That I Am Afraid of People

Ever since I was 17, and married to an abusive man, I have had anxiety when I talk to people.  I was married to him for five years and it's been 25 since I left.  I never quite recovered from the feelings of anxiety . . .  when i talk to someone face to face and (s)he is being candid with me, sharing personal information and talking about life experiences, I find myself working hard to frame myself in such a way that the person to whom I'm speaking  will not know how much anxiety I have.  It is a constant self-monitoring and it is exhausting.  I am doing much better than when I was younger, but I'd be so happy to find one day that I just accept myself, and can laugh about the past, and not feel compelled to censor myself.  I don't always listen to everything being said, and my memory is lousy, because I am self-monitoring all of the time and trying to frame myself in a way that I can be loved and respected, yet inside I feel if one knew how much pain I feel I would lose them, as a friend or lover . . . even my family.

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Mar 28, 2009