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  • #365062
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good evening Buddha buddies!💕🌸

    I’m happy to update on feeling better overall. I’m past my ex FINALLY and I have deeply and honestly happy to be single. This is a concious choice I made and I no longer feel inferior to my peers about this nor am I stressing about it. Do I get OCD about it yes I do, but it’s so low and I manage to keep it out of my life. I’m actually more optimistic and more peaceful than ever. I learned to silence a lot of voices inside and outside my head. So far so good. Now let’s spill the “tea” 😋!

    Last February I was diagnosed with OCD. I’ve been doing therapy (CBT) consecutively ever since once a week. My therapist makes me log all my OCD thoughts as a way of understanding what my triggers are. Although I went from having panic attacks, depressive episodes and ruminating spirals every day to having this once or twice a week, I don’t know if her methods are working anymore. Here’s why:

    During this time I had attempted self harm twice. Those came after I couldn’t control my anger due to not trusting ANYONE. Not even what my own mind was telling me. The first time was when my sister wouldn’t believe that I was struggling emotionally. My mind became blurry from anger that it controlled me, without any emotion whatsoever to attempt self harm. The second time my family was telling me that I’m objectively beautiful, that I am loveable but I wouldn’t take it  for a second. I believed they lied to make me feel good. I called them liars and other horrible things. I was so engaged my mind was blurry, I felt nothing. Like someone hijacked my brain and I was manipulated to attempt self harm. So again this is a pattern. Sadly, English is my second language so I don’t know if I can describe it as well as in my mother tongue. My sister believes my OCD diagnosis is wrong and that  I have unreleased anger that manifests in eating myself up with fale guilt and having those self harm outbursts.

    The other point of criticism in regards to my therapists methods is that I cannot always log my OCD. It’s either objectively impossible (i.e. I’m working or otherwise occupied) or I don’t want to. Because it’s like reliving the event. Plus, I’m lousy at expressing myself in written form. I told her many a time but she insists that that’s the only way of finding out what my triggers are which sounds nonsensical. There must be an alternative! What if I was a blind person or illiterate?

    And lastly not only have I expressed that I have problems with self acceptance and self esteem but she does affirm this as well yet she never wants to actually address it and focuses solely on the OCD. Which is pissing me off. I find my OCD trigger is exactly that! Extremely low self esteem and possibly even dysmorphia. Additionally when I talk to her about self harm incidents she refers me to a psychiatrist which is both expensive and creates distrust between us.

    ButmBut here we are six months later with a book full of logs and still no answer or actually treatment. She does work hard and is super attentive but she wants to lead and I don’t have to have a say in that.

    Any advice?  Thank you so much ❤️

    #365070
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soufiola:

    Welcome back! Today you shared that you are finally over your ex, that you are happy to be single, that you are  no longer feeling inferior to your peers, that you are “actually more optimistic and more peaceful than ever”, and that you learned to silence a lot of voices inside and outside of your head.

    You shared that last February, six months ago, you were diagnoses with OCD, and have been doing CBT therapy ever since with a therapist who “does work hard and is super attentive”. She has you log all your OCD thoughts as a way to understand your triggers. As a result of therapy, your “panic attacks, depressive episodes and ruminating spirals” are less frequent (from happening daily to happening 1-2 times per week).

    But you are doubting that your therapist’s methods work because in the last six months you attempted self harm twice (once after your sister expressed to you that she believed that you were not struggling emotionally and you got very angry as a result- “My mind became blurry from anger”, and a second time when your family told you that you are objectively beautiful and lovable and you got very angry as a result, believing they were lying to you so to make you feel good-“I called them liars and other horrible things”).

    * “My sister believes my OCD diagnosis is wrong and that I have unreleased anger..”- the two things are not mutually exclusive. I grew up with lots and lots of unreleased anger and I suffered from OCD- both.

    You shared that you are upset with your therapist because she insists that you do you log your OCD thoughts, but it is not always possible for you, and sometimes you don’t want to because you don’t want to relive the events, and/ or you feel that are lousy at expressing yourself in writing.

    Also, you are upset at your therapist because you feel that she doesn’t want to address your “problems with self acceptance and self esteem.. possibly even dysmorphia”, which you say trigger your OCD, and instead, she “focuses solely on the OCD”, and refers  you to a psychiatrist when you talk about your self harm tendencies.

    Before I respond further, a little summary of what you shared in your previous posts starting December 2019:

    You had your first date with a man at 23. He paid you a lot of positive attention right away but proceeded to treat you very badly, including not giving you a ride from his place to your place when you were sick with fever, allowing you to take 3 busses and walk a lot back to your  home while feverish. When you arrived at home that night, after the 3 busses and long walk, you texted him that you “love him so much and .. was so lucky to have him”. You wrote about your sexual experience with him: “I enjoy and adore being submissive/ or mistreated.. Liking the man to get off his sexual tension on me with rage.. is what I find sexy.. My role is to accept all of it and obey his  needs. Kind of like a ragdoll”.

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>You later met another guy who treated you well, but nicknamed you puppy because he said that you are such a “yes-girl”, that you “agreed to all his terms”. He then turned “soooo cold.. downgrade my diplomas”. “Like a scared puppy, really politely”, you apologized to him when he was annoyed with you. He threatened to end the short relationship and later told you that he has no feelings for you, and that he doesn’t want to waste his time. You “asked for a final meetup.. he denied.. Then he vanished”. </span>

    You described submissive behaviors in other contexts: “I wouldn’t even stand up for myself, knowing I was wronged or mistreated. Even when a stranger pushed me on the street for example, I wouldn’t say anything, not wanting to be rude”.

    About your childhood you shared that your father warned you about not being intimate with a guy because he will use you and get you pregnant, that he was in the habit of shouting at you for making the smallest mistakes, such as dropping food on the floor, that when you made a small mistake, he over-reacted, saying things like: “Why do you want to destroy your mom and I?”

    You shared that your mother used to warn you when she believed your father would be coming from work angry, instructing you to “pretend/ act like nothing happened/ like you know nothing.. say nothing it shall pass, I don’t want any fights in the house”. You wrote about your mother that she is a coward, that she doesn’t stand up for herself, and that “she prefers calmness instead of justice”. But you love your mother “more than anyone”, and you “cannot bear” to see her being such a coward.

    You wrote: “I can’t grasp how I got to be so like her”- you got to be like her because you loved her, and you still do; because you were loyal to her, and you still are loyal to her. “Truth is, there’s nothing I hate more, nothing I am more afraid of than being/ witnessing unfairness. More than death, more than loneliness, more than pain”

    Your sister was “FULL of anger and explosive behaviors”, that she was your parents’ “Main preoccupation.. the center of my parents’ attention”, and that you were your sister’s “exact opposite, the obedient one, the selfless in order to be a priority”. But the result was that they didn’t make you their priority, expressing to you that you are strong, and therefore you don’t need their attention. You wrote; “when I truly am helpless, they don’t get it”, that you appear to b e “the sunshine girl”, a carefree girl,  on the outside, but “I don’t want to always have to be strong… This ‘sainthood’ is driving me insane. I want to make mistakes and be wrong and be loud and so  on”.

    * I need to take a break and will return to your thread to conclude this post later on. If you read what I wrote so far and want to share your thoughts about this summary before I return to your thread, please do.

    anita

     

     

    #365071
    anita
    Participant

    * A cleaner print of my above post:

    Dear Soufiola:

    Welcome back! Today you shared that you are finally over your ex, that you are happy to be single, that you are  no longer feeling inferior to your peers, that you are “actually more optimistic and more peaceful than ever”, and that you learned to silence a lot of voices inside and outside of your head.

    You shared that last February, six months ago, you were diagnoses with OCD, and have been doing CBT therapy ever since with a therapist who “does work hard and is super attentive”. She has you log all your OCD thoughts as a way to understand your triggers. As a result of therapy, your “panic attacks, depressive episodes and ruminating spirals” are less frequent (from happening daily to happening 1-2 times per week).

    But you are doubting that your therapist’s methods work because in the last six months you attempted self harm twice (once after your sister expressed to you that she believed that you were not struggling emotionally and you got very angry as a result- “My mind became blurry from anger”, and a second time when your family told you that you are objectively beautiful and lovable and you got very angry as a result, believing they were lying to you so to make you feel good-“I called them liars and other horrible things”).

    * “My sister believes my OCD diagnosis is wrong and that I have unreleased anger..”- the two things are not mutually exclusive. I grew up with lots and lots of unreleased anger and I suffered from OCD- both.

    You shared that you are upset with your therapist because she insists that you do you log your OCD thoughts, but it is not always possible for you, and sometimes you don’t want to because you don’t want to relive the events, and/ or you feel that are lousy at expressing yourself in writing.

    Also, you are upset at your therapist because you feel that she doesn’t want to address your “problems with self acceptance and self esteem.. possibly even dysmorphia”, which you say trigger your OCD, and instead, she “focuses solely on the OCD”, and refers  you to a psychiatrist when you talk about your self harm tendencies.

    Before I respond further, a little summary of what you shared in your previous posts starting December 2019:

    You had your first date with a man at 23. He paid you a lot of positive attention right away but proceeded to treat you very badly, including not giving you a ride from his place to your place when you were sick with fever, allowing you to take 3 busses and walk a lot back to your  home while feverish. When you arrived at home that night, after the 3 busses and long walk, you texted him that you “love him so much and .. was so lucky to have him”. You wrote about your sexual experience with him: “I enjoy and adore being submissive/ or mistreated.. Liking the man to get off his sexual tension on me with rage.. is what I find sexy.. My role is to accept all of it and obey his  needs. Kind of like a ragdoll”.

    You later met another guy who treated you well, but nicknamed you puppy because he said that you are such a “yes-girl”, that you “agreed to all his terms”. He then turned “soooo cold.. downgrade my diplomas”. “Like a scared puppy, really politely”, you apologized to him when he was annoyed with you. He threatened to end the short relationship and later told you that he has no feelings for you, and that he doesn’t want to waste his time. You “asked for a final meetup.. he denied.. Then he vanished”.

    You described submissive behaviors in other contexts: “I wouldn’t even stand up for myself, knowing I was wronged or mistreated. Even when a stranger pushed me on the street for example, I wouldn’t say anything, not wanting to be rude”.

    About your childhood you shared that your father warned you about not being intimate with a guy because he will use you and get you pregnant, that he was in the habit of shouting at you for making the smallest mistakes, such as dropping food on the floor, that when you made a small mistake, he over-reacted, saying things like: “Why do you want to destroy your mom and I?”

    You shared that your mother used to warn you when she believed your father would be coming from work angry, instructing you to “pretend/ act like nothing happened/ like you know nothing.. say nothing it shall pass, I don’t want any fights in the house”. You wrote about your mother that she is a coward, that she doesn’t stand up for herself, and that “she prefers calmness instead of justice”. But you love your mother “more than anyone”, and you “cannot bear” to see her being such a coward.

    You wrote: “I can’t grasp how I got to be so like her”- you got to be like her because you loved her, and you still do; because you were loyal to her, and you still are loyal to her. “Truth is, there’s nothing I hate more, nothing I am more afraid of than being/ witnessing unfairness. More than death, more than loneliness, more than pain”

    Your sister was “FULL of anger and explosive behaviors”, that she was your parents’ “Main preoccupation.. the center of my parents’ attention”, and that you were your sister’s “exact opposite, the obedient one, the selfless in order to be a priority”. But the result was that they didn’t make you their priority, expressing to you that you are strong, and therefore you don’t need their attention. You wrote; “when I truly am helpless, they don’t get it”, that you appear to b e “the sunshine girl”, a carefree girl,  on the outside, but “I don’t want to always have to be strong… This ‘sainthood’ is driving me insane. I want to make mistakes and be wrong and be loud and so  on”.

    * I need to take a break and will return to your thread to conclude this post later on. If you read what I wrote so far and want to share your thoughts about this summary before I return to your thread, please do.

    anita

    #365083
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soufiola:

    My understanding at this point: your father was/ is an angry man who  inflicted injustice upon your mother, yourself and your sister, mistreating all three of you.

    Your mother’s gave you the job of lying to your father, of pretending that there is no problem. She gave you the job of taking your father’s unjust and humiliating treatment of you with a smile and a thank-you.

    You expanded this job to the context of the two boyfriends you shared about, and the context of strangers as well, and you learned to find joy in it. You learned to find joy in being mistreated; you found a sense of strength in it: strength in being weak.

    The job your mother gave you was that of being the sunshine, carefree girl, the yes-girl, the submissive girl, the one accepting injustice and humiliating treatment from others with a smile, and I-love-you,  and a thank-you. When your first boyfriend had you go home feverish by yourself, taking three busses a long way, while he had a running car- you got home and called him to tell him that you love him and you are lucky to have him.

    When your family (your mother, I imagine, maybe together with your father..?) told you sometime in the last six months that you are objectively beautiful and lovable you got very angry. Maybe because that’s not how  you were treated for years. You were not treated as beautiful and you were definitely not treated as lovable.

    Actions speak louder than words, and the contrast between words and actions led to your intense anger, did it not?

    I suggest that you don’t quit your therapist, not unless you have a therapist you like better, one who will work for you with as much a motivation to help you as your current therapist. Don’t quit your therapist and be left with  only your mother, your father and sister in your life. You need someone on your side, someone who you can trust, someone whose words and actions go together- which is not the case of your mother, your father, or your sister.

    When in the process of emotional healing, the progress is slow and gradual, sometimes there are regressions. Stick to the process of emotional healing, be patient, don’t give up and don’t give in.

    It is not in your inherent nature to submit to mistreatment with a smile, and a thank you; It is a job that was given to you by your mother; a job that you performed very well because you loved your mother so much. But it is a sick and sickening job that promotes injustice (and you hate injustice!) –

    So quit that job; don’t quit your therapist.

    anita

    #365087
    Sofioula
    Participant

    .

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Sofioula.
    #365088
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good evening Anita!

    Thank you  for your kind replies and for taking the time to speak to me.

    What you are suggesting is mind blowing to me. I can see how true it is. Clearly and objectively true. But see, this is what I wanted my therapist to do. To actually illuminate things for me. She doesn’t, she let’s me to figure out what’s going on and in fact, while in some instances it’s producing results, more often than not it doesn’t and I feel frustrated.

    In all honesty, I pay this person to get answers not figure them out on my own. It’s because I’ve already tried and failed that I needed an experienced professional to do this for me. Not out of laziness but my brain is so fried for over analyzing and trying to see the end of the tunnel it’s painful.It really sounds shallow but that’s my truth.  With OCD and distrusting everything, I need an expert to show me the way. I’m not going to quit her, I’m giving it another chance. See where it leads…

    One clarification though, my parents love and words of affirmation and admiration were equal to both me and my sister. What was lacking though was the distribution of time and importance on our feelings, life goals, achievements and that sort of stuff. My parents always told me I’m the most beautiful girl in the world, they call me their sun, because I’m so blonde and they get sad when they understand that it falls on deaf ears on my part. My sister always wanted to be blonde and green eyes like me, she always called me “model” and is also pissed off by the fact that it doesn’t register in my head. So, love I have all and more. Attention is what always was less than my sister. Even if the difference was quite small, I still understood that as my mistake for not being good enough to be important enough.

    Not only was there love in words but also actions. I was never given less than my sister on a material level. My dad still drives us around, even at odd hours, just for our comfort and to be sure we are safe. It sounds silly, but that’s Greek culture. So, I’d be damned if I were ever to accuse my parents of mistreatment or lack of love and affection. What was lacking was the ability to stop feeding my sister’s and more often than not, not protecting me from her unjust, narcissistic or plain manipulative behaviors. Because they cannot see her as being guilty.

    In a nutshell, they are not the parents who would prefer they kid to go in jail for a proven crime, in order for them to grow and face the consequences. But rather they would do anything for the kids comfort and delude themselves that that’s more loving. This is the case with my sister. Me, on the other hand, I was not allowed to be in a bad mood, make mistakes, be angry, have problems. As you pointed out, I have to be the sun girl. They cannot see how I could have any reason to be troubled. Do they perceive me as perfect or something? I’m not.

    My disbelief in their statements stems off of the fact that feel-good words feel like brushing off the actual matter. “Don’t worry, your are so beautiful!” , For me that ain’t cutting it. I need constructive feedback, either positive or negative, with real arguments and no emotions mixed in. I might be too strict but this is how my brain works.  I don’t need compliments, I need encouragement and logic. When I just hear good words, I get the feeling that my parents want to get on with other things, they don’t want “the drama”. Having problems is drama for them. And I can see the boredom in their eyes for having to discuss certain things. So that’s why I can’t believe I’m pretty when told that. Even though they believe it, it’s superficial to me.

    And your analysis about my role in my ex “relationships” is GOLD. Wow. It makes so much Sense. I treated them and my self as if I was role playing my parents marriage dynamic which I perceived as completely normal.

    Let me know if you don’t understand something I say.  It’s currently 2:51 in the morning here plus my English got real rusty this summer. I’m double checking to be sure I’m making some sense!😆😅

     

    #365090
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    I hope you are sleeping as I am typing this, it being almost 4 am your time. It seems to me that your therapist is a good one. I am not sure but I think she is, from what you wrote about her. I don’t think it’s a therapist’s job to give you answers, but instead to lead you to the answers that are already there, right under your awareness. By focusing on you getting some control over your OCD, she may be working toward calming your brain so that you can get to the answers you need.

    She may not know the answers to your questions herself. I don’t know the  answers:  I am learning over time. Here is how I will be learning further, by asking you the following question:

    Was I correct when I suggested that your father mistreated you and your sister directly, with his angry  words and behaviors?

    Or do you think he mistreated only your mother?

    * Can you give me a few examples of him mistreating you (besides the one example you already gave), and of him mistreating your mother?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
    #365105
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good morning Anita!☺️🌸

    To me, being brought up in the Greek culture, this doesn’t register as mistreatment. My father was never physical against my mother, God forbit. He has no tolerance for marrital abuse and ever since we were little he was advising us to never ever accept such a thing. He has anger issues that he too acknowledges. He did over the years try to be slow to anger and I have seen a big change in him.

    The incidents with me and my sister is typical of a Greek old school father. Parents nowadays in Greece are different but us millennials had lots of spanking and word shouting. 99% of my peers had the same childhood as me and now it’s a meme/ comedian topic in our country. But I’m really glad it fizzled out with the new generation of parents. I say this to give some background, not to defend his actions. Also a footnote, my Father was beaten and harsly punishment by his mother, again because also back in his day, the reality was worst. Parents were told by everyone to be extremely strict.

    No, in all honesty he doesn’t/ didn’t mistreat us other than his. He is stubborn and cannot accept the fact that we are nearly 30 years old me and my sister. He always wants to know our secrets and most of the time forgets that we don’t want the same things as when we were younger. He wants his will to be done before everyone’s, because he actually believes he’s right all the time yet his guilt trips himself for past mistakes and that is what enrages me! He can also be not very respectful of other people’s boundaries and get sad when you remind him that you for example want to do other things and not keep him company. Even if this is worded in the sweetest way. My mom puts him in his place though. She understands we are adults more than him. He is overprotective to a fault but all of this behavior is actually annoying, not abusive.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Having thought a lot about my dad, it is clear to me that he has a mixture of OCD and ADHD. The later even more obvious than the first. We all agree on that.</p>

    #365112
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    “being brought up in the Greek culture, this doesn’t register as mistreatment”. You referred to “this” as “lots of spanking and word shouting” by your father.

    As an older teenager and adult, after all you read and watched (TV, movies, comedy shows, etc.), you look back at your childhood and you say to yourself: oh, that was not abuse, that was how parents acted during that time, everywhere, nothing unique about it, it’s the culture.

    But as a child, you didn’t think that way: when you were shouted at and spanked- you were scared, just like any child, in any culture.

    anita

     

    #365214
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good evening Anita 🌸💕

    Of course I didn’t,you are right. Not do I tone down the severity of the matter. Even now as an adult, it is in fact way more painful because I realize how hurtful it’s been to my sense of trust towards my parents and my self image. Today I actually cried when I recalled a memory of such an event. It has created a big gap in the relationship I have with my dad. The more I realize, the more I remember, the more my adult mind processes the more distant I’ve become with him.

    Our relationship is balancing on a thin string. I know it, he knows it too. My hurt is unresolved and I have projected it as you very well pointed out to my romantic relationships. The bad thing is that I have to live with my parents. I want to escape my memories.

    #365215
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    “Not do I tone down the severity of the matter”- better acknowledge the severity of matters. If we fully do, the severity will lessen.

    “I want to escape my memories”- it is very difficult when you live with the memories (“I have to live with my parents”). It will still be difficult when you no longer live with your parents.

    Are rents high in Greece, where you live?

    anita

    #365523
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Good afternoon Anita! 🌻🌼

    I’m so sorry for my late response but I’ve been happily busy with the last days of my vacation.

    Yes they are crazy high, somewhat 350€ for a studio apartment and our minimum wage is 650€. Plus the fact the we have a brutal job crisis here since 2012. Most people live with their parents till they get married or have a better income but since the crisis started, whole families stay with the grandparents in order to survive. But I’m praying I’ll find a way.

    Although I do not feel inferior to my peers anymore, I do feel I’m left behind in life. That I’m wasting my life. That I’m not where I should be. Where my parents want me to be. This is a hard blow to my self worth. It’s my real struggle.

    #365533
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    No need to apologize for when you happen to post, good to read you had a happy vacation. I understand about the rents situation, being crazy high.

    “I’m not where .. my parents want me to be”-

    – is where your parents want you to be the same, or different from where you want to be?

    anita

    #365542
    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita 🌅☀️

    I can’t really tell anymore. It is true that I would love to have a stable job, get married and have kids and so do my parents. But the point is that this goal is eating me up psychologically. Then, although we might want the same things, it is the way I’ve been taught by them to get stressed about it or be criticized about it. Them being critical of my mistakes or alleged mistakes is what’s getting me up at night. The guilt tripping, the what ifs, put the ocd on top of all that, it is a bad combination.  Mistake = “death”

    I have a morbid fear of mistakes. They can never be reversed in my dad’s head and so in my head. The same was with my ex for a long time -> maybe he did truly love me but I was mistaken or ungrateful (etc) and maybe he was my only chance in love so that EQUALS I’m gonna be alone for the rest of my life.

    This is what happens with everything I ever did. Second guessing, guilt tripping, anxiety and horror. That’s why I don’t really know what I want. What if I don’t want good things? What if I’m gonna be alone forevermore?

    #365544
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    You shared that you and your parents do want the same things for you: “a stable job, get married and have kids”, but it’s the ways that they express to you what they want, that is keeping you up at night. Their ways are: (1)”to get stressed about it”, (2) to be critical of your mistakes, or alleged mistakes, (3)  to guilt trip you.

    Clearly, their ways are keeping you away from getting what you want in life. I wish they changed their ways. I wish you become able, sometime in the future, to no longer follow their ways by getting stressed, being critical of your mistakes, or alleged mistakes, and guilt- tripping yourself (1-3).

    “I have a morbid fear of mistakes. They can never be reversed in my dad’s head and so in my head”- what if you could get your dad’s head out of your head, so to speak. In other words, what if you could one day,  form your own, independently- chosen attitude about mistakes.

    anita

     

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