Forum Replies Created
August 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm in reply to: How to seek a relationship when I've got diagnoses #82517
Haha yeah, dating sites can be a minefield…particularly free ones. And you’re welcome 🙂August 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm in reply to: How to seek a relationship when I've got diagnoses #82366
Thanks for the praise :). That’s the thing: courage. A difficult thing for me, but a necessary thing. I did create another dating profile yesterday. First message I got was spam :P. *shrug* I can only keep trying I suppose. Although I’ve read in many places that, the moment you stop trying to find the relationship of your dreams, is when things happen in that area when you don’t expect them. So I dunno. I do know that I can’t stay in my apartment all the time–I know full well what that leads to: nothing.
As far as his apologizing goes, it seems that he was sorry for upsetting you. Maybe he’s going through a rough time or something, and isn’t ready to talk about it just yet? Maybe his saying “there is no problem” is his way of expressing not wanting to talk about it? These are just suggestions; I don’t know him, of course.
What does “I won’t move until he doesn’t reply me” mean?August 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm in reply to: How to seek a relationship when I've got diagnoses #82180
Thank you for the response. I am indeed honest and up front. Though obviously I’m not going to go into a first (or second) date and say “Hi, my name is Brian, I have PTSD etc” ;). The first step for me would be to put myself in a position where I could meet people. That’s rather difficult for me, but as I explained in the response to Alex I need to act opposite to my unjustified fear.
Inside I do hurt and fear like everyone else…just on a higher level than most of the population. Sometimes I think I’m alone in my struggle, but rationally I know I’m not. Once I get to know someone, I actually don’t have much problem discussing my stuff. I think I listed the diagnoses in order to state my “stuff” more succinctly. It’s the getting to know someone that is the issue. And also a conflict about what I really want. A good part of me wants to be alone…probably because it’s easier and comfortable. Another part of me wants the closeness that I’m really scared of.
A real issue, at 39, is that very often I come across women who already have kids, who want kids, or want to get married. I want none of these things. It’s a bit discouraging on dating sites when I see someone who appears to be wonderful, but then has one or all of these listed.August 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm in reply to: How to seek a relationship when I've got diagnoses #82179
I too am drawn to others who have mental health conditions similar to mine. People who “get it” are really nice to have around: I can be of help to them, they can be of help to me. But yes, to an extent only; I can’t make someone quit drinking, for example. That has to come from the drinker.
I rarely regret trying (positive) things that are out of my comfort zone. In fact, it is necessary for my treatment that I do such things on a regular basis. I’m very familiar with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and DBT skills have been very helpful. One of the parts about extreme emotion, when it’s not justified, is to act opposite to it. In other words, if I’m afraid of dating yet want to do it, I need to do it. I’ve had an almost complete dearth of positive feedback on dating websites. Admittedly, most people look at the pic(s) and judge based mostly on that. Given the format of dating websites, people are supposed to list age, sex, job etc. Since I don’t have a job, that’s another thing that can easily turn women off to the idea of a relationship.
But, ideally, I’d like to meet in person. Maybe I can go back to the dating site and use that as a springboard to meeting in person. However, I think women see the lack of job and my being overweight (I don’t lie about such things :)), and they move on. If I were to meet a woman solely in person (say, by happenstance at a bar or something), they’d see me and see how I look, but they’d also notice my personality, and I think that’s the best part of me.
DBT also helps with unwanted, obsessive thoughts. I work a lot to lessen them, though it doesn’t always work out like I want. I sort out what I can control and what I can’t, and the things I can have some level of control over (lessening the occurrence/impact of negative thoughts) I do all sorts of exercises for. The “what ifs”, I think, will always be with me. Logically see most of the “what ifs” as pre-judgments and probably not likely to happen at all; that doesn’t mean that my mind doesn’t believe the “what ifs”.
Growing up in a household where I had to be hypervigilant and scan for threats, and protect myself by hiding from them, means that I spent my entire childhood “what iffing”. “What if Dad comes home and has a fight with my sister?” This particular “what if” actually happened many, many times. It was the norm rather than the exception. My worries about life at that time were justified, and I protected myself as best I could. Nowadays, I don’t need to protect myself like that, and yet I do anyway. Old coping mechanisms that don’t work for my life now. So I act opposite in a lot of ways, and I have success with that (particularly in the exercise realm), but the idea of relationships scares me though I want it so much.
The work thing: last job I had was 7 years ago I think. Without going into lots of detail (this post is already very long as it is), I started to have panic symptoms because I wasn’t able to complete the work in a timely and accurate fashion. It was a flood of worry that felt like it it was blinding me. Indeed, I started to dissociate, and the world seems swimmy and dreamlike and ungrounded. Of note also is that prior to this job I would hold onto tons of resentment about every job I had before it. I despise authority figures (makes sense given the Dad stuff), and have told supervisors/managers to eff themselves at least twice.
But, to distill, I’m afraid because I believe I’m not good enough for any job, because I loathe the meaningless (or so I perceived at the time), mindless nature of jobs I have experience with (retail), and I’m afraid I’ll become emotionally compromised and get mad and get fired again.
I agree about the distance thing. It’s just that for me it’s difficult (all that fear stuff I mentioned). And totally agree on missing 1/2 of the experience–you don’t get eye contact, the way he carries himself, what he looks like, and all that stuff. You have certainly given him enough time to make a move. I guess what I suggested kinda would sound like an ultimatum; I didn’t think of it that way until you mentioned it. On the other hand, I do wonder what his response to you cutting him off entirely would be. But it does sound like cutting him off is the right thing to do–as it looks like you did, as I read your response to Annie. He’s had plenty of chances, and it’s not like you haven’t been asking him to meet or skype after all this time. So, for the sake of your emotional self, cutting him off does seem like the best idea. He’s not giving you what you want, and his professed love for you hasn’t been enough to get him to reveal himself visually.
Should you say something? At the moment, I’m not sure. There are pros and cons to both tacks (telling him you’re cutting him off vs just doing it). I’m the kind of person who would go full disclosure and cut somebody off and tell them exactly why. On the other hand, last time I did that the whole thing was extremely messy and heartbreaking. Also, after years, if he really doesn’t know why you’d be cutting him off at this point, I’d be very surprised.
Also, I’m hesitant to say someone “should” do something, because that implies that not doing said thing means you’re disappointing the person suggesting the “should”. Know what I mean? Telling someone they “should” do something (particularly in this case, since I don’t know the circumstances other than what you’ve written) feels a bit categorical to me. But I don’t need to belabor the point 🙂
Jeena: I’m not sure. I actually want to write a post that encompasses stuff like that–how to pursue relationships when I have X Y and Z diagnoses, don’t have a job, and am afraid of a lot of things. But to answer your question more thoroughly: I think there’s probably nothing she could have said, because I was afraid to share why I was hesitant to meet. I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed of my illnesses. Ashamed of my body image. And, to a large extent I still am. If I’d told her these things (her not knowing me at all, only from online…we didn’t have the lengthy rapport that you and this guy have had), I think she would have thought “red flags!” and stopped communicating anyway.
However, if you’ve talked with him for a long time, I wonder why he’s not more comfortable sharing. But that’s just me: I like to get to the nitty-gritty as soon as it feels ok to do so. Of course, the comfortability varies from person to person. But the fact that it’s been *years* signals to me that you’re right: he is hiding something. Something that is very significant in his life, or else he’d have shared it by now.
You wrote this:
“He did tell me that just Skyping with me even once would be all it takes to make things complicated for us. Meaning, the distance between us. As if he was doing it for my benefit?? To save me the pain and suffering from a long distance relationship. Isn’t he jumping the gun a bit? He seems so sure that we are a match even not meeting in person?? I’m just trying to meet him.”
It’s long distance? Did I miss that earlier? Also, him seeming sure that you two are a match, when he won’t meet in person, to me signifies you aren’t a match. Unfortunately. Because obviously it really hurts to have an otherwise-fruitful online correspondence/relationship not be the way you want, and lead to you thinking you need to break it off with him.
Two questions about that: What do you think he’d say about you needing to break things off, if you told him? Also, maybe it’s possible that if you told him this he’d make himself face whatever fears he has and at least skype with you?
A good thing to do: focus on an object in your immediate surroundings (or imagine one, though an actual physical object is better, for reasons I’ll explain below), and describe that object in detail. Out loud, if you need to. For example: a book. What’s the title? Who’s the author? Is the book worn? If so, in what way? What color is it? How does it feel in your hand? How does it smell? That kind of thing. The object can be anything of your choosing.
Focusing on an object and describing it takes you out of your own head and onto something physical and concrete. The suicidal thoughts will want to come back into your head while you’re working on focusing and describing. Persistent thoughts very often come back into one’s head; unfortunately, that’s normal. But, what you can do is gently acknowledge that you’re thinking instead of focusing, and go back to focusing or trying to focus.
The reason I emphasize a physical object is because sight, touch, smell, and all the senses further help distract from suicidal thoughts (and depressive, anxious, painful, and other kinds of unwanted thoughts). Healthy distraction is a completely viable technique to get people through distress moment to moment. I say “healthy” as opposed to coping mechanisms that will likely leave you more vulnerable to pain, such as alcohol or drug abuse (I’m assuming nothing about you, by the way) or dangerous behaviors.
In 2011, when I had suicidal thoughts for a month and half straight, I called hotlines all the time to get me through moments. The quality of the person on the other end of the phone can vary, but one time I got a great guy who coached me through my night by taking me through, step by step, the subtle intricacies of my bedroom fan. He had such a calm voice and asked me to describe it to him: how it sounded, what it looked like, etc.
So give that a shot. I’m pulling for you.
I of course don’t know the situation, but as a man myself I have messaged women on dating sites and enjoyed the communication…but then when I get asked something like “do you want this to go further” I get scared and back off. My reasons had to do with thoughts like “I can’t deal with a relationship” or “I have PTSD, depression etc and she’ll see that and be disappointed and I’ll be a wreck afterward”.
These thoughts are the result of cognitive distortions brought about from childhood.
That’s just my own experience, though. What Annie wrote about hiding something resonates with me–I was hiding my perceived inadequacies and “flaws”, and was afraid to be seen also because I’m about 60lbs overweight and don’t look like society’s “attractive man” (whatever that really is).
Like Annie, I don’t know what he’s like other than what you’ve said. But I hope my vignette helps.