Just…enough

Saying that today was a bad day would be an extreme understatement.

I went into work feeling okay.  That was blown all to hell after people started talking about some trip they went on over the weekend.  It wouldn’t have bothered me at all except that it soon became clear that it was somehow work-related and plenty of people from work went.  Guess who wasn’t invited?  Yep.  Me.  And there’s another work-related excursion coming up that I definitely haven’t been invited to.  The guy that’s usually the “point man” used to be a great friend of mine and in fact saved my life the last time I attempted suicide.  He wants absolutely nothing to do with me now and I’m sure he’s made it clear to anyone inquiring about this upcoming trip that I’m not to be included.

So that felt great, lemme tell ya.

More work-related stuff: I spent most of my day on Friday working on a design that was a real pain in the ass.  I expected it to look like garbage when it got back from sewout and it did.  I’m usually not trusted with anything complicated but the other digitizer was out and when I started working on the design, it hadn’t been marked as being outsourced.  I finished it and went to note in the request that I had finished it and only then saw the note that it was going to be outsourced.  After I’d essentially wasted an entire work day on that one design.  There were other things that came back that also looked like crap but that’s pretty standard for me.  It seems like everything I work on turns out to be garbage.

I’ll also admit to being depressed that I’m turning 40 this coming Saturday.  And what exactly have I accomplished in that time?  I managed to pop out a great kid.  That’s all.  I can’t even claim credit for raising him because I had help from my family, his dad, and his dad’s family.  Everyone had to pitch in because I’m obviously a terrible mother.

This next bit is completely stupid and petty but it still hurts.  I know everyone pretty much ignores my birthday.  Yeah, I know, petty.  I’m not all that fond of being put on the spot in front of a bunch of people and that’s often the reason given for the lack of acknowledgement.  Maybe it’s even true in some cases.  It still hurts.  Especially now when I’m feeling so completely alone and hated.

Also more work-related stuff: the same daily “Mean Girls” bullshit that goes on every day.  The difference is that I can no longer stick my earbuds in and listen to podcasts at top volume to drown it all out.  That privilege has been revoked for everyone.  So I get to hear my workplace’s version of The Plastics talking shit about everyone knowing full well that I’m also a target if I’m not in the room.  But sometimes, I have been in the room.  People laugh when they deliberately say something while their target is in the room because usually it’s an “inside joke” that the target won’t get.  I guess that makes The Plastics feel more clever?  I don’t exclude myself, unfortunately.  I already know I’m a complete waste of space though so I’ll own that.  I’ve tried to stay out of it more recently.  Things are toxic enough without me adding to it.

I used to love being at work because it didn’t feel like work.  I was doing something I loved surrounded by people that were awesome so it felt like getting paid to hang out with my friends while creating cool stuff.  It’s not like that anymore.  It feels like high school.  Some people look back on their high school years with fondness, but I’m not one of them.  Now I’m back in high school except my performance won’t determine whether or not I pass a class.  It determines whether or not I have health insurance and money.  Those are sort of important.  Parents, this is why we need to teach our kids how to handle bullies because the bullying doesn’t stop when school is over.  Adults are bullies, too.  That is shit you have to deal with everywhere.  The stakes are just different when it’s bullying in the workplace.

Usually, having people to talk to helps counter the negative stuff.  It would seem that I no longer have that option at work because whatever “place” I had in the lives of those I used to talk to is gone.  In my absence, I was replaced.  They have all the time in the world to talk to these new people but can’t be bothered with me.  That’s on me, I know that.  But again, like the birthday thing, it still hurts.  It’s worse when the new people seem to know that it hurts you and go out of their way to rub your face in it.

I want out.  I want to be gone.  I SHOULD be gone.  I should have been gone in August.  See, when I’m feeling like this and writing like this, I’m just the stupid drama queen that can’t handle life.  If I actually managed to kill myself, would they actually care?  It would be too late, of course, but would they?  Would they think that maybe if they’d pushed back at me a bit harder instead of letting me shove them away, I’d still be here?  If they encountered a similar situation in the future, would they remember me and think twice about repeating some things?

No, I don’t think so.  This is probably just me being a stupid selfish bitch again and I deserve everything bad because I’ve brought it on myself.

Wow, only Monday and I’m already completely fucking done with this entire week!

Kept alive by being a failure

This is the worst I’ve been in a really long time.  Suicide is looking like the only option left but I can’t seem to focus enough to think up how to go about it.  I’m terrified that if I don’t manage to succeed, I’ll just end up back in that hellhole “hospital” and unfortunately, it’s the thought of that happening more than any other that keeps me from going through with anything.  I repeat; I WILL NOT GO BACK THERE.  I kind of thought about how I’d handle that but it would involve suicide by cop and I don’t want someone else to blame themselves for carrying out what I can’t finish on my own.  (Cops show up when a suicide attempt is called in.  If I went for an officer’s gun, they’d use deadly force to stop me getting the gun.)  The practical part of my brain is telling me that I need to make sure that I have “my affairs” in order but I lack the energy to do that.  So I’m just kind of here.  Thinking and trapped in my own head, immobilized.  Writing kind of helps but I can’t just write nonstop.

Basically, I’m being kept alive by being a failure.  Nice.  Too lazy to write a will and not focused enough to make any sort of viable plan.  I’m reasonably certain that nobody would care one way or the other so considering the impact on other people isn’t a factor, it’s the practicalities that are stopping me.  If I mattered, I wouldn’t be invisible.  The only time people speak to me is at work for work-related things.  All of my emails are advertisements, the only texts I get are connected to my bank account, and Twitter is pretty much me just shouting into a void.  Why the hell would I think that I matter, taking all this into account?

One part from that damned “13 Reasons Why” book just keeps looping in my head: “I think I’ve made myself very clear, but no one’s stepping forward to stop me.  A lot of you cared, just not enough.  And right…that is what I needed to find out.  And I did find out.  And I am sorry.”

I’m not rereading that book right now.  Hell no.  Even if I were, I couldn’t stay focused on it.  Reading is usually my go-to to distract myself when I get really bad like this and it’s not working this time.  That should bother me.  It doesn’t.  I just don’t care.  That’s probably why I can understand how nobody else cares, either.

Nothing Left

I have this feeling that people are mad at me and not speaking to me.  Again.  And I can’t do this anymore.

It was a really bad week at work, mostly because of seemingly insignificant things, but none of it felt insignificant.  I’m an expert at catastrophizing so of course I figured everything was my fault.  Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.  Past experience has shown me that I’m not always wrong and that sometimes, it IS my fault.  Unfortunately, one of the things that made it a bad week results in the loss of certain privileges and there are days that I just barely cope by using one of those privileges.  The absolute worst place I can be is in my own head and now I’m going to be stuck there.  So I can add the work stuff to the ever growing list of “shit I can’t deal with.”

As far as people being mad at me, no, I’m not certain.  I’m never certain.  The thought process is always the same: I will think someone is not speaking to me which leaves me with two options; contacting them or not contacting them.  I can contact them to find out but if they aren’t speaking to me, the last thing I want to do is bug them.  But if I contact them and ask if they’re mad at me, that’s hurtful.  So option one is out.  Not contacting them means that they might think I’m mad at them and it means I’m driving myself out of my mind being upset not knowing whether or not they’re mad at me.  So option two sucks.

I’ve gotten to a point where I just start with the assumption that nobody wants me around because then I’m not getting my hopes up.  There’s only so many times one can hope for things and then have those hopes destroyed.  Why bother hanging onto hope at this point?  I also start every day with the assumption that I’m heading into work only to get fired.  There’s this undercurrent of tension and hostility there now and I’ve seen this before and know how it ends.  Why should I expect to not be the one on the chopping block this time?  It’ll be my turn eventually.  I’d look for a new job but that requires more fucks than I have to give right now so I’m not bothering.  Being rejected by places I apply to would not exactly help my frame of mind.

Apparently, my current frame of mind is called “passively suicidal.”  I’ve been that way for months, really.  I don’t know what would help.  I’ve looked into other psychiatric inpatient facilities but the only option available to me is the one I’ve already been in and that place gets a huge “FUCK NO” from me.  I have an appointment scheduled next month at my usual psych office and I’m dreading it.  I’m worried that they’ll think they’re wasting their time with me because I’m not completely better.  It sounds kind of stupid, but there it is.  Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough.  There’s definitely a part of me that thinks that way.

I just can’t see what exactly I’d be trying to get better for.  Why bother when people don’t seem to care if I live or die?  Everyone would get on just fine without me and they might even be relieved that I finally stopped whining and they wouldn’t have to deal with me anymore.  My presence in the lives of others means absolutely nothing, therefore, my absence wouldn’t make a difference.  I don’t matter to anyone.  Not enough for them to really care, at any rate.  I can go days without talking to one single person on a personal level and if I do talk to anyone, I have to initiate the conversation.  I feel like I’m intruding every single time, too.

I have absolutely nothing left.  I destroyed everything I had that was good and I’m sick of trying to keep my hopes up that I can get any of it back.  I wish like hell that I’d managed to kill myself that time.  But I fucked that up too and now I’m just kind of stuck existing instead of living.  I don’t dare hope for anything good so I’m left to walk around with a heart that’s dead inside of me.

Give up what, exactly?

I keep thinking to myself that I want to give up but I don’t even know what that means.  I’ve stopped going on Facebook, so that means I’ve given up the only social interaction I had.  I don’t text or call anyone because I feel like I’m bothering them.  I try not to talk to anyone at work because I feel like I’m bothering them and/or they’re just going to talk horrible shit behind my back.  I don’t have much left to “give up.”  Everyone is already gone.  They never really “came back.”

Is it hope that I’m giving up?  The hope that things will get better?  Maybe.  Will I stop hating myself if I just accept that nothing is ever going to be okay again?  Will it stop hurting if I just accept that I’m a horrible person and I’m completely alone because I deserve it?  I have no idea.  Right now all I can manage is to sit here crying, dreading having to wake up tomorrow for work and force myself to function.

I’ve lost all interest in everything I used to like to do.  Including reading.  I can’t stay focused on what I’m trying to read.  I’m afraid to watch TV shows or movies because, seriously, what if you can get dehydrated from crying too much?  Everything makes me cry.  Wasting time on Facebook is off the table.  Twitter is mildly distracting and doesn’t come with the emotional devastation of feeling left out of everything that Facebook causes.  There’s that, at least.  But everything that made me ME is gone.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  I know who I think I am, and I really hate that person.  Everyone hates that person.  I know that.  That’s why I avoid everyone.  If I could avoid me, believe me, I would.

Lack of options

I must have great taste in perfume.  I can’t even begin to count the number of people that have told me that they like how I smell, or that they know when I’ve been in a room because of my perfume.

Why bring it up now?  Because I apologize every single time someone mentions it.

They can be obviously complimentary and I will apologize.  I don’t know why exactly.  There are many potential reasons but nothing I could nail down as THE reason I do that.

It could very well just be the constant guilt I carry around.  Granted, I’m prone to apologizing because it used to be a protective measure, but this is very specific guilt and I can’t shake it.

It does not make one bit of difference if I’ve apologized.  What’s done is done and there’s not a fucking thing I can do.  The trust is gone.  I know that.  And I hate myself for it and I will never forgive myself.  Even if they forgive me, I can’t forgive myself and it is fucking killing me.

I know damn good and well I’m not worth a fucking thing.  My current mental state might very well be due to this guilt.  Telling me to get over it is great but nobody ever explains HOW to do that.  Am I supposed to forget it?  Doing that means I haven’t accepted any responsibility for what I did.  There are consequences that must be dealt with and forgetting anything is simply dodging those consequences.  I FUCKED UP.  I deserve whatever I get from that.  Nobody else is going to forget anything and they are never going to really trust me again.  How do I deal with that?  That’s another thing people never explain when they throw around trite little phrases that are the opposite of helpful.

I desperately want to stop feeling anything.  I can’t live with this.  I’m now at a point where I reflexively apologize if someone gives me a compliment, for fuck’s sake.  My options at this point seem to be:

  1. Try to forget which will mean not actually dealing with anything and not accepting the punishment I deserve.
  2. Try to shut down all feelings.  That’s also not dealing with or accepting anything.
  3. Kill myself.  Problematic for obvious reasons and my standards for a method of suicide are apparently unrealistic.
  4. Completely cut off all contact with anyone I don’t live with.  Walk away.  Give up.
  5. Continue to beat the shit out of myself mentally and slice myself up physically because I apparently lack certain “human” qualities and can’t deal with anything which means I continue to let my life spiral completely out of control until I lose my job AND my sanity.  What’s left of it, anyway.

I don’t much like any of those.

Downhill

Yeah, I think something may be wrong.  Even by my fucked-up standards, this is bad:

I’m not able to stay focused on anything for very long.  Not even while reading and since I read like most other people breathe, that’s bad.

I’m either sleeping too much or not sleeping enough.  There is no “just right.”

I’m not eating well.  Some days, I don’t eat at all.  It’s too much work.

I can’t make myself care about anything but it takes practically nothing to set me off crying.

Several times on my way home from work, I’ve resisted the urge to plow my car into a pole.  If I see a razor blade sitting out on a table at work, I’ve resisted the urge to grab it and use it on myself.  If I carry a pen around, I have to resist the urge to stab myself with it.

I’m cutting a lot.  Never on my forearm tattoo, though, so I am running out of room there and I’ll need to find other places to do it.

I don’t bother paying attention to cars in the parking lot.

Work is a struggle.  Just getting out of bed to get ready for work is a struggle, to be honest.  That won’t be tolerated long, I’m sure.

My physical health is negatively impacted, too.  My ears are bad again, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I would have been able to say they were normal so that’s probably just my new baseline.  Headaches, throwing up, sinus problems, and stuff like that are frequent companions.

Get help?  Sure, I’d love to.  I just can’t convince myself that I deserve it.  And I absolutely refuse to go to that hospital.  I’ve looked for other psychiatric hospitals in the area and wouldn’t you know it?  My insurance won’t work with them.  That place was not a hospital, it was a hellhole.  I was seriously looking for an alternative so I could check myself in before I do something stupid but if that’s my only option, forget it.  And if someone tries to get me committed involuntarily, I will fight.  I’ve already thought about this.  Inpatient services at that place ARE.  NOT.  AN.  OPTION.

Outpatient services?  Great!  I already see a therapist and I’m already on medication.  I would have to be able to afford the $35 for each office visit though and that adds up quickly.  So it often comes down to, “Do I buy groceries and pay bills or shell out for the copay at the doctor’s office?”  (I could rant for days about how fucked up this country’s healthcare is so I won’t even get started.)  And it’s $35 each time I set foot in the office, no matter who I’m seeing.  I see the therapist apart from seeing the person that manages medications.  The reason for that being, if the therapist has to devote time to discussing meds, that cuts into the talk therapy time which is his area of expertise.  It makes sense but it’s still expensive.

And if I do schedule an appointment with the therapist, by the time I get there I’m not actively “in crisis” and I feel like I don’t belong there.  I’ve gotten too good at lying to him, in any case.  Even though it’s his job to help and I am there to get help, I’m too worried about being judged if I told him the complete truth.  Looking at my life from outside, I don’t have it that bad.  I shouldn’t have anything to complain about and tons of people have it worse than I do so I feel like I’m wasting his time.

The biggest problem with talk therapy, is that the patient has to self-report to the healthcare professional.  It’s a problem that’s cost lives.  Look up Edmund Kemper.  That guy should not have ever been let out of prison, let alone released from psychiatric care.  I can’t remember which serial killer actually went to an appointment with his court-ordered therapist with the body of one of his victims in his car, but I seem to remember reading about that at some point.  It might have been Kemper.  (I read a bunch of true crime stuff and I always have.  Call me weird.  Just remember that one of the most popular podcasts at the moment is My Favorite Murder so I’m definitely not THAT weird.)  The point is, the therapist isn’t infallible.  I should want to completely cooperate.  Maybe this guy just isn’t right for me?  I do worry that if I asked to try a different therapist, my current one will think badly of me or take it personally that I don’t think it’s working out.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings even if it means sacrificing myself.

I guess that’s why it hurts so much when someone close calls me “selfish.”  And that’s not something I can refute without making their point!  I’ve never been good at “defending” myself.  I feel like I have no ground to stand on because if I wasn’t exactly what they say I am, they wouldn’t say it in the first place.  I must be wrong.  I must be horrible.  It doesn’t matter if I think they’re wrong; if I try to say they’re wrong or explain my “side,” it feels like an excuse.  Better to keep my mouth shut than lose someone because I will believe with all my heart that they are prepared to just walk away if I screw up in the slightest or say anything close to, “I don’t agree,” or “That hurt.”  That’s not specific to anyone in particular.  It’s basically extreme projection of toxic self-hatred and I apply it to everyone.  I know that.  But my brain is too fucked up to let me really believe it.

There are a few things that are festering in me and I cannot bring myself to talk about them with the people I should be talking about them to.  I just can’t.  Whether or not it’s “reality,” I’ve already decided on some level that they’re right, I’m wrong, and I don’t deserve even a scrap of kindness.  Even if I did bring it up, how would I?  I’d phrase something poorly and blow it before I even got started and they’d be hurt.  But if I’m the horrible selfish person they say I am, why am I not willing to talk about these things?  I’d rather hurt myself than hurt them.  But I’m selfish.  I will never earn their forgiveness and I will never earn an apology for anything I think warrants one.  Never.  And how dare I even think that way?!?!

This is part of why I just want to give up.  What’s the point?  Wouldn’t everyone be better off if I just stopped trying?  If I just stopped trying to interact with anyone beyond basic courtesy, wouldn’t it be better?  Nobody would think they have to worry about upsetting me if they try to talk to me if I just went away.  I wouldn’t be able to let anyone down anymore.  They’d be free of me.  I’d kind of like to be free of me, too.  I don’t necessarily want to die.  Apart from death being one of my few actual phobias, my kid just lost a family member on his dad’s side of the family and I will not do that to him.  I don’t know what I want to do.  That’s one of the worst things about dealing with this stuff: the uncertainty of everything.  And feeling completely alone while trying to sort it out might be THE worst.  I do feel completely alone.

 

Heartless

It seems like forever ago, but I used to be able to cope with things better than I do now.  I didn’t take every little thing personally and relied more on rational thinking than raw emotion.  There’s a reason I got called a “crazy bitch with no heart.”  To get an idea of what I mean, think back to when the internet was obsessed with “FML.”  You’d visit the website and you would “vote” each story as “I agree, your life sucks,” or “you deserved it.”  I RARELY saw a story and thought, “wow, that sucks.”  My reasoning was pretty simple: we create our own circumstances and when something goes wrong, it’s the result of whatever choices we make.  It can sound an awful lot like victim blaming, sure.  But to me, it was straightforward and logical.  Emotion played very little part in it.  I locked out emotion entirely and basically became heartless.

I need to get that back.

I didn’t change overnight to become the mess I am now and I’ve been thinking a lot about why I changed.  I could be wrong, but I have kept coming back to a few things that might have influenced it.

I went through another major depression after my family’s business closed down.  (There were a couple of other things going on at the time but I’m not mentioning those.  In retrospect, they’re really stupid.)  Anyway, the business shut down and that was devastating for a bunch of reasons.  I completely withdrew from everything.  I stopped answering my phone, I stopped leaving the house,  and I basically just gave up on everything and everyone.  Including my best friend.  By the time I started working again, we were in touch and hung out and all that but not like we used to.  A few years went by and she went back to school and I started a new position and we pretty much just stopped talking.  The new position was a whole new level of stress for me but I didn’t want to give up and end up back in the same position I had been in because I thought that would be worse.  In some ways, it was worse than the new position.  I can’t help but wonder if I’d make the same decision now.

Around the same time, my brother and his wife and kids moved away.  I remember sitting at the dinner table with all of them, our parents, and my son when my brother told us that he was taking this great new job.  He’d talked about interviewing for it and all that but he wasn’t entirely certain he’d accept it.  When he told us, I was looking down at my plate and tears just started dropping.  I had to get up and leave the room.  I heard him say, “Is Astrea going to be okay?”  His wife replied coldly, “Oh, she’ll be fine.”  She really pushed for the move and she kind of got off on the effect it was having on my parents, me, and my son.  It broke all of us and she knew it.

So at this point in time, I was working in a position I felt totally unqualified for and most of my family had moved away.  The stress on the job only got worse when the new manager came on.  Now, I do overthink things and worry about things that aren’t a big deal and I know that.  But what happens when your seemingly irrational fears are proven right?  She read our emails.  She had her favorite employees reporting on those she didn’t like.  She was blatant about her favoritism.  She deliberately scheduled breaks and lunches so certain people wouldn’t be able to hang out together.  If she was “building a case” against someone, she’d print off emails to the main printer that EVERYONE used and she’d leave those emails sitting there instead of picking them up.  That’s how I found out she was on my case.  I’d print something and have to sort through all of the unclaimed papers and I’d challenge anyone out there to honestly say that they wouldn’t read something that had their name in the text, when they knew they themselves hadn’t printed it.  She did that to a lot of people.  Yeah, it made me even more paranoid.

The depression didn’t go away during this period, but it definitely took a backseat to the anxiety that was getting worse and worse by the day.  Gradually, my ability to keep emotion at bay wore down.  I had abandoned my friends because I was so stressed out and tried to rationalize it by telling myself that they were too busy to talk to me anyway.

I changed positions again, and I thought for a little while that things were going well.  I’d stuck around long enough to finally get the job I had originally applied for years ago.  My anxiety level went WAY down but that meant the depression that was still back there and I hadn’t dealt with came pushing forward.  It hit hard.

But I was talking to my friend again, trying to rebuild things.  That seemed good.  The problem was that I honestly thought I didn’t deserve the friendship and got stuck in this mindset that she’d give up on me at the slightest misstep.  That manager showed me that the worst was possible and I couldn’t stop reading too much into little things and panicking all the time.  Instead of leaving emotion out of things, I let it creep into everything.

That’s basically where I’m at now.  I’m an emotional wreck and everyone I interact with is negatively impacted by that.  I need to become the cold, heartless bitch I was.  I think I’m pretty horrible now, but I still feel everything too deeply.  I need to shut it down and stop caring so fucking much about everything and everyone.  I know others don’t see it, but all I do is worry about how I’m fucking other people up.  They see it as me being selfish.  I don’t seem to be capable of doing anything right even though I want to.  If that’s how people see me already, why not become the monster they think I am?  Their opinion of me can’t seem to get any worse and it’s obviously too late to fix anything and I’ll never be good enough to earn back the trust I lost.  I guess there’s always the chance that I’m wrong about that but what if I’m right?  I don’t think I could handle hoping I’m wrong and getting nothing but silence as an answer again.

No, I don’t necessarily want to get back to being the raging bitch version of Spock I used to be.  I’m not sure if I’ll hurt less if I do that.  It would mean completely cutting myself off emotionally from everyone and it would probably mean everyone giving up on me.  But I feel like that’s already happened in some ways.  It feels like I need people far more than they need me.  I feel alone all the time.  Why not put the walls back up?  It would be good for me and good for other people.  The only problem is that I don’t really know how to do it.  But it sure would be nice to stop hurting.