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#441135 - 07/17/13 06:28 AM Optimism, how?
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1990
Loc: durham, north england
Back when I was just coming out of my abuse, when i was 18-22, I was extremely optimistic. Everything seemed to be going right, I even hoped (thanks to one good experience when I was 18), that the relationship thing would sort itself out.

If I was approaching something, I'd be universally convinced that things would work themselves out. I once remember for instance when I was 21 just going back in late April for my last term with my undergraduate disertation literally half finished (I'd written 6 thousand words out of twelve), noticing that it wasn't actually june when the thing needed to be handed in, ---- it was the 1st of May giving me aproximately two weeks, yet I just waved my hand and said "Oh, it'll be fine I know I can write this" ---- and astonishingly I was actually proved write for all it took 24 hours and a lot of coffee.

I was utterly confident not in myself, since I've never been that, but in the general benevolent nature of providence, that things would ultimately come out right one way or the other.

But maybe it's the my resolution about relationships after so many years of utter disappointment, maybe it's seeing all those friends I met I leave and nobody sticking around, but I just can't maintain that belief anymore, indeed these days if something goes write it's a miracle.

That disertation I wrote was actually on happiness, on enlightened headonism, ---- God it seems so wrong now.

Now, if I meet people and am friends (as happened during my production last year), it's temporary at best because I know people will not carry on the friendship as I'm always the exception to the rule. I'm indeed increasingly getting to to the point that homer simpsons remark "why try anything, trying is the first step towards failure" feels a little too apt, because ultimately for all that good I experience, for everything that went write, for the friends I met and the work i did, ---- it didn't get me anywhere, didn't achieve any changes in my life beyond the initial experience. It was just a pleasant experience, nothing more, and one which I'm increasingly of the opinion was a fluke.

How do you maintain a belief in optimism when ultimately nothing is perminant? when nobodoy sticks around.

Yes, I can go to international conferences and give big highflying papers on accessibility (as I did last week), and hobnob with famous people and high ranking academics. yes, I can learn music and go and sing it, but what is the point if all it is is a temporary fix?

I suppose I should really be more greatful for what I've got, but I just don't find it easy, since I look around and all I see are people in better positions than me, ---- and even in spite of all my recovery a part of me says "well don't they deserve to be?"

So, how can someone be optimistic about life when nothing ever lasts?

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#441155 - 07/17/13 09:41 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 845
Loc: Northeast, USA
Hi Luke,

I think you're right to say that people deserve to be happy. What makes people (you, me, and others here included) deserve to be happy is that they've (we've) earned what it is that makes us happy. It's important to realize the "earned" part of this statement. Happiness cannot be achieved without effort, especially if we don't feel that we deserve to be happy because we don't sense our worthiness to be happy. Dare to change what you feel is possible for yourself. If you see people in relationships that you'd like to have, it's because they first believed they were capable of such relationships, which means they had a self-concept of themselves that allowed such a belief and then imagined themselves in that relationship. Feel what it would be like to be in a relationship that you desire to be in. Keep imagining and feeling what this would be like over and over again. Believe that you are worthy of this and that you are already that someone who you desire's significant other. This is what it takes to achieve what we desire in life. When you finished your dissertation, PhD, production, etc., how did you do this? Think back on what you were thinking about yourself and the end product. Apply what you learned and did in your past toward what you want for your future. They are different goals and wishes, but the process to achieve them is the same I'm sure. Give it a try Luke. No excuses, motivation, confidence is necessary...just simply do it!

Caz
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#441156 - 07/17/13 10:08 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1990
Loc: durham, north england
The problem rocco is that all of those things depend upon other people, and I'm increasingly learning that other people just aren't reliable, heck even the people who I thought! were my close friends don't bother contacting me anymore. Yes, i can contact them and we can have a nice chat over the phone, ---- -but that's where it stops.

I can be kind, considderate, I can empathise with people, i can have people tell me thei life stories, I can make people laugh, ---- heck even at a serious academic conference where I was giving a talk on my theories of disability in front of several professors as well as a couple of well known opera singers (including Sir Thomas Alan who I had quite a conversation with), I was able to get a couple of laughs in and be entertaining even as I put my point across.

But none of it matters since whatever it is that makes people stick together I obviously don't have.

maybe it's just that everyone my age who I used! to be friends with is now pretty perminantly married and thus have lives wrapped up with their other halves (and in some cases children), ---- or maybe it's just me as usual, though I know to rationally distrust that sort of thinking.

Or maybe I'm just being greedy, after all I do know I can accomplish creative works on my own merrits with enough persistance, and that should be enough for anyone, it's just difficult to expect good of the future when all the good I get is so fleeting and nobody actually sticks around.

Well maybe i should just remember my resolution and learn to not need anyone and take satisfaction only in those things I can build, or write, or sing myself.

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#441158 - 07/17/13 10:37 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1652
Yes everyone deserves to be happy. We talked about this last night in support. And we all agreed, happiness first comes from ourselves and we need to surround ourselves with positive, supportive and non judgmental people. The forces around us, influence our happiness. Negative people bring us down and these people see little joy in life despite what they may say. And we survivors have enough negative elements to overcome from the abuse, so we do not need others to bring us down but rather push us up.

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#441166 - 07/17/13 01:09 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1990
Loc: durham, north england
Hi KMCINVA


I agree, however my problem with people isn't so much people being negative, as people simply not being there, or rather not wanting to stick around and stay being friends, still less more than friends which as far as I can determine nobody has ever wanted from me anyway.

It's just so generally depressing. I'll meet a new group of people, I'll work, I'll employ all my social skills, (since the alternative is just sitting in a corner not speaking to anyone). I'll chat to people, people will tell me their life stories, ask for advice, and then bugger off, even those people I thought were my friends don't contact me by phone or mail, and yes I can of course contact them, but we'll just have a conversation and that's that.

I'm just sick of trying with people.

And no, visually impared people aren't helpful either, indeed in many ways I feel even more alone with them than normally since most are 50 years older than me and even those my age just don't have anything in common, indeed they're such a cleaquey mentality I find them amazingly hard to deal with.

Oh yes, I'm going to try and do! new things in september, improve my ballroom dancing for a start, but what's the point in investing any emotions in people when people reffuse to with me?

Obviously if your not prepared to go into a noisy dark room and jiggle or get pissed people just don't want to know.

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#441169 - 07/17/13 01:29 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 586
dark empathy,

Your post resonated with me a lot. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a few months back. We're both single, mid-20s, and we were talking about how people in our lives seemed to be 'moving on' - getting married, having kids, getting a car, getting a house etc. etc. - and thereby seem to have less and less time for old friends (us). It's been happening a lot to me - my best friend actually got married really out of the blue last year and we hardly keep in touch, apart from playing football occasionally together. I think come mid-/late-20s, early-30s, a lot of guys start desiring a life of security, and choose to prioritize getting things which amount to having the typical image of a stable family. I can really empathize with the feeling of getting abandoned, and also of a longing for a close friendship, let alone a relationship.

That being said, I've found two little remedies - my two cents here. One, music. From reading your profile, I think you will 'get' this. Music never leaves me - whenever I need it, whenever I need to feel understood or safe or loved or anything, it's always there for me. It talks to me, and I can talk back. That is a very special thing for which I'm really grateful. And second, younger friends. I have a group of friends who I met last year, and they are all in their teens - they still love to have a blast, they're always up for a good drink or a game of pool - in other words, they're still 'there'. I'm profoundly grateful for them too, but sometimes, I do get a little sad at the thought that one day, they may go their separate wives, to raise their own families etc. and perhaps have no time for me anymore. Whatever the case, they are still here now, and I intend to make the most of it.
_________________________
Husky

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#441195 - 07/17/13 06:24 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 845
Loc: Northeast, USA
Luke,

I get what you're saying when you say that what you've accomplished in the past didn't rely on another person other than yourself, and in this way you weren't confronted with what you are confronted with now. That's why relationships for many are particularly troublesome things. I definitely have to count myself as part of that crowd. However, what you can control is your concept of yourself (i.e. what you believe about yourself). You may respond to this by saying that my self concept is one having to do with a feeling (i.e. belief) of being unworthy. Well, this is something you are telling yourself over and over again, is it not? You can change that by stopping telling yourself that you are unworthy and telling yourself instead that you are worthy of love and a close relationship. What we believe about ourselves, we will create in our lives. Tell yourself you are worthy and deserve love and lasting relationships over and over again. I'm certain that in time, and with dogged persistence (which I know you have) you will eventually turn your self concept on its head. This is something you can indeed do all on your own. It doesn't take another person to change your self-concept, but yet a change in your self-concept I'm sure will bring about a change in others around you and what you create in your life. I encourage you to discard you resolution. I've known you long enough to realize that it's not working for you. Please read my original response again. And if you're interested in pursuing what you desire in life, read "Wishes Fulfilled" by Wayne Dyer.

My best regards,

Rocco
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#441200 - 07/17/13 07:37 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1990
Loc: durham, north england
@husky, that is it exactly. I'm 29, coming to the end of university, and all those friends I thought I had are getting families. Well not me, --- not that I even particularly want kids, but just someone who would stick around and be there each week as my friends used to be would be nice, ---- and actually having a connection with someone would be the ultimate thing, but that's not going to happen.

The other problem for me particularly this year is things were! working out, and then people buggered off again!

As to younger friends, well pretty much ever since I've been 25 I've been thinking I'm already too old, and basically trying to make new friends at university who were younger, ---- but again, they'd pretty much just finish their uni courses and go.

Your right on music though husky. One of the nicest stories I always remember is ofenbach's Tales of Hoffman. it's about a poet called Hoffman, and in each act of the Opera's three acts his enemy (represented as fate), conspires to kill off one of the women he's interested in, each of which is an example of a feminine characteristic that Hoffman is drawn to, ---- innocense, beauty, and success. At the end of the player however, hoffman actually goes of with the muse of poetry after fate took everything else from him.

I deffinately approve!

@Rocco, the ironic thing is I'm not really convinced my self concept actually affects my interactions with others, simply because one thing I'm learning is how profoundly ignorant most people are of emotional reactions. Even when I've been desperately in love with someone, ---- well they've not been able to tell, and that was me at my most vulnerable, not employing all the armery of skills I have.

Once in a recent music exam, my mum asked my teacher how i was doing after I went in, Was I nervous? my teacher replied "well you can't tell with Luke can you?"

I suppose I've become so good at being people's friend, people's confidant, the one people talk to, that my own worthlessness is devorced from the situation. and no, I don't hide myself either, indeed people seem to regard me as extremely open, but when I share how nervous I feel at situations the usual response is "But your always so confident!"

that's I think the problem, I seem to be doing everything right in terms of interacting with others, I employ empathy, I am considderate etc, ---- and people still! don't seem to actually ever bother coming back, though how much of this is just an age thing as husky said I don't know.

As to my resolution, well you are in fact right, since much as I would like to be like Hoffman, I'm not, since I can't just be content with poetry and music, the problem is if I abandon my resolution we're back to why I made it in the first place.


All desiring a relationship has ever given me has been pain, and lots of it.

the entire process of attraction still seems either completely meaningless, or so blatant it's a genophobic threat.

I am still not unconvinced nobody has ever been interested in being closer than a friend, ---- and if I let myself think about that knolidge it hurts a lot, that the closest anyone has wanted to get to me, the most intermately anyone has ever wanted to touch me was while spitting in my face, ---- that I've been forcably mastavated but never once had an adult kiss.


And on those three occasions when I actually did! try to battle all this and tell a girl who I felt, ---- mostly because to not tell at that point would cause my head to explode, I get a polite "I'm flattered!"

Would it be so! much to ask for someone to just say they were interested in becoming closer? ---- heck even if it wasn't a person I felt the same way about at least it would tell me that was possible. but no, because "the man!" must make the first move, ---- thanks again y chromosome, or society, or whatever.

And this is why I had to have a resolution, since there are only so many occasions you can here those words "give it time" or "you'd make a great boyfriend" (something I was told again quite recently), without wanting to punch somebody, indeed if people say such things to me now I just have to limit myself to a simple "thank you" and change the subject before I start swearing, ---- since oh yes, people are full of complements. I'm so clever, so inciteful, So easy to talk to, so accomplished, indeed I was recently told I was "down right famous" by an accessible computer games designer I met, ---- and yet how can I not! believe people are just being polite when they say these things when nothing ever happens!

Okay, this post has rather gone too far, and it's close to one in the morning, indeed if I hadn't decided to stop deleting rants on principle i'd delete this one since it just feels like self indulgent crap to go into all of this, indeed even when I write about my own accomplishments or what people say I feel as if I'm being a wining, arrogant self obsessed idiot.

Still I'll leave it.

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#441245 - 07/18/13 09:25 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 845
Loc: Northeast, USA
It's your life Luke, and if you're going to take responsibility for it, you must make the first move, which in this case is altering your self-concept as mentioned above. Nothing will change if you don't change anything about your life in this area.

I was thinking yesterday about your situation in England. I remember you talking a long time ago about how people with disabilities are treated in your country. I have a good idea of what you are talking about, but it would help me, and possibly you, if you elaborated on this some more. What I'm getting at is that your self-concept is most likely impacted by how your culture treats you as a person with a physical disability. I think it's important for someone to realize the influences on them coming from the particular culture they live in. Through the process of internalization, we unconsciously take in, and own as our own, a view of ourselves similarly to how our society views us. It's an inevitable kind of thing. But what we can do is to become aware of this important influence on our individual lives. I think that having this awareness is a way to overcome the negative influences of such internalizing of societies expectations for us, whatever group we happen to belong to. What do you think?

Rocco
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#441265 - 07/18/13 05:48 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
I noticed you talk about people not sticking around, I agree, i'd say that is normal, I think most of us only maintain one or two friends long-term, maybe i'm wrong though, but I don't think your experience there is out of the ordinary- I don't know if that is any comfort.

I also see friends getting girlfriends, getting married, having kids. But there is a time for everyone (maybe i'm optimistic).

You are right when you talk about friends getting wrapped up in their own lives- it is the transition into adulthood. Most friends go, new will come. Lots of older people out there only have one good friend, but one good friend is better than lots of acquaintances.

I have lots of people who I work with in various respects who I really like and enjoy being around, but I know it is fleeting, when I move or change work/groups, I know, at least for most of them, I may not hear from again- it is almost like having "friends in context". But it doesn't make me sad knowing that I may not see many of those people again (even though I will miss them)- I just enjoy the time I have with them. Some of them I will definitely try to pop in to see now and again, some I would like to, but know to them it might seem strange.

Having somebody constant, consistent, always there, sharing and taking part in your life in a meaningful way, yes I want that. I'm comfortable with the thought that it is something I might have one day, a family, if not, then i'll be content in other ways.
_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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