Scared of people

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by ThePhantomLady, Apr 13, 2016.

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  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    So... several things are bothering me.

    I have chronic pain in my back and my hip (because of untreated scoliosis)... and now the other side of my hip than the one that usually acts up is hurting...
    And why is it hurting? Because I spent the last two days cleaning my flat...

    And why did I have to do that? (other than the fact that a clean flat is a nice thing?) Well tomorrow I am expecting a man to come to check my radiators. It happens every year and I absolutely hate it.
    I don't like strangers, especially not in my flat... my flat (apartment) is my safe place where I hide from the world... I rarely open the door for the mailman even if I'm expecting a parcel I'm looking forward to...
    My heart is always in my throat if someone knocks on the door, or I hear footsteps in the hallway close to my door...
    And tomorrow I have to sit around and wait for a stranger to come into my home. And it's always a man... I am extra scared of men.

    The last few years I've left my door open as he comes in to check... it only takes a few minutes for him to read the numbers with his thing but I always hate it. I leave my door open for the worst reason... just in case something bad happens perhaps people could hear me scream if the door is open... or the security camera could film something.

    I hate having to think that... logically I know not every man is a rapist who can't control themselves. logically I do... but yeah, say that to my PTSD.

    I also have some stress induced OCD tendencies... the worse my stress and/or anxiety leve is the more order I need. When I worked at the hospital I stayed 20 minutes after my shift ended to place everything in a specific order... and one morning when the cleaning lady had moved everything I actually started crying.
    ... and for those 3 hours waiting on him I have to move the table that is standing next to one of the radiators... it is going to stress me out so bad.

    And on Friday I am going to a movie marathon at my friend's house with some other people, I know half of them... the others are strangers... the people I know are my best friend, her boyfriend and another guy... then there will be 3 other girls. I am not scared of the other guy, he's gay so in my head he's marked as 'safe'... but my best friends boyfriend gave me a bit of a scare without realizing it last time I slept on their couch... I woke up early in the morning and he was walking around in a towel for some reason. it was just silly... and I don't think he realized I even saw him.

    The last 3 months or so the only people I have seen have been my family (ugh), my therapist and people in shops... I haven't been social at all... and I worry I'll be awkward.
    It's such an irrational thought in a way... The setting couldn't be better. It's a Doctor Who marathon she's hosting, that and Sherlock are my main obsessions. I can always talk about those things... and the 'other guy' and I both crush on the same actor... so there's plenty to talk about there...
    And even better... my best friends are usually geeks, nerds, punks and other people who don't always 'fit in' with the more conventional society and therefore know not to judge others for being different...

    I am looking forward to going... but I'm just so scared. And... it's a sleep over thing... what if I have a bad nightmare? What if I talk in my sleep? Can I even sleep?
    What if I panic on the train if someone has to sit next to me because the train gets full? (my rapist used to find me on busses and sit next to me... so it's a bad trigger for me)... I've tried to place my bags on the seat next to me but people just move it (which quite frankly pisses me off too, anxiety or no).
  2. sunnypseudo

    sunnypseudo Well-Known Member

    Can you have someone wait with you for the man to come check the radiator? As far as the rest, I get it. I avoid eye contact with anyone when I leave the house. I also try to have the attitude though that I am the scariest thing out there. It helps calm me down sometimes. You have safety at least with knowing some of the people at the marathon, if you can attach to someone who is safe. I've always had a habit of doing that, even when I'm ok. It helps to sort of deem someone a keeper that you can trust. For family events.. I don't know. Could you have a friend come with you? I don't know if any of this is helpful in the least, and if it isn't I am sorry.
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  3. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Sadly there's no one who could come tomorrow... my friends live all over the country; but it's a good idea if it was possible. Thank you
  4. sunnypseudo

    sunnypseudo Well-Known Member

    =/ I'm so sorry. I believe you can do this, as terrifying as it may seem, you will come through the other side. And which each time you choose to put yourself out there it is further proof that you are capable of so much strength. I know you're strong, very strong.
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  5. AJE

    AJE Well-Known Member

    I hope it all goes ok for you, it must all be very stressful & draining.
    Sounds a good idea to leave your door open when the radiator man calls if it makes you feel better.
    Hope your night away goes well & you have a nice time, you're stronger than you think.
    Big hug !
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  6. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    Your fear may be irrational, but it's definitely identifiable. I don't have too much of a problem being in public anymore, but talking to people or being in a situation that incites conversation--kill me. At least to my knowledge, social anxiety doesn't always have to be that severe, and better yet, significant.

    Those kind of friends sound ideal to my standards; I probably fit into all of those categories to some degree. By the same actor, do you mean Benedict Cumberbatch? I'm curious, lol, but you don't have to talk about that here if you're not comfortable with that. Anyway, yeah, I see why you'd be nervous to go to that sleepover even though your friends are there. I don't have a problem being around people that I like and know well, but meeting them and maybe getting to know them--again, kill me.
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  7. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Thank you for all your input. I really hope I make it through okay tomorrow. I actually think it's the waiting that's the worst.

    The year before last went pretty good. I came home from work just as the man was on the way into the building and I actually held the door for him... so when he finally got to my flat it was a lot easier and he was very friendly. And tomorrow I have a session with my therapist in the morning... so maybe she could help me deal as well.

    And yes @Inanimate that is exactly who I meant!
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  8. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    So... the radiator man came and I survived. I think he was here for 5 minutes and it was the same guy as the years before... so yeah.

    I'm still nervous about tomorrow though... I am really tempted to not go.

    And at the same time I really, really do want to. I miss my best friend. She's such a wonderful person.

    And I am sort of forced to go... lol. I have the DVD's! I am actually happy about that... it makes it harder to chicken out.
    I have packed my back and laid out my clothes, my accessories, nail polish and makeup... so I don't have to stress about that tomorrow either... I 'just' have to get out of bed, shower and get dressed.
  9. sunnypseudo

    sunnypseudo Well-Known Member

    You seem more excited about it today. I am glad you do, and are taking steps to prevent incident. I hope you have so much fun tomorrow that the fear is forgotten.
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  10. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hi hun, after all you have been through it is totally understandable to feel the way you do. I keep a small bottle of hairspray in my handbag so I could use it if something were to happen. It's normal to feel scared about a strange man coming into your home. Just try and stay in the moment and remember that it's very very unlikely that something will happen, it is just anxiety I think. Try keeping something ''safe'' with you that is also legal. ((hugs))
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  11. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    My mum of all people gave me a glass of chili pepper to keep in my purse when I moved out... and under my bed I keep an iron rod and a baseball bat... it helps me sleep at night.

    It was nice when I more of a punk chick... I wore a bracelet and a leather choker with lots of long spikes and a lot of rings too... I actually once scared away some bullies that were bullying a poor kid. All I had to was stare at them and clench my fist. (in truth I was dead scared for my life there)

    I am now ready to go to the movie weekend. I even did my nails... I haven't done that in ages! I used to do my nails all the time in all sorts of ways...

    I'm just really nervous about the train. I just know I'll have a panic attack if someone sits next to me. I'm going during rush hour... of course... 3pm on a Friday... and it's over an hour. And no, my back and hip won't allow me to just stand. Blegh.
  12. afterlifepig

    afterlifepig Well-Known Member

    i used to deal with my fears by keeping a handgun in my coat. i felt invincible. but after being in the hospital i can't own a handgun anymore ... probably for the better also because it makes hurting myself or someone else a little too easy. thinking of a strange man with a gun, i am probably not helping your paranoia with this post, lol. although i had someone try to kill me in the hospital (a staff member), and then others to cover it up, i do not really have any PTSD.... lucky me i guess.
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