It’s never enough

I always feel like I’m not enough. Not good enough, not smart enough, not trying enough.

Sometimes it’s in the back of my mind other times, if something triggers this.

Someone doing something amazing whilst I feel I’m sitting there stagnant or going backwards.

Rejection upon rejection upon rejection.

Waiting for emails. Emails of yet more rejections or hopefully good news.

Scrolling down linkedin or legal insta to find everyone getting training contract offers when you have nothing.

Everyone else having confidence to start various initiatives and you not.

Because who would care? Who would help?

People say you don’t network in the right way.

You can’t maintain relationships with people because you pushed all your friends away in the second year of university when you had zero mental health.

You are just simply not enough.

I don’t know how much of this is my poor self esteem as a result of never feeling heard as a child. At school, by my family. A result of emotional neglect/abuse. Or how much of it is a result of being chronically ill and when your chronically ill society expects you to be extroadinary.

To reach goals that most people don’t reach and be an inspiration.

If you don’t your just lazy. A burden on everyone.

It doesn’t help that I genuinely want to reach said goals.

Personally I think it’s a combination of the two causing my feelings of never enough.

I already push myself so much to do things and to function and to live life as close to how I want it as possible that when I see other people meeting standards that I expect of myself I feel like I’m not enough. People say I should do more or atleast insinuate it but there is no way I can fit more in.

I need to try and climb as it’s the only exercise I can tolerate and being conditioned makes a massive difference to my pain levels. It also gives me life.

I’m leaving my job but up until said point I am having to drag myself through 8 hours a day. 8 hours where the pressure in my head feels unbearable, Where my vision will start to fade on sitting up and where the brain fog is so thick that I don’t really trust myself.

I’m doing law things alongside.

Moving home to try and take care of my health before I start my LPC.

I can’t fit more in.

I find it funny that we are expected to be inspiarations but if a healthy person got my symptoms for a week it’s okay for them to do the bare minimum.

Why is this? Why has society developed in this f*cked up abelist way? I know I’m not the only one who suffers because of it, so if you do to you are not alone and you are enough.

Feeling useless

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Do you ever feel so useless that the slightest critique gets to you?
Do you ever have such low self esteem that everything feels like a personal attack?

Or is it just me?

I don’t know why but I have no self-esteem. I constantly feel like I am of no value, a burden… useless…

I get over it at times. I feel great. But it’s still underlying and lingering in the background.

I feel unaccepted in the things I do.

The decisions I make.

I feel trapped – like a bird – desperate to fly but not given the space to do anything.

Maybe that’s why I just booked a holiday to Berlin even though my life’s so uncertain right now…

So I can fly. So I feel less useless.

So I can explore, be independent and grow. To escape from the toxic environment I am in.

Recovering from low self esteem is a long winding road. It’s certainly not linear.  But it is possible if your given the right space and time to heal.

Sometimes it won’t feel possible. If you’re going through a vulnerable patch but it is! And if your experiencing this, you need to keep going. Keep pushing yourself and putting yourself out there and it will get better!

 

The one where I discuss loneliness and always feeling like an outcast

Essentially more of Han moaning about her fam to get the point across, also I’ve been watching friends, which explains the title.

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I’ve been noticing it more as I’ve got older and since I’ve matured into an adult in my family. That not being included in anything, not being listened to and not being heard. I’ve also noticed it in committee meetings, in friendship groups. When it comes to it no one ever hears what I say and I feel invisible.

And that’s it. That’s my life.

And then one wonders why I have mental health issues the way I do. Why I feel like no one cares. Why I struggle to make friends and talk to people.

Why I just feel so incredibly alone…

Especially now I’m seeing my brothers be listened to and included.

I wonder…. I wonder what it is that wrong with me.

I was inspired to talk about this because I ended up going to my nans this morning and now deeply regretting it. Thinking it would only be a couple of hours and now realising it’s taken up the entire day. At least all the energy I have to do useful things due to my ME/CFS. I had plans. But I went because… well I felt like I had to.

To go to not feel rewarded or valued and be intentionally left out. To not be included in any conversation. To now realise we’re staying for lunch and there’s nothing I can eat because I have to be plant based due to health issues.

I ate dairy yesterday and still regret it today because it genuinely feels like it just stays in my stomach forever.

To not know when we can go home so I can work on my interview prep that I have planned and after having been dragged on a dog walk I doubt I’ll have the energy to read, process information and write.

I can’t be the only one to feel this way. The only one to just not fit in…

The only one who just does not get on with there family full stop but until a job comes it’s way in a formal manner cannot do anything but live with them.

The one who desperately tries to please everyone but it’s never enough….

And I need someone to talk to. I think everyone needs someone to talk to if there in this situation. They need to feel loved, accepted, cared for. And society needs to help facilitate this. Going back to my previous post this may be a situation where social media is a force for good. But we also need real people in the real world to talk to.

I think this is why many people who report similar situation end up in abusive relationships… because it’s so easy to get sucked in and give the benefit of the doubt if you’ve never felt loved accepted or listened to.

Us more than ever, need safe spaces. Need an out, need options.

Need unconditional love. And at the very least – like minded people to talk to. To lessen the feelings of loneliness.

We need hope and faith that there is always and out and it will get better. At some point it will. Maybe not now and maybe not forever.

We need to see the light. To understand it’s not because it’s something wrong with us. And it’s also not our fault.

I find because of my experience I put a lot of blame on myself.

But anyway. I’m aware this post had no structure. I just want everyone to think. To think about what they could do to those of us in society who don’t look lonely but are. I want everyone to remember that they can’t see what happens behind closed doors and to look for warning signs.

Is someone quieter than usual, on the contrary are they being more needy than usual, are they acting out at school, grades dropping, self harming. Are they placing blame on themselves a lot, or making any other concerning statements? Less active on social media?

Keep an eye out on things and take action. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be as little as just reaching out. But I do hope those in power to change things take action. Build awareness and programmes in the community to help us feel included.

Those of us left out. Left behind. Misunderstood. We deserve more.

Dealing with family

Family. You either love them or hate them, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

This blog post will be about dealing with family and the difficulties there, especially if, like me you are unfortunately graced with family whom you aren’t all that close to be that for any reason.

Speaking for myself it stems from an emotional neglect and medical neglect with I keep on blaming myself for.

So many years went by with my parents not knowing me at all. Where they didn’t have the time for me, didn’t support me the way I needed them to and didn’t accept me for me. And now – living with them again. Well I can’t say it’s easy.

Now, my current position means I am definitely not one for giving advice in negotiating and managing relationships with family. But I do hope the rest of this post may help give anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation some solace.

You are not alone. I know I feels like it. I do. I know emotional abuse, neglect, or any other negative family member can cause you to feel incredibly alone. It harms your development and the harm will never leave. But you are not alone. There will always be someone you can talk to – there are phone lines, there’s 7 cups of tea. So even if there is no one in the real world – you are not alone.

I know it sounds corny but it will all work out in the end and everything happens for a reason. Yes the harm is long lasting and there will be nights you spend in tears, having flashbacks. If you have younger siblings, yes this will hurt when they are being treated better than you are.

But I promise you. It will work out.

And if anyone ever needs to vent you can always DM be on insta @Spoonielivingfree. 6595526295_7fa79fd6e7_z

Growing up with emotional abuse

Some people may ask why I’m writing this blog post. It’s a very difficult, painful topic to write about. Some people may even accuse me of lying. Trying to get attention. Trying to get my mum into trouble. Trying to tear my family apart. Some people may say it is less emotional abuse and more emotional neglect. But I want to tell my story. Share my experience. In the hopes that other people may be able to identify themselves in this awful position and do something about it before the damage is too great.

Emotional abuse covers a wide variety of behaviours. It involves the abuser making out that they are the victim in any situation where you try and stand up for yourself or get help for the abuse you have faced and the impact of that abuse on your emotional wellbeing.

This is something I have experienced a lot of in the past. Through secondary school I had a lot of CAMHS referrals and being a catholic school, a lot of chaplaincy meetings. Ya know, as if god was going to cure me. And my mum, manipulative as she is convinced everyone that she was a lovely woman. That I was a problem that needed to be fixed and I was the one abusing her. Which as you can imagine was great for my already low self esteem.

There’s the outright, making someone feel bad about themselves element of emotional abuse. I have vivid memories of my parents going on about how I’m borderline autistic but they didn’t want to get me officially diagnosed for my benefit and that it was somehow my fault.

It was something they used against me, something that was used in a way to make me feel bad about being me. If I had a meltdown and broke something in the house they would be all. “If we got you diagnosed we could get money back from that but we love you too much to do that.” Only now as an adult, and as someone with chronic and mental health conditions, some diagnosed, some not, do I realise how stupid that it. With a diagnosis I could access support to help me. Access the support needed to become a more functional human being. Accomodations could be made at uni and in future, the work place.  To make my life that little bit easier. To allow me to succeed and thrive. Now it weighs on me so much. I’m scared people can see my autism. Even though I’m not necessarily autistic.

Life shouldn’t be this hard ya know. No one should have to lack compassion from the people who should love them most. No one should have to have never really felt secure in a friendship. No one should have to feel the need to hide and put up with a chronic health condition that causes severe pain for 9 years of their life, all throughout adolescence because no one belives you and everyone thinks your a burden. And a whole life of other crap that makes my life more difficult than it should be.

There’s the severe lack of compassion. Lack of caring. This can manifest in different ways. The disproving statements, or looks. When you do something that your abuser is not okay with. That trying to control your life. For me, that was with youtube. Even as an adult my mum wouldn’t allow me to film youtube videos. Even in the comfort of my own room. And if she caught at. I would be yelled at, given a whole lecture. And this is one of the main reasons why I havn’t been able to grow a channel. Because I’ve never come across natural, It’s always come across awkward because I was worried about my mum finding out. I’ve never invested in decant camera’s etc because although there have been times in my life where I could have invested in such things, or atleast saved up to do so but I havn’t because what would my parents think?

It can also translate into your parents not liking your friends, and trying to control who you can spend your time with. Either in a way that makes you feel like you need to cut ties or in an outright ban in seeing x,y or z. It seemed every friend I had as a teenager. My mum always had something bad to say. It’s trying to control your outfit choices, trying to control where you go to university and what you study at university.

It’s never having the time for you or your needs but the second your abuser needs you, you need to be there and provide full attention. Countless things I’ve needed my mum for in my life she’s never been there.

From things as simple as never being taught how to shave, but being made aware that it’s something you need to do or never being really supported in the world of periods. To bigger things. When I’ve needed my mum to help me with something, she’s never been there. When I could have done with her to book me a dr’s appointment or come to a big appointment with me. She never would. I’d ask when I was younger and I reached 16 and she was like “your too old, they won’t let me.” Which I have since learnt is an outright lie, seeing as my dad booked a GP appointment for me at 18.

Never being able to talk to her about my illness because although she’ll be like “I’m your mum I want to know.” She never had the time for it. She never cares and she’s never compassionate. It’s feeling like I have to go along with her plans exactly. When I ask her to walk slower because her pace is too fatiguing and causes too much pain and I literally can’t keep up. She’ll tell me I can. Making me feel small. Like I’m just being weak and pathetic and not trying hard enough.

Actually any time I try and explain my health issues to her. It’s a lot of making me feel weak and pathetic, making me feel selfish, lazy. Or making me feel guilty for not pushing to extreme lengths by telling me “I just have to do it.” Which great sentiment until your in severe pain every day of your life. Next time you have a thumb dislocate at the end of an exam, fingers so painful that you can barely hold your pen I’ll tell you the same and see how you feel.

It’s never remembering the last time your abuser hugged you. Really, properly, lovingly hugged you.

And every time you try to bring that issue up. That you just need to feel loved it’s “We buy you birthday and Christmas presents, we feed you etc.” That’s not making me feel loved. That’s what you need to do to look like a good parent to the outside world. Then being made to feel guilty, because your clearly just selfish.

It’s treating your siblings differently, treating them with compassion. Hugging them, listening to their problems, having proper conversations with them. But you never get that same treatment. You get none of that. It’s when it gets to such an extent that unknowingly your siblings tap into this abuse and start calling you a selfish brat for making totally reasonable demands. They start calling you mean, horrible, lazy. And although you know that deep down they love you. They don’t know how to show it because their whole life my mum especially has done a terrible job of providing me with what I need.

It’s shouting at you even if you’ve done nothing wrong, leaving you out things, generally saying things or behaving in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself.

And the worst part, other than how difficult it is to identify. It’s that it keeps on causing you to question yourself question the situation. It’s like a vicious cycle. You get to a point where you convince yourself it’s not abuse. That it’s getting better. And then it hits you again like a ton of bricks. The cycle continues like that. Which makes it nearly impossible to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship.

And long term emotional abuse has a really damaging effect on your mental health, and your ability to function as a normal adult. For me, it’s caused an inability to advocate for myself. Which means if I have a job and I don’t get paid I really struggle to do anything about it, because I feel like it’s my fault. Even if I know it’s not. It means I cannot deal with doctors and receptionists and pharmacists for the life of me. I’m getting better but it’s still such a struggle and causes a huge amount of anxiety. This means I’m now possible going to the other side of the world without pain medication which even with, I’m still in severe daily pain. It means I cancelled my wheelchair assistance at the airport because although I know I need it. I don’t feel validated in it and in person I wouldn’t be able to advocate for myself when needed to ensure I get on the right plane, can buy water before etc.

It causes difficulty’s both personally and professionally. You struggle to keep and maintain friendships because you feel so worthless as a person. You can’t approach your lecturers to send past paper answers because you feel like your being annoying, or wasting their time. It’s an experience that can become hugely impactful in every aspect of your life.

That’s why as soon as you identify yourself in such a situation you need the courage to get out of it. So it doesn’t manifest into such a hugely impactful experience.