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  • #369289
    Z
    Participant

    Thank you so much, Anita. I’ve read this and took some time to digest it. You make a lot of really good points (for some reason I never questioned why my other family members didn’t talk to my sister about the blog), and your description of the ‘doormat’ cycle of being passive then getting angry is very accurate. It’s really only in the past couple of years that I’ve been really trying to reverse this tendency and learn to be more assertive and calm, and people around me have noticed a change in my happiness. I definitely had an issue of stuffing down my feelings in favor of prioritizing other peoples’ feelings, and trying to solve everyone else’s problems and make them happy, and it was making me really resentful.

    I still have a ways to go… I think I’ve gotten better at communicating honestly and having boundaries, but I sort of feel like I don’t really know myself that well and I deal with a lot of insecurity and anxiety. I struggle to feel confident and make peace with my past.

    I’m trying to think of how to word this, but it’s like there’s an internal courtroom battle happening in my head. I have an ingrained belief that I’m a “bad person,” because that’s how so many people have made me feel since I was little. So any time I act in a way that’s “bad”–losing my temper, making someone upset, etc–that’s more evidence that I’m a bad person or that I’m still the aggressive person I was when I was younger. It increases my “debt” to the world and the steps I have to do to repay that (by doing good) aren’t really clear, so I hold on forever. But I think on some level, I don’t think I’m bad because I really try to be good, and I know I could be doing infinitely worse than getting in some verbal fights with people, and if a friend told me exactly what I’ve been saying in here and asked me if I thought they were a bad person then I would say no.

    But I ruminate, because I’m not confident in myself and my brain dislikes uncertainty. I ruminate and comb over things I did versus things the other person did, and try to figure out where I stand and if my belief that I’m “bad” has basis. I’m not using the greatest language because I know the vast majority of people aren’t really “good” or “bad,” and everyone is flawed and morality is relative. But I use this language because I feel like that’s how my self-esteem tends to work. I truly don’t view anyone else this harshly, only myself.

    So I guess the things I’d like to talk more about are just learning to believe in yourself and forgive yourself. There’s some sort of emotional wound inside of me that my brain is trying to handle logistically, but that clearly isn’t working… I want to feel peaceful and confident and not so afraid of people, or so concerned with what others think. I’m not sure where to start.

    Anita, I want you to know that I actually posted some art on social media recently and reconnected with an old friend (not anyone I’ve mentioned here), and applied for some jobs. I was panicky, but felt good in the end. I think our talks have been really helping me. So, thank you again for listening to me, now and also a year ago when I was first posting about that guy. You do amazing work on these forums and I’m so grateful for your time, patience, and insight.

    #369097
    Z
    Participant

    Thank you so much, Anita. This is really insightful and you saying that I shouldn’t feel guilty over those things brings me a lot of relief. I also had a laugh at the “friend,” haha– the quotation marks are definitely warranted.

    I do definitely tend to blame myself for everything. I think it’s a mix of it feeling like what I deserve in a way, and also that it feels like the “responsible” thing to do. I don’t want to not take responsibility and, in turn, end up entitled or lazy.

    I’ve thought about your reply, and my theory for why I carry so much guilt and why I’m scared of seeming entitled comes from two things: my family and my struggle with school. When I was really little my siblings (I have a brother and sister who are 13 and 8 years older than me respectively) used to be really nice to me, and then one day they switched and started being really mean to me without me ever knowing why.

    I internalized it as something I did, and I wrote them letters (because I was too scared to talk face-to-face) asking what I did wrong and if we could be friends again, which they would just ignore. In 2nd grade we’d do free-writing in journals, and many years later I found something I’d written in my journal, which was a list of ideas on how to get my siblings to like me. It was basically like–laugh at all their jokes, don’t argue with them, do favors for them, learn about things they like. Basically just internalizing that I’m annoying, so instead I tried to be a doormat in the hopes that I’ll be rewarded for it. Nothing I did ever worked, they were still mean. My sister even had an online blog where she would often say horrible things about me, even accused me of masturbating and referred to me as certain names (I don’t know this forum’s rules on swearing?) instead of my name a lot of times. This was a public blog followed by some family members, my sister’s friends and a bunch of strangers, so that’s a horrifying experience to read these things about yourself when you’re like, 8.

    My mom suffers from severe OCD, which would often make her anxious and depressed, and she also had a really short fuse and would start yelling a lot or have mood swings. I felt really responsible for her behavior at the time, like it was my job to try to keep her calm or make her happy even if I had to make myself smaller similarly to what I tried to do for my siblings. Her mental health issues didn’t start until after I was born, and my family had a little more money when I was born (we were never rich, it was more just going from poor to entering middle class) so my siblings had a really different upbringing from me. I feel like they saw that I “got” more things, so they thought I was spoiled, but didn’t really acknowledge that a lot of the things I got were hand-me-downs or that mom was suffering while raising me.

    I always really struggled with school, like, a lot. I would get good grades when I actually worked, but the routine of having to show up every day and focus was utter teeth-pulling torture, and I was also bullied at every school I went to, so I would play hooky pretty much all the time. I hated other kids, I hated most of my teachers. I even got my mom to pull me out of a lot of schools in favor of homeschooling. One time I spun up this whole lie to get her to pull me out and she believed me and went with it. I was a doormat in a lot of ways but I had kind of a conniving streak.

    The “homeschooling” was… hit and miss, because my parents didn’t really work with me at all and kind of just got me books and left me on my own. So I excelled at things I was interested in, and fell way behind in things I wasn’t. My parents and siblings put A LOT of pressure on me to work harder or go back to school, and there was a ton of tension and fighting around the topic of my education. Again, though, they very seldom worked with me, so it was my responsibility to teach myself when I wasn’t in school. When I talked to other kids my age, my mom would have me lie and pretend I was going to school because she was embarrassed. I dropped in and out of school and eventually dropped out of high school and got my GED when I was 17. My dad helped me with math, but everything else was me. I went to community college for a while so I didn’t have to do as much university and could gather up scholarships. I’m proud of basically being the driving force behind my own education, but it’s a little bit bittersweet, and I carried a ton of shame about being “lazy” and “stupid” until I got my bachelor’s degree.

    Once I hit ages 11-12*, I started getting kind of an attitude. I was sick of being bullied, and also like… harassed? I was an early bloomer so people would think I was older than I was, so the first time I was sexually harassed (in person and not randos online) was when I was 11. I even told the guy I was 11 and he didn’t stop hovering around, it was really really gross. Bullying sucked but the new addition of harassment was really scary, and I started turning into kind of a bully myself just because it felt like the only way to get people away from me. Aggression became my armor and it also weirdly made people like me more because they thought I was funny, so that only reinforced it. I stopped being a bully once I left high school, but I always carried a little bit of spikiness in my personality and I would say I still have that side of me even today. Over the past couple years I’ve really tried to calm down and be less moody, and people close to me have noticed a change which is nice.

    *The “friend” and groomers were later when I was on the cusp of turning 13 and homeschooling again, so I think that’s why I was so desperate for friendship. 12–while I was in school–is also when my depression started showing up, so once I was away from my old friends, and my family was kind of aggressive, and I was super depressed, I think it made me susceptible to falling in with bad people. I started tolerating horrible things in the hopes of being rewarded with someone liking me. This is kind of a recurring pattern throughout my life.

    I’m complaining about my family a lot, but I do think we’ve all settled down a lot and get along really well, now. I’m very close with my mom, and even though she still has OCD she’s not nearly as angry or manic as she was when I was growing up. Things are better, but emotionally I just carry so much baggage. It still holds me back and I don’t know how to move on.

    #368951
    Z
    Participant

    (trigger warning for talking about suicide, self-harm, and child grooming in this response)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long and thoughtful reply. I think you laid things out very accurately and it’s helpful in getting some perspective. It’s interesting to look back at those quotes and see how much pain I was in. I definitely don’t feel nearly as heartbroken now as I did when things first went sour with G. I’ve cleaned myself and my life up a lot, and while I still miss him it’s a little more like having a pebble in my shoe–I notice a dull pain that kind of follows me around, but I can still walk, and if I shift the pebble around then it can sit in a spot where I forget it’s there.

    It does occasionally still hurt, though, or I get in a thought spiral where I feel guilty about it again. I’ve expressed that to my mom (she’s the only person in my life I’ve talked to about all of this) and she doesn’t really get why I do, and to be honest, I don’t fully know either… I lashed out a little once when things were first turning bad with G–I drank too much and said something about how I keep giving too much to unavailable people, sort of referring to him but also just some of the other people I mentioned in my posts (among others I haven’t mentioned yet). A couple days later I apologized profusely for everything and told him he didn’t do anything wrong, which he was touched by and we gushed over how much we cared for each other as friends, though a few weeks later is when he started dating L and his attitude towards me started shifting into acting burdened and annoyed by me regardless of what I was doing. Even though I apologized, I think I still just feel really bad about saying that and wonder if that deteriorated everything. I also just feel bad for having had feelings at all.

    Something I didn’t mention before, but in retrospect I think it plays a big part: during this time, both G and I were struggling greatly with mental health issues, and it was one of the things we talked about and helped each other with. I was struggling with suicidal thoughts and had to text hotlines now and then. I didn’t want to act on those thoughts, it’s just that my depression would get to such a scary low that I needed someone, so I’d talk to hotlines.

    G actually did act on his suicidal thoughts. I noticed him making some really scary posts and reached out to him, and he started venting, telling me I didn’t have to do this, and eventually told me he overdosed on pills. I couldn’t go over there because I lived four hours away, so after some back and forth with him (he didn’t want me to call 911 because he couldn’t afford it), he told me to call L. So I did, and L went over there and got him to vomit and rest while I stood by panicked out of my mind and waiting for info. G contacted me hours later just thanking me and telling me I didn’t understand how much he loved me. He went to a mental hospital for a while after that.

    The whole thing was insanely scary and traumatizing, and also very triggering not just because of my own depression but because when I was ~12-13 I had a friend I was constantly having to talk down from suicide. This friend would tell me she’d kill herself if I ever stopped being her friend or if I told anyone about what she was doing, and at least once she showed me a picture where she wrote ‘help’ in her own blood after she hurt herself. She would also hit me sometimes. It wasn’t great, and it was a time in my life where I felt completely trapped. This went on for about a year and then my friend just kind of suddenly stopped talking to me one day after she went to a hospital and got meds. I’ve told G about this experience before, and in retrospect I wonder if he thought about this when I said that I give to unavailable people. I honestly have no idea if he made the connection because he never brought it up, but if he did then I feel like garbage about it because he was a much better friend to me than she was.

    Around the same time I was dealing with the suicidal friend when I was 12-13, I was also kind of being groomed by some older guys online into doing or saying sexual things. It made me feel deeply disgusted with myself, but I wanted friends, even though these guys would also belittle me and call me the worst names you can think of and make me feel scared. I think all of these experiences kind of play into the way my mind works now and why I can be a little touchy and nervous about intimacy, and maybe also why I took it so hard when G didn’t reciprocate feelings. I don’t often have feelings for anyone–the ex-gf is actually the only relationship I’ve been in. But I trusted G so much, and when it felt like he lied to me and subsequently turned on me it really broke my heart.

    One minor correction- L would paint me as scary for pretty much our whole friendship, even back when we were all in college and L and G weren’t romantic. It was played off as a joke so I took it as one. But (tangentially-related rant incoming haha) L kind of always acted off around me. After we graduated we all took a trip with two separate cars, and I was in a car with L and one other person. Somehow the topic of us being friends came up, and L sort of vehemently denied that we were ever friends, which I was taken aback by because we’d hung out a lot in college for three years and sat together. She laughed in my face when I tried to say we were always friends. L would act kind of sulky whenever I came into town, which I didn’t actually notice (I wrote it off as anxiety/a bad day and just tried to be friendly) until she reached out to me after one of my visits and said sorry for acting weird. On a couple occasions after this she’d sulk to the point of curling up in a chair in the corner and not letting anyone talk to her. G mentioned a few times that L would talk to him about me, basically acting insecure about whether I was their friend. I never initiated any drama with L and was always complimentary and encouraging and nice to her, and we’d always crack each other up when we talked.

    One time I was hanging out with G (this was a year or so before they started dating) and L asked when we wanted to meet up for dinner/hangouts, and we were watching a movie and suggested a time that I guess was a little later than what L wanted. L starts blowing up G’s phone accusing us of needing “alone time” and that I’ve been rude* and so if I’m going to “be that way” then she doesn’t want to hang out with me at all. I had to get in a group text with G and L and basically reassure L that I think she’s great and I want us to hang out. We get together and she suddenly was flattering me and bringing up a job interview I had recently and telling me I’m a rockstar and whatever, and I sort of smiled and thanked her but I remember feeling distinctly creeped out and sick to my stomach because it seemed similar to the way my ex would threaten to break up with me and then switch and love bomb me once I told her what she wanted. G told me later that L acted this way a lot (as in moody/lashing out) and it was just the first time I was seeing it.

    When L wasn’t accusing me of being ‘scary’ she was sarcastically calling me ‘perfect’ and accusing me of thinking I’m better than everyone because I’d do something like bring food for Thanksgiving or encourage someone who felt down or something. After G rejected me we had a game night where G and L were flirting in front of me and purposefully not talking to me and I was kind of quiet, and afterwards L messaged me asking if I was ok. I didn’t talk to her about G but just confided that I’d been feeling a little alienated from the group lately and didn’t know if I wanted to keep doing game night or not, but kept it brief and as light as I could and said I didn’t really know. Before L messaged me, G was acting really mad after that game and tweeting about “being sick of people ruining his good time” and cussed a lot. He later told me that “(he) and L were talking” about how awful my behavior was, and that the day after the game she’d told him what I told her, and told him that I wanted to quit, and that also made him angry with me. So she trashed me with him, but pretended to be sympathetic when talking to me.

    When I eventually quit doing game night several months later (partly because of drama, partly because I was babysitting a toddler 40 hours a week on top of working and portfolio stuff and just felt burnt out), G and L ignored me and went into another text channel to talk about how great the next game night is going to be. I feel bad about a lot of things but I genuinely think L is kind of awful and suspect she played a part in G turning cold on me.

    *The instances L is referring to are me asking her to repeat herself in a noisy restaurant because I couldn’t hear (I still remember the affronted/angry face she made), and when she came over one day to pick up me and G for lunch and responded stonily after I said hi to her, without looking up from the video game system she was playing (that I brought..), so I awkwardly looked at my phone for a few minutes until G came out of the bathroom.

    I’m so sorry this is so long. I really had a lot of junk to get off my chest. Thank you, Anita.

    #368888
    Z
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita. I remember you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    #273933
    Z
    Participant

    You’re right. I think I need to cut ties as kindly as I can and let people deal with their own emotions about it. I don’t think I’m really getting anything from this group anymore.

    I had a long talk with the guy friend last night. All those passive aggressive social media posts were, in fact, about me, because he was angry about my “distance” with him and didn’t think I was doing enough to keep the friendship going. He was upset with me for not engaging with him while he was ignoring me to flirt with his love interest and that’s why he was saying all that stuff about people harshing on his good time, and was mad that I didn’t reach out to talk to him about it, even though I reached out to talk to him the very next day to talk and joke about things we both like as usual. Like friends. I don’t know. I’m at a loss.

    Also, he informed me that he’s now dating this person, which kind of leaves me feeling even more gross about the night he made moves on me because I can’t help but cynically feel as though I was just an ego boost for him to feel more desirable and bold about pursuing this other person, because he could tell that I liked him. Especially since they started dating so soon after his thing with me, after he’s been pining after her for a long time.

    I’m realizing that I’ve been internalizing all this guilt about making things “weird” because I’m the one who had feelings, but actually when I look back on what happened, I was sitting separately from him and he came up to me to initiate the intimacy. And then he’s distant with me, and then asks me if I like him a week later so he can reject me. When I think about it objectively, I just feel really put off by that.

    I told him about a lot of my hurt in this situation with him and told him that I wish he didn’t do what he did if he knew he wasn’t interested. He apologized and said he had no excuses and didn’t expect me to forgive him. I told him that I feel like this situation has kind of blown up in my face and that I feel like I’m the one getting blamed and pushed out for it and that I don’t think the friendship will be back to normal for a long time.

    But I told him I wanted him to just treat me like a regular friend. And as soon as I sent the message, I regretted it, because I’m not sure I was telling the truth. I think I actually just want him to leave me alone right now, because this whole situation has broken a lot of the trust I had in him and his friendship towards me. I cannot be a genuine friend to him or feel sincerely happy for his new relationship because I’m still too angry. I don’t know when- or how- I’ll want reconciliation. But having him hanging around and watching me on social media or judging me like this just feels suffocating.

    I’m scared to set these boundaries because I can’t just set them with him- I have to set them with the whole group. I have to have a lot of uncomfortable conversations with a lot of people, and I’m dreading doing all of that and dealing with the finality of it all. Because I guess a part of me still just isn’t ready to let go- and also, a bigger part of me hates upsetting people and being the “bad guy.” I keep worrying that people are going to think I’m a fake friend throwing a hissy fit because I didn’t get what I want. I feel like I need to be validated by like a thousand different people that I’m not just a bad person.

    #273217
    Z
    Participant

    Honestly, my desire right now is just to run. I guess my worry is that I’ve been so quick to hit the eject button on relationships in the past due to intense irrational thoughts and the need to fix them, and that’s something I’ve really tried to work on calming myself down from and learning to go with the flow. If I had run from these people when the thoughts first showed up, I would’ve missed out on experiencing the friend group at its prime, and missed a lot of beautiful and life-affirming moments with these people. That’s why I hesitate to cut ties just because I’m scared- maybe I just need distance and time, and to not initiate anymore, and just see how things play out while I work on my own life.

    On the other hand, maybe I tend to over-correct by holding on for too long because I don’t trust my intuition. I’m not really sure how to separate intuition from irrational anxiety. I will say, it’s definitely accurate to say that the friend group experience has been spoiled, not just from this guy but with smaller conflicts in the group. I have one friend who I still feel good with who I keep in regular contact with, and another friend who I still feel good with but who I don’t get to talk to very often because she’s busy and lives far away. That’s… kind of it.

    But again, the mundane ties to them: I’m scared that if I say I’m not going to do the game nights anymore, it’s going to be obvious why, cause conflicts, and finally sever me from the group for good. I’m just scared. I’m not normally one to stir the pot, I guess; I feel like I’m usually the one trying to help smooth things over. I’m not sure how to judge when running away is the right thing to do. Sometimes when I’m feeling good, I really believe that things with this group will work out.

    #272909
    Z
    Participant

    Thank you for your response. I had to digest it for a long time- I do think it’s really accurate. I crave intimacy, yet I’m afraid of it, and try to achieve it in ways that don’t leave me filling fulfilled because I don’t know how else to get it. I didn’t even notice the way that I was wording things was showing the walls that I have built up. I think I get scared that stating my needs will chase people away or make me look unreasonable. I’m curious what methods you’ve used that have helped you with this.

    I wanted to give an update on the situation with this guy, because I’ve been thinking myself in circles about it.

    After our talk, he messaged me a few times over the holidays and seemed really cheerful and nice when he was talking to me, and he even liked all my social media posts and such. But after the new year, he’s suddenly being very distant again. He stopped messaging me, stopped liking posts. Over the holidays, I was up late one night and saw him make some tweets that he deleted the next day, and I wish I could remember them exactly, but it was something like- ‘the situation’ is hitting him and he feels like his life is falling apart. I don’t know for sure if it was about me, but since he started to distance himself shortly after, I sort of suspect it. But he tends to have a lot of emotional chaos in his life anyway, so it’s possible there’s something else bothering him.

    Our friend group plays tabletop over the internet each week. The game we played after New Years was so, so awkward. He didn’t try to interact with basically anybody¬†except the person he has a crush on, and it felt sort of pointed in how he stuck to them the whole time and only talked to them. They both seemed way more giggly and close than usual, and to be honest the whole thing made me sad and I was just sort of quiet and a little awkward when someone spoke to me despite trying to be positive and whatnot.

    I was really withdrawn for most of the game, but towards the end of the night I started participating more and he seemed to quiet down and disconnected from voice chat the second the game was over (usually people will stay on and chat a bit). He made some passive aggressive tweets about people dunking on him when he’s just trying to have a good time and I didn’t know if they were directed at me (I didn’t… do anything or interact with him so idk) or if something else happened that I just wasn’t paying attention to, but either way I was put off.

    Nonetheless, the whole experience of him distancing himself and being close with this other person made me cry for a long time, because on top of the rejection, I also now feel more disconnected from the friend group than ever. The group has been through a lot of conflicts with each other in the past that has caused people to distance themselves from each other or to be closer to different people, but I still took comfort in my friendship with him and our bond was really important to me. I haven’t talked to anyone in the group about what happened- I can only assume that the guy told his crush about it since they tell each other everything, but I don’t actually know- but there are still a couple of people who I feel comfortable with even if I’m not as close, so I’m trying to work myself up to maybe talking to them about it. (I haven’t told anyone in my life actually, because I’m scared I’ll cry and I’m super adverse to crying in front of people. Emotional walls, am I right?)

    Anyway, I messaged him the next day just to catch up a little, since I hadn’t really talked to him since Christmas. I don’t really care about him romantically anymore, and at this point my concern is just trying to make things feel more comfortable between us again. I kept it light and friendly and just talked about mutual interests, some silly stuff, asked him how the new year is going, whatever. He kept the conversation going, at least, but there was a definite distance. He was so chipper shortly after “the talk,” and it’s not that he was rude to me, but I noticed the change. I didn’t comment and just behaved like normal.

    Today, he tweets about how he’s stressed about some life stuff (I won’t go into details), and how he tends to put off a lot of things in the hopes that they go away, and that it makes him a bad friend, and that his instinct when relationships go sour is to just bail before it crumbles. This time, I felt like what he was saying resonated with our situation. I’m still processing it. To be honest, I have the same instinct, though I’ve been making efforts in the past few years to fight against it because it’s caused a lot of guilt and pain in the past. That’s why I haven’t run from this friend group yet, despite my anxiety yelling at me. That’s why I felt like I should fight for him. But if we’re both people who tend to run, then I feel a little scared to keep trying. I wonder if he thinks that about me, too.

    I’m just sort of at a loss right now. I feel upset with him for coming up to me and cuddling me like that if he knew that he liked this other person and didn’t view me that way. I’m doubly upset that now that he’s distancing himself after saying he didn’t want to lose how close we were. And I hate that this whole situation is causing me to feel so out of place in this group of people. I hate that this friend group has been through so many fractures when we used to be inseparable and loved each other so much, and I hate that maybe there isn’t a way to fix any of this.

    Honestly, I don’t really have a social life outside of this friend group and my family. I’ve been realizing lately how much I need to fix that and focus on bettering myself, which is what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve been refocusing on my career goals and I’ve decided where I’m going to move (not towards them, haha), and I’ve been doing a lot of self-work because this negative situation has motivated me to grow bigger than it. But I don’t really know what steps I need to take with this group. I definitely want distance, but I don’t know how much I need. As stupid as it sounds, one of the things I’ve been worrying about the most is the tabletop nights, lmfao. We’ve been playing for 2 years and it’s been one of the big things that’s bonded us after college, and if I left suddenly, it would cause a lot of discontent, and I’d be sort of crushed to leave this thing that meant a lot to me and all of us. I know how silly that sounds in the face of everything else, but I guess it’s like- I know what the big moves I want to take are, but now it’s navigating the smaller, mundane things that tie me to this group. Do I stop visiting them? Going on trips? Giving gifts? Checking in when they’re sad? How do I get the distance I need to heal?

    I’m sorry this is so long and disjointed.

    #269337
    Z
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the long and thoughtful responses. We had a long talk today and I told him how I felt. He said he had considered dating in the past because we were close and he was attached to our friendship, and also said that it felt like we almost kissed on the couch and he had mixed feelings about it, and he was distant because he wasn’t sure where we stood. Ultimately though, he said that he would rather keep being friends and didn’t really share the same feelings I did. We agreed being friends was best and we’re gonna have some space for a while, but we want to keep the friendship going. I’m still a little emotional but so relieved to have clarification so I can put those thoughts to rest. I feel like a lot of my pain was coming from not knowing.

    I 100% agree that I tend to put others before myself and I think it stems from my childhood of being emotionally parentified, as well as some emotional abuse/neglect going on and just not really having my needs met. My childhood wasn’t all terrible, but I for sure had feelings of responsibility towards others while suppressing my own feelings and wanting acceptance, and I’ve carried those feelings with me into adulthood.

    The problem is that I don’t know how to break that cycle. When I was in college, I went to counseling for about a year and a half and we talked about my tendencies towards being a people pleaser and my parentified past, and talked about trying to recognize my needs and set boundaries… and that helped, but I think the thing I still get stuck on is seeing value in myself. And I think I still tend to let people take advantage of me because I care too much and throw my whole heart into relationships that are important to me and I’m terrified of hurting people, even though I’ve simultaneously built up walls and have trouble letting people in.

    I don’t think I’m a total weakling or a total pushover, but when I talk about these issues that I have it’s hard not to feel like I kind of am. I’ve sort of tricked myself into thinking my walls are strength, but they exist because I’m scared. And I do what I do because I’m scared of people feeling as alone as I usually feel. Also- more selfishly- I think I like feeling depended on. But in doing so, I’m letting my worth be dictated by how much people need me.

    It’s a nasty cycle that just ends with me getting used and hurt. I don’t know how to start breaking this.

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