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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Newbie... Anxiety, sexuality issues and more

Topic: Newbie... Anxiety, sexuality issues and more

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. BoltRog
    BoltRog avatar
    13 posts
    18 July 2019

    I'm new here. I suffer from anxiety and wonder if it's normal to often feel like I'm totally detached from people.

    In my current relationship sometimes I feel like I'm acting as if i'm a good partner, but it feels a little unreal. I do all the right things, say all the right words but I feel detached. I don't know how to be physically attracted to my partner and I feel like a robot.

    I try and listen to my mother when she talks to me on the phone, and I find myself barely listening, and not for lack of effort. I'm generally trying, and just sometimes not even comprehending the conversation.

    I stand in a crowd and feel invisible but in the spotlight at the same time, like it's obvious how much of a loner I am... then I need to go and stand with a random bunch of people so that I can camouflage myself.

    I'm too scared to talk to my friends cause I feel unwanted or like someone will talk over me. When I do want to engage with them, I have no words in my head and don't know how to act normal around them and don't know what to say - my mind is empty.

    The relationships in my life don't feel real, and I don't know how to make them feel real - I feel out of place in most situations.

    Context: Bullied quite a bit, through school and work. Sexuality issues with unknown sexual orientation, but settling on bisexual.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Peppermintbach
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    4057 posts
    19 July 2019 in reply to BoltRog

    Hi BoltRog,

    I hope it’s okay if I extend a gentle and caring welcome to you. It sounds like you’re feeling very lonely, lost and perhaps emotionally disconnected at the moment. I feel that would be very difficult and confusing...

    I get a sense that the disconnection seems to be happening in a lot of areas of your life, from your relationship with your partner to your mum and your friends. I imagine it’s almost as though you feel you can see and hear them, but there’s just something blocking you from engaging more emotionally with them...

    Sorry, I can’t help but wonder if maybe some of your current struggles can be traced back to the bullying you experienced? That may or may not be the case. But it’s just that sometimes difficult past experiences can have a lingering effect on people, and they way their mind processes emotions/interact with others.

    About your sexual orientation, I understand you’re feeling uncertain, but I also understand you may identify as bisexual. I get a sense that maybe you’re still figuring some things out for yourself, and perhaps that is adding an element of confusion/uncertainty in your current relationship.

    I think that’s alright in a way; I don’t believe you need to have it all “figured out” (so to speak) right away. It took some time for one of my offline friends to come to terms with his sexuality; today he identifies as gay.

    I also know some people who don’t feel that they need a label for their sexuality too. I think what I’m getting at is it’s okay to take your time and it’s okay to feel uncertain (even if it’s not always the nicest feeling to not “know”).

    I feel that I have said a fair bit, and I’m glad you’re opening up here. If and when you’re feeling up to it, I would be happy (as I’m sure others will be too) to chat some more.

    Absolutely no pressure of course...writing more or not is entirely up to you. We will be here, either way :)

    Kind and caring thoughts,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  3. BoltRog
    BoltRog avatar
    13 posts
    20 July 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thanks for replying pepper, and thank you for your welcome and support.

    I'm doing a bit better today and yesterday. Some days are worse than others, I just get trapped in my mind and I feel like a wreck when it happens. Then other days I feel fine, but with an underlying feeling that something is wrong with me still. I do feel like the disconnection may come a little from the bullying. I feel like the spotlight is on me if I'm not engaged and around people and by engaging I'm camouflaging myself a little. Apparently it works, my partner didn't even know anything was wrong with me the other day when I was experiencing anxiety being around people. I think the spotlight thing comes from when I used to get alienated and then groups of people would tease me from a far and sometimes up close when I was by myself, then proceed to tell me that everyone hates me and that either I should go die or just leave. It didn't help that I was in a stressful environment to start with when all of this was happening. Now I just get bouts of doubt, ( doubt bouts :P) that no one likes me and that they tolerate my presence. Even though I have come a long way now and my real personality has come out more (it was repressed for quite a while due to the bullying) and people do seem to enjoy my company when I engage. It still feels disconnected and hard.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Doolhof
    Community Champion
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    Doolhof avatar
    7009 posts
    22 July 2019 in reply to BoltRog

    Hi BoltRog,

    I too welcome you to the community here. Pepper ahs responded to you in a wonderful and caring way. Sometimes I feel we need to do the same for ourselves! I find it can be so easy to have self doubts and low self-esteem thanks to events that have happened in our lives and our misguided beliefs.

    Do you feel like you have built up walls or maybe go into a self protection mode you may not be truly aware of so as to manage different situations?

    Have you heard of Mindfulness? Many people recommend it as a way to connect to the here and now, to be conscious in a good way as to what is going on around you.

    In situations where I don't feel comfortable around other people I will start to ask people about themselves. Most people are quite happy to chat about their interests, themselves and their lives. That may help with uneasy communications.

    You mentioned that people do seem to enjoy your company. Not all people are horrible bullies. Hopefully you can slowly feel more comfortable around people and accept yourself for who you are and realise you can be who ever you want to be.

    Those bullies were in the past. They are not who you are today.

    Wishing you empowerment and self esteem.

    Cheers from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Peppermintbach
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    22 July 2019 in reply to BoltRog

    Hi BoltRog (and a wave to Dools and all),

    It’s really good to hear from you. Thanks so much for writing in again :) I’m glad Dools has kindly visited with her compassion and thoughtful suggestions.

    I’m glad your mood improved a little the past couple of days. I know sometimes difficult thoughts can circulate/get stuck in our heads and wreak havoc, which can be very difficult to manage at times....

    I think, to some extent, I get what you’re saying about the ongoing feelings of disconnection. Perhaps as Dools suggested, it might have something to do with putting up walls to self protect e. g. something you did that when you were/are bullied, and now continue to do it as a form of (subconscious) self defence, regardless of the situation you’re in.

    I also wonder if some of the disconnection comes from the relationship dynamics of the people you interact with. For example, things like engaging at a superficial level when maybe you secretly crave more depth in conversations (not saying that this is you but just as an example), catering predominantly to others’ needs and neglecting your own needs, engaging with people with personalities that are somewhat incompatible with your own, etc.

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily any of those issues. I think what I’m getting at is maybe figuring out if there’s something in the actual relationships themselves that is contributing to your feelings of disconnection...

    I suppose I’m just sharing some of my thoughts. I don’t know if they are necessarily relevant to your situation, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share. I’m thinking of you and sending kind thoughts your way.

    Warmth and care,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  6. BoltRog
    BoltRog avatar
    13 posts
    24 July 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thank you both to Dools and Pepper.

    I really appreciate your replies. Pepper I think you are onto something with the craving deeper conversation side of things and maybe even incompatibilities with some of my relationships , namely my friends at work. I want to get past that superficial layer cause it feels fake and not genuine to me and I feel fake engaging in it. But honestly I just don’t think I have those kind of relationships anymore. Only with my partner really. Which is ok.

    Dools, I definitely have heard of mindfulness , however I’m at the point where it doesn’t really work as well as it used to. It feels like a bandaid that’s not all that sticky, so it falls off pretty quickly after it’s applied..

    I’m all anxious again today cause I found out that on Monday some work equipment of mine may or may not return from its travels as some of my work mates took it for a trip by mistake. If it doesn’t come back I’m in trouble and it will cost me probably quite a bit of money and quite a reprimand from my bosses and all involved.

    Thanks again for your kindness.

    Bolt

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Doolhof
    Community Champion
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    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Doolhof avatar
    7009 posts
    25 July 2019 in reply to BoltRog

    Hi Bolt,

    One good thing about this forum is that there are many different ideas and suggestions shared amongst people. Pepper has expressed some good points. (Hi Pepper!)

    I often find I benefit from reading what others have written and can take many suggestions on board.

    Your analogy about the bandaid is excellent. I understand what you mean. I know so many things will help me and are beneficial. Some days no matter how hard you try, it still doesn't work!

    Regarding the issue at work with the equipment, can you go straight to the boss and tell them what has happened before it has the chance to become a bigger issue?

    I was thinking about the fake conversation side of things. I think a lot of us do that automatically without even realising it. So if you have a desire to change that, then you are aware and know what you do want. Hopefully you can have a person you can practise this on.

    There is a lady I see weekly at one of the volunteer places I attend. She is very happy talking about her own stuff, I don't think I have heard her ask anyone else how they are. That is okay. We all communicate differently.

    Hope everything works out okay at work regarding the equipment!

    Cheers from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Peppermintbach
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    4057 posts
    25 July 2019 in reply to BoltRog

    Hi Bolt (and a wave to Dools and all),

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I think your self insight makes a lot of sense. I’m glad Dools has written in again, and shared her experiences & some great reflections. I feel we can all learn from one another :)

    I’m glad parts of our posts resonated. I think, as humans, most of us crave meaningful connections. But I suppose what constitutes meaningful can be a very personal perspective. I’m glad you can at least have some of those deeper conversations with your partner. That’s pretty special...

    I think work dynamics can be a little trickier in some ways. Depending on the work environment/work culture, I feel it can be harder to forge more “genuine” connections in a workplace (even if they are with colleagues that are friends).

    I think it’s partly because people are sometimes more cautious in work friendships, because there is a lot at stake in terms of their job, politics, etc. So I think work friends might hold back more than they would in other situations...I’m not saying that necessarily applies to your workplace/ work friends though. I’m just speaking in very broad terms.

    To add to Dools’ thoughtful comments, I also think sometimes it helps to put out into the world what a person craves/needs, even if this means being “first” or the initiator (which I think is often very hard). For example, if a person is wanting to interact on a deeper level then s/he might have to be the first one to open up...

    Hopefully, eventually and in turn, some people will respond in kind. At the same time, it will also help you figure out which people don’t want to (or can’t) interact at that level. Then again, this may not apply as much to work friendships (or your specific situation)...I’m just sharing my thoughts...

    Yesterday’s anxiety sounds very rough. Worries about the missing work equipment must have been on your mind a lot. I also hope it shows up...it sounds very stressful to replace and to tell your bosses.

    Kindness and care,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Suisse
    Suisse avatar
    2 posts
    26 July 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hey Pepper and Dools,

    Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate it so much. My bosses definitely know about the missing equipment. I told them as soon as I noticed it was gone. I was actually supposed to go on a trip to the location where it was taken to, but I got taken off cause of my issues. Which I'm thankful for, cause it had already given me a few anxiety attacks... which it shouldn't have cause it really wasn't a big deal. But they could have sent anyone else in saying that, I'm not ready to be taken out of my comfort zone yet. I do feel bad though, cause now someone has to replace me and lose their weekend as well. Plus now my boss probably thinks I'm useless... cause when they asked me what was wrong with me I said my anxiety's been bad lately and small things set me off and I started crying and found it hard to breathe. I hate it when that happens cause they're going to think that I cry at absolutely everything. Why do I have to be like this? I'm trying so hard lately to get rid of these feelings and just act normal, cause the anxiety has ruined enough of my life and choices as it is...

    Bolt

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Peppermintbach
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    4057 posts
    28 July 2019 in reply to Suisse

    Hi Bolt (& a wave to all),

    I really feel for you...your anxiety sounds particularly intense lately. The anxiety attacks must have been awful...

    I understand you’re feeling perhaps some inner turmoil. On the one hand, being taken off that trip might mean your anxiety levels have been more manageable. But on the other hand, I understand you’re also worried about what your bosses think and that another worker has to work that weekend.

    I know most people (including me) don’t like to cry at work. I think that I understand where you’re coming from as I once burst into tears in an old job. It was pretty humiliating for me, especially as I was (am) someone who’s normally very restrained & “calm” at work.

    But I think sometimes when emotions take over/we feel overwhelmed, the tears can come (as much as we don’t want them to)...so if it helps comfort you in the slightest, you won’t be the first (or the last) to cry at work. I’ve done it before...as have many others here on the forums.

    The way that I dealt with it was I just waltzed in the next day & acted like nothing happened. I didn’t let any feelings of embarrassment show (but I can assure you that I definitely felt it on the inside). I made an effort to continue just doing my job, smiling at my colleagues, being friendly to my boss (that I had cried in front of) & clients and just “got on with things.”

    For me, as far as I could tell, it didn’t have any lasting repercussions. I even received a job promotion in that same organisation less than a year after my outburst :)

    I’m not saying you have to do what I did, or that your work situation is the same as mine. But I suppose what I’m trying to express is crying at work doesn’t mean bosses necessarily think “less” of you, or that your career is “over” (so to speak). I hope this maybe gives you some small comfort?

    I am thinking of you and I can relate in some ways. Even if our experiences aren’t identical, I want you to know you are not alone and that we care about you here.

    Kindness & care,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Suisse
    Suisse avatar
    2 posts
    8 August 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thank you for your response Pepper.

    Sorry it's been a while since I replied. I've been trying to pick myself up of late. Getting back into hobbies and trying to organise my life. Things are improving for the minute, I just hope I can keep it that way. I appreciate all your support. The anxiety is still there, but I'm managing for the last few days. My equipment came back as well which is nice.

    Bolt.

    Ps, I dunno why my name changed on here to Suisse, I didn't change it...

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
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    4057 posts
    9 August 2019 in reply to Suisse

    Hi Bolt,

    It’s lovely to hear from you again :) I think you’re very thoughtful, but no apology needed. I understand you can’t always be on the forums, and there’s no rush or pressure to reply.

    It certainly does sound like things are picking up, which is great! It sounds like you’re making progress and re-engaging with a lot of things in life. That’s so good to hear...

    Also, what a relief to get your work equipment back! I’m really pleased for you :)

    Kind and caring thoughts,

    Pepper

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