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Who is the Problem? Positive Experience # 17

January 19, 2013

People are always asking others in emotional distress what is the problem. A better question to ask is: Who is the Problem? Emotional unhappiness usually involves a who rather than a what. People who are depressed and sad often can’t point to a specific thing that is upsetting them. It usually involves a person.

From my experience, I used to feel awful often. Like everyday. I functioned in the world. I seemed fine. Unhappiness was just my inner world that I tried to keep to myself. I think I was mostly successful. People don’t really want to know if you are miserable. Everyone is pretty much busy dealing with their own misery. People can and do care but they usually don’t probe or notice unless the pain is spilling over to the surface.

Some people are always in some sort of emotional crisis. I freaking can’t stand them. That’s the truth. I think people who are constantly in crisis are too troubled for me to handle. I have befriended enough sad people who were spilling over with pain. Most of them were manipulators who used their emotions to get attention and to get their way. Sorry, but that is what I think. These are the emotional vampires to suck you dry. They try to make you responsible for them. You give and give and they take and take. Then they feel guilty for taking so they turn the giver into the bad guy. I am sure you all have had people you give and do for over and over until you just give out….and are they better? No. Are they grateful? No. Do they care about you at all? No. Do they have anything to do with you when you quit giving? No. They are really sad or hurting? No. Emotional vampires just go from person to person depleting energy from their helpers…their victims.

There are people who reach breaking points and their emotions spill over to the surface. We all reach that point from time to time. People do care and people will help. Generally people in crisis will scab over and go back within themselves with their pain. Only the emotional vampires want their problems and pain to be on constant parade. Truly depressed people generally don’t want others to carry them. They are not emotional vampires. This is who I was. I usually and generally kept my pain to myself.

I look back and I know there were signs that all was not well. Being depressed is not natural. It happens a lot to a lot of people but it is not the way we are meant to be. Depression is a bit of a pilgrimage often to discover something important. You just go with it but there is an end to the pilgrimage. A chronic, on-going depressed state is not how we are meant to be.

Core beliefs, or programming we have absorbed is the underlying problem most of the time for a person who is chronically depressed. For me I found out that I really did not think I was loveable. That was the biggest problem in my life. This belief led me to people who reinforced that belief. This belief kept me from evaluating not my life, but the lives of others who were making me freaking miserable. Sometimes and often the problem is not self, but the other people around. It is hard to examine that when you have some rotten core belief about yourself.

I went to counselors. I read the books. I tried the prozac. They all helped but there was no problem I could point to exactly that could explain my low grade, chronically depressed state. When it became clear to me to ask who is the problem rather than what is the problem, I started getting somewhere.

One therapist showed me a picture of a family one time. It was a picture of a large, creepy family. Everyone looked like they should have been on some scary movie except one. There was a pretty young girl in the midst of these beasts. The therapist asked me about the little girl. How do you think that family treated that girl? I am sure that little girl felt like she was the problem…something was wrong with her because she was so different from everyone around her. Her family was scary. That picture helped me get perspective, as I am sure was the intent of the therapist.

I have to laugh at my own stupidy sometimes. I absorb some notions…like look within…there is the solution. Another notion is of pointing fingers. Blaming others is a rotten thing to do. All of these ideas are fine and dandy but for some people, like me, they are not so good. Sometimes the problem is out there…sometimes it is someone besides self. It was very difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that some people are just mean and abusive and it is not my fault. It was a blessing when I finally was able to put blame where blame belonged…with the abuser.

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