Archive for self-loathing

An enemy of the truth

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , on December 1, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Waking up with an awful feeling. I feel like I did back then with Athena the morning after an argument. Well, maybe not all of the anxiety. But the massive feeling of worthlessness. Not so much in terms of skills and abilities. It´s a moral worthlessness. It´s a feeling of: My character, my whole personality is so massively flawed and disordered that I cannot do ordinary everyday life things. What business does a person like me have trying to study?

My priorities shift, from really urgent things (I desperately do need to study!) towards my personality. It is an almost delusional shift. My mind is fixated on my own inherent badness, though not without accusing me of trying to dodge my responsibilities that way. “What is more pleasant: Actually studying or lying around here thinking?” That kind of question could even come from Athena.

Dear madness, let me rephrase it for you: “When I feel like this, studying is indeed more painful than just lying around. Because it sucks when you cannot focus and when your inability to focus and the fact that you didn´t start studying earlier is constantly being held against you until you want to give up because you deserve failing the test anyway. But if I had the choice, I would most definitely rather study all day than feel like this.”

I guess I´m a study in depressive thought. The way things are going, I´m actually starting to consider medication. It is something I angrily refused when I was younger, but I´m starting to see that I was misguided; by prejudices, yeah, but also by my own illness. My depressive thoughts were a trial, and I was desperately fighting to be aquitted. I didn´t just want to block out the accusers. I thought “depression” was just another word for “truth”.

Maybe if I had simply taken medication as soon as I was diagnosed for the first time so much could have been avoided. Such as trying to lie to the judges. I´m coming more and more to the conclusion that depression is what makes you unable to accept the truth. And that´s human. It is impossible to accept the view of the world and the self as depression colors it. You can accept that you made a mistake, even that you acted selfishly and out of petty motivations, but you cannot accept what depression makes out of that.

I´m trying not to blame myself for that, I´m trying as much not to place the blame elsewehere. I´m not going to accuse people of not forcing on me something I adamantly refused at the time. I also, though, will not accuse 16-year-old me of being stubborn and arrogant and a horrible know-it-all. Maybe I was all that, but the primary reason why I couldn´t see how ill I was – was that I was ill. I felt like a fake when my mother took me to a psychotherapist. I couldn´t take any of it seriously, not me going there, not them for not calling me a fake right away. They had to see that I wasn´t really suffering, right? That it was my friends who should be sitting here, that I was just robbing the attention they should be getting.

I cannot help but feel that to some extent this simply was true. I did want attention rather than help. And I´d be so glad if there was any conclusion to be drawn from this, anything on the basis of which I could move on to somewhere. But there isn´t. All I can do is pointlessly judge myself. I´ve gone the way of trying to find out why I would be such a horrible person, and I ended up accusing others of being even more horrible persons – apparently that´s the sole purpose of the exercise. I´ve been considering finding other ways of getting attention, and the result was that it took the innocence out of writing and that I acted out of character. Yeah, I know. “What is more comfortable – acting like you´re a hopeless case and enjoying the pity you get, or trying again and working on yourself?”

Huh. Maybe the most comfortable thing would be to be allowed to just forget things after 10+ years. If what you once did at some point stopped defining who you are, even without a pompous, official “I have now changed” moment. If crimes can become time-barred, why can´t shame? Isn´t there some point at which you have suffered enough for one single thing, regardless of who you are now?

My imaginary mentor once said something beautiful to me with regards to my self-lacerations. He said: “In the society you live in, no matter what anyone does, he is not obliged to punish himself. He might be punished by others, but if he had to punish himself we´d consider that a perversion of justice.” – “Well, what if no one else will do it?” I replied. And he: “That´s called getting away.”

What he “intended” me to take away from this last line was that, maybe, if people hadn´t turned away from me no matter what, then it was okay. Not great, maybe, but not a reason to abandon me. I tend to feel that I don´t deserve to have relationships with other people, so if I do, I either think they have to be immensly generous (that makes me feel even smaller, which makes me feel resentful), or extremely blind (which makes me lose respect), or I believe that they are on the verge of losing their patience with and about to dump me. What he also meant was that there is no higher judge who can decide whether or not I should be in a relationship – only my relationship partner can decide that (yeah, well, and me, of course), and if they decide to stay, that´s the final verdict. (Then again: How final? If they dump me five years after I did something I feel bad about, I´ll still think it´s about that.) My relationship partners should have more of  a say in how dumpworthy something makes me than the voices in my head, and yet I stubbornly keep on ignoring the evidence. (I bet I´ll be dumped five minutes after writing this, just to prove the voices right.)

I think his point was not to tell me that from now on I should let my partners decide if I´m okay or not. What he meant was that if they think I´m okay, then I am not morally obliged to tell them that they´re wrong because it is up to them to decide what is and what isn´t alright with them.

***

So, I´m feeling just a little bit better, but that mood is far from stable. I´m still scared of trying to study. In my new life, it that´s how you want to call it, I feel like an impostor. I don´t really deserve to be there, either, so how can I expect to understand anything I´m reading, or to memorize what I learn? I understand and I memorize, although my focus indeed isn´t as sharp as it could be. I already passed one test. Still, I cannot take myself fully seriously. Cannot take uni seriously for accepting me. It´s basically the same problem. The truly ironic thing is that I was accepted because of the GPA of my high school graduation, something I did years ago. And, other than with shame, this one doesn´t count. It was years ago. I told you I´m a study in depressive thought.

I´m trying to tell myself they haven´t accepted me permanently, with all those tests they are still weeding out (though the drop-out rates don´t reflect this idea). This, however, doesn´t get me motivated, it just gets me scared – and it makes me feel arrogant. Again, there seems to be no way out, no way to get it right. Either you scare and intimidate me and beat me down all the time, or I will lose respect immediately. That´s about my self-image.

The truth, however, should be different. It might be along the lines of: “You had to make a risky decision rather quickly when you went for this new path. It is allowed to make such decisions. You don´t need to make sure you know that it is the right path for you before you even walk it. That is impossible to do.”

And also: “They don´t hate you. They don´t want to kick you out. No one can look inside of you. No one looks and you and wonders what the hell you are even doing here because you are definitely not what you´re aiming to be. The others are just as scared as you are. They, too, hate some subjects or feel like they will always fail them. They´re not all working harder than you, some are actually working less; and no matter how much they do or don´t work, they all procrastinate at times or give in to bad moods.”

I´ll write you a postcard the day my depressive mind actually starts to believe in evidence that opposes its view. This fact, however, nicely illustrates what I mean when I say that depression is not a friend of truth. Where it doesn´t make the truth feel so terrible that it becomes impossible to accept, it completely ignores exculpatory facts. Depression is not the cold-blooded scientist who fearlessly names uncomfortable truths. Depression is a trial in a rogue state. It is legitimate to flee where justice is not to be expected.

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Chronic guilt and depression

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , on July 15, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher
  • Waking up from a nightmare feeling momentary relief, then remembering that your nightmares only reflect what would happen to you for real if anybody knew your sordid secrets. You wake up knowing you´re cheating justice.
  • You go to work and feel guilty for deciding to function, as it is a way to escape the guilt momentarily. If you stayed home, though, you´d feel guilty for letting the people at work down and lying to them.
  • You genuinely cheer up for a second and instantly get mad at yourself for being so inconsequential.
  • You imagine seeking help and immediately feel guilty for wishing to waste someone´s time. The fact that you still imagine someone listening to you with genuine interest and compassion (as opposed to the professional edition) is grounds for ridicule. There´s only one reason to seek help: Because you really want help. You don´t even feel embittered as you ponder this;  a melancholic, cooperative resignation softens these thoughts. Being listened to is for better people, motivated people, not for idiots who cling to their disease, like you.
  • There´s always this fluttering, hollow feeling in your chest, like a wound sucking air. A knife seems to be the only thing that could fill it. You don´t even want to die – that would be way too melodramatic – it would just be nice if that feeling stopped already, and it´s not like you´d be a great loss.
  • The thought that other people might love you is terrifying.

 

 

A ridiculous dialogue

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , on March 31, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I lack all drive and motivation. In a way I even crave complete apathy. Real apathy, that is. The way it is, I know exactly I need to make important decisions, but I don´t have the energy for it. I cannot imagine I´ll ever like anything I could do. I´m apathetic enough to not to anything, but I´m not apathetic enough in order not to worry about it. Oh, and I very much dislike myself.

Once again I feel like I´m stuck in a place of eternal condemnation. I need to feel ashamed for everything. And at the same time I accuse myself of exaggerating. I want to think “can someone please kill me” and I want to start crying, but right the next moment I know crying is a waste of tears. I don´t even come close to crying. There´s just a constant pool of aggression seething in my stomach. I feel how I´m poisoning myself and I hope it kills me. I hope I suffocate on my aggression and fall down dead. There´s just a catch: I can´t watch it. I´m suffocating as well, right now.

What I hear in my head is a constant choir of you´re the villain, you are everything you accuse others of being, you´re completely clueless, you made a fool of yourself. Followed by: Writing this is pointless, you´ve said this a million times, same old, same old, just die. Followed by: You´ll get people worried even though you don´t really want sympathy and help, good people, actual humans, they don´t deserve this, and you´re making it worse with every line you write.

So, for those accusations: The part that´s definitely true is the one about accepting help or even just sympathy. I feel like others must be more human (in the good sense) than me, less cold and solipsistic. Not only can they have such feelings for others, they also express them freely, while I always feel massive embarrassment in those situations.

It is pointless, it is pointless, writing this is so damn pointless, you´re only going to end up accusing people of making you this way and making you think you´re evil and you´re not going to feel one iota better, but hey, maybe you can see this insight as the beginning of a positive new start, of a change for the better!

No I can´t, fuck off. I´ll never be one of your puppy lullaby “I have changed” psychotherapy calender girls. I´ll never change. I´ll just remain that way and kill myself with anger.

See, you´re starting to recognize how absurd your own behavior is! That is GOOD!

*sigh* What´s so annoying about this voice in my head is that it constantly takes everything I think and twists it around so it fits its own agenda. I´m constantly trying to fight against a voice that sees every single one of my statements as a confirmation of its own view.

But that is illogical. There is no foreign voice in your head, YOU are making that voice! It is your own voice, though you don´t like what it says! Maybe you should listen to it, though! It could prove really insightful for you!

And of course, that voice is always pretending to “just want to help” me and, by the way, loves absurdity. I have nothing but gallow´s humor in my weapon arsenal. The absurdity of this makes me laugh, but, of course, that only marks the next target:

See, you yourself can laugh about this. Maybe it is the beginning of something better! Of you not taking this so seriously anymore, of you starting to loosen up a bit! You are fighting so hard all the time, that must be terrible exhausting!

Oh god, fake sympathy over a huge layer of schadenfreude! The hallmark of deniable sadism! Yeah, it´s exhausting as fuck, so how about YOU piss off! If you really pity me so much! I can´t believe such a bastardly mature entity would stay here and torture me just to win a power struggle! And no, you don´t need to tell me you only want to help, I´m a grown person and even if you think everything I do is wrong you need to accept I do it! That´s what good, mature entities pretending to be well-meaning therapists do!

You think the readers will all be on your side, don´t you?

Yeah, what actually makes me think so? I hardly come across as a very pleasant person, right? Maybe they will all take sides with that voice and because I´m so unstable and insecure and dependent on outside validation it will matter terribly much to me and I´ll start fights with all kinds of people and alienate everyone. That´s what happens to people like me, it´s what we deserve.

Oh god, that self-pity will make me even more unattractive. And I don´t even give a shit.

You think anyone will be impressed by that false bravado?

You get the drift. Just pick up on anything the other person says and make a derisive meta-comment. Categorize what they do in a discrediting way. While doing so, keep your voice concerned, sceptical, but concerned. Remember, you care for the person you´re trying to drive crazy. It just makes you so sad that she is completely off her rocker! Everything she says and does is an expression of her pathology. Everything is somewhat fake, somehow not right, and definitely nothing she could possible mean!

I actually know the debate style of that voice is inacceptable. This voice deliberately misunderstands me, misinterprets my statements in a way that runs contrary to my wishes. If I don´t want to reach a certain goal and this voice congratulates me on my first positive steps towards reaching that goal, this is just a slightly more complicated way of taking a no for a yes. It´s a complete invalidation of my perspective and I cannot even claim it´s an insult because it comes in the form of a congratulation. And if my anger becomes so obvious it can no longer be ignored or misinterpreted, there is a mixture of sudden shock tactics (“do you think anyone will share your view”) and condescending judgment (“you´re doing yourself no favours with your immature behavior”).

So if this is all inside of you, how do you treat others? Maybe you once were a victim but it must have left traces. It is impossible it hasn´t affected the way you treat others. Remember, people have perceived you as condescending more than once!

Translate: You do to others what you yourself complain about. You know how they must feel about it, just look at how YOU are feeling. You are just as bad as the people you complain about. Better stick with them, they are the only ones who are going to protect you.

Oh, but no, that´s a misunderstanding: There is a second chance for everybody! You can always change sides, but that requires a lot of self-critical reflection and a thorough change in attitude! You are more than welcome to see us any time and we can talk! It won´t be easy, though, and it will involve many sacrifices! You might prefer to stick to your old ways and defenses! Yes, that arrogant headspace you enter in bed is part of the sacrifices! Oh but no, that doesn´t mean you´ll never be happy again! I think until now you were never even able to experience true intimacy! You might be in for a lot of surprises! There is love and happiness on the other side! 

How do I even manage to write this down without throwing up? Is my emetophobia good for something for once?

You abuse humor to evade the crucial questions!

Oh my. Poor humor. It will need extensive therapy when it´s older.

Of course you can always make yourself look like the winner. You don´t have to let me say anything.

Look for a body of your own then and leave me the hell alone?

You´re boring your readers with your evasions. No one thinks they´re funny apart from you.

Another option would have been: “Well, see, now you´re doing what I want! You´re not as infallible to manipulation as you believe!” I wonder if I can DDOS this voice by giving it too many targets at once. It might get confused about which tactic to use. If there are too many ways to make me miserable, it might not know which one is most effective. And if I can make it contradict itself…

…then it will remark on how I sure as hell feel triumphant now. In a tone that annihilates me even though I´m right. Actually, this voice is a mere troll. I shouldn´t feed it. I should ask the mods to lock the thread.

It´s quite simple, really. I need to reduce the level of conflict in my head. Therefore, it is useless or even counterproductive to antropomorphize this voice. It is a malfunction of my brain, but it is part of me. I can do the same thing to it as it does to me: I can play down its importance, I can refuse to take it seriously, I can nobly refuse to fight, I can suffocate it by viewing it as an affirmation. It is part of me. A sad, ill part, but part of me. I need to cure it. Care. Help. Yes, that is a vicious chuckle in the back of my throat. Seems I´ve found a way to torture exactly the part of me that I hate. Maybe humor has won for the moment. The sick, nasty sense of humor that perverts everything it is helpless against.

I feel like I´m sitting on a powder keg, and I´m not sure how much sense it makes to post this, but whatever. I guess it might be sort of interesting to get a fairly uncensored look into my head, whoever´s side you take. I guess I´m even serious about the malfunction part. There is no one else living in my head, but I still stand by the view that the thoughts uttered by “this voice” do not reflect my own opinion.

 

 

This post starts with a new conception of sanity and then somehow drifts elsewhere only to gracefully return to the start

Posted in health, mental health, morbid, personal with tags , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Warning: This post contains reference to childhood sexual abuse.

After days of hysteria and wretchedness I got back something beautiful: My sharpness. That practical, analytical state of mind where I look at problems unemotionally. Where I painlessly slice through myself and don´t shy away from anything that turns up. Where I look ugliness straight in the face and try to stare it down. Where no truth is inconvenient. It must be the specific kind of happiness reserved for me. My style of sanity.

It´s a very threatened sanity, a threatened happiness. It is threatened by fear – fear which leads to lies I tell myself (and others). Trying to live a lie is like trying to juggle too many plates at once. The underlying stress and anxiety only increase, until at some point I realize something is about to crash. I´ll have to let go of some of those plates. At least I might get to decide which ones it will be. Today I chose to tell some pen pals the truth about how well I get on with my thesis and that I consider quitting. It was a symbolic act, it felt like writing a manifesto rather than a confession. It was an act of protest, though oddly enough protest and humility exist closely together in me.

One of my pen pals replied, very sympathetically, and yet I noticed with a certain chagrin that she seemed to interpret my admission of failure and my wish to quit as an act of self-destruction. To me, it is an act of saving myself. It gives me back my sense of integrity. Doing things that have outward negative consequences for you can and often is part of maintaining your integrity, though. Actually, that´s the whole point of integrity.

My sister once did something incredibly brave. When she was working on her dissertation, she had a fight with her tutor, an influential professor. She didn´t want to let go of her concept and looked for another tutor, who was much less influential. If she had stayed with her old tutor, she´d have had to adept her concept to his, but he would have helped her find a job at a university in the US and she could have stayed together with her boyfriend. She didn´t, and now she had trouble finding a job and the two of them are living on two different continents.

Integrity can look incredibly stupid. It isn´t particularly practical to throw away the chance for a great job and a future with your boyfriend for a philosophical idea. It might even be seen as incredibly selfish. Maybe it is. Some psychologists would probably see it as a personality deficit. It is bound to lead to decisions which make you unhappy, isn´t it? It´s almost like self-sabotage. And yet, in some way, it can be the only way to breathe. The only way to not be neurotically anxious. I don´t feel much self-respect when I compare my sister´s decision to my own life.

My cold, unfazed, analytical gaze led me to believe I was somehow evil. Now I think that wasn´t true. I think I was a more loving, more helpful person when I was still the old, sharp me. At least I didn´t need so much from other people. Maybe others see it differently. That´s a harsh thought. I don´t want to make them feel unloved. It seems wrong for me to make anyone I love feel like that. I don´t think I could live with me being like that. And still I cannot breathe if I´m not myself. I have nothing to hold on to and I start to get anxious and clingy and dependent.

Maybe the loss of my integrity started with a high school friend of mine, Lola. I had analyzed and evaluated her with my cold, observant mind, and there came a point in our friendship when I emotionally separated myself from her because her behavior became too frustrating. She was sitting around, staring into the void, and, as it looked to me, letting everyone pity her. In my own, cold way I was angry at her for being like this. I still feel like on some level I have a point. That what she did was manipulative to some degree, and that she never cared very much about anyone but herself. It doesn´t mean that my reaction didn´t hurt her, though. I pretty much put her on ignore. She was still an unresolved issue, though, so after some time I wrote her asking how she was doing.

The reply might be among the worst letters I ever got, and there are actually some. She told me that one little detail I hadn´t known about: That she was an incest victim.

I´m not even sure why that threw me. I´m definitely cold-blooded enough to believe that this doesn´t oblige me to like, actively pity or spend time with her. Maybe it wasn´t this particular revelation, maybe it was just the terrible caricature she painted of me in that letter. My coldness, my bizarre interests and my cruel rationality. The things I got emotional and angsty about. And not to forget the aggression itself that radiated from the letter. I could hear it scream at me. Add to this my shame about my more or less secret sexual fantasies. Any allusions to this I made to her were now ringing back and forth in my head loud and clearly and, given the background, that sound was demolishing.

Amazingly, I did many things right following the letter. I wrote her back, apologizing, validating her view, offering her that she could talk to me anytime (which she, of course, declined). Then, knowing there was nothing any of us kids could really do, I went to the school counsellor and told her about the case. I don´t know what exact steps were taken and what the outcome was. In some ways I did more than her other friends, and in some ways I had done less. I guess I´d do better as a therapist than as a friend. It´s events like this which make me feel like I have nothing to give. Nothing on the emotional front at least.

I think it is ironic that on the one hand I was able to imagine Lola´s state of mind very well once I knew what was going on, and yet on the other hand I was completely unable to feel any closeness to her while she was feeling so bad and in a way it even seemed fake to me. I was very careful not to disclose her real name to the school counsellor at first because I thought that Lola wouldn´t want a secret she kept so long to spread like wildfire all of a sudden. Before I decided to see the counsellor I actually came up with the plan of killing the man responsible for her abuse, but, besides being realistic enough to know I wouldn´t do it anyway, I figured that Lola might not even want this, or at least that she wouldn´t want things to be taken out of her hands. And yet before I knew what was wrong I was unable to react to her behavior the way a friend would. Even afterwards, I was to some extent glad I didn´t have to be around her. I was glad I could try to help her from a distance.

I don´t know what to make of my reaction to her depressive behavior. Was there really something deliberate to it, something passive-aggressive, and did I notice and respond to something the others missed? Or am I simply an incredibly bad friend? (To my defense, Lola never was the best friend, either. For a couple of months, she practically bullied me.) You could probably argue for both. They´re not necessarily mutually exclusive. It depends on how you define friendship duties. Do you have to put up with months of “I´m the queen of darkness and nobody else´s problems matter! Everybody watch me stare into space and try to make me talk!”, even when the background is tragic? And what are you supposed to think when you´ve asked a million times what is wrong, you get told “I can´t tell you”, and when you finally turn away all of her other, not-as-close friends start telling you “you´d look at her behavior completely differently if only you knew her story, but we really can´t tell you!”? She could tell them, apparently. Even my own fucking boyfriend knew before I did, and even he played this bullshit on me, in his uniquely condescending way! He wasn´t even on our school! He barely knew Lola, so how did he learn about it, other than through the rumor mill? Which could apparently supply anyone but me! And did any of those self-righteous fuckers do anything other than pat her on the head and tell me how ignorant I was and how I´d totally forgive all the bullying if only I knew? Nah! It was me, the designated asshole friend, who had to get an adult involved! Because apparently everybody else was just sitting back and enjoying their goose-bumps!

As much as I did for her in the aftermath of this letter, as much did I maltreat myself. The vague thoughts of suicide I´d harbored at the time turned into a definite death sentence. I. Should. Not. Live. I felt like I neither had a right to be happy, nor did I have a right to be unhappy. Unhappiness inspires sympathy and attention and I deserved neither. I was still analyzing my growing depression the way I analyzed everything else, but analysis didn´t show me a way out, though sometimes I believed to have recognized the problem. My mother kept on bugging me what was wrong, but I, following Lola´s pattern now, refused to tell her. It didn´t seem right to let just anybody know what had happened to her. It was something I could only tell a professional who was bound to a vow of silence. Not my mother. It would have been insensitive towards Lola. My mother knew her, after all. Also – could I rely on my mother´s silence? If it made me feel so bad, she´d probably want to discuss it with my father. And who would he talk to? Thus, it took weeks until I finally let my mother in on why I wanted to die.

I realize that, other than self-hatred, my most prominent emotion when I think of all this is anger. I used to think that I´m only angry to ward off shame, but reading what I wrote I wonder to what extent my anger was actually justified. Maybe it doesn´t really matter. Maybe the belated lesson I should take from this is that conventional friendship behaviors are not my strong side. It doesn´t mean that I´m not helpful, or necessarily more harmful than others. Conventional friendship behaviors seem to include gossip, after all. Or maybe the lesson is that I´m a different kind of friend. I´m not emotionally there when you need me, but I´m the kind of friend who still tries to get you help after you call me an indifferent, disloyal asshole caught up in her ridiculous teenage problems. Being able to emotionally detach at the right time has its benefits. It doesn´t mean the rage isn´t there somewhere.

If the emotionally detached analytical state of mind is my style of sanity, though, I should go into a direction where I get to help people rather than emotionally support them. I´m not completely incapable of emotionally supporting people, I´ve actually learned a thing or two, but other than helping, fixing, looking for the right thing to do, that is something which exhausts me emotionally. It eats up resources, whereas analyzing humans and their problems revitalizes me.

I see a connection between my urge to analyze people and my sadism. It is a similar state of mind. In some ways, though, it is also different. I love the feeling that my mind, or, in the case of sadism, my voice, is like a very sharp scalpel which I drag through humanity´s flesh. In the case of analysis, this is typically the only pleasure, whereas in sadism, there is the added kick of the other person´s reaction. Which, in order to have that effect, ought to waver between pleasure and voluntary suffering. It is kind of reassuring to realize that I actually don´t get anything out of analyzing people who react with anger and protest. I don´t react with triumph to that, but with self-doubt. Good to know. So maybe this whole analysis-thing is not as evil as I thought it was. What both experiences have in common, though, is that if successful, they end with a high. I´m feeling righteously tired, nicely relaxed, and I have a hunch that ultimately everything will be alright.

I don´t care about a title. I just want to disappear.

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , , on November 29, 2012 by theweirdphilosopher

Everything´s depressing me lately and I don´t really like myself. I hate my looks, I cannot write, I feel useless and dumb, and the only thing that seems to be able to cure this is physical work. It´s not like there´s not enough to do, but I feel this is like a drug addiction: It´s a short-term fix, but in the long run it only makes me more miserable. It only seems to confirm my feeling of worthlessness: Instead of thinking, writing, blogging I should better wash the dishes, at least that´s useful.

This feeling of worthlessness is one of the worst feelings there are. I want out of my own skin, my own mind, my own character. I cannot love anything. When I see something good someone else did it just makes me jealous. This jealousy increases my sense of worthlessness in two ways: First, because it seems to reaffirm my own shortcomings on every level, and second, because on top of everything else, I´m a sore loser, too.

It´s the type of feeling you have to keep to yourself because no one can stand that kind of whining. Really no one. Not even me.  It´s the kind of feeling that makes me want others to fail. It´s interesting, as this is something that seems to be associated with narcissists. Wanting others to fail because you feel so worthless. Then again, who doesn´t feel like that at times? Is that really possible in a world full of competition? Doesn´t it take some die-hard arrogance to believe no one is better than you?

The key, of course, seems to be to accept that others are better than you and to still like yourself. For some reason that has always seemed like a cop-out to me. I can accept that there are much better physicists, biologists and linguists than me, but only because I am none. What of singers, though?

For some reason that is my sorest spot. I can bow down to writers, they actually inspire me. I cannot when it comes to singers. I actually cannot bear going to concerts. They always make me feel like shit. And I think I know the reason. While I can sing, and while I love to sing, I´ve never performed in front of an audience. I´m not a singer. I´m dead sure that if I was, if I had given it my best shot, I wouldn´t be feeling so down when I watch a good performance.

So, the key to envy and jealousy is not the level of performance per se. It is whether or not one is using one´s talents. Singing is something where I´m definitely not using mine. It might not be so great, but I´ve actually had singing lessons, so it´s not like my voice makes lightbulbs burst.

I treat my voice like I treat my emotional life: I´ve always kept it to myself. Writing is a way of reflecting on them, but the one thing that never shows when I write, other than when I sing, is insecurity. I´m not particularly vulnerable when it comes to writing. I know I can do it decently well. I´ve done it all my life. Nearly everyone I know accepts I can do it. And sometimes it feels like a death sentence.

I don´t feel like myself when I´m writing. Or maybe like too much of myself. It is so incredibly mundane. It lacks the magic. Singing has plenty of magic. I´d actually be happy to sing all day. I feel like a different person when I sing, but like a person I should be. I feel like it brings up the best in me. Sometimes. Sometimes, when I cannot sing properly, when everything sounds wrong, it makes me feel like a disgusting, plump, stupid person.

Maybe this is not a case of writing versus singing. I´ll always be writing anyway, I can´t help it. But I will never feel like my life is complete if I cannot express myself through singing.

I rarely got nice reactions to my singing. When I see singers on stage I wonder why they were accepted while I was rejected. I think it has to do with confidence. They look confident. I don´t, not at all, not when I sing. With singing, though, that seems to be the main point. Charisma. Look like you´re convinced of what you´re doing, and others will assume you have a right to do it. Maybe a shot of that arrogance would really be a good thing. Might even make me a nicer person, ironically, because I wouldn´t have to be so damn bitter anymore.

I really let everyone walk straight over me. If someone says I suck, I believe it or feel like an arrogant twat for not believing it. And more than anything else I´m angry that anybody should feel entitled to make me feel like this. As if they were any fucking better at anything! If they were, they´d have something else to do! Sometimes I would love to resolve my conflicts with a baseball bat. Mind games are so awfully exhausting and frustrating. You typically cannot call people out on them without letting them know they struck a chord. And that goes against all my instincts. I tend to hide it when I´m hurt. Maybe that´s the wrong thing to do. Maybe the only reasonable thing is to fuck pride and say: “Why do you say that, it hurts me when you do that?” It´s some kind of weapon, after all. A moral assault. When dealing with such people, you eventually become a hypocrite, utilizing your emotions in order to battle others while pretending you´re merely stating your feelings, void of ulterior motives. And somehow that disgusts me. Why not go all the way and become a full-fledged manipulative asshole who attacks first? At least that would be somehow honest, whereas playing the victim card and resorting to emotional blackmail…

Communication is such a tricky little thing. Saying the truth (“What you say hurts me”) can be just as manipulative as telling a lie. I´m so tired of being a victim, because as a victim you can never win. You have to stay a victim so as to not lose your moral advantage, but that means you can never properly fight back since you might hurt someone´s feelings in the process and that would be evil, whereas if you start out as the perpetrator people will hold it in your favor if you behave at least half-ways decently.

I´ve tried to stop being a victim by blaming myself when something others did hurt me, but that is the opposite of a solution. That´s just tightening the screws and hiding your shame. I´m so disgusted with being too spineless to fight back when I am slated. I think I must be awfully dependent on others. I more or less check if it´s okay with everyone if I go to bed or wash the dishes. This is sick. I shouldn´t feel like it´s anyone´s business or like anyone could be rightfully angry at me if I do that. I guess this is to some extent the heritage of my time with Athena. She got mad at me for such arbitrary things that I don´t know what to expect from people anymore, and when she was annoyed she was annoyed for the weirdest reasons. You´d accept someone is angry for having to wait for someone, but you wouldn´t expect it turns into a major crisis because it allegedly indicates that the person who was late is indifferent, selfish and morally deformed since birth. Please mind that I´m talking about a one time incident, not even perpetual lateness.

My lack of independence, though, also has some other roots. Athena just added that extra level of anxiety. I could try to look into those reasons, but I´m not sure I can do that without slating myself. I dislike myself too much at the moment. Actually I shouldn´t even post this. It is a pure expression of self-loathing, and probably full of distortions that needlessly compromise myself. It is an expression of the same masochism that makes me hide my feelings and vulnerabilities and blame myself for everything just to look strong and less like a victim. If you´re too weak to beat up the ones who beat you up, beat up yourself. It gains you more respect than crying that it hurts.

I guess this, however, is just another short-term fix. It is a sign, after all, that the abusers are in your head and that your feelings and your mind don´t belong to you. You have to hide even inside your own self. A step forward would be to separate having feelings from showing them, or from feeling like everybody knows how you feel. Establishing some kind of privacy in your head where the mean voices can´t go. It sometimes frightens me just how far away from that privacy I am. It´s like having to perform even the most intimate actions under prying eyes. You wouldn´t get naked in the presence of strangers, and neither would you show feelings to people who try to make you feel bad.

 

 

 

 

Just an up-to-date

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , on September 26, 2012 by theweirdphilosopher

I intensely dislike myself. Not in that anger-turned-inwards way, but in the sense that I feel like all the time while I insisted that my parents and therapists were horrible I´ve just been an angry, hurt child who is completely in denial regarding what hurts her. I feel like all I ever said and did was for other reasons than I thought it was. If I´ve been struggling all my life with my parents´difficulties, then I´ve absolutely wasted it. I´ve wasted all my skills and abilities on it. If I´ve been suffering, then I´ve been suffering for no other reason than my own stupidity and stubbornness because I was unable to get over something that happens to every second kid on the planet. And there I am, feeling like I have a mission or something important to say or something! Just how ludicrously naive must I have looked to all those therapists who knew exactly what had been the turning points of my life and waited for me to get ready to wake up to that? I feel like, under my tirades and essays and more or less clever thoughts, the feelings, drives and motivations are those of a stubborn and spoiled child with fantasies of omnipotence who still believes she´s the center of the universe.

I hate my ability to envision other peoples´view of me. I sometimes feel like I can hear (and see) them think! Even people who I haven´t seen in years!

A thing that occured to me while writing that first paragraph is that if I spend all my life suffering with and unwittingly mentally occupied with my parents´troubles then I haven´t lived my own life. I´ve been searching solutions for other peoples´problems instead of starting to walk into a direction of my own (and encounter whatever obstacles there are). I did things, yeah, sometimes even set goals and actually reached them, but it was never really important! All the importance, the feelings, were tied to something else. It was an advantage at times, allowed me to succeed because I rarely got really nervous. But it is also a fairly empty life.

What is it that´s so damn important? I mean – what role would I play in my parents relationship or in trying to hold the family together? I always thought I was kept out of everything, and I still feel like I´m the last person to learn about anything.

Maybe my naivety is something needed? Or my lack of independence? Me staying a child for such a long time, and being treated like one? I believe me being only eleven was one reason why my parents kept it all so friendly. They had a bad crisis when I was three, maybe I was what saved their marriage then. It´s just an assumption, but there might be something to it. After my father left there was a period of time when my mother was basically my best friend. And when I was 14 my father said something about me being 12. I´m still not sure if he was joking or if he was really getting my age wrong here. I´m telling you that man is straight from a sitcom.

There was a situation today which is so typical. The place into which I´ll move needs a new painting. I told them that I could ask some of my friends if they´d help me with it, and my parents told me no, they´d hire a professional, “it´s okay!” I wasn´t suggesting this to be selfless or to save them money, I simply wanted to conquer the place. I want it to be mine. My mother told me “there´ll be plenty to do, don´t worry!”, which made me feel so stupid in a way. I feel as if she had put me in my place. What´s so bad about me showing some initiative? Additionally, my mother typically moans that I should see more people! Sounds like an ideal solution, the painting job! But no, their money will make sure it is still somehow their place when I´m inhabiting it and they´re living at the other end of the country! By the way, the place is in a shape that makes my room look pretty (if my father ever tells me to clean up again I´ll laugh at him, he can´t take care of himself for shit and he´s more than two times my age!). My mother´s reaction to this: “I´ll need to clean it before I can let the cleaning lady in there!” I told her that maybe I would like to do it since I would feel more comfortable having made sure myself that the place is clean. Her reply: “Oh, you´ll get to do that often enough!”

What the hell is this all about? For once in my life I feel motivated to do something and even though I really don´t want to leave I´m doing my best to get attached to the new place, and she´s constantly shooting me down. Seriously, why? Her voice alone was enough to make me not want to clean up again ever in my life. If that place isn´t really my own, with me shaping it to my liking, then I will never feel motivated to take care of it later! Right now she is making sure I´ll be living in filth for the next couple of months or years, just because from now on cleaning up will feel like a punishment! Like “could you please keep the room in a shape that at least remotely honours the way we left it to you?” I will still be a kid who has to take care of a room that isn´t hers! Why does she deny me the opportunity to learn something? If she doesn´t like the painting job we do, then she can hire a professional when I move out! The walls will need a fresh painting then anyway, since most of my furniture is black!

I just thought about how Irene would react to this and I realize she´d more or less openly tell me I´m too weak. If our mother´s behavior can demotivate me like this then I´m too weak. I shouldn´t mind this. I shouldn´t care. I should understand her, and if that doesn´t help, understand her while looking down upon her just that little bit, let them have their way and how about I just earn money of my own so I don´t need them anymore?

Thankfully I´ve got some moral support from my girlfriend.