I have social anxiety and this is why.
When I lived in Cedar City back in 2014, I moved into a family’s basement. It seemed to work out great at first, they had a daughter my age and we were both attending SUU. They invited me to Sunday dinner with them and even let me tag along on a walk once. It was nice. But they grew distant after a couple of months and I’m still unsure why. Maybe it was the girl’s new boyfriend that replaced my seat at Sunday dinner. I wasn’t invited anymore. They started putting reminders that rent was due on my car window instead of telling me in passing. I didn’t feel very welcome anymore.
I was sexually assaulted December 7, 2014 and drug myself home around midnight feeling completely alone. I definitely didn’t tell them. It hadn’t happened in their home so it was none of their business.
Two weeks later when life was starting to get back to some sort of normalcy, (I wasn’t crying so much at work etc.) a dear woman to me whom I looked to as a mother figure seeing as I’ve never had one, told me she’d noticed something was off. We scheduled a time to meet and I told her what had happened. She listened and was understanding. This happened to be December 23, the day before Christmas Eve. Her family invited me to join them in pulling taffy at another family’s home and I gratefully agreed but while there I noticed all of them with their families and realized I was going to be alone on Christmas Eve. This wasn’t necessarily a problem, but I felt a bit sad. That’s when the mother of that house whom I didn’t know came up to me and grabbed my face. She tried to force me to look at her but I couldn’t and started crying. She took me outside to try to calm me down. This didn’t work so she took me into her bedroom and tried to get me to lay on her bed. After talking for a short time she understood a bit about my family, that I was sexually assaulted and I didn’t want to be alone on Christmas eve. She said I could stay with her and her family, that they had a nice guest room, I could take a warm bath, help her finish wrapping presents tomorrow. This sounded amazing.
Then she decided I couldn’t. But she didn’t talk to me about it, she called my friend back to come get me. She had gone home as she had to work early the next day. This made me feel awful. The mother told me I couldn’t stay there because there was no one to be in charge of me.
My friend came back and got me. She told me I couldn’t stay with her family because she couldn’t handle me right now. I would have never asked but she felt the need to shove that in my face as well. She finally let me go home.
I know that she called the family I lived with. I still don’t know what she told them. My dad came and got me the next day. The only one who’s truly been there for me always.
Two weeks later as I returned to get my things and move out, I discovered they had been in my basement and moved my things. The lease we had both signed said they would never go in without my permission which they had not received or even asked for. They insisted on being in the house the whole time I was getting my things and for some reason thought, the Christmas tree we were taking to our car was theirs. That I had taken their Christmas tree and put it up in my basement and decorated it. They also decided to keep $60 of the down payment, $15 for every day that I hadn’t vacated starting from the first. However this made no sense to me as rent was always due on the fifth and that‘s the day I had come back.
Life moved on. Those people are no longer a part of it. But there are others that have influenced my feelings toward my fellow men. Like when my boyfriend broke up with me because I was taking up too much of his time even though I had tried everything in my power not to. Now I can’t help but fear that this time when I text that cute boy it’s going to be the limit and he’ll get annoyed and it’ll be over. There's the boyfriend who used threats of suicide as a way of controlling me and the boyfriend who just fell off the face of the earth. He just one day stopped texting, visiting, everything. It's not knowing why that hurts the most. The fear of it happening again.
Or the friends I’d tried to make at college, asking them if we could hang out, do something. They’d say yes, I’d text them, try to figure something out with them, but they wouldn’t and after the third or fourth time I’d give up. They were either too busy for me or were just being nice by saying yes and didn’t really want to do anything with me.
My one friend I do have dropped a bomb a few months ago that he was planning on moving. I know what happens with that. He says he’ll stay in touch, but they don’t. I don’t blame them, I know it’s hard. But don’t try to pretend it’s even going to happen.
I wish people wouldn’t be ‘nice’ because it isn’t nice. I wish people knew how much I wish I was outgoing and a people person and in some situations I am. At work I help customers with a friendly smile and laugh and joke with my coworkers. But it’s just skin deep because I don’t have to get attached to them. They can’t really hurt me.
So I push people away even though deep down I wish that someone would fight to stay.
Why don’t they? Maybe I’m too sarcastic or my laugh is too loud or I’m annoying. Or maybe I’m just easy to forget about.