At The Edge of Giving Up

I just had the biggest meltdown that I could ever remember having. I cried all through my 10 minute shower, I tried to talk to Hubster and when that threatened to devolve into an argument, I retreated and cried some more. Then later, I went back downstairs, hugged him and told him that I didn’t deserve such a kind and patient husband. Then I cried so much more.

I told him of all the things that I’ve been feeling and thinking today. The trigger was the 78% that I got in my Calculus exam. I left the exam feeling confident that I was going to get at least a B+ despite knowing that I’ve made a few mistakes. When I saw that it was a 78, I was so disappointed.

All kinds of irrational thought flooded into my head – too many to list them all but among the most prominent being, “You’re such a disgrace. You don’t deserve to work at the Math Assistance Center when you can’t even ace your exam!”, “Hah. And you think you can make it as a computer scientist? You don’t even know how to do basic Calculus. How can you go on to do Calc 2 and Calc 3?”, “You’re never going to make it as a computer science major. You barely understand programming and it’s already mid semester!”, “You work three jobs and you’re still barely making any money. You’re pathetic and you’re just wasting time!”, “You keep making your husband feel like you hate him. You treat him with such contempt. You’re a horrible human being for being so cruel, selfish and unkind. He’s your husband. How could you?”, “You’re awful. People’s lives are better off without you”, and worst of all, “You’re so much of a coward that you don’t even have the guts to take your own life!”

It was like getting beat down and punched in the gut over and over again in a street fight, except this all happened in my head and the abuser was my own mind – maybe a depression-influenced mind, but still my own nonetheless.

Hubster tried to assuage me but I wouldn’t have it. I would counter everything he said. I finally just sobbed and told him the I feel like I should just die, that his life would be better without me in it because then he doesn’t have to put with me and my terrible behavior anymore. It’s the same pattern over and over and I reasoned with him that he must be sick of it by now. He said nothing. Instead, he just sat beside me, half hugged me and kept patting my arm.

Then I decided that I was going to just going to go to bed. I couldn’t cry anymore. As I’m writing this, I feel spent. I feel sore, exhausted and just drained. I wasn’t going to write this but then I saw something on my Facebook feed that came from a random page that curates Steampunk related items. They normally only post Steampunk items but today, they posted this:

image

It was posted 19 hours ago and by right, shouldn’t have even showed up on my feed anymore since I had just refreshed it. Yet, somehow, it did. It showed up and I read it.

For some reason, a page that never ever talks about anything other than Steampunk posted this message. And I happened to read it. I am amazed by the timing – this and many other reasons is why I believe, despite my self loathing, that there is a God who is looking after me, even when I don’t believe I deserve His love.

I don’t know what tomorrow will be like. I will see S on Wednesday so at least if I can hang on until then, help will be there. I also have group therapy tomorrow so even if I don’t find what I need tomorrow at group, I know I can pull one of the two therapists aside and talk to them if I need to.

For tonight, I think the kind words from my friend, B, and the uplifting words from this Steampunk page on Facebook will carry me through the rest of the night.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “At The Edge of Giving Up

  1. Oh dear, I read this and my heart aches for you! I wish I could sit with you in person. I’d love to try to provide you some comfort. I’d give you back a part of the warm support you offer to me and so many others. You’re such a lovely, caring person.

    And yet at the same time, you have a harsh, judgmental part that just rages at you in a very unfair way. You would never judge any other person that way for a 78% on a calculus test. You’d say, “I know you are smart; you will figure this out. You can get help from someone, or talk to the instructor. You can find out what you didn’t understand and fill that piece in. And btw, a 78% is not a failure. It’s not the end of the world.”

    You would probably tell someone else, “Calculus matters, yes, but it’s also not the same as computer science. Programming is a combination of attention to detail, excellent logic, and a mind for creative solutions. And you are good at all those things. It is going to be okay.”

    These things are just as true for you as for anyone else. It is not a catastrophe, but that internal punishing part tries to make it that way, tries to make you seriously ashamed of something not worthy of shame. I don’t know why that part punishes you so harshly (great therapy topic), but I think it’s reasonable to talk back and call it the exaggeration it is.

    There is no way your husband would be better off without you. And there are many other people, family and friends, who love and value you. You know that “better off without you” is depression talking and not the truth. I’m so happy you found the Steampunk message and the right time and that it spoke to you. Please take care of yourself and remember how precious you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JL says:

      Oh Q, you’re such a gem! I hope you know and believe that. The message came at a good time. And it helps me try and overcome that extremely harsh self-loathing that I so obviously have for myself.

      The message itself is so tender, caring and so empathetic. I hope you know just how much your words have done me good. You’re right, I *would* have said those things to someone who may be struggling through the same things. Why is it so hard for me to believe it myself?

      I was so down in the dumps today. I had therapy this morning with S which dealt a little with the meltdown and we had come to the realization that in my case, need and shame come together as a package and they’re also related to me not wanting feel child-like. I can’t feel need without feeling shame and I think being so needy lately has made me feel even more shame even though ironically being needy is what I needed. Since I’ve ignored that part of me, I back myself up to a corner and make it even harder to accept that I need help. I was a little better after therapy but of course, as always, negativity creeps into my mind through the day and seeing this was what I needed tonight.

      I know it’s hard to defeat self-loathing – after all, you are fighting yourself. But I hope, you too will be able to see how harshly you judge yourself as well and be able to take comfort in knowing what a wonderful person you are and how encouraging you are to me and to everyone else as well. Your honesty and the things you share on your blog are so important and I relate so much.

      Also, reading your blog has helped me bring up a topic with S that has been bothering me for months now. I brought up the topic of my anxiety associated with termination because I read how candid you and E are and how brave you are in asking her questions and getting answers. I also took your example with texting her and emailed S. I got back a reply from him yesterday which was very comforting. Like E, he also showed that he was with me. And today, he assured me in no uncertain terms that he’s still here with me and that not only am I not ready for termination, that when the time does come, that he will prepare me for it and he will never leave me high and dry. What a comfort to know that. And it was all thanks to your courage that I had mirrored today that I even brought that up.

      So thank you. I want you to know how much of an impact you have in my life – even if we may likely never met in person. You take care of yourself too and I’ll always read your blog!

      Like

      • I’m glad that my blog is useful to you. I find it so helpful to read other people’s blogs, partly to learn what therapy is like for them and what they are learning. But I also think that responding to others with empathy when they are struggling with issues similar to mine helps me learn, slowly, to be gentler with myself.

        It took me a while to get used to it when E. asked me to think of myself as someone else (or of a part of myself as a separate self), but that also has helped me develop empathy for myself. Because, just as you say, we would NEVER talk so harshly to anyone else. Obviously I go up and down in my ability to apply this, but it’s clear to me that I can use it more often than I used to.

        It’s exciting you reached out to your therapist by email and got such a supportive response. It’s the most amazing thing, to feel truly supported and cared about. Of course your husband loves you too, but he doesn’t really know how to respond to your despair (mine doesn’t either). So they play their roles as partners, but our therapists play a special role as someone who can see our pain and not freak out about it. It sounds like S is showing himself worthy of your trust.

        Hugs, Q.

        Like

      • JL says:

        Q, you’re quite right! I think that by talking to other people and seeing what their therapists are doing for them and how they’re doing it can help us to also figure out how to talk to our own and what to bring up. E is very wise to suggest that you think of yourself as someone else. I don’t think I have ever thought of that. S has mentioned to me before that I need to practice self-empathy but that has been something that I have since forgotten. I think I need to take his suggestions more seriously – I often hear what he’s saying without really listening.

        And yes, going up and down in our abilities to apply what we tell others they should do seems to be something I also struggle with. I can easily comfort another person but find it so hard to do that for myself!

        And yes, it was exciting. It was a short response but I had expected no response so getting one was nice. And you’re right, our husbands are great and loving but they really don’t know what to say or how to react most times. I try not to make him feel like I value S more than I value him because really, they have different roles to fulfill, and I value them both greatly! I especially value the fact that S doesn’t react to what I tell him in the way most people do – which is probably why I like talking to him so much!

        Anyway, thanks again for reaching out to me. You’re a lifesaver! 🙂 Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

    • JL says:

      By the way Q, it’s a good thing you wrote me because earlier, I was supposed to attend a meeting with some friends that I had started a club with. These are people I trusted more than most. So I explained to the President that I was too overwhelmed and was running on fumes to attend the meeting. I then felt a need to explain why so I did (after all these people on my group chat are supposed to be part of my support group). I told them that for weeks now I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts and that it felt too overwhelming to think about socialization. So I said that I just couldn’t go. The answer I got back was almost apathetic, maybe it’s because it’s the written online word but “It’s fine” really stung.

      I think if I hadn’t read your comment first, I’d have another thing to add to the list of reasons why no one seems to care – despite the fact that I *do* know that there *are* people who care. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 You are welcome!

        Sometimes others can really let us down when we open up to them, like the president of your club. It’s often because people have no clue what to say.

        Or it could be they can’t deal with it. My sister shut me down completely when I started to tell her one of my less traumatic experiences, just about a neighbor who fondled me repeatedly when I was about 13. I just started to talk about it, and she said, “Whatever, it was a long time ago.” I actually kind of suspect he may have done the same to her, and she can’t bear to think about it.

        Anyway, all the more reason we need to have people in our lives (even if online) who get it and can handle the intensity of the feelings and the bleakness of some of the stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JL says:

        I agree! I think sometimes I put too high of an expectation on people and it’s disappointing when they don’t respond the way I would hope they did.

        I think you’re probably on to something there – that they can’t deal with the issue more than that they don’t care. I sometimes find myself telling my husband thing that I hope would make him feel better but he has pointed out how dismissive some of the things I say to him are. It’s not that I don’t care, I just want to help ease his pain but as I am doing so, it comes across like I’m being dismissive. It’s definitely a fine line and I definitely suck at in-person comforting. I’m so much better at comforting people through my written words because when I open my mouth to say things, I often put my foot in it. Haha…

        Anyway, I think it’s easier to be supportive online because there’s a sort of detachment to it so it makes it easier to say the things we want to say to people than it is to say it all in person.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s