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Old September 1 2010, 05:16 PM   #1
Admiral Shran
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I Hate Myself

Some of you are probably already asking yourselves "why would you say you hate yourself"? Well, the answer to that is quite simple - I'm 31 years old and have the social skills of an extremely shy, socially awkward 11-year-old. I have a truly deep-seated fear of interacting with women, and even more especially with women I find attractive. I have absolutely no idea why I have this problem, but it's been there ever since I was in the 6th grade.

I've never had a girlfriend and have only been on three dates in my entire life (none of which went further than the first date and none of which went all that well to start with - mostly because of my anxiety). So that means that yes I am, in fact, a 31-year-old virgin, and that's putting it mildly. I'm a 31-year-old who's never even kissed a woman. Hell, I've never even done as much as hold hands with a woman. This is despite the fact that having a relationship is the one and only thing I actually care about in this world.

I'm really depressed about this, so much so that I have trouble getting out of bed most mornings. I've even considered suicide over it, though thankfully have never tried to carry it out.

I've been seeing a psychologist for over three and a half years due to this depression/anxiety and it hasn't really helped beyond lessening some of the pain momentarily (just by having someone to talk to about it). Though I can't fault the doctor for that failure, as she's really tried her best to help me. We've tried talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, systematic desensitization therapy, and a whole host of other therapies. We've even tried various types of medications (I can't remember all the different types I've been on, but I know I've tried Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Celexa, and Buspirone). However, I'm still unable to even make eye contact with women I'm interested in - I'm that anxious.

Add to that the fact that I honestly don't think my family or friends really care about the situation and that further fuels the depression.

My few friends just brush it off like it's some joke, telling me that "all you have to do is just talk to them." Try as I might to make them understand, they just can't or won't see that that is the problem - I can't just do it. That's like telling a person who's just had his arm cut off with chainsaw to just stop screaming because, after all, all he has to do is "just do it."

My parents, sister, and brother-in-law, whenever I bring up the subject with them, act completely indifferent about it and often seem like it's nothing more than a burden to them to have to deal with it. Pretty much the only "advice" I get from any of them is when they give me an order - not a suggestion, not a request, an ORDER - to get on Eharmony, like that is going to do anything. I tried Eharmony once, along with other online dating services, and guess what - nothing came from it. Then again, when you're too afraid to talk to women, even from behind the safety of a computer screen, Eharmony isn't going to get you much is it? In fact, they recently ordered me to try Eharmony again. So, I did. I've been on there for about a month now. Guess what - nothing has come from it because I'm too much of a coward to communicate with anybody.

And I'm not going to go into detail about my sister and brother-in-law, other than to say that it even further depresses that my baby sister beat me to the alter before I've even held hands with a woman. When they got married last October I had to be in the wedding party, since I was the only sibling of the bride. I even had to say the prayer at the start of the reception. I can tell you that that wasn't easy. It still amazes me that I was able to keep a straight face that entire day, since I was literally crying for myself inside.

Every day I get up and put on a mask for the world to see that says "everything's fine" because I'm too afraid to let my true feeling show. I've been thinking about posting this stuff here on TrekBBS for quite a while now. I think the only reasons I finally decided to do it were because I've been encouraged to do so by others, I simply had to get this off my chest somehow, and, thanks to my Admiral Shran handle, I can keep my anonymity.

So, if you've read this far, thanks for reading and what do think?
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Old September 1 2010, 05:27 PM   #2
Jetfire
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Re: I Hate Myself

This happens to lots of people...I think if you just put yourself out there with no expectations...you might have fun and actually meet someone you really like...but the more pressure you put on yourself the worse it gets.

This might not help...I hope you can see where I am coming from though.

[edit] Even though I have had girlfriends in the past and all...at this point I don't see myself dating ever again.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:31 PM   #3
Alpha Romeo
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Re: I Hate Myself

In my experience people with this problem were abused in some way as a child. Bullying, sexual abuse etc. was that the case? Were you bullied? If so, perhaps that is the root of your ills.

These women are not your bullies. It took me a long time to get past that.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:34 PM   #4
Finn
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Re: I Hate Myself

What do you do in your spare time. You might try to keep yourself busy doing things so you won't think about this too much (cliche perhaps but often true), and along the way, you might meet someone. However, None of us actually know you (as far as I know) so it would be tough to give the right advice when all we know about you are from your posts, and that most of us aren't trained for this kind of thing, even those who are going through what you are going through.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:42 PM   #5
Robert Maxwell
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Re: I Hate Myself

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
My few friends just brush it off like it's some joke, telling me that "all you have to do is just talk to them." Try as I might to make them understand, they just can't or won't see that that is the problem - I can't just do it. That's like telling a person who's just had his arm cut off with chainsaw to just stop screaming because, after all, all he has to do is "just do it."
That's just defeatist, right there. Yes, you can talk to them. Can you speak? Can you approach people? Are you physically capable of those things? Then yes, you can talk to women.

What do you have to lose? If you don't talk to a woman at all, then you've gained nothing. If you talk to her and she doesn't like you, you have still gained nothing but at least you didn't pass up the opportunity. And if you talk to her and hit it off, you've turned that opportunity into a potential friendship/relationship. Doing nothing is a 100% guarantee that your problem will persist for good.

I used to have crippling social anxiety. I had trouble making friends and dealing with people at all. I couldn't handle conflict. And some of my quirks (like having Tourette's) could put a monkey wrench into my dealings with people. But I got pretty sick of all that and started going out of my way to interact with people. Yeah, sometimes I got burned, but you really don't know what will happen until you take a crack at it.

What advice could anyone here really give you, when you're basically saying you've tried everything and nothing works? You really haven't tried everything, because you're unwilling to do the one thing that would solve this problem: actually talk to girls.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:43 PM   #6
Marten
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Re: I Hate Myself

I read it, but I am not nearly skilled enough to really help you.

One thing, though. Do you have any problem interacting with men? The few I have met with similar problems tend to think about nothing else that they are women. Of course, ignoring that fact might be tricky, but it must be done.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:47 PM   #7
Lindley
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Re: I Hate Myself

You may find it easier to talk to women if you aren't so concerned about finding a relationship. Simply interacting cordially is a start, say as part of a club activity of some sort. Then maybe you get to know some women a bit, maybe even get lunch together (as friends), etc.

Try not to get too hung up on anyone too soon, that just leads to overcaution and doubt in my experience. In fact, you may be more comfortable at first around women you know are "unavailable". It's just a matter of taking the unknown and making it normal, so that you can push on to the next unknown.

So that means that yes I am, in fact, a 31-year-old virgin, and that's putting it mildly. I'm a 31-year-old who's never even kissed a woman. Hell, I've never even done as much as hold hands with a woman.
A matter of months ago this was me, albeit at 27. Then someone came into my life very suddenly. It took me by surprise, and frankly I'm still getting used to it. You never know when these things will happen.

This is despite the fact that having a relationship is the one and only thing I actually care about in this world.
That's probably part of your problem. It's too important to you, so you're afraid of getting it wrong. Plus, you need to have common interests in order to establish a rapport with a woman.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:55 PM   #8
Robert Maxwell
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Re: I Hate Myself

Admiral Shran, something else that occurs to me--following on from what Lindley said--is that are you very unlikely to end up in any kind of meaningful relationship so long as you are so unhappy with yourself. It may be a cliche, but if you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? I get the impression you are latching onto the idea of getting a relationship as something that will make your life meaningful and therefore make you valuable as a person, but that's not true. You have to be valuable to yourself first. Think about your good qualities. Talk yourself up, mentally.

After all, what self-respecting woman would want to go out with someone who is so down on himself? If you think people can't tell because you put on your "mask," you'd be surprised how easily it is to pick up on body language and posture. You don't have to say "I'm depressed and alone," you can broadcast it for miles just by how you carry yourself--and people will avoid you.

I guess what this all boils down to is, focus on building yourself up first. Nurture some interests, get some friends (both male and female), stop thinking negatively about yourself all the time. As you get to know more people, relationships will follow naturally from that. You'll find women with common interests and maybe hit it off with someone. But first you need the confidence to crawl out of your shell and actually interact with people. Don't tolerate negative thoughts toward yourself. Just don't. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, put a stop to it and replace it with something that's good about you. There is being accountable to yourself--which is a good thing--and then there's self-hatred, and I think you're very much in the latter box at the moment.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:56 PM   #9
JonathonWally
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Re: I Hate Myself

Social skills are a muscle, with use they get stronger, with lack of use, they atrophy. I won't lie, the first few times it's gonna suck. You'll be anxious, nervous, and everything else. But you have to endure because after that, it gets easier and easier.

You need a wingman who knows your issues whom you trust and he has to know what he's doing. You'll learn that socializing is a fun game and not a serious encounter like you probably feel it is now.
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Old September 1 2010, 05:57 PM   #10
Gryffindorian
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Re: I Hate Myself

People with no self-confidence or low self-esteem need to get the HELL out of themselves. STOP taking yourself so goddamn seriously! STOP feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe if you don't focus so intently on yourself and instead focus your attention outward, you'll feel so much better. There are people out there who are much worse off than you.

I was once like that in a way, and to this day I'm still not much of a social butterfly. But it doesn't bother me because I know I have friends and family who care and whom I care about.
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Old September 1 2010, 06:00 PM   #11
JonathonWally
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Re: I Hate Myself

Drone36929 wrote: View Post
There are people out there who are much worse off than you.

.
Don't ever say that to someone. Seriously, that's like psych 101. Because now, not only do they still feel like shit, now they also feel guilty for feeling like shit.

Different people have different problems and different hurdles and people approach and react to them in different ways.
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Old September 1 2010, 06:08 PM   #12
melancholymecha
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Re: I Hate Myself

yeah I have the same probem as the op, Im 36, virgin, never been in a relationship (though I dont think I would enjoy being in one)but Im female. And also my sitch is a bit different cuz I also have Aspergers & it doesnt bother me most of the time. I love being alone, except when Im sick or Ive run into a problem I cant handle on my own then I need a family members help. I wish I could be more self reliant but Im also a big chicken & when Im scared or some complicated crisis happens I dont like being alone. But I also have major trust issues(especially with men) & Im currently am unable to work do to my social anxiety...yeeeah I think Im better off alone.
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Old September 1 2010, 06:09 PM   #13
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Re: I Hate Myself

JonathonWally wrote: View Post
You need a wingman who knows your issues whom you trust and he has to know what he's doing. You'll learn that socializing is a fun game and not a serious encounter like you probably feel it is now.
And hopefully your "wingman" won't steal your girl...this happened to me...he has to be someone already involved or someone you really trust that won't stab you in the back...but it helps if you are out at a club or bar to have a friend to back you up.
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Old September 1 2010, 06:11 PM   #14
Nerdius Maximus
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Re: I Hate Myself

Confidence is the key to your problems. Nothing turns a woman off more than an insecure guy who's always having a pity party for himself. Be confident. Walk in a room like you think you're a fuckin' badass. Don't be a douche, but be comfortable with yourself. Convince yourself that you're a great guy, and you'll project that.
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Old September 1 2010, 06:12 PM   #15
Robert Maxwell
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Re: I Hate Myself

Jetfire wrote: View Post
JonathonWally wrote: View Post
You need a wingman who knows your issues whom you trust and he has to know what he's doing. You'll learn that socializing is a fun game and not a serious encounter like you probably feel it is now.
And hopefully your "wingman" won't steal your girl...this happened to me...he has to be someone already involved or someone you really trust that won't stab you in the back...but it helps if you are out at a club or bar to have a friend to back you up.
Wow, that's a pretty dickish wingman, if you ask me.
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