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Skylark1

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Everything posted by Skylark1

  1. @RootTilden, secrecy has marked my whole life, too, for much the same reasons, so I can definitely understand fear of letting yourself slide into any habit of isolation. And I agree it's probably best to make an appointment for a meeting in person. Maybe you could call the front desk instead of the pastor herself? I don't know if they can make appointments for her, though. Could you go down there in person without an appointment to see her? Or try to find her after a service? I know it's really hard not to read other people's behavior or lack of response through our own fears and past experiences, but sometimes this just doesn't give us an accurate view of the situation. I've let myself do that and then withdraw in reaction to my perceptions, and my life always descends into the worst recesses of hell when I do that. I don't believe isolation is the answer. I don't understand what that other man believed you wanted, but his response seemed uncalled for to me. Plonking the label bipolar on someone based on one message written down by an office aide? I know your sister may have relayed the info, but this still seems extreme and weird. But that doesn't mean you should give up on the church and the priest with whom you were on good terms before. He's only one person there, and it sounds like he's not representative of the general environment. Maybe trying to reconnect with that by attending is a good way to dispel how this has affected you? And maybe to dispel any false impressions created, too. If you could explain the reality of your neighborhood, I'm sure a reasonable person would understand.
  2. This is hard to talk about. And I'm honestly even afraid of getting responses from religious people. I so need not to be preached at right now. I've been suicidal recently, and it's a feeling that's kept coming back over the last several months. I'm not an atheist, or agnostic myself. Though I'm very sympathetic to those views these days, I don't believe I could bear to lose belief in anything beyond this life. The thing is, I never feel affinity with religious people in general. Instead, I tend to cringe when someone tells me they're a Christian. I get so scared of what to expect from this person. I often find myself arguing for the other side because I'm afraid of how religion like I've known it will be applied and wreak havoc on the lives of real human beings. It's hard to articulate where the divide comes from, but it's actually pretty clear to me. I think I'll leave that for when I'm feeling a bit more stable, though. So...I've actually always been really drawn to religion. I was neglected and so isolated, from childhood, and I had no human help to ever turn to. However, ever since I moved into organized religion...well, my faith has eroded so that now I'm in an agonized place of doubt and guilt and fear; I've had far more negative than positive experiences with the people in those organized groups, as well as some of their doctrines and ideas, to the point where I feel like they worship a completely different spirit than me; and I've completely lost all sense of myself, to the point where I don't know who I am anymore. I used to be such a different person. I don't even like who I've become, yet I'm told that I'm closer to what the Church's god wants me to be. I'm not even sure I believe this entity to be the true God, the one I've always turned to, or if it's even real. I've somehow lost all of my old ideals. Yet, this is a very dogmatic, reasoned out religion. They always have answers, though I'm not sure if they make sense. I've become really confused. The effect on me is almost cultic, even though I don't live with them and haven't lost any property or anything like that. Oh, and to clarify, I'm talking about the Catholic Church. And not only that, but the traditional Catholic Church, i.e., a remnant that practices the Latin Mass and the old liturgy exclusively. It's hard to explain how I came to be in this. I tried out Protestant churches, but I felt lost, and the people there ignored me like everybody else. The CC had a ready-made structure to absorb me, though no one showed any interest in connecting with me personally. But they gave me the Sacraments! The Eucharist. It is beyond heart-breaking to think of giving this up or losing belief in it. Yet the whole ethos of this Church...is corrosive to my soul, heart, mind, and body. I've tried out the mainstream CC, but haven't found that much better, especially in terms of the people. And now, I'm back in traditionalism, though I've never been remotely traditional in anything other than religion. But they do have liberal elements, in strange ways and places, and I'm trying to reconcile liturgical traditionalism with external liberalism. Of course, if I could make myself believe anything I wanted, I'd just go join the Episcopalians. But it's not that simple for me. I was catechized, indoctrinated, and I've read and absorbed an enormous amount of theology, apologetics, etc. Besides, I grew up in a completely different religion that was toxic and misogynistic beyond all words, and the people who forced it on me (though I never believed it and always had this intense horror of it, still do) were also racist, and used their religion to justify their ideas. Disgusting stuff. So the trad Cath idea about this religion feels protective, while the neo-Cath quasi-universalist ideas feel frightening. FYI, the CC has always taught that those outside the CC can still be saved, through baptism of desire, if they cooperate with God's graces. They just think it's much harder. Everyone receives enough grace to be saved by living a good life, in or out of the CC. This is not fundamentalism, or biblical literalism, and the reasoned approach they take to things makes it so much harder to chuck the whole thing. I've read parts of the Summa, and have it referenced all the time. Aquinas's archaic approach is over my head at times, so I'm not even sure how to form a refutation. So...I'm not sure where to go. Also, I went through some horrible traumas not long before I joined the CC, which weakened my sense of identity and confused me tremendously. There were drugs involved, and it was ugly, and I'll just leave it at that. I was an absolute wreck, unrecognizable to myself. I've read that people who get sucked into cults are statistically likely to be in the same place I was then. Looking back, I don't think I could ever have accepted some of the ideals I've been taught if I'd really been myself then. I've had priests tell me I should thank god for my past because it brought me to the truth. I feel sometimes like I'm being jerked around and "shepherded through terror" by the devil, not God. I don't know what to do. I'm scared to leave, and I'm scared to stay. I missed the trad Mass today because I slept later, and I felt too faint to go without breakfast. I'm trying not to fear that I'm being punished for entertaining doubts. I'm trying to decide whether to go to another Mass. I don't know why, but I feel a need to apologize...for what I don't know...
  3. Lacewing, I looked up 7 cups of tea. It was actually a big help! I've realized how much I've let other people's (toxic people's) views of me take over. It's partly due to the people I'm surrounded by at the moment, even though they have nothing to do with me socially, they still bombard me with their views and attitudes. I've been withering without realizing how restricted my view of things had become. Getting fresh perspectives is helping a lot. I'm just hoping and praying I can persevere and be strong enough to either break with this environment (easier said than done) or at least jettison their ideas and go in a healthier direction, even though I'd have to swim hard against the current if I stayed.
  4. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think JaLee hit the nail on the head with the attention and affection issues. If you don't feel loved, it's human to seek it some place, somehow. I would try therapy again, too, if it's an option for you. Sex isn't really one of my outlets, but I actually just turned to meeting guys on the internet, too, last night. Not in chatrooms, though. I responded to an ad on craigslist. It didn't even mention sex, and seemed way more thoughtful and emotional than the others (most of which are quite overtly sexual). Still, it feels scary, especially since he's in my city. I have no idea who this person is, but we've exchanged a few emails since then. But he's told me nothing about himself, and he's sent far more emails than me. Feels too pushy. Strangely silent to my questions, but with endless questions of his own. He's older than me, too. Yet, I don't want to let go. I have huge beauty/image issues, too. I was always called ugly as a child, and I still feel that way. I feel bad every time I look in the mirror. Embarrassed. I hate that I feel that way. I hate that silly, changeable ideas about what it means to be an "ideal" human being can alienate us so much from our own bodies. I hate how much malicious words have hurt me. I hate that I believe some of them. I want to stop. I want to learn how not to be hurt by them anymore. But I don't know if I've ever met a human being who was genuinely not hurt by such things, even if to a lesser degree than me. Most of the people who say they weren't have acted like there's something wrong with those who are, which seems like a red flag to me. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think I kind of know how you feel. Even in person, I've tried to be this or that in order to get acceptance, hiding away all the rest of me. The "good girl," or the smart one, or the cynic, or whatever. But it never did last. Even when they did approve of the mask I was presenting, no friendship ever came of it. No romance, either. And it always left me feeling worse, and even more confused about who I am. I think any relationship worth having, platonic or not, has to be based on mutual compassion and respect. It may not be wise to overwhelm the person with all of your problems in the first few meetings/talks, but pretending to be someone you're not is kind of sabotage, because how can any intimacy arise? We'll always be stuck trying to maintain the approved image we're presenting. The only advice I can really give is to try to address the need that your behavior is trying to fill, and to take good care of yourself in the meantime as you look for ways to do that, through therapy or whatever else. You might have to work on the image and insecurity issues on the way, of course. Also, please be careful online, and especially if you do decide to meet anyone IRL. Best wishes.
  5. Thanks. I think I'm doing better now, at least in terms of this episode with the troll. I'm still rather fragile, of course, in terms of the wider problem she inflamed. I'm trying to follow the advice of the members of DF here and take care of myself. This is kind of hard, because I've had it ingrained in me to be quite hard on myself. Which makes it almost unbearable sometimes when others are too hard on me, strange as it may seem. But it is helping as far as I'm managing so far. I did report the troll before I left, and I will be avoiding that forum for as long as necessary, though. The last thing I need now is more triggers. I've thought of calling a hotline. But I'm so scared of doing so. Would records be kept? And I don't know what to expect or to say. My problems feel like elephants trapped in a house with only human-sized doors. I've no clue how I would ever get them out.
  6. I've considered doing things like looking up people from the old days, except that it was only really casual acquaintances I ever had, not friends. I found I had more people being nice to me and acknowledging my presence in the past when I wasn't trying, too. They weren't friends, and I had no idea how to make friends, but looking back, I think the possibility was there, if I'd known how to take advantage of it. But now, whether I try or not, I'm completely alone. I kind of think it's the fact that the culture has changed so much. It's not just my behavior, but I haven't really changed with the times, and that makes it harder. Plus, people themselves seem to have changed, so it's that much harder trying to act "normal." I don't get the "new normal," even less than I got the old one. I don't think it's my imagination that the less and less people even seem interested in making friends anymore. Being a 30yo undergrad doesn't help, I guess. I'm trying to hold out hope that things will get better when I go to grad school next year. Depending on where I go. With my luck, I might end up in the worst place possible. Assuming I can get into a decent program at all.
  7. Thank you so much. It's amazing how close to the edge I am recently. Tears are never far, and I'm just trying hard to keep hanging on.
  8. I just had someone attack me on another forum. Iwas suicidal and reached out for emotional support. When I downvoted her cruel post, she actually PM'd me to be even crueler, this time dropping all pretense of wanting to "be cruel to be kind." She called me pathetic and told me she was laughing at me. I reported her, but I don't know if they'll do anything about it. I was shaking, and am still extremely upset. I told myself to blow it off, because she's an incredibly malicious person and I shouldn't listen to someone like that at all. But easier said than done. The thread in which she originally attacked me was one I had started expressly to ask for support, because I've already been going through hell. I broke down crying last night, couldn't stop for hours. People around me completely ignored me or brushed me off, so I turned to that forum. And got attacked, preached at (it's not a religious forum), though two people were kind and supportive. They made me start to feel a little better until that malicious woman attacked me, and now I'm afraid of going back there because of her, and a couple of others, though the others were judgmental, not blatantly malicious. She even told other members to ignore me from now on because I was pitiful or something, I didn't read the whole past because I got so upset. I'm spiralling out of control since. Entertaining thoughts of suicide again. I feel too awkward to think of calling people. And I'm afraid of forced intervention, though I don't know much about that kind of thing. I'm not violent or anything, so I don't know if that's even a danger. But I'd rather die than be stripped of agency and control. Most frightening of all is the thought of having drugs or "treatment" forced on me. I don't believe in that. Therapy worked for me in the past when I felt like this, and I got on my feet again, though I was never this bad before. But there are very concrete problems in my life right now, and I have no one to help me through them. I'm completely isolated. That's the biggest problem. I have no one to turn to. And I can't afford therapy right now. I'm just trying to come down from the havoc wreaked by that malicious troll. I wish forums would be more vigilant against things like that. I hope they do ban her. But I'm afraid to even go back and look. Mind you, this was only around an hour ago. But people like that can do enormous damage when someone is already close to the edge, as I explicitly said I was...that was the point of the whole thread! A normal person would've just not responded if they didn't want to offer support. But maybe that's why people like her are on the internet, so they can find people to seriously hurt. I just can't get over the cruelty and the malice of it. How can someone do something like that when they know someone is suffering so badly? It's evil.
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