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Feeling unappreciated because of my ex.

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  • #387029
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    Thank you for speaking with me, I appreciate everyone that has commented. I feel much better and at peace after speaking and being honest

    You are welcome, and I am glad you are feeling better now. And that you see that you are enough and don’t need others to validate you:

    I realize that whenever I feel inadequate, I need to bring the attention back towards myself. I need reminders of who I am and what my strengths are. I don’t need others to validate me and agree with me.

    And also, that you don’t need to take advice from people who are harsh and criticizing:

    I know that the only opinion and advice that I should take is from those I look up to. Someone who I look up to will never criticize me in a hard way because they are loving and gentle.

    These are all important realizations!

    In this last post of yours it also transpired that your father was rather a bully in the family, whom everyone feared, including your mother. You perhaps received less of his yelling and open aggression than your siblings, but still you grew up afraid and hiding your anxiety and your school problems from him, because you were afraid of his anger (My father would never see me cry, only my mother would. I didn’t speak to my father about my anxiety as a child, so he didn’t know what I was dealing with. I was too afraid to ask him for permission to remove my facial hair because I assumed he would get angry and say no, so I never did.).

    Your mother was afraid of his anger too:

    She did not agree, she was willing to let me remove my facial and body hair but she was afraid to speak to my father about it because he would become angry.

    She was afraid of him, he thought he knew better how to raise children, and she didn’t dare to say anything.

    I wouldn’t say my dad lacks empathy, he is very emotional and loving but he was just blinded by his own mindset at the time.

    Well, he certainly wasn’t emotional and loving when you were a child, since he kept you all in fear. Your mother didn’t dare to mention that you have problems at school and that you were being bullied. Neither you or your mother dared to say anything to him, lest he explodes in anger. Your siblings were terrified of him, even more than you were, because he yelled at them much more.

    So you grew up with a bully father, and I believe you’d need to acknowledge it. Even if he has changed since, he did inflict a wound, and I believe his behavior contributed to your anxiety. Because if you needed to hide your fears, if you couldn’t speak openly about your feelings and about being bullied, no wonder this would exacerbate your anxiety and your sense of helplessness. If you were told to be strong and not a crybaby, while this terrifying man is looming over you – how else would you react? And you knew that your mother couldn’t protect you either.

    It is very difficult to bring all the focus towards myself because I realize that I care about everyone’s opinion of me. Even a stranger’s opinion of me matters to me, and I’m not exactly sure why.

    Maybe strangers’ opinions matter to you because you’re still subconsciously seeking approval from people who remind you of your father – from fear inducing, judgmental and strict people? From people who lack empathy? Or just in general, you seek approval because growing up, you never received it with a father like that?

    If you had to hide a part of yourself (your weak, vulnerable, fearful side – which every child has), of course you didn’t feel validated and appreciated. Of course you felt unseen and not completely understood.

    It’s much clearer to me now where your sense of not being seen, understood and appreciated is coming from. It’s from your father. It’s fine that he’s changed since, but your mental health is suffering now because of how he treated you in your formative years. You’d need to be aware of that in order to heal it…

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by TeaK.
    #387330
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, canary?

    anita

    #387355
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Not doing well… I need to let some things off my chest.

    Having such horrible anxiety is exhausting. I don’t feel like a human being sometimes because of it, I feel so secluded and alien like. I also dissociate and go into this state when in public, im just afraid.

    Yesterday night I had a breakdown because I was carrying so much on my shoulders. I have constant anxiety everytime I’m in public and on top of that it’s been interfering heavily with my school work! I really care about my school work, I always have. When I’m dealing with anxiety all school week, plus have to catch up on a ton of work over the weekend, I can’t find time for myself and it is too much that I break down. I had to miss important classes because of it and I have been getting such horrible grades because I need time to rest and catch up, which is just impossible! I’m so exhausted. This is horrible and also because it’s reminding me of high school, when I would try my best to stay afloat but I was drowning in my own mental struggles. I barely passed and had to retake classes so I could get into university. I love my studies but I can’t do the work when I’m struggling in my life. During the summer I promised myself this would not happen, I made a plan, and gradually felt my anxiety get better and my depression lift. I was excited for the school year. I told myself I would do my best. I’m just sad. I’m so tired. I’m tired of missing out on things because of my mental struggles. I’m tired of being behind my peers even when I’m giving it my all. I’m tired.

    I don’t know if school is damaging me, the program I’m in is tough and I dont know how to balance my mental health with school.

    I have no energy, I barely sleep and when I make time for sleep I cannot fall asleep or I keep waking up early (probably because of anxiety). I wish my university had more accommodations for me, as well as support. when i told them about it they did not provide me with much.

    Also I have no one to talk to about this. I tell my family, they try their best to understand my struggles but I believe they brush it off…. When they ask me how I’m doing I say horrible, they say, “but you look better! You’re doing better.” but im not! even if I’m not hysterically crying doesn’t mean I’m not doing better. I’m just as sad and anxious as i was yesterday. i believe they brush it off because it hurts them just as much as it hurts me. they told me when they hear me cry they cry. so i understand that I guess..

    My best friend does not know how to respond when i talk to her about this. She does not provide the support im looking for. this forum provides me some support because everyone speaks with empathy and warmth also providing useful tools or advice. im just so stuck because i feel the same way i felt all throughout high school. I’m physically and mentally exhausted!!!!!!

     

    #387359
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    I am glad you posted and vented, please feel free to vent anytime you need to. It’s tough to experience so much anxiety as you do. I wish there was a way for you to relax and feel better each and every day, and I wish you had the support that you need irl. I want to re-read your recent post and reply further after I get some sleep, in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #387364
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    I am very sorry you’re struggling so much. I believe there are 2 main problems that you’re struggling with: 1) feeling a lack of support by others (I have no one to talk to about this… I just need someone to empathize with me and understand me.), and 2) feeling that you are “less than” because of your anxiety (Having such horrible anxiety is exhausting. I don’t feel like a human being sometimes because of it.)

    I believe both of those problems stem from your childhood. You were afraid to even share your fears and anxiety with your father, and your mother was afraid to share it too – so you’ve learned that your anxiety is a big no-no, something aberrant and to be ashamed of, something that makes you abnormal. That’s where I believe your problem No2 stems from – that you sometimes feel like you’re less than human because of your anxiety. Feeling worthless and that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.

    The other problem is lack of support. Your parents are now saying “when you cry, we cry“, which isn’t helpful because it makes you feel guilty about your feelings. And they don’t want to really know about your problems, they minimize them (but you look better! You’re doing better.).

    In your childhood, maybe your mother had a similar attitude: “when you cry, I cry”? She lived in fear of your father and it was probably a burden for her to deal with your fears alone. And she didn’t know how to. Whereas your father’s attitude was something like: “if you cry and show weakness, you’re weak, you’re defective, and I’ll be very disappointed in you”. Would you agree?

    You didn’t reply to my previous post, but it seems to me your father had quite a damaging effect on your self-esteem. And in combination with your mother’s fear of him, you were mostly left alone to struggle with your fears, which then grew bigger and bigger, leading to anxiety.

    It seems to me you are still living with that same wound of 1) not receiving proper support and 2) feeling “damaged” due to your anxiety. Would you agree?

     

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 15 hours ago by TeaK.
    #387366
    TeaK
    Participant

    P.S. A small correction in the last but one sentence:

    It seems to me you are still living with that same wound of 1) feeling unsupported and 2) feeling “damaged” due to your anxiety.

    #387374
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    Having such horrible anxiety is exhausting… I also dissociate… it’s been interfering heavily with my school work!..  I had to miss important classes because of it and I have been getting such horrible grades.. I don’t know how to balance my mental health with school…  I wish my university had more accommodations for me, as well as support…  I’m physically and mentally exhausted!!!!!!“-

    -it may sound like advising you to add something to your schedule is not a good idea, because you are already so exhausted, but I think that it is a good idea that you add exercise to your day and make it a daily routine. Daily exercise will lessen your daily anxiety, and in so doing, you will have more energy (not less) to focus on your studies every day.

    If your university has a gym, you can use it for a fast walk on the  treadmill, or for a swim in a heated pool, if one is available; a time that is the least crowded at the gym will be best for you. Or a jog outside, at a time  least crowded can do the trick. If your university offers individual or group counseling or support groups, that will be excellent for you!

    Please feel free to post here anytime, vent and get things off your chest!

    anita

     

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