Hey guys I'm new here and a bit unsure of things, I guess I'm just posting this in the hopes that someone might read it, and maybe they can take something from it! I've had social issues since I was young, I remember hating nursery, hating those kids clubs your parents put you in when you went on holiday, hating any kind of activity group like swimming or gymnastics (both of which I attended and recall becoming frequently upset, to which the instructor would try to convince me to stay), and generally looking to avoid any kind of situation that would require me to be around other kids.
Both primary school and high school were pretty much the same story, I would befriend one person and stick with them as long as they would let me, I always got picked last for gym class, my report cards would say I was TOO QUIET, and when asked what animal my classmates would describe me as, a definite 95% would respond 'a mouse'. I'd like to think my classmates quite liked me though, I tried to be nice to them and they were certainly always nice to me! I was later told by one fellow student that I was 'probably the most genuine person in the year', to which I would reply a simple 'thanks', when really, it brought a tear to my eye and a tremendous sense of appreciation and acceptance that I have not forgotten to this day!
The problem I faced throughout these years was that I just didn't know how to be around people. A friendly 'hello' was the most I could manage, so people wouldn't invest the time and effort to get to know me. I can't blame them, and I'm not trying to, I wish that I could have been a figure in their high school experience! I become very attached to the people I'm around, I hope they all go on to do great things and have great lives, and I know when they look back at the yearbook they'll flick past my face in a second, and they'll never imagine all the luck I've wished for them.
Four years on, after the college route of a jellyfish, here I am, 21 years old and making a conscious effort to understand my problems. I read philosophical books. I watch videos of Youtubers I feel closer to than my own friends. I still speak better to paper than people. For the past 18 months I have attended a film discussion group in the hopes of becoming more sociable. These groups have become the only reason I want to get through the remainder of every month. They are the only time I feel like I'm actually a part of something, but in all my time there I can't have spoken 3 sentences.
It has occurred to me though that I am not the only one. I'm not the only one who feels crippled when they're told the class has a presentation in four weeks. I'm not the only one who feels completely unfulfilled because of their anxiety. Yesterday I started a new course in a new college. Someone walks over to me and starts a friendly chat. My voice trembles. I feel my cheeks burning. My mind has gone blank. I have no words in my head. I know this person is looking at me thinking 'why is she blushing? Why isn't she speaking?'. The voice in my head tells me to get away from this person as quickly as possible. I hurry away when I can, and I'm positive the person now thinks I'm strange and arrogant. This is not new to me. I'm sick of hearing 'oh, if you don't talk to people you won't get anywhere in life'. Well that's exactly where I am, I haven't been successful so far. I'd love to love company. I just prefer my own...