I need help :(


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I apologize in advance if this seems like a whiney post but here I go... *sigh* I'll try to condense it.

I am an 18 yr old college freshman and have never had a boyfriend, not even one of those silly elementary week-long-or-less deals. I guess it's not so much a relationship problem so much as a deep self-esteem problem with myself. I always was a shy kid, and it didn't get any better with awkwardness than ensued with puberty 'n stuff >.< I was kinda chubby so I started dieting, and during the summer before my junior year of high school, I believe it turned into an eating disorder though I was never diagnosed. I avoided everyone and focused on NOTHING except exercising and restricting calories. Sometime I find random journals and letters to myself from that time, and it doesn't even sound like me :( I totally had myself convinced that once I was thin, everything would be better and I would feel better. Even then I was miserable. Once I started school, I couldn't keep up the same diet/exercise habits so I fell into some unhealthy binging behaviors. I was pretty miserable/braindead for most of that year. As for my senior year, long story short: I really liked a guy, was happy b/c it distracted me from food and brought me a sense of normalcy, but in the end he didn't reciprocate my feelings and I was sad for a really long time. I feel so stupid about it now, but that's how I felt at the time.

Sorry that turned into a whole rant about weight :/ The thing is, throughout all of that I just wanted some sort of sympathy or comfort from my parents. I flat out told my parents I was effed up and they would be like "Oh, well, just don't get too skinny." If I ever cried to my mom she'd be angry and say "What do you want me to do about ?!" Even if she couldn't do anything else, I just wanted her tom comfort me because well, that should be a parent's instinct when their kid is crying imo. My parents have provided me with so much more than they had, as far as material things, but nothing emotionally.

Nowadays I'm living at a dorm, going to school, that's about it. I'm such an introvert but I can't help it. It's not as easy to get over extreme self consciousness as some people like me to believe. "Be confident." Much easier said than done. Sometimes I think I need therapy but the suggestion would just piss my parents off. Sometimes I wish I had someone to go to as a guide or mentor. Maybe I'm childish for that but I've never had to be independent, so it's not just gonna come to me like that.

Sorry this is really diverging from the topic of relationships. Yes, I would like one but I just don't feel mentally fit for it. I do get lonely but I'd be a terrible girlfriend and no one would want to deal with my amount of insecurities. Also, I just wanna focus on school but I know I have to learn to be able to be close to someone someday. My friend always tries to discretely set me up with people haha. Yeah they are nice, say sweet things, but superficial compliments do nothing for me. Stupid flirting dialogue is meaningless to me. It will take a helluva lot more than that for me to be comfortable and take any interest in someone. >.< idk idk I'm such a hermit so I'm not seeking these guys out haha. Maybe if I found the right guy, he could coax out the "old me." But maybe that's something I need to do on my own, not depend on another person for *confused*

If anyone actually reads this THANK YOU. Any advice, encouragement, similar expieriences...would make me feel better. Blahh I just feel so gloomy these days (these days=pretty much last 4 yrs of my life). It's a new year and a new semester and I want to change something but I just don't know how/lack the motivation. :(


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i'm sorry that you had issues with food when growing up and that your mum wasnt particularly supportive or comforting to you.

i think that the main thing you should focus on isnt getting a guy right now but just generally being more comfortable with yourself and going out more. do you have a best friend that you can go out with? perhaos start off with going to coffee shops and work your way up to clubs and bars. it will get you used to being around lots of people and you may also meet people in the process.when you are ready for a guy then you should maybe think about internet dating. so many people i know have had really great relationships with people they have met online. plus you may feel more comfortable chatting to somebody online first.


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Sweetie~You just took two immense big girl steps. One, in admitting that you have a problem and two, that you want to fix it. Getting therapy is something to be proud of. These days almost everyone is messed up one way or another and it does not carry the stigma that it once did, thankfully. I had a mother who didn't want me and a father who felt obliged to stay married to her, but the love was never there, not for each other and not for my sister and I. We each dealt with it differently. My sister lashed out, got in trouble, moved out and still dealing with anger issues by knocking people down to put herself up. It is all self-esteem issues. I kept it all inside and allowed myself to be an emotional victim, getting ulcer, losing weight, gaining weight, very introverted. Things changed as I got older and did get counseling. It is so relieving to talk to someone who is ojbective, whom you can say anything to, that nothing is little or stupid, and who can shed light on things like you have never seen before. I still see my therapist once or twice a year for about 45 minutes, just to run through things in my life and I seem to come out of each session like a huge burden has been lifted off me.

Guys are going to come and go in your life and there will be plenty of time for that, trust me! More than often we meet our soulmate through the most unlikely moments and places..finding someone who compliments us, accepts us with all our charms and baggage, an unconditional love. College was the best time of my life and I was not dating anyone at that time. I made friends when I didn't expect to. There are all sorts of clubs, groups, etc., to hang out with. Remember, everyone is in the same situation as you, same age group, same with leaving home and feeling lonely and afraid, even if they hide it. Take the opportunity to think of what you like to get involved with and see if there is any group you can join and just make a few friends. They will grow from there. Talk with the people you sit down and eat with. Talk with the people you sit next to. You don't have to become great friends with everyone, but it is the first steps in socializing and becoming more comfortable in your skin. They are just as nervous as you are. Everyone is always so afraid to be judged, but in most cases we are jumping to conclusions in what we "think" others are thinking. Does that make sense? lol

Is there any sort of Catholic Center or spiritual center at your college? You don't have to be Catholic/religious to drop by. Their job is to cater to people of all faiths and help those who need guidance. This does not mean you have to sit down and chat with a priest, but rather let them know where you are coming from and ask if they can recommend a therapist/mentor to you. Believe me, your situation is not that unusual...you are not alone. I almost went for my MA in Campus Ministry, so I know what I am talking about! You can also talk to an RA, Dorm Mom, or the health center. They all can give you some good leads. And you are 18....an adult...so you can make this choice on your own. Mum and Dad will just have to deal with it. Consider it the first step of becoming and adult and independent in a positive, strong and healthy way.

In the meantime, cyberhugs! ((()))


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LMD84 - I do have a very outgoing best friend but unfortunately she's at a different university a couple hours away so I don't see her much these days. I guess I'm having trouble making new friends here. I know I seem mean/disinterested but I'm just shy (or sometimes actually disinterested when creepers appraoch lol >.<). I did have a bar/clubbing experience a couple months ago...I guess it's a good way to meet people but that environment is so..not me. In the beginning of the year I made a little more effort, going to events on campus and such, so I think i'll try to do more of that? And hopefully meet some nice people. Yeah, maybe one day I'll do online dating even though it makes me feel lame but hey i've made some great friends online before. Thanks for replying<3

ElvenEyes- Thank you<3 and this -> "Everyone is always so afraid to be judged, but in most cases we are jumping to conclusions in what we "think" others are thinking. " IS SO ME. I'm super paranoid about what people think of me when they probably aren't thinking anything. I did join a student organization in the beginning of the year but then I just kinda faded away from it...couldn't really get into it. I know I shoul talk to people more but I'm such an awkward and unnatural conversationalist. I feel bad when people try to talk to me because I just don't know what to say haha. For some reason, small talk is the hardest thing but I sometimes I can just divulge my entire life story to anyone that will listen. I don't know if there's a spiritual center exactly but I know there are religious groups that would probably help me if I seek them out.

Thanks for the advice. I'll try to be more social or at least more approachable! I know I gotta do something about this. Eeek wish me luck ;3


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Quote: Originally Posted by megan92
ElvenEyes- Thank you<3 and this -> "Everyone is always so afraid to be judged, but in most cases we are jumping to conclusions in what we "think" others are thinking. " IS SO ME. I'm super paranoid about what people think of me when they probably aren't thinking anything. I did join a student organization in the beginning of the year but then I just kinda faded away from it...couldn't really get into it. I know I shoul talk to people more but I'm such an awkward and unnatural conversationalist. I feel bad when people try to talk to me because I just don't know what to say haha. For some reason, small talk is the hardest thing but I sometimes I can just divulge my entire life story to anyone that will listen. I don't know if there's a spiritual center exactly but I know there are religious groups that would probably help me if I seek them out.
Thanks for the advice. I'll try to be more social or at least more approachable! I know I gotta do something about this. Eeek wish me luck ;3

I do wish you luck and lots of fun! College is truly great, but it does take time to get your footing. In my first semester a co-ed fraternity befriended me because my roommate belonged to them and they asked me to pledge over and over again. I kept saying no. It was so not me and neither were all the heavy drinking parties, etc. They were always nice to me, but I did distance myself from them. I accidentally fell into the group at the Catholic Center (I was not Catholic) and ended up making some nice acquaintances and a few good friends who remained friends for a few years beyond college. Then we sort of drifted apart and I made new friends at work. Then we all drifted apart as we married or had families and my neighbours, relatives and co-workers became my closest friends. I think life is funny like that. We can make friends for life or some who are just stepping stones along our path, and we on theirs, and all of it is okay! Just part of the process of life! As for wondering what people are thinking, I am so there. I know what it is like and realized I was always jumping to conclusions and that people were often just as nervous as I was. I am still not a big social butterfly and never will be. That is okay. I am me. But I am a lot better socializing with people now than several years ago! Chin up, smile on your face and confidence in your heart!


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So much of your story reminds me of myself. :( I was highly self-conscious about my body for the longest time, even though I was never overweight, barely even chubby. But the girls around me were all so skinny that it made me feel worse about myself. In the first two years of college, the stress and poor self-esteem just kept growing stronger and I became a binge eater. It was one of the scariest times of my life, I had never felt so out of control. I constantly felt guilty about eating, I was obsessed with numbers, I'd go to the gym twice of a day, I'd eat till I was sick and crying but still couldn't stop. During this time, I DID have a boyfriend, but he wasn't a healthy eater or very into exercising either, so he didn't understand why I just couldn't stop eating if I didn't want to eat, or just skip going to the gym for a day. He was also not the type to compliment me either, and it didn't help my insecurity or self-esteem. All this is just to say, having a boyfriend definitely did not make anything better for me!

My parents don't believe in eating disorders, or any problem that has to do with mental/emotional issues. They think that you can just overcome these kinds of problems if you're a strong enough person and have the willpower. They couldn't understand why I felt so compulsive around food, or why I felt so guilty, and yet they STILL commented on my body, how I had gained (or even lost) weight whenever I came home from college.

My school's health center offered free counseling for students, and I spent several weeks having sessions with a psychologist who helped me. It helps to just let it out. Health professionals also can't tell your parents (if you're worried about getting in trouble) anything you've told them unless they have concerns that you're suicidal, a danger to someone else, etc. because of doctor-patient confidentiality law. I highly recommend talking to someone. I am also not the type to make close friends, and the only people I felt I could freely confide in were my older sister and my boyfriend (neither of them knew how to help though).

After those two years of feeling unable to control my life, I knew I needed to make serious changes. You have to MAKE change to SEE change, was what I told myself. I thought very seriously about things that were making me unhappy, and I took actions to change them:

1) My boyfriend and I decided to break up (because of other issues, but it wasn't a relationship I was benefiting from). This was very important for me, because I needed to learn to love myself instead of relying on other people's love to fulfill my need. As they say, you can't expect someone else to love you if you don't love yourself first. I became independent, I cut my hair, I changed my look.

2) I changed my college major, which had been in the sciences. I hated it, I was TERRIBLE at it, and I was only doing it because my parents expected me to. Getting Cs and Ds in my classes had been depressing me horribly. I switched over to something I loved (languages) and have never looked back. My parents are still very unhappy that I'm on a career track that they think will lead me to financial woes in the future, but I'm happy as I am. I love every day I go to class.

3) I got a part-time job. I cannot stress how much this helped. Like you, I was incredibly alone, and spent so much time by myself in my apartment that I knew it wasn't healthy. I applied for a job at my campus student bookstore, and it was the easiest, most natural way to bond with people, make friends, and, if you wanted to, it was definitely a way to meet guys. No joke, I was asked out by customers and co-workers on multiple occasions (I turned most of them down, it was pretty cheesy!) and made great friends and had an overall good time AND I was making money. I absolutely cannot recommend this to you enough. Being a cashier or some other kind of customer service job (at a store that guys AND girls go to) will help you learn to be more natural in conversation and meeting people, and you'll naturally form relationships with people before you even realize it.

Eventually, my focus turned away from food and exercise and my body. I learned to love things about me, starting with little things like my eyebrows and moving to bigger things, etc. It was a very gradual process, not quick by any means. Having other interests (like makeup!) helps too. I hope you find a combination of changes that works out for you! Don't worry, things can't stay the way they are right now forever. They will get better with time.


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Honey&LeomonGirl- Aww I'm glad you were able to change your situation for the better. I just looked at my school's website and there seems to be a counseling center as well so I guess I should check that out...it definitely wouldn't hurt. And you're so right about the job thing!! That would definitely force me to talk to people and get out of my room more. Since I don't work right now I took on a pretty large load of classes for this semester, so I dunno if I can handle a job but I'll take a look if anything's availalbe. If I can't I'll definitely try for a summer job since I'll likely being doing nothing then. It'd benefit me a lot for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience and what you did to change it, that encourages me :) I know things will get better, I just need to be more active it making it happen. I'm determined to make this year better than the last one!


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Ditto to everything ElvenEyes.

And I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to be happy. Such a simple concept yet so difficult to achieve. What activities do you enjoy? What makes your heart sing?

I went through a rather bad period a couple of years ago and didn't want to see anyone or do anything. A friend dragged me off to a freebie latin dance class, which lead to me taking up latin dance for good. It was the perfect distraction! Before I knew it I got out of my shell, made loads of friends, found a new hobby to enjoy and look hot doing it.

So find something you feel passionate about and go do it! There are heaps of college student clubs around - horse riding, ab-sailing, karate, book-club, flower arranging, dancing, gymnastic etc... surely there must be one that will interest you. A common interest gives you a starting point to relate to others in the club and, hopefully, will provide the opportunities you need to help build confidence in social interactions.

And finally, make a list of all your good qualities instead of focusing on all the not so great ones. Just by reading your post I can see a few already. You're honest, motivated, mature and capable of objectively evaluating your circumstances instead of blaming everyone for all things that aren't going right in your life. Already you're doing far better than I did when I was your age.

BTW, on a semi related topic. Think one of the oddest student club I came across was the Marijuana Appreciation Club. Apparently it was great until half of the club members got arrested for drug possession. So here's another point to keep in mind - do what makes you happiest, but always stay safe. :p

Wish you all the best. Take care.


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I agree with pretty much everything everyone said here and mostly wanted to post a good luck sort of thing... You are young and at a very self conscious age (it's pretty normal). It takes time to become confident and comfortable in your skin. There's nothing wrong with being shy or quiet, just don't let ANYONE try to change you or tell you that it's not. You can meet someone how you are. Even if you go to a club, be yourself. Don't jump out there and dunk yourself into foreign waters... you'll just end up unhappy. You will meet someone one day that will absolutely sweep you off of your feet, and all of this waiting will be worth it... xx


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Oh, sweetie. All of this sounds so familiar.

I'm 23, and I have Asperger syndrome -- it's a disorder on the autistic spectrum that means I'm supremely socially awkward. I can't read body language or detect change in tone of voice naturally, and only have been able to do so at all through looots of practice. I was horribly bullied in school and had to be homeschooled for high school, so when I started college, I talked to approximately no one. I had no friends, and just did school and then stayed at home every night.

In September 2009, one of my favorite bands was playing an opening set an hour away in downtown Houston. With 24 hours notice, I drove down to Houston by myself and saw a band I've loved for ten years play ten songs, then I drove home. I was shy, I was nervous, I barely talked to people, but I had fun. And I did it again a few days later, for another band. Now, I go to shows regularly, I have an entire group of friends and I'm generally happy with myself.

And, you know? It isn't easy. I, too, didn't have emotional support from my family. When I'd come home after being harshly bullied and be crying, my mom would say, "Well, if you didn't dress that way/if you didn't read books at school/if you didn't make such good grades, they wouldn't bother you." Nevermind that it wasn't right for them to bully me for any reason, she had to make it my fault. She's done that with everything, and my biological dad has always complained that I'm not bleach-blonde, fake-tanned, super-athletic and a cheerleader. My stepdad's a drunk, and my stepmom resents me. I get it. It's not easy, it's not comfortable, but I can't change it. It's not what you go through in life, it's how you go through it.

You know what, though? All it takes is one day, doing one thing that scares you. Before you know it, it's natural -- or at least, more natural than it was. I'll never be THE most outgoing person in the room, but I'm certainly a lot better now than I was two years ago.

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