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    Dear anita,

    I am glad you were feeling better when you replied. I hope you are well and not sad anymore!

    At the moment I feel more stable. I don’t know why I got so upset over that floor meeting, that ended up being canceled. It was just so weird to me that they sent me an extra E-Mail and later asked me again to come… And usually, there is only one meeting every half year and we already had one. But of course, I am surely not so important to the lives of my flatmates.

    My therapist said also, that I have a lot of imagination. And it is true, I end up making up horror scenarios in my head, imagining people accusing me of everything that is going wrong. And I got the feeling like “I am the problem, everywhere I go”.

    But I should better use my fantasy for more productive things, for example to get creative and write a book or create a blog… But I also need to learn how to better deal with my feelings, because they can get overwhelming, when I am under stress.

    But in the last days, I felt better. Yesterday I sent out all the required info to the landlord and I contacted another person in search of a roommate. I did it first thing in the morning and it worked. Tomorrow I will try again. Doing the worst thing first seems to be a good idea.

    Today I also worked on my illustrations for about 4,5 hours, cleaned up and it was  an o.K. day. I want to keep it up and become a functioning adult… The talk with my mentor gave me hope that I can do it too, even if it will still take some time. She plans everything ahead, so she has enough time to complete her tasks and I would like to get to that level too.

    You asked about my illustrations: I like to draw people I see in the city (especially if they are interesting characters with nice or special outfits), I also draw a lot of things I see in nature (leaves or shells I collected, birds I have seen, landscapes) or scenes from everyday life. My style is described as “naive” often, also they say that my drawings are narrative and that you can see that I look at the people I draw with affection. I would show you something, but I want to stay anonymous and I gave so much personal information on this website already.

    To earn money, I would like to illustrate book covers and maybe work in advertisement or make illustrations for magazines (but also, I want to work part time still, at least in the beginning). I will have to ask my mentor more about how to get started with all of this, but I am thinking about going to a book fair next spring and to show my portfolio there. I think this would give me some time to prepare. But first, I will focus on my projects for uni to not overwhelm myself again.

    Then, one day I want to publish a graphic novel also. I already have ideas for more than one book… The worst problem is that I need to organize my life better and become more disciplined.

    About having a home: yes, I would like to find a place that feels like home. In my dream life, I would live close to nature. Somewhere where I can go to the forest everyday, it would be nice to have a garden to grow my own food… My room doesn’t need to be big and I don’t need a lot of things, but it should be comfortable with some plants and rugs or pillows…

    And yes it would be nice to have some people around. In the past I saw myself as a loner, but I am realizing more and more that I am missing something. At the moment I have isolated myself again… So yes, roommates or friends would be nice to have. Sometimes I wonder if I could live together with my brother, but it would also be difficult as he cannot make decisions and you have to cheer him on a lot. It would already be nice if I didn’t live so far away, so we could sometimes go for a trip or do sports together or something. Maybe also with my sister.

    Or to have some nice roommates that would become my friends would also be good. But at the moment I am kind of doubting my ability to be a good roommate. But I think I also have some good qualities, I am polite and empathetic and I can cook well and I like to listen to others… Once I gather up the courage to talk about a problem, I can talk well to others and am also sympathetic. I clean up my mess, at least in the community rooms… Maybe it could work out….

    But at some point it would also be nice to have a partner to share my life with. But its not the right time for that now, I think. I have to work on myself a lot and even though I want a relationship I am also very afraid of it. Who knows, maybe in the future it will be possible…




    Dear anita,

    I am feeling a little better now. At least I am not having this extreme feeling of anxiety and like I am going crazy. And I have no more suicidal thoughts. I feel more stable, even though I still feel sad.

    At work, I will be working more hours for some time and earn more, so that is a good thing. And yesterday I met my mentor, after I had almost canceled the whole program a few weeks ago, when I was under a lot of stress.  She is very friendly, and we decided that I make a time plan for my university projects and other career plans. It also seems that she has a lot of useful tips on how to become a freelance illustrator. It is good to have someone to guide me a little on how to do the first steps.

    Today I also looked at one room that I really liked. But there are a lot of people interested… I have to work more on this search for an appartment and I need to motivate myself. So I want to write here to motivate myself. Tomorrow, I will contact at least one person in search of a room. Hopefully it helps.

    One day, I would like to have a real home, with some people who are part of my life… But I already have my best friend and we truly support each other. And my family is also supportive, even though it is a little difficult. So I need to be thankful for that. But I also want to have more friends and become less isolated…

    And how are you doing?



    Dear anita,

    you are right, I am overthinking, and especially when I feel stressed. And at the moment, nothing seems to go right.

    I will try to do something more productive now and work on my project for uni.

    Thank you for your help!



    Last week, I think on thursday, I looked at my facebook messages and saw that K’s profile picture was deleted. I wondered if he had blocked me. But it seems he has deleted his account. Despite it not going well between us, I feel worried about him. But hopefully he is just focusing on his studies or improving his life. It probably has nothing to do with me and I hope he is well.

    To find out, what it looks like if you get blocked, I looked at my old messages by the man from the dormitory. I had blocked him for a long time, but now it seems like he had blocked me on all of his accounts recently (I know the message was different only some weeks ago or so). Because the note in my messenger changed from “you can’t respond to this conversation” to “this person is currently not available”.

    Of course I am happy with his choice to block me and move on with his life. Just, the timing is very strange. After three years of our “breakup”? Why now? Why is he still thinking about me so much after all of this time, that he feels the need to block me?

    There was something weird with my account too. It said I had messages, when I had none. I wondered if there was something wrong or if it got hacked, and changed my password.

    On saturday after yoga class, when I went home I crossed by a group of men, seemingly from the same ethnicity like the men from the dormitory. One was grinning at me. And one said “I will help you” and another one repeated it. I just ignored them, but I found it strange…

    I know it sounds super crazy… There are more weird things, but I am probably overthinking again, making up crazy conspiracy theories… Right???

    I am sorry to bother you with this. Maybe it’s just a sign that the story with these two is over now and that I should just move on.



    Dear anita,

    it sounds reasonable! And I have heard a lot of judgement from others. In school, from relatives, at home… It seems like I am an easy target for it. Maybe because I haven’t accepted myself fully yet. Or because I don’t talk so much and keep to myself a lot. I only open up to very few people and don’t trust easily. So that might make others also insecure and unsure how to react.

    For now I think it is the best to occupy my mind and do lots of things instead of thinking too much.

    I will go offline now. Have a good day!



    Dear anita,

    you are right. Sometimes I get a little obsessive. Most likely they don’t think that much about me. Everything else would be weird. Especially over some knife? I guess it reminds me too much of my past… But now I have made myself the outcast by my own doing.

    Best to occupy my time with more useful things. And let others be. They do things because of themselves, not because of me. I am not that important.

    What I can do is to try to improve my life step by step.



    My therapist also said that it doesn’t matter what people think. Maybe in my childhood it did, but not anymore. I will try to focus on my studies and work and doing things that calm me down like Yoga, for example…



    Dear Peter,

    this book suggestion sound really good. I am considering buying it, even though the christian background puts me a little bit off… But maybe this could even be a reason to make it more helpful for me. Otherwise, it seems to be a book that is tailored to my problem.

    Yes, I feel a lot of shame. Because I am far behind in life. And because I am not doing well in social situations. But the feeling was always there, long before I failed in my career… So maybe it was undeserved.

    It is definitely undeserved in the dormitory situation. Because I didn’t steal anything and I never did anything bad to my flatmates (except being socially awkward). And my private life and failed relationship is also none of their business and most likely they don’t even know about it.

    But it is hard to overcome these feelings.

    Dear anita,

    thank you, I have a good feeling with my therapist. She seems to really care and I have understood some things thanks to her already. But it is going very slowly. But most likely it takes time. Thank you for your well wishes.

    Besides that, I have to really work on finding a new place to live. Living here just makes me so sick. People look at me weirdly and some also behave in strange ways. I think many of them really seem to believe that I am a thief. But I have to remind myself that it is not the truth, even if it looks bad.

    It just drags me down a lot. But so far I have procrastinated on my search for a new place. Maybe I can  use this thread as a journal to motivate myself and post my progress.



    Dear GL,

    yes, my feelings of shame are very present at the moment.And the things you wrote make a lot of sense to me.

    In the past months, I felt a lot of shame because of a failed attempt at a relationship and then the incident with the knife made it worse. First, I was feeling unhappy with myself and hiding myself because of that relationship, then there was the suspicion. And I was behaving more and more nervous, of course it must have seemed weird to my flatmates. And then they probably didn’t know how to react and things got stranger and stranger and now I just feel very unhappy here. Indeed I have to move out, I don’t want to be here when anything else gets lost or something happens.

    All those events made my feelings of shame and guilt and fear resurface. But I can see now, that they come from my childhood.

    You are right, I have to deal with my feelings of shame and guilt. I think I already acknowledge that I have these feelings. Also, I can see that they are not helping me. And I think I also understand, that if I would accept myself, others would accept me too. But I am still very far from accepting myself the way I am. Which leads me to keep on behaving weirdly and not respecting myself.

    It is time to face those flaws… I don’t want it to fester and become worse. But I think it will be a lot of work. Hopefully my therapist can help me with it.

    And I will also focus on doing things that make me feel good, so hopefully then my confidence will grow again!

    Thank you a lot for your advice.


    Dear anita,

    I think I now understand better what you meant. Hopefully I will be able to accept myself one day and feel empathy for myself. Right now, it is very hard. There is just this feeling that I am wrong and flawed and sick. I look at my flaws and mistakes and I am not able to forgive myself. But as I said above, hopefully my therapist can help me with this.

    Thank you for your help anita! Please take care of yourself and I hope you are doing well.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Lily.


    Dear GL,

    thank you for your helpful reply. I will answer you later as I don’t want to spend too much time on the computer right now and need to get my day started!

    Please take care!



    Dear anita,

    I read an old diary entry that talks of my parents from when I was 19 years old. There I see that my parents made mistakes and that their behavior was not o.K., but I also write that they tried their best and that others had it worse. Also that I was a difficult child. It seems like I had mixed feelings. One day later I write that what I had written one day before was stupid and that it doesn’t help to look at old wounds. That my anger from one year ago was gone and that I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

    Maybe that was the time when I started to change from being angry at my father to becoming numb. At that time I also moved to another place to study and I felt very lost.

    Hopefully I can grow up someday, but it really feels overwhelming and hopeless. But your idea to look at my early life sounds good to me. Next week, I will ask my therapist about it. But on the other hand, I feel like I have thought and talked so much about my childhood already, but I still don’t get it, still haven’t healed.

    Something went definitely wrong in my childhood. My siblings also have problems. When I talked to my sister a while ago, she said she felt like a burden to everyone and insecure. But she has more guilty feelings towards my father, probably because she was her favourite and saw himself in her. My sister felt like he liked her, while I felt like he hated me. And she was surprised about the things he said to me. She also remembers getting hit on the head by my mother only once, while I remember my father hitting me on several occasions.

    In general, I feel like I was treated differently from my siblings. I was supposed to understand everything, because I was the oldest. It felt like my father liked my sister, my mother liked my brother and no one liked me. But my brother for example, he was overprotected and now he cannot live by himself. He is unable to make the smallest decisions. He doesn’t talk much, and if people ask him something he answers “I don’t know” or “maybe”.

    My parents didn’t look after our needs and our opinion didn’t matter. Discussions were often ended with “period!” and mistakes on my parents part were never admitted during my childhood.

    Sorry, I don’t want to pity myself. And I still think that I have a strong side! It is not true, that I haven’t formed my own opinion, but I don’t voice it very often. And I also try to overcome my fears and do things that scare me, like going abroad, or volunteering in playing a big part in organizing an exhibition. My fears were big, but I still did it and it went o.K. So I’m not completely weak, I don’t think so.

    Of course, I know that I am far behind everyone in life. It makes me feel terrible about myself. Yesterday, that colleague that seems to have a problem with me made jokes with another colleague about me again. And he spoke about someone else, who was not much older than me, but had accomplished more. It dragged me down and I want to change. But also, at the same time, I think his behaviour is cowardly and I think he is far too judgemental! What is his problem with me? If I make a mistake, he could just come to me and explain calmly what I could improve, so I can learn. Instead he makes his passive aggressive jokes to others. And comparing also doesn’t help… I know all of this, but is still hard for me to distance myself from the opinions others have about me.

    Hopefully I will learn with time and therapy will help me out further.



    Dear anita,

    when I wrote that down yesterday I thought that maybe I wanted to see myself as strong and wanted to forget how I felt as a child. As a teenager, I prided myself in distancing myself from my parents, being an atheist and forming my own opinion.

    But then, when I left home, I was overwhelmed with life and didn’t have a direction. I looked for advice everywhere, in movies, blogs etc. And I understood some things, knew what I should do. But I also felt like a loser, felt like I couldn’t change something. I think I felt numb, powerless. And I distracted myself with the internet and other things, instead of facing my problems.

    There was this strong belief that I couldn’t do it, that I was a loser and unworthy. So I didn’t even try, because I felt that surely nobody would accept me for internships and things like that. Even though I would have probably been able to do it! After all, I went abroad to Spain at 18 for 10 months, moved to another city far away from my parents at 19. And I also organized my own flat there and moved again and again, also organizing my own places to stay. I lived by myself for many years, cooked for myself, cleaned and everything. But when it comes to my career I failed. But most likely, I would have been able to do it, had I been more confident and more calm.

    Yesterday I talked to my therapist about the suspicions in my dormitory. And she asked: “What came first, the feeling of being guilty? Or behaving like I am guilty?”. And she said that in such situations, I basically volunteer to be the guilty one.

    Similar with my career. I believed I was not able to make it and I didn’t make it.

    I think even though I distanced myself from my parents as a teenager, I still hadn’t really understood everything. And some of the things you quoted, I only figured out more recently. And the teenager me, that was still me. I understand a lot of things on an intellectual level, I think that I am intellegent enough. I don’t think you can separate the two parts of me that much?

    But it is true, I am not living my life like a grown up. I depend too much on other people’s opinion of me. And in stressful situations, I go back to that childlike state especially. And when somebody else comes a long with an opinion about me, it shakes me up, making me even doubt what I know is the truth. They treat me like a bad person, so I must be a bad person? That’s how I feel then…

    I think emotionally, I am underdeveloped. As my feelings were never valued or regarded. My therapist said, that my parents treated me like an object. And I remember my father picking me up, carrying me away and “whooping my ass”. I was helpless then, but I am not helpless now. Even though I still feel like it.

    Anyways, I don’t want to remain like that. I want to grow up. Even though, things go slowly, I think I have started to see things clearer already and I think that the changes have already started within me. But very slowly… And in stressful situations, the fear takes over and I become irrational again.

    You asked, if I tried to please my parents and tried to “fit into their box” ( I don’t know if this is correct English, sorry). I cannot remember. All I can remember is feeling sad and desperate as a child, even thinking about suicide at an age below 12 years old.

    My mother once told me that my father was jealous of me as a baby. Because I needed all her attention and care? So my relationship with him was probably never that good. He liked my sister more. Who knows, maybe I still wanted his approval?

    But as an adult, I have experienced that I wanted to please him, not wanting to make his mood any worse. Once we went on a family trip together. We went to a remote place, you could only go to by foot, bycicle or horse-drawn-carriage. As my father hates long walks and nature and it was also after a storm and there were huge puddles everywhere in the forest, we went with the carriage. But when going back home, we missed the carriage because of my father. My sister and mother fought with him while my brother and I stood by. Then we walked home, my father walking behind us and my sister and mother being angry. And I felt sorry for my father and went to him, to talk to him.

    I think in my twenties, I wanted to forgive my father and be compassionate. I thought I had moved on and was over it. But apparently, there are still a lot of things that I haven’t dealt with.




    Dear anita,

    thank you for your response. I think I will reply tomorrow or so, for now I have spent so much time on the computer. Time to do something else.

    I wish you a very nice day!



    Dear marrriee,

    thank you for your post, it inspired me a lot!

    Deep down I already know who I want to be and what my values are. I want to work harder, be kind to people, but also stand up for myself, be honest. The person I want to be is also confident and strong. And I think that I already do have some strength in me. Also, I want to be a good friend and be there for my friends and family. The environment is also important to me.

    There are also a lot of things that I like and am interested in. Too often though I get carried away by my worries and self doubt. And I also need to become more self-disciplined. I think I need to start parenting myself.

    In my childhood I always dreamt of traveling the world, being an artist, exploring the world. But later I kind of lost my drive and became depressed, I think. I did not care about the things I loved so much anymore, for a long time, everything I did seem useless.

    But I still have a lot of things I am interested in. I love experiencing the world in a sensual way. Smelling things (I like to stop and smell roses or lilacs), watching the world around me (today I saw a baby bunny eating daisies, it was so cute), seeing the colors of flowers… Small joys are very important to me. I love to cook and trying out new recipes, I love dancing (maybe it doesn’t look good, but that’s when I feel most like myself, most free and passionate). I am interested in learning more about other cultures. History is also something that I want to learn more about. And of course I love nature. I like to go hiking and I like plants, especially healing plants and edible ones.

    Of course there is art, and I already study illustration.

    I guess I just have to work harder on doing more of these things and including them into my life. It also takes some effort to do the things you love, it is too easy to get distracted by the internet and so on. But I know it will make my life better to put in that effort.

    My biggest enemy is my own inner voice telling me that I will never succeed. Sometimes the thoughts get very overwhelming, but you are right, I have to work on using counter arguments. I think it will be very hard to change my way of thinking, but it would be worth it.

    I can absolutely relate to you, I also tend to overthink! So doing more and worrying less would be a good motto for me.

    Thanks a lot. I feel motivated now, now I have to take the next step and start doing those things.



    Dear anita,

    I don’t know if I was never afraid of my father. During the time of the confirmation, I was already a teenager, about 14 years old. At that time, I had already disconnected from the relationship with my parents. I did not feel, like they were a good example for me. My mother was overwhelmed with the children and the household and I think hadn’t found her own path.

    My father was very stubborn and judgemental. He was not able to take criticism and I, as a difficult child, posed a threat to his self esteem… My mother , I think, followed his lead. So I was seen as the bad one, or that’s how I felt.

    I did not really have a relationship with my parents, they did not understand me. I did not fit into their box… And I did not trust them, I did not trust in them to tell them my feelings. Later they kind of gave up on our family… Everyone came home at a different time, to eat cold food by themselves… When I went abroad for a year after school, they didn’t even bring me to the railway station, because they had to work (they had to work, but still? I was going away from home for months for the first time…)

    What was I afraid of? I was very afraid of people judging me, that I remember! As a child I felt very ugly and thought people wouldn’t like me because of that (now I feel o.K. with my looks, but am insecure about my personality).

    I remember blaming my insecurities on getting bullied in school. Boys told me how ugly my face looked etc. Children threw paper balls at me… I always had the feeling of being different and not likable.

    My therapist said, that this makes sense, that I sought the reason for my problems outside my family. That every child wants to be loved subconsciously… I think that I didn’t realize the gravity of my parents influence until later. Once back then (as a teenager), I talked with a friend about my insecurities. And I thought that it came from the bullying, but she believed that it had to do with my father. And I rejected the idea, even though I already disliked my father by then.

    Yes, I was very afraid of judgement. And who is very judgemental? My father. He always points out the flaws of others, while not wanting to look at his own. Maybe I was afraid of him? He definitely hurt my feelings and made me feel miserable. But after some time, I wanted to break free from it. I made fun of him and insulted him, but I don’t know when this started.

    But I don’t understand it myself, I am confused about my childhood. As a teenager, or maybe a little earlier I rebelled. But maybe as a child it was different? I remember, when I was maybe around 10 years old, I did see the confirmees one day. And I said to myself: I will take a break from this religion thing until I become a confirmee myself. Religion to me was like a duty, like a burden. There came lots of rules and prohibitions with it… It was very black and white from my fathers side and overly emotional (similar to evangelicals) from my mothers side. It just wasn’t my thing. My parents never were able to show me the good side of it. And it was seen as a problem, that I resisted.

    But it also means, that for a time, I followed the religious christian rules like my parents. Maybe at some point, I also cared about their opinion? I cannot connect the dots myself…

    What did I respect as a child? I respected my cousin, the daughter of my fathers brother (they don’t get along: while my father chose the religious route, my uncle was part of the socialist youth organisations of the GDR and married the daughter of an activist. There was always competition between them, they even compared us children).

    My cousin and I lived far away, but we wrote letters to each other. I looked up to her, wanted to listen to the same music as her and watch the same movies. She also worked as an Au Pair, one year before I also worked as an Au Pair, just in a different country.

    There was also my grandmother, but I also only saw her during some weeks in the summer.  She knew everything about plants and lived a simple life. My grandmother was a farmer and lived by herself in an old beautiful house after her husbands death. The holidays there are some of my happiest childhood memories. She taught me how to milk a goat, we harvested potatoes and raspberries together. We went hiking together at the nearby forests and collected mushrooms. The paths and other things had special names like “snake path” or “moonlight lake” (it was just a pool with duckweed on it, but it seemed so magical). She also had all these sayings… She called her best shoes “sunday-afternoon-take-out-shoes” or said weird things like “don’t be such a coward, let me hide behind the bushes!”. I wanted to become a farmer like her. And I still think at simple life in nature would suit me most! So yeah, writing this out I can feel how much I liked her.

    I also found role models in TV shows or music groups. For example, I liked this TV show “Buffy the vampire slayer”, about a girl that was fighting against demons. Earlier I also liked Sailor Moon, where girls also fight against evil. Both shows were disliked and forbidden by my parents. By the way, I followed my parents rules more when I was younger and stopped watching Sailor Moon. But with Buffy, my cousin recorded the show for me and I watched it secretly.

    And with music, I also liked strong female figures (or that’s what they appeared to me) like the Spice Girls or Destiny’s Child. They sang songs about being independent and strong….

    Yes, I think my worldview was formed a lot by television and music, I was looking for role models and my parents didn’t really offer one?

    Not sure if this will make more sense to you? Sometimes I get confused myself. And I realize that I am a living contradiction…


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