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Anxiety, confusion, sexuality

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This topic contains 69 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 57 minutes ago.

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  • #277367

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I can go  on with this line of questioning, but it is not a good idea. I mean, it is not something you are willing to examine: what is love? And: did/ does my mother love me?

    Is it?

    anita

    #277369

    anita
    Participant

    * didn’t reflect under Topics

    #277373

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I see what you mean, I am rather resistant to this line of questioning because I truly do believe that my mother loves me. That doesn’t mean that I believe she was a good mother. I don’t even suggest she was a loving mother growing up. But I know that somewhere deep down she loves me. It might be a small part due to all her traumas but there is still somewhat of a part. I cannot not feel that and I don’t think its healthy/ right to discard my mother for all her past mistakes. I can take the suggestion that I need to distance myself from her but to completely detach. I don’t think that’s right.

    #277411

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    “somewhere deep  down she loves” you, I have no  doubt. Somewhere deep down every person is a loving person.

    “I don’t think it’s healthy/ right to discard my mother”, what do you mean by discard?

    I understand you are resistant to this line of questioning and you are welcome to not answer. The reason I ask you questions regarding the words you are typing here, is because I believe hope is in examining these very things that are so  difficult to look at.

    anita

    #277469

    afeels
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    By discarding my mother I mean by mimising all contact with her. Forgetting her. cutting ties so to speak .

    It’s interesting, my mother has minimised nearly all contact with her mother and I see it as such a shame. I understand my mother’s rage at her (my grandmother has her favourites, gossips etc) but my mother isn’t happy anyway having cut ties with my grandmother. All she has done is isolate herself from people in general. There has to be a certain point as an adult whereby you accept your parent as never being able to give you the love they should have given you as a child. I think my mother’s issue with her mother lies here. Consequently she is angry and resentful. Id prefer to find a different way, a different solution.

    I’ve been reading on the dead mother complex and I really relate to it. Have you read it at all? It’s very interesting. Although to be honest I don’t think I should delve any deeper into psychology books. I need to live! Tomorrow I am going to a neighbouring city and visiting a friend, I hope I can leave my head a little bit during this visit.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  afeels.
    #277529

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I like your resolution here: “I don’t think I should delve any deeper into psychology books. I need to live!”- I agree! I no longer read any psychology/ self help books myself, or articles and such, not in the last few years and I don’t intend to do so.

    I think I understand what you meant by “I don’t think it’s healthy/ right to discard my mother”- your mother ended contact with her mother and “Consequently she is angry and resentful”, so you think that your mother is angry and resentful because she cut ties with her mother, that is, your mother cutting ties with her mother was unhealthy for her. Did I understand correctly?

    anita

     

    #277595

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Yes so my mother cut ties with her mother but the pattern has continued with everyone in her life. She remained angry and resentful, cutting ties wasnt healing it might have been a short relief but that’s it.  She didn’t learn anything from cutting ties about forgiveness, meeting people at where they are at or anything like that. She continued the pattern of discarding everyone.

    #277611

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    For an abused person, ending contact with the person doing the abuse is necessary so to start the process of healing and learning, it is only the beginning. Reads like your mother ended contact with her mother but did not engage in the process of healing. This is not uncommon.

    It doesn’t mean that her ending contact with her mother was unhealthy, that it damaged her. Not beginning the process of healing kept her stuck  in sickness.

    You mentioned your mother’s “pattern of discarding everyone”, does that include discarding you?

    anita

    #277669

    afeels
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I think you are right that my mother did not engage in the process of healing. To be fair to her she probably didn’t know about ‘healing’ as an aim (mental health knowledge in her country of origin is very poor and due to language barriers she could not access counselling). All she knew was that she had to end contact.

    My mother has never discarded me, but I guess I have not given her any reason to? She hasn’t discarded my sister although when my sister ran away from home my mum did very little to reach out to her. My sister has since returned to the family home, so she hasn’t been discarded either in that way.

     

    #277675

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    You wrote that your sister ran away from home, why did she?

    Since she returned home, she “hasn’t been discarded either in that way“- are you suggesting that there are different ways to discard a person?

    If you want to tell me more about the relationships at home: your mother/yourself, your mother/your sister and you/your sister, please do. I will read if you do share when I am back to the computer in about 13 hours from now, and reply then.

    anita

    #277763

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I decided to answer the questions that I asked you in my last post to  you by extracting the relevant information from your two threads. I will quote your words but not in the chronological order of your posting; I will take away some of your punctuation marks and add my own,  yet all the words that follow the quotation mark next are your words:

    “I had a very rough childhood, abusive, neglectful. I grew up in an environment so chaotic. I grew up in fear. As a kid I didn’t explore much or play.

    The only memories of her that I have when a young child was that she was angry, or blank. She still is short tempered. As a child I was beaten harshly when I was caught kissing two children. I was so  young, 5 years old.

    I chose to  not explore my sexuality and relationships outside of family when I was 17 because of my loyalty to my mother. Loyalty to my mother as in making my family and their stability priority, otherwise chaos would insume (misspelling of ensue).

    When I moved to  University I still was fixing things, i.e., debts or my sister’s issues. I was very much attached to my family role as surrogate mother. I was doing well until my final year of University whereby my sister threatened suicide and I couldn’t take the pressure anymore and cracked. She was wholly reliant on me. When my sister ran away from home my mum did very little to reach out to her.

    I want to move away from my mum but I feel too much guilt if I stopped contact.

    Somewhere deep down she loves me. There has to be a certain point as an adult whereby you accept your parent as never  being able to give you the love they should have given you.”.

    And now my input:  it is easy to see what you need  to do next, what change in your mind and life needs to take place so that healing takes place, so that you can have a healthy love relationship with a future partner, and so that your confusion and anxiety decrease and clarity and calm increase in your mind and heart:

    – Clearly, you need to abandon your family role that you took  on as a child and maintained  onward (fixing problems, parenting your sister, reducing chaos), that you should abandon your loyalty to your mother and choose your own well-being as your number one priority, that you should move  out and no longer live with your mother (or  with your sister), and that you should do what you were not able to do as a child: explore and play.

    Only it is easier said than done, of course. There are feelings  of (unjustified) guilt involved and the anxiety involved in giving up on a role/ identity that you had for about two decades, one that gave you a sense of identity, value and safety.

    This is what should be done in effective psychotherapy- lower and manage that unjustified guilt and the anxiety involved so that you can live a better life, an actualized life.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    #278271

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Apologies for not responding for a while I have been busy at work.

    I believe my sister ran away from home because she didn’t feel loved by my mother. Growing up we shared a room and I felt my sister to be a stranger almost, and a bit of a bully. Once she left unexpectedly I felt grief and guilt. I now see it wasn’t my responsibility to carry that emotional burden but I did. After a few months, my sister reached out to me and our relationship changed, with me attempting to give her some sense of love and stability that my mother never did and us clinging on to each other. Only thing is my sister and I relied on this dynamic heavily and looking back I was much too young to carry the role (we are only a year apart). As well it was clear to me that she wanted me to stay as I was, naïve, always giving and kind and tolerating her crossing my boundaries.

    Regarding your advice on what I need to do now; you’re right I most likely need to move away and live my own life. The anxiety that comes is very overwhelming and I’m unsure how much psychotherapy has helped to ease it. Psychotherapy has definitely broken down my reliance on my previous identity, which is where the anxiety comes from I guess.  However when telling my therapist about my confusion, her simple answer is to go out there and experiment. Except its not that easy when I am incredibly anxious and my previous dating experiences has come about in the midst of all this anxiety. Everything feels muddled and hazy and so to just simply ‘experiment’ whilst in the midst of this anxiety it just was not helpful advice for me. Although maybe I just need to accept that I will have this anxiety forever and to do things anyway. What do you think?

     

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  afeels.
    #278287

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    I am looking forward to read your recent post and reply to it when I am back to the computer in about sixteen hours from now.

    anita

    #278343

    anita
    Participant

    Dear afeels:

    “to just simply ‘experiment’ whilst in the midst of this anxiety it just was not helpful advice for me”- of course it is not helpful. When an animal is scared, the animal focuses on the perceived source of danger and on nothing else. It doesn’t eat, it doesn’t mate, it doesn’t play. It doesn’t forget the source of danger, not for a moment.  The animal is 100% focused on danger, uptight, heart racing, pumping blood for what may come next: running away as fast as possible or fighting as hard as possible, for its life.

    When an animal is afraid, hearing a potential predator, it is not “muddled and hazy”. It is as clear and focused as can be. But for you, as you wrote your recent post and often other times, “Everything feels muddled and hazy”-

    -this is because, unlike the animal hearing a potential predator, heart pumping blood, stress hormones released, your fear lasts and lasts and lasts, this is anxiety. For the animal in nature, it is afraid for a short time  (either the source of danger disappears by itself, or the animal successfully runs away or fights and the source of danger is at a great distance,  or disabled, or the animal dies and so, it is no longer afraid).

    But we humans we are afraid for a long, long time, every day, some days more than other days, a whole lot of the time. We perceive multiple sources of danger, most or all in any particular day are not real life dangers, that is, our lives are not really in danger. It is exhausting to be afraid for so long and so often because our hearts work hard, the stress hormones create physiological events in our bodies that are physically exhausting and so  very unpleasant, distressing. And so, we feel unfocused, muddled and hazy.

    Not all psychotherapists are created equal. It is always helpful to be able to talk and for someone to listen to you. This is something maybe all therapists can do, sit there and look at you, listening or at least looking like they are listening. But beyond that, some therapists are not only ineffective but in the patient’s way of healing.

    “maybe I just need to accept that I will have this anxiety forever and do things anyway. What do you think?”- anxiety is the human condition, so yes, it will be there for the rest of  one’s life. But it can be less and then, even less than before, so that it is manageable. With less anxiety, you will at times feel that curiosity, that drive to explore, to discover, that “call of the wild” animals experience.

    How to experience less and less anxiety? First remove yourself from the environment that scared you as a child and still does. Abandon the solutions you came up with as a child (the care taking family role, the reducer of family chaos), and come up with new solutions, first being, remove yourself from your home of origin and live elsewhere, far away.

    anita

    #278841

    afeels
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks very much for your insight. I am thinking about my next steps which will involve moving far away and changing jobs.

    As for therapy… Im unsure if progress is looking the way I like and so am reviewing that.

    Your explanation of anxiety is very helpful and really helps me to understand why I lack the desire to explore/ go out to the world. I would rather remain safe. But that is no longer comfortable either.

    Many thanks for all your help!

     

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