Forum Replies Created
October 13, 2020 at 7:33 pm #367827
Yes, I think you are on to something, that imagery of a child warrior feels like you’ve put into words what I’ve always felt but never have been able to describe. I have no idea how to become an adult warrior, or how to get over the fear of losing people. I’ve lost so many people in my life, and often hold on to people whom I SHOULD let go. My husband, thank goodness, is such an amazing person, I often wonder how I was able to find someone who is so different than many of the people I grew up with. He’s decent, respectful, and loves me, and reliable. He’s helped me grow so much. But this issue of mine baffles him. He can’t understand why I refuse to let go of some friendships or even family relationships that are definitely toxic. Even going back to my awful uncle, I sometimes still ponder if I can live with this rift, even though all of my cells in my body scream that I should never speak to him again after his abuse. The idea that someone is going to think ill of me is almost unbearable. I’ve been so programmed to be a people pleaser and it’s quite literally sickening when I think of someone being “displeased” with me. I am learning in therapy not to go running back towards an abuser to “fix it”. But it’s still hard. And it’s still very hard to know how to navigate other “conflicts” (such as friendships that are growing apart, as I mentioned in my other post about friends and politics).
Much of this also may stem from my father. My parents divorced when I was 2 and I’d see him on the weekends. I was abused by him and he was very manipulative and convinced me not to say anything until I was a teenager. He convinced me that if he couldn’t see me he would die. (He’s still alive and I haven’t seen him since I was 13). That kind of intense manipulation along with things that were going on at home, I fear, have maybe wired my mind to not be able to stand up to people. Do you have any tips that you’ve learned on how to become an adult warrior?October 12, 2020 at 7:29 pm #367801
Wow Anita, you are uncanny in your interpretations. Yes, everything you’ve said is completely accurate. I have been through a lot in my childhood and young adulthood (I’ve never even talked about my father and stepfather but those were also very unhealthy relationships). My mom is both my rock and also someone who has exposed me to a LOT of pain. I’m thankful that now that my grandmother has passed, 2 years ago this month, and we have been freed of my disgusting uncle, and we have found a very peaceful and loving relationship between she and I. My mom is finally free, and it’s transformed her into the person I always wanted her to be. I can’t be mad at her for the past, I forgive her for everything because she deserved so much better from people in her life. She’s taken responsibility for the pain she’s caused me, and I feel like we can move forward. It’s nice to feel like I have something to contribute to my daughter’s family besides just myself. My mom has a way with children and my daughter really enjoys being with her. The man I married and his family are giving both my mom and I a second chance to feel like we belong and are part of a loving family. I’m so thankful for that.
What you said about me having trouble with conflicts and speaking my mind is so very true. I just was talking to my husband about that very thing. How any time there’s something I need to say no to with friends or anyone, I find it nearly impossible. I am so afraid of making someone angry. I’ve compromised myself in so many ways just to avoid conflict. It’s frustrating because I always saw myself as someone like a warrior (especially after all that I’ve overcome in my life) but in truth I’m so weak and timid because of this gnawing fear that I’ll have someone mad at me, or someone cut me out of their life and cast me aside. It’s something I’m struggling with very much and am actually in therapy to try to resolve.September 25, 2020 at 1:41 pm #367246
Canadian Eagle and Peter I agree with what you both wrote on my previous post. My whole thread was about me trying to find common ground with two dear friends who don’t see eye to eye with me. I don’t want to demonize them, I don’t want them to feel offended by my own personal beliefs. I’m a bit confused why my post got flagged, as no one was inappropriate at all. But anyway, I wanted to thank you both and Anita too for commenting. I am going to keep working hard to build bridges and not walls with people I love who see things differently than I do. Thanks for your words.September 25, 2020 at 1:38 pm #367245
Thank you Anita. I’m just worried now that I’ll be banned from this forum or something. I really enjoy coming here, not just to ask my own questions but to read and comment on other posts as well. It’s frustrating that my post was flagged and I hope it doesn’t have some other consequence now. 🙁September 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm #367244
I think it’s ok to be interested in other people and even fall into that spell of wanting to see what they’re doing and keep up with the “story”, because that’s what it is on social media, a story. Just like Anita said, it’s like watching a movie. We all present ourselves in the best light online, I remember a quote that stuck with me about social media….”Don’t compare someone else’s highlights reel to your blooper reel”. It’s so true and we all do it. Don’t compare her accomplishments to your supposed shortcomings or “lesser” accomplishments. You mention that you both have an education, have traveled, work out, and more. I think instead of comparing yourself to her, try to be inspired and maybe set out to do some of the things she is doing that you admire. Maybe plan a longer trip abroad, or if possible, look for a job that would be more fulfilling.
It sounds to me like seeing this woman’s social media is making you think less of your own accomplishments, and it shouldn’t. You still have time to accomplish more in life, you just need to plan and take that chance. If you feel you’re becoming obsessed with her in an unhealthy way, I’d suggest taking a break from her. Just pull the plug. You can always unfollow her or snooze her, so she doesn’t pop up on your feed. That break may even help you to reevaluate what you want without that pressure of comparison.September 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm #366980
This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.
Thank you for your input. Yes, you hit the nail on the head about Trump. He is nothing short of a danger. I mainly just try to stick to posts that are fact-checked and undeniably awful, as I would hope anyone with common sense will see how absolutely terrible Trump is for this country as well as the world and our democracy. And I was guilty of generalizing at first, saying things like “Anyone who supports this needs to reevaluate…” etc. But when my first friend mentioned that, I really put an end to that way of speaking, and tried to stick to my own beliefs and feelings, such as my second example of why I think Biden is a decent human being. Or why I believe taking climate change seriously is so important right now. I am really making the effort to have one on one discussions when people don’t see eye to eye, as I know that no one’s mind will change from reading a Facebook post. But you’re right, people who support Trump will not be swayed no matter what, and that’s where I’m starting to question these friendships a little. It’s not so much that everyone needs to agree with me, but our values are quite different and I am really shocked at some of the things Trump does that they acknowledge and SUPPORT (i.e. immigration, foreign policy, tax cuts for the rich). I think all parties (my friends and I) are struggling with this part. We love each other and are loyal friends but WOW we are very differently minded now.
I agree, now that we all know where we stand, that the best thing for our friendship is not to discuss politics. BUT my problem is I wasn’t even discussing it with them originally. I was expressing myself on my own page and they took offense when it wasn’t directed towards them at all, ever. So now I’ve gone and removed myself entirely from Facebook because I care that much about not wanting to cause offense. But I’m feeling a bit cheated like I wasn’t even writing those things FOR THEM specifically, just for myself and to speak my own mind. Now I am just turned off to social media in general but feel like I need to find another way to speak out… and probably a more constructive way to do so. It also just leaves a bad taste in my mouth knowing that my friends are secretly ok with this. Funny enough, neither one is politically outspoken, which is why they both took it up with me in private mostly. I guess the old saying is true, never discuss religion, politics or money with friends.March 4, 2020 at 10:22 am #341400
Kelsi, I can relate so much to your post. I am also someone that has multiple “best friends”, many of them are pretty demanding and get jealous when I spend time with other groups of friends. It can be tricky, especially because not all of them get along. Back in my 20’s, I used to try to include everyone for everything, and it made things more stressful because a) it took so much more effort to plan around numerous people’s schedules, b) I got less time with each person because the group was so big, c) I just felt drained trying to please everyone and cater to everyone’s needs, pet peeves, be the peacekeeper, the leader, etc.
I’m now 37 and I can speak from 10 years extra of juggling the multiple, dramatic numerous best friends. First, it feels good to set boundaries, and you don’t need to cater to everyone. You can tell your friend, that you understand she felt left out but these other friends planned this special thing with you and it wasn’t your job to change plans to include more people than that. Maybe they just wanted a more intimate day with you, as it sounds like these are separate groups of friends from different chapters of your life. I’ve learned that it is totally ok. When I get a friend who gets jealous about me doing something with a different group these days, I tell that jealous friend that now I just prefer to have smaller groups, because it lets the conversation get deeper, the time spent is more quality. That’s what I’ve realized, essentially, is it’s quality over quantity. I think expressing it that way helps people understand that you value them and want your time together to be quality. Also being able to have firm boundaries is a great thing for you, especially with friends who are demanding, as this friend sounds to be. See how she takes it. She may not take it well.
I will say I’ve lost a couple of friends along the way who couldn’t respect my boundaries, but it left more space for those that do. I definitely understand you have a history and loyalty to her because you’ve been friends for so long. Perhaps the friendship just changes form, and you don’t stay as close, but stay friends. That’s ok too. Friendships grow and change over the years and as long as there is mutual respect, that is all good.February 20, 2020 at 4:53 am #339102
Anita, each time I come onto this forum, I’m blown away by the care and time you give to so many people. The fact that you would take time out of your night to research this speaks volumes about what an empathetic person you are. Truly, I appreciate it. I don’t know where you are or how old you are, or if you’ve gone through menopause yet yourself, but you’ve put more effort into comforting me about this than some of my best friends. Thank you again. You are right, the “risks” are basically aging faster. And though the term seriously sucks, all ovaries eventually fail at some point. It doesn’t mean my body is broken. As I mentioned, this has motivated me to approach a healthier lifestyle, which can only help, no matter what. As for medical treatment, I’m still searching for answers. I didn’t mention it before, but my mother had a stroke at just 40 years old due to birth control. And I’ve never wanted to go on it..now I’m facing possibly long-term hormonal treatment which makes me anxious. But I have to weigh the benefits a d risks. Thank you for listening.❤️February 19, 2020 at 7:21 pm #339058
Thank you Anita. I hope so. One thing my doctor said that I am trying to keep in mind is she said “you can’t live life without some kind of risk”. That is very well true. So whatever I decide, hormone therapy, or to go without, it comes with risk. So does eating potato chips every day. lol. Still, it’s very hard to accept that some part of my body is “Failing”. I’m trying so so hard to look at all the positives….I got a healthy daughter with virtually no trouble conceiving, while many other people struggle with starting families. I have a loving husband who is extremely supportive. This has made me take action in joining a gym two months ago and I am suddenly able to run over 2 miles. I’m trying my best to take care of my body. Overcoming the initial diagnosis and trying not to let it define me is indeed a real challenge, but I know there is more to me than this. It’s also tough because none of my friends are dealing with this yet, and so it’s not easy to talk about. I feel old and broken, though I know it’s something all we women go through at some point. I can’t imagine going through this as a teenager or a woman in my 20s. That must be very hard. I do hope you’re right and that the risks are not as bad at this age, but I don’t know.November 1, 2019 at 5:05 am #320805
Thank you Anita. I thought about your post all night. In attempting to respond I had a relalization. To answer your question, no I have not asked her about her change in behavior. I don’t think I will because I have learned in life that people will treat you how they choose to treat you. Asking to have it change seems to only make the situation more awkward because they usually become defensive. This has happened to me before when trying to express myself to others. I’m trying to be at a stage where I feel comfortable telling people my needs but past experience is holding me back as it has not been successful. It usually leads to a fight. I think perhaps it’s time to accept that friendships do change and as you said, when a friend becomes a mother it does change things. I have to accept my limitations to meet my friend’s needs that I can no longer meet, and accept that she also is not meeting my needs. I suppose it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends at all but that change is inevitable and I can’t try to hold on to something and prevent it from changing. Perhaps in time we will find a way to rekindle that close friendship. But I suspect things will go smoother if I meet these changes with acceptance rather than resistance. What do you think? I very much value your opinion as I see you give such wonderful advice to so many people in need of a good and compassionate listener. Thank you.October 31, 2019 at 11:01 am #320721
That may very well be possible. But there are other factors involved for why she couldn’t stay longer. I have a young child and I spent two days giving all of my attention to my friend but after a while it was also time for me to get back to my own responsibilities. I was very hospitable when she was there, got us some wine, took her out to breakfast and let her sleep in and hang around all day the next day.
I do feel like it’s more than just this instance though. It seems like maybe we are drifting apart for other reasons. Part of which is my life has become more domesticated and she’s more of in the party stage of life. Of course I’d love to join when I can but I have other priorities now as well. It’s definitely causing some other tensions with this friend. I hate that it has become this way as I still would like to think I’m the same person as before I had a baby. I think maybe what my friend is seeking is a new partner in crime to come out and do all kinds of things and I’m just limited now. That, compounded with the breakup had put a strain on this friendship…I’d love to get it back on track just not sure how to do that.March 20, 2019 at 10:36 am #285471
I wanted to say 2 things:
1) I can TOTALLY relate to this. I posted earlier (Toxic Family Member), and deal with this same dynamic between my mother and uncle. What I can say is that removing myself from the situation has helped immensely. I at first felt a lot of guilt because basically distancing yourself from a family member feels terrible, as we are taught that family is supposed to be there for us above everyone else. But that concept isn’t really healthy when it’s a family member that is causing you distress. You need to care for yourself and make your own mental health a priority. I think moving out would be the best solution.
2) Inky, I love your comment! I wish I had seen that 5 months ago when the sh#t was hitting the fan with my family. I wish I had thought to try that. I think that is such awesome advice.March 10, 2019 at 9:50 am #283961
I am an artist both as a hobby and profession. I do graphic design to pay the bills and painting for myself. I dream of being an illustrator either for children’s books or for some kind of product. But I find myself hesitant to apply to those things because once money is tied to it, it changes how it feels to make art. It’s still fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s now a job more than a passion.
I found a happy medium with design. I feel creative and make money, but it leaves my personal work with less pressure to please anyone else. I do enjoy trying to get my personal work in shows or selling at artisan fairs though. It’s nice to get your work out in the world and see people’s feedback.
i feel like this is really up to the individual, you have to find which ways you enjoy using your talents. Everyone is different in what lights their inner fire.March 10, 2019 at 8:45 am #283943
I also want to add that he and my aunt are not hurting for money. They are both professionals, their daughter got a full ride to college, and they own a home with rental income.
My mom on the other hand is alone and disabled and managed to help put me through college by herself.
Hes a greedy pig.March 10, 2019 at 8:31 am #283937
He most definitely does not have a case and he knows it. My grandparents were very fair in what they left behind, and they did very well for themselves. They had two houses here, and left one for each child plus two houses in Sicily. My mom’s house is of greater value here but he gets a beachfront condo in Sicily and we get a small run down, basically uninhabitable house in a mountain town in Sicily where my grandmother was born. They also left money behind that was split 50/50. More than enough to cover the funeral equally. He truly is bitter and greedy. Because when my grandfather died he forced my grandmother to move and sold his future inheritance when the real estate market sucked. No one else wanted this but he was suddenly the “man” of the family and no one could stop him. He didn’t want to care for the house and made my grandmother move in with my mom (who has always lived in the home she has inherited…it was kind of given to my mom as a wedding gift when she and my dad married and my grandparents moved to the second home). So my uncle sold my grandmother’s house right out from under her and is now upset because my mom’s home has increased in value. It was his poor choice that made him lose money. My grandparents were very clear in both wills, stating my mothers house is hers “always and forever”. So I guess the only way he thinks he can change anything is through intimidation of my mom and I, as any lawyer would tell him my grandparents knew how they wanted to split their property. I guess a beachfront condo in Sicily and a free house just isn’t enough for some people!