I’m asking for your help and I’m hopeful that you can point me in the right direction. The shape of my life is good, but there are lingering anxieties that have not resolved themselves in time. I’ve had the painful experience of being the target of bullying numerous times throughout my life. I’ve grown increasingly immune to bullying but unbeknownst to me a symptom has emerged. These episodes of bullying were traumatic but the most traumatic aspect was the breach of trust because the bullying came from friends and family. As such I experience social anxiety and emotionally stress. I am a heterosexual male, fairly honest, emphatic, and trustworthy but that has been put into question by bullies who attack my lack of manliness. I’m actually a good looking man who attracts women but that creates jealousy and unintentionally provokes bullying. The bullies project onto me their own insecurities. These include two highly controversial sexual preferences, one more so than the other. They are: homosexuality and pedophilia. It takes a higher level of emotional maturity to recognize that homosexuality is perfectly fine but pedophilia is a sexual disorder, distinct from child molestation which is a crime. In my opinion no one wants to be sick, so on one wants to be a pedophile nor depressed nor schizophrenic nor anxious, etc. People want to happy and healthy. I cannot cure those bullies with their insecurities and I cannot cure myself. I know the truth of who I am, but I sometimes feel anxious all the same. It rattled my bones. I use to become easily unnerved whenever homosexuality was discussed positively or negatively. Not so much these days. However, being bullied and told you’re a pedophile carries such a heavy social stigma that has taken longer to recover from. I should point out that I never had any issues with homosexuality and respected such preferences. I never had any issues being around children, and my brother asked me to be the godfather of his son because I was so responsible. I’ve lost sight of that. It has been forgotten due to social anxiety and emotional trauma. My question is simple. Should I seek professional help to rid myself of this cognitive dissonance or will it pass with time? My problem is I have become self-absorbed because of bullying, but I really want to reconnect with others.Reconnecting with Others But Dealing with Social Anxiety and Emotional Trauma
Reconnecting with Others But Dealing with Social Anxiety and Emotional Trauma
Your anxiety may diminish in time. Counseling would expedite the process. Like an antibiotic targets bacteria, so too does counseling. A therapist will work, one on one with you, to eradicate your anxiety. The sooner you reduce your anxiety, the sooner you can resume reconnecting with others.
Your situation is unfortunate. You can’t wait for bullies to stop their abuse. You must take action. Distance yourself whenever possible.
Therapy will help you emotionally. For personal reasons, some people feel it’s okay to abuse you. Therapy can help you learn how to protect yourself against these abusive people.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be particularly helpful to you. CBT targets both your thoughts and behaviors. The focus of CBT is uncovering illogical thought processes and examining how they may be contributing to self-destructive beliefs and behaviors. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle