Trying to Move Forward and Become Better

Hello! 

For most of my life I have struggled to find acceptance. I was born prematurely, and was always shorter and smaller than everyone else, and I was endlessly bullied for this. At my elementary school, sports were the only thing that mattered, and I was ostracized for my lack of athletic ability. I was even bullied by one of my teachers. I have come to accept all of this, for I feel it made me more resilient, and better attuned to finding the truly positive qualities of mankind. I had a few friends, and they were good friends, but then I moved away and was separated from them. I never really fit in very well to my new school, and although I made some friends along the way, I still felt isolated, as if unable to fundamentally connect with other human beings. I know this must sound pretty trivial, but it had an important effect on my social and emotional development. However, the story gets better. I have always been commended for my intelligence and dedication. I've come to be respected for this, and it opened the doors to many opportunities.

This, however, is just the preview to the main attraction. In high school, I had a few girlfriends. Two, actually. They were both fairly negative experiences overall. My second girlfriend, if I can even really call her that, since she refused to be called my girlfriend and wanted the relationship kept secret, left me for someone she barely knew, claiming she only dated me because she felt bad for me. Obviously, I was pretty angry. I became very attached to my first girlfriend, because no one else had ever treated me like I was attractive before. We didn't last a long time, most due to the fact I had no idea what I was doing. But I was still very attached. I told her I loved her, and that ended pretty poorly. Of course, I was young and had no idea what love was, and I can forgive myself for that. These two experiences colored how I interact with women. I'm afraid I'll become overly attached, which is undesirable not only because I'm afraid it will scare her away, but also because I value having a healthy relationship. How can I have a healthy relationship if I'm obsessive and put her on a pedestal? I've gotten much better at this, but the fear still remains. Also I fear I'll be randomly adandoned, and this makes me feel like I'm not worthy of someone's time or attention, much less their affection.  

In college, I again struggled to find friends, but once I found some people with my interests, or people who were very accepting, I found better friends than I ever had before. I met someone, who I'll call K, who shared many interests with me. She was just a peripheral friend though. I didn't spend much time with her until sophomore year. I probably wouldn't have seen her at all that year if she hadn't contacted me first. I then started hanging out with her alot, to the point where people assumed we were dating. I didn't really care, I enjoyed spending time with her. She was very flirtatious, and I reciprocated it, even though I was uncomfortable doing so. See, she had a boyfriend in another state. I didn't want to cause trouble, but she was still very flirtatious. I never developed feelings for her though, and eventually learned to control myself around her, for she regarded any display of emotion as inappropriate. Our friendship had its rough patches, but it survived, and we gradually adopted less of a pseudo-relationship status. 

Through K I met someone else, who I'll call L, who I grew to really like. We connected in many ways, and had similar personalities and interests. As K and I became more distant, L and I became closer. She was also flirtatious, but was more emotional and definitely more forward about it. She went out of her way to make me feel like I was an important part of her life. no one had ever really done that before. I developed romantic feelings towards her, and sensed that she returned them. We went on a date, and I had alot of fun. K was very jealous of this, and didn't like for us to spend time together alone. My timing was bad, and the relationship didn't advance very far, because soon I was gone for summer, and I felt afraid to talk to L. She told me how much she missed me, but I was still afraid to talk to with the exception of a few times. Eventually she moved on and found someone else, someone I knew treated women very poorly. Feeling like I could trust her, I voiced my concerns to K. In retrospect, this was a terrible idea. I was also incredibly jealous and refused to accept L's choice, but never talked to her about it. I didn;t have to. K told her and both friendships collapsed. I was hurt and angry, and over time struggled to accept my jealousy, selfishness and immaturity. 

After this, I dedicated myself to becoming a better person. I found new friends, and finally felt accepted. I excelled academically, and was offered to work with two of my professors on their research, and another appointed me as the assisstant to the entire department. But I still felt an emptiness, a loneliness, as if all of this progress meant nothing. I met another girl, and refused to commit to her because I felt a longing for L (although my attachment issues did not manifest themselves in her, and we're great friends now). It grew worse over time. My disappointment in myself and my regret caused me to spiral into depression. I found it hard to wake up in the morning, and difficult to stay motivated by anything. Towards graduation, I reached out to her, but the communications were brief and meaningless. I've reached out to her a few times since, but I get the sense she doesn't care. I feel like her life is probably better off without me. And I feel like she looks down on me and sees me as an embarrassment she wants to forget she was involved with.

I now feel incertain if I can ever be a good person, and sometimes feel like a social retard who only makes other people feel uncomfortable, who doesn't deserve friendship or love. I know this is probably wrong, but it still lingers in the back of my mind. I'm ashamed of my selfishness, and find myself angry and jealous at the thought of L being happy in another relationship, even though I know she deserves it. I'm embarrassed I still feel attached to her, and wish I could move on and forget her. I've tried writing a letter to her and deleting it on my computer, which did make me feel better, but I want to be sure I do everything I can to become the best version of myself I can be. Although I still wonder, what if caring about her is part of me being the best version of myself I can be? I don't know, but I feel like I need to leave her in the past, and move forward. 

User Comments
Anon-1

To become a better person you need to accept that your actions and continued contact with this girl are detrimental not only for her but for you also. Use the experience to learn what you want to change, take action and move forward. 

Holding on to the past, her and your feelings will only be unhelpful in the long run.