Just a Rant
I have been feeling really disconnected from everything lately. I don’t know how else to describe it. It is a feeling of not belonging. I don’t mean in a dissociative way which usually is more of an experience that you can’t feel much at all and everything and everyone is very far away. Dissociation feels like you are not in the same world everyone else is existing in. And while I feel like that quite a lot and it is a frustrating way to live your life, this is not the kind of disconnect I am talking about. Instead I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, no matter how hard I try. I am isolated, disconnected and easily forgotten about.
I usually don’t mind the whole lone wolf way of living. I find social interactions incredibly draining because of my anxiety, and I often seem to be unable to connect to other people on a deeper level. They think that we connect and I make them feel that way, for sure. But they don’t know me, and they don’t care about getting to know me. I have talked about it in a recent post: my ability to make people feel understood and heard while taking the focus away from me. It is a protective mechanism that happens automatically and usually I don’t mind. But lately, I do. Because I wished that I sometimes hung out with someone who had the emotional intelligence to read my behaviour as what it is: a total fear of vulnerability and hurt. But most people are so caught up in their own stuff that they don’t read the subtleties in other people’s behaviour. This is not a blame thing, it is more a factual statement. I am not angry about it, or sad about it. Just hopeless, I guess.
This feeling of not belonging has often followed me throughout my life. I have always had a huge bunch of people around me because I can seem fun, and interesting, and I am supportive and smart. But no one ever knew me. No one ever cared to know me. And it didn’t matter how much effort I put into showing my skills and talents, how kind I was, how pleasant I was. The moment something cracked for me and I had a hard time being those things or I went into my shell a bit, people discarded me. I was a helpful tool for them, but when that tool had some needs too, they couldn’t give a damn.
I am generalizing, of course. There have been a few people in my life who I have been close to, but it is hard to hold on to that, because those people are not in my life anymore. They are exes, or they are best friends who have died. They made me feel like I belonged. And my husband right now, tries his best to do that as well. But I realized that it is not enough. Not that he is not enough. That is not what I mean. I mean that I don’t belong into any group or category where I am seen as a peer or someone of value.
I think I am in a place where I feel utterly worthless and not good enough for anything. All my life I have been trying to be someone, something. Not in a material sense, or being the best at something. But being somewhere in my life where I feel like I am in a good place and where my skills are helpful. And I was in that place many times, but every time, it has been taken away from me. I was superb in academia and because of my mental illnesses taking over, that possibility got taken away from me. I was a community leader in a volunteer organisation for mental health and intrigues pushed me out of my position. So what I am constantly needing to do is to redefine myself, and with that, I lose a part of my life, of my past, because I can’t be that person anymore.
A lot of people stay in a certain circle of friends for most of their lives. But I haven’t been able to. Because I am not the same person I used to be. So my friends from Germany who have all settled down, have families and middle class jobs? Not me. My friends from uni in Sweden who are now all working in academia and are living the intellectual life? Not me. My friends from my volunteer years who all work in different organisations together now? Not me. I see them all chat on social media, and see how they close they all still are. And I am an outsider. And it hurts. The moment something in my life changed, and I am not the person that they need, I am not a fit anymore.
I have a hard time getting close to people as it is, with all the mess that is always going on with me. And I definitely don’t want to overwhelm anyone with all that is really going on for me. It is like, who really wants a friend who can trump every single issue you have with something more severe? So I keep silent and support, and listen. But that is all I become good for. Because no one really needs me in other ways. I am always this fascinating, elusive and talented being that people look up to, or observe. But I am not the person anyone would want in their group. I don’t belong anywhere.
One thing I realized that I lack is the ability to just barge in and talk about myself. People seem to do that, this self-centered sharing of their issues, their happiness, their day, without any prompt to do so. I am more the kind who first feels the room to see if the other person is actually in the right state of mind to hear anything about what is going on with me. And unless someone asks, there won’t be coming anything from me. I hate the “How are you?” question but I definitely appreciate the “What have you been up to today?” question. But I think I might just be asking too much of people to meet my sensitive needs. I just don’t want to bother anyone. I miss the people with whom these things were natural and organic. I have had people like this, but yeah, not in my life anymore.
There have been so many things going on lately, that made me more aware of this lack of belonging and this strong feeling of not being good enough. It all adds to feeling incredibly stuck, hopeless and helpless. My bipolar disorder isn’t helping. I have been lucky the last few months with episodes that were mixed, longer weeks of stability and even hypomania that didn’t get out of hand. But depression is always lurking around the corner with this disorder. I have been expecting it but because I haven’t experienced it in many months, it is incredibly difficult to deal with it. My whole mindset has changed.
I am not saying that I have been feeling great this year. But it has been a little bit easier for a while. Which is weird because my physical health has been a mess instead. Still, I managed. But slowly, more and more things were building up, small things happening. I think one of the main culprits of me sliding into depression is the lack of sleep. I am talking about months with only 3 to 5 broken hours of sleep a night. And there is no hope for improvement on that front. I don’t have medication because I don’t have a psychiatrist due to a lack of health insurance. I basically need to hope that my body just breaks down eventually and makes me sleep for a few days. It used to do that in the past, I am not sure why it isn’t happening right now. I mean, lack of sleep would make anyone nuts, so go figure what it does to me. And also, what it does to my already broken body.
Insomnia makes you vulnerable. But I have been able to handle it for a longer while, that vulnerability. It has crept up on me now, and I don’t know what to do with it anymore. The vulnerability in combination with not feeling like I belong anywhere, not knowing who I am most of the time, and a lack of support in my life? It makes sense that I am doing like shit. Add to that the general vulnerabilities I have due to my mental illnesses, plus the fact that I am in depression. Well, it becomes pretty bad. But the thing is. So many small things have been happening that it just all has led to this incredibly balloon of despair that had to burst.
The pandemic definitely has taken its toll on me, just as it has on everyone else. I had just begun to build up my life here. But now there is no possibility of events, concerts or meeting people in real life. I am worried about catching Covid because I have underlying health conditions. The worst thing though is that it has slowed down my residency application process. I am in limbo while I really need stability around me, knowing that I belong, knowing that I can really start my life here. Usually it takes like two months to get your work permit, then you can apply for health insurance, and after another month or so, you are good on that front. I sent in my application five months ago. Not a word, other than that the pandemic is slowing things down. Yes, sure, let me be here without health insurance during a pandemic. Good idea, people, good idea.
The recent fall out in the sex blogging community might not have hit me as hard as it has others, but it has taken a toll on me too. Being on social media still feels like a minefield. No one is really talking anymore. Memes are dying, a million new ones pop up and it is confusing to know which ones who is allowed to participate in. The safety and togetherness is gone. And instead of rebuilding, people are building walls around their groups. I still don’t know if I am allowed to comment on certain blogposts anymore, so I have just stayed anxiously silent. It has taken a bit of the fun out of blogging for me. I went in this year thinking I should try and really grow and put more effort into writing for money too. And I did that, until the community fell apart. So I abandoned the idea, not knowing who is in charge where and being scared I am not in the right group (or well, I am not in any group, really) for my pitches to be accepted. Belonging and fun? Gone. And I am feeling like I might just not be interesting and talented enough to even make a living from writing.
So I thought, well, what to do with myself if all my energy doesn’t go into growing my blog and starting to make more money? Sexwork! And it is all fun and games, until you realize how unfair that whole business is and how much work it actually takes. Promoting, always seeming like you are into it, taking pictures and videos all the time, editing. And for what? A a few people who follow you and who you hope will be interesting in paying a little extra. I know it takes time to grow in that line of work, to build up your clientle. But I see others who are pretty, skinny and young, and they just have so many people flocking to them. And they don’t even have to do half of the work I am doing. It makes me think that I am not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not young enough. And it has made my body image issues worse at the moment. Depression doesn’t help here either.
This is all not personal though. So let me get personal. My mother wrote a message to me last week, which was surprising enough because she almost never gets in touch. And when she gets in touch, she wants something. Not ask how I am doing, nope. She needs something. This time it was about my sister. Apparently my father triggered her terribly and ever since then she has been struggling with panic attacks and is really unwell. Here is the thing. I protected her a lot from the abuse when we were children. But I knew that the trauma would catch up with her eventually. It does with everyone. No exception. And there have been periods of depression and such in her life. But now seems to be a defining moment where she needs support. My mother asked if I was willing to have a call with my sister. Of course I said yes. I know trauma, I have been through similar shit she has been through. So I sent a message to my sister. Who has not replied. And neither has my mum gotten in touch again. I feel very hurt by this. I feel like no one needs me, I am being kept out of the loop and it makes me feel utterly triggered and worthless. I usually don’t care about family much anymore but this all reminded me of why I really need to emotionally disconnect from it all.
I went to see a doctor this week because I needed new medication for my thyroid condition. I find health professionals triggering and I really wanted it all to be over quick. But she looked at my file, asked how I was doing and I told her that I am struggling mentally and physically right now. She did not seem particularly interested, didn’t offer much (not even a routine check up or blood tests which is odd because I have diabetes and I haven’t had bloodtests done in a year) and just started to ask a lot of questions related to my Dissociative Identity Disorder. She was fascinated by it but didn’t give a damn about helping me. It just was another tiny drop into the well that has been overflowing with negativity lately.
So it has all fallen apart for me again. I have no stability around me. I don’t belong anywhere. I have no friends. I still don’t have much of any money. I feel stuck and lonely. I feel hopeless and helpless. I feel like I am worthless, untalented, and not good enough for anything. I really would want to hurt myself but I am not allowed to anymore. I would really want to just disappear, but I am not allowed to. And my trauma infected mind is convinced that I am supposed to feel this way. Because everything always falls apart for me. And the only constant in my failures to develop meaningful connections, to make something of myself, to succeed in something long-term, has always been me. So I am to blame for making the wrong decisions. For being too scared to express how I feel. For not having the energy and health to be consistent or able to function like a normal human being. I feel utterly useless, worthless and in despair, and I feel like I deserve to feel that way.
Writing or taking pictures is connected with a lot of anxiety for me these days. I can’t focus, I am not satisfied with anything I do. So if this space is not as busy and regularly updated as it usually is, please remember that right now it takes me a shitload of effort to force my fingers to dance over the keyboard or even imagine a picture I want to take. This rant was to make people aware of that. I don’t need pity, I just thought I’d allow those who read this blog to get a little glimpse of my life at the moment.