When I was 16, I swore to never love or be loved. I was convinced I was the most disgusting thing alive and no one would or could ever like me. I hardly ever spoke to anyone and I tried my best to fade into the background as often as I could. Eventually, I kind of accepted the idea that I couldn't be alone and I needed friends or I would go insane for being socially isolated and alone. Problem was, I didn't - and still don't - know how to really make friends and let people into my life. The "friendships" I've had consisted mostly of being talked at rather than to, and nothing close or intimate. Just hanging out and nothing personal. I never really dated and never had a long-term intimate boyfriend. I always look for an excuse to dump a guy. Some say I am not giving a guy a chance. I say I am only protecting myself from any a**holes. Now and then, I am reminded how I need to open up, allow some vulnerability and not have such thick walls around me. I also am reminded that I cannot keep fighting people back, even if they are simply nice people who only want to get to know me. Part of me laughs when I see them hurt and confused, because I have succeeded in making them as miserable as I am. The idea of having people in my life is so foreign to me. I really don't know how to let anyone in. I am always fighting people off. I think I only want friends and a boyfriend because it is considered normal. Or, I really want to abuse people and make them as miserable as me. But that's not normal or even rational. I may go truly insane if I gave into that madness. I don't know how to unlock my heart, and I think I really did lose the key. I don't know if I really should find it. Should I really bother? I think one reason why I refuse is to get back at my family - my psychologically abusive family that set me on the road to depression in the first place.