Need an attitude adjustment

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by JustCan'tQuit, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    My life has been intensely stressful for as long as I can remember. An early history of abuse, neglect and family tragedies (not unrelieved by good things) was not helped by my sensitivity, introversion, lengthy of history of being diagnosed and treated for the wrong medical illness, assault, PTSD, anxiety, a visual disability (no driving), insufficient funds, indifferent general health, and, finally, my entrapment in a small town without transit or work, in the middle of nowhere, with family who don't actually see who I am.

    I'm not helped by a pitiful lack of courage.

    I do recognize that none of these disasters are unusual in themselves--just some of life's hard knocks. Maybe the combination wasn't so hot. But it's not like I got hit by an asteroid or something interesting.

    I do feel demoralized, though, by the latest round of stressors, problems and banal catastrophes. They're part of the cascade of problems that hit people who are already vulnerable.

    Yes, I've made noticeable progress in recent years. Yes, I'm facing the current things, one at a time. Yes, I dare say things could be worse. (Note to universe: That is not an invitation.)

    But I'm just so damned tired out and, above all, humiliated. I'm so embarrassed, straggling along here at the end of the line, fighting like mad to achieve what most people knocked off years ago with ease. I just look so pathetic to myself.

    I could take the hardship. It's the shame that does me in.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Thauoy likes this.
  2. moxman

    moxman Well-Known Member

    Be kinder to yourself. You are being very hard on yourself. I doubt all of these things are your 100% your fault. I am sure, you have made mistakes along the way. Some bad shit happens , and it sucks, but it is not anyone's fault. Society tells us that we are in charge of our own lives. That is true to a point, but sometimes stuff happens, that we can not control. Stuff that we didn't want to happen, still happened. Does that make sense? You are officially not alone in this more, you have us.

    If you get really bored, feel free to read my story below in green. I had a lot of stuff happen to me. Some of it was my fault. Some of it was not my fault. Some stuff, was totally out of my control, but it still happened. Sometimes, bad shit just happens. It's not anyone's fault, but it is just way things works sometimes.

    Be kinder to yourself girly. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Forgive other people that have hurt you. (I said forgive, not forget.) Maybe set some short term goals for yourself, that will lead you to a better place in life. It is ok to screw up and make mistakes, we all do it. It is how we handle those mistakes that matters.

    Feel free to IM/PM me anytime you want to chat. =)

    Take Care
     
  3. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    A friend's mother is gravely ill right now with multiple life-threatening illnesses, most of them brought on by her alcoholism. The friend's father was trying to wrap his head around the decisions made by his ex-wife so many years ago--a woman who was once a very high-functioning nurse. The conversation caused me to reflect on my own father's alcoholism and the long, long line of hardships and tragedies I lived with as a child. Some questions were asked. and I found myself telling the story in some detail for the first time in a very long time. It was sobering. Quite apart from anything that happened to me personally (such as what I've recounted to you elsewhere or bullying at school), what was going on in my wider environment was devastating. And I was emotionally all alone. I suddenly wondered how I'd managed to get out of bed, never mind go to school and win scholarships. I found some compassion for myself after that.

    You're quite right. Sometimes awful stuff happens, and it's not anyone's fault. It just is.

    You're also right that society insists we're in charge of our lives--but it's only true to a point, and sometimes, it's barely true at all.

    As for goals, I've been setting them (and reaching them) for years. The problem is, I started so far behind the eight ball, thanks to all the stuff that happened early on, that my successes always feel like failures--too little, too late. But tonight I could see (for five minutes, at least), just how unfair that view is.

    Thanks for your kindness.
     
    Thauoy likes this.
  4. BarryW

    BarryW Well-Known Member

    Hello JustCan'tQuit,

    It sounds like a significant portion of your pain comes from comparing yourself to others. While in some cases such comparisons can be a positive motivator (healthy rivalry, role model), all too often these comparisions can lead one down a road of negative thinking. There is always going to be someone that reaches their goals sooner than you or I. Instead of comparing to these people, I suggest you compare to your past self. You say you have been setting and reaching goals for years. That's great! Looking back on that you can feel a sense of accomplishment and also be inspired to continue setting goals to make more progress in the years to come.

    I'm reminded of a video a friend once shared with me. I believe it was an olympics race and one of the runners got seriously injured. A family member immediately jumped out of the stands and started to walk/run alongside the injured runner. Although falling far behind, the runner still limped to the finish line. My friend cried at this video, being touched by both the runner's hard work and the family member's support. She didn't care who won the race.
     
    Thauoy likes this.
  5. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    Hi BarryW,

    Thanks so much for your comment above. You're absolutely right about the comparisons. My family is terribly competitive, and my much older siblings have been oppressive all my life. Just this past week my mother was trying to sort out her will with the help of my sister, and since it was slanted towards helping me, my sister said, "The reason we're accepting this is that it saves us from worrying what the f*** to do with you." I felt like a bag of old clothes being dumped on a charity. (My sister and her husband are extremely wealthy and not known for compassion.)

    I like the story of the video. I'd react the way your friend did. I guess I just wish my family could accept me and love me, despite what they see as my long line of failures. It's not a rational hope, considering that it was my sibs' chronic abuse of me that did much to leave me where I am. I suppose I'm still the "child" hoping desperately for the love of the abusive caregiver(s)--they usually were my caregivers. I keep banging my head against the problem that I can never be good enough to make them love me.

    My adult mind can see, yes, how irrational it is to imagine that abusive people could give me now what they could never give me before. I suppose I keep hoping they've healed and grown up, but they will never do that.

    Thanks again. I will try to keep the image of that video in mind. It's important for me.

    Yes, I have made progress, and if I can keep away the "But it's nothing compared to other people" line of thought, then that progress looks significant.

    Thank you.