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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Name: Francois
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Location: Mossel Bay, South Africa

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One complicated story. - September 27th 2012, 07:28 PM

Ok, so, first up, Hi, my name is Francois. I have a long and complicated history. I'm 19 years old, so I'm only a "teen" for another few months. Not to matter, I'm sure that this forum can come in handy.

Ok, so, where to begin. I don't want to go into my entire history, as that would take to long, but I'll give a little summation of the events between my birth and the present.

I was conceived when my father apparently forced himself on my mother. They where married at the time, but they divorced before my birth. I was sent to live with my grandparents when I was 6 days old.

While my grandparents had all the best intentions, we all know what the road to hell is paved with... My grandfather is 13 years older than my grandmother, and they should have divorced years ago. There is no love in the relationship, and they basically have an uneasy understanding. My grandmother has a venom tongue, and she manages to hurt those close to her constantly. I understand that she has problems and reasons and all that, but this isn't about her, this is about me. IMO it is the parent that should take responsibility for their actions and reactions, not the child. My grandfather has been dominated by her ever since I can remember, and she tends to take out her frustrations verbally at everyone around her. She also has a knack for criticizing. But enough of that. Basically they hurt me. My father hurt me through hurting my mother, my mother hurt me through abandoning me, my grandmother hurt me verbally, and my grandfather hurt me through not doing anything about it, even though he knew what was happening was wrong. They all had their reasons, and I can forgive them for what they did. That does not mean the pain goes away.
Since I still live with my grandparents, (I am in Grade 12 right now) they still hurt me, my grandmother in particular.

That is the hurt that comes from my family.

Throughout school I never managed to be able to socialize, and I couldn't conform to random rules that had no logic behind them. I was bullied a lot, and I didn't get along well with authority figures. I was homeschooled in Grade 3, as well as my entire high school career. This did wonders for me academically, as my grades where always over 80%, and often over 90%, while in public school, my grades in the subjects taught by the teachers I liked was over 80%, but the grades in the subjects taught by the teachers I disliked was under 50%. But homeschooling had one massive drawback: It became nearly impossible for me to socialize. Although I actively participated in sports like Martial Arts, Surfing and Skateboarding, this didn't help much with socialization, especially with members of the opposite sex. This lead to me having never had a girlfriend, and only having been kissed once. I am incredibly sexually frustrated, and I long for companionship and love. All the girls I have ever approached rejected me. I have had a few really good friends in my life (guys), but most of them had moved away. At the moment I have absolutely nobody in my life, and I face all my challenges alone. Loneliness and isolation is consuming me.

That is the hurt I have felt from the world itself.

Neither of these "lists" are complete, and they are in a way, not the point. It is the past. It is only mentioned so that the present can be better understood.

I had severe depression throughout the ages of 5 to 14, but I overcame it. It has however returned about a year ago. I sought out help for the first time since I was 14, and I went to a psychiatrist and was put on an SSRI. I also found a very nice psychologist. I have been to TONS of psychologists throughout the years, but this is the first one that actually helped me. She sent me to a neuro-clinic (euphemism for asylum ) for two weeks, and I underwent some intensive therapy. It helped tons. She also spoke to my grandparents sternly, and things where looking up. Sadly though, my medical aid resources ran up and I could no longer go to see her. Now, the emotional abuse has returned, school pressures have been higher than ever, as I'm nearing finals, I am still lonely and isolated, and I am bordering on hopeless. I had more specific things to say, but I pretty much forgot.

I am not sure how anyone can help, but meh.
   
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Re: One complicated story. - September 29th 2012, 08:29 PM

Hello, Francois!

I want to congratulate you on sharing your story with us. That's not always easy to do, and it's great that you were able to put everything into words for us (and for yourself!). =) You've pretty much had the deck stacked against you since you were born, but despite all these challenges, you've managed to do pretty well! Sure, you have negative feelings, and you wish things could be better socially, but hey, all things considered, I'd say this is more-or-less a "success" story. You've never given up, you sought help for yourself, and you're continuing to seek help now! As long as you have that determined spirit, I see no reason why you can't overcome most, if not all, these challenges over time.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about South Africa and what is offered in terms of mental health services. It seems you're allotted a certain amount of money for services, and once that runs out, you have to pay for things yourself (kind of like mental health insurance in the United States). There may be free or low-cost services in your area, though, and while the quality may not be as great as what you received before, it may be worth checking out. For example, you may not be able to see a psychologist one-on-one, but you may be able to attend support groups for people who are facing similar difficulties. Those support groups would also give you the opportunity to socialize, which is one of your ongoing concerns. "Two birds with one stone!" =)

In the United States, grade 12 is the final grade before you graduate... so I'm assuming you'll be done with school in a year's time, if not sooner. I know this may not be what you want to hear, but hang in there. You can't get rid of final exams, and you can't solve all your problems at once, but what you CAN do is hold on to hope and look forward to the not-so-distant future, when you'll be free to explore careers, more "sociable" hobbies, and other living arrangements. Remember that determined spirit I mentioned earlier? Hold on to that. No matter how bad things get, that determination is what will allow you to continue pushing forward, even if you're feeling particularly bad one day. Soon enough, you'll have the freedom to turn your life around. People often forget that when they're in high school. If you can get a job, you can use that money to pay for psychological services. If you're getting those psychological services, you can get help and feel even more confident/empowered to make positive changes in your life. If you feel confident/empowered, you'll do even better at work and be more "attractive" to others socially. If you have all of that going for you, it may be easier to deal with the current living situation, until you have enough money to move out and live with a friend/in a small unit with low rent.

Good luck with everything, and feel free to keep us in the loop! =)






   
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