No Way Out?

sadbag

 

I went out for a long walk yesterday. I sat down on a bench near the end of the day in the country park as I waited for the bus. I see some people look at me and immediately become self conscious. Not once but two or three times in 5 minutes.In the morning when I was taking pictures of an old tree I saw a young couple laughing as they went by. He said something and she looked back at me smiling as if he had just called me a c**t. Is that paranoid behaviour? To imagine people are laughing at me, mocking ? Its happened a million times before though. I have been out on walks now for over 10 years. Have I gotten used to them? No. Have they made me feel better and more confident? No. I still feel a lone man walking and taking pictures is a target for abuse. I think even lots of normal people love taking the piss out of others if they act in any way different. I bet 90% of these people think they are tolerant and accepting of all other people too. Everyone lies.Its human nature.

I keep reading CBT that starts with telling people to go to a coffee shop every week on their own. They assume that not getting attacked will prove its all delusional thinking and that we will then get better. Its never happened to me. Because I would be awkward, nervous and strange people would look at me. This would make me more nervous and act even weirder. I imagine the staff laughing at me as I go in each week and calling other staff so they could also come and laugh at me. That’s because its often chronic anxiety, not minor shyness.I have even got laughed at by strangers and on one memorable occasion punched in the face for walking in a strange manner so its obviously not all in my head. Now I imagine myself walking like John Cleese or a sasquatch so I am more avoidant so obviously exposure therapy only works if you are normal and dont have any major problems to begin with.Thats why they say do it on small steps but to me going to a coffee shop alone is like being dropped in the Atlantic ocean and told sink or swim. I’m depressed, anxious and alone. There is no way out I can see short of divine intervention. People tell you to sort your life out. I wish I knew how.

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4 thoughts on “No Way Out?

  1. I’m sorry that people have been so very cruel to you throughout your life. I can relate in some ways to how you view human nature, but I don’t think the majority of people are deliberately cruel. With regards to that guy making a nasty comment about you, and also your fear that staff in the coffee shop would laugh at you, do you actually have any concrete evidence? I can certainly empathise with your situation because I used to (and often still do) experience the same intense paranoia around what other people were thinking of me/ what they might do or say. I think we’d be surprised at how little other people actually do think about us. Most are far too caught up in their own lives. And anyone who would mock you for something as inconsequential as the way you walk is a) an insensitive idiot b) immature, and c) clearly has some problems of their own that they need to work on.

  2. Thanks Gemma, I think quite a lot of my negative thoughts come form childhood as I was quite fat so they have stuck with me. Even when I slimmed down and went to the gym when I started work I still got people poking fun at my chest as if I had breasts just like they did when I was fat. I pretty much realised then that people view you on your character and as I was weird I would not be allowed to fit in. The vast majority of people do nothing but the odd person saying something now and then still gets to me. I hope you are OK as I have not seen you blog in a while.

    • Same here. And also from my teenage years. The degree of damage that bullying can cause can’t be overemphasised. I’ve never been able to understand how a minority of people can be so callous. Yes, I’ve also noticed that with some people, once they realise that I’m extremely timid, have low self-esteem, and find it difficult to be assertive, they think they can treat me like crap. We might think we’re weak but I think that needing to always put someone else down to maintain social status shows a weakness as well. I’m fine, thanks. I’m just still in the middle of writing my dissertation, so naturally, haven’t really had the time/ energy to write blog posts. Hope you’re all right.

  3. Yes, good well adjusted people almost never put others down. Its usually the ones who are insecure due to their own upbringing and problems.There seems to be a lot of them about though!

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