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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

My life so far.

JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Hi. I'm struggling right now or I wouldn't be here. I don't enjoy opening up. Even though it feels therapeutic in the moment, I feel shame afterwards and often worse for tearing off the band aid to expose the ugly wounds below. I'm sorry if I'm too open or if I go the other direction and feel an urge to destroy all evidence of this series of posts.

It will be a series of posts rather than one. I'm going to lay out my life, from beginning to end, since I think everything follows on from the things before. I'm not sure I can write very well now, and I'm fairly certain the tone will betray my current anguish, but we'll see how it goes.

I'm not after hugs or any words or anything like that. I just have that feeling bubbling away inside me and need to externalise the internal to feel some release. A lot of my feelings concerning myself won't be kind. It will all be very self-involved. But I'll be honest.

So....first entry on what will be the story of how I got to my present situation.

My first conditioning was very early. My Granddad died when I was about 3 and my Dad entered a long depression. He would just sit in his chair and stare at the tv all night, silently. My parents marriage suffered thereafter and my Mum had her depression issues too, often retreating to bed. The early childhood I remember was one of being told to keep quiet and was very sad. It wasn't a place to be happy.

When I reached school I noticed I was different (or was told so). I was quieter, had a bit of a flat affect, and wasn't very popular. Early on I believed that acquiring knowledge was of great use and enjoyed learning but I hated the social side of it all. As I aged the disparity between me and the rest grew.

That will do for a start. I need to sleep if I can.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Slept and feel slightly better.

I've started there because that's where the division began. It was me vs the rest of the world. They were all different types of people but not to me, it felt. I hated school. It was a minefield of social anxiety and painful experiences. I was peripheral and less than others. This grew throughout primary school although there was little actual bullying, it was just the dynamic. My parents marriage was still not great although they stayed together. My elder sister -- when I was about 10 maybe -- told me they were going to get divorced and she was going to live with my mum and I would have to go and live with my dad. I had no relationship with my dad by then really. This hasn't really ever changed. We are in each other's lives but there is no easiness, or support, or direction. I'm a bit old for it all now, of course, but it would have been useful at times. I was labelled aloof, shy and words like that. I wasn't sure what I was. I felt I lived in a different world from the others who would judge me. I cried a lot then. I don't cry at all now, even when I wish I could.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Secondary school ramped up the pressure. I was a social pariah by then, easier to avoid than deal with, and had no patience or willingness to conform in any way. I got bullied a lot around then and accepted it as my lot. If I ever mentioned anything about that the advice I'd get back is that I'd have to try harder to fit in with people. That angered me. Teachers would pass me in the corridor and tell me to cheer up as though I wasn't the result of a situation but was instead the situation itself. I had no real friends. I mean, I had some 'friends' as in people I was paired up with, people to walk to school with, etc, but they weren't real friends. They didn't see me as anything more than the others, they just saw themselves as belonging to the same social group. I disowned the whole cruel structure entirely rather than wanting to raise my personal level in it.

A lot of nasty stuff happened around then in secondary school. I was kicked around a park, attacked in school toilets, spat on, called all sorts of names that I remembered and allowed to form my identity. My parents response was to try to involve me in other groups so I'd occasionally join something to placate them but I hated everything that had social groups so nothing was enjoyable.

Of course I was completely detached from girls and all that. I kissed a girl at a party when I was about 16 but never phoned her the next day as I remembered the look of horror on her friends' faces when they saw me with her. Another party was when some girl looked at me and asked ''what is that?''. Not ''who?'' but ''what?'' as though I was subhuman. I avoided them after that.

At 13/14 I joined the scouts for about 3 months which was a weird experience. The boys I knew in it were a year older than me and lived in the same street. I wasn't keen on them but my mum wanted me to do it. They'd had a little gang when we were about 10-12 and this was just an extension of that. It all felt a bit childish and then we went camping one weekend and all slept in one tent while the other tent was filled with pornography. I found this very weird and wondered where it had all come from. They alluded to very strange incidents for kids of that age -- blow up dolls, etc. I thought it tall tales until a month later when we were at the scoutmaster's house on a weekend to get some badge or other. He was maybe in his late '30s and had a girlfriend. I arrived alone and he invited me in. His girlfriend was in the kitchen and he showed me into the bedroom. I walked in and was confronted with a bed full of magazines and sex toys. He picked one up and suggested I use it on myself. I ran out saying I had forgotten something. The last words I heard were '''I hope you don't think.......'' and I was out the door and running. Weird. I never thought about it although I had to pass the house often (and still do). The thing that threw me was the girlfriends. It wasn't my conception of paedophile but why do any of that if he wasn't getting some weird thrill out of it all? And her too presumably. I'm 42 now. Would I invited the local 13 year olds around my house and show them pornography and stuff and not be a paedophile? I don't think so. I mean, nothing happened to me beyond what I've written there but my self-esteem was crushed. Other boys were dating girls and I was some vulnerable saddo that was only fit for some sort of abuse. I never told anyone about this at the time as the response to every criticism I made in life was ''you're going to have to'' or ''well, why didn't you do that?'' and I couldn't bear the examination. And what if the rest of the boys were absolutely fine with it all? I didn't know that he was abusing them directly. He might just have liked the idea of taking the sexually inactive and showing them sex, in a fashion. I wasn't sure what was going on. A part of me thought I was just overly-sensitive since everyone else seemed okay with it. I never went back, of course.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Also through secondary school I made an enemy. We had a king of the bullies who spent his waking life hurting people. He was picking on a fat kid in class one day and I snapped at him. He started pushing a table into me, we started fighting, the teacher put us out, and from there I had 5 years of being attacked by him. It was never 1 vs 1. Twice he got me outside and pulled a knife on me. Another twice he was with a gang and beat me up. One of the times was at a school disco. Everyone just watched for about 5 minutes until a bouncer threw us all out. Then I had to run from them because there were 4 of them and 1 of me. One time when he beat me up he stole the stuff out my pockets. I had my grandfather's watch then. He had died when I was 14. It was all I had of him. After that I wanted to find him and hurt him but he was at some special school by now and I never knew where he lived either so I wasn't seeing him at school any more. He died of a heroin overdose around age 20. I found out years afterwards. There was a youtube video of him in some amateur boxing contest and all the comments were about how he was such a great laugh and what a tragedy it was. I never commented but he wasn't that to me. These people would have been either looking on or joining in when he was attacking me earlier, I thought. Was I happy at his outcome? No, not really. I'd have been happier never to have known the little sadistic bastard. I'd have been happier if the teachers had actually dealt with him. I'd have been happier if my parents actually supported me rather than saying I should try to be these type of people's friends. I'd have been happier if the rest of the kids showed some actual morality and never just looked on when 4 kids attack another. Anyway...ancient news now. I only mention it to explain my growing disconnection with society.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
And around those teenage years my family was falling apart a bit too. One grandfather had died when I was young. The other died when I was 14. It was a standard death, I suppose. He was in his '80s and quite fit then got cancer and died within months. I've seen much crueller deaths, in retrospect. My uncle also died. I didn't know him well but it would have a knock-on effect in others many years later. He was fairly young. Late '40s I think. The painful one was my gran. She'd been in bad health since 1990 with strokes and lung problems. That intensified through my teenage years. She must have spent about half of her last 7 years in hospitals. I think she had 4 major strokes and umpteen mini-strokes, along with emphysema, copd and probably other stuff I never knew. She wanted to die from about 3 years out. It was cruel and I resented it. I wasn't religious but I hated whatever power made it happen. I didn't like to watch it. I thought about it afterwards or many many years. I was traumatised by it. It was my first experience of a cruel death. How can people bring life into such a cruel world? I really don't know.

And that probably covers my teenage life. With any luck, I'll get the rest done within about 5-6 posts. If nothing else, this might be useful for giving to whatever future psychiatrist ends up treating me as I'm definitely headed that way.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Academia. I was relatively smart. Not naturally, I don't think, but I could memorise information and had spent a lot of my childhood reading everything from Enid Blyton to Norse sagas and Greek myths, to maps of the world and country demographics, to political history and the history of art, or philosophy and maths. It was an area I could excel at and I still believed in the idea of all that being self-improvement then, rather than something else for others to dislike in you. It got me some leeway with teachers in my mid-teens when I discovered alcohol and the ability to numb pain. I've never been a drinker, as such, but I was a binge drinker when I did drink and got in some right states. It numbed social anxiety and kept the ghoul of depression somewhat hidden unless it was kicking at me hard inside. I also got spiked with drugs a few times. People must have thought that would be amusing. I tried a few things of my own volition too. Just experimenting.

I had no drive though. No idea what I could be. I went to university and did Computer Studies eventually. No idea why? I have no interest in such things. I guess I thought it would open up a career for me. So naive! Anyway...will go there later. I'm now 19 in the story. No happy memories thus far. Time to eat.
 
M

Marianda

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Nov 18, 2019
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1,093
Location
South America
Wow we exchanged messages yesterday. You told me it was going to be long. I will read but will take a while. Good you decided to post.
 
L

LadyDomino

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May 7, 2019
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522
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Dorset
James, thank you for sharing your story, and so eliquently.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
Very tempted to delete this as now feeling slightly better, at which point I hate the self-pitying part from before (it's the depression, forgive me). I'll press on and try to wrap it up.

University wasn't great. The first year was the end of my gran's long struggle. Me and my mum got a front row seat. I'm more used to that kind of thing now but it's difficult the first time you see it. Death can be really ugly and cruel and not like you hope it might be. It's bad enough on it's own but when it makes a mockery of someone you love then it seems extra bad.

I was socialising a little with my elder sister who was at university at the same time. I even spent some time in the bar with other people out my class. And I was still in some contact with people from school although we were starting to thin out a bit as our attention went elsewhere.

At the end of the year things fell apart. She died 1st February. I fell for one of sister's flatmates who was flirty with me and a lot of other people. She made a move on me but I didn't want to be just some other guy to her so I turned her down. My elder sister was in a bad relationship and reckless. She attempted suicide a few times (now fine). I snapped. Not publicly. I was in the shower one day and started shaking and I couldn't stop. I still get that when things get really bad. I lie in bed in the foetal position and my spine shakes. I just had the realisation that I had no control over anything and everything was falling apart and going to get worse. I could see it all in front of me as though it had already happened.

I must have started medication around then. I didn't find it easy to open up and GPs don't really want to know. They have (or had) a set procedure of try this drug, if side effects are bad try another, if it doesn't work then up the dose. I've been on medication since, on and off, but I struggle with it, especially when I'm bad. It makes me feel like a rat in a trap where there's no real better but some numbing available. I'm currently on just one tablet of prozac a day but I have been on 3 and also sleeping tablets.

I also got really ill with some weird virus (B coli I think). That floored me over the summer and meant I missed the first couple of months of university. I was chasing my tail from then on academically. It was incredibly hard. I was 7 stone, depressed, reckless with my health, unable to look at people, unable to look at myself. I used to eat my lunch in solitude. I never spoke to anyone else there for two years. I eventually passed at a minimum level (for what little good it did me) but I was an absolute wreck. I bury feelings until they spill out of me and I'd been burying everything all my life.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
23 now. Got an ordinary degree in a subject I have no interest in or aptitude for. I've stopped going out other than a hobby which I was okay at. That begins to dominate my life. Eventually I resent this as it's such a pointless endeavour. I peak around my mid-twenties and pretty much chuck it age 30. The other stuff starts to get in the way.

I have no self-esteem or guidance so just take the first job available. Some agency post. I stick at that for a year. Eventually I move to a minimum wage production job where we all work shifts. My job involves running a machine. Basically, I walk around a machine for 8 hours every night. It's soul destroying. I get a cannabis habit. It switches my brain off sufficiently to make things more bearable. I take a drug overdose around this time. How dangerous it was I don't really know. I never needed treatment and no-one ever knew about it. I don't sleep. Instead I stay up for 4 days. I'm mad. I'm talking to people and listening to myself and I'm mad.

I stick this job until 2007 or so. My life is bad. I'm working and spending the rest of the time in my bedroom alone. I start getting dizzy spells. These get worse. I have some public falls. Really nasty, knock yourself concussed sort of falls. I see the GP and we spend a year trying to get to the bottom of it. Eventually we settle on me having a combination of low blood pressure and an erratic heart rate. The experience isolates me further. I've always hated crowds and busy places but now my body is reacting to it in very extreme ways.

I switch to office work in my workplace. This lasts until the middle of 2008. I'm angry now. I've got a painkiller habit that I didn't intend. It only lasts 5 months but it's tough to come off. All that sensitivity back. I quit my job on a whim. Anything must be better than this I think.

I try to kill myself at the end of the year. The thoughts have been there since I was 13 and now they are louder than ever. I don't plan it. I just do it. I am not even able to be a success at that. As I'm doing all this I feel more powerful and purposeful and alive than I ever have. It scares me. But the anger is gone. I'm too pathetic now. I go home. No-one ever knows.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
2008. I'm unemployed, physically ill, mentally ill. I write on a forum like this. Some women contacts me. She thinks I'm so wonderful and expressive and etc. It feels surreal. She must be mad. We talk. I tell her everything, everything I ever felt or thought, every little witty thing I ever heard or read. I exhaust myself. She has her own problems. I'm pouring all of myself at her. We meet, we date for 2 years, it doesn't work out. Do we love each other or just need someone to love? Do I even know what love is? What examples of healthy relationships do I know? I haven't even dated as a kid, now I'm in my thirties and a complete novice. Do I love her or just enraptured at being important to someone? It doesn't last. Maybe it's just an act I could only put up for so long. Eventually I feel empty and as though I'm the one making every conversation, choosing every option, filling every space. I need someone to show me the way not the other way about. It's hard. She needs constant reassurances. I need space. And then it's over.

And since then I've been unemployed and unemployable. I've done nothing. The blackouts stopped (they come back at times of high stress), the minor drug habit remains, I've never dated (bar once for about two months which was a total mistake), and I've largely avoided social interactions altogether. I'm still at home. I've wanted to leave many times but my parents worry about me and the time where I say I'm leaving they threaten to get the police on to me as they think I'll hurt myself. They might be right but no more so than where I already am. I contain my feelings. I spend my time babysitting for my sisters. They're lives are back on track (younger sister also tried to kill herself once maybe 2006-2008 or so). I'm good with kids. I think I've worked out why. I have a default position with kids and animals of ''I like you'' and a default position with adults of ''you won't like me''. So I spend a lot of time with my nieces and dogs. Like every day for years. I still do it now although not as much. I wonder if I'm being pushed into this role so that the suicidal urges are always balanced with the thought that I couldn't do that to the young kids.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
2017. My cousin dies. She's also a depressive and has been since her dad died in the '90s. She's 45 and has a boy. An anxious, younger than his years (14) boy who has been held a little too close and never given any freedom or space of his own. The father is out the picture, chased off with threats of lawyers from my aunt. Whether it's suicide by drug overdose, accidental drug overdose, heart attack by drug overdose....I never know. It doesn't really matter, I have no moral qualms about how people cope. Morals are for people with choices.

Since then my mental health has worsened. I get worse at taking medication. My mum and dad both get seriously ill. I catastrophise immediately. They both get better.

Three months ago my aunt starts going crazy. She has brain tumours, fluid on the brain, mobility gone, incontinent, angry and abusive. She's been in hospital since, getting worse up until two days ago. I got to the point of thinking it would be kinder for her just to die. She was talking crazy talk and had the wild eyes of a calf going to slaughter. It's difficult to watch someone's dignity being stripped from them. We've been such a cursed family. I know it's going to hurt to reflect on but I'm just burying it all and doing my daily routines of watch the kids, visit the hospital, walk the dog. I can see it straining my mum and dad. I worry about the boy and when it will hit him. I know the first time is tough. I just want to die but can't.

But now she's slightly better. Just slightly but it's something. Maybe not a possible recovery but a person again. And that's just from last week.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Scotland
A few days ago I visited a friend who was over from China. I've liked her since we were at school and kept in touch through social media but she never had any feelings for me so I just remain a friend. She has a new baby. I played with the baby while she tidied her house. I enjoy it. It's easy. Two hours pass like minutes. Inside I'm a little sad because I realise I'll never have a child of my own. I'll never know whether I'd be a bad dad, raise another like myself, or be fantastic at it all because I'd be so scared of failing. I could stomach failing at almost anything but not that. I'm going up again next week. She only visits every 5-7 years so I don't expect to see her again. I must be near the end of it all.

So that's about it. If anyone is hiring depressive drug addicts with no work experience in central Scotland then please message me. I could use a saviour. That's my problems. It's not that much, I'm not an orphan, I wasn't born in a war zone with atrocities all over. I'm not sure why I'm the way I am. I don't even like to attribute anything to anything because it just feels like passing the buck. I'm 42. I should have grown beyond this.

But that's what it is.
 
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