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I am not really sure what is wrong with me.

I suffered from bullying at school since I turned five years old until I was seventeen and a half, when I actually dropped out (because of the bullying). Years and years of non-stop torture. It took several forms, sometimes physical violence, but most frequently insults and isolation from the group. This was always carried out by the same people since I was unlucky enough to have the same classmates all through elementary school, and when we attended highschool, I had to catch the same bus as they did. Catching the bus was truly a nightmare.

I have no clue why I was the most bullied student in my class of twenty-something kids, not being ugly or overweight, just a bit taller than average maybe. Plus, I was a naturally outgoing child, very talkative and active. All that I can think of as a reason is the fact that I was a little sensitive, especially where animals were concerned (and to this day, I'm a hardcore animal lover). The fact is that, over the years, all this bullying harshly repressed my outgoing personality and damaged my self-steem until I became really awkward in social situations, especially during my teens. I subconsciously assumed that people weren't naturally friendly and that stopped me from being as social as I wished I had been, even though I did have friends.

All my bullies were boys, even in highschool. They stopped me from meeting new people there by letting them know that I was the school's punchbag, so I couldn't start anew until I quit. Even though it was terribly awful and I was constantly on an emotional rollercoaster, I think I was pretty strong, and never ever complained about going to school or stopped getting the best grades of my class. My mother kept telling me that when I grew up, I'd be over and done with them, so I kept hope in heart and worked hard to be a happy adult. I didn't think for a minute that it would have such a repercussion on my life as an adult, as well.

Recently I've come to fully realise how much it has stigmased me, to the point that I might not function normally if I don't control my emotions. This is why I'm seeking advice. I feel as if the insecurities that trigger arguments in my relationship may be a cause of all the bullying that I've been through and the negative self-image it created, and I really, really don't want this relationship to fall apart. If this is true, how can I manage to get over it? Someone once told me that I have to learn to love my inner child so it stops crying for help, that I have to tell her that she's great and worthy of love, but how???

I used to think that I was over this; I finished school and started college, I went back to being chatty and outgoing instead of self-conscious, I got real friends and a boyfriend that I'm worthy of, instead of settling for anyone and then dumping them.

But now, I truly feel that it has shaped me as an adult for the worse and the older I get, the more it stops me from having a normal life. I also feel that if I don't get a grip on the situation, I might undergo depression in the near/middle future and most surely lose my boyfriend and fail at college. It's like I'm destroying my own life and I don't really know what to do about it.

Could it be possible that I'm too emotionally dependant on my relationship because of the negative experiences I've been through, or does it have to do with something else? Sometimes, I feel as if being with him is the real engine in my life, the reason that keeps me going, even though I keep doing other things too. I'm always hoping he texts me, says something nice to me or pays me attention in any way; and if he doesn't show as much interest as me, I end up hurt. I know this isn't healthy at all for either of us, how can I stop this???

I have to say that I'm in my twenties and I always had a good household environment. Any input with be welcome, thanks a lot

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