Am I Really Normal?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

First, I would like to apologize in advance for my somewhat weird English, I’m from a country in Central Europe. I seek your advice because I feel lost.

Thank you very much for reading this in advance.

Even when I’m writing these words, I feel quite nervous and ashamed of myself feeling this way. One could say I’m ashamed of being always ashamed. I don’t see any real value in myself.

I’m almost 28 years old and never had a relationship. There was one man, whom I felt affectionate for but my love was unrequited. I even made a fool of myself in front of my friends (a not very big circle of friends). This happened several years ago and I started to avoid these people. I don’t talk to them anymore.

If people try to get closer to me I tend to push them away. Whenever a man tries to form a relationship with me I scare him away (luckily there were not many attempts). I lye that I’m not single, or find some other excuse. I can’t stand the thought of someone touching me ‘that way’. Once I got a love-letter from a nice boy, it was a romantic poem, but when I read it all I felt was fear. I was terrified. I threw it out as soon as it was possible.
The same thing happens if a man tries to contact me on a social networking site.
I feel sorry for the men, they are usually nice people who deserve someone better than me.

My social circle only contains of my closest family: my parents and my sister. We live together but they know nothing about my thoughts. I can’t even properly express my love to them. Yet I don’t wish to move away because then I would be completely alone. The very thought of moving away from my parents scares me. And what will happen if something happens to them? I think I could not live any longer. I’m like a leech.

I work at a supermarket, so I have to deal with a lot of people. I’m trying to be very nice and friendly with them, I’m smiling most of the time, but inside my head I sometimes wish they would all just go away and leave me alone. When I’m feeling offended by them I get very-very angry inside and hate them so much. The anger just burns and burns sometimes even for hours and I can not let it burst out. All I can do is to stand there and smile. Many costumers think that I’m a nice cashier they even praise me sometimes, but I just feel the guilt and a dark hole in my chest.

To ease the frustration I hit myself for punishment (at home). For being bad. Disrespectful. I write words on my skin with a pen (like: bad, dirty).

Sometimes I wish I would be a robot so I would not feel anything and just vegetate away.

I don’t tend to go out much, I usually sit in front of my PC and surf the net or watch movies. These deal as great distraction, so I don’t have to focus on reality. When watching a movie I’m comletely absorbed in it, and I really tend to forget about my problems. But the movies end eventually and everything comes back.
Well, the movies don’t end completely actually, I use them as fuel for the fantasy world in my head.

I really love to seek refugee in there, where I’m a lot more dependable, lovable and pretty. That is my safe haven. But lately the imagined scenes have become more bloody and violent. I inflickt grave injuries to myself (or a different character does this to me). Yet I can’t stop this and it somewhat satisfies me imagining my own blood flowing around me. Whenever I feel down, I travel to this bloody imaginary world and go berserk there. Sometimes I even imagine killing myself.

From the outside it looks like I’m just randomly sitting before my PC or doing everyday cores (cleaning etc.).

Some time ago I tried to talk to a friend about my feelings, about the anger. He said this is normal, I’m just jealous.

Is this really normal? If it is, than I’m the most horrible person on Earth.

Thank you very much for taking your time and reading these lines.

A. I am very sorry to hear about your suffering. Make no mistake, you are indeed suffering. You’ve kept your feelings bottled up for so long that your sadness has morphed into anger. You also have no outlet to release this pent-up anger. These feelings have led you to engage in physical self-destruction and to consider suicide.

You’ve used fantasy to escape these problems but they can no longer be ignored. What began as a relatively minor issue has become a major issue. Ignoring your problems or not accessing treatment has made them worse. Perhaps you thought that you could handle them on your own. Maybe you didn’t believe that anything was wrong or maybe these problems were too difficult to face. The reality is that these problems are significantly interfering with your life and must be dealt with. The fact the you have considered suicide is evidence of the seriousness of these problems.

I cannot tell you why you have these problems because it would require me to know about your psychosocial history. I would recommend being evaluated by a mental health professional as soon as possible. Mental health professionals are trained to deal with these very problems. They receive advanced training and specialize in helping people to overcome psychological problems and regain their lives. I would strongly advise against ignoring these problems because they may only become worse.

The good news is that the problem that you have described is easily treated. You lack a belief in yourself. You just doubt yourself. Losing your boyfriend may have caused this problem or aggravated it. Now you think that you just aren’t good enough. That isn’t even close to the truth. Oftentimes people look to others to tell them if they are good enough to be loved. This is always a mistake. You are good enough to be loved. You just haven’t met the right man. This is partly due to the fact that you turn your potential suitors away. You turn them away because you think that you aren’t good enough for them and they would be disappointed if they really got to know you. Have faith in yourself. I do.

Please take care and let me know how you are doing.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 May 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Am I Really Normal?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/25/am-i-really-normal/