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  • #387355
    canary
    Participant

    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!!!!!!

     

    #386989
    canary
    Participant

    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. 🙂

    #386968
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for the resources, I have actually visited that website before and seen some of the videos. It made sense to me that this stems from my anxiety. I still feel afraid sometimes, especially in the moment, but I still experience derealization. It has definitely decreased over the years, and I’m thankful for that, but I will see how to manage it when my anxiety gets bad.

     

    #386967
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    Can you remember one such situation where your parents wanted to give you a hug, and you refused? Do you remember what exactly happened and why you didn’t feel like being hugged at that particular time?

    I think I was just having a rough day, didn’t want to speak to anyone, and did not want to be hugged. That’s usually why I felt that way.

    Did you have those emotional outbursts because you were bullied? And then some of your friends thought your reaction to bullying was too much and “toxic”? Or your emotional outbursts were unrelated to bullying?

    I think the outbursts were a mix of things. Unrelated to the bullying, but the bullying was the source of my outburst. For example, I was insecure and did not want to take pictures with friends, or want to be filmed, because the bullying contributed to my insecurity. When my friends would do that without realizing it, I would react and be upset, that they posted a video or picture of me without my knowledge. It was things like that.

    #386960
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I believe that my parents did not understand my emotional side and sensitivity at first. I remember when I would become triggered over little things and have my boundaries be crossed by my parents (eg. I don’t want a hug right now, don’t touch me right now), and I would become so reactive and throw tantrums. My parents did not know what that was so they would yell at me and label me as a crybaby, without understanding why I was acting that way. Of course, they know better now, but at the time they did not. So that really stuck with me.

    My peers also treated me this way. My teachers, friends, classmates did not understand me whenever I would have an emotional reaction to something that bothered me, even if it was very little to them. They did not outwardly say that I am too sensitive, but they would communicate that through their actions and behaviors. I lost some of my friends because of this because they believed I was toxic whenever I would have an emotional outburst and I tried to communicate with them but I did not even fully understand why I was acting that way. So that made me more insecure.

    I did not understand why I cared so much, especially about little things. I did not know why I cried so much. I understand now that I am simply sensitive and emotional, it’s not a bad thing, I just didn’t know what was going on as a child so I didn’t know how to manage it. Now, I don’t have frequent emotional outbursts, and when I do, I can control them much better because I know what’s going on. I’m also able to communicate easily with whoever was involved and thankfully they can understand.

    “Also, it seems to me that your parents and other authority figures (teachers, counselors) didn’t show enough compassion and understanding for you”

    This is true, I felt like the weird child because I did not act like my peers. I was too emotional, quiet, sensitive, and overall weird. That’s what I believed growing up, and that’s why I lack confidence.

    “I wonder if your mother too (or both of your parents) somehow sent you the message that you shouldn’t be so emotional and sensitive, that you should just ignore the bullying, sort of toughen up and don’t take it to heart so much? And when you couldn’t, you felt that there was something wrong with you?”

    My mother never told me to toughen up when I told her about my bullying. She didn’t know what to do, but I remember she would try her best to reassure me and she’d let me skip class if I wanted to.

    My father did send me that message. In fact, the main reason I got bullied was for my body & facial hair. My dad told me that having facial hair is normal, that I should deal with the comments and he believed that not allowing me to remove the facial hair would make me stronger as I got older. But he never once told me how to deal with the bullies. He expected me to learn to deal with it myself. I already got picked on and mistreated as a child, but when I got older and developed facial hair, I got picked on even more. So there came a point where I was crying my dad came into my room and I screamed at him telling him how I get bullied at school because I’m ugly. He told me I was allowed to remove the facial hair. But when I did, I went through a period of not knowing who I was and being treated differently. No one said a word to me anymore, I actually felt uglier when I got it removed. It was weird being treated differently.

    I was taught that being sensitive and emotional was bad and weird. I tried so hard to get rid of that part of me, but when I knew I couldn’t I learned to accept it. I just don’t feel appreciated for being myself.

    #386894
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    To answer your questions:

    1) Sometimes, but not a lot anymore. I try my best to feel grounded and in tune with my body and emotions. Sometimes when I am having really bad anxiety or a bad day, I notice I feel detached from reality for a bit. This used to happen a lot back in high school, I would become detached from my body, thoughts, and emotions. Since then I’ve learned that this is because of my anxiety. This happens when I’m in public or at home but mostly when I’m in public surrounded by many people. I noticed that I went through a period where I stop experiencing this (over the summer), then when I went back to school, it happened again. I felt this way just yesterday.

    2) Sometimes. I feel like I am myself in my body, but sometimes I get moments where I feel like I’m just observing my life. It’s a bit scary.

    3) Not really. I feel in control of my body and actions most of the time, but sometimes I feel like my thoughts are just random noises. But I believe I always feel control of my actions and thoughts.

    4) Yes. This happens sometimes. It’s been happening recently because I haven’t been having the greatest days. This used to happen daily when I was in high school. Somedays, life seems so vivid, real, and alive. But somedays, it doesn’t.

    #386882
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I know I didn’t express my appreciation but I greatly appreciate each and everyone that takes the time out of their day to comment on my threads. In some way, I don’t feel that nice dumping every thought into the threads because you respond to lots of people. So it makes me feel like what I’m doing is wrong. I know you don’t owe me a response, but I feel I might be too much, especially my emotions. I hope that made sense.

    #386881
    canary
    Participant

    I just wanted to add something I remembered.

    I took a Clifton Strengths test, and the first strength was individualization. I resonated with all the other strengths so deeply, it felt like I was finally being acknowledged and appreciated. I never even considered the strengths I got to be considered strengths! I thought they were just qualities everyone has.

    “Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.”

    I think this is why I am always so curious to learn about people and peek into their life. I can appreciate every individual and realize that everyone is unique and have their own beauty. But it’s so hard to do that for myself sometimes. I don’t feel special, unique, or appreciated.

    I’ve been taught that my traits are actually weaknesses, and whenever I see someone that is somewhat like me, being strong and confident, I get so inspired and I look up to them.

    I was always told that being sensitive, emotional, and thinking about the deeper meaning of things was a bad thing. So I always felt out of place because that is exactly like me.

    I am so sensitive to little things, I constantly get lost in the beauty of the world. I find beauty in everything, especially little things. I have such a deep appreciation for little things that most people don’t really think about. I enjoy thinking about these things, it makes me so happy. I enjoy being emotional too, when I get happy I feel like I am the sun. When I get sad, I allow myself to feel and make art to express myself. I’ve always been doing that. Some people may call me an overthinker, but I don’t consider myself to be an overthinker, I think deeply about little things, and it does not harm me it just brings me joy. Also, this is unrelated to my anxiety because I know anxiety makes me overthink but I was not talking about that.

    I also feel like everything falls into place and everything is connected and I love thinking about that!

    I hope this made sense.

    #386879
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    When I first read that I was very confused and emotional. I’m not sure what to think of it.

    I looked it up and it seems to be related to other mental disorders. It was frightening to read because I felt like I can’t trust my own thoughts anymore.

    I don’t have access to a psychotherapist at the moment, do you have any recommendations for some books or other resources that can explain “splitting”?

    Thank you.

    #386878
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    Thank you for checking up on me. Also thank you for the suggestion, I’m watching right now and I appreciate it so much.

    I’m not doing that well. It’s been difficult to deal with my anxiety at school, it holds me back from my studies and making friends. So I’ve been feeling a bit lonely recently.

    There is something that bothers me almost every day. I’m not sure what it is, so I’m wondering if you know.

    I feel I care a lot about other people, more than I actually should. Now I’m not just talking about caring about what they think of me, which stems from my anxiety, but I care about them and want to connect with them. I feel this way with almost everyone I see, every single stranger I wonder how they are and spend so much time thinking about their life. Basically, I empathize with everyone super easily.

    I think this might stem from the fact that I crave a deep emotional connection with people. And also because I so badly want to feel fully understood and loved unconditionally. I’m not saying I am not understood and loved, I am! It’s just that I crave a super deep connection with people in hopes of being understood by them and also understanding them. I think this is because of my lack of self-worth and self-love. I know that no matter how hard I look, I’ll never find someone that fully understands me. Because it’s impossible to understand someone completely! I think I’m looking for this connection with myself.

    It’s really hard dealing with these thoughts because not a day goes by where I’m excessively empathizing with random strangers, without even saying a word to them. I just wonder how their life is, how they’re feeling, just based on actions. I get so caught up that I forget to take care of myself and think for myself! It’s almost like I get so immersed into their lives, I feel myself becoming them. This also happens unconsciously, I don’t mean to daydream and think about it, but I slip into one anyway.

    I’m not sure what this is and where it comes from exactly. I’ve tried looking it up and seeing if other people feel this same way. When I notice myself getting lost in someone’s life, I try to ground myself and think for myself. But it feels weird doing that, (maybe because I’m not used to it), or because I’m afraid to be alone. I’m not sure. I don’t mind being alone and by myself with my thoughts, I just want to feel appreciated and understood while I am alone. Similar to how my ex appreciated me. Sorry if this is confusing, I don’t know how to exactly explain it. Some nights I feel so much joy in my heart that I am basking in unconditional love and acceptance. This happens at night, when I am by myself, sometimes after meditating. I feel so much gratitude in my heart and everything makes sense. But lately, nothing has been making sense. Especially during the day, because I have to go outside and it’s frightening. So these thoughts all mix up and bother me every day.

    I’ve been trying to look for some resources and someone to talk to. It’s been so hard, I can’t afford a therapist and I’m looking for a counsellor that I can speak to that can empathize with me and just support me. Honestly, all I’m looking for is a strong support system. It’s been difficult so that’s why I’ve been feeling a bit lonely. To add on, I feel like some people in this world get so caught up with themselves and their lives that they forget how to empathize and be compassionate towards others. Some of my past counsellors were like this, as well as teachers, and it was disheartening for me because I realized the world is a cruel place sometimes.

    It’s hard feeling safe in public, I feel afraid and alone. It’s scary. This does not make me feel normal 🙁 because I feel like I’m the only anxious person in my entire classroom.

    I just need someone to empathize with me and understand me. It’s really scary doing that by yourself, I feel afraid talking to myself because I don’t know if those thoughts are mine or not.

    Sorry if this was messy, this was just a thought dump because this has been on my mind for ages. It’s hard to put these into words. Again, thank you for checking up on me. I had not responded because I was very busy with classes.

    #386079
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    Yes. I don’t feel I can be my complete self in front of others. So I feel I have to hide that part of me (making jokes and acting weird) from others.

    I have something to add.

    I remember I’ve had anxiety since the 5th grade (10 years old). Then in grade 7/8, I started “breaking out of my shell”. I remember making the new girl in my class my friend, and I was able to be myself around her. I gained so much more confidence with my new friend, and eventually, my friend group got really big and I was friends with people that accepted me and appreciated my goofy side that liked making jokes. So I wasn’t anxious at all with my friends, if I remember correctly, I would only feel anxious when I was by myself in class or in front of strangers.

    But then I realized that sometimes my jokes would go overboard, and I would make insensitive jokes that I didn’t mean and hurt people’s feelings. This made me feel soooooo bad. I never wanted to hurt people’s feelings but my jokes hurt them. I hated that so much that I slowly became cautious of what I was saying, and then eventually developed so much anxiety thinking about what I’m saying and if I should say it if it’s funny or not, etc. I just stopped making jokes and I feel that part of my personality died.

    In high school, I had lots of social anxiety. I only had one or two friends from elementary school (the new girl that I was friends with), I considered her to be my best friend. I felt comfortable being myself around her and my friends but was so afraid to talk to other people and make new friends. Eventually, my best friend left me to be with her new friends and that made me feel so alone. I didn’t have lots of friends in high school, I made 2 friends in grades 10-11 but I didn’t always hang out with them during lunch. And the reason we became friends was that they took the initiative to come up to me and start a conversation, which I would continue. I don’t consider these 2 friends to be my close friends, because I can’t fully act like myself around them, which is fine, I still love them and care about them but I was a little bit shy with them.

    Then in grade 11-12 my ex-boyfriend and I met up coincidentally so then we became friends. He was one of the only friends that I could feel myself with. I felt comfortable with him and could act like myself fully, so my silly side came out and it was also reciprocated. We were best friends.

    Also, just to mention I had another best friend but she went to another school, so we didn’t hang out much, but we talk every day! I can feel myself around her, but since we don’t have the same sense of humor I can’t joke around with her much but I don’t mind at all, I love her lots.

    Lately, I’ve been feeling super anxious because I started school and I really want to make close friends. I went to a social event at school, and I talked to so many people! Before I went, I took deep breaths to calm my body down. Whenever I had to speak to someone, I could feel my heart racing, so I took some time to acknowledge my body reaction but went against it anyway. I spoke to people despite the anxiety in my body, and it felt great! I felt like I was being myself around these people because I was having nice conversations with them. It was with a small group of people so that’s why I didn’t feel super anxious.

    Now when I started school, I was too afraid to talk to people. I felt so anxious and awkward. Especially because there are just so many people and the lecture halls are huge.

    I really want to make close friends that understand me and appreciate me. I feel that’s why I keep thinking about my ex because the relationship and bond we had was so unique, and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking to make bonds with people but it’s so hard when I get anxious. On top of that, I’m a little shy so I can’t tell if I want to speak to someone or if I’m afraid of messing up (being anxious).

    I believe that is the reason I feel unappreciated and craving appreciation from my ex.

    Thank you TeaK for responding I gain a lot of clarity after writing down my thoughts and feelings, it’s hard sometimes figuring out the problem on your own and I appreciate talking to people about it.

    #386063
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Please explain to me what you are not understanding? Would it help if I rephrased what I wrote? I understand its confusing and it is for me too but I wrote what made sense to me.

     

    #386062
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I am not exactly sure how I’d act if my personality wasn’t watered down. I believe I’d act  relatively the same if I was with strangers and mutuals.

    I think all I desire are friends that accept and appreciate me the way I am, my full personality that I don’t hide. I don’t have many friends, especially close friends, so I feel that’s why I am thinking about my ex because he was the one of the only friends I could be myself with and express a different side to me.

     

    #386019
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I don’t believe that is the reason for my feelings. I have friends that understand my psychological problems, way before I met my ex. I’m referring to “the part of me” that is my personality that my ex understood and reciprocated his energy with me.

    #386017
    canary
    Participant

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by canary. Reason: repeated post
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