Forum Replies Created
February 26, 2017 at 10:55 am #129533
Geovane, you have created a compelling argument but I think it mainly applies to young guys for whom peer group dictates self-worth. As you mature as a man, you care less about what your peer group thinks and focus more on what you need out of a relationship between two separate and distinct adults with different needs and histories, different dreams and priorities.February 26, 2017 at 10:03 am #129527
Oh and there’s no such thing as the wrong job or the wrong relationship, it’s all just learning.February 26, 2017 at 10:01 am #129525
Do you know what sort of person you want to be? I don’t mean what job, I mean an adventurer, a quiet stay at home guy, a facilitator, a tech, what? If not then don’t worry. You won’t grow up for years yet, especially if you have had a lot of education. So just try everything. Try not to care what anyone thinks – especially your parents – their job is now over. And if you feel scared, then think of the scariest possible thing and just go do it. Because only then will your head clear and your path start to show itself.
I speak as the mother of three sons in their twenties. Don’t listen to your parents. They know nothing of the world you will grow up in, so their advice will be wrong.
PainterlyFebruary 26, 2017 at 9:15 am #129515
Wow jshehadeh – amazing post. Only people who have been tempered by trauma can achieve that sort of enlightenment. Trauma, strength, wisdom. That seems to be how it goes.February 26, 2017 at 6:52 am #129473
Oh dear, it sounds like you have spent your life waiting for someone else to make you happy. Your first boyfriend, then your parents, (who seem to have sent you away from your life), then your arranged marriage and now the flirt at work. (Newsflash, this behaviour is normal in all men, even 80 year olds). Well the only person who can make you happy is….YOU! Yes you! Your own best friend!
I’m assuming you are still in a foreign country. In Asia maybe? Where divorce is difficult? Otherwise you would have divorced your abusive husband and be bringing up your daughter on your own. Well here’s the thing. You have a husband. He hasn’t left you. Sit down with him and talk. Not over a romantic dinner or anything manipulative like that. Agree to put a date in your diaries, then sit down in a neutral space, and tell him you are unhappy, you are working on it but that you would like to be friends with him. It will take weeks or months, but there is a chance that you can learn to befriend each other. You have at least one thing in common and that’s your daughter. I’m not saying this is going to suddenly become the big romantic love of your life and even if it threatens to, don’t let it, because that’s just a big fantasy anyway. But show some compassion. He’s another human being who probably feels just as let down and isolated as you do. If you can’t work as friends then consider leaving and starting afresh. To do that you will need to build a loyal network of friends and family who will stick by you (alone) whatever. This is all going to take work. Relationship work, but it’s the alternative to victimhood, which might be comfy, but won’t take you anywhere.
Oh and as for the mindfulness – go to the App store and look for Headspace or one of the other mindfulness apps.
PainterlyFebruary 26, 2017 at 6:30 am #129469
You don’t sound weird to me. You sound anxious, eager to please, unsure, very normal. Don’t bother medicalising it. We’re all on the spectrum. I don’t know how old you are but am guessing you are quite young.
If that’s so, this is the right time to explore. Get to know yourself, what you are like in a relationship, what you need in a boyfriend, what you happily contribute. It’s an information gathering time and you learned a lot from this three month relationship. Be thankful and move on. It wasn’t for you. He didn’t show the gentleness and understanding you need and it sounds like you didn’t have the same interests. So he was right to end it. Don’t obsess about it. Get your learning points and forget the rest.
So, you need to build up your self confidence. How about night time English language classes? How about reading some English literature books? What are your interests? Sewing? Running? Building things? Coding? Psychology? Follow them. Men are like buses. Another one will be along soon.
PainterlyFebruary 26, 2017 at 6:01 am #129467
When you were a child, the people you most depended on let you down repeatedly. For you, that is life’s pattern, so when things are going well, at a new school/church/neighbourhood, subconsciously you are waiting for signs of it all crumbling. The first sign of disappointment inflates into what looks like an incipient crisis so you throw in the towel, before anyone else gets the chance to hurt you again.
These are very deep rooted issues. Another new school/job/neighbourhood won’t change this. Only working on yourself will – that generally means psychotherapy/cognitive behavioural therapy. Anita is right, healing takes a long time. You start by improving your relationship with yourself (this doesn’t mean being self-indulgent, but listening to and respecting your own emotions.) Then start work on just one or two relationships. You’ve got a dog. That’s great. I know this is going to sound odd but even being mindful of your relationship with the dog and actively appreciating it will help with the healing process. Pull gratitude into your life. Try reading The Tools by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, especially the Gratitude Flow. Write down three things every night that you are grateful for: really small things as well as big things, such as:
a song you heard on the radio
This will help shift the darkness in the short term.
Oh and as for your birthday, mine’s on Wednesday and I’m spending it without even a dog. And that doesn’t worry me at all.
PainterlyFebruary 26, 2017 at 5:37 am #129463
Just a quick aside: you will develop your own ideas about parenting, but I would say you should never share your distress with children. They are just not emotionally equipped to handle it. Part of your parental responsibility is teaching them how to deal with their own emotional upsets – not getting onto the team, losing something, failing at something, falling out with someone – not until they have completed this and are fully emotionally equipped adults should you start to share trauma
with them.February 26, 2017 at 5:27 am #129459
Let me clarify a little bit about people pleasing. It’s a strategy for dealing with insecurity, just like your step sister’s controlling behaviour. I’m afraid it is no healthier than her behaviour, but instead of hurting others, people pleasing is self harm. Okay, these words are going to sound a little strong, but stay with me.
It seems to me that there was very little parenting going on in your childhood. Your parents did not create a calm secure environment with clear boundaries but “let [you] raise [yourselves]”. What usually happens is that one or more of the children fills that gap and takes over the parenting role. You did it by helping your dad when he (quite wrongly) vented his emotional issues and by looking after your mother’s health. Your step sister may have attempted to fill the parenting gap by taking control in one way or another. These behaviours are the result of insecure parenting.
But childhood only lasts 18 years and you may live to 90. So now, the time has come to parent yourself. If you were your own good parent, what advice would you give yourself? Try this exercise. Write yourself a letter as though you are your own strong, insightful parent. My guess is that you would tell yourself in no uncertain terms that your step sister and your parents are NOT your responsibility and that you are neglecting your true responsibility, which is you. Build up your strength because you are going to need it – when you yourself become a parent. Don’t consider having a child until you have learned to parent yourself. When you have learned this you will be the strong parent that your own parents never were and will thus break the cycle.
You sound like a lovely caring, kind person. That is all good, but ask yourself this: who is protecting her? It has to be you.February 23, 2017 at 4:03 am #128961
We all have our own path. Your step sister’s path is one of fear, hence her need to control. By enabling this misconceived behaviour, your whole family is failing to address her underlying problem, her fear. If she is an only child, if she behaves badly, she is locked in a cycle of maladaptive behaviour. You mustn’t enable it. Be firm and consistent: she is welcome if she behaves well. By all means be kind, but don’t think your show of love and empathy will solve her problems.
Your path is different. It sounds as though you get on easily with people. Perhaps in a healthy way, or perhaps you are a people pleaser. That too comes from insecurity, but is a different response to it. Only you know the answer to this. It sounds as if your parents didn’t take control of and respond to this insecurity when you were children. It sounds like you now need a family strategy to confront both controlling behaviour and people pleasing. I would suggest family therapy.This is a big commitment, but there will be no quick fixes here. Self sacrifice won’t help.