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anonymous03

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  • in reply to: I stalk another woman and I can't stop #367007
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Sarah,

    I am writing here to you because I have been doing the very same thing since the past 6 months. And it is such a relief to see that I’m not the only one doing this. There is this girl I stalk on social media. She is my boyfriend’s ex-gf. I am not at all interested in her romantically or sexually. I am 100% straight. Nor am I jealous of her because of my bf. He dated her for a few months a very long time ago, and there is absolutely nothing between them. I have no reason to be threatened by her. Yet, I stalk her on social media.

    At first, I couldn’t explain why I needed to check her profile everyday. I have met her for a whole of just 2 hours in my life, that too 6-7 years ago, when she was dating my guy. She followed me on Instagram last year, which is how I found her profile. I have no idea why she did that. Even last year, I did not even look at her profile. I just knew who she was because her name was familiar, and I checked with my bf (then friend) if this is the same girl. I did not even remember her face. If she had passed me on the street, I would not even have recognized her and walked right past. A few months ago, I checked her profile to see something my friends told me about her (what that is I will not disclose so as to protect anonymity, both hers and mine). And that is when the obsession started.

    I started checking her profile everyday. Slowly, I became obsessed, checking her profile multiple times a day. It grew and grew, the obsession, and I started thinking I am going crazy. I had begun comparing myself with her, feeling that she was just wholly better at everything than I am. She lives abroad, independently, whereas I have never left my hometown except for a holiday and have never lived by myself; she has a good job, whereas my job is… well something I hadn’t planned on getting into; she has a beautiful face and a hot body, and I am just… okay and am conscious of my body; she has seen more of the world, travelled to famous places I have only seen on the telly, and I have just seen a couple of places in my country; she has a degree from an abroad college, and I have only studied in my country; she works out beautifully, and me… yeah well I work out too but ehhh…; she keeps all her social media pages pretty organized, and mine seem to be messy; she has pretty clothes, seem to be prettier than mine; I have generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, she does not; I have IBS and have to be very careful with my diet, she does not and can eat whatever she wants; she seems to be much stronger than me, and I well… These are just some of the comparisons I make.

    This went on and on… And I realized I was being pretty mad at myself for no reason at all, constantly scolding myself mentally. It started taking a heavy toll on my self-esteem. I began hating my life. I began hating my self. There was nothing positive coming out of this. I started getting irritated with this obsession. Like… WTF GET THE F*** OUT OF MY HEAD!!!! I was tired of thinking about her. She was living rent free in my head. What for?

    What for? To answer this question, I sat myself down and introspected: Why the heck does she matter to me so much? I don’t know her personally. I actually know nothing about her except her name and what she shares on her pages. So why am I doing this? The answer came to me like a smack on my face: Envy. I was envious of her: I wanted what she had. I realized this stemmed from my own feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I was sort of “not good enough”. She was. I had always dreamed of being independent since childhood, and since I am not yet, it instilled in me a feeling of shame. Going abroad is a big fad where I’m from, makes you a sort of a big deal if you go abroad, and I stayed in my country for various reasons (my anxiety, attachments, etc.), again feelings of shame creeping in. And… And nothing. That was it. These two things were the root of my envy. I feel I like I lack these things, and she has them, so she is better than me.

    What a pile of BS! I decided this was ridiculous. It was ridiculous of me to make comparisons with somebody like that. Just these two things and I decide somebody is better than me?! This doesn’t add up. I do not like how this is making me feel. So what I did was break down all the comparisons. I imagined that a friend was saying these things to me, and I would respond to them like I would to a friend; I’ve found this roleplay helps me rationalize. So, I rationalized.

     

    She lives abroad, independently, whereas I have never left my hometown except for a holiday and have never lived by myself:

    And the reason for that is that my family involves only my mother; leaving her all alone did not seem like a good idea to me. We faced some family problems a couple years ago, and thank goodness I was here to support her through it. My anxiety surrounded my mother and my boyfriend. And that was okay. Yes, I am not independent, but that does not mean I am incapable of doing that. I just chose to be here, and I am fully capable of changing that. I have no way of knowing if her anxiety is what made her leave the country because she felt left out by not following the fad.

     

    She has a good job, whereas my job is… well something I hadn’t planned on getting into:

    But man am I awesome at my job. I don’t make a fortune, but I could always work on that. I have no way of knowing if she actually loves her job and is not just stuck in her field all life now.

     

    She has a beautiful face and a hot body, and I am just… okay and am conscious of my body:

    Actually, and it makes me uncomfortable saying this, I am quite pretty myself. I am not exaggerating, but I turn heads. I have a pretty decent body myself, and people ask me what I do to maintain it. Again, it makes me uncomfortable saying this, so I won’t go ahead here. I realized that the problem lied in me not liking and being comfortable in my own body, which has been a problem with me since ages. And I also realized, I would not exchange my face or body with hers should I get the chance.

     

    She has seen more of the world, travelled to famous places I have only seen on the telly, and I have just seen a couple of places in my country:

    That doesn’t mean that I can’t travel to places. I mean, I’m not dying tomorrow.

     

    She has a degree from an abroad college, and I have only studied in my country:

    Actually, she and I have the same level of education. The only difference is that she has studied abroad. That does not change the quality of education, does it? She didn’t go to an Ivy League school or anything. It’s just a college. I studied at one of the best colleges in my city. I love what I studied, I worked very hard, and I have no regrets. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing.

     

    She works out beautifully, and me… yeah well I work out too but ehhh…:

    Why ehhh? I work out 6 days a week (albeit it has gone down to 3 in the pandemic lockdown). I work out mighty well myself. I am conscious of my diet. I look after my body. I just need to learn to love myself.

     

    She keeps all her social media pages pretty organized, and mine seem to be messy:

    I organized mine too. This was a good learning.

     

    She has pretty clothes, seem to be prettier than mine:

    I have pretty clothes myself actually. Except for a couple of her clothes, I would not buy her clothes if she had a garage sale. They’re not really my style. And what I like about her dressing style, nothing wrong in trying it out myself, yeah?

     

    I have generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, she does not:

    Yeah. I do. My days can be filled with anxiety, and I can find it difficult to push through. But this is something out of my hands. Her not having anxiety does not make her special. There are a gazillion people on the planet who don’t have it. I realized how strong I actually am. Also, I have no way of knowing what and if she suffers from anything at all.

     

    I have IBS and have to be very careful of my diet, she does not and can eat whatever she wants:

    Again, I have no way of knowing if she has any health troubles.

     

    She seems to be much stronger than me, and I well…:

    I know about her only what she shows on her page and what she says about herself on her page. I am pretty strong myself. I have no doubt about it.

    So you see, I rationalized. Another way I rationalized is using the logic Anita talked about. I see what she chooses to show me. She shows me she is having fun. I think her life is awesome. She may have cried herself to sleep that night. She openly talks about how strong she thinks she is. I think she is badass. I have no way of knowing if talking about herself this way is a way she feels better about her self and deals with her own insecurities. She shows me herself in her best clothes. I think she has amazing clothes. I have no way of knowing how many times she deliberately changed so she could look good in the picture, and what she wears when she knows she is not going to click a picture or shoot a video. She shows me she is working out. I think wow! I have no way of knowing if she stuffed 10 cookies after the workout. I have no way of knowing what happens behind the scenes, when the camera is off. I have no way of knowing what actually is up with her life.

    I also realized that I actually have an image of somebody I want to be, and I have plastered her face on that image, all because of what she and her life “seem” to be.

    To add to this rationalization, let me tell you something else. She had been posting about some things, telling people her opinion on that thing (a current affair thing, nothing bad/nasty), and I thought: OMG she is so stupid! That came out of nowhere, which was different because I had felt nothing but awe for her. And I can assure you, me thinking she is stupid was not only my envy talking, as some of my friends who actually have known her said the same thing: She’s so stupid!! Not only them, she had loads of people commenting and disagreeing with her (you probably would too if you read it). Her opinions were self-contradictory and incohesive and not at all based on facts. This showed me her thoughts, something you can’t see much on some social media. And to add to the fact that she shows me what she wants to show me, she kept deleting a lot of those comments. Now, all those posts are gone as well, so say somebody like me comes across her profile, they will never know her thoughts on that, again seeing what she wants them to see. Also, my friends who have known her told me she is very attention-seeking and is a self-proclaimed influencer (you would understand from her page too), kind of showing that she needs a lot of external validation, like so many of us do actually. No? So you see how all the posting fits in? She may be a narcissist, from what I hear about her and from what I saw when I looked at her page with a neutral mind. I also came to know some things about her, which I won’t disclose here, but it made me realize she is nothing special, and I realized I need to stop putting her on a pedestal. She’s only human, with good and bad, as I am. She is good, may be great, at some things. And so am I. She may have some wonderful qualities, which I can learn from. Things I like about her when it comes to fashion, I could try and see if it looks good on me too. Nothing wrong with absorbing positive things, like Deena said. Nothing wrong with some parts of her inspiring me. But I realized none of this means I am not worthy.

    This tornado of comparison and envy must end. Because say I do and achieve things that make me envious of her today, tomorrow, I will have a new envy, someone who has a bigger house or a better car or has a better wardrobe. It might never end. That is not something I want. We don’t live each other’s lives. We have different minds and bodies and upbringings. Comparison is simply unfair.

    And let’s just say that she is better than me in every way. I asked myself, “So what?” And the only answer I could come up with was… “So… nothing”. Really. It does not matter. At all. She does not matter. I do.

    To stop myself from opening her profile, I have uninstalled some apps. I am actively stopping myself from opening her page. I am actively reminding myself to not think of her and focus on myself every time I think about her. I am more important to me than her. No?

    I realize I need to work on my self-esteem. I need to raise my worth in my own eyes. And I am now taking tiny steps.

    I am sorry for this long post, but I hope it helps you. Thank you for reading it, if you have. That obsession is a terrible phase to be in, taking away so much time and energy. I also wrote this for myself, to get things off my chest. Nobody knows about all this, as I am too ashamed to talk about this openly. Not even my therapist. But maybe I should talk to her. This is the only place that gave me the courage to open up. If I hadn’t found your post, I would not have talked about this. I feel lighter, so thank you.

    Before I end this post, have you ever considered that you might be somebody’s “stalkee” too? That somebody checks your page everyday and goes: MY GOD I WANT WHAT SHE HAS!!? That somebody is trying to copy the way you wear your hair? Or scarf? Or somebody is trying to emulate your work ethic because that is one of the positives they see in you? I mentioned she followed me first, after years of meeting her, that too only for two hours. I have no way of knowing if she does exactly with my page what I do with hers. 😉

    It’s just this social media whirlpool…

    in reply to: Breakup Time? #355114
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Dan,

    I am going through something very very similar. It probably is more difficult for me because my bf is on the other side of the world. So we can’t be with each other physically.

    I lost my father in my teens. I haven’t had a great relationship with my mother – too much friction, fights, not talking and the such – and she too is much better now, but the damage is kinda done. I am unable to be close to her, even though we live together.

    I don’t really have any words of advice for you; I’m just posting this to let you know you aren’t alone.

    Feel free to post anytime…

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #351530
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I await the rest of your response.

    Another thing I have noticed about my mom is that she talks in a depressive manner many times. For eg, I’d say, “What are you watching on TV?” and she’d say, “Something. I just want to pass time till it’s bedtime. So it doesn’t matter.” Or today, she said she always had to visit Nepal. I said well we could visit it. She said no I don’t feel like it now. Life is over. Or I asked something about her work, and she said, “Doesn’t matter. I don’t have any aspirations now at this age. Just need money to survive”.

    I feel really guilty and bad when she says that too.

    Waiting for your response…

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #351528
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Sofioula,

    Your virtual hug made me feel so much better. I have nobody to hug me right now.

    I’m sorry for replying late: it takes me a while to articulate what all I really wanna say.

    Thank you for sharing your story with me. I could have read your other threads, but it didn’t cross my mind, I’m sorry. You seem to have gone through such a hard time. You’re so brave for having overcome all of that. You deserve the best for yourself.

    I could tell you my thoughts. I have so many… I don’t know if it counts as OCD though…

    Some of them are…

    When I was with my ex…

    He’s not that smart. (If I read anything smart on the net, I’d think nope, he will never be able to write such a thing)

    He’s dull.

    His hair is weird.

    Why he gotta slouch like that? Why can’t he sit straight?

    His dressing sense sucks.

    I don’t think I really love him.

    I don’t think we have a good connection.

    I think I can do better.

    After the breakup, I realized all of that was bullshit. After the breakup, I got these thoughts…

    If I would have been a better girlfriend, more supportive, less critical, less… like my mom… He would have opened up to me.

    If I would have given him the space he’d asked for, he would have stayed.

    If I wouldn’t have freaked out when he asked for a break, he would have stayed.

    I drove him away with my negative vibes.

    Everything is my fault.

    What if he is “the one”?

    What if I can never feel for somebody the way I felt for him?

    I am liar.

    I lied to B. I never felt anything. All those feelings are a lie.

    You should never have gotten with B. That was a mistake.

    I don’t want this life. I’m trapped in it.

    I am hurting people.

    Everything is my fault.

    Why did I get with B?

    I’m very ashamed of all these thoughts. But it feels good to get them out.

    Do any of these make sense to you?

     

    in reply to: My head or my heart? #351504
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Update…

    Hours after her first cry session, she cried again. I asked her what she was afraid of so much. She said, “regarding your marriage. You can’t keep dating and all. You have done that till now (Reminder: i dated someone for 8 years and thought was gonna marry him until he dumped me). Now it’s time to be serious.” I said, “all I’m asking is you be patient. It will happen in good time.” But she cried again, saying that she gets scared, and when she gets scared, she remembers all her past (she has struggled significantly, lost her sister to suicide, emotionally and verbally abused by her mother-in-law, that’s all I am aware of). She says this and I’m stumped. I don’t know what to say to that.

    In the afternoon, she said she needs to cry and get it all out in front of me because I am all she has.

    I feel terrible, but I don’t know how to help her. She makes me feel like a monster.

     

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #351398
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your response again.

    Well with my mother… Oii… It’s always been difficult. As far as my earliest memory, I remember my mother has always been this angry and anxious person. So I always got yelled at. As a child, this would fill me with this “I have done something wrong” sense. I am an only child, so I  always got the full force of her anger. I was terrified of her. As I grew older, the yelling continued. But with growing up, my tolerance for her screaming reduced, and I started arguing back. Now, when she yells, I yell too. Honestly, because I just can’t take it. Don’t get me wrong; she loves me and takes care of me in every way she can. But yeah, she screams a lot. I am very different than her in many many ways; different ideologies, different thought processes, different way of doing things. This doesn’t help at all, because I have kind of observed that she has this “if it’s not my way, it’s wrong” thing. Not all the time. But most of the time. So I sometimes get scolded because of that too. We’re just two of us in our family, so it’s difficult. When she yells, mostly it leads to a fight, because I simply can’t take it anymore. I try not to yell back, but sometimes I just can’t help it.  She scolds for the same thing again and again.

    She… kind of… has been critical of me as well. I’d score a 95/100, but she’s say “I thought you’d get a 97”. She always expected me to be in the cream of everything I did. She comments on my body, how I am too skinny, how my hair is too thin, how my makeup is too much, and the such. I hate getting ready for parties in front of her. She kind of brings me down as well, telling me things I can’t do. Even if I do something really well, she has to comment on something I did wrong with it. It is extremely annoying.

    She has always been quite controlling as well. I wasn’t even allowed to wear my hair the way I wanted until I put my put down. It seems that all she wants me to do is what she wants me to do. I have different hobbies than she does. When I pursued one of them, it literally was hell. She didn’t speak to me properly for months. She’d also give me the cold treatment: not looking at me, not answering me, behaving like I don’t even exist, if she would look at me, it would only be to look at me with absolute hatred, if she would talk to me, it would be to yell at me. I didn’t even understand what I had done wrong to be honest. It took us a while to get over that.

    I also noticed that she treats me like her emotional punchbag. When she is really stressed out, she tends to start screaming at me. Say something happened at work, she’d come home and scream at me for something as silly as my bag being on the couch. After she’d scream, her mood would drastically flip onto a positive one, and then she’d tell me what happened at work, and then I’d understand why she was screaming.

    She’s breached my privacy too, reading my diaries. So I stopped writing them.

    So yeah… I’ve had a difficult relationship with her, made worse by my father passing away when I was in my early teens. She wants us to be friends, but I’m not really comfortable telling her things. I only tell her stuff when I’m extremely anxious. She is an ultra-introvert, has barely any friends, doesn’t speak to relatives much either. She tells me I am her only source of happiness, which, to be honest, is immense pressure. She never seems to be on board for anything I wanna do.

    To answer your question, yes I live with her. Currently, we’re together all day due to lockdown. She does all the chores and work, never letting me touch anything. It makes me feel like a pampered brat, and she knows I don’t like it. But I can’t help it, she wants everything done by 8 am in the morning, and I can’t wake up that early, by 6, and do it. But it just doesn’t work with her if I do it after I wake up by 8. So then, I’ve chucked it. And then she tells her friend I do nothing. Imagine my frustration.

    Hope to hear from you…

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #351396
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your response again.

    Well with my mother… Oii… It’s always been difficult. As far as my earliest memory, I remember my mother has always been this angry and anxious person. So I always got yelled at. As a child, this would fill me with this “I have done something wrong” sense. I am an only child, so I  always got the full force of her anger. I was terrified of her. As I grew older, the yelling continued. But with growing up, my tolerance for her screaming reduced, and I started arguing back. Now, when she yells, I yell too. Honestly, because I just can’t take it. Don’t get me wrong; she loves me and takes care of me in every way she can. But yeah, she screams a lot. I am very different than her in many many ways; different ideologies, different thought processes, different way of doing things. This doesn’t help at all, because I have kind of observed that she has this “if it’s not my way, it’s wrong” thing. Not all the time. But most of the time. So I sometimes get scolded because of that too. We’re just two of us in our family, so it’s difficult. When she yells, mostly it leads to a fight, because I simply can’t take it anymore. I try not to yell back, but sometimes I just can’t help it.  She scolds for the same thing again and again.

    She… kind of… has been critical of me as well. I’d score a 95/100, but she’s say “I thought you’d get a 97”. She always expected me to be in the cream of everything I did. She comments on my body, how I am too skinny, how my hair is too thin, how my makeup is too much, and the such. I hate getting ready for parties in front of her. She kind of brings me down as well, telling me things I can’t do. Even if I do something really well, she has to comment on something I did wrong with it. It is extremely annoying.

    She has always been quite controlling as well. I wasn’t even allowed to wear my hair the way I wanted until I put my put down. It seems that all she wants me to do is what she wants me to do. I have different hobbies than she does. When I pursued one of them, it literally was hell. She didn’t speak to me properly for months. She’d also give me the cold treatment: not looking at me, not answering me, behaving like I don’t even exist, if she would look at me, it would only be to look at me with absolute hatred, if she would talk to me, it would be to yell at me. I didn’t even understand what I had done wrong to be honest. It took us a while to get over that.

    I also noticed that she treats me like her emotional punchbag. When she is really stressed out, she tends to start screaming at me. Say something happened at work, she’d come home and scream at me for something as silly as my bag being on the couch. After she’d scream, her mood would drastically flip onto a positive one, and then she’d tell me what happened at work, and then I’d understand why she was screaming.

    She’s breached my privacy too, reading my diaries. So I stopped writing them.

    So yeah… I’ve had a difficult relationship with her, made worse by my father passing away when I was in my early teens. She wants us to be friends, but I’m not really comfortable telling her things. I only tell her stuff when I’m extremely anxious. She is an ultra-introvert, has barely any friends, doesn’t speak to relatives much either. She tells me I am her only source of happiness, which, to be honest, is immense pressure. She never seems to be on board for anything I wanna do.

    To answer your question, yes I live with her. Currently, we’re together all day due to lockdown. She does all the chores and work, never letting me touch anything. It makes me feel like a pampered brat, and she knows I don’t like it. But I can’t help it, she wants everything done by 8 am in the morning, and I can’t wake up that early, by 6, and do it. But it just doesn’t work with her if I do it after I wake up by 8. So then, I’ve chucked it. And then she tells her friend I do nothing. Imagine my frustration.

    Hope to hear from you…

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #350494
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you so much for replying again…

    About my mother, well, I lost my dad when I was a teenager, and it’s just been me and mom since. So she’s raised me single-handedly since then. It hasn’t been easy. We, well, we’re different people. So I wasn’t really an easy kid for her. And it has been a relationship with a fair amount of friction.

    I’d love to start with Step 1. The thing about Step 2, I’ve tried things with her. She just… Isn’t very receptive to things I have to say… And talking to her about these things just does more damage than good to be honest.

    Waiting to hear from you…

     

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #350488
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Sofioula,

    Thank you so very much for reaching out to me. I’m in a really bad place mentally and emotionally, and I so appreciate your words.

    Yes I went through the whole self-blame period for a long long time. Still  do actually. When I was with my ex, I had obsessive thoughts too. If you read my other replies, you will know some of my thoughts. I am currently not in therapy, and might not be able to go soon due to the lockdown thanks to COVID-19. If you are comfortable, could you tell me a little about your experience?

    About my ex, well, yeah I have to admit that I did get the feeling that it was all about him in that meeting. I’d have felt nice if I had been asked about my time away from him. Or how the breakup had affected me. To me, it seemed that for him this had been some sort of break. Not a breakup. It felt like he had expected me to be standing right where he left me. And then when he was ready for it, he could just open the door and let me in again. It felt like he’d not had the fear of losing me at all. I’d have liked it if he’d said he missed me. That he loved me. He’s never been good with words and expressing himself. But I’m kinda exhausted of giving him that benefit of doubt. In his defense though, he did cry in the second meeting, saying he missed me. He even asked if we could stay in touch. God, there is so much pain associated with him… I can’t even… It had been a painful time, for the month before the breakup. And it had been a harsh breakup. I feel he could have been gentler with me. I now realise that it took me months of getting over just the pain that harshness had inflicted on me. The pain of the loss of the relationship and the life I thought I was going to have seems to have just set in… I’m gonna stop… I’m getting all teary…

    He isn’t a bad person. So I don’t know if he counts as manipulative or not.

    I’m in such a bad frame of mind I could use a hug. Even if it’s from a stranger from the Web. That doesn’t matter as long as it’s genuine.

    Thank you… I’d love to hear from you again…

     

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #349826
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to me.

    The thing is, my post has been posted twice by mistake. A couple of people have replied on that thread as well.

    You see, when my ex asked to meet, I was happy with B. But as soon as he messaged, I was thrown into anxiety. I met him anxious and have been anxious since then. So I wasn’t exactly what you would call calm and happy.

    Everything about him brings in pain, something I’ve never felt in my life before. I’m feeling guilty about everything that has happened so far, as if it is my fault.

    I have so many thoughts in my head that I don’t even know where to start.

    I met and started dating my ex when I was 16. He was understanding, patient and caring. I’m not really an easy person to be with. I really was insecure and jealous and quite quite clingy. But he never really made a fuss about it. We had our ups and downs, including my mental health issues, and he was supportive throughout. I am a short-tempered person, and he’s quite calm, so we complimented each other perfectly, or so I felt. I admired how he could be calm in stressful situations, when I could be a mess.

    I have this weird thing. I dated 2 guys before him, nothing serious, just teen relationships. But I was always uncomfortable in those relationships, having a knot in my chest. But with him, I never had that discomfort or knot. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t. I found him to be a wonderful person, and I fell deeper in love with him. It would not be exaggerating if I said my world revolved around him. The only major issue I really had with him was that I had to beg for his attention and time, like I mentioned earlier. Multiple times throughout the relationship I felt I was not as important as his family and other friends were. I felt I was being taken for granted, and I wondered if I actually mattered or was loved at all. I even felt that maybe I was too needy.

    In the last year of our relationship though, things had changed. I had been taking therapy. I had developed this obsessive thought process, where I concentrated only on his perceived flaws. These thoughts disturbed me immensely, and I spoke to my therapist about it. She said these were intrusive thoughts, thanks to my anxiety, and taught me how to work around them. But something was still amiss. I can’t place a finger on it, but something was just… off. I talked about this with my therapist as well, and she said many times couples grow at a different rate, and that I probably was growing wider and faster than he was, leading to this gap between us. She suggested I take a break from him. But the thought of leaving him made me weep. I knew I wanted to be with him, and so I felt we will work this out, whatever it was. We suddenly didn’t have much to talk about. He was a quiet person anyway, but here he became quieter. He was preparing for his entrance exams, and he said staying home all day and just studying, he didn’t have much to talk about. I let him be, thinking he does make sense, and things will be okay once he gets into college. But nothing changed. I knew how much pressure he was under, long days and all. I thought once his course is over and he gets a job, things will be alright. I had stopped badgering him for attention and time, mostly because I knew how busy he was, but also because I was exhausted. I felt I was the only one giving any sort of effort in the relationship. I was the only one who needed the other one. I was lonely, and felt he just wasn’t there in the relationship anymore. I felt neglected and avoided. He simply wasn’t “there”. But again, I thought everything will be fine once he gets a job.

    In April 2019, after a fight, he said he needed a break from us. He said he didn’t feel what he used to feel for me. Needless to say, I was utterly baffled, scared, and confused. I tried to understand, but couldn’t. He said he doesn’t feel like talking to anyone or doing anything and just wanted to be left alone. And so, I did just that. But he went out with friends, hung out, went for a movie, and the such, making me feel the problem was only me. And so, I messaged saying that if that was the case, he should leave. But he maintained that he wanted me in his life. I asked him multiple times, if he wanted me in his life, he said yes. He said he had been feeling guilty about being with me, and did not think he was worthy of me. This guilt, added to feeling that he doesn’t feel for me and the feelings of not wanting to do anything, made me feel he was probably depressed. I suggested we see my therapist, but that scared him. His behaviour towards me changed. He kind of became cold and distant; he was trying, but it was pretty evident he didn’t want me around. He’d withdraw from my touch. We spoke less and less. It was extremely hurtful, and I cried everyday. And a month later, we had a harsh painful breakup. He told my mother he didn’t wanna be with me as well.

    The pain I was in was excruciating. Which I still get in waves. All the dreams, things I thought I was gonna have with him, gone. Along with it had come the guilt. Had I been a more supportive girlfriend, he would have opened up to me. Had I been more loving and accepting rather than critical, he would have let me in. Had I given him the space he asked for when he asked for a break, he probably wouldn’t have left.

    When I experienced these waves of pain, I felt extremely guilty, because I felt I was betraying B.

    I am experiencing such a pain wave right now, after refusing A. It hits me like a rock in my chest when I think we won’t get married, making me anxious. That he might meet somebody else. I just go, “How the hell is all this happening? How did we get here?” Two of our common friends got married, something I thought I was gonna have with him. And it is killing me, all this pain. The reason I didn’t choose A was that I felt I don’t have it in me to carry the relationship on  my shoulders again. I don’t wanna feel neglected and taken for granted. I simply felt numb, after all this pain. But then, now, I think, what if things have changed? He says he has realized his mistakes, breaking up with me was a huge one. He says he knows I gave my all to the relationship, that he didn’t value me earlier. What if all that has changed? What if I will be happy with him? All this pain and all these thoughts make me feel I wanna go back to him.

    Whenever I think about A, I feel like… I’m going to miss a train or something. Something like panic. I don’t understand…

    I really unhappy right now…

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #349814
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your help again. It is heart-warming that someone who doesn’t even know me is so willing to help.

    About the OCD, in the session with my therapist, we didn’t discuss much about this part, probably because we had more pressing issues to talk about. I used to have these thoughts, some about things as silly as the way he sat or how his hair looked, and used to feel extremely guilty for having them. Because these thoughts were obsessive, and I was constantly analyzing everything, as a compulsion, I used to tell him stuff like, “Sit straight” and then feel guilty about that too. My mother does the same to me, my therapist said my mother is emotionally abusive, and I had started feeling I was emotionally abusing my boyfriend just like that. Once my therapist told me these were due to anxiety, I started giving a lot less importance to them and became much more conscious of myself. After the breakup, I looked it up and came across the term “Relationship OCD”, and my symptoms matched. Towards the end of our relationship though, I had become frustrated, feeling that this isn’t going further. I felt we were stagnating. But after he broke up, I was filled with so much pain I felt I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t understand why, if I really wanted it to end, did it hurt so much. I still don’t.

    Coming to guilt, like I mentioned before, I feel guilty about any and everything. Before A and B, it was about my mother. We have a rocky and rough relationship, and I felt guilty I wasn’t able to be a good daughter. I’d feel guilty for going out with friends. I’d feel guilty when we’d fight, thinking that I’m a bad daughter for talking back, after all that she has done for me. I kinda have this thing where I believe everything that goes wrong is my fault. I have a list of things that make me guilty and regretful right now as well. I’d love to expand because boy is it mounting.

    One of those things from the list is that I felt I had been badmouthing A till now, when I spoke to friends about him, about the breakup, things that bothered me about the relationship, even though I didn’t actively abuse him or anything. I should not have done that. I never meant to portray him as a bad guy or anything like that, and I never want anyone to think poorly of him. I felt horrible; he’s not a bad person at all. He just did what he had to do at that point, and I had no right to badmouth him. This made my guilt so bad that I actually messaged and apologized to him for it two days ago. He said I didn’t need to apologize at all and “it’s me with the apology”. He said letting me go was the biggest mistake he ever made. Boy.

    He had refused therapy at the time I had suggested it; I’m guessing it was because of some sort of stigma or denial. He definitely hadn’t seen a therapist after the breakup. When I met him the first time, he was a mess of sorts. He was crying, saying he’s been through some real tough times. Talking about the breakup made him physically uncomfortable. Looking at all this, like I mentioned, I felt nothing much has changed. He’s no way even ready to talk about what happened. But when we met the second time, he told me he’d started reading (something he never ever did, and i am an ardent reader), and we discussed some of the common books we’d read. He told me hoe he’d read some self-help books, and learnt a lot. All this made me think… Is he a new person now? Will things be better and different this time around?

    Waiting to read from you…

     

     

     

    in reply to: Torn n eaten by guilt. Need opinions please! #349598
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Olga,

    I’m sorry you are going through a rough time.

    You said your “ex” has broken up with you in the past multiple times and now is another country and then mentioned you are “happy he is back in your life”. So my question to you is: are y’all together and exclusive? If not, you have not “cheated” on him in any way technically. I maybe wrong, because I’m not sure of your dynamic, but I don’t think you should think that way and feel guilty.

    Even if y’all are not “together” together, this might hurt his feelings, I feel it is always a good idea to come clean to him. Hiding it is not going to help anyone, especially you. You’re right; he probably is going to find out some way or the other, so it’s always better if it is from you. He might be hurt and angry, but he will appreciate your honesty. Also, you will find that talking to him will take a huge load off your shoulders, as sometimes the guilt is amplified because of keeping it from him. You just made a mistake, but that doesn’t make you a terrible person. Nobody likes to blame the alcohol, but isn’t it a little true? Would you have done this had you not been influenced by booze? If he understands this, no, he is not going to hate you or his friend for life.

    About your habits regarding alcohol, you will need to actively work towards not letting it take control over you. Not just because you might hurt your guy or something like that, but for safety reasons too. Maybe drink in moderation and draw a line at the number of drinks you can have before your thinking is impaired? Get drunk only when you know you are not getting out of the house for the night? List out other things that you think will help you, and stick to those.

    I do not find your words to be hypocritical BS at all. To me, these are the words of a person ridden with pain and guilt. Guilt is a b***h, and you are letting her take so much control that it is affecting you physically as well. In your opinion, you made a mistake. That’s all it is: a mistake. Is making a mistake, which you realize you wouldn’t really make if it wasn’t for alcohol, something you are ready to work on, really that very bad? Before your guy does, maybe you need to forgive yourself? Be a little kinder to yourself?

    Think about it…

     

    in reply to: Crushed. Battered. Exhausted. Confused. #349180
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for patiently reading my post, understanding and analyzing it, and reaching out. I’m immensely grateful.

    I have so many thoughts in my head that I don’t even know where to start.

    I met and started dating my ex when I was 16. He was understanding, patient and caring. I’m not really an easy person to be with. I really was insecure and jealous and quite quite clingy. But he never really made a fuss about it. We had our ups and downs, including my mental health issues, and he was supportive throughout. I am a short-tempered person, and he’s quite calm, so we complimented each other perfectly, or so I felt. I admired how he could be calm in stressful situations, when I could be a mess.

    I have this weird thing. I dated 2 guys before him, nothing serious, just teen relationships. But I was always uncomfortable in those relationships, having a knot in my chest. But with him, I never had that discomfort or knot. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t. I found him to be a wonderful person, and I fell deeper in love with him. It would not be exaggerating if I said my world revolved around him. The only major issue I really had with him was that I had to beg for his attention and time, like I mentioned earlier. Multiple times throughout the relationship I felt I was not as important as his family and other friends were. I felt I was being taken for granted, and I wondered if I actually mattered or was loved at all. I even felt that maybe I was too needy.

    In the last year of our relationship though, things had changed. I had been taking therapy. I had developed this obsessive thought process, where I concentrated only on his perceived flaws. These thoughts disturbed me immensely, and I spoke to my therapist about it. She said these were intrusive thoughts, thanks to my anxiety, and taught me how to work around them. But something was still amiss. I can’t place a finger on it, but something was just… off. I talked about this with my therapist as well, and she said many times couples grow at a different rate, and that I probably was growing wider and faster than he was, leading to this gap between us. She suggested I take a break from him. But the thought of leaving him made me weep. I knew I wanted to be with him, and so I felt we will work this out, whatever it was. We suddenly didn’t have much to talk about. He was a quiet person anyway, but here he became quieter. He was preparing for his entrance exams, and he said staying home all day and just studying, he didn’t have much to talk about. I let him be, thinking he does make sense, and things will be okay once he gets into college. But nothing changed. I knew how much pressure he was under, long days and all. I thought once his course is over and he gets a job, things will be alright. I had stopped badgering him for attention and time, mostly because I knew how busy he was, but also because I was exhausted. I felt I was the only one giving any sort of effort in the relationship. I was the only one who needed the other one. I was lonely, and felt he just wasn’t there in the relationship anymore. I felt neglected and avoided. He simply wasn’t “there”. But again, I thought everything will be fine once he gets a job.

    In April 2019, after a fight, he said he needed a break from us. He said he didn’t feel what he used to feel for me. Needless to say, I was utterly baffled, scared, and confused. I tried to understand, but couldn’t. He said he doesn’t feel like talking to anyone or doing anything and just wanted to be left alone. And so, I did just that. But he went out with friends, hung out, went for a movie, and the such, making me feel the problem was only me. And so, I messaged saying that if that was the case, he should leave. But he maintained that he wanted me in his life. I asked him multiple times, if he wanted me in his life, he said yes. He said he had been feeling guilty about being with me, and did not think he was worthy of me. This guilt, added to feeling that he doesn’t feel for me and the feelings of not wanting to do anything, made me feel he was probably depressed. I suggested we see my therapist, but that scared him. His behaviour towards me changed. He kind of became cold and distant; he was trying, but it was pretty evident he didn’t want me around. He’d withdraw from my touch. We spoke less and less. It was extremely hurtful, and I cried everyday. And a month later, we had a harsh painful breakup. He told my mother he didn’t wanna be with me as well.

    The pain I was in was excruciating. Which I still get in waves. All the dreams, things I thought I was gonna have with him, gone. Along with it had come the guilt. Had I been a more supportive girlfriend, he would have opened up to me. Had I been more loving and accepting rather than critical, he would have let me in. Had I given him the space he asked for when he asked for a break, he probably wouldn’t have left.

    When I experienced these waves of pain, I felt extremely guilty, because I felt I was betraying B.

    I am experiencing such a pain wave right now, after refusing A. It hits me like a rock in my chest when I think we won’t get married, making me anxious. That he might meet somebody else. I just go, “How the hell is all this happening? How did we get here?” Two of our common friends got married, something I thought I was gonna have with him. And it is killing me, all this pain. The reason I didn’t choose A was that I felt I don’t have it in me to carry the relationship on  my shoulders again. I don’t wanna feel neglected and taken for granted. I simply felt numb, after all this pain. But then, now, I think, what if things have changed? He says he has realized his mistakes, breaking up with me was a huge one. He says he knows I gave my all to the relationship, that he didn’t value me earlier. What if all that has changed? What if I will be happy with him? All this pain and all these thoughts make me feel I wanna go back to him.

    All these thoughts also make me extremely guilty, thinking about B. I think I am a horrible person. I know I am not lying when I say I have feelings for him. But still, I must be a terrible person. I should have said no when he came. I shouldn’t have let him get involved in me. And I am really unhappy right now.

    So yeah… I feel guilty about almost everything… Something as simple as sleeping in the daytime and then feeling guilty and regretting it for not doing something productive… And you are right too… It comes since childhood… I feel guilty for being a bad daughter to my mother… I multiple times have felt everything is my fault…

    I again apologize for the long post…

    Thanks…

    in reply to: Sudden feeling of not loving my gf #349128
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Sky,

    I absolutely agree with Anita: you might be depressed. Having gone through depression myself, I can tell you that you lose interest in things you enjoy and in life in general as well, and this applies to relationships too.

    I can completely understand how confusing and scary your thoughts can be. They can make you feel guilty for thinking those very thoughts as well, contributing to your confusion and disturbance. Anita is right; letting your feelings out can be a great source of comfort, making you feel lighter as you share.

    I am not replying to give you advice on depression, as you will get those a lot. I am replying to you as somebody who has been on the other end of the situation. A year ago, my ex felt the same. I say ex because… well… he broke up with me… saying that he did not feel for me anymore. His feelings changed just as fast as yours did, and he broke up with me after 8 years of a relationship, quite out of the blue.

    He did not share with me what he was feeling at all. He did share with me that he did not feel like doing anything at all and that he was disturbed, and then he told me he did not have feelings for me. And that was that. He refused to speak about it with me any further than that, no matter how much I tried, and broke up a few weeks later.

    As someone who has gone through depression, I did suspect he is depressed, and I even tried to help him, offering to take him to my own therapist. But it backfired; he crawled further into his shell and left me, ruining our relationship and hurting me terribly.

    From your post, I feel that you really do care about your girlfriend. As somebody who has probably been on the other end of this situation (I may be wrong about my situation), I would suggest you refrain from telling your girlfriend about your feelings for her yet. At the same time, do share other things with her. Tell her how you can’t find joy in anything. Communicate with her the best you can, for she will not be able understand anything otherwise and will not be able to support you.

    I know this is extremely hard for you; it is an emotionally scary place to be in. But I have to say that it might be traumatizing for her if you just suddenly tell her that you don’t feel for her anymore; it is a difficult thing to understand, you see; it is what I went through, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it, panicking. Like Anita advised, wait it out a bit, till your depression has lifted a little and you are in a better frame of mind, and you might get better clarity about your feelings; depression has a way of lying to you.

    As a mental health survivor, I would say that therapy is extremely helpful. Other things that Anita mentioned are also extremely helpful. Sharing here helps immensely, and there are wonderful people out here who reach out to you.

    I’m sorry if any of my words disturbed you in any manner. Please feel free to reach out.

    Till then…

    Anonymously yours…

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