A Prisoner


I didn’t think I’d find myself longing for the halls of residence I stayed in at university last year but I am. It always seems to happen to me actually, I hate something at the time but then in the future I end up reminiscing fondly about it. It might be a case of rose tinted glasses, or maybe, if I can paraphrase “Office Space”, every day is worse than the last so every day you see me is the worst day of my life.

My current room doesn’t have an en-suite bathroom (though to call my halls bathroom a “room” is rather a stretch) and it leads directly to the living room so I can always hear when there are people here. I hate coming out of my room when anyone is here, my housemate E, I can just about manage talking to but it never progresses beyond the tiniest of small talk, going over the same old things again and again. I think she is always just shocked to see me, it is frightening how I can live in the same house as two people but remain largely invisible to them.

The main problem I have at the moment (and something else would instantly replace it in my mind as has always happened since I was at primary school, I can never be without a big worry in my life) is that my other housemate, J’s boyfriend has started at the university this year. I am nothing like him, he’s one of the “lads” and I can tell he doesn’t like me at all and I’ll risk being admonished for being judgemental and “mind reading” if you want to use the mental health jargon and say he probably thinks I’m the biggest freak ever and makes fun of me behind my back, to which J probably half heartedly tells him to stop but without any real conviction. He’s the only person who made any negative comment about me not drinking and the way he insults other people (not that he’s a nasty person, pretty much all “lads” are like it) doesn’t give me much hope that such an easy target as myself would be spared. I don’t want to be around when he is there. I can’t talk to him, I am lost for words. I’ll admit I am very intimidated by him, and by J actually. I feel like a lower-class moron compared to them.

I’m fed up of feeling like a prisoner here. I have lost count of the meals I have missed because they and their friends have been round here, their loud conversations and laughter terrify me behind my door and I stay fixed by fear inside my room waiting until it’s reasonably late enough to assume they won’t knock on my door and I can hide in bed until the morning. I count down the days to the weekend; “only 2 more nights here” I’ll think to myself. It’s not an enjoyable existence, my health has already suffered. OK I could stand to lose weight but I’ve been finding my clothes too large because of how little I eat while I’m here. It goes without saying how messed up my mental health is becoming.

I don’t know what to do, time is running out if I want to suspend my studies for a year but I don’t think I’d be able to afford that and I don’t know if I’d have the mental strength to go back after a year away from everything.


9 thoughts on “A Prisoner

  1. it sounds like you need a friend and or just someone to talk to and who will listen in general. You shouldnt hold all that stuff in like that, im sure you already know its not good for you. You should not allow anyone to make you feel like your less of a person because of their character. You feel the way you do because you allow the ppl around you to make you feel that way. Be who you are and take control of your enviroment, and EAT! Lol. I wish you the best!


  2. People who have to make fun of others for not drinking or doing drugs actually feel insecure about whether or not their own behavior is wise. I know that doesn’t help much as far as dealing with it. I’ve never been very good at dealing with people either.


  3. June

    similar story. caused me a lot of problems, and i made some bad decisions. but decades later, i find i function pretty well in society. i’m still me … quiet, not mainstream. but once people get older, they are more accepting of differences. i no longer fear them. and so … they usually like me. just as i am.
    don’t give up, any of you … it gets easier.
    ps – if you suffer from panic attacks, i can recommend something that worked for me. they never came back.


  4. June



    16 years ago i ordered the tapes. (‘Attacking Anxiety’ …now dvds i suppose, and i’m sure the price has gone up). it worked. i haven’t had a panic attack since. i kept them in case i ever needed them again, but i never did. i know panic attacks are not the whole issue, but it does give one hope, to know that there are things we CAN control.


  5. Valentina

    I agree with June, it gets easier as you get older. You would probably really enjoy living in your own flat or with a girlfriend. Just because you don’t enjoy living with roomates doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Hang in there, it can get better.


  6. Leila

    i think the key is in a. your environment b. a goal that’s strong enough to make you want to change. Dropped out of uni, went back, dropped out, went back, you’re speaking to my heart. I had to get my own space to feel better, my own life, independance, and a hard kick from reality, however i still struggle to maintain social contacts when i’m not seeing people regularly due to uni, especially as i have a small daughter, it really frustrates me, i too have an image of who want to be in my head, but i don’t seem to have the energy or the confidence to fake it… I’m just 25 so we are probably about the same age. maybe we can talk. I think social anxiety is a form of introverted narcissim really, indulging in all that self analysis, playing things back… paisdelafleurs@gmail.com


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