Compassion

arobot

New Here
I never know where to put my posts. I think it fits here.
Compassion- sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

Sympathy- (1) feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.
(2) understanding between people; common feeling.

I really, really don't like it when other people have compassion (definition (1)) for me. Sometimes I am able to separate myself from my trauma story and understand that it is deserving of that first definition of compassion. Sometimes I AM the trauma, and I absolutely do not like anyone to have any pity on me at all. I am an adult. I make my own horrible decisions. I do not need to be 'rescued'.

At the same time, I do feel that I am good at compassion (2) when it comes to others. I like to think that I can feel their emotions. I like to try to help other people cope. But I always, absolutely, every time take it to a toxic place.

So I was in therapy today. The therapist told me, "I know you may not believe I know you well enough to say this, but I believe you have worth".

I told them, "I don't want to". I explained that I do suicidal things without knowing I'm suicidal. That the action has to happen first so that I can recognize what I'm feeling. And how that really sucks, because then other people are always at an elevated risk of pain, because they assigned worth to a person who they don't really know. (Hell, I don't really know myself.) And I can't even be angry with them, because they are good people. I get angry, instead, with myself. I'm angry that I'm sick. I'm angry that I'm broken. I try not to bleed onto others. (Lord knows I am horrible at that, I bleed on everyone, constantly and all the time).

I'm just doing my best out here. I don't want someone else to make it about them. I don't want people to feel anything negative or heavy or sorrowful because of me. I do not want to be a part of the darker forces of this world.

So the therapist said, 'Maybe they don't feel sorry for you. Maybe they just have compassion (2) for you.

I don't know how to process that. I think that I can feel other's emotions. I hate it when they 'feel' mine. I think that if they do, a piece of my dark nature is now in them, parasitic, sucking up everything good and wholesome in them, because they were stupid or trusting or caring enough to try to get close to me. I have people who are now trauma-bonded to me (Not the trauma bond you form when you bond with an abuser, the one you form when you sit and share your trauma story with someone else, and they share their trauma story with you.

I am not good at boundaries. My talent is walls. I like to build strong, impenetrable walls. I do not want to be an emotional parasite. I do not want anyone's compassion(2).
But now I have these trauma-bonds built on compassion(2). I don't like it. Not at all. And they tell me that they care about me, that they are concerned with how my day is going, how therapy went, how I feel. I don't even respond. I don't know what to say. It's going to take a lot for me to talk to them again. I don't know if I can.
I absolutely hate it. I think they're stupid, naive, child-like to care about me in any form. Some parts of our story that are eerily similar. (I really relate to the phrase 'terminally unique', so it's odd to me that people have had similar experiences). I want to quit talking to them. I want that very, very much. I like to tell them all the ways that I am not a very good person. (I want to warn them! Protect them from their own stupid hearts). I want to fix any negative emotion that they could feel for me, before they feel it. Because I cannot trust myself. Because I hurt people without meaning to. Because I am not trustworthy. (Omigoodness I hate it when someone trusts me! I feel I betray that trust, a million different ways, a million different times. It's awful. I feel like I am the very worst type of person to know).

So... How do I process this? How do I get a grip on it? When I can purely focus on the other person, I can function around them. But now I have way too many people of my gender in my life who do this to me, who share a similar experience, who care about what I'm experiencing.

I met these people because I am in AA. Before AA I was heavily agoraphobic. I wanted to quit eating so that I might just die, and I hoped it would look like an accident to the people that are dumb enough to care. I kind of see it differently now, because one these people I'm talking about f*cking cried about it, (because I'm trying to be honest, and I explained what I was doing). They saw it as a sad way to die. I kind of thought it would be seen as a stupid way to die. Like I'm too dumb to feed myself. Because of this whole desire to be honest (a BIG part of AA) I've told like three people what it is I was doing. I wish I hadn't. I wasn't trying to make them feel sorry. I thought that they would see that I'm kind'a dumb. I thought that it would help them to disconnect a little emotionally from me. I have never been good at predicting the emotional experience of another.

Mother f*ckER I wish people would understand that I'm toxic. That if they want healthy, happy lives they have to cut ties with the toxic people in them.
I want to go to the psych unit at the local hospital. Not to get help. To isolate. I want to quit leaving my house, again. I don't want to talk to anyone anymore. I think I did too much, too fast. I am having a very, very hard time with the compassionate people that I know. I do not want to know them anymore. I do not want to help them anymore. (and I know that I do help, because they say so, because they like to let me know all about it).

Helping people is the only thing in my life that makes me feel like I have value, worth, meaning. And I do not want to have those things anymore. I am very angry that the people I know have decided that it was OK to assign those things to me. Who the f*ck are they to put any definition on me at all? How the hell did I misrepresent myself so badly, when I was just really trying to let people see who I really am?

I do not want to obviously 'cash my chips in' because I do not want anyone to think that they could have prevented it. And now I feel like I'm stuck. I feel like I totally backed myself into a corner. I do not know if I'll have the strength or courage to interact with anyone tomorrow. If anyone tries to show me compassion, I don't know how I'll take it.

I'm really struggling with this. Any perspective, thoughts, advice through this would help. Is this an alien thing? Do other people have this? Am I as unique as I've always thought, after all?

Damnit. There was a lot of comfort in feeling like I was the only one who had the extreme traumas that I have lived through. I really found it comforting to believe that no one else knew how 'low' and 'hallow' and 'numb' all felt. I miss that, a little bit. It's weird, because it was so relieving, at first, to know I wasn't alone. Now that I'm not, now that I have a support system made up of people who actually have the same scars that I do, it makes me want to be physically sick. I just ate, and I'm very nauseous. I've wanted intimate friendships for so long that I never once considered that it would be hard to handle intimacy. I never considered that at all.

It's a feeling that I can't identify, but is probably a common feeling that others would know right away. It's like injustice a little bit. I have never been good at identifying my own feelings. It would really help if someone had a word for what this feeling is. Lol, or maybe it wouldn't. Because I do miss the comfort of being alien to my fellow human beings.
 
I can’t tell you how to deal with this other than give it time, and as terrifying as it can be to feel emotions, let yourself and know that they will pass even if feeling very strong or overwhelming at first, and take it in your own time.
I still don’t want pity/sympathy, but over time I learned that empathy can actually be healing and a tool to start things moving forward, like someone caring without losing themselves in another then using their skills to create networks and help support others on similar journeys to the one they care for (this is how many organisations like for cancer, DV, adult literacy, etc all started; someone had empathy, and used their skills and networks to expand from there and grow something wonderful from the pain they recognised in someone they cared for without getting poisoned by it).
Sympathy/pity and empathy/compassion are different things. Worth is an interesting one. In my journey I developed the belief that any worth I had was for perps to use, yet I couldn’t believe that of others and wanted to protect them, especially children. I’m not completely there yet, however I’ve come to realise we are all worthy of kindness, respect and life, including safety and including myself. It took me a lot of work and therapy to start to accept that I had innate worth as a living being, and I fought it and struggled with it, but I did let it linger somewhere in the background of my mind and with reminders from others it eventually started to take root. Don’t force it, you feel how you feel and especially after trauma it takes time to change core beliefs.
Re the suicidality, almost all my attempts were in a dissociative blackout state and I had very little awareness of what I was doing, so with support and over time I put in strategies to not just reduce the frequency and severity of this behaviour, but to help ground myself so I was present to make the choice whether I attempted, reached out to someone or a service, or managed things myself and compartmentalised it (at least for a time). It’s very rare I have blackouts/fugues and the suicidal tendencies have subsided as well with starting to accept and forgive myself for what I perceived as my failings in allowing the abuse in part by letting others get close, though of course as a child or ignorant teen it was never my fault or guilt to carry, but I still felt it.
Giving yourself time, allowing yourself to feel, and practicing techniques to find what helps ground you are the main things, the rest is a journey and sounds like you have a great therapist to help you on your journey. Hang in there and even if you don’t believe you deserve, be kind to yourself anyway 🌺
 
Hi @arobot , welcome to you.

Idk if this is at all helpful, as I am very tired and scattered.

What jumps out at me on 1st read is #2 is more like empathy. And a lack of a perceived shared experience can be subconsciously used as justification. Just as having SI, anything that gets in the way (even when you don't want to do it) can be subconsciously felt as an obstacle or annoyance.

But that being said, if you flipped it, would it really be desirable to be surrounded by people who lacked compassion, which would infer they were bitter, or self-preoccupied, or even abusive, or jealous or judgemental, or the like? At the very least lacking in feeling, or perhaps hardened or jaded.

Someone also once told me, many actually on here, that people have a right to make up their own minds. Is it also possible they see something in you that you cannot see in yourself yet? And/ or that helping you/ people helping each other not only bodes well for sobriety but also having each other's back, being a source of happiness, and even helping make use of their own sufferings in a good way? (The word compassion comes from co-passion, accompanying another through their sufferings by actions +/ or presence). And I learned here too they said pretty much ptsd + isolation is very dangerous.

I think walls are not exactly boundaries, and it doesn't have to be black or white. But understandable when walls were the only sane and natural choice to make for one's self. Even taking out one brick may feel destabilizing and uncomfortable.

I do understand enough to say I often thought of myself as a 'dumb bomb'. But you and others are in the process of making the world a kinder, better gentler place, and educating others to do so (especially by example). That seems to me more helpful than harmful.

Best wishes to you.
 
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