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Shame and isolation (or, Hi.)

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Hi folks.

I just signed up, am looking for somewhere to connect with people.

I'm really feeling isolated and shitty. I'm fighting with myself to try to post a description of who I am and why I'm here.

I'm 40 years old, male. I'm realizing I've struggled with feelings of shame all my life, and a recent unexpected upset with work is triggering some bad stuff for me. My company let us know they'll be shutting down in a couple few months, so suddenly everyone's looking for work. I'm in software development and being 40 already feels like a danger point as many companies discriminate against older workers, and any time being on the job market I feel lots of anxiety trying to sum up my (strong) generalist skills to fit very specific job requirements.

This is all stressful, but is against a backdrop of feeling like an orphan and very limited in my social network. I'm an only child, parents divorced when I was a baby, later disowned entirely by my father (I thought at the time), only to discover about 6 years later that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my evil stepmother seized control of his email and the phone so she was able to completely shut me out of his life. I got to visit him on his deathbed last year.

My relationship with my mother has always been strained, as she somewhat traumatized me when I was young while going through her own emotional difficulties, very much related to my father having left and remarried.

The long and short is that I've spent several decades feeling ashamed of myself, unwanted, rejected, abandoned, angry. This has had collateral damage on relationships and in recent years I've become so agoraphobic and anti-social that I have only a couple friends, which feel like limited connections. I have lost any sense of how to forge new friendships or community and have a pervasive sense of being bad and wrong. The irony is that at my job I was able to feel important and valued, up until the moment the parent company pulled the rug out from under all of us.

It feels like an impossibly uphill struggle to have to dust off my resume and sell myself in a very competitive job market while also lamenting that I'm so worthless that I have no family to talk to and no friends to cheer me on.

I am married, and grateful for that support. The marriage has its troubles -- she has her own set of issues as well and of course I have mine. But in that sense, I'm not completely alone. Still I feel, as I know she does, such instability and fear that the marriage may fail and then both of us would be even more painfully alone.

I've been talking to my therapist about feelings of shame, and some degree of resentment that in years of therapy it feels like none of these professionals are able to do anything tangible about these feelings. In fact, none have ever pointed out to me that shame and low self-esteem might be fundamental issues we should be working on. I'm really eager to figure out what I can do with these feelings, what resources to seek out so that I might work towards making new friends and connections, and feeling like I belong somewhere. This is all hard to do when you believe in your bones that others dislike you by definition, that you're a burden.

And none of these feelings look good in an interview : (

ANyway, hi.

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Welcome to Crazyboards. I hope you enjoy hanging out here, and find some people with issues similar to yours. Please read the rules when you have time, and contact one of the staff if you have any qestions.


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I feel rejected here already :/

I don't know how to reach out. I literally feel like there is something invisible to me but visible to everyone else that says "do not like this person". I'm very very sad.

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Welcome Feenix. I'm pretty new here myself. I'm sorry you are feeling rejected. This place is a lot to take in, but if you give it a bit of time you may feel more comfortable. I hope so anyway. And I'm sorry about your struggles. The job uncertainty must be terribly stressful, and everything is harder when one doesn't feel the comfort of a support network. I hope you will find some of that support here.

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Hi Feenix

I'm new myself, I just joined today, so from one newbie to another, welcome! ^_^

Most importantly though, I wanted to say, don't give up! I'm sorry that you feel rejected already here, but can say with near certainty that that's not actually the case - it's probably just your mind playing tricks, as our minds tend to.

Whilst I haven't been here long, I was a member of a similar forum for many years, and there made many really firm, supportive friends.

So I want to encourage you to take a look around the boards, read posts you're interested in, reply if you feel comfortable, create threads if you like.. slowly get involved, and over time I know you'll find people that understand you and can become friends. Maybe start a blog, or comment on other peoples? That's always a good way for people to get to know each other.

Sorry, I don't want to sound overbearing - I'd just hate for you to keep feeling lonely.

Love Chloe.


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