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Feeling unappreciated because of my ex.

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  • #385929
    canary
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’ve been feeling unappreciated lately and it’s been so overwhelming. I did some journaling and I think I know why I feel this way.

    Before I met my ex, I never had trouble with feeling appreciated because I felt appreciated by my family and friends.

    When my ex entered my life, he would constantly compliment me and appreciate the little quirks that I didn’t know I even had. He appreciated every side of me, good & bad. It gave me so much confidence because I struggled with low self-esteem, it made me feel so nice to be appreciated by someone and being desired. Because of that, I started appreciating myself and others more.

    After my breakup, my ex lead me on so many times (unintentionally). The first time was immediately after the breakup, we broke up, got back together, and broke up again. After a week he was very distant and said he didn’t love me anymore. Now that I think about it, I realize that I had put him on a pedestal during the breakup so I would constantly try to seek approval from him.

    This is why when I went to his house to deliver his birthday gifts, he instantly became infatuated with me, hooked up with me, and lead me on. A month later he became distant and I stopped messaging him. But after that, it was clear he still thought about me and cared about me because he had guilt for hooking up with me.

    I spent a lot of time in solitude during this time and I don’t remember feeling the need to be appreciated or wanted by him. I was simply using this time to heal from the breakup.

    I ended up messaging him asking him a question regarding the breakup, after discussing we became friends again. He caught feelings for me after a few weeks of talking and lead me on again. During this time he would shower me with compliments and appreciate me. We were basically acting like a couple during this time because I had the expectation that we would end up dating again. When we found out a relationship between us wouldn’t work, he quickly disconnected emotionally and stopped complimenting me and respecting me. He became rude.

    I just want to say that during this time he was going through a rough patch in his life, so I somewhat understand why he became so rude suddenly.

    We stopped talking and ended on a bad note.

    The sudden disconnect and lack of appreciation and respect really affected me and my self-esteem, because he was a person I respected and valued his opinion about me. It felt awful not being appreciated by him.

    Just to make it clear, I am appreciated by my beautiful friends and family, but I feel unappreciated only because my ex is not appreciating me. I still somewhat value his opinion about me, it just feels awful not being able to feel appreciated by him.

    Also, I posted about my situation in detail in previous posts, I just condensed it here and put the important parts.

    I really don’t know how to get rid of this feeling and stop holding him on a pedestal. I appreciate any responses, thank you.
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    #385930
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    Welcome back! I read the beginning of your original post and I didn’t understand,  you wrote: “Before I met my ex, I never had trouble with feeling appreciated because I felt appreciated by my family and friends. When my ex entered my life, he would constantly compliment me and appreciate the little quirks that I didn’t know I even had. He appreciated every side of me, good & bad. It gave me so much confidence because I struggled with low self-esteem

    – If before you met your ex, you never had trouble with feeling appreciated, how is it that.. before you met your ex, you struggled with low self esteem?

    anita

    #385986
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    When my ex entered my life, he would constantly compliment me and appreciate the little quirks that I didn’t know I even had. He appreciated every side of me, good & bad. It gave me so much confidence because I struggled with low self-esteem, it made me feel so nice to be appreciated by someone and being desired. Because of that, I started appreciating myself and others more.

    Can you give an example of a bad side of yours that your ex appreciated? It could be that he didn’t mind some of your quirks, or “bad sides”, that your friends and family didn’t appreciate too much?

    #385990
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I meant that before meeting my ex, I struggled with low self-esteem regarding my physical appearance. This is because I was bullied in elementary school and felt undesirable. But, I still felt appreciated for being myself (my personality) by my friends and family because they showed they cared about me and loved me.

    I hope that makes sense!

    #385991
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    By bad sides, I meant things I struggled with or things most people did not like about me.

    For example, I was very weird and awkward. When I would tell him that I’m too awkward, he said he liked the “awkwardness” and “weirdness” about me. It took a while for me to warm up to him but when I did, I embraced my weird quirks and he liked it. When I would act that way in front of other people, they did not like it so I felt the need to hide that part of me. That’s what I meant by “bad sides” of me.

    I also told him about the fact that I’m socially anxious, and quiet. (BTW. I don’t consider being quiet a bad thing anymore.) He would tell me he likes that part of me because he enjoys my presence and I speak when I want to. Also, he did support me whenever I would tell him I did something out of my comfort zone and fight back my anxiety. So he appreciated my bad sides, but also encouraged me to be my true self and fight back my anxiety.

    I’m not sure if my family/friends didn’t appreciate those parts of me that I consider to be bad.

    #385992
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    your ex boyfriend seems to have been really supportive. He accepted you unconditionally, didn’t criticize you for anything, and appreciated the things about you that you thought were weird and awkward, such as being quiet among people. He also liked your physical appearance, so you felt desirable, unlike before. He also encouraged you and praised you when you stepped out of your comfort zone, to fight back your anxiety.

    I embraced my weird quirks and he liked it. When I would act that way in front of other people, they did not like it so I felt the need to hide that part of me. That’s what I meant by “bad sides” of me.

    Do you mean when you were quiet in front of others? Or your weird quirks involved something else? Would you mind sharing one example of such a “weird quirk”?

     

    #385994
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    My weird personality would shine through when I was with other people, and they never appreciated it so I learned to hide that from them. An example of my weird quirks would be my sense of humor. I would make jokes and act weird, some people did not appreciate that and did not like my personality. But my ex found my weird personality to be humorous and relatable because I feel we had a similar sense of humor so we got along very well. We were always making jokes and acting silly, so that is what I mean by my “weird quirks”.

    #385995
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    We were always making jokes and acting silly, so that is what I mean by my “weird quirks”.

    I see, so you were on the same wavelength with him, had a similar sense of humor, and it was pleasant and enjoyable to spend time with him, making jokes and having fun. Other people didn’t necessarily like your jokes or your behavior, and you didn’t feel appreciated by them. You couldn’t be yourself around them, you needed to hide that part of yourself. With him, you could be yourself.

    Since you’re not together anymore and his behavior changed drastically – how do you feel about those quirks of yours now? Do you feel they are bad? Has your image of yourself changed, because he isn’t supportive any more?

    I’m not sure if my family/friends didn’t appreciate those parts of me that I consider to be bad.

    You said “other people” didn’t appreciate it. Who are those other people, besides family and friends, whose opinion you care about?

    #386002
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    My image of myself has changed and I don’t feel my quirks or personality is something I should be ashamed of. I do water down my personality in front of people because it takes a while for me to warm up enough to be myself completely, but I don’t believe it’s a bad thing.

    I feel unappreciated because my personality is not being appreciated in the same way it was when I was with my ex. I do appreciate myself and I accept my personality as it is, but I still feel unappreciated and I’m not exactly sure why.

    The other people are just classmates or mutual friends that I’m not super close to but we know each other. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I care about their opinion. Because we aren’t even close, but I still care about the way they perceive me.

    #386003
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    My image of myself has changed and I don’t feel my quirks or personality is something I should be ashamed of. I do water down my personality in front of people because it takes a while for me to warm up enough to be myself completely, but I don’t believe it’s a bad thing.

    That’s good, it means you grew and can better accept your individuality. Great!

    The other people are just classmates or mutual friends that I’m not super close to but we know each other. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I care about their opinion. Because we aren’t even close, but I still care about the way they perceive me.

    Right. We can never be liked by everyone, so perhaps you’d need to accept that some people won’t necessarily like you, but it has nothing to do with you, but with their own preferences? How does that sound to you?

    I feel unappreciated because my personality is not being appreciated in the same way it was when I was with my ex. I do appreciate myself and I accept my personality as it is, but I still feel unappreciated and I’m not exactly sure why.

    Perhaps it is just you who accepts yourself completely (the way your ex used to), but no one else? How about your family? Do you feel they accept you completely? I remember you said you have two older siblings, and that they had each other for support, while you felt alone perhaps? This is what you said in your previous thread:

    I have 2 older siblings and I’m the youngest. My older siblings are one year apart so they had each other for support. I am the youngest and my parents decided that when I was born they would parent me better and I was the closest to my mother. My siblings grew up afraid because my father was strict and would yell a lot. My father didn’t yell at me as much but I learned to stand up for myself because of it. Honestly, I was given the most attention out of my siblings because I was the youngest and my parents wanted me to have a happy childhood.

    In this scenario, it could be possible that your siblings were a little jealous of you because you were treated better than them? And also, because you were younger, they didn’t feel that bond with you as they felt with each other? I am totally guessing here, so please disregard if this wasn’t the case.

    #386004
    Peggy
    Participant

    Hello Canary,

    What you are really saying (I think) is that you want to be loved for yourself.  During your time with your ex you could give expression to some parts of yourself which you may have kept hidden from other people.  Most people adapt their behaviour to some extent depending on who they are with.  Very few people are accepted totally for who they are and it sounds as if your ex boyfriend was one of those rare people who could do that.  His loss, therefore, is affecting you quite deeply.

    He probably still appreciates your quirky nature but for reasons best known to himself isn’t able to continue the relationship with you.  Ultimately, you need to accept yourself as you are, quirks and all.  This is the way you were made and there probably isn’t much you can do about it so you may as well learn to love yourself exactly as you are.

    Best Wishes

    Peggy

    #386005
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canari:

    You shared in your previous threads and in this one that you are a college student living at home. Growing up, your father yelled a lot (maybe he still does), and you were bullied in elementary school. You shared that you’ve suffered from “severe depression & anxiety” for which you were prescribed several medications by a psychiatrist Aug 2019- May 2021.

    The relationship with your boyfriend started Aug 2019, the same month that you started taking an anti-depressant and other psychiatric medications, and ended  April 2020, the month before you stopped the psychiatric medications.

    You attributed the reason for the breakup to be your severe depression and anxiety that he tried and failed to help you with: “The reason for our breakup:– I was suffering from severe depression & anxiety and it made me difficult to deal with.. he tried to be there for me, there wasn’t a lot he could do“.

    Later, you shifted your description of your ex boyfriend from a caring, empathetic boyfriend to one who has suffered from Asocial Personality Disorder since his childhood: “my ex has ASPD -Antisocial Personality Disorder“. (A person with a diagnosis of ASPD disregards and violates the rights of other people, lies, deceives, manipulates and exploit others without feeling guilty, etc.).

    Going back and forth about your characterization of your ex boyfriend, you wrote:

    He is by no means an evil person..  He is a bad person, extremely arrogant only cares for himself… he would never empathize with me.. he is fully aware that he is a bad person and he even admits it… He appreciated every side of me, good & bad… he did support me whenever I would tell him I did something out of my comfort zone and fight back my anxiety. So he appreciated my bad sides, but also encouraged me to be my true self and fight back my anxiety“-

    – I don’t understand these extreme contradictions in your characterization of your former boyfriend. When I asked you about these contradictions you explained that he was evil to everyone else except for his few loved-ones, you being one of his loved-ones. But then you contradicted this explanation when saying, before the explanation: “Things are so much clearer after I learned that my ex has ASPD…I understand why he did all the hurtful things to me“.

    anita

     

    #386007
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I feel my family accepts me completely but they don’t fully understand me. The thing is, with my ex, I felt he understood some parts of me that no one ever understood before. I’m not saying he completely understands me because there’s a lot that he didn’t understand during our relationship that other people did. I think it was just nice having that part of you being understood and having the same energy being reciprocated in the relationship.

    I don’t think my siblings were jealous of me like that. But they are both definitely closer to each other than with me because they grew up together and I am many years younger than them.

    #386010
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Peggy,

    That is true. I want to be loved for myself and understood. I’m just not sure how to let go of this feeling completely. Because I accept myself for who I am, I find it difficult to let go of the desire of being appreciated and understood for my personality.

     

    #386015
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    I feel my family accepts me completely but they don’t fully understand me.

    Right. What comes to mind is that your mother accepted you completely (never shamed you, criticized you or similar), however she didn’t understand what you were going through when being bullied, so she couldn’t adequately help you. You told her you have anxiety about going to school, and she let you stay at home rather than trying to help you deal with that anxiety. Your father didn’t even know about the problems you were facing at school. So you were mostly left to your own devices to navigate those difficult emotions and situations you were faced with. That’s why I believe you developed anxiety in the first place.

    Could it be that this lack of understanding that you feel from your family stems from the lack of understanding of your psychological problems, of your struggle with depression and anxiety? And your ex perhaps understood you because he went through something similar or had someone in the family who also suffered from anxiety and depression?

    The thing is, with my ex, I felt he understood some parts of me that no one ever understood before. … I think it was just nice having that part of you being understood and having the same energy being reciprocated in the relationship.

    Would you say that “that part of you” refers to the part who struggled with depression and anxiety?

     

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