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Unread 05-24-2017, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

I used to have friends. Well, at least I think they were friends, but I guess I've never really understood friendships. The friendships with the ones I was closest too were destroyed because of my sexuality.

Speaking of that, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to have friends at all because I'm in a relationship. And you're not supposed to be friends with the gender you're attracted to right? And I'm bisexual, so it would be wrong for me to have friends according to that logic. And despite me trying to suppress the hell out of it, I still have too high of a sex drive. I would be found out if I ever tried to get remotely close to people. People in the past have called me creepy.

I'm sure it's morally wrong and I'll be judged severely for it, but I have a very masculine personality and I've always wished I could have male friends. We would have way more in common, but since I was born with the wrong "equipment", they wouldn't be comfortable with me around unless I were sleeping with them and even if I WERE available, little to none would be interested. So that's out.

Even ignoring all the issues with sexuality and gender, I've never been good enough to associate with my peers, the ones I have tons in common with. It's not about meeting people, it's about finding people I'm good enough to be around. Unfortunately, they don't really exist.

The most recent therapy did a lot of harm to my self esteem and made me believe that I was supposed to just give up and quit going after my dreams. That I'm just a joke or something. I'm not sure I want to pursue therapy again for a long time. Besides, I probably won't have insurance at the end of the summer so it won't be as possible anyway. Self-help books have had a similar effect as well...

So, there's not really any answers or hope. I guess I just want to understand why other people are able to have friends and not feel like they're doing something wrong/immoral. I guess it goes back to having a sex drive. Is there a way to just completely ignore it so friends could be a possibility?
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Unread 05-24-2017, 06:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

I must be missing something here. My daughter has more male friends then female and they're all just friends. I get that you have self esteem problems (I'm really sorry there...I do as well). You are as good as anybody you want to be friends or lovers with. I guess what I'm not getting is how the sex drive comes into it. Have you been caught cheating? Have you had strong friendships that your sex drive ruined? I really want to understand and support you so you don't feel alone.

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Unread 05-24-2017, 06:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Am.The.End. View Post
The most recent therapy did a lot of harm to my self esteem and made me believe that I was supposed to just give up and quit going after my dreams. That I'm just a joke or something.
Right now my face is going through every emotion known to Man, and settling on *facepalm*. What kind of therapy did you get, "Better Living Through Learned Helplessness"!?!?

Seriously though, any therapy (or feedback from others in general) that leaves you feeling worse off than you started was clearly a case of the therapist or technique isn't a good fit, or the practitioner doesn't know how to help you. I don't think abandoning hope in whatever gives you a sense of meaning or satisfaction in life is helpful at all.

There is a diagram known as "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", NOT "Maslow's Hierarchy of Negotiable Options That Are Kinda Nice But Oh Well"! I've come to realize just recently that the things that make me feel alive (and therefore non-depressed!!) are in my mind, "highly negotiable and probably not going to happen anyway" (in the words of my inner self-doubts). This is part of MY problem right there! I must not give up on what makes me feel alive - and I hope you won't either! (((((( I.Am.The.End. ))))))
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Unread 05-24-2017, 09:21 PM   #4
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Unread 05-24-2017, 10:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

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Originally Posted by Jennifer 1967 View Post
I must be missing something here. My daughter has more male friends then female and they're all just friends. I get that you have self esteem problems (I'm really sorry there...I do as well). You are as good as anybody you want to be friends or lovers with. I guess what I'm not getting is how the sex drive comes into it. Have you been caught cheating? Have you had strong friendships that your sex drive ruined? I really want to understand and support you so you don't feel alone.

I've read several times on here how it's wrong for someone to have opposite sex friends if they're in a relationship. And since I'm technically attracted to both, that rule would probably extend into same sex friends as well?

I'm treated like a lesser to a lot of my peers. I suspect a lot of it is because of both conscious and subconscious sexism in my field. Although a lot of it is because I'm not as successful or financially independent as most of them. I have a job in another field and I'm not treated like that. I grew up learning the message early on that I'm not a person because I don't have a penis.

As for my sex drive (or really, sexuality) ruining friendships...I drifted away from one because I admitted that I suspected I was bisexual, which is against her beliefs. That's fine, but I couldn't be close to her anymore. Then I lost interest altogether. So basically, my sexuality ruined that friendship.

In another instance, I kind of hit on her and I wouldn't have been able to cope if she ended up dating any guys (she was straight so no interest in me). She graduated college before me and moved and we lost touch. I'm afraid to initiate any contact just in case I made her uncomfortable and I don't want to be called a stalker or a creep. (I have gotten those labels in other circumstances.)

And no I've never cheated, but that's because I don't put myself in a position to do so. I've made it a point to keep my distance from other people ever since I've been in a serious relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward2wards View Post
Right now my face is going through every emotion known to Man, and settling on *facepalm*. What kind of therapy did you get, "Better Living Through Learned Helplessness"!?!?

Seriously though, any therapy (or feedback from others in general) that leaves you feeling worse off than you started was clearly a case of the therapist or technique isn't a good fit, or the practitioner doesn't know how to help you. I don't think abandoning hope in whatever gives you a sense of meaning or satisfaction in life is helpful at all.

There is a diagram known as "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", NOT "Maslow's Hierarchy of Negotiable Options That Are Kinda Nice But Oh Well"! I've come to realize just recently that the things that make me feel alive (and therefore non-depressed!!) are in my mind, "highly negotiable and probably not going to happen anyway" (in the words of my inner self-doubts). This is part of MY problem right there! I must not give up on what makes me feel alive - and I hope you won't either! (((((( I.Am.The.End. ))))))
I just looked over Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and most are not being met. My safety needs certainly aren't. Financial security? Not in this economy. That's why my last therapist was trying to push me to do something in another field that she mistakenly thought was more stable. And I was trying to tell her that I already knew of one person in that field that had just lost his job. And would that mean I'd have to drop out of my doctorate in my field in order to pursue a job in another field that I'm not particularly interested in (I heard how awful it was on a regular basis from my dad growing up).

Obviously my social belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs are not being met either. I live in an absolutely wrong place for wanting to feel like I belong and can be myself in any way. Unfortunately, unless either my partner or I (who dislikes this place too) can actually get one of the other jobs we applied for in another state, we're probably stuck here.

I'm going to have to avoid people I've known over the last few years in order for them not to find out how much of a failure I am. And so the loneliness is just going to get worse.

Who am I kidding? I'm too much of a loser to pursue friendships.

Last edited by I.Am.The.End.; 05-24-2017 at 10:41 PM.
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Unread 05-25-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

I can see you are feeling overwhelmed right now, no wonder you are disillusioned with therapy.

I can't pretend to have any answers but did want to give you my input for what it's worth, I can't comment on your career issues but will stick with your relationship/friendship concerns.

First of all you say:

Quote:
And no I've never cheated, but that's because I don't put myself in a position to do so. I've made it a point to keep my distance from other people ever since I've been in a serious relationship.
That sounds like you are aware of healthy boundaries (both sexual and emotional) and your commitment to your partner - that really is the most important thing I feel here.

You also wrote:

Quote:
I've read several times on here how it's wrong for someone to have opposite sex friends if they're in a relationship. And since I'm technically attracted to both, that rule would probably extend into same sex friends as well?
Well people write lots of things on here, and while they are entitled to their opinion it's not necessarily the last word. I have often wondered how that 'no friends of gender you are attracted to' applies to bisexual people, and it's quite ridiculous to me to think the answer is that they must have no friends at all. I know gay people who have friends the same sex and it seems to work okay for them, and I'm one of those straight people who does have opposite sex friends too. Most of us need friendship in our lives, we suffer without it in fact - to narrow our choice of friends by sex/sexuality would make this even harder to have.

The two friendships you talk about, the one who rejected you on faith grounds IMO cannot really have been a true friend. The other friend, I'm guessing you hit on her before you entered this relationship you're in now, it sounds like that might have been a confusing relationship - but that doesn't mean that will happen again with another friend.

I really empathise with you, friendships can be complicated sometimes, but you are in no way a loser and I am sure you are capable of working on this area of life.
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Unread 05-25-2017, 08:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

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Originally Posted by prefabsprout View Post
I can see you are feeling overwhelmed right now, no wonder you are disillusioned with therapy.

I can't pretend to have any answers but did want to give you my input for what it's worth, I can't comment on your career issues but will stick with your relationship/friendship concerns.

First of all you say:

That sounds like you are aware of healthy boundaries (both sexual and emotional) and your commitment to your partner - that really is the most important thing I feel here.

You also wrote:

Well people write lots of things on here, and while they are entitled to their opinion it's not necessarily the last word. I have often wondered how that 'no friends of gender you are attracted to' applies to bisexual people, and it's quite ridiculous to me to think the answer is that they must have no friends at all. I know gay people who have friends the same sex and it seems to work okay for them, and I'm one of those straight people who does have opposite sex friends too. Most of us need friendship in our lives, we suffer without it in fact - to narrow our choice of friends by sex/sexuality would make this even harder to have.

The two friendships you talk about, the one who rejected you on faith grounds IMO cannot really have been a true friend. The other friend, I'm guessing you hit on her before you entered this relationship you're in now, it sounds like that might have been a confusing relationship - but that doesn't mean that will happen again with another friend.

I really empathise with you, friendships can be complicated sometimes, but you are in no way a loser and I am sure you are capable of working on this area of life.
I couldn't have said it better. I hope you can start seeing yourself in a more worthy light. Good luck on you or your partner getting those jobs in another state.

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Unread 05-25-2017, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

I don't know...it still seems wrong to be friends with someone I'm attracted to or could be attracted to. Another problem is that I'll either not be comfortable making conversation with someone or I won't know what to say. Even if I find someone I'm comfortable with and can actually have a conversation with (that's rare) that I have no attraction to, then what? Even going for coffee with someone in the past has resulted in them using me to do their homework for them. I get that I'm supposed to do something with them, but what? I'm more comfortable in small groups or one on one (which rules out friendships with guys) and I'm not sure what we're supposed to do to hang out.

I've also noticed that if I'm with my partner, someone talking to us will talk to him and completely ignore me. I'm not that great at reading body language, but if I'm reading it right, their body language suggests that I absolutely don't exist. Maybe if they're done talking to him they may acknowledge me. I can't leave either or it will upset him. I wish I could though as it's uncomfortable and it feels like I'm eavesdropping. So I don't know what that's about...is it just because I'm female and other men will just think of me as my partner's accessory instead of an actual person? If we weren't together would I be considered a real person?
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Unread 05-25-2017, 01:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Am.The.End. View Post
I don't know...it still seems wrong to be friends with someone I'm attracted to or could be attracted to. Another problem is that I'll either not be comfortable making conversation with someone or I won't know what to say. Even if I find someone I'm comfortable with and can actually have a conversation with (that's rare) that I have no attraction to, then what? Even going for coffee with someone in the past has resulted in them using me to do their homework for them. I get that I'm supposed to do something with them, but what? I'm more comfortable in small groups or one on one (which rules out friendships with guys) and I'm not sure what we're supposed to do to hang out.
If you are struggling to make social connections it sometimes helps to have a common interest for conversations, with me sport/exercise is a big part of my social life. I find it so much easier to have activities in common to talk about. But honestly if I am ever stuck for a conversation I always ask people about themselves - most people love to talk about themselves/their jobs/their families, their holidays etc etc. Things often roll from there - and most people are interesting (if you don't find them so then maybe they aren't the right friend for you). I'm comfortable in smaller groups too btw, and find conversations can be much more interesting and in depth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Am.The.End. View Post
I've also noticed that if I'm with my partner, someone talking to us will talk to him and completely ignore me. I'm not that great at reading body language, but if I'm reading it right, their body language suggests that I absolutely don't exist. Maybe if they're done talking to him they may acknowledge me. I can't leave either or it will upset him. I wish I could though as it's uncomfortable and it feels like I'm eavesdropping. So I don't know what that's about...is it just because I'm female and other men will just think of me as my partner's accessory instead of an actual person? If we weren't together would I be considered a real person?
Does your partner notice this too (checking that your perception is right of the body language)? Even if they are his friends rather than yours it's not polite not to include you. Maybe raise this with him and see if he can involve you in these conversations too?

It shouldn't be because you are seen as female/an accessory (not unless these are really immature men!), certainly not in my experience anyway.
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Unread 05-25-2017, 04:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Extreme loneliness and low self-esteem and making friends

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Originally Posted by prefabsprout View Post
If you are struggling to make social connections it sometimes helps to have a common interest for conversations, with me sport/exercise is a big part of my social life. I find it so much easier to have activities in common to talk about. But honestly if I am ever stuck for a conversation I always ask people about themselves - most people love to talk about themselves/their jobs/their families, their holidays etc etc. Things often roll from there - and most people are interesting (if you don't find them so then maybe they aren't the right friend for you). I'm comfortable in smaller groups too btw, and find conversations can be much more interesting and in depth.




Does your partner notice this too (checking that your perception is right of the body language)? Even if they are his friends rather than yours it's not polite not to include you. Maybe raise this with him and see if he can involve you in these conversations too?

It shouldn't be because you are seen as female/an accessory (not unless these are really immature men!), certainly not in my experience anyway.


I have trouble speaking to musicians as another musician. If that's not something in common, I don't know what is. But still, I don't have anything I'd feel comfortable talking about. Other people are sharing stories but I don't really have one related. Even if I did, unless it's one on one, I wouldn't have a chance to share it anyway. If I'm lucky enough to find a pause in the conversation, I'll be talked over if I begin to speak anyway. I'm not one to keep yelling over people until they listen, so at some point I give up and just sit/stand there.

If I were to actually have the chance to start or continue a conversation, I wouldn't know what specifically to ask (out of the topics you suggested). I could imagine jobs/families/holidays to be touchy subjects for people as someone asking about my family or holidays would get me flustered unless it was someone I knew well. And don't most of those topics end with something to the effect of It's/They're fine.

And I don't know if he notices I get excluded in conversations. He's had to work on not excluding me in a conversation between the two of us. He's gotten better at it though. But he may not notice with other people. I have an incredibly difficult time figuring out the rhythm of a conversation...as in when to speak. I pretty much have no chance in a group unless they bring me in. He tries to bring me in but he does it in a way that makes me feel embarrassed and nervous (not on purpose) so that doesn't help.
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