Depression increasing as day goes on

Hallo.  I am new on this forum and hope I don't go on too much.  I won't go into the reasons why I have depression but it is to do with alienation from the Drama Group that I was with for 27 years because I 'stood up' to a bully who is Chairman of the Group.  To cut an extremely long story short, because he has what I call a 'smart mouth', he has managed to convince 95% of the people that I considered friends/acquaintances there that he was completely innocent and that it is all 'me'.  It genuinely isn't.  I couldn't win - I am not a fluent talker and he is much more convincing (as well as being in a powerful position as Chairman).  I was on the committee but left after his first year as Chairman as I could see him manipulating and getting his own way on everything yet pleading that he is 'just the messenger' when decisions were made and couldn't stand to be around him.  The other 5% know the truth of what happened but they are very few.  Over the past 18 months that this all took place, (persecution, trying to destroy successful productions and other events that I have done or organised etc) I have been terribly depressed, irritable, angry, over-reacting to people I care about and am extremely sad to have lost certain people who I believed were my friends.  But for looking after my 3 cats, I would genuinely have committed suicide before now but I can't bear the thought of them running around not being cared for.  I have found that I feel better in the mornings but as the day wears on, I get tearful, feel hopeless, unwanted, insignificant, unloveable and bitter, especially when it's a nice bright early evening (I think I must feel that everyone else is having a lovely time whilst I am on my own).  I am the person that I never wanted to be.  I am on Amytriptiline (for sleeping and from when my mother died 4 years ago, and was then put on the higher, depression, dose).  I often just want to join her as feel I am of no use to anyone.  I am going for psychotherapy recommended by the Older People's Mental Health Service (I am a young 65) in May. I left the Group for my own sanity but there are still links and he recently 'put the boot in again' and sent a general email to everyone in the Club that I was trying to 'destroy the Club' - one of the (very few) friends left and I have been forced to use the same premises for something that we are doing with some new people.  We literally could not afford anywhere else in the vicinity and the Hall asked us to use their premises to encourage families and gave us a good deal.  Of course, now 'he' has decided that after 70 years of doing adult productions, THEY are now going to do 'family productions' - therefore it is US (or rather me, as it's me he is dead set against) that are in the wrong!  I really can't win!  I have thought of taking him to court for defamation of character but can't afford to lose.  What is the worst thing is that a friend that I have known for over 20 years who I was close to once and is also friendly with him has abandoned me - she says that what he says is the opposite to what I have said.  I replied, 'Well, of course it is - he is lying and I'm telling the truth'.  That will teach me to tell the truth - she hasn't replied to the two recent emails I sent her.  He has won yet again.  When will this feeling ever end?  I can't see any future as my looks have gone with worry and anxiety, I have no confidence or anything else.  Thank God for my cats keeping me alive though sometimes I feel like ensuring they are well looked after in the cattery then taking a whole packet of my pills with a bottle of vodka.  Sorry to go on.  This is of no help to anyone else and tomorrow I may feel better (as I tend to in the mornings).  But then the longer evenings come around and I feel lonely, tearful and hopeless again.  Is there a happy ending to these situations?

13 Replies

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  • Hello there,sorry you're having such a bad time. Obviously the drama group meant a lot to you ,leaving it would have been bad but to leave ,or be forced to leave, in the circumstances would be doubly upsetting to any one.

    I'm not a great believer in "there are no problems,only opportunities" but in your case maybe this is an opportunity to try other things. why not put your creativity into another area ? Have you tried writing drama or fiction for instance. that's a lonely business but there are often creative writing groups and courses on writing which would give you social contacts as well. Whatever you do forget as soon as you can what has happened and try and erase this person from your memory. it may well be that like most bullies he will now concentrate on someone else, and then someone else until eventually everyone gets wise to him.

    If this happens fine,but if it does n't it is all the same to you ,as you will have put this episode behind you.

    And please stop thinking you are no use to anyone.Even if it were true you would still be of more value as a person than the trouble makers like the man you have described. If you can use the time that the drama group took up to do something new you might come to feel you were more useful than ever.

    As a young 65, your experience of life would enable you to help some of the desperate young people who write in to this forum needing help. That would be pretty useful , some would say more useful than Amateur Dramatics !!

    Hoping that you feel much better tomorrow morning and given computers and libraries i would be very surprised if you did n't come up with a new outlet for your creative talents.

    Olderal

     

  • Hallo and thank you, Olderal and Stilltrying for your useful words.  I do actually write plays and love it - the one we are doing now (an original version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) is a joint effort with one of the ' 5% of friends left' that I spoke of.  He actually phoned me a short while ago and said exactly what you have said about 'the bully finding someone else to pick on and hopefully people will soon get wise'!  I think that the bully has been doing that anyway but I made the 'mistake' of 'coming back' at him to defend myself and unfortunately most people like a quiet life, I have found, and don't like confrontation, so just take it without a word.

    I do feel a little better for reading your comments and talking to my friend (I have even...been LAUGHING...that was a treat!, but sad at losing another particular friend or two because of all this unpleasantness.  I hope that this 'new' path that I have been forced onto does indeed lead to something more, and perhaps something more useful.  In a way it is, as we now have 10 youngsters being given the chance to play numerous parts in our production.  It's not every child who can say that they have played 'Dorothy' or 'The Tin Man' or 'The Scarecrow'!  

    So, such is the power of forums and talking amongst ourselves.  I hope that I can be of use to some other people on here in the future. 

  • Lovely reply Olderal xx

  • Hello and welcome to the site. It is nice to meet more people of similar age group to myself; you will find there are a few us on here and we benefit from each other's company, so I hope you can stick around.

     Sounds like you're having a very down time at the moment but as you say the morning brings new things. I'm not up to writing long replies at the moment but did just want to welcome you and share my sympathies with your thoughts.

     As Olderal says the younger people on here could also benefit from some of your wisdom and that may in turn  help your frame of mind at the moment. 

    xx

  • Hi nice to meet you.  Don't you dare do anything so silly otherwise I will be round to sort you out lol. 

     I am in a similar situation to you as I have come up against one of those charismatic narcissistic people who gather people around them who hang on their every word.  2 friend and 1 in particular whom I have known for around 20 years is backing her against me.   She is slandering me round my area saying that I slapped her twice.  I never laid a finger on her!   I am a bit hurt by that but I have cut myself off from them all completely as I don't need this shite in my life.  I have other outlets instead.  This is what you need to do as well.   Cut yourself off entirely from the bully and the situation but keep the nice people in your life.   Karma will get this bully sooner or later.  I know this to be true as I have seen it in action. 

    Sometimes in life you know you know that no matter what the rights and wrongs are you are on a hiding to nothing so best to cut your losses and run.   Find new outlets for your creativity.   x 

  • Thank you, coughalot2, for your reply to me.  I am not 'pleased' to hear that you have been bothered by the same type of person, as I know how 'hellish' that is, but the fact that you HAVE encountered such a person kind of makes me feel that I'm not over-reacting - I knew nothing about narcissists until I read up about them last night (following a suggestion from someone else on this site) and he is the absolute 'blueprint' for one.  I agree with you that it is very difficult to make people realise that he is 'playing' them, and you and I have lost out on friends as a result.   I often wish that we weren't doing this new production at the same Hall (I didn't want to at all, but it was a choice of doing it where we could afford or not doing anything at all - other Halls cost 3 times as much) and the Hall's management wanted us there.  They know how awkward this chap has been, though they can't interfere in the running of the Club.  I have been waiting for over a year for 'Karma' to kick in, so I hope I don't have to wait too much longer! - in the meanwhile, I will hope that my psychotherapist in May can help me get over these awful feelings or at least deal with them when they arise.  As predicted, things seem better this morning and I can't imagine how I felt so bad, but then the cycle starts all over again without me realising.  Best wishes to you.

  • Hi glad I helped a bit.   You are making the common mistake we all do which is trying to beat him on his terms and the way he chooses,  in this case articularity.  You haven't got the same skills (which most of us don't)) but you have other skills perhaps that he doesn't?    If you want to carry on with this why not utilise those?  You are a creative person and probably much more so than him so think what you are good at.    Eg why not put a play on about bullies?   Carichature (spelling!)  him instead lol.    I am sure you can think of other good ideas.

    In my case I deal with my bully (who is spreading her lies about me in the dart leagues which I have been playing in for many years) by making a joke about what she is saying and and making sure the word gets back to her that I don't give a toss (even though I am hurt).   I just say that everyone knows me better than that and she is just jealous of me ha ha.   Be canny and think on other levels.  There is more than 1 way to skin a cat you know....

    Don't wait for karma to come to him just be confident and aware that it will one day.  It might not be for many years but it will ha ha.

    Or just have the attitude an ex work colleague had - he said 'don't worry about it - leave it to God,  he will sort it out'.      x

     

     

  • Hi again, Coughalot2.  My friend and I are writing the play that we are putting on and he has actually written in a scene where the 'Forest Committee' (consisting of a variety of animals) are holding a committee meeting.  The Chairman (a tiger), who is offering up the sheep for sacrifice to the fire-breathing dragon, and not letting anyone else get a word in, is remarkably like someone we know...he will never come to see it, of course, but at least WE know!  I love that scene, especially when the Chairman gets overthrown!  Your suggestions are great and very wise.  I guess people like that hate nothing more than NOT having an effect on someone, which is where I've been going wrong, of course.  I physically cannot be in the same room as him - his sneery face just makes me want to punch it!  I'd better not... 

    He is a devout Catholic (so he says) so I expect he thinks that God is on his side.  In fact, I think he thinks he IS God!  

    Thanks for everything.

  • Good and I hope it makes you feel better!   The things I told you I leant about in the school of hard knocks lol.  x

  • That's quite a bad experience. 

    With regards to your mum passing away, I'm really sorry to hear. I lost my mum and I can understand your feelings. With these sorts of feelings of bereavement you have to draw the line at some point. losing someone is the hardest thing to overcome for anyone and you always end up questioning everything. the line stops when you end up very stressed over it because it can spiral downwards. your mum was there for you and bought you up to live your life to the fullest. Now that she has played her part in not only your life but maybe others she has moved on and in spirit she wants to see you enjoy your life and be happy. being upset about this won't help you. its an added stress on top of the situation with the drama group. 

    with regards to the drama group. The few who knew the real truth could you not escalate it further up with a letter to seniors to tell them the truth, signed by the few who knew and have him removed as chairman? sometimes you have to take a stand and as a group you have some reinforcements, as it seems quite obvious if he is upsetting successful productions then others will notice. I do feel your frustration. If escalation is something you don't want to do then you just have to let it go and let it be whether its destined for failure or success. I'm not sure how the hall and drama group works but if on the other hand you are employed then you have power to take this matter to HR outlining the deterioration of your mental health due to defamation by the group chairman, if they fail to act reasonably or support you then you might have legal basis to take action against your employer but it's best to take advice 1st and take a friend with you. 

    If I give you my experience, My IT company was not willing to train the existing UK workforce and was instead trying to get rid of us and replace us with cheaper fully trained foreign workforce in our speciality field. their whole business strategy was dragging everything down. realizing this I decided to leave after 6 years and it wasn't an easy choice as I had strong bonds with everyone and it all felt like a team family. Now I heard a lot has happened, a lot of people have left, made redundant or retired early, and the threat of redundancies is still there. i was upset a few times because it was difficult to let go and maybe part of that contributed to my depression but I think now maybe it was a good move and a hidden blessing because I am really happy where I am now. my lesson learnt is not to take everything to heart or make it personal, draw the line and once its gone over it then let it go.

    From my experience, I can only advise you that after such a long time in the drama group, if the thought of it is causing you immense stress then please practice to let it go. Chronic stress is a big cause of depression and if you can control your stress by controlling your thoughts then you can slowly reduce the effect of your depression.

    If it helps why not start a new drama group, put an ad in the papers or online for cast crews, bring over any existing crew you know that hate the manager and ask a hall where you can host it away from the one you were from, again i'm not sure how it all works.

    Rather than use up all your energy into the negativity of it all put it to better use in turn making you feel better and confident about yourself. you have vast experience in drama and acting so use your energy to teach younger people who want to go into drama and pass on your valuable experience.

    I hope I've not said anything to offend you but please accept my apologies if I inadvertently have.

  • Hallo, loggerslot.   Thank you for your reply.  You have not offended me at all - I have been told that I am wasting my energy on someone not worth the time of day but then I feel bitter about what I have lost because of him.  My follow-up email to some others on here mentioned that a friend and I have actually set up a new group, to include local children as well as the adults that we knew already, who aren't involved in the original club, and we tried to find different premises but the cheapest was 3 times what we were offered for doing it at the original Hall and the managers there wanted us to do it to encourage youngsters and their families.  This was the point where this awful Chairman (and his committee unfortunately) 'put the boot in' and libelled me, after over a year of persecuting me.  He then decided that after 70 years of doing adult productions, THEY would start doing family productions!  We are co-operating with two of the productions that clash a bit with with our rehearsals, to the point of lending each other stuff, but this Chairman is producing his own play in the middle of these and we have heard that people are frightened of coming to us because of the repercussions from him.  None of them will say, 'I'm not putting up with your nonsense - I will join what I like'.  We had the choice of doing it there or not doing it at all until we have built up enough money to go elsewhere.  Hopefully, my psychotherapy consultant in May will help towards me overcoming these stresses.

    We have approached the committee that he rules with an iron fist several times, complaining about his behaviour, but they are not 'allowed' to communicate with us.   (We have a 'mole' on the committee but unfortunately, nice chap that he is, he will not stand up to anything, let alone a 'fire-breathing' Chairman!)  They all appear to be in fear of him, such is his power.  

    With regard to your situation, it sounds as though you were almost in a 'family' that has been torn apart, but I am pleased that out of the mess, you have now ended up somewhere that you enjoy.  I guess that these 'transitions' are not smooth at the time, but the end result is that you are happy.  I will have to keep this in the back of my mind and try to rise above it all.  It really isn't easy, is it, to keep positive at all times until the end result that may be better ('All's well that ends well', they say, but the bit in between can be Hell sometimes!)

    Thank you for writing to me.

  • I think the important thing is to protect yourself from him psychologically as well as physically so as to not allow yourself to be solely defined by him and the way he treats you.  It's painful you lost so many friends in the process and I'm not surprised you feel sad and bitter about it having been involved in the drama group for so long.  Build up other supportive social contacts where you can become yourself again and valued and appreciated for who you are.  Bullies need victims and he will scapegoat someone else if you don't play this role and it may well be one of his cronies.  No one is safe because people like him have no loyalty and will trample on others to get what they want which is all about control.

  • Igloo, once again your comments are so insightful and knowledgable. My mother was a narcissist and this sums up the whole thing for me. Thank you. x

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