I am not so different from my peers in many ways, but now it feels like I’m an entirely different person on the inside. I came from a middle-class family, got good grades and worked really hard. I was accepted to my dream school with a significant scholarship, but then had to leave after my first year due to financial reasons. After moving out on my own, I struggled to pay bills and rent and became depressed after being turned away from every job I applied to. I had few friends that lived nearby. My parents were going through their own financial difficulties. I was stealing food from the grocery store to eat. Eventually I had sex with an older, wealthy, married man for $500 so that I could pay rent. I did this about 2 or 3 times.. I do not think about this very often. I became very good at compartmentalizing my life.
Now I finally found a job, and I am so relieved. I also have a boyfriend, whom I was just starting to date at the time all of that was happening… I felt so guilty, but I couldn’t tell him what I was doing. I felt ashamed, but also had a sense of empowerment at the time… like I had pushed my boundaries so far that I was unbreakable. Maybe that sounds weird, but that’s how I felt. I felt very strong. And yet, at the same time I now feel empty… like I have lost touch with my sense of reality.
Nothing feels real… I feel like this curtain has been lifted and now my way of seeing the world is completely different. I have no boundaries for myself. I have a hard time feeling like I am actually a real person… like everything is just some dream. In someways I now feel antisocial. I would never ever hurt anyone, but I used to be so empathetic.. now I find most men disgusting and weak. It’s almost like some of them can SENSE what I did.. I get approached far more often now, even though I dress conservatively and have not changed physically. I just feel different… I have a hard time connecting to people. I have become a great actress. Sometimes I feel like I am just playing a role, and I wonder if any of my reactions to situations are real at all.
I am dealing with other issues too. Sometimes it’s so hard for me to even get out of bed, I am tired all the time. I have also been drinking quite a bit, and actually shoplifting the bottles of wine since I am under 21. It makes me feel alive and awake, but I always feel so guilty. I know it’s wrong, I know the world has consequences, and yet none of it feels like it has substance to me anymore.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you will not judge me too harshly. I always thought that I was a good person, but I have done things that many would find unacceptable. Carrying this secret has changed me. What can I do to feel passionate about my life again? Why do I feel like nothing is real anymore? I cannot afford therapy at this time, but I really want to try and work on myself. I don’t know how to move on from this chapter in my life. I used to be so full of life, but everything seems so empty now. Not sad, just empty and unreal. I don’t know where to go from here.