Tag Archives: self-sabotage

The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t updated in so long. I really had no idea how much time had passed. Time keeps drifting through my fingers. I’m sorry that I’ve been a crappy blogging friend and haven’t been around.

I’m okay. I’ve remained cocooned in a bubble of self-isolation. My emotions seem to be a yo-yo, though.

The week before last, I visited my family. A week ago, I went back to work. For some reason, my anxiety was working overtime, and I kept thinking I was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought I could feel everyone hating me. Then I had this conversation that seemed to insinuate people there liked me. And for the rest of the week, I noticed other small signs that appeared to indicate that idea.

I went to therapy, and we talked about how I wasn’t content with the status quo in my part-time job situation. We were discussing this job I’m thinking of applying for. I doubt I would get it, but I was thinking of applying as practice. My therapist thought that would be good because I would put less pressure on myself with that goal.

Anyway, after the session, something clicked. I had this vision of the me I could be. Of what I used to be like before the big break, my competitive, success-driven self. My self that strives for competence and always achieves it. (Well, except for the pesky social anxiety, which was ten times worse in the past. I think even though I don’t take medication that strictly addresses social anxiety, it helps. Of course, I think all my problems are tied together and influence each other, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I felt this understanding that my perception of what people think of me is sharply different from reality. That if I feigned competence, people would believe it. (Because really, half the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.) That I could hold a higher position and do well at it.

But then something in me flipped. I knew that this vision of the me I could be was actually the me I could never be. Every time I imagined myself succeeding, I imagined myself failing spectacularly afterward. Making stupid and costly mistakes. Anytime a person wants to talk to me at work, my first thought is always I’m in trouble or didn’t do a good job. I feel like that result is inevitable. I also had urges to sabotage any success I may have. Like I can’t let myself succeed ever. Because I don’t deserve it. Because I’m always panicking, and I’m gonna choke.  I might as well prevent the future disappointment by sabotaging myself first.

Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted.

It’s just really no one’s ever liked me. For much of my life, I had no friends. I have only one now. The idea of people liking me doesn’t compute. I’m overly sensitive to it. My therapist and I once talked about my biggest trigger, rejection. Perceived rejection. I can see little things as rejection. In general, I’m just much too sensitive, like easily shattered glass.

After I realized that the me I could be was the me I could never be, all I wanted to do was cower in a corner. I can’t go through the big break again. I don’t think I could make it through another one. For the past three years, my life has revolved around laying low, my priority being to prevent any repeat of the big break. Three freakin’ years. I’m pathetic.

Even after all that time, my will is a crushed feather. I’m all uncertainty and indecision.

I’m too broken. Thus, the me I could never be.

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Filed under General Musing

An Empty Threat

This morning, I went to an Excel workshop.

And then it hit me. What I should do.

It’s odd that it should hit me then.

My memory again plays tricks on me. On my way to the workshop, I was going to buy some donuts. And of course I forgot where exactly the donut shop was. I went to the wrong block. So not only did I not get any donuts, I also drove around in circles.

I betray myself. In so many ways.

To an outsider, it would seem as if my mood is more elevated than usual. I feel naturally smiley.

I shouldn’t even be writing this post right now. It negates everything.

I don’t think I’m being coherent here. Hmm.

Why should it come to me in the middle of the Excel class? There was nothing there whatsoever to trigger me. Not even close.

Why cut my knucklebone or wrist? I want to cut where my throat meets my neck. But that would be even more obvious. It’s not like I ever wear high-collared shirts. Once I cut on my chest while entertaining the idea that I wanted to mar my heart. For two weeks plus, I had to carefully hide it. Makeup and concealer didn’t work well enough, so I wore T-shirts. But I can’t do that now. I have a job, and that would be inappropriate attire.

Lulu left an interesting link on this post of mine. I reread that post and didn’t at all feel like I was reading something I wrote. I had the dizzying notion that I was reading someone else’s blog. I don’t feel connected to my words at all. Even here. I know I’m not even coming close to expressing what’s really going on in my head right now. I don’t think I could articulate it. It’s the disorienting feeling I get that finally prompts me to succumb to the madness. Do something impulsive like cut.

I know what I should do. I know that’s a vague sentence, but I think anyone who reads this will know what I’m talking about. I just can’t bring myself to say or write the words.

But by virtue of writing this, it becomes an empty threat. No longer a danger. If I tell someone I’m going to do it, I won’t. That’s one reason I’m so hesitant to post this. When I press publish, I won’t have that avenue open to me. Then I won’t have any form of release. None at all.

I will also become an attention-seeking egotist.

I wish I could talk to someone in real time about this.

But on second thought, I don’t. That’s when people realize I’m not so angelic after all. When they become tired of me. When they know they should flee from me.

In the midst of the big break, I began frequenting a depression forum. I also visited the forum’s chatroom and became somewhat of a regular. Then the others became annoyed that I always talked about myself. Among other things. Did I self-sabotage there, or did I just finally expose my true colors?

I’m afraid. I’m afraid that blogging people will finally realize how rotten I am and turn on me. I’m afraid that somehow someone I knew from that forum will find my blog, realize who I am, and raise the red flag.

I am presenting a somewhat distorted picture here. Not all of them hate me. But the ones I trusted the most do.

And no, it’s not like one of those forum people suddenly contacted me. I haven’t talked to most of them in over a year.

It’s just the most potent example I have of online people realizing how selfish I am, that I wasn’t lying about my rottenness. This is what happens with most of my relationships, whether online or in real life. People discover that I’m not worth it. Either because I’m a terrible person or I’m bringing them down all the time.

And no, I’m not disregarding the support I got on my last post. It was heartening. It brought tears to my eyes. You people are making this too damn difficult. 😉

See, I throw the winky face in and try to bring in a note of levity. Another way in which I betray myself. When I’m at my worst, no one can tell. I crack more jokes than usual. I laugh hysterically. My instincts for concealment kick in. Even psychiatrists and therapists think I’m doing much better than I am.

And this reminds us why my blog’s title is apt. At my most despairing, I’m also mirthful. It’s probably a protective reflex.

I just want to end it all. I want to write on here simply, “I’m sorry. Tell them I tried.” I think I read that in a book somewhere, but I can’t remember which one. I tried searching for it on the Internet, and I didn’t find the answer.

But if I don’t succeed, I didn’t try hard enough.

My head still feels woozy, like it’s ringing.

I meant it. I appreciate the support more than you can ever know.

I think I’ll go take a nap now. It’s not like I’m good for anything else at the moment.

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Filed under Mental Health

30 Days of Truth: Day 8–Self-Sabotage

Someone Who Made Your Life Hell, or Treated You Like Shit

Who has made my life hell and treated me like shit? Why, I have, of course!

It seems I have a talent for self-sabotage. I’m not used to having friends, and many of my early friendships abruptly ended. In order to prevent the inevitable abandonment, I will push others away. Sometimes I’m not aware that the process is even happening until the inevitable blow-up. During the third day of truth, I touched on this issue, so I’ll try not too repeat myself to much.

Instead, I’ll mention a couple of examples from high school and the Internet.

During my first two years of high school, after my suicidal spell at 13, I devoted myself to Christianity for a little while. Mainly, this means I read the Bible in its entirety, thought about God, and attended a Christian club at school. There was one girl at the club that I occasionally talked to before and after school. She was also in a couple of my classes. I even went to church with her a couple of times. She attended an Assembly of God church, and I was immensely uncomfortable there. They’d have this part during the service where everyone was supposed to be feeling the Holy Spirit. As someone whose only church experience was attending a Baptist church a few times while I was in elementary school (where I’d also been uncomfortable, but that’s a different story), I found this bizarre. Not to mention that my natural timidity made me averse to such outward displays. I guess if I were “feeling the Holy Spirit” like I was supposed to, maybe that wouldn’t have mattered. (I don’t buy into that belief, but I won’t go into that touchy subject.)

My first forays into self-harm occurred during this time period. I didn’t realize that’s what I’d been doing until years later. Like now, I’d only do it a handful of times throughout high school. But since I’d just begun, I did it regularly for a few weeks. It didn’t leave a noticeable mark, and this was the virtue of it. My mom had given me a nail-file kit. I took one of the tools from the kit (I’m not sure what it’s called; obviously, I’m not someone who spends a lot of time polishing my nails) and stabbed the skin of my left forearm. It would leave a small red dot.

When I was in high school, I was stupid, basically letting everyone know I was depressed. I showed this red dot to her at some point, and she was speechless. Later, she transferred to a private high school. I don’t know which of those events ended our acquaintance, but I do know that my mentions of depression were rather awkward.

There was also this boy I knew. He was friends with the girl mentioned above and went to her church. I think he liked me a little (though the thought never occurred to me back then), but my talk of depression drove him away.

During my last two years in high school, I had some other friends I occasionally hung out with. As a group, we drifted when we went to college, but at the time I was only a tangential member of it anyway. Two very embarrassing things happened at study sessions at Barnes and Noble. First, there was the time I showed up a few minutes late. I thought it was odd no one seemed to be there, but I sat down in the Starbuck’s and decided to wait. After about thirty minutes or so, two of my friends came to find me and said they’d forgotten to let me know that they’d decided to go sit in the kids’ section. My insecurity caused me to overreact. I broke down in tears and raged at the two who’d come to get me. Why had they forgotten about me for so long? I was convinced it meant I didn’t matter and they really didn’t want me there; as mentioned, I was on the periphery of the group. They followed me to the bathroom, and I remember walking by this employee who looked dumbfounded. It made me all the more ashamed of the scene I was causing. In the bathroom, they tried to make me feel better as I cried some more. I wanted to leave because I was so angry at my impulsive reaction. I wanted to hide myself from the group and avoid them. But they convinced me to go back and sit with the group, where I was red-faced and mortified for the rest of the night.

One of those two was present at the other embarrassing incident. We were doing some calculus homework, and I don’t remember how it happened, but I brought up my depression at some point. I had been thinking that no one noticed and everyone hated me, etc. That same girl retorted, “Everyone feels sorry for you. Is that what you want?” She accused me of trying to garner pity, which, though I wanted people to notice me, is not what I desired. So I objected. I remember how stunned I was to realize that others had marked my behavior; I’d thought I was mostly invisible. It is this revelation more than anything that showed me why I was not a core member of the group–obviously, I brought down the mood. But more importantly, they didn’t know how to deal with me.

Oh, jeez, I’ve rambled so much already, and I’ve talked about only high school. That was so long ago, but I find those events noteworthy because it contains they demonstrate the beginning of my self-sabotage streak.

I won’t go into so much detail about individual incidents on the internet. In the past, I’ve occasionally frequented online forums, and I’d go into chatrooms at these forums. I find it much easier to talk online than in person. These days, I keep my online interaction with “people who I don’t know in real life” to this blog. It’s much safer, and I’m less likely to indulge in an impulsive outburst. At the couple of chatrooms I visited, I became a regular. I guess I had online friends. When talking to these friends, at any point where I felt like a closeness might’ve been developing, I blew up for a very minor reason. Usually it had something to do with feeling excluded or like the other person didn’t think the friendship was as important as I did. I would feel the same sort of urgency as I did in incidents such as that of last Monday. I’d hear a voice taunting me, telling me I had to be brave enough to express my anger or be a coward. If I have friends, I suppose what I do is vent the rage at them rather than at myself. That is the worse option, I feel. Other people aren’t to blame for the way I feel: I am. I’m rotten, and I’m vile, and during these explosions, acquaintances discover that truth. I do apologize, but they usually avoid me thereafter. I don’t blame them. In their shoes, I personally wouldn’t avoid me, but I would why you would. People don’t like to be hurt. I don’t know why I do it. To hurt them before they can hurt me? To blame someone else for my unfounded feelings?

Now that I’ve reached the end, it doesn’t seem as if I’ve talked about how I treat myself like shit. It sounds more like I treat others like shit. Nevertheless, I have made my life a living hell by nipping any budding friendships in the bud. This pattern is one of several factors that play into my self-hatred.

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Filed under 30 Days of Truth