Hello,I wanted to address something which has practically affected me my whole life. I've not seen a term coined for this but the best way I can describe it is Association Anxiety - Quite literally having anxiety from Association to others.I work in a public discount store, a job I am heavily ashamed of and resent being forced into from government benefits systems. I can handle it, despite believing I have Aspergers (I've been on the waiting list for a diagnosis for over a year now...). I have very poor social skills, which leads me to being ostracised from work colleagues, after they spend time around me my social debilitations become more apparent and potential social relations break down. However, I can excel at dealing with customers as it is a small exchange and the topic of conversation is usually focused on something I can assist them with. What I cannot handle is when someone from the past who may recognise me, enters the store. All it takes is for a second of eye contact for me to metldown, serious panic attacks that destroy my day. The shame and self hatred I feel upon my self floods through my body and I try escape that location as quick as I can - I call this event 'An Encounter'.Moments like these are what really bring this topic to affect my life. Upon making eye contact, I know that my identity is being established from this other person whom can identify me. This acknowledgement/association is the driving force of my anxiety. For I imagine now that that person has seen me, they built a perception of me which is shallow, false and shameful of me. This individual then has the power to spread this information around to other individuals which effectively diminishes my identity and well being.I feel due to this complex I can never be open to the world, as I am currently ashamed of my job title and lifestyle. I resent the modern age, with social media. Before I even had such extreme insecurities, I never agreed with the concept - That of our generation being dependant on Social Media to maintain bonds, I felt that if you did not keep active on online activity with an individuals bond would not be nurtured and the bond would weaken, which was my experience of most social communication within my time at University. I don't like the idea that my identity can be placed as a concept (A Profile), which other people have the ability to tarnish - Which for example, this individual who has seen me at work, at my lowest spot of my life could well do so.So now I find myself very isolated, I can't lead myself to be open with people, nor maintain social bonds to my reluctance to participate on Social Media. I feel quite stuck as I feel the majority of people I meet are brought up to socialise in such a way and well, truthfully my social skills have deteriorated massively within the last 10 years. I'm not sure how to get past this Association Phobia
I hope I've addressed the topic well enough that it is coherent, I just feel this is a matter I really need help on. It goes beyond just social anxiety or having potential social debilitations with Aspergers as I feel it is destroying every chance I have when engaging with people at all.
Are you getting any professional help at the moment?
No, I have had CBT in the past, while it was good to let off steam it never really lead to progress - Niether ever mentioned about the possbility of Aspergers for a start.
I feel like this reply is lacking something but I want to urge you to find out when your local MP has open surgeries and to go to one to speak to them about what's happening. The way you're being treated with the work situation is wrong.
I've been to my GP about issues a few times - I don't really want to just be fed a lot of meds. I've been waiting on this diagnosis, but it feels like it is taking forever & I'm not making much progress beyond that. I'm also looking into other employment options but it just seems very bleak. TO apply for the most basic job you have to go through hours of application forms - The most recent one was going to give me an interview until they learned I would require 2 days out of 7 to do my other part time job... they wanted me avaialble 7 days a week to do a 1 day a week position... I was not happy!Truth be told though, I think I will be unhappy where ever I go, It's working with colleagues which I simply just can't seem to handle, but for now I am just looking to elminate the anxiety I get with the Encounters scenarios. I just feel if I am not traceable in a moment of shame like that I will be able to start being more open in other areas of my life.
Have you tried speaking to your Member of Parliament? When they get onto the case about something, things tend to get done!
In today's economy, work can be tough. Employees are often expected to do a lot more than they used to be. There are more social skills requirements in jobs than traditionally. You may be someone who isn't able to work, in which case you need help to speed up the diagnosis, and get onto a benefit like ESA so you can survive better.
I'm on ESA myself and having the diagnosis helps, maybe the Member of Parliament can apply pressure to get things moving with that.
I'll admit I was a little lost reading this but it's been a stressful day so it's me not you. Ignore if I've got this wrong.....I've worked in shops and hated it! I joined a few agency's and managed to take office jobs, you start off answering the phones in one place then as its experience you can work towards other jobs. Not enjoyable but not constant public. Eye contact I used to look over their heads when I was younger, as I got older I'd look at their hair. Now I simply dont care so I look away as I like. Huge relief. People are mostly horrid anyway so I'm not interested in proving myself to them