Forum Replies Created
March 26, 2020 at 8:29 am #345502
Thanks so much for checking on me. How are you doing with all this??
I have been up and down this past week. My discomfort with anxiety has been evident. I have been doing therapy with clients over video chat. I also started a job 1 day a week working in a foster care facility. I am so grateful to be employed right now as so many people i know have lost their jobs overnight.
My sister text me last weekend pleading to unblock my mom and talk with her. I said okay but i still haven’t done it. My mom was in the hospital yesterday with kidney stones but shes okay now. I felt shame for not checking on her but i’m also just very tired of communicating with her, the conversation is always criticism of what i’m doing to hurt her and never about the abundance of things i’ve done right. My mom couldn’t have asked for two better children, yet she is always complaining about us and how we treat her. I’m sick of it and don’t feel like defending myself anymore against her opinions of me, because i frankly don’t have the capacity to care that much right now. I’m much more focused on keeping myself from spiraling into a deep depression.
My therapist pointed out to me the discomfort i feel with the tension of anxiety. I have probably said this before on here but sometimes i just want my life to go ahead and crash completely so i can just deal with it. Waiting around to see whats going to happen always feels worse than when the worst actually comes for me. Right now i have two months of savings, something i am extremely grateful for. Though it still makes me very anxious if it will be enough to keep me from being evicted if i cant keep cash flowing in. I should be okay, but again the anxiety is probably worse than the actual event, much like we’ve seen these past couple weeks with the panic vs. the actual virus in society at large. The anxiety itself seems to be the enemy. My therapist suggested i use this as opportunity to just be, be with the anxiety, and to be unproductive. Being productive has always been my coping mechanism (or achievement) , and these circumstances have forced me to be unproductive. When i’m working i feel as if im doing something to fend off the worry, as business has slowed to a trickle for me this week it has been difficult for me to stay calm without just becoming all out depressed.
This whole situation has raised some awareness in me however, its shown me how disconnected we are from the earth, and meeting our own basic needs like food and shelter. It is clear to me I am far too dependent on the system to meet my basic needs and to meet the needs of others. This disconnection has highlighted why there is so much despair within me and the world around me. I want a small affordable home with a yard where i can grow food and raise chickens or somethings, i want a community where people are interdependent on eachother for our physical and emotional well being. I want to live more humanely. This is where the dissatisfaction in my life has it’s roots i have discovered.March 10, 2020 at 10:25 am #342626
Thank you for your response.
I had read and processed it at the time you wrote it. Since then me and the woman i was seeing decided not to be romantically involved anymore. It was a healthy break which i learned from. We had a discussion and she basically wanted to be my girlfriend and I wanted to keep seeing her casually as we had only known eachother for a month. She knew exactly what she wanted and i applauded her for that and I had to be humble enough to admit i did not, even though i thought i did. I realized there is fear of intimacy present for me. At the core of it i believe is i’m most afraid of having a responsibility towards another person. The responsibility is that to love myself unconditionally, i.e. i’d have to give up impulsive pleasures and rewards for a greater, yet less thrilling, though more fulfilling pleasure of being vulnerable again with another human being. At the moment i do have responsibility towards other people, my clients in particular, i must be prepared to hold their emotions, for some reason having that responsibility towards a girlfriend seems scary to me right now in that i believe i may hurt them because of my lack of emotional availability at times. I feel the need to be alone frequently after work.
In other news, i still haven’t spoke with my mother and i don’t really intend to. I’m tired of the merry go round. My sister told me she believes I have mistreated my mother over the past few years as well. She doesn’t empathize very well with me about keeping boundaries with my parents. She gets her need to be needed filled from them, my mother especially and she admitted to this. So at this point i feel I may have to avoid going back home altogether and my sister will just have to come and see me for a change instead. It seems no one is okay with me being firm with my boundaries and as you’ve said in the past all the empathy is reserved for my mother. If i were to have this conversation with my sister there will always be something like “you need to forgive them” my mother preaches forgiveness yet wont every forgive me. This situation sucks but i know it’s better for me if I don’t ever go back to my sisters house while my mom is present. The thing is i don’t feel guilty for not talking to my mom, because it would somehow turn into a conversation about what im doing wrong in the relationship, there is never an end to those types of conversations unless me or my sister admits we were wrong. But at this point i refuse, of course i’m not perfect, and i have responded out of anger, suppressed anger specifically, and it is a parents job to hold their children’s emotions, and empathize with them, instead my emotions have always been met with criticism and im too tired to keep up that pattern.
Thank you for everything Anita, i’m so grateful to have such an empathetic person to bounce things off without judgement. dFebruary 17, 2020 at 9:39 am #338702
Thank you for your reply I paid close attention to what you said about emotional regulation. It is exactly what i needed to do, tolerate the discomfort and resist the urge to engage in my childlike coping strategies. Thank you for your reflection. I find it difficult to see myself sometimes, had someone come to me with this same issue it would have been easy for me to identify. This does scare me sometimes as well, the fact that I am an adult yet my inner child is so noisy and still requires very much attention.
I would like your input on another topic as well, accepting other peoples past. I’m very into this woman i’m seeing and she is kind, thoughtful, intelligent, independent, and empathetic. She told me about her past though and that’s when I became afraid and wanted to run. When she was a teenager she became pregnant and didn’t know who the father was. She regretfully got an abortion and never told anyone. after that she said she didn’t have sex or any relationship of any kind for 3 years. Then she was in a relationship for a 1 year and ended it. I run into this problem often with myself, I find myself judging her for her mistakes. I hate that i do this. I don’t do this with my clients either, i try to keep an unconditional positive regard towards them, but women i want to be intimate with i find myself judging them for their past even if they are more self-aware and a completely different person now. It makes me feel hypocritical
Also, I wanted your input on another topic as well. I went to my sisters yesterday to some work on my car. While i was talking to my sister my mom continually interrupts so i just ignore her and keep talking to my sister. I was talking with my brother in law and my mom comes out of nowhere and interrupts yet again, i sighed and rolled my eyes. My mom went off and screamed “you’re always so F***ing disrespectful!” i asked if she wanted to talk about it and she just went upstairs to her room and stayed there the rest of the day.
This morning she texts me this “I’m not sure why you continue to have an issue with me, but i think we are old enough to have a conversation about it. I will not continue to be made to feel as if I have to walk on eggshells around you. You act as if i inconvenience you by being emotional about the last 2 1/2 years, trust that you know a snippet of what has gone on. If it’s not about you then we all know it’s not your concern. So please stop being so disrespectful towards me, i don’t deserve that from my child. I have decided not to take treatment from anyone that i do not deserve and i know deserve the type of treatment you constantly give me”….
I replied “Good for you”
she replies “I dont have time to convince you that i’m worthy of your respect. so I have my non answer”
I replied “if you actually care you wouldn’t be passive aggressive in the message you sent me telling me ‘if its not about you we all know you don’t care’ continuing to try to make me feel sorry for you ‘trust you know a snippet of what has gone on’ Good! i don’t want to know everything that goes on with you it drains me, take care of yourself please”
She replies “if you have such disdain for me then why would you accept anything from me?” (referring to the money she gave me when she divorced)
I replied “let’s just not talk to eachother anymore please” and then i blocked her on my phone.
Sorry for the length of this post i cannot express my gratitude enough for all the help you continue to provide me. I feel I’m at that point with her that you have encouraged many many times. No contact whatsoever. I was offended many times in this communication 1. she says we should be old enough to have a conversation but she declined my request to talk in the moment. Childish. 2. She says i don’t care about anyone but myself but i helped her with SO much since she’s been divorced moving shit, working on her car, consoling her. Childish. 3. It’s still about her because i don’t know everything that goes on with her. That’s my greatest wish honestly i was tired of her shit so i set a boundary and i felt much better but to her this means i’m letting her down. Childish. 4. She says she doesn’t deserve disrespect from her own child, implying she deserves uncondtional respect no matter how disrespectful she has been to me because i am HER child. Childish. 5. when she asks why do i continue to accept anything from her, well because she stole my tax return money when i was in college and didn’t tell me until years later. Not to mention the emotional damages. a few thousand dollars barely made up for the money she took.
Overall i’m disgusted i was working out in the gym this morning when i got these messages and it just pissed me off even more because it saps my energy. I guess i’d like an outside perspective (validation) on this matter but i refuse to believe what i’m feeling is somehow invalid. She acts as if i’m somehow at a loss for not communicating with her, but i’m the one who loses every time by engaging with her, so i’m done. This does make things even more difficult for me to see my sister, but i guess she will just have to come and see me now.February 13, 2020 at 12:44 pm #338026
Good afternoon Anita,
I have been doing well over the past couple weeks, i hope you’re doing well too.
I have been somewhat apathetic towards life and unmotivated. I’m still sticking to my routine of meditation, journaling, and exercise regardless. I’m sure the weather isn’t helping as i haven’t spent as much time outdoors as i’d like. Something I’ve noticed since meeting this girl a few weeks ago is that i am generally uncomfortable being emotionally & physically intimate with people. Unfortunately I had sex with her last weekend despite telling myself I wasn’t going to. I took her home and she asked for a kiss at the end of the night, after i gave her a hug and was getting ready to leave, and things escalated from there. Afterward I didn’t regret it but i felt i let myself down again for not having more self control. We both had the day off yesterday and got lunch and went and checked out an art exhibit then went to my apartment to hangout for the rest of the day. We talked alot. She told me alot about her past and how she’s grown and i did the same. After she left and today I couldn’t help but feel as if I want out immediately. She want’s a relationship and I’m afraid to move that direction, because i feel like there is going to be something i am blind to which will eventually make me miserable. I really feel more comfortable being completely alone, i have noticed myself feeling distant from my clients, my roommate, and friends. It’s almost like i feel as if all relationships must be problematic. I don’t know what’s going on with me but it seems as if i’m more comfortable keeping distance from everyone and interacting sporadically, but i know that makes me miserable. I was hoping you might be able to help me navigate myself to discover what is causing my alarm to go off when getting close to people and how to work with it. Thanks!January 24, 2020 at 1:25 pm #334916
Thank you for your reply.
I do believe you have my best interest in mind, the reflections you’ve provided have always been helpful for me to further my insight into myself. I realize the boy in me wants nothing to do with my mother or father, and that I make excuses why I have to continue to interact with them. I realize by spending time with them I am robbing myself of time that could be spent living the life I want and finding ways to get my needs met. Thank you for being patient with me. The most difficult part is missing my sister, sometimes there is a part of me who wished she would’ve refused to take my mom in after her divorce. If there’s one thing i’ve learned about people through my work in social services, it’s that people will figure out how to survive, my sister was sucked into my moms victimhood believing she was incapable of taking care of herself. I look at myself and I have been selfish since leaving home at 18, i’ve been selfish because I gave up so much of myself taking care of my parents for so long. My mom wouldn’t even think twice about ever asking to live with me, but she knew she could manipulate my sisters guilt (empathy abuse as you called it) and live with her. I digress. You’re right though it will eventually take zero contact between my parents for me to feel better. Hopefully this happens sooner than later. Everytime i think my parents are changing they do something to let me down once again. In this way I am insane, doing the same thing expecting a different result.
Speaking of avoiding insanity, I met a woman who took interest in me, and she seems emotionally healthy. As difficult as it may be i’m committed to building emotional intimacy with her slowly before getting physical. It will take self control and thinking ahead to what i really want to accomplish, but i’m so over my self-destruction at this point. I want something different for a change.January 23, 2020 at 8:21 pm #334720
I have been thinking about your post for the past couple of days, and clearly I wasn’t valued by my parents in the ways i needed them most, which was emotionally. My emotions were always secondary to theirs. I remember a birthday when I was about 11 or 12 and unwrapping my gift. I wanted to get through with unwrapping my gift as quickly as possible and get to my room in the basement so I wouldn’t have to sit through my parents dysfunctional relationship any longer that day, i can’t remember where we were before i got home to unwrap my gift i just remember i couldn’t wait to be away from them and the hair trigger attitudes that filled the air with tension. What I do remember is already being hyper aware of my parents emotional states by that age, or else i would face the consequences of not taking care of them. As i typed out that last sentence my stomach turned a bit and reminded me of that feeling of walking on eggshells never being able to relax in their presence, my favorite part of the day in my adolescence was being home alone or just me and my sister, because it meant peace.
I have been excited lately to find out what can happen in my life if i’m able to heal from my childhood, and truly love myself the way i need to. I can’t believe how far i’ve come already and I can only imagine how great life can be if I keep working at healing and take care of those wounded parts of myself. I’m thirsty to know who I am, my soul, and purpose in this life and universe. I feel closer to the answer than ever before i just need some guidance to find myself. It also excites me because i’ve noticed the more im able to understand my self the better i have become at doing therapy with others. I have been receiving unsolicited positive feedback lately and I know it’s because I am able to recognize patterns in others that have been brought into light for myself through therapy and through your guidance on this forum.
I’m getting a little off track here from the original purpose of getting in contact with the boy i was before depression. I want to say my parents bought me the skateboard when i was about 4 years old because i picked it out at toys-r-us. I have a vivid image of it in my mind and have been thinking of recreating it through a drawing. No one really encouraged me to skate, i remember watching the first x-games on TV at my grandmothers house in 1996 and trying to do what i saw on tv. As i grew older they opened a skatepark right next to my elementary school so i would go after school, i skated off and on and got back into it around 16 and 17 and then stopped cold turkey when i met my first girlfriend which i now regret. Skating was everything to me at one point, when i was fed up at home i would skate about 2-3 miles to the park and hangout all day and come back when it was dark. It was like all the misfit children knew exactly where to go. Nowadays I cant get enough and i feel pure joy when im riding, i feel free, extroverted, playful, creative, and as if i belong in the presence of other skaters. I think we all know there is something deeply painful were running from and skating is the escape.
Thinking of what else brought me joy as a young child, I keep thinking of living at my grandmothers house at age 4-5, it was more peaceful there than the apartments we lived in before, and the house we moved into after when my parents had no one monitoring their antics. I would play outside for hours, digging in dirt, chasing animals, and my favorite thing to do was climb the tree in her backyard. Me and my cousins about 8 of us would climb into this tree and we all had a spot to sit. We would play games and talk, or just sit and admire the small changes in the tree every month. I still love being outside in nature and feel belonging when i’m in the woods. I haven’t been hiking in a while but a friend offered recently so i will take them up on that and get back to myself hopefully.January 21, 2020 at 9:40 am #334422
Thank you for reply, your concern, and thoughtfulness about my life it really helps me begin to feel as i’m worthy of love because of the effort you put forth in these posts. Thank you.
The more i practice mindfulness and daily meditation, the more dreams i have at night. I have been noticing heavy themes in my dreams, the most prevalent being myself trying to earn love in one way or another, whether it be through protecting others, helping, or some kind of achievement.
To your point of making contact with who i was before depression i have been so hungry for that lately, especially as I’ve reduced my substance usage. It has made me aware that it is difficult for me to be playful or lighthearted without substances. I’ve also noticed wanting to feel various emotions but having difficulty accessing them. I’m not nearly as depressed as i once was because through the work i’ve done on myself i was able to access some of those buried emotions, though I have a sense as if there’s some serious grief that needs to be accessed and my ego keeps trying to do it’s best to protect me from seeing whats there. It has been frustrating to say the least, i have an intuitive feeling that is where my relief lies, in accessing and feeling that pain.
My hope is that through continued mindfulness practice, I might be able to shine some light on what’s been repressed and grieve. Through my own discovery last year I fell in love with skateboarding again, something that has been near to my heart since i was a child. I remember being 4 years old and getting my first board, one of my earliest memories. I cherished that board so much it felt like freedom. I’m so glad i found my lost obsession for skateboarding again last year, it is pure joy, and brings out the childlike playfulness and creativity i greatly miss. I’ve left the skatepark a few times with tears in my eyes the past couple months happy that i found something i love enough in this world to get me excited to get out of bed, all while connecting with that boy who couldn’t wait to get out of school to go skate. I want nothing more than to be close to that boy again. I agree with everything you said, he is the portal to my joy. My strong inner critic doesn’t want him to be seen, I hope i can figure out how to find him?January 19, 2020 at 2:21 pm #334233
I understand why you continually reiterate that I need not to contact my parents whatsoever. I have no contact with my father, and I see my mom every now and then. I have drastically changed the way I interact with my mom over the past couple years. It would be nice not to have contact with either one of them, unfortunately I refuse to give up seeing my sister just because my mom will be around.
I know you are trying your best to help me gain some clarity. I also understand my lingering depression and attempted coping strategy of achievement is my inner child still serving my parents. However I disagree that just through having no contact will my thoughts and feelings about my lovability drastically change. I do appreciate everything you have offered me over the past few years and I’m so grateful for the insight I’ve gained because of your help. I just don’t know if what little contact I have with my parents is really what’s keeping me from feeling lovable. I realize it’s where the problem started, no doubt, but I no longer see it as what is maintaining it.January 19, 2020 at 10:20 am #334213
Exactly. My parents gave lip service to love though I did not experience what it actually felt like. I can remember countless times being left at school on days when my dad was supposed to pick me up. One time I was left at the bus stop for 2-3 hours when I was in grade school waiting for my dad to pick me up. The crossing guard waited with me thankfully. But that memory still hurts to this day. My mom was more reliable to at least be there physically, but other than that she was emotionally unavailable for me.
I suppose had my parents practically loved me as a child they would’ve been concerned with my emotions. Also their love wouldn’t have been conditional on whether I was being obedient and high performing. I remember having an emotional breakdown on the pitchers mound at a baseball game in little league because too many people were telling me to do too many different things. I asked for a substitute and my dad got angry with me after the game for “being a quitter” despite being the best player on the team, and a reluctant leader through my character it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. I needed to know I was enough so badly, I remember my aunts and uncles were always so proud of me and to this day always greet me with a smile of gratitude. I can’t say the same for my mom, last time I saw her she was too busy being depressed to greet me with affection, not that I expect it anyway.
While it is helpful to reflect on my relationship with my parents, I’m at a point where I just don’t care to much to talk about it anymore, I know I didn’t get what I needed and it makes me upset and I’m okay with that now, I’m relieved at this point that I no longer have to bear the burden of confusion of why I feel unlovable. Now my challenge is how to feel lovable no matter what my life circumstances may be. My confidence comes and goes, feelings of lovabilty fade quickly when they arise, and are usually externally dependent. I desperately want to feel loveable internally, no matter what. I reached a conclusion while thinking about this last night during a sweat lodge that no matter what i do, I cannot make myself any more lovable than I am or always have been. It is not some dependent variable as if life was a science experiment that depended on the right inputs to get love. It frustrates me to no end that I keep trying to accomplish and achieve to gain love just as I did my whole childhood. There is something in my heart that has been asking me to surrender to my pain lately, it’s coming in dreams, in my thoughts, and manifests in physical discomfort when I come into contact with women. I don’t want to try anymore. I just want to be okay with being who I am, and all the baggage that comes with it.January 16, 2020 at 12:11 pm #333915
I would not try to be my sisters therapist, I realized a couple years ago our differences in our opinions of our parents was causing conflict, so i decided to just be supportive of her, and she does the same for me, in this way we have both learned to keep our relationship with eachother strong. I am grateful for that because i see alot of siblings who have disagreements about their parents let their relationships suffer because of it.
The anger i have towards my parents is closely tied to my own self-hatred. I am angry no one taught me i was lovable. I am also angry my father & mother never taught me good social skills, leaving me alone often to figure things out. I am angry because i struggle so much as an adult because of what i was not taught.January 16, 2020 at 11:27 am #333891
Thank you for your reply.
Lately I have been having car troubles, and phone troubles. I had to buy a new phone unexpectedly and a few hundred dollars in tools and car parts. While work is starting to pick up for me and im getting more clients every week money is still tight. All that to say most of the anger I’m feeling at the moment is towards my father for the way he’s been treating my sister, which lead me to completely shutting that relationship off. Not that we had been close, but I still would ask to use his garage from time to time, which i also put countless work hours in all kinds of weather to help build. So this time around I just did the work in my sisters driveway.
What makes me mad, pardon my language is that my dad is such an asshole, and easily manipulated by people. Long story short he basically wont allow my sister over the house to see him without an appointment because of his new girlfriend. While i had given up on my dad being a father years ago my sister was still holding out and it’s tearing her apart to realize my dad is a shitty person. So once again im angry with him because he continues to hurt people i care about, though in the long run i knew my sister would eventually have to come to grips with the reality of my parents so in some ways im glad she’s finally grieving the loss of her expectations of our dad to be a parent.
I also continue to find myself angry with society, for the damage i see harmful ideologies causing to people, myself included. I find myself angry with myself for a number of reasons, but mainly for continuing to not to love myself (i know it’s paradoxical and silly but its the truth) and continuing to long for friendships and romance. I’m angry and frustrated with myself because I find myself dissatisfied with life because of what i don’t have (mainly close relationships) even though i know i need to be grateful for the people i do have. I feel like i’m constantly getting in my own way, and i’m judgmental towards myself for needing people at all.January 15, 2020 at 8:16 pm #333793
I hope you are well.
I’ve been meaning to post here for a the past week or so to let you know I’m doing well. I feel I often overlook the times when I feel peaceful and I’m striving to become more aware of them, so acknowledging them more often is in my plan.
Not to say I’m void of any difficult emotions however, the longing to be loved is still strong, anger and disappointment towards my parents still resides in me, and feelings of loneliness are always close. I also slipped up and had a couple drinks last Friday night. I didn’t proceed to get drunk because part of the way through while at the bar I realized it was making me sad, and I wasn’t actually connecting with anyone so I left my friends and walked home alone and went to sleep. I think having increased my mindfulness made me realize how awful drinking excessively makes me feel.
The more answers I find in life seems to lead only to even more questions. The question I’m stuck on now is the purpose of my grief? I have been grieving the loss of close relationships to old friends, realizing I only have 1 genuinely close friend right now that lives in my city being my roommate. I have other friends but I’m not as close to them as I’d like to be for various reasons, like their own (romantic) relationships, work schedules, and others I can’t think of right now. It makes me sad. I feel lonely.
Wanting to accept and experience all of my feelings as much as they demand to be felt, has me questioning what is the grief doing for me? Im wondering if it is trying to help me let go of some kind of pain to open myself up to future opportunities should they present themselves, ones that I would otherwise be closed off to or wouldn’t recognize if I never felt the pain of loneliness or lost relationships. I’m not sure and would love to hear your input.
Thanks againJanuary 1, 2020 at 8:32 am #330609
Happy new year to you as well Anita!
My goal for this year is to work on my mental/emotional health and learn peace. I’m starting off by having a sober January and I’ve got some friends and family to join in as well. I want my relationship with pain to change this year. I’m tired of the chaos and it has to stop.
In response to your previous post, I agree wholeheartedly my expectation of love is unreasonable, I remember daydreaming constantly as a child in school, and at home about being loved, and that child is still in me stuck chasing that daydream. You suggested I was looking for a thrill or emotional roller coaster ride a few weeks back and I couldn’t agree more. I’m serious about getting myself together, I really feel as if I have no other choice, I can see the outcome if I stay on this path of thrill seeking and living in a false reality. I’m honestly excited about learning calmness. Also, I hope love might be more boring, or calm than what I’ve had in the past, because that would mean something new which probably will mean healthier too.
I’ve been wrestling with the idea that I just want security and something to attach to. I know the Buddhist would say attachment is the cause of suffering. So I’m hoping to learn to let go of expectations, and grasping so hard for what might not ever be there.December 27, 2019 at 1:53 pm #329855
Also I know you may not have all the answers right now but I’m suprised at how often you do. It is amazing the quality of help you give thanks againDecember 27, 2019 at 1:52 pm #329853
So then what to do with this desperate feeling? Or rather how to soothe the desperation? I’m trying to be patient and find peace of mind, it may be a lifelong struggle I suppose, maybe the need to feel love is just my burden to bear in this life. I sure hope that there is hope that one day love might be more accessible to me when I need it. Again i am grateful for people like you and my therapist who feel like an endless well of compassion towards me, I’m glad you’re here for me and the others on this forum. i can function in this misery and hopelessness, even help others from this place, but I’d rather not. I’d rather live with peace and love