Trigger warning: suicide
On a previous post, Yolanda said I have “strong faith”. I don’t feel like that, certainly compared to other people in the frum (religious Jewish) community. Partly it’s that I avoid social markers of faith, like saying “Barukh HaShem!” when people ask how I am (literally “Bless God,” but idiomatically “Thank God”). But I feel that I don’t trust God. I know that faith and trust are different things in Judaism; faith is about thinking God exists while trust is about accepting that whatever happens is for the best; but it is hard to have the former without the latter. In a sense, on an intellectual level, I can accept that everything is for the best, but I can’t feel it. My life just seems so miserable, I feel that there has to be more to it than this. But I worry that if the “best possible outcome” for me for the last twenty years has apparently been (on the grounds that whatever God causes to happen is for the best) for me to be lonely and miserable, thinking of myself as a freak that no one could like, let alone love, how can I know that the next twenty years – or sixty years – won’t be the same? I don’t think I could bear that. This is when I start feeling suicidal. I think I could cope with suffering if I felt there was a purpose or end to it, but being lonely and miserable indefinitely for no obvious reason is just too much to bear. But I don’t know what the alternative is. I don’t seriously believe that stopping being frum (religious) would make me happier, although it might make life a little easier and would widen my dating pool, but I think the key limiting factors on my dating are my mental health issues and autism and my under/unemployment.
Speaking of dating, Ashley Leia said I should date women and let them decide if they want me rather than decide in advance that they won’t date me. That does make a kind of sense, and my parents and rabbi mentor have said similar things… but in my brain dating seriously without an income is disingenuous and futile. Maybe that’s not accurate. But I’m scared of the rejection I feel sure will follow dating in this state. And I worry about meeting the right person at the wrong time and her rejecting me because I’m unemployed or depressed and then I’ll never get a second chance with her because she has tagged me as not suitable.
Of course, the problem is that I want other people to make decisions for me but then I don’t cooperate with them. The other problem is that I’m terribly lonely, so I think endlessly about how things would have to change so that I could date, which just makes me feel more hopeless. So I procrastinate endlessly and feel lonely and depressed all the time. I find it doubtful that anyone could really make me happy, to be honest.
I could write an equally long, equally depressing rant about my career. I’m not sure how much I want to be a librarian any more; it turned out not to really be like my experience in the library where I first worked, first as a volunteer, then as a paid employee. I haven’t kept up with my CPD (and my training, at a not-very-good university because of depression, was arguably not good enough in the first place) and I feel pretty unemployable in my chosen career. It’s a struggle to wade through job adverts and try to reply, I’m so lacking in self-belief. Lots of jobs require work on Saturdays too, which I can’t do for religious reasons. Then there are all the jobs I’m over- or under-qualified for… I have to hope something will turn up, but as with dating, there’s no guarantee that it will, or that I will be good enough for the opportunity or psychologically ready to accept it.
Someone suggested A S Mentoring to me, but I’m not sure they are really offering anything that would be useful to me. I suppose I should contact them and find out… which is also scary.
I suppose what I really want is for someone to wave a magic wand and for me to wake up in a new life with the things I want. But real life doesn’t work like that. I don’t mind having to work for things, but it seems that no matter how hard I try, I never get the things I work for and I can’t go on much longer without getting some kind of result.
I went shopping for a very belated wedding present for my sister and brother-in-law (long story why it’s been so long). Out walking and seeing all the Purim stuff in the Jewish shops, I reflected that it is only a few days until Purim, the happiest festival in the Jewish calendar, and yet the one I struggle with the most (well, tied with Pesach). I feel like Judaism is built for mentally healthy neurotypicals (for all the autistic precision with which Jewish law is codified). There isn’t anywhere for someone who can’t join in with the festive crowd, who can’t drink, doesn’t have children or grandchildren and probably never will…
There’s a constant pressure to Do Things, whether from Judaism or work or family and friends. I just constantly feel that I have to do painful things so I don’t “let people down,” but no one is making sacrifices for me (except for my parents supporting me rent-free). I can’t cope with the constant pressure to be perfect. I’m not perfect, nowhere near it. Why can’t anyone understand that and leave me alone?
I honestly don’t know what I would do if someone said, “OK, you can choose the life you want. You can decide if you want to pray or study Torah and how much, what to do for work, what family and social life you want.” I can’t imagine would what actually feel good or how I can work that out. In reality, I probably couldn’t cope with a career or being married. Western society doesn’t really present me with an alternative to having a career and frum society doesn’t present me with an alternative to getting married. I think I could manage, and might benefit from (in terms of personal growth as well as support and happiness), a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, but that’s not really an option in frum society.
Related: I just shouted at my parents. My Mum eagerly told me that my sister and BIL have concrete under their shale patio. I neither knew nor cared about this, no one having told me that it was a concern and I can’t really bring myself to care. Then Dad insisted on showing me a photo and I didn’t know what to say and ended up saying, “I don’t know what you want from me – to say “MY GOD THAT’S THE BEST GARDEN I’VE EVER SEEN??!!!” They did at least see the funny side. I shouldn’t have done it, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to take any kind of interest in my sister’s house without becoming monumentally depressed, yet everyone else seems to be expecting me to be as fascinated as if I were going to be living there myself. At least if she had a baby, I could play with him or her.
I feel like I can’t take any more. I can’t stand being so lonely and miserable. I want to die, but killing myself… I can’t put it into words, but I do and don’t want to kill myself. I do because I want to escape, but I don’t because I couldn’t put my parents through that, and because, I suppose, some part of me still hopes I might one day have some small measure of joy, albeit probably not in this world, and that would never happen if I killed myself. Plus, I suppose I can’t help feeling that killing myself would just lead to more punishment somehow.
I don’t want people to worry about me. I’m not going to do anything. I wouldn’t dare, really. I just wish so much that this wasn’t happening to me. I just wish that I wasn’t here.