Reminded by a comment elsewhere of myself at 17, and maybe I should talk to her as well. Because she was so lost and frustrated, full of fantasies and inadequacies and misplaced focus.
Mostly, she wanted to be kissed, and that wasn't going to happen for another two years. The hormones were off the scale, with no place to put them, and a keen intellect with nothing else to chew on. The eternal question of the young, "why don't boys like me?"*
Well, they don't like you for a series of complicated reasons, some of which have nothing to do with you, some are precisely because of who you are. Let's untangle it a bit.
Start with you. You are beaten down at home, shy, depressed, angry, and unstable. That all shows. Like a huge neon sign flashing in the dark, it shows. Even when they don't know what it says, it keeps people away out of sheer self preservation. As long as you have to keep up that fortress wall against your father, you are not going to be able to let anyone else in. That's core. Until that part of your life is through, you are impermeable. And as you start to get rid of it, chances are the guys most attracted to you will be users who want someone vulnerable. Lucky you.
When you do get through that, and stand tall and confident, you will become more attractive. It isn't all about being pretty and fashionable, at least not for the guys you will be interested in attracting. There will be enough to reassure you, when the time is right.
The rest of the problem is
them. Well, sort of. You have a very small sample size, and you are an outlier even in the whole of the population. Your looks are perfectly adequate, but that mind, those interests - dear, you are at the edge of the scale. Not extreme, but pretty near the edge. How can a small high school throw up anyone like you? Yes, those three or four guys that you like talking with, that you would love to kiss, but again, small sample sizes skew the results. Three of them are gay. You weren't to know. It's not you they don't want to kiss, it's any girl.
And guys your age are not interested in your type, even if you weren't buttoned down. Yes, yes, I know, you would have jumped them given half a chance, but you didn't read that way to them. You developed early, but it doesn't show. And at that age, most of it is about the show. And the unconscious drive for the most genetically healthy. You really don't look healthy - bad mood and bad food - not appealing.
When they get older, men appreciate subtlety and personality and intellect, but not now, not most of them. Anymore than you care about them aside from their desire to kiss you - rather impersonal when you consider it. You are not the only girl not getting kissed, and it's not about who is prettier by your standards, but by the sexual appeal standards of the most confident boys. The introvert boys are dealing with the same issues as you.
Not to mention the catholicism that keeps the honest from pushing the rules. That's on you and them.
So, hang in there, learn your own body, and know that you are in it for the long haul, not just the first kiss. You want love. There will be plenty of kisses, and not just from one guy. Eventually, from just one really good one.
Read, wait, be attentive, grow when you can. The rest will happen.
*Or whatever gender you needed kisses from. Switch genders freely throughout, in fact.
Almost forgot this from the wonderful Whiskey River
"You're waiting for that magical day when someone makes the connection and recognizes who you really are. Maybe they'll first catch the sparkle in your eye. Or perhaps they'll marvel at your insights and the depth of your spirit. Someone who will help you connect the dots, believe in yourself, and make sense of it all. Someone who will understand you, approve of you, and unhesitatingly give you a leg up so that life can pluck your ready, ripened self from the branch of magnificence. Well, I'm here to tell you, your wait is over. That someone, is you."
- Mike Dooley
Notes from the Universe