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having a terribly hard time


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Here I am at 2:30 AM feeling broken and worthless.

As many of you know, I was fired from my job last month. The whole sad story is here: http://community.mentalhelp.net/showthread.php?t=4269

I have been horribly depressed since my firing and the loss of my cat. (I did adopt a cute little 2 yr old female, though) I feel like no one will want to hire me and that I am fat and ugly as well.

The trigger for me tonight is that I finally broke down and told my older brother who lives on the west coast about my firing. He is a physician with his own practice and has never been out of work in his life.

Back when I was gambling and sometimes abusing prescription drugs, I wouldn't call him back for 6 months if he called me. This is because all he wants to hear is what I have accomplished lately. It's all about external success for him. A month and a half ago, when I had a job plus another job offered, he was all about telling me how smart I was to negotiate salary with the second employer, etc.

Anyway, tonight he had the gall to laugh at one of the most painful episodes that happened to me in 2004 before I stopped gambling. You see, I had a landlord who wanted to collect more rent for the apartment I was renting. He knew that I couldn't afford more since I had been late with the rent a few times.

He knew he couldn't legally evict me because I had never missed a month, plus there is cost and time involved in evicting someone. So--he just cut to the chase and waited until I wasn't home one evening. While I was gone, he cut off the electricity to the apartment and took the front door off its hinges. I had already been packing all day to leave but was far from finished. It was hot weather and I had no lights or electricity (or front door) all night long.

The next day, I had many friends & people from 12 step programs pitch in to move me. It was a nightmare and I lost a lot of my belongings because I just couldn't move them all.

This story is kind of a legend even in 12 step rooms for gamblers because it was such an extreme consequence of gambling. Yes, this landlord was criminal, but my gambling made me vulnerable to this crime and unable to afford to pay a lawyer to sue the landlord. And obviously, had i not been gambling, I would have never been late with the rent. I still mourn losing that apartment to this day.

Anyway, my brother is renting an apartment and we were talking about his being a good tenant and he says: "Yeah, my landlord has never had to take my front door off its hinges-ha ha." He becomes verbally abusive when he drinks, which contributed to the fact that he is divorced from his first wife after 24 years of marriage. So, I am wondering of he had been drinking tonight. This is no excuse but I do wonder.

His only advice was to tell me not to get another cat. What's it to him anyway? He couldn't care less about animals and that was a big reason I hesitated to tell him the circumstances of my firing. I figured it was opening me up to ridicule. I guess I was right.

This is what passes for family in my world. No wonder I feel so alone.


P.S. As I have posted elsewhere, I have neither gambled nor taken any drugs since December 2004. That is one reason I have been able to survive financially while out of work. CM

P.P.S. Please give me something to look at that doesn't look hopeless. Thanks for reading. CM

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Oh Catmom, please can I give you a hug...?

In 12-step you must have discussed FOO issues ? Family Of Origin? I'm an ACOA (Adult Child Of Alcoholic) and read a bit about it, some of which helped me (my father was the alcoholic.) If someone from your family of origin does this kind of thing, it hurts like the blazes. Thing is you need to take it from whence it comes. It hurts the hardest when it's from your family of origin where we expect to have support, but you need to place people like this from your family of origin on an equal footing with one of your insensitive and clueless "friends" you've known since Grade 1 who just never learnt any tact or sensitivity (or whatever other person you know who is a jerk.

Can you think of such a person that you know who is just clueless and unkind? Then can you place your brother standing next to him? Then think of Clueless Jerk and put your brothers face on his body. Then walk past them and roll your eyes. I mean, he really IS clueless, I can tell that just from what you wrote. The acronym FOO works well, don't you think?

You need to place these FOO people where what they say about you isn't relevant to you. DO NOT TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. I know when you're depressed you take everyone's words as proof of worthlessness but it was extremely harsh of him to say that, and a betrayal in your "hour of need". It wasn't funny, it was hurtful. He should not be allowed to say this to you, but he lacks sensitivity and tact and cannot be taken as a source of anything to do with your self-worth.

I'm thinking of you and I hope this doesn't look hopeless! You've been squashed. Can you do a HALT addressing:

Are you:





All of these will worsen your state. You've done something about Lonely by posting here. What do you need to do for the rest?



PS. Are we both unemployed psych nurses? Let's start an online forum for support and advice for the mentally interesting. Oh, I forgot we're already in one! I lost my job in clinical drug trials 1.5 years ago due to downsizing in the recession. It sucks big-time and it really dents your self-confidence. But if we worked before we can work again.

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Catmom, I'm so sorry your brother has not been supportive and has treated you with cruelty. If the situation were somehow reversed, could you imagine yourself treating him this way? Of course not. I think this says something important. His behavior reflects more on him than it does you. Having loving and accepting support during times of need is so very vital. Do you have someone there who could offer you the gentle and loving support that you deserve right now?

I'm sorry you are feeling down. :(

What kind of kitty did you get?

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Guest GingerSnap

Catmom: There are so many people out of work right now but just keep looking. Now, I know that you have compassion which makes you A-OK in my book but someone that doesn't like or appreciate pets, keep them away from me! My family sucks too. Learned a year ago that my mom had died 2 years before when I got legal papers where she left everything to my brother (which didn't matter) but she made a point to mention that because of reasons "better known just to herself" that myself and my son were to have nothing and the final blow was that she did not even mention our son, adopted as an infant with disabilities as being a relative of hers. I read it - said "B***h to the end." and this will sound cruel but spent the next couple days singing "Ding dong the witch is dead, which old witch? the wicked witch." I know that sounds really bad but I felt really free. I disconnected from family and their judgment of me and mine a long time ago and know others that have done the same - it can be a healthy alternative as you have to share more than a bloodline to "fit" - well, of course, I as the black sheep would say that. My husband's sister was treating him like crap when he called and she only called when she had something to brag about so we "cut" her out of our life except for the holiday/birthday card deal. Your brother sounds more to me to maybe be bitter about how him own life is going so at his low point, he wants you down there too - my mom used to insult the jobs that I got all the time (she was living on public assistance at the time) and make fun of me for them or say "I would never do that job." - it caused so much distress that I just disconnected from her - ding, dong the witch is dead! I know it sounds bad but acknowledging the truth is, I think, emotionally/mentally healthy? If you can love an animal, you're OK, you'll be OK. We are living through the worst of times - everyone is whether they admit it or not, well, some may not want to see it but............Take care my dear, Cathy

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Hi Cathy, I am so sorry you have this is added on to your challenges. The reality is that your brother is an insensitive fool, sounds like he is too full of pride and sees himself as being above others. Perhaps that is his way to justify his own life and choices ... we all have our ways don't we...

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” The Buddha

That is reality isn't it. You deserve to be loved and treated with consideration, and if your brother can't give you that, then at least you can give it to yourself. And of course we are here for you too! :(

This is challenging time for you, a time where you may have too much time on your hands and that is never a good thing for people who struggle with mental health.... Are you finding things to do to help you stay connected with others? The new kitty is surely a comfort, but you may also need people and activities to help you along....

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Dear Cathy,

Am sooo sorry you have been treated that way by a family member! :eek: Just a week ago or so I wrote my sister for support and what came back, well, I'll support myself and come here.

I waited years and years for some sign that I really had my Dad's love, when he died it became a relief, as all he'd ever wanted to know was, was I working? When so often I couldn't even go out the front door to my mail box.

Hang in there, come here and visit and cry and laugh with us.

loves and hugs


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Thanks to all of you for your very kind responses.

By the way, my name is not Cathy, although I can understand the confusion due to my screen name and the fact that Cathy (aka Gingersnap) was a recent responder. :)

My real name is Carol. I am still learning the moderators' & other frequent posters' real names versus their screen names, so I get confused at times too. :o

Anyway, one thing I did know even last night after the awful call with my creep of a brother: I don't have to perform a certain way to be deserving of support. That was what was most upsetting to me initially, you see. I thought it was my fault that my brother was so abusive.

I know down to my toenails that I do not deserve that kind of treatment, no matter what.

To the person who thought my brother's life must suck based on his treatment of me: not according to him. Even though he's divorced, he has a woman he met on eharmony.com who he is engaged to and they are buying a house together. Whenever we talk, it's all about which trip he's taking, which entertainment he has gone to lately, or how great his 3 kids are doing. Everything is just fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

And this is the brother I am closest to!!!! Pretty sad, huh?

Anyway, I made myself get out of bed earlier than I was tempted to, and that has helped me be a little less depressed.

I sent him an angry, but not out of line email after we talked and blind cc'd his ex-wife because we had discussed what a jerk he is & how I hesitated to even tell him about my being fired. (I know which choir to pick to preach to, lol)


Edited by Catmom
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Carol, sorry about calling you Cathy :o

I have a brother in law like that. Everything he does is the best, his kid is the best, his teaching is the best, and the only smart person out there is him or his friends. He is very difficult to be around and he is only getting worse with age... my poor sister no longer puts in a word edgewise, she is completely dominated and as long as he carresses her she seems happy, so who am I to judge I guess ... must be nice to be king of the world ! :)

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No worries on the "Cathy" business. :cool:

His now-ex-wife put up with this for over twenty years but is glad now to be divorced from him. She now has a boyfriend who treats her like gold.

The more I think about how my brother acted, the more convinced I am that he had been drinking. I have thought that he was an alcoholic for years but everyone else in the family would prefer not to believe this. He has done unbelievably cruel things while drinking

Our mother was the alcoholic in our family. She died in 1987 of emphysema from smoking. It is honestly a relief not to have her frequently malignant presence on this earth.

Thanks again for your kindness,


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Catmom - hope you're feeling a bit better today after the stress from your brother. Sometimes I wish I had had siblings and then I hear from people who do have them and I think "then again, maybe not". I'm really glad you got another kitty - I don't know where I would be without my two boys. Even when things are at their worst they keep me grounded (well, as grounded as I get... :) ).

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  • 1 month later...

I'm sorry you are feeling down. :(

What kind of kitty did you get?

I am in another bad emotional place right now & was rereading all the support you guys offered a bit over a month ago.

I never answered IrmaJean(Beth, I think?) regarding what kind of cat I got.

Isis is an almost 2 year old black cat with a very small white star on her chest and lower belly between her back legs. She is a lot of fun but keeps challenging my older (6yr old) tortoiseshell female, Opal. I side with Opal, who has claws. The new one does not. I don't believe in declawing but that's the way this one came to me.

She is very cuddly and loves being held like a baby while she purrs very loudly.

The best part of the new cat is how she plays so much with my dog. They have a ball chasing each other around my house. :cool: I must admit that my dog appeared to be pleasantly surprised when she figured out there were no claws to get her when she and the cat play. :)


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Yes, I'm Beth.

I'm sorry you're feeling down. :) Is there anything you'd like to express? I know when I'm sad or upset, I always want to talk and talk. We're here if you decide you want to.

Your new kitty sounds very cute! And I love the name. There's nothing like a little warm and fuzzy purring furball to lift your spirits. I know it can sometimes take cats a while to adjust to newcomers. Sometimes I could swear they even became jealous. It must be amusing to watch your dog and cat playing together. It feels good to connect with the simple pleasures in life. Who chases who? That sounds cute. :) I'm sure they offer you a great deal of comfort.

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