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Feta's avatar

I literally have no one that cares about me...how can I care about myself?

Asked by Feta (895 points ) May 22nd, 2014 from iPhone

I’ve suffered from depression since the 4th grade. That was brought on by my fathers remarriage to a woman that kept him away from my brother and I.
I’ve had suicidal tendencies. In all I think I’ve attempted suicide at least 5 times but I think about it everyday.

I’ve tried to think of people who really care about me and I came up with two friends from school but even they’re iffy because one is a new friend and the other has ditched me for other people several times and doesn’t even feel bad about it.

I feel like my father must care about me a little but when my stepmom harasses me he just goes along with it.
A lot of the “caring” received from either of them I feel is usually fake.
For instance I just had a conversation with them an hour ago and we talked civilly and then I left and came into the hallway to get a picture of my cat (I’m a photographer, not a weirdo) and I heard my parents literally bashing everything I had just said to them and criticizing me as a person calling me a liar and selfish, etc.
So I walked in and said I could hear them and they acted like they didn’t say anything.
What hurts is that my dad knows he was just talking about me and that it hurt my feelings and he hasn’t apologized.
It probably hasn’t even crossed his mind that he probably should apologize.

My mother only cares about herself and money. I’ve tried talking to her before about my feelings and life and she kept diverting the conversation to how I should sue my father for money and how there’s unequal treatment between my brother and I and that I’m spoiled.
She’s mentally ill. She doesn’t live in reality…she’s created her own and it’s difficult to have a relationship with her.
My siblings are the same considering they were raised by her.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about how my parents treat me because this could get really long.
The problem is I’m bullied and manipulated at home by my stepmother and then at school I’m just ignored.
I’ve been going to this school for four years and maybe 10 people know my name. I do talk to people, they just forget me within a week.

I feel pretty worthless almost every day and I wonder what the point of even living is if no one cares about my feelings or acknowledges my existence.

How can I learn to love myself when no one loves me?
It seems when I build myself up even a little someone tears me down without fail.

(I’m not going to kill myself I just sometimes question the point of my life…I’m adding that because I don’t want this to get deleted just because I’m depressed. I legitimately want to know how I can repair my self esteem when I’m surrounded by people who can’t stand me)

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11 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Tell you mom, dad, or school counselor you would like to talk to a therapist. It is not for depression, attempted suicide, or feelings of loneliness or abandonment, but I am sure they are all issues that need to be addressed. Tell your folks it is to help you sort out your life. Being a teenager is hell, and everyone can use some guidance.

Adagio's avatar

You certainly have a lot of things to work through @Feta. I very much hope someone with experience in this area will have some useful advice/suggestions for you. I have lived through many experiences but nothing like you have presented and do not feel in the least bit qualified to offer the specialist guidance you so clearly need. I wish you all the best in your life, present and future.

Rolfadinho's avatar

I lost my grandfather last year to suicide, and trust me, with proper guidance years before, it could have been preventable. Suicides don’t occur overnight. The stages to one taking his life usually takes year’s to go through. In the end, NO ONE WINS!!! Like Phil Donahue said, “Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.”

kevbo's avatar

I have not had the abusive experiences that you’ve had, but I went through a period in my early twenties where my first thought every morning for two years was “I wish I was dead.” I dealt with depression and anxiety most of my adult life, and it all turned around permanently for the better right around the time I turned 40. I turn 41 next month.

I don’t know you from Adam or Eve, so I don’t know whether you have the ears to hear this, but I’m going to ramble a little and give you my best answer.

Here’s the one common element in your story: you have been the witness to the happening of all of these things. Based on your story, you have been on the receiving end of a good deal of abuse and neglect, but somehow you aren’t dead! You are still around, and you have been the sole experiencer of these things. Stop for a minute and let that sink in. If you can, look inside and try to identify who that experiencer or witness really is.

Okay, for a minute, try a thought experiment… what if all this heartache in your life was meant to be? What if it was somehow predetermined from birth that coming into this life, you would experience these things? What would that imply for the meaning of your life? You might say something like “that it was meant to suck, and then I eventually get to die.” That’s kind of what I thought for a long time. But, what if the point of all this hardship is some kind of transcendence? Stop for a minute and really try this idea on for size. What if you are ultimately meant to transcend this abuse and neglect? How does this change or perhaps improve how you think and feel about your problem? If this really is some kind of cosmic test and you are meant to transcend this, how would you start thinking differently about your problem?

Lastly, regarding suicidal ideation (which I’ve experienced plenty of), what I’ve come to realize are that, for me at least, my death wish wasn’t what I thought it was. When one says “I want to be dead,” who is the “I”? It’s not the body, but it’s the body that gets killed, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s the mind, but if it’s the mind, then why kill the body? I doubt anyone says their soul wants to be dead, and how would you kill a soul anyway? What I came to realize, is that it’s the ego, which is closest to the mind, that wants to be dead or maybe to experience a death. (And by ego, I don’t mean a big or small ego, but just one’s sense of oneself as a person.)

The death I was craving was, in reality, the death of the ego. In a way, it’s the death of karma, and it’s the death of the kind of suffering that you’re describing. Because when the ego is dead, it’s “replaced” with a Self, which is kind of like one’s spirit, and that spirit is the same spirit that’s in everything else and it doesn’t have it’s own mother or a father or a stepmother or anything. It’s not lonely, and it’s not sad. In fact, it’s a pretty joyful and peaceful place to be, because there’s no longing for things to be other than exactly as they are. And “exactly as they are” viewed from this vantage point becomes a beautiful play of existence—of life itself simply running through all its permutations and getting to experience every possible experience. There’s de facto room for everything and every experience under the sun, which is evidenced by the fact that all these things exist. And underneath it all is life pulsing in every form.

The further away you get from your personal experience as the limit of what you know and the closer you move toward identifying with the life energy that populates your experience and every other experience in the world, the better you will feel.

Alternatively, you can take stock in the fact that there are many, many people in this world who are not abusive like your family and friends, and you can try to figure out how to attract those people into your life or to put yourself in theirs.

So, I’m sure that’s a lot to chew on if it even makes any sense. It took me a lot of repetition to get it, and that’s normal, because most of us spend our entire lives in repetition of other ways of looking at the world that don’t always serve us.

If this resonates with you at all, I would recommend checking out these links:

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gondwanalon's avatar

I definitely feel your pain. I grew up in deplorable conditions (I won’t go into it) and no matter how hard I worked in school my Mother simply didn’t care about any of my many achievements and that was painful (my Dad died when I was 4). In high school I finally gave up trying to please her or trying to buy her love with accomplishments and success.

I suggest that you find a hobby, sport, musical instrument etc that you really like and try to perfect it for you. They will likely bring you some joy and help you to build friendships. For me it was playing the trumpet. I truly believe that the trumpet that I picked up in the 3rd grade saved my life as it helped me in so many ways. I played it through jr. high school, high school, 4 years of college and also the U.S.Army Band. My trumpet brightened my dark and dismal early life and helped me to develop many lasting friendships and succeed in several areas of life.

Good health, joy and success to you.

Unbroken's avatar

Find a place to escape into. Whether a book or a physical place. Write everyday.

Learn who you are, what you like. Find someone to look up to.. even if you don’t know them.

Realize they are human and have failings so don’t build a world around them just isolate traits.

Don’t expect them to change. Just accept it and move around it. A therapist or counselor would be great but if that’s not going to happen read self help.books. maybe there is free group setting that you can vent in.

By the way I am still learning to apply this myself but when you open your world to things and people your problems aren’t the focus. Also on occasion you will see a solution you never saw before.

JLeslie's avatar

Your parents care about you more than you can ever imagine. I assume you have talked to therapists if you have attempted suicide. If you have always gone to the same one, consider a new one if he/she is not helping you.

Do you work? I really recommend you get a job if you can muster the energy. Especially a job where you interact with people and help them. Also, can you plan something to look forward to? A trip to visit a relative (are you close with your grandparents? Or, and aunt or uncle?) or get involved in a project?

Also, know that being an adult is almost always a much happier experience than being a child or teen. Our brains are different, we filter experiences differently. Things that trigger painful emotions are not quite as sharp as we age for most ups and downs of life. As adults we have more control over our lives. There is light at the end of the tunnel I promise.

When you meet people you click with do what you can to mpform a friendship. You can’t just wait for them, you can foster connection by inviting them your or over to your place.

Also, I don’t know how you are when you are with people out there in real life, but I recommend a little bit of fake it til you make it, if you can do it. Smile, be positive, because you are more likely to attract positive people and that can rub off and create a happier environment for you.

I know it is not as simple as just snap out of it. Depression sucks. I swear it is not only emotionally painful, but physically painful also. I really get it. Loneliness is a big catalyst to depression, and it seems like that is a big factor for you, so the things I suggested were to hopefully make you feel less alone. It is a chicken and egg thing a lot of the time. Depression makes it harder to get out and make connections with people, and little connection with people creates more depression.

It doesn’t sound to me like you want to die, it sounds to me like you want out of your pain. It’s two different things. If it is the latter, if you just want to feel better, then you can take suicide off the table completely, and hopefully forever, and work towards feeling better. Many many of us have gone through depression, you are not alone, especially during our youth, and there are so many joys later in life that are impossible for you to see right now. You have to trust that adults have the information on the other side of the tunnel. Someone above said being a teenager is hell, and it is true for so many of us. I hope you feel better soon.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

One thing I learned as I entered my thirties was that I like me. And the me I like is the culmination of all my earlier experiences and people whose paths crossed mine. Even the very bad things that happened to me were part of making me into this person whom I really like, even love.

So you must learn that all these bad things of which you speak are making you into a very wonderful person.

You say you’re in school but no one knows you. Have you tried out for the Theater? Stage crew? The Choir? Sports? Get out there and get involved. You will be meeting people in no time.

You said, ”I feel pretty worthless almost every day and I wonder what the point of even living is if no one cares about my feelings or acknowledges my existence.”
Who cares if anyone knows you exist. You know you exist.

“How can I learn to love myself when no one loves me?”
Easy. Just start loving yourself. It is your love of yourself that will attract others to love you. It doesn’t work the other way around.

It seems when I build myself up even a little someone tears me down without fail”
Yes, this is the way of the world. And it is your job to ignore those kinds of people and continue building yourself up in spite of those kinds of a-holes.

janbb's avatar

You have written elsewhere that you’d like to go into journalism. Are you on the school paper or year book? Meeting other like-minded people outside of your family could help you make friends and gain self-esteem. Sometimes one has to move away from one’s family to gain a sense of self.

courtney1946's avatar

kevbo has given excellent advice. It’s long, but worth it, and I would revisit it now and then.
I would add a few things. I realized one day that you can’t expect love from anyone who doesn’t have it to give, and there are lots like that. Feta has gotten more than her share. What may help is giving up on them, and approaching all future relationships with the idea that you will give most of your energy to those that are promising, uplifting, but abandon those that bring you down, or show no interest in you. In other words, accept only good treatment. And be that kind person, good listener, helping individual you yourself want. Don’t project neediness, altho it’s OK to acknowledge disappointment – just don’t dwell excessively. You will find that your life starts to improve. You may still want to consider counseling and if you do, be aware that the first person you try may not be the right one for you. After a reasonable time if you feel you aren’t getting anywhere, seek counseling somewhere else. I hope some of this may be helpful. Best of luck to you.

DWW25921's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with being a quiet person. What I see is your self esteem has taken a hit because of what happened to you. I think things will get a lot better for you in terms of interpersonal relationships when you accept yourself. People tend to gravitate towards confidence. Right now, just focus on your good qualities. Train your brain to go there and it eventually will by itself. You need positivity and no one can manufacture that for you. Please keep in mind, the behavior of others isn’t your problem!

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