Not Sure I Matter

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Lately I’ve been treated really bad by my best friend. She lives with me because her mother isn’t the best. She’s been lying to me a lot lately and being mean to be all because she’s in a relationship. I just 20 minutes ago, found terrible things she’s told and said about me to her boyfriend. “She is…unattractive and fat..” “She needs to go [language] herself.”. She’s told him VERY personal things I thought I could trust her with about me…She’s told him my secrets…and recently so many people have told me I was ugly. I believe it. I’ve always been called fat, ugly and terrible. I feel like I’ll never have friends because I’m anti-social and have a problem with thinking everybody is thinking bad about me or talking about me behind my back. I spend a lot of time on my computer because my only true friends are my role-play friends. I’ve known my best friend for eleven years now and we’ve always been so close.. We would argue a little, but make up. Now it’s all just so much..Because this is the fifth time I’ve seen her say things like this about me to her boyfriends in a year. She says these things about me, and they are so hurtful..I can’t even handle it anymore. I don’t talk about her behind her back, at all. I’ve spent so long trying to be the perfect friend to her because I really care about her and she’s the one person I was able to go too. Now when I truly need her, she isn’t here for me. I feel like I’ve lost everything and everybody aside from my parents, and I’m not close enough to talk to them about everything. I feel worthless, disgusting, fat and hideous. For the first time in my life, I have truly wanted to commit suicide, but I know the effect that would have on my younger brother and parents..and I couldn’t hurt them like that. I love them so much. I don’t go out, I don’t party. I don’t do all the things these other teenagers do. I care about my parents, and I know that they know best. So I don’t fall into peer pressure and I don’t try to do bad thinks like do drugs, have sex or get drunk…I’m also home schooled, so that makes my anti social personality worse…It’s getting to the point where I can’t even talk to new people without going into an anxiety attack and sobbing for hours because I think they’re thinking bad things about me. I just want to be pretty, and I want people to like me. I have no friends, aside from my online role play friends, and I am VERY grateful I have them..I just feel so worthless and like I don’t belong anywhere. I am embarrassed to go out in public, because I feel so ugly.. I just wonder if I even matter anymore..

A: I’m so glad you wrote. You’ve been suffering with these feelings for far too long. It sounds to me like your friend is feeling competitive with you. You have loving parents. She doesn’t. She may not realize that she is tearing you down to make herself feel more important than she feels.

I’m very concerned about how lonely you are. Home-schooling can be wonderful academically but it can also be socially isolating. Unfortunately, the very thing your are using to help you feel connected with other people (online roleplaying) isn’t helping you at all with the development of social skills. People in games can certainly be important. But it’s equally important to feel secure about your ability to get along with others up close and pesonal.

As difficult as it may be, it’s very important for you to start finding ways to be with other people your age. The neat thing about volunteering for a cause, for example, is that you don’t have to be instant friends. You can just focus on getting a job done while you’re around other people. That’s often a good way to start re-entering the social scene. You might also want to join or start a gaming group for people who want to get together now and then to talk about strategies for your roleplays, for example. The point is to find ways to wade into new social experiences.

If that is all too, too frightening, I hope you will consider some therapy. A therapist can help you understand yourself better and help you work on your hurting self-esteem. Therapy also provides a safe place to figure out how to build social skills.

In the meantime, if you need someone to talk to, please call the Boys and Girls Town Hotline. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to teens who are hurting. Their number is 800-448-3000.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Not Sure I Matter. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/07/i-just-wonder-if-i-even-matter-anymore/