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  • #371529
    GL
    Participant

    Hello E,

    Don’t know if you’ll see this, but there was something that I was curious about; what makes you feel ashamed of yourself?

    Your written post of your actions as a child who was curious about sexual acts paints a painful picture of this big sin that you’ve supposedly committed. But you were never taught what ‘sex’ was and it seems you were a part of a social circle that shames women for being sexual beings, even when it’s a perfectly natural disposition. And you don’t feel inclined towards pedophilia so that’s not much of a concern.

    But what is concerning is how much guilt you have about yourself. Certainly, the actions you did on your sister was not consensual, but it’s not surprising. Children are constantly exposed to ‘sex’ in different form by way of marketing so you being curious as to why grown adults do weird things to each other is natural. Children imitate the actions of adults to understand how the world operates and your parents are not the only adults you would be exposed to. But for your brain to latched on this mistake you made as a child whose brain has not fully developed speak of an underlying issue. And one of the issues seems to relate on how you feel guilty about your existence.

    You persecute your actions as the sin of all sins and so feel that you deserve to be punished for it. You can also wonder at the what ifs; what if your mother had taught you what sex was? What if you were taught to ask for consent before touching someone else private part? What if you didn’t watch that video? What if you weren’t curious how it felt to do the act? But that doesn’t address the question of why you can’t move forward from understanding the mistake for what it was.

    Yet why are you using this mistake to persecute yourself as a bad person? You keep ruminating over the details and seesawing back and forth of “I was a child and made a mistake to I am a horrible person who did this terrible thing”. But shame is a learnt habit that comes from reinforcement from your environment. Whether its your peers to your teachers to your parents to what you see on social media, if there is constant denial or shame or disregard for your emotions and thoughts, then you are learning that your existence take second place to other people. But that’s only one way of developing shame.

    Then there’s the matter of you disassociating from your emotions. You feel apathic to life which then lead to the question of the level of which you are disassociating from your emotions? If you feel nothing for yourself or your life, then of course it is no better than breathing, but not alive. Emotions color your thoughts and your perspective on life, but when you don’t allow yourself your emotions, then life is no better than a black and white film. So when did feeling felt so heavy for you? Or is it embarrassing to feel emotions? Or are you ashamed of your emotions and thoughts?

    These are some things to think about. Though I would like to read your thoughts on them, reflecting on them will take time and age. Different experiences will give you different perspective on certain events of your life. What you think of your life now might change within a few years, but that is if you’re willing to change how you are seeing the world through your thoughts. With any luck, you’ll be able to see something differently than you can see now.

    Good luck.

    #369935
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jem,

    You contradict yourself. You convince yourself that you think that he should be in charge of his life, yet YOU yourself decided for him that he has little ambition to speak of, which you don’t like. But if what he is doing is enough for him, then why the need to worry? Why should there be more? When you decided to choose this relationship with your boyfriend, you’ve made a decision to choose the good things and a decision to choose the bad things. So now you have to make a decision. You have the good thing, but will you be okay living with what you deem as a “not so good thing”, i e the lack of ambition? If you can’t, that’s okay because compatibility is wanting similar things. But your boyfriend’s choices are not your responsibility to worry about unless he had asked you for your support. But even then, it’s out of your hands. He made a decision and he has to take responsibility for the consequences.

    Regarding your ex, it would benefit you to seek professional help. There are an arrays of counselors, life coaches and spiritual teachers who can work with you on the issue of letting go.

    Good luck.

    #369748
    GL
    Participant

    Dear trustagain,

    It would probably be helpful for you to work with a coach on your perspective of romantic relationships. For you to not want to let go of a relationship even when it’s was clearly toxic and not because of a clash of personalities, but because you both chose to be toxic, could link to a certain emotional high you can get from arguments. For some people, fighting is linked to communications because of the high level of dopamine that the brain is releasing, which, can feel good. Or at least a familiar pattern so that is what people seek out in their relationship. You, yourself, might have unconsciously created an association of a degree of toxicity being common in relationships and you might have became somewhat emotionally dependent on that emotional high of toxicity you get from being with your ex. Dopamine is how you feel pleasure so it can get addicting, especially when it’s dependent on another person to activate. Though , looking at another angle, you might have wanted to get back with your ex because you felt emotionally dependent on him. No matter the case, it’s difficult to let go of something you felt depended on so the first step for you would be to look at what the common elements of a relationship are for you.

    Good luck.

    #369747
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jem,

    Regarding your post, there are some questions that might be useful in getting you started.

    First, what made you desire a romantic relationship with your friend? From your point of view, your friend doesn’t really check off your list of criteria for a romantic partner. So your compatibility with each other, again from your perspective, isn’t very high, which will lead to a lot of dissatisfaction. Though I caution you to withhold your judgement of him waiting to enter university until now since he is leading his life as he see fit; something that he has to take responsibility for, not you. That leads to the question of: are you both on the same page when it comes to “building a life”? You mention now is the time for you to build a proper life, but does he see it that way too? Or does it seem that you’re waiting for your boyfriend to catch up with you? Do you wish that your boyfriend would change? But for whose sake is he changing? You chose to enter into this romantic relationship, but why did you? You might love him, but a relationship isn’t built on chemistry. It’s built on the foundations of your actions; like tending to a budding seedling, you have to water it everyday. What kind of efforts are the both of you putting into this relationship? But why exactly are you doing so?

    Regarding your obsession with your ex, the question is: what void are you trying to fill? You don’t like your ex, that’s a fact, but you are seeking something from him by not letting him go. In your mind, your ex hold this imaginary ‘thing’ that you desperately seek in order to fill a void inside of yourself. If you can only obtain that ‘thing’, then you will be alright somehow. So while you don’t attract conflict, you can choose conflict and you have chosen conflict in regards to your ex. You won’t let go of him, that’s your choice. But not letting go is you choosing your own misery. After all, he has done his best to ignore you, but you still try to hold on. Even when it’s been a decade, you are still holding on. What does this ex of yours represent that you can’t let go of him? What makes you so desperate? What is that void inside of you?

     

    #367624
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Jen,

    Lovely to see that you’re progressing from “this sucks” to “this isn’t about me”. And I will reiterate, you do not have healthy boundaries with your parents.

    As you’ve written, your mother made it (almost) her life’s mission to care for you. But that taught you, a Cancer Moon (and Sun?), to love someone, is to take on responsibilities for their well-being. Well meaning and all, but it’s another way of thinking that as long as you can “help” the other person (because they have a problem), then you should try to help, irregardless of what the other party really want. In other words, you taking on “others’ problems” makes it “your problems”, so when things don’t go as you’ve planned in trying to fix said “problem”, then you feel bad. But was there even a “problem” to begin with? Because what might seem like a “problem” to you might not even matter to the other person, but you yourself are the one fixated on thinking that it’s a problem.

    The narrative of you trying to cajole your parents into exercising with you is a perfect example. They wanted to garden, but you believed that it was better for them to “exercise” so tried to called them back to your plans, the one that you painstakingly create for your father’s sake. But did you asked what they actually wanted to do or did you planned what you think might be beneficial for them? But how is it your problem that your father might be putting on weight? Some weight can be expected with age and if your father is perfectly content with himself even after you’ve expressed your concerns, then all you can do is respect his decision.

    It is not your job to make sure that they are at a good weight or healthy, that’s their job. They are grown adults who can take care of themselves, unless they are besieged with a disease like Alzheimer or had asked for help in the beginning. If it’s neither scenario, then after you’ve expressed your concerns, you need to respect their decision and their choices. If they want to exercise by gardening, then let them. And remember, they are so used to placating you that it’s probably difficult for them to tell you “no” outright. Per your narration, your mother felt guilty for not being enough of a mother for you. That translated into her compensating a lot for much of your needs growing up; trying to help you out when you were probably able to solved your own problems yourself. But she is still human and can only be human. And now, there’s no healthy boundaries between you two.

    You unconsciously expected her to give in to you because you feel that you need to care for her health per your reasoning and she probably did before. But she does not have to and you were the one who chose to do what you did. You were the one who decided to take responsibility for their health by asking them to exercise with you, but they also have the right to refuse you at any time. If the two “five minutes” weren’t enough to tell you that it was better to just go ahead without them, then you could have asked if they just wanted to stay where they were. Why did they and you have to follow your plan to a T?

    You’re managing your parents, or at least you’re trying to. But as you’ve witnessed, you can’t control what another person does. You can give them choices, but they don’t have to choose your choices. And what do you even get out of managing them?

    You probably have a mindset of “I have to make sure everyone is okay” or something similar along those lines. That’s heavy. Taking on responsibility for other people is heavy. That leads to thinking that you have to do something to make sure “everyone” is alright, but by your decisions. It’s also for your sake that you do this because if they’re okay, then you’ll be okay. Managing them to make sure they’re okay so you’ll be okay makes the whole situation centers around you because it’s about you being okay so that means they have to be okay or else you won’t be okay.

    That’s unfair to your parents because you are making them “be okay” so that you’ll feel okay yourself. So in the end, they are still responsible for your emotional well being which means little has changed from your childhood. Positive thoughts aren’t going to help you further on because the issue stems around boundaries, which neither you nor your parents seem to have. So the best advice for you now is that you should move out to create physical space from your parents and look for a counselor to work with on your personal boundaries. You lack personal boundaries and staying in the same space as your parents is not going to help you.

    This will not be easy and it will make you uncomfortable. But if you wish to be able to love yourself regardless of other people, then having healthy boundaries is one of the things you need.

    #367475
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Jen,

    It’s really great that you’ve identify some of your thinking patterns that aren’t really serving you so wanted to go over some things that seem concerning.

    To begin, it seems that your parents were really concerned for you in your childhood that they revolved the family life around your sister and you. Good and all, but it seems that they didn’t really let you face many difficult problems alone, or at least let you try to solve it for yourself first, or really gave you the space to self soothed your own emotional hurt. From the above, it seems that whenever you had a problem, they were ready to drop everything to help you solve it. So they had good intentions, but they also indirectly taught you that problems are meant to be solved externally, not internally, e g that loving validation come from the people around you. That didn’t help you create an independent stance that you CAN solve things on your own (that you can love yourself irregardless if other people love you) and help is a bonus feature from family and friends. Rather, your parents had let you depend on them which created a certain heavy dependency on them. There is also no healthy boundaries between you and your parents, e g your mom doesn’t stop you from calling her while she is out with friends, dropping her problems to help you with your problems.

    So you being needy is probably due to, in part, the fact that you are heavily depended on your parents’ affections and that they let you be. But at some point in your life, your subconscious probably understood that being depended on others’ affections to validate anything about you is chockful of uncertainties and it is terribly exhausting. Because such dependency means that you will always try to test their sincerity and affections and of course, it’ll back fire on you since you’ll doubt it even when they have shown up for you. Uncertainties tend to create panic which tend to lead people to try to control their situation in some way. So you’ll never feel secure in your attachment towards your parents because you need them to love you to prove something; of course, it’ll always be a limbo of “they love me, but…”

    You mentioned that your natal birth chart is full of cancer? Is your moon in cancer then? Because that would explain why you feel the need to be connected to your mother in some way. But it also means that you have a hard time drawing boundaries between you and your loved ones; especially if you were never shown/taught that boundaries mean honoring yourself and those you care for. Cancers are empathetic by nature, but right now, you are centering your relationships to be all about “you”. Why don’t they response the way I want, why can’t I can be less invested in a relationship like others (comparison won’t get you far, as you’ve no doubt noticed), why isn’t it working out the way I want it to, why me?

    But why not you? After all, you are telling yourself that it’s not enough that your parents don’t call you as nearly as you call them. You tell yourself that others don’t invest in YOUR relationships as much as you do. You tell yourself that you invest too much while others don’t and yet still get results. You tell yourself that others are happy so why can’t you be happy? You already have a story of how you’re not happy, so why not you?

    Now, I don’t claim to understand your current mental health, but I do believe that thoughts play a critical role in how people deal with life. So look at the thoughts you are playing through your head. What stories are you telling yourself and how are you projecting that outward and into your life?

    You have the ability to love deeply and that’s beautiful. But when it becomes an exercise of “who really loves me”, then it becomes a problem. So you have things you should start looking into. From your anxious attachment/insecurity of your relationships to forming healthy boundaries to honoring your deep emotions, but not making them the center of your daily life to your relationship with yourself. There are life coaches, counselor, spiritual teachers and retreats that will help. However you’ve chosen how to heal will be up to you.

    Good luck.

    #363501
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Nicka,

    To note, this is done through phone so if nothing’s clear, do tell.

    To start this out, it’s starting to be clear that you really value relationships. And that’s a beautiful value. But you can also be too tolerant of the actions of others and might stay too long in one relationship. Certainly, your ex has his good qualities, but did you both ever discuss his insecurities? Cis gender men are mostly socialized to not show vulnerabilities but that doesn’t mean it can’t be learned later in life. So did he ever tried? Also, how many times were your ex drunk and acting like a bad drunk, like letting out his grievances on you? Sure, he was drunk but that doesn’t mean he didn’t understand his actions so much as his inhibitions was lower than normal. His action was toxic, drunk or not but how many times did it happened and how many time did you excuse it as “being drunk”? It’s great you were able to accept his insecurities for what they are but that doesn’t mean tolerating the toxic actions arising from them. You also have your insecurities but have you yourself used them as a reason to blame others or pull them down because you feel bad so they should too? Because your ex was doing that. Not always blatantly but he did.

    And you probably do have codependency tendencies because you seem to hope to help these people out of their insecurities by staying with them, but at what cost? You don’t like letting people go, but what is the price of holding on?

    There’s also this paradox. You fear that starting any platonic friendship, it will end somewhere in the future so what about your romantic relationship? Did you not fear it ending too or how were you so confident that it wouldn’t end in the future, like your friendships? You don’t seem to have problems with people pursuing you but hesitate to pursue your own friendships. Introversion have little to do with choosing to pursue friendships or any relationships. It’s either you make the effort or you don’t. You can, of course, be selective in where you put your effort. And I don’t know about you but I would be flatter if anyone wanted to friends with me, granted, they just have to not make my list of potentially toxic people. Though I’m not exactly sure of the kind of people you’re meeting, but do you really want to let in people who only see your outer shell and not try to see your quirks? And it’s not possible for any person to know and understand you because they are not you. They have not lived your life or your thoughts or your emotions. They might have empathy or understand where you’re coming from, but they’ll never truly grasp how you feel because that’s all you. Your feelings are yours.

    Or has your past jarred you to the point that you feel it hopeless to put much effort into making friends?

    So is it your effort or your thoughts holding you back from developing any friendship?

    #363154
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Nicka,

    Thanks for the expanded clarifications. There’s still some point that is still a little confusing though.

    So you’ve worked with therapists before, but that doesn’t really detailed what your relationship with yourself as is. You might have worked hard on your mental health, trying to accept yourself as is, but it still seems that you wish to change things about yourself? As you tend to think that you can change what doesn’t serve you in life? Does that mean letting go of the toxic messages that was ingrained into you or changing your personality? But I don’t think you ‘should’ have to do anything. Everything is a choice and you have the choice to do what is reasonable for you.

    Now, regarding your relationship, what kind of people are you letting into your life? No idea if you live in an area teeming with a huge population that you can meet a lot of people, and making friends is difficult. But what kind of people are you letting take up your time and attention? I don’t write this to shame/blame you, but I am curious as to why you’ve tolerated your ex projecting his insecurities onto you. From your narrative, he has done it multiple times. You’ve realized it wasn’t about you, of course, but you still stayed with him. You’d made the choice to stay with him. Why?

    I don’t know if the previous guy before this did the same thing, but him calling you names is shaming and gas-lighting you. You wanted to discuss his hurtful actions and he tried to shift the blame to ‘you’ being a “psychopath” therefore he wouldn’t have to take total responsibility for sleeping with someone else. You still wanted to speak with him after that.

    Though I am glad you’ve made a list of your concerns. You wanted a bigger picture of the relationship and you had concerns to which you are totally entitled to address with the other party because they have chosen to involved themselves with you. Of course, they have the choice to actually address your concerns in a calm and rational manner or totally ignored your concerns by calling you a psychopath. Hence, why I am an advocate of writing down the toxic things people said or did to you so that you can revisit another day when you’re calm and rational. The note serve as evidence that such a thing did happened and that you weren’t imagining it just because you wonder if them calling you ‘crazy’ has any validity to it.

    You can’t change people, but you can choose to tolerate their actions. But why did you choose to tolerate them not taking responsibility for their actions and their emotions? You’ve tolerated them pushing the responsibilities onto you. From the guy who called you a psychopath while he chose to sleep with someone else to the guy who needed external validations from people while accusing you of looking down at him.

    I’m all for accepting people as they are, but that doesn’t mean tolerating toxic behavior. Hence, why the question of what is your relationship with yourself that you would tolerate these behaviors? Do you feel that you don’t deserve better or that as good as it gets?

    So you feel emotions intensely, but do you act on them the moment you feel it because you seem to think it’s not a good thing. Your emotions may be strong, but you are the one giving them meaning. You can honestly just feel then move on with life. Why would you wish to detach from them at times?

    You don’t like relationships ending, okay. But life does not promise forever. Regardless of how much you care about someone, when a relationship has run its course, then the best you can do is wish the other well. Goodbyes are said all the time, what with the earth becoming a global economy. You can fly and live anywhere as long as you have the means. Emotions are fleeting and people do grow out of their relationships. Nothing is guaranteed in life. So where does your mistrust come from? That when people said they ‘liked’ you, that it was false because they eventually bid you farewell? Or does it come from your insecurity that you’re not worth the effort to cultivate a relationship with? But what do you think you deserve?

    #363149
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Marnia,

    I think it’s fine to make relationships one of the main focal point of your life. But as you’ve realized, when you put all of your energy into one relationship, you will eventually get lost and lose yourself. Why does this happen? Because you were trying to do the impossible, merging two whole to create one. One plus one does not make one, but a lot of people are taught that they are halves, or even zero, therefore they need something outside of themselves to become whole. Do you feel that way yourself?

    If you do, you’ll have to look at the programming you were equipped with, starting from your childhood to your adult life. What was the messages presented to you and which messages have you ingrained in your mind, thinking that it was true. After, you fear that no one else will love like he did, but what exactly is love for you? A body that you can come home to at the end of the day? Why not get a dog then? Or is it something you give therefore they should give you in return? That’s just entitlement or a give and take. Someone to validate you as a person? Someone to make you feel as if you matter? But for how long will that feeling last until you need your next high? How many times will a person have to tell you “I love you” until you feel satisfied? Or will you ever feel satisfied? When is it enough?

    On the other hand, though you give focus and energy on your relationship with your boyfriend, where is the energy for your relationship with yourself? You might think you feel incomplete without being in a relationship with other people, but what about the relationship with yourself? A relationship with yourself is also a relationship, so why did you not put in any effort with yourself?

    Relationships are important to you, but you’re neglecting an important relationship by ignoring yourself and focusing on others. As it is far too easy to project your desires onto people, ask yourself why you can’t fulfill those desires by your own effort with your own self, first and foremost, than relied other others to fulfill those desires for you.

    GL

    #363088
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Nicka,

    Each person do have their own personal baggage. So the question is: how have you learned how to live with yours?

    Though you’ve detailed the paths some of your relationship had taken, you don’t have anything on the topic of self care, other than you don’t have any support near you? Do they live far from you? Are you active in any social forums? Were you a part of any group meet ups before that you can contact via Zoom? What activities have you taken up other than attending classes?

    Which lead to the question: what is the relationship you have with yourself? Is it similar to the kind of relationship you had with your exes? Is it the kind that you called yourself names and shame yourself? Is it the kind that you find boring if it’s just you alone with yourself? Do you allow yourself to feel your emotions or do you feel them through the reactions of others?

    You write of the actions of your ex in the context that he did not provide much emotional support and it’s fine to want that from a partner, but you can’t tell someone that you know what they are feeling because you don’t. He might have ‘close’ family nearby that could potentially support him, but you don’t know their family’s history as intimately as he does. So it was a judgement on your part to tell him that it felt that the separation easier for him than you because he had ‘support’. His anger of that is pretty understandable. You decided you knew what his possible emotional state was or the support he had when you’re not even him. But did he actually told you that he wasn’t responsible for his emotions or was that you deciding how to interpret it? Because a lot of his actions does look like from your narrative, but you’ll also have to see it as a judgement call on your part too.

    Now, it’s understandable that you’re combing through your memories to try to make sense of your past, but your vocabulary has a feeling of blame in it. You don’t want to be a fool? What does that mean? You were ashamed of being drunk even though that’s just a chemical reaction in your body which means you weren’t clear headed at that moment? You have a lot of baggage, yes, but where’s the compassion for being human? You’re caring, but for whom?

    You’ve excused a lot of your ex behavior until the straw broke the camel back so what’s helped you opened your eyes to the reality of your relationship? To the relationships that you want, but don’t do much to cultivate? There are many ways to create a support system, but you’ve only focused on romantic relationships so far. What about friendship? Why did so much of your effort go into romantic relationships and not friendships? You want a support system, but it doesn’t seem you’ve tried to established any friendships to even get it started.

    You have a lot of questions to sort through so please think of getting some of kind counseling for that if you can. You don’t have to grapple with these issues alone, but you’ll have to be the one to cultivate the steps to helping yourself.

    Good luck.

    #363059
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Grace,

    It’s great that you’re trying to be safe while dating. If you ever feel the tiniest bad vibes from anyone, then you have every right to decline meeting them. No one has any rights to your time or attention nor any rights to ignore any of your boundaries.

    That said, why not try recruiting your friends into helping you find a potential boyfriend? I find that friends are a great resource when looking to meet new people because they have already vetted the person for you, or should do that first. They also have friends who might be on the look out for their friends and you’ll only know when you let them know that you’re looking.

    And remember, you can always stop any action, e g hugging, should you become uncomfortable in the middle of it. You don’t have to have a reason because not feeling it is the only reason you need; you can always say no and expect that person to respect your wishes. ‘Saying no’ is you respecting your limits and boundaries. And if they don’t stop, then you will have to decide whether they’re someone you really want to hang out with.

    Good luck and have fun.

    #363053
    GL
    Participant

    Hey Marnia,

    You’ve mentioned codependency on your post on top. Could you give more details? Were your actions geared towards taking care of your partner, dropping everything for them when they call or is in need of help? Or were you expecting them to help you whenever you were in trouble?

    Also, what are your fears in letting go of your ex? Do you fear being alone? Do you fear not being able to meet someone like him in the future? Do you fear not being in a relationship? What are your fears?

    GL

    #362666
    GL
    Participant

    Hey NeedAChange,

    This is only my 2cent so it might not be helpful, but there are somethings that might be beneficial to look closely at.

    From a previous post, you’ve wrote that you’ve observed that you don’t like being out of control. You’ve also feared the judgement of others thus that fear turned into you trying to control certain bodily functions. So from that, a correlation between your anxiety and your fear of losing control can be made. Now, you haven’t mentioned if you troubled with generalized anxiety disordered (GAD), but your anxiety seems to be more pronounce than normal so you’ll have to see a specialist about that.

    Now, from the correlation above, let’s frame your anxiety in a simple way. You seem to be a person who likes being in control, but you’ve also realized from a young age that you can’t control certain things about life, like the actions of others or events that will occur outside of your jurisdiction. That ‘realization’ seem to have become fuel for your anxiety because you were anxious if your parents would come back to you or not when you were younger. That, and it didn’t seem that your parents did much in trying to help you accept those worries for what they are, which was one of the ways you were trying to obtained a degree of control over a situation where you felt you had no control. You don’t write of many coping mechanisms¬† You also haven’t kept with many strategies, it seems, in how to embrace your anxiety then let it go. To this day, you still view it as a enemy to be defeated or ignored.

    You don’t like losing control, but your thoughts are reminding you of what you don’t have control over. You’ve identified your anxious thoughts as bad so you tried to push them away. Even now, your anxiety is fueled by the need to remind you that you don’t have as much control as you think you need, your thoughts included. So you feel the need to ‘fix it’ so you can be in control again, but there’s a problem to that mindset.

    I don’t know if the counselor you visited ever told you, or they did yet you didn’t think it impossible, but anxiety isn’t something that can be ‘fixed’. By nature, every human being will experience anxiety in their life in some way. Anxiety is a natural feeling, but some people do feel it more intensely and for longer periods of time and it seems you fit into that category. There is no fix solutions to general anxiety disorder because it’s a feeling. You can’t tell yourself how to feel; you simply feel. It’s just that your mind tend to rush in to add color to that feeling which then magnify it while your whole body is already reacting to that feeling. From something minor, it intensify and continues on like a broken record.

    So when you don’t feel in control, that fuels your anxiety which then send bad messages through your head which makes you feel even more out of control which spike your anxiety so the messages keep repeating and on and on. That’s a vicious cycle for you to go through, day in and day out. And anything that you don’t have control over can trigger your anxiety.

    But there is nothing wrong with your anxieties, you simply feel it intensely. Therefore, you have to learn how to live with it, not ‘cure’ it. But how you live with it is entirely dependent on you. Some people like to simply stop, acknowledge their anxiety and move on. Some reason about why they might be feeling anxious. Some breathe deeply, say thank you and then move forward. Some think happy thoughts. Some eat something sweet. Some take a walk. Each methods is unique to the person so you’ll have to make your own.

    I don’t know you personally so I can only write down these thoughts, whether they help you find any clues regarding your situation, you’ll have to decide for yourself. But I do think you should visit another counselor if you can. The first one might not have worked out for you, but there are more people out there who might be able to help you, the thing is that you need to continue looking until you find someone that you mesh well with. It takes a lot of work to care for your own health, but all that work is worth it as long as you make yourself a treasure to care for.

    Good luck.

    #362606
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Ashley,

    Before you make a decision to end your relationship, I believe that it would be beneficial for you to examine your family dynamic with your parents.

    I understand their concern for your well being, but serving you an ultimatum of “either it’s us or him”? That’s troubling. You’re 28 and not living with them therefore I’ll assume that they are not supporting you financially, which means that you’re a grown adult who can make your own decision about any of your relationships. Yes, your parents will have their own opinions about your partners, but that does not mean that they have a vote in who you date. Who you decide to date is entirely your choice, irregardless of the disapprove of anyone. So you need to sit down and discuss the situation with your parents. Let them air their concern but make it apparent that you yourself will be the one to choose who your partner is.

    Can you do that? Or is the usual family dynamic one in which your parents disapprove of something then would set down an ultimatum that you feel you cannot not make a choice? Because again, that’s a troubling dynamic for anyone. One of the messages that that send to you might be that they don’t trust you to make your own decisions regarding a significant relationship so they need to step in and “help you” make the correct choice. But that undermines your ability to decide for yourself what your life looks like. It’ll also make you question your ability to make the “correct decision” so you’ll depend on their opinion first, placing your desires second to theirs. That sort of relationship will breed anger and resentment. So deeply examine your relationships and work out the foundation and structure between you and your parents.

    And remember, you can always walk away from any relationship for any reasons because it’s about you deciding for yourself what is best for you.

    #359478
    GL
    Participant

    Dear simone,

    You’re not crazy. You simply love your boyfriend, flaws and all. And that’s okay. You just love him.

    But no matter how much you love someone, you need to learn to look at them as realistically as possible because you, yourself, need to decide whether the actions of the other person is safe for you, mentally and physically. Yet that also begs the question of whether you yourself understands the foundation for a healthy relationship.

    Have you discussed with your friends what a healthy relationship would look like between people? Or what an unhealthy relationship look like? Have you discussed how to have open communications? What the different type of relationships look like, from dependence to independent to interdependent? What it means to trust and respect your partner as they trust and respect you? That relationships are work in process so all the parties involved must put in the work for a healthy relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together?

    Your relationship with your mother is one thing, but your relationship with your relatives, friends and romantic partner is another. But humans have the tendency to copy what they learnt from their parents and paste that onto to any relationships they create with others.

    So, what are the foundations of a relationship for you? What is healthy and not healthy? List them out if you can.

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