Not a cry for help, just need to vent

Everyone always thought I was trying to be difficult. I wasn’t. I was trying to keep it together. Knowing you’re not good enough, that you’re seen as an outsider, at best a nuisance, and never hearing “I’m proud of you” takes its toll on a person. Over the years, the chronic depression has gotten worse, especially now that I can see myself turning into the very person I said I’d never be like. Nobody ever asked if I was ok. Probably for the best though. If I told you all what was really going on it would have given another reason why I’m not good enough and another excuse to exclude me from whatever it is you’re doing.
As a child I felt excluded. I never really belonged anywhere. I didn’t feel like a member of my family. I played sports but was never the star player or remotely great at any of them. Usually on the sideline or bench playing the minimum allotment of time. The rest of the team got along great and were friends off the field, but not me. I was alone. Sure, I went to some birthday parties but never really felt included.
That exclusion continued into adolescence. I had a friend group, ok multiple friend groups that I hung with, but it was the same thing as the sports teams of my youth. I was there, but not part of the group. It was high school when I realized I didn’t really fit in anywhere. I was just there.
In adulthood I experienced more episodes of exclusion. Passed on for promotion due to being difficult to work with. If something wasn’t right I brought it up. I hadn’t learned office politics yet and hand’t learned yet that speaking one’s mind was frowned upon. So once again, I bottled up my internal nucleus and focused on what I was good at. I could solve problems. The other thing I was good at was being there. While I lacked empathy, or frankly any real emotion, I could listen and ask questions. Somehow people were drawn to that.
They would come to me in confidence with situations or issues asking how I would approach them. Like I said, I was good at fixing things. Usually, instead of advice, I asked them what they tried and what they hadn’t tried yet and why not. Maybe it was all the therapy sessions I had been through.
Instead of learning about myself I learned how to help others. Sometimes they’d get emotional, then thank me for listening and say something like, “you always know what to say.”
I lead by doing not because I wanted to lead but because shit needed to get done. So I helped my team accomplish what they needed. As a leader I was a support player. And that worked for me. But it didn’t change the fact that if I left a role, the work would go on. I wouldn’t be missed. Hell, I could leave the earth today and nobody would bat an eye.
At 46 my parents and siblings still treat me as an outsider, maliciously excluding me from any real contact. The parents supported me with their wallet, but that’s it. Last time they came into town they spent the weekend with my brother and his family and couldn’t even attempt to try and see us. Despite the fact that we’ve invited them to stay with us before and asked them to join us on trips, they never come. They came over once on Christmas because they felt like they were forced to. They agreed they’d come for dinner, showed up 2 hours late, and left in a huff telling me to have a nice life. ALL I wanted was to enjoy some time with them but that was too much to ask. Not to mention the WHOLE family was in town spending time together except for one detail: They forgot to invite us. But once again, I was the one being difficult.
It’s hard to take things lightly when one is so overtly treated differently. That same Christmas week I invited the parents to join us for dinner. They declined stating it was my brother’s birthday and they were spending it with him. Not that we could join in on the festivities or that they recognized they were spending the ENTIRE DAY celebrating his birthday and couldn’t break away for a little while to see us, but a flat out NO, they weren’t going to join us for dinner, clearly letting me know he was more important to them.
46. 46 years old and this shit still eats at me. I should be over the parenting fail issues by now. Why can’t I get past them? Why do I let the same shit continue to happen? That’s how it was when I was a kid, as a teen, and as a young adult. Why would I expect different today?
Depression is my cross to bear, no one else’s. So I’ve kept it inside trying to manage the best I could. Those times I was being difficult? Well, I was doing what I do best and helping someone else solve their problem while trying to keep my pot from boiling over. I don’t apologize for that. Of course, maybe I should let people know what I’m going through, but who? Those close to me? My wife? Why would I put further burden on her than I already have? My parents? They’d see it as another excuse as to why I failed and suggest I try to see the bright side or suggest therapy.
See the bright side? Are you fucking kidding me? There is no goddam bright side. I’ve tried to see it. I’ve tried, believe me I’ve tried. Mindfulness? Meditation? Daily affirmations? Gratitude journal? I’ve tried them all. You know what I’m grateful for? I’m grateful that I’ve not met anyone else going through what I’m going through. I’m grateful that I’m alone in this hellish journey. I’m grateful I know nobody else having to endure daily ruminating, or manifestation of hateful conversations, things that should probably be said but never will.
It’s Christmas time and that means a time for giving and a time of reflection. People ask what I want. I don’t want THINGS. I don’t need STUFF. What I want nobody can give. I want to live life. I want to feel enjoyment. I want to know what it feels like to love and be loved.
I’m tired. Physically, I’m exhausted. Mentally, I’m wiped out. I’m tired. I’m tired of the fight. That’s what my life is. It’s a fight. I’ve never lived a day in my life, only survived to see another sunset. Each day I wonder if I’ll make it through or if today is the day I finally lose it entirely. My wife tells me I seem depressed around my birthday each year. Really!? What about every other day? Birthdays and holidays are stark reminders that I’ve endured another year of this and question whether I’ll make it to the next one. That’s all they are. Just reminders of the scars and fear of the future cuts.
Fuck! Why am I writing this? Not like I’ll do anything about it. That is my modus operandi, just move along. It’s not like I could actually put a gun to my head or knife to my wrists. I’m not going to swallow a bunch of pills. To me, those are cowards’ ways out. No, this world will have to take me out on its own. I just wonder when I won’t have the fight left in me anymore to fend it off. Each year, each day I have a little less fight in me and one day there’ll be nothing left.


Hey @oldlonelydepressed. First off, welcome to HeartSupport! We’re glad you’re here.

I could just as well have written your recollections of your early life. The sense of not belonging isn’t just something that passes or something that will go away under different circumstances. It shapes you. It also shapes how you interact with the world. I wish I had more deep friendships, I lament that I don’t, but the idea of letting just anyone in makes me bristle.

This forum is full of people with lots of empathy who love helping others, but don’t want to ask for help themselves. The pillars of this community don’t want to burden everyone else, which fails the logic test because they love being able to support fellow pillars. Helping others is a good way to avoid your own problems. I’m not saying that to condemn you, I’m saying that I get it. We all get it. It feels good when people say “thank you for listening” etc. You’ve done your part to help them not feel the way you do. Similarly, leading by doing makes you feel good about your contributions while bypassing the need to earn the respect of your coworkers. Sure they may respect you, I have a lot of respect for my doer-leaders, but it’s not relational. It avoids people. Again, I get it. Be good, do good, cultivate a good image. If you do it just right, people will admire, respect, and even like you without you having to open yourself up to them.

You say you should be over the parenting fail issues by now, but that would minimize the impact your parents have had on your life. For 18+ years, your parents were the most important people in your life. They raised you to be the person you are now. They shaped you. If they discounted your thoughts and feelings, they shaped you small and with holes. That shit doesn’t go away. Them flaunting the fact that they’re spending more time with your brother and straight up don’t want to spend time with you is reaming those holes wider and ripping out the scar tissue as fast as it can form. As much as we may butt heads with our parents, I think deep down we all want our parents to be proud of the adults we’ve become, and it hurts when that doesn’t happen. It keeps part of you stuck at 16, where you don’t know what to do with your feelings and they don’t know what to do with you. The effects of negative parenting, both in the past and ongoing, cannot be overstated.

You’re in good company here with people who have tried all the sunshine-and-farts tricks to be happier. Mental illness is so much more than that. It’s a chemical imbalance, and long term leads to a rewiring of your brain. After awhile, your happiness response is neurologically impaired, and the only way to feel anything other than numb is to feel pain. Fixing the wiring of your brain is HARD, and it takes a long time. Meds help stabilize your brain chemistry, but it takes a lot of therapy to learn to reframe negative thought patterns. It takes so much, that you’d be forgiven for thinking therapy doesn’t work. I’ve been in therapy continuously for 10 years. I “know” how I’m supposed to frame things, and when my meds are jiving right and I’m getting enough rest I can even manage to do it sometimes. It’s exhausting, but just like you, I wake up every morning and go through another day. As long as I’m breathing, there’s hope for better days ahead.

I’m proud of you for opening up here. Depression feels like a lone journey, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re all in this together. Somehow, bearing your cross among others is comforting. Thank you for sharing your story, and keep coming back. :hrtlegolove:

Hi my friend,
thank you sharing all of this, and welcome to Heart Support.
first of all, i am sorry to hear all of that. in a lot of ways i can relate to that, more than a lot. it takes a lot of strength
and braveness to get that all out of yourself. you did that step, many people here, me included would like to
say personally “i am proud of you”
life is hard, life is more than a rollercoaster, life is so much bullshit so often. life can f*** your head in the most
brutal ways. to feel exhausted and tired with all of that is also human after all. everyone has their package to
carry in life, weight on our shoulders, struggles, worries, toughts and issues. more then we would like to have.
myself too. i was an outsider my whole life, in school, the only boy from my village. never brace enough, always
scared from huge crowds of people, going out, never been someone who had much friends. also when life
moved on, at work, new city, new people, old and same issues and worries. it all came down to depression,
lately it haunts me back, stronger than before, so it feels for myself. my biggest wish is to be part of something,
to be somewhere where i belong to. will i ever feel that ? i doubt that. now more then ever. i am still the outsider,
i am still someone who is not enough, someone who is not worth of that all. i hate myself in that times, maybe
more then ever before. do i have energy ? now maybe less then before. i struggle to cope with my life, i struggle
with my life in that times more then ever. my work crashed down, i structure everything from zero there. i wish so many times, i could go back and did not start that all. i am exhausted, i am tired, i hate myself.
i also don’t rely on stuff. i don’t need stuff. what i need, would be peace of mind.
here in this community you will find so many great people with the kindest hearts that are out there. so many
people with their own struggles and still here and helping others.
why you writing this ? because it will help. the way out ? i am proud of you, how you see that. that is such a strong
statement. thank you for that a lot. my way to think is, that the people around me, would live with the fact that i
would not be there anymore. they have to live with that. when you don’t reach out, when you don’t open up nobody
will come and help or safe you. give that a try. not only here, also in your life. you have your wife around yourself,
a wife who loves you, a family and friends that will be there for you. when you want that, please give it a try.
life is beauty also, life can be blooming if we want that. enjoy the little things, enjoy and be aware of them.
small steps matter most.
from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing. i am really proud of you. you matter, to us, to your loved ones
and also to me. you are loved and feel hugged my friend :purple_heart:

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