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What do you do when no one cares?


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Seriously, how do you cope? I may be the only one here in this situation, but if there are others I'd like to hear from you. And if you've been here before, I would like to know how you got through it.

I've been wondering this for some time and today's a really bad day, which makes it a good day to analyze this obstacle in my path to wellness. I think that having at least one person in your life who tries to understand what you're struggling with, who takes an active interest in your well-being and wants you to recover, and articulates that, probably makes a world of difference. Having someone who evidently cares. I think sometimes I get apathetic, so "Why bother?", because I'm having trouble caring about my well-being. It's hard for me to believe I'm worth it (though L'Oreal would have me believe differently) because there isn't anyone in my life who treats me like I am. I just want to be stronger than this, I want to transcend this. I want to be all that I need. I want to be able to cheer myself on, I want to believe in me. I don't want to need anyone else to do that for me. I suspect that the reason this is so difficult is that I grew up in a household with distant, uninvolved parents who were too overwhelmed by their own (undxed and untreated) MIs to parent. I wasn't treated like a person who really mattered, and so today I have a lot of trouble believing that I matter. And when I keep encountering people who are supposed to help me and also treat me as if my issues are insignificant and I'm not worthy of respect or common decency, I get knocked down a bit farther, mentally. My agoraphobia is worse, my OCD, everything.

This is probably kind of stupid, I don't know, either way it sort of drove home just how alone I am. My mother knows I have mental health issues, debilitating ones, she knows I spend most of my time feeling sick and exhausted, but it just doesn't seem to register with her. She's on the internet for the first time in her life, so she wants to email me. I usually respond to her within a day or two, but apparently that isn't good enough. First she bugged me about how slowly I was responding. The last time she emailed she said, "I didn't give your aunt my email address because I didn't want to have to read and answer her all the time, and here I go doing it to you. You don't have to respond right away." So according to her I'm not responding to her right away because I don't want to. (I don't, but that's beside the point.) It's one of those things I'm sure I could brush aside and not get emotional about if I weren't depressed. Right now it's written in large neon letters in my brain that My Mother Does Not Get It. If She Really Cared, She Would Get It. Or At Least Try Harder To Get It. These little incidents speak volumes. It has always been about her and her needs, her desires. She wants social interaction, well, dammit, I should provide it on demand. Despite whatever trifling problems I have. But enough of that (because that's a dark, slippery slope).

I feel really pathetic admitting it, but I don't have anyone who loves me (in the unconditional sense). There isn't anyone who acts like they care who doesn't have an ulterior motive(s), or who doesn't feel obligated to care. There is no one who really cares. How am I supposed to care about me? How do I do that? I haven't lived the sort of life that could earn my own respect. I don't know how to begin caring.

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The last time she emailed she said, "I didn't give your aunt my email address because I didn't want to have to read and answer her all the time, and here I go doing it to you. You don't have to respond right away." So according to her I'm not responding to her right away because I don't want to.
is it possible that she was trying to tell you that she realized she was pushing you too much to reply right away? to me, it seems like maybe she thought about her dislike your aunt wanting instant responses and then realized that she was doing the same thing to you. i could be wrong, since i don't know your mom, but it's just a thought.

Seriously, how do you cope?

a long time ago, i saw a poster on my teacher's wall. i don't remember the actual wording, but it put forth the idea that there may be someone out there who cares about you even though you don't know it. when i lived alone and went days without human contact, it was what made me not do anything drastic when i knew no one cared.

and sometimes people are just too wrapped up in their own lives to have any time for anyone else. or they're too nervous to talk about mental issues, or they have no idea how to act around someone with mental issues. so maybe someone does care, but they don't know how to approach the topic.

i know throwing a bunch of maybe's at you isn't that helpful, but it's what helps me when i feel like that. (if nothing else, you know the people here at crazyboards care.) ;)

i hope you feel less alone soon.

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Let me assure you that a day or two is pretty damn quick. Unless the subject is something like "Call the Fire Department", and I hope she'd use a phone for that.

Some parents who have their own problems have spent your whole life figuring out how to defend themselves from real knowledge of your problems. That doesn't mean they don't care, but that they can't handle the knowledge. Doesn't help you much, I know.

When my mother died and my ex announced her decision to dump me in the same month, I felt very alone too. I guess I tend to have only a few friends. But now that I'm not depressed (or maybe only slightly depressed), I notice other people who want to be friends. One who I fended off for years who really isn't so bad after all. (Whether he's changed or me isn't so clear. I'd guess mostly me.) And, since I was coming out of my depression, I was able to find a much nicer girlfriend.

When we are depressed, we tend to push people away, or at least scare them away. I'm hoping that you will persist until you find some treatment that helps and that you find some similar things happening to you. Not feeling alone doesn't fix everything, but it sure helps.

BTW, I belong to a support group for my ADD, and I find it helpful. I wonder if support groups for depressed people work well? It's for sure they'd have a clue about at least SOME of what's bothering you. And one or two might want to be your friends, as long as you're willing to talk to them when THEY are low.

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is it possible that she was trying to tell you that she realized she was pushing you too much to reply right away? to me, it seems like maybe she thought about her dislike your aunt wanting instant responses and then realized that she was doing the same thing to you. i could be wrong, since i don't know your mom, but it's just a thought.
That's a good alternative view. It's possible that I've read too much into it because she harrassed me about my "slow" ;) responses not all that long ago. The "you don't have to respond right away" bit is, discounting everything else, really passive aggressive. Not "I'm sorry I expected you to get back to me right away." No apologies, no sentiments, but I have been granted permission to not respond on cue. I should consider myself fortunate. *rolls eyes*

a long time ago, i saw a poster on my teacher's wall. i don't remember the actual wording, but it put forth the idea that there may be someone out there who cares about you even though you don't know it. when i lived alone and went days without human contact, it was what made me not do anything drastic when i knew no one cared.

and sometimes people are just too wrapped up in their own lives to have any time for anyone else. or they're too nervous to talk about mental issues, or they have no idea how to act around someone with mental issues. so maybe someone does care, but they don't know how to approach the topic.

I have always distanced myself from people in pain because it was too hard to acknowledge it, and impossible to talk about, so I can relate.

i hope you feel less alone soon.
Thanks. I haven't seen you around before, so it was nice meeting you.

Some parents who have their own problems have spent your whole life figuring out how to defend themselves from real knowledge of your problems. That doesn't mean they don't care, but that they can't handle the knowledge. Doesn't help you much, I know.

I have considered that angle, yes. It makes sense. They don't call them "defense mechanisms" for nothing, I guess.

When my mother died and my ex announced her decision to dump me in the same month, I felt very alone too. I guess I tend to have only a few friends. But now that I'm not depressed (or maybe only slightly depressed), I notice other people who want to be friends. One who I fended off for years who really isn't so bad after all. (Whether he's changed or me isn't so clear. I'd guess mostly me.) And, since I was coming out of my depression, I was able to find a much nicer girlfriend.

When we are depressed, we tend to push people away, or at least scare them away. I'm hoping that you will persist until you find some treatment that helps and that you find some similar things happening to you. Not feeling alone doesn't fix everything, but it sure helps.

I'm really sorry about your mom. I understand what you're saying about pushing people away because I have done that. Preemptive measures. It is really hard for me to get close to people (and stay close).

I will persist because I have no other options. :) Maybe someday I'll persist because I really want to.

I've always enjoyed reading your posts, so I really appreciated that. Thanks.

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Ella,

I have so been there and if it weren't for my kids and my therapist I'd be right with you.

And even my kids, it's not their job to *care* for me, and I try and hide my emptiness and despair. Tdoc is the only one who knows me intimately and whom I trust to never, ever fuck me over IRL. My family talks of caring but no action, like your's it was a nuthouse growing up and they haven't changed much.

What's funny to me is that in a family of origin full of nutters, I'm the only one actively seeking treatment and to get better and the like to often point out that I'm "crazy." I stay away from them, I don't trust them. Show me don't tell me.

If it wouldn't be for you all, I'd be seriously fucked at this point.

Now, I will say that it is something I'm working on with tdoc. How to get out there, how to make better choices in friends, exactly what actions and steps one takes to initiate and sustain reciprocal and meaningful bonds with other adults. It's all foreign to me. Fortunately he is giving me a map.

I am volunteering with the community theatre my kid has been performing at. Painting sets and stuff like that. Low key, low people contact, but getting out and practicing my social skills in a positive environment.

Good topic, and I hope you don't feel pathetic after knowing that a lot of us feel and suffer from this isolation and loneliness and having fucked up people in our lives. Family is the worst as far as I'm concerned.

S9

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Ella:

This may sound too "Pollyanna" but you have to remember that life happens in cycles. Everything does. I recently figured this out ;) and it makes so much sense. I have different issues than you do, but I can relate to loneliness. I think we all can.

I always have this great Jimmy Buffet quote in the back of my head "I've had good days and bad days and goin' half mad days".

That about sums it up. Parents are a bitch to understand and deal with, but they must be dealt with. Mine are both gone, but my mother and I never got along. Funny how now I meet her in other people. You must find a way to reconcile that part of your life. Anyone with living parents does. It doesn't change when they're gone.

You are not alone btw - you have a bunch of people here. Some who think like you, some who feel like you, some who have felt like you do now.

It's all about cycles. And this place is a really great haven.

Good luck and you're not alone here.

Breeze

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First, I didn't read anyone's reply to your thing, just your thing, so if I say what someone else says, then that's why.

Ok, mom. First, sounds like your mom is medium cool. I think she does get it, as she pegged it right that you didn't want to reply right away, and accepted that. She's "giving you your space" which can really be irritating when you don't want someone to give you your space. But, no one reads minds, so it's usually better to be more distant than not.

I had a big crisis a few years ago when it finally dawned on me that my parents and I can't stand each other. We still love each other (pesky hard wired family love crap) but I cannot stand to be around them. And then, now that we have a daughter and mom wants to be around all the time, it's really obvious that, actually, mom doesn't actually love me either. She couldn't care less. And that jarred me a bit.

But, really, I've come to accept that she can't stand me and could care less about me. I just wish she'd lose interest in my daughter so I woulnd' have to see her weekly.

Also, usually, if someone knows you are really depressed, and they can't understand that at all, then they tend to go into "Don't make eye contact, just back away slowly" mode. Which, sometimes, is a great thing. But, other times, it's a lonely thing.

I have no idea if I stayed on topic or not. I don't think I did.

But, hey. How's today going?

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One suggestions is that, if you want unconditional love, consider getting a pet.

I have a cat who loves me very much. I am pretty much the center of his whole universe! When I feel down on myself I realise that if nothing else, he loves me. This may sound silly but it's true.

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Yes, the suggestion of a pet is most excellent, if you don't have one already. I <3 my kitty too! Cats can be such comforting animals. If you already have a pet, maybe get *another* one if you can? I think that even adding a pet can be positive (provided the animals can get along).

Not to suggest that you can't obtain love from people, because that is certainly possible. But it's 1000x harder. Really quality people are very few and far between, and even then I wouldn't say that people have an unconditional bond.

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Hi Ella

The day I argued with my mom, who well understands developmental disability, that in fact I do have one, gave me a clue that maybe I can relate to your problem. She has her own issues. I need to go out of my way to bring her into my life- in a growth based way.

Sure, I can regret that maybe my life has been governed by a ton of missteps. I want and need a best friend. Do you have time for me? Can we talk? Are you real?

Sure, guys call me up for a reason. Usually, no, just sometimes, they get what they are looking for. (This abstinence thing is a test.) The guys who call me up- golly, get in the way of my friendships.

If you are willing, I'm here. Cheers!

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ella,

i think a pet is an excellent idea, but i think you said somewhere you have one? i know there has been a lot of time in my life where my cat was the only friend i had, and she's made facing things a lot easier.

it's hard to heal the wounds of not having recieved that love. it's not the same as your situation, but i think, maybe, i can understand what you're feeling. my mom left when i was quite young, only to return occassionally and treat me like crap. and there is still a feeling that there must be something fundamentally wrong with me to have a mother (and in my eyes mothers give unconditional love, that's what they do, right?) who doesn't love me. when i get really depressed i return to this constant refrain that i must be broken, so broken a mother can't love me. but on good days i can step back and say "no, it's her. she's broken, not me." and i think that i can do that (when i can do it) because of a lot of therapy.

i think you can learn to love yourself and i think you can heal woulds that run this deep. i guess my advice would be to snuggle your pet, and try to do something each day that you imagine you would do for youself if you did care about yourself. treat yourself how you wish others would treat you, if only for a little bit each day.

best,

penny

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Ella, do you own The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook? There is a whole section in the Self-Esteem chapter about nurturing and being a good parent to your inner child that could be really helpful for you. Some people might think it's cheesy but I actually think it's quite clever. I've done some of the exercises and found them helpful.

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Argh, I've been meaning to come back here and thank Saturnine for her post but sort of slipped into a depressive funk and sort of slunk away, crawled down into my hole to contemplate how miserable my life is, that kind of thing. (You know how it goes.) So I feel up to visiting CB tonight and thought it would take forever to find my thread, but here it is and there are all these new responses and I was so overwhelmed by your kindness that I cried. Still am. It's been a long time since I've shared my thoughts, my struggles, with anyone because I didn't feel safe doing so. I'm feeling much safer now. I didn't think I would find a place where I could feel even a little safe. It feels really nice. ;)

Anyhoo, I am so doped up on migraine medicine right now that I can't really process what I'm reading here, so I'll Be Back. (Said in Arnold Schwarzenager voice.) (I'm sure I've misspelled that but I'm too tired to look up the proper spelling. I'm not really that crazy about him, anyway, so I don't feel like I owe him meticulous spelling.)

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