OMG I can’t believe I have finally found a website that explains how I feel. FINALLY.
For so, so long I have felt this way. I am 27 year old female and I have never had any type of relationship. Never had a boyfriend, need had a one night stand, never been kissed, never held hands, never been on a date. I feel like such a freak. I am well aware that most 12 year old have more experience then me and this only compounds my sense of depression and being a ‘freak’.
Of course I never aimed to be this way. I did not plan on this. But ever since I can imagine I have been like this.
At the moment, I have feel sheer terror around men my age, especially men I find attractive. I can’t breathe, I start to sweat, I feel light headed, I feel nauseous, I feel like I am choking, I find myself tense, I have trouble walking naturally, I feel insecure, UGLY and super self conscious. Then, if they appear to be interested in me, I freak out. I feel sick to my stomach. It’s like a lion is in front of me and I need to run for my life. I feel blind terror.
To say, I feel abnormal and embarrassed by my reaction would be a gross understatement. I feel completely ashamed, miserable and completely confused by my own behaviour. I know it is ridiculous, I know it is illogical. I know it is strange. I get depressed over the fact I am single and I will be alone for ever due to my phobia around dating, flirting and men and yet I seem powerless in that I have no control over this response. It is a reflex reaction. Every fiber of my being tells me to run away. It scares me more then anything.
I don’t know why I am like this. I wasn’t sexually abused. Although my parents split up when I was young and my dad lived a double life, so do many kids parents split up and they manage to date and get married.
Unfortunately I went to an all girls high school and this has not helped. I was already shy and extremely nervous growing up. I was bullied in school and it really dented my self esteem. I used to go to a few school dances with boys and I never got asked to dance and I felt so ugly and invisible. I did like boys but they never liked me. I got used to be invisible and seen as unattractive or undesirable. Then when I was 17 years old I was waiting at a bus stop and I remember a group of boys standing behind me. I was the only girl at the bus stop. I remember shaking with fear, feel so self conscious and ugly, my heart was beating. I just wanted to disappear. Where was the bus??? I was petrified. Then I heard them talk about me and one guy said ‘Oh god look at her, she is SO ugly’ and the others agreed and said ‘EWWW’. I think that small moment in time unfortunately was pivotal in my development. You see I had been bullied in high school by girls, I was ignored at school dances by boys and felt ugly anyway. Then to be confirmed that yes, I was ugly. It was the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle was put into place. It cemented my ugliness. I felt that my reality had confirmed what I already knew/feared boys did not like me, that they never had and they never would.
I went onto university and unlike many of my peers completely by passed dating. I focused on my studies and I was doing psychology so there were not many men in my classes anyway. I felt like I was too ugly to date so why even entertain the thought. I knew some guys at uni but not that well and they did not like me and I did not like them. I remained in my nun like existence of hard work and chastity.
I should say that throughout high school and university along with my crippling self esteem issues I had severe, chronic undiagnosed mental health issues. I was struggling daily with chronic OCD, obsessions relation to life, god, punishment,death and religion. It started when I was 13 and I was convinced I was going to rot in hell. Yes while other girls were buying chap sticks and braiding each others hair, I was seriously convinced that I going to burn in hell for all eternity with Satan. My sister was reading ‘Dantes Allerheris Inferno’ and it used to talk about the 7 circles of hell. At 13 I was preoccupied with burning hell and had obsessions about what if god punished me. So that gives you insight into why I did not have the confidence or time to think about dating. This continued throughout highschool and university.
I also suffered from panic disorder with agoraphobia and social anxiety. I felt paranoid that I was being viewed by others as ugly and I felt like I was being judged at university. I had trouble walking into the university cafeteria due to my crippling social anxiety. So this all interwove with my fear of dating as I was already struggling mentally to stay afloat. So I graduated from university and I had a mental breakdown. After about 8 or so years of undiagnosed mental illness It got to the point where I could not function. I could write an entire essay on my mental breakdown, the range of therapists, medications and things I have tried. I have been to hell and back so many times I have lost count. I don’t worry so much now about burning hell as I realise the worst type of hell is the hell that dwells within you and that being in hell is a state of mind. But in the time, obviously I did not date. In fact I was struggling with the temptation not to kill myself.I was fighting for survival and dating was and is the least of my worries.
However fast forward 7 years. Yes 7 years trying to recover from my mental illness and I find myself at 27 years old and never had dated. Where did the time go? While others were dating and falling in love. I was trying not to slit my wrists. I know that is crude but that’s the blunt truth. So now here I am at the age of 27 and the idea of dating makes me feel sick to my stomach. I am fine around men I am not attracted to. Generally. But men I find attractive I feel immense fear and sheer terror. The anxiety is overwheleming. And I am so drained, so so so so SO DRAINED from my all struggles I feel I don’t have the strength to put myself in anymore situations that drain me. It is so strong it has put me off dating all this time. I can’t even go into a bar or night club due to the crippling fear of ‘what if someone likes me and approaches me’. I realise my avoidance of romance will lead to a life of loneliness but at this point, being lonely almost seems easier then trying to date. The fear around dating or being seen as attractive is worse then the fear of being alone. Crazy right? I know how it sounds. No one gets it. I certainly don’t. I have overcome my other fears.
I was agoraphobic and could not leave my house. I had to relearn how to leave my house, how to catch a bus, how to drive, how to go to a movie. I learnt how to get on a plane. I have PTSD due to a unforeseen extreme life event which left me with PTSD. Those things I have been able to work on…..but this fear around love. There is such a block there. I don’t know why but it seems the hardest to break through.
Sorry for the essay but this has been about 15 years in the making this story and it is the first time It has been shared.