Sunday, October 12, 2008

Confessions of the Socially Phobic

I have come to suspect that a lot of my defects as a human being stem from my abandonment by my father and the presence of a psychotic and abusive stepfather in my young life. I have abandonment issues. D'uh. But I also have heightened anxiety that I suspect came from years of wondering when the stepfather was going to go off on me. I could never turn the hypervigilance off, and now I have to take Zoloft to get through the day. The social phobia dates back to high school when, although I craved society and friends, I felt that I could not risk letting anyone into my private hell. I was too ashamed to let anyone know what was happening to me.

Later in life, when I had put my dysfunctional family behind me, I had issues with forming attachments. I could be your best friend, but when you left, or when it was time for me to move on, it was always "have a good life". I have never been a faithful correspondent.

Now, at 50, I am starting to realize that I want to work on these issues and to make the effort to connect with my conspecifics. I want to have a social life. I have to work on it. I am convivial and amiable, and I should exercise these characteristics. I would be happier if I spent some effort becoming part of a community. I'm not sure how to start or if I even have it in me.

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