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I Feel Caged in My Own Body

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From a 19-year-old woman in S. Africa: Recently I got out of a 4-year drug influenced relationship but the feelings I had for him faded away after about a year but he kept me caged in because of the drugs, I was his money bank. But after we broke up and me getting clean of off the heroin, I started getting back into reality and my past slapped me through my face harder then ever, I went through a rough time when I was 13, things happened and I got pregnant then my mom made me have an abortion. And then when I was about 15 I met my father for the first time only realizing he is an alcoholic that meets his daughter drunk for the first time, treating me like his girlfriend. Luckily I reconnected a month after me and the druggy broke up,with an ex I had when I was 14 and it was like we picked up where we left off and he also helped a lot. Everybody said I’m moving on to fast but it felt like I was single for 3 years anyway.

But I am still very depressed and get very sad and angry for no apparent reason at all or even just start crying all of a sudden. My problem now is I have a very low self-esteem, and it started since the things happened when I was 13, but now its just worse. And I keep comparing myself to my boyfriend’s ex, that I’m not thin enough or not short as she is, I’m too ugly and worthless to deserve him, things like that. I even get suicidal more than usual. What can I do? I don’t know what’s going on anymore I can’t even focus on what’s in front of me anymore. Please any advice would be very appreciated. Kind regards

I Feel Caged in My Own Body

Answered by on -


At 19, you’ve had more sad, unfair, and traumatic experiences than people many times your age. It’s not at all surprising that your self-esteem is low and that you are so insecure. Your friends are right. You are not in any shape to make a strong positive relationship with anyone. You first need to make a strong positive relationship with yourself. That means getting some therapy to help you recover from all the trauma and to recover the self you are meant to be.

You do have a core of strength. You broke up with a very bad boyfriend. You got clean. You are still willing to try for love. That’s actually pretty amazing. Give yourself lots of credit for that!

You may feel old and weary but you are only 19. You have plenty of time to find a partner and to make the kind of relationship you want and deserve. But if you want to do that in a healthy way, and if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to do your personal work. Please continue to take care of yourself by finding a therapist.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Feel Caged in My Own Body

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Feel Caged in My Own Body. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 27 Oct 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.