Warning – This is a long read. I should share a little about myself, first. I'm 23 years old, Male, from the UK and I've been suffering with immense self-esteem/confidence issues for a long, long time. I find it a little hard to believe I'm going to say all of these things... some of these things make me sick to the stomach to recall, but I NEED to say these things to someone, anyone. I'm tired of my solitary world. Trying to piece together all the fragmented memories is a harder job than I thought it would be... so you have my apologies in advance if it's a little jumbled. ----- In primary(elementary) school, I was bullied. It was never the harsh, physical bullying. Name-calling, the frequent objects of jokes and ridicule over my curly blonde hair which acted as a magnet for such things. In all honesty, I never really had any friends there aside from one boy called James, who was generally very quiet and just someone to be around when I was excluded from everything else. Not long after starting primary school, I had begun to be sexually abused by a close friend of the family. This began at age 5 and carried on through to age 11, when I left for high school. When I turned 12, I was just about to start high school. I was terrified. Literally, terrified. The one boy that I would talk to was going elsewhere, and I'd never tried to talk to anyone outside of the few names I knew. The first week there wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I found a small group of three guys sitting at lunch, they invited me over. Turns out they all went to the same primary school, and our shared interest in music brought us together. These guys were the first friends I'd ever had. Every day for the 5 years of my education there, we would hang out. We'd laugh, joke around, play on the musical instruments during lunch break and after the day ended on Friday. As expected, however, my worst fear became a reality. Several older kids in the top year started the bullying all over again, this time more forcefully. I was called “elephant man”, slammed into lockers, kicked and punched around. This wasn't an everyday occurance, but it did continue on somewhat regularly for 3 years. In a way this was worse. If it had been constant, I would never have been lulled into a sense of security only to be knocked back down again. As time passed the top years would leave, their friends below would continue the legacy. Once I hit the middle of school, 3rd year; there was one day in particular. A younger brother of one of the kids that had bullied me when I first started began to cause trouble. This time, it was out in open, plain view of everyone. Pushing, shoving... I snapped. My eyes glazed over and I grabbed his neck. To this day I have no idea of what I was doing. I was quickly punched by him, or one of his friends, I don't remember too clearly. The teachers did nothing, no-one did anything. I was laughed at by everyone, mocked by everyone for weeks. A younger kid beating up someone in the middle of school. I turned to computers. Playstations and random consoles in the evenings and would play them until late at night, every night. My way of escaping from life was to immerse myself in a foreign world where I would be treated as someone rather than nothing. To be treated as ANYTHING other than nothing. Time rolled on, eventually I reached the 2nd to last year of school. Due to my obsession with computers, I had met a nice girl from the south of England via a chatroom. This was unheard of for me. I didn't have a problem with talking to girls, I had a problem with talking to ANYONE. We would talk in the evenings, just random, pointless stuff. And I would lie. I would lie through my damn teeth to get her to be interested in me, to see me not as a social outcast, but as someone awesome, someone and not nothing. I lied about EVERYTHING. No, not the details like my age, school... but my hobbies, my opinions on things. I'd pull facts out of my arse just to impress her and make me feel like I was some kind of awesome stud. Things developed, and during the summer at the end of the year, I visited her home for a week. Ha, I remember that day I arrived so vividly, it's incredible. It was a sunny, breezy day. They lived in a nice, thatched roof cottage in a very quiet secluded area. I was terrified. Would she like me? Would she think I'm hideous? The typical worries of online dating, I'm sure. It went well. We had fun, I had my first kiss, I saw my first pair of breasts. And then, weeks later, things fell apart, as they do when you're 14/15. I ended it on the phone, it was quick... brutal. My feelings had long since disappeared and I treated her like crap for it. ----- Fast forward to my last year of school. Now, I'm not unintelligent but my memory is terrible, so needless to say, I didn't do amazingly well on my exams. It wasn't that I was scared, I just... didn't care. To this day, I have no idea as to why I put no effort in and I deeply regret it. I ended up passing with 8/10 of my GCSE's (To any non-English folk reading, they're the final exams of school.), but only barely on most. With school finally out of the way, my small group of friends had a few months to do whatever we wanted before college. This time was spent at house parties. I would drink, and drink, and drink until I felt like I could fit in with so many people. All these guys with girlfriends, all my friends having fun... I would turn up early to “help set out”. Really, I would turn up early to knock a few back and dull my senses for the night to come; terrified of coming across as a fool to people. Moving on from that, we all started college. 3 of us went to the same, one went to work and the last two went to different colleges. Almost instantly after starting, I realised that this wasn't what I wanted to be doing. Within 2 months, I had dropped out and become a sad-case of a bum. I lost most of my contact with my friends. My nights and days filled with online gaming. My attitude changed too. Even my false demeanour of smiling and laughing had vanished, leaving my semi-permanent scowl and grumbles. I met my ex-girlfriend online again, not long afterwards. We spoke over the next few weeks, and I realised what a total moron I'd been for dropping her so brutally. Things began to develop again, thanks to my disgusting aid of lying. It had become a habit, I did it without thinking anymore. There was no line, there was just a blur that my words would zigzag along, never quite sure of what was real and what wasn't. Some of the things I lied about disgust me to think of them now... the things I spouted to keep her near me, to keep her INTERESTED in me... A made-up ex girlfriend threatening to kill me, telling her I'd gotten into brutal fights and that I had to take it like a man when these things happen. All for my own pathetic sake. We dated for another year or so. My lies continued, but were more along the lines of white-lies, small lies in comparison. I'd become jealous when she would go out with her friends, I'd become sex-crazed, going into a strop if she wasn't interested; using the excuse of our long-distance relationship is a lever to getting her into the mood. It is pathetic. Things went badly, again. She dumped me in Feb of 2005. I was a total mess, unsure of what I missed more about her, her body or her brain. What had I been dating? The lies were to keep her with me, yet all I seemed to think about was sex. I missed her presence. I missed her laughter and loving hugs. The confusion and anger within me had reached boiling point. For a month afterwards I walked in a daze, my heart aching in my chest. “Why did I tell all those lies?” A month rolls on, I start playing a new online game. I meet another girl from the north of England. We hit it off in seconds, courtesy of my lies. I started to realise, slowly. Lies could make me someone I'm not, they could make me better than what I really am, I could do anything if I could tell the right lies at the right time. No-one would want to date the real me, ever. We ended up dating for 2½ years. Things got serious, very serious. We contemplated moving in together when she went to Uni in the fall of 2007. There are so many minute details that I just don't know which ones to pick out... being social isn't my strong point, as you have guessed. In short, she cheated on me. Twice. The first time was in Feb of '07 with a guy online. She readily admitted this and kept apologising. I was angry and I don't know why... but I cared more that she didn't disappear, than the fact that she'd broken my trust. Ironic, really. God knows how many times I'd broken her trust, albeit not cheating. I couldn't bear the thought of not being with her. I felt like she understood me... heh, again, through all the lies. She went to uni, broke up with me while I was on my first visit there. Found out a few weeks later that she had cheated again. We've not spoken since. From Oct-07 to Nov-09, my life hasn't changed a great deal. My psyche, however, has. I can't talk to people, I feel like I'm an idiot every time I open my mouth because someone at work has a better idea than me, or more common sense. My job isn't hard, I'm in charge of health and safety, which basically means I test equipment, I can't even do it right. I'm not very good looking, I can't hold a conversation, I've been playing guitar for 10 years and I still suck. I have no ambition, I have no drive, I have no sense of worth. I've planned suicide a number of times. My doctor insists on sticking me on anti-depressants. They're not doing anything for me. I'm stuck. I am truly, utterly, completely stuck with no-where to turn and no self-help to utilise... I want to fit in, I want to be able to go out and have fun, I want to stop my compulsive lying, I want to stop abusing cigarettes/painkillers that give me a brief sense of well-being. I want to stop spending all day on the computer and get out there. I just can't. I really, really can't. I rarely cry, but just reading this over again makes me feel like the worst human being on this planet. I just... don't know what to do anymore... I'm too scared to get out there. I want to be straight with people, I want to know things, I want to have ambition, I just can't do it! It's driving me continually to the point of wanting to throw myself into traffic. It's a long, straight, bricked road with no way out. Thank you for reading, if you've gotten this far. I hope you don't despise me.