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Hi Anita. I hope you are having a nice weekend. I’m glad you told me that. I always figured that the longer we held on to those false beliefs about ourselves, the more ingrained it gets and harder it would be to change. That gives me hope, that at my age I can still make it. For me, around age 55 I started doing a lot of self reflection, which is normal at our age, and was not happy with the way much of my life had gone. I had been living timidly and in constant fear of rejection. I was tired of carrying around this emotional burden. I started doing some research on self esteem and found that its the thing that guides the way we live. I can look back at every big regret I have and see that my lack of self esteem was a major factor in the choices I made. I could either stay stuck on these past mistakes or try to heal and make some positive changes. Its hard for both of us, which makes us connected in a way. I had always felt isolated with my emotional problems. Its nice to find and communicate with someone that is fighting the same demons. Bye for now,
Hi Sharee. Thank you so much for your kind words and letting me know about “The Work”. I will definitely check it out. You are right; I have a bad habit of focusing on negatives things that reinforce this false belief and ignore the positives. Many times over the years I would let these negative thoughts swirl around my brain like an endless loop. Being an introvert, it is like living inside my head. I know I have positive qualities and accomplishments that I should focus on to balance things out. Again I want to thank you for your help and support.
Hi Anita. You mentioned your “inner girl” and how she felt defective and rejected. I know first hand how hard that is for a child to deal with emotionally and how it can leave lifelong scars. I really hope you’ve experienced love and acceptance as an adult, so “she” could heal and shine.
Because I kept the shame locked inside for so many years, its been tough to change that negative core belief. I’ve been making progress however in the last 5 years so that the feelings of shame are not as frequent nor as intense. I was so stressed out over guarding my secret and living a lie, that I knew something had to change. I started the healing 5 years ago by thinking about it more rationally. I was living to please society at the expense of my own happiness. I didn’t have a wife and kids so I wouldn’t be hurting anybody. The way I express my gender identity has nothing to do with my character or integrity. I had even volunteered and served in the military for several years. I proved to society that I could succeed if need be in a masculine role. This rational thinking led me to the realization that I had earned the right to be my authentic self. Then I started telling some long time trusted friends and nobody rejected me. There was some surprise and even shock, but not one person rejected me. That has been the thing I try to focus on when those demons pop up from time to time. Its still a work in progress and I’m so appreciative of your help and support. Talk to you again soon.
Anita I have a lot to say in response. I’ve been swamped the last few days and I want to give it the time it deserves. I hope you are doing well and I’ll talk to you in a day or two. Bye for now.
Hi Anita. Hope you are having a nice weekend. Yes I am lucky that I get some of the sounds of nature. I live in a quiet townhouse complex with some woods and a small creek right behind me. I am learning to be aware of and really appreciate the quiet sounds of nature early in the morning. And also I’m taking in the sight of the morning sunlight shining against the green trees. I’ve taken trips before to see grand nature settings but I’m learning that I can take in nature’s beauty right here at home on a daily basis.
I’m sure that special morning you had at the friends house will never be forgotten. To experience what its like to wake up in a quiet, loving home. I just wish it could have been like that for you all the time, in your own house.
Thanks for your insight about core beliefs. I’m my case, I first felt something different about me at age 5. My core belief became that I was “defective” and therefore unworthy of acceptance. I became terrified of rejection so I guess thats why I was too scared to tell anybody. I still have a lot of that “fear of rejection” to this day. Maybe if I make good progress on my mindful relationship with my shame emotions, it will carry over into changing that core belief.
Bye for now,
Hi Magneto. I would first ask; are you getting enough sleep? Exercise is one of my priorities and I do it first thing in the morning when I’m fresh. But I make the choice to turn the the TV or computer off at the same time each night so as to get my 8 hours sleep. Also, sometimes when we jump into something, we try to do too much too soon. Endurance takes a while to build so your swimming should start off at an easy enough pace so that you are not exhausted when finished. If you are new to exercise then a gradual increase is the best way. I hope this helps and good luck!
Hi James. In my case, perfectionism developed in my teens as a result of my very low self esteem. Because I felt I was inferior to my peers, I felt I had to become this “perfect” person in order to measure up. The pressure of not making mistakes or being judged negatively is what leads to the anxiety and paralysis. Keep talking with your therapist and see if low self esteem is involved. Best of luck James!
Hi James. In your post on June 7th you said two things that gave me a clue as to why you are stuck. You said you are afraid to play Warmachine because you might lose and also you said you get very stressed out at things not going well. Both of these are signs of “Perfectionism”. I’ve had this problem for many years and it can be paralyzing. It keeps you stuck because you procrastinate on or fear taking a risk. The fear of it not turning out perfectly keeps you from even trying. I’ve made some progress in my own life by realizing that no matter how hard we wish or in spite of our best efforts, events are not always going to turn out the way we want. If this sounds like you I would recommend doing some research on perfectionism. Hope this helps!
Hi Bethany. Thank you for your insight. I was under the impression that core beliefs could be changed. Am I wrong or does is just take many years?
Hi Anita. Thanks for checking on me. I’m doing better. I wanted to tell you about something I read in the book that I’m practicing. He talks about becoming more aware of what your feeling during periods of silence. I’ve never liked being alone and silence during the day always made me feel worse. I would have the TV on all day just for the backround noise and help me feel less alone. Now, first thing in the morning I open the back door instead of turning on the TV. I’m listening and becoming aware of the sounds of nature. I do this for at least a half hour and what a pleasant way to start the day. I used to be afraid of the silence but now I’m finding it very peaceful by becoming more aware. One step at a time. Hope you are well.
Hi Anita. I hope you are doing well today. Thank you for making me feel better about not telling my mother. I’ve been stuck on that regret for a long time. I can’t go back and change it, so its better to let it go and move on. I was reading one of your other responses where you went into much detail about your abusive mother and that your father left when you were young. I can’t imagine how painful that must have been for a young girl. I feel bad that I’ve been talking about how loving my parents were when you never got to experience that. I apologize if I made you feel worse.
I was rereading some of the early parts of the book to gain a better understanding of mindfulness. At first I thought it was just becoming more aware of the moment, but now I understand it is accepting whatever I’m feeling whether its good or bad. Its not accepting the joyful moments but pushing away the painful ones. Its accepting the negative emotions just as much as I would the positive ones. Am I right? He also states that in time you can do more than accept; you can actually embrace. That one is going to take some work. Do you practice meditation at all? I have yet to try it but I’m determined to give a fair chance. I also want to start journaling. I’ve heard that by writing it out helps a great deal. Please post again soon.
Matt thank you very much for your compassionate and uplifting words. I wish I could have seen it that way many years ago instead of letting society ruin my self esteem. Although I still struggle, its not nearly as bad as it was growing up. The internet was a big help to me as I found out I was not the only one and could communicate with others like me. I’m healing and still have hope which is the important thing. Thank you again Matt.
Hi Anita. Thank you so much for taking the time to find a post from years ago. It was very informative. and I appreciate it. Some TG people are so certain that their soul is in the wrong type of body that they have to take hormones and have surgical procedures in order calm their emotional turmoil. I’m not at that point and I may never be. I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t feel totally male nor totally female although I prefer female clothing. Some days my masculine side is a little more dominant and other days my feminine side is more dominant. That used to bother me a lot; the uncertainty of what that makes me. I’ve been able to take a more “go with the flow” attitude the last few years which has eased the pressure of finding a definitive label.
You mentioned my parents. Yes, my shame was so great that I was terrified of telling them no matter how loving they were. One time my mom gave me the perfect opening and I didn’t take it. I was in my senior year of high school and had only been on 2 dates my entire high school years. It was my low self esteem and social anxiety that was the reason but she sat me down one day, and in a very calm voice, asked me if I was gay. I told her I wasn’t (which is true) but instead of taking the opening to tell her my secret, I froze and changed the subject. I always regret that because I know that letting it out then would have been so helpful to me. With their help I could have avoided many more years of guilt and shame.
I know exactly what you mean about mental hijacking. If my mind wanders, many times it will automatically start reliving painful experiences (I was teased and bullied in school a lot) and then it will replay this experience over and over until something gets my attention. Thats where I’m hoping this book is really going to help. I glad its helping you also. Take care.
Hi Bren. I believe Janice and Olgak are one the right track. When we have strong emotion turmoil going on, we find something that numbs the pain, makes us feel better, then we do it excessively. It can be drugs, alcohol, food, work, sex, ect. Thats how addictions start. The problem is, its only a temporary fix. It sounds like you have made some positive changes already with the exercise and cutting out alcohol. Don’t be too hard on yourself and take it one step at a time. Good luck!!
Hi Anita. Thank you for your kind wishes. I can tell you are a caring and compassionate person from the way you have responded to me and others on this site. I don’t want you to think that my life has been complete torture because of this. I’ve been lucky and blessed in other areas of my life for which I am grateful. I grew up with loving parents in a stable environment. I wish I had told them my secret and the shame I was feeling because I know they would have gotten me some help. This is a big regret of mine because keeping it locked up inside for so many years was harmful. I’ve also had a secure job and very good physical health over the years. Its been like a roller coaster; some very low points but also some very high points. My worst years were my teenage years as my guilt and shame led to social anxiety and OCD. Of course this was way before the internet so for many years I didn’t understand what I was and thought I was the only one with this “defect”.
I’m sorry you went through so much pain at such a young age and had to live with such intense shame for so long. I am so glad that you have found a really helpful therapist and that you are healing. Although we had different issues that caused it, its amazing how our feelings of guilt and shame were so similar. Have you picked up any new info from the book I told you about?
Hi Anita. I’m so glad it is helping you. Muscle tension and clenched fists are a sure sign of inner turmoil and anxiety. I’ve had anxiety and OCD for many years and I find my hands become very fidgety when I’m under stress. As far as my shame goes I don’t think I know exactly where in my body I feel it. If I were to guess, I would say emotions are felt in the heart? I always felt I was a reject from society and the feeling of shame makes me feel disgusted with myself. Also a lot of self loathing and guilt. I’ve tried psychotherapists which helped a little. None of them ever mentioned mindfulness. I have hope for this.