I was fine until 7th grade ended, and then its like my memory jump skips to constantly being worried and miserable.
When I was going through 8th grade I reached a point were I decided to work on what was bothering me so I could be better, but thats when I realized I had no idea what was bothering me. Looking back before all of this started though I’m not sure if I ever was fine, when I was younger I never considered any other kids to be my friend really, a lot of adults though.
I did eventually move to a place were I kinda grew comfortable with everyone, and while I used to consider that time to be the peak of my life, looking back there were still flags then to. Im not exactly sure when, but between 2nd and 5th grade I developed maladaptive daydreaming, and while I felt fine for some reason little me felt compelled to feel emotional pain, I used to purposefully seek out depressing content to put myself in a bad mood, I honestly still kind of do this. During this time I developed a crush in which I became obsessively and honestly kind of creepily attached to him which drove him away from me in the long run,(this repeated in 7th).
Anyways after 5th grade I moved away from that place to somewhere else, I got adjusted and made new friends and everything seemed fine until 7th grade ended. Going into 8th I originally had hope, I hoped I go back and I’d fall back into the old groove of things and everything would be fine, but when I got back it was just more issues.
I didn’t trust anyone, every time I was with my friends I just felt alone, and I figured they probably wanted me gone so they could actually have a good time. My anxiety, (that was previously nonexistent), was at its peak, i’d have shooting pains, hypnic jerks, and would frequently fall into states of depersonalization/derealization. I finally came to the conclusion that the way to stop hurting, was to stop caring.
I’d repeatedly tell myself, “I don’t care about anything, I don’t care about anyone”, in hopes that I would believe it, I’m not sure if that had any effect on me, but after 8th grade ended I just stopped caring. I still had symptoms of anxiety and depression, but they were no longer manifesting themselves into physical symptoms. I still felt unwanted by my group of friends so I just stopped hanging out with them. I wouldn’t say I felt happy, but I wasn’t miserable, I was just kind of done I think.
Going into high school I still didn’t really have any friends because I was to scared to talk to anyone, and when they made an effort to talk to me, all I could think in response to there advances were one word answers. I started to grow more fearful of the future as I realized that my childhood was running out and I had no idea what I want to do with my life. I know people say “pursue a career in your interests” but nothing interests me. If I could truly do anything in life, I’d find a secluded area from everyone so I could listen to music and be alone to my fantasy world.
I guess that’s kind of were i am now, done, and fearful of the future. I can recognize that not all my thoughts are correct and 90% of the bad things that im convinced everyone feels about me, are probably caused by my anxiety, but even being actively aware of that I still don’t feel any different.
I just hope that someday I can be normal, I fear that all I’ll have to remember my teenage years, is me sitting alone in my room listening to music. I wish I could go to social outings and take risks, and have new experiences, and I realize for that to happen I have to take the initiative, but everytime I get handed a chance to do those things I shy away from them because in the moment that all sounds like a terrible idea to me because I much rather be left alone, and its not until later that I regret it.
A part of me wonders if this all karma, and I’m actually a bad person, or a narcissist thats suffering the consequences of her actions.
There are other certainties in life besides death and taxes. Chief among them is emotional pain. No matter how charmed a life anyone leads, suffering is inevitable from time to time. We should expect it and develop the tools to endure it. It also helps to have a supportive group of people in your life who can serve as a buffer for the more difficult times.
The teenage years are especially difficult. You’re experiencing that now. Ask virtually anyone about their teenage years and invariably, unless their memory is faulty, they’ll be able to relate to what you’re going through. There were many ups and downs in life.
You mentioned feeling bad about yourself because you don’t know what you want to do with your life. It’s impossible to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at such a young age. It takes a great deal of time, exploration and effort to know what you want to do. At your age, it’s unrealistic to think that you should know how you want to occupationally spend the next half-century or longer. You’re too young to make such a major decision. Take the pressure off.
You should try many things. You should read up on many things. You should explore many ideas. Job shadow people who are working in careers that you think would be interesting. Be open-minded and never think that you’re supposed to know things before you’re ready.
You should consider discussing these matters with the school guidance counselor. Vocational tests can help to narrow down your interests.
You may not know what you want to do with the rest of your life for a while and that’s okay. It’s perfectly acceptable and normal. Take your time, do your research and don’t make a decision prematurely. Most college students change their majors, often dramatically so.
I have worked with people who didn’t think too much about what they wanted to do for their careers and simply chose based on what their parents wanted or what they thought they should do. These individuals were often miserable in life because of this.
I see a similar thing occurring among students. They chose a major prematurely because they felt pressured to choose because our culture suggests you “should” know. Sometimes, even when they realize they’ve chosen the wrong major, they stick with it because in their minds, it’s too late to start over. Then they graduate with a degree in a field that they have no interest in and now they’re stuck. It would have been far better for them to have taken their time and explored all areas and only had made a choice when they were ready. Few things are more important than choosing your career. Take your time and don’t feel pressure to decide prematurely.
You mentioned anxiety. Anxiety is a highly treatable condition. I would strongly urge you to contact an in-person therapist. All of the issues that you have described in your letter are amenable to counseling. It could make all the difference. Give it a try. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle