More threads by Trav


Hello everyone, I've been reading the posts here and it seems that everyone is doing a very good job at helping people with their problems. So I've decided to post my problems. ?Thanks in advance for any replies.

I'm not sure where to start, so I guess we'll start at the beginning. My parents married young and I was born with my mother at 16 and father at 20. When I was three years old my parents became divorced. I lived with my mother for a while, the whole times switching between living residences frequently. After about 4 years I moved in with my father, and did the same thing, frequently switching residences and schools. Both of my parents were active maryjuana users and I have been in the same room with stuff from age three to 18. Both of my parents also have been tobacco smokers for as long as I can remember. Then at the age of about 14 I moved in with my grandmother where I stayed. We have moved once in the past 4 years. ?Considering I've attended around 10 schools and many more residences, that's pretty low. Basically, I think there were a lot of inconsistencies in my past life, and that may be what causes my problems, I'm not sure. ?I'm now 18 and go to a State University. ?I've always done well in school until high school. I joined an advanced placement program with very rigorous courses. While most of my class mates were very stressed out even crying at times to make the As, I found my self being extremely apathetic about my grades. I chose to slack, do assignments as I chose and just merely passing. This leads me to my first problem. I am very...the word doesn't come to me at the moment, but I tend to go from thing to thing quite often. This goes from big decisions to small ones, I am extrememly indecisive. When I'm asked if I want to go somewhere my response is always the same "I don't care." ?If I want to get something to eat, "doesn't matter"?is my usual answer. I'll change between things like what I want to do at the current time, such as which game I want to play, I'll sit for 10 minutes trying to decide, play the game for 30 seconds, take it out, put it the other, turn off my XBox before I start and just be done with the whole thing. I do this from what I want in life, what I want to do for a career, what I want to eat, who I like, everything.

So that's my first problem, still reading? Thanks. My second is my poor self image. I've never had problems making friends, I've always had friends boy and girl. However whenever I see a pretty girl I immediately become obsessed with her. Not like imagining angry sex or anything just constantly thinking about her...for about one day...then its another girl...then back to the first one...then a new one, its an endless cycle for me. And the thought that goes with all of those is..."There's no way she likes me." ?I am slightly overweight, chubby if you will. I've been told I'm cute plenty of times, even by the girls that I get obsessed about every now and then, but I always feel its one of those little kid cute kind of things.

Number three, my feelings. I don't think I have any. There's not one person in this world that I can think of that, if I never saw them again I would be sad or miss them, even my family. I feel like my family and friends love me...but I pretty much feel the same about every person in this world, apathetic. I saw kids in high school and their "love flings" as I liked to call them, switching and falling in love with different girlfriends and boyfriends every week. Instead of getting in on the fun, I just sat backed and laughed like I was some experienced social god that knew everything. I saw them as immature and ignorant. There's no one I have loved, if I ever think I love someone (those obsessions) I convince myself its lust and I'm over it in two minutes.

So here we are today, sitting in my dorm, typing this. I'm going back and forth about wanting to lose weight, working out hard for one night then not anything for two weeks. Going back and forth about being dedicated to my Ultimate Frisbee team, having memory problems and not remembering ANY of my dreams. Its like a time skip when I go to sleep, there's nothing but a change in the number of my clock. There's a girl in my art history class that I'm obsessing about, and I don't really care if I see any of my family or friends. Surprisingly I've never smoked pot, drank alcohol more than a sip to try a fruity drink, or smoked a cigarette. Finally I don't get excited or sad about things.

Sorry for this post being so long, I've just thought about this stuff a lot and it became very wordy. Thank you for any advice. And oh yeah, I think I have a fear of rejection just to throw that in there.


I'm sure someone will give you a better response than mine, but a few things came to mind after reading your post.
You said you might have a fear of rejection. Well, it kind of sounds like you felt rejected to a certain extent by your parents. I don't mean that they took off on you, but that they rejected your health and wellfare. Now, many people could have strong feelings about this - anger, sadness, etc. Maybe your apathy is a coping mechanism that you developed so that you wouldn't get overly sad or angry about things.
Now, you get these bursts of exaggerated emotion, like when you obsess about girls. Well, maybe unconsciously you're trying to get your emotions out as a result of trying to not have any emotions. Am I making any sense? Like your emotions are bottled up deep down inside and every so often they try to get out. They pop up intensely, but then you're always able to "level things out" and bring yourself to a state of apathy.
Really, I'm not sure. I just thought about these things. I don't really know anything about apathy, but I know something about coping mechanisms. Anyway, sorry if I haven't helped, but those are just some ideas.


That actually does help, it provides me an idea of what might going on, thanks for the reply. Now I just need to figure out what to do about it. Any other information will be helpful, thanks.


You could check out what kind of psychological services they have at your university. They might even have some that don't cost too much, as I know that money is usually an issue. It couldn't hurt to talk to someone and describe what's going on and how you feel.


I totally agree w/ Dianna, I don't think there's an 'easy' answer to your questions or one particular reason for all of those things. But I do think that you could benefit tremendously from going to a campus counsellor... they usually have counselling centres there. If anything, think of how much this is interfering w/ your life right now b/c you just don't 'care' or are more or less apathetic about it. I think our pasts definitely have an impact on who we become and how we cope (for ex.)- at least on some levels, but our pasts don't have to determine who we become. I don't know if this applies to you, but sometimes I find people set themselves up for failure, so intentionally not studying or not working out (ie. if this is a goal of yours as you said), so that when something does go wrong, it's not as painful or difficult to deal with, b/c you sort of 'expected' it. being apathetic about things can kind of be the same idea; you learn not to care so whichever way things turn out you're still able to cope. being apathetic can have many reasons though, depression is one of them. I would definitely try to talk to someone Trav.


Hi Trav,

I just wanted to say that a lot of stuff you're going through really resonates with me.? I can identify with so much of what you wrote.

Like the detached, no-feelings mode...? You've shut off your emotions, like I did, to the extent that you don't even know them and can't work out what you think / feel deep down - even when you want to.
I'm like the most indecisive person around as well. Although that's something I've improved...
I didn't actually go through as much upheaval as you did in early childhood , although internally perhaps I did...

I actually found it a little difficult to read your post since every so often instead of regular text there was some gobbledygook.

I used to obsess about boys too.? Like think about them non-stop, night and day, until I saw another one I fancied, and then I was onto the next... And nothing ever came of it, i let it all remain in my mind, and heart.

What you wrote about not having one person in the world whom you actually care about enough to be sad if they die... well - that was soooooo me at one point.? I remember feeling that and then thinking, "it's cool" "I'm independant!? I'm free".? Then maybe I felt a little guilt deep down at not feeling bothered about anyone or anything, and I would quickly suppress the guilt feeling.

Basically I feel like I have so much to say to you - especially since thank god I've progressed a little since those days... But I can only tell you what I've found about me, and see if it applies to you too.

I cut myself off emotionally, so that I still don't often know what my emotions are, because I found my emotions too painful and too unbearable to manage.? I couldn't handle feeling such intense hatred, or jealousy, or love, or anything.? I've learnt that bearing anxiety, and learning to live with your natural self, is normally a process children learn to do through their parents.? Parents are normally the ones who teach children how to control and handle their own emotions, by adequately handling their own emotions - setting the example, and more importantly , in the way they relate to their children.? My parents didn't provide that for me, they didn't comfort when I needed comforting, they didn't listen when I needed to talk, they mostly did the opposite of what I needed.? So I became an adult who just can't handle her own emotions.? The easiest thing then, is, to just shut yourself off, and pretend that the raging sea inside you doesn't exist.? I fooled myself very well for a long time.

"I'm cool!"? "I don't care about the petty things that so many people around me get upset about..." etc...

I was in complete denial of myself.? I didn't know who I was.? I thought I was just a non feeling type of person.? The truth is just the opposite.

I have a very deep fear of rejection.? I think really that fear of rejection is a normal human condition - I mean no-one likes to be rejected!? But I think people like us fear it much more than is healthy, and we then go to great lengths to avoid any situation where we may be rejected...? We convince ourselves that it's not that we fear being rejected... we just don't really have the time for... or it's not the best thing for us now... or some other excuse.

Anyway, as everyone before me suggested, the best thing is really to have someone whom you can really talk to - face to face.? I really hope you can find someone you like and trust enough to really talk to, about all the things you wrote, and more.?

We can only learn to deal with problems and cope with situations, when we are aware of the problems and situations.? I thought for a while that by ignoring the problems and situation it's better - but trust me - nothing goes away by itself.? I've been quite shocked recently, by witnessing some people who are like in their 40s and 50s and older, who are still in denial.? People who are desparately trying to impress, and people who are scared of just being themselves.?

It's sad.?

They say it takes 20 odd years when we experience our childhood, and then it takes a lifetime to overcome that childhood and learn to get to grips with it...?
(something to that effect anyway, somehow things get a little long-winded when I try and say them...!)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I've written, so please do post back!

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Lost said:
I actually found it a little difficult to read your post since every so often instead of regular text there was some gobbledygook.

This happened to a few posts during the conversion from our old forum software (phpBB) to the new (SMF). I have edited Trav's post to correct those errors.

I would appreciate it if all forum members would report any posts they find with that problem - just click on the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom right hand corner of any post. Thanks!
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