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Need Long Term Help 2 -let's try this again-
November 22, 2001
9:22 am
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lowest self esteem on earth
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Hello people

I'm seeking counseling service and sort, but got no insurance and my college just canceled the counseling program for students so I am here.

I have self esteem problem, which I talked to MANY counselors over the years. I'm an only child and had not much luck in making friends (people say I'm too unique, which I can accept. No-one ever said how, though.) so I'm heavily depending on my relationship with my mom.

I went through bad relationships with several guys, which was the result of low self esteem. I was too needy emotionally, which was taken as "I-wanna-marry-and-wanna-have-a-baby-right-way" by my boyfriends. I honestly never wanted to marry any of them, and all of them were too short-termed to be serious relationships.

After one bad break-up and a physical abuse incident from my best friend (male), I had decided I had enough with men for now.

I did have some good friends, but I was never a person in groups. I was always personal. That can turn to be needy relationship, so I run some friends away by that. Some stole from me, some lied to me, so I ended up not talking to any of them.

That leaves me my mom as my everything; my friends, my mentor, you name it. I live far far away from home, but I call her every week, sometimes more often. I get lonely, or stressed out or something, and I tell her everything.

This is not helping to build my self esteem stronger, since she was the cause of my low self esteem. She never ever said "well done" to me no matter how much I tired.

I am in my second college and still have a year to go. In my first college I was a bad student. Always depressed from boyfriends' trouble, didn't do any school work. I barely graduated. It was in another country. I was in a culture shock, too. I couldn't fit in too well. Not many friends. My mind was on a roller-coaster, so high ups and so low downs. I wasn't allowed to work there, so financially I was dependent on my parents all the time I was there.

So I messed up. My family paid for college education, and I did't do well at all. I thought it's only fair that my mom said ""how could you do this to us," "how could you not do your school work after everything we've done for you."

I worked after the college for a year and bit to save up, so I could continue studying. Plus, my parents said I can use the money I didn't use in the previous university, since it was their investment for my education and they don't want it back till I complete my education.

So I started college life again. First year, up until recently which is, was not fun. It's a new environment for me so I don't know anybody. Again I'm not allowed to work, so my financial situation is limited. I don't drive so my world is quite limited. My life was just between my apartment and the school. It wasn't so bad since I was happy to be studying what I was studying. I was straight A student, never missed any assignment, teachers praised my work so much, everybody said I was talented with what I was doing. (My self esteem didn’t grow stronger even then, so I was in a counseling program with student services.)

But after a year of none social life, I began to get depressed. I started to call mom so often, and she tells me that she was more than happy to help me in that way, that was at least she could do for me etc.

I got a dog after a long consideration, and that helped me a great deal (feel safer to be alone in my room). Then my parents began "how could you waste our money on a dog??" I repeated that that wasn't their money. I saved up for thing I wanted to do, so I'm entitled to some luxury if I can afford. But they don't agree with that. They are like "We will pay for anything for your self-enrichment. You take a trip to NY, we will pay for that, so you can visit museums etc. But a dog??"

I don't like traveling anyway. They say I don't travel because I have a dog and I am tied down. Not really. I didn't go anywhere when I was in the last college, and I didn't have a pet.

It's just not a dog or small things, but they try to control my life just because they paid for 10% of my tuition fee. I'm 25 now, and all my class mates (who are like 19, 20 yrs old) think I'm so pathetic because I still take orders from my parents.

The thing is that their ideas of "self-enrichment" and mine are so different. Everything I think good for me, they think is a crap. (Which include therapy sessions. They think it's a waste of time.) And my mom suggest things to make me feel better rather than being sad. Well, she doesn't know my place or situation, so her ideas never work on me. I don't wanna go to NY, it's scary!! I hate museums!! There is no social dances in our town!!

So the other day I was telling her how depressed I am because my school work is getting tougher on me. My teacher was having his own problems and he is not taking our classes seriously, not to mention how unreasonable he is on students when they are having difficulties. The school is changing our course structure, so I need to deal with VISA problem and all kind of nuisance. I was talking to mom about dilemma of wanting to quit, which is impossible to do after all the time&money investment. (I have no money to start new thing, and it's a waste if I just quit) then all of sudden she starts to yell. "You never listen to us!! You never listen to whatever we say!! We can’t help you if you never listen!!"

Then went on shouting "How dare you bitching about your life after everything we've paid for!! You should know no-one is so lucky to be in two colleges in different countries!!" WOW! I was so stunned.

Then she brought up "I don't think you are trying hard enough as a student. I think you should work lots harder. I don't think you are taking your school work seriously!" "You told me that you missed the dead line the other day!"

Why she has to do this when I'm at the very bottom?? I'm having sleeping problem. I don't wanna eat anything but feel dizzy so I stuff myself with junk food and I'm blowing up. I throw up after classes because I hate these classes. I hate people in class who are big-talkers, always bragging how good they are in the business, who are making me feel like a tiny pea with no talent. I have no idea when I will leave here, and how much money I will need for this. And there is a war, in a foreign country I'm facing a war. I'm losing all the ambition and confidence. I don't think I can continue studying here for at least one more year. I think I'm gonna lose it. And she is dropping the bomb on me??

Why nothing is ever good enough for her? Why she always does this when I need help? (She did this when I was facing dropping-out of college from the last college. She threatened me to take all my money out if I fail or repeat the year. I had to start working illegally then, to have back-ups.)

And most of all, when am I going to be my own person. When can I stop feeling obliged to my mom??

And I'm so depressed. I don’t know what to do, and I lost my confidant.

Please help me. I know it's not a simple problem but any suggestion I will listen. I always listen, even though I may not be able to carry on what you say.

Thanks to anybody who cared enough to read all this.

November 23, 2001
4:04 pm
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SuzyQ
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Animals can be the most therapeutic creatures, especially cats and dogs. Dogs are very accepting of people and deserve to be with nice people like you.
It's too bad that your mother doesn't agree with that and the idea of you getting some counseling. It sounds to me like she is threatened and may feel a need to control you. Why don't some parents get that we make our own choices and may not be and do what they want us to?
It sounds like your parents think that you are very fortunate to be provided with the education that they have helped you with. Much of this may be true. However, my question to you would be, are you really doing the things that you would like to be doing? Or are you living out some unresolved fantasy of hers? Has she unconsciously kept you from having and forming relationships b/c of a fear of hers?
I could be totally wrong and off-base. I'm just speculating. Are there social groups at school that you could belong to? Is there a health dept. that might provide counseling for a reduced fee?
Good Luck!

November 24, 2001
10:49 am
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SusieMcG
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I can identify with some of what you said because I have had some of those same problems all my life. Still do, but I think I have a better handle on them now. The only advice I can give is to realize that you are the only one who can do anything about this. When I start feeling sorry for myself, or letting what other people say or think about me affect the way I see myself, I spend some time writing in my journal or just doing some real soul-searching and discovering myself and my unique qualities. I have always had trouble finding good friends because I also am considered "unique" like you, or as some would say, just "weird." haha. I have lots of friends and acquaintances who like me, but I mean good, true friends who I can share my heart and soul with. I am very picky, but that's ok. I don't change my personality in order to win friends, I choose the ones I want to let into my life and I am very careful when I choose them, because to me there is nothing worse than being trapped in an unhealthy relationship that you wish you weren't in and can't get out of without hurting someone's feelings. I would rather be alone and wish I was with someone than be with someone and wish I was alone. It sounds to me like you are very dependent on your mom, and her opinions matter more to you than they should. It's hard to get out of that when she is your only confidante. However, it sounds to me like you should really try to find a friend your own age, close by, male or female, so you can relate to them instead of your mom who doesn't seem to understand the real you. She wants what's best for you, but it sounds like she doesn't really know what that is, only what she THINKS is best for you. This is hard, I know. And I feel funny giving advice for you to find a friend when that is what I need to do myself and I have a hard time because I'm so picky and afraid to get into something I will wish I hadn't. I am older than you, I'm 47 and have been divorced for 2 1/2 years. My ex-husband was my best friend, but he did the mid-life thing and left me for a younger woman, blew my world away. It turns out he is really more codependent and sick than I ever was, although I didn't know it until it was over because he wasn't honest with me. I'm better off and I'm very happy single now, but I do miss having a soulmate. I have lots of casual friends but they are so different from me. I really just tolerate them instead of enjoy them, and I never share my innermost self with them, they are just not the type. At my age and in my job and lifestyle, it's hard for me to meet new people. I would think a young person like you in college would be able to find a friend or two that you can relate to. Until you do, try writing in a journal and praising yourself for all your unique qualities. Write in this website and share your problems. Everyone here is great about helping you. You are obviously a very articulate and smart person to be able to express yourself so well. That is all I know to tell you, but I hope it helped a little. Just don't base your self-worth on what other people think or say, because you are a very beautiful person. You have the best part of your life ahead of you, look ahead and be happy. And love your dog. That is one of the best things you could've done for yourself, so just keep on doing good things for yourself. You know yourself. Take care of you as only you can. Don't depend on others to make you feel worthwhile and happy.

November 24, 2001
2:22 pm
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Hi,
I remember when I was in college. I was in the midst of becoming an adult. This means detatching from parents and embracing the joys and responsibilities of adulthood. You are also dealing with boundary issues with your mother. You are dependant on her yet you are needing a degree of independance. I said all of that to say that some of your issues are age appropriate.

Take some time to think and decide what and who you really want to be. Set some short term goals to achieving this independantly if possible. I would also encourage you to finish your education. It is worth the struggle. when I was in college, my major was undeclared and I finally declared a major in my senior year and still graduated on time. How's that for confused. 😉

November 25, 2001
1:54 am
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lowest self esteem on earth
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Hi people,
Thank you all for reading my long long story. I'm all so thanksful just about that. And advises I got was really helpful, made me think things over and over!!

SuzyQ
My parents thinks I'm so fortunate, because they are paying for it. They threatened me all through my life for this reason. Like, "We will throw you out right now if you don't listen to us."
So, yes, I lived my life as they wished until recently. But now, I live mine as I like. (I study what I really want to study. My parents didn't really approve of it.)

Susie Mcg
Glad to hear you say you are happy being single. It took me some time to say so since I didn't have many friends.
It's not easy to meet people for me, because I'm in a community college, and all other students are age between 18-19, or lot older than I. I can't have good conversation with young people, and older people never take me seriously because I look like I'm 17. (They treat me like a baby.)
But I'm so trying hard, especially after I realized that I need to be more independent from my mom.

deshong
How much did your education helped you after you graduated? I got my degree already, and I'm not sure if I can finish this one...

November 26, 2001
6:47 am
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It's me again.

My father messed up with his computer so I had to call him and gave instructions yesterday. And my mom was being funny because I didn't really talk to her then. I still don't feel like talking to her.

I just thought to add something. My mom thinks I'm so fortunate to be here studying, and other people around me think that, too because I'm not currently working. But the fact is, I only went to abroad to study, because it was CHEAPER. Must be hard to believe for some people, but it is true.

That's why I couldn't believe mom saying "You are so darn lucky, so stop whining." and stuff.

Plus, when I was in high school they NEVER ever let me to get a part-time job. Yes, it wasn't allowed by my school, but that gave me no freedom to do anything. Like, if I ever wanted to run-away I could never do that, because I didn't have any money.

Any mon once told me that I wasn't brave enough to run away from them!! (Well, you trapped me in the impossible situation for hopes of getting out!!)

I still don't know what to do. For now I just don't speak to her and see how I can cope with that. But that leaves me to be so really alone. I don't get along with many people...

November 26, 2001
10:56 am
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deshong
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I have a BA degree in sociology. I really think it depends on what field you are in. In the busness field you can make alot of money and be sucessful with no degree. In other fields you will barely be able to survive unless you have a Master's degree.

What degree do you have? What are you studying? What would you like to be or do?

November 27, 2001
8:06 am
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Hi deshong

I got a botany degree, and now trying for an art degree. I know I don't need art degree for business, but I only do it for a VISA. (My plan is to immigrate to Europe.) But I know I don't need this degree for definate. I can quit, if I am dying from studying, and still try something else for the VISA.

November 29, 2001
3:27 pm
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Went to the school counseling today. Apparently they have no mental counseling any more. But they tried to suggest things for me, for me to feel different. One was to do some volunteer work for college...

I'm not sure if that helps me to get out more. I will just see people I see when I'm there, just for a little bit longer.

What should I do?

November 29, 2001
6:37 pm
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Cici
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hi lowest,

So why is it that you can't work? I'm a senior in college now, although it's my 5th year (I switched majors halfway through so it's taking me longer), and I've worked ever since my second year in college. Strangely enough, I was also very dependent on my family and mother, and when I decided to go out on my own there was a big, ugly scene and my Mom didn't talk to me for almost a year. But I got myself together, got a job and paid my own way and suddenly I realized that I don't *have* to be dependent on my family - I can make in on my own!

After that, the road was rough, but no matter what happened I always came out on the other side, a little battered and bruised but stronger. I wasn't stronger because of the turmoil or troubles, I merely discovered the strength that was within me the whole time to be my own person.

It sounds like you're going through the classic existential crisis. It's a normal experience for virtually every young adult of any kind of depth that I have ever met. The thing is that independence is part of the developmental process. After a while you learn to set boundaries and live by them.

The friend thing - don't worry about it unless you are intentionally avoiding socializing. I remember in the movie "Sabrina", the main character goes to Paris and she learns while she's there, how to be by herself. It's amazing that it's a skill that needs to be learned, but it's true. Nowadays we have so many ways of being distracted from being simply with ourselves that we never learn. It's a necessary skill, though, for mental stability.

Here's the thing, without suffering there is no growth. It's like you're an untested piece of metal and you must be honed and shaped by fire and shocked in cold water and pounded away by this and that, but you endure because at the core you are strong - and in the end you'll come out stronger for the suffering you endured.

I'm actually a psych major. I've been in and out of counseling, getting through the trauma of childhood molestation and rape and physical abuse. I interned at a mental hospital, I've often been the impromptu counselor for friends seeking adivce, and I've learned one thing: everyone suffers. Everyone is suffering and wants happiness. What separates those who can cope from those who fall apart is how they view their suffering and whether they choose to take action or simply passively react to suffering.

Also try reading some Carl Rogers, Viktor Frankl or Abraham Maslow.

November 30, 2001
1:06 pm
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Cici

It was nice to hear the analyzing.
But you made it sounds like I was thinking me as the world worse sufferer.

I know everybody suffers, and a lot of people who suffers way more than I! (I have such a low self esteem and I don't think I'm top of anything, you see.) I would confort anybody who suffers, never dismiss them because I believe I suffer more...

What you said was exactly what my parents said. Like, that is exactly what I should expect to go through. I didn't agree with them since my depression has been with me for 7 years, ever since I left high school. I don't think it's the phase you refer. I know I'm past that about 5 years ago. I coped with that when I was in my first college. I saw all other students went through that with me, learned a lot from that experience. But this is different.

I mean, job-less, friend-less, depressed and facing a foreign war?? Is that a normal student life? And you don't get along with the only teacher you have? I don't think it's a standard.

I'm not sure if I avoid social scene. I just can't seem to like any body. I can't trust anyone enough to be friends with them. I'm a bit worried, yes, because I used to be more emotional before. Now I'm like dead calm about people. I feel so numb.

I appreciated your opinion. I thank you so much, please don't take this as some arguments.

November 30, 2001
3:46 pm
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Cici
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Oh don't worry, I can take it. 🙂

I have some issues with modern methods of counseling, mainly because you see so many people who become habitually attached to counseling, using it as a crutch.

I'm not trying to minimize your own suffering, but the idea is to get some perspective, you know? Sometimes when we are lost in the woods, it's hard to remember what it was like when we weren't lost, you know?

Personally, I don't think there's any kind of standard that we can hold ourselves up to. I mean, what is normal?

I guess what I'm getting at is that there are many ways to approach life, many points of view, but by necessity some ways of approaching life and some points of view lead to more efficiency and satisfaction than others.The only thing a person ever truly owns in this world is his ability to chose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances.

Basically, how you view the world very much shapes how you experience the world. It's called self-fulfilling prophecy. You define the world you live in by the choices you make.

The danger of depression is passivity. It makes you languish, makes you feel like you're walking through a thick and heavy gel, and many times the things that you once took solace in loose color, drain away to a drab gray and have no flavor.

I have to constantly remind myself of a very basic fact. You have to work at being happy. Happiness can't just come to you in a flash, it comes from living a balanced life and making balanced choices that help to nurture your body and mind. That means you have to pay attention to your diet, and get the right amount of exercise (but no over-exercise), and you have to get sun every day, and you have to reach out to people and communicate with them even though you risk being hurt or rejected.

There are very basic patterns of reaction to stress in human beings. Like I said before, a good predictor of situational depression is not the amount of stress in a person's life but how they deal with that stress, and believe it or not that is a habit that can be re-learned. That's wat cognitive behavioral therapy is all about - evaluating a patient's current pattern of behavioral responses, identifying what patterns have negative effects in the patient's life, and helping them to learn new ways of coping that are more effective and healthy.

November 30, 2001
4:03 pm
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I think more than anything - you are seeing yourself as "trapped" when you really aren't. You're 25 and it's probably high time you looked at the solution to the problem like this...I have toxic parents and I have to get away from them and out from under their control - period. They don't respect you because they have bullied you and feel like they can still push the ball and it will bounce accordingly. Well, time to cut the string, once and for all. Either way it will be pain but one pain is better in the long run than the other one.

The way I would look at this scenario is.....I can't rely on my parents for moral support or financial support so where does that leave me? You almost have to consider them dead to you in order to build an existence that does not depend on them in some way. And they will just have to adjust, get over it or know that - you won't allow the abuse in your life anymore and they won't be a part of it if they go there. You do have to get to this point, one way or the other. Doesn't seem to be a middle ground here, does it? I think "middle" has been pretty much royally suffocating you. So, look at it for what it is - not an option.

Cut them out of the loop in your head and THEN decide what your options are and choose one - free and clear from any of their influence or noise. Just cut them out of the equation in your head and go from there. The rest of your life does not need to hinge on what they think or what they want or what they need for their little world. Enough of that b.s. You've been there and done that. 25 years and that's enough, isn't it?

If....they can behave themselves then they can still be apart of your life, but if they can't - why would you allow this to continue? Just isn't healthy. And you will never, ever find yourself or friends until you get the poison out of your life. You won't be able to see squat because you'll still be stuck on that tainted black tit that's laced with arsenic.

You have to let go of one "in order to be in a position to" find the other. And...there will be down time after that choice, time that you will need to heal...time to find out who you are apart from their influence all the time. But, you have to make a choice here, time to stop spinning, time to pick a solution and implement it. Time for courage. If you want help - you're going to have to expend the energy in taking chances. Life is risky and staying in this boat - is full of risk. You need to realize that for what it is.

November 30, 2001
11:44 pm
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Blondie

You JUST described what I had in mind,
Exactly!
And, girl, you really have been through some shit!!
I'm 25 and been in college almost 6 years, had tons of troubles but always came out of them. Only, I dragged the pieces from each trouble, got depressed futher each time. Decided that I should take therapy sessions to be prepared for the next disaster, to cope better.

Now I'm facing one BIG trouble, and as I expected I'm stumbling so bad. I gasp for help like I tried to breath so hard. I'm not learning to cope!

But, yes, I am ashamed. I shouldn't be moaning and whining, coz I'm not a terminal case. I'm not about to kill myself. Blondie, how did you cope? (And how can you afford the bill? I'm worried.) Yet I can't help but to fear of falling even further...

That's why I'm here. I don't want to be fit into a textbook story, because I've done that before and didn't work. Ummmm, I'm not making sense much. But I'm confused, so...

BTW, I never ever looked down on people with physical conditions. I was SO shocked when I watched Jerry Springers. WHY people always have to laugh at the tiny people? I mean, there is no such thing as a freak in this world. (I know, I majored in biology. It is just a result of genetic mixture. There is no standard here, again. Yes?)

Hey, blondie, this is no relavent, but could you possibly take a look at BONSAI KITTENS section? I'm having a tough time getting an answer there...

December 1, 2001
7:10 am
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Blondie

Who's Molly? I have to look around and find it!

OK, about Kittens. I know you responded. I left another question, which seemed to be ignored by people because it sounded like a joke.

Anyway. No, I'm glad you shared that with me. Thank you!! It is more than difficult to take words from someone I never met. The info helps me to imagine who you are...

I have no insurance whatsoever, plus I'm from abroad, so there is no family insurance. I have accidental insurance, which only covers the accidents, of course, but nothing for mental, gynological, non-life threatening conditions. (And has limit.) That's why I can't work either. (Student VISA)

I used to be in therapy sessions with the college's counseling program team. They were discontinued! But the people then helped me to find alternative ways to get helps. Unfortunately, there was nothing available for free. I don't drive, so I couldn't get anything from city where something might be available. I live in a tiny place, you see, so I doubt if there is anything available. I couldn't find any so far anyway. Will try some more, though.

I think I'm taking steps. Like, I "quit" boyfriends. It helped a great deal. (I'm gonna keep doing till I'm absolutely ready for them.) I'm quitting smoking. I cut down drinking. All for more control for my life. I didn't wanna be in situations without knowing what I was doing. Once I'm in control I may start doing these things again. I was once in a peaceful place for myself, so I began preparing for worse by taking sessions. It didn't kick in soon enough, and now I'm here!

What I'm worried now is that I'm so numb. I used to shut out everything so I didn't have to cry. The result was deep lows and sky highs. Like, I was so quiet and calm for whole 7 days till I meet some friends. Then I just snapped out, so weirdly excited, looking like I was ON something. It was out of control, and scared me.

I'm not yet there. But I don't even feel depressed any more. I'm confused, I don't know what to do next, but I'm so emotionless, don't feel anything.

Is it a good sign? Maybe I'm not depressed but just panicking?

December 3, 2001
10:51 am
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Cici
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lowest -

Are you sure you can't work with a student visa? My husband has a good friend from Iran who can't get citizenship here (so he has a student visa) and he worked all through college delivering pizzas. I'm not sure if he had special exemptions of whatever, but it never hurts to do some digging. Sometimes, if you talk to an actual person they can help you find loopholes of give you advice.

December 3, 2001
11:15 am
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Cici
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Blondie -

Although I appreciate your personal experiences in life, the suffering you have endured and come through, and your internal strength, I feel as if you may have either misinterpreted my comment about therapy being abused as a crutch or reacted defensively to what you perceived as a crude and thoughtless remark. I won't go into deep details of my own life or the things I have gone through, but even at my young age of 22 I have actually been out there in the world, and have gone through many many ordeals.

And yes, I've been in and out of therapy and actually taken the further step of getting a degree in counseling psychology to try and figure out why people react to stress and trauma in the varied and bizarre ways that they do. I'm just saying I'm not whistling in the dark.

The disparity lies in personal philosophy. Depending on what school of psychological thought you follow, you have different views of the therapeutic process. Some therapists believe that longterm counseling is essential for virtually everyone. Others insist that if therapy were actually effective, the client would learn the appropriate socialization behaviors in order to build their own support network, thus making the necessity of therapy a moot point. Personally, I fall into the latter category.

Don't get me wrong. I spent a few months working in a forensic mental hospital for violent criminals who by necessity will be insitutionalized for the rest of their lives. I had to struggle through competency reviews with men so delusional that they simply couldn't understand that I was speaking english! Since that experience, I have been touchy about the subject of longterm therapy, because I feel the the population that most needs longterm therapy and treatment, the severely mentally ill, never get that treatment.

As far as crutches go, I think that there is a big difference between using something as an outlet to help you use your own resources to cope and simply leaning on something to support you entirely. A cane is not a crutch, as my Dad always said when he could still walk.

December 3, 2001
11:16 pm
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lowest self esteem on earth
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Cici

Well, it is kind of funny that you think I didn't try to find the way to work. And that you didn't suspect your friend's ineligibility to work...

There are so many people working ilegally, and I get insulted for that even though I don't work. Like I came here to steal American money or something.

INS charges me $100 to apply for my work permit, which is not guaranteed to be given to me. Plus, they will dig up all my financial details, all the privacy, I am not confortable with that. I doubt your friend went through that either.

I can work on-campus, but there has been nothing available for years in my college.

I'm expert in that area, I knew better than anybody who was in charge of these matters at the college.

I usually work during holiday time back home. I take all the crappy jobs which I won't list in my C.V. I don't mind doing that because it will give me the freedom and possibilities...

December 4, 2001
5:24 pm
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Cici
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I hope I didn't insinuate that I thought you didn't try to get a job, I was just trying to understand your situation more fully, which I hope you understand because I have no idea who you are, what your background is, what your life is like or anything like that. Personally I find it difficult to give adivce sometimes because I simply don't know. I suppose that would make the point of sites like these useless, which I'm beginning to suspect.

Ummmm, I don't suspect my friend's eligibility because I've, er, known him for several years and, uh, my husband knows his family and one of my best friends was his girlfriend until very recently. I've asked him a lot about his trouble with the INS because his family has almost been thrown out of the U.S. twice in the last 3 years because he is middle eastern and his father is an airline pilot (if that isn't asking for trouble I don't know what is).

I think it's funny how this little exercise just illustrated my point about assumptions. My deepest apologies if I have hurt your feelings, it was not intended whatsoever.

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