I am a 16 year old junior in Utah, I am an only child whose parents are both over the age of 50. As such I grew up not knowing how to speak with other children my age. Now that I’m in High School and I’ve finally realized how to speak with my fellow classmates, they refuse to talk to me using the fact that I was a “freak” in our younger years. Recently I was turned down four times by four separate girls for Junior prom. I feel alone and unloved. My parents are often gone socializing with friends or on private vacations with each other. Every time I’ve tried to discuss my issues with somebody they tell me to take care of it on my own. I have no real friends, I’ve never even come close to being invited to a party, and I’m wondering if anything I’ll ever do will be worth it. Please help me, I don’t want to die alone.
Many famous people, even movie stars, have had a similar childhood to yours. They talk and write about being socially isolated, shy, shunned, the ugly duckling. This in no way stopped them from having a successful, fulfilling adult life.
Please understand that while your life might be difficult now it likely will get better. You are lonely and depressed but that could change in an instant. I would recommend counseling as soon as possible. Your parents may not be available to provide you with the proper emotional and psychological support but they can arrange for you to see a mental health professional. Request that your parents do so immediately. You should inform them about how you’re feeling. They need to know so that they can help. They may be completely unaware of how you are feeling. Make them aware. Don’t be silent. Get help.
I would also recommend that you speak to your school guidance counselor or another faculty member about how you feel. I’m suggesting this for several reasons. One is that they may be able to help you access mental health treatment. Secondly, they can discuss the problem with your parents. Another reason is because they may be able to connect you with a peer support group.
I would also recommend involving yourself in extracurricular activities. This would force you to be in the presence of others. When an individual is depressed they may not want to be in the presence of others but doing so can be a tremendous help. Often depressed people want to remain isolated but it only makes their situation worse. The more you interact with others the better you will feel.
I would also recommend volunteer work. Volunteer work has many possible benefits. One benefit is that it ensures interaction with others. Second, many people feel good about helping others. It can be immensely rewarding. Finally, volunteer work has the potential to give meaning to one’s life.
I hope that you will take my advice. Please let me know if you utilize some of these suggestions. If you feel overwhelmed or that you are at risk of harming yourself call 911 immediately. Please take care. I wish you the best.
Dr. Kristina Randle