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I was an unwanted child, the product of an unplanned pregnancy. So my birth parents split immediately and I was awarded to my mother. She was too young for the responsibility and tried to put me up for foster care in a number of homes. I never settled into any and was given back to the birth mother who then sent me to live with my birth father who had no clue how to parent.

My earliest recollection of being with Dad was being left alone with a bowl of food and the radio on.

One day when I invited another kid to come in and play, my dad found out and probably thrashed me within an inch of my life. I have no actual recollection of what happened when he returned home.

The early theme of being left alone continued.

I was finally blessed by a stepmother when a loving woman agreed to marry him and she has been a saviour to this day. But his abuse to her drove her out of the home. Then his rage turned fully to me and I experienced physical and emotional abuse at his hands. He was full of insults and put downs, perhaps thinking this was some form of motivation.

The early theme of being left alone continued when ever I was with dad so I got used to solitude.

I turned to drugs and alcohol at age 11-12 in order to quell the emotional and physical pain of abuse. And was also the target of sexual abuse at the hands of gay predators.

I did finally overcome the drugs at age 25 to go back to school but I don’t know that I ever dealt with the underlying issues of social discomfort and nary a morsel of confidence in myself. So even though I took on a very challenging degree at school I was naïve and idealistic.

I did find that exercise was a great tool to combat my anxiety. But when I ended up getting injured and I was unable to go for the long soothing runs, the anxiety started getting the better of me.

I had experienced the social anxiety through the years. Often leaving groups from the discomfort I felt being around others and never quite feeling like I fit in.

I did find a sense of belonging through twelve step groups of various forms and that has been a great assistance to me, especially in developing a curiosity for the spiritual.

After one company I had worked for had failed, I tried to undertake a career redirection. Then the anxiety really peaked. I did not complete the two college degrees I attempted.

I began to sink and probably around that time began to try medication, which I never felt did much for me. In recent times I am happy to be off of it for the most part. At one point they had me so doped up I could not concentrate well enough to read.

I encourage you all to never give up.

Through a program of a local church that really pushed the lifestyle aspects, sunlight, exercise, diet, soothing music, uplifting literature, positive thinking and social connection I made great strides. I keep one medication just as a safety reserve and could probably get away without it, but it feels like a security blanket just to have it on hand.

Although getting on in years, under all the fear and doubt I have a notion that maybe I could still get back into a paying career. I am working with a federal program that could pay for a two-year college program, and presently in an eight-week outpatient program too. I attend many online and in-person support groups trying to keep ahead of the anxiety, depression and bi-polar II.

Although I have tested very well on IQ tests, it is the other quotients of social discomfort and confidence in myself that really have been barriers to success. And obviously form the root of my mental health ills.

I encourage you all to never give up, seek means and methods beyond simple medication and therapy cause there is a lot you can do and groups that will support you.

How did this story make you feel?


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God bless you I am sending you strength and love and support never alone is right even though we don’t know each other I will always be here for you

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