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Caitlyn801 10-12-2010 04:17 PM

social anxiety as a teenager
It's the same thing every day.

I walk through my high school doors, ready to start the day, and then something happens (maybe i see my crush, or i hear someone whisper behind me) and suddenly, I'm freaking out. Sometimes when this happens, i wish i were the size of a pin, or that i had some sort of cave that i could crawl into and hide from the rest of the world. And it hate it. I hate having to think like this. I'm only a teenager

My parents are annoyed with me. They know that during lunch, i hide in the school library instead of making friends. I spend every weekend at home, rather than out at parties, or with friends. I especially hate school dances. Those are my own personal hell.

I tried going to a couple, but i can never handle it. I don't know what happens, but i get so...panicky when i see kids i know, huddled in social groups and having a good time. I feel like a loser. I think that they are all talking about me, about how much of a loner i am. And that's enough to make me call home early and cry in my bedroom for hours.

Honestly, i know where this all started, i think. When i was in grade seven, i was popular. I was friends with all the right people, on the fast track to having an awesome high school expirience. and then, slowly, i began to realise that my friends looked better than me. While i was still growing, they'd all reached puberty and towered over me. I wasn't fat, but i wasn't as skinny as them. I didn't think the guys liked me as much; i wasn't beautiful like my friends.

So what did i do? I pulled away.

I decided that i wasn't good enough to be their friends, and i just left them. I read during recesses, or stayed inside to help the janitor clean up. I was the new loser of the school. Because of that, i went into highschool without a friend in the world.

My parents tell me things that they think will make me have a better social life. They say that I'm "funny, beautiful, smart as a whip..." They've also complimented me on my writing abilities, which multiple teachers have noticed as well. I've won a couple of awards, gone to a few speech competitions. But none of it is enough for me. In my mind, I'm still no good.

The worst part is school. I can't hide from my social anxiety during school. Every class is diferent, too. There's partner work, group work, the days where it's encouraged to talk with friends when there's free time at the end of class... and what do i do? I read. Alone.

A couple of days ago, in my history class, i was doing just that when a girl came up to me and asked "Can i have your desk?" You see, her friends were sitting in front of me, all having a conversation, one she wished to join in on. I blushed, embaressed by her speaking to me, and looked up to see my crush, Joe, waiting for me to give up my spot. She was a good friend of his; he wanted her to have my seat. He didn't want me to be there.

God how i wanted to cry. And then today, Joe and his friends, including that girl, were sitting in front of my desk again, and the girl turned around to look at me and picked up my Ipod that i'd been listening to. "This is a really pretty color." she said, about the vibrant pink color. I didn't say anything. I'd just recieved a compliment and sat there like an idiot.

What's more, Joe and her exchanged raised eye brows as if to say, "wow. What a freak. Why do we even try?" Well...why do they try? I want to be popular. Oh how i miss it. the parties, the feeling of being on top of the world. But it's gone. I'm a different person now. If i were to go to a party, i would end up running home, hyperventilating, and crying. That's pathetic.

My parents have interventions with me about once a month, and it's humiliating to have to sit at my kitchen table while they tell me how much of a loner i really am. "You've pulled yourself away from the world." my dad points out. "And that's going to bite you in the butt someday."

I know it will. And i really am trying to fix it! I've looked up Q&A online about being shy, and self conscious, and also, i've tried losing weight. That, i really can't do. There's nothing to be done there because i just don't have the willpower. But i should be able to turn my outlook on life around.

I'm missing out on the best years of my life. I'm only a teeanger and i've managed to make myself the most unpopular girl at my school. Guys don't look twice at me, girls don't look once. I want SO badly to have a boyfriend, someone to hold me when i am feeling terrible and to tell me that it's "okay", that he's here for me.... That won't ever happen, though, as long as i hate myself.

Tomorrow is a rally for my school, and my parents are forcing me to go, to be social. I don't want to. OH MY GOD HOW I DON'T WANT TO GO. I'm going to have to find a bus, sit with some random person...I just might faint. And that's really sad.

I don't really know what i'm expecting to get out of this website. It's mostly just for my own comfort, to know that I'm not the only one out there with this sort of problem. Any ideas on how to fix it? Please; I'm desperate!


EagleRiverDee 10-12-2010 04:52 PM

Re: social anxiety as a teenager

It sounds like your isolation is pretty extreme, and definitely is worrying your parents. I would be worried about you, also. It sounds like you have social anxieties and perhaps some depression?

I'm going to make an assumption that things haven't changed so much in high school that teens don't break off into certain groups, or "cliques" as we called them back then. It sounds as though you are focused on one type of group of people- I wonder have you thought of befriending people not in that group? In my own personal experience, popular people can often be rather judgmental and a bit superficial (focusing on clothes, money, cars, makeup, looks). When I was in high school I originally started out in the popular crowd but ultimately got tired of how shallow and judgmental it was and chose to just be friends with people from any clique so long as they were nice and genuine.

If your anxieties are with everyone, then I wonder if you might not ask your folks if you could go to therapy? A therapist could help you work through why you're afraid and teach you coping mechanisms for dealing with that fear in social situations.

Caitlyn801 10-12-2010 06:10 PM

Re: social anxiety as a teenager
Thank you. :) It means a lot that you took the time to respond. I am, admittedly, focusing on the popular group, only because that's practically the only group there is at my high school. If you aren't in that, you're a nobody. I know it sounds dramatic, but this is the reality of my school.

I did go to therapy, but only once, and i only had three sessions before the therapist gave my parents an overview. It didn't help whatsoever. I have high hopes, though, of finding a better therapist. Again, thank you for your concern. It means alot


EagleRiverDee 10-12-2010 07:33 PM

Re: social anxiety as a teenager
I get it, I do. I just hope you'll maybe think- it might be better to be a so-called "nobody" than to be "popular". Just think about it. Social standing is important, but only to a point. When the standing is based on artificial things, then it's not worth much. And one thing I know for sure- those nobodies have the potential to be really, really good friends to you. I had several nobody friends in high school- they were the best. They never judged me, they didn't care what I wore, they didn't care what I drove. They just cared that I was their friend.

As to the therapy- yes, definitely keep trying. Not all therapists will click with you, same as not all people click with you. Find one that uses a method that works for you.

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