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Comparing, Feeling Inadequate and Insulted for being who I am

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  • #358618
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi both,

    @anita, yes, I do see how this is the case. It really does upset me, it is true, to realize it.

    Does any of what I related above suggest a possible reason, though, behind my feelings? It’s hard to convey over the internet, and harder still since you don’t know me personally, all the other things that go into making me who I am. But I suppose I am looking for someone to say, yes, this was not a nice way to be treated. Does this make sense?

    @Kiawaki, I have had this suggested before. You know, I think probably my idealized notion of romance came from what I was told about my parents’ meeting and marriage… I grew up thinking that the guy made these romantic gestures, the woman reciprocated, and then it was a done deal. Obviously I knew this wasn’t always the case but, I mean i was pretty much low when he came along and wanted to be wanted, you know?

    Regarding my ruminating lately on the message board… well I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I guess I’m still looking around for people to fight my corner, in a sense, to support my feelings and be on my side. But, in general I am way beyond him, not looking for any kind of reconciliation at all. Nor am I still pining after him or anything.

    Instead, I am trying to build my resilience toward life and especially those situations when things go awry, or relationships end badly (anyone else I’ve ever lost contact with has just faded out… no drama). So I think in relating these stories I’m looking for others’ perspectives, and someone to say, “Yeah, makes sense that you struggled there.” I hate to think I sound whiny or like the problem, you know? I know I acted a little irrationally but like, it was very stressful!

    LW

    #358624
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lannawannabe:

    I didn’t understand most of your recent short post to me. I think that I understood this part: “I am looking for someone to say, yes, this was not a nice way to be treated”- yes, it was not a nice way to be treated. He treated you rudely and selfishly, and I told you that before, repeatedly.

    If you want to explain the three lines of your most recent post addressed to me (your response to my mental/ physical post to you) more clearly, please do.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by anita.
    #358627
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi anita,

    My apologies if I came across as frustrated. I think I have posted much more here than I probably should have, allowing these questions to take up more mental space than they have done for some time. I find myself posting here when I am experiencing a very low moment and need a release. It’s a diary of sorts for me.

    What I meant was, yes I see how it has been more an “in my own head” relationship than a real physical one. What I meant was , it makes me sad to think I have allowed it to become that. I have a tendency to ruminate (couldn’t you guess! hah) so this is, I suppose, not without some basis in just who I am. However, I would like to learn to move beyond that. I am working on it.

    So, how do others cope? How can I forgive myself behaving very foolishly over this person and just let go?

     

    LW

    #358628
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lannawannabe:

    You are welcome to post anytime, at any length. And at any time you post just so to vent, so to express yourself, not wanting advice or any input at all (“It’s a diary of sorts for me”), say so in your post, and I will not respond to any post where you state so. Also, whenever I ask you a question that you don’t feel like answering, don’t answer (it is fine with me).

    You wrote that you realize that this relationship was more an “in my own head” relationship, and it makes you sad that it was, and that it is still happening.. in your head, or as you said (and I didn’t have to guess, because you said it yourself), you have a tendency to ruminate. You wrote that you want “to learn to move beyond that”.

    You asked: “How can I forgive myself behaving very foolishly over this person and just let go?”- as a person who used to ruminate a lot myself, I’d say that you can’t “just let go”, no matter how much you want to just let go and be done with this relationship happening in your head.

    “To learn to move beyond that” reads possible to me, because I have done that myself, moved beyond being stuck in my own head. I did it, over time and practice by figuratively taking an elevator down from my head to my body, bringing my focus from the mental to the physical. I did it in yoga, in tai chi, in following guided meditations, in doing mindfulness exercises.

    It takes persistent practice over a long time, and before you know it (months from now), you’ll notice a significant change for the better.

    Does this make sense to you?

    anita

     

    #358630
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi anita,

    Thanks, and glad to clear that up 🙂 I was a bit frazzled, concerned I had annoyed you. This site is a kind of outlet for me, perhaps not always the best (sometimes I should be out doing something ‘productive’ instead of inside thinking unproductively), but in general a safe space and I always enjoy reading your replies.

    I worry I tend toward playing the victim. I don’t like this behaviour in myself, but when I see it in others I try to show compassion. I think I need to show some compassion to myself, as well. I heard a quote recently, unrelated to relationships but quite apt, something like… we don’t get annoyed with ourselves for getting lost in a place without a map and the same should go for life’s experiences… We aren’t born knowing exactly how to behave and handle every situation.

    And yes, I may tend to have strong emotions but how I can see this in a positive light? Perhaps I can say, well I have a strong moral compass. But I will remember to keep this in check and not moralize over others. We’re all on our own paths.

    Yes, this last point does make sense and I like the elevator metaphor. I briefly saw a therapist who explained how sometimes, when our frontal lobe (thinking, reasoning) gets over activated we “relapse” to lizard brain and go can into fight or flight, or shut down mode. She was suggesting this could explain the tendency to freak out, crash, and hide away. The idea is to keep an even balance. [My explanation of brain biology isn’t the best but you get the gist!]

    In the past year I’ve sought a lot of mindfulness activities. I did pottery, and have taken up my gardening again. I like doing these things which create something beautiful.

    LW

    #358632
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lannawannabe:

    “when our frontal lobe (thinking, reasoning) gets over activated we ‘relapse’ to lizard brain and go .. into fight or flight, or shut down mode”- it’s more like when we are scared for a long time, aka anxious, then our thinking brain gets over-activated in effort to solve the danger that we perceive, to make the danger go away. But  overthinking doesn’t make the perceived danger go away, instead it maintains the anxiety, causes it to keep happening.

    Here is a possibility of what you perceive to be danger in regard to this man and the short real-life relationship with him: it  may be that the danger you perceive is that you are intellectually and physically inadequate. Because if you are, then how are you going to have a good life. So the danger, in other words, is being forever lost in a bad life because of personal inadequacy.

    This short real-life relationship is (according to my theory presented here) proof that you are indeed “inadequate.. being who I am” (taken from the title of your thread), in your mind, that is.

    So, fearing that, your thinking brain goes overboard, trying to figure out.. trying to find a way to undo this supposed proof.

    Am I making sense to you now?

    anita

    #358633
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi anita,

    Yes!!! This is certainly a major concern.I have a very analytical mind and I try to figure out every problem in this way. The problem is, I am dealing with human beings and not computers! Sometimes there is no way of sorting out eveyr single kink and event. Sh*t happens, there’s not always an explanation. But 9 times out of 10, it’s not really anyone’s fault, it just is.

     

    It was true that what helped was getting attention from guys (not just for my looks but for my personality too) which seemed to prove I was totally date-able.

    As a bit of context, and this is now many years in the past but I once knew a man who I thought was interested in me, and I was interested him so I told him so. But he soon met a woman I viewed as my better, more extroverted, confident, attractive. Seeing her take his interest was, for me (at the time), proof that I was not enough, or that men wanted more. Truth was, I wanted men who were more than he could be, do you see what I mean?

    I think my self confidence is such that I often really internalize what people say to me. There are things from many years ago that still come to mind occasionally and sometimes they still rattle me. Once I was called “aloof” by an older man (mid 50s, I was a teenager) who worked at the place I worked and whose attention I perceived at the time as creepy. My strategy was to try and keep conversations short, as a way of protecting myself I guess (we were working alone in a secluded area). Even though I didn’t exactly like him, his estimation about my character stuck with me. Aloofness has, often, a negative connotation. I figured he meant snobby or rude, but really I was just a nervous 14 year old. So when guys at school didn’t seem to notice me either… or get pushed away by my shy and reserved nature… I figured I was the problem.

    LW

    #358636
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lannawannabe:

    I will tell you of my impression of you: I think that you are very intelligent and you write well. There is absolutely nothing inadequate about your IQ, in my humble opinion. The problem as I see it, is that you think too fast and you don’t stay anywhere (in your thinking) long enough to process information and the feelings  involved.

    You want to solve your problems in life, I know. You want to feel better, I understand. Problem is you cannot solve the problems that need to be solved thinking as fast as you  do: it’s like you are all over the place and nowhere in particular. Too scattered, at least when it comes to the topics we are discussing here, on your thread.

    There is a Buddhist term called the monkey mind (buddhisma2z. com): “The monkey mind is a term sometimes used by the Buddha to describe the agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behavior of ordinary human consciousness.. ‘Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind, or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night”.

    To function adequately in life, you have to mentally slow down/ discipline that monkey mind. Your hope is in slowing down and it is possible for you to slow down through a daily practice of some of the things I suggested to you earlier. You are welcome to post here anytime, of course, at any length, but the real work you need to do, the difficult but life changing work is in what I  call a Mindfulness Daily Practice Plan (MDPP, I like acronyms).

    anita

    #358637
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I suppose I have been trying to treat this dialogue too much as a therapist relationship, which is both unfair to you and unproductive for me. If I seem to be laying out too much information or scattered in my thinking, this is not the case. Rather I am trying to paint a fuller picture of where I am coming from re: relationships and men.

    I think I will step back from posting here for a while. I’m not sure what I am looking for in posting but in general I think obsessing over long-dead facts in my life, and dredging them up for strangers on the internet to assess, is not the right direction.

    #358638
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lannawannabe:

    I regret that you are displeased, feeling criticized, I figure. But my input on the monkey mind was intended to help you. When I attended my first quality psychotherapy nine years ago, I had a big time monkey mind, so my therapist at the time started with slowing down my mind by introducing me to Mark Williams’ series of mindfulness guided meditations (available online for free, I think).

    Look, since you are displeased with my input, I am okay with not replying to you anymore. This way, you can feel safe to post here on this thread, or start a new thread and hopefully receive replies from other members. Unless you notify me otherwise, I will respectfully stay away from your threads.

    anita

     

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