Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Tampa, FL, USA
What should I do?
I don't like to have to put this in the codependency forum, but the last place I posted said it belongs here so here goes.
I'm 29 and have social anxiety. My sister is 26 and has way worse social anxiety, almost social phobia. I'll make a long story short and say that my parents were overprotective and my dad was on high doses of valium and depressed, but he's gone now. I've posted this alot and try to get it in as few words as possible, both my sister and me have never been to parties, had a relationship, had friends, or lived away from home. I, over the past few years have tried to do things on my own, now I run a break even business. My sister is way worse than me, she can barely even leave the house, she has no direction and has no friends and thinks everyone hates her, she also has a temper and we get in fights often. Like tonight I was invited for the only the second time in my life. I was invited by a coworker that plays in a band, he invited me to see him play. I wasn't sure if I should go as it was 40 mlies away and 9:00 to 1:00 at night. On a whim I went anyway. All the way down there I was no nervous, then I couldn't find the place, I finally turned around and turned into a plaza to look at my map. I looked up and there was the place, a tiny section of a shopping center with a million cars out front, and people in front of the place. I waited for at least 20 minutes pondering if I should go in, I never went into a bar before and didn't know what to expect. Then I decided that there was never going to be a right time to go in, the only way to get out of this is to go in and see what happens. I walked up to the place. I had two voices in my head, one that said "you shouldn't be doing this", the other one said "I wonder what could happen if you went in there". I wandered outside like a lost dog until I seen the guy I knew. He recognized me and was really glad to see me. It seemed to mean alot to him that I showed up because he hugged me than took me inside and gave me seat at the band's family table, then he introduced me to at least 30 different people as his personal equipment tech (which I am, i'll get to that later), then we got beers at the bar, he told the bartender that I was with the band and they gave me a beer at no charge. Then I went over and sat down while the band was tuning up. I talked to I don't know who, one of the wives of someone in the band. Everyone was so nice, like i was in heaven. Then after a few minutes the band began to play. They were a rolling stones tribute band and were pretty good, but loud. It's only the third band I ever seen live so it could be me not used to it. I took a seat and listened to the band, it was very hard to stay calm everyone sits so close to each other, I could literally feel the body heat off two women sitting near me, not that I would complain though. After several songs the band's singer said for people to come up and dance. I was surprised when like three couples came up to dance. I was so nervous and didn't know if I should watch them of is that rude, I never seen anyone dance in front of me so I don't know what your supposed to do. They were about 20 feet away. I feel stupid bragging about how I seen dancing for the first time, but where I live there just isn't anything like this. I was astounded how they got up and didn't worry about dancing even though most of them didn't dance good at all. I was duped, I always thought you had to know how to dance or would be laughed and booed at, maybe I learned that from tv. I was amazed people were so nice, I was one of the only people there without someone and several people knew I felt left out and helped, almost protected me. Is this normal, why was everyone so nice to me. I 'll give you an example, the guy I knew didn't have to go out of his way to introduce me to all the people he knew, he also didn't have to help me find a seat. The two things I feared the most were taken care of by someone I've only known for a coulple months.
As I watched the couples dance I finally got it. They relied on each other, and the couples had more fun, they were less worried about how they were dancing and liked to show off. The play between them was beautiful, but it made me sad I never had a girlfriend. I'm still hoping the day will come when I'm ready to go on a date, right now family problems are what comes first. My sister told me I shouldn't be typing on here because it changes me into a different person, but I just couldn't stop. I just broke several longstanding records- , never went into a bar, never seen a band play alone, and alot more.
I left the bar at 1:00am, then called home to say I'm no my way. When I got home at 2:15 they're still up, my sister's now even more depressed. Then, while I was still in a daze from everything that happened, I apparently said the wrong thing to her. I said "well, maybe I should have stayed here". Then she said about how I hate her and something about "making her the bad guy", then she started crying. I tried to console her then said something else wrong and that made her mad at me. We used to get along so well, but ever since I been talking to other people, we argue all the time. I have to watch every word I say to her. But is it me or her. She has told me how I changed, and am not fun anymore, but i get the direct opposite from other people, they like to talk to me. She doesn't want me posting online at all, she says "everyone posing doesn't know what they're talking about", I know that's not true, but can someone give me some advice.
I'm trying to get her over social anxiety using exposure therapy, but she keeps on calling the shots and I can get her to do the things that would help her the most. She refuses to do things and has emotional outbursts, usually sad and depressed or angry. She needs someone to give her direction, she's thinking that person is me, but so far it hasn't been working out. She tells me about how she wants me to tell her what to do. I think she's trying to use me as a parent. Could someone here explain what the responsibility of a sibling is supposed to be. I think she's expecting alot more of me than I can give. Or is it me who should be punished for what i did to her.