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Gary

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  • #395992
    Gary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Would you be able to carry this conversation on via email or another channel by any chance?

    I have found this so useful.

    All the best,

    D

    #395196
    Gary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Sorry life has been rather busy of late. I am definitely feeling more comfortable and calmer with my attachment to Kate. Though there have been a lot of health and other emergencies that I could not avoid as a carer of my father. I know we had talked about reducing my carers responsibility, but the way the system works in the UK is that I am still the next of kin and am responsible for certain matters. But I have definitely reduced my amount of visits to my father, but it was issues with self harm and potential suicide attempts which needed my attention. I now recognise patterns that when things like this happen, I become more in need of affirmation and affection from Kate, like I am hyper aware of my emotional vulnerability, if that makes sense?

    You are right about the bad behaviour, I did talk to my dad and expressed that I can’t keep living like this if he is going to make situations difficult and stressful, that he needs to help himself as well. I explained how much of an impact it was having on my life, and he seemed to understand.

    I hope you are well,

    D

    #393353
    Gary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    So sorry, the last few weeks have been up and down, I went away to Portugal with Kate, which was incredible and very peacefull, but when I arrived back, things deteriorated with my father quite rapidly, he had a serious infection and needed surgery, followed then by him being sent home, locking carers out of the house which required police to break in and then the next day found fallen in his home with evidence of self harm, so I’ve been talking constantly with carers, doctors and my family team to try and arrange care that isn’t in his home going forward. Apologies, I just wanted to explain a little as I was certainly intending to reply, my mind was just elsewhere.

    Repressing emotions is unhealthy for everyone and expressing them is healthy for everyone – I think a lot of the things that have happened in the last two weeks have given me the opportunity to express my emotions, I hope in a healthy way & experiencing emotion, being overwhelmed with joy and happiness, that’s simply natural – this time has also given me the opportunity to express these emotions whilst with Kate. In the past, when something difficult would happen with my dad, I would deal with it on my own, maybe call a family member or two to talk. But Kate was literally by my side when these things happened, and although in this case the feelings weren’t joy and happiness, I expressed my sadness and cried with her. She explained that she saw this as strong, and nothing to be ashamed of. These times really give me the comfort to know that good people don’t judge you for showing such emotions as a man.

    keep in mind that the work is primarily your individual challenge – thank you for reminding of this, I know we can slip into patterns of hoping someone else can ‘fix’ us. But you are so right, I am speaking with a counselor again and working on myself a lot. This is helping with the attachment issues, and I am gradually feeling more and more comfortable and calm, and less anxious. Bit by bit.

    I hope you are well Anita, and thank you as always for your words.

    Dave

    #392464
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    we re-experience our troubled childhood emotional experiences in the context of romantic relationships – this feels so true. But in the same way, the more connected I feel in romantic relationships, the more my anxious attachment is soothed. Which I guess relates to being soothed my mother or brother when a child and feeling anxious.

    She suggested that each person should have not only an inner child within, but a whole inner family, consisting of an inner parent, an inner brother (masculine) and an inner sister (feminine) – I am glad you think that about Kate, she certainly is someone who is caring, empathetic and absolutely supporting of my showing and feeling my emotions deeply. This is very nice what the other member had said, I feel we all are multitudes like this. That we have layers and different areas of our personality that are needed in certain situations. The genderlessness is very interesting, almost as though we should not relate showing emotional with femininity, but as just a part of ourselves.

    I had a moment just this morning with Kate, where we had a very lovely weekend together and spent a lot of time really connecting on a deeper level, I just felt close to tears, out of pure joy and happiness and she was so supportive and did not make me feel weird for showing this level of emotion. I explained what we have talked about here, that I guess I still felt a stigma as a man crying. Kate said that she sees me showing my feelings and tears as a sign of courage and strength.

    I hope you are well,

    D

    #392182
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    regardless of fault, you should not be exposed to his outbursts – Thank you, I will certainly read more on this and consider my position as carer. I had never really thought of it like this to be honest.

    I can’t imagine it not having a part in your anxiety – thank you Anita for the offer to journal here, I’m sure it does have an impact on my anxiety. I am happy to share on here for sure. I do a lot of extra journaling just as a way to express myself (sometimes for pages and pages), so I’d like to be more concise here. I feel that period of uncertainty, violence, injury and fear shows itself again sometimes in my life these days. Like in romance, a lot of my older insecurities and trauma only manifest themselves in my romantic life. I feel with work, friendships, exercise, hobbies etc – I don’t have the same vulnerability as I do with love. I think that is what I’m trying to get to the bottom of. As part of my journaling, I’ve managed to write down several milestone moments in my life that I think had an impact on my inability to fully trust a lover or caregiver for some time.

    it is very sad that boys and men are victims to this gender-based discrimination – It really is isn’t it. But fortunately, Kate is very good at breaking down this stigma with me. A lot of the conversations we are having revolve around older patterns that we have both learnt and us both trying to break those thought patterns. Her ex was not very sympathetic or empathetic when she suffered social anxiety, I have tried to be so supportive and a safe space where she express herself, which she has found so helpful, she says I am breaking down her walls that she put up. Similarly, when I was feeling anxious the other day and really wanted reassurance – I took your advice Anita and told Kate, she was so supportive and caring, made me feel safe and reassured. I am slowly learning that to be a man and be emotional, sensitive and loving is no bad thing.

    Keep at it, persistently and patiently, every day, and you will notice a significant improvement within months, I predict. – thank you again Anita, you are right. I am slowly feeling more and more confident and less anxious, but like you say it takes time. There are still moments where I feel I am not good enough and that Kate will realise that. But this comes back to vulnerabilities coming out in Romance, where in work for example, I don’t ever feel that way. I have confidence that I am the right person for the job etc.

    All the best,

    Dave

    #391857
    Gary
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you, yes I really like this format.

    someone other than you to visit him for the purpose of caring for him, being that he is disabled? – I feel like because of the family dynamic, and the fact that my father wasn’t a bad man, I want to care for him, as the disability is not his fault, but the brain damage causes these outburts. But I understand what you mean, luckily I don’t have to go over very often, I’ve limited it to once a week normally. But this is something to think about for sure.

    excellent that you opened up to her and that she responded the way she did – absolutely, it was a really lovely and promising sign. The fear is still within me that if I talk about other things, a shared future for example, I will not receive the response I crave. But like we have talked about, this comes from a fear from childhood.

    It is not a true belief, but beliefs, true and false, are strong regardless, when they are energized by early-life emotions – You are right, I have started journaling again a lot recently. Specifically I wanted to focus on traumatic events, to really write how I feel/felt about them. I was assulted 10 years ago, suffered some brain damage and lost my sense of smell for several years, I had PTSD following and I feel this may also have a part to play in how I feel, the anxiety etc. Maybe my beliefs that I deserve suffering and pain. I journaled about this, and previous romantic and family rejections or abandonment which shuck me and took years to overcome. I feel several experiences may have contributed to this insecure attachment and fear of abandonment.

    The first part is energized by strong early-life emotions; the second part is loosely held by later life thoughts and weaker emotions. – This is such an interesting way of expressing these thoughts. I had also not thought that although there is this stigma, that I also share it. I almost feel like if a woman shows these feelings of wanting love, I have no judgement and welcome it, but if I or another male does it, I feel this subconcious stigma, maybe because of the way my mum and dad were. I want to focus on healing, like you say. Weakening the strong early life emotions and strengthening the ones I know to be true.

    reading this is making my day a good day, thank you! – Thank you Anita 🙂 I only wish I could focus on the numerous positives and amazing connection we have, without worrying that it will all fall apart and I will be abandoned. But healing is a process, as you have said before.

    Dave

    #391837
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    That’s great, I’m glad this format works for you – it’s really helpful to quote your response and then talk about the thoughts that these bring up.

    You can give her an example or two of judgments you are afraid of and hear how she responds – this is a very good idea. From the top of my head, I have visited my father a few times recently, and following his stroke and brain damage, he can become agressive with me, which triggers a lot of feelings from childhood. I notice that following these visits, I have a peak in anxiety and am hyperaware, I opened up to her about this and she was so comforting and supporting. Explaining that I am safe with her and to not be hard on myself for having these feelings. But I will of course take your advice and bring up specifically what we here have mentioned, that I would like to share more, but have a deep fear of it being rejected. Thank you.

    express yourself authentically and in a contained way, so that you are true to yourself – very good advice, I feel I am being genuine, but I will try hard to notice when I am expressing myself, that I still being true to myself. I think this ties in with the above point as well, to be honest about how I am feeling.

    I read from members who do sound this way, but you don’t, not to me – thank you Anita, it is nice to receive these words of confirmation from you.

    I vote for you being a lot kinder to yourself – agreed 🙂 I’m not quite sure why I am so hard on myself sometimes, I envy those who can be completely comfortable with themselves and even love themselves.

    Coldness and cruelty deserve judgment and criticism, not your wonderful longing for love – thank you again for this, I feel sometimes in this modern world, that there is a lot of stigma surrounding people who might be percieved as wanting love etc, like this might be seen as weakness. But you are right, it is a lovely thing to be passionate about love and connection.

    As another thought, Kate and I had a nice weekend, but she unfortunately had an anxious moment when we were out with friends, I think the empath in me noticed it almost straight away without prompting, and I made every effort to comfort and support her. She was so thankful and since then, she has talked about how safe she feels with me and how amazing I was with her. I just feel that seeing that worry or fear in someone I care about, I have the strongest urge to make sure they feel safe, supporting and not alone.

    Dave

    #391807
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “he caused you to get stuck in the fear and neediness that he wanted you to move away from” – this does make a lot of sense now, especially later in my life. It is something I definitely bring into romantic relationships, with separation anxiety and fear when I am not around my partner.

    “there is nothing more natural for a child to miss his mother and feel anxious when not in her company. It is not stupid, it is natural” – thank you for saying this, it did always feel like I was being unreasonable missing my mother so much. But like I mentioned above, this has translated to romantic caregivers instead.

    “you were afraid that she will respond to your emotions the way your father did” – yes, exactly this. I feel already that she is very empathetic and understands the way I feel a lot of the time, we do seem to share a connection. So maybe it just takes me a little longer than other people to open up completely and share what I am thinking/feeling, without fear of judgement.

    “There are ways for you to express to her how much you’d miss her, etc., without appearing needy and overly emotional” – you are so right, I have worked a lot of expressing myself how I want to be heard, not how the voice in my head sometimes tells me I’m feeling. Although you are aware of my inner thoughts and my somewhat anxious attachment style, I am confident that I don’t come across too needy or anxious to my new love interest, I try to carefully think about what I am going to say before I say it, if that makes sense.

    “all the ways that help lessen anxiety in general, will help with this particular anxiety.” – thank you, I am trying to cultivate some of the normal mindfulness routines that I developed after we first started speaking on this thread all those months ago. Reading, meditation, exercise. I think starting a new job was an additional stress that I hadn’t really considered until this weekend, so I should be a bit kinder to myself.

    “Specifically for this anxiety, when you feel it, talk to yourself the way your father should have, but didn’t” – this is really good advice, and I will certainly do this. These words of affirmation from myself seem so important, rather than being judgemental and critical of my emotional side which feels a deep longing for those I care about.

    Dave

    #391599
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your reply. Thank you also for letting me express myself like this.

    Yes that all makes a lot of sense. With regard to my parents, I don’t recall them saying I was trying to control them, but when I was with my father, I suffered a lot of separation anxiety being apart from my mother, and when I would get emotional or cry, he would often tell me to stop, or grow up, or be cynical towards this type of ‘needy’ behaviour. So I’m not sure I was ever accused of being controlling, but I was made to feel a little stupid for acting so emotionally towards missing my mother.

    …and how I might be misunderstood with my love interest – I was trying to process this last night. I spoke with my brother and a close friend about what she had said, and they both think that she was worried that I might end things if I knew she was travelling for a short while in the spring, whereas I thought it was that she may not want to carry on seeing each other when she goes travelling. My percieved misunderstanding comes from the fact that if I told her that I would miss her, or that I would want to stay together regardless of travel plans, that she may see this as me being ‘needy’ and overlly emotional.

    I did have a girlfriend when I was 21, the first real love in my life, who had a year abroad planned (maybe 18 months after starting our relationship) and she always asked me if I would stay with her whilst she went away, to which I said yes. But weeks before leaving, she broke off the relationship, because she wanted to be single for the year she was abroad. I understand that we were very young, and that a year is a lot longer than 1-2 months. But maybe this is causing me anxiety in my current relationship, that this sort of thing feels like it has happened before.

    My friend and brother both thought that her being honest with me was a sign that she wants things to work between us. Also, we have made our own plans next month to travel for a few days, so things are overall very positive with us. I just feel such separation anxiety and worry of being left in the future, like the child in me.

    Dave

    #391555
    Gary
    Participant

    Anita, I hope you’re well?

    I started a new job on the 5th Jan, so things have been very busy for me in the last two weeks. But I am enjoying it a lot. Thank you for the offer to practice addressing the inner child in me. I have been seeing my new love interest for about a month, and we are getting very close and sharing a lot of intimacy and our feelings etc. Though this, like I said before, has lead to an increase in my anxiety. I started to feel very calm about things, until Sunday, when she said something along the lines of “I wanted to be honest with you, that last year when I broke up with my last relationship, I intended to go travelling this year, in the spring/summer, maybe for a month, maybe longer. That was the reason I only applied for a six month lease on this flat. I wanted to be honest, because although I understand that this sounds like some uncertainty, it is a while away, it is something I have wanted to do for some time.”… after talking some more on the matter, I asked if she had been travelling with ex partners, to which she explained that often they didn’t seem like the right relationships to do this with, or the wrong people. I asked if she found someone who wanted similar things, would that influence the decision to travel solo, to which she responded yes. I explained that I have always loved to travel, but have never been in the right relationships either. I also added that at this point in my life, I have never been more free to travel, that my work is flexible and I have a lot of annual leave.

    Sorry for the long note, it was something that really triggered my inner child and spiked my anxiety, and like you mentioned, I found a quiet moment and composed the following, whilst addressing my inner child:

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This scared the child in me a lot. It scared me because I wasn’t sure why she was saying it, was it a preface to being able to exit the relationship as soon as travelling plans materialise, or was she saying it to gauge my reaction, by chance that I may feel similarly about travelling and it may be something we could do together? I felt a deep yearning to tell her exactly how I feel, my child wanted to cry, to reach out, to ask for certainty, for love and support. That I want to grow together, to experience the beauty of life, to see other countries, that I don’t want this to end. As we have joked before, 1 in 8 billion people, I like those odds, because when you win, you win big. This might be a joke, but it is the complete truth to me, sometimes life gives you something that is just too positive to ignore, or to cast aside, my child doesn’t want to be cast aside. A connection like we have made in such a short space of time, is truly a thing of value, created out of two paths of complete complexity and chance.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The child in me was scared. I am scared. The work I have done with myself has been so valuable, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, that I discount all the positive things that have happened because of a restless desire to understand my mind and those of others. I have no desire to control, own or have power over Kate, or any partner for that matter, often insecurities about losing someone you love can be misread as obsessions of control, but this is not the case. Kate’s independence, her intelligence and complete passion for life are what draws me to her. I admire and care for her. The child in me, doesn’t want to control his Dad, he just wants to be loved by him. He wants his Mum, Dad and Step Mum to hold him when he is scared, to tell him his is enough, and to encourage him.</span>

    Apologies that this might be a word dump, but I wanted to write straight from that child, from the heart.

    All the best,

    Dave

    #390738
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry about the late reply, it was a hectic time but full of family visits over the holidays. I spend a total of 0 hours on my computer, which is both good and also I have a lot of catching up to do.

    You are so right in that as a child I yearned not to be alone and to be close with someone who loves me. That is acutely what I am feeling right now, I started seeing a new romantic connectioned just before christmas, things have gone very well and we’ve spent a lot of time together, but after a few days apart, I seem to be struggling with separation anixety. I guess this might be due to my anxious attachment style.

    a tree in dry ground grows longer and longer roots – this analogy is really interesting, I’ve never thought about it like that. I feel like the tree with long roots now, yearning to be close to someone who has shown me compassion.

    What you’ve said makes so much sense, I feel I would really benefit from some psychotherapy, but the cost is too high where I am, but hopefully I am starting a new job and I might be able to afford it. What you said about my thoughts being too intellectual in adulthood with regard to childhood experience seems so interesting, I clearly try and rationalise these things and think about them in a pragmatic way, but this doesn’t seem to help. I try sometimes addressing the child in me who is lonely, hurt and strives for love. It is a really vulnerable place to be and it does scare me. It scares me revealing that side to a new partner also.

    The black and white thinking you referred to makes a lot of sense, is it possible I have rose-tinted glasses on when thinking of my mother, that she was perfect, when in fact she was just human and wasn’t always there. I note now that although I speak to my mother a lot, we don’t entirely empathise with each other, but I do with my brother, so much more than when we were children.

    I have tried CBT several times and have found it very helpful, so I will look into that again. I also read a book called the Happiness trap, which is around a newer wave of CBT called ACT, acceptence and commitment therapy, which follows a similar approach. I guess after several months of reletively stable mental health, I am just a little suprised about a new love interest, and the anxiety that has suddently occured. But I am taking all of your advise and thoughts to heart and they are so hopeful.

    I hope you are well,

    D

    #389807
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry again, we’ve had a bereavement in the family which has been tough to deal with.

    You are right, about not doing things for the wrong reasons. I feel most of the time (thankfully), I am helping past and current romantic partners purely out of a feeling of care for them. But of course sometimes the feeling of trying to help my self esteem do creep in.

    That makes a lot of sense about the self esteem issues coming from the interactions with my mother as a child. I feel we’ve touched on this before, but more recently I have been talking with new potential romantic options and feel I get very attached quite quickly and have these abandonment issues arise as well. I feel if I am being mindful of these, I can help understand them better. I am going to speak to my counsellor again, as I’ve had a few months off. So it will be good to talk through these things in person again.

    I feel I get attached to romantic partners quickly because again of my childhood, that I am searching to be loved and wanted, if that makes sense?

    I hope you are well,

    Dave

    #389051
    Gary
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry for my late reply, things have been rather hectic this week.

    “that he is hyper aware of her feelings, and when he detects that she is upset and distant” I can definitely relate to this. I notice the smallest ques from the women I am involved with, and sometimes take them personally. I am definitely working on this, and have been speaking with a counselor about this and several other things. I think it comes down to self-esteem as well with me, that I think I’m not worthy of the love, attention and their happiness.

    “started when you were a child, in regard to your mother, a habit that and extends to romantic partners” Yes absolutely. Although I am still not sure if this is something that is to my detriment or not. Like it still confuses me, that I do love to be there for people and help, but sometimes I’m not sure if I put myself second, and if this is a good or bad thing.

    As for the paradox, yes that makes a lot of sense what you have noted. I do sometimes need to understand my needs a little better, and be aware that I may be searching for the attention and validation that the young me didn’t always receive. I dated someone for a couple of weeks but called it off as I wasn’t feeling that connection, though it was hard hurting someone I still didn’t even know that well, and to lose a source of validation. I feel that some days I am still getting used to being single, to not have someone there to listen and to validate my feelings etc.

    “when in a relationship, you don’t trust that the woman will be close to you for long, you are hyper alert and anxious, anticipating that she will be distant any time” This makes a lot of sense. I have had several serious relationships as an adult, and I have either finished them as they weren’t working for me, or I have been completely blindsided by others whom I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. So maybe these feelings of abandonment have been reinforced a little in adult life, that women have left me, seemingly without notice. This again is something I am working on, being more mindful and not expecting things that are out of my control.

    “a self-esteem moment here, a self-esteem moment there.” 100%, again things I am working on. That I should feel my own intrinsic value without the validation from a woman, though I do appreciate that it is also positive to have that from a partner.

    I am glad you have found some of the things regarding your life useful as well. I understand that we don’t need to go further on this, but thank you for letting me help in any way. I really do appreciate all your valuable conversation, it is a constant source of comfort.

    Dave

    #388691
    Gary
    Participant

    “she expected you to be the Strong One (the one providing comfort), but in reality, you were weak, you needed her comfort and you didn’t get it when she was upset.” Yes I feel this quite acutely now. I try my best to be there for the people who need me, and especially the women in my life. I still am there for my ex partner, we are still friends, but I would drop anything to be there for her if she was hurting. I don’t know if this is healthy, but I also am not sure how to get past this needing of comfort and support that I need. Today has been a tough day, feeling like I don’t want to hurt anyone I’m dating, but also feeling like I need someones support, I feel a bit paradoxical.

    “(1) when visiting your father, (2) when your mother worked and you were alone, and (3) when your mother was with you, but was too upset and sorrowful to comfort you.” This does seem absolutely accurate. Now with my fathers illness and lack of communication or compassion, I feel it strongly when I care for him. I feel I’m also at the age as a man who shouldn’t be reaching out to my mother for so much support. So I do try and nuture myself if I can. I definitely bring the anxiety from my mother into relationships with women, as I am hyper aware of their feelings and try to work out if it is something I’ve done wrong which might have upset them, if that makes sense?

    “…is your deep hurt about not being enough for your father and not being enough for your mother” Yes this does seem to be the case. I have been through stages in life where I’ve been given validation (women finding me attractive etc), and have felt great self esteem. But I believe because I broke up my last relationship and have been single for a while, that I can’t find someone who feels like that about me. But the rational part of my brain knows that this is just a time of change and transition. I know I have a lot of love to bring to a relationship, and to admire and support a partner. These things just can’t be rushed or controlled I guess…

    To your responses:

    “…massive, extensive daydreaming/ fantasy life… NO  INTENT WHATSOEVER” I can completely relate to you here, I feel I escaped into worlds of fantasy and fiction growing up as a way of avoiding uncomfortable emotions. I imagine the frustration you felt was intense, on the one hand not being believed, and the other, that it was someone who traditionally should believe and support you unconditionally.

    “you did something wrong or failed to do something.. poor him.. evil you!!!” I can imagine how you feel, that maybe you feel similarly to me, that when someone is unhappy, you immediately may have thought that you were responsible, that someone told you it was you causing this. Are you much better at rationalising this now? Realising that you aren’t always responsible for someone else’s mood?

    “gave large amounts of my money away countless times so to compensate people for my wrong doing” This makes sense, if you are trying your best to make sure people understand how much you are there for them, or are sacrificing for them.  (Don’t worry about my other question, I probably didn’t word it very well)

    “As an adult and living on another continent, I went to great lengths, living in miserable physical circumstances, so to spend the least amount of money on myself, and give her the greatest amount of money so to pay her back the huge debt I felt that I owed her.” This must have been so difficult, living with this debt over your head, especially when it sounds like a not-so-real debt that could never and shouldn’t ever be paid back. I hope now you are more open to allowing yourself some luxury and treating yourself well?

    “instead of wasting a lifetime trying to pay that debt” I know it must be hard, but I guess there is no real timescale for these things, and one person may make these life changing decisions a lot sooner than others. We all go at our own speeds.

    “I finally gave up the efforts, efforts that robbed me of a life worth living, for half a century or so.” That makes sense, it is so difficult to change anyone, if not impossible. You are right to accept things as they are in my opinion. There are times that we get really caught up in how someone is far from ideal, but if they only understood, things might be different. But to attempt to change someone is just painful.

    I hope you are finding this helpful? I obviously don’t want to keep asking you questions if you are not finding it useful. Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to work on?

    D

    #388430
    Gary
    Participant

    “that I intended to hurt her and went about hurting her in a planned and calculated manner.. while reality was that I never meant to hurt her” I imagine this made you feel so trapped and powerless? That although you loved your mother and would have done anything to help, this wasn’t only ignored, but in fact you were criticised for the opposite. Do you bring this feeling into your relationships as an adult? Do you find maybe you have overcompensated in areas of your life so as not to seem like you aren’t doing enough, or supporting those close to you now?

    “that I didn’t try to hurt her, but she argued and insisted that what she said was true. I was very confused..” Do you feel this confusion has carried forward into your relationship with others as an adult? For example, that you feel like you are doing everything you can but someone may not appreciate you for it, or that you might earn enough money to be comfortable, but struggles still arise? I’m not sure if you can relate to that?

    “it hurt me to eat the food she bought for me, I couldn’t enjoy clothes and toys that she bought for me with her hard earned money” Does this make it difficult for you now to appreciate gifts and shows of self-sacrifice from others? Like it may be that you would be begrudged in accepting them from others?

    “I ended all contact with her more than 8 years ago, so I no longer hear her say anything” Do you feel this was the best decision for you? I understand from friends I know that sometimes, the relationship with a parent is unrepairable and, although we would like to reach agreements and understanding with people we care about, sometimes this just isn’t possible.

    D

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