Forum Replies Created
September 26, 2020 at 12:50 am #367259
Thank you for your kind words to me.
Wishing you peace, health and happiness.
MSeptember 24, 2020 at 1:53 pm #367175
Thank you for your kindness, time and, insight over the last few days. I have found this helpful and comforting. I will continue to explore some of the ideas you have raised with me (particularly the mindfulness meditations) outside of the forum.
Wishing you health, peace and happiness
MSeptember 24, 2020 at 10:02 am #367164
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Hi Anita,
I read your response with interest. I think the description seems a bit harsh on a parent who was probably tired and pushed to their limit; and who did not recognise the impact on such words on their child. I have discussed it with my mother over the years and it does seem a throw-away comment that stuck, rather than said with cruel intentions. I am certain of my mother’s good intention but also of her fallibility (human condition). I can objectively observe her behaviour towards others and myself and would not describe her behaviour in the terms youused.
As a child, my mother would always be careful to say she loved me but not necessarily love my behaviour.
M</p>September 24, 2020 at 12:33 am #367148
Apologies for not being clear and for disappearing (time zones!)
So the situation would be something like this:
A 7/8 year old be would be throwing a tantrum because I hadn’t got my way or been told off. I would get upset and say “you don’t love me, I’m going to run away!”. (I think runaways were a common theme on tv back then). I don’t think I ever thought I wasn’t loved, I was just trying to guilt trip my mother and get my own way! I once packed up a little rucksack with a torch and not much else. I thought I might go to the park and sleep under a bush, but of course I didn’t go. All this to me seems standard childish tantrum stuff.
My mother’s response would be one of incredulity: “YOU’RE running away? I’LL run away”. With the sentiment being she had more reason to run away, what with putting up with me. I don’t remember feeling the panic after this, just concern that she would do this. In addition to knowing she had “running away money” it didn’t seem a bad assumption.
By the time I was a teenager I think I was confident that running away wasn’t really something a mum did. Maybe I then invented other ways she might disappear/abandon me.September 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm #367143
Hi Anita, no, not at all.
I do remember something said (probably out of frustration) and possibly only 1 or 2 times when I was <10, that she had a bank account called her “running away money”. It was in fact an old bank account from prior to her meeting my father. It was said in response to the (I think) common, petulant child protestation that I was going to run away from home.
I don’t think by my teens I ever thought she would do such a thing though.
MSeptember 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm #367141
Yes I agree. It feels like she is the only one, even though I know from experience that this is not true!September 23, 2020 at 1:05 pm #367139
Thank you again. I’m checking out Mark Williams now.
In answer to your questions:
Experiencing anxiety – both myself and my sister were shy, quite clingy in social situations, children but I’m not sure anxious, apart from the separation thing. I remember being in early teens waiting for my mum to get home from work, and saying if three cars go past and they aren’t her then she’s not coming home (ie something bad has happened). So I think I was always anxious about the possibility she might disappear.
My first experience of “rejection” was around the age of 17, and I had nobody I felt I could talk to about it. This gave me strong negative emotions and caused me to secretly self harm. Something I have only confessed recently to a friend.
I have gently enquired with my mum about what I was like after hospital but it’s inconclusive. She was concerned with the fact that I was not mentally or physically impaired due to the illness, so I think that was what was foremost in her mind. She mentioned that I wasn’t fully alone, that a nurse would check my vital signs every 15 mins.
MSeptember 23, 2020 at 12:15 am #367104
Thank you so much for your time in responding, and also to make me aware of the etiquette in forum posts – I hadn’t thought that through.
Your words have been very helpful to me, and have prompted more questions in my analytical brain.
1.The Lion. It may or may not be this. When I was 1 year old I was hospitalised with a strain of meningitis. I believe I was in the hospital for about a week. With this being the mid seventies, there weren’t the parent/child facilities there are now, and visiting hours were strict. My mother has mentioned this on a few occasions, and I think she perhaps feels some guilt or sadness still about this. Also it must have been a very traumatic time for her.
Are there particular age ranges when a child is developing that make them more susceptible to forming negative associations, and carrying these through to adulthood?
2.I imagine that pretty much every child will have had some sort of experience of feeling alone and afraid. Parents are human after all. So I wonder why for some people this would cause later issues and not for others?
3.Why would this feeling transfer to a romantic relationship, and, to my embarrassment, even to a previous relationship that only had a handful of dates? I don’t associate these people with a parent figure.
4.Can the trigger be prevented from going off? (Without having to resort to no romantic connections, which is an option!)
5.Emotional regulation skills. Do you have any advice on developing these? And can that be done in the absence of the stimulus, or only when triggered and hysterical?
Thank you also for your comments on my partner’s emotional motivations. It is good to be reminded that she too is fallible, and we are all in this together.
Wishing you a happy and healthy day,
MoominSeptember 22, 2020 at 4:24 am #367066
Hi, I’m new here. I came across this thread through the original thread from Shelbyville (I hope she is doing ok now!). I was relieved to find others that have experienced the same destructive and overwhelming emotions as me when dealing with a breakup.
<div>To my friends I seem to have it together. And I can honestly say I have my life in a good order. I have my own home, job (covid permitting), loving parents, and many good close friends. I genuinely enjoy my own company. Sometimes I wonder if that is to my detriment as I have a fear of not being in control of things and open to disappointment.</div>
<div>I have struggled for 30 years with the visceral emotions Shelbyville and others have described following various breakups. These seem to be completely disproportionate to the depth of the relationship – I get the feelings of utmost panic and fear as soon as I believe someone has rejected or withdrawn their affection (even if I ended the relationship). It stops me from functioning day-to-day and only stops if I am soothed (by contact from the person who has “rejected” me), or if I temporarily distract myself. I weep and wail and curl into a ball, blame myself and my failings for the withdrawal of affection, go over and over things. I can’t breathe, my chest is tight. These symptoms can go on for several months until something replaces them. Interestingly I can also turn these symptoms off temporarily – which makes me feel like a fraud!</div>
<div>My current situation as a gay 46 year old woman is that I have been enjoying a 1 year relationship with a woman who I think is incredible. I have honestly never felt this before about anybody. The relationship has been difficult in the last few months, I think for the following reasons:</div>
<div>It’s long distance and we have been forced to spend long periods together and long periods apart due to covid.</div>
<div>When we are together it is in my house which I am currently renovating on my own – which is a stressful and not a very positive environment.</div>
<div>My partner has a very demanding job and is by her own admission a workaholic – something she believes she does so she doesn’t have to sort out other things in her life. She describes herself as not knowing how to have fun anymore, though the insecure part of me sometimes thinks this is an inability to have fun with me.</div>
<div>I have been living alone for so long that I find it difficult to let someone in and truly be vulnerable to them (fear off being disappointed/rejected). I feel I have been making inroads to this with my partner as to this, as we have great communication and a very supportive relationship. Probably the last time I was able to do this was with my first girlfriend in my 20s.</div>
<div>I maybe have my partner on a pedestal – my self esteem can sometimes be low- though I hide this. She has a very successful high powered job, is athletic and capable at pretty much everything.</div>
<div>As I say, it’s been difficult and we have got into a real rut. We discussed this last week, and my partner said things feel different. They did feel different and i felt she had withdrawn a lot of affection, although I could see she was very stressed and tired from work. What she said, on top of how I was already feeling (anxious) pushed all my buttons and over a period of days I went nuclear! I was examining every action and word from her as I sign I was being rejected and that she was withdrawing. As a result I knew it would only get worse in my head and my behaviour would become so bad I would make myself unlovable and she would leave me. So I forced the issue of breaking up.</div>
<div>Cue the panic, anxiety, sobbing, stress! Belief that I will never be ok, everything has changed and is broken, that I won’t recover, that I need to do everything to make it right again. My rational head says this is nonsense! I have been here many many times before and thoughts of each of those people (though I did not like them this much) do not hold any sway over me any more. I think there is a cumulative trauma in this pattern that gets worse not better.</div>
<div>I found it soothing what @anita said in one of the posts, that when you feel like this you are not in danger, you are not going to die (my rational head knows this!) And also how this feeling can be as a result of a childhood experience. This point I would like to explore more.</div>
<div>My partner wants us to work through things, taking time out but remaining in communication. She believes relationships require work and this might just be a blip. I have a small issue in that she has suggested I see my friends more and do more activities – something I think that is a projection of what she admits she is lacking in her life- as I said, I have a rich life and am thankful for many close friends – and I think the issue has been that with real life and the demands of her job and the house we have neglected to do happy things together.</div>
<div>The upshot of all this is that I need to be patient and give her space to fix some of the things she needs to in her life. My problem is how to do this without the anxiety and crazy panic, which will undoubtedly push her away. I am constantly looking at my phone and panicking that she hasn’t replied to me even though she is online, and I’m reading into things and being really needy (hopefully I am hiding the majority of this from her!). When we were ok I felt so secure that we could go all day without texting, and in fact I liked that.</div>
<div>I try doing the cold turkey thing and staying away from contact. It’s hard and I also think that option cuts ties with her and is really just a step towards living without each other (I compartmentalise a lot).</div>
<div>Part of me is so scared of loss that I think that NOT trying to make another go of it is the “least worst option”. At least I get the crazy out of the way in the next few months, rather than fearing I will need to go through it later on if we get back together properly and then split up. I am scared of getting back together and it not feeling right or being irrecoverably broken.</div>
<div>If I was able to control the crazy I think we would not only have a better shot at the relationship, but I would also be a stronger person going forward.</div>
<div>I had a very loving childhood, with parents who are still together (now in their 70s and 80s). I do remember having this panic as a child. For instance if going away on a holiday with school (which I had requested!) being in utmost panic before I went – sobbing, mum please don’t make me go, and crying pretty much the whole time I was away.</div>
<div>If anyone has any thoughts or questions I could ask myself I would be really grateful, or advice on types of therapy (hypnotherapy?) – although due to work situation with covid (not working) that is not an option right now.</div>
<div>I wish to be able to quash this anxiety and separate it from any feelings of heartache or concern for a loving and caring relationship.</div>
<div>Thanks and have a lovely day xx</div>