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Viewing 12 posts - 256 through 267 (of 267 total)
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  • in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160830
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks again for the responses, reading through these is really helping me externalize some of my issues.

    Anita

    As much as I hate to admit it I think your spot on in regards to me not receiving love. Though I know my parents loved me as a child and still do, I didn’t feel and receive it. Probably because they did not receive the love they deserved as children, and they did not know how to properly express love and care for my emotional needs as a child. I believe what Love meant to them was providing me with basic needs. As I grow older, I can see the co-dependence within their relationship, and it explains a lot for why I turned out the way I did, and my sister too in her relationships.

    As far as the guilt I feel for currently receiving love from my mom and sister, the way you explained it is very helpful and the guilt is indeed unjustified. Essentially what your saying is how could I know how to receive and feel love now if I was never taught how? If so that makes a lot of sense to me.

    For me its just hard sometimes to blame my parents for all of my emotional problems, because I know they did their best with what little emotional intelligence, and self awareness they possessed, yes they made a lot of mistakes, but I’m still grateful for them and wouldn’t have it any other way. If I never went through all that crap I would have never gotten into social work and counseling as a profession to help others in similar situations see what is possible. I’m hoping i’m going to be the one to break the cycle in my family.

    Tatjiana

    “you want to be loved, yet you think that’s completely incompatible with being a good person. Cause in your head, a good person is someone who gives, not someone who receives”

    Again spot on, not in regards to other people though this only applies to me. I know plenty of good people who receive, but when it comes to me there is a stark double standard I apply to myself. I don’t want to be a recipient because subconsciously I know how it feels to love (give) and not receive it back, therefore I give as much as possible. As far as the girl we aren’t going to continue dating unfortunately, i don’t know if that was clear in my first post. It really hurts me though because I think had her circumstances been different there could have been something great there. Which is not a feeling I have had with most women I’ve dated since my first girlfriend. The fact that I only got to see her twice before she called it off, hurts bad too, because it was giving me something to look forward to, and now I don’t have much to look forward to at this point. Work has been helping though being on a bicycle for work requires me to tune out my thoughts and be present, i just dread coming home.

     

     

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160730
    noname
    Participant

    Eliana

    Thank you for sharing your story with me, it is often helpful for me to know I am not the only one struggling with these types of issues, and that healing is possible. In regards to RAD when my therapist first started seeing me that was one of his early tentative diagnosis. Although, I don’t really feel having a name or specific diagnosis is important to what I am going through, obviously something went wrong with my childhood in terms of lack of love. I still just feel so guilty blaming my parents sometimes, because they had their own issues, and I know they did their best, they just weren’t ready to be raising children.

    As far as how my early childhood has affected my current relationships (or lack thereof) I find myself getting really emotionally invested in whoever i’m dating, even something as short as a few weeks has the potential to completely floor me because I am so desperate for love, and the hope is what hurts the most. I don’t let my desperation show like I used to, i’m not blowing up peoples phones, or trying to spend everyday with the person. At this point I understand I need to patient and take things slowly if I really want a strong bond with someone. It’s just that right now I need some relief, that’s why I used to smoke so much weed, and cut myself, it was like a hug from the inside out. Of course that is only temporary however, and the problem returns.

    I’ve been learning to love myself over the past few years since me and my first Ex broke up, it has been tough but i have stopped cutting, i no longer smoke everyday, I don’t stay in bed all day, i take care of my body, meditate, reach out to people, etc. I’ve gotten really good at putting one foot in front of the other, even this morning I was sobbing while cooking breakfast, and getting ready to go to work, but i’m going to do it, and i’m going to show love today.

    Anita

    I guess sometimes I just need some attention, I need for someone to be like “damn, your pretty amazing for going through all that and still standing”. To Anita’s earlier point In a way I guess that is what love feels like to me, it feels like support, admiration, or recognition, I’m not sure if that’s correct or not, but that’s what i think love is.

    I don’t know what you mean by where it is and where it is not? I know love is within me because i share it as much as possible, love for myself is a little more difficult. I don’t quite know where love isn’t because I believe we all have love within us, just some have a harder time accessing than others. Though, I feel like I have the potential to love even when I’m depressed, does that alone make me worth being loved?

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160660
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yes that is correct whenever my family tells me they love me, I know they mean it, but then I start to feel guilty mainly because I feel as if it’s not enough and I need more than just the love from my family.

    The only time I can remember feeling love was with my first girlfriend of 5 years. She used to tell me she loved me at first I didn’t believe it, but soon I was able to feel it, I say the first year we were together was probably the happiest i’d ever been in my life, I loved having someone who cared how I was doing every single day, and I loved caring for her too. The best part about being in love was that I knew I had someone in my corner, who no matter how much i messed up always saw the good in me even when i couldn’t see it in myself. It also gave me something to look forward to when things weren’t going so well. There was nothing like that phone call right before bed to clear my mind and put things in perspective. That feeling faded throughout the years though.

    I can admit that I did not feel worthy of her love then, and I still don’t feel worthy of love now, although objectively I believe I and every being on this planet deserves it, I myself don’t feel worthy and have never felt worthy of love. I don’t think i deserve it, but I desperately want to love and care for others, (probably so they wont abandon me, i know this is a bad trait for a future counselor to have). Every person I interact with on a daily basis be it at work, in class, on the street, I always try my best to show them love in some way.

    Eliana

    Even though I love my parents very much, honestly I did not always feel loved by them, i mean they kept food on the table, roof over our head, etc. But the majority of my childhood was spent in isolation while my mom was depressed, and my dad worked way too much. I’m no stranger to trauma i witnessed some intense domestic fights, lots of broken glass and furniture, I’ve been knocked out cold by my dad once, arrested and harassed by police, had knives pulled on me, etc. Your average story growing up in the hood basically. It wasn’t even until a couple years ago i knew that was even trauma, i just thought it was normal, until i got to college and seen the huge gap between working class kids and middle and upper class kids.

    When I say loser, i was just using it as synonym for someone who has nothing going for them, a loner, an outcast, which I do consider myself to be honestly. I personally don’t use the word in reference to others (except apparently in my own head to describe myself as I am my own worst enemy).

    in reply to: Getting back in the game (dating) #153026
    noname
    Participant

    So I have really been having a tough week, just thinking about dating and making attempts makes me very depressed. I have been very angry with myself, something I have a long history with. I have been having at least two severe crying episodes per day usually before going to sleep and trying to get out of bed. The silver lining is that I somehow have managed to drag my ass out of bed and keep my routine (eating, exercise, classes, hygiene etc.) in the past I would probably have stayed in bed all day without eating as long as possible. I know my life has meaning beyond my own happiness, so I use that keep me going when things get tough as I’m prone to suicidal thoughts, and feeling hopeless.

    So in the past week the effort I have made in regards to attempted dating so far has been 1.) setting up an online dating profile, then deleting it as of this morning. 2.) thinking about people i would potentially like to get close to then coming up with reasons for why it wouldn’t work.

    It took years of work for me to get the point where I am now, I went from having about 2 friends that i could hang with to now having about 5-6. The thing is they are all male and i continue to notice that i a probably come off very impersonal towards women or quiet out of fear.

    Knowing my tendency to clam up around women, I am looking to backtrack quite a bit, and kind of put the goal of getting a date on the backburner, similar to what you guys were suggesting. I am asking for help and some potential measurable goals of interacting with women that could help me break out of this habit. When trying to come up with goals by myself I get overwhelmed which leads to self-hate, then depression. I feel very creepy complimenting women on their looks, or giving them any praise whatsoever, as i feel as if i’m somehow being another superficial man. So if anybody has any simple ideas i could try this week please let me know.

    in reply to: Getting back in the game (dating) #152618
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your replies and sharing.

    I have actually been focusing on making friends male or female, and deepening the relationships i do have, though i must admit i have no close female friends mainly because most of my interest tend to be male dominated, with the exception of my profession/classes which is female dominated field. I’ve never really felt comfortable asking a woman to hangout platonically because I feel there is always a tension there.

     

    in reply to: My spark is gone #146723
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks very much J and Anita,

    I have been hesitant to post lately, only because I feel my problems aren’t really that bad, and I have been trying to kind of pick myself up lately, as the therapist I have been seeing for the past 2 years is in the process of opening a new practice and I haven’t been able to see him either, even though I was only going once every couple of months at this point anyway.

    In regards to J, I agree with you that my spark or motivation is somewhere within me I feel it every now and then, mostly in the company of others, however as i’m quite introverted it is always a struggle for me to be around people for too long. I have been using this break to examine myself, and it has led me to understand how uncomfortable I am being alone, though I have almost reached a state of acceptance as of late, as we are undoubtedly alone in this life.

    To Anita, I have talked with my parents about our family dynamic growing up, and they both acknowledged that they may have put too much pressure on me as a child and neglected my emotional health in various ways. I forgave them and I feel they were doing the best they could as they both came from tough backgrounds as well. As an adult my parents have been more concerned about me than when I was younger, and it feels as if i’m finally being nurtured for the first time, I always tell people when they ask about my childhood that i was the adult in the house, in the sense that i took care of everyone’s feelings and acted as a mediator on many occasions, I was very calculated in expressing my emotions which honestly i can barely remember doing. Though while my parents care is better late than never, some of my unhealthy coping strategies are strongly ingrained within me, the most difficult one to shake being social withdrawal or isolation. What makes me feel most alive is being able to be vulnerable with people and having that reciprocated back. However that is very hard to come by for me, the only people I feel safe enough to be completely open with is my mom and sister, but sometimes i do find myself not wanting to open up to my mom because she tends to start to tell me about her problems because my dad wont listen, and i cant take care of her forever. The other people in my life keep things very superficial, and when I try to push conversations deeper up go the walls so to speak.

    I suppose I still haven’t made enough progress connecting with myself to the point where I can feel motivated to live vigorously without much social contact. I hate to admit it but I still have trouble with believing that having a romantic relationship will help restore my spark and magically solve all my problems though I know that’s bullshit. As much as I would like to have a relationship with someone I do not feel it would be appropriate if I can’t be happy being with myself. I’m not sure what I need at this point. But thanks for the help and kind words.

    in reply to: Have You Experienced a Social Hangover? #140923
    noname
    Participant

    When I saw the title of this post I was immediately thought absolutely yes! I’ve always been introverted in the sense that I need alone time to ‘recharge’ after being around people for long periods of time. I used to ruminate alot during that time on things such as what I could have done differently, did I say the wrong thing, etc. The rumination was not productive and during a period of my life I was experiencing social anxiety pretty severely. I’m now better able to let go of the rumination and spend that alone time recharging doing things I enjoy like reading, meditation, or exercise. It was a hard thing for me to learn about myself that I only need to be around people in short spurts, since our culture pushes the idea that people who keep to themselves are somehow flawed. I find people to be stimulation and too much of it is tiring because it requires me to put on my ‘social costume’ so to speak, therefore when I’m in situations that I must be around people for extended periods of time (I.e. a week long family vacation) I’ve learned​ to either schedule time to myself to decompress or just remind myself to be my authentic self, so that wearing my ‘social costume’ does not wear me out. Sorry about the length of this post it’s just something I’ve been thinking alot on lately especially for the next time I enter into a romantic relationship as they often feel to me as if my space is crowded. I’m curious to see others thoughts and strategies on this topic.

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #140041
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you Anita and Jerry, very sound suggestions. I think alot of this feeling goes back to caring for others as a child. I still have 2 years of school left before I actually start practicing therapy and I’m working hard to learn how to give myself what I need before then, I think truly feeling self love is essential before doing this type of work for a living. Thanks again!

     

    in reply to: What is there to live for #139893
    noname
    Participant

    Csaba, I think what you’re experiencing is not unreasonable to any extent. I’m 24 years old and have had similar experience with life after college. I’ve realized from my short work history that as a talented young professional I had to be patient, even though it is at times very frustrating knowing you’ve got the skills to do more. What helped me was to stop seeking validation from superiors and co-workers, and surprisingly more opportunities began to present themselves when I got my eagerness under control and calmed my demeanor. What also helped me was being okay with doing something I love (despite low pay) and living simply and modestly, removing myself from the mindset of consumerism which had me searching for happiness and fulfillment outside myself (i.e. cars, houses, electronics, etc.)

    If you don’t mind me asking what would your life look like if you had it exactly as you desired?

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139883
    noname
    Participant

    Anita -That sounds like a very good practice for me, I would like to wait longer before having sex in my next relationship anyway, as the addict/escapist in me is always looking for opportunities to present itself.

    Thanks again for your responses if anyone has any thoughts on feeling deserving of love it would be appreciated. Though I have made a lot of progress in my self esteem and confidence, I had an experience last week that shook me and made me realize I still don’t quite feel worthy of love. One of my clients called me up to thank me for the work I had done for him through my job as a social worker (as it is my last month at said job) and to wish me well in my future. After I got off the phone I shut my office door and wept for a while, I had never experienced anything like that before, and felt as if I didn’t deserve any thanks (or love) for the work i had done, because I don’t do it for the thank you’s or to feel needed. I had a similar experience later that day when I dozed off in class and a class mate asked me if I was doing okay, hows life etc. I always felt as if its my job to care for others and it really threw me off when people who don’t have to, show concern for me. I’m not quite sure why I still don’t feel deserving of love even though I always preach that all people are deserving of love. I guess i’m trying to figure out what function this feeling has.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by noname.
    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139763
    noname
    Participant

    Anita, your spot on. Growing up my mom was very depressed and my dad had anger issues, one of my strongest memories from childhood was my dad telling me and my sister it was “our job to keep our mother happy” that’s alot for a 8 year old to take on, which contributed to my continuing lack of self care from that point on, trying to keep my mom happy and my dad calm was a very exhausting task. Ive worked through alot of my childhood coping mechanisms, but still find it popping up especially with women, which tends to trigger my “scared little boy” tactics to obtain love and safety. I’ve noticed Mindfulness almost always goes out the window whenever sexual energy is involved with me, yet other relationships in my life I’m able to very aware.

    Inky thank you for your response. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in interracial relationships here in the midsouth where I live, and very many of my family members have been in interracial relationships. I know it’s certainly a possibility. I guess what struck me is how I still harbor feelings of inadequacy, I feel as if I don’t really measure up to other men, as if I’m undesirable although I’m pretty confident that I’m probably what alot of women want/need in that I understand healthy relationships require vulnerability, and self care. Honestly some days I just wish I could flick a switch and turn off my desire for women because I find myself depending on it too much for my happiness.

     

     

     

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139731
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Anita. You pointed out a common pattern in my thinking I’ve been trying to improve, which is accepting imperfection in myself and others. I agree that all people are wounded to some degree. From merely existing suffering is inevitable. Even though the last relationship I was in was unhealthy I certainly learned alot about myself and what I’m attracted to, I’m trying to change the pattern of engaging in relationships with people whom I think I can help, which is really a selfish way of me obtaining love and security from others.

    Going back and reading my post again with your reflection also helped me realize being “fully healthy” without relationships is doing myself a disservice by not allowing me to explore the feelings that others bring up inside me due to their presence. I do think I need to take a break from romance but platonic relationships don’t always have the same risk/vulnerability involved that romantic ones do to allow for deep self exploration.

    Thank you

     

Viewing 12 posts - 256 through 267 (of 267 total)