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Changing Mindset Needing Guidance

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  • #379921
    Charity
    Participant

    I am really struggling with changing my mindset and allowing myself to be happy and content. Over the past 2 years, I have really been doing self-reflecting and I am seeing that I view a glass half empty. I am going through some transitions of finding my voice and finding confidence in my own beliefs. For most of my life, I let others’ beliefs guide me. I never really had my own beliefs because I didn’t want to be different. I guess I had them but I did not embrace them. Now that I am more comfortable in my own beliefs I have had most of my family cut me out of their lives. Because I am pro-choice and support gay marriage and people living their lives the way they want my brother and his wife have said they do not want me around them or their children. It’s been over a year (almost two years) since I have had any contact with them. I feel like I should have healed and accepted this by now, yet my daily thoughts always go back to their rejection. Almost like I cannot allow myself to be happy until I am accepted by them. None of it makes sense to me though. I love them but every time I was around them I was the butt of the jokes. I always left in tears and feeling less than because my brother loved to make fun of me so much. I am constantly telling myself that this is the week I focus on being happy and finding joy in my life yet my thoughts always go back to the rejection and the raw pain I still feel.

    Then there is the issue of being happy and joyful. It seems so easy and it is something I desperately want but every time I start to feel it I self-sabotage. I always let my mind go to a negative place.

    Examples:

    Healthy meal > I feel proud > I feel guilty for feeling proud because how can I be proud of myself when I am rejected > binge eat.

    Great sex with my husband > feel peace, loved, and close to him > thoughts of my past sexual decision (cheating in my past relationship) and my ex-husband taking advantage of me repeatedly throughout our marriage, associating sex with guilt and self-hate.

    Basically, anything good, happy, joyful, and exciting that goes on in my life now I ruin for myself. I am tired of living my life without fully embracing it and living in each moment and feeling joy and peace. Any advice, book recommendation, anything would be greatly appreciated.

    #379940

    It sounds like you are very traumatized by past occurrences and internalizing abuse. You will have to accept the rejection for now. Those who reject you do not deserve you. Do you have anyone you can talk to about these feelings? Such as your husband or a therapist? You need a solid support system. You don’t have to do this alone. I encourage you to seek support groups for issues and therapy for trauma. Your lack of self-worth is due to a harsh inner critic who has internalized others’ judgments. It’s time you release yourself from it with some self-compassion.

    What’s one way you can love yourself today? What is something good you can do? In the midst of all this, you have to redefine yourself. Not by what others see but by what YOU see. You don’t have to conform to others’ ideas of you or blame yourself for any shortcomings. Allow yourself to be human. Offer yourself some grace, ask for help and open up.

    #379942
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Charity:

    Regarding your brother who made fun of you, and was rude to you repeatedly, and who- with his wife- rejected you, you wrote: “Almost like I cannot allow myself to be happy until I am accepted by them”- part of you believes that your brother was right to make fun of you, and that he and his wife were right to reject you, that is, you believe that you were and are worthy of ridicule and rejection. When a person believes such things about oneself, it is impossible to feel joy and peace for longer than a moment here and there.

    Do you know of the term core beliefs, the deep beliefs formed in our minds when we were children?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by anita.
    #379991
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Charity:

    I have more time to attend to your thread today, so I will. I understand that you may not want to answer questions asked, and that’s okay. Let see if I can see something in your original post that I didn’t see yesterday:

    You wrote regarding your brother, his wife (and perhaps other family members): “I loved them but every time I was around them I was the butt of the jokes. I always left in tears and feeling less than because my brother loved to make fun of me so much”.

    For most of your life, you wrote, your beliefs were your family beliefs because you didn’t want to be different from them. When you finally formed your own beliefs which are different from your family’s, most of your family cut you out of their lives.

    You are pro choice, they are pro life, you support gay marriage, they oppose gay marriage, you love your family regardless of these beliefs, they (those who cut you out of their lives).. don’t love you regardless of your beliefs. Most of your family cut you out of their lives almost two years ago, and your daily thoughts still “always go back to their rejection”, you still feel the  “raw pain” as a result of their rejection, and you can’t allow yourself to be happy for as long as their rejection stands. You want them to accept you, to take you back into their lives.

    You experience a problem with binge eating. Sometimes, when you manage to eat healthily (to not binge), you feel proud, but soon after, you feel “guilty for feeling proud” as you ask yourself: “how can I be proud of myself when I am rejected”? Following that guilt, you binge eat.

    In a previous romantic relationship you cheated on a man, and your ex husband repeatedly took advantage of you sexually, if I understand correctly. As a result, you associate sex with guilt and self-hate. When you have great sex with your current husband, you “feel peace, loved, and close to him”, but soon after, you feel guilty and you hate yourself.

    “Any advice, book recommendation, anything would be greatly appreciated”- unrequited love is a painful experience at any age, but especially when it happens in childhood: a young child always loves the adults or the older siblings who take care of her, her love for them is unconditional: it doesn’t matter if they are tall or short, or what their personal preferences, feelings and quirks. All that matters is that they love her.  On the other hand, the older siblings or adults in the family are often not satisfied with the young child’s unconditional love. They criticize the child, shame her for what they prefer to not see or hear.. their love is conditional.

    I am guessing that when most of your family cut you out of their lives because of your political beliefs formed in adulthood, it was not the first time they rejected you/ cut you out of their lives in one way or another. When a child is rejected by her care takers/ older siblings, it creates a deep emotional pain, which is what you may have meant by “raw pain”.

    When that happens in childhood, the child feels ashamed, guilty and angry- angry at those who reject her, and angry at herself for being (so she believes) worthy of their rejection. She tries hard to earn their acceptance in all the little ways available for a child, and when she repeatedly fails, the raw pain solidifies. The hurt child turned hurt adult, tries to soothe the raw pain by eating a lot, or by impulsively doing this or that to make herself feel better, but the pain never heals because of acts and behaviors that long-term, make us feel worse, not better.

    There is a poem I like and recommend to you, it’s called Hokusai says, Poem by Roger Keyes.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by anita.
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