How I Overcome Social Anxiety And Abuse

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I Was Afraid Of Being Socially Confident Because Of My Dad

 

For years I was afraid of living because I couldn’t trust anyone including my own family and myself. This fear made me afraid of everything and gave me depression, panic attacks, low self-esteem,    anger, jealousy, social anxiety. I seriously felt like something was wrong with me which in truth there was. I was hurt and in pain at how my Dad had treated me with regards to what he said and done to me. This fear made me feel to blame for everything that my Dad had done to me even though I knew he was wrong. It was not only the abuse that hurt me but the aftermath of how it left me. I seriously believed I was worthless and unlovable because my Dad attacked me for being myself with my mom. I was naturally very outgoing as a kid full of energy until my Dad had gotten angry because I was expressing myself. He was massively insecure himself which also made me feel afraid of him and ashamed. Despite all my fear around the abuse that happened with my Dad I still loved him very much and didn’t want to hurt him with the truth. The truth was he was massively insecure and jealous at my confidence and threatened by my relationship with my mom.  This fearful relationship with my Dad effected the whole family dynamics in my house with everyone including me, my brother, my mom, Dad. We never really had any real honest, intimate, communication with each other. As uncomfortable, difficult, shameful, terrifying, this was it was the truth the family was all afraid of intimacy because my Dad bullied everyone because he was insecure. My Mum was afraid of my Dad I could see this from an early age and this created nothing but drama, violent, outburst, arguments, in our house. I never felt fully safe growing up because my Mum and Dad were always arguing to the point I sometimes had to leave and go and stay at my nan’s with my mom. My Dad would always apologize after but it never lasted he would be back to being violent, abusive, criticizing me. This made it impossible for me to fully trust people and be my true self around them. I always felt on edge because I was carrying a lot of anxiety, anger, trauma, from my Dad.  This made me feel ashamed and constantly afraid of living in the world because I thought it was dangerous and no one could be trusted. This made me feel like I was running away from a monster that was blackmailing me with the fear of being abandoned by my Dad and everyone. I was even terrified that god himself had abandoned me. I always had a strong faith growing up that something all loving, all knowing, Devine, was watching over everyone. It felt like one day I was going to have to face this fear otherwise, I would spend the rest of my life running, hiding, avoiding, blaming, pretending, it did not exist when it clearly did. This fear was like a possession a demon that was inside my body hurting me whenever it wanted to. I could be with hundreds of people or alone it made no difference the fear was still in me. I even tried escaping my fear with all the fine pleasures such as sex, drugs, violence, food, DVD, books, training, yet none of this took my fear away. I had to confront this fear one hundred percent from every angle possible. I had to listen to this young 13-year boy that was hiding inside me that felt abandoned by my Dad and the world. I was also so angry at myself for abandoning the real me because I was ashamed and didn’t think I was good enough.  I was carrying so much confusion that was causing a lot of emotional pain and anxiety in my life. I was enraged at the fact my Dad would not accept me for who I was which was a confident man. I never knew any different until my Dad had corrected me for being a normal sociable person. The real truth of the matter was my confidence out-shined my dad’s low self-esteem which made him feel threaten and brought out his jealousy. He of, course regretted his inappropriate behavior which years later he apologized to me on numerous occasions. Although I had forgiven him the fear was still very present in me. I also spent years trying to be validated by people through my success in my life. All my success with women, in my business, teaching other people, did not take my pain away from my childhood. Although I learned to manage my fear better it still really bothered me deep down. I soon started to learn that my biggest fear was to actually become more confident than my dad because I didn’t want him to feel intimidated by me and abandon me. This created a self-sabotaging shadow that was a false personality that lived in me and often ruined anything that was good in my life. So my fear of being confident in front of my Dad unconsciously manifested into all areas of my life. This fear is known as the fear of success which manny people suffer with whether they are conscious of it or not. Especially people that have been abused and have social anxiety disorder. This fear of excelling and possibly leaving others behind made me feel really lonely and confused. This was really about the fear of change or growing really the same thing. Fear is really good at disguising itself which I know my fear did. My fear became hundreds of fears which all really came down to one. The fear of my potential which many other mentors had spoken about. This fear of being great and being seen in front of the whole world for expressing who you are from your heart. The fear that other people will get jealous because you are happy, successful, honest, open, vulnerable, curious, spontaneous, different, loving, courageous, hungry, ambitious, and ultimately you. I think society has a lot of answer for why so many people feel afraid to really show who they are and be who they want to be because of the risk of not being received in a positive light. When you think

I was even terrified that god himself had abandoned me. I always had a strong faith growing up that something all loving, all knowing, Devine, was watching over everyone. It felt like one day I was going to have to face this fear otherwise, I would spend the rest of my life running, hiding, avoiding, blaming, pretending, it did not exist when it clearly did. This fear was like a possession a demon that was inside my body hurting me whenever it wanted to. I could be with hundreds of people or alone it made no difference the fear was still in me. I even tried escaping my fear with all the fine pleasures such as sex, drugs, violence, food, DVD, books, training, yet none of this took my fear away. I had to confront this fear one hundred percent from every angle possible. I had to listen to this young 13-year boy that was hiding inside me that felt abandoned by my Dad and the world. I was also so angry at myself for abandoning the real me because I was ashamed and didn’t think I was good enough.  I was carrying so much confusion that was causing a lot of emotional pain and anxiety in my life. I was enraged at the fact my Dad would not accept me for who I was which was a confident man. I never knew any different until my Dad had corrected me for being a normal sociable person. The real truth of the matter was my confidence out-shined my dad’s low self-esteem which made him feel threaten and brought out his jealousy. He of, course regretted his inappropriate behavior which years later he apologized to me on numerous occasions. Although I had forgiven him the fear was still very present in me. I also spent years trying to be validated by people through my success in my life. All my success with women, in my business, teaching other people, did not take my pain away from my childhood. Although I learned to manage my fear better it still really bothered me deep down. I soon started to learn that my biggest fear was to actually become more confident than my dad because I didn’t want him to feel intimidated by me and abandon me. This created a self-sabotaging shadow that was a false personality that lived in me and often ruined anything that was good in my life. So my fear of being confident in front of my Dad unconsciously manifested into all areas of my life. This fear is known as the fear of success which manny people suffer with whether they are conscious of it or not. Especially people that have been abused and have social anxiety disorder. This fear of excelling and possibly leaving others behind made me feel really lonely and confused. This was really about the fear of change or growing really the same thing. Fear is really good at disguising itself which I know my fear did. My fear became hundreds of fears which all really came down to one. The fear of my potential which many other mentors had spoken about. This fear of being great and being seen in front of the whole world for expressing who you are from your heart. The fear that other people will get jealous because you are happy, successful, honest, open, vulnerable, curious, spontaneous, different, loving, courageous, hungry, ambitious, and ultimately you. I think society has a lot of answer for why so many people feel afraid to really show who they are and be who they want to be because of the risk of not being received in a positive light.

When you think in history that people like Jesus were actually killed, crucified for bringing truth to the world. I’m very certain that this fear of being abandoned by our fathers, god, people, the world, is very tribal and nothing to be ashamed of. Without having to go into the whole evolution of human beings and what drive us I intuitively knew that my fear could not be taken likely. If I was afraid of being abandoned by my dad and the world for being who I truly was then obviously many other men just like myself would have also suffered at the hands of this fear. This fear of being attacked, hurt, killed, abused, mistreated, was very real in my own mind and constantly playing in the background which gave me severe social anxiety and kept me in despair all the time. Despite having enough people tell me that they loved me it didn’t change the fact I was struggling to love myself or I was too afraid to rather.

This fear felt like it was never going to ever go away and that really terrified me. It felt like walking around with a huge sign that said this man is damaged feel free to bully him. I felt constantly judged all the time which made me feel angry, ashamed, embarrassed, tired, stressed, depressed, jealous, violent, insecure. These were the cocktail of emotions that I experienced over and over again. I would have periods were by my anxiety would completely go and I would feel great about myself. However, this would also bring on more fear because I would always worry that my social anxiety would return. It became a catch 22 in that I couldn’t beat this demon because even when I was happy I was still afraid.  Now, of course, I knew that everybody gets anxiety it is part of the human condition. However, my fear was different because it was not only a fear of social situations it was a fear of fear if that makes sense. I was afraid a lot of the time when I was alone by myself because my internal monolog would be talking away in the background. This was the very heart of the fear which was a story that kept telling me I’m in danger. The trauma from all the abuse from my dad had terrified me and left me damaged. I could actually feel the negative pain body inside me complaining all the time. It was literally like having a young boy inside me that was constantly afraid. This would be called the inner child in psychology. The fascinating thing was I understand every intricacy of my fear but I was too afraid to dissolve it. I was afraid to dissolve my fear because that would mean completely changing everything about my life. Unless you have experienced this fear you cannot appreciate how difficult it is to face it. Every part of my defense mechanism was designed to protect me from changing. I always knew deep down I was not being my true self around my family, friends, even with myself when I was alone. All my negative behaviors were not who I truly was. Admitting to this felt equivalent to taking off my clothes and walking down the high street it was so uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable this is how I felt all the time uncomfortable in myself and around other people. The fear that was inside me made me feel uncomfortable and gave me severe social anxiety. If I had to boil my fear down to one word it would be “UNCOMFORTABLE”  It does not sound that bad when you say it but believe me to not feel comfortable in yourself is terrifying. It made me feel disgraceful as if I had murdered someone of raped someone that’s how ashamed I felt. Now, of course, I did not commit any of these crimes but being rejected by your own dad makes you feel unlovable. Especially when you are rejected for being your true self that really fucked with my head. This correction at a young vulnerable age destroyed me and my ability to love people. Another very uncomfortable truth that I later discovered was I hated people which is a defense mechanism. Now, of course, I didn’t really hate people because I had too much empathy, compassion, genuine, love but my fear was doing all the hating. My fear was not the real me it was a damaged part of me that needed mending. I could actually feel that I could be fixed which is what gave me hope to continue on this journey otherwise I would have killed myself.  One of the things I learned about social anxiety is you cannot fully connect with people if you don’t allow yourself to be venerable and trust them.

Unless you have experienced this fear you cannot appreciate how difficult it is to face it. Every part of my defense mechanism was designed to protect me from changing. I always knew deep down I was not being my true self around my family, friends, even with myself when I was alone. All my negative behaviors were not who I truly was. Admitting to this felt equivalent to taking off my clothes and walking down the high street it was so uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable this is how I felt all the time uncomfortable in myself and around other people. The fear that was inside me made me feel uncomfortable and gave me severe social anxiety. If I had to boil my fear down to one word it would be “UNCOMFORTABLE”  It does not sound that bad when you say it but believe me to not feel comfortable in yourself is terrifying. It made me feel disgraceful as if I had murdered someone of raped someone that’s how ashamed I felt. Now, of course, I did not commit any of these crimes but being rejected by your own dad makes you feel unlovable. Especially when you are rejected for being your true self that really fucked with my head. This correction at a young vulnerable age destroyed me and my ability to love people. Another very uncomfortable truth that I later discovered was I hated people which is a defense mechanism. Now, of course, I didn’t really hate people because I had too much empathy, compassion, genuine, love but my fear was doing all the hating. My fear was not the real me it was a damaged part of me that needed mending. I could actually feel that I could be fixed which is what gave me hope to continue on this journey otherwise I would have killed myself.  One of the things I learned about social anxiety is you cannot fully connect with people if you don’t allow yourself to be venerable and trust them.

I always knew deep down I was not being my true self around my family, friends, even with myself when I was alone. All my negative behaviors were not who I truly was. Admitting to this felt equivalent to taking off my clothes and walking down the high street it was so uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable this is how I felt all the time uncomfortable in myself and around other people. The fear that was inside me made me feel uncomfortable and gave me severe social anxiety. If I had to boil my fear down to one word it would be “UNCOMFORTABLE”  It does not sound that bad when you say it but believe me to not feel comfortable in yourself is terrifying. It made me feel disgraceful as if I had murdered someone of raped someone that’s how ashamed I felt. Now, of course, I did not commit any of these crimes but being rejected by your own dad makes you feel unlovable. Especially when you are rejected for being your true self that really fucked with my head. This correction at a young vulnerable age destroyed me and my ability to love people. Another very uncomfortable truth that I later discovered was I hated people which is a defense mechanism. Now, of course, I didn’t really hate people because I had too much empathy, compassion, genuine, love but my fear was doing all the hating. My fear was not the real me it was a damaged part of me that needed mending. I could actually feel that I could be fixed which is what gave me hope to continue on this journey otherwise I would have killed myself.  One of the things I learned about social anxiety is you cannot fully connect with people if you don’t allow yourself to be venerable and trust them.

 

The connection will always be somewhat surfaced based which usually creates a dysfunctional relationship. This relationship you create with other people is a projection with how you feel about yourself. This is the relationship I had with my Dad it was dysfunctional and it always felt extremely uncomfortable being around him. I could sense the awkwardness that we both felt whilst being in each others company.

I was carrying a lot of anger towards my Dad for the years of abuse that he did to me. In all fairness, he did change as he got older for the better. He calmed down and of course, he couldn’t be psychically violent towards me anymore because I was very capable myself in this department. However, this did not take my fear away because it was still in me. The memories of all the abuse left me terrified of people and the world. I found it very difficult to relax no matter where I was. Evan when I went abroad on holiday I still couldn’t fully relax.  The intensity of my fear fluctuated depending on how I felt and what situation I was in. However, the story that lingered in the background never fully went away I could hear the voice of this frightened 13-year-old boy in the background. I also experienced a lot of shame for being afraid and being abused by my Dad. A part of me felt to blame for being a victim and not being able to deal with life. I knew again that this was not true that any human being that would have experienced what I did would have felt the same way. I was not willing to allow this fear to break me though no matter what I was going to stand up against it and fight it. This became my life ambition to beat this fear and live to tell the tale to many other people that were in need of hearing my story. This reminded me of a story that I heard about a man called Victor Frankl who was in Auschwitz and managed to survive through what he called connecting to Logos. This translated to god or purpose/meaning which he explains is the secret to overcoming fear and connecting to our greatest potential. This made sense to me even before hearing about this amazing story of this brave man. This is what kept me going this inner drive to overcome this fear and live a beautiful life. I wanted to help others that had also had this same fear called social anxiety disorder. I didn’t want to allow fear to ruin my entire life because that would mean that my whole life was false I couldn’t go to my grave knowing that I did not reach my full potential in life. This is what was bullying me it was a story from the past that had been exaggerated over a period of time because I was allowing it to grow. The more I ignored this story the worse the fear got. Like I have said before every answer was within me I just had to use my courage to reach within and heal myself. I had to follow what Viktor Frankl did with finding a higher purpose and actually living it through the most difficult of times. This was not going to be easy but a part of me was excited by the challenge of overcoming this demon that lived in me.  So what did I have to do to overcome this fear?  I had to face everything!  I mean absolutely everything that frightened me?  This meant that only did I have to face my dad but all the fears that were created around my dad which were too many to count. I could actually feel all these individual fears in my stomach and hear them repeating over and over again in the back of my mind. These were some of the fears I faced and overcame: Confronting my Dad about the abuse that he did to me Fear of making eye contact with people Public speaking  Making money  Stopping cheating on women  Stopping my violent outburst on people  Standing up to family/friends who bullied me on many occasions socially  Saying NO to people  Going into posh environments that intimidated me like the (Ritz Hotel in London)  Living a clean life stopping the drugs and alcohol  Facing social confrontation  Leaving bad relationships and making new friends  Loving myself and finding out who I truly was  Teaching and starting my own business  Putting myself out into the world via social media  Criticism which was something that used to terrify me   standing up to beautiful women, for example saying no Making decisions  Going to the dentist  paying bills in the bank  Saying sorry when I was wrong  All these fears really came back to one fear which was the fear of my true potential. This came as a great shock to me when I finally got down to the truth. It was actually about 3 years ago when I was watching my mentor tell his story that was very similar to mine and it completely resonated. He said once he faced all his fears he realized his biggest fear was his potential. This made complete sense to me and not just on an intellectual level. This was something that I felt from my heart. I looked back on my life and of course, I realized it was true I was always afraid of my talent. I was afraid of my social confidence because unconsciously it connected all the way back to my dad. My dad had violently attacked me for being confident which terrified me. For me being confident meant risking death and I say that with no word of exaggeration. This is how it felt when I was around people and I would bring out my true self. The social anxiety was so intense I couldn’t  breathe which always made me recluse back to a shy timid introvert. This became an ongoing struggle with my fear of being my true self and living from that place.  I also came to another truth which is what you project you get back in life. Which is why people bullied me socially because they could sense I was afraid. This really hurt me and often made me feel a lot of anger and hate towards other people. I knew this was not who I truly was it was a defense mechanism. It’s strange isn’t it that most people are afraid of being rejected/abandoned for not being good enough. I was afraid of being abandoned by people for being my true self which was very confident. This is what caused me so much confusion the fact I was afraid of actually being happy. To go further I was afraid of connecting to love. I was afraid of killing everything that was not real. I was afraid to take off my false social mask and show who I truly was.Taking off my social mask meant completely overcoming my fear and let go of everything that was stopping me from connecting to my true potential. This has been and ongoing process and one that has proven to be profound. I found the truth which was my dad was wrong in what he taught me which was that I couldn’t trust anyone.

He was wrong in telling me that I was not good enough when I was my true self. I have built a successful online business and worked for myself for the last five years. I have built a successful youtube channel with nearly 30,000 subscribers and over five million views. My youtube videos have transformed people’s lives all around the world because I challenged the negative beliefs that my own Dad taught me through is own ignorance. I went from a 21-year-old virgin that was terrified of beautiful women and afraid of sexual intimacy to dating beautiful women from all around the world. I have given hundreds of public talks on confidence because I faced my fears. The list goes on and on with how many examples of me connecting to my potential.  This is my message to other people like me that have been abused and suffered from anxiety that change is possible right now. I see change every single day with students that I coach on my 6-week transformation program and over skype. As a matter of fact, I see potential and change everywhere and I mean that literally. This is how powerful our beliefs are with the life that we create that is right in front of us. I’m still learning every single day that nothing is impossible if you have the courage to face your fears.

Johnny Berba

www.johnnyberba.com