- This topic has 46 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Anonymous.
January 26, 2023 at 8:02 am #414458
I know I’m capable of relaxing, of enjoying my own company.. But when a big event happens, we’ll one that rocks my boat a bit, sometimes something simple such as when my youngest sons behaviour changes due to to the difficulties he experiences, or the long running fight to secure him his education (long story), flares up, my frustration with work.. then I struggle to relax and focus all my efforts on the matter in hand, and totally forgetting about myself.
I feel that I’m quite a quiet as opposed to shy person, feel others pain, and I guess I can be quite intense as opposed to full on if that makes sense. I feel my emotions. I overthink/overanalyse a lot, which is possibly because I don’t always feel that I fit in more than anything.January 26, 2023 at 9:40 am #414471AnonymousGuest
“I know that I’m being hurt, I feel it… I know what hurts feels like, I can’t do that to them… With A right now.. I’m feeling guilt. Guilty that I will hurt him, that he will again feel abandoned… I.. feel others’ pain”-
– You feel your own childhood-pain, and you imagine that other adults (A, other men) will feel great hurt/ pain in the context of you ending the adult relationship with them. It is called Projection, inaccurate projection. I will explain my point best I can: it is true that A, and other men you dated, felt acute pain as children, and that pain is still in them. But in the context of you ending a relationship with any one of the men: the hurt that they experience as a result, is way, way… way less intense than the hurt they felt when abandoned as children.
What you feel is the intense pain you felt when emotionally abandoned as a child. You inaccurately project this pain to the men, predicting- falsely- that they will hurt the same way when you end the relationship with them. But they are not the children that they were, and you are not their parent. What hurt them so very much already happened many years ago.
Same thing in regard to your father: the fact that you were not enthusiastic about your parents’ frequent, long visits to your home- did not hurt him much, and- reads to me- did not hurt him at all. Try to stay with these thoughts of mine for a while, and tell me how you feel about it, will you?
anitaJanuary 28, 2023 at 10:21 am #414548AnonymousGuest
I want to elaborate on the above and take it farther, sharing with you my own life-experience and growing understanding:
When we are children, we feel most intensely: we feel hurt, sadness, joy, hope, fear intensely. Maybe if you look back at your childhood, you can remember feeling hope intensely? I remember: it felt like the grass was intensely green and the sun intensely pleasant, and the image is of me running excitedly on the green grass under the pleasant sun, running toward a beautiful future that’s just about to happen.
I didn’t remember for a long time how intensely fear felt because naturally, my brain-body dissociated from it as quickly as it could, best it could. Recently, I remembered how my heart beat faster, how spacey and nauseous my head got when just about to be attacked by my mother.
I always remembered though the sadness and guilt over my mother’s unhappiness (which she expressed for hours in most dramatic ways), and I kept re-experiencing this excessive empathy for her, sadness and guilt as an adult, for many years.
As I learn about other people, I find that when childhood was difficult, people keep re-experiencing the same feelings of childhood in new, adult life-circumstances: as adults, we are the same children hurting, fearing.. hoping.
I think that the first time you mentioned guilt was on Jan 24: “A few other things have popped up in my mind.. guilt.. for wanting to leave my previous partners, how can I leave when they need me.. Guilt about hurting them despite feeling hurt myself.”- having re-read all your posts, it seems to me that your original guilt was about wanting- as a child or a young teenager and onward- to quit taking care of your parents and brother.. that it was about feeling angry at your parents for taking away from you the idea of a carefree childhood (the term stolen childhood comes to mind), and burdening you instead with adult responsibilities. You wanted to leave them all, perhaps, but were afraid that you will hurt them if you leave them.
All the taking care of your parents, your brother and everyone else- may be your tireless and exhausting way to seek redemption: to redeem what you feel is a bad part of you (bad for feeling angry at your parents, bad for wanting to leave them).
On Jan 26, you wrote in regard to romantic partners: “I then end up in a position where I know I want to get out, to walk away, but in creeps the guilt.. It’ll hurt them… so I stay”- I think that this is the story of your childhood (if you substitute parents for partners).
On that same day, you wrote: “Returning to the aspect of guilt for a moment.. In the last few years.. my parents have continued to visit 2 or 3 days a week.. They’d stay for several hours at a time.. I was frustrated about the time they spent round at mine… I became a bit snappy and sought to escape the house for walks alone when they visited... when my dad fell unwell and the deterioration of his mental health picked up pace, I partially blamed myself for not wanting him and my mum to come round as much as they were, I felt guilty that I’d pushed him away and it was my fault. That guilt still floats in and out of my mind“- here is the guilt about feeling angry at your parents (“snappy” is the word you used) and wanting to get away from them, to leave them and move on to a different kind of life.
Taking care of others, emotionally and practically, in your own words (I boldface the different people you took/ take care of): “I was now supporting my mum and brother at their home and helping with shopping etc., visiting and supporting my dad in hospital… I’d also agreed to be a support worker for my friend’s daughter 2 to 3 days a week, whilst also supporting my own sons at home… I’ve always been (mother’s) support and my brother’s from a young age… My husband.. I looked after him and our house, listened when he felt troubled, supported him… My next partner.. I’d calm him when he was angry, listen when he was frustrated.. I helped him find and take part in new activities… No. 4 .. I supported, I cared, I listened, I helped him with all sorts of difficulties he was having… No. 5.. I listened to him poor out his feelings of loneliness.. I supported him through some tough moments.. I worked as a personal trainer/fitness coach, in a hospital, in a nursery looking after babies and toddlers… working in a special needs school supporting children with considerable needs..“-
– seems to me that all this taking care of others is partly motivated by a desire or a need to free yourself from perceived badness, to become a good person through all these deeds, and to earn your right (as a redeemed person, a good person) to… your own life.
Another motivation in physically helping others and keeping yourself otherwise physically active is to distract yourself from feeling so low with anxiety, suppressed anger and guilt: “I busied myself with going for walks, visiting my parents and cooking them Xmas Dinner, and I threw myself into sorting and tidying around the house, I had a huge desire to be busy… pushing myself to walk, cycle, exercise more, it’s my coping/mechanism for seeking some sense of control…I guess when feeling so low”.
I will close this post with the following thoughts: I mentioned the term stolen childhood. I don’t remember if I read it somewhere. I know that “stolen lives” is the title of a book I once read, a title I identified with because I felt that my life was stolen. I’d say that the majority of my life was kidnapped and held hostage by Guilt. It was a false guilt, just like yours is a false guilt. It was never your job to take care of your parents and brother. It was your parents’ job to take care of you. Your anger at them and the desire to leave them, or at least, to leave the Guilt behind is more than understandable; it is valid and it is natural. If this post makes sense to you, if you want to correct that parts of it that are inaccurate or not complete- please do.
anitaJanuary 28, 2023 at 11:24 am #414552
Thanks you for sharing your past experience.. it resonates with me and what you have said really does make sense.
I’ve been finding myself snapping at my boys in on occasions in recent months. I feel frustrated and perhaps angry, feelings of wanting to do more but feeling held back. Guilty for wanting to go and do things on my own, knowing that my boys still need me, albeit I know they need me in a different way now they are older. I guess I’m taking it out on them as they are closest to me.
It’s by no means the first time I’ve behaved this way.. Frustrated and angry – with my parents, within all my relationships.. the need to escape and feel free and the guilt of feeling that way, guilt that if I did some of the things I wanted, if I stepped away from meeting their needs, passifying their troubles, I would hurt them, hurt their feelings. I am a good person and good people don’t hurt others, don’t leave, don’t walk away.
When I left home to move in with my husband, my parents were always popping round a 2 or 3 times a week, same when I moved in with my new partner after my divorce. I remember when the relationship with my partner ended, he said ‘your ex (husband) warned me they (my parents) don’t leave you alone’
Keeping busy (over busy), walking (lots) allows me to avoid what’s going on in my head, avoid the guilt, frustration and anger.. temporarily.. only for it to return later or sometimes may be a day or two later with more intensity.
I’ve not felt as low, muddled, confused, snappy etc before as much as I do now and over recent months.. in the last few weeks its kind of hit a peak and I’m teetering on sinking, and clinging on to make changes.. at the moment it’s nearer to clinging on to make changes because I really don’t like how I’m feeling or behaving right now.
I say clinging on, because I am doing all I can to understand how my childhood has affected my past and present, and I’ve taken a few small steps to self care.
On another note, I bumped into A whilst shopping today. He apologised for being quiet this week, said he’d had a really bad week at work, I empathised with him, he then went on to tell me why he week was so rubbish. He briefly stopped to ask if I was okay, and then said ‘I’ll try to make some time for you tomorrow so we can catch up for a coffee’. On my walk home, those words played in my head, ‘I’ll try to make some time for you’. I felt angry, and saw it for what it is.. if I’ve got time, and I want to see you, if its convenient for me then I’ll make time for you. I’ve allowed him to behave in the way he has towards me, because I felt lonely, and felt guilty that he felt lonely too, and as mentioned before because I’d hurt him if i left.. because my subconscious child(hood) told me I would be a bad person if otherwise..
January 28, 2023 at 12:25 pm #414555AnonymousGuest
You are welcome! “I’ve been finding myself snapping at my boys in on occasions in recent months. I feel frustrated and perhaps angry… I’ve not felt as low, muddled, confused, snappy etc. before as much as I do now and over recent months.. in the last few weeks it’s kind of hit a peak and I’m teetering on sinking, and clinging on to make changes.“- your anger is trying to deliver a message to you, and it’s trying to deliver it loud and clear.
“Feeling held back. Guilty for wanting to go and do things on my own.. Frustrated and angry – with my parents, within all my relationships.. the need to escape and feel free and the guilt“- the anger’s message, as I hear it: Palegazesunnidays needs to live her own life, for herself; not for her parents, not for a partner, not even for her (teenage) kids!
When is Palegazesunnidays’s turn, when is she going to have her own .. sunny days?
“Guilt that if I did some of the things I wanted… I would hurt them, hurt their feelings“- if you don’t do some of the things you want to do, you will hurt those who do love you.
“I am a good person and good people don’t hurt others, don’t leave, don’t walk away“- you are indeed a good person, so please: don’t keep leaving you, don’t keep walking away from you.
“When I left home to move in with my husband, my parents were always popping round… I remember when the relationship with my partner ended, he said ‘your ex (husband) warned me they (my parents) don’t leave you alone’“- your person, your life, is not your parents’ property. They shouldn’t get to decide what to do with you for the rest of your life, or theirs.
“I bumped into A whilst shopping today. He apologised… ‘I’ll try to make some time for you’. I felt angry, and saw it for what it is“- what it is, as I see it is a man trying to get his needs met.
I wonder if now is the right time to get quality counseling, so to help you at this time of increased self-awareness and challenge?
anitaJanuary 30, 2023 at 9:46 am #414740
Much as I would love to be in the position whereby I could get counselling, I’m unfortunately not in the financial position not to be able to do so. And accessing free counselling here in the UK is very difficult due to waiting lists, so I am trying to do my best to work through things myself 🙂
I have been reading through some of the blog articles on Tiny Budda and there were a couple that resonated with me..
I resonated with the story each told of their past behaviour. I think I’ve mentioned previously that I find it difficult to say no and I’m aware of an inate need to please and give to others from a young age.
I’m have become more acutely aware of feeling angry on many occasions in the past and have suppressed it, not allowed it to speak. However, more recently I am finding it really difficult to suppress, and I guess I have become more aware that its been trying to tell me something very important. I have found myself wanting to know what it’s been wanting to say and I now understand.
I’ve have been thinking a lot over the past week about how to go about changing things so that I prioritise myself, show myself self compassion, self care. The blog posts are helpful and help increase awareness of where I’m at at present and what I need to consider doing to change things and feel more at peace with myself and my life. I need to learn to say no, and to set boundaries as these a two things I just don’t do at all right now. I feel I need to learn about unnecessary guilt too.. learn to let go of it. And I need to remain aware of my inner child, and ask the right questions of myself when things feel off balance, when my gut instinct kicks in.
I felt I took a step, all be it a very very tiny step in the right direction on Sunday by saying ‘No’. A texted me Sunday morning ‘Do you still want an early cuppa?’. I wrestled with saying yes/no.. after sitting with it for for 20 min or so, I texted him and said, ‘No thanks. I’ve got my climbing course today (which I had) and I want to visit the coast for a walk beforehand and enjoy the sunshine. Hope you have a good day’. I enjoyed my wall and had a great time climbing and chatting to the other people in the group I was climbing with 🙂January 30, 2023 at 10:42 am #414748AnonymousGuest
The long waiting lists for free counseling in the U.K. are part-evidence of the unfortunate current global mental health crisis we are in, isn’t it?
“I am trying to do my best to work through things myself“- excellent! You are welcome to use the forums in a self-help context for working through things.
“I have been reading through some of the blog articles on Tiny Budda and there were a couple that resonated with me“- what I read from the articles you attached- reads as if you wrote it!
“I’m have become more acutely aware of feeling angry on many occasions in the past and have suppressed it, not allowed it to speak. However, more recently I am finding it really difficult to suppress“- no need to suppress anger, only its expressions (“I’ve been finding myself snapping at my boys in on occasions in recent months”, Jan 28)
“and I guess I have become more aware that it’s been trying to tell me something very important. I have found myself wanting to know what it’s been wanting to say and I now understand“- excellent! Anger like any other emotion has a valid message, or messages for you: something that you need to change for the benefit of your own (and others’) well-being.
“I’ve have been thinking a lot over the past week about how to go about changing things so that I prioritise myself, show myself self-compassion, self-care.. I need to learn to say no, and to set boundaries… And I need to remain aware of my inner child“- you are on the right track!
“I need to learn about unnecessary guilt too“- this was a huge, long-term struggle for me and I would like to help you with it, in this context of self-help.
“I felt I took a step, all be it a very, very tiny step in the right direction on Sunday”- a tiny step shared about on tiny buddha is just right..!
“A texted me Sunday morning ‘Do you still want an early cuppa?’. I wrestled with saying yes/no.. after sitting with it for 20 min or so, I texted him and said, ‘No thanks. I’ve got my climbing course today (which I had)…Hope you have a good day’. I enjoyed my walk and had a great time..”- well done, Palegazesunnidays!
The next step sometime along the way would be perhaps to say no to him without having to explain why. The key in this process of change is to patiently take one step at a time and congratulate yourself for it: no step is tiny when you are moving in the right direction.
anitaFebruary 3, 2023 at 11:35 am #414921
I’ve been working hard this week on reclaiming my life.. for want of a better way of saying it.
I decided to download a gratitude app to my mobile, it prompts me twice a day with a sentence and I write what I feel grateful for about that. I thought it would be helpful for me to do.
I’ve also been looking at, and trying to work out what my values or principles are as that’s not something I’ve really considered before and an article I read mentioned things feeling out of kilter when you’re not living by your values. I guessed that my anger etc has also been trying to tell me that I’m not living in tune with values which I’ve possibly repressed??
I also thought that if I can’t get to a therapist then I’ll be my own, so I’ve purchased a book called How to be your own therapist by Owen O’kane to work through.
I’ve been trying to make sure I do one thing a day that I want to do, even if that’s only been to do a crossword puzzle.
I hope you don’t mind my sharing that with you.. I feel quite proud of myself..
Small steps..February 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm #414923AnonymousGuest
Of course I don’t mind you sharing this with me: I am glad that you do, you just made me day with your latest sharing! And.. I am proud of you too for taking these small, yet big steps (no step is small when it leads you in the right direction): congratulations for the steps you took most recently!
When I read this: “I’ve also been looking at, and trying to work out what my values or principles are as that’s not something I’ve really considered before and an article I read mentioned things feeling out of kilter when you’re not living by your values. I guessed that my anger etc. has also been trying to tell me that I’m not living in tune with values which I’ve possibly repressed??”, I immediately remembered that I did work on values and principles in therapy more than a decade ago. It was part of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), I remembered worksheets my therapist at the time gave me to fill in as part of my homework assignment. I still have them.
If you go to dialectical behavioral therapy. com/ distress tolerance/ actions based on values, you will get a sense of what I am referring to. I can look for the paper worksheets that I still have, if you would like me to, tomorrow morning (in about 20 hours from now). Let me know, and I will find them and share them with you in the morning.
anitaFebruary 3, 2023 at 12:08 pm #414924
Thank you Anita 🙂
I shall have a look at the website you mentioned, but I would be most grateful if could share the worksheets with me as I’m finding it quite difficult to work out what my values are.
Thank you againFebruary 3, 2023 at 12:17 pm #414925AnonymousGuest
You are welcome! I wasn’t aware that the website I mentioned had a book for sale. I didn’t and I don’t recommend that you purchase any book or any material from that website (I am not familiar enough with it): my intention was to give you an idea of what the work is about. I will look for the paper forms I have in the morning and will get back to you.
anitaFebruary 4, 2023 at 8:30 am #414950AnonymousGuest
Here it is, a printout from “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook“: “Rediscover your values: The word ‘values’ can be defined as your ethics, principles, ideals, standards, or morals… Remembering what you value in life can be a very powerful way to help you tolerate a stressful situation… Sometimes we forget why we’re doing something that’s hard, and this makes it difficult for us to continue…”
“Exercise: Valued Living Questionnaire: This first exercise will ask you to identify how you value ten different components of your life… Rate the importance of each component on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not important at all and 10 being extremely important. Do your best to rate them honestly, according to your own true feelings, not to what you think you should rate them..”.
Next there is a list of “Life Components” on the left of the page, and 0-10 numbers to the right of each life component. The list:
“Family (other than romantic relationships or parenting)
Romantic relationships (marriage, life partners, dating, and so on)
Friends and social life
Education and training
Recreation and fun
Spirituality and religion
Citizenship and community life
Self-care (exercise, diet, relaxation, and so on)“.
Would you like to do this exercise, here on your thread or away from the computer?
(Following this exercise, there is another titled “Committed Action”.
anitaFebruary 5, 2023 at 12:31 pm #415045
Thank you, I really appreciate sharing this.
If its okay, I’ll have a go at doing this away from the computer. I’ve set aside myself some quiet time over the next few days and I will aim to go through the above mentioned exercise then.
Thank you again. I’ll share come back to share with you how I get on.February 6, 2023 at 4:22 am #415062AnonymousGuest
You are very welcome, and of course it’s okay if you do the work away from the computer.
anitaFebruary 6, 2023 at 7:36 am #415068AnonymousGuest
It is very possible that I will be removed from the forums today, and since we communicated for a while in regard to your exciting reclaiming your life process (your words), I don’t want to just disappear, so I am here to say my possible goodbye, and ask you to please keep moving forward, keep reclaiming your life, one step, one day at a time!