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This topic contains 55 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #301619

    Lost soul
    Participant

    This is my first post on TB, and I have a question: can I ask for what I need here?

    I’m really miserable and depressed, and I’m pretty much all alone in the world with no one to turn to for emotional support. I’m having a hard time just keeping going every day. I’ve recently considered calling a suicide hotline even though I’m not actively suicidal. I really don’t want to die, but life just doesn’t seem worth the struggle right now. And I’m just lonely and, like I said, have no one to turn to.

    I could eventually share my story… I see some people share tons of info here, many of them sound so much like me… but at the moment, I’m overwhelmed and don’t have the energy to write much. I should probably seek therapy–and maybe find a support group–but I don’t even have the energy to look for a therapist and make the phone call.

    Right now, I think it might help me if I could just have someone to check in with every day or couple of days. For the moment, I’d prefer not to receive any advice because I can barely handle daily life, and my to-do list grows every day like mushrooms after the rain. Even when I tell myself, “Just do three things from the to-do list today, that’s it,” I still have a hard time getting myself to anything. And then more things to accomplish come up. Crap, I have so many problems.

    I want to know that someone cares that I still exist. I need a friend.

    #301631

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lost soul:

    Maybe I can be your friend, in the context of this website. I was very much alone, excruciatingly lonely and so very tired most of the time, a whole lot of the time, spaced out, removed from life.

    “I want to know that someone cares that I still exist”- I think that I wasn’t sure so much of the time that I existed. Seems like as humans, born to be social, we don’t really exist all alone. Social connections, at least one, to start with, is what breathes life into us.

    Do post anytime you want to, and I will be glad to  reply to you. I hope other members reply to you as well.

    anita

    #301659

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hello Lost Soul,

    I’m really glad that I’ve just checked in and saw your post.  You’ve done the most important thing in reaching out.  Well done.

    I know what it’s like to be so exhausted that you cannot even manage a phone call.  I know you don’t feel able to deal with advice but can you do a simple breathing exercise.  Can you manage to put your hand on your solar plexus (at the point between your lower rib cage) and breathe into it for a few minutes.  You have to breathe anyway but it is quite possible that you are only using the top part of the chest ‘shallow breathing’  instead of breathing fully into your lungs (deep breathing).  This is particularly helpful when you are trying to sleep.  It’s also good to imagine angel wings wrapped around you keeping you safe.

    Of course you can ask for what you need?  Everyone who replies to you is showing that they care and if you need a friend (friends) we are here.

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Peggy

    #301711

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Lost Soul,

    I’ll be your friend! 🙂

    B

    #301739

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Lost soul,

    Do only one thing on your To Do list a day. That will keep you active and give you a focus every day, but then give yourself permission to rest.

    Check in with us as much as you wish. Every day if need be.

    Best,

    Inky

    #302043

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Lost Soul,

    I don’t know if you are reading your posts but just wanted to say that I am thinking about you.

    Whenever I’ve felt overwhelmed by all the pressures on me, all the things I’ve had to do, I’ve taken one of the Bach Flower Remedies.  There is one that helps deal with this problem.  I refer to them as my little drops of magic in a bottle.  Within 2/3 days I’ve felt so much better.

    Wishing you well

    Peggy

    #302313

    Lost soul
    Participant

    Thank you – Anita, Peggy, Brandy and Inky – for replying. Sorry it’s taken me a few days to respond. I’ve avoided coming here the past two days because even on an anonymous forum, I’m afraid of how people will react to me.

    Anita – what you wrote sounds a lot like me. Off and on, but pretty through much my whole life, I have felt excruciatingly lonely and removed from life, like I just don’t belong. And many times I feel like I don’t even exist. Was your loneliness like this–that is, lifelong?

    Brandy – thank you, just thank you!

    Inky – I do things on my list… just not the difficult ones. The past few days, I shampooed all the carpeting in my home, which is not hard in itself, but moving all the furniture and putting it back makes it a lengthy process. I also made myself exercise every day and even forced myself to go out for a bagel one morning. But what I really should be doing is interviewing and hiring a realtor, a tax professional / financial planner and possibly a lawyer. And then start looking for a new place to live. But I had the excuse of a holiday weekend (I’m in the U.S.) to not do any of those. I also should have gone out shopping for groceries, but oh well, tomorrow will be soon enough.

    Peggy – thank you for your reply. I’m mentally exhausted/overwhelmed rather than physically so. It’s interesting you mentioned Bach flower remedies. I had never tried them before but randomly bought myself one of them (“Wild Rose”) back in February when I was visiting the health food store… and then I never used it! After reading your message, I decided to take it, and I did feel better for most of the day.

    I asked if I can ask for what I need because I’ve shared a bit on other support forums and got responses like, “God, you’re a mess,” “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps” and “Get over yourself.” I don’t find that kind of response helpful, however well-intentioned it might be. What I need is warmth, reassurance, and just knowing people care. I don’t have that in my life now, and never had it growing up.

    #302319

    Lost soul
    Participant

    In many ways, my childhood was not that bad. There are people who had things far worse than me who are happy, and successful with loving spouses and children. (So what’s my problem, right?) I wasn’t beaten or molested. There was food, clothing, a roof over my head, and extras like sports, music lessons, etc., provided. The best I can say is I was a very sensitive, shy child and my parents were ill-equipped to deal with me. AFAIK, they didn’t receive emotional attunement, caring, warmth, etc. from their own parents. They were also very anxious and unsure in dealing with life—although I never saw them as anxious until I was an adult because they expressed their anxiety in sarcasm, criticism, irritation, and tantrums. (Until a therapist talked me through some things, the picture I had had of anxious people was of nervous, nail-biting timid types.)

    I was also the youngest and was the family chew toy for my siblings. My father and one of my siblings were very similar in mindset—harsh, critical, “get-over-it” types. They always focused on my flaws and deficiencies to the point where I came to think there was NOTHING good or right about me. My other sibling mocked and ridiculed me to no end; it was his hobby and both enormous fun for him as well how he relieved his own frustrations.

    And my mom? Well, in some ways she was there for me—she would bake a batch of cookies almost any time you wanted, sew Halloween costumes, drive us everywhere we needed to go, cooked from scratch every day. But she found my emotional problems—shyness, trouble making friends, anxiety over trying new things—too much for her. I was constantly having to chase her down to get her help with such things, and she would almost always find ways to put me off: she was tired, had too much to do, had to help one of my other siblings first, and once she started working when I was an tween, she was almost never there for me emotionally.

    #302321

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lost soul:

    You are welcome. I am glad you returned to your thread. You will not get the responses you listed in your last paragraph (of your first post today) from me, and I can’t imagine you will receive such responses from any of the members who answered you so far. I want to read your second post today (and any you may add) and  reply further when I am back tomorrow morning, refreshed, I hope, and that would be in about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #302329

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Lost Soul,

    You are welcome. Communicating here on TB may provide you with short breaks from the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that are exhausting you. There’s another way to get short breaks: When unpleasant memories pop into your head, decide not to engage them. When you engage them you feel the difficult emotions all over again and again and again. It’s exhausting! Instead, picture your thoughts as puffy white clouds passing in the sky. Just let them come and go. Be an objective observer of the puffy white “thought clouds” coming and going. Detach from them.

    The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

    B

    #302367

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Lost (and nearly found) Soul,

    I’m glad that you felt better after taking your Bach Flower Remedy.  I sound like an advert here but there is one specifically for when you feel overwhelmed, either Oak or Elm I think.  Also Rescue Remedy is a great standby.

    It’s interesting that you say that you were shy and sensitive – all that criticism must have really hurt.  That kind of abuse is just as damaging as the physical stuff but nobody sees the bruises.  Children respond to what is happening in their environment hence the way your siblings treated you.

    It’s good that you can see the positives in your upbringing.  Your mother showed she cared by her actions – home baked cookies, making costumes, driving you to places.  There was food, shelter, clothing, sports and music.  People aren’t trained to be parents – they’re just thrown in at the deep end with little guidance.  The majority of people just copy the way they were parented because it’s what they know.  There is room for compassion here.

    It’s easy to put other people in an ideal bubble – happy, successful, lovingly married with 2.4 children.  My life’s experience tells me that the inside story is usually nowhere near like that.  “Successful” might not be spending enough time with his/her family.  “Happy” might be crying inside and suppressing his/her own needs.  And so it goes on.

    You set yourself a task of shampooing all your carpets whilst feeling overwhelmed and exhausted with what you have to do.  Impressive in anyone’s book.  Instead of feeling proud of yourself, you proceed to beat yourself up about the things you didn’t do which are clearly more important in your view.

    Perhaps when you next write your never ending list, you could mark against each item level of priority, a) top priority b) medium priority c) low priority.  That way you can concentrate on top priority only and be flexible about the rest.

    Anyway, I’ve gone on for much longer than I expected to so I hope that some of what I have said is helpful to you.  Bye for now.

    Peggy

     

     

    #302379

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lost soul:

    You asked me: “Was your loneliness like this- that is, lifelong?”- it lasted decades and it is only within the last few years that I don’t feel that loneliness. So you see, it is possible to feel that lonely, for so long, and then, to no longer feel that way. The loneliness is about not belonging, not being a part-of. As you and I communicate here respectfully, if you communicate with me long enough, not fearing cruelty and disrespect, feeling safe here, then you will not feel lonely anymore, in this context.

    About your childhood, you wrote: “my childhood was not that bad… I wasn’t beaten or molested. There was food, clothing, a roof over my head, and extras like sports, music lessons, etc. provided… my parents.. expressed their anxiety in sarcasm, criticism, irritation and tantrums… My father and one of my siblings were.. harsh, critical, ‘get-over-it’ types. They always focused on my flaws and deficiencies… My other siblings mocked and ridiculed me to no end; it was his hobby… my mom.. she would bake a batch of cookies almost any time you wanted… she would almost always find ways to put me off: she was tired, had too much to do, had to help  one of my other siblings first… she was almost never there for me emotionally”.

    My thoughts: you figured that because you were not physically beaten or molested as a child, and because you had food, clothing, a roof over your head and extras, that the reason you suffered so far from “emotional problems- shyness, trouble making friends, anxiety over trying new things” is because you were born overly sensitive, “I was a very sensitive, shy child and my parents were ill-equipped to deal with me”-

    – not true.

    It is not that your parents were ill equipped to deal with a child who was born overly sensitive, it is that your father tormented you and did not protect you from the sibling who followed his way and tormented you as well, making it his hobby. And your mother did not protect you from your father or from your siblings and .. wasn’t there for you in any way that mattered.

    If you were born a turtle, then all you would need is that roof over your head and food. But you were born a social animal, a human. This means you needed more than a roof over your head and food. Primarily, you needed to feel safe on an ongoing basis in your own home. It is not possible for any child to thrive, to be emotionally healthy, make friends and try new things, growing up in a dangerous home.

    What is the use of cookies when your father and siblings torment you… do cookies make up for cruelty. What is the use of food and clothes and extras when you don’t know the next time you will be tormented, made fun of, disrespected?

    A child who grows up in a safe home, with empathy and respect, will be a capable adult, able to get all the cookies she ever wants.. but she won’t need to get too many cookies, because mental health feels so good, and thriving in life is an exciting endeavor, no time or need for more than an occasional cookie… see my point?

    anita

    #303117

    Lost soul
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I do see your point… in fact, you are making my points for me. 🙂 I’m just very used to people–including a few therapists I’ve seen–telling me my childhood wasn’t all that bad and that my parents did the best they could. Sometimes and in some ways they did well enough, other times and in other ways, they didn’t… like the time I was forced by my mom to try on underwear over my clothing in the middle of a store, otherwise she wouldn’t buy it for me. She definitely wasn’t doing her best as a parent in that moment.  Also I’ve had friends who WERE molested or, say, usually found their mom passed out drunk when they came home from school. I can’t claim I had things as bad as some others did; I can only say my childhood was hard for me.

    I’m glad you understand that “cookies don’t make up for cruelty;” they certainly don’t. The thing is, even today, I am still susceptible to the voice in my head (programmed by my family) that tells me that I am the problem, that I need to toughen up, get over it, and that it really wasn’t that bad. When I have bad days or go through tough times, I still doubt my reality. Everyone else (my siblings) functions just fine; I’m the one who can never get things together… at least not very well or for very long.

    I’ll try to write more tomorrow. It’s been a long week. Some things improved or got accomplished, some others got worse or didn’t get tackled. I get overwhelmed so easily, sigh. Thanks for responding.

    Lost soul

     

    #303139

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lost soul:

    “I’m just very used to people- including a few therapists I’ve seen- telling me my childhood wasn’t all that bad and that my parents did the best they could”-

    – I was told that a hundreds of times and read it thousands of times and so I was confused for the longest time. What I learned is that so many people had bad childhoods, including therapists, that … too many people deny the reality of their childhood, viewing it from the imagined parents’ point of view, (“my parents did the best they could”), not from the real  child’s point of view, (that would read something like: I was mistreated, I suffered a lot).

    For people denying the reality of their childhood, it becomes all about the parents: they did the best they could, they didn’t have a good childhood, they suffered abuse when they were children, they had a tough life, and so on and on and on.

    Denying their own reality, people deny others’ reality in the context of parents. Some of these people are therapists.

    And regarding doing-their-best, that is said about parents who beat their children and molest their children, they too… are doing their best. I heard a counselor saying: everyone is doing their best at all times, every single person… whatever it is that he or she is doing.

    Another thing: comparing childhoods: a child who suffers in a particular home, for example you suffering the shame of having to put on underwear over your clothes in the store, doesn’t think as she suffers that humiliation: .. oh, it is not so bad, other children are molested. A child feels all alone in her distress and so, the suffering is not comparable to another.

    “I can only say my childhood was hard for me“, you wrote, italicizing yourself the words for me. Any child in your home, your childhood, would experience it as hard as you did. It is so because when a parent commits a certain act against a child, the child doesn’t feel less pain because another child out there experiences a “worse” act. That other child having it supposedly worse doesn’t exist for the child in the midst of suffering from her own mistreatment.

    “I still doubt my reality. Everyone else (my siblings) functions just fine; I’m the one who can never get things together”- I used to be so confused but learned that siblings react differently to the same household, but they all suffer. Siblings function better in some areas (ex. having a good paying job) but worse in another (ex. relationships), but all siblings in an unsafe, troubled and troubling homes suffer.

    I will soon be away from the computer for the weekend and be back in about 48 hours from now.

    anita

     

     

    #303299

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Lost Soul,

    I’m not sure what you mean by “I still doubt my reality”.  You exist, you belong, you have a place on Earth.  Please do not compare yourself to other people.  There is only one person that can be “YOU”.  You weren’t put on Earth to be any other person but yourself.

    You may have a problem (current) but you are not the problem.  Problems are there to be solved.  Instead of “toughen up” read “strengthen”.  This happens from the inside.  Strengthen your inner self by kicking out all negative programming and belief systems and introducing positive affirmations, self acceptance, self love, thoughts that nurture and support you.

    Don’t expect too much of yourself.  Congratulate yourself on all the things that you accomplished and on all the things that improved.  Give yourself encouragement and praise.  Even though it may feel odd at first, even though that “other voice” may want to criticize you for all the things you haven’t done, keep reminding yourself that you did well TODAY.  Well done for everything you achieved today.

    It is impossible to get everything done in one day.  This is everyone’s reality.  Prioritize your tasks.  Will the world fall to bits if you don’t do the dusting, ironing etc.  Can you pay someone to take over some of the tasks in the short term – a cleaning company will do a thorough clean in a few hours leaving you free to tackle other jobs without feeling so overwhelmed.  Can you take a weekend break where you have a complete change of scenery and are looked after – meals provided, room cleaned, bed made.  Having a complete break can help put things in perspective.  If this is out of the question, can you pamper yourself at the end of the day by taking a warm scented bubble bath, playing some relaxing music, drifting off ………..fluffy clouds, palm trees, the sound of the sea, deep blue sky …………

    Peggy

     

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