When you've been to the depth of the darkness, as I have, you learn to appreciate the light. I'm doing my best to heal and grow, to become the best version of me, live the life of joy I envision in my mind and help others achieve that too. I have a long way to go, but I keep trying. I aspire to be a writer, I have written since childhood, quit after my dark night [years] of the soul, and am returning to that hobby as of 2019. I am a proud Pagan who loves tea, anime, and writing. I'm striving to better myself and find balance in my life.
Forum Replies Created
May 30, 2020 at 8:03 am #357244
Thanks for your kind words, Anita. My fiance and I are homebodies, we’re either chatting with ourselves, he’s doing an online game with friends and we’re all chatting, or I’m on a forum/facebook chatting with my friends. His family is very warm and inviting and we spend a lot of time with them. All of my friends either live far away, are people I work with, or regulars at work. I have learned over the course of four years that I shouldn’t consider people from work my friends the hard way. My fiance’s friends are also my friends, though I have a hard time thinking of them as my friends since they were his first [just another thing from childhood I’ve got to unlearn]
I know healing and growth is an ongoing process, but I don’t really know, you know? I imagine that one day I won’t struggle as much with stuff, I’ll understand why I do things, be all zen, and be this better version of myself I see in my head. And I know that’s not realistic, but I can dream. But because I don’t see the improvement, I’ll hit walls and conclude I’m either getting worse or simply stagnating and that drags me back into old patterns because I’m not improving, so I think what’s the point in trying? But then I’ve got the other part of my brain that, on good days, will point out how people don’t see the middle part of growth, so I just have to keep looking at the light at the end of the tunnel.
I also have this problem where I want to change, but I don’t want people to acknowledge I’ve changed, but I do, but not really? So, if someone was to say “wow, have you lost weight?” my brain automatically goes “you must have been a whale and not realized it because this person noticed you’ve lost weight” and I know that’s crazy, but that’s what happens and I’m working on not doing that. I’ve gotten better. I can take 3 complements before I start to question how awful the past version of me was.May 30, 2020 at 7:42 am #357242
Thank you so much Ravi ^_^May 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm #357205
Well, as I said in my previous response, I walk this fine line of over-sharing online. I don’t want to out of fear [my mom use to tell my sister and I the danger of forums, how any tiny piece of information would be used against us, and we were banned from ever using forums] If there’s a specific question and there’s information I think is relevant, I’ll share. [assuming the more detail the easier to find an answer]
My fiance and I have a pretty perfect relationship. I honestly have no issues. I feel so safe and loved with him. We are both rather silly and joke around a lot. He’s helped me so much over the years. He’s patient and understanding and pulled me through so many dark times. We get along like peas in a pod, and while no relationship is perfect, we don’t really argue either [the occasional “do the dishes” type of thing, but we talk everything through rather calmly] Honestly, I’m the mess in the relationship and he’s this calm support. Yes, there are times he needs a shoulder to cry on and I’m here to help, but he’s far more emotionally mature than I am. I love him so much, I can’t imagine my life without him. Even during quarantine, we hear about how people are fighting and we’re just so confused about how you could be so annoyed by your partner. Yes, I’m an introvert and he’s one of those introvert-extroverts, but he knows when I need my alone time. We’re one of those annoying couples who finish each other’s sentences or make jokes in unison lol. My mom’s side didn’t approve of him for a number of years, and while not all of them like him now, most have come around and decided if I’m happy, they’re happy for me. [he struggled to find sustainable work for years and worked temp jobs, which they didn’t like, and when he got a more permanent job, they didn’t like it was as a part-time sales clerk instead of a “real man’s job” currently he’s in school for system analyst and network engineering] My dad’s side loves him [they all know the struggle of finding employment being from a fishing town, which I suspect is why mom hated him so much at first] So I’m very happy with him, I love him so much and look forward to my future with him. My problems lie with figuring out myself and improving myself over my relationship with him, so the issues I post here don’t normally involve him. [in so far as I’ve talked to him about it in person and come here for further input. He says I overanalyze things a lot]
As for the former friend, I enjoyed the attention, but I never want to leave my fiance. I love my fiance, not my ex-friend. I only ever wanted him as a friend. [I also saw tons of red flags with him that were similar to my gaslighting] His girlfriend never liked me. I would try to talk to her and she would walk away. I would ask her what she did on the weekend and she would go “stuff” and walk away. [seriously, I’ve worked with her for 2 years and only know 3 things about her; she likes dogs, musicals and is going to univercity] She also has a tone problem. Everything she says is in this condescending tone [you know the tone people make when they’re intentionally trying to make someone sound stuck-up? That’s her tone 90% of the time. I’m not even joking] I stopped trying to be her friend when I told her that I discovered in therapy the emotion I couldn’t pinpoint was shame and she scrunched up her face and responded “oh? You DIDN’T know you felt shame? Because it’s really obvious to everyone all you ever feel is shame.” and then she walked away. I decided to stop trying to win her over after that.
Regarding mutual friends, this whole thing blew up right before quarantine, so there’s not really any situations where they could casually go “why isn’t Neko invited?” but the mutual friends are the co-worker/girlfriend who hates me, his roommate who has stopped talking to me, and my other co-worker friend who they barely talk. My co-worker friend and I don’t like drama and found this entire thing pure drama that was draining us, but she noticed how they would casually slip jabs at me into conversations to test her loyalty [“You’re really nice, not like Neko. You notice her acting paranoid lately?”] So I told my work friend to not even bother asking why he vanished from my life. [richer for having lost him imo. There were positives like how he encouraged me to seek therapy and how he got me out of the house and spending time with people, but I also overlooked a lot of problematic things] Yes, I want to know, but I’m not about to deploy a spy. I don’t care if she’s friends with both of them, I don’t own her, she can be friends with whoever. Meanwhile, she claims they’ve occasionally asked if she’s still friends with me. [so we both concluded they’re trying some high school drama stuff and we’ve distanced ourselves from them] The last time we all got together was for the roommate’s birthday in March. The girlfriend and ex-friend sat at the opposite end of the table while roommate walked around talking to everyone [including us, it was a large group] We had a great time chatting with the roommate and his friends, while those two sat quietly at the other end. IDK if they were even talking to each other. The few times I looked at that end to chat with someone they were quietly staring at their drinks. My fiance noticed at one point my ex-friend started staring at us and his girlfriend tapped his hand so he looked away. The three of us left when the ex-friend made a big speech about how amazing my work-friend is. She was super uncomfortable. She was slowly sinking to the floor as he made this huge “She’s a brilliant artist who is articulate and hilarious. A vision of loveliness. I am honoured to call her a friend” thing after seeing a picture of her painting for the roommate being passed around. And I was getting pissed because neither of them said a single word to us for a solid hour, and here he was making this unprovoked speech about how blessed he was to have a friend like her. Without either of us saying anything, my fiance quickly and calmly walked off, paid for our meals, and we left. We haven’t seen the guy since, no plans to see him again.
I like your idea of HD [I say after another wordy response lol] I will do so in the future! [after this post lol] I can be somewhat chatty if I’m engaged in a topic, I think it’s the storyteller in me. The parenthesis thing idk when I started that, but it was a way to have two thoughts at once, one being a side note. I do that while talking too where my brain is jumping ahead and I just blurt out the conclusion lol [that’s another reason why my fiance and I click so well. He has ADHD and he’ll go off on a random tangent or say an esoteric quote and it’s never confused me. People usually turned to me to translate because if my fiance tries he just gets more hyper and worked up, while I calmly go “a, b, c, lead to d”] Thank you so much again for shedding some light on my situation. You really help me a lot. I hope to repay you someday. I hope you’re well Anita.May 28, 2020 at 6:55 pm #357114
We’re supposed to get married in October of this year, but this pandemic is probably going to make me cancel my reception and scale down the ceremony to maybe ten people. I’m not too upset because large groups make me nervous, but on the other hand there’s that voice in my head telling me nobody wants to come anyway so I should cancel and just go to town hall [I’ve been having some bad mental health days recently. Work just reopened and my manager is taking an extra week off because she’s immune-compromised. I’ve known the acting manager for a year, just through work, and when we work together she seems to take her frustration out on me, so I’ve been feeling pretty useless recently as a result] It’s been a long engagement because I wanted to get married on this specific date in 2020, and then 2020 turned into this lol. I’ll probably have to figure out how Skype works for my wedding.
As for the “friend,” we’re no longer friends [shocking, I know] Turns out, just because you acknowledge a person is problematic with a ton of red flags, doesn’t mean they won’t kick you down a flight of stairs. So yeah, I saw all his red flags, repeating past negative behaviour, and problematic ways, accepted him for who he was, and still got my heart stomped on. So January 1 he had a Gatsby party [which I ignored pointing out the parallels between him and the character. Also, minor annoyance, I was trying to discuss the book with him and he said it was too boring so he didn’t read it. He was constantly berating me for not reading enough and insisted I read Beowolf, but he couldn’t finish The Great Gatsby] So it wasn’t costumed, but myself and our other mutual friend decided to go in 20’s outfits. Turns out everyone decided to dress up, including himself. Everyone, except for his girlfriend, who was the last to arrive and saw everyone else in costume. No joke this was the exchange
Her: Oh wow, I didn’t know it was a costume party.
Me: It wasn’t, work friends and I thought it would be fun.
Him: Don’t be modest, it was implied it would be costume as anyone who truly understood me would realize this.
The rest of the party she sat by herself while he kept fawning over my outfit [which, it was a black dress, black gloves, and a feather in my hair, nothing that mesmerizing imo] but he was like “that dress is stunning on you,” “I never noticed how long your legs are,” *rubs gloved arms without permission* “these gloves are gorgeous on you” at the end of the party he even held my coat and helped put it on me. Oh, and at one point I was chatting with someone, he yawn/stretched, and pulled me into a hug [held me to his chest for a solid minute] and from that day on, he’s ghosted me. IDK what happened, but his girlfriend keeps telling me “he’s mad at you, so don’t talk to him because he won’t talk to you.” We had 2 social gatherings before the quarantine and he ignored me to my face. I walked up to him, began chatting with him, he stared past me and walked away as I was talking. I eventually called him out via text and he said I’m inappropriate with him and we should distance our friendship. So long story short, I felt like an idiot for falling for the same shit again, but I don’t want/need his friendship. So even if he does appear in my life again, I’m going to blow him off.
As for your response, thank you [I say that a lot lol] it really did help [as always] I don’t really talk about my childhood because I don’t want to over-share, but I do, but strangers on the internet, so I’m iffy on how far I should go. But I feel safe on TinyBuddha sharing, so I’m more open here than anywhere else [outside of therapy and to my fiance that is] I am trying to slowly rebuild a relationship with my dad, it’s just odd because I admired my dad so much as a kid, but our relationship kind of stops at childhood because it then became only seeing him for a few weeks in the summer and the occasional phone call. During the divorce, my mom very much leveraged our love against our dad to a degree, while my dad was glued to the computer and didn’t really get off it much. I’ve always had odd sleeping patterns, so when I would get up at 1am, I would get my dad, and he would go downstairs and make himself a Cesar salad and we would sit and talk. He would tell me I didn’t deserve what I was going through and to not take it personally because mom was hurting right now, then he would return to the computer. Actually, this January I finally snapped on my mom’s side of the family. I was visiting my grandparents and my grandfather and mom were going off on what a piece of shit my dad is and I finally said after 20 years, I was sick of hearing it. My mom said she never realized how much she hurt me and said she wants to make it up to me [how/when I’m not sure, but it’s a start]
Oh, and I wanted to share a little therapy breakthrough. So, as detailed above, my original diagnosis was my doctor going “you have anxiety and depression. Get over it.” and walking out of the room. My therapist did an evaluation when we started and determined I’m no longer depressed, but with my family history of anxiety, I have many of the symptoms of social anxiety. So while we both weren’t wanting to label anything just yet, nor are either of us wanting to medicate something we can simply retain the mind to learn, we settled on social anxiety. Last month it was determined I actually have PTSD because of how badly I was bullied as well as all the abuse I suffered among other thing. I’m still getting used to the idea I have PTSD because while I know anyone could get it, I’m like “I’ve never been to war, I don’t have a reason to have PTSD” which is what my therapist is working on with me; Cutting myself some slack. I hold myself to a hideous double standard. I think I drive my therapist crazy with how I can rationalize anything to make me the bad guy or I deserve to be treated a certain way. [probably not, because she hasn’t snapped at me yet for doing it, but it’s only a matter of time until I push her too far. I like her.] She said something similar to what you said about turning my loyalty to myself, I need to show my younger self some compassion. She wants me to write a letter of encouragement to my 19-year-old self and I’m dreading it. 19-year-old me was the me who was being gaslighted, and I usually dump on her. A lot. I usually refer to myself at that age as an idiot, a loser, and pathetic. So having to say how proud I was for what I did at 19 [I was mailing out manuscripts every couple of weeks, joined in on some protests, completed college] is going to suck.
Thanks again for everything you do Anita, I really love reading your responses.
May 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm #357095
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Nekoshema.
Well, that was hard to read, I do nothing but complain. I’m sorry I keep bothering people with the same problem over and over. Thank you for spending so much of your time on my Anita, but I think it would have been better spent elsewhere.February 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm #336962
I quite like a number of these [especially Churchill, his quote seems to get me lol] while I have a desire for change and healthy habits [you should have that if you wish to do something] it’s more the past me was able to form and stick with habits, so why can’t present me just get up and do it already, instead of one good day, three bad days, one good day, a week of bad days [using “good” and “bad” more as “I did a thing” and “I did not do a thing” over morality] but thanks for the quotes, I’m going to copy a few of them down and post them around my home.January 9, 2020 at 6:07 am #332241
It appears you mind is made up, that missing 10% is the natural doubt of ending things. When you have to choose from turning left or right, you will have that nibbling “what if I went the other way” but it sounds to me you’re justified. You spoke with him, he said he would change, but doesn’t seem willing. I would consider a couple’s counsellor to work through things and try to transition smoothly, but it sounds wise to walk away, or else you will feel worse.
All the best to you.December 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm #330377
[I don’t know your whole story with this person so I’m just commenting on what you’ve posted here]
You’re not a failure. I know all too well that feeling, but trust me, you’re not. You’ve been sober for some time, that’s not nothing. You may have slipped, but you got back up. That means you’re not a failure. You keep going, which makes you strong. My godmother was an alcoholic, in her depressed states she would slip, but she would try again. I can say a failure is someone who refuses to try. Personally, when I feel like this, I have an inspirational playlist to listen to [granted, it’s mostly Pink songs, but she’s always inspired me]
I also understand your loneliness. Nobody talks to you, you feel forgotten and left out. However, sometimes we need to reach out. Life gets in the way, and sometimes people get use to not texting/calling [especially with the stress of the holidays] and I know it can feel like you’re always reaching out, but makes you the stronger person. You care, and if you make it a point to talk at the same time each week, it will become a habit the other person will want to continue. Remember, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Seek out new connections, new friends, new hobbies. I spent years only being at work or at home, rarely texting or seeing old friends or family. Earlier this year a regular at my work invited me to the movies and we’ve become amazing friends and hang out once a week. I’m saying, as scary as it is, perhaps take a step out of your comfort zone and try a hobby or meet one new person. They don’t have to be a potential romantic partner [I feel you should heal first] but to have someone help bring that joy back into your life is paramount.
As for this person, I know they seem like a big deal, but you can love yourself. You don’t need anyone. If it’s meant to be, they will return, but only after you have grown and healed. Otherwise, history will repeat itself. If they don’t return, it simply means there’s someone greater waiting for you. Focus on the good, talk to a therapist, work to grow, keep going. I know it sucks right now, especially when you’re in the dark place, but keep going, and you’ll find the light at the end. [I know that’s cliche, but it’s true. We all need to remind ourselves when things are terrible, there is sunshine ahead]
love and light to youDecember 30, 2019 at 6:31 pm #330365
I’m hopeful for the New Year, it seems many positive things will begin for me in January, I just keep telling myself not to dwell and catastrophize. As for your advice, I am working on thinking before I speak, as well as trying to say encouraging things to myself [I can build other people up, not so much myself lol] I’m also working on keeping my mouth shut. It’s not a bad thing, but depending on how busy it is, or who I’m with, I’ll start chatting and it comes back to bite me, so I’m working on filtering myself and not being so laid back.December 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm #330325
Wow Emma gotta say, your story is eerily similar to crap I’m dealing with.
I too have been in a relationship for ten years and am getting married next year. We also drifted apart some time ago, but where our stories differ is the affair [though if I’m honest mines an emotional affair] So I know how you feel having thoughts of this other guy and wanting it to stop.
I’m going to mention Polyamory, but I’m not advocating it. I know many are against it, but if you feel your relationship is strong enough, discuss it. If you’re a monogamous type ignore this point. [I’ve always been fine with Polyamory, I just know I couldn’t handle it emotionally at this time]
SO, advice. Firstly, I would continue with your therapy or at least some form of self-help work [journaling for instance] to work through these thoughts. Suppressing or ignoring will cause it to fester. Distance is another wise move, blocking this person is a wise move to ensure he doesn’t appear again. Contemplate what draws you to your fiance as well as this other guy. [personal: my fiance and the other guy are very similar, but the other guy is new, exciting, fun, while my fiance is comfortable, safe, predictable. So we’re ensuring we have date night once a week, talk more, surprise each other with little things] You might also consider the old fashion pro’s con’s list, but there’s one my therapist gave me that’s four squares, pro’s and cons of things staying the same, and the pro’s and con’s of things changing. That one helped me with a few decisions.
I would also throw out the old “cold feet” argument. You’ve chosen this one person forever, this shuts the door on other people forever. That’s scary. You’ve given up the freedom, a small part of your personal power. Henceforth, you’re a unit, and can’t simply go to the movies after work with friends, you need to text your husband and inform him of this [and vice versa if he wants to randomly hang with his friends, he needs to check with you] for some people, this is a level of control, and it can be scary. You are technically losing things [hypothetically] but think of all the things you gain. I know how easy it is to look at the closed door but think of all the things you gain with your partner. Think of all the reasons you love him. Think of the future you see with him. You may wish to compare it to the future you see with this other person, but depending on your mental state [I can get stuck on an idea/thought and spiral] you may wish to avoid fantasizing.
Good luck to you.December 30, 2019 at 4:34 pm #330323
Honestly, I don’t think she will. Granted, I am being careful not to say anything to upset her, not because she’ll hit me [it’s been about 10 years since it went that far] but because she’ll start crying and blaming herself, then I’ll feel bad and apologize for what I said to calm things down. At the end of the day, she’s my mom, and we do have good times, and it’s only a week, so I just play nice and don’t take things so personally and it’ll be fine. We texts and talk on the phone and it’s been better recently than the last time she stayed at my place [that was in March or April, she left after two days because I was upsetting her so she stayed with my sister and vented to her about how different I’ve become. Granted, by “different” she was upset the night before I introduced her to my friend and we’re both socialists who disapprove of Trump and she’s a Trump supporter and she was upset I didn’t cave and say she was right, even the next morning when it was just the two of us] I’m working on understanding my emotions and coming to terms with my past trauma without shutting down and spiralling into negativity when I’m confronted.
Going back to the promotion: reading over that, now I’m worried I won’t handle it well because I will have to deal with angry customers and difficult situations, and if I can’t handle a few days with my mom who’s just knows what to say to make me cave, how could I handle this promotion? Hopefully, nothing bad happens in the next two weeks, I’m worried I’ll self-sabotage, so I’m continuing on acting like I’m still working towards the promotion. Just going to keep calm and carry on [stiff upper lip and all that lol]December 30, 2019 at 10:04 am #330239
It really does, but I want to feel, it’s like I should be better by now. I’m doing everything right and I’m still failing.December 29, 2019 at 7:23 am #330047
Thanks for the advice.
I’ve been working on my emotions in therapy. I’ve always struggled with them, but I at least would feel something up until 5 years ago when I had my breakdown. Now, I can feel excited, or sad or happy, but a lot of the time I will be in a situation and go “oh, this is a happy moment. I should feel happier, but I just feel content.” I know I’m no longer depressed, my therapist checked, it’s just the social anxiety atm.
Regarding my mother’s abuse, I’ve had all the abuse from a lot of people, the majority was actually emotional and verbal. The physical was when I stepped out of line. [sorry, it’s not just you Anita, I really admire you and love reading your responses, I just feel everyone gets hung up on the physical abuse when I tell them when it was far less often than people think.] I feel like I’ve left the situation, I’ve been working on things with my therapist as well as in my personal life, I should be excited after all this struggle, but I feel dread like until it’s the first day of my training, it runs the risk of being taken away. [since you remember my previous thread, only Work Friend knows, I haven’t told the friend or his girlfriend I work with, or his roommate because I don’t want them knowing, but they’ll find out eventually which scares me because they’ll congratulate me. I’ve told my parents, sister, fiance, and K and B and they’ll all more excited for me than I feel]December 27, 2019 at 8:00 am #329769
I had similar problems when I first started seeing my fiance. We first met at a con and he was homeless [we started dated 3 years later] His parents are amazing people who accepted me into their home from day one [total shock to my system lol] My fiance has a ton of good qualities, he can be a bit annoying to people [he has ADHD, I don’t mind it, but his esoteric references and hyperactivity can be overwhelming to people who aren’t used to him] and he’s struggled with finding and keeping jobs. My family [specifically my mom’s side since my parents are divorced and I rarely see my dad’s side because of distance] constantly harped on my finance and would insist I leave him. Years of this. I know the stress.
Good people who mean well, doing the best they can. I know what it’s like to live with flawed individuals [my life was filled with flawed people] I understand being abused [I was] and it is an incredibly difficult thing to overcome, especially learned patterns [I struggle with a few myself] but it isn’t acceptable to fall back on why you’re abusing another because you were abused. Your fiance doesn’t deserve it and neither do you. I understand your mother in law slipping up on that rare occasion where tensions are high, but acknowledge, apologize, and work towards healing. If she verbally abuses you, then goes “I was abused” and never attempts to change this behaviour, it’s a toxic pattern you both need to step away from. Calmly talk with her, and explain why you need your space. You still love her, but until she starts working towards change, you cannot keep exposing yourselves to the pain. Especially if you’re planning a future together that may include kids. [just saying, if that is part of your future goals, it’s better to start now instead of when their first grandchild arrives]
Limiting your interactions with them is wise, going to therapy [your fiance, but also your mother in law] and all of you being open and understanding of each other’s struggles would be ideal. Sadly, things are rarely this perfect, so have a plan in place, prepare yourselves for these little visits, and know when to walk away. You don’t need to stay, you’re not obliged to do anything. My friend always says you don’t owe your relatives anything, you’re related by circumstance, you become family by choice. That bond is what you build with people, it isn’t blood. My fiance has also chosen not to go places where certain family members will be because he knows it will end with a fight. I limit my interactions with them for the same reason, and I’ve even cut ties with one family member [granted, he threatened to kill us and my family all laughed it off because he’s threatened to kill everyone at one point or another, but I’m the crazy one] point is, your fiance is your family. Everyone else you can choose. You don’t owe them anything. Work towards healing, they do seem like lovely people but don’t feel obligated. If you and your fiance are putting in all the effort, or you feel more stressed than loved, you can choose to walk away.
I wish you all the best.
December 24, 2019 at 7:15 pm #329353
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Nekoshema.
I actually was talking to my work friend today, I asked her honest opinion on our friend and she essentially ord-vomited all the same issues I’ve been having. A few coworkers overheard us and were like “are you talking about friend? yeah, he acts really strange.” then listed things they observed how he treats me and my work friend, also noting how he treats his girlfriend is very cold. I was speaking with his roommate who said he didn’t notice any of this, but he doesn’t hang around us as much, and apparently he’s very affectionate with the girlfriend when they’re alone. I am worried she’s dealing with similar problems I dealt with when I was with my ex, but I’m also worried I’ve been making a big deal over nothing. Roommate said he would observe our friends behaviour [and he does agree he can go a little overboard with his white knight complex and will act like a chivalrous knight and it comes off domineering and intimidating] but we should explain to him one thing we’re concerned about then wait until we bring up another issue. If we approach him in a group or give him a list of problems, he will feel attacked and lash out verbally. So I’m figuring out the best way to approach him and will be talking to him about our biggest grievance when I see him either next week or the week after [depends on right time and how comfortable I feel] I will be stepping back from our dynamic, and possibly boundaries will help.
Thanks again for your input [as well as everyone else, it was very helpful]