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  • #366808
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    I had a terrible breakup and with great difficulty managed to move on. But I suffer from bipolar disorder. It is terrible esp. when I go through manic episodes and relapses. Because of this and also because of my past I would not like to get married and would like to remain single. But this worries me as to how will I spend my old age. This has given me sleepless nights from the past few days. Kindly help.

    #366817
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You shared that you suffer from a bipolar disorder, “manic episodes and relapses”, and because of it, and the “terrible breakup” you experienced, you think it would  be better for you to remain single for the rest of your life. What worries you, is how you will spend your old age.

    Can you elaborate on what specifically worries you about being single at an old age?

    Also, if you would like to share more about the following, please do: are you in your 20s? 30s? How long ago was the breakup you mentioned, at what age were you diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, and what is the nature of your individual manic episodes, and depressive episodes?

    anita

     

    #368719
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for the reply and apologies for the delay. My inbox was full and I was unable to read your mail. This is in response to your post:

    I see everybody around me married and having children. I am 33 years old now and I feel unfortunate that I am not yet married like them. I am from India and in our country marriage is viewed as some sort of security for life. Hence I feel insecure. I am doing a job at present that pays me quite well but there is no security in the job domain that I work. We can lose our job anytime. In fact, my younger brother got married recently and that has put pressure on me since I am an unmarried elder sibling. Age is also slipping away soon and in the society, I hail from, girls normally are married in their 20’s.

    My breakup happened in 2013 and I slipped into depression in 2010 while I was in the relationship due to work pressure and increased demand for physical pleasure from my boyfriend. But I was forced to consult a psychiatrist in 2012 and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I had a very abrupt breakup that happened in long-distance and I was not at all satisfied by the way the breakup happened. I sent several emails to my boyfriend and he did not even bother to reply to even one of them. This created a lot of anxiety and frustration in me and I suffered for 3 long years before consulting a lawyer in 2016 since I felt medicine and counseling were not working for me anymore. I tried forgiveness too but I was just not able to receive any sort of peace with anything. With the help of the lawyer, we reported the entire episode to the police and the police registered a formal case of cheating on my now ex-boyfriend and the case still runs in court. In the course of police and court proceedings, I somehow managed to find some peace and solace and also get some sound sleep that I had not found in years.

    But I still get manic episodes. I consulted a new psychiatrist and he is treating me with lithium tablets. During the manic episodes, I get a rush of thoughts. Like a thousand thoughts per second in my head which I cannot control. Also, I recall my entire break up episode and feel cheated and the pain pricks me like a thousand needles.

    In my society, arranged marriage is pretty common. Where the parents search for a boy for the girl to get married. Many of my friends who have had failed relationships went for an arranged marriage and I have some sort of blocker in my mind. I am just not able to say YES to any boy. I feel stuck because of my past and lost with no tangible goal for the future. Hence the decision to stay single and not marry was made out of frustration. I need to find my peace and mental balance. Please help.

    #368724
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You are welcome. You shared that you are a 33 year old woman, currently employed, making good income, but the job is not secure, and you can lose it anytime. You are also unmarried, from India where “girls normally are married in their 20s, and marriage is valued “as some sort of security for life”. Being unmarried, you therefore feel insecure. Your younger brother got married recently and that created an additional pressure on you to get married. In accordance with the custom of arranged marriages, a few men were suggested to you, or introduced to you, but you are “just not able to say YES to any boy” (“I have some blocker in my mind”).

    You slipped into depression in 2010 (you were about 23 at the time) because of “work pressure and increased demand for physical pleasure from my boyfriend”. In 2012 (25)  you were “forced to consult a psychiatrist.. and .. was diagnosed with bipolar disorder”.

    A year later, 2013 (26), your boyfriend at the time ended the relationship very abruptly, long distance. You followed with sending him several emails but he didn’t reply. It was “a terrible breakup” that caused you “a lot of anxiety and frustration”. You suffered for three years (26-29) while attending counseling and taking medicine. Feeling that “medicine and counseling were not working” for you in finding peace regarding the breakup and moving on, you consulted a lawyer in 2016 (29). With the help of the lawyer, you “reported the entire episode to the police and the police registered a formal cased of cheating on (your) now ex-boyfriend and the case still runs in court”. As a result of involving the police and the law, you “managed to  find some peace and solace and also get some sound sleep that (you) had not found in years”.

    But at the present (33), you “still get manic episodes”, “During the manic episodes, I get a rush of thoughts. Like a thousand thoughts per second in my head which I cannot control. Also, I recall my entire breakup episode and feel cheated and the pain pricks me like a thousand needles”. You recently  consulted a new psychiatrist and he is treating you with lithium tablets. You feel stuck because of your past, not wanting to get married but worrying about how you will manage old age alone and single, and you suffered sleepless nights worrying. You feel “lost with no tangible goal for the future”. “I need to find my peace and mental balance. Please help”-

    – My input today:

    1. Regarding lithium, I read in Wikipedia under the entry Bipolar disorder: “The medication with the best overall evidence is lithium, which is an effective treatment for acute manic episodes, preventing relapses, and bipolar depression”. Under the entry Lithium (medication), it reads: “It is primarily used to treat bipolar disorder and treat major depressive disorder that does not improve following the use of antidepressants… Blood level monitoring is recommended to decrease the risk of potential toxicity. If levels become too high, diarrhea, vomiting, poor concentration, sleepiness, and ringing in the ears may occur. Those who use lithium should receive regular serum level tests and should monitor thyroid and kidney function for abnormalities, as it (Lithium) interferes with the regulation of sodium and water levels in the body, and can cause dehydration”-

    – you are concerned about getting old alone/ no one to take care of you- the best you can do now is to prevent medical problems now and later in life by having your lithium blood levels monitored regularly, as well as seeing a doctor for overall physical checkups as recommended, eating healthily and exercising regularly. Pay attention/ be Mindful of how you feel and respond appropriately: if you are thirsty- drink water, if you are sleepy and you can- take a nap, if you have diarrhea- consider that maybe your lithium blood levels are too high, and contact your doctor.

    2. There is a Women’s Center in Venice, California (I used to live there) called Clearview Women Center, their website: www. clearviewwomencenter. com, in that website there are articles and other information that may interest you. One article somewhat addresses bipolar and age, it reads: “In most cases, bipolar disorders is a lifelong illness that will continue to require treatment, but following a bipolar treatment plan that includes taking medication as prescribed and attending therapy sessions can help to stabilize mood swings and stop symptoms from getting worse with age”- so it is possible to not get worse with age (not any worse than we all get with age). I hope you persist with your medication and an overall treatment plan.

    3. Regarding your experience during manic episodes, that “rush of thoughts. Like a thousand thoughts per second”, and feeling so much pain about the breakup: “the pain pricks me like a thousand needles”- I wonder if the practice of Mindfulness can help you, and if Mindfulness has been presented to you in the context of counseling. Mindfulness is a concept and a practice that is used as part of professional psychotherapy. Mindfulness is about slowing down the thoughts, which is exactly what one needs to do when thoughts are rushing (or racing, as in the term racing thoughts).

    Mindfulness also promotes emotional regulation skills that regulate emotions, that is, change emotional experience from that of extremes to that of moderation. There are books, workbooks and magazines on Mindfulness, as well guided meditation audios that you can download for free, and many other online resources, including in this website under Blog at the top of the page.

    4. You wrote that marriage is valued “as some sort of security for life”, and being unmarried, you feel insecure. I communicated with many married women from India, some living in India and others living in other parts of the world; women who feel far from secure, women whose marriages are a source of considerable distress in their lives.

    I am sure that many marriages anywhere in the world provide some security to women, but it is also true that many marriages harm women, emotionally and physically.

    5. You shared that you slipped into depression in 2010 because of “work pressure and increased demand for physical pleasure from my boyfriend“- the italicized (by me) section of this sentence made me cringe as read it and imagined a man pressuring you to give him sexual pleasure. I wonder if this experience was traumatic for you, if you talked about it in counseling, and if you adequately expressed your emotions on the matter (?)

    6. You shared that you feel stuck because of your past and “lost with no tangible goal for the future”- can you elaborate on feeling stuck because of your past: do you mean stuck in your reluctance to consider marriage?

    I wonder if you are living with your parents, if you have friends and if you are emotionally close to anyone (as in feeling comfortable to share your thoughts and feelings with that person, feeling liked and loved by that person that knows you well)?

    anita

     

    #368748
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Thank you again for the speedy response.

    My serum blood levels are tested and monitored by my psychiatrist. In fact, thinking that I had gotten better, my doctor stopped the medicine, but I again slipped into mania and he had to restart medication again. Due to medication over the years I put on loads of weight but now I have begun to exercise and stick to a proper weight loss diet. I lost a few kilos as a result of this. I am listening to my doctor and taking medication on time. Also, I have begun therapy.

    By meaning to feel stuck, I mean that the tragic relationship and its experience prevent me from accepting a new man into my life. All I can see is pain. I think that by accepting a new man into my life I will be inviting more and more pain which I do not need. I am not able to get past that horror subjected to by my ex-boyfriend. I imagine that my future husband also will force me for sex and force me to do things I dislike. This has got me all fearful and hesitant to even date anybody. For some time I used to feel impure as a result of getting physical with my ex-boyfriend and felt like shit from the inside. I even tried committing suicide because I felt that my blood had become impure as a result of the physical intimacy with my ex. I felt all I could do was purify myself by getting physical with another man and as a result, I did get physical within my boundaries of comfort but it was not satisfying. Although the notion of feeling like shit from the inside stopped, the desire to get physical with more than one man increased as a result of which the list of the number of men I got intimate with is a little long. And this makes me wonder if it is ok to have such kind of experience in life.

    I am living with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law in South India. My female friends are married and have no time for me. If I ask anyone to catch up, they come up with excuses saying their husband does not allow, no time, their child needs them, etc. So I have stopped counting them. I just made a few male friends through Tinder and it is only like chatting and talking over the phone. If I feel depressed or low and express it to any of my friends, they don’t understand me. If I say I never enjoyed getting physical with my ex-boyfriend and all he did was use me for his pleasure, they do not accept it. They insist that I also had fun getting physical with him which is absolutely not true. Only my therapist and doctor understand me.

    #368761
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You are welcome. Good to read that your serum blood levels are being tested and monitored regularly by your physician, that you listen to and follow your his instructions, that you are attending therapy and that you are sticking to a proper weight loss diet and exercise. Congratulations for all of this, and for losing a few kilos as a result!

    You shared that you are living with your parents and sister-in-law in South India. When you suggested to your married female friends to spend some time together, they refuse, “saying their husband does  not allow, no time, their child needs them, etc.” Your social life outside your home is limited to chatting with a few male friends through Tinder and talking on the phone, but they misunderstand important things you shared with them, such as your very painful experience with your ex-boyfriend.  There are only two people who understand you: your therapist and your doctor.

    Regarding your traumatic experience with your ex-boyfriend, what you referred to as “tragic relationship” with a man who subjected you to horror, you shared the following (quotes  included): “all he did was use me for his pleasure”. He forced you to have sex with him, forced you to do things that you disliked, forced you to give him pleasure in ways that made you feel impure, like your blood had become impure, feeling “like shit from the inside”.

    “I felt all I could do was purify myself by getting physical with another man, and as a result, I did get physical.. but it was not satisfying. Although the notion of feeling like shit from the inside stopped, the desire to get physical with more than one man increased as a result of which the list of the number of men I got intimate with  is a little long. And this makes me wonder if it is ok to have such kind of experience in life”.

    My understanding of your experience with that bad man, your ex-boyfriend: he traumatized you. He hurt you badly. He harmed you emotionally and sexually.

    It is a very humiliated experience for a woman to be used sexually, to be used as if she was not a human being with thoughts and feelings, preferences, values, and desires of her own- but as an object and a tool to be used for someone else’s desires, with no consideration of how she feels.

    It is not only within the context of child sexual abuse, prostitution and human trafficking that women get hurt this way, traumatized- it is also within the context of what may look from the outside a legal, adult, consensual and conventional relationship.

    When a woman is treated as a tool for a man’s pleasure, while she feels no pleasure, or she feels great shame in the process, the woman feels contaminated by what happened within closed doors, in private. She knows what happens and even if other people don’t know- she knows and that shame carries on with her wherever she goes, whatever she does. No wonder you are afraid of having a new relationship- you don’t want a repeat of that trauma.

    I am trying to understand how the trauma caused by your ex-boyfriend led to you to have sex with a new man, and then another new man, and another. Maybe the logic behind this behavior was/is  this: feeling impure after the ex-boyfriend, him having introduced impurity into your blood- you figured that sex with a new man will wash out that impurity from you/ remove it from your blood. And indeed, it worked:  you felt better as a result of sex with a new man. But after some time, the feeling of impurity returned and you felt that you needed sex with yet another new man, so to remove the impurity.. and repeat. Can it be that I understand correctly, partially or fully?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #368766
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    You understand me fully Anita and I am glad that there is at least one person in the world who can empathize with me for the terrible episodes I have been through. So Thank You once again.

    I am going to reveal some personal details about my tragic past. So please be careful.

    Here, esp. in India, sex education is not all that rampant. Sex is taboo in our country and nobody talks about it in the open. Hence I was ignorant as to what happens between a man and a woman in a relationship. I had also not seen porn at all and I watched my first porn video at the age of 26 which was after the break-up with that bad man, my ex-boyfriend. This left me in a state of more shock and I felt dirty from the inside.

    Whatever happened with my ex-boyfriend was mostly foreplay and it was once that he touched his bare penis to my bare vagina apart from bathing together for once. It was not an actual intercourse per se. And moreover, since I never felt like getting physical with him in the first place because I was also depressed due to work pressure, sex with him was some sort of traditional routine that I was least interested in. I never enjoyed and mostly laid like a log. He would just do what he wanted to do with me and I used to pray when all this nonsense would end in life. All I was interested was in getting out of depression and enjoying life. This was before I consulted any doctor. In fact, my depression got the better of me coupled by getting physical for no pleasure with my ex-boyfriend that I was driven to suicide a few times.

    Hence I never had intercourse per se. Even after the breakup, with other men whom I got intimate with, it was just foreplay minus the sexual intercourse. I explained this to my new psychiatrist and he told me to take a test and diagnosed me with Vaginismus. He told me certain techniques to get over it but I am still dubious as to whether I should really have intercourse with any man in the future as it will give him a right over me and again I will be treated like a doormat in life just like how my ex-boyfriend used to treat me.

    I have men who get attracted to my good looks and approach me for sex. It gives me some sort of ego boost when a man gets bowled over by my good looks. And hence I ended up getting intimate with many men minus the sexual intercourse.

    #368768
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You are welcome. I read your recent post but I am not focused enough to read thoroughly and reply. Therefore I will be back to you when I feel rested and focused, which will probably be Sunday morning my time, which is in about 16 hours from now. Please be good to yourself and feel free to add anything relevant, so that I can understand you better and better.

    anita

    #368785
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Thank you for giving me the time, space, and opportunity. I have listed a few points below:

    • Since I am 33 and unmarried my relatives view me as an object of shame. They scorn upon me that it is already too late in terms of marriageable age for me as if I am some sort of black mark on the family. Hence I feel like a loser most of the time at family gatherings because in my society marriage is viewed as a mark of progress in life and I am being viewed a somebody who is stuck and lost in life.
    • As a result of the traumatic episode with my now ex-boyfriend, I nurtured a dream of being independent in life and not be dependent on any man. Be it for sex or be it for diamonds. I bought a pair of diamond earrings and a pendant for myself and I wear it with pride. I do not have any sexual needs anymore and I am feeling this for the past 2 years and think I will remain like this for the rest of my life as well. When I look at a good looking man, all I can think of is approach him to make him a friend to talk to and nothing beyond that. I just feel like I am looking at a beautiful painting without any sexual intentions. I read somewhere online that this has to do with my sexual orientation being called “Asexual” and it is not exactly Vaginismus.
    • I feel like I have only emotional needs that can be fulfilled by friends itself and I need not have a husband for that purpose. I am completely not sure whether I should get married in the first place since there will be a demand for sex and I do not want to fall into that well again. I have nurtured a dream of working as a life coach and my therapist encourages me to fulfill it. As a result, I view marriage as a blocker to my dream.
    • I feel there are 3 stages in viewing marriage to happen in my life:
      1. Don’t want to get married
      2. Have to get married
      3. Want to get married

    I feel I am still in stage(b) not wanting marriage to happen in my life out of my will and wish. I am totally confused without proper direction since staying single will also mean to face a lot of insecurity without the support of a husband or children for that matter. It pricks me when I think about my old age wherein I will be all alone and lonely while others will be enjoying their marriage with spouses and children to take care of them.

    • Due to circumstances, I was also forced to switch a lot of jobs in the last ten years and I was looking for stability in terms of professional life which never happened.
    • I remember getting all revengeful against my ex-boyfriend. After hurting me immensely, I could not make peace with the fact that he is leading his life in happiness. So I insulted him badly through emails by looping his friends too. He also broke my trust by promising me that he would accompany me to the doctor when I was diagnosed with depression and that never happened. He went on advertising about my psychiatric condition to his friends saying I am bipolar and suffer from manic episodes.
    • I just can’t seem to let go of the entire episode and neither forget nor forgive. I still feel like having one last talk with my ex-boyfriend to find closure but it is not practically possible now since he does not reply to my emails anymore as advised by his lawyer. He is an Indian who lives in Finland and has married a Finnish woman.
    #368791
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You are welcome. In your recent two posts you shared that in India, “Sex is taboo and nobody talks about it in the open”, therefore, you were ignorant “of what happens between a man and a woman in a relationship”.

    Regarding your former boyfriend, you shared that he treated you like a doormat, that he broke your trust by promising you and breaking his promise to accompany you to the doctor when you were diagnosed with depression, that he advertised your psychiatric condition to his friends, that you then “insulted him badly through emails by looping his friends too”, that he no longer replies to your emails “as advised by his lawyer”, and that he is now married and living in Finland.

    While in a relationship with him, you “never felt like getting physical with him”. For you, sex with him was “some sort of traditional routine” in which you were “least interested in.. never enjoyed and mostly laid like a log.. getting physical for no pleasure”. You wrote: “He would just do what he wanted to do with me and I used to pray when all this nonsense would end in life”. That nonsense was “mostly foreplay”, and only once was there a “bare penis to .. bare vagina.. not an actual intercourse per se” contact between the two of you, apart from bathing together one time. After the relationship, with other men, “it was just foreplay minus the sexual intercourse”, and you were diagnosed with Vaginismus.

    *Wikipedia: “Vaginismus is a condition in which involuntary muscle spasm interferes with vaginal intercourse or other penetration of the vagina. This often results in pain with attempts at sex”; elsewhere it reads about Vaginismus: “it may be caused by extreme stress, negative reactions towards stimulation of sex, conservative education, anxiety, lack of trust in the partner, incidences such as sexual abuse, denied sexuality”.

    You shared: “I have men who get attracted to my good looks and approach me for sex. It gives me some sort of ego boost when a man gets bowled over by my good looks. And hence I ended up getting intimate with many men minus the sexual intercourse”.

    You added that being 33 and unmarried, your relatives view you as “an object of shame.. some sort of black mark on the family.. somebody who is stuck and lost in life”. You therefore “feel like a loser most of the time at family gatherings”.

    About your dreams, you shared: (a) “I nurtured a dream of being independent in life and not be dependent on any man. Be it for sex or be it for diamonds. I bought a pair of diamond earrings and a pendant for myself and I wear it with pride. (b): “I have nurtured a dream of working as a life coach and my therapist encourages me to fulfill it”.

    You are confused about what direction to take on in life: you think that you may be asexual, that you not get married, but “staying single will also mean to face a lot of insecurity without the support of a husband or children”, and it bothers you to think of yourself old, “all alone and lonely while others will be enjoying their marriage with spouses and children to take care of them”. Also, you were “forced to switch a lot of jobs in the last ten years”, and your desired “stability in terms of professional life .. never happened”.

    My input today: “Sex is taboo in our country and nobody talks about it in the open”-  even though parents in conservative societies (such as in South India, North Africa and in parts elsewhere), don’t talk to their children about sex, they still communicate very powerful messages to their children in regard to sex (different messages to boys than to girls).

    To a girl, parents in conservative societies teach the following: sex is bad and impure; marriage is good and pure. The way to the good part is through the bad part: a woman is supposed to make a man desire her sexually without having sex with him, so that marriage will be his only way to have sex with the woman.

    But the parent does not teach the daughter how to make a man desire her sexually (that would make the parent feel dirty..), they just expect her to know the secrets to igniting and maintaining a man’s sexual desire, without actually having sex.

    The parent knows that men have sex with women without getting marriage (often, they teach their boys to do that), but they leave their daughter without guidance about the very difficult situation they know exists: men pressure women to have sex, men coming up with a dubious compromises (foreplay but no intercourse), etc. Parents know that their daughter is likely to find herself in these situations, but no guidance.

    Fast forward, a girl grows up into a woman, a man is interested in her, she knows she is supposed to get married and make the man sexually desire her, she tries, not knowing how.. he pressures her, she figures, maybe I will not be bad if I let him have only foreplay, but no “bare penis to..  bare vagina” contact, maybe I will not be bad if.. I just lay there “like a log”.. but she feels dirty and impure nonetheless, and all is all made worse by the fact that.. he is not yet marrying her!

    Dating in conservative societies, for women, is very, very difficult because of the powerful messages parents communicate to their daughters without guiding them in how to achieve the.. dirty deal (marriage in exchange for sex) that they expect their daughters to make, expecting without stating it, because stating the deal that needs to be made, and guiding their daughter in making this deal- that would make the parent feel dirty.

    There is more in your recent messages that I didn’t respond to yet, but I will stop here, for now, hoping that you will respond to my input so far, in this post.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #368803
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Thanks Anita. I am truly amazed at how well you can connect with me. I am enlightened by the perspective you have presented so far and feel that my eyes have been opened to the harsh reality in society. You are absolutely right in whatever you have expressed so far and I feel a strong connection to your answers and ideas. It gives me a sense of relief and happiness that there is light at the end of the ghastly tunnel that I have been through for the past few years. I am eager to listen to the rest of your inputs so please continue. Also I would like to add that here in our society, getting children married is seen as a responsibility that parents would like to get rid off very soon.

    #368809
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    You are welcome and I am glad to read that you feel that I am connecting with you, so glad to read this. I will be back to your thread and reply further when I am back to the computer in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #368857
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anaha Sonde:

    It reads to me that if you ever get involved with a man in a way that makes a good, lasting difference in your life- it will have to be a non-sexual relationship for a long time, before (and if) it becomes sexual. For a long time, six months or so, at the least, the two of you will need to know each other as fellow humans, focus on what the two of you share as people, instead of looking at gender and sex.

    If and when such a relationship becomes sexual, then you will be faced with some of the past trauma, feeling fear, I imagine.. numb as a result of fear- at that time, if couple therapy is available to you- that would be best. Otherwise, the two of you will have to communicate as humans regarding sex. By that point, the two of you will have solid experience communicating as equal humans who value and respect each other, experience that can be carried into the sexual realm.

    Now, comments regarding what you shared earlier, quotes I did not yet comment on:

    * “I have men who get attracted to my good looks and approach me for sex. It gives me some sort of ego boost… hence I ended up getting intimate with many men minus the sexual intercourse”- positive attention is a human need. Attraction in itself is a kind of positive attention, the man is sending you the message that he likes you, or more precisely- that he likes the way you look, the sound of your voice perhaps, the feel of your skin.

    Problem is, we women are more than how we look and how our voice sounds or how our skin feels for the touch. We are so much more.. even if we were never treated as more.

    We women have not been placed in this world to please the eyes and ears and hands and .. genitalia of men. This is not our job, or it shouldn’t be our job.., it is not why we are here. We are here to experience life as a human being, to look all around us and learn about this world and what it means to be alive.

    Back to the quote: “I have men who get attracted to my good looks and approach me for sex”- what if a man gets attracted to the smile on your face, wondering why you smile, what he sees in your eyes, and wonders about that wisdom he sees in your eyes… what if he is curious and wants to learn about who you are, what you think and what you feel and how life is for you.. what if you get this kind of positive attention.

    * Regarding your relatives viewing you as “an object of shame.. some wort of black mark on the family”- first thought that comes to my mind, which may be very impractical in your life, is that you should not live or even be in contact with anyone who views you this way. I wonder if it is at all practical, for you.

    * Regarding your dreams:

    a. “I nurtured a dream of being independent in life and not be dependent on any man”- connecting this to my point above, I wonder if not being dependent on your relatives is a possibility for you. I understand that it may not be possible in South India, but maybe somewhere else in the world.

    b. “I have nurtured a dream of working as a life coach and my therapist encourages me to fulfill it”- if this is a practical option for you, then I encourage it too, I can see (with my non-professional eye, that is) that you will be an excellent life coach. You can teach others what you have learned so well.

    * Regarding your confusion about what direction to take in life, your lack of career security, and your concern about living alone as an older woman, without a husband or children to take care of you- I figure either you do meet a man where you live, a man with whom you will form a close relationship as two equal humans who value and respect each other- or-  you move elsewhere so to not be subject to the South Indian/ very traditional societal beliefs, expectations and reality, a place where an unmarried woman is not generally considered to be shameful or negative in any way.

    anita

    #368884
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    That is very practical advice you have given me Anita and I already feel charged up and boosted. In fact, I completed working on my website and promoted my life coaching business online, and managed to get a few clients who are interested. So you can imagine what positive effect your wonderful words had on me 😊

    My name is Anagha. It is a Sanskrit word that means “sinless”. I am a Hindu and a Vaishnavite, a follower of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and as a child, I fell in love with Lord Krishna and dreamt of being his wife. I felt that my body belongs to Lord Krishna and only He has rights over it. He resides in my brain, heart, and vagina, and sex with any mortal man is a sin and will make me impure. When I met my ex-boyfriend who was also good looking, I gave the position of Lord Krishna in my life to him. I treated my ex-boyfriend as God. And after the sexual assault when I went looking for answers to my Lord Krishna, He told me that the only mistake I had done in life is to give His place in my life to my ex-boyfriend. This made me feel dirty and sinful from the inside and I felt abandoned by my Lord as I no longer have His support to lead a life towards enlightenment and Nirvana. Please help.

    #368887
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    I read your first paragraph and am so pleased, there is a smile on my face, the first today, I believe, and it is already afternoon. I have to go out and will not be back to the computer for a few hours. When I am back, I will read your entire recent post and reply further.

    anita

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