Other People

Discussion in 'After Effects' started by Tam, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    When I was back in hospital after my failed suicide attempt, the first thing my mother said to me was 'How could you do this to me?'

    And later when I was telling a friend that if the nightmare in my head didn't get sorted soon then my only real option was suicide, he said 'That's so selfish, how could you do that to me?'

    Selfish??? How could I do that to them????

    Not for one moment did they stop to even think how bad is this person feeling to contemplate such a drastic thing - not once did anyone ask how I was feeling, nor even that simple question 'Why?'

    And because they didn't take it seriously, neither did I. I ended up believing I was selfish, to blame, guilty, bad, responsible for how other people felt.

    Much later I had to ask myself, who was being the selfish one?

    To be fair to my friend, that was probably his way of saying that he cared. To be honest about my mother, she didn't care - it all revolved around her, it became HER suffering, HER feelings.

    Had someone cared enough to want to know how I was feeling, something I didn't even know I needed, (never having had the experience I suppose), maybe I would have recognized that for example I was ANGRY at my mother's selfish response, that I was feelling abandoned and rejected from long before the suicide attempt, that I had been feeling totally alone and alienated since day dot, that the first stay in hospital had been my perceived last chance to get help and that they all let me down -feeling rejected and misunderstood and just a bloody nuisance cluttering up the hospital ...

    But no-one did ask, no-one cared enough to want to know, and so I didn't care about myself either, not knowing to even ask myself how I was feeling.

    But because the problems that caused the suicide attempt in the first place are still there, I've had to keep on trying to deal with them, and now I reckon I can risk being properly 'selfish' and think of MY feelings first for a change.

    And one of the 'selfish' things I'm doing for myself is posting on this board, talking about ME ME ME.

    And I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience, where your bad feelings, your suicidal thoughts and feelings were so totally invalidated that you ended up believing that you were truly selfish to even have such feelings in the first place?

    Tam
     
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Your not selfish but family are in shock as well Your pain was too great and so was your mom pain was to great when she almost lost you. That is what happens with suicide attempts not just one person is effected and although you felt you had no choice your mom perhaps is telling you there are choices. No one is to blame just distorted thoughts that drove you to an action that kills everyone please don't be too hard on others they don't know how else to respond they are not professionals just people in pain.
     
  3. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    When someone attempts the families reaction is often what you have described. They know you are hurting, but they are so afraid. They think about what they could have lost and they do not want to face it. They are afraid the attempt was made because of something they said or did and if they can push the blame off somewhere else, it makes them feel less responsible. It is a way of coping. I am sorry their actions made you feel uncared for. If it is possible, maybe you could express to them, as you did to us, how their words affected you. I hope you never feel the need to attempt again. If you can't share at home, please seek support from someone. We are here. :hug:
     
  4. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you decided to be "selfish" and post your feelings here. And yeah, the old "guilt trip them out of suicide" technique isn't helpful.
     
  5. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for the replies, and especially thanks Silent Enigma - that made me feel better because even though I sort of know that I have a right to feel as bad as I did (and do) I still basically believe the 'you-are-selfish-and-causing-everyone-else-trouble' messages - so getting some understanding on that score means a lot to me.

    I appreciate the suggestion about trying to express some of what I wrote to the people involved, although up until a little while ago I would have hit the roof at the thought of doing that, seeing as how my mother is one of the biggest causes of most of my emotional (and psychological) problems. But more recently I'm thinking that it might be possible if put in the right way. But still need to admit and deal with all the anger first I think and that unfortunately involves offloading LOTS of blame).

    I'm still interested too, to know if anyone else has had similar experiences or feelings vis a vis other people's reactions to their bad feelings and thoughts of suicide?

    Tam
     
  6. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    It'll probably take a while to un-believe it, if it's been driven into you.

    I don't know how similar this is but when I went inpatient because my depression got so bad, my wife decided she was done with me. I was too much of a bummer. So now we're in the middle of a divorce. You know, I was there to hug and pet her during all of her emotional crisis. But as they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

    Thankfully I met a nice friend in the outpatient treatment program, I'd probably be in a lot worse shape without her.
     
  7. elpepo

    elpepo Active Member

    That's how my family would react. In my case, I'm sure all they'd care about was possible hospitalization and funeral expenses.
     
  8. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Thanks Silent Enigma and Elpepo for the replies. Sorry I took so long to reply I don't seem to have the hang of tracking what I've posted.

    I know lots of people on this forum believe that family/friends basically do care, and maybe in lots of cases that's true, but it's sort of axiomatic that an awful lot of emotional problems that people have are directly attributable to the family set up.

    While being in a crap emotional state can colour how you interpret other people's reactions, that doesn't mean that how you instinctively feel about their reactions to you isn't true! In your case Silent Enigma your wife came straight out with it - pretty unequivocal I'd say so no problems there getting the message! Though I'm sorry that had to happen, that's almost worse because at least when you're getting mixed messages you can tell youself they really do care even if you don't feel that way.

    Elpepo what makes you say that they'd only care about money and stuff (I'm not disagreeing, just wondering what's going on that makes you think that)?

    I already have the I am selfish message burned into my brain, so it doesn't take much for other people to make me believe it's really true. Wonder if anyone else struggles with that one?

    Tam
     
  9. WldHair

    WldHair Well-Known Member

    The problem with people is they don't know how to deal with someone who feels the way you do. Mental illness is so brushed over in life because people think with enough "mental power" we can get over how we feel. They see everything from the POV of how they would handle the situation. I've heard people say, "oh that's stupid and selfish." They've never felt the darkness or opening their eyes at 4 a.m. and felt like complete nothing or utter hopelessness. They can't imagine that the pain you are feeling is probably ten times more than anything they will ever feel. Most mentally ill people are taught that we are selfish because out of their own laziness, they refuse to educate themselves on how to help you. I know when I go through my dark periods, my husband finally understands that I really can't help how I feel. I've done everything physically, mentally and spiritually possible to get beyond how I feel and I always comes back to it from time to time and I act out. At first, he only made it worse going "when you feel down, you're bringing me down." Oh right, that makes me feel better.

    In the end, I've learned to find people who I can talk to and who understands. Try to see the others as people who simply don't know any better. Once you have an outlet for your feelings, they can't hurt you much any more.

    Chaeya
     
  10. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Hello Widhair,

    That chimes exactly with stuff I've been thinking about for some time now. Wondered if you wouldn't mind elaborating on it a bit?

    By the way is Chaeya your name?

    Tam
     
  11. WldHair

    WldHair Well-Known Member

    Yes ***.
     
  12. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hi Tam and welcome to forums,

    Unfortunately some people will never understand. Tbh, I think if they don't go through it yourself then they won't ''get it''.
    The people here can relate to you, so please keep reaching out for support :) :hug:
     
  13. When someone attempts the families reaction is often what you have described. They know you are hurting, but they are so afraid. They think about what they could have lost and they do not want to face it. They are afraid the attempt was made because of something they said or did and if they can push the blame off somewhere else, it makes them feel less responsible. It is a way of coping. I am sorry their actions made you feel uncared for. If it is possible, maybe you could express to them, as you did to us, how their words affected you. I hope you never feel the need to attempt again. If you can't share at home, please seek support from someone. We are here.
     
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