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All my life I have been anxious, depressed and have had low

[29750]

All my life I have been anxious, depressed and have had low self-esteem and have been a failure. My whole life I tried to be "special." My mother was very critical. We had to be "superior" to other people. Had to dress better, had to eat better, had to be interested in better things, had to read better books, had to have better thoughts, etc. etc. So I am afraid to attempt anything difficult, have learned to not want anything, settle for second best, etc. However, my 2 sisters lived up to the family ideal, and I feel inferior to them, even though my friends tell me I'm saner than both of them. One sister claims she is a world spiritual leader, with a special pipeline to the divine, and one of the chosen. (No, she is not a member of a Christian denomination). The other one started an "institute" to change the world, change people, change community and change human physiology. But the institute, with a very elegant scientific sounding name, is composed of only herself, even though she has used the word "we" all over her website, to make it look like the institute is composed of many people. One part of me thinks they are grandiose, another thinks they are the real deal.

I have been experimenting for the past 3 weeks in not trying to be exceptional. This is life-changing. I have stopped trying to do great art, or have great thoughts, or watch great videos. Instead I have experimented with just being an average, normal person; and do regular art, have regular thoughts, and watch regular videotapes. This is, for me, revolutionary. I have also, to some degree, finally stopped running from my pain. When I felt panic in the past because of my life failures, I'd try to talk myself out of it or fix it. Now I am experimenting with thinking, "Yup, I am a failure. I am absolutely nobody special. I am just an average person, living an average life. I am not anybody's savior. I can barely save myself." (Please, do not anybody write me about how Jesus can save me. Thank you.)

Anyhow, I am going through all this right now, and it is hard, brave, lonely and scary; even though I am telling all my friends and they are supporting me through it. So I wanted to know if anyone else has gone through anything similar, or if you can relate, or if you can offer me suggestions or words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone who reads this.

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[29750]
Feb 24

Hi everyone, Thank you for your supportive comments. I want to give an update, because what I am doing is difficult. I am not feeling great. I don't know if it's "backlash" - that is, I'm breaking family rules, so painful feelings are coming up. Or if I'm just getting in touch with the depression I've been running from my entire life. Or if I am overdoing the "normal" stuff after a lifetime of over-stimulation, and am therefore bored. Or if I am being fanatical in my "ordinariness" experiment by sticking to it too strictly, in the same way that I stuck to my family rules strictly my whole life. Or??? Who knows. I did discuss it with my therapist today. She suggested that I was feeling happy just doing what I wanted to do until I started judging myself for being too ordinary.

So I want to tell you all more specifics of what I have been doing. Oops! But I find that I am so ashamed to even write it here. Hmm. Nothing evil or illegal or immoral. Just being average! Maybe I'll get brave enough to write it later. Thanks for reading.

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[120540]
Feb 28

We can be the toughest judges of ourself. Leading to self abuse.

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[29750]
Mar 2

Yeah, everyone I know is the toughest on themselves! So much self-hatred. Almost everyone I know is so much more empathetic to others than they are to themselves. In my family, I was taught to not want things. No ice cream, no dolls, no clothes, etc. etc. It's not that we were poor; it was that my mom had very strong views on things. And no, it wasn't that we were religious. It was a sort of snobbiness: The rich were no good, the working class were no good. Has anyone else had this? When I was growing up, I didn't want. I didn't want a career, a marriage, kids, a wedding, a nice home, a hobby I was passionate about - those were all for other "inferior" people. Since I naturally had desires, I guess that made me inferior. I think I was even taught that friendships were for "inferior" people. Even though my mom had a career, a husband, kids, a home, a hobby, and friends! Anyone else have a family like this?

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