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Question
Posted by: P | 2010/10/25

Is this too unusual?

I''ve been quite confused lately. Sometimes I''m in my room and I feel a certain way, then I get out of the room and, if I see someone, I feel very awkward. It takes a few minutes for my ability to interact normally to awake. It feels like I''m in a dream, and then it starts to feel more real. But only sometimes. Other times, I just go downstairs and I''m totally normal around others (Note that I''m talking about people I live with and see every single day.) I also experience huge emotional changes in other situations. Sometimes I''m with my boyfriend and I feel I was much happier with my ex. Then I''m with my ex and I''m happy that I have a new boyfriend. But then I wish I had no one because they both don''t feel right for me. And then I miss my ex. And even if I''m alone.. I could be very happy and sure of what I want for my future, then I read something sad and I suddenly want to die because I can''t picture myself as a wife or mother someone would like to have. I''m 25 but I have great difficulty picturing a life in which I have a significant role, like being a wife or mother (though I could be very professional at work). I am responsible and have lived on my own for 3 years a few years ago, but my problem is that if someone talks to me or looks at me or says they love me, I always feel like " Wow, are they really looking at ME/ talking to ME/ do they really love ME?"  I like the idea of being loved, it''s not that. But if someone loves me, I become afraid that I might fail and disappoint them, and consequently lose them. (Even the idea of people looking at me seems strange because for the longest time I spent the biggest part of my days with a blind friend, so I didn''t have to deal with eyes looking at me that often and I got used to that somehow and I''m now learning to be with people who do look at me and whose eyes i look at.)

I used to be a very unusual child. I''m the eldest of 5 children, two of which are 1 1/2 and 3 years younger than me, with whom I played most as a child. However, just a few years ago one said to me: " Where were you when we were children? I don''t remember seeing you."  That shocked me, to be honest, for I remember them both very well. But I also remember playing alone a lot and lying in my bed for hours and hours with my door locked, looking steadily at the lamp and daydreaming. I LOVED to daydream, and I didn''t like it when parents interrupted me because they wanted me to eat or do something. I also had this obsession with names (I even had a notebook where I wrote every single name I heard of on a daily basis and I used to draw people and give them names) and this awkward habit of playing with my doll''s hair, moving it back and forth during the whole play time. I remember I knew how odd that was, for I tried not to let anyone see me play like that. Another odd thing that I still have is the need to make everything shine when I clean. I''m not obsessed with having everything 100% clean all the time, but when I clean, I try to do as perfectly as possible. This doesn''t happen with other things in general, although I also enjoy writing with my best handwriting whenever I have time for that.

I''ve always felt uncomfortable in my clothes, especially as a child. I used to move awkwardly but that was because my clothes felt so uncomfortable.

Because of all of this, I''ve always had trouble making friends. I was very shy too and would even pee in my pants because I was too afraid to ask the teacher to go to the toilet (and I didn''t have a very strong bladder, so I couldn''t wait long.) I seem very apathic too, especially around women (I''m a woman), but deep down I''m very good at reading people''s faces or understanding their feelings. However, I never find the right words and tone to express my concern. (With men, I sometimes do, though. I feel much more natural around men and I like them a lot more too.)

I''m trying to become more natural in social interactions, despite the fact that I keep changing emotionally and seem to contradict myself a lot, which makes people say I''m a phony/ cynical.

So what I''d like to ask you is: Is it reasonable to think I can change by myself or do I need a little help?

I believe we can change the way we think/feel, if we want to (I used to believe gays/lesbians were unnatural for example, but now I respect them and defend their rights). But I don''t know how far we can change and how permanent those changes would be. But I wish I could be as natural and spontaneous as I am inside.

P.S. I''m strangely obsessed with rape (like I don''t like to see little girls just in their panties because I fear for them), but I don''t remember ever being raped, although my sister was.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello P,
This sounds like a rather confusing and uncomfortable way to be. There are so many possibilities about what may be awry and how it could be put right, that what would be best would be for you to see a good local psychiatrist for a proper in-person assessment, and then a discussion of what seems to be wrong and what treatment options there are.
In recent years a surpisingly large number of rather complex conditions have been recognized, some of which might fit with your sort of experiences and concerns, and which can be helped, perhaps with psychotherapy and perhaps also with some medications. I'm sure there's a lot you could do for yourself, too, if you had the right help to start with - because it's so important to be clear what you are dealing with, and what your aims should be in whatever you would do on your own to complement whatever expert help you got to make some strengths out of some of these awkward concerns.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/25

Hello P,
This sounds like a rather confusing and uncomfortable way to be. There are so many possibilities about what may be awry and how it could be put right, that what would be best would be for you to see a good local psychiatrist for a proper in-person assessment, and then a discussion of what seems to be wrong and what treatment options there are.
In recent years a surpisingly large number of rather complex conditions have been recognized, some of which might fit with your sort of experiences and concerns, and which can be helped, perhaps with psychotherapy and perhaps also with some medications. I'm sure there's a lot you could do for yourself, too, if you had the right help to start with - because it's so important to be clear what you are dealing with, and what your aims should be in whatever you would do on your own to complement whatever expert help you got to make some strengths out of some of these awkward concerns.

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