What’s Wrong with Me?
From a teenage girl in Phillippines: i am listing things that i experiences that i have trouble understanding.
– i lie. i lie a lot and people believe me all the time, i always feel like the moment they knew me for who i am, they’ll leave me. sometimes i try to tell the truth and it always sounds like a lie.
-i am currently in my senior year and my friends know me as a socially awkward person with claustrophobia. i don’t have claustrophobia but i enjoy the feeling of them taking extra care whenever we are at tight places. i am not socially awkward (i think so) because i have many friends and can befriend someone easily.
-i tend to try to manipulate the people around me for no reason, i always ruin my relationships as soon as someone gets too close to me.
-i once was sexually abused but my family said it’s not true and that all of it was just a dream. at night, i am troubled by those memories and am confused whether they are true or only a dream.
-i want to be punished but not verbally.
-my parents are on constant war and they hurt each other physically and sometimes i want them to die (this is wrong but i’m just telling the truth)
-i get thoughts like wanting to hurt someone, torture and kill someone involuntarily, these thoughts grow stronger when i’m angry and i secretly start to think of the most painful way to kill someone, since i wont and cant do it, i hurt myself instead.
-i have been wounding myself whenever i get urges to hurt someone.
-i want to smoke so badly. i get urges to do a lot of wrong stuff and all day i would get these urges unless i give in to the craving, most of the time i just wound myself to stop the craving.
-i always end up ruining things.
-i want someone to know me for who i am but i don’t know how they’ll accept it.
-i was bullied in my junior years and those memories sometimes comes back and i get panic attacks.
-i cry at times for no reason. there is just too many thoughts in my mind that sometimes i get tired of it.
-i want to die so badly, my family know i am wounding myself, they talk to me at times but i just dont know how to explain things to them. how can you explain something you dont understand?
i would like to know whats wrong with me, i want to fix myself. thank you.
A: You have many, many reasons to be upset. Sexual abuse, bullying and warring parents can make a kid feel very unsafe and insecure. It’s no wonder to me that your feelings are all over the place. All of the behaviors you are worried about look to me like ways to you are trying to feel more in control when life feels unpredictable and even dangerous.
Lying and manipulating people may be a way to try to have some control. So is hurting yourself. Wanting to hurt others may be yet another way that you are telling yourself that you are deeply hurt.
The healthiest part of your letter is that you want to “fix” yourself. I agree that there is something to fix. You deserve to be more at peace with yourself and to take better care of yourself. I think you need to see a therapist who can help you sort out your feelings and who can support you as you deal with your complicated past (and present).
Since you are in your senior year, you are at a transitional time of life. This is an excellent time to take charge of yourself and get the help you need. Find a therapist so you can work on getting ready to leave home and to establish a healthy adult life.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2017). What’s Wrong with Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/12/23/whats-wrong-with-me-17/