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I want to hear about a "win"

Discuss mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, here.

I want to hear about a "win"

Postby random417 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:49 pm

Ok, this idea came from another forum, and it seems to be working out well. I'm just going to copy the first post over from there (with permission of course). Hopefully this helps cast light where is needed.

This is sort of like a prayer, I guess. I've had people pray for me, or send energy, and not felt anything, and I had an idea this might be a little more solid kind of praying.

I am tired. Bone-tired when I look at the work that needs doing in the world and in my life. I'm maybe losing my apartment, my graduate school is collapsing in on itself and potentially leaving me having to start my master's degree all over with another six figures of debt and no more medical fund, I see wonderful brilliant people in my life languishing and begging for medicine for their children while mediocre and even terrible people shoot on ahead. I see justice movements sidetracked by founder's syndrome and institutional dysfunction and ego tripping and people getting just enough of a sniff of safety that they abandon everyone else to go party and the whole thing comes apart. I keep seeing people who do terrible evil just slip through the fingers of any consequences. The icecaps are melting, the sky is coming apart, and a majority of the world doesn't think I'm a human being worthy of dignity and survival.

I have had to come face-to-face with the fact that all I wanted to do with my life is serve but that I live in a world that doesn't want to let me--doesn't want to let me make a living at it, doesn't want to let me at the tools and resources I need to save so much of what needs saving. I never wanted to be rich or famous--I just wanted to make life kinder and braver and safer for people in trouble. I'm coming to terms with the fact that there is not a safe place for me to go in this world, and no organization that can be trusted to treat me right or protect me unless I build it from the ground up, and that my career is going to be an ugly fight for every inch, for all the years I have left, and I am young yet and that thought is just exhausting. It feels like realizing I'm in an abusive relationship again except this time there's no divorce available.

I know we're supposed to focus on the fact that theoretically the arc of history is long, and all that, but I look at the way humans are treating humans in the news right now, and the way we're treating the planet, and the speed and scale of climate change and the numbers of the devastation not even to come, and it all just feels hopeless and pointless sometimes. I just get tired and overwhelmed.

So what I want, as a prayer, is:

Please, tell me about somewhere that it's going right. I know the news is biased toward disaster, and all. I want to hear about people struggling for justice and winning. I want to hear about the hungry getting fed. I want to hear about good people beating an unjust eviction, immoral laws getting overturned, a poisoned river getting cleaned, a species thought forever gone reappearing, a beloved lost thing unexpectedly found. I want to hear about love going right and the sick getting better and people surrounded by corruption choosing to do the right thing anyway. True stories. Maybe your stories, if you have them. Cute kitty pictures and motivational music and my therapist aren't cutting it because the enormity of the bad just crushes in.

I like and respect a lot of you. I'd like to know good things are happening to you and yours, sometimes. I'd like to make a prayer for this world built brick by brick out of our victories.

Tell me about a win, please. Maybe we can light a little torch here to come back to on the rough days.
So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
Do that, and no other shall say nay.
For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
~AL 1:42-44
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Re: I want to hear about a "win"

Postby Xiao Rong » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:55 pm

Hey, Random. I'm really glad you started this thread. I think we all need to hear uplifting stories, when all we hear about in the news about things going to sh*t (pardon my French).

I got 2 things for you -- a collective story and a personal story (and I hope to add more as time goes on).

I tell myself the first one all the time whenever I get depressed and feel like things are going to hell and can never change for the better. In just a few short years (certainly within my lifetime -- and I'm pretty young!), we have made ENORMOUS strides in the US towards LGBTQ rights and justice for the queer community. I couldn't have imagined even five years ago that the US Supreme Court would have struck down the Defense Against Marriage Act and set the stage towards legalizing gay marriage throughout the country, or that Don't Ask Don't Tell would no longer be official policy. That's not even getting into the much greater visibility of positive LGBTQ role models in the media. We aren't there yet, and same sex marriage is not the end-all-be-all of LGBTQ rights, but it's exciting that change for the better is possible, and in a much shorter time span than I would ever have guessed.

The second is something from my personal life. I had been brainwashed from toddlerhood that I had no self-worth except for the achievements I earned, my SAT score, my GPA, and if I got into an Ivy League school (which would still never be enough). My parents strictly forbid me from having friends or having fun of any kind, viewing any time I spent not studying as time wasted (literally, I was regularly yelled at for applying makeup for 5 minutes in the morning, because those 5 minutes were not spent prepping for college). They called me lazy, worthless, stupid, weak, fat, slutty, and useless, and sometimes beat me. As a teenager, I was depressed, had an eating disorder, and regularly engaged in self-harm as a result. I was also seriously suicidal. Even after I had moved out, gone to college, began a long-term relationship with a wonderful boyfriend, and got my first real world job, I was still anxious, prone to depressive episodes, still sometimes suicidal, perpetually terrified I was a failure, and had a strained relationship with my parents at best. (that's the sad part of the story)

Recently, I started getting therapy to work out all of these issues. My therapist helped me begin parsing out how much of my hellish childhood was due to my parents' experience as first-generation immigrants, my mom having really strange notions of "health" and positive parenting, and regular teenage angst. Most importantly, she helped me realize that my relationship with my father was really, terribly toxic and that my father was a sociopath, who is still terribly emotionally abusive, manipulative, deceitful, and utterly incapable of love, empathy, or a conscience (I know that these are harsh words, but believe me -- they are not hyperbole). She helped me recognize how he shamelessly sacrificed the sanity, health, and well-being of me and my siblings in order to force us to earn achievements just so that he can look good (I can now understand that my mother is not blameless, but she does genuinely love me and did what she did because she was also a victim of his abuse -- we have a pretty good relationship now).

Because of this and the support of my loving boyfriend and great friends (some of whom are here on the forum!), I have made a decision to cut off contact with him and be free of his abuse and sociopathic behavior. It was really hard at first to accept that there was no way to help him and my only choice was to cut him out of my life. And I am still, in some ways, grieving about losing him (or rather, grieving the loss of the fantasy that I had a loving father). But I am much, much healthier now, and I am actually growing a self-esteem and confidence, finally realizing that I am happy and successful by my own standards, and surrounded with positive people whom I love. Because I let go of this toxic relationship and the fear of failure it instilled in me, I have identified my true career goals that aren't dictated by prestige or salary but based on what I authentically feel that I am called to do, and I'll be applying to grad school for social work hopefully by the end of this year. The experience has also helped me be a better volunteer advocate on the local domestic violence hotline, which is tough work but deeply and spiritually satisfying (and also inspired my career choice).

The story isn't over yet (unfortunately my mother is still often in denial about my father's ongoing emotional and financial abuse), but I feel like taking this step and breaking the cycle of abuse has opened me up to living my life in ways I couldn't even have imagined before. To everyone who is trapped in an abusive relationship, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are good people who will help you, and you can escape the abuse. You are worthy and loved.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
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Re: I want to hear about a win

Postby Pinkpower_80 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:13 am

Xiao, your story really touched me. <3

The win I am going to discuss isn't very personal, but it is a wonderful story.

I was watching a program the other night with my family about Humpback Whales. They were on the verge of extinction, with only about 5000 remaining. Since the outlawing of whaling, including the ban of Japanese whalers off the coast of Alaska, their numbers have increased to about 80,000!

My fiance and I actually cried when we heard about the extinction of the black rhino, so we were overjoyed to hear about a species coming back from the brink of extinction.
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