I'm D. This is my first time, so i'm sure everyone will know how alien it feels to stand on the cusp of divulging your deepest darkest thoughts to a group of complete strangers.
I'm 23 and I've suffered from depression for about 5 years. From the outside, my life looks great. I've been blessed with good looks and I've always been popular with girls. I got a 1H in university and I now have a career with a big mgt. consultancy firm. I'm good at sports and am very popular in all areas of my life - my family, friends and work.
So why? Why do I frequently get into moods where all I want is for it to be over?
I think the reasons go back to my childhood (doesn't everything..!). My brother bullied me a lot growing up. He was three years older than me but would routinely kick the living daylights out of me. He would do nasty things like pin me down and spit on my face, making me feel so weak and useless. He even let his friends beat me. He once sexually abused me. He mentally abused me, which to me was probably the worst part. Day in, day out, he would make me feel totally inadequate, mocking everything I would say and intimidating me to the point where I was afraid to say anything in my own house. My parents would tell him to stop bullying me, although they would always tell me to stop provoking him, even though I did nothing to provoke him, i was just being myself and trying to stand up to him. Eventually my parents would get fed up of me coming into them crying and would tell me to cop onto myself.
My parents broke up when I was around 13. Apparently the marriage was loveless for years before that. My father had had multiple affairs with other women. I didn't feel particularly loved by my Dad, he always seemed to get on better with my brother, which further exacerbated my feeling of inadequacy. My Dad was big into sports and so was my brother. When I was a kid though, given that I had rock bottom self-esteem, I was really poor at sports although I was a good runner. My Dad and my brother bonded over sports, which left me feeling a bit left out. I never felt good enough to get into that circle that they seemed to have, and the fact that my brother would continually mock me made me feel completely useless.
I carried this feeling with me when I would hang out with my friends. I was totally paranoid that my friends would reject me, that for some reason I wasn't good enough to hang out with them. And eventually they did reject me. They told me to go away and never come back. They would have parties and not tell me about them and stuff like that. When they told me to leave the group one of the guys said it and then went around to each person in the group that was there and said "Do you agree that he should go", they all said yes, all my "best" friends... that led to a compounding of a feeling of worthlessness and maybe was the manifestation of the self-fulfilling prophecy that I felt I wasn't good enough and was always afraid of rejection. These guys then ignored me, and we lived in a small community, until eventually i got back into the gang. This happened twice.
I've confronted these guys recently about it and they've said sorry, still waiting on one to get back to me, but they were all really supportive when I spoke to them about it. It still makes me feel a bit inadequate that they did that to me though.
Then there was the strange sexual things that happened to me growing up. I went through patches where I thought I was gay, I even had two sexual encounters with a male friend. I don't think I'm gay but sometimes I can feel a physical attraction to other men, not sure what that's about but I was ashamed of it growing up. I've since confronted the friend and we've laughed about it. I once fantasised about a friend's younger sister. She would have been about ten and me about fifteen. She had a very pretty face so I think I got some sexual confusion because of that. I am by no means a paedop*ile. I'm ashamed of these strange sexual issues that I've had. I was once with a girl at a house party and we got really drunk, I was about 15, she was about 18 or so. [removed] I felt about an inch tall. Other sexual issues I've had is having visions of sex with innapropriate people - e.g. my mother, father, brother, sisters, old people etc. When they come into my head I feel sick and push it out, but why do those things come into my head?
So to sum up my sexual diaries, i've been ashamed that maybe I'm a paedop*ile, homosexual, rapist, with incestual thoughts. Without actually beliving that I am any of those things, you know in your gut, why have I had these thoughts? Is it because I'm trying to convince myself that somehow I am dirty, weird, what? This causes feelings of shame and guilt, which I'm sure everyone is aware can be the root causes of depression.
I was also bullied by people in my life other than my brother. As I didn't have any self-respect I let people mock me and I backed out of fights with people because I was scared. I'm ashamed that I didn't have the balls to stick up for myself as a kid, to other schoolkids, to people I worked with, to my brother. I'm angry that people tried to take advantage of that to make them feel tougher or cooler or whatever.
I've confronted my brother about these feelings. I've confronted my Dad about the fact that I felt he never loved me. I've told my sister pretty much everything I've told you above (apart from incestual thoughts 'cos I don't want her to see me as some kind of pervert). I've called the guys I hung around with as a kid that rejected me. I'm working on forgiving any people who bullied me, because I believe that people do things for reasons to protect themselves not just to be malicious and to hurt others.
I've written suicide notes twice and almost every day the thought of suicide will creep into my head.
How do I get out?
I've got so much going for me - good looks, intelligence, popularity, sports. We won a big cup competition on Sunday and my friend saw me crying afterwards and asked what was up, I told him about the incident of sexual abuse and that I'd asked the perpetrator to get back to me before the game (as I'd confronted him about it in an e-mail, so I could focus purely on the game). He said to me "the thing you can never lose sight of, is the fact that you are a fantastic person. Everyone in that room (points to the bar where the team is celebrating) looks up to you and thinks God I wish I was as talented as D, I wish I was as good looking as D, I wish I was as popular as D".... but how can I feel this inside me, how can I feel adequate?
I've medicated these feelings of inadequacy with being good at sports, but if I get injured I'm afraid that I won't be able to cope. That's what happened last year when i tore my cruciate, I felt completely worthless. How can I stop needing constant praise from outside to make me feel good inside?
i'm currently taking escitalopram, 20 mg to help me to get through this.
Woooooh... that was a long and heavy posting... but there you go, i just bore my soul to a group of randomers... I'm hoping some of you can relate to what's happened to me and maybe share some techniques you used to get over these things or can provide any help at all or even just to read this and let me know that i'm not a total weirdo.
Last edited by WanderingMod; 11-08-2006 at 08:19 PM.
Reason: Please refrain from posting sexually explicit details.
I feel your pain of being molested, i was also. Because of this (and genetics) I have depression and OCD. You should chekc out board for OCD. You will find you can relate to many on intrusive thoughts.
Perfect, wow, sorry for all that you had to go through. You did an excellent job of telling your story, I was really pulled in and experienced it fully. You asked "how can I feel adequate?" I think that you have to truly love yourself which it seems that you do not because of how you were treated in the past. You sound like a wonderful person, believe that, not the others who mistreated you. Like you said, everyone who mistreated you had their own reasons for it and it had nothing to do with your value as a person. Write yourself a note that you are a very valuable person or whatever message that you want to tell yourself. Read it out loud to yourself several times every day until you believe it. I think that your family problems started with your parents relationship and their issues. Your brother was reacting to these family problems and taking his issues out on you. I'm sorry. Not feeling that bond with your dad must be tough. Sounds like you are really good with communicating with people. Be careful, however. Sometimes confronting people from your past takes more energy than what it is worth. Sometimes people don't give you what you need from them and it makes you feel worse. You only have to get this stuff straight in your own head, not in everyone else's. Also, if you talk too much to everyone you might feel a little vulnerable later because you revealed too much to everyone. Have you considered counseling? I think that it would be a good idea to work all of these issues out so that you can be free from their burdens. You express yourself really well so therapy would work really well for you. I'm sure that your insurance covers it. You could sort out all of the sexual issues, the shame and guilt, etc. I'm confused about the perpetrator/sexual abuse. I thought your brother abused you once and then you were experimenting with friend a few times? Anyway, you sound like you have a lot going for you. Get some counseling so that you can have some peace of mind that you deserve! Good luck to you.
that's right... i was abused by my brother once... years later i experimented twice with a friend, when absolutely tanked... we didn't talk about it for years but I called him recently and we laughed about it... i told him i knew i was an attractive guy so i can understand his reasons for doing it..!
thanks for showing an interest... the most powerful thing you said in that response was that the people "who mistreated you had their own reasons for it and it had nothing to do with your value as a person". I think that's something I'm finally getting to grips with and once I can master that (and I think it's gonna take time), I will be a lot happier. Hopefully, that will help me to escape from the need of approval from others.
I've already enlisted some help from a counsellor. She's really good, but it seems so slow. It's only one hour a week.
It was because of their reasons, nothing to do with me as a person - thanks for that.