August 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm #365341noritParticipant
Thank you anita. I decided not to go in the end.August 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm #365347
You are welcome, norit. I think you made the right choice.
anitaSeptember 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm #366593noritParticipant
I feel a bit lonely, and want to write here, but don’t actually know what to say. But I know I’m not lonely here, thanks to you anita, and others on the forum.September 12, 2020 at 8:54 am #366597
You wrote this on July 31, 2020: “I’ve always been fascinated by psychology and with my own mental illness it would be interesting to study it”- we have this interest in common, and studying myself and other people is what I’ve been doing here daily, for five years and four months.
I am sitting facing the closed windows, watching the still trees (no wind, which is good) and heavy smoke in the air. I live on the West Coast, USA, and fires are raging. Combined with Covid-19 being worse in the US than anywhere else (number of cases and deaths are higher in the US than in any other country, and the US government mismanagement of the pandemic is the worst in the developed world, if not in the entire world), plus the civil unrest, plus having an unintelligent sociopath for a president, a dangerous man who may be re-elected in two months, and if re-elected, he will continue his daily efforts to destroy democracy in this country, and proceed to dictatorship. So, overall, norit, I have this end-of-the-world-feeling that is based on reality.
I am telling you all this because I want you to understand why I am studying your threads this morning: it is to help myself, to keep doing what I have been doing for years (and having gotten better and better at it because of time and experience). I feel as if I am in that scene of the movie Titanic, that I am one of the people in the orchestra on the ship who kept playing their music while the ship was sinking.
As I read today every word and every sentence you wrote in your various threads, it became clear to me how strong anxiety and sense hopelessness, and I am clear that it is not your fault that you have become this anxious and this hopeless. It is also clear to me that my study today is not likely to make any difference in how you experience life and how you function in life. I really have no such expectations.
I am proceeding with this so to help myself through this smoky day, and because as I quoted above, you clearly expressed your interested in this kind of study.
The quote above is from July 31, 2020. It is interesting that your first post ever in tiny buddha was made on July 31, 2016- exactly four years earlier.
This study will take a few posts, so that none is too long. This is the first post, Study Post #1. Next to come.
<div></div>September 12, 2020 at 10:06 am #366601
Dear norit (Study Post #2):
These are quotes from your various posts in order of time:
July 31, 2016: “Hello, I don’t know if this is a long shot, but here goes nothing. I’ve been following Tiny Buddha for a few months now and since finding this website.. I have greater understanding of myself and of codependency.. It’s like I’m looking at life through new eyes. I am actually an individual, and not just here for my family’s sake. I am 25… I feel so empty.. I hate myself.. I can’t shake off the feeling that I deserve to be miserable. I feel so ashamed of who I am, and for feeling this way.. I would like to change.. to actually want to live a life for myself, but it seems hopeless”.
August- Sept, 2016: “I find it so difficult to listen when people are kind; I don’t believe they mean it… Saying or hearing anything positive about myself feels so wrong.. I feel a little lost, and often apathetic.. Putting myself down constantly comes naturally.. I feel like I’m being selfish if I am nice to myself. Things seem very hopeless in the long run.. being stuck at home is very uncomfortable because my mum’s an alcoholic and I feel anxious around everyone… I would very much like to leave, because my family can be quite hostile and intense, and it’s only getting worse as my mother’s addiction is getting worse… A life away from this discomfort and anxiousness sounds like a dream!…
“My mum has been drinking & I’m finding it hard to deal with today. She used to talk to me about her problems a lot.. but now talks to herself a lot, often near me or following me to a nearby room (I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid or not but it seems like she is). She’s.. not liking it if I do things for myself.. I feel guilty for upsetting her. I wait anxiously whenever she’s been drinking for my dad to come home, because he will lose his temper with her, usually slamming things, shouting in her face, and recently pushing her too… I feel very guilty for not helping or standing up for her when he acts this way… I’m also always worried she’s going to be sick.”
Nov 2016- Jan 2017: “I’ve gone really far backward after making this thread.. I was feeling quite good and optimistic when I started it, and going out regularly, but over the past 3-4 months I’ve stopped going out and I can no longer see a therapist as I missed too many appointments.. I’ve undone most the progress I’ve made this year and feel very disheartened.. all my motivation is gone and my positivity and everything has just gone, I can hardly believe it was there in the first place…
“I’ve come a long way, was going out much more, and even thinking ahead (and not worrying!), and now it feels like I’m back where I was 12 months ago, stuck.. Still living with parents, yes. My mother’s addictions are getting worse I believe, and there are daily arguments between the rest of the family… as undesirable the situation is, I no longer feel the desperate drive I did feel to ‘escape’. I just feel very guilty and think mum will get worse if I leave. I don’t want to make things worse… I’ve just lost all my drive and feel quite hopeless… I feel overwhelmed by panic hopelessness…
“When I was younger, I never thought about my own hopes for the future because my plans were suicidal, and I thought I was just existing for my mum’s benefit… I do not know how to make myself important in my own mind… Mum.. doesn’t seem to recognise my own feelings or listen to me really… I feel like I should be punished.. I just want to shout and rage at myself all the time… in the long run I feel hopeless”.
March 2017: “when do you give your opinions? Do you have to be asked? I would like to be heard in relationships, but I also know if I give my opinion it probably will annoy them (generally speaking)… Very rarely does anyone ask for my opinion, except for professionals, or on here (you!)”.
March 2018: “I’m in my mid twenties and I’ve met someone whom this would be my first serious relationship… I’m only now starting to have a social life and go out again after many years of mostly interacting with mental health support or dysfunctional family… The problem lies in that I’m already assuming I will ruin things for us. I feel like I’m a horrible person to be around and abusive. I’ve already ‘broken up’ with him now three times.. because I am afraid I will eventually hurt him.. I feel I am being a horrific abusive person… He reassures me that.. I’m actually lovely.. Everyone says I’m lovely, but it seems too good to be true.. I keep telling myself I’m not responsible for other people’s emotions”.
February 2019: “I have a friend online. We have never met… Not much has changed sadly- the environment is still very volatile and uncomfortable.. I don’t have much to talk about.. My mind constantly goes blank”.
March 2019: “I’ve been so anxious over the past few months for no reason I can pin point.. Last week I was offered an opportunity to move out.. It is only a few miles away from where I live now with my family, but it would be some space from the arguments, and my poor mum… I feel bad leaving my mum, as she is a victim of abuse and struggling with addiction.. I believe she will get worse if I leave.. I am the only person who is nice to her in our family, or supportive, and I hate to think how alone she will be without me… I think it’s the right move. But then I keep getting suicidal thoughts too.. I keep getting overwhelmed and it all seems so big, like everything is depending on this decision”.
April- May 2019: “Making decisions is so hard, I will go over things for hours and hours and think I’ve made a decision but then someone will say something and then I doubt it and start all over again”.
– norit moved to her own place on May 4, 2019-
May 5, 2019: “I have more free time. I think it’s because I’m not at home and my brain isn’t thinking about what my family is doing.. I’m still looking at screens to distract myself, or to keep myself busy, but now it’s just to keep myself busy because I feel like I have more free time and I’m not sure how to spend it… I couldn’t focus on myself very well because I would be focused on my parents, and now all that’s left is to focus on me. Which is a good thing, and on good days I relish the opportunity, but on bad days it feels like a struggle”.
July- Aug 2020: “since corona started I’ve had too much time to myself and have been thinking lots… about other people my age, and they’ve got degrees, are working full time, well paid jobs or dream jobs, getting married. I’ve not even had a paid job. I can barely volunteer without panic attacks.. I’d like a life like them but it feels unobtainable. I’ve started getting suicidal thoughts again.. Not really anyone to talk to outside from family.. Have been living in my own place for a little over a gear now. Enjoying the peace and quiet. Generally it’s okay, unless I’m struggling with mental health… I’m having an affair with a married man. To quote him, ‘he is using me for sex’.. I know I should stop, it’s against my morals… I’m not afraid of hurting him.. he isn’t mine… Mum is still an alcoholic, yes. My father and brother both get angry with her now. My brother can be really cruel. The atmosphere just depends really, it’s very unpredictable? Things can be ok but then suddenly someone will explode, and then it’ll be a tense 20 minutes and then quiet again. Same as it used to be.. it’s nice to live away. I find it quite difficult to visit as I don’t know what state mum will be in, and it concerns me to leave her alone.. I keep getting images of her in my head where she’s drunk and hurt and .. what if she overdoses and no-one is there??.. She is always injuring herself when she’s drunk… Mum would be left alone with my brother who is a bully to her, verbally abusive, has thrown things at her and been threatening… I feel terrible for even complaining because I’m blessed that I have a family.”
September 12, 2020 at 12:36 pm #366609
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by anita.
I will come back and post the third part when I return to the computer, which may be as long as 18 hours from now.
anitaSeptember 13, 2020 at 10:25 am #366665
Dear norit (Study Post #3):
1. About hopelessness and apathy: you started the first thread in July 31 2016 with “here goes nothing”- expecting nothing. You wrote in that first post: “it seems hopeless… often apathetic.. Things seem very hopeless in the long run”. But in that first post, there was also a little bit of hope within the hopelessness: “I am actually an individual, and not just here for my family’s sake… I would like to change.. to actually want to live a life for myself, but it seems hopeless”.
A few months later, that little hope was gone: “Still living with parents, yes. My mother’s addictions are getting worse I believe, and there are daily arguments between the rest of the family… as undesirable the situation is, I no longer feel the desperate drive I did feel to ‘escape’.. I’ve just lost all my drive and feel quite hopeless.. I feel overwhelmed by panic hopelessness”.
Your childhood home life was so bad, on a regular basis (and still is, to this very day), and you were unable to change it (no child can change an actively alcoholic adult woman, and a raging adult man), so much so, and for so long, that you had let go of any hope to change anything, or to ever witness a change happen somehow.
If the green leaves of a tree represent hope, you shed all those leaves and stand bare, a leafless tree. Once in a while a budding green leaf appears, a few, here and there, but what chance do they have to remain on the tree, when the tree is in the habit of shedding any and all green leaves?
As I wrote to you earlier, this hopelessness and apathy, this lack of motivation, these are not at all your fault, but an indication of how bad your childhood home life was for way too long and on an ongoing basis.
Back to the image of the tree: imagine a tree living in a very dry and harsh soil, hardly any water, year after year after year- it has no choice but to shed its leaves. Let’s say, one year there happens to be some water in the soil, enough to grow a few leaves, so a few green leaves appear.. but by then, the tree is in the habit of shedding its leaves, so it sheds those few green leaves.
All of us humans are creatures of habit, so the habit of shedding new hope again and again- is none of your fault either.
2. About turning against oneself: when a child grows up in a consistently, or repeatedly hostile home where she witnesses ongoing harm done to her parents, and by her parents, the following often happens: the child believes that she is the cause of the hostility and harm, that she has created it, or that she is supposed to stop it from happening but failed to do: “I just feel very guilty… I feel very guilty for not helping or standing up for her.. I feel I am being a horrific abusive person.. Everyone says I’m lovely, but it seems too good to be true”.
Feeling like a bad person, she turns against that bad person, that is, she turns against herself. She is motivated to hurt that badness/ herself, and at times, she is motivated to destroy the badness/herself altogether: “Putting myself down constantly… when I was younger.. my plans were suicidal… I feel like I should be punished.. I just want to shout and rage at myself all the time… I’ve started getting suicidal thoughts again”, summer 2020.
3. About fearing future harm: not only do you believe that you caused past harm, you also believe that being a bad person, you are likely to cause future harm. Regarding your mother, “I think mum will get worse if I leave. I don’t want to make things worse”, and regarding an ex boyfriend: “I’m already assuming I will ruin things for us”.
4. About a girl’s empathy for her mother: “my poor mum.. she is a victim of abuse and struggling with addiction”- It is natural for a suffering child to focus on her suffering mother. In your own mind, you and your suffering became unimportant, and the only important entity was your mother: “I thought I was just existing for my mum’s benefit.. I do not know how to make myself important in my own mind”.
5. About being a lovely person: my experience communicating with you is that as apathetic as you often are, you are also a lovely person. You were always polite and appreciative in your communication with me and with other members, conscientious about replying to everyone who answered your threads, not leaving anyone unanswered. In your life otherwise, you are nice and supportive of your mother (“I am the only person who is nice to her in our family, or supportive”), and you are lovely to everyone (“Everyone says I’m lovely”).
6. About who upset whom: you wrote about your mother, “I feel guilty for upsetting her”- I don’t think that you had ever caused her any upset, but I do know that she has caused you a lot of upset.
7. About “here goes nothing”, which you wrote in your first sentence, in your first post, more than 4 years ago. I can’t end this post to you with something like: here was nothing. I can’t end this post with hopelessness about you, about me, and about the rest of the world. I hope, norit. I hope.
anitaSeptember 14, 2020 at 6:26 am #366672abangslotParticipant
i hope this covid will end soon