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    Dear Neverdyed,

    “Thanks for clarifying, but did you feel that now I’m rather willing to demand anything from him??”

    No, I don’t think you’d demand anything from him anymore, since from what you’ve expressed, it seems you’ve realized you don’t want to continue in an open, not committed, on/off relationship.

    I just thought that him suggesting other lovers happened later chronologically than you protesting against on-off contacts. But as you say now, it happened earlier.

    I checked your earlier posts again, to put together a more coherent picture, since it’s a little hard to follow the timeline. One thing stood out, which I haven’t noticed earlier:

    “During the time when we were together, there were deep conversations and I could talk better, and he’s the one who showed more affections. He started to get distant after the reunion (which was fine still).”

    What do you think happened at the reunion which made him distance himself from you? When you say “which was fine still”, does it mean it didn’t bother you so much back then that he got distant?


    Dear Nar,

    I’ve checked your older posts again, trying to get a clearer picture of what happened. You said:

    “The issue is my OCD actually started developing strongly after 25”.

    What happened at that time? You said you moved to the UK when you were 17, which was a shock for you, but you haven’t started developing OCD so strongly until you were about 25. So I was wondering if something happened that triggered those more frequent episodes?

    You’ve also spoken about how you tend to get angry, and then you blame yourself for getting angry. You feel guilt and sorrow, and you’re judging yourself:

    “My pattern is this- I get angry, then I beat myself up for getting angry, I feel sadness and disappointment. Then  I blame myself. I always blame myself for everything bad happening. … But I blame myself, beat myself up for what I did or didn’t do. Maybe I even think I deserved it. Remuneration, sorrow, guilt. I am very harsh with myself.”

    “I know for a fact many times I am consciously not aware at the point when I use hurtful language towards my partner or my family.”

    From the above I figure you get angry at your family or your partner, and then you blame yourself because you aren’t supposed to get angry, i.e. it’s not very mature or enlightened to get angry? So there’s an impulse that comes – something provokes you and you get angry, and you tend to lose your temper and say nasty things in the heat of an argument. Afterwards you regret it and start blaming yourself, and can’t stop thinking about it, thinking it was your fault. You start obsessively thinking about it and blaming yourself in the process. Is this what’s going on?

    Regarding your question about whether I believe I am healed, yes, I believe I’ve managed to heal my biggest traumas: I’ve developed self-esteem and a sense of self-worth, I don’t feel helpless any more, I don’t feel I wouldn’t be able to survive without another person loving me and taking care of me. It was a long process of going to therapy, working on myself, learning about the human psyche, learning from my own mistakes, and most importantly, healing my inner child. It’s been years of work, and it’s still not over, because there are layers, one can always go deeper. But yes, I can say I’ve managed to remove the biggest blocks to my happiness.


    Dear miaim,

    is there a particular reason you’ve started questioning your choice of art as a career path? You said you’ve never questioned it much before, you simply knew it was a good choice for you and you went with the flow. But now, during the pandemic, I suppose you had more time on your hands and you started thinking about it more? What do you think is making you doubt yourself at this point?


    Dear miyoid,

    I too was ambivalent about the higher power because I had lots or preconceptions about God, e.g. I thought God was an old man with a beard who is judging me, punishing me and wants to deprive me of pleasure and joy in life. Later I realized this “God” of mine resembled my mother a little, not physically, but psychologically 😀

    I was always interested in spirituality, so when I found a description of God that felt more loving and accepting, I adopted that and it worked for me. It helped me open my heart and feel the love flow through me. That helped a great deal with my feeling of being unloved and depending on others to love and care for me.

    But you don’t have to choose that route for yourself, if you don’t inclined to. You can start by buying a puppy, if you love animals, or a flower that you can care for. Taking care of an animal can help you open your heart and experience that you too are capable of giving love. That there is love in your life, within you, even without someone else giving it to you.

    You seem to be quite independent job-wise, since you said you started working at the age of 15 (how did that come about? was it a necessity or your own choice?). This shows that you have the capacity to take care of yourself, at least financially. Now you would need to expand that to caring about yourself emotionally too.

    Do you have a role model of a very loving and caring person, be it in your own family, or just someone you know? You can have a meditation imagining them giving you love and affection, and see how it affects you. The point is to feel and anchor the love within you, so that you don’t feel dependent on others to “fill” you.



    Dear Ryan,

    I am sorry that things with your coworker didn’t work out. You did give your best and was very supportive for her, you cooked meals for her and held her in her arms without pushing for anything more. She could feel safe and cared for with you. However, she wasn’t ready for that, and it is, at least partially, because she’s battling her own demons and trying to numb her pain with drugs and alcohol. You saw this very well:

    “I’d get bits and pieces of the stressors and traumas that were her life when she was younger, but she always keeps those walls up or uses alcohol to lean on.”

    Although your meetings with her were often light and carefree, as you say, she’s carrying a lot of pain inside, which she’s trying to numb with those addictions. She is working with a counselor, so she might be free some day, but not just yet. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why she doesn’t want to get more deeply involved with you – because she knows she isn’t able to give you the love you deserve. Or, she is afraid of another intimate relationship. Or both.

    Whatever it is, at least she was honest about her unwillingness to get romantically involved with you. She never gave you false hopes, although it appears she did enjoy your company. But for her, it wasn’t going to happen. It doesn’t make you a less worthy or desirable person, it’s just that this concrete girl refused you. It has nothing to do with you, but with her.

    What I am noticing is that you are (at least until this last post where you’re a little bit disillusioned) still showing some of the savior complex, which you talked about before. You said:

    “I thought that I could be a good influence in her life, and maybe I was/am?”

    “It is my hope that she will continue to distance herself from the “unsavory characters” and the drugs.”

    “I feel that I am a positive and calming influence in her life and I would like to continue to be.”

    “I’d like to see her live a cleaner life and live up to the potential I see in her”.


    You also said she’s an old soul, intrigues you as a person and would like to know her better:

    “I would like to know her better than just a work friend that I hang out with. Not in a romantic sense, but I’d hope she’d drop her walls a bit so I can know her better.”

    “I’m just not comfortable doing without knowing her better.”


    These are all signs that you’re trying to save her. You’d like to know her better, understand her traumas, and be the person who helps her climb out of it. Even if she’s refused a romantic relationship, you still hoped to have an intimate relationship with her, to be a friend who she can confide in and talk about her problems.

    But unfortunately, saving others never works. She is the only one who can save herself. She’s probably already working on it, but since she’s still suffering with addiction, it means the wound is deep and she doesn’t know how to cope otherwise.

    It’s not your task to help her, moreover she isn’t asking for your help either. She wants to keep things light and playful with you, and now she’s even made inappropriate comments about the repair man, which to me signals she’s putting up a protective shield and wants to distance herself from any intimacy with you. It appears to me that she wants to be left alone with her pain (and her addictions), she doesn’t want you to interfere. It’s not the healthiest choice but it’s her choice, and you can’t do much about it but to respect it and to spare yourself from further pain.

    The question I would ask myself if I were you is why you have the need to save her. Usually when we want to save someone, we’re avoiding to look at something in our own psychology that needs to be solved. We’re working hard on changing them instead of looking at what needs to be changed in us.


    Dear Neverdyed,

    good you’re seeing the contradiction, and also, that you actually do have the right to demand loyalty, i.e. not to stay in a relationship where loyalty isn’t honored.

    Could you explain “But also notice that him suggesting infidelity was the line you didn’t want to cross.”?

    Yes, I figured that this is what happened, based on these words of yours:

    “Later in the msgs, he suggested me have more than 1 lover to avoid being stuck. Ever since then, I’ve tried to withdraw and move on. Although the above just made me a little sad, I’m proud that I no longer feel like crying frequently like I was.”

    I had the impression that his suggestion to have multiple lovers was rather hurtful for you and what finally made you withdraw from him (or try to withdraw from him –  as you phrased it). I deduced, perhaps wrongly, that before that, you were rather reluctant to demand anything. You did once mention you don’t need on and off contacts, but he brushed it off and you haven’t brought it up again. But I thought that him suggesting other lovers was the line that you didn’t want to cross, and that’s when you started distancing yourself more and more (you said “Ever since then, I’ve tried to withdraw and move on“). Or it’s not how it happened?


    • This reply was modified 2 days, 13 hours ago by TeaK.

    Dear Neverdyed,

    I am glad you’re trying to get to the bottom of the problem, that’s the only way to resolve it.

    “The last video chat ended after he said I’d made him responsible (I couldn’t hold my tears because I missed him even without addressing it).”

    Could you explain this? In his view, what have you made him responsible for?

    “Somehow I think only marriage empowers the couple to demand/request what he or she wants/expects, maybe it’s because it’s formal? As for my idea about marriage, I believe it’s related to my parents’ terrible divorce, but I’ve stopped claiming that it’s all their fault. I don’t mind having a partner for life, just “getting married” is totally unnecessary for me, the most important thing is being faithful/loyal. Now it seems weird to me for how infidelity scares me off as it has nothing to do with my parents’ divorce!”

    So your parents had a difficult divorce, and it probably affects your idea of marriage. That’s why you don’t want to get married. You only want loyalty, however, here is one big problem: you said you can only request things (I guess this includes loyalty) if you’re married. So how do you request loyalty if you’re not married? Do you see your internal contradiction?

    It’s totally understandable that infidelity scares you, in the sense that you don’t want to have an unfaithful partner. But you need to be able to demand that from him – even if you’re not married. That’s called a committed relationship.

    So what would happen if you’d demand faithfulness from your partner? We already know that the man you’ve been involved with refused to be faithful. Not only that, but he suggested that you too should have more than one lovers (“he suggested me have more than 1 lover to avoid being stuck”). That’s when you started withdrawing and have been trying to forget about him, but it was very hard and it made you suffer a lot.

    But also notice that him suggesting infidelity was the line you didn’t want to cross. You could tolerate his long silence, his not answering your messages for days on end and other stuff, but you couldn’t tolerate him being unfaithful. And that’s fine, that’s a healthy instinct. That’s a minimum in a healthy and loving relationship.

    Do you think you could demand that from a future partner? Or there’s something standing in the way?

    “Finally, I’d like to bring up a question since I’m quite afraid of being a third party without knowing it in the future… How to tell if a man’s single?”

    Well, if he’s available to chat during the day (or if he’s busy working during the day, then in the evening), he’s available to meet during the weekends, he isn’t secretive about where he goes and how he spends his time, you‘re allowed to call him, you’re invited to meet his friends or his family… Also, he doesn’t promote open relationships, he doesn’t talk about having more than one partners, he isn’t avoiding you, he is eager to spend time with you…


    Dear miyoid,

    Has your boyfriend moved out? You mentioned he was planning to do so on Thursday…

    “It seems like the care and support/love that my boyfriend offers is not enough, it’s like I need more and more. Everytime he acts kindly to me, I feel that longing over and over again. I desperately need that attention, but I have hard time receiving that attention. I’m not sure how I feel about myself not deserving or deserving, it sometimes feels like I deserve more love than I actually receive.”

    “Right now I am feeling as vulnerable/weak as a very thin glass. I feel like I cannot continue my life without him.”


    Dear miyoid, I understand you because I used to feel similarly, like I can’t live without my boyfriend. And when I wasn’t in a relationship, I felt a huge longing for love and an emptiness inside of me. I felt like an orphan, longing to be loved and taken care of. And I felt helpless and hopeless without someone to meet that need of mine. That was a long time ago. Since then, I’ve learned that I am capable of loving myself and giving myself love. At first, it was hard, because I felt like a dried-out well, so how can I possibly love myself?

    I don’t know if you believe in a higher power, but what helped me was that I asked Jesus to come to my heart, because without his love, I would perish. It was a very powerful meditation, in which I felt Jesus’ love pouring into my heart and filling the void that I felt there. After that, I could feel for the first time that I can be the source of love, that I can give love too, and not just receive it.

    So for me, it took a higher power to give me that first “portion” of love and open my heart, and also to make me feel that I am lovable, and that love can flow through me. That I am a conduit of love.

    From then on, everything changed. I stopped feeling like an orphan and depending on others to give me love. I could survive without their love. It doesn’t mean I don’t need others, far from that, just that I am much less needy in a relationship. I believe that if you could get in touch with that inner source of love – which is definitely there – things will dramatically change for you too.


    “She prescribed him all those heavy meds and told that the therapy would start after their effects start as well. Then he started to experience these tantrums or mental breakdowns even more often. It was like the tantrums got heavier day by day.”

    I am sorry that your boyfriend didn’t get proper help, on the contrary it seems the medicine he got made his symptoms even worse. And then the psychotherapist didn’t respond to his texts and just left him hanging. Very unprofessional of her 🙁 I do hope that he finds someone better, at least that he manages to find one therapist who will consistently engage with him and help him stabilize.

    As for your job, it’s good that you don’t want to keep doing it for a long time, but just temporarily, until you can save some money. But I suggest you give yourself a time limit, and to leave as soon as possible.


    Dear Felix,

    In your posts you’ve mentioned several times that you’re hoping to get some positive feedback from the universe, but nothing is coming your way:

    “I do send out love into the universe. I don’t do it as a favor so I can get back something from it, but I hear silence in return. In fact, it often happens that I get adversity and hardship in return.”

    “It’s just been so stale lately that I don’t remember what it feels like when something cool or interesting comes my way because of a coincidence. I am trying to send out positive thoughts into the Universe and I really hope to get some feed back.”

    “I am not giving up, but I haven’t had any good or positive news in a very long time. … I am just so tired of it all that I would do anything for something good, fun, exiting to happen.”

    So it’s like you’re trying so hard, you’re giving your best, but no good news in return.  You only hear crickets, or even worse, you experience more adversity. It’s like you’re saying: “please, I am doing my best, I am trying so hard to be a good person. Why don’t you show me some love in return, why don’t you show me that you care at least a little??”

    It seems to me it’s how a child would talk to a parent. “I am trying to be a good boy, I am doing everything to please you. Why can’t you show me some love already??”

    Does that ring a bell for you? Because what could be happening is that you’re subconsciously trying to please your parents (and now an external authority like God or the universe), but you feel you’re not good enough. You’re judging yourself harshly:

    “I am trying to forgive myself, to be more precise, I am talking to myself about moving on, but like a sadomasochist I am continuing to punish myself.

    “I am trying to be patient, accepting, and loving of myself. I realize how important it is to love myself and be fair (from learning about Buddhism), but this alter-ego inside of me continues to punish me for effing up.”

    One part of you knows – the rational part – that the key is to love and accept yourself. But the other is still judging you for being imperfect. That’s the inner critic, which is most likely the internalized voice of your parent(s). So there’s an inner child within you, which is being tormented by the voice of the harsh inner critic. What it needs is that you become a good, loving parent to that little boy. To stop judging him and pushing him to be better, but to love him and accept him just as he is, with no conditions. This will change the entire “constellation”, so to speak, and things will almost certainly start changing in your outer life too…


    Dear Javairia,

    glad you liked the idea of spending more time in nature. When you’re out in nature, try to be present in your body, touch the grass, smell the flowers, touch the bark of a tree, notice the birds, hear them chirping… in short, try to engage all your senses. That will help you stay in the here and now, and not escape into your thoughts.


    Dear Neverdyed,

    “I simply stayed silent when he said he didn’t even want a girlfriend in the beginning”

    So if I am getting this right, your relationship started as a very casual one. In the beginning he didn’t even want a girlfriend but saw you as his “lover”, which to you sounded more like a mistress, i.e. for sexual encounters. You agreed to it and it didn’t bother you at first, because for one, you didn’t fall for him much back then, and also, you spent quite a lot of time together.

    So it seems that in the beginning, neither of you saw it as a serious relationship. But then, what happened? You started falling for him and wanting more out of the relationship, and he started withdrawing? Was there ever a period where the two of you could share deeper thoughts and feelings with each other, or he (or you) resisted that?

    “I discussed with him once and I said something like “only in a marriage can you ask for something”, and I’ve no interests in getting married.”

    So it was you who said “only in a marriage can you ask for something”? Where do you think this attitude comes from?

    “I’ve no interests in getting married.”

    Can you explain why? What do you associate with marriage that makes you reluctant to get married?

    Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but I think it’s worth digging a bit deeper to understand the dynamic in the background…


    Dear Nar,

    Thank you for replying. Let me first answer your question.

    “You mentioned you had love-hate relationship with your  mother. What is like your relationship with her now?”

    I live in another country, I visit her a few times per year (except for 2020 – we haven’t seen each other for more than a year now), and I talk on the phone almost exclusively with my father. She doesn’t approve of my life, of the career path I’ve chosen, she thinks I’m ruining my life. And she’s blaming me for her misery. So it’s business as usual, except now I am much less affected by her attitude. I don’t hate her or resent her. I accept her and even have compassion for her, but I keep a distance. There’s no closeness between us. And she doesn’t want much contact with me either, since she always starts crying when we speak, and also, because she lost hope that I’d change.

    So we’re distant and I don’t think it will ever change, because she never really saw me, and never really had faith in me, and it’s hard to be close with someone when you don’t feel that kind of support.

    You mentioned the attachment issue, and that you’re afraid your loved ones would die. I too had a strong separation anxiety, and I think it’s due to the fact that my parents left me at my granny’s when I was around 1,5 years old. They left me there for 9 months, and came to visit only rarely (I spoke about that in another topic). I didn’t know about that till I was much older, but it explains my fear of abandonment and of my loved ones dying. Do you know what your anxiety is tied to? You mentioned the political situation in your country and your family fearing for their safety, if I understood it well?

    You said in your reply to Anita: “I understand my mother was just a product of her environment.

    It’s okay to have understanding for our parents. I too understand that my mother was a wounded child herself, that’s why she behaved the way she did. You can also say it was customary to hit children when they didn’t perform in school, and everybody in your surroundings did it. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean those things didn’t cause trauma. Sometimes there’s collective trauma because the children are brought up in unhealthy ways. This results in collective anger and hate, which then can cause war…

    What I am trying to say is that we can understand all this and forgive our parents, however we also need to heal the trauma, because it did happen. It’s okay not to blame or hate your mother, but it’s also necessary to say “this was wrong, this is not the way to treat a child”. And even that’s not enough (I mean, intellectual understanding is not enough), we need to heal our inner child in order to be truly free from trauma.

    You say: “I felt pain and hurt from my past relationships and failed friendships more than from my mother, more pain from the suffering and injustice in the world than my mom’s silent treatments…maybe I was  “trained” in a certain way in my childhood to respond to these situations, and I acquired these reactions in my childhood.”

    Yes, you were molded as a child to view yourself and the world in a certain way, and you still react from your wounded inner child, especially in intimate relationships or friendships. That’s why they cause you trouble. I also agree with you that replacing the negative self-talk with pep talk like “I am the most worthy person in the world and nothing is my fault” is not the solution. Because you’re not “the most worthy” person in the world, BUT you are worthy. We are all worthy. The inner child needs to know that and feel that. That’s how healing happens. Only then can our old patterns change…

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 14 hours ago by TeaK.

    Dear Nar,

    I’ve been catching up with this topic and enjoyed the depth of discussion and the great insights provided by Anita.

    Your mother seems similar to mine in the sense that my mother was also strict, criticizing me all the time and I was afraid of her as a child. You mentioned that neither you or your sister confide in your mother, and it’s the same with me. I’ve felt that when I was honest with her, she would later use it against me to put me down.

    My mother too believed she was a “martyr” who would “do anything for me” (I am the only child). Like your parents, she and my father provided financially for me. We were middle class and they afforded me everything that serves my education and professional development (they paid for language schools, summer courses abroad, internships abroad, etc).

    Regardless of that, my mother wasn’t very supportive of me. She had an idea of who I should become, and “what’s best for me”. In spite of her providing for me materially and affording me all those things, she actually hasn’t provided me with emotional nurturance and support – which is even more important than the material one.  Because of her constant criticism and complaining about life (and blaming everyone but herself), I thought it was my fault and that if I could only be perfect, she would finally be happy. Little did I know that her unhappiness was deeply rooted in her own emotional wounds and had nothing to do with me. Even if I’d become perfect, she still wouldn’t be happy. But I’ve realized that only much later in life.

    So I grew up with a very deep shame, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth. I had every material need met, but none of the emotional ones. My father was better, much less judgmental and strict, with much more understanding for me, but he did nothing to stop my mother from tormenting me. He was a silent accomplice, so to speak.

    Anita made some excellent remarks about how we as children depend on our parents for safety and support, and if they turn against us, attacking and criticizing us, it’s devastating because we have nowhere to run. They are our entire world. We look to them for protection, but at the same time, we fear them, because their love is very conditional. So we try to be a “good girl” or a “good boy”, to please them, so they wouldn’t abandon us.

    I had a love-hate relationship with my mother, because I needed her, both physically and emotionally, and she did meet some of my needs, but not that what I truly needed emotionally. And I hated her for that.

    I guess something similar may be happening inside of you too, where a part of you loves your mother and appreciates the support she provided, but the other part is rebelling, because your true emotional needs weren’t met. But what seems to also have happened is that you’re judging the rebellious part as bad. You talked about being cruel towards your granny and not helping her when she needed it. This you take as a proof that you were “a bad girl”.

    But the reality is, most likely, that it was your mother who planted this idea that you were “bad” much earlier than you treated your granny like that. And you started believing her. When a child believes they’re bad, they will sooner or later start behaving in ways that “prove” how bad they are. Our mother’s critical voice becomes our owner inner critic, which torments us the same way our mother did.

    As adults, our lives start falling apart and we think our mother was right – that we’re a failure and good for nothing. But the truth is the opposite: our life fell apart because we were raised with shame and criticism and were told we’re good for nothing.

    Until we realize that – until we see how the wounding happened – we cannot truly heal.

    I stop here, but there’s much more to be said on this topic.


    Dear Neverdyed,

    “Good to see you responding further, somehow I feel that you’re a man and no offense.”

    I am a woman, and no offense taken 😊 Just curious why you thought I was a man? Because it might be useful in understanding how you see men vs women, that is, what features you think are features of a man vs those of a woman.

    “I’ve been fully aware that without the formal title, I have no right to ask much, but actually, I still don’t suppose I could demand a lot even if it’s a committed relationship.”

    If I understood it well, your relationship was never meant to be a committed relationship. Whose idea was it? How did you feel about being in such a “loose” relationship?

    And could you clarify – what do you mean when you say that you couldn’t demand much even in a committed relationship?

    “And yes, I definitely don’t want to be humiliated ever again.”

    True intimacy is possible only if we’re vulnerable, if we honestly share how we feel. However, you don’t need to be vulnerable with people who don’t deserve it, who don’t care about you or respect you. This man doesn’t seem like someone who’d appreciate your vulnerability, or care to reciprocate. But somewhere down the line, the right person might come along, and then, it will be important for you to be able to come out of your shell, without being so afraid to share yourself.

    “The big question for me at the moment is, should I save my energy and simply stay silent or should I “list” my points “in case he pops up once again”?”

    Well, what would you like better? I think that for the sake of breaking the pattern of silence and withdrawal, it wouldn’t be bad to stand up for yourself and express how you feel or have felt. But you might also decide it’s not worth it because he wouldn’t understand it anyway, or that his remarks might hurt you, so better to stay silent. What’s important is that you’ve understood it and that you’ve decided not to tolerate certain behaviors any more.


    Dear Javairia,

    I haven’t heard of exactly the phrase maladaptive daydreaming, but it seems like a way to escape a difficult reality. Children who’ve experienced trauma and don’t feel physically safe in their environment (e.g. growing up in a war zone, or in a violent household, or physically abandoned or neglected by their caretakers for this or that reason), tend to disassociate from their body, to less feel the pain of living in a hostile environment. They tend to stay in their head, in their own imagined world, and daydream. As you said, it’s a coping mechanism, but it’s standing more and more in the way of normal functioning.

    I didn’t have the time to read your other thread, but I’ve seen you mentioned the problem of self-harming. That’s usually a way to return to the body, after we’ve disassociated too much. It’s like one disassociates a lot via daydreaming, and then cut themselves to return to the body, to the physical reality.  Both behaviors are related to childhood trauma of living in a precarious, unsafe environment.

    Do you relate to that? Also, is there a school counselor or someone you can talk to? It would be important that you create an experience of safety for yourself, e.g. by participating in a school group (a drama group maybe?) or participating in a community project. Walking in the grass, spending time in nature, hugging trees etc are all ways to “ground” yourself, to feel that connection with mother earth that feels too scary at the moment.

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