Help! Feeling like there is no hope

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    I was made redundant last year in London, and I was there with a high paying job, single, no family. My parents were hugely emotionally abusive, but I was only able to begin to come to terms with my past 3 years ago. They live in Hong Kong.
    I began to suffer from severe depression alone and rejected in London, as most of my friends either married or moved overseas. When I lost my job, I just couldn ‘t face getting another one, with its long hours and corporate culture, all for what seems like a meaningless existence.

    I decided to come back to Hong Kong, to start a business with my father, who appeared to be very supportive about me losing my job. My mother was also very encouraging on the phone too, so I left to come back to them and see if I could start a new life.

    But I am back in Hong Kong now, and it appears that even though they are older, the emotional abuse is roughly the same. Although my mother isn’t an alcoholic anymore, she is still a narcissist who puts me down in malicious ways. My father still has an abusive temper and has never listened to me, – he has only been tremendously controlling as he lectures me for long periods on what I should or should not be doing, never once asking how I feel.

    I feel suicidal. I realize I have to go back and make some sort of career change, but I am just at the verge of giving up all the time. Of my friends, no woman lives by herself at the age of 37 or over, with no family, in a completely different country to any family. I hardly have friends.

    I have applied to university, and if I get in, I am terrified that my mental state will prevent me from learning anything in my Masters course. Am I only applying to university just to get away from them? Is it something I actually want to do? I just don’t know anymore. If I was surrounded by loving family, perhaps I would make different choices – do something I genuinely love – perhaps start this business? Or at least give myself that chance of finding something? I hate the idea of the stigma against a woman over 40 living alone without friends and family – I just can’t picture what my life will look like as I grow older and older, and I don’t know if I want to have anything to do with myself anymore. I feel so desperately suicidal.

    I know my folks would have no sympathy if I was asking for help being suicidal. I once tried to kill myself when I was a teenager, and they were simply totally unsympathetic. I know they’ve chilled out since then, but I get the feeling I would get more disdain than I would get any support.

    Help. I need a belief. A way to go on living into my 40s.



    I’m very sorry you’re in such an emotionally difficult place, it saddens my heart to know my distant sister is full of despair. Don’t give up, I swear there is such remarkable beauty in this world that it’ll blow your socks off some day. It seems to be a conglomerate of ick going on, and a few things came to heart as I read your words.

    I was raised in an environment that was also toxic, with a mom that was constantly shaming (or using me for her esteem “look at what my son can do” but never to me, just to her friends). My dad was loving, but I never saw him. My step-dad was distant and angry. Plus, we moved around a lot, so I didn’t establish any long term friends until later in life. This left me feeling broken and ashamed for a good portion of my life.

    Eventually I got fed up with feeling shitty, and decided to figure out what in the world was going on with my mind and emotions. I saw plenty of others less smart, less successful in business, but they were waaay happier. This began a process of exploration that has been so incredibly amazing, it is not even able to be expressed in words.

    What I found, more than any philosophy or therapeutical ideology, is that this world is bursting at the seams with loving people. We tend to attract our intent, so people who feel unworthy of human connection don’t seek a surrogate family… they can just sit and stew in the feeling of isolation. This is like being an outsider to the big party here on earth, but there is an open invitation. Sure, your parents are bleh at times, or most of the time. Maybe even all of the time, but their hearts have been wounded from the same process as yours. When we see a world of stress and danger, it can be difficult to remain warm inside.

    That’s where the community comes in. Tinybuddha is one, and there are many of them on the net and in cities. People coming together to share their hearts, to show one another what genuine heartfelt support looks like. When we connect to one another, it dispels all that doubt which makes us feel as though we are unlovable, broken or without hope. We know we are loved even when we are struggling with difficult times. All we really need to get through is knowing that one person loves us unconditionally, and I know for a fact you have at least one of those. 🙂 I’m also sure others from tinybuddha will show you!

    From there its really just about sorting through the pieces. What baggage have you been left with and how can you “unpack the backpack” so you’re not as weighed down? Healing takes time and effort, but there is sooo much joy along the way that the path fuels itself. We only need the courage to jump in.

    Perhaps a breadcrumb that might help is “Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability” which is a 20 minute video that is googleable (is that a word?). Also consider that talking to a therapist might make the process easier.

    With warmth,

    David Goettsch

    Nico your story really does tug at the heart-strings! You found your way into a dark place, but in the darkness is when light shines the brightest. You said it yourself that the people around you won’t and can’t provide the support you need in your life right now, so you need to quit looking for it there. You need to get involved in areas where supportive, like-minded people are. As Matt said, this community is very supportive, but you will need more than that to pull yourself back out. Get involved in some hobbies instead of worrying so much about school and work right now. Those things are important, but until you stabilize your mind and your personal life, school and work will never be stable. Get involved and find people that you like to spend time with and that will be supportive of your feelings and goals. Its really not very difficult to meet people if you have common interests, so go wherever your heart leads you. When you start to build even a few people who you can come to and be yourself, and that support you, then you will be able to start rebuilding yourself. Until then just bide your time, and I would spend as little time as possible interacting with the toxic people in your life and staying out and about away from home. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, things will get better, it’s always darkest before the dawn!




    I am so very sorry that you are feeling so badly. After reading your post, two things stand out at me that I’m going to offer some advice on, short and sweet (Hope you don’t mind my direct style!).

    1. It doesn’t seem healthy for you to be in a place where you are surrounded by abusive people, whether that’s your parents or anyone else. Get out. Move. You need to take care of yourself. Yes, I’m giving you permission to be a little selfish and practice some self-care (this term coined by life coach, Cheryl Richardson). But it just doesn’t seem like it’s healthy for you to be back in Hong Kong living with your parents, who you say are abusive in some way. I don’t know what your financial situation is, of course (I recognize you’ve lost a job…), but, if at all possible, I think you should try and leave there. You need your own space where you can begin to re-create a life for yourself – step by step, day by day…

    2. This may be the more serious of the two. If you are truly feeling suicidal, please seek therapy. There is absolutely no shame in getting help by seeking therapy. Therapy is nothing more than two people sitting in a room talking through an issue. It provides a wonderfully objective and confidential place for you to discuss your deepest fears, sorrows, etc. I hope you will get help if you continue to feel suicidal…even if you’re not feeling that way, if you find that you’re in a continuously depressed state, I’d encourage you to get help.

    Those are my two cents…It’s easy to feel hopeless, I know, when so many things feel like they’re going awry. But in addition to positive thinking, we must begin “positive doing”…and I offer the two steps above as a start in doing something to alter the course. And maybe it just comes down to changing one thing at a time….until that gets better. And then changing another thing until that gets better…and so on…sometimes we have to take life in baby steps.

    And sometimes we have to create hope in baby steps as well..

    ~ Rachel


    Believe it or not but when I read your story, I hear an amazing woman. I can’t believe that after all that you have been through, you still had the courage to move to a different country, give your parents another chance and now you are thinking about going back to school. I know you are just thinking about it but you are! there are so many people in this world who never think of any solutions out of the pain they are feeling. please re read what you have written and see that person that I see. A brave woman who will do anything to be better.

    I am an indian girl who grew up in Bombay, raised in a slum. sexually abused as a child and totally ignored by my parents and siblings. I use to sit by a wall and talk to it when I was young! I made friends but my parents couldn’t decide what to do with me so I kept changing schools and than we moved to a better apartment. at the age of 14, it was announced to me that Ill be moving to America. I was so excited to go to college with my friends. I was so happy with my life because I finally had friends and my parent took me away from all of it for a “better life” for me. Bullshit! first few years in America were beyond horrible. I got bullied as I didn’t know how to dress. Indian kids in my school made fun of me because I dressed funny and had curly big hair. They crushed my already low self esteem. Than I went to college and surrounded myself with very damaged people. got into bad relationships and I have been beating myself for everything that has happened to me till now. Recently, the man I thought was god’s gift to me for all the bad things I went through, broke my heart. he not only broke it but stab it and ran his car over it! its bad. I cry everyday.

    this experience has opened my eyes to many things in my life. I have realized that my parents don’t know how to treat me because they also had bad parents. they never knew what a good parent should be. they do the best they can in their mental capacity. what they do is their problem. what I do is mine! I have also started making a grateful list. First, I am grateful for everything I have. second, I am grateful for being me, third, I am grateful for this time. I don’t many friends. In any given day, my phone never rings. I have acquaintances but I know that there are some people in my life who will be there if I needed them. those friendship haven’t been easy to keep or maintain but they are true. My friend once told me that most of the time she feels like punching me and hugging me at the same time. This friend has never been to a bar with me and is married with two kids. she is annoying and weird but she is a wonderful human being.

    What I am trying to tell you with my story is that if you reach for it, love is there. You reached out to TB community and look at the replies you have received. There are some amazing people in this world. all you have to do is know who are and decide who to have in your life and who not to. ask yourself questions. its ok if you don’t have all the answers. see a therapist. go to a place of worship and meditate. Please don’t hurt yourself. from one sister to another, its not worth it.

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