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  • #409679
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    I understand and I apologize for any and all unnecessary distress that I may have caused you. It makes me sad to think that I did. I think that what happened is that I projected to you my past experience growing up and onward, feeling crazy and not trusting my own perceptions about what was happening in my life. I grew up with my mother and she did not present to me life  as it really was. What she presented to me was a series of distorted versions of reality and that confused the h*** out of me. So when I became an adult, I wasn’t able to interpret people and situations correctly. I was pretty lost, confused… and feeling crazy, no being in charge of what was happening to me.

    anita

    #409680
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Our disscutions have been very helpful to me!

    I have made notes about the possible false core believe, the patterns that I am still repeating along with the self sabotaging behaviour. Like saying no to have drinks with friends and even though they really tried to get me to join them, I walked away feeling rejected, like they only asked me because they were trying to be friendly but didn’t really mean it (my mind trying to tell me I’m unworthy).

    As for the girls I think you are right in your assumptions. They don’t really seem to care. And I have noticed that I am a lot more relaxed when they are not at work. Even some what happy that one is currently out of the country cause it makes me feel less anxious. Not exactly something you should be saying about your friends. In the beginning I felt included but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, and it’s casing me a lot of stress because that was my primary group of people to hang with. Going out for a drink with my other collegues gave me a very good break and made me feel more mentally energized.

    Yes, my body remembers how it felt and those feelings can come flooding and overwhelm you at any time. Like you mentioned in an earlier post doing exposure therapy without adressing the underlying cause (and establish a sense of safety) wasn’t very good therapy. And It got worse and worse. I didn’t have a place to feel safe or time to rest, because it happened at home, in school and my family, with nobody to turn to. I am gonna keep working on my trauma and taking it one step at a time, and keep focus on the progress I have made so far. In just one year I have learnt and grown more than 20 years of working on just anxiety.

    #409689
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I am glad that our conversation is helping you!

    I wanted to understand the behavior of your receptionist colleague/friend a little better, so I went back and went through some of your earlier posts in this thread. And I took a lot of notes, so this will be long 🙂

    So if I understood well, it all started in June or July, when your receptionist friend and your other friend, who works with you at the café (the latter used to be your roommate, right?) – invited you to go to a pub with them. At that time they still didn’t know you liked him. I don’t know if I got this right, but it seems you went with them two days in a row, and on the second day, they invited him too:

    The first day we all went to a pub together (before they knew i liked him) they invited me to go with them (which made me happy that they asked me) the day after they told the cute guy that we were going to a pub with me and two other boys and if he liked to join which he did. He already had plans that day but joined us and even stayed with us even though he had to be with the others. He looked at me and said that this was very nice and we should definitly do it again which i agreed on. So I really thought we would do that again but didn’t happen.

    I haven’t understood if you confided in those 2 girls already at your first night out, and that’s why they invited him the following day? Or you told them only later?

    In any case, after you told them, they commented that he was sending you good signals (i.e. they believed you have a chance), and promised to help you out:

    They said some months ago that he was sending me good signals and that they would help me out with him because of my anxiety, but they never did.

    During July and August, he was showing interest in you: he was inquiring about you at your colleague who works at the café, then he invited you to the pub (that’s when you left without saying goodbye). A while later he invited you to go for a beer after work, then he came to your housewarming party, and in September, you both were at someone else’s housewarming party.

    On all those occasions he was showing interest in you, and it seems that the “fallout” at the pub (when you left without saying goodbye) didn’t have a major impact. Eventually, on Sept 19 (if I am counting right), you had the yoga date.

    Your receptionist colleague knew about the upcoming date and was asking you about it every day:

    The girl who added pressure kept asking me about him everyday, and saying things like if nothing happens on this first date you move on and forget about him. If it doesn’t happen now it never will you are too different.

    I am thinking that she was basically rooting for you, but might have had some doubts since nothing had happened between you and the guy up until that point, even though there were quite a few opportunities. Maybe that’s why she said “if nothing happens now, it never will”. She was keen to know what was going on, and was texting you before the date, and this made you even more nervous.

    Some time after the date, you met with her, and you talked it over:

    I went out for drinks with drinks with a female colleague and she gave me some good pointers as well. She works with him and she has never seen him awkward and anxious with anyone. She said that my text after the date was defensive and that that would make the person on the other end defensive. At the time I thought it sounded good and that it would make him take a step forward. Now not so much. We also talked about the fact that i am too avoident in my flirting (i am basically just shut down and ignore someone) cuz i feel it is so obvious that i am anxious around them because i like them i can’t expect people to read minds. And men also needs to know that if the are putting themselves out there and making advance to a women that it is received well.

    And she made a point that we are both indirect people (to protect ourselves) which makes sense with our back ground. But it also means that there are a lot of misunderstandings. She pointed out a lot of examples of his indirect ways of trying to spend time with me, but I didn’t catch on to it because he wasn’t direct enough. So learning to communicate and be authentic and vulnerable is better than to expect people to read minds. Just because i know why i am reacting a certain way doesn’t mean that other people knows why i am acting that way.

    I think it’s nice of her that she talked it over with you. Her opinion was that the text you sent him after the date was defensive and that it might have repelled him. She pointed out many occasions when he showed interest in you but you didn’t pick it up. She also gave you some pointers on how to better show that you are interested in someone.

    Based on that conversation, conversation with some other friends and the advice you received here on the forum, you decided you want to try it once again: you decided to let him know you like him and to also apologize for your anxious behavior previously.

    You sent him a message, but he unfortunately rejected you again. He was kind and polite, but nevertheless he said no.

    After that, it could be that your receptionist colleague realized that there is no chance between you and him. Maybe that’s why she didn’t invite you to go to drinks with them, because she knew you were very sad and heartbroken? So perhaps this was her attempt to be considerate?

    In the following weeks after the yoga date, it seems she went back to business-as-usual (partying and drinking with him and the gang – which they have been doing for months). It could be that in her view, the story between you and him was just an episode, in which she was interested and even wanted to help you out while it lasted. But since it ended, she isn’t thinking about it any more. She started behaving like before, without considering your feelings too much.

    This also shows she isn’t really a close friend, because a close friend would be more considerate and would be checking with you, asking you how you are. It seems she is rather a colleague, with whom you can mostly have a superficial relationship.

    I wouldn’t say she is a bad person though, and I don’t think she is insincere as I thought earlier – but simply she has her own life and doesn’t pay much attention to what is going on with you emotionally.

    You say that nowadays you feel better when she isn’t around. It’s probably because you feel resentment towards her, you feel that she betrayed you. In reality, I don’t see a huge betrayal on her part. She was at some point interested in the success of your relationship and wanted to help you, but since nothing came out of it, she probably stopped thinking about it.

    Anyway, I think it would help if you would re-evaluate her actions, and perhaps try to see things from her perspective. Also, maybe see her not as a close friend, but as a colleague. If you change your expectations towards her, I think things would be easier and you wouldn’t feel so betrayed.

    What do you say?

     

    #409711
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Having your reality denied is some of the most horrendous thing you can go through, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. That feeling of confusion and not knowing what to believe, is something nobody should go through. Sounds like you had a pretty hard time growing up as well.

    #409712
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    Thank you very much, Katrine. What a pleasant surprise to get your message. I thought you were (rightfully) angry at me and that you wouldn’t respond to my latest post.  Yes, I had a very hard time growing up, it was a mental torture, really.. I can hardly believe I survived it.

    anita

    #409714
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Sorry I don’t think I articulated it well. So X (X the girl working reception, Y the girl in the café) asked me two days before if I liked to go to a pub with them because they had free pints that day ( a week of celebrations in the city) I accepted and it felt good to be included. The next day the cute guy came to cover my break and they asked him so we are going to a pub with her and two boys tomorrow would you like to join? He accepted. I was glad but at the same time my anxiety got really high. The next day right before going we sat with him and talked a bit before going. I had taken the girls to my favorite breakfast place and the loved it, so X told the cute guy It’s really good! She will take you there! He looked at me and smiled, and I got nervous and started rambling about scrambled eggs. Days later I told them that I liked him and she said that she did notice that I seem rather shy that day. We went to the pub and us three girls sat down, the cute guy took the seat infront of me. We then went to another pub and X asked me for my Instagram, They both really like my picture and talked about my curly hair. They then went out for a cigarette cute guy joined them (not a smoker but a party smoker) he got thier Instagram (I found out later that day and I felt like an outsider because he didn’t get mine, so started distancing me a bit more to him) He looked at me and said it was nice we should do this again, later he said that he was supposed to be somewhere else but still stayed for more than an hour. He hugged us goodbye and left. Some days later I told them I liked him and that’s why I was awkward.

    I never gave them much details about my interactions with him. I told them I liked him and then we talked about my anxiety, Y (the girl who works café/bar) said don’t worry we got your back. We never talked about any specific things they could do to help. The only other thing about my interactions I shared with them was the day at the pub (me and him alone) Y was away on holiday and she wrote me about him I told her about the pub and how he asked me to which she replied I’m so happy yes the signals are there. Few days later X texted me so Y just told me about you guys goin to a pub together that must have been nice. Thats what I shared with them. They did ask me to join them for drinks but now it was more about drinking until late, instead of a pub. I do way better with pubs then clubs. I get overwhelmed in a busy environment like that.

    X asking a lot of questions made me very anxious  because I felt I had to perform. One of the reasons it’s so hard for me to talk to my crush is because i want to show my best self, but I just end up paralysed not knowing what to do or say.

    The girl who I went to a pub talked it over and gave me pointers is another female collegue of mine. We went out just the two of us, she worked reception with him as well. I told her that he is a very arkward and nervous guy and she was went, what that guy no he isn’t! She mentioned the times were I had my chances to met him halfway but instead blew him off. Something she said I need to work on, which she is right, I have done this in other situations with other guys and I always end up regretting it after. It’s just so hard when I am anxious.

    After that (two days before the staff party) I wrote and apologized for my behaviour and talked about my anxiety and it makes me rude. He wrote back and assured me that I had nothing to worry about and then started talking about the fact that he has a lot of anxiety and the same things happens to him so he knows how it feels like and I don’t need to feel sorry. He was really nice, I didn’t reply to his messages.

    I was too fast to react to not being invited out for drinks that day (they have asked me to join for drinks after work but I have been so exhausted after work that I said no a couple of times. The cute guy wasn’t with them that day and neither was other collegues apart from one guy working the bar. That guy was the one that was my roomate, the one he came to the bar asking about me. The cute guy started asking him about me but my roommate only remembered he said bla bla Katrine bla bla Katrine to which he said yeah yeah and walked away. I wish I knew what he said. I know that he though that I still lived there but I didn’t. The day the guy told him that he thought that I was interested in him and he replied no I don’t think she is, he stayed with me in the Café for almost his entire shift. It’s normal for them to have more people working reception than they have computers for there, but then they go to the office and work from there. Cute guy always came to help me out in the café (as the only one who did that) but we just ended up talking about our interest and stuff. That day he asked me didn’t you use to go to the bar often when you still lived here I said no, he went really you didn’t go to the bar when you lived here I said no just the day you asked he smiled at that. The first time I went to the bar when he asked me was the first time that he went to the bar.

    Yes I think you are right about my collegue. I felt very hurt by not being asked and that feeling just stayed for me for a long time. I really didn’t feel included but there have been occacions where they did ask me buty I kept saying no due to being tired from work, and when I did join them(I had to push myself to go) I went home after an hour or two. So I can’t really blame her for not asking me to join as much.

    #409739
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    thank you for clarifying!

    So it was another colleague who you talked with after the yoga date, not X.

    And when all of you went to the pub in July, it was only one evening, not two evenings in a row. X and Y found out that you liked him only later. So they didn’t help you get together with him, however they seem to have been supportive. They knew about your date with him at the pub, and they seem to have rooted for you. Later X invited both of you to her housewarming party, but he couldn’t come, right?

    I don’t think they could have or should have done more in terms of helping you get together with him, since he was in fact showing initiative towards you. There was no need for their “nudging”…

    So when you say that they promised to help you out, but haven’t done anything – well, there was no need to help you out since you and the guy were already in direct contact, and there was no need for a “matchmaker”, so to speak…

     

    I was too fast to react to not being invited out for drinks that day (they have asked me to join for drinks after work but I have been so exhausted after work that I said no a couple of times.

    It’s good that you’re realizing that they didn’t want to exclude you intentionally, but that several times you actually refused to go because you were tired after work. And when you did go to a club (which you don’t like due to partying, heavy drinking and loud music), you left early, after only one or two hours. So I guess they figured you’re not a party animal like them 🙂

    But that doesn’t mean they think less of you, or don’t like you, as you previously concluded. I think they simply respect that you are a different type, you prefer pubs and a calmer atmosphere, where you can actually talk to people and not get drunk. Based on what you’ve shared, I don’t think there is any evidence that they don’t like you or think less of you. They actually seem kind, they asked for your Instagram and complimented on your hair… and later they rooted for you to get together with him. I don’t see any ill will on their part.

    I felt very hurt by not being asked and that feeling just stayed for me for a long time. I really didn’t feel included

    Yes I can imagine, because your childhood wound got triggered. When there is a wound like that, it distorts our perception and all we can see is rejection, although in reality, there is no rejection. These girls don’t look down on you, they don’t think you are less worthy… but you still concluded that, because your childhood experiences made you believe that you are unworthy. That’s one of your core false beliefs, i.e. false conclusions about yourself.

    Regarding the guy, he is certainly an enigma and I can see how his behavior drove you crazy… because he is like hot and cold, giving you mixed signals, and he seems to be still doing that (e.g. by standing next to you, not saying anything).  Really frustrating!

    I just wonder – you said you didn’t reply to his messages after he started talking about his anxiety. Is it because you felt rejected, and so you felt there is no point in continuing the conversation?

     

    #409790
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I am sad to hear that you had those experiences growing up, you would have had to be very strong to survive that. I think one of the biggest grief around childhood trauma is that it doesn’t stop when you leave the environment but follows us as adults as well. And living with trauma in a not so trauma informed world is really really hard.

    #409792
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    Thank you once again. I hardly ever encounter empathy expressed for me in such a simple, sincere way. I appreciate it. You are right: the trauma did follow me. Not only did it follow me but it (the trauma) grew when people I came across as an adult took advantage of my weakness and confusion (the weakness and confusion that were the results of my childhood trauma).

    anita

    #409794
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes exactly. He couldn’t come to the first housewarming (he had the late shift) but came to the second one, she did two so the ones that worked the first one could come as well.

    Wow I really didn’t see it that way. I really felt like they didn’t care and was starting to exclude me from outtings because they didn’t like me enough. But I did in fact turn them down more times that I realised.

    X said to me on about the 2nd housewarming that the cute guy and another guy from reception (another former roommate of mine) were gonna go together when they finished their shift 30 min after me, and that I should go with them (she mentioned it twice). I wanted to but I was really anxious because way more people was gonna attend this one (all collegues of mine and people I get on with) but arriving to a party where people are allready partying makes me soo nervous. And second because of the cute guy. I was really thinking about joining them but then my former roommate said that he needed to get ready first (he takes a loong time to get ready, longer than me) so it would have just been me and the guy I liked alone. I regretted that decision after, he kept saying but who’s gonna pour me a beer but he knew who could do it (a man and two other girls) It would have been a good way of challenging myself, and to do something even though I was really nervous.

    It’s good to hear you say that you don’t think that they think any less of me. I have been known for doing the Irish goodbye so I can see it makes sense to stop inviting someone to something they don’t like and always say no.

    I react quite strongly to rejection or even perceived rejection.I really feel like people only ask me because they are trying to be polite, and not because they genuinely want to spend time with me. It has happened a lot, like there’s a part of me that want to hear them fight for me but I never believe them when they do.

    Yes It’s really frustreting. I thought that that would be over after. I once had a crush on a guy and he could tell i lseemed to like him but he never gave me anything back or flirted with me, he just treated me like any other woman. So I quickly knew nothing was going to happend it only made it easier, because then the pressure was off I didn’t have to empress him, after that he started teasing me and I knew that now I was accepted as a friend. But he is still acting awkward around me the same way he did before, and at times it even made me a bit mad. Like you don’t have the right to be awkward around me if you only see me as a friend  (or just a collegue), if that’s the case then you should treat me the same way you treat the other female collegues. But he is still acting as before.

    About his message on his anxiety your right. I didn’t reply It took me some days before I even read it, and I thought that if I replied then I would make a fool of myself.

     

     

    #409820
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    He couldn’t come to the first housewarming (he had the late shift) but came to the second one, she did two so the ones that worked the first one could come as well.

    That’s nice of her! It does show she is a kind person. Perhaps she even did it partly for you, to help you and the guy get together? Because she even told you (twice) to go together with your guy and another guy she invited. It seems to me she was doing her best to give you as much chance as possible to interact…

    It’s good to hear you say that you don’t think that they think any less of me. I have been known for doing the Irish goodbye so I can see it makes sense to stop inviting someone to something they don’t like and always say no.

    Yes I am quite certain, after everything you shared, that those girls don’t think any less of you, and that in fact they were rooting for you, and X even tried to help. It’s good that you’re seeing that you also rejected their invitation several times, or sneaked out early from a party… So they must have figured it out that it’s not your cup of tea 🙂

    I react quite strongly to rejection or even perceived rejection.I really feel like people only ask me because they are trying to be polite, and not because they genuinely want to spend time with me. It has happened a lot, like there’s a part of me that want to hear them fight for me but I never believe them when they do.

    Yes, you said that you don’t even like celebrating your birthday because you believe people come out of obligation/politeness, not because they really want to. That’s all a part of your rejection wound, and feeling less worthy than others. When in fact, people do appreciate you and want to be at your birthday party!

    there’s a part of me that want to hear them fight for me but I never believe them when they do.

    Yes, there is a child part in you who want to be so loved and desired that people fight for her! Because that’s how she would finally know that they love her and that she’s important to them…

    He is still acting awkward around me the same way he did before, and at times it even made me a bit mad. Like you don’t have the right to be awkward around me if you only see me as a friend (or just a collegue), if that’s the case then you should treat me the same way you treat the other female collegues.

    Exactly! That’s what I too said a few posts back – that his behavior is frustrating and how dares he stand next to you, not saying anything, when he rejected you?! Is he provoking you or what? But I hope he isn’t… He is probably genuinely confused and doesn’t know what he wants. Or he’s super afraid of intimacy.

    I didn’t reply It took me some days before I even read it, and I thought that if I replied then I would make a fool of myself.

    I understand… I think it’s probably for the best. Because if he wants to talk to you, he can… e.g. while standing next to you 😉 So yeah, probably replying wouldn’t really make a difference, like unfortunately your 2 message didn’t either. But please don’t feel bad about his rejection because he obviously doesn’t have it all together…

     

    #410017
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    It breaks my heart to hear this. For other people to take advantage of someone who’s hurting is unacceptable and only makes it worse. It really just ads another layer to the pain, maybe that’s why you are devoted to help other people. I really hope you are surrounded by better people now, with more empathy and support.

    #410018
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    It’s really good to hear. I think it’s partly because of all the stressors that came all at once that really activated those old wounds that haven’t been healed yet. I’ve isolated more stopped eating and sleeping which definitly doesn’t make it easier to recognise when you start reacting to something from the past. My brain been constanly scanning for threats, I have been a lot more aggitated and reactive than two months ago, I am getting better now though.

    I have also isolated myself more from X and Y because of jalousi, because they are friends with him and get to spend time with him I really want that as well, we have a lot in common and with us both having anxiety we could have been good support for each other. Just a couple of days ago him and Y were talking next to me about new years eve, she said oh you are going abroad, he said that he wasn’t sure anymore. She then said she wants to celebrate with a close group of friends and I fear that they are gonna celebrate together as a group without me. New year’s eve is my birthday and one that activates a lot of old wounds, celebrating without any friends but with my parents and their friends. That is really really hard, being without friends on your birthday and knowing that everybody else are celebrating that day with their friends, is extremly hurtful. And seeing them talk hurts a lot.

    Regarding him I’m shifting between missing him (I even tear up and it’s so stupid) and getting really angry with him and wanting to just cut him off and ignore him.

    He was in a good mood the day of his actual birthday said hi and that he hadn’t seen me in a long time and how I had been. I didn’t know that it was his birthday at that point cuz they don’t make you work on your birthday. He celebrated with two friends and his brother came, it looked very nice and relaxing but one of our collegues asked about his birthday after she said he seemed disappointed. He also asked me if I needed help carrying something which he did. But yeah being treated different than the other female collegues hurts, he’s so relaxed around them (and female guests) and it stings.

    One thing I have realised is that my anxiety around someone I like isn’t social anxiety but me getting triggered because of vulnerbility. Because now I like you you have the power to break  my heart and I need to protect myself. I was completly fine around him in the beginning but then I got to the point where I really wanted something to happend between us, and then he winked at me and I felt this rush in my body. I remeber thinking oh no not again, now I am gonna be really anxiouswhen being around him. I’m also mad at myself for the times I had a change to spend time with him, but let my anxiety win. Like the first time he asked me to the bar and I left. He wasn’t flirting with her but I was jaloux and I was afraid that maybe I read him wrong. Or not having a beer with him before the party, or the turkish restaurant, or when he left his hat at my house I really wanted him to come pick it up so we had some alone time, but I was afarid of rejection so just told him that I would bring it to him. I need to forgive my self for not being better at handling my anxiety in those situations, I feel like my anxiety defeeded me.

    I have his message about his anxiety saved on my phone. I have always been shamed for my anxiety and told I need to push harder. Hearing someone open up and tell about his own anxiety and reassure me several times that I had absolutly nothing to apologize for was really nice to hear.

    #410027
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    Thank you, Katrine! Reading the short, empathetic post you submitted for me, made me realize how very good you are at expressing empathy. I am touched and impressed at the same time. You are empathetic and kind. I used to distrust empathy, expecting something bad to follow it, but I am getting better at accepting it instead of being suspicious of it.

    I want to reciprocate your empathy in this post by expressing some for you, in regard to the very first sentences you shared on tiny buddha (August 12, 2020, original post): “So this is hard for me, but here goes. I’m finding myself in a Deep Black hole and I don’t know how to get out of it. A bit about me. I’m a 30 year old woman who have struggled with severe anxiety, depression and stress starting at the age of 7. I’ve experienced bullying, physical and mental abuse, emotional blackmail and gaslighting. I’ve been in a constant battle of trying to keep my head above water as well as others’, because if I don’t give my all they tell me that I’m selfish“-

    -You are NOT selfish, Katrine. I am sorry that you have suffered from severe anxiety, depression and stress for most of your life, that you experienced bullying, and abuses of all kinds, and that you’ve lived in a constant battle to keep your head, and your mother’s head (and sister’s, and father’s?), above water for so many years. As I was typing a moment ago, it occurred to me that the Deep Black hole you referred to, could be what drowning feels like (the drowning that happens when you get exhausted keeping your head above water). Maybe you are still living in this state of trying to keep your head above water and drowning at the same time.

    My intent in this post was to express empathy, but as you can see, I have a strong tendency to venture into analysis. You are welcome to ignore the latter. I hope that you soon feel much better than you have felt for a long time and that your New Year’s Eve birthday will be way better than you expect!

    anita

    #410151
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I am thinking of you, but unfortunately didn’t have time to respond in the last couple of days. I’ll try to write a reply as soon as possible, hopefully this evening.

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