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    Katie, I read your entire post very quickly, so I might have misunderstood, but it seems that you never got round to telling her that your abusive relationship was the reason that you couldn’t reach out to her? I understand this may be something that you find difficult to talk about, but I think that if your friend had been very disappointed and hurt by you, but she found out that the reason was because you were in a very difficult bind yourself, she would be much more understanding and forgiving.

    If she still doesn’t respond to you for some days after today, and you’re really bothered about it and worried that she is still angry with you, then I think that if you can bring yourself to share about your abusive relationship with her, that could help to break down the distance she has created between the both of you. There is nothing shameful about being trapped in an abusive relationship. Never let anyone shame you or call you weak for that. You got out of the relationship. You’re a survivor and you should be proud of that.

    Alternatively, you could tell her that you faced some personal challenges that kept you away from your social life and if she’d accept your friendship again, you will tell her about it in time. If she is a very good friend, I think you could trust her with this.

    I wish you the best and hope you can reconcile with your friend. I am in a similar situation myself. I distanced myself from my best friend because of my depression and low self-esteem, and she is angry with me because she felt that I was not there for her when she needed me, when the truth is I felt inadequate for her which is why I kept away. I explained to her the first time but she didn’t accept it, because I wasn’t completely honest due to not even being able to understand myself back then. I am thinking of reaching out to her again.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by lostcatlady.


    “You have explained your situation with more detail and I feel I understand a little better. It sounds like you are doing everything right in terms of self care, looking for other hobbies like badminton and sleeping well etc. I think that is a hard thing I have found in my own life too sometimes eg if I am doing everything I should and people say to do eg like exercise, eating well etc how do I still feel a bit “meh” or underwhelmed at times. Is that how you feel?”

    Oh yes totally. I think I probably need more hobbies, social life and more importantly, a positive attitude. But my negative attitude right now is telling me that there’s no point in anything 🙁 Also, since I have not been sleeping well (I have good sleep hygiene and all but maybe the anxiety/depression in me is affecting my sleep quality) I simply have no energy to do stuff.

    “Organising your photos sounds a task you can easily get lost in and I bet you will feel proud at the end that it is done. Do you have alot more left to do with this?”

    I wanted to do my travel blog from my old travel photos, but lately I don’t have much motivation. Looking back at those travel photos doesn’t even make me happy anymore. I also have loads of cat videos and photos, and I’d post the better ones to my social media, but I’ve accumulated so many that it has become a chore to organise them. But I think I’ll try to choose some of the videos that make me cheer me up.

    “Maybe your way forward could be to research jobs in the healthcare or social sector as by changing jobs you will automatically be in a new environment with the opportunity to make new friends. Alot easier said than done though I do appreciate.”

    Yes I do realise that changing to a new work environment could have some positive impact on my social life, but right now everything just looks bleak and undoable to me. Of course it’s probably my depression and low self-esteem talking.

    “In terms of making friends I have found it best to try and find friends linked to my hobbies or classes I am doing. I do not have any “friends” at such from work. In terms of hobbies and classes I have taken a few over the years  but probably only gained aqauintences from them eg people i could go out for a drink with once in a while but that is it. I find it hard to make friends too..”

    Yes.. I can’t seem to go beyond acquaintances too. I’ve read that to go beyond that level, you really need to make the effort to keep hanging out with them, especially those that you find that you’re able to connect better with. Unfortunately as an introvert, I preferred to be on own so i never had the motivation to make the effort… Yet in times of trouble, I suddenly find myself lost and in need of support. It’s probably selfish of me to only think of friends when I need them. I wish I could be strong and independent enough to not have to rely on other people.

    “In terms of rumination and worry. I do this alot. I try to do it less now, but it is still more than I would like. Ways I have found to help me are to get up and do fast paced movement when i am ruminating eg squats, star jumps or sit ups-anything to break the mind pattern. Or go for a fast jog. Yoga also works for me as you have to be very present to figure out which is left and right! Other things include things like colouring or watching tv or reading a book – basically distractions or to try and turn it into small steps eg what one thing could I do right now to feel better and then go and do it. I wish there were a simple fix!”

    Yes rumination is really really annoying and instead of trying to stop, acknowledge and let it pass, like most websites about it would suggest, I’d go and look up the topic i am ruminating about online instead! I really need to stop that. Your ideas are good, I’ll try them. I’m also going to try to get into some popular movies and tv at least. It sucks that people around me are gushing about Avengers and I haven’t watched a single movie.

    “In terms of liking evenings best..I used to like evenings best in that it felt like there was less pressure and the demands of the day were done so I was ‘allowed’ to relax and chill. In the evening, particularly dark, winter evenings, it feels like noone else could be doing great things either eg they were just chilling out too, which made it easier for me to switch off and relax. I also felt hope that tomorrow could be a better day. Is this anything like why you like evenings best? Or am I far from the mark?”

    Actually I wish time doesn’t pass so fast so I don’t look forward to “tomorrow”. Lately whenever I wake up in the morning I just feel sad, anxious and tired. But yes the former reason you give about being “allowed” to relax and chill rings true to me.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by lostcatlady.


    “your crying doesn’t make me feel bad, but your concern indicates to me that you don’t want to burden others with your pain, and I suppose you didn’t and don’t want to burden your mother with your pain, this is an indication of how alone you are in the context of your relationship with your mother and with your father.”

    Yes I don’t feel comfortable completely sharing my burden or even crying in front of them because instead of just embracing me and telling me everything will be ok, they get upset. My father would just… walk away. My mother would try to console me in her own ways but it doesn’t make me feel good.

    “once you understand the difference I mentioned above, that guilt will lessen and lessen and then be gone. Without that guilt, you will have more of that energy that you are now lacking.”

    I’m guessing that you’re saying I shouldn’t feel guilty for not being able to provide a better life for my mother, because she didn’t provide me with the “nutrients” to do so. I think you’re right, and with that perspective in mind, I can try to stop feeling bad about it.

    I recall that when my parents used to quarrel, she’d sometimes blame me for not mediating. We used to have heated arguments about that as I found it extremely unfair to be blamed. I certainly did not ask them to quarrel (although I was sometimes the reason that they did) and hated it when they did. I did sometimes feel bad for my mum because I know she is very unhappy.When my grandmother passed away and she was informed about it, it seemed that she wanted to go to the funeral, but in the end she didn’t, and later she blamed my dad for not encouraging her. I regretted not offering to go with her back then and recently I told her that if she wanted to reconnect with my youngest aunt who was her favourite sister growing up, I would help her. But my mum declined and said she didn’t see the point in it anymore.

    I guess I really need to learn to stop taking her unhappiness upon myself.

    Nevertheless I get so envious when I see other people, friends, dramas with such loving and supportive families.

    “It will help you to express your pain to someone who will not be inconvenienced by it, but instead, will be motivated to listen to you, to really hear your words and your emotions, in the words you say or type away. I am willing to do that, and so, if you want, please post again and again and express to me what you need to express, I want to read from you.”

    Thank you so much, I’m grateful. I tried to share my feelings with a friend whom I felt I was able to connect somewhat better with. But I was so worried that she’d be put off by my negative energy so I tried to limit it.



    “your parents didn’t bother to “do all that” with you, to nurture a friendship, or a relationship with you, to care about your life, really, to ask you questions about how you feel, what you value, what you want, and then, listen to you, really wanting to know your thoughts and feelings.”

    You’re absolutely right, and I started crying when I read it because it really hits home (not trying to make you feel bad for it though!).

    “so your relationship with your mother is a sort of.. superficial friendship, more like an acquaintance, and you have less than that with your father, correct?”

    I’d say it’s difficult for me to talk to her about my problems because she doesn’t know how to console me and will sometimes start talking about her own problems. I heard from her that her mother (my grandmother) didn’t show her love too, so I think it’s a vicious cycle. However, I do believe she loves me from her actions, she does things for me, tries to cheer me up with food, she’s aware of my current situation and although she tells me she doesn’t know how she can help, she says she’d support me to go and seek professional help and that I should not worry about my job because she has savings. But of course I can’t take that for granted as my parents are elderly and not working. I consider her as my rock and I’d be quite devastated if anything happened to her.

    With my father, I literally have nothing to say to him, and neither does she. I know I should be grateful that he’s not an alcoholic, abuser, gambler etc and he brought home the bread… but, he is really cold. My mum and I have both told him how he is lacking (he has no kind words for us, he never appreciates her for anything, and he doesn’t trust us) but he is unhappy with criticism and he never tried to change himself. He does things for us on instruction, like he’d help my mum go and buy groceries because she instructs him to. He helps to feed the cats. He watches whatever tv we watch. I think he’s trying to make effort to conform in some way, but really, I think we might all be happier if he’d just be kinder and show some love with his attitude and words. I think love doesn’t exist in his dictionary, We tried to go for family counseling, but let’s just say that it didn’t work out because he is so resistant. My parents would probably be divorced if not for the fact that it is expensive and too much trouble.

    I also feel guilty about disappointing my mum. I have an elder brother who is married. He is a corporate high-flier, and he doesn’t have a good relationship with us (very long story for another day perhaps). If I was as accomplished career-wise as he is, I would have been able to give my parents a much more comfortable life.

    I believe I do love my mother as she loves me. I wish I could hug her and tell her I love her. It’d sound weird, but I don’t know how to initiate it. She’s never hugged me or told me she loves me in person. I used to think it’s an Asian/cultural thing.

    “Because you don’t have the experience of a close relationship, you grew accustomed to being alone, you didn’t experience the benefits of a close relationship, so you don’t seek it. It is similar to this: you are familiar with the sight, flavor and texture of a delicious cake, so when you see it somewhere, you are motivated to eat it. But if you have no experience with such a thing as a cake, if you see it, you are not motivated to approach it and have a slice or two.”

    I suppose this is right. I never used to see this as a bad thing though. In fact I contented myself with reading all those articles about how it’s ok to be alone etc. I was happy planning trips by myself as solo-traveling became more popular. Now I’m starting to wonder if I’m broken and if I will always be lonely and empty.

    I don’t get angry at friends who are more high-achieving than me. it’s more like I feel inferior, and I get angry at myself for not working harder and allowing myself to stagnate. I do have savings too, and I’m prepared to get back into further education for a mid-career change for an in-demand industry. But because I am so lost and lacking in energy and confidence in my skills, it’s hard for me to decide right now what I want to do.

    “we look for the gods to give us what our parents don’t, is my experience and understanding.”
    Yes my mum prays a lot too. She says that’s how she seeks comfort in hard times. So it’s what I do too.

    I’m just done crying and I’d better get back to work. Thank you for your response, i really appreciate it.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by lostcatlady.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by lostcatlady.


    Thank you for your reply. I’m honestly not sure why I gave up those hobbies, I think they just kind of became less interesting to me over time. Another issue is lack of time and energy I suppose. I work on weekdays, and then on weekends, I’m trying to declutter my things, organising my files (photos and stuff), which i think is another problem, because I’ve been working on that for quite a long time over several weekends. It felt like something I had to do, and I’d do so even at the expense of sacrificing time with other people. I have become less obsessive about it now though, but I’m still spending time on weekends uploading photos of stuff online, finding people to give them away or to sell them away.

    I think I like being in nature and exploring new places, but right now I just don’t have the desire or motivation to do anything. I like evenings best, when I can just chill in front of the TV with my mum, watch my cat being cute. But that’s probably more like a distraction than a hobby. I did ask my neighbours about the badminton group they have. They are happy to have me but the timing coincides with tv time on Sunday which I find is a bit of a bummer. My mind is also telling me stupid things like what if I’m bad at it and don’t have fun. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to pick up a cheap badminton racket so I’m ready to play with them when I do feel like it.

    I don’t know about caring for other beings, personally I really don’t feel that I’m the nurturing sort but I admire people who are good with children. I guess it’ll be something to consider when I decide to take up volunteering although I have no experiences with children or caring for elderly. As long as training is provided or I can learn on the job, I wouldn’t mind at all. I would consider trying out animal shelter for a day too.

    Yes I’m trying to do the best with self-care. I try to exercise regularly, drink sufficient water, sleep at regular time, eat healthily. I don’t indulge in vices like alcohol, smoking etc. I believe in a higher being, I’m Buddhist and I try to seek comfort in praying to the Goddess of Mercy. I do wish I could do something about my mental health and make myself stop ruminating or overthinking. There are times when I can really focus on my work at hand and stop those distracting thoughts. Other times i fail miserably.

    I’d like to work for social service organisations, public sectors or the healthcare sector. i know corporate life is not for me. And I don’t think i could find another company doing the same thing as its quite niche. Besides I think I’m quite tired of the work itself as I don’t find it meaningful and I’m not growing at all.


    I’m at work now and will reply to the rest when I have time!


    Thank you everyone for your kind responses and encouragement. I forgot to subscribe to the topic so I was not aware that I was getting responses. I am reading through everything and I will try to respond when I can.

      Yes perhaps that may be it. I know my mum loves me in her way. But perhaps because of my upbringing, I didn’t understand how to love and care for other people. My parents did not have friends, did not value friendships, and I don’t have extended family. I could make friends, but I’m unable or unmotivated to make the effort to love and care for them and nurture the friendship. Like for example, I know from theory that to be a good friend, you should care about their lives, spend time with them, celebrate their special days, learn to know what they like and give them thoughtful gifts etc. But I’m self-centred, and have low self-esteem. I  could not bring myself to make the effort to do all that, i feel that they do not need me. I could not feel genuinely happy for people whom I think have it better than me. So sometimes I shy away from meeting them. I definitely avoid looking at social media for that reason too, so I’ve missed out on some important events happening to some friends. The people I still keep in touch with (i.e. see a few times a year or less) have formed their own friendship groups, have partners, children and their own lives so it’s hard for me to connect meaningfully with them. I feel ill at ease going to events where I will feel left out (and I have consistently experienced that when previously out with groups) so I just don’t go at all.

    I think I do still like myself and want good things to happen to me. Before I started getting depressed over my job, I was able to do some things that made me content even when I was alone. But it is so difficult with my emotions weighing down on me now. I’ve managed to reach out to a friend to share what has been going on with me and ask her to invite me to stuff when she can. But I’m afraid she finds me too negative, or that in the event she invites me, I’ll end up turning her down.

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