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I relate to what you have shared as well. I still can’t always feel the warm feelings, but am putting down a few things that helped me feel them more.
1. Movement while focusing on the breath – yoga and dance both really helped with this, but with teachers who are focused on creating a connection between mind, body and breath. I like yoga with Adrienne on youtube for this purpose.
2. There are certain types of meditation practices that focus on cultivating soft qualities – compassion, joy, gratitude. Center for mindful self compassion has some links to practices. I did a course with one of their teachers in my city which really opened up my ability to have softer feelings for myself and others.
4. Spending time with people (well 2 people) in close capacity who feel and express these softer feelings
There were other things too, like inner child work which is hard for me to describe. But all of this is over a period 4 years, which is to say it takes time to break away the layers of defenses we have built up.
Hi Inky and Anita,
I am sorry for disappearing. I just wanted to let to know you that I read/appreciated your replies. It just felt like the issues were too big for me to manage at the time (and still feel so) so I blocked them out. Hope you’re both well!
Hi back again lol. Anita I also wanted to update you on living with mum situation. I have been letting her know more and more how her behavior impacts me. She has started doing these small very self conscious physical affection gestures. She communicates her needs instead of giving me the silent treatment for days. If she is angry or upset and not communicating her needs, she still doesn’t stop communication but does get to her needs eventually. Our dynamic has improved a lot. She sometimes still says minimizing things, but I am able to stand up for myself with her. I do still need my own place because that is still better for me and seeing my dad everyday is still very triggering for me. But just an update.
I noticed when I was living abroad that I would stop myself from going out. I would just stay frozen in my room. And I am wondering if that is what is happening now. Since my mom the critic has become quieter, my inner critic has filled the vacuum with aplomb.
Hi Peggy and Anita,
Thanks for your replies!
Peggy, I do find the shallow breathing advice helpful! I will try to apply it. I am anemic, and need to deal with that (when I have the energy for it ironically.)
Anita, those are not possible for me right now. Moving out is something that I am working towards, but the lack of energy is getting in the way (Dont have energy -> cant work -> no salary -> cant move out). I am trying my best to continue showing up at work but it is hard right now. And I dont have enough money to cover rent at the moment.
About the therapist, I have been looking online and asking friends and contacting everyone I can find. However, the one with the earliest availibility cant see me till october. Because I am feeling unable to do all these things I know I need to be doing I am feeling worse and hopeless and like I cant pull through till october.
I’ve been trying to apply this as best as I can at the moment (creating space and a routine separate from her in the house with boundaries around how much time I spend with her rather than just waiting for her to tell me to do things. Just an update.
Thanks for sharing your experience with me.Yes, that did happen when I was a child. I saw my mother was unable to deal with the world around her or my father and tried to step in and be the adult and I still feel that way about my mum (she is unable to care for herself). Yet she did in the ten months I was away. I can see my dads behavior clearly as abuse, but it is hard for me to see my mums behavior that way. I think we are very enmeshed. It has always been hard for me to imagine a life in my city not with my parents or moving abroad permanently but I have been thinking about it and trying to imagine it in the last few days.
I have been thinking more about your last post. I think I do not clearly see my mom. I still fear abandonment by her and I try to get as far away as I can without jeopardizing the relationship. I will try to work on this.
About your question, I don’t know if electronic security will make me feel safer but there is safety in numbers. Maybe I can get an apartment with a friend or in a gated community.
Thanks again for your reply and your words of support.
I just realized I may have been unclear about this. In six months I will financially be able to move out to a different appartment in my city. With this I am scared of sexual assault as women living alone are seen as easy and acceptable targets in my society. In two years, I will be able to work outside the country as my scholarship requirements will be met then. However, my Impact in my own society will be greater than I can make elsewhere (because my health related field is just taking off here but is already well established wlsewhere)
thanks for replying!
i call and talk via recorded video and audio messages with my boyfriend. I am scared of losing myself in my relationship with him as I am unable to control not focusing solely on him. When saying goodbye, we had considered traveling back to the us after two years to pick things up again. I am scared of going back to another abusive situation and also of abandoning my family (and the start of my precareer ) for him.My concerns with him had mostly been around respecting physical boundaries. However, I am not sure what I communicated that he ignored and what I didn’t communicate. For example, when we would goof off physically (play fights,he would pick me up , tickling etc) and I would say no no no, it was an automatic response and I would actually enjoy the situation. However, a couple of times I was genuinely scared and said no and he didn’t stop until I said it a few times stressing it more. After I came home I became concerned that he doesn’t stop when I say no and that is a problem. However, I was confused because the physical interaction mostly felt healthy and fun to me and healing too because I have always wanted to play fight since childhood but was afraid of being aggressive even in play. My other doubts are around similar things.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by greenshade.
Thanks for replying.
I think you are right. I did not want to come
back, but had to due to financial and visa related reasons. Before coming back, I had been considering if I can move back out in six months after I start working again (my trip abroad was a study trip and depleted all my savings). Since I have come back however, that seems harder. I have fallen into the old role of my life revolving around my mum and my primary focus (which had shifted to building a healthy happy life for myself ) has shifted back to taking care of my parents and wanting to see my mom happy. My doubts about my relationship grew exponentially after coming back home. My mum feels like my life and I don’t wish to abandon her (is what I am feeling) and that makes it harder for me to have motivation to move out again as I had previously planned (and in truth I also want to avoid a scene. I don’t think I can move out without hurting my mum or making her angry). There is calm at home rn and that also makes it seem unreasonable to me that I want to move out (it is almost unheard of in my culture). After two years (when my work abroad restrictions end) I was thinking of going back to my life with my boyfriend but right now that feels far off and not real. I don’t know. I am definitely feeling like I have moved backwards since coming home.
Just bumping this thread as I am feeling quite distressed by this issue, and am at a loss as to how I can address it.
Thanks for your reply. For reasons of fear of safety, cultural appropriateness and differences in my own values, life goals and preferred family structure with local values I don’t date locally. There are a few people I have tried with who shared my values but they all had temper or addiction issues or their ego turned me off. I am in this country for at least the next two years. My reason for interest in maintaining this relationship is that it “fills my cup” in a way that I haven’t really experienced before and now that I know what it feels like I don’t want to go back to having no one in my life who is a source of comfort happiness and joy. Two years feels like a long time to be without those things. I have friends but having a partner feels different.
My own concern is around the fact that I feel unable to detect red flags and protect myself in this or relationships in the future. In this case, I either did not detect red flags early enough and things have the potential to be abusive or I am inaccurately painting this guy in the same light as my dad and not knowing what the reality is feels distressing to me. Even if I end this relationship, I would want to end it on a positive note (if that is the reality) and not on the note of feeling taking advantage of and manipulated (unless that is the reality).
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by greenshade.
The incident itself is concerning, but his response to it is even more so.
“I told him I was not comfortable with them being our godparents. And he told me to get over it because he won’t change it, he is the one taking decisions and he won’t let them out”. This is a major life decision that requires your input. It is not right for him to make this decision on his own.
“He told me he wouldn’t discuss anything and I was wasting his time.” It is important to discuss any and all problems that occur in the relationship so that resentment and anger don’t build and so that his and your needs are met. You need to be able to voice your concerns and have them heard.
These are definitely red flags and should not be ignored. I would definitely take time to think before taking the relationship further.
Thank you for your kind replies!
Gj, It might be a mix of both shame and regret. I agree that I feel like I am stepping outside the roll prescribed for me when I express my needs- who am I to speak up? is what my brain says. I wish I could accept a more assertive me. Thanks thou, for validating that my needs are important.
Inky, I can read your words and realize that in an ideal world that is how I would like to feel. It is difficult for me to internalize them however, or think or feel that way. The thing is, I know I’m on to a good thing with both my job and my relationship so I do not want to lose them and want to thrive in both, but my fear of rocking the boat, and having others notice me or my needs, or not be receptive to what I have to say makes me stay silent and then second guess and doubt my own concerns until I feel like I’m imagining things, (I basically gas light myself) , and then I cant raise issues with any conviction or confidence. I don’t really know how to stop doing this, or getting to the place of feeling like I believe the things you have said. Thank you for saying them anyway <3.
Thanks for your reply!
I guess I don’t want to stay away from someone who may be decent if my system is malfunctioning, which it somestimes does, and creates monsters where there may be none. But I guess you are right, my safety is more important than giving people a chance, and there have been other people who have NOT set off my alarm bells.
Some of the things I can think of that were different was I guess the type of dancing (I love dancing, and its part of how I bond with some of my friends because we know the same music and the same moves, but these people had different moves and I felt I couldn’t establish that back and forth), and the other might be that I didn’t have a safe person to go and relax by when the party became overwhelming, which I have had at parties in the past, because I usually go with a close friend. Those don’t seem like major things, but their the ones I can think of!