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    Dear Helcat,

    I decided to read back the messages on this forum to remind myself of advice I may have forgotten. One of the first things you said to me on page one, october 6th was:

    I’m trying to think how I knew that I wanted to be with my husband.

    I would say that with him I felt loved and accepted for the first time in my life. I felt like I could share everything, not just the good parts of me. He accepted even the parts of me I don’t like about myself.

    This brought me some comfort to re-read because I did not feel this way in my relationship, and to know it is out there is what I think I need to hear right now. Even though I still find myself wondering if will ever find it. In my relationship I felt I would be judged for certain things based on his previous reactions, so I did not let him see me completely relaxed and flawed. I want to be this way with someone some day and hope I am able to, and that the problem is not just me.



    More on the Denial stage, I think I went through that stage before the relationship actually ended.



    A Journal Entry

    The past three days I have felt a shift in my energy. I feel sad and helpless. I can manage the feelings because I do see that they sweep over me like waves and eventually fall away. However, they are not fun.

    Last night I needed to journal before going to sleep in order to give my mind a rest. I journaled about how “sometimes I miss him while simultaneously knowing he is wrong for me.” I feel repetitive for saying this, but despite my best efforts to want to just let go completely, it seems it’s like a boomerang, just as I think it is the farthest it has ever been, it comes shooting back. I carry some guilt and wonder over having a conversation before breaking up saying “I need … from you or I need to leave the relationship.” I think this seed of thought was planted when he came over and said things like I gave up on him and that he lost himself for the second half of the relationship. But then, I recall having doubts about trusting him with my emotions earlier than halfway through. Him being late, when I told him it hurt my feelings, him forgetting about me and prioritizing so many things over our relationship while I was left to figure out why I felt like he was not present or very loving. His lack of self awareness made it almost impossible for him to take responsibility, that turned into so much gaslighting of my feelings and thoughts about the state of our relationship. I know leaving the relationship, in the state that it was in, was the right thing to do, and most respectful thing I could do for my self. But I fear that he will improve for someone else, and it was me who wasn’t worth it, that I didn’t do enough in the relationship. My desire is to just fully let go! And I feel like I have.. but then this boomerang came back to me the past 3 days or so.

    The shift in my energy lead to me looking up stages of a breakup/grief, and I wonder if this change in my energy is a temporary new stage I just got to..

    1. Denial – I feel like I sort of glossed over this one since I am the one that ended it.

    2. Shock – I went straight to shock after the breakup, and here did a lot of preventative work, reminding myself every moment of doubt why I did what I did and re-realizing it was the right thing, every time. I feel like I did this stage as healthy as I could.

    3. Anger – I did visit this stage. This was a more obvious stage as anger is an easy emotion for me to detect. This was a short stage though because it fueled my reasons why it was right to leave, so it was actually helpful.

    4- Bargaining – says online it is “imagining ways to have handled the situation differently.” I spent a lot of time here, perhaps one of the hardest stages because I have faced many things that I could have done better in the relationship. But here I reminded myself that I truly exhausted myself trying to mend the relationship, I know I did my best with the emotional resources I had.

    5- Depression and Sadness – When I read this this morning I immediately felt I fell into this category right now and the past 3 days. He has entered my dreams, the things I liked are all bubbling to the surface, the comfort the relationship brought physically and mentally, to have someone to have dinner with, always a Sunday morning friend. All of the good memories we had are playing games in my mind saying I will never have it that good again.. I am pretty sure this is a lie but I am afraid it is right and that my path won’t ever lead me to another partner… After all, who am I to think I deserve that from life? I am looking forward to the next stage to hold me through… but this stage is where I find myself wanting to be the most self destructive… these emotions are uncomfortable and I find myself wanting to escape them with alcohol, weed, tv, even contacting him.. this is the most tempted I have been and that is hard for me to even confess.. quick dopamine activities. But I always feel worse the next day after quick dopamine, but I am finding it hard to be inspired to do the things I usually love like running/yoga or talking with friends. Even when I bring myself to run, or I just tried tai chi (which I loved) on Saturday, the joy is temporary and in a matter of hours I am back to the sadness.

    6- Acceptance – “things will start to feel more positive”

    7- moving on, “true disengagement.”

    I am not sure what I need at the stage I am in right now, all I know is I don’t want to be here, but growing from it is giving me a drop of hope!



    Dear Helcat,

    It certainly is unfortunate when people stress about things and don’t share, because we aren’t mind readers. It sounds like your partners ability to express how he needs you to be there for him, speaks to an emotional intelligence/ self awareness that my partner lacked.

     “I’m sorry for making you feel that way, it was not my intent.”

    – It is amazing how validating this can be to say to a partner, I can imagine it being said to me in moments of feeling hurt and it would have meant everything to me to see that he could see I was in pain.

    – I have so much appreciation for the way you and your partner speak to eachother.

    -I will let you know if what you analyze/ say about me ever feels misplaced. I do my best to decide for myself when something someone says is truly about me, or about them.





    Dear Helcat,

    ” It is a parent’s job to learn to manage the situation and their own emotions properly instead of blaming the child.”

    I am a nanny to a 20 month year old girl right now. I have been a nanny to 5 other families in the past, it was my job of choice through highschool and college. After college I thought I needed a “real” job so I worked for Verizon, a place that I did grow so I know was meant to happen, but overall not the world I belonged in. I know nannying is not the same as mothering, I get to be off the clock and don’t have to take worries home with me. But, I know what you are talking about here! There are moments I just clean something and she spills again, throws food or doesn’t show gratitude for all I do, infact the opposite of gratitude. In these moments I try to find laughter in myself haha, do I expect this child to walk around properly and express gratitude?? that is a ridiculous image haha. But in these moments I am also reminded that my dad did, he blamed me for being a child. It is hard to imagine a father treating his daughter this way :/ it makes me very sad. I would like to believe that treating this little girl with love through child behavior, can be healing for me in some way?

    “You deserved to feel safe, happy and loved in your own home. Such difficult circumstances that you had to grow up in.”

    I have heard that having understanding for an abuser can be harmful for us.. I wonder if this is true? Because although I agree, it was a grim childhood in relation to him. I also think of the time he raised me, 2008 starting his own business, 4 kids to provide for while he made no profits for a year while his new business was sinking. Somehow still able to afford the expensive soccer team I was on, have food on the table and have cars for him and my mom. We never lost our house, like many of my friends did. I always had my own room! Is it damaging for me to have sympathy for him? It doesn’t justify his behavior once he got home, but I can understand his lack of energy. And his why he was annoyed at child behavior, we did not thank him when he got home every night, because we were children and didn’t know what he was dealing with at all just to keep us safe in a home with food.

    However, and at the risk of sounding incredibly ungrateful and ignorant, I think i would have preferred losing our house and living with less if it meant I got to have a more joyful dad…

    “My instincts are pessimistic and say that your instincts are correct about the gaslighting.”

    I feel like the answer is both of what you are saying and what Anita said. He is changing the rules on me, and gaslighting me because he is uncomfortable with the image of himself as, Anita put it, a stingy scrooge.

    “Has your father ever behaved like that at all before?”

    Not in my childhood no. He would always find something wrong. But the thing is, that might be making him change the rules… is that I have become more articulate with my words. I have never typed in words my hyper-vigilance, perhaps seeing it on paper held up a mirror to himself. In my relationship with him, I see a seaturtle with tape over her mouth, tape she saw but didn’t know how to remove. Tape that gave him all the opportunity to speak and not have to hear any opposition, so he just kept criticizing because I just took it.

    “I don’t know if you knew she had ADHD before this conversation or if you know much about ADHD as a condition?”

    This is very interesting for me to reflect on lately. Because I have been friends with her for so long, and to her credit she has always been this way, so why am I only now bothered by it?  I think it is similar to what I wrote above about my dad. She has been critical of me to a small degree, she just “speaks her mind” as she puts it, but she will be rude like ask me why I still have clothes from 8th grade, “what are you wearing?” or just make fun of me and my style. But I think, because of how extremely critical my dad was, it was not only comforting for me to be criticized, but hers was such a superficial degree that I didn’t see it as a problem. Like I said above, there was tape over my mouth for alot of my childhood, I did not know how to express myself and I thought I couldn’t see myself..cause my dad convinced me I couldn’t. Now that I see myself better, there are things I am now noticing she says that I want to say “no that is false.” But she is unfamiliar with me being assertive, self aware and confident. She talked over me with her ADHD all the time growing up, but I didn’t think I had valid things to say so her filling the air was just comfortable. Now I want to speak more, I have things to say that I feel like are over-due and this is making me realize how much she talks because it is hard for me to get a word out.

    “I think a difficulty for you may be that as you have said you try really hard to work on yourself. It isn’t easy the work you are doing but you are doing amazingly and should be proud of yourself. Understandably, you feel like she should try to and see her as an equal in this way…I also think that her being triggered and her comments about her feelings could be hurtful to you? Do you feel hurt by her?”

    Yes, and what bothers me is as I am trying to work on myself, like I have told her, she says she is too. But I see the situations she puts herself in and I just don’t know if I believe her. But like it says in the bible, it is easier to see a splinter in someone else’s eye, when there is a log in your own. I know this judgemental view of her is not helpful, but it is hard for me to get rid of when I see contradictions in real time. Her comment that I lacked empathy as a person, hurt me. Because I know I am an empathic person, and the fact she doesn’t see that, hurts me. But it also makes sense that she can’t see it because I don’t have alot for her situation because, to me, it is so obviously an abusive relationship she entered into. Also what contributes to my lack of empathy for her situation is I removed myself from the relationship that was harmful to me, but she complains and yet remains with him…

    “The problem isn’t really the ADHD, it is the depression.”

    I do empathize with her depression, and I told her this. Because no matter how it got there, being in it is not easy and I understand that part. That is what makes the excessive talking so negative, which highlights the amount of talking because it is heavier.

    “For both of you right now, it can be difficult to show someone empathy when you are feeling defensive. What do you think?”

    Yes agreed. When you said she didn’t show empathy for my situation, I didn’t think of that, but it’s true. She didn’t see how my position, of being on the receiving end of her negativity, is heavy. Something she kept saying that hurt me too was “ok well I guess I just have to walk on egg shells with you now which is fine but it hurts cause you are my best-friend and one of the only people I confide in.” What she doesn’t understand is how much negativity it is, because I am willing to be there for a friend but she is cannot acknowledge that she very heavy with negativity right now given the volume of her words. Also she is unaware if she thinks I am one of the only people she confides in, when I introduce her to people she talks about all the same stuff she tells me. My roommate, when introduced even pointed this out to me, how much she complained. I wanted to tell this to P when she said no one else has told her this but me, but my roommate asked me not to.


    I am feeling self conscious about this thread being all about me and my problems… I am growing so much from all the feedback, but my fear of my authentic self being selfish is kicking in and I don’t know how to resolve it.



    Dear lovely Anita,

    I am responding to your two most recent posts here.

    “I didn’t know until you shared today that you spent so much time with your grandmother: how did she treat you?”

    I have very fond memories of my grandmother. Although not one for emotional support, but I don’t recall asking that of her. My relationship with her was being treated like her little girl. She brought me everywhere she went. We gardened together, she took me to Winco to recycle cans and camping to volunteer with our church. My uncles however, I have various memories with. Her youngest son, now one of my best friends, teased me and quite obviously because his mom was more lenient with me than him. He would try to tattle on me but she never blamed me for anything.. Him and I also got along on and off. The other uncles, some of them took it upon themselves to “teach me” things. If I didn’t say “please” or “thank you”, I would be pinched, hard. If I didn’t say “uncle” before their name I would be tickled to tears, void of breathe and bruises. The older ones taught me chess and took me to movies! One of them was in to Taekwondo and taught me, I enjoyed that. Sometimes I was ignored by them, other times doted on. My grandpa was never home. When he was home he was stingy and rude, but also a social butterfly and philosophical when he was in a good mood. My mom was the elusive older sister that they all loved cause she brought them food and took them to the pool with us. And my dad, the elusive brother they respected. What an era of my life that was! Thank you for asking me this 🙂

    “the part of me that is disturbed by my mother’s shaming, judgmental and accusatory voice (a voice regenerated and expanded by my brain), is the part of me that believes that what her voice is telling me- is objectively true.”

    I read your post yesterday because I was too curious, but was too tired to give the response what it deserved. This is something I thought a lot about in the past 24 hours. I think this is why we help eachother understand ourselves, because we have a very similar voice in our heads. What do you think?

    “Instead, it’s about transcending it, meaning, to no longer Fight it, Flight it (run away), or Freeze.”

    In moments of fight/flight/freeze I have always been such a fighter.

    “But that’s not what I heard when I first read it (and for some time later). What I heard was you saying to me something like this: anita, you suck, I have no regard for you and what you want to say to me, you are of no importance;  this is why I would love valuable, important people to reply to me.”

    You are so humble, self reflective, and amazing for admitting this here. I know you know the truth, so I won’t spend too much time defending it, because I think it is probably more powerful for you to realize yourself, that this is so far from the truth behind my words. Me telling you is just a bandaid, right? This is another part of your post I thought a lot about in the past 24 hours, perhaps the hardest part for me not to single out and respond to right away. On one hand I find this old interpretation validating… (might be the wrong word) because I don’t feel like I am the only one who does this, as someone trying to heal and be better I still slip and knowing you do too makes me feel… not alone. On the other hand, it is disheartening, because as someone I look up to, someone I see as farther in her healing than I am, the fact you still experience and give energy to this voice… that means that voice still tries to attack even later in my healing journey as well. I want to rid it for good!!

    “You believed your father’s voice when he accused you of not caring about him, of being selfish, unloving…and when you didn’t otherwise make yourself perfectly available and attentive to him when he was home…Believing his accusations caused you lots of distress. Fast forward, living with a boyfriend, your father’s voice was interpreting your life situations for you…Maybe, having taken in (internalizing) your father’s accusations, you proceeded to project them into your boyfriend. So, when projecting those, you were temporarily free of them, free of the distress that accompany believing that you are selfish and uncaring, a bad person, that is. And this became a kind of an addiction, an addiction that exhausted you. Maybe. ”

    I think maybe=yes. I feel like I even saw this in myself, as in my last forum we spoke a lot about how I was projecting my dad into the relationship, onto him, then when it wasn’t on him it was on me, and I was my father. The bad guy was always my dad. If he did something I didn’t like, I saw him through my dads perspective of me, “you are not attentive enough.” If I did not make him feel heard, I was what my dad said I was, “you are not attentive enough.” Take out “attentive” … “you are not enough.” The voice within me is “nothing is enough.” … Hence my fear of being disappointed! So to heal I need to believe, everything is enough the way it is.. ? I wonder where “nothing is enough” comes from.. perhaps “I am not worthy of enough.” Seeing life through the perspective of my dad is a miserable and exhausting lens. I wonder if having compassion for his undeniable misery and exhaustion, can be helpful to me in some way..

    The addiction exhausted me and my third eye.

    “right here, it reads like you have a core belief (a belief formed early in life) that you are a bad person who hurts other people, who needs validation that you are not hurting people, a core belief that your father instilled in you by constantly calling you selfish and ungrateful: two adjectives that amount to being a bad daughter=> a bad person. … but my authentic self is allegedly bad, so how can I be okay being my authentically bad self?”

    Exactly. I have had many people in my life tell me my authentic self was selfish. My dad, my ex, my sisters, and now a childhood friend, P. When I spoke with P she said I lacked empathy for her ADHD that caused her to talk over me. And that I lacked empathy for her relationship situation.. which I do because I cannot understand why she entered into such a terrible situation with someone I knew was not a good vibration the first time I met him. First time I met him I knew and then she stopped telling me how he treated her because she knew what I would say, then she proceeded to sign a year lease with him, now wants my empathy for her being stuck living with him… very hard for me. But she accused my authentic self of being un-empathetic because of this. Something both my ex and my dad have told me at some point too. Am I just suppose to not believe them?

    ” at 25,  still trying to get your father to say that you are a good daughter, a good person.”

    At 25 I want all the people who said my authentic self is bad to see that it is not and to tell me that it is not.

    ” his legacy in your life has been the formation of a false core belief, which is that you are a bad person.”

    This makes me angry and confused. My soul is so beautiful but he put this huge scar on it that makes it hard for me to fully express myself.

    “I am guessing that behind his email is that you being so careful to replace the food in his frig, etc., made him appear- in  his mind- like a stingy person, a scrooge who does not allow his own daughter to eat his food, so he reacted to that image of himself”

    I think so too.

    “We still want to believe that we are good people, and we want others to believe it too.

    Let’s believe it about ourselves and about each other..? “

    This is why I do believe I have a beautiful soul, and so do you! I think we both know it and want to see it so badly, it is just hard to see with this scar on us. We will never see ourselves as good if we look through their lens. But you can look through mine if you want 🙂 I see a deep bright purple light so full of wisdom and strength I am in awe 💜

    As I searched the purple heart to copy and paste online, there was an option to see what the purple heart means! My curiosity clicked and it read “It is commonly used to represent love, support, close bonds, and admiration for things that have some relation to the color purple.” 🙂

    With love,



    Dear Helcat,

    “Your father conditioned you to cater to his needs with verbal abuse. Perhaps your “reward” sometimes was not being verbally abused? Not being praised, just not being attacked verbally. Some “reward”, huh?”

    Yes, my reward was not being treated unworthy of praise and being myself.

    “So you picked up this idea as a child that if you did everything perfectly then MAYBE there would be peace for you”

    This sentence describes a very big chunk of my childhood because it came from two angles. My dad, I played soccer and in order to stay on the team he asked me every single night if I did my workout video, at 13 years old. I did get in very good shape and became one of the best players on the team… so I didn’t see it as wrong. The other angle was religion, my mom spoke alot of keeping my heart pure, no lies, and treating my siblings with kindness. I remember before sleeping at night I would say “tomorrow I will be perfect.” Kindness with one of my sisters was particularly hard because my dad pitted us against eachother, I worked out and did all the things my dad asked as “perfect” as I could, but my sister was rebellious and refused. He would speak badly of her, to me, so I began to not like her.

    “The alternative that it is just chaos is too frightening.”

    My dad labeled my mom and sister as “chaos.” He would tell me I was the level headed one, me and my youngest sister. Whereas my brother, sister in the middle and mom, were “too up and down emotionally.”

    “always looking for mistakes as an excuse to unleash his abuse upon you. …. If he was in a bad mood he would find a reason to abuse you”

    This weekend at his Palm Springs house I was VERY hypervigilant, like I was living at his home as a teenager. I picked up every crumb and replaced anything I used in larger amounts. I told my friends to be careful and we left the place spotless. But this is the mind trick: When I emailed him “thank you” and told him about the food I replaced and anything we used, he responded –

    ” I am so happy you had such a wonderful time. Makes me feel good about the investment I made into our family’s future! You were probably overly considerate of utilizing some of the goods in the house. I suppose we could have had a conversation about that, because I would have wanted you to feel more freedom to help yourself on basically everything (with perhaps the exception of the top shelf liquor😉).

    Love you and feel so proud, blessed, fortunate to be able to offer that luxury to one of my favorite people in the world. Miss you! ❤️ ”

    – I am not sure if he has changed since I lived with him or what, but I felt gaslit when I read this email, because if I would have left anything out of order I know he would have said things. But he is acting as if I am the hypervigilant one and he has never asked such a thing of me….

    “Recognizing that it is not your responsibility to manage someone’s emotions and it is not your fault if they snap at you (unless you did something seriously wrong) is how to get past people pleasing. “

    I am learning this now. It happened in Palm Springs, I asked my roommate for the half of the wifi bill and she snapped… she started listing all the bills of the month (ones that we didn’t have to pay yet) and $30 in groceries she spent on my birthday.. which I was handing her cash and she said “no its ok its your birthday I got it.” In this moment I was aggravated she was bringing this up at this moment, I tried to calm it down by saying “Do we need to pay those bills yet?” she said no, and I said “ok well let me know as they come in one at a time and I will send them to you.” She said ok. Then she dropped it, I have no idea why she just decided to dump all that on me in that moment but she didn’t bring it up again and I paid her yesterday for utilities like I have every month. It is strange for me when my past relationship, my dad, and now her all freak out on me about money randomly, it makes me feel like it is me, but I don’t think it is. I don’t owe my roommate anything, if anything I cover for her because I want to avoid her coming at me randomly, she owes me right now and I am not even gonna tell her because I don’t want her reaction, same with my dad. I don’t have this money relationship with anyone outside of those three, but three feels like a lot as I try to believe it is not my fault. I really hate money because of these things.

    ” Getting used to setting boundaries with unhealthy people is helpful too…it’s helpful to view people as equals. Your emotions matter as much as theirs do.”

    This reminds me of my conversations with P, in Palm Springs. After the boundaries I set at the cafe before the trip, she said she felt embarrassed, she said she thinks so much about how she comes across and her best-friend telling her she was over-sharing hurt her feelings and she felt it was unfair. I told her there are many thoughts that occur in my head that I choose not to say in order to not pollute the environment. To which she responded; “my adhd makes me say everything.” I tried to have compassion for this adhd, but it is hard for me because it is not easy to stay centered and decide what thoughts not to engage in, but that is not an excuse to just emotionally dump on people. I think she still thinks it is unfair, she said multiple times “I guess I just have to walk on eggshells with you now.” I wanted to roll my eyes, and she said I lacked empathy. And I do lack empathy for her adhd that supposedly makes her talk over people and dump negativity, that is not what I think adhd is.. If I am in the wrong here I would like to know.

    Long message, and I hope not too much?



    Dear Anita,

    “Your father’s mother or caretaker, a woman he was very attached to as a boy, was really selfish and really ungrateful for his many efforts to please her, and gain her recognition.”

    It is hard for me to imagine my dad trying to impress any woman. But I believe it. His mom is detached and unemotional. In her older age she has outbursts of tears during regular conversation which shows me how intensely she must have ignored her feelings in her life. She was my second mother too, I wonder the affect on me as well. My parents had me at 21 years old and while they worked I spent many many days with my grandma. Kind of funny, my dad and I shared a mother, in a way. Although she had 7 boys, my dad being the oldest boy and one older sister, the oldest. Her and my grandpa were very religious and believed God told them they were meant to have another girl after their 3rd child, so they tried and tried and ended up with 5 more boys, then finally stopped. Then my dad had me, and I became my grandmas little girl she always wanted. So although the same mom as my dad I am sure she treated me with more favor.



    Dear Helcat,

    I braced myself before reading, but then found nothing I disagreed with. I have been working on validating myself and not looking to others to validate me, but when I respect someone as much as I do you, it is harder. I feel very validated right now.

    I completely agree, he gave money that he then held resent for later. I am realizing now, because of him, that some people give disingenuously. Unfortunately I learned this lesson with N, too late. My roommate actually, amongst many great qualities is this same way. It is on a much smaller scale of money, she will say “I got it” and pay for my drink then weeks later bring it up when I ask her for wifi money that we share… I recently changed my outlook on money with her and keep it cut and dry, if she says “I got it” I still hand her the money. I find this behavior dishonest but I learned from N the mistake of believing them. I also believe N started to stress about not enough money, but didn’t share this with me until it was too late.

    I also agree and no longer believe my trauma is too much for future relationships. I trust my ability to grow from it and actually give me more compassion for other’s trauma. I admit that in the relationship I blamed N for things that were my trauma, not him, but before I ended things I had began apologizing for that. Since I came to this forum months before the breakup and learned my trauma projections, I re-phrased myself to him saying “I am hurting right now and it is not because of you, but I am asking for your support.” He did not understand that concept, and believed I was being weak and emotional. Hence the incompatibility.

    Thank you for your analysis Helcat, it brought me peace this morning 🙂



    Dear Anita,

    “For the last few years, I acknowledge my birthday in the middle of July”

    My friend P’s birthday is mid July as well! You are my second mid July friend 🙂
    <p class=”p1″>I really like your analysis here, that it is natural for humans to please, because there is something about it that makes me feel satisfied and whole</p>
    This is an area that is hard for me to see myself, to separate the false and true self. I think because my dad was so critical I got used to getting outside criticism/validation from him. He truly convinced me that I couldn’t see myself, acting shocked at how “selfish” and ungrateful I could be. This created so much doubt within myself, and it is still there. When I am told I’m being selfish I just believe it because like my dad said “you can’t see it but you are.” I see it in other relationships in my life, where if I receive their criticism or validation I act accordingly, and I stray away from my true self.

    I want to get wiser in this area, and see more clearly when it is appropriate to make a selfish decision and when it is not. And to see when someone’s criticism is truly about me or it’s about them.







    Again thank you for the birthday wishes ❤️

    When is your birthday?


    Dear Helcat,

    “I finally caught up to the break up. You really have been through a lot in recent months. COVID, a hurt knee and the surgery ontop of a difficult break up! You’ve been through so much, it’s nice to see you starting to heal and come out of the other side.”

    I so appreciate your catching up with my story ❤

    “Would you like to hear my thoughts about the relationship and breakup?”

    Thank you for asking! I would like to hear your thoughts. Part of me is afraid to hear something I don’t want to but I value self awareness and growth over a bruised ego. So yes please, tell me your perspective.




    Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday 🙂 I thought of you too! But decided to stay present off my phone as best I could.

    25 year old Seaturtle


    Hello All,

    I haven’t yet read recent messages, but I have a recent false self discovery and would like to go deeper into it.

    I have always known I have some people pleasing tendencies, but I thought I had them under control. When I moved away from home I realized all the things I did for my fathers approval and began to seek what was actually important to me. I now realize I fell into that habit in a past relationship, in that when I felt disapproval it affected my self esteem significantly.

    When I reflect back on my childhood, there was not much, if any, praise for trying. Instead I remember feeling like there was always something I could do better. Even as an adult living in my fathers home he constantly told me he did not feel appreciated by me. If I was free in the evening and didn’t think to make him dinner, if I didn’t volunteer to do things for him, if I didn’t show enough gratitude for things he did. Or if I ever confronted him about how he hurt my feelings, he would call it being ungrateful for the list of things he does for me.

    I notice in my adult life now, I often ask how I could be better… I told my employer once to let me know if I was doing anything that bothered them so that I could fix it ( I work as a nanny). I seek validation from my roommate about my behavior… after going out if I questioned something I did or said. I want to understand the balance, because when I read that the solution is to stop doing things for others approval and do what feels in align with me, that is how I behaved living with my father and I was constantly called selfish or ungrateful. I don’t want my actions to hurt other people or offend them, but I also want to live in alignment with my true self. Is our true self selfish? How do I think of others and care for them, without comprising my true self?



    “About 1 week to your 25 year-old birthday, Seaturtle. A quarter of a century. It’s okay if you don’t respond to this post, really! Nevertheless, it’s impossible to forget a real-life, human sea turtle.”

    I wish I could “love” a message here as I can with my iPhone, haha. 🥰


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