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Author Topic: Teen angst
masochist
Neophyte
Member # 16399

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Where to start....well Iím a 15 year old girl from a small town in Australia. Iíve been writing this thing in my head
for weeks but now Iím actually doing it I canít think.
I guess my main problem is I am very insecure. People think Iíve got heaps of confidence cause I openly talk about
things that females arenít ment to talk about and I have no problem getting up on stages etc, but really Iím a huge
self-doubter. I mean I want to become stick thin so I take up less room, Iím wish I was invisible a lot.
Iím a huge procrastinator also, I never finish things I start. I want to change the world, yet cleaning up my room
seems like a daunting task to me. Iím home schooled now because I felt like school put too much pressure on me
and I felt like I was failing despite being in the top classes. I want to just hide some where but at the same time I
long for other people.
And then thereís this guy who I obsess over. I donít think Iíve gone 5 minutes in the past year without thinking
about him, it hurts me so much I canít be close to him and that I canít stop him from hurting himself. I love him
and hate him at the same time. He has the power to kill me and he doesnít even relize it. I have a few friends but
whenever I try to talk to them they just yell snap out of it. Theyíre good friends but they have no idea, I guess me
never showing them what Iím feeling anymore doesnít help. My parents wont accept the fact that I donít want to
be successful. If I live to be 16 I want to drift around Europe for a few years then go do charity work in a third
world country. Whenever I tell them my plans they say something like ďWont be so good when youíve got nothing
to eatĒ. Weíre on very different wave lengths, I care a lot less about life than they do.
I know itís really lame but my cat used to be my best friend and it disappeared on Christmas Eve and I still havenít
got over that. I cry when I watch the news, Iím a vegan for ethical reasons, I obsess over casual comments. I was
born with a skin too few, Iíve tried to toughen up but nothingís worked.
I was put on anti-depressants a few months ago and theyíve done nothing. Iíve been to counselors and absolutely
hated it. One told my parents about my hurting myself when I asked her not to. Iím a bit paranoid, when I hear
people laugh I think theyíre laughing about me, when I hear people talking in the next room I think itís about me.
I donít know if itís actually hallucinating but I have a very over active imagination. I mean Iím 15 years old and
still need a night light. I live in a daydream, I spend a lot of time dreaming of being some one else, some one I
could never be. I know itís ok to dream, but not as much as I do.
I lie too much, mainly to get attention, Iíve had to stop myself from lying when writing this a few times even. The
real me is very boring and uncreative, so I lie. I have sleeping problems and will some times only get a few hours
sleep in a few days. I used to binge eat a lot but thatís pretty much stopped. Now Iím never hungry and only eat a
few times a day out of boredom and routine. Despite seeing what it can do to people I wish I had an eating disorder
so I could become really thin and get attention.
Argh Iím sorry for the poor grammar and structure of this, the one I wrote in my head was a lot longer and
explained how I felt better but I canít get it down. So basically my question is, how do I toughen up and where do I
go from here? I canít talk to anyone and have trouble seeing myself alive behond 18.

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*transient
Activist
Member # 15989

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Hey,
I don't have much advice to offer by way of upping your self-confidence and whatnot, but maybe for a couple of other things...
First of all, you said you went to a counselor and didn't like it...well I know it's not the most exciting thing in the world (i've been there), but considering how your post was pretty long and you had a lot of things on your mind, I would suggest that you keep going to therapy. It really helps to get stuff off your chest, and get advice from someone who knows their stuff and is able to look at your situation without being biased. As for the one telling your parents about you hurting yourself, are you still considered a minor in your country? When I went to therapy I was 16, so my counselor couldn't tell my parents anything I told her. If I was younger then she could have. There might be an age limit like that in Australia too, I don't know. However, I think it's better for your parents to know if you're hurting yourself. It's a pretty serious thing and they can't help you if they don't know, right? And if you've been doing it for a while, then they probably already knew anyway.
Another thing is about the "guy you obsess over" - if he is also hurting himself, and this is hurting you, then maybe you should take yourself away from the situation...I knew someone who did that and I couldn't deal with it, so I stopped talking to her & seeing her, and now it doesn't bother me because I don't think about it. As much as I would have loved to help her, I couldn't, and I don't blame myself for that. I'm not a psychotherapist, I was just her friend. You have to think about your own well being sometimes, and not focus so much on someone who is bringing you down, intentionally or not.
Anyway, it sounds like you're overly stressed out. So I suggest taking time for yourself every once in a while, and do things you like to do, any sports, art, writing in a journal REALLY helps...and about you third world country idea, hey, if that's what you really want, then no one's stopping you. Your parents might not agree, but they can't stop you if it's something you're sure you want to do. I think it's wonderful that you want to help people. Also, maybe take a vacation of some sort...like stay at a friend or relative's for a weekend or something, have some fun, take your mind off things...
By the way, I'm sorry to hear about your cat. My dog almost died recently and I don't know what on earth I will do when she does. Animals are easier to get along with than people :P
So I don't know if any of that helped, but believe me, EVERYONE goes through tough times, and you are no exception...and everyone gets through them at some point. If you want to change the world, it won't be able to change without YOU!!! Just take it day by day. I promise things will eventually improve...just be patient And I really think you should keep going to therapy, not that I think you're messed up or anything, but that's what they're there for. And it really helps to talk, as I think you know already! Good luck xoxo

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*and i love her


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masochist
Neophyte
Member # 16399

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Thanks, but the thing is, I've already tried all that. I *cannot* talk to anyone. I have no reason to be stressed, I don't go to school, I don't work, I just sit around the house all day feeling sorry for myself. I'm just stuck, no matter what I try I keep getting worse.
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wobblyheadedjane
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 11569

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Did you know that not being busy (ie: sitting at home all day) can be a source of stress too, especially if you're used to a school schedule, or a work schedule? Personally, I got just as bonkers with stress when I'm sitting at home, watching endless daytime TV, than when I'm at my busiest during the school year with papers and assignments. Perhaps putting together a schedule of things to keep you busy might help, even if it's just "11 am: walk to library", and stuff like that.

However, if you're on medications that don't seem to be helping, or making things worse, it might be time to look into getting a switch. Finding the right anti-depressant that works for you can be tricky, and it might take a couple of different types before something clicks. Same with counselors, it sounds like the last couple you had didn't impress you much, but just like medications, there's probably a counselor out there who is just right for you. (As for the one who told your parents about you hurting yourself, I'm fairly certain that if a therapist thinks you're in danger of hurting yourself or others, confidentiality becomes secondary. I will find someone who might know a bit better than I. Also, being a minor may have something to do with it.)

You have a lot of options to help yourself with here, and support. What you need to do now is decide what to do for you, and help yourself. Sound good?


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Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

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Hello masochist. Iím sorry that your situation feels so horrible right now. I thought Iíd just add on to what the other repliers have said.

First, give yourself a break and celebrate your accomplishments! Being vegan for ethical reasons, for example, is a major step and you should at least give yourself a huge pat on the back for that! Iím currently vegetarian, striving to be vegan, so I can tell you that youíve impressed me at least! As for sleeping with the light on still at 15, donít stress over itóreally! I also did that until I was 18 and now at 20 can sleep with the lights off with no problems. (A random question: do you wear glasses or contacts? I have since I was 3 years old and believe a lot of my wanting to have light in the room had to do with coordinationómy uncorrected vision is so bad that without the light I become even more confused about direction in my head. This could be the same for you and isnít so much a psychological as physical thing, Iíd say.) In any case, steps like that will come gradually but can be harder to reach if youíre so stressed about it.

Second, have you considered possibly enrolling back in school? I found, that as hard as being at school would be at times, I was glad to have a daily distraction from my personal problems. Not to mention a nice mix of people to crush on a.k.a. less focusing on one single person like the guy you mentioned here, or at least realizing that there are other decent people out there who are worthy of your attention. When youíre not interacting with a lot of other people, itís easy and quite normal Iíd say to perhaps overly focus on what you see.

Third, the ďreal youĒ is not at all boring but interesting and cool so give yourself a break on that as well! Positive thinking is a huge step in being happy I believe. Your dreams of helping other people all over the world is admirable and, to me at least, is more of a success than making money. Your parents just want you to be happy reallyóthey just define happiness differently, by what makes them happy which they assume will make you happy, too. Get involved in animal rights groups or an organization such as Amnesty International. Being around people with similar dreams and interests can help reinforce your own and help you remember that youíre not the only out there with this views so definitely get involved there! Your parents would see you involved, being active rather than just saying you want to do something, and will be much more supportive I believe.

Fourth, think about your futureócontinue to dream about it but donít just leave it to dreams but plans. When you need inspiration to get a good grade, think to yourself something like, ďI am working hard to make this the best math assignment/English paper/learning a foreign language, etc. I can do because it will help me learn skills I can apply to helping others/traveling around/etc.Ē And good grades help you get into the colleges you want to get into, if you decide you want to continue your studies, or help secure internships and jobs at home and abroad. I know at least I sometimes think I have to live my entire life before the age of 25 but the truth is that you can do as much if not more at 30, 50 or 80. If you decide you want to start a punk band at 43, whoís to stop you? So remember there are countless opportunities out there for you to take advantage of!!

Fifth, Iím going to repeat wobblyheadedjaneís point about staying busy. I, too, am actually happier to be busy. Not stressed but working hard. Take some of that time to volunteer at an animal shelter (where you can help othersí whoíve lost their pets) or get a job that will help you start to earn money to travel in Europe or buy that plane ticket to a developing country.

WowÖ and you thought your post was long! I hope what I wrote helped you see your own potentialóyou knowís itís there, all you have to do is start realizing it todayÖ little steps add up to big ones over time! (Hmm, can I add any more corny-yet-true clichťs?) Iíd love to read a reply about your taking action, whether itís making an appointment at a new therapist, finding a local fair trade group to join, etc. As for me, Iíll let you know if I attack this paper and get to bed at a decent timeÖ whoops! Thatíd be right now. How about holding a vegan party for some friends, to celebrate your anniversary as a vegan and help education others? Iím holding a vegetarian anniversary party (exactly one year from Jan. 20)ósomeone suggested it as a joke and I figured why not? Iím not the biggest party person myself but despite any worrying about it prior the the get-together, I always enjoy it while Iím there and afterwards.

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"I'm a cunning linguist" ~Princess Superstar

[This message has been edited by Ecofem (edited 01-24-2004).]


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