Never felt human...

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Obsessive, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    In terms of intelligence, passion, connection, and capability, I've always been leagues behind everyone.

    Every time I'm treated like an imbecile as usual and fail at even the simple things people take for granted every day, the few people trying to make me feel better assure me that I'm smart based on my progress in a low standard public education system and an intelligence test that isn't even consistent with itself.

    Whenever I ask how people get interested in things, how they can get passionate about sports, animals, creating things, etc. they act like I've asked them how they breathe. And when I mention that I have no interests, only things meant to distract me from my misery, immediately the incredulity creeps in - "Ohhh, that can't be true - you just haven't found your thing yet!" The very same incredulity I'm met with when I say there's nothing I've ever been good at.

    Human connection is yet another thing taken for granted by people. They see family as invaluable, a bond so far above all others that it must be maintained at all cost. I've never seen my family as anything more than a group of people I have to put up with every day so I may continue living in their house since I could never survive on my own. Most advice for dealing with depression seems to always assume that you have friends to hang out with, to stay involved in activities, to talk to when you're down. Throughout my life the only actual friend I've ever had is online, and he's busy leading a highly successful life these days. Relationships, forget about it.

    Any hope I ever have of accomplishing anything is summarily squashed when I discover it's out of my reach. Any attempt to force myself to enjoy something is just an attempt to pound a square-shaped peg into a circle-shaped hole. Any hope of genuine interaction with people fades when I realize that I have nothing in common with anyone, and that in order to have any healthy communication I must always behave not as I'd prefer to, but how others expect me to behave so they don't feel uncomfortable. Of course, no matter how well you play the part, you're not going to convince a flock of ducks that you're one of them no matter how vigorously you flap your arms and honk. I can communicate with people, but it's not enough to convince them that I'm one of them once they've learned too much about me.

    And, to top it all off, in the end my pain means nothing. I look across all these mental illness, depression, and suicide boards and see people dealt worse cards than me with PhDs, significant others, friends, etc., their lives just overflowing with success, but not enough to mitigate their pain. It's all too easy to say "don't compare yourself to others", but glancing away from everyone around you, turning a blind eye to the monumental gap between you and everyone else? Not so much. It's also very easy to claim that there is no obvious marker for success and that it's shortsighted to judge as such, in spite of the fact that humans always end up working towards the same ends - bonds with other humans, security in their welfare, recognition of their abilities, and the pursuit of happiness. But, of course, if these successes, these displays of humanity, aren't enough to assuage their low-self esteem and feelings of disconnection, inadequacy, and worthlessness, then what hope do I have? If these things that are so distant as to be little more than fantasy for me, things which could only possibly be granted by divine intervention, then what hope do I have of even convincing myself that I'm human?

    People look to gods to rescue them from a decaying, corrupt, chaotic world, but all I can see is a world with an unfathomable level of order that these people take for granted every single day, like large schools of fish in small tanks that swim around in tandem without ever bumping into one another. There's a reason "Which one doesn't belong?" is a simple game for Kindergartners - it doesn't take a genius to see that one is not like the others.
     
  2. eagles_fan

    eagles_fan Well-Known Member

    Hey, Obsessive. Nice meeting you.

    Obviously, you must not be very stupid if you can type all of that up!! You make some excellent points on human nature and life in general. I don't think you're unintelligent, it very well could be depression that's making you think harder. It really can impair your cognitive ability. When I was clinically depressed, I found myself thinking, doing, and saying things that could be described as "stupid" even though I'm at least of average intelligence.

    To people like us, who desire a good social life, human connection is something not yet within our grasp. Some people, I think, do take it for granted that they're so good at socializing. People with low social skills struggle conversing with anyone. We've got low self-esteem and it can be hard to talk to someone, make them enjoy our presence and appreciate us without thinking, This person probably thinks I'm a loser.

    Human interaction is something that needs to be practiced. The further into a reclusive nature a person is, the harder it is for that person to get out of it. I have very few friends and I'm awful at making and keeping them. But I'm pretty sure I can make more friends and become more popular. At 18, I'm fairly certain I should've tried to socialize more when I was younger, but I preferred to be alone. I've had low self-esteem for ages now. I think, at 18, I'm ready to cast off these negative self-perceptions.

    How old are you? The earlier you are when you make an effort to improve your social skills and not care about what others think of you, the better. You musn't care about groundless insults. They don't matter now or ever in the long run. When I was in the 9th grade, a bully didn't think I was worthy of respect just because I was a virgin. That shit was ridiculous. Only now do I realize that it really doesn't matter.

    Some insults, however, are grounded in reality. It's difficult realizing and admitting that they have a grain of truth, but it's imperative to making yourself a better and more enjoyable person to be around with. Like, let's say a person comes off as creepy when trying to flirt with a girl. If that guy takes a look at himself and realizes it, he'll see that he needs to improve the way he talks to women.

    All that said, I'm entirely sure that you do have something in common with someone. You're looking for friendship in the wrong places. You need to find some decent people who suit you. What are you into? Find people who are into that.

    You are also right that anyone who pretends to be social isn't going to fit in. You can't pretend, you have to actually be social.
     
  3. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    I can tell you're pretty intelligent obsessive, in fact intelligent people tend to underestimate their intelligence, you sound depressed about your situation which may very well compound that under estimation of yourself.

    To some degree intelligent people have a harder time being happy.

    I agree with Eagles fan's his response was well thought out as well as your post.

    I'm not sure what to tell you it sounds like you have a hard time relating to people you're lack of interest in things may be due to some form of mental illness depression and PTSD are known in some cases to cause people to lose interest in things.
     
  4. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    You misunderstand - I'm not talking about pretending to be a social butterfly, I'm talking about pretending to be human. It's only the generic small talk, the basic office environment type conversation all about responding in the correct way that I'm able to engage in. No matter how much I try to foster any deeper level of communication or bond with another I simply lack that ability. People always act like it's something so natural and self-evident as to be completely redundant to attempt to explain, and all social groups I've been through only cover the very basics such as what certain body language and facial expressions mean, so I see no reason to believe that this is something that can be practiced or trained. It's something completely innate; something that you either have or you don't.

    Forcing myself out there to continue engaging in the usual small talk level of connection is something I've already done, but has been a waste of time. And in the end the reason I have to fake it so much is because healthy people always have the same preferences: bright, sunny days, traveling, constant socializing, etc. Small talk isn't about bonding, it's about fostering a positive environment with vapid dialogue that is meant to be devoid of possible controversy and confrontation, its only content being things that everyone "should" always agree on. Genuine connection with others not only requires a human part that's missing from me, but common ground. And when you fail at even the most basic of healthy human universalities, making it so that you have to lie for people to even consider you worth speaking to, there just isn't much hope for establishing common ground.

    All of the insults I've had thrown my way are grounded in reality - that's the problem. Even I don't want to be around myself, but I can't force myself to enjoy things that I hate, I can't force myself to to do things that are simply beyond my capability, and I can't force myself to be human just because I want to be. Realizing what needs to change is only part of the equation; if you don't have the means to actually bring about change then it serves as nothing more than a constant reminder of your inferiority, a mark of shame. In such a case one would be better off being ignorant, falling for the rhetoric commonplace in psychology about how such insults never carry any substance, solely on the basis that they are used to abuse.

    At this point I don't even know what I would do with friends. I simply don't care about anything anymore, and others just serve as reminders of how much I fail to measure up. It seems the only motivation I'd have for making any is to validate myself as a human being. Not that it matters, since I'd need to be human in the first place for that to even happen.

    Whatever the case of my state of mind there really isn't much I can do about it. At least a dozen therapists, a few dozen medications, ECT, and finishing up TMS. Can't eat healthy because of sensory issues, mind is too chaotic and stimulated to be soothed with meditation, and I can't exercise as vigorously as I used to due to back problems. A miracle at minimum would be needed in this situation, but I'm not expecting one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2011
  5. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    I've been reading all these posts from people down because of difficulty with the job market. All these people able to do so much more than me; people with degrees, with capability and experience with extremely complicated fields, and despite the intense time and effort demanded, still manage to balance healthy social lives and have significant others. If these people can't even make it in these rough times, people who truly have the right to call themselves human, what chance do I have?
     
  6. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Obsessive, you sound very human to me. Your concerns, your obvious intelligence, your observations of other people, your desire to understand how to make connections with others - those are very human things. It's true, feeling that we aren't in sync with others and are not connected can wear down our self-esteem, which can make it harder to socialize with others.

    However, I imagine that you are a good listener as well as keen observer of people/behaviors. Listening is a skill that many "outgoing" people have to work at. Similarly, quieter people usually have to practise speaking up and finding a way to make connections.

    Society seems to like the extrovert...I guess people generally want someone else to do all the social ice-breaking. :) But real relationships are built on being able to "exchange" ideas and feelings. That means being able to listen and to talk. It seems to me that you have many ideas and feelings, sound logic, but perhaps need a bit more "experience at expressing yourself." From my own life, it doesn't work every time we try to make connections. Not for anyone. We do get better at it as we get more practice. Unfortunately, that practice feels like we're getting nowhere fast. But it works when we keep trying.

    Also, I've noticed in my own experience that discussions and the depth of those discussions often depend on the scenario. A party or chit chat around the office water cooler is often small talk. People often do not go any deeper than that. Many people avoid deep discussions because they are afraid of giving their real opinions - they don't want to offend anyone - especially at work or at a social function. Deeper discussions are usually among people who share an intense interest in some hobby or issue. (Tbh, I rarely hear a lot of deep discussion "socially." Deep discussion seems to happen among a smaller group, or even between just two people.)

    What are you really interested in? Could you find a group of some kind that is involved with that interest?

    I really do feel that you have lots to offer. Your posts in this thread speak volumes about you and show you to be a thoughtful, intelligent, feeling person. Please don't write yourself off as not being human. You are valuable person. :hug:
     
  7. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    There is a part of the brain, The corpus callosum (Latin: tough body), which connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication, and when slightly impaired (compared to a closed head trauma or atresia) causes the inablity to relate pragmatically to the world. This is seen in patients with Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others, and other related conditions. The reason why I bring this to your attention, is that I think when one reports an estrangeness/apathy as you report, it is important to not eliminate medical etiologies. Additionally, disorders which create abnormal neurochemicals can induce a similar condition...please speak to your MD about the perceptions you experience...I would hate for you to have something correctable and this area not be investigated...Please also note that your extraordinary writing skills, and your ability to express your perceptions so remarkably, is an indication of both intellect and skill...maybe this is a vehicle for you to relate to others and be employed...J
     
  8. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Acy, I'm not interested in anything. I keep busy with my default thing - online gaming. It's ceased to be entertaining though many years ago. Nowadays it barely suffices as a distraction.

    That's the rub; it is through people's passions that they can connect. For me it will always be small talk around the office cooler precisely because I am not interesting to speak with. And to add insult to injury, no matter how carefully I observe from the outside as though I were studying rats in a skinner box it does no good because it does not compare to knowledge gained in the field. There are many things even in typical conversation that everyone takes for granted because "everyone knows". Except for me, of course. Failure at this ongoing de facto trivia contest leads to being treated as an imbecile, and eventually ignored. The worst part, however, is that this trivia builds and builds with age. Once you've crashed and burned at the starting gates, it's over because you can't go back in time and pick up on the clues you should have collected the first time around. It all just accumulates to the point where everyone else is hearing important signals to advance dialog, whereas you just hear a steady stream of white noise. This is why social skills training will always stay at the "What do you think this face means?" level; because it's not something that can be taught, explained, or studied from afar.

    It would at least help if I had something I could be passionate enough about to do for fun to distract from my constant loneliness and despair, and advance towards some kind of career. But I don't.

    The cycle continues, and the pain only gets greater with age. The worst part of it is I can't find anyone in the same boat as me. Even among the depressed lot here I am shocked by how everyone has things that they enjoy to the point where they'll even have the motivation to go through all the necessary obstacle courses to do them as careers. People who've been raped, people who cut, people who struggle just to get out of bed...

    Sadeyes, it's interesting that you mention the corpus callosum as a few months ago I had just finished The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker which cited studies on patients who had their corpus callosum cut, not only separating the hemispheres, but splitting their mind, their "self", into independently working parts. Yes, I have Asperger's Syndrome (I'm not sure if you brought this one up specifically because you're familiar with a strong link between it and apathy, or because you had read one of my earlier posts from old threads where I mentioned having it?), but I've been to the largest forum online for people with Asperger's and although I can relate to many of the posters in terms of sensory issues, ritual behavior, and social impairment I have yet to see any without a passion. If anything I've noticed that most tended to have more zest for their hobbies to the point where they'd be isolated not because they failed to connect with others, but because they'd become so preoccupied with their interests they just didn't care at all about socializing.

    As for treatment I appreciate the concern, but I assure you I've already brought my problems to the attention of any doctor who would listen and have been through virtually every treatment available - almost three dozen medications (not all for depression either), ECT, and had just finished TMS. At this point all I can do is wait for new drugs to come out.

    I hate writing so much; so many rules to follow, have to make use of many phrases and metaphors to properly express my thoughts, so much effort involved. It took me over two and a half hours to write this post. It's a good thing I have so much free time. I wish I could choose not to write this way every single time I write, but feel shackled by the logic needed to properly get my message across.
     
  9. BeautifullyChaotic

    BeautifullyChaotic Well-Known Member

    You seem very intelligent to me, and the way you express your thoughts makes me think you read a lot. Perhaps joining a book club? There are many types of book clubs, not all are for bored housewives who don't actually have time to read the books they're there to gab on about, lol. There are clubs out there for every genre, I personally have joined a classic club, where we read and study the writings of classic books, short stories and fables, in an effort to gain better social skills.
    I find it's very easy to talk when you are with people that already have something to talk about that everyone in the group is interested in. I know in the past, the friends I kept knew nothing about literature and if I made a joking reference to even the greatest writings and I dared laugh a little they would look at me like I was crazy and ask what the hell I was talking about, then one of them would no doubtingly quote some lame teen-coming-of-age movie and everyone would laugh like it was going out of style; making me feel very stupid and out of place, when in fact the problem was not that I was stupid, but that I am too educated to be around typical people my own age. Thus, I had to seek out a group of people more like myself.
     
  10. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    The only reading I do is online. I can never focus my attention on any one thing for too long unless it's highly stimulating and simple enough that it won't overwhelm me. The book I mentioned in the previous post is actually the only book I've read cover to cover in years. I've always hated books.

    Without human passion it's pointless trying to socialize or bond. As long as this human part is missing from me, this part that all humans take for granted, anything about me that doesn't drive people away is just an act. And even my act isn't good enough to connect.
     
  11. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Well, it's pretty much over. For the past few months I've forced myself to try new hobbies and go out places I didn't want to and try to find new things to eat so that I'm not just using food to mitigate hunger pains and weight gain with zero success. I'm come to the conclusion that no matter how many times you bang your head against something, you're not going to like it just because you want to. If it's something you would've liked, you would've liked it all along. People insist that the only reason for my situation is I'm not going out and trying new things, or I'm going into things with a negative attitude, and yet neither has any bearing on any other people's passions, which they develop simply from first hearing about it and thinking "gosh, this looks fascinating! I want to check it out!"

    There is no hope for me to ever develop. Of course people will automatically ascribe this to the "fortune-telling" category of depressive-thinking, but if I say that I can let go of a vase in mid-air in a half hour and it will fall to the ground and break, am I imagining a situation in the future that may not even be true? Maybe it will instead spontaneously combust, or turn into a dove and fly out the window? The entire reason "fortune-telling" is considered fallacious is because it isn't based on reasoning, but on warped perceptions. In my case, however, I have plenty of evidence to back up my view as I have nothing but failure and incompetence to look upon in my life's history and my present. This is why the Cognitive Behavioral approach does not work with me. CBT is about swearing up and down that you have all these great abilities, incredible successes, and positive attributes that you're always downplaying. It's the usual incredulity that a genuine failure could ever actually exist in this plane of reality combined with the psychological attitude that an admission that someone has nothing going for them is worse than giving up on them and worthy of being catapulted out of the profession.

    And without being based on solid reasoning the self-affirmation rituals mean nothing. Telling myself that I'm a worthy human being is no different than telling myself that I'm a hippopotamus - in both cases the reality stands in stark contrast to what I just said. For such an approach to work would require a grandiose narcissistic delusion of cosmic proportions. The same applies for the "catch negative thoughts and challenge them" approach. Imagine that you're a defense attorney, tasked with defending an incompetent client in a murder trial where the prosecution has the murder weapon, the body, the fingerprints in the car, the victim's blood on the back seat, the strands of hair in the trunk, the defendant's skin underneath the fingernails, the bloody gloves, the muddy boots, and multiple eye witnesses that place your client at the scene alone with the victim. Now the prosecutor has your client cornered on the stand, making him look like a damned fool not only as he struggles to explain away the overwhelming evidence against him, but contradicts his story in the process. As the defense attorney, what can you do? Go "Objection, your honor! He's making my client look bad!"? Or perhaps "Objection, I have too much riding on this case for my client to be convicted, it's not fair!"? Yet with this psychological approach I'm expected to pull a rabbit out of my hat - to defend this client and have him declared "not guilty", despite his faults during trial, the evidence against him, and the disgusted glares being leveled at him from the jury box, all on the sole basis that unless I get my desired verdict my abysmal situation will not change.

    I'd always wondered why there have to be losers in this world. What is the point of people who only exist to repeatedly fail and then die? Then I came to my answer when I realized I wasn't looking at this from the right direction. Everyone wants to believe that the concepts of failure and success, good and evil, justice and injustice always balance out in the end on a personal level, whether it be through belief in a deity that bestows blessings upon the righteous and doles out punishments to the wicked, belief in karma, or basic psychological defense mechanisms such as imposing your weaknesses upon everyone else in an effort to convince yourself that all these people who seem to be much stronger, gifted, and smarter than you are just very skilled actors. However, it makes no sense to see the world through this lens, as you're left to believe things that you cannot possibly even confirm at best and have no basis in reality at worst. It all makes sense when you look at the big picture. Losers exist because without them there wouldn't be winners. If being successful was just the natural state of people to the point where everyone had the power to get what they wanted then success would be meaningless. Without the grief, anguish, and despair associated with being a loser, being a winner means nothing. It is knowing that they have succeeded where others were left to bear the burden of shame that gives the winners their status, their envy, their glory.

    The only ray of hope for me was the medications. But now that I've been on everything I'm just stuck waiting for the pharmaceutical companies to change dosages around in various ingredients, get their new and improved cash cow FDA approved, and market it as the latest gift from God that slices, dices, and does your taxes, complete with its own commercial featuring either animated characters with big frowns or actors clutching their foreheads in grayscale. All I can do now is pay someone to pretend to care for an hour a week. Of course there's only so many therapists one can see before they conclude that the only reason they still even see one is because no one else will listen to them.
     
  12. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Okay, scratch that. I had assumed by "wait for new stuff to come out" my mother was talking about medications, but actually it turns out she's refusing to allow me to take any more because I've "already been on everything". She was talking about those expensive special treatments like the ECT and TMS I've been through which were just as effective as the medications I've taken; she's claiming that treatments like these "come out all the time", yet she can only count the current ones on one hand. She also claims that they're coming out with brand new stuff especially aimed towards Asperger's Syndrome due to its prevalence, which is laughable considering that the doctor I was seeing for starting TMS was leery about starting me on it due to the vanishingly little research they've done on people with Asperger's for it despite the amount of time it's been available and the fact that people with AS are multitudes more likely to develop depression! And nobody even understands how this shit is supposed to work, just that supposedly it works miracles. This is technology straight out of the good ol' days of tearing into the back of mental patients' eye sockets with icepicks - hell, the only difference between modern ECT and the older shock treatments is they're courteous enough to anesthetize you first!

    So basically her solution for me to deal with my depression is to sit on my ass for about a dozen years until something revolutionary comes out, not being able to even try any meds in the meantime. All despite the fact that these treatments are really no different from trying meds, it's all a crapshoot!
     
  13. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Can't enjoy anything anymore. Nothing even serves as an adequate distraction. Have no coping mechanisms to deal with pain. I dread a 6 hour a week job and can't even imagine how it's possible for humans to push themselves to work full time, which is just sad considering I don't have anything to do at home anyway. Got a weekly volunteer position just to do something, but it feels no less tedious and pointless than work. Obsess over things that don't matter at all.

    And the worst part of it all is that this is freakin Candyland compared to how everything in the future be. I have no adult skills as is at the age of 25 and live with my parents. Me being on my own would be no different than being stranded in the wilderness. I just don't have the intelligence or emotional resources to deal with college so will likely only be able to do low level, tedious office jobs like I have now 5 days a week. Even if I do by some miracle make it work so that I'm able to get my own apartment, manage bills and banking and crap, and hold down long hours I'll be even more miserable anyway from all the crap necessary to maintain the lifestyle.

    Why does life have to be so damn long? Tired of waiting for it to be over.
     
  14. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Every post on this forum is a reminder of the chasm between me and humans. Even the cries for help constantly talk about "my great boyfriend", "my wife", "my children", "my PhD", "my complex job", "my friends", "my house", it's as though even when putting themselves down they brag about everything they have as though all this success was their birthright. And this is all from people who've been abused, raped, bullied, have lingering physical problems and mind-blowing psychological disorders, etc. as though their abilities to get as far as they did mean absolutely nothing.

    I'm reminded of a quote from Syndrome in The Incredibles: "And when everyone's super.. no one will be." It feels like the whole world was always populated with superheroes - people who perform mind-blowing stunts on a daily basis and have all these incredible lives, but don't see any of it as a big deal because, well, everybody else has superpowers, too. Then I was born into the world, and all of these superheroes could not understand why I didn't have any powers of my own. Because I didn't have abilities on par with the rest of the superheroes in the world (even ones with major disabilities) I was always treated as an imbecile, a weakling, an outcast, while the sympathetic few would just assure me that I simply haven't awakened my powers yet, or that I don't need any powers because I'm so smart (much in the same manner a dog is considered smart for being able to follow both the sit and lie down commands).

    Seriously, if Mr. Fucking Perfect with the loving wife, dream job that required a PhD and 4 years of training in Rocket Surgery to obtain, successful kids, hoard of friends, and the ability to do all the things adults do automatically from managing a house to traveling long distances thinks he's a loser, then what does that make me?! The most frustrating part of depression for me is everyone's attitude about how it always comes down to irrational beliefs, based on the fact that the most common amongst the ranks of the depressed are human beings with human abilities. Well guess what? Cognitive Behavioral techniques don't work with me because there's nothing irrational about the fact that I can't do things that humans do every single day. By telling me to "challenge my thoughts", to go through these ridiculous self-affirmation rituals, you're doing nothing but telling me to yell at reality, "YOU'RE WRONG!!!!" At this point only a narcissistic delusion could convince me that I have any ability to take care of myself and anything to offer anyone, as these beliefs could never be borne out by reality.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2011
  15. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member

    Hi Obsessive,

    in the nicest possible way, I just don't get your logic.

    You don't fit in because of multiple reasons and it seems no therapy/medication or your own efforts to find any interest and form relationships on that basis could change that so far. Fair enough. You also see through all the usual comforting strategies and they are simply non applicable to you so there is no chance that they will ever make you feel better. OK.

    What I really don't understand is why you think that all this would make you less worthy of a person. A non-human person if you so insist (no pun intended). I might have missed your point here but it is not at all clear to me whether you just want the depression to go away and you figured that being able to connect with people could help with that by making you feel more like "everyone else" or you have a genuine desire for friendship? Would that make you happy or just feeling a bit more human?

    I'm not being nasty, really. I'm only asking for clarification.

    As for you being a failure - I understand that you live with your parents and worry about the future. Understandable. However you definitely have at least one exceptional skill: you are a stunning writer and as you can see from the previous posts I'm not the only one who noticed it. I'm sorry to hear that you don't enjoy it and that it is tiring and slow but believe me, most writers sweat blood too, with or without Aspergers. In any case, you wrote long posts here, voluntarily, so it is certainly achievable and I'm sure there are others here who read your messages with great interest.

    Your text is good; it's rich, sounds very natural, flows with ease, very enjoyable and your subject is unique - for someone who does not have aspergers it is exciting to discover how you see the world.

    It would take time and a lot of effort I understand but how about writing about yourself? In some sort of a freelance writer capacity? It can, in time provide you with income which might ease your worries, a sense of achievment and - just as importantly - it can be the basis of some meaningful human contacts.

    I really do not think that all is lost for you. Best of luck,

    Crash
     
  16. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    Maybe instead of focusing on your life of tedium, fear and apparently envy, you should start thinking about what it is that you DO want for yourself as well as how you're going to get it. It seems like you tell yourself 'no' an awful lot… and even if you do have a disability of sorts, all of the negative thinking CAN be controlled and is therefore completely on you. Being positive isn't narcissism.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I think it's true.
     
  17. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    The way I'm using the word "human" isn't merely as a technical term that denotes belonging to a specific species, but much the same way that anti-abortionists would refer to a zygote as a human, or people would declare that Hitler wasn't human. I see no other way to accurately express the nature of my deficits than simply lacking humanity because people dogmatically assume certain collective abilities as universal, as automatic to the human race; things like social cohesion, the ability to see beauty in the world, the ability to experience passion, and creativity. Humans are masters at taking everything they have for granted, which is why so many people have difficulty empathizing with the mentally ill. The defects I noted will always continue to be dismissed out of hand by many because people aren't able to conceive of being without core elements of their humanity. To those without firsthand experience it's like being asked to imagine a square circle. Thus the usual assumptions always follow - that I'm simply not trying hard enough, that I'm not being positive enough (which really just comes down to "stop being so depressed"), and that my limits are nothing more than imaginings from faulty perceptions.

    It's not easy to explain my point being as I seem to be a very unique basket case. I've been lurking here and on other forums for years trying to find someone who could relate. The more I think about it the more I see depression as merely a symptom, an inevitability from having a mind structured like mine. The crux of the issue is that unlike everyone else I was born with crucial cognitive faculties impaired. I wasn't always depressed, but I never had many of the characteristics I see in people everywhere; the most notable being human passion. I never had interests, a thirst for knowledge, the urge to create, or a sense of beauty. This is not an issue that can be rectified by simply thinking positive thoughts - this goes far and beyond depression. When it comes right down to it I'm not even sure what I want. The only thing I've wanted was to be a proper functioning human being. It's poetic, really - I dream of having dreams, of having ambition, of seeing beauty in the world. I envy people with relationships, with fulfilling jobs in complicated fields, with lives, etc. likely just because they find success and happiness due to normal, healthy brains. They have what it takes to truly call themselves human. I see no reason to believe any human being could be happy without that drive and ability to learn, to be happy, to grow, to succeed.

    As for writing, this is literally the only thing I have to write about. Most of my posts simply repeat the same thing over and over again rephrased because I don't have a story to tell. I've spent most of my life playing video games in an anhedonic state. The only things I know well are the pain and how to copy others, which is how I got trapped with this frustrating-as-hell overwrought, pedantic prose that leaves me stuck on a forum for hours.
     
  18. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member

    Hello again, Obsessive,

    I think I do have a decent idea about what you mean by not being human. What strikes me though is the obvious relativity of your perception as being completely unique. You appear to see yourself standing all alone on one side of the river while the rest of the people – the entire human race – occupy some infinitely vast land on the other side and the river is all the typical human traits you lack. Sadly, there is no bridge so you are stranded there observing the crowd on the other side, trying to shout over or send a kite across from time to time, only to discover that the river is too wide.

    For the sake of a thought experiment let’s pick a random person from the other side - perhaps not totally random but one with depression. Let’s ask this person to describe their situation. It is very, very likely that they will come up with a similar visual image; standing alone on one side, seeing everyone else on the other with no possibility of building a bridge whatsoever. Their river is most likely to be different from yours in some (perhaps most) aspects but the perception of isolation and the seemingly (or really) finite nature of the situation will be pretty much the same as yours.

    I’m almost certain that you can pick anyone with mental health issues – they will describe their relation to the rest of humankind very similarly.
    I do understand that all this does not make your side of the river any more populated. My point is that your stance is not any more unique than that of everyone else’s who feel that way.

    Your description of yourself, your illness, how you can or can’t relate to others is based on hard facts, very accurate and leaves almost no room for debate. (Well, I don’t want to debate – why would I; you feel how you feel and it is another hard fact.) However, it seems to me that it is not so much what you were born with but rather the perception of yourself and the whole scenario that contributes to your depression.

    You say you were born with Aspergers yet you haven’t always been depressed. I’m very interested in learning a bit more about that. Can you identify any differences in your circumstances, thought patterns or anything you may see as important between now and the time when you were not depressed? Was it just the lack of the painful awareness of your situation?

    I think it’s time to somewhat summarize my point. Although you can’t – at the moment – put your finger on what exactly you want it seems to me – please do correct me if I am wrong – that you are indeed looking for happiness and want to get rid of your depression. So far, the best option of your choice (and probably that of your family and other acquaintances) has been making efforts to conform to the rest of humankind as best as possible. You are painfully aware that it is not a possible solution for you.

    Perhaps it is time to think out of the box. I would start with trying to remember the times when you felt better and identify the factors that made you feel better.

    As for your writing – I still do maintain that there is a market for your work. I am fully aware that you are going on and on about the same thing sometimes and you would definitely need a good editor and a dedicated publisher. With all that in mind I still wish I would be in the position of offering some work to you – well, I am not. I might not be at the top of the game myself – hey, I’m on a fr****ng suicide forum – but I can still tell quality from rubbish. I think it would be worth reconsidering it.


    Crash
     
  19. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    While the feeling of isolation is hardly unique amongst the mentally ill it mainly stems from social difficulty due to the nature of their defects, not the lack of common ground with others. The precursor to any bond, to any relationship is common ground. However, my problem is not that I haven't found anyone I could bond with, but that it isn't even possible for me because I'm void of passions, of interests, of whatever it is that makes humans see life as something meaningful. The only common ground I could possibly establish with another is my pain.

    But even that is beside the point - I could probably learn to settle for a lonely existence if I at least had a shred of humanity in me. Plenty of autistic people lead largely solitary lives that they are content with because they can preoccupy themselves with studying in their fields of interest, engaging in personal projects, playing with animals, etc. The difference between them and I is that there is no passion within me. Without passion life is nothing more than a Sisyphean treadmill. Hell, it's worse than that - without passion you can't even accomplish basic tasks such as learning, because taking in and holding onto information is something that requires a drive. I don't even see any challenges in life; I just see everything in terms of tasks which are either mundane enough for a person of my motivation level to complete or too demanding.

    The only period of my life without depression was my early childhood. My interests were the same as any other young child - toys, games, etc. However, once the warmth of clutching a stuffed animal wore off with age I no longer had any source of pleasure and inevitably fell into depression. Since then I had clung to my last connection to my childhood - gaming. I haven't gotten any joy out of it for many years, it's just become my default thing to do. I play a game until it takes me too much effort to even force myself into it, then move onto another one.

    Honestly, I've looked at this every which way I can. I've come to the conclusion that I cannot experience pleasure without first having a capacity for it. This conclusion was reached not only from my experiences with others and lengthy introspection, but research on Deep Brain Stimulation which documented patients' comments during the procedures. Upon stimulating the correct area of the brain with a switch the patient would typically make a comment along the lines of "I feel like going bowling" or "I'd like to go dancing". As for why I enjoyed things when younger, well, everyone likes pretty much the same exact stuff as children. There are shades of gray in which someone may decide they like stuffed ducks over stuffed bears, Teletubbies over Sesame Street, or playing with cars over transformers, but it all seems to be something automatic, something separate from the standard capacity of pleasure for the purposes of early brain development.
     
  20. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    I should point out that even before the depression I could tell that I was completely different from everyone else, but it didn't bother me much because I usually preferred to play by myself anyway.