Not sure why I’m posting this …hoping someone out there will have an answer? Or maybe I just need to vent or find out if there are others like me? Maybe someone out there can explain why these things keep happening to me?
Anyhow, in a nutshell, I’ve had a really bad life and I’ve come full circle with it. Seems that no matter how hard I work, no matter how “positive” I try to be, bad things just happen to me. Things go wrong for no reason. People try to pump me up with positive thinking and then are surprised when the bad things I think might happen actually do happen. While things will just go wrong for me for no apparent reason, nothing really “right” seems to happen. I mean, I have no good luck. If an unexpected tragedy can happen out nowhere then why can’t something wonderful and lucky happen out of nowhere, like magic? Yet I have to work extremely hard to make things happen, and even then things seem to go wrong.
I guess I’m trying to figure out why my life is the way it is and whether there’s a way I can turn things around. I’ve begun to believe I’ve been cursed, or there’s a dark spirit following me around, preventing anything good from entering my sphere. I’m wondering how I can stop this dark spirit, karma, or whatever it is and bring positive energy into my life. I’ve gone to churches to have people pray over me, gone to Reiki shares to have the energy of the universe sent to me, seen therapists, career counselors (for my money problems), gone to Debtor’s Anonymous meetings (hated them!) Still, the bad luck continues.
I also thought that maybe I’d done something wrong to cause all this, so I’ve volunteered to help people in need, but that hasn’t changed my luck.
Okay, let me try to be brief and give a few examples. Both my parents had mental health issues when I was a child, and I spent my early years transported from friends’ or family members’ houses until my parents were ready to take care of me. Then, a housekeeper took care of me while one parent went to work to support me. Meanwhile, the other parent was hospitalized with severe mental illness. My extended family was very unloving and I never see them now, as they are toxic people. I was close to one parent who died a few years ago. Now I’m the guardian for my other parent. So I’m really my parent’s parent and always have been since “childhood.”
In addition to the psychological abuse I experienced from my family once they were ready to take care of me, I was bullied mercilessly as a child, to the point of near insanity. I became painfully shy and anxious as a result, but I put myself into therapy and have practiced meditation techniques that helped me a lot.
But even the therapy was not too helpful, as most psychologists don’t understand social anxiety or shyness. One therapist accused me of imagining I was being bullied at school. She couldn’t believe I was really being bullied and acted as though I was just being paranoid. Consequently, she couldn’t help me to stop the bullying or to learn assertiveness techniques as I’d requested. I couldn’t find a therapist who would teach me ways to defend myself as they were too focused on trying to convince me that no one wanted to hurt me, that I was just being negative, paranoid or whatever. It seemed they were just reading from psychology textbooks and not really listening to me or taking me seriously.
As an adult, I get bullied at work a lot, am told I’m “too nice,” have trouble setting limits and boundaries and being assertive. Even though I’m a well-educated person, I can’t find a decent job, so I am working at a job for which I am well overqualified. Employers and coworkers are often threatened by my intelligence and I find myself holding myself back, trying to hide who I am. Also I get very bored doing data entry or office work. I only seem to fit into creative environments but creativity seems to be only available to the very rich these days.
I learned as an adult that I have an artistic personality and am very, very creative, so I began pursuing my artistic endeavors – playing music, writing poetry, making films, etc. I’ve also found I get along better with creative people and feel happy and free when I am creative. But this self-knowledge has only caused more problems for me as I’m now living in poverty because of it. In spite of great accomplishments as an artist I haven’t found a way to make money as an artist and I haven’t found a “day job” that enables me to adequately pursue my art.
In fact, I don’t fit into today’s job market at all. I ended up homeless a few years ago, and that was a real eye opener. I found that I have no friends. The people I thought were friends really didn’t care about me at all.
I also have chronic pain which, in time, is getting worse. I don’t have the money to get the health care I need.
Anyhow, as I’m writing this, I’m losing some of my sadness. It’s good to vent. But at the same time, I’m in a situation where I’m an adult, not considered to be young anymore, and I don’t meet people who are similar to me, so I feel pretty isolated.
Now, I’m staying in a situation where an acquaintance has been helping me a great deal but this isn’t a sustainable situation. I might end up homeless again soon unless I can find some way to start my own business, as there really aren’t any jobs out there for me.
I just don’t know what to do anymore.
Please don’t anyone respond with platitudes, i.e., “Think positive, things will get better…blah…blah…blah.” Look, I’ve been there and done that. I’m really a very intelligent person who overcame and extremely painful childhood. I’ve gone into therapy. I’ve been to self-help groups. I’ve gone to college, graduated with good grades, but now I have huge student loan debt and the jobs just aren’t out there. So what to do?
Anyhow, I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but it really would have been better if I’d never been born. My parents weren’t able to take care of me, my extended family didn’t want me, I’m not aggressive enough for this society, and I can’t earn a living. I cringe when I hear people try to talk other people out of committing suicide by telling them they’re suffering from “depression” and that things will get better. First of all, “depression” is not an illness but a natural reaction to things that happen to you that you can’t control. I can’t control this economy. I can’t control the fact that other people don’t appreciate my talents and skills. I know I’m capable of doing great things but I can’t get other people to appreciate what I have to offer.
Reading other’s posts has been full of horror for me. I remember, I remember. I was a teenager feeling the full despair and desperation, of loneliness and self-loathing. I feel it still sometimes, and I have patched myself together as best I can.
My parents still say things they don’t realize are so hurtful, but I am gradually learning to see it. I know I don’t have to react or justify my actions to them, because I am finally accepting that it is their sad way of getting attention. The hysterical thing is, if I can stop from responding, stop saying, “But that isn’t true!” arguing my point, it stops. I change the subject or say nothing – telling myself I know what the truth is, and that is all that is important. I feel sorry they don’t see this, but it is not my job to be their therapist. It is not my job to make them over into what I want them to be – because that is an impossible task.
I have accepted that they will never be the nurturing, trustworthy parents I wanted them to be. They have never been, and looking hard at the evidence, there appears to be zero evidence that they ever will. My expectations and dreams of what “could have been” have created such misery in my life. What a liberation to see it! And so terribly sad – I grieved a lot about that. But letting that mirage go has brought a lot of peace, too.
I can enjoy many good things about them. And, if they ever become what I dreamed of, it will be a surprise and a gift, not a constant let down that they don’t. It is only my job to set boundaries on how much I will let happen before I leave or end the conversation. And, I have more and more friends who sometimes teach me about life – like a good mother or father would, and that’s what I so need.
My inner critic will always be there, repeating awful messages. But I can add good ones, screaming them out if necessary in the bad times, and I can teach myself to recognize those evil words for what they are. My parents loved me as best they could, but their love was twisted and mixed with their own blindness. Maybe their parents’ blindness as well – as they say in Al-anon, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I know now, the awful things they do to me, were done to them, and they likely do to themselves as well.
Lately those nights I call the screams and knives (figuratively) where I cannot see how I am worthy for anything, I am starting to ask myself if the story line isn’t a bit seductive. Is it a grand play and I am the star? Oh, the horror of my self-loathing and awfulness. In this, I see I am getting the rapt attention I so want. The drama! The tears being ripped from the bottom of my soul! But really, do I need attention in this form? When I’m in the pit, I’m learning to ask, how is today so different from yesterday, when I had hope or felt good? The answer is always outside events that have given the critic in my mind more ammunition to say, “See you did it again, you will never be able to change.” Nothing about my inner me has changed otherwise. I might feel like life is not worth living and things will never change, but reality is that everything else in the universe changes. I am still the tender soul that lived in this body yesterday, and will be tomorrow.
Though at times I might feel hopeless, I will never take my life now because I am starting to trust that I am not alone. I am not the base and evil things my mind sucks me into thinking. I can step back from the story and know that no matter how awful I feel, it isn’t real. It’s like having a bad cold. It will pass. I am a good person, I just have to rewrite the tapes – like the playlist where you’ve gotten tired of a certain song. I put in good, and when I’m ready and willing, ask for the old to be taken out, or let it go.
We are already lovable and whole as we are. Perfect if we can only let ourselves see it. I am beginning to see how that might be possible; we can change how we act, but it’s about training the self-critic, not doing things to be more worthy.
Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.
We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?
Please share your stories with us during the month of April.
I am supposed to be heartbroken.
…and I am, but not for the reasons other people think.
When you go – I will mourn the life that could have been – the life you could have had, the life WE could have had; not the car crash it was – leaving nothing but broken people and devastation in its wake.
I will be sad for the “what if” and the “what could have been,” not the actuality. I’m not sad for the reality.
The reality is that your passing will set me free – to a certain extent – from my ‘you’ prison. I’ll still have to continue contending with the prison I built for myself, I know that, but, the direct pain of you will be no more.
People try to share with me, which is sweet and kind but, it makes me squirm and knocks my very thin rope of sanity a little. They tell me about their own experiences of losing a parent or grandparent and how sad they were and how they are there for me. They share things with me which they think will make me feel better – and it would – in an alternate universe, where you weren’t so horrible, and I wasn’t so messed up.
I kind of lie, and say ’“Thank you,” and pretend that I’m cut up about it, like they are about their own relatives passing, and I lie, and I lie, and I lie. Once again, I’m the weird outsider watching the world be normal while I’m in my own little weirdness bubble. What else can I say to them?
“Thanks so much for your kind words and your thoughts and wishes but, please – don’t waste them. She never loved me, and in turn, I’ve built a wall 7 feet tall. I spent my whole life trying to make her love me and it never worked, no matter what I did. This is not a normal ‘daughter losing her mother’ thing, so please – don’t hurt yourself remembering something painful to you in order to help me. Please, please don’t. ”
Sometimes I think I should cry, to look normal.
I nearly did cry the other day. I couldn’t bear to touch your skin with mine so I held your hand through the blanket, and you squeezed it. You squeezed my hand.
It was like throwing a starving person one sugar-free mint. Something wonderful and warm and meaningful but, at the same time empty – and too little – and far too late.
You hang on. Wasting away. I can almost identify every bone in your body. You rarely speak. You rarely wake now. Your body is breaking down, and even the nurses are praying you pass before the really ugly stuff starts happening.
But, you hang on …and on …and on…
I’m sorry you never got the life you wanted mum. I’m sorry it was so hard. I’m sorry you struggled with your own mind from childhood, and I’m sorry you made such awful, terrible, harmful choices. I’m sorry you experienced horrific things, and I’m sorry no one was ever there to protect you.
But, I’m angry you left me. You abandoned me whilst still being in front of me. I’m angry, sad, lost and hurt that you ignored me and chose others so much more favorably over me. The things you did to me, and said to me, and put me through were unforgivable. Some of the things still make me gasp a bit when I remember them because they were so cold and hard and callous; designed to hurt me and humiliate me and separate me. How could a mother treat their child like that?
I guess I don’t want other people’s sympathy because it’s not right. I’m not grieving over the prospective loss of you because, I’ve already been grieving your loss.
Safe journey, Mum.
Goodbye Mum and Dad I Love you.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I am writing to you to bid you farewell, I don’t think we will ever talk again nor will we ever share any part of our lives anymore. I know you will accuse me of being spoiled, ungrateful, sneaky, secretive etc. In your mind you believe you have done everything for me and that you have always been supportive but you know deep down that that is a lie.
I no longer have to justify myself to you or explain why I am make certain choices in my life. I am an adult and its my life, I work hard and I love my children. However, I know that if I keep in contact with you then I am unable to be the best mum I can be due to you being sick.
Let me explain to you what is going on and what affect this has had on me and my adult life:
Mum this part if for you: Mum I always knew deep down that there was something wrong with you. One of my earliest dreams as a young child was seeing you as two different people. One that was nice and nurturing that was able to meet my needs and the other that was more like a spoiled child, that if their demands were not met, would have a temper tantrum. I was always made to feel guilty for being unable to meet you impossible demands, being unable to sooth the brokenness you felt inside or make you feel better. It was not my responsibility and it is still not my responsibility.
As you have aged the nurturing part of you has disintegrated and all that is left behind is a cruel bitter person full of hate. I believe that you are suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder in which you display 100% of the criteria. I am not a medical trained person or anyone who can diagnoses these things I am just your scapegoated daughter who has always been a victim of your rage. You hate the fact that I can see you for who you really are, I can see behind the facade that you like to project. “You always said I was easy to talk around” not this time. I know when you are trying to manipulate me, I am also aware of the others you use to manipulate me. I am not stupid and worthless like you think, in fact I am an educated woman, with everything going for me who is going through therapy to heal the wounds you caused. As for you, you are the biggest coward I have ever known, someone who would stop at nothing to get there own way. Someone who is unable to have any insight to how there actions and words may affect another. I should have never let you get away with your cruel words. Here is a list of your favorite phrases which you have said throughout my life:
- “I despise you and everything you do but I am so jealous of you.”
- “If your brain fully worked then you would be dangerous” (this is in reference to my mild learning disability.)
- “I can vouch for your brother but not for you. You will need to ask your Dad about you I just take his word that you were the baby I gave birth to as I was asleep at the time”. “Perhaps there was a mix up at the hospital.”
- “If I would have known you would be born with a disability then I would of had an abortion“.
- “I bend over backwards for you, yet you are sneaky and always up to something”.
- “I fought hard for you”.
I am done. For my children’s sake and my own, I am done.
Well, isn’t that the most creative title you’ve ever set your eyes on? It doesn’t matter, though; I’ve a great many things that need to be said, and damn it all, I’m going to say them regardless of how impressive my title is
In any case, hello again, Depression. Have you missed me?
It’s been a while since you were a real force in my life. A while since you were anything more than the reason I take a pill every day when I wake up. You’re pretty damned harmless now, I have to say, but don’t get me wrong; I can still remember quite vividly what you did to me from the time I was thirteen until a few months ago, when I finally got help.
You’re a clever bastard, I have to say. You almost got me, I guess as a sort of revenge for not being able to take my mother down when she was my age. Disguising yourself as regular teenaged angst from thirteen to sixteen, and then going all-out and turning me into a nearly catatonic husk of a person from seventeen to twenty. Pretty damned smart of you. We both know that you nearly tricked me into killing myself on more than a few occasions, and that your suffocating influence is what lead me to giving up all of my friends, alienating my family and hiding away from the world for a good three years. You’re damned good at what you do, but you’re just not good enough.
You see, Depression, I won.
I beat you. It’s over. One pill, and you can’t put your hands around my throat any more. One pill, and I emerge from my home with the biggest fucking smile you’ve ever seen. My friends, who are seriously the best fucking friends a girl could ask for, were waiting for me when I came out from the shadow of my disorder. My grandmother broke down and cried when she learned that I was able to kick your ass out of my life. For the first time in ages, I’m happy. I’m happy, I’m doing the things I love to do, I’m spending time with the people who make my life truly amazing, and I’m enjoying every moment of this life that you tried to steal from me.
I don’t know who I’d be, or where I’d be if you hadn’t come into my life at such an early age. Maybe I’d have graduated instead of getting my GED. Maybe I’d be in love. Maybe I’d live somewhere that I can only dream about right now. Maybe I’d be dead. It’s useless, really, to think of all the ways that I would be different were I not one of your victims. You came into my life, just as you came into the lives of all the relatives I inherited you from, and you’re always going to be here, lurking in the shadows and waiting for a day I forget to take my medication. You’ll be there when I have a child of my own and I worry that she’s going to be pulled into your toxic embrace. You’ll be there every morning when I pop the top from my bottle of meds, that lingering reminder of what I used to be, and what I could be again if I allowed it.
But for now, my dear Depression, I can take comfort in one thing.
Growing up, my family dynamic was so different from anyone I’ve ever known. My father was born a footling breach with the cord wrapped around his neck. He ended up with brain damage due to the lack of oxygen to his brain and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. My mother is developmentally delayed and was also later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
My parents met through my mother’s brother, my Uncle Bob, who was also developmentally delayed. Uncle Bob and my dad went to special education school together and became friends. Bob introduced my dad to his little sister, my mom. They met, fell in love, got married and then I came along.
Neither one was really capable of living on their own, much less together, and now a baby, me. By six weeks old I was malnourished and dehydrated – I almost died. My maternal grandmother took me away from my parents and brought me to the doctor. From then on, she did her best to raise me. It wasn’t long before my parents divorced and my mom moved back home with us. My father moved back home to his parents, too.
We had grandmother, my mother, Uncle Bob, and my grandfather, the child-molester, all under one roof. My grandfather molested my mother and had a reputation for other little girls in the neighborhood. I believe he started molesting me when I was less than a year old. I don’t understand why nothing was done legally but my grandmother said they just overlooked him.
I believe that he had intercourse with me around age four. My mom and grandmother noticed that I had like a nervous breakdown and screamed when anyone came near me for over a week. They had to keep me in my baby bed and just bring me food like a animal! I believe with all my heart he raped me but no one took me to the hospital or doctor because he might have gone to jail for it. My grandmother had no education and relied on my grandfather to support her and the rest of the family. I’m not making any excuses; I think she just didn’t know what to do.
I had so many problems with my private areas when I was a little girl and nothing was done. I still don’t understand why. I even had to have surgery on my vagina when I was five – it’s like everyone was wearing blinders. Baffling. My grandfather died when I was seven, so the molestation ended
By ten, I realized I was already more advanced than my parents. I taught my dad his ABC’s using flashcards when I was eight. He never learned to read and neither did my Uncle Bob. My mother can read but has absolutely no common sense, so I swear my dad was more intelligent. At fourteen, I had to quit school to take care of my family. By then my grandmother’s health was failing, times were changing, and they didn’t understand how to make appointments, pay bills, stuff like that because things became automated.
I became very angry that I had no childhood so I rebelled – big time. I ran the streets and ended up getting raped. by a friend’s father. He actually plead guilty to it and severed a year and a half in prison. I still feel like that was my fault because I flirted with him.
That’s the only way I knew to act around a man.
My mom is a religious fanatic so I grew up in church and attended a private “Christian” school. My dad’s mother paid for it but not for the reasons that you might think. Embarrassingly, it was to keep me from going to school with black people – terrible.
The school was crazy too; I just couldn’t escape craziness! At one point we had a so-called Evangelist visit and for two weeks we were made to listen to what was supposed to be real exorcisms and learn all about demon possession. It was horrible! I am forty years old and I still have issues with it.
After I quit, I ran the streets, acting like I was 21. At 14, I met a 19 year old man and moved in with him. I was living like a married woman at age 14. My grandmother was actually happy that I had settled down; now she always knew where I was. Unfortunately he was very obsessed with me and abusive. At first, I enjoyed the attention and punishment; I put up with it for two years.
Ironically – and I know this will be hard to believe but I swear it’s true – BOTH of my parents had nervous breakdowns and were diagnosed with schizophrenia within the same year! My mom thought she was possessed by a demon and talked to God while my dad thought he could talk to the devil.
They were both in and out of different mental hospitals all the time. My mom would speak in tongues and run outside into the street, it would take six police officers and EMTs to restrain her. My dad would try to kill himself, he took 120 over-the-counter sleeping pills and was in the cardiac intensive care unit before going to the mental hospital.
At 17, I met my ex-husband and became pregnant with twins. I lost one of them during my pregnancy but delivered my now 22 year old daughter. He gave me my first black eye while I was pregnant with her. We had three more children together, three sons. My oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and my middle son has autism.
Dealing with all my family issues with my sons delays was more than I could handle. On top of everything, my ex-husband was abusive. Along with several “minor beatings,” at one point I had a fractured elbow and a nose broken so severely, he split my nose almost in half.
In 2006, my Uncle Bob, who had been like a father to me was killed in a accident. It was more than I could take. I started abusing pain pills – big time. Two years later, my grandmother passed away and added drinking to the mix. A lot of drinking.
I left my ex-husband and met a girl I fell in love with; we were both idiots and addicts at first. Man, do I have stories! Four years into our relationship, I lost my kids. I gave up on life. Around the same time, my girlfriend and I briefly separated. When we were separated, she slept with her ex boyfriend, got pregnant, then we got back together.
I’d like to say we sobered up right away but that would be a lie. The baby was almost two before my girlfriend got help. Eventually I followed. Today, I split my time between my ex-husband’s house and my children. She lives with her boyfriend and her daughter. We are very close. Turns out, I really like my ex-husband now that we’re not married and he’s not abusing me.
I just wish I had someone to talk to that can relate to even half of my crazy upbringing. Someone who can relate to me. I don’t know anyone with both parents like mine or a life like mine. It’s a crazy life, but that’s all I know.
Thank you for listening, The Band.