I am 14, and I am really quiet. I usually go about a day to a week without speaking to anyone besides my parents. I have a unique style in clothing and have gotten bullied for it. I hate talking to people, it terrifies me! I get lightheaded, I sweat and I can barely form words. I am a straight a student, and I participate in numerous clubs. I love public speaking, but any sort of one on one interaction, I freak out. If I am the group leader on an assignment, I just let everyone do what they want and do the work myself. I began “scraping” myself with a razor (not breaking skin, but basically cutting) and have no friends anymore. My best friend, we will call him Scott, he and I were super close. Then, when I began to be silent, he just grew apart from me. I realized I have feelings for him, but I can’t get up the nerve to say anything, to anyone, especially not him! I have no self confidence, and I am teased a lot for being a “boy” I am a female, but I hate dresses, skirts, and all girls clothing. I used to hang out with boys, and I burp, pass gas, and act in public. But now, I don’t make a sound. People have begun calling me emo again because I dress differently and listen to different music. The only reason people talk to me is for homework help, or to mess with me. People call me mouse or guinea pig because I am so quiet and a girl in the locker room pulled down my shorts to show the scars I Had on my hips. She then laughed and called me emo, and told me I would die a virgin, so why not die now. I don’t know what all is wrong with me, but I know there is at least one thing. Can you help please?

A: Thank you for having the courage to write about bullying. It sounds like what is wrong has to do with how you have been treated. The good news is that it sounds like you know how to make connections when you want to be able to speak in public, having many contacts in a number of clubs, and doing great in school. These are strong positive elements for you and indication of your strengths. I suspect you have many more and invite you to talk to your school counselor about the bullying. School counselors are trained now to help, and being able to talk about what is happening with a trusted adult would be an important place to begin.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral