Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 317 total)
  • Author
  • #372024

    Dear anita,

    thank you!


    Dear anita,

    happy new year!

    Being mindful everyday is a good practise, but at the moment I still have a hard time with this. Maybe I try to distract myself so much, because my thoughts can become overwhelming. At the moment there is also little opportunity to have more positive distractions. I am glad I can go back to work on monday and go to therapy next week as well.

    I want to work on my inner critic becoming more of a guiding, helpful one. I would like to self-reflect and admit when I have done something wrong, but not completely tear myself down.

    Sometimes the feelings of guilt and shame can become very overwhelming. I am trying to do the right thing, but sometimes I feel like everything I do is wrong.

    During the last days I have also reflected on my relationships with people. Most of the time when things went wrong it was because I was not able to say no. I said yes to things I did not want and wasn’t able to set boundaries. Then I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, until I couldn’t take it any longer and distanced myself from the persons.

    When someone asks me for help or for anything I feel a strong urge to not disappoint them. And I think sometimes I become very confused, then I make the wrong decision.

    On a positive note, I have become more aware of how I am feeling and hopefully I can break this circle. Because nothing good comes out of it and I only hurt people and myself. I have learned to take things more slowly and to pause before making a decision.

    I hope to make better decisions in this new year!


    Dear anita,

    thank you, I already feel better. Less tired.

    The dormitory man was a strange man. The way that he treated me and the way he talked badly about others is enough to know that I do not want anything to do with him. I don’t want to accept such disrespect ever again. (He said that he fully respects me – what empty words…)

    The problem was that I did not trust in myself at all. I was too worried to fulfill other people’s expectations. I knew what he had done to me, but I doubted myself when he rejected my objections. I did even doubt my own perception! How strange is that…

    Feelings of guilt overcome me so easily… I wish I could stop that.

    I want to leave these two relationships in the past. Somehow my head thinks again and again about what I have done wrong, what I have done to hurt them. Less with the dormitory man, because his behaviour was so obviously wrong.

    K even told me that he had no reason to be angry at me. But now I get worried that meeting him was wrong… But I think I just tried my best. I had no intention to hurt him in any way. Maybe I haven’t found the right words, but it’s o.K. I am not perfect.

    Best to focus on other things. I want to move on. In the next days I want to work on my goals. One thing I have made progress on is also that I now am more clear about what I want in life. I want a calm life, living close to nature, preferably at the countryside. If I cannot support myself with my drawings, I still want to pursue this in part time as my life purpose. Besides that I would like to spend time with a few close friends and family. For example, I would like to cook together with friends once in a while or make art or crafts together.There is also a hope or a meaningful relationship at some point, but I am unsure if this will happen.

    Overall this year I want to focus on being more mindful. Maybe this will help me on becoming less distracted and finally becoming successful.

    In 2020 it doesn’t feel like I have accomplished too many visible goals. But I think I have made progress in healing myself and building more confidence in myself. I think this can become a foundation to finally make more tangible changes.

    What I am also proud of this year is that I have spent more time in nature. I learned a bit more about herbs and even tried out some recipes. I collected my own tea, made pesto, smoothies or pastry using wild plants. Also I went hiking with my mother and spent time at the forest and by the river. Next year I want to continue that and want to appreciate nature even more. Maybe I want to celebrate the seasons and eat seasonal food or watch which plants grow at which time…

    Do you also make goals for the new year?

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Lily.

    Dear anita,

    it is sad, that we were not able to learn these things in our families. Worse, our self-esteem was weakened. In my case, I think my parents didn’t understand much about how to raise children or they had their own issues… Sometimes I think it would be better, if people went through psychotherapy before having children.

    It is true, my “no” wasn’t considered very much… So I couldn’t learn these things. Then it’s no wonder I wasn’t able to defend myself against someone who was so aggressive in crossing my boundaries… At least I have now learnt to empathize with myself, instead of shaming myself further! I am thankful that therapy is available to me and that my second therapist is so competent!

    I guess you are right, we have to live with these bad experiences. For me, thoughts about what happened still comes up from time to time. Sometimes I think about making a graphic novel about it… But I also don’t want to expose myself too much. Still, I often think about these topics like sexual consent, virginity, how victims of sexual assault are treated. Why is it the way it is? At least I want to read more about it.

    The dormitory man actually said to me that he was treating me so well. He also said that women in Afghanistan are treated well and that he wanted to make me happy by sex… My conclusion: he was a very confused man. I could see that and also that he was suffering in some way, so I felt a bit sorry for him. But he treated me so poorly that I should have just given him a kick in the ass (not literally) and left him and never opened my doors for him again!

    Yesterday I went for a very long walk, but it was not such a good idea. I am feeling very tired now and it also feels a bit like a bladder infection or something. It was too cold and I should have worn warmer clothes. Well, I am feeling o.K., but I should be more careful next time! I think I will take a long bath now.

    Are you going for your walk again today? If so, better wear warm clothes 😉



    Dear anita,

    I am sorry that you had to go through that! Nobody deserves to be mistreated like this! I wish that someone had taught me before that I was valuable and that I am allowed to say no. I wish that these things were talked about more in our society. I am thinking about these topics often, especially when the # metoo discussions came up. How many people have gone through similar things, getting hurt and then, on top of that, feeling shame?

    At least now I have learnt to value myself and to have more compassion for myself. It was the thing that helped me. Other people having real compassion with me instead of looking down at me. You helped me in that journey! I am thankful for that.

    We may have not have had a good first experience with men, but that doesn’t mean that it has to end this way. You are happily married, aren’t you? I am not willing to give up. I am not dead yet…

    I do not wish to give men like the man from the dormitory that much power over me. In reality he was only an insecure man, unable to self-reflect. He actually thought that he was being so nice to me? It confused me a lot. Which woman would like that sort of treatment? I cannot imagine one!

    You are right that his culture also plays a role. But I don’t know if what he did would be applauded where he comes from. Or seen as normal? I do not want to generalize too much. What I saw was that for him his behaviour was normal, which is so shocking. He even acted as if I was hurting him, when I did not do what he wanted. Well, he was just a disturbed person!

    About my father: yes he does seem to be very self-critical as well. He would probably benefit from therapy as well, but I doubt that he will do it. He is now the only person in my family who didn’t go to therapy. Being not open to new experiences and people at all, he has become a very lonely person.

    Your walk sounds good, I am a bit jealous of you for actually having snow. Maybe tomorrow I will have to motivate myself to go out for a walk. It will make me feel better.

    Thank you for your Christmas messages! I too wish you a very merry Christmas!

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Lily.

    Dear anita,

    sorry I didn’t reply earlier. How are you? Hopefully you are having a nice Christmas eve.

    Today I deep cleaned the flat while listening to an audiobook. Then my grandmother called when she received my parcel. She sounded genuinely happy, which also made me feel good. Later one of my neighbours came by to give me a Christmas present. She had wrapped up some copypaper? It amused me and brightened my day. It was anice gesture and I can use the paper for sketching out things.

    In he evening I opened a package my parents had sent me and we talked a while on the phone. Overall the day was good, just sometimes I started worrying again. But now I am feeling fine.

    How was your day? Did you enjoy your walk? Please don’t stress yourself about the post!

    Take care!


    Dear anita,

    I am sorry that all your hard work was lost 🙁 It happened to me before, that I had lost a post, but it must be worse after you had put in so much time and effort to look for the quotes and read my old threads. Still, thank you so much for your help and dedication!

    Hopefully you were able to relax a bit afterwards and are feeling better now!

    My experience with the dormitory man has hurt me very much. What makes me sad is that this was my first experience with a man. I had really waited for something better. But I had become impatient with myself and was really confused at the time.

    His strange way of thinking had affected me too much. But I also want to correct myself. I was wrong in saying that this behaviour is normal in his culture. There, he wouldn’t even be allowed to have premarital sex… I think the problem was this individual. He was even more confused than me! For him, this kind of behaviour was seemingly normal. He had no empathy for me at all… I can get angry when thinking about him. The worst is the hypocrisy! How he expected a virgin bride, when he himself didn’t follow his own rules…

    What is true is that I am feeling guilty easily and always. I am now also feeling guilty about K again. Maybe I shouldn’t have met him again. And for looking at his pictures online. And even for something that I didn’t really do: connecting in whatsapp contacts. These thoughts still worry me and cause me anxiety. The thought of hurting another person is so terrible for me, that I try to fix it in every way possible, with bad results for me and the other person.

    When I was with the man from the dormitory, I hardly felt any empathy for myself, as I was so focused on not hurting him. It would have been better to help myself, preserve myself. The feeling I had was that I was so worthless, that it doesn’t matter if somebody hurts me, most important thing for me was to not hurt another person. Even if this person treated me like dirt. Once he even did something terrible to me and he even was shocked himself and said “god, what did I do?”. But for me the most important thing was to make him feel better, so I said to him: “it’s o.K., I forgive you.”, even though he had just completely humiliated me and crossed my boundaries.

    But I think that I have made progress when it comes to this. I now value myself more.

    When it comes to my parents, it is true that I felt like a burden to them during childhood… Even my sister said some time, that she felt like that. And the thought still comes up, when spending time with people. Am I getting on their nerves? Am I annoying them? Hurting them? The thought becomes so horrifying, that I often preferred to avoid social contacts and stuck to myself.

    My relationship with my father is complicated. Now we get along better. I am thinking that he is a very lonely and insecure man, even when trying to appear tough to the outside world. I can empathise with him… He must have had it hard himself. I do think that he is a good person at his core, but he is also not the easiest person to deal with…

    And during my childhood, he was not treating me so well… His words and actions towards me were often cruel and it has hurt me a lot. Sometimes I think that he saw his bad qualities in me, while he saw his good qualities in my sister? Then maybe this was the reason why he disliked me so much. Once he said to me: “You are a disgusting person that hates herself”. Now I think, that he probably said this to himself, but back then I did not understand and the words hurt me.

    Maybe this was why he was so aggressive towards me? Wanting to destroy the bad parts in himself?

    As for me, I do think that I often took on opposite positions to my fathers. Definitely when it came to religion, wanting to be open minded… Probably also in the points you listed. To be honest, it doesn’t quite sink in yet. What I can see is that I made my own needs invalid, that I overly focused on my faults, while forgiving everybody easily for theirs. And that this indeed made me sick and was very unhealthy for me.

    At least I am becoming more aware of my problems now and am more connected to my own feelings.

    During the last days I was also feeling a lot better and I think it is also thanks to communicating with you. It feels good that you are listening to me and that I am allowed to express my worries here.

    Today I had quite a productive day. In the morning I baked some cookies while listening to classica music and by candlelight. It was so nice! Then I finally finished packing Christmas parcels for my familiy and wrote a letter to my grandmother. Later I deep cleaned my room while listening to an Agatha Christie audiobook. For today, I am quite content with myself. How was your day?

    Take care!


    Dear anita,

    thank you that you took so much time to read all my previous posts! You really care so much about people and try to help them. I would also like to do some sort of service to help people, maybe volunteer work or something. Or maybe just collect the rubbish people throw away into nature, like Hayao Miyazaki does…

    You are right about nature having a positive effect on me. One day I would like to live more close to nature and I should work towards that goal. It should become a motivation for me to work harder! But even in winter, you can go out for a walk, you just need the right clothing. Sometimes I just have to push myself a little bit harder to do that, when the weather is less inviting.

    About criticism: well, I think it is o.K. and important to hear criticism and I would like to know when I am on the completely wrong path. I know I am sometimes overly sensitive, but better to hear the truth than making the same mistake over and over again.

    Yes, I have also thought about the positive sides of no Christmas at my parents. Sure, I will miss baking cookies with my brother, the smell of the Christmas tree, going to the forest or watching a Christmas movie together. But there are some positives: no long journey, I will not gain weight from overeating, more time for myself to think about my goals and maybe I can read a nice book. I also plan to cook something nice for myself and maybe go for a long walk at the river beach some day. Since Sunday, I am already feeling much better now and also slept better.

    About progress: yes I think I have made some too! I am much more aware about what I want, who I am, feeling better about myself.I want to continue working on that!

    And I would also like to have more human connections. I would like to have cooking get togethers with friends one day, or meeting people to create art. But I also have to take time for myself, find a balance. Learn that it is o.K. to say no, while sometimes making more of an effort to connect.

    It is true that I miss affection very much and would like to have a healthy relationship with a person. At the same time, there are also a lot of things about relationships that worry me. So I would have to take it very slowly. Instead, everything was rushed and I also rushed myself in my attempted relationships so far. I did not take my own needs and feelings into account very much, instead I tried to fulfill the expectations of the men or doubting myself the whole time.

    With K, I think that you are correct that he is not right for me. In my opinion, we simply do not match. We want different things and have different expectations. There was a lot of mistrust and misunderstandings between us and we never were able to really communicate. Not a good base for a relationship. Most important indicator was how I felt during that time, not good at all. I was getting worse. Of course, a lot comes from my own insecurities, mistrust and problems.But I think with the right person, I would have been able to deal better with those things.

    From the things you listed, I wanted to say something about the casual sex. I do really not think that he was using me for sex. And I regret that I once asked him, if it is just about sex. It was an assumption on my part, stemming from my big fear of being used for sex. But also that we didn’t spend much time together made me doubt him and not understand him.

    But the facts are: there was not much there to be called a relationship, no matter what the reasons are. He indeed was always busy and we did not spend much quality time together. the communication was bad. Maybe we just communicate differently. And we both were not able to resolve the problems or talk about it.

    I don’t know about him, but I know that I was deeply insecure and unsure of myself. I didn’t dare to ask for something, to say what I want. I was not showing my true nature. Not because I wanted to deceive him, but because I was too insecure and with no real relationship experience. At least I have learnt some things and know myself better now.

    Maybe I will add more later, I also want to respond to your first post. But now I will first cook something for myself. Thank you for your time and effort!


    Dear anita,

    you are right about the public transportation. So far I had still used it, when going to work and such, as I don’t have a car. On my way home I walked often, but it is an 1,5 hour walk. My roommate offered me that she will give me her old bike, otherwise she will throw it away. Maybe that can be a better alternative.

    I am happy that I can stay at home for the next two weeks, not having to worry so much about infections. But maybe the feeling in my chest also comes from something else. There is also mold in my room and last December, I had a bad cold with coughs, which I had never experienced before.

    Today my roommate also came by to clean up (I thought she had gone home for Christmas already) and we briefly talked. We wished each other a merry Christmas. I am relieved!

    Still I am feeling anxiety at the moment. It also has to do with K appearing in my whatsapp contacts a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, I deleted all his numbers and messages now! But suddenly I saw his status (didn’t look at them). I think either he had added me, or what must have happened is that I added his number when he called me last summer to my phone contacts, then didn’t delete it. Then recently there was a whatsapp update and so he showed up. It caused me lots of anxiety and stress.

    But I have to admit, sometimes (too often) I still looked at our conversation and his profile picture from his other phone number. I don’t know why, maybe I have an obsession, as you said. My therapist also said that it is because I am very lonely, which is true. I am feeling extremely lonely at the moment. Then I developed this bad habit… Hopefully he didn’t notice, I really did not want to bother him. But it must end now completely and after I deleted his contact info, there is no more temptation.

    It only causes me stress. I want to end this forever and stop thinking about him. How do I overcome such an obsession? Deleting his numbers was a good start.

    Sorry that I talked about this again. I really want to heal from this and move on.


    Dear anita,

    no, I did not mean that my time spent here with you is not worthwhile. Even though I still spend too much time online, but this website is not the problem. The only thing is, I sometimes worry about sharing private information about myself online. But I appreciate your help and the time you take reading and replying to me and everybody else. It has definitely helped me understand myself better and to heal.

    I meant more worthwhile than my negative thoughts and complaining. Somehow I felt a little bad for my post, to bother you again with the same problems. But I guess it will all take time and my negative thinking patterns and insecurities will come up from time to time.

    Today and for the last days I just felt very bad and I wanted to talk to someone. I wanted your opinion on the situation with the roommate, but mainly also to let it out. Because I cannot talk to anyone else about it. I guess it made me feel better already just to write it down. Even though I still feel uncomfortable when thinking more about it again.

    Thank you for your reply!

    The pandemic is very concerning indeed. Here the case numbers are rising again, where my family lives, it’s not looking good. Therefore I decided to spend Christmas at my place (but then this became a little scary to think about, especially when in this bad state of mind). I would have to travel by train with risks of infection and into a high risk zone, so I think I made the right decision.

    In the US it’s also a lot of cases! So please stay safe and healthy. The vaccines are indeed a ray of hope and I hope it will all work out and we will make more progress this year. And thanks for the well-whishes, I too wish you a enjoyable Christmastime and a better new year!




    For some reason, I am already feeling a bit better, after I had submitted my post. Sorry… I think I have to remember the things I can feel thankful for and all the good things in my life. And sometimes there will be days or weeks where I will feel completely down, but that’s part of life.

    Better I work on something worthwhile now. I will make some postcards to send to my family.

    Still thank you!


    Dear anita,

    how are you doing? I know that I did want to post less, but at the moment I feel not so good. I am spending Christmas alone, because of the pandemic. During the last months I have been feeling more lonely.

    Especially during the last days there were lots of negative, shameful thoughts, obsessive thoughts. Yesterday one of my flatmates moved out, the one that lived here for a long time. Sometimes I worried that I was making her feel uncomfortable. I know that I can be difficult. When I asked her, she said no, that she moved out because it’s closer to her work and that she actually was  unsure about moving, because she felt so comfortable here.

    But yesterday, it was weird, I was more hiding in my room while she and her family moved. I also told her that I wanted to social distance, because I had a weird feeling in my chest area and while breathing. The thought of having Corona and then infecting someone is terrifying. But it was also because of my social awkwardness.

    There are also some good news: I can go to work again and I also felt pretty good there, like they accepted me. I even got a little better with the phone calls, I feel. But now I have two weeks ahead of me that are empty, because of Christmas holidays. My own thoughts are very debilitating and I got not much done and  was crying. I try to do calming things like listening to audiobooks and I called my sister and my parents. But I can not talk so openly with them.

    How are you doing during the pandemic times? Hope you are well!


    Dear anita,

    I just wanted to give you a quick update that I am doing o.K. But I have also decided that I should post less. I feel a bit uneasy about having shared so much information about myself online.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me, when I was feeling very distressed. During the time of our communication I have learned more about myself and now I have more of a sense of who I am and what I need to work on. I am able to see clearer now and feel more confidence in myself. Overall I think I am a reasonable person (except when stressed) and I am learning how to help myself more and more. I am not there yet, but I am taking steps in the right direction!

    Thank you for everything! Hope you are doing well and please take care!



    Dear Jen,

    what GL wrote reads quite sensible to me.

    I too got the impression that your parents did not really want to exercise. I am sure you only meant well and wanted the best for them. But at the end of the day, they are grown ups and have to make decisions for themselves.

    At the same time, I find it strange how the communication goes down. That your parents don’t express to you what they want, instead they chose to ignore you. And that you also don’t ask what happened. Everybody seems to just try to avoid the confrontation.

    Could it be that they are people pleasers who can’t say no? Maybe they don’t want to hurt your feelings and so they say yes to you. At the same time, they disagree (for example don’t want to exercise) and instead of telling you no, they just don’t do what they promised. Of course, it feels horrible to get ignored (I have experienced it too) and I can understand that you are upset. And it is o.K. to feel annoyed.

    My suggestion is still to have a more open communication, if it is possible. At least for me speaking out more and asking questions to understand the situation, has made me feel more empowered. Of course, people don’t always want to communicate or change their behaviour, but at least then you know where you stand and can act accordingly. And for me it feels satisfactory to at least have spoken my mind, even if nothing changes.

    But you said that expressing your annoyance makes you feel weak. Your goal is to become more self sufficient and to let go. On one hand, I think it is a good idea to learn to self soothe and become more independent. Especially since you seem to struggle with this. It looks like a reasonable goal for you, as you seem to depend a lot on the attention of others. On the other hand, I don’t think it is a good idea to keep all of your feelings bottled up inside. It is also o.K. to call a friend to vent sometimes (as long as you don’t overdo it) or to tell someone that you did not find their behaviour o.K. I think it is good to have a healthy balance there.

    One sentence that stood out to me: “The moment you express hurt, you’re the bad person so I’d better look after myself so that I never feel hurt” I don’t think you become a bad person for expressing hurt. And it is a bit unrealistic to never feel hurt. The question is more, how to deal with it. If someone really hurts you, then I think you have every right to tell them that their actions hurt you. And to feel upset, angry and hurt. But at the other hand, if you get upset over very small things, it is also good to learn to cope and look after yourself.

    Your goals are to become more independent and develop a secure attachment style. Maybe it is a good idea to focus on yourself more instead of others and learn to love yourself. Learning to understand yourself better. Again, a therapist can be helpful (if it is a good one).

    Things I find helpful for learning to love myself:

    – Journaling. To just write down your thoughts unfiltered, everything that comes up in my mind. It is called “brain dump” or “free writing” I believe. By giving your thoughts so much room, you will be able to learn more about yourself. With time, you might also be able to see patterns. What comes up again and again? What do you want to change in your life? It helps me to structure my thoughts.

    In a distressing situation, it can also help me to calm myself. I can let out all of my negative thoughts unfiltered and without upsetting anyone. After I have calmed down I can plan my next steps.

    You could also do a self love journal, where you write down things that you love about yourself everyday. You can list the most simple things, like “I am thankful for my arm”, things that we sometimes take for granted, like a healthy body. Or you could write down things that you are proud of, little accomplishments.

    – Hobbies. Do you have hobbies? You could try out some new hobbies, it is always fun. Maybe you can find out that time spent by yourself can actually be enjoyable. What did you like as a child? Or what did you always want to learn? Maybe you want to learn to play an instrument, or learn a new language. Do sports or create some artwork. It feels good to try out new things and when you get better and better, you could also draw confidence from that.

    Those are some ideas and thoughts, I hope it helps a little bit! Take care!



    Dear Jen,

    after reading your last post I have some thoughts.  About the exercise example with your parents.

    Out of care for the health of your parents, you planned to exercise together in the morning. It seems like your parents agreed to do so, as your parents said that they would come to exercise in ten minutes, but they never came. Even after you called them a few times, they did not come. Then everyone, including you, acted as if nothing happened. Your mother did not address it, neither did you.

    Then you say you feel annoyed, and you start to feel annoyed by yourself.

    My thoughts: I would be annoyed too! At your parents, that is. Or at least I would wonder what happened. You planned to exercise and they agreed to it, but then they just ignored you and didn’t even explain what happened. If they did not want to exercise together with you, then why not just tell you? Or if they changed their mind in the morning, they could have told you as well. But to say yes and then act as if nothing had happened?

    Then, I also wonder why you are not asking them about what happened. If they only forgot that you wanted to exercise together, then you could clear things up and you would feel calmer, I guess.

    Otherwise, you could figure out together how to deal better with this type of situation in the future. I do not mean to make accusations or such things, but to find a solution together. What do you want? What do your parents want? And how can you find a compromise so that everyone involved is o.K. with it?

    You can tell them that it is completely o.K. if they do not want to exercise, but that they just could tell you honestly. That them ignoring you like that is upsetting to you.

    Also I am wondering why you think it is bad to say what you are annoyed about? You write as if you are not allowed to feel annoyed or upset at your parents?

    You wrote: “I am most annoyed with myself. I had a nice productive day planned out and I’ve just wasted a quarter of it because of something so stupid”

    In reality you are upset at your parents, but then you shift the blame to yourself. It least it seems like that to me. I wrote it, because it happens to me as well. For example, my best friend doesn’t answer me for days or weeks. Then I wonder, what happened and I start to question myself, if I did anything wrong, getting upset at myself, when in reality I am upset at her! I cannot tell for sure, if the same thing is happening to you, it is just a thought. I could be wrong!

    Final thoughts:

    Everyone has certain expectations in a relationship. Why should you give up yours? But the other people also have expectations and needs. So with the help of communication you could find out what each person wants and then find compromises and solutions.

    It reads to me like you want to spend time with your family. But maybe they also need some space sometimes, which is o.K. Is it possible to talk about this with your parents?

    Those are my thoughts, maybe I could be wrong. I am in no way an expert and have my own issues. But what helped me get a bit better is a good therapist. I wonder if this could be helpful to you too?


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 317 total)