It is clear that you are suffering deeply. I’m sorry that you’re having such a difficult time living. My heart goes out to you.
You mentioned that you were sexually abused twice in your life. The abuse that you suffered very likely has a lot to do with how you’re feeling. It also likely explains why you have difficulty trusting others. You were hurt and understandably you do not want it to happen again. Relationships are difficult. You don’t want anyone to get too close. You are guarded. In an effort to essentially hurt yourself before someone else does, you purposefully harm yourself. It may also be your way of gaining control. What you may be experiencing, at least in part, is post-traumatic stress. Post-traumatic stress is a common response to trauma. People who have experienced traumatic experiences may feel emotionally numb. Some describe this numbness as being almost detached from life.
With regard to college, maybe it wasn’t for you or maybe it was. With your emotional problems, it’s not fair to judge how suitable college is for you. You went to college because that is what your family wanted. You view that as something negative but try to think about it from a different perspective. You are learning about what makes you happy; you are experiencing life. Maybe you are meant to be an artist, a musician, a gourmet chef or a college professor. It is the wrong point in your life to come to conclusions about your future career.
You wrote that you essentially do not know how to continue with living. I would concur with this statement. You need guidance. Everyone in life needs guidance. You need the help of a wise, competent and knowledgeable therapist who can help you overcome this unpleasant time in your life. You mentioned depression, experiencing passive suicidal ideation, and having panic attacks. What you didn’t mention is whether or not you’ve ever tried counseling. You could greatly benefit from counseling. If you have not tried it, then you have not given yourself an opportunity to improve your life. Life has ups and downs. Your life may be unpleasant now but do not believe that it will always stay that way.
I hope you will consider therapy. Please click on the find help tab to find a therapist in your community. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on October 3, 2010.