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End off the Road!!

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  • #389552
    SSS
    Participant

    (I need to confess upfront that largely due to length of this thread I will have forgotten previous details provided. I’ll let myself off the hook–ahem–by claiming this affords me a clean perspective on your reply to me.)

    How old are you–you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to.

    In your replies to my questions you have mostly described what most others want, search for, work toward. Most of us struggle to achieve any one of these things. And along the way, obstacles are thrown in our paths (not a bad thing), and some by our own creation. Anything that keeps us from being where we want, or think we should be, we see as an obstacle, and when the sum of those obstacles turn into one gigantic, overwhelming wound, we feel paralyzed. But we aren’t….

    When we can identify our mistakes, admit the hurt we’ve caused others and the hurt others have caused us, when we can put a label on our emotions, and then be able to declare what we want, that’s huge. Huge. This is a bridge. I’ll say the following with love and from personal experience: In the absence of mental health issues, we cross that bridge by getting out of our own way.

    You talk about bygones. Bygones can’t be bygones when our mind lives in the past. To get the life you describe, even parts of it, you have to think forward to move forward. There are practices that can act as a tool–not a be-all-end-all solution–to shift our thoughts and perspective. For instance, when you have a strong moment of self-hate, STOP, and remember something kind or compassionate or loving you did, or remember something you overcame. You’re working toward something here. Self-love. You can’t change the past, obviously, but what if you changed a moment? Then another. And another. And what if you purposely did something that helped someone else, some little thing? I am an ardent believer of two things: 1) We best help ourselves when we help others; 2) We have to step outside ourselves. Well, three things: 3) Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting out of our own way.

    How long ago did your ex-GF die, and how do you think your grieving process went?

    Why do you think you need forgiveness from your unborn child? Right here might be an example of creating a problem that doesn’t exist. You don’t have the opportunity (!) to make a positive impact?

    You say you want a carefree life. That doesn’t exist. Set reasonable expectations or, of course, there’ll be disappointment…which will deepen what you are feeling.

    Set small goals that don’t require too much of you. Remember we all have to take baby steps when things just get too damn heavy. Maybe it’s nothing more than forcing yourself to go the grocery store b/c you’ve been putting it off, and then maybe you just smile at someone and get one back, or seize an opportunity to lightly/jokingly engage in a conversation with a shopper who’s complaining about the price of milk. Do anything but don’t do nothing.

    Inner peace, as you say, begins with you. There are ways to facilitate that, but it doesn’t happen overnight. WHAT SPEAKS TO YOUR SOUL? This, I believe, you need to first answer. Let’s say nature stirs something deep within you. I’d start there. Whenever the past or negative feelings come up, STOP, shift the paradigm…and be present with the very thing that speaks to you—-that’s right in front of you.

    When we feel empty…initially, it’s a void…but a time comes when it’s a chance to re-fill ourselves. The reasonable things you want now have a space inside to get seeded, nurtured, and grow. I’ve never been able to overcome emptiness without putting one foot in front of the other, even if I don’t want to, even if I don’t know where that step is taking me. But eventually, inevitably, it gets me somewhere. Inertia…it exemplifies our sadness, anxiety, self-hate, whatever is holding us down, back. (Again, minus mental health issues.)

    You say you are scared of change. I know you understand that what you want can’t happen without it–something has to happen even if you do nothing, so be active in the narrative–it’s your life, don’t be passive. This moment of your life has produced an awareness in you, and that itself was change. Kudos to you. You may not like how it came about but it did, and that’s a good thing. Facing our fears gives us freedom. It’s an incredible feeling. It also helps soothe that savage self-hate beast. That beast doesn’t want us to be active in our own life; it likes being the boss. We have to show the beast that we are in charge now. The beast will fight–it’s liked its life and has lived in your cavern a long time. Taking an active role in your own life takes power from the beast. You know the path you no longer want…so start walking. The hurt you’ve given others, that person wouldn’t do those things now, correct? Baby-step forward with that new self-awareness. (I can’t tell you how important I think it is when we realize our mistakes. It opens up so much for us, and those around us.)

    Those still in your life that you’ve hurt, have you been able to show them how sorry you are for past behaviors?

    Forgiving ourselves isn’t easy but not impossible. It’s a process. It requires work, just like anything we want or need to change in ourselves. You have this incredible opportunity right now. You see it from your perspective, of course. You don’t see this as a time of transition————-and often we have to sit it out for a while in this state of limbo in order to fully grasp where we presently find ourselves and what put us there.

    I like the word STOP. It’s done me well in the past, and even now. STOP and give yourself a moment to shift the paradigm, break the pattern, discipline the beast, and take back your power. It takes practice, like most things. Taking things moment by moment can build momentum.

    Question: What’s your list of things you are presently grateful for?

    About four years ago I had another set of life-altering events. I can’t say that I didn’t have some support along the way, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that I mostly went it alone. My choice. I’ve no doubt that my past–especially the bad or unpleasant parts–played a huge role in how I was able to do that. I took an active role in my own life. My steps weren’t certain, by no means. I didn’t know how I’d end up. But I knew I wanted to end up on the other side of the bridge in a good place. I worked for it. I’ll share what an old friend said to me about one of the approaches I took: “You’re running headlong into things people run away from.” All the parts of my past, especially the suffering, made that possible.

    You know the saying you can’t know/feel/appreciate joy without knowing sorrow? I’d like to know what you think about that.

    I must close here for now….

     

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by SSS.
    #390278
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Javier,

    how have you been doing? I am thinking of you and hoping that you are having pleasant holidays!

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Tee.
    #390664
    Javier
    Participant

    Dear SSS,

    Happy New Year, and apologies for the late reply.

    Due to my OD, I’m struggling with neurological complications, and my left arm is paralyzed.

    I’m turning 43 this year. I agree, I need to let bygones be bygones. I’m trying ACT therapy to effectively handle those negative feelings. But I get easily caught up in a conceptualized past and future, I dwell on painful memories and ruminate over my past. I’m stuck with unpleasant memories of rejection, disappointment, and failures. I worry about things that haven’t yet happened and focus negatively on all the things I have to do next. And in the process, I miss out on life.

    My mind reminds me daily-That I’m useless, unloveable, I have no self-awareness and have no self-esteem. I’m a joke and so is my life. Every morning, as I wake up, I’m reminded of this.

    I’m afraid of ageing and afraid of changes. Usually, people, while ageing, become wiser, stronger, and less stressed. In my case, it’s the opposite. I’m getting weaker and weaker with time.

    I don’t know why, but the feeling of time-passing is un-describable. I get the sense that time puts more distance between me and my love-ones, especially my deceased loved ones with every year that goes by.

    #390665
    Javier
    Participant

    Dear TeaK,

    Happy New Year,

    I’m in survival mode, just living day by day. Thank you for your love and concern,

     

     

    #390747
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Javier,

    thank you for responding. I am sorry you’re still feeling bad, but glad that you keep keeping on, that you are attending therapy and trying to help yourself. Are you also getting physical therapy for your left arm?

    For now you may feel like you are in survival mode, but with time, I hope you’ll be able to silence those negative thoughts and feelings, and feel just a smidgen of love and appreciation for yourself… and that this will be a breakthrough for you, gray clouds parting and a patch of blue sky appearing…

    I am sorry I can’t help you with concrete suggestions about how to feel better, but I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and rooting for you. I wish you a better and brighter New Year, and a slow but definite progress!

     

    #390750
    Javier
    Participant

    Thank you TeaK,

    Yes, I’m getting physio for my left arm. My nerves are damaged, hopefully, I will be able to get 10-15% functionality.

    TeaK, you have done more than required. I’m ever grateful for all your advice and encouraging words.

    Hopefully, 2022 will bring some joy and happiness. Even though my family has cut me out of their lives, and I’m basically all alone, I’m still alive. I’m just now living day by day.

    #390780
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Javier,

    I hope you get at least a partial functionality in your left arm. God speed to you!

    I imagine it’s hard being alone, without your family’s support, but what matters the most now is that you find yourself, slowly but surely, putting one foot before the other, living day by day… Things will get better, just keep at it!

    #391945
    Javier
    Participant

    Is it normal to feel intense anger and remorse towards your loved ones? I have for the last 2-3 months developed a strong resentment towards my mother. I don’t know why, but I feel just pure hate. I hate myself for having those feelings. I love my mother and feel it’s unfair and she’s undeserving of this disdain.

    #391948
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Javier:

    Is it normal to feel…“- it’s natural to feel whatever you feel.

    I… feel it’s unfair and she’s undeserving of this disdain” – what you feel is your own, personal business: you don’t have a responsibility to feel this way or that way about anyone or anything. Also, you don’t know what your mother feels or ever felt about you through the years. Maybe she felt disdain for you too, and maybe you didn’t deserve her disdain. But like anyone else, what she feels is her personal business.

    You are responsible for your actions: for what you say and what you do, not for how you feel, just as your mother is responsible for her actions, not for her feelings.

    Lots of people, when they are angry, are not honest about their anger. Instead, they act in passive-aggressive ways, trying to hurt the other person without appearing aggressive. For example, histrionic people exaggerate their misery, making stuff up, going on and on about their pain so to make the person they are angry with feel pain as well, as in saying: see how much you hurt me? See how much I am hurting; you should hurt for what was done to me!!!

    anita

     

    #391956
    Javier
    Participant

    Thank you Anita,

    You are correct, but I’m still devastated by these emotions. Life is short, and I regret every moment I spend hating and dwelling on things from the past. I usually “run” away from these feelings, but now I’m stuck and have nowhere to hide. The emptiness, the sad feelings are here constantly. I hope I can forgive my mother and myself before it’s too late-

    #391957
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Javier,

    yes, it’s normal to feel anger, and I would say it’s a good sign because till now you’ve been blaming yourself for everything, and saw your mother as a victim of yours. If there is now anger coming up, it might mean you’re realizing that some of the things she did were hurtful, that she wasn’t a perfectly loving mother at all times, and that there are reasons for your anger.

    A child’s anger shows that his/her needs weren’t met. Your needs as a child were most certainly not met (e.g. the need for security as one of the most important ones). As part of your healing, you’ll need to get in touch with those healthy needs, and also process the anger and resentment towards your parents for not meeting those needs – your father for severely abusing you, and your mother for not protecting you from his abuse. So again, I’d say your anger is a good sign, and a necessary part of your healing journey.

    Life is short, and I regret every moment I spend hating and dwelling on things from the past. I usually “run” away from these feelings, but now I’m stuck and have nowhere to hide.

    We can’t heal before we feel and process all our feelings. So it’s good that you are feeling your anger and not suppressing it like before… If you work with it in therapy, it will transform into something more constructive, e.g. power and determination to take some positive action in your life.

     

    #391967
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Javier:

    Javier, January 2022: ” I have for the last 2-3 months developed a strong resentment towards my mother. I don’t know why, but I feel just pure hate“.

    Javier, May 2021: “It was a time when she was happy. From I was 6-7 years old till I was 16 years old, she was in a relationship. My mother loved him, and she was genuinely happy. He was the love of her life” – the love of her life was not Javier, but a stranger, a man with a family of his own. He was the love of her life, not the boy who loved his mother more than anything.

    While your mother had the affair with “the love of her life“, sometimes along the ages of 6 to 16, you were angry at her: “I started to act out, I was showing my ‘bad’ sides and stopped talking to my mother“.

    When that affair ended, your mother was broken: “It broke my mother into ‘thousand’ pieces. It killed her, and I haven’t seen her happy since. I hate myself for that“, you wrote back in May last year. What broke her was that the man in her life was gone. You were still in her life, but you were not enough for her.

    It is every boy’s and every girl’s desire to be enough in the mother’s life, to make mother happy, to see her smile, happy that you are there! Oh, what happiness it is in a child’s heart, to be enough, to make her happy. The child looks to his mother, to see her smile, the mother’s back is to the child, looking for somebody else to make her smile.

    anita

     

    #391970
    Javier
    Participant

    Thank you TeaK, my therapist says the same. I have been walking around carrying wounds from my childhood. Only by loving and healing my inner child, I can begin to love myself and then my family and friends. It’s a very daunting and painful task, but I will slowly, step by step, manage to heal myself.

    #391971
    Javier
    Participant

    Anita,

    It makes sense. I feel and have always felt responsible for my mother’s happiness. I feel responsible for her being alone, sad and unhappy. I always feel that everybody deserve the best and to be happy, especially the person you love most. That’s why I get sad and depressed when I think about her and her life. I know I’m not responsible for her happiness and her life. But, when I see her and think about her life, I just see a vulnerable kid that has been through so much hurt and pain. I wish I could take away the pain and sorrow, I just don’t want her to live her whole life sad, depressed, hurt and unloved. It’s the only reason I’m still alive because I know by me “ending it all” will be the ultimate betrayal and will crush her to thousand pieces. It’s a terrible place to be when you have given up on life but still have to live for others.

    #391980
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Javier:

    Before reading your most recent post, addressed to me, I did not know how much we have in common. I did not read anyone voice this part of my experience more accurately than you did, not in over 6.5 years of communicating here with thousands of members.

    Like you, I too “always felt responsible for my mother’s happiness” (until recently). I too felt “responsible for her being alone, sad and unhappy“. I too got “sad and depressed when I think about her and her life“. Just like you, “when I see her and think about her life, I just see a vulnerable kid that has been through so much hurt and pain“, and I too “wish I could take away the pain and sorrow“. Like you, I too thought about “ending it all“, but didn’t for the same reason as yours: I didn’t want to add to her hurt and pain, to “crush her to thousand pieces“.

    I can’t remember a time when I thought of my mother as a woman, an adult who I can depend on. To me, she was always a vulnerable kid, a hurt child who’s about to cry and wail at any time and threaten (once again) to kill herself because her misery, she said, was too great. She used to describe her misery at great length, for hours at a time, retelling her life story and how unfortunate she was, and how fortunate everyone else was, and how they took advantage of her. Her accounts were heart breaking, and my little heart broke for her, over and over again. I was overwhelmed by her misery. There was no end to her misery and to how much my heart ached for her. I felt so very sorry for her, and I hated all those other fortunate people who hurt her. I would have done anything for her, and I tried, throughout life, whatever I could, I did, but I never succeeded in turning her frown into a smile. I never succeeded in making her pleased that I was in her life.

    About five years ago, or so, I realized that the child that my mother was, that child was gone long before I was born. I never met that child. I met a woman with a mental entity of a child, aka the inner child, but the child herself was gone long before I existed. No matter how good of a “mother” I could have been for my mother (a reversed role), I couldn’t have helped a child who did not exist. One day, while walking through the woods, I chose a tree and buried something under a tree, something that represented the child that my mother was.

    I then reversed the distortedly reversed role and saw my mother-myself in the correct way: she was the mother; I was the child. Not the other way around!

    Oh, how much misery it was for me, to be her “mother”! Unlike how a real child would be, at 3, 4, 5, etc., my mother was much bigger and stronger than me, and she was not at all open to my parenting: she did not listen to me, she did not follow my suggestions, she argued, she threatened, she threw very scary temper tantrums in which she insulted me and blamed me and sometimes hit me. What chances did I (a child/ teenager) have to parent that kind of a “child”???

    Fast forward, throughout my later teens, if not earlier, and throughout my adulthood, I really did not want her in my life because of how miserable it was having her in my life. But I felt too guilty to cut contact with her because I was afraid that she will be miserable without me, that she might even kill herself if I refused to have contact with her. I thought that she couldn’t live without me. Fast forward, what a surprise: I discovered that it was me all along who felt that I couldn’t live without her, and when I did cut contact with her, to my surprise: she did not at all complain, not to me, neither did she chase me for contact.

    I then realized: oh, if I was important to her all these years when I was a child and in her presence every day, she would have been happy to have me in her life. She was miserable all along because I didn’t mean much to her. Every time since, whenever I felt guilty for not having contact with her, I reminded myself: in all those years that I did have contact with her, she wasn’t happy. If I contact her now, nothing will change, she’d still be unhappy.

    Back to you, Javier: I know that our stories are not identical, stories never are, but we can benefit from understanding each other’s stories.

    anita

     

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