Forum Replies Created
July 27, 2021 at 1:16 pm #383538
you say you’re in a negative thinking mode more often than not, and that it’s hard for you to be optimistic.
One reason could be that in your childhood, you experienced a sense a failure and hopelessness in the relationship with either of your parents, e.g. if you tried to make your mother happy but you never succeeded. This is just an example, doesn’t mean it refers to you. But a sense of hopelessness about changing the parent, or changing the relationship with the parent, is often in the background of feeling hopeless and depressed as adults.July 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm #383534
good to hear from you! I am glad things are moving along fine with your separation and moving into a place of your own.
I find myself a little anxious sometimes, but I am patient with myself, as I’m sure it’s normal with all these changes going on at the same time.
Yes, it’s normal to feel this way. This is a big change for you, and there’s a part of us that doesn’t like changes, even if remaining in the status quo is painful, like it was for you. Stepping into something new for many people brings anxiety (at least for me, big time 🙂 ), so this is just something to endure for a while, until the move actually happens.
It’s good you’re finding ways to soothe and calm yourself, despite the disquiet that you’re currently feeling. Keep it up for a few more days, and then see how things are once your ex actually moves out. Post here anytime you need…. I am rooting for you!July 27, 2021 at 10:50 am #383520
you’re very welcome. I am glad you’re not crying that much. It’s only natural you miss S, now that he’s shown understanding for you, admitted his mistakes, and even told you he loves you. But it appears he doesn’t want to leave his girlfriend and be with you, and it could be because he is feeling that they’ve formed a bond that he isn’t willing to break. He might have feelings for you, but he seems to be committed to his girlfriend, and that’s what matters. I know you’re respecting his choice, although it’s also hard for you.
If you start crying, know that it’s also your inner child crying for losing a “perfect parent”, so try to be aware of that dynamic too. You can soothe your inner child, if you feel you have the capacity to do that. If not, just be aware of her and her pain, and tell her it will be better and that you’re working on it.
If you need support while dealing with M, you’re welcome to share about it. I’ll try to help if I can.July 27, 2021 at 2:24 am #383503
thanks for sharing some more. It’s good you have a supportive and understanding father. Did he know about your mother’s abuse while he was deployed? You said you moved to your father’s place when you were 17 – I guess this means your parents divorced at some point?
I am sorry this all happened to you, Candice. How are you feeling now? When you first wrote you said you can’t stop crying about S… how is it now?July 26, 2021 at 11:42 am #383470
In my youth I wasn’t coping actually, I was severely depressed and had suicidal ideations until I was 17 when I moved to live with my dad.
I see. Well, you did have a rough time growing up, no wonder you were depressed and suicidal. How is/was your relationship with your father? How were you coping after you were 17? If you feel like sharing some more…
I think I got a job to be able to be more productive and “valuable”.
Does it mean your mother made you get a job? Like, she was suggesting you’re worthless and of no use, and so you got a job to look better in her eyes?
How do you need to parent her nowadays? (Please note, if you don’t want to share more than you’ve already shared, that’s okay. Only share what you feel comfortable with).
July 26, 2021 at 8:30 am #383464
- This reply was modified 1 day, 8 hours ago by TeaK.
Is this me overanalyzing?
Yes, it is. You’re much more active in your brain, your thinking, than your physical body. Your mind is racing 100 miles per hour, while you’re sitting still in your chair in your room. If you want progress with your self-esteem, you’ll need to force yourself to get up and do something…
I’m still on progress on creating a positive image for myself and also for the exercise.
Let me know how it is gong, once you start with your exercises…July 26, 2021 at 7:29 am #383461
you’re very welcome. It’s great to hear that you’ve signed up for free mental health courses and have found a support group. Also, that you’ve talked with your mother about it. It’s really good that you can be so open with your mother, and that she understands and supports you in getting help for yourself.
As for needing a counselor, if you had a bad experience with it, better don’t go to just anyone. First you may try self-help and participation in the support group, and you can see how you’re feeling. If you feel better and are managing to keep your anxiety in check, perhaps you don’t necessarily need a counselor. If you feel you need extra help, you may ask the people in your support group to recommend someone good, who won’t immediately prescribe medications, but will use other techniques (since you had a bad experience with medications).
So if I were you, I’d go step by step, see if I can help myself, and if not, then seek a professional – but someone who suits your needs.July 26, 2021 at 3:33 am #383459
I am sorry you’re now realizing your sons might not respect you as much as you hoped they would. Perhaps you’re thinking something like: I sacrificed myself for them, stayed in an emotionally abusive marriage for years, and “kept peace”, and this is their thank you??
Unfortunately, when you tried to “keep peace”, you probably didn’t respect yourself enough, you allowed yourself to be put down, you endured emotional abuse rather than standing up for yourself – and your sons noticed it. Your sons saw their mother not respecting herself, and they started to treat her like that too. On top of that, their father spoke badly about you behind your back, and they absorbed that too.
You thought that by keeping your mouth shut and enduring, you’ll protect them. But in fact, you gave them a bad example of how to treat a woman, and they carried that forward into their relationships.
What you’d need to do is start respecting yourself. You need to heal those emotional wounds inflicted upon you (which maybe go back to your childhood, where you learned that a woman should sacrifice herself for the sake of the family?), learn to love and respect yourself and stand up for yourself. I believe that only then will you see their attitude change.July 26, 2021 at 1:56 am #383454
They NEVER put this pressure on my sister, would is 20 turning 21. When she would throw a tantrum or show her discontent, my mom just let it go and never yell and nag at her for hours.
They would rather pay someone else to help them than ask her.
Now I understand why what I suggested above (to teach your sister how to fill in the forms, and then inform your parents that she too is able to do it from now) – wouldn’t really work. They would rather pay someone else than to disturb her. She uses a smart defense strategy: she throws a tantrum and that’s how she keeps them at bay. She doesn’t have any remorse or any sense of guilt for not helping them. And so she’s off the hook.
You on the other hand have a sense of responsibility and a strong sense of guilt if you don’t help them. And they are using it – they are using your sense of duty, your care and conscientiousness to do what they want you to do. I could imagine that even your mother nagging you to get a driver’s license is because she’ll be using you to drive them (or your sister) to places. It seems that your parents unfortunately don’t see you as a person with her own needs and wants, but as a function to them. And you, because of your good heart and your sense of duty, are allowing it.
It’s time to take that course, Annie, and start respecting yourself and learning how to set boundaries. If you could live separately from your parents, that would be great too. Physical and emotional separation is what you need, because otherwise you’re going to burnout. Those chest pains and physical problems you’re experiencing are a sign of burnout, I believe. You need to take care of yourself, and not sacrifice your health and well-being for them.
I root for you to start the process of self-care. One step could be to set aside time for taking that course… And also, let them pay someone else to do those tasks. Start respecting yourself and caring about your health.July 26, 2021 at 1:27 am #383453
you’re welcome. It’s good you realize you need to protect yourself from your mother until she is refusing to take responsibility for her actions.
Regarding you taking on a mother role with M, perhaps it’s not really surprising, because you did say you need to parent your mother too:
We have a better relationship now, but I still feel like I have to parent her.
You also said you had an adult-adult relationship with S, before he cheated. In psychology, there is a term called character structures. Steven Kessler wrote a wonderful book about it, called “The Five Personality Patterns”. There is one personality pattern, called the “compensated merging pattern”, in which the child doesn’t receive the necessary love and nurturance (like it happened in your case), but then builds herself up and becomes a care-taker to their parent, so that she can still be in a relationship with the parent, and feel loved and needed. So the child doesn’t collapse but finds strength in this care-taker persona.
But it’s a persona, it covers up the original trauma. The person can live relatively normally with this persona far into their adulthood. But when something happens, some triggering event, this persona is shattered and the person reverts to their old traumatized child self.
I believe this is what might have happened to you. You might have been coping quite fine in your youth, you said you even had a job in a diner at 15, which means you were quite resourceful – despite your trauma. You might have functioned like an adult, perhaps even with a touch of this care-taker persona. This is how you entered the relationship with S. And then it all came crashing down when he cheated on you.
Do you feel this is what might have happened?July 25, 2021 at 1:30 pm #383432
I am sorry to hear your job situation is still the same 🙁
I don’t feel too good these days. As the marriage thing is progressing, I find myself afraid of men and the mere thought of being with someone again is giving me stress. Life consists of only my job currently and since even that is messy so I find myself out of energy and unable to participate in anything.
Are your parents still sending you profiles of potential candidates? Perhaps you can tell them that you’re stressed with work and don’t have either physical or mental strength to think about marriage at the moment. If they send you profiles of potential candidates, don’t even look at those if they cause you additional stress…
How about potential scholarships abroad? Are you still interested in that?July 25, 2021 at 12:21 pm #383431
No.they wont be able to stop me financially as i work part time and manage my expenses myself . so i dont need to ask them
That’s great! You’re in a good position, you cannot be blackmailed. You can basically live and arrange your life as you wish, independent of their requirements.
the worst that can happen is that they can get angry ,upset and very disappointed ..As they would think i ruined the family name etc because they scared “what will people say”?
So you might be seen as a rebel, “ungrateful” daughter (at least in the beginning, till they get used to it)? How much does it disturb you? Perhaps it would help you to be aware that there is a part of you that wants to be a “good daughter”, who makes her family happy (a part that wants to be loved and accepted by your family). And there is another part, who wants to live her life freely and be happy with the person she loves.
If you want to please your family, you need to sacrifice yourself and choose an unhappy life. If you want to choose your own happiness, you need to accept that you will cause some (although lesser) unhappiness to your family. So basically it’s your own deep, personal, day-in day-out lived happiness (as anita said) vs your family’s superficial and fleeting feeling of satisfaction because you did what they deem right. If you choose what your family wants, your life will be drastically worse. If you choose what you want, the life of your family won’t be drastically worse, in fact it won’t be worse at all. They might complain, but in all honesty, their life will be the same.
Perhaps this helps you decide…July 25, 2021 at 1:59 am #383411
I am working on some of it in therapy yes, but I have not pursued therapy with someone who focuses on childhood trauma.
Do seek someone specialized in childhood trauma, because that’s where the core problem lies…
I would love to not be in love with my ex anymore, as that would make the whole process a lot easier.
When you said that, it occurred to me there are similarities between S and your mother: 1) they both made you feel unworthy and also guilty for the fact that they mistreated you, and 2) you wanted closure with both of them, even though they both hurt you badly.
You said about S:
We have so many memories here together that flashbacks came involuntarily, and given my problems with M I began to wonder if some closure with S would help me move forward.
And now with your mother:
When I tried bringing up some of the things I mentioned to you, as a way to seek closure,
The child always hopes that the parent would finally understand how he/she hurt the child, and as a result, that the relationship would improve. Because it’s painful to be separated from the ones we love, not to be able to express our love freely, not to enjoy a deep bond which would be normal and natural, and which is normal and natural in some families.
I too recently tried to explain to my mother how she did give me everything materially, she took good care of my physical needs, but emotionally she wasn’t really supportive. And she rejected it, claiming she was a good mother. But there was still in me a glimmer of hope that she would finally understand, and that we could embrace lovingly, that I could embrace her freely without putting up a wall to protect myself from her. But it’s not possible – I still need to keep that wall up to protect myself from her condemnation and judgment.
So, when you sought closure, you might have wanted something similar: for your mother to understand you, to admit her mistakes, and remove the barrier between the two of you, so you could have a loving relationship with her again. But it didn’t happen, and it rarely does, unless the parent is working on themselves too.
With S, you sought the same: that he would finally understand what he did to you… And lo and behold: it seems S does understand you and has admitted his mistake, which leaves (at least in theory) the door open for a loving relationship. S did what your mother couldn’t do: he admitted his mistake and even expressed that he loves you.
This is a dream come-true for an abused child: to have the “parent” finally admit their mistake and love the child. That’s why your feelings for S are so strong – because your inner child sees him as the perfect parent, a parent who will finally give the little girl that you were all the love and care in the world, and have all of her needs met. For your inner child it’s heaven, it’s everything she has ever wanted. And now it’s being taken away from her…
But you’d need to realize that your strong attachment to S is in part fueled by this child-parent dynamics. You still feel like a child, who needs someone to save you. This someone could be S, but he isn’t available, and now you feel like you’re doomed. This is the little Candice’s reasoning.
The adult Candice would need to understand that only she can save herself: that she needs to become the loving parent to her own inner child. Even if S would agree to do that, and would enter in a relationship with you, it wouldn’t last long because it would be like a parent-child relationship, not two equal adults. And it would be doomed to fail, sooner or later.
July 25, 2021 at 1:07 am #383410
- This reply was modified 2 days, 17 hours ago by TeaK.
I would just like to add something regarding emotional neglect: it was unintentional emotional neglect by your mother. There are many well-intentioned parents who still make mistakes and don’t respond properly to the child’s emotional needs. This is what the book “Running on Empty” is about, so you might want to check it out.July 25, 2021 at 12:34 am #383409
do you also own an animal, or more of them? It makes sense you’d think of animals as soothing, because as children we all have our teddy bears and other stuffed animals. They are soft and fluffy are great for soothing and caressing. Perhaps you can buy a big teddy bear and hug him whenever you feel anxious thoughts coming up?
I think it would help a lot if you did some of those exercises for reducing anxiety, e.g. by Therapy in a Nutshell, at least till you’re waiting for counseling. Once you get a counselor, you won’t feel that alone and helpless anymore, and it will be easier. And as I said, perhaps try finding an online support group, if that’s something you’d feel comfortable with.