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Advice for the lost and weary

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This topic contains 194 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 days, 10 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 196 total)
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  • #282883

    Anonymous

    Hey, gj.

    I am sorry for causing you distress. I have been reading too much buddhist philosophy recently and it’s getting into my head. Lol.

    About a year ago I started seeing a therapist about my relationship woes. Since then I have been worrying a lot about my future. It is only natural as I truly started thinking of these things.

    There are billions of people finding love every year, so if you want to find a relationship that makes you happy, that definitely isn’t asking too much. You will find love, I’m sure of it.

    #282999

    gj
    Participant

    Anita, i saw myself as a source of income and put pressure on myself. They have actually not had to ask me money as they have interests from savings and rent from property they own, i never realized that – the fear my mother put in me is more of the – we are not rich you will have to try to get the best job/ marks possible, otherwise something terrible would happen. Had i thought things through on my own and questioned what was the worst, i would have realized that the likelihood of that happening – my entire family on the streets – was not going to happen – but i think that is how my mother chose to motivate me – she shouldn’t have – because when i did not do well, i was most ashamed of facing her.

    Another reason they cannot see me as  a source of income – once a girl is married off – traditionally her husband dictates everything, things have changed, but not my parents – they would not assume that i would support them in anyway although i would of my own volition. Despite us being middle class i know someone in my extended family who was upset that even his second child is a girl. Had it been legal to know the baby’s gender, they would have aborted her. People still look at girls as a burden financially.

    If anything my mom has actually ranted that atleast my sister and I would be married off and not have to care about things at home after that. I don’t really know what her thoughts are or why she does these things for me – she has an obsession with keeping things cleans when guests arrive,etc – she really cares about reputation and what others think – maybe she sees us as an extension of her and does all these things.

    #283001

    gj
    Participant

    Please don’t apologize, Mandelbrot. I have become really sensitive.

    Thank you for the reassurance 🙂

    #283033

    GL
    Participant

    Dear gj,

    If it’s not possible for you to move out of your house and live in an apartment by yourself, as I don’t understand the culture ramification of a female living alone in Indian’s culture, then the next best thing to do is to find a place that you can call your own.

    Right now, you are living with a lot of people so from the moment you wake up to the moment where you lay down to sleep, you are constantly interacting with people in some way. And that is very tiresome because that means you don’t much time to yourself to do whatever. Or even if you do something, someone might be watching or interrupting, which disrupts your time alone and can make it seems like you can’t even have your own private time. And your own private time is the time for you to breath and think about things and just relax without having to observe social decorum.

    Social decorum means listening to your mother talk, being careful around your work mates, possibly avoiding your grandmother and seeing your sister and father. Do that constantly without break and you become burnt out. Do what while also being influenced by the opinions of those around you and you begin to lose yourself, or at least never have much time to form your own thoughts.

    Right now, you are still immerse in your mother’s and father’s expectations for you, especially your mother’s. You are still listening to her thoughts and opinions, which will unconsciously influence you which will in turn make it seems as if her expectations is decent and only following the guideline of your culture so there’s little need to question it. But that also makes it really easy for you to tell yourself that you are a failure for not achieving any of the goals your mother had set out for you, marriage for example.

    But that emptiness of yours comes from the fact that you are following your mother’s expectations without ever creating any expectations for yourself. You went to school and got a job in engineering because your mother told you to support yourself with a good job. You are now looking around at marriage because your mother told you that the clock is ticking so you better hurry. You are following someone’s else time-line which is go to school, get a job and then eventually get marry. And after that, you might be following your husband’s time-line of maybe quitting your job to having children. You have not seriously try to create any expectations for yourself, you have only listen to your mother’s time-line. And that’s empty, because that’s not your dream. That’s not just what you might want out of life. That’s not what you are willing to endure suffering to grab hold with your own hands.

    So first and foremost, go find a space that is safe that you can allow yourself free thoughts. A space of your own that you can use to go/sift through every thing that had happened to you so far. You need to examine all the teachings that you’ve learnt so far; from your mother, from your culture, from your peers. You need to examine with a critical eye the underlying ‘why’ to these teachings and why exactly you are trying to fulfill these expectations. You need to ask yourself if these expectations are yours? Are these expectations aligning with what you might want out of life? Are these expectations aligning with the person you want to become in the future? Are these expectations serving you personally or are they chaining you to something you don’t like, but feel you have fulfill? And if you feel anything, name them. Be it anger, sorrow, regret, etc. Name them. And if you start telling yourself that you are not good enough to be doing this, then quietly examine that too. Examine these thoughts, examine where they are coming from and question them why you can’t be enough.

    You need to start examining and questioning these thoughts. You need to start asking why and what and whom. These thoughts come from somewhere, but it might not be coming from you. Before taking any actions, understand your why. Understand why you want something or not want something. It could be as simple as you don’t like it or it’s just not you. That’s fine. That’s enough of a reason to do something about your situation. If you’re unhappy, you’ll stay unhappy unless you actually do something. So take action by understanding your unhappiness, understanding your environment and understanding yourself. It will take a long time to do this, so it’s okay if you only have a few small thoughts to go on this journey of understanding yourself. It’ll probably take your whole life, but at least you’ll understand some things about the current you. From those small understanding, you can start something from that, one small action. You just have to decide to do something, you don’t need all the answers.

    And above all, don’t fear failure. Don’t fear failing at knowing who you are, what you want, why you do what you do, and more. No one is ever completely sure of themselves, but they do things because they hope to make a difference in this world and often, it’ll fail more than succeed. Yet they still keep at it until they do succeed or they stop, depending on if they realize it’s not what they really wanted. And you don’t really know that you wanted it/wanted something until it either fail or succeed. You don’t know so let yourself fail as often as you need to fail. It’s not a failure on your part, rather, it’s a sign of strength that you know yourself well enough whether to keep going or stop. So fail, then ask yourself what fail, then ask yourself if that failure had given you perspective on whether what you’re doing is something you want to keep doing despite the failure. You’ll endure a lot of suffering trying to reach your goal yet if your goal is worth that suffering, then you have a reason to keep going.

    So find that space, find that place and let yourself breath.

    #283043

    gj
    Participant

    Living on my own would not be considered wrong, GL but i will have to find a new job at a new city, i think i will.

    You are right, I really don’t have any clarity in my thoughts and expectations. I do need space.

    #283079

    anita
    Participant

    Dear gj:

    You wrote about your extended family: “Had it been legal to know the baby’s gender, they would have aborted her. People still look at girls as a burden financially”

    – so a girl is born-> financial burden; a boy is born-> financial benefit. Correct?

    – if I understand correctly, traditionally in your area, the parents move in with their adult son and the son’s wife, not with any of their daughters?

    If your mother didn’t predict moving in with you once you get married, she does see you and her as well as your father and siblings as one financial unit for as long as you are not married. This is clear to me because she told you: “we are not rich you will have to try to get the best job/ marks possible, otherwise something terrible will happen… my entire family on the streets..”-

    – your mother placed on you a huge financial responsibility, suggesting that if you don’t get the best marks and best job, “something terrible will happen”-

    She put great fear in you. Great fear kills motivation, interests, passion. Fear does that.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    anita

    #283089

    gj
    Participant

    Yeah, if possible the guy’s parents move in.

    Her suggestions were more along the lines of – we will not be able to help you financially if you fail – what i took from it is if i fail, it would also hurt my family as I saw myself as the one to support the family financially – but since i got my job i actually never had to do it, I did it on occassion when i wanted to.

    And i have lived in fear all my life. I seriously fear even now not having enough money when I grow older. I also fear losing my job like my father did, so not doing well at work hurts me very badly – i feel like i am inching closer to my worst nightmare. And i would really like to be in a situation where i am skilled enough to earn the team’s respect. When some senior on the team is rude i am not able to convince myself that their rudeness is unwaranted and I keep telling myself i ought to be better but don’t do anything – this is might be because of fear – but physiologically and emotionally like you said earlier  it feels like helplessness.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  gj.
    #283101

    anita
    Participant

    Dear gj:

    “I have lived in fear all my life”-

    – question is what to do about this fear, how to lower it, contain it, manage it better, so that there is space in your mind and life for some joy, curiosity, desire, drive, motivation.

    Once the fear was established that you would be hurting your family if you get bad marks or don’t make enough money (“if I fail, it would also hurt me family as I saw myself as the one to support the family financially”)- it doesn’t matter that later, or so far, they didn’t need your financial help because the fear was already established and the future cannot be predicted.

    Your fear regarding finances is that you/ your family will be without money. A child doesn’t distinguish between herself and her family, the two are one unit, in her mind. And as you live with your family, sleeping in the same room with your mother and a sister or two (I don’t remember), I question if still, you don’t see yourself and your family as one unit.

    If you lived away from your family, on your own, and if you felt that you are not responsible for them financially, do you think that you will feel less fear, as having only one person to feed, clothe and housed, you, that is and no  one else?

    anita

    #283105

    gj
    Participant

    “– question is what to do about this fear, how to lower it, contain it, manage it better, so that there is space in your mind and life for some joy, curiosity, desire, drive, motivation” – this is THE question I want to find the answer to and if it is even possible.

    I have been thinking about moving out quite a bit lately especially after starting this topic here.   You are right the fear has been established – i don’t think i see myself as financially responsible for my family anymore though, my fear is that *I* will be left with no money. And i hate to admit it, but part of the reason I am not able to insist marriage is not for me is the lure of having a partner when I screw up, so there is still one person standing so things don’t completely fall apart.

    #283117

    anita
    Participant

    Dear gj:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to get married for the purpose of financial security. After all marriage everywhere involves this very thing: becoming one financial unit, a financial team, adding financial security to each other.

    What would be wrong is deceiving a potential husband by being dishonest in any way. It will also be wrong to choose a man who you dislike or disrespect. The man you choose has to be one you like and respect and who likes and respects you, the two of you sharing similar goals for the marriage and working as a team, helping each other financially and in other ways.

    I would say, find ways to reduce your ongoing fear, aka anxiety. There is a lot of literature on how to do it and I believe on the Home Page here, under Blogs, if you click Mindfulness, you will find some helpful articles. The well known ways to reduce anxiety are daily walks, other exercise, yoga, guided meditations and so many more practices, choose the one that suit you best.

    And do your best on the financial front to minimize your chances of ending up hungry or homeless, and providing for yourself adequately. I imagine that moving out of your family home will be a step in the right direction. Your fear was born in the context of your family of origin. Better … move away from the birthplace of your fear.

    anita

    #283233

    gj
    Participant

    Somehow meditation and practicing mindfulness make me feel pathetic. The emptiness becomes unbearable and i become extremely aware of how horrible my life is.

    I am not able to break out of this rut. Those methods have not worked so far.

    I am afraid to leave my house, not having anyone at all may push me further down the rabbit hole

    #283257

    anita
    Participant

    Dear gj”

    You wrote in your recent post: “The emptiness becomes unbearable….I am afraid to leave my house”-

    On the first page of your thread you wrote: “My mother was never open or vulnerable- she always had a stereotype of what a city girl should be- strong, fearless, social, etc. I have never felt comfortable in my own body. Always felt in any social situation like I should not be there. But I never heard any kind words from her”-

    I would like to understand this paragraph: do you mean that your mother acted strong, fearless and social, or did she try to act these ways but failed?

    Did she expect you to act these ways by copying her behavior, and if not, who was supposed to show you how to be a city girl?

    Also, what do you mean by never feeling comfortable in your own body and what do you mean by “I never heard any kind words from her” in the context above?

    anita

    #283265

    gj
    Participant

    She was never any of those things. I was expected to be. She only pointed out i was doing something wrong when did not fit those standards. There was no role model for that.

    I am not comfortable just being. Whatever the situation, if I am expected to talk and do something or just be – i want to run away. I used to be socially awkward and had stage fright but with both I just went for it and overcame them. I did not have to ruminate over it or anything. But it is a mask – i just don’t want to engage with people.

    My mom was never “supportive”. She never took our side. When i used to not do well in debates or my grades went down, she could never say anything meaningful – we were expected to somehow brush it off.
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    #283273

    anita
    Participant

    Dear gj:

    So you had no chance of success. No way for a person to behave in certain ways without being taught by someone. As a child, your mother expected you to learn in a vacuum, without being shown. And to top the absence of her teaching you, that is, to top the fact that you had no way to learn, she criticized you for.. not doing what was impossible for you to do.

    There is no failure when the chances for success are zero. I suppose there is such a thing as failure to recognize a non-failure. In other words, better now really accept, take in the fact that you didn’t fail socially.

    You wrote that your mother “never took our side”- someone should take your side! Be that someone.

    anita

    #283277

    gj
    Participant

    I think it is just disappointing – to only have yourself.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 196 total)

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