Just feeling really sad and hopeless about life TW: SA

I’m feeling really depressed. I’m going through a 10-year slog of life where it’s just been horror after horror. I came out of high school top of the class and got into a good university and BAM, mental illness. Maybe I’ve always had it, and it just came out when I was in a less “controlled environment”. It doesn’t really matter. I did all the things. Therapy, taking time off from school. In and out of hospital for suicidal ideation.

Then just when I was maybe about to start actually living life nearing the end of university, I meet the worst possible person, and he forces me into a cycle of emotional and sexual abuse for almost 3 years. My best friend of 6 years abandoned and blocked me suddenly about a year in. To this day I think it’s because they couldn’t bear to see me go back to this person over and over again, but of course they never explained or gave me that closure. They just disappeared.

I went to the police, broke my entire life down to try to heal from his abuse while going through the most ridiculous series of failed societal systems processes you can think of. My heart breaks for all people who face abuse who feel they cannot leave because these systems are wholly inaccessible, underfunded, and unreliable. I’ve been waiting for a trial for 3 years, and conviction is unlikely with these kinds of crimes.

I’m stuck in a far away town I have no roots in with extremely self absorbed and emotionally unsupportive parents who are also mentally ill but don’t seek treatment for it and turn to alcohol and overspending, away from the few friends who stuck by me through the last 5 years (in the form of short visits or phone calls every few months). I have no driving license; when I did driving school I had an instructor who sexually assaulted me (he actually was charged, but the charge was dropped even with multiple girls testifying). It’s pretty much tarnished driving for me and I don’t know if I’ll ever get a license. Let alone afford a car, gas, insurance.

I save as much money as I possibly can but I see that I’ll never be able to afford a starter apartment, let alone a whole house. I see that my job has no upward mobility at all, since I’m just an assistant. Conversations about moving up fall on dead ears. And yet, it’s fully remote, which is getting rarer in non-tech fields. I feel like I was just born to be a slave under capitalism.

I’ve been in therapy for 8 coming on 9 years, and tried medication, and nothing is helping. I can’t ‘change my thoughts’ to feel better when the things I am depressed are about are rooted in reality. I cannot afford anything. I cannot rely on societal structures that are supposed to protect me and people in situations like me. I cannot inner work my way out of intergenerational trauma, poverty, and capitalism. I can’t “regular exercise” away how completely hopeless I am waiting for my rapist and abuser’s trial, looking ahead to no hope on the other side for a better life.

I’m sitting in meetings with late career professionals who are talking about abstract concepts like ‘how to engage the younger people’ and ‘how to build connection among the team members’ and the only young person in the room, me, just wants to scream that the vast majority of us cannot even afford to live, and maybe we should do something about that first. Wants to scream that a post-doc fellow is being offered the same salary as myself with a bachelor’s degree and we both can’t afford to live. Wants to scream that maybe before offering annual appreciation luncheons or pizza parties we should think about how to consistently, 365 days a year, give everyone a place to live, food to eat, clothes on their back, and something left over for anything that could bring joy to our lives. How about that?

I’m sorry this turned into such a wall of text and a rant. I just don’t know what to do anymore and every day that I continue to exist I get more and more hopeless. When you’ve been depressed this long plus you have PTSD and anxiety, you get worn down. I’m just too tired, too exhausted. Like why was I even born?

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Hey Galaxy.

I am sorry that you have had to run into the terrible human beings you have. Who have done things to you that shouldn’t be done by one human being to another. You should not feel guilty for feeling the way you feel, and you should not feel guilty for not having figured out the way to feel better, or to get to a place where you feel you can be successful. It is hard, and it seems apparent by what you have written that you are trying your best. That’s the best we can do. That being said I do have one thing I am curious to whether or not you have tried, or if it is even available where you are. I also don’t have a drivers license. So I get accessibility might come into play here, but I think one of the most powerful forms of recovery can come from group therapy. In a safe environment amongst peers who have been through similar circumstances, and have no ulterior motives as to why they are there, but to talk about those experiences. I personally have found that there is no better relief for me. Then sharing my mental health experiences, out loud/in writing, with people who have also been through the ringer. Have you ever looked for, or tried group therapy?

The work thing is tough. We have to have jobs to provide for ourselves, but we also often times are cornered into jobs that are not healthy for us, and don’t provide us the growth/resources we need. In that regard the only thing that can be done is consistently looking for new jobs that are providing us more then the jobs previous, and again that can come down to accessibility. I hope the best for you though, and please feel free to share more if you want/need to. We are here. I may not have answers, but I will read and reply to posts when I have the opportunity. <3

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I really appreciate you responding. I have tried group therapy before, and it has unfortunately not been helpful for me personally. But I can see how it could be helpful for other people, and I am really glad it has been working for you.

Thankfully, I have a friend who is not dealing with the same types of things I am, but who is also struggling with mental health, who just gets it. I imagine this is part of the therapeutic effect people could get from group therapy. I can imagine it is meant to help folks feel less alone. For me, this friend’s visits help so much to bring me out of the spiralling for even just one evening.

I’m not sure why, but even if I know in my mind that everyone is living in late stage capitalism and many people around my age (and older) are struggling in similar ways, it doesn’t make me feel any better. I harshly judge myself for not being able to ‘overcome it’, when it’s clearly a systemic issue that’s rampant. I am exhausted, and yet even my psychiatrist has suggested to ‘just get a second job’ and ‘just move a million miles away from home’ to a presumably cheaper area. I switched therapists because all she had for me was repeating that I need to move out of my toxic parents’ place if I want to have any hope of a fulfilling life.

I am at my wit’s end, it’s like my mind is ping ponging from worrying about the trial and worrying about any semblance of a future worth living for myself and for many in my kind of situation. I guess one silver lining is that I’ll start on anxiety medication soon, which apparently will help me “care less”. I can’t imagine that.

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This quoted part was a mishap, but as I’ve had a pretty miserable time in my home and have experience on a trial related to abuse I can answer to these too.

There’s some truth in what your therapist said to you, even if it might have come up in a way that wasn’t accessible to you or helpful for you to hear. If your family has abused you, it’s not healthy for you to stay around them as the PTSD brain is constantly in state that’s either hypo- or hyperarousal relating to freeze fight or flight response. When your brain is in these states it’s harder for you to actually heal and so the therapy you experience might not be as effective. Doesn’t make it useless though and you should keep on going as haven’t an empathic witness to your pain is always helpful.

My advice on therapy with PTSD is also just to not just stick to talk-based therapy. I found it helpful to try other forms of therapy and self-help that had nothing to do with words. EMDR, Trauma Releasing Exercise, art therapy, music therapy (these two can be just art or music you do/play on your own, but I can honestly recommend a trained art/music therapist too) as trauma is as much in your body as it is also in your head in words and it can unlock something new that might be beneficial for your recovery process. Ask your therapist if there’s something they might recommend for you and do research on what might work for you as another avenue for recovery.

I went through one trial. I also reported a SA that never went to trial because I was bullied by the police and the bad actor’s friends to drop the thing so I eventually caved in.

A trial is a very scary thing and it feels so much worse waiting for it. I don’t know how complicated yours will be, but I can assure you at least that the trial part itself won’t be a long ordeal. If you have a good lawyer they might even help you by going through the trial beforehand and you can practice to say and do your parts of it to help you detatch emotionally from it with your therapist. Just have to remember that whatever happens in the trial and what the decision is aren’t in your hands and you’re not responsible or even can potentially help with the decision as judges are most likely going to refer to a similar case and base their decision and punishment aligned with that.

In the trial you are a witness to a crime that has been made and you’ll be treated as such. Depending where you are you might have it easier or harder, but your main role is to tell what you saw and experienced in as clear words as you can and be honest about your experience. So many things are going to be out of your hands and that’s scary, but it can also be relieving as all of that is pressure taken away from you. Whatever is going to be their decision is up to them and it’s going to give you some of the closure you need to get over what happened.

After that you can focus on the rest of your healing process and to get to a better place emotionally and otherwise.

I understand a lot of what you are going through and thinking and believe me we’re not alone in these thoughts and feelings. The rage you feel is a part of your healing process and the way you emotionally cope with an unjust world that “let” these things happen to you and your focus on the trial is your worry over your ex abuser getting away with it again. Everything about it is daunting and you’ll likely be disappointed by the result because the result never will feel totally just because nothing will feel completely right as it still happened and you’re still injured emotionally and otherwise after the trial has ended.

My events happened almost 14 years ago and I just want you to know that you are deserving of happiness and a fulfilling life and that just because you don’t feel happy now doesn’t in any way tell you how the rest of your life will be. I wish you the best and hope any of this helped you!

I don’t go to actual group therapy in person anymore. I had an inpatient setting that was forced upon me early in my recovery. I don’t really leave my house often. I experience mine in the form of peer support online now. What I get out of it has nothing to do with the other people’s experience. It doesn’t really matter to me what other people have gone through, or what they are getting out of it. I have the hopes that people who share with me, and I share with them get something good out of it too. I’ve never thought anyone in the world has the ability to truly understand anyone else in the world. So I’ve never expected anything from anyone else, as far as understanding me. People with shared experience can grasp an aspect of it, but I dont believe they truly understand me as an individual. What I get out of it comes from learning that I can talk about it in front of people, and I can let it out. Acceptance of who I am, and a relief from the pain of feeling like I have to hide that person. What started with me sharing in groups, and online with peers, has become sharing/transparency with almost all people I meet.

I’ve learned that I don’t need to change who I am and that it’s okay that I have the feelings I have. Even the worst ones. To quit fighting myself and to start learning how to understand myself deeper. Through various resources and interactions I have had outside myself and within myself. I think there’s a lot of people who are trying to find a fix. I’m not sure there is a fix, I think that the thing that helped me most outside sharing with people frequently, was realizing that I am the way I am, and I should feel free to express it, accept it, and start looking for ways that help me as an individual cope, and grow to points where the coping and mental illness is dormant for longer periods of time. If someone is already freely expressing themselves to many people, I believe you are right that group therapy and finding out that it’s okay to talk about your illness, might not be as helpful. It’s more about having an accepting environment to start the sharing in, until you are comfortable not caring what environment you are sharing in because you love/accept yourself and are not afraid to advocate for mental health recovery, for me anyways that’s how it worked anyways. We’re all different.

I understand not feeling like there’s anything that will help you. Before I had whatever switch happened in my recovery flipped , I had tried everything also. Which lead me to the conclusion that euthanization should be legalized for people who have tried everything, and found no relief. That I should be the first person it’s given to. So that I don’t have to do it myself. Tried all the pharmaceuticals, therapy methods, professionals, philosophical, and existential things I could get my hands on. To no relief. I spent 7-8 years of my actual attempted mental health recovery(time I was actually actively trying to get better) feeling this way, and I was wrong. I was completely wrong. It’s not to say that I don’t still have panic attacks, and become suicidally idealistic anymore, because I do still experience plenty of mental illness. It’s my approach and understanding of myself/what I’m going through, and my learning of what works for me and what’s on the upside of my downsides. Not fighting, but figuring out what I can do with it. Healthy outlets I can direct it into. The biggest problem with my recovery is that the words to describe it, are as hard to find, as the words for the grueling pain I’m in, while I’m in the middle of it all. I don’t expect anyone to understand, and wish it were easier to express and get people to understand. Just as I don’t think anyone who has never been suicidal, can understand a suicidal person’s perspective. I find it hard to try to get a person to understand the perspective of there being an upside to it all. Until they have found where that upside lays for them, and their human experience. I do however believe that everyone is capable of finding it, in time and with the right things happening for/to them. As we are all different. I’m not sure me sharing these things helps, but I do care and I share now just hoping that I can somehow help someone else in pain feel/find what they need for them. Some of the things that flipped the switch for me were very personal and jarring life events very unique to my life. It just stinks that I don’t know what things can flip a person’s switch who isn’t me. Because I would flip every mentally ill persons recovery switch for the better, everytime, if I knew a way to do it. :heart: