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    Hi Anita,

    Holidays are kind of strange for me…i dont know what to do. Im really a workaholic because spare time is not something i have enjoyed in years.even when with the bf i ended up working for him too.

    I guess yes, you can see it that way about younger relationships. while i had sad moments, breakups and difficulties, it was nothing like it has been now. I had no difficulty in meeting people because i fit in more easily. I feel very much that me not having kids has made me an outcast, I guess thats a separate issue! I had no desire to be a mother…and struggled with this for many years, its sometimes unfair that you feel your own body (feelings) is defying you, making life harder for you. I feel certain that if i had a child, i would be more accepted in the culture i live in now. Children are in fact, the glue for many relationships that otherwise would not be or for some, it brings people closer together…i missed out that part.

    Some people get angry when things dont work out, dust themselves off and find another partner (my sister), others cry for a bit and then try meeting people again, and again (my friend). After this last relationship…i felt a block like an actual wall when i tried to make contact with another person, seems the fear was so bad that I didnt even want to say “hello” expecting that 2- 5 years down the line i would end up back on my own again.  So i didnt want to even try the first step.

    Ive realised slowly that there are other issues that sit underneath trying to make a relationship work as it is really more about how you want to live your life and it seems i must be really different to other people in what drives me. But getting to the answers has been really difficult for me, i cant seem to find definition to what i want and who i am. Im just resigned to the fact that im much more messed up than i ever thought!

    I think the lack of clarity leads and manifests into physical problems too. Over years now, i feel generally very tired all the time, i rarely feel energy. My mind is the big wheel and my body limps along behind. Now that i have developed some problems in my back and leg…i feel very much how my mental state has affected my body. Living alone, there is no one nagging me to get anything done or to stop obsessing…i just do what i do with no mirror. There are some benefits to have a partner to keep you in check. As long as they genuinely care of course.






    Hi Anita.

    Sorry ive been really busy and also trying to respond in a fair way.

    I have had a holiday…but it has not really been time out from my daily life because my jobs (plural) demand attention that can´t be left behind. So we will call it a “rest”! therefore ive been fairly busy every day.

    When i was a bit younger i dont think i imagined this life AT ALL for myself. I really thought i would be with someone and perhaps have a family, that i would have a career instead of what i see as “jobs”.

    I wonder sometimes if it is a plague because i see other people struggling too.

    God knows how people meet these days but i feel i am so far off the radar its not relevant..basically i understand that, im too old at 44. I know this because some years back i felt some attention on me and now i dont at all. Guys avoid me if anything so i feel ive got some disease!. Im not unattractive but there is just the simple fact that guys want younger women. Maybe they expect you to do all the work and make all the moves.

    Ive had zero contact with my work team apart from my friend, nothing at all but i feel great anxiety about time ticking by….anxiety about returning to work that i really bothering me. I feel like ive not actually had a break because ive worked throughout on my other job..and that has hung on my mind…it hasnt really been a break at all.



    Hi Anita,

    When i first moved here, i tried everything to get a job back in my home country…i was unsuccessful, times were tough back then too and i just didnt seem to have what people wanted. Finding work has always been really hard for me (why!) so it has become a fear of a lack of security.

    I also honestly can´t say i feel strongly enough about moving somewhere else at my age now…i would not know where to go.

    Interestingly many people would LOVE to live where i do, i know because i sell property and this is a dream for them- from the US, UK etc.

    I do like the nature, sometimes the free space and time that i have, i can keep my own company quite well. Ive also been able to buy my own place which i would NEVER have been able to do otherwise. but i miss some city things sometimes, more involvement and awareness of what is going on in life and more interesting people, guys who i might connect with better, women who might be more like me.


    My problems are not created by my environment i think but more to do with human nature, relationships and some abuse ive suffered. I think that probably it was made worse because i dont know how to stand up for myself, how to protect myself, when to back off and leave things alone.. Friends say “forget this and that” and i can´t. Im irritated by bad behaviours in personal and business behaviours.



    Hi Anita,

    Im supposed to have some vacation time..this should be fun but these days i dont really know what to do with myself, Im so used to just working and have no family of my own, my current friendship circle has become non existent. The only thing that drives me is making feel secure.

    Today i had another issue with work, out of so many. It seems impossible when i cover every angle but somehow im always dumped in the ditches. A colleague didnt make clear some figures and it has put me in a difficult position to my detriment and will also mess with my reputation. It makes me mad. I wont get any help, i asked for it but they cant help and thus i have to fix this myself. It makes me tired because i cant work harder than i do…and the owners obviously always come out looking the best…the most influential colleagues will be protected…and life goes on without you.

    Asserting myself. Yes, i think i have said that ive tried, and yet, people just dont want to take it from me. they will from others. There is respect for them, but somehow ive never found the key to respect. One girl who used to work with us complained to me about respect and i had to laugh at the time, i had already suffered years of abuse by then. ive never had any, no matter how obviously i worked well, how much praise i got from clients, how many hours i put in of extra time or how much money i made for the company…im still treated badly, talked down to at meetings, left out of decisions etc .the only way is to leave and suffer the consequences i guess.

    If im really honest, the truth will hurt people´s feelings…because in my opinion these are people who feel really they are beneath me…they think because of my nationality, that i have more and that i have access to more. They are wrong. But nepotism and favouritism and manipulation are part of the corruption game that will hurt the economy. This is a problem for their country i see that will keep them down. I realised also how the beginnings of racism start just in small cultural differences..small levels of racism happen to me almost on a daily basis. Ive kept quiet about this for many years…. Shaking things off are not always that easy when you are living in another culture, you think you can handle it and im told not to get upset by it..but i guess you could compare my experience to what others of a different race feel in their own country, or just simply being physically different. Ive enough material to write plenty about that but i know its not in fashion right now.

    Therefore the comedy.

    My ex simply didnt like any of my witty comments, nothing “crazy” as he called it…but something rather more “clever” as that would probably bother him. In my opinion, he was very very clever..but not confident..someone who probably suffered a lot as a young man. A bright and funny and pretty woman would probably be too much for him, frightening maybe. Far easier for him to control someone who was insecure in some way and that fed his need for security. I dont doubt that his current girlfriend is suffering in some way and suppressing it, hoping she can manage it, so that she can keep him.



    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for the reference to the book as maybe this is the way to go. As for nr (1) i kind of feel like i continually try to assert myself but don´t get far! And i think that making gentle assertions is something i find hard to do, i think that to others i can come across as quite hard but that is because i go along with everything until i get completely fed up because ive allowed people to push and push for so long..they dont expect a reaction but then they get one and its unexpected so they react badly? i dont know.

    My sister for instance, who i havent spoken to in about a year….these are the kind of “punishments” i receive for standing up for myself. I wrote to her in an angry email as she had left me with missing and torn clothes after her stay and was fairly demanding to us (me and our parents). Her reasoning is that i “dont want to be involved in the life of my niece” which is mean and an excuse, but in fact i just wanted her to stop some behaviours she is used to doing whenever she comes over to stay.

    Then there is a girl at work who ive always had a love-hate relationship with. I like her humor and we were always able to get on one on one but at the same time she turns jeckell and hyde and seems to bully me at any opportunity she gets in front of others or clients. Its been years of this. I thought it was because of my role which used to be more office-based but now i see her being very friendly with the young girl who has taken that role over. So if it is just a jealous pettiness how do you deal with it? She has a relentlessness that has driven other people out of the company screaming. My solution was to leave my former role and become a sales person which means i dont need to be in the office as much…but at our meetings she picks on random things that are in my control, just as she used to point out mistakes in my work from my old role. All i can do is just stay away from the team as much as possible which i now do! On the few days i must be in the office, she seems to come in and wants to be friendly but i feel there´s a weird edge to it…im just not playing ball anymore.

    I dont need to point out the difficulty with my mother either. Like my sister, if she doesnt get what she wants she will shut everything down and my father is under her thumb.

    So, im surrounded by childish, jealous and demanding women and all the men i know which is very few, are submissive, passive or dismissive.

    Fun world.

    Ive always used humor to deal with the difficulties and because that always worked its just an escape hatch. I like watching stand up and if i didnt have a mind like this i feel id probably go nuts or lash out, which of course wont help anything.

    I like to escape sometimes into fantasy in that way, coming up with sketches, in different artistic ways. I make up song lyrics, come up with satires and comic ideas in my head…its a way i can laugh at it all and basically amuse myself and sometimes my friends or family. Im not saying i stop everyone to listen to me, but i just sometimes comment on things i cant resist to say something about. My parents find my ideas funny and encourage me, my friends too, im not sure what my sister thinks..i think she feels competitive for attention so its hard as she doesnt have the same ideas but can laugh at them. My ex boyfriend seemed to hate my comedic side and usually told me to stop acting crazy. It was the one thing i really didnt like about him, he took himself very seriously when sometimes it was comical, for me, humor is essential.








    Hi Anita,

    Thank you. Its nice to hear someone say that they believe you.

    The leg situation is going to have to wait till i get further tests, i reckon it means physiotherapy for a while but for now it seems to have calmed down a bit…i have new respect for people living with chronic pain or disability because its the first time i had this makes you so tired, it makes you feel desperate sometimes too, it affects your mental state.

    As i think ive said before, i struggle to define my mother as purely narcissistic or selfish. As the children, we dont want to believe that our parents can mean to hurt us. although her main behaviour has shown her selfish tendencies there are also times where she has shown to have thoughts that are caring..but just not carried out in the way some other mothers might. I never thought about it when i was younger but in our family we don´t really hug or anything like that. My sister has always been a very difficult person to get a word out of..and so i have more or less had to work these conclusions out by myself.

    I learnt from a young age to rely on my own company, my own strength and my own council. which of course doesnt always work and sometimes feels like i need superhuman strength to get by. When i was younger, my older sister never took responsibility and instead would lash out and get angry, so i took on the “older” role while she seemed to just be resentful.  I reckon that i developed a lack of awareness of myself, a detachedness, so that later on, people trying to get to know me…get a cold response, or at least a very brief , dismissive one. I realise that now but it may be too late to do you get the respect? how do you protect yourself from the reactions of others? ive no idea. I just dont seem to learn.

    Instead of spreading my net wide to have more options of friendships or meeting more than one guy, i chose to be very very loyal to one or two people…it doesnt work out. This has applied to everything including of course, my work, which i should have left at the first signs of negative bias, years ago. They all take for granted that they can abuse what they want. Arrogance seems to be the norm these days.

    Im tired of always being strong, of ignoring comments made to me because im always alone with no one behind me to back me up. Im tired of being kind to disrespectful people who if im honest, were educated to be rude to others.

    If i recognise being a victim, then i want to know a solution. At 44 i need answers becuase i have been patient, i have tried and failed in so many ways. I have high standards for myself…and these are ones i never pass.




    Hi Anita,

    Ive been preoccupied lately with work and my health, which has not been good – the back pain turning into sciatica down one leg, now i walk with a limp and my foot is getting more exams really sometimes feels like punishment. Ive tried to recover but it just gets worse. Work has taken a dive when i lost out to sell something that would have made a huge huge difference…apparently just a matter of 1 or 2 days timing, so unfair right? since then, things have been very weak, worsened by covid threatening to shut everything down.

    I feel now that my attitude has to somehow never going to “get” the result i want, the successes that i work so hard for just won´t materialise…what i used to believe was that karma had my back, things tended to come true as i had predicted but now people seem to be just so arrogant and stubborn around me and things keep going wrong for me. Thats not going to change is it? Do the mean people get to win?

    i feel like im trying too hard in the wrong way and that i have to learn to be different. Its frustrating. In fact, frustration seems to be my main feeling in life! increasingly, anger.

    Ive tried to rely on my senses too much, but they are unreliable…reading tarot and starsign information online hoping that the information will point me in the right direction because trying hard hasnt. Nothing coming good. I still think of my ex but a little less, just sadness in its place. I dont feel motivated to meet new people, i just want it to happen..somehow believing that if i try, it will should be fate.

    you asked if i felt you judged me…because i felt judged by others. I think i felt you probably judged my mother and her lack of interest to support us, her daughters, by what i have said which of course in reality is one-sided. But it aligned with my opinions built up over the last 15 or so years.

    i said in several ways, that she has jealousy issues..problems relating with women i think mainly. My father is a wall of denial. My sister doesnt want to discuss anything uncomfortable and just seems to display worryingly similar traits now to my mother (she has to be right, is arrogant). I used to get very angry about my dad´s lack of interest to protect his kids when she was unreasonable, he wont do anything to fix it. he allows her to continue behaving like a child. He would say and still would, that we need to appreciate our mother´s point of view…even when it was clear to a teenager or a young adult, that she was behaving selfishly and her temper tantrums were clearly encouraged when he helped her this way. Ive pleaded with him to take her to a councellor as he in particular suffers the constant barrage of her thoughts himself , and sometimes her verbal abuse, but denies himself any solution. They found each other in their 20s no doubt with family issues and so this is deeply cemented.  I guess even though i hate it, i take after him. I think that people outside our family find him to be weak, to be crawling. As i do.

    I think that people reading this will consider me weak too and probably just a victim, a loser in life. I feel i have fought, managing the feelings i have from the experiences i have had and get..on a daily basis. The truth is that i dont know how to deal with them the right way. Ive probably never learnt that. And constantly meeting people who end up being just as abusive and manipulative…ive ended up feeling that the odd one out is me. That i have to be manipulative and mean. I don´t relate to women who walk into a room, see a total stranger and have an instant dislike…but there are many people like that.





    Hi Anita,

    As usual i have written and rewritten about this..its hard as i know this is also a public forum and that i am effectively, an open study. But on the other hand i hope that people read with an open mind of understanding i am human, no matter what they may judge me as being. I feel that i am often judged badly. People have a need to put you in your place, whether above or below them. I have no need for that, but i see a lot of people do and it bothers me.

    I would like to meet people and see them just calm as they are. But in reality, where i am, we attract a lot of frazzled and desperate people looking for a sense of peace (by the sea of course!). Unfortunately even i could tell them its not outside themselves but within. I sound like a guru i know. Im not a hippie type at all but im just accepting of what is..i think maybe that is rare because so many people come here with big ideas.

    I know there is the tendancy to find that someone is to blame in our past childhood. I certainly know that my mom has narcissitic tendencies but is capable of empathy and my father i guess is a control freak (sometimes “accidentally” locking my mother in the house)  with some other unidentified issues (social anxiety, need for approval from my mother, no need for any other contact). My sister has not been around much and not really responsive to any kind of introspection of what may be wrong in the relationship we have so i have had to come to these conclusions alone. It was only after my ex  boyfriend experience..i realised how similar he was to my mothers behaviour, both in negative and positive. I have worried many times that i am like my father, the sufferer.

    I also know, that while my moms behaviour affected us girls directly, she also reacted to her experiences. Her mother died when she was 20, i think that was a lifechanging experience of what options she had for her future.

    I know im probably unpopular in my opinion, having children is the most obvious self love you can show…and also, for the wrong person, the most selfish thing.

    Once you have children you may feel you can do no wrong. I see how women who have children become amazingly arrogant. Some use their motherhood as a tool to get what they want in life, some use it for power. Some use their children to manipulate situations, who hasnt felt that?

    I remember saying to my pregnant sister “dont let it change you” and it did almost immediately…She became other than herself and that person wont come back. Her job is now to raise her daughter but how much of that is for the child and how much is actually for herself or her partners goals? these are kind of taboo subjects right? What happens to womens brains when they have children.

    I also had a childhood friend who had a baby years ago and immediately after, she became very selfrighteous and demeaning towards me which i thought was very basic and wrong..i cut her off after that as it was clear she didnt feel much kindness towards me.




    Hi Anita,

    Today. I started writing another brick of text and it sounded too complaining. I can’t seem to stop..Im overtired. I don’t have a break from work much at all.

    More bad experiences at work, more feeling hopeless and like I might just collapse.

    Is this as good as it gets for me? Is there a light at the end when you work this hard? Or am I just being stupid staying here? Maybe im just too smart to be here and ive been underachieving or maybe this is all I can get.

    Jealousy as a core belief. Yes probably I got it from my mother, who had reasoned that people were jealous when I felt self conscious of people staring at me on the street….which has affected me a lot when I was younger. She concluded it was because I was attractive. I could never be certain of that, so my mind would dissect the information and look at all possible other explanations.

    I think I mentioned I thought she fit a narcissist profile, that I gathered this opinion over the last 4 or 5 years, and that this was probably why I put up with my ex’s behaviour as he was similar to her in behaviour.  Loving, building up and then tearing down and insulting. So in a way, analyising my ex has led to other realisations.

    In the last few years I also came to see some awful jealous behaviour in her regarding what little successes I had. The main one being apartments I renovated that she refused to even visit until it was done, then looked unhappy when she finally came. And for some reason I would always want her opinion when I should know better. It seems she also has a need to be more knowledgable than me on subjects I have more experience work mainly. These toxic exchanges are so common to me really that I don’t even think of it. But I know this is part of the problems I have. My mothers relationship with my father is also toxic. He never contradicts, he is subservient and feeds her need to bully.

    Im unsure of my own opinions, I have trouble making decisions..these are things they say are as a result of this kind of relationship where you are made to doubt yourself.

    Maybe jealous is really not the only word but I use that because I feel it describes other people’s behaviour..there is envy, spitefulness as well.

    im tired of sitting on the fence on everything, being so amenable and nice, letting others take advantage and being so unhappy about it all.




    Hi Anita,

    What i mean by the full picture is the outward behaviour and actions, an assessment of that. Whereas his thoughts are something i could never know for sure. He didn´t “confide” in me as such but small truths leaked out over time as though he had already told me about them….for instance about his drug use. I suppose he didnt tell me at first because then i would surely leave. Again, this fits the narrative of a Narcissist, as it seems to describe them as people who go from one to another person but can´t bear to be alone and are frightened of being alone.

    I remember he asked me in the beginning if i was a very jealous person and that it was good i wasnt…but i think he was insincere..he in fact WANTED me to have a tantrum about other women so he could feel more loved, more wanted. When i met him for the last time and he told me his current girlfriend was very jealous and would not want him to be friends with me. Was he bragging? or was it honest. Because i feel he would always flirt and there is no reason for him to change.

    There is something else. I have a strong feeling that he keeps check on what i am doing..this is a feeling i have always had around him but i have no proof apart from the things he said to me. I never had the same feeling with other boyfriends. i dont think its because he wants to get back to me but rather, he wants me to stay alone. As we talk of coincidence, i recently listed a house and was talking to the owner, she told me that another agent had tried to list it after i went (in order to have it exclusively) and that the woman had been very aggressive so the owner didnt go for it….ive very little doubt, this was his current girlfriend and i wonder how that just happened to be. You may say this is delusional but things keep coming up and i am not looking for them..if anything, im trying to get on with my life.

    I feel this sense of people trying to bait me lately. As i mentioned for example, at work with this male family member. Today i asked a question to my team on social media and time passed, i got no reply. usually when others ask something a reply comes in 2 mins. Even my boss noticed and made a comment which is rare, after which two of them jumped and replied immediately like they had been bitten… was another humiliation from people i have personally helped A LOT but ive come to expect nothing but the worst. I feel they are making this example to the newer staff to show how i should be treated and its working, the young girl doing my old job is now similarly dismissive and follows suit…its ugly and i feel it could even be classed as racism at the very least developing a bullying culture. But i can´t do much to change that. It makes me depressed and sad that this is the example for a successful business life. The family member never helps me when i ask, pretends he doesnt know information etc. And at group meetings he is very fake, polite and helpful but at the same time makes a point of demeaning my influence…no doubt he is afraid of my influence on the boss because he wants total control. I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about it. The problem is that this behaviour only makes me shut the door on empathy for them…so how does that improve the business?

    As you can see, i just run around in circles with these two things..but i think that this helps..i feel less of an attraction to the man i once really adored. it was an unfair relationship and i was treated badly. And it also is about my relationships with people..why the negatives all the time and why do i seem to get so many jealous people in my life? its really no wonder i feel the way i do.


    Hi Anita,

    My frustration over this obsessing about my ex is that i understand both the good and bad about him. I feel i almost have the full picture of him, apart from his true thoughts, which he basically seems to hide from everyone. I am aware i got involved with someone who was destabilizing to my mental state, that was already in a fragile state when i met him. I felt that he had a tough time going through his younger years, some bad experiences. From what he has told me of his past relationships i think he learned he could use women but he is also blindsided by them and a little frightened of them…he struggled to understand emotions. This is why i think he fits the profile of a Narcissist. I think he would talk to his friends about not understanding women he was with and they would give their leveled opinion..of course, some of those men were also just as childlike when it came to relationships. But others i met knew exactly what problems he had and just accepted it. Sometimes i felt he was bullied by his friends as they discovered he was easy to manipulate.  it drove me nuts that some random woman he had just met would find she could influence him, or that suddenly he had bought something expensive like a house or a car because it was a good idea at the time. As a friend he was good entertainment i think.

    ….there is the bad side i experienced, the mood swings he had, the temper, impatience and frustration he had. He  told me about his frustrations with previous girlfriends..but not with much detail, one was anorexic, so was another, one slept too much he said, the other made him jealous with the way she dressed and that seemed to really hurt him, that she might be flirting with someone else. He asked me if i was cheating on him many times but not in an angry way, just in a very insecure way. He expected me to work for him for free, being his side kick in most of his business. It was sometimes exhausting as he had a lot of energy. He told me one ex girlfriend was annoying because she slept all the time, i could understand. I think these girls threw themself into everything, im more reserved and perhaps stubborn…i wouldnt do everything he wanted, i didnt have image issues and i didnt take drugs. But mentally i felt i gave a lot to him…which is why the damage was all there.

    On the good side, he was creative and energetic and clever, he was innovative and always had new ideas, he was attractive to me in every way and we were compatible in most ways except for one…that i didnt need to socialise so much and he really did. When were just at home i was very happy, i never felt as good with other boyfriends. He would help me with my own ideas and encouraged me to do things although he would also quickly get frustrated with me. When i say he had a lot of energy, i mean he needed stimulation all the time, ideas, sex, travel, friends, business and fun etc..I found the pace pretty hard to keep up..i think others did too. But this counteracted my natural depressive nature and i preferred it to my natural state. he had some few quiet moments too. He always said jokingly that his ex girlfriend always liked it when he was sick, because then he was calmer and wouldn´t be running off somewhere…thats why i understand it was not just me. He was also the kind of guy that would call up and say that he had broken his surfboard or his car or part of him. Just carelessly. That was hard to deal with, that he was so energetically erratic, but in return for the other good stuff i accepted that about him.

    In some ways i wondered if in fact we were mirroring each other. If in fact we were too similar to work out.


    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your perspective, its quite a problem for me, being mostly alone and trying to interpret what is going on around me. I also do not always follow what people are saying because of the language barrier so sometimes i know i come across as dumb, because i dont always understand. Its frustrating but ive become used to that. So the bullying and negativity are a combination i know fairly well.

    I know other people who simply speak their own language and dont bother to learn but if im honest, ive done really well to get so far and having some knowledge, it is going to be an advantage when the world turns to shit, as it might.

    And with regards to my friend looking for work and a place to call home, i feel a great deal of empathy beause i know how he feels even though he looks a lot like the local people and i dont. He says he has experienced a lot of racism but i know he is also antagonistic sometimes. You need the patience of a saint sometimes. Culturally speaking i think he is a better match for a country like the States. When i first moved here, it was a recession and no one had any money. There were literally no young people and i thought i had come to the end of the line….but…..i found through my patience, that people were kind, gentle, sweet and helpful. I just felt gratitude because i had nothing. I think im talking about older generations mainly though. I think the younger generation here is impatient, greedy and does not have time to understand other cultures. There´s a difference. And there are new visitors too, impatient, demanding….its sad sometimes but that is what an increasingly succesful economy attracts, no one has time to stop.

    We now have a lot of wealthy older foreign people from all over …expensive cars and more increasingly younger couples who want to live a cleaner life by the sea. That is the marketing speak though. There is another side and that is the people who are searching for answers or running away from something. The ocean is a great attraction for the lost.

    What im trying to understand in myself is why i am struggling through this life when, like my friend i could just say “this isnt working, im going”. I know its not as simple maybe, i have elderly parents i have to think of  who are vunerable here but its more the fact that im already older, tired of living in different countries. It would have probably all fallen into place if i had met the right guy i think as most women fall into a routine that way. Being alone is very hard, i have to be very strong all the time.

    Its good to hear your perspective that i am misinterpreting situations as this makes me hopeful that things arent as bad as they seem. But they still seem bad! I dont feel there is much doubt that the family member at work has made my job harder and so forced me to look at other options, he would prefer me to leave. Ive let other people´s issues affect me and its poison for the mind. Also influenced by my colleague, i guess we have come to our own conclusions. When in doubt you refer to your instinct about situations and coincidences rarely exist do they?

    And my ex is long gone. Ive hung on and on with the dream-like imagining that i am special somehow. It seemed preferable, understandably when you consider the lonely reality, to believe that i have some hold on him. I guess i wanted to feel wanted by someone that i was attracted to. But there is no magic there, he is a narcissist who is probably abusing the woman he is with. In fact i think one of the best things i did was to talk to one of the women he left me for (the first time around) because i could then see the delusion in her for myself. I try to remind myself of that. She left him soon after and i must admit, i think i saved her from a lot of pain. But i suffered it. I got back with him and then he left me again for his current girlfriend. he was my drug like nothing i had experienced before. Crazy that this can happen and you think you are so rational as a person but around him i would lose myself.




    Hi Anita,

    I think i mostly feel sadness!

    i never used to feel so intensly angry at situations..i guess when i was younger i thought things might change and things would happen differently but they didnt. Im not sure why i attract negativity from others but i do. And it just seems to get worse. At work some years ago i used to regularly get abusive comments from clients, some about me being foreign, some sexist, it was a relief in a way when i became, i guess..more unattractive to get that attention. But that was also probably another reason for my ex to you cant win.

    I think im prone to being bullied because i dont speak up, cant seem to…its like i have a stupid fascination to see where its going, to fall headlong into the pain of rejection from someone. Maybe i create the disasters in my life but i dont seem to have the will to fight back.

    i started to feel some years ago that people are expected to be a little nasty in one way or another: jealous or competitive. That this is healthy. I dont get that. i know i sound stupid. I dont really get jealous….i can see other people´s beauty and i can see the things they have…but my default is to think that they too may have problems. I guess that has kept me going in a lot of ways as my nose gets rubbed in other people´s fortune quite a lot. I know there are people who WANT to make me jealous but it wont work…im not wired like that. Maybe that makes them angry.

    I´m not the typical average person in that i dont have a partner and i dont have kids, so a whole easy way of meeting people is lost to me. On the other hand i think that the way i live is getting more and more common. No kids. No man. Through my 30s i had the thoughts like most women do, that i may be judged for not being partnered up..but once you get past 40 people literally dont notice you anymore and it becomes less of an issue. I guess you could say they conclude you are a loser then. Even women who have been divorced are more desirable but to me i see some women´s desperation to find a man and its a little sad. But i dont really care anymore..i accepted a lot of things i didnt want to accept, i can deal with it. I would only be with someone if they were right for me, after all the experiences and the pain i suffered after, its just really not worth the effort unless the guy is 100% right. My mom constantly says i should meet some old guy so i can be taken care of. She has said that before but luckily she doesnt push too much.

    I thought about leaving the country a lot of times. Just talking to my friend reminded me how HARD it is to make a success of being where i am. He started pointing out the negatives and it just got me down. But i dont see a path outside where i am just now..

    I see what you mean about the anger, keeping me in a tense state of reaction. Ive tried to suppress my true feelings a lot i see. When someone hurts me, i dont react but pretend i didnt hear or that i dont care. But i do. I dont like people being disrespectful but they often are..i just want to get through the day. But being creative, enjoying a moment, these things seem to be slipping from me and that just makes life all about work and nothing else.

    A colleague and I have been planning to start a business away from our work, nothing great…rentals. But we are both sick of the dynamic at our work place. So this is a slow project. This year is hopefully the worst. Only problem for me is that im not too excited about the work…id like to do other things but i just dont have confidence. I have to say that she has also complained a lot about work situations and probably we have sat with the negativity a lot. I felt bad for her too though, its unfair a lot of the things that have happened.

    I STILL think a lot about my ex. I am conscious of his problems and also believe it would not work, and yet…yet. still miss him, still feel that we are compatible in some way.

    i know that being in my workplace has become unhealthy, and my colleague also felt that too for her…we just need to try and get out and maybe things will look better.


    Hi Anita, Im back after being incredibly busy working around the clock. Ive tried my best to keep my head down and stay away from the rest. Its been the only way I can deal with my circling thoughts I guess but im close to burning out again from everything. Since Ive been back to work I’ve not been feeling very healthy (tired and sometimes unwell) and I’ve been struggling with this general emotional overspill. I think that I’ve unintentionally developed a trigger response to almost anything that can be perceived as negative. Im finding it hard to switch off and relax in any way, even if I take a walk something happens that irritates me.

    But something else is weighing on me. Bad news. I just heard from my mother that my brother in law lost his sister to an overdose…this is the US and she was apparently already years into addiction. At first I was just shocked, she was 41 and I didn’t know her at all. Later on though, I started to feel really sad and emotional about it…trying to imagine what had happened to her and her life to make it so bad. I couldn’t get away from the heavy feeling and didn’t really know why it was bugging me.

    I realised a bit later that the reason it felt so much to me was because my ex was an addict. Its not something that I like to admit. I only really understood that some years into the relationship and the signs were of course obvious but I was quite naive and also in a bit of an alternate reality myself, having suffered from depression and some bad experiences as well as a whole new country and culture. This triggered me to think of the issues that he may have been dealing with as well as hers, no doubt to do with family and childhood issues. This is of course worrying as my sister has a relationship with that family and we don’t know for sure the whole story. But when my sister ever spoke about her it was in negatives; that she was a total mess and no one could help her. To me that is sad in itself as I find it hard to give up on people although I know others do. I often feel a huge amount of sadness for situations or people I don’t even know.

    After I had this news I had a zoom meeting with work and I had lost the thought from my mind at that point but just felt so angry and didn’t know why (probably that). I couldn’t smile and go along with all the fake compliments that were going on and I could see that some of my team were smirking at my apparent attitude. That made me even angrier as its led by this family member for sure influencing the new staff. Sometimes it feels like im being tortured in life…I wonder why its ME that has to continually be taught a lesson? Why can’t something go wrong for this guy at work? Ok, some things have but he bounces back and has now got a supportive little team going…that like to make fun of me I think, but this is just defensive thoughts. I still can’t speak the language and so mostly at the meetings I can’t join in, they seem to find that funny. But to me its abusive.

    Today I met with an old colleague I used to work with. He knows the situation and also had his own experiences with the family member. I know this ex colleague would probably like a relationship with me and I’ve only seen him on a couple of ocaccssions but I just don’t feel anything. And although I like him as a friend, some of his behaviour irritates me as he was already giving up on another job he is in…I think he needs patience and he was talking about leaving the country which made me depressed. Maybe he is right? I should not hang on for so long but do something different.

    I wish I had more guts.


    Hi Anita, Thank you for understanding that sometimes its just…well writing it out but also someone seeing this is wrong. If i could write with hindsight i would say that perhaps a great deal of people´s mental issues can be caused by the negative choices made by others. In my case, my ex is a common situation but the work situation bothers me maybe more…because i dont feel i can do much about that. Ive had a situation like this before and now here i am again. Corrupt bosses who are weak managers and turn to people with underhand ways of doing business…it must be the norm.

    Im try to look from the outside into my situation, to see how it looks from other peoples´perspective. I feel a lot of shame for complaining. I want to be a strong and successful business woman with a great life and a happy home life but i am not. I know that there are people going through a lot like me. And im lucky to still have a job but at times it feels like it could break you.

    As i get older of course the people who are my clients get younger and i realise i missed out on a lot. Work has been at the centre of my life because i never make much money and always seem to be at a disadvantage. I can´t seem to break out of working for others when ive had many ideas for self employment, i never had the funding to start something or a solid idea or connections. I dont live in my native country so there will be no natural source of funding.

    The unfair situation at my work i know includes some clear examples of discrimination but at a certain point you are faced with the ugly truth. Do you have the money to fight this? What will you gain from fighting this? and the answer is, im a small person with not much money battling it out against the kind of people who are big fish in small ponds. and its a small world. Im worried about burning bridges and i dont have many connections. But the anger i feel has been burning me up. Its unfair! but i have to keep my mouth shut.

    I have to say that i already spent time off work due to the stress, and used that disability time to try and find another job. But the terms and conditions were not good. I weighed up the difference and it didnt seem to come out well.  its tough to start again. One of my colleagues tried to leave, she had more years experience than me and a year later came back with her tail between her legs….

    In my mind i can handle almost anything, ive been through so much. But when someone pokes at me on a daily basis like it seems this family member just has to, it sends me over the edge. He is playing with fire.

    I am somewhat calmer today and had a good result at work but whenever i am around them at the office something is always triggering bad feelings. I need to find a way to not care at all about them.

    I have to say that although ive read about other people in toxic work situations i dont tend to meet so many friends or people in one. I guess because they leave before it affects them! But right now i just cant leave without a decent amount in the bank.



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