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trying to live with unrelenting shame (maybe I should kill myself)

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  • #377424
    ninibee
    Participant

    hi,

    I have posted on these forums before, but spend large chunks of time avoiding logging back on out of shame for what I have posted. Maybe a few of you have experienced from those occasions, (I think) I am a quite disagreeable and dislikable person.

    Throughout my entire life, I have left behind a trail of people who don’t like me. I leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. I am uninteresting. I have nothing to offer socially, or much of anything else either. These are not my beliefs, these are facts at this point.

    I do not know what I do wrong, or if it is anything I can change. It has been this way for as long as I can remember, and I have also been confused about it just as long. I feel like it is something bad inside of me that people can sense, and even animals too.

    As I am writing this, I feel an almost unbearable feeling of heartbreak, disgust with myself, and inner torment. I shake, cry, and pray that God end my life. I do not understand what I do wrong, though I am deeply sorry for it. There was a time in my life that I would cry and repetitively say “I am sorry”, wishing I could take back all those negative interactions people had with me, all the times I creeped someone out, all the times I made someone uncomfortable. I did not mean for that to happen. . And I want to reiterate, I do not know what I do wrong. I am not causing these things intentionally ( although maybe subconsciously there could be something).

    I hate living with this as my reality.

     

     

     

     

    #377425
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ninibee:

    I communicated with you before, and I don’t remember you as a “quite disagreeable and dislikable person”, nor do I remember you as a person who is “uninteresting”, who has “nothing to offer socially”. I remember you as interesting and a person who has a lot to offer to others.

    I need to be away from the computer and be back in about 11 hours from now. I hope other members reply to you before I return.

    I hope that this “unrelenting shame” you suffer from (something I suffered from) will be a thing of the past, not long from now.

    anita

     

    #377427
    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi ninibee,

    Like Anita, I have communicated with you before and don’t remember you as disagreeable, dislikable, or uninteresting. I have thought about you several times, hoping you would eventually return to your thread. I’m glad you came back to TB. What has been happening in your life since we last communicated?

    B

    #377428
    ninibee
    Participant

    hi Anita and Brandy,

    I don’t remember for sure what happened when I last posted (and I am afraid to look), but I remember feeling like I had frustrated and upset both of you, in some way or another. It’s interesting to me that you are both here now and saying  you do not find me disagreeable or dislikable.

    Brandy, to answer your question about an update in my life… I am not sure what is important to mention. I have not attended college since we last spoke. I moved 3 times. The most recent time was to move back in with my parents since I was not able to support myself. I dated someone new for a little while, which was not very serious. The relationship was sometimes nice, sometimes frustrating, and in retrospect, unfulfilling. It more or less ended when I moved. Since I have moved home I have done a few nice things, like planting a small garden and doing yoga. Though, I am still quite troubled in my daily life.

     

    #377432
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ninibee:

    I can relate to you feeling shame for what you posted in previous threads and avoiding re-reading those posts. I felt uncomfortable this morning re-reading my old replies to you, November 2019- March 2020: I came across cold/ unempathetic, business-like, sometimes impatient, somewhat angry, and too confident. I am surprised that you put up with me for as long as you did. Back then, I apologized to you for having been impatient, but I can see now, that following my apology, I continued to  come across as cold and unempathetic.

    I am glad that I made progress since March last year. I am still inclined to be academic/ business-like, still inclined to not express softness/ empathy, but way less. In the past, I used to experience such intense negative feelings (like you do), wanting to kill myself, etc., that when I felt empathy for another person, it felt too intense/ too painful, so I removed that empathy from my awareness, and adopted that cold, business like style.

    Currently, I am able to feel softer emotions, like empathy, not in the intense, overwhelming way as before, so I feel it long enough to express it. It still surprises me, it being a new way of experiencing life and a new way of interacting with people.

    (Also, I was used to my mother’s kind of empathy for other people: superficial and insincere. I didn’t want to be like her and thought of my coldness/ harshness as being sincere).

    This morning, I re-read much of what you shared, and I want  to retell just a bit of it. I know you wrote that you are afraid to look at what you posted, and I will keep it in mind and will retell only a bit of what you shared before, except for the topic of your childhood- I will elaborate on that one.

    One more thing before the retelling: when I started to re-read your posts this morning, I was impressed by how intelligent and educated you come across at such a young age, being 21 when you first posted. I was also impressed by your perseverance, you kept posting even though the subject matter was difficult, and even though I was mostly cold, unempathetic, and impatient.

    Some retelling: in November 2019, you were 21, attending college, but failing classes and dropping classes midway, barely did an hour or two of work in a day, spent a lot of time doing online shopping, watching YouTube videos, etc., or just lying around in bed, your apartment was a mess, half unpacked (boxes lying around), unwashed dishes in the sink, and your overall feel was: “I do nothing and offer nothing”.

    About your childhood: today, as I read about your mother, it’s clear to me that she has been extremely self-centered, thinking, feeling  and behaving as if… there is no one in the world other than herself, no space in her mind for any other person, but herself. Growing up with that for a mother, there was no space for you: no space for your thoughts, your feelings and your experience of life.

    When you lived with your parents before leaving for college, you kept away from your mother as much as possible, not wanting her to see you, so you stayed in your room and came out to the kitchen only when you heard no sounds indicating that she was around. When you were in the backyard, you were very uncomfortable at the thought that she may be seeing you from the kitchen window, “I felt very nervous and uncomfortable to be seen by her”, you wrote back then.

    This is so, I believe, because she had let you know many, many times, that what she saw when she looked at you was not acceptable.

    It is not that your mother believes that she is so great: she rejects a lot about her own self. But unaware that she is rejecting a lot about herself, she rejects a lot about you.

    Let’s look at what happened when you tried to communicate with her regarding her complaints that you were cruel to her:  “I tried to explain that I was being rude because I felt defensive… and I would tell her that I felt hurt by her”. Her response: “she would ask ‘why do you need to be defensive?… I hurt you? You hurt me! You need to stop hurting me”!-

    – You tried to have a meeting of the minds with her, being honest about how you felt and what motivated your behavior toward her. She automatically rejected your honesty, not considering what you said at all, not for a moment. All she heard was that some thing out there said that she (your mother) was offensive. She then immediately jumped to attack the perceived attacker: I am not offensive, you are!

    I wrote above that she heard “some thing out there” because she did not view you (or any other person, I imagine) as a person who is entitled to her own thoughts and feelings. For her, other people are.. things that are not entitled to have their own thoughts, opinions, preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. In her world, she is the only person.

    No wonder you had a hard time connecting with her, no wonder you argued with her a lot, no wonder you tried to not cross paths with her.

    Back in 2019, you still tried to connect with her. You gave an example of such an effort: you wanted a new coat, so you sent her photos of coats you liked. Her response: she did not respond to any of the photos you sent. Instead, “she only responded with coats she liked“. You then tried to again bring up the coats you liked. Her response: “she would just ignore me”. Your response to her ignoring you: “I ended up picking out a coat I knew she would like so that she would approve, even though I do not really like the coat at all”-

    – in your mother’s world (which has been your world because you were a child, and worse: her child)- there was no space for you. There was only space for her. And no matter how many times you tried to please her, she never allowed you into her world as a person.

    You wrote: “My parents are fairly well off, and provided me with plenty throughout my childhood”,-plenty, except for the space for you to be as a human being! What good is having expensive toys and clothes etc., when a person does not have the space to breathe her own air?!

    “From a young age, I can remember hating my mother. I found her repulsive and often outright rejected her”- no wonder you rejected the person who took your air away, who did not let you have the space to just.. be.

    “As a child, I often wished my parents would divorce and that my dad would re-marry someone else”- your father might not be a great parent, but he was not as bad as her: he did not suffocate you like she did.

    “My fantasy mother is mature and can allow space for me“- you needed space all along, the space to be you.

    “My fantasy mother… knows me so well.. not capable as seeing me as ‘bad'”- your fantasy mother (1) knows you, (2) does not sees you as bad.

    Your real-life mother did not want to know you- not any more than she wanted to know the parts of herself she wanted to keep hidden. She considered those hidden parts bad, and she considered you bad.

    “My fantasy mother.. sees the things I want as valid”- your real-life mother sees what you want, who you are, as invalid, from the coats you like,  to your very soul.

    But worse than invalid, she sees you as bad, this is why you didn’t want her to see you, why you stayed in your room and came out when she was not around to see you, and why you felt so anxious about her touching, handling and washing your dirty laundry: “I would hide my dirty laundry.. would feel anxious about her moving my clothes from the washer to the dryer”- your body touched your clothes, and you didn’t want her that close to you.

    “My fantasy mother is mature”- your real-life mother is stuck somewhere in early-life development. Reads to me, and I am not a professional, that your mother suffers from a personality disorder, which is pervasive, long-lasting, having originated in her childhood, and unlikely to get better.

    Understandingly, you were angry at your mother early on, and your anger showed when you were in Elementary School (“I was in a support group for students with anger management problems in 4th and 5th grade”), and it showed in middle school, and in high school, and still, I imagine. A few of the people you got involved with away from home were rude and crude (a boyfriend that I hope is an ex by now). A few others, I imagine,  were probably okay, but you were too fast to perceive them as offensive and you turned your anger at them.

    In February- March 2020, you shared that you felt “very stupid and ashamed” of the posts you submitted, “I do not like reflecting on how stupid I am”, you wrote, and: “Many people tell me I have lots of problems and that I am difficult”-

    – sure, I imagine it’s true, just as it has been true about me: I was difficult too, I had lots of anger and I mistreated people who did not really offend me. Like you, I was not born that way, I was made that way because I had the misfortune of being born to my mother, a very disturbed woman suffering from a severe personality disorder.

    When a person is mentally healthy, the person is also a good person to oneself and to others. I was neither for many years. I had to take on the long and difficult healing process to heal as much as possible for me, and to become a good person. I hope you take on that healing process as well.

    You shared early last year that when you vomited while on an airplane as a baby, you figured your mother’s reaction was: “She was probably horrified and disgusted, and probably took personal offense in the situation… ‘Oh god, how come this happened to me‘ is probably what she was thinking”-

    – see, it was all about her all along, from the beginning of your life with her. When you were sick on the airplane, she did not think at all about you and your experience, but about herself and her own experience.

    “she generally disapproves of things I do or am interested in. It is a dismissive disapproval… she entirely rejects any idea or interest I have unless is it something she already likes herself or agrees with already.. I was basically entirely rejected by my mother”.

    Fast forward a year and a month, April 2021: you live with your mother, living “with unrelenting shame”- it is no surprise.

    Clearly, you need to get far, far away from your mother and use your parents’ money to live away from them and to attend quality psychotherapy. Your intelligence and perseverance on your various threads is evidence, in my mind, that you can do a lot of healing and that if you persist, by the time you are in your mid-twenties, you will be in a much, much better place, having your own space, a healthier mental space as well as practically, your own home.

    anita

    #377436
    ninibee
    Participant

    anita,

    I would like to start by saying, I do not know if I ever saw you as cold and unempathetic. Perhaps I just default to thinking any possible sign of an issue must be something I did. Either way, I am glad it is okay and feels better now to both of us.

    You have covered a lot in your post and talked much about my mother/childhood. I forgot how much I have posted on here. Quite clearly I have been stuck in the same patterns and ways thinking…

    You said:

    Fast forward a year and a month, April 2021: you live with your mother, living “with unrelenting shame”- it is no surprise.

    I had an inkling that that this may come up,  but it is also true I have lived away from her for 4 years prior to now, and still experienced great amounts of shame, so I wonder how much her physical presence matters in that. I was told by my therapist (who I think you did not approve of for some reason, but I still have virtual meetings with) that moving home would bring up many old patterns. He described it as walking into a vortex, where much of the progress I made gets thrown out as soon as I walk in this house. I have had some moments where it feels like this. I also want to add that my older brother moved home about 6 months ago as well for financial reasons (I have only been here 2 months), and my dad works from home now. It is both better and worse to have them around. I do prefer it to being alone with my mom.

    Clearly, you need to get far, far away from your mother and use your parents’ money to live away from them and to attend quality psychotherapy.

    Both my therapist and my friend have said to get far, far away from her as well. I sometimes feel that way. But sometimes it seems fine. My friend tells me “It is like you know you are living with a rattlesnake under your bed, but tell me “oh it’s fine, it hasn’t rattled in a while””  ..and I think about that a lot.

     

    You say to use my parents money to live away from them. This is tricky. That’s what I was doing, and they didn’t want to do it anymore because I was going nowhere in life. They will pay for me to live somewhere else if I am going to college… I don’t know. I feel lost.

     

     

    #377441
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ninibee:

    “it is also true I have lived away from her for 4 years prior to now, and still experience great amounts of shame, so I wonder how much her physical presence matters in that”- very good point. If the solution to shame was as simple as no longer being in the physical presence of the person who shamed us-  oh, how wonderful life would be!

    Problem is, we carry her shaming, blaming voice with us and we hear it outside her physical presence. Her voice gets replayed in our brain, again and again, and we hear her tone, her words in what other people are saying, projecting her into others, often inaccurately.

    “Both my therapist and my friend have said to get far, far away from her.. But sometimes is seems fine”- yes, sometimes it seems fine, I know. Not because things changed and are better, but simply because we get used to Bad, numb ourselves to it best our brain is capable of, and sometimes we feel fine, even joyful-

    – not because things are better, but because no one can suffer all the time: the brain takes its breaks from misery and manufactures joy, be it by daydreaming and otherwise.

    “They will pay for me to live somewhere else if I am going to college.. I don’t know. I feel lost”- I think it’s time to enroll in college, choose a subject matter that feels most interesting, something most likely to trigger some passion in you, and enroll, I say!

    anita

    #377445
    ninibee
    Participant

    oh no.. anita you seem to have confidence in me that I would be capable of college… I feel like my first attempt at college has shown me its not really something I can do. If I am being honest, it is just too difficult and I give up. I see other students who are able to “do it all”, and I think “oh geez I would not be able to do that”. Or maybe: would not be able to=do not want to. That is how I ended up where I am at.

    You used the word “passion”, which may be the missing key… and that is exactly where I feel lost. If I had a passion, I think I would have more clarity and feel less resistance. I worry that leads us to the “end of the road” in regards to our conversation, because I am stuck/lost and unfortunately I do not know if anyone can help me uncover a passion.

    I have looked up before “how to find what you are passionate about” and “how to decide on a career path”, and that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

    #377447
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear ninibee,

    I am stuck/lost and unfortunately I do not know if anyone can help me uncover a passion.

    In one of your earlier threads you mentioned that you like sewing, and described what happened when you tried altering a  shirt once:

    I got out a shirt I have been wanting to alter (sewing is one of my interests) and sat at my sewing table. I made 3 marks on the shirt, and within the next few minutes I was sitting on the floor crying. There was nothing in me that cared about that shirt. I could force myself to alter a thousand shirts, but I would still be just as lonely and unwanted at the end of it as when I started.

    When one is in such emotional pain as you were, feeling unloved and rejected for who you are, then of course nothing makes sense. Even the things we like doing don’t make sense if we feel unloved and unwanted… But if you’d change that core feeling, things might change, dramatically. You might find passion and joy, and get motivated to experience good things in life. Because they do exist, but if we’re hurting, we can’t see them, we only feel the pain…

    #377449
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ninibee:

    Regarding the lack of passion, notice that in your post before last you wrote that “sometimes it seems fine”, living at home, and I wrote in my reply: “we get used to Bad, numb ourselves to it best our brain is capable of”-

    – what gets numbed out is not only the bad feelings (about living at home), but also passion (about anything)- everything feels numb, the bad/distressing feelings and the good/inspiring feelings.

    When you lived away from home, you still had your mother’s voice talking to you and distressing you, and you numbed that distress out watching YouTube videos, shopping online, lying around.. numbing the distress and passion.

    Regarding you not being capable of college- I have no doubt that your intelligence is more than adequate to attend college and higher education. Regarding your mental health, that’s different: at this point, you may not be capable of doing what it takes to enroll and succeed in college, I don’t know.

    In regard to “I worry that leads us to the ‘end of the road’ in regard to our conversation, because I am stuck/ lost and unfortunately I do not know if anyone can help me uncover a passion”-

    – remember I talked earlier today about empathy, how I didn’t feel it (and other softer emotions)? Thing is, communicating with you today, uncovered for me, that indeed I feel empathy and softer emotions today, more than yesterday. So, you see- you helped me further uncover my ability to experience empathy for another person.

    What if I can return the favor, and somehow help you uncover a passion..? (I feel some passion about the idea of helping you uncover a passion!)

    Also, now that I am more patient than before, I am more likely to be helpful to you, but I will not be upset if I will be of no help to you at all.

    anita

    #377460
    ninibee
    Participant

    anita I thought of a question for you. You said that you once also experienced unrelenting shame, and said it could become a thing of the past. I am curious how this process was for you… How did you overcome shame?

    I will respond to your more recent posts later, but for now I just want to ask that question since it came to mind.

    #377462
    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi ninibee,

    I just now re-read the correspondence you and I had on your thread titled “Am I too sensitive? Being blocked on Facebook”, and at no point did I find you disagreeable, unlikable, or uninteresting. In fact, I admire you for your openness, honesty, intelligence, and willingness to reach out and ask for help.

    Our minds sometimes play tricks on us, make us believe things that are inaccurate. This happens to everyone. It’s important to be aware that this happens.

    You mentioned that you are afraid to go back and reread your posts but I wish you would consider doing it. I wish you’d reread our entire correspondence to each other in that earlier thread. If you do, I think you’ll see for yourself that you are not disagreeable, unlikable, or uninteresting, and that I’m honest with you, think highly of you, and want to help you. Did anything that I wrote to you in that earlier thread resonate? If so, what?

    B

    #377463
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ninibee:

    I just read your question for me. I will answer your question without thinking much. If you want me later to elaborate, let me knnow.

    I remember unrelenting shame, how tormenting it was, and not too long ago-  it felt like an ongoing burning in the heart, a certain pain that is hard to describe. Overcoming shame: basically what it took was for me to understand, really understand (and believe my understanding to be true) that the person who shamed me, the person who introduced shame into my heart- my mother- she was the one who was wrong, not me. As a child, I was 100% innocent and loving and eager to please her, and it was she who messed it up, it was she who betrayed my love for her.

    I gave the shame back to the one who introduced it into my life- it is hers, not mine.

    What I just wrote, it took years to figure out, but it doesn’t have to take this long for you.

    anita

    #377464
    ninibee
    Participant

    Brandy,

    I just did look back through that thread, and it makes me cry and feel sick to my stomach. I do see you said you wanted to support me and I feel you did show that. I think unfortunately I had a negative takeaway from that thread in the end, the feelings of shame were too big and I was too defensive throughout it, which made me unreachable. I also felt like I was overwhelmed and disappointing everyone. I still live with the shame of that situation and when I think about it, I wish I could undo it… which is true for way too many things I have caused.

    #377465
    ninibee
    Participant

    anita,

    In regards to you helping to uncover passion in me, I am open to that. I wonder what is there to be uncovered, if there is something.

    I feel that what you said about passion getting numbed out along with the pain is very important. It reminded me that I had heard things like that before (something about trauma shutting down the creative part of the brain), but I never made a clear connection to my own situation..

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