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  • #376765
    Luz
    Participant

    Dear Michelle,

    I read through your posts and, even though it’s been a while since your first post and I’m not sure if you’re looking for more advice or input into your situation, I feel compelled to comment because of how similar your attachment style and experiences with men are to mine.  Even the way you describe your mom’s parenting style sounds so similar to mine–she, too, was sometimes physically abusive, very strict/authoritarian, would subject me to the silent treatment and was generally someone with whom I had a love-hate relationship growing up.  Our relationship has become much, much better over time, but I still do find it hard to be emotionally open and vulnerable with her (which sometimes extends to other relationships/friendships…my fear of rejection and being vulnerable).

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I understand how difficult it is to be in a (semi? sorta?) relationship with someone who is scared of love and has a hard, impenetrable shell around him that prevents him from letting you in.  For about a year and a half, I was very much stuck on a guy that I believed was my “twin flame”–the person who mirrored and reflected my fears and insecurities back to me, who made me feel a sense of kinship and closeness and intimacy I had never before experienced.  I too believed our relationship was fated–there were two many weird synchronicities for it to be anything but, in my mind.  We were born a few days days apart, both November babies (11:11 is a huge thing in the twin flame world), kept running into each other despite living in a huge city, had similar outlooks on life despite how differently we raised and despite our different cultural and religious backgrounds.  I  convinced myself that because he had been through a lot of trauma, he was just a scared little boy who needed time to step out of his shell (even when he quite clearly told me he wasn’t looking for anything serious), and even though physically I checked out of our very short-lived fling, emotionally I was very, very hung up on him for a long time.

    I’m not any more. I’m in a happy, committed relationship with someone I am very much in love with.  Looking back, I now question whether he was my “twin flame” after all and to be honest, I don’t even care if he is or not.   The thing is, once you start truly loving yourself and giving yourself the same time, attention, and care that you gave that person–the second you start prioritizing your needs and realizing that you have to communicate them in order for there to be a shot of those needs being met–the second you’ll realize that you won’t need to spend time journaling and posting and endlessly talking about a man who just doesn’t want something deeper. Plain and simple.  It doesn’t matter why he’s that way, or who made him that way, and whether he will one day change–all that matters is that right now, he’s not someone who has communicated to you that he’s in love with you.  While you can extrapolate and conjecture and imagine a scenario where one day, he says those words to you, the truth is, you don’t know if that scenario will take place, and there’s very little from his actions and words to indicate that that reality will come to be.  While uncertainty is something we all have to deal with in relationships from time to time, I’ve found–in my all too many experiences of dating avoidant men–that the type of man that is truly ready for a committed, loving relationship is someone that will minimize that feeling of uncertainty to the greatest extent possible.  It’s someone whose actions align with their words and indicates clearly and loudly that they’re into you.  It’s someone who doesn’t prowl dating apps just to “people watch” or who makes you wonder if they’re agreeing to move in just to save on rent.  It’s someone who has gone through enough self-growth and has enough insight and self-awareness that they don’t need someone to tear down their defenses for them–they’ve worked on doing that for themselves.  All your kindness and support towards him and eagerness to explore and understand his psyche and why he’s so scared to open up isn’t going to change him.  In the end, he has to take the leap himself.  Be willing to shed some of his old habits and behavioral patterns, difficult as that is.  You can’t do it for him.  And the longer you hang around in the hope that he’ll eventually come around, the longer you’ll be stuck in a place where you’re not truly happy, where there’s a little nagging voice inside that’s telling you that something’s not quite right.  That you deserve better.  You deserve someone that tells you in no uncertain terms that you ARE someone he does see or could see as “the one”,  and that you’re not just a stepping stone to whatever he truly desires (which I doubt he even knows).

    Anyway, I do think it sounds like there’s so much growth and change that he’s igniting within you..that’s the beautiful thing about relationships and intense connections, no matter how fleeting.  They tend to force you to confront the ugly and uncomfortable aspects of yourself.  It sounds like you’re being forced, through your interactions with him, to realize how much YOU’RE now willing to lower your defenses and open up to someone to an extent that maybe you weren’t in the past.  So even if your relationship with him doesn’t work out, I think the upside is that you’re a stronger person for it.  You’re more ready now to plunge in to something deep and scary at times but incredibly satisfying.  Real love, based on trust and commitment and mutual understanding, is a beautiful thing that we all deserve to experience, and sometimes the road getting there is long and winding and messy but it seems like you’re on the way there.

    Peace!

    Rosalia

    #375605

    In reply to: History on Repeat

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    “It’s been really hard lately with making sound decisions. Kind of like in the beginning of my thread I expressed having a hard time making decisions or trusting my judgement. I think I made a reasonable choice to move. I think I made a reasonable choice to apply for an animal rescue job and a house cleaning job”- I think that the three choices you mentioned here are indeed reasonable choices: the move because of lesser rent, the animal rescue job because your passion is in caring for animals, and the house cleaning job because it provides better pay and benefit than your current job.

    Regarding your boyfriend, reads like you are not a high priority for him.

    You mentioned the beginning of your thread, so I decided to time travel all the way back to your first post on Sept 28 2017, in your previous thread, Trance of Shame and Unworthiness. You were 24 at the time (recently turned 28). Here are some of the suggestions I made to you over time that I think are still relevant:

    Sept 29, 2017: “this one issue needs to be addressed.. your future contact with your family. If you are in regular contact, via phone and such, with family members who denied then and still deny your traumatic experiences, then how can you possibly heal?.. Visiting your family is not congruent with healing”.

    March 21, 2018: “Better have no contact with your mother… and anyone else who has hurt you..  abstain from hurting yourself..  also protect yourself from others hurting you. No one should be hurting you, not you, not your mother. Not anyone. To continue healing, you need to be as safe as you can be”.

    Fast forward to your current May 28, 2019 thread, History on Repeat, suggestions I made to you:

    May 28, 2019: “Every time you make progress in your healing process.. expect that progress to not be linear. Expect that something will happen.. that will.. bring back the distress of before. Be prepared to not.. sink into complete despair, understanding that this was expected.. it is time to take good care of yourself during these times”.

    “Somehow you have to come to a place.. where you can clearly see and believe that you were a good child, a good girl, and it is your abusers who were the bad people in the context of you and them.. you were a good girl, and therefore you are now a good person, deserving a good life… Our core beliefs are very powerful, and when you believe you are a bad person (the shame you mentioned).. you can’t be motivated enough to persistently move toward having a good life and a good, loving relationships”.

    “pay attention every day to your small efforts and successes in controlling what can be controlled.. You need to feel confident in your ability to control what is humanly possible to control. Focus on those smaller efforts and successes and you will move forward to bigger efforts and success”.

    June 1, 2019: “be empathetic toward yourself, just as you would be.. to a young child who is scared, don’t beat yourself up.. be kind to yourself and do the best you can, congratulate yourself for the efforts that you make and the small successes, make a habit of that”.

    June 7, 2019: “you feel a certain emotion, you can’t not feel it, you already did. Question is what you do  next: criticize yourself for having felt it, trying to make yourself never feel that again or.. ask yourself what is this emotion telling me, what is its message for me and what should I do  next”.

    “Distracting in the context of healing is about choosing distractions that don’t harm us. Exercising.. in moderation… take a fast half an hour walk when overwhelmed with stress… To avoid ‘explosive emotions’ it takes noticing an explosion coming up and doing something right there and then to calm yourself, the walk I mentioned, but when or where not possible, it can be listening to soft music, putting on a short guided meditation and so forth”.

    July 10, 2019: “make a plan: longer term and short term, a day to day routine of some sort… Day to day plan will include getting-out-of-bed time, going-to-sleep time, exercise, nutrition, study time and so forth. A daily routine is very important”.

    Nov 12, 2019: “Building a home within.. is making ourselves feel good… It all comes down to feelings.. we are okay when we feel okay. A home within is.. feeling okay on an ongoing basis, being okay being ourselves”.

    January 1, 2020: “Using a planner is an excellent idea but do not over-schedule yourself, instead, form fewer objectives and schedule fewer tasks per unit of time… prioritize tasks and routines, start with what you currently need the most. For example, nutrition, sleep and shelter are more of immediate needs than making art”.

    January 12, 2020: “Stick to whatever is healthy and stay away from what is sick. Believe in yourself as a woman born to be free, free from sickness, free from.. guilt and shame”.

    January 13, 2020: “We have to distinguish between what is love and what feels like love, but is not. We have to look at the big picture, not just this or that corner of the picture. Many lives are damaged… because women mistaken what feels like love, to be love”.

    Jan 18, 2020: “set smaller goals, give yourself more time to accomplish those smaller goals- less chance you will fall short if you set smaller, specific goals that are not so difficult to accomplish”.

    January 24, 2020: “live choosing to reject and avoid unnecessary suffering.. slow down/ mindfulness in all things… slow down so that when you fall, it won’t hurt much. We all fall, you know”.

    February 5, 2020: “At times today, you will feel better and at times, worse- but keep going, be ‘resilient throughout all the experiences‘ today, ‘never give up‘!- I am using your words“.

    February 8, 2020: “learn to de-escalate your emotions in all the ways you already practiced: calming thoughts, calming visualizations, healthier nutrition.. and most important: challenge your thoughts.. and correct false core beliefs.. and replace them with true core beliefs, such that are congruent with reality”.

    February 17, 2020: “the bully part of your needs to be brought down, not the child that is being bullied. Bring the bully down by being gentle with the child, and the child will be less and less afraid”.

    February 18, 2020: “Please be.. the good mother to your inner child, the mother you always needed. Don’t reach out to the other one”.

    I will end this time with what you posted exactly one year ago, on March 5, 2020: “It is very helpful to have a reminder to take care of myself because a calm mind brings mental clarity. I truly believed if I could think hard enough I would find a solution and be calm, however it is the reverse process… my current coping skills to calm myself..: Listening to music with headphones, Journaling… Exercise… being aware of my body and trying my best to hold it with grace instead of shame.. Creative projects… Guided Meditations and Visualizations…

    “Coping skills that may not be as effective as I believed: Cannabis.. it may make me further stuck in my own mind thinking and thinking. Only way to find out is to give a break and try… So far I am at 24 hours. I have engaged with this daily for almost 9 years with only a 4 day break once… Reading Articles online-.. I get stuck at the stage of gathering helpful information and never applying it. Sitting on my Couch for more than an hour.. I  just become lost in thought…

    “What is truly motivating me is the idea that I am a healer. I can heal myself and support others. I have hope that one day I could have a creative art business. Where I go to different barter and art fairs and meet people. Try to sell art sets to cafes”.

    I hope this time travel is helpful for you.

    anita

    #375595

    In reply to: History on Repeat

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    the move has started and I have really pretty lights to make it feel more like home. Home is where the heart is. And I am so grateful I have Harry too. It’s been really hard lately with making sound decisions. Kind of like in the beginning of my thread I expressed having a hard time making decisions or trusting mg judgement. I think I made a reasonable choice to move. I think I made a reasonable choice to apply for an anima rescue job and a house cleaning job. I’d really like to work at an animal rescue. The house cleaning job will pay more than my current job and comes with a retirement plan. I think it is reasonable to apply but what I am so confused about is my job. I have a hard time deciding what would my dream job be big I understand generally that I care deeply about animals and people and art as I have said before.
    the cleaning job never called me for the phone interview so I am not sure if that will pan out and never heard back from the other interview. So maybe I will hear back from the animal rescue?

    but I am not sure if it is valid that I wish to quit my job so strongly. It would make sense if I wanted to change directions in careers out of inspiration but it feels like I am running from something I don’t want to experience anymore. I tried working very mindfully today. Trying to focus with undivided attention or putting an extra pressure on myself to be faster. My work day did feel better with my mind being calmer. So this is why it is hard for me to know if mg stress is coming from within or without and perhaps both.

    in addition to quitting my job I seriously considered about the healthiness of my relationship and if I would be better off single. I had convinced myself it was time to end things and when I went to have the conversation all of that completely vanished. I was upset because he stopped saying I love you back. I asked him why he doesn’t and he said he just doesn’t like to end the phone conversations that way because he picks on his friends for doing that just to make their girlfriends happy. Which I said that it isn’t about disregarding your own truth to make someone happy we say it because we both mean it. I was frustrated he didn’t really call or ask how I was doing even though I was struggling and I understand we all have our own stress but it feels like I am invisible to him unless it is the weekend. I mean he does send me cute pictures of animals. And he offered to help move stuff but the day he offers to help he didn’t show up until 9pm when he had the whole day off saying he over slept. I wanted to be understanding but felt like tired of never knowing when we are going to see each other. He said he does love me and asked if it would be rude to ask me if I took mg medication and I said it would make sense to ask me if I Remember to take my medication.

    I can’t find my planner and I truly think journaling more would help my confusion. I walk away from people and places when my boundaries aren’t valued. I have a hard time knowing what my boundaries are and what is okay to ask for. I really would love to work at an animal shelter though and maybe just not working with him would help give perspective for both of us.

    It is very stressful and confusing to go from wanting my job to wanting new job, wanting to let go of this relationship and wanting to work on it, planning my move while letting go of this  place. Thinking about cannabis in a different way such as withdrawals as my therapist described it I never considered and wondered why I wouldn’t of noticed that before. When I had a hard time calming down that was helpful in the past. But one can have the same effect with practicing mindfulness. The calming spaciousness of enjoying each breath. I never considered withdrawal symptoms because I thought that is just how I feel anyways; anxious.

    I just hope to make solid healthy choices because I don’t want to go backwards and I don’t want to stay stagnant. It really has me thinking about how much in life everything can change and all I have is me as a constant and even that seems to change. Thank you for being a consistent presence in my life Anita. This thread has helped with breaking out of shame and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I just hope to become less confused and practice being more mindful.

    best wishes

    zeeza

     

    #374531

    In reply to: Accountability

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Today I did go to work, then painted for a bit and did 20 min of Yoga. I also danced to Mahalias song “Hide Out”, which made me feel confident and empowered.

    Work was not bad at all. In contrary, I felt like my colleagues really like me and today I also did my tasks pretty well.

    Tomorrow plans: go for a walk, work for uni, maybe yoga, journaling, reading…

    Until tomorrow!

    #374396
    Felis
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I feel better, thank you.

    In regards to my lashing out, I did not call him names, or threatening him. It was more demanding from my side, i.e I said, ‘why is it so hard for you to pick up my calls, and I was incredibly selfish to actually hope you could come even though you are sick, and I was upset as well with your disappearance act yesterday night.’

    The next morning when I re-read again my texts, I could not help but to blame myself since my texts sounded angry.

    You are so right, he is a man who likes quiet and peacefulness. But, I am different, I am very vocal about my feelings, any conflicts arising, or even any slight thing that bothers me.

    In these past weeks, I was blaming myself quite a lot for not controlling my emotions better.  I talked to my family and counselor about every single thing, they told me to be kind to myself and accept every human being has their own flaws. Even though I kept myself busy and tired throughout the period of January, my mind was busy with the heartbreak.

    I had to admit maybe I was the coward one, I could not stay at my rented house for a whole week since every nook and cranny reminded me of him, I could not watch my favorite shows, I could not eat properly, I could not be myself anymore.

    Journaling and encouraging words from my friends hugely help me to process and accept this breakup.

    I have something to ask, do you still it is still okay if I cling to the hope of him coming back one day?

    Thank,

    Felis

    Ry
    Participant

    Hello Anita and Brandy,

    Well, last night went rather flawlessly. And I didn’t want to cause her any more stress with the day she had…

    Yesterday afternoon, she had blood work and what I assume would be called a “Pap screen” to detect any cervical cancer. While she has had the HPV vaccine, her doctor has found evidence of precancerous cells in the past during her yearly exam, which necessitated more regular screenings. The had recently found some precancerous cells, and not they had to do what she called the “scrape” yesterday. Needless to say, it was a stressful day for her and I’m glad she did not have to be alone—and told her such.

    She finished her appointment around 3:30 yesterday but went home since I wasn’t off until 4:30. She tried to put a positive spin on it by saying something like, “At least I won’t have to worry about periods if they have to take my uterus,” but I knew she was hiding her fears. We talked for a few and she said that she just wanted to have a drink and sit with her cat for a bit. I did not want her to sit and stew in her own mind for too long, so I texted her at 4:30 to say I was starting dinner. She replied that she was ready to head out.

    She offered to help with dinner, but I put her to work tweaking a job application I’d been working on. She was a literature major and I knew that would keep her mind focused on a task while I cooked. After a bit, she finished up and she helped me finish up cooking dinner as we chatted. It was then that I asked as she stirred a sauce that we were awaiting to thicken.

    “I’m not sure if you saw my email but I wanted to talk to you about last week,” I opened with. She teased me a bit about letting her know when I send an email because she has “500 unread emails,” but that she did see it and “knew I spoke from my soul.” I explained that I wasn’t upset that she didn’t see us as long-term partners, as I truly didn’t it, but that I wanted her to know that she was not just a casual work friend that I hang out with on occasion. That I definitely feel a connection and she is special to me. She agreed and said that the cabin was a relaxing getaway that provided a “type of intimacy” that did not need to involve sex. I also mentioned that with all the work I did in counseling last year, that it was luck (or something bigger) that I met someone so receptive to me being open and vulnerable. It was a quick conversation, but it felt good to clear things up a bit. I felt it was important that she knows that she is not just a causal work friend.

    After dinner, we rinsed off the pans and dishes and retired to the sofa. She was full and sleepy and I said she could stay here if she dozed off. I put on the Star Trek movie and she perked up as she anticipated the plot and critiqued the plot holes. However, she did enjoy it and I think it kept her mind focused on something other than her own body.

    After the movie, we chatted for a bit, before I walked her down to her car. We hugged goodbye, but it wasn’t her usual hug of a few seconds, but she embraced me for a bit. I kissed the top of her head and held on until she was ready to let go. It was unexpected and I don’t know if she feels a deeper connection to me after my email letter, or if it was nice to have a night away where she felt safe and peaceful. Either way, it does not matter. I’m happy that she was.

    She works her second job tonight and tomorrow night, so I’m going to reach out on Sunday morning to see if she is doing okay or if she wants me to pull her out of her place for a bit. She will be anxiously awaiting the results of the test, and I hate to think of her sitting alone in her apartment all day hyper analyzing.

    Ryan

    ———————————————————————————————————

    After I wrote this, I logged into Facebook to see she has posted a few pictures of the dinner I made last night and these two poems from L.E. Bowman:

    “Don’t”

    When she softens against you for the first time,
    don’t pull her closer.
    Don’t wrap your arms around her like you
    feel it too.
    When she is high on your skin and ready to open,
    don’t help her unfold.
    Don’t pull back her petals like you intend to watch
    her bloom.
    When the walls feel too restricting and you
    stop calling.
    don’t say that you’re busy.
    Don’t tell her she’s crazy when her instincts tell her
    the truth.
    When the night is long and your body is lonely,
    don’t wake her.
    Don’t give her another piece of false hope to
    cling to.

    “More to Life”

    You’ll find someone better, they’ll tell you.
    An earth-shattering lover.
    A so-good-the-rest-don’t-matter kind of love.
    And maybe you will, or maybe you won’t,
    but I want you to know
    that there is more to live than lovers.
    All your hope, all your betters
    don’t have to exist around love.

    There’s so much pain inside her that she has worked on in counseling and on her own through journaling. She has walled up her heart and worked to better her life on her own. Think my fascination with her lay in the mysteries?

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Ry.
    #373675

    In reply to: History on Repeat

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your insight and for the helpline 🙂 . I have random good news! I received a dollar raise today so now I officially qualify for my apartment without a cosigner. Below is how I processed the list to improved accountability.

    1) Yes a lot of my energy mentally emotionally and financially has gone into taking care of my pets. When I adopted Casper I was 18 and I thought this wellness plan that I could pay monthly would help cover most yearly costs: vaccines, check ups, blood work, dental cleaning etc. I should of waited until I had a career or/and get real pet health insurance. With his pre-existing conditions that is not an option now. I originally started saving money to move into a more affordable place since it cost money to move. Then covid happened and I saved most of what stimulus money was sent my way and all the overtime hours I worked. So far I have spent 1/3 of my savings on Casper. Also it is much easier to balance life when you have someone in your life that you can ask for help. I use to have close friends as neighbors and they would watch Casper during the day with their dog. Or when I still had my ex best friend she would also spend time with Casper while I was at work and school. Both of these friends were home during the day because of disability and I think it is rare to come across a lucky compassion like this.

    2) Today I received kind of good news for Casper’s health. His heart isn’t failing but his trachea is getting worse. The vet recommended he get a stent to keep his trachea open. I called 3 different places to get a consultation to figure out how much it costs and if this would be beneficial for him. As for his heart they recommended another ultrasound to check his heart out before any anesthesia. At the time of heart murmur diagnosis they made it seem like all he needed was medication to prevent it from progressing. The trachea does apparently influence the heart? Anyways from a google search for a stent cost I only have a little less than half of what of the estimated cost would be.  Maybe some places could offer a payment plan? But also the cost of teeth removal is half of what a trachea stent would cost. The vet said his teeth can be managed medically for now with antibiotic and that the trachea is more important to resolve.

    I don’t know if I am deep in the bargaining stage in grief or if I am actually brainstorming solutions. I do not know Casper’s age for certain, estimated to be 14, but his breed and parent breeds can live much longer like 12-18 years. I have heard of some maltese living into their 20s. I don’t want to keep him alive to only have him be in a lot of pain. But today for our walk he had pep to his step! He wasn’t confused and coughed only once instead of the whole time. I think that pain medication is helping immensely. I don’t want to have false hope because I do realize he will have good days and bad days perhaps it doesn’t indicate that his conditions are gone and that he will eventually pass like we all do. I don’t want to fail him. He is sound asleep in my lap breathing deeply 🙂

    3) Yes I could ask for help from my boyfriend it is just difficult to ask because sometimes it just feels like it makes me incapable if I need help. For example, he was kind enough to start doing my dishes and I said Please! don’t enable me by doing my dishes I need to do them myself so thank you so much for offering. He gave me a gift visa card with $500 saying this is for Casper. I didn’t know how to accept it but I said thank you. It just felt wrong to take money from him and I haven’t used it yet. Every time he visits he brings food. I feel too guilty to eat it so there is a bunch of food in my house that isn’t being eaten. He told me that he really wish that I felt like it was my food too. And I asked him what food do you want me to not eat so I at least know what you were looking forward to and then I don’t have to feel guilty for eating anything else. He told me there is nothing he wants specifically and would be happy if it was gone before he came back to visit.

    I don’t know why I am resistant to receiving help from him? I think I am afraid to need anyone because then it feels like the pain of loss will be too much. I am asking myself if I have a fear of abandonment and I think so. I am hoping by developing self discipline I will no longer self-abandon or self punish. That I will be the one I can count on so even as life changes and people and pets come and go I can trust that I will be okay and make good choices.

    part of self-discipline is being with reality and not what just feels good to believe or a reality of the past. Is there any particular skills that would help me recognize when or how I am not with reality? Journaling?

    #373450
    noname
    Participant

    I can’t argue with that. I’m not doing any of the things I regularly suggest to other people right now like journaling, exercising, meditating, or talking to friends. I’ve been making efforts to eat healthier which has helped me feel physically better this week and have more energy.

    The last time I had a week off work to myself in the fall, all I did was meditate, cook every meal, exercise, read, journal, and work on creative projects and I felt great. It’s been very difficult for me to relax working from home, I feel like I live at work, it much more demanding than being in person, and I have no separation of work/life which is keeping me uptight and anxious all through the week.

    #372712
    Bun
    Participant

    Hello all again,

    I find comfort when I am searching my mind for answers and remember the beautiful community of people on this blog. I am grateful for each of your time, this space, and your souls for existing. Thank you for being here, and I wish you a very aligned 2021, everyday.

    My question today is regarding a best friendship of mine around 10 years. Let’s call her E. We met around 12 and became very close friends. I moved away but we reconnected after I moved back a few years later. We reconnected and I still felt very close. We got along well and spent a lot of time together. I moved in with her family when I was 15 due to my own troubles I felt at home. I always felt we were close. At 16, I move back home for a year. I am stressed to be away from friends and what felt like a healthier home environment at the time (her parents stable etc). She asks her mom for me to move back in, I move back in. I live with her and her family until graduation. Her mom and I get into argument when I was 18, and it is the last I hear from her family (aside from her) till this day. She moves cities for school, I move to LA pursue some creative pursuits, we keep in contact over the years. For her 21 birthday I even fly to visit – she sleeps in and leaves me alone at the airport when I arrive. Last year I move back to the same state as her, different city. I am excited after stressful times / work in LA and have honestly nothing but love and excitement to see her. I never thought anything bad of her our entire friendship(aside from does she not care when she left me at airport), I only saw the light. I invite her to visit me in a very fun basically pent house apartment I am staying for my birthday. She arrives, and mind you we haven’t seen each other in years – she has gone through break up of over 5 years- she arrives and I don’t see my happy friend I remember. I am smiling to see her jumping for joy, and she steps out of her car making faces of dissatisfaction – not straight faced, just looked unhappy and said she was on adderall and 2 hours of sleep. I felt disappointed that she could not show up sober and well rested for a day that I wanted to celebrate, my birthday. The 3 days we spend, she is sleeping until 2pm/3pm daily, I suggest we go to gym she completely makes it a solo trip and goes straight to sauna, and leaves right when I walk in claiming she had been in there long – to me it felt like a convenient excuse for someone not wanting to really spend time with me but not knowing why themselves or how to say it. I want to wake up and do healthy things as I see we have both been through a lot and I know these things heal. But with the waking up late, and the flat attitude I was getting I just thought – what would make her happy? I even said “am I doing something wrong to you?” because I didn’t understand why she seemed so unhappy the entire time. To which she turned on me saying she can’t be herself and is waking on eggshells with me, essentially what I was saying with “am I doing something wrong to you?”. I finally suggest drinking and going out as I know she liked it and thought it would make her happy. But I was not in the place to be doing that. I was very stressed and in sensitive place. While out she was very promiscuous and for some reason it made me angry as I didn’t think it was from a healthy place. Anyway, for my birthday I order a swimsuit and want to take a photo. While half the world interprets this as completely immoral and conceited, to me each day is gone when the day ends and we can never get it back. It is amazing to me that we can take photos, and I want to look back at the special moments in my life, even the ordinary moments! I pursue modeling for work and have been successful with Playboy and smaller Instagram brands. It’s a passion of mine and I want to spread a good message, knowing I may need to look and play the “superficial” part to reach certain audiences. The whole trip she is taking about how superficial social media is. She doesn’t see my perspective. I ask for a photo in this swimsuit for my birthday and it turns into huge problem where she says I’m using her for a photo. I can type on my passed family members name that I am not the kind of person to use anybody. I will never do that in my life and I will never be tempted, that is not why I came to this earth. When she says this I feel anger and hurt rise. I said some negative things from anger about her and her last 5 year relationship. She is my friend of over 7 years at that point and I thought she knew me, and to make such an accusation showed me she did not know me. And I thought, if I have been my honest self and she still has not been able to see me like I thought – then the friendship was already over. And I ended the friendship for over a year.

    Fast forward to my personal situation, last January I return to LA from over a month of learning and healing in Indonesia. However, my housing plans fall out and I abruptly move with my half sister in LA. I know I cannot stay there as she has another roommate so I try to find a place. I go months without finding a place, there is tension in the house, so I finally settle on an apartment complex. If you read my last post – yes it is the apartment complex I write about that made me uncomfortable. Ultimately it was not a fit for what I truly needed at that time in my life. It caused lots of stress that I stopped sleeping in that apartment and stayed with a guy friend from high school who lived down the street. Problems arose here as he had a crush on me and took me being there as me liking him despite verbally saying no. I tried to secure another apartment over the month but he had to move, and I was left with no apartment secured. With him I remember feeling he would be upset if I was at his place searching for my own apartment. I would feel from him “is she using my place instead of being here to be with me 24/7?” But I explained I desperately just needed help with a peaceful place to search. I tried daily there buying all the food, extra activities, daily drinks, including him in my daily workouts and still I felt wrong when I took any time to search. I get into argument with him.. From there I move to my half brothers house. We have not been close and I didn’t want to but he picked my stuff up after hearing about the argument. At his place he says I can stay and work, or he can charge me for the room etc but I know that I would rather be away where I can be more free to work and do my own thing without having to report to him or be involved with his family dynamics. I try to secure a place from here. I’m not working as I wanted to secure a place first. Months go by, no apartment is secured as my credit goes down, COVID hits, etc. I feel a build up of stress being at my brothers daily, and start to feel some negatives from him. I start feeling I need to smoke with him daily to keep him happy (medicinal marijuana in ca) and off my back. I start to think- I should just move. I can’t take it. I go to NY to stay with a man I didn’t know well, but more so online. Let’s call him B. While he was physically attractive, he ended up rubbing me the wrong way by mentioning he sees other women and will always, and taking me to parties where I didn’t feel safe. Yes I am 24 and an adult but he was older and I felt he just through me out, even made a reference “this group parties crazy but this will kind of be me throwing you into the fire”. On the last night he is allowing [**descriptive language following] orgies in the living room. I feel inebriated, confused, and unsafe as every room in his house is filled with this and he is laying with a woman when I find him. I start to cry and say I want them to leave and they turn me into a laughing stock. I freak out and FaceTime my mom who further freaks out and calls the police when she sees my environment on FaceTime. The police show up and literally escort me to the airport and say I need to go my moms. The thing is, I was on no sleep embarrassed at the airport so instead of taking my mothers ticket to her house that left in 6 hours, I took a flight B booked that was leaving right as I arrived to airport-  for some reason I called my longtime friend and she said I could come stay with her so that’s where my flight went. I thought even so I could just stop and visit then go to my moms who I felt an internal feeling to go to. Not having seen her since my birthday last year, I arrive in her state, where my mother also lives a few hours away. She says she doesn’t want me to go my moms and I can stay and work. I plan to stay and work but there is so many confusing things happening that make me question whether I should leave and go my moms. She apologized and said she was wrong for making that accusation.
    Since arriving I can’t help but have negative aspects of her personality highlighted in my face even if I don’t want to see them.
    For example, I don’t feel she IS sorry for making that accusation. I additionally feel she didn’t want to take the photo due to her own insecurities and need to have attention on her, feeling insecure if it is not. After arriving I have all of these flashback in our friendship where she has acted with negative attitudes in ways I would never to a friend or even stranger. I have grown a lot and made healing, self improvement my journey and it hasn’t seemed the same for her. I feel often her mind is residing generally in vibrations of comparison, competition instead of togetherness which I feel when we hangout. I honestly started to feel so tense around her feeling energetically she was thinking negative things about me and quick to judge, even with physical traits. I see now she even makes fun of small physical details of her current partner – to her, he’s fat and ugly. And I think – if she is capable and allows these kind of judgments to her partner – how does she judge her friends?
    Also apparently she has experienced with bullying – but don’t we all to some degree. The difference here is I start to feel she likes the idea of making others feel small, mimicking ways she has felt often in her life. I feel she likes to think of herself as the best in the room and often feel she is thinking about looks too much and comparing in this way constantly. Even when I arrived I got a much needed haircut after a knot from the depression, months of it, etc. We go out with her brother and the cheers she makes – “cheers to me being beautiful” so that is what we all cheered to- her being beautiful? Her family will always tend to her insecurities in this way but I don’t feel it’s healthy. To me I just got a haircut and she didn’t want any attention off of her. Since being friends she has been an insecure person always. I’m not deeply insecure as I accept my flaws and see everyone has them, but we all have some insecurity. To me, it seems insecurity is the main idea in her life, or workings behind her life and behavior. Half of the time when I pull away a little she will make effort to be nicer and include me, but once I’m close again I feel these jabs. Even if it is not intentional, it feels draining to be around someone so close who seems like they would not even be able to handle me having my best, being my best, because of her own insecurities. When I am home most times, I feel she is silently lingering around me and when I see her I feel she is sending me bad energy and hateful and/or judgmental thoughts – I can’t escape that feeling in my body and soul. As much as I want to stay, these things come up and I think – why not move with my mom where I can have space to grow and breathe without someone hating that I’m doing it without them or in their space or whatever is going through my friends head that I don’t understand. When I bring up any behavior to her, she turns it on me, tells her family I’m the bad guy and she’s the punching bag- I have never seen her take accountability in our entire friendship for any problem even outside of our friendship. And again, I am not the kind of person who sees the use in using humans as my punching bag. I’d like to think I’m vibrationally evolved above that and genuinely there is no logical desire to hurt others – only to heal myself

    (seems most people don’t work that way)

    So already there again her accusations against me are far lower than anything I know that I am.

    Me being here also feels I need to be the one on best behavior which would not be the case if the roles were reversed and she was staying with me- in that case she would maybe evaluate her behavior and have to comprise expect I feel it’s actually me the punching bag to her unhealed behavior – even though I do love her dearly!

    I want to stay, but can’t shake the feelings when she sees me that she wants to see me down, below her, unhealthy. Why do I feel this way? When I do my own things (yoga, journaling, even drinking water) I feel I am met with this silent aggressive underlining energy. We have different lifestyles. I like to prioritize health and well being, being in nature, sleeping well early mornings. To me, she doesn’t care about these things and instead tends to do more late nights, drinking, other kind of drugs. To keep peace on certain days what’s worked is me abandoning what I typically do for my well being (sleep early, wake up early, work out, stay hydrated, journal) and to just DRINK and hangout.
    This reminds me of high school when I would combine my schedule with hers, until she stated to taker her bf more serious and was like peace! I’m doing this. To me this is the nature sometimes of our relationship. Like I am just here but I know she would be ready to leave without considering me while each day I wake up and think about putting her first to avoid negative feelings, looks, energy.
    I feel very drained thinking about. Some people tell me just begin work and it will be better as I’m out the house. Some people tell me just go to my mothers, who would benefit from me being there (I am happy to help my mother as she helps me too by allowing me back in her home). If I was home alone I might workout, shower, face mask, meditate, research, journal, decompress. Because she’s here I feel if I start yoga I will be getting death stares. It’s like if she’s home I need to just sit by her side and do what she does but I know what I need to be my healthiest…. and it’s the things that tend to ones well being (healthy schedule, good energy / diet, being active). Additionally, we are living with her brother and they both sleep incredibly late each night. I try to sleep early but there is noise and I am energetically sensitive. I also now constantly feel angry thoughts from them when I isolate myself in the room, like because I separated myself they are against me. Stressful! Hurtful! Confusing! Always being pointed at like the bad guy. When living in my own, I got spoiled with finding my perfect conditions for well being and having them – a peaceful home that I can shut down when it is bed time, an undistrubed morning / bed routine, the entire day to myself to truly work out how I want and need to spend my day (with my well being and future always the priority- why shouldn’t it be for us all?). I am here without a car and no other friends so it’s hard to get out and go to yoga class, etc. I didn’t live with my mother in high school for a reason. I didn’t feel my future was the best in her household and that’s still a large fear of mine if I move back in with her. My mother has a lot to work on spiritually and can often lash out for no reason – lots of memories in childhood and why only 2/4 of her children are talking to her. It feels risky at this point to move back, even though if I never stopped here that’s initially what I wanted. I visited my mom this Christmas and it was great, I love her, and I accept that is not perfect but I know it can’t always be like that, at least my track record of memories reports that. At my moms I can eat freely without judgment, drink water without discomfort.. she also sleeps late but I feel she would respect my schedule if I told her and let me excuse myself for bed at a time I felt.  I’m so overwhelmed from this situation that I wish I could just live alone. Living with others I feel constantly their toy and needing to please them when I am just a human who can only handle so much. My brother and occasionally his family also live at my mothers so still stimulation but at least they are on my “side” which I never felt until I felt moments of my friend and her brother against me in the house(examples. “Omg she drank all the coffee” talking about me even though I would never finish something without intent and action to replace it). I feel so exhausted from this each day. My body feels weak at this point. And it makes my body sink a little more to think the people around me would WANT that reality for me. And when I bring it up, am the bad guy. Like being in some torture house where they don’t really care about your well being.
    I like here because the idea of being with friends, and working at a restaurant in town sounds nice to me. But the reality is I wake up in confusion each day trying to please people and figure out why I’m feeling judgment or bad energy for simply being myself. At my mothers, this restaurant I want work is not there, but I’m open to any job.

    I feel confused, and exhausted. I can’t rest anymore as I hear their (her and her brother) footsteps next to my door all night and feel a bad energy being sent to me as she walks by. When I try to do yoga and she is home, I feel watched, judged, even tormented like she is just watching me thinking negative things at a crazy rate.

    Does anyone have any idea why I feel this way and how I should move forward?

    thank you

     

     

    beyond words

     

     

    and with much love

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    @Lucie,

    I got your notification so hopefully that has fixed things and I will now know when you guys tag me in posts!

    Unfortunately, there’s not much advice that I can offer. Nausea and anxiety are generally just bleh. The main thing to do is to target the anxiety and that in turn should eliminate the nausea – if it is indeed linked. Look after yourself, do breathing exercises. Remind yourself that you are not in danger, that it is just your mind playing tricks on you (I know it isn’t easy, something I still battle with often about the most random of things!)

    But it is all a learning curve. Eventually you’ll figure out exactly what works for you. For me it is counting to 10, reminding myself to breathe, trying to be present in the moment rather than letting my mind wander elsewhere and some good guided meditation which you can often find on YouTube, they have some wonderful videos!
    Also, journaling!! It is so underestimated. It is such a good release of thoughts, ideas, feelings and anything else that may need release from your mind to paper!

    I hope this helps x

    #368150
    S
    Participant

    I’m angry at my mom for invalidating my voice And giving me advice but I’m more angry at myself for not trusting myself and taking others advice before my own, taking my own advice deep down so I punish myself. I’ve been doing that since I was 3. Others feelings > mine. Others expectations of my clothes > mine. Others words and advice > my body’s advice. But That’s the only way I’ll be happy if I listen to my heart. I cannot heal living someone else’s life, it makes me lost.

    all the trauma journaling has brought up ALL the feelings – sorry for being such a mess. Thanks for listening. I need to trust myself

    #368014
    S
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Recently I took up journaling about fears – and then meditation after. It helps. But I still feel afraid and angry. And numb with meds that I can’t seem to get off after 8 years. It’s just so difficult. I don’t wanna die like this.</p>

    #367679
    Jen
    Participant

    Dear GL, Lily and Anita,

    First of all, Thank You so much for your valuable inputs. This post is a little long so please bear with me. I am also poor in writing in organized manner so I hope you all can understand what I’m conveying. I read and re-read all your posts and have concluded the following from it:
    a. GL, I agree that I don’t have healthy boundaries with my parents. I would go a step ahead and say that I don’t have healthy boundaries with any of those whom I really hold close, whom I see as ‘mine’. This, so far in my life has included my ex-bf (2 years ago) and my parents only and as Anita very rightly showed, I had the same problems with both. So yes, I feel the same that I don’t have healthy boundaries. I think but my solution has to come more from the mind and heart and not just physical distance. I think that will just be escaping as every time I’ll be around a loved one, I’ll have the same issues. Besides, I anyways don’t live with my parents, I have my own place in a different city and have come to them only during COVID but even from afar I had an unhealthy bond with them and the same hurt would play on, i.e. instead of feeling bad that I only go to their room and they don’t come to me, I used to then feel bad that I only mostly call them.
    b. GL, I also agree that I am taking undue responsibility for people that I love and also that I want them to be okay not for themselves but for my sake as I am so attached to them that I won’t be okay if they’re not okay. As a small example, when I came down and saw my dad had gained a lot of weight, my thought was what will happen to me if something happens to him, I won’t be able to take the pain of losing my father. So it is coming from a place of emotional dependence. I have to realize that we are all responsible for ourselves and should focus more on my well-being and be willing to help my loved ones if they want but not go around taking unwanted responsibility for them or wanting them to be a certain way for my emotional stability.
    Thank you for making me see this.
    c. Lily, you are bang on that ‘I depend on the attention of others’. I thrive on it, it makes me feel happy, it makes me feel good. On the flip side, not getting attention makes me feel horrible. It is not good, I know and that is why I want to get out of it. Thank you for all the suggestions of activities to become independent. I am doing journaling since a year and a half, it has helped a lot. I also do have many hobbies and will try to focus more on them. As far as open communication issue is concerned, you are very right in what you said but I am having a little bit of difficulty in explaining the way I think about it. I’ll think about it a little more and get back to you.
    d. Anita, firstly a big big thank you for taking the effort to go through my threads, study them so well and put it out here. I am very grateful. All that I concluded from the posts-
    – I agree that I need to stop looking at others’ lives and seeing them as emotionally sound and feel bad for myself. You are bang on that I don’t see them all the time and also, I don’t see what’s going inside them. So I will stop doing that.
    – So, what I understand from your post is that there was some kind of persistent behavior on part of my parents that made me feel uncertain, unloved, clingy in childhood and the same thing has carried on and become more prominent in my adulthood. It was slow and gradual (your river analogy) instead of something obvious like hitting/broken home and that is why maybe, I am not able to see what exactly it was. But there was something. Probably ignoring on some level. I will think more about it to figure what it could be.
    – So today, I am a grown up girl who due to her childhood experiences feels emotionally unfulfilled, unloved, uncertain and insecure on the inside.
    – As a grown-up, now that emotionally insecure pattern is playing in all my close relations. Again thank you so much for making me see the clear pattern in how i felt in relationship and with parents. I can actually use the words parents and bf interchangeably and all the complains remain the exact same. In both of my only close relations, I have felt uncertain about the other person’s love, have wanted more from them and mostly, wanted constant reassurance of their love for me. There is certainly a strong parallel there. I can see your point about attachment style not being fixed. I was avoidant with my ex bf as much a I was anxiously attached. Thank you for making me see that.

    So, after concluding all that, I can identify the following issues that I currently deal with and have to solve, rather than following pattern. This will also tell you how I think and you can help me through I hope:
    – I have grown up to be a very emotionally dependent person. I can survive by myself or with little love but I need a lot of it to be ‘happy’.
    – At all times in life so far, I have chosen one person to be ‘mine’ and I have dumped all my emotional needs of love and affection on them as I am incapable of giving any to me. 1st it was my parents, then my bf (interestingly when I was with my bf, I didn’t really care about being loved by my parents), since two years when the relation ended, again my parents.
    And now, I have to come out of it to become emotionally independent and develop healthy boundaries. Am I understanding it right?

    #367627
    Lily
    Participant

    Dear Jen,

    what GL wrote reads quite sensible to me.

    I too got the impression that your parents did not really want to exercise. I am sure you only meant well and wanted the best for them. But at the end of the day, they are grown ups and have to make decisions for themselves.

    At the same time, I find it strange how the communication goes down. That your parents don’t express to you what they want, instead they chose to ignore you. And that you also don’t ask what happened. Everybody seems to just try to avoid the confrontation.

    Could it be that they are people pleasers who can’t say no? Maybe they don’t want to hurt your feelings and so they say yes to you. At the same time, they disagree (for example don’t want to exercise) and instead of telling you no, they just don’t do what they promised. Of course, it feels horrible to get ignored (I have experienced it too) and I can understand that you are upset. And it is o.K. to feel annoyed.

    My suggestion is still to have a more open communication, if it is possible. At least for me speaking out more and asking questions to understand the situation, has made me feel more empowered. Of course, people don’t always want to communicate or change their behaviour, but at least then you know where you stand and can act accordingly. And for me it feels satisfactory to at least have spoken my mind, even if nothing changes.

    But you said that expressing your annoyance makes you feel weak. Your goal is to become more self sufficient and to let go. On one hand, I think it is a good idea to learn to self soothe and become more independent. Especially since you seem to struggle with this. It looks like a reasonable goal for you, as you seem to depend a lot on the attention of others. On the other hand, I don’t think it is a good idea to keep all of your feelings bottled up inside. It is also o.K. to call a friend to vent sometimes (as long as you don’t overdo it) or to tell someone that you did not find their behaviour o.K. I think it is good to have a healthy balance there.

    One sentence that stood out to me: “The moment you express hurt, you’re the bad person so I’d better look after myself so that I never feel hurt” I don’t think you become a bad person for expressing hurt. And it is a bit unrealistic to never feel hurt. The question is more, how to deal with it. If someone really hurts you, then I think you have every right to tell them that their actions hurt you. And to feel upset, angry and hurt. But at the other hand, if you get upset over very small things, it is also good to learn to cope and look after yourself.

    Your goals are to become more independent and develop a secure attachment style. Maybe it is a good idea to focus on yourself more instead of others and learn to love yourself. Learning to understand yourself better. Again, a therapist can be helpful (if it is a good one).

    Things I find helpful for learning to love myself:

    – Journaling. To just write down your thoughts unfiltered, everything that comes up in my mind. It is called “brain dump” or “free writing” I believe. By giving your thoughts so much room, you will be able to learn more about yourself. With time, you might also be able to see patterns. What comes up again and again? What do you want to change in your life? It helps me to structure my thoughts.

    In a distressing situation, it can also help me to calm myself. I can let out all of my negative thoughts unfiltered and without upsetting anyone. After I have calmed down I can plan my next steps.

    You could also do a self love journal, where you write down things that you love about yourself everyday. You can list the most simple things, like “I am thankful for my arm”, things that we sometimes take for granted, like a healthy body. Or you could write down things that you are proud of, little accomplishments.

    – Hobbies. Do you have hobbies? You could try out some new hobbies, it is always fun. Maybe you can find out that time spent by yourself can actually be enjoyable. What did you like as a child? Or what did you always want to learn? Maybe you want to learn to play an instrument, or learn a new language. Do sports or create some artwork. It feels good to try out new things and when you get better and better, you could also draw confidence from that.

    Those are some ideas and thoughts, I hope it helps a little bit! Take care!

     

    Adelaide1
    Participant

    Hope you are doing okay @Shelbyville! Been thinking of you.

    Haven’t felt the need to post here about the breakup I had which prompted me to join this forum in awhile but I ran into my ex today for the first time since I last saw her in January forum and it brought back so much anxiety. So strange because I was literally thinking minutes before how strange it is I haven’t seen her around. I immediately felt extremely anxious when I saw her, but decided to do the decent thing and stop and say hello and we had a brief chat. She seemed a bit sheepish. I suspect she feels guilty for how she handled things.

    It’s so interesting how a few minutes like that can bring back a flood of memories, both good and awful. I never felt safe in the relationship as she was not consistent in her behaviour, so seeing her triggered that same unsafe feeling. I am trying to just observe my reaction rather than cast any judgement but I do feel annoyed she still can still affect my headspace. I feel no desire to reconnect with her, really, just a lingering sadness someone can be such a massive part of your life for a time and then just not. I guess that’s how life works. Not seeking any response in particular, just journaling, though as always  welcome hearing how others felt in the same situation. Wish I was one of those people who could genuinely keep up a friendship with an ex but as I say I find the sudden change in dynamic difficult to navigate. I also don’t really see the point of putting time and energy into something that has broken down for whatever reason – unless of course people have children together, that’s different. Do others feel this way?

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