BE AWARE NOT TO KEEP YOURSELF IN THE ROLE OF THE VICTIM
This blog post was originally written on November 11th 2015
I have made up lies in the attempt to obtain comfort and attention. I have been terribly lonely, utterly desperate and even paranoid….and I was merely a child....
I am fully aware that I left you cliffhanging in my last entry. And I do promise that I will get to that later on but being this pretty little princess of neglect that I am I won´t be able to get to it in this entry I am afraid. I know that I said that I would but something else is currently of more importance and I have to let it out while it is still fresh.
Today I read a feature article in Kristligt Dagblad (Danish newspaper), which is a newspaper that often runs amazing articles. I highly recommend reading some of the articles and feature articles which are posted on Facebook since they generally contain awesome, sensitive and relevant material.
The writer, who just happened to be extraordinarily articulated not to mention a damn good writer, to put it bluntly, drew attention to the fact that people who were still experiencing hardships were receiving less focus in society. This counted people still suffering from depression, mental or physical illness. She mentioned how -according to her- the focus was far too dominating towards strong individuals and success stories. She wrote that people who actually managed to come through their troubles were treated like heroes and it seemed that it all came down to writing blogs and appearing on the show called Go' aften Danmark... (Popular Danish talkshow)
I felt hurt and I haven´t even been on Go' aften Danmark. 😀
Besides, this is in no way the purpose of my blog.
Her reflections simply made me really sad. It was as if she thought it wrong to praise people who succeeded in reaching the surface after a period of inner troubles. I realize that she probably didn´t mean it this way. She probably only thinks that there is too little focus on the ones who haven´t yet surfaced.
And I do understand her points and even her message. Only I do not agree with her opinion that we need to focus less on the ”successes” and more on the ”losers”.
You see, I do not believe that anyone has completely and definitely ever lost their chance to re-surface on the other side.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to persistence. For the most parts, that is.
I realize that some people will undoubtedly feel provoked by me saying this but please believe it when I say that I have been at that place myself.
The place where I simply accepted that this is just "how I am”. “I am born with this gloominess inside me and simply have to live with the hardships and pain and that´s just the way it has to be”. Like I wrote in the previous post "Suffering is just easier..." this is my most familiar sentiment, how paradoxical and crazy it may seem: "I-am-to-be-pitied-because-I-cannot-help-myself" feelings and "I-am-going-through-rough-times-and-I-guess-that-will-never-change" feelings.
But why on earth would you accept to feel miserable?
Well, it is the only goddamn sentiment I know about of course!
So whenever something goes the right way in my life i.e. a relationship, I tend to mess it up. Whenever I am supposed to travel somewhere, and this is one of my favorite things in life, I fall ill. Often I become ill to an extent of being hospitalized. I have been so due to lacerations in my thigh deep enough for stitches, e-Coli infections to an extent that I needed to be admitted into hospital, ears exploding from the pressure in the airplane requiring me to go straight from the airplane to the hospital, urticaria all over my body forcing me to spend a small fortune on hormonal crème that I had to wear my entire holiday, serious infection in my eyes requiring urgent medical assistance, fungicide in my ears completely ruining my holiday due to the pain and not to mention the flu are some of the interesting experiences I have encountered during my travels...
Rather revealing right?
My body simply does not seem capable of being in balance. My pattern of thought has been centered mainly on the negative aspects earlier on. However, currently, I am working intensely on getting them “re-wired” and thus my outlook on life has improved greatly. The feeling of internal misery is still what makes me feel the most comfortable though and the thoughts seem to have manifested themselves inside my body as a permanent emotion.
So if I am not abandoned, hurt or excluded by someone else I tend to create situations which provide similar feelings on my own.
Can I change this?
But it does require some ENORMOUS effort and serious persistence and this is what I am sharing in this blog. If you are familiar with these kinds of feelings do stay around and feel free to contribute by commenting on the posts.
Anyhow, I was utterly disappointed reading the article because I believe that it is important to share success stories too. After all, through inspiration person to person the stories have the power to assist in making people capable of self-reflecting and identifying themselves – helping them to fight their way out of the black hole and out on the other side.
I am fully convinced though that she probably does not believe that we should keep the success stories to ourselves. She probably just finds that stories which are not yet successes are given too little attention as it is.
But I am not sure that I fully agree with her on that one.
All you have to do is to turn on the news and you will find countless of non-success stories.
You can also watch reality shows on television and follow countless sad stories about people truly experiencing mental hardships. The television stations seem to exploit these people putting them on display to an extent that is sickening and despicable.
People experiencing mental difficulties and therefor completely scattered on the inside left unable to lead a normal life are being exploited so that we can sit in our IKEA lounges at home watching while nearly choking on coffee and cookies letting us feel “better and brighter than them”.
I often see people complaining about others only showing off their polished life on Facebook as well as on other social media sites. Everything is too pretty. You only put up pictures of yourself looking hot, when traveling exotic places, when your relationship with your lover is going well or when your kids are behaving and really cute.
And of course, reality does not work that way….
And then this writer comes along and ”complains” that some of us do in fact share our most private, heavy, difficult and extremely personal issues all because we dare to share how we did succeed in surfacing again.
How horrific. We actually ”risk” inspiring and motivating others to find a way out of the darkness themselves.
Oh boy, how awful that would be!
Well, I know that I most likely read too much into her article and that she probably didn´t mean it like this. However, this was the way I read her article in the first place.
So I shared it on my Facebook profile because I find it to be an important debate to have - and so I wrote:
"I completely understand what the writer is saying and also her very well written message…..
The negative tone in which the article is held speaks for itself. It nearly appears like an echo of insisting on remaining in an incurable lousy state of mind.
Please believe me, I have been through this myself.
You know, taking on the role of the victim and being sad has been a lifelong companion of mine...
Until the day I ”woke up”. And yes I share my process and experiencing in my blog but my goal is not to appear on popular talk shows. Rather I hope to give other people some motivation and strength and thereby assist in helping others out of their personal crisis.
The way I see it the more people who share their experiences and happy ever after the better chance we will have in inspiring and ”picking up” other people. (I am not yet there myself though since it is a rather long and ongoing process).
I don´t see anything wrong in sharing your life crises with readers whose only risk is to become inspired themselves by reading along.
Because we applaud those who have resurfaced doesn´t mean that we do not care about those who are not yet there.
Of course, I am not 100 % there yet since 42 years of "programming" isn´t simply erased from one day to the other.
I started working on my blog while going through some really tough times and it went from bad to worse before getting better.
It even took admittance into a psychiatric hospital before I was able to resurface. This I have spent time writing about as well.
But during this process, I became attentive to the fact that I had to be careful not to imprison myself in the role of the girl who was miserable and had led a tough life.
God damn it has been tough, yes! But it is of no use to keep on focusing on my previous and present hardships in life.
Anyway, I do understand her points. I simply do not fully agree in all of them.
This post made one of my friends respond (He has given me permission to quote him and thus I have done so below)
"I can relate 100 % Hanne, particularly in feeling like a victim.
What is that saying again? Everyone creates their own happiness for themselves. True at least when regarding resurfacing on ”the other side”. Help can be found in all sorts of places but the path to true liberation lies in yourself... But yes, you can spend quite a while seeking for confirmation in “oh, poor me”. Only it won´t get you far in life."
I did reply but since I answered from my cell phone I didn´t go into details that much:
"No, that is my point exactly.
For me, this was the way I have ever been able to achieve some comfort from others.
Even when I was a child.
Whenever I was sick or injured I was cared for. Therefore I have sometimes wished to become sick or injured just to be able to receive some care.
I have made up lies in which I was hit by a car merely to see my mother´s reaction hoping that she would give me some attention and love that I so utterly needed...
This mechanism followed me into adulthood and I first became aware of it writing my blog.
Some of the things I have written about have been rather tough experiences and I received many caring reactions. It felt so good when my friends and acquaintances showed me such love and expressed appalment towards everything that I have been through and told me that I was amazing and brave. Of course it was nice.
But at one point I did become aware of this need for comfort I had and I realized that I had to watch out not to become that girl who is constantly pitied.
This would bind me to that role.
The role of being the victim.
And nothing good has come from that so far.
So now I step up to the challenge.
To take responsibility for my own life.
I must let go of being a victim.
And I must care for myself.
It is of no use to me that I feel so dependent on other people caring and loving me.
Care and love FOR myself and FROM myself is my main priority… Tough one… When thinking so little of oneself you need to start there…Loving yourself. When you are able to tell yourself ”I love you” and truly MEAN IT you are ready to proceed on your journey towards personal growth...".
This resulted in him writing me a personal message which I have also been given permission to quote here:
"Damn you wrote something in this post of yours which I am also struggling with on a daily basis...I am certain I could write a 10 page, tightly written text on the subject on how I manage to acquire attention the inexpedient way…and the self-hatred.
Well, hatred is such an ugly word. Let’s call it not liking yourself instead… It is damn destructive in nearly every way possible and thus incredibly important for you to control...
I do not really know about your story but it is not difficult to figure out that you have been or at the very least felt abandoned in some way... On top of my diagnosis ADHD, I was also awarded the title: Great damage as a result of excessive neglect.
There you go. I Practically haven´t even looked myself in the mirror for years because I really hated the guy that I saw in there... I completely understand your journey and it is quite a struggle to fix... Hanne, I am all ears. You can always use me as a vent if you feel the need to be pathetic for a while. Everyone needs that once in a while. It just shows that you are human that´s all....
Damn, it is all too weird actually..... Every day is a struggle but baby steps right?
I am capable of nothing, do not have any qualities, no one want´s me, I am stupid and unintelligent, ugly, old, chubby etc. etc. etc. These kinds of thoughts have gone through my mind in all these years, but have become more intense during the last 4-5 years´ time… Seem to be improving though but it´s a long process…."
Well... all I could do was to write him how familiar everything he wrote sounded to me… Later on that evening he continued in a very honest and open-minded personal note:
"Well, now I am home... A bit early, but it is ok.
Everything is just so weird. Spacy to relate to and make any sense of...
I nearly have the feeling under control, “wasted 46 years in the process”.
Well , of course, I haven´t really since I have been given a daughter, numerous educations and lots of fun which is all pretty nice but I have missed out on one thing in particular and that is love...
Surely enough I have experienced the unconditional love you have for your child and this is unlike anything else but looking back I have lead a poor life when it comes to love...
The emotions I have always carried with me. They are not new. But for years I have suppressed them because I had to do so at an early age. Long story....
Like you I have for years on end been seeking and longing for the things never provided in my upbringing, the attention, acceptance and the respect from my parents...
I have gone from one woman to the next in the search for attention or at the very least the feeling of ”being worth something”.
Always wore the latest and most expensive clothes. The hair was well trimmed. I was always ready for a spontaneous party and I quickly became popular for not being a drag, but that was all I was...
I have simply ignored my real needs, gone beyond my own ideas of what sickness is by having casual relationships. I have lied to everyone on why I was unable to commit in any of them etc. etc.
Over the years I developed an amazing technique in order for me to keep myself in focus and be a real cry-baby...
Don´t really know whether I am ashamed of my past. The past is what it is and there is no getting around it so you might as well accept it and then learn as much from it as possible of course…. 7 or 8 years ago I find myself completely and unexpected in a situation (sexually) in which I am suddenly impotent, not just momentarily but completely impotent...
At first, I consider it a one-time thing and even manage to make a joke about it...
However, the problem persists and the last time it happens it results in me feeling amazingly self-loathe towards myself...
At that time my journey towards my present state of mind started....
All of a sudden I am only able to have sex if I am emotionally involved...
I ignore it and write it off as me growing up. To this day I can only count two sexual experienced over a period of 2,5 years.
It isn´t that I am unable to find lovers at all. I simply do not want to give away this side of me to random acquaintances, anytime or anywhere... The last one I dated, or attempted to enter into a real relationship with, had to accept that we didn't have sex for a month. I went home to sleep at my own house every night that entire month...
I need to feel whether something is real or that there is a genuine interest in getting to know the real me and that it is not all just for fun… Crazy huh?
I myself am content with this although most people don´t get it at all… To be honest, I am somewhat proud of being this way, and that is even in spite of knowing that I am missing out on the sex part... But to me sex doesn´t matter at all if all you do it for is to relieve the pressure... If one day I meet someone truly interested in ME I know I will give that person everything I´ve got to give – and I can tell you that that is a great deal by now. I have saved up quite an amount in that regard over the years...
I am not merely rambling on here… It is simply a story of an amazing transformational process which has happened..."
I´m at a lost for words...
The tears have been rolling down my cheeks after this conversation with my friend for two reasons. I am utterly saddened by his story but also because I can relate to many of the inner struggles he describes.
It made me think back to my own school years, to the times when I was locked inside closets, being ridiculed, laughed at, excluded, beat up and called ugly names.
Those traumas helped build up hatred for myself so severe that I suspect few people can even begin to understand, and then yet again…Sadly, many many people know about this...
I remember how I made up lies in order for people to feel sorry for me (the goal was to get some care, attention and maybe even some friends) like the one with the car accident I mentioned in the reply to my friend on Facebook.
But I also recall a time when we were on a class field trip, I believe it was in of course, (small Danish town in the countryside), and I was excluded as usual:
I was lonely and desperate and I was merely a child...
I wrote myself a note in which I put down some truly horrible things about myself. TRULY HORRIBLE things.
In CAPITAL letters.
I wrote it in the 3rd person so that it would appear as if one of my classmates had written it.
Then I stuck the note to my bunk bed.
For all to see...
...Hoping that someone would find it and feel sorry for me...
My hope was that they would start pitying me enough to offer me their friendship....
Of course, the note was found and even by one of my bullies and she ”told one of the adults“ and then the drama unleashed itself…
Every child and adult were summoned and I had to sit on a chair next to our class teacher while she told off everyone in class while they were sitting on chairs in a row. Right in front of her and me...
She said that everyone was to remain in their seats until the "culprit" turned themselves in.
And of course, no one did...
In the end, I felt compelled to confess to everything...
...That I had written the note myself...
Can you imagine how ”popular” that made me?! Quite horrendous and deeply traumatizing.
...I cannot tell you any more on the incident because I have repressed the rest of it... I simply cannot remember anything else on the matter...
This is me alongside my beloved grandpa. He was like a father to me. But he was also a man carrying many scars on the inside and maintained a somewhat gloomy look on life as a result of this.... Photo: Private photo
This is me wearing my granddad´s hat... When looking at photos picturing myself as a kid I cannot fathom why on earth I was bullied or why my mom would find it necessary to hit me… But it was, of course how she was raised herself and when looking at photos of her as a child I cannot understand that anyone was ever able to hurt her either... Unbelievable... Photographer: Private photo.
...I remember moments where I have been in my own house and feeling afraid of hidden cameras placed by my classmates so that they could keep an eye on my activities such as me going to the toilet or other stuff like that…
I was nearly paranoid at times... And utterly lonely and thus miserable and desperate ...
I have great scars on my soul as a result of this. Scars that I struggle with to this day.
This is me on a hike with the youth centre. I didn´t have any real friends here either and the thing that caught my interest the most was the small cat who followed us around some of way. ... This was my friend... Photographer: Private photo.
I have always loved animals. This is a photo of me and my rabbit "Ninus". Animals were my friends. They didn´t call me names and they enjoyed my company. The boys next to me are my brothers. I have chosen to blur their faces because I want to spare them having to decide whether or not they would like to be in this blog. I do not want to even ask them. Photographer: Private photo.
These are some of the reasons for the challenges I face when it comes to getting a relationship to function. I do not know how to be loved and partly because of this I sometimes find it difficult to put up boundaries as well as say when they have been breached. I have already written an entry on this subject and I will publish it soon and when I have done so I PROMISE to return to the cliffhanger I wrote about in my previous blog post 😀
But please keep in mind: I am not to be pitied for it.
I am no longer a victim.
Of course, I cannot alter the past but I can have a say in how I want to live my life in the present.
Not tomorrow. Not two weeks from now, but right now.
The present is the only thing I can change or control.
It IS some terrible crap that I have been through but it is not my reality any longer.
The past is in the past and cannot be altered.
I am no longer a child. Today I am an adult and I decide who I wish to hang out with for myself.
If anyone does not wish to be around me or becomes angry with me, so be it.
I now understand how necessary it is not to become too emotional when this happens and that you need to learn how to avoid spending your time and energy on those people. Rather this energy ought to be used on the many others who do want to spend their time with me and who do like me.
If anything I have learned that much from this process.
The past is in the past and it shall no longer have the power to control me.
I am accepting the responsibility now.
The responsibility for myself.
I´m in for some serious ”re-programming”.
I am in the process of writing something...
..Something special I am doing in order for me to learn how to get myself re-programmed...
I will, of course, share this as well.
But as I said earlier I will post an entry on setting up boundaries first of all.
This will by next time.
And then the "cliffhanger" I promised you last time and after that, I might do the reprogramming guide.
Hoping you will stick around?