What is hope?

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Jericho, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    Here is my situation...

    I grew up in poverty, which in and of itself isn't the worst thing. All that really meant for me is that I had to mature quickly, getting my first job when I was 13. I worked nonstop, from job to job, all the way until I turned 18 (every paycheck went to my parents to assist with groceries, bills, etc.). This was mainly due to the fact that I didn't want my younger siblings to feel as if we were poor. I wanted them to have opportunities that I didn't at that young(er) age. After I graduated highschool, I was off to college. However, due to my family's poor financial state, I stayed nearby so that I could still help them. I continued to work and give them all I could. I met a wonderful girl whilst in college, and I fell in love. Despite my miserable childhood, I was happy in life...because of her. We did everything together and I cherished every minute of it.

    Months into our relationship, I proposed to her, and she said yes. We kept our engagement a secret for a while so that we wouldn't be judged for having such a fast-paced relationship. I was the happiest man alive...

    It was on Christmas Eve that I planned a wonderful dinner and for us to reveal our engagement publicly to friends and family. The plans were perfect and I was extremely exited for the night to begin. As I went over to her dormitory to pick her up (I had a key), I found both her and a supposed friend of mine nude in her bed. I can only describe my feelings as a soaring eagle being shot down and falling into a dark ravine. Over the next few days, she told me she was sorry...but when I asked, she admitted it was not the first time. I was devastated.

    I was gone...my entire reality was broken right in front of me...and I had nowhere to go and nobody to talk to. I quit school because I never wanted to see her again, my family didn't understand what I was going through, and I didn't trust anyone I had called my friends. It was then that I joined the military.

    At first, the military seemed to be a good decision, with the constant activity and human contact. I had a decent amount of fun in the first year. But now I am in a place I hate, with no one around that I can call a friend and thousands of miles away from home. I am in utter despair...and I don't see how I can find a way out. My wings are broken..
     
  2. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Jericho, You sound like an amazing person and your ex-girlfriend sounds like an immature idiot, throwing away such a good man. It sounds like you grew up long before she did, having such a responsible position in your family. Anyway, my hat is off to you and really, it doesn't sound like she deserved you. The fact that it is really her loss, doesn't help much, I know. It still hurts terribly - the betrayal and loss of future plans. I can understand why the military looked so attractive and why you left.

    What changed in the military after the first year that is now leaving you in such despair? Was it because you were transferred? How much longer do you have?

    I've never been in the military, though military service runs through my family. One thing I've noticed is that people who haven't served can only understand up to a point, no matter how well meaning they are. The same can be said for depression - people who have never been depressed just don't get it. Reaching out here is a good beginning - you will be able to talk with people who care and who understand what it is like to be depressed and feel broken and hopeless. However, I think it might also help you to get in touch with a veterans forum - just to talk about some of the things specific to military life that might be making things worse. Google is your friend.

    I wish you the very best of luck.
     
  3. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    Well ChestnutMay, I appreciate the support first of all. In regards to the military, it is just a lot more stressful than I originally imagined. The main reason that I joined in the first place is so I could mindlessly perform a job that would do something for the greater good without me having to expose myself that much to emotion. I was and still am emotionally ravaged. So here I am, in the Middle East of all places, with no real friends and no on that really cares. People that I work with and see on a daily basis seem to steer clear of me...probably because they know I have a lot of baggage. Not only that, but my family hasn't bothered to call me in months. When I try calling them, it goes to voicemail. I know that I am 8 hours ahead of them...but not a single time in 3-4 months is enough to make me cry. I know it isn't because I am in the military, because both my parents were in as well. I am alone...and I hate it. My time off is spent holed up in my room with nothing but my books and my laptop. I cannot count how many times I have cried myself to sleep...and it sucks. I have tried a few Veteran or military forums, but the issue is that most of them aren't depressed. I'd rather talk here with people who don't understand the military than there with those who don't understand depression.

    So I am in this terrible place with no friends and no family to talk to. If it weren't for me finding this site, I don't know what I would be doing right now. I cannot express in words how helpful it is to have people I know understand my situation supporting me.
     
  4. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Whoa, that's really tough about your family. Considering your commitment to them growing up and the fact they know first hand what it is like to be in the military, it must be terribly confusing and hurtful that you haven't gotten a phone call in so long. In fact, I'm having a hard time imagining justifiable excuses for such silence - it kind of makes me angry on your behalf, though of course I don't know their situation. I have some idea of what it's like to be out of contact with family and how much that hurts. Right now I'm trying to learn how to accept that some of the family members I love the most don't want close relationships with me. It sucks, it really does, and I'm not even alone miles away in a foreign country. Anyway, I hope you can reestablish phone contact with your family as soon as possible. You just don't need this kind of heartache on top of everything else.

    About people steering clear of you because they sense you have a lot of baggage - you might be right about that. We depressed people are not the most fun to be around. However, even though depression sends some people running for the hills, others are surprisingly compassionate. I recently scared off a really close friend with my depression but that loss was somewhat offset by the fact that my boss and landlord revealed themselves to be patient and caring. Kind of the reverse of what I'd expected, actually. Anyway, you never know. Some of the people around you might have softer centers than they let on. Are you socializing at all with anyone?

    What do you think about getting treatment? I know this is a really touchy subject in the military and you might not want any kind of psychiatric treatment on your record, but perhaps there are other sources of support. What about talking to a chaplain? It's my understanding that even if you're not religious, they are supposed to be there for you.

    It sounds like you are still very torn up by your fiance's betrayal and my heart goes out to you over this. Sometimes the only thing that helps with this is someone new and I really hope she comes along soon. There are a lot of women out there who would treasure your sense of responsibility, your loving heart and your desire to contribute to the greater good. They'd give a great deal to meet someone like you. You are a good person, Jericho, and deserve happiness.

    I'm glad the site is helping you. Keep writing. You really are not alone.
     
  5. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    I have no idea for the reasons behind my family's lack of communication. And what's worse is that I still have my paychecks set up to send them money. At this point in my life, I wish they would call me...or even write, but I don't blame them for wanting nothing to do with me. I just don't understand. Even when I was home, I had people I called friends that I would hang out with. We would do everything from racing down the highway to going to the movies. My younger brother was included in this as well. But now my brother hasn't spoken to me in ages and all of my "friends" act like I don't exist. On a sidenote, there is nothing worse than messaging someone on Facebook and not getting a reply, especially when you see that they saw your message.

    I socialize every now and then, mainly by going out to get food or the occasional movie. What's worse is that even my roommate doesn't enjoy my company. Last week, he had gotten drunk and came back to the room with no other purpose than to belittle me. I had thought that we were at least friendly towards each other...but he went on to tell me straight up that no one liked me because I looked sad all the time. He said that people talk about me all the time, in bad ways. There was a lot more said...but it hurts to think about.

    I have spoken to the chaplain before, but he isn't a lot of help. I don't think that all chaplains are like this, but the one here seems to think everything can be solved by prayer. That doesn't sit well with me when I am not religious, at all. As for other treatment, it isn't very appealing to me. Sure, I could go to medical and see what they tell me. However, it is common knowledge here that you can get kicked out of the military if they deem your case is bad enough. Which sucks...

    I will never truly get over her...I know that. I went from the happiest man alive to nothing but a sad little shell of what I used to be. I constantly think of her and what happened...and it destroys me. At this point, I don't think true happiness is ever obtainable again.

    Writing is my only solace.
     
  6. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Not knowing why people we care about cut off contact with is, can be a real nightmare. I've had both friends and family members do that and it left me not just grieving over their loss, but second guessing everything about myself. Which was really NOT helpful when I was already filled with self doubt and loathing. Eventually I learned they just couldn't cope with my depression, which seems to be what you suspect is true in your family's case as well. I still think you deserve better. You say you understand why your family doesn't want to have anything to do with you, but I'm not sure there is ever an excuse for accepting someone's financial support while giving them the silent treatment. A little side note, and none of my business: If it were me, I'd give serious thought to banking those funds for when I got out of the military. Jobs are not easy to come by for returning veterans and you might need the money to bridge the gap between the military and private employment.

    That must have been a real shock when your roommate got drunk and unloaded on you. Things must have gotten a lot worse after that. And there is nothing so awful as hearing that people are talking trash about us behind our back. I'd take it all with a grain of salt, considering how he was loaded at the time, but it still has to hurt.

    Re: the chaplain.... it's unfortunate you've got one who doesn't know how to help members of his flock who don't believe as he does. Religion isn't for everyone but everyone needs the kind of moral support chaplains are supposed to be there to give. I'm sorry that's not an option for you. And I totally get not wanting to pursue treatment for fear of getting kicked out of the military. How much longer do you have? Anyway, I'm glad you've found this site because people here really do understand and care. I've seen some of your postings elsewhere on the site giving comfort to others - that's very kind of you.

    I wish there was something I could say about the pain your fiance caused you that wouldn't sound like a cliche. Like, for example, time helps makes such losses bearable. Or you deserve much better. Or there is someone out there for you. All of these things are true, but not much help when you are still so torn apart. It does not sound like things are getting easier at all right now and for that I'm really sorry. Do you communicate with her at all?

    Please be gentle with yourself!
     
  7. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you said about losing contact with people you care about. I feel as if it is my fault somehow, or that I have done something to cause their silence. Either way, it sucks beyond measure to be on the other side of the world, not really liking your job, and having no one from your past to talk to. Don't get me wrong, this site is great for letting out steam, but I miss talking to my old "friends" and my family. As for money, I know you're right. I have considered that many a time, but I feel like I just can't bring myself to stop sending them money. I feel like if I quit sending money, my brother and sister will have to pick up the slack…and I don't want that.

    It definitely got worse in my own room after that night. Now, my roommate barely stays here. He usually sleeps in someone else's room to avoid me. So now I don't even really have barely any human contact throughout the day, besides work.

    I have 5 more months on this island, and then I go to a ship. I am dreading the ship because they don't have good internet, so I will be unable to be on here as much as I'd like…if at all. I fear what will happen when I don't even have you guys to talk to.

    As for…her. I blocked her from every social media site that I have…but she still has managed to message me a few times over the years. By the way, it has been almost 2 and a half years since I joined the military. Her messages are usually along the lines of bragging about her life being so great, and saying that I made the biggest mistake of my life by leaving her. Just thinking about it makes me sad. I might as well never love again.
     
  8. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Well, of course you miss talking to old friends and family. They know all the old stories and people and more than that, they are your foundation. Their lack of contact with you is inexplicable to me. Under normal circumstances it would be very strange but you are in the military on the other side of the world and they should be providing extra moral support, not less than ever. I just don't get this. Based on your postings here and elsewhere on the site, I find it very hard to believe you're to blame for the silent treatment. It's not like you left town in the middle of the night with the church steeple fund.

    It really says a lot about how caring and responsible you are that you want to spare your brother and sister from having to go out to work like you did. That's a tough choice so I can understand why you're reluctant to cut off the funds How old are they anyway?

    The business with your roommate sounds pretty awful. It's hard to know what to do in a case like that. The lack of human contact is pretty grim, but it might be better than walking on eggshells when he's around.

    I hear what you're saying about lack of reliable internet on the ship. How long will you be stationed there? Maybe it will be a chance to meet some new people? Maybe even....a woman? Anyway, if you'd like when the time comes, PM me with your info and I'll send you snail mail. Totally up to you....

    Re: the messages from your ex. It's interesting she chose to keep messaging you, even with taunts. Sounds like her pride was a bit hurt by your departure. I have to wonder if her life is really as great as she says it is, if she feels it necessary to tell you about it. What was her response when you caught her cheating, anyway? Did she want to try to work things out? Do you ever consider this or is the betrayal just too great?

    Take care, Jericho. I enjoy reading your postings elsewhere on the site.
     
  9. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    To be honest ChestnutMay, I have no idea what to think anymore. My friends and I were actually pretty close growing up, despite the fact that I worked all the time. What sucks is that I don't know what I did to cause their silence. If I knew what was wrong about me I could at least try to change it. So I have no one really to talk to in real life...no one to go get coffee with and talk about stuff. That hurts the most, is that I am alone in my depression. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I actually had depression...and I felt proud when I admitted it. But even still, that didn't change anything for me. I am still alone...

    My brother is 14 and my sister is 10. I really don't want them to suffer through childhood. When I was younger, I had to worry more about bills than what I was getting for birthday. Hell, all I ever got as a present was a couple shirts or something. I am not complaining, but I want to spare them from that.

    I will be on the ship anywhere from 1-3 years. I doubt I'll find a whole lot in terms of companionship...but I can hope. I don't know the address that I will have, but I can send you my current email address if that is good enough for now. But don't feel obligated to write to me.

    Her initial response was a short apology...then she left the school to see her family at New Year's. Then after that, she seemed unaffected by the situation. She told me that I was a bad person for giving her such a hard time. At the time, I wouldn't have minded trying to work things out...but she would have none of that. She didn't want to get back together...and now does nothing but taunt me...

    Thank you for the support...it means a lot.
     
  10. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    That girl is a fool for what she did to a good guy like you. You help your family, you loved your girlfriend very much, you did your best for everyone in your life, I think you sound like an amazing person.

    As for hope. Hope is what keeps us going every day. No doubt you will meet another girl, to love and care for. I am sorry for what happened to you, no one deserves that. Keep talking to us here if it helps.
     
  11. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the kind words, Petal. My life has definitely been a rollercoaster, and people like you, ChestnutMay, and everyone else here are like the tracks. You are all that keeps me from falling into oblivion.

    I cannot even express how much it helps to talk to you guys. Thank you...very much.
     
  12. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Hi Jericho, It really is a stumper, this business of friends and family not staying in touch. I find it hard to believe you are to blame for this and suspect it is a matter of people getting too wrapped up in their own lives who don't know how to deal with depression. The reason I say this is because it's obvious from the way you write that you are not the kind of person who dumps on others. In fact you are loyal, loving and extremely considerate. It seems all you can really do at this point is accept their limitations, keep the lines of communication open and know you did everything you could.

    I know what you mean about it being hard to admit you're depressed. There is that stigma after all. Unfortunately, as you've found out, figuring out what's wrong doesn't actually fix it. I'm really glad this site is helping you so much - wish we could do more. You're right about how helpful it would be to sit down with someone in real life and drink coffee and talk about stuff.

    Your brother and sister are so lucky to have you watching out for them. It's very kind of you to want them to have the things you didn't have growing up. They are still pretty young and probably take it for granted, but at some point, they are going to be out on their own and realize everything you do for them.

    I got your address and will be glad to write!

    Now about your ex. She actually had the nerve to criticize you for giving her a hard time after she's the one who betrayed your trust? Wow. Just. Wow. And now she taunts you? That's an odd thing for someone to do who apparently wanted to go separate ways. Something is under her skin, that's for sure. I'm with Petal. That girl is a fool. I'm wondering if she's beginning to realize it.

    It's about 3:45 AM here - I've had a raging case of insomnia but am going to make another stab at sleep.

    Take care and be good to yourself.
     
  13. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    Once again, I appreciate you guys and everything you have said to pick me up out of this abyss. Despite how I may seem through these posts, I am actually pretty helpess and emotionally compromised.

    Despite everything that has happened over the years, I have felt as if I was at fault for everything that has had a negative impact on my life. You know what they say about karma...so I can't help but feel as if all this is my fault. I mean, if I were such a good person, why would I be experiencing everything I am? I have family issues, social issues, relationship issues, slight financial issues, and that isn't even counting my stressful 14-hour shift job. I know I am ranting right now...and I am sorry. But after looking at all that I just typed...I feel confused. Why me?

    I have concluded that life sucks...tremendously. There isn't anything that I can really do about my situation, and that is devastating.

    All I can say is thank you. Because despite all of my problems and shortcomings, you guys have been there. I may not have been here very long, but the fact that I can tell you guys everything with no restraint is enough to make me cry tears of joy for the first time in my life. Thank you ChestnutMay and Petal, as well as anyone else who reads this. Because even if you don't respond directly to this post, you are a part of this website...and that alone is a wonderful thing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2015
  14. Jinx_

    Jinx_ Member

    It seems like you're a really nice person surrounded by ungrateful people. Don't ever blame yourself for their mistakes. And this girl... just wow. It's a good thing you found out that she's not who you thought she was before announcing you engagement. She's so impudent to say that leaving her was a mistake, I can't believe people like that exist.
    As for your friends, I've learnt that people are egoistic and hang out with someone as long as they have some kind of an advantage of them.
    I really have no idea why your family doesn't contact you... Maybe try talking to them and ask if you did something wrong (I'm sure you didn't by what I've read, but it's an ice-breaker). Good luck! :hug:
     
  15. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Karma is a very interesting concept but I think it only goes so far. Negative things do happen to people for reasons totally beyond their control. Think birth defects.

    I've found that often when I blame myself for things, it is a way to get control. If it's my fault, then I can fix it. Feeling powerless to change negative situations is a straight shot to depression, in my experience. In this regard, being in the military has to be rough, since you lose so much autonomy. Those 14 hour shifts sound very difficult btw.

    I'm sure there are some things you could have said differently, or done differently that would have had a different effect but it seems very clear to me that you've run into a lot of people with their own issues. I strongly suspect it is those issues that are primarily responsible for the silent treatment you're getting from friends and family and for your ex-girlfriend's terrible behavior. You must focus on your strengths and believe in yourself. You are a very fine person - it shows in everything you write.

    There is this wonderful concept in Buddhism called detachment. Basically it's a way of acknowledging your pain, accepting it and releasing it into the universe. This isn't to say that you shouldn't keep trying to make changes for the better - only that you accept what you can't change and poof. Let it go. I'm terrible at practicing it myself, so I'm a real hypocrite mentioning it, but when I do remember, it does seem to help.

    I'm really so glad this forum is helping you so much. It's helping me a lot, too. I've really enjoyed this thread, though I think I am not in top form today. Couldn't get to sleep until 7:00AM and then only a couple hours before up again. My brain feels like cement.

    Be gentle with yourself.
     
  16. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    I agree that I may be going a bit hard on myself, thinking that it is all my fault, but no matter what, I still feel like I am somewhat to blame. I fail to see how it can be mere coincidence that everyone I care so much about decided to forsake me, effectively leaving me to wallow in my own sadness.

    As for work, it is far more difficult than I would have originally thought. I am a Military Policeman and I go into work to get ready at 0300 and then I get relieved at around 1800. It sucks because it is extremely hot in the Middle East and I am forced to wear a ton of gear (figuratively). Sometimes I regret the decision to join, but it can't be helped. After all, I am contracted to do this. Signed away my soul...

    In terms of thinking about my strengths, that may pose difficult. Even before I fell into depression, I had low self-esteem. I have never thought very greatly of myself and it is hard to get away from that. Especially when you are depressed, which I am sure everyone here can relate to.

    I am interested in detachment. I may very well give that a try. Though it may be challenging.

    All that being said, my current state is definitely improving since joining this forum. I appreciate you all.
     
  17. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    Maybe you said something that inadvertently ruffled someone's feathers or maybe some people have a hard time coping with your depression, but this does not justify the silent treatment you're getting from family and close friends. You just didn't do any of the kinds of things that cause people to write other people out of their lives. It would be one thing if you'd stolen from orphans or beaten up puppies or done something else beyond the pale but that really isn't the case here. Also you've repeatedly tried to contact everyone to make things right so whatever minor thing you might have done should have elicited a response from a reasonable person. All of this is what makes me think that the problem is primarily on their end - a reflection of their own problems and issues. In other words: their fault. Not yours. Maybe they've got a lot of overwhelming stuff going on in their lives or maybe they're just self absorbed jerks and it has nothing to do with you whatsoever. If anyone is holding something against you, this is a poor reflection on them because a) you didn't do anything that horrible and b) you tried to make it right. I hear what you're saying about it not being mere coincidence that everyone you care about has forsaken you but maybe each person involved has their own distinct reason for not writing, reasons that ultimately are more reflections on who they are, rather than on who you are. If that makes sense.

    So, you're an MP! I spent some of my teens on an army base in Korea and once brought the MPs down on me for pranking a general's daughter. They scared the living hell out of me! Definitely kept me on the straight and narrow after that. My sense was they were a pretty hard boiled crew - if that's true of most MPs, I can see why you might feel you don't fit in very well. You're a pretty sensitive and gentle soul. And I can definitely sympathize with the difficulty of wearing all the gear in the heat - I've actually wondered about that many times, having seen the photos. Soldiers today carry way much more gear than they used to carry years ago, back when I was hassling generals' daughters. And I've been in the Middle East. It iS hot. Fourteen hours of that must be exhausting. The police work itself must be kind of interesting, though.

    You do have a lot of strengths. I think if you reread your posts and imagined that someone you didn't know had written them, you might find yourself very impressed with the author of those posts. You're absolutely right that it is the depression getting in the way of your recognizing what a fine person you are. Such a horrible disease.

    Another all nighter for me. I'll be a wreck tomorrow.

    Take care!
     
  18. Jericho

    Jericho Well-Known Member

    Just now saw that you had responded ChestnutMay. Sorry for the late reply, but things have been bad for me...as you can tell on the other thread. Once again, thanks for the support...