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Feeling Lost


NowhereGirl
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I've never written one of these before, so I don't exactly know how to begin.

I'm a Canadian girl, and I am going to be turning 18 this year. Although, I still feel like I am 8 or 9 years old - allow me to explain. Everyone treats me like I am a child who can not understand certain things, and like someone who is incapable of have thoughts or feelings of their own. I am a very sensitive person, which people will not pick up on quickly because I'm quite reserved about my emotions, some including my mom and older sister who have called me "heartless" for not crying at a sad scene in a movie. I cry at everything. The instant I am alone (which is always), my demons come out to play.

The past few years have been particularly hard for me to handle:

Bullied as a young child (strangled with a rope by an older boy)

Constantly moving in a result of having no childhood friends (moves in total : 13 houses, 7 schools... and still going!)

Mild abuse

Not being good enough

Parents divorce

Dad in jail in the states for 2 years

Mom getting remarried (present)

Dad moving back - stressful

Highschool/University pressure

Money issues

I think I should stop listing all the negativity in my life because it probably isn't going to help, seeing as I'm alone now.

In spite of all of this lousy energy in my life, there has been one outstanding light of hope for me; and he has saved me in so many ways (I'll call him E on here). I met him in my 11th year, and I am insanely in love with him, and he is with me too. There is so much more to him than anyone will EVER know besides me, I could go on forever. PROBLEM: My dad is crazy strict, and I have no say in what happens in my life about anything. I've always been different from other girls, I want what most girls don't want nowadays. Except I have no way of expressing myself to anyone, my family especially because I am so afraid of judgement. I've never felt good enough for them, I never will be, and I'll never survive the shadow that my sister casts on me.

There is a major flaw about me... I am suicidal, and have been for many years. Attempted it once, almost overdosed until the pain in my body from the pills was too overbearing, forcing me to get it out. E is the only person who knows, and helps me with it. I told my best friend once, she hardly looked up... I feel like there is no hope for me sometimes. My dad told me once that if someone commits suicide than they go straight to hell... I pray to God that that isn't true. It's so sad because I am so aware of how much of an issue mental illnesses are, I wanted to study psychology and help people escape from these terrible thoughts and feelings, but my guidance counselor said that it wasn't for me...

Do I have a mental illness?

I get frequent headaches and nausea when I'm caught dwelling on things that give me anxiety or get me upset like when:

E's older, and STUNNING sister said to him that I'm not pretty enough... Her piercing blue eyes haunt me, and the thoughts of her judging me make me sick every single day.

I'm out in public.

With anyone.

I think of the past, present, or future.

I think about how nervous I'm going to be for my prom next week.

The pressures to be perfect,

THERE IS SO MUCH PRESSURE. I can't handle it.

I'm currently and secretly on stress pills that I hide behind my books, underneath my piano. Although, I've been taking them regularly and yet my nails still seem to be gone...so much for that guarantee.

I need to stop writing because my head is aching too much.

Someone please help. What should I do? I'm extremely lost.

- M.E

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Hello, M.E., welcome!

I'm glad you decided to share your troubles and seek some advise here. I hope you'll find some useful insights in our reactions.

You've been going through a lot and, in addition, you're a sensitive person, so there's no wonder it's been so hard :(. It would be hard to deduce if you have a mental illness and we don't do such evaluations as they would have no value (from laymen and based on such limited info). But the most important point is that you're in distress and can't cope well with your situation - those are good reasons to seek professional help (no matter if you're ill or "only" distressed because of the events of your life, the difficult relationships, and (probably also) your predispositions - psychotherapy is not at all for ill people only). As you intended to study psychology yourself, you don't have negative prejudices towards mental health professionals and about those who are seeing them - and that's an advantage.

May I ask why your boyfriend's sister's opinion about you would matter? And also; what do you think, in general, about such people who proclaim negative and superficial judgements of others? If she was interested in her brother's wellbeing, she would be interested in the influence you have on him, in the love, companionship, happiness, ... you bring him - and not comment on how you look like. What is "enough", BTW? Your boyfriend loves you, isn't that a proof that you are "pretty enough" for him?

I imagine that your reaction to what she said is just a symptom of your deep insecurities and self-esteem issues based on how your relatives have treated you as a child. So it's not only important for you to understand why her opinion doesn't matter, but also to heal the issues behind your anxieties and insecurities "triggered" by her (and presumably also others in some other situations). That's also something therapy can help with, unlike any other approach.

It's great that you have such a supportive partner. But I know from my own experience that such a relationship can be only partially healing and is mostly supportive, not as deeply transformative as a relationship with a therapist can be. My therapy improved a lot also my relationship, it helped not only me to understand myself and change to some extent, but also helped my partner to understand me and himself better.

What do you think?

Take care!

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Thanks for replying LaLa,

Your advice helps, maybe it's what you said in particular or maybe it's just because you cared enough to actually write me back. So, thank-you.

E isn't my boyfriend - not yet at least. I really want him to be, but I can't because of my father. I'd do anything for him but it's sad that I can't work up the courage to stand up for myself and our relationship together and what I want in life. E understands that it would be unfair for both of us if we were together because I would never see him because my family and personal issues are overbearing. He helps me so much, and averted me from suicide. I have no idea why his sister has such a massive impact on me. Maybe its because shes beautiful, and such a girly girl, and smart, talented, and successful. Maybe it's from how insecure I am about myself. I have no idea. But she is moving to England shortly, and I owe it to E to get to know her and meet her before she leaves. He is incredibly close with her, and he has had a very very VERY hard life as well. But even thinking about meeting her and seeing that judging look on her face makes me sick. I'm doing what drives me insane; making assumptions about people before getting to know them. I CAN'T STOP IT.

I feel guilty wanting to escape. I hate how I make him feel when I talk about it, because I know it destroys him on the inside. But I can't help it. When I want to die, I need to tell him so that he can stop me. It's hard for me to talk about. I wish people could understand more, or be more inclined to help. I really need someone to silence these constant voices in my head... I just want to leave.

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You're welcome. I'm glad you feel it was helpful :).

Maybe its because shes beautiful, and such a girly girl, and smart, talented, and successful. Maybe it's from how insecure I am about myself.

I see it as related: You feel insecure about yourself, that's why when somebody seems to be ideal in some aspects important to you, he/she seems like an authority who can judge you and humiliate you for being different than he/she is, than you "should" be.

I'm doing what drives me insane; making assumptions about people before getting to know them. I CAN'T STOP IT.

Making a priori assumptions is our natural tendency that aims (among other things) at protecting us from potential harm. We can regulate it by our reason, but if our internal fear of unknown / feeling of danger is too high, it's getting harder to listen to reason (moreover, learned distorted thinking (as "I'm bad, worthless, ...") often pretends to be reason). That's at least how I understand it. You perceive many people as somehow dangerous to you (at least by judging you (-> making you feel even worse about yourself), for instance), because of your internal "setting" that seeks sources of "anything positive" outside instead of having them inside yourself. So you'd need to build sources of positive feelings and judgements in your mind to feel more safe around other people. I personally, subjectively doubt that it's possible without professional help. What do you think and how do you feel about getting appropriate help? (As far as I know, it's not that hard in Canada. There are several places where you could start - for instance an organization helping suicidal people. It's easy to google it...)

E isn't my boyfriend - not yet at least. [...] E understands that it would be unfair for both of us if we were together because I would never see him because my family and personal issues are overbearing. He helps me so much, and averted me from suicide

Well, it depends on your definition of a boyfriend ;). I seems you don't see each other often and are probably not "physically intimate", but that's not the most important, I'd say. He's your best friend, you can trust him, he cares, ... - and it's all mutual - that's the most important. Of course, it would be much easier without the stupid and harmful constrains of your family. But it's a big gift, a big advantage that you're in such a relationship. I wish you much luck to keep and even improve it.

I feel guilty wanting to escape. I hate how I make him feel when I talk about it, because I know it destroys him on the inside. But I can't help it.

I know these feelings, the guilt and remorses. It used to be hard to share my suicidal thoughts / desires with my boyfriend. (He's now my husband, BTW.)

When I want to die, I need to tell him so that he can stop me. I really need someone to silence these constant voices in my head...

Yes, it's better to say than not. But at the same time, it would be useful to think about it more: Why do you tell him, knowing that he will stop you? Because you want somebody to stop you. What does it mean? That you actually don't want to die. Why do you need somebody else to convince you? And isn't it partially the case of... extorting proofs of his love and of your worth? Don't you sometimes do it because of wanting to hear that somebody cares about you so much? Maybe. What you need the most is starting to care about yourself, too, starting to feel your worth. It may seem impossible - I know that feeling. But it can be achieved, gradually. You need to mobilize the part of you which wants to live and seek some help - and then do the hard work in therapy to achieve the changes...

Take care!

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