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  • in reply to: I feel so distant to all my friends #270269
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Milly,

    It is a lonely circumstance, but your friends had found new interests to focus on that you can’t really relate to. Also, you guys are still in school and are still learning how to function as individuals yourself so when you find something new and interesting, that will usually take up most of your attention. So right now your friends are focus on their relationship and other things are background noises.

    So, it’s difficult, but it’s best you muster up courage to find new friends. Your friends are now choosing something that has little to do with you so even if you wish to stay friends, it won’t be the same as before. People change with time and your friends are doing so now. Try to accept that and move on. Use this time to understand yourself as you are now, from your interests to your favorite subject in school. Use that information to seek people who share similar interest. They are out there, you just have to search for them. There’s also the world wide web.

    Regarding your anxiety of not fitting in, right now, you are viewing yourself as an outsider along with the situation with your friend, it exacerbated your general anxiety. It’s not unusual for a person who is prone to anxiety to developed severe social anxiety due to their environment. It would be best for you to get professional help to deal with your anxiety since there are trained professionals who work with people who have anxiety. They can help you figure out techniques to calm your anxiety whenever it might flair up.

    Right now, it might feel as if you are in the middle of a storm. But even storms will eventually come to an end and you’ll be able to see the sky again.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Issues with an ex or ex's (trust issues) #270267
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Victoria,

    Relationships are not easy due to the fact that not many people can read the human heart and not many people are willing to let themselves be vulnerable to anyone, even themselves.

    Now, you are trying to work things out with your ex, but before that, have you both sat down and talk heart to heart about the issues that cropped during your relationship together? You talked about your trust issues and his lack of patience for it yet it is only mentioned about how he gave an ultimatum of being friends with his exes, but relationships can’t function on either or neither. You need compromise in an intimate relationship because if one person get their way all the time, it will only brewed resentment in the other party.

    So have you talked? Have you sat down with each other and let out all your thoughts without judgement, without assumptions or presumptions? And it can’t only be just once, such talk require multiple meetings before anything can be digested and each perspectives put into view. You can’t assumed that just knowing that there are issues will mean that both parties will work toward the issues silently. You might have told him your feelings and he told you his feelings, but that was just speaking, not listening. It didn’t seem like you both tried to understand where the other might be coming from and so you wonder if he understood your feelings yet here you are wondering what his actions are suggesting.

    Communications is not only speaking, but also listening. He might not be a good communicator, but if he really wants your relationship to work, then he will try. But you also have to try. No judgement, no assumptions about each other’s intentions. You cannot fathom another’s intention because you are not them. Unless you say anything or he say anything and you both try to understand without needing to be the one in the right, you both are leaving a wide area of uncertainty between you.

    Talk with your ex, communication is an essential tool in any relationship. If you both don’t let each know about your thoughts and feelings, then only assumptions are there.

    Good luck.

    GL
    Participant

    Dear RoseQ,

    From infancy to adulthood, “parents” are the first point of touch for children. To children, they are our role models, sometimes heroes, but most importantly, our nurturer. From “parents”, children learn how to act, how to speak and their roles in the family and society. How a parent might view their children is completely up for debate, but it is a certain fact that parents have certain expectations of their children and since children are quite perceptive, they unconsciously would try to meet those expectations, even if they don’t know why.

    Your grief seem to lie in your father’s teachings. Since young, you’ve been told a version of ‘children are to be seen, but not heard.’ Even when all you’ve wanted to do was share good news, your father was dismissive, though understandable, but still isolating all the same. And it seem that your love languages lean toward words of affirmation and quality time so it was all the more cutting for the young you. At the same time, you were taught that ‘traditional’ women had a place at home, but not really anywhere else and that didn’t really sit well with you later on. But that was what you were exposed to and that scene of the the traditional man and the traditional woman was ‘normal’ in your eyes as a child.

    Your first contact with men began with your father and your father passed on the image of a man who had little time for his family, only smiling and laughing during the holidays, but even then. He passed on the image of a man who worked outside the house, but took little responsibility for household work for man and woman had different roles. He passed on the image of a man who was emotionally distant from his family. That was your first image of men and that was your ‘normal’, but it didn’t sit well with you. Yet it was also an expectation from your father.

    Many children try very hard to please their nurturer by trying to meet their expectations, but if the expectations clash with the child’s expectations for themselves, there will be tension on how the child look at the world and their place in it. And that tension usually act up in their relationships in some way.

    Your anger seem to begin with your father’s expectations for you, as a girl, to your expectations for yourselves. As your father’s daughter, you wish to fulfilled his expectation for you because you wish for his approval, but to do so would go against who you are as a person. You want to be enough, but you also question whether you are enough. So you get angry at men because, according to your father’s teachings, men have authority and power while women should be supporting them without complaining of equal standing in an intimate relationship. So maybe you feel hopeless, or that you have little say in who or what you are. You don’t feel in control.

    But here’s the thing, when you feel angry at men for simply being men, you are giving them the agency to dictate your feelings about them. You are giving them the power to tell you that you should be angry at them for being men, for their existence means that you have little value outside of the house, especially in an intimate setting. That anger will show itself in some way and your partners will feel it. Even if on the surface everything might seem fine, the undercurrent of tension is real and they will feel it in the minuscule way you interact with them. Humans have very good instinct, pity not many trust themselves enough to trust their instinct. But anger is very tiring to feel from someone you have affection for. If you can’t handle anger from your partner, could they handle yours at them? Though whether your partner is mature enough to actually work with you on your anger issue is another matter.

    If you are angry, it’s fine to be angry at your father, after all, he was the one to teach you that you matter more in the house doing housework than outside, but when you get angry at every other men, you give them the agency to decide what you feel about them rather than you choosing for yourselves how you feel about every individual men you might meet in your lifetime. You haven’t met them nor do you know much about them yet you have already decided you don’t really like them because they are men. And because you don’t want to be disappointed, but also have not release your bleak expectations of men, you might choose partners that will fulfilled your expectations because it’s easier to be disappointed in something you know well, that you know will happen, then expect something better from your partner. It’s a bleak cycle.

    So be angry at your father. It might have been his father teaching him such expectations that he pushed such expectations on you, but whether he considered such expectations were for your sake or his, is up for debate. Of course, he’s human, but so are you. And if your human self is angry at him, then be angry at him.

    But you will have to release the expectation that your father will change, he will only change when he feels that he should. He is who he is and it is his decision as it is your decision right now to be who you are. Certainly, your father has his expectations of you, but in the end, he is not you and unless you decide to give him control over your life, you will be the one to decide how your life will go. Don’t expect him to think himself wrong in the matter of raising you, he did what he was taught from your grandfather and that’s that. You can’t expect more than he is willing to give. You’ll have to accept that he is how he is right now and go from there.

    Also, go find someone whom you can talk about all this. Find someone who will listen and objectively list all the things you’ve said, but it’s not about giving advice. It’s about you looking at the matter at the heart of it and to start from there. You are angry and disappointed and hurt. Find someplace safe to let it all out, to let yourself feel and acknowledge those emotions. Don’t rationalized your feelings and don’t let the fact that he’s your father or he’s your ex to keep you from feeling anger or disappointment or something along those lines. Emotions will suck when it suck, but there’s the hope of feeling the other side once your emotions stop sucking.

    Every children inherit something from their childhood environments, the good and bad, though it would seem that the bad is more memorable. You have yours and you have your thoughts and feelings about it, but in the end, you have the choice of agency over your actions.

    Have hope. With every search, it will be a long journey so let yourself be human and accept that others are human and you’ll find people out there who will choose to be human with you.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I still have hope that he will come back #269393
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Reina,

    You’re having the big case of ‘what-ifs’ plus your instinctual reaction of wanting to fix something broken, it’s no wonder you’re hung up on your ex boyfriend.

    You have not given yourself the space to let go of this relationship that you have placed a lot of hope in, hoping that he is the one. You have not let go of your hope. Though I wonder if that ‘hope’ came from the need to prove something to yourself seeing as there were many “red flags” you arbitrarily chosen to ignore during the your term together and even now, you wish to ‘fix it’.

    So it is delusional to think that your ex boyfriend would be happy to try to ‘fix’ this broken relationship? Yes, it is. He had already made his stance, it is you who is not letting go.

    You might not want to give up on ‘people’ you love, but if those people don’t respect nor have any affections for you, are you then being kind to yourself or making a desperate attempt for something else? After all, your relationship can be ‘fixed’ or so you hope, but if your ex boyfriend did not make the attempt the first time, then it’s not likely he will make the attempt the second time when he does not have a reason to.

    You’ve shown that you love yourself and that you have respect for yourself by breaking up with your ex boyfriend so why would you want to go back on your decision now? What makes him so special when there were so many red flags during your relationship? Red flags you are willing to overlook to fix this broken relationship.

    What stories are you telling yourself about this breakup? Take a step back and look at it without reacting to it. Look at it then ask yourself why are you telling the stories in this particular way?

    So rather than focus on the fact that you can’t forget him, you should be focusing on why you can’t forget him. That’s probably what you should be focusing on. This is not about how you can ‘fix’ him to ‘fix’ your broken relationship, it’s about what you’re choosing to ignore in favor of regretting over your breakup. Because you are making your ex boyfriend the subject rather than the object in your stories about your break up and its aftermath, you are not addressing your fears nor are you addressing your disappointment, your anger, your hurt about your relationship; none of which is mentioned in your post. If there were many red flags, what were they and what is your real feelings about them? You need to address that and more about your previous relationship and you need to be honest to yourself about each of them. You don’t need to paint your ex boyfriend as the worse human being on earth, but you need to be honest about his actions and your reactions; also, your actions and his reactions. Most importantly, don’t rationalized your feelings, let them be what they will be.

    Take it slowly, one thing at a time. It’s not impossible to move forward, but you must allow yourself the time and space, the compassionate and kindness from you to your heart.

    Take care of yourself.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by GL.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by GL.
    in reply to: I need help with an Imoral relationship #269341
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lucius,

    With any relationship, the deeper you dive in, the harder it is to let go.

    Now, at some point in your life, it seems that you were taught that if anyone had a problem, then you should try to help. So when an woman began to shower attention on you, not really the good kind, to discuss some issues she is facing, you tried to help her during your communications. Only, it seemed that you were also craving human connection since you ‘weren’t used to the attention’. So one and one together equal two, the relationship turned from casual to serious on your part until you confessed and she ‘accepted’. Only, the woman in question was also trying to work on her marriage that she had tried to leave before for the sake of her son.

    Apologies to be the bearer of bad news, but I have a strong suspicion that woman friend of yours, while possible she might have some affection for you, was probably using you as an excuse to not really work on her marriage. To decide to stay in a marriage for the sake of a child is usually not because of the child, but because both parties have certain fears of leaving what they both know to be a fruitless endeavor, but sometimes, it’s just easier to continue the bad than welcome in the unknown. So when you showed interest, your woman friend grabbed the chance to not have to think about her failing marriage that she chose to stayed in.

    So my advice? Cut off your friendship, completely. The longer you stayed in this friendship, the longer you are giving your friend time and excuses to continue to focus on something that is not her marriage. Certainly, she now blames you for it, but really, she just wants an excuse to guilt you into staying with her, to listen to her, to let her play the victim, to let her wallow, this and that but NOT DO ANYTHING to change her situation. And the longer YOU stay, the harder it will be to let go.

    After all, you want to help her, to be there for her as her friend, but that’s not helping either of you at this moment. She’s still leaning on you and you’re letting her. Even now, you are letting her blame you for her failing marriage when she should have broke off contact before it escalated to this. Though you weren’t so innocent either. But you can’t fix this. Her marriage is something she has to work out with her husband. It is your relationship with her the one you have to make a decision on. But know that you can’t go back to being friends until you give yourself the space and time to be a friend and her the space and time to decide things about her marriage. Things might not changed on her side later and you might not ever be friends again, but at least you did what you could.

    There’s a reason people who’ve broken up should never go back to being friends right away. With all the energy and time anyone invested into a relationship, no one wants let go after all the memories made, even if it’s the better choice. After all, no one wants to give up the hope of that person being the one, in whatever sense they needed that person to be. So once a relationship is broken, the best course of action would be to cut off contact since seeing them will only bring up negative thoughts and ‘what ifs’. So best to grieved in peace the ending of a chapter in life.

    So let go of this friendship, it has run its course. If there is one lesson in life you learn, it’s that you are constantly saying hellos and goodbyes, it just a matter of when.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I'm lost, feel hopeless #269339
    GL
    Participant

    Dear sparkle00,

    The story you’re telling yourself is flawed, though you aren’t alone in that.

    Before your current relationship, you carried the thoughts that you didn’t have anything to offer anyone, that you weren’t enough as a person. Now that you’re dating someone, you constantly compare yourself with other women you meet on the street. You tried to tell your partner your thoughts and maybe he meant well when he told you that it was all in your head, but in the end, no matter how much he may reassured you that your relationship is doing well, it won’t be enough. Because you will constantly fear the future, with whirling thoughts of your soon-to-be-over relationship, constantly worried then constantly needing the reassurance from your partner that “it’s all in your head”. So yeah, what you’re doing is a self fulfilling prophecy.

    And it sucks, doesn’t it? It’s not like you want to constantly compared yourself to others; you want your own confidence, yet lack the heart for it. But that never ending loop of self-deprecating will never go away until you face yourself. I don’t know what happened to you that you lost your confidence and self-esteem as a person, but I can tell you that it will take a lot of work to build it again.

    Many people who loses their confidence tend to begin telling stories about themselves that ripped apart their self-esteem over and over and over again. Others might not see clearly, but you who spent your entire life with yourself is the one who received all your self criticism and your self praise. You are the one to spend your whole life with you, so regardless of what others might tell you, the stories you’re telling yourself will always be the most powerful and the most believable.

    So those stories that you’re telling yourself: the ones where you’re no good, where you don’t amount to anything, the ones of you being ugly or not enough, that’s all you. And that ‘you’ will project your rejection of yourself on other people because you can’t believe that you are enough as a person so others will think so too. Even when you meet someone who genuinely wants to get to know you, you will reject their intention as something fleeting because you don’t trust yourself.

    The stories you are telling yourself is flawed because you don’t believe you are enough as you are. And those stories are the truth to you because you are the one telling them to yourself. I can direct you to have self-love for yourself but that is one of the hardest thing for you right now seeing as you can’t look at yourself kindly. If you wish to break the cycle, you need to seek help in rewriting those stories. So go look for someone who is compassionate, but has no qualm telling you what you don’t want to hear because the objective truth is not meant to be kind. It’s meant to punch you in the gut because it might take that much for you to face the ‘you’ that keeps telling you you aren’t enough. Because it takes a lot of courage to look for the core reason of that ‘you’.

    Have hope as you dive into your heart, it’s not all murky water.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Feelings I thought were reciprocated #269187
    GL
    Participant

    Z,

    It is definitely easier to love someone who is unavailable because you can keep telling yourself that if you just put in the effort, then maybe, just maybe it’ll work out somehow. That maybe they’ll be able to see you for the great person that you are, the things you’d do for them, the way you would cherish and treasure them, of how great a couple you two would make. But they don’t and then you end up doing a lot of things for them only to realize that they didn’t even see you; you who was there with them, you who went through the good and bad together with them.

    You put on rose-tinted glasses as you pine after someone, excusing their actions while justifying them taking over your time, you days and your months because they’re ‘special’ to you, even when they clearly weren’t thinking of you in their thoughts. You project your hope and wishes on them, asking for their affections even when it was clear that their affection lies elsewhere.

    Seeing as this isn’t the first time you’re attracted to unavailable men, what are you afraid of? What makes you fear showing someone else your vulnerability? What makes men who treat you as an after thought so attractive? What makes being invisible an okay thing? Seeing as you are fine with them putting their own needs first and yours somewhere over there.

    Yet you want someone to love and treasure you. But do you love and treasure yourself, your heart, your soul and everything that make up you?

    The old adage of “to love someone, you have to love yourself first” is used for a very good reason. When you genuinely have compassion and care for yourself, you generate good will towards your thoughts and actions. Even when you’ve failed at something, even when you feel low, you treasure yourself enough to be enough in that moment to know that it will passed in due time. You learn to have healthy boundaries so that you know when someone isn’t treating you right.

    But right now, you are putting the needs of others first. You fear stepping on their toes so you put the legwork in your relationship while waiting for a hint of something. You keep waiting. You keep hoping until you know that you weren’t the one they were yearning after. But it’s really tiring isn’t it? The waiting and the hoping and the pining. Because you know deep in your heart you knew that you weren’t going to be the one, but you still wished for something special, even if only for a few minutes.

    Now, if you really want to end that cycle of going after unavailable men, you will have to put in a lot of work into yourself. It’s going to really messy because you have to dive deep into your heart and ask a lot of questions that will leave you raw and vulnerable, as anything with the heart is. You don’t ask ‘why’ of others, you have to ask your heart ‘why’ until you get to the core of it. And you do it for yourself. You do it so that you understand what love for yourself is, wholly and truly.

    You don’t put yourself as second best, as the backup for someone else. You have to be enough for yourself first.

    Take care of yourself.

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Claire,

    You know, society has an ironic sense of humor as it passes down certain expectation to women from their adolescent to their adulthood. From your parents to your peers to the toxic marketing constantly flashing in front of your face. From a young age, girls are told that a good ‘girl’ are sweet, kind, polite, and do not get fussy over petty issues. As a young adult, girls are told to be a certain kind of pretty, smart, but not too smart while holding a degree and a boyfriend in both hands. Then as adults, they should be aware of their biological clock so should be married sooner than later then give birth to tiny, little devils. They should nurture the little devils until they can survive on their own to which they can retired at old age. Why should they do all this? Because for women, it is a responsibility that society has create for them since time innumerable. And since society is all knowing, every woman should follow the path it had laid down for them because if they do, then they will certainly obtained immense happiness from fulfilling their duty. Yes, immense happiness. So GOD FORBID that all your planning goes out the window because life sucks, but the clock is still ticking so better get to it again.

    So Claire, you almost got the man, the ring, the wedding, maybe the house and maybe the kid. But now it’s all put on the back burner because life happened so now you have to plan all over again. Yet…yet you know you don’t have that much time left so to do it all over again while expecting any results? Not possible. But you been following the plan so why did it turn out so badly? WHY exactly do you have to start from scratch again? So of course you’re pissed, of course you feel lost. You have put in so much effort only to get nothing in the end, only for the plans to fall apart. Now you don’t any steps to follow so what do you do?

    But you need to take a step back and examined whose goal, whose plans you are really following. Because for you to worry about your biological clock when a person is dying means either you haven’t come to grasp with your mortality and so fear the inevitable so you need to do something to distract yourself or that you feel like you’re failing someone or something out there because you haven’t met the goal of get married and start a family. So which is it? Or is there something more to it? An expectation engraved from your childhood? The need to show the world that you’re living the life somehow? The need to compete with your friends or relatives as they start their own family?

    Before, you expected to be happy from following the plans of move in, get engaged then marriage then have children and so on, but as you’ve noticed, life sucks and nothing ever really goes the way you expect. So what do you want to do? And I don’t mean what society is telling you which is get hitch, start a family then retired, but what would you actually do if all of that wasn’t a priority? Of course, being a mother is a great goal too, but you don’t really need a man to do that anymore. There are many options out there for single women to have children without the man and the ring. But if that isn’t what you really want, then what do you want?

    Sit down with yourself and ask these questions and more. You’re unhappy and you’re lost. Explore these feelings, stew over them. Look for them, look at them. They’re trying to tell you something.

    Good luck.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by GL.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by GL.
    GL
    Participant

    Well, Sophie, your ex boyfriend was your first serious relationship at the tender age of 16 so by the rights of ‘firsts’, he would be considered to special to you. And then you spent 6 years together as girlfriend and boyfriend, getting to know each other’s way of life, learning each other’s like and dislikes, giving each other time, attention and energy. You made space in your life and your universe for a person whom you deem to be dear to your heart. Is it any wonder that you would be heart broken to have that person leave after 6 years of memories together, the good and the bad?

    But you have to understand that while you have a space for him in your heart, he is still his own person and you are your own individual. You both have a life to live on your terms, and no one else. Your ex probably realized that and so went looking for his terms. Though he cared about you, he wanted to search for himself in a way that is his, and not what other might tell him. If you went with him, he would have to be mindful of you and your wants. But that’s not worthwhile when searching for something so personal, it’s would actually hinder him instead.

    Though it’s not that you can’t include each other in your own separate life, but not at the expense that one person would be giving up their life, their dreams, their goals, to cater to the other person. When you give up your dreams for another person, you are giving that person the agency to dictate which way your life will flow, and you would eventually grow dependent on him for directions or grow resentful because you had to give up your life to follow him. Neither scenario is good for you in the long run and it seems that your ex boyfriend wouldn’t want that either.

    Now that you’ve broken up, let yourself mourned the 6 years together of good and bad. Let yourself have the space to grieve until you feel you can move forward, but do not wait for him. Waiting is useless in the sense that you can’t foretell the future so you don’t know if he really will come back, if ever. Remember, he doesn’t know and you don’t know, so waiting is fruitless when you yourself have an open future before you that you’ve yet to explore. So look to yourself, look at what you are and what you can be.

    What do you want to do? What is it you hope to accomplish? Who are you? Don’t wait for another person to tell you, find yourself. You only have the now, that’s why it’s called the present. So present yourself with a lot of hugs and compassion.

    Good luck.

    GL
    Participant

    With every relationship a person enter, there is always the fervent hope that it will work out somehow and you want that person to be the one because he is such a great person who fits with you, who is also a great person. But in the end, you don’t really know that person until they do something that opened your eye.

    In the case of your ex, he was your first love so you probably excused some of his behaviors since you don’t have any past relationships to look back to understand his behavior and because you wanted your first relationship to work out. But that he had sex with you after three months of breaking it off with you before and with his history with his previous girlfriend, that really set off alarm/warning bells. Also, the fact that you’ve chosen to be friends just like that even after breaking it off. Those factors together makes it really hard to break it off completely with someone who didn’t really respect you because you’ve invested time and energy into that person. With so much investment, you’ll feel a huge lost if you do nothing so you try to make it work again then his girlfriend came along again so he broke it off ‘again’, key word ‘again’, but you can’t let go because he’s your first love and all the time you’ve spend together.

    You’ve wrote that you didn’t know who he was in the end, so that probably meant that he didn’t show you everything that was him so you can be sure that he wouldn’t have done so should you have stayed together. If he wanted to hide himself, he would do so. And it’s not because of you, but rather, it is something he chose to do for his own convenience.

    So, he did you a favor by disappearing from your life because if this relationship continued, it probably would have looked like the one with his girlfriend, breaking up then getting back together, again and again and again. Why? Because that’s the way he is, and also he couldn’t forget his ex yet still got together with you. You might not have met many people who treated you so discourteously like that, but you have to understand that there are people who are incredibly indecisive by nature and they do not care about you as much as they care about themselves. So they’ll go whichever way flows with them at the moment, even if that meant hooking up then breaking up then getting back together again in the spans of a few months. That’s the kind of person that they are and no matter how much you want them to be different or change, they will never be anything but themselves. That kind of person is not a good person, especially for someone like you who has yet to understand the conditions of a healthy relationship.

    And let it be a lesson to always ignore the other person, the girlfriend in this case, should they contact you for anything less than savory. The girlfriend only contacted you to show her superiority in this messy relationship which means she is capable to do much more, which can lead to danger on your side, should the occasion call for it. So next time, just block it should it happen again. Hopefully, it won’t happen again.

    Now, with every ending there will always be grief and sorrow. Since he chose to left, you should choose to respect his choice of not wanting to be in your life, though it’s better for you. So let yourself have the space to grieve a relationship that ended. Give yourself the time to adjust so that you can move forward. There is no closure from him because that must come from you. Closure means the acceptance that a relationship had ended so it’ll come to you once you have completely accepted that your relationship is done. If you need, write an angry letter to him, throw away everything related to him, delete all your photos, go out and dance your frustration away; anything that help you feel better. And once you feel better, know that this experience is something that will help you be a stronger person if you let it.

    Take care of yourself.

    GL
    Participant

    You know, I find that a lot of people, women especially, are trained at a young age to be sweet, kind, accommodating and so on. Your environment, from parents to teachers to friends, keeps enforcing this ideal ‘mold’ on you which pressures you to actually meet that ideal. Which sucks, because then whatever else you wanted is lost in the void called ‘what I wanted, but instead…’ And as you practice the art of the ideal ‘mold’, you slowly become that ‘mold’ until you forget how to voice your want and desires because you’re too busy being that ‘mold’. But the ‘mold’ was created by other people, it wasn’t created by you. So it’s a good thing that you’re starting to realize that the ‘mold’ you are putting forward in everyday life is not yours, it is people’s idea of you. That’s the first step.

    The next step is something I recommend so feel free to ignore it. But there’s something called behavioral psychology, the research in acquired behaviors through conditioning. There are psychologists who have studied cognitive behavioral therapy and work with clients to help them change certain thoughts and behavior. There are multiple techniques that the psychologist go through with clients over multiple sessions so that the clients get comfortable with their new perspective of actions that they can employed in everyday life. There are also many sessions in assertiveness too, but for now, I think it would be best for you to understand the underlying reason of why you want to please others so much. It’s not a bad thing to have compassion, but not at the expense of your own health and certainty not when it crosses your boundaries. So it would be best to find someone, it usually takes a few tries before finding a therapist you click with, to help you put together a narrative of your people pleasing behavior so that you can understand and start healing from the root of it rather than just change your behavior that’s only seen on the surface.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: how to not have expectations? #268905
    GL
    Participant

    Excuse the sudden post.

    Marina,

    Your parents probably doesn’t understand the deeply held insecurities of their wounds from their childhood. In the case of your father, he had a terrible and miserable childhood, but he probably wasn’t allow to voice that aloud as a child so he continues to carry a little boy in his heart that is still trying to grapple with that deep hurt. Then, as an adult, he married and conceived children because that’s what society told him to do so he did. But he wasn’t happy having a family so tried to get a divorce only insecurities kept him back from going forward. Then he watched as the little child he was able to controlled before slowly grow bigger while also slowly developing her own thoughts and will. But he, along with your mother, wasn’t able to face the implication that they weren’t able to control you anymore because they didn’t know how to face another person with emotions and thoughts that were different from them, which was inconceivable and threatening. So they tried to enforced the image of a good child on you because if you were a good child, they didn’t have to worry. Anything else was irrelevant because they were the parents and you were the child, that was what they learned in their own childhood. Only, you couldn’t handle their atrocious expectations and rebelled. Then they slowly understood that with the way things were going, things were going to get worse, so tried to ‘change’ but didn’t really change. They only slowed down.

    Now, you’ve only written that you don’t really feel anything towards your parents, but still want to forgive them, to tried for a new ‘normal’. But that contradicts each other. To forgive anyone, you have to acknowledge the ‘why’ part of the forgiveness. Are you angry, disappointed, sad, tired, or simply numb from the people you depended on from your childhood to now? You wish to forgive them, but why must you? And also, can you try for a new ‘normal’ when your old ‘normal’ was different yet not so different? After all, your old ‘normal’ was your parents constantly hurling insults at each other than at you and your brother. The old ‘normal’ was your parents placing heavy expectations on you, but has that really changed? The old ‘normal’ was your parents neglecting to pay attention to what you want, your dreams, your simple thoughts but is still only talking about themselves? What makes today so normal from the past few years?

    And have you notice? Have you notice that you’re really, really careful around your family and your potential lovers? When you feel a spark for anyone, you rush to check their social media. You try to gauged the kind of person they are, you try to see if you can fit in their life. With your parents, you try to avoid seeing them as much as possible, but also trying to give them a vacation in their old age. With Andre, you worry if a simple comment makes him angry so try to avoid doing so again. You walk on eggshells with everyone, but especially with yourself.

    In your childhood, did you try to be the ‘good child’ before you rebelled? Did you try to meet your parents expectation because you desperately yearned for their approval only to realize that they weren’t or wasn’t able to do so? Because while you are aware your parents had hurt you, you still focus on the why that is your parents’, not your hurt. You understand that your father was hurt as a child, but that has nothing to do with your anger with your father. Your father has his own insecurities, but you do too. It’s fine to have compassion for others, but you cannot let that make you push away your own fear and doubts to focus on the other person. Looking at your post, most of the written posts are about either your parents or about Andre and how you can do something for them, but never about how you feel, not really about you. You have to remember your own anger and doubts and fear and sorrow. You’re only human; it’s okay to be human. So let yourself focus on your emotions and thoughts and feelings, and not how other people ‘think’ about your actions and thoughts.

    Similar to your father, you have a little girl inside still wishing for warmth and comfort. What is the little girl inside of you crying and asking for? What is that little girl searching for? Listen. Then feel. Don’t think over it. It’s easy to rationalized your feelings, but that little girl isn’t looking for a solution. That little girl is looking for someone to just see and listen to her. To acknowledge her pain and sorrow. To honor her experiences with parents who didn’t know how to acknowledge her as a person. That little girl need you to see her, to accept yourself as you are.

    Now, you wish for a relationship with a person that’ll treat you with genuine care and warmth, yet have you been treating yourself with warmth and care? Have you feel proud of yourself, complimented yourself for finishing a task? Have you let yourself be okay even when you’ve failed a task and not beat yourself up for it? Have you let yourself feel bad and be okay with it? Be okay with not finding a solution to every bad thing you’ve done to another person, to every mistake and flaws you feel you have? Have you been kind to yourself?

    Because being kind to yourself really does require effort due to that inner critic that everyone has. The one that tells you that you’re not enough, that you’re a bad person, that things won’t work out, while questioning your every thoughts and actions. A person is truly their own worse critic so you have to learn to make yourself important and special to you, yourself. But you make that effort so that you know when someone is treating you badly, you know that what they’re doing is not kind or leaving you to question yourself, so that you know where and how to set up healthy boundaries.

    You have hope for the future, so have hope for yourself.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Healing but still afraid #268357
    GL
    Participant

    I wonder if your wife wasn’t tire of pretending that everything was fine and dandy. I wonder if she wasn’t waiting for you to be open and honest with her about your financial issues, or any of your issues. I wonder how many times she wanted to start an argument just so she can see you finally be angry, or at least something other than yes or okay. I wonder how burdened she felt at times. But for whatever reason, you’re still together. And now that you’ve decided to confront your past demons, it’s time you sit down and talk with your wife, face to face. You’ve probably started to do so in your therapy sessions but that’s probably about your issues and her feelings about it. Hopefully, she has begin to aired her grievences and you acknowledging her struggles too. She’s mad? Okay, she has a lot of reason to be. Acknowledge that. Acknowledge your past actions and her reactions and go from there. That’s therapy, but for the last few years, how much have you two talked to each other? Other than trying to please her with material possessions, have you or her been asking each other simple questions like did you have an interesting dream last night, how was your day, what’s one thing you want to do before the year ends, etc.

    Right now, you can probably count this as a chapter in your life as the one where you acknowledge your childhood wounds, it’s a long process, and the focus will mostly be on you, but you can’t forget to acknowledge the role your wife has in this chapter. As with anything new, the water is murky and very deep in your case. So take this opportunity to thank your wife for going through it with you, regardless of the outcome. While also trying to give each other time, one of the most precious treasures because as I am typing this, everyone in this world is slowly dying, it’s just a matter of when. So give time, not possession, give attention, give words and make memories across or next to each other, you only have the now. You only have the now to acknowledge each other existence and time. Let her know, don’t hold back, not with everything you’ve went through. Talk, about anything and everything, what’s holding you or her back when it’s been so long already? Of course, she could cringe at whatever you’ve shared with her but it’s been 18 years between you two, what hasn’t she seen?

    P.s. could you not use the word pussy like that? Otherwise, I like to see males give birth through their anus.

    in reply to: How do I take care of my mental health #268351
    GL
    Participant

    Go and see a specialist. Do so for at least a year or more. You yourself admit that you are not likely to share anything about how you’re feeling with others but as you continue to bottle up your emotions without letting it out, you are experiencing the backlash right now. Emotions are there to let you know whether you are doing okay but you continue to compress it inside without trying to understand it because you fear the judgment of others. And it’s reasonable because not everyone is kind enough to accept your emotional problem as you being human. So go out there and find someone who won’t blink at what you tell them because in the end what is stopping you from opening up is you yourself. Find the courage to seek professional help, find the courage to look inside and address that dead weight, emptiness, fear. You are the only one who can help yourself right now by finding that courage to take that first step.

    Best of luck.

     

    GL
    Participant

    You know, society places a lot of heavy expectations on females. From the perspective of society, females should be kind, sweet, demure, pretty, smart but not too snart, a good listener and the list goes on. Those expectations is then enforced by your environment in some way but even if you meet the criteria, somehow it’s not enough so you should be doing more. But the cycle continues while your self esteem continues to take criticisms that you aren’t even trying, what’s wrong with you and so on. So it becomes your fault then your problem that you aren’t meeting that expectation so you keep trying and trying and trying but you can’t even see the end in sight.

    You don’t feel you are enough as you are, you think that you can do better, you can be better, you can actually be pretty. You want to feel you’re pretty because maybe then people will accept you, maybe they will actually, really like you. Maybe you can even accept yourself. Maybe then you can like yourself. But that won’t ever happen as you continue the cycle of wanting to feel pretty because that comes from the acceptance of yourself. Wanting to be pretty is one thing but continuing to paint an image of yourself as ugly in your head then starving yourself is another thing.

    Try and go see a specialist who can help you understand the story you are telling others and yourself about that “ugly” image in your head. See it for what it is then what you might see on the surface. People don’t punish themselves with such words just because they are bore, it’s usually because they don’t know how else to deal with themselves.

    Good luck.

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