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Quaddie

The World is Set Up to Call Me Crazy

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Quaddie

There are so many things I have roiling in my head and have no place to express.

Stemming from the consistent, constant and overarching way I am treated.

 

This is long and stupid and boring and I shouldn't even write it.

 

People tend to disbelieve me - unless you really know me in person - and even then, some people get it, and some people don't.  I'm like that picture where some people see the old lady and some see the young woman. Except that some people see the young woman of me, and then disallow the actual old lady within, and then condemn me, and blame me for my reaction to it. Not in "just comments," but they take actual actions against me, that devastate my life and make me feel that I cannot even exist among others. Not safely. Because they treat me "as if." They judge me very negatively for what they assume they see, then blame me and criticize (not just comment, again - but actually take real actions against me)... make me feel like I must be this "evil person" they assume I am from looking, or this "childlike ridiculous stupid" person, or this "__________" (fill in the negative) person - and that I just don't see it in myself.  And in fact, they have said that straight-out. Many times. I've been punished and formally commented and disciplined and threatened for what other people assume I am, judging by appearances that they are misjudging, but that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I've tried. Every which way. What happens if you address it directly is you get sneered at as if you're just ridiculously trying to make excuses. People are not open to not misjudging. 

None of this is just my own guessing or my own internal "perceptions" about what other people are seeing or thinking or doing. These are all real occurrences that have actually happened and been done. And keep being done, worse and worse. And I look in the mirror, and I see there is no escaping it. I cannot wear a veil. I cannot change myself. I don't want to have to change myself and how I look, in order to prevent others from abusing me. 

This really happens, it's a real thing. Not my "self-esteem." No amount of "self-esteem" can fix this. But that's not to say that being subjected to it, inescapably and increasingly, over and over and over, doesn't seriously destroy a person. Not only how they feel they can exist, but the very ability to exist and, say, make a living has been directly and inescapably damagedAnd will continue to be done so, because it just gets worse the older I get.

And I cannot care about anything anymore. It's all just so much.....b.s.  At its heart, it's meaningless to me anymore. I'm just done.

Everything that everyone does or is supposed to do in life, I can't care about anymore. It's all so stupid. And shallow and it doesn't matter. And it's not "just depression." This is something that's been growing in me for a long, long time. I'm just done. I'm not interested. In so much of what you're "supposed to be" interested in. It just doesn't interest me. I can't engage. Because it's stupid to me. I don't want to "engage." I've been through too much. 

The trouble with people assuming "lack of interest in things that one used to find engaging" is always, by definition, due to "depression" is that a person can be just done with something. Say you used to like Kraft American Cheese Slices. You used to love them. But as you grew older, you don't like them anymore. They taste too sweet and plastic-y and you don't like the texture and it's just. gah. No longer interested in those cheese food slices. It's not because you're "depressed." It's because you're just done with them. It's not a clinical psychological problem. You're just done.

When am I old enough to be considered "okay" to just be tired of it all? When I'm 65, 75, 85? 

It's not that I "need to find something meaningful." I already had something meaningful, but I feel like maybe it's too late and it doesn't drive me anymore. The world has moved on and maybe my time is passed, like everything in life I took too long and now it's all wasted. I'm tired and my head is too effed-up from the things that have gone on (I'm not denying that), and I'm not even sure my brain works anymore. It doesn't feel like it does. I just want to go away entirely. Not just go live in another place, somewhere (because I can't, and I don't want to, and that wouldn't help me do my thing anyway) - but basically secede from the world as it is. (And it doesn't help at all that the state of the country is what it is, it's like the earthquake in my soul is being played out not only on my own personal level, but also mirrored on a national and global level, and everything is too haywire and crazy and unstable and I literally - and I mean literally - cannot even. Most people just say that, but I truly cannot. I'm really on the edge here.)

And almost all the "traditional" things you're supposed to do to survive, most of the aspects of them, actually not only trigger me, but I feel repelled, revulsed, they sicken me, I just can''t. Not "just fear," but also "just can't."

When I think back on my life, I see there was a half-century pattern of people abusing me based on what they judged from an appearance that was not what I felt or who I actually was, inside. I mean, going way, way back...   but in recent years, it's grown to intolerable proportions in ways that have actually devastated me and my life.

(That's in addition to other - many, many other - abuses and neglect.)

Now, I know this has to do with "I'm trying to fit into a world where I don't belong." BUT - a person has to make a living somehow. So it's not "my fault" for having to be in situations where these things occur. I'd really rather not, with 1,000,000% of my soul, not have to be in these situations. But in order to survive, I don't have another answer at this moment, no matter how desperately I want one.

I don't want to have to worry about what other people are assuming when they look at me, anymore. And I can't escape it. I've been castigated - you have no idea - I have been formally admonished and punished, and degradingly psychologized inappropriately - slandered - that I allegedly don't have enough awareness of "how I am" - how I look - impacts others...  I have been formally, horrifically and inappropriately told that I am not normal  when I pleaded that I was....  Even though I know in my head that this was horrible gaslighting by a psychopath and a malignant narc who drew other into being allies into blame-shifting, it doesn't change the fact that people said and did these things to me and that I experienced them.   

And that wasn't the only time people have formally (no matter how inappropriately) just destroyed me. It wasn't long ago that I was threatened for the way my face looks - that I couldn't look that way, the way my face just is - only they were making false assumptions and judgments, nobody is willing to believe or understand that the way my face looks is just the way aging is hitting it. Even if I don't look my age - so people disallow that it could be aging - and from some angles it's fine, and from some it's not... or that maybe I have to squint sometimes or sometimes I have expressions from the way I'm focusing, or ... whatever... but omg, omg should I have to explain (in ways that come off as "excuses") - the way that the slightest environmental change or visual need or discomfort or thought might make my face evidently into the troll under the bridge that no one can tolerate and that I must be threatened and warned and disciplined and punished for having?  

No one should have to be made to feel so constantly aware of every micro-muscle of their expression... and how it "might appear" to someone else...and that it's "my job" to avoid being not only abused and insulted and degraded and punished and disciplined and threatened.... 

And if one more person tries to tell me this is a "self-esteem" issue - I will tear someone's head off. I honestly don't know how I can be more clear that this has nothing to do with self-esteem, except that it seems like no one else in life has ever seen or experienced such a thing occurring, so they cannot believe that what I say is actually what is going on - and therefore, it "must be" that I just need more self-esteem, or that it "must be" that I truly am as horrid as the judgments say I am... because, after all, I am the only common factor among all this.

An analogy. If someone stabbed you in the chest, then no amount of self-esteem is going to make that stabbing not hurt. No amount of self-esteem is going to prevent that stab wound from somehow impacting your life. The  stab was real, not a figment, not just a "perception," not anything that can be cured or changed by self-esteem. Just because it's my appearance doesn't mean I don't have real, reality-based perceptions or knowledge of what actually occurs in my life. Also, I've had my perspectives validated multiple times by other people. <-- the fact I feel I have to say that makes me upset, too, but the fact is that people really do not let go of the assumption that "I must be the one who is wrong, because I can't know the truth in my own life." Which is untrue (I've researched it, that theory that outsider opinions are more valid than insight - but some people can indeed authentically see and know their own realities objectively).  

Makes me feel I cannot show my face in the world. I mean, even if there's some uplifting movie-person who's disfigured and it's all happy-happy about acceptance and self-esteem, on some level the onlookers know "hey, this person is just different-looking and I shouldn't be judging them for that." But that's not what goes on with me. What goes on with me is that there are facets of my appearance that others are assuming are negative character traits, negative thoughts, negative negative negative - add to that the inherent infantilization from the other uniqueness about my appearance - it's an unholy judgmental mess, if one is so disposed to judge. And, I'm finding, most "authority figures" are so disposed. And there's no commonly known stereotype that anyone has awareness about to think, "wait a minute, maybe I shouldn't make those judgments because..."  It's rare and unique, and I don't say that because I think I'm "overly special" or whatever, like an egomaniac, but what i experience is rare and very atypical and so most people don't have a frame of reference, and therefore automatically sort of discard my knowledge or perspective on it, as if it "can't" be true because it's not really a "thing" that's heard-of.

(it's not everyone in the world who does it, it's not like I'm "paranoid" or think it's everyone...sheesh, I can tell the difference between someone who is doing it, and someone who isn't. And frankly, the fact that I feel like I have to defend in advance my ability to judge reality just kind of adds to the whole mix, but I know that people make assumptions about the accuracy of my own perceptions - because that's the go-to position. "She must be misperceiving." "Surely this can't actually be what she says it is." "That can't be true." "Nobody has this happen, therefore she can't be experiencing that." "I've never heard of such a thing, therefore it can't be real." Etc.)

The picture I paint is something that most people find unbelievable, yet it's the truth. It's not like what people normally experience, so I am assumed to "must be" inaccurate. "Must be" just crazy, paranoid, wrong. It "must be" just about self-esteem. 

Figure if someone is blonde and they go through life everywhere just being assumed to be stupid because they are blonde. Nowadays, most people are aware of the stereotype and so they on some level are careful not to assume someone is stupid just because they are blonde. Also, a blonde person would not be disciplined for being blonde and therefore stupid or told they have to be careful about the way their hair looks because other people are uncomfortable with their blonde-ness, and that they at every moment have to be aware of how every single strand of hair on their head looks or is positioned, at all times, and change it to make sure that no one else hates them for it.

I just have a somewhat unusual appearance which doesn't lend itself to being respected, and on which especially aging has very "juxtaposing" impact. Also I have an unfortunately positioned scar which it and its underlying tissue is being amplified by the aging process (as the underlying fat cells lessen) but which is being very degradingly misinterpreted as an expression of psychological issues and/or negativity - and then being threatened/warned about. Along with other signs of aging but, again, because I have an unusual appearance, people are not interpreting as aging at all, but are insisting is negativity, and even worse sociological and psychological insults. Even if I try to directly explain, I am sneered at and ridiculed more as it's thought to be just "trying to make excuses."

I wasn't unhappy with the way I looked until people really beat me down about it because it seems I cannot be treated respectfully as a human being. Even in the most benign situations, when I feel I'm feeling one thing, I am treated as if I am feeling and acting some other way entirely. And there's nothing I can do about it at all. It's not directly expressed and I get no opportunity, assumptions are made, and I am just considered this hateful troll.

Now, I'm not unhappy with the way I look, especially given my age - like I say, it's not self-esteem - but every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of how people are perceiving me to be this evil horrible troll, and there's nothing I can do about it except get botox and scar revision and a facelift, and I don't want to do that just to avoid being abused (not that I have the money for that, anyway - and it's soul-killing to even think about considering doing that just to avoid being abused).

They've made this memory attach to me and it's not my fault, trust me, it's been repeated and I've been terrorized about it with series of actions against me... I tried to fight, or I tried to just leave, or no matter what I do I'm wrong.  It's just I can't avoid seeing what other people see, and I cannot avoid them punishing and harming me for their assumptions.

(And please, this is not about "RBF" - it's way, way different and way, way beyond that, and to be honest, a social trope isn't something my being and my life should be reduced to, it's painful to me to make that comparison.)

I know there's no point in my talking about any of this, so I don't even know why I try, except that my soul is a screaming gaping hole of stupid, senseless pain and futility. Nobody knows or understands how badly I feel or how deeply my world is increasingly feeling uninhabitable. There's nothing anyone can do. No amount of talking is going to fix it.  Talking can't fix it. There's only one thing that can fix it, and it's something I don't seem able to figure out how to procure in enough quantities to make things better. Because obviously I can't continue subjecting myself to other people's judgments (and remember, these are not "just comments" that one can just "shrug off" and "not let it bother you," but result in actual negative and devastating actions taken against me).... but I can't not if I'm supposed to survive. because I"m a failure at figuring out the alternative, the magical solution that would free me. I'm not smart enough or driven enough or well enough or ______________ (fill in the blank) enough, or I'm too lazy, or whatever, I'm stupid, I can't do it, I don't know, I'm just plain not good enough at anything.

I know I'm effed-up, and dissolved, and destroyed, but it's not just one thing - it's not just what I talked about, above - it's the conglomeration of everything, other things I haven't even delved into here - and I can't even seem to get my head together to try to do whatever you're supposed to do to fix it... (And no, meds are not the answer, I won't take them, can't tolerate the side-effects and they don't work for me anyway, at least not the ones that drs are willing to rx)... this isn't just an "in my own head" thing, although I acknowledge that I am effed-up, but the answer to that lies in being able to change a circumstance in a way that is basically an impossible dream.... and in fulfilling another thing which is an impossible dream.....       This isn't about "how I feel" about things, but real-life changes that need to be made or else I cannot. (And I don't want, "but if you feel better you'll be able to cope..." blahblah because <an analogy> taking painkillers to not feel the coals burning your feet as you walk down a road of lava isn't the answer to me, the answer would be to not walk on the lava road at all, and even if you take painkillers it is still blistering and burning your skin.) And the real-life changes are more impossible, I don't have the magical answer, it basically takes a miracle, I'm not that powerful, it's not like leaving an abuser (btdt couple times), or moving across the country, or starting a new life - it's like changing an entire world. And I'm old and tired and beat and sick of everything as it is, and I feel brain-dead, and I just can't.

So whatever, I guess I'm just an annoying whiner, who has a bunch of "negative" things to say, but whatever, this is just how I feel and I can't express it anywhere because people will judge me as a negative whiner. I want the solution, it's just so magical and my brain is like ash, like a bunch of dead twigs just lying there, and doesn't work the way it used to, and I'm not sure it ever will or if I'm too gone.

If you read this far, I appreciate it, thank you for listening.

 

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whitebutterfly11

(((Quaddie)))

Though I'm on my way to group therapy and I can't respond in full right now, I wanted you to hear that I feel the pain in your words and my heart really aches for what you are going through. :(

I will respond soon!

:hug008:

 

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whitebutterfly11

What I'm hearing is that other people have, throughout your life, physically discriminated against you by making assumptions about your character based on your appearance. (Eff them, by the way :angry-smiley-005: How dare they!).

But I also hear that this isn't even scratching the surface of it--that it's been a constant, unrelenting force you have been up against throughout your life, like trying to constantly swim up against a downhill current, that has been accompanied by some serious abuse and some serious and multifaceted loss. Loss because, if you strive to fight against it, people use that as MORE evidence of their perceived weakness in you, like it actually proves their point rather than validates your truth. Loss because when people cannot see us for who we really are, we start losing pieces of ourselves that are diminished and even outright ignored by others. Loss because how can a person remain whole while at the same time their entire character is being unjustly pulverized by others? 

And, to "help", people have minimized you, invalidated you, and pigeonholed your experience into these quick-fix concepts that really had nothing to do with what you're dealing with. How could you not walk through all of that without feeling like you've been through a gauntlet that has shattered your soul in the process?

That might have been a crappy reflection of what you're going through (and not even a fragment of your whole experience), but I'm hearing the helplessness in this, like what do you do now? What other option might you have than to secede? And I would say WHATEVER it may be, WHATEVER can keep you going, or even breathing to the next moment, do that. 

 

 

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Quaddie

That's it exactly....  and I didn't really think about or conceptualize the "loss" aspect that you describe, but it's absolutely true. 

I guess especially in today's world, we're seen as a reflection of what other people think of us. And I guess it's true, in a way, because after we're gone, all that's left is other people's impressions - the truth within our souls ceases to be.  But I hate this insistence that I am what others decide to define me as, which is so far from the truth, and there's no way to fight it... and then yes, I'm thought ridiculous and that it's a flaw within me that I don't agree with their vision.

And then there's this push to "prove them wrong." This has happened and I deny that it's my responsibility to prove to other people that their misjudgments of me are wrong. It's not my burden. Then I'm ridiculous if I try to point that out, and I'm angered-at if I won't play along. I'm seen as a ridiculous, pathetic fool who thinks she's better and more capable and more worthy than she actually is. Put-downs and put-downs. On top of everything else.

There really is no way to win. I've tried everything. I always fail, or...whatever.   And I have an overwhelming repulsion to putting myself back into that situation. To wasting the little bodily energies and abilities I have, on trying to please others just to survive. To being judged (which is a "normal" part of the experience).  

And part of what I experience, too - a man would never be put through, under the same circumstances. A man would never be personally and psychologically condemned the way I have been, no matter how they looked or if they had boundaries.  There's just this "perfect storm" of physical characteristics combined with just enough other things to misread - if one wants to - into all these really hideous things. Of course, if I stand up it's worse. Everything - or nothing - makes it worse. There's no way to be safe. And it sucks my very lifeblood and soul from me.

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Over and Out

That sucks so very badly.

If it helps at all: my perception of you from this forum is almost exactly the opposite of whatever projection the abusive jerks are making.  You seem to be a very kind, very capable, strong, compassionate, wise person.  Anyone who can't see this about you is very wrong.  

As you say, men would not be judged so harshly on appearance and would probably be seen as more capable and commanding if they looked grumpy, ugly or stern.  As women, our very appearance is judged for not catering to the comfort and care of any casual viewer.  It is so very wrong that such expectations are landing on you in such harsh ways.

I wish I could help and comfort you more effectively.  You have been so very kind and helpful to me and others.  I wish I could return a tiny bit of that to you, even though I know that, realistically, you are up against cruelty that we can't stop or mitigate.

(((hugs))) from afar.

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Quaddie

Thank you for the kind words.

 

I'm struggling very much in life right now.

 

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