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anxiety, health and being hurt

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  • #198299
    Bill
    Participant

    Hi Joanna,

     

    I just finished reading through your posts and I want to start off by saying – without a doubt you are a good person. All you want are good things. Good things for yourself and good things for other people. That’s what good people do!

     

    If you don’t mind me offering my “2 cents” here – maybe it would be a good thing if you were not in a relationship right now? The reason I say this is because what you are really looking for is inside you. It’s not going to be found outside of who you are, so you certainly will not find it in another person. Take some time to get to know yourself, and appreciate all the good things about you. Trust me when I say this – there are many good things about you. I can tell. You are passionate, caring, empathetic and obviously very intelligent. People can meet the person of their dreams and still be unhappy if they are unhappy with themselves.

     

    I struggle with anxiety and low self-esteem myself. I’m not saying I have figured it out but I am happily a work-in-progress. I think it starts by feeling worthy. Worthy of all the good things that come your way. Worthy of self-love and self-appreciation. It takes time to change this kind of thinking because we accept it as “That’s the way it is”, so we fail to see it for what it really is – a misconception about ourselves. I think by being easier on ourselves and having some patience we can learn new habits and change that inner dialogue. It doesn’t happen overnight, and I don’t think it’s supposed to. So when we are trying to change a belief that voice may immediately pipe in and say something like “This isn’t going to work. We’ve tried this before and we are just not smart enough. Just quit now!” We, without knowing it, listen to that voice. Would you talk to anyone else the way you talk to yourself? Think about that for a moment. All the good you see in others is in you too.

     

    Please know I’m not saying this to make you feel better or to be nice. I say this because it’s true. Don’t get discouraged. The path to feeling better is not perfect. But we are not looking for perfection, we want balance. So if you have a few good days, followed by a bad one that’s okay. There will be bad days. Bad days are part of life, and they are not always our fault. Also, they are not punishment because we are bad people. It sounds like the guy who was in your life may be in a similar situation. I’m sure he’s not a bad person, but based on what I’ve read he too may be having some issues with self-worth, hence why he’s treated you the way he has. The way he’s treating you has nothing to do with you, as it does with how he feels about himself. But it’s not up to you to ‘save’ him. Only he can do that.

     

    After reading through your posts it’s very apparent that you have one more thing to be grateful for – Anita! The advice and compassion she has given you over the last few months is truly a gift. I feel like I watched a friendship start and grow right in front of me as I read through your exchanges!

     

    Again, Joanna – you are a good person and you are worthy of a wonderful life.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Bill.
    #198437
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita

    She’s a friend, we’re close and she knows about my issues, but not about him. What you told me “I cannot provide you with the relief you need so  desperately” – well it’s not completely true. I remember first time I had a panic attack months ago, when I first started writing here, I told you “I feel like I am in a trap” (because of this job I accepted which was a bad idea, and other things) you told me “You are not in a trap. there may be consequences to leave but no one will put you behind bars. You are not in a trap”.  I think about this statement very often. This gave me some relief at that time, and helps me sometimes a bit. A bit is a lot, it’s something.

    His name is Tom. Okay, I guess I needed to be told that this cant be changed and maybe it isn’t only my fault that we had this kind of relation. I used to analyze every moment together to see when and what did I do that he started treating me that way. Perhaps I did a lot but I guess he wanted this very much too.

    Dear Bill

    Thank you for saying I am a good person. Thanks for saying this “Would you talk to anyone else the way you talk to yourself? Think about that for a moment. All the good you see in others is in you too.” That’s very kind and accurate, so simple yet so smart. Thank you for this. The pain so overwhelming sometimes it feels never-ending and like a trap, but those simple words give a bit of hope. I wish you to more and more success at overcoming your anxiety and self esteem issues. Being here and working on yourself is very important. Yes that’s true, Anita is a friend, an ally, although those words don’t even describe how much safer I feel when I know she is somewhere and cares.

    #198445
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    *

    #198481
    Bill
    Participant

    Thanks Joanna! I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know it’s not easy, but you have many friends here who care for you.

    #198601
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    What you wrote, your last sentence in the recent post, means a lot to me.

    It so happens you stated the key to healing in your recent post: “This gave me some relief at that time, and helps me sometimes a bit. A bit is a lot, it’s something”, and “Those simple words give a bit of hope”.

    To heal, to persist in the long process of healing, it is necessary, at one point onward, to be okay with that bit, that little something sometimes. It is a bit by bit process, a bit of realization here, a relief, a calm… then the distress is back, then a bit of a realization there, a bit more understanding, then we forget.. and a bit more later.

    When people rush, expecting a bit of a relief to expand immediately into a happiness-ever-after existence, that expectation derails a person from the process of healing.

    Regarding Tom, if you want (I don’t know if it is a good, bad or neutral idea), share about him/ the relationship more. Maybe there is something there to see better.

    anita

     

     

    #198641
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    Well, you helped me many times but surprisingly with not just being and caring, but with not “beating me”, not judging or being outraged with what I do or did, and and rather saying rational things like “you’re not in a trap.” Very often I keep repeating this to myself, never occurred to me earlier. (Although I sometimes really feel like I am, but there are days it helps).

    I believe you when you say that there is a small progress and then it comes back, and then there is another small progress, no need to beat myself up when it comes back again. So it’s fine I felt worse recently. My face is healed and I am happy about it, I enjoyed looking in the mirror today morning  when I saw it didn’t leave any scar.

    I could share more, sure, but I wouldn’t know what would be good to share here.

    #198645
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    Thank you for your expressed appreciation. I appreciate you too!

    In “I wouldn’t know what would be good to share here”- what do you mean?

    anita

     

    #198679
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita

    Sorry if my English is confusing sometimes. I’m not sure what you would like know, or what would be useful to know. Maybe as you suggested we are both damaged, me and him, I know him long time now and I can see that there is something he needs, even though he is in a relationship and he has everything now. I saw that when he came here to take those things a couple of weeks ago, and he took my hand, and texted me his was hoping something would happen. It was a bit desperate, I swear I didn’t give him any reasons or hope that day. Even later when I was a bit afraid to talk to him, he encouraged me so much. I wouldn’t be that daring to think that it’s me that he wants or misses so much, I guess it’s something else that causes this. Someone else would say “stop” long ago, after this whole ‘relationship’ we had.

    #198685
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    I think your English is fine. I ask people what they mean when their English is better than mine. I ask because I don’t know.

    Regarding Tom, you wrote that the two of you are damaged. Okay, I accept that as true. I ask you: is any one of you not only damaged, but also damaging the other?

    Probably every single individual out there who is damaging is also damaged. Not every individual who is damaged is also damaging.

    If a person was to be excused for damaging because he or she is damaged, then all prisoners must be freed, all criminals not guilty, all cruelties dismissed.

    Back to Tom…?

    * Will be away from the computer for about sixteen hours.

    anita

    #198691
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita

    I understand. Are you saying that I am hurting him as well.

    #198745
    Selena
    Participant

    (*TRIGGER WARNING!*)

    I do not know what to feel anymore, I feel mostly numb. Every time I start to feel happy, I realize how pointless my life is. The older I get the more I realize I cannot handle being a adult, and that is hard for me to face. I cannot even go into work without having a panic attack or having suicidal thoughts. I am terrified of being fired. The sad thing is, my work is the only things I have. I still have the horror of living with the awful monster who abused me when I was younger, and nobody still cares. I had stopped taking my Zoloft because I had just given up.

    I read that when you stop taking your Zoloft, you have the possibility of dying. And then I thought, maybe that would be better If I do just die… I really feel as though I cannot handle being a adult, and I also cannot handle the bad things life throws at me. I am already broken and beaten enough by my life. I have found a terrible fear of leaving my house even though my home is a personal hell everyday. I do not know anymore how to be happy, and I feel a constant sadness bloom over me everyday. I have started to bring a blade with me everywhere, as it is my only means to feel something. I feel like when I have the blade, I have something to help me. I honestly don’t even know  if I have any time left in me to continue…

    #198757
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    In case you are confused about the post above, the member posting it started her own thread with the same post, so it seems like it was posted on your thread as well by mistake.

    As to your question, I thought about him damaging you, but after being away from the computer, walking, I thought: Joanna might think I meant that she was damaging him (because of your core belief).

    And then I was considering it: is it possible that he is damaging you and you are damaging him?

    Considering it, I know he already let you know that he has a girlfriend and that he is not interested in you as a girlfriend. Let’s say the following is true: he contacts you when he wants to have sex with you. When you agree, he comes over to your place for that purpose, the deed is done, he leaves and does not contact you until the next time, weeks or months later, when he suggests coming over to your place for the same purpose.

    Let’s say, these are the things he doesn’t do: call you for any other purpose, ask you about your thoughts and feelings about him and the interactions with him, wanting to know what you think, feel and want otherwise; ask you about the details of your life; go out with you in public, movies, restaurants, walks, events and such; share with you his thoughts and feelings (other than wanting sex), suggest further contact at the end of a meeting, such as saying “I will call you tomorrow”. When you call him or text him, he does not answer, or answers coldly, not in a welcoming way, unless he called you first and you are returning his call.

    Is this the case, if not, correct my description. How long has this situation with him gone on?

    And, what do you want from him? What do you believe that he wants from you?

    anita

     

    #198765
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita

    What he specifically asked me was if it wouldn’t bother me that he has a girlfriend and we would still meet. Yes, that description you wrote is true. I asked if he wants to stay longer and order some food or watch a movie, he obviously couldn’t and didn’t want to. I knew he would say no, but it was painful that I don’t have this “privilege” anymore to do those things with him.

    I am aware of everything you wrote and how it looks. It looks exactly how it is in reality. so I guess I’ll just answer you questions. What do I want: I want to have him as much as I can, because I feel safe knowing he is around.  I started hoping maybe they’ll break up. What does he want.. He looks for excitement and something new from what he has at home. Also as he said he has this weakness for me. I think he will call or text me again, he told me he will have some time during easter. I don’t think he regrets doing it or plans to never do it again.

    #198769
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    You wrote that my description is true. Your motivation, you shared, is to have him in your presence as much as possible because you feel safe when he is present with you.

    His motivation, you agreed, is to have sex with you.

    You are hoping that in the future he will spend more time with you, maybe if he breaks up with his girlfriend, he will, you are hoping.

    Before he had a girlfriend, did he spend enough time with you, enough to your satisfaction, that is? If not, how long have you been wanting that he spend more time with you and he hasn’t (how many months/ years)?

    anita

     

    #198829
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear joanna:

    I re-read your Oct 15- Feb 3 posts and I understand better the relationship with Tom. I realize that you don’t see him the way he is because you desperately need him to be a good, loving man. You need him to be that, so you make believe that he is that, and that  if only you make him see that you are worthy of his love, than he will love you.

    You don’t see that he doesn’t love you because he is not a loving man. You believe he doesn’t love you because you didn’t show  him yet, you didn’t prove to him yet, that you are worthy of his love. So you keep trying to show him, to  prove to him.

    This pattern originated in your experience with your parents. Your mother was the aggressive one, your father was passive. Neither one was good and loving. Your hope for love was with your father because he was not aggressive, not like your mother.

    You made believe that he is a good, loving man because you needed to feel safe with at least one of your parents. There is nothing stronger than a child’s need to feel safe. A child will make believe anything to bring about this feeling of safety.

    You still live with your mother, at thirty or so. You are an adult but you didn’t heal from the aggression you experienced with your mother, aggression that you can’t heal from because it is still directed at you. Your father is no longer alive, and if he was, love wouldn’t be in a relationship with him because it was not there before.

    So there is Tom, and the hope is with him. Only it is based on a made-believe, a delusion, a false belief.

    You wrote about Tom: “He lied to me, cheated, didn’t even promise he wouldn’t… He ignored me for weeks and didn’t respect me… he told me things that still haunt me.. that.. I don’t even deserve to break up with because we were never a couple.”- but you still believe he is a good, loving man.

    Dec 8, you wrote: “I failed to make him love me… I can’t forgive myself I couldn’t make him love me… why can’t I be the person he wants. Maybe some detail I’d say or do would change how he feels about me”-

    You don’t realize he is not a loving man. You believe he is not loving you yet because you  didn’t show him yet that he should love you, that you are worthy of his love.

    When you spend time with him you believe that you have another opportunity to show him that you deserve his love. As you try, you feel hope and you feel safe. When he is gone and doesn’t contact you, you despair, feeling that you failed yet again. Your anxiety increases. Then he contacts you and you feel hope again, maybe this time…

    You wrote: “Whenever he was around I felt like everything would be fine now, and nothing else mattered… he will take all the pain away… that he will fix everything again… the fact that we’ll see each other again brings hope, however illogical”. This quote is equally true to your experience with your father and with Tom.

    You wrote about Tom Feb 4: “I know he’s like my father whom I missed through all my life. I don’t hate my father or judge him.. I understand him and I know he was a good person and loved me… When my parents divorced and I visited him I had this feeling that all the issues I had back home, they didn’t matter since I was at my dad’s. … he made me feel safe.. I lived in a fairytale for a week  or two.”

    When you feel safe with Tom it is indeed a fairytale. You are not safe with Tom, it only feels safe. Your father was not a good, loving person, and neither is Tom. You made believe your father was a good, loving man and you make believe the same about Tom.

    You wrote: “I know this man, my ex-not-boyfriend (Tom) reminds me of him (your father) in many many ways… after talking to him I often have a feeling it’s gonna be okay… He often says the right things… I know it’s mostly my idea of  him, that I want him to have those features.. because I miss this feeling. So  when I notice there was something I could use to make him stay, I did this, and in return for making me feel safe (or fooling myself) I allowed him to  hurt me as well”-

    You said it yourself, it is your idea of him, not who he is.  You want him to have those features, being a good, loving man, but he doesn’t. He is not a good, loving man.  You wrote that you are fooling yourself, meaning you know at times that you are not safe with Tom, you  only feel safe.

    You wrote about Tom: “He told me he does not love her (his girlfriend)… in general he never thought he loved anyone in his whole life“-  he is not a loving man (he was a loving boy, I have no doubt, but lost it along the way).

    You wrote: “he never thought he loved anyone in his whole life. That made me think it’s not me who  is unlovable”-

    True, it is not you who is unlovable. He is not a loving man.

    You are seeing him the way he is, at times, but when anxious, you need him so badly to be a good, loving man that you make believe, again, that he is those things.

    When we make believe, when we don’t see reality for what it is, we suffer.

    Your real hope, your real life safety is about seeing what is true to reality. The comfort you experience with Tom is temporary and brings you much suffering, because it is based on fantasy, on make believe.

    Hope to read from you soon.

    anita

     

     

     

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