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  • #410156
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    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.

    Yes, his rejection hit you hard. It probably confirmed those false beliefs that you’re worthless and that nobody cares about you. And when X failed to invite you to go for drinks with them, it was another blow and another “confirmation” of this same false belief. It felt like total rejection – not just by him but by your friends too.

    But I hope that you’ve realized in the meanwhile that X and Y aren’t against you and haven’t rejected you, but that on the contrary they were supportive and kind. And that the fact that they sometimes don’t invite you to those parties doesn’t mean they don’t like you or think less of you, but just that they’ve figured that you’re not a party person and don’t always fancy going out.

    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.

    OK, so what stops you from celebrating this New Year with X and Y and other friends? Are you expected to go home for holidays and celebrate with your parents?

    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.

    It seems you’re blaming yourself for the fact that he rejected a relationship with you. You’re blaming yourself for e.g. leaving the bar without saying goodbye, however the truth is that this hasn’t stopped him from being interested in you and wanting to spend time with you. Because after that “gaffe” in the bar, he came to your housewarming party (after which he gave you a long hug), he invited you to a pub after work one evening (where you tasted each other’s beer), he came to X’s housewarming party…. If he really was repelled by your anxiety, or your awkwardness, he wouldn’t have shown interest in you after that incident in the bar.

    He would have avoided you instead of seeking you out.

    So I am almost sure that he wasn’t repelled at all by your awkwardness. It didn’t stop him at all.

    And finally, you even apologized for your awkward behavior and expressed that you liked him. So you’ve attempted to repair whatever he might have misunderstood.

    Therefore, you have absolutely no reason to blame yourself. It’s not your fault that he rejected a relationship with you. It’s most probably his own fears and insecurities (e.g. fear of intimacy). But definitely NOT your fault. Can you see that?

    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.

    I understand your feelings, Katrine, because his behavior is weird. He is hot and cold, and his behavior is confusing. However, I think that at this point it would help you if you accepted his decision (to not get involved romantically with you).

    Accept it, and at the same time don’t blame yourself for it. Because it’s not your fault.

    I think if you could change your attitude and not see it as your fault or as a “proof” that something’s wrong with you, it would be much easier to handle.

    Because then you could decide what kind of relationship you want with him (apart from a romantic relationship, which he doesn’t want, at least for now). Maybe you’d still like to talk to him when he is in your vicinity? Or maybe you’d want to reply to his message about anxiety, because anxiety is a common topic and you might be able to support each other? (“we have a lot in common and with us both having anxiety we could have been good support for each other”.)

    Of course, you don’t have to have any kind of relationship with him, if you don’t want to. But I think it would be much easier for you to handle the whole thing if you 1) accepted his decision, 2) stopped blaming yourself for it, and 3) changed your attitude to one of self-love and high self-esteem, which would make you less anxious and less powerless in interactions with him.

    What do you think?

     

    #410194
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes, It hit me very hard. Those insecurities are so deeply rooted in me, and I need to atend to those wounds. My wounds might get triggered by them, but they are not the reason that I have them. Thoughts aren’t facts, so just because I feel rejected doesn’t necessary mean that I AM being rejected. Y asked me last week that we need to go out for drinks and it felt good to hear that, and today we settle on a day to do just that, I think that it will be good for me. And I will write X tomorrow and ask how she is doing, and from the looks of her Instagram stories it looks like she is having a really good time.

    Well we have a choice in choosing to work Chritsmas and get New Years Eve off or vice versa. They want to be off on New Years I want to be off Christmas, and since they really like to party (and I’m use to not really having any friends to celebrate with) I fear that I’m only gonna be working and then go home alone. Last year I was supposed to celebrate with my best friends, her broyfriend and two kids, my parents and his parents. But then her boyfriend wanted it to just be the four of them, and it hurt really bad. Celebrating my birthday (as an adult) alone with my parents and their friends so extremely painful. Like your supposed to celebrate that day with friends, and I haven’t suceeded in that too much in my life, hence the reason I get really anxious at this time of year.

    Your right. He did keep seeking out my company, even after I shut him out. Being more interested in coming to my house than X’s, getting really angry when men were talking about my body inappropiatly but didn’t  react when they did it to Y. And even after the yoga session (he did a lot of stuff that indicated that he knew it was a date and made an effort) he was still acting hot and cold not just cold.

    I think seeing him as a friend would be best for me. That’s basically what I did with the guy I as with earlier this year, seeing him as a friend not an x lover made it way easier for me. It’s not my fault and I should not beat myself up for asking a guy out. It’s another opportunity to grow right? He had his shifts cut so he could work another job that pays better (he also nearly got fired due to his disorganisation and other stuff), so I don’t see him as much anymore, and in two months he’ll be leaving the country.

    #410220
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I think seeing him as a friend would be best for me. That’s basically what I did with the guy I as with earlier this year, seeing him as a friend not an x lover made it way easier for me. It’s not my fault and I should not beat myself up for asking a guy out. It’s another opportunity to grow right?

    I am loving your attitude! Yes, there was nothing wrong asking him on a date, specially since he showed all this interest. You took the initiative and tried to speed things up a little, so that you don’t stay in a limbo for too long. You did well! You didn’t know he would reject you, after showing all this interest. So…. don’t blame yourself for asking him out, for trying something which looked promising, but because of his limitations or confusion, didn’t work out.

    What’s important is that you did well, you did what your heart told you, you were courageous, you stepped out of your comfort zone, and you expressed your feelings in spite of being afraid. That’s a huge step!

    So be proud of yourself, Katrine, for reaching out and showing yourself, rather than retreating into your shell. Once again: well done, Katrine!

    Thoughts aren’t facts, so just because I feel rejected doesn’t necessary mean that I AM being rejected. Y asked me last week that we need to go out for drinks and it felt good to hear that, and today we settle on a day to do just that, I think that it will be good for me. And I will write X tomorrow and ask how she is doing, and from the looks of her Instagram stories it looks like she is having a really good time.

    That’s fantastic. I am so glad that you’re in touch with both X and Y, and don’t have resentments towards them. I am also glad that Y actually reached out to you – which means she is interested in your company. She didn’t have to reach out, but she did. So notice that and perhaps register it as a new thought: “People are actually interested in hanging out with me. People like my company.”

    If you say this to yourself, how does it feel?

    Celebrating my birthday (as an adult) alone with my parents and their friends so extremely painful. Like your supposed to celebrate that day with friends, and I haven’t suceeded in that too much in my life, hence the reason I get really anxious at this time of year.

    I understand… you’ve never celebrated New Year’s – which is also your birthday – with your friends, because you didn’t have close friends with whom to celebrate it. You’ve always felt excluded and rejected. Last year it hurt so much because your best friend bailed out on you when her boyfriend changed his mind. That only confirmed your belief that nobody cares about you, that you’re not important to anyone.

    But I am thinking that this year should be the Year of New Beginnings. Because now you know that those false beliefs are really false, that they aren’t reality. As you yourself so eloquently put it: “Thoughts aren’t facts, so just because I feel rejected doesn’t necessary mean that I AM being rejected.”

    If you approach this New Year Eve’s celebrations with this new thought in mind – with this new attitude that people actually enjoy your company and appreciate you – how would you want to spend it? Where? With whom?

    Maybe your preference is neither your parents’ house nor some crazy club party, but something else. Can you envision your perfect New Year’s Eve celebration?

     

    #410463
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    That feels really good to hear. I have been beating myself up really badly lately so it’s good to hear. Focusing on the process instead of the end results, and I’ve actually stepped out of my comfort zone quiete a lot I need to remember that. I’m also trying to think about it more nuanced, like right now he’s stuck in my head as this amazing fantasy of what could have been. But having feelings for someone and what it’s like actually being with them is two different things. I have been focusing on the fact that we have many things in common that we could have bonded over like we both have a past, anxiety and a diagnosis. But that could also have worked against us, having a past that’s contanly getting triggered. Like Anita said so well in a post that a person who is unwell is not inclined to think much or care much about how his/her behaviour affects others. He has been drinking a lot lately, he knows it’s bad for his health a tries to stop but still ends up doing it. He used to work 8 jobs and party to the early morning, sleep two hours and then start again. I have been isolating myself a lot lately, been very agitated and moody and extremely reactive. I can go from 0 to a 100 in a split sec emotionally and it’s really hard on my health. I can start seeing the difference between being regulated, I’m open, more authentic and can see him with empathy and that me being interested is just a really big compliment. When I’m dysregulated I view everyone as an enemy, someone who will hurt me even my friends and family regardless of them proving otherwise. So now I know that when I start isolating, getting defensive and pushing people away and wanting to cut all ties with them (like I felt with him, getting angry and wanted to  completly ignore him) then I need to give myself a time out because I am not myself. Learning to self regulate is something I need to learn.

    Saying to myself that people are actually interessted in hanging out with me, feels weird. Like I’m not completly convinced that they do. But many people at work has in fact reached out and wanted to spend time with me which they didn’t have to so they must see something good in my company. Last night Y and I was supposed to go out for a drink just the two of us, but we 9 other people (mostly staff) ended up joining. That would normally have made me insanly nervous because more people having fun drinking makes me feel like the outsider. But it was really fun and I didn’t walk away feeling sad. So that was another win for me.

    I am hoping that someone will ask me to join them for New Year’s Eve, to feel included. I don’t want to have to feel like I have to invite myself because that would make me feel pathetic. I’m gonna be working on New Year’s Eve (and be home for Christmas) everybody at work want’s New Year’s off so they can party. If nobody ask then I will celebrate at work probably.

    Sorry for the long post.

     

    #410519
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    That feels really good to hear. I have been beating myself up really badly lately so it’s good to hear. Focusing on the process instead of the end results, and I’ve actually stepped out of my comfort zone quiete a lot I need to remember that.

    I am glad it helped you see things from a different perspective – that really, you did nothing bad, and even if you behaved anxiously around him sometimes, you addressed that and opened up to him, going against your usual fear and withdrawal reaction… so yes, you’ve made great progress, even though the end result wasn’t the one you were hoping for.

    But you did everything in your power, there is nothing you could have done more. The fact that he didn’t respond positively is on him, not on you. You did great and made significant progress, so yes, please remind yourself of that whenever you start doubting yourself!

    I’m also trying to think about it more nuanced, like right now he’s stuck in my head as this amazing fantasy of what could have been. But having feelings for someone and what it’s like actually being with them is two different things. I have been focusing on the fact that we have many things in common that we could have bonded over like we both have a past, anxiety and a diagnosis. But that could also have worked against us, having a past that’s contanly getting triggered. Like Anita said so well in a post that a person who is unwell is not inclined to think much or care much about how his/her behaviour affects others. He has been drinking a lot lately, he knows it’s bad for his health a tries to stop but still ends up doing it. He used to work 8 jobs and party to the early morning, sleep two hours and then start again.

    Right.. he seems quite troubled. And if he’s started drinking more heavily again, it means he’s in pain and chooses to numb/soothe himself with alcohol, rather than address the pain and try to heal it. It’s hard to be in a relationship with someone who is addicted, because those people are indeed selfish (addiction makes them so). So even if he said yes, he would have probably hurt you sooner or later, and it wouldn’t have been a dream relationship that you fantasized about…

    In fact, there is a saying “Be careful what you wish for – you might get it”. I think it can be applied to your situation too, because he seems like someone who is very confused, doesn’t know what he wants, and is in quite a lot of pain which he’s not dealing with in healthy ways… so it wouldn’t have been a very healthy relationship, it seems to me.

    I have been isolating myself a lot lately, been very agitated and moody and extremely reactive. I can go from 0 to a 100 in a split sec emotionally and it’s really hard on my health. I can start seeing the difference between being regulated, I’m open, more authentic and can see him with empathy and that me being interested is just a really big compliment. When I’m dysregulated I view everyone as an enemy, someone who will hurt me even my friends and family regardless of them proving otherwise. So now I know that when I start isolating, getting defensive and pushing people away and wanting to cut all ties with them (like I felt with him, getting angry and wanted to completly ignore him) then I need to give myself a time out because I am not myself. Learning to self regulate is something I need to learn.

    It’s good that you’re observing yourself and seeing the difference in your behavior when you’re mostly calm and relaxed vs. when you’re triggered. A very big difference, you say. And it changes in a split second, once you get triggered.

    You’ve already identified the first step to do when you get triggered: to pause and give yourself time. Excellent! In addition, you can practice other emotional regulation techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing and grounding techniques, which help you to stay in the present moment and observe yourself, rather than slip into the fight-or-flight mode and react impulsively.

    I think I’ve already mentioned it, but there is a youtube video by Dr. Nicole Lepera about what to do when you’re triggered, i.e. dysregulated. The title is “Here’s what to do when you’re triggered.”

    She suggests 3 steps: 1) deep, belly breathing, 2) observing yourself, i.e. not identifying yourself with the wounded part which is coming up with the old narrative and flooding us with the emotions of hurt and reject (in your case, the wounded part is telling you that nobody loves you or cares about you, and that you’re worthless). So observe those thoughts and emotions, but don’t identify yourself with them. And 3) accept yourself with all those feelings and thoughts coming up – without judging yourself – and just allow those emotions to ride through you, like a wave. Eventually, they will subside.

    Let me know if you’ve tried the exercise…

    Saying to myself that people are actually interessted in hanging out with me, feels weird. Like I’m not completly convinced that they do. But many people at work has in fact reached out and wanted to spend time with me which they didn’t have to so they must see something good in my company.

    Yes! People have reached out to you, Y has reached out to meet you recently, so yes, they like your company. You are likeable and people like hanging out with you. That’s the truth, and I hope you’ll accept it more and more…

    Last night Y and I was supposed to go out for a drink just the two of us, but we 9 other people (mostly staff) ended up joining. That would normally have made me insanly nervous because more people having fun drinking makes me feel like the outsider. But it was really fun and I didn’t walk away feeling sad. So that was another win for me.

    Yay! I am so glad that you weren’t nervous among so many people and in fact had a good time, leaving with good, pleasant memories. That’s another great achievement, Katrine! I am happy for you!

    I am hoping that someone will ask me to join them for New Year’s Eve, to feel included. I don’t want to have to feel like I have to invite myself because that would make me feel pathetic.

    Are you hoping that X and Y will invite you to join their party (after your shift is over)? Or there’s another party you have in mind?

     

    #410662
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your kind words. I can totally relate to being suspicious to kindness. If you’ve been subjected to abuse in any form you are just really waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    You’re analysis hits spot on. I do feel like I’m drowning, the past couple of months was just a little too much for me to handle feeling like I am being atacked from all sides. And though it may not seem like it from these many many posts, this has actually been one of the best years of my life. The glimmers of this year means the world to me, I’ve experienced something I never had before 1) my first intimate (and safe) experience with a man, returning to the job in the country that I love and having such amazing collegues who accept me even with my C-ptsd, they are very supportive and that has been very healing.

    I am feeling better than I was a month ago you and Tee has really helped me a lot. I too hope that New Year’s Eve will turn out better than I think too.

    #410664
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes he is quite troubled, like my collegue said that guy’s all over the place. I would definitly have endended up triggering each other, because in some aspects we all completely alike and have our own unhealthy coping mechanisms that would have worked against us. With the guy earlier this year, he had a stable childhood (and life) so it was just me who got triggered when he got too close. I was bouncing off of him like a rubber ball, but he kept staying there, meaning that it made it easier for me to let my guard down. With me and the cute guy, we both bounce. Like sometimes when I get nervous I use humour to cope, but he didn’t pick up on the fact that I was joking and he took it personally and got defensive and sometimes he says something innocent I end up getting defensive so your right it wouldn’t have been the dream I have in mind.

    I’m gonna start to watch Dr Nicole Lepera’s videos tonight. Being in the overwhelming state of fight/flight is by far the harddest for me to deal with. Like the time in the bar where a girl was flirting with him, that one was so strong it took me a week to return to my baseline. A process a want to speed up so for one I don’t do anything that I might regret and also because it’s extremely hard on your mind a body to be in.

    There’s a lot of situations at the moment where I can try this. One being around him and trying to keep my anxiety at a level, and try to make conversations with him as I do with every one else. Two is that three people left work and they hired 11 new people to work reception. It is hard for me to have that many new people to deal with(they all have been really nice) but the pretty girls they have hired to work reception with him always makes me very jealous. That is not something new, I have reacted the same way with every new girl they hired since April. Maybe it is because there’s something that’s important to me (him) and that it is something outside my control. I don’t like being in control it is a trigger for me. My flatmate has also moved out which I am sad about because it worked really well between us, tomorrow a couple moves in. It’s a small flat with only two rooms and one bathroom, so I am very nervous about how it’s going to be going forward. I hope they are nice.

    I’m gonna reach out to more people and go out and have fun. It’s good for me and I get to do more then just work and then go home.

    I am hoping the X and Y invite me to their party, because I still feel like they are my primary group, and would be nice to try being around friends again on my birthday.

    #410666
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    You are welcome, Katrine, and thank you for your appreciation, empathy and kindness. You are intelligent, insightful and kind, and you are appreciative of the positive aspects of your life this year, soon coming to an end (and a new beginning). Congratulations for all your progress this year!

    Here is an example of your amazing insight in your most recent post: “With the guy earlier this year, he had a stable childhood (and life) so it was just me who got triggered when he got too close. I was bouncing off of him like a rubber ball, but he kept staying there, meaning that it made it easier for me to let my guard down. With me and the cute guy, we both bounce… Being in the overwhelming state of fight/flight is by far the hardest for me to deal with“-

    – it’s clear, for one, that the kind of guy you need in your life is the non-bouncy kind. Secondly, it’s clear to me that this fight/flight dynamic, what you often referred to earlier as emotional dysregulation is your greatest challenge. I wish you had access to psychotherapy that specifically targets emotional regulation (DBT comes to mind, standing for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). Also, there are certain psychiatric drugs of the safer kind that come to mind, like the SSRI group. I don’t know if you ever consider SSRIs.

    Looking back at my own psychotherapy back in 2011-13, my therapist used DBT strategies as well as Mindfulness skills while he focused on emotional regulation: part of the homework he gave me after ever session was to listen to one of Mark William’s Mindfulness meditation audios (you can download those for free). While treating me, he was in contact with a psychiatrist who prescribed me with an SSRI (Fluvoxamine). I was off that drug and all psychiatric drugs ever since Oct 2013.

    Good to read from you, Katrine!

    anita

    #410750
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I am so glad that this year has been one of the best years of your life, because as you say, you’ve had some major successes, in spite of the struggle and challenges. But you’ve really made great progress, and so yes, you should be happy about it, and also proud of yourself!

    It’s also great that you’re realizing how supportive your colleagues are (specially X and Y), and that they are in fact safe people – people who accept you as you are, don’t judge you and wish the best for you. So I hope that you’ll be able to relax even more in their company. The goal would be to become so relaxed around them to actually invite yourself to the New Year’s party (!!) instead of waiting for them to invite you. To say something like “hey girls, I decided I’d like to celebrate this New Year’s Eve properly – is there still space at your party? I’d love to join after my shift is over.” I am sure they wouldn’t have anything against it, in fact they would be thrilled.

    I know that you said it would be pathetic if you invited yourself, but it’s not pathetic at all. It’s called self-confidence. You’ve already established that you are liked by many people, and by X and Y particularly. So you could just approach them with that attitude of openness, of cheerfulness, of self-acceptance… and I am sure they will welcome you with open arms!

    I’m gonna start to watch Dr Nicole Lepera’s videos tonight. Being in the overwhelming state of fight/flight is by far the harddest for me to deal with. Like the time in the bar where a girl was flirting with him, that one was so strong it took me a week to return to my baseline. A process a want to speed up so for one I don’t do anything that I might regret and also because it’s extremely hard on your mind a body to be in.

    I hear you when you say it’s hard to not slip into the fight-or-flight mode, once you are in a challenging situation. I do hope Dr. Lepera’s videos will help. Anita mentioned DBT and mindfulness, which are great methods for emotion regulation. The key is to breathe deeply, from your belly, and remain in your observer mind (observing your racing thoughts and feelings, knowing that those thoughts are trauma-driven thoughts and not true. So you just observe them but don’t believe them. You mentally separate yourself from them.)

    I’ve also come across a very informative youtube channel, called Lewis Psychology. There is a video called “DBT skills: Wise Mind, Emotion Mind and Reasonable Mind.” I liked the idea of the wise mind a lot. We want to stay as much as possible in the wise mind, so perhaps having a mantra such as “I am anchored in my wise mind” would even help in the situations you’re triggered. I don’t know, haven’t tried it myself yet, but it just occurred to me that having a mantra that goes together with deep breathing might be a good idea in those situations.

    It’s really good to hear that you’re more willing to go out and hang out with people, and even challenge yourself in situations which earlier would have been uncomfortable. That’s great – you’re building your “socializing muscle”, if there is such a word. Probably not, but you know what I meant to say 🙂

    The only thing I am a bit wary of is the fact that your new flatmates will be a couple. I’d feel a little strange in such a constellation, but then again, I’ve never had a flatmate 🙂 I do hope it works out for you!

     

    #410861
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks you so much for your kind words. It’s weird how it feels weird to me to recieve such empathy. Learning to receive compliments is still hard for me.

    Yes, a non bouncy guy is way better for me. Me and tghe cute guy are too simalar in that way. And now looking back I can see a huge difference in when I was regulated I could accept his advances and read between the lines (his indirect approach to asking me to go to the pub) and when I was dysregulated when he was inddirect about the Turkish restaurant I really thought that he was trying to get rid of me. I did the same with the guy earlier this year, he was looking for work on his computer and I was on mine he then said if I wanted to go out and do other stuff I could do it. I imediately thought that he wanted me to leave so he could be alone, I went out for several hours got back and said do you need more time alone? (or something like that) and he was like noo that wasn’t what I meant! I just didn’t want you to be bored. So I have a tendency of jumping to conclusions always in a negative way.

    I have heard about DBT but never tried it I’m gonna look into that and the mindfulness, the emotional dysregulation is definitly the hardest for me to control. I have never heard about SSRI’s so I need to look into that as well. People here have suggested CBD oil because it’s legal and doesn’t get you high but I didn’t try it. Anything that helps will be good!

    #410863
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    You are very welcome! I hope that you continue to receive empathy and that you will get used to it. I am making progress in this regard myself (accepting empathy instead of treating it with suspicion)!

    when I was regulated I could accept his advances and read between the lines… I have a tendency of jumping to conclusions always in a negative way“- when dysregulated our thinking takes short cuts: bypassing the meaning in between the lines and jumping to conclusions.

    I have never heard about SSRI’s…“- it is a very, very commonly prescribed group of anti-depressants that are also prescribed for OCD. Lots of people are against taking any kind- or most kinds- of psychiatric medications, but lots of people taking the SSRI drugs report much improvement in anxiety, depression and emotional regulation.

    Thank you, Katrine, for being as positive and as kind as you are, a pleasure to read from you and to communicate with you!

    anita

    #410864
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    It really has been an amazing year in many aspects I just have a tendency to focus on the negative.

    I’m gonna try and pluck up the courage to see if I can ask them about New Year’s Eve. I have had more bad birthdays than good ones so it’s a very sensitive day for me.

    Building my socializing muscle, I like that expression 🙂 I unfortunatly didn’t find the video(What to do when your triggered) before Friday. An x manager who just resigned asked me to join for drinks in the bar at work that day, I said yes but got extremely anxious because I knew he was going to be there and again these settings aren’t the ones I’m the most comfortable in. I realised it’s more than just him. It’s him, it’s my past, my insecurities and also other stressors in my life that all affect me. I wore a new outfit that made me feel very good, feminim but also comfortable. I got a lot of compliments from my collegues male and female which was nice.

    He had the morning shift and we talked a bit, but  he got back ten minutes before I finished my shift to have drinks in the bar. I was hoping I would have finished my shift before he got there it would have eased my anxiety a bit. He bought a drink from my collegue then was looking at me going on his way to the bar. I did some tapping (I think it’s called to try and calm myself) Then went to the bar where they were showing football on the big screen and a lot of people were already there. Three boys (two collegues and one of their friends) were happy to see me and told be to take the chair next to them (that guy had left) we started talking about football and then the cute guy came up and had a proposal, that we could join him at his table (he sat with a female guest) so that everybody could see. I felt ashamed that I was in the way that much even though it was a really big screen. The guys went what if we just move out of the way to the side, he then said or you can join at the table. We moved out of the way so they had plenty of space to see the match. Not gonna lie I was hard seeing him sitting there with her, but he was sitting behind me and I was sitting between the boys focusing on our conversations and the game infront. But then we went out during halftime so they could smoke and we got back him and the girl was now sitting right infront of me on a couch, that’s when it started going south for me. I left soon after and I am embarresed to say I told a lie to them so they wouldn’t think less of me for once again being the first to leave.

    I should say that I havn’t slept in a couple of days and was in a lot of pain (PMS) and had cried several times the day before over absolutely nothing so I was not at my strongest. Don’t know if I was weak for leaving so early or if trying my best was good enough. I wanna look at every change he’s there as a learning opportunity (or game as you said so well) because he’s not gonna be the only guy to make me anxious so now is the time to try out different things to make me less anxious. Maybe this Friday will be one, Two girls from work have a birthday and a lot of people from work are gonna come and celebrate, so there’s another challenge then.

    I asked one of the new girls out for coffee and we are going tomorrow. She’s so nice I am sure it will be fun and be good for me to get out and just relax.

    Also trying to go easy on myself. I have had a lot of stressors lately. Health wise which unfortunatly is gonna be way more expensive than I thought. Work has been extremely busy and with 11 new people it’s aa lot for me to deal with, even though they all seem so nice. My sister has been on the warpath wityh me, I couldn’t make it home for my nephew’s christening and she is trying to turn it into a personal thing of me doing it to hurt her deliberately (that one send me into a panic attack at work, cried in the bathroom) and now a couple moving in in a small flat with just two rooms and one bathroom. I still hasn’t meet them, they have stayed in their room but the are quiet and clean so at least that is something. I hope to get to see them tomorrow when I am off work.

     

    #410881
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I am sorry about the latest bar incident. It seems to me that you first felt triggered by your guy’s request to move so they can see the screen. You took at is your fault, you felt embarrassed that you were in the way:

    the cute guy came up and had a proposal, that we could join him at his table (he sat with a female guest) so that everybody could see. I felt ashamed that I was in the way that much even though it was a really big screen. The guys went what if we just move out of the way to the side, he then said or you can join at the table

    Even though the reality is that all three of you were in the way, not just you. And besides, it’s not something you should blame yourself for. It’s not a reason to be ashamed. You did nothing wrong, and you’re not a bad person for accidentally being in the way. But I understand why you reacted like that… I’ll come back to it in a second.

    So I think that was the first trigger: when your guy asked you to move. You felt ashamed and embarrassed, and perhaps rejected too. And it activated your fight-or-flight response. You started getting anxious… And it only got worse when you later saw your guy sitting near some girl (a hostel guest) on a couch. Your anxiety skyrocketed and you left.

    The reality of the situation is that there was no rejection whatsoever, because your guy actually offered you to join him at the table. But the three of you refused and rather moved to the side.

    But as I said, I understand why you were triggered, and why you felt ashamed and embarrassed when he asked you to move a little. I think it has a lot to do with you being blamed for everything by your sister. In September 2020 you shared about your sister having a tantrum when you politely asked her not to have company in the house for too long:

    She started yelling and screaming in my face, pulling her hair and rolling around on the floor. Then proceaded to verbally turn her anger out on my parents. All of this becuase I politly told her that the people she invited to my parents house shouldn’t stay too long, and that we should just have the cake somewhere else.

    She didn’t respect your needs, she instead accused you of being the bad guy. And your mother, instead of calming her down and assuring you that you’re not a bad guy, had a mental breakdown, was crying all day and gave you the silent treatment  (This was the last straw for my mom. She’s crying all day and refusing to talk) You probably felt like it’s all your fault, because now not only your sister is upset but also your mother, whom you didn’t want to upset.

    I am guessing there have been many incidents like that, where you felt it’s your fault for wanting anything for yourself. You were told by your sister that you’re selfish if you wanted anything for yourself. And it got indirectly confirmed by your mother too, who didn’t tell you that you were selfish, but was suffering due to the conflict in the house. So you’ve concluded: “It’s my fault, I am selfish, I am to be blamed.”

    Your sister seems to be still accusing you for the things that are not your fault, and it still affects you a lot:

    My sister has been on the warpath with me, I couldn’t make it home for my nephew’s christening and she is trying to turn it into a personal thing of me doing it to hurt her deliberately (that one send me into a panic attack at work, cried in the bathroom)

    So your sister’s guilt-tripping you is another major trigger for you. She has been doing that for most of her life, I guess, and she was allowed to do it by your parents. And the result is that you indeed feel guilty and a selfish person. That’s another false belief that you need to get rid of: that you’re a selfish person. That you are selfish for having needs and preferences of your own, which might clash with those of your sister’s.

    You’re not selfish for having your own needs and preferences, and you have the right to live a life that makes you happy. You’re not a bad person for wanting that.

    So try to familiarize yourself with this thought – that you’re not selfish for having your own needs and preferences. That you’re not a bad person for that.

    I am glad you still had positive experiences recently – wearing a new feminine outfit, in which you felt comfortable and for which you got compliments from both guys and girls. And also, that you’re going for coffee with a new co-worker, strengthening your “socializing muscle” 🙂

     

    #411016
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Your words feels very needed at the moment. I too struggle to receiving empathy, it feels strange and in some situations even uncomfortable cuz your not used to it.

    I am very quick to jump to conclusions and there always negative, it’s really weird how different your perspective is in the two situation I really hope it gets easier for me to recognize when I start getting dysregulated so I can stop myself from doing something that I would end up regretting.

    i will try and look into the SSRI if it can help ease my anxiety it could help me out a lot. And once again thank you for your kind o´words.

    #411018
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Your right there wasn’t any rejection directed at me, but I took it that way. In settings with many people I always sit in the back so I can hide a bit, but I wanted to sit by someone I knew to help with my anxiety (and also practise being social) and he did try more than once to get us to join him so he wasn’t telling us to f.. off. I am just really sensitive in these situations, I need to practise this more. It was the same with the first time I went to the bar with him. I already felt anxious and out of my element, there was too many people around me and my back was against the exit which I don’t like (a PTSD thing) and of course the girl hitting on him. But at the pub where it ws just the two of us away from people and noise I was completely relaxed. I have been invited to two girls from work’s birthday partys on Friday I am nervous but it’s a good exerccise (and a change to have fun)

    There has been so many incidents with my sister reacting very strongly and me being blamed for it. Lately with the christening, my parents usually don’t take my side in this case they did and it was really nice to try. It so hard when your walking on eggshells. Like during the pandemic I sunk into a depression so bad that I was thinking about suicide every single day, I honestly didn’t think I would survive it. My sister ask me to come to her house (with a few other people) to meet her new boyfriend but I couldn’t get out of the house (cuz of the depression) I kindly declined and the next day a girl called my and told me so your just staying away to be passive agressive and hurt your sister. That hurt. That feeling the people think that I am a bad person, especially since I spend most of my life being a people pleaser and didn’t have any boundaries cuz they made me feel selfish. Now I am learning that a boundary isn’t a no to them but a yes to myself.

    The coffee date was a succes. We spend all day together and had the best time it went by so fast, and she is totally up for doing it again. So I am very happy that I asked.

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