Forum Replies Created
December 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm #269895
Welcome back! I will be able to read and reply to your thread when I am back to the computer in about sixteen hours. I hope other members answer you before I return.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm #269893
You are welcome. You read to me like a reasonable, logical person and I understand the stress of work, a health condition you mentioned, having two young children. I understand you were not a good partner to your wife, that she tried hard before, and that now she is not fully there in the marriage, considering an exit. A tough place for you. I do hope things get better and soon.
If I was you, from the limited information I have so far, I would back of from efforts 1, 2 and 3. I would continue individual therapy, for as long as it is helpful to me, but not share my progress there with her (effort #1) unless she asks. I would back off, like you suggested. Give her the space she needs to breathe, better she has that space within the marriage than if she rushes into separation and divorce so to be able to breathe!
Maybe she needs that space, that time with no pressure from you, nothing that even appears like pressure coming from you. I am thinking her stress and distress can be swaying her toward extreme thinking, as it does to us all.
Maybe a vacation for her is a good idea, it just occurred to me, but without you or the kids. Just her. What do you think?
I will soon be away from the computer and back in about sixteen hours.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm #269887
You are welcome.
You wrote regarding your mother:”I really do not hold her responsible for my failings”-
Hold her responsible for her behavior. See to it that she behaves toward you respectfully.
Better not accept disrespect, such as being repeatedly accused without basis in reality, and aim at accepting it calmly. Better not be in a situation or with a person that disrespects you. All she has to do is treat her loving daughter respectfully. I hope she chooses to do so.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 11:46 am #269881
I think you should pursue your dream of independent living as an artist. At this point you live in at home, in Hong Kong because you ran out of money before you were able to complete your thesis in Canada.
You asked: “should I just look for a regular job and quit my school”?- if I understand correctly and you don’t have the money to complete school in Canada, then you have to get a job, save money and use it later to complete your education.
I hope you post again. When I am back to the computer in about sixteen hours, I would like to read more from you as well as re-read your original more attentively and reply to you again.
December 18, 2018 at 11:33 am #269869
- This reply was modified 16 hours, 38 minutes ago by anita.
I don’t know about the “quarter life crisis”, there are crises at any age, really, what about a newborn-crisis, that moment of coming out of the comfort of the womb. Lots of people are in the holiday crisis as I type this, this “most wonderful time of the year” that isn’t so wonderful for so many.
I would say, having read your post (and I wish I could read it more attentively, perhaps tomorrow morning when I am fresh), that first priority is for you to find employment in your field, that entry level you mentioned, to produce income, pay those loans (find the best plan for fastest/ most efficient payment of the loans.. is there a way to have some of the loans forgiven?), and live out of state, away from your parents’ home.
I agree, it is not time to find yourself, as in finding what career you would be engaged in if you went back in time. It is about doing your best with the education you have now to produce income, move out of your parents’ home and pay back these loans, in this order.
I will soon be away from the computer and hope to read more from you (as well as re-read your original post) when I return, about sixteen hours from now. I hope other members reply to you before I am back.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 11:22 am #269867
Of course your therapist, to be helpful to you, has to be “caring and empathetic” to you. Emotional help is not a matter of logic alone!
I will be looking forward to your next post. Soon will be away from the computer and back in sixteen hours or so.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 11:03 am #269863
For a few days I’ve been preparing a post for you based on all your thread. At one point I thought of it as my Christmas gift to you. You wrote in your recent post, “I want to be held but I think being heard and seen would be enough right now”. Maybe, maybe my following post to you (I have it ready, will be copying and pasting it to you next) will be that “being heard and seen” wish come true for you. I sure hope so. Here it is:
The Loneliness/ Lack of love, Then and Now:
“Growing up my mom was very depressed and my dad had anger issues, one of my strongest memories from childhood was my dad telling me and my sister it was ‘our job to keep our mother happy’… trying to keep my mom happy and my dad calm was a very exhausting task… The majority of my childhood was spent in isolation while my mom was depressed, and my dad worked way too much”. When you talked to your mother as an adult, last year, “she cried a little bit… and regretted leaving me alone so much as a kid and not hugging or showing affection towards me.. she said she looks back at pictures from my childhood and it’s clear to her how sad I was”.
And sad you were and are, a whole lot of the time: “at the end of the day when it’s time to sleep I feel alone, and when I wake up I feel alone and struggle to get myself out of bed knowing I may not speak to another human being the whole day”- as adults, we keep reliving our childhood experience.
The lack of love in your childhood gave birth to an immediate, and overwhelming need for love: “I still feel the overwhelming need for love from other people… the need is immediate, and overwhelming”. You lived, as a child, hoping and dreaming that tomorrow you might be loved, “I’m so sick of just living with hopes that tomorrow might be the day. I’m becoming impatient, and childish in that respect”.
Frustrated with this never satisfied need, you wrote: “Maybe I’m far too attached the idea that companionship, intimacy, and closeness is a real possibility for me… I think my need for love is possibly too tall an order to for my self or anyone else to fill”. So intense was your loneliness, your aloneness, being disconnected, that the craving for togetherness, for closeness became equally as intense.
It still is, this is why time alone, not being busy, is so difficult for you, so depressing- when alone and not busy, you are not distracted from that same feeling of childhood, that acute loneliness, of not being connected: “I am very lonely.. I was suppressing my loneliness with work, school… I just don’t feel comfortable unless I’m stressed and busy to the limit… I absolutely cannot wait to return to work, just to have something to help pass the time and have some social contact with people on a regular basis however superficial it may be”.
You wrote: “I can feel the rush similar to a drug when I authentically connect with someone, and that feeling gives me confidence and lasts for days depending on How vulnerable the experience was”- as social animals, like other social animals, when we connect, pleasurable chemicals are released in our brains/ bodies. When disconnected, other chemicals are released, such that bring about distress that motivates us to find the connection that our biology believes is necessary for our survival. This is why you tried so hard, and still, to connect.
The Disassociation, Then and Now:
You wrote: “lately I’ve been noticing the mannerisms of children… I noticed that it seems as if they have a natural curiosity and enchantment about life, the most trivial things are amusing to them and their emotional expressions are more genuine. I then take a look at myself at 25 I feel completely spent and forcing myself through life”.
The disassociation happened in childhood: “I always tell people when they ask about my childhood that i was the adult in the house, in the sense that i took care of everyone’s feelings and acted as a mediator on many occasions, I was very calculated in expressing my emotions which honestly i can barely remember doing”-
– you were “very calculated”, your emotions pushed down, locked in, but not perfectly. “The spark is still there”, you wrote, and you can still feel it sometimes.
You adjusted best you could to the world of your childhood, the home where you grew up. The adjustment was about minimizing any kind of excitation, be it joy or anger, and settling into a manageable, no-excitation, calculated and depressed state of mind. So now you see your mother and your father and you don’t feel much. So you may think: problem-solved/resolved, or problem-gone. But not so, the hurt and the anger get activated in the context of your interactions with other people, people who are not your parents, in professional and personal contexts.
“Attempting to get close to a woman is seriously the scariest thing in my life, it brings up feelings of worthlessness, and quickly makes me feel hopeless with any amount of rejection”-
– because your valid hurt and anger in context of your home is not gone and you are afraid of more of the same. The sexual element of dating women is an added desire to connect, but it doesn’t change the pre-existing dynamic I suggested here.
Here are the problems that I believe have been blocking your healing from that very, very lonely childhood:
1. You expressed your belief that your mother/parents loved you when you were a child (“I know my parents loved me as a child”). Unfortunately, the great majority of your childhood, they did not: your father was not there physically and your mother was severely depressed. There is no love in absence, be it physical or emotional.
If your mother loved you, she would have noticed that you were sad. “she said she looks back at pictures from my childhood and it’s clear to her how sad I was”- she didn’t notice you were sad before looking at these photos, day after day, months… year after year when you were not a photograph, but a living, breathing child?
I am sure she felt affection for you at times, but seems like rarely. I suppose she was severely depressed, and when people are severely depressed, they do not feel affection.
You wrote about your mother regarding last year: “she tends to start to tell me about her problems because my dad wont listen”- she doesn’t know yet (true to 2017) that your life should no longer be about her.
This belief that your mother and father loved you but you failed to receive it, or that your need for love was too much for anyone to fulfill it are incorrect beliefs, and are in the way of your healing. It led you to more incorrect beliefs: that your need for love is exaggerated, that you don’t deserve love (“I still don’t feel deserving of love even though I always preach that all people are deserving of love”), that there is something wrong with you, that it is your job to take care of others (“I always felt as if its my job to care for others”) and so on.
Healing is about correcting incorrect core beliefs. Correcting one belief leads to correcting more incorrect beliefs that were built on top of the first.
2. You feel “guilty blaming (your) parents sometimes, because they had their own issues, and I know they did their best… it makes me feel guilty to criticize my parents in the slightest because i know they came from nothing and tried the best they could.”- healing is not about you sitting in a position of a godly judgment and sending your parents in judgment and sending them to heaven or hell. Healing is about seeing how your troubles came about so that you can feel better long term and function better.
It is about no longer directing your anger against the victim of your childhood, you and directing your anger instead at those who victimized you.
Whether they did their best or what their childhoods were like is immaterial to the following undisputable fact: within the context of you and your parents, you were the victim.
Healing is about departing from convenient thinking such as: “I’m still grateful for them and wouldn’t have it any other way”- really? You mean, you would choose to have your painful childhood all over again?
You don’t feel that you have a current problem with your mother: “My mom is not stressing me right now, and I’m not worried about it either, she’ll be okay”. This is because you adjusted to being with her, minimizing your negative (and any) excitation when in her presence. But she is stressing you, only the stress appears in a different context, the context of your life outside your interactions with your mother, or your thoughts about. I will italicize this context in the whole quote here: “My mom is not stressing me right now, and I’m not worried about it either, shell be okay she made it this long. What is stressing me is this empty lonely anxious feeling that doesn’t seem to let up. It rests in my stomach throughout the day. It’s the feeling right before I have a breakdown but it’s right at the surface.
4. You wrote that if you feel empathetic toward yourself, you will be giving yourself “permission to keep making the same mistakes”, and that this is when you “feel like giving up on trying the most”. You wrote: “I have pretty much always struggled with perfectionism, it was the reason I was/ am so hard on myself, I was a very well mannered child, excellent student, overachiever etc. I did this because I always thought if I could discipline myself it would make my parents life easier… and it caused me to be hypervigilant of any imperfection I had which led to me starting to self harm out of frustration of never being ‘good enough'”
You figured early on that you must discipline yourself and that self discipline meant holding a punishing whip over yourself and bringing it down on yourself whenever you don’t operate perfectly. In that kind of discipline there is no place for empathy, it is the power of the whip that is supposed to motivate you to perform perfectly, no mistakes.
I think that a big part of you believes that this kind of discipline worked before: “I have always been the most composed rock solid person in my family, at work, or with friends”.
Here are examples of what that one holding the whip (that aggressive, no-empathy inner critic) is telling you in this current 2018 thread, June (words of the inner critic as I imagine them are in parentheses following some of the quoted examples):
“I think to myself ‘you’ve done all this therapy, read all these books, tried all these groups and shit ain’t working for you. You’ve even expanded your social circle from scratch, but you’re still lonely and unlovable obviously, that’s why you’ve slept alone 99.9% of your life”- (You are a failure, nothing is working for you, all the things that are supposed to work for you, nothing works! Because you are a screw up! Something is terribly wrong with you, whip! whip!)
“it made me feel growing up as if I was doing something wrong because i wasn’t happy but according to my parents growing up our home life was ‘fine’” (you are unhappy because there is something wrong with you! There was nothing wrong with your childhood, there is something wrong with you! Whip! whip!)
“My number of partners is miserably low for someone my age”
“I struggle with being empathetic with myself out of fear of feeling sorry for myself” (so you are going to feel sorry for yourself? Whip! Whip!)
“At the same time it sounds like an excuse to me to be sad because I need human connection…I don’t know if my sadness is justified. It’s so hard for me to let myself cry for myself I was always told not to be a victim. I don’t know if I’m just being lazy or if I really have a reason to be sad.” (You are not a victim, you are a cry baby, full of excuses, unjustified, lazy! whip! whip!)
“I find myself unable to resist giving into the shame, and agreeing with the voice in my head telling me I’m worthless because I couldn’t accomplish something”. (You are worthless! You couldn’t do it, could you, make your mother happy! It was your job and you screwed up! Whip! Whip!)
* Healing has to include the fundamental change of your self discipline policy from aggressive (whipping yourself) to empathetic and assertive, guiding yourself through life empathetically, kindly, gently.
It will be the effective way to go, the way for you to perform best, to function most effectively, least mistakes.
December 18, 2018 at 10:42 am #269857
- This reply was modified 17 hours, 14 minutes ago by anita.
I know you are afraid a lot, often. And I know how badly it feels. Only an hour ago or so, I was afraid myself. I destroyed a crock pot, you know, one of those pots that will crack and break if used as a regular pot, placed on a hot stove? Well I forgot it was a crock pot and that it happened before that I destroyed a crock pot in the same way and I did it again this morning.
I was distraught. A bit too caffeinated right before, a bit distressed and the crock pot… before I knew it I was distraught, more intensely than I have been for a long time.
I took a hot bath, I washed dishes so to have the kitchen organized, make me feel better. I tested the crock pot, it is broken. A loss of I don’t know… 30 dollars or so.
Well, here I am sharing with you my fear today. Feeling somewhat better at the moment, but tired, exhausted. You know how exhausting fear is.
I do hope you feel better soon.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 10:34 am #269853
Like I shared with you before, I finally ended all contact with my mother. I was a child when I first wanted to have nothing to do with her. Then when I was thirty, I wrote her a letter regarding taking a break from contact with her. It was only twenty years after that letter that I finally end contact with her. I never imagined it was possible for me, the guilty feelings were too intense.
If only I did this thirty years ago, my life would have been so much better. I could have saved myself a lot of misery and started healing way earlier than I did.
What do you think about ending contact with your mother, is it something you wanted before, something you wished for?
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 10:28 am #269851
You are welcome.
Quality psychotherapy will be the best place for you to heal, it has been the beginning for me. But not all therapists are created equal, it will take a capable, caring, empathetic, hard working therapist and it will take your persistent hard work and patience over time.
There used to be, maybe still are, free support groups for people who are overly occupied with sex, similar to let’s say, Overeaters Anonymous where the overindulgence is in food, or Alcoholics Anonymous, where the overindulgence is alcohol.
If you do attend therapy, and your feelings as a child brought into awareness and processed, those emotions will stop fueling certain undesirable behaviors, behaviors that don’t fit your values. For example, when a person becomes aware of the intense desire he had as a child for his mother’s love, that awareness will cause, over time and habit breaking practices, the desire for food to lessen.
Post again, re-read my last post to you again, and take your time, see if something comes up and share it with me.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 9:56 am #269831
This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.
I don’t think you should stop your efforts to save your marriage, only that you should stop the efforts that haven’t worked and are not likely to work. My thought was that after figuring out what doesn’t work, you can figure out what may work. I didn’t consider what may work because I don’t have enough information.
These are the efforts on your part that did not work:
1. Expressing to her the progress you make in your individual therapy: “I’m hoping that working through my own problems and getting more of ‘myself’ back will reinvigorate my wife’s feelings for me. So far, they haven’t”- you stated it didn’t work and you added that “she’s dismissive of quite literally everything I excel at or am practiced at”.
2. Suggesting to her and encouraging her to attend individual therapy for her and marriage counseling for the two of you: “On the topic of marriage counseling and therapy (for her), I have suggested both”. Her response: “the idea is met with a lot of resistance. Especially couples counseling…she feels like they just going to ‘convince her to make it work”.
3. Dates, flowers and such: “I had started down the path of trying to ‘win her back’ with a return to how we used to be. I set up a few date nights, bought flowers, tried to be charming/flirty… setting up a pressure-free vacation for us”. Her response: “she actually gets irritated with it… she declined, and said she didn’t want to go with me”.
Now, let’s look at what she told you: she mentioned “being happier alone”, that “she wants to find somebody who really knows her (she feels that I don’t)”, and she doesn’t want to attend marriage counseling because “they’re just going to ‘convince her to make it work'”-
she thinks that she will be happier without you; she wants to find somebody who will really know her, and that somebody is not you, and that she doesn’t want a counselor to talk to her into making the marriage work.
You wrote in your post to me: “BUT I think that it seems like she’s primarily confused and scared of being unhappy”. From what you shared she is quite clear, not confused. But maybe she told you other things, contradictory things, that you didn’t share here that leads you to believe she is confused. Did she?
I mentioned “based on my understanding” earlier so to communicate to you that this is my personal understanding, that I know it is not the absolute, objective truth. My understanding often develops with time, throughout ongoing communication with members here, sometimes I am wrong and I correct myself. I learn and this is my point: I like learning and encourage you to learn. This is why I suggest that you learn what doesn’t work and find out what may work.
December 18, 2018 at 7:39 am #269803
- This reply was modified 18 hours, 28 minutes ago by anita.
I want to explain better what I meant in my post to you, the one before last, where I wrote: “you wrote that you know that your friends are happy because during a summer vacation, they were ‘gushing ab out boyfriends…”- the happiness you witnessed was their talking about relationships that in practice may be full of trouble”-
it’s the telling itself that makes them happy. It is something like this: a group of people are on a long hike across a long desert. Very difficult, hot, uncomfortable and they are miserable. Later on, when comfortable in a group gathering at home, they talk about that hike in glowing terms, happily.
It is not at all that they were happy during the hike, that they were focusing on the happy parts of the hike. Their happiness is about talking about something that happened and they are glad it is in the past and that they are comfortable now. Your friends may have happy experiences in relationships and their jobs, but the talking about these things happily is not an indication of happy relationships and jobs.
Let’s look at what you are unhappy about:
1. “not being able to get hired in my field”
2. “not being able to move out of my parents house”
3. “being single and hardly being able to date”
4. “my job now and how it’s not what I want to be doing”
5. “not having privacy for staying in my family living room”
-if associating with your friends make you feel worse about your life, don’t associate with them, not for as long as the association makes you feel worse.
-regarding “the amount of people who preach always being positive”- stay away from Positivity Preachers. What if we don’t think of Positive vs Negative at all?
-Look at 1-5, make a plan. Don’t compare yourself to others, some are doing better, some are doing worse, some are dead. This is your life, accept it as is, and then make it better according to a plan. Make the plan small to start with, develop it as you go along, make changes in it, be patient.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 7:05 am #269795
I am glad you intend to post again. I would like you and I to communicate on and on and on, definitely for as long as you find it helpful. It so happens that at some point on, I felt that I like you, and I do like you.
I think that you are in a tough situation that isn’t going to get easier any time soon, but over time and effort and learning, your life can become oh, so much better. It is not a matter of resolving this particular relationship with this man that will bring about that better life. It takes so much more.
But one step at a time, with a lot of patience, it can be done.
Notice what you wrote yesterday: “Do you think I am happy for share a man with other lady and always live inside fears that maybe (he) leaves me and back to his family and every thing he told me were lies“- before you are able to know for sure if he lies to you, you have to figure out the lies your mother told you.
Because a child automatically believes what her mother says, does not question it. And then, as an adult, as a woman, if you still believe her lies, you are unable to know for sure, who lies to you and what lies are told. It is when you see your mother as a person, not as a god of sorts, that you are able to see yourself and others clearly.
When “she message and said oh I will die you never see me again”- I suspect there is a lie there. How did she say that she will die, from what/ how?
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 6:38 am #269793
You are welcome. From personal experience I know it is possible for a woman to feel genuine affection for a man but later other values take precedence and the feelings change. So let’s say she really did like you a lot but later thought: how is this man going to promote my lifestyle.. how is that other man going to promote my lifestyle? Following those thoughts her feelings changed, her motivation for a better lifestyle, more money, moved her away from the affection for you toward an interest in another man.
It can be the girl-in-her liked you a lot, but what she learned to value later in life, money and such, that came into play and took away the little girl in her, away from you and herself.
anitaDecember 18, 2018 at 6:28 am #269791
When you wrote that your mother was weird in front of you, what do you mean by “weird”?
At this point, after re-reading all your posts, this is my understanding and recommendations:
1. You are currently living apart from your wife, having the kids every other weekend. Better remain separated and continue to encourage and help your wife to be independent (“I wanted her to be more independent, capable to handle situations on her own”).
2. Focus not on the marriage but on the goal that you stated here: “work in myself to be a better version of me and be the best that for my kids”.
3. From a very early age, before you were five, you were already hyper sexual. You engaged in sex (touching and being touched by your cousin) because it felt good. It felt pleasurable (“we did experimented so much pleasure together”). Pleasure is the main motivation in all that sexual activity: the dating chats, sex texting, approaching your wife’s cousin, your wife’s girlfriend, women at your work place and random men in bookstore parking lots.
We all need and want to feel good. And we try in whatever means available. Some people overeat, others over-sex. Some gamble. Others climb rocks. You do the sex thing. It is by now a habit.
4. In your childhood, your father was the weak parent, the distant and removed one and your mother was the strong, overly involved, overly talkative, controlling, dominant parent. Perhaps in her dominant, masculine presence, you became sort of feminine.
It may be something like this: there was place for only one man/ very masculine presence in your home of origin and that presence/ person was your mother. Every one else, your father and you, had to be the feminine presence/ persons. You took the extra measures of some feminine mannerisms, the liking wearing women’s clothing (“women’s panties or tight pants.. w omen’s pants”), and the looking for and receiving sexual pleasure from men.
This is what kids in school picked up on, that feminine mannerism, and they bullied you for it: “a few kids from my class used to bully me they would call me faggot, sissy a nd stuff of that nature”.
5. The bullies in school humiliated you and beat you up. You didn’t tell about it because you felt “stupid since I failed to stood up for myself”- it is time for you to stand up for yourself now. If you pay attention to how you behaved and still behave in the presence of your mother, you will get the information you need on how you submit to other people, not only to her, and what you need to do to assert yourself, to stand up for yourself.
In closing, for now, I hope you answer the first question I asked you in this post and let me know of your thoughts and feelings about any part of what I wrote here, 1-5.