Have you ever felt a pain so excruciating that you feel like you are treated like a rag doll? Have you been let down so many times that it seems like you are all alone in the world? Have you ever experienced being misunderstood so badly that the only living that understands you is your cactus plant/ rabbit / cat / dog?

Do any of the following words describe how you feel perfectly : Feeling confined, detached, isolated, alone, defenceless, worthlessness, vulnerable, low self-esteem, a sense that one's needs will not be met, "no one's there", forever alone, lack of trust, denied of your entitlement, don't deserve anything, learned helplessness, despair, unable to manage your emotions, lack of self-management, no sense of appropriate feelings for the current situation, loss of a sense of what's right or wrong emotionally, feeling such extreme pain that you don't even have a sense of who you are, "that it doesn't matter what you do -- it changes nothing".

Have you ever wondered if you truly exist at all.

Don't worry, I am not here to judge you. In fact, a reader of mine recently wrote to me and told me she is undergoing such symptoms. I met up with her and spent some time with her simply talking to her.

These days, I have been spending time researching on the topic -- "Depression and how it comes about" and have come to the conclusion that her depression was due to neglect --- Neglect from her family, Neglect from her friends, Neglect especially from her love ones. She felt emotionally drained, physically exhausted all the time and cognitively challenged constantly.

****** I have her permission to blog about this and I would not reveal actual identity. Reason for blogging about this is because I felt that this is a common problem that needs to be dealt with.******

Here is her story :

*Names have been changed to protect the everyone's privacy.*

At a young age, Natalie says that she always knew her father and other male figures in her family as "cruel, mean, abusive upperlords." She told me when I asked her to describe the exact words they heaped upon her. Their verbal abuse included “lazy, bitch, ccb - chao chi bai (dialect for smelly cunt), harlot, whore”. This was common in her everyday life.

I know that at times, during an argument, a parent or a sibling might blurt out some unkind words in a moment of exasperation.But in her case, it was constant. She felt pushed around and not given a voice. Whatever she replied to them, was deemed unworthy and many a times, she was called a liar although, clearly she was not at fault.

Examples would be : Someone left the tap dripping, she was the first one to be blamed. Her family consistently asked her to "get out of their sight!" and "get out of the house!"

Btw, I forgot to mention that she is only 17 years old this year. Please also bear in mind that such extreme negative versions of her situation is all described and felt by her personally. I did not doctor her feelings and also showed her the post before I released it.

Once, she was even pushed to the brink, she tried to explain that it was not her fault and she got shouted at and nearly shoved out the window. She lives on the 7th floor. And when she tries to retaliate and stated her stand, she is being deemed the "black sheep" of the family.

Her family's constant neglect is in fact a form of abuse that has been manifesting itself through their blatant ignoring and discrediting of her emotional and/or physical needs. She is defenceless and all she could do to protect herself is to retaliate. Their neglect left no visible physical scars, in fact, physical scars can heal, but emotional scars are permanent. She claimed to have no memories of her earlier childhood, but in her memories, it has been an emotionally devastating 12 years past far. All she can remember is feelings of abandonment, confusion, pain and feelings of being misunderstood. She tried to pretend that none of these was occurring -- once, twice, three times, four times; the cycle keeps continuing. How much more pain can one cause to a weary heart? A lot more it seems.
Neglect caused by the time and value we place on status and possessions rather than on people. Favoritism showed in the family when it is as much her birthright to stay in the family house as it is her brother's. Why then is she made to feel like a 过街的老鼠 (a street rat)?

Many a times, as she related her story to me, she asked me repeatedly,"Why did my mother give birth to me? Shouldn't my mother have made time to listen to, respect and value me -- her child as well? Isn't the blood in my veins the same as the one in my brother's?"

Any responsible adult in a child's life should BEAR THE RESPONSIBILITY for ensuring that their child is cared for and grows up feeling loved, not abused. When I heard her story, tears flowed down my face as well.

Recently, when she thought that things were getting slightly better, and that she could start healing her wounds, her family started raking their cruel claws into her wounds. Shouting at her and asking her to get the fuck out of the house. She asked me with tears in her eyes,"Why do they pierce my old wounds repeatedly? Have they done no wrong? Have they ever stopped to consider how they have treated her? If we are of the same blood, why am I the only one to be constantly chased out of the house. Isn't it my birthright as much as my brother's to stay in the family house as well."

I had no answers for her. All i could do was be her silent listener and randomly offering her a pat on the back.

She said,"I wished I was never born. Not seeing the world is better than the pain my so-called family is causing me."

Recently, she had an argument with her boyfriend who sided with her family and joined in the ruckus of putting her down.

She showed me a page from her personal diary:

"And YOU (her boyfriend), I am truly convinced that you do not know me. If you did, then I guess you knew the person whom I am not. I am not who you thought I am. Behind the happiness, the pain was there. I ignored it, brushed the dust off my scabbed elbows and continued trying. All I knew in my mind was how to work at being happy. But at night, when all the lights are dimmed, and the world is asleep. I would sometimes feel my old friend -- PAIN coming to look for me. Cutting me repeatedly with its razor sharp blade. Pain, licking its lips while it sees me bleed. And as I reached out for a helping hand, I find that truly I am all alone. I wished I can stand up again. But is this possible at all? Isn't this one time too many?

Why have you brought me to this world to make me suffer such tremenduous pain? Why have you not aborted me upon realising you are pregnant? Why do you need to do this to me repeatedly and claim that it is all my fault? Have you no remembrance of the kindness I showed you? Have you no memory of the gifts I bestowed upon you? Have you not thought of how you have treated me?

Have you not seen that I have tried my best.

If you are unable to see... I wish you would. I truly do. But thank you for doing this to me consistently so that I can see the folly of my ways." 

I placed my hand on her shoulder and wished there was more I could do. As tears rummaged her pretty face, I could hear her whispering to herself,"Its not pain.... its not pain...."

When I left, all I could think of was -- she clearly needed help and that she is currently emotionally and mentally abused. To me, I felt she was also depressed and therefore went to research about this disorder to see how I could help her.

In the meantime, please send me some depression tips or pointers or even your personal fight with depression.

Note: If you are depressed and want a listening ear, please email to me at jacquelineangelicious@gmail.com, I would not reveal your info or story without your permission.
If you are not comfortable sharing with me, and you need someone to talk to, please feel free to contact the following helplines:

1800 275 2427

Tel: +65 6339 5411  
Fax: +65 6337 2327
 Website: www.scc.sg
 Email: counselling@scc.sg


Singapore Children's Society Tinkle Friend
A helpline for all primary-school-aged children, providing support, advice, and information to lonely and distressed children.
Mon - Fri: 9.30 - 11.30am, 2.30 - 5.30pm

A service by TOUCH Community Services, TOUCHLine seeks to empower youths to be more effective in managing life issues.
Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm

A counselling hotline for youths with interpersonal, family, stress, depression or anxiety problems, by Youth Challenge.
Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 6pm


Tina said...

My experience with depression stems from a different source but the experience is similar on many levels. It occurred when I suddenly underwent health problems that my parents failed to detect and began to blame my extreme fatigue as my being lazy. I tried relentlessly to do the things I used to do but I simply couldn't anymore. It was bad enough that I couldn't, but being yelled at constantly of doing it on purpose was torture. I experienced 4-5 nightmares a day from the feelings I was forced to face. My siblings would swear at me and call me a lazy, selfish bitch despite the fact that prior to it I was always the one who cleaned the house without asking or tried to think of others. It wasn't fair to say the least; they began to judge me for what I could no longer prove and never once paid mind to themselves. I think this is the part where it makes all the difference - By choosing where you wish to place your thoughts... Although their words stung, and my parents at times also took part in accusing me of being lazy and told me I should just live on the street(though they never swore), I let it go because I knew they just didn't know any better. My concentration was on bettering myself, in terms of mental strength and accomplishing my goals. One of the side effects from my health problems was that I would become prone to depression from the severe drop in energy. I had difficulty being myself, let alone feeling like myself... But do not concentrate on the negative. I was thankful I still held a chance to get better. You can't control what others do, but you can always control what you do. Throughout this ordeal, friends still leaned on me for support in their own situations and they told me it was because I held a lot of strength in my way of thinking. I didn't realize it but my mind had developed with greater focus over time. Do not practice feelings of worthlessness. If someone hurts you, realize that they are human and will come around one day or another, but it does not mean you must wait for them. Take joy that you have the opportunities to develop your own well being rather than to take in the faults of others. My parents are the most supportive now, more than I can ever ask and my siblings are getting better. Situations change, but what you make of them stays with you forever.


Jacqueline Angelicious said...

Hugs tina..... you are A SURVIVOR and I am soooooo sosososo PROUD of you!!!! I wish you can see me smiling as I read your comment. =)))))

Thank you for sharing with us your story.

And Jia You babe! Live the life that you wish to have`~~~

hugs and kisses,