General chatter - Getting over the fear?

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11-05-2010, 12:35 PM
I guess to start this post I have to make a confession. I dropped out of high school. Uhg, saying that makes me cringe. I have no excuse or reason, except at that time in my life I believed nothing mattered. I didn't feel like I had a future. (Which makes no sense because unless a person dies they have a future! Duh! :mad:) It is the biggest regret in my life, and I have plans to finish my school work and get a GED soon.

The thing holding me back from pretty much everything I want to do right now is fear. Mostly fear of other people and that they will find out how stupid, inept, wrong, etc I am. I'm afraid to learn to drive (Yes, I'm 21 and don't have a license yet) not because I think I will get in an accident, but because I'm afraid of making a mistake and causing another driver to get angry. (And I know that makes no sense. :?: ) I avoid conversations with new people even though I'm lonely because I know the first questions are going to be things like "what do you do?" "what did you study in school?" and I'll have to say that I'm just a housewife with no education. And I love being a housewife, I really do! In the end that's what I want to be, but I feel like I'm so much less than everyone else in the world because I haven't done anything the "right" way. I want friends but I don't believe anyone would want to be my friend when I don't have anything to offer. Sometimes I almost feel subhuman. I hate going out and being around other people because I feel so self conscious.

Anyway, to the point of this rather long winded post. I want to get a job. I don't really need the money to live on because my husband makes enough to support us. But I think that a second income would be good because we could save more, and I would also have better means to help my family members with their problems. There is a grocery store right across the street from our apartment, but I'm terrified to apply. I know logically the worst that will happen is I won't be hired, but every time I start to think about doing it a voice in my head says there is no point. Then I start to convince myself I wouldn't be able to do the job anyway because I'm unable to do anything a normal person can. I don't want to wait until after I get my GED because that is at least a year or two away. But maybe I should?

I just don't know how to get over being afraid of everything. I'm afraid to even post this because I feel like everyone will hate me when they find out I'm such a loser. :?: I'm tired of feeling like I need to hide everything about myself for fear of being ostracized.

11-05-2010, 01:37 PM
Hi Olivia, first of all, let me tell you that I understand exactly what you feel. I feel the exact same way about every thing in my life and I am kind of introvert. But as long as you give in to the fear it will consume you. I realized this 2years back and started standing up for myself and also took baby steps in socializing. Once I started meeting new people, I realized that I could make friends very easily and many people actually liked me. This gave me the confidence to apply for college and now I am really proud that I took my life under my grip and did not let fear destroy it. I am telling you all this because you sound like my twin sister in your fears. Nobody is going to hate you for your fears or for posting this here. From this post, I understand that you want to be successful in your life and not rot away. So why don't you start your journey by applying for the job you want. If you get the job, it would be awesome and even if they don't accept you, you can be proud of your self for mustering the courage to apply. Just take baby steps and see where they take you. I really want you to be successful and I know you will make me proud. Just do it.

11-05-2010, 02:00 PM
Hey Olivia I have simliar fears and worries when it comes to meeting new people and going out and doing new things. I've never been good at socializing or being outgoing I'm very much an introvert.

I started taking baby steps toward being outgoing but I am no where near where I want to be. I sort of self diagnosed myself with generalized anxiety disorder and started reading books on how to improve myself. I decided I would push through the fear because otherwise I was just going to be sitting in my house with my parents all the time. :o Something I definitly did not want to be doing anymore.

So I started going to a gym, which I was terrified to do because I was afraid they would judge me for being so overweight. Then I started going to college (and if you knew how much I sucked at high school you would not think I would have been college material. I was basically voted the least likely to succeed in my class. So it always shocks me to see how well I am doing in college when compared to high school.

You can do this you just need to have more faith in your own abilities. :hug:
Take baby steps and set goals for yourself. :carrot:

Aunty Jam
11-05-2010, 02:22 PM
Olivia :hug:

I am the same as you... I dropped out of high school. This is the first time I`ve actually admitted it too. (Ok, now I`m going to cry... ick) I also seriously sucked in school.... I was afraid of failing so I didn`t even try... I had an older sister that I regarded as `perfect`and feared I could never live up to her. By the end of school I was so depressed I didn`t try because I didn`t plan on being around long enough for it to matter. This changed when I met a wonderful man that I later married but I still put off school....

My advice to you is don`t put it off! It only gets harder to go back! If your husband can support you on what he makes I woudn`t go to work either... focus on school, give it your all and do the best you can. Then you can look forward to college if you like or go to work but I really suggest you go to college. Find an intrest and look for a community college... go for it! It doesn`t matter if you don`t make hordes of money in whatever you decide to do... just enjoy it.

I`m 34 now and stuck... hubby has been unemployeed for a year and half and we are so deeply in debt it`s going to take us years to climb out of it after he gets a job. And I think I`ve finally found what I want to do with my life... which means I`m looking at going to college with people who will be half my age... yikes!!!! Not that we can afford it now though! To top it off, I left school only 3 credits short of a high school diploma... how dumb was that!!!

11-05-2010, 09:25 PM

Given the fact that you have admitted to yourself and to us how you feel about yourself and your situation, and have also voiced a desire to do something about the fear that stops have already fought and won one small battle with fear.

In my eyes, that proves you have what you need to conquer it.

I have lifetime acquaintance with Fear. It affected my whole life until about 5 years ago. (I'm 45 now) It almost killed me more than once; I was willing to die in order to protect myself from more fear.

I did not learn to drive, also because of fear, until 1 year and 9 months ago.
In fact, one week ago, I bought my first car ever.

Olivia, I have the deepest compassion for what you are going through. All I can do is tell you how I was able to make changes in my life, and become a very different person that I used to be.

1. I had good people in my life. None of them were friends - I was too embarrassed to ask for help from friends. They were neighbors and acquaintances that I liked. They helped me with transportation, or they accompanied me when I had to handle some terrifying things, and in general they just had a few nice words to say when I passed them on the sidewalk.
In short....I asked for help.

2. I did one small thing at a time. Shoot, just looking up the name of a driving school in the yellow pages was all I could handle for one day. Actually making the call....might have taken several days. The point is....sometimes just planning and thinking about taking a step is progress, even if you don't finish it that day. Do something. If you can't...then think about doing something...get ready for it...practice it. This way your brain kind of wears out some of the fear.

3. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS! Only compare yourself, to yourself. You feel shame that you didn't finish high school. The other students who did finish....did not have your life or life history. If they had, they would have made the same decision you did.

I wasted decades of my life living with great shame because I had to tell people I didn't have a driver's license. Yeah, I got a lot of weird looks and some rude questions. But, they didn't live my life, or know how many traumatic events happened to me as a child that caused this fear. It was not fair of me, to expect myself to behave the way so many lucky 16 year old kids did.

Fear and shame don't play fair. They're like bullies....they act bigger and badder than they really are. And the more time passes, they bigger they get. It takes tearing a little piece out of them, one by one, to get them down to size. And by then, you have won so many of these little battles, that you're strong enough to take on medium sized battles.....and then more on to big battles!

That's how you gain control of the fear. Have people on your side (like me....I am definitely on your side!), and start doing one thing at a time.

And give yourself credit for what you do. Picking up a job application....celebrate that! Filling out a job application.....celebrate! Turning it in....celebrate! These are all victories....YOUR victories. If nobody else understands that...tough toasties. They haven't walked a mile in your shoes....their opinion doesn't matter.

It is not too late for you to finish school, or to learn to drive. Do not deny yourself the life you want simply because your timeline doesn't copy someone else's. Your timeline is the only one that matters. You live your life
the way you need to live.

Anything else I can do to encourage you?


11-06-2010, 12:22 PM
Thank you guys for the responses. I feel a little better knowing someone can understand me. I spend so much time feeling like I'm the only one dealing with problems like this and that anyone who found out would instantly judge me.

I've let this fear cripple me since I was a little kid. I didn't go out and play. I wouldn't use the phone. I hated walking down the street to check the mail because people could see me. On and on....and the older I got the worse it became because I got more and more secluded.

I appreciate the advice very much. My husband keeps telling me I can do anything I want if I apply myself, but the voice saying "can't can't can't" is always more persistent. But like you guys said, I just need to start making baby steps.

Aunty Jam
11-08-2010, 06:54 PM
I've been through many of the same things you mentioned above. I've finally done something about it, but you don't know how much I wish I had done something about it 15 years ago.

11-08-2010, 07:59 PM
I feel pretty much the same way about everything. I left school when I was 13 to homeschool (going to school was becoming harder and harder. I've actually self diagnosed myself with social anxiety), but I never finished to get my diploma. I still have yet to get my GED, and it's something I am extremely embarassed about. I'm trying to study for it right now, but the fear of being at the college all day (alone) for testing scares me. As for the license, i just got my license in June, at age 22 (I just turned 23). I put it off for so long because I have the same fears as you do when it comes to driving. I actually haven't driven since I got my license due to not having a car, but the thought of driving still scares the crap out of me.

You CAN do it. Is driving scary? Yes, but there's always someone with you while you're learning. If you get too nervous, you can always pull over and ask them to take over. Having someone with me helped me a lot. Everything you're wanting to do is scary because it's all new. Getting yourself out there and actually getting stuff done is hard, but you won't regret it once you do. As time goes by, you'll start feeling better and better about everything, and you'll gain a lot of self confidence. If it's really too much for you to handle alone, you can maybe find a therapist that can help talk you through your fears? :)

Baby steps are best. One thing at a time. If you EVER need somone to talk to, feel free to PM me. I'm always available to listen.

11-09-2010, 05:04 PM
You have got to do something about this. You are well spoken (well, ok written) so you aren't stupid. You can get the GED and get on with your life.

I didn't get my liscense until I was older because I have ADD, I couldn't get the hang of all the distractions of driving. For the life of me, those stop signs always threw me-like oh, that's means I have to stop-oh, yeah, but by that time I had already sailed past it. Needless to say people who my co-pilots hated helping me. But eventually I figured out all the complexities of driving and even those stop signs.

You are not "just a housewife". If you say it that way, it sounds like you're embarrassed by it. You said you enjoy it so take pride in it.

But honestly you do need to have some sort of marketable skills, just in case. I don't mean you have to graduate college or anything like that, but something to fall back on in case something bad happens. Yes, just call my Mrs Paranoid. You are still young, you have your life in front of you.

If you can afford counseling, it may be a good thing to help you get past the "can't" feelings and the fear.
Good luck,

11-09-2010, 05:19 PM
I think you should go ahead and take the GED test. I skipped more than 2 years of high school and got nearly a perfect score on the GED test with virtually no prep - it really is that easy. The "practice" tests are considerably harder than the actual test, so if those are freaking you out, don't worry about it so much. It doesn't have to take you 2 years to get it done with.

Second, have you considered therapy? A lot of what you spoke about reminded me of my personal experiences with feeling abnormal, subhuman etc... therapy can really help with that. You do NOT deserve to feel that way.

11-09-2010, 09:11 PM
Big hug!

I haven't experienced anything like this like some of the other posters have, but I wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you! Whatever you want to accomplish, you can! And keep us updated!

11-09-2010, 09:30 PM
You sound like a bright individual and your past doesnt need to define you!

Sometimes when we have the same fear for so long, it begins to own us. You need to take back your power. So what if you didnt finish school! What matters is that you found a future and what other forms of learning (GED and otherwise) you have nourished yourself with.

I often remind myself that the negatives I hear/feel/see from others only reallllly matter to me when I believe them too. So if you get rejected because a GED or diploma is required, no worries there - that is just a step that needs to be taken. If you get judged because of it, that speaks to the other persons ignorance.