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PTSD and Friendships (Help?)

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PTSD and Friendships (Help?)

Postby ButterfliesAnonymous » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:44 pm

Good day everyone,

I wanted to make a post on here because I have been struggling with having any meaningful friendships for 11 years now and it's driving me crazy at this point. It all happened in the seventh grade when I was 13 years old. My mom decided to pull me out of public school and put me into homeschooling. Her unfounded and paranoid concerns were that I'd get into severely bad things if I attended a public school like everyone else, so she thought it best to homeschool me... except, she wasn't the one who was overseeing it. Instead, I was taken to a couple's house where they would tutor me and a lot of other kids. All of us were Muslim, and this is relevant because it explains some cultural things that went on.

I went to the school for about a month, thinking everything was going just fine. That's when one of the tutors spoke with my mom and all of the other parents. She told a very big lie about how I had put my hands on one of the boys that was being tutored at their house as well (a big no-no if you are a Muslim girl), and that was something that absolutely never happened. When we got home, my mom then threatened to physically harm me if I caused any problems at that school. I was afraid of this happening, so I did my best to be as good as I could be at the tutor's house, even though I hadn't done anything wrong to begin with.

Things only got progressively worse from there and more lies were told. Eventually, I ended up developing a severe phobia of hearing the phone ring, made myself sick to avoid going to the tutors' house, and I ended up losing all of my remaining friends after the additional lies and an incident where I had said that I hated the taste of kebabs. I can still clearly remember riding in their car the next day to go to the tutors' house and hearing my friends say that their mom said they couldn't talk to me or be my friend anymore.

I was stuck in that tutors' house for about 5 or 6 months before, finally, people started pulling their kids out of the tutoring because of all the drama. Once I no longer had a ride to their house, I was pulled out too and put into homeschooling where I basically had to teach myself how to do things since my mom didn't want to help very much. It was only after this traumatic 5 to 6 months that my mom finally told me that she knew the teacher had been lying the entire time. Also, my mom told me that my ex-friends had told their mom all of my secrets and that her mom told my mom, so now I felt really betrayed. And, as a side note, those secrets were harmless and innocent, like crushes I used to have on boys in elementary school. Mom didn't like me having crushes, though, and would make me feel afraid to talk about, have crushes on, or even be around boys (even if I was related to them).

After that hellish nightmare of an experience, I was never able to make close friends again. I always kept my friends at a distance, and still do to this day. It no longer feels safe enough to trust others with getting to know me or my interests or safe places. You never know when people will turn on you and stab you in the back when you thought you could trust them. Mom said that if you want to keep secrets, don't tell anyone about them, and I think she's right. I can't let anyone know about who I truly am. I'm not a bad person, but I'm complicated, and that's enough to warrant scaring people away or attracting more abusive people into my life. I know this isn't any way to live, but I can't help but be petrified of others getting too close to me. Anytime someone tries to get close to me, I push them away or run away (one time, I literally did run away from someone). I'm 24 years old now and want this all to stop.

So now I come to you all asking for help. How can I start to overcome this debilitating fear that has plagued me for the past 11 years? How do I begin to foster friendships that will be close and long-lasting? I don't want to live the rest of my life alone. It's seriously too painful for me to bear any longer.
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Re: PTSD and Friendships (Help?)

Postby sarahwpen » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:38 pm

Oh Wow!

I am so sorry that you went through all of that!

I also feel like your experience is so eerily similar to mine, that I could have written a white southern baptist version of your same story. I also was homeschooled, I also had a mother very much like yours, I also went to several "home group school" type things over the course of my 12 year homeschool experience. I got out easy compared to what my younger siblings suffered from these scenarios. But I do relate very much to your feelings about having trouble trusting or letting people in. I am 37 and I don't really have any friends either. I wound up in an abusive marriage when I was 18 and now have PTSD.

I am walking a similar road to yours right now. That feels strange to say, because there aren't that many people out there who understand this road. I've felt very alone for most of my life. Homeschooling was not a very popular thing when I was a kid. Now that everyone is doing it because of Covid, I am feeling like I am suddenly in a parallel universe where some of my secret thoughts are oddly now broadcast in snack commercials and in memes on Facebook from people that I have never had anything in common with.

For me, I feel that my beginning lies in learning how to be a friend to myself. I cannot speak for you, because we are each unique, but I hope that you do find peace with yourself from the criticisms and the terror of your experiences. You are the only one out there who is exactly like YOU, and no one else can fill your shoes. For me, today, you have been an amazing encouragement, and I feel less alone because you shared your story. If you and I can find common ground here, then perhaps there is hope that we can find more common ground with each other or with others in the future.

Thank you for your bravery!!!!
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"I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.-Friedrich Nietzsche
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