Do I really need to change my ways?

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    Greetings everyone,

    I believe I’m very clumsy when it comes to showing others that I care about them. I always end up mis-communicating that. It is mostly that I come off as a clingy or obsessed person I think.

    I have messed up my relationship with a person I care about more than anything. We still are on good terms, but that mistake, I believe made them not like me for a time.

    The problem is that I’m a very materialistic person. I want to always give away materialistic gifts to others. It’s a way of me to tell them I care about them. But I’m afraid it’s linked to need of always needing assurance and thanks of others. Anyhow, I did the same with that person. I gave them a lot and lots of gifts when I started caring about them. They received it happily first, but then it started to become a burden to them.

    Actually, they don’t like materialistic gifts. They say it makes them feel ‘indebted’ that they’d have to reciprocate back or pay it off later. Then there was me- who kept showering them art zines, cards, and anything. (all of them were handmade though, so it didn’t cost me much money to make them, just a lot of hardwork). They said that they are not able to make efforts for others that much, so they feel overwhelmed when others make efforts for them that way. Then there was me again- I always did the opposite.

    I’ve never thought bad about that person. Because they’ve always been understanding and loving. And also one of the two people in my friend list who know that I’m LGBT.

    [Well, we are not really dating, but we know that we like each other, if you were wondering about that. It’s kind of platonic since 2 years, because they are in a different continent now.]

    Anyhow, I’m so worried why always good intentions turn out to be bad. Maybe because I’m never good at heart at all? Or because, I don’t have it in me to show anyone any care or affection? Maybe I’m just a clingy, spoiled child who feels satisfied by giving away to get thanks back.

    I also like giving origami stars and flowers to others. I love origami, and then giving it to others. Though, I can sense the disturbed feeling on most of the faces when I gift them ANOTHER star, as if saying, “You know this is getting too much now. You’re making me feel overwhelmed.”

    I believe I’m not worthy of loving or caring. When I can’t even love myself, how can I be able to love anyone anyway. No matter how hard I’ll try I’ll never be able to communicate my affection.

    But about that person, I care enough to make an effort for. So, what am I supposed to do to show them I care without crossing their boundaries?? How do I need to change?

    Or if not, how do I stop worrying too much, because I’m so tired


    Dear Javaira:

    The easy answer is to no longer give people gifts except for their once-a-year birthday and perhaps when you are invited for dinner at someone’s home, as well as when you are invited to a wedding and such festivities.

    My answers and suggestions based on your three threads:

    1. Focus on your studies, your hope and well being is in your education and future career. You are currently about 17 and in your A level’s two years. After that, you are planning to get a scholarship to a university in Canada- focus on this.

    2. Attend to and take care of your physical health. You have a space between your backbones that caused you some kidney and eyesight problems and fevers through your childhood. Do/ don’t do whatever you can to adjust to this backbone condition, to prevent problems, such as refraining from certain physical activities, exercising in particular ways, etc. Consult with professionals, maybe there is something new in this medical field.

    3. Stop self harming.

    4. Be assertive and kind to your two siblings, they too are struggling because they too grew up with two parents who fought a whole lot, “shouting at each other, fighting”, and with a mother who belittled herself a lot and was at times suicidal. Protect yourself from anyone who mistreats you, but don’t mistreat others/ your siblings.

    5. Enjoy being the “funny friend”, “making jokes, laughing it through, and the happy-go-lucky kinda optimistic person” as long as you are not pretending, as long as you really are enjoying yourself in other people’s company (“I don’t pretend to be all that! I actually enjoy their company and look  forward to be a bright and optimistic one”), minus the gifts!

    6. The question of being good:

    In a previous thread you wrote regarding your childhood role of being a good child in the context of your family: “I’ve also bore the responsibility of ‘good child’ who would support them when they’ll be depressed, who  would pick them up first ignoring my own mental health, who  would cheer them up no matter how hard it was going in school or elsewhere, who would always live up to take any responsibility there is to take because my brothers would never do that”-

    In your current thread you questioned being a good person: “Maybe .. I’m never good at heart at all.. don’t have it in  me to show anyone any care or affection? Maybe I’m just clingy, spoiled child”- time to aim at giving up the childhood role of being a “good child” and be the good person you were when you were born.

    You wrote in an earlier thread: “It feels like I lost myself… Please help me with, ‘How do you become a good person again?”- by giving up  on the childhood role of being a good child and adopting the loving nature you were born with (all of us social animals are born with that nature), that loving nature that you lost because you grew up in a hostile, scary home.

    “I can’t even love myself, how can I be able to love anyone anyway”- a baby is not born loving herself. She is born loving her caretaker, usually her mother. When adequately loved by her mother, then she loves herself and other people.

    “No matter how hard I’ll try I’ll never be able to communicate my affection”- you already tried and you already communicated your affection, it’s just that your love was not enough to make your mother happy and fix your family. Not because you didn’t love enough, or didn’t communicate your affection well, but because your mother and father were sick individuals and they needed more than a child’s love. They needed heavy duty professional intervention.

    Your school counselor was correct when she advised you: “Your parents.  You can’t fix it all. Focus on yourself and your future most important for now. After 2 years you’d be moving out for uni anyway. So  I hope you bear it through it until then”.





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