What I'm Really Thinking …social anxiety

I often try to avoid school. I use all the usual excuses, like I have a migraine, or I feel sick. Sometimes I can even get away with saying that my period is just really bad and that I can’t face school. Sometimes that one is true, but I’d use it anyway because I can’t bear to be in school.

In school I just don’t know where to be. When we go into class I’ll often have nowhere to sit, or I get told to move because I am in one of the other girl’s seats. I’ve tried being friendly towards them, but some of them are really difficult. They just diss you no matter what you say. At lunchtimes I often just sit in the toilets, sometimes I cry.

Because I’m in second year now, its even harder, because nobody really changes their friend group. Everyone just hangs on to whoever they’re friends with because you end up in no man’s land if you try to move on. I know some of the girls hate their friends (or one or two of them), but their fear of being like me is even greater.

I am looked on as a loner. But I’m not. I think some of the girls think I like being on my own. Or they think that I push other people away, but that’s not it at all. I want to have friends. I just don’t seem to know how to do it.

In primary school it was easier. I’d known everyone there forever and everyone was just kind of everyone’s friend. But when it came time for secondary school, everything changed and it seemed like it was every girl for herself. I didn’t even know what was happening, but I pretty soon learned that nobody wanted to be hanging out with me.

I don’t know what to say when I’m with other girls now, because whatever I say it seems to be the wrong thing. I know I’ve got it wrong because the girls give you that look, the one that either says “you are so lame” or “god love her, she’s such a loser”. I don’t like being hated or being pitied. I just want to be liked.

I can’t explain any of this to my parents because they just wouldn’t understand. My mum does occasionally ask me if everything is OK in school, and I lie and tell her that of course it is. I don’t want her to think badly of me, like I’m a loser. I don’t want her to pity me too.

I feel like I don’t fit in at school. Whatever it is about me (and there must be something wrong with me) I just don’t seem to think like the other girls. I’m on Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, but when I hear the other girls talking about “social media”, I’ve realised that I am so far on the outside that I really believe there is no way in.

I just wish someone understood. I just wish someone could tell me how to do it right, how to make friends, how to be liked. I wish someone could tell me how to fix whatever it is that is wrong with me so that other people would want to be with me.

But its safer sometimes to be on my own. That’s why I try to avoid school; because it is just too hard to be in there and to be around everyone but to be on the outside too. When I’m at home I don’t have to think about how lonely I feel. But when you’re on your own with everyone it’s shoved right into your face.

I sound like an awful moaner, I know. But I feel so sad. Maybe I should tell my mum, since she asks. It can’t get much worse.

As imagined by David Coleman

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