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DaveF

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  • #381392
    DaveF
    Participant

    Hi Anita and Teak,

    As you both have so kindly mentioned, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the reasons for my inner turbulence regarding the situation I am in, and I have taken some time before replying to really try and get to know myself and understand myself. The things you have mentioned from your objective point of view have been so valuable. It really does make a lot of sense that my relationship with my mother and my father at a young age has influenced my relationships with not only myself, but my partners as an adult. I have been speaking with a counsellor which has also helped, and I have shared some of the things we have talked about on this thread, he agrees that this would make a lot of sense.

    My ongoing fears of loneliness and making the caregiving females in my life unhappy or sad have given me many things to work on. I have been meditating, practicing mindfulness in everyday tasks and have tried to cultivate a strong and encouraging relationship with myself. These things have really helped, as well as trying to nurture the inner child in me, who had so much fear. I actually continued to speak honestly with my partner, and a week ago, we did break up. We are, however, still living in the same house, and although this has some difficulties, we are amicable and are trying to cause one another the least amount of stress in the process, whilst we decide on our future living arrangements.

    It is clear now, that my fears – of both my own loneliness and upsetting someone I care about – were definitely over exaggerated, it may be a cliche, but things weren’t as bad as I predicted them to be. Yes, it is sad and we are both in the process of grieving a relationship that we both learned so much from, and grew as people in. But I do not have any doubts, and there is a positive option of us being friends in the future, as we have both expressed that we have a lot of admiration and care for each other, but I appreciate that this is down to circumstances, and if it is too difficult for one or both of us, then that is that.

    Overall I am feeling positive about the future, hopeful, yet grieving the loss, but with plans going forward, I feel stronger and more resiliant. I have comforted the inner child in me and cultivated the things in my life, like friends, hobbies, exercise, that make me feel content and positive.

    I wanted to truly thank both of you for your help in this difficult time, your insight, empathy and understanding has truly made me feel understood and so thankful that there are people like you out there. I understand that there may be ups and downs in the coming months, so I say that I may again reach out, but I completely understand if you do not have the time or space if that happens, to respond.

    My unending thanks and love.

    Dave

    #380953
    DaveF
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you also for your responses, they are so helpful. I will echo the sentiment that both yours and Teak’s comments are really helping so much right now in this difficult time, I can’t thank you both enough.

    Looks to me that you tend to magnify unpleasant/ negative experiences and perceive them as much bigger and worse than they really are. Maybe W’s insults and hurtful comments.. were not really insults or hurtful.

    This is really eye-opening to me, it had not occurred to me that I am magnifying these difficult thoughts/scenarios. It may be a habit I have developed over several broken-down relationships, uncomfortable family dynamics as a child, and being susceptible to depression and anxiety. I am admittedly a sensitive person, and I feel emotions very acutely, especially empathy, and I often feel others’ sadness strongly. This has given me so much to think about, to try and control my emphasizing of negative feelings and scenarios.

    * I am assuming sex was emotionally painful to you, not physically painful.

    In fact, it was more painful for my partner, she struggling to express herself sexual and struggling with feelings of guilt and a lack of physical desire (things she has told me in the past). But due to my openness to sex and sexual expression, I think I struggling with feelings of rejection when my desire for sexual closeness was met with my partner not wanting to, if that makes sense?

    – this is all you shared about your childhood. Absent are the sounds you heard as a child: perhaps there were arguments between your parents (before they separated and divorced), maybe angry and loud, maybe angry and quiet, maybe the silence between them was tense and threatening. Maybe you were afraid of their next argument, or the next silence treatment one imposed on the other.. Maybe you walked on egg shells, so to speak, waiting for the other shoe to drop, scared, sometimes angry. Maybe in the silence of the home, alert to every sound, your hearing became acute, each sound magnified, so to prepare for danger to come. This can explain your current magnification of potential threats, threats that often do not materialize (do they?):

    This is very interesting, I was too young when my mother and father divorced, but because we lived in another country, my mother raised me for 2 and a half years in the country I live in now and I didn’t really meet my father until I was a little older when he moved closer, my mother informs me that I was very scared and hesitant towards him, and we didn’t form a strong connection. I remember a lot of sadness from my mother, so what you said makes sense – I did not want to cause my mother any further hurt, and my fathers temper and his dislike of children meant I definitely walked on egg-shells around him so as not to make him angry. He would often be very angry at normal child-like things, such as dropping something, or not understanding a difficult concept.

    You wrote in regard to living with this woman: “I feel trapped”- trapped as a child perhaps, in the home where you grew up. The child that you were wanted perhaps to take action and run away from home, but he was too scared: (1) he will be so lonely away from home, (2) his mother will be very, very sad if he runs away, and she does not deserve to be hurt.

    This really resonates with me, I think I felt trapped between two parents – my mother whom I wanted to make happy and shower with love and prevent from being upset, and my father who I was scared to see but was forced to be with every other weekend, I would often cry whilst at his house as I missed my mother. I definitely wanted to run away from this, and I felt so lonely when away from my mother (1), I always felt acutely sad for my mother when we were with my father and the woman that he had had an affair with when with my mother (2), I could not bare to upset her.

    Fast forward more than 20 years: “I..  feel like crying every time I see her in the house, as she does not deserve to be hurt… I feel so sorry for my partner and my feelings make it hard to hold back the tears most days. I am so scared that if I do take action, I would feel so lonely and regretful, but breaking up is also all I’ve thought about for months”.

    You have no idea how much this brings home these feelings, the comparison with my mother – the female care giver whom I didn’t want to upset, and my current partner, the now female care giver whom again, I do not want to upset. Knowing these things really is helping in understanding why I am struggling with these matters. Is there anything you would suggest that helps with these feelings? I am trying to cultivate mindfulness and close relationships with friends, but as I mentioned, I feel a little disappointed by my closest nearby friends at the moment. But in a way this gives me the strength and desire to be OK on my own temporarily, to be strong and resiliant.

    Thank you again for all your thoughts, reaching out on this platform has been the most helpful thing I have done in a long time.

    D

    #380952
    DaveF
    Participant

    Dear Teak,

    Thank you again for your thoughts. I feel you have really opened my eyes to how I may be feeling and how I am approaching this, both emotionally and practically.

    It seems there’s a part of you that feels guilty for asserting yourself and having your needs met, and it could be coming from the little boy who didn’t want to burden his mother with his needs, when she was struggling alone, being a single mother?

    This really hits home with me, I felt responsible often for my mother’s happiness as a child, because I knew how difficult she had it. I have always been so close with my mother, but was acutely aware how hurt she had been by my father, and I was always torn when going to my dads (and his new partners) house, because they both hurt my mother so much (affairs etc.).

    This sounds like another part of you, who’s afraid of being abandoned. And it could be because one parent (your father) had already abandoned you, so there’s a threat of that always looming…

    Definitely, I have struggled with abandonment issues for many years, when partners have broken up with me, I have tried to hold things together, but have been so emotionally distraught with being left by people and this definitely is compounded with friends and close relationships as well. You are right, my father (who admitted several times) didn’t really want children, but our relationship got better as I became an adult. But that didn’t change the feeling that I constantly fought for my fathers approval and didn’t feel I ever had it. I was a sensitive child and my father just didn’t know how to comfort an upset child.

    And as for my friends, I feel my abandonment issues coming up again in this scenario, I am trying not to judge with thoughts like “if it was me, I would help my best friend out”. They have both said that with their girlfriends being around, having another person in the house would be too crowded, with one of them working from home. I am trying to understand these reasons, but still feel a little resentful. They believe that I will be fine living with my mother temporarily, but she is in a different city, and I don’t want to isolate myself from my friends and work in this city.

    Yes, I have been looking at sharing a house with other young adults in the area, so that has given me some confidence that there are options for temporary housing, I guess it is a little daunting and scary, but as you and Anita have both mentioned, it seems I have a tendency to amplify fears and negative emotions, so I am working on cultivating mindfulness and calmness to let be what will be, even if there are some temporarily uncomfortable times.

    Please free to express whatever it’s on your mind and heart, you’re not “ranting” at all, you’re expressing yourself very coherently and with a lot of self-awareness. I am happy to read from you.

    Thank you, you really have no idea how much this is helping to share and hear all of your thoughts on this platform, I wish I would have reached out sooner. I am eternally grateful for this 🙂

     

    #380909
    DaveF
    Participant

    Hi Teak,

    Thank you also for your reply, your words are eternally helpful and thank you for listening.

    You are completely right with your comments, it sometimes just needs someone to say it back to us to really understand the situation. I was terrified of another confrontation, but like I mentioned in my reply to Anita, I actually brought up the subject the other day with my concerns for the relationship, which I was met with less hurtful comments, but with a suggestion to live separately to try to resolve issues.

    You are right, the fear of being on my own is definitely a theme for me, I had a difficult time with a divorced mum and dad as a kid – a mother who was very comforting and loving, and a father who was very distant emotionally and tough on me – I feel that may have taught me some lessons about attaching to people who care about me and trying not to leave them. You are right that I believe those things that she said to me, that I “won’t find someone who loves me like that” or that “I won’t be able to manage on my own”. But I have stronger and stronger feelings that I want to trust myself, and understand that it will be hard but I need to do this for me, and believe in myself.

    When she mentioned living apart, it makes me feel less anxious that she wouldn’t have anywhere to live, as it’s clear we both would find somewhere. But I approach two of my best friends who have a spare room across town, but they aren’t willing to let me sleep in it for 6 weeks or so (as I have a flat that I’ve bought, that should hopefully be good to go in the next couple of months). But this just plays on the theme or feeling lost and lonely, that my best friends wouldn’t help me out temporarily. But I know I shouldn’t take it so personally.

    Sorry for ranting on, but your replies and your thoughts are so so helpful. Thank you

    #380908
    DaveF
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Many thanks for your reply. I really do appreciate your thoughts and feedback. I understand completely where you are coming from, but although these sound like they may be aggressive, they seemed – in the moment – more out of desperation, and I have no fear for my safety in that regard. But genuine thanks to you for your concern of my wellbeing. I recently aired my views that I was struggling in the relationship still and the response was completely different that it was previously. There was genuine understanding and options given of potentially living apart (taking a step back), to see if that helps the relationship. I think I am stuck in the mindset that that may just be a step towards breaking up, rather than something to fix the relationship. I feel so sorry for my partner and my feelings make it hard to hold back the tears most days. I am so scared that if I do take action, I would feel so lonely and regretful, but breaking up is also all I’ve thought about for months.

    Yours,

    D

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