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Time Machine

My life was wasted and now I'm at a nadir

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Hi folks. I don't even know where to begin. All the problems in my life would fill up a whole book and it's hard to summarize.

In short, I'll be 44 this year and I haven't accomplished a damn thing in this world. I'm a huge inconvenience to my family and they let me know it. And they're right. I was dealt some bad hands when I was born, but I did have a scant few opportunities thrown my way in my youth and I bungled all of them. They say everybody makes mistakes and not to sweat it, but that's not really true. If you make too many mistakes, all your friends, family, and colleagues lose confidence in you.

I live alone and don't have any friends to speak of. All my friends grew up, got careers, and got married. I'm mentally arrested at age 23the age I was when I graduated college. I work part time jobs sometimes, but I've been unemployed for over a year and live on disability. I was never able to "adult" properly.

The only people I have in my life are my family. But they are a very depressing bunch of people. They're not happy or successful. They have a lot of problems in their lives. My mother has been an extreme hoarder her whole life and it's just getting worse. My father has been emotionally and mentally abusive to me my whole life. My siblings also suffer from mental issues. But my family are all I have and I can't just "walk away" like people sometimes tell me.

In May, I suddenly came down with a severe case of Tinnitus overnight. I became a nervous wreck and contemplated suicide. Mom had to come over and stay with me for almost a month. I was terrified and realized I didn't want to die. My antidepressants were also changed. I was kind of in a fog before. I felt no desires or pleasure in anything anymore (with the exception of my dreams, oddly), but the last few days I feel like I've woken up from a 20 year slumber and am a bit manic. There are things I'd like to try and do again, but it's too late. I have no money. I can't afford to go back to school to refresh my skills or learn new ones. It really sucks to know that none of your hopes and dreams will ever be accomplished.

I don't think anyone really understands how I feel about it. Just today I reached out to this Facebook friend, and she gave me a lot of "snap out of it and go for it"-tier advice. When I tried to explain my situation and how it's not that easy she got very annoyed and angry and cut off contact with me. Again, people tell me to be honest and talk about my feelings, but that's not what they really mean. And I can't fault her because I don't like it when people unload their drama on me.

I've been seeing shrinks since I was a teen and I don't think it's helped much. I'm desperate and that's why I'm here.
Thank you for your time and I can answer any questions if you want to know anything further.

 

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Hi Time Machine,

     You have been through so much!  I wish I knew what to say to help, but I am at a loss for ideas.  Hopefully more insightful members here will respond to your post with something useful.  I do want to welcome you to the Forums.  They have helped me a lot and I hope you have good experiences here.  It is really heartbreaking what you have been through and are going through ! ! !

- epictetus

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Hello and welcome @Time Machine,

I have some hearing loss and tinnitus.  Probably from life, standing close to loud machinery probably did not help. 

Is there something that you want to do with your life?  You are 44 so you are not too old.  We all miss opportunities.  I have failed plenty of times, especially socially. 

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Welcome Time Machine! I like your name. I really like that old movie The Time Machine. Sorry you are dealing with so much. It sounds like you got a ruff start and that can explain why you missed opportunities. This is a safe place to vent and be heard. We understand as few others can. Read other posts and keep posting yourself. We sill support you as best we can. You are not alone in this.

BW

Edited by BeyondWeary

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Hi Time Machine,

Hey, you went to college.  A degree isn't something that shows up in the mail like Publisher's Clearing House; that's an accomplishment.  What did you study?  A gal I dated also had sudden onset deafness in one ear.  One evening she thought her phone had gone dead, but it was the hearing one ear, then tinnitus.  I got tinnitus from chemo infusion for cancer treatment, probably from a tough cancer killer called cisplaten.  Mine is a high white hissing.  Also lost some hearing from same treatment.  What happens to a lot of tinnitus sufferers--as to both the gal and myself--is that the brain often adjusts and you don't notice it.  Takes a while, but it''s been documented.  It does drive you nuts for a time, but there is a good chance it will "go away."  I went to college, then went back to tech school at 50 and changed my work.  I liked being a computer "generalist" as they are called now.  So, yeah, you can do more stuff if you set a schedule, find a way to bring in an extra buck.  I don't know if any or all of that is a cure for depression--not for me anyway.  But, life  is better when you find an interest, of any kind.  You have several things happening, inside and outside.  I hope some of them subside, and you feel better.

Bulga

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Hi. Thank you all for giving me your time. Sorry for the length of this. I have to get it off my chest. I hope it's entertaining at least.

When I was a child, I was an outgoing, straight-A student. Always the top student in class. People had a lot of hopes and expectations for me. But when I hit puberty, I suddenly came down with severe depression and it was difficult for me to concentrate in school. These turned out to be life-long problems.
In middle school and high school I could never fit in and got bullied mercilessly. I probably stayed home from school 50% of the time. Obviously, my grades were terrible and my parents were always angry with me. I begged for them to transfer me to another school and they refused.

I eventually dropped out. I took the GED and passed it easily. But I didn't have a lot of options for college. There's a state college near me that was more flexible and would admit almost anyone, so I went there. It was one of those hippie schools with no required courses and no grades.

I thought I was grown up and knew how the real world worked, and I picked classes that I both enjoyed and thought would be employable. So I took about a 50/50 course load of Japanese language/culture and media production. I met a lot of like-minded souls in the media production classes, but people in the Japanese classes tended to be elitist snobs and I didn't get along with them. I applied to be an exchange student in Japan, but was turned down because those teachers that didn't like me were the judges. In one of the few times in my life my parents went to bat for me, my dad threatened to sue the school and they begrudgingly selected me the following year.

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In high school, I had this great summer job where I basically just hung out with Japanese college girls from the Kansai region. They were such happy gals and fun to be with. So I thought I would make lots of friends there. I was wrong. I requested going to Kansai, I was sent to a totally different region in Kyushu. You could look at it as being similar to the Deep South in the USA.
My new life was novel at first, but soon became monotonous. I only had friendships with other foreign students. I felt like I had failed because I was totally unable to integrate. I felt like everyone was staring at me and gossiping.


Then things changed. I started dating this girl I'd met at a Christmas party. She came from a rather conservative family and wasn't allowed to date, even though she was 19. She'd never even kissed before. I also learned she was liked by everyone and was the smartest girl in her class. We were very happy in our secret relationship. My depression evaporated and I was able to concentrate in class again. I had a motivation to live again and my grades skyrocketed. I finally felt like a normal person; a fully functional adult.
But although I was able to keep our relationship a secret, she started to tell others about it. First her older sister, then her closet friends, and then others. She shared way too much intimate information with people. And conversely, she'd tell me intimate details about her sister's sex life that I really didn't need to know. But through her, I met a lot of people and started making friends with her friends.
And then I found out I wasn't paranoid and everyone really was gossiping about me. I rubbed people the wrong way I guess and suddenly my poor girlfriend became my complaint center. Every faux pas I had ever made during my stay was reported to her. And she'd sternly confront me about it. "Mitsuko said you are a bad person. Why would she say this? Explain!" And I didn't know what to say.

 

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One day out of the blue I get a text message that it's over. I wanted to talk it out with her, but she refused. I was really shocked and numb to it at the beginning. I really tried my best to handle it in a mature way, like a man. I tried to act like it was no big deal, even though I was devastated. But when I ran into her and her sister on campus, they would act like they didn't even see me and ignore me. Soon, everyone she knew were doing this kind of shunning to me. I'd try to meet knew people, but the gossip reach to them and they'd then ignore me.

I started to go absolutely mad. I just said, "F___ it" to myself and stopped attempting to fit in or be liked. I started telling people that annoyed me what I really thought of them in the most colorful Japanese I had learned. One time we were in the school bookstore and I ran into big sister, who ignored me. I played dumb and just said, "Reimi!! How are you? I haven't seen you in so long!!!" I put her in a position where she was forced to answer me. She said, "Oh..ha ha. My vision is so bad! Sorry I didn't see you!" and tried to act freindly, but her eyes were seething with hatred.

I requested with my adviser to be sent home. I was told to just suck it up and deal with it like a man and was refused. So I fell into bad old habits and just stopped going to class altogether. Not once did any staff or student come to yell at me, which reinforced my feeling of being unwanted. The instant my one year was up, I just took off overnight without looking back. I didn't want a going away party where they fake like they're going to miss me.

I was so disillusioned and didn't want anything to do with Japan anymore. I moved back in with my parents and regressed. Months after I got back to the US, 9/11 happened and I couldn't get hired anywhere. Since then, I've only been able to get entry-level dead-end jobs. My (American) college has recently made the national and international news for how crazy it is, and many people now view it as a laughingstock. The skills I'd learned weren't employable ones, at least not in my town. I can't really move to another state or country because of my anxiety and depression. I need my family to be in driving distance when I have those extreme spells.

I picked this name because at night I often dream that I can go back in time and fix mistakes I had made in the past.

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19 minutes ago, Time Machine said:

I picked this name because at night I often dream that I can go back in time and fix mistakes I had made in the past.

For whatever it's worth, I often have that same dream. June of 1977 is my target for going back and fixing my mess of a life.

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3 hours ago, JD4010 said:

For whatever it's worth, I often have that same dream. June of 1977 is my target for going back and fixing my mess of a life.

Welcome @Time Machine. It is the same for me. I could have avoided all of this misery if I could just redo a couple of days or as little as 10 minutes even.

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I agree.  My favorite show of all time is Quantum Leap and the best episode was the leap home.  Even though my high school years were hell on earth and I actually got kicked out of high school I would give anything to be able to go back to that time knowing what I know now.  My life would be so much different right now.  My life now everyone I love is dead so I can't imagine being able to see them all again.  Who knows maybe I will soon.  The day I believe in an afterlife goodbye.

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Thanks guys for understanding. I've made a lot of mistakes in my day, but I seem to fixate on that foreign student year in my dreams. There were so many opportunities there that I blew. Had I known there was about to be a world-shattering event that would change my country into a depressing one I don't even recognize, I would have stayed over there.

There was one other American guy that went over there with me. His language skills weren't as good as mine, but he had a very mellow attitude. He got along so much better over there than I did. He stayed over there and worked for a while. He met a girl and they got married, moved back to America and had a family. He's a good guy that sends me Christmas cards every year. But I can't help but feel sad and envious when I see pics of his happy family.

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On 8/2/2019 at 4:36 PM, sober4life said:

I agree.  My favorite show of all time is Quantum Leap and the best episode was the leap home.  Even though my high school years were hell on earth and I actually got kicked out of high school I would give anything to be able to go back to that time knowing what I know now.  My life would be so much different right now.  My life now everyone I love is dead so I can't imagine being able to see them all again. 

I used to love that show too. When I was in high school, adults would tell me, "These are the best years of your life!"  I didn't want to believe them, but it turned out to be somewhat true. I dream about high school sometimes too and hanging out with all my friends, with a warm and secure feeling.

On 8/2/2019 at 8:25 PM, Rattler6 said:

Your Japanese girlfriend was a shit. 

 

Maybe, but she was the best girlfriend I ever had. The only other real relationship I had prior was with an insane, abusive (in every sense of the word) person just after high school.

I am not a perfect person and I'm sure I'm hard to live with. I didn't have any friends in that Japanese university and tended to get much too clingy with her. She would just come to my dorm and make out, and when she was done she'd just leave. I worried that our relationship was too shallow. So toward the end I said we should go out and do stuff like I felt normal couples would do. But when we went out she hated how everyone would stare at us. I think that had an effect on her, plus the fact that her friends hated me.

She later became an exchange student and came to live in my hometown for a year, but refused to see me. I don't know what I could have done to foster such enmity in a person.

Japan was a hard place to live in, but at least I was unique there. In the USA I feel like an invisible nobody whose existence doesn't matter, or even worse a pariah.

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On 8/2/2019 at 5:36 PM, sober4life said:

I agree.  My favorite show of all time is Quantum Leap and the best episode was the leap home.  Even though my high school years were hell on earth and I actually got kicked out of high school I would give anything to be able to go back to that time knowing what I know now.  My life would be so much different right now.  My life now everyone I love is dead so I can't imagine being able to see them all again.  Who knows maybe I will soon.  The day I believe in an afterlife goodbye. 

 

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Hi everybody. I feel a lot less manic now. But consequently, I'm back to being apathetic and inactive again.

It looks like I neglected to explain my current living situation. I lived with my parents until I was 30. My parents and I talked to a lawyer and I was declared disabled around this time. I began receiving welfare benefits at this time like SSI, SSDI, and EBT. I also got on Section 8 housing and was able to get an apartment within walking distance of my part-time job.

For a time, this was good. The people at my job were very nice, and I got back into shape by walking to work every day. I was mentally in a much better place and I decided that I was going to go for this ESL teaching job in Japan before I turned 40. To apply for the job, I needed a whole bunch of documents like my birth certificate, diploma, etc. These were all still at my parents' house.

When I told my parents I wanted to apply for that job, they flipped out. My dad told me that if I got that job, I would only fail, and in the process lose my section 8 housing and welfare benefits he'd fought so hard to get me. They refused to get the documents. Like I said, they are hoarders and it was impossible for me to find it on my own in all the mess. So I applied to the state and my college to give me new documents, diploma, transcripts, etc. But they didn't get to me in time and I'd missed the deadline. Soon after, my boss died and I lost my job. All of this broke me.

Basically, I feel like a caged animal. I have food and shelter provided for me by the nanny state, and my family feels like that should be enough. But I wanted so much more out of life. But if I take any sort of risks for a better life, I would lose everything if I fail.

The welfare rules state that I cannot save any money more than $2000 or I'm punished. And if I get a job and make too much money, I also get in trouble. The system is like a sand pit of poverty that I can't climb out of.

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I know how you feel.  I've been trying to get away from SSDI for years now.  I want to escape the entire system with doctors and "benefits" that certainly hold you down and keep you in the pit much more than help you.  It's like being caught in a spider web you can't escape.  Sure it helps for a while but it's just survival and nothing more.  Oh and you get to watch everyone around you live a normal life while you really can't.  It's impossible to be happy with the life we live.

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Hey guys, I just wanted to give you a little update. I had an MRI and got the results. I don't really know what it all means. Most of it said normal, but then there was this part which sounded a little weird:

Quote

Parenchyma/Dura: No mass, acute infarct or hemorrhage. Several tiny scattered foci of nonspecific white matter change, of doubtful clinical significance.

Another state agency is going to try and help me find me a part-time job that I can do. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Since I'm effectively "retired" at 43, I decided to take some adult education courses at the local community center. I'm taking some art  and foreign language classes. These are the kind of things I wanted desperately to study in college, but my parents and I believed wouldn't be viable job skills.

I was extremely envious of my peers that were taking the art and performing arts classes back in college. What they were doing seemed like so much fun. As we know, there are no time machines to go back, but maybe I can still learn a little bit even at my age.

 

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On 9/13/2019 at 7:54 AM, Time Machine said:

Hey guys, I just wanted to give you a little update. I had an MRI and got the results. I don't really know what it all means. Most of it said normal, but then there was this part which sounded a little weird:

Another state agency is going to try and help me find me a part-time job that I can do. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Since I'm effectively "retired" at 43, I decided to take some adult education courses at the local community center. I'm taking some art  and foreign language classes. These are the kind of things I wanted desperately to study in college, but my parents and I believed wouldn't be viable job skills.

I was extremely envious of my peers that were taking the art and performing arts classes back in college. What they were doing seemed like so much fun. As we know, there are no time machines to go back, but maybe I can still learn a little bit even at my age.

 

Hi Time Machine, and welcome to the forums! My heart is so sad for you, and I wish you hadn't suffered so much in life. The welfare system can help some people, but for the ones it doesn't help, it's effectively class warfare, and this seems to be what you're experiencing. What the world really needs is ways for us humans to retain dignity and self worth, and either to be able to work when needed, or not have to work so that we can pursue other meaningful avenues. In the current post 9/11 and financial crash world, this is impossible for many, let alone those who suffer from mental illness.

You shouldn't feel bad about yourself. I understand why you do. I, myself, feel like a 'caged animal', as you put it. However, the depression is not your fault, it can't be helped, and it has made you the victim of bad circumstances - worse than they already were, to be sure. Anything that comes from your depression is nothing for you to be ashamed of ... and I'm certainly not going to tell you to 'pull yourself together', like your Facebook 'friend' did! That isn't possible with depression. It just isn't. You just have to do your very best every day, and if that means that all you do is shower and get some food, then that's how it is.

With this in mind, it's fantastic that you're taking adult education classes, and I applaud you for that. Don't let anybody stop you, but also be easy on yourself if you don't do as well as you'd hoped. The important thing is to do your best and get something out of it.

Your life isn't over, either. It seems that way, but with a life expectancy of eighty years or so, you still have time, and if your life doesn't look like other people's idea of success, too bad. You've got to find your own way of fulfillment, and try and pursue it if possible. (Your health may not always allow it, but that's not something that's your fault.)

I relate to the feelings of jealousy about that other student's marriage. Even though I don't want to have a relationship, I can't help but feel jealous of happy families and their nice houses. Among other things.

It's good that you've got a place to vent. Don't hold back. There's a lot of support on these forums.

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If I went into a time machine, it's likely I would just make different mistakes. Being human means making mistakes. That's how we evolve. People who are happy did not make less mistakes. They were priviledged to receive tools to better cope with mistakes. They had more supportive, more encouraging parents. They felt loved and supported, so their mistakes don't affect their sense of self-worth. I think a better avenue is to own our mistakes and learn from them.

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