In this paragraph:
My interpretation of 身にしみる is for something to really penetrate through to your heart. Something you think about deeply or 'touches home' (jisho.org)
My translation of this paragraph is something like:
Incidentally, my Japanese and English skills are about the same. Only at the conversation level is my Japanese better. Basically, it's not a language problem. I also have a lot of close Japanese friends!
Here's where I trip up. The last sentence has three components that I really can't put together:
- Since I escape to English
- Just from really feeling that difference
- You'd probably think I was a shy person if I spoke just Japanese