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Struggling with Crippling Loneliness

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From the U.S.: I’m 17, and throughout my years on this earth I’ve never really had anyone stay around for long, and if they did I’d eventually regret that they did. My parents weren’t really much of parents, my brother had abused me for years, and I rarely see any of my other relatives. I’ve only been able to say the words I love you once in my life and mean them. I haven’t hugged anyone in years, I can’t remember when I last did anyways. In short, I feel unlovable, I feel as if this world doesn’t want me and subsequently has decided to leave me behind.

I recently broke up with said person I said that I loved, and she loved me too. But I ended up messing that up and ran away because I was afraid she’d just didn’t care about me. I’ve only realized recently how wrong I was, and how much I must’ve hurt the only person I’ve ever cared about. And needless to say I’ve been struck lonely. Again.

I’ve been seeing a counselor, which my parents are paying for. They’re not bad people in anyway way, they just didn’t feel like raising me all too much. and I’ve spoken with her about this, and she suggested that I go to meet ups. But I’m not too sure this suggestion will work, given that I’ve tried to find a structured environment(I can’t hold conversations well at all, so I’d need something that would give me a topic of conversation) in a meetup and I’ve come about empty handed. Most meet ups only seek adults well into there thirties and such, and I’m no more than a year behind eighteen. The only meet up I found that would allow me to go would be a board game meet up. But I don’t know anything about board games outside of base ones like monopoly. I feel i’d just be a burden.

But needless to say, I’m still terribly lonely, and I don’t know what to do. I still need to be able to love myself, but I still feel as if I can’t accomplish said goal until I have the love of another. What can I do to accomplish that task? Should I go to that board game meet up regardless of my knowledge ,or lack thereof, of board games? It may be the only option I have.

Struggling with Crippling Loneliness

Answered by on -


Seeing a counselor is a great way to start. I hope you are being as honest with her as you were in your letter.

Although I understand why you feel you need validation from someone else, the place to start is really with you. Currently, when you meet someone, you are kind of like a salesman who starts his pitch with “You wouldn’t want to buy this widget from someone like me, would you?” It doesn’t exactly invite someone to want to get close.

A meet-up may make you feel too vulnerable. I can suggest a couple of other things.

Talk to your therapist about finding a group therapy for you. Groups are run by therapists who help the members learn new skills for interacting with others. You will get feedback about how to be better at “personal sales” and you will get practice in using those skills with others in a safe place.

Volunteer! Find a project or charity or fundraiser in your community that attracts teen volunteers and get involved. When people are focused on getting something done, not on each other, relationships develop gradually and naturally. There isn’t the pressure to make friends.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Struggling with Crippling Loneliness

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). Struggling with Crippling Loneliness. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.