Forum Replies Created
January 28, 2023 at 11:24 am #414552
Thanks you for sharing your past experience.. it resonates with me and what you have said really does make sense.
I’ve been finding myself snapping at my boys in on occasions in recent months. I feel frustrated and perhaps angry, feelings of wanting to do more but feeling held back. Guilty for wanting to go and do things on my own, knowing that my boys still need me, albeit I know they need me in a different way now they are older. I guess I’m taking it out on them as they are closest to me.
It’s by no means the first time I’ve behaved this way.. Frustrated and angry – with my parents, within all my relationships.. the need to escape and feel free and the guilt of feeling that way, guilt that if I did some of the things I wanted, if I stepped away from meeting their needs, passifying their troubles, I would hurt them, hurt their feelings. I am a good person and good people don’t hurt others, don’t leave, don’t walk away.
When I left home to move in with my husband, my parents were always popping round a 2 or 3 times a week, same when I moved in with my new partner after my divorce. I remember when the relationship with my partner ended, he said ‘your ex (husband) warned me they (my parents) don’t leave you alone’
Keeping busy (over busy), walking (lots) allows me to avoid what’s going on in my head, avoid the guilt, frustration and anger.. temporarily.. only for it to return later or sometimes may be a day or two later with more intensity.
I’ve not felt as low, muddled, confused, snappy etc before as much as I do now and over recent months.. in the last few weeks its kind of hit a peak and I’m teetering on sinking, and clinging on to make changes.. at the moment it’s nearer to clinging on to make changes because I really don’t like how I’m feeling or behaving right now.
I say clinging on, because I am doing all I can to understand how my childhood has affected my past and present, and I’ve taken a few small steps to self care.
On another note, I bumped into A whilst shopping today. He apologised for being quiet this week, said he’d had a really bad week at work, I empathised with him, he then went on to tell me why he week was so rubbish. He briefly stopped to ask if I was okay, and then said ‘I’ll try to make some time for you tomorrow so we can catch up for a coffee’. On my walk home, those words played in my head, ‘I’ll try to make some time for you’. I felt angry, and saw it for what it is.. if I’ve got time, and I want to see you, if its convenient for me then I’ll make time for you. I’ve allowed him to behave in the way he has towards me, because I felt lonely, and felt guilty that he felt lonely too, and as mentioned before because I’d hurt him if i left.. because my subconscious child(hood) told me I would be a bad person if otherwise..
<!–/data/user/0/com.samsung.android.app.notes/files/clipdata/clipdata_bodytext_230128_192125_321.sdocx–>January 26, 2023 at 8:02 am #414458
I know I’m capable of relaxing, of enjoying my own company.. But when a big event happens, we’ll one that rocks my boat a bit, sometimes something simple such as when my youngest sons behaviour changes due to to the difficulties he experiences, or the long running fight to secure him his education (long story), flares up, my frustration with work.. then I struggle to relax and focus all my efforts on the matter in hand, and totally forgetting about myself.
I feel that I’m quite a quiet as opposed to shy person, feel others pain, and I guess I can be quite intense as opposed to full on if that makes sense. I feel my emotions. I overthink/overanalyse a lot, which is possibly because I don’t always feel that I fit in more than anything.January 26, 2023 at 7:51 am #414457
To break that habit that resides within me will be hard.. not because I don’t want to break it, but because it is so enground within me.
My logical mind or my gut instinct knows early on that they’re not right for me.. my subconscious informs me otherwise.
I know that I am being hurt, I feel it, of course I do, but it’s so normal for me that I allow it to continue, to go unnoticed. I then end up in a position where I know I want to get out, to walk away, but in creeps the guilt.. It’ll hurt them. And I know what hurt feels like, I can’t do that to them.. so I stay, either until I find the confidence to walk away, or a succession of events/things said or done really presses my buttons, anger erupts inside and I decide enough is enough and pluck up the confidence to walk away.
With A right now.. I’m feeling guilt. Guilty that I will hurt him, that he will again feel abandoned (as he has mentioned he has been by his past partners, his dad..). although I’m also aware there’s the possibility I may well have been manipulated.
I’m also feeling one minute that I want to feel needed and held by A, and the next, strong enough to call it quits. I feel pulled in different directions by my conflicting feelings.January 26, 2023 at 7:38 am #414456
Thank you for sharing your story with me, it is thought provoking.
Returning to the aspect of guilt for a moment.. regarding the more recent event of my father becoming unwell..
<p style=”text-align: left;”>In the preceeding 6 months or so leading up to his mental health breaking down, I had noticed him becoming a little less motivated, a little withdrawn even. At the time I was also in a position where I had become increasingly frustrated of running around after and looking after everyone, work included. I’d stopped from support work to working in a special needs school supporting children with considerable needs, the class I was in the children were all non verbal, had mobility needs, had behavioural issues etc. It was very full on and I thought it would be a good role for me. The people I worked with were great, apart from the class teacher, who I found very frustrating as he always felt unwell, was injured, or was just leaving us to everything and sitting back doing ‘admin’ in the main office. I was finding the role quite difficult as it was so intense and I became just as upset and frustrated with work as I felt at home.. Going back to where I mention above of feeling frustrated, upset, angry even of lofe at home. For as long as I can remember my parents have always visited for the day 2 to 3 days each week. When my boys were younger it was a great help and support as it enabled me to be able to work a few days a week, and gave my boys a kind of father figure (in my dad) as their dad only saw them one weekend every few weeks (his choice). In the last few years, and now my boys are that much older, my parents have continued to visit 2 or 3 days a week (and have continued to join us when we go on days trips or on holiday). They’d stay for several hours at a time and I’d provide lunch and evening meal, and try to think of something, anything we could do whilst they were here as my boys were in their rooms or out with friends/at college etc. I was frustrated about the time they spent round at mine, I tried to change it, but it fell on deaf ears. My dad would say, ‘Well you’ve got the boys, so it’s easier if we come see you’, ‘I’ve arranged it so your mum and I didn’t do anything on the days we come to see you’ etc.. I tried expressing my frustrating in as calm and kind a manner as I could to my mum in the hope that she would be able to help my dad to understand. But she just agreed with me saying she ‘knows they come round too much, but that’s just the way you’re dad is, I get cross with him too’. She never said anything to him.</p>
I became a but snappy and sought to escape the house for walks alone when they visited. Each time my dad said ‘oh I’m really sorry we can’t come over on Tues next week’ I respond saying, that’s okay, you don’t have to come over, one day a week is plenty and we could always pop and see you instead of you always coming here’ to which he’d never reply with anything more than an ‘hmm’.
I return to the mention of guilt.. when my dad fell unwell and the deterioration of his mental health picked up pace, I partially blamed myself for not wanting him and my mum to come round as much as they were, I felt guilty that I’d pushed him away and it was my fault. That guilt still floats in and out of my mind, I know it was a combination of things that led to his breakdown, but a small part of me feels I was part of it.
I did everything I could to support him whilst he was at his worst, and in the early days of him being home. I’ve let go a bit now that I know he has psychological support on board each week now, and that he is making small steps to recovery. But that sense of loss for me is great, and the guilt sits right beside it.
With me being in a vulnerable place, I latched onto A. I knew from day one, probably as I did with all my partners I was with before, that he wasn’t right for me, he spoke as the others did, all about himself, his work, his alcoholic dad leaving him when he was young, his partners cheating on him or leaving him.. the ‘poor old me’ scenario, the ‘I need to be needed’ scenario.. the victim.. and I step into care/support/mother mode.. If I care/support/meet their needs, then they’ll do the same for me.. but they can’t. I attract the wrong guys because I’m attracted to those that ‘need’ me.January 24, 2023 at 2:24 pm #414396
Thank you for your kind words. I would very much appreciate continuing to communicate and to figure out together how I can move away from (and not return to) old habits.
I I chose to look after myself this evening whilst my sons are out with their friends. I ran myself a bath, lit a few candles and relaxed for a short while and I now plan to read my book before I retire for the night.
Thank you again
(And thank you too Helcat x)January 24, 2023 at 12:35 pm #414389
Thank you Anita.. I must admit I felt quite emotional writing it all down and seeing it laid out bare in front of me.
It would feel great to put myself first whilst behaving with respect and kindness towards others and parenting my sons as best I can. I’m just not quite sure where to start to be able to do that and how to keep doing it without falling back into old habits.January 24, 2023 at 11:38 am #414385
A few other things have popped up in my mind.. guilt.. for wanting to leave my previous partners, how can I leave when they need me.. Guilt about hurting them despite feeling hurt myself.
A need for feeling needed?? My parents and my brother needed me. My needs weren’t/ aren’t being met by the other person/people because they are focused on themselves.January 24, 2023 at 10:57 am #414380
There are a few things that come to mind when reading through..
In all my relationships, these were/are men that wanted only what they wanted.. and for me to slot into that equation. My husband just did his own thing, in the form of seeing other women behind my back, hanging out with his mates with me in tow, moto-x with his father whilst i cheered on the sidelines. I looked after him and our house, listened when he felt troubled, supported him with very little in return, he wasn’t there for me when i really needed him.. I like I wasn’t enough, I felt alone.
My next partner.. he was very full on to start with, we’d go out to eat, for days and evenings out, we’d take all the kids out, hang out at each others houses. I’d calm him when he was angry, listen when he was frustrated, I tried my best to compromise on matters that were important only to be told that I just wanted everything my way or no way, or I was being silly. I helped him find and take part in new activities – golf, working out because he’d said he felt his social life had closed in on him. I encouraged and taught him to cook when he said he couldn’t do it. Again, when I really needed him, he wasn’t there for me, I felt unimportant, and alone.
Number 3.. he was very cruel.. I’d cooked dinner for us once, only for him to berate it and he said he’d cook for us in future because he was really good at it. He dissed my style saying I needed to dress better. On the flip side he’d say how I was great at cooking deserts, and looked good I the dress he picked.. he was volatile. I listened and I did.. he ‘supported’, ‘cared for’ me although that’s not what it felt like. I couldn’t do anything but listen and do.. I felt worthless and alone. I guess because I could support/care for him etc.. I ended the relationship pretty swiftly in comparrison to all my other relationships.
No. 4 with Bipolar.. I supported, I cared, I listened, I helped him with all sorts of difficulties he was having over the time we were together. But I’m aware I also enabled him to rely on me which was probably the worst thing I could have done. There was nothing at all in return from him, apart from demands for more from me and I continued to enable. I felt emotionally drained, worthless and very alone.
No. 5.. the nice guy.. he was very full on to start with, we’d go out to eat, for days and evenings out, hang out at each others houses with and without our kids (all un their teens by now). I listened to him poor out his feelings of loneliness (guess that’s why I tried so hard to find time to spend with him??). I joined him and his mates for nights out where I’d be left at the table practically ignored whilst he socialised, but when he joined me with my friends I’d be by his side, introduce him to people etc. I joined him at some of the footy matches he’d go to watch, but he never joined me on the things I enjoyed, apart from walking. I supported him through some tough moments, but he wasn’t there when I really needed him. Yet again, I felt like I wasn’t enough, and alone.
And A.. same story, different guy..
When I look at my family dynamics in comparison to my relationships.. I see a similar pattern.. I listened, helped, supported, calmed, looked after.. Mum couldn’t do the same for me because she relied on me.. Dad was working, he was there for in the sense that he would listen when i needed to talk, he supported me with my studies and leisure activities.. my brother was unable to be there for me.. I don’t remember feelings of loneliness growing up, I guess I had school and my friends though and my clubs and activities, hanging out with the kids round my area.. always busy never a chance to feel alone. Around the age of 11, or 12, when I moved from primary school into high school I remember the feeling of not really fitting in and feeling alone, but despite that would try my best to do so. I always felt like I had to prove my worth throughout my teenage years though, because of not feeling like I fitted in.
If I look at my work life it has always revolved around helping and supporting others to achieve things – I worked as a personal trainer/fitness coach, in a hospital, in a nursery looking after babies and toddlers, in a school for one to one support, and as a support worker and carer over the last several years.. its where I feel most comfortable I guess.. its what I know and I know I’m good at it in that context.. but very obviously not within the context of a relationship. I’ve not intentionally meant to behave in the way I have/do in my relationships, I just do it instinctively. And even when I know the relationship is not right for me, I override my gut instinct and plough on believing if I just do a bit more, of I am a bit more then things will change. Its not changed within my family relationship, so goodness knows why I think it will be any different within my relationships. I allow them to be one sided, I allow myself to stay when it’s not right for me. I couldn’t say no to my mum, dad and brother, I can’t now.. and in my relationships I was the same, I am the same.
And then at the bottom of the pile, after everyone else is okay.. I put myself.. I guess its no wonder I feel alone, especially within a relationship.. and feel worthless when nothing comes back..January 24, 2023 at 2:22 am #414364
Thank you. Yes I have seen a counsellor on and off over the years, and although I’ve worked through a number of things, I’m not sure I’ve really fully dealt with this trauma, it feels like it’s locked away somewhere, as I can’t understand why I would continue to make the same mistakes.
I guess my partner following my divorce was experiencing the same as me. I was physically attracted to him, the conversation flowed, we laughed a lot and had a similar sense of humor. He was separated from his wife, as i was from my husband. He had 3 children (5, 8 and 11 at the time) who lived with his wife. We were both going through divorce, we were seeking similar things at the time i guess. About 6 months after moving in together, i felt unsettled, i was suddenly looking after his 3 children part time, plus my two sons (2 and 3 at the time). 3 or 4 years in i was feeling unhappy, he was quite volatile could anger easily, liked to be in control and have things his way, would undermine my parenting and his oldest child (son) could do no wrong, and he’d take his frustration out on his middle child (daughter) alot of the time classing her as the troublesome one along with my youngest son. I eventually moved out, we stayed together for another year and then i called it quits. I guess the best way to explain it would be i got fed up of living his life, things his way and of feeling bullied and always in the wrong.
The first emotionally abusive one, i fell for his gift of the gab (same as my husband). I was sort of attracted to him, i think more for what he said than physically. I ended it when he got physical with my youngest son, throwing him and his toys off a sofa that he wanted to sit on. I told him to leave my house and he gave me a mouthful of abuse before he departed.
The next one I knew from school, he was quite shy, and still was. He disclosed about a month later that he was Bipolar. His behaviour was erratic, up one minute down the next, but if a rollercoaster. I cut him some slack, it wasn’t his fault his moods were so up and down, and my friend was Bipolar so i knew to expect it. After 6 months of his erratic mood swings and alot of patience and understanding, i decided to end it as it was taking it toll, but he took me on an emotional rollercoaster, being mean, then calm and pleasant then angry etc, it was frightening and i took back my decision to end it. We remained together (not living together thankfully) for another year and a half, i found out that he also had psychotic depression and anxiety as well as being Bipolar. I also found out he was not taking his medications as he should have been which obviously affected his moods and behaviour. I spent that next year and a half trying to work out how to end it and get away from him whilst enduring emotional abuse and physical bullying (pinching, so called ‘jokey’ ‘soft’ punches, and being named called and criticised). I eventually found the courage to end it and he gave me hell for the next 3 months, turning up at my house, phone calls etc before he stopped having found someone else to ‘date’.
I was alone for a year before I met my next partner, the friend i knew from work. (I felt afraid to date and go out and meet anyone. I’ve not been on a dating site or made any effort to date since the previous relationship).
I wasn’t physically attracted to him but i knew he was a nice enough guy. I was afraid of getting involved though, hugs frightened me, kissing felt uncomfortable i guess because of what i had experienced with my last partner. He treated me well tho, we went out for walks, lunch, dinner, cinema the usual thing, we chatted and texted loads and we got on. Over time though, he became frustrated at the amount of time i was able to spend with him due to looking after my boys, he visited me less and i was left driving over to his the majority of the time. He then started meeting up more with his mates, going to support his beloved footy team. This was about 8 months in and i spoke to him about it, and he vowed to make changes as he didn’t want to lose me. It was okay for 3 or 4 months then returned to how it had been. I eventually plucked up the courage to call it quits and ended the relationship. Were remained friends and chatted over the phone now and again, but that phased out after about a year.
And then theres A.. I had briefly met him years ago (about 11 years ago) at a friend’s party, just the pleasantaries, hello and brief chat whilst chatting to my friends. He’d seen me out and about recently (through the start of last year) and I received a message from him on Facebook asking how I was and if I fancied going out for a walk sometime..
Growing up, my mum was quite focused on my brother. He was born with a heart defect, a speech defect and a webbed hand (like a ducks foot). He needed an op for his hand, speech therapy and regular check ups. Whilst this was happening and my dad was working around it all, I’d stay with my grandparents (my dad’s mum and stepdad). I learnt from a young age to be independent, look after myself and be helpful to my mum and brother. I always looked out for my brother through school and when we were out and about. I always looked out for my mum and helped her when she needed help. My brother has never really been pushed into or given the opportunity to fend for himself because my mum and dad have always been there, and he’s latched onto that, I guess because he had nothing else??January 23, 2023 at 3:44 pm #414348
Thank you Anita
My brother is dyslexic, potentially ASD but never diagnosed, lives at home with my parents, has no friends, no job, no benefits. His only outing is to the shops to by food with my parents money. He’s socially anxious and anxious in general. He was most helpful when my dad was unwell at home in trying to help him to manage his anxiety have g dfound ways to try to manage his own if that makes sense. Helping with the shopping is about all he is able to offer other than that he shuts himself in his room and is nocturnal, being awake all night, and asleep most of the day.
My mother is also dyslexic. However, she is a social butterfly, loves to meet with her friends for coffee and chatter. My dad’s anxiety frustrates her. When he was unwell at home she backed away saying she couldn’t deal with it, saying she just felt cross with him. The most she is able to help with is again food shopping, household chores, food prep/cooking. She’s doesn’t understand maths/finance neither does my brother and neither of them drive. My mum also has mobility issues.
I just sought to be independent when younger, its the only thing I knew how to do.
Over the years my dad has expressed his frustration and overwhelm at having to do everything, all the driving, running about, finances, maintaining the house and garden etc etc.. He’s let off steam with me, he’s shouted in exasperation at my mum, more so when I was younger, as I remember trying to calm them both by making them laugh.
I am doing my best to support him in his recovery.
Life has felt quite lonely. I’ve not always felt like I fitted in at times. I’ve always been active and bust. As a youngster it was sports and hobbies and helping others.. and not much has changed I that respect.
I think I understand where you’re coming from with regards to the together feeling with A, and the loneliness after. I think a lot of the time my relationships have felt that way, I’ve put so much in, given so much of myself but it feels so lonely.. not sure that really makes any sense though?? However, I do crave that together feeling, even though my gut instinct may be telling me, as it has in the past, that something isn’t sitting right.
A wants me when it suits him.. which stirs up memories of most of my relationships being similar. I always seem to be seeking to please, seeking to prove my worth? I don’t know
I tried so hard to remain single, just over 3 years was good for me, and the majority of the time that was okay, i thought about dating occasionally, but having made so many mistakes/wrong choices, i chose not to date which led to feeling lonely at times. Then I hit a rough spot last year when my dad became unwell and met A at a vulnerable time. Maybe he could sense that? xJanuary 23, 2023 at 3:41 pm #414347
Thank you Helcat
Yes, I do need to learn speak up and say no rather than seeking to please everyone all the time. I guess when feeling so low this becomes exceedingly more difficult to do, which in turn increases that low feeling even more.
I divorced 17 years ago, separated before my youngest was born due to my ex husbands adultery, and divorced a year later. I was dating practically weeks after my youngest was born, I felt I had something to prove to my ex at the time, silly I know. I ended up in a relationship with the first person I dated which lasted several years. He was in the same boat as me at the time. We moved in together after a year of dating and parted ways 6 years later, I ended it. I then had a couple of disastrous relationships where I was emotionally abused/manipulated, one lasted 3 months the next one two years, of which i ended both of them. I then dated an old friend which led to a two and a half year relationship which again I ended. I was alone from then for just over 3 years until meeting A last year. So I’m not sure you’d really call them temporary or casual.. And as for dating, I’m bot sure i wish to meet anyone else as i feel my choice of men radar is right out of sync xJanuary 22, 2023 at 11:30 am #414236
Many thanks Anita, your time is much appreciated.
Wishing you a restful nightJanuary 22, 2023 at 11:13 am #414225
Anita, yes, I guess some of my dad’s anxiety/depression may have come from that place. He’s mentioned feeling dragged down by doing everything and i can understand how that feels.
A invited me over to dinner, and as an afterthought (in a second message) said I could stay over, that he’d give me his bed and he’d take his daughters (she was at her mums that night, shes 20) with no funny business. When I questioned it later in the evening, he said he is just lonely and wanted to wake up with another person in the house on Xmas day. In between the days of my declining and then sleeping with him, he said that he’d asked me to stay and that he knew something would happen and that he was being selfish because he’d wanted to wake up next to me, to feel held and wanted. When i said to him that i felt really confused about it all as he’d wanted to go from friends to dating, but was then seemingly pursuing me again, he said that I should have said just said yes, and probably just stayed, but also said he understood why as whether I stayed over or not he said he knew I’d overthink things, hence saying I should have just stayed.
I spent Xmas day and boxing day in a state of confusion. Lonely without my boys, lonely being at my parents on Xmas day where i cooked dinner and sorted everything out.. and alone at home on boxing day. Was not a good Xmas.
And since sleeping with him, and having continued to.. I still remain conflicted within my mind among other things going on xJanuary 22, 2023 at 11:01 am #414219
Hello Helcat, many thanks for taking the time to reply.
I’m no longer supporting my friends daughter, that came to an end at the end of last year.
I have been feeling overwhelmed especially towards the end of last year, and I knew I wasn’t accomodating any time for myself as i was splitting myself in so many ways and trying to stay afloat so i could support my dad etc.. I do find it difficult to say no, especially when I’m feeling this way. I’m aware I’ve taken a nose dive hence pushing myself to walk, cycle, exercise more, it’s my coping/mechanism for seeking some sense of control.
As for A. I feel a sense of having been manipulated whilst at a low point. Craving that feeling of being wanted, I’m not sure I’ve made the best choice. Everything is pretty much on his terms. When i ask if he’d like to pop out for a walk or join me for a coffee, he declines then will as me to join him for a coffee, or a walk. He always asks literally last minute (that morning, that hour) whereas I’ll query the day or two before as I know I’ll need to factor in running about for family etc. This weekend he’s pretty much ignored me aside from a message to say he had a headache.
The other thing for me i guess is emotions.. being intimate with someone leaves me with emotion overload I guess you could say, makes me feel more lonely? It’s difficult to explain xJanuary 22, 2023 at 10:41 am #414213
Thank you for replying to my post.
Yes, you are on the right track.
Thinking about what you mention me being back as sister and daughter. I feel back where I was before I left home to move in with my then partner (my ex husband). I remember being the support for my mum and brother whilst my dad was working, and only having my dad to turn to, to talk to, confide in as my mum just didn’t understand how to bless her. I’ve always been her support and my brothers from a young age. They are both quite coy and in a sense nieve and easily led and can misunderstand situations or conversations.
As for A, no I don’t want to be in a friends with benefits situation, but I can see I’ve allowed that to happen. I almost feel manipulated. I feel quite angry with myself. He blanked me thus weekend, a call for a chat on Friday evening few sparse messages over the weekend x