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  • #369727
    Elisa
    Participant

    Hi there,

    And thank you for reading what I am writing just now.

    I guess I am turning here for support and for clarity.

    I have been in a relationship for 3 years and it seems like 3 days sometimes.

    I met my ex partner and fell in love, and it turned out that he had 2 children from two previous relationships.

    I told myself that we could work out somehow.

    Throughout the relationship he has given me the silent treatment often, saying that he wasn’t sure that he wanted a relationship at all. I thought it was his pain speaking and his avoidance tactic as he always seemed to be hurting when he was in that state.

    I guess every time he was hurting he didn’t know how to deal with it, and I tried to be there to help him.

    I’ve learned not to take things personal but sometimes couldn’t help to think that there must be something wrong with me.

    If I showed too much emotion he would respond by ignoring me for a week, and I learned to not take that personal etiher.

    One moment he wanted to marry me and the next he thought I was the source of all his problems.

    One moment he was in love and then the other he angry.

    I really tried to accept them to the point that I sacrificed my own needs and values.

    In fact I don’t really know what they are.

    My whole life I’ve been enganged in solving and healing and changing others that I barely know myself.

    So I started therapy 3 months back and it has really helped me see my mind processes clearer.

    I am an emotional and intense being but try to turn to myself for support.

    I guess a hug when you’re upset was all I wished for.

    Sometimes his remark would hurt like hell, and he once said “I hurt others before they hurt me”.

    He said today that he wanted to break up me because I’ve changed.

    It feels like the illusion of a relationship has shattered and that perhaps I was the only one there to hold the relationship up.

    I guess it’s painful when someone you love turns around in a cold matter and just says that he doesn’t want a relationship anymore albeit brave.

    So many times it strenghtened my belief that it is something wrong with me.

    And even now, when it’s ended.

    I wonder why I allow myself to stay if I am not welcome.

    I wonder why I couldn’t make it work.

     

    Much love.

    #369728
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    You wrote that you turned here for support and clarity. About support, you wrote: “a hug when you’re upset was all I wished for”. I am sending you a virtual hug from one human who knows pain to another human who is in pain. I hope you feel better soon, hope that therapy will help you further. Here, on your thread, you are welcome to post anytime, express yourself as much as you feel comfortable doing. When you post- I will attentively read and reply to you.

    About clarity- I will be glad to help you best I can to gain more and more clarity. For this purpose I ask the following questions based on what you shared; answer if you want to. If you don’t feel comfortable answering any of the questions- don’t answer.

    1. “it turned out that he had 2 children from two previous relationships”- is this something he hid from you, didn’t reveal to you.. has he been involved in his children lives/ financially supporting them?

    2. “If I showed too much emotion, he would respond by ignoring me for a week”- can you give me an example or two of incidents when you showed too much emotion, (in what ways did you show too much emotion, ex., crying, yelling?), and in what ways did he ignore you for a week or so? How did it come about that connection was resumed?

    3. “One moment he wanted to marry me and the next he thought I was the source of all his problems”- did he elaborate on his claim that you were the source of all his problems: what problems, how were you responsible for those? Did he make that claim soon after suggesting to marry you?

    4. “One moment he was in love and then the other he was angry”- can you give an example or two of such incidents?

    5. “He said today that he wanted to break up with me because I’ve changed”- did he say in what ways he believed that you changed?

    6. “it strengthened my belief that it is something wrong with me”- can you elaborate on this belief you have, that there is something wrong with you: when did this belief originate and in what circumstances?

    * I will be back to the computer in about 15 hours from now.

    anita

     

    r.

    #369752
    Elisa
    Participant

    Thank you Anita from the depths of my heart. I felt your virtual hug. Such kindness in your words.

    Of course, I don’t think I gave sufficient information at all and it must all sound quite unclear.

    I contemplated a bit later after I wrote this and wondered that he wanted me to commit to spending my future with him but I thought it was such a decision to make when I had time after time, experienced that he didn’t want to be with me. He used to ignore me for days, and be angry and I would feel that I was a problem in his life, a burden. Although I have really started to see that it is an open wound in me that is beginning to heal (which is wonderful!) and that I am now able to put more boundaries than ever before. I felt in order to be good (to be loved) I would need to accept everything. I guess a part of me still feels that way, that I am somehow the issue why he can’t change. It’s beautiful how this relation has really made me see what’s in me that is still wounded. Perhaps I am worthy of love without bending myself out of shape. I that I can give that love for self before anyone else does it. He ignored me this weekend when he was with his little girl, and said that we can spend a nice day on Sunday together, but he I never heard from him until later. It reminded me of times when he made plans with me but they never followed through. I realised the other day that in my life, all I ever wanted to feel was special, but I have chosen partners that somhow made me feel less than special. I also have shame around wishing to feel special.

     

    1. “it turned out that he had 2 children from two previous relationships”- is this something he hid from you, didn’t reveal to you.. has he been involved in his children lives/ financially supporting them?

    He revealed it straight away to me. He is a kind and gentle man in many regards and try to be there for his children. He tries his best to support his children financially. One of them lives 4 hours away so he can only see him every other month. The other lives closer and he sees her 1-3 times a week. He is a good father, really tries to give, at least one of the child, a good supportive upbringing. He thinks that I, for the future, am not that kind of person that wants to settle down and be with his children. I am 33 years old so I am no longer a child, I have never known if I want children, I have mainly focused on my spiritual ways in life and find great fulfillment doing that. I just don’t know. I don’t know if I wanted to settle down with someone elses children either. He is determined never to have more children, although sometimes he has shared that he would like to with me ( I perceived that this time was when he was deeply in love). I totally respect that he doesn’t want more children but somehow I feel that I will need to once again accomodate him but that I can not share this with him. Perhaps I feel that if he was more open to the idea it would have been easier for me to make a decision.

    2. “If I showed too much emotion, he would respond by ignoring me for a week”- can you give me an example or two of incidents when you showed too much emotion, (in what ways did you show too much emotion, ex., crying, yelling?), and in what ways did he ignore you for a week or so? How did it come about that connection was resumed?

    So sometimes if I am overwhelmed I react by crying, I remember once that all in the same day, I lost my flat, I just finished a final end of year project for college, stopped taking birth control pills, and I just ended up crying that day. I think I regress back into a child sometimes and sends signals for him to take my pain away. He just retreats back and left me that night because he thought I was overreacting. We live in a commune together so usually he just stops talking to me and gives me the cold shoulder. We have different rooms so he just spends his time there. Don’t get me wrong, he has also grown and I have seen times when he has been with me. I guess I trigger something inside of him. I can understand this, but I don’t feel that sometimes he tries to understand me, I have experienced a lot of shame for my reaction, which is essentially my trauma. I’m slowly letting shame go now, understanding that it’s not mind. I try to feel the feelings which shame covers.

     

    3.  moment he wanted to marry me and the next he thought I was the source of all his problems”- did he elaborate on his claim that you were the source of all his problems: what problems, how were you responsible for those? Did he make that claim soon after suggesting to marry you?

    Yeah he says sometimes that we should either break up or get married. That he would change if we actually commited to one another. I guess that he has never said that directly, it was more was I was sensing. He has just said that he feels that I am too much of a responsibillity, that he feels that sometimes he has too much responsibillity, that I am just too much for him. I feel from my side, that I never really ask for anything. Perhpas just spending some time together. I guess he feels overwhelmed by life and just wants to hide away. When he is in that state he just wants to cut me out.

    4. “One moment he was in love and then the other he was angry”- can you give an example or two of such incidents?

    So that is span of a week. He would be very loving and I would feel that we were quite a strong couple. Sometimes he would even cook for me, wee signs that he wanted to cherish me and for me to be happy. Then the other half of the week he would suddenly become distant and I would barely be able to talk to him, and if I did (which I normally do) as I have a need to fix things, to ease the pain I’m feeling. It would end up with him saying something hurtful and I would be crying. If I leave him long enough he usually comes back saying sorry. Sometimes his sorry is insincere and sometimes it is from the heart.

    5. “He said today that he wanted to break up with me because I’ve changed”- did he say in what ways he believed that you changed?

    He says that I’ve changed since going to therapy, that I am starting to accept myself more. And of course, that makes me question this relationship and what I would like for the future. The other week he said that he thought that the therapy was a bad idea and now it’s a good idea. I guess that we all have different sides to us. I see his kind side and I fell in love with him. I guess I feel confused when he changes his mind. But I am slowly learning not to listen to him when he is in a triggered state.

    6. “it strengthened my belief that it is something wrong with me”- can you elaborate on this belief you have, that there is something wrong with you: when did this belief originate and in what circumstance?

    I never felt an emotional connection when I grew up. I never knew what do to with my emotions so I guess I learned to supress them. I never really felt seen and heard. My relation with my sister was not helpful, she used to be quite jealous and blame me for things that had nothing to do with me. I guess I internalised the feeling that you are not that important, as noone wants to see or hear you, I am in a real way. I kept on choosing the same path in intimate relations in my adulthood. I just thought this one would be a bit different as we are both practising spiritual teachings. And I still have strong sense that I should be able to make it work.

    He came into my room last night after he broke up with me and wanted to share intimacy, I knew that I should have said no, but I don’t want to hurt him and a part of me still wants to be with him. It happened from a sense of compulsion. I wish I had the strength to just say no and perhaps just hugged him. He sounds so confused. He shared that one hand he wants to be with me and that his gutfeeling says yes. But also that he wants to be by himself.

    It’s been the same patterns for 3 years. I guess I thought he would want to be with me by now.

    I wished that I could have put more boundaries earlier and perhaps given the clear sign of what’s acceptable. Perhaps only then would he have changed. I can’t help to have a part of me that thinks it’s my fault and that I am the problem. That why can I not have the power to tell him what I am worth.

     

    Thank you so much.

    #369756
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    You are very welcome. You shared about your childhood: “I never felt an emotional connection when I grew up. I never knew what to do with my emotions, so I guess I learned to suppress them. I never really felt seen or heard… I internalised the feeling that (I) am not that important, as no one wants to see or hear (me)”, and about your sister: “she used to be quite jealous and blame me for things that had nothing to do with me”.

    My thoughts: as your emotions were repressed, they were removed from your awareness. In your quest for Clarity, you need to become more aware of your emotions. A robot is a piece of machinery that operates on logic alone; a human is an animal that operates primarily on emotion, and partly on logic. Logic alone can not bring clarity to a human being on issues of relationships. In other words, for as long as you are cut off from your emotions, you are confused.

    Also, in your childhood, two core beliefs originated in you: (1) that you are not important, and (2) that you are at fault. Both these core beliefs were not true then and are not true now, and they need to change. It is difficult to change core beliefs that were formed in childhood, but it is possible. I will be glad to share with you, over time, my process of changing my own core beliefs (that I was not important and that I was at fault, same as yours).

    In my effort to understand you better, I re-read your previous thread of May 2016, 4.5 years ago. You were about 28 at that time. You wrote about your boyfriend at the time (I’ll refer to him as B2) and your confusion: “we have been together for over 3 years.. The more time went, the more confused I got… My boyfriend cried and went crazy and said it was all a lie. So confused again… he (B2) says I am hurting him.. he went hysteric and cried and cried and even trying to throw up several times. It ended up with me feeling sorry for him, although it felt wrong.. I am so confused that I do not know right from wrong.. everyone loves this guy and thinks he’s great- so I must be the bad one in it all. And who knows“.

    You shared about a previous boyfriend (I’ll refer to him as B1): “he.. stalked me, forced me to have intercourse and so on.. not as ‘bad’ as (B2), But his (B2’s)  behaviour is definitely more confusing”.

    Four and a half years later, you shared that you’ve been in a relationship with your current boyfriend (I will refer to him as B3). You shared about him: “Throughout the relationship he has given me the silent treatment often, saying that he wasn’t sure that he wanted a relationship at all… One moment he wanted to marry me and the next he thought I was the source of all his problems. One moment he was in love and then the other, he is angry… he made plans with me but they never followed through.. he says sometimes that we should either break up or get married… I guess that he has never said that directly, it was more what I was sensing… he feels that I am too much of a responsibility.. that I am just too much for him… he feels overwhelmed by life and just wants to hide away.. When he is in that state he just wants to cut me out.. (in the) span of a week.. he would be very loving.. then the other half of the week he would suddenly become distant… I feel confused when he changes his mind… He came into my room last night after he broke up with me and wanted to share intimacy, I knew that I should have said no, but I don’t want to hurt him.. It happened from a sense of compulsion.. He sounds so confused.. It’s been the same patterns for 3 years… I can’t help to have a part of me that thinks it’s my fault and that I am the problem”.

    More of my thoughts: seems to me that B1, B2 and B3 were/ are all wrong for you, and that the words and behaviors of B2 and B3 were indeed confusing. It is impossible for you to gain clarity when in a relationship with an unstable, unpredictable person. In your quest for clarity, you need to be either single (not in a relationship), or in a relationship with a stable, predictable person who is clear, not confusing!

    You wrote about you and B3: “We live in a commune together… We have different rooms so he just spends his time there.. we are both practising spiritual teachings”-

    – can you tell  me what kind of a commune you are referring to, and whether the residents of this commune suffer from disabilities… and/ or whether powerful drugs are used in the commune?

    anita

    #369805
    Elisa
    Participant

    Again, thank you for your insights and your warmth. Also, for sharing about your own path of healing, it’s inspiring.

    Yes you are right, I need to work on my awareness of my emotions. And also, have the courage to start listening and responding accordingly. I find that I want to escape taking 100% responsibillity, and I wonder what stops me. I have this voice in my head “How dare you make any decision like that, who do you think you are?”. I guess I have internalised a voice that thinks I am too emotional and sensitive. I express this is a sing and song writer, and I have never got asked to play in front of my partner, he mostly only shared negative things about my passion for music. I am looking for validation outside myself.

    And not being important is very true. I guess by me taking 100% responsibillity I would show myself that I do matter and that I am important. Perhaps that’s the first step of actually healing. I am worthy of being treated with respect and that I am worthy of love.

    I can see the word confused a lot. I think I was riddeld by confusion for much part of this relationship. I also, take responsibillity over myself being confused too. I am left sometimes confused in our interactions. I guess when I finally went to see the therapist I realised that I can not live in a relationship were I feel confused. I have a loving relation with friends and family which do not leave me feeling confused. As a part of me looks up to my partner, I am hypervigilant in everything he says. Yesterday he told me that I am a complex being and didn’t give me an explanation to what he meant. I think we have a different way of dealing with thinks but sometimes I get the impression that he thinks that his way of dealing with things is the right way.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the relationship and your loving support.

    I have a feeling that when I hear thos words, that I want to defend the relation and say that it’s not bad. I still have this need to soothe and support him. To protect him from the pain.

    Yes of course, it’s a buddhist communion were everyone practise Buddhist psychology. There’s no disabillitites or drugs use here. Hope that makes sense.

     

    Thank you <3

    #369809
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    You are welcome.

    “I find that I want to escape 100% responsibility, and I wonder what stops me”- fear probably, fear is a powerful stopping power.

    “I have this voice in my head ‘How dare you make any decision like that, who do you think you are?.. too emotional and sensitive'”- counter that voice with another voice: who are you???

    That voice that tells you that you don’t have the ethical right, perhaps, to make decisions regarding your own body and your own life- that’s someone else’s voice, a voice you heard as a child, a voice that was absorbed into your brain. A parent or a sibling, someone in your childhood hurt you and then complained when you expressed the hurt they caused, accusing you of being too emotional and sensitive.

    “I guess by taking 100% responsibility I would show myself that I do mater and that I am important”- the fear I mentioned earlier, the fear that probably is what has stopped you from taking that responsibility needs to be addressed before and as you start taking 100% responsibility.

    * Can you detail for me what you mean by “taking 100% responsibility”?

    “I am worthy of being treated with respect and that I am worthy of love”- treat yourself in ways that fit this statement even when you don’t feel that this statement is true.

    “I can see the word confused a lot.. I was riddled by confusion for much of this relationship.. I am left sometimes confused in our interactions”- ask me anytime you need clarification, as in: what did you mean by what you wrote here .. or there.

    “Yesterday he told me that I am a complex being and didn’t give me an explanation to what he meant”- if you asked him for an explanation and he refused to give it to you, then he was mean. It is mean to make a comment to another that may be negative- in a vague way. If he has a problem with you, he should tell you what it is specifically.

    The reason I asked if you live in a commune as in a home for disabled people, and I meant mentally disabled/ mentally ill people is because of your own confusion and your description of your current boyfriend’s unstable, unpredictable, impulsive and unreasonable behaviors: “one moment he wanted to marry me and the next he thought I was the source of all his problems. One moment he was in love and then the other, he is angry.. When he is in that state he just wants to cut me out.. he would be very loving.. then the other half of the week he would suddenly become distant… He came into my room last night after he broke up with me and wanted to share intimacy.. He sounds so confused.. he feels overwhelmed by life and just wants to hide away”.

    So,  I thought maybe he is mentally ill and/ or uses powerful drugs like methamphetamines. It is not mutually exclusive: for a person to be a Buddhist living in a commune and be mentally ill. Is your boyfriend mentally ill?

    anita

     

     

     

    #369862
    Elisa
    Participant

    I just wrote a long reply but it didn’t send properly so I will try to remember what I wrote!

    A truly appreciate your insights.

    I will share about my experience about my partner as I don’t think he suffers from a psychological condition. He was raised in a household with two alcoholics and a bullying older brother. His upbringing sounds more about survival than thriving. He then later started taking drugs and became somewhat addicted (at the weekends) and started taking steroids for his appearance. Then he found, in his mid 20s, Buddhism and it transformed his life. He has a healing relationship with his family now. His mum and dad are still together but I wouldn’t say their relationship is a loving or affectionate one. I think they struggle to understand each other. So he is been through a lot, and sometimes I wonder if he has adopted a shame personality, that comes out sometimes. It is almost like he fulfills his own prophecy by acting a certain way that induce shame. Saying “I don’t like the way I am with you”, sounds like he has no control over the way he is. He retreats back into a little child, and before anyone else hurts him he will hurt them. And he feels intense shame. He deals with things very differently from me. The other week whe I came from therapy, I explained that I was going through a few things but that I was ok. He started to explain how he didn’t think therapy works and that I am becoming more sad. He totally ignored me, and just went into a defensive mode about what I am doing is “wrong”. I felt intense shame. But realised that it wasn’t mine. Underneath I felt hurt. Only now do I realised how much shame I have been carrying around.

    I would add that he fulfills the condtions of an avoidant attachment style. Perhaps he is trying to avoid looking a their own feelings and blame it on someone else. Only he would know that. When he speaks he sounds like he got everything together, that he understands a lot. Sometimes it doesn’t add up with reality. It sometimes feels that it knowledge not embodied.

    A month ago, we shared a truly beautiful day, were I felt he was utterly vulnerable with me. We laid down out denses and shared what was on our hearts. He took full responsibillity over the way he has acted in this relationship and he managed to do so by seperating himself from the actions. I guess that’s when I realised that if I ever want to have relationship, I would like to have one were we don’t have to pretend and act from our defenses. Perhpas being vulnerable and allowing ourselves to heal, but maybe that only exists in fairytales. I have a feeling like I am always asking for too much. And perhaps that if only I change just a little bit more then he can become more vulnerable, it feels like it’s my responsibillity. If only I changed.

    100% responsibillity is when one listens to the gut feeling, and trust it. And take the consequences that follows it. Living lightly and being authentic. And accepting were one is at the present moment, without shame or guilt. I have a vision of stepping into my own power. Whenever I wish to do so, the voice comes up, who do you think you are?

    Fear, I think it’s coming from abandonment, rejection and not feeling special. I long for feeling special, I realised that my whole life I have worked for making others feel special, I have pleased everyone that I have met. I realised that it was an refelction of my need/ lack of feeling special. There is also guilt/ shame attached to it. How dare you? I chose a man that has two ex girlfriend and two children, that I rarely can come first. But he has spend a lot of time with me, he says he puts first (although of course he puts his children first). I don’t want to feel like I am taking their dads attention away from them, that would be horrific! I guess that I already feel abandoned in relationship sometimes.

    I retreat to a little child, totally vulnerable and helpless. Being abandoned feels like someone took away your worth and that you are only a half person. Worthless and hopeless. That my happiness is taken away from me and now I can’t be happy anymore.

    I contemplated this the other day, if these relationship fulfilled some form of addiction for me. As they are so up and down. Drama. When he comes towards me I feel ok and when he leaves I feel withrawal. It doesn’t seem to be good for my health.

    Much love.

    #369873
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    I am sorry you lost your long reply, I know how frustrating that is.

    About a man who is “one moment he wanted to marry me and the next, he thought I was the source of all his problems. One moment he was in love, and then the other, he is angry.. very loving.. then .. suddenly distant”, a man who “feels overwhelmed by life and just wants to hide away”-

    – you wrote:  “I don’t think he suffers from a psychological condition”.

    You don’t think that he may suffer from an anxiety disorder, a mood disorder perhaps- going from one extreme (marry you, very loving) to another extreme (blame you for all his problems, suddenly distant)?

    “He was raised in a household with two alcoholics and a bullying older brother. His upbringing sounds more about survival than thriving”- children do not come out of such a childhood mentally unharmed.

    “He feels intense shame” => He needs effective psychotherapy.

    “he didn’t think therapy works”=> He will not be getting the help that he needs.

    “before anyone else hurts him, he will hurt them”=> He is hurting you.

    “He totally ignored me, and just went into.. what I am doing is ‘wrong’. I felt intense shame”- this is one way he is hurting you: ignoring you and blaming you. It hurts to be ignored/ abandoned, again and again. It hurts to be blamed for doing wrong by a person who is doing you wrong.

    “When he speaks he sounds like he got everything together.. it does not add to reality”- lots of mentally unwell people talk impressively. He is far from having everything together because, like you wrote, he suffers from “intense shame” and he mistreats you.

    “When he comes toward me I feel ok and when he leaves I feel withdrawal. It doesn’t seem to be good for my health”- he is not good for your health. He is not good for anyone’s mental health because he hurts people, because he suffers from intense shame and passes on that shame to others, and because he will not get help.

    “Then he found, in his mid 20s. Buddhism and it transformed his life”- in some ways perhaps it transformed his life: maybe he stopped taking drugs, maybe he became a vegetarian, maybe he moved out of his parents into a commune- but Buddhism did not heal him.

    “100% responsibility is when one listens to the gut feeling, and trusts it.. Living lightly and being authentic.. without shame and guilt. I have a vision of stepping into my own power. Whenever I wish to do so, the voice comes up, who do you think you are?”-

    – that voice (“who do you think you are?“) is deep within you, so deep that it is almost a gut voice/ a “gut feeling”- it is powerful and and very persistent. Notice this voice when you hear it, and articulate a new voice: I am the most important person in my life. Counter that old voice with a new voice, every time.

    If you persist with replacing the old voice with a new voice, and choose correct behavior, over time- your shame and guilt will lessen. It is possible for you to one day no longer feel shame and guilt.

    One correct behavior, as I see it, is to end your relationship with this man, B3. There will be more to do, in your quest to “live lightly and being authentic”, but I don’t see how a person can get healthier when in a relationship with a person who keeps you (and himself) unhealthy.

    anita

     

    #369940
    Elisa
    Participant

    You don’t think that he may suffer from an anxiety disorder, a mood disorder perhaps- going from one extreme (marry you, very loving) to another extreme (blame you for all his problems, suddenly distant)?

    He has suffered from depression from time to time in life, and I believe that he has whilst I’ve been with him. I imagine that he does repress feelings and justify it with teachings of Buddha, as sometimes his behaviour seem unhealthy. Like someone that doesn’t deal with their emotions.

    It hurts to be blamed for doing wrong by a person who is doing you wrong. This was such an intense emotion. I think I don’t know what healthy behaviour is anymore. It seems that I tell myself that I accept things, but somehow they manifest physically in the body.

    I am the most important person in my life. Counter that old voice with a new voice, every time. This was beautiful thank you.

    I wonder why I need to be the one that adapts to him. If I honestly look at the relationship. It was always about him having the time, the need or the want to see me. It rarely felt like I had any say in it. I understand that he was busy of course but how could I ask for what I wanted or even needed. Why was there a block in me. Or did I tell him, and it was dismissed. Sorry, I’m not making  much sense here.

    I have repeated this pattern for a long time now. Feelings of shame, not good enough and that’s something wrong with me. I understand that these are wounds in me that needs to be healed. I thought I could do it with him. But the more I try to change the more intense his behaviour seem to be. More avoidant and more ignoring. And when he is kind I think, that it wasn’t so bad after all. No relationship is perfect. But I am starting to realise how it is actually affecting me.

    I realised today that I have a need to protect people (out of attachment). I  was responsible for my parents happiness when I was younger. I needed to take their pain away. To protect them. I’ve carried this into my relationship. I see their vulnerability, and I need to heal them. It’s my responsibillity and I won’t leave until I have. I realied that this is not love. It’s a broken little girl thinking that it’s her responsibillity to take others people pain away. Maybe love would be to let go, and let him grow by himself. Because really we only grow by ourselves.

    I am left with the fear of lonliness because it triggers my feeling that there is something wrong with me. There is this empty feelings, that feels like hopelessness and helplessness. I know this feeling very well from childhood. And I want to find ways not to feel this feeling. Perhaps this is the time. I’m ready for it.

    I felt abandoned many times in this relationship and sometimes it put me in deep states of fear. I remember hysterically crying sometimes. And know I finally understand why. I was abandoning myself through letting him doing in to me. And so many times he didn’t say sorry, that he was making excuses. But sometimes he was sincerely sorry.

    I just told myself that this relationship has to work. I am going to make it work not matter what. I will understand him and meet his needs. It hurts that I can’t make it work.

     

     

    #369941
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    I will be able to read your recent post and reply when I am back to the computer, in about 15 hours from now. You are welcome to post again before I return.

    anita

    #370024
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisa:

    Your motivations, emotions and behaviors in this relationship, with this man, parallel your motivations, emotions and behaviors with your parents:

    “I wonder why I need to be the one that adapts to him… It was always about him having the time, the need or the want to see me. It rarely felt like I had any say in it”-

    -when a parent ignores the child or rejects the child otherwise, the child is the one with the need and want to see the unavailable parents, and they are the ones without that need and want. The child has no say in what her parents choose to do. As the child tries to get her parents’ loving attention, she is not able to do so by asserting herself, so she does what she is able to do: to passively adapt to her parent/s in every possible way, doing everything in her power to accommodate and please the parent.

    “I just told myself that this relationship has to work. I am going to make it work no matter what. I will understand him and meet his  needs”-

    -a young child is completely dependent on her parents: to be fed, sheltered, cared for. For a child, the parents are the only ones who can provide her with her essential needs. She does not perceive having other parents because she..  only have this one parent, or these two parents. And so, the child has to make it work no matter what: she will focus on what her parents need, meet their needs best she can- she’ll do anything and everything because there is no where else for her to go. Fast forward, you don’t fully realize that you are not dependent on this man for your physical needs, and for your emotional needs- you don’t see an alternative relationship- it is this man or nobody.

    “Feelings of shame, not good enough and that’s something wrong with me. I understand that these are wounds in me that needs to be healed. I thought I could do it with him”- not if he reopens your wounds, not if he adds to your wounds.

    “I was responsible for my parents’ happiness when I was younger. I needed to take their pain away. To protect them”- you needed to protect them so that they will start protecting you. You needed to take their pain away, so that they will be able to take your pain away. You needed to make them happy, so that they will make you happy in return.

    “It’s a broken little girl thinking that it’s her responsibility to take other people’s pain away”- a little girl- turned woman- who has been in pain for so long, and still looks up to someone else to take her pain away. She figures that she can take a man’s pain away, in return- he’ll take her pain away, fix what is broken in her.

    “There is this empty feelings, that feels like hopelessness and helplessness. I know this feeling very well from childhood. And I want to find ways not to feel this feeling. Perhaps this is the time. I’m ready for it”- to no longer feel helpless, you will need to effectively help yourself every day. This way, you will build confidence in yourself as being helpful to yourself,  no longer helpless. Confidence in your ability to take good care of yourself will fill in that emptiness, and fix that brokenness.

    Part of taking care of yourself is making choices regarding who is in your life and in what capacity. You need people in your life who at the least, do not harm you. You know of the Buddhist principle do no harm. If anyone in your life (a parent, friend, boyfriend, etc.) repeatedly harms you- your primary responsibility is to protect yourself from that person by not engaging with that person, not giving him or her further opportunity to harm you.

    anita

     

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