I’m at a bad point in my life in terms of my mental health. This is made worse by reminders of my past. I want to explain this here.
When I was at school I was bullied. I was socially excluded. I lived through breaktimes and lunchtimes on my own, stood at the side of the playground, watching others have their fun. Do you have any idea how lonely and humiliating that would be for a child? To not be accepted by your peers just because you’re quiet and shy, and actually willing to learn. I used to have to beg people in my class, if I could tag along with them, just so I didn’t feel so lonely and look like a sad loner. This was again humiliating, and risked rejection. I don’t know if I was rejected – perhaps I was sometimes, but I’ve blocked most of my childhood out so cannot recall. I was always seen as ‘different’ and paid the price for it by not being included.
The reason this is in my mind lately is because I feel socially excluded again. Nobody talks to me. I have to practically beg people to communicate with me… to care about me… I feel I’m standing at the side of the playground that is ‘life’, and watching everyone else get on enjoying living it, and I’m all alone, forgotten, rejected, abandoned and merely a spectator of everyone else’s joy. I have to ask for support from people. I ‘cry for help’ on social media, and everyone chooses the best thing to do with me is ignore me. They don’t take it seriously. They don’t realise how painful and frustrating it is to be ignored when you’re reaching out for help, and how humiliating it is at the same time, that I’ve put myself out there, publicly asking for care and support, and everyone can see that nobody is there for me. It’s public rejection. I don’t feel accepted by anyone. Because of my beliefs and also because of my mental illness.
I’ve had bad experiences with men, that’s why those experiences are very limited. There was a guy called Joe who was okay to begin with, but then he did the thing jerks do, which is to blow hot and cold. He’d feed me crumbs and I started to see them as slices instead. I would chase after his attention. I would degrade myself, trying to get him to return the feelings I had for him. It was never going to happen. I was just a game to him. I was an ego stroke and entertainment. I would spend so many nights crying my heart out over him… problem-solving with my friends about what was going on in his head, and what to do to ‘fix’ the situation. He’d seem interested and appear to change, only to vanish off the radar again a couple of weeks later… not talking to me for weeks… months at a time even. I kept getting rejected over and over again. I kept forgiving him and letting him back, exposing myself to more rejection further down the line. In the time he wasn’t talking to me I would obsess over the possibilities, for why that might be – maybe he was having troubles, maybe he got scared, maybe I offended him, maybe he was just busy. And ‘busy’ was another thing he’d use so often. The trouble is eventually ‘busy’ started to sound like an excuse. I’d already been through experiences where people said they were too busy… yet they seemed to have time for anyone else but me… he was one of those people too.
The reason this is weighing on my mind right now, is that the inconsistency and unreliability he showed me, is being reflected in my friendships. But the trouble is I have come to expect it from those friends. So it’s the consistency of the inconsistency if you see what I mean. It’s replicating the same feelings I experienced with Joe. For instance, I had some issues with a friendship, drifted apart from them, we sorted things and met a couple of times… things seemed like they might change… like they understood how I felt and what I needed, and then it reverted back to how it was before….. it felt like the ‘hot and cold’ ‘breadcrumb’ thing. My hopes became too high, that things would improve but it always ends the same. It really is making me relive those experiences and those same feelings as before. Which then makes me resent the friend for making me feel the same way he did. I’m not shown the level of care I need, so I degrade myself by uncontrollably having meltdowns quite publicly about my feelings, which mimics the levels I went to in order to get the care I wanted from Joe. The trouble is, where I used to problem-solve with friends about it, I can’t do this in this situation, because the very friend I would do this with, is the one I’m experiencing the problem with. So I’m alone in having to deal with it. It’s become routine to go anywhere between two weeks, to two months not talking to them. And the trouble I’m facing at the moment is I’m telling myself I’m done. No more forgiving. No more repeating this, as my soul can’t take it anymore. I’m telling myself to cut them off, so that I don’t have to keep reliving the same shit over and over again. In my head I’m treating them as though they are Joe, and just as he ran out of chances I feel they too are doing the same. And I hate that. I hate that I’ve become like this, but it honestly is like reliving those days, where I kept making excuses for his disappearing acts and lack of care. I’m telling myself there’s a good reason for it – but that doesn’t change the way I feel about it. It still hurts. I still feel let down. I tell myself it’s my fault and I’ve upset them, so feel the same guilt I did before… but then I also feel the same – that communication is needed. And this friend is busy. I know that. I know they have a life I could never understand, as I have no life. I’m not for one minute saying they’re making it up. I know it’s busy. But all I’m saying is when I already am reminded of Joe by this person, and I hear ‘busy’, I hear ‘excuses’, even though it’s not. It’s just a part of the flashback.
I had a group of friends. This gave me the support and social life / confidence I needed to get out there and live my life. Disregarding for a moment, the fact one of them betrayed me badly and ruined everything I had, as that’s not relevant to this post (it was the catalyst for the destruction of my life, but that’s another story)… one of them showed me up in front of the others, attacked me and badmouthed me, and I became alienated from the group. I was cast as the villain and people took her side by continuing to meet up with her, without challenging her behaviour and standing up for me. Their loyalty failed. This was very upsetting in itself because when I was at school, about age 12 or 13, I was bullied in front of the class by a girl named Lisa and her minions, and nobody stopped her. Not the people I regarded as ‘friends’… not even the teacher, who asked her to stop once, and didn’t bother once she went back to it. That was bloody humiliating and very upsetting. It showed me up in front of everyone and nobody defended me. So this encounter with my group of friends mimicked that. Nobody had my back against this bully of a friend.
This feeling has been repeated time and time again since… in the last couple of years a ‘friend’ kept attacking me because of my political views. She would pick fights with me and argue very publicly. She personally insulted me off the back of a political conversation, and rather than people saying it wasn’t right, most people defended her! They didn’t have my back. The one who did defend me had to put up with someone disagreeing with her, seemingly defending the ‘friend’. I get hurt, yet I feel since the encounter I’m alienated. I feel my time with that group came and went, because of the same sort of problems.
And then the latest group, where I don’t feel able to join in conversations anymore. Because of another case of political disagreement. I know I’m the outsider in that group when it comes to that. But also my interpretation of a situation (or the situation itself) was that as a result of something I said, they said something in the group and got all the support of everyone, making me feel excluded and like ‘the bad guy’ again. I admit I may have been wrong, but it seemed too coincidental, the timing. Even if things have moved on since then, I am unable to. I feel excluded and like they all hate me.
These things just keep repeating. And to be going through all those past experiences totally alone… reaching out for help and being ignored, it’s too much. I feel as though I’m dead. And I’m wishing that I was. I wish I could portray the feeling created by these experiences… I can actually see a depiction of the silent scream, but could never convey it properly for others to see. Sometimes I want to rip myself apart and then rip the very fabric of existence…. tear a hole in the universe and scream into it.
I’m not just battling depression, anxiety, BPD, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, grief, loss upon loss upon loss… I’m battling my past. And it’s not a simple case of ‘let it go’. If I could I would, but people keep recreating my past for me. Nothing changes. I can’t forget it because people won’t allow me to by treating me better! The result is I think why bother living life if it’s always going to go the same? I can’t keep feeling the same feelings over and over again. I won’t.
My work experiences also keep repeating themselves. I keep facing things that caused me to leave past places. I have to fight to keep going and not let it force me out.
Even the transference issue I had at therapy last year was a replication of past issues… I wasn’t allowed to talk to Matt about my feelings and about the issue in order to resolve it and draw a line under it. As soon as they found out about it, three different female therapists would be the ones to deal with me. The one co-running the group with Matt would take over discussions with me. My individual therapist afterwards who was less than helpful, and then another one to deal with the issues I had in the group. Even though I felt I knew what was needed, it was passed off as some misguided hope of something – like I was clinging on and that it wouldn’t help. I’m sorry but I knew full well what I was thinking. And I still to this day feel angry that these women didn’t listen to me. I have been denied a sense of closure by every man I’ve met. This has destroyed my faith in men, has made me close off to them and given me attachment issues. I saw this as an opportunity to change all that. I felt if I could have had one last conversation with him, as a therapist, he could have fixed all those broken parts of me – all those heart-breaking beliefs I’ve been given by experience. He could have taught me that it’s okay to like someone who doesn’t like you back, and that it doesn’t mean you have to feel ashamed, or keep away from the person out of embarrassment. That things can be ‘cool’. He could have shown me that I can be rejected but still respected and wished well personally. He could’ve let me say what I needed to that I never got to say in the past to people… I could have said goodbye and felt there was a line drawn under it all. But because I obviously had to be kept away from him, this therapeutic opportunity was wasted and I feel all the worse for it. I feel I was denied a chance to grow and the chance for things to be different. I feel it was forced upon me, I was ripped away from him with no closure for my peace of mind, and I never got a conversation that I’ve been denied my whole life…
This isn’t me just holding on – look, I’m holding on now anyway, BECAUSE I didn’t get that sense of closure. I’m not healing and I never will, because I walked away with embarrassment, shame, feeling unheard, misunderstood and rejected – just not rejected by him, but the wall of female therapists who protected him, or protected me from him, or whatever….
I know from my own experiences how long it takes me to heal…. I’m still not healed from anyone else I’ve loved and lost. I know how long this will scar me for. How long it will affect me for. I just wanted a chance for it to be different this time. I didn’t want something from him. I didn’t want anything other than being set free… but by the person directly … by direct communication. I’ve only ever heard through other people or through silence. I deserve more than that. I’m really so upset by this at the moment. It’s the first time I’ve cried whilst writing this post. I just feel so annoyed that therapy should be about helping you, and about change. And they weren’t willing to help me see a change. They expect me to face the same circumstances and deal with that differently. No. I need circumstances to change otherwise I can’t live in this world. Because circumstances have taught me I’m worthless…. I don’t deserve honesty and direct communication… having feelings for someone is the start of goodbye….. I’m a fat, ugly, horrible person who makes people feel uncomfortable because of the intensity of my emotions…. and that men can’t be trusted and will never treat me well.
They missed an opportunity to heal me. If I was in America and paid to go private they’d have allowed it. They’d have cared about doing what was necessary to bring about a change. But since they missed the chance, my life will continue on a loop… nothing will change… I will face the same problems again and again… and there will be no better opportunity to challenge those demons and make things right – it was the most open I’d been and it took a heck of a lot of courage to admit to my feelings to them all… it was all for nothing in the end. They missed it. They got it wrong. They didn’t help me early enough and when they did, they didn’t hear what I was saying. They thought they knew better as they’re the professionals. Nobody will ever give me what I need to heal – a conversation in person… that was the chance. It’s gone now. So I have to keep going through life being rejected and avoided, treated like shit… I’ll probably never put myself out there ever again, because it always ends the same. It’s ironic that the whole course was about dealing with vicious circles, and when I tried to break mine and do things differently, they didn’t allow me to do so. I blame them for not only keeping me stuck where I was, but for digging me in deeper, making it harder for me to ever break out and be free. I’m angry with them.
I’m just so sick of people cutting open old scars and not understanding why I’m bleeding and why it hurts so damn much! They just run away and leave me to bleed to death.
As it happens I am now reliving my youth… I’m in the same place I was in my late teens…. having only my family…. struggling with my volunteering…. too down and anxious to leave the house…. the worst I’ve been in many years.
All I’ve ever wanted was a chance to move forward, but those around me just won’t let that happen. When the chips are down they’re nowhere to be seen. And my life spirals round and round, down into my past and washes away any progress I made. I’m in a much worse place now than I was two years ago. Life has gone to hell. I’m weary of it all. Sometimes I wish I could sleep forever…