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AIBU?

To withdraw from everyday life? May be triggering.

6 replies

Toosadandtired · 14/10/2018 08:41

NC for this post.
I’ve had a difficult life. Lifelong disabilities that weren’t diagnosed until my 30s. Very unhappy childhood as a result - bullying, social difficulties, parents used to shout at me a lot, accuse me of lying about things, often called me a wicked child. Sexually abused as a teen by a family friend.
Struggled through uni - treated very badly by men. Made very few friends and fouled up my degree.
Have worked constantly but found working relationships very difficult. Never really had any success professionally, but doing averagely ok.
No relationships since uni because men terrify me. But met a man in my late 30s.after a long time I feel safe with him. Stability and as close to happiness as ive been. We have a child together.
Over the past few years I have made some friends. Not particularly close, but we go out once every few months. Also made a few new friends with school mums, but one ended spectacularly badly - I’ve posted about it on here before. General consensus was she bullied me. A significant number of mums also blank me completely. I presume, because they are the ‘yummy mummies’ its because I’m fat and ugly. Or my disabilities are more obvious than I thought. For several years I’ve said hello but they blank me consistently.
The school stuff, among other things, has had a really negative and prolonged effect on me. I now feel overwhelmed by any interaction with people. That somehow I am black inside and people can see this.
I can feel old thoughts and behaviors surfacing. Withdrawing, the feeling or irrational anger and self sabotage. Very similar to how I was in my 20s. But now I have a family to think about. I don’t want to affect them, and I wonder if it’s ok to withdraw from all other relationships to focus on them. I cant cope with them but I don’t want to feel hated. I’ve always been very unpopular and I will struggle to make friends again. I don’t think my friends think of our friendships as particularly close, so I hope me withdrawing won’t cause them upset.
Work is also taking a lot of my energy and I feel spent, with nothing else to give.
I’m already having therapy sessions.For reasons that are outing, cannot be prescribed antidepressants.
I want to make it clear that I do not feel suicidal. I just want to withdraw from parts of my life to make it more bearable.
Please be gentle, even if you think I’m a naval gazing waste of space.

OP posts:
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Veganfortheanimals · 14/10/2018 08:49

You can self refer to talking space or ask your doctor to refer you...I think you need to talk about your life ,and why it caused you so much upset....I can relate to a lot of what you wrote ,except you arefurther on that me ,as you have a diagnosis for your disability,I'm yet to take that step..it's good you know what you are dealing with ,disability wise ,as that will help you put your past into perspective,but also ,possibly you are angry that people close to you didn't notice and get you help ??? .as for the school mums...that's normal..there's always a group of mums who ignor others,I expect they are struggling with their own deamons,don't give them a second thought x

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caroloro · 14/10/2018 08:50

I'm sorry people have behaved so badly towards you all your life.

Do you find going out with your friends a positive when you do go (I guess it's the thought of going that exhausts you?).

On the whole, try to keep the interactions that nourish you going, and limit the ones that don't. And check in with your therapist about what he/she thinks about this, as he/she will know you better than we do.

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Bobbybear10 · 14/10/2018 08:52

As much as withdrawing sounds wonderful to you now where will it end?

So you find it difficult at the school gates, you withdraw from that. Then you find it difficult to meet friends so you withdraw from that. You then find shopping difficult so you withdraw from that, you end up withdrawing from everything which will have not only a negative affect of your DC it will also really impact you mentally more and than you realise.

As much as I am incredibly introverted and can totally get where you are coming from humans are designed to be somewhat social and to lock yourself away from life (although incredibly tempting) will have a awful affect that will snowball.

I honestly think some different therapy or therapist might be the way to go. If you have been feeling like this for a while and you and your therapist haven’t made any inroads as to how to make life easier for you then it might a good idea to look at other types of therapy.

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Warpdrive · 14/10/2018 09:00

I feel for you. When I had depression I withdrew from many relationships. It was my coping mechanism. In hindsight, that meant that various groups bonded without me and now I am definitely not as included as I used to be....so do consider the longer term effects on the friendships and how you might cope with that.

However I’m talking about deep friendships rather that School mum friendships which largely dissolve as the children grow up. I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to let go of any expectations there.

I’m glad you have some support in place. You are not a waste of space. You are a valuable treasure.

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JoiningUpTheDots · 14/10/2018 09:02

I’m not sure of the answer to your question but want to say how very brave I think you are and that you should feel incredibly proud of all that you have achieved in the face of some extremely difficult traumas and obstacles in life Flowers

I would say do whatever makes you happy...however it sounds as though your desire to withdraw from life is less about a simple recognition of what would make you happier (for example, if you were an introvert who just tended to prefer your own company) and more to do with a response to painful situations that you have encountered in the past and want to protect yourself from in the future. Which is completely and utterly understandable, however my worry is that in withdrawing yourself like that you start to lose some of your resilience and social interactions may start to become scarier and scarier. I think generally in life it is better to try to face our fears (to one extent or another) in order to try to avoid them consuming us...though I appreciate that’s MUCH easier said than done.

In withdrawing from life in this way it would also seem that your world shrinks down much smaller so that your focus is much more on your partner and child, but perhaps to an extent that may not be healthy for either them or you. Obviously, for many of us our families are the primary source of joy in our lives but I think it’s important to also have other sources of happiness, whether that be people, pets, hobbies, work etc.

It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to develop some friendships. If it were me, and if those friendships are a source of happiness to you (even if they do not feel particularly close) I would continue to nurture those friendships.

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had such negative experiences with other school mums. I don’t know the background to that but please try to continue to hold your head up high. You sound like a kind, thoughtful person so them blanking you reflects only on them, not you.

It’s great that you’re recognising that you’re having negative thoughts and have sought help for that in the form of counselling. I think that you have SO much to feel proud of.

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gottastopeatingchocolate · 14/10/2018 09:11

Hi OP,
It seems that you have really been through it - but it also seems that you have a lovely little family and a few good friends.

I assume that you are discussing your feelings about withdrawing with your therapist? I hope s/he will help you find a way through it.

In my opinion (with no professional expertise at all) I would think it would be more damaging to you to withdraw altogether. Those thoughts and feelings that you are "fat and ugly" and "black inside" are seeking to isolate you completely. But I hear that you are worn out with it all, which makes it harder to try to engage with people.

Could you focus on the relationships that you have? Try to build your self esteem with a few trusted people? Maybe look at some kind of group support, too? Does your DH know how you are feeling?

Please don't let those negative thoughts win.

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