Hello Papa Bear,
My name is Mike. I’m 17, from Germany, and there are some things I would maybe like to talk about with you.
I am in the furry fandom for almost 3 years now. I feel good in it. I like the art, most people of it and yeah, I really like it! But there’s one thing/or thought I have and that crosses my mind quite often.
I don’t need full attention 24/7, I don’t want people to adore me or compliment me every moment. To be honest, I’m happy how I am. But still I sometimes get a weird feeling when looking at, let’s say, furries with many watchers, or many page views, or when having a partner. I know this is stupid, but i often think in a way like „why them and not me?“
I sometimes feel like not being worthy or good enough. My self-esteem isn’t low all the time, but sometimes there are these moments where I tend to think in a very negative way.
I have an idea that this may come from my past and my ex. My parents divorced, I had some really bad years, but somehow managed to get around, figured out my sexuality and came out and things went okay. But not all. As time and my mind progressed, I realised more and more that my father has no real interest in me. I have a feeling that he needed me so he could pressure my mother during the breakup and when they argued all the time. When this stopped, I still saw him from time to time, but on neither side it felt like we wanted to see each other more than we HAD to see each other, because that is how things go, right?
Then I met a furry and pretty much fell in love with him. This was last July. For me, a 17 year old is the first relationship very exciting. Things went okay at first, but soon it failed horribly, but, naive and filled with feelings, I thought that he just had a bad phase. He had 2 exes and both cheated on him and changed him so that he is scared of trusting anyone. Additionally to this, he had problems with his parents, so the whole situation wasn’t easy for him (he wasn’t outed). I tried to help him and to show that he can trust me, but every time there was a step forward, there were two backwards. One time he told me he felt like he liked me too and it felt good; then he went silent for days and said that he isn’t ready for a relationship and doesn’t know if he will ever be; then he told me how he likes me again. Being naive, I thought I could help him, this poor guy who lived through all these bad things with his exes and his parents and so on. But soon it started to hurt me. How he didn’t text me, didn’t talk to me for days, turned me down for more important things (like doing vore RPs instead of talking to me) and my self-esteem dropped. It was a relationship and it started out so bad, but I thought that it would turn better. We both made some mistakes, but how he acted towards me was worse and worse.
But the way how he treated me, didn’t give me attention, hurt me a lot. And at the end I decided to break up. He wanted to do it too, but told me, that he didnt have time to tell me. We talked long and to summarize what he said is that he didn’t have the nuts to do it. All in all, the whole relationship with him was poisonous for me and lasted 3 months. I felt like a wreck after it.
At the same time, I tried to better the relationship to my father. I had no real father figure in my life and was scared to loose something like this. But I also realized that he didn’t really care for me and I broke off contact. I do have awesome friends, I do have an awesome sister and also an awesome mother, but this was like my father just died and I was left alone because I wasnt worth enough for being his son.
I don’t know, maybe this led to my first relationship, that I was searching for safety. But in the end it was just something I tried to build up in my mind and keep my little world somehow running and working because I thought everything will work out this way.
My father and ex gave me the feeling of not being worth enough. Maybe that’s why I’m jealous of other (happy) people? Thanks in advance.
* * *
Sounds like you’re pretty good at self-diagnosing. There is a logic to what you say, especially when it comes to your father’s rejection of you (or, apparent rejection), and that this would leave you overly sensitive to the idea that you might get rejected by furries, or even just being hyper that you are not as popular as other furries.
I have a couple pieces of advice for you. First of all, you say you have an awesome mother, sister, and some great friends. Instead of focusing on what happened between you and your father and your ex, look at all the great people you do have in your life! There are many people out in the world who don’t have anyone like that: no mother or father, no siblings who care about them, not even an aunt or uncle or grandparent. This isn’t to say that the pain you feel about your dad and ex isn’t legitimate, but you shouldn’t feel that just because some relationships in your life didn’t work out that you are somehow unworthy of love and friendship. Your other relationships prove you are worthy. Nobody on this planet has a 100% relationship success rate. No-bod-y.
Secondly, there will always be other people who are more popular, more successful, richer, more handsome etc. etc. than you are. Don’t worry if some other furry has 1,000 friends on Facebook. It’s not a competition, and, besides, most of those people—if not almost all of them!—are not really friends but just people who follow that person or are casual acquaintances. Having a Facebook friend or followers on, say, FurAffinity, is not nearly as valuable as having true friends in your real life. Let those furries have their slew of followers; who cares? I’d rather have 5 super duper friends than 5,000 acquaintances.
So, there really is no mystery here, and I’m guessing that you wrote Papabear just to check if your thinking is on the mark or not. I would say, yes, you have a good grip on what’s going on. Now that you understand why you are struggling with self-esteem, you can do things to make yourself feel better about who you are:
Be happy, my furiend,
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