Personal Failure and Remorse

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sanzfei, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. sanzfei

    sanzfei Night Shift
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    ***NOTE*** This is a serious discussion with depictions of explicit topics that may make some people uncomfortable!

    It's been a while. Only a few members here know that I was dealing with some difficulties in life but I never went into detail. A year ago I went through a traumatic experience and I've been suffering from deep depression since. I'd like to talk about it a little bit, for my own peace of mind and hopefully so that other people can protect someone they love the way I couldn't.

    I was in a serious relationship for almost two years. It was to the point that I was thinking of proposing. It wasn't perfect but it was a good relationship and I was happy. One of the first issues was my partner was never excited about sex. She would try her best but she was never excited or passionate about it. She was inexperienced and uncomfortable. I assumed it was from her previous relationship which wasn't very good from what she told me. I was gentle and assured her that we would never do anything she didn't want to. But she was always limp, almost lethargic, during sex and would often stare at the TV or off into the distance as if she didn't want to be there. It was usually awkward and eventually began to wear down my confidence.
    She would tell me how much she hated her job. Every few weeks she would go on business trips with her boss to big cities for fancy conventions related to her work. I told her how jealous I was that she got to travel so much but she said how she hated the trips more than anything and would rather stay home. This was a sign I should have seen but never did and was too selfish to care.
    After about a year things began to fall apart. She became disinterested and when I would ask to see her she would say she felt ill and didn't want to meet. After a month of not seeing each other I began to take it personally and I gradually became bitter and our conversations would become arguments. She cried that she was "broken" and "had problems" and "couldn't be loved" and that I shouldn't want to be with her. I saw these as excuses when I should have seen them for what they were, cries for help. But I became more bitter.
    The last time we spoke she had finally agreed to meet after a long hiatus but before we could she cancelled because of "stress", she said. It was too much for me. I snapped and accused her of leading me on, cheating on me, and other things I wish I could take back. This was the worst thing I could have possibly done and it will always be one of my biggest regrets in life. Our relationship ended that day.

    Not long after I found out through one of her confidants the reason she hated her job and her business trips. She was being raped by her boss repeatedly whenever they traveled. It had been happening before we were together, throughout our relationship, and even after we fell apart. He was manipulative and would book a single room, often with only a single bed. He would say it was to save money and that he would sleep on the floor. But In the middle of night she would wake up to him naked and on top of her. While holding her down he would shove his hands into her, force his tongue into her mouth and other acts that no one should have to endure. He would intimidate her and threaten her job to keep her quiet and then repeat on the next business trip.
    I was already hurting from watching my relationship crumble in front of me but after I heard this it broke me and I spiraled into a deep depression. I had failed to protect the person that depended on me. She was suffering right in front of my eyes and I didn't see it. She was crying out for help as best she could but I didn't hear her. She felt ashamed of what happened to her and I accused her of being shameful. It felt as if an entire mountain had collapsed on top of me. Everything I had done and didn't do became clear as day and I fell to pieces.
    For months I only left my house for work and food. I laid on the floor staring at the ceiling through tears, vividly imagining the horrible things that I let happen. I went into a dark room inside my mind, pitch black with no light. I spent months lost inside. I thought of the things that I did to make it worse and the things I should have done but never did. I could have asked her why she hated her job and the business trips. I could have asked why she felt broken and unlovable but I never did. I never saw the pain she was suffering and I won't ever forgive myself for not seeing it.
    Slowly I began to heal. I don't cry myself to sleep anymore but the darkroom is still there. When I'm alone and everything is quiet and unmoving, I can feel myself slipping back into the room. There is something deceptively comforting about despair, of leaving the world behind, going to my darkroom where the only thing that matters is my own pain. It's a selfish feeling. I fell into my depression because I didn't protect the person I loved but I realized that so long as I was in my darkroom I would never be able to protect anyone.
    I bought a ring, the blackest ring I could find, like my room. I use it as a totem or a focus. It represents my failure, my sorrow, my remorse. I put my darkroom there, on my finger out in the open so that I know where it is. As long as its on my finger then it isn't inside myself to draw me back in. When I feel the empty blackness calling me into the darkroom I spin the ring on my finger to keep me outside.
    Two years ago I thought people with depression or triggers were just narcissistic attention-seekers and I would have gawked at the idea of physical manifestations of mental states. I would have called it psychological bullshit at the time but then I experienced it for myself. I can't watch shows like Game of Thrones anymore because of the graphic depictions of rape. It triggers the memories of my failure to stop it and I find myself spinning the ring furiously before eventually turning the TV off. I can see now how people use trigger-warnings and counseling so they don't get lost in their own darkroom.

    To finish, I ask that anytime you see someone say they are broken or that they aren't worth loving, if they complain about how much they hate their job, their home, or even another person. Don't make the mistakes I did or miss the signs that I didn't see. Listen and simply ask "Why?" Don't jump to conclusions. Support them and assure them that you're there and listening. That's all it may take to protect the people you care about.
    For those who are going through difficult times or suffering from depression. Talk about it. I was lucky and had good friends who worried about me and were there for me. But talking about your depression is how you escape it. At this point all of my friends and coworkers know what I went through because I talked to them about it and it helped me. Now I'm talking about it here on an forum to random people on the internet because just putting your pain into words, of what it feels like to be lost can help you find your way.

    I'm doing much better now but I have a long road ahead of me. Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to take off my ring but until then, whenever someone asks about it, I'll tell them why I wear it. And for those hoping, my partner is doing much better now. She helped herself, quit her job and is on her own road to recovery. We've started talking again. She's forgiven me and agreed that when we run into each other in the future it will be as old friends.
     
    #1 sanzfei, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  2. Kuze

    Kuze 『WANTED』
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    Maybe I sound insensitive or a total dick when I say this (though I don't mean to, honest), but when I read "She would tell me how much she hated her job." two things played into my mind and one of them was workplace sexual abuse.

    It's good to hear that you two are on speaking terms right now.
     
  3. sanzfei

    sanzfei Night Shift
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    You aren't wrong. The fact that I failed to see so many obvious things sent me even deeper into my depression.

    In the beginning I tried rationalizing that it was because we only were able to see each other on the weekends, because our work schedules were opposite, because we lived a two hour drive apart, because so-on and so-on... but I eventually had to come to terms that it was because I never cared enough to see it or even ask. That realization hurt the most.
     
  4. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Sour Apple
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    At least you two are on speaking terms again. That's actually a really good move toward both of your recovery.

    Like Kuze, that kinda came to my mind as well when I started reading about her hating the business trips, some form of sexual harassment, but certainly not rape. It certainly wasn't your fault. Sure, from one point of view you could have handled things a little better, but these are things that we only learn in hindsight. You couldn't possibly have known that this was happening, not on an ongoing basis, and that she was keeping it to herself. That is the last thing anyone would have expected. And perhaps, as hard as it was, your relationship ending was the push she needed to finally say "enough is enough" and tell someone about it.

    Honestly, reading this was quite upsetting and my heart goes out to both of you. She has forgiven you, but it's also important that you can learn to forgive yourself.
     
  5. Matemar

    Matemar The Crow

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    I really don't know what to say, I was never good at finding proper words in tough situations. Thank you for sharing this though.
     
  6. kura

    kura lay back and think of England

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    It wasn't your fault. You didn't let that happen.

    I don't want to make any presumptions about how you feel because I will never know but I have been in a situation like yours in my life involving this kind of sexual depravity and someone I love.

    It's sad to hear you speak about it so heavily in the register of guilt. I can't reiterate this enough: It wasn't your fault. You didn't let that happen.
     
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  7. Fantasy

    Fantasy The Saint of SC
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    Trying to be careful:

    Reading the first part I thought "what a picky girl.". After finishing it... I have no words. Be a friend, she suffered a pain. If you know about it and she was safe enough to confide it, even you broke up, be her strengh. Do not blame yourself, for not feeling the pain. Believe me, if a person wants he/ she can hide a lot. Just be there for her as much you can and as much she lets you without blaming yourself...

    It is, what is... even though, it makes you suffocate. My best thoughts are with you and your friend. Hoping for her recovery. Support her, not as a man, but as a friend.
     
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  8. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    My thoughts are with you and your friend. That is a horrible and such a violation your friend endured.

    The blame should be placed on that piece of shit boss not on you. But it will not be easy or quick to think on those terms given what you’ve described as your outlook.

    If you haven’t already, find a good psychotherapist, they come in different calibers so don’t feel like you only have one option once you find one and your not feeling it. Your relationship with that therapist is vital to getting what you need in the long run, which is ideally full recovery.

    I really hope in time you and your friend can experience life with a positive outlook.
     
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  9. Harlequinn

    Harlequinn Edgy Teenager
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    Thanks for sharing, man. I know it's tough. I experienced some of that in my youth. It's rough, but it can heal.
     
  10. Struggler

    Struggler Sentient Meat
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    Have you considered killing her boss? That's what I would probably think about doing.
     
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  11. Pass_the_M

    Pass_the_M New Member

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    fuck, the first thing i thought was sexual abuse. but thats because of the climate of whats going on now and being an outsider. when you are in the shit tho its hard to recognize any signs at all. im glad she got out and yall are talking again. but i wouldn't blame you if you decided to whoop that fuckers ass for what he did.
     
  12. Griffmeister

    Griffmeister What the hell are you staring at?
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    I almost didn’t read this through to the end for fear of an even worse outcome. It’s been a difficult journey and one that’s not over yet, but thankfully it looks like things are heading in a positive direction. I’m glad your beginning to realize the truth in the old adage that hindsight is 20/20. What seems obvious now can easily be lost in real time with various emotions in play. Thank you for sharing with us and I hope that the two of you can continue to move forward.
     

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