June 12, 2020 at 12:25 pm #358402
No, I don’t mind if you don’t take my advice, but what is suggested to you was not advice but an option that you have. It makes sense to me that you won’t take on that option if it makes you feel humiliated.
You mention abandonment (“Still don’t know when I felt being abandoned or worried about it”). I am lost, I don’t remember suggesting to you that you were abandoned. In my post before last I wrote that lots of children hide their true self from their parents “so to not get rejected by the parent”. I mentioned rejection, not abandonment.
Do you feel that you were rejected by any of your parents, or feared that you will be rejected, maybe by your mother when she was aggressive (“Just can’t stand her aggressive attitude during a fight”), or by your father’s “silent but passive aggressive way”?
anitaJune 13, 2020 at 10:50 am #358476
Thanks for your understanding.
Yes, you only mentioned being rejected 🙂 I brought up abandonment as I read some psychological stuff before and it fit my mind to a degree.
And it’s correct that I did feel rejected when growing up, mostly by my mother.June 13, 2020 at 11:01 am #358477
Connecting shrinking your true self and feeling rejected growing up: you shrank the parts of you that your mother rejected. What about you did she reject?
anitaJune 14, 2020 at 3:23 am #358511
At the moment I can only recall that what my mother told me many times, something like “you have good grades in school, but you need to change your attitude towards people”; and she “criticised” my performance when there’s a casual singing comtest with my brother at homeJune 14, 2020 at 6:45 am #358517
I re-read all your posts so to learn more about you. Not a lot to read because you wrote so little so far. This will be a longer post. My following understanding will not be perfectly accurate, of course. It will be an approximation, a list of possibilities for you to evaluate and let me know what is accurate and what is not. When discussing your childhood, I will be focusing on your mother for the reason I will explain at the end of the post (first *), and keep in mind that I am lacking important information about your childhood, a few things of what I don’t know are mentioned following the second * at the end of the post.
Here is what you wrote about your childhood: “Even being little, I was able to observe the unpleasant atmosphere between my parents, the process until the divorce was frightening… I’ve tried to not be my mother… Just can’t stand her aggressive attitude during a fight, and I’ve adopted my father’s silent but passive aggressive way.”
Reads to me that as a child you were very aware of your mother’s angry, aggressive, offensive (hurtful to your father) behavior and you decided early on that you did not want to be like her: to not being aggressive and offensive, to not hurt another person’s feelings no matter what (even if that person doesn’t care about you), to always be nice.
You expressed regarding this man, that even though it’s probably the right things for you to do, you don’t want to cut him off, block him, leave him on read, not be nice to him, and ignore him: “it’s the right thing to cut him off, but I don’t want to block or leave him on read as I don’t like to be treated like that… Would you agree that even though he said we were friends, I don’t have to be nice to him based on that?… If he ever reaches out again, to protect myself, I may simply ignore him, which is cold and probably selfish in my opinion, and that’s something I dislike to be treated and have tried to not do that to him”.
Your mother, when she fought with your father, she communicated with him and opened up to him in a very angry, aggressive and offensive way. Having decided to not be like her, you went to the extreme (as children do) of .. not communicating and not opening up at all, instead, keeping your deep thoughts (“guarded with my deep thoughts”), and your dissatisfaction, your anger- all to yourself. When you opened up with this man, it was an exception to your decision to not be like your mother: “I’ve tried to open up and communicate which I rarely did… with this person, I’ve become my mother by opening up and trying to communicate (calmly)”.
You communicated and opened up to him calmly, unlike your mother angry way of opening up. You took the middle way in this case, not the extreme. But his response was discouraging: he was passive, or passive aggressive: “with this person, I’ve become my mother.. while he’s like my father”. (If only his response was encouraging, if he encouraged your calm opening up to him by expressing love for you in return, that would have been a very good happening in your life!)
When your mother fought with your father, when she was aggressive and offensive, she was self centered, selfish, totally cold, putting herself first, before anyone else, and you don’t want to be these things, criticizing yourself any time you think you may be any of these things: “what if I’m too self-centered?… One thing I’m afraid of is that I’d be selfish or totally cold when putting myself before him “.
Because of your desire to not be like your mother, you are a very kind person, very considerate and appreciative of others (“Looking forward to hearing from you, but take your time (thanks a lot..”, etc.), but you are also conflicted (“Conflicting myself much” is the title of your thread): on one hand you want what you want which requires you to put yourself first, but on the other hand, you are scared to put yourself first (“it’s intimidating to be myself again and put myself before him, but I hope to succeed at last”).
You will not be like your mother if you put yourself first. It’s a matter of extremes. You want to avoid both extremes: one which is putting yourself first at the expense of another and the other is not putting yourself first at all. The middle way would be putting yourself first while being considerate and respectful of the other person.
* I don’t know what you meant by your father being passive aggressive. Maybe during the fights, or otherwise at home before the divorce, he was quiet and passive, and years later you retroactively figured that he was passive-aggressive. Maybe during the fights or otherwise at home, he did things like slamming doors, visibly and audibly expressing his anger (?)
* I don’t know if and how your mother was aggressive toward you directly, and if and how your father was passive aggressive toward you directly. I also wonder what attitude your mother was referring to when she told you that you “need to change your attitude towards people” (?)
June 14, 2020 at 9:48 am #358531
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Thank you for taking time to reply on a weekend.
I thought I’d said a lot here, it’s not that I wanted to hold back, more like I don’t remember, or my mind has hidden some already?
Even though my mother was always the one who forced others to talk during a fight, I know she’s hurt more, just that she’s also done that to me, which caused tensions between us until these years when we lived apart.
Another thing I’ve been avoiding is being intrude. And I know I’ve applied it to the man by hardly asking questions, even those like “how’s your family?”, I believe if that he wants to share, he’d do it voluntarily, if he doesn’t, I’d probably get a fake or reluctant answer.
Now I remembered, blocking is my mother’s behaviour, she’d announce doing that, and it’s childish to me, also, when one blocks the other, it means that he or she is affected by the other. Well, a part of me probably still want to be seen “mature” like/by the man.
As for leaving people on read, it’s my personal thing, it’s not respectful when someone treats me so, or when one does, I expect him or her to initiate next time, as it’s not my turn to speak. He told me before that I should talk whenever I wanted to, but how do I know if others want to hear from me, instead of risking, I choose to stay silent.
It’s true that I’d kept many things to myself when he and I were able to meet in person. And it’s awkward for me to express at times. Then I returned to my country, the main communication was via messages, I already tend to over analyse, without seeing the other’s facial expressions, I interpreted messages negatively often. I know it can be tiring for him to deal with me from time to time, yet it’s definitely worse for me. I decided to open up a little (the core one was my fear of people’d disappear, as it’s happened several times) after sensing some changes in the relationship and reading psychological stuff. Maybe he was encouraging in the beginning, then he either ran out of patience or simply shifted his attention.
Talking about my fear, it always took me a certain amount of time to get over when someone I valued disappeared, and you see, the man’s doing it and worse, he reappeared. Usually I didn’t give a second chance, but he’s done much for me before and we had good times together, so the drama dragged on (sorry for confusing tenses, English isn’t my native tongue).
I’m aware that I need to fully accept that he’s not interested to release myself from this.
Back to my mother again, I don’t remember considering selfish/self-centered when she fought with my father, but some time ago, when she ruined the atmosphere at home, I did hate that and thought she just couldn’t control herself; however, compared to her, I’m selfish for not doing much for the family.
Honestly, I can be cold to those I don’t care… And it’s important for me to show my appreciation when receiving other’s help, because others aren’t obliged to do that (does that relate to low self-esteem?). And all the conflicts come from my head, like I don’t want to force myself to do/believe anything, but maybe it’s the thing I have to accept; and I want to keep the naive me, but I must put on a mask to protect myself.
During fights, my father was either quiet or simply left the house, and sometimes he broke things. Moreover, he became horrible when divorce was on the way. I’m totally like him regarding the silent part when I’m not happy until the other breaks the ice. One of the reasons is that I know words can be mean, so I’d rather say nothing.
To your other question, when my mother picked up a fight, she was like “what now?/what have I done now?” and I just wished her’d leave me alone. Or she’d threat on her life… My father wasn’t passive aggressive towards me as I was sometimes the messenger, but the only time I was slapped by him was due to her fight with my mother. And my mother said that sentence to me in a okay way, I think it’s more like that no matter how good I’m, she can criticise something, which I suppose comes from that I don’t have to sacrifice much like her.June 14, 2020 at 10:12 am #358534
P.S. Recently I’ve reminded myself of what he said unpleasantly during the last conversation, which may be unhealthy, but it’s a way for me to wake up.June 14, 2020 at 10:33 am #358535Canadian EagleParticipant
Read my post , 0ver 35 years I had a complicated love but not a relationship with a woman who wanted a relationship with me . I played along as it was flattering to my ego, but in time I unceremoniously cut her off when I decided to marry someone else. In other words, this guy will never commit to you, as he has not done so this far. He is committed ( or will commit) to someone else and you will be cut off and hurt. If I was you I would be proactive , cut him off and find someone worthy of the great love you are obviously capable of.
TonyJune 14, 2020 at 11:21 am #358545
I didn’t understand everything that you shared:
1. you wrote about your mother: “she’s also done that to me”, but I don’t know what “that” means.
2. You wrote: “blocking is my mother’s behaviour, she’d announce that, and it’s childish to me, also, when one blocks the other. Well, a part of me probably still want to be seen ‘mature’ like/ by the man.”- I didn’t understand these two sentences at all.
3. “but some time ago, when she ruined the atmosphere at home, I did hate that.. she just couldn’t control herself”- I don’t know what you mean by her ruining the atmosphere at home: what did she say and do that ruined the atmosphere? And in what ways did she not control herself?
4. “I don’t want to force myself to do/ believe anything, but maybe it’s the thing I have to accept; and I want to keep the naïve me, but I must put on a mask to protect myself”- I can guess what you mean by this sentence, but I am not sure.
5. “I’m totally like him regarding the silent part when I’m not happy until the other breaks the ice”- I don’t know what you mean by this sentence.
I think I understand the following of what you shared in your recent post: When your parents fought, your father “was either quiet or simply left the house, and sometimes he broke things”, your mother sometimes threatened to kill herself; you don’t remember thinking of your mother as selfish or self centered when she fought with your father. You think of yourself as selfish for “not doing much for the family”, compared to your mother, who gave you that message, if I understand correctly, that she sacrificed a lot for the family, and you didn’t.
You wrote that you can be cold to people you don’t care for, that you appreciate others’ help because they don’t have to help you, and maybe you don’t feel deserving of help. In the relationship with this man, you didn’t ask him questions because you didn’t want to intrude, and you were afraid that he will not give you “fake or reluctant” answers. You shared that when in his presence, you kept many things to yourself, and when away from him, communicating via messages, you often interpreted his messages negatively, and it was tiring for him to deal with you, from time to time. And you shared that you prefer to be silent than to say mean things to people.
And now, my request for you: if you want to explain # 1- 5 to me, please do. You told me that English is not your native language, and indeed I can see that it stands in the way of me understanding some of your writings. So, please take your time to type your thoughts, then re-read what you type before sending, correcting and editing so to make your writing clear. Take all the time that you need to do so.
anitaJune 15, 2020 at 2:26 am #358583
Thanks for your response.
35 years sound crazy (not a judgement about you) to me.
In fact, I don’t really want to be in a relationship with him, just my obsession of letting people go makes me so. And I’ve always been aware that once there’s someone “better” here, I’d leave, yet the problem is there’s none and I’m not going to chase.
As for flattering ego, there’s a hint which told me that he’s a narcissist.
I’m not going to give what he wants!June 16, 2020 at 1:02 am #358681
It’s somewhat frustrating that I couldn’t use English as good as I thought, but I’ll try again.
#1 My mother also picks up fights with me by saying whatever is on her mind, and pushes me to talk rather than being silent.
#2 My mother blocks people on social media and she likes to announce that action, which seems childish to me. I consider myself mature compared to that behaviour, and the man acted maturer than me most of the time, so I related part of my attempt to stay mature because of him.
#3 My mother expects us to listen to her lengthy stories, when we don’t, she often lashes out and threats that there’s no need to gather. Whenever that happens, I wish she’d realise how others aren’t interested and control her later temper.
#4 It’d be kind of pathetic if I have to force myself not to believe anyone I encounter in the future to avoid falling into this situation again. But maybe that’s one thing I need to do.
#5 When I’m upset with someone, I just keep silence and wait for the other to break the ice, which is my father’s behaviour during a fight with my mother.
You were right about the sacrifice part. My mother thinks I’m lucky.
And you understood totally well about the last part. As the vibes started to get bad, he once complained that he had to be careful talking to me. Of course, he doesn’t know my concerns. Besides, I burdened myself to express properly: not too self-centred yet not patheticJune 16, 2020 at 9:02 am #358699
It is difficult for me to understand your story not only because of your English, but because regarding factual information, you share a little bit here, a little bit later on, some of your thoughts about the facts, but overall, very little factual information (what happened, where, when, what, who.. said/ did what). It is a lot of work for me to piece together the little here, little there, and see the story, what actually happened.
I read and re-read again everything you shared. For the purpose of getting a yet better understanding of your story, I will re-write what you shared in my own words, plus your exact words (I will italicize your words). After reading it all, you can let me know if my understanding is accurate. At times, in what follows, I will be guessing, making up facts that I think are likely to be true. Here it is:
I was in a relationship with a man. It was not a committed relationship: we didn’t talk about dating exclusively, and we didn’t talk about a future together. Most of the time we lived in different countries. I hardly ever reached out to him, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t want to intrude on him. When he reached out to me the ashes inside me reignited, but I didn’t tell him that.
I hardly reached out to him and I hardly shared with him my deep thoughts and feelings because I didn’t know if he wanted to hear it. I didn’t know if I will interrupt him if I initiate contact with him. When I initiate contact with people, I expect him or her to initiate next time, as it’s not my turn to speak.
I don’t want to intrude on people, so I’ve applied it to the man by hardly asking questions, even those like ‘how’s your family?’. I believe that if he wants to share, he’d do it voluntarily, if he doesn’t (share voluntarily), I’d probably get a fake or reluctant answer.
I also think that it will be selfish of me to talk much, and I was afraid sometimes that I may say something that will cause him to get angry with me, so I kept silent much of the time. When I am angry, I keep silent because I know words can be mean, so I’d rather say nothing.
Instead of risking, I choose to stay silent. But inside my head, I am not silent: I over analyzed everything, thinking a whole lot about his messages, what he meant by them, often interpreting them negatively. When I expressed to him my negative interpretations of what he said, he complained that he had to be careful talking to me.
He told me before that I should talk whenever I wanted to, but how do I know if others want to hear from me? It’s true that I kept many things to myself when he and I were able to meet in person.
When I am upset with someone, I just keep silent and wait for the other to break the ice, so I didn’t say anything to him when I was upset. I just waited.. and waited for him to talk to me. But last week, I’ve tried to open up and communicate which I rarely did– I finally spoke up for myself last week. I told him that I was afraid that people I value will disappear from my life. The only encouraging thing he told me as a response was something like less contacts didn’t mean less care. I hope(d) that he’d value my worth and suggest a try, but he didn’t, and overall, the outcomes weren’t good. Maybe I talked too much, maybe I’ll be more guarded with my thoughts.
I think it’s the right thing to cut him off, but I don’t want to block or leave him on read as I don’t like to be treated like that. Blocking is my mother’s behavior, she’d announce doing that, and it’s childish to me. A part of me probably still want to be seen ‘mature’ by him, not childish like my mother.
If he ever reaches out again, to protect myself, I may simply ignore him, which is cold and probably selfish. What if I’m too self-centered? One thing I’m afraid of is that I’d be selfish or totally cold when putting myself before him, even though that’s probably a must at the moment. If I don’t ignore him, if I continue contact with him, I will continue to shrink my true self.
Lately I developed a negative feeling towards him, not sure how to describe it, a kind of hostility maybe even though there’s no interaction at all. Hope it won’t last for too long.
When I was little, I was able to observe the unpleasant atmosphere between my parents, the process until the divorce was frightening. I can’t stand her aggressive attitude during a fight. She was always the one who forced others to talk during a fight. She tried to force my father to talk, and she’s also done that to me, which caused tensions between us. Observing my mother, I thought that she just couldn’t control herself, and I didn’t want to be like her, out of control. When she picked up a fight with me, she was like “what now? what have I done now?”, and I just wished she’d leave me alone! or she’d threat on her life
My mother told me many times, something like ‘you have good grades in school, but you need to change your attitude toward people”, and she criticized your performance such as in a signing contest with your brother. No mater how good I’m, she can criticise something. She told me many times how much she sacrifices for the family, and that compared to her, I’m selfish for not doing much for the family. She thinks I’m lucky.
During the fights between my parents, my mother was the one who talked and talked and demanded him to talk, but he was either quiet or simply left the house.
And now, my comments:
1) You wrote about the man: “it’s obvious that he’s far less ‘invested'” in the relationship than you. It doesn’t seem obvious to me, because you didn’t ask him questions, didn’t talk much of the time, didn’t share with him your deeper thoughts and feelings, hardly reached out to him.. so how is he to notice that you are invested in the relationship?
You know that “the ashes inside me reignited” when you met him, but how is he to know how you feel unless you tell him. You keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, so another person doesn’t know what is happening in your mind and heart. A person can guess, that is all. When you keep so much of your thoughts and feelings to yourself, in the context of a relationship, you are like a stranger to the other person. The other person doesn’t have the opportunity to get to know you.
2) You wrote: “I can’t take people lightly, I either care for someone or I don’t”, “I can be cold to those I don’t care”-
– it seems to me that in your childhood home, your mother was like a source of hot fire, trying to ignite people with her fire, trying to force them to talk, trying to force them to get angry, trying to make other people have strong emotions. So you adjusted to her best you can by keeping inside of you anything that can burn in her fire. You became.. cold. So to not be burned by her fire.
When you feel fire (“the ashes in me ignited”), for this man, you probably don’t express it, you keep it inside, so he doesn’t know of your fire. Or if he sees a glimpse of it, it’s only a moment in time before you turn cold again. What I am trying to say is that you feel that fire, but if it is not expressed, it remains your experience alone.
3) You decided long ago that you don’t want to be like your mother (“I’ve tried to not be my mother”). She talked too much, forced other people to talk, asking questions, ruining the atmosphere with her agitation, seeming to be out of control, childish- so you try to be the opposite of all these: talk very little, avoid asking people any questions, be in control, mature. (You also don’t want to block people, because that’s what she did).
In summary, as I see it: to truly be yourself, you need to stop trying to be the opposite of your mother. You need to learn how to talk, to communicate, to ask questions, to ask the person what he meant by saying this or that, instead of obsessing about it and making assumptions that may not be true. You need to.. interrupt the atmosphere in a good way, to let go of some control. This will not be easy, but it is possible, with work, practice and time.
And you will need to be comfortable with feeling anger at people, to learn to be okay with anger, to learn that anger has a purpose, and to express it appropriately, instead of rejecting it.
Your mother criticizes you for being cold to people.. she doesn’t know that you became cold as an adjustment to her! (You were not born cold).
She talked a lot about how much she sacrificed to her family- she didn’t sacrifice her damaging behavior for the sake of her family. On the other hand, you sacrificed .. your true self, for the sake of your family, keeping your true self hidden and locked inside you, so to be a part of your family.
June 17, 2020 at 10:32 am #358801
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Dear anita, thank you and I’ll get back in a while.
Wish you a pleasant timeJune 17, 2020 at 11:19 am #358805
Thank you for your note and for wishing me a pleasant time. Take as much time as you want before getting back to me. I wish you a pleasant time as well.
anitaJune 21, 2020 at 10:57 pm #359206
Thanks again for your efforts. I kind of burst into tears because it looked like it was all my fault.
Somehow it makes sense to me to be precise (in my way)” when posting then add info when asked. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get enough attention before finding this forum.
Below are a bit of further explanations for what you gathered from my story, but you’re mostly right:
When I returned to my country in 2018, I didn’t expect him to stay in touch, but he did and rather frequently, that’s why I got used to the pattern.
About contacts, even though I rarely initiate, I always respond, and I expect the other does that, too, to keep the chats going. Like if the topic ends on him, it’s his turn to talk.
Talking much isn’t selfish, in fact, I talked a lot when I was with him, because the vibes were a lot better and his tones and facial expressions were visible. Yet I would leave some things unsaid at the same time, as they weren’t necessary to be addressed.
The opening up was the last time not the first, but I never said it before: “I don’t need on and off contacts”, then he replied with less contacts didn’t mean the way I thought. As for the one which includes my fear of people leaving, he didn’t respond, but he stayed afterwards.
To your comments:
1) When I was there with him, I gave feedback, but he made it clear from the beginning that he didn’t want a girlfriend, plus my own concerns, I opted to not show overly interest. However, I did share things with him, just not seeing the other and some of his words really stand in the way. Also, I suppose that I should distinguish something between a committed relationship and an uncommitted one, and I’m still trying to figure this out better.
2) Your words are rather fresh to me, “the theory” might be true. And I may be hot and cold to him if he ever cared, but his behaviours were the same in my opinion, or I wouldn’t suffer.
3) I hope I’ll meet one in the future whom I can talk more freely, in other words, without assuming further since I already feel secure (but that probably should come from myself).
On the other hand, I think it’s good to talk about my childhood, even though now it’s done with this man, I feel the problem may occur with other people in the future, just if I’m “lucky”, the next one would be willing to commit, then some of what happened with this man wouldn’t repeat.
These days I thought, maybe there will be a better one for me, but even without, I should feel better without this man now when the situation can’t be saved. Having said that, I can’t help mourning the loss, just I’ve stopped crying.