Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Unemployed, unburdened by responsibilities, and inert anyway. I don't respect myself.

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. jacq
    jacq avatar
    5 posts
    18 September 2021

    I don't know how to cope with all the responsibilities of genuinely going into therapy, and doing 'the work'. It has made me realise, that I had become that person who asks therapy of every conversation, without meaning to, but because my mind was already filled with the self obsession that arises during problem overload, when there is a million things that need to be fixed. I've become someone who I find difficult to like, and so do others. I have lost most of my friends, and the ones I have retained have had to make their boundaries very known to me. I have been in hospital three times for breaking into psychotic episodes. All of them were mortifying, more than I can express, and I hurt people close to me by morphing into the jagged, cruel, judgmental, misanthropic voice that has been a demon in my thoughts, growing with every humiliation for years.

    I don't want this part of me to be what I hear anymore. I do as much as I can journaling it out and monitoring, but I still seem to keep acting the wrong way, hurting people and getting hurt. I am ashamed of so much. I grew up in a rich area and have had great privelege (even though my family of 5 were living off one school teacher's wages and we didn't qualify as rich, actually I was quite left out as a child because my reality was so different to lots of my peers), my parents are still together, I have had financial support from them and the government when I've been poor, and this has been my only independant experience of money. I have lived soulfully enough, and thought that I loved, but lately I've been wondering if I only experience love as the desperate do.

    I used to think I was someone worthy of being loved, but I actually don't have any reason why. I used to think I loved, but I can't quantify this without many possible abstractions too.

    I am afraid of my mind, because I have lost it, and my memories have suffered. I am not suicidal but I am desperate and feel like the mind of a priest sharing the mind and body of a criminal.

    Is there any exercises I can do that can ease this ultimate shame feeling? I can't even volunteer right now during lockdown, I can't find a job, there's no redemption acts I can take except somehow change myself into a better person.

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5687 posts
    20 September 2021 in reply to jacq
    Hi Jacq,

    We can hear you’re in a really difficult place, and these thoughts and feelings must be so hard to deal with day to day, especially during lockdown. There’s a lot you can do about it, some of which you’re already doing. Articulating yourself like this and sharing with people who can relate (like the lovely people on these forums) is a really good place to start.

    We hope you can try to be kind to yourself through these feelings. It’s easier said than done, but there’s some really good advice for battling these thoughts on the Beyond Blue website that might help; “when your inner critic is giving you a tough time”.

    When these thoughts are too loud, and you need to talk it through with someone, please remember you can reach out to the Beyond Blue counsellors on 1300 22 4636. They can talk you through these difficult moments, and they’ll also help you to figure out how you can keep getting better. They’re also available on webchat, here. Please remember how important it is to reach out when you’re feeling this way.

    Please feel free to keep sharing. Many forum members may have experience with some of the challenges you mention, and we think they will find great value in your words. We’re sure we’ll hear from some of them here on your thread soon. Is there anything that’s helped you in the past with these feelings, maybe pre-lockdown?

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
  3. Banksy92
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Banksy92 avatar
    61 posts
    20 September 2021 in reply to jacq

    Hey Jacq,

    It's always a sign of strength when you're ready to reach out, share your story and seek help. It sounds like you've been through a lot and are working through a really difficult time.

    I'm really sorry to hear you're struggling to find work and are feeling a bit isolated from friends right now. It's good to hear you're able to get financial support from your family - are you close enough with any of them to reach out and let them know how you're feeling?

    You also mentioned you have a lot on your mind and it sounds like in conversations you want to get a lot off your chest, which is causing issues with people you're close to. Do you mind me asking, do you see a psychologist (or similar) on a regular basis? This can be a really powerful step to work through what's inside us in a safe space.

  4. Pumpkinella
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Pumpkinella avatar
    95 posts
    21 September 2021 in reply to jacq

    Hi Jacq's

    Thanks so much for sharing and I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. Feel free to write on here what you feel to get things off your chest - you can do so anytime and we have lots of regulars here that would be open to chat.

    I'm sorry to hear about losing many of your friends but its also great that you have retained a few and understand their boundaries. Can I say not everyone actually understands or cares about peoples boundaries, especially when you are going through something really tough. So I think its great you are aware of it despite it being challenging for you at times.

    Shame is a really difficult emotion. I would feel shame in a lot of different ways - things I've said and done, just who I am as a person. Like I am someone also that doesn't deserve love. Mine was more friendships I thought no one could possibly like me or be my friend or stick around. And that was due to the shame. There were also periods in life where I did chase men out of desperation rather than love. So I can relate to what you are saying and it is really complicated and hard.

    But, like me - you have identified there is another part of you that is not like this. Someone that is aware of these thoughts and feelings. Someone who has 'had enough' that doesn't want this anymore. So you are not just one person, and with that awareness can come a huge amount of change and strength. So I think you are a very strong person to be able to understand that and want help.

    Is there anything that you have found helpful lately - any strategies that work well for you? Are you seeing someone regularly to discuss your problems? Shame normally has to be unravelled and talked about in some way because a big part of shame is hiding - keeping shame to yourself, keeping it in the dark. Brene Brown is a popular psychologist who has done a lot of work with shame if you feel like googling her work - she's in America but shes done some Ted talks and written some books on it.

    I'm here to chat.


  5. PaulJF
    PaulJF avatar
    2 posts
    26 September 2021 in reply to jacq

    Hi, JacQ. Sounds like you're going through hell. What's that cheezy Churchill quote... "When you're going through hell, just keep going." No idea if a soundbite might help.

    My situation is very different to yours, so this may not apply, but just in case it helps:

    When my anxiety is kicking me around, it often manifests as a vitally-important-need to do *something* productive. Sometimes if I'm lucky enough to have the presence of mind, I think about where the need for 'meaning' or 'purpose' evolved from. I'm guessing any sort of social animal will evolve something similar, a need to contribute to the group. Animals that don't contribute are unlikely to procreate. Taken to it's current conclusion, our brains are wired to need to contribute to the tribe, and we feel that as a positive feeling when we perceive we've contributed, and a strongly negative feeling when we perceive we are not contributing.

    Somehow, just this knowledge, the fact that it's an evolved response to stimuli... it just makes me feel a little better. It doesn't change anything. It doesn't mean I stop wanting to contribute, or stop feeling unreasonably bad because I'm not constantly contributing, but it does just take the edge off a little.

    It's not because I'm a "bad person", it's my tribally evolved brain trying to assert millions of years of evolution onto my city-living situation where it's not appropriate.

    Again, no idea if that's any help, but it's a minor comfort to me sometimes. Good luck with your challenges!

  6. jacq
    jacq avatar
    5 posts
    28 September 2021 in reply to Pumpkinella

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for replying. Since making this post - which was in a desperate moment... I have had some days where I couldn't talk to anyone, gave into 'letting myself go', and binge eating, and show watching, and being generally irresponsible with my health... and now I am feeling a bit better, and made it to the shops today, and returned to my meditation attempts.

    I relate to your manner of dealing with anxiety. It's an interesting point - we are exposed to so much superfluous academia in the current day, simply out of the incredibly priveleged position of not having to technically hunt, gather, or protect to thrive. But we do still need to meet these urges, in subtler, less clear ways. Ways that won't satiate our original impulses even though they essentially achieve the same thing. I agree that being present with the emotion in its historical context really helps put it all in perspective.

    For me the next step, and the most difficult step, is applying that buzzing need to contribute to my own health, and working on feeling satisfied by just that. There will be no applause or exchange to be won of doing 'the right thing', and you won't be able to sense the reward in any way until it is cultivated. This makes it so hard. But the easiest way for me to work off my anxiety is to move in space, and return my mind to a place of physicality, acceptance, and converting that energy into a form. If I can run, great, but often just going out walking breaks it, at least minimally. Learning to truly accept loneliness has been a long battle.

    Thank you. The 'bad person' part is something I have to juggle so much. I think it's important to acknowledge I've been a villain in some people's lives... to be present with that, and let myself be with the emotions that rise up, the anxiety of wanting to 'fix' it, when I can't, and be present with how much more complicated than being a hero or a villain it always is. There's being a villain - which is a bad person with a purpose, and then there's being a scumbag - a bad person who has no purpose except vacant greed, and this idea is also immensely hard to come to terms with. In this heavily populated world it's hard to believe we are a good use of precious resources - and while feeling bad about that is a first step, stopping there, in aware inaction, is distressing, especially when you continue to act out of desperation, greed, impure places that you observe from a standpoint of horrified indecision.

  7. jacq
    jacq avatar
    5 posts
    28 September 2021 in reply to Banksy92

    Hi Banksy92,

    Yeah I have contacts but they have been really clear about boundaries and often don't respond in ways that make me feel much better... rather, they allow me to run with the hyperbolised versions of my opinions, or my assumed positions, more accurately, on matters to which I have strong emotions about but not necessarily opinions. That makes it worse... and it's hard because I have pushed everyone away with my breakdowns. You know that song 'Nobody Knows You (when you're down and out)" by Eric Clapton? My social life feels like that. I've had support but it's all from an arm's length, or tinged with the difficulties of charity.

    I did get a therapist and she's changed my life. But actually getting to talk everything out is sending me on a whole other crazy journey and it's really uncomfortable sometimes. I am despairing so often as I open up these inexpertly sealed boxes of trauma in my mind. RIght now I can talk and write but often I can't. And I can't predict how I am going to be.

    Being responsible for what I uncover is really confronting.

  8. jacq
    jacq avatar
    5 posts
    28 September 2021 in reply to Pumpkinella

    Hi Pumpkinella, (I find this name conceptually really interesting)

    Thank you for acknowledging the work I've done to get this far. It's been a weird time. Shame is so hard...

    I am ashamed because I have sought out masochistic/sadistic relationships with friends and other throughout my life, and neglected my heart through constant betrayals done to me and by me... I'm trying to break this cycle now, I have indeed had enough of it. But it's no easy task. It's a relationship pattern I inherited from my mother and it plays out in all sorts of ways, that aren't necessarily abusive, but I can transform them that way. I'm ashamed because of my absurd attractions to men who are really children inside, stuck. But I suppose I was too, and so unwilling to look at it for so long. I'm ashamed because my sexual awakening was so on display in front of my father, who is sensitive, but worked at the school I went to. I'm ashamed because I experience regularly not remembering information or interesting, neutral facts about the world or shared 'interests' when speaking to people, just information about myself these days and I listen to myself in disgust at my egocentricity, but also scramble to recall any of the information I've read and I can't quote any of it. Because it is a scramble. I'm ashamed because I apologise all the time, because I live in squalor, because some weeks I do not look after myself at all, not brushing my teeth or sleeping properly or leaving the house.

    I feel confused but it's good to get some of that out of my brain.

    I've not heard of Bene Brown but I'll look her up. The strategies I use when I am a little more with the world, is going for a walk or run around the block first thing in the day, moving my body in space. And I like to paint as well, and when it gets crushing on sunny days, I'll go lie in the sun, and on cold days I take a bath. None of these things fully satiate me... but I hope it gets better.

  9. Pumpkinella
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Pumpkinella avatar
    95 posts
    30 September 2021 in reply to jacq

    Hi Jacq,

    Thanks for being really brave and listing everything you feel shame about. This is not easy but I believe its really important because the more we declare it and allow ourselves that vulnerability the less it can eat us up on the inside.

    It sounds to me like you are shamed by your normal human imperfections. Would you say that you allow yourself to be flawed?

    Just to share as well. I feel shame from loneliness, by friendlessness. I was in so much pain I would feel the loneliness all day long. I felt like a weird person and that everyone knew I was weird.

    For me morning meditation walks and health eating really helped. Healthy eating gave me energy to walk (and lowered my anxiety a bit) and in the walking meditations I realised I was actually connected to everything, that there was nothing missing in me, and that the flaws of me – the person – were insignificant and unimportant.

    Have you ever felt any of these things when meditating? What have your insights/experiences been so far?

    We do live in ways that are in conflict with what we evolved to do. I think your very simple goal of doing things that contribute to your health is absolutely fantastic. And its not about being productive as you say its about recognising the importance of taking care of your health.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

Sign me up