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Sofioula

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  • #365648
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita ☀️💕

    Although it is a real hard process, I’m trying each day to find courage and make choices without the fear of mistakes. I know my folks won’t change, it’s up to me to change myself. But even with saying that, I don’t know exactly how.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Last night I found out my ex got his PhD and although I don’t want him ever again in my life and I’m no longer in love with him, it did hurt. He went on with his life and seemingly</p>
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>he succeeded while I have not. Thinking that I’m not evolving, that I’m behind in life is so much, I cannot breath at times. I don’t want to be a failure. 😔</p>

    #365542
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita 🌅☀️

    I can’t really tell anymore. It is true that I would love to have a stable job, get married and have kids and so do my parents. But the point is that this goal is eating me up psychologically. Then, although we might want the same things, it is the way I’ve been taught by them to get stressed about it or be criticized about it. Them being critical of my mistakes or alleged mistakes is what’s getting me up at night. The guilt tripping, the what ifs, put the ocd on top of all that, it is a bad combination.  Mistake = “death”

    I have a morbid fear of mistakes. They can never be reversed in my dad’s head and so in my head. The same was with my ex for a long time -> maybe he did truly love me but I was mistaken or ungrateful (etc) and maybe he was my only chance in love so that EQUALS I’m gonna be alone for the rest of my life.

    This is what happens with everything I ever did. Second guessing, guilt tripping, anxiety and horror. That’s why I don’t really know what I want. What if I don’t want good things? What if I’m gonna be alone forevermore?

    #365523
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good afternoon Anita! 🌻🌼

    I’m so sorry for my late response but I’ve been happily busy with the last days of my vacation.

    Yes they are crazy high, somewhat 350€ for a studio apartment and our minimum wage is 650€. Plus the fact the we have a brutal job crisis here since 2012. Most people live with their parents till they get married or have a better income but since the crisis started, whole families stay with the grandparents in order to survive. But I’m praying I’ll find a way.

    Although I do not feel inferior to my peers anymore, I do feel I’m left behind in life. That I’m wasting my life. That I’m not where I should be. Where my parents want me to be. This is a hard blow to my self worth. It’s my real struggle.

    #365214
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good evening Anita 🌸💕

    Of course I didn’t,you are right. Not do I tone down the severity of the matter. Even now as an adult, it is in fact way more painful because I realize how hurtful it’s been to my sense of trust towards my parents and my self image. Today I actually cried when I recalled a memory of such an event. It has created a big gap in the relationship I have with my dad. The more I realize, the more I remember, the more my adult mind processes the more distant I’ve become with him.

    Our relationship is balancing on a thin string. I know it, he knows it too. My hurt is unresolved and I have projected it as you very well pointed out to my romantic relationships. The bad thing is that I have to live with my parents. I want to escape my memories.

    #365105
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good morning Anita!☺️🌸

    To me, being brought up in the Greek culture, this doesn’t register as mistreatment. My father was never physical against my mother, God forbit. He has no tolerance for marrital abuse and ever since we were little he was advising us to never ever accept such a thing. He has anger issues that he too acknowledges. He did over the years try to be slow to anger and I have seen a big change in him.

    The incidents with me and my sister is typical of a Greek old school father. Parents nowadays in Greece are different but us millennials had lots of spanking and word shouting. 99% of my peers had the same childhood as me and now it’s a meme/ comedian topic in our country. But I’m really glad it fizzled out with the new generation of parents. I say this to give some background, not to defend his actions. Also a footnote, my Father was beaten and harsly punishment by his mother, again because also back in his day, the reality was worst. Parents were told by everyone to be extremely strict.

    No, in all honesty he doesn’t/ didn’t mistreat us other than his. He is stubborn and cannot accept the fact that we are nearly 30 years old me and my sister. He always wants to know our secrets and most of the time forgets that we don’t want the same things as when we were younger. He wants his will to be done before everyone’s, because he actually believes he’s right all the time yet his guilt trips himself for past mistakes and that is what enrages me! He can also be not very respectful of other people’s boundaries and get sad when you remind him that you for example want to do other things and not keep him company. Even if this is worded in the sweetest way. My mom puts him in his place though. She understands we are adults more than him. He is overprotective to a fault but all of this behavior is actually annoying, not abusive.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Having thought a lot about my dad, it is clear to me that he has a mixture of OCD and ADHD. The later even more obvious than the first. We all agree on that.</p>

    #365088
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good evening Anita!

    Thank you  for your kind replies and for taking the time to speak to me.

    What you are suggesting is mind blowing to me. I can see how true it is. Clearly and objectively true. But see, this is what I wanted my therapist to do. To actually illuminate things for me. She doesn’t, she let’s me to figure out what’s going on and in fact, while in some instances it’s producing results, more often than not it doesn’t and I feel frustrated.

    In all honesty, I pay this person to get answers not figure them out on my own. It’s because I’ve already tried and failed that I needed an experienced professional to do this for me. Not out of laziness but my brain is so fried for over analyzing and trying to see the end of the tunnel it’s painful.It really sounds shallow but that’s my truth.  With OCD and distrusting everything, I need an expert to show me the way. I’m not going to quit her, I’m giving it another chance. See where it leads…

    One clarification though, my parents love and words of affirmation and admiration were equal to both me and my sister. What was lacking though was the distribution of time and importance on our feelings, life goals, achievements and that sort of stuff. My parents always told me I’m the most beautiful girl in the world, they call me their sun, because I’m so blonde and they get sad when they understand that it falls on deaf ears on my part. My sister always wanted to be blonde and green eyes like me, she always called me “model” and is also pissed off by the fact that it doesn’t register in my head. So, love I have all and more. Attention is what always was less than my sister. Even if the difference was quite small, I still understood that as my mistake for not being good enough to be important enough.

    Not only was there love in words but also actions. I was never given less than my sister on a material level. My dad still drives us around, even at odd hours, just for our comfort and to be sure we are safe. It sounds silly, but that’s Greek culture. So, I’d be damned if I were ever to accuse my parents of mistreatment or lack of love and affection. What was lacking was the ability to stop feeding my sister’s and more often than not, not protecting me from her unjust, narcissistic or plain manipulative behaviors. Because they cannot see her as being guilty.

    In a nutshell, they are not the parents who would prefer they kid to go in jail for a proven crime, in order for them to grow and face the consequences. But rather they would do anything for the kids comfort and delude themselves that that’s more loving. This is the case with my sister. Me, on the other hand, I was not allowed to be in a bad mood, make mistakes, be angry, have problems. As you pointed out, I have to be the sun girl. They cannot see how I could have any reason to be troubled. Do they perceive me as perfect or something? I’m not.

    My disbelief in their statements stems off of the fact that feel-good words feel like brushing off the actual matter. “Don’t worry, your are so beautiful!” , For me that ain’t cutting it. I need constructive feedback, either positive or negative, with real arguments and no emotions mixed in. I might be too strict but this is how my brain works.  I don’t need compliments, I need encouragement and logic. When I just hear good words, I get the feeling that my parents want to get on with other things, they don’t want “the drama”. Having problems is drama for them. And I can see the boredom in their eyes for having to discuss certain things. So that’s why I can’t believe I’m pretty when told that. Even though they believe it, it’s superficial to me.

    And your analysis about my role in my ex “relationships” is GOLD. Wow. It makes so much Sense. I treated them and my self as if I was role playing my parents marriage dynamic which I perceived as completely normal.

    Let me know if you don’t understand something I say.  It’s currently 2:51 in the morning here plus my English got real rusty this summer. I’m double checking to be sure I’m making some sense!😆😅

     

    #365087
    Sofioula
    Participant

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    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Sofioula.
    #365055
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good Tuesday Lily!

    I’ll tell you what doesn’t help my with my path of not giving a f*CK about what other people thing – it’s stuff on the internet. Here’s what I mean:

    – articles with nonsensical advice such as love yourself (huh, amazing!), make new friends and go to the gym

    – social media and gorging on YouTube videos of what perfect people are. Meaning vloggers and influencers are toxic more often than not. So, I deactivated my social media accounts and limit my YouTube time on theologic material ( because I’m a Theologian).

    – self “improvement” books. Don’t,just don’t. It’s more about creating a fake self sense of guilt rather than actually helping.

    The truth is comparison is a vile tactic societies use to undermine your happiness and push you into consuming their services and or products. There’s nothing wrong with being concious of what other people think. But there the matter should end. Instead we try to reverse others ideas about us, when hey, there’s 8 billion people, but you only got ONE self. Don’t tear it up to so many pieces. Perfection and acceptance is overrated. By the end of the day the applause will neither feed you nor love you. We don’t live with an audience. We live alone and that’s comfortable.

     

    #353144
    Sofioula
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anonymous03,</p>
    I’m terribly sorry for replying so so late. I’m dealing with walking my own path, finding myself and treating me like a human being that I am hehe ;P

    Listen, all these thoughts could potentially be ocd related. The factors that would actually categorize it is ocd are: frequency of occurrence (ruminating constantly on a loop), levels of distress being created by those thoughts and behavioral patterns of doing or avoiding doing certain things in order to insure that the thougts in your mind won’t actualize in reality. I.e. If I drink from the mug A gifted me, I will forever lose him. Or, A was right about that thing so that means he is right about us and I was wrong so I have to search youtube for “10 signs he truly loves you” to confirm because if I don’t my anxiety will kill me…. I hope I make sense.

    I would like to point out to you that you don’t have to think those things and this YOU HAVE TO POINT OUT TO YOURSELF whenever a thought occurs. If you have ocd, I know who bs this sounds but with us ocd people, ACCEPTANCE is our real struggle. And you have to move on. For the time being focus on, well, just being. You don’t have to make any plans, decisions or even get closure, or get to know what really happened in the past. You are not a fly on the wall of the past. It is done. Please, also consider that A might have been gaslighting you, since I can read a complete surrendering to being the sole cause of all this on your part.

    I’ll be waiting your reply!

    Much support,

    Sofioula

     

    P. S. Check out Gangaji on YouTube. She really helped me refocus my mind.

    #350782
    Sofioula
    Participant

    In addition :

    Sorry I miss one of your replies taling about the obsessive thoughts you have, regarding your mom etc before I replied.

    It’s the same with me. I happen to have both my parents and they both imprinted in me guilt tripping. My dad because he too most like suffers with OCD and also my mom for pushing us to be perfect and having too high expectations of us. Meaning unrealistic. They both did it unknowingly and I think the same is with your mom. So, I think this will help you to heal this aspect of feeling bad for “blaming” your mother.Did she often compare you to other people?

    I have Relationship OCD in the sense of being obsessed of having a relationship and blaming it all on me when it doesn’t go well or it I’m single. I also have scrupulous OCD and basically in a nutshell every spectrum of it except the symmetry and hoarding ones.

    If it’s not hurting you share some thoughts of yours. For example I always ruminate “what if he was a good man and I’ve wronged him”, “what if I lost my only chance of happiness”, “was I suffocating him”, “what if I was a better girlfriend”. Also, making assumptions bases on weird or simple coincidences. Ezample: hearing that song of your on his bday and thinking it’s “meant to be” or that “he thinks of me” when the dog breed he wanted to adopt passes you by. Does it ring any bell for you?

     

    #350774
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    I’m sending a big, warm hug to you from Greece. Know that you are not alone. We are sisters – in – pain. Not only you and me, but oh so many women and men with nothing but a blackened heart. I’m really sorry to have replied to you so late, I’m just not good with reading my emails soon…

    I don’t know if you can read my topics and get a glimpse of my experience as you asked,but I’m also gonna give you the gist of it. I was in a one year relationship. It was my first one although I was 23 at the time. I was insecure as every inexperienced girl is so I bought all of his manipulation, of him lying, using me, ignoring me, belittling me in shuttle ways even gaslighting, which was detrimental to my mental health. I was a yes girl, a 1950’s wife to a man that would even pluck a flower from his garden to offer me, or even drive me safely home when I was sick with bronchitis in the middle of the cold winter… People around me started noticing his “abuse” and cold heart. What I was left with was an out of control non stop self blaming  guilt tripping, wanting to go back to him, back to the past and fix everything OCD day and night, excruciatingly for more than a year. I was living on auto pilot, I actually have huge memory gaps because of it and I’m still fighting it, though be it, I’m soooooo much more improved mentally. He basically made me out to be a crazy-for-no-reason- jealous girlfriend and I bought it.

    He would never take me to parties, denied me to meet his family, hated my sister, restricted me on fb and flat out made me think I’m crazy when i was clearly seeing other girls where texting him. He fiercely denied to videochat with me during us being apart for more than a month, he wouldn’t let me stay at his place when I was in need of shelter and he would only see me twice a week. He would make me take 3 busses to get back home whilst owning a luxury car himself. When I would always be available, always cooking, doing HIS dishes, giving him full body massages every single week, buying him thoughtful gifts, comforting him, attending him when sick… He wouldn’t even see me when I was sick, or if it was raining even… And that’s just scratching the surface…

    But all this time blaming me for everything, calling me jealous, saying he loved me  that I’m his first love,  he cried when I was cowardly confronting him… Even when I finally broke up with him, he continued to say he loved me but he didn’t want a future with me.He was furious saying HE didn’t want to break up. So, I mean… Listen, they have the way to trun the tables to save their own skin and inconvenience.

    If there’s one thing I found out in  this little experience I have gained is that I DON’T WANT YOUR STUPID AFTERMATH TEARS AND LOVE. Period. Because you made me go through hell when I only gave you paradise. Know this- yes, you are not a perfect girlfriend, yes life and relationships can have bad moments and it’s not only heaven. And it’s natural, sometimes people break up because not all things can be worked out. But in your case the way he CHOSE to exit, knowing he would scar you is because he didn’t care. He doesn’t care. About you that is. Becasue the aftermath clearly states he care only for himself…

    You can’t just reconnect with someone after nine month, or even three months and mess with their emotional stability and new life. When you’re in love deeply, you either won’t let this person go, or you will let them go with respect.

    But ok, let’s say it was a bad moment he had there and he was an a$$ by accident. The next day he should have apologized or even within a month he would have reached out, either to get back together or make amends. You are no less than a big part of his life and if he treated you like an available 24/7 walmart, that’s tells yoy hoe much he values his life in general. I would advice you not to buy into anything he says. Not out of spite, but out of pure men logic. Please, if you feel comfortable tell me exactly what you say to yourself about this, as in the obssessive thoughts in your head.

    I’m sorry for the long reply. I hope you post again!

    #350766
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your wishes! It really made my night! I was initially afraid of turning 26, as I thought age is an enemy and a step closer to my falsely perceived future of endless single-ness. But I’m feeling nice and comfortable with it.

     

    Understanding that thoughts aren’t dangerous… You get me! As time goes by and I try to voice what I’m feeling with OCD to my family, I realize that only another person with that condition can actually get it. I feel understood and heard when I read your advice. Noone can see that my obsessions are a real threat to me. That they “exist” . I don’t blame them at all though. So this piece of advice you offer is calming me down a lot. I need to tattoo in on my arm! I also came to see that I don’t miss him, it’s being happy and in love that I’m missing. And that’s a huge step for my growth.

    I will try to implement both damage control and threat evaluation and will definitely log in again to check in with you.

    Hope you have a blessed day!

     

    #349242
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    In one hour from now, I will be turning 26 years old. It’s going to be my birthday!!! So, I took this opportunity to post my update as we discussed before.

    My therapy is going very well! I’ve seen huge improvement. My therapist is very attentive and hands on with CBT. My OCD has “relaxed” up to 80%. The only times I get triggered is when I’m on my period or on my fertile day. And that’s not even half bad as it used to. I can now watch a movie, do meditation, cook, enjoy company without this hyperventilation going on in my brain. It’s super nice!

    March 17th I was fired from my office due to financial strains and the outbreak of covid 19. AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER! At first, I was sceptical of how I would react and my parents were so worried I would spiral back to depression. But the opposite happened. I became happier, calmer and everyone says : Sofia is back. After consulting with my therapist, we came to the conclusion that my job was not only unfullfiling but also toxic and it not being my primary focus, it was eating from the background. I know it sound complicated but, it makes me feel good…

    In my love life, well there’s none. But that’s ok. I truly think it’s not a big deal. My only concern is that I fear receiving a happy birthday text from my ex, but I know it won’t happen, which also makes me feel kinda disappointed. I focus on my therapy and what’s good for me. I’ve dealt with my “demons” but I still have to fight for my place in “heaven”.

    Having OCD yourself, do you have any helpful tips on how to shoo that particular thought away? Even though it’s not overpowering, I’m still afraid it might get bigger as tomorrow approaches… I don’t want it to take control over my birthday.

    #349230
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Hey Angela,

    I have a similar experience with a date like this last year. Like you, I refused to accept his sexual advances and he got furious. That’s when I told him to go to hell and never spoke with him again.  I never regreted that and so should you.

    There’s nothing wrong with you!!! You did great. You dodged a huge bullet. I also think he’s a violent guy and you protected yourself from future misery and abuse. The other red flag is that he was inconsiderate of you and that should have been enough to end the date right then and there. I’ve been to HUNDREDS of these dates when the dude is blabbering about himself and never get to asks you anything, or he just askes the bare minimum. Spoiler alert: never worked out with those guys. Good riddance! You’re free once again!!!!

     

     

    #349228
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Oh dear, the flashbacks!

    Listen, I’ve been through the exact same thing back in 2018. The EXACT same thing. And then the guilt tripping, the anxiety, the constant mental torture being called OCD. I hope your therapist adresses it, it’s not mere anxiety or intrusive thoughts – it’s OCD. Believe me when I tell you that since December of 2018 when I broke up with my ex till March of this year, I was being extremely tortured mentally. But what helped me get back my life was that I met an incredible therapist earlier in January. Long story short, I was diagnosed with OCD and through CBT I have seen an amazing difference. Please, I can’t stress this enough, you need to tell this to your therapist and work specifically on this.

    Now as for A, I think you realize that he is crying about his own ass. About his own feelings, about his own discomfort, about his own convince. He’s not breaking down in  front of you because of how much he misses you, or how much he loves you or because he realized how incredible you are. Nine months is too damn long to realize true love, especially if you were together with someone for eight years. So I’ll break it down for you: he saw the grass ain’t greener and came back out of convince and narcissism. End of story. He wanted some time alone and GOES OUT WITH FRIENDS PARTYING??!?!? Ok, yeah… No.

    I also think he engraved deeply in you that you are the problem. People have mastery over gaslighting and manipulating innocent and sensitive people. He made you BEG for his attention and so you perceived YOU are needy when in fact, someone is needy of something when indeed the don’t have that something! You are hungry when you are deprived of food. The same goes with love. It was done to me and since you too like me had no real experience before, you blamed yourself. Sister, I want to hug you right now.

    I’m actually tearing up. I’m sorry if I sound cheesy and all that, but I know your pain. Please fight for B, he sounds like a true, decent guy. A had eight years to make you feel special. Eight whole years. If you relationship was a child, he whould be in primary school! Thing about that! Most marriages don’t last that long even, yet he had the chance and he threw it away.

    I know I am a stranger on the web, but take it from me… Yes you have your psychological struggles, yes you need to work on them, yes you need to always check you self worth and never beg BUT you are a normal human being and not everything is your fault. Your relationship with A was toxic because of him being an douche and you being inexperienced. Simple as that.

    I hope you get to feel better. You have B and a promise of a better now. Discard the ex. Hope you find peace!

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