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Feeling ashamed and being shamed of never having been in a relationship

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  • #373007
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Pink,

    Thank you for sharing some of your story with me! It helps to know that I am not alone and that my feelings are valid. Thank you for your advice, I will definitely follow it. I hope it’s not too late at the age of 24… Also, it’s good to hear from other people that it’s okay not to settle for just anyone just because I think I don’t have any other choice. I’ve always felt bad about saying I don’t like someone romantically because I thought that I’m not perfect/beautiful/smart enough to be picky.

    Sending happy vibes back 🙂

    #373130
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    If you would like to continue our communication, you are welcome to respond to my previous post, and I will reply further.

    anita

    #373137
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    yes, thank you. 🙂 I would like to continue our conversation.

    “You stood up for your mother for years, being nothing less than a hero, for her sake.” – I hope so, although I do know that I have caused her so much worry over the years because I still cannot let go of the past and forgive those girls. I am so insecure that it is harming not only my mental but also physical health. Somehow those girls always found the way to make me “the bad one.” And I believed them, I still do. I feel guilty even though I never did anything to hurt them. I did vent to a couple of my other friends about them and that is the thing I worry about the most – like venting is worse than their actions towards me. But since they would not listen to me and stop when I asked them to, I needed to let it out somehow. I never discussed their personal lives or secrets, but I did complain about their behavior instead of confronting them more than once until they understood. It eats me up inside that I came out a worse person than them – if they didn’t have anything to say about me, they would make things up so that they could argue with me and win.

    #373139
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    I will then retell your story in my own way, best I can, putting together the information you shared in all your posts, with quotes, and then ask you a question:

    Your father is and has been “a people pleaser” who was quiet and did not start arguments with neighbors, people at his workplace and others, but he was not a people pleaser when it came to his wife and daughter.

    When other people in his life expressed that they had a problem with him, or with anyone else, he didn’t accuse them of being overly sensitive. He didn’t argue and didn’t stand up for himself. But whenever his wife or his daughter expressed a problem, he accused both of being too sensitive (“my dad would blame me and my mom and accuse us of being too sensitive”).

    He told you “to be quiet and to not start any arguments”, but he was not quiet when it came to asserting his power and dominion over his wife and child (“My dad is a very strict man and we were not allowed to make mistakes”). Other people were not afraid of your father, but you were afraid of him (“I was afraid of him for most of my childhood and teenage years”), and so was your mother.

    Your mother was  too anxious to assert herself; you did not have a strong mother to protect you or show you assertive behavior in real-life practice. As a result of having these two parents, you adjusted best you could: you repressed your anger and became a shy, tamed, and a goodie-goody, overly-responsible child (“I was always the responsible child.. never had a ‘wild phase,’ I never dated, I got good grades, I also never expressed my anger… I was shy and a goody-goody”).

    In first grade and onward, you were bullied by a group of girls, particularly by a girl who was your neighbor: “Whenever I tried to stand up to her, all hell broke loose. She was very spiteful… she manipulated me… She was so nice to everyone else that no one would think twice about her being manipulative… either extremely sweet or the complete opposite”-

    – was she a bit like your father: nice and lenient with everyone else, but rude and strict with his wife and child, sometimes very sweet, at other times the complete opposite?

    anita

    #373140
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “– was she a bit like your father: nice and lenient with everyone else, but rude and strict with his wife and child, sometimes very sweet, at other times the complete opposite?”  – Yes, that is completely true. I have often thought about them being similar. You have described my father perfectly. I would say though, that I consider my mother to be very strong. She sacrificed her whole life for her children and defended us from our father. When my father was at his worst regarding his behavior towards her, she could not or actually did not leave him because he threatened to kill her and himself and all of us. That is what I mean by saying she sacrificed her life for us – she stayed with him so that we (their children) could stay safe. I would do the same in her situation because I, too, would be afraid he would actually hurt someone. Things have calmed down over the years, but he is still controlling at home and very sweet to other people. I just never thought a high school girl could also be as mean and narcissistic to such a high level and I never knew how to deal with a person like that.

    #373141
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    “I consider my mother to be very strong.. she could not or actually did not leave him because he threatened to kill her and himself and all of us”-

    Choosing the easier route of staying in the home she had, staying in the life she was used to (while her children are being emotionally harmed) is not strength. Strength is choosing the difficult route of making real-life changes: leaving the home and life she knew, planning and working hard to make a new life possible for her and for her children, a life safe from a man she believed to be capable of killing her children and herself.

    “She sacrificed her whole life for her children and defended us from our father”- did she tell you that she sacrificed her whole life for her children, and if she did, did she tell you exactly what it was that she sacrificed?

    anita

    #373142
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    she never said she sacrificed her life for us, she never made us feel like she resents us or anything. These are just the words I used, perhaps because I would feel that way. So, I cannot agree with that observation. I cannot speak for my siblings, but I would not feel safer if we were to leave (and they have expressed similar opinions). We would always look back over our shoulders, afraid when he’ll come and do something stupid. We would have to hide and live in even greater fear. This was never the easier route. The country I live in does not do anything for women in my mother’s position. I know of so many cases like this, my friends also grew up in families where their fathers were abusive, yet the law did nothing, even when things got physical. It is always the women who lose. It would be even greater hell for us to go through years of custody battles, any kind of court matters, etc. The situation is not as black and white. Thankfully, my father has never been physically abusive, he’s all talk, and as I’ve said, things have calmed down over the last few years. No threats or major outbursts. He has shown regret and is trying. We stood up against him and let him know that his treatment is not okay. I don’t expect he will change completely, that is unrealistic since he has his own trauma. He had a major health scare a few years ago and that is when he started to take everything more seriously. My mother, my siblings and I are forgiving if a person is making an effort to change. What this has to do with my school bully is the fact that I have told her her treatment is not okay and she continued to do it – she chose to hurt me futher even more, deliberately. She did not take my feelings of hurt into account, instead, she used them to hurt me even more, she basked in my mysery. Despite my father and her having similar traits, there is one major difference – he is trying, she did not. That is why it is easier to be forgiving towards my father and so difficult to even try to forgive her.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Janet.
    #373145
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    I am glad to learn, following your most recent post, that (1) your mother did not tell you that she sacrificed her life for her children, that (2) your mother, you/ siblings did stand up to your father, telling him that his behavior was not  okay, and that (3) your father has shown regret, has been trying to improve, and has indeed calmed down in the last few years.

    And I understand that in your country, escaping an abusive husband/ father is very difficult, if not impossible, and therefor it was not a possible choice for your mother at the time when your father threatened physical violence.

    You expressed in your most recent post that after you told your school bully that her behavior was not okay with you, not only did she not try to change her (mis)behavior- she tried instead to hurt you even more, basking in your misery.

    It seems like this bully is sadistic, that she is enjoying inflicting pain on others who she perceives to be weaker than her… it is so sad and scary, to think that she may become a mother and perhaps sadistically hurt her own children, who are naturally weak and dependent. It is scary to know that there are sadistic people in the world, although a very small percentage of the world population.

    If this is the case, in first grade and all through primary school, there was absolutely nothing  you could have done to make her stop bullying you. Some adult had to intervene for you, an adult she perceived as someone strong enough to hurt her. Am I understanding correctly?

    anita

    #373184
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for your words and for understanding. 🙂

    “It seems like this bully is sadistic, that she is enjoying inflicting pain on others who she perceives to be weaker than her…; If this is the case, in first grade and all through primary school, there was absolutely nothing you could have done to make her stop bullying you. Some adult had to intervene for you, an adult she perceived as someone strong enough to hurt her. Am I understanding correctly?” Yes, I believe she is sadistic and it makes me sad to think there are other people who have suffered because of her. In high school she only had me, as far as I know (in the “school domain”). I know now and it makes me feel better that you assured me that there was nothing I could have done. It does, however, make me so angry at myself for allowing her past influence to continue now when I only see her a few times a year. It seems like she has her life all together while I’m still picking up the pieces of my life that she broke. I know I sound revengeful… 🙁 I cannot help but feel like it’s not fair that someone who has done so much deliberate harm and lives their life without any consequences. Have you ever felt that way about someone/something?

    #373203
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    You are welcome. You wrote in your most recent post: “it’s not fair that someone who has done so much deliberate harm and lives their life without any consequences”. I re-read some of what you shared about her bullying of you, trying to get a picture of the “so much deliberate harm” that she has caused you, a picture of what she actually did.

    You wrote earlier that “being friends with her seemed like the lesser evil because whenever I tried to stand up to her, all hell would break loose. She was very spiteful… she manipulated me until the end  of high school.. Her moodiness made me so nervous to go to school… if she was in a bad mood, I would be the  one she’d take it on”-

    – if you want to, and only if you feel comfortable sharing, can you give me a few concrete examples of what she, when in a bad mood, specifically said and did to you that was evil, hellish, spiteful and/ or manipulative?

    anita

    #373205
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “– if you want to, and only if you feel comfortable sharing, can you give me a few concrete examples of what she, when in a bad mood, specifically said and did to you that was evil, hellish, spiteful and/ or manipulative?”

    A lot of the times she just got mad, ignored me and waited until I came to her asking what was wrong. She responded by saying that if I were a good friend I would’t have to ask what’s wrong, because I would know what’s wrong. After a few days, she would act like nothing happened and was sweet again. In the meantime, I worried sick about whether I said something or did something to upset her. If I got excited about a hobby, she would support me at first, but when she was in a bad mood she would tell me all the reasons why I’m bad at it and should stop doing it. If she did decide to talk to me on a bad day, she would constantly snap at me. She would also try to embarrass me in front of others, taking digs at me and my mental health. I went to a therapist a few times and she knew about it. She also knew that I didn’t want everybody to know that, but she kept mentioning it in front of other people. She would also constantly pick at strangers for their physical appearance and it made me feel insecure because I was heavier than the people she criticized. She would sometimes yell at me in front of the entire classroom.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Janet.
    #373210
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    I understand. In the post before  last, you wrote: “I know I sound revengeful.. I cannot help but feel like it’s not fair that someone who has done so much deliberate harm and lives their life without any consequences. Have you ever felt that way about someone/ something?”-

    – yes I have, and this is what I learned:

    There is no justification for people being mean to others, like this girl has been to you. But having stated this, it is also true that the consequences you think that she will not be suffering in her future- she will be suffering in the context of her intimate relationships with others. Plus, she has already suffered a lot, in her home of origin. What I mean by it, is that children growing up in loving home do not become mean children and adults. She has suffered (and is suffering), and that’s why she became mean. You wrote earlier that her parents spoiled her: maybe they bought her expensive clothes and toys or whatnot, maybe they spent money on her and provided her with vacations and such, but they deeply hurt her emotionally.

    The key for you is to no longer be, as you put it, goody-goody. Continue to stand up to people who are offensive, and/ or avoid them altogether. Continue to improve your assertiveness skills (there are books and online resources on the matter).

    anita

    #373215
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>thank you for taking the time so many days in a row to help me. I’m trying my best to stand up for myself for a while now and my brother is also helping me by teaching me how to be more assertive. I know, that if it ever happens that my bully and I meet again, I have to show her that I am not a goody goody anymore and she cannot manipulate me any longer. I should not care about seeming like a bad person if I assert myself. My brother always tells me that is better to be respected than liked. Sometimes I just need encouraging words from strangers as well, hence my post here. I like to know that I am not alone and that others have successfuly overcome such struggles.
    I hope to one day be able to say that I have overcome this struggle as well.
    All the best,</p>
    Janet

    #373217
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    You are welcome, and you are definitely not alone. I, for one, was very unassertive, unfortunately for me. I was too scared to assert myself and too spaced out/ confused, when it was time for me to assert myself. I knew what I should have said and done after it the situation ended (and not in my favor).

    When you see this young woman again, maybe all you should do is stand close to her, face to  face, your eyes looking into her eyes,  and say a few strong words to her, that and nothing more, then walk away. What would those words be, if you were to do as I just suggested?

    (I will be away from the computer for a while).

    anita

     

    #373237
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    whenever we see each other she acts all sweet and, unfortunately, so do I. Next time I see her I will do it differently. When she’ll start to provoke (and she will), I’ll look her in the eyes as you suggest. I imagine saying something like this: “I am not in high school anymore, but clearly you still are. What makes you so unhappy that you have to constantly provoke and seek attention? Take your bullsh*t somewhere else and pretend to be a good person there. And get some serious help. You know who my therapist was, maybe give her a call. Bye.”

    “I knew what I should have said and done after it the situation ended (and not in my favor).”  – This is exactly my struggle. It is so easy to come up with what I wrote above when I’m alone, but in the moment I kinda freeze. Often it is not even that I don’t know what to say. It is the fear of saying it that stops me.

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