I just joined this. I wanted to post an initial post to sort of introduce myself. I haven't always had social anxiety the way I do now, but I spent over 3 years in a verbally abusive and controlling relationship with a narcissist. He had a cocaine addiction and lashed out at me every day, over almost every insignificant and minor thing I did, everything I said, how I did things, when I went to bed, when I woke up, what I wanted to eat, how many hours I worked, etc etc. Nothing I ever did was right in his eyes, and this went on for years. He isolated me from everyone, I even got yelled at for talking to my mom on the phone once a month. I finally gained the strength and confidence to leave him when he smashed a bottle of wine outside my door and tried breaking into my window.
We broke up almost 4 years ago, but I have this major fight-or-flight anxiety whenever I'm around people now. I feel like I'm going to be verbally berated or attacked at any moment. Even though no one is currently in my life who treats me so horribly, I have this irrational fear that I'm going to get abused for the tiniest mistakes. I know I'm a good person and I'm doing nothing wrong, but I feel like now I just have a fear of people in general. I still go to work, I still text friends, but I don't ever hang out with people. The anxiety at the thought of being verbally abused or treated that way again makes me sweat profusely, I have to go to the bathroom at least a dozen times per shift just to take deep breaths, think calming thoughts, and wipe the frickin sweat off my armpits. It's so stupid. I know no one can hurt me unless I allow it, but the problem is that I already allowed it with ex for so long that now it feels like I'm this helpless victim and I'm afraid of being hurt again. Not just by guys, by everybody. I fear my boss, my coworkers, my mom, my sister, everyone. I don't know how to get over this.
I just want to be normal and comfortable around others. The only time I'm truly able to relax is when I'm alone in my room. I miss being able to be myself around others, to feel comfortable having conversations, etc. I'm better when I'm drinking but it's still there. So idk. Thank you for listening <3