Chasing

March 31st, 2013 by betterdead

I’m surprised that people responded to my post about wanting to die probably because I’m used to being ignored when I need help the most. That’s right – ignored. It’s called growing up with a depressed, emotionally distant mother who was too preoccupied with her own problems to give her baby girl the nurturing and love she needed. Sneer if you want. Whatever. I don’t give a fuck. I’ve spent years in therapy, group therapy, on medications, making crazy, fucked up choices that intellectually I could not defend or understand yet I acted on anyway. I finally, finally put it all together: not enough of mama’s love. My dependencies, choices, desires, hopes are connected by that simple thread. I’ve been chasing my mother’s love for all of these years and sadly,  I never got it, and truthfully, I probably never will.

The summer I was four or five I accidentally threw myself into my uncle’s pool while hurdling a huge beach ball across the water. Down, down, down I went. At least that’s how I remember it. That summer something shifted because it was the last time I remember being happy. Fast forward 25 years later and I am sitting in a therapist’s office. She asks if I’ve ever tried antidepressants. I freeze. The prospect sounded terrifying. Yet, I agreed to a psychiatric visit and shortly after that was prescribed Prozac and then the world came alive for the first time since that summer so long ago. The elation didn’t last.

I still take antidepressants to this day and they have in many ways helped me tremendously but not enough. What’s the point of all this? The point is that I’ve been depressed for a very long time. It is a chronic condition that I will have to manage for the rest of my crummy life, if it comes to that. I’ve gotten much better but at a huge price. When I finally got a handle on my depression at age 30 I slowly came see realized the havoc it had wrought. I missed out on making the CRITICAL connections and life experiences that you are suppose to make as a child and teenager that help you form into an independent adult, happy adult.

So I spent all that time, all those miserable years suffering only to discover that there was so much more work ahead, work that probably could have been avoided if I had just gotten the help I needed when I needed it instead of being IGNORED. And I ask, why did’t anyone notice that I was so sad? Why didn’t anyone DO ANYTHING????????? Yes, that question is directed at both my parents and the fucking retard adults who surrounded me.At least my dad showed affection, love, and interest even if he couldn’t admit that something was wrong with his little girl. My mother couldn’t even do that.

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10 Responses to “Chasing”

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  1. Hey your post is next to mine :). You know why no one cared or cares to exact IRS because the world moves without you or me and we are nothing to a greater everything. Sorry to say but sometimes a nothing gets treated worse then nothings their nothing’s, but in the end nothing plus nothing is nothing

  2. I responded to your first post because it struck a chord in me… as does this one. Except I think my story is a watered-down version of yours. I’m so sorry life sucks. I wish I had some words of wisdom.

    I’ve only recently been examining my mother’s “love,” such as it was, coming from an emotionally distant woman who really never should have been a mother. If she were of child-bearing age today, I’m sure she would choose not to have children, but back in those days, it was just what everyone did. Loveless marriage, no REAL love for the kids. It’s probably not her fault… she’s just a product of HER parents, after all. At least the misery cycle ends with me since I’m too old to have any kids.

    I thought by acknowledging that my parents neglected my emotional needs, and letting it go (I honestly don’t WANT to have a better relationship with either of them… I wouldn’t even know what to do with that if it were possible), that I’d made peace with it. And that there’s nothing that can undo the damage, it’s just too late. Another fucked-up person living a crappy little life, as is my brother. My therapist doesn’t think so, though. She sees potential where I don’t and she’s patient; it takes time. When I told her I was too old to do this, she said she’d helped people much older than me turn things around. So maybe there’s hope for you too? Maybe you simply haven’t found the right therapist? Possibly the right meds too? *big hugs*

  3. Yeah, I’m realizing lately just how much of my bad luck traces back to my parents. Only my mom showed a little affection sometimes, but I couldn’t trust her, so even when she did it felt like a lie. This kind of thing is about the worst thing you can do to someone, since we’re so hardwired to care what our parents think. Luckily I haven’t given a damn what they think since about 9, but just that fact alone hurts enormously too. Wish I had advice, but I don’t. :(

  4. I hear you on feeling like it’s too late, Sad. I have lots of great dots in my life but seemingly no way to connect them. I’m glad you’re at least making intellectual progress, even if you still feel the same. Addressing your parents’ lack of love is a good step. That’s already a success imo.

  5. @Letmesleep Thank you. I remember getting into an argument with a douchebag ex about 17 years ago, when he said my parents didn’t really love me. I said it’s just different from his family. His mom was extremely emotional and would go through periods of “disowning” her children if she was pissed at them, then eventually they’d make up and she’d be superduper loving. I thought that was fucked up. Certainly very different from my emotionless, but by comparison far more surface-functional, family. (and eventually she turned on me too and he took her side, naturally…the beginning of the end of us)

    Thinking about it now I can see what he meant. They love me the way they’re capable of loving… it just wasn’t good enough. It’s sad. And since my brother is a screwup too maybe I should accept that it’s not just me being fundamentally “bad”…there’s a common theme here.

    I wish I could help you connect your dots :\

  6. @Sad: It sounds like both of you had dysfunctional parents on different levels. Still, I think what he got was better than what you got. Growing up without any affection or love is going to mess with just about anyone. It makes sense that you struggle.

    You’re not “bad” at all, Sad. You actually seem like a very nice woman. In terms of personality, I think you’re very lovable. You certainly pass my standards for temperament in a woman. I don’t even mind that you have some broken places. You may take this as an insult or a compliment, but if I wasn’t so much younger than you I might have even pursued you. Surely there’s men your age who would do the same? I think there are.

    Truthfully, you’re not some mess of a woman. Not in my eyes at least. You’ve got one deep struggle that really needs to be fixed, but other than that I see no reason you should be single.

  7. @Letmesleep I still feel guilty thinking of it that way — my parents DO love me. I know they always have. They just fail in the emotional/nurturing aspect. Probably makes me overattach to guys… but I’m SO aware of that possibility that I really try to reign that in. I dunno, obviously I’m still doing something wrong. I guess I take a guy’s “you did nothing wrong” as “I can’t put my finger on it but there’s something about you that’s unlovable and makes me want to run away.”

    Aww that’s definitely a compliment! Hehe yeah I learned my lesson with the 13-years-younger guy O.o but you do seem older than your years, and I’m emotionally immature, so. Ha. Some broken places… YEAH. I’m actually going to bring a list of reasons why I can’t be in a relationship to my next therapy session because I tried to argue with her and she won because I wasn’t adequately prepared. *snort* I don’t really want to win, I just want her to understand where I’m coming from. I actually like that she’s so sure I’ll be with someone again, like there’s no doubt in her mind. (could be an act of course but she feels sincere to me)

  8. I don’t personally think guilt is something you should feel and you certainly don’t have to make excuses for them. Maybe you’ve been telling yourself all along that somehow it’s all your fault, but I can say that when parents do things right, their kids don’t have to question if they are loved or not.

    In any case, the real point is is that they didn’t teach you how to love and be loved. The home is where you learn how to interact with the world, and if yours was emotionally empty it would make sense that you’d struggle with relationships. With no living examples of how love and emotion are supposed to be done, how were you supposed to figure it out? You weren’t the problem in your home, they were.

    In addition to having no good role models for relationships, their lack of affection caused a second type of damage: you felt unworthy. I know you struggle with yourself, and that is a direct result of their lack of encouragement and nurturing. In the end I’m not all that eager to give them a free pass. However, you’re an adult now, and it’s up to you to move past it. I support the work you’re doing in therapy – it was time to let it go.

    I’m glad you took it as a compliment because that’s how it was intended. I shoot straight with you because even if I don’t you’ll figure it out anyways. Nothing really gets past you, so why try :P Thanks for the compliment, wisdom is definitely one of my better qualities.

    I know what you mean about wanting to be proven wrong about yourself. The person I confide in hears my BS constantly and while I feel convinced in what I’m saying, I always want to be wrong about it. I want them to help me value myself. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a “confidence” switch that you could just flip and feel better?

  9. Sorry, that was aimed @Sadbk.

    @betterdead: I totally hear you about feeling like you missed critical opportunities and relationships that would prepare you for adulthood. I’m rocking age 27 and feel exactly the same. It’s miserable to feel like the world has passed you by and here you are just stuck in a rut. In reality I’m already set for life financially, but in terms of happiness and a real, tangible future, it feels pretty hopeless.

    I know what you mean when you say you’re discouraged by looking at all the work you still have to do; seeing the long, winding path to real satisfaction. It’s certainly often makes me want to throw in the towel.

    I think the only thing left that I really want is to be in love again. Nothing else really seems worth my time. I think it would unlock my life in ways nothing else could, but without it I just teeter on the brink of self-murder.

    Sorry I just seemed to avoid your original post up until now. I randomly enter people’s threads to talk to Sad sometimes while forgetting that’s not very sensitive to the original poster.

  10. @Letmesleep That’s kinda what the therapist said that got through to me… and it was so simple. “Children are not worthless” – and I wouldn’t have written crap like that in my diaries as a kid, even an “older” kid as I had argued (12-14) who could have learned that from other places, if my parents hadn’t given me reason to. Also, kids are not burdens. [technically they are, but it's a parent's job to take care of the kid and the kid didn't ask to be born, so...] I still struggle with that one. Just last night my friend asked me what she can do for me since I’m always doing favors for her. I told her I’m just too darn self-sufficient :) It’s true, I don’t NEED anyone for anything… and I really don’t know how to talk to people when I’m upset, I’d rather be alone until I can collect myself. Do I have to learn how to “be a burden” to others (and acknowledge that they don’t think of me as a burden)? Very uncomfortable thought.

    I agree that adults need to take responsibility for their lives and work through their difficulties. Sitting around bitching about how my parents failed me doesn’t do any good. I think my brother is content to do that as an excuse for being lazy. But that’s another whole can of worms — I don’t think I’ve even talked here about the particular thing that bothers him most about our childhood (affected him more than me).

    You ARE wise. And sensitive enough to think it’s rude that we’re talking on another post? I guess it could be? *shrug* I dunno, I never mind if people get into convos on my posts. I consider it a compliment in a way, like they feel it’s a safe enough space for them to talk or something. Kinda silly :) Anyhoo, sorry if it’s annoying, @betterdead… you can jump in any time too<3 Hopefully some of it is relevant to your situation as well?

    That little voice (the mean one that the drugs seem to silence, for the most part) wants people to validate all the negative things it tells me, but it's true, I never REALLY want it to be right. If my friends and coworkers and the therapist all said, "you know, you're right, you ARE pathetic and worthless, you should go kill yourself"… I don't know how I'd feel. I wouldn't want to talk to them anymore even though they'd just be agreeing with me. When they don't agree with me, I just think "they don't know everything, they don't see it all" anyway, so wtf. Humans are complex creatures. And I miss that voice, and being obsessed with death & suicide. I'm really not obsessed now :\ but with nothing to take its place I'm just kinda…flailing.

    A confidence switch would be nice, yes! I think males need those more than females though ;)

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