I’m not okay and I just want to sleep all day

I usually try to put some kind of positive spin on the miserable things I write about on this blog but today I won’t be doing that. Today I’m just going to admit that I’m really struggling emotionally and that I feel really helpless and hopeless.

Where do I begin? Well, I’ll start by saying that despite my very youthful appearance, I’m actually 33 years old.  Wow, that’s an odd preface for explaining why I’m horribly depressed but bear with me. At 33 most people have or have had a job, a partner and/or kids. I know not everyone has all of those things but everyone I know has at least one of those things.

Then there’s me. I have no job now nor have I ever had a job. I’ve only had one boyfriend  in my life and that was over a decade ago. I have no children. I live with my mother and I stay at home alone all day while she goes to work. I have no drivers license and little access to money. These days I spend much of my time either crying or sleeping.

I’m not sure if the intense fatigue I’m experiencing is caused by my depression but my depression certainly makes me want to give in to the fatigue. I know sleeping until 2:30 in the afternoon is not a good thing to do but it seems like there’s little point in getting up when I’m just going to cry and feel depressed and isolated.

Of course if I don’t like my life I should change it but I feel powerless to change it. I’ve worked with three different job counseling agencies that specialize in finding jobs for people with disabilities but none of them have been able to find me a job. I avoid entry level jobs like cashiering not because I think I’m too good for those kinds of jobs but because my disability means those jobs are too difficult for me. There just isn’t a market out there for people who are 33 and have no job experience.

I do volunteer work and I consider it valuable but I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not the same as having a job. I want to have the satisfaction of knowing I can provide for myself financially. I want a place I can go to from 9 to 5 every day and the social connections that come with it. I cannot help but feel deeply ashamed of the fact that I’ve never had a job.

I’m also ashamed of the fact that I’m a 33-year-old virgin but that doesn’t mean I want to hook up with just anyone. I want a life partner but I’m never in situations where I’m likely to meet anyone and I don’t think I’m very attractive as a mate when I’m unemployed and live with my mother. I can’t stand the thought of advertising myself on an online dating site when I have such low self esteem and when I know so many creeps hang out on those sites.

I know that I’d make a terrible mother but that doesn’t change the fact that I desperately, desperately want a child with every ounce of my being. I don’t begrudge anyone their happiness but it’s really hard to log in to social media and be bombarded with baby pictures, pregnancy announcements and birth announcements from my friends, just like it’s hard to listen to people talk about their kids, their partners and their jobs. Why aren’t I good enough to have the things that everyone else has? Why am I so uniquely defective that I cannot achieve even one of those things? It’s horrible to feel so triggered by people just going about their ordinary lives.

I know comparison is the death of all joy and I know everyone does things on their own timeline but I want those things for myself because they sound like amazing, fulfilling experiences, not just because everyone else has them and I’m left with little hope that I will ever achieve those things on any timeline. Fertility doesn’t last forever and society seems to have decided that since I didn’t get a job according to the proper timeline, I’m not worthy of ever having a job.

No one is going to make me feel better by telling me about all the negatives that come along with marriage, parenthood and employment. I’m aware of those negatives. I want those things anyway because the positives outweigh the negatives. I don’t need people who have a job, a partner or kids telling me it’s okay to not have those things. Obviously they wouldn’t really feel okay not having those things because they pursued them for themselves and they don’t know how devastating it is to be my age and not have any of those things. I’m also not under the impression that having those things would suddenly make my life perfect.

I don’t need people affirming my self worth by reminding me that I’m a published author or that I graduated from college or that I’m doing so much better than I was before. All of those things are true and I’m proud of all those achievements but they cannot make up for the gaping hole that is left in my life by not having a partner, a job or kids.  It’s just really, really hard to want those things so badly and feel powerless to achieve them. It’s really, really hard to feel left out of a club that everyone’s a part of and to spend your days in loneliness and isolation. I’d like to think I’m not alone but I feel very alone. I do not know of a single other person in my situation.

I feel imprisoned by a past I cannot change and I can only see my loneliness, my longing and my depression getting worse in the future. My time to have children will run out and the people I care about will die, while I’m left miserable and alone, watching everyone else’s lives go by, longing for a world I can’t have.

Help.

 

On being unemployed and dependent

Society makes it very hard for adults who are unemployed and/or dependent on parents/caregivers to have any self esteem or self worth. If you are an unemployed and /or dependent adult and you have some modicum of self esteem or self worth please tell me how you manage to do it because I still haven’t figured out the secret.

I doubt I’ll get any takers on that though because I doubt it’s possible for someone in my situation to feel good about themselves and I doubt there are many other people in my situation. When I say I’m unemployed I do not mean I am temporarily unemployed or that I got laid off from my last job. I mean I’ve never had paid employment of any kind and my prospects of future employment are dim. I do not mean that in lieu of employment I raise children or go to school full time. I feel sad that I’ll never have children and regretful that I fucked up so much in school.

When I say I live with my parents, I do not mean I am living with them to help take care of them. I mean I am living with them so that they can take care of me. I do not mean that I’m living with my parents temporarily because I’ve hit a rough patch in life and that I’ll be moving out as soon as I get back on my feet. The truth is my whole life has been a rough patch and I’ve never been on my feet.  I do not mean that I’m a young adult who’s learning to adjust to new adulthood. Despite my youthful appearance, I am well in to adulthood.

Because of my joblessness and dependence I have been labeled a leech, a parasite and a spoiled, ungrateful brat. I have been called lazy more times than I can count. I’ve been treated like crap and told that parasitic people don’t deserve to be treated nicely.  I have been referred to as an adjunct. I wasn’t exactly sure what was meant by that last one but the dictionary definition of adjunct is  “a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.”

I can deal with being called lazy because there’s a lot of truth in those accusations but I could really do without the name calling. Even if there is some truth in the comparisons to disgusting blood sucking creatures, they’re very hurtful and not at all helpful.

I try to tell myself that the people who say those kinds of things to me have some serious issues of their own and that those comments are more of a negative reflection on them than on me but I hear that kind of message constantly from all kinds of people and places even if it’s not usually voiced so bluntly, rudely or directly.

Most political discussions I read, hear about or witness eventually  devolve in to complaints about those despicable lazy freeloaders who are mooching off the government rather than getting off their asses and finding jobs. The stereotypical description of the kind of loser you would never want to be or associate with involves a perpetually unemployed 30-year-old virgin who lives in their parents’ basement and plays video games all day.  The fact that I have a room on the second floor and have no interest in video games doesn’t give me much comfort.

I get the message both implicitly and explicitly that since I am unemployed and dependent, I am not a real adult.  I am not entitled to adult privileges. I don’t get a say in my own life. I am powerless and beholden to others. I am a child in an adult’s body.

I am told that I contribute nothing to society and that I should go do something with my life. I try to tell myself that you can contribute to society and do something with your life without getting paid for it but many people do not see contributions as valid unless they are accompanied by a paycheck. It’s as though I must earn money in order to earn dignity.

Kids are often asked what they want to be when they grow up.  ‘Happy’ is not considered to be an acceptable answer. They’re expected to say what career they want to have. When you meet someone new as an adult one of the first questions you’re asked is “What do you do?”  “I eat, sleep, breathe, read and play with my dog” is not considered to be an acceptable answer. You’re expected to say what you do for a job. It feels as though without a job I am considered to do nothing and to be nothing.

Independence and self sufficiency are seen as the ultimate goals of and the be all end all of adulthood. If you fail to achieve those goals you are seen as having failed at adulthood, if not life itself. At best you might get pity from people. More often you will get scorn. One thing you will rarely get is respect.

In addition to not being entitled to dignity or respect, some people seem to think that if you don’t have a job or “earn your keep” you are not entitled to luxuries or pleasures. How dare you eat good food, wear fancy clothes or go on fun vacations!

I am literally financially worthless because I have never earned a single cent in my life but worse than being financially worthless is feeling like because I’m dependent and unemployed I am worthless as a human being.

A few months ago I figured out a way to make a valuable contribution to society without having a job. I would donate blood. As a leech I’d obviously sucked a lot of blood from other people so it was time for me to allow others to suck my blood. I know some view me as unimportant because I don’t have a job but my blood might save the life of someone who has a very important job. My first blood donation went well but by the time I was eligible to donate again I had lost my ID. When I set out to get a replacement ID I discovered that you are now required to present bills addressed to you as proof of your identity. Since I am not financially independent and do not live on my own, I do not have any bills addressed to me. It felt like yet another way society has of telling me that without having a job and without being independent, I do not have a valid identity.

I’m sure a lot of people are thinking “Why don’t you just get a job?” The answer to that question is a story for another blog.