Tag Archives: voices

Translations from the dark side

Why is it that something genuinely supportive and helpful comes off as condescending and invalidating? What lens do I put on that turns all the nice into hate? I know my stress is skyrocketing, and that the depression is creeping back in. I guess that’s the lens right there: depression. I had reached out to someone in hopes of finding support, but all I read from their response was how wrong I was doing things, how deliberately miserable I am, and how inadequate I am. In actuality, their response was uplifting, supportive, positive, and understanding.  My head instantly turned that positive into disparaging. Even as I recognize this, my head is battling itself. There’s the side that is berating me for being inadequate and stupid.  Then there’s the side of me that is taking the response at face value and trying to convince that other side that it’s reading into things. Depression will do that to you. Self – doubt and self – loathing become a way of life.
So my eyes will read “you’ve had so much success until now, you need to focus on that” and my brain will understand “you worthless piece of shit, you can’t even get recovery right. I told you you’d never amount to anything more that a useless waste of space. People tell you all the time to focus on the positive, but all you do is choose to be miserable. You’re a horrid person. You deserve everything you get and then some” (note here that a simple line of text has been translated into a tirade of the self…).

I’m writing this and the voice in my head is reminding me how stupid I have become. This is all stuff I should already know. It’s not supposed to be such a revelation… when I try to change the voice, it gets louder, then more sly when the loud doesn’t work.  It rationalizes the negative self-talk and starts whispering little doubts “you have been really off lately,” “you’re such a flake , the driving is getting bad,” “pretty soon you’ll be completely worthless in everything”… it makes the negative sound like logical conclusions. It plants seeds of doubt “everyone can see you’re crazy. It’s written all over you.  Why do you think you can’t get a job?” “Even if you did land one, they’d notice the crazy and find a reason to fire you if you don’t end up walking out first because you can’t take it”

We went to a volunteer meeting tonight at the nature center. We got hugs from people we hadn’t seen in a while, and all I could think was that they were pity hugs. Like they knew I was crazy and wanted to pat me on the head for making it out anyway but figured a hug would be less condescending… I know they are all about the hugs anyway, but my head screamed at me that they knew and just felt sorry for me.

Mental illness, self-doubt, and self loathing have a way of turning even the most positive interactions into something terrible. I wonder how much of my therapy is viewed this way.  I know the obvious ones, but what about the things that don’t necessarily hit my awareness? What about everyday encounters? What if everyone is really a wonderful person and it’s all just me that views them as hating me? I know I really dislike spending time with G. L pointed it out that my disdain for him was very evident earlier today.  I tried to be nicer when we got back home, but I have a lot of work to do on that front. He may be a perfectly wonderful person these days (ok, that’s an exaggeration. He may be at least tolerable), but I only see him through these angry glasses. Everything he says and does I interpret to be mean and hateful so I respond in kind. Then I feel bad for being an asshole. The cycle begins again. I’m once again battling the translation of simple words. I’m twisting what I’m saying to prove to myself how worthless and horrid I am. I just don’t know how to stop it.  There’s only so much arguing one can do with oneself before a splitting headache ensues. I think it’s once again time for sleep.

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the voices inside

This is the first time I’ve heard my doubts as voices…
I was showering for the second time today, and feeling frustrated with my reactions to G and mom (at times I can see it’s all in my reactions, other times, it feels like my reactions are justified). I heard an angry and “evil” voice in my head telling me I’m a fraud, and all of this is in my head. She said I’m making it all up… The voice composed an non-existant email to De telling her all this, and, in my head, she also “wrote in the email” that I would wake up with fresh cuts, and she hoped I wouldn’t wake up…
It’s weird, because I have not felt like self-harming for the last 2 or 3 days. I think this is my head’s way of rectifying that – I can’t si, or even deal with the urges while G is around, so it creates another “being” that has the excuse to think that way or do that stuff. I really hate my head for that.

Today was an ok day. L and I took a drive out to the Japanese gardens to do our meditation walks. We ate at the cafe (rated in the top 3 best Asian restaurants in the nation, and for good reason). The service was not the best (our meal came out as it was prepared. My meal came out first, then 15 minutes later, L’s meal arrived… then we waited another 15 minutes and out appetizer made it’s debut. Dessert came right on time though). The food was amazing! I would say it was THE BEST Japanese food I have ever had. Ever. And it was cheaper than most of the local places that are highly rated…

IMG_8143  We then walked the gardens. I started at the “end” and L tackled it from the “beginning”. I have been unable to do much mediation or contemplative thinking outside of the safety of De’s office, so I busied myself with pictures. The prompt I chose was awareness (once again, since I do not think I did it well after the meeting). I chose to be aware of nature, the flow of nature, and the changing shadows as well as light and dark. I took over 1000 pictures there today. I had my “good” camera, but still felt like some of the pics were lacking (I need a better filter to help keep the sun-heavy pictures from washing out too much. I also need to find a better lens to be able to capture shots faster). I took a while watching a Great Blue Heron stalk some fish. We both stayed very still for about 15 minutes. The second I turned away to focus on the fish, turtles, or another bird near-by, he changed spots… I missed it each time except for once, when I caught a shot of his shadow as he alighted onto another rock. I’m quite frustrated with myself for letting the distractions change my focus.

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Anyway, the gardens were great. I only wish they stayed open longer, I would love to have taken some sunset pictures from there. (also wishing we had gone earlier so I could have explored more of the gardens. There are so many nooks and crannies to check out, you really need a full day there to see everything).

 

 

 

 

 

 

We returned home and my frustrations soared once again… I know most of it is my reaction to my father, but there are some things he says/does that simply drive me nuts. He is constantly critical of everyone else, he holds very bigoted views, and he does not respect that my “kids” need to be treated a certain way – while I look for respect from them, I also expect them to be respected. G tends to forget he is a guest in this house, and he treats the dogs like he would at his house, which is totally unacceptable… I know he is a guest, but that does not give him the right to dictate how the beings that LIVE here will behave. I ask him time and again to not threaten the dogs because I do not want him to get bitten… he does it anyway. I refuse to lose my kids because he is being stupid… and he often treats my wife as “less-than” and encourages my mother to do the same. He believes only HE is worthy of anything, and will treat anyone else as beneath him. Then he artificially tries to raise up myself or my mother in hopes of lowering/diminishing everyone else… he doesn’t get that his sarcastic agreement with everything I say is disrespectful and patronizing. And he fights to maintain every shred of control he remotely can. A month ago, he decided that he would sign full ownership of my car over to me. We talked about it, but when it came time, he refused to do it because, in his eyes, my wife would screw me and take the car… Only L would never do anything like that. HE would, but L would not. So he maintains half-ownership of my vehicle, even thought he pays nothing towards it, and never drives it. He just wants to be able to screw my wife should anything ever happen to me… gee, thanks.

But I digress… (or maybe this is where the inner voices are founded?). I am feeling particularly down on myself tonight. Only, it doesn’t feel like it’s coming from me; more like someone outside myself. And it’s a particularly disparaging voice that is also threatening. I would talk to De about it, only the messages in my head remind me that she would likely think I am faking… I’m just a spoiled little once-privileged kid who needs a reason to feel like shit… (forget the abuse and the assaults and the depression and the losses. I have no reason to feel this way. It’s all in my head. I deserve nothing good. I deserve no compassion, no empathy, and certainly no help).


Huffington Post Hears Voices – All Weekend

I like this perspective and def. want to look into it more… A few of my former residents came to mind when reading this…

recovery network: Toronto

Eleanor1It’s Hearimg Voices Weekend at Huffington Post. Well, not quite but close enough. The whole weekend Huffpuff is featuring Eleanor Longden’s mind opening TED talk. There’s an op-ed by Eleanor – repeated below – and pieces by regular  Huffbloggers. 
go read,
go listen.
go.

About ten percent of us hear voices. Any of us can at some point – especially around or after difficult life experiences. [eg about half of those in a long -term marriage will hear, see or otherwise sense the presence of their deceased spouse].

Some cultures regard it as a gift, or even normal – in some it’s those who don’t talk about the voices they hear who are regarded as troubled or strange. 

Literature is filled with references to the voice in my head, Ray Bradbury said that “all writers hear voices – or they couldn’t do dialogue” and there are hundreds of songs.

So, why…

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hearing voices: a sane reaction to insane circumstances