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[!] Tired of Pretending (contains triggers)


Solstice
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Every day, when I leave the house, I start the act. I pretend to be confident, competent, happily married, outgoing, friendly. People actually believe the act. The real me is the opposite. I'm miserable, painfully shy, chronically anxious, hypersensitive, childishly emotional. My husband, who is possibly the only person in the world who knows the real me, hates me and is planning to leave me. I've got no one else to turn to, no one who cares at all. I recently quit therapy because it was doing nothing for me. Never has. No matter how much I may want to change, I seem to be incapable of it.

I don't want to play the game anymore. I don't want to pretend to be ok, because I'm not. I can't make my life work and I'm tired of trying. The truth is that all I want is to mix up a cocktail of all the meds in my house and a bottle of wine and just stop trying once and for all. Maybe I'm just not meant to be part of this world.

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Here's a question, though, Solstice: why is dying easier than stopping the pretending? I can't think of much that could happen to my living body, short of torture, perhaps, that would be worse than dying ...

And yeah, I have spent a considerable time debating it with myself. ;-)

Please seek help, if it's an emergency. Think of it as striking a blow for the truth ...

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I guess I just see death as an end to the hurt I feel every day, nonstop. Nothing seems worse than that pain, and I want it to end, but nothing I've ever tried makes it end.

I know I should reach out, get help, but it seems so pointless. I've been through this all before. Therapy, meds, self-help books -- no help at all. I can't see why this time would be any different.

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Would it help to discuss where the hurt comes from?

Have you ever watched someone doing the pole-vault, and wondered how many times they had to try that before that one first time, when the bar didn't fall? What would it take them to believe that, eventually, they'd be able to do it? I imagine that, even with the bar set really low, it would have taken quite a few tries before they could get over it without injury. Say you tried it five times, or ten. How would you justify stopping, when the very next try might get you over?

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I could fill a book with all the reasons I hurt, but they pretty much all boil down to self-esteem issues (who am I kidding -- more accurate to call it "self-loathing"). I hate myself, and so I make awful choices in my life, which makes me hate myself more...etc.

Reading your question, Malign, about the pole vaulter -- I do get your point. But I've been trying to change my life for as long as I can remember, to no effect. And I've reached out for help many times, to no effect. And now I'm just so lonely and tired that I don't know how to keep going and don't know why I would want to anyway.

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You would want to keep trying because of that thing we call hope. We're all born with it, and it's always there when we need it most.

I don't care what you think is wrong with you; you deserve a life that includes happiness. I can't give you a script for getting there. I can't be sure you will. But I am sure you can.

And you at least hope I'm right, or you'd be dead by now.

Would it be possible to start with where the self-loathing began?

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Where the self-loathing began...pretty early, I believe. My mother didn't want me, and didn't hide that fact. Nothing I did was ever good enough for her or my father. I was, and still am, a huge disappointment to them -- they've told me so. I was always awkward and shy as a kid, so I got teased and bullied all through school, and I internalized the cruel things that people said to me, and started to believe them. Even now, when I'd like to think that I've grown up and understand that kids can be cruel and it doesn't mean much of anything, I still find myself wondering whether they were right. No one liked me. That has to mean there's something wrong with me, right? Or so I think to myself...

And as soon as I turned 18, I got married, and used my relationship with my husband as the measure of my self-worth. As things with him have deteriorated, so has any belief I might have had in myself as a decent person. And while, rationally, I understand that you can't tie your self-worth to whether someone else loves you, I can't make myself understand that at a core level.

The bottom line is that I think and act like a child in the important areas of my life -- even if, on the surface, it all looks great. And the longer I keep thinking and acting that way, instead of growing up and making good choices, the more I hate myself.

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Okay, then, that's a pretty clear statement of the situation.

The longer you keep doing it the worse you feel. That's a pretty strong recommendation to find some way to do something different, isn't it?

And no, you're not allowed to come back with "but it'll never work" until you've tried at least one new thing, okay? I know how depressed minds work; I listened to mine for a lotta years. ;-)

One thing I would point out, even in this short conversation: you write extremely well. This is not a skill to sneer at, either, let me tell you. It might even be something you could put to use professionally, if you don't already.

Basically, there are lots of things you can measure your self-worth by. Why seek out inherently biased yardsticks? So, for instance, if you measure by your relationship with your husband, why doesn't he get at least half the "credit"? Or does he get all the "credit", and you get all the "blame"?

Lots of people feel arrested at some point in their childhood; that's why Freud thought up a name for it. It doesn't have to be fatal. Even if it takes a long time, most people come up with ways to break through it, and move on. I hope you'll give yourself another chance at that, Solstice.

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Offhand, though, it might be those doubts and questions that keep getting in the way of the help ... Would there be any purpose to asking the questions here? On one hand, we aren't trained to answer them, but on the other, we aren't trained to answer them, if you get my drift: perhaps a wide range of ordinary human answers are as good as one trained one.

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Offhand, though, it might be those doubts and questions that keep getting in the way of the help ... Would there be any purpose to asking the questions here? On one hand, we aren't trained to answer them, but on the other, we aren't trained to answer them, if you get my drift: perhaps a wide range of ordinary human answers are as good as one trained one.

Doubts and questions -- where to start? It's mostly doubts. All my life, I felt like there was an empty space inside of me. I've spent years trying to fill it -- always by making the worst choices possible. So I've stayed in relationships that harm me, in hopes that being with someone else will fill that emptiness. I've stuck with jobs that I despise, in hopes that success will fill it. I've gone to therapists (five, at last count) in hopes that I could overcome it. I've been through various iterations of medications that were supposed to help me feel better, and not empty and self-loathing. And, most of all, I am a big believer in the idea that we can choose to be better, choose to find some happiness. But I don't. After all my efforts, I make the same bad choices, focus on the same black thoughts, push everyone away from me with my anger and hypersensitivity. So I doubt that another effort will turn out any different than before. I wonder if I'm just a "broken" person who's not capable of being anything different than what I am.

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I was always awkward and shy as a kid, so I got teased and bullied all through school, and I internalized the cruel things that people said to me, and started to believe them. Even now, when I'd like to think that I've grown up and understand that kids can be cruel and it doesn't mean much of anything, I still find myself wondering whether they were right. No one liked me. That has to mean there's something wrong with me, right? Or so I think to myself...

I used to think no one liked me either, when in reality I was unapproachable. My peers couldn't read me well. Since they didn't understand me, they often picked on me instead. It doesn't mean there was something wrong with you, Solstice. You had some difficulty in expressing and others treated you poorly. I'm sorry that some people have been cruel to you. :rolleyes:

And while, rationally, I understand that you can't tie your self-worth to whether someone else loves you, I can't make myself understand that at a core level.

Maybe you could start with becoming more aware of exactly who you are. What are some aspects about yourself that you like? What gives you joy? What is it, do you think, that you need to feel serene and content? Did you talk about any of these things in therapy? Were there moments with any of your therapists where you felt hope?

I hope tonight isn't very painful for you.

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Solstice according to your first post, I feel the exact same way, i feel like giving up as well, all i can say is keep fighting. Because I don't know how to help.

I was picked on giantly through my young years(school-wise) 1-4 teachers made fun of me students made fun of me, later became some what of a bully. Got into karate(in 7th grade) became more of a dominating force, try to force people to do my bidding, whether by force or persuasion. I think people know im acting i dont know though, I was called in some student help counsel class, because some students were worried i pushed it away, as they didn't understand(got into an argument started cussing left shouting and kicking property, shoving people out of my way, if they fell id kick them in the face. was suspended for a week and a half, almost got expelled) That was one of the instances where I didn't have control and my voice, No-Name, had control. It has had control. Before

Edited by Aaron.X.C
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Here's a link to a song that may help you keep fighting with lyrics...

Link to song (TO help you fight): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THZtkDjabYo

Five Finger Death Punch

Bulletproof lyrics

Artist: Five Finger Death Punch lyrics

Title: Bulletproof

Lyrics to Bulletproof :

You can take the money, you can take the ride

You can take it all but never get inside

You can't take my honor, you can't take my soul

You can't take the fact you'll never have control

[Chorus:]

You won't break me, no matter how hard you try

You can't shake me down, I'm f'cking bulletproof

All Ive learned, it's like poison

All I've known, inside my mind

All I've seen, it's like venom

All I know, it's all that remains

You can keep the fortune and you can have the fame

You can have the sh't you never will obtain

But you can't take my virtue, no you can't take my pride

You can't take the anger building up inside

[Chorus x2]

All I've learned, it's like poison

All I've known, inside my mind

All I've seen, it's like venom

All I know, it's all that remains

A Song (Link) for when your angry: http://www.mp3lyrics.org/f/five-finger-death-punch/the-devils-own/

And another link for when your really really angry: http://www.mp3lyrics.org/f/five-finger-death-punch/white-knuckles/

And another link when your feeling depressed about a old or current relationship(you'll have to search up on youtube for the song I don't feel like it tired): http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/fivefingerdeathpunch/thebleeding.html

Edited by Aaron.X.C
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Thanks to you both, IrmaJean and Aaron. Really good questions, IrmaJean -- it seems pretty meaningful that I can't think of anything that gives me joy, and I can't recall the last time I felt hope. Maybe I need to really spend some time focusing on who I am. I'm not even sure I know, anymore. Seems like my only identity is this miserable, screwed-up person, but I must be capable of more than that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Funny you should ask. It was briefly good. I thought I'd finally taken some steps toward improving my life...and then it all fell apart again yesterday. My relationships are a disaster, I'm an emotional wreck, I have ruined everything that's OK in my life, and I just don't want to keep going anymore.

I appreciate you checking in, though. No one else cares, so it's nice to hear kind words from someone. How are things for you?

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I suppose it began before yesterday, but that's when it came to a head. I spent last weekend with my parents. My dad is suffering from some sort of progressive dementia, and I don't know how to deal with it. Every time I see him, I want to cry because I am so sad and scared for him. That might be OK, but my mother is awful with him -- she yells at him when he gets confused, says all kinds of cruel things. It's so hard to watch, but any time I tried to talk to her about it, she just yelled at me and refused to listen. So, I came away from the weekend deeply unsettled, unhappy, and not coping well at all.

Then I had a fight with my husband. I was trying to initiate sex, because I wanted some closeness and intimacy. But I was on edge and not in a good place, and it obviously showed, because he said I was being completely mechanical about it. I felt rejected, and because I have massive rejection/abandonment issues, I blew up. Had a tantrum, cried, yelled, acted like a two-year-old. And now my husband wants nothing to do with me, and I don't blame him. But I just feel completely alone in the world. I don't have close friends, I just started with a new therapist who doesn't know me. I don't have anyone to turn to.

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Aaron, that's terrible! :)

Every time I see him, I want to cry because I am so sad and scared for him. That might be OK, but my mother is awful with him -- she yells at him when he gets confused, says all kinds of cruel things. It's so hard to watch, but any time I tried to talk to her about it, she just yelled at me and refused to listen. So, I came away from the weekend deeply unsettled, unhappy, and not coping well at all.

This sounds very painful, Solstice. Sometimes I feel the same way about my dad as I watch him fighting to walk. Dementia must be a very difficult thing to watch. I am wondering, does your mother have any help or respite in caring for him? Getting breaks might help with the frustration she could be feeling. This is a sad situation. I'm sorry that you are going through this. :)

Have you tried talking with your husband and expressing what you've been feeling? Maybe it would help him to be more understanding about this. I'm glad that you started with a new therapist. I hope the match is a good one. Take gentle care, Solstice.

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