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eternaloptimist

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    my husband, health, self-help, video games, delicious food, psychology, playing music

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  1. Hi everyone, long time no see! I've recently graduated from college, and although I'm facing depression for not knowing what to do with my life, there are many things in my life that are going well! They say recovery can be like layers of an onion, peeling back one at a time revealing the next level of recovery. Through therapy, I've been able to identify issues like repressing my anger, or deciding to never feel bored or lonely. I've learned that I'm not super human and that these feelings are normal. I also finally came out to my family as an ex-Christian recently. With all of these things, and the time I have on my hands being out of college and waiting to get hired on somewhere, I've been trying to work on my looks. I've been into Carol Tuttle's "Dressing Your Truth". I've identified my "energy type" and have been dressing accordingly. While I've been feeling good about my look, I've still been wandering. I don't know why my hair, makeup, clothing style, accessories, shoes, etc. aren't making me feel happier. I've been doing a great job! I know I look great! So I keep searching. Yet I keep on fighting. I hate society's pressure to wear makeup, fix my hair "like a woman", wear skirts, wear heels, use a purse, etc, etc. I may do these things because they're expected of me, but I don't actually know if I like them or not. I wish I could look nice without having to wear makeup. I want to be strong physically. I hate being weak as a woman. I've started working out, and I have goals. I've even started karate, but I'm frustrated with myself, knowing I may never be able to overpower my male counterparts, unless I become a master of physics. I'm really questioning my gender after watching the documentary "Becoming Chaz." I related with a lot of things he said. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a boy. I didn't like girl toys. I wanted to me Luigi or Ernest (from the 90s movies? remember?). I always had a posse of boys to hang out with. I remember crying when I got older when I couldn't have sleepovers with the boys simply because I was a girl. I mean, girls' sleepovers are so boring. Instead of watching Star Trek and playing night games, girls just paint their nails and gossip. Boooring! I got a bowl haircut one summer before puberty. It was insulting to be called a boy in the girls' bathroom, but why would I have wanted that haircut at such a young age? Even in high school, I loved wearing cargo shorts and plain cut t-shirts (I don't understand fitted, girls' cut t-shirts, to this day. I feel more comfortable in the guys' ones). I only wore sports bras up until I was 16; I was afraid of LOOKING like a woman in those parts. I also wore masculine shirts, like Star Wars Episode I with Darth Maul or a "Department of Homeland Security" shirt with a bunch of Duck Dynasty-looking guys holding guns. In high school, I again cut my hair really short and wondered why the style wasn't catching on. I'd spike my hair and style it in un-flattering ways for a woman, but I felt confident with it. My whole life, I've hated getting hit on. It seems unflattering to me to be noticed for my figure. I want to be noticed for who I am. And yet I keep on wondering, that maybe if I was a more beautiful woman, if I had a more womanly figure, maybe I would love it? But I know that won't do it for me. If I don't enjoy my womanly progress now, what would taking it further do for me? It's like a hobby, you have to enjoy your progress and the process now to know if you'll enjoy it later, right? Even now, the weekends are my favorite. I'll wear my husband's shirts and athletic shorts and won't bother with makeup. With my athletic shoes, I'll "sneak" out in public, wondering if any of my piano students or parents saw me, if they'd think I was lazy or didn't care about my appearance. Some of the greatest insults I've ever had with pictures from high school are that I look like the guy I had liked's younger brother. Yet, I was proud of my appearance. I loved my short hair, cargo shorts, Star Wars t-shirt, and grey and pink converse. I am proud in photos when, instead of doing the infamous "duck face" or doing something stereotypically sexy, I'll flex my female biceps. I also was insulted come prom night, or even my recent senior piano recital, getting told I "clean up well", as if I didn't already look fabulous to begin with. Why do people care so much about how I look? I recently watched the documentary "Miss Representation". I really identified how it discussed how in our patriarchal society, how a woman looks is one of the most important things. It sucks! So, I'm not sure if I just hate being a woman in our society, or if I hate being a woman in general... I once felt alienated when a friend talked about how comforted she felt when she got her period. She loved knowing that one day she could bear children. I hate my period. If I didn't want to have kids of my own someday, I'd consider getting a hysterectomy. It's such a pain in the ass. So I don't know if my hating being a woman is because of society, or if it's because I don't identify as a woman. One thing I do know is that I am attracted to guys, and that my husband loves and supports me so much. He watched the end of "Becoming Chaz" with me and said he has so much respect for people like him who have to go through so much hardship to be true to themselves. I just bawled. I'm not honest with myself. I asked my husband if he'd love me any less if I dressed like a man, and he said he's attracted to ME as a person. But I'm so scared. I was told growing up that if I ever got ugly or wasn't pretty anymore, my husband could leave me. I don't think that would happen, but I feel freaking OBLIGATED to look good for others' pleasure. But I don't take much pleasure in it.
  2. Hi Bry, great to see you! What a great mental processing here, really getting it all out. I definitely feel how you do at times. I feel like there was more society could have done to help me grow up: like not controlling my every move all the time, so when I grow up I know how to spend and manage my own time without being told what to do. Also, a big one for me, I wish someone would have told me that I'd never run out of things to do. Unlike chores and homework, which have an end, I never run out of bills or dust collecting on nooks and crannies in the house, not to mention the pursuit of my own health that consumes me. I was never told that the only time I'd be allowed to be bored would be when I force myself to take time away to meditate...and I'd love it. Like the whole napping thing. Anyway, not sure if that made any sense, but I'm right there with you! Keep fighting the good fight.
  3. to sleep or not to sleep?

  4. Hi, I just wanted to write and say hello to everyone. It's been forever since I've been on here. I've been doing well; working, going to school, and planning out my life. Things are much better than they used to be, and for that I'm grateful. I'm still taking St. John's Wort for depression, under the supervision of my physician, as well as seeing a therapist every week. I still feel like I have a long ways to go, but it is nice to see my progress. By progress, I mean that I'm taking less responsibility for others and owning myself. I used to feel that the way other people felt was my fault, and sometimes I still do, but it's a lot better. I can acknowledge my feelings now and own them more, even when they really, really suck. In taking medicine, because I've tried others but I prefer the St. John's Wort, my doctor is letting me continue. He says that there are generally three responses to depression medication: feeling great (back to normal), feeling less depressed, or no response at all. I fall in the middle category. I go from severely depressed to mildly depressed. It's a huge improvement, but it's still hard knowing that I'm not "normal". The good news is that I feel less inclined to act in front of others. I used to act more happy and be more outgoing. Sometimes I am, but I choose to be now. Anyway, I hope you are all doing well, and I wish you the best.
  5. Hi, I've taken St. John's Wort and Phosphatidylserine for depression, and I liked both. I've also used a good b-vitamin complex. I have the same question as you, though, about what has worked for other people. I want to continue on the natural route, as I've had some success, but I'm worrying that my current route of St. John's Wort is starting to plateau for me. I'm getting more anxious and I just don't feel like doing much besides working and existing! I've tried several prescriptions, but I don't like the side effects.
  6. (((Angel))) I'm so sorry about all of the craziness! I don't think I could handle that situation well, but you are so strong for sticking it out! I'm glad that you found places of solitude. I hope that you can find a rhythm that works for you in your new environment, and I hope that you can find what you were looking for from this move, even if it wasn't how you thought it would look. I'm sending good wishes your way! Thinking of you, too
  7. By some stroke of luck, we got to move into a bigger place. It all happened so fast. I wasn't expecting it. I thought we were going to stay in our studio for another year. But then we found a place for not much more, and now we've moved in. It's hard for me to talk about because I don't usually have attachments to places. But I think #4 was special for me for a number of reasons. My husband moved in there before we got married, his first apartment by himself. I could go there to find sanctuary whenever I wanted. We spent our first year of marriage in there. I struggled with depression and all of my issues within those walls. I gained victory within those walls. We shared so many special moments. I can't do anything but try to remember everything. It's almost like I didn't want to leave, because I had grown strong and dealt with my s*** there, I wanted to keep that going. But then again, maybe that's why I get to leave now: to learn to how to be strong somewhere else. To take my lessons elsewhere. I've never been attached to a place before or really felt like a place was my home. #4 feels like my first-ever home. That's because that was the first place I ever really felt that someone loved me. Tonight, my husband and I were having a heart-to-heart after one of our worse fights, and I was so shocked to hear him say that he admires me. "You only admire me? Why me? You know all of my weaknesses and imperfections. All of them. Better than anyone else. Why do you admire me? I'm not even sure I admire me. I'm proud of me. I like me. But I don't think I admire me." He said it's because I still believe in others. I still try my best and work my hardest. I have my values and believe in them. He admires those things in me. In leaving #4, I realize that what I got most out of it wasn't necessarily the experience of the walls, but the experiences in my relationship with him, and especially with myself, within those walls. I got to receive the love I've craved and waited for my whole life. I got to break down and experience true hardship of the soul. I learned that, yes, two people can share a studio together peacefully and beneficially. I saw how my greatest fears come to life could prove to me how strong I was. I am strong indeed. I'm sure going to miss #4. I took lots of pictures, just in case I ever need to "see" it again. I hope the next person who lives there can benefit the same. Thanks #4. Thanks for everything.
  8. Wow, that's a lot to take in at once! I'm so sorry for all of the med switching. I hope everything works out well for you. Sorry to hear about everything. Please keep us updated!
  9. Today was, of course, the 4th of July, so I got to spend some quality time with my family. As the conversation turned towards each child's individual upbringing, I was certain to ask questions that would lead my mom to spill information I was hoping to obtain. I was not disappointed. While I don't remember much of my early, early childhood, I've been trying to remember as much as I can and to connect with that long lost part of myself. What experiences did I have that shaped me to the core? What can I work on now to help feed myself in the ways I was not fed? As I anticipated, I was neglected. I did not realize to the extent I was neglected. I don't think my mom realizes it was neglect. I always blamed it on her depression, because I knew she suffered enough to stay in bed a lot, but by the way she was talking tonight, I figured out that she made conscious choices to neglect me. Maybe this is why I struggle with my sense of self-worth so much. I am the youngest of three. Apparently my mom was OCD with the first, less crazy with the second, and with me, the third, she just let go. I found out that she would leave me in a dirty diaper for 2 hours, until it was swinging below me when I walked, before she would change me. ...Apparently she had to get embarrassed about my appearance to take care of me. She doesn't remember my terrible two's. She remembers how, because of my "tender heart", all it took was her raising her voice to get me to behave. Or wait, Mom, maybe it was the ******* neglect and abuse why I didn't fight back. Gee, did you think it wouldn't matter to me? Did you think I'd always be so forgiving? What you did was NOT OKAY! I just googled it, and apparently most normal people think you should change a baby's diaper within 10 minutes or so of any incidence. Why was my mom so messed up in the head? When I was a nanny, I definitely changed diapers fast. Was it that I wasn't fussy that she let me be? She's so ******* self-absorbed. Did she ever think this would hurt me? I feel so differently about myself. I feel so used. I know that there must be more than diapers. I heard that when I was born, the laundry doubled. I'm pretty sure it wasn't my ignored diapers. I'm pretty sure it was my big sisters, getting into stuff as I've heard the stories of. I don't know why they'd blame one person on doubling the laundry of four people. I'm sure I was pretty small. I tried to be the best little girl. Mom and Dad were so mean, but I needed them to survive. Tonight, although my mom used her "I'm right about this topic" tone, I was amazed to find out how relatively unaffected I was by it. I've been doing some visualizations to help myself. One is that I'll imagine the people whose opinions I care about so fiercely floating away as balloons that I let go of. Another is that instead of feeling like I'm the board at the fair with all of the balloons on it, and people are throwing their thoughts and ideals at me like darts, which hurt me and pop my hopes and dreams, instead I'll see myself standing tall and solid like a pillar, and they're just throwing cotton balls and q-tips at me, and they just simply fall off and blow away. I'm going to keep on trying this out. It's still hard for me in some ways, but I'm very excited to see the strength I'm building. Another thing that's helping me in my codependence is the idea that I can either choose to set a boundary or choose the response of the person I'm talking to. For instance, I can kiss ass with my mom to get a pleasant response out of her, or I can be true to myself and set a boundary, and then she will react however the hell she feels, which will probably be anger or verbal lashings. But at least I can live with myself! Anyway, thanks all for reading. I hope you are all doing well. I'm so grateful I can share my thoughts and process here.
  10. Thanks, CricketBoots! You're such a nice person. :)
  11. Hi, Jojin! I'm so sorry that people are walking all over you. You deserve so much more! I know that I get upset when people walk all over me. My therapist had to talk with me about how it's so much better to be real than be nice. I never thought of it that way before, because I thought God wanted me to be nice to everyone, but maybe it's better to be real and honest, even if people apply stigmas and labels to that. I've also been learning in my codependent recovery that I can choose to set boundaries, but I can't control how the other person responds. (But I care so much that they still like me!) All that to say, I just want you to know that I'm listening and I so relate with you! I'm sorry people take advantage of people like us who care. Oh yeah, and I turned 25 this year. I feel for you. Such a weird mile-marker, huh?
  12. Hi Angel, sorry I haven't been on much recently, but I wanted to say hi and I hope everything went well. I know that sometimes I feel hopelessly overwhelmed myself. That actually happened to me at work one day this week. It was crazy, I couldn't get my act together, and I was messing stuff up, and a customer got mad...then I couldn't hold back my tears anymore like I had done before. Fortunately my boss was kind to me and said she even had cried the day before, but about something else having to do with work....but it made me realize that others can be understanding and won't make us feel bad for being humans with feelings! I'm so proud of you for all that you're doing and all that you've been sacrificing. Sometimes it is so hard to take care of ourselves, but I know that you're making great progress in doing that! And so what if we feel differently from hour-to-hour? Recovery and coping are very emotional things, and I don't think we should feel obligated to feel like we have to feel stable all of the time, especially with the radical changes going on in our lives. Anyway, I hope that helps! I can't wait to hear from you again soon! You are such a sweet and caring person.
  13. Hi, Altl13. I'm so sorry for what you're feeling and going through. Recently I've been learning that sometimes there are no ideal circumstances or decisions in life, and we just have to do our best and try to make the best choice. I know that your choice wasn't easy or ideal and it's been really hard on you, but I want to acknowledge that it sounds like you made the best choice for you, although it's still hard. I'm so glad that you're hanging in there and I'm sorry that it will probably hurt for a while. Maybe you can find comfort in knowing that there are people here on DF who care about you and what's going on in your life. Please let us know what's going on whenever you like. (((hugs)))
  14. Hi, AloneGuy. I want to applaud you for reaching out to this guy as much as you have! Believing in him and seeing the best in him and having those 5 minute conversations is really giving him so much. I've had to learn this in my recovery that what I'm able to do is enough, and so I applaud you. And I want to say please don't beat yourself up for not doing more! I'm sure a lot of people in your shoes would have done the same thing, sometimes it's hard to know what to do under pressure (especially with depression and anxiety, I know for myself as well). I think you handled it very well. Keep up the good work!
  15. (((Brokenme))) Please keep hanging on! I know you want to because you keep on reaching out for help and support on here! We all care so much about you. There's no shame in all the little steps! Keep up the good work in every little step in every moment. You can overcome! I believe in you. Please keep us updated! (((More hugs)))
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