Major Problems Ever Since I Left Elementary School

Published: September 21, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I don't know where to start. I'll just start by saying that ever since I left elementary school, my life has been absolute hell. They always say junior high and high school are so much better, but they're not. In elementary school it's one teacher, one class, and in junior high and high school it's all over the place. Ever since I switched I lost all of my friends because one was an ass and I "broke up" with her, one was in a completely different class and got new friends, and my other friend suddenly turned against me and started bullying me along with the rest of my class. It's not even really bullying but they said stuff like I'm a lesbian - which shouldn't be an insult but it just kind of hurts since it's not true and since they think that being lesbian is a bad thing - and they called me emo and would make fun of me and they still do except they do it behind my back. so now I only have one friend and I'm so shy and people don't realize how hard it is for me to socialize with people. I don't even talk in class, I whisper to my friend when she talks to me and say something quietly if a teacher calls on me I but that's it. I used to love public speaking but out of the blue when junior high started I got super bad anxiety and presenting in front of class is what has made me fail projects because they just make me so nervous and I can't handle my anxiety, speaking loudly, speaking in general, making eye contact which I don't do anyway, etc. all at once. Don't tell me to do any of those coping mechanisms out there because I've tried. I've tried breathing and relaxation and "talking down." You name it and I've done it. Nothing works. I'm not trying to be rude but I'm just tired of people telling me to do things that don't work. In elementary school I was a LA (English, in America) whiz and got pretty decent grades in other subjects but now the only thing I pass is gym and religion and health and the only reason I pass gym is because I dress in the attire, if it were to be graded on participation I would fail that as well because I'm not into sports of any kind and due to the anxiety, I can't push myself to try harder. My brain can't process information anymore - recently I had a math test. I understood everything. I studied for at least fifteen minutes every HOUR every DAY. I got 53% on that test. No one seems to understand what I go through and I want people to know that I'm trying, but I can't show it. I feel like everyone expects too much from me and I'm tired of it. I'm in my last year of junior high now (grade nine, I live in Canada) and I love all of my teachers but I know they hate me. my mom is probably forcing me to go to high school but if I'm this bad now I don't know how I'll be able to handle it then. All of our grade averages need to be at least 65% and I just can't handle that, not with the way things are going. WHILE I WOULD NEVER ACT ON THIS, occasionally I even feel suicidal. Please help.
Signed: Major Problems Ever Since I Left Elementary School

Dear Major Problems Ever Since I Left Elementary School,

TeenHealthFX is very happy that you reached out to us about this. The types of issues you are dealing with (described above) can be very hard issues to manage – but they are even harder when trying to deal with them and figure them out all on your own. So we think that it is wonderful that you reached out for some help and guidance with this.

TeenHealthFX can appreciate how hard you are trying and how difficult it is for you to feel like the people around you don’t truly understand what you are going through. We understand the anxiety that is there about your grades, and we can also appreciate how difficult it is to deal with bullying behavior. While there is obviously nothing wrong with being a lesbian, what becomes hurtful and insulting is the intention in which the term is used. Clearly your peers were using this term from a place of hostility and a desire to be mean and hurtful. And when we experience people as hostile and cruel in whatever form it takes, it is painful.

TeenHealthFX can appreciate that you have not experienced the use of basic coping strategies as enough for you. One of the biggest things that helps people to feel happy, independent and confident is having secure, loving attachments with other people. Whether it’s with our parents, siblings, friends or in dating relationships, we feel secure when we feel that we matter to the other person and that we can depend on the other person to be there for us no matter what. FX wonders about whether you have experienced enough close, healthy attachments in your life, particularly with the people closest to you. That said, FX thinks the most helpful thing would be for you to meet with a reputable therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who has a good understanding about attachment theory and who will focus the work around your relationships with others more than on coping strategies. It would also be important for your parent(s) to be included in the therapy to ensure that they understand your needs and are providing you with emotional support.  

If you find the idea of meeting with a therapist a little scary because it’s hard for you to trust others or depend on others, please do not let that deter you from seeking professional help. If you are feeling that way it is even more of a reason to be meeting with a therapist so that those issues can be addressed in a safe place and at a pace that feels reasonable to you.

FX recommends you speak to your mother about setting up a consultation for you with a therapist. If you have any concerns about bringing this directly to your mother, you could always ask your school counselor or school nurse to intervene on your behalf to ensure you get the help you need.

To find a reputable therapist in your area, you can get referrals from friends, family members, your school nurse or school counselor, or your primary care physician. You can also click here to get information on finding help from the Canadian Mental Health Association. If you ever do find that you are feeling suicidal, tell someone about it immediately. You can tell a parent, a staff member at school, go to your local emergency room, call 9-1-1, or click here to find a crisis line near you in Canada.

Signed: TeenHealthFX