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Wxh caused my social anxiety

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Williesmom posted 10/18/2013 21:31 PM

Tonight, I went to my mom's house for supper because she had family coming in from all over the country.

I was looking forward to seeing everyone, but......when I'm in a group situation like that, I sometimes just need to leave.

Tonight, I realized that I became like that after the D. During my marriage, I was always the designated driver. We would go somewhere, and my wxh would drink himself stupid and bullshit for hours and hours.

Sometimes, I would be so bored and ready to go. He was so fucking inconsiderate that he would sometimes make me sit for several hours , or I would just leave him to find his own way home.

So, tonight I realized that group settings trigger me because as soon as I think about leaving, I do.

I hate that I feel so socially awkward because of the public humiliation that he put me through.

She11ybeanz posted 10/18/2013 21:35 PM


Its okay sweetie. We all have something that triggers us from the horrible experiences our WS's put us through. I still have the occasional panic attack when I go to a race...wondering if I will run into XWH and MOW there the happy running couple!

Its okay to not be okay sometimes. Its what makes us beautifully human!

nowiknow23 posted 10/18/2013 21:38 PM


phmh posted 10/18/2013 21:42 PM


The good news is that we humans are extremely resilient and you can make that part of your distant past as you realize your fabulous, inviting, happy, personable self!

jo2love posted 10/18/2013 23:33 PM


Chrysalis123 posted 10/19/2013 00:04 AM

Williesmom, I am just like you. I never realized it was a trigger until just now, For years he would abandon me at parties or get togethers, where he would get obliterated due to drink and drugs. If I asked to leave he would shame me publicly. I was the designated driver and would sit for hours. I tried to be social but after awhile it would fall flat because his friends were wasted and I did not really get into that. Eventually, I refused to go anywhere with him. I was then called a party pooper. Foolishly, I believed him.

I get it. You and me lived parallel lives.


Bluebird26 posted 10/19/2013 05:49 AM

me too. Thing is now I crave peace and quiet. I think I will alone for ever.

NaiveAgain posted 10/19/2013 07:39 AM

Its okay to not be okay sometimes. Its what makes us beautifully human!
Beautifully said!

It is okay to not be okay, however....

I hate that I feel so socially awkward because of the public humiliation that he put me through.
Since it is affecting you in an adverse way that you don't want....maybe it is time to do something about it?

Little steps. We overcome things like this (this is actually a type of phobia) by taking small steps.

group settings trigger me because as soon as I think about leaving, I do.
Next time you feel like leaving...try to catch yourself and don't go. Start small. Tell yourself you are just going to stay an extra 5 or 10 minutes. Then allow yourself to leave.

The time after that time...go for 10 or 15 minutes. Just extend the time, and while you are counting down the minutes...engage yourself with someone who is comfortable to you. Is there anyone you can confide in about this that would help you? Next time you have a family get there a family member you can talk to about this? And they can help you work thru that when you are counting down the 5 to 10 minutes, they can keep you occupied and talk to you, or walk with you around the property, or otherwise engage you?

Even if there is no one you feel comfortable talking with....if you give yourself just a small amount of time to stay, you should be able to handle that and just up that amount slowly over time.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:42 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]

cayc posted 10/19/2013 07:40 AM


Williesmom posted 10/19/2013 08:46 AM

I did this last night. I did stay for a few minutes after my initial thought.

But then, my dad came over to join the group, and he drives me nuts. So, triggering + FOO put me over the edge. Ugh

Helen of Troy posted 10/19/2013 14:44 PM

Hey good for you for holding to your boundaries with dad! Be proud of yourself for doing that. Now, what steps will you take to manage or overcome the social anxiety?
You are an intelligent woman and someone I look up to professionally & personally. And so I know you got this!
Mr. WXwilliesmom can go fuck himself. His influence is no longer welcome.
This is what is helping me, it's challenging at times, especially when I am feeling low or triggery; mr WXwgb's point of view or influence no longer counts for anything. I also consider the source: he's a weakling pathetic LOSER. And, I'm no victim.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/19/2013 15:39 PM

Could this maybe be you reclaiming your autonomy and the freedom to come and go as you please instead of being *bound* by someone else's desire to remain?

I think that it's pretty great that now you can just up and leave whenever you darn well want to.

.....but you seem upset, so I must be missing something here......

Williesmom posted 10/19/2013 18:19 PM

I'm glad that I am able to just leave when I want, but it upsets me that it feels like a mini panic attack- almost also I NEED to leave. Right now.

The crush of humanity makes me nervous.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/19/2013 19:54 PM

The crush of humanity makes me nervous.

Why? What makes you nervous? Was the fact that your dad was there part of the problem? Do you also have these feelings when you're in a group of people that are your friends and that you feel comfortable with?

eta: I'm sorry. I'm giving you all of these rapid-fire questions under the assumption that you want to parse this out. And maybe you don't. Maybe you are just upset by it. If that's the case, then just ignore my questions....and here's a {{{{hug}}}}.

[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 7:56 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

Williesmom posted 10/20/2013 08:28 AM

No, it's ok. Any large crowd of people bothers me. All of those conversations, people coming and going...

It's very strange.

ladies_first posted 10/21/2013 16:39 PM

Would it help you to think of social anxiety in terms of dog behavior?

(Please forgive the following stereotypes if you don't agree)

I think of social anxiety at a small, high-strung "purse poodle", like something Paris Hilton might carry around. The dog is so scared it cowers and almost wets itself when a stranger tries to pet him.

Wouldn't you rather be a big, friendly labrador? Think of a that big tail-a-wagging "pet me. look at me. love me. PET ME!"

Tell yourself you are just going to stay an extra 5 or 10 minutes. Then allow yourself to leave.

Tell yourself you're not gonna piss yourself for 10 minutes -- then put on your best labrador behavior, and go work the room.

I'm serious.

Would would Willie do?

Williesmom posted 10/21/2013 17:25 PM

That is so funny. Willie is not a Labrador- he's a corgi, which is also a huge people-loving breed.

He does not take NO for an answer- you WILL pet him if he graces you with his charm.

He's also very forgiving, and doesn't take offense at a slight.

I may have to ruminate on this one. My dogs have already taught me so much about life.

ruinedandbroken posted 10/21/2013 22:19 PM

OMG! The same thing happened to me! I thought I was going crazy. I went to see an old friend and they like to party. They had a houseful. They were all drinking, playing corn-hole, etc. It wasn't out of hand or anything but I knew no one except my friend and I seriously had a panic attack. Like I locked myself into the bathroom and was crying and hyperventalating. I *HAD* to leave. I've never had anything like that happen to me before. :(

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