People who barely know me or just met me think I’m socially awkward and have major anxiety issues or maybe they don’t even think that.
I’ve always had anxiety since I was a kid. It was mistaken with shyness, although I was terribly shy. I had the old panic attacks and the shaking, always needing to have at least one person I know next to me or near me.
I don’t remember much from my childhood in New Zealand, it was all quite a blur.
I do remember at school, I would’ve been year 2 and on Friday mornings we would have this thing called Jumping Jam, having music going and we would have our dance routine to the songs and dance to it. There were a couple of times with all the fast pace movements around me, the loud talking and the roaring music, I would have really bad panic attacks. I would go to my comfort person (which would’ve been my cousin) and she’d take me outside and calm me down and stay outside with me till the whole Jumping Jam was finished or till that song was done.
With my anxiety since I have suffered from when I was a child there have been many coping mechanisms, such as daydreaming which later on developed to maladaptive daydreaming.
‘Maladaptive daydreaming is a condition that causes intense daydreaming that distracts a person from their real life. Many times, real-life events trigger day dreams’. -Healthline
Highschool in Australia was an absolute nightmare.
I was the type of kid at school where I was quiet but when I’m with someone I’m comfortable I was so loud. I could talk to the “popular” kids and the “non-popular” kids, I was the middle ground. It was actually really stressing at times. During year 8 things went down hill, the bullying started, I couldn’t sit in class without my legs or hands shaking. I developed a hair picking habit, where during class I would sit there for 50 minutes just plucking out individual pieces of hair. Now one side of my hair is lighter than the other.
I was also the type of kid who self analysis everything about their self. I had such high standards about myself I almost had to be perfect no matter where I went. At my dad’s house I had to be like a 7 year old, I had to cover myself from head to toe, I had no independence (he is homophobic so I couldn’t have many friends over as most if not all of my friends are apart of the LGBTQ+ community), I also had to listen to him and couldn’t stand up for myself. At mums I felt like I had to be girly, had to have makeup on most of the time, dress in dresses, and almost be the girl she couldn’t be when she was my age. At school I felt like I had to act different within each group of people I talk to.
With this anxiety of trying to be perfect and living up to everyone’s expectations I really tried so hard, I burned-out. I lost who I am as an individual, I lost many friends and important people.
Besides all of this loss and agony, screaming in self pity unable to cope and seek refuge in this world, in this reality I’ve always had one person who has been by my side since day 1. My best friend who I call my sister, Her name is Stella. We all need a Stella in our life.
Her name means ‘star’ and she most defiantly is, she is someone who is the opposite as me but understands me in a way no one else does. No matter what I’m dealing with or what is happening in that given moment she will drop everything she’s doing and make sure I’m ok.
Now this year, not being at school and having medication to help me I went to a physiatrist. He told me I suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), I have crippling anxiety and social anxiety, depression with suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
There’s a difference between PTSD and C-PTSD
PTSD: a disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. this condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.
C-PTSD: a condition where you experience some symptoms of PTSD along with some additional symptoms, such as: difficulty controlling emotions. feeling very angry or distressful towards the world.
The photo is from Pinterest by Cosmopolitan (trapped in my own mind)
Comment if you would like to hear a story or want me to talk about a topic.
My question for you today is what was the biggest challenge in your life?