Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm a senior in high school, going into my last semester. I have plenty of great friends and overall my life has been wonderful until recently. Three months ago, I started to like this one girl whom I consider a close friend.
Oddly, it was a song, Faithfully by Journey, that somehow made me realize my feelings for her. Not only my feelings for her, but what is and isn't truly important in life. The realization literally made me go down on my knees and cry like a baby for a half hour, non stop.
Prior to that day, I had had a porn addiction for the past six years. I wanted to quit, but nothing in life meant enough to make me stop. When I listened to that song and realized my feelings for the girl, I instantly realized that she meant far more to me than porn ever has or will. Because of the realizations, I quit my six year addiction on the spot and never even had the urge to go back.
Over the past three months leading up to today, I gave her all the love and support I could. Not long after, she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She went through hell because of it and I offered my help. She almost always denied what I offered, such as getting her things, bringing her homework to her from the many days of school she missed.
I figured she didn't like me but I wasn't sure, and had let her know. About a month ago was the first time I told her about my feelings for her, and I started to think that I might love her. When I poured my heart out to her, she responded that it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to her. But she also said that I should move on. I was severely sad.
I told her I would try. Now I will just say in advance, I know two days is not long enough to get over someone you think you love, but for two days I tried, and I went through hell. My mind could not grasp how I could move on, and nothing made sense.
I didn't sleep those two nights, but after that, I figured I would not be able to move on. I've been crying the past three months -- more than all of my high school career combined.
I'm so hurt! I gave her everything I could think to give, but it wasn't enough for her to like me. For the past week my feelings have begun to turn from love and sadness to hate and anger. I started hating myself because I wasn't good enough for her.
Just a few days ago, I opened up and poured out my heart and feelings to her again. By this point I was certain I loved her, simply from the fact that I knew, without a single doubt in my mind, that I would give my life to save hers.
Her exact response was, "I just don't want you to be wasting your time when you could be with some other better girl. And you will find a girl. You can get any girl! You're an amazing guy. Sweet. Caring. Hilarious!! And you actually care. It's hard to find that in a guy. I just think we are too close to be anything more than friends. I'm really sorry to keep saying it."
Rather than sadness, anger got the better of me. Not at her, but myself and the situation. I was becoming an angry and hateful person, but not in the open. In public and school I put on a fake smile and fake good attitude. I was starting to get more mad and angry. I cut myself, because anger was winning out.
Every night for the past six nights, I have had extreme rage fits. I would punch and break things, and cut more. I was sick of the whole situation of giving her my whole heart but it wasn't enough. Ever since I realized my feelings for her, all I have wanted in life was to hold her in my arms.
Two nights ago, I found out she had asked some random guy to the school dance where girls ask the guys. It was the final straw. I went ballistic that night. First thing I did when I found out was went downstairs to get a good knife. I was shaking in rage. I didn't know what I was going to do, but it was the most angry I had ever been in my life.
While I was in my rage fit, I got a text message from my closest friend. She had helped me through much over these past three months. She was always there for me when I just needed someone, and I told her how furious I was, and that I was planning on cutting myself, which was the first time she heard that I cut. We sent many texts back and forth and eventually she calmed me down.
She got me to feel optimistic that I could move on. Yesterday, I went to school in a good mood and feeling that I could overcome these feelings and move on, in time of course. And I went to bed that night, a little angry, but feeling a lot better.
And then my story brings us to this very night, just an hour or so ago. I started thinking about how she will be going to the dance with some other guy. Some other guy is going to be holding her close and having a good time with her.
After pondering the situation, my anger and hate returned. I was home alone, and I hit things in my house with a hammer. I punched doors, almost broke my knuckles, and cut a few times. I can't stand the thought of her being with another guy.
I can't help but feel that I need to be with her. I feel as though no other guy will ever treat her the way she deserves to be treated. I feel again as though moving on is impossible. I know I love her. I just don't know what to do anymore, and I am in desperate need of some professional help.
I'm assuming you're at least 18 years of age, as per the conditions of this site. I am very thankful you realize you need professional help. Cutting, self-harm and self-mutilation are different ways to say the same thing -- inflicting injury on yourself to feel a physical pain in order to block out the psychological pain.
The problem is that even though it may make you feel better at the moment, cutting comes at a great cost. It causes more problems than it solves. Nathan, it's a short lived remedy for deeper issues. You need professional help now, before this turns into a compulsive behavior that becomes nearly impossible to stop.
Look, all of us have had a guy/girl that we wanted reject us, that’s part of life. And if it weren’t for the self harm, my advice would be different. But that is serious. Please, Nathan, do yourself a favor.
Start with your school counselor or set an appointment with a therapist. I’m worried about you. Also, I wish you could tell your parents- they would be more understanding than you think. You really need someone to talk to, and the sooner the better. I wish you well.