Relearning to be sociable

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throughout my childhood, I was a friendly child, even after being abused as a child until I was around 5. At that age I had no understanding, it didn't affect me at all then until I got abused in my teen years again. I had locked away what had happened without realizing it, it was slowly affecting me the more I bottled it up. until I hit my late teens I was ok with friends, then by the time I finished HighSchool I had lost social normality, I kind of lost how to deal with people, I knew on a low level and I had friends I would hang out with, but that never helped, I would either react to situations wrong or not be able to understand what was happening, I would be aggressive or mean when I was trying to be friendly, at one point being 100% convinced I had a form of autism because of this, I just didn't know what was normal or how to act with people without being called weird.

I went into a military lifestyle between the ages of 17-20, this seemed to kill it a lot more. by the time I was in my mid-20s I was completely social inadpt, I would try to be sociable, but couldn't react or know how to react with people, I had one friend because if I didn't my parents would be concerned but even this one friend I would avoid, Id lock myself away. I found making friends online and talking to people online easier than in real life. So I was completely locked away in my room for years until one friend started talking about social psychology while on team speak and recommended I started reading books like "how to make friends" and "how to talk to people".

I was getting pushed to start in college, by my family, now in my close to late 20s, and I did, at first, I was terrified until I had people activity try to be friends with me, but I was still socially awkward. During my 2nd year, I made a friend who suggested some material to read as they were learning to be sociable, mainly due to their own loss of these skills, and like that, I started to become more sociable nearly overnight, with their support and with the support of the college.

It is now been nearly 5 years of studying to be sociable part-time, this is in the form of books, videos, audiobooks, and courses, I have been reading to help me understand and talk to people. Yes, this does help, I have gotten to the point to be able to talk to people in person properly again, hang out in large groups, even spoke on stage to a lot of people. It has taken me a long while to realize why I was locking myself away, those reasons are what brought me this forum

I am writing this post for anyone else who might have been like me or currently is locked away in their room, feeling alone. Dont be like me, dont waste years of your lives alone not making friends, or having experiences. Being Sociable again is something you can learn and it something you can force yourself to do and the more you do it the easier it becomes.

I still have some issues, but they will take time... so this is both a self-journal progress report as well as hopefully a sign of hope for someone else
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