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The Eyes Have It - Looking People in The Eyes

Discussion in 'General' started by jade, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. jade

    jade Active Member

    Is there anyone else out there that has a problem with eyes? I don't mean bad eyesight. For some reason I have a very difficult time looking at peoples eyes. I don't know if this contributed to this or not but at age 8 or 9 my dad had my sister and I watch the Exorsist. I was alright until she sat up in bed and spun her head around and I swear I saw her pupils jump right out of her head. My mom was at the neighbors and heard me screaming in the house. It took her close to half an hour to get me calmed down. Then about a month afterwards my cat was hit by a car and I was the one who found her. At first I thought she was sleeping until I got close enough to see that half her face was gone. Once again I flipped out and mom came running out of the house to find out what was wrong. To this day I have nightmares about Seven not whole like I remember her but as I found her.

    There was one time that I went in to Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee. Normally its eyes down go in get what I need and leave. Why I looked up at her I still don't know. She asked me three times what she could get me and I just stood there like a dummie to the public in horror to myself. She had contacts in and they turned her eyes Red.I never did get my coffee. By the time I could react I was in such a panic I just turned around and left.

    I can't look into a mirror and can't look uot a window after dark because I'm afraid of what might be out there. After my mare died earlier this spring I had nightmares that she was looking in the window as if asking why did you let me die? She had a stroke and there was nothing we could have done for her but why do I feel guilty?

    Am I afraid of what I might see ? Am I afraid of what I might not see? I don't know . Just wondering if any one has the same problem or input on the subject.:dontknow:
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  3. Boo-Damphir

    Boo-Damphir Active Member

    I too avoid eye contact with others when I'm out in public. Although I don't have the same association with eyes as you do, I do it to keep others from engaging in a conversation with me.

    "The Eyes Are The Window To The Soul" is so true. It's almost as if you have transferred some of your fears into the eyes of others. Or you could just be a product of our horror-movie society.

    Ironically, one of my favorite things to draw are eyes :dont-know This may be a way for you to work through it also- draw eyes and take note of what kinds of emotions they bring up.
  4. Eagle3

    Eagle3 Well-Known Member

    I, too, can no longer look people in the eyes for very long...I get panicked if I do. I knew it had something to do with my trauma, because I didn't have a problem with it before, but now...I just can't look strangers (especially) in the eye. Good to know I'm not the only one with this problem.

    But I still have no idea what the problem is, why I react the way I do.
  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    I just think this has a thing to do with us being having a problem being personal. We are working on that here. I know very simplistic, but my opinion.
  6. Remnarc

    Remnarc Member

    I have huge issues with people staring. It drives me right over the edge and into a frenzy. I usually end up saying something snide, rude and in a very loud voice. Most of the time though I refuse to look people in the eyes to make sure that I don't get that feeling.
  7. nov_silence

    nov_silence Well-Known Member

    The more ashamed/bad I feel about myself, the less I look into people's eyes. Strangers and loved ones alike. Every since I was a kid, I have been intrigued by people's eyes and how they see the world through them. I have been told that people sometimes get unnerved when I look them in the eye. I know I look intently.
  8. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Jade, it is a self esteem, confidence issue within yourself, that is very normal with PTSD and abuse. You have been battered, suffered, etc etc... all at which a persons self esteem takes a huge beating. We stop believing in ourselves, we have little confidence in our abilities, etc etc... all of which directly correlates towards such things as looking a person in the eyes.

    Try this for a test, and watch what happens to people. Most people do not actually have a high self esteem, because it takes a lot of work in which to build enough confidence within yourself to believe that you are worth more than you think. When you face someone next time, actually force yourself to look them in the eyes, and don't look away. What will happen is the person your talking with will 95% of the time look at you, then look away if the look is prolonged, because just from that look alone, you can tell whether a person has high self esteem. If a person looks at you constantly, without looking away at anything else, they have high self esteem. What I expect to happen, is that after 10+ seconds, the other person will look away and their eyes begin to wander around and back to you, and the cycle will repeat. Basically, what you have just done if you can do this, is demonstrate to another person whilst looking them in the eyes, that you are the more confident within yourself.

    Interesting test... see if you can do it. Don't let a few failures let you down either... if you fail at all. You might have to do it 100 times before you get do it correctly, you might get it right the first time because you have enough self drive in order to do it. There is no right or wrong figure to attempts, just the end result in which you eventually get it. When you do, you will see exactly what I mean.
  9. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be in bed and not on here.. LOl only a few replies though...

    Anyways, I'm the exact opposite of this thread. If you won't look me in the eyes, then I won't talk to you. Why? Because it tells me so much about you. What you are really thinking, feeling. If you are listening etc.. It's my defense mechanism. Watch the eyes. People who won't look me in the eyes while talking? I walk away. To me, those people are not to be trusted even more so than a snake. Can't tell what is going on. They become unpredictable. LOL funny how we can all react to the "safety" thing eh?

  10. Boo-Damphir

    Boo-Damphir Active Member

    Eye contact is also culterally dictated. Some think that making eye contact is a sign of challenge or disrespect.
    To me it's a very intimate thing to do which makes me uncomfortable.

    However, if I'm wearing sunglasses, I will stare a hole into your eyes :dont-know
  11. jade

    jade Active Member

    Thanks for the advise Anthony I will try and give it a shot. You were right in one aspect. Self-esteem is at a zero. Confidence none to be found. Afraid of what I'll see in the eyes. Disappointment,anger,lies,pain,sometimes nothing just a blank. Something to work on.
  12. wildcritter44

    wildcritter44 Active Member

    I'm sorry you suffered so much because of crap movies that kids should not be allowed to watch, the death of your beloved pet. I refuse to watch crap movies and never allow my daughter when she was little to watch stuff like that. Unfortunately for her we care took a ranch, animals, some of which she cared for died, generally not of trauma, but of illness. It still isn't pretty. Now she is grown & an EMT. I taught her to talk about issues, to ask for hugs whenever she felt she needed them. You are a worthy person, many people are not. Look up and around you, if you can't look them in the eye like Anthony said. It's a start. Watch their body language. Some people talk with their hands, maybe using their whole body. Check out their mouth.. maybe it has a smile and you can then share it...if they don't have a smile, inmagine them with Mickey Mouse ears or something, so you can smile... Try not to let others intimidate you, tho sometimes that may not be easy.
    Hang in there...Some people can send hugs with their eyes... Many can show you many emotions that are good, helpful, loving, funny and many more... not all are bad..

    take care and enjoy your holiday season
  13. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Yes that's me too. I used to have really good eye contact actually, to the point where some other people would get uncomfortable, because I could stare them down basically. But since the trauma I don't look at anyone at all hardly. I usually look at the ground or sideways, without looking up at all. My family has been trying to get me to look them in the eye, but I find it very difficult, to the point of panicking.
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