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Anxiety: The Blur

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  • #191565
    anita
    Participant

    Dear calisister:

    Coming to think about  it, I used to  daydream, as a  child, that I was a dancer, performing on a stage, dancing, to  thousands of  cheering people, the audience. Maybe filmed and  shown on  TV to millions  of  people all over the world. I was famous, on stage, my every move dancing noticed, admired by enthusiastic audience of thousands,  millions.

    I also daydreamed (and felt horrible about  it at  the time and  years  later) about taking revenge of people,  hurting them, and having that … satisfaction  in doing so. Did you have revenge day dreams?

    And of course I  daydreamed about having  a love story with a man, and all kinds of stories  I don’t remember, stories  that started  in the morning and went on all day, like  a movie.

    I was  wondering, calisister, if it will be  okay with you if  I study your thread here, and do so in future posts, that is quote you and develop my thinking about the fascinating  person who is you!

    Will that be okay with you?

    anita

    #191763
    cali sister
    Participant

    I read your post. And I immediately burst into tears. I day dream the same exact way. Exact same. And I do so to this day – and I want it to stop. I don’t want to day dream. I want a real life I don’t want to escape from. I perform for crowds. I have so many friends who are waiting to see me. I am the life of the party. I have an amazing love story

    i still speak to fake friends or a fake man. When I was younger I would get very sad that I would do such things and would promise myself things like “okay for 10 days you won’t speak to these fake people that don’t exist. You will just live your real life.”

    I remember when I was younger I would even get caught by my parents having this day dreams.

     

    And yes. You are welcome to.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by cali sister.
    #191775
    anita
    Participant

    Dear calisister:

    Day dreaming about being admired by thousands, even millions, all paying attention to me, all fascinated by how great I am, that was to compensate me, I now understand, for … being admired by no  one, seeing by no  one in that real life of my childhood. My craving for a little attention was so huge, that it required those day dreams.

    I will do my study of your thread, then, since you agreed that I do, posting it right here on your thread. It will take some time though, for me to do enough to post next, probably by next week.

    It can help me, in this proposed study, if you answer the following: when you were a child, growing up in that home, did you voice your hurt, sadness, anger to your mother? father? sister?

    If you did, how did you express yourself to them and how did they react?

    anita

    #191831
    anita
    Participant

    Dear calisister:

    Things appear clearly to me, this very early morning. There is much more to you than what I will present here, your intelligence, wit, style, endearing qualities, but I will not write about those here. I will get straight to these two core issues:

    1. The Problem that needs to be resolved, the injury that needs to be healed.

    2. Where you are stuck and, and therefore unavailable to attend to #1.

    I’ll start with #2: you are stuck in anger. Intense anger, that is rage, is the dominant emotion in you a whole lot of the time. Not hurt, not sadness. Anger is your stronger motivator.

    When your anger is particularly intense, you lash out, throw anger tantrums of sorts, explode. Then you feel some relief, then the anger builds again and you lash out again, relieve yourself from that rage. Then again.

    What you say to people when you lash out, explode, paraphrased is:

    I am suffering a whole lot, always, every second, every minute of the day and night while you are not! Not fair!

    I don’t deserve this! Let me tell you the ways I suffer… Now, do you understand how much I suffer?! Do you get it?! Do something, do something because this is not fair!

    I will make you suffer just a bit so that you will have an idea of how much I suffer!

    After creating some suffering to the receiver of your explosions you feel a bit of a relief, but then you suffer more, and you watch others who don’t seem to suffer, and you get angry: why is calisister suffering and they are not suffering… I will make it fair!

    Here are quotes from your sharing indicating the rage, that intense anger which fuels those explosions:

    Nov 13, 2016: “I was rude to him (a man you referred to as Y)… why? Why was I yelling at him for no reason? He had done nothing that day to me… I have played this pattern many times… I feel confused and angry.”

    Nov 29, 2017: “Why do I deserve to keep struggling and suffering? I am only 25… I do not deserve to suffer at all. No reason at all.

    Dec 3 and 5, 2017: “I don’t have a family. I’m essentially alone… I’m essentially alone in this anxiety that I have… And I am exhausted and sad. Especially when everyone around me is happily ever after.”

    Dec 9: “Never really had anything…Never had the family. Never had the friends. .. It’s not fair. I deserve to have that support.  Can anyone in this world give me any respect? Please.

    Jan 9, 2018: “I have made a very close friend here, C… we get along so greatly. but I abuse her… I find reasons to get angry with her. I yell at her for no reason. I do not know how to stop. I feel insane and evil. It is like something possesses me… where does this anger come from? what am I angry at? I truly have no idea… all this gives me a true feeling of anger. not sadness. only anger… this anger I have- it is because most people, that I am surrounded by at least and speak to on a daily basis, are not this tortured of in this much mental pain on a daily, minute-minute basis. and thus, I am angry. Angry that my friend’s biggest problem of the day is that a guy didn’t text her back… for most people, each day is not this difficult. and I am angry because for me it is truly a struggle to get by…this is why I am lashing out on people left and right.

    Regarding #1: I will attend to it in a future post if and after I receive a response to you for this very post here.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by anita.
    #194319
    cali sister
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    I hope you have been well. As you know my sister has cut contact with my parents, which resulted in them harassing me. I was able to put an end to it pretty quickly – I stood my ground and told them I will no longer answer their calls because I also have to take care of my health. I feel a sense of power that I did not feel before. I have control of my life..what a new feeling.

    I have been participating in therapy regularly. In some ways, I feel a lot better. I have learned many skills to deal with my anxiety at work. My therapist says she sees a huge improvement in me, although I do not see it as much as she does.

    Loneliness. This is what gets me. I am an empty hole. I feel so alone all the time. Anywhere I am. I burst into tears in public places. The feeling overtakes me. It is the same feeling I have felt since very young. This feeling feels like it will never leave, and I want it to so badly. Objectively, yes I am lonely. I do not have many friends. No boyfriend. I am in many ways actually alone here. I am very proactive in meeting new people and starting new hangouts. I arranged one last night. All the women that attended were married (they were my age or younger). Made me feel even more lonely. But this loneliness is deep rooted. I was never nurtured or raised with love. Never raised to feel safe. So how can I not feel lonely? Because of my upbringing, I was never able to keep or form healthy relationships. So essentially, if you look at it with facts, I have been lonely my entire life – with a few friends and boys here and there that sometimes fill the void, but then disappear so quickly too. Although I may be objectively lonely, I know a lot of it also has to do with my brain (my perspective, my mother’s voice). I know that I am lonely, but I also know that I do not have to feel THIS BAD or THIS LONELY – it is a little much, and not necessary. I am feeling this horrible because of false thoughts in my head. I do not believe I am doing a good job at explaining this, but what I am trying to say is that if I can work harder to get my mother out of my head, maybe I will not feel as lonely, even if objectively I am. My mother has put these false expectations in my head of what happiness is and what a social life is..or how life is in general.

    As I have been making healing my priority, I am realizing just how much of her clone I am. Or just how much she has brainwashed me. as I drove home from the dog park today, it clicked. It doesn’t have to feel this bad if I can get her out of my head.

     

    Anyone will feel lonely after moving to a completely new city alone. I have to admit, I have done an amazing job with exploring and being proactive about meeting people. Most people I meet are amazed at how much I have done and seen already. I am proud of me for that. Yet still, does not mean I have found a safety network here. Takes time. For anyone. However, for someone like me, this is harder to deal with since I have felt so lonely for so long. Moving to this new city has not caused this feeling of loneliness to erupt, and to be honest it also has not changed it. (Meaning the feeling of loneliness is not worse in this new city). It is the same feeling I felt back home too.

     

    The way I feel is this huge empty black hole of nothingness. I crave love. I crave safety. I crave understanding. I crave empathy and sympathy. I have my sister, but she is struggling. It is not something that makes me happy. I cry for my sister often. Although I crave these things, maybe my expectations are too high? I am not sure. But when I have these moments of intense loneliness, I feel pain. I am in so much pain.

     

    I am on the right path. I work out almost daily.  I am lifting and attending spin cardio classes. I am becoming more muscular. I hike more. I cook. I breathe. I meditate more often. I am attending therapy and completing the homework. I have not missed a day of work. And I am excelling at work. I am not letting my negative colleague get in my head. But this loneliness is a demon that follows me. Peeking out at what seems like every moment. I have never had stability, in regards to humans in my life. The only stable human (meaning someone that has stayed and has remained loyal) is my sister. But she is across the country and in her own struggles. It would feel nice to just have something last. Have something stay.

     

    You know, sometimes I think about how this feeling of loneliness has been put on me. Meaning, I feel like my mother forced me to feel it. YOU ARE ALONE, she says. I guess this is just what is meant for us, she says. Your sister always had friends, but that doesnt happen for you, she says. When my first dog passed away in 2014 after 13 years of life, she fled the state with my father and sister the next day. She immediately called my uncle in California that same night and made arrangements to attend a wedding they had previously RSVPed “no” for. She stated, “it will help us to be there during this time.” Ok, but what about me? I was in school at the time, with needless to say, no friends practically. I could not take off because I had exams. So she left me. (I cannot even type this without feeling anger and sadness). She left me all by myself in my home where my sweet dog lived for 13 years. A death. A traumatizing death. Oh how I loved that dog. My baby. And we had to put her down. And the next day, I was alone. Truly all alone to deal with this loss from my life. I was strong, I took all of my exams. But I was numb, almost felt dead. I think I was in shock of the news and also had no way of understanding that in this moment I had no support. I remember being so traumatized to be in the house because all of her toys and cage were still there. I could still smell her. I remember desperately texting acquaintances to let me stay with them. Literally begging/pleading. I was even rejected by one. Because of this, I feel that I have never been able to truly mourn her death or understand how it affected me. I believe this is why I have a hard time with this new puppy – he also looks very similar to her, which is almost freaky. But in that moment of my dogs death, she put this loneliness on me. I also am very angry that when the vet asked “would you like to be in the room with her?” (Regarding with they put her down)– I wanted to scream “YES”. This was my baby. I would stay with her till the end. Before I could speak, my dad made the decision for me. He said, “no, we cannot handle that.” To this day, I regret this and feel angry at him. Who is he to decide? I wanted to be there with her. I miss her so much. And I think I have figured it out, having this puppy feels almost like PSTD. For the years I had her, I felt lonely like this. My parents would leave for vacations months at a time, leaving me at home to watch her. It was just me and her. I had no friends. I remember being so lonely one night that I drove me and her to a supermarket parking lot so we could see some lights and people. I remember sitting in the car, and just crying. I drove to wal-mart and bought scrap book materials. For one month, (it was winter break), I spent every single day alone in my house with this dog. I watched tv, I cried. I attempted to make food but I had no idea how and I was young. I scrap booked. And I cried. I started to almost resent the dog sometimes if she bothered me. I felt so unhappy and confused. I think these memories of me and her alone in the house, with me crying for half the day, still haunt me. And I think I see the same thing happening with this new puppy. Different, but similar. Although in those moments I was actually alone (no friends to hang out with) – I believe my mother worsened this feeling by always confirming that in fact I had no one. If she had been more positive and encouraging, and made me feel safe, perhaps that winter break would not have gone like that.

     

    I needed to type out the earlier story not only to depict how lonely my mother made me feel, but also to depict why I put so much pressure on myself about this new puppy and why it is detrimental. I try and try to think – ok you have this puppy so maybe the loneliness can get better. If you have a dog, how are you lonely? People get pets in order to help their loneliness, so how has yours not gotten better? This is why. That story I just wrote. I believe it brings back horrific memories. Makes me feel stuck in the past.

     

    Because of all this, although I am making progress (and I understand it will take years), I feel stuck. And terribly sad. I understand that I am lonely, but I also think it is a false feeling my mother has stuck into my brain. It is façade maybe. Maybe it isn’t so bad.

    with love,

    cali sister

    #194349
    anita
    Participant

    Dear calisister:

    What a surprise and a delightful surprise to read from you. I didn’t know if I will ever have this valuable experience again, communicating with you. I am very pleased that you are back to your thread!

    Congratulations for standing your grounds with your parents, asserting yourself as you did. That “sense of power that (you) did not have before… control of (your) life…new feeling”- that sense, that control, that feeling is most valuable, most important to your well-being.

    Glad you are participating in therapy regularly, feeling a lot better, learning many skills and making healing your priority.

    About your loneliness, you wrote that you are “an empty hole… so alone all the time. Anywhere I am… The feeling overtakes me. It is the same feeling I have felt since very young. This feeling feels like it will never leave, and I want it so badly”- when a child suffers alone time does seem endless and the experience is that of being stuck in an eternity of suffering. Notice wanting the feeling to leave “so badly”, at this point, better aim at not wanting it to leave you so badly. If you learn to accept it and endure it, then it will leave you, with time. Try to get rid of it desperately, and it will stay.

    “This loneliness is deep rooted. I was never nurtured or raised with love. Never raised to feel safe…the feeling of loneliness is not worse in this new city. It is the same feeling I felt back home too” – it amazes me as I realize more and more that how we experience life has so much to do with past experiences being reactivated in our brains, the there-and-then, and so little to do with the reality of the here-and-now. You keep experiencing, re-living your childhood now.

    “I crave love. I crave safety. I crave understanding. I crave empathy and sympathy…maybe my expectations are too high?”- if you expect to feel enough love, safety, understanding, empathy to make you feel all good anytime soon, then such an expectation is unrealistic. There is no way to go back in time, twenty years ago or so, and take that little girl that you were, hold her, hug her, take her away from that home and give her a new one, a safe, loving home.

    I think that you will need to come to a point where you accept with equanimity, a peace of mind, the fact that you did not have that safe, loving, empathetic-to you home that you needed. At that point you will no longer feel angry for not having those things. With acceptance, with sadness of the loss, you will be able to appreciate the later-in-life safety and love that is or will be available to you.

    * When you do sense empathy from others, or love, do you feel that it is too little too late, and you get angry because you need so much more?

    “I am on the right path. I work out… hike more.. cook.. breathe.. meditate.. attending therapy and completing homework.. excelling at work… But this loneliness is a demon that follows me”- I see the need to grieve all your years lost in loneliness, grieve and accept.

    Your experience with your dog that died, being home alone with the dog’s smell and toys, “these memories of me and her alone in the house… still haunt me.”

    You came up with the word evil to describe your mother. Your accounts and your sister’s account make this word appropriate for me, to describe her and your father (the two operate together, as a unit). Evil as in lacking empathy, lacking empathy to such and extreme, and so consistently, that yes, evil is the right word. And to add to the lack of empathy, the dishonesty is overwhelming, her dishonesty. Anything that came out of her mouth and anything that will, all is suspect to me. She will say anything that suits her, no consideration whatsoever of the truth.

    In her communications to her own two daughter, Truth is and has been of no relevance to her, and empathy is and has not been a practice of hers.

    I appreciate your with-love ending of the recent post. I like you and I hope to read from you again and again.

    anita

    #194599
    cali sister
    Participant

    Anita,

    i am about to enter my spin class so I want to type this quickly.

     

    If we put this simplistically, what you are saying is: for now, I have to accept thay this happened to me. Ok I get that and can work on that. What do I do in the meantime? That’s what I do not understand.

    #194609
    anita
    Participant

    Dear calisister:

    You shared before that when you are in one place you think about being in the next place, that when you are doing one thing, you think about what you should be doing next, correct?

    Here you are considering accepting your past experience in life but you are thinking about doing something else “in the meantime”?

    No, just accepting, meaning thinking (maybe journaling somewhere, talking to your therapist..) about how much time you lost, how much pain you endured and that you can not get back any of the time lost, that you cannot make up for time lost, and that you can not experience in the future any pleasure that will make up for the pain experienced.

    See, the total lost part of your life, what you cannot make up for by rushing to do this or that, or be elsewhere. Stay in one place and accept the loss.

    anita

    #195561
    cali sister
    Participant

    anita,

    after reading your post, i did just that. oh, how much it has helped me tremendously!!!!! i feel…..great. i have been lighter. happier. seeing the world in a different light. i feel more confident.

    i am learning to accept what my life has been – and at the same time, realizing more and more the falseness my mother has put in my brain. i am not feeling lonely – i am feeling strong actually. and that anything is possible. she begged me to stay in touch with her and send her a picture of me everyday. “it is the least you can do for me. i am your mother. i will die if you don’t talk to me.” couple days later, she is the one that disappears from me. she DOES WHAT SHE WANTS. she DOES WHAT SERVES HER.

    i have also, in this short period of time, become better at quickly removing things that don’t serve me. before i used to keep toxic things around – i did not want to be alone even if it was problematic. i only knew problems. now i see more clearly everyday that my own peace is the ultimate goal. everyday does not have to be a problem. because of this, i am able to cut contact or stop desperately contacting some people here that are not really serving me. i am realizing how I AM the priority. me. oh how hard ive tried to make friends here etc. no one else has tried that hard back in return. i am exhausted. i don’t want to do it anymore. after all, i am not as alone as i think, and i no longer have this desire to reach out to people who do not return the same behavior.

    it is interesting to me how quick the change happened in a way. it was just last week i was crying in my bed – all of my eyeliner on my pillow case. and here i am feeling like this. will i feel like that again? probably. but now that i know that i can feel like this, that it is possible and real, i dont think my steps will be as downward as upward.

    last thing i want to say is, i am sure you will understand this (I think) – is that i have come to the conclusion and have finally accepted that i most probably will be unable to connect on a true deep level like this with anyone, especially my age (unless they are extremely self aware). I realize that most people are not on this level of discovery and i need to stop wanting or expecting people to be on my level. they wont be. and this is why there are people like you and sites like this and therapists out there. i think accepting this has helped me keep to myself more during social interactions and has given me more peace. For example, with C, i think i was so hung up on showing her the reality or wanting to work on self improvement tactics together – but she was never seeing things the way i was. I have this other friend back home who i have spent hours texting trying to get her to see where her anxieties come from – and it has never gotten through or rather she doesn’t want it to get through. My friend here is having time management problems and asked me for advice- she did not listen to it. This type of stuff used to really anger me. However – They will always be in their own world. let them. if they are delusional and are not open to hearing about it, it isnt my problem. I do not have to fix people. Rather, it isn’t really my right to fix them. Who says I am right? I can be completely wrong. I do not even know anyone’s full story. You know my mother just always thought what she thought was correct. She had no information though! It was all made up! The best is when she used to diagnose people with medical conditions. Im sorry, I did not realize you got your medical degree mom!

    My focus is only me. Because I only know me, no one else.

    with love,

    cali sister

    #195591
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    What an amazing post! So much awareness, clear and correct thinking, excellent, I exclaim, this very early morning!

    I hope you re- read your above post when you need to, when you don’t feel as well as you felt when you wrote it, to remind yourself that indeed, you “can feel like this, that it is possible and real”. As I see it, you had the misfortune to be born to your mother and to her submissive husband who sides with her and in so doing, sides against his daughters)- no  need to perpetuate this misfortune for a life time.

    You did lose a lot of time and you will still suffer, unfortunately. Accept the lost time, the suffering that you already experienced and take on the opportunity to gradually, long term, lessen and maybe eliminate this suffering all together. Keep the good work.

    I like a whole lot of what you wrote, including this: “I AM the priority. me.”

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by anita.
    #196023
    cali sister
    Participant

    anita,

    i would like to talk about: poison.

    the influence of my parents, their voices in my head – poison. i’ve been drinking poison for almost 26 years now – and i finally have reached a point where i can maybe sip it, but not take a full gulp.

    this past saturday, my dad texted me asking to call. i was not going to, but…oh i got pulled in. i felt uneasy not calling. he wanted to talk to me regarding some tax forms he needed. then my mother took the phone before i could hang up.

    i was unable to recover from the poison for …hours. talking to them for those 5 minutes..showed me HOW MUCH they influence the negativity on me. i knew this, but i saw it for real in front of my eyes. it took me a while to get out of the funk. i kept repeating the things i had realized in that post i wrote. i had to keep repeating it. i even said it out loud to my self in my living room. the good thing is that i knew it was a false feeling and that i could get out of it. just sucked (for a lack of a better word) to go through it.

    Did i tell you about how my mother did not come to the hospital when i was in a car accident? only my father did. and he rushed there. like a parent should.

    i want to write more but it is making my feel overwhelmed. will continue soon.

    #196035
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    I am looking forward to you continuing, writing more and hope you are feeling better.

    You wrote that after hearing your mother on the phone for five minutes, “I was unable to recover from the poison for.. hours.. it took me a while to get out of the funk.” That was Saturday, two days before you posted the above, a post that ended with “it is making me feel overwhelmed.”

    This is why healing has to include no  longer taking in any of the poison, not one second of it. This is why no contact with the offending party is necessary. Don’t you think?

    anita

    #211723
    cali sister
    Participant

    Anita,

    Boy, has it been a while. I have been meaning to write here again..but I could not get myself to do it. When things got bad with my sister, I felt as if she took tiny buddha from me.. or in a way forbid me from it. Her words were “even anita is sick of you.” That hurt me for a very long time. Regardless, I am happy to be writing here again.

    I hope you have been well. I am sure you are helping my sister and many others. And I’m sure many people are grateful for you. So much has happened since I have written last..so, as always, I struggle with where to begin or what to even write. So how about..I just talk about the most recent events..and I will let it flow. I apologize in advance if the post is long. But we have a lot of catching up to do!

    1. It is February/March. My sister cuts my parents out of her life. And it was hard on me. I was doing better. Learning more about self love and feeling more self love. I felt like self protection was becoming my priority. St Patricks day weekend – I meet a boy. Let’s call him Dan. Dan and I dated for exactly two months. However, it was one of the most toxic two months I have ever experienced. He himself was not ready for a relationship and had no idea what he wanted. He was 4 months out of a one year relationship in which he had lived with the girl and also had a dog with her. When I met him, they were switching the dog on and off every 2 weeks or so. In other words, he was still seeing her. I will go into all of the details about this and another similar thing I went through 8 years ago in another post. It is way too much to write at the moment and I have been writing about it and discussing it in therapy for almost 3 months now so it is too exhausting to repeat it. What you need to know is  this: I have lost all self esteem and have become obsessed with the relationship he had with his ex girlfriend. The obsession has taken over my life, even after I ended it with him. It is debilitating and so self destructive. More than what happened with this boy, it is more important to talk about this pattern of mine. There have been multiple men in my life thus far that I have met where I find myself in the same situation. I am addicted to dating men if there is another girl in the picture. I have this pattern of wanting to be chosen. I am almost obsessed with making it into a competition. I have this belief that love is something so intense and that I will win someone over. My second boyfriend 8 years ago was still in love with his ex girlfriend, but I was paralyzed and unable to leave the relationship. One time he texted me and said her name (not mine) – and it was almost like that is what made me stuck. And what pulled me in to him more. I ended my first 3 year relationship where someone “did all the right things.” Did I think it was too easy ? I have this obsession with another girl being in the picture. I want to feel like I’ve been chosen over someone else. Like I won him over and he hates the other girl. If he hates the other girl and chooses me, I will believe that he likes me. I want to feel like he was sooooo in love. Like a love movie. I am addicted to this. I remember when Dan told me “I’ll prove it to you because you’re worth it” when I mentioned I had doubts about his ex. Statements like that draw me in. I want to feel like I was picked and that another girl was rejected. However I set myself up for failure when I do this. Idk if I would be interested in someone who showed interest in me and had no baggage. I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Maybe? Not sure.

    I have discussed in therapy how this self destructive behavior is comforting for me. I think I subconsciously enjoy this obsession and want to be more obsessed with her. It’s almost normal to me. It’s crazy how I am feeling the same way I did 8 years ago. I’m confused as to how someone else would’ve responded in this situation. I remember when I found out he was still seeing his ex my body wanted to run but I wasn’t fully able to. I sensed it was wrong and felt a self protective defense come on. But it wasn’t enough for me to tell him to leave. I think a part of me wanted to wait and see how he could prove what garbage she was compared to me. I’ve always been competing. Competed with sister. Competed for friends. It’s the only way I know how to get attention or feel like something is real. By winning this fake competition.

    She has taken over my brain. They lived together. She designed their apartment. She was a fashion blogger. She broke up with him. He claims the breakup was pretty mutual and that he knew she was not the one etc, but still, she ended it. Not him.

    I imagine myself on the sidelines. Like I am watching over their happy in love relationship. And I feel like it didn’t get to be me. She won. (I feel like she won also because after I ended it with him, he never spoke to me again. But I know that he spoke to her after because I found proof that he saw her). I imagine a girl who is just fun and pretty and easy. And him admiring her. The first time he described her, he described her as pretty about 4-5 times in the sentence. It also sounded like it was the first time he had analyzed his feelings about it out loud. Which is something I mentioned and he said it was true. I was part of him with sprinkles of his past. My biggest fear is to be part of someone’s life when their past is sprinkling through. It is my fear but also my addiction.

    I can’t stand being in furniture or home decor stores because that is what they did together. His entire apartment was designed by her. I have a hard time listening to music about relationships because I just think it’s about them. For example there is a song just now about a boyfriend buying his girlfriend all these expensive and fancy things- and it only reminds me of them. (He had mentioned how he funded her blog for her since she couldn’t afford it and he wanted to help her with her dreams).</div>

    I feel as though I have given (where I live right now which I will not share online..so let’s say Los Angeles) to them or her. For example whenever I think about Los Angeles, or I have to type that I live in Los Angeles, or I see the word California, I just think that it’s her place I feel like I don’t belong here and I got kicked out.

    I am obsessed with understanding why he fell in love with her and why he stayed with her for so long (esp because the way he describes it is as if he really was unhappy with her). Why did he contact her again. (For the record, the proof is that he saw her again because a piece of furniture from his apartment is now in her place [of course social media these days allows us to see all of this]. So my question is, why did he have to see her again for the furniture. He could have sold it..or just thrown it out. But he CHOSE to give it to her and see her again. Why.)

    Let me copy and paste something I wrote to myself last week: My obsession with her no longer allows me to shop. The moment I try to or I look at a fashion that I like, I immediately break down into tears. I think that I will never be able to compare to her. Or look as good as her. And that my love and opinions of fashion are overtaken by her. So I tried. I tried to leave the house and go shopping. The first thing I see when I leave the car is a girl wearing a hat that she wears. My heart drops. I can’t shop. Anything I look at, I immediately think of her. When I was speaking to him, I felt like how could I ever compete with someone who was an actual fashion blogger? I felt I couldn’t share my own passions for hair fashion and beauty bc then I would just be the same as her. I had to leave the store immediately. It was as if someone was torturing me inside the store. I ran to my car and started crying. And here I am. Writing this. I don’t think I’m ready to shop yet. I feel like she stole fashion from me. When I am walking around alone in Los Angeles. I walk in fear. I’m scared they are around. I don’t feel safe. I feel vulnerable and exposed. Remember. Comparison is the thief of joy. Also remember all your thoughts are not true. I’m not ready to shop yet and it’s ok. Next time maybe will be better. I’ll go home now and watch my favorite show. It will be okay with time.

    I know why this obsession. Or a percentage of why. My mother, of course. I was always compared. Never good enough. I felt inadequate. This will not be forever, but for the past 3 months, it has been torture. I have lost 7 pounds and much of my hair. Therapy is helping but it fades quickly, and I cannot go everyday! I wish! So here I am. Sharing my most vulnerable thoughts.

    While all of this was happening, I actually went back home for a friend’s engagement. I discussed with my therapist in great length the pros and cons of seeing my parents. To be honest, I was so taken over by these obsessions that I did not even realize my parents were there when I went home. And they did not bring up my sister or do anything too toxic.

    I recently talk to them everyday. Why? Because in this moment of despair, they are the most familiar and comforting to me. (How odd and twisted. I hate it.) But right now, speaking them, oddly enough, brings a piece of me back. All of this has made me feel like a piece of nothing. So their voices remind me of some childhood memories and some passions I had.

    Lastly, I will end with this – I feel so lost. I feel like an orphan. My job will be ending in Los Angeles soon, and it is time for me to make my next step. Where will I move for my real job? Move to an entire new state and start all over alone again? No, that sounds so overwhelming and sad. I feel like I have no where to go. No place to call home. My parents are toxic. My sister doesn’t always seem to love being around me. What do I have? I feel so isolated because I do not have any friends that are on my wavelength. There is no stimulation in my life. I was hoping that by now my next move would be for a reason..maybe to be closer to family (which I don’t have) or moving with a boyfriend. After much consideration… my sister and I have decided that I will move close to her. I miss her and all we really need is each other. We have been taught to seek outward and that we never have enough. But I do have her. Moving closer to her gives me anxiety too, however. She switches off and on from being supportive to saying abusive things like my mother. But…we have spoken about it and hopefully can get better with time.

    Conclusion: the obsession and feeling lost and alone. Oh how much I pray for the pain to end.

    Love,

    Cali sister

    #211737
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali sister:

    It has been more than two months, good to read from you again! I’ve been thinking about you once in a while, wondering how you are doing.

    My first thought reading your recent post is that in this obsession you are re-living your childhood experience, trying to resolve what was not resolved: winning your parents’ attention, competing against your sister, I suppose. I remember you wrote months ago that your parents (at the time) were obsessed with her. You used the verb obsessed, that your parents were obsessed with your sister. Is she the one you are competing with, projecting her into the ex girlfriends of the men you were involved with?

    I will re-read some of your earlier posts so to remind myself of things and post to you again afterwards.

    anita

    #211755
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali sister:

    I re-read your posts on the first six pages, Dec 17-Feb 18, as well as a post from Sept 17. These are my thoughts this morning, based on my re-reading and all that I know so far about your experience in life so far:

    1. The solution is not getting closer in any way (moving closer, talking to more often, etc.) with either your parents or your sister. Your experience of extreme loneliness was in the presence of your parents and sister. The solution is not more of that presence. A relationship with your sister cannot possibly be therapeutic to either one of you.

    Sometimes you feel comforted by the presence of your parents or sister, on the phone or otherwise, but it only feels like comfort. In reality, your anxiety is not relieved whatsoever through such contacts, only maintained.

    Even though you and your sister grew up in the same home, neither one of you can help the other heal. You can not be each other’s therapist. Your healing journeys cannot possibly be merged but must remain independent of the other’s.

    2. I underestimated before the extent of your anxiety. It is within the last two months as I became more aware of my own anxiety and as I remembered bits and pieces of what you shared with me, usually on my walks, that I realized the extent of your anxiety, that it really is almost every second, every minute. I thought you exaggerated but not by much. I believe I understand how badly it has been for you, more now than before.

    What gives you this ongoing, almost non stop anxiety and distress is that voice in your head arguing against you almost every step of the way, for any thought you have and any feeling you have. Even when you enjoy something, more like… supposed to enjoy something, that voice is arguing, “yelling at me and forcing me to be like are you happy? Are you enjoying? Do you feel stress free? Is this the best thing ever?”

    So indeed you don’t get a break from anxiety.

    That voice gives you no break, hardly. It argues, even following a tender thing like you feeling love for your puppy, it argues: “shouldn’t you spend more time with him? and you shouldn’t get tired of him…” With this ongoing arguing, yes you feel distress a whole lot of the time.

    I too have this arguing voice, had it my whole life. The good news it is possible to – over time and attention, persistence- mute it more and more.

    3. Regarding the obsession, the topic of your recent post, like any obsession, it is the brain taking a detour, a side road, getting removed from The problem by creating an alternative problem and working of resolving the alternative problem, which is impossible to do. For one thing, it is not The Problem.

    In summary: the solution to The Problem is to address the problem, not alternative problems. The solution is not to move closer to your parents or to your sister or to have more contact with either. The solution is definitely not in having a sort-of therapy relationship with your sister (any such will harm the two of you individually). The solution is…. good psychotherapy where The Problem is addressed, that voice.

    anita

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