Forum Replies Created
March 4, 2021 at 4:39 am #375539
I know what you are talking about. All I can say I really don’t trust my memories. I am not sure they are a reliable source to go by. I can’t even remember when it all started…I know only few things for a fact and it is that when i was a kid, i actually did feel very protected by my mother. My dad was working very hard and had little role in our upbringing, so both my sister and I were so attached to our mother, often beyond reason and to the point that she would go to toilet and we would both cry that she left us. And she was actually very responsive to our cries and falls and showered us with attention. i never felt helpless as a kid.
So I have absolutely no memory of when “silent treatments” started. I only noticed it as an adult. I also know I have serious anxiety over separation, withdrawal, being ignored or given silent treatments. I see your point here that it must be connected to my childhood. But what if i cant remember when exactly it started? My memory is very hazy, as I mentioned i only noticed it as an adult.
I also remember when I was a kid i was concerned with washing my hands and i was kind of a kid who’d ask the same question many many times. Like i remember we’d drive somewhere and I’d ask my dad every 5 mins if we have already arrived. Or if i wanted him to buy me chocolate, i’d remind him about it soo soo many times. not that i didn’t get that chocolate, but i had a need to remind all the time. I regarded these as early signs of OCD. I am not sure if i’m right or this was me just being a child.
I just know i am extremely sensitive to being ignored. i’ll give you an example. I was with my partner in a park and i saw a mother of 3 boys, who left her 3 year old kid on the street shouting and crying calling “mom”, “mom”, she just ignored him and walked on. I can’t explain how this hurt me. i told my partner how crazy it is whats she’s doing, my partner said, well “you don’t know what that kid might have done” to suggest that i shouldn’t judge without seeing the full picture and maybe this is her punishment method. But my heart was just bleeding and i couldn’t look at it. And note my partner is the kindest person I’ve met in my life, so I was shocked he could say such a thing. I knew immediately what this woman is doing to a 3 year old no matter how naughty he had been is unacceptable and heartbreaking to watch to say the least.
Then another example, there must be a reason why I get anxious when for example i am chatting with friends and they suddenly stop writing and forget to respond or get busy or etc. This makes me very anxious and fuels obsessive thinking sometimes. What is worse in the past, i was actually drawn to guys who used to ignore me and not be interested in me. The fact that they were less responsive made me vulnerable and eager to get their attention…THANK GOD my partner is not that kind of person. But this was pure luck that he turned out to be a decent person who’d never hurt me or ignore me in any way. But all men I was interested in previously emotionally somehow ignored me…
What i am trying to say i am going to take some time to look into these issues and hopefully bring the puzzle pieces together, and if i have any new understandings or any memories I can rely on, i will share it here.
Thank you so much for all your help, Anita! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂March 4, 2021 at 4:22 am #375538
To be honest, sometimes I blame myself and obsess over it, other times, I just plainly obsess about the pleasant conversation i had with a friend etc. I think obsessive thinking is my reactions with regard to processing pleasure and pain/discomfort. If its something simple, i don’t obsess about it, the only connection i see is that i am chasing something with these thoughts. I am still at the early stages of getting comfortable with my own mind and not sure where it will take me, but I am ready 🙂
I am so happy to hear that you are healed from your biggest traumas and developed self-esteem and self-worth. Do you have any residue of anger left towards your mother? Would you say you have forgiven her completely?March 4, 2021 at 4:11 am #375537
Many things caught my attention in your posts, loving vs loving the image and “perceiving things as they are”.
I, too, have thought a lot about these two topics and can tell from my experiences and observations I think unfortunately it is very rare to love “not the image”. I am not even sure if it is possible as long as we are our conditioned selves. You see, the longer we know the person, the stronger the image built about that person. You must have heard about “beginner’s mind” term. I don’t want to call it a term, it is an actuality. Basically being able to see something as if for the first time. And how can we do it with someone who we have known our whole lives or 2 years? So we just continue living with images we built about that person. And we add and subtract from those images, thinking something changes… and here is a marriage of many decades where two people claim they “know” each other, in reality do they know each other? can you ever know someone? Did you ever look at that person leaving behind all the past memories of pleasure and pain? did you see beyond the image? And that person you think you know had an image about you too. So two people say they are in a relationship, but in reality its their images which are in a relationship. This is the main source of conflict in all relationships. Relationship is a movement, image is static, and what’s static contradicts and causes conflict with whats in a movement.
I was able to understand and see these points with the help of J Krishnamurti. He explains this point very well and i am trying to apply it to my daily life.
And back to love. What is love? Love in relation to people is when they can be on the same intensity at the same time with full understanding. it is a movement as well. It is a state. It’s an energy. Its not towards a person or an object. It’s not a product of our minds. It is not a fantasy. love is not that romantic ideas that go on in our heads either. An idea is born out of memory, to put it simply, you think that you love, you don’t actually love…
Perceiving things as they are is the ultimate art of life. Not only perceiving physical objects as they are, such as looking at a tree or a bird without trying to identify what it is, what colour it has and etc. etc. but also perceiving ourselves, our psyche, our thoughts and feelings as they are, which is ofcourse much more difficult… I really like Haiku poems and I usually go for a walk and write 1 or 2 a day. i find it really helps me calm my mind and bring me back to reality.March 2, 2021 at 2:06 am #375451
I was referring to psychological harm ofcourse, not physical. I know for a fact many times I am consciously not aware at the point when I use hurtful language towards my partner or my family. Maybe subconsciously i am aware, but i don’t see it at the point of doing it…
To be fair i don’t remember any of the personal problems of the girl i was, other than liking a certain food or not liking. I am not sure relying on my memories of what happened would be accurate in my case….
On a different note, I had a couple of insights into my OCD issues and would love to hear your thoughts on it.
-You wrote in another post about separation anxiety (Tony’s post) and it caught my attention because I can really relate to Tony’s fears as my deepest psychological fear is losing people I love too. I have actually gone very deeply into the nature of death and I think i understand death a bit more intimately now. I certainly experienced separation anxiety as well multiple times in my life. Firstly, it was when I left my home at 17 and moved to a foreign country. I was still a kid living unfiltered raw emotions and only much later in my life i got to understand i was actually quite depressed and sad. also very anxious. this makes sense why my OCD started or became apparent after 20. I think i had it as a kid but the separation anxiety just exacerbated it.
I also had a sudden realisation to my recent obsessive thinking patterns (about the girl at the retreat and then the other new friend), I think i was obsessively thinking about these problems to avoid dealing with the actual problem that is bothering me very very deeply at the moment-with my partner in my current relationship…so my question is-what is your experience-Could it be that obsessive thinking is actually an escape? Escape from dealing with the painful situation or the actual problem? So the mind finds other things to keep itself busy…March 1, 2021 at 1:28 am #375389
Firstly, I am sorry your relationship with your mother is so difficult. It sounds like it was so toxic that you had no other option but keep this distance. It is truly sad when a parent does this to their own kid, and then “loses hope” or “gives up”. It is a control issue, in my view. When someone, anyone, be it a parent or a partner wants you to change, it is a way to control. If one is truly concerned about another person, they dont ask them to change to please them, but talk about their concerns and observations in a logical and reasonable way.
I really don’t know what my anxiety and OCD is tied to… I know when I see my childhood pictures, I look sad and serious on all of them. I know my country and my family went through very difficult times when I was growing up and for sure it impacted me as well.
Its so interesting you talk about the collective trauma “because the children are brought up in unhealthy ways. This results in collective anger and hate, which then can cause war…” This is exactly what happened last year in my country. and 1000s of more people died because of hate and anger. Then the government called them “heroes” and talked about how nobel their deaths were…I know my nieces’s generation will be affected in a whole new and more complex ways that mine was. It is just unfolding in front of my eyes how shes being impacted collectively and within family, so it makes me understand my childhood wasn’t easy or pleasant times either. My anxiety became much more apparent after 17, I think I moved to a foreign country too early and the change was too much for me to handle. The extreme cultural differences, weather, strong individualism i couldn’t cope with. I started having all sorts of problems that i didn’t understand or process because I was still a kid.
About feeling worthy, I guess I wasn’t comfortable using that word because it implies a bit of arrogance for me. “I am enough”sounds better to me 🙂
I asked this question to Anita, I’d like to ask you too. Would you say you are healed from your traumas? And what helped you?March 1, 2021 at 1:28 am #375388
Thanks for your insights. About the Anger preceding aggression-of-course I know this. I am very familiar how violence happens as I know I am not delusional about my own violence inside me too and I know how many subtle forms it takes.
The only thing I am not sure about, and I say this from my observations of myself- at that very moment, when one is truly angry and then becomes violent, one is not usually aware of what is happening. I know this, because I have been fighting for a long time with my own anger. And I wish I knew I was causing damage when it is actually happening, and not afterwards when my brain processes or analyses what happened… Unfortunately, most people cause harm without being fully aware of it at the point they do it. It is true, they become aware later and acknowledge what happened…but why does this not stop one from repeating that pattern? I guess this is the art of life to master.
About childhood traumas, I know ofcourse as a child, what we experience in life is unfiltered, “raw” as you called it. Then the analytical mind slowly develops, and if there is a residue of a certain experience with its pain or pleasure,it becomes a lifelong reaction to what happens everyday.
So we don’t ever fully live the life as it is, but just react from those unprocessed, misunderstood experiences which are now our memories, which is now “me”. We carry this residue with us our whole lives adding and extracting from it, thinking it is a change. My analytical mind understands this process, but analytical understanding is not enough.
I agree it is important to understand what happened in order to heal. You mentioned “there is a way to retrieve those emotions- I have and it’s been a result of an intentional and long healing process”. Could you elaborate a little bit on this please? Do you think everyone can retrieve these emotions?February 25, 2021 at 6:46 am #375196
I am sorry to hear you had a difficult relationship with your mother too. I really agree with you that it is much more important to be there for your children emotionally rather than financially and materially.
It is sad that the person who says loves us more than anything can also hurt us so very deeply with their words, actions or non-actions, criticism. It is not just shame, guilt, sorrow, feeling unworthy at times, but also serious attachment issues I had to deal with.
I do judge and self-critise myself a lot and probably because my mother criticised me so much. And it is so true how you say how our mother’s critical voice becomes our inner critic. My mother’s didn’t tell me i am good for nothing, but criticised many decisions I made and is extremely controlling, wanting everything to be her way. I think on some level she understands that she shouldn’t have been so critical with us, but unfortunately she never said sorry neither to me nor my sister.
Now whenever she tries to bring up something she doesn’t like, I try to tell her as calmly and respectfully as i can, it is not her place to decide. For example, I lived with my partner for 5 years and there was a period she was constantly on my back that soon I will no longer be able to have children and i should hurry up with getting pregnant. …Classic! I mean this made me so confused! From one side, I was rebelling against “what she thinks is best for me”and at the expense of this rebellion and confusion, I completely ignored my own actual needs and feelings of actually wanting to be a mother without my mother’s instructions. It created quite a bit of inner as well as outer conflict (in my relationship with my partner). And I kept thinking why was i so confused that I actually want to be a mother? And it is because my mom told me i should do it and i was confused because I thought she is just planting ideas into my head…. and ofcourse as usual I rebelled.
You mentioned you had love-hate relationship with your mother. What is like your relationship with her now?
I agree it is important to understand the pain. I know I am hurt, but I don’t know why fully. I think its more complicated and multi-facaded than just my mother’s strictness or silent treatments. Although being the most important person of my environment she played a role here, I don’t blame her or anyone who hurt me.
I felt pain and hurt from my past relationships and failed friendships more than from my mother, more pain from the suffering and injustice in the world than my mom’s silent treatments…maybe I was “trained” in a certain way in my childhood to respond to these situations, and I acquired these reactions in my childhood. But replacing one negative reaction with another, more positive or modified reaction is not the solution here. For example, if I am reacting now with anxiety and obsessive thinking over something “bad” that happened, I don’t think replacing it with a positive emotion, say, “I am the most worthy person in the world and nothing is my fault” is the solution here. maybe sometimes i am not indeed not worthy…it is being able to see without judgement in either direction is what i truly seek… so i do want to go till the end of it and figure it all out.
I don’t see myself as a victim, I know I am responsible for most of the things that happened to me in life after certain age and its my responsibility to figure it out.
February 25, 2021 at 6:06 am #375194
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Nar.
You are right, I am projecting my anger, hate and fear in almost all of my relationships in life sooner or later. I have lived with my mother for longer periods of time since I was 17 though. From 1 month-3 months and every year. In those times, when I noticed how controlling or critical she becomes again, I was once again angry, harsh and rebellious. During these times I had anger and hate but then it was gone again. Maybe i don’t fully understand this anger yet, but there is genuinely no deep resentment or hate in me towards my mother. And this is only because I really know she didn’t know any better….in fact the way she raised us were better in terms of mental wellbeing than most kids growing up in our times. These were 90s in the post-Soviet country. People didn’t even know that things like mental wellbeing exists, or (and i am not exaggerating) were beating kids at schools or home when they under-performed or misbehaved. Just to give you an example, my maths teacher used to hit 16 year old boys with a stick when they didn’t have right answers . AND this was in 2002 already, and this was a normal and acceptable behaviour back then… nobody thought they were abusing or damaging these kids emotionally or mentally.
I guess what i am trying to say, I understand my mother was just a product of her environment. And she didn’t know any better… I genuinely think she thought criticising, withdrawing or being strict is a good way to bring up a kid. this is why I don’t hate or blame her. I have been lucky enough to escape that environment and live in different times/different cultures, be able to see whats right and whats not so right in both.
About OCD and anxiety issues, anger and fear, the issues became more apparent after 23 or 24. Before that, I was rarely angry. i have a feeling although it comes from my childhood, there is also a deep connection with other events in my life related to when I moved to a different country and starting living alone. I wasn’t ready and it was all too shocking and too much to handle. The strongest psychological fear I have though is the death of my loved ones. not just my mother, my family and partner as well. This is what I fear most in life psychologically. But i am not sure how/if it is connecting to my hair picking or hand washing or hygiene issues. I read somewhere strict parenting can lead to developing obsessive thinking patterns. And i find myself a lot in thought “loops” that I want to escape. I don’t know if it’s my mother’s fault or not, I think its more complex than that with many factors in play. maybe one day I’ll find out.
I am trying to re-build my relationship with my sister and gain her trust. She is different to me in a way, and maybe feared more than I did. She didn’t rebel openly as I did, but kept it all in. Lying or disguising facts became a second nature to her. At the same time she is extraordinarily sensitive and emotional and very easy to manipulate. The problem is she doesn’t want to talk about anything about herself. Anything in her current life, or anything about emotional things or problems of the past.February 24, 2021 at 2:24 am #375165
What would you like to hold on to after meditation? Do you think its possible to train yourself to love unconditionally and wish everyone’s well being? I am not sure how much you have gone into the question of meditation and I apologise if I say something that offends you, I am not sure by just saying or feeling that you send unconditional love, you actually do it. There is a true feeling and there is a heart filled with the things of the mind, aka same thinking disguised as feeling, wanting to feel something, aka illusion… most people start meditating without understanding themselves or how their minds work much first. I am talking out of my own experience. I spent 2 years meditating, reading and educating myself, even joined a Sangha and attended 2 a week group meditation. I was calm and content…that is on the surface, but deep down I was still boiling… and as soon as i stopped meditating, realised how much I was engaging in self-illusion. And i must understand what meditation actually is first.
Having said that, I am not saying meditating as most people do it doesn’t offer temporary relief or feeling good about life or yourself. but it is all that is-temporary and illusionary.
Some peace of mind comes only when you just no longer fear to look into the mirror and see yourself as you are, not as you WANT TO BE. that is the starting point.
I spent 3-4 years in total now without meditating and i think maybe soon when covid is over, i will be ready. I plan to try both Zazen and Vipassana (retreats) and incorporate one into my daily life.February 24, 2021 at 1:49 am #375161
Thanks as always for your insights. I thought a lot about the things you wrote, there is indeed a relationship between fear, anger and hurt. Then as a result of being fearful and angry, one can develop all sorts of issues, in my case, OCD + anxiety perhaps, and shame and guilt, feeling unworthy, considering all possible options of “why something happened to me” and choosing “the MOST hurtful option to me” . There must be a connection here and certainly there is a pattern in my life which is repeating itself. Possibly a pattern i acquired as a method of self-defence mechanism as a child.
The origin of fear being when the baby is born..brilliant. Would have never thought of it. I agree fear which comes to surface as a result of self protection is our survival instinct and only natural phenomena. Excessive fear or fear of things that don’t physically exist or maybe psychological fear is something what should be gone if one wants a peaceful life.
Regarding my mother’s upbringing methods- ofcourse so many things i KNOW were not OK. You know, I told you about my failed marriage. I know for a fact that it is no coincidence that the man i married gave me silent treatments and left without saying a word, treated me very harshly and I just accepted that. When my mom asked me WHY I took all that, I had no answer back then why. But when my marriage was over and my mom did the same things to me to me- I saw the connection. Her treatments were less intense, but this is exactly why i thought it was ok to take this behaviour from my ex- I have been used to it since I was a kid… did i tell her about this? no…i don’t want to hurt her that much.
I just kept wondering why i don’t hate or blame her any more or i don’t wish to hurt her. I know victims can love their abuser and abuse is something which takes so many subtle and endless forms. It is not this simple though. When I was a kid I needed her love and I hated her at the same time. But that has changed, I just wonder why I no longer hate or fear her. I think partially because I hurt her back myself a lot with my harsh words or behaviour, or in many other different ways. . Also, because I know the good she did outweighed the bad. Also, I could really see why she is the way she is and this is the source of my compassion. She suffered a lot as well and didn’t understand or process her suffering, unknowingly passed it down to her children. She caused me pain in the past, and yes, this was why i hurt her back. But somebody or many other people hurt her also and I in my turn hurt many other people as a result of this pain… so where is the beginning or end of this endless circle of causing pain?
With compassion, there is no room for hate any more. It is just love and forgiveness. At the same time, i KNOW my sister is not where I am now with regard to her relationship to our mother and I know I just followed my mom’s steps and did her wrong too. She suffered much more than me too and I need to be a mother for her that she needed but didn’t always have. I also see how as a result of multiple childhood traumas my sister got, she is traumatising her own little helpless child. I see the connection and see how suffering and traumas are passed down from mothers to children UNLESS someone stops this vicious circle of causing endless pain.
I also know one day I should find enough courage to have this talk with my mother. and explain to her how she made me feel throughout my childhood and adulthood.
About another new friend- you are right, I guess sometimes he was in a good mood and feeling chatty, other times not so much. It is natural, the reason why I can’t figure it out as I mentioned above I think often out of all possible scenarios and pick up the “most inconvenient or hurtful one for me” . The pattern is- obsessive thinking, anxiety or anger, letting my emotions get the best of me, considering all possible answers in my head, picking the worst, feeling bad about myself. Maybe this is part of OCD too.
Also perhaps, he doesn’t want to be in touch so often, maybe he prefers to have a call once a month or once a 2 months and its ok. I should respect that and give him his space. So, yes, i am not writing to him any more and feel like whenever he wants to catch up, he can get in touch himself. If he is not interested , that is ok, let it be the worst problem I have 🙂February 18, 2021 at 3:08 am #374796
I am sorry you are going through such difficult times. What you wrote here reminded me of what Dr Gabor Maté talked about in his talks and he referred to this quote of his mentor/teacher A.H. Almaas :
“Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.”
He also talked in his talks how some of his most terminally ill patients told him-they were thankful for their cancer, or some of the extreme physical or mental pain they had to endure as if it wasn’t for that pain, there would be no understanding and love.
The way i see it is pretty much the same. Our body is always telling us what is wrong with us emotionally or mentally and it manifests itself in many different ways (in extreme cases serious diseases), and it is up to you to listen to it or to shut it out further.
About your regrets around career and financial choices in life – i can honestly sympathise. Did you ever consider why you feel this way though? Why you feel like you had to be making 6 figures in your life and at 43 one couldn’t just be starting from scratch? what is wrong with that? who or what makes you think there is anything wrong with that?
I spent a lot of my time feeling guilt and shame for things i did or didn’t do in my life as well. But you know, feeling a lot of guilt is just an excuse not to act NOW.
And where to find strength- all the strength you could possibly have is within you waiting to be awakened. I think you should look for it inwardly not outwardly.
February 18, 2021 at 2:20 am #374792
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Nar.
I have something else i wanted to share and it is on the topic of “unhealthy friendships trying to be healthy” and would like to hear your thoughts on it.
I mentioned before I was a kind of a person who didn’t want to keep in contact with people much, and built a wall around myself for the past 4-5years. Recently something changed and I realised I missed out on many amazing opportunities to make friends with people. I met so many incredible people in my life, who I just connected so well with and didn’t bother to keep in touch with. So I started developing the need to make friends again. I tried with this girl I met at the retreat only to come to realise it was the wrong person for me.
I have also been in contact with one person who I met at the retreat as well and I told him about my interests to be friends. The problem is I feel like I can’t read whether he wants the same or not. I noticed 90% of the time it is me who is initiating contact first, so just wondering if this is one sided feeling or not. If he is just being polite by writing to me or he actually likes to talk to me. I can’t figure it out at all.
There was once he suggested to have a video call and few times he was very active chatting with me, but other times much quieter. He shows some emotions in talking, but also once made a mean joke that he’d block me if he gets tired of me writing to him too much. I confronted him about that joke and said i didn’t like it. he was resisting to say “sorry”. He said I spent long time in the UK to understand this kind of humour and he’d only say it to people he is close it. I let it go and then he apologised and said he’d be more mindful next time.
He is also not much of an online chatter to be honest. Neither was I before. So i could understand that bit.
I could also just ask him ofcourse about his feelings -whether he wants to be in contact with me often or not. It is rather awkward though. As firstly, I don’t want to confront him to tell me about his feeling and secondly awkward for me I guess to be rejected.
Any advice what I should do? At the moment I am just doing something a bit immature-i stopped initiating contact and waiting to see what happens 🙂 is it too silly?
Also, I realise I suddenly developed this need to connect with people and maybe i don’t know how to manage this feeling as I was so closed before and never bothered to keep in touch…
Thank you for your pearls of wisdom, Anita! And hoping you have a lovely weekend! 🙂February 18, 2021 at 2:14 am #374791
Very interesting allegory. I like how you name it Mother and Fear too. I have to say though, as contradictory as it might sound, I always felt protected by my mother when i was very little. But I think I started understanding what happened in my case in relation to your examples. My mother has this saying about upbringing – ” up to 3 years old, treat your child as a king, up to 16 as your slave and then as your friend”. I think this might be what she did to us too. I felt very protected and secure whenever I was with her from one side (physically protected, protected from all the bad things and people in the world), but us humans also have a strong psychological need of attachment and dependancy which I didn’t always feel from her. I started fearing her excessively from 10years old maybe, because she was presenting herself as a figure of authority who we should respect and listen to. And it is against this authority i developed anger and rebellion. Later when she tried to be more friendly, I wasn’t going to accept that. Do I understand correctly you think the origin of all our human fears are related to our mothers? Fear just take many forms obviously, but what i want to know is the origin of it. Or look at it as a whole.February 16, 2021 at 2:43 am #374731
I had a feeling OCD is related to some trauma or most likely multiple traumas + fear of something. You say-
“(Dependence/attachment + Fear) is what gives birth to obsessive thinking. When we fear someone whom we don’t depend on and to whom we are not attached- we get away from that person and the problem is solved. When we fear someone on whom we depend and to whom we are attached- we can’t and will not get away from, therefore- the problem is not solved”
The issue is my OCD actually started developing strongly after 25. And i was already away from my mother for a long time. So leaving my family home didn’t solve the problem. I know this is somehow related to some fear i have, but I don’t know what fear. I remember even as a kid i was scared of a lot of things. Scared of darkness (which people say is normal), but I wanted to sleep with a light on. I remember my first nightmare and it was repeating in my dreams every night. Unfortunately, due to the times i was growing up, fear and uncertainty was something very common to most people, including my child self. I have a feeling my fear and OCD runs much deeper than just my mom’s behaviour or the way she brought me up.
I can’t blame everything that happened to me and issues i developed on my mother. Of-course it would be a very lucky life had my mom managed to deal with her hardships better or perhaps even had none of them, therefore nothing would have reflected back on us. But this is not the life that I have. I don’t even think such a life is possible. And it is ok.
My therapy is starting soon, and as i was keeping a diary I realise my OCD runs so deep and just takes so many forms. It is something that has been a dominating factor in my life since mid 20s. For example, in terms of thought patterns or objects of obsessions as i like to call it- you know already, i was obsessed with the problem about the girl i met at the retreat, as soon as this problem dropped-another thing came. Thinking obsessively over a new dilemma i have in my personal life. And it is NOT looking at it calmly, but literally being possessed by this issue. I feel like this thing inside me is just looking for something to latch on and obsess about.
I am also a little bit addictive person, which doesn’t help if you have OCD. Oh it is so very complicated and i hope i can find my way out of this labyrinth.
If there is any literature or anything at all you can recommend, would highly appreciate it! Thanks so much for your help, Anita! You are very kind 🙂February 12, 2021 at 1:52 am #374517
Thank you for your kind words, but i am no angel. I can only hope to be more empathetic and less angry than i am.
It is very interesting what you shared about our sensitivity to being used. And that our emotions have a purpose and I guess self-preservation instinct is there for a reason. It is easier to deal with hunger than with feeling used. My problem with it was that in the past due to my past traumas with my ex and best friend, I became overprotective of myself and didn’t want to be too open to new people. Or rather care too much for other people. This is the wall I was referring to previously. I guess it is important to learn to open up at the right time to the right people. Be aware of what happened, learn from it but without getting paranoid and carrying it over to future relationships.
About self-protection, I had this feeling in relation to the girl I tried to befriend -“if you are drowning, I want to help and i can offer you my hand, but I won’t let you pull me in with you”.
I think there is also a relation between my OCD issues and how I process difficult emotions or my relationship issues. I was recommended to start CBT but it is only due in 3 months and for now i was told to keep a diary of my intrusive thoughts. The violent image I talked about appears very rarely actually. I haven’t had it in 2 months. I think it is the various forms of OCD which has been a very strong part of me since i was a kid. When it comes to relationships, it appears in the form of thinking patterns, things i said repeating themselves over and over in my head, or emotions repeating.
Sometimes i think maybe it is better that these thoughts or emotions are repeating as I am able to see something i didn’t before. Maybe it is better to be tortured by it than forgetting all about it and moving to the next “mischief”. The reason why i am bringing this up is because this problem with the girl bothered me for a month now and finally a few days ago I was able to let go of it and make peace with how I felt. I stopped talking to her a month ago but the problem still bothered me. After weeks, days and hours of difficult thoughts, emotions, doubts, it dropped away. Thank you for helping me to understand myself in relation to this issue as well. I am truly grateful!
Could this anxiety from thinking patterns/ problems processing difficult emotions be part of OCD too?
About my mother, this is really interesting area to explore. As I know our relationship with our mothers or the lack of it is probably what shapes us most to be who we are today.
To answer your questions
“(1) You shared regarding your lack of compassion for your mother: “Up to .. 26 years old, I didn’t have much compassion for her at all”- what did you feel for your mother for the first 25 years of your life?”
-My mother was always quite a strict and austere mother. It was like she was a “bad cop” and my dad “good cop”. She thought it was important to be strict with us because of cultural reasons. She was scared she had 2 girls who might go “astray”, unfortunately my culture and especially when i was growing was a bit chauvinistic, and young girls had a lot of judgement. So she was strict, but she also criticised and controlled us a lot. Up to i was a teen i had feelings of strong attachment and fear towards her. After 15, i just rebelled against the control. I wanted to pluck my eyebrows, wear whatever i want and put on make up. she tried to explain why i shouldn’t, i wasn’t interested in that. so she forbade, it didn’t work either. i just started hating her. Then i begged her to send me abroad to study and at 17 I was sent to the UK to study. it was extremely challenging in the beginning, but she was there to help. help me move to a new place for example. From 17-25 I didn’t trust my mom too much to tell her about my personal life, i didn’t hate her any more, just didn’t trust she would understand me. From 26 I started telling her limited information. When I got married, she really disapproved of my marriage but still supported me. So when my marriage fell apart due to my ex being a psycho, I realised my mom may not always have the right things to say, but she has certain wisdom about people that i should sometimes care to listen to at least.
“(2) Earlier you shared about your mother: “she constantly sacrificed herself, her well being and her health for us”-
Is or has your mother become physically ill because of what she did for her children, and if so, what is the nature of her illness, and how was it caused?
When and how did you become aware of her illness?
How else did she sacrifice herself for her children and how did you become aware of her sacrifices?”
About this, i can just say that she is a true workaholic and she totally overworkes herself to the detriment of her own health and her family’s wellbeing. She criticised us a lot too because she is addicted to work or addicted to cleanliness. She is still very controlling up to this day even though we are adults, she still tries to control and blame us when she really overworks and burns herself completely out.
But she did do a lot. For example, when my sister gave birth she couldnt look after her new born child due to bad thrombosis. my mother looked after my niece at nights and went to give lectures at the university she worked at in the mornings. she saw it as her “duty”. to be honest, i was surprised how she never brought it up. She blames us for much smaller things, like not cleaning after ourselves, or washing dishes, or “listening to her when she knows better”. but she never said how for 6months she genuinely suffered looking after a new born child who was her granddaughter. I guess this is why I feel the compassion that i do. Deep down i know how caring she is, despite all shortcomings.
then it was very courageous of her to be able to convince my father to let me go at the age of 17 to a very foreign country and live all alone. i can’t believe she could let me go for the sake of my future. Considering how “strict” my culture was, how many ways i could have failed my family, she trusted that i wouldn’t and only at 17. I was such a kid who hasn’t spent 1 day alone without my family and never been outside my country. Also, my parents were not rich. they actually indeed let go of their own little wishes for our studies and comfort. for example instead of buying a new car or new flat, they saved for our future. I know most parents help, but my partner whose parents were very helpful as well says my parents help was too much. It was almost limitless. they have this mentality “all for children”. I noticed this when I grew up and could see how my peers’ parents were not as helping as mine. Basically, my sister and i have a comfortable life today at the expense of their discomfort. and in a way, we do owe a lot to them.
Seeing all this, makes me feel very lucky and I know they deeply care for me despite all shortcomings. But it doesn’t mean those shortcomings didn’t affect me. This is why i am able to look at it very compassionately and lovingly though. So i am not sweeping under the rug the fact that my mom was controlling, criticising, strict, because of her silent treatments i have attachment issues. i am not. that up to this day my sister doesn’t trust her to tell her about anything personal. but i also know she is a true mother (not good or bad but true) who is capable of deep care and love that i probably will never have from anyone else and can just hope to be able to offer one day to my own child or someone else without too many shortcomings.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Nar.