I was like this my whole life until my senior year of high school. I bottled up my emotions because no one ever taught me how to process them. Whenever I cried my mom would just threaten to hit me or tell me to shut up. So as I reached adolescences I just had the idea in my mind whenever I was upset “I shouldn’t be sad, I should be tougher” but I wasn’t being tougher or stronger, I was bottling it up. Whenever my anger or sadness would just burst out my mom didn’t give me words of comfort, no apologies, no help, she just told me I looked crazy and that she didn’t need this.. I convinced myself everything I do ought to be devoted to her and those around me and give 110% to anyone that comes my way. I don’t know why. Maybe subconsciously I thought if I did enough I’d finally be worthy of love or recognition. I was the silent but strong guy at school. People thanked me for helping them with work, projects, physically demanding stuff. People came to me for help, I was the guy anyone could count on. But I always found myself sitting alone at lunch and after school. It made me sad but in my mind I decided I didn’t care. Until one night I had a nightmare. Then I had it again and again. A lost cold girl in the dark. I give her my jacket, my lunch. I ask if she’s okay. She says “you’re not real”. She disappears. I’m alone in the dark, lights in the distance illuminate her silhouette, I hear her footsteps, but no matter how far or fast I run I get no closer. Cold and alone is all I felt for years, especially at night. I felt so alone I’d cry and howl in pain because it got to a point where my heart physically hurt. I went to the ER twice because of it, panic attacks. I developed anxiety and depression, nightmares about my abusive father returned to me. My English teacher had me sent to counselor who diagnosed me with ptsd. I tried opening up and I met a girl who I thought I could find happiness with, I promised her the world and all my strength would be only to her from then on but she decided she didn’t want me in her life anymore. One day she just told me everything she ever said she felt about me was a lie, that she never really felt anything for me. She blocked me on everything and I never heard from her again. It ruined me, I feel I let it ruin me. I dropped out of college on the first day and lived with my parents for two years.