Posted by: Jade | 2009-07-22


Dear Doc

I' m a 29 year old female. I have been battlling with " FEAR"  or being afraid of things and people for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it' s so bad that I want to lock myself up in my room and never come out again.

I' ve tried so many times to makes new friends, try to be a friend to someone but everytime I put myself out there I get hurt or people tend to take advantage of me.

I was raised by my mother' s eldest sister, as my father passed away when I was 3 years old and because of all the abused suffered by my father/her boyfriends, my mother was declared an unfit mother and my sister and myself were send by my grandmother to go live with my aunt. We were happy living there. My mother died 4 months after I turned 21, after a long battle with a brain tumor.

Today I' m married to a lovely man for the passed 5 years now. We don' t have childrend as yet. My husband is such a great person. I' m trying so hard to change. My husband loves company, being surrounded by friends and family members, whereas I' m completely the opposite.

All I know is that my fear of getting hurt, used, rejected is so intense that I tend to shut down and go deep within in myself.

This has really been controlling my life for solong. I even remember a time when my aunts husband passed away I was 12 years that the time. When my aunt was asleep I would go and lean over her to hear if she is still breathing, then tiptoed back to my room to go sleep. This happened every night since he passed away until I reached about 16 years.

I still now and then wake up at night and listen to my husband breathing when he' s asleep to make sure he is still alife. Even at my workplace I don' t speak to my co-workers unless it about work or they would approach me about something. When we have to go out as a office for lunch or to celebrate something I alwasy tend to say I' ve got too much much work to do or I' d rather prefer them leaving me alone at work and go celebrate.

I know I have to change, but it' s hard, so so hard.

Please can you help me!

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Our expert says:
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The sort of reactions you describe are not uncommon in people with a dificult and abusive background such as you experienced. But working with a good practical counsellor ( preferably one with a CBT orientation ) can transform the situation, and enable you to gain in confidence and the ability to enjoy life and people. You don't have to manage this important change all on your own --- a psychologist would be able to help you to do so succesfully, and I'm sure your husband would be delighted to help where necessary. It will need some work, but you can manage it, and i would be so very well worth it.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2009-07-22

Hi Jade. Have you ever gone for counselling? I know it' s a scary thing to do especially if you have issues with interacting with people but I really think you can benefit hugely. You need to find new ways of looking at yourself and the world. A good therapist can teach you that and help you sort through some of these issues. I would suggest someone who does cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You really owe it to yourself to get help because you are right, change is very hard, and you deserve all the support you can get. Take care.

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