New Years Eve. A walk to a local lake. For our Son a good walk as apart from a couple of anglers we had the place to ourselves.

This might have been the first place we walked to when we moved to the village. A time before parenthood. But parenting was at the forefront of our thoughts. It was the main reason we left the city. It looked a good safe place to raise a family. A perfect fit.

Fast forward far too many years and again I’m walking around this lake. This time as a parent. Still thinking about parenthood. Realising with hindsight what an excellent location choice we made. It’s perfect for our son. A landscape which can inspire dreams. Quiet. Isolated.

Yet even here sometimes it’s not isolated enough. Two anglers fishing at the far corner of the lake. A hundred yards away. Yet son still pulled his hood over his head and talked quietly. Just in case. It’s so difficult for him to interact with our society. Imagine how difficult it would be for him if we lived in a busy city. How difficult it is for him trying to learn in a school with 800 pupils.

Looking back to my life I can understand his anxieties. I can understand the effect those two anglers can have. I’ve always struggled in social settings. People thought I was outgoing and confident. They didn’t see the nervous kid with a stammer. The child only truly at ease when he was playing by himself. Only happy to laugh and joke when in small groups of trusted friends. Or within a trusted sports team where I would allow myself to take down some the self erected defensive walls. Yet throw in a stranger and I clammed up. I remember the teacher telling the class that the next day would be different. Kids from another school would be visiting us. The thought of strangers spooked me. The next day I bunked off school. As I walked towards the school gates I panicked. I spent the rainy day crouched under a bush. As an adult again I was often seen as the outgoing confident joker. Oh so wrong. Often my social skills needed to be fuelled with alcohol. Those antics masked my anxieties. I kept to a small circle of close friends. Avoided strangers. Constantly battling with my insecurities and nervous stammer.

These years later I’m still wracked with social anxieties. Now no alcohol to fuel the alter ego. So yes I can understand what our Son is going through. I’m no expert but what he has to deal with makes my struggles look like a cakewalk. So everyday I ponder on ways I can find to help him with his anxieties. Yet apart from Sport, Alcohol and hiding under bushes I’ve not been able to help myself. Maybe we could add – walking around completely deserted lakes to the list.

25 thoughts on “Lakeside

  1. My mother tried to commit suicide in a psychiatric hospital. I have always had anxiety and panic disorder. My daughter checks everything several times, and worries, not surprisingly one of my granddaughters is on the high end of the spectrum, with severe learning disabilities. We do the best we can.

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  2. Dont forget rock concerts😉

    I was thought to be a ‘social butterfly’ as a kid growing up. I was desperately seeking approval. I was insecure and self-conscious and I went along with whatever other kids wanted just to have friends, trying to get my emotional needs met. I hated it and craved it at the same time.

    I’m sure that your understanding is a huge thing to your son. He has a place where he’s safe. A place where he can be exactly who he is. And he has someone safe & understanding to be with him as he tests his limits and tries new things and new places.
    No hiding under bushes for him. That’s huge!

    That’s a beautiful lake to stroll around too. It looks so peaceful.

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  3. Hugs Gary. How many of us struggle with this. But oh how wonderful that lake is. So glad you chose that location. It is perfect. Think I’ll go and look for a lake now! Lots of love to you and Son. Xxxx

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  4. I have this issue with my parents, my mom especially. My mom checked out when it came to parenting – at least parenting me. Maybe that’s a compliment to my ability to handle things myself but there were definitely times I could have used a little help. Anyway, whenever the discussion of my social anxieties come up she always says, “I don’t know what you are talking about – you always made friends so easily. Now your brother on the other hand….” and I know the exact moment she’s referencing because she uses it as her example – every time. A moment when I was four and we moved to a new house and I made friends with the girl down the street. She’s taken this one moment and painted it over my entire life, “Robyn can make friends easily.” And that girl ditched me after my parents put me in a private school and I was different. Then we moved again a couple of years later. Mom never looked at any of that. That one day when I was four and I will always be Ms. Social to her, and not a person that struggles in and avoids social interaction

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    1. That’s got to be so tough for you. I never spoke to my parents about it ever. In fact I have never spoke to my family at all about it. I’ve basically carried it myself. So I’ve never had to deal with something like your mums comments. It’s just going to make you feel even worse. How did you do at work with the social stuff? x

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      1. Here’s the kicker – she follows my blog. So, anytime I write about having social anxiety I have to hear about “that time when you were 4” because I am obviously still the same person. Ugh…. I don’t. I think it has gotten worse since becoming a SAHM. With work you are forced into some socializing. This past holiday season Bob went to all the parties alone while I watched the kids. I am always surprised how I physically feel when I have to go socialize. My stomach hurts, I get waves of nausea – and I get mean, snappy with the kids. I’ll work on it some other day, I guess 🙂

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  5. Looks so peaceful. I can relate growing up I was very shy and felt I didn’t fit in in school I only ended with the”tough crowd” because of. Security .ilaigh when people say how social I am. Yes, now I am a bit more. I do enjoy my alone time.

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  6. I am praying for you and your children to have peace. Death is final and most difficult to overcome. I lost my daddy at the tender age of 9, and am almost 60 now and I still mourn for him. Your blog is helping so many people and it is helping you heal. Great job sharing and helping in our most delicate world.

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