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    Hi Tee,

    However, if your distress is quite big and a simple hug isn’t enough to make you feel better – she gets impatient with you and then you end up feeling like with your father:

    You end up feeling unlovable and unworthy with her too…

    This is true and I didn’t know how to put that feeling into exact words. All I know is that whenever she would lash out at me, I would feel so alone and unlovable because I feel like if my own parents can’t handle me then no one in the world can or even wants to. That feeling is so scary and I get too scared to even talk to my mother because I feel like she hates me and is not someone I can rely on anymore. I don’t have a large support system either so that makes me feel so alone and like no one understands me.

    What you would need is to realize and accept that you’ll never get the kind of support you hope for from your family, because their ability to do so is limited

    Try to accept that they won’t be able to give you the kind of emotional support you need, and that that’s okay – because you can get it elsewhere and give it to yourself too.

    This is so kind and this acceptance makes me feel a bit better. This makes me feel like I have a choice going forward and don’t need to explain to my parents anymore.

    Another very important thing would be to realize that you aren’t unlovable and unworthy for feeling anxious and emotionally distressed. You aren’t less worthy because you are vulnerable or because you show vulnerability. You are completely lovable and worthy, even if you feel emotionally distressed.

    This is what you’d need to realize and tell yourself in times of emotional turmoil. You can tell yourself: “I am allowed to feel anxious. I am lovable and worthy, even if I feel anxious”.

    This is such a hard thing to say to myself whenever I’m going through a hard time, but I think it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I feel so weak during my vulnerable moments, and it makes me feel even worse when other people will tell me or make me feel like I am unlovable or a burden. I really like that last phrase, “I am allowed to feel anxious. I am lovable and worthy, even if I feel anxious.” Because I believe this is true for everyone. I am easily able to tell an anxious friend how lovable they are but I don’t tell myself that. I think I get so caught up in the physical sensations in my body that I can’t think rationally. All I can feel is fear in those moments.

    Thank you for these kind words and support. I am definitely trying to extend my support system and gain support from a therapist. I think what’s holding me back is starting from square one again. I don’t know if I will get along with the therapist, I don’t know if I can trust them and open up because I am afraid of them being dismissive (I know therapists won’t do this but still have the fear!), I don’t know if it will be helpful, and part of me feels guilty for even seeking support in the first place. It seems pricey, I feel undeserving, and I feel discouraged sometimes when I look at all the times in my past when I’ve reached out for help. I think the best help I’ve received was when I was 15 from my school counsellor. She was easy to talk to and I could trust her and relate to her, it’s just that we couldn’t talk as often because she had other students. Then after that all the other counsellors I’ve had I couldn’t get along with because they either never understood me or were dismissive. It feels like every time I opened up to someone they misunderstood me or invalidated my feelings. I think my first counsellor understood me because she would listen to everything I said and respond to it, whereas when I would share my story or thoughts with other counsellors they would only respond to the general problem. This made me feel like they are just listening to my general problem and sharing as many solutions as they can, instead of empathizing and really understanding then sharing support best fit for me. Then after so many years I got so discouraged and gave up on seeking support entirely, and depended on my family. But now I’m feeling discouraged because they can’t even support me. So now I’m feeling like I need to gain support elsewhere, it’s just that it’s scary and I don’t know how it will be, and if I will get discouraged again because it will be exactly like before. I am grateful for everyone that has supported me this far, whether or not they are even in my life. Such as old friends, family, and strangers. I have met people that have understood me and listened to what I had to say. This makes me feel validated. Thank you Tee for the help, I feel a little less afraid because I am reminded that there are such kind people in this world that want nothing but the best for you!



    Hi Tee,

    I hope you are doing well. I know it’s been a long time since I have posted, but during this time I have been trying to gain support from my family and abandoned support from this thread.

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the support you’ve provided me, as your kind and warm words stuck with me. I truly feel understood because of you. I have been trying to understand my own self during this time, and things have been up & down. I am back again because right now I am at a low. I need to speak about this because I feel I have no one to talk to in my personal life about this, and also because people are misunderstanding me or not understanding me at all and I feel so understood and welcomed here.

    Firstly I want to respond to your question.

    You can get in touch with your inner child in a meditation/visualization, or perhaps by having a photo of yourself as a child, or have a doll that represents you as a child, and hold that doll in your arms, caress her, talk to her, tell her you love her, how precious she is, etc.

    In short, the goal is to become a good, loving, compassionate parent to the child you once were and that still lives within you.

    Do you think this is something you could do?

    During this time I have been trying to practice being kinder to myself and my inner child. I think right now it’s hard for me to speak my inner child with kind loving words because a part of me feels ashamed and awkward doing so. I know it will feel awkward at first because I am not used to this behaviour, but I realize that I have so much shame inside of me!

    When I am having a good day, it is so easy for me to practice self-care and being kind to myself. I am easily able to eat healthy, exercise, and say kind things to myself as well as to others. But when I am having a rough time, all these “good habits” go down the drain… and I know that during these rough times I need these the most. I realized that when I am going through a rough time, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed of feeling this way. I believe this feeling of shame comes from my childhood when my father would tell me that “I am okay” or that “I shouldn’t be sad” etc. So this same feeling comes back to me when I am going through a hard time!

    What I’ve been trying to do during my hard times is ask other people for support especially my mother. I am closest to my mother the most and whenever I feel ashamed of releasing or even acknowledging my feelings I go to my mother. I tell her, I need some support. The support looks different every time. If my feelings aren’t that debilitating the support simply looks like a hug, kind words, or a listening ear from her. This helps me enough to practice speaking kindly to myself again after my feelings are acknowledged by someone else, I feel like I am allowed to acknowledge my feelings and from there I can deal with them.

    The main reason I go to my mother for support during a rough time is because I feel like my “negative emotions” need to be acknowledged by someone else, before I can acknowledge them, because I feel shame around acknowledging or even feeling my emotions.

    I know my mother isn’t perfect and that she is trying but sometimes she cannot support me. She is a busy mother, she works and does every ones chores, I feel super bad for her and wish things were different. Because she’s so busy, she cannot find time for me all the time. And if she does, it’s limited. And because she is so stressed from her own work, she can’t be patient with me and lashes out on me. And that turns out horrible. It makes me even more horrible, I feel like a burden. It’s embarrassing to admit but when I am super stressed I cry loudly enough for the whole neighborhood to hear me… my father is unable to provide me with support as he is still dismissive and makes me feel worse. My brother can help me sometimes but I am not that close with him and he only provides me with advice (I don’t even need advice I just need someone to listen to me!), and my sister is unable to provide me with support I am looking for. I have a best-friend who is also unable to provide me with the support I am looking for. My family and friends are supportive in their own way and I genuinely appreciate it, but the support I need during my bad times just looks like a listening ear from someone who understands me, empathetic words. As I said before, I think I just need someone to acknowledge my feelings first before I feel like I am allowed to feel that feeling.

    I don’t know if it is wrong of me to seek support from people, especially my mother, it’s super hard for me to initially acknowledge my “negative feelings”. When I try to, I open up my journal and stare blankly at it. I have sooooooo much to say and so many feelings going inside of me, but I just cannot put them into words! I can’t even mentally acknowledge them, because I am so afraid of spiraling. I always think that if I acknowledge my feelings I will spiral, just like from my past, and that is the scariest thing ever for me. I am soooo afraid of being the same person I was from my past, and having the same unhealthy habits. I feel like such a failure if I act that way from my past.

    Actually I think by writing this out, I feel like the reason I feel like such a failure or feel ashamed for feeling “negative emotions” is because I am a perfectionist that is too hard on herself!! I feel like I have no right to feel sad or stressed especially over “little things”. Whenever something in my life isn’t going as planned I am so hard on myself.

    I hope all of this made sense. I have a lot of things going on in my life currently and it becomes hard to talk about it. But I think it’s easy for me to talk about my feelings in this way because it makes them seem valid. But for my actual feelings, I feel ashamed of them, I feel like they’re not valid, I feel like they need to be acknowledged by other people first for me to acknowledge them.

    I don’t know if it’s wrong of me to constantly seek support from my mother because it’s too much pressure on her. Or if it’s wrong to seek support from other people. I feel so ashamed to listen to myself, and even cry! I feel ashamed to cry even if there’s no one there and it’s just me crying alone in my room. I feel ashamed to even feel or acknowledge the feeling. But when someone else acknowledges it first, it gives me the power to deal with them. And from there it becomes easier for me.



    Hello TeaK,

    Thank you so much for the response in this thread and the other one.

    I’ve recently read what you’ve written and I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

    I haven’t been able to let myself write out my feelings let alone respond, because I felt some sort of shame around my emotions.

    What you need is self-acceptance.

    Thank you for making this make sense. I felt I was never accepted as a child. Because of the bullying, and when I developed anxiety + depression, my parents, especially my father, didn’t want to accept it. And it was very painful for me to struggle with this alone. I felt I had no one to talk to about this.

    Then I met my ex boyfriend, who made me feel confidence, and I felt like I could be myself in front of him. Then during our breakup, the confidence was taken from me in an instant, when he was disrespectful and made negative comments to me.

    When we don’t love ourselves, the insults hurt much more. A part of you probably believes what he said, e.g. that you are ugly, and another part of you is angry at him. It’s a battle inside of you. If you loved yourself enough, his words wouldn’t be so damaging for you. It’s like there is a wound, and he puts a salt on that wound. If the wound weren’t there, his insults wouldn’t hurt so much. You wouldn’t have the need for him to apologize in order to feel better about yourself. You would feel good about yourself even without him apologizing.

    It doesn’t mean he is not guilty for being rude and disrespectful. It’s just that you would be able to let it go more easily. Does that make sense?

    You are exactly right, you’ve got it spot on.

    This feels exactly like a battle within myself.

    It’s like there is a wound, and he puts a salt on that wound. If the wound weren’t there, his insults wouldn’t hurt so much. You wouldn’t have the need for him to apologize in order to feel better about yourself. You would feel good about yourself even without him apologizing.

    Funny thing is, he messaged me today. He told me he has something to ask me, while admitting that the request is selfish. He told me that he has been in therapy for 6 months and trying to come to terms with his narcastic tendencies. He then apologized to me for the past and is wanting to speak to me about this as I was someone that was close to him and spent a lot of time to him.

    The apology did not make me feel anything. And yet, I still feel some sort of anger/saddness about this. You’re right. The apology did not make me feel better about myself. I haven’t magically accepted myself either.

    But him reaching out to me made me realize a lot.

    First, I felt so happy that he is seeking support and is wanting to better himself. Then I was reminded of how much love I have for this person. I love him like all my friends, and I just want the best for him. I then realized that I am able to love him and accept him through all his struggles, yet I was not able to do that for myself.

    I wish that I am able to let myself love myself the same way I love and accept others. I always have so much love for strangers that I meet on the street, yet I cannot have that same love for myself. I know myself the most, but I still hold back from letting myself love myself. This is painful and damaging for me.

    I currently don’t make myself a priority. I don’t feel so kind to myself.

    I am able to love others when they are struggling, but I am unable to love myself when I’m struggling.

    In the previous thread you wrote:

    Another reason why I think you are so angry at him is that you are actually angry at your parents, specially your father, but you are projecting that anger on your ex boyfriend. Your ex probably hurt you much less than your father did, and yet, from our previous discussions, you don’t seem to allow yourself to actually feel anger or any negative emotions towards your father. You are quite protective of him and always stress that he has changed.

    But the truth is that your father’s bullying, lack of empathy and denying you the right to show vulnerability – left a big scar on you. You are still traumatized by it, and you are still angry because of it. It’s a justified anger of a child and teenager that you were, whose legitimate needs weren’t met. I think this is what actually makes you angry, and why you can’t shake off your anger now. Your boyfriend’s lack of empathy after the breakup is just a trigger for this old anger to come out.

    At first, I did not agree with what you said. But now I understand what you mean and I agree with it.

    I am still traumatized by how my father made me feel. He made me feel shame around being vulnerable. This is why I kept a lot of things to myself and only spoke to people I trust (friends) about it.

    When I got into my relationship, I was able to be vulnerable with this person without feeling any shame because I felt validated. When things got rough, it triggered my old wounds that came from my father, and the relationship had a rough ending. Even after the breakup, my confidence was stripped away in an instant whenever my ex would make rude comments or disrespect me. This triggered my old wounds. And you’re right, I think I am angry at my father. I’m not sure if I’m angry at him or if I’m angry at what happened. Or maybe I am too afraid to admit that I’m angry at my father, because I love him so much and I know that he was only wanting the best for me and his behaviour with good intentions left a big scar on me.

    My breakup was a trigger for my old wounds. I also don’t know if I forgive my ex. It’s been hard to think about. I don’t even know exactly what it means to forgive someone.

    Thank you so much for this. Today I was able to express myself freely.

    I still feel afraid and hurt.

    I still struggle to accept myself.

    But typing this out brought me so much clarity.

    Thank you again.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by canary.

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for everything and trying to listen and understand me.

    Though I think it’s best if you can work on gentle criticism instead of being so quick to label someone as a liar. As that was very hurtful to me. I come on here and have the courage to be vulnerable, which in itself is a struggle, and I am called a liar. It feels very hurtful, I hope you can imagine that.

    I understand that not everyone can understand me or help me, and that not everyone is compatible, that is not the issue! The issue is being labelled as a liar because somethings I’m saying is not making sense, or being told that my explanations are “garbage”.

    I don’t know why but this brought up an old wound. (You don’t have to read or respond I just choose to let this out) I remember having to explain myself to my ex and he would always misunderstand me, no matter how many times I explained to him. He always doubted me and was quick to label me. It really made me feel horrible. And I’m scared of me sharing this I’ll be labelled as a liar or just gaslighting because I’ve never really talked about this in a previous thread. I’m just so hurt. And I’m genuinely unsure if I want to keep posting in here because I feel drained. But thank you for the precious threads where things made sense to me, it definitely helped. <3



    Hello TeaK,

    Sorry I have just seen this. But I am doing alright. Not the best.

    I joined a counseling program for a few weeks regarding my social anxiety, and it really gave me a lot of coping strategies so I am glad it helped with that! I wasn’t able to practice the exposure hierarchy that I was told by my counselor, because being stuck at home because of the pandemic!

    I realized that school stress adds a lot onto me and makes my anxiety sooo much worse and because of that, I end up breaking and burning out and going through a depressive episode, which is something I’m going through right now. 🙁 So I’ve decided to take fewer classes and take it slower with school, I hope it will help with that.

    But really, not much!!

    I’ve made a new thread regarding practicing forgiveness and it helped bring some clarity to my situation. Because I found myself feeling angry and sad towards my ex, even though I thought I forgave him. I’m just wondering, if you have the time, please read through it and try to understand the frustration between me and Anita. I’m not sure if what I’m saying is making sense and it’s worrying because Anita is saying I’m lying because of all the contradictions. I tried explaining myself to the best of my abilities, but it worries me. I think having an outsider’s opinion will help bring clarity. Though, you do not have to do that it was just something that is making me feel weird.

    Thank you for checking up on me 🙂



    Hi Anita,

    You came up with this lie today.

    This is very hurtful to read. Telling me that I am lying. I am just trying to explain to you better what my thoughts are, this is not lying.

    For example, in your first thread, you described your ex-boyfriend as your soulmate, and a very kind and empathetic man. In your second thread, you described him as fitting the Asocial Personality Disorder diagnosis. When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction (a lie): he is Asocial with other people, BUT he is very kind and empathetic with his loved ones (and you were one of his loved ones).

    Maybe, in my first thread, I had a perception that my ex was a very loving empathetic soulmate, seeing him through rose-colored glasses. And maybe, in the second thread, after hearing him tell me about his ASPD diagnosis, I perceived him as a very unempathetic and hateful man, because I was thinking about all the hateful and hurtful things he said to me that I never really considered while making the first thread because I was seeing him through rose-colored glasses. And after being confronted with the contradiction, I was trying to make sense of why he was very antisocial and rude, but also caring and loving at the same time.

    In your current, 4th thread, you presented this contradiction: “I’ve forgiven them completely… I get very angry at this person“. The contradiction is in the word “completely” (I understand that the process of forgiveness is complicated). When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction: you do get angry at him, BUT you don’t consciously have the urge to seek revenge against him.

    Maybe when I said that I forgive this person completely, I considered complete forgiveness as not feeling any resentment towards the person… which I consider resentment to be a desire for payback or revenge. And I considered the anger as just an emotion, not tied to the feeling of wanting to get payback or revenge.

    In your 4 threads, you didn’t share a single detail of an insult, or another disrespectful behavior on his part. You came up with this lie today. I don’t believe anything you say, canary.

    This is because there were a billion conversations between me and him, there were times when he insulted me and disrespected me, I definitely did say that he did disrespect me in previous threads but I didn’t share a specific incident because there were too many to count. It was just an everyday thing, so I did not share it. I did not share every little thing at the time, because it did not bother me at that time. Now, it does bother me. The insults still linger, and that is why I am sharing!

    You can’t lie to a therapist and expect to be helped

    Sorry, you think I am lying. It’s difficult to type out everything, it’s difficult to explain, it’s difficult to speak English. I am trying my best.


    Hi Peter,

    Thank you so much. This really brought me comfort. Knowing that I am in charge of how I want to deal with these painful memories and emotions brings me a lot of peace. I like how you’ve changed how I think about forgiveness now! It seems like a healthier way of thinking about it. 🙂


    Hi Anita,

    I went back to your July 2021 thread looking for what actions he committed against you.

    There were more things that he did that hurt me that I don’t think I wrote in the thread. Recently the things that have been hurting me were things he said after the breakup when we were still friends. That is what is hurting. He insulted me, my appearance, my personality, and made me feel “crazy”. That is what I am referring to.

    My closing thoughts: your significant anxiety and mental suffering started years before your ex-boyfriend entered your life. He didn’t cause your anxiety. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t do this to you. You mentioned no abuse on his part. His “crime” was that he wasn’t able to heal you. But then, the counselors you saw in high school didn’t help you, the therapist or therapists you saw didn’t help you, the psychiatrist/s who prescribed you with medications didn’t help you… and the members who replied to you on your various threads didn’t help you. At times, like I detailed above, you wholeheartedly agreed with a member, only to later forget that you did, posting again as if there was no prior communication. It’s like nothing sticks. I am guessing that if you respond to this very post, you will… disagree with your own words, and/ or agree and disagree in the same sentence. Maybe these are symptoms of your anxiety. Maybe it’s gaslighting. I don’t know.

    Yes, I’ve always had anxiety and depression way before I met my ex, but that is really not what I’m referring to. When I wrote the first few threads, I was very confused and angry at him. I was angry at him because he was not giving me what I needed. It took me a while to realize that he couldn’t give me what I needed. And I’m not angry at him for not being able to give me what I needed during our relationship, the anger is from after the breakup. Which he insulted me, disrespected me, and treated me very poorly. He insulted me and the insults still linger in my head. I wonder if he really meant that. I wonder if he actually thought I was ugly, or if he was just projecting onto me. But honestly, I don’t think it matters what he really meant. All I know is that the words he said to me and the way he treated me and led me on several times (after the breakup February-July) was hurtful, and yes I still have anger for him which means I haven’t forgiven him.

    It’s like nothing sticks. I am guessing that if you respond to this very post, you will… disagree with your own words, and/ or agree and disagree in the same sentence. Maybe these are symptoms of your anxiety. Maybe it’s gaslighting. I don’t know.

    I recognize that I’m being very indecisive. I usually write in these threads like a big brain dump, and not everything in my brain makes sense at the moment. That’s why I contradict myself a lot. So, let me rewrite everything from how I know it right now…


    I have recognized that I do not forgive my ex. The reason I thought I forgave him was because I thought forgiveness meant that you do not have the conscious urge to hurt them for payback or seek revenge. This was true for me, I consciously did not have the urge to seek revenge from my ex. So this is why I thought I had forgiven him.

    But from Peter’s post:

    I found it helpful to note that forgiveness does not mean a person is no longer responsible or accountable for thier actions. It means we can hold them accountable without having to attach to our anger and hurt. We experience hurt and anger vice ‘I am’ hurt…

    Forgiveness is more of practice of “forgetting” as in not dwelling on the memory. When we notice we are dwelling we practice  acknowledging the feelings and letting them go/flow.

    So I recognized that I am attaching my anger and hurt every time I think about the memory of him hurting me.

    From Peter’s post:

    The next time you are experiencing these painful memories and emotions ask yourself if a part of you could be doing so with the subconscious hope that by holding on to your pain you are punishing the one you hurt?

    When I experience the hurtful feelings, my subconscious is telling me that I want to seek revenge in the way where my ex feels the guilt for hurting me and genuinely apologizes. Because during the times I confronted him, he said he did not feel any remorse for his actions. And he did not care for what he did… this hurt me a lot. I believe this is why I was holding onto the painful memories and emotions because I keep imagining him coming back to me and feeling genuinely guilty for his actions and apologizing to me!! 🙁

    By the way, the memory that I’m dwelling on is the insults that were said to me, the times I was led on, everything that happened after the breakup from February to July. The reason I am dwelling on these memories is because I did not forgive him even after saying I did. These memories are still very painful for me, and for the last few months these memories did not really bother me, so I thought I had forgiven him but the feelings came back and I realize that I actually didn’t forgive him. And like Peter said, forgiveness is like a practice, which I never really thought of it that way. I always thought forgiveness is instant… which now that I think about it, it sounds silly and I’m not sure why I thought that hahah.

    So just to clear things up. Right now, I’m not angry at him for not being able to “fix” me, or give me the proper love during our relationship. I’m really just upset at the insults and disrespect I tolerated after the breakup, that is what my mind keeps going back to!! 🙁

    I hope this made sense and cleared things up a bit. I understand that in almost every post I seemed to contradict myself, and I believe it’s because I wasn’t even sure what was going on in my head and I treated these threads like a brain dump, because there was so much in my brain that I used writing as a way to organize things, but it wasn’t super organized. And also because I misunderstood some meanings and words and phrases, like, “forgiveness”, I thought forgiveness was simply just not wanting to get revenge on someone consciously. But I understand now it’s just like a practice, whenever the hurtful feelings or memories come up, forgiveness takes action, you have to actively validate your emotions and memories and hurt, and let it go after acknowledging it. And you do this every time the feelings or memories arise, though I understand it takes time and strength, and patience. <3 I just don’t think I spent a lot of time with my feelings and figuring out what I’m actually feeling! That’s why I said things differently each time because I usually understand my feelings by writing them out.

    Also, just a little quick question, are you recommending me a psychotherapist that is different from a therapist? I can only find therapists in my area but I have more options online that I can choose from because of the pandemic.

    Thank you.



    Hi Peter,

    Thank you this really resonated with me.

    I found it helpful to note that forgiveness does not mean a person is no longer responsible or accountable for thier actions. It means we can hold them accountable without having to attach to our anger and hurt. We experience hurt and anger vice ‘I am’ hurt…

    This makes more sense.

    The next time you are experiencing these painful memories and emotions ask yourself if a part of you could be doing so with the subconscious hope that by holding on to your pain you are punishing the one you hurt?

    I believe this is what I am doing! The person that hurt me explicitly stated that they felt no remorse for their actions, so I think I am holding onto that because I am hoping that they can feel guilty for their actions… and that is the reason I feel so much anger/sadness.

    These feelings will likely still arise from time to time, but with help, the amount of time hold onto them will lesson until the day you will just notice…

    Thank you this brought me comfort. I am still looking for a psychotherapist and I will be sure to address this.


    Hi anita,

    Yes, the person I am referring to is my ex-boyfriend. I don’t seem to understand how I am contradicting myself, I am allowed to forgive but also be hurt by someone’s actions right? In order to forgive completely, it doesn’t mean I can’t still feel the pain? I think I have misunderstood the meaning of forgiveness. To me, forgiveness meant that I have no resentment towards the person, meaning, I’m not holding a grudge or looking for “payback”. But I believe that the feeling of sadness/anger can still remain even after forgiving a person.

    I am still looking for a psychotherapist, but once I find one I will address this with them.

    Thank you.


    Hi samy,

    I am not around this person and yes they have moved on. I’m not sure what is meant by being compensated emotionally & mentally for the hurt, I believe this means was the person sorry for their actions? If so, then no.

    I think that my feelings are telling me to pay attention to the hurt that I felt when the person felt no remorse for their actions.

    Thank you.


    Hi Anita,

    Daily exercise is something I’m trying to fit into my routine. I do yoga and have even joined a yoga club so I’m hoping I can do it more regularly.

    It’s difficult to have a full routine and stick to it. Making these things into a habit is difficult. I’ve been trying to focus on my sleep schedule first because my sleep is most important to me and affects me the most.



    Hi TeaK,

    I don’t have many people to talk to that understand anxiety. It’s hard to explain to my family what anxiety is and how it affects me so much. My family sees me struggling, doesn’t know what to do, so they do what they think is right. The way they give me advice and try to support me is clear that they don’t understand the severity of it. I explained to them just right now, that it’s not really school that I’m struggling with but my mental health, which affects my performance at school.

    My struggles with anxiety: It’s just difficult to show up to class, feeling anxious, and unable to focus on the lecture. Then finding a place to eat, navigating through the huge crowds, I feel afraid. I still do it though, but somedays when I have so much piled up I break down. Like what happened last week. I break down because I had a lot of stress from the huge workload from school because I was behind + anxiety, become depressed for a few days, then when I’m feeling better I’m forced to face all the work that I missed. Piles and piles of work. My sister told me she went through the same thing, but she was physically ill and became so behind in class. She just barely passed her exams. So she is helpful when she is telling me how to catch up with school work and making a plan.

    But the thing is, I’m afraid this won’t just happen one time. I’m afraid that I will have episodes where I won’t be able to get work done, be behind, and the cycle will continue. This is scary because this is exactly what I was going through in high school, the feeling is so familiar. I would go to school, get good grades, have an episode, miss school for weeks, and then when I go back again I’m faced with so much work. That triggered another episode, it was like a neverending cycle. The thing is, it is really disheartening when you think you’re doing good and then suddenly hit with so much.

    I know that I can get through my school year, it’s just that when I’m so behind, it takes so long to catch up and I’ll probably never be fully caught up in work, and it’s hard to pass. Because I will get episodes and they will be random.

    Yes, I feel less of a human because of my anxiety. Because I see everyone, like my peers and family not feeling the same anxiety I feel. So it’s hard for me to connect with them and talk about my anxiety. Sure they can take time to understand, but they won’t ever really fully understand it. And I feel I’m looking for that connection because it makes me feel less alone. I browse anxiety forums and social media pages, especially the social media pages that talk about the harsh side of anxiety + give you ways to deal with it, and I feel less alone. But I don’t have anyone to talk to specifically about this. So that’s why I don’t feel normal sometimes, especially in public when I feel an episode coming. I micro analyze everyone’s behaviour and they all seem so nonchalant, but I’m the only one in the room bouncing my legs, feeling uncomfortable and changing positions, so I feel like everyone is watching me, even though I know no one is. I know people that struggle with anxiety suffer in silence, so you can’t tell someone has anxiety just by their behaviour. I’m just looking for connection. I find lots of people on social media talking about their struggles with anxiety, it’s just that I don’t have anyone to talk to about this issue so it makes me feel alone and makes it harder for me to deal with it. I gain lots of peace and comfort when I post on this forum though, so I thank everyone for taking time out of their day to listen to what I have to say and provide me with meaningful replies.

    In your childhood, maybe your mother had a similar attitude: “when you cry, I cry”? She lived in fear of your father and it was probably a burden for her to deal with your fears alone. And she didn’t know how to. Whereas your father’s attitude was something like: “if you cry and show weakness, you’re weak, you’re defective, and I’ll be very disappointed in you”. Would you agree?

    I agree but not fully. I believe my father never had that attitude of emotions = bad, but that’s what he showed us. All he did was tell me to deal with the negative comments I would receive from people. But I don’t believe he had that attitude that showing emotions means you’re weak, he just told me not to tell other people my personal problems and emotions, but I would do it anyway. This is because he told me that I can’t trust anyone (same with my mother, she told me that as well), that I shouldn’t share personal information with others except my family. I’m not sure if that relates to what you’ve said.

    You didn’t reply to my previous post, but it seems to me your father had quite a damaging effect on your self-esteem. And in combination with your mother’s fear of him, you were mostly left alone to struggle with your fears, which then grew bigger and bigger, leading to anxiety.

    Yes, I agree. I think it’s quite ironic because although he damaged my self-esteem a lot, he’s the one that’s been bringing it up recently. Because I placed a lot of importance on my fathers’ words and took everything he said to heart, he would constantly criticize me about little things that eventually became my insecurities. For example, he’d comment on my weight (I was very skinny), he’d comment on my height, my posture (I slouch), and little things like that. It made me insecure. But after a few years, I’m not sure how long, he eventually stopped and now whenever he comments he says the exact opposite of what he said before. For example, he knows how I lack confidence and he tells me that I’ve been acting confident lately and that he’s glad I am. He tells me that I’m strong, I’m able to get through anything, he tells me not to worry (especially about school), he is literally telling me the opposite of everything he told me in my childhood.

    Basically, in my childhood he would tell me to focus solely on my studies, not talk to people about my personal issues (he even told me not to make friends), he would criticize me… and he did that because that was his way of raising me. He wanted me to grow up to be strong, so he would tell me things that he wished he was told as a child (focusing on studies, appearing confident, etc). But it only did the opposite, I grew up insecure!

    So now when he understood the effect it had on me, he’s being honest with me and trying to keep my confidence up. I believe this happened after my hospital visit around 2 or 3 years ago. He’s been acting kinder to me, he tells me not to worry about school whenever I feel stressed.

    It seems to me you are still living with that same wound of 1) feeling unsupported and 2) feeling “damaged” due to your anxiety.

    Yes. I don’t feel supported sometimes. I talk to my family about it and they do boost my confidence and support me but I’m looking for someone to understand my anxiety because that’s the main thing I’m dealing with.

    I don’t know if I would use the word “damaged”, but I just feel excluded from everyone because my peers and family do not understand my anxiety, only people online.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by canary.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by canary.

    Hi Anita,

    Not doing well… I need to let some things off my chest.

    Having such horrible anxiety is exhausting. I don’t feel like a human being sometimes because of it, I feel so secluded and alien like. I also dissociate and go into this state when in public, im just afraid.

    Yesterday night I had a breakdown because I was carrying so much on my shoulders. I have constant anxiety everytime I’m in public and on top of that it’s been interfering heavily with my school work! I really care about my school work, I always have. When I’m dealing with anxiety all school week, plus have to catch up on a ton of work over the weekend, I can’t find time for myself and it is too much that I break down. I had to miss important classes because of it and I have been getting such horrible grades because I need time to rest and catch up, which is just impossible! I’m so exhausted. This is horrible and also because it’s reminding me of high school, when I would try my best to stay afloat but I was drowning in my own mental struggles. I barely passed and had to retake classes so I could get into university. I love my studies but I can’t do the work when I’m struggling in my life. During the summer I promised myself this would not happen, I made a plan, and gradually felt my anxiety get better and my depression lift. I was excited for the school year. I told myself I would do my best. I’m just sad. I’m so tired. I’m tired of missing out on things because of my mental struggles. I’m tired of being behind my peers even when I’m giving it my all. I’m tired.

    I don’t know if school is damaging me, the program I’m in is tough and I dont know how to balance my mental health with school.

    I have no energy, I barely sleep and when I make time for sleep I cannot fall asleep or I keep waking up early (probably because of anxiety). I wish my university had more accommodations for me, as well as support. when i told them about it they did not provide me with much.

    Also I have no one to talk to about this. I tell my family, they try their best to understand my struggles but I believe they brush it off…. When they ask me how I’m doing I say horrible, they say, “but you look better! You’re doing better.” but im not! even if I’m not hysterically crying doesn’t mean I’m not doing better. I’m just as sad and anxious as i was yesterday. i believe they brush it off because it hurts them just as much as it hurts me. they told me when they hear me cry they cry. so i understand that I guess..

    My best friend does not know how to respond when i talk to her about this. She does not provide the support im looking for. this forum provides me some support because everyone speaks with empathy and warmth also providing useful tools or advice. im just so stuck because i feel the same way i felt all throughout high school. I’m physically and mentally exhausted!!!!!!



    Hi TeaK,

    What did your mother say? Did she agree with your father?

    She did not agree, she was willing to let me remove my facial and body hair but she was afraid to speak to my father about it because he would become angry. I think it’s important to let you know my father had narcissistic traits (according to my siblings), and an unhealthy mindset and view on life. By narcissistic traits, I’m referring to arrogance, desire for power and wealth, manipulation, but only towards others, not his children. He is not this way anymore. In his eyes, he was preparing me for the reality of life, the harsh and cruel life that he had to face and overcame. He wanted the best for me but was unable to see how his actions and thinking were wrong and twisted. I understand that his intention was to never hurt me, but unfortunately, they did. I have no hard feelings towards my father, I love him very much and always did. He was just uninformed at the time but now has understood what he did was wrong.

    If your father had the last word in a rather female problem of removing facial/body hair, does that mean that your mother didn’t really have a say in your home? And she “protected” you by allowing you to skip school in secret?

    Yes exactly. My mother did not have a say at home. My father would try to keep his power and control over his wife because he assumed she would be really demanding, because of the environment she grew up in. My mother is not like this at all, she’s super sweet and easy-going. My father assumed that because she grew up rich and married someone who came from poverty, she would be demanding of luxurious items. So he had to keep his power over her. He has since loosened up a lot. So that is why my mother was afraid, she is not that afraid anymore because she has regained her power and my father is more understanding now. I’m very open with my parents now, especially about my anxiety.

    If your father knew about it, he would have forced you to go to school, without showing much understanding for your anxiety?

    I don’t think so. My father would never see me cry, only my mother would. I didn’t speak to my father about my anxiety as a child, so he didn’t know what I was dealing with. I was too afraid to ask him for permission to remove my facial hair because I assumed he would get angry and say no, so I never did. But when he saw me having a breakdown, he immediately had a change of heart and gave me permission. So, if he knew about it I’m sure he would’ve let me done whatever I wanted.

    It seems to me you got poor parenting both from your mother, who was permissive but powerless, and your father, who was strict and lacking empathy. Would you say that this is true?

    Yes! This is true. I understand my parents both love me, but they were misinformed or not informed at all on how to parent their children. My older siblings both grew up afraid, they still have some fear in them, but they weren’t that close with my parents. When I was born, my parents explicitly made a plan to raise me to be better. So I didn’t endure as much as my siblings did, but I had to deal with my own problems that were different from the problems my siblings faced, and I had to deal with them alone because I was not close to my siblings at the time.

    Basically, I was raised differently than my siblings. My mother was powerless because my father wanted to raise his kids properly but was misinformed and had an unhealthy view of life. I wouldn’t say my dad lacks empathy, he is very emotional and loving but he was just blinded by his own mindset at the time. He has since warmed up.

    You don’t need to get rid of your emotional, loving, gentle side, who gets immersed in the beauty of nature. What you need though is better emotional regulation, which will allow you not to be so insecure and sensitive to people’s reactions. And you need to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You just didn’t get the proper upbringing and proper tools….  but you are making up for it now.

    Thank you for this. It is very difficult to bring all the focus towards myself because I realize that I care about everyone’s opinion of me. Even a stranger’s opinion of me matters to me, and I’m not exactly sure why. I know that the only opinion and advice that I should take is from those I look up to. Someone who I look up to will never criticize me in a hard way because they are loving and gentle.

    It’s hard to live life when you feel so inadequate compared to others, but whenever my family, friends, strangers, reassure me and remind me how special I am, I feel so much better. I realize that whenever I feel inadequate, I need to bring the attention back towards myself. I need reminders of who I am and what my strengths are. I don’t need others to validate me and agree with me. Also, there are amazing people out there that are filled with unconditional love and you can just tell who they are. I remember the impact some strangers have left on me, by doing nothing but being filled with love. They act so sweet to others and themselves, and I aspire to be like that. Having so much love and joy, filled in your heart that no amount of hatred can extinguish it.

    Thank you for speaking with me, I appreciate everyone that has commented. I feel much better and at peace after speaking and being honest. 🙂

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