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  • #402606
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Anna,

    I am really sorry for your heart-break and for having been rejected by someone you deeply cared about. You haven’t responded to anita’s latest post, but I think she gave you an excellent possible explanation for your relationship difficulties: feeling not good enough. You said:

    When I was younger I grew up being over and under-estimated at the same time: being praised for my skills, for being part of the “elit”, for being cute, polite and nice, yet everything I did was never enough, I got a B? Oh well, I could have gotten an A if I had put more efforts. I got a new haircut? Oh well, you could have left your hair a bit longer, etc.

    Hence why I decided a few months ago to distance myself from the environment for which I never was enough.

    You might have been praised for the things you felt are superficial: being part of the elite and having the skills needed to fit in nicely among the elite: having great social skills, being intelligent, being an excellent student, being polite and cute – in short, having all that it takes to reach success. And not any kind of success but the kind that is expected from talented youth of your social status, I imagine? And you have reached that success: at the age of 26 you are working closely with politicians, diplomats, EU commissioners and MPs, you are going to a prestigious university for your masters degree, you are publishing papers in renowned journals… you are shining like a star, and you are headed towards even bigger successes. You are heading to the top!

    I imagine many are praising you and have praised you while you were growing up, but not your mother… for her you were never good enough. Perhaps she is even minimizing your academic and other achievements, because “you had it easy”, so in her eyes, your success is self-understood and nothing special. A (rare) B could have been an A, you could have left your hair longer… I know the feeling, my mother was the same – never happy and never pleased with me.

    So even though you are very successful according to external measure, I imagine that internally you feel like a failure. Never good enough. And you are looking for someone for whom you will be good enough. For someone who will choose you not because of your status and wealth, not because of these external adornments, but because of you, the real you. The vulnerable, less than perfect, messy but still beautiful and amazing – you. You are no longer expecting to get it from your mother (you gave up on her) but you are expecting to get it from your romantic partner.

    And I imagine you are attracted to men who are vulnerable and messy themselves, with whom you can be your true self. So that they would finally accept you and love you as you are. You aren’t attracted to promising young diplomats and others from the same social circle because maybe you expect that they will be superficial or judgmental like your mother?

    You are currently dating someone who is very ambitious, knows what he wants, belongs to the same social circle, but… you aren’t feeling it (He’s amazing, ambition-wise, we are at the same level, we come from the same social environment, he knows what he wants etc. But.. I am not emotionally connected as much as I was with the other one). The reason you aren’t feeling it could be because he really is superficial and focused only on external successes, or you might be projecting that he is superficial and this is a big turn-off for you. Because you don’t want anyone who reminds you of your mother.

    What do you think? Does this sound true to you?

     

    #402582
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Eric/Felix,

    I’ve recently started getting a bit more active on the forums, and I’ve glanced at your thread as well, where you are successfully communicating with anita. It seems you are making some real good progress, you’ve joined a gym and are communicating more with members there. I am very happy to hear that! I am also glad that my advice over the last year helped you as well and that it made a difference. Thank you for your positive feedback!

    Please keep communicating with anita, since she is giving you excellent guidance and some great tips for reducing your anxiety, and also for making better decisions. I loved her recent advice on whether to post a song to that girl or not. She told you to accept that the girl might not respond the way you’d want to, and also to promise yourself that you won’t bang your head or hit the wall no matter what her reaction (or lack thereof) might be. If those two conditions are met, anita told you to go ahead and post the song if that’s what you want. I thought that was a really cool advice! And it helped you come to a decision. So just keep working with anita, because you are getting great guidance and great results with her!

     

    #402557
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sherry,

    Like Elisabeth, I don’t like his extreme closeness with his ex-wife either. There is something not quite right there…

    I don’t know about her motives, but she could be using him as a handyman and someone to seek advice from in technical matters (car, home repairs, helping her choose the best bike etc). This is very practical for her as she doesn’t need to pay for those services. In the past she wanted to use him for financial benefits too, and for that purpose she even asked him to get re-married – twice. So she might be simply using him for her selfish purposes, because it makes her life easier. He is a reliable source of help and advice – a handyman/expert on standby, who is eager to help at any time of night or day.

    And that’s what actually problematic – that he seems to actually enjoy helping her and spending time with her, and being available to her at all times. It’s not that he sees her as a nuisance but can’t say no to her requests – he seems to genuinely like her company. So the question is, if they are already so good together, enjoy each other’s company and spend so much time together – why aren’t they a couple?

    I could think of 3 reasons. No1) she really isn’t interested into becoming his romantic/sexual partner, and when she offered to get re-married, it was purely for convenience. And he is aware of that. 2) The fact that she cheated on him left a big scar and he doesn’t want to put himself through another such humiliation. So even if she might be open for a romantic relationship, he doesn’t want it, out of fear and hurt pride. 3) They are like brother and sister and there is nothing romantic between them. But for two people who were once married, where there was chemistry and sexual attraction involved – I don’t believe that there can be such strong and pure “brotherly” love between them. Maybe I am wrong though, I don’t know.

    If they are really like brother and sister, and enjoy each other’s company without any desire to be romantically involved, then you probably shouldn’t worry about it. Still, I would expect that once you move to his state, he would want to spend the majority of his time with you, not taking his ex-wife along, like the third wheel.

    The way I see it, the biggest problem is if he still needs some kind of validation from her, e.g. that he is a good father, a good handyman, in good shape, good looking etc. He must have been hurt by her cheating, and now getting acknowledgment from her might mean something to him. I would worry if he has this kind of emotional attachment to her – even if he doesn’t want to get romantically involved with her. If he needs her validation to feel better about himself, then that’s a big problem for your relationship.

    I wonder about one thing: you said he is a poor communicator (“He’s not the best communicator”). What do you mean by that? Perhaps that can give us some more clues about his personality and his motives in this triangle.

     

    #402466
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Natie,

    I’ve been mostly away from the forums in the past few months and haven’t followed them closely. But I’ve noticed that you’ve posted again recently and feel the need to say something… because I see that you’re having a hard time, torturing yourself with self-doubt, believing that you are a bad person for leaving your ex.

    Your inner critic is working overtime, telling you things like:

    im paranoid i am afraid im narcissist or a sociopath.

    i feel like i have the bigger part of being the toxic person

    sometimes i feel like im not normal or that im asking too much…

    what if i never loved him enough , what if i broke him for life

    what if after everything i have put him through that he is right that i am the devil or this kind of a horrible human…

    sometimes I wander if this sour relationship was all my fault and if i lost a gem

    maybe im the one who deserves the pain

    it makes me wonder if im ever worthy of love again

    You are taking all the blame for the failure of the relationship, making him into a saint, and yourself into a devil. But based on what you’ve shared earlier, he was no saint. Over time he got increasingly demanding and accused you of being selfish for not giving up on your career for his sake.

    You yourself saw it and at times had some clarity about it. For example this is what you wrote in December 2021:

    i made good progress in the last couple of months accepting that this relationship has ended and i realized exactly why i lost attraction to him after 3  years of dating; simply because i never felt understood or we never really connected ( as i mentioned in my earlier posts it was more of mother – son / teacher-student) relationship and so i got exhausted and lost any kind of attraction, thats not to say that i didnt mess up big time as well and hurt him at one point.

    But then the inner critic took over and you spiraled into self-doubt and guilt again. Anita noticed it in your previous thread, and I agree, that you have a deep core belief that you are bad (“I am bad”). This core belief is feeding your shame, guilt and doubt. And I can almost guarantee you that this belief has formed in your childhood, even if you haven’t been aware of it.

    You said you used to write apology letters to your mother if you got a bad mark – that’s how big your feeling of guilt was. You also felt guilty if your parents fought with each other, and you tried to do everything to prevent it – you tried to make your siblings behave themselves (you were “controlling”) so your parents wouldn’t get upset.

    In short, it seems to me that you felt responsible for your entire family and also felt guilty (and a bad person) if you failed to keep your parents happy and conflict-free.

    I believe that’s how your core negative belief of “I am bad” or “It’s all my fault” developed. And I think this belief was lurking in your subconscious until you cheated your then-boyfriend with a woman. That’s when the “genie” was released from the bottle and it hit you with full strength, telling you that you were a monster, a devil etc etc.

    And it’s still active now, telling you those same things for leaving your boyfriend (that it’s all your fault, that you are toxic and he was a gem, that you deserve to be abused, that you aren’t worthy of love etc etc…).

    It pains me to see you torture yourself like that, telling yourself these things, because I know they stem from a false belief and have no basis in reality. It was formed in the child’s mind, because we as children always blame ourselves for our parents treating us (or each other) less than lovingly. The way I see it, you’d need to heal and transform that childhood belief. This will free you from your relentless inner critic and allow you to feel better about yourself…

    #394485
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    good to hear from you again! And you are very welcome. I am responding late because I am occupied with other things, among them the horrible war in Ukraine, which doesn’t really leave me too motivated and upbeat these days… 🙁

    But I’d like to say that what worked for me in developing self-acceptance was getting in touch with my inner child. You say that you feel great empathy for other people, including your ex-boyfriend, but don’t feel the same for yourself. That’s pretty common with people who were severely criticized in their childhood – they end up feeling like freaks, abnormal, as if something is terribly wrong with them. And they end up judging themselves, just as their parents judged them. Their inner critic is just so strong and merciless.

    I had the same problem as you do – of having been severely criticized and judged as a child (and further into my adulthood too). What helped me was to get in touch with the little girl inside of me, and to feel love and compassion for her. The adult me acting like a loving, compassionate, understanding and warm parent towards the little girl in me. That’s exactly the opposite of how my mother behaved towards me, and how your father behaved towards you…

    You can get in touch with your inner child in a meditation/visualization, or perhaps by having a photo of yourself as a child, or have a doll that represents you as a child, and hold that doll in your arms, caress her, talk to her, tell her you love her, how precious she is, etc.

    In short, the goal is to become a good, loving, compassionate parent to the child you once were and that still lives within you.

    Do you think this is something you could do?

     

    #393844
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Simon,

    I have been following your thread, and there is one thing that I would like to comment on, that stands out to me. It is about lies and pretense, that you say have been at the center of your life:

    My life has always been a tapestry of lies, people being part of my life but who were often spoken of with distaste among my peers.

    I’m so low so so lonely and I’m out of ideas to keep the pretence going… I feel it’s all a pretence.

    You said that your parents have always kept their lives secret from you:

    I feel my parents have always kept their lives private from me and we only communicate on a superficial level

    You say your parents were almost never at home at night, and that you slept 4 nights a week at your grandparents, 2 nights a week at your aunt’s, and only once per week (on Sunday) in your parents’ home. You also say your parents didn’t sleep together, and that they fought a lot. This would suggest that when they went out at night, they didn’t go out to party (or at least not together), but went out for some other reason? Perhaps to attend some business? Did they work at night?

    You also mentioned there were people in your life “who were often spoken of with distaste among my peers.” Perhaps your parents were hanging out with bad company? And maybe that’s why they were keeping secrets from you, which made you feel that your life is a “tapestry of lies”? I am just throwing in ideas here, not claiming any of this is true. Just trying to piece together parts of your story, to understand it (and you) better.

    You don’t have to answer any of this if you don’t feel comfortable. But if there is some truth in what I am saying, I think it would help you to put together a true story of your life (you can write it for yourself, on a piece of paper), so that you can finally take account of your life. Also, it would help you to see and understand yourself better, thus answering your own question: What’s my purpose? Who am I?

    The reason I am saying all this is because it seems to me that when telling your story, you at first tried to dress it up a little, to make it seem nicer than it really is.

    For example, at first you said that you have a wife and 5 children, which would suggest that all of your 5 children come from the same woman: “I have a wife 5 children a successful business and I own my own home”. But later you said: “I have 5 children with 3 mothers”. This paints a different picture…

    It’s not that there is anything wrong with having 5 children with 3 different women. It’s just that you might have felt uncomfortable mentioning it at first, and so you omitted it, to give a different impression of yourself.

    Or another example: you say you don’t really know if you are a good husband and father: “I find myself questioning myself always all day everyday… are you a good father, good husband, good son.” A few posts later, it turns out that your wife doesn’t really think you are too good of a husband (“My wife tells me I behave awfully”), and you yourself admit that you behave badly with her: “I swear at her and belittle her at work”. So it seems that you are aware that you aren’t that good of a husband, but still, at first, you were uncomfortable to admit that, and so you described yourself as a good husband, or as uncertain if you were a good husband.

    I am not saying this to criticize you or anything like that, but merely to point out that you might have a tendency to keep certain things hidden, perhaps even from your own awareness, so not to feel the pain of it? Things might have been hidden from you in your childhood, you have been lied to (“My life has always been a tapestry of lies”). So maybe you are now hiding things from yourself (and others), trying to keep the pretenses? Trying to prevent things from crumbling down? (I’m out of ideas to keep the pretence going.)

    If so, the answer is in becoming completely honest with yourself, perhaps admitting to yourself certain things that you feel afraid to admit. Whatever it is, know that you are not a bad person, but you are hurt. And your behavior (e.g. belittling your wife and swearing at her) is a defense mechanism, to protect yourself from pain. But of course, as in any unhealthy defense mechanism, it creates more pain, both for yourself and others.

    it seems as though I am writing my life story which is good as my therapist and I often go off track.

    I think it would help you to write a true, raw, not dressed-up story of your life, and show it to your therapist. And discuss it with him/her. Your therapist should have enough empathy and compassion to “hold” you and your story, without judgment. I think this would be a key step in your healing…

     

    #393245
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    It is encouraging to read that you accept that you have a drinking problem and have decided to seek help. I am not sure if there are tests to determine the severity of someone’s drinking problem, but please do consult either a recovery center or an AA support group. Perhaps they can also suggest a good psychotherapist, or you can look up one on the internet, because it would help you a lot to have someone – a compassionate professional – to support you and guide you in your recovery.

    Last week when i went to my friends, i surprisingly resisted and said I don’t want to drink, in the first party i didn’t drink while my friends had. In the second party i denied a lot that i don’t want to drink but when they insisted so much, i gave in and started drinking. But me saying no at first is an improvement in me i feel.

    Yes, it’s a good sign. Also that you told your friends that you want to quit. But don’t count on your friends to guard you from drinking. They are probably heavy drinkers, and you suddenly, after 17 years, changing your habits might annoy them. They probably won’t be supportive in helping you quit. That’s why the best would be to stop going to those drinking parties. Because you yourself realized that “When i start drinking i have no control”. Better don’t put yourself in such situations, where the temptation is super high and the chance of getting drunk is 100%.

    I know it will be hard though because you have used alcohol to numb your pain, to forget. But you have also realized that numbing your pain via substance abuse only causes you greater pain, in all areas of life. And that’s why I am really glad to read this from you:

    I will also work on reversing the effects of childhood issues. And i want to heal my inner self and want to be able to handle any emotional feelings. For now I think I need to go through this pain and no other option.

    Yes, facing emotional wounds will cause you temporary pain, but it’s a good, cleansing pain. It’s like putting alcohol on a wound – it hurts but it’s necessary for disinfection. You don’t want to let this wound fester any longer and ruin more and more of your life. You want it healed.

    I loved her a lot, but i was so obsessed with working out of country, body building and some career that i thought that is more important than love and marriage life.

    It’s not just that you were obsessed about other things, and haven’t prioritized her. You would also always get the “heavy feeling” when being with her. That’s why you couldn’t say Yes to marrying her. Don’t forget about that. You do need to heal the reasons for this heavy feeling that you get in intimate relationships.

    Anita gave an excellent possible explanation for it, summing it up: “a woman loves me => she needs me too much = she takes too much out of me=> I become so heavy and very weak.” This can very well be the subconscious thought process in you, i.e. the way your subconscious mind is wired. Subconscious mind is also known as the inner child… so healing the inner child, and specially his belief that love is heavy, will be crucial.

    When i say i am not a drunkard i am saying it to myself that i am not.

    It’s good that you don’t take on the identity of a drunkard. You do have a drinking problem, but this is not who you really are. You are a brilliant and unique human being, like we all are. You are not a horrible person, as you called yourself recently, but you are wounded. Please don’t see yourself as bad, or evil, or doomed.  See yourself as a currently wounded, but beautiful soul, who can heal and shine with his true light!

    #393198
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    You say that since the beginning of this year you started feeling better, but she was already moving away:

    But since the starting of this year i stared feeling better. I made peace with my dream of going out for work, i started feeling normal and happy about being here, had plans for business of something. But by the time i slowly recovered, she was moving away.

    However, your description of events and the way you behaved just very recently, even this February, speaks differently – it speaks that you haven’t really changed much.

    First, on the New Year’s Eve or thereabout, she told you she missed you and asked you about the prospect of you two being together. You said nothing, because you were unsure and you couldn’t promise her anything:

    During this new year she said she misses me, and that we both are anyway not able to move apart, and stuff like that. I was upset because i didn’t make abs till now. And have to start all over again. I couldn’t tell her anything.

    Then on January 14, she asked you again, and you again said nothing, because you knew you are the same as before – meaning undecisive:

    On Jan 14 she asked how much have i moved on, i did not answer at all cuz i know i was the same as before.

    During the entire month of January and beginning of February, you went to your friends to drink. She was in touch with you all this time, telling you she misses you and wants to be with you. But you ignored that, even though you knew that your drinking bothers her and that it makes her feel less for you:

    And that everytime I go to my friends to drink her feelings decreases. I didn’t pay attention even still. Even in Feb starting.

    In February you went to some festivity, maybe a wedding, and you stayed there for a week, drinking heavily:

    Since Jan i am making good progress in workout.  But in Feb once i went to meet friends for some occasion and stuck there for a week drinking day heavily. The first day she asked me if i had met someone in the marriage i went and i said no. I was drinking then, she asked me to think about my belly and stop. I said 2 more. And she said i have absolutely no hope. I sent a laughing smiley cuz i was high.

    She begged you to stop drinking, you refused and nonchalantly sent her a smiley.

    5 days later, she told you that she agreed that her parents start looking for a groom for her. You say it broke you and you regretted all your drinking and partying. You also express your interest – for the first time – to be with her again:

    5 days later, i got a message from her saying she agreed to her parents to look for profiles for her. I was so regretting going to friends that time. As she told it i broke down, i asked aren’t we gonna try us again.

    She was reluctant to reconsider, but you were trying to convince her, and it lasted for several days, you two were having long talks. Eventually she said no:

    She got so mad that day and said she doesn’t want this and i was so late etc. Hours and hours of conversation. But i broke down and started convincing her. She didn’t agree. Next day she said this wont workout at all.

    You weren’t too broken about it. You continued to have a casual chat with her. It felt like talking to an ex:

    That day evening o started talking casually with her. She too replied. I understood it was a casual conversation with ex. We had casual chat for a week i guess.

    Finally, last Sunday you went to another wedding and eventually started drinking. When she called you, you were too drunk to act sober, so you chose not to answer the phone:

    And again last Sunday i had to go to meet friends for another marriage. This time i resisted a lot for drinking. But finally they forced me and gave in. Drank. And that time she had sent me a video and asked translation for it on my language, i didn’t reply for long. She somehow found i was drinking and suddenly called me up. I didn’t pick up the call as i for paniked. Didn’t have any excuse to tell.

    That’s when she decided to delete your number from her contacts and told you she doesn’t want to speak to you again:

    She deleted my number from her contacts. Her replies were different from then. She said like it is my life and she doesn’t care. The next day when i texted, she again said we shouldn’t text. She had explained everything already. It was a lengthy conversation. She said everything, asking me to leave her alone etc. And that she doesn’t want a husband who drinks a lot. Who has bad company. And also other reasons like she had already moved on when i left her last year. She says it is not a sudden decision the the process that happened since last year. I understood that.

    It is interesting that now, when she finally deleted your number and chose not to speak to you again – now you feel devastated and broken. But only a week earlier, when she told you she doesn’t want to be with you, you weren’t too affected. You continued to chat casually with her. You felt fine chatting to her like to an ex.

    This tells me that you don’t miss her as a potential life partner and wife, but as someone nice and caring on the other side of the line, talking to you sometimes, when you feel depressed and lonely. That’s why you are panicking now, when this caring person on the other side of the line is gone. You didn’t panic when she told you she doesn’t want to be with you. But you did panic when she told you she doesn’t want to communicate with you any more.

    It seems you needed her as a listening ear, not as a partner to share your life with. Perhaps she was cheering you on, encouraging you while you were depressed and drinking. You needed that positive, encouraging voice, but you didn’t really want to give up drinking. To really change. You wanted the status quo to continue.

     

    As for your drinking, Dandan, you say you’re not a drunkard and that you can lead a life without alcohol:

    I am not addicted to alcohol, like i need alcohol into my blood. … I am not a drunkard.

    I also replaced that pleasure from drinks with the habit of workouts. … Working out and seeking results is itself a getting high feeling.

    Maybe in the beginning you felt good about working out, but after a while maintaining a strict workout regime was hard, and you started drinking again: “was still struggling with my workouts. Lost progress. I was so obsessed with six packs abs.  But kept drinking till the end.”

    You were drinking in the same period while you were working out. So working out cannot replace your need to drink, at least not in the long run.

    Also, you were making good progress with your workout in January, but in spite of that, you went to your friends to a drinking spree, which lasted for an entire week. Meaning, again, that workout didn’t replace your need for alcohol:

    Since Jan i am making good progress in workout.  But in Feb once i went to meet friends for some occasion and stuck there for a week drinking day heavily.

     

    Also, you are telling yourself you are only drinking because of company. But you know that your company is a drinking company, those are your buddies whom you go on drinking sprees regularly. You know what will happen once you go those parties.

    I already decided that was the last few of my drinking days, at least regular drinking spree. I was not like before with an intention to drink always and not to care about anything. I changed, i drank that day only because of a social gathering.

    Whenever you go out with your friends, you always end up getting wasted. You can’t drink in moderation. Which means you do have a drinking problem. The sooner you admit it to yourself, the better.

    If you would like to really work on your healing – both from emotional wounds and from addiction – I am here to help. But I can’t help you if you are denying that you have a problem.

     

    #393094
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    Yes I agree and i am willing to heal myself. Just making the best of everyday keeps me bit satisfied. Like waking up early going for a walk, working out, etc. Going to add meditation and some martial arts to it. I want to try many things like acting class, dance music etc. … Wanna learn swimming too.

    Here you are going to the opposite extreme of addiction – getting megalomaniac about the healthy things that you’d do. I had this megalomaniac voice in my head too, while I suffered from ED, telling myself I’d be successful and famous, etc. It would last for a few hours or days, but then another voice would take over: the voice of the inner critic, who would tell me that I am a failure and would never amount to anything. It would leave me crushed and I’d return to my ED again. There was a constant battle between these voices in my head, and the inner critic would always win.

    I am afraid you are doing the same. In May 2021 you thought you’d boost your self-confidence with workout, and you enrolled in a workout challenge:

    As I said I will focus the workouts and what I can do to imrove my confidence and satisfaction of accomplishment. So I will probably be busy setting up the equipments and getting started with the workouts for this transformation challenge now.

    But that lasted for about 3 months:

    I worked on my physique for 3 months. During which i was so hurt too and had created this post here. But again later in September i went back to drink and lost all progress that i made till then. It was on and off.

    You didn’t get better even though you fulfilled your plan of working out regularly (and abstaining from drinking) for entire 3 months. But then, something tipped you off and you went back to drinking and lost all progress. That’s how it works with addiction unfortunately. If you don’t heal the core wound – it will come back.

    I told you that in May too, because I’ve experienced it myself. I know that going into the megalomaniac mode, trying to be “perfect” and live a super disciplined life can only last for so long. And then you crash.

    If you really want to stop drinking and get your life in order – on the long run – you need to address deeper, psychological issues. Which have to do with your childhood and upbringing.

    You say that your self-esteem is low because you started smoking and drinking pretty young (around 16) and you had bad company:

    I realised recently the reason for my depression. Atleast the major reason. It is because of the unhealthy life style i was living since my school.

    Well, I don’t think so. You lived a healthy lifestyle recently, for 3 months, and it still didn’t make you happy. The real reason for your depression is deeper, and we talked about it at the beginning of your thread. At the time you didn’t really want to talk about it… but my deep conviction is that healing those childhood wounds is the only way to go, if you want lasting results.

     

    #392914
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    you are welcome.

    I understand i need to sort my internal wounds. Last year i couldn’t do it.

    So how about doing it this year? The sooner you start, the sooner there will be some positive change. Unless you want to keep stuck in regret:

    Now I think I should have rectified my mind which makes it feel heavy with an intimate relationship. … Now I regret i should have taken treatment medicine or anything to rectify that. That regret hurts a lot.

    You are prone to regret things. The title of this thread is about your career regrets. Now your focus is on your relationship regrets. There will be always something to regret, Dandan, always something to be in pain for… even if she were with you, you would be depressed about something else, wouldn’t you?

    I couldn’t bear this pain. I am scared this pain is eternal.

    It will be eternal – if you let it. If you only focus on loss and regret, if you give up hope, if you see yourself as doomed. Then yes, it will be eternal, and things will go downward for you. Perhaps your health will start suffering too (e.g. too much alcohol causes liver problems), and you will be in a much worse place than you are now. And your regret will be even bigger. Now you still have your health and vitality, so it’s not late to turn around.

    You can do it, Dandan, if you make a decision that this is the rock bottom for you, and that from now on, you want to go up. Perhaps with some slip-ups, but nevertheless: up, towards healing, towards greater self-esteem, towards better relationships… towards Life with the capital L!

     

    #392898
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    I am sorry to hear things haven’t been better for you. I agree with anita that you feeling horrible about her leaving doesn’t mean that you would be able to be happy with her – because you yourself said that you are in the same mindset. And this mindset is that you, due to your internal struggles, aren’t able to be happy in a relationship. If I remember well, about a year ago you visited her in the town she lived, and you spent a few perfect days together, but after that, you ran away again.

    When she was close, you couldn’t bear it, it was choking you. Since you are still in the same mindset, dealing with the same internal struggles, even if she appeared again in your life, it wouldn’t make you happy. It may for a few short days, but after that, it would be same old, same old. She recognized that, and after your last interaction, she decided to withdraw completely. To not initiate contact again, because it always ends the same – you rejecting her.

    So please stop believing that her returning would make any significant difference.

    I am still the same, in the same mindset, not being able to forget her. I was only running away from as it was heavy to handle, the emotion.

    The problem is that until you handle your internal struggle, which causes you to experience another person’s love and care as heaviness – you won’t be able to have a healthy relationship.

    I should have taken a stand at some time.

    You couldn’t, because the internal pain isn’t letting you. You couldn’t go against your current reality, which is that you aren’t ready. And that’s only fair: to admit to yourself that at the moment, you aren’t ready. If you said yes and got married while this internal issue isn’t resolved, you would end up in a very unhappy marriage, possibly with children, and you feeling even worse for not being able to be a good father and husband. Think about that. By saying no you prevented an even bigger suffering.

    I feel horrible. Couldn’t sleep at all last two days and been walking with anxiety for more than 20km a day. I am scared that i will go completely mad, or that my life is gone as i am not able to forget her still and couldn’t tolerate this pain.

    You have suffered from anxiety for a long time, even before you met her. If she were to return, you would be anxious again, the heavy feeling would be there again. Please understand that. But this doesn’t mean that your life is ruined. Your life, with the capital L, hasn’t even begun! You can get better, you can heal those internal issues (including the heavy feeling you get in intimate relationships), you can also reduce your anxiety. Your life can be much better. But you need to decide you want to try.

     

    #392772
    Tee
    Participant

    And I just want to add – perhaps it’s not just that you are telling yourself certain disempowering things, but perhaps your husband and his family do that too? Perhaps you even live or have been brought up in a culture where women are primarily seen as wives and mothers, and where it is expected of them to stop working once they have children? I am just throwing in these ideas, because there might be also some social conditioning behind your belief that you aren’t good enough to earn money.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Tee.
    #392771
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    I would like help in being able to build my self-esteem in order to sort myself put with earning money. … The problem is I have no idea how to do this.

    If you feel incapable of earning money, including scared of failing if you even try something, there must be a story that you are telling yourself, e.g. “I am not good enough”, or “I am too old”, or “I don’t have proper skills”, which keeps playing in your mind. What is the story, i.e. the negative self-talk that you have been telling yourself?

    On your previous thread, you spoke about the reasons why you married your husband:

    I married him because i loved him, and thought he’d protect me and the family we have and make me feel safe.

    In what ways you didn’t feel safe enough and unable to protect yourself? Inspired by anita’s last question, is it perhaps his ability to provide for you and the family what attracted you (among other things), because you felt unprotected financially while growing up?

     

    #392767
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    good to hear from you again! First off, to answer your original question: Is this rude?, I do believe it is rude, specially since you and your husband’s friend have met before: he came to our wedding and we all used to go for weekends away together before we were married.

    He is now addressing only your husband, excluding you, but then suggesting that he and his girlfriend should meet with your children (he and his girlfriend would like to see my husband and get our kids together!) He also mentions his girlfriend’s name (The fact that he included his partners name), but makes no mention of you. I think that’s definitely rude.

    What is more worrying though is that your husband doesn’t see any problem with it:

    My husband thinks there’s nothing wrong with it and asked ME to send him a card back…I refused and told him to do it if it’s so important.

    Not only that, but your husband asks YOU to send a card back – even though his friend completely ignored your existence! I find that really disrespectful and insensitive to you. You reacted well – you told him you won’t do it and that he should do it himself if he wants to.

    Unfortunately, your husband just continues his behavior of ignoring your feelings and telling you that you are too sensitive, even if his family treats you badly:

    Also if I ever spoke to my future husband about my father-in-law’s comments I was always told he was just joking and that I’m being over sensitive, he was like it with everyone. So for a long time I doubted the worries I had as me being paranoid or over sensitive so I never mentioned it to my family.

    He doesn’t respect you, similarly like his family doesn’t. Unless he changes, I think the best solution in the long-run would be to separate from him.

    But I know it’s not easy for you, we’ve spoken about it before. One of the big issues is that you feel lack of self-confidence in your ability to have a successful career:

    My self-esteem in others parts of life isn’t great tbh. I’m a full-time housewife and don’t feel as if I could cope financially if I were to split up from my husband. I used to work before I had kids but that was 10 years ago and feel completely terrified of ‘going out to work’ again. I’ve tried various things to help me, taking online courses, even starting freelance work for a little bit but I felt out of my depth and scared of failing.

    I do feel so incredibly regretful that I never had a proper career set up for myself. I’m educated and always worked (but nothing leading to a specific career) but when I had kids I gave all that up. I’m completely stuck in a rut because I can’t see me ever being able to be independent and having a job anymore. I’m so envious of working mothers because they have the confidence to work. I don’t even know what work I would do as I’m 44 now. I don’t feel I have any skills to give. I feel lost.

    It seems you do have self-confidence to stand up to your husband and his family and demand respect from them, however you don’t have it when it comes to work and career. You don’t feel capable enough in that area of life.

    Would you like to explore that more? Because that’s important if you want to move forward in your life.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Tee.
    #392156
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Ryan,

    However, I finally found someone and have my first appointment this afternoon.

    Good to hear that! How did it go?

    I have learned so much about myself and have given myself a year here to just focus on myself and counseling. I am optimistic that I can FINALLY make some real, positive change–especially when it comes to forming emotional attachments and being vulnerable.

    I am rooting for you too! You did learn a lot about yourself, and based on what you’ve shared here, you’ve learned to be quite open and vulnerable too:

    she has helped me to open up more than anyone has in some time. We’ve had some real “heart-to-hearts” these past few months, which has been therapeutic in a sense.

    I can imagine it felt therapeutic, since you felt seen and could share emotionally, unlike with your mother. But there are still some blocks, and perhaps the fear of commitment (i.e. emotional attachment, as you called it), is one of those blocks. So, emotional sharing – YES, forming emotional attachment – NO. For now…

    I too fully expected (and respected) my ex’s decision to no longer communicate; however, that only lasted a day or two. She texts nearly every day. She is extremely depressed and not sleeping, which I of course harbor guilt for.

    Is she blaming you? You don’t need to feel guilty for her depression. She was depressed before she met you. She then formed an unhealthy attachment to you, seeing you as her “savior”. And now that you have left, she is depressed again and doesn’t want to do anything to feel better (like going to the gym, or seek therapy, or other things you suggested). Maybe she wants to stay in the victim mode, blaming you, or herself, or both.

    She is trying to be supportive of my efforts to seriously improve my mental health, but she is not working to do the same for herself. I am trying to remain supportive of her, but grow frustrated as I feel both responsible and helpless. I’ve pleaded with her to find a counselor, go to the gym, or try going to bed earlier, but it all falls on deaf ears.

    I understand you would like to help her feel better, but you aren’t responsible for her mental health. Unless she wants to help herself, you can’t do much about it. Please don’t blame yourself. You did leave her, but you aren’t responsible for her happiness. Can you see that?

    I did sign up at a gym here and plan to start next week. I did find a “Circle of Friends” group on the Meetup website and will work to start socializing/making contacts soon.

    Sounds great – wish you success!

    I am very committed to making a real, substantial change in my mental health, and I do appreciate having the support of you and the TB community, Teak

    You are very welcome, Ryan. I applaud your determination and commitment to get better and be able to enjoy life more fully.

     

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