What is social anxiety?
Some people think that having social anxiety makes you a weird or creepy person. Others think social anxiety is a contagious disease that should only be ridiculed and laughed at.
But let me tell you, that social anxiety is not a fear of people or conversations or friendships or relationships as many people think. Social anxiety is the fear of speaking out and being made fun of, or judged, or embarrassed, at least for me it is.
See, it’s not a matter of being afraid to speak publicly, in fact, I love to speak to people, talk about the thoughts in my head, what I think and what I feel, my opinions, my passions, my ideals. But what I do not love is the monstrosity that sometimes comes out of people around us.
Having social anxiety stops me from talking out loud. It tells me to not take too much space with my body, so people do not notice me. It tells me to walk with my head down, because everyone looks at the heads held high. It tells me to keep my thoughts to myself, because I am protected if no one hears me. Social anxiety has made me who I am today, a person that doesn’t talk out loud because she’s too scared of what people can do to her if she does.
People don’t understand that this isn’t by choice, that I am the way I am out of self-preservation, basic human survival, the pain of embarrassment is not an easy pain to survive, forget and move on. Each slash is felt deeply, leaving a mark of self-hatred in its wake. So I have learned to not talk too much, because no one will want to talk to a quiet girl sitting in the back. And it has worked for me, I am content with the way I am.
There is no cure for social anxiety, it is what it is. Because even if the turtle comes out of its shell, it can always retreat back if it feels threatened at any moment.
However, sometimes I am at odds with myself. By nature, I am a very social person, but what life has made me endure has created a shell, protection against the mean things people can do. And so there is a constant war inside of me, the person that wants to come out, show the world who she really is, and the little girl waiting to go back home to the safety of her room and comforting surroundings where she is protected from the outside world.
So every time I hide behind my wall, just be patient, because you should never abuse the tortured.