I know I'm going to sound stupid, but I don't know what else there is to do. I tried my best to put my feelings into words. This is a rather long post, and if you don't want to read it I'll understand. Every day I feel more hollow. Cold. Like the me I knew is melting away leaving an empty shell. At first I didn't even notice. But reflecting on how I use to be, its night and day. I don't know whats happened. Instead of being happy and carefree like I was I'm paranoid and shy. I hate what I've become. I thought it would get better, and be like old times. That was a year ago. I don't want anyone to worry about me. I want people to be happy. My family has enough problems. So I act like someone else. All the time. Like a mask I wear everywhere, covering up my true problems and feelings and protecting me from getting hurt. I've tried getting rid of it but it always comes back, like a kick in the teeth. Forcing smiles. Responding "I'm alright" when someone asks me how I am. My sense of humor is withering. Things I use to find funny are met with a blank stare. I use to tell jokes and be spontaneous, but now I stand quietly in the back. Ive been homeschooled almost my whole life but I've gone to college for a semester. I would sit in the very back of the class hoping the teacher didn't call on me. Everyone that wanted to become friends I kept at arms length. I'd always make excuses to get out of social things so I could go be alone in the cafe. I feel paranoid. I always feel like I'm being watched, everywhere I go, even in my own room by myself. Always looking over my shoulder. I think this maybe has given me OCD too. I always have to check to see if someones here (even though there visually isn't) before I can do anything like change cloths or go to the bathroom or I become very anxious. I have a horrible fear of looking like a fool in front of people. So much so its paralyzing. If I feel like its going to happen I become very hostel and aggressive towards others. But my biggest problem of all is this: I'm 17 and not once have I had a girlfriend. I keep getting strong feelings like I'm missing something. I feel alone, all the time. Sure I have family and friends but its not the same. I feel the need to protect, love, give myself to, and be intimate with her (I'm not talking about sex, but the connection). I feel like I need a relationship like this. And it eats away at me. I've read about other people with this concern, and they have said its not a problem. But it is to me. It affects me a lot. One time it got so bad I went into deep depression for almost 2 weeks. And I felt I had to get out during the night, just to escape. My parents didn't understand, but I couldn't tell them. I just feel so alone. Its unbearable. I feel ashamed of all this. Even more so that I can only say these things through a screen to a group that I don't know. But I cant tell it to anyone. It feels like barriers in my mind keeping me from telling anyone. Whenever someone tries to reach out I immediately shut them out. When I finally do try and tell my parents whats going on I see pictures of them laughing or not even caring. I know that would probably never happen, but its overpowering. And it always stops me dead in my tracks. Its poisoned my thoughts for help. I've always tried to suck it up and be a man. Act as normally as I could. Keep it hidden away. I don't know whats wrong with me. I've felt this way for such a long time I don't know what to do anymore. I'm just tired.