Why I’m not a happy person....

Today my dad asked me why I’m not a happy person and why can’t I just fake a smile if I’m not feeling happy. I told him that I believe faking a smile is wrong and it feels so unnatural to me that I don’t want to do it. He just doesn’t understand that sometimes faking being happy all the time is more damaging than not smiling constantly and can come off as being even more fake. As to why I’m not generally a happy person, it’s because of everything I went through before I was even thirty and the fact that he keeps trying to force me to be someone I’m not. I don’t think anyone that had been severely bullied to the point of having suicidal thoughts, a victim of sexual assaults over the course of several months and being blamed for it, being bullied inside a church every week, having their money taken from them and being used to buy wine for an alcoholic that mentally and verbally abuses them, being constantly mistreated by others, being told that being gay is wrong and having it hammered into their heads, being told by an abuser that it’s their fault that the abuser’s life is so miserable constantly, being slapped and punished for doing something so minor like the dishwasher leaving spots on wine glasses, being physically attacked by an abuser, and doing self harm as a way to try and make the negative thoughts they are having leave them alone would be very happy. I still struggle with a lot of negative thoughts and sometimes it takes more energy for me to keep it inside and not have a meltdown than my dad could ever imagine and faking a smile could make me lose it because I know I’m being fake again and I’m tired of having to fake my emotions just to keep everyone else around me happy. I’m tired of my dad trying to force me to become a miniature version of himself. I’m tired of him thinking all of his friends are automatically my friends too even though I have nothing in common with them other than my dad. I really want to get away from the area I live in and move closer to my sister but I don’t because im afraid that I might not be able to get all of my current benefits immediately if I move out of state and I’ll be stuck with nowhere to go. And then there is the culture aspect that I feel like I need to help with his business. This isn’t the life that I want and I feel stuck which also makes me feel unhappy and he would never understand how I feel. With all of this I just don’t see any real reason to be happy literally all the time. I’m not even proud of the fact that I graduated from high school and I know that people who dropped out would be so happy if they had stayed in school.


I understand how you feel. I hate being told how I'm supposed to feel and act. triggers memories of how my abuser tried to control me. keep your head up and do what's right for you.
@Captain Jigglypuff I can relate totally. I was bullied all through school for being gay and also had no support from any school staff with it. There was a point I was so anxious in junior high I timed it from my last class I watched the clock specifically hit the time and hear the bell to run to my locker and get my stuff and run to the bus and get a seat before the bullies would get there so I would be able to sit down or I wouldn't have a seat home. It was like this for three grades. I was suicidal through school, even thought of going to school and hurting people with weapons (this was in the 80 and early 90s don't anybody freak out now). I was part of a psychology club who also taught psychology and he had it at his house and the members where my friend, my girlfriend (shortlived and then dated that friend next which became weirder and he became homophobic), and two other people and the teacher then analyzed us. Weird and I told him I was suicidal there and he shipped me to a counselor where I had to tell my dad why and it got worse at home and didn't get better until college when I got away from all of it. So I'm sorry you have dealt with so much. I am still uncovering my CSA but know of some from 15 and a date rape at 20. Which doesn't take away from your experience at all, I'm just saying I can relate to what you went through. I hope you can find a path to not feel stuck and and reclaim your own power.


Hey Cap. I am sorry to read of your grief. I can only wonder why your father would ask you why you are not a happy person. It makes me think of my own father who is completely totally emotionally unavailable. I could be reading it wrong, but it sounds like your dad loves you and is trying his best to include you in his life - his way. No wonder you want to run.

I was spared the added misery of being the dependent of an alcoholic. I worked for one once which was an unpleasant experience, but at least I could go home at the end of the day. Working for an alcoholic threw my own life into a bit of chaos. It was easy to lose track of what needed immediate attention and what did not. Minor problems became big hairy issues and major concerns went ignored. First things first was my motto of the day. I was really blessed by God who struck my miserable work place with a major hurricane the day before I returned from vacation turning the building into an extra large family sized Sears swimming pool! O yea, God is good.

I was also bullied. I had gone from a public school system to private in the 5th grade. I was far behind my classmates in academics. Being a survivor of child sexual abuse made me emotionally stunted. On top of it all, I was entrapped by a sexual predator volunteer of Big Brothers, Little Brothers of America during my 5th and 6th grades. All these problems way too big for a little guy to bear, and having no emotional support at home, the boys at school read me like a book and made me their favorite target of harassment. I have no idea how I survived that year. I cried every day by myself or to my dog, Lolly.

I think it is a big deal for survivors like us to complete high school. With all the blood, sweat and tears, we should have received the Purple Heart along with our diploma. Like you, I have something to say to those who are bullied while others who did not experience this trauma, do not. Our experience is very valuable to others who suffer.

Like I said, first things first was my motto in my young adult years. I addressed the painful memories with prayer. With each memory I said to God, "In Your Name, I forgive so-n-so." I was told this would work and within a short period of time, I felt at peace. Now I only think of the painful events that unfolded on that playground when another survivor shares a similar story.

I had all sorts of emotions that needed to be sorted out by the time I reached my 40's. I found 12 step support groups like Al-Anon and ACOA very helpful. After listening to members share, I was eventually able to process my own feelings and tell my story without becoming emotionally enmeshed. That was a huge victory for me.

Well, Cap, thank you for your post. It gave me a lot to think about. Think, feel, speak. Never quit.

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Telling someone with depression to just fake a smile is like telling someone with no legs to just fake walking.


Captain, some of your post really resonates with me. I feel for you, and I also believe you don't need to be happy for anyone else or on anyone else's terms. That being said, I believe all of us have the ability to seek happiness on our own terms, and sometimes find moments of it. Perhaps some moments are longer than others, and perhaps for some people the pursuit is no easy one. I just wanted to mention I've read what you said and the feelings you've articulated resonate with many of my own.

Wishing you well,