Well, that was horrible.
My usual way of dealing with difficult emotions is blogging, particularly as I don’t currently have a therapist to talk to. But I can’t talk about my Shabbat (Sabbath) because of various Jewish laws, particularly lashon hara (malicious talk). So I have to bottle up what I feel (somehow writing for myself doesn’t work; even though hardly anyone reads my blog, knowing that it can be read somehow makes all the difference). Anger. Humiliation. Loneliness. Being ignored. Despair. Self-hatred, possibly. Probably more feelings that I can’t identify. I’m supposed to be catching up on various chores tonight, but I’m not sure I have the psychological strength. Still, these events, that happen every so often, do at least remind me that my mental health issues didn’t appear in a vacuum; you have to be treated very badly for a prolonged period to end up this self-loathing. I just don’t know if I can get help to stop hating myself so much, and certainly there isn’t any way at the moment to stop these things from happening.
(It occurred to me after writing this that I could have phoned the Samaritans helpline, but it’s a bit late now.)
I feel that my parents and my rabbi mentor, although trying to support me, sometimes make things worse, because they say that things are getting better when I don’t feel that. It’s true that I’m doing more; from 2005 to about 2008, I did nothing at all because I was so depressed (nothing in terms of paid or voluntary work – I was doing almost as much davening (prayer) and I think more Torah study then as now) and now I’m working four days a week (while it lasts), but I still feel painfully depressed and self-loathing so much of the time. But because people can’t see into my mind and see how depressed I am, they assume things are improving, unless I get so upset that I start being rude and aggressive. Yes, I have a job, but that doesn’t mean I’m feeling well. I feel that I have to really push myself to go to work; without a huge effort, I would not manage it. In many ways I feel further from recovery than I did a few months ago. I don’t know what my diagnosis is any more. I’m sure there’s something other than depression and social anxiety, but I don’t know what any more. The Asperger’s book is making me doubt whether I have autism after all; there may be complex trauma, but maybe not; perhaps there is something else? Social communication disorder? Something I haven’t even heard of? I don’t know. I do not feel confident about being diagnosed and treated correctly on the NHS any more, though.
I wish I knew what I was good at. I want to do something worthwhile with my life, but I don’t feel competent to do anything, particularly given how badly I’m screwing stuff up at work, in both my current and previous jobs. My shul (synagogue) was asking for help with various things, but the only I could do was repair talletot (prayer shawls), assuming they just want people to re-wind and re-tie the knots in the tzitzit (fringes), but I’m too scared to do that for other people in case I mess that up too and they don’t fulfil the mitzvah (commandment) properly. And I can’t imagine anyone could love me, or at least not enough to actually want to marry me with all that entails rather than just being friends. Because my recent dating experience has always involved being dumped for being too depressed or too weird. The stupid thing is that I can see myself as a decent husband and father more than a decent librarian, academic, writer or other job I might consider. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t had a chance to fail at it yet; I don’t think I’m a good son or brother, and I used to think I would be a good librarian, until I actually started being one.
I wish sometimes that I could meet some kind of prophet, gadol or rebbe who could tell me that I really am a good and worthwhile person and a good Jew, because I don’t believe it myself and I don’t think I could believe it unless it was from someone who had some kind of divinely-inspired insight.
I feel such a useless waste of space.