Honestly none of the above sound like jerky behaviour to me, unless there's more to it than you're letting on.
1. Church - Uh, so? This is your decision, and no one else's concern. If they're alienating you because of it, they're being the jerks.
2. Depression - I can see how secluding yourself could put off some people, but it seems more like "loner" than "jerk" behaviour to me, unless you're blaming them or yelling or something.
3. School - Whether to go back to school is YOUR decision and I'm quite frankly at a loss to see how a decision either way justifies labeling you a jerk.
Short version: The examples you've posted are personal issues that aren't anyone else's business. You don't have to be considerate of others when choosing a church, dealing with depression, or deciding whether or not to go back to school (except, of course, that you can't rely on your parents funding).
As others have said, deal with the depression first, and other things will probably come easier.
[QUOTE=sbhikes;1168607]Here is my instant impression.
Catholics do a lot of charity work. Get involved. Helping other people is the surest way to learning humility and how to ask for help yourself. It actually takes more strength to ask for help and receive it than it does to go it alone.
It seems to work that when you try to help other people, you are actually getting more help for yourself in return. It's like when teachers say they learn more from their students than the other way around.[/QUOTE]
Along with agreeing that you definitely need to seek help for your depression, I'm going to second SB about getting involved and doing volunteer work. Help other people, help animals, whatever. Just get out there and do good for others. I think it will help you with a lot of the issues you brought up.
I'm going to secon(or third?) the suggestion to volunteer in some way where you get to interact with and help people, because I think it's a great idea. In terms of how you feel about yourself, in learning to ask for help yourself, and learning from other people.
[QUOTE=kenn;1168601]You need to have a romantic encounter with a woman[/QUOTE]
This, plus as much rare grass fed steak as you can eat. Repeat both daily.
[QUOTE=trekfan;1168089]I'm currently living with some friends at the moment, thanks to their generosity. My family is all the way in Alabama but, you know, the Internet age makes it so it's like they're right here.
Currently I work as a Nanny (yes, laugh now) but I love my job, love working with the kids. I don't make a lot of money, but I make enough to do what I want most of the time. I'm not an extravagant person by nature and prefer to shop used/freecycle stuff ... I like finding things others have decided are not worth the trouble anymore and use them myself.
I don't feel the other people are being overly critical of me, there criticisms are legitimate in my mind. They put with me and they really don't have to. I thoroughly enjoy our time together but I find myself more and more staying out of their way so as not to be an asshole, which I'm more than good at.
I do one thing every day that I do find joy in and that's writing. I love writing but sadly my skills are of the fiction type, and it's tough to get any real traction going on in terms of money making fiction. I write plenty though that I post to forums and that I send to friends, and that's enough for me.
Thanks for the thoughts.[/QUOTE]
If you are living with friends, and as a result you do not feel as though you can leave your room, than I am not sure that is a constructive environment for you. For me it was my parents, but for you perhaps it's something else. I still think being completely independent (maybe sans friends, roommates) will help you to better evaluate yourself. When you only have you to live with, you to rely on, that helps to better your relationship with yourself. When your relationship with yourself improves (perhaps so will your depression), then your relationship with everyone else will too. You are able to see yourself and evaluate yourself on a more personal level than dealing with the daily criticism of roommates (family, friends, whatever). I think feeling safe and secure in your own home is a huge bridge to happiness. If you don't feel as though it's safe to leave your room, maybe because you worry about your own impact on others, I would say that's not a safe environment to live in.
I don't laugh at nanny-ism. I would never choose that for myself, because I prefer conventional income for ease of tax and financial purposes, but a friend of mine is a nanny. She loves that job, but also has had supplemental incomes such as random baby sitting gigs, and working at a gym nursery. She has also assessed how great the summer time is, because kids are out of school, and hours increase tenfold. Maybe the summer will bring you more nannying gigs, more money, more freedom.
Keep writing. Make sure you do it for fun rather than for money. It's hard to make money writing, unless it's technical writing or web content building. But that's not as fun and creative!
I will repeat what I read from others that I found useful: EFT and TAPAS work wonders. In my opinion, ThetaHealing works much faster than the former two because you are dealing with subconscious stuff that drives the way you live your life.
Getting involved in a romantic relationship is amazing. No guarantee of a cure for whatever ails you, but it can be life-changing and put things into perspective.
Also, do you happen to know what your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality happens to be? Some Types are a little more "clueless" when it comes to social interaction and emotional sensitivity but have their strengths in other areas.
I would say if you are clinically depressed, that's probably the biggest contributor to you acting like an Ass#ole. You'll have to get a handle on that if you expect to be easier to be around.
The Church conversion thing I think isn't a cause, or an effect, just is. Actually oddly I feel quite similarly and have been leaning towards converting from protestant to Catholic also, for similar reasons. It just feels right. And while I can see your parents being weirded out by it, at the same token I guess I don't see why that should impact their parenting of you. My parents never did care what I did religion-wise, they figured it was up to me. Seems like your parents need to set the religion issue aside and just be your parents.
As far as changing, I would say "fake it until you make it." Seriously. Smile, even when you don't feel like it. Ask how people are doing, even when you don't care. Hold the door for someone. Practice kindness. The feelings will follow, eventually. And practice gratitude as well- that will help you with your depression. Actively think each day for a bit of time- this can be a meditation or part of your prayers- of the things you are grateful for. Try and think of people you are grateful for. And since you have already brought religion into it, ask the Holy Spirit for help changing into the better person you want to be.
From my own experience, I think getting involved in a romantic relationship is a BAD idea. Using it as a "cure" for depression generally just messes up other people's lives.
Skip the Catholicism and get more radical with it. Start to study the roots of the worlds religion and learn the Truth. I will give you a start: you are your I AM Presence in action:
[url=http://www.ascension-research.org/presence.html]I AM Presence - God Self - Great I AM[/url]
[url=http://www.worldwideashram.org/index.html]Education Resources Worldwide Ashram[/url]
To understand what might have caused you to act like a jerk, read a Dweller on Two Planets by Frederick S. Oliver:
[url=http://www.sacred-texts.com/atl/dtp/index.htm]A Dweller on Two Planets Index[/url]
Don't go here and there asking people what to believe or what is true. Ask the God in you that does know.
People are temporary. You only have to pretend to be nice for awhile, then they go away. And then you will wonder why you were trying to be nice to them, since they all abandoned you anyway. People are mostly a pile of fragile trash. Treat them as such, and you will survive.
Your friends might be complimenting you when they tell you that you are an asshole. Since I've had to decode human communication from square zero, I've learned that what you hear is rarely what was said. You may have heard, "You are a rude person and need to change, to treat us better and become more like-able to earn our social trust and guarantee your survival if you become homeless or otherwise impaired." When, in reality, they were saying, "Good god, you're so aggressive and proud, standing for what you believe in and not bending to persuasion. I respect you, and you are someone I can count on to be an asshole for me in times of need, when I am threatened or in a debate."