I Guess I’m the Black Sheep

If you follow my posts even just a little bit, you can see a trail of one particular thing. I don’t feel very comfortable on family gatherings, more or boyfriend’s. They usually end up talking about everything that’s bad and it’s mentally exhausting for me and the anxiety I get from that isn’t really worth the effort of enduring it. Take today, for example.

My grandpa is turning 85 on Wednesday, so we went to visit him and grandma, congratulate him and spend some time with them. And my sister, father and mother managed to show their best ability, which is complaining. Especially my sister and my mother.

I asked my grandma for address of my aunt and cousin, because I want to send them wedding announcement, when we finish them. My grandma asked, if we’re going to send them soon, she was just curious. So my mother answered before me, that we’re surely wouldn’t be sending them so soon, because the wedding is in August. Yes, in August, when people plan vacations, and on Friday, workday that requires working people to take the day off for us. Logically, I want to let them soon, before most of them have the summer filled with various travels and won’t be able to come. But my mum was like I was nuts and went on how it’s so early and why do I want to send not the announcement to people I don’t expect to actually attend the wedding, why not send it later. Which totally makes sense, really… Bazinga, it doesn’t! There are so many things to do that I really don’t want to remember, who got the invitation in March and who should get it in summer or something. My mother finally shut up when I got pretty pissed and just said that I’m not going to complicate it by sending it in parts. Not that that was the end.

Somehow, they got to my mother’s favorite topic, which is how horrible our town is. I’m not gonna say it’s perfect, no place probably is, but she complains so often about this that I’m so fed up with it! And not only her, my dad is glad I have wedding in church, because he won’t have to have the mayor marry me. I don’t mind him saying this, except in the last several months, I’ve heard it so many times I’m really fed up with that too. My mum is expert in complaining, but she gets so pointlessly angry about this issue, that I just want to yell at her, that if she’s so angry with all this, that she should stop complaining and do something about it! She also always add how terrible our local post office is, that they’re incompetent and she has to wait there long time for the people to find her packages and so on. Surprisingly, I rarely have these problems, or perhaps I don’t notice them so much, but she’s angry about it every single time. I guess you really get what you expect, don’t you, mother?

Oh and the latest hit, the immigrant crisis in Europe, I can’t forget that! I’m sort of in the middle, I know there are people just trying to abuse the system, also perhaps terrorists and so on, but there are also people in real danger, running from war and ruined homes, who just want place to live and work in peace. But my sister and parents are so filled with media coverage of this issue, that they see terrorist on every corner. And they talk about it, a lot. Today, my sister tried to “convert” me with some stories her friend from England told her and when I wasn’t eager to join her, even dared to oppose he, she got more and more agitated, until I had to simply say that I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I have a feeling that they think the world is ending or something. Doesn’t help that today my sister read the “sensational” news about England perhaps leaving the European Union…

At that point, I was tired with them and upset, so I just told that I’m tired with them talking disasters and complaining and decided to change the topic. I mean, it was my grandpa’s celebration and they couldn’t just keep their mouths shut! They seemed hurt that I interrupted their litanies, but at least I stopped them. It’s “funny” that my mother sometimes complains that I don’t spend enough time with them, that I talk to them and so on, but honestly, spending time with them is exhausting. I can’t have normal conversation with them! Well, I can with my dad, when we’re alone, which is rarely, but with my sister or my mother? Yeah, sure… It’s like walking in a maze, where you don’t know what to say, where to turn, so you wouldn’t step on some hidden trap and set the complains in motions. So I pretty much stopped trying to walk the maze at all.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend’s family is very similar in this aspect, which is why I try to leave their gatherings as soon as possible. It’s sad, because I’ve always wanted to belong to my family and when that failed, I was desperate to fit in my boyfriend’s family, but I’m so tired of trying. I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable and anxious… My psychologist helped this a lot. We were working on my problem with the families a lot these past weeks, she was trying to tell me I can be myself, that I don’t have to desperately try to fit somewhere I simply cannot. She knows how my I’ve tried to suppress myself over the years, just to fit, just to be loved and good enough, but honestly, I have not energy left for trying. It also helped that when I discussed this is my facebook support group, I’ve realized how many people feel the same way I do. It’s hard, because my sister seems to fit just fine with my parents and my boyfriend’s family have pretty close bond, so for long long looooong time, I felt that there’s something wrong with me for not being able to fit in. I guess I’m ready to really be myself, I just hope it will last, because it hurts me so much to feel that I’m always standing out of every group, like I’m some dysfunctional human being.

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Putting Pieces of My Life Back Together

I had a very strange experience today. I went to visit my grandmother, nothing special about that, it’s usually a not very interesting hour or two of talk about everything and nothing. Especially since my mother stopped talking to her parents and I got the feeling they actually don’t know how to approach me. Well, this afternoon was different and very different and it changed my life a lot, to be honest. I think, that I’m finally putting pieces of my life back together.

For some background here, several years ago, my grandparents decided to give their cottage to their son. They just told that to my mum and expected her to accept it without any problems. My mum didn’t accept it, she was hurt, because she felt it as another thing in a long line of neglect. She felt that she was robbed of her second home and that her brother was the preffered one, something she had felt her whole life. And my uncle had some problems of his own at the time…he still has. So they argued, very badly, and she cut her family out, pretty much completely. It was a time my heart, my soul and my life shattered into pieces so small I thought I would never be able to put them back together. I thought my family was loving and close, but suddenly it wasn’t so and my life changed, a lot. I no longer believed in happy families and I didn’t know what to do. I crashed the floor harder than I ever thought possible. My mum told me some things about her childhood and teenage years that explained a lot about her having difficulty expressing feelings for me and my sister and whole lot of stuff. I wanted to ask my grandparents for years, how they felt and feel. Don’t they mind that we aren’t a family anymore? But I was terrified and didn’t know how to start such a conversation. Today, I got the answer. It wasn’t easy and it was painful, but it opened new door for me.

I came to my grandmother and we talked as usual. My life, my future plans, my new tattoo and everything was as usual until my college fee came across and I mentioned I have a bit of reduction for health reasons and she asked what health reasons. So I decided not to pretend anymore and just told her about my problems, about my depression and anxiety. She told me some stuff my mother told me, that all people have problems and so on, but she was also more understanding. She said that probably nobody really understands if they don’t have the experience, which is more than my mum ever said. And then she started talking, a lot, about my mum and their problems. She gave me the point of view I needed so much. I won’t go in many details, because it was personal, but I understood, I felt, how hurt she was. She and my grandfather were trying to do the right thing as they saw it and my mum just cut them off. I feel bitter… I understand both of them, both their sides, I know they are both hurt and yet I cannot do anything. I cannot tell one or the other to talk to the other side. They are grown-ups…but it hurts to think that my grandmother might die and never feel that her daughter loves her. And I think she does, that’s why she’s always so mean… And I wonder, why life has to be so complicated… I wish to fix this, but I can’t, I can’t tell them to just talk to each other, when both feel they did nothing wrong.

I also told my grandmother, how I felt about it, that it hurt me how things fell apart. That we were happy family and suddenly we weren’t. That I was confused and that it still hurts. That I’m afraid of my own wedding, because I’m worried that they’ll argue there. That it hurts that I can’t invite all my family, because my mum would literally kill me, if I invited my uncle and aunt. Or she would refuse to go. She said so when she thought I’m thinking about it. Well, not the killing part, but she was pretty shocked… I’m the last one to defend my mum, because I know how difficult she can be. I know she has hard time admitting her mistakes and she remebers every single bad thing someone told her or done to her. However, I do get her, I get her point of view as much as I get my grandma. Her daughter just cut her off, she doesn’t call and doesn’t care, she’s acting like she’s not interested, and all for some piece of property. My mum sees it differently, but again, I don’t want to put myself in the middle of this.

Weird thing is, I talked about the real reasons I quitted my job last week and about the real things I want to do with my life. I was open about how her I about what I felt and I wasn’t judged… My grandmother listened to me and even acted like she understood! Did she really? I don’t know, but she was at least trying to be supportive, she listened to my fears about my future, my problems, I told her honestly why I have problems connecting with my sister and for the first in looooong time, someone from my family actually listened. Really listened. Perhaps not agreed and I didn’t agree with everything she said, but she did listen! And I realised one thing, not only is my mum very much like her mother, even though she don’t want to admit it, but I’m very much like my grandmother. And this day, maybe, was a beginning. The day we both might be able to put our lives back together. I feel so, not as the child I used to be, but as an adult woman. It hurts to let go of past illusions, but it feel lifting to get this new relationship. I decided today to try and give this a chance. Call my grandmother more often, talk to her when she’s back in town and just try. It’s worth the effort, if I can put my life back together. It won’t ever be the same. I will always feel hurt at my boyfriend’s family parties, where they are all happy and together, but I have chance. A chance to have someone in my family, who gets me or at least tries to. And who supports me openly, with all her heart. Because that’s what my grandmother told me, that she loves and that she will support me if I ever need anything.

I hope I shed some light into her life today and that we gave each other hope that at least the two of us together can have a realtionship. I still feel confused about my feelings and not sure what to think, but at least there’s hope. A hope I might be able to put myself and my life back together.

Wearing a Mask

What does it feel to live with depression? Mostly, it feels like wearing a mask. I have worn it most of my life and only recently put it down, occasionally. I have learnt to act very well, for the sake of the people I love.

For me, it speaks volume what my mum said when I told her about my problems a year ago. She was surprised, she never suspected anything. Why should she, I made the effort not to let her know. On surface, I was normal girl, I wasn’t super popular, but I had some friends, I was a good student and daughter, there was nothing wrong with me, right? Well, there was, a lot. I don’t remeber how many times I have hid my feelings, how much strenght did it take not to show anything. I learnt to cry silently, not to wake up my sister or anyone, I learnt to take a few deep breaths before entering home, to calm down and look happy. When I didn’t understand what was going on with me, I didn’t know how to express it and when I knew, I didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially my parents.

I felt… guilty. Guilty of being unhappy when I had almost everything. My parents are not rich, but they have always done a lot for me and my sister. They let me go on pretty much every foreign trip with school, they even let me go to London on my own and I was barely eighteen! Yes, my sister studied there, but I spent all they on my own, travelling through the big city, I have been to England about five or six times so far, I have been to Spain and to Netherlands also. Yes, my parents say it’s because they supported my sister in London, so they had felt guilty of not allowing me something similar, but still… I really had nothing to complain about, yet I wasn’t happy. Most of my teen years my sister was in London, so crying in bed was possible, since nobody could hear me. I hurt, badly, I felt lost and ashamed of myself. I couldn’t tell my parents, I was afraid of hurting them and I didn’t want to hurt them, at any cost. At since I paid the cost, it was ok, right? I felt that I deserved it, I was ungrateful person, so I deserved the pain.

I still wear the mask, very often. I don’t want to be a nuisance. I know people have their own lives and they don’t need me to add to their problems. The only problem is that it turns againt me sometimes. Recently, my partner told me he has felt like I don’t let him be close, I don’t let him help me with anything. Sadly, that is true, my quest for not being a burden has taking interesting twist with me rather doing everything than to ask for help. So after being together for almost five years, my boyfriend still feels that I don’t let him close to me and I don’t let us be a team. The things is, I don’t know how to do this. I’m afraid, that if I let him close, he finds me too difficult to live with and leaves me. Pathetic, right?

I honestly don’t know how to get from this circle, sometimes I wish to be literally invisible not to stand in anyone’s way and I would appologize for asking even something important. I don’t speak about worries or wishes, I would do anything to make people happy. Because most of all, I’m afraid to let people see me, because I’m convinced, that they would leave me. So I wear a mask and I’m really good at it.

Going Down on a Roller-Coaster of My Life. Again.

Once again, my disorder is messing with my life. This weekend I was supposed to have a workshop with our school choir, but no, not for me. Not that I don’t want to go there, I was looking forward to it for weeks. I love singing and I fancy myself to be a good singer, at least a little bit. But no “dreams come true” for me, I guess.

The thing I have always wanted the most is to belong somewhere. To have a group of people I could call friends, who would love me and accept me for who I am. People I could laugh with and go out and have fun. But every time I thought that this is it, this is where I belong, it ends. At the beginning of this semester, I thought it again. People from school started to meet every Monday, started a choir, it was great and I was happy. And then my brain decided that happiness is not for me. I want to go out with people, but every time I’m happy and excited, it last only for a while and then it starts feeling bad, like really bad. It’s like a candle that burned too quickly and now it’s darkness. I start to feel that people think I was stupid, embarrasing, fat, terrible and so on and it just destroys my happy memories.

And this week, my anxiety got so much worse. I have problems falling asleep, but when I do sleep, I have nightmares, really vivid nightmares, that leave me restless and disoriented for most of day. I’m tired, because I don’t really get some rest during nights, I feel pressured to do some work, do things I have to do, go to school, find a job, be independent, start writing diploma thesis and so on and so on and…my brain just got overload, which means depression and anxiety. Leaving the flat seems scary, with so many noises. At random times, some noise gets into my head and it seems much louder than it is and I got anxiety attact. When I’m outside, I try to control it, I push my boundaries to calm down, because nobody wants to meet a freak like that. Unfortunatelly, this builds up the pressure and takes a lot of strength, which ultimately leads to more attacks and worsening of symptoms.

Right now, I feel like I’m going to break down any second. Every thought scares me, I don’t see any meaning in even trying to be normal and I’m tired of all this. I just want to be normal, live normal life, have friends, go out and be happy. But I’m not and I don’t know, if this change sometime in the future. I really wanted to go this workshop, have great time with friends, may be go for a beer or two after it, sing and be happy. Instead, all I have is fear of noise and fear of silence, exhaustion and fear of sleep, lot of work to do and no will to do it, desperate wish to belong somewhere and be appreciated for my skills and fear of going out, fear of what people really think.

Just Hide All Sharp Objects

I just wish for this day to be over. I need to go to sleep, I’m tired, exhausted, but just getting to bed seems like to much work. I’m being crushed by the whole world, cold. I know I’m not good enough, never was and never will be. My anxiety is on super high level and so is my depression. As always, my head is split in two parts. One knows what is going on, I’m depressed and I should take my meds, go to sleep and get some rest. The other is clouded, foggy and cold, telling me “you know you’re ill, just take a grip and get over it, you’re just pathetic, weak and I hate being part of you”. For several days I’m figting my need to punish myself, avoind sharp objects especially, although I know it would bring me peace. I despise myself, it’s not hatred, more despising, because I’m weak, terrible, not good enough. I hear this in my head all the time “you’re not enough”. I don’t even know what “enough”, I just know I’m the worst person there is. My mind brings me the need to punish myself, to find release and I’m trying to fight, even though it’s just crushing me. I can’t breathe, hiding in my bubble, pretending emotions, going through my day. It gets exhausting, thinking this is my life, this roller-coaster ride up and down and spinning, hiding, running from myself, fighting, feeling lost and cold. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m able to stand this, I don’t know if I’m strong enough, feeling like I might break any second. Why can’t I just be good enough? For myself, good enough girlfriend, friend, student, person. I try harder and harder, but it’s never enough and I don’t know what to do. I’m exhausted always trying, always fighting, pushing boundaries to just endure more days, make through this day and the next and the next… Even if I think I’m ok, I don’t know, because I just don’t know what is normal, I’ve never been normal. It’s crushing me, I can’t breathe, can’t think, yet I have to, have to study, go to work, put on my normal face, pretending that no, I’m falling apart, I’m not walking on a wall risking painful fall all the time. Will it ever end?

At times, my sanity comes back, telling me I’m ok, it will be ok, it will pass. It feels like suddenly seing clearly, breathing freely, being alive… I wish for it to last.

2011-10-13-a bad day

There Are So Many People Out There

I went to my psychiatrist to get a paper to school, so I can ask for lower tuition fee and I found there a poster for a website about depressions. I decided to check it, because I want to learn some more information about my disorder and to find some professional staff I could post here, beside of the creations of my malfunctioning brain.

It was a good and also bad decision. Good because there really are useful information for me and also for people outside these problems, bad because the web has a section for personal stories… So many people! I mean literally, so many people asking, if their problems are normal, if this is curable, saying they’re exhausted of all this. It almost made me cry, because I wish I could tell all these people, that there is a chance for them! That what they’re going through is hard and painful, but it doesn’t have to be like that, that they are not weird or broken, because they feel this way. How is it possible that so many people still have to suffer the pain and shame and exhaustion, because there is a lack of information about mental health?! I mean, we can travel to space, we can travel pretty much anywhere anytime around the Earth, yet some teenage girl writes there that when she talks about depression with her parents, her mother laughs and her father thinks she just wants to skip school! It makes me so angry! I was that teenage girl, afraid to tell her parents, afraid to tell my friends, putting up a mask of perfect daughter, perfect student, yet inside suffering terribly, desperately wanting someone to tell me that I’m not making this up, that I’m not alone, that I’m not crazy! Well, when I told my friends, just about five of them actually tried to understand, the rest thought I’m really just seeking attention, so I can understand the girl’s fear. How is it possible that we learn so much about physical health, we know what to eat or don’t, what is healthy, what sports are good and so many stuff, but we don’t learn about mental health?! How how HOW?!?!

Next time someone asks me why I need to “advertise” my depressions, I’ll tell them that THIS is WHY! If I can spread the word about mental disorders to just a hundred people there, most of them my friends on facebook, than I DID SOMETHING! If I can change what just a few people out there think about mental problems, show them that it’s nothing weird or unnatural or laughable or weak or despicable or just bad, then I do a good job! If I change the world just a little little bit, then it’s worth opening up and writing about the darkest thoughts and feelings my mind can produce. Nobody deserves this, NOBODY! I just wish I could hug all these people and tell them that it will get better, tell them, that they are not alone… but I can’t, so this is the least I can do.