November 6, 2022 at 8:06 am #409693
Hello everyone , sorry in advance for long post
English in not my native language so excuse me if my writing is not perfect , i
m 38 y/o F, never being married , i lost my mom at 19 after 7 long years battle with cancer which was in the same time i was a teenage and full of doubts about myself .My father was an ok guy not perfect of course ,he lied alot to me .When he was getting married i found out accidently even though every body knew i had the impression he was ashamed , his wife was a bitter , unhappy person who wanted everybody especially me to be just like her , she tried so hard to drive a wedge between my dad and i and she successed at first but i guessed my dad saw through her eventually . He paid for my education abroad and was always present when i had a problem but he never took my side when it came to fights between me and his wife , i guess she could make his life miserable much more easily than i could but i coulnt help but notice that he actually enjoyed that to make me feel bad about myself he felt like his wife and me were competing over his affection and that made him feel good .Even before he got married he was very sneaky and passive agressive with me and with everyone arround him , let
s just say he wasnt a people person at all , as far as my siblings , they are idiots and so kind at all , that
s all i can say . Im the youngest of three with a huge age gap as you can imagine i felt lonely during my childhood now i feel blessed to not be close to them agewise . At some point my dad told me you should somehow help your sibling to get on their feet when he was gone and in that point i was flattered , wow my dad had a faith on me , right?but NO THANK YOU dad . thats a hell of job and i don
t want to sign for that , its not my responsibility . i lost my dad 6 months ago due to same kind of cancer that my mother had , fortunately he didn
t suffer as long . thinking about it making my heart ache .After his death i change my opinion about people around me , partly because i realized life is to short to waste with people who I dont really enjoy being with or really don
t have something mutual with them , in some occasions i realized they were upsetthat why i didt breake completely after losing my dad and having no one to rely on (yes they know my siblings too well ) and that made me sick i really don`t want talk to them or see them anymore .
I realize i really don
t have real friends and im surrounded with loser people who don
t know what to do with themselves and their life . i dont want to seem cocky , i mean they don`t have any purpose , at least i have one , i always had , did i reach all of them ?No. but i tried . i reach like 65% i can say i could put my head on my pillow at most nights and say i did my best in that day , thanks god
i studied something i really loved i love my job . i love dealing with people who are not my family , it
s awful i know but i didnt choose them . i know from experience of my mom`s death that even the worst thing in this world have a positive aspect in it in long shot , losing both my parents IS TOUGH , losing the only people whom i know had my best interest of me is truely hard but it helped me live my life as i wish , this is a new chapter .
But one of my biggest obstacle is my believes about people i don
t know if it was bad luck or destiny but i encounter too many bad people in life , i know not all people are shady , resentful or toxic but i coulnt help to make myself closed to new people and new experience i rather being completely alone and peaceful than with bad company but like every person in this world i don`t want to die alone . because of all hard experience i got a hard exterior too as you can imagine , any suggestions about helping me to gradually opening up or any similar experinces are really appreciated .xoNovember 6, 2022 at 9:11 am #409695
Growing up with two much older and unkind siblings, you were lonely. At 19 you lost your mother to cancer and you lost your father at 37 or 38 (six months ago) to the same kind of cancer. Your father used to lie to you a lot and was “very sneaky and passive aggressive” with you and with everyone else. When he got remarried, it was a surprise to you because he didn’t tell you about it. His new wife successfully drove a wedge between you and your father, and your father, who paid for your education abroad and was there for you when you had problems, never took your side when it came to fights between him and his wife. You noticed that he felt good about you and his wife competing for his affections.
You loved the subject matter you studied abroad, you love your job and you do your best every day. You always had a purpose and achieved most of your objectives. Now, at 38, both parents passed away and you find yourself surrounded by “loser people who don’t know what to do with themselves and their lives… have no purpose… many bad people… bad company“.
“But like every person in this world I don`t want to die alone… any suggestions about helping me to gradually open up, or any similar experiences are really appreciated“-
-regarding similar experiences, yes, I had a similar experience and I will share it with you: my mother was a combination of passive, passive-aggressive and aggressive, different behaviors at different times. She lied to me and to herself a whole lot. I tried to get her to communicate with me honestly (when I was a teenager, I remember) but to no avail, zero success on my part. She gossiped about everyone and I am sure that I was not an exception (she gossiped about my sister, after all). And she portrayed everyone as bad and untrustworthy… including myself. No surprise then that I grew up distrusting everyone… including myself. This meant a very lonely life for me.
My loneliness was acute while growing up and as an adult (I am older than you). It was a very unpleasant experience to grow up with a mother who I disrespected for her dishonesty, gossip and more. I didn’t feel close to her, to say the least. And I didn’t feel close to anyone else (she made it clear to me that no one deserves my trust).
I want to reply to you further, but before I do, I will wait for your thoughts about what I shares so far.
anitaNovember 6, 2022 at 12:05 pm #409704
thank you dear Anita for the reply , i
m sorry about your experience with your mother , i can relate to it alot .maybe thats harsh to say but my mom wasn
t a happy person and she put all of us down , she turned me and my sibling against each other i dont think that was intentional but the result is all of us feel isolated and alone . have you ever thought if i can`t trust my family who i can trust then ?i noticed you used the past tense describing your lonliness , hopefully you manage to overcome that , could you share more about your experiences?
farnazNovember 6, 2022 at 1:03 pm #409708
You are welcome and thank you for your empathy. I am sorry that you had a similar experience to mine, I know how painful and devastating it is.. and for so very long.
“She turned me and my siblings against each other. I don’t think that was intentional but the result is all of us feel isolated and alone”– it was probably (I am guessing) a habit that she picked at a young age, something she observed the adults in her life doing and copied it, kept the behavior going without much awareness of what negative effects it had on others (and on herself).
“Have you ever thought if I can`t trust my family, who I can trust then?“- growing up I didn’t think that, definitely not at a young age. Unfortunately, I trusted my mother to a large extent (I couldn’t help it, every young child trusts their parent at first), so when she told me that I was a bad person, I believed her. When she told me that everyone else was bad, I believed her. But over time, I could see/ feel how she was hurting me, how she lied… so I was very conflicted. It’s a nightmare when the person you naturally look up to the most (the parent) is so far removed from the pedestal you needed them to be on.
“I noticed you used the past tense describing your loneliness , hopefully you manage to overcome that , could you share more about your experiences?“- I ended all my loyalty to my mother, completely separating from her, physically and mentally (it took years of intentional work, starting eleven years ago). No longer loyal to her, I am no longer loyal to what she told me. It was only a few years ago that I noticed that I was interacting with other adults as if.. as if they were okay people, feeling that I am one of them, not apart from them. I still tend to be wary of people with no evidence that they are dangerous to me… something I have to pay attention to.
I hope that we can continue our discussion beyond today There is more to it than a few posts can cover, isn’t it?
anitaNovember 6, 2022 at 11:44 pm #409738
absolutely , we should continue the discussion ,
i had somehow different experiences with people but it was as dysfunctional . i put people on pedestal , i valued them more than myself they noticed it and somehow use it against me time to time not following through their promises or try to deceive me thinking i wouldn
t dare to cut the ties with them cause they were so important and after a while i got sick with them , sometimes i avoided them completely and sometimes if the situation was so frustrating i exploded and told them how i really feel about them , in the same time my inner thoughts were confirmed , PEOPLE ARE OUT TO GET ME , NOBODY IS TRUSTWORTHY and that made me even more isolated . recently i realised almost all of people surrounding me have some similar characteristics which i mentioned in my first post , i.e lack of motivation , laziness , etc and i compare the people who helped me in very hard situation , mostly a acquaitance or somebody i barely know who were very helpful and kind by nature , and i realized not all people are bad but im surrounded by them all my life ,maybe they are not bad really but the circumstances mad them to be , anyway we should avoid them .
i`m glad that you progress in your journey of trusting people, hopefully i get there too . i would be so happy to hear from you again in further posts , take care .November 7, 2022 at 8:33 am #409750
Thank you and I too am interested in continuing our discussion. These are my thoughts in regard to what you shared in your recent post: all young children look up to their parents for .. everything, physical and emotional needs. We put our parents on a pedestal, at a young age, because we need them up there: we need to believe that they are able- and willing- to give us all that we need to survive and thrive because we aren’t able to make it on our own, we are completely dependent on them. As adults, we put other adults on a pedestal because we don’t yet believe that we can make it on our own.
Long after I worked and earned enough money to make it on my own, I still didn’t feel that I can make it on my own: objectively I was able, subjectively- I was not. Coming to think about it, I didn’t want to make it on my own because the idea of making it on my own meant (subjectively) that I will be forever alone. There is something about a childhood so filled with alone-ness, isolation and disconnection, that it instills a fear of alone-ness, and the child turned adult becomes desperate to not be alone.
What do the people placed on a pedestal do? “they noticed it and somehow used it against me (from) time to time, not following through with their promises or trying to deceive me“- Lots of parents, lots of criminals (on the street and in leadership positions/ positions of power), and lots of people in our day-to-day lives, in one way or another, use their power against people who are weaker than them, including the people who handed them power. It takes a person of character, of strong ethical principles to be aware of their power and yet, to not misuse, or abuse it.
“After a while, I got sick of them, sometimes I avoided them completely and sometimes, if the situation was so frustrating, I exploded and told them how I really feel about them“- this is what I did. In my case, it was my behavioral pattern for many years, and it earned me the diagnosis (no longer in effect) of Borderline Personality Disorder.
“At the same time, my inner thoughts were confirmed: PEOPLE ARE OUT TO GET ME, NOBODY IS TRUSTWORTHY and that made me even more isolated“- this has been my mindset: I used to focus on people’s normal, human imperfections and mistakes and see those as evidence that they are indeed untrustworthy. I used to get angry (still have this tendency, which I need to better pay attention to) at imperfect people who make mistakes… people like me. It takes the understanding that it is okay to be human: okay for me, okay for others, and forgive the forgivable about me, and about others.
anitaNovember 7, 2022 at 10:11 am #409752
wow , one of therapist i worked with also diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder too . i studied about it asome how nd i learnt BPD is manageable actually unlike other personality disorder which are mostly so intrusive and unchangeable . i can see my improvement during recent years , i as like yourself need to pay attention to our pattern of behavior to not fall in old ones . as you mentioned in the first paragraph of your last post i used to think very highly of my parents , and my parents also thinking of themselves very highly , they were arrogant when i look back they were educated and smart and did far better that their peers study wise. when i realized than my mom was terminally ill this was truly a shock in so many level , i thought my parents could do everything , in my teenage mind , how couldn
t do anything about my moms illness , that was devastating beside my biggest fear of losing my mom , i recently begin to forgive both of them , i dont say i hate them before but sometimes i saw them as villain. it applies to other people too ,people who kicked me when i was down , people who wronged me in some way . some of them that are no longer in my life and never try to undo their deeds are harder to forgive but easier to forget. but do i trust people who still in my life completely ?NO
t think thats prudent to trust anybody 100% but forgiving is possible , do you think not trusting people can prevent you from forgiving them ?November 7, 2022 at 11:11 am #409753
BPD is not necessarily a life-sentence, hasn’t been in my case. Healing is possible and it is a wonderful thing. But when significantly hurt in childhood (as most people are.. maybe all), complete healing is not possible, and the expectation of complete healing stands in the way of achieving as much healing as is possible for any one of us.
“I can see my improvement during recent years“- keep seeing, focusing and building on your improvements.
“I like yourself need to pay attention to our pattern of behavior to not fall into old ones“- paying attention (daily and repeatedly) is a necessary part of healing and improving.
“I used to think very highly of my parents , and my parents also thinking of themselves very highly, they were arrogant“- they placed themselves on a pedestal… and fell of it? We should all be humble, placing ourselves not above (Superior) and not below (Inferior) others… Equal in human value is a good place to be in.
“When I realized than my mom was terminally ill this was truly a shock in so many level, I thought my parents could do everything, in my teenage mind , how couldn’t they do anything about my mom’s illness“- children think that their parents are gods: superior entities not subject to mistakes, faults or mortality. How far they fall off their godly pedestal is the question (not if they fall)… a more important question is.. do we fall with them?
“Do I trust people who (are) still in my life completely ?NO. I don’t think that’s prudent to trust anybody 100%“- I would say that it is far from prudent (and very unwise) to trust 100% of people, but it is prudent to trust some people 100%: trusting them completely not as gods who never make mistakes, but as.. good people.
“I recently began to forgive both of them… I saw them as villains. It applies to other people too… people who wronged me in some way… forgiving is possible, do you think not trusting people can prevent you from forgiving them ?“- can you define for me what you mean by the words Villains, Forgiving and Trusting?
anitaNovember 7, 2022 at 12:17 pm #409754
a more important question is.. do we fall with them? i believe i did and it was hard at first but after a while that was liberating , i mean i found out that life is cruel .for some people can be easier and for some is terribly cruel and i
m no exception . before that i felt that thing shouldnt happened to ME that was normal for somebody else , obviously i felt superior and that made everything much harder but when i realized i
m not special that made it much more tolerable , maybe its not related to our discussion but it was my experience , so i can say yes i fell with my parents from pedestal back then but i wasn
t crushed actually im happier now Equal in human value is a good place to be in.
by villain i meant bad people who do bad things on purpose , i sometimes think my dad was hurting me on purpose , but i admit he had grown up alot after my mom
s death , before that he was like a little boy with no responsibilities and was so angry that my mom was not able to support him (mentally and emotionally ) any more but he did take care of my mom till the end and he did his best to make everything go on as normal as possible . actually now that im writing about my father i realized how he actually changed and my mom`s death shook him really hard (i had never thought about it
and by forgiving and trusting , i mean with people who are in your life who hurt you in the past , but still are in your life and you want them to be in your life once you forgive them can you trust them again ? i think trust some step further than forgiveness
i know that`s a general question it really depends on that person and what happened in the past , for example people who repeatedly try to put you down or cross your boundaries can be forgiven but not trusted
but people who did one mistake and try to somehow make up for that . do u trust them again ?November 7, 2022 at 1:32 pm #409755
“I felt superior, and that made everything much harder, but when I realized I’m not special, that made it much more tolerable“- I very much relate. Life is much more tolerable for me these days because I know that I am neither superior to any of the billions of people currently inhabiting the earth, nor am I more special than any one particular person. It is indeed such a relief to come down from up there where I do not belong (superior/ special).
Also, feeling inferior and superior are two sides of the same coin: I felt inferior much of the time and I felt superior from time to time, so to compensate.
“I fell with my parents from a pedestal back then, but I wasn’t crushed actually I am happier now“- placing anyone (including oneself) on a pedestal makes for an unhappy life.
“By villain I meant bad people who do bad things on purpose, I sometimes think my dad was hurting me on purpose“- when person X hurts person Y while feeling anger at person Y, there is an intent to hurt. The intent to hurt is inherent in ANGER.
“He had grown up a lot after my mom’s death, before that, he was like a little boy… I had never thought about it“- some people keep us the same; other people make it possible for us to expand: to become more than we were before.
“With people who are in your life who hurt you in the past… and you want them to be in your life: once you forgive them can you trust them again?“- depends if they did enough (if anything) to deserve and earn your forgiveness and trust.
“people who did one mistake and try to somehow make up for that, do you trust them again?“- if you are referring to a forgivable human mistake, then yes.
“I think trust (is a) step further than forgiveness“- I think that trust and forgiveness go hand in hand when it comes to people who deserve your forgiveness and trust. When they do, you keep doing both: forgiving and trusting, trusting and forgiving. When you forget one or the other, you remind yourself that you too make mistakes, and that you too will fail other people from time to time (and hope that you too will be forgiven… and trusted again).
anitaNovember 8, 2022 at 2:13 am #409773TeeParticipant
I’d like to reply to your question about forgiveness vs trust. I agree that trust is a step further than forgiveness:
by forgiving and trusting , i mean with people who are in your life who hurt you in the past , but still are in your life and you want them to be in your life once you forgive them can you trust them again ? i think trust some step further than forgiveness
Yes, it is. Dr. Henry Cloud, psychotherapist and author of a bestseller book “Boundaries”, described it nicely: “Forgiveness is free, trust is earned.”
Meaning that we should forgive everyone, no matter how badly they’ve harmed us. Because by forgiving them, we free ourselves from the grudge and anger and hatred that is toxic for us. By forgiving them, we are free to move on.
However, that doesn’t mean that we should remain in a relationship with those people or trust them. Because if they haven’t changed, if they haven’t apologized for their wrong-doings, there is no point in trusting them. It would be naive and even harmful to ourselves.
but people who did one mistake and try to somehow make up for that . do u trust them again ?
If the person realized their wrong-doing and apologized (but sincerely apologized, with the intention not to do it again), then you can open up to them and sort of soften your protection a little bit. To use a metaphor, you don’t wear a full armor around them, but you take some of it off.
You make yourself a little vulnerable, e.g. you share about some worry or problem of yours, and then see what they do with that information. If they use it against you, you put on your armor again and don’t trust them again. If they are kind and supportive and don’t misuse your vulnerability, you can open yourself a little more next time. Over time, if they are consistently supportive and don’t betray you, you can say that they’ve earned your trust.
Dr. Cloud talks about it in a youtube video titled “Forgiveness does not require trust.” He is a Christian based psychotherapist and mentions God, but he talks about universal principles. The part about trust starts at min 10:20.November 8, 2022 at 11:57 am #409787
in my opinion feeling superior actually means you deep down are insecure and feel inferior to others
i mean acting superior means you actually feel inferior , i could see it in others , because we can see others fault more easily but i
ve never met anyone anybody who acts arrogant that is not insecure and dont feel bad about his life , this is a copping mechanism . as you said we can never be happy when see ourselves superior or inferior to others .
another problem i had that i think it
s stem was feeling superior or inferior was overvaluing people , i thought they are better than me and because of my situation of not having my mom around me some people tried to take advantage of it or try to mislead me intentionally , although i could see through them i didnt talk about it for a while and unfortunately i hung out with them until i finally had enough . i
m actually working on forgiving those kind of people not for them but for myself . i dont dream to hang out with them or see them .they are not trustworthy at all .November 8, 2022 at 12:13 pm #409788
thank you for your reply . i totally agree with you “Forgiveness is free, trust is earned. i`m willing for forgive people for my own freedom but trusting them???in most cases , NO
s already hard for me to trust people . even to people who didnt wrong me in the past . and unfortunately i did more than once trusting someone again who i shouldn
t and i hate to admit it but it was out of desperation. well im stronger now and<strong> i prefer to be alone than in bad company </strong>
i have a question for you , how many of people who you needed to forgive for any reason are still in your life ?for me most of them gone for good .
I actually don`t believe people who were deceitful would stay once you saw through them .
and i will definitely watch the video u recommend, thank you xoNovember 8, 2022 at 1:11 pm #409791
I always found the concept of forgiveness problematic, or easily misunderstood and misused. There are plenty of people who push forgiveness on people (people in my life, in the past), suggesting that if you don’t forgive, you are a bad person (yet to become a good and forgive), or a sick person (yet to become a healthy person… and forgive). But what do people who push forgiveness mean by forgiveness?
If they mean that to forgive means to not take the law into your own hands and exact revenge… and end up in jail, etc., I agree that forgiveness is a good thing. If they mean to no longer suffer from ongoing anger, which leads to health problems such as high blood pressure.. I agree that forgiveness is a good thing. But if they (whomever they are) mean that it is okay to push your anger down and berate yourself for still feeling angry, I disagree. If they mean that it is okay to and to keep going back to the people who hurt you (even if they are no longer actively hurting you) and suffer for it, I disagree that forgiveness is a good thing. It depends what forgiveness means…
When you feel intense anger at someone and for a long time, you can command yourself to no longer feel anger (in the name of forgiveness), but anger does not obey commands: It has a message for you, and it will not go away until it is fully heard.
“Because of my situation of not having my mom around me, some people tried to take advantage of it, or try to mislead me intentionally… I’m actually working on forgiving those kinds of people, not for them, but for myself. I don’t dream to hang out with them or see them. They are not trustworthy at all“- the benefit in forgiving, for you, would be to no longer suffer the distress involved in keeping anger inside you, right? In that quest, you have to first thoroughly listen to the message your anger has for you, to fully understand what they did to you, that it was wrong to do it to you, that you didn’t deserve it, and that the Wrong belongs to Them, not to You.
You are welcome to explore and process the message in your anger here, on your thread, if you feel comfortable enough doing so. As a matter of fact, if it works for you, we can do it together: I will further process my anger while you process yours.
anitaNovember 8, 2022 at 1:23 pm #409793TeeParticipant
i am stronger now and i prefer to be alone than in bad company
You’re right! Better be alone than get involved with bad people out of desperation.
i have a question for you , how many of people who you needed to forgive for any reason are still in your life ?for me most of them gone for good .
Well, my mother is one such person. She is very critical of me and likes to blame me while refusing any responsibility of her own. As I have been working on myself, I’ve put up some defenses and boundaries, to protect myself from her. About a year ago I complained about a physical pain I had, and she accused me of being a hypochondriac and used the opportunity to send some more criticism my way. So she used my vulnerability and my honest sharing to hurt me. That’s when I decided I’ll never again be vulnerable around her, and I’ll never again expect any empathy from her.
But we do stay in a superficial contact. In fact we rarely speak nowadays because I live in another country, and I mostly speak with my father on the phone. So our contact is minimal but it still exists.
I’ve also forgiven my father, who was her enabler and failed to protect me from my mother’s toxicity. But he hurt me much less than she did…
And I’ve also forgiven a relative of mine, who is a fun person to be around, but sometimes doesn’t care about other people and only cares about her own needs. But I don’t want to lose a friendship with her, so I decided not to expect much from her, but to enjoy her company when we meet once or twice per year.
I actually don’t believe people who were deceitful would stay once you saw through them.
Yes, deceitful people don’t like to be “seen through”. Fortunately I’ve never had experience with deceitful people, only with very critical people (my mother). But in both cases, we need to set boundaries to protect ourselves…