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    Dear anita,

    yes, I think you are right. I know I feel a lot of self-hate during these moments and it is maybe like a punishment too. My therapist also noted that my father used to sometimes hit me on the head too.

    My hope is, that now that I am removed from the dormitory and starting over again, I will be able to calm down more and focus on my healing process.So that I will be less distressed and not hurt myself with bad thoughts or physically.

    But for now I will go offline. Have a good day anita! And thank you for your input!



    Dear anita,

    welll, it’s not like I cut myself, but sometimes I hit myself, mainly against my head. Today I became upset and I had just bought a tiny plant and a terracotta pot and then I smashed the pot against my head and the pot broke. Last week it was worse… then I hit my hand with a metal chair and my little finger still hurts from that.

    I don’t know why I do that, but when I get very upset sometimes it happens. During the last months, I felt a lot of stress, but hopefully it will get better now.

    Maybe some day I will find someone. But I have to take it very slowly. The importance of that became more clear after what happened with K. An extrovert could be the right one. Usually I feel comfortable with people who talk more. Then I feel less stressed about having to say something. And that might lead to me also talking more.

    But I guess it will take some more time before I am ready to meet someone.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Lily.


    Dear anita,

    so far, the new living situation is o.K. But I don’t live here for long (to be honest, I procrastinated with moving out). One of the new roommates is on holidays, the other one is very friendly and polite.

    We talked a little bit, when we met in the kitchen. I was cooking (finally again and I love cooking! I want to try out a new recipe tomorrow!) and she asked about my studies and explained some things about the neighbourhood (where the next supermarkets are and such things).

    I don’t want to create new problems this time around. But talking to each other will help, I think.

    Often I still feel depressed and get self-harming thoughts and when distressed, sometimes I still harm myself. I don’t want them to know and notice!

    But now that the moving process is almost done, I can focus more on how to improve my life. Recently I started a bullet journal and I also want to do weekly reviews to stay on track. Hopefully this will help and that I will feel a little bit better.

    I also have to start seeing friends again or meet new friends. During the last months I spent too much time alone. Last week my best friend invited me to a cooking evening, but I was too worried to meet new people. Maybe next time.

    Lately I have been thinking also what I would have liked to do with K., basically about what I would want in a relationship. Somehow I felt confused, when I was with him, but in reality I know pretty well what I want. If everything went wrong with him, at least I see very clear now what is important to me in a relationship.

    Honesty is very important and also communication (I still have to work on that myself). Best to talk about what each other wants and needs instead of expecting the other to know!And I also want to be there for each other, help and support each other.

    What I would have liked to to with K.: go hiking together, just hug him very long, cook something for him or together. Take him to a walk by the river and surprise him with some food I prepared. Try out new things together, talk to each other and get to know each other.

    Sadly I was too afraid to be myself because I felt I was not good enough. But anyways, it would have never worked with us and he is kind of selfish so…. at least I learned something!

    The bottom line is: I am very lonely. Next time I should definitely take my friends invitation.



    Dear anita,

    thank you for your reply and for your help during the last year and also before that.

    During the last year, my feeling of being a bad person was very strong. And I feel like I have never felt so anxious before! But maybe it is just because I am more in touch with my own feelings now, instead of being numb.

    For example, now I feel angry about the man in the dormitory, instead feeling sorry for him and being confused. I feel that I see a little bit clearer. Maybe I am a little less confused.

    But my emotions are still very extreme at times. Hopefully I can heal more and more.

    Thank you for the time you took to always respond and help me!



    Dear anita,

    during the last days I was feeling a little better again. Yesterday I also met my friend and we went for a hike. And on Wednesday we want to go to the sports class.

    I realize that social interactions are important and I really am missing some things. When I spend more time with my friends, it does make me feel better. And I also miss some things you can only experience in a relationship, but at the same time, I’m also very afraid of being in a relationship. At the moment I don’t think I am ready for a relationship. It could only work with a person who has a lot of patience and if I could get to know them slowly.

    Well, my therapist said that thing about the high expectations. When I think about it, I feel that maybe they expected us to be perfect children? My parents always said half jokingly “oh those terrible children”.

    My mother would complain that we didn’t help in the household enough, and that she growing up in a farm always had to help out. My sister also said that she felt like she was guilty or responsible for the chaotic household.

    And I think it is good to give children chores, to make them do housework. It is also a learning opportunity for them to stay clean and organized. But in my opinion, it would be the parents responsibility to keep the house clean. They would be the ones to organize who does what, to teach children how to clean and when. But with the complaining, it would only make us feel guilty and less happy to help out.

    In my opinion, it is normal for children to not be enthusiastic about doing housework. It is also normal that children sometimes get into a fight with their siblings. Then, in my opinion, it would be the parents task to teach the children how to resolve the conflict. Instead of acting like they are bad children?

    When I had emotional outbursts, they didn’t teach me how to deal with it. Instead, my father once said that I am blackmailing him by crying. I just got the impression that I am difficult and a burden. And my sister told me, that she also always feels like a burden to others.

    Also when it comes to high expectations, maybe they also had high expectations for my performance at school. They didn’t complain when I had bad marks. But after elementary school, there was the decision to which school system you were supposed to go. There were three possibilities. 1.) “Hauptschule”: 9 years of school (you will have worse chances finding a job or training) 2.) “Mittelschule”:  10 years of school, you can apply to most jobs that need practical training / apprenticeship with this 3.) “Gymnasium”: 12 years of school and you have the opportunity to study and a better chance to get accepted for apprenticeships.

    Because of my bad marks (mark 3 by 1 being the best and 6 being the worst) in mathematics I wasn’t able to go to the “Gymnasium”. My father made me do a test, so I could still go there. But the test was so hard and I didn’t pass. Only because of my good marks in English I was later able to change to the “Gymnasium”. Nobody else I know took such a test and it doesn’t seem to be very common to do that.

    I was also given private lessons in mathematics from an early age on. It was meant well by my father, I am sure. In my teenagers years, I completely gave up on school. For example, when I started physics or chemistry classes, I gave up on them immediately, because they were related to maths. Partly, it was also because I wanted to be “cool” around my peers (not be a “geek” or be too “cool” to care about marks – yes, I was very confused and insecure). I felt that I am stupid and I didn’t have hope for the future. I used to joke with my friend that I will end up as a stripper. In the end I got an average mark when I graduated. But I already felt like a failure, even though my score was average and I had career opportunities.

    I don’t know, maybe it sounds like I am spoiled. I know that others had it worse. But something must have been wrong. My siblings also have problems. My brother has high functioning autism. My sister just decided to go to a clinic for three months for her mental health.





    Dear anita,

    yes maybe I am thinking about him because I get lonely. And I am spending most of my time alone now. And yes, I really would like to find somebody I can love, be there for them, hug them, spend time together… What I hoped to find with K, but didn’t work out. But I think I am not ready yet, I am too scared and have yet to learn to accept myself. It could only work with someone who is patient with me, but I don’t believe in it, really. Maybe when I healed more.

    Maybe it is also because of I’m moving and all those feelings of the last year come up. It’s about one year ago that I first met him. And I liked him so much, I even tried to overcome my fears (but ended up crossing my own boundaries). Thinking about it again, I feel sad and disappointed. I didn’t like how it ended. But I have to let go. The only thing I can do is wish the best for him and for myself. I hope he is doing o.K.

    I think I have to do things to calm myself down. And once I have moved and have more routine at my job, I hope that my life gets also calmer.

    Today in therapy, we talked about my childhood experience. My therapist said, that it was the combination of my parents having high expectations, but not really telling us what they want, is what led us (my siblings and I) to become so insecure.

    I also suggested to draw a comic about my experience with the man at the dormitory (just for myself). Maybe it can also help me heal.





    Dear anita,

    thanks. I try to be reasonable, but sometimes my emotions become intense. In the last days I felt very emotional and there is no reason for it. Nothing terrible happened, but still I have these negative feelings and thoughts. I feel like I am my own worst enemy, always accusing myself, even when I know perfectly well, that there is no truth in it.

    Yesterday I thought I saw K. in the train (maybe it was someone else) and felt like crying for most of the day. Not sure why I am still thinking so much about him, I should get over it. At least I still was productive in the evening and painted and moved some things to my new room.

    But I need to learn how to deal better with my emotions. Or maybe accept that this (being distressed) will always be a part of my life. That life is just not perfect.

    Lately I worry also a lot about work, that I’m not doing a good job and making too many mistakes. But, I guess I am still learning. This is also not my dream job, so I guess I should not worry so much. But I still want to do a decent job. I am trying to learn the answers and do better next time, but my insecurities get in the way and I become overwhelmed. Then I think: Am I useful for anything? But I know that I am exaggerating and being dramatic. I wish I could take life more lightly.



    Dear Grenada,

    sorry, I didn’t see your post before. Thank you for the video suggestion.


    Dear anita,

    well the woman said “poor mouse”, but someone also said “grey mouse” some time before… Maybe I was reminded of that by the “poor mouse” comment. But I don’t think those were useful comments and I don’t want to be seen like that.

    I do think that moving will be healthy for me and an opportunity to start over. But I am still upset with myself for not handling things better.

    And at first, I really wanted to let go of her ignoring me and just accept it. After all, she doesn’t even know me and had no possible reason to be angry at me. But I think, because I already was feeling terrible about myself back then and because every time I was feeling better something happened, I overreacted completely and hid myself. It was just too much… The only thing I can do now is forgive myself, which doesn’t come so easy for me.

    Somehow, I can’t remember a time in my life when I felt more anxiety like in the last year. I think what happened is, that all of my feelings of shame and guilt that I had built up over the last years resurfaced. Before that, I was kind of numb and apathetic. Sometimes I even laughed at the bad things that happened to me. My therapist reminded me that this was not funny and she told me that she couldn’t “feel me”. Maybe because I couldn’t feel myself. Maybe the good thing that came out of all of this is, that I found a connection to myself again. And because of that I am also more motivated to make changes in my life.

    At the new place, I want to try to not taking everything personally. But I think it will be easier, because by living with only two people, I will automatically know them better. the problems mainly occurred with people that don’t know me very much. Otherwise, it’s easier to talk about things. But if it happens, better to pause and think before I act.

    I liked reading this one chapter in “The Four Agreements”. There it said that whatever people do, they do it because of themselves. It’s nothing personal, because it has everything to do with them, their life, their experiences, their fears. I need to remind myself of that as often as I can!



    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Lily.


    Dear anita,

    so far, I haven’t moved in fully, yesterday I just got the keys and took a few things there. I will be moving in step by step, using public transport (I don’t have much furniture yet, only books, plants, art supplies, clothes etc.).

    Yesterday when I went there, I was in a good mood. It’s a good sign I think. One of my roommates was there and she seems likable and friendly. They seem like they are down too earth and like they don’t have lots of big expectations of me. Of course, I want to be polite and friendly, help to keep the house clean and all of that…

    And I no longer want to hide myself, like I did at the dormitory. I always get the feeling like I did something wrong here. But I don’t think so, I didn’t do anything to them. And is there really something to hide? When I feel more comfortable about myself, I will also feel more comfortable around others. Of course I will make mistakes, but I don’t want to be so hard on myself anymore.

    I am not a “grey mouse” like someone said. I do have a lot of interest and ideas, but I will have to make better use of them and my time. Now that the moving is almost settled, I have more time to work on my drawings again. There are so many projects I have already in mind… Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by my ideas and I am still too perfectionistic.

    Thank you for always reading and responding, it is so kind of you. Maybe sometimes I need to share my thoughts with somebody, maybe also because I feel lonely at the moment. But next week I will maybe go hiking to the moorlands with my best friend. So hopefully, things will improve slowly, at least I want to work on it.



    Dear anita,

    today I am getting the keys for my new room. So I feel a bit nervous. But it will be better to move. Yesterday when I returned to the dormitory after visiting my parents for almost a week, I instantly felt unhappy being here.

    Hopefully I will do o.K. in the new place. But I am worried. But I think, if only I can learn to accept myself, I will be o.K. And as said before, I will not share details about my personal life with them. Maybe I should stop worrying so much and see what happens…

    This place will also not be a permanent home. At the moment, I really wish for a place that feels like home. And I feel very lonely. Lately I thought about K. again (or fantasy version of a relationship with him) and it’s probably because I am feeling lonely.

    But it would be better to let it go.

    Maybe, not working last week gave me too much time to think. And all the changes are scary.

    And regarding my last post, yes I was probably exaggerating a bit. Maybe it is also normal to feel sometimes stressed, to not remain calm and composed 100% of the time. My job working at the reception now is a little more stressful. It is not my natural talent to work with people. But maybe it’s a learning opportunity.

    Best to work more on my goals and so I will go and paint now before I pick up the keys later.



    Dear anita,

    thanks for your help. I am trying to improve, but it doesn’t always work well. But I guess there will be good days and bad days…

    Today was not such a good day. This week was stressful at work and I was feeling tired. Thankfully, next week my colleague is back. Also, soon I will have some days off.

    Sometimes, I just get overwhelmed. The clients come to me with all sorts of questions,some trying to bend the rules… And then they get upset when the rules are enforced. I want to help people, but sometimes I make mistakes. Before, I was only working in the background, but now I help out at the reception too. And I feel very unsure, especially if I don’t know something. I think I look incompetent.

    Today I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown. First during one phone call I felt insecure and I think the caller noticed. After the call, I hit myself with the phone and my hands. Thankfully, no one saw. Later, there was a caller that asked if we wanted to order some coffee. It had never happened before, so I didn’t know what to do. I asked a colleague for help and it was o.K. But then the caller asked if the coffee should be with or without filter, and my colleague was busy. I kind of lost it and sunk my head into my hands and was a bit desperate, half crying. My colleague tried to help me and the caller was also very friendly. But I feel embarrassed that this happened.

    My colleague later said nothing about it and I calmed down. But when she wasn’t there, I cried a bit in the office. I guess nothing too bad happened. I didn’t offend anyone… Maybe I was just a little difficult and strange. At the end of the work day I was feeling calm again, and returned to my usual tasks. But I am very embarrassed.

    My emotions sometimes become too extreme and I have to learn how to handle them better. Then, a small mistake can make me question my value and makes me ask why I even exist…

    As for at work, I have to learn how to handle situations where I don’t know the answer. Maybe develop strategies for the situations that are difficult for me. Making decisions, making mistakes, not knowing everything…

    Thankfully, tomorrow I don’t have to work. I will go to therapy, clean up, finally send my contract for the new room, work on uni projects and go to the birthday party of a friend.

    By the way, my best friend also wrote a message to me. She is very stressed at the moment, having a difficult time. Of course, I would like to help her, and I told her so, but maybe I also should give her time for herself. Instead of causing additional stress.

    This week I also did o.K. with doing something for myself after work, so not all is bad. It just was a stressful week I guess and I feel tired. On Tuesday everybody wanted their special treatment and everything was chaotic, I guess it finally got to me. Maybe I just have to accept that I cannot change over night, very much like you said.



    Dear anita,

    thank you! I am really trying to make my life better. Today also was o.K. After work, I worked for some time on one of my art projects. But, I also would have wanted to do some sports or something relaxing. But you just can’t do it all. Last week I wished to draw more, I guess I still have to find out how to balance everything.

    As for my friend, maybe she just needs some time for herself. But I also was worried that my advice was too harsh, as her mother is depressed. It is just, that I wish for my friend to also have some time for herself. She always seems to be working or helping out her family. But she has to find her own way… And I already tried to reach out to her. I am a little worried that I have been difficult in the past months. But now that I feel better, I would like to be there for her. Hopefully, she is okay and we can talk again soon.

    Maybe I can also use this alone time to focus on myself and my goals. Maybe it is exactly what I need right now. Time of calm and time to reflect. But also time to become active and work on my problems.

    I think you are right, it takes time and patience to heal. And I am definitely feeling better than some months ago! My emotions became so extreme and my self-esteem dropped to a record low. Now I am feeling that I can like some things about myself and I also have a better vision on how to accomplish my goals, and more importantly, I feel motivated to improve my life!

    But it can’t be done overnight and I will make mistakes along the way. For example, at work I sometimes am insecure when talking to people on the phone. But I am getting better, I feel. Just sometimes I become overwhelmed and refer to a colleague.

    Today everybody was in a meeting, while I was the only contact person available for the clients. After the meeting one of my colleagues (one of the chefs) came by and said “Oh, Mrs. X, you poor mouse, how are you getting by?”

    I guess she didn’t mean it in a bad way, but still, who calls a grown up person a “poor mouse”? Maybe I should have said something, at least: “I am not a poor mouse, please stop saying that.”, but I didn’t say anything. Clearly, I don’t want to appear like a pitiful little person! I want to leave this behind me, become stronger.

    Of course, I am not my colleague (who is currently on holidays) who is confident and seems to be in charge of everything all the time. But for being me, I think I did well enough this week without her.

    Tomorrow I will do my best at work and try to not always ask for help immediately. But I will also go home punctually, and not work longer… Enough of trying to please everyone! I need my time for my art projects and to recharge…

    In any case, I am trying to keep going!



    Dear anita,

    the rack thing is not the end of the world I guess. Maybe it’s o.K. not to say anything.

    Well yes, I am worrying way too much. the last week was very calm and I stuck to my plans or was productive almost everyday. At work I did pretty o.K., even though my Co- worker was on vacation. And I did small things everyday after work.

    Today I even went to the sea and did all the things I planned. In the message in the bottle I just wrote about what I was thankful for and some of my goals. And I made some drawings. I had wanted to do this for years! But I was always too perfectionist about it.

    These days I am feeling better about myself and much calmer. But I am also quite lonely. I don’t have as much contact with my best friend since she has met her new boyfriend. But she also has troubles at home. Her mother wanted her to do something, which she didn’t want. But she pressured her a lot about it, one day asking her three times and even when she was already in bed, wanting to sleep. I got angry at the mother and said best to not engage in the topic anymore and just say no when it comes up. And I also asked if she could stay at another place, until everything calmed down.

    Best not to give advice to people, I think now. Better to only listen and let them talk and find their own solution. I worry now, that my advice was not good. Haven’t heard from her since that day and I am worried. I sent her two messages and tried to call her twice, but no response.

    What was also weird is that her mother posted a call to donate for suicide prevention that day. But she also posted again yesterday, so she cant be in a too bad state?

    Maybe my friend just is under a lot of stress and I should leave her alone and give her space.

    Human relationships are very difficult for me. At least I am good at being alone, but it is also sad. So is this life for me? But lately I see couples everywhere and think of K. But then again, at least I feel much calmer and happier about myself when I am alone.

    I guess I have a lot to learn.

    But there are a lot of positive things happening this week and lately! Best to think about that and to work on my goals and occupy my time with work, studies, painting, exercise, reading, journaling, walks, time in nature… Then I will feel better about myself and become a better friend. Maybe even find new friends.

    Hopefully you have a good week! Is there also such nice weather where you are? Here it was warm and sunny lately.



    Dear anita,

    so I put the glue into the letterbox. It is maybe the best solution, even if she doesn’t like it…. I tried my best to make it up to her. Still, I don’t understand why it is wrong to own up to breaking something? Or is it because I am making too big of a problem of a a small thing? Am I creating more problems by doing so, upsetting people? I thought it is best to talk openly about problems, but maybe it’s sometimes best to let it go?

    It sounds like a good idea to not talk of the incident anymore. It is resolved now. Anyways, I am moving out soon. But I lent some woodcutting materials to another roommate last autumn and I have to ask them back (they were worth about 80€, so quite expensive). Or I don’t know, should I just give them up?

    In the future, I hope to free myself of my fear of what other people think about me. And I want to think more about what I want, instead of pleasing others (of course without harming others). Because if I hadn’t been so sensitive to other people’s (supposed) opinions about me, the last year would have been much easier for me! But maybe I had to go through all this to learn and become more aware of myself. Because I really feel more self-aware and hopeful right now. (even though I still feel sad often).

    Today, after work, I also went outside for a walk by the river and I sat down to read for a while. It is so calming for me and it makes my day better. I should do little things like this every day to make my life better! Maybe this weekend I will go to see the ocean for a day. Collect some shells, go swimming, read at the beach. And I always wanted to write a message in a bottle…



    Dear anita,

    so I tried to give the woman the glue (it is the same one that sometimes ignored me). I knocked on her door twice  and she didn’t open, even though I’m pretty sure she was at home. Is it rude to knock? I only knocked one time on two separate days. Surely I don’t wish to disturb her.

    Maybe I will just put the glue in her letterbox with a message, because I hardly ever see her. And I don’t want to spent much more time dealing with this. To be frank, I do not care too much for her. Or would that be rude? I also don’t want to be impolite.

    Too often I don’t know how to deal with such little things. Maybe just drop it in her letterbox, I have a feeling she is not too keen on seeing me.

    But the rest of the week was good so far. At work it was stressful, but after work I went to do sport and yesterday I went for a walk that really relaxed me. Sometimes I am really feeling better about myself. And I can have compassion with myself, that I didn’t do everything perfectly.

    I hope you are having a good week so far too!

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