Agoraphobia can be a crippling phobia. It is a part of anxiety, & is common among those with PTSD & C-PTSD. Agoraphobia is a fear of public places. In fact, some people are even afraid to step outside the door of their own home.
I developed it in 1996 when my paternal grandmom died. When my husband told his mother then later his sister of my loss, both completely ignored the news, changing the subject back to themselves. Something in their reactions made me think that I do not matter. Nothing about me is worth acknowledging, & I shouldn’t bother anyone with my problems or even my presence. Granted, this wasn’t new- growing up with a narcissistic mother certainly made me feel that way. However, God showed me that their lack of acknowledging my loss cemented such awful, dysfunctional beliefs in me, & made me believe I shouldn’t even bother people with my presence. Then, developing C-PTSD in 2012 made the agoraphobia even worse.
Not everyone develops it in a way like I did. Some people develop this nasty phobia along with C-PTSD or PTSD. No matter how it starts, anyone with agoraphobia knows it is extremely challenging to live with. It strips you of your independence. It devastates your self-esteem since you feel crazy or useless by not being able to go out as you once did. You feel like a burden because you need people to go with you or do your grocery shopping for you.
If this describes you, please know that you are not alone, Dear Reader. Many people, especially those who have been subjected to narcissistic abuse, suffer with agoraphobia. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy or useless or even a burden. It means you have been through some bad things that made you sick. I’m sure you don’t feel that is the case, but truly it is! You are fine- you simply have a problem resulting from trauma.
Tomorrow’s post will offer some suggestions I have found for coping with agoraphobia when you simply must leave home.