Social anxiety evening, for those who get it *update in original*
I have no idea why that original experience didn't ruin my whole month, especially after the bad funeral of 2 weeks ago, but I think a lot of the credit goes to your support, so thank you very much. I decided to go (as I had planned, a month ago) to a small study group of these same people last night. I was very anxious, which I told many of the people on facebook ahead of time (there were 6 people there, I knew them all, there were 3 scary people (important men who don't suffer fools well), my kids' ex-babysitter I mostly like, another quiet woman (yay!) and the pastor, who I think is wonderful and introverted and a little socially anxious himself).
I can think of things I did wrong, and if I stop what I'm doing for long, I get that familiar "ugh, I said this this and this wrong, they must HATE me, I am such an idiot and should just stay home" feeling, but I actually said a couple of things in front of everyone, and overall I think it was positive. They were way nice, probably in a conscious effort to be supportive, which I'm OK with. This was more a class so I'm used to classes, and less a cocktail party, which eek! :-)
Thanks for your help and support, getting me back out there! I for one have to get out into some sort of community if I'm ever going to be in a good place.
---original post starts here--
This is an effort to vent and feel not so alone. I know it might fail, but maybe someone understands, I'd like that.
Made a HUGE effort today. Went to a big church dinner (we've been involved members for 5 years. You'd expect I'd be part of things). What a mistake!
The kids had fun, playing with their friends, so that was good.
We (husband and I- the kids were there for a few minutes, too) sat at a table, right next to people who normally say they like us. Every other table was full. Our table wasn't- just us. One person was with us for a little while, and I talked to her the best I could, then she left. I tried to smile the whole time and look at people and make happy remarks. The people next to us wouldn't even look our way. Before I agreed to go yesterday, I confided in a person I know that I was afraid to go because nobody would sit with us and I'm already anxious and would feel like a loser. She said she would hang out with us because she is always left out... well, she was hanging out at an extra-full table, and barely responded when I talked to her, because she was so busy with more interesting friends.
We walked around and talked to a few people, but whenever we did, immediately (I mean, after introductions but before the first sentence I worked so hard to prepare) someone else came up and talked directly to them (not joining in a group, you know what it's like, personal stuff) and they switched over to the new person getting really involved, so we moved along. Nobody came to talk to us--none of the people we tried to talk to, smiled and waved at, nobody. We talked to a few people in passing- "where are your kids?" "Somewhere here- food was great, wasn't it? Yeah, see you tomorrow", but just a handful. There were nearly 200 people there. It was a failure.
Soon, I'm going to have to pick myself up and try again, but right now I'm in the "I knew I was useless and horrible and this proves it" mindset, I thought some of the others with social anxiety would understand and that would really help- to feel not alone