someone, is it normal to tell them about your issues? how do you tell your friend you have issues cutting yourself? or sometimes just want to sleep? or that you are worried they are working against you? or that you are scared to meet up with them?



Sometimes we all need to be in a safe zone, but sometimes that safe zone should be a lot bigger then it is. It does make sense, and there are probably a lot more people who think and act like this then you realize, and not just on VB. I'd take my time telling someone I just met about my issues, though. Give them an e-maill address instead of a phone number, if that worries you, and meet for lunch somewhere. Get to know them first, give it time to gel. I can only speak for myself, I'd be a little worried about someone I just met saying they had issues cutting themself, or are scared to meet up with me. What I would do if I felt the way you do is go to a used book store or library and look for some good books (when I'm down, or uncomfortable, I tend to read Lilian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who" series of mysteries, or a new (to me) cookbook or, oddly enough, travel guides to various places). Also, a good long walk can do wonders for head clearing as well, so to speak. Good luck with everything, Alicia.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#7 Old 02-22-2010, 09:43 PM
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so i just realised i rambled a whole bunch and i don't think much of it was relavent. but i'mma have another go.

Quote:

Also, if you do make friends with someone, is it normal to tell them about your issues?



when you're ready, in a way that you feel comfortable with, and when you're clear about why you're sharing- so they can understand why sometimes things stress you out, or cos you need a hug sometimes, etc. its good to let them know that stuff too- so they know the lay of the land. i've had people declare something and then just go home and i've thought "hang on! what was that and why? what am i meant to do with this information!?!". its good to clue them in. even though they might be smarter than me and work it out.



Quote:
how do you tell your friend you have issues cutting yourself? or sometimes just want to sleep? or that you are worried they are working against you? or that you are scared to meet up with them?



i think early on in the friendship i might not be very explicit, cos its quite personal stuff and sometimes people don't really know what to do with that kinda info if they're not super-familiar with you as an individual, and might misread you as just telling them so you can pile your issues onto them, not just cos you wanna have it be out in the open. so to start with i might say in a casual way "so hey- i get pretty tired/overwhelmed by new people/places sometimes, and i wanted you to know that if i have to change plans at short notice or have to leave early, i'm not trying to get away from you or being flaky, okie?!" and then leave it at that unless they asked questions.



after a while when it felt a bit more natural and i felt a bit more relaxed with them, or if they had questions, i'd start with "do you know anything about/have you heard of...self harm/social anxiety'?" (i'd leave out 'disorder' cos its a medical term so not really needed, and i think i'm quite ordered in my craziness). that way you're letting them take the lead in letting you know what they might already know or be familiar with (you'd be suprised how many people already know someone with social anxiety or had a friend in school who was a cutter), how relaxed and open they are about that kinda thing, and what ground you might want to cover, and how in depth. then i'd take it from there. and i'd try and be clear, again, about why i was sharing- so they don't wonder if they're supposed to be doing something to help or if you want them to treat you differently or whatever.
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#8 Old 02-22-2010, 09:46 PM
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I have Avoidant Personality Disorder myself. It's gotten better over time, but that's what I've found is key, giving it time. In the eight years I was at my school, I made one friend. I'm still not sure how we ended up with friends, I think it was mainly because I would watch her and see all the insane things she does, and realize that she still had plenty of friends, it took time for people to learn how to deal with her but she had a tonne of friends. It really made me look at the way I was acting, and everyday I started making myself do something to interact with other people. I pretty much was hiding from everyone I was the girl who got marked absent in a class where I'm sitting straight in front of the teacher, I would read all the time, because people leave you alone if you looked busy. Being on forums helped a lot, written communication lets you step back and talk/act normally, it makes you feel like you can actually interact with people. I used to promise myself that I would make eye contact with five people everyday, or I would call a shop to see if they had an item I wanted. Just little things that all helped. I also got into the habit of signing myself up for really out there things whilst not letting myself think about it. I was in the school musical, granted I was only in a chorus line, but when I finished it gave me so much pride that I had done something like that. I do obsess over every little thing, I could tell you in great detail every time someone said something even slightly mean to me, every time I made a mistake that someone else noticed, every time that I felt guilty for something I did.



Going veggie helped in it's own way as well, I had a reason I had to talk to waitresses/restaurant staff as if they gave me the wrong food I couldn't just shut up and eat it. I still feel like everyone's watching me, whenever I hear laughter my instant reaction is that they are laughing at me. The main thing is though as hard as it can be, is don't let yourself hide all the time. Set times when you're allowed to hide from the rest of the world, I get pretty crazy if I don't get Sunday's too myself. I go to Church and then normally find a nice silent library and spend the rest of the day in a corner reading, it's my safe spot. But I make myself do things as well. For me the biggest thing of all was moving out. For university I pretty much made an impulse decision that I was going to live at college, then spent months refusing to let myself even consider what would happen. And the first few days sucked, but in the three weeks I've been here I've made so many friends, and have learned how to actually interact with them. They know I can be antisocial and understand that pushing me to do things doesn't help, if I shut my door and hide in my room, they need to leave me alone. But there also there to drag me out to watch a movie with them or help with homework. I still stress alot, I've been half an hour early to all my lectures, and my stress ends up making sure my friends are at their lectures on time as well, but it's okay they don't mind. They tell me if I'm acting totally insane and it's enough of a reminder for me to sit back and think about what I've been doing.



Have you done much reading about APD? All though my cousin has borderline personality disorder I don't really have much experience with it... But seriously just try to set small challenges, little steps each day and see if that helps, maybe decide that you'll answer the phone once a day, or make smalltalk with a sales assistant when buying something. When driving I always go over a map like five times memorizing each street I have to turn at, if people are in the car I just tell them I'm not a great driver and need to concentrate, I've found Google Maps very useful. People are also very patinet as a whole, if someone flips out at you for dropping something or losing your a train of thought I'd be wondering about their mental stability, it is highly unlikely that someone would get upset with you for something like that, we all do it at some point or other.



I still don't understand people, I don't understand how to interact to people my own age, I don't understand how something is so simple to them, it's all completely alien to me, but thats okay, because you know what? everyone's different and there are some really crazy peopel in the world. Something esle I've started doing as odd as it sounds is dressing in a way that attracts notice, normally I'll wear very gothic clothes, because then when someone looks at me I can instantly assign it to the clothes and therefore there's no need to worried because it is something I did that attracts their attention, but it's also not something to be embarrassed about, It's also a conversation starter. I'm the same though all my life I've desperately wanted friends to the point where I would be friends with anyone, often very unsuitable people, the type who are just there to use you. I'm scared to death of people as well, which helps greatly, not. But I've find when people do reach out, it's really not hard to become great friends with them. You won't get one with everyone, no one does but there are a lot of people out there who would love to be your friend. And as to talking about yourself, it depends on how close you are, my best friend knows everything about me and I know everything about her. Casual friends though don't usually go that deep.



Sorry that was a rather long post, I hope it helps...



Emma
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#9 Old 02-23-2010, 02:18 AM
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It sounds like you could use some love for yourself, which also entails not caring what other people think of you (because you're comfy in yourself). How to go about getting there? I don't know, besides loving what you do, how you act, what you eat, etc.



I really understand that it is a missing piece in all of this, but I don't have a clue how to love myself, and I don't mean that in a self-pitying way, but I just don't know how....



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Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

you're really not sounding very weird to me..(cut for length)..... and before anyone protests, i just happen to be qualified to make that assertion, cos i am the queen of awesomeness (self appointed).



oh yeah:



Thanks for that post, it really helps to know I'm not alone. I was talking to my S/O tonight and he pretty much agreed that I am very much an over-thinker. I guess I just need to try and rationalize things a bit more frequently before letting myself get lost in emotion. I know my reply is brief, but it did really help....thank you!



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Originally Posted by RadioGirl View Post

Sounds like social anxiety disorder. I could have typed the first half of that myself. Check out this website, it really helped me. http://www.anxietybc.com/resources/social.php#stories



You are not alone!



Thanks, I'll check it out later on



Quote:
Originally Posted by KirstenKat View Post

Wow you're like my twin lol.

While I don't have general anxiety issues like you talk about I too am terrified of making friends. I want to and try talking when people start talking to me but I get scared, nervous, insecure and eventually shy away. I had a few good friends in high school but they went their ways and now all I have is my boyfriend. I like to think of it as social anxiety? It isn't weird or anything just a part of you. I know it sucks and it's hard, I'm sorry you've been so upset about this I go through stages where I try telling myself I'm okay alone but then other days when I'm feeling moody and depressed I break down and feel pathetically alone, so I know how you feel I've been very slowly finding making friends can't be forced, it happens slowly sometimes, and unfortunately takes some pushing on your part. I've recently became friendly with a few people in a archery class I'm taking, some days I say nothing and stutter, other days I make small talk, I think taking your time to feel comfortable around someone is a great idea.



And once you get to know them better don't be afraid to let them know about you, as long as YOU are okay with it. If you feel you want to share and trust them, go ahead, it will help your friendship.



(Cut for length)



I just wanna say hang in there and know you're not alone. One step at a time



Thanks for this! we sound very similar. I think if I ever do manage to start a friendship I will have to be honest at some point so that people get what I go through...but as HCJ said, not too early though. As you know, with cutting issues it sucks because people flip out over it as soon as they find out, and make you feel even worse without intending it. I'm lucky my BF doesn't flip, he just levels with me and tells me he'd rather I not do it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Purp View Post

Good for you. This is the first step in getting any help at all.



I know exactly how you feel... Sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath, exhale, and do what you need to do (i.e. pee, drive to wherever, etc.)



Don't take this wrong, but join a church or other religious organinzation*. Take an evening/weekend class at a local college. Volunteer somewhere. I realize this sounds trite, but it's true. When my mother joined her Senior Center, that is one of the things they asked. They didn't care what religion she was, they just wanted her to have that support system for when things went south. *NOTE: there are crazies in all religious organizations as there are anywhere else. I just had to "unfriend" someone on Facebook because he had issues, and no clue what the bounderies are. As for the classes, those are a lot of fun. Learn a foreign language. Take a Thai cooking class. Take an art class. Life's too short not to have fun.



(Cut for length)



Sometimes we all need to be in a safe zone, but sometimes that safe zone should be a lot bigger then it is. It does make sense, and there are probably a lot more people who think and act like this then you realize, and not just on VB. I'd take my time telling someone I just met about my issues, though. Give them an e-maill address instead of a phone number, if that worries you, and meet for lunch somewhere. Get to know them first, give it time to gel. I can only speak for myself, I'd be a little worried about someone I just met saying they had issues cutting themself, or are scared to meet up with me. What I would do if I felt the way you do is go to a used book store or library and look for some good books (when I'm down, or uncomfortable, I tend to read Lilian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who" series of mysteries, or a new (to me) cookbook or, oddly enough, travel guides to various places). Also, a good long walk can do wonders for head clearing as well, so to speak. Good luck with everything, Alicia.



I'm not a fan of religion or churches, but I would like to eventually join something...I just am not ready yet. You have a point, but I don\\t think I'm ready.



My new shrink I have only seen once, so we are getting to know each other at the moment. The previous medications I have been on, and stopped taking due to extreme side effects, are as follows:



Effexor

Wellbutrin

Carbamazepine

Prozac

Risperidone

Clomazepam

(and a few others I can't remember)



When it comes to events it's usually ones to do with my work. It's just really hard because everyone else works, and holds events, in a town one hour away. So when I go I am completely out of my element.
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#10 Old 02-23-2010, 02:18 AM
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so i just realised i rambled a whole bunch and i don't think much of it was relavent. but i'mma have another go.



when you're ready, in a way that you feel comfortable with, and when you're clear about why you're sharing- so they can understand why sometimes things stress you out, or cos you need a hug sometimes, etc. its good to let them know that stuff too- so they know the lay of the land. i've had people declare something and then just go home and i've thought "hang on! what was that and why? what am i meant to do with this information!?!". its good to clue them in. even though they might be smarter than me and work it out



i think early on in the friendship i might not be very explicit, cos its quite personal stuff and sometimes people don't really know what to do with that kinda info if they're not super-familiar with you as an individual, and might misread you as just telling them so you can pile your issues onto them, not just cos you wanna have it be out in the open. so to start with i might say in a casual way "so hey- i get pretty tired/overwhelmed by new people/places sometimes, and i wanted you to know that if i have to change plans at short notice or have to leave early, i'm not trying to get away from you or being flaky, okie?!" and then leave it at that unless they asked questions.



after a while when it felt a bit more natural and i felt a bit more relaxed with them, or if they had questions, i'd start with "do you know anything about/have you heard of...self harm/social anxiety'?" (i'd leave out 'disorder' cos its a medical term so not really needed, and i think i'm quite ordered in my craziness). that way you're letting them take the lead in letting you know what they might already know or be familiar with (you'd be suprised how many people already know someone with social anxiety or had a friend in school who was a cutter), how relaxed and open they are about that kinda thing, and what ground you might want to cover, and how in depth. then i'd take it from there. and i'd try and be clear, again, about why i was sharing- so they don't wonder if they're supposed to be doing something to help or if you want them to treat you differently or whatever.



Thanks for this (again!) in high school I used to cut as well, and I have continued into adult-hood. It frustrates me that the only help for this is targeted at teens in my area... have oerheard conversations about other people who cut, but it triggers bad memories of the teasing it got me in high school. I don't like to share it with people until they know me realllllly well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon277 View Post

I have Avoidant Personality Disorder myself. It's gotten better over time, but that's what I've found is key, giving it time. In the eight years I was at my school, I made one friend. I'm still not sure how we ended up with friends, I think it was mainly because I would watch her and see all the insane things she does, and realize that she still had plenty of friends, it took time for people to learn how to deal with her but she had a tonne of friends. It really made me look at the way I was acting, and everyday I started making myself do something to interact with other people. I pretty much was hiding from everyone I was the girl who got marked absent in a class where I'm sitting straight in front of the teacher, I would read all the time, because people leave you alone if you looked busy. Being on forums helped a lot, written communication lets you step back and talk/act normally, it makes you feel like you can actually interact with people. I used to promise myself that I would make eye contact with five people everyday, or I would call a shop to see if they had an item I wanted. Just little things that all helped. I also got into the habit of signing myself up for really out there things whilst not letting myself think about it. I was in the school musical, granted I was only in a chorus line, but when I finished it gave me so much pride that I had done something like that. I do obsess over every little thing, I could tell you in great detail every time someone said something even slightly mean to me, every time I made a mistake that someone else noticed, every time that I felt guilty for something I did.



Going veggie helped in it's own way as well, I had a reason I had to talk to waitresses/restaurant staff as if they gave me the wrong food I couldn't just shut up and eat it. I still feel like everyone's watching me, whenever I hear laughter my instant reaction is that they are laughing at me. The main thing is though as hard as it can be, is don't let yourself hide all the time. Set times when you're allowed to hide from the rest of the world, I get pretty crazy if I don't get Sunday's too myself. I go to Church and then normally find a nice silent library and spend the rest of the day in a corner reading, it's my safe spot. But I make myself do things as well. For me the biggest thing of all was moving out. For university I pretty much made an impulse decision that I was going to live at college, then spent months refusing to let myself even consider what would happen. And the first few days sucked, but in the three weeks I've been here I've made so many friends, and have learned how to actually interact with them. They know I can be antisocial and understand that pushing me to do things doesn't help, if I shut my door and hide in my room, they need to leave me alone. But there also there to drag me out to watch a movie with them or help with homework. I still stress alot, I've been half an hour early to all my lectures, and my stress ends up making sure my friends are at their lectures on time as well, but it's okay they don't mind. They tell me if I'm acting totally insane and it's enough of a reminder for me to sit back and think about what I've been doing.



Have you done much reading about APD? All though my cousin has borderline personality disorder I don't really have much experience with it... But seriously just try to set small challenges, little steps each day and see if that helps, maybe decide that you'll answer the phone once a day, or make smalltalk with a sales assistant when buying something. When driving I always go over a map like five times memorizing each street I have to turn at, if people are in the car I just tell them I'm not a great driver and need to concentrate, I've found Google Maps very useful. People are also very patinet as a whole, if someone flips out at you for dropping something or losing your a train of thought I'd be wondering about their mental stability, it is highly unlikely that someone would get upset with you for something like that, we all do it at some point or other.



I still don't understand people, I don't understand how to interact to people my own age, I don't understand how something is so simple to them, it's all completely alien to me, but thats okay, because you know what? everyone's different and there are some really crazy peopel in the world. Something esle I've started doing as odd as it sounds is dressing in a way that attracts notice, normally I'll wear very gothic clothes, because then when someone looks at me I can instantly assign it to the clothes and therefore there's no need to worried because it is something I did that attracts their attention, but it's also not something to be embarrassed about, It's also a conversation starter. I'm the same though all my life I've desperately wanted friends to the point where I would be friends with anyone, often very unsuitable people, the type who are just there to use you. I'm scared to death of people as well, which helps greatly, not. But I've find when people do reach out, it's really not hard to become great friends with them. You won't get one with everyone, no one does but there are a lot of people out there who would love to be your friend. And as to talking about yourself, it depends on how close you are, my best friend knows everything about me and I know everything about her. Casual friends though don't usually go that deep.



Sorry that was a rather long post, I hope it helps...



Emma



It really did help thak you! we are very similar. I also have issues relating to people my own age...it's been like this my whole life. I'm finding many of the people in my age group want to drink, not just like a social drink, but get drunk EVERY weekend. Because I avoid alcohol because it makes me feel worse, so they have nothing to relate over and I haven't a clue how to relate to them even when they are sober. I used to take a lot of E because it would help me go to clubs, but thankfully I realized that I can't handle the seratonin in my brain being messed with.



Thanks again everyone, I would reply more in depth but it's 2:15 am and I can't sleep even though I'm tired.
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#11 Old 02-23-2010, 04:50 AM
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My suggestion is this: try positive self-talk and thoughts. Whenever a negative thought crosses your mind, squash it and replace it with a postive talk and thoughts.
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#12 Old 02-23-2010, 06:07 AM
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Alicia, I can relate very much to what you have written. I don't like the unfamiliar., I am a very harsh judge of myself, therefore, feel that others certainly must be thinking the same mean things my mind is saying to me. I'm a bit of a loner. I used to self evaluate and try to figure out what was wrong with me. Then I met my husband, my total opposite. He taught me that everyone has these feelings sometimes and they are perfectly normal. He taught me that people are so wrapped up in themselves, that they rarely give anyone else, including me, another thought. He taught me to cut myself some slack because I'm funny and a really good person, quirks n all. It was hard for me to peek out of the shell I had crawled into. It was safe and quiet there, but I was missing so much and it was sad and lonely. It was just within the past few years that things have changed for me quite by accident. I took a step out of my comfort zone. My little guy needed something to feel good about. I could see too much of my quirkiness in him and he was far too young for anything that heavy. I knew I needed to find a good group of people to welcome him and show him how cool he really was. I found these people at our local Taekwondo school. He was met with open arms, these people are kind and wonderful. I sat and watched for 2 weeks and I joined them. I was the only grown up at that time in a class full of kids, but I was with my boys and having fun. On my very first day, I wiped out and fell flat on my face...a fate worse than death itself in my mind. Ya know what I did, I laughed (even though I wanted to die) and said, "Well, it's a good thing I didn't pick ballet" and kept right on going. There were times that I was nervous and didn't want to be out in front of people because I was afraid I would do something stupid and sometimes, I did. The thing that finally dawned on me was, we all do goofy things because we are all human. No one judges we really just find comfort in the fact that there really isn't so much difference between any of us. And by surrounding yourself with good people and throwing yourself out there once in while you will realize that you can do so many things that you never ever thought you could and that will make you proud. I never in a million years thought I could get up in front of a gym filled with people and test for my new belts, but I do it now, every 3 months. Is it my favorite thing to do, no, but I do it, I live through it and when they put my new belt on me an congratulated me, I'm really proud of me.



I'm still a loner by nature, and that's okay too, there are lots of loners. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is no "normal" there's just you. I think any of us could sit in the dr.'s chair and be labeled with any number of things, we are all just trying to fit in and when it's hard we wonder what's wrong with us. My advice: Be good to you Alicia, give yourself a break, laugh at the goofy stuff and surround yourself with wonderful people....and for heaven sakes, when you walk into the restaurant, go pee...lol ((big hugs))
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#13 Old 02-23-2010, 09:23 AM
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has anyone ever helped you with stategies to avoid cutting? i did a short course on it for work, and it was suggested that for some people, if they couldn't talk themselves down from needing to cut when things were just very very intense, that holding ice, or running their hands under freezing cold water for a set time period (set an alarm for 30 seconds, or count down until your time is up) offered the same intense sensory experience, detatchment, and ritual, without the same mess and infection risk. snapping a hairband or elastic band worn like a bracelet repeatedly and rather sharply on your wrist was suggested too, but knowing me i'd end up cutting off blood supply to my fingers so i'm not such a fan of that one.



if you haven't already hear of this sort of strategy- it might be worth a try- if nothing else because breaking a habit is half of the battle, and its way less messy, easy to manage say... out at the mall... and people don't really freak half as much over hairbands and cold water as they do razorblades and drippy arms..
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#14 Old 02-24-2010, 05:50 PM
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I just typed a huge response and now it's gone........ugh...........
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#15 Old 02-24-2010, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by KelleyMarie View Post

My suggestion is this: try positive self-talk and thoughts. Whenever a negative thought crosses your mind, squash it and replace it with a postive talk and thoughts.



I appreciate the kind words, but if I didn't have such severe mental health issues this would solve things, these things help, but I'm afraid I'm wired in such a way I am not able to be repaired...I will always be an odd duck.
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#16 Old 02-24-2010, 05:57 PM
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HCJ....the water thing is a good idea, but unfortunately part of my rush is seeing blood. It sounds terrible...but it's true. I often envision lying on the floor in a pool of it, and I find the thought of that peaceful as I know it would mean release from this world.



All the 'support' I have gotten has burned me badly....The high school counsellor I had 'back in the day' came to my home at night, and pushed me away from the door so he could barge into my house and out me in front of my parents. All because one girl saw cuts, and being an uneducated moron, he didn't listen to me when I said I'm not suicidal. I was then forced to go to counselling, and the woman who I saw there I caught talking about me in the break room at the office with her co-workers. I then was sent to a psychiatrist who was fired due to misconduct (I believe I started a thread on that) and he told me to check out books on meditating, because at least it doesn't leave scars. None of them 'got it' at all, and just ended up causing me great emotional damage. I now feel absolute rage when I picture their faces and wish I could tell them about what a negative impact their lack of professionalism had on me.
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#17 Old 02-24-2010, 06:03 PM
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Update:



I thought I'd be pro-active, so I had two free hockey tickets given to me. So I posted on facebook: I have a free hockey ticket! anyone care to join me? and no one replied.....Then I asked a girl that I work with and get along well with...and she said that she was busy. I then asked an acquaintance of mine, but they said they are busy. I texted an old friend of mine, and he said he had other plans. He lives near me, and I saw him grocery shopping when I drove home to bawl my eyes out.



The game is over now, and no one took me up on my offer, and I'm too afraid to go on my own, so I ended up at home feeling worse than I did before....



It's a lonely island, and for some reason even building a bridge to it doesn't work.
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#18 Old 02-24-2010, 06:10 PM
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Treehugger...thankyou for the post. I think you have a point, I don't want a ton of friends and a busy social life, but I do want people I can call to do things with now and then. People who are independant and not needy like previous 'friends' were. Because of my profession people always emotionally dump on me...I'm already so exhausted from work...that listening to people when I get home is a bit taxing.....I just wish I had positive friends, and not the emotional vampires of the past.
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#19 Old 02-24-2010, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Update:



I thought I'd be pro-active, so I had two free hockey tickets given to me. So I posted on facebook: I have a free hockey ticket! anyone care to join me? and no one replied.....Then I asked a girl that I work with and get along well with...and she said that she was busy. I then asked an acquaintance of mine, but they said they are busy. I texted an old friend of mine, and he said he had other plans. He lives near me, and I saw him grocery shopping when I drove home to bawl my eyes out.



The game is over now, and no one took me up on my offer, and I'm too afraid to go on my own, so I ended up at home feeling worse than I did before....



It's a lonely island, and for some reason even building a bridge to it doesn't work.



It's good that you kept trying, though. I also have trouble asking people to do social things with me. Fear of rejection, I think. And if one person turns me down, I tend to give up. I probably would have quit after the facebook post didn't work.



I think the key to dealing with this is to remember that it's not you. Maybe some of the people you asked didn't like hockey. Or were feeling sick and didn't want to leave the house. Maybe they had old plans that they couldn't get out of.



It's them, not you, and it's not personal when someone turns down an invitation to hang out. The first bridge didn't work, but that doesn't mean you should stop trying.

don't take my life away, don't take my life away.
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#20 Old 02-24-2010, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

HCJ....the water thing is a good idea, but unfortunately part of my rush is seeing blood. It sounds terrible...but it's true. I often envision lying on the floor in a pool of it, and I find the thought of that peaceful as I know it would mean release from this world.



thats ok- its just a suggestion.



Quote:
All the 'support' I have gotten has burned me badly....The high school counsellor I had 'back in the day' came to my home at night, and pushed me away from the door so he could barge into my house and out me in front of my parents. All because one girl saw cuts, and being an uneducated moron, he didn't listen to me when I said I'm not suicidal. I was then forced to go to counselling, and the woman who I saw there I caught talking about me in the break room at the office with her co-workers. I then was sent to a psychiatrist who was fired due to misconduct (I believe I started a thread on that) and he told me to check out books on meditating, because at least it doesn't leave scars. None of them 'got it' at all, and just ended up causing me great emotional damage. I now feel absolute rage when I picture their faces and wish I could tell them about what a negative impact their lack of professionalism had on me.



i would too. have you written them letters (that you don't need to send- or that you could send if you think it'd help)? sometimes just getting it out of a big tangle in your head and into a tangible form on paper makes a huge difference- its empowering to articulate this stuff and set it down. if you decide to destroy the letters thats ok, if keeping them helps, thats ok too. i've done this for some nasty experiences and its helped me a lot.



i know its incredibly difficult to put your hand back into the fire, so to speak, but i think deep down you understand that while you've had an unfortunately poor run so far, there is every chance that now that you're more able to articulate yourself, and more aware of what you want and need and aren't willing to tollerate, you can find yourself a better client-professional relationship that does help you at some point in the future. if you can find a group-work setting that is focussed on self-harm, and find out if they have an open meeting coming up, perhaps you can find out about sitting in- without having to commit emotionally or share anything until you decide that you're ready and feel more confident. even if you decide not to continue working within the group after sitting in for a meeting, just hearing others reflect on their experiences and journey can be incredibly rewarding- helping you see that you're not as odd of a duck as you feel- there are plenty more ducks like you out there.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Update:



I thought I'd be pro-active, so I had two free hockey tickets given to me. So I posted on facebook: I have a free hockey ticket! anyone care to join me? and no one replied.....Then I asked a girl that I work with and get along well with...and she said that she was busy. I then asked an acquaintance of mine, but they said they are busy. I texted an old friend of mine, and he said he had other plans. He lives near me, and I saw him grocery shopping when I drove home to bawl my eyes out.



The game is over now, and no one took me up on my offer, and I'm too afraid to go on my own, so I ended up at home feeling worse than I did before....



It's a lonely island, and for some reason even building a bridge to it doesn't work.



it didn't go as you planned this one time. how much notice did you give people? my bf gets added to his daughters facebook 'friends meet-up' message chain- her friends try and meet up once a month to touch base- and from reading that, watching them all trying to tie a meeting down to one night in a month- working a month ahead of time- is hard- not because they don't care or want to meet up, but because they've got a bajillion other things going on- work and family commitments, prior engagements, and sometimes no matter how much they like the company of their friends, they're just not keen enough on the suggested activity that they're willing to give up the one night they've got free to do laundry this week, and to reshuffle a pile of stuff to wedge that in. don't take this personally.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Treehugger...thankyou for the post. I think you have a point, I don't want a ton of friends and a busy social life, but I do want people I can call to do things with now and then. People who are independant and not needy like previous 'friends' were. Because of my profession people always emotionally dump on me...I'm already so exhausted from work...that listening to people when I get home is a bit taxing.....I just wish I had positive friends, and not the emotional vampires of the past.



so um... why do you keep doing this job? i'm not being funny, but i was warned against getting too far into that kind of work, considering my background- i think that while personal experience can be a plus when it comes to identifying with clients, its also easier for people who haven't had the stablest past to find themselves in an unhealthy role when working with dependant people with their own issues. do you find it very rewarding as well as tiring? have you been taught to detach emotionally from their issues? do you get regular sessions with a manager to go through whats been shared, to offload, etc? that sort of thing is really important, or you can easily find yourself carrying other peoples baggage as well as your own- and if you're not 110% thats a dangerous situation to put yourself in- and to put clients in as well.
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#21 Old 02-24-2010, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

HCJ....the water thing is a good idea, but unfortunately part of my rush is seeing blood. It sounds terrible...but it's true. I often envision lying on the floor in a pool of it, and I find the thought of that peaceful as I know it would mean release from this world.



thats ok- its just a suggestion.



Quote:
All the 'support' I have gotten has burned me badly....The high school counsellor I had 'back in the day' came to my home at night, and pushed me away from the door so he could barge into my house and out me in front of my parents. All because one girl saw cuts, and being an uneducated moron, he didn't listen to me when I said I'm not suicidal. I was then forced to go to counselling, and the woman who I saw there I caught talking about me in the break room at the office with her co-workers. I then was sent to a psychiatrist who was fired due to misconduct (I believe I started a thread on that) and he told me to check out books on meditating, because at least it doesn't leave scars. None of them 'got it' at all, and just ended up causing me great emotional damage. I now feel absolute rage when I picture their faces and wish I could tell them about what a negative impact their lack of professionalism had on me.



i would too. have you written them letters (that you don't need to send- or that you could send if you think it'd help)? sometimes just getting it out of a big tangle in your head and into a tangible form on paper makes a huge difference- its empowering to articulate this stuff and set it down. if you decide to destroy the letters thats ok, if keeping them helps, thats ok too. i've done this for some nasty experiences and its helped me a lot.



i know its incredibly difficult to put your hand back into the fire, so to speak, but i think deep down you understand that while you've had an unfortunately poor run so far, there is every chance that now that you're more able to articulate yourself, and more aware of what you want and need and aren't willing to tollerate, you can find yourself a better client-professional relationship that does help you at some point in the future. if you can find a group-work setting that is focussed on self-harm, and find out if they have an open meeting coming up, perhaps you can find out about sitting in- without having to commit emotionally or share anything until you decide that you're ready and feel more confident. even if you decide not to continue working within the group after sitting in for a meeting, just hearing others reflect on their experiences and journey can be incredibly rewarding- helping you see that you're not as odd of a duck as you feel- there are plenty more ducks like you out there.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Update:



I thought I'd be pro-active, so I had two free hockey tickets given to me. So I posted on facebook: I have a free hockey ticket! anyone care to join me? and no one replied.....Then I asked a girl that I work with and get along well with...and she said that she was busy. I then asked an acquaintance of mine, but they said they are busy. I texted an old friend of mine, and he said he had other plans. He lives near me, and I saw him grocery shopping when I drove home to bawl my eyes out.



The game is over now, and no one took me up on my offer, and I'm too afraid to go on my own, so I ended up at home feeling worse than I did before....



It's a lonely island, and for some reason even building a bridge to it doesn't work.



it didn't go as you planned this one time. how much notice did you give people? my bf gets added to his daughters facebook 'friends meet-up' message chain- her friends try and meet up once a month to touch base- and from reading that, watching them all trying to tie a meeting down to one night in a month- working a month ahead of time- is hard- not because they don't care or want to meet up, but because they've got a bajillion other things going on- work and family commitments, prior engagements, and sometimes no matter how much they like the company of their friends, they're just not keen enough on the suggested activity that they're willing to give up the one night they've got free to do laundry this week, and to reshuffle a pile of stuff to wedge that in. don't take this personally.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Treehugger...thankyou for the post. I think you have a point, I don't want a ton of friends and a busy social life, but I do want people I can call to do things with now and then. People who are independant and not needy like previous 'friends' were. Because of my profession people always emotionally dump on me...I'm already so exhausted from work...that listening to people when I get home is a bit taxing.....I just wish I had positive friends, and not the emotional vampires of the past.



so um... why do you keep doing this job? i'm not being funny, but i was warned against getting too far into that kind of work, considering my background- i think that while personal experience can be a plus when it comes to identifying with clients, its also easier for people who haven't had the stablest past to find themselves in an unhealthy role when working with dependant people with their own issues. do you find it very rewarding as well as tiring? have you been taught to detach emotionally from their issues? do you get regular sessions with a manager to go through whats been shared, to offload, etc? that sort of thing is really important, or you can easily find yourself carrying other peoples baggage as well as your own- and if you're not 110% thats a dangerous situation to put yourself in- and to put clients in as well.
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#22 Old 02-25-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by saxyphonist View Post

It's good that you kept trying, though. I also have trouble asking people to do social things with me. Fear of rejection, I think. And if one person turns me down, I tend to give up. I probably would have quit after the facebook post didn't work.



I think the key to dealing with this is to remember that it's not you. Maybe some of the people you asked didn't like hockey. Or were feeling sick and didn't want to leave the house. Maybe they had old plans that they couldn't get out of.



It's them, not you, and it's not personal when someone turns down an invitation to hang out. The first bridge didn't work, but that doesn't mean you should stop trying.



Thanks for this. I guess I should realize that sometimes I have to get out of my own head and see things from the other side so I can have the perspective on it. I'm trying something else to push my boundaries a bit (will post about it in a moment after replying).



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Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

thats ok- its just a suggestion.



i would too. have you written them letters (that you don't need to send- or that you could send if you think it'd help)? sometimes just getting it out of a big tangle in your head and into a tangible form on paper makes a huge difference- its empowering to articulate this stuff and set it down. if you decide to destroy the letters thats ok, if keeping them helps, thats ok too. i've done this for some nasty experiences and its helped me a lot.



i know its incredibly difficult to put your hand back into the fire, so to speak, but i think deep down you understand that while you've had an unfortunately poor run so far, there is every chance that now that you're more able to articulate yourself, and more aware of what you want and need and aren't willing to tollerate, you can find yourself a better client-professional relationship that does help you at some point in the future. if you can find a group-work setting that is focussed on self-harm, and find out if they have an open meeting coming up, perhaps you can find out about sitting in- without having to commit emotionally or share anything until you decide that you're ready and feel more confident. even if you decide not to continue working within the group after sitting in for a meeting, just hearing others reflect on their experiences and journey can be incredibly rewarding- helping you see that you're not as odd of a duck as you feel- there are plenty more ducks like you out there.



it didn't go as you planned this one time. how much notice did you give people? my bf gets added to his daughters facebook 'friends meet-up' message chain- her friends try and meet up once a month to touch base- and from reading that, watching them all trying to tie a meeting down to one night in a month- working a month ahead of time- is hard- not because they don't care or want to meet up, but because they've got a bajillion other things going on- work and family commitments, prior engagements, and sometimes no matter how much they like the company of their friends, they're just not keen enough on the suggested activity that they're willing to give up the one night they've got free to do laundry this week, and to reshuffle a pile of stuff to wedge that in. don't take this personally.



so um... why do you keep doing this job? i'm not being funny, but i was warned against getting too far into that kind of work, considering my background- i think that while personal experience can be a plus when it comes to identifying with clients, its also easier for people who haven't had the stablest past to find themselves in an unhealthy role when working with dependant people with their own issues. do you find it very rewarding as well as tiring? have you been taught to detach emotionally from their issues? do you get regular sessions with a manager to go through whats been shared, to offload, etc? that sort of thing is really important, or you can easily find yourself carrying other peoples baggage as well as your own- and if you're not 110% thats a dangerous situation to put yourself in- and to put clients in as well.



Thanks again HCJ, you are really quite helpful.



I like the letter idea, one of them I may send, simply because I feel that they need to know about how badly I was hurt and how they could harm others. In regards to the invite, it was a few days notice, but you do have a point. I just have to get out of my own headspace a bit to see these things I think!



In regards to my job, I'm actually really well liked and respected by my clients and colleagues. I like being able to assist people because I get where they are coming from (I don't share my own eprsonal stuff at work - ever) and when I go to work my headspace is different as I have so many things to do I can't focus on my own mental battles. I'm starting to re-do my scheduling system though, so that I have more breaks between clients and the days feel a bit smoother. It seems to help reduce the stress. I find helping others a bit healing as I can see I have positive value and impact on the world in at least one capacity.



My comment was more-so related to former friend that I had, who had a lot of issues and needed to see a counsellor on their own time, and would constantly call me at home. I tried to set boundaries with her, but she took it as rejection. I don't mind helping others out as we all go through rough patches, but she went way too far and I was exhausted as I would get phonecalls daily after work and if I didn't answer because I didn't feel like talking she would start texting me asking if I was mad at her etc...when in reality I just wanted a friend, and not an additional client. It was all reminiscent of high-school drama, and at 24 years of age I am liking the adult world much better as it has begun to unfold around me. I can understand where she is coming from, I have been there, but I made a concious choice now to see a psychologist as I realized it wasn't fair to make others my arm-chair psychiatrists, but my family doesn't mind when I call to vent about life, because they know I do better when I feel listened to and connected to the world in some way.
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#23 Old 02-25-2010, 10:10 AM
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My S/O and I were talking about ways I can get out more and meet people. I saw a really cute bike the other day, it was kind of a city-type bike compared to the complicated mountain bikes of my childhood. I live right near two lakes and parks etc. So I am thinking about investing in a bike and starting on the quiet trails around the lake where there is less traffic, and then when I feel confident enough, biking to work which is pretty eco-friendly.



Putting myself out there like that is scary, but isolating myself is also a bit scary, so it may help! He also said that a lot of people he knows who bike often form friendships just because it is a shared interest. I'm right near a bike shop so I may go and price things out over my lunch break.



I think I will focus on getting out more, and friendships being an eventual by-product of this. It will be harder though when I'm in a depressive period as my motivation dies, but when I'm manic it will be easier alternatively.



I'm seeing my psychologist in a couple weeks, so I may get meds, but I just want really low doses to see if the exercise will help instead of high doses.
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#24 Old 02-25-2010, 10:15 AM
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What about signing up for a class you find interesting. I have met so many people at our taekwondo and boxercise class. Just an idea.
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#25 Old 02-25-2010, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Treehugger267 View Post

What about signing up for a class you are interesting. I have met so many people at our taekwondo and boxercise class. Just an idea.



The community centre is closing for a few months for upgrading, so I could check back after that to see if there's anything. The community centre is the only affordable option here, as everything else is privately owned and really expensive, we are a small town which focuses on tourists that come in the summer so options are limited.
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#26 Old 02-25-2010, 10:57 AM
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So I read your original post and then skimmed most of the other responses so I am sorry if this is repetitive.



I have/had all of the same symptoms that you are describing. I don't even wear bright coloured clothes because I don't like it when people look at me. I have a VERY small group of friends (like 3) and they are all that I am comfortable with. But lately I have wanted to get into the whole animal activism thing and I didn't want to do it alone. So I am "training" myself for social settings. I planned to meet with this one animal activist and I regretted it. I want to cancel, I didn't want to have forced weird conversation, I wanted to stay at home and feel comfortable. But I kept the meeting. I panicked all day but then when I met with him it was actually fun. We had tons in common and it was easy. Next was meeting with a group of women who wanted to start an activism group. Same feelings but I made myself go. Looking back the only thing I would have regretted was not going.



To sum up my long ramble, I think it is a lot easier to make friends with people if you have LOTS of stuff in common. That way you don't feel like you are being judged. I feel safe in my women's group because we all have practically the same views. Try to find a group of people that get together to do something you are also interested in. It will be hard and uncomfortable at first but hopefully it will get better.
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#27 Old 02-25-2010, 11:21 AM
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Well, I'm not the same, but I too have troubles making new friends.



Don't have any close friends at all.

"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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#28 Old 02-25-2010, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
To sum up my long ramble, I think it is a lot easier to make friends with people if you have LOTS of stuff in common. That way you don't feel like you are being judged. I feel safe in my women's group because we all have practically the same views. Try to find a group of people that get together to do something you are also interested in. It will be hard and uncomfortable at first but hopefully it will get better.



This is a really good point. I find it hard to relate to a lot of people because my interests are so different. I should keep an eye open for groups and events. It's not repetitive at all! I can relate to the colour thing...I wear a lot of black and I like wearing scarves because they are like a safety blanket.



Quote:
Well, I'm not the same, but I too have troubles making new friends.



Don't have any close friends at all.



You're not alone
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#29 Old 02-25-2010, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Update:



I thought I'd be pro-active, so I had two free hockey tickets given to me. So I posted on facebook: I have a free hockey ticket! anyone care to join me? and no one replied.....Then I asked a girl that I work with and get along well with...and she said that she was busy. I then asked an acquaintance of mine, but they said they are busy. I texted an old friend of mine, and he said he had other plans. He lives near me, and I saw him grocery shopping when I drove home to bawl my eyes out.



The game is over now, and no one took me up on my offer, and I'm too afraid to go on my own, so I ended up at home feeling worse than I did before....



It's a lonely island, and for some reason even building a bridge to it doesn't work.



I'm guessing a weeknight would've been bad for anyone. Kids have school and after school activities, parents have to fix dinner, do laundry, clean the house, etc. I can identify with busy times and people, especially during the school year (Sept-June). Keep building bridges and go. Believe me, I have a friend and I invited her to an "first Thursday" artwalk in our city, and she couldn't go. Not the end of the world.





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Originally Posted by Alicia Avocado View Post

Because of my profession people always emotionally dump on me...I'm already so exhausted from work...that listening to people when I get home is a bit taxing.....I just wish I had positive friends, and not the emotional vampires of the past.

I'm not trying to put you down, but have you considered a career change? Perhaps opening a cafe or starting a catering business? It's a lot easier emotionally then what you are doing right now. Is there a community or junior college nearby you can look at their catalogue, and walk through the campus? Talk to a few professors? Take a day off and look at it. Good luck with everything.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#30 Old 02-25-2010, 05:12 PM
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I'm not trying to put you down, but have you considered a career change? Perhaps opening a cafe or starting a catering business? It's a lot easier emotionally then what you are doing right now. Is there a community or junior college nearby you can look at their catalogue, and walk through the campus? Talk to a few professors? Take a day off and look at it. Good luck with everything.



I'm not eligible for student loans. I have applied 5 times and am routinely denied. I own a home in a small town with my partner who isn't flush either, all colleges and universities are elsewhere - and the college here is actually below my current education level. I also have a learning disability, and can't do math as a result, which is a requirement for any other courses besides my field of work. I worked two jobs and went to school full time to get where I am, and everything on my resume relates to my line of work. The economy here is terrible, and businesses are going belly up - self employment these days ends in disaster (most businesses here are empty rental spaces now) and since I am in debt I wouldn't be able to get a loan through my bank anyway.



Thankyou for the idea, I know you are meaning well, but I am content where I am. It could be worse, and other options are few and far too risky in terms of finances.
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