A serious question -- do I deserve to be alive?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by MotownJohnny, Jan 6, 2014.

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  1. MotownJohnny

    MotownJohnny Member

    One big struggle -- I feel like a mental health diagnosis and being admitted to a psychiatric program has ... negated my right to exist. It feels like i committed a capital offense, and received the death sentence. Because I had a breakdown and ended up where I am today -- miserable, depressed, with a mental health history on my record.

    Now, I know that all sounds very bad, very stigmatizing. Please know I only feel this way about myself, I don't go around hating people just because they have problems, we all have problems, God knows. I need to put this into context. I grew up in a terrible environment, my father was extremely abusive psychologically, some times physically but not too often, and I hated him with a burning passion. But, we had to play roles, it was imposed upon me against my will -- I had to be the "perfect son" and I had to profess my eternal love, adoration, and respect, very much like the way North Koreans have to love the "Dear Leader" or else, some really bad stuff happens to them.

    When I was growing up, perfection meant things like straight A's on every last paper, quiz, whatever. It meant I always did exactly as I was told, was always exactly on time for every event, was always where I was told to be, etc. In other words, no breathing room at all, no autonomy, no personal choice. Not even in things like clothes or my hair cut, it was what the Great Leader wanted, or else. If I transgressed in any way, such as bringing home a B+ on some paper, there was Hell to pay. Seriously, it could be very, very ugly. And I lived my entire life in some state of terror, about one thing or another -- and I still do in a lot of ways.

    So, I have debated that question in my mind non-stop ever since I went to the psych day program. Is having a breakdown a "capital offense"? I take it that way, emotionally, I constantly tell myself I am the scum of the earth, that I don't deserve to live, that I am some kind of monster.

    When in reality, I think I'm actually a pretty good guy who is an asset to society and does have purpose. I'm educated, employed, have interests and activities, social contacts, and empathy and compassion for others.

    The real world answer is, of course not, it's somewhere between stupid and insulting to think that way. But, in my mind, for myself, I feel (emotional side taking over) that my "crime" was so serious I don't deserve to live. Or, to put it another way, I feel like society is so prejudiced against anyone with a mental health issue that I will be treated so poorly that having any kind of "normal, happy" life is impossible. The Scarlet Letter and all that.

    So, I find myself torn between two alternate visions of my future. One is that I just give in, let this consume me, and be out of my pain -- I think very often of details of exactly how I would off myself. The other is that I actually start to live the life I know, intellectually, that I am capable of living and deserve -- happy, meeting goals, actually at peace with myself. I have set some real-world goals for 2014 - I am apply to grad school, an online masters degree program in my current field, and I have 3 sports goals -- I'm beginning a triathlon training program next week, I signed up for a package of boxing lessons to improve at that, I like it but I'm terrible at it, and I just bought a really great road bike, so I'm setting a goal of 5,000 miles for the March/April to November cycling season.

    So, what is it going to be - defeat or victory, disgrace or glory, despair or happiness? It seems like such an obvious chocie, but I just can't bring myself to believe I deserve anything other than death, followed by an eternity in Hell. A punishment that would dramatically outweigh the severity of the "crime".
  2. demuredawn

    demuredawn Well-Known Member

    Hi Johnny,

    I can relate to most all of your post ... only difference is the specific goals you have set for yourself... and wow! sounds like you have some awesome goals and soo much potential going for you. I understand the turmoil psychological abuse puts you through, after mom died when I was 12, dad became basically the same as you described to me especially after he remarried. It had an impact on me that I am still dealing with and I'm now 39 years old. Impacts which not only have resulted in my depression but also in my propensity to be drawn to abusive partners in my life... even my current husband is abusive. Many, many days I think I don't deserve to live and that I would just like to go to hell and get it over with..... b/c obviously that's what I deserve anyway, at least that's all I've more or less been shown most of my life.

    When I speak of my abuse... both past and present... I am told in different ways that I basically am at fault for my own abuse as I simply refuse to leave my abuser..... while not really taking into account what solutions would be feasible (aka where do I go? what do I do with the animals I so love that would die if I wasn't around? and other concerns I have regarding leaving), so really ... abuse seems to be seen as a simple choice you make: "do you want to be abused? no? then leave... if not, then you must think its ok to be abused, so just shut up and take it already." thats kinda the feeling i get from people anyway... and then there is my depression and my borderline personality... and the fact that i've tried suicide 7 times so been in the psych hospital just as many times and am currently on disability b/c of these things along w/ a seizure disorder i have. all of those things cause judgement on me. i am aware of this. it makes me feel rotten... i often ask the question: do i deserve to live? am i a bad person? etc.... many times i dont know those answers for myself... but ppl that do truly care about me, will point out to me how and why i do deserve to live and am not a bad person , just that bad things have happened to me, and that is not my fault. the fact that i was in a psych hospital, is just that... a fact, its not a statement of WHO or WHAT i am. the fact that i have feelings, both good and bad, is fine. i don't have to be perfect to be cared for or accepted. that its ok to just be me. ... the same is true of you

    i think that you should go for your goals

    sure, maybe some of them you will fail at , but... thats ok
    and when you do succeed at one.... wow!! what a reason to keep living

    and those one or two you may fail at.... why not get back up and try again? you don't have to be that perfect person your dad insisted on... you are allowed to be you... as long as you give YOURSELF that permission... so the real question is.... will you give yourself permission?
  3. MotownJohnny

    MotownJohnny Member

    I want to. I want a real life. I want to. I just don't know how.
  4. demuredawn

    demuredawn Well-Known Member

    i understand what you mean and all i can tell you is that its a constant struggle... you have to fight against every instinct in your brain that says "no, i have to do this just right" ... and just forgive yourself when you mess up, and tell yourself that you still love you, and that its ok.... and you have to just push through it everytime that inner voice tells you that you deserve punishment or not to be alive or etc if you mess up.... you have to remind yourself that you have value.

    someone gave me some advice on that once, and i found it did work a bit, maybe you would like to try it? make a list of 5 to 10 things about yourself that you consider to be good or at least "not bad"... those are the things that are special and unique about you, they are the things that others would miss if you were not around, they are the things that make you a good person to have around on this earth... then, go to a mirror... look in the mirror and say to your reflection "you are a good person, and i can prove it... " then read off your list... BUT MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOOKING AT YOUR REFLECTION FOR EACH WORD YOU SAY... then end by saying to your reflection "i love you" .... do that 3 times a day and any time that you feel yourself getting negative about yourself do it again... it helps if you can tape the list of things up on the mirror just so you dont have to be holding it, but if you have to hold it as long as you are looking at you when you say the words it helps you anyway..... its a way of retraining your brain and unlearning all those negative things your dad taught you.... just an idea
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