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All About Unhappiness

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raven - Sorry to hear that things are going rocky at work.  Normally you don't work someplace 3 years before figuring out it isn't a good fit, so probably there's been some adjustments to the enviroment that have altered the workplace (I know that is a horribly vague statement).

 

You sound pretty open to making adjustments so that their needs are satisfied and you feel better about what you are contributing so I hope there's a way for you to have a productive dialogue to get back on track.  And maybe it is time to start evaluating other opportunities or taking steps to transition to another job or even field.  Better to plan things out and be able to do it on your own timetable than have it thrust upon you.

 

ramble - glad to hear you are working your way out of that spell.  One of the things I realized was that I kept working a situation over and over in my head trying to figure out the logic behind it.  I spent an immeasurable amount of time doing that before I realized (and accepted) that you can't find logic in madness.  Maybe there's a touch of that going on with you? 

 

OK...I have one by proxy.  My brother and his wife have been financially underwater for years.  He's been unable to work, but has not been approved for disability.  She's able to work - in fact, she formerly was quite well compensated by doing nails and she got her training to be a sonogram tech - but she doesn't work in either of those capacities  My Mom has been paying their mortgage for years now and they no longer have a car because it got repossed (this was after I was repeatedly hit up for $ so it wouldn't be or the electricity wouldn't be turned off, etc... ). She was doing some babysitting, but won't go get a job at the grocery store or working retail to help her family out.

 

They've been together almost 30 years and my brother has always been so in love with her, but it has always been a very unbalanced and unhealthy relationship.  They've burned about every member of the family for money and have started to reach out to friends, a lot of which overlap with friends of mine or one of my other brothers.  She tells a sob story how no one in the family will help (ignoring years and thousands and thousands of dollars of assistance).  I've gotten so fed up that I told one of our mutual friends that she always contacts first now (he's my friend from high school and eventually became friends with my brother, but she's what he would consider an acquiantance) some of the sordid family history just to keep him from giving money.  When I wasn't sure that worked, I told him I would call his wife and rat him out if I even suspected he was offering money.

 

Even from 1,300 miles away I am hearing about crap she's pulling.  I am so close to calling my brother up and giving him a boatload of shit, but I know if I do that is the last time I will ever talk to him.  She's easy to paint as the villain, but I know my brother has a role in all of this too but he doesn't know about her hitting up their friends for money or her lying to those same friends about how his health is.  She's actually said he's dying and it won't be much longer.

 

He's one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, but he's never been able to confront the truth about her or acknowledge the nature of their relationship - she's been playing head games with him since they started going out, chronically feeds him half-truths and plays the poor pitiful me card (you Mom/Dad/sister/brother/friend hate me and never give me a chance, ...).  If anyone ever says one word that might be the least bit critical of her, he'll defend her, tear your head off and end the relationship.  It makes me so mad for him and there is so much familiar territory for me (abusive marriage) that it literally turns me into one big raw nerve. 

 

Thanks for letting me vent.  This is such an eff'd up situation that there are no easy answers. 

Edited by DeLurker

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Just want to say I've read all the recent posts, and I'm sorry about those who are sad or stressed. I wish I had some helpful advice, but I don't think I do. Just want to say I've been thinking about everyone. Internet hugs.

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Thanks for the good thoughts - my current source of stress is not even my own and there really is nothing I can do about it other than trying to be supportive and keeping my mouth shut.  Very slowly some reality is starting to sink in for him and for the first time ever he's started to express some uncertainty.  From my own experience I know that it took me more than a decade to "get" that my husband was not a good person and had some serious serious issues.  My friends and family could see this almost immediately and tried to tell me, but I was so snookered that it took me a lot of years to finally see and accept that.

 

My ex had some exceptional qualities unlike anyone else I ever met.  If he had invested himself in the positives, he would have been close to perfect and unstoppable.  But he chose to focus on the negative and got progressively more selfish, controlling and abusive.  I spent a lot of years trying to encourage those positives and averting my eyes from the negative.  And it took me several years to come to terms with the ugly truth I knew for several years that the probability of my marriage lasting was almost nil, but I wasn't ready to give up on that smallest chance.

 

So a lot of my rage towards the s-i-l is because it hits too close to home for me.  And some of my anger is at my brother because I know he's not stupid by any means, but (like me) he's chosen for 30 years to focus on what was good instead of actually addressing real problems in their relationship.  He's smarter than that and I was too, but that didn't stop me from staying in a relationship way past the expiration date.

 

But today I am going to NOT think about them.  I'm going to think about all the wonderfully tedious things that need to get done - laundry, picking up fresh fruit & veggies, making dinner, etc...and appreciate that on a day-to-day basis my life (and those of my children) are NOT dictated by the wild mood swings and outbursts of another person.

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Ok. So, I've been thinking. My mom and stepdad just left. They'd visited from states and states away (drove) to listen to my baby's heartbeat. While they were here, they bought me a washer and dryer, lots of supplies from Sam's club, organized my pantry, and helped start getting ready for the baby.

I don't work. I went through a lot of education and have tried to work, but I just never seem to interact the right way or "get it."

Anyway, I was really thankful for my parents' help, but I was definitely left with a sense of being pathetic. I mean, my dad keeps me at home as a cultural thing mostly (my job is to clean now. He let me cancel our maid bc I felt useless), and my mom/stepdad have just slowly realized I'm not able to handle much.

I think they think if I focus totally on the baby that I can handle it. I love children, and I know tons about kids. But, no one around me can relate. I don't know anyone with the exact or similar problems and situations I have. I am really, really lonely. I want to get married, but I know it will be a paternal relationship even if I found someone able to handle me and my situation.

I don't need friends or a husband. I'm just so lonely. My anxiety is too bad to even talk myself into going to church by myself, which I want to do. In the past, eventually everyone dislikes me or I realize they are bad news for me. I don't want people at church to feel like they have to tolerate me.

I think I'll be better once I have the baby because he/she can go with me. And, I know the baby will need lots of social interaction so maybe he doesn't end up like I am.

I hate being a burden. I don't think any of my parents really think I am. I mean, they love me, and I never ask them to do things for me. I think I'm a burden more in that I worry them. In a way, I think they think the baby will help me express my love to someone who can and will be around for a while anyway.

I'm just so different. It gets old. I count my blessings a lot. But some people think not having to work equals extreme happiness, and I should be very guilty that I'm not. I do feel guilty. I am thankful. I am happier than I would be if I had to rely on myself. These things are very true. But. I still feel alone. It's going to take a lot of effort and decisions and ideas to make things happier for my baby. I really want to. Just not sure how.

When I say I've failed in the past...I genuinely mean I didn't just trip up- I completely blew up my entire life. It is very, very hard to come back from, especially because one reason things got so out of control is because I kept on trying to make things work at school. I was stubborn and my delusions (if that's what they were) just completely wiped me out. Everyone hated me. Everyone.

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Betweenyouandme, I just wanted to let you know that I notice you on the boards, think your posts are thought-provoking and the stories about your life/yourself take courage to tell. Especially if you're living with anxiety. I am too, and have for a long time now. I appreciate your presence here.

 

 

I don't work. I went through a lot of education and have tried to work, but I just never seem to interact the right way or "get it."

Same here. I have a physical disability, can't drive and live in a rural area. But I also had a lot of schooling, and it was really difficult for me to realize that no one in the working world cared how great my grades were. That a lot of the working world is about how adept you are socially, how much you can make people like you. I dealt with so much in the way of bullying/abuse  (and still do) that I just...don't interact. I'm dealing with it now in therapy, but I don't know that I'll ever "get it." The idea that I never will frightens me. 

 

I sometimes feel really angry and hopeless. My disability is very apparent. I have terrible balance, fall and sometimes tremble. I live with a lot of physical pain. I get stared at, hugged, prayed over by strangers. I get taunted. People make incredibly rude assumptions about my intelligence.

 

My (mental health) therapist thinks I ought to be up front.  That it's natural to stare if you don't understand something. But my disability is incredibly personal to me and it's right on the surface. If you saw a stranger in the supermarket, someone with a scar on their face, you wouldn't march right up to them and go "What's wrong with you?" It's personal. I am not responsible for educating anyone. I am just trying to have a day. I don't like focusing on my cerebral palsy. And it astounds me that in this day in age,  doctors (and even physical therapists!) understand so little about it and how it varies from person to person.

Edited by AltLivia

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AltLivia, thank you for writing. I'm sorry about your experiences. I try not to get too down on people in general. I like, and have always liked, lots of people. Not everyone...but, a lot of people. But, It's hard to do and depressing when relationships and social aspects of jobs consistently don't work out. Throughout my life, lots of people have just been really mean to me. Very mean. Even people you think wouldn't. It's like just looking at me makes people mad. My struggles aren't usually immediately apparent, and I tend to start off well, but then things go south pretty quickly. So, when someone comes up to me to talk, I immediately feel scared. I just know they will think I'm strange or incompetent. If not now, they will soon. Grr. It is hard. I wish I had something helpful to say or an idea to try. I don't. But, I do really appreciate what you wrote, and I care about it a lot.

I clicked on a friend of a friend's profile on Facebook, and the person had several quotes about "if you're negative, get away from me" and "if you want my life, stop making excuses." It really made me feel slightly upset. Sometimes, a person has tried again and again and again...and trying has brought more upset and financial burden and disruption than stepping back. I'm not saying anyone should completely give up. I just mean, sometimes not every goal is obtainable for every person at all times. Maybe one day, I'll find a job that works for me. Maybe one day, I'll have a close family and friends. But, right now, I need to focus on my mental and physical health and my baby.

I'm sorry to just ramble on about myself. I'm trying to relate and respond without putting words in your mouth or saying the wrong thing. I haven't felt like I know things to say to comfort other people lately. I really do care. Just don't know how to put it into words. I tend to make everything about myself I think partly because I'm less likely to say something offensive if it's about my experience and how I feel. Still get that wrong, though!

Edited by Betweenyouandme

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Stewedsquash, thank you. I recently (a month ago) emailed a church 2 blocks from me. I just outright said that I'm pregnant and divorced. The person forwarded me an email from a Sunday school teacher of a class with mostly couples but did have some pregnant women. The teacher has been expecting me, but I can't imagine sitting there. I want to...it's just going to be really hard. My anxiety doesn't go away once I get to places and people seem friendly. I just constantly sit in fear waiting and knowing what people are probably thinking about me...or what they might find out about me.

I did go to a church service when my parents were here. I met a woman who was one of the ministers. She said to email her and we could go get lunch. That was so nice. Really. I mean...it almost made me cry. But, I'll never do it. I'd rather keep that nice memory than to go, probably drop my fork out of nerves, tell her I'm pregnant, sit there and say I don't work. Not married. Just...nothing there for me to add to a conversation.

On nice days, I sometimes go to church services usually at different churches. I love church. But, every time I hold back tears. Seeing all the families. Hearing the preachers only talk about either major world events or things like having a tiff with your husband when they talk about despair.

Going off on a tangent here: They never seem to talk about or even allude to really personal horrible things. It's not like I think they need to go into detail...but why go into detail at all? Why can't they just say "despair," period? Despair is defined at every church I've been to as either things that can't be helped by an individual (I'm not making light of starvation, illness, or war. Those things cause tons of despair. Absolutely. Absolutely). I just mean, when the preacher then turns to things we or somebody can control/sin or "taboo" things to discuss, they just say, oh you know...things like having a disagreement in the car on the way to church. All that can be despair. My issue is if you're going to give examples at all...why make a point to leave out "bigger" sins, mental illness, abuse, etc? It makes me feel like I don't belong. (Oh, and I am not saying those 3 things I just mentioned are alike or the same. Just 3 separate things that are examples that can lead to despair, imo, also).

Anyway. I do suck it up and go. I just can't seem to force myself to keep going long enough to make any relationships. It's something I'm continually working on.

Please forgive my long posts if you can. I just needed to get that out tonight. I hope it's not offensive even if it made no sense. I'm on the verge of a panic attack. Im going to put my phone down now, feed my cat, get into bed, and read a sweet book that a user here recommended in the Books thread. Deep breath. Here I go.

Edited by Betweenyouandme

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I stumbled into this particular forum a few weeks ago and was engrossed by most of your stories.  I hope everyone is getting the help that they need.

 

For me, I feel there are times that ‘help’ doesn’t work.  For eight months I saw a therapist regarding my behavior in relationships.  While he was very nice and helpful, I came away feeling what was the point of going.  Even if I saw the best or priciest of therapists, I would feel the same way.

 

I was bullied as a child because of my weight and as a result I’ve always been overly sensitive.  Also, I suffered several instances of sexual abuse from people I knew or strangers.  It wasn’t until my adult years that I’ve shared what happened (although my mother knows nothing about it); still, I have always kept to myself.  This made it hard to have and sustain friendships, but in 1994 I became friends with an old co-worker.  For seventeen years we were tight as thieves…he was the Will to my Grace and my first important friendship.  He knew what happened to me and we shared a lot of crazy times together.  However my behavior reared its ugly head and destroyed a relationship that meant a lot to me.

 

Because I didn’t know how to be a friend, I would lash out whenever I didn’t get my way.  I also took on a persona of ‘it’s all about me’.  It became a running joke between us but I didn’t get that it was taking its toll on him until one day I went too far.  When everything went down I apologized and tried to mend fences, but to no avail.  I even went to his house to try to talk things over…he wasn’t home at the time, but the very next day I received a ‘Dear Vixenstud’ email in which he ended the friendship.  In the past, whenever there would be days before we would speak and work things out, so I thought that’s what would happen….until I received the email.  My boyfriend was the one who spelled it out that my friend was done with me and it took a while to understand.  But once I did, I fell apart. 

 

In August, it will have been four years since we last corresponded or saw each other.  Like I said, I saw a very nice therapist who gave advice and tools of how to cope and I do read a lot of self-help articles but the fact remains is I am still grieving over the end of our friendship.  Maybe it is because he was the first real friend I ever had; maybe it was the way he ended it.  Whatever the case, it has left me scared to open up to new friendships.  Not that I could befriend anyone anyway, as I have been unemployed for five years and I am a live in caregiver to my mother which is challenging enough.

 

Have any of your ever experienced the end of a friendship?  How did you cope, especially if it was a close one?

Edited by Vixenstud

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I don't mean to say it's nice to know other people are in pain or having a rough time, but I do think it's a good thing to share these experiences.  Whether you go with Cherry in The Outsiders telling Ponyboy that things are tough all over, or Buffy telling Jonathan "My life happens to, on occasion, suck beyond the telling of it. Sometimes more than I can handle. And it's not just mine. Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they're too busy with their own." in the Earshot episode, I think it's important to realize that almost nobody has it easy.  And please pardon the pop culture references, but those are the reference points of my life.  Consider yourselves lucky nothing Gilligan's Island-related applies. 

 

Vixenstud, maybe I'm looking at this too simplistically, but 3-1/2 years is a long time.  Is it possible to reach out to your "Will" and tell him how much you've missed him, and that you've changed some behaviors (if you think you have) and want to be a better friend?  At this point, the worst thing he can do is ignore you or say no, and the best thing would be to give you a chance.  If he rebuffs you, it will hurt; and only you can decide if it's worth taking the chance, but it's just a thought. 

 

Like everyone here, I've had some issues that seem to echo through my life - no matter what, the same things keep coming back to haunt.  I was also a chunky kid, and my brother harassed me both sexually and generally. He used to hit me every day right in the bicep and called me all kinds of rotten names; they'd have been funny if they didn't hurt so much. When I was 15 he propositioned me; I ran and locked myself in my room until my parents got home. My parents would never have believed me because my bro was the only boy and I was the black sheep, so I never even tried to tell them. I haven't spoken to the bro in years and don't care if I ever do again. So in retrospect, Vixenstud, maybe I have no right to advise attempting a reconciliation.

 

In my early twenties, I became borderline anorexic (95 pounds at 5'8" - because over 100 was just gross!) and lost all my hair due to the lack of nutrition and stress - in addition to boyfriend issues, which brought on the anorexia (because it seemed like he found any other girl more attractive than me, but didn't have the heart to dump me, and I mean that, because it would have ultimately been kinder to do so; and I just didn't have the self-esteem to realize that I could and should stand on my own and dump him), I hated my job, too. Everything sucked. And I didn't know it at the time, but depression runs in both sides of my family.  So I was single (finally!) and job hunting with no hair, which was an experience.  I'd think I did a good job, get escorted out of an interview and sometimes see the next applicant, who always seemed to have the best hair in the world.  I had a wig but hated it so rarely wore it - why even set myself up to worry about it being straight, or real-looking or whatever during a job interview?   So, with the pileup of negativity, I became quasi-suicidal; I thought and wished about it a lot.  Never actively tried an OD or to buy a gun or anything, but I behaved recklessly  - drinking and driving, speeding all over the place, going places I shouldn't have been, etc. -- and prayed at night to just die.  (Now I'm agnostic/atheist.)  I'd try to stop breathing for as long as I could and just hope I could die.  All I got was headaches, I don't recommend it. None of this was to show anyone, so to speak, or to cause anyone pain - it was just because I was so unhappy,

 

So one day I decided to pretend to be happy,  I don't know why, but thought I'd give it a try.  I'd know I was miserable, but I wouldn't let on, I'd try to fool everyone. (Maybe psychosis runs in my family too, who knows?)  But eventually it worked.  I made myself smile in the mirror and at others, tried being nicer to the people around me, both familiar and strangers.  No big commitment, maybe just helping a little old lady by getting something from a high shelf, saying please and thank you and meaning it -- stupid stuff that takes a second.  And unlike Oprah, no talking about it - if you tell someone you did a good deed, it doesn't count.  I can't say when it started to work - it wasn't a quick process -- but eventually I became less miserable, made a few friends (some of whom became good friends, some not so much), and bit by bit, the funk subsided.  It probably took a year or more, and it wasn't easy; but for me the way out of self-destructive behavior was to look outside of myself.    

 

By the way, once your hair starts to fall out, it will continue to fall out for at least three months after you've started to try taking corrective actions (like eating, using minoxidil), but in most cases it will eventually grow back. 

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And unlike Oprah, no talking about it - if you tell someone you did a good deed, it doesn't count.

THIS!  While I do subscribe to her magazine, because some of the articles are very helpful at this time in my life, the above sentence is why I can never fully be aboard the Oprah train.

 

 

3-1/2 years is a long time

Not simplistic at all and I agree….my therapist, boyfriend and loved ones have said the same thing; thankfully they weren’t hateful about it (i.e., “Oh get over it!” and other insensitive shit).  I know for everyone else, that is a long time but for someone who has never experienced such a trauma, I dunno.  I don’t open up easily and when someone hurts me it takes a looooooong time to get over, as I take it personally.

 

 

Is it possible to reach out to your "Will" and tell him how much you've missed him, and that you've changed some behaviors (if you think you have) and want to be a better friend?  At this point, the worst thing he can do is ignore you or say no, and the best thing would be to give you a chance.  If he rebuffs you, it will hurt; and only you can decide if it's worth taking the chance, but it's just a thought.

Last year I mailed him a letter in response to his email.  Basically, I apologized and debated 

a few paragraphs of the email that I felt needed answering.  It was not negative at all, but in hindsight instead of trying to get him to understand what I was going through I should have spoken about missing him and asking for a second chance.  At any rate, he didn’t respond.  Someone I talk to from our old days mentioned your suggestion but at this point I’d be too scared of another rejection. 

 

Maybe I’m being really naïve, but if you were friends with someone for seventeen years, unless you decapitate a family member we should have been able to work things out.

 

As for changing behaviors, I have learned to set the bar low (the boyfriend loves to tell me this)....that way, should someone let you down to not take it so personally.  I have also learned to nurture and appreciate loved ones and to never take them for granted.  I just hate that it took losing our friendship to learn such lessons.

 

 

Like everyone here, I've had some issues that seem to echo through my life - no matter what, the same things keep coming back to haunt.  I was also a chunky kid, and my brother harassed me both sexually and generally. He used to hit me every day right in the bicep and called me all kinds of rotten names; they'd have been funny if they didn't hurt so much. When I was 15 he propositioned me; I ran and locked myself in my room until my parents got home. My parents would never have believed me because my bro was the only boy and I was the black sheep, so I never even tried to tell them. I haven't spoken to the bro in years and don't care if I ever do again.

God.  Same old story in so many families.  Did he ever try to contact you to ask why you wouldn't speak to him?  I would have done just as you did.  My mother once asked me if someone had ever molested me...before I could answer, she said if they did she would kill them...then kill me for not mentioning it.  Needless to say, I've never told her about my paternal grandmother's boyfriend, who thankfully is long deceased.

Edited by Vixenstud

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Last year I mailed him a letter in response to his email.  Basically, I apologized and debated

a few paragraphs of the email that I felt needed answering.  It was not negative at all, but in hindsight instead of trying to get him to understand what I was going through I should have spoken about missing him and asking for a second chance.  At any rate, he didn’t respond.  Someone I talk to from our old days mentioned your suggestion but at this point I’d be too scared of another rejection.

Maybe I’m being really naïve, but if you were friends with someone for seventeen years, unless you decapitate a family member we should have been able to work things out.

 

 

You're right, seventeen years is an incredibly long friendship.  But it takes two parties (at least) to work stuff out, and it sounds like Will is not ready yet. Someone once actually told me "I can't miss you if you won't go away" -- and they were right in my case; I'm not saying you're in the same circumstances, but maybe the best gift you can give Will right now is space.  Maybe in time, he will reach out to you; and it will feel awesome when he does. 

 

 

 

God.  Same old story in so many families.  Did he ever try to contact you to ask why you wouldn't speak to him?  I would have done just as you did.  My mother once asked me if someone had ever molested me...before I could answer, she said if they did she would kill them...then kill me for not mentioning it.  Needless to say, I've never told her about my paternal grandmother's boyfriend, who thankfully is long deceased.

 

 

Strangely awful how common this type of stuff is, you're right.  Bro doesn't reach out to me either, so either he knows why I keep the distance, or he doesn't care much for me.  Last time we spoke was at my dad's memorial, and I called him an asshole; to be fair, he pushed me into it, but to be fairer, I should have recognized what he was doing and just disengaged from the conversation.  He takes great joy in aggravating our older sisters too, so I like to think it's all him.  But I have to take responsibility for taking the bait.

 

As a teenager I was also semi-stalked, and groped and kissed (with tongue! barf!) by separate old men --  it made me wonder if I had a sign on my back or something and probably explains why over the years I got fat and have a hard time losing weight.  It's like a force field or something.  I've tried to take all the bad things and make them learning experiences, but it seems like there's always a residual "why me?" in the back of my mind. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, and life goes on.

Edited by harrie

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Hi everyone - thanks for the kind words.  Sometimes it just helps to type things out, you know?  If my boss is going to be vague and kind of passive aggressive, I'm just going to keep doing my job to the best of my ability and keep myself open to other opportunities.  On the plus side, I was just hired at a different place, one day per week (my full-time job, the one with the issues, is four days per week).  Though I'm a little bummed to lose the day, I'm excited about the money (it pays more per hour than my regular job) and the fact that it could open up the opportunity for me to maybe go back to being self employed, which I did several years ago; I was juggling several clients, but I LOVED setting my own schedule.  So we'll see! At least I don't feel so limited now.  Another good thing about the one day per week place - I can take my dog with me, I'm happy about that.

 

I think, with a lot of problems, we have to remember that we can only control what we do - we have no control over what anyone else does or feels, though they may tell us otherwise.   We just have to try our best and keep moving foward, and if we fall, pick up and keep going. 

 

It is soooo hard to see family members or friends we care about in bad situations.  I've been there too with a good friend of mine.  Sometimes it takes a long time to reach acceptance; or you may never reach it, but you can try for a kind of peace, where you remove yourself as much as possible to keep yourself mentally healthy. 

 

Trying to deal with past issues is a tough balancing act - they influence the person you are now but you're not the same person you were when those things happened.  Only you can decide who you are now and how much you're going to let things affect you.  It's easier than it sounds - I'm still in a kind of emotional shock over something that happened three years ago and I know that influences my behavior now, as much as I try to not let it.  But I'm better, I would say, than I was three years ago.  So I'm glad about that, and take the small victories where I can get them.

 

Reading through the posts, what do you all think about re-titling the thread?  Betweenyouandme, this was your original thread, please don't feel any pressure!  I like how we're listening to each other, trying to help and not being judgmental.  It could the be "Coping" or "Support Thread" or "Vent Thread" - which I think really represents what this thread has become. 

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You're right, seventeen years is an incredibly long friendship.  But it takes two parties (at least) to work stuff out, and it sounds like Will is not ready yet. Someone once actually told me "I can't miss you if you won't go away" -- and they were right in my case; I'm not saying you're in the same circumstances, but maybe the best gift you can give Will right now is space.  Maybe in time, he will reach out to you; and it will feel awesome when he does.

You're very sweet and for two years I wished for that to happen.  However, he was very clear with his decision to end the friendship and unless Jesus Christ himself intervenes, we're pretty much done.  I just want to be able to move on like he has.

 

 

Only you can decide who you are now and how much you're going to let things affect you.  It's easier than it sounds - I'm still in a kind of emotional shock over something that happened three years ago and I know that influences my behavior now, as much as I try to not let it.  But I'm better, I would say, than I was three years ago.

I love this.  Two years ago I was inconsolable, crying day and night.  But I couldn't isolate myself because I had my mother to care for.  Now?  Some days are better than others...when I feel hurt I allow the tears to fall then I give myself a mental pep talk the best I can to get back up and come back to life.

 

 

Strangely awful how common this type of stuff is, you're right.  Bro doesn't reach out to me either, so either he knows why I keep the distance, or he doesn't care much for me.  Last time we spoke was at my dad's memorial, and I called him an asshole; to be fair, he pushed me into it, but to be fairer, I should have recognized what he was doing and just disengaged from the conversation.  He takes great joy in aggravating our older sisters too, so I like to think it's all him.  But I have to take responsibility for taking the bait.

 

As a teenager I was also semi-stalked, and groped and kissed (with tongue! barf!) by separate old men --  it made me wonder if I had a sign on my back or something and probably explains why over the years I got fat and have a hard time losing weight.  It's like a force field or something.  I've tried to take all the bad things and make them learning experiences, but it seems like there's always a residual "why me?" in the back of my mind. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, and life goes on.

As a woman who was molested many times, I always found it interesting when someone would suggest that my weight was due to the abuse...truth is, I've been a foodie since childhood and not in a good way, lol. 

Edited by Vixenstud

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Hi everyone - thanks for the kind words.  Sometimes it just helps to type things out, you know?  If my boss is going to be vague and kind of passive aggressive, I'm just going to keep doing my job to the best of my ability and keep myself open to other opportunities.  On the plus side, I was just hired at a different place, one day per week (my full-time job, the one with the issues, is four days per week).  Though I'm a little bummed to lose the day, I'm excited about the money (it pays more per hour than my regular job) and the fact that it could open up the opportunity for me to maybe go back to being self employed, which I did several years ago; I was juggling several clients, but I LOVED setting my own schedule.  So we'll see! At least I don't feel so limited now.  Another good thing about the one day per week place - I can take my dog with me, I'm happy about that.

 

I think, with a lot of problems, we have to remember that we can only control what we do - we have no control over what anyone else does or feels, though they may tell us otherwise.   We just have to try our best and keep moving foward, and if we fall, pick up and keep going. 

 

raven, that's excellent news.  Maybe, as you note, this is a door cracking open   And being able to bring the pup to work is just gravy.  Very happy for you.  And as for only controlling one's self, words to stay sane by indeed!

 

 

 

However, he was very clear with his decision to end the friendship and unless Jesus Christ himself intervenes, we're pretty much done.  I just want to be able to move on like he has.

 

As a woman who was molested many times, I always found it interesting when someone would suggest that my weight was due to the abuse...truth is, I've been a foodie since childhood and not in a good way, lol. 

 

Well then, Vixenstud, time would seem to be the answer - it heals all wounds and wounds all heels.  I've been into food forever too, with the exception of about five years.  But I know lots of people who love food and manage to maintain a healthy weight, while I cannot or do not bring myself to take the actions I know are necessary for me to do the same.  So for me, I think it's an issue.  

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My weight has always matched times of abuse. When it's all I can think about I get somewhere between 72-92lbs. My dad usually intervenes and fattens me up. Then, I inevitably get hospitalized because he makes a call to his hospital. I gain the weight back from hospital food and drugs. Next, I lose to comfortably underweight and hold there until the cycle starts again.

But, I could see it as annoying or weird to say it's like that for anyone else. I think a lot of mental health professionals ask about it though. They do tend to overlap.

Does anyone feel like it's just about control in general like they always say in movies? Well, at least anorexia/purging anorexia? I don't know as much about bulimia.

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But I know lots of people who love food and manage to maintain a healthy weight, while I cannot or do not bring myself to take the actions I know are necessary for me to do the same.  So for me, I think it's an issue.

It is for me as well.  I was just saying that I used to always get from people the assumption that my weight was due to my traumas when the fact is I just love to eat....some eat to live, I live to eat lol.

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Sadly, my lengthy response I wrote last night was wiped out by a random computer hiccup.  So I'll try again....

 

First, a sincere thank you to all who expressed understanding and good thoughts for what I am currently dealing with.  It helps to hear that many of you have relatable situations because it validates my anger/frustration/etc...plus just the process of transcribing some pretty raw feelings into words helps me deconstruct things a bit and separate out what are my own issues (which I have to manage better and are within my control) and what is/are their issues which need to be handled (or not handled if we look at history) by them.

 

BYaM - in reading some of your posts, I wonder why  you feel guilty for having some advantages in life that other people your age may not have?  Life is unfair and sometimes the odds are against us and sometimes in our favor - we get dealt both.  A lot of people only focus on their disadvantages and attribute other people's advantages as unearned or given to them- they seem pretty uninhibuted about expressing that too.  That doesn't make it a universal truth.  If your making a sincere effort to improve your situation and manage the challenges you've been given, then I sincerely hope that someone else's thoughtless comment doesn't undermine your progress.  And while there are atrocities that happen, our personal challenges and pain usually can't be quantified and neatly ranked with someone elses.    I've read a lot of discussions that debate whether physical abuse or emotional/pyschological is worse - having been through both, they've both left scars.  For me, that is an artificial debate that can't be "won" by either side - but that doesn't mean the individual truth for another person can't be different than mine.

 

Some of your comments about church and sermons seem more appropriate for a theological discussion group/class or a one-on-one discussion with a priest.  I imagine there is a careful balance of spefics vs generalities that need to be kept in mind when speaking to a diverse group like you would get in a church.  Just the variances in experiences and age has to be huge.

 

I grew up Catholic and went to church weekly since I was a baby until I was about 17 or 18.  I still like going to a church to sit and reflect, although not so much for mass.  I find it a peaceful place where I am able to focus on a concern without normal distraction.    There's something about the space and enviornment that puts the universe in perspective for me and reinforces the idea that while I am an individual, I am part of something greater.  The only other time I feel that is when I sit on an empty beach.

 

AltLivia - While stewedsquash has a good suggestion in using humor to deflect, you might also consider responding to one of those intrusive questions with "Why do you ask?".  If the intention was to be abrasive, I think most people would be shamed by having their rudeness recognized.  I've done this before and the person usually disappears asap or stammers out an awkward apology.  If they persist, my response is "That's a personal matter and not one I feel obligated to discuss with a stranger/acquantinance/whatnot".

 

I have had people ask me a similar question about my son (he has autism), but their question wasn't intended to be rude it was just poorly phrased.  They had recently found out their nephew had been diagnosed with autism and my son exhibited similar behaviors/mannerisms as him.  They were trying to educate themselves and be supportive of their family, but were in over their head (as most of us are when we initially get a scary label).

 

And while autism and cerebral palsy are completely different things, what it eventually boiled down to for me was my son's wiring is different than mine.  In some ways, his wiring beats the hell out of mine (and most other peoples too)  and in some ways it prevents bigger challenges for him.  I knew within 9 months of getting that scary label that even if I could magically change him to make him "normal", I wouldn't.  I don't know what part of this wonderful soul I would lose by doing so and I wouldn't risk it.  He's 20 now and is, in all sincerity, the most gentle and patient person I have ever met.  He's got that hyper-focus on things that interest him to the exclusion of almost everything else, socially awkward and I worry a lot about him, but I've never once questioned if he is a good person.  And most people will never get to know how exceptional he is but for those lucky enough to get to know him they benefit a lot more than he does.  And because of his wiring, my son will never know he's such an amazing person.

 

So an awkward and totally indirect way of asking you not to allow yourself to be limited by a label or the lack of manners and knowledge of others.

 

I'm going to post in case things disappear again!

Edited by DeLurker
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The Book of DeLurker, Chapter 2....

 

Vixenstud - losing a good friend is hard and it sounds as if you and your Will were a big part of each other's lives for an exceptionally long time.  I doubt that he could so casually walk away and that he has forgotten 17 years worth of friendship.  I would think that level of closeness would make the hurt cut deeper for him too and it may take longer for him to be able to re-open to you.

 

I've had a few friendships go sour too and I've written a lot of those post-break letters, although there is only one that I ever actually sent.  It took a long time to write and a longer time to edit because I gave myself a word limit specifically to force me to get rid of any extraneous thoughts (a lot of which was just self defence).  What finally went out boiled down to a sincere apology for my part in events that lead to the break and saying he had been an important part of my life for many years giving me countless good times, support and encouragement.  And that is something I would always value and will always have good thoughts for him in the future.

 

I felt better the minute I finished and the minute I sent it out. 

 

harrie - I'm speechless about your past, but I agree with so much of what you've posted about being the person who makes an effort to be open, helpful and genuine.  A lot of attention is showered on the bad things that happen in life, it is easy to forget that there are moments that are good.  They aren't flashy and big, but they matter.  I was on the receiving end of a lot of those small positives for years.  I don't remember when or why, but it suddenly clicked in my self-involved little world that I could be the one offering a small bit of assistance and now I regularly do.  I've got a lot of limitations now from my disabilities, but I can do this.

 

When I was in college, one of my roommates was a jogger.  Everyday before going out for her jog, she looked at the Lost Pet classifieds just-in-case she saw a pet matching one of the ads.  We made so much fun of her for that, but she took the time to look at the classifieds and looked for potentially lost pets while she jogged.  Statistically, the chances of her finding one of those pets was really low, but she did it anyway.  And now, most of the time before I go for a walk or a trike ride, I'll look at my community websites classified Lost Pets section.  Cause just-in-case.  And I laugh at myself a little each time for the same reason's I laughed at her.  But it makes me feel good about myself and it always makes me think of her.

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Does anyone feel like it's just about control in general like they always say in movies? Well, at least anorexia/purging anorexia? I don't know as much about bulimia.

 

BYAM, I can only speak for myself with regard to eating disorders, but for me I don't think it's about control.  When I eat too much of something it's usually a case of "Ooooh, this is delicious" and it's really hard to stop. When I did the not-eating way back when, I just didn't care about anything and nothing tasted good.  Just about all my caloric intake came from alcohol, just not food. 

 

DeLurker, I love that lost pet tip - it's a great idea.  I think I will start doing that, too.  And I agree about noticing/appreciating the good stuff in life, no matter how tiny it may be; it makes it a lot easier to decide to screw the bad stuff.

 

And in general, I third, fourth, fifth or whatever the thanks for this forum; it's nice to have a place where people can lean on each other when they need it, and hopefully return the favor when they are able to. 

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Does anyone feel like it's just about control in general like they always say in movies? Well, at least anorexia/purging anorexia? I don't know as much about bulimia.

Maybe. I was just discussing this in therapy the other day. I deprive myself of food because I know that eventually I will cease to even feel hungry. I just won't feel it anymore. 

 

AltLivia - While stewedsquash has a good suggestion in using humor to deflect, you might also consider responding to one of those intrusive questions with "Why do you ask?"

I will definitely give that a shot!  Thank you, too, for posting about your son. Whenever I learn about or meet others with different abilities/disabilities, I consider them kindred spirits, in a way. 

 

 

AltLivia, I hope I don't offend you with my suggestion but I have a disability also and I find that humor helps.

Not offended at all! I saw a BBC documentary a few months back about a married couple with cerebral palsy. The wife (who walked pretty identically to the way that  I do) was pregnant for the second time! It lifted my spirits to see someone like myself, just...living life and finding happiness. Anyway,the  husband utilized a wheelchair and was an excellent comedian. I try to interject humor myself, when I can.

 

(The documentary is on YouTube, for anyone who's curious!)

Edited by AltLivia
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But I also had a lot of schooling, and it was really difficult for me to realize that no one in the working world cared how great my grades we

AltLivia, I missed this earlier.  I had the opposite experience - I have a lot of experience but no college degree, which was a real problem when I was job hunting, though 10-20 years ago, it wasn't an issue.  Very frustrating; I can do the work in my sleep and have been doing this type of work for 20+ years, but that didn't count for much.

 

I like DeLurker's lost pet tip too - it's true for me that if I focus my attention on something outside of myself, in the long run I end up worrying less about myself.  I'm also someone who spends a lot of time alone and doesn't mind it, but it's a good idea to do things to take my mind off of myself - whether reading, exercising, talking to someone on the phone or volunteering (I volunteer for the rescue I adopted my dog from; we're all over the country, so almost everything I do for them is online).  To complete a job for them always makes me feel better about things, no matter how small the task.  So I agree that looking at small positives is important and you can usually find one every day.  It can be a reall effort sometimes though.

 

 

I don't remember when or why, but it suddenly clicked in my self-involved little world that I could be the one offering a small bit of assistance and now I regularly do.

Yup, always try to make a small effort and say thank you; those unexpected little moments can make a difference in someone's day.  I know that because its happened to me, maybe being cranky or whatever and a small effort from someone will brighten me up.

 

Still dealing with work and seeing if the hammer is going to fall, LOL.  I have to deep breath it because I feel that the boss is waiting for me to make a mistake.  Looking forward to seeing what happens at the new place on Friday. 

 

I wish I had some brilliant insight to those of you struggling with eating issues and disabilities.  I've struggled with weight most of my life but that's just because I can be lazy.  I'll send positive vibes to you all though!

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Strangely awful how common this type of stuff is, you're right.  Bro doesn't reach out to me either, so either he knows why I keep the distance, or he doesn't care much for me.  Last time we spoke was at my dad's memorial, and I called him an asshole; to be fair, he pushed me into it, but to be fairer, I should have recognized what he was doing and just disengaged from the conversation.  He takes great joy in aggravating our older sisters too, so I like to think it's all him.  But I have to take responsibility for taking the bait.

 

As a teenager I was also semi-stalked, and groped and kissed (with tongue! barf!) by separate old men --  it made me wonder if I had a sign on my back or something and probably explains why over the years I got fat and have a hard time losing weight.  It's like a force field or something.  I've tried to take all the bad things and make them learning experiences, but it seems like there's always a residual "why me?" in the back of my mind. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, and life goes on.

Your brother is the one who is losing out - sounds like he's been doing it his whole life.  There's a lot of sibling stuff we can get over when we grow up, but it takes both growing up.  

 

I think it is a pretty common reaction to have the "why me?" reaction in a situation like you experienced (not even sure what to call it).  For me, I figured out that when something inexplicable happens it is hard to accept that there is no "reason".  And when you can't find a thread of logic or reason in the other person's actions, my brain somehow demands a "reason" and it defaults into something you did or did not do, something you are or are not, etc...it is an artificial means of giving you control in the situation (e.g., I wouldn't have been a victim if I had done X or hadn't done Y).

 

My son went through so much shit with his Dad/my ex.  Dad needed to have everyone think and believe the same as he did, even if it was totally insane.  So our autistic son with social impairments was put in the position of "managing" his Dad's emotions because after we separated, I wasn't there in the custody visits to intervene.  And as his father's mental/emotional state declined, I saw and heard my son blaming himself - if he had done this or not done that, Dad wouldn't get so mad.  So trying to explain to my son that it wasn't his fault what his Dad did or his Dad's anger (which was eventually the defining characteristic of him), I realized that I had been doing the same thing - finding a way to make whatever BSC thing happened my fault.  Because my ex's problems are pretty hard for someone who isn't a trained mental health professional to understand.

 

But from reading your posts on the forum, you seem to have managed to find balance in your life and seem to have a good outlook.  It's really encouraging for me.

 

Does anyone feel like it's just about control in general like they always say in movies? Well, at least anorexia/purging anorexia? I don't know as much about bulimia.

I think the movies have made it too cut and dried.  They all play like afterschool specials or very special episodes.  I suspect that there are cases where it is about control, but I've got to believe there are many other factors that can be behind it too.  I've heard anorexic comments my whole life, but the truth is this is just the way things are - I'm slender (5'8" and spent most of my adult life in the 110 - 120 zone).  When I was younger, I made efforts to gain weight because the unsolicited comments made me so self-conscious.  They never worked - I could eat a zillion extra calories a day when I was under 30 and my weight wouldn't budge.

 

 

I had the opposite experience - I have a lot of experience but no college degree, which was a real problem when I was job hunting, though 10-20 years ago, it wasn't an issue.  Very frustrating; I can do the work in my sleep and have been doing this type of work for 20+ years, but that didn't count for much.

Depend on who is doing the hiring or promoting.  A woman I used to work for came from a very rough background and had very little formal education, but she worked hard and had a natural aptitude with numbers so she ended up working in a job where a college degree is always a given.  One of our other co-workers told her when she was interviewing with other companies that "she would never be hired because she didn't have a degree".  She came to me in tears so disheartened by that thinking she would never be given real consideration. 

 

I told her that while the job requirements typically include a college degree, the decision really rests on who is doing the hiring.  Our co-worker would never even consider a candidate without a degree and there are a fair number of people out there who think like her.  But there are also a fair number of people who look at experience more than credentials and would give her consideration.  I pointed out that even though we worked in finance and our boss had a college degree, it was in philosophy which has no bearing on what he did for a living and he knew it.  His master's in philosophy never got him a job, so that is how he ended up in banking/finance and worked his way up.

 

And she did get the job she was interviewing for.  And when I started up the West Coast branch for another company, she was one of my first hires.  With succuss, she eventually became Godzilla to work with, but she was still damn good at her job - just sucked at that humanity thing.

 

ETA:  harrie - Did not mean to imply that what your brother did is something you should just "get over".  I meant that sibling relationships are messy and complicated by definition, even when there is not an abuse or bullying element involved.  But, as adults most siblings can manage some form of relationship if they relate to each other respectfully and maturely, including somehow addressing serious issues from the past.  Clearly, your brother has strained relationships with all his siblings so it would seem as if he has not changed much.

 

The last few days what I've written reflects poorly on what I've actually been trying to say.  Apologizes if I have managed to offend anyone or come off as overly harsh - it was not the intention.

Edited by DeLurker
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But I also had a lot of schooling, and it was really difficult for me to realize that no one in the working world cared how great my grades were. That a lot of the working world is about how adept you are socially, how much you can make people like you. I dealt with so much in the way of bullying/abuse  (and still do) that I just...don't interact. I'm dealing with it now in therapy, but I don't know that I'll ever "get it." The idea that I never will frightens me. 

 

 

AltLivia, thank you for writing. I'm sorry about your experiences. I try not to get too down on people in general. I like, and have always liked, lots of people. Not everyone...but, a lot of people. But, It's hard to do and depressing when relationships and social aspects of jobs consistently don't work out. Throughout my life, lots of people have just been really mean to me. Very mean. Even people you think wouldn't. It's like just looking at me makes people mad. My struggles aren't usually immediately apparent, and I tend to start off well, but then things go south pretty quickly. So, when someone comes up to me to talk, I immediately feel scared. I just know they will think I'm strange or incompetent. If not now, they will soon. Grr. It is hard. I wish I had something helpful to say or an idea to try. I don't. But, I do really appreciate what you wrote, and I care about it a lot.

 

AltLivia and betweenyouandme, I'm another one who has never been very successful with work. I was very good in school, have completed a Master's degree in a technical subject, and work in a technical field. But I always get treated like crap at work. I've always been on the shy, introverted side, which you might think would work to one's benefit in this field. It doesn't. The loud, outspoken ones are always going to win, no matter if you are right or wrong. I'm also female, so it's a double whammy. I am so sick of it. I've quit so many times, and have just had to battle my way up again, with people trying to push back at me every step of the way. I don't know what to do either, except keep trying, even though it's taking a toll on my health. Just wanted you all to know I'm in the same boat, and at least knowing someone else has had the same struggles makes me feel not so alone. 

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People of the coping thread, I need some advice! I'm struggling to get job interviews. Someone will indicate interest, ask me if I'd like to interview. Then when I respond, "tell me the time that is most convenient," I get "I'm available in the morning" or some vague time of day. I can't just show up at your door and wait around on the vague chance you'll be there/get to me. I am handicapped. It's like, everything is 4-5 steps. Negotiate a ride (which means inconveniencing my parents), deal with the "oh, so you walk like a broken robot " stares, navigate the terrain on the way in and out, and so on, and so on. I need a concrete time. I can't tell them about my disability at all, so there's no way they can know that. Still, it's frustrating.

 

Or I get no response to the scheduling message, and I'm just watching my phone, anxious that they'll call. Because you have to make a good impression, starting there. I have such anxiety.

 

Is their behavior considered rude, making me chase them down for an interview time? Or is it just part of....I don't know, this experience as a whole? What's wrong with, "Come by at 10 a.m." or "I'm doing interviews from x time to x time,"

Edited by AltLivia

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First, let me say it sounds very positive that you are getting feedback indicating interview interest.

 

When you get back a time vague response like "mornings are generally good" or whatever, perhaps you can respond "I have some commitments for the rest of the week, but would be available Monday next week to discuss things further.  Does X:00 AM work for you?".  Then you would have a few days lead time to make your transportation arrangements.

 

If they can't commit on the spot, ask if there is an assistant (or a HR Dept or Hiring Mgr) you can call to get on their schedule.  My former boss was forbidden from keeping his own calendar because he never wrote anything down nor communicated something he had agreed to to his admin.  Don't underestimate the value of the admin's opinion - I've been told a couple of times I got a job because the admin said "she's the one you need to hire".

 

If it is hard to firm up a time for face-to-face, be proactive and say "I'd really like to discuss the opportunities in more detail because I think I have a lot of skills that would benefit your company.  Could we set up a call to discuss things further?".  I've had several jobs where the initial meetings were all by phone, sometimes several calls with a variety of people in the organization (all who would be up the food chain from me) and it wasn't until we were at the stage of discussing money that there was a face to face.

 

And it might be pushy if this were a purely social matter, but based on my experience (both looking for jobs and looking to fill jobs), I would interpret this approach as representing a pragmatic, flexible and efficient candidate - qualities that I would want in an employee. 

 

I'm not sure if any of these ideas will work for you, but maybe you can massage them to feel more "you".

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ETA:  harrie - Did not mean to imply that what your brother did is something you should just "get over".  I meant that sibling relationships are messy and complicated by definition, even when there is not an abuse or bullying element involved.  But, as adults most siblings can manage some form of relationship if they relate to each other respectfully and maturely, including somehow addressing serious issues from the past.  Clearly, your brother has strained relationships with all his siblings so it would seem as if he has not changed much.

 

The last few days what I've written reflects poorly on what I've actually been trying to say.  Apologizes if I have managed to offend anyone or come off as overly harsh - it was not the intention.

 

Thank you, DeLurker, for your kind words (all of them).   And actually, I am over what the bro did; fortunately I can compartmentalize things.  Sometimes I think it's almost too easy for me to write a person off.  

 

Just in case you thought I might have ducked out of here having taken offense at any of your comments, that's not the case.  I'm doing some stuff (job hunting and refinancing the home at the same time - not a winning combination!) that is just eating up my days and nights.  I like to take my time in this particular forum in order to comment thoughtfully,so if I don't have the time, I don't check in.  To make a short story long, no offense taken at anything.

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People of the coping thread, I need some advice! I'm struggling to get job interviews. Someone will indicate interest, ask me if I'd like to interview. Then when I respond, "tell me the time that is most convenient," I get "I'm available in the morning" or some vague time of day. I can't just show up at your door and wait around on the vague chance you'll be there/get to me. I am handicapped. It's like, everything is 4-5 steps. Negotiate a ride (which means inconveniencing my parents), deal with the "oh, so you walk like a broken robot " stares, navigate the terrain on the way in and out, and so on, and so on. I need a concrete time. I can't tell them about my disability at all, so there's no way they can know that. Still, it's frustrating.

 

Or I get no response to the scheduling message, and I'm just watching my phone, anxious that they'll call. Because you have to make a good impression, starting there. I have such anxiety.

 

Is their behavior considered rude, making me chase them down for an interview time? Or is it just part of....I don't know, this experience as a whole? What's wrong with, "Come by at 10 a.m." or "I'm doing interviews from x time to x time,"

 

AltLivia, generally when they say they're available in the morning, I would say "Okay, how about 10?" or whatever.  It's like they opened the door to negotiating a specific appointment time. **In other words, pretty much what DeLurker said; we kind of cross posted.  I also agree with DeLurker that many prospective employers would likely appreciate your initiative in pinning down an interview time.

 

Perhaps it is the kind of work I do - Admin/Exec Assistant stuff - but interviews are always scheduled pretty concretely, because neither the interviewer nor interviewee have the time to hang around waiting for an interview to happen.  Other types of jobs may interview differently; so if I'm speaking out of turn (or out of my ass), please accept my apology and disregard my comments.

 

And kudos, AltLivia, on getting the calls in the first place.  Sometimes that's the hardest part.

My former boss was forbidden from keeping his own calendar because he never wrote anything down nor communicated something he had agreed to to his admin.

 

 

Hey!!  I know him!

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And it might be pushy if this were a purely social matter, but based on my experience (both looking for jobs and looking to fill jobs), I would interpret this approach as representing a pragmatic, flexible and efficient candidate - qualities that I would want in an employee.

Thank you, DeLurker. I'll try the strategies you suggested. And keep those positive qualities in mind. I have to feel proactive and stop feeling like....whatever it is I'm feeling.

 

 

Perhaps it is the kind of work I do - Admin/Exec Assistant stuff - but interviews are always scheduled pretty concretely, because neither the interviewer nor interviewee have the time to hang around waiting for an interview to happen.  Other types of jobs may interview differently; so if I'm speaking out of turn (or out of my ass), please accept my apology and disregard my comments.

harrie, wouldn't you just know it, those are exactly the kind of jobs I'm angling for. And I thought they would be more structured, but apparently not. I told one person who responded "I'd love an interview. I'm available between this time and this time on this day," and got nothing.  I just know it's a busy time in that office, and I wanted to give some breathing room.

 

I also thought I'd be interviewing with a woman. There was a different email listed in the ad, presumably someone in HR who forwarded my info to the management. I get really self-conscious and nervous around men. I'm working on it. I know it's an odd hangup to have in a work situation. 

Edited by AltLivia

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Good luck, AltLivia! I completely agree with the above advice, too. I really hope you find a job soon that you are happy about :)

I'm happy today. My headache finally went away, and I was able to go shopping. Also, I've got my baby dresser/changing table set up. I know I'm only 3 months, but I want to move right along since I'm by myself. Plus, it's the type of dresser I can still use if something goes wrong. The mobile I chose for over the changing table should be delivered tomorrow or Monday. Yay for baby stuff and being productive.

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AltLivia, the jobs aren't structured yet because they need you!  I'm going to just say "I agree with DeLurker and harrie" because they've given great advice - make your suggestion and pin them down on a time.  And congrats on getting interview requests.  It's hard at this stage, but there are soooo many people looking, remember that the job you're applying for could honestly have had hundreds of applicants so you need to stand out more (you're already stood out enough to get an interview, which is a great start).  So pin down a time and then call to confirm it the day before..  You need to keep yourself in the forefront of their minds, which also shows that you are organized, enthusiastic and on the ball. 

 

Like DeLurker, I've been on both ends of the hiring spectrum and I also appreciate those who are firm with their appointments and follow-up. 

 

jenh526, I hope you find the right situation.  Sometimes it's just a matter of finding even one person in your workplace that you can work well with, or at least laugh with.  I've never been extroverted either so I always strive to do my job the best I can and try to be at least pleasant to everyone else.  Usually I'm working by myself and I've never been in an upwardly mobile type of job situation, which you may be facing.   I do hope you find something that suits you; I'm still struggling with work and it does suck when you spend so much of your day in a place that stresses you out. 

 

Betweenyouandme, I'm glad that you're happy today!  It's nice to hear about good things and congrats on getting your table set up :)

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I don't have hiring advice. This fall I'm going to have to start that adventure & see what's out there for my limited experience. It scares me a bit just thinking about it.

I wanted to add a quote I read when I'm feeling overwhelmed. It's from a slightly silly yet enjoyable young adult book about mermaids called Of Triton. It speaks to me because I have a tendency to get frustrated when things don't go the way I plan & I often make the situation worse by not working with the reality that's presented but instead trying to force my vision of what should be at all costs. Once I had kids I had to learn to choose my battles. While some things are worth fighting for, there are a lot of things that don't need to go exactly my way. I'm getting better at that as I get older but it's been a slow lesson.

If you're ever caught in the undertow, just let it take you. Let it pull you out. Don't fight it & waste your energy & oxygen. That's how people die. Wait it out. The undertow lets go eventually, right when you think you can't hold your breath any longer. You just have to be patient.

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sorry, I can't seem to delete this quote box

 

 

 

I agree, an excellent quote and metaphor.

Edited by harrie

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Anyone with a close experience of (spouse) addicts of any kinds? My best friend is living a nightmare, with a multiple addict, she knew he was sober on some but had no idea of some others. Sorry I cannot be more specific as this is not my call but anyone has insights I'd like to put you in touch with her/put her in touch with you when'if she feels up to it. Thanks in advance and sorry for being so vague :-(

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Sorry about what your friend is dealing with NutMeg.  I dealt with the issue with my ex-husband, although it was only one of many issues he had.  But it was one that cost my family a great deal of money and heart ache.  Figuring out that you and your childrens' wellbeing is a much lower priority than the addiction is both infuriating and devastating. 

 

In my case, my ex never had a problem with his addiction - he'd stop when he sensed I was at the end of my rope, say he was sorry, go through a couple of vicious weeks of withdrawal, stay clean for a few weeks or a few months, but he'd always start again.  Wash, rinse, repeat for years.  Eventually those efforts to stop and his saying how sorry he was/how important his family was to him went away and it would turn into ugly fights about how I was trying to control him.  As I said, he didn't have a problem with his addiction - everyone else did.  And that was their problem, not his.  So the electricity being turned off at the house where we live, including our children?  Not his problem.  No money for milk or diapers for our children?  Not his problem.  No gas money for me to get to work?  Not his problem.  Out of money and he can't get advanced drugs?  Everyone's problem.

 

I'd encourage your friend to talk with a counselor/therapist who is experienced with addiction issues since her SO has multiple addictions going on and get some guidance as to how to break this issue down so that she can fairly evaluate what she wants to do about it.  It's a messy situation that overflows into every part of your life - and it isn't even your addiction.  But everytime, you're the one who's cleaning up the problems.  If he's got an addictive personality, that is not going to change.  Even if he decides to get clean, he's got to be the one who feels it is worth doing on a daily basis because he recognizes that it costs him too much (and not just financially).  And even if that happens, will she be willing to risk another X years investment with him knowing that 1 day it might all be undone?  Granted, everyone in a relationship can have their world turn upside down, but this is one that probably has a higher likelihood assigned to it in her case.  Maybe attending some sessions of a support meeting for families of addicts might be helpful.  Hearing what others in similar situations are dealing with.  I believe AA and NA have such meetings (although not specifically endorsing any program - they just happen to be the ones I am familiar with).

 

 

And an additional concern is about having children.  There's some genetic component to addictive personalities in some cases (granted, not all).  But when I talk to my kids about drugs (or any other kind of potentially addictive activity), I have to tell them that they may have a greater risk due to genetics.

 

Each case is different and it is easy to say cut your losses, but much harder to do.  And there are a lot of people who enter programs to help them manage their addictions and are able to do so.  I have a long time friend who has been in NA and AA for 25+ years.  He bottomed out at a very early age and it took his brother appearing in court (on a criminal matter related to his addictions) and asking the judge to make a court order for both jail time and a recovery program because he was killing himself and killing his family.  Needless to say, my friend was FURIOUS at his brother.  But came to realize that it was an act of love and desperation.  And he says it is what literally saved his life/  My friend is clean now - but he doesn't kid himself that he can have just one drink or be a recreational drug user.  And he has even more painful conversations with his own children than I do about the potential genetic risk of addiction.

 

Maybe search online for some support forums too? 

 

I'd be glad to listen, but not at all qualified to help her negotiate these waters.  But there are people out there who are and she needs someone on her side, and her side alone, to help her sort out how his addiction affects her and what she can/wants to do about it.  She can't control him, but she needs to realize that while having an addiction does not make him a bad person, he still has responsibility for his choices.  And if he is choosing to give in to the addiction without trying to help himself, he's choosing to put her in a state of constant turmoil.  If she met him today and knew that that was what he had to offer, she'd probably pass and no one, including him, would guilt her into going any further. 

 

Guilt is a big weapon in addiction - the addict will whip it out on you in a heartbeat.  A lot of times, their family will do it too - because they are at a loss as to how to help the one they love and are grateful that you're there as the stabilizing presence that keeps things from spinning out of control.

 

Anyway...best of luck to her.  She's got a good friend in you.

 

 

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I've been on both ends of the hiring spectrum and I also appreciate those who are firm with their appointments and follow-up.

 

I had a wonderful phone intereview this past Tuesday and would like to follow up with the recruiter.  Should I wait until Tuesday or Wednesday before calling? 

 

 

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And an additional concern is about having children. There's some genetic component to addictive personalities in some cases (granted, not all). But when I talk to my kids about drugs (or any other kind of potentially addictive activity), I have to tell them that they may have a greater risk due to genetics.

I heard that often growing up, as did my cousins. There was quite a bit of addiction in the generations preceding us. Fortunately most of us escaped the tendency but I have one family member who has been off & on heavy drugs for more than 30 years. Her family has finally said goodbye, but it took 10 years of practicing that goodbye & not being able to mean it before they finally did. Other family members have expressed it in different ways: compulsive shopping, hoarding, kleptomania & compulsive lying even when they're aware they are not believed. I think all that mixes in with the various psychological & personality disorders that run in our family to make a witches brew of possibilities. My cousins & I made a pack that if we started exhibiting certain signs & symptoms in our late 20s/early 30s that's we confront each other & push the issue, since that's when things showed up for most family members. Eep, I'm wandering far afield.

I have a good friend who's been sober more than 10 years. He credits AA for saving his life & his sanity. Both his parents were alcoholics. When he was in a long term relationship he encouraged his significant other to attend Al-Anon at least a few times because he feels that even all these years later he still has destructive tendencies & learned early in life that manipulation was the best way to communicate. I know there are other programs besides AA type programs, I just know that they're usually easy to find.

I would also add my vote for therapy. I am a big believer in the help it can provide if you find the right therapist that fits what you need. (Or the friend in this case.) In my lifetime I've dealt with various types of therapy: intensive marriage counseling, individual therapy, family counseling, child/play therapy. On the whole I think it all served a purpose, some more than others, but I am quite vocal about its benefits because I think so many people could benefit from it & would love to see any shame or stigma attached to it disappear.

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Oops!  Ramble's post made me realize that I may have been unclear about the genetic component.  Having addictive parents or older relatives does NOT mean you will have a predisposition for addiction, just that there may be one (the science is still out on that).  And just because you have no family history of addiction, does not mean you can't become one.

 

The post also makes me wonder if it is common for the addiction to morph into a new form if one is controlled? 

 

And while my post probably sounds like a bleak forecast, there are many people who learn to effectively manage their addictions.  But it isn't easy for anyone and it is best to have your eyes open.

 

Your friend needs to put herself first and think of herself as a priority, because in this case it doesn't sound like her SO will - at least not right now.

 

vixenstud - congrats on the positive phone interview!  I wouldn't wait to make the follow up call.  And certainly, mention any additional pluses on your side that might not be spelled out in your resume or biography that she has.  For example, say "while I don't have credentials in X, I have a lot of hands on experience and interest that so I am/was the go-to person for X.  It'll give her more tools to place you.

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I don't have addiction in the way most people think of it. For me, it's if I start, I rarely can stop. That goes for any substance, but also not eating/over-exercising. With substances, I very, very easily black out. I have a dissociative disorder, and substances bring it out regularly. The worst is having a dissociative spell when I've not had a substance...or such bad anxiety that it appears to those around me that I'm using when im not. I've not had alcohol or anything for about a year and a half. It took a long time for me to sort of settle down, emotionally and physiologically. It sucked. I never seemed to drink more than the people I was hanging out with. But, I had a stomach ulcer and wasn't eating, so I think that didn't help. Anyway, I don't know if any of that's helpful to anyone who reads this thread, but I want to share.

My dad also drinks a ton, but he never blacks out. He bans me from drinking, but for about 3 months a couple of years ago, he let me drink with him. I never knew how much he drank when he was out on his own. Seven drinks...from about 4pm-9pm, just going different places.

I also had a boyfriend 3 years back when my big trouble began. He loved swinger parties with GHB and MDMA. I very clearly couldn't hang with that. I couldn't get why some people could do it and be fine. I would hallucinate for days after and have trouble with muscle coordination. I never told anyone when I got into trouble. The trouble wasn't related, but I think those drugs played a huge part in my mind or beliefs at the time. Anyway, I don't know what got into me. I felt so alone and hated, I was searching for someone to love me and just take away reality. It didn't work. I was more miserable. I'm glad to be far away from that. I got comments when I broke things off that I couldn't "judge" him. Wasn't judging. Was making a decision for myself.

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BYaM - for me, I am a bit overhead my head with some of the terms you use (not a complaint), but I think what can be encouraging to others is hearing what you've done to try to manage a problem.  Recognizing a situation is not healthy for you and making the decision to alter it is a really positive step.  

 

And trying to "keep up" with someone else's drinking is usually an exercise in self-punishment.  A surprising number of people probably fall under the heading of "functioning alcoholic".  I've got some sister-in-laws that can do some serious damage to a liquor cabinet and never really show it.  I've got one brother, the one I talked about previously, who probably drinks as a means of escaping.  It's still wrapped up in an adolescent "hard partying" outlook, but I have to believe it is more than that.

 

From your posts that I've read here, it sounds like you've been taking stock of your life and making a real effort to manage a variety of concerns so you feel more balanced.  I know you're pregnant and it sounds like that is giving you additional motivation to create a positive and healthy environment for yourself and your child.  I'm genuinely happy for you.

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Thank you! I really am. And, it's just as well you aren't familiar with that underworld in Houston. Some very nice people. But, some people can function with that better than others. Why risk it. Plus, you can die from GHB (date rape drug) overdose. I started with it after being raped with the stuff and police not believing me. I somehow thought if I could keep reliving it with "safe" people, it would no longer seem as terrible. Didn't work.

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The person who means the most to me is homeless right now. She lives states away (in Houston, Texas) and is begging me to give her a place to stay, but as I am disabled and live with my parents, it's not my call to make. My mother is judgmental and the person in question is in recovery. My mother is intensely clingy, manipulative and smothering - she actively resents everyone in my life who isn't she herself or another close relative. She insists that any outside person is somehow using me. Which is unrelated, but still awful. She spent days screaming at me when I even brought up the person possibly visiting earlier this year.

 

It literally is not my call to make. It's my parents' house, their choice. I understand that. If I even bring up the idea, my mother will yowl at me mercilessly for days and further isolate me. And feel justified in that.

 

I feel like I'm letting someone I really care about down. And I can't do anything about it. I feel so helpless. She says the local homeless shelters are unsafe, and has had the experience to prove it.

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I had a wonderful phone intereview this past Tuesday and would like to follow up with the recruiter.  Should I wait until Tuesday or Wednesday before calling?

Late response, when did you follow up?  Hope it went well!  If you didn't set another appointment with the recruiter, I would say follow up a couple

of days after.

 

AltLivia, so sorry you're in that situation.  Can you help your friend research other options in her area?  Are there agencies that could help her?  She may be so upset and stressed (understandable) that's she's having a hard time investigating options.  There are general help sites like this one http://www.211.org/ that could maybe help.  I don't know anything about that specific site by the way, just did some general googling.  Or if she could get to your area, do you have better shelter options or resources?

 

It's difficult for sure; you're right that if your parents say no, that's it.  You're not letting her down; I hope your friend understands that it you've explained to her; sometimes when you're desperate you can't see what you're asking of someone right away. 

Edited by raven
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It's really hard to want to help someone when you can't. I'm sorry. I think the best thing to do would be for you to stay in touch with your friend and keep looking for resources she can use. I certainly imagine most homeless shelters are not pleasant places to be. That's a tough one. I also imagine your mother thinks she is looking out for you. It sounds like you've talked to her a lot about this problem and your relationship with your mother. I don't live with my dad, but he decides where I live and has full-access. It is hard in the US when parents are still making decisions for adult children.

None of that is helpful! I just did want to reply.

I wish I had suggestions for your friend, but beyond churches, I don't know. And, I realize some people may not want to go to a religious place.

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AltLivia, so sorry you're in that situation.  Can you help your friend research other options in her area?  Are there agencies that could help her?  She may be so upset and stressed (understandable) that's she's having a hard time investigating options.  There are general help sites like this one http://www.211.org/ that could maybe help.  I don't know anything about that specific site by the way, just did some general googling.  Or if she could get to your area, do you have better shelter options or resources?

I didn't even think about investigating resources here, raven! Great answer. I think she's utilized 211 before and it's been helpful. I'll remind her. She's just so (understandably) emotional that she's not really focused/utilizing the resources she could be. This is not the first time this has happened. Even though my person is sober, she's reluctant to cut out/depend less upon her old, less-sober crowd.  I always get so depressed by it. And actually a little angry, but there's no room for those emotions in this situation.

 

I have said this before but I love the support in this thread/forum. I so appreciate everyone here.

 

ETA:

 

 

It is hard in the US when parents are still making decisions for adult children.

BYaM, I knew you'd understand.  Understanding is so helpful. Sometimes I feel like as grateful as I am to my parents, I'm not grateful enough in their view. Anytime I want to go my own way (on anything), it's the wrong way/the wrong answer to them. They're very offended, to the point of becoming irate. It's actually kind of funny (but mostly terrifying). I've said to my mother, "I cannot be wrong as much as you say I am. Just statistically." Self-doubt city. It really does scare me.

 

They also really argue with me on opinion questions. If I were to say, "I like the color blue, instead of red." It'd be "No, you don't. You never have. This color is so much better. You're so negative!"

Edited by AltLivia
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She had blue skin,

And so did he.

He kept it hid

And so did she.

They searched for blue

Their whole life through

Then passed right by

And never knew.

Shel Silverstein

“And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”

Also, SS

Edited by Betweenyouandme
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You're right, stewedsquash. She met with a counselor today who told her she needs to break from the non-sober crowd and she reiterated that point to me. She's attended meetings in the past couple of days. I'm happy for her, but trying to utilize the caution you recommended. 

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