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Not speaking up


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I find it difficult to talk to my counciler, also she told me that the next time I see her will be her last week then I may be able to see her collegue, maybe. It all depends on wether she thinks I need it or not.

Admittedly I feel much better that how I felt. I'm not in the deeply depressed slump I was before. I no longer find myself thinking and giving real consideration to things like suicide. But althought I know I'm better than I was I want to try to make the most of this opertunity to deal with the issues I have and I dont know how to tell the councilor that.

I can interact with the world without any great dificulty I guess but I have no close friends and feel disconnected when I talk to people outside of work. I've always said I'm shy but it's more than that.

I don’t trust people, more so men, I feel anxious in social situations with people I’m not familiar with. I do socialise but when I talk to new people face to face I often don’t feel I connect. In social situations I feel withdrawn and unconnected even when in dialog. Like nothing is real.

I also feel that way when I'm alone but it a stronger extent, it's like I'm empty and devoid of emotions. An empty shell, and when I feel that way sometime s I do stupid things like try to make myself feel, something anything, even if it's only pain, at least that proves I'm alive.

The counceler seemed very focused on the depressive symptoms and I know thats what I got the referal for but how do I broach another subject. I dont think I'd have the guts to see someone else if she says she doesnt think I need to come anymore and I pro'lly wouldnt disagree with her. I'd do what I always do, nod and whine about it later to myself. Perhaps I'm just making a fuss over nothing, could be. Things with my parents are okay at the moment, although they are kinda harrassing my sister about getting a job, least theres none of the stuff that I can't stomach when I come round at the moment. That makes a full week of peace.

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I would be curious to hear how you describe yourself (the good qualities and the negative qualities) and how you think others would describe you. Is it the same list?

It is so interesting when you read what someone else says and you find yourself relating to them, until you get to a part where you couldn't be more different. I'm very similar to you in a lot of ways. I feel disconnected with people, uncomfortable in social settings *unless, I'm the center of attention*, I to have no real friendships and are not a very trusting person. However, I feel I'm overly emotional and wear my emotions on my sleeve. I have started to identify why I act the way I do and where my personality traits good and bad stem from. I'm a very black and white kind of person, it is either my way or no way, if I don't like something you said or think, it shows and people tend to think I'm a bitch. With some of these insights that I did not have before about myself I'm able to at least understand why I don't connect with people, why I don't trust people and why I have few friendships. People see me as difficult, uncooperative, bossy, blunt and aloof. Sometimes I agree with that and other times I see myself completely different. I think it would be helpful for you to answer (if you already haven't) why or what triggers your attitude/insecurities. I know you said maybe shy but that you also think it is more than that. How do you think people see you and how do you see yourself. If you figure out the deeper connection between the two then at least you are half way there to fixing it. This is still my goal, by no means is it easy to overcome these embedded traits.

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Well, a few thoughts. The usual situation when someone is seen by a therapist is that they are dealing with a few problems, not just the one they have obstensively come in for. It's not always multiple major mental illnesses; it could be family issues, or social stuff, or whatever. Therapists know this. In the old days when it was easier to get third party funding for therapy work, therapies used to go on for a while precisely becuase of this multplicity of issues. Today, funding is very scarce, and institutions want mostly to patch people up and send them on their way, not becuase the therapists and doctors think that is the best thing for patients, but becuase that is how the systems are set up, economically. It may be different in Europe, I don't know. I do know health insurance is royally screwed up here in America.

I'd say, if you don't pipe up and ask for additional help, the default assumption will be that you don't "need" it. The "squeeky wheel gets the grease", sort of thing. So I'm going to recommend that you pipe up and tell your therapist that besides the depression symptoms that brought you into care, there are other issues that are affecting your life and that you'd like the opportunity to work on. This may buy you more face time with a therapist, which it sounds like you'd like to have and which could be profitable for you.

Trust issues are deep things - they don't yield to technical therapy very well, requiring instead an intact long standing therapy (or friendship) relationship. You shouldn't expect to get those "cured" in a short term therapy situation, but there are probably practical issues you can work on that a therapist can help with.

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Ok firstly I will pipe up. Now I've written that I guess I have to do it. :/

"I would be curious to hear how you describe yourself (the good qualities and the negative qualities) and how you think others would describe you. Is it the same list?"

To be honest, I dont know. The majority of my issues come from my upbringing and I would say that my parents are disapointed in me but recently my dad has made comments which seem to imply he actually doesnt think im all that bad.

My friends and work collegues know I'll pretty much do anything for anyone, so I guess they think I'm nice, i'm pretty quiet, shy, I dunno really.

It's kind of like im 2 different people, theres the me that people see and the me inside that I dont let out. People say i'm passive but I dont know if I agree. If someone says something that I find hurtful I dont react externally, I'll act like it doesnt bother me, but it does, a lot usually. I dont think anyone has probally seen the real me, and I'm not sure I have.

I'm a strange mix, I'd say I'm a girly girl, wear too much pink but, I dont wear make up, I wear baggy jeans whenever I can get away with it and have much more menacing thoughts than I would ever speak aloud. when I was at school there were lots of litthe groups and I didnt fit in to any of them. I was friends with people in most of the groups and would hang out with which ever.

I really spent the last 2 years of school in the Art room painting by myself with my walkman on or the stero blaring. there was one main group of girls that I hung out with but this was because they were day pupils like me, the other girls were borders, so we could go out drinking and so on but the others couldnt.

Think i'm just rambling now, sorry.

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Well to me at least it makes a little more sense as to why you feel you don't connect.

You are saying that on the outside you are quiet, reserved, eager to please, go along with things, emotionally kept to yourself, and passive. Do you go along with things or do things for people that sometimes you don't want to do or get upset about doing? I wonder if what you describe about being passive ever turns into passive-aggressive. Do you ever let it out or get angry when you have had enough after so many times of being passive? You say that if someone says something that you find hurtful you don't react but inside you are hurt. That is being passive, to not be passive you would have to say "out loud" to that person, "that really hurt my feelings & blah blah blah" about it. Where as you don't say anything and you internalize the hurt. That is being passive. Now if at some point you reach your boiling point and explode at someone I think that is passive-aggressive. Do you ever unleash your feelings out on anyone?

You say you feel you don't connect with people, after reading how you relate to people I would say it is because you don't allow your true self to be known. So of course you will have a hard time connecting. Right? Lets pretend you are with a group of girls (who you are not best friends with) who are talking about something. You are being quiet and going along with them right? Well what if inside you feel differently than they do and you are with holding your true thoughts about the topic. Expressing yourself and having people validate you and hear <YOU> is what allows you that feeling of connection. You don't give yourself credit to allow others to know how you feel and think at your deepest honest level of being.

I feel this is similar to my struggle and feelings of disconnect. I tend to be the person I feel people want me to be. In doing so I neglect my true self. I put on a front, a face people will like in order to avoid criticism, judgment and being out casted. Now I don't do this all the time, those I'm closest to know me very well and I don't hold anything in. However, Every time I do, I lose a part of me and then have a hard time knowing the real me. Its just like if you told a lie a thousand times you would eventually start to believe it. You are neglecting your feelings and thoughts to the point of not knowing them and questioning who you are. Do you fear people will not like you if you are honest and not so easy going and agreeable?

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umm, well I might be a little passive-agressive maybe :/ My councilor sugested I might be. (Prolly because I had a rant about my mother's visit where she accused me of stealing saucepans).

It's not so much I get angry and dont say anything. People say things that may hurt me, I dont feel I can say anything for one reason or another, usually because it's my parents and I know that saying something usually escalates the situation or has no impact at all and it I'm upset and it's for a valid reason I'd prefer it if my feelings were validated rather than ignored. and I dont like being shouted that when I'm already upset. To be honest I dont like shouting full stop, makes me cringe. Basically I don't do confrontation.

But I do get angry later, when theres been enough instances that I cant contain myself. It kinda scares me about myself because it's similar to how my dad behaves. It's instingtive but I'll keep talking and pushing someones buttons if I'm riled enough. I feel guilty after, so I know thats something I need to adress.

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Guest ASchwartz


You state that you get angry some time later, after there has been a confrontation, and that you do not like confrontions because you can lose control of your self.

My question is: at the time, are you aware of your anger? Or, does it take hours before you realize you are angry that someone has said something that angered you?

Reason I am asking is that when anger over small things is swallowed, they can accumulate until, days later, a person can explose over somethng small.


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I supose it's both really. there have been times in the past where for example my dad has been telling me 'you've done this and that wrong and it's not good enough and you should try harder and I don't know why I puts up with it etc..' and I know I'm angry when but I'm also aware that to react would make the situation more hostile and I would just have to contend with a verbal attack.

Then there are the small things, someone snapping at me, or being rude and I don't realise it's made me angry at the time I 'll think to myself that it's no big deal and I should let it go, but at some point down the line If im pushed hard enough it'll all come out, it's like even though it didnt bother me at the time that that added to all the other things has made it a big deal and I snap. I'm not a violent person so it's pretty much verbal tirade. But I can almost step back and see myself still talking and ranting. I'm glad that it is pretty rare for me to do that. It takes weeks before I'll explode and the person repeatedly annoying me.

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