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Quaddie

It's "my fault," I'm helpless, and forced into silence. Over and over and over...

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Quaddie

I just realized it’s a lifelong, repeating thing…  that it's "my fault," I'm helpless, and forced into silence.

 

When I was growing up and horribly bullied (which wasn’t limited to only “name-calling”), I was told by the counselor… that I brought it on myself. Because I “gave them what they were looking for” by reacting. Because the bullying was upsetting, and I got upset.

…so it was my fault I was bullied, it was my fault they kept doing it, because I was human and reacted. (I was told to “ignore them and they’ll go away.” It didn’t work. But, whatever.)

 

So it was my “own fault,” and I was helpless against it, and forced into silence.  To pretend it wasn't happening. 

 

But nowadays we’re told we’re supposed to be allowed to have a voice. And as adults, we’re supposed to be able to stand up in the face of when we feel we’re being mistreated. We’re supposed to be allowed to expect to be treated with respect.

 

Now I’m supposed to have been an adult for many, many decades… But most of the time when I’m in situations of being bullied, treated inappropriately, disrespected etc. – I’m still forced to try to “ignore it” and hope that it’ll go away. (And - it doesn’t!)

 

Either it comes from people who are “authority figures” or “above me” and I’m not permitted to say that what they do is inappropriate and harmful – no matter how “delicately worded” (and trust me, if you don’t explain straight-out, they choose not to understand. They won’t read between the lines, because it doesn’t serve them). And even a straight-up complaint about something obviously and blatantly inappropriate still only lands me into the hot seat.

 

And if I do stand up for myself, I am punished, ridiculed, derided, other negative consequences occur, because it’s “not my place” to do so, and how dare I think I know enough to know when someone “above” me is doing something wrong to me.

 

Almost worse is the gaslighting and blame-shifting, where they claim ever-so “caringly” (yet still degrading and “putting me back in my place”) that no, it’s my perceptions that are wrong, it’s my personality that’s the problem, it’s all my fault.

 

Again… there’s the repeating kicker… it’s “my own fault.” And – there’s nothing I can do to stand up for myself. Anything I try is wrong, used against me.

 

So it’s my own fault, and I’m helpless and forced into silence.  To pretend it's not what it is, at risk of my livelihood and survival. Repeatedly, over and over and over.

 

Or then, even socially, I might be in a closed group online (which I received with a paid membership and is important for a business pursuit, so I can't/won't just quit and walk away), and someone crosses a boundary and says something - uncalled-for, unwarranted, and I wasn't hurting anyone - that was inappropriate and personally hurtful, and others piled on with “likes” and “loves” of it… (If things spiral out of control, I can’t take it and I delete.) But I “can’t” come back later and say how that made me feel so unwelcome (which is the opposite of the group’s purpose) – I’m not “allowed to” call it out, it’d cause a ruckus, it’s not that kind of group, and I’D be the “wrong one” (albeit I was already “wrong” just for my private, personal being which they really had no right to criticize, but which was the topic they all felt free to condemn me for)… So again, in these types of situations, I have no ability to air my perspective or say that it was hurtful to me. It’s just not “appropriate” for me to do so. (And I don’t recall the specific member’s name, or the ones that agreed – and so can’t block, at any rate that doesn’t fix the past or the humiliation of having been wrongly critiqued with others “piling on with agreement,” and doesn’t allow me the ability to express my perspective. And those specific details are really moot right now, because what I’m really talking about is what this whole topic is about, the forced-suppression and helplessless.)

 

So it remained that it was “my fault” I earned criticism (because I’m “different,” in a nutshell)… and I’m helpless against it, and forced into silence.

 

Or – and this/these are long stories so I’m not getting into the details, but there have been cases where someone that no one else sees as abusive – that no one even suspects as abusive – were extremely abusive toward me, in private. Without a shadow of a doubt, clearly and obviously and plainly abusive, and not just a matter of “my perspective.” So I respectfully and repeatedly asked them to stop, and when they continued on and on, and escalated, I had to block them in one channel. Then, they ran to my entire circle in another place, and told some story that made them the sympathetic “victim” and me the horrible “wrong one” just because I drew the boundary. (And in that case I witnessed some really crushingly humiliating and upsetting things being said about me - right in front of me.) But because they did that, it forced me into taking a high ground of silence because I couldn’t lower myself to do the same thing they were doing to me, and create a whole conflict and drama. I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost whole circles that way. Because I was forced to be silent.  I’d block the person, and withdraw from the situation. I couldn’t  get into a whole low-down classless dramatic conflict and the other person had the credibility of “first strike” and were oh-so sympathetic of a figure… in this particular case, to this day no one seems to suspect this person as having these issues… (although I have witnessed them crossing boundaries inappropriately with others, but the others are so ingrained in their view of this person that they write it off.... and I don't follow this person, but I can't avoid seeing it through connections that other people have).  I mean, I saved most of the conversations and had proof, it was obvious - but I couldn’t “get into” that. That’d be wrong, to start a whole she-said-she-said, and do the same horribly hurtful thing that that person had done to me. It was a no-win situation. So I was the one who “ate it.” Withdrew, the pressure of clear and obvious negative judgment making me the “wrong one,” lost the friends, lost the circle, with the humiliating aura of the inaccurate and inappropriate stories the person told, and I went away.

 

Helpless to present my perspective, my side of what actually occurred. Forced into silence.

And it was “my fault” because I drew boundaries in the first place, which started the whole thing.

 

And that happened (less publicly but I suspect the reason behind losing some other friends) with other situations that others had obviously been in the wrong about, but when I respectfully drew a boundary and did not want to be abused, the other person painted me in the wrong. Who knows what they’ve said to others, of course I blocked them, but again, I suspect they may be the reasons behind loss of some other friends. But I had to remain silent, of course. I couldn’t go around blabbing so-and-so did x to me. (And these aren’t the kinds of situations where “well they couldn’t be true friends and you’re better off”…etc. would really apply or make me feel better about it.)

So… helpless against it, forced into silence.

 

I mean – I know, I know, “those people are just _____” … “it’s them not me” etc. etc. etc. But that only helps if it’s just one part, or a small slice of your life. For me, it’s everywhere. The things that happen to me isn’t typical (and I’ve been lambasted for saying that, too – but it’s true!!! I just have a combination of a lot of things that feed into a “perfect storm” of leading to this stuff)… I’m not imagining this… it’s not normal, but it’s not okay.

 

But it’s getting so oppressive and upsetting…  these things are happening repeatedly. They keep happening in every walk of life. I’m wrong, I’m made to be wrong, It’s “my fault,” I earned the inappropriate treatment, I’m not allowed my perspective, I’m forced into silence. The silence hurts. The silence hurts.

 

But if I have my say, I’m “wrong.” It’s the wrong thing to do. It’d make me look like a ridiculous, petty fool. Vindictive. Overly-emotional. Making a big deal out of nothing/”normal” stuff. Or in some cases, insubordinate, or a kind of derision-earning condescending ridiculous that I’m not sure there’s a word for – where I’m “ridiculous to think I know anything about life or more than the people who are putting me down” and “ridiculous to think I’m being wronged” and “ridiculous to think my perspectives can possibly have any validity at all.”

 

And I'm just realizing that all the advice like, "let it go," and "take the high ground" (which never works for me, btw) - are all just another version of "shut up, you have no voice so don't even bother trying." I mean, I know the difference between things that deserve just being let-go and things that deserve having a voice. I'm not naive or inexperienced in life enough to not know the difference. But I never get a voice. A person can't move through life experiencing the things I do and just walking around letting everything  "go" without experiencing severely damaging compartmentalization and disengagement and worse. I'm human.  I do feel. And a human can't be pummelled this way and that all the time without feeling it. The surface blows might not hurt that much but when enough body punches are landed then the inflammation starts to hamper even your very ability to breathe.


Either way I do, or not-do… I’m wrong. Helpless against inappropriate behaviors, forced into silence. Sure, walking away, blocking, etc…. but it leaves me no voice. It leaves me less and less avenues. It narrows my world. It’s not fair, of course. It hurts to not be able to have a voice. It hurts to always feel forced into silence, “or else” negative repercussions that would be even worse… it hurts to never be able to say, “That was inappropriate and disrespectful, and I’m not okay with that” because of the social and/or professional blowback that’s always a significant and valid and real consideration in these situations (not just a “figment” of my mind  they are real.) So either I have a voice and hurt for being castigated for having the voice, or I withdraw/silent and hurt for being silent. It doesn’t seem to matter either way. I don’t feel like I matter at all. Because it seems like everywhere I go, for some reason, it’s just okay to treat me that way – by anyone. Strangers, even.. It’s insane. It’s outrageous, the things that happen.

 

Just so tired and frustrating with being forced to be silent and with the helplessness of social convention "or else" make things even worse... and it's all somehow my fault, always. Something that someone else has decided it's utterly appropriate to fabricate or blow up into some sort of major contentious thing that I somehow earned my own mistreatment.

 

I’m sure it’s “my fault” somehow that I’m not (seen as being) as deserving of respectful treatment. (And I know physically there are stereotyping traits/factors that help lead people into viewing me in certain ways, but there’s nothing I can –or should have to! – do anything about that! It’s just how I am!) But frankly I can’t be subjected to one more single iota of criticism or else I would definitely lose my sh^t entirely, because I’m already just barely hanging on by a thin thread.

 

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hoping

Quaddie

I'm so sorry that you are having to go through these terrible times. It's not fair.

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AZ-home

Your voice is heard. I hear you. I'm sorry things are so hard. 

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Fluffyflea

Your voice is heard. 

 

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Quaddie

Thank you...

 

 

In thinking back, it's also been a lifelong thing...   Being treated with derision and disgust, in inescapable situations. Outright derision and disgust. 

 

I'm never sure if I'm truly as horrible as many seem to think I am...    I feel "different," I often have different perspectives, but it's just so wearing being so...  hated. Derided. Provoking disgust and condescension.

 

And it seems like I can't avoid getting myself into situations where my "difference" leads to trouble and more negative judgments... or just being treated condescendingly, even for, say, making a very sound suggestion - still invites just being put-down somehow, like it's not "my place" - no matter what my place is. I should just shut up everywhere.... is the lesson... just shut up shut up shut up.   Because even if I need something (and it would benefit others, too)... my noticing, knowing and suggesting it is still wrong. Or somehow is interpreted as my just needing  "advice" on something stupid that's really just patronizing. 

 

I'm so tired and sick and horrified and done with everything, it just all seems like it's all so stupid and I can't escape...  problems...   unless I shut up, and then I'm wrong for NOT saying anything...

 

No matter what I do, it's always somehow wrong.  I mean that seriously. Not "just a feeling." I'm tired of having to continually face negative consequences just because I might not be exactly the same as everyone else. I don't want to be "strong." I just want to be permitted to be myself just like everyone else, without constantly being pounded with how bad or wrong or stupid I am to be me.

 

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AZ-home

Meme I saw today.

"You know Tetris. When you fit in you disappear."

Don't disappear.

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AZ-home

I want to add my similar feelings. I'm not telling you, your situation is like mine or you should do what I did. Just that, your thoughts stirred up similar thoughts of my own.

I have often not fit in. I tend to go to two extremes: either people really love me, or they loathe me and even actively seek to annihilate me. In my jobs over the years, there tends to be one of these two environments. Once I realize I am in the hostile environment, there is NO saving yourself. There is nothing I can say, or do, or overdo, to change this situation. It always got worse. Always. 100% of the time. And because I spend the majority of my waking day at this place, where people hate me and it SHOWS, it's more than exhausting. It's damaging. It's HORRIBLE! HOR.RI.BLE! With a capital HOR! 

LOL

I am currently in a job that loves me and oh the difference that makes. It actually helped me get out of my toxic marriage because the contrast was so great. How can I do such good work at my job and be appreciated and even sought out, to going home where I am a major screw up and can do nothing right? I think if I had stayed in the toxic job, AAAAAND had a toxic relationship, I would have thought like you, that it's just me and just the way I am. Cause look, everyone thinks so. 

In recent years, as a middle aged person, I got diagnosed as ADHD. I truly think this has a LOT to do with my situation and why some jobs love me and why some HATE me and go out of their way to show it! It's just the way I'm wired, I can't change it (ADHD meds gave me severe reactions and I have other conditions and don't need additional unnecessary meds), I don't want to change it and I have found the right people admire it. They don't necessarily know it's ADHD, just that I'm "different." 

My current friend/buddy is young enough to be my daughter and she also considers herself "different" though she seems normal to me. I don't know what she's talking about. I always look forward to us doing stuff. 

I know your situation is bad. It's really bad. I hope you can find your tribe, your people, people who will accept you for who you are and appreciate your uniqueness. I LOVE a unique, non-cookie-cutter person. I have two friends who are now far away who said I was their last true friendship, because they too, struggle to fit in. But I am drawn to those people. Those people are out there. I hope you can find them. 

I hope you can get out of your job environment because it is toxic and hurting you. I hear suicidal tendencies in what you are writing. This breaks my heart. Don't give up Quaddie. You are special. You are unique, and you have been put on this earth for a reason. Maybe it's to help people on this board, because you have certainly done that!!! You go out of your way to write detailed responses to hurting people. 

Different is GOOD! Unique is GOOD! Try not to listen to the haters! I have haters too. I'm considering moving to get away from some haters. It sucks. 

Good luck and know that you DO make a difference and you are appreciated HERE, if nowhere else. You are special and this board wouldn't be the same without Quaddie and her encouraging words. 

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Vanilli

It is the worst feeling in the world to be abused and have the essence of you attacked and evaporated, having to squash yourself down into a tiny little box to fit in the abuser or to bend to their will. It's a waking nightmare. I am so sorry that you have no space to be you and that you are not celebrated for all you are Quaddie. 

 

We do value you here Quaddie and you can always talk to us, I know it doesn't hold a card to anything you are going through, please keep coming back <3. 

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Quaddie
4 hours ago, AZ-home said:

even actively seek to annihilate me.

This has happened to me repeatedly and invariably over many decades. So I really truly know a lot about this. A lot. I'm an expert... on all that... 

BUT. It's become way more than just "who I am," but what I look like,  and a lot more about stereotypes and misjudgments and very, very outrageous and evil things that have been done to every facet of my being - that cannnnnottttt "just be shrugged off" - it's not possible or feasible - and about things that aren't changeable, and things that aren't defendable or addressable.  It's extremely complicated and humiliating.

It's way past finding a tribe or hoping for a shot in the dark to one day after 50 years of worsening and worsening and worsening situations, suddenly find some sort of magical situation where I'm not treated like a piece of sh&t and actively targeted just for who and what I am. It might happen for a blip in time, but then - as things do - something changes and it all goes to hel!. I'm the first person ever to perceive when things are going to go south, and how it's going to happen, and that it's going to happen, and that there's nothing I can do to change it. And even if it didn't, it takes all my essence just to survive and I can't do it anymore... 

I really don't want to get into all that....

I'm not currently in a job environment (the last one was a blip of the most obvious and outrageous verbal bullying I've ever witnessed or heard of and yet "I" was still the one "at fault" ... managed to have some say about that one but not sure I was believed)...   and I haven't been for some time - which itself is a big problem in terms of survival as I still haven't managed the miraculous magical solution. I'm out of options. I can't I literally cannot cannot cannot do it anymore, and the thought that I'll be soon forced to literally is not tolerable to me.  I can't talk about it....

I'm way too old and done, too limited, what I have left I can't give anymore... I literally have nothing left in me to give a sh!t about the things you're "supposed to" in order to maintain a survival whatever.  (I guess that's my other thread about not being able to do the things life requires.)  I can't explain it. It's every fiber of my being. It's every aspect of everything about me. It's every tiny aspect of the situations that nobody even gives a second thought about, but I literally cannot do anymore.   I can't care about giving myself or my brain or my anything to anyone anymore. I can't talk about it. 

 

There's still a situation which haunts me severely and daily, not because I'm "wrong" in the way I think but because what they did was that bad. (And it's something that also is repeating so I'm not going to escape it anywhere I go - it stems from stereotypes, misjudgments, physical appearance and other conditions and traits, etc.) And even though time has passed, I am still thinking about how to address it, and working (when I can) on putting my thoughts together - which are massive... it was really bad. I might have legal action. I know what that takes from a person and I'm not sure I even want to investigate that option. But it haunts me all the time, and I can't forget it, because every time I see myself in the mirror I'm reminded, and it's not "just being triggered" because it was what actually has happened - repeatedly - and I just can't anymore.

I don't want to talk about that.

I just ... it's always "my fault" and I'm always helpless and I'm always forced to be silent. And then there are comments like, "Why'd you give up your power?"  and "Why don't you believe you have power?" - as if, again, it's just "my fault" for my "wrong thinking" - my "inaccurate perspective" - for "not believing in myself. But the true, real, valid fact is I've never had power. There are situations in which you truly don't.  My life, experience, situations aren't necessarily the same as others.  I literally don't have power in these situations. Because money. Because survival. Because anything I do has severe negative repercussions. My "power" ends up in my getting slayed no matter what I do. No matter what I do, or try. 

 

I don't want to get into a conflict about that being "my perspective" and that I'm wrong about not having any power - because I'm not wrong. Truly - I have tried everything. I have tried. I've tried.  I know what happens because I've been through it. Over and over again. It doesn't matter what I do. The end result is always the same.

 

And I don't want "power." I just want to be.   but that's not allowed in our society.

 

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