For starters, I always thought I was the one with the problem. I've been told so my entire life. Be it directly or indirectly, by people who despised me
or even by people who genuinely wanted to help me.
You see, I had the fortune or misfortune, however one may put it, of being taught that I should always put myself in someone else's shoes before making a choice
and, whether you think empathy is a trait you're born with or learned, I think it contributed greatly to me developing it further.
I think my main problem and even the problem with today's society lies in how when people admit to their mistakes in an attempt to become a better person, it is seen as a sign of weakness which many people take as an opportunity to mock them and just crush them so they don't have to focus on their own. That is when people learn not to show these weaknesses, and stop wanting to be a better person.
If I say I have anger issues and feel bad for hurting people who are close to me, people will do anything to make me feel bad about it, more than I already do.
If I say I have depression, they will find ways and means to make me believe there is no reason for me to feel that way and that I am just a cringy teenager.
Maybe I am too naive to believe these people, but whenever I see someone getting bullied (people like James Charles, for example, regardless of what I think of him),
I will always think they feel guilty and that they really don't
deserve to be treated in such a manner. It may be hypocritical of me, though, because I end up having myself thinking of people who had been mean to me that deserve to be punished, yet if they showed even a bit of remorse or just saw to it to treat me better I'd forgive them easily. I always thought that, no matter what someone may have done to me, if they ever asked, I'd always be happy to help them.
Regardless, no matter what you really do people will never be satisfied with you because the more they blame you for your mistakes and the more they take it out on you,
the less they will see their own mistakes and flaws.
I saw throughout my stay at high school that people, be it adults or children, hate to see the wrong in them. I on the other hand generally
hated myself and believed that the only thing I do possess are flaws. I really wanted to fit in and after years of rejecting my flaws, like many people are
still guilty of, I just started thinking the problem was me.
When I was first told that people in my class were talking behind my back about how negative I was and how people thought
I was annoying. And, to clarify, I was being negative towards myself.
I was upset, of course; like any other person may be.
At first I was mad and tried hard to defend myself, saying how I legitimately had a reason to be
depressed and all the things they have said about me. That lasted on for about half a year, convincing myself, like everybody else, that it was definitely not my fault.
With time, however, I started thinking that perhaps they were right. I mean, if I hated myself and saw so many mistakes, why are they in the wrong
to think so too? When I came up with this train of thought, I decided to stop being angry and actually listen to what they had to say.
In the meantime, I had a really toxic relationship, which did no good for my mental health. On top of that, we were poor so that meant we didn't really get much to eat, and you can imagine the surprise when our oven decided to nope out and left us unable to really afford a new one.
For one full year, all I would have eaten in a day way one sandwich, whereas on some weekends I would go to eat dinner somewhere.
Although it was not intentional at first, I developed anorexia. Lost about 7kg, got to 45kg, stopped getting my period, had a hard time concentrating, my speech was reaallyy sllooooww aaanndd peeoplleee keppt thinnkiingg I'm hiiigh, and all that good stuff. I really liked it though. I was always, and I mean always, the fat friend. So when people kept asking me how I lost weight I felt so fucking good about myself.
You can not imagine how happy I felt when my skinny friends told me I was as thin as them. It was like a dream come true.
That's when it got from forced to intentional ana. I didn't really want to eat, I just felt so much better about myself seeing how people were chained to food and here I was going days without eating. I mean who would eat sandwiches for a year, you get me?
People were worried, nobody in my class of course, but they kept saying I was too thin. And because anorexic people don't actually think they are sick, neither did I. It became normal to me to only eat once a day, food became something I would forget I had to bring into my system. I never really saw myself as skinny, average at most, and I wish I had taken pictures to serve as my thinspo.
I remember the toxic bf I was with once said I looked disgusting when he saw how my bones were sticking out, and lawd, it was like a drug to me.
Anyhow, summer came by and I ended up breaking up with the guy. I started going out with my current SO who is the sweetest guy ever. I was genuinely happy with him. I started eating. I thought if I played basketball and ate that I wouldn't gain weight. I was really convinced for about a year that I had stayed at 45kg.
I gained, and although it was muscle from training and I was rather fit, to a person with an ED, scale numbers are holy and being over 50 was so humiliating. I started starving myself again. It was good for about a month. I bought dieting pills without anyone knowing, exercised every day, and ate below 1000cals a day. I lost 3kg in a month. I was happy. My bones had started to show again.
Then I heard about this diet my friend was doing.
I tried it.
Turns out if you take out the main thing you eat, in my case fruits, and replace it with something you don't really like, like dairy and meat, your body will only then start feeling deprived because it is all in the mind. If you believe one fruit is enough for you, it will be enough for you.
If you eat a regular healthy meal and still crave fruit, it will not be fucking enough for you.
I started binging. Eating over 5000cal every day.
I started purging. I sucked at it though. It took me about half a year to get back on track (eating just normally without binging).
Before that, though, while I was still dealing with bulimia now, I ought that "shit I really am edgy, lemme actually stop complaining for once and do shit, aight?"
They said I was negative, right? K. I agreed that I was, in fact, and was aware that people generally don't really want to deal with people's
problems, that it's often tiring, and that whoever is seen as the "loner" type or someone with too much drama going around them generally made others
want to avoid them. If you weren't the one to step out of your comfort zone, suck it up, and try to be a productive member of society and fit in
with everybody else, people would try to avoid you as much as possible, either because you really were annoying, with the way your negative thoughts
tended to indicate you are not someone who can actually have fun, which is what the majority of people really want, or just thought that if you
wanted to have friends and be outgoing you would have done so by now.
I understood all that. It was crystal clear to me. I was definitely aware that life is truly what you make of it; if you decide to be negative about it,
you will only bring more negativity into your life. The more you worried about negative thoughts the more you would actually start to distance yourself from the positive ones.
For someone who was highly empathetic and always gave a deeper meaning to absolutely everything, the way I was thought to try to look at things from
someone else's point of view and generally find ways to justify peoples' behavior (negative behavior, to be precise), especially to the way they lash out just like animals when they feel threatened, and how
I too saw reason to hate myself, it wasn't hard to understand why some people would despise someone like me,
and it was totally understandable to want to enjoy life and avoid negativity at all cost.
Why would you want to be surrounded by darkness anyway?
I really love nature and find myself often comparing humans to animals, which to some is absolutely absurd. I really do not understand what goes inside the heads of those who think
that animals don't deserve as much as humans do.
I mean, is it their fault they were born less "intelligent" than you were? And even so, the ability to speak alone doesn't make you very intelligent either. Intelligence should be about how well you can use
the abilities, so to say, you were predisposed to. I say this because as someone who has been dubbed as "naturally gifted" or "talented" think that talent is nothing but a push towards something you love that gives you the opportunity to learn it.
If, as a race that is apparently all about morals, empathy, and compassion, you can not use these skills and feel sympathy towards creatures just because you deem them "beneath" you, in what way are you intelligent?
Do you realize that being selfish, in nature where it's either "to live or to die", nature you call oh so primitive, is actually primitive in itself? Do you realize that selfless need to help another, without expecting any gain from it
is actually the thing that would set one apart from being "primitive"? I've seen many people comment on how, for example, skinning an animal and skinning a human alive, or killing them, would not be the same, and I swear nothing makes my blood boil more than that.
So, what? Animals are for food? Is that why it is "okay" to kill them without showing any remorse towards the life they had? So, by this very logic, if a superior species were to come to our planet and deem us the inferior ones, it would be totally alright with you for them to skin you alive? And by this, I do not imply that eating meat is wrong, but the way in which you take the life away from them could be a crime in itself, rather. I myself am not very religious, agnostic at most, but I always thought the way people pray prior to eating and thank for the food before them is really something people ought to take more into consideration.
And finally, on the topic of primitive behavior, I find it extremely hilarious how the same people that view themselves as so much superior to others act like nothing more but scared, cornered animals. People are so nasty, really. The more different and unique you are the more they see you as a threat, which is exactly why they often take it out on people like these. I don't blame them. Animals do this too when introduced to new objects. One would think that it would take humans, the oh godly ones, to adjust to said differences quicker, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The problem with being so god damn egoistical is not being able to see how far from the ground your head has gone, so when someone actually makes a valid point they can't do anything but lash out in anger and start insulting you from falling so hard.
They say that impulsivity and anger are actually connected to lower IQ, and I could not agree more. Anger is a primary emotion, the more your brain is developed the fewer anger outbursts you have. My SO is someone who I find is extremely intelligent, and would you know it, he is a very calm person who, in turn, helps keep my anger in check.
I never found myself intelligent because of this, though. I hate that I have anger issues, and I hate that I can be just as impulsive as them. No matter what anyone or any test says I would never want to admit that I could share this trait with those people and possibly show any signs of intelligence.
Moving on, since I was little, I was also told that I was too sensitive. That is kind of what comes with being very empathetic, but people can not seem to grasp that concept all too well.
On top of that, I was raised in such a matter where I was told not to question authority or generally whatever someone told me, so whenever I was faced with negative feedback
I basically saw it as nothing but the truth.
And, you know, even if something is a lie, if you tell someone for a hundred times that same lie, they will eventually start believing it. At least that's how I saw it.
I am aware that being overly sensitive as an adult may not be a good thing and that trying to get your kid to understand that not everything is so dark
and that not everything they are told should be taken to heart, as a way to make them grow into a stronger individual, but I really think that telling someone
they're too sensitive is really not going to solve anything.
When these same people are told that they are just too sensitive, what you are basically doing is telling them that their problems aren't really that grave
and that most of them are just in their heads.
I think this very fact is the thing that made me go from a very honest person to someone who does not want to share their problems with absolutely anyone.
When you are told that your problems aren't really that big of a deal you start to believe that about every single thing. If your self-esteem is low enough, you will start
to even feel guilty of feeling the way you do, eventually.
I'm not entirely sure if this goes for all empathetic people, but I have seen a handful, myself included, who have at one point or another learned to hate themselves for that very fact. Be it for being taken advantage of, easily hurt, or something else entirely. I've seen a lot of articles talking about how it is very easy for such people to fall into depression or such.
Something I've recently thought about is that, even though the act of empathy is selfless, I think that it came to evolve as nature really operates, only for one's own benefit. I started thinking about what the fuck empathy really was, why the heck does it exist when nature is, again, generally about survival and being selfish, I saw no bloody reason besides that to conclude how empathy came to be. At first, I thought it could be useful in parent-child relationships. It would seem that *the general* female population had better intuition for knowing when to run or hide, while men were perhaps more reckless and impulsive to try and scare off danger or give enough time for said females to escape, so they could have possibly developed it sooner, to better understand the needs of their child and potential threat. I don't think that back in the day men really needed to feel much for their children because if there was no mother, the child was basically dead. No mama, no food. And I mean all this at the more primitive ages of human evolution, don't be offended, correct me if I'm wrong but I think females had intuition and such caretaker instincts born into them more often as a means to keep their babies alive as they were tied to the baby the most from birth, while men had to generally fight, etc., which is why they have more muscle mass, have stronger impulses, less sense of danger, etc.
Again, modern problems require modern solutions so fathers are developing said traits, and since it is no longer a certain death for the child without a mother around, it is desirable to have such traits in both sexes these days.
Furthermore, I thought that empathy really was what the awful definition said; just a means to better one's social standing. In a selfish world, the beginnings of empathy meant having good social rank, being good to others as a means to receive help yourself in the future, and how reading other peoples' emotions could tell you whether someone was lying or not, etc.
That, however, made me realize that that is what basically the term we now know as "psychopaths". They can mimic and tell others' emotions well, yet not yet to the point where they really feel them, they often have good social standing, many of which are leaders and managers, they often manipulate you for their own gain and don't really feel the need to help or feel compassion unless it's for their own gain.
Is it weird to think that they were what started empathy?
But anyhow, after learning of my classmates' thoughts, what I did was try to be the bigger man and step out of my barely existant comfort zone and be the one to get close to others.
Whenever I was surrounded by people younger than me or just other fellow loners, introverts, shy people and the like, I would always make a fool
out of myself and try to make people laugh in an attempt to stand as an example and possibly have them loosen up a bit.
With them, I always put on this brave face that I was someone else, someone who was full of positivity, courage, charisma, and confidence. It was
something I have done for a long time, and even if it wasn't the real me, it somehow felt real. So, once I had to put this mask on in front of nobody but my classmates that should have been easy, right?
Boi, I couldn't have been more wrong.
With them, I felt like nothing more than a wounded sheep waiting to be pounced at and brutally murdered. All that false courage and charisma were gone.
I didn't chicken away, of course not, but whenever I tried talking or making jokes people just kept giving me looks and it felt so fucking awful.
I tried my darn best to be the usual trickster I was but people always kept misunderstanding me, so used to my usual negative self that, when I made an
attempt to joke or be sarcastic, they genuinely thought I was serious.
The moral of the story is; people will view you the way you want yourself to be viewed, and I happened to set a curse upon myself.
It was just awful. I couldn't, for the love of god, be myself around these people. And not even the brave facade I had on, either, but just the regular,
No matter how loud I tried speaking, each time I got shut down by someone.
If we were in a group of four and tried to voice my opinion, people would just start talking over me.
And do note that by this time I already made the excuse that I may have been too quiet so I was lowkey yelling, and believe me when I say that I was not a quiet
person because the same people that ignored me often told me I was annoying because of the volume of my voice.
I was always so pissed about that. I was someone who really wanted to bring in all negativity I received and really felt I deserve every
drop of it, so even at the smallest things like this my mood would have usually faltered. I knew that I was this way, knew it was annoying, so I brushed it off.
It still really bugged me though and showed just how little people cared about my opinion or even paid attention to me.
After a few months, I saw that this shit wasn't really going anywhere, so I decided to confront my teacher about it. And just to be clear, I was not just
ignored, but also yelled at, mocked and insulted by these people.
When I told her this, about how they really didn't like me, how everyone's mistakes were okay, but whenever I'd make one I was never ever given a break,
she basically told me I'm imagining it.
I knew that this is the first conclusion that adults would come to, so I wasn't all that mad at first, which is why I actually did try to solve these problems
by myself by trying to be more outgoing, but even when I told her I've been trying to get along with them and they wouldn't as much as say hello to me,
she still didn't really believe that it was all that bad. There was no evidence I wasn't imagining it, after all, I have never been physically assaulted by them.
That's when I decided to go to therapy. I mean, someone obviously had a problem here and since my ACE score was a 6 it was more likely it was me, right?
After some time I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Although the anxiety used to be way more severe before my diagnosis, in grade school to be more specific, at this point I
didn't even think I had it in comparison to before.
I got my meds and all. Now I was no longer just an edgy teen :)
But yeah, after that I went to the teacher, again, told her "hey I'm legit now" and that they still be treating me like trash, after which she still
didn't believe me and told me to ask someone from my class, the people who didn't even wanna say hi to me, to confirm that I was in fact bullied.
I was like "Um k which one of the guys do I-" and she was like "A girl would be preferable to talk to since they're more aware of these things."
At this point, my mind is blank, as I am lowkey traumatized by girls and don't really feel comfortable around them, and this lady here wanted me to ask
the girls, who said that "they don't really think I'm the type of person they would want to hang around with" before they ever even held a conversation
with me or before high even school started, if they could confirm that their very friends have been talking shit about me and were mistreating me.
My mind is racing with who the fuck is the most humane out of the lot of them, and ended up picking the girl who apparently wanted to be a psychiatrist herself,
as it seemed that she would probably be the most objective one.
When she was asked to come in by the teacher, and I had left the room, I was so fucking terrified. At that point, I haven't told anyone I was actually seeing
a psychiatrist, so when I knew that this girl who I have never had a conversation with would be told so in a few minutes left me shaking and hyperventilating.
After she did talk to the teacher, however, she ended up confirming that they really were bullying me and she sent me this long message about how sorry she
felt for never doing anything about them, how she felt sorry that I was probably the only one who had to be afraid of school and how
that place probably was nothing more than a source of troubles to me, and how she hoped I knew I could always talk to her.
I genuinely cried when I read that.
In three years that was probably the most human decency I have seen from any of my classmates, and as someone who had a hard time connecting to girls, I was
actually happy I may have finally found a friend I could talk to.
I ended up telling her everything about me, why exactly I was the way I was, and that I understood that some of the things I've been mistreated for were my fault.
After all that I can only assume she told the class about my depression and that they should probably try and talk to me for once.
I felt really happy. People actually said hello to me, they even made an effort to talk to me, some of them. The main guy that didn't really like me most
out of all of them didn't really give a shit but I don't remember him saying anything mean after that, and mostly went to just ignoring me.
It was like that for a few months and I was even invited to some of the parties they held and, much to their surprise, I actually showed up. Ended up dancing
if the music was of any good and even knew the words to some of the songs they listened to, which totally baffled them. Jokes on them though because they
never really gave me a chance to show my true colors. I really tried to attend
these parties because I didn't want people to think I disliked their company or that I would rather be home alone (which, as an introvert, was kinda true),
because like I said if you act like that people will most likely leave you alone.
I was never the type to go out simply because I hated alcohol and the mere thought of someone smoking weed could send me into panic attacks,
which, at one point or another, seemed to have grown more and more frequent.
I think that, at one of the parties, I had forgotten to take my medication (and note that this was not really that unusual because my memory and concentration
were really bad), and it basically resulted in me having to go into one of the said panic attacks. It just happened to be my luck that the girl who
said I could talk to whenever I felt nervous was not there at that moment, which ended up only worsening my anxiety because I was quite
sure that these people didn't really know how to help nor could ever understand how I was feeling. I did, however, end up talking to one of the girls.
For some reason though, around this period, my panic attacks were probably at their peak and a few weeks after the one that happened at the party, I ended up
having ones where I would start crying, hyperventilating, and all that good stuff. These ones, however, turned my vision black, I'd be unable to hear anything,
and I would basically start hitting my head with my fists as hard as I could.
I don't really remember much and I have many holes in my memory but basically, over time things started to go back to how they were, where nobody really paid
attention to me, and the girl stopped talking to me (even when I invited her for coffee or just attempted conversation).
I think my anxiety had settled down but my depression ended up taking over basically.
And before I say anything further, I want people to know that depression does not equal being sad. It really fucking doesn't. In grade school I was fucked up,
and again, I had severe anxiety; couldn't talk to anyone, cried easily, really felt bothered by everything, self-harmed and wanted to commit suicide,
had troubles at home and school... I did show signs of depression, but that wasn't really it.
What depression really does to you, however, is actually leave you void of emotions. When you're sad, you want it to get better, you want to be happy. See,
that's not what depression is. When you're actually depressed, you do not want to feel happy. And just to clarify that people who haven't been diagnosed (if such would even read a story like this)
will hardly fully understand what I am talking about, but I'll still try to explain it in the best way I know. See, when you have feelings of anxiety and
have felt like wanting to die, have hatred towards yourself, etc., you generally feel the way you do when you trip and are about to fall down
but realize you can't really hold onto anything, all the time (and this is not my quote, I remember reading it on one of the reddit questions), or when you feel
a huge ball of stress in your throat/lungs and you really want to inhale as much as you can and let it go, but you end up not being able to exhale and keep
inhaling air til you blow up.
Depression, on the other hand, is really all about feeling exhausted, empty, and lacking the energy to do absolutely anything.
When you are anxious, and hate yourself and overthink about absolutely everything, you still want to feel joy, and you still want to be able to
relax and do stuff you love, be with your close ones. And even if you didn't, you generally just feel too many emotions at once.
With depression, the thought of being happy, or anything, exhausts you. With time, depending on how long you've had it, you end up just not having any energy to do
absolutely anything. I caught myself on multiple occasions just lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling, and just wanting to die.
Not in the sense of wanting to kill myself, or having someone else kill me, but rather just freeze time, go somewhere where nobody could ever find me, lay down
and just wait.
I don't know if others feel this way, but it is definitely how I feel.
As someone who was lucky to have an SO who cared about me, he really wanted to understand what I was going through. I would send him videos about depression, try
to explain to him how exactly I feel, but it just never seemed to get through to him.
And, if you have depression you will know what I'm talking about when I say that everything leaves you exhausted, and I quite literally mean everything.
You don't really have the energy to go outside your house, and you honestly do not have the energy to spend any time with your close ones either.
And this is quite a problem, because normal people want to spend time with their family, friends and loved ones, but not you. So when you try to explain
to them that you just don't have the energy to get out of bed, eat, shower, be happy, do things you love, or be with people you love, they can not
grasp the concept and end up feeling sad or mad themselves, which is something that only makes you feel worse, so if you didn't hate yourself
by then, you will definitely hate yourself now :)
When people who are close to us start feeling sad, we depressed peeps only see that as a reason to start feeling guilty
about feeling the way we do, if we already didn't. It makes you feel like shit for not being able to be happy, not being able to
find any joy from taking part in anything that sets you apart from the dead, and this shit right here is the reason that some of us, who had
depression for long enough, start wanting to have bad things happen to us because if you're being honest, that is the only fucking
excuse you can give for being the way you are.
Now, I don't know if it is like this for everyone, but in my personal experience people often ask repetitive questions or say things like "how are you?",
"why are you sad?", "why don't you wanna go outside?", "why don't you want to hang out with your friends?", "we care about you", and in my case I
genuinely do not have an answer to this besides, "I'm exhausted" or "I don't know", but people just don't seem to be satisfied with that answer, so
what I started doing was coming up with shit I wasn't even sure if I really felt such as "if I wanted to, I could get rid of my depression" and
"I'm like this because I can be", or "it's exhausting to be happy".
I think a part of me just wanted to believe that because, as I said earlier, some of us that do not have anything bothering us at the moment
probably feel guilty and as if they don't have a reason to be depressed.
This really didn't help because I, in high school, lost all the traits that actually defined my character, and I basically became a people-pleaser. The reason
this was bad, besides the obvious, was that I had/have problems concerning my individuality and do not really know what the real me is, so I honestly could
not tell which part of me was saying all this shit.
Anyhow, summer break came to and that is when my anxiety got replaced by my depression. The whole summer break I did absolutely nothing. Like fellow gamers may think I was up and browsing memes ayy going on youtube being unproductive, as they say, by just playing video games, but nah fam I was in my bed just ya know there barely existing my mom urging me to take a shower and get a fucking life yo
I used to play basketball and I would basically be pumped up about it every day but now I didn't even go outside of the house. I stopped taking my medication because
being happy made me feel exhausted, and I realized later that I was basically taking it just so others around me could be happy because all in
all I still felt like shit.
In the meantime, my therapist was really nice to talk to but after months of only the pills helping me, I sort of decided to switch to a different one.
I got a new one. He was awful. The end.
He basically up and told me what foking everyone has been telling me my entire life.
"hur dur you're too sensitive"
I did all the talking
I did all the conclusions
"yo I rly have a hard time with my identity cuz i just want to please everyone and i cant seem to say no"
"um ya and like I feel guilty for feeling the way i do cuz they say im just too sensitive and i dont rly wanna talk to anyone bc everyone pissing me off and u know i don't want people to ask me whats wrong because the more they ask me the more i remember that i have these fucking feelings inside me these fucking problems that ive been told are just all in my head and that they arent rly all that bad and that i should fucking go smell some flowers cuz life is beautiful like bitch i want to fucking smell flowers more than anyone here i love flowers i used to photograph them but guess what i cant do that anymore so fuck you"
"I think we are done here"
I stopped taking my pills again, but that resulted in me having bad grades and the return of daily headaches I've had since I was a kid, along with
my anger issues, and although I really didn't give a shit about that, I didn't like hurting my SO so I decided I'll be taking them again.