I've been extremely isolated for about 3 years now: the only people I ever talk to is a few superficial words with parents and clerks at stores (and I am no "kid" (30's) but had to move back home for reasons I won't go into here). I can go a week without leaving the house and I went over four months this winter without seeing the sun (I've turned completely nocturnal). This isn't by choice either and I get so lonely sometimes I feel like I'll die from it. My label of being "mentally ill", as well as-and related to-constant rejection, keep me from trying to reach out anymore. The fact that I've put on alot of weight (tho I do still workout) since becoming so isolated doesn't help tho I purposefully let myself get out of shape so that I would truly want nothing to do with people or the outside world since it seemed I couldn't anyway and it seemed easier to eschew something I couldn't have than to pine for it and it worked great but still the aloneness and loneliness really hurt sometimes. Approaching my late 30's I feel like all my time and opportunity for ever doing anything with my life is essentially over and I'm looking at myself and seeing frozen black nothingness: wasted potential and fading youth with absolutely nothing to show for it. Tho I managed college I've never really worked to speak of (mental problems and court committments then doctors telling me not to) tho I did manage to keep my own apartment off and on for several years but about 3 years ago, in an assisted living apartment, I lost my only two social contacts in unpleasant ways that have really transformed my perceptions of people then a year later I lost my mental health support due to a damaging relationship with a staff member that made me leave treatment and I found myself more alone than I could've ever imagined. I didn't really have a problem with things til around the time these events ocurred which is around the time I moved back home (the aloneness in that little apartment with the paper walls was just too much). I have become completely nocturnal now and there are weeks on end that I just cry all day and night-despite trying to medicate: sometimes the pain just breaks thru all and any substance-and feel a pain so deep in my psyche that it's like the mental equivalent of being stabbed and I just lay in my bed writhing and wailing and praying for unconsciousness. It's hard enough at my age to meet people and with all my stigmas it's virtually impossible. I'm basically sitting here watching my parents get senile and (barring my antecedent demise) will eventually watch them die before I myself will get some disease and die and some days...siiiigh...I have lived in this area for 20 years and I don't have a single friend or anyone that I could call in an emergency and I have never had a boyfriend. I had a brother I used to socialize with quite a bit but the woman he lives off of won't let him associate with me (she's very disturbed herself and is evidently jealous of any time he spends with me-if we talk on the phone she pulls it out of his hand and hangs it up on me and I've never even met her and I realize this speaks volumes about my brother too which doesn't help: after being great party buddies-or so I thought-for over ten years he blows me off overnight cause this woman paying his bills is more important than any relationship with his crazy sister-after going out nightly and often living together for 10 years he blew me off overnight and I've not as much as seen him in three years despite his living right down the street) and my other friends moved or married . I am not unattractive (even with the extra weight which I would easily lose if I had a life), I'm discrete with my problems and am not obviously disturbed or anything upon meeting others and have, once upon a time, enjoyed warm, rich interpersonal relationships but it's like there is some otherworldy force just hell-bent on my never smiling again: getting the time of their being battering my psyche and life. It's like I'm under some sisyphean curse that nothing good ever happens to me and every time I have ever done something to try to help myself it invariably has only made things worse to the point where I don't even try anymore. My luck and circumstances defy the law of averages. It's been like this for years now-every single day and I guess, besides venting, what I'm posting this for is to see if there are others as alone and feeling as pathetic as I am or am I really *that* alone and pathetic???....
And yes, I know things can always be worse but they can always be better too: the concept of relativity kinda vanishes when you consider that all you have is your own lot.
First your not pathetic, your just depressed like millions of others out there. I'm depressed to. Depression in my mind makes you not clear. Life is always moving, constantly. When we are not clear we miss where we are. It's like my depressed life is completely detached from my real life. Your real life is in one spot, but you feel like you are in a completely different spot.
But anyway you got to fight it. You should definitely try and get back in therapy. It has helped me allot. Unfortunately when your depressed you usually lack the energy to call and find them. Try.
Switching nocturnal is no good either. You should try and get back on a day cycle and get out of the house. Spend time with people go to church, sing the songs just to get active and use emotions. Try and eath right, no coffee, beer, drugs, ect and do some excersice. Yoga seems great, I just started it and I feel really good after it. Check out www.yogabasics.com or www.yogajournal.com.
I agree with the last poster. You are not pathetic. You are merely unwell and needing help.
You need to call your doctor and get referred to someone who can help you.
Being alone and lonely is so hard on a person. I meet a lot of people in my day to day job ( I'm a para-transit driver ), who suffer like you. They only go out when they have a medical appointment or need groceries.
Granted, these are usually people who are elderly, but the lonliness is still the same. They have reached a point in their lives where they have no relatives left, and all their friends have passed away from old age, and, if they had children, the children have usually moved away to a different city because of a job.
So, sometimes, week to week, I am the only person they see or talk to . They are desparate for somebody to talk to, and it's like the floodgates open.
I suspect it's the same for you.
Have you ever called a crisis line? There is usually someone there 24 hours a day.
I, too, have suffered depression off and on over the years. I found counselling usually helped. However, this past year, it wasn't enough. I finally caved in and used anti-depressants. It has made a huge difference in my outlook.
Now, I'm not suggesting that is what you need, but, they helped me change my outlook. I feel much calmer and less angry.
I feel for you. And simply by posting here, you have made an effort to reach out for help. Please call your doctor or a crisis line or your local family services agency today.
Some things are different.
Some better some worse.
I second that. Disease talking or not, it's how I feel and pretty much how I define myself, so all the sugary coating words of why I am what I am right now don't help or mean much.
I do wish it wasn't that way for you, because I do sometimes feel like I'm the only one who feels this way (or one of a very small number of people) and I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone. So I do hope that it gets better for you.
Last edited by dolphinboy; 05-16-2004 at 11:40 PM.
Thank you all so much for your responses. I'm sorry that you are experiencing similar feelings but I am grateful that you shared them as it makes me feel less alone. I've always thought it would be a great thing if people like us could somehow band together.
I can see that things need to be changed and I can even see what and how but I am powerless to effect such on my own. It's a vexing paradox: needing to obtain X and Y to help my situation but not able to obtain X and Y because of my situation. I'm in a rut and can't "pull myself up by my own bootstraps" and noone will lend a hand and I just keep falling deeper if only as a function of Time. I don't feel like I'm living: I feel like I'm slowly dying: I have reached that fateful realization that instead of my killing Time, Time is killing me. The only reason I'm still here is because of my parents.
I often wish very much to return to therapy but the situation that caused me to leave was so traumatizing that I don't think I'll be able to return. Indeed I looked into returning recently and it just brought it all back up again and the people I spoke to would not even acknowledge what had happened there even tho I have irrefutable proof of it but noone takes a crazy person seriously, or, a crazy person is easily dismissed-and/or silenced-by virtue of their label. It's the state mental health system in one of the worst states for it and stories of people being turned away then killing themselves are not uncommon: that is to say that there is no genuine concern or support there and I have been "blacklisted" by them (it would take me too long to write out why but it involves having reached out to a mental health worker there in the form of having invited him to my website which presents my issues in rawest form, leaving him countless voicemails and emails that were basically suicidal soliloquies and, finally, asking him to respond to me (I never did before because I was afraid he wouldn't, or wouldn't in any positive sense, and I was proven correct hence making things worse: calling the customer service made things worse too by having them deny the existence of my site when I have them on my stat. trakker (the night before no less: IP traced with no doubt that it was them)) and there are still other issues including simply ignoring/disregarding my statements of feeling dangerously down. This has just really had a profound affect on my psyche and perceptions of people in general (when coupled with the experience with my brother and others) and all things "therapeutic" in particular.
I think my being nocturnal has actually helped me alot as I could not tolerate this situation if I had to get up and come out of my room during the day: late-night is the only time I feel anything even approaching "alright" so in that sense I think it's best I keep my current schedule. If I were to ever get back out on my own again (which I can no longer even imagine) I would try to revert back to at least a "2nd shift" schedule tho: I do so miss the sun and green grass and blue skies: I even dream about them. I feel like I'm in a really nice prison and am let out of my cell into the commons area (still in isolation) for ten hours every night.
I do exercise too (an hour of stepmaster at least 5/times per week) and have for 17 years regularly and it doesn't seem to help tho I might think differently if I were to stop it: who knows maybe without doing it I'd be catatonic or something. I miss more days than I ever have tho because I can no longer make myself workout in the acute crying spells.
It's coincidental that you mention yoga tho InsaneMembrane as just the other day (er-night) I saw something about it and had the thought that it sounded interesting: I will check it out. Music's a funny thing: I am a musician and used to play and listen alot but find that music now does nothing at best and makes me even worse at worst because it brings back times when I had warmth and light and people in my life so it's a tricky, fickle balm.
westcoast51: I've met some of those people you write of: in fact there are lots of them at my (former) mental health agency who ride in those busses and one time one of the drivers was asking me directions (don't you guys carry maps!?) and he said he didn't want to ask his passengers because "they like to tell me wrong directions so I drive them around and talk to them for hours". My problem with therapy tho precludes my reaching out to these people however and when I have in the past it just seemed we had absolutely nothing in common (all any of them ever wanted to do was sit and watch tv and eat and dwell on themselves and I like the nightlife and trying to forget my troubles in the context of a social relationship).
ffsmith and dolphinboy: I am so sorry that you feel similarly: I wish you both the best of luck and, even tho it may be no small comfort, when you're in those hellish depths know that you are not alone.
Thank you all and all the best: your sharing has really helped.
I moved back into parents at age 31 but was able to get a 28-hour a week night job (11 pm-6am) waitress at the local donut& coffee house (great nocturnal job), plus I went to therapy and 12-step meetings at least once a week each, and in this tiny way I met my now husband and have 2 children . . . even though my circumstance now are different from yours, I identified with alot of your pain and frustration, in fact I'd guess that a lot of your problems are not purely biochemical depression but in fact a stress breakdown from dealing with the complete stupidity and incompetence of modern day life. I've had so much crap like that happen, it still happens, ex. other people (at university and insurance company) foul up paperwork but somehow I have to bear the consequences (never got a grade or credit for course, insurance rate flew up as I "fired" the incompetent company but then all subsequent insurers charge ME higher rates because I switched companies!) Also I get the feeling that you might suffer from effects of substance abuse. I had seven years completely clean (age 30 - 37) and that helped me get my head back on straight. Now I take prescribed tranq and painkiller but still stay away from the alcohol and recreational drugs, they don't do any good in the long run. Oh well, that's enough from me, just don't give up yet, there is a meaning in your life, you just don't see it yet.
Tesseract, I want to thank you for sharing your life with us. I hope I am not too late in posting in this thread of yours. I would love to hear a reply from you. I can relate to your situation and living conditions almost verbatim. Its quite eerie to read. Im the type that do not believe that anyone else on this planet is going through anything similar than me, but discovering this board made me realize how wrong I was. I don't necessarily find you all that pathetic despite your recent 3 years. And you certainly have the non-unattractive thing going for you, unlike me. I am the very essence of the word pathetic. Ive been secluded from the world primarily for about 10 years. Hence the name, Man Apart. Like you, its not by choice. I know the lonliness you speak of. I feel it now. I feel it all the time, I feel it anywhere, I feel it in my sleep. Theres a reason why God say it was not good for man to be lonely. I guess if I ever did die from it I could tell God, hey even you said it was bad.
I wish to hear you elaborate more on the rejection issue youve experienced. I need a example to relate to. Its hard for me to imagine anyone attractive being rejected. Unless that person is outrageously difficult to be around. You do not seem like a outrageously difficult person to be around. Excuse my very narrow way of thinking but I only speak from past experience, its the only way I can ever view things and think. I think that the most unfortunate issue for you right now I see is that there was a point in your life when you decided to let everything go. You acknowledge the fact that the weight gain doesnt help and you truly do not want anything to do with people, yet the way your life is now is not by choice, but if given a "choice" you would want things to be different, not the way they are now. You do have a choice. We all do to a certain extend. Just that some choices are easier to make than others. I know choosing to hold on is vastly more difficult and grueling than choosing to let go.
You know I feel the same you do about the time issue. Im 26 now and I feel like my life is over. Just destroyed. 18-25 is like the most important years of a persons life I think, and to be honest, I cant remmeber but one of my birthdays distinctly of those years. Those years have been swallowed by misery and depression. I should be out of college, have a great job, starting a family, doing something with my life. Im no better mentally than I was when I was 18. Same issues, same problems, infact, I would say im much much worst now than then. My youth is gone. I never experienced being young. I have nothing to look forward to now but balding and gray hair. Its just gone. Its something I will be bitter about for the rest of my life. Never having gone to a prom, or having a first kiss, or going to a party, or having friends, or being in a social club or something, anything. But despite my squandered youth, there are still things about life I desire to experience, and potential to fulfill. Its never really too late. No matter how hopeless I ever felt, I never try to convince myself of that.
I do not see how anyone can withstand and endure lonliness. Its way too apparent to me that its something I cannot live with. Thats why im suicidal unfortunately. I really do feel the same applies to you. You are deeply suffering. I understand how difficult it is to meet people. I have some of the most severe hang ups you can imagine. My depression and anxiety goes into overdrive if I see anyone even remotely attractive. Theres alot behind why that is though. I think you really should focus on the type of people you want to meet. Cos generally the ones that matter really dont care what age you are or what problems you have. I dont know if this is something you considered but, you may want to try a group therapy program like I did. I can only attest to my experience but it jus seems like once I was in that room with people i could relate to, it was just easier for me to be a lil more open day by day. And I met alot of great people. Now I didnt come away with a ton of friends. There is only one person I call from time to time, but keep my distance in some aspects due to being suicidal. I dont want to make a ton of friends at this point not really being able to dictate whether im going to be alive tomorrow or not. But group therapy was a very positive experience for me. But if not that, I just try to find nice, suttle ways of meeting people within my comfort zone. Usually online or maybe going to a library or just something in that sense. There are other ways than bar hopping.
Ive lived in this city all my life and I dont even know how to get downtown. I dont know anything about the highway system. Ive maybe drove on a highway 3 times in my life. I have to use a map to get to somewhere beyond 2 miles. Its sad. i get lost in my own hometown. I have nothing here. No friends, I never go anywhere. I have noone but my family, and they are about as dsyfunctional as the Addams family cos my father and sister are sexually involved and my mother knows about it and accepts it. My closest friend in the world is a member of this board name Genabeena and ill probably never get a chance to meet her or even see a picture of her ever. She definitely doesnt want to see a picture of me, so its good for her. Im quite unpleasant to the eyes. I never had a girlfriend, never had love, etc. But desperately trying to find a loop hole around being unattractive physically.
Theres no other-worldly force. lol. I know what you mean though, sometimes I have to convince myself im not cursed. In my case my only curse is my genetics and being ugly. You do not share that fate so you have hope yet. There is a pattern that can develop in your life where it seems everything is jus going wrong all the time. But that pattern does not exist physically I dont think. Its a state of mind a person is usually impailed with. Just like me, I go into every situation expecting the worst and getting the worst. Cos i dont give myself a chance for the best. And I sell myself short at times, shooting myself in the foot and not realizing im jus as much to blame. Cos im very much a pessimistic individual. It gets so bad than even the little things make me feel like the world is ending. Forgive me for not believing in curses, though I slip into that way of thinking sometimes. I just cant help but to believe it is more just a state of mind than you being someone undeserving and being someone who lacks qualities and lacks the ability to be successful. Because believe me you dont. I think your very deserving and shouldnt give up. Forgive me if I differ with you on that and in me thinking that you are trapped moreso in your mind than being trapped in the physical aspects of your life. I think once I can turn off the im hopeless and pathetic switch, I can move on in my life without fear and being able to withstand adversity if things doesnt go the way I want them to go and accept the good and bad life dishes at me. We cant expect anything to come easy even though you look around and see other people dating and making friends like its 2nd nature. And I ask why am I different? I think that things that is worth suffering over is worth fighting for. If i can sit and suffer for years cos im lonely I may as well suffer trying to find someone, and hope I get lucky. Cos i know it will mean alot more to me and be more special to me, than it is to the 2nd nature people.
Thats the funny thing about life and being human I guess. I never look at people worst than me and think, wow, i really am fortunate, it could be alot worst. But I constantly look at people better than me and think, d*mn, why is my life such *****, why couldnt it be better?
Hey, Take care of yourself Tess. I know im just a username on a message board but, if you ever need someone to listen, well, read what your venting and respond to you, ill be more than willing. I hope you find your way. I hope people on this board can give you just even a small amount of help and advice. Again thanks for sharing. I hope to hear from you soon.
I'm glad, and encouraged, to hear that things worked out for you after those rough years: sounds like you have a really strong character and pulled yourself up by possessing the insight into what needed to be done and the will to effect such.
Yeah I've always felt that my depression is not endogenous but secondary to my life situation and I've always shied from antidpressants for that reason i.e.,not wanting to take a pill to make an intolerable situation tolerable when change is what's needed. When things in my life were better I never really had problems with depression. Also I'm generally pretty anti-psych. drug despite still having to feed a huge (legal) benzo addiction a shrink gave me that I will not taper down any lower while in this situation.
And yes I'm sure dealing with the negative side of human nature, injustice and insensitivity etc., and having that be often the only glimpse I get of the outer world, has worn me down: I would think, and hope, that it would do so to any sensitive, thoughtful, human being.
I am prone to fall into nihilistic depths with respect to life meaning and feel there is none yet, at the same time, we need to have at least the illusion of meaning be it in the form of religion or what have you: some kind of life-sustaining belief system such that there is a purpose and meaning. I believe that we ultimately construct our own meaning and this is partly where I have alot of problems. Even if free will is an illusion we still have it so why not use it: if something "bigger" is there then great (if it's benficent anyway) and if not then we've sheilded ourselves from such knowledge and spared ourselves alot of grief (by using our will to construct meaning). Alas I am forever working on creating such illusions.
Thanks for sharing your positive, encouraging response: I wish you all the best in continuing as you are.
Sorry to hear that you are feeling and living the same way as I am but alas I'm also comforted by a kindred spirit. I know how it feels to feel like you are so low or pathetic or abnormal that noone else could ever relate to it much have experienced it. Part of the pathetic feelings, for me, come from those beliefs and, as you have discovered, learning that others do in fact share the experiences and feelings-not just simply commiserating from a place of no empathy (not to belittle such commisserations at all)-but someone else who really has lived it: understands it not just intellectually but emotionally.
Regarding the rejection issue I've always felt like I just didn't fit in anywhere-there is no place I belong and I can't make a place for myself all alone because we need other people-for example, if I wanted to go build a cabin in the woods (which I don't) I would still need people to help me build it ya know?. Tho I've had a few really good friends in my life they've been pretty few and far between and I've just never understood what it is about me that seems to keep me distanced from people. It isn't anything specific (save a hacked up wrist/arm that freaks some out but that I can hide pretty well); it's like a negative magnetism thing or something. My brother is sociopathic and uses and abuses people to his advantage without a thought in the world as to how it may affect them: he treats people like ^#&$ and yet people still flock to him. I could write out a script of what he says to people and choreograph his movements and whereas people would flock to him they would stare at me like I am the biggest freak in the world. I used to really agonize over it but have just come to accept that that's the way it is. A few times, on mental wards, I've asked fellow patients about it and they said I seem unapproachable tho not in a bad way but that they would never approach me-that I seem "tough" (even tho I'm hypersensitive on the inside) but once past that exterior my few friendships have all been best ones. I"ve come to believe that I had best operate on the premise that I am speaking a different language and perceiving a different world than most others are and that I will seem as foreign and alien to them as they generally do to me (sometimes I feel like others are weird creatures that I cannot fathom). The causative question of whether my alienation (sometimes I think banishment) from humanity proceeded these feelings or vice versa remains open. I think I just know that people think I'm weird because of beliefs and activites I have and know that 99.99...% of the time there will be no click and I'd just as soon not even go thru the motions anymore. Also I'm not a quick social wit and the isolation hasn't helped that at all.
*paragraph snipped because the post was too long-I'll post it below*
As for choice, as I wrote in my previous post response to mouse62, we at least have an illusion of free will so why not use it?: if Fate does ultimately rule then free will simply becomes a guise for Fate and the effect is no different so I believe we have choices yet I also think some choices are necessarily doomed and one should only bang one's head against the wall-or Fate-for so long before giving it up and going another way.
If you're feeling the way you do at 26 add roughly ten years to that and multiply the feelings accordingly and you'll have some idea of where I'm at (yes I'm more pathetic than you are na-na-na-na-na-na-sorry I couldn't resist that ). 26!: 26 is so young Man Apart: unless you have some terminal illness all you've got is Time baby. In todays society 30-35 even 40 is not considered "too late" and if you start now to enjoy your youth (yes you are young) you'll have alot more to enjoy and you have plenty of Time to still do virtually anything: GO DO IT!-trust me you don't wanna wake up in 10-15 years in the same bed. I guess I'm now old enough to acutely understand the saying of "youth is wasted on the young" cause damn the things I would do different if I could go back-even 10 years (to your age). Did you know the average (traditional) college student in most state universities is like 24?; and students in their 30's, 40's and beyond are not uncommon at all.
Yes lonliness takes it's toll and is a kind of sickness in itself. I think group therapy is a good place to meet people because it's kinda prescribed that you're going to be emotionally intimate and prescribed boundaries related to attractiveness or social rank lose their importance and you get to truly know the person and not the facade they show the world and it's easier to find a genuine rapport. I think such relationships are what we are all looking for. Alas my experiences with my mental health agency pretty much preclude such for me for now. Not even sure if they offer anything like that and I'm not really a group person: in group therapy on mental wards say, I'd always be the quiet one in the back-I'm introverted and shy and not a quick social wit. You say "you should focus on the type of people you want to meet. Cos generally the ones that matter really dont care what age you are or what problems you have": couldn't this apply to you and your getting anxious around people you deem attractive?...
I know how you feel about the chronic suicide thing too. Even tho I've told myself I just can't do that to my parents I have my hours: I've cleaned my room out twice in the past two years and threw away things I wish I didn't cause I wouldn't want my mother finding them. I too will tend to put things off because "who knows if I'll even be here then". I know what it's like living in such a mindset and it's not good or healthy tho one positive thing I've gotton from it is that it truly makes you not care about the little things so many people have hang-ups with.
Another problem I have with meeting people is that men always seem to want to steer things toward the physical/sexual and I am just not into such on a casual basis: I have no moral problem with it I simply have no desire to be intimate with someone I wasn't infatuated with on a mental, intellectual and emotional level: if those things aren't there I can take care of myself just fine thank ya but that is an issue that has always made me somewhat uncomfortable around men and I actually prefer the weight in that sense.
I can even relate to your dysfunctional family (tho not in the same way): I have another brother who is a year younger than me (about as pathetic too but for some reason that doesn't comfort me) who lives in this house too and we have not spoken for 12 years!-we fought over a sandwich one day twelve years ago and he would never speak to me again and I gave up trying long ago so I know how warped relationships and screwy people around twist things (a big part of why I'm nocturnal).
I'm sure you are not as unattractive as you claim to be but then your own perception of yourself is all that matters and I'm sorry you feel that way. Physcial attractiveness is relative and subjective and I'm sure, without having any idea of what you look like, that there are people out there that would be attracted to you. I read alot of true crime-it helps me feel better about my situation-and it really gives one a powerful appreciation for how many different kinds of people and psyches are out there: things and people you couldn't even imagine. Just as making friends can seem like 2nd nature to people I'm sure there are qualities you have that would be viewed the same by someone else: we all have our strengths and weaknesses and it seems like you value what you consider yourself weak in. If physical attractiveness is your main problem, not to trivialize it or anything, but from my perspective (and not one of an attractive person after all I said I'm not unattractive but I didn't say I was necessarily attractive ya know) it just seems like that wouldn't be a very hard thing to deal with in some sense: if you value it that much then you can make the choice to change it more to your liking: for example heavy people can lose weight; men that are upset about losing hair can try hairpieces or rogaine; someone uncomfortable with a physical feature can get surgery etc.. You have scientific law and empirical knowledge for such problems tho I would suggest that approaching such from the inside could transform your perceptions of the outside?...like you said above about people not caring how old you are etc....why would they care about something as transient and superficial as physical appearance (tho I realize this is important to some-it just isn't to me and I can't purely empathize with it tho I can sympathize).
Yes I know what you mean about always thinking it could be better rather than worse but, as I wrote in my opening post, the concept of relativity vanishes when you consider that all you've got is your own lot and levels therein are all that ultimately matter. You can't think "what if" when it's "what is" ya know?.
Thank you for your response and good wishes-I send them right back at ya BABY!-sorry but that's what I mean about relativity: I see you as being so young and full of potential but you only know where you're at and I appreciate that it's a painful place and I hope you get a ray of light in whatever form you want it in soon. And usernames on message boards can be more "real" and powerful than anything in the flesh. Thanks for making me feel less alone tonight.
I know that frustrating feeling of knowing that inside you are a worthwhile person with alot to offer but having barriers that prevent that from being realized or expressed. While you blame your physical appearance I just am clueless outside of my just being "different". I'm sure having been psychiatrically diagnosed at age 14 (schizo) hasn't helped matters. What you say about individualism is so true and it seems like there are even cliques that define themselves as rejecting all cliques when they are ultimately just doing the same thing. I think it's just the way society is modeled and we are molded into it first starting with educational systems which are microcosms of the society we are being molded to fit into: think about how high school was like a mini world with your politicals and althletes and popular society darling types: it all just keeps extending and if you question this system you are outcast from it, partly, I think, because doing so is a threat to its stability, validity and even vey existence. We are not that unlike the political would-be revolutionary who ends up exiled or drugged as a political prisoner. In this sense there are powers that are much greater and those that would seek a Truth that threatens that of the masses is easily, and preferably, disposed of. By refusing to live a lie of labels and appearances you are in a potentially threatening minority. And you didn't think wrong about what you think is cool: you're just one of those rare types that thinks for themselves and that's something that scares people who don't.
If you believe that all other aspects of your personality are alright and it is just your physical appearance I have to wonder (and that's all it is is wondering) if you are not transferring some other things that you may not even be conscious of, onto your physical appearance?....
Sociopathy, from my understanding of it, refers mainly to the lack of a conscience and the associated ability to empathize or feel anything for anyone other than oneself and to be driven solely by fulfilling one's own desires. They may or may not be attractive or charismatic but when they are it's a particularly insidious picture-especially when their pleasure is murder.
I do pretty much believe it is all for nothing (tho I hope I'm wrong) yet, as I've written, we have at least an illusion of free-will and the ability to use it to construct some kind of positive meaning even if it is an illusion: "if the illusion is real let it give you a ride". It's constructing such illusions that presents the problems for people like us because we're not content to use the props that are already there.
I understand intimately how you feel about just not wanting to continue past a certain point and I didn't mean to trivialize that thru your age: certainly you are past angsty adolescence and even some angsty adolescents don't make it thru. I've often wondered too how long one bangs one's head against the wall: where one draws the line?. Tho I don't at all subscribe to Freudian theory he nonetheless offered some concepts that were quite interesting among them the existence of a life-death conflict in the psyche wherein a life-force (he termed "eros") and death instinct ("thanatos") are always in oppostion and fighting. I find myself considering this alot. Why do some people keep hanging on and on thru continuous adversity whilst others seem to flee quickly?. In a more concrete example I workout pretty hard but I still smoke and enjoy my brews: is that some kind of balance with that struggle?. There are people whose lives I can't imagine that I would have hung around for yet they wouldn't have even considered suiciding an option then there are others who check out simply because they're bored. I guess I'd appeal to the relatvity thing again for explanation.
"There seems to be no way to refute the logic of suicide but by the illogic of instinct."-William James
Unfortunatley our society does place an inordinate value on physical appearance (and youth) and even if you do not there is still no escaping the influence of such powerful common values. Even if you don't have a problem with such things many others do and as long as you are forced to live among them, to some degree it affects you too. In the past few years I have come to shed all the self-consciousness regarding social mores (I even go to the store in my pajama bottoms without a thought in the world to it). This is an area in which I think getting older helps alot. When I was younger I really cared how my hair looked and what people thought of me and now I really couldn't care any less and it feels really good actually. I live 100% true to myself tho it's often a lonely painful lot and I often suspect the "liars" have alot more fun. Again tho I can't help wondering, while reading your last paragraph, whether you're transferring other things-or all things-onto your physical appearance-I don't know what but that's just the impression I'm getting. Do you think you could have that disorder where people believe they're "ugly" when they are not (according to societal norms)?-I think it might be called "body dysmorphic disorder"?: I've seen and read a little about that and there are people who have suicided because they believed they were too unattractive to live and I have to say the pics they showed of these people were not unattractive in the slightest tho, again, all that matters is what they thought. I guess I can relate to this with the scars-and often open cuts-on my wrist/arm (I use my blood for art which is just one of the weird things about me) and I too am too poor for plastic surgery but I often wish I didn't have them and used to feel really awkward around people because of them-even if it was long sleeve weather eventually the heat will come and they have held me back in interpersonal contexts so I guess I can relate to this in some sense and the way I've dealt with it is to just accept that as a part of who and what I am and feeling that if someone has a problem with it I don't need to have anything to do with them-wouldn't want to anyway-so it's no loss: I'm not going to lose any sleep over what someone I could care less about thinks ya know?: still I know the feeling.
As far as the romantic thing goes your lucky you're male because women, generally speaking, value nonphysical attributes over physical ones and it would be alot easier for an (unattractive) man to find romance than an unattractive woman (I truly believe this).
It's the emotional assimilation of what we know intellectually that is really the hard part of all these things. That's the thing about feelings: when they're good they're great but when they're bad they're abyssmal and sometimes all we can do is seek comfort in the company of others in that abyss and while I am sorry for you and the others on this board, I am comforted therein and I hope you obtain such comfort too. Thanks.
Hey Tess, good to hear from you. Im glad youve shared so much. Just a quickly I wanted to respond to some of your comments.
Reguarding rejection and fitting in. Im not really one to speak on this subject, Im about as grossly repellent to people as it gets. I find no flaw in myself, my beliefs, personality and individuality. Only my physical apperance. I dont believe anyone is a erractic shaped piece to a puzzle that just doesnt fit anywhere. You belong more so than anyone in this world. So do I. Everyone seems to so badly want to brand name themselves as this or that. A jock, a geek, a cheerleader, a metrosexual, a biker guy, a conservative a liberal, a tough guy, hip, cool, crazy, whatever. Individualism is so lost in this world. You know, being african american, I learned a long time ago when I tried to start smoking and drinking and dressing like I was a rap star, and talking slang like I was some smooth guy, and trying to act rebellious, that I really couldnt be anything other than myself. Im not going to let the majority of the people im exposed to influence who I am and who I want to be. I was abused constantly cos of it, because I thought what was cool was being polite and kind to teachers and paying attention class. I thought cool was being drug free. I thought cool was dressing proper and not with my pants hanging off my a*s. I thought cool was helping others. I thought cool was treating girls with respect. I thought cool was making a A in class. I guess I thought wrong.
You talk about sociopaths. Ive met far too many of them in my life. I wonder are these type of people are attractive because of a human indulgence in feeling like a rebel, or wanting to feel like your bad or sexy. Or it simply cos they fear that person, and what harm they could do to them, so its better to join them than to be subjected to them. Its like, convert now or fall forever. I admit at first glance i look pretty boring. I dont look really intimidating and certainly not attractive or sexy. But lets say I droped a few pounds, got a few tatoos, bought some shades, some gold jewelry, name brand clothes, new funky attitude, etc, and my social life would definitely improve. Thats the thing i kind of hate about myself. I have a inability to be like everyone else. And the thing I hate even more is, I really dont want to be, and I should. My life would definitely be better. But then again, if i wanted to be a actor Id just take up a few drama classes. I just cant maintain trying to be a metamorphosis to people. Craving attention just to validate myself. Attention is good, but I only am interested in getting attention from people that matters and who are interested in what matters most about me. I consider myself counter cultural in alot of ways. I can have absolutely nothing in common with someone and that person is interesting to me in that sense, cos im just as interested in incommon people as well. Oh and im not the sharpest tool in the shed either. I have the shy curse as well.
I cannot oppose you much on the issue of Fate. Lord knows ive been banging my head against the wall of fate for years. I do believe that a persons life can be tragically predetermined and destined for failure no matter what that person does and how hard he or she tries. That explains why im suicidal. Cos if all of this, all of my struggle, all of my effort is for nothing, then, next life please. I can accept if something is not really meant to be. Unfortunately, the way my life is now is not on that list. I wish I could turn away from the wall and live without what is beyond it. I cant. Cos there is nothing behind me worth living for. If I do go another way, itll only be trying to find another way around it.
Yes im 26 and id trade my youth to someone 46 if it meant I could live free of depression and lonelines. No I dont have a terminal disease. I dont need one. If I cant improve my life soon, I wont see myself turn 30. Cos I really do not have any more years of my life to give to misery. I just promised myself oneday I wouldnt prolonge it. Ive already woken up ten years later. It was roughly ten years ago when I first noticed I was suffering from depression. So in essence I dont really have time. Like you said about fate. Theres just a point where you have to stop and realize, its over.
Physical attractiveness is not something I place great value you compared to the world. But unfortunately I am really forced to be overly consumed with it because it is inexplicably the main source of all my problems. All my abuse. All my rejection. My lonliness. My low self esteem. My depression. Everything. Unless they have a very affordable procedure of sawing my entire face off and replacing it with a new one, then surgery is out of the question. Only rich people can do that stuff. lol. I cant afford to get a string of hair lasered off my arm. Theres nothing wrong with me inside. I wish I could just wake up oneday and say hey, i dont care what the hundreds of people in my life and my past say I look like. Because, it does matter. I dont have to find myself in the mirror. The world will adamantly let me know. Theres a vast difference in just wanting ot be a friend and not caring about how old someone is and what their personal problems are, than there is being attracted to that person enough physically, to kiss them. One involves just being human. The other involves, human nature. If only just a ounce, it matters. It matters to everyone. More now than ever before.
I hope you have a good day. You and everyone else. Take care. Oh and... thanks.
Wow! It's really uncanny! Man Apart told me to read in on this thread and I'm glad I did. We really do have a lot in common, Tesseract- the whole group of us. In fact I too have a musical background. But much more importantly, I think that if you read over the posts from our previous threads (specifically those threads started by Man Apart and myself) you'd see what we mean. I recommend it too. You could click into our user profiles, print 'em all up and read 'em like a book. It'd be fun. (In a weird sort of way. Heh, heh.) And I want to point out here, that there is a lot of discussion on those threads dealing with the very philosophical-type questions you described. Have you looked into Joseph Campell? I just bought the DVDs recently and I very much enjoy them. I get so much out of the teachings of Joseph Campbell that I just want to tell everybody about it. It's called The Power of Myth. Though the DVD set is very good, I think the book form is also good to have, because I think it's more in-depth.
There are a lot of things different about us in terms of our life circumstances, but it's neat to think that even if you had gone right out and got a job, met a man, had a baby, got married (and that's actually the exact order in which I did those things) you would probably still be faced with a lot of the same personal challenges, feelings, thoughts, etc... I know I am.
I'm currently in the midst of trying to get divorced. I'm also being supported by my parents, but in a different way. They pay me and allow my family and myself to live in my grandmother's condo (she's now an invalid living with them). I in return do the job of providing personal care for my grandmother.
I'm 28 (almost 29 now) and I recently graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education (well, a year ago) and since then have been looking for work. Despite the fact that I have been in a marriage, have two beautiful beautiful children, and feel like I do have some prospects (as far as getting a job), I still feel totally pathetic and deal with all of the same thoughts and conflicts and emotional dillemas that you described. I agree with you about the importance in banding together. Since joining this group a couple of months ago, I believe it has helped me dramatically. Like Man Apart pointed out, you can wind up in a surprizingly close friendship like Man Apart and I did.
Hang with us. We'll keep talking. There are a lot of issues we need to get into in more depth, though, right now I have to stop and get back to it tomorrow, cause there are a lot of things I still need to get done today. It's really a pleasure to meet you!
One more thing, I just can't resist. Your talk about sociopaths couldn't have come at a more appropriate time for me. I just went through an ordeal............. I don't have time to go into details, but OMG........ I met a very strange person and thought, "well, I'm pretty strange too, so maybe we'll get along," but.......... I had no idea. It turns out this guy was a total letch, very disturbed, and extremely inconsiderate on top of it. No sense of social appropriateness at all- no concept. I know I haven't mentioned anything about this before, but just because I kind of consider it to be pretty insignificant with respect to everything else going on in my life right now. Just wanted to say, "thanks" for bringing up that subject.
Tesseract, for some reason, reading thru your response to Man, I realized if not for my husband, if I were alone, I'd be right where you are now. I'd isolate, not leave the house, not socialize, I'm shy & cannot start conversations & always felt like the "odd one out" in school, work etc..
I have been corresponding with Man for quite some time, he is a great person & you & he have such similar issues, I do hope you continue to be a part of this forum.
Hi Geenabeena (I love that handle-it kinda rolls off the mental tongue)-always nice to meet a kindred spirit tho I'm also sorry but as long as we're here in this we may as well try to lend strength to each other if only in the knowledge that we are not alone. I think artists (e.g.,musicians) as a group are, almost necessarily, much more attuned to, hence susceptible to disruptions of, our inner world of feelings. I've often thought cold, hard types have a much easier time in a world such as ours. I noticed a thread by Man right next to this one last night but was just ready to log off so didn't look at it but I will do so when I'm done with this. I like your suggestion of printing out your guys' previous posts: I often have trouble sleeping and I could spend that time catching up with your psyches as presented herein. Also I'll check my libraries catalogue for the Campbell book-thanks for the recommendation.
It's interesting that you think that if I'd gone the conventional route that there would still be similiar thoughts and feelings and it actually makes sense now that I reflect on it: kinda like that "grass is always greener" stance maybe tho I'm sure that extreme isolation does something to the psyche that does not happen in it's absence tho, conversely, having experienced the events you have has undoubtedly given you a different spin on things as well-I guess we're all just ultimately travelers on an unknown journey and having different perspectives of such just helps us to help others. I've always thought if I had done the conventional thing I'd have been alot happier but who knows?-it's easy to pin our feelings on our circumstance when such may not always be the case.
In contrast to being supported by your parents it sounds like you're providing a valuable service to them and your gram and it's nothing to feel inadequate about: quite the contrary: what you're doing is quite admirable and vitally crucial: I am sure you are helping and easing the lives of all invlolved and, in return, you are getting a place to live and a stipend: I don't see anything to feel badly about there but I guess that's just my perspective and I understand and appreciate that you genuinely feel the way that you do. From my vantage point tho you seem to have alot going for you tho alas I know the grass is not always greener.
I like this board alot. I've found alot of message boards to be really hostile, vicious places but I get only good vibes from this one and I would certainly be honored to hang with you all-thank you so much for the invitation-really I can't stress that enough-I'm so accustomed to the opposite response. I already feel so much less alone: I haven't even cried all week and when I feel myself being pulled into that dark place I have thought of this board and the people on it and have felt alot better for it-thank you so much.
And finally-tho not leastly -lori j: thanks so much for your response. I hope that realizing as you did has made you feel (or renewed as the case may be) an appreciation for what you do have.
Man sure gets alot of vouchers and recommendations here ...tho I think I can see why...
Thanks and good luck to all.
I like your attitude & especially going to the store in your p.j. bottoms. My son lets his kids dress anyway they want, they are 8 & 4 & they like to play in halloween costumes & dress up. They have gone to the store all in costume in the middle of the winter or summer. The 4 year old likes to wear green rain boots that have black eye on them, with almost everything. He lets her. I think the Adam Sandler movie had a lot of infuence on how he lets his kids be individuals & decide things like that. Of course they have discipline too in areas needed, but in some things he lets them be themselves, which I think is great.
I think I'll wear my p.j. bottoms to the store next time, I guess I'm a rebel at heart!! LOL
I almost felt like I was reading about myself, there are many similarities. My isolation mirrors yours. I'm now in my late thirties and living with a parent and can go days without leaving the house. I no longer have any friends or social contacts to speak of and no family member that I am close to. Going to the grocery store has been the highlight of my life for more than a year now.
I agree it's harder to meet people at this age and the added burden of any stigma and history of being rejected only makes it harder. It may be true that the people who matter don't care how old you are or whether you have mental health problems, etc, but where on earth do you find such people?. I think they would probably number less than 2% of the general population. Even people with mental health problems themselves would often rather be around more "normal" people.
I too look at my life and see so much wasted youth. Developmentally my growth has been stunted by depression, anxiety, etc. over more than twenty years and limited my life experience. In the morning when I awake and gain consciousness of the reality of my life is often the worst time as I realise my youth is over and i have nothing to show for it - no family, no career, no home of my own, etc.
After trying so many different things to turn things around and failing, I sometimes felt like there was a dark force around me. At one time it helped to look at things from a karmic, spiritual perspective and believe that all pain did have a purpose and was serving the evolution of my soul in some way. But no longer. I feel really pathetic too, so much of the time.
Although I'm apparently not physically ugly, I often feel ugly on the inside and don't know if this is better or worse than being considered physically ugly yet feeling attractive on the inside. I have not had a boyfriend either.
Solitary confinement is used as punishment in prison because it's psychologically painful and harmful but that is what often happens when we are depressed, reinforcing the depression. Things can be hard to deal with when you have a supportive person, but when there is noone...? I can really relate firsthand to your bad experiences with "therapy"..
Alot of the time I feel like I'm just alive to look after my cat, like I'm just dangling by a thread sometimes. It's good you can exercise as it's proven to be beneficial for brain chemistry. I've found it helps me. Maybe you could try getting some sunshine early morning if you don't want to change your nocturnal schedule. Enough sunshine can be important. Also, I found benzos to be the worst thing for my depression. Could they be making you feel worse? (They are a CNS "depressant"). Also, you sounded like you might be sleeping alot and I know this can make depression worse because of the increase in total REM sleep (dreaming time).
It's funny how all the behaviours that depression makes us prone to do - under or overeating, oversleeping, withdrawing or isolating, numbing ourselves with alcohol/sedatives, stimulants, neglecting ourselves physically -are all things that can worsen or reinforce depression in the long run.