Forum Replies Created
November 28, 2018 at 6:47 am #262543
Well we came to learn from one another, I’ve learnt and healed a lot thanks to your care and attention.
Now I hope it is your turn to learn from me.
It makes me sad to see you withdraw at the very moment in which our interactions have the opportunity to deepen. I accept this is what you wish.
All humans have propensity to project themselves into others. Their situations and so forth – that is exactly why giving advice (as you do) is such a challenge. Much of what you say is not wrong.
This is the only example I have to go on but please – it is a case study and therefore, a reflection of wider patterns of thinking. Which is why I suggest we examine it. I am going to explain why it was problematic and demonstrate an alternative mode of thought. Thinking such things allows us to come around to believe them. Meditation with metta.
There were many other “Ifs” in your statement- sufficiently so as to rule out any possibility other than the two outcomes you outlined. In your statement you drew up a set of circumstances in where your two presented options were the only realistic possibility. (Either he does not care or he wants to make you suffer.)
My suggestion is that this interpretation, is in fact a reflection of your own worldview and therefore worth examining. To me, such thinking is indicative of the same anxious-attatchment style which I suffer from. Even now, with all the inner work you have done, this feeling still prejudices you. Something to be conscious of while advising others. Raising this issue felt like the honest and responsible thing to do: after all, how is one to learn otherwise?
In actual fact I think the solution to my problem -and to this problem with Mr, if the chance ever arises- is to accept that these men who disappoint me are just as afraid as I. Only they cope with their fears in a very different way.
I have no reason to think that Mr does not care about me- he just has a pattern of withdrawal in relationships. He needs to retreat in order to feel safe. Ernstwhile: I’m on the anxious end of the spectrum, which provokes his withdrawing and intensifies my feelings. We stand in opposition to one another in this regard. We both leave feeling inadequate.
Let us look at Mr’s failure to respond with some compassion:
My words hurt him very much – so much that he lost his voice for two weeks. As his job relies on this, that is a serious matter indeed for him. He is afraid of being hurt again, there was a significant loss of trust. And he does not know how to deal with his fear, probably not even fully aware of it. I expect many women have been frustrated with him in the way I have, he probably feels at a loss in terms of how to cope with it. It hit upon an old deep wound of his that existed long before he met me. He is doing his best but anyone who had the same life experiences would feel as he. Retreating from uncertainty when the risks of suffering such pains again is the safest thing for him to do, in these circumstances. He probably misses me, wishes things had worked out differently, does not respond because he does not want to provoke a situation he cannot trust – the stakes are so high.
And of course, Anita: you are no exception to this extension of my compassion.
I forgive you for the hurt you reminded me of; the only reason you were able to do so at all was because I trust you and let you in. It is a wound of love. We cannot have one without the other. You have struggled and overcome many of the same issues as I, which is precisely why you have been such a good teacher all this while.
Thank you for curing me, Anita.
xxxNovember 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm #248545
Hope you are well.
I never asked you to leave me alone – you’ve healed far more than hurt. There are no grudges or ill-will from my end. You didn’t cause the hurt, it existed before you. We’ve both come here to learn – I from you and you from I. I simply felt it was important to tell you – I thought it was the honest thing to do.
I’d be sad if you decided to stop interacting with me, but if that is what you truly wish then ok.
-FeatheringNovember 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm #240413
No you don’t have that power: to make it just go away. But thanks.
I am just going to have to work through the difficult feelings. I am ok with doing this but as I said it is a concern because many people trust you on here and I see you go to great lengths to help many people here work through their difficulties.
However it struck me today that this comes with dangers. (I am assuming you are not a qualified therapist, at this point.) There are some things which are very triggering and some people are not stable – for example, someone like my sister would have reacted very badly to that comment. I can hack feeling shit but some people can’t and some people have some very destructive ways of trying to cope with their pain. Given the distance intervention is not possible in these cases.
“When reality is negative I figure better face it although I do agree with you that short term convenient thinking comes handy and has its place. Some denial of reality is helpful any day, I suppose, putting a positive spin of things so to keep going.”
I suggest your interpretation of convenient thinking has got muddled with band-aid/denial styles of thinking. That aside: those who are positive thinkers see more opportunities.
Reducing complicated human interactions to being wholly negative either/or black and white thinking is not reality. It is a style of thinking that is very self-focused and creates needless suffering. Of course: some situations and relationships are simply not up to scratch, some are damaging and should be ended. I’m not suggesting we deny reality by focusing only on the positive aspects of such relationships. I am suggesting a more balanced approach than a black and white mode of thought.
I’ll give some concrete examples for you–
For example: my mother failed to defend me when my dad basically bullied me growing up. However, she taught me to cook and made me lunch and dinner every day for many many years. She got angry when people in school bullied me. She will go out of her way to help me if I need, she dropped everything to come and sit with me in hospital last week.
The reality isn’t that my mother never loved me. The reality is that she is human and was a bit afraid of her husbands intensity, agreed with his sentiments if not his methods. She lacks confidence to do many things: this was one. She probably feels guilty.
And my dad? The reason he was such a twat when I was a kid was because he always knew I wanted to do art in my heart of hearts. And he knows -from his working class history- that the pay is crap and people bully you in the art world. Lo and behold: he is right. I cannot afford to sustain myself so I live with them. He tried to bully me out of it because he foresaw the long-term problems. Not great methods, but my well-being at heart.
The reality isn’t that he didn’t love me. The reality is that he’s human, autistic and unaware of his intensity when angry.
They both who have given me so much, how can I disrespect them -insult them- and claim they didn’t love me?
So yeah, you claim you want the ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ and yet reduce all these complications to simple answers.
Regarding Mr and his total lack of communication:
Its an indisputable fact that he hasn’t written back, no contest on that one. Honestly? The reasons I suspect he hasn’t written back are probably a combination of the following;-
He’s still seeing that other woman// He’s worried I am trying to push my own agenda of getting back together// He keeps telling me he likes his space, and how that is no reflection of his affections for a person – and so he is biding his time responding as a way to manage my expectations // He’s frequently overwhelmed and so responding to a situation he just isn’t sure about is too much.
Ernstwhile: the reality of him not responding for ME means I have to deal with my intense anxiety.
Sure, it isn’t a great outcome. It suggests at best a lack of communication (no shit, he’s not writing back) and at worst, a deep incompatibility in terms of romance. (I cannot tolerate the separation anxiety.) However to reduce it to “He doesn’t give a shit about you or wants to make you suffer” is ridiculous, self centered – there are two people in this situation. How am I supposed to improve my relationships with people if I am me me me me all the time? That was one of my biggest problems: I struggled to have empathy and put myself in the shoes of another. I made it all about me, what I want, and got angry.
-Feathering.November 22, 2018 at 11:54 am #240359
While I assume that you mean well, it is important for me to tell you that your last message hurt me.
I said your message hurt me: the truth is it uncovered that hurt part of myself – that part which my angry side protects. Sadly, that side of me wishes I were dead. I spent much of today having fantasies of either blowing my brains out with drugs so I didn’t have to feel this way anymore, only to remind myself that when I sobered up I would have to face it again. Fantasies of slitting by wrists and bleeding to death flitted in and out of my mind afterwards. I’ve been aware of this side to myself and had issues with drugs and self harm in the past.
If it is ‘convenient thinking’ that prevents people from killing themselves, cutting themselves, sliding into drug addictions: then sure as hell I will take it.
You ought to be more careful with your words. Many people on here trust you with their most delicate feelings.
Now I will explain why I think your comment is problematic-
You create a false dichotomy: there could be many reasons why he might not reply or read my message. It isn’t reducible to either/or of two options – one of which is ‘you are not important to him’. This situation with Mr. is complicated as there has been a loss of trust on both sides. Sure, it doesn’t mean anything will go anywhere. But it does not follow that he doesn’t care about me full stop. Recently I avoided whatsapp out of my own issues with anxiety and not because the people I ignored were unimportant, or because I wanted to make them suffer.
What I am saying here is that such black and white thinking dismisses the complexities of our inner lives and cannot be reduced to either/or. Black and white reductionist thinking is terribly unhealthy.
Indeed: what a thing to say to someone with issues of anger tied into rejection: He either doesn’t care at all or he’s punishing you! (And then advising me to respond ‘without anger’.) You may as well poke an angry tiger with a stick, claim you’re giving it a healthy dose of the truth and advising it responds without anger.
It is interesting that you create extremes cases of the two positions. It is reminiscent of your claim that “I was not loved” by my parents as a child. Sure they fucked up on plenty of counts, but I still think they loved me. I know they love me now, even if I get on their nerves and they get on mine.
So, trusting that you mean well, I have to ask you:
What benefit do you feel there is to cultivating this kind of brutal negativity?
FeatheringNovember 21, 2018 at 1:02 am #239989
Its occurred to me that he may not want to interact with me anymore, which is why he hasn’t opened my message. ‘Forgiven but not forgotten’ if you will.
I thought our last interaction went really well but that doesn’t mean he wants to continue – he was very hurt by my words. 🙁November 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm #239933
I note its really hard not to text him about this one. The “urge to fix quickly” is going on internally- even though I know it is a terrible idea to try and discuss this matter over a text message. I guess this sore spot of ‘feeling ignored’ is sore indeed.
I just don’t get why he does it: he hasn’t done or said anything which suggests to me he wants to cut ties and yet he can be so lazy and slack with communication. It makes me question my choice to interact with him at all when he does this.
My toxic ex who was probably cheating on me used to do this frequently and it drove me nuts. I had no idea how to address it: he just made me feel to be unreasonable for having the expectation that he would respond. (He’d blame his work, the weather, his socks, whatever. I was stupid enough to continue to allow it.)
Previously I just got angry but didn’t say anything, no wonder I became a bit toxic to be around.November 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm #239929
….. yeah should probably hold off on that one until we can see each other in person again. That isn’t a conversation to have over text message. xNovember 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm #239891
She does behave like a child at times. We all do, I do.
Maybe I should write these angry letters like I am 5 years old.
You are right Mr would appreciate the yoga classes for his birthday very much.
Meanwhile I’d like to consider if I could gently raise this issue of him sometimes not responding to me at all, as it does hurt me and creates resentment since I don’t know what to expect from him. Of course I don’t expect him to be on hand by his phone constantly- but I don’t understand why I sometimes get missed out. Its probably a simple case of asking kindly at a good moment.
-F xxNovember 20, 2018 at 11:40 am #239281
Forgive me but I’m not clear by what you mean with regards to this:
You repeatedly refer to your mother as a child, “like a petulant child” you wrote in your recent post. I think this is part of you… making believe that you are far and above and removed from all this, and this is why you use the term “massive trauma” (in your recent post) to describe your relationship not with your mother (or father, or sister) but with your two boyfriends.
xxNovember 20, 2018 at 10:56 am #238719
Hope you are well. 🙂 Thanks once again for your messages, which are always thought-provoking.
I mean sure – I can meditate on all the things my mother does, and did, that made me angry. I’m sure that would be useful. I will admit that I have been slack this last week on the whole self-reflection thing. It is easy to forget the underlying pain sometimes.
(My mother was very rude to my father at dinner tonight and I drew her attention to it. I said it was rude and asked if she was angry, she tried to frame it as a joke. I could tell otherwise from her tone of voice. She tried to turn it on me and ask if I was angry. Shortly after she made a snide comment about me and my recent health scare, chewing on her food like a petulant child. It was muttered beneath her breath.)
So sure, I’ll get making that list or letter about my mother, and see where that takes me.
I might as well do one about my father (although I already talked of him in therapy for a long time…) one for my sister (!!) one for my first ever boyfriend (massive trauma there) and one for my most recent boyfriend. (who as far as I am can tell, was cheating on me with his ex. Again: massive trauma.)
Not sure about the holding people account bit though – I think we are probably in agreement that my mother in particular is unlikely to change if I tried to talk to her about these things. Do you think that simply the letter writing itself is an act of holding people account?
And while this activity might take the sting out of the hurt that Mr has basically rejected my bid to connect emotionally with him, now I am not sure how to proceed on that issue.
He does this from time to time: my messages go unopened until I send another. I don’t know why. It isn’t the same as that time he gave me silent treatment- when he did get back to me after that he explained he felt the urge to distance himself because he thought I was being passive-aggressive. (Indeed the same remark that led him to claim my ‘friendship was not very friendly’)
It is his birthday in a few days and I would like to get him something. I considered a yoga course earlier today, but I saw a musical event that he and I would both enjoy, maybe that would be better as we can go together?
It is a month away from now so I would have time to ‘get my head together’ a bit more.
-FeatheringNovember 20, 2018 at 10:13 am #238699
Did he offer any reasons or explanations?November 20, 2018 at 3:39 am #238625
It is his birthday soon. I want to do something nice, something that shows I care but I don’t want to do something that is over-the-top or will make him feel pressured. He likes yoga but doesn’t have the spare cash to pay for a class so I considered booking him a 3 week pass to a yoga studio- he can go as much as he likes for 3 weeks.
Since I was on a peacemaking mission when we met we didn’t really discuss the future or anything (“Shall we be friends/Can we be friends/What do you want from this?” That conversation did not happen.)
So I’m in a place of uncertainty with this right now. Instinctively I beleive it went well- I left the interaction happy and confident. But that anxious/angry/afraid side of me is struggling with the uncertainty and the old patterns of thoughts are arising. So for example he has been online several times but not responded to the message I sent him yesterday- or even opened it. I’ve turned that setting off my phone now – nobody can see when I’ve been online or read messages and I cannot see theirs either. Detaching myself from that whole thought process is possibly what is healthy.
On the one hand I appreciate it will probably take time for him to relax properly in the relationship (I did really hurt him with my words, he was stressed out and lost his voice for 2 weeks! A real blow for him as a singing teacher) so I ought to be patient.
The angry/anxious side is telling me my expectations are not being met so I should bail to avoid getting hurt. Its hard to know which to listen to. It does hurt a bit that he hasn’t written back. 🙁
Maybe it was a bad idea to message him after all.
I just felt like things went well and I wanted to talk to him again.
I believe I can cope with the difficult feelings: but not sure how to deal with my interactions with him. I am too conflicted again to be able to act with clarity.November 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm #238519
Well: living with one’s parents. A time to be mindful and challenge those very behaviors, no? An opportunity for growth.
Despite their ‘hands off’ approach being hard when I was younger: it has given me a strength in my adult years.
I will have to take out a loan, but by studying part-time and working alongside my studies I can keep this to a minimum. (And enjoy the studying for longer!)
Today I could not resist texting Mr. I am working on an artistic project based on one of his favourite stories, a theatrical production of an Oscar Wilde story. Happily I am a key artist on the project. 😀 Currently I am about to start work on the principle costume for the main character, I have not read this story so asked him about this character. (Bad that I left it too late to read it!) He takes ages to reply sometimes.
-FNovember 19, 2018 at 1:50 pm #238517
Sounds like she likes you a lot but she’s tied up with her exam stuff at the moment.
The best relationships take time to develop. Keep going. 🙂November 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm #238503
He sounds difficult and confused.