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This was the story of my life: Making nice with the extended family for my children.
There is a Buddhist saying: Seek Sanctuary in Politeness. If a stranger was rude to you, you wouldn’t engage, would you? Of course not! You’d think, “Well that one is an odd duck,” and smile politely with a thousand yard stare.
With your family be Open and Formal. Don’t get into it with them. Go to all the holidays and events. Once a year or so unapologetically be unavailable. My family howled the first time I dared go on vacation during Christmas. But then they got over it because I was tacitly giving everyone else permission to take a break and do the same.
It will never be the same, I’m afraid. And it shouldn’t be this hard. The pandemic just makes it worse, and the introverts get to be hermits. But it’s the extroverts who suffer! This is also so typical. After high school people just shoot off in different trajectories and seldom look back. That’s why they created high school reunions.
I think it’s harder because it sounds like everyone is in the same area so there is really no excuse.
My rule of thumb is after three failed attempts or cancellations give it up. Then perhaps next year throw a party, send invites, and if they come, they come.
My first instinct? TAKE IT SLOW WITH THIS ONE! I don’t like where this could be headed. At the end of the day he will keep you and your secular life together a dirty little secret. Or you will be pressured to marry him to convert to his religion.
I also don’t like how he fell in love with you instantly.
Please date other people. Yes, even at the same time.
I wouldn’t move back, to be honest. I think it’s his turn now.
In the meantime… He is older and hopefully has some time and money for a vacation. If Covid allows, he can fly and visit YOU. Ten days, two weeks. He can meet some peers, you know, your parents, and they will get along swimmingly, and/or you will be terrified comparing their relative health.
If he insists you live with him in the UK, cheerfully tell the bloke that you want children and “I will if you can find me a job, honey!”
I would keep him as an international lover. You don’t want to be a married nursemaid.
A Younger Bride,
InkyJuly 4, 2020 at 9:55 am in reply to: Looking for guidance/ understanding of how to manage my emotions #360523
Well this is why I don’t watch the news 24/7. It’s ironic that because of empathy you become vegan, but that same empathy can be a liability when “the world is too much in you”.
One vegan can make a huge difference. Just by EXISTING you are normalizing not eating meat. Your friends and family will naturally eat lighter because you are. When you start a family of your own, before you know it, twenty people will have vegan Thanksgivings because that’s just what you do. Sure, some people will still eat meat and consume milk and egg products, but they CAN do it with LESS suffering. Permaculture is a thing. Don’t be surprised if you give blessings over your neighbor’s egg laying chickens and milk producing goat. Lastly, take heart! More and more people turn to plant based diets every year!
No need to THINK any more over the suffering. Just DO your thing!
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Because you were a child at the time, even if you turn yourself in, what would that do? They can’t arrest you.
If you confess and say you’re sorry for abusing a pre-verbal child, what would that do? Your brother would be repelled and it could tarnish your relationship forever.
The key idea is you were a CHILD. Not even a teenager. Children do nutty things.
Repeat, “I forgive myself for any past mistakes I did when I was under the age of eighteen” 100 times a day for a year.
InkyJuly 4, 2020 at 9:39 am in reply to: How can we move forward after all the mistrust and resentment? #360520
Don’t get mad at me, but he probably didn’t tell you he was meeting up with the girl (probably to end it) was because you have a problem letting things go. Imagine you were with someone for half a year. Then you dumped him because Reasons. Then later you reconnect. You were kind of seeing this other guy. You met the other guy privately to quietly break it off with him. The other guy asks if you can still be friends. You reply, after a pause… “Sure”….
Then you come home and your original BF is yelling at you for lying through omission. AND. HE. WON’T. LET. IT. GO. FOR. THREE. YEARS.
Girl! I know it is a pandemic. But for your own mental health, and his, you have to move out. He is in that dangerous zone where he is “done” and “YOU” are the problem! You can be mad at him, sure, but how the heck can he redeem himself now? I’m confused what exactly he can do? Couple’s councelling? Is that penance?
Because you live in different countries, he probably views you as “safe”. A relationship without all the headaches of love, touch, and emotions. The real question is, if he moved to where you live and confessed feelings to you, would YOU want that?
I’ve recently discovered the Steve Nobel meditations on YouTube. They’ve calmed me down. By like A LOT. They are psycho-spiritual too, he guides you to “release that which no longer serves you” on the outbreath. Things like that.
I think most of your time was spent yearning for her. There’s nothing like pining for someone you cannot have. It’s romantic! It’s Bittersweet! The highs! The lows! This is life!
But then once you had her, you start doubting your feelings. The highs are no longer as high because you have her now. And what lows, even though you are separated now. It is a level field. But this is good news. This is mature love.
Hang in there!
Don’t cofess!! It’s gross and WILL disturb them. There’s no reason for it. Maybe become Catholic so you can go to confession?? It sounds like you want someone to absolve you. Well, that is a spiritually official way of doing it!
InkyJune 20, 2020 at 12:39 pm in reply to: How to Reconnect with my family over past mistakes #359086
Hi Guilt and Cookies,
Maybe an affirmation, “I forgive myself for anything/everything I did before I was eighteen” or “I forgive my childhood self” could do the trick.
Kids do a lot of gross, crazy, and inappropriate stuff. They are, by definition, immature. Meaning they are half baked. I knew kids who hung cats in the woods. You think they feel guilty now? If they do, they’d never admit to it and moved on. At least you are tormented by guilt. But how much longer are you going to beat yourself up?
InkyJune 13, 2020 at 7:20 am in reply to: Comparing, Feeling Inadequate and Insulted for being who I am #358467
I know I’m late to this conversation but…
One thought I had was that this pandemic is a BOON for women! We get to be treated with RESPECT! No more casual hookups! “You want to see me? You can’t! Now sit down and write me a poem!” Romance is back!
This jerk brain is bad in bed and isn’t getting laid, I promise you! No one will have him now! I mean, he has to put in, what? Time, respect and energy! Through a screen no less!
You won! He lost! Believe it!
It’s not that you don’t deserve to have friends, family, loved ones, a house and good food to eat. It’s more like EVERYONE deserves those things! Throughout human history we have been surrounded by people, food and shelter, even if it was just a hunting tribe living in caves. So no more guilt, OK? Once you have kids, by the way, you cannot even entertain guilt.
People I know are either doing everything or nothing. We are in the middle of a Collective Trauma. Just getting through it (two breakdowns and a panic attack here) is enough. I feel like a Warrior, to be honest, even with my neuroticism.
Try older guys. The ones solidly in their thirties have had their hookups and are looking for the big “R”, if not the big “M”. They are less likely to play games (they’ve won and lost them all) and know how to treat people.
This is a little evil of me, but I would keep one guy around as “The Maintenance Man” so you won’t be tempted to fall for a casual hookup (you’re getting that at home!). And another guy around who pines for you and adores you that you keep as “just a friend” (for your self esteem level.)
I would also acquire a new sporty hobby (other people) and go on a new dating app (one has got to be different!).