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This topic contains 37 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #336608

    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I want to report that I`m slightly better than I was before as concerned with the lastest guy I dated. Yes, I do have my outbursts of: – what have I done? -why did I push a good guy away? -what if he never comes back? -what if I lost a chance in happiness?,  but now they are more subtle and fade away quicker. I can actually calm my mind all by myself for the most part, even if it means I have to  use selfish/egotistical/bitchy thoughts that seems soooo strange to have. Sometimes I do ask my loved ones for support, but I force myself to stop indulging in self pity, self doubt, self victimization and self inflicted panic. Que sera, sera.

    Another thing is that I “talk back” to myself. And its soothing. Its discipline that boosts me at this point, I think. Im young, beautiful, accomplished....I can achieve better things. I deserve better things. No man that likes you treats you like that. I used to believe that small actions of interest, or just basic courtesy was HUGE. No, its not acts that count, it`s the consistency and quality of acts that count…

    “Of course, the anger and dominance will have to be somewhat controlled so to not become abusive and violent- this is where part of the fear is, that anger will take you too far?” yes kinda. That the results of my anger will create irreversable realities which will be definite and cruel. For example, if I react to this guys mean remarks or disrespect, I will never find another man, Ill be alone forever so lets just suck it up and be thankful that at least theres a man around. Or if I talk back to a collegue that disrespected me, the event will be so huge, Ill get fired. Or if I curse someone that cursed me on the streets, they will kill and/or rape me. So better be quite... This springs from the fact that my parents and especially mty dad always warns us about everything but using extreme examples and extreme concequences. For example dont be intimate with a guy because he will use you and you might get pregnant. I know its amazing to have people that love you and want the best for you and to even get warned when things look ugly. But warning can get ugly too. My family biggest fear is  making mistakes/last chances. Especially my dads. Hes guilt tripping himself 24/7 for stupid things or even things he didnt do! He used to shout at us and get mad small things like dropping food on the floor or not making a deadline in school. "I TOLD YOU BUT YOU ARE SO STUBBORN YOU NEVER LISTEN. YOU ARE JUST LIKE MY MOTHER. NOW THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. / YOU ARE DRIVING ME INSANE WHEN YOU DO THAT!/  WHY DO YOU WANT TO DESTROY YOUR MOM AND I?/ YOU WILL BE WRONG AND THEN YOU WILL CRY BITTER TEARS, YOULL SEE.” This is what he typically says, more or less agressive it depends on the situation. “Ok, Im wrong, you are right./ I apologize to you" is all the time and in a passive agressive manner. Now that hes older he is milder in his ways… Mom will always be like “Dads coming home, hes angry pretend/act like nothing happened/like you know nothing./ Tell him this or that (with extreme detail)./ If dad says do/say this./ Please do it for me, say nothing it shall pass, I dont want any fights in the house". I dont know if sharing this helps…

    To all of your 3 theories I agree. I used to be an outspoken person once. I still cannot bear my mom being so coward. Although I love her more than anyone, she never stands up for herself. She prefers calmness instead of justice, to me its maddening. And thats why I can`t grasp how I got to be so like her.

    (SAP) Yes I think that too. Deep inside , I dont think my mom is an equal to my dad, thats why I want a man thats gonna be her polar opposite. I may love her but I dont admire her. I love all she does for us, but I would like her to be more dynamic because its so unfair for her. Or its possible I am an emotional leech, I suck the anger I cannot create myself. Even now that I type this, the thought of an angry man is the sexiest thing ever! Because angry = passionate in my mind. I`m tired of myself I just want to be like all the other girls.

     

    #336620

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    I am glad you are feeling better, being able to calm your mind, talking back to yourself in a soothing way

    (I wonder what you were referring to in “selfish/ egotistical/ bitchy thoughts that seem soooo strange to have”).

    You wrote  regarding your fear of your own anger, that if you react angrily to a guy’s mean remarks, you will “never find another man”, so better “suck it up”; if you talk back to a work colleague, you will be fired; if you curse someone who cursed you on the streets, “they will kill and/ o rape” you, so “better be quiet”.

    You wrote that in your family, your father warned you about what you shouldn’t do using examples of “extreme consequences”, ex., don’t be intimate with a guy because he’ll use you and get you pregnant. Also, your father was in the habit of “guilt tripping himself 24/7”, that he shouted at you for making the smallest mistakes such as dropping food of the floor, that he over-reacted to the mistakes he believes you were making by saying to you things like: “You are driving me insane when you do that! Why do you want to destroy your mom and I?”

    Your mother warned you when she believed your father would be coming home from work angry, asking you/ instructing you to “pretend/ act like nothing happened/ like you know nothing/ Tell him this or that (with extreme detail).. Please do it for me, say nothing it shall pass, I don’t want any fights in the house”. She was/ is “so coward.. never stands up for herself. She prefers calmness instead of justice”.

    You wrote that you love your mother “more than anyone”, and that you “cannot bear” her being so coward, that it is “so unfair for her”, it is maddening to you, that you want a man to be “her polar opposite.. Even now that I type this, the thought of an angry man is the sexiest thing ever!”.

    My growing understanding and input today: your mother instructed you to “Pretend/act like nothing happened..  say nothing” in the face of anger/ aggression, and “it shall pass”. So you followed her instructions because you  loved her so much.

    She told you that the reason she wants to you pretend like nothing happened, to say nothing, is because she doesn’t “want any fights in the house”- you didn’t want to say or do anything to bring on the fights she was so scared of.

    Thing is, you didn’t like following her instructions, you didn’t want to pretend nothing happened, you didn’t want to say nothing, you didn’t want to act like a coward! But you loved that coward, your mother, deeply-this is your core conflict.

    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.

    Because of the conflict, meaning you don’t value a coward but you act like a coward, you ..kind of partly solved the conflict by inviting into your life the “polar opposite” of what you don’t value, the polar opposite of a coward, which is an angry, aggressive man. This way you remain loyal to your mother and you get to enjoy anger and aggression by proxy.

    Of course, this solution is unsatisfactory- it brings you temporary joy and excitement, but causes you to not have a healthy relationship with a man (because of the choice of men to start with), and you are still submissive in your daily adult life, so conflict is not solved.

    To really solve this conflict, you will have to .. betray your mother, so to speak. Can and will you  betray your mother this way, asserting yourself, acting in a way that you value, a way that will cause you to admire yourself?

    anita

     

     

     

     

     

    #336884

    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I read your reply when you sent it and instantly began to observe my mom, the relationship with my mom, the feelings I have for her, the feelings our interractions produce and how I externalize those feelings. Here`s what I found out:
    <ul>
    <li>the points you made are…on point. <strong>I am extremely loyal to my mom, even if at times I have to mute my inner voice, perception, emotions etc.</strong> She is so special to me, we had to fight together to stay alive at my birth, because she had complications that could kill us both. Maybe that was imprinted in my subconsious.</li>
    <li>I was following the same path my dad had with his mother. He was extremely attached to her and although he never restrained his anger explotions towards her, he would litterally torture himself with guilt (still does) and make sure she forgave him. <strong>This obsessive sense of loyalty and respect towards his parents was passed unto me. Alongside with the guilt tripping.</strong></li>
    <li>I am super nice to my mom because I saw the unfair treatment she had from her mother. My grandma was a narcissistic woman, manipulative with anger issues. She married a saintly man, my grandad who was too timid to stand up for himself or his kids. She hated my dad and was tutoring us against him, even as little as 4 years old.<strong> I myself had a super rocky relationship towards my grandma, even now that I forgave her and I care for her, I`m still unable to erase all the hurt inside of me.Now she is calm and caring because she is unable to sustain herself and she loves my dad to death (?!). My mom was emotionally neglected to the extreme and had no real friends, no one to lean on, to fight for her. So, I think I am the replacement of her mother emotionally, a role I took on completely on my own.

    To really solve this conflict, you will have to .. betray your mother, so to speak. Can and will you  betray your mother this way, asserting yourself, acting in a way that you value, a way that will cause you to admire yourself?    I actually did that yesterday. Her boss is rude to her and she didnt stand up for herself and I had an mini explotion of anger (not being mean or offensive) when she told me she didnt feel the need to speak out. And it felt nice. I was peaceful afterwards. Maybe all this strife with myself was because I was not expressing myself.

    Truth is, theres nothing I hate more, nothing I am more afraid of than being/ witnessing unfairness. More than death, more than loneliness, more than pain. When I was a child, I wanted to become a judge or laywer to protect victims (especially of rape/domestic violence/human rights). Maybe that adds nothing to the dialogue here but I think its worth mentioning.  I stopped having these aspirations when I started being bullied at my new highschool  (age 14)and completely lost my voice. I didnt stand up for myself, or do anything, thus I thought I would become a fail of a laywer. Before that and at my old school I used to be the MOST outspoken, confident, boldsy, strong girl in the whole building. My classmates had debates with me and everyone thought Id be very succefull with a career in law. I had memorized the Greek Constitution and was known for my feministic view (1- 2 wave feminism). I am honestly clueless where this kid “went”… Still looking for her.

    #336948

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofioula:

    1. Your father and his mother: she mistreated him when he was a child, no doubt. As a result he felt angry at her, but also guilty for feeling anger at his own mother. This emotional dynamic of anger & guilt is still his experience decades later as it was when he was a child. He is stuck in the same emotional experience of his childhood.

    * “The obsessive sense of loyalty and respect towards his parents was passed unto me”- all children are born with a complete sense of loyalty and respect toward the parent; it is universal, not specific to you and your family.

    When a child is mistreated, he or she gets stuck in the conflict between anger at the mistreating parent and that loyalty, therefore feeling angry and guilty forevermore.

    2. Your mother and her mother: her mother was a very angry woman who expressed that anger at her daughter, scaring the hell out of her daughter (your mother). Fast forward, your mother is scared of anyone who expresses any amount of anger.

    *Your grandmother was angry at your father (her daughter’s husband) when she didn’t need him, but once she needed him, being “unable to  sustain herself”, she dropped the anger, and loves him “to death” so that he will sustain her.

    3. Your mother and you: she has been scared of her mother’s anger all her life, having been “emotionally neglected to the extreme and had no real friends”, you noticed these things as a child, and naturally loving your mother, you instinctively decided to do all that you can do so to help her out.

    You decided that you will not emotionally neglect her like the other people did. You knew that her number 1 emotional need is to not be around angry people, so naturally, you decided to .. not be angry.

    * “we had to fight together to stay alive at my birth, because she had complications that could kill us both. Maybe that was imprinted in my subconscious”- no, a baby can’t possibly remember the details of her birth, at most she can remember distress (nothing about the circumstances of that distress). What was imprinted in your consciousness was your mother telling you the story of your birth long after the birth.

    Yesterday, her boss was rude to her, she didn’t stand up for herself, and you expressed some of your anger about her not standing up for herself, and you felt “nice.. peaceful afterwards”- because you were loyal to yourself at that moment, not to her.

    For the rest of your post: “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”- then don’t be unfair to another and don’t accept unfairness from another. Both.

    * At one point, in your old school,  you were “the MOST outspoken, confident, bodsy, strong girl”, then you were bullied in your new school, and you became quiet, submissive, timid. “I am honestly clueless where this kid ‘went’. Still looking for her”-

    – go to your old school, that most outspoken, confident girl is waiting there for you to pick her up. When you do pick her up, you will need to guide her how to be outspoken and confident in your current life circumstances, about ten years later. The most difficult lesson you will have to teach her is to be outspoken and assertive with your mother. You will need to do this in a strong way but in a way that is also fair to your mother. Both. (Otherwise, the anger & guilt dynamic will  be yours too, forevermore, like it is for your father).

    anita

    #337380

    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    1. Your father and his mother: she mistreated him when he was a child, no doubt. As a result he felt angry at her, but also guilty for feeling anger at his own mother. This emotional dynamic of anger & guilt is still his experience decades later as it was when he was a child. He is stuck in the same emotional experience of his childhood.     Im really amazed at how you found out about this . Yes my grandma used harsh punishments for my dad when he was a kid, but that was the norm in the 60s and 70`s Greece. But she loved him to pieces!

    And generally, this is something that pretty much all of greek kids experienced growing up, myself included. My dad has apologized for it a million times, but still if there is a fight going on or he feels insulted he would “threaten” us with physical violence. Which he of course doesnt mean it , he jusy has a big mouth. Like stop talking like that or Ill slap you in the face and you`ll see stars kind of thing. Again typical for a Greek father.

    Im happy to report I had my 2nd therapy session.- it went great! She asks such questions that lead to other parts Ive never knew about myself. She asked which are the good or bad events in my life that I think lead me to how I am today and such. She asked to describe the members of my family with 3 adjectives (or more) etc… I even lifted of my chest an incident of molestation from an uncle I experienced as a kid, which no one knows. I felt liberated!!!! 😀 😀 (YAYYYY) She assigned for our next appointment next Saturday to write about how I view myself. It can be as big or as small as I want. I feel progress is being made. Totally different thatn my ex therapist.

    I have some feelings of despair and not-being-enough or being a failure or comparing myself here and there but I m managing to cope and reason with myself on my own. Like my sister says, help should always be used and asked for, but I also have to teach myself how to handle things on my own. I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday to relax and do nothing. Saturday after therapy I went out with my sister for brunch and shopping, but the rest of the weekend we just laid on the couch, feeding our souls with comfort food and movies. It was a much welcomed break as Im always strict with my diet and going to the gym.

    I`m also thinking about starting a new thread here , up-keeping with my updates!

    #337408

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    “my grandma used harsh punishments for my dad when he was a kid, but that was the norm in the 60s and 70s. But she loved him to pieces”-

    – she “loved him to pieces”, wish she didn’t break him to pieces.

    – “the norm in the 60s and 70s”- normalizing abuse never changed how harmful abuse is, not a single child hurt any less because an act of abuse was norm. Example: your father.

    – when your grandmother loved your father to pieces and then broke him to pieces, it hurt him more, because he needed her love so much and knew a bit about how it felt, and then he was beaten by the person he loved more than anything and anyone in his life. If a stranger beat him, it would hurt. When his mother beat him, it hurt more.

    “if there is a fight going on or he feels insulted he would ‘threaten’ us with physical violence”- but he doesn’t carry on the threat, does he? Often (adult) children try to do better than their parents, having made the decision long ago: when I grow up, I will not beat my children!

    I am glad to rad that your second therapy session went great, that she asked you good questions, and she assigned you homework- excellent!!!

    Good thing you took three days off from work and relaxed. Looking forward to your next post, here or in a new thread that you mentioned starting.

    anita

    #337634

    anita
    Participant

    * Correction: I addressed you by another name, my mistake. Readdressed here, it is Dear Sofioula (aka Sofika).

    anita

    #337752

    Sofioula
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Haha it`s fine by me. Zeeza is a pretty unique name afterall 😉

    No of course not. My father is becoming milder day after day. He actually is very regretful of the times he hit us when we were kids, he has apologized numerous times and cries about it often. But his tongue when angry spills whatever, whenever to whoever. Although hes trying each time to keep his cool and Im actually proud of his change.

    I don`t think beating children does anything but harm for both sides considered.  We are the only evolved species of life in the whole universe, violence (but verbal and physical) should be something of the past. This eastern culture of punishing children is ridiculous. It taught me nothing for example. It only created hurtful and depressing connections in my brain, for the people I love the most.

    #337774

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sofi0ula:

    To be a good person, one has to control his tongue and not allow “angry spills” out of his mouth whatever, whenever to whoever”. – “trying each time to keep his cool” is not good enough, he needs to.. keep his cool. Maybe you can suggest to him to take “time out” when he feels an angry spill on the way, and take a long walk outside, then go back home calmer and in control.

    Like you said, “violence (.. verbal and physical) should be something of the past.. It only created hurtful and depressing connections in my brain, for the people I love the most”- I couldn’t have stated it better.

    anita

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