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Janet

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #376544
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    maybe that’s true and I forgot that I was afraid at home or shut those feeling out. Perhaps I subconsciously am afraid of being controlled again even though at the time it did not feel like control.

    “See the illogic here?” I do and I was contradicting my statements. What I should have added is that I know girls who are really beautiful (above average you could say – by society’s standards), have a great figure, but their partners criticize them for having a stretch mark or cellulite (even though they are perfectly healthy and enjoy exercise). Those are the things that people don’t see right away (until they are intimate). Men don’t even ask me out on dates or on a drink as friends because they don’t like what they do see. Even though I don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship, I would love to have some guy friends (and not just girl friends). It is funny, in college, guys/mal schoolmates would be so nice to me when my attractive friends were around and we would have great and fun conversations that I engaged in, but they barely said hi to me when they passed me in the hallways. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself (I do hope it does not seem that way), but it saddens me deeply that I should be punished this way for not fitting society’s idea of beauty most men buy into. I’m not extremely thin, but I exercise and try to live a healthy life, I take care of my hygiene and make myself look presentable. I do the best I can with what I have been given, but it is never enough. I had an ex-schoolmate/friend (female) once tell me that she cannot picture me being intimate with someone because of the way I look. It would be easier for me to convince myself that I’m being dramatic and that I’m normal if I was the only person who thought this way, but actually hear this from someone else is kinda soul-crushing. I didn’t even ask her about her opinion, she just decided to say that to me while telling me about her relationship.

    #376504
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    you are probably right. I am afraid of being in a relationship because I love my freedom too much and I really do not want to stress any more than I naturally do about things. At the same time, I am ashamed (in front of others, especially my ex-classmates and ex-friends) that no one finds me beautiful enough or partner-worthy.

    “let’s look at your fear of your father. You wrote earlier: “I was afraid of him for most of my childhood and teenage years”- will you elaborate on this sentence, more than you did before?” – My father is very traditional, kinda conservative. He has always been very strict and serious (although much less now that I am an adult). He loses his temper quickly, but he never raised a hand on us. He had to work very hard since he was a child (he is very much a workaholic) and he wanted his children to be hard workers too. So his behavior affected me more on that level – make as few mistakes as you can. Before going to college, I was not afraid of men. It was in college that I encountered strange men and my friends who were telling me their bad relationship stories. It was scary to see that 90% of people in relationships (at least people I knew) were unhappy or afraid because their partner was controlling or abusive in some way. Girls especially were faced with infections, herpes, always going to the gynecologist because their partners were cheating on them or refused to wear a condom. Girls were limited in who they could hang out with and every time I was having coffee with a friend, her partner would text her a million times asking where she is and with who.  They were/are constantly worried about what they look like because their partners criticize their bodies even though they have perfect figures and for the life of me I cannot figure out who could criticize someone who looks like a Victoria’s Secret model. Men’s standards are so high and I don’t want to stress myself out always wondering whether I’m good enough or not.. I don’t want to be controlled, I don’t want to spend hours on the phone every day reporting where I am or who I’m with. My fear is that my partner would change once we were together long enough for him to manipulate me without me even knowing. If people knew right away that someone is controlling and abusive, they would not date that person in the first place, yet there are so many bad people in relationships because they are good at pretending to be kind and respectful.  I rarely see signs of manipulative friends right away (I usually see them when I’m deep into people-pleasing them), so I I’m too afarid too even try with a romantic partner.

    I hope what I wrote makes some sense. 🙂

    #376443
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for your suggestions!

    I’m not good at figuring people out and it takes me a long time to see wether someone is using me or manipulating with me. This is my fear, that before I realize these (interview) traits, it will be too late and the other person will blackmail me or stalk me or make my life difficult. I know I’m being paranoid.. (I blame the news – the cases where the husband/boyfriend killed his partner skyrocketed last year in my country).

    #376350
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “it is possible (?) that you don’t really want to be in a romantic relationship, that what you want is to not be embarrassed about not being in a relationship” – This is very true. I feel like with relationships comes drama. I don’t really know any functional marriages or relationships in general. All my friends have had some kind of troubles in relationships: cheating, controlling behaviour, too much compromise on one side only, etc. I have just lost faith in a healthy relationship before I even started. Men that do approach me are strange, usually much older and very vulgar. I’m afraid I’ll attract a psychopath or someone who will create trouble if I want to leave them. My friend had two boyfriends who threatened to hurt themselves and her if she tries to leave and I am absolutely terrified of something like that happening to me. Others were cheated on and manipulated. I am also so disappointed with guys criticizing women so much and the lack of privacy in relationships. People spill the beans so to speak on everything, especially their sex lives. They criticize their partner’s body, they discuss what they do in the bedroom, etc. I don’t want my partner to talk to other people about our intimate life and about my body. I don’t want my future boyfriend to tell all his friends that I’ve been a virgin for so long.  I am a kind (I focus a lot on self-development), private person, and I don’t know why I keep attracting men who either low-key sexually harass me or are not my type in general. I can’t picture myself with someone who doesn’t care about self-growth and is etitled and controlling. I’m know I’m not perfect and I am not expecting to get a perfect boyfriend, but I do want one that is respectful and interested in self-development.

    #376196
    Janet
    Participant

    Hi, Anita 🙂

    I’m sorry for the late reply. I’ve started a new job and I spend so much less time on the internet. I got a job in a completely different field, but I am so happy. I’m also proud of myself because I always doubt myself so much and I worry about not doing a good job, but there was a minimum of those feelings this time. I was a little scared of starting a new job, but I dove into it with much less doubt and fear than I would have before. I’m learning how to be more relaxed and less wired all the time. I do, however, still feel uneasy seeing all my ex-friends and people around me in relationships. I like being single, but words of pity from others still get to me. I’m 24 and no one has ever loved me in a romantic way and I can’t help but feel embarrassed.

    #375203
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you! 🙂 I will.

    All the best,

    Janet

    #375098
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you! :))

    #375027
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I was meaning to write to you soon. 🙂 Yes, I have made some progress! (at least I think I have) I am practicing comebacks to different scenarios and I think of words more quickly. I have also recently ended a friendship with someone I thought I could trust and they blindsided me with their wish to not interact with me anymore. The person is dealing with some issues and they always confided in me and wanted me to listen to them and I did. I also shared some of my problems with them and we bonded over both having anxiety. This person told me that they don’t want to talk to me anymore because talking about our problems gives them more anxiety. I was confused because they confided in me willingly and frequently asked for advice and started such conversations, but instead of lashing out and being angry, I recognized that this is for the best. Usually, I would obsess over this for months, even years maybe. But I was “over it” the next day because I cannot be friends with someone who wants me to listen to them all the time without being able to open up myself. I also analyzed what I could do better in the future and how I can become a better friend. Maybe I was not “badass” with this person (since I agreed to the end of the friendship), but I still feel badass because I let it go without obsessively blaming myself and telling myself that I am a bad person. I don’t need to convince this person that I am a worthy friend and this is a huge step forward for me. I was never able to do that before.

    #373249
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    yes, good idea! I imagine it will feel weird at first, but we are quarantined and I could use such a distraction. 😀 Plus, what do I have to lose. I feel like my flirting game can only go up from here, haha. But as you said, first I need to work on my assertiveness.

    I will definitely let you know how my practice works. I really appreciate you taking so much time to respond and give me advice. The mirror “experiment” might sound intimidating, but it also sounds fun to me. And that is what I need right now – to not take everything so seriously and just learn self-growth through practices like this.

    #373244
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you! That is a great idea, to practice in front of a mirror. As we have established at the beginning of this thread, I’m not always aware of my facial expressions and body language. I will definitely do this.

    “Then when you see her, like an actress in a play who did a lot of practice, deliver your best performance.” – I like this description! I feel like doing this would help me with other frustrations as well. I often know how I want to react to something, but I end up reacting completely differently. Pretending to be an assertive badass might eventually lead to me being that way and not only pretending. 🙂

    #373237
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    whenever we see each other she acts all sweet and, unfortunately, so do I. Next time I see her I will do it differently. When she’ll start to provoke (and she will), I’ll look her in the eyes as you suggest. I imagine saying something like this: “I am not in high school anymore, but clearly you still are. What makes you so unhappy that you have to constantly provoke and seek attention? Take your bullsh*t somewhere else and pretend to be a good person there. And get some serious help. You know who my therapist was, maybe give her a call. Bye.”

    “I knew what I should have said and done after it the situation ended (and not in my favor).”  – This is exactly my struggle. It is so easy to come up with what I wrote above when I’m alone, but in the moment I kinda freeze. Often it is not even that I don’t know what to say. It is the fear of saying it that stops me.

    #373215
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>thank you for taking the time so many days in a row to help me. I’m trying my best to stand up for myself for a while now and my brother is also helping me by teaching me how to be more assertive. I know, that if it ever happens that my bully and I meet again, I have to show her that I am not a goody goody anymore and she cannot manipulate me any longer. I should not care about seeming like a bad person if I assert myself. My brother always tells me that is better to be respected than liked. Sometimes I just need encouraging words from strangers as well, hence my post here. I like to know that I am not alone and that others have successfuly overcome such struggles.
    I hope to one day be able to say that I have overcome this struggle as well.
    All the best,</p>
    Janet

    #373205
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “– if you want to, and only if you feel comfortable sharing, can you give me a few concrete examples of what she, when in a bad mood, specifically said and did to you that was evil, hellish, spiteful and/ or manipulative?”

    A lot of the times she just got mad, ignored me and waited until I came to her asking what was wrong. She responded by saying that if I were a good friend I would’t have to ask what’s wrong, because I would know what’s wrong. After a few days, she would act like nothing happened and was sweet again. In the meantime, I worried sick about whether I said something or did something to upset her. If I got excited about a hobby, she would support me at first, but when she was in a bad mood she would tell me all the reasons why I’m bad at it and should stop doing it. If she did decide to talk to me on a bad day, she would constantly snap at me. She would also try to embarrass me in front of others, taking digs at me and my mental health. I went to a therapist a few times and she knew about it. She also knew that I didn’t want everybody to know that, but she kept mentioning it in front of other people. She would also constantly pick at strangers for their physical appearance and it made me feel insecure because I was heavier than the people she criticized. She would sometimes yell at me in front of the entire classroom.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Janet.
    #373184
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for your words and for understanding. 🙂

    “It seems like this bully is sadistic, that she is enjoying inflicting pain on others who she perceives to be weaker than her…; If this is the case, in first grade and all through primary school, there was absolutely nothing you could have done to make her stop bullying you. Some adult had to intervene for you, an adult she perceived as someone strong enough to hurt her. Am I understanding correctly?” Yes, I believe she is sadistic and it makes me sad to think there are other people who have suffered because of her. In high school she only had me, as far as I know (in the “school domain”). I know now and it makes me feel better that you assured me that there was nothing I could have done. It does, however, make me so angry at myself for allowing her past influence to continue now when I only see her a few times a year. It seems like she has her life all together while I’m still picking up the pieces of my life that she broke. I know I sound revengeful… 🙁 I cannot help but feel like it’s not fair that someone who has done so much deliberate harm and lives their life without any consequences. Have you ever felt that way about someone/something?

    #373142
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    she never said she sacrificed her life for us, she never made us feel like she resents us or anything. These are just the words I used, perhaps because I would feel that way. So, I cannot agree with that observation. I cannot speak for my siblings, but I would not feel safer if we were to leave (and they have expressed similar opinions). We would always look back over our shoulders, afraid when he’ll come and do something stupid. We would have to hide and live in even greater fear. This was never the easier route. The country I live in does not do anything for women in my mother’s position. I know of so many cases like this, my friends also grew up in families where their fathers were abusive, yet the law did nothing, even when things got physical. It is always the women who lose. It would be even greater hell for us to go through years of custody battles, any kind of court matters, etc. The situation is not as black and white. Thankfully, my father has never been physically abusive, he’s all talk, and as I’ve said, things have calmed down over the last few years. No threats or major outbursts. He has shown regret and is trying. We stood up against him and let him know that his treatment is not okay. I don’t expect he will change completely, that is unrealistic since he has his own trauma. He had a major health scare a few years ago and that is when he started to take everything more seriously. My mother, my siblings and I are forgiving if a person is making an effort to change. What this has to do with my school bully is the fact that I have told her her treatment is not okay and she continued to do it – she chose to hurt me futher even more, deliberately. She did not take my feelings of hurt into account, instead, she used them to hurt me even more, she basked in my mysery. Despite my father and her having similar traits, there is one major difference – he is trying, she did not. That is why it is easier to be forgiving towards my father and so difficult to even try to forgive her.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Janet.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)